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No. 11 Knights down No. 14 ranked Massasoit 84-75!
The No. 11 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the No. 14 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) Warriors of Massasoit Community College from Brockton, MA in a Region XXI showdown at the Cullen Fieldhouse. The Knights defeated the Warriors 84-75. With the victory the Knights improve to 22-4 on the season 9-1 in Region XXI play and 3-0 in Division II Region XXI (their league). Also by winning the Knights earn the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region XXI Tournament to be held at CCRI the weekend of March 3rd and 4th. The game was taped by Cox Sports 3 and will air on Thursday February 16th at 7:00pm on Channel on Cox Cable and 1003 on Cox Digital Cable.
Massasoit scored first making the score 3-0, the Knights answered with two quick baskets to take a 4-3 lead and never trailed again. However, the game was not without drama. The Knights were able to extend their lead to 16 points with the score 40-24 with about five minutes left in the half. The Warriors cut the lead to 11 points 44-33 by halftime. In the second half the Knights found themselves in foul trouble with three of their starters: Roger Livramento (Central Falls, RI), Desmond Williams (Torrington, CT), and Jeff Schmeltz (Burrillville, RI) all had four fouls with over 13 minutes left in the half. This allowed the Warriors to chip away at the Knights lead and get it under 10 points in the final 10 minutes. In addition with about a little over six minutes left the Knights’ fourth starter Trevor Mabry (Norwich, CT) also picked-up his fourth foul and then his fifth shortly after. However the Knights showed great composure to gut out the victory versus a very tough regional opponent. Down the stretch the Knights got key steals from Bryan Yarce (Cranston, RI) and Keith Lackerson (Brooklyn, NY) along with a clutch 3-pointer from Desmond Williams to help secure the 84-75 victory and No.1 seed in the Region XXI Tournament.
Leading the way for the Knights was point guard Bryan Yarce who had his best game as a CCRI Knight scoring a career-high 17 points and registering another career-high with 13 assists while swiping seven steals from the Warriors and running the Knights’ offense perfectly without a turnover. Yarce was helped by All-America candidate Desmond Williams who scored a team-high 20 points, including three 3-pointers, while adding three steals, three assists and four rebounds. Also having a big night for CCRI was their frontcourt led by Roger Livramento charting his 10thdouble-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds with two steals and two blocked shots and Trevor Mabry added 12 points and eight rebounds. Rounding out the Knights’ attack was Isaac Medeiros (Johnston, RI) who added eight points and seven rebounds and Keith Lackerson who scored six points with four assists and two steals off the bench for the Knights. Massasoit’s Ravon Dunbar led all scorers with 29 points.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented after the big victory: “Very pleased watching and coaching our team this evening. Our team chemistry has been outstanding as evident by our 24 assists and just 10 turnovers. Our discipline and composure were truly keys to this victory. We will continue to try and get a little better each day. At the same time I am trying to enjoy this team and our practices and games, as the group is becoming a very special one.”
The Knights are back in action Saturday when they will host the Buccaneers of Mass Bay Community College from Wellesley Hills, MA at 3:00pm.