Cardozo falls in post-season fight against Bronx’s Wings

Cardozo High School Coach Ron Naclerio yells to his team from the floor in front of the benches as the Judges took on Wings during the PSAL Quarterfinals at St. John’s University. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Wings Academy swept past fifth-seeded Cardozo in the PSAL Class AA quarterfinals at St. John’s University Sunday, putting an end to the borough champ’s post-season aspirations.

Marvilio Berroa, the 6-foot-4 sharpshooter of the fourth-seeded Bronx powerhouse, scored 20 points against Cardozo and hauled in five rebounds, pushing Wings past Cardozo 56-46.

Cardozo (24-7) hung around, but couldn’t overcome dreadful shooting in the first and third quarters. In the two frames, the Judges shot a combined 1-of-26 from the field and managed four points in each quarter. The Judges overcame the first quarter struggles with a 13-1 run to end the first half and pull even. But after the lousy third quarter, they were behind by eight and could never get closer than six the rest of the way.

Despite the loss, Cardozo head Coach Ron Naclerio spoke fondly of his team afterward. It lost star junior Jermaine Lawrence in mid-January when the national prospect abruptly transferred to Pope John XXIII. It suffered an embarrassing, 29-point loss to rival Bayside. Yet the Judges still shared the Queens AA crown, won the Queens borough crown and put up a bold effort Sunday at St. John’s.

“They fought valiantly,” Naclerio said. “We won Queens in a year people didn’t think we would be that good with only one starter back from last year and when our only starter from last year left, a lot of people thought that would be the end.”

Wings, meanwhile, is in the final four for the third straight year. It fell to two-time defending champion Boys & Girls the last two years, and will have to take down another Brooklyn powerhouse, No. 1 Thomas Jefferson to get to Madison Square Garden.

“I don’t want to belittle [getting to the semifinals], but we want to get that monkey off our backs and get over the hump,” Turnage said.

Henry hurt: Cardozo senior forward Tajay Henry suffered a minor concussion late in the game when he went down hard and was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution afterward, Naclerio said. He left the hospital Sunday night.

Posted 7:19 pm, March 7, 2012
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Reader feedback

David from Bayside says:
Coach Naclerio will always have a good record but recruiting players against PSAL regulations and intimidating teachers to give passing grades to those not deserving will always result in never winning the championship. Fate will always prevail against those coaches that like to cheat and bend the rules. Those that could shoot were very possibly students in the school who Coach Naclerio never gave a chance to. He got the result he deserved!
March 8, 2012, 7:21 am

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