By RYAN D. MURRAY Seniors Hannah French and Nadine Ogni, plus junior Alysia Medeiros, contributed seven points apiece, but the Lady Pats were surpassed 41-32 by the Burrillville Broncos on Friday night at Pilgrim High School during a Girls Division III
Seniors Hannah French and Nadine Ogni, plus junior Alysia Medeiros, contributed seven points apiece, but the Lady Pats were surpassed 41-32 by the Burrillville Broncos on Friday night at Pilgrim High School during a Girls Division III Basketball showdown.
Burrillville senior Alyssa Simpson topped all scorers with 22 points, while Sam Prario, another Broncos senior, chipped in nine points.
Early on, the Lady Pats drew a 4-1 lead after buckets from both Ogni and French.
Then, Molly Brown answered for Burrillville with a layup, which pulled the Broncos within one, while jump-starting an 11-0 run.
Burrillville’s Simpson scored seven points, and Prario sank a runner, plus a free throw, and that gave the Broncos a 12-4 advantage with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Two minutes later, Pilgrim’s Gianna Ramos and Faith Meade made a jump shot each and got the Lady Pats within 12-8.
However, over the next three minutes, Burrillville responded with six straight points and took an 18-8 advantage.
A few minutes later, the Broncos headed into halftime holding onto a 20-12 lead.
Burrillville began the second half with a 6-2 spurt where Prario made a pair of foul shots, and Simpson, a free throw, a put back, and a right-wing jump shot, which put the Broncos on top 26-14 with 12:15 left to play.
The Broncos expanded their buffer to 16 points before Pilgrim’s Ogni scored a 3-point play, the old-fashioned way, and inched the Lady Pats within 32-19.
With eight minutes to play, Pilgrim cut the margin to 33-23 after Medeiros banked a driving scoop off the glass.
The Lady Pats got the gap down to 38-32 with just 36 seconds left when Medeiros drained a 3-pointer, but that’s as close as they would get.
The win improved Burrillville to 11-1 in the league and dropped Pilgrim to 6-5.
“That’s a first-place team there,” Pilgrim head coach Scott Bayha said. “I thought we competed very well. So, I think we’re close. We were very cold in the first half. We had 12 points in the first half and ended up with 20 points in the second half.”
“If we were at 20 at the end of the first half, this game’s not an issue, but we weren’t,” Bayha continued. “We had Nadine, who’s our big scorer, foul out early in the second half, and then we had Tat (Boiano), who’s probably one of our better defenders foul out. So, it was tough swimming in the last four or five minutes without two girls that are the main cogs for us.”
Pilgrim took just 15 foul shots on the night while Burrillville visited the charity stripe 32 times. Bayha felt the referees could have called the game more evenly.
“It was horrible,” Bayha said. “Very tough to win. I mean, we lost in single-digits and Burrillville out-foul-shot us by double. I don’t understand. Part of its playing aggressive, and I’m never going to tell the girls not to play aggressive, so I’m happy with that, but I just wish it was called both ways. But it is what it is. We’ll come back.”
Pilgrim’s back is against the wall a bit, Bayha explained, and the coach says the Lady Pats need to start earning victories soon.
“We’ve got to rattle off some wins here,” Bayha said. “We’ve got to start getting wins to get into the playoffs, and then wins to start playing for the playoffs. So, that’s where we’re at.”
Pilgrim got back on track on Saturday afternoon when they traveled to Block Island and beat the Hurricanes 37-28, which improved their league record to 7-5.
Next, Pilgrim heads to the Providence Career & Technical Academy on Tuesday to face off against Central (7-5) at 4 p.m.