What South Shore coach Anwar Gladden saw after the game made him prouder than what he watched during it.
The top-seeded Vikings girls basketball’s coach saw his younger players celebrating like they had won a title after their dominating 65-30 win over Brooklyn Collegiate in the Public School Athletic League semifinals at City College of New York on Sunday. But Senior Aliyah Cooley put them in their place, reminding her teammates that they haven’t won anything yet.
“She kind of checked them, saying ‘What are you guys doing?’ ” Gladden said.
South Shore (22–4) earned its third trip to the title game in the five years. It will try to win the school’s first ever championship when it faces 14-time defending champion Murry Bergtraum 10 am on March 16 at Madison Square Garden. Gladden feels his team is more prepared this time around.
“We know this is not a vacation,” he said. “We are going to try to win.”
Cooley ensured victory against a Brooklyn Collegiate (17–2) team the Vikings beat twice during the regular season. She scored 14 points and connected on four 3-pointers to open up the paint for posts Briana Frazer (11 points, seven rebounds) and Iona-bound forward Auriella Cammock (six points, 11 boards).
“She relieves a lot of pressure in terms of opening up the inside,” Gladden said of Cooley.
He also credited his defense for the win. The Vikings held Brooklyn Collegiate star Chelsea Gibson to just five points in the game. South Shore led 32–10 at the half and 55–19 after three quarters.
Lincoln returns to final in search of its first title in three years: Anthony Williams scored 14 points and Elijah Davis tallied 14 of his 20 points in second half for Lincoln in a 65–50 win over Wings in the boy’s Class AA semifinals. Williams’s layup with less than two minutes remaining in the game put the Railsplitters (25–5) ahead for good. Jaequan Brown paced Wings (27–4) with 20 points. It’s the Bronx school’s first loss in the semifinals.
Lincoln faces Brooklyn rival Thomas Jefferson in the final 12 pm March 16 at Madison Square Garden. Jaquan “Son Son” Lynch scored 20 points and Nazai Stokes had 14 for Jefferson (26–5) in a 70–47 win over Curtis in the other semifinals. Hassan Martin tallied 19 for Curtis (26–4).Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewsk
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