boys basketball team beat Thomas Jefferson Campus 71-67 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, winning the PSAL Class AA boys city title.
This was the Kangaroos’ third straight all-city title, an historic moment for the team.
For Jefferson, the loss was hugely upsetting and bittersweet in some ways, as it was the team’s first time in the PSAL finals since 1954. Also Jefferson’s coach Lawrence (Bud) Pollard was a Boys & Girls High School alum, attending Boys & Girls at the same time as BGHS’s coach Ruth Lovelace, and reportedly, both are good friends.
Still, there was no denying the level of disappointment shared by the Jefferson Wave and its fans over the loss. Tears were in abundance, towels covered bowed heads, and a few players sauntered off the court before accepting their awards.
Jefferson put up a good fight.
They led in the first quarter, showing a strong defensive strategy, a lot of enthusiasm and speed. But Boys & Girls consistently one upped them on the offensive side, eventually edging its way from behind with a higher field goal percentage.
Boys & Girls was bigger and stronger. Boys & Girls’ Rashad Andrews not surprisingly was the team’s lead scorer, assisted with goals by Leroy Fludd and Tyleik Kimbrough.
Still, mentally, Jefferson, lead by Thaddeus Hall, stayed in the game, remaining on BGHS’s heels by between 4-6 points all the way through half time.
The score at half time was 41-35, Boys & Girls.
Third quarter, Boys & Girls kicked up its offensive strategy, forcing turnovers and putting Jefferson on the defense. By the middle of the quarter, Jefferson appeared to be losing steam. Although both teams traded an ample number of fouls, Jefferson missed too many of its free throws, giving Boys & Girls just the stimulus it needed.
At one point, the Kangaroos led by eight points in the fourth quarter. But with less than one minute left in the game, Hall stole the ball and scored, cutting the Kangaroos’ lead down to five points, 67-62.
Jefferson fouled and the Kangaroos collected one free throw. Moments later, Jefferson's Jaquan Lynch sank a 3-pointer, bringing the game to 68-65, Boys & Girls, with 29.2 seconds left. Two more goals on both sides, and a foul each on both side meant the Kangaroos were able to grab another free throw point while Jefferson missed again.
Boys and Girls High School won the 2012 championship PSAL Class AA playoff game, 71-67.
Final Stats were Boys & Girls: Rashad Andrews 26 points, Leroy Fludd 17 points and 12 rebounds and Tyleik Kimbrough nine.
Thomas Jefferson: Jaquan Lynch 18, Thaddeus Hall 17 and Karrem Johankin 12. Jefferson had 21 turnovers to 14 for Boys.
Rashad Andrews was the game’s MVP.