JFK clips Wings for Bronx borough crown
Justin Jenkins has been a JFK killer this season, hitting key fourth quarter shots in a pair of regular season wins, none bigger than a buzzer-beating game-winning 3-pointer at JFK.
It was enough to give Muhammed Ahmed nightmares.
And when Jenkins buried a tying 3-pointer from the top of the key while getting fouled with 47.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter Saturday at York College, Ahmed couldn’t help but get flashbacks.
But instead of dwell on the shot, Ahmed went to work. His layup with three seconds left in regulation lifted John F. Kennedy to a 59-54 win against rival Wings and clinched a first Bronx borough title since 2009.
“This time we just played through it,” Ahmed said. “We didn’t have any problems bringing the ball down court. They said give it to the open man and I happened to be the one open. I took the shot.”
Younger brother Bashir Ahmed, who scored a team-high 13 points, had a feeling Muhammed would do something special.
“That was a big play,” he said. “Once he got the ball I knew something amazing was going to happen.”
That’s usually the reaction when Jenkins spots up and the senior guard, who scored a game-high 19 points, did electrify the crowd with his tying 3-pointer. David Hardy (11 points) responded with a pair of free throws with 28.9 seconds left to put JFK (18-9) in front, 53-51.
But Jaequan Brown (11 points) buried an open 3-pointer with 12.8 seconds remaining to give Wings (24-3), ranked No. 10 in the Tri-State by MSG Varsity, a 54-53 lead.
Still, despite two dagger-like shots, Wings coach Billy Turnage wasn’t about to celebrate another Bronx borough title.
“I knew we needed stops,” he said. “I knew it wasn’t over.”
Muhammed Ahmed knew that, too.
“I knew when I got the ball I was going to make sure I scored it because it was one-on-one and they couldn’t guard me one-on-one,” he said.
It was a huge win for JFK, if only to prove the Knights could close out the game against one of the PSAL’s elite.
“We showed we could finish last minute when we’re down and we never give up,” Muhammed Ahmed said.
While he was disappointed in the defeat, Turnage said he doesn’t think it should affect what is expected to be a top-five seed for the upcoming PSAL Class AA citywide playoffs.
“I don’t think it does anything to our seeding,” he said. “I don’t think one game erases our body of work. This is our first loss in New York City [since] Christ the King up in Binghamton. I still think we’re a two or three seed.”
While JFK has largely flown under the radar this year, consider Turnage a believer.
“Kennedy has been a good team all year. They took a couple of hits, but anyone who thinks Kennedy is not good is out of their mind.
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