Clutch free throws help Hillcrest nip Newtown

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The Hillcrest boys basketball team missed 14 free throws in the second half its loss to rival Jamaica last Tuesday. So what did Hawks' head coach Ken Gershon do to punish his team? One-hundred laps around the gym? Two-hundred pushups? Three-hundred free throws apiece? Nope, he gave them the day off.

"I've been coaching a long time and kids don't intentionally miss free throws," Gershon said. "We had five games in eight days and I thought the best thing was for the team to relax."

The rest certainly seemed to help Hillcrest (12-4, 7-3 Queens I-A) as the Hawks nailed four free throws in the final minute and a half of the fourth quarter to hand first-place Newtown its first league loss, 64-58, Thursday at Hillcrest.

"I guess I look like a good coach," Gershon said. "Sometimes you just get a gut feeling, and I thought the rest was best for the kids. It was a tough game, close throughout."

With the scored tied at 54, Dervent Williams, who scored a game-high 24 points, and Mike Thompson (14 points) each nailed a pair of foul shots to lead the Hawks.

Hillcrest made eight of 10 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to pull away at home.

Perry Campbell also was key down the stretch for the Hawks. He had 10 points, six assists and five steals, including two huge thefts in the final moments of the game.

The win was huge for Hillcrest in its hopes for a playoff berth.

The Hawks are currently in second place in Queens I-A, a game ahead of third-place Jamaica, who has played one less league game than the Hawks.

"We're sitting in good shape right now," Gershon said. "This was a very big win, just for the playoffs alone."

Cardozo 85, Wadleigh 83. Tremayne Singletary's two-handed jam with 3.2 seconds left gave the visiting Judges a two-point win Friday afternoon.

The Cardozo forward's heroics spoiled a phenomenal game by Wadleigh's Roscoe Biggers, who scored a game-high 35 points, including several from three-point range. Biggers scored 31 first-half points as the Wadleigh went into the break, ahead 52-41.

Ryan Williams led Cardozo (15-3) with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Darryl Hill had 21 points and stifled Biggers in the second half. Singletary had 17 points and 21 rebounds while Shabar Ewing added 15 points.

Queens Vocational 75, Renaissance 74. Daquan Stevenson had 22 points to lead Queens Vocational (3-10 Queens II-B) in its overtime win. Isaac Curry scored 20 points for Renaissance (2-9).

Edison 74, Bryant 71. Thanks to a career afternoon by Leon Merritt, the Inventors survived a scare at home last Thursday. Merritt had 32 points and 10 rebounds for Edison (10-11, 3-7 Queens I-A). Larry Parker added 17 points for the Inventors. Carl Rhodes led the Owls with 31 points. Bryant falls to 7-10, 4-5.

Jamaica 68, Springfield Gardens 57. Senior point guard Dave Brown had 27 points and 10 assists to lead the Beavers. Darryl Eliam added 14 points and guard Orlando Biggers had 13 points and eight assists for Jamaica (12-7, 6-3 Queens I-A).

Campus Magnet 63, August Martin 62. Devon Ray provided the heroics for the Bulldogs, drilling two free throws with five seconds left in regulation to lift Chuck Granby's team to a victory over its Queens II-A rival. Ray scored 22 points for Campus Magnet (13-5, 9-2).

Frederick Douglas 77, Forest Hills 75. Corey Hepburn led six Douglas players in double figures with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Kelsey Ferdinand, Steve Souma, Tahan Engram, Jamel Spruill and Dervernie Winston all scored 10 points apiece for Frederick Douglas (13-5).

Grover Cleveland 65, Robert F. Wagner 46. Juan Fortuna led the Indians with 19 points. Ralph Williams had 17 and Mike Gerena added 16 points for the Indians (9-8, 7-3 Queens I-B).

Cardozo 84, Bayside 82. The Judges received its second league scare of the year, just edging out the host Commodores. Senior forward Ryan Williams was the hero for Cardozo. Trailing 82-81, Williams hit a foul line jumper to put Cardozo (14-3, 10-0 Queens II-A) ahead and then stole a Bayside pass and made one of two from the foul line to ice the win. The two-point win over Bayside comes after a four-point victory over Van Buren two weeks ago for the defending PSAL 'A' champions.

Franklin K. Lane 106, Newcomes 51. Ramell Whittenburg hit six three-pointers and had 26 points while Robert Villanueva added 20 for the defending PSAL 'B' champs. Lane improves to 14-5, 7-2 Queens I-B.

John Adams 61, Richmond Hill 58. Lyndon Noriega scored 20 points and Guy Andre added 13 points to lead the red-hot Spartans, who are 13-2, 9-1 in Queens I-B.

Flushing 50, Townsend Harris 29. Lamel Gooding had 16 points and Wayne Taylor had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Red Devils (10-10, 7-4 Queens II-B).

Aviation 71, Queens Vocational 47. Calvin Fraser scored 12 points and Pete Caris netted 11 for Aviation (17-3, 9-2 Queens II-B).

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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