Wilson paces Hayes over Long Island Lutheran
The book on Tyler Wilson last year was that he was a quick guard who was an outstanding defender.
But the junior guard continues to write new chapters with one spectacular performance after another.
On Sunday, the Rice transfer was the story in Cardinal Hayes impressive 70-52 victory against Long Island Lutheran in the Upstate/Downstate Challenge at Uniondale HS.
“He’s a stud,” Hayes coach Joe Lods said. “He has such a quick turn of foot. He’s like a race car, zero to sixty and there he goes.”
Even Lods said Wilson has been better than advertised when he arrived at the all-boys Bronx school.
“He’s working on his jump shot, but he’s more vocal than I thought and he’s an excellent passer,” Lods said. “He’s a lot further along than I was told he was. He’s a tough city point guard. He should be getting a lot more [recruiting] attention.”
A few more dazzling and dominating performances like Sunday, that shouldn’t be a problem for Wilson, who has yet to pick up a Division I offer despite interest from Penn State, St. John’s, Texas-Arlington, Quinnipiac, Marist, Drexel and Duquesne.
But Wilson isn’t interested in personal glory. Instead, a quote his mother read to him resonates every time he steps on the court.
“Together everyone achieves more,” he said.
Cardinal Hayes senior forward Jalen Jenkins said he watched Wilson play last year, but the point guard has improved to the point of being the Cardinals’ most consistent player.
“He’s stepped his game up to a whole different level,” Jenkins said. “He’s really been our anchor for the last four games. It’s been a great ride the whole way through.”
Wilson sliced up the defending New York State Federation Class A champions to the tune of a game-high 25 points and six steals. His most important contribution might have come at the start of the fourth quarter when his back-to-back steals led to easy layups and Cardinal Hayes (4-0), ranked No. 6 in New York City by MSG Varsity, extended its lead to 54-38.
“His energy makes their team go,” Long Island Lutheran coach John Buck said of Wilson.
Led by Wilson, Fairfield-bound Amadou Sidibe (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Jenkins, the Cardinals went on a 10-0 run late in the second quarter of a tight game to take a 34-28 lead into halftime.
That advantage ballooned to 16 early in the fourth quarter, but Long Island Lutheran (4-2) rallied to cut its deficit to eight, 55-47, on a 3-pointer by K.J. Lee (17 points) with 3:34 left in regulation.
But Hayes finished the game strong and fittingly, the last points – four free throws – were scored by Wilson after he was fouled and Buck was called for a technical foul with 35.2 seconds left.
“He sets the tone,” Jenkins said. “He’s a one-man press breaker and he always has a composed attitude.”
Wilson was more excited about a victory against a quality LuHI squad.
“I believed if we won we’d make a big statement, that we were able to say we arrived,” Wilson said. “It was impressive to myself and I was playing.”
While Hayes opened some eyes Sunday, Buck said he wasn’t surprised, not with four Rice transfers joining a solid nucleus.
“Hayes is a very good team,” Buck said. “They’re definitely extremely talented. It’s what I’d expect from two ‘AA’ city Catholic schools.”
As for the Cardinals early-season recipe for success, that’s pretty simple, according to Lods.
“We have city guard who love basketball, they eat and sleep basketball,” Lods said. “They’re hungry kids and they’re tough.”
Contact Dylan Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org
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