COVENTRY - Only one team showed up to play on Tuesday night in a game that should have held an equal level of importance for both participants. The scoreboard served as the living proof for anyone left with a degree of doubt.
Limited to just 10 points in the first half, Coventry could only watch as Classical ran all over them en route to a 70-34 blowout, the most lopsided defeat of the year for the Oakers and more importantly, a crucial setback in the standings.
“We played the way we practiced. We didn’t have a good practice and we came out flat,” head coach Jim Moretti said after his team dropped to 5-7 on the year with the defeat, while Classical improved to 5-6.
Khalil Screen wound up leading the way with a game-high 17 points, while Anthony Mendez posted 11. Shadrach Walker, Ned Fitzpatrick and Evenson St. Franc all had 9 in a game that featured little drama.
Neither side started the night off playing particularly well, as turnovers and missed shots occurred on both ends of the court, but the visitors were the ones to make the necessary adjustments.
A 15-8 lead with a little over six minutes remaining quickly turned into a 14-2 run by the Purple, giving them a 29-10 lead at the break.
From there, Coventry’s deficit only grew larger, reaching 46 points at one stage (66-20) despite the Oakers managing to find a degree of offensive success in the second half.
Jayden Voelker led the home team with 10 points, while Nick Fuentes had 6. A 10-for-14 showing from the free throw line served as one of the few positive takeaways on night that saw Coventry score their lowest point total since a 58-43 loss to Smithfield back on January 10.
The Purple’s sub .500 record on the year was not at all evident based on their showing against the Oakers.
“They’re not that great, but they looked really good against us tonight and they played hard,” Moretti said of the opposition.
“Give them credit, they played really good defense, but we didn’t have any offense at all.”
The visitors hit six shots from beyond the arc, while connecting on 10-of-13 shots from the free throw line, playing like a team pushing for a spot in the playoffs, while the Oakers just looked lost.
“We know that (this was an important game), but unfortunately some of our kids maybe don’t,” Moretti said.
With the regular season now officially two thirds complete, Coventry will need some sort of substantial turnaround in the final three weeks of the season, beginning with a home win against East Providence on Friday night.
Follow Nick Cantor on Twitter @cantornick