Archive - Sports Article
February 28th, 2012
PROVIDENCE â In preparation for Tuesdayâs game against the Jim Calhoun-less UConn Huskies, Ed Cooley took his club to the movies. The screening didnât include popcorn and soda, rather visual evidence to demonstrate just how far Cooleyâs PC Friars have come from a mediocre showing in an exhibition game to this past weekendâs last-second escape job at DePaul.
PROVIDENCE â Itâs just not the players who burn with desire, clamoring to face the very best. Coaches too relish the opportunity to match wits and strategies whenever thereâs a noted leader of the pack residing in the opposite corner.
When it comes to predicting who will play for the three state championships on March 10 at the Ryan Center, it shouldnât take a lot of thought.
In Division I, all signs point to the two unbeaten teams, defending champion La Salle and rival Bay View. In Division II, you can take your pick among the Northâs Moses Brown (17-1) and the Southâs Narragansett and Rogers (each 16-2), and in Division III, unbeaten Juanita Sanchez and defending champ Middletown (16-3) are the clear-cut favorites.
Call it a case of good things happening to good people. Realistically, perhaps we should step back, take a big-picture view, and draw the conclusion that Mike Roose is so adept at his chosen profession that no one should be shocked by the Cumberland nativeâs meteoric rise through the Boston Red Soxâs player support chain.
PROVIDENCE â When the final second ticked off the clock in the 195-pound championship final, Cumberland High senior grappler Tom LaCroix broke free of his opponent's last-ditch clutch, leaped into the air and pumped his fist in jubilation.
His teammates, most of whom were on the mat's borders anxiously watching, immediately mobbed veteran head coach Steve Gordon, then did the same to LaCroix.
WARWICK â Tolman head coach Mike Kayata didnât mince words when asked about how Bishop Hendricken transformed a one-point halftime lead into a 63-42 final Saturday night. Simply put the Hawks were cooking with gas while the Tigers, who with the loss were eliminated from the open state tournament, were just trying to stay afloat.
âThey exploited us,â Kayata deadpanned.
KINGSTON â Cumberland High junior Courtney Kent explained Saturday afternoon that she hadnât really âtaperedâ for these R.I. Interscholastic Swimming Championships.
In essence, that just means she hadnât cut down on the amount of practice yardage she swims day-in and day-out as a member of Crimson Aquatics, based out of Cambridge. A slice in distance, a swimmer always hopes, results in faster times due to the bodyâs ability to recuperate.
PAWTUCKET â To borrow from the office supply story Staples, âThat was easy.â
Almost too easy if youâre Shea High, which in its playoff opener rolled to a 84-50 final at the expense of an overmatched Johnston High squad Friday night at âThe Cage.â The 34-point drubbing vaults Shea, the No. 8 seed in the 30-team open state tournament, into the Round of 16 on Tuesday night at CCRI-Warwick. There the Raiders will face Rogers, which defeated Middletown, 69-43.
PAWTUCKET â Tom âSaarâ Sorrentine had just watched his St. Raphael outfit stifle playoff foe Narragansett High, displaying LoJack tendencies in a 63-29 blowout Friday night at Alumni Hall. Next up for Sorrentine & Co. is a Sweet 16 matchup on the docket for Wednesday night at Bryant University against the survivor of Smithfield-Classical, two Division I squads set to do battle Saturday night in Providence.
The unknown variable pertaining to the 30-team boysâ basketball open state tournament is a mystery no more.
On Thursday the Interscholastic League released where the corresponding regions will be heading for the Round of 16 should they safely navigate out of this weekendâs first-round slate of games. The North region will dock at CCRI-Warwick next Tuesday; the South region will play out at Bryant University next Tuesday; the East region heads to Bryant University next Wednesday; the West region is set for next Wednesday at CCRI-Warwick.
PAWTUCKET â As players and members of the St. Raphael basketball family sat in the film room of Alumni Hall, enjoying pizza and soda while viewing Cox Sportsâ presentation of the unveiling of the brackets of the 30-team open state tournament, a feeling of uneasiness engulfed head coach Tom âSaarâ Sorrentine.
EAST PROVIDENCE â And so, Alex Butler and his East Providence High squad was left with this: With nothing left to play for other than pride and principle, the Townies played free and easy Wednesday night while at the same time providing defending state champion St. Raphael Academy with all sorts of fits.
By no means did E.P. run away from the challenge at hand. The Townies stood toe-to-toe with the defending champs until the very end of an eventual 58-55 Saints win that demonstrated to Butler that his team was not ready to enjoy the rest of its February vacation.
PAWTUCKET â Tuesdayâs clash pitting combatants North Providence and Shea was one of those back and forth, knock down, drag out affairs that you couldn't take your eyes off, and for the longest time it seemed and felt like the game could go either way.
Despite the stakes being high â the regular-season division title was on the line at âThe Cageâ â both head coaches, N.P.âs Paul Rizzo and Matt Pita of Shea, took a moment at 6:57 of the second half to engage in some playful ribbing.
CENTRAL FALLS â Just a minute before he and his troops began walking toward the door for a celebratory bus ride home, Cumberland High head coach Gary Reedy was told that this Division II-North clash against host Central Falls High ended with a combined 45 personal fouls and 39 turnovers.
WARWICK â Those reports on Cumberlandâs demise down the stretch have been greatly exaggerated.
The Clippers put the clamps on a four-game winless streak in a very big way on Monday afternoon by beating the team they are battling for second place in the Division II-North ranks, Pilgrim.
Andrew Dulac and Michael Kinch supplied the early scoring and goaltender Patrick Noke turned away 27 shots to lead the Clippers to a much-needed 2-0 victory at Thayer Arena.
PROVIDENCE â Steven Vazquez came, he saw, he conquered.
The indoor high jump state title â one that prior to Saturday's R.I. Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Providence Career & Technical Academy field house could be described as elusive â is now the property of the Central Falls senior.
He posted a winning leap of 6 feet, 8 inches, one actually equaled by his chief rival, Divon Bailey of Rogers. The tale of how Vazquez ultimately struck gold was based on pure technicality with the C.F. jumper hitting the bar fewer times than his counterpart during the final showdown.
In NCAA Tournament speak, Selection Sunday is a day for fist clenching as teams wait on hands and knees to see if they made it or were denied admittance. Taking a page from how the field of 68 is unveiled to the viewing public, the Interscholastic League plans to replicate at least some of the drama by conducting a live broadcast of the releasing of boysâ basketball tournament pairings.
PROVIDENCE â Hoya Destroya, indeed.
A Georgetown team that figures to be a tough out come NCAA Tournament time slowed the Providence College Friars to a virtual crawl Saturday night in a 63-53 Hoya win that wasnât even as close as the final score indicates. PC shot 25.9 percent for the game after compiling a 4-for-28 horror show in the first half. Such a frigid display made the task of trying to shock the 10th-ranked team in the country even more of a tall order, one that PC coach Ed Cooley openly acknowledged during his postgame meeting with the press.
WARWICK â Nearly two weeks have elapsed since Will Blackmon found himself engulfed in a sea of confetti at Lucas Oil Stadium, the first true sign that the Providence native was officially a Super Bowl champion.
Needless to say, the feeling associated with âGiants 21, Patriots 17â is one that hasnât completely sunk in, at least not right now. Blackmon appeared at a rally at his old high school Thursday, the Bishop Hendricken student body and faculty packing the gym to catch a glimpse of the newly minted champ.
PROVIDENCE â Ed Cooley claims he had no idea that Wednesdayâs loss at Cincinnati resulted in his Providence Friars dipping below .500 for the first time this season.
âTo be honest with you, I didnât even know that,â Cooley said after this reporter informed him of the news Friday, one day before PC welcomes 10th-ranked Georgetown to The Dunk Saturday night. In the same breath Cooley added, âIf you worry about your record, then youâre not concentrating on the right things.â