The road to New York City high school basketball glory once again runs through Bedford-Stuyvesant.
That after Boys & Girls High School successfully defended their Public School Athletic League Class AA title in beating Coney Island’s Lincoln High School, 62-55.
The championship game, played at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, featured the two top-ranked public high school teams in the city. In the past seven years, either Lincoln or Boys & Girls have won the championship.
“The first one (last year’s championship) was more of pressure, more of getting that monkey off your back,” Boys & Girls Coach Ruth Lovelace told reporters. “This one, I was a little bit more calm. I didn’t sleep (Saturday) night, but I did feel good. I told the guys in pre game talk that I really felt good about this one.”
The Kangaroo win also avenged two losses to the Railsplitters earlier in the season.
The victory also proved Boys & Girls Coach Ruth Lovelace prophetic in saying the only reason Lincoln won the two earlier games was because the ‘Roos were not at full strength.
In the earlier contests two Boys & Girls players couldn’t play, not because they didn’t meet school Principal Bernard Gassaway’s strict personal rule that if a student athlete fails a class, he or she can’t play.
“When we’re fully loaded and we have our best stars in the game, we’re the best team on the court. I honestly feel we were the better team all year long,” Lovelace told reporters.
Leading the way in the title game for the ‘Roos was 5-4 senior point guard Antione Slaughter, the game’s MVP. Slaughter who scored 19 points including a floater down the lane that put the game out of reach in the final minute.
“I always tell him that I don’t like that runner,” Lovelace said.
Helping out were seniors Leroy Fludd (19 points) and Rutgers-bound Mike Taylor (14 points).
Leading Lincoln in scoring was freshman phenomenon Isaiah Whitehead, who had 18 points.
The Kangaroos now move on to the state championship tournament where they will meet New York’s top parochial schools and the best from Long Island and upstate.