Archive - Dec 2013 - Sports Article
Each year, the Blackstone Valley boasts its share of amateur championship teams (from the high school ranks to the summer amateur leagues) and tremendous individual performances that rank among the very best in Rhode Island.
But itâ€™s been quite some time since this region has seen an outpouring of success such as the events that transpired during 2013.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€” â€śGood game, eh?â€ť veteran official Frank Iannetta said with a smile as he stood in front of the scorerâ€™s table with one minute left in Monday nightâ€™s Division I contest between St. Raphael Academy and South Kingstown.
The Saints were clinging to a 47-46 lead at the time in one of those typically competitive high school games that seem to regularly occur at the Dennis Lynch Jr. Memorial Court. As Iannetta joked with the scorerâ€™s table personnel, Saints coach Tom Sorrentine spoke to his team, trying to draw up a play for his best shooter, Graham Lynch.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€“ When St. Raphael Academy decided to dedicate its Alumni Hall basketball court in memory of the late Dennis M. Lynch Jr., a revered Saints hoop coach back in the 1980s, the school and the Lynch family reached out to Wheeler School to provide the opposition.
CUMBERLAND â€” In the end, Woonsocket High took advantage of five turnovers in the final 3:37 while mustering an 11-0 flurry in the span of 2:43 to roll to a 63-51 triumph over Tolman in the championship game of the 41st annual Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland/Lincoln Roadshow Holiday Classic on Friday night.
It turned out to be the Villa Novansâ€™ team-leading eighth in the history of the oldest holiday tourney in Rhode Island. Had the Tigers eked it out, it wouldâ€™ve been their sixth, which would have pushed them into a three-place tie with host Cumberland and Lincoln.
PROVIDENCE â€” One of the two suspended freshmen is back on Providence Collegeâ€™s campus. Forward Rodney â€śRajayâ€ť Bullock was a full-fledged participant at Fridayâ€™s practice and will be part of the traveling party when the Friars head to Amherst to tango with nationally-ranked UMass on Saturday night.
CUMBERLAND â€” Tolman High head coach Mike Kayata admitted to being less than ecstatic about his offense on Thursday night.
His defense, however, was a different story.
Excepting a lull early in the final stanza, that â€śDâ€ť forced most of Lincolnâ€™s 18 turnovers throughout the first half and down the stretch as the Tigers rolled to a 56-40 victory in the first semifinal of the 41st annual Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland/Lincoln Roadshow Holiday Classic at Cumberland Highâ€™s Wellness Center.
SMITHFIELD â€” The future was on display for Cumberland on Thursday afternoon inside Smithfield Highâ€™s gymnasium, and judging by the way the Clippers performed in its non-league game against Woonsocket, the future looks very bright for the program.
Freshman guard Julianne Ross delivered her second 10-point output in as many games and sophomore guard Taylor Fay and Sarah Marsland had solid performances as well in the Clippersâ€™ 39-23 victory over the Villa Novans in the opening game of the 27th annual R.I. Board of Officials/Smithfield Boosters Club Holiday Classic.
Letâ€™s cut to the chase: Spartan blue and white looks awfully strange on Jared Pedro, Teddy Reall, and Kris Wallace.
And it should, because after all, the three Tolman High senior forwards were mainstays on their schoolâ€™s hockey team for the past three seasons, helping the Tigers total 31 regular-season wins during that time and reach the Division III finals last March.
But when eight of the 13 members from that team graduated, and for the third straight year, no underclassmen came out for the team, the program quietly folded.
Waleska Kelly is feeling rather guilty these days.
Her identical twin sister, Francheska, keeps trying to tell her not to say such things, that everything she does stems from her love for Waleska and their tight-knit family residing at Pawtucket's Prospect Heights. That still doesn't make her self-imposed culpability wane.
CUMBERLAND â€” It wasnâ€™t even close to being an attractive contest, not with a combined 28 turnovers and 27 personal fouls.
Still, head coach Gary Reedy refused to complain after his Cumberland High boys registered what he called a satisfying 53-40 non-league triumph over Toll Gate at The Wellness Center on Monday night.
PROVIDENCE â€“ During the winter semester break, the assumption is that LaDontae Henton and the rest of the Providence College basketball players are going to have a lot of downtime. After all, exams are done and classes donâ€™t resume on the Smith Hill campus until Jan. 21.
Yet as Ed Cooley gladly points out, the Friars will not be on autopilot.
To enlighten the masses regarding the kind of manager and person the Pawtucket Red Sox are getting in Kevin Boles, we engaged in a background check that conjured all sorts of positive vibrations.
In essence, this is a â€śgetting-to-know-you-betterâ€ť exercise, an opportunity to view through the lens of those who know and understand Boles best and have more insight into his roots than any introductory press conference ever could.
PAWTUCKET â€” At a time when a host of Bostonâ€™s top prospects are stationed in Double-A and Triple-A, the organization arrived at the decision to provide the PawSox coaching staff with an additional voice.
To be clear, Kevin Boles is Pawtucketâ€™s new manager while fellow Triple-A newcomer Bruce Crabbe is classified as coach, not bench coach. The pair will be joined in the trenches by pitching coach Rich Sauveur and hitting coach Dave Joppie, two holdovers from Gary DiSarcinaâ€™s staff who will be returning to McCoy Stadium in 2014.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€“ Despite competing without several of its better wrestlers, Tolman High showed it could be a contender in Division II this season with an impressive 45-33 victory over a solid Hope team on Thursday evening.
Tolman and Hope both picked up easy wins over shorthanded Central Falls, which fielded only four wrestlers during a 75-6 loss to Tolman and three in an 84-0 burial by Hope.
WOONSOCKET â€” The numbers game was truly unkind to the Lincoln boysâ€™ swim team in its one-win campaign from a winter ago, and that was clearly evident in the final weeks of the season, when the Lions were forced to go into meets with just six swimmers at their disposal.
But this season, the numbers are high for the Lions, and so are their expectations at returning to their winning ways.
PROVIDENCE â€” You know that the Providence Friars are involved in a tight, white-knuckle affair when Ed Cooley emphatically removes his sport jacket and flings it in the general direction of the bench.
When it was all over and PC had secured a hard-fought 76-74 win over upset-minded Yale on Tuesday night before 3,281 patrons, Cooley immediately honed in on his teamâ€™s porous defense, one that came oh-so-close to allowing the Bulldogs to waltz out of the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Center with an eyebrow-raising victory.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Now that the sobering news regarding Kris Dunnâ€™s unavailability for the seasonâ€™s duration has sunk in, the question becomes just how exactly Providence College plans to cope for the long haul.
If thereâ€™s a way to somehow cushion the loss of the only tried-and-true point guard at Ed Cooleyâ€™s disposal, itâ€™s that the Friars have been down this road before. Spread over four games, Dunn logged 106 painful minutes. PC registered 405 minutes in the 10 games leading up to the exam break, the bulk of those minutes featuring Bryce Cotton as the on-floor maestro.
CUMBERLAND â€“ This will be Steve Gordonâ€™s 46th consecutive season at the helm of his Cumberland High wrestling program, and â€“ as has been the case for the previous 45 â€“ he arrived at Monday afternoonâ€™s practice session at least 30 minutes beforehand.
As always, he does so to greet his grapplers, check on possible injuries or illnesses (i.e. football) and/or prepare them for the task at hand: Getting physically and mentally primed for another premier campaign.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€” Tom Sienkiewicz has been bringing his Providence Country Day basketball team to the Dennis M. Lynch Jr. Memorial Tournament for seven years without a championship â€“ until Saturday night, that is.
â€śWe finally got lucky,â€ť the former Villanova University guard from the early 1980s joked after his Knights rolled to a 68-48 victory over Central Falls in the championship game, ending St. Raphael Academyâ€™s three-year reign as tourney champ.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman High opened its season with a performance that both revealed the potential and the vulnerability of what appears to be a talented squad.
The Tigers roared to a 65-43 victory over Central Falls in a Division II crossover contest. The Tigers played a physical game, took the ball to the basket, looked for the fast break, and turned the ball over 22 times in their eagerness to push the ball up-court. They missed 16 of their 31 free throws.