Slow starts have become too much the norm for South Shore.
The Vikings have dug themselves big holes in three of their last four games to Christ the King, Midwood and now John F. Kennedy (N.J.), each time being unable climb out. South Shore lost for the third time in four tries, falling, 52-35, to the Lady Knights at the John F. Kennedy Challenge in The Bronx last Saturday.
“I don’t know what it is,” South Shore coach Anwar Gladden said. “They don’t come ready to play. We don’t jump teams early. It’s a problem. We have to figure it out.”
Against the Royals last Sunday, it was 20-2, versus Midwood the deficit was 27-4 and Kennedy led 20-6 with 3:50 left in the second quarter. South Shore (11-6), which struggled mightily from the field rallied, though. It was within 10 at the half and 24-16 on two Tanzanear McCarthur free throws in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Kennedy (7-7) responded with an 8-0 run off South Shore turnovers to make it 32-16 with 4:46 left in the period. Good defensive plays and rebounds didn’t turn into points for the majority of the game for the Vikings because of sloppy play.
“We didn’t take care of the ball,” sophomore forward Fannisha Price said.
She scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds, but like her teammates, she didn’t finish often enough. Shelby Powell added eight points for South Shore, which played its second straight game without star sophomore guard Jasmine Odom (knee).
“We weren’t attacking,” Gladden said.
Kennedy, on the other hand, was aggressive to the rim and in transition. Guards Ny’Laysha Lewis scored 10 points and Venesha Hunter added eight, but their real impact was feeding 6-foot senior forward Kemisha Gordon, who seemed to always be in the right spot for a pass or a rebound.
“When they penetrated our defense shifted over and it made it easy to get [Gordon] the ball,” Price said.
Price, like Gladden, couldn’t quite give a reason for why the Vikings have been prone to slow starts of late. But she knows it’s something that needs to stop and quick.
“We need to get back into the gym,” she said.