By Joseph Staszewski
Francis Lewis got its city title defense started with a lopsided victory of epic proportions.
The fourth-seeded Patriots and defending champions beat visiting No. 13 Brooklyn Collegiate 117-8 in the opening round of the PSAL Class AA girls’ basketball playoffs Wednesday. Francis Lewis coach Steve Tsai said he knew the game wasn’t going to be competitive because his team beat the Lions 89-4 back on January.
“We don’t want to embarrass the other team at all, but at the same time we are trying to keep the integrity of the game,” Tsai said.
Francis Lewis pressed in the first quarter like his team traditional does, but did not begin the contest with his regular starters, he said. The team’s four seniors, including starters Chi La Bady and Robyn Francis were on the floor for the tip along with top reserve Cassidy Khan, Samantha Stolz and little used freshman Xuanrui Hu.
“After that we stopped pressing,” Tsai said. “It got to a point where I was telling the girls when we get the ball, we have to pass it a certain number of time before we shoot. We had girls that were underneath the basket who weren’t shooting. At that time it was the girls who typically don’t play.”
The Lions haven’t scored more than 29 points in a league game all year and also fell to third–seeded Grand Street Campus 87-9 and top-seed South Shore 92-13 during the regular season. Lewis players like star Sierra Green played seven or eight minutes, according to Tsai. He called off the press and pulled most of his starters after grabbing a 35-4 first quarter lead. Regulars Khan, Green, Bady and point guard Taliyah Brisco combined for 61 points. Lewis made 12 three-pointers.
“There are other game where it was lopsided and I tried to make sure we weren’t running up the score,” Tsai said. “Honestly, yesterday everybody was just hitting shots.’
Tsai said he continually checked with Brooklyn Collegiate coach Rodney Johnson, the referees and league officials to ensure there was not the feeling that he was running up the score. He never got the sense they had a problem with how his team was playing.
“Everybody seemed OK,” Tsai said.
Francis Lewis advances to play No. 5 Curtis in the quarterfinals 3 p.m. Sunday at Lehman College.