New York High School: Wings Academy

Wings' Jenkins headed to Fairfield

April, 9, 2012
The difference between a plane ride and a car trip played a pivotal role in leading Wings Academy senior guard Justin Jenkins to commit to Fairfield over Florida Atlantic.

"It came down to my mother being able to come see me play and being able to stay close to my home and my family," Jenkins said. "I'm also going to get a good education."

Jenkins chose the Stags on Monday after completing his unofficial visit to Florida Atlantic. He averaged 17.1 points and seven assists in league play as he led the Wings to the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA semifinals this past season.

"I feel like it's a good program," Jenkins said about the Stags, who made the MAAC title game this year. "They have a good recruiting class coming in,"

The 6-2 guard came to his conclusion after returning home from Florid and talking to his mother and one of his AAU coaches, Casey Williams, who he says is like a big brother to him. Jenkins liked how Fairfield always kept tabs on him.

"They were always at my games," Jenkins said. "I saw Fairfield people all season."

The senior was a late bloomer on the recruiting trail, not really emerging until his junior season. A broken leg his sophomore year kept him from playing with the varsity and he averaged 10 points and 2.4 assists in league games for Wings as a junior.

After the departure of several key seniors last year, Jenkins showcased his ability to play the point and be a leader this year, according to Wings Academy head coach Billy Turnage. The coach said Jenkins did a phenomenal job handling those responsibilities.

Turnage said Jenkins is the type of player who does several things very well, compared to one great skill, mentioning his ability to score from every point on the floor. He said Jenkins defensive and strength could improve, but believes the strength will come with being on a college campus.

"It's a great fit for him," Turnage said. "Education wise, he's going to get a high-class education and he has an opportunity to step forward and earn some minutes for the team right away."

Jenkins said making a decision was stressful, as there was so much importance on making the right one, and he's glad it's over. He's probably going to take summer classes at Fairfield.

He said the Stags expect him to work hard right away and develop as a point guard, emphasizing the ability to share the ball. Jenkins is hoping that he can bring that same leadership and steady guard play that he demonstrated this past season with Wings.

The guard will be joined at Fairfield by Cardinal Hayes senior center Amadou Sidibe, and Jenkins is excited to be heading there with another New York City player.

"I'm excited to play with him," Jenkins said. "I've played with him before so it's exciting to be able to play with someone you know at college, it makes it a little easier."

Final boys basketball poll

March, 26, 2012
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.

Boys basketball poll: March 19

March, 19, 2012
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.

Boys basketball poll: March 12

March, 12, 2012
After a great week of hoops, St. Raymond is the CHSAA Class AA Intersectional champion and the PSAL has its final set between Thomas Jefferson and Boys & Girls. Those are the only three Class AA teams left in New York City and two of them will represent the Big Apple at the State Federation tournament in Albany next weekend.

1. Thomas Jefferson (25-6) /(LW: 1): Jefferson survived a scare against Wings Academy and heads to the final as the favorite, as it has bested Boys & Girls two of three times.

2. St. Raymond (21-9)/(LW: 2): St. Raymond rallied to take down Cardinal Hayes and then vanquished Holy Cross to win its first title since back-to-back crowns in 2003-04.

3. Boys & Girls (23-6/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls built up an early lead against rival Lincoln and then held off the Railsplitters late, and will now try to win its third straight title.

4. Holy Cross (24-5)/(LW: 4): Holy Cross didn't have enough size inside to defeat St. Raymond and fell in the tittle game as it tried to win its second title in five years.

5. Cardinal Hayes (24-5)/(LW: 5): Hayes couldn't hold an eight-point lead late against St. Raymond and watched its rivals instead go on to win the Class AA title.

6. Mount (21-8)/(LW: 6): Mount could not carry over its momentum from beating Christ the King as it lost by 15 to Holy Cross in the semifinals of the tournament.

7. Christ the King (19-8)/(LW: 2): Christ the King easily could have been playing for the Intersectional title but instead had to watch the title game for the first time in three years.

8. Wings (26-4)/(LW: 9): Wings saw its season end in a heartbreaking loss to Jefferson but fought to the final minute with the league's top seed.

9. Lincoln (19-10)/(LW: 8): It's easy to say that this season did not go as planned for Lincoln, which had so much talent but could not put it all together.

10. South Shore (18-10)/(LW: 10): South Shore at least can say it lost to a title game finalist for the second straight season, if that's any consolation.

Boys basketball poll: March 5

March, 5, 2012
There's only eight teams left in the Class AA after this weekend's crazy slate of games. Christ the King, the two-time defending CHSAA champion, fell in the quarterfinal to Mount St. Michael, meaning the CHSAA will have a new champion. Over in the PSAL, three of the teams left are from Brooklyn with Wings Academy also getting to the semifinals. Here's the poll.

1. Thomas Jefferson (24-6) /(LW: 1): Top-seeded Jefferson is in the semifinals after it defeated Robeson and Wadleigh this week. It will face Wings Academy.

2. St. Raymond (19-9)/(LW: 3): St. Raymond is in the semifinals for the third straight year and will try to advance to the final when it takes on Cardinal Hayes.

3. Boys & Girls (22-6/(LW: 4): Boys & Girls had an impressive win against South Shore and is now getting ready for a fourth meeting with rival Lincoln.

4. Holy Cross (23-4)/(LW: 5): Holy Cross came back from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Molloy and now will face Mount St. Michael in the semifinals.

5. Cardinal Hayes (24-4)/(LW: 6): Hayes defeated both St. Francis Prep and Bishop Loughlin easily as it advanced to the semifinals to face St. Raymond.

6. Mount (21-7)/(LW: 9): Mount had the upset of the weekend as it took down Christ the King in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals against Holy Cross.

7. Christ the King (19-8)/(LW: 2): CK saw its season come to an end early as it fell to Mount St. Michael in the quarters, ending hopes of a three-peat.

8. Lincoln (19-9)/(LW: 7): Lincoln held off Curtis in the quarterfinals and now will try to exact revenge in the semifinals against Boys & Girls.

9. Wings (26-3)/(LW: 9): Wings barely beat Eagle Academy but took down Cardozo in the quarterfinals to setup a game with Jefferson in the semifinals.

10. South Shore (18-10)/(LW: 10): South Shore came into the year hoping for grand results but instead lost in the quarterfinals to Boys & Girls for the second straight year.

PSAL boys Class AA quarterfinals recap

March, 4, 2012
The PSAL has its final four set after Boys & Girls, Lincoln, Wings Academy and Thomas Jefferson each won in the quarterfinals. You can read more about Boys' win here, but here are the highlights from the other three games at St. John's.

Lincoln 60, Curtis 57: Lincoln thought it had an easy task taking on Curtis, but the game instead came down to the final possession as the third-seeded Railsplitters barely pulled off a 60-57 victory against sixth-seeded Curtis to advance to the semifinals against Boys & Girls.

“I think we were at least 15 points better than them,” Lincoln’s head coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton said. “Obviously we weren’t. We were lucky, that last shot could easily have gone in or we could have been called for a foul.”

Morton once again singled out his star sophomore Isaiah Whitehead as a big reason for why his team underachieved. Whitehead, who led his team with 19 points, played in just his third game since returning from an ankle injury that kept him out for two weeks.

“No, I don't think he played really well,” Morton said. “He did some things he used to do, but he wasn't playing 100 percent in this game. He is much better than that. He didn't really push by anybody because his ankle is not there and you can tell.

“I don't think it's a physical thing, I think it's a mental thing. He's probably going to need two months off to get his ankle together.”

Wings 56, Cardozo 46: Fourth-seeded Wings played a shutdown defense that held fifth-seeded Cardozo to just four points in the first and third quarters on its way to an eventual 56-46 victory.

Wings coach Billy Turnage said after the game that he loves the way his team played defense, but he would like to see them turn more of its stops into points.

“We've been playing solid defense," Turnage said. "We have to reward ourselves for getting stops. We have the tendency to let up and give up too many offensive rebounds when we get stops though.”

Marvillo Berroa led Wings with 20 points and said he dedicated the game to his mother and sisters who encouraged him to turn his season around after a slow start.

Jefferson 80, Wadleigh 61: Jefferson carried a slim 35-34 into the half before exploding in the third quarter on its way to an eventual win. Thaddeus Hall led all with 25 points and string of three’s in the third quarter sparked the breakout.

“That's what Thaddeus has done since he's been back,” Jefferson coach Bud Pollard said. “I think Son Son (Jaquan Lynch) has been our MVP for the year because he carried us when Thaddeus wasn't here. But now he's back and he's going to carry us to a championship and he's been doing just that. He's making plays and showing us that he's a big leader.”

Also making a big contribution was Jalen Evans, whose father had a run-in with coach Pollard a couple weeks back when Jefferson faced St. Anthony’s. Evans had 17 points.

“I thought the story today was JJ Evans,” Pollard said. “He came off the bench and dominated the game. I just wish his father was here because last time he tried to slug me, today he could have hugged me. I'm going to call him up and say, 'give me a hug because last time you had a slug.'”

Jefferson will take on Wings Academy next week and according to Hall, the game should be easy.

“Wings, that's easy," he said. "I don't think Wings can deal with us. I just know for a fact that that's an easy game. They don't have any heart.”

Boys basketball poll: Feb. 20

February, 20, 2012
It seems like this happened last year. Christ the King fell to the middle of the pack in the rankings as it lost a few games, only to make a late surge to the top spot. That's the case this year as the Royals are back to No. 1, which is where they opened the season. Here's this week's poll.

1. Christ the King (18-6)/(LW: 2): CK defeated Burke Catholic and is riding high into the Brooklyn/Queens playoffs, where it's the No. 1 seed.

2. Thomas Jefferson (22-6) /(LW: 1): Jefferson lost a tough game to undefeated St. Anthony (N.J.) but bounced back with a nice neutral win vs. Xaverian.

3. Boys & Girls (20-6/(LW: 3): Boys & Girls fell to St. Raymond on the road in a buzzer beater and stays ahead of Hayes due to their head-to-head win.

4. Cardinal Hayes (22-3)/(LW: 4): Hayes went 2-0 this week against Fordham and will prepare for a tough game against St. Ray's in the Archdiocesan semis.

5. St. Raymond (16-9)/(LW: 10): When you beat Lincoln and Boys & Girls on back-to-back days, you're going to move up the rankings like the Ravens did.

6. Lincoln (17-8)/(LW: 5): Lincoln lost at home to St. Raymond but should be with point guard Isaiah Whitehead this week, which would change its team.

7. Wings (24-3)/(LW: 6): Wings had the week off and is preparing for its PSAL second round game against Bronx foe Eagle Academy.

8. South Shore (17-9)/(LW: 7): South Shore is getting ready for what might be the most intriguing second round game when its hosts JFK.

9. Holy Cross (20-4)/(LW: 8): Holy Cross had a nice week with wins over Fordham Prep and Bishop Loughlin and is the two seed in the Brooklyn/Queens playoffs.

10. Mount (19-6/(LW: Unranked): Mount works it way back into the rankings and will be preparing for its Archdiocesan semifinal game against St. Peter's.

PSAL boys AA predictions

February, 15, 2012
The Public Schools Athletic League boys basketball Class AA Tournament begins on Wednesday with the first round of games. We asked our high school writers Matt Ehalt, Rob Abruzzese and Christopher Hunt to give us their predictions and dissect the tournament.

Here are the seeds for the tournament:

1. Thomas Jefferson (14-2 Brooklyn AA)
2. Boys & Girls (11-3 Brooklyn AA)
3. Lincoln (11-3 Brooklyn AA)
4. Wings Academy (16-0 Bronx AA)
5. Cardozo (12-2 Queens AA)
6. Curtis (14-0 Staten Island A)
7. South Shore (9-5 Brooklyn AA)
8. Wadleigh (15-1 Manhattan AA)
9. Bayside (12-2 Queens AA)
10. JFK (13-3 Bronx AA)
11. Campus Magnet (11-3 Queens AA)
12. McKee/SI Tech (11-3 Staten Island A)
13. Transit Tech (5-9 Brooklyn AA)
14. Beach Channel/Channel View (9-5 Queens AA)
15. Samuel Gompers (10-6 Bronx AA)
16. Lehman (10-6 Bronx AA)
17. Paul Robeson (4-10 Brooklyn AA)
18. Manhattan Center (7-9 Manhattan AA)
19. Thurgood Marshall Academy (6-10 Manhattan AA)
20. Eagle Academy (3-13 Bronx AA)
21. Martin Van Buren (5-9 Queens AA)
22. James Monroe (5-11 Bronx AA)
23. Forrest Hills (4-10 Queens AA)


EHALT: Jefferson: Think about this for a moment: In Brooklyn AA, arguably the toughest division in America, Jefferson went 6-2 against Lincoln, South Shore and Boys & Girls. This team truly earned its No. 1 ranking in every which way and has been the dominant team in the PSAL over the past month. There might not be a team playing better basketball in New York City than Thomas Jefferson.

ABRUZZESE: Boys & Girls: After winning back-to-back PSAL championships the Kangaroos are the team to beat until somebody proves they can stop them.

HUNT: Thomas Jefferson: The Orange Wave, led by 32 points and 13 rebounds by Thaddeus Hall, took down Boys & Girls, the city champs, in the Brooklyn AA final. It was also the second time 10 days Jefferson beat the Kangaroos. Even if Boys & Girls has back-to-back titles, the bull’s eye is on Jefferson.


EHALT: JFK: JFK is riding high after it defeated Wings Academy for the Bronx borough title. The Knights handed Wings its first PSAL loss and that could be the type of momentum needed to make a run. If it gets by JFK, it will play South Shore, a team that is capable of beating anyone but could have its eyes set on Boys & Girls in the quarterfinals. JFK could be primed to make a lost of noise.

ABRUZZESE: Wings Academy: By grabbing the four seed, Wings will avoid facing any of the Brooklyn AA teams until the semis so expect the Wings to make a deep run.

HUNT: Lincoln: The Railsplitters are wounded with Isaiah Whitehead out with an ankle injury. But Lincoln still has Travis Charles and Travis Whittingham and if they can find a way to hold the fort without Whitehead in the lineup, it’ll make them more dangerous, and more confident, when he returns.


EHALT: Cardozo:
Cardozo won the Queens borough title after finishing second in the regular season but the question remains about how good this Cardozo team is. It's not as strong as in past years and does not have Jermaine Lawrence anymore, a player who could have made a difference. The Judges haven't been particularly challenged this year and they could have a tough time ahead in the tournament.

ABRUZZESE: South Shore: It could end up facing JFK early in the tournament, a team that has already upset Wings Academy in the borough playoffs.

HUNT: South Shore: They should make it into the quarterfinals at least, but South Shore could see JFK in the second round, a team that upset Wings Academy in the Bronx borough playoffs.


EHALT: Lincoln over Jefferson: Call me crazy but I think Lincoln is ready to make a run to the title. It's arguably as talented as any team in New York City but has battled injuries and has not played as well as it should. I think that changes in the playoffs. Lincoln goes on a run, defeating Boys & Girls in the semifinals, and then wins the title in a thriller against Jefferson.

ABRUZZESE: Jefferson over Boys & Girls: Jefferson has an easier path to The Garden and should be able to make it all the way there while Boys & Girls will be able to take advantage of Lincoln's chemistry issues to go back for the third time in three years. Unfortunately, Boys doesn't have the weapons to beat Jefferson in the finals though.

HUNT: Boys & Girls over Jefferson: The Kangaroos could have a tough road while trying to win their third straight city title. But the defending champions have proved, in spurts, they can beat any team in the city. It helps that they’ve been there before.


EHALT: Robeson over Lehman; MSIT over Van Buren; Eagle Academy over Transit Tech; Beach Channel over Thurgood Marshall; JFK over Forest Hills; Gompers over Manhattan Center; Jefferson over Lehman; Wadleigh over Bayside; Cardozo over MSIT; Wings over Eagle; Lincoln over Beach Channel; Curtis over Campus Magnet; South Shore over JFK; Boys & Girls over Gompers; Jefferson over Wadleigh; Wings over Cardozo; Lincoln over Curtis; Boys & Girls over South Shore; Jefferson over Wings; Lincoln over Boys & Girls.

Lehman over Robeson; MSIT over Van Buren; Eagle Academy over Transit Tech; Beach Channel over Thurgood; Campus Magnet over Monroe; JFK over Forest Hills; Manhattan Center over Gompers; Jefferson over Lehman; Wadleigh over Bayside; Cardozo over MSIT; Wings over Eagle Academy; Lincoln over Beach Channel; Campus Magnet over Curtis; South Shore over JFK; Boys over Manhattan Center; Jefferson over Wadleigh; Wings over Cardozo; Lincoln over Curtis; Boys High over South Shore; Jefferson over Wings; Boys over Lincoln.

Lehman over Robeson; MSIT over Van Buren ; Transit Tech over Eagle Academy; Beach Channel over Thurgood Marshall; Campus Magnet over James Monroe; JFK over Forest Hills; Manhattan Center over Gompers; Jefferson over Lehman; Wadleigh over Bayside; Cardozo over MSIT; Wings Academy over Transit Tech; Lincoln over Beach Channel; Campus Magnet over Curtis; South Shore over JFK; Boys and Girls over Manhattan Center; Jefferson over Wadleigh; Cardozo over Wings Academy; Lincoln over Campus Magnet; Boys and Girls over South Shore; Jefferson over Cardozo; Boys over Lincoln.

Boys basketball poll: Feb. 13

February, 13, 2012
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.

Borough finals recaps

February, 11, 2012
While Jefferson vs. Boys & Girls headlined the borough finals, three other champions were crowned on Saturday. Here are the recaps from the other games that decided the Public Schools Athletic League borough champions.

BRONX FINAL: JFK 59, Wings Academy 54: The last time these two teams met, it was Wings’ Justin Jenkins who put the final dagger in JFK with a buzzer-beater three-point shot. This time, Wings took its shot a little too soon as there was 12.8 second left on the clock after Marvilio Berroa put his team on top, 54-53.

On the next play, Muhammed Admed drove the lane and got the go-ahead layup with just 1.8 seconds left that put JFK up, 55-54, on its way to an eventual 59-54 victory to take the Bronx borough title Saturday at York College in Queens.

“I kind of had a flashback to the last game when he hit that shot because that's what caused us the loss,” Ahmed said. “I told everybody to keep their heads up, the game was not over. This time we played through it.”

JFK is hoping that this victory will propel it to success as the last time it won the borough title was the same year it went all the way to the championship game at Madison Square Garden.

Bashir Admed led JFK with 13 points and his brother, Muhammed, had eight. David Hardy had 11. Jenkins had a game-high 19 points for Wings and Jaequan Brown had 11.

MANHATTAN FINAL: Wadleigh 75, Manhattan Center 60: With Manhattan Center missing a few players who were at a senior trip, Wadleigh easily handled it, winning 75-60 to take its sixth consecutive Manhattan Borough Title.

Wadleigh coach Michael Crump was upset that Manhattan Center didn’t field an entire team and also said he’s not content winning more Manhattan titles.

“That game unsharpened our pencil,” Crump said. “We had Kennedy, we went to Wings, we've been on a high note and then we go see them, a depleted team that we already beat, and our guys didn't even want to play.”

On the Manhattan title, Crump said: “It's gotten to the point where we don't keep track of it. We have to worry about the city championship. We’ve got to get out of the quarter finals. We've never been to the final four.”

Freshman Llunga Kadisha got a chance to showcase his skills, as he led his team with 22 points. Kenneth Thomas had 16, and Stephen Turner and Basil Harley each had 12. Manhattan Center’s Khalil Hamer led the game with 26 points.

QUEENS FINAL: Cardozo 69, LIC 58: Cardozo faced off against one of the biggest surprises in the borough finals and almost let a 15-point lead evaporate before getting pulling together a 69-58 victory.

Unlike Crump, Cardozo’s head coach Ron Naclerio refuses to take this title for granted despite winning many of them, including three in a row. His team underwent a tough transition this season when it lost star Jermaine Lawrence, who transferred midseason.

“Do we really get the applause for running Queens? People think its accepted, but I know how hard it is,” Naclerio said. “It's great for the kids because a lot of the kids heard in school, ‘we're not going to be this or not going to be that without Jermaine.’

“When they walk into school Monday they know that they are the Queens champs.”

Tajay Henry led Cardozo with 21 points and Kyle Credle had 10 big points. When Cardozo’s lead shrunk to four, Credle picked his game up, scoring seven points in a one-minute span that put distance between Cardozo and LIC.

LIC’s Sadji Camara and Arthur Santana each had 17 points and Kevin Green Jr. had 13.

PSAL borough playoffs preview

February, 8, 2012
The Public Schools Athletic League borough playoffs begin on Tuesday in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. The quarterfinals are Tuesday, the semifinals are on Thursday and the finals are on Saturday. Here are the brackets for each of the respective boroughs.


No. 1 Thomas Jefferson vs. No. 8 Lafayette
No. 2 Lincoln vs. No. 7 Global & International Studies
No. 3 Boys & Girls vs. No. 6 Bedford Academy
No. 4 South Shore vs. No. 5 Brooklyn Collegiate


No. 1 Wings Academy vs. No. 8 Stevenson
No. 2 JFK vs. No. 7 Dewitt Clinton
No. 3 Eagle Academy vs. No. 6 Evander Childs
No. 4 Lehman vs. No. 5 Mott Haven


No. 1 Bayside vs. No. 8 John Adams
No. 2 Cardozo vs. No. 7 HS for Construction
No. 3 Campus Magnet vs. No. 6 Springfield Gardens
No. 4 Beach Channel/Channel View vs. No. 5 LIC


No. 1 Wadleigh vs. No. 8 Elanor Roosevelt
No. 2 Manhattan Center vs. No. 7 Health Professions
No. 3 Hunter College vs. No. 6 Stuyvesant
No. 4 Graphic Communication vs. No. 5 Norman Thomas

BEST BOROUGH: BROOKLYN: There are five ranked teams from the PSAL this season. Four of them reside in Brooklyn, including the top team in the city, Thomas Jefferson, and two other top four teams in Lincoln and Boys & Girls. The semifinals could potentially be the Class AA tournament semifinals and that tells you just how strong this bracket is.

WORST BOROUGH: MANHATTAN: There's really only solid team in the borough and that's Wadleigh. The rest of the teams are not up to the caliber of Wadleigh and it should roll relatively easily through the bracket. There isn't really any intriguing matchup and there are only two teams from the AA in the bracket. It's just not as exciting as others.

INTRIGUING BOROUGH: QUEENS: Cardozo is the class of Queens but is not as powerful as it has been in the past. It's the No. 2 seed behind Bayside and will potentially have to beat Campus Magnet, a team that already beat it earlier this year, in the semifinals to reach the final. It seems that each year it's which team will face Cardozo in the final but this year Cardozo enters as a possible underdog.

THE 'CAN ANYONE BEAT WINGS' BOROUGH: THE BRONX: Wings Academy is undefeated in league play and is the only team in the PSAL do to that. Wings is the cream of the crop in the Bronx and it's going to be interesting to see if any team in the division can give them a game in the final. The two top contenders, JFK and Eagle Academy, will meet in the semifinals, meaning Wings will only have to go through one of them if it wants to defend its title.

THE BEST POSSIBLE FINAL: Boys & Girls vs. Jefferson: No offense to Lincoln, but without star Isaiah Whitehead, it's not at full strength and that takes away from the intrigue. Boys & Girls and Jefferson are both healthy and have had two games that came down to the final minute, including last week's overtime win for Jefferson. If these two teams make it, it would steal the show and potentially determine who will be the top seed for the AA Tournament.

THE PICKS: Boys & Girls over Jefferson; Bayside over Cardozo; Wings over Eagle Academy; Wadleigh over MCSM.

Boys basketball poll: Feb. 6

February, 6, 2012
Raise your hand if you thought Thomas Jefferson would outright win the Brooklyn AA title. It seems we all underestimated Jefferson and the Orange Wave are now the No. 1 team in New York City heading into the borough playoffs. Christ the King also moves up to No. 2 with its impressive wins over St. Ray's and Cardinal Hayes. Here's this week's poll.

1. Thomas Jefferson (18-5) /(LW: 4): Jefferson won a tough home game against Boys & Girls and then clinched the division with its win against George Westinghouse.

2. Christ the King (16-6)/(LW: 5): CK moves up three spots and has looked again like the team to beat as it beat St. Ray's and Cardinal Hayes this week.

3. Boys & Girls (18-4)/(LW: 1): Boys & Girls again lost right after being moved up to No. 1 in the poll. It will again have to face Lincoln this week in the borough semifinals.

4. Lincoln (16-6)/(LW: 3): Lincoln had a tough week. It had a win get ruled a double forfeit and then lost to Boys & Girls after losing two key players in the second half.

5. Cardinal Hayes (16-2)/(LW: 1): Hayes went 2-1 this week but its loss to to Christ the King knocks the Cardinals down a few pegs.

6. Wings (22-2)/(LW: 6): Wings is looking to move up but the lack of an elite schedule has kept it from picking up that elite win that will move it up.

7. South Shore (16-8)/(LW: 7): South Shore had a double forfeit loss with Lincoln but rebounded to win its final league game. It will be the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.

8. Holy Cross (18-3)/(LW: 9): Holy Cross only played once this week but took down its rival, St. Francis Prep.

9. St. Raymond (12-8)/(LW: 8): St. Raymond lost a tough game to Christ the King this week and will try to get revenge this week when it heads to Hayes.

10. Curtis (21-4)/(LW: Unranked): The best team on Staten Island is 21-4 and could make some noise in the PSAL AA Tournament .

Boys basketball poll: Jan. 30

January, 30, 2012
Boys & Girls took down a No. 1 team for the second time this season as it defeated Cardinal Hayes on Saturday. For that impressive win, the Kangaroos are No. 1 this week. They will, of course, be put to the test as they have games against Thomas Jefferson and Lincoln this week. Here's this week's poll.

1. Boys & Girls (17-3) /(LW: 3): Wins over South Shore and Cardinal Hayes has The High riding high into their big showdowns with Jefferson and Lincoln this week.

2. Cardinal Hayes (16-2)/(LW: 1): Hayes made it close but was down by as much as 16 against Boys & Girls. A big week ahead with a game against Christ the King.

3. Lincoln (16-4)/(LW: 2): Lincoln lost to Hudson Catholic (N.J.) but has to try to bounce back with games against South Shore and Boys & Girls this week.

4. Jefferson (14-5)/(LW: 4): Jefferson was scheduled for the SNY Invitational, which got canceled. It will have had a full week off in preparation for its game vs. Boys & Girls.

5. Christ the King (13-6)/(LW: 5): The Royals will be put to the test this week as they travel to St. Raymond and then will host Cardinal Hayes.

6. Wings (21-2)/(LW: 6): Wings squeaked out a nice win against Curtis on the weekend. If it wasn't were the Brooklyn powers, Wings would be getting a lot more press.

7. South Shore (15-7)/(LW: 7): South Shore lost a heartbreak against Boys & Girls this week but rebounded to defeat Philadelphia power Neumann Goretti this weekend.

8. St. Raymond (11-7)/(LW: 8): St. Raymond went 2-0 this week with a big win against Loughlin. It had been scheduled to play in the SNY Invitational before its cancellation.

9. Holy Cross (17-3)/(LW: 9): Another impressive week for Holy Cross, which picked up quality wins against Xaverian and Bishop Loughlin.

10. Mount St. Michael (15-3)/(LW: 10): The Mount went 2-0 this week and will have a big game at St. Raymond on Tuesday.

Boys basketball poll: Jan. 23

January, 23, 2012
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.

Boys basketball poll: Jan. 9

January, 9, 2012
There was a major shakeup this week in the top as Lincoln falls to No. 3 and Boys & Girls jumps up to No.1. That might be short lived though as the two squads will face each other this Saturday in Coney Island where the winner would likely grab next week's No. 1 spot.

1. Boys & Girls (9-1)/(LW: 3): The Kangaroos were having an impressive season already and then they added former St. Anthony's guard Rashad Andrews this week making them even better.

2. St. Raymonds (9-4)/(LW: 2): Daniel Dingle is trying his best to make sure he is not forgotten by leading his team to big wins over Paul VI (Va.) and Trinity (Ky.) this week. It might not be Brooklyn AA, but they have a very tough schedule.

3. Lincoln (11-2)/(LW: 1): Losses to Mater Dei (Ca.) and Lone Peak (Ut.) aren't anything to be ashamed of, but the way they were blown out in those games has to sting. They could easily jump back up to No. 1 next week though with a win against Boys high on Saturday.

4. Christ the King (7-3)/(LW: 4): Since a loss against Chester (Pa.) on New Year's Day, the Royals are finally playing like a real team instead of a collection of stars.

5. Cardinal Hayes (11-1)/(LW: 5): Three big wins for Hayes this week, but its biggest test is this Friday against St. Raymond.

6. Jefferson (10-5)/(LW: 6): Leader Thaddeus Hall is holding his team back instead of lifting them up with his constant eligibility issues. He needs to lead them this week as Jefferson takes on South Shore on Thursday.

7. South Shore (10-4)/(LW: 8): South Shore may have bought into their preseason hype a little too much to start the season, but Shamiek Sheppard has led them to some impressive victories lately.

8. Wings Academy (13-2)/(LW: 9): Justin Jenkins got his first D-I offer from St. Peter's this week, but the real story is junior Marvillo Berroa who dropped 30 points on Truman this past Friday. If he can continue to improve they will be a real contender in the PSAL playoffs.

9. Xaverian (8-2)/(LW: 7): Xaverian's two victories earlier in the week were overshadowed by its loss to Christ the King Sunday, but it actually played very well, at least offensively, in that game.

10. Holy Cross (10-2)/(LW: 10): Holy Cross picked up a big win against Molloy thanks to the return of senior Marquise Moore. An upcoming game against Xaverian on Friday will have a big effect on next week's poll.

On the bubble: Curtis (11-1), Mount St. Michael (10-2), Cardozo (9-2), and Wadleigh (12-3).