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Bayside girls sink Beach Channel, 66-51

Gayle Silverstein didn’t have to look too far for inspiration after struggling to find her shot in the first half Tuesday afternoon.

In black felt marker, the junior on the Bayside girls’ basketball team scribbled the words ‘No Fear’ on the back of her hands as well as the phrase, “It’s Only in My Head,” borrowed from her favorite band “No Doubt,” on the inside of her right forearm.

Heeding Gwen Stefani’s words of wisdom, Silverstein shook off the early cobwebs and buried back-to-back threes to ignite an 11-2 run at the start of the third quarter to lead the Commodores to a 66-51 win over visiting Beach Channel in the second round of the PSAL Class B playoffs.

Silverstein scored 12 of her team-high 15 points from three-point range as No. 5 Bayside (22-4) advanced to the ‘B’ quarterfinals for the first time in school history. The Commodores will play Sunday against either Van Buren or Park West, who played in a game scheduled for Wednesday, at Lehman College.

“In the beginning I came down and missed a three and two technical foul shots, and I was nervous that I’d stay cold all game,” Silverstein said. “But you can’t let that hold you back — no fear. I couldn’t allow my teammates to get down.”

Silverstein, who plays on Bayside’s “first rotation,” a substitution pattern that best resembles a hockey line change, picked up where the second group of five left off at the end of the second quarter. Led by Shakia Woods, who scored seven straight points, the Commodores went on a 15-3 run to take a 27-17 lead with 1:09 left in the half.

“To score 66 is nice, but I’m not satisfied with it and I don’t know if [my team] is either,” said Bayside coach Steve Piorkowski. “I’d say we had a C-plus offensive game but defensively we were a B-plus, A-minus.”

After falling behind by double digits early in a 45-37 loss in the team’s previous meeting Jan. 17, Beach Channel (15-6) hung with Bayside early, taking a 12-5 lead on Katreem Palmer’s three-point play off an inbound pass.

But after scoring eight of her team’s 12 first-quarter points, Palmer, who scored a quiet 21 points, was held in check the rest of the way by Bayside’s aggressive box-and-one defense and the added pressure on Dolphins point guard Chaquit Ivory, who had 15 points.

“We just started turning the ball over a lot, we didn’t keep our head in the game,” said Palmer. “We got stops but we weren’t able to score after the stops. Turnovers lose games.”

Bayside was overaggressive, according to Beach Channel coach Victor Nazario, Jr., who received a technical foul for hammering that point into the officials with 1:46 left in the first quarter.

“They were reaching and holding the whole game,” Nazario, Jr. said. “I tried to bring it to the officials attention and when they don’t do anything about it, this is what happens.”

“This,” was a heated confrontation between players from both teams just after the final buzzer. Beach Channel players and fans were escorted out of the gym, but were followed by a contingent from Bayside and a brawl nearly broke out in the hallway.

Frustrations boiled over outside of Bayside High School about 10 minutes later when a melee broke out between fans from both schools. Police from the 111th Precinct were called but no arrests were made.

Grand Street Campus 62, Forest Hills 52. Monet Johnson had a triple-double (16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists) and Kenya Kirkland added 18 points and 6 assists for No. 2 Grand Street Campus (24-3) Tuesday. Katie Gilbert had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Forest Hills (14-3).

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

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