PAWTUCKET — In a game of runs, it was Shea High that had the big one at the end, and with it, a hard-fought Division II crossover victory.
The Raiders rattled off 11 straight points to ignite a 21-8 run in the final 7:48 of their duel with Cumberland High on Tuesday night and come away with a 73-62 win on their home floor that gave them their fifth victory in their last six games.
Senior forward Austin Silva tossed in 19 points and ripped down 10 rebounds to lead four Shea players in double digits in scoring and help the surging Raiders boost their record to 7-5 in the division and 9-7 overall.
“They’re playing smart basketball and they’re finding ways to win, that’s the big thing,” first-year Shea coach Matt Pita said of his players. “This was a good win. Any league win is a good win, so we’ll take it.”
While the Raiders have been red-hot, the Clippers have been the opposite. The defeat was their fifth in their last six contests, and included in this stretch are overtime losses to West Warwick and Pilgrim.
“We’ve been in the games,” added Cumberland coach Gary Reedy, whose team is 4-7 in division play and 4-13 overall. “We have a young team, but I can’t complain. These kids are really giving it their all and that’s all that counts. They’re playing hard and I’m proud of them.”
The Clippers had the contest’s first big run with a 17-5 blitz in the opening minutes that helped them take a 20-13 lead, but the Raiders soon battled back to take a 24-23 cushion with five minutes left in the first half.
After both teams swapped the lead for the next two minutes, the Raiders broke away with 13 of the final 14 points of the half in the closing 2:47 to head into the locker room with a 39-28 advantage.
When play resumed in the second half, it was the Clippers’ turn to stage the next big run, and it was a 16-5 surge that enabled them to knot the score at 44-44 with 12:18 to play.
Again, both sides battled for the lead over the next 4½ minutes, but after the visitors took a 54-52 lead with 8:13 on the clock on a pair of free throws by Ben Proctor, Eli Itkin sank a three-pointer with 7:48 to play to give Shea back the lead and begin their 11-point run.
With 2:45 to play, the Clippers trailed by seven (65-58) and had their chances to cut into their deficit from the free-throw stripe, but they missed four straight free throws and the Raiders answered back with the next three points to take a 10-point lead with 1:36 to go.
“This was a game of runs,” said Pita, whose Raiders committed just eight turnovers in the game to the Clippers’ 16. “We went on that big run, and fortunately, we played some ‘D’ and they missed some shots.”
The Raiders, who hit the road to play winless Scituate High on Friday night, also got 18 points and six rebounds from Jordy Brito, and Itkin (13 points) and Harel Monteiro (10) added to the assault.
The Clippers, who host Tolman High on Friday, received 19 points from Mike Joubert, 11 points from Ben Bradley, and a double-double from Randy Walker that included 10 points and 13 rebounds.
CUMBERLAND (62): Ben Bradley 4 1-1 11, Andrew Baglini 0 0-0 0, Matt Lazaras 3 0-0 9, John Andrade 4 0-1 8, Kyle Abbate 0 0-0 0, Mike Joubert 8 3-7 19, Ben Proctor 1 3-5 5, Randy Walker 4 2-2 10. Totals: 24 9-16 62.
SHEA (73): Austin Silva 8 3-5 19, Jordy Brito 7 1-4 18, Malik Moody 1 1-2 3, Eli Itkin 6 0-0 13, Zach DePina 4 1-1 9, Christian Malave 0 1-2 1, Harel Monteiro 4 0-0 10. Totals: 30 7-14 73.
Halftime: Shea, 39-28. Three-point field goals: Cumberland 5 (Lazaras 3, Bradley 2), Shea 6 (Brito 3, Monteiro 2, Itkin).