2009-03-06 / Sports

Rockaway Native Sanders Contributes To Rice Title Win

By Elio Velez

Jermaine Sanders wasn't truly having one of his best games on the court for Rice High school last Saturday afternoon.

The Far Rockaway native was struggling on the floor. So was Rice, down by nine points in the Archdiocesan Class AA title game against St. Raymond's.

Sanders teamed up with University of Miami bound teammate Durand Scott as both found a burst of energy in the fourth quarter to lift the Red Raiders. Scott scored 17 points and Sanders hit two 3-pointers and scored all 9 of his points in the fourth quarter to help Rice win 63-55 at Mount St. Michael Academy.

"In the fourth quarter, I was thinking my team needed me. I wasn't playing well on offense so I had to provide that in the fourth quarter," Sanders said.

"I was nervous playing in a game like this but later in the game I got more focused on what I had to do. I accomplished my goal in contributing to a win today."

Rice will face Archbishop Molloy in the quarterfinals of the CHSAA city title tournament tonight at Christ the King High School at 7:30 p.m.

Sanders, who can run the floor and shoot well from the outside, has the confidence from Rice coach Mo Hicks to shine when called upon.

"Jermaine is a special player. Durand is capable of exploding at any time but Jermaine is a special talent. I have a lot of confidence in his ability to score," Hicks said. "He knew that coming down the stretch, we were going to start making plays for him to score and he did."

Breezy Point summer resident Don Kent had one of his best seasons in his long coaching career at McClancy High School. Not only did the Crusaders go 19-7 this season in the CHSAA Class A League, Kent captured his 400th milestone win earlier this season. But while the Crusaders established themselves as a good team, unfortunately they were not able to match up against a powerful Iona Prep squad last Saturday. Iona ended McClancy's playoff run in the quarterfinals with an 89-68 victory.

"We're 19-7. We had a great year. We should walk out with our heads high," Kent said. We had this year 19 happy locker rooms. It was the most wins we had here in 14 years."

The 27-seed Far Rockaway Lady Seahorses hung tough for 4 quarters with 6-seed Environmental Studies, but were eliminated from the second round of the PSAL B playoffs, 67-52, on February 26.

Quenise Holland scored 30 points and Tajah Monroe added 15 for the Lady Seahorses, who cut the lead to 47-46 with 4:25 left in the game. Holland fouled out with 3:51 left and the Seahorses faded away.

Matt Knott scored 26 points and brother Mike Knott added 13, but the Rockaway natives output wasn't enough as Blessed Sacrament defeated Cathedral Prep, 68-66 last Friday night in the CHSAA B playoff.

The Beach Channel Lady Dolphins basketball campaign ended when they lost to Benjamin Banneker, 64-15, in the first round of the PSAL AA playoffs on February 24.

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