New York High School: Leroy "Truck" fludd

The Catholic High Schools Athletic Association's message was heard loud and clear.

After the league advised its players to not play in Saturday's Battle for the City, which had billed as a game between the best of the Public Schools Athletic League and the CHSAA, only five Catholic league players showed up for the event. At least 20 CHSAA players had been slated early in the week to play in the game.

Instead of a strictly CHSAA team, a team constructed of CHSAA and PSAL players was thrown together, and that team fell to the PSAL All-Stars, 110-91, on Saturday at Baruch College.

THE HISTORY: The CHSAA advised its players not to play for fear of the game being unsanctioned as well as rule that says underclassmen cannot play in All-Star games unless there is a tryout. The five players who showed up were all seniors.

Event organizer, Funsport Inc. CEO Rickey Rivers, said that he talked to the NCAA about the contest and was told it did not need to be sanctioned since there would be no college coaches attending. He also said there were no problems with seniors playing in the game since they're allowed two All-Star Games.

The CEO, who at one point asked if CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens President Ray Nash was there, also disputed that an underclassmen's eligibility would be in danger if they played.

"I called the NCAA compliance office when I put together this event and went though all the things, had my checklist in order, I knew exactly what was needed to pull of this event because I've done these things several times," Rivers said. "The things they used against me were not valid points, and that was the point I think I was a little disturbed about."

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: The PSAL team jumped out to an early edge, leading 56-42 at halftime, and cruised to a win.

Pathways Preps junior center Jordan Washington earned MVP honors for his 22-point effort while Boys & Girls forward Leroy "Truck" Fludd had 16. Satellite Academy senior guard Stanley Cepedes led the CHSAA/PSAL team with 21 points.

"It was a lot of fun," Washington said. "There were some top players in the country and I knew I had to come out here and play ball."

ONLY FIVE FROM THE CHSAA: The five players were the CHSAA were Xaverian guard Brian Bernardi, Mount St. Michael guard Malik Gill, and St. Raymond's trio of guard Myron Hickman, and forwards Daniel Dingle and Kerwin Okoro.

Hickman, a late addition, didn't agree with the CHSAA.

"Basically I felt like what they were doing was kind of wrong, telling some of the top kids in the CHSAA they can't play," Hickman said. "I wanted to help out Rickey and I've known him for a long time and that kind of played a factor as well, and I didn't want his event to turn out not to be a good one so I came."

THE OTHER GAMES AND EVENTS: The Blue team defeated the White team, 82-56, in the "Future Game" featuring top freshman and sophomores. Boys & Girls freshman Jamie Killings scored a game-high 30 points in a win.

Okoro won the 3-point shooting contest while Fludd took home the slam dunk crown.

MOVING FORWARD: Rivers envisions this event continuing and said he would make some tweaks if he were to do it differently, including not using the league names.

"I'm very happy for how it turned out. I expected there would be a little bit of turbulence despite everything that was said and going on around it," Rivers said. "At the end of the day, it was a fun event and what I expected it to be. Fun for the kids and celebrating New York City basketball, some of the best kids on display, that's what you want to see."

Bronx/Queens teams sweep Mayor's Cup

March, 30, 2012
The bragging rights in the Public Schools Athletic League will be in the Bronx and Queens for the year, as the Bronx/Queens teams defeated the Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island squads in both the boys and girls game in the Mayor's Cup on Friday night at City College of New York. The Mayor's cup pits the best seniors in the PSAL against one another.

Girls: Bronx/Queens 65, Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island 60: While JFK's Deaisia Acklin took home MVP honors, it was the play of Morrisania's Ogechukwu Uwanaka that had one of the team's coaches, Francis Lewis' Stephen Tsai, raving after the game.

"I have no idea how we win without her," Tsai said. "She had to play a majority of the time as she was our only legitimate size but she was quick enough to go against the other team's size as well. Deaisia also had to play a majority for us and while she won MVP, (Uwanaka) did so much for us in terms of rebounding, blocked shots, loose balls. It was so impressive."

The Bronx/Queens team fell in a 19-6 hole early but it pulled itself back into the game by using a zone defense and took the lead. The Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island team made a late charge but Tsai said the Bronx/Queens team made some incredible shots that he would guess some of the girls didn't even expect to go in.

"The event was better than I expected," Tsai said. "The turnout was incredible, Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg was there and taking pictures with everybody, it turned out to be a great event and for the boys game it was even nicer. I was so impressed with how everything turned out. It was a great event and great to be a part of."

Boys: Bronx/Queens 122, Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island 121 (OT): The Bronx/Queens team capitalized on two missed free throws by arguably the best player in the league, Leroy "Truck" Fludd, and scored a late basket to squeak out the win in overtime and complete the sweep for the boroughs.

The Bronx/Queens team took a lead on a layup by JFK's Muhammed Ahmed following Fludd's misses, and the Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island team had a chance to win the game late but couldn't connect.

Eagle Academy's Najee Senior was named MVP for scoring 15 points while Wadleigh's Basil Harley scored 26 in a losing effort. Senior scored all of his points in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime.

"It was a cool event," said Wings Academy coach Billy Turnage, who was part of the winning staff. "You got to see the AA players with the A players and B players. These guys never had the chance to play together before, and I had never seen some of them, and these lower level guys are talented and can ball out."

Wadleigh coach Mike Crump, who was on the losing staff, called it an "A1 event" and had a fun time meeting Mayor Bloomberg following the game.

"We took a picture with him and I was going to give him rabbit ears," Crump joked. "He had security detail there and I didn't want to spend a week in the pen so I ultimately didn't do it."

Rapid Reaction: Boys 72, Lincoln 63

March, 11, 2012
For a long time, it was the Lincoln boys basketball team that ruled Brooklyn and New York City. From 2002-09, it won seven city championships.

Lately, though, it has been Boys and Girls that has ruled the city.

After beating Lincoln for the third time this season on Saturday in the Public Schools Athletic Class semifinals, the Kangaroos are headed back to Madison Square Garden as they attempt to three-peat as city champions and firmly establish themselves as the team that runs New York.

“I don't think it really sunk in yet, but it's definitely a great feeling,” Boys and Girls head coach Ruth Lovelace said of her chance to three-peat. “There are only two teams to go and to be blessed to be one of them is really amazing. I'm just so humble as a coach, I don't really speak out to things like that.”

Boys and Girls had won the two previous games against Lincoln, but Lincoln didn’t have its star player, Isaiah Whitehead, for a full game in either of the first two matchups. Whitehead played Saturday but it didn’t matter as Boys High beat Lincoln, 72-63, at St. John’s University in Queens to advance to the PSAL finals.

EARLY FOUL TROUBLE: Boys and Girls knows that Whitehead is one of the most talented players in the city so the game plan was to try to get him into foul trouble. It didn’t take long for that to happen on Saturday as Whitehead committed a pair of fouls in the first two minutes of the game and quickly found himself on the bench.

“Isaiah got in foul trouble early and that was really big,” Leroy “Truck” Fludd said. “That changed the game a lot because that's their best player and for him to get out of the game early that really messed them up and they weren't focused.”

Whitehead sat on the bench for most of the game and fouled out in the final minutes. He finished with 13 points and was never the dominant force Lincoln needed him to be.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: With Whitehead in foul trouble early and Tafari Whittingham still out due to a suspension, Lincoln had trouble finding consistent scoring early. It managed to hang in there in the first quarter, but in the second, Boys High built up a seven-point lead.

In the third quarter, things completely unraveled for Lincoln. Wesley Myers and Rashad Andrews pushed the lead to 13 points and frustration took over for Lincoln. Boys and Girls went 11-for-17 from the line in the final four minutes of that quarter and led by 19 after three.

TOO LITTLE TOO LATE: Lincoln started clawing back in the fourth quarter when Rakim Lasane and Whitehead led a 14-2 run, putting the Railsplitters down just eight points. However, there was just 1:33 left at the end of the run, not enough time to finish the comeback.

With the seconds ticking off the clock, Lincoln had no other choice but to start fouling Boys and Girls. The Kangaroos made nine of 14 shots from the line in that final 1:33.

STATS: Wesley Myers finished the game with 21 points and five assists, Fludd had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Andrews had 10. Rakim Lasane had 14 for Lincoln, Whitehead had 13 and Ethan Telfair had 10.

UP NEXT: It’s all on the line as Boys and Girls heads to the Garden next week as it takes on Jefferson in the two team’s fourth matchup this season. Jefferson has a 2-1 advantage.