Hoops: Constitution whips Boys' Latin, 85-60, for Public League boys' crown

At times this season, the Constitution boys' basketball team was anything but a well-oiled machine. Hiccups were common.

"We were playing selfishly, not getting after it the way we should," said senior Savon Goodman, who came over from Academy of the New Church. "But all the stuff we went through, those rough times, it brought us together."

All seemed well, more than well actually, for Goodman and company in Saturday's Public League championship clash with Boys' Latin.

The Generals, seizing firm control in the second quarter and never looking back, whipped the turnover-prone Warriors, 85-60, at Community College of Philadelphia for their first league crown.

"This feels really good," said the 6-foot-6 Goodman, who netted a game-high 24 points. "It's the first title for me since my freshman year at ANC. I've been waiting for this."

Constitution (18-9) gained redemption after bowing to Imhotep Charter, 57-44, in last season's final. "We're going to celebrate tonight, get back to work tomorrow, and get ready for states," senior guard Daiquan Walker said.

Walker, a Division I recruit who scored eight of his 15 points in the third quarter, was tabbed as the game's most valuable player.

"He played great," Generals coach Rob Moore said. "He distributed the ball, controlled it. He deserved it."

Walker missed the team's last two practices after injuring his left ankle. "I knew I was going to play," he said. "I think my coach was more scared than I was about it."

With Walker hobbled somewhat, Moore picked Amonie Holloman (15 points) and Tamir Bolger to keep close tabs on prolific scorer Maurice Watson. The Boston University commit, who came in averaging 22 points, was held to 14.

"The main thing was to just slow him down," Moore said. "We wanted to limit his ability to get assists and get his teammates involved in the game."

Junior guard Yahmir Greenlee sparked Boys' Latin (22-5), which committed 19 turnovers, with 20 points.

"We lost the game with our guards," Warriors coach Maurice Watson Sr. said. "Our guards were more focused on the spectators than the game. They were more caught up in the hype of it all."

Late in the second quarter, Craig Slade's inside bucket gave Constitution a 30-15 advantage. Early in the fourth, after Walker's driving bucket and Holloman's three-pointer, it was 76-44.

Maurice Watson, who has 2,265 career points, managed just two points in the third frame. "He wasn't himself at all," his father said. "I think he was trying to put the team on his shoulders."

Boys' Latin 6 13 18 23-60
Constitution 13 26 31 15-85

BL: Maurice Watson 14, Rashan Wooten-Miller 12, Yahmir Greenlee 20, Amir Tucker 4, Eric Lark 2, Charles Pressley 7, Pasquale Dimascio 1.

C: Tamir Bolger 6, Craig Slade 6, Daiquan Walker 15, Savon Goodman 24, Amonie Holloman 15, Fajion Jones 13, Ahmad Gilbert 6.

-Rick O'Brien