CONEY ISLAND, NY - Thurday's PSAL Brooklyn Borough Class AA Semifinal match between Abraham Lincoln and Boys & Girls felt strange.
Normally, this matchup takes place on a much larger stage and is for the Borough championship but the Kangaroos have been struggling this year. Boys & Girls struggle continues as Lincoln led from start to finish advancing over the Kangaroos, 71-64.
The Railsplitters jumped out in front seconds after the opening tip-off as Desi Rodriguez (14 points) scored a lay-up and Isaiah Whitehead (24 points) followed suit. The lefty righty combo ignited a 7-0 run. From that point on it was a game of catch-up for the Kangaroos.
In the first quarter in appeared that Boys High was going to make a game of it as sharpshooter Cortney Solomon (14 points) drained a trey that cut Lincolns lead to 3 points. Lincoln always had a response as Trevonn Morton (10 points) splashed his own trey. Most of Lincoln's offense was initiated off of misses by the Roos that set off breakout points.
Down by 8 points to begin the second quarter, the Kangaroos tried to stay within striking range as Marvin Prochet (11 points) and Ben Osakioduwa (6 points)put up points. Unfortunately, the Roos were their own worst enemy as they would falter, especially on and-1 opportunities. Lincoln missed shots as well but dominated the offensive boards which generated multiple attempts at the basket.
Still down 31-26 to begin the second half, Boys & Girls only remained in the hunt because of their patented defensive intensity but their offensive deficiencies kept digging them back into holes. 4:13 remained in the quarter and Lincoln was ahead by nine. Boys & Girls go-to-guy, Wesley Myers (19 points), began to impose his will on the game late in the third quarter but turnovers put them on a treadmill with no forward progress.
Lincoln had a 48-49 lead entering the fourth quarter and Boys & Girls needed to force the issue. Solomon would swish a 3-ball to cut their deficit to 6 points with 4:43 left in regulation. Soon after, Osakioduwa would score and suddenly, the Railsplitters were only up by four.
Prochet had an opportunity to reduce the lead to a deuce as he was heading for an easy lay-up off a Lincoln turnover. Whitehead would chase down the sophomore unbeknownst to him and enact a vicious block that sent the crowd into a frenzy and shift the momentum back to the home court.
Lincoln actually gave the Kangaroos quite a few opportunities to make a game of it with dismal free-throw shooting in the waning minutes of the game but the Roos continued to shoot themselves in the foot. After the Prochet block, Solomon would miss a wide open lay-up on a fast break. On the next possession, Prochet would let the ball slip threw his fingers for yet another turnover.
Myers would turn on the afterburners in the final minutes, draining tough buckets but a 3-ball by Whitehead and strong drives down the lane by Elijah Davis (10 points) soon dashed Boys & Girls hopes of advancing to the Borough championship.
In other Borough Playoff action:
Cardozo clears out Pathways College Prep, 70-50; Bayside obliterates Campus Magnet, 88-38. Cardozo vs. Bayside in Queens Borough Championship @ 11am.
Thomas Jefferson stops South Shore, 63-60. Abraham Lincoln vs. Thomas Jefferson in Brooklyn Borough Championship @ 1pm.
Wings Academy take out James Monroe, 57-34; Gompers inches past J.F.K, 56-55. Wings Academy vs. Gompers in Bronx Borough Championship @ 3pm.
FDA dominates Murry Bergtram, 62-45; Manhattan Center stops Thurgood Marshall Academy, 66-60. Manhattan Center vs. F.D.A. in Manhattan Borough Championship @ 5pm.