2005-01-14 / Sports

High School Basketball Season In Full Swing

By Elio Velez

JOHNCORNINGJOHNCORNING The Beach Channel Dolphins’ offense requires exact precision and timing to score points. When they score effectively, there is a good chance that a win will be the result.

Against divisional rival Van Buren, the Dolphins offense disappeared in the fourth quarter and lost 55-45 last Tuesday. With four games left in the season, Beach Channel (6-4) missed an opportunity to help their chances to clinch a playoff berth.

“This division is like fighting for your life,” says Van Buren head coach Robert Weiss. “Every game is important.”

In a battle to keep up with Springfield Gardens and Campus Magnet for first place, Van Buren clamped down defensively after struggling for the entire game. Beach Channel was able to tie the game at 41 in the fourth but could pull no further.

Terell Armstead, who led Van Buren with 16 points, scored on two successive back door cuts to the basket to increase the lead to 45-41. Weiss said that calling a timeout before those two baskets helped calm his team down.

“In the fourth quarter, we took the timeout and just started going over the fundamental things,” Weiss said. “We took control of the tempo and run the way we want to and let them come to us.”

“I told them it’s a dogfight and we have to be ready to fight.”

What hurt the Dolphins was the lack of an inside presence, which resulted in numerous missed jump shots from the perimeter. Guards Dwayne Messam (13 points) and Michael Hines (10) scored only two points each in the second half.

“They were big and physical and we didn’t demand the ball inside the basket,” Dolphins head coach Jim Malone said. “We took jump shots, Kevin (Chapman) and Davon (Saxon) didn’t do anything. They (Van Buren) could go outside and defend the guards.”

Van Buren (7-2) will have some home cooking for three of their final four regular season games. They will have the chance to battle for the divisional crown starting today against Campus Magnet. For the Dolphins, they need to win two out of their final four games just to clinch a playoff spot. For a young team that has as grown together, the playoffs would be a just reward for their hardwork. Bur first, the Dolphins are going to have to get into the dance and that starts now.

Kearney Aims To Win

Martin Luther King weekend is one of the busiest times in the high school basketball season with tournaments occurring all over the city. The Nike Super Six tournament at Madison Square Garden on Sunday will feature power teams such as Cardozo and Rice High School. The Big Apple Basketball Invitational at Baruch also happening Sunday stars St. Mary’s of Long Island and North Carolina bound forward Danny Green.

For Breezy Point’s Cathy Crockett, her Bishop Kearney team will be entered in the Monsignor King Invitational Girls Tournament starting on Saturday. It’s an annual appearance for the Tigers (5-5), that keeps them active during an eleven day break between catholic high school games. The Tigers finished third in last year’s tournament.

They will be going into Saturday trying playing well defensively. Against St. Dominick’s, the Tigers allowed only 13 points in the first half and won going away 69-48. Sophomore center Maria Laterza scored 27 points and Liza Abitante added 13.

“Our defense was solid in both wins and our transitional offense was good,” Crockett says.

It was a bit tougher against St. Francis Prep but the Tigers were 50-44 victors. In those games, their 3-2 defensive package and full court press hounded and tired their opponents.

Their defensive effort will be tested in an eight team tournament that feature potent offenses and some of the top players in the city.

The Tigers will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Madison High School. The three-day tournament rounds out with Mary Louis, Bishop Ford, Cardozo, St. Michaels, Notre Dame of Staten Island and Midwood who featureRockaway residents Megan Mckenna, Michelle Cashen, and Celeste Roberts.

The Monsignor King Tournament at St. Thomas Aquinas is located at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Flatlands in Brooklyn. The weekend tournament concludes with the consolation and championship games on Monday.

Far Rockaway Still Battling

The Seahorses have fell on hard times and currently have a 1-8 record at press time. Head boys’ coach Anthony Miele says that his team has kept fighting throughout problems with academic ineligibility and numerous roster changes.

“We’ll take our lumps but we’ll be good next year,” Miele says.

He is looking forward to the additions from the junior varsity team to bolster his roster for 2005-2006. Miele will hope that players such as Terell Matthews, Ednut Egberongbe, and Joseph Adams can make an immediate impact in the 2005-2006 season.

Lady Seahorses Stay Hot

Far Rockaway bounced back from their first loss last Thursday against Richmond Hill to beat Frank Sinatra School of Arts and Renaissance High School. The first place Seahorses came from first quarter deficits in both games to improve to 9-1 on the season.

Townsend Harris felt the wrath of the Beach Channel girls’ team bigtime. The Dolphins had their hugest margin of a victory with a 71-27 victory last Wednesday. Tanya Stafford scored 23 points and Jasmine Strong added a double-double with 14 points and 14 points.

Seahorses Honored

Far Rockaway’s James Romain and Ricardo Remy were named to the Daily News all-city football team.

Corning Named To All Star Team

Belle Harbor’s John Corning once again achieved numerous awards for starring on the Xaverian‘s varsity football team. The senior wide receiver was named to the Catholic High School Football League’s all-star and all-league teams. The Daily News and New York Newsday named Corning to the all-city Brooklyn second team.

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