South Shore Dominates Wagner to Claim 7th Straight PSAL Girls’ AA Title

The PSAL’s top-seeded South Shore girls’ team, loaded with top-to-bottom talent, gave No. 3 Wagner all it could handle in the Class “AA” championship basketball game Friday night at the Barclays Center.

But the Falcons failed to respond accordingly, as the Vikings overpowered its opponents in every facet of the game to claim their seventh straight PSAL girls basketball title with a lopsided 77-36 victory.

South Shore scored the first nine points, and then jumped out to a 13-8 advantage with 3:14 left in the first quarter. But the Vikings proceeded to go on a 7-0 run to close out the first period ahead, 20-8.

Ariel Little captures MVP.

The Vikings dominated in the second quarter, as its defense smothered elite Wagner guard Nicole Melious with double, and sometimes, triple teams. It did not permit the dynamic guard to get off any uncontested shots.

To that end, South Shore poured it on and went into the locker room ahead, 39-17, putting the Falcons’ back against the wall.

Refusing to let up, the Vikings pressed defensively, causing several turnovers, thusly increasing its lead to 58-27 in the third period. At that point, Wagner was way too deep of hole to mount a comeback.

South Shore junior point guard Ariel Little scored 19 points and had five assists in her MVP performance. After their dominate performance, Little said she and the rest of team are optimistic that the Vikings will be successful going forward.

“It’s a good feeling every time we win, and it just makes us a better team when we win, and makes us more confident,” Little said of capturing the PSAL Class “AA” Championship with South Shore. “Like I said, we’re confident and ready for whoever we play in Federations, and take that, too.”

Nicole Melious wins Sportsmanship Award.

Melious, who earned the Sportsmanship Award, drained 20 points and dished out two helpers to cap her historic high school basketball career.

Melious’ final stats and accolades are downright impressive: 3140 points for her career, 1137 points for the season, 42.1 points, 11.2 rebounds and eight assists per game in 2022-23. She is the top scorer, boys and girls, in the PSAL, No. 1 all-time in New York City girls in points, leading Staten Island point-getter for both boys and girls.

Additionally, Melious is the third all-time scorer in the state of New York.

Though the defeat disappointed Melious, she reflected back on her career with a sense of pride and gratitude for the people that helped support along the way.

“It’s still surreal setting all those records,” Melious incredulously said. “I love my team and coach Rizzo. Every good journey has adversity. COVID was mine. To accomplish all this in three years is unbelievable. Thank you to coach Rizzo, AD McBratney and Mr. Cugini.”

South Shore advances to the Federation New York State Championship next weekend.

— Jerry Del Priore.


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