Hornets Sting Far Rockaway In Playoff Win
Far Rockaway didn’t make any excuses for arriving 25 minutes after the originally scheduled 5 p.m. game time start for their third round PSAL A playoff game at Midwood High School.
The Seahorses also didn’t make any excuses for the crucial mistakes that were made in the fourth quarter of a game hanging in the balance. Far Rockaway couldn’t execute the fundamentals such as making free throws and corralling enough key rebounds which gave Midwood the chance to escape with a 51-47 win on Wednesday night.
It was en emotional end to a good playoff run for the Seahorses, the 28th seed in the A playoffs, who had upset fifth ranked Grand Street (see story below) last Thursday afternoon.
The Seahorses had taken a 32-28 lead into the fourth quarter, but the final two minutes would play a huge part in their playoff elimination. With the game tied at 44, Midwood’s leading scorer Kenroy Morissaint missed on his three-point attempt from the corner.
Morissaint followed his missed shot as Far Rockaway guard Antoine White was stationed underneath the basket. The Seahorses top scorer, who had 20 points in the game, failed to box out underneath the basket and Moraissant rebounded his own shot and knocked down the basket. He was fouled and made the free throw to give the Hornets a 47-44 lead with 1:50 remaining.
“It went back to the fundamentals with us the whole game,” said Far Rockaway coach Mark Bacchus.
“Boxing out and free throws. We beat ourselves and shot ourselves in the foot. We have no one else to blame but ourselves,”
Far Rockaway hit only one of seven free throws in the final quarter. Dominque Jennings missed two free throws with less than a minute to play and White hit only one of two free throws.
Midwood guard Bryan Smith (17 points) clinched the game with a layup with 8 seconds left as time ran out for the Seahorses.
Bacchus said the team held themselves accountable in a lengthy post game talk for their mistakes.
“They know they should have won. They understand why we lost. We didn’t make our free throws and we didn’t box out,” Bacchus said.
Far Rockaway had chances to take control of the game in the third quarter after White finished a three-point play.
The Seahorses led 26-19 in a low scoring game but Midwood battled back. They regained the lead for good in the fourth quarter when Smith and Moraissant hit back to back baskets to go up 38-36.
Far Rockaway was also hurt inside the paint without second leading scorer Idryis Faison (6 points), who was in foul trouble throughout the game. The senior was saddened when he fouled out with 3:04 left.
“I think when I fouled out I didn’t even know,” Faison said. “I didn’t know how it happened.”
White put his hand up in the post game discussion and took blame for not executing the fundamentals. The senior guard said his team who was confident they could go deeper into the A playoffs. But it wasn’t meant to be.
“We almost had it. Free throws and rebounds,” White At the end of the day, it came down to a fight and they won it.”