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Grady ousts Queens champ Bryant from playoffs

Creating turnovers. It’s been the main ingredient of the Bryant boys’ basketball team’s recipe for success this season.

But in the second round of the PSAL playoffs Monday at the College of Staten Island, Grady gave the Owls a bitter taste of their own medicine, as the defending PSAL city champs feasted on a buffet of 38 Bryant turnovers to advance to the quarterfinals with a 74-57 victory.

“We just turned the ball over too many times. Sometimes it was them and sometimes it was us,” said Bryant head coach John Demas. “Turnovers are an ill you can’t afford at this level.”

No. 4 Grady (20-8) advances to the quarterfinals to face Brooklyn rival Canarsie Saturday at Hunter College. The fifth-seeded Chiefs easily defeated No. 12 Beach Channel, 69-35 in the opening game at CSI Monday.

After trailing 33-21 at halftime, No. 20 Bryant (25-4) went to the same stifling swarming full-court press that baffled Bayside in the Queens Borough Championship game two weeks ago. And yet again, it worked.

Munir Noureddine was the sparkplug, scoring nine straight points during a remarkable 15-0 run in the span of just 1:12 to take a 36-35 lead with 5:48 left in the third quarter.

“They lost their composure,” Grady head coach Jack Ringel said of his team. “Everything was going fine and then they lost their brains for a while. Thank goodness they got them back.”

Grady went into the fourth quarter clinging to a one-point lead, but quickly extended it to seven, 52-45, on back-to-back three-pointers from sharp-shooter Quincy Douby.

“It was two open shots so I just took them,” said Douby, who scored a game-high 28 points. “They started to trap and left my side open. My teammates rotated the ball and got me the open shots.”

The Hofstra-bound guard, who is averaging 35 points per game, netted 14 points in the first half but was still feeling the effects of a bruised right quadriceps and a strained right wrist that reduced him to just one quarter in the Falcons’ first-round win over Norman Thomas.

According to Ringel, Douby was only about 70 percent healthy Monday.

“I was kind of winded. I didn’t practice all week since the Norman Thomas game,” he said. “But I have to play with this injury, I have to help us win.”

The Falcons put the game away on a 12-2 run, capped by Dwayne McKinnon’s layup after yet another Bryant turnover.

But following the basket that put Grady ahead, 58-47 with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter, McKinnon (15 points), who just became academically eligible Feb. 1, twisted his left knee and had to be helped off the floor. He was to see a doctor following the game and is questionable for Grady’s quarterfinal game.

In his final high school game, 6-foot-7 Diego Aguiar led Bryant with 25 points. Noureddine had 13 points and Brandon Williams added 12 for the Owls, who saw their 11-game winning streak snapped.

Boys and Girls 68, Bayside 56. They had given No. 6 Boys and Girls all they could handle for 28 minutes Tuesday at Lehman College in the Bronx, they held the Kangaroos leading scorer Amadou Fall to just one point and the 11th-seeded Commodores trailed just 56-52 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

This one had upset written all over it.

But then Bayside hit a wall. The shots that were falling all game all of a sudden rimmed out, while Boys and Girls (21-6) sunk clutch baskets and free throws.

After three scoreless minutes, Bayside (24-3) finally broke the draught with a pair of free throws by C.J. Okogeri, ending the Kangaroos’ 7-0 run.

But it was too late, as Boys and Girls advanced to the quarterfinals to face No. 3 Frederick Douglas Academy, which defeated stingy Grand Street Campus, 46-33, in the second game at Lehman Tuesday.

“We had to get over the hill and we just couldn’t pull ourselves over it,” said Bayside senior Lance Hazel, who scored 17 points. “It’s nothing that we didn’t do right, they just played to their level. Layups and free throws were going to win this game and they made theirs.”

Okogeri led Bayside with 18 points, while Joseph Owens added nine. Carlos Collazo had 22 points, Tyrell Cruz added 18 and Taliek Fonville had 13 points and 10 assists for Boys and Girls.

Brandeis 67, Cardozo 53. In a mild upset Tuesday at the College of Staten Island, 10th-seeded Brandeis, led by 6-foot-3 senior forward Decarlo Hoffler, who scored a game-high 31 points, defeated No. 7 Cardozo to advance to the quarterfinals.

Juan Lopez also scored 15 points for the Bulldogs (24-4), who face second-seeded Lincoln Sunday at Lehman College.

Led by junior Cameron Tyler, who had 15 points and freshman Vic Morris, who added nine points, Cardozo (20-8) went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. But Brandeis answered with an 11-0 run at the start of the second quarter to take a 20-13 lead and the Bulldogs would never trail again.

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

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