PROVIDENCE - The Prout boys basketball team walked off with smiles on their faces Thursday night.
The improbable - beating No. 1 seed Cranston West - didn't happen, but the Crusaders certainly went out in style, cutting a 22-point deficit with 9 minutes, 9 seconds left to five with 30.8 seconds left before John King's magic ran out in a 69-61 loss.
After a miserable first half - where Prout looked nervous and overmatched - King brought the Crusaders back from the dead. He had hit only 1 of 8 from the floor in the first half, but buried 3-pointers from all over the court in the second half, hitting 8 of 13 from the floor in the final 20 minutes and finishing the game with 30 points.
King hit a 3-pointer from near mid-court to make it 66-58 with 35.2 seconds left and after a Cranston West turnover on a deep inbound pass by Steve Rush that went over everyone's head, Prout's Jeff Lamendola hit a 3-pointer with 30.8 seconds left off the inbound play.
The Crusaders fouled CW's Bryan Yarce, who hit both free throws, and King's last 3-point shot - a fadeaway three from the right corner - fell short. West got the rebound, Yarce was fouled and made one of two with 13.6 seconds left to give his team a 69-61 lead, and King traveled on Prout's last possession of the game before West ran out the clock.
For a full story from the game, including reactions from players and coach Eric Simonelli, as well as a full box score from the game, pick up the March 9 edition of the Narragansett Times.