Barrington girls headed to state championship game

Eagles ground Falcons in semifinals, 53-31

By Josh Bickford
Posted 3/5/21

Barrington High School opened a 20-3 lead against Cranston West in the first quarter and never looked back, rolling to a 53-31 victory in the Division I girls basketball semifinals on Thursday …

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Barrington girls headed to state championship game

Eagles ground Falcons in semifinals, 53-31

Posted

Barrington High School opened a 20-3 lead against Cranston West in the first quarter and never looked back, rolling to a 53-31 victory in the Division I girls basketball semifinals on Thursday night.

The Eagles will play against a tough, top-seeded St. Raphael’s team in the state championship game on Sunday afternoon, March 7, at Rhode Island College. Only the parents of senior players are allowed to attend the game in-person  — the action will be broadcast live on the NFHS website.

Two freshmen played key roles for the Eagles on Thursday night. Lindsey Lemay dominated play in the paint, while Dani Ceseretti ran the offense through her point guard position.

Lemay opened the scoring for Barrington in the first quarter and proceeded to net 11 of her 14 points in the opening period. Ceseretti, who finished with a game-high 17 points, scored four points in the first period, while Hailey Walter had a nice put-back basket and Caroline McConaghy knocked down a three-pointer.

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ defense limited scoring opportunities for the Falcons. It was not until there was just 2:13 left to play in the first quarter when Cranston West was able to get onto the scoreboard, converting two free throws.

Barrington’s freshmen standouts finished the first quarter with a nice play, as Ceseretti fed the ball to Lemay with time running down and Lemay banked in a basket as the buzzer sounded.

Barrington High School Coach Stephen Lenz was impressed by the play of Lemay and Ceseretti.

“It’s very rare to have two freshmen set the tone in a huge playoff game — both Lindsey and Dani showed up in a big way right from the get-go,” Coach Lenz wrote in an email to the Barrington Times. “They got the whole team firing on all cylinders last night — to have that focus and maturity as freshmen in a big spot is special!”

Cranston West scored twice to open the second quarter, but Ceseretti squashed the Falcons’ momentum has she knocked down a free throw on one trip, and then buried an open three-pointer the next time down the floor. She then made a nice pass to Lemay, who scored, giving the Eagles a 29-7 lead.

Cranston West tried to slow down Lemay inside with a double-team, but the Eagles post player made them pay, finding an open McConaghy, who drained a long-range three-pointer with about 2 minutes left to play in the first half.

Nina Gibbons got into the scoring act for Barrington with two free throws and a basket on a fast-break.

The Eagles carried a 28-point lead into halftime: 38-10.

Ceseretti opened the second half with a basket, and gave Barrington a commanding 40-10 lead. The Falcons closed the gap a bit in the second half, but Barrington cruised to the win and into the state championship game against St. Raphael’s.

“Very proud of our team… last night was a total team effort — particularly on the defensive end,” Coach Lenz wrote. “We’ve played some of our best team defense of the season the last two games.”

Coach Lenz’s defense will face a tough test when the Eagles take the floor against St. Raphael’s, which entered the playoffs as the number one seed.

“…their length as a team defensively is certainly a challenge as well as their athleticism and balance offensively,” Coach Lenz wrote. “They have a strong inside and outside presence on the offense end of the floor which makes them tough to stop.

"Considering the environment surrounding this season with the pandemic, we are very excited to have the opportunity to play one more game against a very, very formidable opponent.”

BHS scoring

Dani Ceseretti — 17 points

Lindsey Lemay — 14

Caroline McConaghy — 10

Nina Gibbons — 6

Hailey Walter — 2

Sophia Richardson — 2

Chloe Rouleau — 2

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