When Susan Wagner’s team entered the South Shore site for Friday’s PSAL Boys Junior College Town semifinal game, guard employees were hanging banners for the recent college basketball championships Brooklyn school boys and girls and girls.
Were they trying to intimidate the Falcons JV? May be.
But unfortunately, for them it didn’t work out. Simply put, Devin Louisson and his teammates refused to let this happen.
Louisson, who finished with 20 points, forced two overtime sessions with last-second shots and the Falcons led from start to finish in the second OT en route to a 71-66 semifinal win over the Falcons. Vikings, seeded.
The No. 5-seeded Falcons, who improved to 22-1 on aggregate, advanced to Wednesday’s championship game and will face No. 3 Cardozo at Canarsie HS in Brooklyn starting at 5 p.m. The ironic twist – Cardozo handed SW their only loss of the season in a closer than it looks non-league 69-51 decision at Sea View on February 12.
“We’re playing with a chip on our shoulder for a lot of reasons,” SW head coach Danny Lanigan said. “We felt being seeded (No. 5) was a slap in the face and then they decided to hang up the banners for their other three championships as we walked down the hall, but we noticed that he didn’t there was no room for another.
“I’m just extremely proud of this team,” Lanigan added. “We had a very successful season and we grew a lot because these kids are really playing high school basketball for the first time. They deserved it.”
In addition to Louisson, Aaron Gertman (15 points, 10 rebounds), Devan Matos (14 points), Josh Montantine (eight points) and Amel Perovic (six points, 11 rebounds) contributed offensively for the Falcons, led by three with only 30 seconds left in the rules.
But Montantine connected on 1 of 2 free throws with 17 ticks remaining to cut it down to two and after South Shore did the same shortly after, Montantine hit a layup to make it a one-point game with only 7.4 seconds to play.
SW immediately fouled and although the Vikings went 1 of 2 again with 6.5 ticks on the clock, Louisson took the inbound pass and ran the length of the field before firing home a shot on a runner in the lane at the end of the time limit.
Louisson, however, was not done playing hero.
The Falcons trailed by two again in the final seconds of the first OT when Louisson recovered the ball on the left wing. This time the guard continued to drive left before hitting a layup with six ticks remaining on the clock. The Falcons then got another stoppage to force the second OT.
“I think (sportscaster) Bill Rafferty calls him ‘onions,'” Lanigan said. clutch for him, he doesn’t feel the pressure in those situations.
“He hit a coast-to-coast layup to beat Curtis at the buzzer earlier this season – our biggest win yet before the South Shore game – and for him to hit three huge shots as he did it this year makes us very lucky.
“He really stepped up.”
After outsmarting the Vikings twice, the Falcons took control in the second overtime entry. Louisson opened the period with his only three-pointer of the game, then Matos hit a long two to immediately give the Falcons a five-point advantage.
“After the first overtime, we said, ‘we’ve gone too far not to go home without a win,'” Lanigan said. “It didn’t matter if it was the second or sixth OT, we were confident we could do it, and that was even after losing two starters (Alex Aquino and Perovic) to fouls.
“We went up early, but I wasn’t going to feel good until the last second expired,” added the coach, who praised his entire team, including reserve Sean Maurer who pulled off a huge rebound defensively despite only playing six seconds. in the second OT. “South Shore is so talented and so good. »
But the Falcons, who received four runs apiece from Gertman and Matos in the second overtime, did a solid job on the panels against the bigger Vikings to deny them any chance of a comeback. SW, in fact, outscored the hosts 13-8 in the 4:00 final to solidify victory.
“We have grown so much in the last five months and that helps us,” the coach concluded. “There have been lessons learned and it shows.”