WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Rajien Griffin led the way with 14 points Monday as the Martin Luther King High School boys basketball team ran to an easy 61-23 victory over Clark Academy in the Section 1 Class D basketball semifinals at the Westchester County Center.
"We tried to stay focused and play as a team," Griffin said. "We want to win the title, and we have to stay together and work our offense. This was a good win for us."
The top-seeded Hastings-based Tigers will face No. 2 Biondi of Yonkers in the Class D title game at 3 p.m. Friday at the County Center. Biondi defeated Greenburgh Academy, 52-36, in the other semifinal game.
King opened leads of 9-3 and 14-3 early in the first quarter before rolling up a 34-4 halftime lead. The second half was more like a practice session as MLK coach Scott Green used his bench for most of the fourth quarter.
Senior Peter Hargrove added 13 points. Senior Dashawn Johnson grabbed 10 rebounds and was a key for the Tigers on defense.
"I think we played OK, but we want to play great defense because defense wins championships," senior forward Johnson said. "We are like a family now, playing as a team. It's our goal to it all."
MLK won back-to-back Section 1 titles in 2005 and 2006 as well as in 2009 and 2010.
Senior Jermaine Shaw said the easy win would not make the Tigers overconfident. "We have to play hard not matter what the score is," Shaw said. "Everyone has to contribute."