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Cruz & Jimenez Lead Paulo Freire Over Putnam 61-59

By Kevin McCaskill Jr.

1/20/22 * 9:05 AM

(SPRINGFIELD/CHICOPEE) - Putnam Vocational Technical Academy played Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School on Wednesday night. The game was played at the South End Community Center.

Earlier in the day, former Paulo Freire HC Steve Rodriguez broke the news, via social media, that he was no longer the HC of Paulo Freire. Rodriguez says that he wasn’t allowed in the building, located in Chicopee, MA, beginning this fall. He also says the “new” administration told him he was “on thin ice” in a meeting before the school year.

On Wednesday, Paulo Freire was led by Coach Jonathan Davila. Davila is the Girls Volleyball Coach at Paulo Freire. He found out he was going to coach the Boys 🏀 team on Tuesday.

Putnam VTA is coached by former UMass-Amherst standout Lou Roe.

Paulo Freire was down early in the game. They turned the ball over and none of their shots were going down.

Putnam’s early lead was short lived however. Paulo Freire got back in the game by playing better defense. Their press sped up Putnam guards.

At halftime, Paulo Freire led 32-30. Putnam was scoring in the paint but they were using the whole shot clock to make a contested shot. Emmanuel Cruz and Bryan Jimenez led the charge in the 1st half for Paulo Freire. Jimenez hit three 3s in the first half; Cruz started to attack the basket and get to the FT-line.

In the second half, Paulo Freire maintained their lead throughout the final 16 minutes. Putnam made a late run but time ran out.

(Paulo Freire #2 DJ Daniels)

Despite a tumultuous week, Paulo Freire pulled out a victory over Putnam 61-59.

Cruz and Jimenez both scored 15 points. DJ Daniels scored 12 points; Sandro Diaz scored 11 points.

(Paulo Freire #2 DJ Daniels)

Julian Chatman scored a game-high 16 points for Putnam. He is Freshman and he is already one of the best players in Western MA.

After the game, I spoke with Paulo Freire interim HC Davila.

🟣Jonathan Davila⚪️

When did you find out you would be coaching today?

“I was on vacation, seeing my daughter in Puerto Rico…I got here yesterday and they were like, ‘Hey, you have the coaching job and you gotta take [in] these kids and try to do the best’. I said, ‘Yes’, ‘cause that’s what I do”.

You are also the Girls Volleyball Coach?

“Yes I am”

What does winning a State Championship do for PF Volleyball program?

“It’s amazing, coming from a small program…and [we’re coming back]…”

What were you telling the team throughout this close game?

“We just gotta keep playing hard and play defense…We have a team that can score, so we know our scoring is gonna come in the long run…”.


Paulo Freire hosts Longmeadow tomorrow @ The SECC.


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