The Pilgrim Lady Patriots fell to the Westerly Bulldogs by a score of 53-32 on Friday night at home in a D-II basketball showdown. Westerly junior center Megan Albamonti led all scorers with 20 points and her teammate, senior guard Victoria Carreiro, had eight. For Pilgrim, Kailey Giarrusso scored nine points and Nadine Ogni added eight.
Despite the loss to Westerly, which improved to 5-1, Pats’ head coach Scott Bayha felt that his team played better than the last time the two teams squared off.
“Last year, we only scored twelve points against this team,” Bayha explained. “Obviously, today’s effort was a lot better, they’re one of the better teams in our league.”
With the loss, Pilgrim falls to 2-6.
“I thought we battled,” Bayha added. “We had effort tonight. I told those girls in the back that last year we scored 12 points against this team and it was the end of our season because we quit. And there was no quit tonight. Our morale is good still. We still have every girl showing up to practice, working their butt off and it’ll come. We’ve got some wins, but more are coming. I’m confident in it and I think we’ll be good.”
Westerly got on the scoreboard first when Isis Hamelin assisted to Natalie Ritacco for a bucket. Next, Pilgrim’s Francesca Maroni beat the shot clock with a jumper and pulled the Pats within 3-2.
Westerly went on a 14-0 run after that and took a 17-2 lead.
Pilgrim temporarily stopped the bleeding when Giulia Doneda scored with a putback.
Then, Westerly continued where it left off and put together a 10-0 run, starting with a 3-pointer from guard Carley Bowen and a putback from Carreiro. The spurt put Westerly up 27-4 with 5:15 remaining in the half.
Then, Pilgrim got points from Ogni, Giarrusso and Mackenzie Hough and pulled within 27-10.
The half concluded with the teams trading buckets before Westerly’s Jenna Murray buried a pull-up jumper just before the buzzer, which gave Westerly a 34-15 advantage heading into halftime.
Westerly’s Lauren Dobson and Pilgrim’s Ogni traded baskets to begin the second half.
Not long after, Giarrusso made a fast break layup and pulled the Pats within 41-23.
Nonetheless, Westerly’s Carreiro answered with a runner and then Albamonti added two points while at the charity stripe and increased Westerly’s edge to 45-23 with 7:54 left.
Three minutes later, Albamonti scored with a putback and gave Westerly its largest lead at 50-25.
Pilgrim was able to put a dent in the deficit, getting points from Ogni, Maroni and Giarrusso while inching within 50-30, but that’s as close as the Pats would get.
Results from Pilgrim’s game against East Providence on Monday were unavailable at press time. The Pats’ next game will be played on Friday, when they travel to Prout at 7 p.m.