By Jerry Del Priore
After winning the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) girls’ basketball championship last season, and losing six seniors to graduation, including McDonald’s All-American Brianna Fraser (University of Maryland), not many New York City high school hoops insiders believed South Shore had enough to repeat.
But the Lady Vikings’ lopsided 65-33 win over St. Maria Goretti (MD) at the 2016 Rose Classic Super Jam at Nazareth High School Sunday, along with their 11-0 league record, are proving they’re just as good as any other team in the PSAL, despite only two seniors on the squad.
South Shore’s performance thus far could be setting the stage for another title run.
But, if you ask head coach Anwar Gladden, he’s not overly concerned with winning another championship right now. He said South Shore will play one game at a time while improving, and take it from there. It’s a mindset that he’s instilled in his squad as well.
“We just got to keep working, and get better every day,” Gladden said after the game. “Yeah, I mean, it’s always hard to repeat. So that’s why I just tell the girls don’t think that far ahead. Just keep working to get better every day, and everything will take care of itself.”
The Lady Vikings (11-0, 15-1) came out of the gates fast and determined, building a 9-0 lead before the Gales got on the scoreboard at 9-3 with 4:23 left in the first quarter.
From there, South Shore took a commanding 23-6 first period advantage. The Lady Vikings pressed defensively, and outdueled St. Maria on the boards in the second quarter to help swell their lead to 38-14 at halftime.
Though South Shore had letup somewhat in the second half, with backups inserted at various points, it had done enough offensive damage throughout the game, and played well defensively to win going away.
Senior forward Jordan Washington, who was named the Lady Vikings’ Most Valuable Player for the game, drained a contest-high 12 points while junior forward Selena Philoxy chipped in with 11.
South Shore travels to Maryland tomorrow at 4 p.m. to face Riverdale Baptist, ranked No. 3 in the nation, at the MLK Hoop Classic.