Spartans repeat as tourney champs

Spartans repeat as tourney champs

Showing off their team’s championship trophy are, from left, Scituate seniors Valerie Zammarelli, Kristi Ferrucci, and Taylor Parker and head coach Rick Cabral. The Spartans repeated as the champions of Cranston East’s Hank Orabone Holiday Tournament by posting a 53-35 win over the host Thunderbolts in last Friday’s title game. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)
Girls’ basketball team knocks off Cranston teams to win Orabone Tournament

CRANSTON – The Scituate High girls’ basketball team repeated as champions of the Hank Orabone Holiday Tournament last Friday night at Cranston East by pulling away in the second half to defeat the host Thunderbolts, 53-35.

The Spartans, who posted a 41-30 victory over Cranston West in their tourney opener on Thursday afternoon, survived a back-and-forth opening half with Cranston East before getting the job done in the final 16 minutes and raising their overall record to 3-1.

“It would be nice if we could put a whole game together, but we seem to find a way to pull these games out,” Scituate head coach Rick Cabral said. “We haven’t put a full 32 minutes together yet. It was slow in the first half, but we got it going in the second (half) and pulled away.”

The Spartans had jumped out to an 8-2 lead, but the Thunderbolts scored the next six points to tie the score, and they even took the lead before the Spartans went into halftime with a 25-20 lead.

But the Thunderbolts were not ready to let go. They scored the first four points of the second half before Madison Medbury gave Scituate a bit of breathing room with a basket. Between Taylor Parker’s rebounds and Rachel Oster’s steals, the Spartans were eventually able to break away from the Thunderbolts.

Oster, who had four key steals in the middle of that half, “caused a lot of havoc,” Cabral said. “She’s quick and athletic and was very active today, and our press got to (Cranston East) in the second half after we warmed up a little bit.”

Leading the way for the Spartans in the scoring department was Leah Bessette, who scored 14 points, and Julia Olson and Parker, who each added nine. Also a force on the floor was Medbury. She was either feeding the ball to her teammates or taking the open shot. She finished the game with eight points and was named the tournament’s MVP.

“Leah definitely played a solid tournament,” Cabral said. “And I thought Taylor had a good game today (with) a lot of high energy. She’s worked really hard.”

In the Spartans’ victory over Cranston West, Scituate jumped out to a 20-6 at the half before rolling to its 11-point victory. Medbury scored a game-high 16 points and Bessette added 12.

The Spartans, who are 2-0 in Division II play, thanks to their 65-25 win at Exeter/West Greenwich on Dec. 17 and 48-46 victory at home over Juanita Sanchez on Dec. 20, will return to league action on Friday at 7 p.m. when they pay a visit to Middletown.

“Overall, I think we’re getting there and we’re making strides every week,” Cabral said. “League play starts up again, and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Scituate’s Leah Bessette tossed in 14 points to lead her team’s balanced offensive attack.