Mounties soar past Raiders
MSC makes 11 3-pointers in comeback victory
MSC sinks 11 three-pointers in win over Shea
WOONSOCKET — When Mount St. Charles head coach Christina Batastini walked from the court, well ahead of her girls, after Division II foe Shea High had rolled to an 11-point halftime cushion on Thursday night, she admitted she wasn’t at all pleased.
Quite frankly, the Mounties weren’t playing up to snuff, and that irritated her.
It’s more than a safe bet that her squad understood their mentor’s displeasure with their style and effort of play, and chose to do something about it.
MSC managed to mount a second-half comeback, four times tying the contest, the last time at 43-all after senior standout Katie Lynch’s lone trey of the evening with 6:19 remaining in regulation.
After that, the Mounties – who had caused the Raiders few mistakes in the first half – forced their foes to become mighty error-prone, manufactured a big run in the midsection of the second half and rolled to a 65-63 upset victory over Shea.
When asked how MSC pulled off the wild, entertaining triumph, she stated, “Well, I think my halftime discussion with the girls was rather effective,” she noted, tongue-in-cheek. “I haven’t been that animated in a long time. I’d say I was very distinct calling out exactly what needed to be done and by whom.
“I’ll also say this: I walked out of the locker room and just left them behind. I wanted the players to think about what I had said. I was hoping it would elicit a positive response.”
Did it ever. Riley Sprague, who notched only two points in the opening 16 minutes, finished with a team-high 19 points, while Jessica Santoro chipped in a dozen and senior captain Katie Lynch and Talia Fernandes 11 each.
Lena Nguyen added six points and Julia Vanelli four points and eight rebounds for the Mount (5-3 overall).
Junior Yasmine Santos collected a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds for Shea (6-2 overall, 3-2 league), while sophomore Jariah Holland mustered 17, classmate Allison Dos Santos Soares another double-double with 15 points and 14 boards and senior Denesha Lomba 12 points.
Shea coach John Lickert had made it a point to mention his crew had to go without senior Ashley Torres and sophomore point guard Kaylisse Depina, the latter due to an ankle injury suffered in a 5148 loss to Middletown earlier this week.
“Those kids are two great players; that’s at least 10 points apiece we were missing, not to mention their defense,” he stated. “We held them to 19 in the first half because the girls were working at it, but we played no defense in the second half. We started watching them shoot, not getting hands in faces, and we paid for it.”
Trailing by 11 at intermission, Lynch drained a pair of free thorws 42 ticks into the stanza, Fernandes a 17-footer off a steal, Meghan Valentine a baseline jumper off another theft and Fernandes a three to ignite a 9-0 run and slice the deficit to 30-28 in the first 2:04.
Not surprisingly, Shea answered, pushing it to a 35-29 cushion over the next 2:29, but the Mount wouldn’t yield. After Lynch’s bomb to knot it at 43-43 with 6:19 remaining, Santos again regained the lead at 45-43 with two free throws, yet with 5:34 on the scoreboard clock, Fernandes nailed a trey and was fouled, then converted the four-point play to give MSC the 47-45 advantage.
Nguyen added a putback on a turnover (one of 18 in the final session) and Sprague a trifecta to make it 52-45.
Another Sprague trey pushed the lead to 60-49 with 3:43 remaining, though the Raiders erupted for an 11-4 flurry following Holland’s three with 37.6 ticks left.
Soares’ putback with 6.1 on the clock knifed it to 6563, but the Mounties held their ground.
“The key was changing our defense,” Batastini said. “In the first half, we attempted to pressure them, then drop back into a 3-2 zone, and at times some regular 2-3 zone to help us rebound. In the second, we extended that 2-3 to put more pressure on the ballhandler, and I think it disrupted them.
“We had to eliminate their second shots, as that’s how they were scoring in the first half. How best to do that? Force them not to take a first shot by turning them over.
SHEA (63) – Yasmine Santos 7 5-11 19, Denesha Lomba 4 4-5 12, Allison Dos Santos Soares 6 3-5 15, Jaida Robinson 0 0-0 0, Alia Darius 0 0-0 0, Sarah Kone 0 0-0 0, Antonette Cooper 0 0-0 0, Jariah Holland 6 3-7 17; totals 23 15-28 63.
MOUNT ST. CHARLES (65) – Katie Lynch 2 6-11 11, Riley Sprague 7 1-1 19, Talia Fernandes 4 1-1 11, Jess Santoro 4 0-0 12, Meghan Valentine 1 0-0 2, Lena Nguyen 3 0-0 6, Julia Vanelli 2 0-0 4, Meghan Lambert 0 0-0 0, Nicole Lemos 0 0-0 0, Callie Thibault 0 0-0 0; totals 23 8-13 65.
Shea junior wing Jariah Holland (33) glides past a Mount defender in the first half of Thursday night’s Division II contest. Shea led by 11 points at halftime, but the Mounties battles back to earn a 65-63 home victory over the Raiders.
Mount senior Katie Lynch (50) scored 11 points Thursday night.