Bayside’s seniors were determined not to end their careers without winning an elusive borough title. The years of playing second fiddle to Cardozo had to end.
“They are always talking to us about how they’re the Queens champs, but this year was my senior year. I wanted to get a [borough] championship before I left,“ senior guard Cantrell Barker said.
He and the rest of the Commodores did just that, holding off the Judges 57-54 in the PSAL Queens boys’ basketball title game at CCNY Saturday afternoon. It was the first borough crown for Bayside.
“It’s great for the program, great for the kid,” Bayside Coach Corey Semper said. “I have 10 seniors.”
Austin Williams scored 17 points, Barker had 12 and Brandon King and Daqauise Andrews each added nine for the Commodores, which lost to Cardozo on the road last week for the division title. The Judges had won seven of the last nine borough crowns.
“Today I told my team we’ve got to take this,” Williams said.
The outcome came out of controversy. Cardozo (22-4) was down just one with 14.3 seconds left in the game. Omar Williams shot a three-pointer in front of the Judges’ bench and appeared to be hit on the forearm by Austin Williams. No foul was called and Bayside got the rebound to the dismay of livid Cardozo Coach Ron Naclerio.
“Everybody knows he got fouled,” he said. “Not only did he get fouled, but his arm came flying back.”
Naclerio ended up throwing the second-place plaque to the floor after the game. He called it one of the most frustrating losses of his career and said he felt bad for his kids, who had worked to put themselves in position to win behind 21 points from Kyle Credle.
Bayside (20-3) earned the win with a big basket from an unlikely source. Junior Jamal Roseburgh, playing in just his fifth game this season, put his team ahead for good.
Barker drove past Omar Williams. Unable to get a shot off, he threw a perfect feed to Rosenbaum for the go-ahead layup and a 55-54 lead with 1:05 left in the game.
“We have a good connection,” Roseburgh said. “When I’m cutting and he’s cutting, one of us is going to score.”
The 6-foot-7 junior attended John Bowne, Kimball HS (Texas) and Holy Cross before transferring to Bayside last year. He was ineligible to play until January because he failed the trigonometry Regents. Bayside principal Michael Athy added a rule this year that if a student fails a Regents, he couldn’t play until he passed it, leaving Rosenbaum on the sidelines for most of the year.
The wait was worth it.
“Bayside, we work and work,” Roseburgh said. “We made history today in Queens.”
©2013 Community News Group
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