East Village, N.Y., March 24, 2017 – In a thrilling matchup between two New York City teams, La Salle Academy varsity basketball defeated Fannie Lou Hamer High School 61-47 to advance to the Federation Tournament Final. With today’s win, the Cardinals will face Westhill High School in the Championship Game at 5pm on Saturday, March 25th at the Glens Falls Civic Center. This game will also be broadcast live on Spectrum Sports.
A game that began with a 19-5 La Salle run, the Cardinals would extend the lead to 11 points entering the 4th quarter behind the play of Isaiah Allen-Smith and James Bouknight. The Cardinals would solidify the win with strong defense and great teamwork down the stretch. Isaiah Allen-Smith led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while James Bouknight added 12 points and Justin Rivera added 10 points. Senior and varsity team captain, Bryce Council, controlled the tempo with 8 points and 9 assists.
“What an incredible season and four years this has been,” Council exclaimed. “We have been counted out and overlooked…but we have been working towards these goals for years. The last two years we fell short, so this year our mindset was to be mindful of that feeling we had after those losses and use that as a part of our fuel to drive us. We are focused, we are on the same page, we play for each other, we want to win and ‘We Are La Salle!’”
“This team has been a true pleasure to coach and the focus of the team is to be the very best we can on and off the court, something we have achieved thus far,” said Head Coach Jerome Pannell. “It is, quite honestly, a true honor to be able to be a part of the resurgence of La Salle, not only the basketball program but the institution as a whole. La Salle Basketball has a rich tradition and this team, especially these seniors, are a true example of resilience, perseverance and the work ethic that is a pillar of being true Lasallians.”
The championship titles earned this season have come at an excellent time for La Salle Academy, as the school is being resurrected as a top-notch New York City Lasallian Catholic school, officially hitting wait-list admissions for the second year in a row after a 29-year drought.
La Salle now has nine total City Championship titles (1943, 1946, 1954, 1962, 1967, 1971, 1997, 2004, and 2017) and one State Catholic Championship title (1997). La Salle’s last appearance in the Federation Tournament of Champions was in 1997.