BROOKLYN, NY - Channeling the spirit of another Boys & Girls HS player would typically apply to one of the greats from years past. But for senior point guard, Bryce Jones, the player whose ghost he needed to channel was on his own bench.
"[Starting point guard] Tyliek [Kimbrough] is a good scorer and a really tough defender," said Jones, who was inserted at the point for his teammate who was sidelined with back pain and did not play. "So I had to step up and do some of the things he would do."
Jones did just that and then some. His 21 point, 11 assist, and (whopping) 9 steal performance conflated with the usual bruiser antics of Leroy "Truck" Fludd stalled a scrappy Transit Tech Express squad and earned the 'Roos a 74-56 win at home.
Contrary to the score, Boys & Girls had their hands full with Transit Tech in the first half. The Express utilized the grind out game and the defense slicing prowess of junior guard, Fabian McDonald, to stay in the mix. Fludd's vicious dunks and improved three point shot put some pep in the Roos' step, evening the equation. At the midway point of the second quarter, the game was knotted at 21.
McDonald (who was coming off a blistering 37 point outing against South Shore last week) tallied buckets at will via high difficulty drives to the hoop and hustled for loose balls. He didn't get a whole lot of help though, and by the half's end, Boys & Girls were holding a seven point lead, 37-30. But all wasn't well in the locker room.
"[Assistant] Coach [Gene] Carroll told me at halftime that I wasn't playing any defense," said Jones, a 5'10" senior. "I sucked it up and played better defense in the second half."
The lambasting worked. In Kimbrough's absence, Jones picked up the slack on both sides of the ball. He finished through contact on offense and on the other side of the ball, his pick pocket tactics were potent and prevalent enough to be considered breaking the law. Transit Tech's ball-handlers folded under the Roos' pressure and the deficit ballooned. With McDonald cooling off offensively and the 'Roos getting contributions from Joel Angus (9 points), Fludd (a game high 26 points), and Nicholas Jackson (10 points), Transit Tech's lack of depth and turnovers proved to be the deadly combination that derailed the Express at the Utica Ave. subway station.