The 2019-20 North Shore Lady Vikings basketball team is a young group. With only two seniors on a roster of just 11, the small Glen Head school had to rely on the talent of its senior leaders and mostly underclassmen to propel it to the successes it has enjoyed in recent years. Despite a 6-6 overall record, the Lady Vikings sit at 2-5 in Conference A4 with seven league games left to play, but they are not rolling over.
“This is the most proud I’ve been of a group of girls that I’ve coached,” head coach Keith Freund said. “They could have packed it in, but they haven’t. They’re still working hard.”
Freund also mentioned that his team practices daily with the intention of making the playoffs. “We started the first half of the season 2-5 in league play,” Freund said. “We want to flip that and go 5-2 or better in the second half, and I think we can do that.”
The Lady Vikings can now look to start a run in Nassau’s Conference A4, with their most recent game ending in a 62-34 win over Lawrence at home last Saturday. Senior Jennifer Walton scored all of her game-high 24 points in the first half to push her team ahead by a score of 45-11 at halftime. Walton is averaging 15.9 points per game on the season, good enough for the 21st best scoring average in Nassau County. She is consistently a threat from beyond the three-point line, and is closing in on 30 three-pointers for the year.
In their previous game, Bethpage handed North Shore a 55-46 defeat with the Lady Vikings on the road. Heading into the fourth quarter, North Shore was down by just two points, before being outscored 14-7 in the final frame. Walton, again, led the game with 26 points. Casey Colbert added 11, with Morgan Griffin, Amanda Ayres and Kylee Colbert combined to round out the scoring total. Shannon Hughes poured in 18 points for Bethpage.
Freund added that his team has expended “a lot of energy” coming back in games, due to early deficits, that they can run out of energy late in games and let close league matchups slip away.
“We’ve got to fix some small things to put ourselves in better positions,” Freund said. “Things like throwing the ball to the shoulder so our girls can get a clean shot off quickly rather than to the hip, small things that we can fix.”
In the first seven matchups against Conference A4 rivals, North Shore dropped three straight to Wantagh, Plainedge and Floral Park, before beating Valley Stream North and then dropping two in a row to Lynbrook and Bethpage and ultimately beating Lawrence. Freund and his girls will face the same opponents in the same order throughout the second half of the season, but are making adjustments, Freund said.
“We’re working hard, and we know we have the ability,” Freund said
North Shore will attempt to begin a Conference A4 winning streak by seeking redemption this Friday at Wantagh at 6:15 p.m.