By Jerry Del Priore
Going into its boy’s PSAL Sweet 16 Class A game against No. 17 Far Rockaway, top-seeded and defending champs Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology (16-0) played like you’d expect a No. 1 to play: excellent.
The Jets led 21-8 at the end of the first quarter, but the Sea Horses (14-2) chipped away at the deficit until it surged ahead in the third period and never looked back, winning, 58-50, Wednesday night at Hebrew Educational Society in Canarsie, Brooklyn.
“I felt like we were treated like the underdog coming into the playoffs; we got the 17th seed after last year having the number three seed,” Far Rockaway head coach Mark Bacchus said. “We played tough competition this year. I felt they gave us a seed that we didn’t deserve, and it was fine.
“As a team, we know that we’re better than that, and we just had to go out and prove it,” he continued. “Nobody believed in us, but we have to stay focused, go out there and prove it, and play 32 minutes of full capacity basketball. And the kids are buying into it.”
Far Rockaway set the groundwork for its comeback in the second quarter, outscoring BHSLT, 21-11. Though the Jets were ahead, 32-27, going into the locker room, the tide had turned at that point.
Big man D Lon Morris nailed a three-pointer to narrow the gap at 32-30 in favor of the Jets with 6:34 to go in the third period. But senior Davonta “Tank” Cook hit a bucket to make it a four-point game with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter.
Moreover, the Sea Horses went on a 13-4 run, capped by Morris’ put-back, to close out the period ahead by a score of 43-38.
Cook’s two consecutive baskets sliced the deficit to 48-45 with 2:48 remaining in the tilt. But Far Rockaway went on a 10-5 streak to finish the contest and BHSLT’s season.
With Joseph Pena out with an injury and Cook facing double teams all night long, head coach and athletic director Michael Levy said his team required someone else to light up the scoreboard, which didn’t happen. Plus, the Jets needed to out-rebound the opposition, something else they failed to accomplish.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge this year. We lost a key player to an injury,” Levy explained. “We knew it was going to be an uphill battle, but we had a game plan where we needed to box out, and we didn’t do that. We knew that they were going to gear in on Tank, and we needed guys to step up and they didn’t deliver.”
Morris drained a game-high 16 points, mostly from the outside, surprising most in attendance due to his big guy frame.
“D Lon Morris is our key sixth man. He’s a big guy,” Bacchus said. “A lot of people think he can’t shoot, but that’s his strength. He’s a big kid, but his strength is not down low. It’s shooting.”
Kai Woods and Allen Fordham chipped in with 14 and 10 points, respectively, while Michael Agiddi added nine in the victory.
The Sea Horses face No. 9 Transit Tech in the quarterfinals Sunday at 4:15 at Achievement First High School located at 1485 Pacific Street, Brooklyn.