Archive - Sports Article
February 12th, 2011
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine will be the first to inform you that his St. Raphael club has been struggling lately, particularly on the defensive end. His concerns reflect the recent turn of events, as SRA entered Fridayâ€™s clash with playoff-starved East Providence High in fourth place in the Division I standings after beginning the week in first.
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ The moment has been building towards this crescendo of curiosity. After all, when the interview subject is articulating freely about his high jump prowess and is standing roughly 100 feet away from a basket in the school gym, inquisitive minds yearn.
Can you, Steven Vazquez, dunk a basketball?
â€śYes I can, yes I can,â€ť laughs the junior from Central Falls High, an expression that suggested he knew the question was coming. â€śThe first time I dunked was when I was in eighth grade. It was all of a sudden, coming during gym class. Easily with two hands or one hand.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ Point, meet counterpoint.
In keeping with the spirit of an article that ran in this newspaper on Dec. 14 â€“â€śCould Donaldson, Lynch tourneys be merged?â€ť â€“ Tolman High athletic director John Scanlon earlier this week unveiled a detailed plan of a Blackstone Valley-themed preseason boysâ€™ basketball tournament. The names â€“ the James W. Donaldson Memorial Tournament and the Dennis M. Lynch Tournament â€“ would still be kept, albeit with several interesting caveats.
PAWTUCKET â€” â€śWhat doesnâ€™t kill you makes you stronger.â€ť
St. Raphael Academy is bent on turning one of Nietzscheâ€™s most memorable quotes into a rallying cry, head coach Fred Saunders hopeful that it pays off in the form of a playoff berth. That figures to be a tall order considering the Saints no longer have leading scorer Diandra DaRosa in the fold, but as Saunders noted after a gutsy 38-34 win over a green Ponaganset squad Wednesday night, the show must still go on for St. Raphael.
WARWICK â€” Cumberland and Hendricken looked like they were in a hurry to get home and study when they met in a battle of unbeaten Division I powers on Wednesday night.
In a dual-meet that barely lasted 40 minutes, Cumberland rode eight pins and a major decision victory to a 52-30 victory over the Hawks.
Cumberland and Warwick Veterans are now the lone remaining unbeaten squads in Division I. The Clippers will host the Hurricanes next Wednesday night in a meet that should decide the dual-meet champion.
WOONSOCKET â€“ In her freshman year of high school swimming last winter for Cumberland High, all Courtney Kent did was win a state title. Kent shocked the field by capturing the 500-yard freestyle with an impressive time of 5 minutes, 6.45 seconds at the Tootel Aquatic Center at URI.
What does the tenth-grader expect to do for the encore?
How about cop two individual titles at the Feb. 19 state championship and possibly break a state record by a certain U.S. Olympian, who makes Rhode Island her home.
Some things I think I think:
It was nice to see North Smithfieldâ€™s Corinne Coia gain some local recognition for her productive basketball career at Lincoln School. The 6-foot-4 senior, who has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Rhode Island, scored 25 points on Monday night and now has 1,019 points in her career. She passed 1,000 career rebounds earlier this season.
PAWTUCKET â€” By definition a turning point is a critical juncture marked by a very significant change.
Some high school hoop-related tidbits to pass along â€¦
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. Thereâ€™s 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.
â€śWe were down three points with 20 seconds left,â€ť Shea coach Matt Pita said. â€śAustin 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€ť
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 Providenceâ€™s 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.
â€śWeâ€™re a high-paced team, but (last night) we didnâ€™t score a lot of points,â€ť noted senior big man Ray Hall. â€śWe had to rely on our defense, and our defense really came through.â€ť
Thereâ€™s 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: â€śWhat you have is my whole word, and itâ€™s stronger than oak.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€“ Story of this winter: Another bad weather day, another round of postponed boysâ€™ basketball games to be added to the â€ścompressed schedule.â€ť
CUMBERLAND â€” Another snow day, another lost practice session for Cumberland Highâ€™s wrestling team.
â€śThis makes me very uncomfortable,â€ť Cumberland coach Steve Gordon was saying on Tuesday morning as another snowstorm hit the region. â€śI donâ€™t have any control over the kidsâ€™ weights when we canâ€™t 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 canâ€™t practice at the school because if school is cancelled, itâ€™s over. You canâ€™t practice.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” Thereâ€™s 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 hasnâ€™t 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 Â˝ 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.