South Shore’s Terrence Samuel scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to claw out a win against the New York Panthers as the Brooklyn Badgers fell 82–65 during the IS 8 Boy’s Basketball League’s fall title game on Sunday at Nazareth High School.
The Badgers got off to a slow start, but trailed by 45–35 at the half after a one-handed slam by Brooklyn-native Kevin Mickle and a 3-pointer at the buzzer from Transit Tech’s Fabian McDonald.
Samuel, a senior point guard committed to UConn, came blazing out of the gate when the game resumed. He scored eight of his team’s first nine points, including a put-back to keep the deficit at 10 with 2:20 left in the third quarter.
Setting aside his jump shot, he attacked the basket and the offensive glass, but admits that he could have done more.
“I needed to be more aggressive in the second half,” Samuel said. “I’m the leader of my team. In the first half, I didn’t show up.”
The Panthers responded quickly with a 9–1 spurt to end the quarter to push its lead to 65–47 and grab control of the game for good.
St. Benidict’s Isaiah Briscoe, the game’s most valuable player, scored 16 points for the Panthers and Syracuse commit Tyler Ennis, the league’s most valuable player, scored 16 points. Shore Shore’s Shamiek Sheppard dropped in 10 points and Mickle had 12 for the Badgers, which included players from Thomas Jefferson and Transit Tech.
The team reached the finals after New Heights the Rens forfeited because of Hurricane Sandy-related travel issues.
The Badgers attributed the slow start and its 22–12 deficit after one quarter to having to warm up for an hour and a half before tip-off as the team waited for a second referee to arrive.
Following the layoff from Hurricane Sandy, the team needed a quarter to find its legs, players said.
“We weren’t really getting in the gym and trying to work out,” said Sheppard. “But all of that is going to change.”
This week marks the official start of Sheppard and Samuels’ final season together at South Shore High School. The two have been teammates since they were eight-years-old and are hoping to receive more hardware in the form of a Public School Athletic League city crown.
“The past three years we didn’t get it done,” Samuel said. “I felt this year we loved the game more. We go and work out at six in the morning. This year is our year.”
Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.