WOOD RIVER JCT. — Chariho High and Tiverton have played twice this season and each time the game has played out in nearly identical fashion.
Fortunately for the Chargers, they emerged with victories both times, including Friday's 64-57 win against the Tigers in a preliminary-round game of the Division II girls basketball tournament.
On Feb. 17, the two teams were tied at 50 when Chariho (12-10) closed the game with a 15-5 run to earn the victory.
On Friday night, the game was tied at 52 with just over five minutes left. Chariho closed the game with a 12-5 run to post the win. Tiverton had just two field goals in the final six minutes.
The No. 8 Chargers now travel to Scituate on Monday to face the top-seeded Spartans in a quarterfinal-round game at 7 p.m.
In the final five minutes, Shelby Roode went 4 for 4 from the line and scored on a putback. Her two free throws with 25.1 seconds left put the Chargers up 64-57.
Roode finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
"We did a good job of keeping ourselves up and helping each other out," Roode said of Chariho's play in the later stages.
Roode said she tried to focus on playing and while disregarding the moment.
"Honestly, when I don't think, I feel like I do better. So I try not to think about anything," Roode said. "I just took a deep breath and did the best I could."
Kate Powers, the team's lone senior playing her final home game, was immense. She finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds and was constantly battling for loose balls and playing physical inside throughout the game.
She said the Chargers did a better job of limiting turnovers as the second half progressed.
"When we came out in the second half, we seemed panicked with the ball," Powers said. "We realized we have to value the ball — coach always tells us we need to value the ball — and we then just kind of mentally checked into the game."
Sophomore Eliah King, who finished with six points and seven rebounds, had two big blocks as time was winding down.
Chariho led 62-57 when King blocked a shot in the lane with 1:01 left. She also blocked another in the final 25 seconds when the Tigers still had a slim chance.
The ninth-seeded Tigers (10-10) employed a full-court, man-to-man press for a good portion of the game. It enabled them to build a 10-point lead, 26-16, with 7:33 left in the half. They were able to create turnovers for easy opportunities.
Tiverton junior guard Mariah Ramos scored 16 of her 23 points in the first half.
Chariho then abandoned its zone defense and went to a man-to-man.
"I think going to man was a big difference," Chariho coach Chris Piasczyk said. "We were having a hard time getting over the screens in our zone and getting out on Ramos. When we were in man, we were able to get the ball out of her hands a little bit. But she still had 23."
After the defensive change the Chargers went on a 12-0 turn to take a 28-26 lead. Powers had seven points in the spurt. The Chargers still trailed at the half, 33-30.
Tiverton opened the second half by outscoring the Chargers 8-1 to take a 10-point lead, 41-31.
"We didn't collapse when they were up 10. We sucked it up and battled our way back," Piasczyk said. "I can't say enough about the growth of Shelby and Kate [Willett] over the course of the season. They have grown as players and are now able to assist Spencer [Shiels] get the ball up the court and break the press. That was big tonight."
Shiels finished with 12 points and five assists.
Powers increased her career points total to 1,255, third among the five girls who have exceeded 1,000. She thought about playing her final home game before the contest.
"Before the game I kind of took it in. I was like, 'OK, this will be my last time getting dressed before a game here, the last time getting my hair braided,' all that stuff. I just wanted to come out, be strong and help our team win," she said.