Snow Postpones PSAL Girls Basketball Playoffs
By Elio Velez
The first snowstorm of the year played havoc with PSAL schedulemakers as the citywide girls' high school basketball playoffs, about to commence on Wednesday with first round action, was erased.
The Far Rockaway Lady Seahorses' outbracket 'B" playoff game against Robert F. Wagner Jr. High School on Wednesday was canceled. That game will take place today at 5 p.m at Far Rockaway High.
Beach Channel was to travel to Benjamin Banneker Academy in Brooklyn for a first round 'AA' playoff game also on Wednesday but was not rescheduled as the Wave went to press.
Robert F. Wagner, who finished with an 8-4 record and third place in the Queens 'B2', were seeded 29th so naturally they should have been the home favorite.
That's not the case for the Long Island City based school. The Panthers have been vagabonds since the season began as they have not played a home game at LaGuardia Community College since the end of the 2005-06 season.
Les Sabbah, head coach of the Lady Seahorses, told the Wave that his school will host the first round game after consultation with Robert F. Wagner Jr. coach Robert Alejandro.
Sabbah is disappointed that his team hasn't stepped onto the court since February 8 when they lost a close decision at home to the 17-1 Campus Magnet Lady Bulldogs. They were originally suppose to play a road contest at Thomas Edison this past Tuesday in a rescheduled regular season game, but that was canceled as their postseason plans were already set.
"There's nothing you can do about the snow and we've had some good practices on Monday and Tuesday. But it's been almost ten days since we played. I'll see what happens to us (today) Friday," Sabbah said.
Far Rockaway will have to defend the Panthers' two experienced seniors who the score the bulk of their points. Radasha Moore, a four year player averaged 14 points and eight rebounds this season and Dejane Mitchell chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds per contest. Robert F. Wagner is a defensive minded team and starts four seniors in their lineup.
At the end of the season, the Seahorses finished 9-8 in the regular season and were seeded 36th out of 40 teams to compete in the "B" Tournament. Far Rockaway stumbled with three straight losses as the regular season concluded.
The Seahorses are led by Sandy Jean Francois, the 6 foot 2 center who averaged 12 points and 17 rebounds this season. Freshman Quenise Holland has been stellar in her freshman campaign as the shooting guard led the team in scoring with 25 points per game.
If the Seahorses win, they will take on the undefeated Secondary School of Law, Journalism & Research, who wound up with 14-0 record in Brooklyn's 'B1' Division on February 27.
Beach Channel originally finished their regular season with a 2-12 record but the program was found to have an ineligible player on their roster and forfeited their two victories. Now the Dolphins have a 0-14 record but because all teams in the 'AA' Division makes the playoffs, they were seeded 20th out of 20 teams.
The PSAL was sympathetic to the fact Beach Channel's ineligible player was originally supposed to be removed from the roster to deal with an emergency family issue as the season began. It was accomplished but it was discovered through a report card data check done at the end of late January that the player was academically ineligible before she was removed. Wins against Canarsie and James Madison was forfeited
Athletic Director Victor Nazario told the Wave that the ineligible player has already begun to make up the academic work required and that the PSAL had determined that the school was not trying to circumvent the eligibility rules.
The Dolphins will have to travel to Banneker, who is 6-8 on the season. If Beach Channel advances to the next round, they will have to travel to #4 seeded Lincoln, who ousted the Dolphins from the first round of the 2005-06 playoffs.