Archive - 2014 - Sports Article
Sports editor emeritus
CENTRAL FALLS â€” The last time Central Falls and Cumberland met on a basketball court, just nine days ago, the Clippers upset the Warriors on their home court on a late hoop by freshman Brandon Kolek.
When the two teams met again Friday night on the same court in a Division II playoff opener, the Warriors made sure there would be no late heroics by Cumberland. Central Falls held a 49-44 lead with nine minutes left before going on a 7-0 run that put the game away.
The definition of an undercard is a boxing event before the main match.
In Rhode Island high school boysâ€™ basketball, the three divisional tournaments that tip off Friday night are seen as warm-up acts to a bigger and better event â€“ a 16-team open tournament. Before arriving at the process where the crowing of one champion takes place, however, the order of business is pitting familiar foes against each other.
LINCOLN â€” After rolling to six straight triumphs, Lincoln High sustained a crushing 38-37 Division II-North loss to Moses Brown School on Feb. 12, and that sent it into a dismal tailspin.
On Valentine's Night, they dropped a 57-34 verdict to II Central-leading and unbeaten St. Raphael, 57-34, before getting exploited by Scituate (69-49) and Johnston (42-29) in two more league clashes.
PAWTUCKET â€” Throughout this wave of stellar play to end the regular season, one item has stood out above all else for coach Mike Kayata and his Tolman basketball lot.
Spitting out well-worn clichĂ©s such as â€śplaying togetherâ€ť may come across as so pedestrian, but thatâ€™s exactly why the Tigers enter the Division II postseason on an impressive roll. Tolman registered its fifth straight victory Tuesday night, a come-from-behind 65-51 win at Shea.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The two-person radio booth for the Pawtucket Red Sox is officially set as newcomer Josh Maurer joins forces with Jeff Levering for the 2014 season.
The 33-year-old Maurer replaces Bob Socci, who left the PawSox last July to become the radio play-by-play broadcaster of the New England Patriots.
KINGSTON --- The St. Raphael/Providence Country Day/Wheeler co-op team and South Kingstown skated into their crossover contest on Monday afternoon at Boss Arena both sitting on the Division IIâ€™s playoff bubble and desperately needing a win to keep their postseason hopes afloat.
Fortunately for the locals, they stepped up their play and rose to the occasion in this must-win situation and now find themselves sitting on the doorstep to the postseason after a yearâ€™s absence.
LINCOLN --- After a 14-month odyssey that saw him venture through five different states outside of New England and earn seven wins along the way, Toka Kahn-Clary was more than delighted to come home to Rhode Island this past weekend and fight in front of his family and friends.
Fighting in the co-feature of Classic Entertainment & Sportsâ€™ aptly-named â€śHome Sweet Homeâ€ť card at the Twin River Event Center, Kahn-Clary gave his gathering of fans a surge of excitement by knocking out Miamiâ€™s Carlos Fulgencio 1:10 into the second round of their featherweight fight.
PAWTUCKET â€” With this being â€śSenior Night,â€ť and prior to a monumental Division II-Central clash against unbeaten West Warwick, Tolman High mentor Mike Kayata took a few minutes to describe to the crowd the qualities of his three soon-to-be graduates.
In closing, he told the 250-plus fans on hand, â€śNow let's play some basketball.â€ť
He seemed a bit nervous at the time, but â€“ turns out â€“ there was little reason. Man, did his Tigers deliver!
CUMBERLAND â€” Perhaps two minutes after Cumberland High had sustained a 49-12 dual-meet loss to rival Hendricken in a match to clinch the Division I title, veteran mentor Steve Gordon managed to keep his sense of humor.
When a reporter approached him for a few thoughts Thursday night, he immediately said, â€śNot right now. Wait a second!â€ť
He approached his wife, Judy, gave her a kiss, handled a couple of other minor details, then relented to an interview.
His first response, with a wide grin: â€śSorry. Youâ€™ve gotta know whatâ€™s truly important!â€ť
LINCOLN â€” Itâ€™s a 45-minute drive from Pawtucket to Manfredoâ€™s Boxing & Fitness in Narragansett for Toka Kahn-Clary and Thomas Falowo, and because of the 72 miles they have to travel roundtrip to work out with their trainer, Peter Manfredo Sr., the two often carpool back and forth each night.
But tonight, they wonâ€™t have to share a ride. Instead, they will make a short trip to the Twin River Event Center and appear in separate six-round bouts on Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc.â€™s â€śHome Sweet Homeâ€ť card.
PROVIDENCE â€“ The rematch was far more competitive. The outcome was just as painful for the Providence Friars to swallow.
PC tried its best to throw ninth-ranked Villanova for a loop, but the Wildcats were able to hang on for an 82-79 double-overtime victory on Tuesday night before 12,106 at the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Center. Ryan Arcidiacono closed out with 21 points, though none were bigger than the layup the Villanova guard converted with 3.6 seconds left in the second extra session.
For someone who normally wears blue as the head coach of the Cumberland softball and Burrillville cross country teams â€“ and had sported touches of red during past stints with the Tolman and Cranston West girlsâ€™ basketball squads â€“ Marty Crowley found himself having to adjust to green and gold this winter.
But aside from changing his athletic wardrobe, Crowleyâ€™s transition to the Massachusetts girlsâ€™ basketball scene and the extra competitive Hockomock League as the head coach of King Philip High of Wrentham, Mass. has been a seamless one.
PAWTUCKET â€“ In the manner of two exhausted boxers holding on to each other for dear life, Cumberland and Shea resided in the same space during much of Fridayâ€™s Division II crossover at â€śThe Cage.â€ť
The Clippers held a 55-46 lead with 58.1 seconds remaining before finding themselves with a legit fight on their hands. Yet every time the Raiders appeared to be knocking on the door, the visitors responded in true closeout fashion â€“ by calmly making their free throws.
PAWTUCKET â€“ St. Raphael Academy is running out of time when it comes to making the playoffs.
Needing to spring an upset victory over visiting Smithfield on Tuesday night, the Saints fell victim to a dazzling shooting display by the Sentinels, who hit eight three-point field goals in the first half en route to a decisive 64-56 victory.
The Saints got 25 points from Alcino Aviles-Soares, who was no match for the balanced offensive talents of a youthful Smithfield squad that improved to 11-3 in Division I-North with the victory.
It almost never fails.
Every now again, the budgetary scalpel cuts off funding for sports at the middle school and high school levels.
Naturally, such slicing prompts strong reaction from everyone in town â€“ concerned parents to coaches to the real victims affected by this slashing of essential monetary support, the adolescent student-athletes.
Sports editor emeritus
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ The Prout School didnâ€™t back off from the challenge of playing a tough road game against Central Falls on Monday night.
The Crusaders came into the game with a 9-2 record in Division II-South. Central Falls stood on top of the North with a 9-3 record following Friday nightâ€™s 73-68 victory over Tolman. The Warriors hoped to continue their momentum against the disciplined visitors.
WARWICK â€” Twenty years ago, Tom Hanksâ€™ silver-screen portrayal of the slow-witted Forrest Gump earned the acclaimed actor an Academy Award and a huge payday. The 1994 release is remembered for the lead characterâ€™s array of quirky and quick-to-the-point quotes, some of which still hold merit today.
Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET â€” Playing a rare Saturday afternoon home game, St. Raphael Academy pushed first-place La Salle Academy to the limit before the Ramsâ€™ superiority finally manifested itself in the final minute.
The Saints, who had a chance to tie the game with 25 seconds left, came up short in the end, 64-61, as the Rams made their final six points from the free throw line.
Sports editor emeritus
CENTRAL FALLS â€” In a pulsating finish to a great high school basketball game, Julian Soares netted the final 13 Central Falls points while carrying the Warriors to a 73-68 victory over Tolman on Friday evening.
Soares, who finished with a game-high 27 points, matched big plays with Tolmanâ€™s stellar shooting guard Steve Otis. The senior hit a trio of three-pointers in the final three minutes as the Tigers roared back from a 48-35 deficit to take a 67-66 lead with 30 seconds left when Otis swished a three from the top of the key.
Otis finished with 25 points.
CUMBERLAND â€” The opportunity for a father to coach his son in a college setting does not come around very often.
For Cumberland High senior Joe Fine, you can officially swap out â€śopportunityâ€ť and replace it with â€śreality.â€ť
Beginning this fall, there will be two Fines on the football sideline occupied by Bryant University. Head coach Marty Fine listed son Joe as part of the programâ€™s latest recruiting effort on Wednesday. The Bulldogsâ€™ 22-player class includes players from 10 different states with 11 being from New England.