By Dylan Butler
The New York Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball tournament is moving from Queens College to the brand-new Pratt Recreation Center on the campus of C.W. Post, the league announced Monday.
And Queens College men’s basketball coach Kyrk Peponakis would like nothing better than to knock off the host Pioneers in the first round of the tournament Tuesday night.
That is at least the latest goal for Peponakis, whose team is back in control of its own postseason destiny after back-to-back wins over Concordia and Dowling.
“My goals have changed about 50 times this year,” Peponakis said. “We’ve been fighting and trying to do things and we won 12 games which is nice, but let’s get to the playoffs. Why not? I think its wide open anyway.”
Queens (12-13, 10-12) owns tiebreakers with Molloy and Southampton, which are in ninth and 10th place, respectively in the NYCAC standings.
The Knights, who occupy the eighth and final playoff berth, can still finish as high as seventh with a win at Philadelphia University in a game scheduled for Wednesday and at home in the regular season finale against New York Tech Friday at 7:30 p.m.
After losing five straight, including a 59-53 loss at C.W. Post, Queens has rebounded with a 62-57 win at Concordia Thursday and a 72-58 victory over Dowling Saturday.
One of the keys to Queens’ late-season resurgence is senior forward Mike Leonce. The 6-foot-9 forward from Jamaica registered a double-double in five of the Knights last nine games, including an 11-point, 16-rebound performance against Dowling Saturday.
Also playing well of late is junior guard Greg Dickinson. The former Van Buren standout by way of Ventura Junior College languished on the bench for much of the season but rebounded with solid outings in the last three games. The Queens Village native had 10 points and 4 assists in 31 minutes off the bench against the Golden Lions.
“Mike has played the best he’s played all year in the last eight or nine games, but he's also making the smart pass, causing turnovers on the press. He just effects the game,” Peponakis said. “Greg has made some shots and given us another guy to go to. He’s playing the way we hoped he'd play all year.”
Notes: The Queens College home doubleheader against New York Tech Friday will be broadcast live on the internet by Sports Radio Network (WSRN) as part of its season-long coverage of NYCAC basketball. The games, which can be heard on www.sportsradionet.com, will be called by Rob Goldenberg and Alon Avital and will feature a 15-minute pregame show starting at 4:45 p.m.
Cargill and Liverpool tops CUNY awards
As if there was any ever doubt, Lauren Cargill was named the CUNY women’s basketball Player of the Year, the league announced last Thursday.
Cargill, the former Cardozo standout, is the all-time leading scorer in CUNY history (men or women) with 2,247 points. The 5-foot-9 senior from Valley Stream was also named CUNY Player of the Year in 2000 and is a four-time CUNY all-star.
Also honored by the conference is Kwesi Liverpool, a 6-foot-3 freshman at York College. The South Ozone Park native, who leads the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 14 points per game, was named CUNY Rookie of the Year. The Holy Cross grad also led the league in shooting percentage (62.3 percent) and shot 73.5 percent from the foul line while averaging 5.2 rebounds per game.
Dobie earns NEC honors
Following a 53-point, 15-rebound outing in LIU’s 142-140 double-overtime loss to rival St. Francis College, former McClancy standout Antawn Dobie was named Northeast Conference Player of the Week for a second time this season.
The 6-foot graduate student now has the NCAA single-season high for points and assists (17).
Overshadowed by Dobie’s monster game was a career-high 30 points from LeFrak City native JaJa Bey.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 143.