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Queens sports roundup


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Big week looming for Bayside

The Commodores are 4-1 so far and have won three straight games heading into their two toughest games of the season. After visiting High School of Construction on Dec. 16, Bayside is slated to host Cardozo on Dec. 18 and Queens High School of Teaching on Dec. 22. In their most recent win, a 51-50 victory over Beach Channel on Dec. 15, the Commodores had a big game from senior guard Ryniek Holloway, who scored 29 points, one shy of his season-best set against Flushing. Through Dec. 15, Holloway has scored at least 20 in four straight games.

Lewis girls win championship game rematch

The defending girls champions are 4-0 so far. They won their first three games by an average of 39.6 points and stayed undefeated with a 71-70 victory at South Shore on Dec. 12 in a rematch of last year’s city title game. Senior guard Cassidy Khan sank the game-winning foul shots with no time remaining in the fourth quarter and the Patriots rallied from a 10-point deficit. Dominique Williams scored 19, and Chi La Bady added 17 in a game that was tense throughout. Francis Lewis hosted August Martin on Dec. 15 and Truman on Dec. 17.

Cardozo stays unbeaten, but tough opponents on the horizon

Through their first five league games, the Judges have won by an average of 34.6 points and have four of the top 15 scorers in Queens AA: Aaron Walker, Ray Salnave, Tareq Coburn and Elijah McNeely. On Dec. 15, Armando Dunn had 17 points and 12 rebounds in a 75-60 win over Queens High School of Teaching. The defending city champions faced Beach Channel on Dec. 16, will visit Bayside on Dec. 18 and will host High School of Construction on Dec. 22.

Christ the King makes national rankings

By getting off to a 4-0 start, the Royals have found themselves ranked No. 23 in the USA Today Top 25 poll. The latest win was a 71-52 victory at Xaverian on Dec. 14 as Jose Alvarado scored 18 points. Christ the King hosted Cardinal Hayes on Dec. 16 and will face Troy High School from upstate New York on Dec. 21.

Cornwall nearly tops 40 for Francis Lewis

Jaheam Cornwall has 121 points through five games, making him the second-leading scorer in Queens A West. He had another big game on Dec. 11 in a double-digit victory over Bryant when he scored 38 points while hitting six three-pointers. Cornwall and the 7-1 Patriots faced Forest Hills on Dec. 16 and will visit Lane on Dec. 18 in a non-league game.

Another big game for Ortiz but Forest Hills falls from ranks of unbeaten

Johnny Ortiz had another huge game with 26 points, but it was not enough for Forest Hills on Dec. 15 in a 56-51 home loss to Newtown. The Rangers trailed by 12 at halftime and fell to 4-1 in Queens A West. Forest Hills faced Francis Lewis on Dec. 16 and then has a week off before taking on John Bowne on Dec. 23.

Far Rockaway, Springfield Gardens atop Queens A East

On Dec. 22, one of these teams will have to lose as Far Rockaway visits Springfield Gardens. Through Dec. 15, both teams are unbeaten in league play. Far Rockaway’s Williams Overo has averaged 20 points while David Bastien has averaged 14.6 points. In a 92-44 win at Richmond Hill on Dec. 15, Overo had 26 and Bastien added 18. Daniel Kissoon and Joel Boyce have averaged 18.5 points for Springfield Gardens.

St. John’s men continues climb in Top 25

St. John’s followed up its win in Syracuse on Dec. 6 with double-digit victories over FDU on Dec. 10 and Fordham on Dec. 14 at Madison Square Garden. Senior D’Angelo Harrison earned Big East Player of the Week for averaging 24 points per game on 61.5 percent shooting while junior guard Rysheed Jordan averaged 16 points. The Red Storm return to action on Dec. 19 against St. Mary’s at Carnesecca Arena and will also face Long Beach State there on Dec. 22.

St. John’s women remain unbeaten and earn Top 25 ranking

The Red Storm are 9-0 after a 66-42 victory over NJIT on Dec. 14. St. John’s shot a season-high 54.5 percent as Aliyyah Handford scored 17 points. It was the 50th win for coach Joe Tartamella and the Red Storm notched the No. 25 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll. St. John’s will host Auburn in the St. John’s Holiday Classic on Dec. 20 and will take on SMU or Indiana State on Dec. 21.

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Queens basketball roundup


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Cardozo High School Judges begin title defense with two wins and big games from Walker

The Judges lost four starters from last year’s title team, but one of the newcomers Cardozo coach Ron Naclerio is counting on came up big in the season opening 84-40 win at Edison on Dec. 2. Molloy transfer student Aaron Walker had 24 points in the win, while guard Tareq Coburn added 21 and forward Armando Dunn had 12 rebounds. The Judges improved to 2-0 with a 97-48 win over Campus Magnet on Dec. 8 as Walker had 26 points and Ray Salnave added 19. Cardozo visited Van Buren on Dec. 9, and will host Flushing on Dec. 11 before traveling to the Queens High School of Teaching on Dec. 15.

Christ the King makes trip to Chicago a success

The two-time defending Federation champions headed to Chicago over the weekend and opened the season with an 87-56 win over St. Rita’s. Junior guard Rawle Alkins had a big day with 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while Tyrone Cohen added 22. The Royals opened league play Dec. 9 at St. Francis Prep and will visit Brooklyn’s Xaverian on Dec. 14.

Wright-Foreman sets good foundation for High School of Construction

Guard Justin Wright-Foreman recently committed to Hofstra, where he began his senior season nicely by scoring a combined 95 points in victories over Campus Magnet, Edison and Beach Channel high schools. Wright-Foreman and the rest of the Redhawks visited Flushing on Dec. 9 and will face Van Buren on Dec. 11.

Magnet starts anew after legendary coach retires

Chuck Granby ended a 45-year coaching career, and the job at Humanities and the Arts Magnet High School was turned over to Jonathan Cooper. So far the Bulldogs are 1-2. They opened the season with an 80-68 loss to High School of Construction and won at Bayside before falling at Cardozo on Dec. 8. Jamel Kearney had 26 points in the season opener. Next up for Magnet is a visit from Beach Channel on Dec. 9, a trip to Queens High School of Teaching on Dec. 11 and a home game against Van Buren on Dec. 15.

Strong start by Ortiz boosts Forest Hills

Johnny Ortiz is averaging 25 points and Forest Hills is off to a 3-0 start after wins over Bryant on Dec. 2, Aviation on Dec. 4 and Queens Vocational on Dec. 8. The Rangers visited Cleveland on Dec. 9 and will visit Newtown on Dec. 15.

St. John’s ends drought in Syracuse

The Red Storm had not won in Syracuse since Jan 27, 1999. But on Dec. 6 they ended a nine-game losing streak in Syracuse with a 69-57 victory that earned them the No. 24 slot in this week’s AP poll. D’Angelo Harrison scored 24 points and the senior was named Big East Player of the Week. The 6-1 Red Storm hosted FDU on Dec. 10 and will face Fordham on Dec. 14 at Madison Square Garden.

St. John’s women’s team remains unbeaten

The St. John’s women are 7-0 after Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant combined for 42 points in a 55-52 victory at South Florida on Dec. 7. The Red Storm are 7-0 for the fifth time since 2004-05 and have home games with Central Florida on Dec. 11 and NJIT on Dec. 14.

Queens A Boys West Roundup:

Forest Hills opened the season with close wins over Bryant and Aviation high schools on Dec. 2 and 4. In the win over Bryant, Johnny Ortiz scored 37 points. Ortiz also scored in the Rangers’ win over Queens Vocational on Dec. 8. Forest Hills continues its season by visiting Grover Cleveland on Dec. 9 and Newtown on Dec. 15. Jaheam Cornwall totaled 52 points for Francis Lewis in wins over Cleveland and Aviation. The Patriots faced Newtown on Dec. 8 and visited Queens Vocational on Dec 9 and Bryant on Dec. 11. John Bowne, which went undefeated last season, opened the season with a 53-36 win over Cleveland on Dec. 2 and a victory over Aviation on Dec. 8. The Wildcats visited Bryant on Dec. 9, and they will host Queens Vocational on Dec. 11 and visit Long Island City on Dec. 15. Long Island City opened by getting big games from Semir Munovic, who scored 22 in a 65-44 win over Newtown on Dec. 2 and 28 from William Sanchez in a 63-59 win over Bryant.

Queens A East

Far Rockaway has begun with two straight wins after getting a 69-33 win over Pathways on Dec. 1 and a 46-35 victory over Franklin K. Lane on Dec. 3. The Sea Horses hosted Jamaica on Dec. 10, will visit Hillcrest on Dec. 10, will visit Hillcrest on Dec. 12 and will host Richmond Hill on Dec. 17. John Adams also is 2-0 after getting a combined 50 from junior Keishawn Pierre in a 77-57 win over Richmond Hill on Dec. 1 and an 84-64 victory at Jamaica on Dec. 3. The Spartans visited Lane on Dec 10 and will host Springfield Gardens on Dec. 12 and Pathways on Dec. 15. Springfield Gardens has won the last three division championships and began the season with a 65-41 victory over Jamaica on Dec. 1 and a 74-44 victory over Pathways on Dec. 3. The Golden Eagles visited Richmond Hill on Dec. 10, will visit Adams on Dec. 12 and will host Lane on Dec. 15.

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Queens sports roundup


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY LARRY FLEISHER

Former Holy Cross standout ends football career at James Madison

In 2009, Dean Marlowe had a CHSFL-best QB rating of 111.23, rushed for 12 touchdowns and helped Holy Cross to the CHSFL quarterfinals. On Nov. 29, Marlowe ended his four seasons playing safety for James Madison in the FCS playoffs. Although it was a 26-21 loss to Liberty, Marlowe had two interceptions and was involved in 12 tackles. He had 10 interceptions and was involved in 312 tackles in 48 games for the Dukes. Marlowe could get an invite to the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine game and that could enhance his chances to play in the NFL.

Francis Lewis girls team begins defense of its first city championship

Francis Lewis was the first PSAL girls basketball champion other than Manhattan’s Bergtraum High School since 1997-98 when it beat South Shore High School. The Fresh Meadows school begins defense of its first championship by visiting Kennedy High School in the Bronx on Dec. 5. Francis Lewis lost one player from last year’s title team in Chelsea Robinson. The team’s three top guards, Sierra Green, Taliyah Brisco and Chi La Bady, are all juniors.

Queens Catholic schools begin basketball seasons

Christ the King is a two-time New York state federation champion and will open its season by taking a trip to Chicago where the team will face St. Rita in the Chicago Elite Classic at the University of Illinois Classic. Christ the King is led by junior guard Rawle Alkins, who is ranked among the top 30 players in the nation among the class of 2016 by many recruiting experts. Holy Cross opened its season on Dec. 2 against All Hallows of the Bronx and will face Long Island’s Holy Trinity on Dec. 5. Molloy will open its season on Dec. 5 by hosting Long Island’s St. Anthony’s.

Christ the King’s girls team will begin its season on Dec. 7 with a non-league game against Staten Island’s Moore Catholic. Coach Bob Mackey’s team lost in the Catholic League semifinals to Nazareth last season. Mary Louis will open its season at Spellman in the Bronx while Molloy will head to Huntington, Long Island, for a weekend tournament.

Former Holy Cross star helps Stanford upset UCLA

Devon Cajuste did not see much action in his first two seasons with Stanford, but as a junior and senior he has 58 catches, 1,152 yards and nine touchdowns as the Cardinals won 18 of 26 games. One of those TDs was a 37-yard reception in a 31-10 win over UCLA on Nov. 28. Cajuste had nine touchdowns in his senior season for Holy Cross in 2009 and was an all-state selection. He will have one more appearance in Stanford’s bowl game.

St. John’s men get a split at MSG against tougher opponents

The Red Storm stepped up to tougher opponents this week when they faced Minnesota and Gonzaga in the NIT season tip-off. St. John’s made it to the championship game of the 10-team tournament by getting a 71-61 win over Minnesota and then fell short with a 73-66 loss to Gonzaga in its first appearance in the title game since 1989 when the tournament was a 16-team single elimination event. D’Angelo Harrison had 19 points in the win over Minnesota and Phil Greene IV had 20 points in the loss to Gonzaga. The Red Storm were slated to host Niagara on Dec. 2 before visiting former Big East rival Syracuse on Dec. 6.

St. John’s women remain unbeaten with wins over in-state opponents

The St. John’s women’s basketball team is 5-0 after home wins over Binghamton and Wagner this weekend. That is their best start under coach Joe Tartamella, and the latest win was a 71-49 rout over Wagner. Guard Aliyyah Handford had 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor, while forward Amber Thompson added 14 and 10 rebounds. St. John’s was slated to open Big East play on Dec. 3 against Xavier before visiting South Florida on Dec. 7.

Former St. John’s soccer star gets chance at MLS title for New England Revolution

Shalrie Joseph has suited up just one game this season for the Revolution due to injuries, but the midfielder’s team will get a chance to win their first MLS Cup on Dec. 7 against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Joseph was on three teams that lost the title game in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Joseph was a two-time All-American at St. John’s and helped lead the team to the Final Four in 2001. He has scored 40 goals in 283 regular season games, mostly for New England.

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Queens Sports Preview: Everything you need to know for the weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Commodores end season with playoff loss against FDR

Bayside fell one game short of reaching the championship game of the PSAL Varsity Bowl playoffs with a 32-20 loss to second-seeded FDR on Nov. 23 at Midwood High School. The Commodores finished the season with a 9-3 record and fell short in spite of two rushing touchdowns by senior Tyrell Plaza, who finished his career at the school with 30 touchdowns. Bayside has gone 29-14 over the last four seasons and loses 10 seniors.

St. John’s men head to MSG for tougher competition in NIT tip-off

St. John’s uses Madison Square Garden as its home court for many games, but this week, the arena will serve as a neutral site in the NIT season tip-off semifinals. St. John’s will face Big 10 foe Minnesota on Nov. 26 in the semifinals and will face No. 13 Gonzaga or Georgia. The Red Storm are 3-0 with wins over NJIT, Division II School Franklin Pierce and Long Island University.

St. John’s women faces in-state opposition

The St. John’s women’s basketball team has opened the season with an 11-point win at Yale and a 72-66 win over Florida in the home opener on Nov. 20. In the win over the Gators, Danaejah Grant and Aliyyah Handford had big games with 26 and 27 points respectively. The Red Storm were scheduled to visit Marist on Nov. 24 and host Binghamton on Nov. 29.

Cardozo’s Salnave gets scholarship from Rutgers

Guard Rashond Salnave will begin his junior year Dec. 2 against Thomas Edison and has started getting notice. In March, he had scholarship offers from Manhattan College and Fordham University. After helping the Judges win their first city championship since 1999, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Miami (Fla.) were among the schools to extend him offers. On Nov. 23, Salnave tweeted that Rutgers had offered him a scholarship. Salnave averaged 18 points last season and hit the game-winning free throws in the PSAL AA title game against Thomas Jefferson.

Former Christ the King standout Calhoun begins college career at Duke

Sierra Calhoun averaged 24 points in her senior season with Christ the King and was a McDonald’s All-American before heading to Duke. Calhoun’s brother, Omar, plays for Connecticut. With the seventh-ranked Blue Devils, Calhoun has started three games and is averaging seven points per game. Calhoun’s two games this week are Nov. 25 against Buffalo and Nov. 28 against Stony Brook.

Queens native starts strong for Marist men’s basketball team

Chavaughn Lewis is from Jamaica and went to high school at St. Mary’s of Manhasset. In his senior year, he averaged 23.9 points and reached the state federation title. Then he took his talents to Marist and was named captain of the Red Foxes as a junior last season. So far, he has averaged 19.5 points in two games this season. This week, Lewis and the Red Foxes will play three games in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Florida.

Former Holy Cross star has big game in Israel

Sylven Landesberg averaged 29.8 points as a senior for Holy Cross in 2007-08, and since graduating the Francis Lewis Boulevard school, he has gone a long way from Queens to the University of Virginia and then to Israel. Playing time has been difficult to come by for Landesberg with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League, but on Nov. 22, he scored 22 points against Limoges CSP, his highest number of points with the team.

York College men’s basketball opens league play

York College opened play in the CUNYAC conference on Nov. 25 by visiting Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. York won the conference tournament last season and reached the second round of the Division III NCAA tournament. So far York has lost in overtime to McDaniel College and beaten Penn State-Harrisburg. Omar St. John, formerly of Van Buren High School, leads the team by averaging 14.5 points per game.

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Queens Sports Preview: Everything you need to know for the weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of St. John's University

BY LARRY FLEISHER

Commodores continue playoffs against FDR

Bayside High School is one game away from reaching the championship game of the PSAL Varsity Bowl playoffs and will face second-seeded FDR on Nov. 23 at noon at Midwood High School. The fourth-seeded Commodores opened the playoffs with a 26-6 victory over James Madison. Junior running back Marcus Watson had 111 yards while senior Tyrell Plaza rushed for two touchdowns and had eight tackles. One of Bayside’s two losses was a 16-6 defeat at FDR on Sept. 27.

St. John’s men looking for more complete performances as schedule gets tougher

Saying St. John’s 91-84 win over Division II school Franklin Pierce was uneven would be an understatement. The Red Storm improved to 2-0 on Nov. 17, but did so in a game where they trailed by seven at halftime and then began the second half with 21 straight points. D’Angelo Harrison had a career-high 31 points and 17 rebounds. The Red Storm faced Long Island University on Nov. 19 and will face Minnesota and, possibly, No. 13 Gonzaga in next week’s NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.

Former Holy Cross star helps Quinnipiac open season with victory

Evan Conti’s 1,120 points are the fifth highest in Holy Cross history. Since graduating from the school in 2011, he has taken his talents to Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn. Conti began his senior season by totaling 13 points, six assists and six rebounds in an 88-85 double overtime thriller over Yale. Conti and his team faced La Salle on Nov. 18 and will visit Albany on Nov. 22.

St. John’s women’s basketball faces Florida in home opener

The St. John’s women’s basketball team opened its season by getting a career-high 30 points from Danejah Grant in a 61-50 win at Yale on Nov. 15. On Nov. 20, St. John’s opens its home schedule against Florida and will be facing the Gators for the second straight season. Last year, St. John’s fell behind by 18 at halftime in a 72-68 loss in Gainesville.

Former Red Storm forward Sampson could make pro debut at MSG

Jakarr Sampson averaged 12.8 points last season for St. John’s and decided to declare for the NBA draft. Although he was undrafted, he made the Philadelphia 76ers opening night roster. So far, Sampson is averaging 2.3 points and has appeared in nine games, although his playing time has been limited so far. The 76ers are winless (0-10) through Nov. 17 and will face the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on the night of Nov. 22.

Queens College players make East Coast Conference honor roll

Queens College men’s basketball opened the season with an 83-77 loss to Goldey-Beacom in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 14. In the loss, senior guard Jeremiah Mordi had 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting and was named to the East Coast Conference honor roll. Mordi, however, was 8-of-28 from the field as the Knights fell to 0-3 with double digit losses to University of the Sciences and Georgian Court. Queens will resume its schedule on Dec. 1 at Adelphi. The women’s team opened the season with a pair of close games, a 60-58 loss to St. Michaels and a 61-59 win over Franklin Pierce. Forward Madison Rowland had a double-double in the win and was named to the East Coast Conference honor roll. The Lady Knights continue play on Nov. 19 at Dominican College.

Holy Cross begins hockey season

Holy Cross will begin its hockey season on Nov. 23 in Brooklyn against St. Joseph’s of Staten Island. In their first year competing in the Catholic League’s A Division, the Knights finished fourth in the Catholic League’s A Division at 9-4-2 and then lost their first round best-of-three series to Msgr. Farrell of Staten Island. Holy Cross won both meetings with St. Joseph’s by a combined 10-1 margin.

Boxing comes to Queens

Though the main event in boxing is Long Island native Chris Algieri’s challenge of Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title on Nov. 22 in Macau China, fight fans can get their fix on Nov. 21 at International Fight Night at Resorts World Casino in Jamaica. On the nine-fight card run by New Legend Boxing, there are three fighters with connections to Queens. Allan Phelan of Astoria by way of County Kildare in Ireland will fight in a six-round junior lightweight bout. Featherweight Jose Miguel De La Rosa, a Dominican Republic native living in Queens and Jamaica middleweight Devaun Lee will have four-round fights.

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Queens Sports Preview: Everything you need to know for the weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY LARRY FLEISHER

Red Devils open PSAL playoffs

Flushing High School will open the PSAL playoffs Saturday at noon by hosting Brooklyn’s South Shore High School. Led by senior running back D’Andre Sapp, who rushed for 842 yards, the Red Devils earned the seventh seed with an 8-2 record. Sapp had 135 yards and ran for two touchdowns last week in a 48-7 rout of Campus Magnet. The Red Devils were the fourth seed last season and beat Curtis and New Dorp before a 55-7 loss to top-seeded Lincoln in the semifinals.

Commodores look to make up for last week’s loss in PSAL’s Varsity Bowl

Bayside High School will host James Madison in the PSAL’s Varsity Bowl Saturday at noon. The Commodores finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and earned the fourth seed. Bayside ended the regular season on a down note with a 40-14 home loss to top seed McKee last Sunday in a game where it was outgained 468-93. Earlier this season, Bayside posted a 22-18 victory over Madison when Tyrell Plaza had 179 yards and two touchdowns. Bayside is seeded fourth for the second straight season. Last year, the Commodores routed Staten Island’s Petrides High School 52-20 before losing to McKee in the second round.

Bayside girls volleyball returns to playoffs

Bayside’s girls volleyball team returns after a one-year absence as the fifth seed against No. 28 Environmental Studies. The Commodores were 10-0 during the regular season and won nine of 10 games in straight sets. Bayside is led by senior setter Mariel Medina, who compiled 150 assists during the regular season. If the team wins, it will face Van Buren, and if they win that game, will face either New Utrecht or Lab Museum.

Francis Lewis volleyball to open playoffs against Bryant

Francis Lewis earned the eighth seed in the volleyball playoffs by going 8-2 in the regular season and will open the playoffs against No. 25 Bryant. The Patriots were an eighth seed two years ago and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to top seed Susan Wagner. Should the Patriots advance they will face the winner of the Flushing-Long Island City contest.

Flushing Red Devils to start playoffs with highest seed in four years

Flushing High School will also open the playoffs Wednesday as the ninth seed against No. 24 Long Island City. The Red Devils went unbeaten (10-0) in winning the Queens A North/East title and have their highest seed over the last four years. Long Island City finished the regular season with a 7-3 record that was good for second place in the Queens A West Division.

Townsend Harris and Jamaica neck in neck as playoffs begin

Townsend Harris earned the 16th seed and will face off against No. 17 Jamaica in the opening round of the volleyball playoffs. Townsend Harris finished 6-4 and in third in Queens A East and that included two victories over defending champion Cardozo. Jamaica was 7-3 and finished in second place in Queens A North East. Townsend Harris lost in the second round to Bronx Science last year while Jamaica lost to JFK in the first round. The winner will face top-seeded Brooklyn Tech.

Red Storm to open season against Yale

The St. John’s women’s basketball team will open its season Saturday afternoon with a visit to Yale. The Red Storm have been to five straight NCAA tournaments and were picked second in the preseason Big East coaches poll. St. John’s also received seven points in the preseason AP poll and 16 in the USA Today/Coaches poll. The Red Storm returns with its two top scorers from last season, Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant.

Queens College Knights looks to end losing streak

Queens College will open its men’s basketball season Friday at Goldey-Beacom in Wilmington, Delaware and will try to rebound from a disappointing 9-18 season. The Knights lost their first 12 games before finishing 9-6 over the final 15 and will look to end a string of four straight losing seasons. The women’s team will begin the season against St. Michael’s in Vermont in the Doubletree Tip-off Classic.

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Commodores catching fire with win over Wildcats


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

No one needed to remind Bayside Commodores outfielder Julian Rodriquez what a big moment it was when he came to bat in the fifth inning against John Bowne on Monday.

The Commodores were leading the Wildcats 3-1 when Bowne’s freshman pitcher, Elvis Torres Devargas, started to lose control.

He walked the bases full, and Bayside coach Pat Torney turned to Rodriguez, a sophomore who didn’t have a single hit for the season in seven at bats, to pinch hit. Rodriguez’s at bat defined Bayside’s season. The Commodores have lacked offense against the conference’s top teams early in the season, resulting in a slow start.

But in this situation, Rodriguez smacked a double to drive in three runs and lead Bayside to a 9-4 victory over John Bowne. The Commodores (3-4 PSAL) are now hoping that with the win over the tough Wildcats (5-2 PSAL), they can continue the offense and turn around the season.

“We are starting to hit,” senior Elijah Leerdam said. “We weren’t hitting much before. Last game we didn’t come through for [our pitcher].”

Before the holidays, Bayside suffered a devastating 5-3 defeat to John Bowne, the conference’s second place team, after the team’s ace Jeremy Arenas pitched eight innings. Before that the Commodores dropped a pair of embarrassing losses to the perennial conference champs, the Benjamin Cardozo Judges, by a combined score of 27-0.

But the Commodores aren’t going to see the Judges again for the remainder of the season. And here they were with another opportunity to top the Wildcats, if only they could keep up the offense. Rodriguez waited patiently for Torres Devargas to throw a fastball down the middle of the plate, and blasted the double over the center fielder’s head, unloading the bases.

“I had to come up big,” Rodriguez said of what he was thinking while at the plate. “I was a little nervous at first, but then I just made contact with the ball and it went far.”

Arenas gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning, but held the Wildcats for the remainder of the game. He pitched a complete game with three strikeouts in the Commodores’ most impressive win of the season.

The team moved into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Queens A East division, and they believe if they can continue to pick up the bats like Rodriguez did, they might be able to pull this season out of the gutter.

 

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Holy Cross hockey cruises past Iona


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Holy Cross forward Steven Cacchioli knew that his team needed to be more aggressive.

Having dropped two consecutive games, the team was desperate to get back on the winning side, and Cacchioli, a captain, blamed the team’s recent losses on a lack of aggression.

So, he stepped up and drilled two goals to lead the Knights to a 3-1 win over Iona Prep on Jan. 11. The Knights (CHSHL 5-4-0) were dominant through the game, resulting in a 33-23 shots-on-goal advantage.

“We wanted to get to a quick start. We didn’t want them getting momentum,” Cacchioli said. “We knew we were the better team and we wanted to take it to them.”

At the end of the first period, the Knights were in a tough position, but Cacchioli’s aggressive shot selection paid off.
Tied at 1-1, the Knights Vincent Cennamo was sent to the penalty box and Iona Prep (CHSHL 1-10-1) was on a 5-on-4 power play.

Despite the disadvantage, Cacchioli was able to steal the puck, stick handle through defenders and net a goal with 59 seconds remaining in the first period, giving the Knights a 2-1 lead.

“He (Cacchioli) played fantastic today,” coach Kevin Leonard said. “He played really well and took some good shots.”

The Knights stayed aggressive and with just 18 seconds into the second period, forward Joe DeMarco scored a goal, expanding the lead to 3-1.

“We wanted to dictate the pace, we did a good job ending the period and starting off strong,” Cacchioli said.

The Knights controlled the puck through the rest of the game and didn’t allow Iona to score again.

 

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Benjamin Cardozo volleyball player is a dream on the court


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Anja Malesevic came to the U.S. in search of the American Dream, but she turned out to be the fantasy of every volleyball team.

Malesevic, who emigrated from Serbia in August, is finishing her senior year of high school at Benjamin Cardozo and is making waves as one of the city’s top volleyball players this season.

Following a victory against Francis Lewis on October 21, the Lady Judges are undefeated 8-0, and Malesevic leads the city in kills with 95 in seven matches. The next player has just 73.

“She’s a tremendous player,” said head coach Daniel Scarola. “She’s well-rounded in her skills and she hits really hard. She’s been a great gift to have.”

Scarola said he was informed that Malesevic, a long, sturdy outside hitter, was coming to the school over the summer. Since she grew up playing volleyball in Serbia, when the coach met her he instantly knew she was a great player.

“I was like ‘wow, the height, the athletic ability, it was just what we needed,” Scarola said.

When Malesevic first came to the country she said she had to overcome some challenges, such as the separation from her family and friends and using English as a primary language.

But she had no problems fitting in with the team.

“They were just so excited,” Malesevic said. “They wanted to know how tall I am and they accepted me from the first day.”

Malesevic, who towers over most of her teammates, is 6’2”. Her ability to spike the ball is a lethal weapon for the other players, who frequently look to feed her the ball for kills.

One of Cardozo’s key players, senior setter Zhan Cheng Yin, who had 20 assists in the game, leads the league in assists, 149, primarily because of Malesevic’s success.

Last year Yin had just 115 for the entire season.

With Malesevic, the Lady Judges are once again competitive and in the hunt for their seventh PSAL City Championship.

“I feel great helping these girls, this coach and this school,” Malesevic said. “It’s a huge step in my life. But I really like it here.”

 

PSAL QUEENS  A EAST GIRLS VOLLEYBALL STANDINGS – 10(23)2013

Benjamin Cardozo                                    9  -  0

Townsend Harris                                             5  -  3

Bayside High School                                      4  -  4

Francis Lewis                                                    4  -  4

Queens High School of Teaching              2  -  5

Martin Van Buren                                            0  -  8

 

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