The Pilgrim boys basketball team fell short against the visiting, defending Division II champion East Greenwich Avengers 63-52 last Friday evening.
East Greenwich caught fire in the later part of the first half and went on to piece together a 26-0 run to take a 37-12 lead into the halftime break. Pilgrim’s Tyriek Weeks went off for 22 points in the second half to help the Pats cut into the EG lead, but would not be able to overcome the deficit as the Avengers held on to win.
“We just got out of our game a little. We knew what they were going to do, we studied them, they do the same stuff, but we just turned the ball over,” said Pilgrim coach Matt Fontaine of the big EG run. “We just handed them the ball, then we let it affect us, then they got the next one and the next one and that’s how a big runs happens.”
EG was led by Jack McMullen with a game-high 28 points, including 10 coming in the first half run and 12 coming on three-pointers. Roman Gloria added 13 points for the Avengers in the win.
“All five of their guys can shoot and we were aware of that. They’re a tough team to match up with, whether you’re going to go zone or go man. I think we learned in the second half what we could do, but you just can’t let that run happen in the first half,” said Fontaine of the EG offense.
Weeks led Pilgrim with 26 points overall, while senior guard Dana Baptiste added 12 points on four three-pointers. Peter Kay also scored six points in the loss for Pilgrim.
Fontaine and company knew they had to turn to Weeks in the second half to help jumpstart the Patriot offense.
“At some point you need to get the ball to your guy. With him getting the hot hand shooting the ball and them being tough on the inside, it made him have to step out a little bit more so it was nice to see his shot get going,” said Fontaine.
The Patriots fell to 2-1 on the season with the loss and took on West Warwick on Monday evening. The results were not available at press time.
Despite the loss, Fontaine felt that his club did a few things well and is in good shape moving forward.
“We know we’re right there. If we don’t turn the ball over as much then it could have been a lot different. It was just too much to overcome,” said Fontaine. “This was our first test, that’s one of the best teams in Division II, if this is where we are at then I’m fine with that.”