Rogers staves off East Providence in girls' hoops game of unbeatens
EAST PROVIDENCE — Host East Providence offered up what head coach Mike Solitro called one of its best overall efforts in recent seasons, though it wasn't enough for the Townies to defeat Rogers in a Division II-East girls' basketball meeting of unbeatens played Thursday night, Jan. 10.
The visiting Vikings built a six-point halftime lead then fended off the locals late en route to a 50-47 victory, improving their record to 4-0 in the league. E.P. dipped to 3-1.
"It's probably the best performance we've had at both ends of the floor in a while," said Coach Solitro. "This game shows we have the ability to compete at probably the highest level of D-II, but we have to find a way to dig down and win these types of close games."
The Vikings never trailed after taking a 23-17 lead to intermission. Junior guard Josie Chaves (21 points) canned a 25-foot 3-pointer just before the first half horn to double Rogers' lead at the break.
East Providence stayed within striking distance throughout the final 16 minutes, eventually leveling the score at at 47 on the sixth of Mary Monagle's 3s in the contest with some 45 seconds to go. The half-dozen 3s and team-high 20 total points were both career bests for the Townies' senior wing player.
However, Chaves, whom Solitro called one of the best players in the division, later drove to the goal and hit a difficult scoop layup with about 25 seconds left to put Rogers back on top for keeps. After the Townies couldn't score off a near-perfectly executed inbounds play, the Vikings made one of two at the free throw line with seconds to go to seal the win.
Thomeeka Speaks added 10 points for the Townies while Taylor Wiggins grabbed a career-high 21 boards in addition to chipping in six points. E.P. returns to action Monday night, Jan. 14, on the road in Tiverton at 7 o'clock.