football Edit

The Big Payback: B.C. Lions Thump Jefferson

Amahri Simpkins drives
Amahri Simpkins drives (Ravi Rozier)

BROOKLYN, NY - Plenty of people try to think of ways to motivate other people in this world. You can break motivation down to many different aspects of life. When it comes to high school basketball, what is it that motivates a team in the first game of the season? How about a loss in the semi-final round of the playoffs the previous season?

Brooklyn Collegiate didn’t forget that semi-final loss to Jefferson in last year’s PSAL playoffs. They used that disappointment from last season as motivation to begin this season in the most positive way a team can begin, with a 73-67 win in Jefferson’s home court.

Malcolm Conner, head coach for Brooklyn Collegiate, pointed out how the team remembered the feeling of losing to Jefferson and how much they looked forward to their first game being against the team that sent them on vacation after the game.

“We had a sour taste in our mouth from last year, so guys were excited for this game. They were looking forward to it” Conner said. “They ended our season last season, so we were excited for this to be the first game since we had that last loss, a tough loss. So, we wanted revenge”

Revenge is what BC achieved, because a few players stepped up and played winning basketball for the Lions. Senior guard Amahri Simpkins ‘20 scored 22 points, and he did a lot of his damage right in the paint. A lot of his field goals were lay-ups or rebound put backs in the paint where he outmuscled the smaller Jefferson players.

The game was close throughout, right from the tip-off. Each team would go on a mini run only to have the other team answer with a run of their own. At the end of the third quarter, Jefferson held a slim 53-52 lead, but BC was up to the task, starting the scoring in the fourth quarter with a short basket in the paint by Simpkins. The run continued when Jaylin Anderson scored on a put-back and followed by scoring on another inside field goal. Simpkins ended the run after tipping the ball for a score despite a crowd of Jefferson defenders giving maximum effort to defend their basket. That made it 60-54 and forced Jefferson to call a timeout to try and stop BC’s momentum.

Despite a frenzied comeback, Jefferson was only able to cut the lead to 67-65 after two free throws with 1:31 left in the game. BC was able to nail the coffin shut with 8.4 seconds left after a turnover that ended with a dunk by Simpkins.

Brooklyn Collegiate was the physically bigger team and they played like it. They were able to wreak havoc on the offensive boards. The plan was to use their size and attack the basket and they stayed with it the entire game. They were able to control the pace of the game and didn’t allow Jefferson to speed them up. They were good defensively as well. In the second half, BC sometimes played a box and one, shadowing junior guard Jaquan Carlos ‘21 (13 points) in the half-court.

Brooklyn Collegiate played well for the first game of the season. They did have a ton of turnovers in the game, which is a negative, but something you can work on when you get a win. The turnovers were mostly caused by the constant pressure of Jefferson’s defense. Eventually, they made the plays they needed to make. Most importantly for BC, they took the first step they needed to prove themselves as contenders.

Conner says he tells his team to “Be a champion every day”. They do aspire of becoming city champs because they have experienced players who have been through the battles already. The loss to Jefferson in the playoffs is something that they want to build on. The goal is to get one step further than they did before. If that’s the goal, the only way they can have success is to get to the championship. Still, despite those lofty goals, Conner knows it’s still early and they can only play one game at a time.

Anderson was a monster for Brooklyn Collegiate filling up the stat sheet with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Tahron Allen also got into double digits, also finishing with 15 points. The next time the Lions take the court is Saturday against Monroe.

Kevin Tabb led Jefferson with 16 points, while junior Ramsey King finished with 15 points. Both Tabb and King made 4 three pointers in the game. Jefferson’s next game is at home Saturday against Cardozo.