2008-12-12 / Sports

Boys Seahorses Break Year Long Losing Streak: Far Rock Girls Fall To Hawks

By Elio Velez

Far Rockaway boys basketball coach Mark Bachus has sought many ways to improve his team after going through a tough 0-16 campaign last year.

In his first season at the varsity level, the Seahorses suffered on the court due to players with inexperience, academic ineligibility plagued the team and other factors.

Bachus looked for answers to make this year's team a competitive one in the Queens A East Division. One answer came by finally responding to the Better Basketball DVD advertisement that kept popping up on his television screen.

"I want these kids to have more natural movement on the court. Not to just rely on plays but learn how to react. I always see those Better Basketball videos and kept looking at it, looking at it and I said let me order that!" Bachus said.

The instructional video allowed Bachus to incorporate a offensive system that allows him to maximize an athletic and more talented team than last year. It's worked so far as the Seahorses won their first game on December 3 in beating John Adams 61-46 at home. Though Far Rockaway lost last Wednesday to Hillcrest, 66-59, the Seahorses' season is far from being decided.

It was a big lift for the Seahorses, who haven't had a PSAL victory since January of 2007.

"The varsity basketball at Far Rock hasn't been a good for a long time. We're trying to turn around the fortunes here and turn the program into a winner," Bachus said.

"It was a big burden to get off their chest. For some of them, it felt like a championship game. But it's the only beginning of good things to come."

With four players recoding double digits in points against Adams, Far Rockaway should be able to have a chance to win some games. The team may not be as tall as in years past but 6-5 center Daniel Marc Sears can do a bit of everything offensively and defensively. 6-1 Joel Johnson, who scored a team high 14 points can also play point guard. He enrolled in the school this year after coming from Baltimore.

Bachuis believes Idriys Faison, who transferred from Bayshore can eventually contribute in many areas of the court. They will benefit from forwards Antoine White and Everett Harrison, who are additions from the junior varsity team that Bachus coached two years ago. They did not play last year but heir return should give them more depth.

Going through a 0-16 record last year was a tough for Bachus to go through. Admittedly he's learned the lessons from leaping form junior varsity to becoming a varsity coach.

"This year we are more equipped to play against teams who are bigger and stronger. We're a lot smaller as height wise but we have more basketball players. This year the guys are closer. The young guys will wait for their time to play and they'll pay attention to the detail to what will work."

Hillcrest Defeats Lady Seahorses

The Lady Seahorses had played a miserable first half, down 10 points to visiting Hillcrest but somehow had a chance to send the game to overtime last Tuesday afternoon.

Freshman forward Tajah Monroe's desperation three-pointer from the top corner missed with 3 seconds left in the fourth quarter as Hillcrest won 53-50 at Far Rockaway High School. Far Rockaway fell 2-2 and with a young core, there will be growing pains emanating from the Seahorses this year.

The only returning player is last year's leading scorer Quenise Holland, who averaged 27 points and 9 rebounds. Holland, a junior, who led the team with 27 points and 8 assists against Hillcrest, will provide the bulk of the scoring. She won't have to d it alone however if Monroe, a freshman, continues to average the 26 points she has recorded in the first four games.

Against Hillcrest however, they were outworked according to Seahorses coach Les Sabbah in the first half. Many of the players are inexperienced and for will have to adjust quickly on the court.

"These girls said that we have to work harder. I don't know if it will make a difference. They understand why they lost it and they want to fix it," Sabbah said. "In the first half, I was frustrated but in the second half they played as well as they could play as of right now.

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