Archive - Sports Article
March 7th, 2011
PAWTUCKET â During the final stretch of the inaugural Irish 5K on Saturday morning, Brendan âBuzzâ 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 wouldnât 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 âSaarâ 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 didnât just see the top males in the field.
Davis, a third-year PhD student at Brown University, also saw some green.
âI want to go to Ireland,â 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 âBolts 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. Sheaâs 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 âthe zoneâ 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 doesnât start to form.
Eleven days will have elapsed since St. Raphael Academyâs 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, Fridayâs New England Interscholastic Indoor Track & Field Championships signifies the end of the winter season.
For a select few like Central Falls senior Aleide Fernandes, itâs 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 donât 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.
Thatâs 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.
PAWTUCKET -- When Steve Reynolds took over the reins as Tolman Highâs hockey coach in the winter of â08, he inherited a team that not only graduated a talented senior class that reached the Division II quarterfinals the previous season, but was short on upperclassmen and bodies.
He also had his share of first-year players on his 16-player roster that season, and one of them was a familiar name who starred for the Tigersâ football and wrestling teams the past couple of seasons, Kyle Coutu.
PAWTUCKET --- If Tolman High and the Johnston/North Providence co-op team end up meeting in two weekends in the Division III semifinals, it should make for a truly entertaining best-of-three series.
For the second time in seven days, the two teams battled tooth and nail in an exciting high school game, but unlike their meeting last Saturday, this contest didnât end with a winner or a loser.
NORTH SMITHFIELD --- A very difficult season for Lincoln High came to a rough end on Wednesday afternoon at the hands of a tough non-tough team -- St. Johnâs High of Shrewsbury, Mass.
The 12th-ranked team in the Eastern Mass. polls showed the small gathering at the Rhode Island Sports Center why they are among the teams vying for a berth in their stateâs Division IA âSuper Eightâ tournament by skating to a 6-1 victory over the Lions.
Over the years, the final weekend of the high school hockey regular season had always featured plenty of drama and storylines. Regular-season titles on the line. Teams pursuing higher seeds. Others fighting for late playoff berths.
Unfortunately for local fans, there wonât be much suspense this weekend.
A big reason is because only five boysâ teams from the area qualified for their respective tournaments. Four of the five teams that didnât make it were long eliminated from postseason consideration, while a fifth, Lincoln, saw its run at a playoff berth come to an end last weekend.
PROVIDENCE (AP) â Notre Dame appeared to be in total control, then all of a sudden the Fighting Irish were lucky time ran out on Marshon Brooks.
Ben Hansbrough scored a career-high 32 points and Tim Abromaitis had a season-high 28 as No. 9 Notre Dame hung on for a 94-93 win over struggling Providence on Wednesday night despite a Big East-record 52 points by Brooks.
The Irish (22-5, 11-4 Big East) are off to their best start ever in 11 seasons under coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame, in second place in the conference, has won eight of nine.
CUMBERLAND â The elite seedings for this weekendâs state wrestling championships bear out the dual-meet rankings for the regular season.
Unbeaten Cumberland, the defending state team champion, collected four No. 1 seeds. Cranston West earned three, as did Warwick Veterans. East Providence was honored with two top seeds â sophomore heavyweight Jonah Aurelio and senior 160-pounder Jared Burrows. Bishop Hendricken, also expected to contend for the team title, got one.
NORTH PROVIDENCE â The music played over the PA system to introduce the players from top-seeded North Providence High was the theme song from the movie âRockyâ â the fictional story of the Philadelphia southpaw who overcame all odds to eventually become the heavyweight champion.
While the music was appropriate for the Cougars, who showed plenty of heart in Mondayâs Division II quarterfinal matchup with No. 8 seed Tolman, it would be hard to not say the same for a gutsy Tiger squad.