2009-02-27 / Sports

Victorious Lady Seahorses Silence Brooklyn Studio

Far Rockaway Advances In PSAL Playoffs
By Elio Velez

Les Sabbah has coached more than 10 years with the Far Rockaway Lady Seahorses. Never has he attended a basketball environment on Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the PSAL Class B playoffs that could have possibly blown his eardrums out.

The boisterous crowd gathering at Pacis Catholic School in Bensonhurst for the number 27 seed Brooklyn Studio Secondary School were seeking to rattle the visiting number 38 seed Seahorses.

Far Rockaway though wouldn't be intimidated by the home crowd. In what Sabbah called of the best performances from his team this season, the Seahorses got 31 points from Quenise Holland and 20 from freshman Tajah Monroe to upset Brooklyn Studio, 62-47.

"We were in a little dishboard. It was so loud, it was incredible," Sabbah said of the Pacis gymnasium.

But the Seahorses used their running game to dash Brooklyn's hopes of advancing to the second round. In the second quarter of a close contest, Far Rockaway outscored their opponent, 19-8, and went into halftime with a 36- 24 lead.

Sabbah praised junior shooting guard Quenise Holland for an allaround effort. In addition to her 31 points, she grabbed 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

"We are still a young team. Only "Queenie" (Quenise) came back. She helped get us to the playoffs but she took the news to being only 38 (seed) to heart," Sabbah said.

Monroe contributed on the boards with 14 rebounds along with Centeria McDonald (6 rebounds) and Beatrice Shields (6 points). It was too much for Brooklyn Studio to handle.

Defensively, the Seahorses allowed only one player besides leading scorer Kristina Podvisotskaya (18 points) to reach in double figures.

"It was good to go to Bensonhurst and play very well. I'm proud of them," Sabbah said

Far Rockaway (10-9) got a team effort at the right time as they advance to play a tough opponent in number 6 Environmental Studies (16-2) at presstime.

Though the two boys' varsity basketball teams in the Rockaways may be out of the playoffs, a couple of peninsula natives have kept their dreams of winning a high school championship alive.

Obafemi Alese, a senior point guard at Wadleigh High School in Manhattan, scored 10 points as the number 8 seed Tigers (22-7) narrowly escaped with a 64-62 victory over number 25 seed Eagle Academy in the PSAL Class AA playoffs on Wednesday night.

Alese had performed well in the Tigers' PSAL Manhattan Borough championship victory, scoring 17 points and dishing 10 assists as Wadleigh routed Thurgood Marshall Academy, 89-59, on February 15.

Matt and Mike Knott, brothers and also seniors at Cathedral Prep (13-11) in Elmhurst, will try to guide their team to a CHSAA Class B title starting tonight (6 p.m.) in the quarterfinals against Blessed Sacrament at Fordham Prep in the Bronx.

Jermaine Sanders, a 6-3 resident from Far Rockaway, is logging major minutes off the bench in a crucial role for the Rice High School Raiders. In his first year on the varsity, Sanders has contributed on both ends of the floor. Sanders will try to help senior teammate Durand Scott, who is headed to the University of Miami next season, and Rice win the Archdiocesan CHSAA Class AA title over St. Raymond at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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