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Borough Bounce: recapping an unusual week in NYC high school hoops

A bizarre CHSAA tiebreaker and a PSAL Brooklyn borough final that didn't include Lincoln or Jefferson were just two events in an unusual week of New York City high school basketball.

When Cardinal Hayes edged Iona Prep in New Rochelle last Tuesday night, it resulted in a tie for the CHSAA New York Archdiocese regular season title. After initial reports that the top seed would be determined by a coin flip, we learned that the league decided on a most unusual tiebreaker: an odd or even point total in the St. John's-DePaul game last Wednesday night. 

Referred to as the "craziest tiebreaker in sports history" by Alex Myers of Golf Digest, the resolution brought additional focus to the Big East contest played in Chicago.

The game was televised on CBS Sports Network, and the commentators made references to the circumstances throughout the telecast and even congratulated Cardinal Hayes when a meaningless 3-pointer by DePaul's Max Strus at the buzzer changed the point total from an even to an odd number.

Christ the King's girls squad finished the regular season unbeaten with a lopsided win over The Mary Louis Academy, resulting in a tie for second place in the Brooklyn/Queens CHSAA standings between TMLA and St. Francis Prep. This tie will be settled by a more conventional method: the teams will play each other on a neutral court (Christ the King) tomorrow. The game will feature two McDonald's All-Americans, Jordan Nixon of TMLA and Emily Engstler of St. Francis Prep.

By the way, the Lady Royals were ranked 2nd nationally in last week's USA Today Super 25, and that was before the win over TMLA.

The PSAL borough playoffs took place last week, with several noteworthy stories.

Maspeth, from the PSAL's Queens B West Division, traveled to Francis Lewis, from the Queens AA Division, and took down the Patriots, holding them to a season-low 40 points.

Maspeth fell to Construction in the next round, and Construction fell to Cardozo in the Queens borough final.

Defending PSAL and New York State Federation champs Abraham Lincoln, ensnarled in an eligibility investigation that has sidelined three of its players, including KC Ndefo, was upset by Robeson.

Brooklyn Law & Tech, defending PSAL A Division Runner-up, took Boys & Girls of the Brooklyn AA to the wire, but fell 59-57. The loss averted what would have been a curious dilemma for Coach Kenny Pretlow, who is a Volunteer Assistant for Brooklyn Law & Tech and Jefferson, which would have been the Jets' next opponent if they advanced. 

Jefferson was eliminated by Boys & Girls in the next round, an overtime game in which the Orange Wave was assessed four technicals in the extra session.

In a PSAL Brooklyn borough final that did not include powerhouses Lincoln and Jefferson, South Shore, one of the hottest teams in the City, won its first borough title ever with a commanding 74-54 win over Boys & Girls.

Eagle Academy also won its first borough title on Saturday, outlasting Wings Academy in double overtime in the Bronx final.

Long time St. Francis Prep Head Coach Tim Leary passed away last Tuesday, garnering thoughts and prayers from the New York City basketball community.

Iona Prep, Stepinac, Cardinal Hayes and St. Peter's emerged victorious after the quarterfinal round of the CHSAA Archdiocese Tournament at St. Raymond on Sunday. Iona Prep will take on Westchester rival Stepinac in the semifinals tomorrow, while Cardinal Hayes will face St. Peter's, with both games being played at Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx. 

Although Cardinal Hayes was the beneficiary of the unsual tiebreaker, facing St. Peter's will be no walk in the park. The Eagles are hot, defeating Curtis 74-43 in the SIHSL final and, most recently, St. Raymond on the Ravens' home court. Meanwhile, after drawing the provebrial short straw, Iona Prep gets Stepinac for the third time this season, with the teams splitting the first two games played at the County Center and Iona College.

The CHSAA announced its All-League teams yesterday, with Moses Brown of Archbishop Molloy being awarded Most Valuable Player and Christ the King Head Coach Joe Arbitello being awarded Coach of the Year.


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