The new 2008 NYC Boys Handball Individual Tournament took place from May 31 through June 1 brought out an incredible 103 entries. The best handball players throughout the NYC public high schools competed in this memorable event. Due to the ever improving quality of high school handball, the competition was held at two sites.
In boys singles and doubles, it was Midwood which after winning this year’s PSAL’s Boys Team Championship came out stronger than ever and slammed the competition in singles and doubles! Powerhouse Tyree Bastidas (singles) and his doubles colleagues, James Liu and Brendan Yuen took full control of the tournament and went home with their marble based large cup sized trophies.
Bastidas, the #1 nationally ranked junior singles player in the country has won many titles and now, a senior for the Midwood Hornets, once again came out with untouchable ace serves, flat rollout kills coupled with his great sportsmanship, successfully defeated all opponents. Tyree added the PSAL 2008 NYC Boys Individual Singles title to his many other titles under the proud watchful eye of his father. “I travel with Tyree all over the continent to be with him during his tournaments. Tyree has been able to play, improve and showcase his handball abilities during his happy ending high school handball career which finished with a clean sweep by winning the team and individual divisions,” says Dad. Tyree is the kind of player that will allow you to score but if you give him any kind of competition, or so much as dare to bring the score to a tie, he will turn his power up one notch and make you play harder than ever. Similarly to his brother, Jurell, who won the Individual Championship just a few years ago, Tyree also leaps into the air with acrobatic dives to pick up any kill shots which are attempted against him.
It seems that Tyree’s skills wears off on his teammates as James Liu & Brendan Yuen were also victorious in doubles. Liu and Yuen, two very hard hitters were one questioned during the team finals by an opponent, who felt they had some kind of metal object in their gloves, which would allow them to hit the ball harder, but this was never the case for the true Midwood doubles champions. This was just simply some old fashioned powerhouse hard hitting handball by Liu and Yuen as they also slammed their way to the 2008 NYC Doubles Individual Championship after winning their team city title. “I am so proud of my boys,” says coach, Jennifer Rogers. Many thanks to Lafayette HS and Grand Street Campus for the use of their facilities and Inner City Handball association for providing skilled referees to assist in the competition.
Tyree in action during a PSAL game in Brooklyn New York.
Photo courtesy of PSAL
By Jennifer Rogers on 06/15/2008
Team Champions 2005 & 2009
2005 3rd Singles Record 11-1
2008 1st Singles Record 14-0
2008 PSAL Singles Individual Champion
2005 & 2008 Division Champions
2005 Rookie Of The Year
2008 Team Most Valuable Player
From left: Amy Li and Tyree Bastidas next to the amazing display of trophies.
By Simon Chen
Thursday, June 5, 2008 9:52 PM EDT
With the championship game knotted up at two, it came down to, arguably,
Overcoming two 8-point deficits, Au ultimately came roaring back to clinch the hardware for Brooklyn Tech as the lady Engineers won their second consecutive title 3-2 over Midwood, their opponent in the finals for a second straight season.
“I’m really glad that Sarah won it for us again. I think it is a culmination of her career and it is a great way to go out,” said Brooklyn Tech head coach Paul Hoftyzer of his first singles all star.
In her last season as an Engineer, Au wanted to go out with a bang.
“The whole time I wasn’t looking at them [my teammates]. I looked at the trophies on the table and since it is my last year here, I wanted to do it [win the championship] for everybody,” said the graduating senior.
“The handball celebrity,” a nickname given to Au by Hoftyzer, conquered a 9-1 and 16-8 shortcoming to eventually reclaim the title as the city’s best team for another campaign.
“I just didn’t think that I was down by anything. I just tried to climb back and I’m really glad that I did win,” said the undefeated senior, who boasts a perfect 13-0 record, which includes three playoff victories. But she gave props to her archrival, Midwood’s anchor Danielle Dasklakis,
“She is very competitive. She plays extremely hard and I just have to give props to her,” added Au.
As for the outlook on next season, Hoftyzer was hesitantly optimistic since he is losing Au and his third singles player Ana Ng due to graduation.
“Next season is going to be tough. I do believe that we are a playoff-bound team but as for this [championship game], I can’t say,” said the coach.
In the boys championship final between third seeded Midwood and fifth seeded Bronx Science, the Hornets were able to sting the Wolverines, 3-2. In that title match, the decisive match came down to each team’s respective first singles players- Midwood’s Tyree Bastidas and Bronx Science’s David Cao but it was Bastidas that stole the show by stinging Cao with five kills and two aces.