PSAL City Basketball Playoffs Take Flight
The PSAL citywide basketball playoffs that begin this week are one of the most exciting times for basketball fans. The intensity and stakes get higher. For some teams in the playoffs, the goal could be to win a game or two. Other teams believe the championship is the only way to complete a successful season.
Before the finals of the PSAL championship are played at Madison Square Garden in March, there will be some surprises, disappointments, tears and excitement. That is what playoff basketball is about. Let the playoffs begin.
Channel Stumble At Boroughs
The Beach Channel Dolphins have gone through many growing pains this year. As a young team, the pendulum has swung between good and bad many times this year.
For the playoff bound Dolphins, they learned another tough lesson. It was quite apparent in their 57-35 loss to Cardozo in the first round of the Queens Borough championships last Saturday that the Dolphins’ mistakes were just too much to overcome.
For one half against Cardozo, Beach Channel showed the grit and determination to hang in the ballgame. Their defense shutdown the Judges and were only down 18-15 going into halftime. The positives were there.
The negatives appeared in the second quarter that contributed to the Dolphins eventual collapse. The Dolphins missed eight free throws in a row, could not connect on easy layups and blew their chance to go into the half with the lead.
It gave Cardozo the opportunity to break away from the Dolphins with a punishing 19-0 run that sealed the game in the third quarter. Though the Dolphins fought back with a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to nine, it was too much to overcome.
Head coach Victor Nazario was disappointed to say the least with his team’s poor third quarter performance
“They’re a young team and I was telling my assistant coach that apparently we don’t have the character to finish the game,” Nazario said.
“It’s tough to be in the game the way we were and to have a lopsided score in the end is what frustrates me the most.”
Beach Channel will discover their first round opponent this weekend when the PSAL’s seeding committee will release the first round matchups. Those games are scheduled to start on February 15, 16, or 17.
Seahorses Await Playoff Foe
The post season begins this week and Far Rockaway head coach Les Sabbah is hoping that PSAL gives his Lady Seahorses a home game. After the season they’ve had in finishing at 13-3 and one game out of first place Queens 1B-division winner Van Buren, Sabbah feels he will have the first round home advantage.
“As individuals, they’ve improved and in social aspects, they’ve pretty much come together,” Sabbah said. “I’ll be disappointed if we didn’t get a home game.”
The Seahorses won their final regular season game last Wednesday with a 60-34 drubbing of Jamaica. Point guard Shamar Stewartson led with a team high 26 points and dished 8 assists. Freshman Shantee Goggins scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Sabbah believes is one player that can be a factor in the first round.
“She’s playing tremendous. A lot of her points come off of hard work and she has a nice touch around the basket,” Sabbah said.
Along with Stewartson, seniors Naiyma Reid and Natasha Sanchez will need to exert leadership and stability on the court. Sabbah won’t know his first round opponent until this Saturday but he’s prepared to face anybody at the Rock.
“We feel good about our chances”, Sabbah said.
Dolphins Could Be Traveling
The Beach Channel Men’s Dolphins, along with 47 teams throughout the city, will be in the PSAL ‘A’ playoffs this year. With an 8-6 record and finishing fourth in Queens IIIA, they will most likely have to play their first playoff game on the road. In a similar situation last year, the Dolphins defeated Erasmus Hall on the road 51-48.
Senior guard Michael Hines led the team in scoring with 16 points per game. Dwayne Messam contributed with 13 points per game and Davon Saxon added 12 points per game.
Anglin For Playoffs
Campus Magnet’s Earl Anglin has had a trying junior season. He first transferred from Far Rockaway, where he mostly played as a backup, to Campus Magnet before the start of the school year.
With his 6’6 frame and leaping ability, Anglin made the team and the starting lineup at power forward. He played the first six games of the regular season and showed gradual improvement in those games. But he did not take care of his academic responsibility and in January, Anglin was declared academically ineligible.
Instead of giving up, Anglin knew what he needed to do in the classroom and was reinstated just as the Queens Borough championships began last week.
“It was tough. I kept playing my hardest in practice. When classes came I just kept fighting and worked hard”, Anglin said.
Thirty-six year head coach Charles Granby didn’t even know what Anglin would contribute this season
Granby, who won the PSAL championship in 1985 when the school was named Andrew Jackson, rewarded Anglin for his all-around achievement.
“He has tremendous heart and willing to learn. You tell him something and he’ll do it the next day in practice,” says Granby. “He’s a nice kid, works hard and never complains when he doesn’t get the ball”.
The forward was reinserted to the starting lineup along with 6’8 center Keith McAllister to form a huge front line. McAllister also rejoined the team from academic problems and both have developed a good rapport
“With those big kids coming back, it’s easier for the other kids. They play well inside the basket so it’s a big plus for us,” Granby said.
The Bulldogs got an immediate impact from Anglin in the first round of the boroughs against Bryant. He scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in a win over Bryant and nearly scored a double-double in a win over Springfield Gardens in the second round.
Anglin is satisfied this season that he has improved his rebounding and blocking numerous shot. Granby believes that by next season, Anglin will develop a post up game to help the offense..
Campus Magnet’s ride to a Queens championship fell short when they lost to Cardozo, 76-63 last Wednesday at York College. But with Anglin and McAllister playing well inside and Rondu Stevens and Patrick Bourdeau contributing from the outside, the Bulldogs could go deep into the tournament.
Bishop Kearney 55, Bishop Loughlin 47
Jill Brady scored 20 points and Maria Laterza double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds keyed the Tigers to a needed divisional win.
Tied at 39 in the fourth quarter, Bishop Kearney went on a 14-0 run to take the lead for good. Center Parker Griffin contributed in that run by scoring six of her ten points in the fourth. Cathy Crockett’s team improved to 11-8 and has five more games left in the regular season. Bishop Loughlin fell to 16-4.
Forward Kristina Triglia will return to the starting lineup to aid the Tigers down the stretch after missing three games due to an injury. the four year player will be honored on Senior Day at Bishop Kearney on February 15 before playing against St. Joseph Hill. The Tigers’ first city catholic playoff game will be on March 1 at Molloy High School.
One of the best games on Saturday at 3 p.m. will be at Christ the King (68-02 Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village) when the host Lady Royals plays against Archbishop Carroll of Pennsylvania. The 18-0 Royals rank #1 in the USA Today Top 25 high school poll. The Archbishop Carroll Patriots’ record is 18-2.