Archive - Sports Article
March 9th, 2011
Two down, four to go.
Four wins are what separates three of the Blackstone Valleyâ€™s boysâ€™ hockey teams -- Mount St. Charles Academy, Cumberland High, and East Providence High -- from a date with state championship glory.
And the road for those teams continue this weekend when a half dozen best-of-three semifinal-round series around the state take place.
Whether itâ€™s at the high school or the collegiate level, it doesnâ€™t matter. Coaches will be the first to admit that when the postseason arrives, anything can happen.
Cinderella has made its way to the Ball on numerous occasions where an underdog that has no business to be on the same court or field as a top-seeded squad somehow pulls off a miracle and produces a victory or at least a legitimate scare to their favored opponent.
WOONSOCKET -- Wrestling is one high school sport in Rhode Island where the public vs. private school debate holds no water. Public schools have won 29 of the last 30 state team championships in wrestling.
Bishop Hendricken sneaked in to grab a state title back in 2004. Cumberland then ruled the state in 2005. Cranston West won the next four titles before the Clippers returned to the top in 2010. Warwick Vets prevailed in 2011.
Back in 1999, Johnston High won the state title, proving that even smaller public schools can reach the top in wrestling.
PROVIDENCE â€“ All Charles Correa kept thinking about was the next shot â€“ even on a night in which his touch was off.
PROVIDENCE â€“ There were not too many onlookers that figured Monday nightâ€™s Division III semifinal contest would be a close affair.
The late game pitted top-ranked Middletown, a team with just one loss on its record, versus No. 5 seed Davies Tech, a .500 ballclub.
Add the fact that the Islanders defeated the Patriots by 26 points in their last meeting on Feb. 24.
A blowout certainly seemed inevitable, but head coach Gerry Suggs and his gutsy squad never let it happen.
WOONSOCKET --- Cumberland High and the Division II semifinals have gone hand-in-hand for the better part of last decade, and that trendâ€™s going to continue this weekend.
Michael Kinchâ€™s multiple-goal night and goalie Michaelangelo Federiciâ€™s 33-save effort were the keys to success for the Clippers on Monday night in their 4-2 victory over Pilgrim High in the third and deciding game of their best-of-three quarterfinal-round series at Adelard Arena.
An open letter to Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley and Athletic Director Bob Driscoll:
When the search for the next menâ€™s basketball coach commences, do not make the same mistake you did the last time. Many people were leery when Keno Davis was given the keys to the schoolâ€™s primary means of visibility and exposure. Not just because Davis had all of one year of coaching experience under his belt, but also for the simple reason that he was far from the top choice to replace Tim Welsh.
PAWTUCKET â€” During the final stretch of the inaugural Irish 5K on Saturday morning, Brendan â€śBuzzâ€ť Doyle watched as two runners passed him the last few yards.
That was something that may have bothered him when he was a standout runner at St. Raphael Academy, located up the street from the Pawtucket race. It certainly wouldnâ€™t have sat well when he continued to excel with his running career at Iona College and later on the local road-racing circuit.
Not this time, however.
PROVIDENCE â€” Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine admits that it was by design that he honed in on West Warwick. After all, St. Raphael Academy had already played Coventry twice, which presented more than enough of a sample for the coach to devise an adequate game plan should his Saints cross paths with the Knotty Oakers for a third time.
PAWTUCKET â€” When Diana Davis ran up the steep incline during the first mile of the inaugural Irish 5K in Pawtucket, she didnâ€™t just see the top males in the field.
Davis, a third-year PhD student at Brown University, also saw some green.
â€śI want to go to Ireland,â€ť she said.
The 25-year-old runner took the first step to making that trip to the Emerald Isle a reality Saturday morning when she was the first woman to cross the line in front of City Hall, placing ninth overall among the 849 finishers with a time of 18 minutes, 25.1 seconds.
CRANSTON --- Cranston East had the numbers, the size, and fewer mistakes than Tolman on Friday night, and that helped the â€™Bolts seize the first game of their best-of-three Division III quarterfinal-round series with the Tigers.
Cranston East scored twice in a 13-second span in the second period to claim a 3-0 command and held off a late Tolman comeback to secure a 5-2 triumph at the Cranston Vets Arena.
PROVIDENCE â€“ For a team that had not won a game in exactly three weeks, or captured a playoff contest of any kind in three years, Friday night seemed as good a time as any for the St. Raphael Academy hoopsters to exercise some demons.
PAWTUCKET â€” Davies Tech baffled Shea High with its matchup zone defense on Wednesday evening en route to a 32-25 victory over the Raiders in a Division III quarterfinal-round playoff contest.
The Patriots trailed 16-10 at halftime, then went on a 15-2 run to take a 25-18 lead with 3:58 left in the game. Sheaâ€™s only two points during the first 12 minutes of the second half came on free throws.
EAST PROVIDENCE â€“ Wrestlers can get hot in much the same way a basketball player or golfer can get into â€śthe zoneâ€ť in their sports.
There is a mental element to this sport that can pay dividends when a wrestler acts decisively on the mat, confident in his execution of takedown attempts, instead of taking the mat in a tentative mood.
The march to Providence College is on!
Five boysâ€™ and two girlsâ€™ teams will begin their quests for championship glory this weekend when their best-of-three quarterfinal round series get under way at hockey rinks scattered throughout the state.
In Division I, Mount St. Charles Academy will pursue its fourth straight state title. The Mounties are the top seed and will face eighth-seeded Smithfield on Friday at 9 p.m. at Adelard Arena and again on Saturday at 8 at the Smithfield Ice Rink.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Rest is always welcome â€“ just so as long as rust doesnâ€™t start to form.
Eleven days will have elapsed since St. Raphael Academyâ€™s last game â€“ a tough-to-swallow 77-75 loss to Coventry in the Division I quarterfinals on Feb. 21 â€“ and the next time the Saints participate in a meaningful affair. Their reintroduction to spirited competition, complete with three referees and a neutral setting, is set for Friday night against Westerly High in the new all-inclusive state tournament at the Providence Career & Technical Academy Fieldhouse.
For most of the elite athletes in the state, including several with local ties, Fridayâ€™s New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships signifies the end of the winter season.
For a select few like Central Falls senior Aleide Fernandes, itâ€™s just one more meet to prepare for the inaugural New Balance Nationals the following week.
A dozen teams from the Blackstone Valley will be shooting for the same goal â€” a strong postseason run that hopefully leads them to a state championship â€” these next two weeks when the R.I. playoffs take flight.
In two of the three division tournaments, there are clear favorites â€“ unbeaten Barrington High is the team to beat in Division I, while powerful Middletown High leads the way in Division III.
But Division II appears to be wide-open, with a handful of teams capable of rising above the pack and winning the title.
PROVIDENCE â€” Regular season dual-meet results donâ€™t carry over into the tournament season. Each wrestler, no matter how big his reputation and how long his list of accomplishments, must begin anew when the opening whistle sounds to start a tournament match.
Thatâ€™s the beauty of this sport, which focuses on a team aspect during the dual-meet season. The emphasis changes to individual results during the postseason.
As the regular season winds down, the discussion for postseason awards and other laurels heats up. Suddenly the office water cooler or neighborhood establishment becomes the spot to discuss and dissect the merits of potential candidates, while those given autonomy to cast a vote sit down with pen, paper and DVD player, study tea leaves and rub the Magic 8-Ball before filling out the ballot.