2003-03-22 / Sports

MSG Spotlights City Talent At PSAL Championship

By Elio Velez
MSG Spotlights City Talent At PSAL Championship By Elio Velez


Lincoln star point guard Sebastian Telfair (31) goes to his left against Banneker’s Anthony Stukes.Lincoln star point guard Sebastian Telfair (31) goes to his left against Banneker’s Anthony Stukes.

The PSAL ‘A" High School Cham­pionship at Madison Square Garden last Sunday was a great opportunity for the public to see the best basketball players and teams shine. For the Lincoln Railsplitters and Murry Berg­traum, not only were they the best in the end but they also made history.

Sebastian Telfair, regarded as the best player in the city, held off Ban­neker’s Gary Forbes, the second best player, in a 75-69 Lincoln win. The jun­ior point guard Telfair scored 33 points and was named game MVP to lead Lin­coln to back-to-back champion­ships. The last team to win 2 in a row was Stevenson back in 1988 and 1989.

"Being the leader, it’s in me and in my family to help lead them. I tell them to put the ball in my hand. They gave me the strength," said Telfair, who is the cousin of former Lincoln and current NBA star Stephon Marbury.

At the end of a close game, Banneker was down 71-68 and trying to inbound the ball when Shawn Towns stepped on the line while trying to handle the inbounds pass. Lincoln converted their last 10 points by going to the free throw line to end the game.


Beach Channel Forward Rhashon Clark is in flight to the basket.Beach Channel Forward Rhashon Clark is in flight to the basket.

"Down the stretch, the Lincoln defe­nse adjusted to me. I was pressing my shots," said Forbes, who will attend the University of Virginia in the fall. "The ball didn’t go our way."

The buzz from the 10,978 at the Gar­den was the one-on-one matchup bet­ween Forbes and Telfair., who scored 30 points, defended Telfair after the first quarter. Both scored time and time again with moves to the basket and excellent shooting that got the crowd on its feet.

Saunders may not have been worried about placing Forbes on Telfair. But the plan may have backfired, as Forb­es seemed to get winded in trying to score and defend. "Forbes is taller than me but I know I could get by him," said Telfair. "I don’t think it was a good decision by the coach."

There is unfinished business for Lin­coln in the New York State championships and Telfair wants to win those games badly. "We’ve got to win upstate to prove that we’re the best."


Richard Forbes scored the most points in the PSAL for the 2002-2003 season.Richard Forbes scored the most points in the PSAL for the 2002-2003 season.

Bergtraum Destroys Curtis

This may be old habit for Murry Bergtraum head coach Ed Grezinsky in winning his 5th consecutive PSAL girls’ championship by defeating Cur­tis 72-39. They are a city and a national powerhouse who have won tournaments across the country. But Grezin­sky wants his players to receive the per­sonal accolades that have not been recognized nationally.

"We deserved to have players in the top 100 in the country. I think it’s an ab­solute disgrace," said Grezinsky af­ter the game. "We deserve to have kids in the top tournament after most of these players were part of winning 5 consecutive city championships."

Carmen Guzman, the senior point guard, echoed her coach’s sentiment from the players’ side. "We’re a little mad that we have no one in the Mc Donald’s Top 100 and All-American teams. "And who can blame Grezinsky and Guzman after Bergtraum blew out Curtis with a 24-7 run in the third quarter, after only leading 27-20 in the first half. The 29-0 Bergtraum continued their unprecedented and dominant run through the PSAL A Division.


Victor Alvarez congratulates teammate Rhashon Clark after the Garden crowd chose Clark as the winner of the slam-dunk competition.Victor Alvarez congratulates teammate Rhashon Clark after the Garden crowd chose Clark as the winner of the slam-dunk competition.

The Lady Blazers was led by game MVP Kisha Stokes, who scored 19 points and 13 rebounds, with 9 boards coming on the offensive boards. It was a team effort on the boards as the Blazers outrebounded Curtis 48-29. On­ce Bergtraum committed to scoring inside, Curtis was done. Bergtraum, ranked third in the nation, is looking forward to playing upstate and if they win, a finals berth against Christ the King could happen. The #4 ranked Royals placed had three players in the top 100. Grezinsky though is taking it one game at a time. "We’re going upstate and we won’t lack confidence."

Clark, Forbes Shine At Garden

The Garden also had a Rockaway pre­sence to it with Richard Forbes of Far Rockaway and Rhashon Clark of Beach Channel. Rhashon Clark won the halftime slam-dunk championship by defeating 4 high school opponents. Clark jumped from the foul line, caught a bounce pass from the middle of the foul circle from fellow teammate Victor Alvarez and slammed the ball. The crowd roared with their appreciation of the dunk as Clark won the competition easily. Richard Forbes was honored by the PSAL for placing first in points scored. The senior guard averaged 30 points a game.


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