2006-12-22 / Sports

Rumors of Retribution Forces Postponement At BCHS Boys Basketball Game

By Elio Velez

Numerous rumors surrounding the murder of a teenager at the Hammels Houses was one of the factors that led to the postponement of a boys’ high school varsity basketball game at Beach Channel High School last Tuesday night, Department of Education sources say.

Cedric Smalls, an 18 year old student who attended Beach Channel died on Friday, December 15 after being shot once in the chest.

Unsubstantiated rumors that there would be retaliation against the people who might have been connected to the murder prompted Beach Channel officials to cancel all after school activities on Tuesday.

That included the scheduled 5 p.m. matchup between Beach Channel and Benjamin Cardozo High School, who was undefeated in Queens “AA” play with a 6-0 record heading into the contest.

Officials at the Department of Education made the decision to shutdown the basketball game and told BCHS Principal David Morris early in the afternoon according to Department of Education spokesperson Margie Feinberg. In addition to the postponement of the basketball game, after school activities and evening school sessions were also ended.

“”As per my principal’s instructors, the game was canceled and any other after school activities as well,” said Beach Channel Athletic Director Victor Nazario.

Cardozo school principal Rick Hallman and boys basketball coach Ron Naclerio were given the news of the cancellation and did not travel to the Rockaways.

The makeup game has not been scheduled but will most likely occur sometime in January.

The scheduled December 21 boys’ basketball game against Campus Magnet at Beach Channel High School will be played.

The Department of Education and the PSAL have had a tough week with negative incidents involving high school basketball teams.

A hard foul that occurred in the fourth quarter of a boys’ basketball game between Robeson and Jefferson High School eventually resulted in a brawl which involved the players and individuals who were seated in the stands.

Department of Education officials launched an internal investigation into the incident, which required NYPD officers to stop the riot at Robeson High School.

The ruling was swift and harsh as Robeson’s men’s basketballs season was suspended for the rest of the PSAL season. Jefferson will forfeit three games and not be allowed to travel to a high school basketball tournament in Maryland during the holiday break.

High school girls also got involved in the fight game. Players from both George Westinghouse and Clara Barton on December 19 th threw punches and fans entered the court which also triggered another investigation.The outcome has yet to be determined.

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