Cardozo boys varsity basketball remained undefeated yesterday with a 71-44 win over Queens Village's Martin Van Buren High School.
Despite the wide margin of victory, Judges head coach Ron Naclerio said he expected more from his team.
"You should be happy anytime you win by 25 or 30, but I thought that we did a lot of things in the first half that were uninspiring," Naclerio said. "We were also missing a starter and that hurt."
The Judges were playing without senior guard Tyrel Hunt, who was averaging 15 points per game for Cardozo. The Judges struggled with controlling the ball in the first quarter, but Shelton Mickell made the difference in the first quarter. His seven points gave the Judges an 18-4 lead.
Van Buren began fighting their way into the game in the second quarter but could not match Cardozo's athleticism and size. Despite a successful effort by the VeeBees to force turnovers in bunches, the Judges stood safely ahead, 32-18, at halftime.
In the third quarter, Cardozo began to pull away even more.
"Lawrence played pretty well the first two games and then against Campus Magnet he really struggled," Naclerio said. " I told him he was living by the five-foot shot and, right now, he's better off taking the lay-up. He'll get there, though. It'll happen with him."
Listed at 6-foot-8 and 180 pounds, Lawrence can play several positions and already has the confidence of an upperclassman, if not the composure.
Just a sophomore, Lawrence followed a strong slam-dunk with a big blocked-shot on the defensive end. The Judges were ahead 52-32 at the end of quarter three.
"I was kind of cold in the first half," Lawrence said. "I should have come out stronger from the beginning of the game. I had to depend on my teammates to get me involved. But as time goes by, you're going to mature."
Although Van Buren never quit, the game was well out of reach for the VeeBees in the fourth quarter. Naclerio cleared his bench in the fourth quarter and got everyone involved.
"I think we've got some good kids and we played some great defense," he said. "We have a lot of pieces. To Van Buren's credit, they hung tough."
Van Buren's Tony Wilson scored 17 points, while Mickell was the high scorer for the Judges with 15 points and 10 assists. The Judges' Chris Gayot finished with 11 points and nine assits. Lawrence collected 13 points and 9 rebounds in Cardozo's fourth straight victory.