Johansen, Sheerin lead North Shore
There was no easing into the season for North Shore or Lynbrook, two of the top girls basketball teams in Nassau. The familiar foes added another chapter to their budding rivalry in last night's season-opening game.
Amanda Johansen scored 13 of her 23 points in the fourth quarter and Erin Sheerin had 17 points as North Shore held on to defeat Lynbrook, 69-63, in a thrilling opening-round game in the Wantagh Tournament.
With North Shore leading 65-63, Johansen put back the rebound on a missed free throw by Sheerin with 39.7 seconds left to make it a four-point game.
"I knew if I missed them, someone would be there and it worked out perfectly," Sheerin said of her late attempts from the foul line. "Amanda got the rebound and it couldn't have worked out better."
The game was eerily similar to last year's close Class A quarterfinal in which Lynbrook came back from down 14 points at halftime to win, 69-68.
"It felt exactly like nine months ago but during our halftime speech, Coach reminded us of how it felt last year," said Johansen, who had 13 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
North Shore went on an 8-0 run in the final 40 seconds of the first quarter to take a 23-19 lead. The Vikings took a 41-34 lead at halftime despite poor three-point shooting, the hallmark of their offense. For the game, the Vikings were 4-for-36 on three-pointers.
"I hate when coaches say, 'We didn't shoot the ball well.' It had something to do with their defense," North Shore coach Keith Freund said. "It was an ugly first game but I give the credit to their defense."
Lynbrook went on a 13-0 run during the third to take a 52-50 lead into the final quarter.
Brooke Gerstman had 18 of her 27 points in the first half for Lynbrook and Danielle Amaya added 12 points for the Owls.
North Shore will play Sewanhaka, which defeated host Wantagh, 47-38, in the other first-round game, in the final at 7 p.m. Thursday. Lynbrook will face Wantagh in the consolation game at 5 p.m.