Archive - Sports Article
January 9th, 2011
PROVIDENCE â€” There was more than basketball going on inside the Pizzitola Center Saturday night.
Labeling it a local success story doesnâ€™t seem to paint the entire picture, though you could make a strong argument based on the three lads hailing from Central Falls on Lyndon Stateâ€™s roster â€“ certainly a rare occurrence. A homecoming? The three ex-Warrior hoopsters are all first-year college players, meaning they havenâ€™t been in the hinterlands of Vermont long enough to be jarred loose from our memory banks.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Nina Morey isnâ€™t about to complain about a win after her Mount St. Charles squad held on for a down-to-the-last possession 33-31 decision against Tolman on Friday.
That said, the MSC head coach came away with the understanding that the Mounties were very fortunate to waltz out of the Donaldson Memorial Gymnasium with the higher point total.
â€śIâ€™m glad that we had the ability to hang on,â€ť said Morey, â€śbut a little more time for (Tolman) and it may have been a different story.â€ť
PAWTUCKET --- Tolman High dearly needed this victory.
Junior Kody Casavant and freshman Jared Pedro each scored a pair of goals and the Tigersâ€™ defense turned in a solid showing over the final two periods to help nail down a 5-3 triumph over West Warwick High on Friday night in their hard-hitting Division III meeting at Lynch Arena.
Tolman, which is now 4-3 and in fourth place in the nine-team division, was coming off ugly back-to-back defeats to Cranston East and Mount Hope that saw the Tigers play both games shorthanded and allow a total of 14 goals.
WOONSOCKET --- Offensively, Mount St. Charles Academy is sixth out of the stateâ€™s nine teams in goals scored, and defensively, the Mounties are one of four teams to have surrendered fewer than 10 goals.
But thereâ€™s one huge reason why the Mounties are sitting atop the standings with a 5-0 mark and looking like a potent squad in excellent shape to defend their state championship come March.
â€śI think we have the depth that any team in the league would envy,â€ť offered MSC coach Steve Shea. â€śI feel like we have depth at every position, which is very nice to have.â€ť
PAWTUCKET --- There are some benefits to having just 14 players on your hockey team.
Playing time shouldnâ€™t be hard to come by. You donâ€™t have to share a seat on any long bus rides to away games. And you have plenty of room to yourself in some of the cramped locker rooms some of this stateâ€™s rinks have to offer.
Unfortunately, there are more cons than pros in having such a small squad, especially when your team is playing three 15-minute periods every night in a competitive league such as the 15-team Division II.
CUMBERLAND â€“ After a six-day layoff from competing that included only three days of practice, was Cumberland High coach Steve Gordon worried his squad wouldnâ€™t be sharp against Westerly on Wednesday night?
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tom Sorrentine is still fitting together the pieces of the puzzle that is the St. Raphael Academy basketball team. And so far, â€śSaarâ€ť likes what he is seeing from his Saints, who improved to 4-1 in Division I with a 61-47 victory over Cranston West on Tuesday night.
The Saints, who led 35-15 late in the first half, overcame some sloppy passing with a tough defensive effort and strong work in the rebounding department from the front line of Trevor Vasey, Cesar Mejia, Davon Robertson and Benjamin Pillsbury.
PROVIDENCE â€“ During long, taxing Big East winters, some Providence College followers often wonder why the Friars chose to bump heads with college basketballâ€™s elite.
Why? A visit by the No. 5-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers seems like a good place to begin. Welcoming such a highly decorated club brings with it the chance to secure a big time win while presenting youngsters like Gerard Coleman and Kadeem Batts a shot to become recognized outside of the Ocean State.
We will have some baseball news to savor this afternoon when the Hall of Fame balloting is revealed to the public. Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are expected to get into the HOF today. Several other players are on the cusp â€“ Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Jack Morris and Tim Raines.
Rafael Palmeiro could make it, too, if the voters forgive him for telling Congress he never did steroids and then flunking a urine test several months later, late in his career, long after he had amassed most of his 569 career home runs.
High school basketball coaches donâ€™t have any room to breathe when it comes to game conditions. They share their workplace with spectators. Their instructions to players, or complaints to referees running past them, can often be heard by the fans.
Marshon Brooks was the picture of a frustrated Friar as he stood in the hallway of The Dunk Saturday night. His stat line in a narrow loss to St. Johnâ€™s â€“ 8-of-14 shooting for 20 points â€“ did little to ease his pain.
Most players would gladly take the numbers like the ones Brooks compiled, bolt quickly out of the gym and pray that nothing gets amended before the final sheet is xeroxed. Not Brooks. The senior knows that if Providence has any shot of being anything more than a mere footnote in Big East play, then he has to deliver high octane performances every time out.
December 31st, 2010
From high school to Little League, 2010 was a truly glorious one for the Blackstone Valley, as several teams and indviduals captured state championships in their respective sports. Hereâ€™s a quick rundown of the highlights of this past year:
The winter season was a magicial one for the region, as five of its high school teams captured state championships.
The Mount St. Charles Academy boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ hockey teams pulled off a nifty double by winning their respective state championships. Itâ€™s the first time since 2003 that the Mountiesâ€™ squads both captures titles in the same season.
The best part of my job is meeting people connected with various sports teams or organizations throughout the Blackstone Valley. When all is said and done, it is the people and the things they teach us that remain long after the final scores have faded away.
Here are some of the people I remember from my life during the year 2010.
Just like the other winter sports we cover, the indoor track season will enter a new year on Saturday.
Some goals that were set back in early November remain the same, but with 2011 now beginning thereâ€™s also those New Yearâ€™s resolutions.
Or, shall we say, a new set of goals â€“ perhaps ones that become more realistic after the first two months of the season.
Will those goals (new and old) be accomplished? Time will only tell.
Hereâ€™s a glimpse at what is potentially in store from our top local track & field athletes in the coming months.
CUMBERLAND --â€“ With the new year just a few days away, Tolman High coach Mike Kayata has plenty of reasons to smile.
After a slow start, his talented Tigershas been on somewhat of a roll, winning their last four games. The latest of those victories occurred on Wednesday night as Kayata saw his Tigers hold off a strong rally by Lincoln High to capture the annual Cumberland/Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Holiday Tournament with a thrilling 61-58 decision at the Wellness Center.
CUMBERLAND --â€“ Players like Rodney Bustillo and Elijiah Wiggins donâ€™t need an entire game to make a difference.
Just give them a little time to start heating up.
The Tolman High seniors got sizzling hot in the second half of Tuesdayâ€™s opener with Cumberland in the annual Cumberland/Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Holiday Tournament and turned a 38-all tie at the break into a runaway 80-61 rout at the Wellness Center.
CUMBERLAND --â€“ Two teams in desperate need of getting their respective seasons on track crossed paths in first semifinal of the Cumberland/Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Holiday Tournament on Tuesday night at Cumberland High Schoolâ€™s Wellness Center.
Lincoln was the club that took a solid step in the right direction with a convincing 68-52 triumph over a Woonsocket squad that continues to seek answers. Lincoln will play Tolman in tonightâ€™s championship game set for 7:45 p.m. Woonsocket and Cumberland in the 6 p.m. consolation game.
WOONSOCKET â€” Mount St. Charles Academy didnâ€™t have too many low moments in its run to the Division I state championship last season, but one of them came in the first round of last seasonâ€™s Holiday Face-Off.
In that game, the Mounties turned in one of their worst showings of the season and dearly paid for it in the form of a 5-2 loss to Bishop Guertin High of Nashua, N.H.
Sometimes things move pretty quickly around here â€“ almost too quickly to catch up and fully appreciate what has transpired.
One day weâ€™re ushering in the winter sports season while the high school Super Bowls have yet to be contested. The non-stop nature extends to all seasons and sports, and we here at Blackstone Valley Sports have no choice but to hop aboard the next train or run the risk of being left behind.
CUMBERLAND â€“ â€śOf course, we had a Christmas party every year at the Boys Club,â€ť Mike Pappas was saying earlier this week. â€śThere would be presents for all the kids. And we made sure to hand out a Christmas basket to a needy family. That was important to us.â€ť
The Christmas Party tradition still exists at the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, an organization Pappas first became aware of as a Depression-era youngster living up the street in a three-story tenement. As an adult, Pappas would spend 41 years working at the club, the last 26 as its Executive Director.