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Hillcrest hangs tough early, but Lincoln rolls in 2nd half

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With his Hillcrest team trailing by 39 points to Lincoln, Gershon spent the final moments of his last game on the Hillcrest bench hugging members of his...

By Dylan Butler

Reality began to set it for Ken Gershon with about two and half minutes left in the fourth quarter.

With his Hillcrest team trailing by 39 points to Lincoln, Gershon spent the final moments of his last game on the Hillcrest bench hugging members of his team, patting them on the back for a season well done as the Hawks went on to lose 76-33 to the Railsplitters Tuesday at Hunter College.

“It was a wonderful season,” said Gershon, who finishes his 30-year coaching career with a 463-199 record. “We have a lot to be proud of. I’m proud of the kids. I never anticipated they’d do the things they did. They surprised me.”

While it might have been tough for Hawks players to grasp after the 43-point loss to No. 4 Lincoln, there was a lot to celebrate. There was the 14-game winning streak, the Queens I-A crown — the school’s seventh division title in 30 years — and a stirring 67-60 come-from-behind win over Sheepshead Bay in the first round of the playoffs.

Hillcrest players also surprised Gershon by showering him with some retirement gifts, including a golf bag and balls, during a practice during the week.

But little of that mattered to senior Mike Thompson, who saw his season end in the second round for the second straight year.

“I’m disappointed, we didn’t play like we could have, like we should have,” said Thompson, who finished with 11 points. “This was not good enough, not for me. I didn’t want to go out in the Sweet 16 again.”

No. 13 Hillcrest (19-5) did make things interesting for a while. After falling behind 28-13, the Hawks went on a 10-2 run, capped by a steal by Antoine Williams, who dribbled behind his back to avoid Lincoln’s Sebastian Telfair and scored the layup to send the Hawks into halftime down by just seven, 30-23.

Another steal and layup, this time by Thompson, brought Hillcrest to within five, 30-25, 11 seconds into the second half.

But then Lincoln, which played lackluster to that point, went into overdrive. While Gershon expected Telfair, the Railsplitters freshman phenom who scored 17 points, and sharp-shooting John Quintana (12 points), to do damage, the likes of Douglas Robinson and Sam Mielnik surprised him.

Robinson (17 points) rained down three after three on the Hawks and Virginia Military Institute-signee Mielnik (15 points) dominated the paint, as Lincoln (19-7) closed out the game on a 46-8 run.

“That was a big run,” said Lincoln coach Dwayne Morton. “Sebastian played an excellent floor game and Sam is making it hard for me to name an MVP at the end of the season. He came through at the end of the year.”

Park West 58, Newtown 53. Jamel Moyer’s 18 points and Tamer Gabriel’s 13 were not enough to lift the Pioneers Tuesday, as they fell to No. 5 Park West at Hunter College. The Seahwaks were led by Knowledge Miller with 17, Cleveland Kelly with 16 and Ramel Bradley with 12.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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