SMITHFIELD â€” Prior to facing Davies Tech in a Red Division tilt of the 26th annual Rhode Island Board of Girls Basketball Officials/Smithfield Boosters Club Holiday Classic on Wednesday afternoon, Burrillville High head coach Lindsay Rachlow asked her players to work on what she deemed a few weaknesses.
They included more attention to finding the open girl and rebounding.
She saw some improvements in both as the Broncos crushed the Patriots, 54-23, at Smithfield Highâ€™s gymnasium, the long-term site of the event.
Amazingly, not one of her girls notched double-figure outings, but that informational tidbit dictates the kind of spread offense Rachlow wanted to see.
Junior center Tori Libby and sophomore guard Lauren LaMontagne each finished with a team-high nine points, while sophomore Samantha Liberty posted eight and senior tri-captains Alyssa Lemire and had seven and Emma Lapierre six, respectively.
Lapierre chipped in another five boards, three blocks and a trio of steals; fellow tri-captain/point guard Danielle Dumais five points, four rebounds and two thefts; Lemire five boards; and Liberty three steals for Burrillville, which moved to 4-1 overall after suffering a 41-38 Division II-North-opening loss at Mount St. Charles last week.
â€śWe had been having problems running our plays offensively; weâ€™d go with one or two passes and then put up a shot,â€ť Rachlow stated afterward. â€śIn this game, we worked it with six-seven passes and spent more time looing for the open shot.
â€śWe also did a better job of rebounding,â€ť she added. â€śWe did OK, not super, but I was happy. Weâ€™re taking steps in the right direction â€¦ I was pleased with the kidsâ€™ aggressiveness. They played with a little more authority than in the past, and I thought we talked well on defense. We ran the floor well, as we had a lot of fast-break opportunities.
â€śWe were better (Wednesday) at the free-throw line (nine of 17); we had been less than 50 percent in our II-North games, and that will hurt us unless we see some improvement.â€ť
As for Davies, which fell to 2-2 overall, it closed with 26 turnovers and 16 personal fouls. One of the reasons why: Senior tri-captain and guard Rosaliz Torres missed the contest due to a job obligation. Still, junior tri-captain Waleska led all Patriots with eight points, while fellow senior tri-captain Kaitlin Flynn recorded six and freshman guard Layra Sylvestre six.
Davies, a Division III representative, led only once, that after Flynn nailed a trey just 1:21 into the contest to take a 3-2 lead. Libby dropped a free throw 46 seconds later to knot it, and the Broncos used Lapierreâ€™s putback at 12:49 to spark a 14-2 flurry over the next 4:31.
Highlights included Libbyâ€™s short one-hander, Lapierreâ€™s turnaround jumper (off Daviesâ€™ seventh miscue) and Dumaisâ€™s short bucket with 8:18 left, one that gave Burrillville (which plays a league up in II-North) a 17-5 cushion.
Immediately, the Pats manufactured a run of its own, scoring six straight points in only 1:37. Mentor Joe Handyâ€™s bunch sandwiched a pair of Sylvestre fast-break layups around sophomore Joneilly Aliciaâ€™s 12-footer.
With 6:03 left, Davies trailed 17-11.
Kellyâ€™s baseline hook made it 18-13 with 5:07 remaining, but the Broncos surged again, posting a 14-0 run the rest of the way, and Liberty netted a half-dozen straight points, first on two freebies, then a pair of long jumpers, all in 68 seconds.
Libbyâ€™s spinning layup with 52 ticks left and freshman Mikaela Messierâ€™s bucket at the buzzer pushed Burrillville in front, 32-13.
Rachlowâ€™s crew continued to put pressure on the Pats, assembling a 6-0 surge over the first minute of the final stanza. When Kelly turned a steal into a layin with 13:09 left, she cut the lead to 38-15, but Burrillville outscored Davies, 16-8, over the final 11 minutes to triumph.
â€śWe just wanted to go out there and have a good showing,â€ť Handy admitted later. â€śI didnâ€™t know what they had, but I thought (the foes) were very organized. I know theyâ€™ve beaten some decent teams â€¦ Rosaliz was out, and this is Waleskaâ€™s first game back since suffering a concussion against Middletown on Dec. 11.
â€śDefense is usually one of our strengths, and we wanted to outrebound them, but they we were taller,â€ť he continued. â€śI wasnâ€™t disappointed with our aggressiveness on the boards, but I was upset with the offense because of the turnovers; we werenâ€™t patient enough. I donâ€™t think we ran a full set (multiple offensive passes) all day.
â€śWeâ€™re still taking baby steps. Weâ€™ve got a rebuilding program, as we have had only one returning starter in the lineup for most of the early season. Still, Iâ€™m happy with the number of sign-ups we had. For the first time in a lot of years, we can field a JV team, because we had 24 show up. Last year, we were only at 11. Iâ€™m pleased, and itâ€™s because theyâ€™re so eager to learn.â€ť