2006-12-01 / Sports

BCHS Wants To Display Toughness In "AA"

By Elio Velez

Davon Saxon is the only four year varsity player on the Beach Channel basketball team. Photo by Peter Borriello. Davon Saxon is the only four year varsity player on the Beach Channel basketball team. Photo by Peter Borriello. Talk to Jim Malone, the head coach of the Beach Channel Dolphins about their two playoff wins last year and his smile will widen.

In his nineteen seasons coaching at the school, there might not have been many accomplishments he has achieved in career that made him more proud.

The first wins over higher seeded Van Arsdale and a grind it out 56-51 victory on a snowy day at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx in early March was the result of a hard working and battle tested team.

"Orlando (Lawrence) did a great job. He really got us going. Those were two great wins in the playoffs Desmond (Gray) came on," Malone said

"He did everything we wanted him to do. Mike McArthur played well. We just played so tough. Clinton was ready for us. To beat them up there, that was a super win."

Though they lost to Canarsie 68-39 in the quarterfinals, Malone was more than pleased with the toughness his team displayed. He'll need in this year's squad as they jump into the elite of the PSAL's newly created "AA" League.

"It's going to be hard to play teams especially like Cardozo but as long as we get notice, because we are known for going no matter hard we play," Davon Saxon says. "We always give a challenge."

The Dolphins have never been afraid to get their hands dirty in scratching and clawing against division competitors Campus Magnet or Springfield Gardens. Malone and assistant coach Morris Johnson won't have the services of Lawrence, Gray and McArthur, who graduated.

Along with leading scorer Dwayne Messam, who is playing at Monroe Junior College who filled a need and the Dolphins will need to replace them to remain competitive.

"That's the best quality we have. Toughness. And eventually we will have the continuity as well," Malone said.

"It'll get there. We really have spent a lot of time in that gym on weekends and you know it's work, work work. It's incremental and we'll get there."

One member who has been a part of the fabric for Malone, who has made the playoff five consecutive years, will be the services of four year player Davon Saxon.

The 6 foot 2 forward has been asked to a lot of different things like guard the biggest opponent or fight for rebounds. He's also been asked to score, dish and just about anything you can ask him.

Since he can do a lot of things well, Saxon has started since his freshman campaign. Averaging a double-double in points and rebounds for the second straight year, he will again have to carry a lot of responsibilities.

Morris Johnson knows he's up to the challenge.

"It's always all or nothing. He will never leave anything out on that floor. He will play 110%. He's been here for four years and you don't see many players start right away as a freshman," Johnson says.

The starters around Saxon are unproven as of yet. They do have some size this year unlike past smaller teams. Though inexperienced, Shaun Flowers at 6 foot 6, Dayvon Washington at 6 foot 5 and two year player Mike McGann at 6 foot 4 can guard the bigger opponent. Marcus Thompkins and Brian Baker will be needed to provide effectiveness at both guard positions. The Dolphins have always regarded themselves as the underdogs and they relish that role.

"I think we can do well in this league," Malone said. PSAL Realignment

The much talked about restructuring of the PSAL into three competitive leagues- "AA", "A", and "B" took place last spring. The three year pilot program for boys and girls basketball, was intended to group the higher talented and consistent winning programs on par with the similar CHSAA format. Each league will have it's own regular season and championship. The title winners will represent the city in their respective leagues in the New York State Federation Basketball Championships in Glens Falls in late March of 2007.

All games will start at 5 p.m. A 35 second shot clock will be used for the first time in boys' basketball but only in the "AA".

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