Title eight felt like No. 1 to Dwayne "Tiny" Morton.
The long-time Lincoln High School hoops coach admittedly watched with great ire and frustration as arch rival Boys and Girls captured each of the previous three PSAL crowns, including a 62-55 victory over the Railsplitters at Madison Square Garden in 2011.
He also hoped to help Isaiah Whitehead cement his legacy as one of the Brooklyn powerhouse's all-time greats after guiding future NBAers Sebastien Telfair and Lance Stephenson to a combined seven city crowns and three state championships in the previous decade.
But perhaps Morton's most heartfelt goal this year was to see his own son, senior guard Trevonn Morton, lift the PSAL trophy into the air at "The World's Most Famous Arena" before his high school playing days were over.
After last Saturday's 65-52 triumph over borough rival Thomas Jefferson at MSG, coach Morton felt a satisfaction unlike any he'd ever enjoyed following any of his previous seven city titles, not including those he scored as a player and assistant coach at the Coney Island school.
“It’s probably my most emotional victory I had since I’ve been in Lincoln,” Morton told MSG Varsity as the Railsplitters advanced to this weekend's Class AA State Federation Championships in Albany, where they'll take on Long Island Lutheran in the semifinal round on Friday.
Whitehead, still in his junior year with a shot at the second title awaiting him in 2014, finished the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds, taking only five shots as the Orange Wave defense did its best to keep him off the scoresheet.
Fortunately for Lincoln, Desi Rodriguez was more than up to the challenge of taking on a bigger role in the 'Splitters' biggest game of the year. He scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to take home game MVP honors, while fellow transfer-student Elijah Davis poured in a game-high 18 points for Lincoln, which returned to the city's top spot for the first time since 2009, when Stephenson won the last of his unprecedented four consecutive PSAL titles.
"It feels amazing, especially after losing [to Boys and Girls] my freshman year," said Whitehead.
Jefferson, which is still seeking its first city championship since 1954, got a team-high 19 points from Rachard Moody, but only two on 1-of-9 shooting from fellow senior Jaquan Lynch.
"We just couldn't get anything out of him today," said Jefferson coach Lawrence "Bud" Pollard, who saw his team lose the city title game for the second time in as many seasons after last year's 71-67 defeat to the Kangaroos.
Lincoln went an astounding 15-1 during the Brooklyn AA regular season, with its only defeat coming at home to Jefferson on Feb. 5. The 'Splitters avenged that defeat with a 72-60 win over the Orange Wave in the Brooklyn Borough Championship Game on Feb. 16 at CCNY before stamping their ticket to Albany with Saturday's victory.
Lincoln wasn't the only Brooklyn school with a chance to grab a title at MSG on Saturday.
The Lady Vikings of South Shore dropped an agonizing 48-43 decision to Murray Bergtraum in the girls' final despite a valiant late comeback.
Bergtraum, which captured its 15th consecutive city championship, had lost to South Shore back in December, but again found a way to hold of the Vikings at the Garden.
"We just couldn't close it out," lamented South Shore coach Anwar Gladden. "But we're young. We'll be back [here]."
The champion Blazers will now meet Park Slope's Bishop Ford High School, which captured the girls' CHSAA crown, in Friday's Class AA semifinals in Albany.
In other local sports news, the FDNY announced this week that it's Bravest Boxing Team would take on the London Metro Police Department for the Transatlantic Championship on April 12 at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, hoping to avenge a loss to their European rivals last year in London.
Hoping to add to the $200,000 they have already raised for various charities over the years, the Bravest Boxing Team is already in intense training for the event, which Resorts is hosting at no cost of venue, labor and house promotion.
For those who weren't able to make the trek to Dayton to check out LIU-Brooklyn's first-round encounter with James Madison Wednesday night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, the school will be hosting a watch party at the on-campus Cyber Cafe on the corner of Flatbush and Dekalb Avenue during the much-anticipated contest.
The Blackbirds, who will be seeking their first victory in six trips to the NCAAs, would stay in Dayton and face top-seeded Indiana in an East Regional second-round game Friday night if they can get past JMU.
Over at St. Francis Brooklyn on Remsen Street, Sheepshead Bay native Kristina Terpo placed fifth against 150 bowlers during this week's Columbia 300 Music City Invitational in Tennessee, finishing off the regular-season portion of her career before leading the Terriers into this weekend's NEC Championships in Elmwood Park, N.J.
Terpo knocked down 1,307 pins in six traditional matches in Tennessee, earning a place on the All-Tournament team in an event that featured 29 of the nation's top bowlers.