WOOD RIVER JCT. — Starting rallies from deficits doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Chariho High boys’ basketball team. Finishing them is another story, however.
For the third time in four games the Chargers came back from a second-half deficit, this time by 20 points, but again fell just short and lost 63-62 to Central Falls in Tuesday’s Division II crossover game.
Chariho (2-6, 0-4 Division II-South) trailed 42-22 at halftime, but changed to a full court. man-to-man defense and started to create turnovers.
“A little more focus on defense and we started to have a little more focus offensively,” Chariho coach Corey Downey said. “Adam Bemis hit some open 3s and Bryan Thweatt attacked the basket well in the second half.”
Bemis scored 19 points on five 3s and Thweatt added another 13.
Chariho tied the score 60-60, but the Warriors (7-3, 5-0 Division II-North) pulled ahead on a Sebastian Landinez putback with 50 seconds left.
Chariho tied the score after Bemis was fouled on his own putback attempt and the senior center hit both of his free throw attempts.
With just 14 seconds remaining Central Falls took the ball back down to the other end of the floor, missed a shot, but David DePina collected an offensive rebound and was fouled on his putback attempt.
DePina ,who was just 3-10 from the charity stripe for the game, hit one of two free throws to put Central Falls up by one. DePina led the Warriors with 19 points.
Chariho got the ball back with 3 seconds left, but turned it over on its next possession.
Rebounds were not just a problem for Chariho on the last possession, but were throughout the game.
The Chargers collected just 17 rebounds.
“They killed us on the boards in the first half,” Downey said. “We had a lot of turnovers and they didn’t miss a lot of shots so we had almost no rebounds in the first half.”
Downey said his team was better on the glass in the second half, but were still handily out-rebounded in the game.
While some might view a loss like Tuesday’s as particularly crushing, Downey said he viewed it as a positive.
“I’m really proud of the way we fought,” he said. “We realize that the way we played in the second half is how we need to play for 32 minutes to win basketball games.”
Chariho nearly overcame a 15 point deficit against Exeter-West Greenwich in the WCCU Holiday tournament and took Westerly to overtime after trailing by eight in the second half of that game.
The Chargers host Lincoln Friday at 7 p.m.