Familiar foes in the Division I girls’ basketball suggest that a heck of a fight between No. 1 La Salle and No. 3 Barrington might be in store for the state title.
Tip-off is at 4 p.m. at the Ryan Center, on the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus. We will be hosting a live chat for the game.
While the Rams (20-4, 17-1 Division I-North) are the tournament’s top seed, their lone loss this year was to Barrington (22-2, 16-2 Division I-Central). On Jan. 16, the Eagles beat La Salle 51-41 at Barrington High School in the lone regular season game between the two.
The rest of the year, La Salle outscored its Division I opponents by 385 points – an average of 21 points per game. After a bye in the preliminary round, the Rams beat South Kingstown 57-42 in the quarterfinals and Westerly 47-37 in the semifinals.
Somewhat ironically, La Salle also features three Barrington residents on its roster. Forward Priscilla Dunphy is a starter for the Rams and a major offensive option, while Ainsley and Michaela Burns provided bench depth.
However, La Salle will get most of its offense via defensive pressure from Davida Dale, and in the post from Coventry’s Alyssa Jacolucci. Dale is a Division I talent and just a sophomore, and splits time in a guard rotation with Wakefield’s Carmen Russo and Mikayla Murphy.
The overall depth of the Rams is stunning. While La Salle might lack the high-end, NCAA Division I talent it has had in past years, the Rams easily go about 10-deep in terms of Rhode Island Division I capable talent.
While the Eagles probably don’t have the depth of the Rams, they do arguably have as much, or even more, top-flight talent. Leading scorer Caitlyn Nolan is a commit for Division III Colby College. Junior Maura Kelty was a Providence Journal All-State Second Team selection in 2012, with Maggie O’Hayer named to Third Team for Division I-North in 2012.
Regardless of who wins, this isn’t the first time at the dance for either team, especially La Salle.
The Rams have nine state titles in girls’ basketball, including eight in the past 11 years, with one runner-up berth in that time span. Dating back to 1999, La Salle has not had a losing season.
Barrington won state titles in 1970 and 1971, prior to the establishment of the RIIL. Since then, the Eagles have not had a state title game appearance.
However, Barrington won Division II titles in 2007 and 2008, and were D-II runners-up in 2004, 2006 and 2009. The Eagles moved up to Division I for the 2009-10 season, and while this is their first title game appearance, the Eagles had an undefeated regular season in 2011 and have posted a gaudy .841 winning percentage in four years.
LA SALLE ROSTER
|Carmen J. Russo||Wakefield|
|Ashlynne F. Messier||Providence|
|Tatiana M. Golditch||Cranston|
|Mikayla E. Murphy||South Attleboro|
|Molly Kelly||East Providence|
|Alexandra N. Folgo||North Providence|
|Kendall A. McCartney||North Kingstown|
|Ainsley E. Burns||Barrington|
|Michaela L. Burns||Barrington|
|Alyssa M. Jacolucci||Coventry|
|Priscilla C. Dunphy||Barrington|
|Isabella D. Folgo||North Providence|
|Audrey F. Herberger||East Greenwich|
|Sarah N. Middleton|
|Kimberly A. Hoyt|
|Maeve I. Gaffney|
|Kelly M. Thayer|
|Caroline C. Coleman|
|Katherine H. Clancy|
|Hannah J. Demers|
|Caitlyn G. Nolan|
|Amanda F. Andsager|
|Stephanie E. Ellicott|
|Annabelle M. Iserson|
|Olivia C. Jannetta|
|Grecia E. Restituyo|