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#5 Putnam Science 79, #31 Bridgeport Prep 67

 

January 24, Brdigeport, CT -  Darryl Simmons had 14 points, five assists, and three steals to lead the Mustangs to their third straight win.

Duane Thompson finished with 10 points, four boards, and a pair of blocked shots, while Will Lovings-Watts scored 14 points, and Ben Ahmed pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. PSA improved to 18-3.


 
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#5 Putnam Science 94, #7 Cushing Academy 79


Kent, CT - Mouhamed Dioubate had 21 points and 16 rebounds while Darryl Simmons had 12 points and 10 assists to lead PSA to the impressive win at the New England Basketball League showcase held at South Kent School.


“I think we did a great job following the game plan the last games, and that’s something I was frustrated with the first half of the year,” coach Tom Espinosa said. “Guys are stepping up, and we’re doing the little things as a team, making winning plays. I like the direction this team is headed.”


After falling behind 12-2 in the game’s early minutes, PSA went on a 15-2 run to take its first lead of the game at 17-14 and never look back. The game stayed close throughout, as the margin was always right around eight points, until the Mustangs put the final daggers in over the last three-plus minutes.


Will Lovings-Watts had 19 points, Ben Ahmed scored 13, and Oswin Erhunmwunse finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Mustangs (17-3).

PSA has another tough week of games ahead, with games at Bridgeport Prep and Notre Dame-West Haven, followed by a Saturday matchup against Brewster Academy and a rematch with Cushing Academy on Sunday.


 
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Putnam Science Academy 94, Our Savior Lutheran National 82

January 18, Webster, MA -  Putnam Science prevailed in a mid season match-up between nationally renowned programs.

For PSA, Mouhamed Dioubate had 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Darryl Simmons finished with 16 points, seven assists, six rebounds, one steal, one blocked shot, and one charge drawn as PSA knocked off one of the more talented teams in the country.

Will Lovings-Watts had 16 points and four steals, Oswin Erhunmwunse just missed out on a double-double, ending with 10 points and nine rebounds, and Baye Ndongo had 10 points and eight rebounds in his season debut.

"We got a lot of good contributions from everyone," coach Tom Espinosa said. "Darryl played great, Mo was his normal self, Miles Rose (eight points and five rebounds) was really good. It came  from everybody. Duane Thompson was in there digging out rebounds, Ty Foster only played maybe five minutes but he was making the right plays and working hard. That was a good team win against a team and a program that we have a lot of respect for."

The Mustangs (16-3) lost to OSL's Prep team in the season-opener, so this was an exacting revenge, of sorts. The Falcons, who feature players headed to UConn (Youssouf Singare), Memphis (Ty-Laur Johnson), George Washington (Christian Jones), and St. Peter's (Armoni Zeigler) in the fall, staged a late comeback that brought them from down 19 to down seven in just a matter of minutes. But the Mustangs withstood the rally and put away the win.

"That's Putnam Science basketball," Espinosa said. "That's the way we want to play. We've had trouble with our toughness throughout the year, but I thought the kids really played hard, really got after it tonight. If we play like that in every game, we'll be tough to beat."


 
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Bradford Christian Academy 67, Putnam Science Academy 63

January 15, Springfield,  MA - The 2023 Hoop Hall Prep Showcase event featured two of New England Top 5 ranked teams on their last day of the event. The game was a rematch of a December 3rd game held at the Zero Gravity Prep Classic. The identical score, four point victory outcome repeated itself for the #2 ranked Bradford Christian Academy (14-3) on Sunday.

Kur Teng and Isaac Bonilla led the scoring for Bradford Christian with 17 points and 15 points respectively while Jordan Clayton and Umari Seney added 10 each in the winning effort. George Turkson battled for the Sentinels at the rim and recorded 12 rebounds.

For Putnam Science, Ben Ahmed had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Blake Barkley finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, while University of Alabama commit, Mouhamed Dioubate added 13 points and five rebounds for the Mustangs (15-3).  

The game also served as a league standings result for the inaugral season of the New England Basketball League. An ebuilient BCA coach, Vin Pastore commented after the game: "We are excited about our invitation into the NEBL and the competition it brings to New England Prep School basketball. We are further thrilled to be able to play against the likes of national powerhouses such as Putnam Science Academy, Brewster Academy and South Kent.  This type of high level competition makes all those that participate better at their craft. Being able to get the best of Putnam Science Academy twice in a single season is a credit to the young men who have chosen to play for Bradford Christian Academy and who desire and understand the value of playing against the best of the best. Unfortunately, in competition somebody has to come out the winner and somebody the loser.  We were fortunate to win two very close games against a talented Putnam Science team.  But more important than the wins is the fact that all the young men on both teams who played in those games are better at basketball for having played in them. That's what Prep School basketball is about, that is what development is about."


 
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Putnam Science 75, Vermont Academy 74


January 14, Springfield, MA. - The Hoop Hall Prep Showcase hosted a thriller of a heavyweight contest at "The Birthplace of Basketball" on Saturday.

PSA rallied from eight points down late in the game to get the win. The game winning score came as PSA ran a back-screen on the left block for Mouhamed Dioubate who laid in the winner.

Putnam Science's 6'10 freshman, Ben Ahmed finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Dioubate had 13 points and 16 rebounds. Miles Rose played a good all-around game, scoring nine points and "making the right plays late in the game," coach Tom Espinosa said.

As a team Vermont shot 47% from the field.  Their "Super Soph" Joson Sanon led the way with 25 points.  VA also got great point guard play from Darius Lopes who took care of the ball the majority of the night and finished with 6 assists. Mantas Zilys, Jared Berry and Darin Smith Jr. also played key roles in the game. Vermont Head Coach John Zall commented: 

"I'm proud of the way our guys competed. They work hard everyday and give themselves a chance to be successful no matter who the opponent is. Unfortunately, we came up short on this night."


 
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Putnam Science 118, Redemption Christian 81

January 11, Putnam, CT - Will Lovings-Watts drilled six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 19 points Wednesday (16 in the first half) as PSA won in its first game back from the winter break, 118-81 over Redemption Christian Academy.
“Over the break I was trying to get in the gym as much as I could, get up as many shots as I could so that when I came back, I could shoot it well,” he said. “Before the break, I was shooting it well but wasn’t hitting as many 3s.“


Mouhamed Dioubate and Duane Thompson both scored 14 points, while Miles Rose, Ty Foster, and Ben Ahmed had 10 points apiece. Ahmed added a team-leading eight rebounds.


“Rough start a little bit, but we figured it out,” Mustangs coach Tom Espinosa said, referring to the 47 points his team allowed in the first half. “The defense was not impressive the first half, but we turned it around in the second half and that’s what it’s all about.”


PSA (14-2) plays this weekend in Springfield, Mass., with games against Vermont Academy Friday and Bradford Christian Academy - which beat the Mustangs in early December - Sunday.

 


 
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Putnam Science 89, Northfield Mount Hermon 67


December 14, Springfield, MA  Mouhamed Dioubate had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season to lead PSA to the win.

Will Lovings-Watts finished with 17 points, Darryl Simmons had 15 points, six assists, and four steals, and Ben Ahmed had a near double-double, posting nine points and 13 rebounds for the Mustangs (13-2), who led 37-19 at the half. Blake Barkley added 11 points and six rebounds, while Ehrunmwunse Oswin chipped in with 10 points for PSA.


 
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Putnam Science 105, Notre Dame-West Haven 79

 

December 12, Putnam, CT – Mouhamed Dioubate had 20 points and 15 rebounds. Ben Ahmed had 17 points, 18 rebounds, and four blocks. Will Lovings-Watts had a season-high 25 points.

A lot of the numbers looked good Monday night, but beneath the surface, coach Tom Espinosa wasn’t pleased at all.

“Right from the start, we just went through the motions,” he said. “We just wasted a game and an opportunity to get better. It’s honestly probably our worst performance of the year.

“Give Notre Dame all the credit. They came in, they were tougher, they worked harder, they were more physical. They came in here to compete. And we just didn’t match that unfortunately.”

In the end, PSA’s size and depth wore Notre Dame down, and enabled the Mustangs (12-2) to come away victorious in a physical game.

Blake Barkley added 14 points, and Darryl Simmons had nine points and six assists in the win.

 


 
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Putnam Science 99, Mount Zion 78

 

February 11, Queens, NY - Mouhamed Dioubate was named the game's MVP in his return home, finishing with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks, and the Mustangs (11-2) had a strong showing at the NY Hoops Festival.

 
"We were in control from the start," coach Tom Espinosa said. "The guys played well."
 
Darryl Simmons added 16 points and six assists, while Ben Ahmed finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and three blocks. Erhunmwunse Owsin, in his first game with the Mustangs, had 12 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks.
 

 
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Putnam Science 86, South Kent 73


 

December 7, Putnam, CT - In their most important game of the young season, PSA got effort and production from everyone, and came away with a thrilling win over #3 ranked South Kent in front of a raucous home crowd.
 
"The guys were awesome today, they were awesome," coach Tom Esinosa said. "I challenged these guys the last couple days, and I couldn't be more proud of them.
 
"Hopefully this starts moving us in the right direction. This was important because we lost our last game, we're playing a really good Mt. Zion team on Sunday. If we lost this one, it would have been tough to travel to New York Sunday and try to pull out  a win. We needed this as a program, as a team. We've had some challenges lately, and I just couldn't be more proud of them." 
Darryl Simmons had 25 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and five steals for PSA, while Ben Ahmed got the start at center and finished the game with 11 points and a team season-high 20 rebounds. One play in particular, when Ahmed was underneath the basket fighting to put back an offensive rebound but had it blocked or knocked away a few times before he was finally able to power through and convert, typified his performance.
 
"The coaches told me before the game that it was my turn and I just needed to go out and do my thing," said the 15-year-old Ahmed, who spent a lot of time banging around with University of Michigan-bound Papa Kants. "Once I made the layup, I was very confident in myself."
 
"This is his coming-out party," Espinosa said. "Everyone is going to know who he is now."
 
In the first half, the Mustangs went from 10 points up to seven down to back up three at the half. PSA controlled the pace of play much more in the second half when it held South Kent to just 24 points.
 
"First half, they were picking us apart, they'd get to the rim, kick it, shot. Get to the rim, kick it, shot," Espinosa said. "We felt like they wanted to beat us 120-119. We didn't want that. So we slowed it up, played a lot of zone in the second half, and tried to contain them a lot more. We're a defensive team, and they scored 24 points in the second half. That's the difference in the game right there."
 
Blake Barkley finished with 16 points and six rebounds, Will Lovings-Watts had 13 points and played great defense, Mouhamed Dioubate added nine points and eight boards, and Miles Rose chipped in nine big points and good defense as well.
 

 


 
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Bradford Christian 67, Putnam Science Academy 63
Stoughton, MA- Mouhamed Dioubate had 19 points and 12 rebounds but the Mustangs struggled to score, and dropped their second game of the season.
 
"It was a battle," coach Tom Espinosa said. "They defended. We defended, for the most part. But they made plays down the stretch, they had a guy who was the X-factor, could get them a basket when they needed it. We don't have that right now. We're struggling to score. And we're not the toughest team, mentally or physically. We're trying to make them tough. We're not there yet." 
 
Blake Barkley had 12 points and seven rebounds, Darryl Simmons had 10 points and five assists, and Will Livings-Watts had 12 points for PSA (9-2).

 
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Putnam Science 106, Hoosac AAA 46

December 1, Putnam, CT - PSA coach Tom Espinosa pulled a couple of players into his office Thursday for a little pep talk, if you will. Specifically, he told Miles Rose and Will Lovings-Watts that the Mustangs needed more from them, and that they needed to be more aggressive, more selfish.

Both players responded later in the day, Rose attacking the rim to open up his jumper and Lovings-Watts letting his shot fly when it was there, as PSA dismantled Hoosac en route to its ninth consecutive win.

Rose finished with 12 points and just strong all-around play, while Lovings-Watts had 20 points (including two on a wicked two-handed alley oop) and six rebounds. 

“My coaches have been telling me to have more confidence and look to make more plays,” said Rose, who also played a terrific game Wednesday night, “so that’s what I’m trying to do. When they tell me that, it shows that they have confidence in me. 

“If you see me trying to make plays for myself and my teammates, that’s when I’m feeling good.”

PSA (9-1) played with an intensity from the jump that hasn’t always been there this season, and was a general team focus following Wednesday’s game. The Mustangs were flying around the court in the first half in particular Thursday, pressuring ball handlers, contesting passes and shots, just making it very hard for Hoosac to do anything. PSA led 53-20 at the break.

“We wanted to be fired up from the beginning of the game and make a statement,” Espinosa said. “I was really, really happy after the first 20 minutes and they had 20 points. Hoosac’s a good team, and to hold them or anyone to 20 points, you have to play really, really hard to do that. They were not comfortable for a second in that first half.”

Mouhamed Dioubate posted his sixth double-double, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Darryl Simmons made six of his nine shots and finished with 14 points, three assists, and three steals. Blake Barkley had 13 points and five boards, and Jimmy Cami, in his first extended minutes of the season, added 10 points and seven rebounds. Ben Ahmed chipped in with seven points and nine rebounds for the Mustangs, who plays Bradford Christian in the showcase game of the Zero Gravity Prep Classic Saturday afternoon.


 
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Putnam Science 110, Busche Academy 73

 

November 30, Putnam, CT -  Mouhamed Dioubate recorded his fifth double-double of the year, finishing with 11 points and a season-high 16 rebounds as No. 2 PSA won its eighth straight game. “I try to get double-doubles, but I don't reach for them,” said Dioubate, who also dished out four assists, had two steals, and a pair of blocks. “It's just part of my game. Rebounding has always been something I could do, and I've worked hard on my game to score the ball.”

 

 

PSA (8-1) came out a bit flat and didn’t take its first lead until Will Lovings-Watts hit a 3-pointer to put the Mustangs ahead ¸26-24 with 8:22 to go in the first half. From there, PSA pushed to a 51-37 halftime lead and maintained control from there. "Our defense (changed that)," coach Tom Espinosa said. "The first eight minutes, they were scoring at will. The last eight minutes, they really struggled scoring. Our defense really picked it up. That's who we are and that's what we've got to do. "For whatever reason we've been getting out of the gate slowly, and we've got to change that. We have to figure that out. The first four minutes, I don't think anyone said a word on the court. We weren't playing with confidence offensively, and it carried over to our defense. I don't know why, but we have to get comfortable quicker." 

Six other Mustangs scored in double figures, led by Darryl Simmons, who had 17, plus five assists and two steals. Blake Barkley added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Duane Thompson finished with 13 points and seven boards. Lovings-Watts and Miles Rose had 12 points apiece ("Miles had a phenomenal game," Espinosa said), while Ty Foster chipped in with 11 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

 

 


 
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Putnam Science 64, Sunrise Christian (KS) 61
 
November 19, 2022, New Haven, CT - Mouhamed Dioubate finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals, and Blake Barkley blocked a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds as PSA won for the second straight day at the National Prep Showcase.
“We won two games down here, and we didn’t shoot the ball well at all,” coach Tom Espinosa said. “We’ve got some tough kids who stepped up and got it done for us.”
 
 
Like Saturday, it was another tight game in the second half before PSA’s defense sparked a run. The Mustangs were down one midway around the 10-minute mark when Dioubate made one free throw and Ty Foster converted an offensive rebound off the missed second to put them ahead 49-47. A defensive stop and a dunk from Dioubate preceded two steals and scores from Will-Lovings Watts to push the lead to eight points and give PSA some breathing room.
 
 
Sunrise got as close as one point before trailing by three on the game’s final possession. That’s when the ball worked it’s way quickly from the right wing to the left corner for what appeared to be an uncontested 3-pointer. But Barkley raced from the right block to a step outside the left one, left his feet and leapt toward the shooter with his right arm extended, just getting enough of the ball to have it fall harmlessly short of its mark as the buzzer sounded.
 
 
“I knew I was going to get there in time with my length, so I went out there and blocked it” Barkley said with a smile afterward.
Lovings-Watts finished with 11 points and five rebounds, while Duane Thompson added 10 points for the Mustangs (7-1), who are now off for the Thanksgiving break and will next play on November 30.
 

 
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Putnam Science Academy 76 Fork Union 63

 

November 18, New Haven, CT - Darryl Simmons had eight points. DJ Dormu four. Connor Dubsky just two.
But three spearheaded a defensive attack in the second half that led No. 2 PSA to a gritty win at the National Prep Showcase held at Albertus Magnus College.

 


The Mustangs (6-1) went on a 19-6 run over four-minute span midway through the second half to take a 59-46 lead. Full-court ball pressure from Simmons and Dormu made it difficult for Fork Union to run its offense, and Dubsky twice dove on loose balls on back-to-back defensive sequences that led to back-to-back buckets, energizing the Mustangs during that run.


“Our shots weren’t falling, my shots weren’t falling, but our defense was outstanding,” Dubsky said. “Everyone was diving on the floor, not only me, and it changed the momentum of the game.


“I came here to score the ball so I’ve had to learn to play defense. I’ve challenged myself and I think I’ve gotten better. For me today, I think I earned my stripes as a Putnam kid.”
Said Dormu: “With me and Darryl on the court, it’s just hectic. We’re playing on the ball, everybody’s talking. And then you’ve got Connor diving all over the floor. I love it. I love playing defense. It gives me energy, it gives the team energy.”
The Mustangs needed that defense with their offense struggling mightily.

 


Ben Ahmed had 13 points, 11 rebounds, and fours blocks, Blake Barkley had 17 points, and Will Lovings Watts finished with 11. That trio combined to make 17-of-22 shots; the rest of the team went just 12-of-37, and PSA missed all 14 of its 3-point attempts.

 


“Some days are like that,” coach Tom Espinosa said. “You’re going to have good days, you’re going to have bad days. But a lot of guys did a lot of good things. "I loved our defense in the second half. We always want to play hard on defense, it’s what we expect, no matter what we’re doing offensively. And we struggled on offense for sure. But the ball pressure, especially from Darryl and DJ, and the hustle plays from Connor, that gave us the energy and the lift we needed.“

 


PSA is back in New Haven Sunday to take on Sunrise Christian at 4 p.m.

 

 
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Putnam Science 95, Springfield Commonwealth 57
November 15, Putnam, CT - Connor Dubsky had 13 big-moment points as the Mustangs survived a shaky first half then pulled away in the second for their fifth straight win.
 
 
PSA (5-1) closed the first half on a 15-0 run to take a 14-point lead, then Dubsky had 11 of his points after halftime when the Mustangs put the game out of reach.
 
 
“I told him a week ago, ‘If you’re not going to shoot the ball, I’ll find someone else,’” coach Tom Espinosa said. “He’s shooting the ball now. And he made some big shots and got the momentum going.”
 
 
Dubsky came to PSA known as a shooter, and while he’s working on the other parts of his game, he always has that “let-it-fly” mentality.
 
 
“I think I’m the best shooter in the country,” he said. “I can call anybody out…Gradey Dick at Kansas (University), he can see me right now. I don’t care. That’s just my mentality.
“I’m confident in my shot, and I let it go. Make or miss, I am going to shoot the next one.”
 
 
Tarique Foster added14 points for the Mustangs, who also got a solid game out of DJ Dormu. He finished with 10 points, six steals, five rebounds, and three assists.
 
 
Duane Thompson chipped in with 11 points while Blake Barkley had eight points, six rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots for PSA.
 
 
The Mustangs next play this weekend at one of the biggest events of the year, the National Prep Showcase in New Haven. PSA will play Fork Union (Va.) Friday, and Sunrise Christian (Kan.) Saturday.
 

 


 
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Putnam Science Academy 92, Ridley Prep 70

West Haven, CT, November 13,  Blake Barkley scored a team-high 14 points while Mouhamed Dioubate added 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds, leading PSA to the win.

DJ Dormu and Connor Dubsky both finished with 10 points, Dormu also posting five assists and three steals. 

Tarique Foster had nine points and eight rebounds for the Mustangs (4-1).


 
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Putnam Science Academy 133, Evangel Christian 74

November 12, West Haven, CT - Will Lovings-Watts led eight different Mustangs who scored in double figures, finishing with 19 points as PSA rolled to its third straight win.

Duane Thompson added 16 points, five rebounds, and four steals, while Blake Barkley finished with 15 points, five assists, and three steals.

“There was maybe a little bit of a lapse at the start of the second half, but we feel like this was the first time everyone came out and played with energy,” coach Tom Espinosa said. “Everyone played hard and gave maximum effort. There were a lot of good things from this one.

“We’ve got guys who can score, obviously, we put up 133 points. But we played with good energy on both ends of the floor.”

Also scoring in double figured for PSA (3-1) were: Darryl Simmons (14 points, seven assists), Miles Rose (13 points, five assists), Ty Foster (12 points), Ben Ahmed (10 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks), and DJ Dormu (10 points, five assists, four steals).

The Mustangs were close to having 10 guys with at least 10 points, as Connor Dubsky finished with nine and Mouhamed Dioubate had eight.


 
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Putnam Science Academy 118, We Believe Academy 61

#2 Putnam Science Academy 118

We Believe Academy 61


November 8, 2022, Putnam, CT - Will Lovings-Watts said he woke up early Tuesday morning, music playing and a big smile on his face.
“I was excited about it, knowing that 7 (p.m.) was coming and I’d get to play with my teammates and play for PSA for the first time,” Lovings-Watts said after scoring a game-high 23 points in his season debut to lead PSA to the win. “Missing the first couple of games was tough. I tried to stay involved even though I wasn’t playing but knowing there were things I could do that the team wasn’t doing, that was tough.”
Lovings-Watts provided a spark off the bench, energizing his teammates and the home crowd with a flurry of jumpers, drives, and in particular, a missed dunk over a defender that would have blown the roof of the gym.
“I was trying,” he said with a laugh. “I thought I had that one. I almost lost my mind.”
DJ Dormu and Duane Thompson (also making his season-debut) both finished with 15 points, while Connor Dubsky added 14 points, four assists, and four steals. Blake Barkley and Ben Ahmed also played well for PSA (2-1). Barkley ended with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Ahmed chipped in with six points, eight rebounds, and four blocks.
Coach Tom Espinosa was happy to win the game but sees room for necessary improvement.
“Talking is so important in this game,” he said, “and we have guys who really struggle communicating. This is a quiet group. We’re still trying to get some leaders to step up. So many times we weren’t in the right position, offensively and defensively, and it could’ve been fixed real quick if we just talked to each other.
“There are some good things, and the win is a positive as well. But we still have ways to go on both sides of the floor.”


 
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For more information on this team, refer to

 

 putnamscienceacademy.org

 

This team is not a NEPSAC member

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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