Tag Archives: psal

Cardozo HS boys basketball team wins city crown

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre 


There has been lots of murmuring about Benjamin Cardozo sophomore guard Rashond Salnave being one of the best basketball players in the city.

Expect those whispers to grow louder after his performance in the PSAL Division AA city championship on Saturday, March 9.

Trailing the Thomas Jefferson Orange Wave by one point at the Barclays Center, Salnave drove hard to the basketball and was fouled while shooting with 2.5 seconds remaining. The shot didn’t go in, but then, despite enormous pressure weighing on him, the sophomore buried two free throws to win the game, 55-54.

“I was nervous, too,” Salnave said. “I’ve been in those situations before, it’s just that the situations before weren’t as big as this one. Some people say I’m only a sophomore and it’s a big feeling, but I knew what I had to do.”

Salnave finished with 16 points, and was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, to help lead the Cardozo Judges to their first city crown since 1999. He was the undisputed recipient of the league’s MVP award.

After the final buzzer, Salnave and Cardozo head coach Ron Naclerio cried and shared a hug. It was an emotional win because during the 15-year drought between city titles for the Judges, Naclerio said the team faced many hardships, including losing a player he “considered a son” to another school, and Naclerio’s own suspension of a few games during the playoffs last year after he tossed the Queens Borough Championship runner-up plaque.

Naclerio satirically cradled the championship trophy from the time he received the golden basketball, and didn’t let it go while taking tons of pictures with fans, then walking through the halls of the Barclays Center, then during the press conference with reporters, and even in the locker room.

Cardozo senior Francisco Williams embodies the difficulties the team faced during its drought. Williams started as a freshman at the high school, but personal problems, such as joining the wrong crowd and health issues with his mother, forced him to transfer schools. But this academic year he transferred back to Cardozo, and became one of the team’s most complete players.

Williams added 21 points and six rebounds in the win, and was a dominant defensive presence under the rim. The senior was so happy that his return helped win a championship that he was looking to celebrate in a special way.

“I’m really excited,” Williams said. “We’re going to stay up all night tonight. I’ll probably play 2K (NBA 2K14 video game) and go to Hooters.”



Francis Lewis HS girls basketball team wins championship

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre


A magical season for the Francis Lewis Lady Patriots girls’ basketball team culminated with a fairy tale ending, as the team won its first PSAL Division AA championship.

For 15 consecutive years Murry Bergtraum High School won the city title, but Lewis knocked off the Manhattan team in a semifinal last week.

Then the Lady Patriots outlasted perennial powerhouse South Shore Lady Vikings in the city championship game on Saturday, March 8, and won 65-58.

“It’s a pretty great feeling knowing that we made it this far,” Lewis sophomore guard Sierra Green said. “This was our goal at the beginning of the year. And we succeeded.”

The team’s win and superb season was by and large a result of the efforts of Green. She led the Lady Patriots with a game-high 21 points, and was the recipient of the league’s MVP award.

By halftime Lewis led 27-18, and Green scored more than half of the team’s points with 14.

“Sierra is just one of those other girls. I always say she has no conscious,” Lady Patriots head coach Stephen Tsai said. “We could have no offense and she makes something happen.”

But the guard was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and the Lady Vikings, which had a 55-38 advantage on the boards, turned rebounds into scoring opportunities.

South Shore executed a late second half run, eventually cutting the lead to 51-47.

Lady Patriots junior guard Chi La Bady heated up in the second half. She scored 11 of her 19 points to help Lewis push back against the Lady Vikings’ charge.

“My teammates did step up,” Green said, “so I didn’t have to rush, not rush, I didn’t have to go that hard as I did earlier in the game.”




Townsend Harris wins first playoff match against Susan Wagner

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre


The Townsend Harris Hawks girls basketball team started the PSAL Division A girls basketball tournament on a high note.

The three seeded Hawks glided to a 65-53 win over Susan Wagner of Staten Island in its first playoff match on Feb. 14.

Senior captain Sierra Berkel stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 26 points, 16 rebounds, six steals and three assists, and junior guard Debra Chan added 24 points and five rebounds in the win.

Although the Hawks have finished first in the Queens A West Conference for the past two seasons, they haven’t made it passed the quarter finals round of the city tournament. This year, with another regular season title under their belt, Townsend Harris is hoping to make it count.

“We’re going all the way,” Chan said.

Thought the Hawks were highly favored to win the match, head coach Lauren Caiaccia prepared her team for the unexpected, since they don’t usually play teams from Staten Island.

Caiaccia told her team to be focused and play tough defense.

Towards the end of the third quarter, the Hawks’ defense led to a 44-35 gap, and from there, the team didn’t look back.

Caiaccia attributed this win to her team’s defense prowess, especially that of forwards Bianca Dilan andVasiliki Makris, and guard Natalie Gomez, who put the brakes on the Staten Island team.

“This was a tough match-up, they had more height and size than us,” Caiaccia said. “We strategized well and I think we executed the game plan.”


PSAL Division A Girls Basketball Tournament Queens Round 1 results:

(15) Hillcrest High School defeated (18) Frederick Douglass with a score of 46-40. Next match will be against Mckee Career and Technical High School on Feb. 25 in Round 2.

(27) William C. Bryant lost against (6) Port Richmond, 68-23
(25) Thomas Edison lost to (8) Lehman HS, 47-37.
(16) Benjamin Cardozo lost to (17) DeWitt Clinton, 58-49.
(28) John Bowne lost to (5) Evander Childs, 55-21.
(29) August Martin lost to (4) Canarsie High School, 56-38.

Upcoming Round 1 Matches:

Feb. 24 (22) Forest Hills vs (11) Stuyvesant
Feb. 24 (24) Bayside vs (9) Lab Museum



Powered by Skittles, Red Hawks taste the Queens Borough Championship

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

At the end of the first half of the PSAL Queens Borough basketball tournament finals on Sunday, the Benjamin Cardozo boys basketball team was firmly leading High School for Construction, 36-26.

It was time for Construction’s first-year head coach, Cory Semper, to unleash his team’s secret weapon: a giant bag of Skittles.

Popularized by the Super Bowl XLVIII Champion Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch as “power pellets,” the bite-size, multi-color candy is slowly becoming known as a way to recharge athletes.

“The Seattle Seahawks did it, so I said ‘you know what it might work’,” Semper said.

And the Skittles did not fail. The power of the rainbow gave Construction Red Hawks the strength they needed to play more aggressively, and outscore their conference rivals Cardozo in the second half, on route to a 65-62 win.

Red Hawks (14-2, 3-0 playoffs) senior guard Marlon Alcindor led the way with 25 points, including 10 of 13 from the free throw line. The Skittles were especially kind to junior Justin Wright-Foreman, who scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter alone.

So who knew Skittles could be such a powerful weapon? Other than Lynch’s mother, who originally started feeding him “power pellets,” apparently it was Semper’s older brother’s suggestion.

Semper refused to try the Skittles for a long time, but finally gave in during the first playoff game of the Queens Borough tournament against Francis Lewis to fix the team’s weak third quarter problem.

The second seeded Red Hawks were highly favored to win that game, so the Skittles would have been hard to test. But having dropped two games already against the Judges (16-0, 2-1 playoffs) in the regular season, it was a perfect experiment in the finals.

After the  Skittles boost, Construction outscored Cardozo 39-26 in the second half. The Red Hawks controlled the flow of the game by taking less outside shots and charging to the basket to score in the paint and get to the free throw line. They quickly jumped to a 19-9 run to start the third quarter and tie the game, 45-45, and battled from there for the win.

“We just had the strategy of coming in and playing hard,” Wright-Foreman said. “When we were down 10 in the third quarter it was 0-0 to us.”

The win marks Semper’s second Queens Borough title in as many years, with two different schools. Now the Red Hawks are setting their sights on the city title, and Semper said they are bringing a bag of skittles with them.



Campus Magnet routs Edison for coach Charles Granby final home game

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

With just under a minute remaining at the Campus Magnet boys basketball home game against Thomas Edison on Thursday, fans starting signing “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye.”

It could have been a song of pride as the Bulldogs were on route to rout the Edison Inventors to the tune of 87-48. But it was probably a farewell chant for Bulldogs’ head coach Charles Granby.

After 45 seasons platooning the sidelines for Campus Magnet, Granby is finally leaving the Bulldogs bench. And although the Bulldogs (4-10) didn’t show much bite this year, they barked loudly on Granby’s final home game. Campus Magnet’s top scorer, Nohah Vickers, dropped 54 points and dished 7 assists in the win.

“We just played together today and we were just motivated to give him a big win,” Vickers said. “We just wanted the last home game to be a good one, and a memorable one.”

Granby, 79, started teaching physical education at Campus Magnet in 1969 when it was called Andrew Jackson High School. He remained a teacher until 1996, but continued to coach because of his passion for basketball.

He is the winningest coach in PSAL history with 722 victories. He has taught basketball to thousands of teens over the years, and his teams have won 24 division titles, seven Queens championships and the coveted city title in 1985.

Granby himself played basketball at Bradley University, and was on the team when they won the National Invitational Tournament in 1960.

For his accomplishments, he was inducted in the New York State and New York City basketball hall of fames.

But this year Granby knew it was time.

“I just felt tired,” he said. “I’ve been here 45 years. It’s time to go.”

Despite all the trophies, honors and banners, many of which hang in the rafters of the Bulldogs home gym, what many appreciate is Granby’s mentor style that stretches beyond basketball.

His famed “ugly life” speech—without education everything in your life will be “ugly”— is given to players the day they walk in the gym. And even at his final home game, after fans dispersed and the lights in the gym turned off, Granby gave another lecture to his players.

He preached about the importance of going to college and not relying on basketball. He also told the boys to take care of their children when they become fathers.

Many past players hearing these speeches have experienced success, including Orlando Magic forward Kyle O’Quinn and newly elected Brooklyn City Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr.

“Dad is a father to everybody,” Granby’s daughter Robyn Granby-Poole said. “He’s not worried about the wins. He’s not thinking about that. He’s thinking about OK now your future is going to rely on (education) make sure you have this because basketball may come to an end.”

Now that basketball is coming to an end for him, Granby plans to relax and travel with his free time.

Granby’s successor hasn’t been named, but he’ll leave a lasting legacy for his replacement to look up to.

“It’s one of those things of who replaces the legendary coach?” said Gareth Robinson, the principal for the PSAL in the school. “For anything they do people who have been around in the community will wonder ‘oh well Granby wouldn’t have done it that way.’”

There will be a retirement party for Granby on April 26 at Jericho Terrace.



Sports Star: Sierra Berkel, captain, Townsend Harris HS girls basketball team

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Sierra Berkel
School: Townsend Harris
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Forward

Sierra Berkel is a senior on the Townsend Harris High School basketball team. Berkel is leading the team to its third straight undefeated regular season in the PSAL (12-0), currently averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds per game as of January 22. She has been captain of the basketball team since her sophomore year and is also captain of the school’s girls flag football team. She boasts a 93 percent average, and is a member of ARISTA, the National Honor Society. Berkel also volunteered in former Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.’s office during his 2013 Queens borough president campaign. Berkel will be attending Haverford College next semester, and will be a part of the school’s basketball team.

Why are you motivated to do well academically and in extracurricular activities?
“My father passed when I was very young. My mother raised me and my twin brother all by herself. Knowing what strength is, I got that from my family. Being able to do well academically and excel in sports is all part of what my family has given me.”

What is your favorite class?
“I think my most interesting class was urban studies class. I took it at Queens College. I think that was pretty interesting, because it was about poverty in the city, causes and how to stop it. That really opened up my eyes.”

Why do you like sports?
“I think it’s really important. Definitely doing basketball I found I was more involved in the school. Also, serving as captain it definitely teaches you leadership and I think that definitely help lift my confidence.”

How did working in Peter Vallone Jr.’s office help you?
“I didn’t know much about the Queens Borough president and politics, but it’s really interesting and important. I learned too that you can make a change in your community. That was definitely a great experience, because you learn your voice is being counted.”

How difficult is it to manage all your extracurricular activities?
“My mother was a teacher, so the importance of education was stressed to me. Working hard and doing well in school is important, because I know it’s valued at my house. There are definitely some tired days, but I knew I wanted to be involved in everything.”

Any words for your coach?
I just wanted to emphasize how much of an impact my coach, Ms. Lauren Caiaccia, has had on me during my whole high school experience. She is a great coach, mentor and friend. She has definitely pushed me and helped me improve my game, as well as try things that I’m not as comfortable with to get better. So individually and holistically as a team, she is a great factor in the success.



Sports Star: Kristen Kangas, captain, Benjamin Cardozo HS gymnastics team

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Kristen Kangas
School: Benjamin Cardozo High School
Grade: Senior
Sport: Gymnastics

Kristen Kangas is the captain of Benjamin Cardozo High School girls gymnastics team, and has led her squad to the top of the PSAL this year. Coach Richard Parascos calls her the “heart and soul” of the team, and Kangas is consistently ranked in the top 25 in the city in all four gymnastic events; balance beam, uneven parallel bars, floor exercise and vaulting. In her sophomore year she helped start the school’s cheerleading team. She has held part-time jobs in recent summers, working as an office assistant at St. John’s University and last year at Long Island Care Center nursing home. Kangas is dyslexic, but enjoys sports and helping others, so she aspires to be a physical therapist. She has applied to several SUNY schools, including Potsdam, Fredonia, Cortland and Plattsburgh.

Why do you do enjoy gymnastics and other extracurricular activities?
“Teenagers could be very dangerous without goals. When teenagers don’t do something, they get into trouble. I like being involved and I like socializing.”

How does it feel to lead younger teammates?
“I love it, because not only am I helping them, but you help yourself at the same time.”

Why do you aspire to be a physical therapist?
“I love doing sports in general and I care for people. I feel like a combination of those two is physical therapy. I feel like it’s me.”

How does being dyslexic affect you?
“A lot of kids that have it don’t know they have it and they struggle in school, but I have it and really try in school. The difference between someone who has it and doesn’t have it is that you have to really work and that’s like my whole life, I work for everything I do.”



Hercules: Aftermath of the storm

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated at 12:59 p.m.

Queens residents woke up to more than half a foot of snow Friday morning as they prepared to deal with the aftermath of the winter storm.

Snowfall in parts of the borough was reportedly as high as 11.5 inches.

Mayor Bill de Blasio updated the city at about 10:30 a.m. and urged residents to stay off the roadways and be aware of how “deceptively cold” the weather remains. Although the “snow has tapered,” wind conditions have stayed substantial.

There will be a high of 18 degrees on Friday, and a low of zero coming into Friday night, he said.

“This has been and remains a dangerous storm. It is going to be bitter cold today, and New Yorkers need to be extremely careful going outdoors,” de Blasio said. “The best things people can do are to stay off the roads so we can clear them as fast as possible, and to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbors who might need help this morning.”

Nearly 2,500 plows are working through the 6,200 miles of roadways as of “early this morning,” de Blasio said. PlowNYC is activated for borough residents to track real-time progress of snow clearance. Residents are additionally asked not to shovel snow into the street, which could delay snow clearance.

Despite multiple accounts of drivers’ vehicles getting stuck in the snow, NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John Doherty said the agency was “able to keep the city moving no matter the situation.”

As the snow fell throughout Thursday night and early Friday morning, sanitation department members plowed “primary streets,” highways, multiple times to continue to remove snow brought back onto the roads by wind, Doherty said. They then addressed local roads and side streets.

Garbage and recycling pick-up has been suspended until snow removal is complete. All city hospitals and emergency rooms remain open, and additional ambulances have been added.

Alternate side parking regulations are suspended through Saturday and MTA subways are running with service changes. The LIRR is operating on its weekend schedule. Buses are “delayed but still moving,” and the Rockaway Ferry is not running.

John F. Kennedy International Airport closed Thursday night but Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) officials are aiming to reopen at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, although the FAA ultimately makes that decision, according to a Port Authority spokesperson.

Runways are continually being cleared of snow but the wind is working against them, pushing the wintery mix back to where it started.

At LaGuardia Airport, travelers formed long lines waiting to hear about their outgoing flights.

“This is just crazy. The only good thing is I rather be in here than out there in the cold,” said Jeff P., from Woodside who was traveling to Portland,Ore. for work. “I just hope I make my flight. I got here with four hours in advance.”

Catherine Hidalgo, 27, also made sure to leave her hotel a few hours in advance to make it back home to California.

“I just want to make it to my family safe,” said Hidalgo. “It is crazy waiting but I rather be safe than sorry.”

City schools are closed after newly-appointed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña made the call Friday morning at about 4 a.m. After-school programs and PSAL are suspended and CUNY classes are canceled as well.

Major highways including the Long Island Expressway reopened at 8 a.m. but city officials continue to urge New Yorkers to stay out of the driver’s seat and off the roads.




Sports Star: Michael Maldonado, shooting guard, Aviation HS basketball team

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Michael Maldonado

School: Aviation Career & Technical Education High School

Grade: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Position: Team captain, shooting guard

Michael Maldonado is the captain and leading scorer of the Aviation High School boys basketball team (PSAL Queens-A West). He has an 84 percent grade average and is also on the ROTC at the school. He has done numerous forms of community service including breast cancers walks and events to fight juvenile diabetes. He is also a member of the school’s cross country track team. In a recent game against William C. Bryant High School on Dec. 19, Maldonado scored 29 points, 5 assists and 6 rebounds to lead his team to victory, 69-67. He is averaging 18.33 points and 5 rebounds per game in five games this season.

Why did you start playing basketball?

“I grew up in Jamaica, Queens. It’s a rough neighborhood, basketball was a way to make friends.”

What colleges are you thinking about attending next year?

St. John’s University, the University of Buffalo, St. Louis University, Air Force Academy or The United States Military Academy at West Point.”

Why do you like doing community service?

“Helping other people feels great. It betters everybody.”

What would be your dream job?

“Playing for the Puerto Rican national basketball team. I would like to represent Hispanic basketball players. It would be an honor, that’s the way I look at it.”



Cardozo boys basketball team still determined after losing star player

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Benjamin Cardozo boys’ basketball team has a bone to pick with those who doubted them.

After top-notch transfer Jaquan McKennon left the team preseason, media outlets dropped the Judges in the PSAL rankings. But behind two key players and a solid roster they still believe they will be one of the city’s top teams.

The Cardozo Judges (2-0) proved just that in their home opener against Martin Van Buren High School (2-1) on Monday, December 9, routing the Fighting Vee Bees, 76-40. Senior Francisco Williams scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the team, and sophomore guard Rashond Salnave had 20 points and six assists in the game.

“They said we weren’t going to be that good, so every game we play we got to show out,” Williams said. “Without him (McKennon) we are still going to be a good team. We’re going to win with or without him.”

Williams, who started his high school basketball career at Cardozo, transferred due to personal issues and a health problem with a family member. But following his hiatus he has returned for this final high school year and played his first-ever home game with the Judges against Van Buren. He wants to help the team go far this year.

“I want to take it to the [Madison Square] Garden,” Williams said, referring to the location of the PSAL city championships.

The Judges’ other breakout player is Salnave, who is becoming a top-notch guard in the league. In just his first two games on varsity, the 15-year old combo guard is averaging about 23 points and 5.5 assists.

Besides these two players, the Judges are chock full of talent this year. Senior Carl Edoua Balthazar is a long, lanky forward and a defensive presence on the floor. In the match against Van Buren he finished with 12 rebounds, six blocks and six points.

“Carl is a shot-blocker,” Salnave said. “If we get beat, although it’s not something good to brag about, we know Carl has our back.”

Having coached basketball at Cardozo for more than 30 years, head coach Ron Naclerio knows that the competition will get stiffer as the season drags on. He believes in his team’s strength, but doesn’t want to be cocky.

“I try to say be humble and be hungry,” Naclerio said. “Things could change. Today we were on the north side, but we had some scrimmages where we were on the south side.”



Queens PSAL high school football roundup – playoffs round 1

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com



The fourth seeded Flushing Red Devils (7-2 regular season) routed the Curtis Warriors (4-5) by a score of 44-6. The Red Devils had a total of 352 offensive yards. Junior Terrence Chavis completed 12 of 20 passes for 159 yards, and three touchdowns. Senior Deandre Ross Lomax had a great game as well, rushing for 106 yards on 11 attempts and two touchdowns. Senior Kevaun Dunn added a field goal and five extra points.

Round 2: On Saturday, November 16, the Red Devils will face the New Dorp Cougars (7-2).




The fourth ranked Bayside Commodores (7-2 regular season) beat the Petrides Panthers (7-2) by a score of 52-20. Senior Trevon Moe had a monster day, leading the Commodores’ offense. He rushed for a whopping 251 yards on 14 attempts and four touchdowns. Junior Tyrell Plaza had a good game as well, rushing for 156 yards on 19 attempts, while scoring one touchdown. Senior Kevin Mombelly completed five of eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Round 2: Next up for the Commodores will be second ranked McKee/Staten Island Tech Seagulls (8-1).


The eight ranked Springfield Gardens Golden Eagles (5-4 regular season) were eliminated by the top seeded South Shore Vikings (9-0), losing by a score of 46-14. The Golden Eagles’ defense struggled allowing 501 offensive yards. Junior Timothy Bowers led the Vikings with 130 yards on the ground on ten attempts and two touchdowns. Senior Dupreme Robinson added 111 rushing yards on seven attempts and a touchdown. Senior Darrius Nichols completed seven of nine passes for 142 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.




The sixth ranked Long Island City Bulldogs (5-4) were eliminated by the George Washington Trojans (6-3) in a score 26-6 loss. The Bulldogs had trouble stopping the running game of the Trojans, allowing 331 yards on the ground. Senior Khary Baker had 134 rushing yards on six attempts and two touchdowns and Sophomore Gino Mota and junior Ramon Reyes added one touchdown each for the Trojans.



Francis Lewis can’t cramp Cardozo’s style

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Benjamin Cardozo senior Jason Elliott let out screams in pain and grabbed his leg as he wailed on the ground during the second half of boys soccer game versus Francis Lewis Patriots on September 25.

Elliott’s leg had cramped up and the pain seemed unbearable as Cardozo coach Richard Parascos ran to his side to help.

The game was halted for a few minutes and a handful of teammates picked Elliot up and took him off the field as if he were being saved from a burning building.

“I wasn’t hydrated,” he said.

Not only was he thirsty for water; Elliott was hungry for a win. After a break on the sidelines, some stretching, water and a massage, Elliott recovered and scored the golden goal, a header in the 87th minute, to give the Judges a 2-1 win over Francis Lewis in PSAL Queens Division A soccer.

“I saw it coming from far and I just try to make sure to get myself the best opportunity to score it,” Elliot said about the goal. Through the goal his cramped leg was still hurting, but Elliot said, “We’re resilient. We fight. We don’t give up.”

And that’s the way they played all game. Cardozo (4-1) was backed into a corner after allowing an early goal in the first half.

In the 26th minute Francis Lewis (3-2) took a 1-0 lead after forward Dorie James headed the ball in the goal, following a throw-in from senior Nikolas Touros.

But Cardozo wasn’t going to back down. With just seven minutes into the second half the Judges found the answer. They flooded the box on a throw-in and senior Panayiotis Koumas headed the ball in for the equalizer.

“In the first half we really didn’t step strong to the ball,” Parascos said. “That was the big difference in the game. I think we possessed the ball better in the second half.”

From then it was a back and forth of teams exchanging off target, but powerful shots and near corner kicks that were headers away from finding the back of the net. The atmosphere between these eternal Queens rivals was reminiscent of a playoff match in November, despite being just the fifth league game of the season.

And then the shenanigans ensued.

At one point Cardozo had an extra player on the field. It may have been an honest mistake, but Francis Lewis was taking a free kick and the play should have resulted in a yellow card. However, the referees blew the call and Cardozo got off lucky.

With just a few minutes left in regulation, when it was Cardozo’s turn for a free kick, Patriots coach Roger Sarmuksnis purposely told two extra players to get on the field to defend the goal, leading to a successful stop, but a yellow card charge.

“This is playoff soccer right here,” Sarmuksnis said. “I’m just laughing, because that normally happens at the end of the season.”

The game flowed into extra time until Elliott’s goal brought it to an end. With the win Cardozo now heads to top of the standings.



Benjamin Cardozo    4-1-0

Francis Lewis             3-2-0

Bayside                         2-1-2

Forest Hills                 2-1-2

John Bowne                1-4-0

Martin Van Buren    0-5-0



Queens high school football roundup

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Roundup as of September 22, 2013




After starting off the season 2-0 in the City Conference division, the Flushing Red Devils (2-1) lost to the Canarsie Chiefs (2-1) by a score of 12-6 on September 21. The Red Devils struggled to compile offensive yards with just 168 total yards on the day while the Chiefs compiled 236 yards on the offensive side. Flushing Junior Terrence Chavis completed six out of 15 passes for 116 yards, while throwing one touchdown and an interception. On the ground senior Deandre Ross Lomax led the team with 39 yards on nine attempts. The Red Devils will try to get back on the winning track when they face the John F. Kennedy Knights (2-1) on Friday, September 27.


The John F. Kennedy Knights (2-1) beat the Grand Street Campus Wolves (1-2) by a score of 27-20 on September 21. The Knights had a total of 352 offensive yards with all but 19 of those yards coming on the ground. Senior Demetrius Wade led the Knights with 158 yards on 16 attempts with two touchdowns. Senior Caine Caldwell had 101 rushing yards of his own on seven attempts with two touchdowns as well.


The John Adams Spartans (0-3) continue to struggle with a 38-8 loss against the Midwood Hornets (2-1) on September 21. The Spartans who only had a total 165 yards could not solve the offense of the Hornets, and allowed Midwood to amass 417 yards. Spartans junior Iyenoma Osagie had 103 yards on the ground on eight attempts and a touchdown. Next up for the Spartans will be the New Dorp Cougars (2-1) on Saturday, September 28.




The Bayside Commodores (3-0) have started the season with a bang. The Commodores beat the William E. Grady Falcons (0-3) by a score of 28-8 on September 21. The Commodores had a dominating offense, while the defense only allowed one first half touchdown. The Commodores had a total of 320 yards with 81 yards through the air and 239 on the ground. Junior Henry Mccoy completed seven of 15 passes for 81 yards with two touchdown and two interceptions. Mccoy also rushed for 78 yards on 11 attempts with a touchdown. Senior Trevon Moe rushed for 110 yards on 9 attempts and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery. Next up for the Commodores will be the Jamaica Beavers (0-3) on Saturday, September 28.



PSAL basketball roundup

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The Bayside Commodores improved to 5-0 by beating the Forest Hills Rangers (0-4) by a score of 85-65. Senior Austin Williams led the way for the Commodores scoring 29 points. Senior Cantrell Barker scored 18 points. Senior Gagandeep had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Daqauise Andrews scored 14 points. Next up for the Commodores will be the Benjamin Cardozo Judges (3-0).

In their last game, the Thomas Edison Engineers (3-2) beat the Flushing High School Red Devils (1-2) 67-29. For the Engineers, senior Jaleel Charles had a double-double, scoring 19 points while pulling down 14 rebounds. Senior Nosike Obanya scored 19 points as well. Junior Jediah Greene scored 12 points while dishing out five assists. For the Red Devils, not one player reached double figures; sophomore Shahiem Greene led the team with eight points. Next up or the Engineers will be the Rangers.

The John Adams Spartans (3-1) lost their last game to the Pathways College Prep Trailblazers (3-1) by a score of 85-55. For the Trailblazers, senior Sam Annorh Jr. had a game-high 30 points. Junior Izaha Jackson added 18 points while pulling down seven rebounds. Senior Jamel Holmes scored 15 points to go along with nine boards. Senior Romario Fletcher had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. For the Spartans, senior Markell French scored 17 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out six assists. Senior Ahmed Kone was the only other Spartan to score in double figures with 11 points. Next up for the Spartans will be the Grover Cleveland Beavers (0-3).

The Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs (2-2) beat the Martin Van Buren Vee Bees (0-4) by a score of 54-46. Junior Noah Vickers led the Bull-Dogs with 17 points. Senior Tyrell Fields was second on the team with 15 points. Senior Alton Bennett scored 11 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. For the Vee Bees senior Trevor Newman led the team with 15 points. Senior Brian Agard was second on the team with 14 points while senior Miles Banks had a game high 12 rebounds.


PSAL basketball roundup

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The John Adams Spartans (1-0) beat the Richmond Hill Lions (0-1) in the first game of the season by a score of 66-45. The Spartans who outscored the Lions in each of the first three quarters, road the strength of their incredible start. The Spartans shutout the Lions 15-0 in the first quarter. Senior Ahmed Kone led the Spartans with a double-double scoring 17 points while grabbing 15 rebounds. Senior Markell French recorded a double-double as well, scoring 13 points and dishing out 11 assists while also pulling down six rebounds. Seniors Simeon Hall and Ishmael Nausrudeen added 10 points each. The Lions were led by junior Kevin Baksh who scored 17 points. The only other player in double figures was senior Paramvir Singh with 12 points. The Spartans will play the Hillcrest Hawks in their next matchup.

The Bayside Commodores (1-0) beat the Thomas Edison Engineers (0-1) by a score of 69-57. For the Commodores senior Cantrell Barker led the team with 22 points. Junior Daquise Andrews added 19 points to go along with six rebounds. Senior Austin Williams scored 12 points while senior Brandon King scored 10. Next up for the Commodores will be the Flushing High School Red Devils.

The Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs (1-0) bested the Forest Hills Rangers (0-1) 65-50. Junior Nohah Vickers led the Bull-Dogs with 25 points. Senior Tyrell Fields scored 16 points while Sophomore Ramel Powers added 10. Next up for the Bull-Dogs will be the Engineers.

The Springfield Golden Eagles (1-0) beat the Pathways College Prep Trailblazers (0-1) by a score of 61-57. The Golden Eagles found themselves down at halftime by a score of 30-19. The Golden Eagles then went on a tear in the third quarter outscoring the Trailblazers by a score of 23-6. The Golden Eagles were led by junior Dupree McBrayer who had 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists. Juniors Jason Deochan and Tyree Lynch had 16 and 11 points, respectively. For the Trailblazers senior Sam Annorh Jr. led the team with 18 points. Sophomore Noel King Wicks scored 12 points to go along with his eight rebounds. The Trailblazers will play the High School For Construction Red Hawks in their next game.