Bronx Teams Shine At MLK Classic

By Robert Cole

With basketball games taking place throughout the nation on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, teams from the Bronx gathered at DeWitt Clinton Gym for a full day of basketball action at the Governor’s annual MLK Classic.

Credit: Robert Cole

Dewitt Clinton faced the toughest challenge of the day against undefeated Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology. Credit: Robert Cole

The action began at 9:00 a.m. with a girl’s game between Bronx rivals Evander Campus and the host DeWitt Clinton. Evander started out fast taking the lead, before Clinton would mount a second half comeback to win the game by seventeen points, 58-41.

Monroe Campus led off the games for the Bronx boy’s teams, with a game against Bayard Rustin, from Manhattan. The boys from Monroe were able to score early and often as they defeated Bayard Rustin 71-35 to get the borough off to a good start.

Tournament host, Dewitt Clinton lost to undefeated Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology, 71-35. Photo credit: Robert Cole

Tournament host, Dewitt Clinton lost to undefeated Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology, 71-35. Photo credit: Robert Cole

Jane Adams was the next team to represent the borough against Democracy Prep from Manhattan. Adams was able to come from behind in the second half with a strong shooting effort to top Democracy Prep 71-61.

Clinton HS MLK Classic-3

Morris HS Campus faced off against Queen’s Van Arsdale High School in the tournament’s finale. Credit: Robert Cole

The host, Dewitt Clinton faced the toughest challenge of the day against undefeated Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology. Clintons coach Chris Ballerini noted that he wanted his team to face a team as good as Brooklyn Law and Technology, so that they could “measure where they were and learn how much they needed to improve.

His team would learn that they have a lot of work to prepare for the upcoming citywide playoffs after a 71-35 loss.

 Coach Ballerini said,It is better to find out where his team was on January 16, instead of February 16th.” He and his coaching staff can only hope that his team takes this lesson and uses it to propel them to a successful second half of the season.

Morris faced off against Queen’s Van Arsdale High School in the tournament’s finale. Morris took a ten point lead at the end of the first half 25-15 and extended the lead in the third quarter, before Van Arsdale came storming back to come within three points. Morris would rely on the leadership of their senior guard, Andy Rosario who scored nineteen of his teams thirty-five second half points to secure his team’s victory, 60-55.

High school basketball resumes Tuesday, as PSAL teams start the second half of their seasons.

Robert Cole is a freelance sports writer and photographer.

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