The Patriots were pummeled by the NEPSAC League’s Rocky Hill Mariners 80-30 on Monday during senior night in boys basketball action at Pilgrim High School.
This non-league contest, which was originally scheduled for January, was rescheduled to this week because the Mariners had a bug going around earlier in the year.
Therefore, Pilgrim, who had already secured a playoff spot after squeaking out a win against the Raiders last Friday night, decided to make this game, which was their last game of the season, a senior celebration.
Pilgrim finishes the season with a league record of 11-7 and overall at 13-9.
“We beat Shea 92-90 in a great defensive game,” Pats head coach Matt Fontaine said. “That locked up a home playoff game. So, I’m happy that we can play here on Friday in a home playoff game.”
Therefore, Fontaine gave his starters a light workload against Rocky Hill in order to rest up for Friday night.
“We played the seniors, and then we rotated everyone else,” Fontaine said. “So, since we have playoffs on Friday, I didn’t want anyone getting hurt, but at the same time, I wanted guys to get a rhythm going too.”
Rocky Hill sophomore Ameir Gomes scored a game-high 20 points, while junior Parker Mason had 18, sophomore Denzel Correia 16, and senior Kobe Polley 13.
Aidan Viveiros, a junior, led Pilgrim with nine points, while Brendan Rooney and Justin Dunning, two seniors, had six points apiece.
Viveiros contributed some key minutes off the bench and he could become a secret weapon come playoff time.
“It was a good chance to get Aidan some minutes and let him get out there and get his legs under him,” Fontaine said. “So, if we need him in the playoffs, hopefully we can utilize him. He’s a big body for us, so that’s why he’s on the team.”
Rooney ended the game with back-to-back treys, which brought the crowd and the Pilgrim bench to its feet.
“He’s been with us every day,” Fontaine said. “Hasn’t gotten many minutes at all. He knew going into it this was going to be his night, so I’m glad at the end he could get a few shots like that and get going. So, I was happy.”
“Justin has been around at every practice missing a majority of the season with a fractured wrist,” Fontaine continued. “His speed and athleticism are unmatched, and we are lucky to be able to use it now in our upcoming playoff run.”
Ethan Asadorian, who helped lead the Pats to a Super Bowl victory earlier this school year, was the third senior that was honored on Monday and the center finished with two points.
“Ethan has been that guy that every coach can rely on with intensity and effort,” Fontaine said. “Always asking to get in a drill and push everyone to be better. We have used his football experience from this year as a reminder of what it can feel like at the end of the season.”
When the postseason rolls around on Friday at 7 p.m., Pilgrim, who will be the 8-seed, expects to bring the heat when it meets 9-seeded Narragansett.
“We’re ready for Friday,” Fontaine said. “We’ve got a plan for the week. We know what we need to do so, we’re ready for the playoffs and we know what we’re in store for. We played Narragansett here and they obviously hit the full-court shot, so we know what to expect and we’ll be ready.”