November 12, 2019

Everyone wins when D-R, Seekonk meet for unified basketball

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DIGHTON - Seekonk and Dighton-Rehoboth met on the basketball court Thursday afternoon, and there were plenty of fast-break layups, jump shots, assists, steals, rebounds, 3-pointers and even some blocked shots.

But more importantly, there were plenty of hugs, high-fives, celebrations, smiles and encouragement.

The Falcons and Warriors met in unified basketball action, and the two teams split the two games with Seekonk winning the first and Dighton-Rehoboth taking the second. Unified sports are an inclusive program that matches students with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team.

So it’s fitting that on an afternoon in which both the Falcons and the Warriors each won a game, that everyone was truly a winner.

“Win, lose or draw, it’s always fun when the kids are out there giving their best effort,” Dighton-Rehoboth coach William Garcia said in the D-R gym after the games. “We got good sportsmanship from both sides. It’s just a fun afternoon. Hopefully the kids learned and had fun.”

“I couldn’t ask ask more of my kids,” Seekonk coach Ben Gibbons said after the game. “They’re great.”

The Warriors won the first game 28-24 and the Falcons prevailed in the second game 34-18.

REPORTERTODAY.COM MVP: On an afternoon in which everyone on the court is an MVP, the honor goes to Seekonk’s Tommy Cordeiro, who led all scorers with 12 points and hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers to turn a 22-22 game into a 28-24 Seekonk win in the first game.

WARRIORS STRIKE FIRST: Seekonk opened the first game on an 8-0 with Eddie Brady scoring the first four points on two jump shots. The Falcons battled back but trailed 18-10 at halftime after Peri hit a shot with two seconds left in the half. D-R came out hot in the second half though with James hitting a jumper and Arnoldo scoring six straight points on three buckets. Baskets from Ben and Amanda knotted the game at 22 before Cordeiro’s run sealed the game for Seekonk.

FALCONS BATTLE BACK: Alexander scored six straight points early in the second game to stake Dighton-Rehoboth to a 14-10 lead with five minutes left in the first half. Darius Saleeba and Madison had the hot hand for the Warriors early in game two, combining for 10 of their first 14 points. The Falcons held a slim 20-18 lead before they exploded to score the game’s final 14 straight points with Mike, William and Theo leading the charge.

BEN GIBBONS: “I thought both of our teams played well. The first team took a good win. The second team didn’t get it done but I thought they did a good job out there.”

WILLIAM GARCIA: “There are some things that we have definitely improved from the first game to now. These kids have done everything we’ve asked of them and they came together as a team. They’ve worked together so well.”

QUICK HITS: This was the regular-season finale for both teams. The Falcons and Warriors will start postseason play next week with the jamboree at Somerset Berkley. … The Warriors won three of the four meetings between the teams this season. … Peri is a good ball-handler for the Falcons, doing a good job as point guard for the first unit. … Darian and Ben showed big hustle on defense for the Falcons, chasing down loose balls and blocking shots. … “Whether we’re winning or losing or going out for fast food after games, we do everything as a team,” Garcia said. … Noah Gaspar and Madison bring the pressure on defense for the Warriors. … Marc Reakes may have had Seekonk’s best defensive play with a steal late in the game and a fast-break layup that missed being a basket by inches. … The games are played with two 15-minute halves with play stopping every five minutes for substitutions. … The crowd was supportive of all the athletes on the floor, but you could tell the game was at D-R with the “DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE” chants coming from the student section when the Warriors had the ball. … Twenty-Seven different athletes scored at least two points in the games. … The Dighton-Rehoboth cheerleaders presented gifts to the Falcons’ 11 seniors before the game. … Garcia wanted to encourage the community to come and check out a unified game. “If they haven’t seen a game they really should come out,” he said. “It might not be your typical basketball game, but they’ll never experience something like this.”

SEEKONK WHITE 38, DIGHTON-REHOBOTH 24
Seekonk White 18 10-28
Dighton-Rehoboth 10 14-24
Seekonk White: Andy Cheng 2, Tommy Cordeiro 12, Eddie Brady 4, Christina Tetreault 2, AJ Stiness 2, Cameron Flores 2, Maria Duggan 2, Kyleigh Sullivan 2.
Dighton-Rehoboth: Arnoldo 8, Amanda 4, James 2, Aaron 6, Peri 2, Ben 2.
3-Point goals: Cordeiro 2

DIGHTON-REHOBOTH 34, SEEKONK BLUE 18
Seekonk Blue 12 2-18
Dighton-Rehoboth 16 18-34
Seekonk Blue: Darius Saleeba 6, Jordan Saleeba 2, Bernie Mallon 4, Madison 6.
Dighton-Rehoboth: Alexander 6, Camden 4, Theo 4, Darrian 2, Daten 2, Ryan 2, William 6, Raymond 2, Mike 6.

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