2005-02-18 / Sports

Seahorses Shocked In First Round Loss

By Elio Velez

FarRockaways’s Naiyma Reid (11) heads to the basket as Long Island Citys’ Crystal Sessoms (12)attempts to block the shot. Photo By Elio Velez.FarRockaways’s Naiyma Reid (11) heads to the basket as Long Island Citys’ Crystal Sessoms (12)attempts to block the shot. Photo By Elio Velez. It was an emotional and frustrating end to the season for the Lady Seahorses as Long Island City claimed a 45-42 PSAL ‘B” first round victory last Wednesday.

Down 43-42 with six seconds left, Far Rockaway point guard Shamar Stewartson shot an airball on a three point attempt that would have given them the lead. The Bulldogs’ Kathleen Rulloda was fouled and calmly hit two free throws with one second left to clinch the win.

“We didn’t jump on them and we weren’t ready to play right away. We got a lazy a bit,” Stewartson said.

The Seahorses made a furious comeback in the third quarter and actually went ahead 32-30 in the fourth. The first half errors once again popped up at a crucial time down the stretch and affected the entire team.

Far Rockaway missed seven free throws in the last four minutes of the game. As a team, the bulldogs outrebounded the Seahorses by 20 and got numerous third and fourth opportunities to keep the lead.

“The girls worked hard to come back and we had a good shot. They (LIC) made their free throws and we didn’t,” Sabbah said.

The Seahorses could not execute on the fundamentals. It plagued them the entire day. They made numerous turnovers in the first half and were down 26-12.

Long Island City’s Bianca Jones and Crystal Sessoms dominated on the boards for the entire game. Jones scored 16 points and grabbed 20 rebounds and Sessoms came off the bench to add 16 points and 12 rebounds.

“They’re (LIC) a very good team and those two girls down low did a lot of damage,” head coach Les Sabbah said.

“The LIC defense was working well in the first half. They were moving the ball better than we did and our chemistry wasn’t good. Even when we came back, we weren’t cohesive.”

Stewartson, one of five seniors whose high school career ended with the loss, wasn’t pleased with the effort they made.

“The playoffs and regular season are different. We could say if we lose in the regular season, that’s one loss and it’s ok,” Stewartson, who led the Seahorses with 17 points, said.

“But we as seniors knew that we had to play hard to show the younger teammates that it was a do or die for us. We didn’t do that.”

The shock won’t wear off for a while according to Sabbah. The loss to Long Island City will permeate a bit because his expectations heightened throughout the season for his 13-3 team.

Sabbah was sure that the Seahorses would come out with a great effort, especially at home where they compiled a 7-1 record. It didn’t happen.

“We were happy to get a home game. I think this was a better team than last year (lost in the first round in 2004),” Sabbah said.

“We were in this game. I was disappointed. We were right there. We all expected to win.”

Beach Channel Hangs Tough

But Falls To Manhattan Center

In the first round of the PSAL ‘A” playoffs last Tuesday, the Lady Dolphins were step by step against higher seeded Manhattan Center. Beach Channel though could not overcome an ineffective fourth quarter effort and lost 46-33 to the Rams.

For three quarters, Beach Channel’s defense frustrated Manhattan Center. Averaging 60 points per game, the Rams were stymied and held to only 15 points in the first half.

It remained a tight game until the fourth where Beach Channel could not do enough to win the game according to head coach Victor Nazario.

“We committed three turnovers that killed us. The layups didn’t go in and the shots just didn’t drop. We got sloppy,” Nazario said.

They also didn’t get enough contribution on the offensive end. Cynthia Wolfe led the team with 15 points but she was the only option.

Antoinette Jolly, who averaged 12 points in the regular season, scored only 4 against the Rams.

Tiffany Wilson could not get on track from the outside and netted 4 points as well.

Nazario remains happy of the hard work a young team did to bounce back from a 2-7 record and make the playoffs.

“They got to be more disciplined next year but they grew as a team. With new kids and new faces, it took us time to gel but we did,” Nazario says. “I was real proud of what they accomplished but this game was a microcosm of what we’ve done all year.”

Walton 72

Beach Channel 64

Walton High School’s Nicardo Ellis scored 25 points and Nathaniel Rivers’ 21 points in a 72-64 home win against Beach Channel. The Dolphins (8-7) did not advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

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