The score didn’t really matter — the togetherness did.
The South Shore High School girls’ hoops trio of Selena Philoxy, Tsahai Corbie and Valena Hickerson wasn’t upset with the Public School Athletic League’s 61–57 loss to the Catholic League in the Mayor’s Cup game April 2. The group wasn’t really playing to win, it was just playing together — one last time.
The senior stars of the state champion Lady Vikings ended their high school careers at the all-star contest at Baruch College, and while the final score wasn’t in their favor, they were far from disappointed.
“It’s like a family reunion, all of us coming together like this,” Hickerson said. “We knew it was the last time, so we all just wanted to get out there and have fun. This is it and we can’t get this back, so we really wanted to have fun playing out there together.”
The three standouts have been teammates for the past two years and are comfortable playing together, a fact that showed throughout the game. Corbie — who was named MVP of the Public School squad — admitted that the Lady Vikings group might have been trying to show off just a bit.
“I don’t want to say that we just kind of chucked it up there, but we wanted to show what we can do,” Corbie said. “We wanted to show the fans what South Shore is made of. And having three players from one school, no one else had that. I feel like we had to show that we were here.”
The game was dominated by the Catholic school squad for most of the afternoon, until the South Shore trio triggered a late-game comeback. Corbie tied the game at 53-all with just over six minutes left and Philoxy helped pad the lead — on a Corbie assist — just moments later. The momentum was sparked by the kind of play South Shore has showcased all season.
“We already build off of each other and are comfortable with each other since we’ve played together, so it was nothing,” Hickerson said. “I felt like the comeback was going to come once we got in there together.”
The rally energized the crowd as well, and while the game wasn’t actually in Canarsie, it felt like it, as cheers of “South Shore!” bounced off the gym walls at Baruch.
“I won’t ever forget that,” Corbie said. “It made me realize how many people I have supporting me and the kind of people we’ve had behind us all season.”
The Lady Vikings couldn’t quite push the Public Schools team to a victory, but after the final whistle the South Shore trio was all smiles.
“I mean, we really like to win, but it’s an all-star game. We just played and had some fun,” said Philoxy. “We have that bond. We all just went out of here laughing.”