Bettencourt scores 26 as Tigers best Huskies 42-29 in D-II playoffs

Story and photos by Richard W. Dionne, Jr. 
Posted 2/17/23

Sam Bettencourt scored 26 points to lead Tiverton past Mt. Hope 42-29 in a preliminary playoff game in Bristol on Thursday night. The Tigers will move on to play at Mt. St. Charles in the Division II …

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Bettencourt scores 26 as Tigers best Huskies 42-29 in D-II playoffs


Sam Bettencourt scored 26 points to lead Tiverton past Mt. Hope 42-29 in a preliminary playoff game in Bristol on Thursday night. The Tigers will move on to play at Mt. St. Charles in the Division II quarterfinals on Monday at 6 p.m. Mt. Hope will have to wait till Thursday to see if they will be picked to play in the sixteen team state tournament in March. 

“We played  hard defense all year,” said Tiverton first year head coach Mike Brigham. “I think we had that down pat. We struggled (in the third quarter) then hit some key shots at the end and that made the difference.” 

Bettencourt, a senior point guard, played like a ferocious Tiger. She made steals, pulled down rebounds, played fierce defense, ran the fast break and kept scoring points. She scored 9 points in the second quarter, her best. The senior drove to the basket four times netting two layups and two free throws and she drained a 3-pointer to give Tiverton a nine point lead.

“Sam had a huge game,” Coach Brigham said. “We have been waiting for that all year. She’s been kind of tentative. I’m trying to get her to come out of her shell and be more aggressive and she did it today.”

“This was probably one of my best games of the season,” Bettencourt said. “All of he hard work is finally starting to pay off and come together really nicely at the perfect time.” 

Bettencourt scored 13 points in the first half as Tiverton raced out to a 19-11 lead. Sam Gacioch, a senior center, netted 3 points and Jenna DelDeo added 2. 

We are all starting to work together,” said Bettencourt. “We strive for strong defense and we brought that today.”

Tiverton’s defense shut down the Huskies who had trouble mustering a shot playing without injured senior Abby Razzino as they trailed 5-0 after the first quarter. 

It wasn’t until junior guard Elsa White hit a pair of 3-pointers that the Huskies began to show a pulse. Freshman guard Lily DaSiveira was fouled as she drove to the basket. She made both foul shots. Lauren Clarke-Pais sank a jumper and senior guard Shivani Mehta sank a free throw. 

“Coach always give us very encouraging words at halftime,” said Clarke-Pais, a co-captain said of Huskies coach Katie Kline. “We always need that constant reminder. She is very good with words and encouraging us and I think that’s what it takes.”

The Tigers came out in a full court press and flummoxed the Huskies into turnovers as they ran the score up to 25-11. Bettencourt put in a layup and sank a pair of free throws. Gacioch and Katie Richardson, a junior forward, each sank a jumper and Abbie Monkevicz, a senior forward, added two free throws in the quarter. 

Coach Kline called a time out to halt the Tiverton run. 

After the talking to, the Huskies woke from their slumber and showed their mettle. Mt. Hope made stops and went on a run of their own as they began to score off their fast break. Senior center Reyn Ferris who did a great job battling for rebounds, scored 5 points. Freshman guard Maddy Butterworth drained a 3-pointer and White, DaSilveira and Clarke-Pais, all scored off the fast break as they cut the Tigers’ lead to 27-25 with 27 seconds to go in the third quarter. 

“Even though we came up short, I am proud of us for bouncing back,” said Clarke-Pais. 

The Huskies kept it close early in the fourth quarter and had chances to take the lead. 

Jenna DelDeo put back a layup to give Tiverton a 31-27 lead. 

The Huskies answered right back. 

DaSilveira raced down on a fast break and sank a layup to cut the lead to 31-29 with 4:33 to play. 

Coach Brigham called a time out and rallied the Tigers. It seemed to unnerve Mt. Hope as they made several ball-handling mistakes that led to turnovers and Tiverton points. Bettencourt scored 8 points in the final quarter. She made several steals and raced to the hoop for fast break points. The senior got to the line twice and drained all four free throws. Monkevicz rebounded well in the fourth, limiting Mt. Hope’s second chances. 

“Playing without Abby definitely took a toll on us,” said Clarke-Pais. “There’s nobody that can take care of that ball better than she can.”

Butterworth added a jumper for the Mt. Hope, but Monkevicz drained a 3-pointer for Tiverton as they outscored the Huskies 13-4 in the final quarter and sank the Huskies Division II playoff dreams. 

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