For the last few years, the Robeson High School Eagles have kind of been the doormat of the Public School Athletic League's Brooklyn AA Division. They hadn't had a winning record since 2010-11 and it was looking like it would be more of the same this season after being blown out by teams by 20 or 30 points earlier in the year.
These days, things aren't looking so bleak for the Crown Heights school. They nearly upset Jefferson on the 23rd and then came back to beat Westinghouse 62-60 at home last Friday. It was easily their biggest win of the year and a sign that they are much improved.
"This is a team that is starting to gel together and is starting to believe in the concepts that the coaches are teaching them," Robeson coach Bishop Green said. "I'm proud of these kids, they're starting to step up. They are starting to believe in each other now. Before it was different individuals, but they are starting to put it together."
"Our chemistry has improved a lot," Watson said. "Better chemistry, we're practicing every day. It's a lot of hard work, but we feel that it's starting to pay off."
Goldsberry showed off a quick first step and strong range when he scored 15 points in the first half of the game. When Westinghouse started putting all of its attention on Goldsberry, he dusted off his passing skills and started to involve Watson more.
"I had to switch up because I started off scoring and later on in the game they were trapping me so I had to work to find my teammates and get them involved," Goldsberry said. "Our coach talked to us at halftime and told us that we had to pick up the tempo. We came out sloppy, but he said he had confidence in us."
Robeson trailed by nine points at halftime, but came out on a 10-2 run in the third quarter to cut the lead to just one point. Then Watson started his barrage of threes, hitting four in the quarter, and Robeson had a 53-48 lead going into the fourth.
"I had a lot of confidence in myself," said Watson. "I knew that I had to get this game for my teammates, they've been working really hard in practice and tonight my shots fell."
Besides Goldsberry and Watson, no Robeson players scored more than six points, but that isn't to say that the rest of the group didn't contribute. They played exceptional defense in the fourth quarter and held Westinghouse to just two field goals as they finished off the close win.
"We feel like we can beat anybody now," Goldsberry said. "This was a good win because it's going to bring our confidence up even further."
Robeson now feels like its confidence and chemistry has improved and are now hoping that it turns into results.
"This team has made some really big improvements," Green said. "I wouldn't say that we're up there with the rest of the Brooklyn AA yet, but we're getting there. You might as well say that we're from Coney Island because we're on a roller coaster. We're on the Cyclone. That's the best way to put it."