Cavaliers slow down Bans, down Raiders
PROVIDENCE — All season long, Shea High boys basketball coach Steve DeMeo has tried to figure out ways to get dynamo junior sensation Erickson Bans a breather.
With 2:45 remaining in Friday night’s Division II contest against Juanita Sanchez, DeMeo pulled Bans for one of the few times this season. Rest assured this wasn’t the in-game break that DeMeo was seeking for his star guard.
The Cavaliers were in command from start to finish, holding Bans to a season-low 18 points and getting contributions up and down the lineup in an 81-65 romp over the Raiders. Junior Chris Lugo ruled the action down low en route to a game-best 28 points while Juanita’s primary guards, senior Fabricio Mitogo and sophomore Bernard Omona, finished with 25 and 20 points, respectively.
While the Cavaliers had a three-prong attack that was hard to slow down, the Raiders were challenged in a way that revealed one of the team’s glaring weaknesses. The need for a reliable and dependable No. 2 scorer to step forward is imperative. Otherwise, what the Cavaliers did to Bans on Friday night may become the rule as opposed to the exception.
Now winners of four straight, Juanita Sanchez held Bans to 8-of-19 shooting and zero three-pointers. He came into the game averaging 32.8 ppg through Shea’s first 11 contests. After Bans, the next leading scorer for the Raiders (4-3, Division II) was sophomore
Josiah Diaz, who finished with nine points despite battling foul trouble.
What Shea desperately needs is for someone to emerge and produce at a clip so that when Bans is forced to give up the ball like he was so often on Friday night, the Raiders have guys who are ready to make the opposition pay.
“The key is getting the ball out of Erickson’s
hands,” said Bobby Perry, Juanita Sanchez’s head coach and former East Providence High standout. “When he does have the ball in his hands in the halfcourt, you want to trap him and force the other guys to make plays.”
The Cavaliers (4-2, Division II) went up as many as many as 10 points in the first half before pulling into the break with a 39-32 advan-
tage. Lugo proved a tough cover as he got to the line 10 times, making eight. The opening half also saw Omona swished three 3-pointers and Mitogo chip in with 10 points on two triples.
Bans had 13 first-half points. Next up was Marquis Gomes, who scored six of his eight points before halftime. The Raiders trailed by six (52-46) early in the second half, but that’s when the
Cavaliers pulled away for good.
A 13-0 blitzing by the home team featured plenty of Mitogo, who at one point scored eight straight points. All told, Juanita Sanchez pieced together a 20-3 run that made it a 25-point game. That’s when DeMeo decided to call it a night for Bans.
The Raiders, who saw their five-game winning
streak come to an end, surrendered 23 second-chance points to the Cavs.
“We were non-existent on the glass,” said DeMeo. “We faced a very good game tonight, but it’s not going to be any easier Tuesday night against Barrington. We have to learn from this experience and toughen up.”
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03