The South Shore girls’ basketball team may have lost its season opener, but its goal remains to capture the city crown that slipped from its grasp in the title game last year against 15-time defending champion Murry Bergtraum.
“The goal is to get better every day and try to win a championship,” said South Shore coach Anwar Gladden.
South Shore fell 76–73 in overtime against host Francis Lewis on Dec. 3 on a late 3-point play by Sierra Green.
But junior forward Brianna Fraser, who is committed to the University of Maryland, led all scorers with 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Even in defeat, it was the type of performance Gladden hopes to get from his star.
“I expect her to be active and carry the load on both ends of the floor,” he said. “Particularly on the defensive end.”
If the first game is any indication, Gladden will get his wish. Fraser not only blocked shots all night, but prevented Lewis players from coming into the lane, forcing the opposition to take outside shots.
Viking guard Emmeri Archer, a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi commit, played the role of floor general for South Shore, and held Patriots star Sierra Green to 26 points, slowing her down during the second and third quarters until she got into foul trouble in the fourth.
“She is the glue,” Gladden said of his guard. “As you can see, when she fouled out it hurt us bad.”
South Shore, which rebounded by beating Boys & Girls later in the week, was hampered by Lewis’ press defense, resulting in an early 12-point deficit. It was able to make adjustments and come back largely due to the play of Malika Chisolm and Amanda Cruz. Chisolm proved her worth when she nailed a free throw with 1.7 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
“We know that teams are going to press us,” Gladden said. “We didn’t handle it well early, but we subbed and handled it a little bit better as the game went along.”
Gladden looks to improve on his team’s defense as the year goes on to prevent repeats of the early stumbles against Lewis.
“If teams score, we get pressed, so the goal is to play defense and not let them score,” Gladden said.
The coach believes constant improvement is key, and that if they can succeed in that, they can make it as far as they want.
“I really don’t want to put a cap on what the potential is,” Gladden said. “The goal is to get better every day, and that makes your potential limitless.”
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