Second half rally gives Mt. Hope boys a solid basketball win

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There seems to be some unrest within the Mt. Hope Huskies boys’ basketball team. Not the kind of unrest that divides a team, but the tireless kind that keeps players on the floor without resting and keeps the pressure on the opponent, until the final buzzer sounds.

The tireless efforts of the boys’ team has earned them a 7-1 record in Division III-East with their latest win coming on Tuesday, Jan. 28 when they hosted the Northmen of North Smithfield and posted a commanding 74-48 victory over them.

Matt Scott was the night’s standout on the court, contributing 28 points to the Huskies’ win. Throughout the night, Scott made a dozen 3 point attempts, with seven of them hitting their mark. On defense, he worked under the board, collecting 9 rebounds from North Smithfield’s scoring attempts to keep the ball with the Huskies.

“I didn’t expect to have a night like this,” Scott said after the game. “I just wanted to go out there and play.”

Late in the first half, the Northmen took advantage of some miscues in the Huskies’ passing, stealing the ball and converting them into points. Nearing the end of the first half, North Smithfield tied the game, allowing only a four point deficit at the half. However that was as close as they would get to the Huskies.

An energized Mt. Hope team took the floor in the second half and within three minutes exploded to an 11 point lead. Six minutes later, that lead was extended to 20 points.

Alex Francis continued his aggressive style of playing, creating paths to the hoop and scoring 12 points for the night. While Nick Murgo added 11 points to the scoreboard, hitting seven of his eight free throw opportunities, he also played a key role in rebounding, grabbing seven of the Northmen’s shots and four from his teammates.

Rounding out the team’s top scorers was Kyle Valenzuela who, in the course of the night, put up 10 points for Mt. Hope.

This win comes on the heels of a 54-48 victory last Friday when the Huskies visited Burrillville High School. On Friday, Jan. 31, the Huskies will host Mount St. Charles (1-6) in a 5 p.m. game.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.