Tag Archives: Basketball

Queens Knicks fans react to Jeremy Lin’s departure


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Knicks fans are saying the team’s decision to end Linsanity is pure insanity.

“I’m disappointed,” said Arthur Garfinkel, a business owner in Bayside. “I think one of the key pieces is to have a great point guard. In his stint he [Lin] actually dominated in the league. Now they’ve replaced him with Raymond Felton, who is 20 pounds overweight. Without Lin I think they have no chance, but with him they had a chance.”

The New York Knicks chose not to match the Houston Rockets offer sheet  that is worth more than $25 million and contained the “poison pill” third year worth nearly $15 million.  The team had until midnight to make a decision after the offer sheet was delivered this weekend.

“It’s disappointing, because it was a nice, little run when he was plugged into the line-up and it brought excitement to New York and the Garden,” said Whitestone local Chris Evans. “We’ll see what he [James Dolan] has up his sleeves. He always seems to hurt the team rather than help.”

Linsanity took over New York City and spread throughout the country during February as Lin led the Knicks on a winning streak upon entering the starting lineup.  Lin’s run landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated back-to-back issues as well as being named one of Time‘s “100 Most Influential People.”

Jeremy Lin signed onto Twitter shortly after the move became official to thank Knicks fans.

“Much love and thankfulness to the Knicks and New York for your support this past year…easily the best year of my life ‪#ForeverGrateful‬.”

In 25 games as a starter Lin averaged 18.2 points per game and 7.7 assists.

With the Knicks likely to be over the salary cap during Lin’s third year, his salary would have cost the team more than $40 million due to the luxury tax.

Nearly 15,000 fans signed a petition urging management to keep Lin in New York.

“Jeremy Lin is the best thing that has happened to New York Knicks basketball in the last 20 years,” the petition reads.  “Don’t let Jeremy Lin go — match the Rockets’ offer.”

Some fans realized this is just the industry at work.

“It’s a little upsetting, but money talks,” said Queens resident Scott B. “It’s the nature of the business.”

— Additional reporting by Liam La Guerre

A basketball player kids have to look up to


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ photo by Liam La Guerre

There’s more than one reason for kids to “look up” to 7’3” Curtis Johnson.

Johnson, a Queens resident and former Red Storm big man at St. John’s University, will perform in entertainment basketball games at York College on June 4 and 6, to amuse and mentor kids from Pre-K to eight grade.

“I just want to teach them to respect each other, respect themselves and each other and just to have fun,” Johnson said about the show’s purpose.

Johnson also wants to spread positive thinking to the kids by letting them know of his philosophy that life has unlimited possibilities – a message he lives every day.

Johnson had big dreams after graduating St. John’s with a Bachelor’s degree in theology.

He went to try out for various professional basketball teams, even as far as Fujian, China, hoping to make his way through the system and hit the hardwood of the NBA.

Although he can dunk without leaving his feet, injuries plagued the 7-footer.

“I thought I would be an NBA player and maybe a pastor someday, but life didn’t turn out that way,” he said, adding “but I didn’t get stuck there.”

When basketball was a no-go, Johnson began seeking professions he believed would give him stable hours and keep him away from the doctor’s office — like jobs on Wall Street.

He was already working part-time as a clerk for Morgan Stanley, but in 2005 he became a financial analyst, re-reading contracts for Lehman Brothers.

His time in the financial sector came to an end in 2008, just before the company filed for bankruptcy, but he enjoyed it, he said.

“I always had a deep interest in business,” Johnson said. “It’s always interesting to me how you could start off with a small investment and end up with a large return. It’s really ‘the sky is the limit.’”

Next he landed a job delivering various newspapers for several months in Westchester and then after that he began working in security.

While working as a bouncer at a Korean nightclub last year, he was given a unique opportunity to compete in a traditional Korean Ssireum wrestling tournament.

One day the club owner asked Johnson if he was interested, to which Johnson replied “Yeah, you only live once.”

“I realize that for me basketball is a tool,” Johnson said about his worldly adventures and various jobs. “You can do whatever you want in life. There are no limitations.”

During his time away from professional basketball Johnson played part-time for the entertainment basketball group, Harlem MagicMasters, and now he wants to do it full-time.

“Entertainment basketball is something a guy like me could do for the rest of his life,” he said. “We make a lot of kids happy. It’s very emotionally rewarding.”

The basketball group also thinks that Johnson will help convince kids to focus on positive thoughts.

“If people like [Johnson] come into the gym and they talk to the kids and tell them do not attempt to use any type of drugs or alcohol, don’t bully or tease your fellow classmates, then the lessons resonate,” said Jay Bryant, Vice President of the Harlem MagicMasters.

Johnson enjoys traveling up and down the east coast and sometimes the mid-west with his teammates, spreading their message to kids, but also personally motivating them with his own life.

“I’ve always wanted to help motivate and help other people,” he said. “I realize that even though I’m not an NBA basketball player I could still promote what we do — and do it well.”

Harlem MagicMasters to visit Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DSC_0235w

Curtis Johnson is definitely one basketball player fans can — and have to — look up to.

Johnson — also known as “Tiny” — and the rest of the Magic Masters will be at York College on June 4 and 6 performing and playing their brand of entertainment basketball.

Tip-off for the games will be at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. both days.

The 7-foot-5-inch Johnson, a St. John’s University graduate and former Red Storm player, said he can grab the rim without jumping and his game features a wide array of trick dunks.

Tickets cost $8 for the event. For more information call 212-643-2640 or 800-597-1140.

 

Knicks End Playoff Futility With 89-87 Win Over Heat At Garden


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Their backs against the wall, the New York Knicks edged the Miami Heat 89-87 at Madison Square Garden Sunday night to end their playoff losing streak and extend their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff series. Carmelo Anthony had 41 points for New York, including a three-pointer that gave the Knicks the lead with 54 seconds remaining, to send the series back to Miami for Game 5. The win allowed the Knicks to avoid a four-game sweep of the best-of-seven series, and halted their playoff losing streak at 13 games, an NBA record. Read More: NY1

Knicks Head Coach D’Antoni Resigns


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Knicks Head Coach D’Antoni Resigns

Yahoo Sports and WFAN are reporting this afternoon that New York Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni is resigning. The Knicks have had good runs this season, especially after the emergence of Jeremy Lin.However, the chemistry was interrupted when Carmelo Anthony returned from an injury, and the Knicks have now lost six in a row. D’Antoni was named Knicks coach before the 2008-09 season. The Knicks made the playoffs last season and were expected to make noise this season, but have under performed. The team will host Portland tonight at 7:30 p.m. Read More: NY1

 

Brooklyn Teacher’s Aide Pleads Not Guilty To Child Porn Charges

A Brooklyn teacher’s aide pled not guilty Wednesday to child molestation and pornography charges. Taleek Brooks, 41, was arraigned and remains in custody. He faces a dozen counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and possessing and distributing explicit videos. Brooks has worked at PS 243 in Crown Heights since 1995. FBI agents arrested him in January after allegedly uncovering the videos on his computer. Authorities also seized cell phones, digital cameras and other computer equipment. Read More: NY1

 

Brooklyn teacher gets an A for life-saving effort 

The three R’s now include resuscitation. A Brooklyn fourth-grade teacher interrupted her Wednesday lunch break to successfully perform CPR on a drug overdose victim in a restaurant bathroom. “She looked dead,” said Cassandra Byrd-Scolaro, 34, of Public School. 17. “She had no pulse. I immediately began giving her compressions.” The hero teacher had just ordered a chicken Caesar wrap to go from S & B Restaurant and was heading to use the bathroom when she noticed a commotion. Read More: Daily News

 

Lindsay Lohan in alleged hit and run: report

Lindsay Lohan stands accused of a hit and run, in a report that seems straight out of 2007. According to the websites TMZ and Radar Online, Lohan was exiting the Sayers Club in Hollywood after midnight last night in a black Porsche. When paparazzi and patrons from the nearby Hookah Lounge reportedly got in the way of her car, Lohan attempted a U-turn, almost swiping the car of the Hookah Lounge’s manager. Sources say that the manager exited his car and approached Lohan’s vehicle. In the hubbub, sources claim that Lohan grazed the manager’s knee while peeling out of the parking lot. Read More: New York Post

Moe Harkless named Big East Rookie of the Week


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of St. John's University

St. John’s freshmen continue to rack up accolades as Moe Harkless was named the Big East’s Rookie of the Week, the conference announced.

This is Harkless’ second Rookie of the Week honor and the third time a Red Storm player has taken home the award this year.

The Queens native averaged 18 points per game and 9.5 rebounds while playing every minute of the Johnnies’ two wins last week, including their first victory over a top 25 team this season.

St. John’s (13-16, 6-10 Big East) had lost their first 10 games against ranked opponents this year before besting 18th-ranked Notre Dame on Saturday 61-58 at Madison Square Garden. Earlier in the week the Johnnies defeated DePaul 79-72 at Carnesecca Arena during Senior Night.

For the Johnnies this year, though, it has been almost all freshmen. The team plays only one junior and starts five freshmen — the “Fresh Five.”

Harkless was not the only “Fresh Five” member to have a big week. D’Angelo Harrison played all but one minute over the team’s two games, averaging 19 points, and is now within six points of the Johnnies freshmen scoring record set by Erick Barkley in 1999.

Harrison will most likely not be the only freshmen to surpass the mark, as Harkless is just 40 points shy of the record with two games and the Big East tournament to go.

Harrison and Harkless are first and second in the conference in freshmen scoring, respectively, and Harkless leads all Big East freshmen in rebounding.

The Red Storm finish up their conference slate at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and at Rutgers on Saturday at 8 p.m.

 

Boy Scouts ordered to release secret sex abuse files


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Boy Scouts ordered to release secret sex abuse files

A judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by the family of a California boy molested by his troop leader in 2007 has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to hand over confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders around the nation. The Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge said last month that the Irving, Texas-based organization must turn over the last 20 years’ worth of records by Feb. 24, with victims’ names removed, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. The files will not be made public. Read More: Daily News
Sadistic ‘shooter’ husband

The young pregnant wife shot by her jilted, estranged husband outside a Brooklyn school said yesterday that she was recovering from the ambush. “I’m feeling a little better today,” victim Daisy Torres, 26, told The Post. Torres split from hubby Juan Torres Collazo, 62, months before the dismissal-time attack at PS 384 in Bushwick, but the scorned man wouldn’t let it go. “We’ve been together for eight months,” said Torres’ new beau, Hector Reyes, “and he kept harassing her and harassing her. Read More: New York Post

 

Lin fairy tale getting ‘real’ interesting for Knicks

We can stop dealing in the abstract, cease the comparisons to Joe Hardy and Roy Hobbs and Jimmy Chitwood. This isn’t fantasy. This isn’t a Hollywood script. We can shelve the superlatives and move on to two emerging truths: Jeremy Lin is real. And because of that, the Knicks are for real. Read More: New York Post

Monaco royal hurt, fomer  club owner charged in celebs’ NYC bar brawl

A vicious fight involving vodka and supermodels at a Meatpacking District nightclub sparked a royal beatdown that landed Monaco’s Prince Pierre Casiraghi in the hospital, The Post has learned. The attack on the 24-year-old son of Princess Caroline and grandson of Grace Kelly came during a late-night confrontation between the prince and his playboy pals and former Manhattan club owner Adam Hock at trendy Double Seven on Saturday, witnesses and law-enforcement sources said. Read More: New York Post

Jeremy Lin headline slur was ‘honest mistake,’ fired ESPN editor Anthony Federico claims

The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using “chink in the armor” in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind – and he was devastated when he realized his mistake. “This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the Daily News. “I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.” Read More: Daily News

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

ESPN fallout over crack about Lin

ESPN yesterday called an offensive foul on two employees for using a racist term in a headline and story about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. A headline writer, whose name was not released, was fired, while anchor Max Bretos was benched for 30 days. The out-of-bounds phrase — “chink in the armor” — referred to Chinese-American Lin’s struggles Friday in the Knicks’ first loss since he made a splash. It appeared as a headline on ESPN’s mobile site Saturday. Read More: New York Post

 

NYC’s Allen Christian School is closing

The well-regarded Allen Christian School is closing after nearly 30 years because of financial difficulties. The announcement was made Tuesday by the Rev. Floyd Flake, who said the decision brought him “great sadness.” The politically influential Queens pastor and former congressman founded the school with his wife, the Rev. Elaine Flake. Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said his four children have “fond memories of attending Allen Christian.” Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Knicks talking title after Lin leads them to win over Mavericks

After Jeremy Lin’s nationally televised theatrics were over, after the point guard’s international stardom had reached yet another level, after Jason Kidd said Lin indeed looks like Steve Nash in Phoenix, Tyson Chandler soaked it all in and declared what may have become obvious by now: Lin’s Knicks are a genuine contender for a championship this season. Chandler should know best, having helped the Mavericks to a title eight months ago. Chandler faced Dallas during the Knicks’ 104-97 victory in yesterday’s thrilling Garden matinee, and said he feels his new club is championship-caliber with Lin’s fairy tale, J.R. Smith’s arrival and Carmelo Anthony’s grand return to Linsanity scheduled tonight against the Nets. Read More: New York Post

 

Spit hits fan in teach spat

A veteran Queens math teacher was yanked from the classroom yesterday after a cellphone video posted online showed an apparent confrontation with a student. Department of Education officials said they are investigating 19-year veteran David Pecoraro, a vocal union leader at Beach Channel HS in Far Rockaway, on allegations of corporal punishment. An 80-second video posted on YouTube last week captures the alleged incident but doesn’t provide a clear answer on what the teacher did. Read More: New York Post

Whitney Houston’s dress, ‘Bodyguard’ earrings up for auction

A black velvet dress that belonged to Whitney Houston and a pair of earrings she wore in “The Bodyguard” will be sold to the highest bidder next month. Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.” Read More: New York Post

 

Transit Officers Catch Alleged Subway Pickpocket In The Act

Two transit offers were on the right train at the right time on Saturday and ended up catching an alleged pickpocket in action. Police say the officers were patrolling a Queens-bound E train early Saturday morning in Manhattan, when 50-year old Manuel Alduey got on an adjoining car at West 4th Street and sat next to a sleeping passenger. Investigators say the officers saw Alduey take the sleeping victim’s wallet and iPhone before getting off at West 23rd Street. The officers followed and arrested Alduey. Alduey is being charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Read More: NY1

 

Memorial Service For Mets’ Gary Carter To Be Held In Florida

A private memorial service will be held this Friday in Florida for former New York Mets catcher Gary Carter. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Gary Carter Foundation. Carter, known as “The Kid,” died on Thursday at age 57 after a battle with brain cancer. The Hall of Fame catcher was traded to New York from Montreal in 1985 and spent five seasons in Queens. Carter was a major element of the Mets’ 1986 World Series championship team. Read More: NY1

 

Cardozo wins Queens basketball title


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Steve Mosco

The Benjamin Cardozo Judges continued their winning ways in Queens, defeating the Long Island City Bulldogs, 69-58, to capture the borough championship at York College on Saturday, February 11.

The victory was the Judges’ third Queens championship win in as many years, this time led by senior Tajay Henry’s 21 points and 10 rebounds. The towering forward drilled many key baskets, including a dramatic dunk as time, and the game, slipped away from the Bulldogs.

Cardozo led the contest from beginning to end and seemed on the verge of blowing out L.I.C. as they took a 51-36 lead late in the game. However, the Bulldogs were able to hang tough, cutting the deficit to just four points late in the final quarter.

And they might have won the game too, if not for Cardozo junior Kyle Credle. The 5-foot-10-inch guard scored seven of his 10 points in the fourth, nailing a crucial three-pointer that all but sealed the deal with under one minute remaining and gave the Judges the championship. Rounding out the scoring for Cardozo were senior Rasheed Robinson with 13 points and eight rebounds and senior Ryan Yearwood with nine points and eight rebounds.

The Bulldogs, who upset top-seeded Bayside High School in the team’s prior series and was the only team from the Queens ‘A’ division to reach the borough playoffs, managed to stay in the game behind seniors Sadji Camara and Arthur Santanna who each scored 17 points in the loss. In the upset win over Bayside, L.I.C. was led by senior Xavier Jones with 18 points, while Santanna and Camara scored 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Next up for the Judges is the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) class ‘AA’ playoffs, in which the school grabbed the fifth seed. Games start this week and the finals will be played at Madison Square Garden on March 17. It’s not over for L.I.C., as the Bulldogs will compete in the PSAL’s class ‘A’ playoffs, culminating with the finals on March 18.

Father Of Confessed Subway Bomb Plotter Awaits Sentencing


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Father Of Confessed Subway Bomb Plotter Awaits Sentencing

The father of confessed terror plotter Najibullah Zazi is set to be sentenced today in Brooklyn federal court. Mohammad Wali Zazi was accused of destroying evidence and lying to cover up his son’s plot to attack New York City’s subways in 2009. He was convicted last year of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The 55-year-old maintains his innocence as he faces up to 40 years in prison. Zazi’s son pleaded guilty to terror charges nearly two years ago. Read More: NY1

 

Knicks’ newest star getting used to ‘Linsanity’

Knicks new point guard sensation Jeremy Lin admitted he was still getting used to the new attention he has been getting and credited media and fans for all the “Lin puns’’ going around the city. “I didn’t know you can turn Lin into so many things,’’ Lin said at today’s morning shootaround in Westchester. “We’ve never done it before. Me and my family were laughing last night. We underestimated how creative everybody can be.’’ Read More: New York Post

 

‘Violent’ Madonna stalker escapes from LA psych hospital

A man convicted of stalking Madonna in 1996 and who has “very violent tendencies” has escaped from a psychiatric hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said. Robert Dewey Hoskins, 54, who once scaled a wall at the star’s Hollywood home and threatened to cut her throat from ear to ear, walked out of hospital last Friday, an LAPD spokesman said. “Hoskins is a very psychotic man when not taking his medication and has very violent tendencies,” the LAPD statement, cited by the Los Angeles Times, said. Read More: New York Post

DA subpoenas Cashman financial records for extort clues

Manhattan prosecutors have subpoenaed Yankee general manger Brian Cashman’s bank records—which sources say include evidence that he coughed up as much as $20,000 to accused extortionist and purported mistress Louise Meanwell as far back as April, The Post has learned. Those alleged payments raise the question of whether Meanwell was shaking Cashman down for nearly 10 months — or whether the big bucks were legitimate gifts as part of an affair, as she claims. Read More: New York Post

 

$1M iBust in Chelsea

Police raided a Chelsea apartment yesterday and discovered an enormous cache of counterfeit Apple products and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones worth almost $1 million retail, cops said. Officers began staking out the building on West 28th Street near Seventh Avenue after an arrest last month when they saw a man leave the building with a fake iPhone that he later tried to sell on a Hell’s Kitchen street corner, cops said. The alleged swindler, Iaron Baskerville, was arrested and charged with possession of a forged instrument and fraudulent accounting. Read More: New York Post

Loony ’toon guilty

A Muslim extremist from Brooklyn pleaded guilty yesterday to making online threats against the creators of “South Park” because the TV show depicted the prophet Mohammed as a bear. Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, and another homegrown radical, Zachary Adam Chesser, 22, created revolutionmuslim.com to spread their messages of hate, officials said. They were outraged over an April 2010 “South Park” episode in which Tom Cruise and other celebrities previously lampooned by the Comedy Central show sue the town — but offer to drop the case if they can meet Mohammed and find out why he had so far been spared their ridicule. Read More: New York Post

 

Video clears man charged with trying to run down cop

A Brooklyn homeowner charged with racing his car toward a cop and making the officer jump out of the way to save his life was himself saved by a surveillance video that shows him calmly parking his car while the cop never budges. John Hockenjos, 55, was charged last Sunday with first-degree reckless endangerment after Officer Diego Palacios swore that the MTA engineer created a “grave risk of death” by driving his sedan “at high rate of speed into a driveway towards” the officer, according to the criminal complaint. Read More: New York Post

 

MTA worker scares off fiend raping woman in Bowery J train tunnel

An MTA worker walking along the tracks near a desolate lower Manhattan subway station scared off a violent sex attacker during a rape, police sources said. “That saved her life,” one of the sources said of the MTA worker’s light that caught the victim’s attention as she was being beaten and raped. The 36-year-old Asian woman saw the light and screamed, causing her attacker to flee. Police say Michael Torres, 29, targeted the 36-year-old Asian woman just after 1 a.m. Wednesday at the J train stop on the Bowery at Delancey St. Read More: Daily News

Malik Stith leaves St. John’s basketball program


| brennison@queenscourier.com

St. John’s already thin rotation is down another man, as the team’s only returning player — Malik Stith — decided to leave the program.

Stith’s departure leaves the Johnnies with six first-year players in the rotation — five freshmen and a junior college transfer.

Citing personal reasons, Stith chose to step aside as a member of the team. He will continue at the university.

“Right now, I feel that I need to do what is best for my family. I am grateful for the opportunities given to me at St. John’s and pleased to be able to continue to make progress toward my degree,” Stith said. “Coach [Steve] Lavin and I have met and talked over the past couple days about my future and the interest I have in contributing to the team as a student.”

“We’ll miss Malik’s contributions on the court but we are pleased he will continue as a member of our basketball program in his new capacity with the Johnnies,” Lavin said.

The Head Coach added that Stith will continue to add value to St. John’s basketball family.

Stith had played in all 23 Red Storm games going into last night, starting five. He averaged 14.6 minutes and 2.6 points per game.

The young Red Storm have experienced much tumult since arriving on campus: Steve Lavin underwent surgery to treat his prostate cancer and has been on the sidelines for only two games, three players were declared academically ineligible and Stith is the second player to leave the program — Nurideen Lindsay left the team in December.

After last night’s game, a 76-54 loss at home to Cincinnati, Stith’s former teammates spoke about losing a member of the family.

“He was one of the leaders on the team, so it definitely hurts,” freshmen guard D’Angelo Harrison said. “It means other players have to step up and fill his role.”

On numerous occasions throughout the season Harrison has credited Stith with helping him keep his emotions in check and his head in the game.

“That’s our brother,” said Moe Harkless. “To lose him is tough, but we’ve just got to stick together and play with what we’ve got.”

Ten players saw action in last night’s game, though the playing time came after the game was out of reach.

St. John’s  (10-14, 4-8 BIG EAST) heads to Washington, D.C. to face the #11/#12 Georgetown Hoyas on Sunday, February 18.

 

Playoff Tipoff: First round hardwood action


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Steve Mosco

The Bayside Commodores (13-2) beat the John Adams Spartans (11-4) by a score of 61-41 in the first round of the Queens Borough Playoff Bracket. Though both teams traded blows with some intense back and forth action, Bayside had this game in the bag early. The Queens powerhouse started the contest with an 11-0 run and led at halftime 29-9. Bayside senior Uzonna Akazi led the Commodores to victory, leading all scorers with 23 points, while junior Brandon King contributed with 13 points of his own. Junior Vincent England added eight points and sophomore Daqauise Andrews led the team in assists with six to go along with six points and three rebounds. Senior Ryan Tomlin scored six points as well, while pulling down four rebounds. Senior Dillion Scurry led the team with six rebounds. For the Spartans, Markell French led the team with 13 points, while grabbing down six rebounds. Paul Johnson was second on the team with 12 points and junior Ahmed Kone scored six points while pulling down five rebounds. Senior Shane Hubbard was tied with French for second on the team with six rebounds and senior Yuhree Claude led the game with seven rebounds. Next up for the Commodores will be the Long Island City Bull Dogs.

The Bull Dogs (15-0) continued their winning ways, squeaking by the Beach Channel Dolphins (9-6) by a score of 45-43, advancing to the second round of the Queens Borough Playoffs. Senior Sadji Camara led the Bulldogs with 18 points and senior Arthur Santanna had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Kevin Green Jr. had eight points and seven rebounds while leading the team in assists with four.

The Benjamin Cardozo High School Judges blew out the High School for Construction Red Hawks by a score of 83-46. Tajay Henry led the team with a double-double, scoring 22 points while pulling down 13 rebounds. Junior Kyle Credle scored 13 points while leading the team with five assists. Junior Kendall Brown was third on the team with 11 points and senior Ryan Yearwood was one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points. Junior Omar Williams scored 10 points as well. For the Red Hawks, senior Ehiavekhan Eromoselle led the team with a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Senior Rudranauth Sewsankar had 10 points and seven rebounds. Junior Isaiah Henderson and Alexis Rincon each scored seven points. Next up for the judges will be the Campus Magnet Bull Dogs (12-3).

With additional reporting by Heather Zwillenberg

St. John’s trounced by Syracuse 95-70


| brennison@queenscourier.com

St. John’s-Syracuse games at MadisonSquareGarden often have a buzz as both squads’ lay claim to being New York’s team. This day though belonged to second-ranked Syracuse as the Orange (23-1, 10-1 Big East) trounced the Red Storm (10-13, 4-7) 95-70.  Throughout the game – especially in the second half – the sold-out Garden sounded more like the Carrier Dome –Syracuse’s home court.

Chants of “Let’s go Orange” filled Syracuse’s “second home” as the team increased their lead, continually getting easy baskets.

St. John’s has now played nine ranked teams this year – including the number one and number two teams in the nation – losing each game. The Johnnies beat six ranked opponents last year.

The Johnnies fell behind early and could never claw their way back into the game. Confronted with the same situation they faced against Duke a week prior – trailing by more than 20 points against a top 10 team – St. John’s could not make the stops they needed to go on a sustained run. 

Syracuse’s size allowed them to play above the rim and get the shots they wanted all game – the team shot 56 percent from the field and had 52 points in the paint.

“We moved the ball really well,” said Jim Boeheim, who tied Dean Smith for third place on the all-time wins list with 879. “We got really good shots every time down the court.”

 “Beginning, middle and end, they dominated us on the boards and they converted off of those second chance points,” said assistant coach Mike Dunlap, who continues to fill in for Steve Lavin as he recovers from prostate cancer surgery.

The Orange grabbed 16 of their 31 misses converting many second chance scoring opportunities.

Any hopes of a Red Storm comeback were squelched within the second half’s first two and a half minutes as the Orange went on a 9-0 run and Moe Harkless picked up his third and fourth fouls forcing him to the bench.

The Johnnies were never able to get within 20 after the Orange’s early second half run.

St. John’s all-freshmen starting lineup – the “Fresh Five” – was not on the court at the opening tip for the first time in four games as D’Angelo Harrison was late for the bus and sat out the opening 2 minutes.

After being held scoreless over the game’s first three minutes and thirty seconds, Syracuse went on a 12-2 run to take a lead they never relinquished.  A 6-0 run to end the first half pushed the Orange’s lead into double digits and then their 9-0 run to open the second half put the game out of reach.

The 95 points was the most St. John’s has given up all year and the most a Big East team has scored in a conference game this season.

Harrison led the Johnnies with 23 points and added five assists and four rebounds.

Fab Melo – in his first game back from suspension – Dion Waiters and C.J. Fair led 10 Orange in the scoring column with 14 points

St. John’s next faces Cincinnati (15-7, 5-4) on Wednesday, February 8 at MSG.  The Johnnies defeated the Bearcats earlier this year 57-55 atCincinnati.

High School Basketball Roundup


| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The Springfield Gardens Golden Eagles (11-2) beat the Franklin K. Lane Knights (4-9) by a score of 52-46. For the Knights, senior Kalil Johnson led the team with 16 points. Three Knights’ players scores eight points and junior Eugene Thwaites Jr. almost achieved a triple-double with eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Senior Gaoussou Sissoko scored eight points while grabbing seven rebounds, while freshman Natanael Carrasco scored eight points as well. While senior Denzel Morgan scored just four points, he was able to grab 10 rebounds. The Golden Eagles will round out the regular season against the Hilcrest Hawks (3-10).

The Hawks lost their last game to the High School for Construction Red Hawks (10-3) by a score of 69-48. For the Red Hawks, senior Rudranauth Sewsankar led the team with 22 points. Senior Ehiavekhan Eromoselle had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Kareem Stowe fell two rebounds shy of a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Junior Alexis Rincon chipped in with nine points while senior O’Shane Beckford was only able to score three points while dishing out seven assists.

The John Adams Spartans (10-3) beat the Grover Cleveland Tigers (4-9) by a score of 80-38. Junior Markell French led the Spartans with a triple-double, scoring 19 points while pulling down 12 rebounds and dishing out 13 assists. Senior Shane Hubbard is proving he can play more than one sport as the football star scored 13 points while grabbing three rebounds. Junior Shmael Nausrudeen was third on the team with 12 points. Junior Justin Cotto scored 10 points while pulling down eight rebounds. Junior Ahmed Kone scored seven points while grabbing nine rebounds. The Spartans will end the season on the road against the Richmond Hill Lions (3-10).

In their last game, the Lions lost to the Far Rockaway Sea Horses (7-6) by a score of 70-43. Junior Tyrelle Gordon led the Sea Horses with 18 points and senior Warren Saylor Jr. was a close second with 17 points. Senior Jarren Oliver-Moore pitched in with 11 points. Junior Shaleek Saunders scored eight points while Junior Malik Stewart scored five points and had a team leading 11 rebounds. The Sea Horses will finish the season against the Tigers.

St.John’s ends skid, beats West Virginia 78-62


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The youth movement – which had been in effect all season for St. John’s– might now need a nickname.

Playing possibly their most complete game of the season, St. John’s (9-11, 3-6 Big East) defeated West Virginia (15-6, 5-3), 78-62.

Halfway through the Big East schedule, the young team –St. John’s starting lineup consisted of all freshman – learned losses could quickly pile up during conference play.  The team had lost four in a row and six of seven.

“You have to play have to play hard for 40 minutes in the Big East,” said Harrison.  “No game is safe.”

The all freshmen lineup is one Head Coach Steve Lavin has been discussing in team meetings, telling Assistant Coach Mike Dunlap to go with it when he felt it.

Dunlap has taken the reins of the team as Lavin recovers from prostate cancer surgery.

While rare for a program to start five freshmen, it is not unprecedented.

“Unfortunately, in 1992 I saw the Fab Five and I didn’t like that much,” West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins said after the game.  “I didn’t like this a whole lot more.”

St. John’s trotted out their own version of famed freshmen dubbed the “Wonder Five” in the late 1920s.

The still-developing team jumped out to an early lead for the third time in the last four games, but this time out was able to sustain that lead.  

Prior to the game Dunlap laid out three goals for the team: play West Virginia even on the boards, run and make adjustments during the game – the team has struggled closing out games recently.

The Red Storm out rebounded West Virginia 25-18 in the first half while jumping out to a 16-point lead; they out scored the Mountaineers 22-5 in fast break points; and after the game Dunlap said he was pleased with the team’s defensive energy in the second half.

The Johnnies held West Virginia to just three of 14 shooting over the games first 12 minutes, allowing them to take an early 21-6 lead.  The Mountaineers, who never got closer than nine in the second half, shot below 36 percent from the field for only the third time this year.

Moe Harkless led four Johnnies in double figures with 23 points.

Harkless outplayed West Virginia’s Kevin Jones, the Big East’s leading scorer and rebounder, on both ends of the floor in the first half while the Johnnies built their lead.  Jones, a favorite for the Big East Player of the Year award, did most of his damage in the second half with the game out of reach, scoring 20 of his 26 points. 

Speaking about Harkless after the game, the senior Jones said the first-year player impressed him and had a chance to develop into a really good player.

Harkless, 13 rebounds, recorded his seventh double double while adding three blocks.  Phil Greene finished with a season-high 8 assists.

“Today we just played great,” Harkless said.  “We’re getting better every game.”

The Johnnies now travel to Duke to take on the #6/8 Blue Devils Saturday at noon. St. John’s defeated Duke at MSG last season 93-78.