Raiders too much for CF; Saints cruise
St. Raphael, Shea meet for Donaldson-Lynch title at 6
PAWTUCKET – Shea High assistant Andrew Maigret knew long before Friday night’s opener of the third annual Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Pawtucket/Donaldson-Lynch Girls’ Memorial Holiday Tournament that veteran mentor John Lickert would be unable to attend due to an important previous engagement.
That’s why it was so hard to know the Raiders’ collective mindset prior to taking on familiar foe Central Falls.
Would they “take it easy” without the gritty head coach’s constant orders from the sidelines, or relax and do what they do best as an experienced group?
The safe bet was the latter, and Shea didn’t disappoint. Junior center Yasmine Santos planted a game-high 14 points, while sophomore Kaylisse DePina chipped in 13 and seniors Denesha Lomba and Ashley Torres 10 and seven, respectively, as the Raiders buried the extremely young Warriors, 58-32, inside the BGCP gymnasium.
Sophomore Jariah Holland chipped in a critical eight points, while she, fellow classmate Allison Dos Santos-Soares (six points) and Santos produced 90 percent of the SHS boards.
“Early on in the game, we were a little stale, a little rusty, so it was all about knocking the rust off, and we slowly but surely started to do that,” Maigret stated after his team captured its first win. “As talented as this team is, we’re still trying to figure out where all the pieces go, especially the new ones. The perfect example is Jariah.
“With this being her first organized high school game ever, I don’t think she knew what to expect,” he added. “I also didn’t think she was aware about what it would be like walking into the gym. I’d say we expected a little bit more from her (Friday night), but she’s still brand new to the program. She showed a ton of promise.”
Central Falls dropped to 0-1, despite sophomore Ameliz Villegas’ team-leading 14 points. Freshman Caroline Gil registered 11 (nine via the trey), while sophomore forward Savanna Martinez contributed two points and seven rebounds; classmate Julianny Echeverria a bucket and five boards and junior Dakota Aguilar a basket and four steals.
“We’ve battled them for the last four or five years anyway, so we knew what to expect; we knew they were going to be big and, well, good,” noted CF head coach Nick Lafreniere. “The difference in this one was experience and – right now – talent, pure and simple. A lot of that comes with their age; they’re older and bigger.
“They’re juniors and seniors, and we’re a freshmen-heavy team,” he continued. “We don’t have any returning starters, or varsity players. What does that tell you? I will say this: I’m proud of the girls because the effort was there the entire game. They never quit; they never gave up. They could have, but didn’t. They kept coming after ‘em.”
The Warriors actually tied the tilt at 2-2 after Villegas canned a terrific 18-footer 28 ticks into the contest, but Torres and DosSantos-Soares sparked a 9-0 surge to make it 11-2. Martinez banked home a 14-footer with 10:20 left in the half to slice it to 11-4, but Shea mustered a 14-2 run over the next 4:48 to cushion the lead at 25-6.
It did so courtesy of a Torres foul shot, three consecutive fast-break layins off steals (two by Holland) and DePina’s premier three-point play (following a pretty, left-hand, baseline hook).
Gil immediately canned a trey at the 5:18 mark to cut it to 25-9, yet the Raiders went into the break with a 3111 cushion.
All told, CF made 20 turnovers over the initial 16 minutes (and would finish with 34) while the “visitors” made just five.
Shea manufactured the first six during the opening 107 ticks of the second session, thanks to Lomba, Dos-Santos Soares and Torres, but began turning it over itself later. It finished with eight over the final 16 minutes.
Still, when Torres drained two freebies to make it 50-21 with 4:28 left in regulation, Shea had cinched its spot in tonight’s final.
“I’m really happy with our guard play, the way they communicated on the court,” Maigret said. “They were very perceptive, doing the best they could to move the ball around. They were very unselfish, and I like that this early in the season.”
St. Raphael used a team-high 11 points from Tatum Forbes to subdue Tolman, 60-20, in the nightcap. The Saints will play the Raiders in the title game tonight at 6.
SHEA (58) – Yasmine Santos 6 2-5 14, Kaylisse DePina 5 3-5 13, Denesha Lomba 4 2-2 10,
Djovana DoRosario 0 0-0 0, Ashley Torres 2 3-4 7, Allison Dos Santos-Soares 3 0-1 6, Jariah Holland 4 0-0 8, Sarah Kone 0 0-0 0, Antonette Cooper 0 0-0 0; totals 24 10-17 58.
CENTRAL FALLS (32) – Savanna Martinez 1 0-0 2, Caroline Gil 4 0-0 11, Ameliz Villegas 7 0-0 14, Julianny Echeverria 1 0-0 2, Fatu Diallo 1 0-0 2, Dakota Aguilar 0 1-2 1, Daneisha Manzueta 0 0-0 0; totals 14 0-1 32. Three-point field goals: Gil 3.
Halftime: Shea, 31-11.
Tatum Forbes (3) scored a team-high 11 points to lead St. Raphael to a 60-20 victory over Tolman Friday night.
The St. Raphael girls basketball team had no trouble defeating Tolman in the semifinals of the Donaldson-Lynch Tournament Friday night in Pawtucket. The Saints will meet talented Shea in tonight’s title game.