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Bucks win regional semifinal

Posted on 01 March 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach High School boys’ basketball coach Kenny Brown switched his team to a zone defense and the Bucks were in a zone in taking out the state’s second-ranked Class 9A team in Coral Springs, 73-60 on Tuesday night.

Senior Lutelson Jerome led four players in double figures for the Bucks with 19 points in the Class 9A regional semifinal at Coral Springs High. Jonathan Lemy and Hansley Senatus had 12 points each, while Michael Johnson added 11 in a winning effort.

Deerfield Beach (22-8) will travel to play Wellington in the regional final on Friday night. The Wolverines, who lost in the state semifinals last year to the eventual state champion, Osceola, are 29-0 this year.

We held some things back in the first three games,” said Bucks coach Kenny Brown, whose team entered the game as the eighth-ranked team by MaxPreps in Class 9A. “We weren’t going to do certain things. We just stuck to the basics. We decided to do some things tonight that we felt would work against them.

Tonight, we decided to play a zone (defense) and we knew they weren’t going to be prepared for that because we hadn’t done it before,” Brown continued. “They thought we were going to play man-to-man the whole game…we just played some 1-3-1 (zone) and never played man-to-man the whole night.”

Coral Springs (22-7) had defeated Deerfield three times during the season winning 61-55 in OT in the first meeting and then 60-54 in the second. The Colts, the second-ranked team in Class 9A and 8th ranked overall, then topped the Bucks 71-56 for the district championship.

Deerfield opened up an early 12-2 lead before the host Colts clawed back to tie the game at 30-30 on a lay-up by Deante Moore. The Bucks’ Hansley Senatus drained a 3-point basket at the buzzer as the Bucks took a 33-30 lead at the intermission.

Deerfield Beach used an 18-11 run in the third quarter to break open a close game and the Colts were unable to recover.

Coral Springs was led by Moore who scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, but the Colts were unable to recover from an 18-11 run in the third quarter that stretched the lead to double digits. The Colts, who won the state title in 2016, led just once in the first half as Jelani Heard opened a 2-0 lead with two free throws.

It was a rematch of last year’s regional semifinal won by Coral Springs, 47-44. Deerfield Beach reached the state semifinals in 2013 when it fell to eventual champion Haggerty, 57-54.

This is huge for these kids,” Brown added. “I have a lot of kids who this is their first year on varsity and this has been a year where they learned on the fly. We have had some ups and downs because of their youth, but they learned from it and they played a lot better tonight.”

Tigers rally past Dwyer, 65-50

Michael Forrest scored a game-high 38 points as Blanche Ely blew past Dwyer, 65-50, in the Class 8A regional semifinal in Palm Beach Gardens on Tuesday night.

Tigers coach Melvin Randall said Forrest has been the key to the team’s success down the stretch.

He is finally getting it that he is the leader,” said Randall, whose Tigers (21-8) will host McArthur on Friday in the Class 8A regional finals. “We don’t go anywhere without him.”

The win was the Tigers’ fourth straight year where they ended the Panthers’ season in the playoffs. Dwyer (26-2) saw its 13-game win streak come to an end. The team’s only other setback came on Jan. 9 to University School, 66-62.

Joshua Scott added 11 points on the night for Blanche Ely, which won four state titles in a five-year span from 2012-16. The Tigers, who won back-to-back championships in 2015 and 2016, were upset in their bid at a three-peat last year when it fell to Palm Beach Lakes in the regional semifinals.

Forrest scored 14 first-quarter points to stake the Tigers to 11-point lead after eight minutes and stretched the margin to 38-22 at the intermission. Dwyer made a late run, but it wasn’t enough.

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Bucks off to a quick start

Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports122916By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach coach Kenny Brown is a firm believer that his team can make it past the first round of the district tournament this season.

The Bucks finished 12-13 last year including a first round exit in the District 11-9A tournament. Deerfield Beach has gotten off to a 10-5 start this season with four losses coming in the Kreul Showcase and Kreul Classic tournaments. The Bucks also suffered a 61-57 loss to Dillard in the regular season.

Brown entered the season with a 258-121 record with more than 100 players who have gone off and played in college, including Terrence Johnson (South Alabama) and Josh Huntley (Stephen F. Austin). He returns six players from last year’s squad.

Toughness will be the team’s mantra this season and Brown cited junior point guard Corey Carpenter, along with senior guards Marcus Brave and Calvin Davis to take the team to the next level.

(Senior) Edwin Louis is a talented point guard with D1 ability,” Brown said. “(Junior) Hansley Senatus is a wing player that will bring versatility and has the ability to stretch the floor with shooting.

We expect to improve everyday and peak at right time,” Brown said. “We are looking to play faster and use our depth on wings. I think our depth will be key to our style, which will be to wear teams down and pressure for 32 minutes.”

The team’s most lopsided defeat came against Class 5A power St. Andrew’s School, 86-65 in the Kreul Classic. The Scots (12-0) won the tournament and are undefeated on the season.

In that game, we got into a little foul trouble and a few loose balls that we normally get, we didn’t get,” Brown said. “Usually, we play with a lot of energy and we play with our feet a lot better.

That game was a wakeup call,” Brown added. “There was some point where the guys started to believe that they were better than they really were and a good old- fashioned butt whipping is always a good teacher. We will bottle that up and remember that feeling and we won’t have that feeling too many more times.

Coming into the season, Brown was confident that his team had put in the work during the offseason.

I work these kids really hard,” Brown said. “I know that, with the energy and how hard these kids play and how hard they worked in practice, we would have a tough team.

I thought we would have a harder time with rebounding, but so far, so good. We are right in their battling.

I am okay with our start,” he continued. “Our experience has really helped. I have four kids who are in their third year of varsity basketball. Experience is the best teacher as you know.”

Brown believes they can make a deep run in the playoffs.

As long as we trust each other, believe in each other, play off each other and share the ball,” Brown said, “we have a chance. We can go out and fight and hustle and give it all we got and we can always shuffle kids in and out…with this start, the confidence came and now the expectations come.”

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Bucks hope for state title

Posted on 21 February 2013 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach High boys’ basketball coach Kenny Brown believes this could be the best team he has had in his five years at the school.

“I think this year’s team compares favorably to the teams we’ve had in the past,” said Brown, whose team defeated Cypress Bay, 54-34, behind Marcus Owens’ game-high 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals in the regional semifinal on Tuesday night. “I think this year’s team is deeper. We have a sense of urgency because these guys are seniors. Many of them have been on varsity for all four years. It’s been a long time coming. They deserve what they can get.”

The Bucks (27-4) are the top-ranked Class 8A team in the state and are hoping to reach the state final four. The team lost in the regional final last year to Spanish River, 67-61. Until then, Deerfield Beach hadn’t reached the state series since 2004.

“It hurt immensely,” said Brown, whose team will host Jupiter on Saturday night in the regional final. “It hurt a lot, but at the same time, we used it as a learning experience of what it takes to get to where we want to get to. We know this is a small stepping stone to where we are trying to get. I can always reference back to last year and say if you don’t like that feeling, make sure you do everything you need to do.”

The Bucks are hopeful of winning a state title they first won in 1997.

They won again in 1999 under then coach Melvin Randall, who now coaches at Blanche Ely and led the Tigers to the Class 7A championship last season.

Two of Deerfield Beach’s four losses this season were to Blanche Ely, another was a loss to Sagemont and the fourth was a 5-point defeat to Ballard (KY) in the Kingdom of the Sun holiday tournament in Ocala.

“This is fun, but we want more,” said senior guard Terence Johnson, who leads the team with 17.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. “We want the state championship. The seniors know this is our last year so we are more hungry because we want to go out on top. There isn’t really any pressure. We know we are the favorites and we don’t want to let anybody down, especially ourselves so we are going to try and win it all.”

The Bucks have also received solid performances this season from senior guard Owens (16.1 points, 6.2 RB), senior center/ power forward Joshua Huntley (7.2 points, 7.8 RB), junior guard Vanderbilt Carpenter (9.4 points, 6.1 assists) and senior small forward Javaris Jenkins (9.4 points, 7.3 RB).

“I think we are good enough to be a state championship team,” Owens said. “We just have to play hard and have no let ups. We have to play 32 minutes of Bucks basketball.”

Brown said playing a team like Blanche Ely this season is a benefit.

“Those games definitely helped us down the road,” Brown said. “The competition level … the intensity … the amount of focus you need the entire game. There was no let up.”

Brown smiled when asked if they could win a state championship. “Stay tuned!” he said.

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