SEEKONK, Mass. — Westerly High used a strong defensive effort and balanced scoring to defeat the Wheeler School, 67-48, in a Division II boys basketball game Saturday.

Westerly has won nine straight and moved into second place in the league, trailing only Narragansett.

"We moved the ball well, especially in the second half," Westerly coach Mike Gleason said. "We reversed the ball, made the extra pass and played very unselfish. Everyone on the roster contributed."

Patrick Murphy finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Point guard Jawarie Hamelin added 15 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. He was 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.

"Jawarie played his best all-around game of the year," Gleason said. "He played 29 minutes and had zero turnovers."

Chas Morgan hit a pair of 3-pointers and was 5 of 5 at the line to finish with 11 points.

Wheeler's D.J. Smith, who is averaging about 19 points per game, finished with 14 for the Warriors, including just four in the second half.

"He's a 6-3, All-State-caliber player that can play any position on the floor," Gleason said. "Bereket [Janat] and all our bigs did a good job on him. We were able to make him uncomfortable all day."

Westerly also pressed full court the entire game.

Westerly improved to 15-4 overall and 12-3 in the league. Narragansett leads the standings at 14-2. Wheeler and Portsmouth are both 11-4 with losses to Westerly. Chariho is next at 10-5.

The Bulldogs have three league games remaining — at home against Pilgrim on Tuesday at 7 p.m., at Tiverton on Friday at 7 p.m., and home vs. North Providence on Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

— Keith Kimberlin

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