WOONSOCKET â Woonsocket High overcame some early jitters, developed better ball control and eventually coasted to a 61-40 Division I-North victory over North Providence High at the Villa Novansâ Savaria Gymnasium on Monday night.
It was quite the way to celebrate âSenior Nightâ in its home arena. Prior to the opening tip, head coach George Coderre reveled in the hard work and dedication exhibited by his four seniors over the past four years, and gave Michelle Brayboy, Allyson Cartier, Kailey Fugere and Caitlyn Marcoux bouquets of flowers to thank them.
Not surprisingly, Fugere rode the âhighâ of her final home game, netting 22 points, 12 rebounds and five steals, while Brayboy amassed 19 points (including a trio of treys), eight assists and four thefts.
Marcoux and Amanda Sloan helped out with seven and five points, respectively, as the Villa Novans cruised to 13-7 overall and 11-5 in I-North.
Sophomore Katherine Decourte manufactured a team-high 10 points, freshman Ashley VanBemmerlin eight and sophomore Gianna Gigliotti six as the Cougars fell to 6-13 overall and 4-13 in league action.
Woonsocket, who did turn the ball over during the early juncture, settled down; after the tilt had been tied for the fifth time at 10-10 at the 8:35 mark of the first half, North Providence went on a 6-2 run to take a 18-12 lead with 5:48 remaining, courtesy of Decourteâs three-pointer.
At the 2:56 mark, Cartier drained a short jumper and Brayboy a trey to tie it up at 18-18 (for the gameâs sixth tie) with 2:16 remaining. Brayboy canned a 12-footer, Fugere a conventional three-point play and Fugere a layup with 13.6 left for the 25-18 advantage.
All told, in the final 6:59, the âNovans outscored the Cougars by a 15-3 count, that â in part â by forcing the visitors into nine turnovers.
Woonsocket kept the heat roaring in the final half. NP did manage to slice the deficit to 30-24 on senior Claudia Pakâs putback with 13:12 left, but Brayboy hit a three-pointer, Sloan bounced a jumper off glass, Brayboy dropped an off-balance baseline jumper and then netted a 16-footer to enhance the Novansâ lead to 40-25 over the next four minutes.
And, from the 7:35 mark to the 3:30 â a span of 4:05 â Woonsocket out-tallied its foe, 9-5, to snare a 55-33 cushion and put the contest out of reach.
âWe did a good job of taking care of the ball,â Coderre noted after being told his squad had only seven turnovers, North Providence 21, with 12 occurring over the final 16 minutes. âAnytime you can keep the ball in Michelle Brayboyâs hands, youâre going to limit your mistakes.
âIâm really pleased with a lot of the girls showing so much patience against their âbox-and-oneâ (defense),â he added. âOur second-half defensive execution was outstanding, and so was the way we became so patient on the offensive end. That allowed us to get good shots almost every time down the floor.â
With the victory, Woonsocket gained a second-place tie with Barrington in Division I-North, and â should it win its final tilt at Ponaganset on Friday night â it would most probably snatch them the second or third seed in the upcoming D-I state tournament.