The Martin Luther Varsity Squad played rival Maspeth High School at the HANS Holiday classic hosted by The Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens in Astoria.
The game was an absolute thriller. The back and forth war on the hardwood was thoroughly enjoyed by a multitude of fans in the stands. The fast paced game in Variety’s “the cage” sized gym, consisted of attacking transition play, 3 point shooting, and defensive battles between explosive guards.
Maspeth’s sharp shooting and size advantage helped them take an early 8-point lead, and they held that lead for most of the game. The speed and execution of the MLS Cougars, propelled them to close the gap to under 5 points late in the 4th quarter.
With under a minute left in the game, Cougar senior guard, Cristian Reyes, hit a long three point shot to close the gap to 1 point. The shot would prove to be a little too late, as a turnover on the next play resulted in their demise. Maspeth held on to win the thriller, 67-65.
Maspeth’s Daniel Piszczatowski, & Harrold Pascual finished with 14 points each, and Nathaniel Nickel finished with 9 points. Their excellent teamwork is a result of the hard work of head coach Anastasia Bitis. “We have great kids who love playing with each other,” said Bitis. “This game was exactly what we needed. Well played by both teams,” said the Astoria native, who grew up at the Variety Boys & Girls Club.
Martin Luther Senior Guard Taylor Huyghue finished with a game high 21 points. Cristian Reyes and Kumar Lewis had 15 a piece. Head coach, John Sanchez, looked pleased with his team’s performance. “We will take away many positive lessons from tonight’s loss. Defensive toughness and offensive execution are in the DNA of great teams, and I saw sparks of that in us tonight. Consistency in those areas will determine our success,” said the second year head coach.