Thomas Johnson and Evan Thomas were confident.
They were confident despite fellow starters Keith McAllister and Stephen Brevitt sitting on the bench after fouling out. They were confident despite 27 missed free throws. They were confident despite a brilliant performance by Salvador Patricio, who scored a game-high 42 points for the Bryant boys basketball team.
The two Campus Magnet starters, who missed most of the season with separate injuries, knew the Bulldogs depth would be a difference in Tuesdays outbracket PSAL playoff game.
They were right.
Johnson scored what proved to be the game-winning layup with 16 seconds left and Thomas had eight points, including six critical fourth quarter points, to lead Campus Magnet to a come-from-behind 83-79 victory.
Its real hard for teams to stop us because every game someone has a good game, whether it be rebounds, steals, Johnson said. Someone comes up with a big play.
No. 19 Campus Magnet (16-5) advances to face 14th-seeded Wadleigh in a first round game Friday.
Johnson played just four games this season, sidelined with an injured right knee, while Thomas, the Bulldogs starting point guard, was cleared to play just hours before the game after being out since Jan. 6 with a badly sprained right ankle.
Thomas sat for the entire first half, a first half that saw No. 46 Bryant (14-11) jump out to a 26-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and lead 42-34 at the break.
The Owls went to their strength in Patricio, one of the leading scorers in the PSAL. The senior guard scored 16 of his teams 26 first quarter points and had 21 points at the half despite facing a variety of zone defenses.
Were a good team, we wouldnt have made the playoffs if we werent a good team, Brevitt said. They got an early lead, but we didnt get frustrated, we just did what we had to do.
With a balanced scoring attack, led by Brevitts 24 points, Campus Magnet methodically sliced into Bryants lead. But each time the Bulldogs appeared ready to take over the game, the Owls had the answer, whether it was back-to-back threes by Shaun Willoughby or clutch free throws by Patricio and Paul Cline (10 points).
Finally, with 2:26 left in the fourth quarter and after four Bryant players fouled out, Magnet took its first lead since 2-0 on a Travant Rankine layup.
Jacek Ratajczaks bucket tied the game at 69, but Johnson and Thomas each hit a pair of free throws before Patricios three-pointer with 1:28 left brought Bryant to within, 73-72.
Two more free throws by Thomas gave Magnet a 75-72 lead with 1:15 left before miscommunication between Patricio and Nectanos Demetrulacos led to a steal by Rankie at midcourt.
It was one of three costly turnovers in the final minute for the Owls.
Down the stretch I was getting really tired and the refs werent calling fouls when I was coming down the court and that frustrated me, said Patricio, who was shadowed by Isiah Knight in the final minute. We played hard and should have won that game but we made some mistakes that cost us.
McAllister, a 6-foot-7 freshman, had 11 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks and Lavell Sobers had 11 points for Campus Magnet, which was without starters Rondu Stevens (academically ineligible) and Carlos Cadet (disciplinary suspension).
It was our depth that kept us in the game, said Campus Magnet coach Chuck Granby.
Long Island City 55, Port Richmond 46. Preston Bell had 19 points and 15 rebounds and Silvio Marfe added 16 points and six rebounds for No. 29 Long Island City (19-5) in an outbracket game Tuesday. LIC advances to face fourth-seeded Columbus Thursday.
Van Buren 65, George Washington 47. Craig Davis had 29 points and 20 rebounds, Jason Plenty had 18 assists and Will Egwu added eight points and nine rebounds for No. 20 Van Buren (18-4) in an outbracket game Tuesday. The VeeBees play at No. 13 Monroe Thursday.
Far Rockaway 64, Newtown 57. Derrick Gabriel had 25 points and nine assists and Dexter Geohagan added 15 points and 10 rebounds for No. 32 Far Rockaway, which faces top-seeded Cardozo in a first round game Thursday.
New Utrecht 60, John Adams 51. Alfred Davis had 15 points and Paul Arner and Lance Woods each had 14 points for No. 25 New Utrecht (13-12) over No. 40 John Adams.
Sheepshead Bay 61, Bayside 42. Niecia Walker had 19 points, Katherine Plummer had 14 points, Sadio Harry had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Ruchell Austin added 10 points and 19 rebounds for No. 9 Sheepshead Bay over 24th-ranked Bayside in a first round PSAL A game Tuesday.
Manhattan Center 53, August Martin 41. Dankery Perez had 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Christina Kelly added 12 points for No. 14 Manhattan Center (19-6) while Nicole Michael led No. 19 August Martin (11-12) with 25 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in a PSAL A first round game Tuesday.
Art and Design 30, Edison 29. Mildred Eusbio had 11 points and five rebounds and Robyn Singh added 10 points and four assists for No. 32 Art and Design over 33rd-ranked Edison in a B outbracket game Tuesday.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2004 Community News Group
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