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Here's why a coin flip will decide the top seed in the Div. II girls basketball playoffs

WOONSOCKET — Mount Saint Charles girls basketball knew early that this was a special team.

But to start the New Year, the Mounties were defeated on the road at Division II contender Chariho. Their first league loss of the season occurred just three games into the year and maybe the Mounties were not the team they thought they were.

“We knew this game was going to be challenging,” Mounties guard Addison Johnson said. “But we knew if we stay together, play together, played tough defense that turned into offense, we could win. Last time we played them, we just didn't play as tough as we could.”

The Mounties surrendered an early lead but seized an overtime, 53-51 triumph on Wednesday night as Mount St. Charles and Chariho finished with identical 15-3 records. The head-to-head and best-win tiebreakers also match, leaving just one option to decide the third and fourth seeds in the division — a coin flip.

“We did the math; we knew it was going to come down to a coin flip,” Mounties’ senior Emma Roberts said.

“If it comes down to three or four [seed], we don't care. We just wanted to get this win.”

Mount St. Charles forward Masha Solovian, right, reaches in to help teammate Brooke Hogan as she holds fast to a loose ball while Chariho forward Jules White tries to wrestle it away from her in the first half.
Mount St. Charles forward Masha Solovian, right, reaches in to help teammate Brooke Hogan as she holds fast to a loose ball while Chariho forward Jules White tries to wrestle it away from her in the first half.

Here's more on how Mount Saint Charles forced the coin flip and the Division II girls basketball seedings:

Johnson flies coast-to-coast

Trailing, 46-44, with 9.6 seconds left in regulation, Johnson took the in-bounds and raced end-to-end for a finish in the lane before the horn. The sophomore finished with 20 points, including a 3-pointer in the extra frame that pushed the Mounties’ advantage to four with a minute left.

“I knew that we just needed another basket to tie and I had limited time,” Johnson said of the game-tying attempt. “I saw an opening in the paint and I just took it in.”

Mount St. Charles guard Addison Johnson is fouled by Chariho defender Tori Babineau as she tries to thread her way between Babineau and Brianna DeGiacomo on her way to the basket in the first half.
Mount St. Charles guard Addison Johnson is fouled by Chariho defender Tori Babineau as she tries to thread her way between Babineau and Brianna DeGiacomo on her way to the basket in the first half.

In overtime, Chariho took a 47-46 lead on Tori Babineau’s free throw. But MSC seized the advantage for good after a pair of makes at the line by Roberts (11 points). Johnson’s game-sealing three was made nearly 30 seconds later.

“She's a next-level kid and you're lucky to have a next-level kid at the point guard position, which is the most important position to me,” Mount St. Charles coach Edward Cunanan said of Johnson. “And what a big shot and a clutch moment. She's showed what she's made of.

“She's got so much talent and more developing to come. She's definitely a great player for us, but she's also a good point guard. She gets us the ball and we have some really good talented girls on this team.”

Related: What did Portsmouth girls basketball accomplish for the first time in 8 years?

Babineau finished with 11 points and Emily Ballard had 16 for the Chargers, who led by seven late in regulation.

“We beat some really good teams and then we had some setbacks against some other teams,” Cunanan said. “So we were really looking for us to play better in a big moment and that's exactly what I saw today.”

Division II playoff picture

Undefeated Moses Brown and second-seeded Pawtucket are locked in at the first two spots, which leaves the coin flip to decide who could potentially face the Quakers in the Final Four.

Moses Brown has scored nearly 60 points per game this year while holding opponents to just 30. The Quakers knocked off Mount St. Charles and Chariho by double-digit margins. Pawtucket also dropped a 17-point decision to Moses Brown at the beginning of the season.

West Warwick, the defending champions, and Smithfield both have double-digit win totals this season.

“Playoffs is a whole new season," Roberts said, "and records don't matter anymore.”

jrousseau@providencejournal.com

On X: @ByJacobRousseau

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Coin flip to decide Division II RIIL girls basketball seedings