Dolphins Await Grady After PSAL Queens Championships Stumble
High school basketball teams know the deal when they enter the building. The basketball court's width and length is smaller than today's regulation size floors.
Campus Magnet is used to that advantage for homecooking and would do so in beating the Beach Channel Dolphins in the second round of the PSAL Queens Borough Championships last Thursday.
Beach Channel head coach Jim Malone employs a motion offense which spreads the court and stretches the defense. It worked in their first round victory over John Adams but they could not be as effective on the smaller floor of Cmapus Magnet.
The Bulldogs also used their big frontline of 6 foot 8 Keith McAllister, who scored 20 points and the 13 points from Malachi Peay (6 foot 5) to clog up the middle.
With shooting opportunities and the ability to the drive to the basket limited, Beach Channel forced 20 turnovers in the contest.
"We are a different team playing here. They have big bodies on this court. We didn't protect the ball and we made some careless mistakes," Jim Malone said.
Even with the Dolphins committing 20 turnovers, they did have their chances. Campus Magnet couldn't capitalize on their opponents mistakes and were tied at halftime.
They would reverse their course in the second half. After Devon Saxon (17 points) knotted the game at 30 with a jumper, the Bulldogs reeled off a 10-0 run with the help of three straight Beach Channel turnovers.
Campus Magnet used a full-court press which gave the Dolphins fits. Turnovers led to fastbreak baskets in that run included layups for McAllister, Peay and Kyle O'Quinn as the Bulldogs had a ten point lead into the fourth quarter.
"We got tired. That half court press they used got to us," Malone admitted after the game.
The Dolphins' Dayvon Washington gave the Bulldogs a late scare as his basket cut the score to 50-43 with 3 minutes left. But a missed jumper by Peter Roberts and a subsequent turnover ended the Dolphins comeback.
Beach Channel's season is not over yet. Their 12-7 record was good enough for them to clinch a spot in the PSAL citywide tournament and be seeded 15th.
The Dolphins' Devon Saxon, their leading scorer and rebounder will be playing his last home game of his high school career. 18th seed William Grady, last year's runner-up in the city championship to Lincoln, will visit Beach Channel on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Grady, 5-9, is in a rebuilding mode as they compete in the ultra tough Brooklyn 'AA' with Lincoln and Canarsie amongst their regular opponents. Their roster includes two Rockaway residents, Peyton Mullings and Shakil Jordan. Whichever team advances has the tall order of traveling to #2 seed Boys and Girls, who is ranked 23 in the USA Today's top 25 poll, in the next round.
The Bulldogs did not repeat as Queens champions last Saturday. Thomas Edison defeated Bayside, Cardozo and Campus Magnet in the final, 70-59 to win the Queens title at St. Francis College.
Edison, an 'A' team, won their sixteenth game in a row and defeated all three 'AA' squads to win the tournament.