WOOD RIVER JCT. — Chariho High had a number of objectives Monday night — besides winning, of course.
Among those goals were improved defensive rebounding, getting off to a good start (something they've been unable to do in recent losses) and putting together a complete game instead of just playing well in spurts.
They came up aces in each category against Prout.
Levi King and Dylan LaBelle each scored 16 points and Chariho never trailed in an important 66-45 Division II boys basketball win.
The Chargers scored the first 12 points of the contest, but, more important, they outscored the Crusaders 19-4 to open the second half and pull away for good.
"We just contested shots, we boxed out, we pushed the basketball and spaced the floor," Chariho coach Corey Downey said. "That's what we need to do to be a successful basketball team. We've been doing it little by little, but I thought we did it for 32 minutes tonight, and I'm really happy we were able to accomplish that."
Chariho (3-6, 2-3 Division II) led 37-26 at halftime.
In the second half, the Chargers were looking to "push the ball and get a few easy layups," said King, who had four rebounds and three steals to go with his 16 points.
Both teams traded baskets to open the period. Then, the Chariho blitz was on.
King ignited the Chargers with a steal and layup, and followed with another layup in transition. After Luke Fusaro drove and scored, all of a sudden Chariho was up by 17, 45-28.
Jacob Moniz scored on a nice spin move for Prout (1-6, 1-4). But Chariho's Lucas Santos followed with a runner off the glass to beat the shot clock, Fusaro hit a 3-pointer and King scored on an acrobatic layup in transition.
Chariho's lead had ballooned to 52-30, and Prout called timeout with 10:46 remaining. But that didn't stop the bleeding.
Santos converted another Chariho steal into a layup, and, after Crusaders coach Dean Felicetti was whistled for a technical foul, LaBelle hit two free throws to give the Chargers a 56-30 advantage.
Chariho now looks to keep the momentum going as it tries to make waves in Division II as the schedule stiffens. Its next two games are against East Greenwich and West Warwick, respectively, each of which entered Monday with just one league loss.
"Our goal for the past three days was to [play consistently] for 32 minutes against, obviously, a really good Prout team, and we were able to do that," Downey said. "They're really excited in the locker room, and they should be. But now we have to continue to do that consistently every game from here on out. It's a tough league."
Said King, "We're hoping to have that spark and keep going with it."
Fusaro finished with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Santos added six points, three assists and three steals, and was praised for his defense against Prout freshman point guard Alexis DelGiudice, "a tough player," Downey said, who was limited to 10 points. Ben Harrison chipped in six points and eight rebounds.
Chariho plays at East Greenwich on Wednesday at 7 p.m.