Archive - Mar 2, 2012 - Sports Article
PROVIDENCE â€” In the person of Carl LaBranche, the R.I. Interscholastic League and Providence College benefited from having an ace in the hole.
The underlying reason why PCâ€™s venerable Alumni Hall gym is the site for Sundayâ€™s â€śElite Eightâ€ť round of the open state tournament is due to the communication and negotiating skills tapped by LaBranche in harmonizing this project. With this Pawtucket native (Tolman High School Class of 1970) serving as the point man, LaBrancheâ€™s vision of opening Alumni Hallâ€™s doors to the stateâ€™s high school basketball sector became a reality.
SMITHFIELD â€“ Thursday night on the Bryant University campus saw St. Raphael meet its maker in the form of a deep-scoring Classical team, something the Saints desperately tried to evolve into over the course of the 2011-12 season.
Alas, it never materialized. The Saintsâ€™ 69-61 loss in the â€śSweet 16â€ť round of the open state tournament served as one final reminder of what can happen when a team puts multiple scoring threats on the floor simultaneously. Thatâ€™s exactly what the upstarts from Classical did by placed four players in double figures led by 26 points from Ismael Batista.
SMITHFIELD â€“ St. Raphael Academyâ€™s reign as defending state champs has come to an end â€“ an abrupt one at that.
It was Classical springing the upset Thursday night at Bryant Universityâ€™s Chace Athletic Center, the 13th-seeded Purple receiving multiple contributions up and down the lineup in a 69-61 â€śRound of 16â€ť victory over the Saints. Classicalâ€™s Ismael Batista was virtually unstoppable in second half where he netted 16 of his 26 points. Charles Correa led SRA with 26 points on six 3-pointers.