PAWTUCKET - A busy final week of the regular season for the Coventry girls basketball team started with a 67-48 loss to undefeated Scituate. The defeat, which snapped a previous winning streak of four straight games for the Oakers, left head coach Donna Beaudoin feeling optimistic despite the overall outcome.
“We actually played really well in the first half, but we fell apart in the beginning of the second half,” she recounting their setback against the division-leading Spartans in what could prove to be a potential postseason preview.
As for the remainder of the regular season, Coventry was back in action on Wednesday night, returning to their winning ways following a 63-52 road victory at Shea against a Raiders team that is still hoping to back their way into the playoffs.
Sophomore Emma Martin posted a team-high 18 points in the wining effort, which included four shots from beyond the arc. Senior Madison Dessert added 11 points of her own to go along with sophomore Lily Chace’s 10 as Coventry improved to 12-4 in league play with one game left to go.
“Right now, we’re trying to get as high of a seed as we can. Our goal is to have a home playoff game,” Beaudoin said of the team’s focus as they look to close the regular season out on a high note with a win against Tiverton on Friday’s Senior Night.
As for Wednesday’s game, the score was closer than Coventry would have liked, but the team managed to get the job done in the end.
“We play like we practice. We practiced a little bit lazy yesterday and it showed in how we played today. I also think we play to the level of the teams we’re playing against,” said Beaudoin.
The Oakers held a slim 28-23 advent at halftime and saw their lead drop down to a single point early in the second half, but that would prove to be as close as the Raiders would get.
Mikayla Gaulin sank a three-pointer with just over a minute to go, part of a nine-point outing on the night for the senior, with her shot all but sealing the victory for the Oakers, while ending Shea’s last ditch rally at the same time.
“It’s tough with just six kids,” Raider head coach John Lickert said of the obstacles his team has been forced to deal with.
“They get a little tired and they have their streaks. That’s what it came down to. Three or four times, we went to sleep and they hit wide open shots.”
Yasmine Santos led the way for the home team on a night dedicated to her and the other two seniors on the roster, by posting a game-high 27 points in the losing effort.
Classmate Marissa Lemar hit back-to-back threes to start the second half, making it a 30-29 game before the Oakers began to pull away from that point forward. Lemar finished with 11 points, while fellow senior Alia Darius had four. Junior Allison Dos Santos Soares, the team’s center posted eight points, including the team’s final bucket that made it a 57-52 game at the time.
“Kids are playing tough, they’re playing hard, but it’s tough. You can’t play a whole game with only five kids,” said Lickert, whose team has been searching for that elusive playoff-ensuring victory for more than two weeks now.
“We just have to win one more and I said that five games ago,” said Lickert. “We’ve played some very good teams, Coventry and Classical, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Wednesday’s loss ultimately boiled down to execution, a concept better achieved by the Oakers than the Raiders.
“We had opportunities and we just didn’t capitalize on them. They did. You have to give them credit,” he said of Coventry. “That’s why they’re 12-4 and we’re 6-10.”
Shea’s last opportunity to secure a playoff spot for themselves will come tomorrow night when they head to Cranston East, needing to come away with a win against the Thunderbolts.