The Cole Middle School Boys Basketball team went into the playoffs with a better record, 12-2, than its 8-4 opponent, Ferri Middle School of Johnston, but the Lancers had to fight back from an 8-point deficit at the half to secure their 57-55 win at home in the first round Tuesday.
In the final seconds of the game, Cole eighth grader Brian Gemma hit a three-pointer to pull ahead of the Jaguars. He scored once more at the line and Ferri’s final shot bounced off the rim, giving the Lancers the win.
“It was definitely Brian Gemma’s day. He did awesome,” said Cole coach Joe Szymkowicz afterwards. “He shoots a lot. Other coaches might yell and scream at him but he can shoot all day as far as I’m concerned because he doesn’t miss when it counts.
“It was just a good team effort. The kids didn’t quit, which I was impressed with,” he said. He said the Oh twins, Matt and Tommy, also had a strong game.
Ferri coach Dan Mazzulla said it was a very good game.
“They were higher-seeded than we were. They played a very good game,” he said of the Cole team. “They were a little more relentless than we were. We got a little lazy, relaxed the discipline down the stretch. And that comes with experience.”
Of Cole, he said, “I think their experience really pushed them over the hump.”
The Lancers play again on Thursday. Check back with EG Patch for details.