2004-12-17 / Sports

Reid Nails Far Rockaway Buzzer Beater

By Elio Velez

Far Rockaway is led by head coach Les Sabbah (middle) and assistant coach Willie Beverly (left).Far Rockaway is led by head coach Les Sabbah (middle) and assistant coach Willie Beverly (left). Tied at 42 late in the fourth quarter, Far Rockaway head coach Les Sabbah implored his team to take the last shot. Naiyma Reid listened to her coach and completed d a three point play to give the Lady Seahorses a stunning 45-42 home win over divisional rival Van Buren.

Reid drove to the middle of the lane and hit the winning shot off the backboard with one second left. Fouled on the play, she calmly hit the free throw to keep Far Rockaway undefeated (5-0) on the season.

“We needed to go to the hoop. So hold the ball and the number one thing was it’s our shot or no shot. If we can’t get the shot, we go to overtime,” Sabbah said.

Because Shamar Stewartson, who leads the team in scoring, was held to 2 points by the fourth quarter, head coach Les Sabbah looked for others to step us. Reid, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, was one example.

“We were playing a team that can run and we can run too. I was trying to get the team to go at them,” Reid said.

The Lady Seahorses struggled on both ends of the floor as Van Buren (3-1) took a 38-27 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We saw a team that was working harder than us in the first half. They’re athletic and they were outworking us,” Sabbah said.

Stewartson admitted that there was a sense of urgency on the team to get back into the game in the fourth. After causing a defensive turnover, she pounded her fist on the court to let go of her frustrations.

“It was letting the frustration out and more about motivating and getting the team going so we can compete against that team,” Stewartson.

It was the stifling defense of Far Rockaway that sparked them to an 18-4 fourth quarter run to win. Down 43-40 with 2:45 left, Natasha Sanchez grabbed a long rebound and hit a three pointer to tie the game.

“I didn’t hesitate. I was thinking we had to win the game. I tried my best and it went in,” Sanchez said.

“This was a great game for them because we never faced a team with this much pressure and athleticism. It was terrific to see them working when our shots wasn’t falling,” Sabbah said.

The Beach Channel Dolphins (2-4) were led by Tanya Stafford’s 21 points and Antoine Jolly with 18 points in a 57-39 win over Bayside.

Dolphins Over .500

Beach Channel’s Michael Hines hit 14 of 16 free throws for 22 points as the Dolphins won 62-49 against John Adams (3-2). Up by six points in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins (3-2) went to the free throw line often as they hit 16 of 19 to get their third win of the season.

After a disappointing pre-season, a young Dolphins team has started to grasp head coach Jim Malone’s system and have been competitive in every game.

“We were a young team and the problems were due to immaturity, but we got it together and against Van Buren (lost 62-60 in double overtime) we should have won that game,” said Beach Channel assistant head coach Mo Johnson.

The team’s turnaround has been led by the three veterans of the squad. Senior Michael Hines is the top scorer with 19 points per game with Dwayne Messam and Devon Saxon adding scoring and rebounding.

“They’re playing hard and they’re giving us all they have,” Johnson says. As of press time, the Dolphins and Far Rockaway will play the first of two matchups this season.

Seahorses Lose Two

In the span of a week, Far Rockaway’s roster has changed for the worse. Forward Jeremy Pruitt was declared academically ineligible and Shiloh Brown was dismissed from the team. Pruitt and Brown each averaged more than 15 points per game. With those players missing, the Seahorses were spanked by Campus Magnet 82-37 last Tuesday to fall to 1-4 on the season.

Beach Channel Has a Home

The boys swimming team finally found a home. After years of road games because they have a pool as small as a bathtub, the Dolphins will be hosting five homes games. Even if that home is Far Rockaway, it’s better than nothing according to head coach John Sullivan.

“With this team going to places like Bayside and LIC, it’s a royal pain for anybody. We are thankful for Far Rockaway for helping us out and giving us the pool,” Sullivan said.

“You got to believe its better,” Sullivan said with a huge smile on his face.

“I feel better that they are allowing us to practice. We didn’t have any meets last year. This year, we have people to cheer us on,” said unior Nicole Pierce. “I’m a sprinter. I want to get better with the 200”.

The team will have an infusion of youth this season with eight freshmen on the team. Many of them come from the new Channel View Academy.

“Yegor Matsehka is a lifeguard who swims the 500 meter and I have a freshman Taylor McMahon, who’ll work on technique. Michael Dones is a very good freestylist and upcoming swimmer”.

In her third year, Pierce is one of the more experienced swimmers. A member of the Long Beach swimming club, her job will be to help the team and win and be a teacher in the water.

“I’ll teach them all the strokes. One week it’ll be freestyle, next week ill do the backstrokes. I try to get them comfortable on what every stroke is like,” Pierce said.

“They are a developmental team and they’re learning the basic strokes. It’ll take time to develop,” Sullivan, whose team is 1-1 on the season, said.

“I have a lot of young people coming in, a lot of enthusiasm, I have all these freshman who care and are gung ho. They like it and I see the smiles on their face from competition,” according to Sullivan.

Far Rock Shines At Fugazzi Bowl

“I caught the ball and I made the first Staten Island guy move away from me. I got through a couple of holes and I got the touchdown,” Romain said.

Romain, who also carried the ball 9 times for 41 yards, broke his left foot while avoiding a tackle early in the third quarter. His teammate, quarterback Chris Howard made a huge play when he found August Martin WR Eugene Poulson for a 58 yard touchdown pass.

“It was a one on one situation and a small cornerback was on him (Poulson). I dropped back, squared my shoulder and threw it deep,” Howard said.

Defensive tackle Ricardo Remy played three quarters and accumulated two sacks and seven tackles. His sack in the second quarter caused Staten Island quarterback Frank Messina to leave the game with a concussion.

Lawrence Whitehead, Jaquan Pruitt, Yohan Wintz, Ryan Parkes and Emmanuel Green also played for the Seahorses.

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