Telecom connects on 3’s, ending S.P. Bears’ season

Seward Park A

BY RICHARD KUSHNER | In an incredibly exciting game, on Wed., March 2, the Seward Park Campus boys basketball team beat John Adams, 54-51.

The Grand St. Bears were down by 3 at the end of the first quarter, up by 5 at the half, down by 5 at the end of the third quarter, which was stretched to 10 in the final quarter, and then down by 3 with 46 seconds left.

Seward Park made two defensive stops and scored twice, and was up by 1 with 14 seconds left, and then held on for the win.

It was inner-city hoops at its finest. There were college coaches at the game. It was just too much fun.

But then on Sat., March 6, the Bears faced off with High School of Telecommunication Arts & Technology at the Cardozo High School gym in Queens. It was a close game, but the season has come to an end as Seward Park lost.

Many times basketball games are won on the foul line. In a close game, it is the team that makes more free throws that is usually victorious. Although Seward Park’s foul shooting was fairly good, Telecom’s was superior. They only missed one free throw down the stretch whereas Seward missed seven. That made the difference as Telecom pulled out the victory, 65-59.

Both teams played a very slow, grind-it-out game. Seward was close throughout, and though down by 8 at the half, they never gave up. They even went ahead 51-50 at one point, but Telecom was resilient and their press baffled the Bears at times.

Also, Telecom’s 3-point shooting was superb. And their constantly shifting defenses kept the Bears off balance, resulting in turnovers and poorly chosen shots.

For Seward Park, the seniors carried the team. Xavier Jennings had 9 points, Drew Billingsley had 17, and D’Andre McLamb had 24. Once again McLamb had the crowd on its feet with three sensational dunks. Billingsley’s 3-pointers kept the team in the game and Jennings’s drives to the basket were sensational at times. However, poor shot selection, leading to a poor shooting percentage, was the culprit.

The Bears had an outstanding season — going 12-1 in conference play and then getting all the way to the final eight in their PSAL A Division playoffs. We wish them well and hope to continue to watch the seniors when they go away to college.

You can play basketball as long as you wish to competitively, not only in college, but in men’s leagues all over the country. So, although this high school and championship tournament season has come to an end, there will be a lot more basketball for these young men in the future.