BCHS Stomps Adams In Queens Championships
Jim Malone has plenty of experience as a varsity basketball coach at Beach Channel in the almost 20 years he's been at the school.
There are certain moments in his career in which the combination of teaching and winning creates a euphoria in which keeps him in the game. The teaching paid off through the example of junior forward Peter Roberts.
The Dolphins were winning earlier this season and Roberts got little time off the bench. Now, Roberts is a starter and he has certainly elevated his game at the right time with 20 points as Beach Channel posted a 42-31 win over John Adams in the Queens Borough Championship on Tuesday. The victory moves them to the semifinals and the third meeting with Campus Magnet at presstime. A victory will advance them to the Queens Borough Championship at St. Francis College on Saturday at noon.
It was an ugly game but Roberts was one of the few bright spots all over the floor. An outside jumper complemented his stifling defense on Adams' leading scorer Terrell Simmons, who averaged 18 points per game coming into the contest but only had 11 points.
Roberts was patient while coming off the bench. Now he's making the best of his opportunity with three straight impressive.
"I don't know. I'm feeling marvelous," Roberts said after the game. "This is a good game for me. I knew in the beginning of warm-ups that the shots I was taking was going to drop."
With academic eligibility and injuries decimating the roster in the last month, the first year junior with no varsity experience was inserted to the starting lineup. His confidence is soaring and that is one of the things Malone has been impressed with.
"This is why I coach. To watch someone like him who just shows up, never played and to come out like he did today was great," Malone said.
John Adams had a chance late to steal the game. They made a late run in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to six points with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter. But they could not overcome their dreadful shooting in the final seconds as Roberts knocked down two free throws and grabbed an offensive rebound to seal the win.
"The kid just gives it all every play. He's on the floor, he's in your way, he making the big shot and he's such a part of every play," Malone said.
He learned so much basketball that he's like a sieve. He can't suck up enough knowledge out there."
And what was further motivation for Roberts and his teammates to prove themselves were the words printed in a January 17th article about John Adams in the Daily News.
The Dolphins, now 12-6 were incensed that Simmons said that the Spartans, who plays in the PSAL 'A' Division, could compete and defeat the Dolphins who play in the "AA" Division.
Roberts said there was also incentive to get fired up from one of his teammates. For further inspiration, Mike McGann, the senior center, took the bulletin board material and blew up an 11x17 copy. He pasted it on the walls of the Beach Channel locker room two hours before the game began.
For one month, Beach Channel had anticipated facing them in the borough playoffs, where the four best teams in the 'AA' and 'A' would meet.
Their win against Adams, who fell to 12-3, however came after a heavy upheaval that could have dimmed their outlook for the playoffs. After a last second win against Bryant, the wheels fell off of the machine. Shooting guard Brian Baker broke his left non shooting wrist. Point guards Marcus Thompkins and Yaquis Moss failed off and for two games, leading scorer Devon Saxon couldn't play until he got a grade in his gym class reversed to passing.
"Right after we lost Devon, we kind of mourned for two or three days. Going to Cardozo (a 77-40 loss on February 1) was a major shock and we weren't ready. We only had six guys," Malone said
But Saxon returned to the lineup and the increased output from their leading scorer and rebounder clinched a third place spot with a win over Bayside. Their final regular season game gave them a boost in confidence as they took 18-0 Cardozo down to the wire, only losing 67-66 in the waning seconds of the contest last Friday.
They'll make due with their short roster and keep plugging away Malone says.
"We're gaining a little momentum and we just don't want it to end. The bottom line is they (players) are buying into what we need to do."