Woonsocket tops NS for 1st win
WOONSOCKET — It had to happen sometime, and Woonsocket High head coach Mike Cahill is mighty glad it happened sooner than later.
Cahill’s hoop crew entered Friday night’s Division III contest against North Smithfield without a win this season; in seven overall tilts and four of the league variety, it had failed, though one proved to be an overtime defeat.
Those losses added up to a lot of frustration, especially among the girls who make up his roster, but the Villa Novans turned it around inside the Gus Savaria Memorial Gymnasium with a come-from-behind 46-34 triumph.
Senior forward Grace Washington paced the hosts (0-8, 1-4) with 10 points, eight boards and four steals, while classmate Jasmyn Faberlle chipped in nine points and five steals; sophomore guards Taylor Tempest and Abigail Desjardin six points; and classmate Peyton Cahill four points.
Another sophomore Tianna Carpentier, tacked on a bucket and six rebounds.
For the Northmen, who fell to 2-3 in divisional action, only one player reached double digits, and that was standout junior guard Skylar Mette; she accomplished that in less than a half.
With 3:58 left before intermission, Mette went down with a left ankle injury, suspected to be a high ankle sprain, and her parents transported her to nearby Landmark Medical Center for evaluation.
Junior Hope Trowbridge helped the North Smithfield cause with eight rebounds and a free throw, while senior Maddie Wholey contributed seven boards and four points; freshman Calla Puccetti a point, six boards and four thefts; sophomore Kameron Chartier five points and frosh Megan Masi four points and two steals.
All told, the Novans hit nine of 16 from the charity stripe, the Northmen 12 of 19.
“That’s how we won the game – we hit our free throws and actually shot the ball pretty well (from the field),” Cahill stated. “We’ve had one league game where we scored over 30, so we’ve missed a ton of shots. The thing is, we have some athletes, so we knew – eventually – they were going to fall. They finally did (Friday evening).
“This is very satisfying,” he added. “The girls have been working really hard and doing everything right but scoring. Here, against North Smithfield, we added offense to the equation and got the win. “It IS about time.”
The Northmen took a 25-20 cushion into the final stanza, but Woonsocket slowly began to chisel into the lead. The younger Cahill planted four “freebies” in the opening 2:54 to cut it to one (25-24), yet NS a Chartier jumper and a foul shot each from Pucetti and Masi pushed it back to 29-24.
Suddenly, however, Woonsocket caught fire. Rushie Vilane hit an 18-footer, and the Novans eventually took their second lead of the game (3231) after Faberlle drained a 17-foot bomb.
That, not to mention numerous North turnovers and Agyemang’s trey with 7:27 left, lifted Cahill’s bunch to a 35-31 advantage.
Over the remaining time, WHS outscored its rival, 11-3.
To put it in perspective, the Novans manufactured a 15-6 flurry in the initial 8:33.
“It was huge, losing Skylar,” dejected NS mentor Ariana Stanton said afterward. “It would’ve been a different game if we had her for the second half. She’s our playmaker and controlling force out there on the floor.
“When you don’t have a really efficient, talented player like that in there, it’s going to hurt,” she added. “I thought it also had an effect on the rest of our players.”