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Kangaroos one hop ahead of Railsplitters - Boys & Girls, Lincoln both have playoff spots in AA playoffs, but only one can win

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The playoffs are just around the corner in the Brooklyn “AA” Division as the division title and a few playoff spots are yet to be determined. The Boys & Girls Kangaroos sit atop the division by a mere half game over the Lincoln Railsplitters. A key January 30 game of these divisional rivals could have major implications on the way that this division will be decided. Despite the Railsplitters and the Kangaroos fighting for the divisional title, they have both clinched playoff spots in the “A” bracket. Another team that has clinched is the 7-3 Canarsie Chiefs, even if they lose their next four games, a high unlikely task, as in their next four, they face South Shore, Banneker, Jefferson, and Boys & Girls. In this upcoming column, we’ll preview the playoff picture in the “AA” Division. Boys & Girls Kangaroos (10-0)- Possibly the hottest team in the division, wining ten consecutive games against league opponents, with a victory against both, Lincoln and Canarsie. The team is led by their senior guard, Frederick Nixon, who is averaging 17.63 points, five rebounds, and 5.38 assists per game this 2006-2007 campaign. The 6’2” guard is ranked fifth in divisional scoring, fifth in the division in rebounds with 43, and is fourth in the division in free throw shooting percentage at 71.43%. The play of Nixon is extremely impressive but what makes this Kangaroos team so successful is because it’s a team effort. Another Kangaroos guard Kendall Cutler, leads in the division in rebounding while center Wayne Allison leads the division in rebounding with 110. Coach Ruth Lovelace’s team was ranked eighth last season and was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Wings Academy but this year’s team has a great chance to contend for the PSAL title this February. The Kangaroos have clinched a playoff berth but with a team of such high expectations, making the playoffs isn’t enough but a championship title is the primary goal. Lincoln Railsplitters (10-1)- The defending PSAL Champs sit a mere half game behind Boys & Girls but continued to keep winning after their disappointing December 14 loss to the Kangaroos at Boys & Girls. Since that point, the Railsplitters have won four consecutive games with two forfeits by Robeson. There is no doubt that Coach Dwayne Morton’s squad is ready to defend their crown for the second consecutive year and will be a contender for their fifth championship in six years. The ‘splitters are led by their young and talented sophomore guard/forward Lance Stephenson, who has averaged 25 points per game, leads the division in points scored, third in assists, third in rebounds, and fifth in free throw percentage at 70%. There is no doubt that Lincoln will have the ball in Stephenson’s hands in the playoffs but the team has so much depth that any of the five starters are good enough to provide a quick score. The chances of his Railsplitters club to defend are as good as anyone else’s and it could possibly come to a Lincoln-Boys & Girls playoff game to determine a champion. Canarsie Chiefs (7-3)- The wild card to win the division but has clinched a playoff spot, regardless if they loose all of their final four games to come. The Chiefs look like a strong team when they are not playing the Kangaroos or Railsplitters. They’ve lost to the Kangaroos once by five with one more game against them at season’s end while they’ve been turned back by Lincoln twice. In both Canarsie-Lincoln games, the Railsplitters had gone on to destroy and manhandle the Chiefs. Canarsie’s prime enemy will a playoff game against either Boys & Girls or Lincoln. But they eventually need to get past either one of these squads to win a title. The Chiefs have been led by a pair of guards, Yves Jules and Nathaniel Lester. Lester, ranked third in divisional scoring, has averaged 21.88 points, 8.75 rebounds, and 2.50 assists per game this season. Jules has averaged 14.43 points, 2.14 rebounds, and an assist per game this campaign. There is no doubt that when Jules and Lester are playing at full throttle that this Canarsie team rides their adrenaline to victory. Despite a playoff berth in their back pockets, the Chiefs’ job isn’t over just yet as they can still clinch a division title by winning out and getting some help of their division but this would be a long shot. The Chiefs’ championship hopes will be dictated by the way they handle games against Lincoln and/or Boys & Girls. South Shore Vikings (6-5)- The Vikings would need to win just one game to clinch a playoff berth but that road will be somewhat easy, with a winnable match up against Grady but two tough games against Lincoln and Canarsie. The Vikings are led by forward/guard Sharif Mohammed, who is sixth in divisional scoring and has averaged 13.67 points per game this season. If South Shore clinches a playoff berth, this would be the second time in four years that the Vikes would be playing basketball after the beginning of February. The odds of this Vikings team making it anywhere past the second round is a long shot at best. Jefferson Orange Wave (5-6)- Famous for the infamous “basket brawl” game against Robeson, the Wave has gone 2-2 with two forced forfeits by the PSAL after the brawl. Just like South Shore, if the Wave clinches a playoff berth, the chances going any further than a second round berth is highly unlikely for Jefferson. Speaking about playoffs, the Wave would need to win two of their three final games to clinch. With a winnable game against Banneker, another win will be needed against either Boys & Girls or Canarsie, with can be a tough task. The Wave is led by sophomore guard Keith Spellman, who is ranked fourth in divisional scoring, has averaged 22.29 points per game this season.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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