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Banneker beats Grand Street, clinches at least share of division crown

There was a slow start and some drama along the way. But Banneker clinched at least a share of the PSAL Brooklyn AA Group 2 title with a 55-48 win on Feb. 9 over Grand Street Campus in Fort Greene.

“I’m so happy for this group, because we work hard every day,” Warriors assistant coach Munch Llopiz said. “When we lose, we don’t blame no one. It’s a team loss and I love them for that. We are a family on and off the court and that helped us all year.”

Like any family, there were some issues. Coach Jonathan Anderson and Mike Williams, father of star Africa Williams, got into a physical altercation during a game last month. The two have since buried the hatchet and Banneker never missed a beat.

“This year has been full of a lot of ups and downs,” Llopiz said. … “We believe we can play with anyone as long as we stay to our game plan.”

Africa Williams led the way against Grand Street with 27 points, Diara Adger had 14 points and Jenipher Rodriguez had six assists. None of those three were on the team last year. Williams came over from Bishop Ford, Rodriguez from Christ the King and Adger was already at Banneker but did not play.

“With the new players that came in this year, it really picked up our program,” Llopiz said. “Africa with the scoring and JayAre with her defense, it was just a great part of the puzzle.”

The two returning players, Amanda Fields and Kayana Graham, also contributed. Graham had nine rebounds and Fields, one of the emotional leaders, had seven boards.

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