Rapid Reax: Boys 63, South Shore 51

Coming off back-to-back championships, Boys and Girls felt like it wasn't getting its due respect. Some of that was attributed to the Kangaroos losing talented players like Mike Taylor, Antoine Slaughter, and Malik Nichols to graduation.

However, Leroy “Truck” Fludd hasn’t graduated and he is letting everybody in the city know he’s still here as he led second-seeded Boys and Girls to a 63-51 victory over seventh-seeded South Shore Sunday afternoon in the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA quarterfinals at St. John’s in Queens. Boys advances to the semifinals to face third-seeded Lincoln.

“Truck is that guy that has been on two championship teams, he's been around a lot of big games, he knows what it takes,” Boys High’s head coach Ruth Lovelace said. “I'm constantly on him to be a leader because he's been there.”

SETTING THE TONE: South Shore didn’t have an answer for Fludd in the first quarter. He set the tone early by hitting a three from the corner for the first score of the game. A few seconds later, he scored again in transition and his dunk that put Boys and Girls up 12-5 after one was his ninth point that quarter.

That early lead let Boys High play at the pace it wanted to throughout the game and allowed it to keep a comfortable distance between the two teams until the very end.

FREE THROWS DECIDE GAMES: After gaining an 11-point lead midway through the second quarter, South Shore (18-10) never got back to within more than nine the rest of the game. Boys High (22-6) played a sloppy fourth quarter, though, which gave Shore a chance to mount a comeback, but it missed too many free throws down the stretch.

“It's hard to beat anybody missing that many free throws,” South Shore head coach Mike Beckles said about his team that shot 12-for-27 from the line.

BRYCE STEPPING UP: Tyliek Kimbrough started the season as Boys High’s main point guard, but after he missed a few games due to academic ineligibility, Bryce Jones had to step up in that position. At first though the transition wasn’t smooth, but over the course of the season his game has grown to the point where Boys and Girl’s entire offense runs through him.

“I think Bryce has improved so much, especially late in the season,” Lovelace said. “He's always been a gamer and really talented, but his strength and his size didn't really allow you to see how good he really is. I would say he's the smartest player we've got in terms of knowing the game.”

STATS: Fludd led everyone with 20 points. Jones had 12 and Rashad Andrews had 10 for Boys and Girls. For South Shore, Wayne Martin led with 14, Terrence Samuel was held to just eight and Shamiek Sheppard only had six.

UP NEXT: Boys High takes a week off as it prepares for the semifinals next week against Lincoln. It will be the fourth time the two teams will meet and Boys leads the series two to one.