The Mt. Hope High School boys’ basketball team concluded its 2012-2013 home regular season schedule with a bang Saturday night, as the Huskies defeated the East Greenwich Avengers, 66-59.
Mt. Hope honored seniors Matt McGee, Isiah Rodriguez, Eric Pattie, Pat Guthlein, and captain Ben Francis before the game. The coach also honored these seniors by having them comprise the starting lineup for the game.
The Huskies got off to a hot start, with sophomore Alex Francis scoring nine of Mt. Hope’s first 17 points. Alex Francis would go on to score 18 points on the night, including four 3-pointers.
East Greenwich stormed back though, cutting a late 10-point lead by the Huskies down to just two points as the buzzer sounded to signal halftime. The Avengers went ahead 30-29 two minutes and 32 seconds into the second half, then gaining another one point lead just under three minutes later.
The Huskies responded though, setting up good shots and not letting East Greenwich feel comfortable on offense, keeping the pace and building a consistent lead into the final minutes of regulation.
Junior captain Kyle Valenzuela was Mt. Hope’s leading scorer, racking up an impressive 22 points over the course of the game. Ben Francis, with 13 points, was the Huskies’ third leading scorer behind Alex Francis, while Guthlein and junior Jared Ramos each got onto the scoring sheet, with eight points and five points, respectively.
Ryan Gavin led East Greenwich in scoring with 13, followed by Brandon Eckles and Ben Chester, who each had 10 points on the night. They were joined in scoring by Kyle Matius and David Hopkins, who each had eight points, Nolan Cooney, who brought in six, and Patrick Lavin, who had four.
The win moves Mt. Hope to 12-5 overall on the season, holding onto second place in Division III East. The loss drops East Greenwich to 14-4 overall this season, though they still remain the top seed in Division III West.
The Huskies finish up their final four regular season games on the road, traveling to Ponaganset for their next game this upcoming Tuesday at 7 p.m. East Greenwich next takes on Moses Brown at home on Wednesday night.
— By Jeff Pini