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It’s a ‘Jump ball’ in the AA Division - Teams jockey for position as playoffs near

With only six more games left until the playoffs in the Brooklyn “AA” Division, the action continues to heat up as the division is far from being claimed. The Boys & Girls Kangaroos, beating both Canarsie and South Shore this week, are favorable contenders for the division title. The Kangaroos sit atop the division with a 9-0 record, just one game better the Lincoln Railsplitters (8-1). The ‘Splitters this week derail both Grady and Banneker, to also go 2-for-2 during the week. But the Canarsie Chiefs’ shot at the division title was dealt with a major blow when they lost against Boys & Girls dropping them two games out of the first with six to play. With three more weeks of regular season action to go, the playoff race is starting to heat up with Jefferson, South Shore, and Grady all jockeying for potential playoff spots. Arguably, the best match up of the week, first place Boys Girls Kangaroos facing second place Canarsie Chiefs with the Kangaroos holding a slight one game lead in the division race. You can make that a two game lead by the Kangaroos as they slip by the Chiefs at Boys Girls. The Chiefs came out of the gates firing on all cylinders scoring 13-first quarter points and held a 13-9 lead after 12 minutes of play. But they laid a huge egg, only scoring four points off of 2-two point field goals and headed into halftime with a six-point deficit, 23-17. Sadly, this trend would continue, as Canarsie only scored six points in third quarter and the gap continue to widen with Boys & Girls leading 33-23 at the end of 36 minutes of play. In the fourth quarter, the Chiefs came roaring back with 22 points but it fell short and they fall two games out of the division race to the division leader. Leading all scorer was Chiefs’ guard/forward Nathaniel Lester, who scored 23 points, snagging down nine rebounds, and dishing out two assists. Despite Lester contributing his 23, his teammates failed to do anything, as five of his teammates combined for only 22 points. For the Kangaroos, they were led by a pair of strong performances. Guard Frederick Nixon contributed 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists. While center Wayne Allison, who only averages 10.43 points per game, scored a season high 15 points, including a 3-for-3 day on the foul line, and pulled down 16 rebounds. With the win, the Kangaroos left their record unblemished at 8-0 while increasing their divisional lead over Canarsie, who falls to 6-2, to two games. But the Kangaroos weren’t able to gain ground on the Railsplitters since they beat Grady, that lead still remains at one. This game marked the second time in the 2006-2007 campaign that the Lincoln Railsplitters scored a 100-plus points and won, edging Grady at Lincoln. With all five of their starters scoring in double digits, the Railsplitters scored 20-plus points in each of the four quarters of play. Lincoln was led by divisional scoring leader, guard Lance Stephenson, who notched in 24 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists on the afternoon. Another impressive performance was by guard Vance Kelley, who contributed 17 points and three assists. Not only was this a match up of bitter borough rivals, located only a few miles away from each other, by the battle of the division’s two top scorers with Lincoln’s Lance Stephenson and Grady’s Tyief Thompson. Thompson delivered a season high 40 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Despite scoring 40, Thompson’s Falcon teammates only contributed a combined 32 points. Even though the Railsplitter defense allowed an individual opponent player to score 40 points that didn’t impede them to a 7-1 record while dropping the Grady Falcons to 3-5. With four of their five starters in double figures, the Orange Wave wiped out Banneker at Jefferson, handing the Warriors their six consecutive defeat of the season. Leading the Wave past the Warriors was guard Keith Spellman, who netted 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Despite scoring 23 on the afternoon, Warriors’ guard/forward Norron McDonald contributed 12 rebounds and went 3-for-3 on the foul line. While the Wave was only held to 14 points in the first quarter, they scored 20-plus in each of the next three quarters to thump a lowly Banneker team. With the victory, Jefferson goes to 3-5 while dropping Banneker to 1-7. When any given opponent gives up 20-plus points to Lincoln’s Lance Stephenson its pretty hard to win, no matter how good the defense is. This theory held true as Stephenson clocked in with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists on the afternoon. Whenever the talented Lincoln guard scores another teammate usually gets a lift from that and this time it would be forward/center Brandon Walters, whose contribution of 20 points and 16 rebounds allowed for the ‘Splitters to derail the Warriors at Banneker. In the lost cause for Banneker, Warriors’ guard Louvert Pluviose notched 20 points, two rebounds, and five assists on the afternoon. After only scoring seven-first quarter points, Banneker wasn’t able to come within a fighter’s chance of the Railsplitters while allowing 22-first quarter points. Lincoln was able to go 2-for-2 during this week’s action and improves to 8-1, one game behind division leader, Boys & Girls, who stands undefeated at 9-0. The South Shore Vikings played their last game, a week ago, on January 2nd, a 22-point loss to the Lincoln Railsplitters on the road. The reasoning for the long gap was the supposed game against Robeson on Tuesday was counted as an automatic victory because of the PSAL’s season lockout of Robeson. To find the Vikings last victory, we must go back to the 2006 calendar year when they beat Grady on December 21. Since last week’s 22-point letdown against Lincoln, they had another setback against the division leading Kangaroos at Boys & Girls. Although the Vikes last game was nine days ago, they didn’t come rusty as they matched 15-first quarter points with the Kangaroos. But it was a 25-point second quarter and a 34-point fourth quarter posted by Boys & Girls that allowed for the Kangaroos to leap pass South Shore. Leading the Kangaroos was guard Frederick Nixon’s 15 points, two rebounds, and six assists. Another impressive performance was by forward Kendall Cutler, who posted 14 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists. The loss for the Vikings drops them to 4-5 while the victory keeps the Kangaroos’ undefeated record intact at 9-0 with a one game lead on Lincoln (8-1) Whenever Jefferson allows four first quarter points to an opponent, the odds of victory are extremely well and this held true as they thumped the Falcons at Grady. In that same quarter, the Orange Wave scored 25 en route to victory. Spearheading the victory was Orange Wave guard Keith Spellman, who clocked in with 21 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Another impressive performance by an Orange Wave was guard Jovan Deare, who contributed 18 points, five rebounds and two assists. In the defeat, Falcons’ guard Tyief Thompson added 20 points. The loss for Grady drops them to a dismal 3-6 record while the victory raises the Wave to one game above .500 to a 5-4 record.

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