2006-02-03 / Sports

BC Struggles Continue In Loss To Springfield Gardens

By Elio Velez

On paper, there appears to not be much that separates Beach Channel and Springfield Gardens in terms of competitiveness. Springfield Gardens may lead the Queens III A Division but Beach Channel has fought hard in their ballgames to place third.

Most years, Beach Channel has enough talent and depth to compete for the division title. But this year in terms of performance, the Dolphins have fought hard and valiantly but do not have the same pieces as in years past.

It showed at Beach Channel on Monday as Springfield Gardens, led by point guard Charles Jenkins’ 29 points, won 67-58. With another loss by the Dolphins in a home and away match on Wednesday, 65-42, the Dolphins record on the season is 7-6.

Springfield, who clinched at least a tie for the III A crown over second place Campus Magnet, stormed out to a 30-18 second quarter lead. After installing a full court press, the Dolphins could not get the ball past the midcourt and committed numerous turnovers.

The Dolphins kept the game close by making two huge runs in each half. A 10-2 run cut the lead to 30-28 in the second quarter but they once again fell behind by a 50-34 margin in the third quarter.

Davon Saxon, who scored 23 points and Dwayne Messam’s 19 points were helpful in cutting the lead to 56-51 with five minutes left in the last quarter. It was turnovers once again that doomed Beach Channel on two straight possessions that led to baskets on the other end for a 60-51 Springfield margin.

“I can’t say they’re not good but it was our turnovers. They scored like 20 points off turnovers,” Messam said.

“We threw the ball away from that press a bunch of times. It wasn’t because they beat us, we beat ourselves.”

Saxon and Messam are the two senior veterans on the team and do their share in scoring and rebounding. But the rest of the starting lineup has struggled to make an impact due to inexperience such as first year starters Frank McArthur and Orlando Lawrence.

Both players started off well as Beach Channel started the year at 5-1 but their lack of experience at the varsity level started to show at midseason.

“It’s hard when you have kids who haven’t played organized ball. When kids play over time, you get experience. It’s some of the things we haven’t been used to the past few years.”

Messam’s consistent jumper didn’t fall and though Saxon is 6 foot 3, he’s the tallest player on the court most times for Beach Channel. Their lack of size hurt them against taller frontlines such as Campus Magnet.

They’ve also missed Marcus Thompkins, a point guard who only became academically eligible just this past week.

“With the press they put today, if he’s on the floor, he makes the judgment to make the pass when he has to. Marcus is the leader. He’s talking to them on the bench. He knows what to do. He really knows the game,” Malone said.

The talent level may not be as high as in the past but Malone still praises his team for their hard work and giving everything that they have.

It can be frustrating at times Malone admits when things go wrong, but the most satisfying accomplishment he says is that they are still going to the playoffs. Many other teams will be home on the PSAL post-season begins.

That fact can’t be overshadowed or dismissed.

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