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Afterburners: Brooklyn Law & Tech’s Jets make statement in Conrad McRae final

Statement summer: The Brooklyn Law and Tech boys basketball team dropped a 64–49 to The Patrick School in the Conrad McRae Youth League Championship Game on Aug. 28, but the squad still silenced some doubters with its standout performance over the last few months.
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The Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology basketball team wanted to prove something this summer.

The Jets didn’t win a title — instead falling 64–49 to The Patrick School in the Conrad McRae Youth League Championship Game on Aug. 28 — but the word is out now that the Jets are a team to contend with.

“It’s something that I am used to, but I’m just so happy for the kids that they get to enjoy working hard and getting to a game that nobody could have dreamed of us getting to,” coach Kenny Pretlow said before the game. “We thought that we could maybe just get a playoff spot, but we made it to this championship game.”

Brooklyn Law and Tech surprised everyone by even making it to the championship tilt, defeating Wings Academy in the semifinals on Aug. 27. The Jets showcased the team’s collective grit and hustle in that victory, but the championship game was a different challenge entirely.

The Patrick School boasted some serious size and power — particularly in the post — as all-American Jamir Harris and 7-footer Buay Koka helped the Celtics jump out to an early 15–2 lead. It was nearly impossible for Law and Tech to drive down the lane Koka standing on the block, and it proved to be a challenging task to guard Harris.

Pretlow called an early timeout — trying to get his team to relax — and the Jets responded with a much-needed boost of intensity.

Prince Spivey stepped up for his squad early, hitting a handful of three-point shots after battling through The Patrick School’s defense. Mikko Johnson — who played almost the entire game — also showed his own on-court leadership, sparking the Law and Tech offense, rallying his teammates, and constantly trying to find the open man. The senior point guard also showcased some impressive ball-handling skills, weaving his way between opposing defenders to keep the Jets in the game.

“I’m very proud, because I know that everybody out here didn’t think we could make it to the championship, but we did and we proved them wrong,” Johnson said.

Javell Garnes rounded out the Jets’ highlights, playing the squad’s toughest defense and earning himself Defensive Player of the Game honors.

It wasn’t enough, however, as the Celtics took control of the game in the final minutes, connecting on shot after shot to pad the lead and pull away.

The Jets came up short of a championship, but the game was still a statement by the squad. Law and Tech knows what it takes to win a title, now and this team is coming for a city championship.

These players have been together for years and, with the high-school season just around the corner, are determined to showcase that bond.

“[Our team has] been playing together since we were young,” junior Larry Moreno said. “So our chemistry is very high, and when we’re on the court, we like playing with each other.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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