Australia came to Queens to play basketball, only to be blasted off the court by the Francis Lewis boys’ varsity team.
“It’s a good cultural experience for both teams,” said Gerard Ciarleglio, Francis Lewis’ head coach. “For them to come half way across the planet, the boys were excited. They [were] looking forward to representing New York.”
The Cobras raised $22,000 to make the trip, said coach Darren King. After playing Francis Lewis, they head to Charlotte and then to Los Angeles for games. In Melbourne, sports are played outside of school and the Cobra players train and play primarily on weekends.
When the noon game started on Friday, it was about 4 a.m. back home for the Aussies, King said.
Sophomore Jaheam Cornwall, the Patriots’ 15-year-old starting point guard, led both his team and the scoreboard, ending the game with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds – the first triple-double Francis Lewis has seen in about three years, Ciarleglio said.
Cornwall achieved his goal of “being aggressive” right out the gate, faking and driving hard to the basket, making lay-up after lay-up throughout the game.
Guard Ashton Rosa seemed to be the always-open man, both hitting from the perimeter and going to the basket. He racked up 17 points and seven rebounds.
Despite the Cobras’ fast transition and quick offense, they were unable to see through the majority of their shots. The Patriots nearly tripled the international visitors’ score through all four quarters.
Francis Lewis maintained a good defense and grabbed rebounds from the Cobras’ failed shots. Center Quentin Williams followed Cornwall in rebounds, ending with 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Following the 84-30 victory, Ciarleglio said he wants his team to “keep playing hard,” and particularly work on executing offensive plays, passing and boxing out.
For the Cobras, the next move was getting some rest.
“They need some sleep,” King said.
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