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Hanging by hoop strings - It’s all or nothing for teams at bottom of the pack

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With only two teams officially out of the running for the playoffs, Grady and Banneker, every team in the “AA” Division is still alive but some are hanging only by a thread. The South Shore Vikings, currently sitting at 2-7, amazingly still has a shot at the playoffs but will need to win all five of their remaining contests to have a glimmer of a shot. As for Canarsie (3-6), the Chiefs also have five remaining. In order for them to see the post season, they will need to win at least four of their last five. Going from those who are fighting for a playoff spot to those that they’ve already made it, Lincoln was 2-0 last week as they steamrolled Robeson, 81-56 on January 17 and thumped South Shore, 72-58; as they improved to astonishing 10-0 on the year. Thursday, January 17 Despite Robeson guard Don Trifari, Jr. scoring a team-high 15 points and while two other Eagle starters netted double figures, it still wasn’t enough for Robeson to beat Lincoln, as the Railsplitters win their tenth straight in the 81-56 blowout. In the loss, Trifari finished his afternoon by adding four rebounds and two assists. While his teammates, Dashawn Carter and Shenon Johannes contributed impressive performances also. Carter chipped-in with 12 points and seven rebounds while Johannes added another 12 points. The loss for the Eagles (5-4) officially knocks them out of the race for the division crown race as they sit 4.5 games behind Lincoln (10-0) with four games remaining on the slate. As for Lincoln, their chances of winning another division title looks rather bright, as three of the final four games are against sub-par .500 teams. Tuesday, January 15 Jefferson 111, Grady 59- In their largest margin of victory of the season, 52, and with all five of their starters dipping into double digits, the Jefferson Orange Wave won their lone matchup of the week as they crushed Grady, 111-59. Leading the Orange Wave was G Keith Spellman, who knocked down a season-high 7 three-point field goals for a total of 34 points while adding eight rebounds and eight assists. With another impressive performance was forward Joel Wright, who came into this contest averaging a little more than 13 points per game, exploded for a season-high 27 points, 28 rebounds, and one assist. While Spellman and Wright chipped in with season-high outputs, other Waves also contributed to the blowout win: guard Eric Troche (16 points and 1 rebound), guard David Coley (13 points and 1 rebound), and guard Davontay Grace (11 points and nine assists). Jefferson finishes the week at 6-3, 3.5 games behind Lincoln (10-0) for first place in the division. The Canarsie Chiefs have started 2008 on the wrong foot after dropping two straight to Lincoln and South Shore but they would drop their third straight as they were edged in a 52-49 contest against a surging Robeson. Leading the Eagles was guard Don Trifari, who netted 18 points while pulling down three rebounds. With other impressive performances were guard Shenon Johannes (14 points, six rebounds and five assists) and center Dashawn Carter (12 points, 12 rebounds, and one assist) On the other side of the scorers’ table, the Chiefs were led into battle by guard Vincent Mattos’ 18 points but still dropped their fifth consecutive. With guard Lance Stephenson missing from the lineup, the Railsplitters had no problem extending their winning streak to nine as they thumped South Shore, 72-58. Leading Lincoln was center James Padgett, who swished in a season-high 17 points while adding 16 rebounds. With another impressive performance was guard Timothy Flowers. The senior backcourt player chipped-in 15 points, three rebounds and one assist.

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