BY CHARLIE ADAMS, TSM LEAD WRITER
(Cranston, RI) - Win or go home against the best team in the state? We went home. With a playoff bid hanging in the balance, the first ninety seconds seemingly told you everything you needed to know: nine Hendricken points in ninety seconds, aided by mistakes from a Thunderbolts team that didn’t seem interested in making playoffs. However, a comeback was to be had and, while they never climbed all the way back, they never gave up. The Hawks stayed ahead throughout the entire game, winning 73-50.
Cranston East was led by Naz Milien recording 23 points in his final game as a Thunderbolt. Delwin Montan was the only other Bolt in double-figures with 10 points.
Naz Milien recorded 5 points for the ‘Bolts in the first quarter, but needless turnovers and rebounding trouble allowed the Hawks to lead 24-9 early. The inside presence of Hawk David Lynch gave the Bolts huge issues, as Lynch dominated the boards and with shots from paint, scoring a quick eight points to put East in an early hole.
The Thunderbolts had a much needed resurgence in the second quarter. Will Outar and Montan played well, recording 6 points each. The score sat at 38-26 as they split the lead in half, with a half to go.
Cranston East treaded water for the third quarter. Despite coming within 6 points of Hendricken’s lead, they finished down double digits once again. Milien recorded 8 points in the quarter, but the ‘Bolts still trailed 56-40.
The ‘Bolts mustered 10 points in the fourth quarter, but it was never going to be enough. Their season ends to the Hawks, 73-50.
The ‘Bolts finish their season 4-14 in league play, and 7-14 overall. There is no chance for postseason play. They will have to look toward next season to hopefully improve their record and break into the playoffs although, with so many graduating players, that could prove to be a challenge.
SEASON WRAP-UP NOTES
Cranston East finishes 7-14 overall, 4-14 in Division I
Two-year overall record of 13-30, 7-29 in Division I
Naz Milien finishes with 20.4 ppg scoring average in 2022-23, 16.7 ppg over two-year varsity career
Delwin Montan only other Thunderbolt to average double-figures in scoring with 11.3 ppg
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