Lady Vikings Three-Peat
The South Shore Lady Vikings won their third straight PSAL “AA” Division Basketball Championship with a dominant performance over Murry Bergtraum High School Saturday morning at Madison Square Garden.
As has been the case all year long, the Lady Vikings clamped down defensively from the very beginning of the game, allowing their opponents to score a total of four points and shoot only eight percent from the field while putting up 18 points themselves. Bergtraum turned into a different team during the second quarter by coming out aggressive on the defensive side and efficient on the offensive side, which led to a quick 6-0 run and trimmed the deficit to just eight points. After regaining their composure, the Lady Vikings were able to get back to what they were doing in the first quarter. They created havoc on the defensive side of the ball, which led to turnovers and easy points in transition. Although Bergtraum played very well during the second quarter, they faced a deficit of 15 points going into halftime by a score of 32-17.
As the third quarter began, the Lady Vikings seemed as focused as ever, as they put forth both their best offensive and defensive quarter by limiting their opponents to just four points while lighting up the scoreboard for 20 points during the period. The lead ballooned to 31 at the end of the third. With the game seemingly over by the start of the final period, the Lady Vikings came out into the fourth quarter as though they were down by a huge margin. Although Bergtraum played hard, they just couldn’t get many shots to fall as South Shore rolled to a 34- point victory by a score of 68-34. With a third straight PSAL championship under their belts, this team was already looking ahead.
“This win is great, but now we’re focused on states. We did this already a few times and it’s a great feeling, but now we’re focused on states,” said senior center Selena Philoxy.
Winning three straight PSAL championships is unprecedented and Coach Anwar Gladden highlighted what the keys are to his team’s success. “Team B and Team C push Team A. I don’t really think other teams have that. So, when you have so much competition, you have no choice but to get better because all of my starters know that if they’re not playing at a high level, I can sub them out easily. We also defend at a high level. That’s one thing with me. If you can’t defend, you can’t play for me. So those are definitely the keys to our success.”
After their defeat, Murry Bergtraum sounded like a team that will use this loss as motivation. “We got killed on the boards,” stated Coach Nerva Jean-Pierre. “One position we allowed them to get seven offensive boards and our intensity just wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Honestly, I think we were just happy to be here. I don’t think the girls understood the magnitude of being here, but that’s fine. We’ll be ready next year.”
When asked about players crying as they received their second place plaques, Jean- Pierre said, “Obviously, it’s disappointing, but I know we’re gonna bounce back because we’re going in the gym tomorrow to get shots up. I didn’t even say that to the players. They all came up to me and said they want to get shots up tomorrow. That’s what I love to hear. So, we’ll be back.”