PAWTUCKET — Shea High played dictator during Tuesday night’s Division II romp over Narragansett. The Raiders dictated how the game would be played and the Mariners followed along, usually a step too slow to keep up with the talented and speedy home team.
Sparked by Eli Itkin’s career-high 24 points, and a virtuoso performance by point guard Jordy Brito (18 points, 8 assists), the Raiders romped to a 71-48 victory that improved them to 6-2 in Division II-Central.
Shea played an up-tempo game in the first half while building a 45-34 lead. Then the Raiders slowed it down in the second half and still controlled the contest.
“We ran our offense extremely well,” Shea coach Matt Pita said afterwards. “We wanted to execute our offense, play good defense, and play smart. That was our game plan and we followed it well.”
The first half played at an NBA tempo as Brito tossed in 16 of his 18 points, including four threes that had Narragansett coach David Gee sighing in despair as those bombs dropped through the net. Itkin didn’t help Gee’s disposition, either, scoring 13 of his points in the first half and nailing three from afar.
“Eli had a career game,” Pita said, looking at his stat sheet. “He had eight rebounds to go with 24 points. Not bad for a guard.”
Shea’s high-scoring Kenric Carter settled for two points in the first half while Brito and Itkin lit it up. Carter then came back to score 10 after intermission, several on sweet passes from Brito, who has a knack for hitting open men, putting the ball in the right place for them to go to the hoop.
“If we had another point guard, I think Jordy could score a lot of points as a shooting guard for us,” Pita remarked.
Narragansett tried to run with the Raiders in the first half and stayed close for six minutes, trailing only 21-18 before Shea took off on a 17-2 run. Brito started the surge with a pair of threes as Gee yelled “shooter” every time Jordy got the ball in an open area of the floor.
Brito can create his own shot off the dribble, or he can pass the ball to a cutting teammate. Shea’s entire starting five seems to look for each other, trying to hit the man cutting to the basket, especially on fast-breaks.
“We’re balanced, and when we share the ball, it’s fun to watch,” Pita said.
It was just Itkin and Brito who did the damage in the first half. Forward Tito DoCouto did some damage under the boards while finishing with 11 points on the night. Malcolm Rosa, Chris Mainville and Christian Mainville played tough defense, harassing the Mariners into 18 turnovers.
Shea finished with just four turnovers on the night.
Narragansett, after failing behind 38-20, went on a 12-4 run of its own late in the first half to cut its deficit to 42-32 in the final minute, only to see Brito rain his fourth three-point field goal of the half in the Mariners’ faces.
The second half turned into a slow-down clinic for the Raiders, who put Carter on the left baseline and watched him catch the ball and drive to the hoop for three early baskets. Shea began the half with a 13-2 surge that made it a 58-36 game with 10 minutes left.
Narragansett’s Zach McKanna, a smooth shooter, collected 11 of his team-high 15 points in the second half.
Shea will visit Chariho, which was 2-5 heading into Tuesday’s action, on Friday night.