WOOD RIVER JCT. — With a teammate shooting the ball as well as Dylan LaBelle was on Friday night, Nathaniel Felicetti felt he had no choice but to keep feeding him. So he did.
He found plenty of other open teammates, too.
Felicetti, the junior point guard on the Chariho High boys basketball team, dished out 15 assists, many of them to LaBelle, who scored a game-high 22 points, and the Chargers rolled to an 82-48 Division II win over Pilgrim.
“It’s a great way to end exam week,” Felicetti said of the win.
“We came out with energy, played together,” he said. “Our defense definitely led to a lot of buckets, fast-break points.”
LaBelle scored 17 of his 22 and hit five of his six 3-pointers in the first half.
“I saw Dylan was getting hot, so I’m going to find him,” Felicetti said. “When I saw him in the corner, I’m going to drive and kick out and I know he’s hitting that 3.”
Ryan Allen scored 14 off the bench for the Chargers, who won for the fourth time in their past six games to climb above .500 in Division II at 6-5. The Chargers are 7-8 overall. Pilgrim fell to 2-9, 2-8.
“Winning four of our last six, that’s who we are, not the team that started out 1-3,” Chariho coach Corey Downey said. “We just need to always be ready to play 32 minutes, and we did that tonight. We should be excited about what we did, and now we’ve got to get back tomorrow and get ready for Tiverton on Tuesday.”
The Chargers stormed out of the gate, scoring the game’s first 10 points. Ben Harrison, who scored 12, put Chariho up 59-25 with 11:16 to play when he came up with a steal and dunked it at the other end.
John Pellegrino finished with 13 points and Levi King added nine.
Chariho led 49-19 at halftime and was up by as many as 41 in the second half, but continued playing with high energy.
“I was on them about moving their feet defensively, contesting shots,” Downey said. “It was funny, we gave up no uncontested shots the first half. In the second half, the first one was uncontested and he made the 3.”
That shot drove home Downey’s point, and defense was not an issue the rest of the way.
“It was kind of nice. I was actually glad they made it, to be honest,” Downey said.
With five minutes left, and the Chargers leading 71-35, Felicetti was the only starter still on the floor. He apparently had aspirations of a 20-assist night, but that’s not why he stayed in the game until the end.
“I was just trying to get a win, but I did want 20,” he said.
Nine Chargers scored, and Felicetti assisted nearly every one of them at least once.
“I’m just trying to be a facilitator out there, get my teammates involved,” he said.
Coach Downey liked what he saw.
“He does a really good job of making that extra pass, and making the best pass, whether it be to a post player or kicking it out for a jumper,” Downey said of Felicetti. “And when they went to the 3-2 and 2-3 zone, he was able to find the open spaces and get us easy looks.”
Chariho recorded an assist on 24 of its 34 field goals. The Chargers came up with 14 steals, outrebounded Pilgrim by a margin of 40-30 and committed just 11 turnovers, compared to Pilgrim’s 21.
“With our 1-3 start, we kind of came out slow, we weren’t ready to go,” Felicetti said. “On this little run that we’ve had, we’ve been ready to play.”