Tag Archives: psal

Maspeth High School boys win championship

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Maspeth High School

The Maspeth High School boys basketball team completed their quest for a perfect season when they defeated Frederick Douglass Academy III, 57-42, on Saturday, March 21, in the finals of the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) B Division championship tournament.

The Argonauts dominated the game at Baruch College from the beginning, scoring 18 in the first quarter and 17 in the second, giving them a 35-17 lead heading into halftime. Frederick Douglass Academy III picked up the pace in the second half, outscoring the Argonauts in both the third and fourth quarters, but the big deficit was too much to overcome.

Maspeth High School had four players score in double digits, and three of those students finished the game with double-doubles. Team captain, senior Damian Piszczatowski, scored 11 points and added 13 rebounds, senior Michael Bugaj dropped 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and senior Paolo Tammer put up 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Junior Matthew Nickel added 10 points in the effort.

The Argonauts finished the regular season 18-0, and were unbeaten throughout the playoffs to end their championship season, and first full season in the PSAL, 23-0.

“Honestly, it still hasn’t totally sunk in that we actually made this happen,” Argonauts coach Anastasia Bitis said. “I had a moment with 30 seconds left that I looked up and realized that the game was over and I just broke down. It’s extremely overwhelming—it feels unreal. This was a vision that I had since last year. I’m extremely grateful. I am very proud of my boys!”

The Argonauts head to Albany this weekend for the State Federation Tournament, where they will face off against Westhill.

“We have already started scouting and analyzing them. I believe we are ready,” Bitis said.


Maspeth High School boys basketball team advances to quarterfinals

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Maspeth High School

The Maspeth High School boys varsity basketball team stayed undefeated on Wednesday, surviving a tough challenge in the third round of the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) championship tournament.

Playing on their home court, the Maspeth boys defeated the High School for Health Professionals and Human Services, 62-59.

Senior guard Paolo Tamer led the way for Maspeth with an impressive triple-double, posting 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the win. Team captain, senior guard/forward Damian Piszczatowski, dropped 12 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

The next match will be this Sunday, March 8.

Maspeth earned a first-round bye in the championship tournament by posting an undefeated record in the regular season, going 18-0. With this win, the boys have run their unbeaten streak to 20 games.


Queens sports roundup

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Brian Ballweg, for Queens College Athletics

Francis Lewis Girls get knocked off by Bergtraum

Last year, Francis Lewis ended Murry Bergtraum’s reign as PSAL champions with a semifinal victory. On Jan. 5, Lewis fell to 8-2 overall with a 78-64 home loss to Bergtraum. The Lady Patriots were up 11 early on but were outscored 50-25 over the final 20 minutes. Chi La Bady scored 23 points while Sierra Green and Robyn Francis had 14 apiece in a game that saw the Patriots go more than eight minutes without a basket. Coach Stephen Tsai’s team will try to rebound on Jan. 9 against Boys and Girls High School.

Queens College women get win at Madison Square Garden

Jan. 4 marked the 40th anniversary of the first women’s college basketball game played at Madison Square Garden. That game was between Queens College and Immaculata College of Pennsylvania and the schools reprised their meeting. This time, Queens College got the win as sophomore forward Madison Rowland scored 28 points and had 11 rebounds in a 76-60 victory. Queens has won six straight games and is 9-2 following a 92-34 victory over Concordia on Jan. 5. Queens will next host District of Columbia on Jan. 10 in a home game.

St. John’s men looking to rebound from tough start to Big East play

After entering Big East play 11-1 for the first time in 29 years and on a seven-game losing streak, the Red Storm opened conference play with a 78-67 loss at Seton Hall on Dec. 31 and a 73-69 home loss to Butler on Jan. 3. The Red Storm have been without sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan due to “personal reasons,” but he returned Jan. 6 against Villanova. The Red Storm went from No. 15 in the AP Poll to 24th. Following the Villanova game, they will visit Providence on Jan. 14.

Christ the King beats Molloy, gets upset by Xaverian

Christ the King returned from its trip to Delaware and split a pair of league games. On Jan. 2, junior guard Jarred Rivers scored 21 points in a 73-53 home win over Molloy. The Royals then fell to 9-2 with a 51-49 home loss to Xaverian. Rawle Alkins had 21 points, and Marcus Layne’s three-point attempt at the buzzer deflected off the front of the rim. Next up for the Royals is a home game against Cardozo on Jan. 11.

Far Rockaway gets two non-league wins over the break

Far Rockaway improved to 9-1 overall by getting non-league wins over Roosevelt on Dec. 27 and Harborfields on Jan. 4. The game against Harborfields was at Long Island Lutheran and in the Sea Horses’ 48-44 win, senior shooting guard Williams Overo had 23 points and six rebounds. Overo is averaging 21 points in league games and Far Rockaway resumes league play Jan. 9 by visiting Pathways College Prep.

Former Christ the King star transfers from Duke

Sierra Calhoun led Christ the King to a pair of Brooklyn-Queens Catholic High School Athletic Association titles and to two appearances in the state semifinals. After averaging 24 points in her senior year, Calhoun headed to Duke. She averaged 10 points in 13 games for the Blue Devils but on Jan. 4 the school announced Calhoun was transferring to another Division I school.

St. Francis Prep hockey leading CHSHL B Division

The Terriers are 6-1-1 and have 19 points, giving them a four-point lead over Stepinac. St. Francis Prep began the season with four straight wins before a 6-2 loss to Xavier and a 3-3 tie with Stepinac. On Jan. 4, the Terriers had a 5-3 victory over St. Edmund’s Prep at Coney Island.


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.”


Queens sports roundup

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Alkins nets first triple-double in Christ the King history

Christ the King made history on Dec. 21 not for its 72-56 victory over Troy but for guard Rawle Alkins and his stat line of 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. That was the first triple-double in school history and concluded a successful weekend that also saw the Royals get 18 points from sophomore point guard Jose Alvarado in a 64-46 CHSAA Class AA win over Cardinal Hayes. Christ the King is 5-0 and returns to action Jan. 2 against Molloy.

Molloy girls basketball beats defending state champions

The Stanners are 7-0 after getting a 55-45 win over defending New York State Federation Class AA champions Long Island Lutheran Dec. 21 at the Francis Lewis Hoops Queens Winter Showcase. Senior guards Kaitlyn Mahon scored 14 points and Emer Moloney added 12. Molloy also recorded a 45-41 victory over Grand Street on Dec. 20, three days after the Stanners posted a 69-63 victory over two-time New York State Public High School champions Ossining. Molloy returns to action Jan. 3 against Penn Charter High School in the New York-Philadelphia challenge in Lower Merion (PA) High School.

Francis Lewis girls head into the break unbeaten

The Patriots have won their first six games and are 6-0 after knocking off Harry Truman by a 76-52 margin on Dec. 17. So far Francis Lewis has averaged 72.3 points and allowed 43.1 points per game. Francis Lewis has a 13-game winning streak dating back to a 71-64 home loss to Bergtraum on Jan. 22. The Patriots return to action Jan. 5 against Bergtraum.

Construction stays unbeaten with another successful visit to the Bronx

The Red Hawks improved to 10-0 on Dec. 21 with a 78-54 victory over Thurgood Marshall in the City Legendz Invitational at Gauchos Gym in the Bronx. Justin Wright-Foreman had 23 points, Kyle Allman added 19 and Tahleek Weekes finished with 14, a week after getting 26 against Waldleigh in a non-league game at Gauchos Gym. The Red Hawks visited Cardozo on Dec. 22 and have a non-league game against Brooklyn Collegiate on Dec. 27.

Zheng leading scorer in Queens PSAL girls basketball

Through nine games, Queens Vocational senior guard Na Zheng has averaged 22.3 points and scored 203 points, which is second in the city and first among players from Queens. Zheng scored 24 points in the Lady Tigers’ 53-32 win over Queens High School Complex on Dec. 19. Queens Vocational is 7-2 so far and was slated to play Robert Wagner on Dec. 22.

Lady Commodores head into Christmas break unbeaten

Bayside’s girls team will head into Christmas break with a 7-0 record. The Lady Commodores’ most recent win was a 54-44 win over Forest Hills on Dec. 19. Kendra Sanchez and Teresa Leung had 13 points apiece while Winter Sims grabbed 13 rebounds. Bayside returns to action on Jan. 6 against Edison.

Far Rockaway and Springfield Gardens head into first meeting undefeated

Far Rockaway and Springfield Gardens met for the first time on Dec. 22 and both teams entered unbeaten in league play at 6-0. The Seahorses are 7-0 overall and senior shooting guard Williams Overo is averaging 21 points after getting 25 and 10 rebounds in a 68-65 win at John Adams on Dec. 17. Springfield Gardens has won its six league games by an average of 25 points and the latest win for the Golden Eagles was a 74-42 win over Hillcrest on Dec. 17. Senior Ian Howard totaled 25 points and 25 rebounds, upping his league averages to 18 points and 18 rebounds. Both teams will play a neutral site game during the Christmas Break at Bowne High School on Dec. 27 as Far Rockaway faces Roosevelt and Springfield Gardens faces Benjamin Banneker.

Van Buren gets first two wins

Van Buren opened the season by losing its first five games. The first four were by double digits and the fifth was a 57-54 loss at Campus Magnet when senior forward Kofi Mills totaled 24 points and 17 rebounds. Mills had 14 and 24 in Van Buren’s 56-35 win over Edison on Dec. 16 and another double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds in a 64-41 win over Flushing on Dec. 18. Mills has five double-doubles so far and he and the rest of the Vee Bees visited Beach Channel on Dec. 22.



Queens sports roundup

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


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.



Queens sports roundup

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com



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.


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

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


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.



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


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.


Flushing Red Devils face tough opponent on road to championship

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

red devils


Flushing High School sophomore cornerback Kameron Walker walked off the football field toward the sideline Saturday, and said, to no one in particular, “One step closer to Yankee Stadium.”

Walker had just made a game-ending tackle and the Flushing Red Devils had advanced to the quarterfinals of the PSAL Championship conference playoffs with a 34-14 victory over South Shore.

“That’s good, because that’s got to be their goal,” coach Jim DeSantis said of Walker’s comment. “If it’s not their goal, then we’re just going through the motions. I really think that this year it’s wide open, and if we get a little bit lucky, we can be right there.”

The Red Devils are two steps away from reaching Yankee Stadium to play for their first PSAL championship. Their next step will be a week of practice and studying film in preparation for what could be their greatest obstacle − a visit to the formidable Lincoln High School in Coney Island.

Last year’s visit came a round later in the semifinals. Flushing had knocked off New Dorp and Curtis in the first two rounds when the Red Devils made the trip to Lincoln, where they lost in a 55-7 rout that saw them trail 41-0 at halftime.

That ended the deepest run of any team in the history of the program, which began in 2005 as a freshman-only team and four years later, moved from the developmental level to the Championship Division, which is the most competitive of the PSAL’s three-tiered alignment.

“That Lincoln team last year was a monster,” DeSantis said. “It was an elite team like I’ve probably never seen in the City of New York before and I’ve been doing this 20-something years. Now, I think there’s no real elite teams. I think there’s more parity.”

The skeptic would argue what else would you expect a coach to say? He’s not going to give his team no chance. But DeSantis certainly has conviction in his voice.

“I think this might be one of the better teams we’ve had,” DeSantis said.  “We were pretty good last year, but we were kind of one-dimensional in that we had just a running back. Now we can kind of spread it around. I feel good about it.”

DeSantis would have every reason to feel good if some of the things that happened Saturday were to repeat themselves next week. Among them were three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Terrence Chavis, four different players scoring touchdowns and a steady stream of receptions from Keron Hermitt, including a 77-yard TD late in the second quarter.

If the Red Devils are going to Yankee Stadium, they will have to win on the road. Based on what DeSantis witnessed with his senior-laden team, the belief is that it can happen starting next week against an opponent that has won two of the last three city championships.

“Lincoln’s a good team,” Chavis said. “We’ve got to be able to play defense well and our O-line has got to play strong to get our running game running and our passing game going. That’s basically it.”

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

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com



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.


Channel View HS baseball wins first-ever city championship

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Channel View High School Dolphins’ storybook season could have ended all wrong.

Tied at 5-5 apiece in the final inning against Bronx High School of Science Wolverines at the PSAL division B championship game on Thursday, Dolphins pitcher Marvin Hernandez came in to relieve starting pitcher Kely Aponte, who just gave up two runs.

With one out and the winning run at third base, Hernandez got his first batter to hit a fly ball to center.

Centerfielder Antonio Moccia made the catch, and then fired a canon to home plate, which catcher Joseph Calandra caught and tagged the runner in time to save the game.

“After it hit the grass I knew I had it,” Calandra said about the play. “I was just worried about holding on to it.”

The game went to extra innings, until the ninth inning. While the bases were loaded, the wolverines walked Sergio Galdamez and two batters later David Polanco smacked a double to give the Dolphins a 7-5 victory and the school’s first baseball championship.

The win capped a magical run for the boys from the Rockaways.

Just a few years ago, former Mets prospect head coach John Mangieri, who has played 10 years professionally including a stint with the Italian national team in the World Baseball Classic, came to Channel View and met a group of enthusiastic players lacking equipment.

As coach, he whipped the team into shape, and transformed them to a perennial Queens powerhouse in the B conference. But the Dolphins came up short consecutive years in the playoffs.

“When I first took the job four years ago, we literary had kids saying coach I need a glove and showing up to practice in jeans,” Mangieri said. “Talk about a total 360.”



Cardozo wins first baseball championship in nearly 30 years on coach’s birthday

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

All season long, and through the post season as well, Benjamin Cardozo senior pitcher Keith Rodgers has been literally unbeatable.

He went 7-0 in the season with a 0.02 ERA (and 3-0 with a 0.04 in the playoffs) and for five innings of the 2014 PSAL division A baseball championship game against Tottenville on Thursday, Rodgers plowed through batters, while holding on to a slim 1-0 lead.

But a fatigued Rodgers found himself in a pickle in the sixth after walking two batters. With two outs, he gave up a single, which scored one run and tied the game at 1-1. It seemed as though Rodgers could have his first loss of the year in the most important game.

Rodgers, however, came through in the final inning with his bat, not his arm, and lined a single into left field to break the tie. The Judges added another run in the inning, then senior Jun Young Lim came in for relief and struck out the side for a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium, and Cardozo’s first championship in 26 years. 

“I was just trying to put the ball in play. I didn’t make the best contact, but it got through,” Rodgers said. “I really just tried to lock in the very last (at-bat), make sure I could do something and get a run for us.”

Senior centerfielder Chris Campbell, who will attend Monroe College next year, gave Cardozo the 1-0 lead in the first inning. He blasted a double to right field, sending sophomore infielder Noah Cabrera home.

“We were underdogs coming into this, but we showed that we could complete with any team in the league,” Campbell said.

The win became extra emotional when players began signing happy birthday on the field for head coach Ron Gorecki. Gorecki, who has coached high school baseball for more than four decades around city schools, admitted has never had a team like the 2014 Benjamin Cardozo Judges.

There are a few standouts— specifically seniors Rodgers, Campbell and Lim— but otherwise the team doesn’t have many superstars. So Gorecki works on a system of “synergy,” which he describes as players substituting for others’ weaknesses and working together. He attributed the win to his team philosophy.

“The real bottom line here is that we are synergy, this team is built on synergy,” Gorecki said. “We have guys that can run, we have guys that can’t run, we have guys that can throw, we have guys that can’t throw. So what they do is they substitute for one another.”



Channel View HS baseball advances to PSAL championship game at Yankee Stadium

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

After years of disappointment for the Channel View High School baseball team, players are now confident that “no one can swim with the Dolphins.”

Despite three previous winning seasons, including one tied for the conference title, the Rockaway team was a one-and-done squad in the playoffs each year. And even though they finished first in the Queens B South conference this season (14-2 PSAL), they faced doubts of their chances in the postseason. The Dolphins knew they would sink, not swim, in the playoffs this year again if they didn’t step up.

“Other teams, rivals, even the school doubted us at first,” senior infielder Sergio Galdamez said. “They said we wouldn’t past the first round. But look at us now — we’re in the championship.”

Channel View proved the critics wrong with four consecutive wins in the postseason, including three against higher-ranking teams, to reach the PSAL Division B championship game at Yankee Stadium on June 12 against five-seeded Bronx High School of Science. The Dolphins are like a fish out of water as they make their way to uncharted territory, but players believe they’ll be ready for the final game.

“I don’t want to think about being nervous,” said senior Kely Aponte, the team’s ace who will pitch in the championship game. “I want to stay confident to go out there and do what I do.”

The championship game is also a déjà vu moment for Channel View head coach John Mangieri, who won a city title at Yankee Stadium when he played for Archbishop Molloy 20 years ago. Mangieri said he’s excited to see his players living a dream that he has been through before.

“Four years ago this program had kids with no gloves, kids showed up in jeans,” Mangieri said. “These kids will have lifelong memories, and win or lose they are champions in my book.”




Benjamin Cardozo HS tennis star takes city title again

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

She’s done it again.

Benjamin Cardozo junior tennis player Sabrina Xiong became a two-time PSAL individual champion after defeating Stefani Lineva of Forest Hills High School on Wednesday at the National Tennis Center.

Xiong, who ranks first in the PSAL and also in the United States Tennis Association’s under 16 eastern section, was in top form and breezed past Lineva in two sets (6-1, 6-1).

“It’s definitely a feel great feeling just knowing that all my hard work and training paid off,” she said.

Xiong, who has been in contact with NCAA Division 1 college coaches, dreams of turning pro one day but first plans to go to college and major in economics.

But before she heads to the next level, Xiong still has something left to accomplish at the high school level.

During her career at Cardozo, the Judges have come up short in the PSAL team tennis finals for three consecutive years. They lost against Beacon High School (4-1) on May 13— Xiong won the only match in the best of five series.

In her senior year next season she hopes to lead Cardozo to a team championship.

“Cardozo has always been top in tennis,” Xiong said. “Unfortunately, we’ve fallen short in the past three years. It would be great if we got it.”