Star Benching Results In Lady Vikes Tourney Loss
By Jerry Del Priore
For the first time this season, the South Shore High School girl's varsity basketball team played without its star junior point guard Angel Porter, who head coach Anwar Gladden benched for missing a few practices.
Unfortunately, the Lady Vikings (12-1 in PSAL competition) couldn't overcome her absence and lost to Central High School, last season's Pennsylvania state high school champions, 57-49, in The Bronx at the JFK High School Challenge.
Gladden believes his girls would have defeated the Lancers, who play in the Philadelphia Public School B League, if Porter was in the lineup. However, the six-year coach had to enforce a standard with his team.
"With Porter, we win that game by 15 or 20 points," Gladden said. "We would have been able to press and run, but without her it definitely hurt us. But you have to do what you have to do. I can't show any favoritism."
Freshman guard Jasmine Odom scored a team-high 20 points, and junior guard Baytania Newman and junior forward Valerie Patterson contributed thirteen and seven, respectively, for the Lady Vikings.
Gladden told the Courier that he and the team have put the loss behind them and are looking to end the basketball campaign with momentum and snagging the best playoff spot.
"This was a good test for us," he said "but we lost without our best (squad). Now, we're getting everything together and getting ready to finish the season strong, and hope to get the highest seed possible."
South Shore hosted James Madison High School yesterday and finishes the regular season at home against Grand Street Campus on Monday at 5:30 p.m.