BROOKLYN, NY - NYCHoops.net #9 ranked faced off against #10 as the Thomas Jefferson Orange Wave hosted South Shore on Saturday.
The prototypical PSAL game was fast paced, neck n' neck and would come down to a free-throw, leaving the Vikings falling short, 79-78.
At the onset, Jefferson was clearly more aggressive as 5'11" senior Daquise Andrews (9 points) helped put the Orange Wave up 6-2 midway through the warm-up quarter. A trey by Shamorie Ponds (16 points) pushed the host team up by 7 before 6'6" Ryan Preston (12 points) cut Jeff's momentum, scoring inside.
South Shore slowly edged their way back into the contest with a press and drawing fouls in transition. Shakur Spencer (12 points) got to the line and help cut the Vikings deficit to 12-11 with 1:14.
Junior Akeem Adams (17 points) gave Jefferson breathing room with the first of five three-balls and although Nick Simeon (10 points) countered for the Vikings, a buzzer beater by Patrick Brown (17 points) gave the Orange Wave a 20-16 advantage to start the second quarter.
At 7:07, South Shore quickly tied the game as 6'8" big man Latiek Laney (6 points) and 6'2" senior Devyn Wilson (14 points) scored but Jefferson would once again pull ahead. A Wilson three-ball knotted the game at 27 and with 3:44 Greg Battle (8 points) would finally give the Vikings their first lead, 28-27.
The lead changed hands four times as the pace became frenetic down the home stretch into halftime but the Vikings would hold on to a 35-34 lead heading into the locker room.
Building on their halftime momentum, Wilson extended South Shore's lead in transition with a flush. Orange Wave fans became increasingly vocal as the moment pendulum was swinging. Jefferson found themselves down 39-34 with 6 minutes left in the third until they hustled on defense, dialing South Shore's lead back to 2 points.
South Shore stepped it up a notch, dominating the paint. Doudmy Saint Hilaire (11 points) and Laney put the Vikings back up ten with 2:14. The Wave battled to keep the South Shore's lead under double digits. A 3-ball by Adams with under a minute help to accomplish that task as Jeff only trailed 57-52 at the end of three quarters of play.
"Let's end the game right here," said Wilson confidently as South Shore came out the huddle to begin the quarter. Thomas Jefferson had an alternate ending in mind as Ponds drove to the hole pulling the Wave to within 3 with 7 minutes on the clock. A steal by the sophomore put him on the line and suddenly the Vikings advantage was reduced to 57-56.
South Shore countered but Jefferson kept knocking at the door. St. Hilaire, who had a quiet 2 points first half, came up big for South Shore. Andrews and Ponds came up bigger for the Wave.
At the 4:57 mark, Jefferson reclaimed the lead 63-61 with a swish by Ponds deep in the corner.
Foul shots began to betray the Vikings and another Adams trey pushed the Wave's lead to 5. 3:39 remained and Jefferson's led, 68-61.
Preston kept South Shore in the hunt with back-to-back scores inside. Down by 5, Vikings head coach Mike Beckles called time out with 2:47, urging his team to only take good shots.
Spencer obliged, pulling the Vikings to within three. A nasty block by Preston on Brown also helped the cause.
A minute remained and the Vikings were only down 72-71 but Devonte Wilson (14 points) nailed a clutch bucket to give Jeff a 4 point lead.
Ponds all but sealed the deal from the foul line as he re-extended Jeff's lead back to 6 with 30.4 seconds. Or so it seemed.
Spencer scored for South Shore with 15.5 seconds and Beckles took a quick timeout. A foul by the Vikings put Adams on the line and the junior was pure.
Simeon drained a trifecta with 8 seconds and Beckles used his last timeout to strategize yet again. The Vikings were now merely down 79-76 and with 2.5 seconds left in regulation. Wilson would come up in a huge way, getting a steal on the inbound pass and going in for the score plus drawing the foul. South Shore was now trailing by one point.
If Wilson completes the and-1, the game would've probably gone into overtime. The pressure was on but unfortunately for South Shore, the pipe burst as Wilson's free-throw nicked the left side of the rim, falling into the hands of Orange Wave rebounder. Game Over.