This was the South Shore Vikings fourth trip to the Public School Athletic League’s (PSAL) AA finals in seven years, but it was also the first time that they would be playing a team other than Murry Bergtraum. In other words, this was their chance with the 15-time defending champion out of the way.
Unfortunately, it might have been a different team, but it was a similar result as Anwar Gladden‘s squad lost to Francis Lewis 65-58 at the Barclays Center on Saturday afternoon.
“(Francis Lewis) was ready to play today,” Gladden said. “When it comes to situations like this, it’s about who plays the best within those 32 minutes. Francis Lewis was a good team all year. Let’s not forget that. We didn’t play a bad team today. We played a very good team and they played well today.”
Francis Lewis certainly did play extremely well, but it seemed as if South Shore beat itself. The Vikings dominated the glass as they grabbed offensive rebounds two or three times at a time, but weren’t able to convert those boards into second chance points. The 6-foot-3 junior Brianna Fraser was effective with 26 points and 15 rebounds, but there were stretches of time where it seemed like they weren’t doing enough to get her involved.
Afterward, Gladden said that he felt like his team even played well against the press well this year, but he didn’t see it from his girls on Saturday as they committed 19 turnovers.
South Shore struggled to guard Sierra Green all game long as she finished with 19 points and was left wide open for threes in several big occasions. Once they finally picked up on Green in the fourth quarter, Chi La Bady came on strong to make up the difference. Bady finished with 18.
“We’ve lost before,” Gladden said. “To me, you’re judged on how you come back. We’ve come back before and we’re going to keep coming back. One day things will work out. We don’t feel like we lost today. We got to play in the Barclays Center as a high school coach with these young ladies. The Barclays Center is amazing. It was tough, but we didn’t lose.”