CONEY ISLAND, NY- The first two points of the game were scored even before the first second ticked off the clock.
Apparently, there was a little confrontation between Boys & Girls and Lincoln as Boys was going through their pre-game ritual of running around the gym when they first run onto the floor.
Maybe there wasn't any space on the court because Lincoln already had a lay-up line going, but Boys High wasn't able to finish running. There was some bumping, and the result was a technical foul called against Boys. So the first two points of the game were free throws by Lincoln guard Trevonn Morton.
But it was 20 points scored during the game from Boys & Girls junior guard Wes Myers that were more important. Myers led the way for Boys as they went on the road and beat Lincoln 59-52 in the second round of the Borough Championships.
Myers said the pregame testosterone rush was a tactic by Lincoln to try and rattle their team. Myers did give Lincoln credit for their effort to get inside their heads, but was dismissive when he did.
"It didn't work," Myers said. "It was a good try."
Boys & Girls fell behind 12-9 after the first quarter, but dominated the second quarter to take control of the contest. The Kangaroos scored the first 9 points of the quarter, the last six coming courtesy of two three pointers. Rashard Andrews (12 points) drained the first from the left elbow, and that was followed by a three from the left corner from Leroy Fludd.
With Boys & Girls on top 19-16 near the end of the first half, Andrews made another three from straight away; Myers finished a lay-up after a pass from Fludd (18 points). Myers ended a 7-0 run and put Boys up by double digits for the first time after intercepting a pass near half-court and going all the way in for a lay-up. Boys led 30-21 at halftime.
Lincoln came out and outscored Boys HIgh 10-3 to open the second half. Things started to look shaky for Boys and Coach Ruth Lovelace had to call a timeout to try to settle her team down. The stop did work because Lovelace put junior Courtney Darnley on the court for the first time and he didn't disappoint. Darnley hit a three pointer, his only points of the game, to get his team back on track. They ended the third by increasing their lead two points, leading 46-35.
You can never count Lincoln out, especially in a rivalry game against Boys & Girls. They made another run by scoring the first 8 points of the fourth quarter. Shaquille Davis ended the run when he scored on a floater inside the paint. After a Boys turnover on the next possession, Davis made the steal, dribbled back into the paint and scored again.
Another timeout by Boys with 6:11 left in the game and the score 46-43. The stop worked again but it took a minute before it happened. Myers was able to drive to the baseline for a pull-up jumper to give his team a 5 point lead. It was a big enough cushion despite there being a lot of time left. Boys played good defense the rest of the way, not allowing any easy baskets by Lincoln.
Plus Boys went into a 2-3 zone and dared Lincoln to beat them from outside. This was not the day for Lincoln on the perimeter. Nothing was dropping, and they never were able to get close enough to take the lead. Good free throw shooting by the Kangaroos sealed the deal.
Myers has really stepped his game up and made an impact over the last couple of weeks. He is a talented junior who is finally starting to realize how important he is to his team's success. He knows that it's time to get serious and focus on trying to win another championship.
Lovelace agreed that her junior guard has been playing better recently.
"I think he's feeling more confident because he knows his teammates need him and they believe in him, and he's really stepping up," Lovelace said.
Myers has given the Kangaroos a solid second option to Fludd at the right time. It is greatly needed as teams are going to really focus on trying to stop Fludd, who has been a force all season. Lincoln played real physical against Fludd, which was obviously their game plan. But Fludd said his team was up to the task and implied that his team will always be ready for tough, physical games.
"We're a physical team" the 6-5 senior forward said after the game. "We work hard every day in practice. We're built for physical games like this."
Boys advances to the finals which will be played at York College on Saturday afternoon at 1pm. They will face off against Jefferson, who they split games with this season, each winning on their home court. Now they get to play on a neutral court.