After rolling to a perfect 14-0 regular season as the state’s most dominant club, the Warwick Vets girls basketball team was stunned by visiting Gaudet 45-37 in the quarterfinals of the RIPCOA Playoffs last week.
Vets never led in the game and was unable to tie the score once Gaudet scored first. The Hurricanes trailed by six points going into the halftime break after going on a small run in the final minutes of the second quarter.
However, Gaudet would continue to play stifling defense and come up with key shots down the stretch to hold off the Vets attack and pull off the shocking victory.
“They beat us. They pressed us all game. We had (four kids) coming off the flu, you could see them leaning over, coughing, we had another kid that rolled her ankle and was on crutches, it was tough. No excuses though, they came in and executed their gameplan. Their shots fell, ours didn’t, and sometimes that happens. We ran into a team that was just as good as us, if not better, and they beat us tonight,” said Vets coach Rich Hough after the loss.
Amelia Polichetti led the Hurricanes with 16 points scored while Armani Rivera added 14 and Hailey Maher seven.
Despite the loss, Hough was proud of his club’s effort when dealing with adversity.
“I told them, ‘you left everything on the floor,’ which they did, they battled. But Gaudet made their free throws and we didn’t, they boxed us out, they rebounded, it was a good game. It is what it is,” said Hough, who also felt confident in the Hurricanes heading into the halftime break. “We felt great at half being down six. I told them, ‘we’ve got this game.’ We had not really played from behind much this year and some of that may have been our division. We had not been pressed by a team that much all year, they probably knew that coming in. That takes a toll on you.”
As Vets prepares to graduate its large eighth grade core to high school, Hough will always remember this team for what it accomplished this winter season.
“It’s still the best team that I have ever coached. Our goal was to go undefeated in the regular season and we did, then it was to win the division and we did, then it was to make the semis and finals and unfortunately, we came up short,” said Hough. “That doesn’t change how I feel about this group though, I would take that same 16 girls again next year if I could. I have all the respect in the world for each one of them.”