Eighth-seeded St. Mary Academy-Bay View completed its unexpected run to the 2023 girls’ Open State Basketball Tournament championship Sunday afternoon, March 12, with a dramatic 42-40 overtime …
Eighth-seeded St. Mary Academy-Bay View completed its unexpected run to the 2023 girls’ Open State Basketball Tournament championship Sunday afternoon, March 12, with a dramatic 42-40 overtime victory over second-seeded North Kingstown at the University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Center.
The Bengals opened the tournament with a 50-35 win over ninth-seeded Mount St. Charles then upset top-seeded Juanita Sanchez 46-42 in the quarters. Bay View dominated Rogers in the semis, decisively winning by a 64-43 count.
The championship game was as close as the final score appeared. The Bengals led 13-12 at the end of one quarter. A sluggish second saw the score end up knotted at 17 by intermission. NK held a narrow 28-27 edge at the close of the third. Bay View won the fourth quarter, 9-8, as the 32 minutes of regulation time concluded with the teams tied at 36.
In the four-minute extra session, Bay View’s player of the game Siera Baptista dropped in both of the Bengals’ field goals while Ella Wasylow made two free throws to account for the six points the locals needed to claim the title.
Baptista finished the championship game with 14 points. Ahtiana Benway actually led the Bengals with 18 points, including six free throws in the fourth quarter as Bay View kept pace with the Skippers. Wasylow had four. Maggie McKitchen chipped in five and Amelia Polichetti one.
Jordan Moreau had a game-best 15 for the Skippers, including the only four points NK scored in overtime. Jillian Rogers and Maddison Krug added eight apiece.
In the semis, Bay View raced to a 20-7 lead by the end of the first quarter en route to its eventual 21-point win over Rogers. NK beat Ponaganset 58-46 in the other state semi.
Benway netted a team-high 21 points for the Bengals. Maeve Crowley had a game-best 27 in the loss for the Vikings. Baptista added 13, Polichetti 11 and Jacqueline Buffery nine.
The Bengals only built upon their advantage in the second quarter of their final four encounter with the Vikings, eventually leading 38-19 at intermission. As she did overall, Benway paced the locals with 10 points in the opening 16 minutes.
The victory over Sanchez in the state quarters avenged a 39-36, Bay View loss to the Cavaliers in the semifinals of the Division I championship event played in February. Sanchez next beat LaSalle 34-23 for the league title.
Bay View, which went 12-6 during the Division I regular season, finished with an overall record of 18-7 for 2022-23.
The 2022-23 Bay View roster included: Benway, Madison Gomes, Polichetti, Wasylow, Olivia Mattos, Sofia Moreno Molina, Jacqueline Mattos, Qiana Sumner, Gianna Paolino, Buffery, Avery Gomes, Baptista, Sophie Sullivan, McKitchen and Amanda Liwanag. Dawan Robinson was the head coach assisted by Nina Anastacio Rawls and Tara Gomes.
The state championship was the second for the Bengals under the current Open Tournament format and third total. Bay View won the inaugural Open girls’ event in 2015. The Bengals captured the Division I tournament title in 2006 when it was recognized as the state championship competition.