By Joseph Staszewski
Construction is coming off a season that saw it announce itself as a major player in the PSAL boys’ basketball landscape and claim a Queens Borough title. The Red Hawks understand they cannot rest on their laurels as numerous key pieces have graduated. They are hungry to keep the program on the rise.
“We have a lot to prove to everybody,” Hofstra-bound guard Justin Wright-Foreman said. “We all talk about how we have a big X on our backs. We are targeted in the city, especially in Queens.
No one has more attention on them than Wright-Foreman. The combo-guard is one of the city’s premier scorers. He is averaging 32 points per contest in two league games this season and knows double and triple teams will come his way throughout the year. Construction coach Cory Semper believes the addition of St. John’s Prep transfer Kyle Allman, a senior, will ease the scoring burden on Wright-Foreman.
“It takes a lot of the scoring off me,” Wright-Foreman said. “They can’t box-and-1 me. It leaves Kyle the opportunity to operate.”
The two will be the key to a four-guard alignment that includes junior point guard Wesley Nelson and senior Tahleek Weeks. Jordan Wright, Caleb Goosby and Tariq Troutman will also see time. Senior forward Bryshon Bryant, who is 6-foot-5, epitomizes the improved toughness Semper sees in this team.
“He’s rugged,” Semper said of Bryant. “He is going to hit you. He is going to take charges. What you get you are going to earn.”
Semper, who will go seven or eight players deep on his bench, plans on his team making up for its lack of size with the play of its guards, and playing man-to-man defense more, trying to pressure and forces turnovers.
“We are playing man,” Nelson said. “We are going to get into people.”
The Red Hawks see that as the formula to again challenge defending city champion Benjamin Cardozo for supremacy in Queens and get past the second round of the city playoffs. Watching the Judges raise the trophy in the Barclays Center last year showed Construction it is not far off from challenging for a city crown.
“It just showed us where we were at,” Wright-Foreman said. “We were right there. Now we know to work 110 percent harder.”