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Nick at Night: South Shore comes from behind to beat Westinghouse

January 15, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
South Shore trailed by 11 points with three minutes to go when Nick Simeon took control of the game and pulled off a come-from-behind victory against Westinghouse. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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After scoring just two points in the first half, Nick Simeon came alive late in the game and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to spark a big 59-56 come-from-behind victory for the South Shore Vikings against the Westinghouse Warriors in Downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

“He turned it around,” South Shore head coach Mike Beckles said of Simeon. “In the first half he got a lot of opportunities and didn’t convert them. He regrouped in the second half and made a lot of big plays. He made his teammates better, got to the basket, hit a timely three to give us the lead.”

Westinghouse had the hot hand early in the game as Gerald Williams hit a couple of big threes and Jaheem Page contributed with five points to take a quick 20-10 lead. Justin Bogle and Ricky Roy Jr. kept the offense going in the second quarter, but South Shore didn’t let Westinghouse pull away thanks to seven points from Cori Johnson in the final minutes of the first half.

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South Shore trailed all game long and was down 55-44 with just under three minutes left in the game. That’s when Simeon turned his game up to another level. He sparked a 9-1 run that cut Westinghouse’s lead to three. He then hit a pair of free throws to cut it down to one, and a corner three gave South Shore a 58-56 lead with 37.1 seconds left, its first lead of the night.

“My teammate Ryan Preston gave me motivation,” Simeon said. “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Go out there, play your game and kill them. Don’t worry if you are down or not.’ I went out there and played off of that.”
Simeon finished with 23 points with 21 of those coming in the second half and 13 coming in the fourth quarter. Johnson also chipped in with 16. Williams and Page both led Westinghouse with 16 points each.

After the game, Beckles said the key was that his team never stopped fighting.

“At halftime my main thing was to make sure that they kept working hard and kept their heads up,” Beckles said. “We made this game hard on ourselves by taking a lot of bad shots, and if they fought to the end, I thought they could make a comeback. I’m proud of them because they stuck with it, committed themselves to defense and finished strong.”

South Shore’s coach and players all thought this was a must-win game. With five games left in the regular season, the Vikings (5-4) are vying for the best seed they can get, and Westinghouse (5-4) was one of three teams ahead of them in the Brooklyn AA division. This win puts them in a tie and was critical if they are going to get the better seed.

“This was a really big win for us,” said Cori Johnson. “A win like that can really help get our confidence going for the next game, and it’s important for us to get a good seed going into the playoffs.”

Both teams are back in action on Thursday. South Shore will take on Transit Tech at home while Westinghouse heads to East New York where Jefferson, the top team in the division, awaits.

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