Tag Archives: Bayside

Developmentally disabled Queens woman missing for more than a month

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A Richmond Hill woman who is developmentally disabled and needs daily medication has been missing since early December, according to one of the centers where she receives services.

Bibi Kadim, 37, was last seen on Dec. 5. That day, Kadim had gone for lunch in the Jamaica neighborhood where Queens Centers for Progress (QCP), a place she goes for services, is located.

After she did not return from lunch, the staff called her mother. She told them that her daughter was scheduled for a medical clinic appointment that afternoon, but that Kadim had canceled, according to QCP.

Her parents, who live with Kadim in their home, have not heard from their daughter since she went missing.

The Shield Institute in Bayside, where Kadim also receives services, has known her for nearly 18 years. The center describes her as a very friendly individual who can communicate her wants and needs verbally. But, according to her parents, she has a child-like mentality.

She is also diabetic and needs daily medication and therefore is “at great risk,” according to QCP.

“We are obviously very concerned that Bibi has been missing for this length of time,” said Charles Houston, CEO of QCP said in a statement. “QCP and The Shield Institute are working with the family and police to bring Bibi home.”

Kadim is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 194 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink hoodie, navy blue jacket, blue jeans and  sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


69-year-old woman fatally struck in Bay Terrace

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A 69-year-old woman was hit and killed as she was trying to cross a Bay Terrace street on Monday, police said.

The victim was attempting to walk across Bell Boulevard when a 57-year-old woman driving a Subaru struck the pedestrian near Estates Lane about 5:35 p.m., authorities said.

EMS took the victim, whose identity has yet to be released by police, to New York Hospital Queens, where she was pronounced dead.

Police were on the scene investigating.



Second man charged in home invasion, assault of elderly Bayside couple

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A second man has been charged in a Bayside home invasion that left an elderly couple seriously injured, the district attorney’s office said. His alleged partner in crime, who is accused of helping him steal more than $15,000, was caught last year.

“The alleged victims in this case — both octogenarians — weren’t just robbed of their possessions,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The defendant allegedly stole the couple’s sense of security that they were safe from harm in their own home.”

Vincente Barzola, 39, of Brooklyn, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday on burglary, robbery and assault charges, the district attorney’s office said.

Barzola, along with his accomplice, Christopher Ramirez, rang the doorbell of the couple’s 15th Avenue home on the afternoon of April 23, 2014, pretending to be from their co-op’s maintenance department, according to authorities.

Sofia Dima, then 85, answered, and the two men told her they needed a signature on a form. When she unlocked the door, they barged in, and Barzola punched her in the face, knocked her to the floor and pushed his foot to her chest, Brown said. He then choked her until she was unconscious. When she woke up, the home had been ransacked and her hands were bound with plastic ties, but she managed to alert a neighbor who called police.

Her husband, John Dima, then 87, was asleep in bed upstairs at the time. Ramirez found him there, pulled him to the floor, punched him in the back and the head, tied his hands and pepper sprayed his face, according to the district attorney.

The two took gold and diamond jewelry and a safe containing more than $15,000 in cash from the home.

The Dimas were taken to the hospital, where they spent five days recovering from their injuries. John Dima now needs a cane to walk as a result of injuries he suffered in the attack.

Ramirez, 24, was arrested on June 26 and arraigned on burglary, robbery and assault charges, prosecutors said. Both Ramirez and Barzola face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.


North Shore Towers is city’s most popular building complex in 2014

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

There is plenty to celebrate at the North Shore Towers.

Not only will the Floral Park building complex be marking its 40th birthday in 2015, but the towers were New York City’s most popular buildings in terms of sales by a wide margin last year, according to a published report based on data from real estate website PropertyShark.

That’s right, the three-building co-op at 272-40 Grand Central Pkwy. sold 115 units last year, which is 35 more units than the runner-up.

With everything from tennis courts, a pool, a fitness center, a movie theater, a golf course and annual events, the towers attract homeowners of all ages, and that could be the reason for the high number of sales.

To be fair, the median price of an apartment in the complex is about $495,000, which is quite a bit lower than the runner-up, a Manhattan building named The Jefferson, which had a median price of $1.72 million.

Honorable mentions

Some other Queens buildings made the most popular top 10, including Woodside Terrace Condo in Maspeth, which finished in fourth place with 76 units. The buildings, located at 63-14 Queens Blvd., has just 96 total apartments. Nearly 80 percent of its capacity was filled last year.

Coming in at number six is The Vista at 44-15 Purves St, which sold 48 units last year. The buildings are among Queens’ newest luxury residential developments.

And The Bay Club in Bayside took ninth place after selling 44 units last year. But the article points out the condominium has more than 1,000 units, so selling under 4 percent isn’t that much of an accomplishment.


Dining: Kalamaki in Bayside for truly Greek fare

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Tom Topousis


Ever since my first trip to Greece more than 20 years ago, I’ve been on the hunt for a restaurant here in New York that served Greek cuisine the way I remembered it in the neighborhood restaurants that I visited in Athens and on Crete.

Kalamaki, a recent addition to Bayside’s dining scene, is just such a place. This is truly Greek soul food, where the chefs stick to one of the basic anthems of Greek cooking — the ingredients are absolutely fresh and of the best quality.

Even the name, Kalamaki, is about a simple food done well. It means meat on a stick, or skewer. Kalamaki even prides itself on preparing what it calls Greek street food, the sort of fare you could grab to go if you were roaming around Athens. And at Kalamaki, the skewered meats are sensational. Deliciously seasoned beef, chicken or pork. Order three skewers for $6.25, or 20 for $39.00 — the price gets cheaper the more you buy!


Owner Aris Konstantinidis, a veteran of the corporate food industry, said he decided to open Kalamaki “out of my frustration that I can’t get a good souvlaki here.” He recalled the way skewered meats and souvlaki are served back in Greece — smaller portions that are bursting with flavor.

“Here, we make them the way we make them in Greece,” he said.

And he didn’t leave the task of cooking to neophytes. Aris hired two chefs — brothers Niko and Jimmy Syros — from the Greek winter resort town of Arachova, Greece. The brothers arrived with a treasure trove of hearty recipes, including the chef’s special, Giaourtlou Politico.

At $15.50, the Giaourtlou Politico includes portions of grilled ground lamb and beef infused with herbs and spices, served on a bed of pita bread with strained yogurt and a zesty tomato sauce flavored with peppers, onions and garlic. Accompanying the dish are two yogurt dips, one flavored with dill and the other with red pepper.

This is a dish that will satisfy skiers and hikers back in the mountain resort, Arachavo, and it is remarkably different than dishes served at most Greek restaurants here.

Another example of how Kalamaki sticks to the Greek concept of cooking and dining is the Horiatiki “Villager’s” Salad. Here the salad is prepared just the way it would be in Greece. It’s not a collection of cheese, olives and vegetables over a giant pile of lettuce. In fact, there is no lettuce.

Chef’s special, Giaourtlou Politico, grilled ground lamb and beef infused with herbs and spices. It’s served on a bed of pita bread with strained Greek yogurt, toped with a savory tomato sauce: $15.50

Chef’s special, Giaourtlou Politico, grilled ground lamb and beef infused with herbs and spices. It’s served on a bed of pita bread with strained Greek yogurt, toped with a savory tomato sauce: $15.50

Kalamaki uses only plum tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and olives with a slice of imported Greek feta on top. The salad arrives like a piece of sculpture, ingredients layered carefully together. Simple, yet incredibly satisfying.

Appetizers are also outstanding, including Grilled Feta. At $5.75, the Greek barrel feta is grilled with tomato, pepper, olive oil and herbs. My cousin, who never eats feta, practically finished the appetizer by himself.

Yogurt is the bedrock of Kalamaki’s cuisine, served in or alongside most dishes, or as a dessert with an assortment of toppings.

But this is not just any yogurt. Konstantinidis initially wanted to make yogurt on site, but the approval process was far too difficult. So he searched high and low for a source, before finding a producer near Toronto, Canada, that produced a yogurt that met his standards. It is, without doubt, the finest yogurt I have ever had, creamy and yet light.

Be sure to try a yogurt dessert. There are nine different topping combinations of nuts, fruit and nectars. We had it served with apple, cinnamon, walnuts and brown sugar. I found myself getting every last bit on my spoon, leaving Kalamaki with the memory of one last terrific flavor.

2906 172nd St., Bayside



Obama’s call to make community college tuition free gets an A from Queens students

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Students at Queensborough Community College are hopeful about a proposal that President Obama made to make community colleges free.

Samuel Yun, who goes to school full time and has to work a part-time job to help cover his costs, including tuition, was happy to hear the government may be picking up his college tab.

“That would totally help me,”  Yun, 20, said as he left his class at the Bayside campus. “It’s difficult for me because I’m taking six classes so it [holding down a job] gets in the way of me getting school things done on time.”

Obama unveiled the plan on Friday. It will need the approval of the Republican-controlled Congress to go into effect, but White House officials say they expect some bipartisan support.

If the whole country participates, Obama’s idea could help about 9 million students per year and save them around $3,800 in tuition, according to the White House. In Queens there are two community colleges — Queensborough Community College and LaGuardia Community College. Combined, the two schools have more than 30,000 students that would benefit from free tuition.

In Queensborough Community College, there are more than 16,000 students, according to the school’s records, enrolled in associate degree programs and another 10,000 students attend continuing education programs at Queensborough Community College, all of whom would be eligible for free tuition.

LaGuardia has a student body of more than 50,000 students from more than 150 countries.

“At LaGuardia we see the impact that a college education has on our students and their families,” said Gail Mellow, the school’s president. “Each year thousands of our students get the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in today’s economy.”

For Yun, he would be saving around $3,200, and the proposal would allow him to also quit his job as a waiter to focus on his dream of becoming a computer engineer.

Nearby, Isaac Masty, who just started his first semester, waited for his friends to finish class.

“If it gets passed, it would be a real boost for people coming from other countries,” the 18-year-old said. “Foreign students have such a hard time when they come here and if they were able to get a free start to their education, it would really go a long way for them.”


McDonald’s vows to return to Bell Boulevard after closing neighborhood fixture

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Ross Belsky

Bell Boulevard hasn’t seen the last of McDonald’s. The golden arches came down when the Bayside restaurant closed last year, but the franchise owner plans on opening in another location near Bay Terrace.

“We loved our customers there, but Bell Boulevard has changed a great deal over the years,” said Maria Sullivan, who owned the McDonald’s at 41st Avenue for 25 years before it closed.

The fast-food chain’s lease expired at the end of last year and Sullivan decided not to renew it, leaving an empty storefront where one of the neighborhood’s longtime fixtures once stood. Sullivan decided to close the eatery because a number of factors were taking a bite out of her Big Mac sales: the area has become filled with an array of food options for potential customers while a lack of parking and a drive-through made it hard for Sullivan to lure people in.

“I’ll miss the regulars,” Sullivan said. “There used to be different groups that would come in for coffee meetings and I didn’t mind them being there at all.”

Now she wants to find a location in a section of Bell Boulevard that isn’t as congested to allow her to provide a drive-through and parking.

“It’s just the nature of this area,” Sullivan said. “You have to have these things to be successful.”

Sullivan owns four other McDonald’s spread across Bayside and Little Neck.


Community welcomes new officers coming into Patrol Borough Queens North

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

A group of 56 new members of New York’s Finest, who will be patrolling the streets of Queens, received a warm welcome Monday afternoon by the communities they will work to keep safe.

The incoming officers, who were part of the graduating NYPD class on Dec. 29 and were assigned to Patrol Borough Queens North, were greeted on Jan. 5 by local leaders and NYPD officials during a ceremony at the Langston Hughes Community Library in Corona.

Patrol Borough Queens North is made up of eight precincts ranging from locations in Bayside to Ridgewood. The officers who filled the library’s second floor on Monday have been assigned to the 104th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 114th and 115th precincts. 

Assistant Chief Diana Pizzuti, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, welcomed the new cops to their posts and called them “ambassadors” for the borough, which was named the top tourist destination for 2015. 

“You are our youth, and it means a lot to me to make sure you get the best training,” Pizzuti told  the officers. “Queens is a very supportive community.”

Pizzuti also went over what she called the “Five Cs in Policing”: Community, Communication, Crime Prevention, Counter terrorism, and Character.

Pizzuti also spoke of the two slain officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and reminded the new cops to stay safe while patrolling the streets.

“You have to stay vigilant. You wear the blue, you’re the target,” Pizzuti said. “Be mindful of your surroundings, not just at work but at home. Not everyone is our friend.”

Among the community leaders that spoke was Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, who congratulated and welcomed the new faces to the NYPD.

“You are the future sitting here, and I want you to know how much we respect you,” Schneps said. “We love our neighborhoods and we love the police that protect our neighborhoods.”

Seven of the eight precincts will receive six new officers. The 114th Precinct, which patrols Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside and Jackson Heights, will get 12 cops because they have more reported crimes, according to the NYPD.

“Keep an open mind and keep a positive attitude while you’re out there,” Pizzuti said. “Good luck and we’re here to help. We are one family.”


McDonald’s longtime Bell Boulevard restaurant shuts its doors

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Ross Belsky

Maybe it was the Hamburglar who succeeded in robbing Bell Boulevard of its beloved McDonald’s restaurant.

The fast-food chain’s lease expired at the end of last year and the owners didn’t renew it, leaving an empty storefront where one of the neighborhood’s longtime fixtures once stood, according to a spokesman for Bell Corp., which owns the property at the corner of 41st Avenue.

The spokesman said that Bell Corp. hadn’t increased the price of the lease or made any changes.

A spokesman for McDonald’s did not return phone calls seeking comment.

According to a published report, McDonald’s is currently looking for a new location in the Bayside area. For anyone looking for a Big Mac fix, there is another McDonald’s on Northern Boulevard at 203rd Street.


Dining: Aperitif on Bell Boulevard

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com



I waited and watched for months as the new restaurant on 39th Avenue off Bell Boulevard developed. I can happily report that it’s a winner and a welcome addition to Restaurant Row, otherwise known as the Village of Bayside.

Aperitif is a French bistro created by partners who have several similarly themed locations on Long Island. Welcome to the neighborhood!

It was a stunning space. The new team took advantage of the long, handsome bar in front and gave it a bistro look. The dining room retained the raised platform now featuring subtly lighted murals. Perfect for me, since the lighting throughout is subdued, but seated here I could easily see the menu — and what a varied and well-priced menu it is.

Having been to Paris I did feel transported into a French bistro. It was a great makeover using the bones of the previous establishment.

We were met by a friendly hostess who took us to our table, where we were greeted by our waiter. There is a full bar and extensive wine list. I chose a Syrah after trying a sample of another choice. I appreciated their willingness to accommodate my wine tasting before I made my decision.

There are many selections for appetizers, and there was my favorite — tuna tartare and mussels. The tuna was as tasty as it was pretty, with the blend of freshly ground tuna and avocado. Perfect!

There was a unique filet mignon beef Wellington and also crisp zucchini pancakes not to be missed. Another special dish included scallops crushed with pistachios over apple parsnip puree — delicious!

To make the salad special, they served it with a Champagne vinaigrette with truffle oil. Wonderful!

For my main course, I chose a perfectly prepared petite filet mignon, and my friend had a grilled salmon cooked to our request.

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert. And they have many delectable choices.

We had a luscious caramel cheesecake, rich but not too much — it was sprinkled with extra caramel sauce. For chocolate lovers, there is a warm chocolate cake to die for topped with vanilla ice cream and sour cherry coulis.

Aperitif’s service matched the quality of the food. Try it. You will love it, too!

Aperitif Bistro
213-41 39th Ave., Bayside


Open houses this weekend: Astoria, Bayside, Forest Hills

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman 

112-01 Queens Boulevard #23B, Forest Hills — $890,000

This two-bedroom unit has 1,135 square feet of space, two bathrooms and two balconies. The apartment features views overlooking Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The building offers a doorman and full-time concierge, as well as a pool, a sauna, a steam room, and Jacuzzis. An E and F subway station is a short walk away.

The open house is on Saturday, Jan 3. Contact broker Karen DeMeco of Douglas Elliman for more information.


43-12 214 Place #5B, Bayside — $799,000

This two-bedroom apartment has two bathrooms and a total of 1,055 square feet. Rooms have hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Bayside building also features a gym and parking spaces and is pet-friendly. It is blocks away from the LIRR train station.

The open house is on Saturday, Jan. 3, and Sunday, Jan. 4. Contact Maria Carr, Larry Falabella and Lawrence Falabella of Douglas Elliman for more information.


26-20 21st Street #301, Astoria — $549,000

This apartment has 690 square feet and five total rooms with one bedroom and one bathroom. The unit has a balcony and features a washer and dryer, central air conditioning, a dishwasher and a hot tub. Pets are allowed in the building, and the N and Q trains are just a half-mile away.

The open house is on Saturday, Jan 3. Contact broker Samantha Freire for more information.



Cardozo basketball coach notches his 700th victory with more to come

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cardozo basketball Facebook page


Ron Naclerio keeps scorebooks of every game that he has ever coached, including his first win Nov. 30, 1981, a 56-40 victory over Aviation. That was his only victory in his first season coaching Cardozo as the youngest coach in the PSAL. At the time Naclerio wasn’t thinking about getting 699 more wins or looking 33 years ahead.

“My first year I only won one game. You win one game [per] year, I’d have to coach 700 years [to make it to the 700th win],” Naclerio said.

Naclerio didn’t have to coach 700 years. He gradually built a strong program at the Bayside school that would eventually became a major force in the PSAL. Several of his players, such as Duane Causewell, Royal Ivey and Rafer Alston, reached the NBA and many others including the Woodward brothers, Daryll Hill and Ryan Rhoomes got Division I college scholarships.

Naclerio’s 700th victory happened on Dec. 22 with a 73-61 game against High School of Construction. It came over three and a half years after his 600th victory by beating All Hallows and seven years after his 500th victory in a game against Flushing.

“That’s great,” said Rhoomes, a junior forward now playing at Fordham. “He’s one of my favorite coaches.”

Only when the Cardozo Judges survived a tough game did his latest coaching milestone sink in. Naclerio could not quite enjoy the moment until Rashond Salnave’s three-pointer late in the game gave the Judges an insurmountable 12-point lead.

After the three-pointer, assistant coach and former player Mike Blissett congratulated Naclerio. And when the game ended many of his current players embraced the passionate and frenetic coach, who was mostly relieved that Cardozo pulled out a victory after being down by one point at the start of the fourth quarter.

“When we won the game, I was so relieved because we started the fourth quarter down one and it was six with about a minute to go,” Naclerio said.

Naclerio became the fourth coach in New York State to reach 700 wins and third in the city to achieve that many victories. The late Molloy coach Jack Curran had 972 in 55 seasons. Campus Magnet coach Chuck Granby had 711 victories in his career.

Naclerio achieved the milestone with about 1,000 people in Cardozo’s gym, which he said seats 900. He also had more than 50 former players in attendance. Since notching the win, he has been getting endless phone calls, texts, and Twitter and Facebook messages.

“That’s a number that very few people have a chance to say [they achieved],” Naclerio said. “I’m the youngest in New York State high school, college or pro to do that. I didn’t realize that.”

Before building the Judges’ basketball program, Naclerio was a ballboy for the Red Holzman’s Knicks from 1970-75. He also played baseball for St. John’s and played four years in the minor leagues for the Chicago White Sox. Naclerio also worked as assistant coach under Al Matican, whom he also played for at Cardozo.

Naclerio doesn’t regret sticking with high school basketball, instead of moving to coach college. By sticking with high school coaching, he said he has had the chance to witness some other memorable victories besides his team’s two city championships.

Among the most noteworthy in Naclerio’s mind were a four-overtime victory over St. Anthony’s, a comeback from an eight-point deficit against Springfield Gardens with less than a minute to play in 1988 and the PSAL semifinal victory over Lincoln in 1999 that preceded Cardozo’s first championship.

In between memorable wins, Naclerio has spent numerous hours scouting and preparing while using his passion for the sport to getting the most out of his players.

“When I played basketball, I was the all-time hustler,” Naclerio said. “There’s no such thing as too much hustle in basketball and I was like that when I played. I was like that when I played baseball and I think it just carried it over.”


Father of 4-month-old Bayside boy charged with son’s murder

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Charges against the father of a 4-month-old Bayside boy have been upgraded to murder after the medical examiner determined his son died from abusive head trauma, authorities said.

Jagsheer Singh, 28, was arraigned on Tuesday on a charge of second-degree murder and held without bail, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. He was previously arraigned on charges of first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child on Dec. 21 before the death of his son, Nevin Jandu, two days later.

Singh claimed the baby was hurt when he fell off the changing table the morning of Dec. 20. He had been watching his child the previous night, while his wife, a physician and the baby’s mother, was at work, the district attorney’s office said. He said the child was fine when she left, and returned the following morning and went to sleep.

After discovering the baby wasn’t breathing a short time later, Singh said he woke up his wife, who hadn’t checked on the child before going to bed, and called 911.

Medical personnel at the hospital examined the baby and found that his injuries were consistent with non-accidental abusive head trauma and were not consistent with the injuries that would have occurred if he had simply fallen from the changing table, the district attorney’s office said.

The baby died at Cohen Children’s Medical Center on Dec. 23.

The medical examiner later ruled the child’s death a homicide due to abusive head trauma, which included fractures to the skull, a spokeswoman from the office said.

Singh’s next court date is Jan. 5.


Bayside baby dies after being assaulted by father: police

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


A 4-month-old boy from Bayside died Christmas Eve several days after he was hospitalized for injuries he suffered during an alleged assault by his father, authorities said.

Jagsheer Singh, 28, claimed the baby, Nevin Janduher, was fine while he was watching him on the night of Dec. 19. His wife, a physician and the baby’s mother, was at work that night.

She returned the following morning and went to bed without checking on her son, Singh said. Singh claimed that baby was fine when he woke up around 7 a.m., but that the baby fell off the changing table that morning while Singh was taking care of him. A short time later, he discovered that the child was having difficulty breathing. That’s when he woke up his wife and called 911.

Nevin was first taken to Flushing Hospital Medical Center and then transferred to Cohen Children’s Medical Center. Medical personnel at the hospital examined the baby and found that his injuries were consistent with non-accidental abusive head trauma and were not consistent with the injuries that would have occurred if he had simply fallen from the changing table, the district attorney’s office said.

Singh was arraigned on Dec. 21 and charged with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 5.

At the time, the child was in grave condition and had suffered brain damage, according to authorities.

“The baby is in grave condition and if he does not survive the charges will be upgraded,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement, announcing Singh’s assault charge.

The baby boy was pronounced dead on Christmas Eve.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.


Commodores boys basketball playing catch-up

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Bayside’s Ryniek Holloway steps up to the foul line


It’s approaching 5 p.m. on Dec. 18, and Bayside is minutes away from facing off against Cardozo. Students line up in the small entrance to the school near Corporal Kennedy Street in anticipation of a big game and upon entering the tiny gym, they’re greeted with blaring music, creating the feel of a college environment.

The noisy atmosphere continues as Bayside scores the first six points, takes leads of 9-3 and leads for most of the first quarter. It stays loud as Bayside stays close with the Judges and trails by six at halftime, but then the noise dims as Cardozo scores the first 12 points of the second half and leads by 24 going into the fourth quarter.

Eventually Cardozo went onto an 88-45 victory that is a reflection of the defending champions’ ability to dominate and the inconsistencies of the Commodores. Bayside has been a playoff team the previous three seasons, has gone 32-10 in league play in that span and knocked off Cardozo on Dec. 18, 2012 — but this year the team remains a few steps below its neighborhood rival.

“Basically we’re knocking on the door for the top teams and we’re right there,” senior guard Ryniek Holloway said. “Just baby steps and we’re going to get to the point where we want to be at the end of the season. For now it’s just a learning experience.”
The team is learning about how to cope when opposing defenses take away Holloway and Daniel Hernandez as options. Through his first six games, Holloway averaged 21 points and seven assists while Hernandez averaged 19 points.

Against Cardozo, Holloway scored eight of Bayside’s first 20 points, and the rest of his points were scored when it was too late for a comeback. Hernandez finished well below his scoring average after getting 33 and eight rebounds on Dec. 16 against High School of Construction. It is also proof of second-year coach Steven Scharf’s description of his team, especially on a day when the Commodores can’t get another option going offensively.

“Developing,” Scharf said. “I’d say we’re a team that can be good one day, good one quarter, bad one quarter, good one possession and bad one possession.”

Through seven league games, Bayside is 4-3 and tied for second place with Queens High School of Teaching, which it faced on Dec. 22. So far Bayside has wins over Van Buren, Flushing, Edison and Beach Channel, and its fourth win came after facing an eight-point deficit through the first eight minutes. When they’re not playing games, the Commodores are fine-tuning their game with lengthy practices. The idea is that when January and February show up, some of those things that are stunting the development are over with.

“It’s only December,” Holloway said. “We’re still learning and we’re a young team. I just feel like by January, February, we’ll be ready. We have plenty of time to be ready and all those little things we’ll fix.”

And asked what those little things are, Holloway was quick to point them out.

“Just little things like free throws, rebounding and just the mental toughness and the mental aspect of the game. We have to make those big shots. Basically, we just have to make those clutch plays.” Scharf and the Commodores will visit Cardozo on Jan. 30. By then they will have played 18 games and Scharf is confident the showing will be better the next time his team takes on the defending champions.
“A way better performance than you saw today — guaranteed,” he said.

NBA teams and players are fond of talking about learning and developing when trying to learn the system of meshing with a new group and coach. While it’s not as complex as the Knicks attempting to learn the triangle or the Nets trying to learn the motion offense of new coach Lionel Hollins, it’s a similar concept for Bayside.