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Thursday, March 7, 2019: Far Rockaway upsets PSAL top seed in round of 16

   Leading off today: Far Rockaway started slowly but got itself back into the game and went on to a 58-50 upset of top-seeded Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology on Wednesday in the PSAL boys Class A basketball tournament round of 16.

   The 17th-seeded Sea Horses trailed 21-8 after one quarter against this week's No. 5 team in the New York State Sportswriters Association rankings but chipped away and took the lead for good in the third quarter in Canarsie.

   Sixth man D-Lon Morris' putback to close out the third quarter built the Far Rockaway lead to 43-38. Morris finished with a game-high 16 points.

   "I felt like we were treated like the underdog coming into the playoffs; we got the 17th seed after last year having the No. 3 seed," Far Rockaway 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."

   Law and Tech, the defending tournament champion, was without injured starter Joseph Pena.

   "We knew it was going to be a challenge this year. We lost a key player to an injury," coach Michael Levy said. "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."

   PSAL suspends coach: Thomas Jefferson coach Lawrence "Bud" Pollard was not on the bench for the Orange Wave's 62-48 win over Eagle Academy in the PSAL Class AA quarterfinals in Brooklyn.

   Pollard was suspended by the PSAL for issues regarding the use of players that the league considered to be ineligible during the course of the season. Players learned of the development shortly before tip-off.

   "We found out about a half hour before the game but honestly we have been doing this for 15 years," said assistant coach Seldon Jefferson, who ran the team. "Our staff has pretty much been together for 15 years so this is nothing new, we coach every game together and regardless of who the coach is we speak as one voice so we were OK."

   Senior Dashan Crittenden (11 points) came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second quarter that helped forge a 31-22 lead at the half.

   Junior Kevin Tabb led the winners with 20 points.

   Top-seeded South Shore downed John Bowne 54-43 behind guard Kadary Richmond's 14 points.

   Center Moriches advances: Caught up in a one-point game with 3:00 left, Center Moriches forced four turnovers and blocked two shots in a 13-5 run to close out a 56-47 win over Cold Spring Harbor for its third straight Long Island boys Class B championship and a place in the NYSPHSAA quarterfinals.

   "We have expectations that are really high and we are expecting to win when we go on the court," Sean Braithwaite said after finishing with 20 points. "We've been to a regional and we've been to a state (semifinal). We don't celebrate because we are determined to do more with this season."

   Sai Tyiquon Nix, who scored 13 points in the team's 16th consecutive victory: "It's strictly business on this court."


   Poughkeepsie gets by: Senior Davontrey Thomas scored 16 points in Poughkeepsie's 54-50 win over New Paltz in the Class A first round.

   Down seven after three quarters, New Paltz made it tough

on the Pioneers down the stretch at Mount Saint Mary College.

   "I never underestimate a team, because I know what teams are capable of," Thomas said. "So we just came in with the same game plan we always have, which is lock in, stay focused and work hard, every play."

   Coach steps down: Sameerah Owens resigned as girls basketball coach at Syracuse Henninger after four seasons in order to spend more time with her children including son Mazi Jackson, the leading scorer on Nottingham's basketball team as a sophomore.

   "It began to get hard because I would come home from my practices or games and he would come from his practices or games -- and to not be able to see him come home excited or even offer some advice for the next game was getting hard for me to do," Owens said. "I was missing out on those moments. I won't get these years back."

   Owens was 12-67, including 1-19 this season.

   Track and field note: Buffalo Tapestry Charter seventh-grader Jada Kenner is being credited with a world record for 12-year-old girls in Saturday's state track and field championships on Staten island.

   Kenner won the final in 39.24 seconds. The previous recognized mark was by the Czech Republic's Anna Kerbachova, who ran the distance in :40.19 in 2013, but Kenner had already run sub-40 in the Section 6 qualifier leading up to states.

   "I just always make sure I don't psych myself out before I actually run," she said. "I always want to go on the track and do my best before I make judgments because of someone's age."

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