Archive - Jan 2012 - Sports Article
Two high school hoops games stand out above the rest tonight. And theyâre both Division II crossover contests.
Tolman, 4-7 with seven games left in the regular season, visits Central Falls (6-5) in the first meaningful game. The Tigers seek to end a four-game losing streak that has jeopardized their playoff hopes. Those hopes were not helped on Monday when leading scorer Juan Velez (20.8 points per game) and starting forward Seny Samb, a solid defensive player, were suspended for violating school disciplinary rules.
CUMBERLAND â After surviving a staph infection scare that shut down the Cumberland High wrestling program for a week, the Clippers return to the mat this week for a pair of tough matches with La Salle Academy and Cranston West.
âEvery match we have from here on out is going to be tough,â Cumberland coach Steve Gordon admitted on Monday. âNext week, we host unbeaten Hendricken and the week after that we visit Warwick Veterans. Both of those teams are state title contenders.â
Gordon is just happy to have his team wrestling again.
Why not Jose Iglesias?
More than a week has gone by since the Red Sox traded shortstop Marco Scutaro. The exchange with Colorado marked the second time this offseason that general manager/budget balancer Ben Cherington has shipped away a potential starting shortstop, last monthâs Jed Lowrie-to-Houston swap officially re-catalogued as the first domino to fall.
PAWTUCKET â Brandon Speight popped in a pair of first-period goals on Sunday afternoon to lead Tolman past Scituate 4-0 in a makeup game played at Lynch Arena and the third contest in a 48-hour span for the Tigers.
Kody Casavant and Jared Pedro finished the scoring for Tolman with second-period goals, and goaltender Stephane Meunier stopped 19 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.
Tolman improved to 7-4 in Division III with an overtime loss to unbeaten Johnston/North Providence on its ledger. Those 15 points place the Tigers second in the division behind JNP (10-0-0).
WOONSOCKET --- Tolman sure didnât look like a team that hadnât played a game in 21 days on Friday night.
The Tigers, who received three-goal games from Kody Casavant and Jared Pedro, scored five goals in the first 10 minutes of play and cruised to a 10-1 win over winless Woonsocket in their Division III matchup at Adelard Arena.
The Tigers, who improved to 6-3, also received a pair of assists from Kevin Tracey and Casavant, who currently leads the league in scoring with 19 goals and 10 assists.
PAWTUCKET --- At halftime, this has all the makings of an impressive blowout victory by Shea over a quality Division II-South opponent.
But when the Raidersâ win over Westerly on Friday night was in the books, they found themselves holding on for a too-close-for-comfort triumph.
Ahead by a cool 20 points at the break, the visiting Bulldogs found a way to battle back and slice their deficit to five points with 5:06 to play and four on three occasions before busing home on the wrong end on a 77-74 verdict before a packed gym.
PAWTUCKET â Living on the edge finally caught up with St. Raphael Academy on Friday night.
A deep and determined La Salle squad became the first Rhode Island-based squad to knock off SRA this season as the Rams grinded out a 74-69 double-overtime triumph before an enthusiastic throng of followers at Alumni Hall. Two of La Salleâs primary catalysts were reserves Michael Clark and Dexter Thompson, the pair combining to score all but three of the 15 points the visitors managed between the two extra sessions.
WOONSOCKET â On a night in which she was honored for scoring her 1,000 career point earlier this season, senior Kailey Fugere and the rest of her Woonsocket High teammates cooled off a resurging St. Raphael Academy program Friday night with a 41-36 decision at Savaria Gymnasium.
Fugere, who was recognized for her milestone during a halftime ceremony, finished with 17 points. The game was hardly the Villa Novans best effort, however, as St. Rayâs overcame a 14-point deficit before the break and made their host sweat it out until the final buzzer.
If the shaky futures of the Tolman and Woonsocket hockey teams didnât need to receive any additional bad news, they indirectly got some at Monday nightâs meeting of the R.I. Interscholastic Leagueâs Principalsâ Committee on Athletics in Providence.
Among the developments that transpired during this session was the matter of extending the periods in Division III, as well as girlsâ hockey, from 12 to 15 minutes. This was put to a vote and narrowly (and surprisingly) approved by a 6-to-5 vote.
LINCOLN â Head coach Tom Diiorio doesnât care too much about dual-meet records. When it comes to his Lincoln High boysâ and girlsâ teams, his main concern is that his athletes are swimming well with a fair share of them qualifying for next monthâs state championships.
Both those objectives are being met this season.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â In a very-competitive Division III this season, North Smithfield and Shea are among a crowded bunch that will be fighting for the four playoff spots.
Even though the postseason is still more than a month away, there was a playoff-type atmosphere taking place on Wednesday night when the two teams collided at Lovett Gymnasium.
CUMBERLAND â Every game is important for head coach Gary Reedy and his Cumberland High squad, but Tuesdayâs Division II crossover matchup with host Barrington could have been listed under the must-win category.
The Clippers and Eagles each went into the contest with matching 6-3 league marks, putting them just two victories away from a berth in the open state tournament in March. For Cumberland, it also has the strongest part of its schedule the remaining eight games so a win would certainly give it some added momentum.
PROVIDENCE â Realigning the stateâs high school football landscape wasnât the only matter discussed at Mondayâs meeting of the Interscholastic Leagueâs Principalsâ Committee on Athletics (PCOA). Below are a handful of noteworthy developments that came about during the 90-minute open session.
â In boysâ soccer, the PCOA unanimously approved an alignment for the 2012 and 2013 seasons that results in Tolman and Woonsocket moving up to Division I. The Villa Novans competed in Division I as recent as 2009, while the Tigers have predominantly resided in Division II.
WEST WARWICK â We hear the phrase âforce to be reckoned withâ from those involved in athletics so often that sometimes the exact meaning gets lost in the wash.
Tuesday nightâs Division II showdown against Shea High saw West Warwick High clarify matters. Save for the late scare the Raiders provided, the Wizards provided concrete examples why they figure to be a tough out when the time comes for the open state tournament. With usual suspects John Morrison and Ryan Lawton directing the attack, West Warwick scored a 78-68 win to improve to 10-0 in II-South.
PROVIDENCE â The Woonsocket High School football program is staying put in Division II. In the case of Tolman High, Division I beckons after a successful stint in Division II.
Divisional alignments for several fall sports were ratified and approved at Mondayâs meeting of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Principals' Committee on Athletics. In the case of football, Woonsocket will remain in Division II, a league where the Villa Novans have resided since the 2006 season.
BURRILLVILLE --- After suffering its two most lopsided losses of the year late last week, Burrillville got back on track in a big way on Monday night in its Division II-North matchup against Tolman at the Broncodome.
Sophomore forward Victoria Libby overcame a bloody nose she suffered at the start of the second half to pour in 11 points, contribute 12 rebounds and four steals, and help the Broncos produce a foul-plagued 52-43 victory.
PAWTUCKET â If youâve attended either a Tolman or Shea game this winter, chances are youâve noticed a young man sitting on the bench of each team dressed in street clothes. Starting this week, the wondering will cease and answers pertaining to whom these hoopsters-in-question are will be revealed.
Joe Paterno, who died on Sunday at the age of 85, was the greatest coach Iâve ever been around. He was a really good human being too, a man who loved his wife, his kids, his 17 grandchildren, more than anything in the world, including his job as head football coach at Penn State.
The first time I ever met Joe, back in my reporting days at The Daily Collegian (Penn Stateâs student newspaper), he called me into his office after we had published an article he found somewhat damaging to the schoolâs reputation.
PROVIDENCE â The Baltimore Ravens arenât the only tough-as-nails outfit to invade Downtown Providence this weekend.
Saturday night saw a Marquette team that has built its reputation as a take-no-prisoners beast basically body slam Providence to the canvas. The punishment took its toll on the Friars, particularly in the second half when Ed Cooleyâs club could not perform the simple act of putting the ball into the hoop.
Itâs taken a while, but winter appears to have finally arrived here in New England with the recent snow that has blanked our region.
The weather has been a little different for recent Cumberland High grad and talented golfer Jamison Randall, a freshman at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
âItâs better than New England,â said Randall, via the phone on Saturday morning. âItâs much warmer. In fact, Iâm playing golf (today).â