2010-03-05 / Sports

Underdog Far Rock Pulls Off Upset Of Grand Street

By Robert Karpelos

The Far Rockaway varsity basketball team staved off an improbable comeback in the second round of the PSAL boys varsity basketball playoffs on Feb-ruary 25 against Grant Street Campus in overtime 66-65.

With under fifteen seconds left to play in the extra period, the Sea Horses trailed by one. Senior guard Antonie White found himself with the basketball atop the three point line.

White pumped faked, drove into the lane and sake an eight footer to put Far Rockaway up for good. The Wolves last second three went wide right and the Far Rockaway bench exploded onto their rival’s home floor.

In a game that featured numerous big shots, White’s last was the biggest of all.

“I wanted to make a three to extend the lead but I knew they would think that, so I knew if I gave them a pump fake I knew I could get an open shot,” said White, who led the Sea Horses with 28 points.

“I wanted to make a three to extend the lead but I knew they would think that, so I knew if I gave them a pump fake I knew I could get an open shot,” said White, who led the Sea Horses with 28 points.

After trailing at half time 32-15, the Sea Horses inched their way back into the game. They switched from a manto man defense to a 1-3-1 zone which allowed them to get into the passing lanes where they created turnovers and then begun to push the tempo of the game and get their offense going. On defense they were led by senior center Idriys Fiason who had sixteen rebounds.

“As a team in the zone we cover our backs like never before,” said Far Rockaway head coach Mark Bacchus. “The defense led to our offense.”

In the first half, the Wolves full court press was pestering the Sea Horses, who continued to cough up the ball. The Sea Horses only scored 3 points in the second quarter. But in the second half Far Rockaway came alive and outscored the Wolves 40-23.

Coach Bacchus explained that his team came out a little jittery because they knew they were going up against a # 5 seed who was bigger and had a lot more experience than they did. But once his team settled in they got their groove going.

“It is tough when you are playing a team full of seniors,” said Bacchus. “But once the momentum started to change the young guys built up their courage, stepped up and started to believe.”

With 9 seconds left in regulation sophomore guard Warren Saylor Jr. hit a three on the right wing to tie the game at 55 all and eventually forced overtime.

Despite being down 63-59 with 1:20 left in extra recess, Far Rockaway never panicked. Saylor hit another three. Both teams exchanged free throws, and Whites shot clinched the game.

“For us being calm, it just made us come back,” said White.

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