Archive - Jan 2012 - Sports Article
Two high school hoops games stand out above the rest tonight. And theyâ€™re 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.
â€śEvery match we have from here on out is going to be tough,â€ť Cumberland coach Steve Gordon admitted on Monday. â€śNext week, we host unbeaten Hendricken and the week after that we visit Warwick Veterans. Both of those teams are state title contenders.â€ť
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 monthâ€™s 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 didnâ€™t look like a team that hadnâ€™t 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 Salleâ€™s 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. Rayâ€™s 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 didnâ€™t need to receive any additional bad news, they indirectly got some at Monday nightâ€™s meeting of the R.I. Interscholastic Leagueâ€™s 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 doesnâ€™t 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 monthâ€™s 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 Tuesdayâ€™s 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 stateâ€™s high school football landscape wasnâ€™t the only matter discussed at Mondayâ€™s meeting of the Interscholastic Leagueâ€™s 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 â€śforce to be reckoned withâ€ť from those involved in athletics so often that sometimes the exact meaning gets lost in the wash.
Tuesday nightâ€™s 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 Mondayâ€™s 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 youâ€™ve attended either a Tolman or Shea game this winter, chances are youâ€™ve 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 Iâ€™ve 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 Stateâ€™s student newspaper), he called me into his office after we had published an article he found somewhat damaging to the schoolâ€™s reputation.
PROVIDENCE â€“ The Baltimore Ravens arenâ€™t 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 Cooleyâ€™s club could not perform the simple act of putting the ball into the hoop.
Itâ€™s 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.
â€śItâ€™s better than New England,â€ť said Randall, via the phone on Saturday morning. â€śItâ€™s much warmer. In fact, Iâ€™m playing golf (today).â€ť