2013-03-07 / News

North Kingstown teams in state action tomorrow


North Kingstown center Grant Gillis (44) had his best game of the season Sunday, scoring eight points and adding five boards and three blocks. Grant, who stands 6-foot-7, is a Jamestown resident. North Kingstown center Grant Gillis (44) had his best game of the season Sunday, scoring eight points and adding five boards and three blocks. Grant, who stands 6-foot-7, is a Jamestown resident. Last Thursday, with less than a second remaining on the game clock – 0.7 seconds to be precise – the third-seeded North Kingstown Skippers had one foot in the grave. Down 67-65, the Skippers had just moments before squandered two chances to tie the game – they missed both attempts.

The team they were playing – Cranston West – was supposed to be nothing more than a blip on the Skippers’ radar. In their previous two meetings, North Kingstown was 2-0 and outscored the Falcons by 42 points.

After the second shot missed, a scramble for the loose ball was whistled a jump ball. Fortunately for North Kingstown supporters, the possession arrow gave the ball to the Skippers with 1.7 seconds on the clock – but then the refs adjusted the clock. They took a full second away.

The ball was inbounded to Justin Pratt, who heaved up the eventual game-winner from the baseline as time expired. 68-67, North Kingstown.

I didn’t see the game live, but I followed it online. So did our sports reporter, Margo Sullivan. She was logged on to the Providence Journal’s online chat.

“You can’t believe the reaction on chat when Pratt hit the 3,” she said. People were wondering: “N.K. won? How?”

In fact, Margo even reported that one website prematurely reported that Cranston West held on. “In a kind of Dewey beats Truman oops,” she said.

While the first-round game was obviously an edge-of-your-seat contest, the Skippers played like the dominant team they have been all season in their quarterfinal match. They blew out Barrington by 21 points.

Tomorrow night – Friday, March 8 – the Skippers will tip off against Hope in a Final Four matchup at the Ryan Center. The Skippers rolled over Hope earlier in the season, 67-33. Jamestown’s Owen Heath, a 6-foot-5 forward who leads the team in scoring, had a game-high 22 points.

But evidenced by the Skippers first-round game against Cranston West, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. (Sorry about the cliché.)

Go to Kingston and cheer on the Skippers. I’ll be there. And there’s no need to rush home following the game, either. The boys’ varsity hockey team will play its own Final Four matchup – the first game in a bestof three series against Prout – that night at 8 p.m. at URI’s Boss Arena.

See you there.

— Tim Riel

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