PATERSON, NJ - The Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology’s varsity basketball squad has a message for crosstown rivals Eastside and Kennedy-Move over, there’s a new kid in town.
On Monday the Lions will square off against Cresskill for the New Jersey North 1, Group 11 sectional state final crown. Led by the senior tandem of Sadiki Miller and Marquise Harris with 19 and 17 points, respectively, P.C.S.S.T. reached the championship contest with a 66-38 blowout of Hasbrouck Heights.
Earlier this season, Harris notched 15 tallies and Miller contributed 12 in a victory over Manchester Regional in the quarterfinals of the Passaic County Tournament. The Lions entered the game with a sterling 20-2 record having won 16 of 17 games.
Meanwhile, at the corner of Totowa and Preakness, Kennedy is bracing for a challenge from Ridgewood for the North 1, Group 4 sectional title on Tuesday.
The Knights are led by seniors Jah-mahi Carnegie, Jalen Hargrove, Deishon Harrison, Mark Heber, Bre’Quan Moore, Reynaldo Santos, Brandon Lugo, John Demota, and Ricardo Jones.
Head Coach Tommie Patterson’s troops reached the final by posting a harrowing escape from Hackensack by a score of 61-60. Harrison topped the Knights’ scoring parade with 20 points. A clutch free throw by JFK sophomore Yasen Crawford provided the one point margin of victory.
Paterson Charter will host their Bergen County opponents at 7:00 p.m. while the tip-off for the Kennedy-Ridgewood game begins at 6:00 p.m.
One fan that attended Kennedy’s victory over Hackensack was Alice McKenzie. The William Paterson University graduate was not alone. Her nine-month old baby girl, Billie, and husband Caleb were with her.
“I lived in Paterson for four years,” McKenzie stated. “I love the Silk City’s diversity. I love the people here.”
The rising R&B singer had heard earlier this year that basketball games played at the Tyrone Collins gymnasium are introduced the right way with the singing of the national anthem. However, upon arrival at the recent contest, the vocalist realized another truth. The anthem played by recording, not live.
“I thought that I might be able to change that,” McKenzie shared. “I have sung the national anthem several times before for various events.
After the joyous celebration of the Knights’ nail-biter had subsided, McKenzie was introduced to JKF Principal of Operations, Michael Hill and offered to sing at the upcoming championship. ollowing the chain of command, Hill directed the eager vocalist to Kennedy Athletic Director Scott Durham.
Upon hearing the request voiced by McKenzie, Durham responded positively and reflected on his love for his country.
“That’s great,” the veteran A.D. said. “Having the anthem played by a recording is okay but having a singer makes it more personal and adds emotion.”
In a concert covered by TAPinto Paterson that showcased the talent and arrangements of three-time Grammy nominated trombonist/composer-arranger/vocalist, Pete McGuinness, McKenzie was featured in two songs. Held at the Shea Center for the Performing Arts at William Paterson, the concert was part of the school’s annual Summer Jazz Room.
McKenzie is the lead singer for the neo-soul and jazz big band group, Big Beat, and also fronts her own band, The Allison McKenzie Project.
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