Tag Archives: Van Buren

Judges dominate on the court


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The Benjamin N. Cardozo Judges, the top team in the borough (PSAL 10-0), were reminded to “play Cardozo basketball” before trouncing Martin Van Buren (PSAL 4-7) and keeping their undefeated record.

Both teams were without their starting point guards, Van Buren’s Darron Williams and Cardozo’s Rashond Salnave, at Tuesday night’s game but play stayed strong on both ends of the court.

“Other players had to step up,” said Van Buren head coach Everton Edwards. “We do what we do. Basketball games are won in between the lines. You have to go out and believe you can win.”

Although the Van Buren VeeBees played like they believed they could win, Cardozo set the stage with a successful layup just 10 seconds into the game.

Both teams were slow on shots throughout the first quarter, but remained physical on play. Judges forward Armando Dunn and power forward Carl Edoua Balthazar continued to snatch the ball right from the VeeBees’ hands whenever they had the opportunity.

With three minutes left, VeeBees guard Vladimir Midy faked right, sank a jump shot and got the foul for a four-point play. Forward Kristian Mondesir from Cardozo rebounded the ball and responded with a three-point shot, ending the quarter at 12-6 Cardozo.

The second quarter opened with four successful quick shots, back-to-back from both teams. Dunn blocked a VeeBees’ shot attempt and Judges’ guard Marzuq Jimoh grabbed the ball and ran with it, scoring on the other end of the court.

“If you need 30 seconds, tell me,” Ron Naclerio, Cardozo head coach, yelled to the out-of-breath Jimoh after he made his shot.

Van Buren started making long passes around the perimeter, sending Cardozo players chasing after the ball. In the final minutes of the half, the VeeBees outscored the Judges 6-2.

After halftime, the Judges slumped back onto the court, looking defeated.

Naclerio shouted: “Play Cardozo basketball!” before his team started play.

Center Francisco Williams acknowledged his coach, took the ball and easily sank a layup to start off the half, bringing the score to 24-17 Cardozo, and the team was suddenly revived.

Van Buren missed their following shot and the rebound was snagged by Cardozo point guard Elijah McNeely, who dribbled down the court and sent a sharp pass to Williams in the paint.

The VeeBees continued to play hard but fell short in executing their shots. With 49 seconds left in the game, Edwards used a full time-out despite a 17-point deficit.

After Cardozo got their energy back, they were able to win 53-35, but not without scaring the crowd just a little.

“That was a good game, it made us sweat,” said a group of Cardozo parents.

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Queens High School of Teaching stomps on Martin Van Buren in hoops score


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The Queens High School of Teaching (QHST) and Martin Van Buren High School boys’ varsity basketball teams entered the game with the same record, but Van Buren left with an upset.

Despite the loss of powerhouse forward Sonny Okorie, the QHST Tigers (5-3) kicked off the first quarter with a 7-0 run. A series of quick turnovers on both ends of the court ended with Van Buren’s guard Darron Williams getting fouled, and putting his team on the board with two points.

But the Tigers smooth passes and ability to control the ball and execute shots soared over the Van Buren VeeBees (4-4) and they ended the half up by 10 points, 27-17.

The second half started up with several stand-out plays from QHST forward Michael O’Leary and guard Brandon Anderson. Both teams continued to be aggressive on steals, amounting as much as four steals in under a minute.

Despite doubling the VeeBees score, Shelton appeared displeased at the referees’ foul calls, but the Tigers continued to score regardless. Just before the quarter ended, QHST guard Keshaun Ellis made a behind-the-back assist and brought the score to 47-23.

Several times throughout the game, Van Buren passed the ball directly into the hands of the QHST players. But before the fourth quarter, Edwards took Williams aside to talk strategy for the final minutes. But despite the pep talk and a big block from VeeBees guard Dayvon Lloyd on O’Leary, the Tigers came out victorious and ended the game 69-29.

This is the Tigers first season in the AA division and as of press time placed third overall in the borough, behind High School for Construction and the Benjamin N. Cardozo High School.

“I think we’re doing better than others expect,” Shelton said.

He added the majority of his varsity team is underclassmen so he is “excited” for the years to come, building on what they have.

“Our future looks bright,” he said.