One and done: Kangaroos bounce top ranked Hayes
PSAL powerhouse Boys & Girls (17-3) came away with a 63-61 win Saturday night in the Bronx over the CHSAA's top team and the top-ranked team in NYC, Cardinal Hayes (16-2).
True to form, the Kangaroos did it with defense, the longtime staple of head coach Ruth Lovelace's game plan.
The game started slowly as neither team was able to find a rhythm against two very eager defenses. By the end of the first quarter, Boys High led by 9-7.
By half-time, neither team had managed to build any steady momentum as they settled into exchanging the lead back-and-forth in what was up until that point a defensive struggle with few highlights.
With the brief respite though, both teams got their offenses going early out of the half. The first basket of the third quarter was an interior dump down to senior Cardinals star Amadou Sidibe, an obvious attempt to get the 6-foot-8 big man going. Yet Sidibe and the rest of Hayes' bigs were hampered all day by the smaller yet pesky Kangaroo frontcourt.
Seniors Leroy "Truck" Fludd and Bishop Loughlin transfer Joel Angus were huge on the boards for Boys High, accumulating 23 rebounds between them to go with their 16 points each.
The Kangaroos began to pull away from Hayes midway through the third quarter as junior guard Wesley Myers helped shift things with a three-play sequence in which he scored a lay-up, came up with a steal, and sunk two freebies at the line.
Sophomore guard and Rice transfer, Shavar Newkirk (24 points) hit the most exciting shot of the game as he hit the deck on a desperation three-pointer to end the third quarter. His big shot was only a sign of things to come as the young superstar would almost single-handedly will Hayes back into contention in the fourth quarter.
After growing their lead to an almost insurmountable 16 points, Boys High was faced with a big-time comeback that brought the capacity crowd to their feet. Following Newkirk's lead, the Cardinals patiently worked their way back into the game by not rushing shots, staying within their offense, and getting to the line frequently.
Newkirk was big down the stretch, scoring on three consecutive drives to pull the Cardinals within three at 58-55 with only a minute left in the game. Unfortunately, he couldn't convert on a crucial basket just seconds later and a thunderous dunk from Fludd with 36 seconds to go all but sealed the deal for the Kangaroos.
Several trips to the line by guard Tyler Wilson pulled the Cardinals within a point, but they just didn't have enough time as Fludd got hold of the last possession and ran away from defenders until the clock ran out.