Archive - Sports Article
Sometimes things move pretty quickly around here â almost too quickly to catch up and fully appreciate what has transpired.
One day weâre ushering in the winter sports season while the high school Super Bowls have yet to be contested. The non-stop nature extends to all seasons and sports, and we here at Blackstone Valley Sports have no choice but to hop aboard the next train or run the risk of being left behind.
CUMBERLAND â âOf course, we had a Christmas party every year at the Boys Club,â Mike Pappas was saying earlier this week. âThere would be presents for all the kids. And we made sure to hand out a Christmas basket to a needy family. That was important to us.â
The Christmas Party tradition still exists at the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, an organization Pappas first became aware of as a Depression-era youngster living up the street in a three-story tenement. As an adult, Pappas would spend 41 years working at the club, the last 26 as its Executive Director.
PAWTUCKET â Tiverton put the brakes on Shea Highâs offense during a 72-53 romp over the Raiders on Thursday night.
Shea, coming off a 94-92 up-tempo win over North Providence on Monday, contributed to its own demise with a variety of missed layups and close-in shots that prevented the Raiders from turning to their pressing defense following a made basket.
âIf we had made our layups, we could have used the press,â Shea coach Matt Pita said after the game. âBut we shot poorly all night. The bottom line is we have to rebound the ball and make our layups and we did neither tonight.â
PAWTUCKET â As manager of Double-A Portland the past four seasons, Arnie Beyeler was at the forefront of nurturing while simultaneously pushing all of the better known prospects in the Red Soxâ farm chain. Beyelerâs mission was to not just get the likes of Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard and Ryan Kalish ready for life at Triple-A, but to present them a sample of what life is like as a major leaguer.
JOHNSTON â You know things are looking up when the opposing coach pulls his starters â with 1:25 left in the first half!
Yes, Johnston head coach Dan Mazzulla did reinsert his starting group for the second half. By that point, though, it didnât matter. Tolman was still up big and still playing tenacious defense, the latter the major reason why the Tigers handed the Panthers their first league loss on Tuesday night, 45-33.
Every race that Charlie Breagy creates appears to turn to gold.
The past few months in Providence, his Monster Mini Dash 5K on Halloween and his Downtown Jingle 5K a couple of weeks ago, drew more than 2,000 participants to the starting line. His annual Ocean State Cross-Country Invitational has 5,000-plus high school and middle-school runners congregating at Goddard Park in mid-October.
EAST PROVIDENCE â The top selling Christmas gift for basketball coaches is a point guard who can handle the ball, run an offense, get his teammates good shots and make a few key baskets when the game is on the line. Santa passes these things out every five or 10 years. They donât grow on trees.
St. Raphael Academy coach Tom Sorrentine got such a gift last Christmas in freshman Charles Correa, a Pawtucket product who has developed into an emerging sophomore with the potential to open some eyes around the state before he graduates in two years.
The directive was straightforward: place the ball in Dan Wheelerâs glove, stand back and enjoy. For Jim Dawber this habitual walk to the mound became a regular occurrence for him, no matter what level of baseball he coached Wheeler.
PAWTUCKET â Once Shea High got on a roll during the second half Friday night, there was very little anyone wearing a Tolman High uniform could do in corralling the Raiders.
Shea took full advantage of a 16-1 flurry â one that encompassed all of three minutes of clock â to roll to a wild, come-from-behind 65-55 win over its crosstown rivals at âThe Cage.â The verdict helped secure Matt Pitaâs first win as the Raidersâ coach and improve Sheaâs record to 1-1 in Division II-Central. The loss drops the Tigers to 0-2 on the young season.
WOONSOCKET - Burrillville High did everything it possibly could to give Mount St. Charles Academy a spirited run for its money on Friday night, but the defending state champs still found a way to get the job done.
And the Mounties got the job done by spoiling a truly brilliant performance by junior goaltender Jacob Toback, who masterfully turned away 43 shots in a 2-0 triumph by the defending state champions at Adelard Arena.
PAWTUCKET --- St. Raphael Academy got on Thursday night what they couldnât get in their close defeat to Portsmouth High three nights earlier â a full game out of junior guard Cesar Mejia and an outstanding defensive effort against a solid team.
Mejia poured in a game-high 22 points and added four steals to help his team force Hope High into committing 24 turnovers and come away with a 62-40 victory in their Division I-East affair at the Saintsâ Wellness Center.
PAWTUCKET --- For the third straight year, Tolman High will be sporting a very young squad, and this one may be the youngest of the bunch â with seven sophomores and three freshmen making up the bulk of its 16-man roster.
In Coach Speak, the word âyoungâ is usually synonymous with âbadâ, but with this yearâs Tigers, that doesnât appear to be the case.
PROVIDENCE â For the past several months, Jalen Evans has been punishing his opponents with his blazing speed on the football field.
In his inaugural season of track and field, the Woonsocket High sophomore is hoping to do the same on the indoor oval.
âI am very confident,â Evans said. âWhen I see my competition, I get very excited. My adrenaline starts pumping. I just want to be at full speed. When I am at full speed, it feels great.â
CUMBERLAND â Defending state champion Cumberland is not the early-season favorite to repeat, according to no less an authority than Clippers head coach Steve Gordon.
âWarwick Veterans is loaded,â Gordon was saying on Wednesday morning, a few hours before his Clippers would face North Providence and Mount Hope in a double-dual meet at Pilgrim High. âThey finished six points behind us last year in the state meet and didnât lose anybody.â
PAWTUCKET â St. Raphael Academyâs Diandra DaRosa may have been the top talent on the floor Tuesday night, but East Providence High proved that team play wins out every time.
Paced by a monster effort by Michaela Wiggins, the Townies held on to defeat the Saints, 55-49, at the Wellness Center. Wiggins, a senior, finished with a game-best 24 points and 22 rebounds, a performance that helped offset the 23 points DaRosa scored for SRA. Shania Connor aided E..P.âs cause with 14 points and eight rebounds.
LINCOLN â It was all Lincoln High all the time on Monday night at the Lionsâ Den.
Lincoln seized control midway through the first half and never looked back in an eventual 56-41 triumph over Shea in the Division II opener for both schools. The Lions closed the opening half on a game-turning 20-4 run that saw Kent Crooksâ team go from down 12-7 to up 27-16 at recess.
PAWTUCKET â Jim Hoyt, the CEO of the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, has a vision of taking the two existing preseason boysâ basketball tournaments in the city â the James W. Donaldson Memorial Tournament and the Dennis M. Lynch Memorial Tournament â and combining the tradition each one represents. The end result would be an all-inclusive tournament that would serve as the perfect wet-your-whistle appetizer for league play.
PROVIDENCE â Since the Big East expanded to 16 teams in 2005, taking home Player of the Week kudos has been an honor normally doled out to All-American candidates/NBA prospects. With that in mind, itâs not every day a Providence College player is bestowed with the conferenceâs top weekly award.
Monday saw the Big East lavish Player of the Week praise upon PC senior Marshon Brooks. The swingman averaged 31.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in three games last week, leading the Friars to a 2-1 mark.
High school football and basketball seasons tend to blend together these days. Super Bowl games are contested in early December while basketball teams practice without a few key players, waiting for point guards and forwards to put down the pigskin and pick up the roundball.
When Woonsocket and St. Raphael Academy met in the Dennis M. Lynch Memorial Tournament championship game on Saturday night, several football players from each school were trying to shake off the rust and get into the flow of their winter sport.
PROVIDENCE â Itâs very good to be Marshon Brooks these days.
To the Providence College senior, the basket must seem as large and as inviting as Narragansett Bay on a summerâs day. The prodigious scoring outputs are quickly becoming a regular feature, as Saturday saw Brooks once again torch the strings with great frequency.