New York High School: Jefferson

Final boys basketball poll

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
1:55
PM ET
After two straight unsuccessful trips to the State Federation tournament, Boys & Girls is the the best in the state after its win against Mount Vernon. With that win, the Kangaroos end the season as our No. 1 team. Here's the final poll.

1. Boys & Girls (26-6/(LW: 2): Boys & Girls proved that it perhaps flew under the radar early this season, but it clearly ends as the best team in the City, having beaten virtually every team in this top 10 poll on the way to the State Federation crown.

2. St. Raymond (21-10)/(LW: 1): St. Raymond figured to be one of the best teams in the city with a strong senior class and it backed it up by winning the CHSAA title. Next year will be tough with a couple key players gone but there are still quality pieces left.

3. Thomas Jefferson (25-7) /(LW: 3): Jefferson perhaps was the surprise team of the season as it went from the fourth-best team in Brooklyn to just a few shots away from winning the PSAL title. The Orange Wave should be good again next year.

4. Holy Cross (24-5)/(LW: 4): Holy Cross didn't make much noise in the preseason but showed that it belonged with anybody by winning the Brooklyn/Queens title. The loss of a few key seniors could slow it down next season.

5. Cardinal Hayes (24-5)/(LW: 5): Cardinal Hayes has established itself as one of the top programs in New York City, but will have to deal with a large group of seniors graduating. There is talent in the backcourt, though.

6. Mount (21-8)/(LW: 6): Mount was another team that flew under the radar only to make lots of noise in the postseason. Like other teams on this list, the question is going to be how can it respond next season with the loss of key seniors.

7. Christ the King (19-8)/(LW: 7): Christ the King fell short in its quest for a third straight title this season but will be right back in the mix next year. A strong and talented backcourt will complement a frontcourt that has some size.

8. Wings (26-4)/(LW: 8): Wings has been so close to getting to the PSAL final but has fallen short in the semifinal the last two years. It will have some young pieces next year and could be in for another good year.

9. Lincoln (19-10)/(LW: 9): This year was a disappointment for Lincoln but the Coney Island school will be right back at it next season. A strong backcourt will keep Lincoln near the top of this poll all season.

10. South Shore (18-10)/(LW: 10): South Shore has to look at this season as disappointing considering its expectations, but it should be strong again next year. Of course, playing in Brooklyn AA is never an easy task for any school.
As the Yale football team changed its coaching staff this offseason, former Bulldogs recruit and Stepinac senior fullback Caleb Gilligan-Evans didn't fret much about it.

"It was frustrating at first but things happen for a reason," Gilligan-Evans said. "There's no stability in coaching. I knew it opened up chances for another thing."

That other option would be Holy Cross, the school the bruising fullback is now headed to after being accepted on Friday. The Crusaders beat out Yale and Bryant for Gilligan-Evans' services.

"The atmosphere is great, everyone there is passionate about football," Gilligan-Evans said. "There are opportunities and you work together as a family and the players are great, I really enjoyed visiting them."

When Yale hired Tony Reno as its new coach, the Bulldogs still had their offer out to Gilligan-Evans, but the fullback was told that the team was going in a different direction offensively that wouldn't utilize his services like the previous staff would have. The senior decided to check out other teams who had prior interest.

Holy Cross had been trying to recruit Gilligan-Evans but stopped once he committed to Yale. The Crusaders re-entered the picture and offered Evans a spot and he said he feel in love with it. He told the coaching staff that as long as he was accepted, he would be heading there.

Gilligan-Evans, who rushed for 792 yards and nine touchdowns this season according to MaxPreps.com, will be used as an h-back/fullback at Holy Cross, a similar role to the one he played in Stepinac's offense this season.

"I'm very excited," Gilligan-Evans said. "Everything happens for a reason and the door was open for Holy Cross and it feels amazing. This is a great opportunity and I'm very excited and I can't wait for it to happen."

NAROG TO SACRED HEART: Gilligan-Evans' teammate, wide receiver Vincent Narog, recently committed to Sacred Heart, according to coach Mike O'Donnell. Narog had interest from Lafayette, Southern Connecticut and Trinity, but liked Sacred Heart's football staff and the physical therapy program at the school.

Narog took his time to make his decision, making sure he visited each school and that he felt comfortable at whatever school he ultimately decided to attend. Narog caught 24 passes for 655 yards and seven touchdowns this past season, according to MaxPreps.com.

"It's a good fit for him, a great school with a good football team and they got a good player in Vinnie," O'Donnell said. "He has a lot of potential and Vinnie got a lot better this year and I think he will continue to get better.

"He didn't want to just go somewhere because the school was interested. He really wanted to study physical therapy and that was very important to find the right fit for him."

OGUNDEKO DECOMMITS: Jefferson junior defensive lineman Ebenezer Ogundeko decommitted from UConn over the weekend. He had previously committed to the Huskies despite planning to visit other schools, and wants to keep his options open.

The 6-3 lineman has offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and Vanderbilt, according to ESPN Recruiting Nation.

Boys basketball poll: March 19

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
12:16
PM ET
And then there were two. After Boys & Girls defeated Thomas Jefferson to win its third straight Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title, the Kangaroos and St. Raymond are the only two AA teams left. They will meet in the semifinals of the New York State Federation tournament, with a spot against Mount Vernon in the final on the line. Here's this week's poll.

1. St. Raymond (21-9)/(LW: 2): St. Raymond defeated Boys & Girls on a buzzer beater earlier this year and will try to make it 2-0 vs. the Brooklyn power.

2. Boys & Girls (24-6/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls is back in the New York State Federation tournament, after losing last year in the semifinals to eventual champ Mount Vernon.

3. Thomas Jefferson (25-7) /(LW: 1): Jefferson lost a tough game to Boys & Girls in the AA final but had a great season overall and outperformed most expectations.

4. Holy Cross (24-5)/(LW: 4): Holy Cross had quite the successful season, winning the Brooklyn/Queens tournament final and making the Archdiocesan final.

5. Cardinal Hayes (24-5)/(LW: 5): Those two losses to St. Raymond at the end of the year have to sting, considering the Cardinals won the first two games.

6. Mount (21-8)/(LW: 6): Mount gave it all it had this year, making the Archdiocesan final and then upsetting Christ the King in the Intersectional tournament.

7. Christ the King (19-8)/(LW: 7): Would Christ the King have won the Intersectional title had it won or made the Brooklyn/Queens tournament final?

8. Wings (26-4)/(LW: 8): Wings easily could have been playing against Boys & Girls but that final minute of the game against Jefferson has to be haunting it.

9. Lincoln (19-10)/(LW: 9): Lincoln is going to have to try and stop its rival Boys & Girls from owning New York City as the Kangaroos have won three straight.

10. South Shore (18-10)/(LW: 10): South Shore beat the eventual PSAL champ earlier this year, which has to make the team wonder if it underachieved this year.

Rapid Reaction: Boys 71, Jefferson 67

March, 17, 2012
3/17/12
1:59
PM ET

Boys & Girls defeated Jefferson, 71-67, for the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The Kangaroos won their third straight title and Jefferson failed in its quest to win its first title since 1954.

THE FOURTH QUARTER: Boys & Girls led 52-46 going into the fourth quarter and Jefferson cut it to 58-56 with 2:46 remaining on a layup by Thaddeus Hall. Joel Angus scored off an offensive rebound to boost the lead to 60-56 with 2:33 left and Hall hit two free throws to make it a two-point game. Leroy Fludd followed with a layup before Hall was hit with an offensive foul. Shakur Pinder's putback again made it a six-point lead.

Jefferson rallied in the final minute, cutting it to 68-65 with 29.2 seconds left on a 3-point shot by Jaquan Lynch. Tyliek Kimbrough hit two free throws with 20 seconds left but Jefferson quickly made it 70-67. Fludd hit the second of two free throws and Jefferson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and Boys won.

STRONG START: Boys & Girls, in the game for the third straight year, showed why experience mattered as it came out of the gate strong. It led 22-20 after the first and 41-35 at the half, in large part due to an amazing effort from Rashad Andrews. The guard had 21 points in just 12 minutes of action, hitting all four of his 3-point shots.

SEASON SERIES: This win by Boys & Girls evened the teams at 2-2 on the year. The teams split in the regular season before Jefferson won the Brooklyn borough title.

STATS: Andrews led all players with 26 points, despite fouling out. He went 5-of-5 on 3-pointers and was 7-of-10 from the floor. Fludd had 17 to help him. For Jefferson, Hall scored 17 while Lynch contributed 18.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR BATTLE: Many believe this game could be the determining factor in who would be the PSAL player of the year and Fludd gets the edge in this game. He scored 17 and contributed 12 rebounds in a winning effort, while Hall had 17 points. Hall had scorched the Kangaroos in two straight games before Boys High clamped down this time.

UP NEXT: Boys & Girls advances to the New York State Federation Tournament.

Boys Class AA final: Jefferson vs. Boys

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
1:34
AM ET
WHO: No. 1 Jefferson vs. No. 2 Boys & Girls

WHERE: Madison Square Garden

WHEN: Saturday, Noon

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: The Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title is on the line as Boys & Girls will meet Thomas Jefferson at Madison Square Garden. Boys & Girls will be attempting to have a a three-peat while Jefferson will be looking for its first title since 1954. This is the fourth meeting between the teams, with Jefferson up 2-1.

Jefferson entered the season as the supposed No. 4 team in Brooklyn but instead won the division title outright and then won the Brooklyn borough tournament. The Orange Wave are led by perhaps the best player in New York City this season, Thaddeus Hall, and see that their first title in more than 50 years is in reach.

Boys & Girls will be going for the historic three-peat of titles. Boys & Girls was supposed to challenge for a title and lived up that reputation. The High knows that Jefferson has been able to get the upper hand in two of the three meetings this season, but it has the experience of playing at MSG and could use that in the title game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Jefferson senior guard Thaddeus Hall
Jefferson junior guard Jaquan Lynch
Jefferson sophomore guard Patrick Brown
Boys & Girls Senior forward Leroy Fludd
Boys & Girls junior guard Wesley Myers
Boys & Girls senior forward Joel Angus


COACHES:

Jefferson: Lawrence "Bud" Pollard
Boys & Girls: Ruth Lovelace

HOW THEY GOT HERE:


No. 1 Jefferson (24-6)

Nov. 26: 72-67 win vs. Campus Magnet
Dec. 1: 77-57 win vs. Grady
Dec. 3: 92-81 loss vs. Christ the King
Dec. 6: 65-55 win at Robeson
Dec. 7: Win vs. team from Australia
Dec. 8: 76-73 win at South Shore
Dec. 13: 75-71 loss vs. Lincoln
Dec. 15: 71-63 win vs. Transit Tech
Dec. 16: 63-62 win vs. Boyd Anderson (Fla.)
Dec. 17: 53-44 win vs. Sagemont (Fla.)
Dec. 18: 75-60 loss vs. Coral Srpings Christian (Fla.)
Dec. 19: 54-46 loss vs. Aquinas (Fla.)
Dec. 23: 78-56 win vs. Westinghouse
Jan. 3: 86-84 loss at Boys & Girls
Jan. 5: 78-64 win at Grady
Jan. 10: 56-55 win vs. Robeson
Jan 12: 64-60 win vs. South Shore
Jan. 17: 82-77 win at Lincoln
Jan. 19: 73-51 win at Transit Tech
Jan. 31: 95-92 win vs. Boys & Girls
Feb. 2: 63-53 win at George Westinghouse
Feb. 7: 103-83 win vs. Lafayette
Feb. 9: 52-50 win vs. South Shore
Feb. 11: 68-62 win vs. Boys & Girls
Feb. 15: 71-60 loss vs. St. Anthony (N.J.)
Feb. 29: 86-76 win vs. Robeson
March 4: 80-61 win vs. Wadleigh
March 10: 72-68 win vs. Wings Academy

No. 2 Boys & Girls (23-6)

Nov. 26: 89-56 win vs. Pathways Prep
Dec. 1: 90-43 win vs. Westinghouse
Dec. 6: 74-56 win vs. Transit Tech
Dec. 8: 82-65 win at Robeson
Dec. 10: 64-59 win at Christ the King
Dec. 13: 73-61 win at Grady
Dec. 15: 61-58 loss at South Shore
Jan. 1: 63-38 win vs. Vaux (Pa.)
Jan. 3: 86-84 win vs. Jefferson
Jan. 5: 61-45 win at Westinghouse
Jan. 10: 73-50 win at Transit Tech
Jan. 12: 79-44 win vs. Robeson
Jan. 14: 74-64 loss at Lincoln
Jan. 15: 71-59 win vs. Curtis
Jan. 17: 88-33 win vs. Grady
Jan. 19: 71-52 loss vs. Curtis (La.)
Jan. 20: 59-50 win vs. Salmen (La.)
Jan. 21: 67-53 win vs. Wenonah (Ala.)
Jan. 27: 70-65 win vs. South Shore
Jan. 28: 63-61 win at Cardinal Hayes
Jan. 31: 95-92 loss at Thomas Jefferson
Feb. 2: 72-65 win vs. Lincoln
Feb. 7: 87-45 win vs. Bedford Academy
Feb. 9: 59-52 win at Lincoln
Feb. 11: 68-62 loss vs. Jefferson
Feb. 16: 78-77 loss at St. Raymond
Feb. 28: 74-53 win vs. Gompers
March 4: 63-51 win vs. south Shore
March 10: 72-63 win vs. Lincoln

Hall vs. Fludd could determine top player

March, 14, 2012
3/14/12
7:41
PM ET
As Leroy “Truck” Fludd and Thaddeus Hall battle for the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title Saturday, the two stars will also be squaring off for individual supremacy.

Fludd, a forward for Boys & Girls, and Hall, a guard for Jefferson, have been the two best players in the PSAL, if not New York City. Talk to the Kangaroos, they’ll tell you Fludd is the best in the league. Ask the Orange Wave, and Hall is the guy on the top of their list.

Saturday, that debate should be settled. A win will likely be the validating stamp on the victor’s PSAL player of the year resume. The two teams meet at noon at Madison Square Garden.

‘We’re the top two players in the PSAL,” Fludd said. “Whoever wins, this game decides who gets Player of the Year.”

While both players are on teams full of stars, they are the two who have galvanized their teams the most. In the city-wide battle for top player, they’re in the mix with Christ the King’s Omar Calhoun and St. Raymond’s Daniel Dingle.

Fludd is a powerful forward who can control the paint. He averaged 21.1 points and 13.3 rebounds in league games, according to the PSAL. Hall is an outside threat who can knife the lane with ease, averaging 17.3 points and 6.1 rebounds. Hall said win or lose, he believes he’s the top player in New York City, even adding that he believes Wesley Myers has carried Boys High this year.

They both believe they have the upper edge against their opponent one-on-one. Hall said Fludd can’t guard him, saying he’s too slow to keep up. Fludd said Hall has never been able to guard him and added that Hall does not play defense.

Hall, a senior who missed games this due to academic ineligibility, has the edge as he is 2-0 against Fludd this season. He scored 30 points in the first win and then followed up with 34 in the Brooklyn borough final. Fludd scored a combined 35 points in those two losses.

“I think this game decides it,” Myers said. “I think Truck is focused and he knows what he has to do to get what he wants and we support him as a teammate and as brothers.”

Boys & Girls coach Ruth Lovelace believes her star does more on the court, as she said Fludd is able to defend all players and is a consistent rebounder. She also mentioned how Fludd has yet to miss a game.

Jefferson coach Bud Pollard said that Hall is the better player, especially away from the hoop. He mentioned the difference in the teams, as Jefferson is inexperienced compared to the two-time defending champions, and Hall has worked with less around him.

“A win puts a stamp on it and throughout the City,” Pollard said. “He’ll definitely be the Player of the Year (if he wins). Hopefully it works out for him and hopefully works out for the team. Individual success comes with team success.”

Both players aren’t shy about talking about their team’s chances on Saturday. Fludd guaranteed victory against Jefferson. Hall does not see his team losing this game.

Only one of them will be right. And only one will be feeling better about his player of the year chances after Saturday.

“I’m the star of my team, he’s the star of his team and they won the last two championships and we’re an up and coming team,” Hall said. “That’s how they are always going to do it in New York City.”

Rapid Reax: St. A's 71, Jefferson 60

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
10:45
PM ET
When it comes to technical fouls, Jefferson’s head coach Bud Pollard certainly gets his fair share, but usually they help fire up his team. Wednesday night against New Jersey powerhouse St. Anthony, his technical foul in the second quarter probably cost his team the game.

Jefferson was up 23-21 midway through the second quarter when an altercation erupted between Pollard and Jalen Evans’ father, Ken Evans, that stopped the game for about five minutes. As soon as the game resumed, St. Anthony started a 16-1 run that led to an easy second half and a 71-60 victory at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn.

The game was a battle between ESPNNewYork.com's top-ranked team and the No. 3 team in ESPNHS' Powerade Fab 50 poll and reigning mythical national champions in St. Anthony. St. Anthony has now won 54 games in a row.

“Bud gets a little too hyped,” Jefferson’s Jaquan Lynch said. “I think he needs some chill juice if they have something called that. We tried to forget about it, but it messed up our whole game after that. We just didn't have the same energy because we were worried about that.”

Pollard pulled Evans from the game after he missed a loose ball that the coach thought he should have had. Pollard let Evans know that he was upset over the play and his father took exception to the exchange, walked up behind him near the bench and got in Pollard's face, shouting expletives as the two nearly came to blows.

“Jalen's father thought he should get some more playing time,” Thaddeus Hall explained. “He's a good player, he just needs to be a little tougher. I thought he could have gotten that loose ball and coach kind of got on him a little for that, took him out of the game, and that's when his father got mad.”

STILL GOT LOVE FOR BUD: An altercation between a coach and player, in this case the player’s father, can kill the chemistry on a team, but Hall said after the game that it was just Bud being Bud and that there is no ill will between anyone.

“We support Bud and we support Jalen and his father too,” Hall said. “We're still a family, nobody is going to have hurt feelings. Nobody is going to dislike Jalen.”

While everyone is saying the right things, Pollard seems to think that success may be getting to his team’s head.

“When we were losing I never had to deal with this,” Pollard said. “Now that we're winning, I guess we have some kids excelling now and I guess everyone can't excel. We're having more problems now than we did when we were losing.”

LEARNING FROM A LOSS: This victory ended Jefferson’s 12-game winning streak, but headed into the PSAL city playoffs a lot of people thought that Jefferson (21-6) could definitely take away some positives from this game.

“My coach set these games up on purpose to see what our errors were before the city playoffs,” Lynch said. "We're going to use a lot of what happened here today in practice this week as we get ready.”

However, not everyone was happy to take the loss.

“Anybody can be beaten at any time,” Hall said. “They are just ranked higher on the internet. I don't play off of who is ranked where. It's a basketball game anybody can be beaten. I really felt like we could have beaten them today, but a lot of things went wrong.”

STATS: Hall and Jaquan Lynch each had 21. St. Anthony (21-0) had five players in double digits. Kyle Anderson quietly led his team with 13 points, Jerome Frink, Josh Brown, and Hallice Cooke each had 12 points, and Tariq Carey had 11.

UP NEXT: Jefferson will look to bounce back when it takes on Xaverian this weekend.
WHO: No. 1 Jefferson vs. St. Anthony (N.J.)

WHERE: Lincoln

WHEN: Wednesday, 5 p.m.

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: A battle between the Garden State and the Empire State takes place at Lincoln on Wednesday. New York City's top team, Thomas Jefferson, will try to take down the third-ranked team in the nation and the defending national champion, St. Anthony (N.J.). This game had been scheduled for the SNY Invitational before it was canceled.

Jefferson perhaps has been the biggest surprise of the season, tabbed to be the fourth-best team in the Public Schools Athletic League Brooklyn division heading into the season. Instead, Jefferson outright won the division and then won the borough tournament, earning the Orange Wave the No. 1 seed for the Class AA Tournament.

St. Anthony is the defending mythical national champion and has yet to lose this season, including a thrilling win against Huntington Prep this weekend. This is the first of two games for St. Anthony against New York City opponents, as it will take on Lincoln on Feb. 21. It carried a 53-game win streak into Monday's game vs. Linden (N.J.).

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Jefferson senior guard Thaddeus Hall
Jefferson junior guard Jaquan Lynch
Jefferson sophomore guard Patrick Brown St. Anthony senior forward Kyle Anderson
St. Anthony senior guard Tariq Carey
St. Anthony senior forward Jerome Brink

COACHES:

Jefferson: Lawrence "Bud" Pollard
St. Anthony: Bob Hurley

HOW THEY GOT HERE:


No. 1 Jefferson (21-5)
Nov. 26: 72-67 win vs. Campus Magnet
Dec. 1: 77-57 win vs. Grady
Dec. 3: 92-81 loss vs. Christ the King
Dec. 6: 65-55 win at Robeson
Dec. 7: Win vs. team from Australia
Dec. 8: 76-73 win at South Shore
Dec. 13: 75-71 loss vs. Lincoln
Dec. 15: 71-63 win vs. Transit Tech
Dec. 16: 63-62 win vs. Boyd Anderson (Fla.)
Dec. 17: 53-44 win vs. Sagemont (Fla.)
Dec. 18: 75-60 loss vs. Coral Srpings Christian (Fla.)
Dec. 19: 54-46 loss vs. Aquinas (Fla.)
Dec. 23: 78-56 win vs. Westinghouse
Jan. 3: 86-84 loss at Boys & Girls
Jan. 5: 78-64 win at Grady
Jan. 10: 56-55 win vs. Robeson
Jan 12: 64-60 win vs. South Shore
Jan. 17: 82-77 win at Lincoln
Jan. 19: 73-51 win at Transit Tech
Jan. 31: 95-92 win vs. Boys & Girls
Feb. 2: 63-53 win at George Westinghouse
Feb. 7: 103-83 win vs. Lafayette
Feb. 9: 52-50 win vs. South Shore
Feb. 11: 66-62 win vs. Boys & Girls

St. Anthony (20-0)
Dec. 16: 80-16 win vs. Emily Fisher Charter
Dec. 18: 53-33 win vs. Trenton Catholic
Dec. 20: 78-21 win vs. Newark Central
Dec. 22: 91-38 win vs. Morris Knolls
Dec. 28: 68-25 win vs. New Mission (Mass.)
Dec. 29: 57-35 win vs. Roman Catholic (Pa.)
Jan. 1: 51-50 win vs. St. Benedict's Prep
Jan. 4: 68-26 win vs. Mainland
Jan. 7: 77-28 win vs. Roselle Catholic
Jan. 8: 62-32 win at East Brunswick
Jan. 14: 61-21 win vs. St. Peter's Prep
Jan. 16: 60-48 win vs. Miller Grove (Ga.)
Jan. 24: 68-28 win vs. East Orange Campus
Jan. 30: 65-48 win vs. Newark Tech
Feb. 2: 71-31 win vs. Ridgewood
Feb. 4: 65-24 win vs. Life Center
Feb. 7: 43-31 win at Plainfield
Feb. 9: 59-37 win vs. Columbia
Feb. 11: 50-49 win vs. Huntington Prep (West Va.)

Boys basketball poll: Feb. 13

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
12:05
PM ET
Thomas Jefferson survived the Brooklyn borough playoffs and has thus retained its No. 1 ranking heading inot the playoffs. Here's this week's rankings.

1. Thomas Jefferson (21-5) /(LW: 1): Jefferson won the borough title and beat South Shore and Boys & Girls in the process. Great week for the Orange Wave.

2. Christ the King (17-6)/(LW: 2): CK had a great rally against Holy Cross to pick up its 17th win of the season last Friday night.

3. Boys & Girls (20-5/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls defeated Lincoln for the second time in three tries but blew a big lead against Jefferson in the borough playoffs.

4. Cardinal Hayes (20-3)/(LW: 5): Hayes rebounded with a strong week that included wins at home against Mount St. Michael and St. Raymond.

5. Lincoln (17-7)/(LW: 4): Lincoln lost to Boys & Girls at home but it is not at full strength. It has a big test this week as it hosts St. Raymond.

6. Wings (24-3)/(LW: 6): Wings was defeated in the Bronx borough playoffs, which likely prevented the team from being the No. 3 seed for the PSAL playoffs.

7. South Shore (17-9)/(LW: 7): South Shore blew a huge lead against Jefferson in the Brooklyn borough playoffs and then was given the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

8. Holy Cross (18-4)/(LW: 8): Holy Cross failed to execute down the stretch against Christ the King and saw its chance for a big upset get sidelined.

9. Curtis (24-4)/(LW: 10): Curtis is simply on a roll, steamrolling through the Staten Island Tournament and pounding St. Peter's in the final.

10. St. Raymond (13-9)/(LW: 9): It's easy to say St. Ray's has not played up to expectations so far this season. The Ravens were pounded by Hayes this past week.

Morton not pleased with Class AA brackets

February, 12, 2012
2/12/12
11:50
PM ET
Lincoln coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton looks at his side of the bracket for the Class AA Tournament and sees a murderers row of teams that could knock off his third-seeded Railsplitters.

When he looks at the other half and the road that lies ahead for No. 1 Thomas Jefferson, the coach sees a red carpet being laid for the Orange Wave to the title game at Madison Square Garden.

"Jefferson's side is a joke," Morton said. "It's the teams he has to get through, besides maybe Wings and Cardozo. Our side is tough. It is what it is."

The Lincoln coach questioned the brackets after they were released late on Sunday night, looking at how the top three teams in Brooklyn all ended up on one side, opposite of the top seed in the bracket. Boys & Girls earned the two seed, Wings Academy was fourth and Cardozo came in at No. 5.

"I've never seen anything like this in my life," Morton said. "I can't even go watch Jefferson vs. Lehman or Wadleigh or even Bayside, because their best guy got hurt. It's just so uneven."

While there were certainly questions from league coaches about how the seeds shook out, Morton saw a discrepancy in talent on the sides of the bracket. He thought his team was going to be seeded fourth but Lincoln ended up third.

On his side is the defending champion Boys & Girls, a South Shore team that has wins against national opponents, a Curtis team that ran through Staten Island and the Bronx borough champion JFK. The bracket works out that Boys & Girls might have to play South Shore and Lincoln to even try to get to MSG.

Morton does not believe Jefferson's half, which includes Bronx runner-up Wings Academy, Queens champion Cardozo and Manhattan champion Wadleigh, matches up with the quality that his side presents. Jefferson earned the right to the No. 1 seed by winning the Brooklyn division and then tournament title.

"If Jefferson doesn't have a chance of going to the Garden, then they don't deserve it. I would be surprised," Morton said. "Bayside and Cardozo lost their best players. They're waiting to put Jefferson in the final."

Since the league's seeding procedures are not made public, there's no way to know exactly how the teams are seeded. Morton said he would have seeded the top eight teams individually, ranking what he viewed as the top eight teams and then pitting them against each other. His top eight were different than the teams the PSAL chose.

"The PSAL has their own agenda," Morton said. "Whoever is making their decisions, I don't think it is basketball people."

Jefferson coach Bud Pollard certainly wasn't complaining that his three Brooklyn rivals were all on the other side of the bracket. He said it would have been tough for his team to match up for the fourth time with South Shore, who his team is already 3-0 against this season.

"That's good, that's what the one seed should have. I'm tired of fighting those filthy animals all year, I deserve some separation in the playoffs," Pollard said of the other Brooklyn powers being on one side. "That's my reward. I deserve it."

Outside of Morton's questioning of how the bracket played out, most coaches did not have problems with the overall seedings. There were questions about certain teams, with the consensus being that JFK was seeded too low after winning the Bronx borough title and Brooklyn coaches feeling South Shore was undervalued, but nothing too egregious.

Wadleigh coach Mike Crump, whose team is the eight seed and could potentially face Jefferson in the quarterfinals, said his team has no fear of the Orange Wave if they meet. First up for the Tigers, though, is Bayside, but Crump pulled a Joe Namath.

"(Bayside coach) Corey (Semper) is a good friend of mine but he's going down in flames," Crump said. "We'll be ready to go. You better believe we'll be ready to go."

Rapid Reax: Jefferson 66, Boys & Girls 62

February, 11, 2012
2/11/12
6:48
PM ET
On Jan. 3, Jefferson lost to Boys & Girls with its best player sitting on the sidelines. After that game, Thaddeus Hall declared that once he came back Jefferson wouldn’t lose again.

So far, he has kept that promise.

Jefferson has now won 12 in a row, including a 66-62 victory over Boys & Girls to win the PSAL Brooklyn Borough Finals at York College in Queens on Saturday.

“He said, ‘I'm not losing. When I come back we're not losing, I'm the best player in the city,’" his head coach Bud Pollard recalled. “He saw what he had to work with and he knew once he came back there would be no stopping us. He said it, but he's not just talking the talk, he's walking the walk.”

Hall did indeed walk the walk as he scored 32 points, carrying his team while Jaquan Lynch struggled offensively. His leadership was never more evident than when seven points in a 21-4 Jefferson run that turned the tide of the game in the third quarter.

STALLED TRUCK: Leroy “Truck” Fludd had 14 big points in the first half as Boys & Girls (21-5) dominated the game early, leading 37-25 at the half. In the second half, things changed and he only picked up six points and he struggled on defense as he was guarding Hall.

“Truck can't guard me, I don't know why he keeps guarding me, he's too slow,” Hall boasted. “I see myself as the best player in the city and I'm going to prove it by winning the city and winning the states.”

SPARK OFF THE BENCH: Lynch averaged over 20 points per game during the regular season, but he was held to just five points. Jefferson (21-5) turned to Rachard Moody off the bench for some points and he proved to be big as he scored nine during Jefferson's 21-4 to grab a 50-47 lead.

LYNCH DOES HIS PART: Lynch might have been held to just five points, but he also chipped in with five assists and played strong defense.

“Lynch just had a tough morning starting with the train ride,” Pollard said. “He forgot his tights and his uniform. But we're a good team and everybody else stepped up. Without Lynch, we wouldn't be in the situation we've been in, he carried the team when Thaddeus was out. “

PHANTOM THREE: One of the more bizarre points in the game came late in the first quarter when Jefferson was awarded three points that nobody witnessed. Pollard said after the game that that’s just the way things happen sometimes, but Boys & Girls head coach Ruth Lovelace thought it ended up being a decisive play.

“That's the difference in the game,” Lovelace said. “We won that game easily. It's a shame. I'm very disappointed in the referees for missing that. There are three refs on the game, somebody at the table. All of that, that's major. Everybody had it as a phantom three, where did those three points come from? It's sad to happen on this stage.”

VINDICATION: Early in the season, Jefferson thought it wasn't getting any love from the fans or the media and even thought that some people thought it was a fluke that it won Brooklyn AA. However, after winning the Borough Title, many of Jefferson’s players and coaches feel they’ve been vindicated.

“We really needed to win this to validate ourselves as division champs because we tied Lincoln and only won it because of a forfeit,” Pollard said. "I think we silenced all critics today.”

STATS: Hall had 32, Moody had 13, and Lynch had five for Jefferson. Fludd lead Boys & Girls with 20, Joel Angus III had 13, and Dykweil Bryan had 12.

UP NEXT: Jefferson plays a tough non-league game vs. St. Anthony’s on Wednesday. Boys and Girls will await the PSAL Class AA playoffs.

Game of the Week: Jefferson vs. Boys

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
11:11
AM ET
WHO: No. 1 Jefferson vs. No. 2 Boys & Girls

WHERE: York College

WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: The top two teams in New York City will meet in the Brooklyn borough title game. Jefferson, ranked No. 1 in New York City and in the borough, is likely battling for the top spot for the Class AA playoffs when it takes on No. 2 and third-seeded Boys & Girls.

Jefferson overcame a big first-quarter deficit to defeat South Shore in the semis and advance to the finals. Jefferson outright won the Brooklyn AA title and split two games with Boys & Girls this season, including an overtime win in the two teams' last meeting.

Boys & Girls defeated Lincoln in the semis to advance to the finals. The Kangaroos were bounced from the borough tournament last season by Jefferson and will be trying to get some revenge against the Orange Wave. Boys & Girls is a battle-tested team that would love to claim supremacy in the league.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Boys & Girls Senior forward Leroy Fludd
Boys & Girls junior guard Wesley Myers
Boys & Girls senior forward Joel Angus
Jefferson senior guard Thaddeus Hall
Jefferson junior guard Jaquan Lynch
Jefferson sophomore guard Patrick Brown

COACHES:

Boys & Girls: Ruth Lovelace
Jefferson: Lawrence "Bud" Pollard

HOW THEY GOT HERE:


No. 2 Boys & Girls (20-4)

Nov. 26: 89-56 win vs. Pathways Prep
Dec. 1: 90-43 win vs. Westinghouse
Dec. 6: 74-56 win vs. Transit Tech
Dec. 8: 82-65 win at Robeson
Dec. 10: 64-59 win at Christ the King
Dec. 13: 73-61 win at Grady
Dec. 15: 61-58 loss at South Shore
Jan. 1: 63-38 win vs. Vaux (Pa.)
Jan. 3: 86-84 win vs. Jefferson
Jan. 5: 61-45 win at Westinghouse
Jan. 10: 73-50 win at Transit Tech
Jan. 12: 79-44 win vs. Robeson
Jan. 14: 74-64 loss at Lincoln
Jan. 15: 71-59 win vs. Curtis
Jan. 17: 88-33 win vs. Grady
Jan. 19: 71-52 loss vs. Curtis (La.)
Jan. 20: 59-50 win vs. Salmen (La.)
Jan. 21: 67-53 win vs. Wenonah (Ala.)
Jan. 27: 70-65 win vs. South Shore
Jan. 28: 63-61 win at Cardinal Hayes
Jan. 31: 95-92 loss at Thomas Jefferson
Feb. 2: 72-65 win vs. Lincoln
Feb. 7: 87-45 win vs. Bedford Academy
Feb. 9: 59-52 win at Lincoln

No. 1 Jefferson (20-5)
Nov. 26: 72-67 win vs. Campus Magnet
Dec. 1: 77-57 win vs. Grady
Dec. 3: 92-81 loss vs. Christ the King
Dec. 6: 65-55 win at Robeson
Dec. 7: Win vs. team from Australia
Dec. 8: 76-73 win at South Shore
Dec. 13: 75-71 loss vs. Lincoln
Dec. 15: 71-63 win vs. Transit Tech
Dec. 16: 63-62 win vs. Boyd Anderson (Fla.)
Dec. 17: 53-44 win vs. Sagemont (Fla.)
Dec. 18: 75-60 loss vs. Coral Srpings Christian (Fla.)
Dec. 19: 54-46 loss vs. Aquinas (Fla.)
Dec. 23: 78-56 win vs. Westinghouse
Jan. 3: 86-84 loss at Boys & Girls
Jan. 5: 78-64 win at Grady
Jan. 10: 56-55 win vs. Robeson
Jan 12: 64-60 win vs. South Shore
Jan. 17: 82-77 win at Lincoln
Jan. 19: 73-51 win at Transit Tech
Jan. 31: 95-92 win vs. Boys & Girls
Feb. 2: 63-53 win at George Westinghouse
Feb. 7: 103-83 win vs. Lafayette
Feb. 9: 52-50 win vs. South Shore

Boys basketball poll: Jan. 23

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
1:21
PM ET
There's a new No. 1 team in New York City. After entering the year as a team that was expected to be good, but a notch below the powerhouses, Cardinal Hayes is the new No. 1. The Cardinals are 15-1 and have yet to lose to a New York City team. Following them are the three Brooklyn PSAL powers that are having fun knocking each other off. Let's look at the poll.

1. Cardinal Hayes (15-1)/(LW: 4): Hayes took down St. Peter's and All Hallows this week and very likely could be undefeated in New York City when it hosts Boys & Girls on Saturday in what will be its toughest game of the season to this point.

2. Lincoln (16-3)/(LW: 1): Lincoln lost to Jefferson this week but stays ahead of them by being a collective 2-1 against Boys & Girls and Jefferson, the best mark of the three teams.

3. Boys & Girls (15-3) /(LW: 2): Boys & Girls went out of state for a tournament and went 2-1. It will face South Shore this Friday in a game with big seeding implications for Brooklyn AA.

4. Jefferson (14-5)/(LW: 6): What a big win for Jefferson. The Orange Wave have been knocking at the door all year but finally picked up that elite win as it went to Lincoln and handed the Railsplitters their first loss in New York City.

5. Christ the King (11-6)/(LW: 3): The Royals have not been as dominant as we expected they would be at this point. They lost to national power Mater Dei and later beat Holy Cross, but ended the week with a loss to Xaverian.

6. Wings (19-2)/(LW: 7): Wings had perhaps its best week of the season as it took down rivals JFK, Eagle Academy and Wadleigh and has firmly established itself as one of the powers in the PSAL.

7. South Shore (14-6)/(LW: 8): South Shore went 3-0 this week with a pair of wins out of state but will have to try to win its first big game in the division when it takes on Boys & Girls on Friday.

8. St. Raymond (9-7)/(LW: 5): St. Raymond is now just 9-7 after losing a game at Stepinac. While injuries have hurt the Ravens, they should be better than 9-7 at this point in the season.

9. Holy Cross (14-3)/(LW: 9): Holy Cross had a tough loss at home against Christ the King but bounced back with a nice win against rival St. Francis Prep. It has a tough week ahead with Loughlin, Molloy and Xaverian.

10. Mount St. Michael (13-3)/(LW: 10): Mount picked up another pair of quality victories as it defeated Xaverian and Stepinac on the road to improve to 13-3.

Rapid Reax: Jefferson beats No. 1 Lincoln

January, 17, 2012
1/17/12
9:40
PM ET
Following Saturday's victory over Boys & Girls, Lincoln star guard Isaiah Whitehead proclaimed his team as the best in New York City.

Following an 82-77 overtime loss to Jefferson at home in Coney Island on Tuesday night, it was a different story.

"Everybody thinks they are the best team in New York and I think opposite," Jefferson's Thaddeus Hall proclaimed after the game. "We run Brooklyn. We're the best team in Brooklyn and we're the best team in the city."

Even Lincoln's head coach, Dwayne "Tiny" Morton, agreed that Whitehead's statement was premature.

"He's soft, he played like a sophomore and not like one of the top sophomores in the country," a frustrated Morton said. "He's got to stop talking (trash). Wait until the last game. That is immature talk from a sophomore."

Whitehead actually had a chance to put Lincoln up 75-72 with just 22 seconds left when he went to the free throw line, but he missed his first shot and settled for a 74-72 lead. Jefferson's Hall hit a layup just 17 seconds later to tie the game at 74-74 to send it to overtime.

Jaquan Lynch led Jefferson with 21 points and played strong defense, holding Ethan Telfair to just 10 points. Hall had 17 and held Whitehead (17 points) to just three points in the second half. Patrick Brown and Kareem Johnakin each had 15.

STILL JUST A SOPHOMORE: Whitehead started out the game red hot, scoring seven of Lincoln's first 10 points and 10 of its first 18, but Morton called him soft following the game. Not only did he have just three points in the second half, but he quickly ran into foul trouble in the third quarter. When he was benched for four minutes that quarter, Hall, whom Whitehead was guarding, went on a tear, scoring a quick eight points.

LYNCH LEADS THE WAY: After trailing for most of the game, No. 6 Jefferson (13-5, 9-2 Brooklyn AA) started gaining momentum in the third quarter. Lynch hit a go-ahead jump shot with 25.3 left in the quarter. When he got the ball back shortly after that, everyone in the gym knew what was coming next -- but nobody could stop it. He hit a three to put Jefferson up 65-61 on No. 1 Lincoln (15-3, 10-1) heading into the fourth .

"Right now he is [the best shooter in the PSAL]," Jefferson head coach Bud Pollard said. "Right now he's on fire. I don't know one player in New York City that is playing better than him right now. We've seen pretty much everybody that's good and he's outplayed them all."

HALL STANDS TALL: Hall missed seven league games this year due to either academic or behavioral ineligibility, but now that he's back he may be the difference between Jefferson being a good team and possibly the best team in the city.

Hall tied the score with 4.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter to send Jefferson into overtime, and then provided some more heroics as he drew a foul and hit the free throw that put Jefferson up 82-77.

"I knew it was over when I looked over and I saw Tiny put his head down," Hall said. "After that I knew we won."

THE BIG MEN: Lincoln's big men, Tafari Whittingham and Travis Charles, get a lot of ink, but Jefferson showed that its big men, Johnakin and Edward Ogundeko, can hang right in there with them.

"I don't look at them as amazing big men," Lynch said of Lincoln's post players. "I'm just going to go strong to them, get them and foul trouble, and that's exactly what we did. Our big men stepped up a lot today. Without those final three blocks from Johnakin, I don't think we win this game."

UP NEXT: Jefferson will continue to play on the road as it heads to East New York Transit Tech to play on Thursday. Lincoln stays at home when it hosts Grady the same day.

Game of the Week: Jefferson at Lincoln

January, 16, 2012
1/16/12
4:09
PM ET
GAME OF THE WEEK

WHO: No. 6 Thomas Jefferson at No. 1 Lincoln

WHEN: Tuesday, 5 p.m.

WHERE: Abraham Lincoln

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: It's survival of the fittest in Brooklyn AA each and every night. Just three days after playing Boys & Girls, Lincoln now has another tough game as it will take on rival Jefferson. The two teams met on Dec. 13 at Jefferson, a 75-71 victory by Lincoln in a closely fought game.

Lincoln, ranked No. 1 by ESPNNewYork.com, has yet to lose a game to an opponent in New York City yet. Both of its losses have come out of state and it is 10-0 in Brooklyn AA. This game begins the start of an unbelievably tough four-game stretch where Lincoln will face No. 6 Jefferson, No. 8 South Shore and No. 2 Boys & Girls.

Jefferson is surprisingly tied for second in the league with its 8-2 league mark, which includes losses to Boys & Girls and Lincoln. The Orange Wave were expected to be the fourth-best team in the league, clearly behind Lincoln, Boys & Girls and South Shore, but are challenging for the league title. Beating Lincoln would be the biggest win of the season for the Orange Wave.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Lincoln
Sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead
Junior guard Shaquille Davis
Junior forward Tafari Whittingham

Jefferson
Senior guard Thaddeus Hall
Junior guard Jacquan Lynch
Sophomore guard Patrick Brown

COACHES:

Lincoln: Dwayne "Tiny" Morton
Jefferson: Lawrence "Bud" Pollard

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Lincoln: 14-2, 10-0 Brooklyn AA

Dec. 1: 84-45 Win vs. Robeson
Dec. 8: 69-61 win vs. Transit Tech
Dec. 10: 58-41 win vs. South Shore
Dec. 13: 75-71 win at Jefferson
Dec. 15: 78-75 win at Grady
Dec. 17: 71-66 win vs. Patterson (MD)
Dec. 22: 63-62 vs. George Westinghouse
Dec. 27: 83-36 win vs. Bishop Manogue (NV)
Dec. 28: 48-39 win vs. Skyline (Wash.)
De. 29: 81-70 win vs. Hardvard-Westlake (CA)
Dec. 30: 76-69 loss vs. Mater Dei (CA)
Jan. 5: 55-53 win at Robeson
Jan. 7: 90-63 loss vs. Lone Peak (Utah)
Jan. 10: 71-46 win at George Westinghouse
Dec. 12: 73-68 at Transit Tech
Dec. 14: 74-64 win vs. Boys & Girls

Jefferson: 12-5, 8-2

Nov. 26: 72-67 win vs. Campus Magnet
Dec. 1: 77-57 win vs. Grady
Dec. 3: 92-81 loss vs. Christ the King
Dec. 6: 65-55 win at Robeson
Dec. 7: Win vs. team from Australia
Dec. 8: 76-73 win at South Shore
Dec. 13: 75-71 loss vs. Lincoln
Dec. 15: 71-63 win vs. Transit Tech
Dec. 16: 63-62 win vs. Boyd Anderson (Fla.)
Dec. 17: 53-44 win vs. Sagemont (Fla.)
Dec. 18: 75-60 loss vs. Coral Srpings Christian (Fla.)
Dec. 19: 54-46 loss vs. Aquinas (Fla.)
Dec. 23: 78-56 win vs. Westinghouse
Jan. 3: 86-84 loss at Boys & Girls
Jan. 5: 78-64 win at Grady
Dec. 10: 56-55 win vs. Robeson
Dec. 12: 64-60 win vs. South Shore

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