2004-02-13 / Sports

Playoff Basketball Hopes In High School Update

By Elio Velez
Playoff Basketball Hopes In High School Update By Elio Velez


Far Rockaway’s Derrick Gabriel (left) is guarded by Newtown’s Byron Headley (24).Far Rockaway’s Derrick Gabriel (left) is guarded by Newtown’s Byron Headley (24).

Far Rockaway’s win over Newtown, 64-57 in the first round of the PSAL ‘A’ playoffs last Tuesday was just another winning aspect in a successful season. For a team that had no returning start ers from last year’s 15-3 squad, the 2003-2004 Seahorses entry into the playoffs was hard fought and well deserved.

The leadership of Derrick Gabriel was in full effect as the senior point guard scored 24 points and made key steals in the fourth quarter. Gabriel, who transferred from St. John’s Prep, knew that his team wanted to the chance to meet #1 seeded Cardozo, with whom they faced off last Thurs day after the newspaper went to press.

"This was do or die. It was win or go home", Gabriel said as his father Der rick Sr. was watching in the stands. "I know I didn’t want it to be my last home game".

Behind 24-14 in the first quarter, the Seahorses went on a 11-1 run that was fueled on hustle and defense, which carried over for the rest of the game. Dexter Geohagan added 15 points for the Seahorses.

"We did what we had to do to win a playoff game", said head coach An thony Miele. "A playoff win is a playoff win. They gave out a lot of heart on that court".

Facing off against a basketball powerhouse like Cardozo is no easy task. Head coach Ron Naclerio scouted the game from the stands and was easily recognized with his Cardozo Judges t-shirt and jacket. Miele was aware that Naclerio was in attendance and wants to show the city that Far Rockaway can compete.

"We’ll see what happens. We’re going to have fun and enjoy ourselves. I’ll tell our kids to play loose", Miele said. "We have a chance to be in the spotlight. Everyone will be there. Seniors like Derrick and Dexter, who wants to step up to the next level, this is their time to shine."

"Win, lose or draw, we’ll give them everything we got and we’ll have a lot of heart. They’ll be motivated."

Gabriel echoes his coach’s statements. "We got to play our hearts out and play our A game. We can’t be scared of nobody. It’s a big test for us".

Men’s Dolphins Win

A first round playoff road game is tough for any team, especially when the #38 seeded Beach Channel men’s Dolphins traveled to Erasmus Hall Campus last Wednesday. But even as they went against a tall Erasmus front line, the Dolphins kept battling and won 51-48. The Dolphins will face off today against #6 seeded Boys and Girls at 4 p.m.

Leading scorer Arthur Robertson struggled in the first half by scoring only one point. As Robertson tried to reclaim his scoring touch, the Dol phins received needed help with Michael Pledger, who scored 21 points and Jeff Ganthier, who scored 8 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Surprisingly, the rebounding edge went to Beach Channel, who sported a smaller front line than an Erasmus team that featured a 6’9 center and two 6’6 forwards. A key to the win was the Dolphins ability to go to the basket and get the Dutchmen into foul trouble.

"We kept rebounding and got the big guys in foul trouble", said assistant coach Morris Johnson. "We played hard. I’m happy for the kids".

Robertson, who seemed to be nervous as scouts from colleges such as C.W. Post were in attendance, scored 15 points and grabbed key rebounds inside to seal the first round win.

"He made some key steals, hit a big three-pointer and played a hell of a defense", Johnson said. The Dolphins will have to play just as hard to have a chance in defeating Boys and Girls, who won over Sebas tian Telfair and the #3 seeded Lincoln Railsplitters last month in the borough championships.

"We’re going to play hard and leave it all out in the court. That’s all we can do", says Morris Johnson.

Lady Dolphins At Home

The Beach Channel Lady Dolphins, coming off a 16-0 Queens I-B championship, will start their hopeful championship run at home today against Richard Green High School at 4:30 p.m. The Dolphins, seeded #2 in the city, will have a veteran squad hungry to overcome last year’s second round loss to Bayside.

Far Rock Girls Eliminated

The Far Rockaway Lady Seahorses lost a close battle with John Bowne, 45-43 in the first round of the PSAL B championships last Wednesday. Sha mar Stewartson scored 16 points and Naiyma Reid added 12 for Far Rock away, who finished the year at 11-5 and look to improve next year as most of the team will return.

Seahorses Wrestles the City

Far Rockaway’s wrestling team plac ed four players into Sunday’s PSAL Individual Wrestling Championships and State Qualifiers at Petrides High School in Staten Island.

All of the Seahorses will have the chance to advance to the New York State Wrestling Championships at the University of Buffalo on February 27 and 28. Andre Green was ranked the #1 player in the city in the 189 lb class. Nevon Coats will be seeded #4 in the 215 lb class, Melvin Vega was ranked #6 in the 119 lb class and Felipe Santos was seeded #10 in the 154 lb class.


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