Monkey off his back

You can guarantee that Kennedy High School boys basketball coach Michael Booker is still smiling.
And he should be.
Booker, who is in his fourth season with the Eagles, hadn’t beat Bay Shore Athletic League foe Salesian since he became coach in the 2003-04 season. Booker had to endure nine straight losses to Salesian, including a 63-46 defeat in last season’s North Coast Section Division IV semifinals.
But Tuesday, thanks in large part to senior Brandon Tatum, who scored 17 of his 25 points after halftime, the Eagles finally beat Salesian 59-45 in the BSAL opener for both teams.
Not only was the victory the first for Booker, but the first for the Eagles since a 60-56 victory on Jan. 14, 2003. Before Tuesday’s win, Kennedy was 0-10 against Salesian.
“Anytime you go 0-10 against a team it gets frustrating,” Booker said. “There times where we have been close but couldn’t get it done.”