Archive - 2011 - Sports Article
CUMBERLAND â€” In states where wrestling holds a prominent place in the high school sports winter season -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Iowa come to mind â€“ people flock to big dual-meets in large numbers. When two unbeaten teams meet, fans and coaches and former wrestlers fill the stands, contributing to a raucous setting not often seen in Rhode Island.
PROVIDENCE â€” The country got up close with the nether regions of the Big East Conference on Thursday night.
In a nationally-televised contest involving two teams just trying to stay afloat in a Top-25 dominated lead, DePaul held on for 79-76 win over the Providence College Friars before 5,021 disappointed fans at The Dunk.
PC trailed 77-76 with seven seconds remaining when Gerard Coleman had a pass broken up in the lane by DePaulâ€™s Jeremiah Kelly, who hit two free throws with less than a second remaining to secure the win.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman High demonstrated the proper way to head into the postseason, dispatching of Ponaganset High, 71-44, Wednesday afternoon at the Donaldson Memorial Gymnasium.
PAWTUCKET â€” As is normally the case, Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine uses â€śSenior Nightâ€ť as a chance to shine the light on those seniors who normally take a backseat to more acclaimed teammates. For Newon Sendolo, Franklin Batista, Ben Pillsbury, Austin Hill and Calvin Contreras, that meant a chance to make a rare start, doing so with playoff position hanging in the balance against perennial power Bishop Hendricken.
CUMBERLAND â€” The Cumberland High wrestling program runs as deep as the roots head coach Steve Gordon has nurtured in this town since moving here nearly 50 years ago.
The Clippers finished their second straight undefeated dual-meet season on Wednesday night with a 37-20 spanking of equally unbeaten Warwick Veterans, which was the favored team heading into this showdown between Division Iâ€™s two elite squads.
CUMBERLAND -- Tonight marks the beginning of the best 10-day stretch in Rhode Island wrestling this year. It starts with a battle between two unbeaten high school programs. Defending state champion Cumberland will host 2010 runnerup Warwick Veterans tonight at The Wellness Center with the regular season dual-meet title at stake.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman High faces a serious challenge in its final four regular season games, meeting a 12-1-0 Johnston/North Providence team and a defensive-oriented East Providence (6-5-0) team that sits right behind the Tigers in the Division III standings. Tolman (8-4-0) faces both contenders twice.
â€śWeâ€™ve lost two games to Mount Hope (10-2-1) and twice to Cranston East (8-3-1),â€ť Tolman coach Steve Reynolds pointed out. â€śWeâ€™ve beat the teams we should have beat but now we have to finish our season against two good playoff teams.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” After dodging knockout punches for most of the night, Shea delivered one of its own in overtime during its showdown with Central Falls on Monday night.
Junior guard and tri-captain Malik Moody scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the four-minute OT session to help the Raiders grab a 64-58 win over their neighboring foes before a packed house at â€śThe Cageâ€ť in the two sidesâ€™ Division II regular-season finale.
Thereâ€™s never too little to write about when it comes to the Blackstone Valley region and the indoor track & field state championships.
This weekendâ€™s meet, however, may border on the ridiculous. In fact, when it comes to its conclusion roughly four hours after its early 10 oâ€™clock start on Saturday morning, thereâ€™s a good chance Iâ€™ll develop a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Based on their last two games, it seems St. Raphael Academy and North Smithfield are two evenly matched hockey teams.
The Saints avenged a 5-3 loss to the Northmen two weekends ago with a 5-4 victory on Saturday night at Lynch Arena. SRA improved to 3-11 in Division II-North with the win while the Northmen fell to 3-12. Neither team will qualify for the playoffs.
PAWTUCKET â€“ After a close first half with Division II-North rival Lincoln High on Friday night, Tolman after the break and cruised to a 64-37 win on Senior Night at the Donaldson Gymnasium.
The Tigers held a scant 23-21 lead over the Lions at halftime. Spurred by a strong bench and senior teammates Eli Wiggins and Jeremy Graca, Tolman essentially put the game out of reach by opening the latter half with a dominating 22-6 run.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine will be the first to inform you that his St. Raphael club has been struggling lately, particularly on the defensive end. His concerns reflect the recent turn of events, as SRA entered Fridayâ€™s clash with playoff-starved East Providence High in fourth place in the Division I standings after beginning the week in first.
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ The moment has been building towards this crescendo of curiosity. After all, when the interview subject is articulating freely about his high jump prowess and is standing roughly 100 feet away from a basket in the school gym, inquisitive minds yearn.
Can you, Steven Vazquez, dunk a basketball?
â€śYes I can, yes I can,â€ť laughs the junior from Central Falls High, an expression that suggested he knew the question was coming. â€śThe first time I dunked was when I was in eighth grade. It was all of a sudden, coming during gym class. Easily with two hands or one hand.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ Point, meet counterpoint.
In keeping with the spirit of an article that ran in this newspaper on Dec. 14 â€“â€śCould Donaldson, Lynch tourneys be merged?â€ť â€“ Tolman High athletic director John Scanlon earlier this week unveiled a detailed plan of a Blackstone Valley-themed preseason boysâ€™ basketball tournament. The names â€“ the James W. Donaldson Memorial Tournament and the Dennis M. Lynch Tournament â€“ would still be kept, albeit with several interesting caveats.
PAWTUCKET â€” â€śWhat doesnâ€™t kill you makes you stronger.â€ť
St. Raphael Academy is bent on turning one of Nietzscheâ€™s most memorable quotes into a rallying cry, head coach Fred Saunders hopeful that it pays off in the form of a playoff berth. That figures to be a tall order considering the Saints no longer have leading scorer Diandra DaRosa in the fold, but as Saunders noted after a gutsy 38-34 win over a green Ponaganset squad Wednesday night, the show must still go on for St. Raphael.
WARWICK â€” Cumberland and Hendricken looked like they were in a hurry to get home and study when they met in a battle of unbeaten Division I powers on Wednesday night.
In a dual-meet that barely lasted 40 minutes, Cumberland rode eight pins and a major decision victory to a 52-30 victory over the Hawks.
Cumberland and Warwick Veterans are now the lone remaining unbeaten squads in Division I. The Clippers will host the Hurricanes next Wednesday night in a meet that should decide the dual-meet champion.
WOONSOCKET â€“ In her freshman year of high school swimming last winter for Cumberland High, all Courtney Kent did was win a state title. Kent shocked the field by capturing the 500-yard freestyle with an impressive time of 5 minutes, 6.45 seconds at the Tootel Aquatic Center at URI.
What does the tenth-grader expect to do for the encore?
How about cop two individual titles at the Feb. 19 state championship and possibly break a state record by a certain U.S. Olympian, who makes Rhode Island her home.
Some things I think I think:
It was nice to see North Smithfieldâ€™s Corinne Coia gain some local recognition for her productive basketball career at Lincoln School. The 6-foot-4 senior, who has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Rhode Island, scored 25 points on Monday night and now has 1,019 points in her career. She passed 1,000 career rebounds earlier this season.
PAWTUCKET â€” By definition a turning point is a critical juncture marked by a very significant change.
Some high school hoop-related tidbits to pass along â€¦
You could say the three divisional tournaments in boysâ€™ basketball are suffering from the same symptoms normally associated with middle child syndrome. Blame such thinking on our minds being somewhere else, the focus instead on the chaos and suspense hovering over the squeeze-everything-in gauntlet needed to complete the regular season. Thereâ€™s also a great deal of buzz in the air surrounding the open state tournament, the new frontier that will lead to the crowning of one champion.