Scituate girls advance to semis

Scituate girls advance to semis

Keri Birrel, of the Scituate High School girls basketball team, tries to prevent the ball from going out of bounds during her team's Division II state playoff game last week against Lincoln. The Lincoln players are Shirley Carrington, left, and Bethany Denio. Scituate won the game, 52-34. (Valley Breeze & Observer photo by Kayla Panu)

PROVIDENCE - For the first time in three years, the Scituate High School girls' varsity basketball team has made it past the Division II quarterfinals and they did that by defeating Lincoln High School, 52-34, Sunday afternoon at Rhode Island College.

"This is the third year we've been in this position," Scituate head coach Stacy D'Allesandro said. "It's nice to finally overcome that hurdle."

The Lady Spartans also took both regular-season match ups against the Lady Lions. The first time game in Lincoln was the closest as Scituate won 57-45. Then on Feb. 21 the Spartans hosted the Lions and blew them out 69-49.

In Sunday's game it was the Lions who started off strong, showing Scituate what they didn't in the previous games. Sadie Ross got things going with a layup for Scituate as the Spartans got the first possession. Not to be outdone the Lions' Kellyn Dyer hit a three to take over the lead. From there the Lions went on a 8-0 run taking an 11-2 advantage.

It seemed like the Lions could not miss while the Spartans had a hard time just keeping control of the ball. Usually a big scorer in the first half, Ross only put up four points while missing all four of her free throws.

The Spartans got back into the game on a basket by Renee Bourgault and a three by Talia Pino, 12-7. Lincoln still held onto a sufficient lead but Scituate started hitting its shots. Shirley Carrington gave the Lions 14 points before the Spartans went on a 7-0 run to tie it, 14-14. Julia Corsi had the tying bucket but also started the seven-point run with a layup on a pass by Ross and Keri Birrel hit a three.

The back-and-forth battle had begun as Lincoln regained the advantage, scoring the next three points on a layup by Carrington and one free three by Casie Beauchemin.

Scituate needed just one shot to tie it, a three landed by Corsi. The Lions went out in front again but that would the last time as Carrington hit just one of her two free throws and Ross was able to put one in for the 19-18 lead.

With just over three minutes left in the first the Lions remained at 18 points while Scituate added five more starting with another three by Corsi.

"They all did today what we prepared in the last week of practice," D'Allesandro said, not wanting to highlight just one player. "They did exactly what they needed to do."

Trying not to fall too far behind the Lions came out strong to start the second half forcing Ross to miss her shot and getting the rebound.

Dyer hit her second three of the game, putting Lincoln just three points behind.

Lincoln quickly got the ball back and went back to Dyer who this time landed her shot while being fouled. She completed the three-point play sinking her free throw to tie everything back up at 24-24. Dyer led the Lions scoring 17 points.

The Spartans kept their composure and were finally able to break away from the Lions.

Ross rebounded Birrel's attempt and was fouled. She was better at her free throws in the second half, hitting half of them.

This time she only hit her second shot but that gave Scituate the 25-24 advantage. In the next eight minutes or so, the Spartans went on a 12-0 run to take a comfortable 37-24 lead.

The scoring spree was stopped as Abbie Ross fouled Carrington forcing her to the line where Carrington made both free throws. The Spartans streak began again as they put up nine points before Dyer hit another three, 46-30.

"I'm incredibly pleased with my team's composure," D'Allesandro said. "They were patient, controlled and kept to the plan. And we had great leadership on the floor."

The Spartans were able to cruise to the 52-34 win to eliminate Lincoln from the 2014 Credit Unions of Rhode Island Girls Basketball Division II playoffs.

Sadie Ross led the Spartans, scoring 16 points while Corsi put up 14. Pino scored nine, Birrel had seven and Bourgault put up four.

IN their opening round game, the Lady Spartans downed Tiverton, 48-33.

The Tigers kept it close for a half and trailed by four, 22-18, at intermission. But the Lady Spartans, triggered by Sadie Ross, pulled away in the second half. Ross poured in 16 points.

The Spartans were scheduled to be back in action Wednesday night against undefeated St. Raphael Academy.

"I'm happy to be in the semifinals and we'll see what we can do from here," D'Allesandro said.