BROOKLYN, NY - Players from South Shore, predicted to be one of the better teams in the PSAL this year, ran up against a pack of Lions on Monday at Bishop Ford HS and suffered the agony of being eaten alive.
During the semifinal round of the Conrad McRae Youth League, the Bishop Loughlin Lions came to the battle armed to the teeth and took down South Shore in a spirited contest, 51-47, to advance.
Travis Charles (13 points) served notice early with two strong moves to the basket. Although PG Terrence Samuel (11 points) countered, added offense from Joel Angus (6 points) gave the Lions a 9-4 lead with 3:22 left in the first quarter.
South Shore played without the services of Shamiek Sheppard, who is out for the summer nursing a knee injury, but the Brooklyn team still managed a 7-2 run as Doumdy St. Hilaire (7 points) scored in transition to tie the game at 13 apiece going into the second quarter.
Once again, Loughlin put South Shore on their heels but this time, 6'6" Wayne Martin (13 points) responded with a powerful move to the hole to knot the game at 16.
South Shore's execution of give n' goes were on point however their ability to finish faltered. It looked as if the Lions were going to take a lead into the half but Tyrone Johnson (6 points) sparked a late South Shore run that gave them a 26-22 halftime advantage.
Martin came out aggressive to open the third with a monstrous dunk off the dribble but Charles responded for Loughlin with a more conventional lay-up. With 7:22 left in the quarter and down by four, the Lions incurred a potential setback.
Khadeem Carrington (12 points) went down during contact with a South Shore player. That seemed to add fuel to the resolve of the Lions who pumped up their defensive intensity. Led by Carrington along with teammates Mike Williams (6 points) and Darius James (3 points), the Lions went on a 10-0 run, closing out the third quarter up 37-31.
The Lions lead extended to 11 points with 7:01 remaining in the game before South Shore got up off the mat to fight back.
Samuel picked the Lions pocket and drew a foul which cut into the lead but his erratic free-throw shooting delayed South Shore's comeback.
Nevertheless, Samuel was a problem as he snaked his way to the basket and with 1:38 left to play, his team was only down by a point.
It looked to be a classic case of an almost upset but good clock management by Coach Jeff Rivera along with solid free-throws down the stretch secured victory.
The Catholic school will be playing players from Abraham Lincoln in the championship at 7:30 on Tuesday.
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