EAST PROVIDENCE — It ended in a much tougher manner than it started for the East Providence High School boys’ basketball team, but the Townies managed to earn a hard-fought, 54-53 victory over visiting Hope Friday night, Feb. 1, in an important late-season Division I-Central encounter.The Townies, who raced to an early double-digit lead, didn’t seal the win until the waning moments of the contest when Charlie Brown hit all three free throws after being fouled on a desperation 3-point attempt with six seconds to go. The Blue Wave, in turn, also was fouled next on a last-gasp 3 attempt, but missed each of the free throws to give the locals the victory.
East Providence, which recognized its seniors in their final regular season home game, improved to 7-7 in the I-Central ranks and maintained its place among the teams qualified for the upcoming division championship tournament. The loss dropped the Blue Wave to 6-8.
The Townies blitzed Hope early, rolling to leads of 18-2 and 20-4 by the mid-point of the first half. Senior Edwin Sam (10 points) canned a pair of 3s for the locals during their opening spree.
The Blue Wave, however, finally settled into the contest, eventually turning the tables on the Townies to close out the opening 16 minutes on 17-4 run to make the score 24-21 E.P. at the break.
Brown paced four Townies in double figures with 12 points. Seniors Sam, Ra’Kwon Jordan and Jashaun Bennett each had 10. John Vaughan (6 points), Alex Hurley (4) and George Osei (0) were the other E.P. seniors recognized in their last regularly scheduled home tilt.
The Townies are on the road for the final four league games of the season, beginning Tuesday night, Feb. 5, in Providence against Central. E.P. plays at Cranston East Friday night, Feb. 8. Both games tip at 7 p.m.