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Boys High upsets Lincoln in the PSAL quarterfinals

March 2, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Jamie Killings celebrates after an unlikely victory for Boys and Girls High School against Lincoln in the PSAL quarterfinals. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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Don’t call it a comeback.

After winning three championships in a row, Boys and Girls High School had become somewhat of an afterthought the last two seasons, but the Kangaroos made a big statement when they upset Lincoln High School in a 55-54 victory during the Public School Athletic League quarterfinals at Lehman College on Saturday.

“Boys High never left,” head Coach Ruth Lovelace said. “I guess we are back if you want to put it like that. It feels good to be back. The kids work extremely hard. It’s a tough game. It can flip flop either way in our division. We finished third, but we would have been first in a lot of other divisions.”

It was an unlikely victory as Lincoln had beaten the Kangaroos three times during the regular season and won the Brooklyn Borough title. However, the Kangaroos showed up to Lehman looking to prove a point.

“I wanted this so bad,” guard Gianni Ford said. “Everybody wrote us off, they said we would never get this far. I’m really happy for this program. I think I’m going to cry later on. I never got this far.”

Boys High came out strong defensively to start the game, holding Lincoln to just six points in the first quarter and taking a 13-6 lead into the second. That lead didn’t last long, though, as Lincoln’s Donald Cannon Flores and Jahlil Tripp combined for 15 points in the second and the team hit four threes in the third to take an eight-point lead late in the third quarter.

While Lincoln was making a comeback, Ford found himself on the bench in foul trouble, which appeared ominous for Boys High. Lovelace wasn’t about to let her best player sit out the most important stretch of the season, so she confronted him before the fourth quarter.

“There comes a time when you have to pull him aside and say, ‘If I save you, there ain’t no tomorrow, so just go out there and play smart,’” Lovelace said.

Ford hit a three to cut Lincoln’s lead to three with 4:56 left, Nehemiah Boone tied it at 48-48 on an and-one, Lincoln briefly regained the lead, but Boone tied it again when he stole an inbound pass. Finally, Ford hit a pair from the line to put the Kangaroos up for good with 39.6 left.

Ford’s 17 points led Boys High while Boone had 12, Jaquan Lightfoot had 13 and Jamie Killings had nine. For Lincoln, Tripp led with 18 points, Tyler Bourne had 12 and Cannon Flores had 11.

Boys High played with enthusiasm and intensity that showed it wanted it while Lincoln, for the second year in a row, appeared to underestimate its opponent on its way to an early exit in the playoffs. Lincoln’s head coach blamed the PSAL for the loss.

“The PSAL shouldn’t have had us going against them a fourth time,” said Lincoln head coach Kenny Pretlow, who was seen shouting at PSAL officials more than an hour after the game. “We had a great season, and they seeded us this way. I told my kids this is going to be a difficult game. It had nothing to do with strategy. It has to do with those kids are tired of losing to us.”

Boys High will continue on to the PSAL semifinals against the defending champions, Cardozo High School. The game will take place either Saturday or Sunday at a location yet to be announced.


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