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Bryant-Grady highlights second round games

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After first-round games last week, the PSAL playoffs take a week off because of Winter Recess. The TimesLedger decided to take a closer look at second round boys’ games:

4. Grady Falcons vs. 20. Bryant Owls

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

College of Staten Island

There is perhaps no team in the PSAL with more confidence right now than the Bryant Owls, who defeated higher seeded Beach Channel, Cardozo and Bayside to win the Queens Borough Championship and then traveled to the Bronx to topple No. 13 John F. Kennedy in the first round.

But can they beat defending PSAL champion Grady, featuring the city’s top scorer in Hofstra-bound Quincy Douby, who averages 35 points per game?

It’s not impossible.

Douby played sparingly in the Falcons’ first-round win over Norman Thomas, suffering from a bruised right quadriceps. If Douby’s shooting touch is off or if he gets into foul trouble, Grady (20-8) could struggle.

Meanwhile Bryant (25-4) needs 6-foot-7 Diego Aguiar (18.8 points, 9.8 rebounds per game) to dominate the paint and Brandon Williams (17.9 points, 6.1 rebounds), Fleans Dervishi (18.3 points) and Munir Noureddine (8.2 points) to play well on the perimeter and to help on the boards.

6. Boys and Girls Kangaroos vs. 11. Bayside Commodores

Feb. 26, 4 p.m.

Lehman College

Another intriguing matchup between two of the best teams in Brooklyn and Queens. Boys and Girls (20-6) has a solid starting five, including dominant post players Amadou Fall, a strong 6-foot-5 Division I prospect who averages 16.2 points and 12.8 rebounds per game, and Brian Franklin, described by another PSAL coach as a “6-foot-8 monster.”

While the Kangaroos have the edge in the frontcourt, Bayside (24-2) has the backcourt advantage with C.J. Okogeri (21.5 points per game), lightning quick Lance Hazel (18 points, 101. rebounds) and Zanu Simpson (9.3 points per game) who should outplay Boys and Girls’ young backcourt, featuring one freshman and two sophomores.

Bayside’s 3-2 and 1-2-2 zones could limit Fall and Franklin’s touches down low, but the Commodores need to shoot the ball extremely well because of their size disadvantage. If they do, Joe Capuana’s team has a shot.

7. Cardozo Judges vs. 10. Brandeis Bulldogs

Feb. 26, 4 p.m.

College of Staten Island

The borough’s top-seeded team, Cardozo, suffered a major scare in the first round, needing last-second heroics by junior Cameron Tyler to get past New Utrecht. Similar to the Utes, Brandeis (23-4) has a tremendous post presence in Decarlo Hoffler, who averaged 25.4 points and 16.3 rebounds per game. Juan Lopez (6-foot-5) is also a strong frontcourt player, averaging 11.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

While Cardozo (20-7) should have the edge in the backcourt with Tyler (23.8 points per game), Vic Morris (14.6 points) and Dwayne Johnson (5.8 points), forwards Julian Thomas, a 6-foot-8 transfer from St. John’s Prep, Danny Philips (12.9 points, 8.7 rebounds), Rob Williams, who should draw the assignment of defending Hoffler and Skyler Khaleel, need to play well for the Judges to advance to the quarterfinals.

“We’re so hot and cold,” said Cardozo head coach Ron Naclerio. “They’re all really young and unfortunately the inexperience and immaturity are coming out in crunch time.”

First round results

Bayside 78, Port Richmond 63. Lance Hazel had 15 points, 15 rebounds and five steals and C.J. Okogeri added 25 points for the host Commodores (24-2) last Thursday.

Bryant 81, John F. Kennedy 61. Fresh off their borough championship win over Bayside, the Owls traveled to the Bronx to upend No. 13 JFK last Wednesday. Diego Aguiar had 34 points and 14 rebounds, Fleans Dervishi added 21 points and seven assists and Brandon Williams chipped in 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Owls.

Cardozo 60, New Utrecht 57. Cameron Tyler netted 22 points, including a three-point play with one second left, to lift the host Judges to a win over 26th-seeded New Utrecht last Thursday.

Canarsie 85, Forest Hills 68. Robert White netted 27 points to lead No. 5 Canarsie (23-4) last Wednesday.

Grand Street Campus 67, Newtown 64. No. 19 Grand Street Campus upset 14th-seeded Newtown in overtime last Thursday as Kwan McDowell netted 12 points and Anthony Clark added 10 points for the Wolves. Bobby Pandy had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for Newtown.

Other first round scores: Banneker 68, Jamaica 55.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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