WORCESTER — Johnny Williams has a grand vision for his TechBoston Academy basketball team. Build a great program, not just a great team.
His Bears are well on their way.
In a rematch of the 2018 state final, TechBoston ran away from West champion Taconic in the second half to repeat as Division 2 champion, 69-54, Saturday afternoon at WPI.
“It’s our program,” said Williams after the Bears capped a 24-2 season. “This means everything for our kids; it means everything to the city of Boston. It is not just for us. It is for every kid that comes up in an urban environment.
“Sometimes there is a cloud that hangs over our cities at times, but we do it for all these kids. We do it for all of them. We do it for any inner-city kid of the city of Boston. We make it so they can look at our guys and they can believe . . . Now, these kids in the city can definitely look up to these guys.”
After last year’s 78-40 loss , Taconic (20-4) was eyeing redemption. Junior Mohammed Sanogo (11 points, 15 rebounds) commanded the boards for the Braves and kept TechBoston from getting any penetration inside the paint.
The Bears managed to find holes in the second quarter thanks to freshman reserve Tre Norman (12 points, 7 rebounds). After building a 5-point halftime lead, TechBoston began to create separation in the third quarter.
Junior Alan Nunez’s layup on a feed from Shamar Browder (16 points, four assists) with 3:48 left in the third sparked an 11-0 run that put the Bears in front by double figures.
“We started realizing that they are longer than us, but we haven’t met a team that can keep up with our speed,” said senior Lyron Bennett. “So we had to meet them at half court and we just had to speed them up.”
Taconic trimmed the deficit to 11 on a turnaround jumper from junior Isaac Percy (17 points) early in the fourth. But minutes later, TechBoston put the game out of reach on senior Javon Pierre’s first field goal of the game, a corner three, to push the spread to 59-45.
TechBoston 69, Taconic 54
TECHBOSTON (24-2) — Shamar Browder 7-2-16, Lyron Bennett 4-4-14, Alan Nunez 6-0-15, Javon Pierre 1-1-4, Richard Burton 1-3-5, Tre Norman 5-0-12, Manny Mendes 1-0-3. Totals 25-10-69.
TACONIC (20-4) — Quincy Davis 1-0-2, Quentin Gittens 6-0-12, Isaac Percy 5-4-17, Mohammed Sanogo 4-3-11, Robert McCown 2-0-4, Dedric Moody 2-0-6, Anton Wright 1-0-2. Totals 21-7-54.
Halftime: 30-25, TechBoston. 3-point goals: TechBoston 9 (Nunez 3, Bennett 2, Norman 2, Pierre, Mendez), Taconic 5 (Percy 3, Moody 2).
Karl Capen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.