North Shore defeated Cold Spring Harbor 71-57 on Wednesday in the first round of the North Shore Boosters Club Holiday Tournament but it was far from an authoritative performance. The Vikings needed a 22-8 fourth quarter to win after they did not play their game for the first 24 minutes. There was far too much passing and far too little shooting for their style of play. If you had no idea what North Shore’s ‘System’ looked like, you would have mistaken it for an athletic half-court offense on Wednesday.
This isn’t to discredit Cold Spring Harbor, the Seahawks played an excellent first three quarters thanks to freshman point guard Holly Logan (you’ll hear her name a lot in the years to come) and junior forward Kelly Gubitosi (25 points). Furthermore, the Seahawks were without their best player, Katie Durand, for nearly the entire game after she rolled her ankle in the opening two minutes. Coach Rory Malone said he expects Durand to be out a week or so. As well as Cold Spring Harbor played on both ends of the floor, they weren’t responsible for all of North Shore’s complacency on offense.
The Vikings did not achieve two of their objectives offensively – they did not shoot 80 times and did not shoot 40 3-pointers. I’m sure they did not achieve their rebounding objective either and as a result, they were in a close game through 27 minutes.
Success can come in many forms for the Vikings but their offense is the mathematical principle of the Law of Large Numbers personified on a basketball court combined with physical exhaustion. The latter can’t happen without the former.
North Shore played to its principles in the fourth quarter and showed what it is capable of. Amanda Johansen took over in the fourth and finished with 27 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Logan played great in the first three quarters for the Seahawks, driving to the hoop to draw a defender and feeding Gubitosi in the paint for easy layups. It changed in the final frame when Michaela Dussel face-guarded Logan and drove the freshman floor general batty.
When the Vikings achieve the goals of their System for 32 minutes and play with high intensity on both sides of the ball, they can challenge any team in Nassau. But if they’re pedestrian against better opponents, they’re not going to meet their high expectations for this season.
Thurday's game between North Shore and Uniondale should be a good test for both squads because Uniondale has just eight players but you can't teach size and Artiana Wynder is going to be a matchup nightmare.