Davies makes history with first perfect regular season

Davies makes history with first perfect regular season

Davies Tech senior guard Raheim Rainey, who is averaging 26.3 points per game this season for the undefeated Patriots, recently became the seventh player in the team’s history to join the 1,000-point club. The Patriots, who are 10-0, will be the top seed in the D-III playoffs and are expected to host their quarterfinal-round opener next Monday. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)
Boys’ hoop team notches first winning record in 22 years, owns D-III playoffs’ top seed

LINCOLN – The Davies Tech boys’ basketball team accomplished something last Saturday afternoon that not even the legendary “Iron Five” and “Magnificent Seven” teams of the 1980s were able to achieve.

For the first time in their program’s 49-year history, the Patriots wrapped up a regular season with a perfect record, doing so on the road by avoiding an upset bid by one-win Ponaganset High and grabbing a 79-77 triumph that improved their Division III record to 8-0 and overall mark to 10-0.

That game turned out to the be the regular-season finale for the Patriots, who were supposed to end their schedule on Monday by hosting Moses Brown in a non-league game and on their ‘Senior Night’, but head coach Bob Morris reported that the game was canceled because Quakers are currently in quarantine.

“(The undefeated season) is great,” said Morris, who is also the school’s athletic director and head softball coach and in his first season in charge of the basketball team. “The kids worked hard to do this. We push them and we make sure they get working, and they do the work.”

And the Patriots did a ton of work in not only producing their first winning record in 22 seasons, but also qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. Over the past two decades, Davies had endured five winless winters and six one-win seasons, but all that is now ancient history.

Leading the Patriots’ charge this season has been senior guard Raheim Rainey, who is averaging 26.3 points per game and became the seventh player in the team’s history to reach the exclusive 1,000-point mark on Feb. 12 in the Patriots’ 82-63 victory over the Prout School.

Rainey had been the Patriots’ top scorer in every game but one, last Saturday’s victory over the Chieftains, which was littered with fouls by both sides and saw two technicals on Davies result in four points by the Chieftains and give them a bit of momentum in the second half.

Rainey ended up with a season-low 17 points, but senior forward Isaiah Gonsalves came through with a career-high 22 points that saw half of them come in the final quarter.

“Raheim is a freak of nature,” Morris said. “He’s a very good player. But he’s not our only player. We have two or three kids who have been averaging double digits in points every night, such as (junior guard) Jean (Preira), (sophomore forward) Kanz (Giwa), and Isaiah, and (sophomore forward) Antonio Cabral and (senior forward) Ericsen Semedo will jump in there as well, which is huge.”

“At the beginning of the year, everyone had a box-and-one on Raheim,” added Morris. “But when everyone else started scoring, teams were like, ‘Okay, that’s not working.”’

While the Patriots have won half of their games by 19 or more points, they have also had their share of close contests, and the only other opponent that had taken them the full distance was West Warwick in a D-III crossover game on Feb. 8 at the Wizards’ gym.

But the Patriots topped the Wizards in an overtime thriller, 78-75, as Rainey scored 20 of his game-high 31 points in the final quarter and overtime session and won the game by swishing a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

“That was an exciting game,” added Morris. “The shot that Raheim hit was the exact play that we drew up. In all my years of coaching, I’ve never drawn up a play in a game and had everyone do exactly what I drew up, but they did everything exactly to a T.”

Morris is expecting some more excitement in the upcoming D-III playoffs, as the Patriots will be the top seed and most likely host their quarterfinal-round opener next Monday night. West Warwick and Times2 Academy, which both have one loss, sit on the other side of the tournament’s bracket.

“We’re just going to practice this week and wait to see who we’re going to play,” said Morris, who also reported that he still plans to have a private ‘Senior Night’ ceremony for his players 30-45 minutes before their playoff opener.