By Steve Vierra
TIVERTON—The Tiverton boys’ basketball team was able to string together some impressive scoring runs while rebounding and moving the ball effectively to defeat Narragansett 72-70 on Friday evening.
Alex Cotton had a strong outing for the Tigers, scoring 18 big points to help propel his team to victory. Cotton struggled to find his range in the first half but stayed aggressive by driving to the basket and scoring off second chance opportunities.
Ben Duckett was lights out from the three-point line dropping four threes in the first half to add to his 16 points on the night.
Narragansett frequently used a half-court defensive press and eventually a full-court press off made shots to try to pressure Tiverton into turning the ball over. However, Tiverton was able to break down the pressure of Narragansett’s defense for the most part with effective passing
“If you’re going to dribble through it (defensive presses) you’re going to have a nightmare. But, you pass through it, the ball doesn’t touch the floor and it really makes it simple that way,” said Tigers’ Head Coach Dave Landoch.
At the end of the first half Tiverton led Narragansett 38-27 and seemed headed for a blowout victory. But the second half was an entirely different story.
The Narragansett Mariners extended their press to full court and forced Tiverton to turn the ball over more frequently. Tiverton also began to miss some of the outside shots they had been hitting in the first half. With 9:30 left in the game, the score was tied.
Tiverton stayed aggressive, though, pounding the ball inside and grabbing rebounds. Tiverton would pull away with the lead again stretching it to 62-52 with 5:19 left. But, Narragansett rallied yet again and closed the game on an impressive scoring run that left them only two points shy of pushing the game to overtime.
“We’re lucky we squeaked it out. We only won by two,” said Coach Landoch.
“We played team basketball.. We played as one unit and controlled the tempo of the game,”the coach said. “They (Narragansett) are a very good, fast running team and I thought we controlled that tempo.”