Bedford Academy upsets Westinghouse in Brooklyn Boro Playoffs
Every year, the Public School Athletic League includes a couple of A Division teams in its Boro Playoffs, but those schools are typically eliminated by the AA Division teams in the first round. Not this year.
The Bedford Academy Panthers (14-0) upset the Westinghouse Warriors (7-7) with an incredibly close 64-62 victory in front of a capacity crowd at the Stuy Dome in Bedford Stuyvesant Tuesday night.
“I think we get doubted a lot because we’re an A team,” said Bedford Academy senior Trevis Wigfall. “We beat a lot of good teams, but we don’t really get the credit that we deserve. To come out here and beat an AA team, we’ve been asking for this all year, so we had to step up.”
Westinghouse had a big height advantage against Bedford Academy and used that to take a 17-11 lead in the first quarter behind seven points from Richard Knowlin and six points from Gerald Williams.
But Bedford Academy adjusted by the start of the second quarter and went up 30-23 after Ian Roach sent a message that the Panthers were for real with a hard dunk that brought the entire crowd to its feet.
“We’ve been trying to get Ian to dunk all year,” Wigfall said. “When he finally got a dunk, we knew that we were going to win this game because it got all of our teammates and the crowd so hyped up.”
The second half of the game couldn’t have been much closer, as there were nine lead changes in the third quarter and seven in the fourth quarter. Bedford Academy missed eight consecutive free throws at one point, which made the game even tighter, but stayed in it as the team allowed just one turnover in the final six minutes.
Anthony Munson gave Bedford Academy a 61-60 lead with 1:49 left, then Williams got the lead back for Westinghouse with 36 seconds to play. Damarri Moore had the chance to extend that lead for Westinghouse, but missed a pair of free throws. Later, a bad inbound pass gave Bedford Academy one final opportunity, and Wigfall took advantage with a layup to go ahead 63-62 with 3.6 seconds left.
Munson led Bedford Academy with 20 points and Roach had 13. Williams led Westinghouse with a game-high 28 points and Jaheem Page had 18.
“Both teams played hard and it was an exciting game,” said Bedford Academy’s head coach Robert Phelps, who nearly lost his voice during the game. “I’m happy for my kids and I’m happy for the A Division. This is proof that the A Division can hang with AA teams. We played well and we showed that we deserved the No. 4 seed.”
Bedford Academy moves on to the next round of the Boro playoffs where it will face Jefferson, the top seed in the tournament. The two teams played each other over the summer and the Panthers lost in a close match. This time around, they feel they can pull out another upset.
“We’ve been waiting for [Jefferson] all year,” Roach said. “Since the summertime we’ve been waiting for Jeff. We’re going to be ready; we’re going hard in practice tomorrow and we’ll be ready.”
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