Archive - Sports Article
February 7th, 2011
Some high school hoop-related tidbits to pass along âŠ
You could say the three divisional tournaments in boysâ basketball are suffering from the same symptoms normally associated with middle child syndrome. Blame such thinking on our minds being somewhere else, the focus instead on the chaos and suspense hovering over the squeeze-everything-in gauntlet needed to complete the regular season. Thereâs also a great deal of buzz in the air surrounding the open state tournament, the new frontier that will lead to the crowning of one champion.
PAWTUCKET â Austin Silva scored two baskets in the closing 20 seconds as Shea High rallied for a dramatic 51-50 victory over Lincoln on Friday night.
âWe were down three points with 20 seconds left,â Shea coach Matt Pita said. âAustin hit a two-point basket and we put a full-court press on. Lincoln turned the ball over with 13 seconds left. With 1.1 seconds left, Austin drove the lane and hit a layup for the winning basket.â
Silva finished the game with 21 points. Guard Malik Moody added 14 for the Raiders, who are now 10-5 in Division II action.
NORTH PROVIDENCE â Avalanches are known for their fast-moving nature. They are also quite destructive, which Tolman High can attest to.
The rumbles of eventual ruin transpired in the opening five minutes of the second half, host North Providence High going on a game-changing run that made all the good work Tolman had put forth in the opening half a distant memory. By the time the last bit of debris fell onto the hardwood on Friday night, the Tigers found themselves tunneling out from an 80-66 defeat.
CRANSTON â Two of the four heavyweight programs in Division I squared off on Thursday night. Cumberland and Cranston West threw haymakers at each other all night with the defending state champion Clippers getting off the deck to win a 36-28 slugfest.
Cumberland scored five pins, worth six points each in the team scoring, to a pair of deck jobs for the Falcons. Those pins, especially the ones scored by Brandon Ferreri and Tom Lacroix after Cranston West had taken a 25-21 lead after 160 pounds, proved the difference in this topsy-turvy match.
PROVIDENCE â By no means was Providenceâs 68-63 win over South Florida Wednesday night a work of art. Not that anyone in the Friar locker room is about to complain about style points.
PC did not play anywhere near its best but won for the third time in four games to improve to 3-7 in the Big East and 14-9 overall.
âWeâre a high-paced team, but (last night) we didnât score a lot of points,â noted senior big man Ray Hall. âWe had to rely on our defense, and our defense really came through.â
Thereâs a scene in Jerry Maguire in which Jerry, the do-anything-at-all-costs agent, is going over the particulars with Matt Cushman, father of quarterback and surefire top pick Frank. Besides appeasing his pseudo clients with dollar figures and draft stature, Jerry aims for some reassurance from the Cushman camp that he will be entrusted with the negotiations with the NFL team that selects Frank.
Matt Cushman closes the discussion with a firm handshake along with the following: âWhat you have is my whole word, and itâs stronger than oak.â
PAWTUCKET â Story of this winter: Another bad weather day, another round of postponed boysâ basketball games to be added to the âcompressed schedule.â
CUMBERLAND â Another snow day, another lost practice session for Cumberland Highâs wrestling team.
âThis makes me very uncomfortable,â Cumberland coach Steve Gordon was saying on Tuesday morning as another snowstorm hit the region. âI donât have any control over the kidsâ weights when we canât practice. But my guys know what to do. They are pretty good about it. Some of them will go over to Northeast Elite (a wrestling school in Woonsocket) and get a workout in. We canât practice at the school because if school is cancelled, itâs over. You canât practice.â
PAWTUCKET â Thereâs just something so fitting, so appropriate, about longtime state power Bishop Hendricken matching up with St. Raphael Academy, a contender in its own right, this late in the regular season.
COVENTRY â The Coventry Oakers made a statement to the rest of Division I last night.
With the Division I leading St. Raphael Academy Saints strolling into town, the Oakers demonstrated that they will have to be mentioned as a contender for the state crown with a convincing 92-72 victory over the Saints that improved their record to 9-4 in league play.
PROVIDENCE â One little setback at an inopportune time hasnât stopped Aleide Fernandes from doing what she does best â winning state titles.
The Central Falls senior, who already owns five individual crowns in various weight events, is far ahead of the field this winter in her specialties with throws of 53 feet, 4 Âœ in the 20-pound weight and 37-8 in the shot put.
Fernandes still feels ready to shine at the state championships on Feb. 19, despite being sidetracked somewhat due to tendonitis in her left elbow, an injury that has kept her from competing the past two meets for the Warriors.
WOONSOCKET --- After cruising to a pair of lopsided Division I victories over the weekend, Mount St. Charles Academy got just what it needed on Monday night -- a competitive contest against one of the top public school teams in Eastern Mass.
The Mounties turned in one of their best games of the season and received strong contributions from all three of their lines and goaltender Dan Foster in a closer-than-it-appears 5-0 win over Needham High at Adelard Arena.
Iâm not a fan of his music, but Elton Johnâs âCandle In The Windâ has been embedded in my mind ever since Rocco Baldelli announced his retirement last week. The ballad has long been viewed as John articulating his feelings for the songâs subject, Marilyn Monroe, through the power of song. Still, thereâs one portion of the chorus that I feel best sums up Baldelliâs career â as well as other athletes who call it a career sooner than expected:
Your candle burned out long before â
Your legend ever did.
NORTH KINGSTOWN --- Charles Correa followed up a solid 24-point outing earlier in the week with a game-high 22 points and eight assists on Friday night to help St. Raphael Academy claim its sixth straight Division I game, a 61-59 victory on the road over North Kingstown High.
Trevor Vasey also added eight points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots for the Saints, who lead the Division I-East with a 10-2 record and are also 12-4 overall.
The Saints, who have another crossover game on the road next Monday night at Coventry High, also received 10 points from Cesar Mejia.
CUMBERLAND â With the score knotted at 62-all late in overtime, Rodney Bustillo thought the time was right to take matters into his own hand.
The dual-meet season for R.I. boysâ and girlsâ indoor track will officially wrap up by Tuesday of next week, barring another snowstorm (or two?).
Thatâs just the warm-up.
Beginning late next week, teams will be duking it out at the Providence Athletic Facility in their respective divisional championships. A week later, theyâre back on the oval in their class meets and then on Saturday, Feb. 19, schools statewide will compete on the big stage in the annual state championships.
For our local athletes and teams, a lot can happen in those next few weeks.
There was eight to 12 inches of snowfall on Thursday morning. Last Friday, it was about a foot. And for the season, close to 45 inches have hit the region.
Global warming? It doesnât seem that way.
The excessive snow this winter has certainly increased business at the chiropractorâs office with the young and old alike getting their backs aligned after hours of shoveling the white stuff. But for high school athletics in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, it also has increased headaches for athletic directors, coaches and their athletes.
The state championships begin in less than a month at the Providence Career and Technical Academy and plenty of wrestlers, through their performances at in-state and out-of-state tournaments, have started to make their case as title favorites.
And with only a few big tournaments left this season (Capital City Classic in Concord, N.H. and the Methuen (Mass.) Invitational) Rhode Island wrestlers have represented themselves well on the New England stage.
PROVIDENCE â For Ricky Ledo, itâs games like Providence Collegeâs 83-68 vanquishing of No. 8 Villanova on Wednesday night that has the Providence native convinced he made the right call.
WOONSOCKET â If anything, the announcement that Rocco Baldelli is retiring after a seven-year pro career and eight months shy of his 30th birthday should be viewed as an outpouring of relief for the Woonsocket native.
What was Baldelli? A good player, who showed flashes of talent that bordered on the greatness, the modern day answer to Napoleon Lajoie and Gabby Hartnett, two Hall of Famers with firm ties to the Blackstone Valley.