CONEY ISLAND, NY - Abraham Lincoln vs. Boys & Girls has been one of the biggest rivalries in high school basketball for most of the past decade.
In fact, the last eight PSAL championship banners are hanging in either the Lincoln or Boys High gym. Usually the game is a highly emotional contest and you just knew that there was a very good chance one of them would become the city champion. That's probably still true, but there was only one team that was highly emotional.
Lincoln played extremely well on their home court and dominated the game between two of the most successful basketball programs in the city. From the first quarter on, they were in control and cruised to a convincing 80-55 victory. All the people in the gym probably came away convinced that the defending champs are well on their way to repeating.
Leading 43-26 at the start of the third quarter, star senior guard Isaiah Whitehead had a breakaway dunk to get things started. Elisha Boone followed that with a lay-up off a Boys turnover. The next Lincoln basket was a thunder run down the middle of the lane by senior power forward Thomas Holley.
Boys & Girls finally scored their first points of the quarter after three minutes. A basket and a foul allowed Lincoln coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton to put senior forward Desi Rodriguez into the game. Rodriguez started the half on the bench, but he immediately made an impact on his first run down the court.
Senior point guard A.J. Williams went top speed down the middle of the court and in an instant lobbed the ball to the left side of the rim. Here comes Rodriguez flying through the air to easily grab the ball and flush it through to complete the alley-oop. Rodriguez has some of the best hops in the PSAL and he provides highlights that need instant replay. The dunk made it 51-28, and Boys was doubled up when Whitehead hit a three from the right elbow.
That could have been the point when Boys & Girls realized that they were probably not going to catch Lincoln. The rest of the game was merely a technicality as Morton was able to empty his entire bench by the fourth quarter. There is no doubt that 13-3 Lincoln is the team to beat. They are on the track to another city title. It would be a major upset if they don't get the chip.
Lincoln was led in scoring by Boone, who scored a game high 21 points. Whitehead finished with 20, while Rodriguez had a loud 12 points. Sophomore guard Rakym Felder was impressive in the blowout, adding a total of 11 to the final score.
Senior forwards David Francis and Ulysse Shaleik scored 18 and 14 respectively for Boys & Girls. Junior wing Jamie Killings added 12 points.