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John Bowne takes PSAL Queens Crown with 66-63 win over QHST

John Bowne went on a 10-0 run late in the third quarter to pull ahead of QHST, and the Wildcats held off the Tigers for a 66-63 win in the PSAL Queens Borough Championship Game at Queens College on Saturday.

CJ Kelly scored the first five of the game, as QHST took an early 5-0 lead before Bowne answered with back-to-back buckets by Christian Hinckson to close the gap to 5-4. QHST retained the lead until a 3-pointer by Alejandro Vasquez knotted the score at 9 with 2:26 left in the first. Bowne took their first lead at 12-11 when Vasquez converted all three freebies after being fouled from behind the arc, and the Wildcats led 15-11 before Justin Steed's left-handed layup made it 15-13 heading into the second quarter.

QHST regained the lead at 19-17 on a foul line jumper by Dwight Reed, and Colby Simpson's drive gave the Tigers a 21-17 advantage with 4:10 left in the half. Bowne came back to tie it at 21 after a driving score by Stephan McLeish and a fast-break bucket by Vasquez, and the Wilcats took the lead again at 22-21 after McLeish made one of two from the stripe.

The lead changed hands again when Kion Hill's 3-pointer put QHST back in front 24-22, and Jeffrey Joseph's hoop off a Steed assist gave the Tigers a 26-22 advantage. After a putback by McLeish trimmed the margin to 26-24, two Kelly free throws put QHST back up by four at 28-24. Vasquez scored the last three of the half for Bowne on a driving score and a free throw, bringing the Wildcats within a point (29-28) at the break.

QHST pulled ahead 37-32 early in the third, but Bowne regained the lead at 38-37 after a driving score by Hinckson and back-to-back baskets by Vasquez. McLeish's dazzling stutter-step spin move put Bowne ahead 40-37, and another basket by Hinckson made it ten unanswered for the Wildcats, giving them a 42-37 lead with 2:26 left in the quarter. QHST snapped its scoring drought with a jumper by William Ellis to make it 42-39, but Kareem Reid brought the crowd to its feet with a one-handed dunk to put Bowne up 44-39 with 55 seconds remaining in the third. Jamie Nurse's bucket in the paint off a bullet pass from Simpson made it 46-43, but Richard Selembo tipped in a missed free throw just ahead of the horn to give Bowne a 48-43 lead heading into the fourth.

Bowne started to pull away in the final quarter, taking a 61-50 lead before QHST stormed back with a 10-0 run of their own, including baskets by Nurse and Ellis, two free throws by Kelly and a putback by Joseph, making it a one-point game at 61-60 with 1:14 left. Bowne went up 62-60 after Hinckson made one of two from the stripe, and QHST gained possession with a chance to tie with under 1:00 to play. Bowne came up with a big defensive stop and Kelly fouled out on the next possession, putting Hinckson back on the line. Hinckson would make both to put Bowne ahead 64-60 and Vasquez sealed it by making a pair on the following possession, giving the Wildcats a 66-60 lead with just 20 ticks left. Joseph's three for QHST just ahead of the buzzer made it a 66-63 final.

Vasquez led all scorers with 37 points.


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