Lady Patriots hold on to beat Falcons 53-50

Portsmouth's Briana Turcotte sets up for a free throw en route to a close 53-50 victory over Cranston West. Portsmouth's Briana Turcotte sets up for a free throw en route to a close 53-50 victory over Cranston West.

Portsmouth's Briana Turcotte sets up for a free throw en route to a close 53-50 victory over Cranston West.

Portsmouth’s Briana Turcotte sets up for a free throw en route to a close 53-50 victory over Cranston West.

PORTSMOUTH — In a battle for preliminary playoff position, the Division I Portsmouth Patriots hosted Cranston West Friday in a head-to-head matchup. In the final seconds, the Falcons came within three points of tying the Patriots who were saved by the clock to secure a 53-50 win.

“They hung in. We should be ranked six now,” said coach Richard Glover after the game.

The Falcons played “a little tougher” than expected, Mr. Glover said. Couple that with some miscues on the part of the Patriots, and the home team watched a nine-point lead escape, bringing the two teams apart by a basket for much of the game.

Cranston applied full-court pressure early in an attempt to take away any scoring opportunities the Patriots may have found. Trading baskets, the game was tied at 17, then 19 before a holding call against the Patriots gave Cranston a free throw opportunity, giving them a 20-19 advantage to close out the first half.

Jaimie Hole opened the second half with a big 3-point shot to reclaim the lead for the Patriots. The volley continued as Cranston again tied the game, and within minutes took a 35-29 lead.

Hannah Wilkie and Haley Alves contributed 15 points each toward the win. Wilkie, hitting one from outside the 3-point arc, also went six-for-six at the free throw line. Alves, too, sank a 3-point shot while hitting half of her eight free throw attempts.

Brianna Turcotte also turned in a strong offensive game, adding two 3-point shots and making both of her free throws toward her 10-point night.

“We should have run the shot clock better,” Mr. Glover said of missed opportunities.

A week from now, he said, they’ll be in the playoff hunt, where mistakes and missed opportunities will make or break their season.

The 10-7 Patriots will complete their schedule on Friday night, March 7, when they travel to Bay View Academy to play the undefeated Bengals.

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