By ALEX SPONSELLER
The CCRI men’s basketball team wrapped up its season last week when it traveled to Illinois to compete in the NJCAA National Tournament. CCRI would go 1-2 across three …
By ALEX SPONSELLER
The CCRI men’s basketball team wrapped up its season last week when it traveled to Illinois to compete in the NJCAA National Tournament. CCRI would go 1-2 across three days and finish sixth overall out of the 12 squads that qualified.
The Knights fell in the opening game to Dallas Eastfield 93-74. Sophomore captain Mitchel Noresca led CCRI with a double-double, including 26 points and 12 rebounds. Theo Jadotte added 18 points and 18 rebounds in the loss.
The Knights would rebound the following day to collect a 83-82 win over Joliet. Noresca led the way once again with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while RJ Pina scored 13 points, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter.
CCRI fell to No. 1 seed Riverland 76-75 in the final game it played. Despite clawing its way back from an early deficit, CCRI was unable to complete the comeback bid. Pina led CCRI with 22 points while Jadotte scored 19 points and 14 rebounds.
“That was one of our goals – to get to the national tournament and to win a championship. After the first game against Eastfield, they were down, we felt as though we were able to compete for a championship. It was a combination of things, we couldn’t get our feet going and we weren’t playing our best basketball. You have to bring you’re A game throughout the entire tournament. We went into the Joliet game fresh which was amazing. They were up for it and had a great game, then the last game we were in it until the very end,” said CCRI coach Rick Harris.
Despite the loss, the team enjoyed one of its best seasons ever as a program. The Knights finished with a 23-5 overall record and a 20-1 record in the conference. The Knights also picked up their 20th district win in program history.
“The kids were fine with it, they gave everything that they had. We improved from the beginning of the year to the end. They had a lot of good times, great memories, won our 20th regional championship in the history of the school. They made the school and the community proud. You hate to lose the last game, but they were satisfied with the season, it was successful,” said Harris.
Harris was also to see the team get well-balanced contributions throughout the tournament.
“It was great to see them play well. RJ stepped up and hit the game-winner against Joliet, then he had a nice game in the finals as well. Theo Jadotte had a great tournament; Michael Harris stepped up big off the bench. It was nice to see a lot of different people contribute. Levi King had a nice tournament, Luke Fusaro. We have our twin towers in Mitchel and Theo so to see the other guys step up was good to see,” said Harris.
Cranston native Michael Harris also took off down the stretch, becoming a key piece off the bench late in the season and putting up 11 points in the win against Joliet.
“He started playing a little looser. He has always been someone who could shoot the basketball and we needed some offense, especially from the perimeter. I think he just loosened up, took what the defense gave him and started hunting down his shot,” said Rick Harris.
Overall, CCRI is set to return a few core members of the team with a couple more undecided. Whether it is at CCRI or elsewhere, Rick Harris believes the experience will pay dividends for the players moving forward.
“For the guys that come back and even for those that don’t, do be one of the final 12 teams playing is a huge accomplishment. The kids had to feel good about themselves, it’s not easy to get there,” said Rick Harris.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here