BROOKLYN, NY - It's always a nice idea to see two champions from different leagues tip-off their seasons against each other.
With the benefit of hindsight, it might not have been so wise to match the PSAL "AA" champion against the PSAL "B" champion. Not when the "AA" champ is Boys & Girls. The Kangaroos outscored Pathways 25-10 in the second quarter on their way to an 89-56 victory.
The Brooklyn two time defending PSAL champions were too much for Pathways to handle. That was apparent almost at the very beginning of the game. Early in the first quarter and with the game tied at 4, senior forward Leroy "Truck" Fludd got a free run at the basket and finished with a thunderous one-handed slam.
That was just the start. Fludd made two free throws and then followed that with a big time two handed dunk after getting position inside. The second dunk of the first period gave Boys a modest 12-4 lead, but it sent a clear message to Pathways.
Boys & Girls is NOT a B league team.
Fludd, who won the MVP trophy, continued his assault on the rim throughout the rest of the game and finished with a game high 24 points. He did it from everywhere on the floor, finishing with 4 dunks and also knocking down a three pointer. The 6-5 Fludd just might be the best dunker in the city. He definitely gets way above the rim and finishes with power.
Ruth Lovelace, head coach of Boys, says that this is just the beginning for Fludd. "He showed a little bit of everything" Lovelace said about the way Fludd played. "He showed the improvement he made from last season to this season" Fludd has been working in the weight room, practicing his handle and outside shot and according to his coach, it gives him a shot at being PSAL player of the year. A coach can never plug a kid early enough.
The game wasn't much of a contest. Lovelace was happy with the way her team tried to share the ball and get everyone involved. She considers that unselfishness to be an asset for her team.
"Anytime you have that, you will have a chance every night"
Two new players on the team, seniors Joel Angus and Tyliek Kimbrough, both are trying to fit in. Both players transferred into Boys & Girls from Bishop Loughlin, and both of them started yesterday's game. They each did some good things, Kimbrough scoring 10 points and dropping 8 assists, while Angus showed off his deep stroke and added 11 points. Lovelace says both players are good kids and they are trying to learn how to fit into the system that has won two city titles in a row. By the looks of things, it's going well.
One of the attractions for this game was that Jordan Washington, one of the best big men in the entire city, was playing for Pathways. It was interesting to see how Washington and his teammates would play against better competition.
The results weren't so good.
Washington was in foul trouble throughout most of the game and when the game was still up for grabs, he was on the bench watching the score get out of hand. He did finish with a team high 19 points and had 15 rebounds, but it was after the outcome was already decided that he got to stay on the floor and do some damage. His coach said he hopes that he got all the bad games for this season out of his system.
As for Pathways, the defending B champs playing the defending AA champs, head coach Harold Peaks made it clear that he respected the opponent and he saw what he wanted out of his kids. They didn't quit.
"I think that Boys & Girls is a phenomenal team" Peaks said after the game. "I wanted to play against the best and give our best effort."