The motivation for winning was evident. South Shore was on the verge of a third loss in five days in what hasn’t been a very happy holiday break.
“Who wants to come to practice when you’re 6-3 after three straight losses?” Vikings sophomore Shelby Powell said.
Fortunately for coach Anwar Gladden, he won’t have to worry about that. Rebounding from routs at the hands of Mary Louis and Bishop Ford, South Shore gutted out a 45-44, overtime win against Moore Catholic last Saturday at the Aviator Winter Clash.
Gladden was relieved afterward %u2013 happy this week was over for his young team.
“We need to practice,” he said. “We need to get back to the gym, get back to our normal routine.”
That third straight loss was looming large in the fourth quarter and overtime. Moore (7-2) had turned a 28-19 deficit at halftime into a 37-36 lead when Taylor Baggs started the fourth quarter with an inside basket. Like the Ford game, South Shore (7-2), ranked No. 5 in New York City by The Post, seemed to shut down a bit in the third.
Powell, though, scored six of her team’s seven points in the fourth quarter to keep the Vikings in it offensively. The guard had been starting and seeing a lot of time at point guard this year, but Gladden brought her off the bench after the two straight losses to mix things up. Powell finished with 10 points and had the game-clinching steal in overtime.
“Maybe I was putting too much demand on her,” Gladden said.
Added South Shore junior guard Jasmine Odom: “I think she’d be more hungry coming off the bench. She wants to get her starting spot back.”
Moore freshman Taylor Robertson tied the score at 43 with 3.1 seconds left with a putback and was fouled. But she missed the free throw, sending the game into overtime. Robertson started the game in place of Alex Salaycik, who hurt her ankle against St. Peter’s the previous Wednesday.
“We’re supposed to win the game,” Mavericks coach Rich Postiglione said. “We get a free shot. %u2026 That’s a humbling experience.”
Both teams struggled in overtime. Christina Rubin put Moore ahead, 44-43, with 3:16 left in overtime and there wasn’t another point scored until Odom got into the lane and was fouled with 4.3 seconds left. She made both free throws and Powell stole the ensuing inbounds to seal the win.
“I wanted Odom to create,” Gladden said. “It kind of looked like [the defense] was sagging on her. %u2026 I want the ball in Odom’s hands at the end of the game.”
No one besides Powell was in double figures for South Shore and Odom had just six. Taylor Baggs led Moore with 20 points and Rubin added 10. The absence of Salaycik and Nicole Arnone fouling out in the fourth quarter really hurt the Mavericks, especially late. Little mistakes and costly turnovers didn’t allow Moore to get over the hump and win the game.
“This was a good experience for us,” Postiglione said. “It was clearly a game we could have won. It’s a positive thing if we learn something from it.”
A win %u2013 any kind of win %u2013 is a positive for South Shore. Gladden said he and his coaching staff might have gotten a little ahead of themselves after a big victory two weeks ago against Mount Vernon. The Vikings, after all, feature seven freshmen and sophomores and key senior reserve Tanzanear (Country) McCarthur has been away on vacation.
“We didn’t keep things in perspective,” Gladden said. %u2026 “[This week] is over. We get to practice.”