WOOD RIVER JCT. — Chariho High's boys basketball team had hopes of playing for a Division II title this season.

After posting a 14-4 league record and contending with every team in the league, it was certainly a reasonable expectation.

But fifth-seeded St. Raphael Academy has some title aspirations of its own.

The Saints made some big plays on both ends of the floor and turned back the No. 4 Chargers, 73-69, in overtime Monday night.

"It was a great high school basketball game, a great environment, but I feel for those guys in the locker room because they wanted to play a little bit more," Chariho coach Corey Downey said after the loss.

Chariho (17-6) overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Chariho's Jeremiah Graham was immense in the final quarter, scoring 15 of his 27 points with three 3-pointers. He also finished with seven rebounds in the game, five of them on the offensive end.

"He's just a great kid that works hard. He just willed us to overtime," Downey said.

Graham banked in a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to tie the game at 63. St. Ray's called timeout with seven seconds left, but missed a shot around the basket as regulation ended.

In overtime, Chariho scored first on a Graham basket to lead 65-63. But St. Ray's scored the next eight points — capped by a huge step-back 3-pointer by Niyo White — to lead 71-65 with 40 seconds remaining.

When St. Ray's was making its run, Chariho missed three shots, had a turnover and a shot-clock violation.

The Saints came out in a 2-3 zone to start overtime. They did play some zone throughout the game, but mostly used a man-to-man defense.

"We called it 25," St. Ray's coach Ruben Garces said. "The one in the middle is floating and we are trapping on the sideline below the free-throw line. We are trying to get the shot clock to go down and alternate things a little bit."

The Saints were able to achieve both of those goals in overtime.

Chariho did pull within four, 71-67, on a pair of free throws by Mason Cabida with 25 seconds left.

St. Ray's guard Jayden Cardoza, who led his team with 28 points, followed by making a free throw with 19 seconds remaining to make it 72-67.

Cabida added two more free throws with 11 ticks left to make it 72-69. But the Chargers were forced to foul, and Cardoza's free throw with 10 seconds left sealed it.

"Chariho is a great team. It could have gone either way," Garces said. "I can't tell you we were better because we weren't. We might have had some breaks that they didn't and I think that was the difference.

"At the end we made some plays on offense and defense, and for some reason the ball came our way."

Garces said the Saints did not want Graham to become a playmaker like he was when the Chargers defeated them, 55-43, during the regular season.

"That's how they beat us," Garces said. "He had like 12 assists and today it was two or three. We didn't do it to perfection, but we did it well enough."

Graham finished with two assists.

Chariho senior point guard Chris Niziolek scored 12 points, but fouled out with 3:48 left in regulation battling for a loose ball on a rebound. Starters Chris Kozlosky and Riley Reed fouled out in overtime.

"We gave up too many second-chance opportunities," Downey said. "There were possessions where they had three, four opportunities and that puts pressure on individual guys not to pick up fouls when we are trying to scrap and scrap."

Chariho led 20-8 after one quarter, but the Saints outscored the Chargers 20-11 in the second to only trail by three, 31-28, at the half.

"We were up 27-17 and we turned the ball over a little bit and instead of a 10-point lead it was a three-point lead at the half, and I thought that was a big sequence," Downey said.

Kyle McGovern added 11 points and four rebounds for the Chargers.

Only four players scored for the Saints. Ethan McCann-Carter had 16 points, and Moses Meus 14. Both of them are headed to the University of Rhode Island to play football.

St. Ray's (17-5) has won 10 in row and gone 16-2 after starting the season 1-3. The Saints will play No. 1 Johnston or No. 8 Burrillville in the semifinals on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Ponaganset. Johnston and Burrillville play on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Chariho is assured of a spot in the state tournament that starts on March 2.

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