Archive - Sports Article
March 17th, 2011
The seasons come and the seasons go.
Another winter of high school sports in our region has come to an end (except for Mount St. Charles hockey, both the boys and the girls).
It wasnâ€™t a particularly great campaign for teams from the Blackstone Valley. St. Raphael Academy did win the boysâ€™ basketball open tournament. That was no small achievement, especially after the Saints limped to the finish line during the regular season and made a quick exit from the division playoffs.
Life is about second chances and the Saints made the most of their opportunity.
PAWTUCKET â€” Freddy Gobewole is making a name for himself in this city, first as an all-state football player for Shea High last autumn and then as the New England high school indoor track champion at 55 meters.
PROVIDENCE â€” Keno Davis never failed to mention that Providence College featured one of the youngest menâ€™s basketball teams in the Big East, if not the country. Many saw that as a plea or a copout on Davisâ€™ part, but the fact that the Friarsâ€™ 2010-11 roster was comprised of 10 first- or second-year players is not lost on athletic director Bob Driscoll.
The great unknown turned into the great success for boysâ€™ basketball in Rhode Island. Thanks to the countless thrills and memories the all-inclusive state tournament provided, the format of crowning one undisputed champion is likely here to stay.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€” â€śWe stayed at a high level,â€ť deadpanned Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine as his St. Raphael Academy players were hooting and hollering in the adjacent room.
In the same breath Sorrentine, donning a championship hat, added, â€śYou could never relax.â€ť
That in a nutshell summarizes SRAâ€™s journey back to the top of the Rhode Island high school basketball mountain. The opposition tried its best to rattle the Saints, but when it mattered most, Sorrentineâ€™s crew rose to the occasion.
PORTSMOUTH â€” Over the past several years, Portsmouth Abbeyâ€™s rink has been a house of horrors for Cumberland High, a building that has been as cold to the Clippers as the frigid temperatures inside its confines.
On Sunday afternoon, the Clippers endured their latest nightmare at the arena, and it resulted in a swift exit from the Division II playoffs.
The third-seeded Clippers dropped the third and deciding game of their best-of-three semifinal-round series to second-seeded Portsmouth High in the form of a 5-3 defeat that wasnâ€™t nearly as close as the score indicates.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ Behold the skill set of Charles Correa.
St. Raphaelâ€™s talented point guard couldnâ€™t have picked a better time to showcase his talents. With a berth in the finals of the open state tournament on the line, Correa did his part in SRAâ€™s 66-48 quarterfinal win against North Providence Friday night at URIâ€™s Ryan Center.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Bob Driscoll is back on the clock, and this time the Providence College athletic director is bringing some important friends along for the ride.
For the second time in three years, Driscoll finds himself making an important assessment of the menâ€™s basketball program. PC parted ways with Keno Davis on Friday after three turbulent seasons, a tenure that was marked by tough times on and away from the court. Speaking from inside his Alumni Hall office late Friday afternoon, Driscoll mentioned he plans on forming a search committee in his quest to find the next Friar coach.
Officially, the Keno Davis Era at Providence College ended Friday, when the school severed its working relationship with the head coach, one many perceived upon his hiring three years ago was the missing link in bringing respectability to the menâ€™s basketball program.
Technically, Davisâ€™ fate at PC was sealed last May 18, when star player Jamine â€śGreedyâ€ť Peterson was expelled after an undisclosed incident in a dorm room on campus. The incidents that came before and after Petersonâ€™s ouster were a further death knell to a situation that Davis was never able to recover from.
There are times when Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine probably wishes he had a traffic light on the bench. Instead of making tiresome gyrations with his hands and feet and straining his vocal cords, Sorrentine could simply stand and rely on the signaling device to get the message across.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Mike Kayata and Matt Pita arenâ€™t about to tell Tom â€śSaarâ€ť Sorrentine anything he doesnâ€™t already know. On Monday the longtime St. Raphael Academy coach was present as North Providence ushered top seed Cranston West out of the state tournament behind a reverse lay-in in the dying seconds from one of the Cougarsâ€™ chief threats, Austin Van Bemmelen.
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.