The Barrington High School girls’ basketball team surrendered a single first half goal en route to a 52-25 drubbing of Smithfield in the state D-I quarterfinals Saturday afternoon.
The third-seeded Eagles jumped out to a quick lead over the sixth seeded Sentinels and never looked back. Barrington scored 22 points before Smithfield netted its first basket, a three pointer with less than one minute remaining in the half.
Barrington lead 25-4 at the break and while it wasn’t the team’s greatest offensive showing of the season, a lockdown defensive presence certainly made up for it.
“You’ve got to be able to play defense. You have to because it’s the only thing that never fails you,” said head coach Stephen Lenz.
“Your shot might be off one day, the ball’s not bouncing for you but your defense, your boxing out, there’s no reason that can’t be there for you every single game.”
Barrington controlled the boards on both ends of the court from start to finish. Senior guard Caroline Coleman, senior guard Caitlyn Nolan, sophomore forward Grecie Restituyo and junior forward Maura Kelty all pulled down more than five rebounds a piece.
Nolan lead all scorers with 16. She was also a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. Kelty added 11 while Coleman netted seven. Sophomore guard Sarah Middleton scored three and Restituyo had eight.
“You come to this court, sometimes it’s a great equalizer. You never know what you’re going to get,” said Lenz of his thoughts heading into the game.
“But I’ve got some great senior leadership who’ve been here many times over the last four years and I think you saw that experience out on the floor tonight.”
That group of veterans – including captains Coleman, Nolan and senior forward Magdalene O’Hayer – all remember how last year’s campaign came to a close. The Knights, of Exeter-West Greenwich, bounced Barrington from the playoffs.
As fate would have it, the teams paths cross once again this year. Barrington will play EWG on Tuesday in the D-I semifinals. The winner advances to the state title game on Sunday, March 10 against the winner of LaSalle and Westerly.
Barrington suffered its first loss of the season earlier this winter at Exeter-West Greenwich.
“We didn’t play our best basketball the last time we played them but a lot of that had to do with how Exeter played,” Lenz said.
“Hopefully it will be a great game. I hope it lives up to the hype. They’re athletic and they’re talented in all five spots but you know what? So are we, so it should be a good game.”