2006-12-14 / Sports

South Shore Goes 1-1 In First Week Of Hoops Season

By Jerry Del Priore

If the first week of the 2006-07 PSAL basketball season is an indication of things to come for South Shore High School’s varsity basketball team, it should fare better than it did last year when the squad posted a gloomy 4-10 record and finished in sixth place in its division.

South Shore opened up the season at home on December 5 against heavily favored Boys & Girls High School. The Kangaroos took a 19-9 first quarter advantage, but the Vikings failed to chip away at the lead in the next two quarters. In the fourth quarter, South Shore forced two key turnovers to spark a spirited 9-0 run to close the margin to 49-45 with 4:44 remaining in the game.

The Vikings narrowed the gap to a single point (54-53) with 48 seconds left in regulation, but Boys & Girls sunk a bucket with 12 seconds left, forcing South Shore into a three-point shooting situation. But the Kangaroo defense smothered the Viking shooter, forcing an errant three-point attempt to end the game at 56-53.

Senior Sharif Muhammad led the Vikings with 16 points and Kante Salif and Darren Johnson added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

South Shore head coach Mike Beckles felt his team’s early mistakes were too much for them to overcome but was happy with the never-give up attitude down the stretch.

“I think we hurt ourselves once too many times to overcome the lead, Beckles told the Courier after Tuesday’s game. “But I’m happy with the team’s performance. They played hard.”

When asked how his team would fare this season, Beckles said, “I think we will be solid. But this is AA division basketball. Everyone is good in our division.”

The Vikings rebounded last Thursday by torching Benjamin Banneker Academy, 73-55, at South Shore, improving their record to 1-1 on the young season.

South Shore built a 35-28 first half lead, and pulled away in the third quarter, out scoring the Warriors 19-10 to push the score to 54-38. The Vikings didn’t let up in the fourth quarter, draining 19 points to seal the convincing victory.

South Shore had nine different players score, with senior Craig Gray leading the way with 17 points. Sophomore Darren Johnson, who drained three from behind the arc, notched 16 points and Devone Davis added 14 points and 9 assists.

The Vikings face Canarsie High School on today, Thursday, December 14 at 5.00 p.m.

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