Final Four eludes Scituate again

Final Four eludes Scituate again

Scituate’s Madison Medbury, left, gets ready to coast in for a layup in front of Barrington’s Cary Heterick during last Saturday’s Elite Eight game. Medbury scored a game-high 18 points, but Scituate suffered a 45-39 loss. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)
Girls’ basketball team falls to Barrington in Elite Eight showdown

PROVIDENCE – For the second straight year, the Scituate High girls’ basketball team saw Barrington put an end to its outstanding season in the Elite Eight of the Open Tournament, as the Eagles grabbed a 45-39 victory over the Spartans last Saturday afternoon at Rhode Island College’s Murray Center.

The Spartans, who won the Division II regular-season championship with a 15-2 mark, were determined to deliver a solid performance in the Open Tournament, especially after suffering a 55-52 loss to Classical in the D-II semifinals.

Seeded fifth in the tournament, the Spartans opened the Round of 16 last Wednesday, March 6, with a 47-42 triumph over 12th-seeded Middletown, which handed them one of their losses during the regular season. But Scituate didn’t have enough to get past Barrington, which led throughout the game and controlled the boards for most of it.

“I’m proud of all of them,” Scituate head coach Rick Cabral said of his players. “This was a great season – a very successful season. We had a good bunch of kids that worked hard. We didn’t reach a couple of goals that we wanted, but that’s okay. We’ll come back and regroup next year. We have a great bunch of kids to work with.”

Despite missing 13 of their first 14 shots, the Spartans hung tough with the 4th-seeded Eagles, who also had trouble clicking in the first half. But Barrington scored eight of the game’s first 10 points and was able to head into the half with a 14-10 lead.

“It wasn’t a pretty first half for either team,” Cabral added. “If we had any kind of a decent first half, I think we might have had a different outcome, but that wasn’t the case.”

Both teams were able to get into gear in the second half, but the Eagles managed to put some space between them and the Spartans by taking their first double-digit lead, 26-16, with 8:16 to play.

But the Spartans were not willing to fold and pushed through. A free throw by Alexis Parker that was followed by Kristi Ferrucci’s only three-pointer of the game cut the Spartans’ deficit to 32-26 with five minutes to play.

A three-pointer by Madison Medbury later made it a 40-35 game with less than two minutes to play, and the Spartans cut their deficit to 42-39 when Parker hit two free throws with 47.7 seconds to play, but that was as close as the Spartans got to the Eagles.

“We fell a little bit short, but I’m proud of the kids and how they reacted,” Cabral said. “We dug ourselves in too deep of a hole in the second half to get back out of (it). But I give them credit for the fight. They didn’t give up.”

Medbury scored a game-high 18 points and Parker ended up with nine, but the Spartans had foul trouble in the first half that spilled over into the second, and Rachel Oster and Medbury fouled out late in the game. Scituate was also 9-for-18 from the line in the game, while the Eagles were 17-for-34.

“Everybody played hard,” Cabral said. “I wish our seniors well, Kristi Ferrucci and Taylor Parker, as they move on to the next stage of their lives, but we’ll be back next year.”

Barrington, which received 10 points each from Alex Marinelli and Nina Gibbons, will play top-seeded La Salle on Saturday at noon in their Final Four opener at URI’s Ryan Center.

Scituate’s Alexia Parker, #14, gets tangled up with Barrington’s Alex Marinelli, #33, and Grace Ceseretti, right, as she tries to put in a layup.