BARRINGTON — Matt Raffa’s spinning jumper five feet from the cup with two seconds left was the winning bucket as Barrington High School edged visiting East Providence, 70-67, in a dynamic …
BARRINGTON — Matt Raffa’s spinning jumper five feet from the cup with two seconds left was the winning bucket as Barrington High School edged visiting East Providence, 70-67, in a dynamic Division I boys’ basketball game played Thursday night, Feb. 2.
Raffa, who moments earlier watched as Trey Rezendes of the visiting Townies drained a 3-pointer from the wing to knot the score at 67, gathered a pass from center Nick Scandura at the side of the key, backed down Rezendes, faked to the end line then turned back towards the key and sank the short shot.
East Providence’s ensuing “baseball” pass towards the other end of the floor sailed out of bounds. The Townies then fouled Sean Bonneau with less than a second left. He hit one of two from the line to account for the final three-point margin.
Raffa finished with a game-best 24 points to lead the host Eagles. Scandura battered the smaller EPHS low post defenders in the paint all night, finishing with 23 points. Bonneau had 12, all in the second half. Dan Coogan added seven. Raffa and Bonneau each had three 3s. Xavier Hazard led the Townies with 22 points. Rezendes had 20. Each also had three triples. Will Winfield added 13.
Barrington, which did not trail all evening en route to the win, improved to 10-5 in the league standings with three games left on its regular season schedule. The Eagles now own the tiebreaker over the Townies as both eye the upcoming D-I championship playoffs. East Providence dropped to 9-5 in the league with four games left.
“We started out slow, missed some layups and free throws,” said EPHS head coach Joe Andrade of the Townies’ offense, adding of their defensive effort, “and we missed assignments on the shooter, our hands were down on the shooters.”
He continued, “I thought in the second half we played better. We fought back in a tough atmosphere on the road against a 10-win team. So I thought we played well against a really good team at their home.”
Andrade and the Townies, however, did feel hard done by as far as the decisions made by the two officials, including on the game-deciding sequence where the coach thought the Eagles got away with a push prior to the shot attempt.
For the night, Barrington doubled the number of free throw attempts and more than doubled its makes from the line vs. East Providence, finishing 21-for-23 while the Townies went 8-for-11. The Eagles were also called for just 12 team fouls total to East Providence’s 18. The Townies were also hit with a technical foul late in the third quarter as the stakes of game raised even higher.
“Barrington played well,” Andrade said. “But I thought the refs made some questionable calls.”
Of Raffa’s winning shot and Rezendes’ defense, Andrade added, “I thought we covered it well, but he shoved my guy off. There’s not much (Rezendes) could do.”
The host Eagles ended the first quarter up 15-13 and took a 35-26 lead to intermission. After Rezendes hit a 3 to tie the score at 21 midway through the second period, Coogan ignited a 14-1 run for Barrington with a layup. Raffa drained three jumpers during the spree, including a pair from behind the arc. And Scandura dropped in two from deep in the paint. Winfield and Kemerie Dublin (4 points) each had buckets for the Townies before the break to cut their deficit to nine.
Scandura started the Eagles’ next run early in the third quarter that raised Barrington’s lead to a night-high 13 (41-28) minutes into the period with two foul shots and a layup. The pair of Hazard and Rezendes would help the Townies keep things close the rest of the period and later tie the game at 46 in the final 15 seconds.
Rezendes, like he would in the fourth, canned a triple to bring EPHS back to even. But, again in a bit of foreshadowing, Bonneau matched with a three of his own as time expired to put the hosts up 49-46 heading into the last eight minutes.
Barrington opened the fourth on a 9-1 run that raised the Eagles' lead back to double digits (58-48) less than three minutes into the quarter. The Townies, though, wouldn’t go away led by Winfield, who scored six of his points as East Providence edged closer just past the midway mark of the period.
Free throws marked most of the final few minutes. Winfield was fouled and made two at the line to make it 63-60 Barrington. In between the procession to the stripe, Hazard hit a baseline jumper to leave the Townies trailing by just one. Scandura next hit two free throws as did Hazard to keep it a single point margin. Then Raffa also hit a pair from the line to give the Eagles a 67-64 lead with under 30 seconds left.
The dramatic closing sequence began moments later as Rezendes calmly stepped into a 3 from the left wing, hitting the shot to square the game at 67-all. Barrington called timeout, setting up the final play where Raffa rose to the occasion, sinking the difficult turn-around on Rezendes, who closely guarded but couldn’t prevent the game-winner from dropping.