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By beating rival Cardozo, Bayside earned control of the division race along with the ability to do some friendly Internet trash talking.
“This is Facebook bragging rights for these kids,” Bayside Coach Cory Semper said. “I don’t have Facebook, so they just tell me about it.”
What the Commodores were telling everyone is they are the best public school basketball team in Queens right now and consider themselves one of the top teams in the city after a 64-58 home victory over the Judges in PSAL Queens AA boys’ basketball Dec. 18. It’s the second straight year they beat Cardozo, the three-time defending borough champs, at home.
“I hear a lot of talk that Cardozo is the king of Queens,” Bayside guard Austin Williams said. “We proved we’re the king of Queens tonight.”
The Commodores, which led by 16 in the second quarter, mustered up the final run in a game that featured each team producing alternating elongated spurts. Senior Brandon King (15 points), who missed time in the fourth quarter because of calf cramps, helped seal the game late for Bayside (6-0). Cardozo (5-1) led by five with 3:19 remaining in the contest before the Commodores exploded for a 9-0 run. King had an offensive rebound and conversion followed by steal and score with 1:48 left to put his team ahead for good.
“I knew this was a big game,” King said. “We had to beat these guys. I had to be on the floor at the end of the game.”
For Cardozo Coach Ron Naclerio, that game showed his team’s inexperience despite having a roster full of seniors. Many have stepped into bigger roles. He gave Bayside credit for making big shots, but felt his team missed too many layups and open looks, turned it over too often and let the Commodores dictate the final minutes.
“A lot of the kids who were playing last year were batting ninth and eighth [in the rotation]. Now they are batting second, third and fourth,” said Naclerio, using a baseball analogy. “It’s a little different.”
Cantrall Barker led Bayside with 17 points and Williams added 15. Darnell Holmes dropped in a game-high 18 points for Cardozo and Travis Flagg added 13. The two teams, which shared the division title last season, meet again Feb. 7 in both team’s regular season finale. Williams understands his team’s job is by no means finished, something he guaranteed they’d get done.
“We are showing that things are turning,” Williams said. “Cardozo is not going to be on top as long as they was. We are stopping them.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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