Archive - Jan 2014 - Sports Article
LINCOLN â€” High junior Nicole Moneghan had one desire before she and her teammates faced defending state champion South Kingstown in a Division II dual-meet clash on Thursday afternoon.
â€śI was hoping we wouldnâ€™t get absolutely crushed,â€ť she admitted. â€śThey have a lot of talented girls over there. We were trying not to worry about what they were doing, but just dive in and swim the best we could.â€ť
As expected, the undefeated Rebels did push their unbeaten streak to 7-0 with a 54-40 victory over the steadfast Lions, but the latter went down battling.
WOONSOCKET â€” For the first time in a long while, Cumberland High actually defeated archrival Lincoln.
It happened on Wednesday night at Adelard Arena, with the still-undefeated Clippers edging the previously-unbeaten Lions, 2-1, in a Division II-North showdown.
Sophomore Jake Salisbury notched the game winner with 3:58 remaining in regulation. After a scoreless initial stanza, Cumberland took a 1-0 advantage on Salisburyâ€™s unassisted tally just 1:01 into the second.
Lincoln, however, knotted it at 1-1 when senior Mike Enos converted Aaron Fiskeâ€™s feed at 9:44.
PAWTUCKET â€“ There were concerns, to be sure. There always are whenever youâ€™re dealing with a tense situation akin to the high school football episode that has resulted in the reclassification of expectations for Tolman in 2014.
PAWTUCKET â€“ There will be no playoffs for the Tolman High football team in 2014.
On Monday, Tolman High Principal Christopher Savastano went before the Rhode Island Principalsâ€™ Committee on Athletics in hopes of getting the group to repel the decision of banning the Tigers from postseason play for one season.
On Tuesday, Interscholastic League Executive Director Tom Mezzanotte informed Savastano that the punishment would indeed stand.
LINCOLN â€” Cumberland High couldnâ€™t continue to allow two of Lincoln Highâ€™s better players to feel comfortable on the offensive end.
That much was clear to Clippers assistant coach Collin Geiselman through the first half of Mondayâ€™s Division II-North clash at The Lionsâ€™ Den. One look at the stat sheet was enough to send a strong message to his troops: stop giving Lincolnâ€™s Alec Cronan and Luke Kelly the freedom to either shoot from the outside or drive to the rim.
PROVIDENCE â€” The issue of cooperative teams in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League has long been a source of concern. Itâ€™s also a topic that features far too much gray area, from schools finding creative ways and/or loopholes to save existing co-op programs, to establishing new ones under the guise of promoting interscholastic athletics.
LINCOLN â€” Barbara Crosby has dedicated a great deal of her adult life coaching intellectually-challenged youngsters and adults, helping them become the best Special Olympians they possibly can.
The bad news is, after nearly a quarter century at the helm, she has stepped down as Rhode Islandâ€™s Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing coach for the Special Olympics Rhode Islandâ€™s Winter Games, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Yawgoo Valley Ski Resort in Exeter.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Bruce Crabbeâ€™s official title with the Pawtucket Red Sox is coach. It sounds simple and straightforward, yet also vague in terms of what exactly his duties with the Triple-A ballclub will entail.
The 51-year-old Crabbe could oversee the infielders, an area that is his forte. Perhaps he might be responsible for relaying signals from the dugout to the outfielders, reminding them where to position themselves based on the hitter at the plate. Maybe Crabbe will offer his in-game observations as he sits next to new PawSox manager Kevin Boles.
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PAWTUCKET â€” Tolmanâ€™s Jesse Fernandes went to the free throw line with two seconds left in Thursday nightâ€™s Division II-Central game with Exeter/West Greenwich. The scoreboard showed a 67-67 deadlock. Tolman students rattled the bleachers with their feet in anticipation of the upcoming free throws.
â€śIâ€™m a 70 percent free throw shooter,â€ť the junior said a few minutes after he made the second of two freebies for an exciting and hard-fought 68-67 victory over the Avengers. â€śIâ€™m glad I had two free throws. I missed the first one but the second one was pretty good.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” Shea High got up close with one of the leading contenders in Division II this season, and the results were not pretty for the locals.
The visitors from West Warwick felt quite at home at â€śThe Cageâ€ť Thursday night, rolling to an 80-44 victory. The II-Central leading Wizards improve to 6-0 while the Raiders have now dropped four straight league contests since beating Exeter/West Greenwich back on Dec. 20.
CUMBERLAND â€” Throughout the 2012-13 winter campaign, then-Cumberland High sophomore Jack Bauer improved at a rapid rate, causing older brother Andrew to continue to hassle him about registering for a USA Swimming-affiliated club program.
Andrew, a phenomenal distance freestyler in his own right, had done the same, and he reasoned that Jack would only get faster, given the more grueling workouts.
PAWTUCKET â€” As a father watching his son represent the St. Raphael/Providence Country Day/Wheeler co-op squad last winter, Gary Leonard noticed it often didn't play as a team, a fluid unit. To him, it looked as if the players seemed more concerned with individual stats and/or glory.
â€śI thought the biggest issue with them was selfish team play,â€ť he stated Tuesday afternoon. â€śWhen I became the head coach back in September, it was my goal to eliminate the selfishness and try to build a program based on team success.â€ť
PROVIDENCE â€“ There are two schools of thought as to why Ted Bancroft and the Friars have gone on to string three Big East wins together following an 0-2 start.
Representing the Providence program at Mondayâ€™s college basketball brunch, held at Warwick's Radisson Hotel, Bancroft mentioned that a players-only meeting was staged in the aftermath of a 30-point blowout loss at Villanova earlier this month. At the time, the Friars appeared in a free fall after losing back-to-back overtime contests to UMass and Seton Hall before getting drubbed by the Wildcats.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Eventually, Alex Wilson arrived at the understanding that his ability to properly grip a baseball had been compromised.
What was originally deemed a sprained right thumb last July evolved into something far more problematic to the point where surgery went from a potential last resort to being inevitable. Wilson admitted that everything â€śwas tried under the sun.â€ť From having the thumb placed in a cast and later a splint, all of the precautions taken were done with an eye toward eventually returning to Bostonâ€™s bullpen.
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ Head coach Jayar Santos gave Central Falls High senior Yesenia Biascochea the news prior to the start of their campaign.
Because he didnâ€™t have a true point guard, sheâ€™d have to assume that role, not the one in which she had been accustomed â€“ the shooting guard spot.
He also issued her a proviso; that is, if she had the open shot, then go ahead and put it up.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Itâ€™s starting to happen. Bryce Cotton is staring at the probability of roughly two months remaining in his Providence College basketball career.
As time becomes the seniorâ€™s enemy, so too does the sense that the adjectives specifically reserved to describe Cottonâ€™s on-court playmaking abilities are seemingly stuck on repeat. Long ago, games of 20 or more points went from the exception to the rule for Cotton. When a player crosses over such a rarified threshold, in turn it becomes easy for fans to fall into a state of complacency.
PAWTUCKET â€“ St. Raphael Academy coach Fred Saunders calls them the â€śbrains and heart of our team.â€ť
They are the Gonzalez sisters â€“ point guard Danyele and forward Rybecca. Danyele runs the show and Rybecca handles the scoring load. Along with fellow starters Seun Shittu, Felicia Baccari and Kaylee Oliver, they have turned St. Raphael Academy into an unbeaten Division II-Central squad that hopes to go deep into the playoffs this winter.
LINCOLN â€” Though a year had passed, Lincoln High sophomore Mollie Westrick and junior Nicole Moneghan hadnâ€™t forgotten how the Westerly aquawomen had sailed to a Division II dual-meet victory.
In fact, the Bulldogs had pulled off wins in each of the previous three winter seasons, and the Lions desperately wanted to â€śturn the tide,â€ť so to speak.
CUMBERLAND â€” When it came time for Chris Skurka to make the biggest football decision of his life, he turned to a voice of reassurance and clarity.
Alison Skurka, the coachâ€™s wife, had a quick answer. A staunch supporter of her husbandâ€™s pigskin endeavors, Alison gave Chris her blessing to make the jump from head coach at Cumberland High to becoming an assistant at Dean College.
â€śSheâ€™s allowed me to chase that dream,â€ť said Chris Skurka. â€śUltimately, it came down to me making a decision about my family and my career as a coach.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€” Senior standouts Cody Beaudette and Chris Hayes captured their weight classes to help Cumberland win a close battle for the team championship in this past weekendâ€™s John D. Gorman Memorial Tournament at the Clippersâ€™ Wellness Center.
The Clippers, who returned to the top of the team standings after watching Johnston finish first last year, scored 159.5 points to beat 17 other teams (representing four New England states) and nip runner-up Bristol Eastern of Connecticut by 1.5 points.