Archive - Sports Article
February 17th, 2011
CUMBERLAND ‚ÄĒ The Cumberland High wrestling program runs as deep as the roots head coach Steve Gordon has nurtured in this town since moving here nearly 50 years ago.
The Clippers finished their second straight undefeated dual-meet season on Wednesday night with a 37-20 spanking of equally unbeaten Warwick Veterans, which was the favored team heading into this showdown between Division I‚Äôs two elite squads.
CUMBERLAND -- Tonight marks the beginning of the best 10-day stretch in Rhode Island wrestling this year. It starts with a battle between two unbeaten high school programs. Defending state champion Cumberland will host 2010 runnerup Warwick Veterans tonight at The Wellness Center with the regular season dual-meet title at stake.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď Tolman High faces a serious challenge in its final four regular season games, meeting a 12-1-0 Johnston/North Providence team and a defensive-oriented East Providence (6-5-0) team that sits right behind the Tigers in the Division III standings. Tolman (8-4-0) faces both contenders twice.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve lost two games to Mount Hope (10-2-1) and twice to Cranston East (8-3-1),‚ÄĚ Tolman coach Steve Reynolds pointed out. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve beat the teams we should have beat but now we have to finish our season against two good playoff teams.‚ÄĚ
PAWTUCKET ‚ÄĒ After dodging knockout punches for most of the night, Shea delivered one of its own in overtime during its showdown with Central Falls on Monday night.
Junior guard and tri-captain Malik Moody scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the four-minute OT session to help the Raiders grab a 64-58 win over their neighboring foes before a packed house at ‚ÄúThe Cage‚ÄĚ in the two sides‚Äô Division II regular-season finale.
There‚Äôs never too little to write about when it comes to the Blackstone Valley region and the indoor track & field state championships.
This weekend‚Äôs meet, however, may border on the ridiculous. In fact, when it comes to its conclusion roughly four hours after its early 10 o‚Äôclock start on Saturday morning, there‚Äôs a good chance I‚Äôll develop a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď Based on their last two games, it seems St. Raphael Academy and North Smithfield are two evenly matched hockey teams.
The Saints avenged a 5-3 loss to the Northmen two weekends ago with a 5-4 victory on Saturday night at Lynch Arena. SRA improved to 3-11 in Division II-North with the win while the Northmen fell to 3-12. Neither team will qualify for the playoffs.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď After a close first half with Division II-North rival Lincoln High on Friday night, Tolman after the break and cruised to a 64-37 win on Senior Night at the Donaldson Gymnasium.
The Tigers held a scant 23-21 lead over the Lions at halftime. Spurred by a strong bench and senior teammates Eli Wiggins and Jeremy Graca, Tolman essentially put the game out of reach by opening the latter half with a dominating 22-6 run.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď Tom ‚ÄúSaar‚ÄĚ 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 Friday‚Äôs clash with playoff-starved East Providence High in fourth place in the Division I standings after beginning the week in first.
CENTRAL FALLS ‚Äď 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?
‚ÄúYes I can, yes I can,‚ÄĚ laughs the junior from Central Falls High, an expression that suggested he knew the question was coming. ‚ÄúThe 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.‚ÄĚ
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď Point, meet counterpoint.
In keeping with the spirit of an article that ran in this newspaper on Dec. 14 ‚Äď‚ÄúCould Donaldson, Lynch tourneys be merged?‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Tolman High athletic director John Scanlon earlier this week unveiled a detailed plan of a Blackstone Valley-themed preseason boys‚Äô basketball tournament. The names ‚Äď the James W. Donaldson Memorial Tournament and the Dennis M. Lynch Tournament ‚Äď would still be kept, albeit with several interesting caveats.
PAWTUCKET ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúWhat doesn‚Äôt kill you makes you stronger.‚ÄĚ
St. Raphael Academy is bent on turning one of Nietzsche‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚Äď 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 Smithfield‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄĒ By definition a turning point is a critical juncture marked by a very significant change.
Some high school hoop-related tidbits to pass along ‚Ä¶
You could say the three divisional tournaments in boys‚Äô 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. There‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď 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.
‚ÄúWe were down three points with 20 seconds left,‚ÄĚ Shea coach Matt Pita said. ‚ÄúAustin 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.‚ÄĚ
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 ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ By no means was Providence‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre a high-paced team, but (last night) we didn‚Äôt score a lot of points,‚ÄĚ noted senior big man Ray Hall. ‚ÄúWe had to rely on our defense, and our defense really came through.‚ÄĚ