South Shore Continues its NYC Dominance, Claiming the Boys and Girls PSAL ‘AA’ Championships—Again
NYC hoops is never done and South Shore HS in Brooklyn can tell you all about it. The Vikings completed their Big Apple championships sweep on Thursday night after its boys’ and girls’ squads claimed the PSAL city championships in the AA division—the highest in the league.
The girls team continued its dominance in the PSAL by securing its sixth consecutive PSAL AA championship, after capping off their undefeated season with a comfortable 24-point victory over the Susan Wagner Falcons.
Despite a slow start to the game for both sides (the first basket of the game was scored by South Shore’s Zakieya Williams at about the six-minute mark of the first quarter), South Shore would get into rhythm soon after. A 10-2 run by the Falcons, led by Nicole Melious, cut the deficit down to four at the end of the first quarter (18-14). But that’s as close as Wagner would ever get, though, as the rest of the game would prove to be all one-sided. In the second quarter, the Lady Vikings went on an offensive attack led by Yahmani Mckayle and Natalia Williams—ultimately outscoring the Falcons 21-4 in the quarter.
A strong defensive performance from freshman Isabela Grant (who finished the game with 10 rebounds) also made it very difficult for Susan Wagner to get back in the game. The Falcons never lost hope, though; they came out and started the second half on a small run, with Shanelle Smith (who finished with 18 points) trying to provide a helping hand to Melious—who had 15 points in the fourth quarter alone (27 for the game), en route to scoring her 2,000th career point. “I wanted [2,000 points] bad and I wanted to do it with this group of girls,” Melious said after the game, according to the Staten Island Advance. “It’s crazy to do it at the Barclays Center. I think I was meant to do it here and it was awesome.” Unfortunately, her offensive onslaught would prove to not be enough, as South Shore maintained their lead in the fourth to secure their sixth city championship in a row. South Shore’s Natalia Williams was named MVP of the game, finishing with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with eight rebounds.
The boys’ team at South Shore isn’t too far behind and was looking to repeat as city champs as well. More like, three-peat, which they indeed did after defeating Eagle Academy Brooklyn to win the PSAL Boys AA city title for a third straight year. The Vikings were looking to avenge their only loss of this season, which came at the hands of Eagle Academy Brooklyn back on February 19th (Eagles won that game 74-69.)
South Shore started the game strong, kicking things off with a 12-0 run. The Eagles did not score their first basket until the 2:23 mark of the first quarter. Max Ragusa of South Shore started the game with lots of assertiveness and really never took his foot off the gas the rest of the way. The Eagles made attempts at a comeback, though, going on a run in the second quarter to cut the Vikings’ lead to eight. Jaquel Morris of Eagle Academy was strong on the boards, nabbing eight in the first half alone (he finished the game with 11 total). But Ragusa would prove to be just too much for Eagle Academy to handle.
Though the Eagles were able to cut the lead down to nine in the fourth quarter, Ragusa scored 18 second-half points, including 10 in the fourth alone, to help seal the victory. Nivek Borden also provided a strong performance for the Vikings, finishing the game with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Eric Acker of Eagle Academy Brooklyn was awarded the PSAL Sportsmanship Award, while South Shore’s Ragusa was named the MVP after finishing with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go with five assists.
Photos by Nicole Sweet.