2003-02-22 / Sports

Transit Tech Express Derails Far Rockaway

By Elio Velez

Far Rockaway’s Warren McAllister(#35) hits the jumper from the top of the key.Far Rockaway’s Warren McAllister(#35) hits the jumper from the top of the key.

When the playoff seeding was completed on February 7th, the 13th seeded Far Rockaway Seahorses was going to face an unknown opponent in East New York Transit Tech. Not known as a city power, Transit Tech was 8-6 in the Brooklyn III conference, which features one of the top city players in Banneker’s Gary Forbes. But after an 85-57 shellacking of the Seahorses, Transit Tech put themselves in a position to be feared in the PSAL playoffs.

At the Far Rockaway gym, the Seahorses’ top gunner, Richard Forbes, was held to 20 points after averaging 30 points a game the entire season. Transit Tech’s guard duo of Robert Armstrong and Corey McFarlane held Forbes in check throughout the entire game.

Head Coach Michael Perazzo glowingly spoke of his team’s effort.

"Robert and Corey both played defense on Forbes. They’re both underrated players, tremendous defensive players and Forbes did not get any easy baskets."

Sheldon Scott (#25) hits the free throw against Transit Tech.Sheldon Scott (#25) hits the free throw against Transit Tech.

"Forbes is an explosive scorer and a great athlete. We made sure that he didn’t get easy shots and we didn’t abandon our man-to-man defense. Everything begins and ends with defense and intensity. We made it difficult to run their offense."

Transit Tech broke out of the starting gates with a quick 7-0 run. Forbes scored 16 points in the first half to place the Seahorses to a 29-20 lead. But Transit Tech had a 14-2 run to finish the first half at 34-31 and the Seahorses would never see the lead again.

It got a lot worse for Far Rockaway. The Express’ senior guard Robert Armstrong took over the game on both ends of the floor. He poured in 11 of a game high 30 points in the third quarter in an 16-4 run to make it a 50-35 lead for the Express.

Forbes’ frustration led Coach Philip Stern to sit down the star with 3:30 left in the third with 4 fouls and no points in the quarter. Far Rock got no closer than 12 points and a 22-2 run by the Express closed the doors on the Seahorses’ post-season.

" It’s kind of frustrating", Forbes said after the game. I had to get my team involved and they doubled me and I couldn’t give the ball to my teammates".

Senior guard Robert Armstrong echoed what his coach said about containing Forbes. "We had to play them hard and contend easy shots. We knew what we had to do. We couldn’t have a loss today."

"We wore them down. Once we stopped their big scorer, they couldn’t do anything."

Transit Tech had already played a tough schedule in one of the toughest conferences in the city. Division rivals such as Banneker, Boys & Girls and Canarsie all made the PSAL playoffs. Transit Tech started the year 1-4 but defeated good teams such as Banneker and Canarsie to enter the playoffs.

Coach Perazzo knew those tough battles would prepare his team for the postseason. "In our division, every single game, we need to be ready to play. It toughens you and it didn’t certainly hurt playing the top teams in the city."

Senior guard Corey McFarlane knew that the team would turn it around. "It’s very frustrating. Especially in the division that we are in, we have a tendency to be overlooked. After the first game, we were down but we stayed upbeat and didn’t lose our confidence."

Beach Channel Moves On

#4 seeded Beach Channel won their first playoff game at home against Jamaica, 63-47 on February 13. Senior point guard Victor Alvarez scored a game high 22 points for the Dolphins and Rahshon Clark added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Beach Channel’s next game is against #13 seed Gompers on February 27 at Elmcor Center in Corona, Queens at 6 p.m. Gompers has a very big front line led by 6’4 forward Stedfor McLeod, who averages 19 ppg, 6’3 forward Edgar Acevedo and 6’6 forward Ahmad McClure.

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