Saturday was a banner day for Abraham Lincoln — and this Saturday could be even sweeter.
Railsplitters alum Isaiah Whitehead dropped in a career-high 33 points, while connecting on six of 10 three-pointers in Seton Hall’s 80–66 win at DePaul in its regular season finale on March 5.
Later that night, the high school’s boys’ basketball team punched its ticket to Madison Square Garden for its first Class AA Public School Athletic League title game in three years. It beat George Westinghouse 59–50 in the semifinals at St. John’s University with former Seton Hall assistant Dwayne “Tiny” Morton back at the Coney Island school’s helm after a year in New Jersey.
“It definitely feels good for me, but those kids too,” Morton said. “A lot of the kids are from Coney Island. They always dream about going back to the Garden.”
If you think that sounded great, imagine what it will be like on March 12 at the World’s Most Famous Arena. Lincoln takes on rival Thomas Jefferson at noon for its potential first title since 2013. If Seton Hall can get to the Big East final at 5:30 pm that night, Whitehead and Desi Rodriguez — the two kids responsible for the Railsplitters’ last crown — will be playing for an even bigger championship.
Morton, who watched Whitehead in the afternoon, wasn’t aware how big next weekend could be for Lincoln until he was told after the game. Whitehead — an All-Big East first team selection — and Rodriguez likely heard about it soon after too.
“That would be wonderful,” Morton said. “Wow — imagine that. I’m going put pressure on them.”
It is certainly a possibility. The Pirates are the No.-3 seed and would need to beat No. 6 Creighton in the quarterfinals — and likely No. 2 Xavier in the semis — to get to the title game. Seton Hall owns wins over both clubs in the second half of the season.
Seton Hall is on the cusp of its first National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament appearance since 2006, and Morton is a win away from ending a roller-coaster season with yet another city title. Knowing Lincoln alums might be playing after them will only add to the players’ motivation to bring a city championship back to Coney Island.
“That’s great knowing that a couple of players from Lincoln are playing in the championship game and we’re playing in the championship game,” senior fowaard Cahiem Brown said. “That just boosts your confidence seeing great players.”
What a Garden party it would be.