The Cinderella run by the Francis Lewis boys' basketball team came to an end Wednesday afternoon in a two-overtime classic. The 28th-seeded Patriots, who were competing in their first playoffs since 2002, fell to No. 10 Teachers Prep, 82-81, in the PSAL Class A second round in Brooklyn.
"I'm so damn proud of them," Lewis coach Perry Dortch said. "We've made a name for ourselves in basketball."
The Patriots competed in most of both overtimes without their best players. Senior James Anacreon fouled out in the fourth quarter and junior Phil Gladney did the same midway through the first overtime. But somehow a team of five sophomores was able to persevere.
"We gave [Teachers Prep] all they could handle," Dortch said. "[The sophomores] grew up quick. We're on our way, I'm telling you."
Sophomore Francis Arnold led the way with 23 points, Gladney had 21 points and Anacreon added 18. Sophomore Calvin Williams chipped in 10. Dortch was impressed how his youngsters handled the pressure.
"You can't teach this," the second-year coach said. "They only way they learn is by being there. Next year, they're gonna know."
And next year looks bright. Francis Lewis improved from 2-14 in Queens A East last season to 8-8 this year. The Patriots beat Prospect Heights in a playoff outbracket game Feb. 28 and stunned No. 5-seeded Murry Bergtraum, 59-56, in the first round.
Anacreon, who Dortch thinks could play Division I basketball, was one of the best 'A' players in Queens this season, but the coach thinks Lewis could be even better without him in 2008-09. Gladney, Arnold and Williams are all back. So are sophomores Rocheny Francois and Marlon Sims.
"We'll be more of a five-man team," said Dortch, who runs a version of the swing offense made popular by University of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.
As for moving up to Class AA next season, it doesn't look very likely. Forest Hills did something similar last year. The Rangers, under coach Ben Chobhaphand, went 9-7 in Queens A East, gave Cardozo a hard time in the first round of the Queens Borough championship tournament and went to the second round of the 'A' city playoffs. This season, Forest Hills was one of the best teams in Queens AA and just fell in the second round of the 'AA' city playoffs to No. 3 Wadleigh on Tuesday.
"I would love to (move up)," said Dortch, who used to coach for 'AA' Martin Van Buren. "I can't wait to face (Cardozo coach Ron) Naclerio and (Campus Magnet coach Chuck) Granby again."
"When we're ready," he added. "Soon enough."
Westinghouse 76, Franklin K. Lane 69. Argelix Gil had 32 points and Ka Von McDonald added 12 for the Knights in 25th-seeded Lane's PSAL Class A second-round playoff loss to No. 9 Westinghouse on Tuesday in Brooklyn. Lane was coming off a major first-round upset of No. 8 Tilden on Feb. 28.
East New York Transit Tech 66, Newtown 53. For the second straight season, Newtown lost to Transit Tech in the PSAL Class A playoffs. David Joseph had 28 points for the 19th-seeded Pioneers in the second-round loss Wednesday to the No. 3 Express in Brooklyn.
Telecommunications 66, Hillcrest 55. Patrick Parker had 13 points for Hillcrest in the 10th-seeded Hawks' second-round loss to No. 7 Telecommunication on Wednesday in Brooklyn.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@
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