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By Laura Amato
They brought the pressure.
South Shore’s girls basketball team rolled to a 68–30 victory over Francis Lewis on Dec. 5 in a rematch of last year’s Public Schools Athletic League AA final. The Lady Vikings gave up just 10 field goals in the lopsided win, sparked by a dominant full-court press and shutdown defensive effort.
“We had our hands up and we reacted well,” said junior point guard Destiny Philoxy. “That’s all defense is about — reading and reacting — and we were able to do that.”
Both teams struggled to put the ball in the hoop early on, and South Short didn’t notch its first points until Keyanna Glover hit a three-pointer with just over two minutes left in the opening quarter.
That all changed in the second, though.
South Shore (2–0) fell into a full-court press and half-court trap that forced Francis Lewis into mistakes and turnovers — and the Lady Vikings took advantage, going on a 19-point run over the frame.
“That’s why we want to rely on our defense,” said South Shore coach Anwar Gladden. “When the offense isn’t rolling, your defense should always be there. It helped out today.”
The Lady Vikings forced double-digit turnovers in the lopsided victory and excelled in transition, pushing the ball out quickly before Francis Lewis (0–1) even had a chance to respond.
South Shore didn’t take its foot off the gas in the second half either, and the Lady Vikings continued to attack from every defensive angle, out-scoring Francis Lewis 25–15 in the third quarter.
“Once we started that scoring drive [in the second quarter], it gave the rest of the team confidence to start putting the ball up,” said Glover, who finished with 17 points. “Everyone got some confidence out of this.”
The key for South Shore was its cohesive effort on defense. The Lady Vikings gave up just four jump shots in the first three quarters and were on the same page throughout the night, rotating through their defensive schemes and keeping Francis Lewis on its collective toes.
It was that defense that ultimately helped feed the offense and, by the final buzzer, nine different Lady Vikings put points on the board.
Of course, there’s still plenty to work on. Francis Lewis actually out-scored South Shore 15–14 in the fourth quarter, and Gladden believes his squad could have been even more successful on the defensive side of the ball.
Two games into the season, South Shore is confident its defense is its strength and going forward, the Lady Vikings are only hoping to get better.
“We’re veteran team, so they’ve been in a lot of games like this, and it’s good to get a ‘W,’ ” Gladden said. “We’ll be back to the drawing board this week.”
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[HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS] Vikings’ ‘D’ conquers Francis Lewis in city title rematch : Brooklyn Daily