Tag Archives: High School for Construction Red Hawks

Powered by Skittles, Red Hawks taste the Queens Borough Championship

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

At the end of the first half of the PSAL Queens Borough basketball tournament finals on Sunday, the Benjamin Cardozo boys basketball team was firmly leading High School for Construction, 36-26.

It was time for Construction’s first-year head coach, Cory Semper, to unleash his team’s secret weapon: a giant bag of Skittles.

Popularized by the Super Bowl XLVIII Champion Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch as “power pellets,” the bite-size, multi-color candy is slowly becoming known as a way to recharge athletes.

“The Seattle Seahawks did it, so I said ‘you know what it might work’,” Semper said.

And the Skittles did not fail. The power of the rainbow gave Construction Red Hawks the strength they needed to play more aggressively, and outscore their conference rivals Cardozo in the second half, on route to a 65-62 win.

Red Hawks (14-2, 3-0 playoffs) senior guard Marlon Alcindor led the way with 25 points, including 10 of 13 from the free throw line. The Skittles were especially kind to junior Justin Wright-Foreman, who scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter alone.

So who knew Skittles could be such a powerful weapon? Other than Lynch’s mother, who originally started feeding him “power pellets,” apparently it was Semper’s older brother’s suggestion.

Semper refused to try the Skittles for a long time, but finally gave in during the first playoff game of the Queens Borough tournament against Francis Lewis to fix the team’s weak third quarter problem.

The second seeded Red Hawks were highly favored to win that game, so the Skittles would have been hard to test. But having dropped two games already against the Judges (16-0, 2-1 playoffs) in the regular season, it was a perfect experiment in the finals.

After the  Skittles boost, Construction outscored Cardozo 39-26 in the second half. The Red Hawks controlled the flow of the game by taking less outside shots and charging to the basket to score in the paint and get to the free throw line. They quickly jumped to a 19-9 run to start the third quarter and tie the game, 45-45, and battled from there for the win.

“We just had the strategy of coming in and playing hard,” Wright-Foreman said. “When we were down 10 in the third quarter it was 0-0 to us.”

The win marks Semper’s second Queens Borough title in as many years, with two different schools. Now the Red Hawks are setting their sights on the city title, and Semper said they are bringing a bag of skittles with them.



High School Basketball Roundup

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The Springfield Gardens Golden Eagles (11-2) beat the Franklin K. Lane Knights (4-9) by a score of 52-46. For the Knights, senior Kalil Johnson led the team with 16 points. Three Knights’ players scores eight points and junior Eugene Thwaites Jr. almost achieved a triple-double with eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Senior Gaoussou Sissoko scored eight points while grabbing seven rebounds, while freshman Natanael Carrasco scored eight points as well. While senior Denzel Morgan scored just four points, he was able to grab 10 rebounds. The Golden Eagles will round out the regular season against the Hilcrest Hawks (3-10).

The Hawks lost their last game to the High School for Construction Red Hawks (10-3) by a score of 69-48. For the Red Hawks, senior Rudranauth Sewsankar led the team with 22 points. Senior Ehiavekhan Eromoselle had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Kareem Stowe fell two rebounds shy of a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Junior Alexis Rincon chipped in with nine points while senior O’Shane Beckford was only able to score three points while dishing out seven assists.

The John Adams Spartans (10-3) beat the Grover Cleveland Tigers (4-9) by a score of 80-38. Junior Markell French led the Spartans with a triple-double, scoring 19 points while pulling down 12 rebounds and dishing out 13 assists. Senior Shane Hubbard is proving he can play more than one sport as the football star scored 13 points while grabbing three rebounds. Junior Shmael Nausrudeen was third on the team with 12 points. Junior Justin Cotto scored 10 points while pulling down eight rebounds. Junior Ahmed Kone scored seven points while grabbing nine rebounds. The Spartans will end the season on the road against the Richmond Hill Lions (3-10).

In their last game, the Lions lost to the Far Rockaway Sea Horses (7-6) by a score of 70-43. Junior Tyrelle Gordon led the Sea Horses with 18 points and senior Warren Saylor Jr. was a close second with 17 points. Senior Jarren Oliver-Moore pitched in with 11 points. Junior Shaleek Saunders scored eight points while Junior Malik Stewart scored five points and had a team leading 11 rebounds. The Sea Horses will finish the season against the Tigers.