After winning the B Division City Championship in the Public School Athletic League (PSAL), the Maspeth High School boys varsity basketball team followed up that performance with a second-place showing in the New York State Federation Class B Tournament.
In their first tournament game, Maspeth faced off against a tough Dwight School Lions team in the SEFCU Arena at the University of Albany.
The Argonauts didn’t get off to a promising start, falling behind 10-2 in the opening minutes. At the beginning of the second quarter, Maspeth put together a 10-2 run to tie the game at 12. The Lions quickly took back control of the game, scoring 18 points in just over four minutes. Dwight held a commanding 35-19 lead heading into the half.
The Argonauts had a tough task ahead of them but were more than up for the challenge. They chipped away at Dwight’s lead during the third and fourth quarters and with two minutes remaining in the game, the Argonauts trailed by only one point, 47-46.
Maspeth’s Paolo Tamer hit a layup with 1:30 left, giving the Argonauts a 48-47 lead. Matthew Nickel followed that up with a 3-pointer, putting Maspeth up 51-47.
Dwight’s Dajuan Piper then hit a layup and was fouled. He scored the free throw and brought the Lions to within one point of the Argonauts with 30 seconds remaining in the game.
Maspeth missed two free throws, giving the Lions one final chance, but Dwight missed a short jumper at the buzzer to cement the Argonauts’ comeback victory, 51-50, sending them to the finals of the tournament.
In the finals, Maspeth faced off against Park School, although their fate would not be the same.
The Park School Pioneers jumped all over the Argonauts from the tip off, leading 18-10 after the first and 35-24 at the half. The Pioneers put together a 15-0 run during the third quarter and led 50-29 heading into the fourth quarter.
The game ended with the Pioneers victorious, 71-50, dashing the Argonauts’ dreams of a state championship.
“It was a tough game for us as the five starters on that team were all over 6 foot 2 inches,” Maspeth coach Anastasia Bitis said. “Our team never gave up even after being down by 20-plus points.”
The Argonauts are looking forward to next year to defend their PSAL title and possibly bringing home the state championship.