NARRAGANSETT – Overcoming a slow start in their playoff opener, the No. 2 seeded Narragansett High School girls’ basketball team used a commanding performance from senior point guard Maggie Salomone to eliminate No. 15 Mt. Hope 55-44.
Salomone shook off some haphazard play of her own in the game’s initial eight minutes as well. On a drive to the hoop with 8:31 left in the first half, she was knocked to the ground while going up for a shot.
However, there wasn’t a foul call, and in frustration, Salomone swore while on the ground. She was immediately given a technical foul.
Whether that was the catalyst that woke the rest of the team up, or simply allowed Salomone to get out her frustrations, it seemed to work. Down 14-13 after the technical free throws, the Mariners finished the half on a 19-4 run.
Salomone scored 13 in the first half, to go along with four steals. She finished with 21, and could have had more, electing to use clock and to pass to open teammates in the game’s final five minutes instead of beating her defender to the rim.
As usual, sophomores Chelsea Sahagian and Abby McKanna combined with Salomone to terrorize in a 1-2-1-1 press. The duo combined for six steals, and while both struggled with their jumper at times, they each had 14 points.
For Mt. Hope, the Huskies struggled after captain Emma Pattie got into early foul trouble. The junior picked up three first half fouls, but head coach Mike Almeida was forced to keep her in after Narragansett continually turned the Huskies over without her in the game.
However, the fouls kept Pattie out of the game offensively, and she only finished with five points. Lauren Fletcher and Rhys Webb led the Huskies, each scoring 11.
Narragansett led 32-17 at the half, and while they never got it as high as 20, the Huskies didn’t seriously threaten in the second half either. The lowest the lead got was 10, early in the second, until a 3 in the final minute got Mt. Hope within 11.
Whenever the Huskies made a run, Salomone countered. Lacking an option to match her speed, Pattie instead tried to play Salomone with length, holding a size advantage on the senior guard. However, Salomone instead dished to McKanna and Sahagian for layups on drives and pick-and-roll plays.
With the win, Narragansett will play No. 7 East Greenwich in the quarterfinals on Sunday. The game is at noon at Rhode Island College. The semifinals are 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 at RIC, and the Division II final is 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at the Ryan Center.
We will have coverage of South Kingstown’s upset of Portsmouth in the Division I girls’ basketball playoffs in our morning newsletter. To get updates for that, and for future girls’ basketball stories, click the “keep me posted!” button below.