The lone exception was Marissa Flagg. The senior guard was playing her final home game at Cardozo and was zipping around the court in a blur.Eventually, Flagg's energy rubbed off on her teammates, especially junior guard Lekesha Harris who poured in a game-high 23 points in Cardozo's 59-39 win over Beach Channel Saturday."When you see Marissa running around out there, it makes you want to keep up," Harris said. "In the beginning, she was like the only out there who had energy. We have to keep in shape just to keep up with her. I'm going to miss her when she goes off to college. She's a good point guard, and she brings a lot to the team. She always gets me open shots."Flagg had energy to spare against Beach Channel. At one point in the first quarter, the four-year starter made a layup and then opened the door for someone trying to enter the gym as she ran back on defense. Her frenetic pace continued in the third quarter when she converted a three-point play and clapped in the face of an opposing player, picking up a technical foul. When she stepped to the foul line for her free throw, she was in full discussion with the referee over the technical."It doesn't matter what time it is; I've played games at eight in the morning," said Flagg, referring to games with Team Exodus, her summer league club. "My job is to get everyone's energy up when they look sluggish. I just go out and play and try to help the team."Flagg and senior forward Jacquel Smith were honored at halftime with a bouquet of flowers, balloons and a plaque for participating in their final home game. Flagg (10 points) has compiled a list of colleges like Virginia Commonwealth, Rider University and Rhode Island, but is undecided on which school will get her energy.The first time Cardozo's coach, Larry Carradine saw the red-haired senior was in the sixth grade at IS 158."I was hoping that she would come to Cardozo," he said. "She never stopped moving. You could see her competitive spirit even back then. She's the leader of this team and has kept the tradition of Cardozo basketball alive."Beach Channel (8-6) defeated August Martin and narrowly lost to the Judges, 63-57, last Thursday but was powerless against Cardozo (18-5, 12-2) two days later, trailing 18-11 after the first quarter and 42-15 at the break, thanks to 19 first-half points from Harris."We couldn't match their energy," said Beach Channel's coach Victor Nazario, who asked for the game to be changed from Noon because of a scheduling conflict. "We were missing a starter (freshman Precious Hills), who arrived late, but the body language of our kids wasn't what it should have been. We weren't into it like they were."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.
©2006 Community News Group
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