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South Shore misses chance to beat Francis Lewis in hoops finals rematch

December 16, 2014 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brianna Fraser had 11 points in the first quarter, but she was held to just 17 for the game as South Shore missed its chance to get revenge on Francis Lewis during a PSAL finals rematch on Friday. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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The South Shore girls basketball team was hoping to send a message by defeating Francis Lewis in a rematch of last season’s Public School Athletic League city finals game.  Instead, the Lady Vikings got a reminder that it isn’t easy beating the champions after a 71-70 loss at home Friday night.

“We didn’t close out possessions offensively and defensively, and we kept them in the game,” South Shore coach Anwar Gladden said after the game. “They’re a championship veteran team, and they do what championship veteran teams do.”

Things went well for South Shore early on as senior and Maryland-commit Brianna Fraser led with 11 points in the first quarter, giving the Lady Vikings a 20-11 lead. South Shore eventually led by 10 points after a couple of big threes by Amanda Cruz, but Francis Lewis started making adjustments at halftime that led to a shift in the game.

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“They were hurting us in the boards, they got second chances and got open threes,” said Francis Lewis coach Stephen Tsai. “Once we were able to contain that a little, then we were OK.”

After trailing all game, Francis Lewis’ Sierra Green tied it at 56-56 with just over five minutes to play. The two teams went back and forth until Destiny Philoxy scored on a jump shot to give South Shore a 70-69 lead with 13.1 seconds left.

On the final play of the game, Robyn Francis hit Cassidy Khan with a pass near the baseline. Khan raced toward the net for a layup. She missed her shot but was fouled in the process, which sent her to the line to shoot two with no time left on the clock. She hit both and gave Francis Lewis the victory.

“A lot of talk was going around that we won last season because of [Chelsea Robinson], and I just wanted to make sure that other teams know that we didn’t win just because of her,” Khan said. “We won as a team.”

Fraser finished the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Ashley McDonald had 14, Amanda Cruz had 12 and Tsahai Corbie had 10.

South Shore left the court frustrated at letting the game get away from it, and the two teams quickly started yelling at each other. That led to a small altercation where one of South Shore’s players threw a punch that did not connect at a member of Francis Lewis.
South Shore players were unavailable to reporters following the incident, but members of Francis Lewis suggested that there was lingering resentment following last year’s championship game — a claim that Gladden denied.  Gladden said his team was merely frustrated because they blew a 10-point lead. He did admit to being concerned that members of his team could potentially be suspended as a result of the altercation.

“We’re not thinking about that,” Gladden said when asked about last year’s final. “We’re just trying to do what we do. We’re just trying to play our game. What happened was very unfortunate. That shouldn’t have happened.”

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