Lack of ex­e­cu­tion dooms St. Raphael in defeat

Coven­try over­comes two-point half­time deficit to stop Saints

Pawtucket Times - - SPORTS - By NICK CAN­TOR kc­[email protected]­cen­

COVEN­TRY — With Coven­try coach Jim Moretti out sick, as­sis­tant Rich Pen­dola was thrust into the role of head coach of the Coven­try High School boys bas­ket­ball team on Fri­day night with vis­it­ing St. Raphael Academy in town.

For one night, he is un­de­feated in that po­si­tion.

In a game that lacked of­fen­sive rhythm for all of the first half and most of the second, Coven­try man­aged to pull away late, pre­vail­ing by a 51-36 to im­prove to 3-3 on the year.

Troy Oster­hout, who sur­passed the 1,000-point mark in his ca­reer on Mon­day in a 59-44 loss on the road at Smith­field, was hon­ored by the Oaker faith­ful in his first game back at C. Arthur Flori

Gym­na­sium since ac­com­plish­ing the feat. The se­nior co-cap­tain went on to have an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally quiet night, to­tal­ing just 11 points, but still helped his team pick up their second win in a row, fol­low­ing a 51-44 win at South Kingstown on Wed­nes­day.

Se­nior trans­fer Reece Bul­lock led the way for Coven­try, scor­ing a game-high 15 points, while class­mate Dion­i­sio Cepeda also reached dou­ble dig­its in the scor­ing de­part­ment with 12.

The Saints (0-5), com­ing off of a 75-67 loss to Cum­ber­land on Mon­day, had all week to get set for the Oak­ers, but still left town in search of their first league win of the year with yet an­other ag­gra­vat­ing defeat to add to their list.

“We just weren’t ex­e­cut­ing on of­fense,” head coach Tom Sor­ren­tine said.

The Saints took a slim 23-21 lead with them into the break, but were un­able to pro­duce on the of­fen­sive end in the second half, net­ting just 13 to­tal points.

“It was any­body’s game to win at half­time and they took charge in the second half,” Flo­ren­tine said of the Oak­ers.

Sopho­mores Jay­den Garces and Ameir Gomes led the way for the visi­tors, each with nine points in the los­ing ef­fort.

Se­nior Matt West had six with class­mate Avion Bloe adding five as did ju­nior Devin O’Mal­ley.

O’Mal­ley opened up the second half scor­ing with a three-pointer, giv­ing the Saints their largest lead at 26-21, but from there, the of­fense was hard to come by.

“We were get­ting stops, but we weren’t scor­ing at the other end and they just ended up tak­ing the game from us,” Sor­ren­tine said.

After the Oak­ers went on a 13-0 run, Neiko Ward drained a three for St. Ray’s, cut­ting the Oaker lead down to 34-29 with still over six min­utes re­main­ing, as the Saints re­fused to go qui­etly. With 3:35 to go, it was still just a five­point game at 40-35.

Un­for­tu­nately for SRA, there was not much left in the tank as far as points were con­cerned, with Coven­try fi­nally find­ing their groove and clos­ing the game out on an 11-4 run to cap an over­all suc­cess­ful week.

“We just didn’t get it done on of­fense,” Sor­ren­tine said sim­ply, cit­ing the main rea­son for the defeat.

A tech­ni­cal foul on West with 49.5 sec­onds re­main­ing and the Oak­ers up by ten at the time only added salt to the wound for the Saints, with the Coven­try fans ser­e­nad­ing him as he made his way over to the bench.

“We gotta keep plug­ging away,” Sor­ren­tine said, look­ing ahead to next week.

Both teams re­turn to ac­tion on Tuesday, with Coven­try hosting Hope High School and St. Ray’s hosting Woonsocket.

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