Week 4 PSAL Southeast Brooklyn Hoops Round-Up


By Jerry Del Priore

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Brooklyn’s Lady Chiefs Basketball suffer first loss of the season.

With the PSAL hoops campaign quickly moving along, and heading into the holiday break, area teams attempted to keep its momentum while one looked to get back into contention. One squad lost its first game of the season, while another picked up two victories to keep itself from fading into oblivion.

Here’s how the respective clubs fared during Week 4 action.
Harry Van Arsdale – 50, Canarsie – 42 (Brooklyn Girls A East II)
The visiting Canarsie girls team suffered its first defeat of the year, losing by eight points to the Lady Cardinals (6-0) last week.
Sophomore guard Destenee Bailey led the Lady Chiefs (5-1) with 15 points, and had 10 rebounds while senior guard/forward Kemisha Frederick chipped in with 13 and grabbed 10 boards of her own in the loss. Junior forward/center Chrishanta Hunt had a team-leading 12 rebounds.
Senior Alexis Davis recorded game-highs in points (25) and rebounds (15) for Harry Van Arsdale.
Canarsie – 70, Automotive – 58 (Brooklyn Boys A Southeast)
Senior forward Tyres Desinor led the charge for the Chiefs (3-5), scoring 20 points and dishing out 10 assists in the road win over the Pistons (1-8) Friday night.
Junior guard Sameer Akesson contributed 18 points and seven rebounds while senior forward/center Shaquan Belcher added a double-double–13 points and 13 helpers.
Canarsie – 66, Harry Van Arsdale – 55
Desinor paced all scorers with 30 points and 14 boards in Canarsie’s home victory last week. Senior guard Jacob Gayle dropped 15 of his own to help turn the Cardinals aside.
Abraham Lincoln – 88, Thomas Jefferson 71 (Brooklyn Boys AA)
The Railsplitters (6-0) used three players, who registered double-digit points, to ground host Thomas Jefferson (5-1) by 17 last week.
Lincoln’s seniors Michael Reid and Kclejuan Ferguson dropped 22 points each while Donald Cannon Flores, another senior, added 21 in the triumph.
Senior guard Khalil Rhodes scored a team-high 22 points for the Orange Wave. Seniors Kyle Harding, a guard, posted 17 and forward Malachi Faison had 11 with 13 rebounds in the defeat.
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Lab Museum Waxes Bryant, 61-47, in Girls Basketball Holiday Festival Tournament


By Jerry Del Priore

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Lab Museum United Varsity Head Coach Michael Lloyd maps out strategy for his team after the first quarter.

Lab Museum United has been soundly thumping easier competition for most of the early part of the PSAL girls’ basketball season. So, it was important to put their best foot forward against an undefeated Bryant squad from Queens, to prove it could hang with tougher opposition.

Consider it done. With guards Delilah Kalle and Dasha Goodman leading the way with 20 and 19 points, respectively, the Lady Gators (7-0, 9-0) upended the Lady Owls, 61-47, in the first game of the two-day Lab Museum United Holiday Festival Tournament Thursday in Manhattan.

Lab Museum head coach Michael Lloyd said it was a positive step in the right direction for his team, surviving a tough Bryant’s surge in the third quarter to come out on top in the end.

“It was a test. We been kind of been running away with some games in our league,” Lloyd explained. “But when Bryant pushed back, and they tied it in the third, our girls kept fighting; we were resilient. We started to get really locked in defensively (in the fourth), and made some tough shots.”

Lab Museum jumped out to a 18-13 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Gators extended their advantage to 32-22 at the half.

However, the Lady Owls (5-0, 6-1) gradually chipped away at the lead, going on a 15-2 run to slice the deficit to 40-39 at the end of the third period.

But that’s when the dynamic duo of Kalle (10) and Goodman (8) took over, scoring 18 of the Lady Gators’ 21 points in the fourth quarter to slam the door on the competition.

“Our sophomore, Dasha Goodman was big again. Delilah Kalle, a junior, was pretty good again,” Lloyd said. “We have those two, who led us last year, our one-two punch, leading us again.”

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Lady Gators Sophomore Kayla Bridgeman gets ready to shoot free throw in 61-47 win over Bryant at Lab Museum United Holiday Tournament.

Not to get lost in the shuffle, however, Lloyd said sophomore guard Kayla Bridgeman contributed solid offensive rebounding and helped to lock down Bryant’s top baller while senior forward Jamie Feinman provided leadership.

“Add Kayla, who is still finding her niche; she was great on the offensive boards. And she was instrumental in helping us contain number 13, which is their best player, Brianna Randolph,” he said. “It was a collective effort. Plus, we had Jamie as our anchor, our senior, our captain.

“Those four were big for us,” he continued. “They just grinded it out, and just kept playing. They were a little tired, but they gutted it out.”

Host Lab Museum returns to action today at 6:00 p.m. to face Brooklyn’s Summit Academy in game two of the tournament.

Mill Basin Native Wagner Elancieux Strives For Track And Field Success At St. Francis College


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Wagner Elancieux in St. Francis College of Brooklyn photo

St. Francis College senior Wagner Elancieux has had to battle for everything in his track and field career. It’s something that has driven him to succeed at every turn.

Elancieux enjoyed a solid track and field career at St. Edmund Prep High School in Midwood, but scholarship offers weren’t coming through like he had hoped. Perhaps it had something to do with the departure of the team’s coach in his senior year and its poor overall performance.

“Senior year was not what it was supposed to be,” Elancieux said. “We would win a few races here and there, but it kind of fell apart.”

However, the Mill Basin senior received a phone call in August 2013 from the head track and field coach at Monroe College in New Rochelle, NY. He visited the campus but said the coach couldn’t allocate any money for an athletic scholarship for him because there was no money left.

Not ready to give up the sport he grew to love, and having already been accepted as a student at St. Francis, Elancieux, 21, decided to walk on to the team. He made the squad and quickly participated in cross-country meets, performing well, though he was a sprinter by trade.

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Wagner strolls the track in warmup suit. Photos: St. Francis Athletics

In addition to his coach preparing him to run middle distances that season, Elancieux ran an impressive 400-meter race in the blistering cold and wind atMonmouth University, winning his heat. It installed enough confidence in his coach to allow him to continue to participate in sprinting events.

Though Elancieux improved as an overall runner, an athletic scholarship eluded him in his freshman year.

“I was pretty disappointed after not getting the scholarship my sophomore year,” he explained. “I was trying to take a little bit of the load off my parents and was upset I couldn’t do it. It only motivated me to work harder, and that’s what I did and continue to do.”

His tireless efforts paid dividends. Elancieux posted his fastest time ever (52.01) in the 400-meter event at the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship in May of his junior year, capping a productive season for the 5’ 8” Brooklynite. His fine performance finally yielded what he had been chasing.

“I just got it after my junior year,” Elancieux said of his new athletic scholarship. “That was amazing, that was the best,” adding that between his academic and athletic scholarships, along with grants, he’s not paying any tuition in his senior year.

Elancieux, who works as a student assistant at the Office of Student Success at the college, knows he must go all out to snap all his personal bests – that there isn’t another year of college after this.

“I am now realizing this is my last year, and I don’t have a choice,” said Elancieux, who has already achieved a personal best in the 300-meter indoor race. “I have to run well. All my times, I have to surpass that. I’m not going to have any regrets.”

After college, however, Elancieux, who is of Haitian descent and plans on entering law enforcement, has an aspiration he’d love to fulfill.

“I want to run for Haiti in a national competition,” the criminal justice major said. “That would have to be the highlight of my whole career. It would really be an honor to represent the country my parents were born in. The country itself has been through a lot, but wearing those five letters (Haiti) on my chest, hopefully, can bring some positivity to my people, and my running career would have actually meant something.”

Public Address Announcer Antonio Rodriguez Gives Canarsie Football a Voice


By Jerry Del Priore

For the past seven years at Canarsie football home games, every time the Chiefs’ offense moves the chains, public address announcer Antonio Rodriguez will broadcast his trademark call, “And that play is good for a Chiefs’ first down.”

It’s something that helps to motivate the crowd, giving the fans a reason to boisterously cheer on their beloved team.

A lifelong sports fan and former junior varsity Chiefs, Rodriguez started his announcing career with the basketball team. After three years of hoops broadcasting, the East New York native switched to the gridiron when longtime announcer Andy Rizzo retired, prompting then-coach Mike Camardese, a legend at the school, to ask him if he’d be interested in plying his trade for the football team.

I always wanted to be an announcer. Once he (Rizzo) retired, and Camardese gave me the opportunity, I just took it and ran with it,” he recalled at half time of Canarsie JV’s 38-18 win over Flushing High School Sunday. “I didn’t have to think about it. He asked right after a game, and said yes.”

During his time as an announcer, Rodriguez has been fortunate enough to work high school basketball games at the IZOD Center, home of the then-New Jersey Nets, before the franchise moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In addition, he’s performed Chiefs voiceover spots Cozzi Pictures’ City Gridiron, produced and directed by filmmaker Adam Salazar.

Volunteering his services to the football squad, it’s his profound love and passion for the program and sport that has him blissfully sitting behind the mic every season, with no end in sight, he noted.

“I’ve been coming to games since I was freshman,” Rodriguez—who hasn’t missed announcing or attending a game since he entered the booth in 2007—said. “It’s the love of the school, the kids, and the game that keeps driving me back every year. You’re going to have to bury me doing this.”

As far as announcing on a bigger stage, however, the 37-year-old said he would jump at the chance to take his career to a higher altitude.

“Anytime you do something, you always want to go to the next level,” he said. “Everybody has a dream of moving up. If the NFL came and said, ‘we’re looking for an announcer for the Oakland Raiders,’ I would move to Oakland tomorrow.”

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Antonio Rodriguez and the Terror Squad at Canarsie Educational Campus.

*Note: This story first appeared in the November 21, 2013 edition of the Canarsie Courier. 

Week 3 PSAL Brooklyn Southeast Basketball Round-Up


By Jerry Del Priore
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Brooklyn’s Canarsie Lady Chiefs Basketball run record to 6-0 in the Class A of the PSAL.

It was a terrific week for area PSAL hoop squads in the Southeast of Brooklyn as the three local teams in action kept its undefeated records intact with a perfect week.

Here’s how the clubs fared:
Canarsie – 33, Prospect Heights – 32 (Girls Brooklyn A East II)
The Lady Chiefs (6-0) led 25-19 heading into the fourth quarter against Prospect Heights. The Lady Cardinals tested Canarsie, and it proved up to the challenge as it held off the opposition’s surge to walk away with the win last week on the road.
Sophomore guard Destenee Bailey led the Lady Chiefs with 12 points while senior forward/center Chrishanta Hunt provided added firepower and toughness with eight points and 15 rebounds.
Tilden – 53, John Dewey – 23 (Girls Brooklyn B South)
Sophomore center Stephanie McBride led the visiting Lady Blue Devils (4-0) with an impressive double-double, posting a 31-point, 15-rebound effort in the commanding victory over John Dewey (2-2) last week.
Senior guard Brittany Brathwaite contributed eight points in the win.
Tilden – 77, Summit Academy – 65 (Boys Brooklyn Boys B South)
A pair of senior ballers led the Blue Devils (7-0) to a 12-point triumph over Summit Academy (2-5) Monday night.
Jallah Hazelwood put up 22 points and grabbed 16 boards while Reginald Miot scored 22 of his own and added 12 assists.
Senior Andrew White chipped in with 12 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.
Tilden – 55, Wingate – 53
Hazelwood paced Tilden with 22 points and 14 boards to help his squad upend the Generals last week at home.
Senior Kamar Gowie added 13 points and Miot had 10 while White pulled down 12 rebounds to help complete the total team effort.
Top Individual Performance:
Sophomore guard Kayla Bridgeman, who hails from East New York, scored a game-high 17 points to help host Lab Museum United crush Thurgood Marshall in a Manhattan A West Division game last week. 

 

Concierge App, Drinklynk Works to Transform the Group Nightlife Experience


By Jerry Del Priore

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Drinklynk, an online personal nightlife concierge.

It’s an all too familiar scene for people who plan nightlife group outings. You search for a venue for a special event or a night on the town, and are quoted a price, only to find out that the cited rate for your group is a lot more than expected, or you’re denied access altogether.

It’s a buzz killer, to say the least, ending any hope of having fun for your group.

Enter Drinklynk, an online personal nightlife concierge that cuts down on the search process for customers, and allows venues to fill openings on demand, said Chris Martine, CEO and Co-Founder of Drinklynk.

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Drinklynk App.

It all starts by answering nine simple questions, and the company takes care of the rest for you.

“You tell us exactly what you want and how much what you want to pay, and we will find it for you,” Martine explained. “What we really wanted to do is put the power in the customers’ hands.”

But Drinklynk doesn’t stop there. “Any offer that you’re given (by the venue), it’s upheld,” the former two-sport varsity high school athlete said. “We make sure of that.”

A Lawrenceville, NJ native, Martine, 29, began planning and throwing events for friends after he moved to New York City three and half years ago.

Martine, who was a former IBM executive, started out with a website, which he started to strategically build a team around. He brought on an ISO and Android app developer along with marketing and operations people. In the 18 months since its inception, Drinklynk has worked with over 250 NYC venues, according to Martine.

Currently, it has expanded to Miami, Atlantic City, Philadelphia and Las Vegas—helping to plan events such as bachelor and birthday parties.

Drinklynk is free to customers, and every time a venue opts into serving a client’s request, they pay a commission to the company, Martine noted.

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(Xander is on left, Chris in middle, Marc on right).

Though Martine said the company focuses on large gathering, such as working to secure places for after parties and corporate events, “where it does it best work,” Drinklynk serves groups of approximately five to eight people, for the most part.

“It really gotten a lot of traction,” he said. “It’s really doing well. We sent over 12,000 customers to venues. We have a strong social media presence, and lots of referrals and repeat users.”

Follow Drinklynk on Instagram @Drinklynk (www.instagram.com/drinklynk).

The Drinklynk Team:

Chris Martine – Co-Founder and CEO .

Madhav Bhagat – Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Marc Battipaglia – Head of Business Development and Legal.

Xander Rothaus – Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Joe Toscano – Design Lead.

Ryan Cochrane – IOS Lead Developer.

Kiril Popnikolov – Marketing Lead.

Dmitriy Tarasevich – Android Lead Developer.

 

 

Week Two Local Brooklyn Southeast PSAL Girls Basketball Round-Up


By Jerry Del Priore

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Brooklyn’s South Shore Lady Vikings, defending PSAL AA Champs.

It was a productive week for PSAL area girls hoops teams, as three squads came away with convincing victories to extend the start of its respective seasons with perfect records. The fourth team won via forfeit. 

The South Shore Lady Vikings got off to a good start in defense of their Class AA PSAL championship crowns, beating Francis Lewis easily.
The Canarsie Lady Chiefs looked good in action as well as it notched another victory to open its Brooklyn Class A season at 2-0. Thomas Jefferson continued the trend by routing its foe in other Class A action, while Tilden picked up a forfeit victory in the B division.
South Shore Lady Vikings — 68, Francis Lewis — 30 (Brooklyn AA Group 1)
The two-time Lady Viking champs (2-0) had four players score in double digits, helping to trounce Francis Lewis by 38 points at home last week.
Junior guard Keyanna Glover outpaced all hoopsters with 17 points. Junior point guard Destiny Philoxy followed with 11 while junior Earlette Scott and senior Selena Philoxy drained 10 each.
Canarsie Lady Chiefs — 73, Clara Barton — 29 (Brooklyn A East II)
Sophomore guard Destenee Bailey dropped a game-high 30 points and added six assists. Sophomore guard/forward Destiny Drummond chipped in with 27 and a contest-leading 18 rebounds in the lopsided home win over the Lady Panthers (0-2) last week.
Canarsie (2-0) also received a valuable contribution from senior guard/forward Kemisha Fredrick, who scored eight points and grabbed 12 boards in the triumph.
Thomas Jefferson — 50, Prospect Heights — 29 (Brooklyn A East II)
The Lady Orange Wave ran its record to 2-0 with a 21-point win over the Lady Cardinals (1-1) last week on the road.
Tilden (Brooklyn B South) defeated Brooklyn Studio via forfeit last week.
Tilden is 3-0 in its division, and tied for first place with Brooklyn College Academy.

East New York, Brooklyn Student-Athlete Kayla Bridgeman Makes The Grade At Manhattan High School


By Jerry Del Priore

Kayla Bridge and her Mom Yvonne are all smiles a day before the PSAL season begins for Lady Gators.

Kayla Bridgeman and her Mom Yvonne are all smiles a day before the PSAL season begins for Lady Gators.

Sophomore basketball player Kayla Bridgeman is a true competitor, working hard in the classroom and on the court to get into a fine college someday.

But in a defining moment in her young high school career, Bridgeman decided to transfer out after her freshman year at the iSchool at Chelsea High School in Manhattan. Bridgeman, 15, said she decided to leave to attend a learning institution that better suited her academic needs. The East New York native applied for New York City Museum School at Lab Museum United, another high school in Chelsea, and was accepted.

“The way they teach here is better for me,” the 5’6”, 135-pound wing said of NYC Museum. “It’s more traditional and hands-on, and the team was very good. So, it was a benefit to me as far as academics and basketball.”

Currently, she’s balancing both disciplines in her life—which includes typical 12-hour days during the PSAL basketball season—with favorable results. Bridgeman said she’s pulling a 91 average and has averaged 10 points in the Lady Gators’ first four games (all wins) to start the PSAL season.

As far as gelling with her new teammates during the early going, Bridgeman said, “I am fitting in well. They’re very supportive and open to new things.”

Bridgeman, who plays AAU ball with the Brooklyn Saints, is expected to see ample hardwood time and produce as a young player, and it doesn’t seem to phase the mature youngster one bit.

“I don’t feel it’s a lot of pressure because I know my teammates are there for me if I need help or if I’m confused,” she said of playing in a new system with Lab United. “So, the pressure is not a big deal for me. I don’t worry, I just play.”

For head coach Michael Lloyd, his young, dynamic player possesses several desirable attributes, both in basketball and personality, that many coaches would love to have in an athlete. Those qualities make her extremely valuable to a squad that lost, 67-64, to Tottenville in the second round of the Class A playoffs last year.

“I like that she’s humble, athletic and she can play. She can guard three or four spots on the floor,” Lloyd said. “And she doesn’t know how good she can become. She’s always active. She’s always around the ball, always around the basket. She keeps playing hard.” img_3670

Bridgeman’s positive upbringing seems to have a lot to do with her modest, even-keeled temperament and diligent work ethic. They’re all characteristics that have served her well in both her hoops and academic life, especially her studies, which is job one at the Bridgeman household.

“I’m a big school fanatic – education first,” Yvonne Bridgeman, Kayla’s mother emphasized. “Basketball is secondary, and I stress that to her. I said to her, ‘You know, if your academics fall, you got to give up basketball. If you break a leg, basketball is done.”’

Kayla says she has strong college aspirations and hopes to study something in law. She plans to use hoops and her grades as vehicles to reach the next level, hopefully on a scholarship.

“She wants to go to college. She’s focusing on trying to get a scholarship, which would be great,” adds her Mom. “If you stay focused, you can get to wherever you want to go.”

Lab Museum United returns home Monday at 5:00 p.m. to face Graphics Campus in a Manhattan A West battle.

Ex Cyclone Joe Jiannetti to Participate in Whiffleball Tournament to Help Fight Type I Diabetes


By Jerry Del Priore

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From left to right, Hannah Phelps, Eleanor Phelps and Joe Jiannetti at last year’s Sam Fuld Whiffleball event.

Former Brooklyn Cyclone Joe Jiannetti was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, an autoimmune disease that destroys the body’s ability to produce insulin, a hormone needed to control blood glucose, at the age of 15.

The 11-year former minor leaguer knows how difficult it is to managed the disease while playing professional baseball. That’s why he gives back to any diabetes fundraising and awareness cause whenever possible.

Jiannetti will be participating in SlamT1D’s 3rd annual Slam Fuld Tampa Classic whiffleball tournament at the University of South Florida (USF) Saturday as part of Hannah Phleps’ Sick of Pricks Team.

Hanna is the daughter of Josh Phelps, a former major leaguer whom Jiannetti played with while a member of the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League.

Fuld—the organizer of the event along with SlamT1D, a nonprofit supporting children, families and adults living with Type I diabetes—is a major leaguer who last played with the Oakland A’s in 2015 before missing the ’16 season due to surgery on his left rotator cuff. He also happens to be a Type I diabetic who was diagnosed at the age of 10.

Therefore, there’s a personal connection that goes from Jiannetti to Hanna to Phelps, spurring a fundraising effort to find a cure.

“I am doing this because I am a Type I diabetic and this Foundation works directly for finding a cure for Type I diabetes,” explained Jiannetti, who reached AA with the Mets in 2004. “With the money raised during this event, they helped fund research for Type I diabetes as well as giving scholarships to children to go to diabetes camps and learn about the disease.”

There will be various whiffleball stadiums setup to replicate real Major League ballparks, such as Mini Fenway and Little Yankee Stadium, among other fields.

MLB players that have been part of past events include Matt Moore, Chris Colabello, Kevin Kiermaier, Andrew Miller and Jose Bautista, to name a few.

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San Francisco Giants Pitcher Matt Moore on the mound at last year’s Sam Fuld whiffleball tournament.

As for furthering his knowledge to assist diabetes patients, Jiannetti is currently in his second year of pharmacy school at LECOM Bradenton. He belongs to an organization at the college called APHA, American Pharmacist Association, in which it works with other groups to teach diabetics how to manage their condition better.

“In that group, I work with a specific group called Operation Diabetes (chaired by Ashley Beachy) where we focus on diabetic related issues,” he said, “such as testing blood sugars, counseling patients about diabetes, how to control your blood sugars on a daily basis and just in general how to live life as a diabetic.”

To donate to Sick of Pricks or any of the other 15 teams, log onto www.crowdrise.com/samfuldclassic. The event’s goal is to raise $100,000, with some of the proceeds going to Fuld’s diabetes camps for children. You can donate up until the end of the year.

 

 

Week One PSAL Southeast Brooklyn Basketball Round-Up


By Jerry Del Priore

It’s that time of year again as PSAL basketball teams duke it out on the hardwood for New York City supremacy. It was a great start for local Southeast Brooklyn hoops squads as all four clubs picked up wins to tipoff the regular season with high-octane domination.

Here’s the breakdown of games played through Monday, December 5th:

South Shore – 84, Midwood – 31 (Girls AA)

VikingsThe Lady Vikings, the two-time reigning PSAL AA girls’ champions, launched into the new campaign with a commanding win over Brooklyn AA Group I division opponents Midwood Friday night on the road.

Senior Selena Philoxy, who’s ticketed for Seaton Hall University next fall, scored a contest-high 18 points, and grabbed nine rebounds. Freshman forward/center Kayla Johnson and senior guard Tsahai Corbie chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively, with Johnson pulling down nine boards for South Shore.

Junior forward/center Jasmine Johnson added nine rebounds, to go along with four points.

Tilden – 65, Brooklyn College Academy – 57 (Boys Brooklyn B South)

The Blue Devils played four solid quarters of hoops to beat Brooklyn College Academy by eight points at home to kick off their regular season last week at home.

Senior Reginald Miot poured in a game-leading 24 points, and dished out 12 assists to pace Tilden to victory.

Tilden – 53, Sunset Park – 18 (Girls Brooklyn B South)

The visiting Lady Blue Devils crushed Sunset Park Friday night to ring in the regular PSAL campaign on a high note.
Sophomore center Stephanie McBride led the Tilden charge with an impressive tilt, draining a game-high 24 points while gathering 16 rebounds in the lopsided triumph.

Thomas Jefferson – 74, Wingate – 21 (Girls Brooklyn A East II)

The Lady Orange Wave scored double digit points in each of the four periods while limiting Wingate to a single digit output in each quarter. It resulted in a blowout win for the visiting squad.