By Jerry Del Priore
It was the Khalil Brantley show Thursday night, as the sophomore point guard went off for 40 points in Boys & Girls’ 75-67 win over host South Shore in a fierce PSAL Class AA battle.
Playing in front of a raucous home crowd, the Vikings (2-1) jumped out to a 17-11 lead in the first quarter. South Shore maintained its six-point advantage, even with the Kangaroos’ Jahi Mukoro hitting a last-second shot to close out the first half.
Vikings Head coach Shawn Mark was thrown out of the game at half time due to excess arguing with the refs, according to Athletic Director Pat Trani.
Therefore, South Shore’s coaching staff combined its efforts to lead the squad in the second half.
Boys & Girls (3-0, 2-0) chipped away at the lead until Brantley’s three-pointer tied the contest at 36 all with 4:53 left in the third period.
However, the Vikings took a one-point advantage with 3.25 remaining in the third quarter. The Kangaroos, though, bounced ahead, 44-39, on back-to-back threes by Brantley and Mukoro with 3:08 left in the period.
South Shore’s Ziare Wells knotted the score at 48-48 on a bucket with 1:04 to go in the third quarter. Two successful free throws by senior Donate Prescott ended the period with the Vikings up by two points (50-48).
Senior Nequan Pounder gave South Shore a 55-52 lead, but Brantley connected on a trey to tie the tilt once again, 55-55, with 4:14 remaining in the game.
Evened up at 57, Brantley, once again, sparked Boys & Girls’ offense with four straight points and big man senior Mohamadou Diarrah added four more to the eight unanswered points to give the team a 66-57 lead with 1:41 ticks on the clock.
While the Vikings put forth a valiant effort down the stretch, the Kangaroos put the game away at the charity stripe for the victory.
Mukoro contributed 17 points while Diarrah added 12 in the Boys & Girls’ triumphant performance.
Obviously disappointed, Trani acknowledged that the contest was indeed thrilling, and did say the foul disparity hurt South Shore, who committed 10 infractions alone in the first period. But it wasn’t the reason why the Vikings ultimately went down in defeat.
“It definitely was an exciting game,” Trani said. “It’s Brooklyn AA. What do you expect? They (the Kangaroos) were in the bonus round in the first quarter. But that’s not why they (South Shore) lost. They need to play (more) as a team.”
The Vikings travel to Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday for a 6:00 p.m. affair, while Boys & Girls host Lincoln on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.