The South Shore girls’ basketball team felt like it was moving in slow motion.
The Lady Vikings were half a second off throughout the game against Christ the King on Jan. 8, struggling to find a rhythm en route to a 51–43 loss that left the squad frustrated and searching for answers.
“We were just a step behind today,” said South Shore coach Anwar Gladden. “I have no idea why that was. I don’t have an answer for that.”
Both teams looked sluggish in the first quarter, combining for just 11 points in the opening eight minutes. South Shore (8–3) was able to get a few quick buckets midway through the second, however, jumping out to a 10-point cushion with a little more than three minutes in the half.
Christ the King answered in kind, wrapping up the half on a 9–2 run to make it a three-point lead at the break and setting the Lady Vikings back on their collective heels.
“It just seemed like we weren’t getting that click that we usually have,” said senior guard Tsahai Corbie. “I feel like my team’s defense is always our best strength, and today we just couldn’t pull it out.”
The Royals (8–3) came out firing on all cylinders to open the third quarter, notching an 11-point run over the first five minutes. South Shore couldn’t find an answer for Christ the King’s post players over the stretch, hurt on both sides of the ball as the Royals forwards hauled in rebounds and second-chance opportunities.
The Lady Vikings turned things around in the waning minutes of the period, however, sparked by the Philoxy sisters. Destiny and Selena Philoxy combined for seven points in just over a minute, tying the game at 30-all with 1:17 remaining in the third.
“We noticed that we had to continue playing and continue going harder,” said Selena, who was held to just nine points. “Destiny showed how good her mental game was in that game. I really liked that.”
That was about as much offense as the Lady Vikings were able to muster down the stretch. South Shore couldn’t get an edge on the Royals’ full-court press — instead it turned the ball over and giving Christ the King easy looks.
The Royals jumped out to a 44–38 lead with 2:41 left and didn’t allow a single South Shore field goal for the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter.
“They started pressing us and we knew they were going to do it when they got down,” Gladden said. “We just turned the ball over, we looked like we had nothing prepared for it.”
Destiny Philoxy drained the Lady Vikings’ only field goal of the fourth with a three-pointer from the corner with just under a minute left — but it was too little, too late for the reigning city champs.
The loss left the Lady Vikings frustrated, and just a bit shell shocked, a reminder that wins won’t come unless this team is on the same page.
“We were just behind on everything,” Selena Philoxy said. “We’re not the best. We know that now.”