BROOKLYN, NY -The door of the regular season has been shut close and postseason time has arrived as the calendar rolls through mid-February. Before teams embark on their quest for the PSAL AA championship, the borough championships this week set the table for teams establish themselves as serious contenders.
A resounding statement was made in Canarsie by South Shore on Tuesday evening as it opened its start to the Brooklyn Borough tournament against Brooklyn Collegiate. Despite initially coming out the gate a tad rusty, the No. 2 seed Vikings wasted little time establishing themselves as the dominant team on the floor, crushing the 7th-seeded Lions, 74-55, in the quarter finals of the borough event.
While cruising from tip off to buzzer with the victory, the most impressive statement was South Shore proving the quality depth on its roster as its typical top scorers — Femi Odukale (7 points), Sekou Sylla (4 points), and Kadary Richmond (9 points) — were not even among the four double-digits scorers during the offensive explosion.
The close to the first quarter was a preview for what the remainder of the game would turn into. Vikings guard Kevon Wallace sent an outlet pass deep in the paint to Richmond, who rifled a one-hand pass to a crashing Isaiah Richards for an emphatic tomahawk slam that woke the team and gymnasium up as they took a modest 16-9 lead into the second period.
That modest lead wouldn’t stay so modest for long as South Shore’s full-court pressure began to create havoc in the later quarters, creating easy buckets particularly on a handful of bad inbounds passes. It seemed like the Lions, which opened the game running crisp offense, became more stagnant with the ball movement, chucking up 3’s on one-pass possessions at times, killing most of their momentum.
On the other side, South Shore had its athletes in space, thriving in transition while also showing their familiarity with their home-court rims as the 3-pointer was falling, too. A long-ball eruption broke out in the third quarter as Wallace and Kareem May each drilled a pair of 3’s, helping push the lead to 53-35 in the closing moments of the third quarter before a final 8 minutes of garbage time.
Richards finished with a team-high 14 points with Wallace’s 13 and 10 from May joining Dwight Davis Jr.’s 11 as the four double-digit scorers for the deep Vikings, who are looking to make a deep run through the PSAL over the next few weeks.
The biggest news for South Shore came across the borough, in fact, as a surprising result to separate quarterfinal contest brought positive news for the Vikings. No. 3 seed Lincoln was upset by 6th-seeded Robeson in Coney Island, meaning instead of welcoming the team it finished tied with in final regular season standings, South Shore hosts a less powerful Robeson squad on its home floor for a chance to play for Saturday’s Borough Championship at Queens College.