The No. 7 Bay View girls basketball team continued its Cinderella run this postseason when it traveled to No. 6 Cranston West and held off the Falcons for the 60-51 win to advance to the Division I …
The No. 7 Bay View girls basketball team continued its Cinderella run this postseason when it traveled to No. 6 Cranston West and held off the Falcons for the 60-51 win to advance to the Division I Finals.
The Bengals jumped out to a dominant first quarter where they took a 23-7 lead heading into the second quarter. The Falcons, though, continued to chip at the lead and would eventually tie the score at 38-38 late in the third quarter after Maylina Cotto-Santiago drilled three 3-pointers in the period.
Although West had regained the momentum heading into the fourth quarter, Bay View standout Ahtiana Benway would hit pivotal shots in the final frame to hold off the West attack and help Bay View secure the win.
A change in defensive approach helped West get back into the game down the stretch, as the Falcons used its press defense which has been a staple of their game plans in the past few matchups.
“We started to put the press on, we probably should have put the press on a little earlier in the game since our man (defense) would have kept them at bay and contained them. When we came out in the second half and pressed them, it helped us out a bit and gave us some intensity,” said
West coach Nerson Santiago.
Benway finished the game with 20 points and five 3’s while Bay View forward Siera Baptista led all scorers with 22 points scored.
“You can’t leave that shooter wide open. (Benway’s) a sniper on the perimeter, you can’t leave her open or else she will shoot your lights out. We also couldn’t get any boards on (Baptista) down below. She was killing us on the boards all night long. We had to box out and rebound better,” said Santiago.
Catherine Albizu led West with 16 points while Cotto-Santiago finished with 12 and Maddie Alves 11.
Santiago has been excited to see Cotto-Santiago’s breakout as of late, especially considering she is a junior with another year of varsity work ahead of her.
“We’re going to put the work in this offseason, she’ll be ready. We’ll do the AAU circuit all over the country this spring so when she comes back we’ll be ready to go,” said Santiago.
Despite the loss, the Falcons qualified for the state tournament and will be traveling to take on Rogers in the opening round.
Santiago hopes to see his club rebound and get back to work for the next leg of the season.
“We just got to get back to the gym and work hard, do what we do,” Santiago said.
“We just need to come together with some good energy, come in and support each other. We’ll be (a force) to be reckoned with at states.”
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