WESTERLY — Chariho High played the way coach Corey Downey knows his team can on Friday night.
Stonington High, meanwhile, didn’t have that option. The Bears were without one of their top players.
The result: Chariho 72, Stonington 58 in the boys consolation game of the 34th annual WCCU Holiday Basketball tournament at Westerly’sFederico Gym.
The Chargers (3-3) snapped a three-game losing streak during which they suffered from too much individual play, Downey said.
Friday, four players scored in double figures led by Dylan LaBelle’s 21 points. Luke Fusaro added 15 points (three 3-pointers), Ben Harrison had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Tom Longolucco finished with 12 points, 11 in the second half, and four assists.
“I think we played like who we are,” Downey said. “We shot the ball really well. We shared the ball really well. We crashed the offensive boards. And I thought we did a much better job defensively.”
The goal was to hold Stonington under 60 points. Chariho did that, too.
“I feel like every game we give up under 60 points we have a good chance to win,” Downey said.
Stonington (2-3) was missing the nearly nine points per game it gets from swingman Lennox Deer, the only senior on the roster. Deer was sidelined as a precaution because of a foot injury.
Still, the Bears hung tough. They cut it to nine, 67-58, on Marquis Jackson’s 3-pointer, his third, with 1:37 left. But Harrison hit two free throws at the other end, and the Bears missed 3-point attempt to all but end things.
The sequence exemplified the second half: Each time Stonington got close, Chariho was able to turn back the challenge.
“I’m proud of my guys,” Bears coach John Luzzi said. “Chariho’s a tough team. We were right there. We were close. We were one big shot away.”
R.J. Parrilla led Stonington with 19 points (three 3s). Zach Scott added 16 points (four 3s) and nine rebounds, and Jackson and Anthony Fry scored 10 each.
The Chargers led 36-29 at the half. In the second period, they pulled away with several inside baskets.
“We’re over-helping on the wings and not helping enough in the paint,” Luzzi said. “We’ve got to clean that up.”