Vikings In Playoff Hunt With 57-52 OT Win Over Grady
By Jerry Del Priore
With the South Shore High School boy's varsity basketball team vying for one of the final playoff spots in its division, it could not afford to lose to William E. Grady High School as the regular season beings to wind down.
Playing with their playoff lives on the line, South Shore did not disappoint, as they defeated the Falcons, 57-52, in overtime on the road.
The Vikings took a 17-9 first quarter advantage, and went into the locker room ahead, 29-22.
Grady chipped away at the lead, and narrowed the gap at four points (41-37) by the end of the third period.
Grady (1-9) continued its comeback in the fourth quarter, and took a 41-40 advantage with 6:00 minutes left in the contest.
Both squads exchanged leads, but no one could take a decisive advantage, as the game ended in a 47-47 tie, pushing it into overtime.
The Vikings scored the first six points in the extra period, but Grady refused to give up, cutting the lead at 54-52 with 27.5 seconds remaining in the contest.
However, South Shore made one of two free throws to widen its margin at 55-52 with 26 seconds left in overtime.
The Viking's smothering defense forced an errant three point attempt, causing Grady to foul with 1.8 seconds on the clock. South Shore sunk two freebies to put the game out of reach.
Senior Sharif Muhammad scored a team-high 16 points, and sophomore Salif Kante and senior Qashawn Houston added 14 and 11, respectively, for the Vikings.
Although South Shore allowed the Falcons to claw their way back into the contest, head coach Mike Beckles felt his team remained composed when it mattered most to pick up the victory.
"We just made it hard for ourselves. We made it more difficult than it was supposed to be," Beckles told the Courier after the game. "I'll take the win though. We were just fortunate to get to win, but I thought my guys played with some good poise in the overtime."
The Vikings (4-7) defeated Paul Robeson, 70-59, on Tuesday and travel to Benjamin Banneker Academy today for a 5.00 p.m. game.