WOONSOCKET — Woonsocket High coach George Coderre likes the way his team has been playing lately with the postseason only a month away. The Villa Novans’ 57-33 rout of Lincoln High on Thursday night was the latest example.
The win by the Novans improves their record to 7-4 in Division I. It also comes just two days after Coderre’s crew lost a tight 52-51 decision to second-place Bay View Academy, a Bengal squad that demolished Woonsocket, 49-24, in its league opener back on Dec. 9.
“There is no doubt we are making some real improvement,” said the WHS coach. “That Bay View game proved that we can compete with the better teams. Our lack of depth hurt us, but we knew that coming in. It’s something we are learning to deal with…We are playing better and better and we are really starting to believe that we can compete with anybody.”
The outcome was never in doubt in Thursday’s affair as Woonsocket appeared to hit every shot it tossed up in the first half and took a 31-4 advantage at the break. Lincoln, now 1-9 in the league, played stronger in the second half but could never cut the deficit to less than a two dozen points.
Kailey Fugere finished with a double-double for the Villa Novans with 22 points and 14 rebounds. She also had six steals. Ashley Dubois netted 16 points and had seven boards, Caitlyn Marcoux added 10 points and Michelle Brayboy dished out 16 assists.
The Lions were less than a week removed from battling third-place Smithfield (8-2) to a seven-point loss last Friday. In its last game with Woonsocket on Dec. 21, Lincoln had just two points at the half and lost 45-15.
With Fugere and Dubois leading the way, the Villa Novans dominating inside presence keyed the win.
“We don’t match up well with this team,” Lincoln coach Chris Jones said. “The same thing happened to us the first time. The first time we played them we had two points at halftime. I thought it would be good to go big against them. I guess I’ll take the blame for that because they have the big superstar (Dubois), who is good on the glass. I thought it would be wise to go big.”
“We came out very focused and executed extremely well,” Coderre said. “That’s something we have done in many games, but we have had trouble sustaining that in some games. We’re getting better at carrying it through the game.”
Lincoln did prevent the contest from getting completely out of hand with a solid effort in the latter half. Kellyn Dyer scored a team-best nine points for the Lions and teammate Jessica Carrigan finished with seven.
The road ahead does get a little tougher for the Villa Novans as the defending state champions inch closer to the playoffs. Upcoming matchups for Woonsocket include a trip to East Providence (5-5) on Monday, Smithfield on Feb. 15, St. Raphael Academy (4-6) on Feb. 17 and first-place Barrington (11-0) in its season finale on Feb. 24.
“Those are all teams we need to compete with to put ourselves in a better position,” Coderre said.
Lincoln will have nearly a week off before its back on the court. The Lions will face Barrington next Wednesday.
“We are 1-9 in the league. There were a lot of games we should have won, but we kind of gave them away,” Jones said. “The foul line we are shooting like 40 percent on the season. We practice foul shots every practice. In a game like this it’s not foul shots, but we didn’t match up well. I think if we would have gone small from the get-go we would have been better off. We have some winnable games coming up. We have a tough one against Barrington on Wednesday but we have some winnable games coming up. If they play hard like they did the second half - if we can put two halves together like that - we’ll be alright.”