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Hoops Preview: The PSAL’s Boys Class-AA Quarterfinals
The Public Schools Athletic League's Boys Class-AA playoffs field is down to eight great teams. It'll soon be four, as the league's AA quarterfinals will be played on Sunday, March 4 at St. John's University (Queens N.Y.). Here's a look at the four match-ups.
No. 3 Lincoln vs. No. 6 Curtis (11:00 a.m. EST)
Lincoln crushed No. 14 Beach Channel, 82-27, in the second round without junior Tafari Whittingham, who has been suspended for an on-the-court altercation during the regular season. However, sophomore sensation Isaiah Whitehead has returned from a high ankle sprain. Curtis, which won the Class-A title in 2009, took out No. 11 Campus Magnet, 79-53, in the second round. Senior Dontay Jackson led all scorers in that game with 21 points. Lincoln has won seven titles since 2002; Curtis is the sleeper of the field.
No. 2 Boys & Girls vs. No. 7 South Shore (1:00 p.m. EST)
Rivalry alert! These two teams split a pair of Brooklyn AA regular season games. Two-time defending city champion Boys & Girls bounced No. 15 Samuel Gompers in the second round, 74-53, behind 19 points and 14 rebounds from senior Leroy "Truck" Fludd. South Shore upended No. 10 John F. Kennedy in the second round, 63-50, as junior Shamiek Sheppard logged 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Kangaroos defeated South Shore, 57-54, in last year's quarterfinals.
No. 4 Wings Academy vs. No. 5 Benjamin Cardozo (3:00 p.m. EST)
Wings needed a game-high 14 points from senior Justin Jenkins to survive No. 20 Eagle Academy, 45-44, in the second round. Jenkins averaged 17 points and seven assists per game in the regular season. Cardozo had a much easier time with No. 20 Martin Van Buren, 70-52. Omar Williams and Tajay Henry each scored 14 points for the Judges. Wings went undefeated in the Bronx this season.
No. 1 Thomas Jefferson vs. No. 8 Wadleigh (5:00 p.m. EST)
Be prepared for fireworks. Senior Thaddeus Hall nailed six-three pointers on his way to 39 points, as the Brooklyn-based Orange Wave washed away No. 17 Paul Robeson, 86-76, in the second round. Meanwhile, senior Basil Harley poured in 39 points of his own to lead Manhattan's Wadleigh to a 77-71 victory over No. 9 Bayside. Jefferson and Wadleigh both won their respective divisions in the regualr season and Boro championships prior to the city playoffs.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who has reported on New York City high school sports since 2000. He has covered high school basketball, baseball, football and soccer, and prep championship games at Madison Square Garden, Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium.
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