CAMBRIDGE — Sometimes, it’s a shame either team has to lose a game.
This was one of those times. The Parkside High School girls’ junior varsity basketball team defeated the Cambridge-South Dorchester High School girls 24-21 on Dec. 17 in a hard-fought contest that came down to the final minute.
The visitors got off to a fast start. They were leading the Vikings 8-0 in the first quarter when coach Andrew Bishop called a timeout.
“Until two minutes ago, it was 4-0,” he told his players. “We’re still in this game.”
He urged them to be brave and ready to score when the chance arose. “Don’t be afraid to take a shot,” he said.
KeAna Clark put the Vikes on the board at 6:05 in the second period with a free throw, making it 12-1.
Things began to tighten up, as MeAziah Wilson, Erika Barrios-Munoz and Latisha Williams played vigorous defense. Latisha also helped to close the gap with a 3-pointer at the 1:30 mark of the second period, making it 14-5 as the first half ended.
The home team showed what they are made of in the third quarter, as Jahnaysha Cornish drained a 3-pointer about midway through the third quarter, making the score 16-8. Then in the last minute of the period, KeAna came through with two baskets, and it was 18-14 Parkside as the period expired.
“Time to put them away,” Coach Bishop told his girls.
The Vikings came out fired up for the final 8 minutes, and took a 19-18 lead at 6:25. Calling a timeout less than a minute later, Coach Bishop told the players, “Now is when we earn this victory.”
It didn’t work out that way, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Traveling and double-dribble fouls hurt the Vikings in the last two minutes.
With 18.1 seconds on the clock and the score at 24-21, tension was high on the court and in the bleachers. However, three missed shots put an end to the Vikes’ hopes for a win.
After the game, Coach Bishop said two of his point guards had to be taken out, Erika Barrios-Munoz having suffered a concussion while struggling for the ball under the net.
“I was proud of the way we fought tonight,” he said. “We got blown out the last two games, tonight we were in it the whole time.”