Far Rockaway Falls Short To #1 Cardozo In PSAL Playoffs
Far Rockaway knew what was ahead of them by traveling to #1 ranked Cardozo in the second round of the PSAL ‘A’ playoffs. Their goals were to remain competitive and possible put a scare on a team most in the media believe are headed to the finals to play Lincoln.
And though they lost 82-69, the Seahorses proved to Cardozo and the crowd, which included legendary former St. John’s head coach Lou Car nesecca that they could play with the big boys.
What proved to be the downfall for the Seahorses was the big Cardozo front line. 6’ 9 Theo Davis scored 16 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocks and 6’4 Skyler Khaleel with 18 points and 13 rebounds proved to be too much for the smaller Far Rockaway front line.
Keeping them in the game was the outstanding play of point guard Derrick Gabriel. Dazzling the crowd with his passing, ability to drive inside and score against the bigger Cardozo front line, Gabriel scored 21 of his game high 39 points to keep the Seahorses afloat. Coach Anthony Miele had a lot of praise for the senior point guard after the game. "Derrick couldn’t have been any better", said Miele. "He was great on a big stage".
Playing through foul trouble, Gab riel helped to fuel a furious comeback the fourth quarter. The Sea horses started to press and created numerous turnovers to cut the Cardozo lead from 23 to 8 points with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
But Far Rockaway could not capitalize on the numerous open shots that they had throughout the game as Cardozo pulled away to cap off their first win of the tournament. "We came out cold but realistically we had a shot with three minutes left. We were quicker and more athletic but they had the height to beat us", Miele said.
It was a good season for the Seahorses. (15-8 overall, 10-5 PSAL Queens) They integrated a new starting lineup and a new coach in Anthony Miele.
He says that he learned a lot coaching on the varsity level and was proud to take a group who overachieved to make the playoffs. Most of the players on the team will return.
Senior point guard Derrick Gabriel has received a lot of attention from colleges with his great play this season. He was third in the PSAL in scoring with 29 a game, 11 assists per game, which placed him second and shot 88% from the free throw line. Miele says Gabriel’s play along with his leadership and dedication should pique college scouts’ attention.
"He opened up a lot of eyes out there. He was the best player out there. This was the best-case scenario for him. I give my hat off to Derrick. It was his time to shine and he did".