Despite the loss of powerhouse forward Sonny Okorie, the QHST Tigers (5-3) kicked off the first quarter with a 7-0 run. A series of quick turnovers on both ends of the court ended with Van Buren’s guard Darron Williams getting fouled, and putting his team on the board with two points.
But the Tigers smooth passes and ability to control the ball and execute shots soared over the Van Buren VeeBees (4-4) and they ended the half up by 10 points, 27-17.
The second half started up with several stand-out plays from QHST forward Michael O’Leary and guard Brandon Anderson. Both teams continued to be aggressive on steals, amounting as much as four steals in under a minute.
Despite doubling the VeeBees score, Shelton appeared displeased at the referees’ foul calls, but the Tigers continued to score regardless. Just before the quarter ended, QHST guard Keshaun Ellis made a behind-the-back assist and brought the score to 47-23.
Several times throughout the game, Van Buren passed the ball directly into the hands of the QHST players. But before the fourth quarter, Edwards took Williams aside to talk strategy for the final minutes. But despite the pep talk and a big block from VeeBees guard Dayvon Lloyd on O’Leary, the Tigers came out victorious and ended the game 69-29.
This is the Tigers first season in the AA division and as of press time placed third overall in the borough, behind High School for Construction and the Benjamin N. Cardozo High School.
“I think we’re doing better than others expect,” Shelton said.
He added the majority of his varsity team is underclassmen so he is “excited” for the years to come, building on what they have.
“Our future looks bright,” he said.