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Beach Channel grabs boro’s top seed

It was a foregone conclusion that Lincoln would be the top-seeded team in the upcoming PSAL boys’ basketball playoffs, but where the best teams in Queens would fall was a matter of great debate at the PSAL basketball seeding meeting Friday at PSAL headquarters in Long Island City.

Beach Channel won the Queens Borough championship and lost just two games all season, but played a weak non-league schedule. Cardozo, which played one of the toughest schedules in the city, forfeited two games for using an ineligible player and was unable to play for the Queens crown.

But based on winning the Queens title and finishing atop the toughest division in Queens (Queens III-A), the Dolphins were awarded the No. 4 seed while Cardozo earned the No. 5 seed.

Brooklyn’s Benjamin Banneker and Boys and Girls were seeded No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

“It’s a nice compliment, we’re very happy,” said Beach Channel coach Jim Malone, whose team only lost to rival Far Rockaway and Transit Tech. “I just hope we can follow up on our success.”

Led by Rahshon Clark, Beach Channel (21-2) Thursday will host either No. 29 Jamaica or No. 30 Long Island City, which play in an outbracket game scheduled for Tuesday.

Cardozo (19-7), which will be without starting point guard Vic Morris for the playoffs because of academic ineligibility, will host either No. 28 Westinghouse or No. 37 Park West Thursday. Had the Judges not forfeited the two games in the borough championships, they could have been seeded as high as No. 2 or No. 3.

“When the season started and if we were able to stay healthy, remain focused and academically eligible, I thought we’d be a No. 2 seed,” Cardozo coach Ron Naclerio said. “We did hurt ourselves. We’ve had too many ups and downs from things in and out of our control.”

Queens III-A teams Far Rockaway and borough-runner-up August Martin were the next two highest seeded teams at No. 14 and No. 15, respectively.

Far Rockaway hosts No. 19 Transit Tech in a first-round game Friday, while Martin is home for 18th-seeded Curtis Thursday.

Forest Hills (18-5), which won the Queens I-A title, is seeded 25th and plays at No. 8 Manhattan Center Thursday. And Newtown, which had a strong second half of the season, hosts No. 39 Randolph in an outbracket game, with the winner heading to seventh-seeded Roosevelt Thursday.

“I’m a little disappointed we’re playing in an outbracket game, but it’s nice that we have a home game,” said Newtown coach Pat Torney. “At this point we have to bring our best to the table.”

No. 27 Bayside hosts No. 38 Aviation in an outbracket game, with the winner playing at sixth-seeded Bergtraum. Rounding out the Queens teams is No. 34 Hillcrest.

The Hawks, which beat Cardozo and Francis Lewis in the final week of the regular season to clinch the final playoff spot in Queens II-A, play at No. 31 Norman Thomas in an outbracket game. The winner heads to second-seeded Banneker, led by Virginia-bound Gary Forbes.

In the PSAL ‘B’ playoffs, the Academy of American Studies is the top-seeded team in Queens at No. 14. The Eagles host No. 19 Richard Green in an outbracket game scheduled for Tuesday.

Robert Wagner, which shared the Queens ‘B’ title with American Studies, is seeded 16th and hosts School of the Future in an outbracket game. Rounding out the ‘B’ teams is Richmond Hill, seeded 22nd. The Lions play at No. 11 LaGuardia in an outbracket game scheduled for Tuesday.

Wings is the top-seeded team in the PSAL ‘B’ playoffs.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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