Knights drop pair of heartbreakers in holiday tourney
The CCRI men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Batavia, N.Y., this past weekend to compete in tournaments hosted by Genesee Community College. The Knights went 0-2, with two close losses in as many days.
On Saturday, the Knights lost to host Genesee in an 82-79 thriller. An early second-half comeback gave the Knights a lead, but the Cougars clawed back and took control in the final minute.
The Knights were paced by Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, Conn.) and Patrick Marchand (Cranston). Jernigan led CCRI with a double-double on 17 points and 11 assists, while Marchand scored a team high 27 points and pulled down a game high nine rebounds. Kevin Marmolejos (Queens, N.Y.) also had a nice game for the Knights, chipping in with 14 points, including a game-high four 3-pointers on 4-8 shooting from long range.
In Sunday’s game, the Knights took on Niagara County CC and fell in an even closer game, 78-77. The Knights got down early, trailing 39-28 at halftime, but battled back in the second half to keep the game within striking distance.
Two free throws by Jernigan tied the game with 13.1 seconds remaining. Jernigan then stole the ball but lost it out of bounds when he was bumped to the ground. Niagara took possession and a Knight was whistled for a foul as time expired. Jordan Green calmly sank his first free throw to win the game for Niagara.
Jernigan filled the stat sheet for the Knights with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Sophomore Elijah Okagbare (Atlanta, Ga.) also had a great game for the Knights, establishing his presence inside with 18 points and eight rebounds.
CCRI fell to 8-5.
“We played two very strong teams (combined record of 19-2 going into the tournament) this weekend and gave them both all they could handle,” CCRI head coach Rick Harris said. “We had opportunities to get both games into overtime but came up short. The team played hard and that’s what’s most important at this stage of the season. I also believe that we truly improved this weekend. We’re most interested in getting better every game and playing the strongest schedule possible gives us our best chance of doing that. Our long term goal remains to prepare ourselves to be playing our best basketball of the season come February and March.”
The Knights now return home to host Bunker Hill CC at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.
Lady Knights fall twice at Genesee
The CCRI women’s team lost its first game at the Genesee tournament by a 78-74 score to Niagara County CC. The Thunderwolves came in with an unbeaten record and built a 16-point first-half lead. CCRI came back strong in the second half but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Allexia Barros (New Bedford, Mass.) led the comeback attempt with a game-high 27 points, 19 in the second half.
Also having a big game for the Lady Knights was co-captain Ahnyyah Jackson (Hackensack, N.J.) with 17 points including four 3-pointers, a game-high eight assists, four rebounds and a steal. Amber Edwards (Boston, Mass.) charted a double-double with 12 points and 17 rebounds with three assists, while Lindsay Danise added eight points and six rebounds.
CCRI continued play in the tournament Sunday and fell to host Genesee 74-72. The Lady Knights led by six at halftime, but Genesee came back strong after the break.
With just five seconds remaining, Shanell Glover hit a game-winning shot for Genesee.
Barros again lit up the scoreboard with 25 points, including five three-pointers. Jackson added 18 points.
Jessica Winegar (Cranston) chipped in a career-high 14 points and Jess Patalano (Exeter) added eight points for the Lady Knights.