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March 1st, 2012

Hockey postseason gets underway this weekend

March 1, 2012

Three months of regular-season games have now boiled down to three weeks of state tournament action.
And for five of the six Blackstone Valley teams that qualified for the playoffs, the ‘second season’ commences tonight at arenas throughout the state.
While the opening weekend of the postseason had long been reserved for the quarterfinal-round series, that won’t be the case this winter in the new State Championship playoffs, which along with the Division I tourney, jumps right into its semifinals this weekend.

February 29th

Davies girls fall to N.S. in Div. III quarterfinals

February 29, 2012

NORTH SMITHFIELD — After a rather sloppy initial half, one in which it registered 15 turnovers and had serious issues netting a bucket, North Smithfield High head coach Alisha Brannon took her troops aside and told them simply to calm down and think.
“Basically, we have a tendency to rush on offense, and the first half was a classic example,” she said. “They try to pass too quickly or dribble past (defenders). At halftime, I told them to quit rushing and spread the floor.

February 28th

Rogers ousts Shea from state basketball tourney

February 28, 2012

WARWICK – There were a few critical reasons why Shea High suffered a disappointing 63-52 loss to Rogers High in the R.I. Open Tournament's “Round of 16” at the Community College of Rhode Island-Warwick's Vincent A. Cullen Field House on Tuesday night.
Heart and will weren't among them.
Instead, the eighth-seeded Raiders issued 19 turnovers, including eight in the initial seven minutes of the final stanza, and dropped only 13 of 21 free throws (61.9 percent), as they closed their campaign at 18-6 overall.

Friars deliver in home finale, top Huskies, 72-70

February 28, 2012

PROVIDENCE – In preparation for Tuesday’s game against the Jim Calhoun-less UConn Huskies, Ed Cooley took his club to the movies. The screening didn’t include popcorn and soda, rather visual evidence to demonstrate just how far Cooley’s PC Friars have come from a mediocre showing in an exhibition game to this past weekend’s last-second escape job at DePaul.

Cooley on UConn coach: ‘I’m a big Jim Calhoun fan’

February 28, 2012

PROVIDENCE – It’s 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 there’s a noted leader of the pack residing in the opposite corner.

February 27th

Win or go home for local girls' teams

February 27, 2012

When it comes to predicting who will play for the three state championships on March 10 at the Ryan Center, it shouldn’t 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 North’s Moses Brown (17-1) and the South’s Narragansett and Rogers (each 16-2), and in Division III, unbeaten Juanita Sanchez and defending champ Middletown (16-3) are the clear-cut favorites.

February 26th

Rising through the ranks: Cumberland's Mike Roose named strength and conditioning coordinator of Red Sox' farm system

February 26, 2012

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 native’s meteoric rise through the Boston Red Sox’s player support chain.

Winning by a nose: Cumberland wins state wrestling title by one point

February 26, 2012

PROVIDENCE — 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.

Hawks turn up defensive pressure, oust Tigers from state playoffs

February 26, 2012

WARWICK — Tolman head coach Mike Kayata didn’t 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.
“They exploited us,” Kayata deadpanned.

February 25th

Ruler of the pool: Clippers' Kent captures two events at state meet

February 25, 2012

KINGSTON — Cumberland High junior Courtney Kent explained Saturday afternoon that she hadn’t really “tapered” for these R.I. Interscholastic Swimming Championships.
In essence, that just means she hadn’t 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 body’s ability to recuperate.

February 24th

Easy does it: Shea handily wins tourney opener

February 24, 2012

PAWTUCKET – To borrow from the office supply story Staples, “That was easy.”
Almost too easy if you’re 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 “The Cage.” 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.

No contest: St. Raphael blasts Narragansett, 63-29

February 24, 2012

PAWTUCKET – Tom “Saar” 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.

February 23rd

WEB ONLY: RIIL announces schedule of 'Sweet 16' games for boys' hoops tournament

February 23, 2012

The unknown variable pertaining to the 30-team boys’ 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 weekend’s 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.

February 22nd

Local basketball teams learn their playoff opponents

February 22, 2012

PAWTUCKET – 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 Sports’ presentation of the unveiling of the brackets of the 30-team open state tournament, a feeling of uneasiness engulfed head coach Tom “Saar” Sorrentine.

Saints overcome tough challenge from Townies

February 22, 2012

EAST PROVIDENCE – 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.

February 21st

Cougars bring out best down stretch to top Raiders

February 21, 2012

PAWTUCKET – Tuesday’s 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 – the regular-season division title was on the line at “The Cage” – both head coaches, N.P.’s Paul Rizzo and Matt Pita of Shea, took a moment at 6:57 of the second half to engage in some playful ribbing.

Cumberland wins 'sloppy' game with Central Falls

February 21, 2012

CENTRAL FALLS — 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.

February 20th

Clippers draw even with Patriots in standings

February 20, 2012

WARWICK — Those reports on Cumberland’s 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.

February 19th

C.F.'s Vazquez wins state high jump championship

February 19, 2012

PROVIDENCE — Steven Vazquez came, he saw, he conquered.
The indoor high jump state title – 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 – 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.

A first for R.I. basketball: 'Selection Wednesday'

February 19, 2012

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 boys’ basketball tournament pairings.

 

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