2009-02-06 / Sports

Richmond Hill Lions Roar Past Seahorses

By Elio Velez

Seahorses coach Mark Bacchus (center) confers with (right) Daniel Marc Sears during a timeout. Seahorses coach Mark Bacchus (center) confers with (right) Daniel Marc Sears during a timeout. Far Rockaway's Mark Bacchus has been pleased at the strides his Seahorses basketball team has made at the court.

After going 0-16 in the 2008 season, the Seahorses had nowhere to else to go in the PSAL Queens A East standings this year but up.

Things have kept looking up. With a 64-43 victory on February 2 at Springfield Gardens, the Seahorses eighth win of the season guaranteed them a berth to this year's playoffs.

Bacchus believes the Seahorses will have to play with a certain intensity and aggression if they are to make some type of impact in the 2009 playoffs, which starts on February 24.

But in a playoff game type atmosphere last Wednesday afternoon, the Seahorses could not display the traits Bacchus was seeking for on the court. Richmond Hill avenged an earlier season loss as four players scored in double figures to win 78-73.

Richmond Hill (9-6) penetrated to the basket with ease as they held the lead for the entire second half. Malik Betine and Enie Li each scored 19 points and were instrumental in hitting jumper after jumper at key parts of the fourth quarter.

Malik Batine (left) scores two points against Far Rockaway's Antoine White. Photos by Peter Borriello. Malik Batine (left) scores two points against Far Rockaway's Antoine White. Photos by Peter Borriello. Far Rockaway, who fell to 8-7, started off strong but faded in an atmosphere which called for an inspired effort.

"I don't know whether it was nervousness or a lack of passion. I don't know what it was," Bacchus.

"It was a playoff type atmosphere and they have to know how to play in it. They came out excellent but got comfortable, and that lead slipped away quickly."

Far Rockaway cut a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter to 77-73 with 30 seconds left but could not pull any closer. Joel Johnson led the Seahorses with 17 points and Idriys Faison chipped in with 15 points.

Any team in the PSAL who finished the regular season with a .500 record qualifies for the playoffs. The final game for Far Rockaway ends today a with a road game at Francis Lewis.

Bacchus knows his team can do better on the floor. When he talked to his team after the Richmond Hill loss, he heard his players admit to their lack of aggressiveness

"I told them you're not being physical. I tell them to be like pitbulls, but they want to be like puppies," Bacchus said.

A victory against Francis Lewis can give the Seahorses a positive to build on since they will have an almost two week break before the playoffs begin.

"We got a group of 13 or 14 guys who just got thrown together to get some wins and it's not easy. I don't want them to take the pedal off the medal as we get to the playoffs. I want them to go out there to Francis Lewis and just play," Bacchus said.

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