Bloody Sunday – QNS.com

Bloody Sunday

Thomas Edison and Campus Magnet accepted invitations to the Boys & Girls-hosted 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Classic Sunday afternoon to test one another with the borough and city playoffs looming.
The two clubs, one and two in Queens AA, departed feeling quite differently, Edison content with a narrow loss and Campus Magnet upset after a lackadaisical effort.
Edison, despite falling to Boys & Girls, 73-62, at St. Francis College left on a positive note, happy with their courageous effort and never-say-die mentality. The Inventors trailed 8-0 early, 29-12 after the first quarter and 61-37 at one point, yet kept clawing back behind 21 points from senior center Presano Bell and actually had the deficit down to nine at one point.
“The idea was to come in and win, but in the back of my mind I wanted to come in and compete and play tough,” Edison Coach John Ulmer said. “To lose by 11, do I take it as a moral victory? Yes. At least we know we can play with teams like this. We just have to tighten up.”
The same cannot be said for the first-place Bull-dogs, who only showed up when it was too late. Facing the city’s top ‘A’ team, Eagle Academy of the Bronx, they fell behind by 24 points in the third quarter, staged a furious comeback that was far too little, too late, finally losing, 69-61. Mennon Chavis led Campus (17-3, 12-1 Queens AA) with 24 points and Khalil McDonald added 11, but seniors Kyle O’Quinn (seven) and Nathaniel Wilson (0) were non-factors.
In the finale, in front of a pro-Kangaroos crowd that honored former great Dwayne “Pearl” Washington at halftime, Edison showed grit and toughness, characteristics not always associated with the Inventors.
But to say they put any fear into Boys & Girls, as Bell surmised afterward, may be a stretch. The Kangaroos, after all, were without their leading scorer, the Rutgers-bound shooting guard Pat Jackson, and rested many of their regulars in the second half.
The 11-point differential, though, was far closer than many expected, Ulmer noted. “I guarantee you people thought we were going to lose by 50,” he said. “I learned a lot about my guys, that they didn’t quit.”
Campus Coach Charles Granby, however, could find no positives in this effort. His players, joking and smiling in the final minutes of the loss, did not seem disappointed. The effort they showed in the win over bitter rival Cardozo earlier in the week was missing. So was the passion.
“We came in with a bad attitude,” Wilson said. “We figured because they were in the ‘A’ division, we would beat them by 30. That obviously was not the case. But they’re good. They are an AA team.”
“We don’t have a lot of games left,” he later added. “We have to step it up. A lot of it had to do with me - I did not play well at all. I’m a captain.”
Campus had trouble dealing with the Eagle press, turning the ball over 19 times. When they did beat it, the Bull-dogs were unable to finish around the basket.
Edison (12-8, 11-3 Queens AA) had the same problem, particularly in a first quarter in which they turned the ball over 10 times and gave up wide-open looks. Many Inventors appeared wide-eyed on such a stage against a high-profile opponent, passing up their own open shots and not getting back on defense.
“It devastated us,” Bell said. “Some people had jitters in the first half.”
Most importantly, according to the Edison playeres, they fought through nerves and played their kind of basketball in the second half, even if it did not result in a victory.
“I learned we can step it up when it’s necessary, but we have to be consistent for the whole game,” Bell said. “This helps us for future games.”

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