By Joseph Staszewski
Bayside played from behind nearly the entire game, and despite multiple comeback attempts could not advance to the semifinals.
The No. 6-seeded Commodores fell 61-55 to No. 3 Curtis in the PSAL Class AA boys’ basketball quarterfinals at St. John’s University Saturday afternoon. Brandon King scored 21 points, Cantrell Barker had 11 and Austin Williams chipped in nine for Bayside, which led only twice.
“We kept trying to come from behind,” Williams said. “We were making a run.”
Bayside Coach Cory Semper thought the referees did not aid his team’s hopes of rallying. Commodore players were twice called for technical fouls for jawing with Curtis players. Semper believed his kids should have at least gotten a warning.
“I don’t feel we got a fair shake on that twice,” he said.
Bayside pulled within 49-47 with 4:57 remaining on a Williams layup, but Daqauise Andrews was called for a technical foul when Semper said he never said a word. Curtis’ Benjamin Ellis hit both free throws and the Warriors went on a 6-0 run to grab at 54-46 lead with 2:51 left to play.
“That last [tech] killed us,” the coach said.
The Commodores (21-4) made one more push, cutting the lead made by Curtis (26-4) to 59-55 with 36.8 seconds left. King’s three-pointer from the left side was off the mark and Bayside never got closer.
Jermaine Anthony Huff led Curtis with 19 points. Rhode Island-bound forward Hassan Martin had just 11 points, but he put his stamp on the game late with two blocks and a thunderous one-handed slam.
Williams was proud of his team’s season. Bayside won its first PSAL Queens borough title and has established itself as one of the city’s top programs.
“I’m proud we came this far,” Williams said. “A lot of people doubted us. Freshman year we didn’t even make the playoffs. This year we made it to St. John’s.”
Thomas Jefferson 64, Benjamin Cardozo 60: Jaquan “Son Son” Lynch’s floater with 40 seconds left in overtime sent No. 2 Jefferson (25-5) to the semifinals. No. 7 Cardozo, playing without suspended Coach Ron Naclerio, led 19-2 early in the second quarter, only to watch the Orange Wave creep back into the game.
Jefferson took its first lead with 38 seconds left in regulation on a jumper by Nazai Stokes, who scored 20 points. The Judges (23-5) forced overtime, thanks to Danny Janel’s tip in with 19.2 seconds to go and his block of down the other end.
Cardozo had a chance to tie the score late in overtime, but a three-pointer by Omar Williams (13 points) was off target. Kyle Credle also had 13 points and Darnell Holmes added 10 for Cardozo.