In the end, North Smithfield would not be denied a perfect season, beating East Greenwich in the Division III Boys Basketball final 66-55, and improving their unbeaten streak to 24 games. Senior Cody L'Heureux scored 29 points for the Northmen.
But East Greenwich didn't go down easily, despite having to play catchup the entire game.
Seniors David Hopkins and Ryan Gavin led scoring for the Avengers, with 18 points and 14 points respectively.
The Avengers got to the D III final after a couple of great wins over, first, Mount Hope and then Middletown, after going 14-4 in the regular season.
"I’m so proud of my kids for their effort and respect they gave me all year," said Matt Records, who took over as coach for EG this season.
Records acknowledged the difficulty posed by the Northmens' strong start even after EG narrowed the point gap in the second half.
"I wasn’t anticipating them knocking down those kinds of perimeter shots early in the game. In hindsight, I wish I’d started in man and not zone. But we battled. We just didn’t execute enough offensively, we dropped a lot of passes, we turned the ball over too much. We just got beat on the defensive boards just a little too much," Records said.
"We were against the top of that mountain, we just couldn’t get to that peak. We had to exert so much energy to get back into it."
Records added, "We didn’t really have a third double-digit scorer tonight.… You’re not going to beat North Smithfield without a third double-digit scorer. You need a fourth double-digit scorer against a team like this. We just didn’t have it tonight."
"Coach prepared us for moments like this," said Hopkins. "It was a fun season. I was excited we made it this far. We definitely battled and the whole season we battled."
"They weren’t missing that much and we couldn’t get stops on defense," said Gavin. "But we worked hard all season so it’s hard to come up short, but it’s a good season."