By Five Boro Sports
The mission for Sheldon Jones was simple.
“I felt that whole first half that I wasn’t going to the rim strong enough,” he said. “I made it my point to go to the rim.”
The Townsend Harris senior guard did just that, over and over and over again in the second half. Jones scored 23 of his game-high 32 points after halftime, bringing the No. 3 Hawks back from a 13-point deficit. His emphatic fast break, right-handed slam on a John Murray feed tied the score at 59 with 2:04 left in the fourth quarter.
“I was hoping the guy jumped, really,” said Jones, pining for a poster slam.
Upstart No. 26 seed Brooklyn College Academy, which finally got healthy at the season’s end, retook the lead, but Jones followed with an assist to Murray for score and a layup of his own to put the Hawks back up two with 50 seconds left.
“It was definitely fun to watch,” junior guard Thomas Tsatsis said. “All season whenever we needed him, he stepped up.”
The lead would not last long. Keyon Aigle quickly banked home a long three-pointer to put the Bobcats up for good. Jones was guarded closely up the left sideline on the ensuing possession and was forced to give the ball up before a Townsend Harris turnover.
“He was beyond the college three-point line, it was like NBA and off glass?” Jones said. “That was really lucky.”
BCA held on for a 65-63 victory in the PSAL Class B boys’ basketball semifinals at Hunter College Tuesday night. Thomas Tsatsis scored 15 points for Townsend Harris and Aigle led the Bobcats with 25.
“I tried to take the team and put it on my back,” Jones said. “I just wasn’t enough, I guess.”
His electrifying and dominant performance, as he drove through the lane seemingly at will, was nothing new to Coach Frank DeNunzio. He has seen it plenty times before during Jones’ superb career at Townsend Harris (26-4). The coach called Jones coachable, a hard worker, a leader and a rare kid, one who can make errors go away.
“Sheldon has that streak that he can absolutely take the game over,” DeNunzio said. “He’s done that before. He is used to doing that, putting the team on his back.”
Jones dropped in 16 points in the third quarter alone to make it 47-46 Brooklyn College (14-6) heading into the fourth. His barrage came after Aigle went off in the second quarter.
“We buried ourselves early,” DeNunzio said.
Still, it was a fantastic performance to go out on for Jones, even if she wasn’t happy with the loss.
“If I watched this game, I got my money’s worth,” Jones said. “It was a great game. It was even more fun to play.”