BROOKLYN, NY - The first time Boys & Girls played South Shore, the Kangaroos were undefeated.
They traveled to South Shore and had to leave with a three point loss. It was a frustrating loss for the defending two-time city champions, one where a couple of chairs were "rearranged" on the court.
This time Boys was the team wearing the white jerseys. They were in complete control of the game before South Shore went on a 16-0 run that started near the end of the third quarter. Despite that, Boys was able to change the tide and come back and win the game 70-65 and get revenge for the first team that spoiled their undefeated season.
There was a minute left to play in the third quarter when junior guard Courtney Darnley, who scored a game high 22 points, made a baseline jumper to give Boys a 46-34 lead. A double digit lead at home and you are the two time champs should be enough. However, South Shore is no slouch and a three pointer at the end of the quarter started a 16-0 run by the Vikings.
The run was ridiculous because they scored on every possession they had the ball, and before you knew it Boys trailed 51-46 halfway through the fourth quarter. There was 2:31 left in the fourth quarter before Leroy "Truck" Fludd split a pair of free throws and finally put Boys in the scorebook in the last quarter.
South Shore's Wayne Martin scored inside twice to give his team a two point lead, only to have Boys answer from the charity stripe. First it was Fludd who drained two free throws, and then Darnley did the same with 10.5 seconds left in regulation.
Boys took over early in the extra period, Fludd scoring off a South Shore turnover. Then senior Joel Angus scored after getting the ball in the paint and pump faking two defenders by him to score the easy lay-up. The basket force a time out by South Shore, but it didn't help. Terrence Samuel turned the ball over. The result was a three pointer from the left wing from Fludd. The trey put Boys up by 7 and it became a free throw shooting contest at the end.
Fludd, who scored 16 points but was in foul trouble most of the game, but Fludd didn't let it affect him. He was asked if the foul trouble and the bench time that came with it bothered him.
"Earlier it did, but I had to get that out of my head," the 6-5 senior forward said.
Fludd, who scored 16 points, did his part and took over when he felt his team going down. He was huge and made big baskets in the second half. But the first half belonged to Darnley, who nailed 4 three pointers to pace his team. Boys head coach Ruth Lovelace said that Darnley was a great kid who works hard and wants to get better.
"He just wants to get better every day," Lovelace said after the game. "He stays in the gym. First one there, last one out"
Darnley set the pace and his teammates followed. He said it was made possible by South Shore not focusing on him and allowing him to get up the shots. Maybe next time they will pay more attention to him. That is, if they get to play them again.
Boys has a daunting schedule ahead of them. They have three more regular season games against city teams, the first one against NYCHoops.net #1 ranked Cardinal Hayes on Saturday. Then they have two league games against Jefferson and Lincoln next week. It's going to be a tough stretch of games for the defending champs, but one they plan to be ready for.
"We're really excited," the 5-10 junior guard said. "[Lovelace] said get a lot of rest and get our school work in. We really want to win. We really want to go back to the Garden and three-peat"
Wayne Martin led South Shore with 18 points.
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