Unified Hawks beat Hendricken, remain undefeated

Mt. Hope Unified Basketball player Jared Tweety plays defense against Barrington in a game last week. Mt. Hope Unified Basketball player Jared Tweety plays defense against Barrington in a game last week.

Mt. Hope Unified Basketball player Jared Tweety plays defense against Barrington in a game last week.

Mt. Hope Unified Basketball player Jared Tweety plays defense against Barrington in a game last week.

The Mt. Hope Huskies unified basketball team continued its undefeated season, taking a 26-25 win in double-overtime over the Bishop Hendricken Hawks on Friday.

The visiting Huskies held the Hawks to a 12-12 tie at the half, continuing the stalemate with a 20-all score at the end of regulation.

Leading the offense for the Huskies, Tyesha Bliss gave Mt. Hope 8 points, with Ashley Hicks and Bradley Durand each adding 6 points to the scoreboard.

On the way to the win, Jared Tweedy contributed four points and Brandon Palmeri added two points as both teams battled on the hardwood.

At the end of the first overtime, the teams brought the score to 22-all, forcing a second overtime. Bradley Durand scored to give the Huskies a two-point lead, followed by Ashely Hicks’ two-pointer to put Mt. Hope up by four at 26-22. With just over eight seconds on the clock, Hendricken made a 3-point shot, bringing them within one.

The Huskies gained possession and ran the clock out, ending the game with a 26-25 victory.

“They’re doing great,” said coach Tom Fullen of his unified team. “It’s a pleasure watching them play.”

So far the team has gone undefeated in its six games, two of them in non-league games against Hendricken.

The unified league has grown in the four years since it began, with 32 schools adding athletics to the opportunities available to students who benefit from educational resources to help them develop academically. Through team sports, players are paired with partners who provide guidance on the court and help them to understand the concepts of teamwork and individual effort.

“The partners are really good,” Mr. Fullen said, noting the league allows the partners to score up to half of the total points. “They understand the philosophy.”

On Thursday, April 10, the Huskies will host Portsmouth High School in a battle for first place in the Eastern Division. Both teams have a 4-0 league record with Mt. Hope slightly ahead in power point standings. That game begins at 3:30 p.m.

The Huskies hope to have strong fan support in the battle to remain in the number one spot.

Unified basketball roster: Jared Tweedy, guard; Ashley M. Hicks (Cptn.), guard; Cassidy Durand, guard; Tyesha Bliss (Cptn.), guard; Justin B. Maturi, guard; Melanie Barbary, forward; Brandon Palmieri, forward; Jared Winslow, forward; Scott Russell (Cptn.), center; Jason Ferro, center; Xavier M. Taylor, guard; Chance Gunther, forward; Bradley Durand, forward

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