NEW YORK, NY - In the final game of the day on Saturday at the Big Apple Invitational, South Shore took on Princeton Day Academy of Maryland in a game that featured two future Big East point guards inTerrence Samuel who is headed to UConn, and Aquille Carr, the Seton Hall bound speedster.
Princeton Day may have had a size advantage on the inside, but South Shore showed toughness and heart to never quit, and the Vikings got some key buckets late, including a drive by Samuel with 2 seconds left to help them pull out the 64-63 victory.
South Shore got out of the block quick with Shamiek Sheppard using his athleticism on the inside to help avoid contact and finish at the rim. Samuel, while struggling to find his perimeter shot, was quick into the lane and seemed to have no problem getting into the lane and finishing or creating against the long and athletic Storm defenders. Led by Sheppard's 8 first quarter points the Vikings took a 21-18 lead after 1.
The 2nd saw a more aggressive pressure defense being applied by Princeton Day, and Jerron Martin was the one who seemed to thrive getting out to the wings and being the beneficiary of Carr's passes out to the wings hitting 2 triples in the quarter.Emmanuel Omogbo also was a key factor in the 2nd, grabbing 5 boards and finishing on a couple put backs that saw the tempo swing in favor of the Storm, but it was all even at 31 going into the break.
Carr had a quiet 8 points at the half and seemed to struggle with the trapping defense that South Shore seemed to apply every time he touched the ball. Donnell Clayton and Doudmy St. Hilaire were the primary defenders who stifled Carr, and they continued doing a great job in the 3rd as Carr was either forcing up poor shots, or driving into lanes that just were not there for him. David Tait was more than holding his own against the front line of Princeton Day and a three by Clayton late in the 3rd helped South Shore take a 47-45 lead into the 4th.
Things looked as if they would south for South Shore midway through the 4th when Samuel was called for a foul on Carr that would send the dynamic guard to the line for 2 shots tied at 52, but a technical foul was called on Vikings coach Mike Beckles as well so all in all it would be 4 FT's plus the ball for Princeton Day in a tie game with just over 4 minutes to play, it could've been end game right there, but Carr missed both his FT's and Martin went 1 of 2 with his two, and after Carr missed a wing three, all that possession cost South Shore was 1 point which could've been viewed by many as a victory.
The fast paced play from start to finish was a tempo that the Storm seemed to be dictating but late in the game it seemed as if South Shore had no problem playing at that pace either. After Carr slashed threw 3 defenders to score on a layup in the lane, Princeton Day had a 61-59 lead with a minute to go, but South Shore got down the floor and Samuel kicked it out to the right corner where Hilaire banged in a wide open three to put the Vikings up 62-61 with 35 seconds to go. Carr was doubled on the perimeter on the ensuing possession so he found Martin on the left wing and he took it down the lane and was fouled with 7.5 seconds to play. With a house full of fans booing Martin loudly he calmly sank both FT's to put the Storm up again 63-62. South Shore called a timeout to set up a play, but everyone in the house knew this was Samuel's time to shine.
Shine he did as off the timeout he took the ball straight down the lane going the length of the floor in 5 seconds to score on a contested layup with 2 seconds to play. Without any timeouts left Carr had no choice but to heave up a 55 footer that fell short and South Shore had pulled off the big time win 64-63 as their fans and teamsters stormed the court in joy.
Samuel came up with a huge game finishing with 21 points and 5 assists, but most important doing up huge just when his team needed him most. Sheppard added 14 and 6 rebounds, while Tait had 8 points and 12 rebounds in the win as well.
The game winning shot seemed to bring out a lot of emotion from the usually reserved Samuel, but the emotion was because of how big the win was Samuel explained.
"It was a game winning shot and those are always special." Samuel said. "It was also big win because we felt we went in as the underdog and didn't feel like people expected us to win so for us it was special."
In defeat Carr led Princeton Day with 22 points, but shot just 5-22, and just 2 of 14 in the 2nd half. Omogbo was a physical force inside though finishing with 11 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.
IN OTHER ACTION:
Thomas Jefferson 66- Coolidge (DC) 53
The Orange Wave pulled away late from a stingy Coolidge team that kept the game close for most of the game until Jermoine Faison stepped up with a huge 4th quarter to seal the deal.
Faison had 19 points, 12 of which came in the all important 4th quarter to lead Jefferson, with Mike Watson also contributing 11.David Kadiri led all scorer with 21 points for Coolidge in defeat.
St. Frances (MD) 51- Curtis 46
Curtis jumped out quickly going up by as many 16 in the 1st half, but the pressure applied by St. Frances in the 2nd half proved to be too much and wore down the Warriors late en route to helping the Panthers close strong for the hard fought win.
Tavon Saddler led St. Frances with 15 points, while highly regarded junior Dwayne Morgan added 14 points and 7 rebounds. Hassan Martin did all he could do in defeat pacing Curtis with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Wings Academy 73- East Boston (MA) 30
In the biggest route of the day Wings was led by the 18 points and 8 rebounds of Jaequan Brown. East Boston was highlighted by the 15 points of Will March.
Bayside 69- Half Hollow Hills West 57
Daquaise Andrews had a breakout game finishing with a game high 25 points and 16 rebounds in the win for the Commodores. Hills West in the loss was led by Jamir Blackman who had 21 points.
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