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WEB ONLY: Tolman rules Scituate in playoff opener

March 3, 2012

PAWTUCKET -- Tolman scored three power-play goals in the first 10:07 of play and never looked back on Friday night as the Tigers skated to an easy 9-3 win over Scituate in Game 1 of their best-of-three Division III quarterfinal-round series at Lynch Arena.
The third-seeded Tigers (13-4) will try to sweep the sixth-seeded Spartans (5-11-1) tonight when the series resumes at 7 p.m. at the Smithfield Ice Rink.

Tying it all together: Pawtucket's LaBranche instrumental in bringing 'Elite Eight' games to PC's Alumni Hall

March 2, 2012

PROVIDENCE — In the person of Carl LaBranche, the R.I. Interscholastic League and Providence College benefited from having an ace in the hole.
The underlying reason why PC’s venerable Alumni Hall gym is the site for Sunday’s “Elite Eight” round of the open state tournament is due to the communication and negotiating skills tapped by LaBranche in harmonizing this project. With this Pawtucket native (Tolman High School Class of 1970) serving as the point man, LaBranche’s vision of opening Alumni Hall’s doors to the state’s high school basketball sector became a reality.

WEB ONLY: A lack of scoring options helped contribute to St. Raphael's playoff exit

March 2, 2012

SMITHFIELD – Thursday night on the Bryant University campus saw St. Raphael meet its maker in the form of a deep-scoring Classical team, something the Saints desperately tried to evolve into over the course of the 2011-12 season.
Alas, it never materialized. The Saints’ 69-61 loss in the “Sweet 16” round of the open state tournament served as one final reminder of what can happen when a team puts multiple scoring threats on the floor simultaneously. That’s exactly what the upstarts from Classical did by placed four players in double figures led by 26 points from Ismael Batista.

Over and out: SRA's season come to an end at hands of Classical, 69-61

March 2, 2012

SMITHFIELD – St. Raphael Academy’s reign as defending state champs has come to an end – an abrupt one at that.
It was Classical springing the upset Thursday night at Bryant University’s Chace Athletic Center, the 13th-seeded Purple receiving multiple contributions up and down the lineup in a 69-61 “Round of 16” victory over the Saints. Classical’s Ismael Batista was virtually unstoppable in second half where he netted 16 of his 26 points. Charles Correa led SRA with 26 points on six 3-pointers.

Pawtucket’s Wilson claims A-10 All-Conference honor at La Salle

March 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Pawtucket’s Brittany Wilson, a junior guard on the La Salle University women’s basketball team, recently earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 All-Conference team as a Third Team All-Conference pick.
Wilson has helped power La Salle to its best Atlantic 10 season since the 2006-07 season. The Explorers went 7-7 in league play and earned its second straight Atlantic 10 Tournament berth and the No. 8 seed in this weekend's tournament.

Hockey postseason gets underway this weekend

March 1, 2012

Three months of regular-season games have now boiled down to three weeks of state tournament action.
And for five of the six Blackstone Valley teams that qualified for the playoffs, the ‘second season’ commences tonight at arenas throughout the state.
While the opening weekend of the postseason had long been reserved for the quarterfinal-round series, that won’t be the case this winter in the new State Championship playoffs, which along with the Division I tourney, jumps right into its semifinals this weekend.

Davies girls fall to N.S. in Div. III quarterfinals

February 29, 2012

NORTH SMITHFIELD — After a rather sloppy initial half, one in which it registered 15 turnovers and had serious issues netting a bucket, North Smithfield High head coach Alisha Brannon took her troops aside and told them simply to calm down and think.
“Basically, we have a tendency to rush on offense, and the first half was a classic example,” she said. “They try to pass too quickly or dribble past (defenders). At halftime, I told them to quit rushing and spread the floor.

Rogers ousts Shea from state basketball tourney

February 29, 2012

WARWICK – There were a few critical reasons why Shea High suffered a disappointing 63-52 loss to Rogers High in the R.I. Open Tournament's “Round of 16” at the Community College of Rhode Island-Warwick's Vincent A. Cullen Field House on Tuesday night.
Heart and will weren't among them.
Instead, the eighth-seeded Raiders issued 19 turnovers, including eight in the initial seven minutes of the final stanza, and dropped only 13 of 21 free throws (61.9 percent), as they closed their campaign at 18-6 overall.

Friars deliver in home finale, top Huskies, 72-70

February 29, 2012

PROVIDENCE – In preparation for Tuesday’s game against the Jim Calhoun-less UConn Huskies, Ed Cooley took his club to the movies. The screening didn’t include popcorn and soda, rather visual evidence to demonstrate just how far Cooley’s PC Friars have come from a mediocre showing in an exhibition game to this past weekend’s last-second escape job at DePaul.

Cooley on UConn coach: ‘I’m a big Jim Calhoun fan’

February 29, 2012

PROVIDENCE – It’s just not the players who burn with desire, clamoring to face the very best. Coaches too relish the opportunity to match wits and strategies whenever there’s a noted leader of the pack residing in the opposite corner.

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