NYCHoops - OSL Tsunamis South Shore to win SMARTBall Chip
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OSL Tsunamis South Shore to win SMARTBall Chip

HARLEM, NY- Playing as an Independent School that isn't a member of the New York State Federation sometimes means that Our Savior Lutheran can be a bit forgotten about locally once the high school season gets underway, but on Saturday night they looked to prove themselves as among the best in NYC in the Smartball Classic championship game when they took on the two-time defending Smartball champs in South Shore.

After a back and forth opening quarter it was Our Savior Lutheran that took control for good in the second quarter as recent St. John's commit Posh Alexander '20 was dishing out assists to just about everyone, and with Dylan Wusu '20 leading the offensive burst it was Falcons as they rolled to the Smartball title with a 70-49 victory.

Each team had their moments early on, but 6 straight from OSL in the closing minute of the opening quarter allowed them to take a 16-10 lead after one. It was that late charge to close out the first that allowed the Falcons to take momentum against a fully stacked South Shore team and dominate the second quarter as Wusu would have 10 of his 13 in the stanza as he and Jaquan Sanders '22 each lit up the nets from the outside.

Alexander didn't look to score as much as he did facilitate and play lock down defense as the hustle and aggressiveness of Our Savior Lutheran allowed them to open the second quarter on a 16-0 run and they never looked back from there. OSL would take a 38-20 lead into halftime, and while the Falcons had to be confident the fact that South Shore had trailed Mt. Vernon by as many as 20 in their semifinal game before coming back to win at least had to give them hope and confidence that another comeback was possible.

Jaheim Mason '21 was an early third quarter bright spot for the Vikings as he would connect on a drive past a couple defenders to open the half, and then he would drain a corner three ball to get the deficit down to 15, but that's as low as it would go as Our Savior Lutheran just couldn't be stopped.

Posh Alexander & Dylan Wusu
Posh Alexander & Dylan Wusu (M. LIbert)

South Shore would try applying more full court pressure, but Alexander would break that with ease time and time again, and when it wasn't Alexander it was Wusu who made a living by getting to the rim. A more physical Falcons team dominated the glass as well as on second and third chances it was all about what OSL could do.

It was a 22 point lead for Our Savior Lutheran going into the fourth, and the lead would get to as big as 26 for the Falcons. Marcus Burnett '20 put together a strong final quarter as he was relentless in fighting his way into traffic and finishing, but the ability to score both in the half court and in transition from OSL proved to be too much for the PSAL power.

Wusu was named MVP with a 23 point performance while Alexander had 20 points and sophomore sensation Sanders chipped in with 15 as Our Savior Lutheran made a bold statement in dominating the Smartball Classic from start to finish and wrapping it up with a 70-49 victory over South Shore.

Burnett paced the Vikings as he had 13 of his team high 17 points in the second half in their first Smartball loss in nearly over two years.

The loss would come at the hands of a talented and dynamic Our Savior Lutheran team, a team that may not get a lot of love or publicity once the high school season starts locally because of the schedule that they play, but they without question proved on Saturday to among the best, if not the best, team in New York City this season.