2010-02-12 / Sports

Comeback Dolphins Stun Edison In Borough Playoffs

By Elio Velez

Beach Channel celebrates after their victory. Photo by Roxana Glen. Beach Channel celebrates after their victory. Photo by Roxana Glen. There was a brief second where you could not hear a sounds coming from the Beach Channel Dolphins basketball team or the crowd that had come to cheer them on Tuesday night.

The tension was building inside the gymnasium in the overtime when with two seconds remaining, Thomas Edison’s Osamuede Egharevba 30-foot three-point attempt clanked off the backboard.

At that moment, the tension was lifted and a wild celebration ensued. You can forgive Beach Channel and their fans for celebrating just a tad wildly.

After coming back from a ten- point deficit in the second half, the fourth seed Dolphins stunned fifth ranked Edison in overtime, 77-75, in the first round of the PSAL Borough playoffs.

Jahvari Joseph and Kevin Marmolejos each scored 18 points. Thompson scored 16 points and Demetrius Pelt added 10 for Beach Channel. Edison was led by Eghareyba’s 19 points and Cavon Baker added 18 points.

Beach Channel will have played at first seed Cardozo yesterday with the winner heading to the championship on Sunday at St. Francis College. The game will start at 3 p.m. against either Forest Hills or Van Buren.

It was certainly an emotional night at Beach Channel High School. There was Dolphins senior forward Christopher Thompson looking to hug any teammate he could find. Kevin Marmoloejos and Khalil Bratton were mobbed at mid court by excited fans.

“Our defense came out. We made the right plays at crunchtime,” Maromlejos said.

Thompson was full of praise for his teammates who persevered after playing a subpar first half. Down 41- 32 going into the third quarter, Beach Channel turned things around by playing improved defense and getting big contributions from a host of players.

“We’ve been working hard for this. I have to give my coach and my team a lot of props. They did a great job this year,” Thompson said.

“I didn’t have high hopes that we’d be in the position we are now.”

Thompson was one of three players, along with Marmolejos and Bratton to return from last year’s team. There was a lack of experience on the team at the beginning of the season.

But the Dolphins have grown up fast and matured to a team that finished fourth with a 8-6 record in the Queens AA Division and defeated Edison and Forest Hills in the regular season.

Joseph and Pelt, both juniors, were the two firstyear players that sparked the Dolphins rally in the second half.

Joseph provided hustle and important points in the paint. Pelt contributed by holding the dangerous Egharevba to only 9 points.

“I am amazed how much they learned,” said Beach Channel coach Jim Malone. “We have two kids who never played organized basketball before. That kid contributed like crazy Jahvari.”

The comeback would not have happened if Malone didn’t install a half court trap defense with less than a minute remaining in the fourth. The Dolphins forced Edison center Stephen Nwaukoni to commit back to back turnovers and they capitalized on baskets to tie the game at 66.

Baker’s three-pointer with 15 seconds left gave Edison a three-point lead. Bratton answered back for the Dolphins by knocking down a 3-point shot of his own with 8 seconds left to send the game to overtime tied at 69.

Bratton’s two free throws with 11 seconds left in the overtime turned out to be the difference. No matter what happens against Cardozo, the Dolphins will take the memories of this game with them.

“I believed we had to keep our heads up. They were aggressive. We were aggressive,” John said. “We came out on top. We were more hungry.”

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