PROVIDENCE – It was a brutal game to watch at times, but the No. 8 Prout Crusaders were the victors in a gritty 34-28 win Wednesday night against No. 4 Moses Brown in the Division II playoffs at Rhode Island College’s Murray Center.
Maddie Hagerty was the lone player on either team to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points. More importantly, the senior sank free throws down the stretch, hitting two free throws with 19.9 left in the game, giving Prout a 32-28 lead.
Prior to the free throws, Moses Brown took a timeout, which Hagerty said allowed her to regain her composure.
“I was actually really nervous, I was shaking on the sidelines,” she said. “I was definitely able to breathe and compose myself, and calm down.”
With little time left, the Quakers got the ball up the court quickly, and Isabelle Robinson tried to take a quick 3. However, Prout’s Olivia Hirst stuffed the shot.
Moses Brown’s Abby Schreiber got the ball and launched a 3, which overshot the rim. Hagerty came up with the board and was fouled with 1.9 left. She sank both free throws, and a heave from Schreiber at the buzzer didn’t hit.
Prout head coach Phil Quinn said that Hagerty’s versatility and consistency allowed the offense to open up just enough in the second half for the victory.
“In two years, she only had one game with less than double digit scoring or rebounding,” he said, adding that they switched some sets in the second half to open up the inside more.
“We put Maddie at the high post, where she’s one of the best players in the state.”
After just a single point in the first half, Hagerty responded with nine in the second, and got to the line for six attempts. Hirst finished with seven points, and five other Prout players had at least one bucket.
For Moses Brown, the Quakers dug themselves out of early 13-1 and 16-3 deficits, thanks to hot shooting from Robinson. She had a team-high eight points, but unfortunately for Moses Brown, all eight came in the first half.
The Quakers got solid defense inside from center Ogechi Ezemma, but outside of Robinson, they struggled to score. Ezemma and Samuelle Vernerey had six points each, but two other Moses Brown starters didn’t score at all.
Quinn said that the Quakers actually outplayed Prout for much of the game, but two shot clock violations forced by the Crusaders late in the game were the difference.
“They were very aggressive and we let them be aggressive,” Quinn said. “My biggest fear was how much energy we exerted emotionally [against Rogers].”
No. 2 Narragansett will play No. 8 Prout in the Division II final, which is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ryan Center on the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus.
Narragansett reached the title game with a commanding second half performance against No. 11 Coventry, winning 59-42. In contrast to Prout, the Mariners play with a bit more offensive flourish, thanks to the drives and outside shooting of Maggie Salomone, Abby McKanna and Chelsea Sahagian.
“They’re a tough matchup,” Narragansett head coach Kathryn Mahoney said of Prout. “They’re going to come out fired up. They’ve had two huge wins.”
Both teams have experience at the Ryan Center, with the Mariners winning the Division II title in 2012 and the Crusaders in 2011. Starters on both teams either started or played on both of those teams.
“This group has been together for a while now and they know how to win,” Quinn said of his team. “We have such a senior-laden team that’s been there at the Ryan Center before … Narragansett, our kids are friends, and it’s going to be interesting going to war with them.”
“It should be exciting, it’s an ideal matchup with cross-town rivals,” Mahoney said, adding that she was confident her team would perform well.
“I think we’re fortunate in the sense that once they’re on the floor and in that moment, everything else fades away,” she said. “They have one last game to leave it on the floor.”
For a photo gallery of Wednesday’s game from The Providence Journal, click here.
We’ll be publishing a full preview of the game later this week, and also offering another chat for the game the day-of. Want to be e-mailed when we have those articles, or other articles about local teams in the playoffs? Click the “keep me posted!” button below.
|Jackie Tousignant||1||0||2||4||50.0%||4||North Kingstown|
|Kate McCormack||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||North Kingstown|
|MOSES BROWN||2s||3s||FTM||FTA||FT %||PTS|