PROVIDENCE â€” Ed Cooley claims he had no idea that Wednesdayâ€™s loss at Cincinnati resulted in his Providence Friars dipping below .500 for the first time this season.
â€śTo be honest with you, I didnâ€™t even know that,â€ť Cooley said after this reporter informed him of the news Friday, one day before PC welcomes 10th-ranked Georgetown to The Dunk Saturday night. In the same breath Cooley added, â€śIf you worry about your record, then youâ€™re not concentrating on the right things.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” Minutes before the Division II-Central clash between archrivals Tolman and Shea highs, Tigers coach Mike Kayata seemed even more intense than usual, and that's hard for him.
â€śWe're playing to win this one,â€ť he said as his players warmed up, â€śand the answer is going to be defense. We have to take care of the ball and limit their fast-break points. If we do that, we should be OK. They're tough. They're 13-3 for a reason, and we know that. These guys all know each other, so this is about pride and respect. We just have to take care of the ball.â€ť
LINCOLN â€” Thereâ€™s no room for confusion or interpretation when youâ€™re that sure about something. Make no mistake: Nick Zammarelliâ€™s mind is already made up regarding where he wants to play college baseball.
A junior at Lincoln High, Zammarelli recently announced his intention to attend Division I Elon University, located in North Carolina. To issue a verbal that signifies the acceptance of an athletic scholarship package long before Zammarelli is even eligible to sign a national letter of intent speaks volumes of just how comfortable the player is with the school and vice versa.
PAWTUCKET â€” For a team thatâ€™s been somewhat sidetracked in its pursuit of a high playoff berth, St. Raphael picked the perfect time to have one of its finest games of the season.
Junior Lauren Gaj and sophomore Rybecca Gonzalez teamed up to score 30 points and help the Saints give a strong showing on the boards that paved the way for a key 52-44 triumph over red-hot Lincoln on Wednesday night at the Saintsâ€™ Alumni Hall.
WARWICK â€“ Things were not looking good for Cumberland High three matches into its regular season finale against defending state team tourney champion Warwick Veterans on Wednesday evening.
The Clippers, seeking their 57th consecutive dual-meet victory and third straight unbeaten season, trailed Warwick Vets 15-0. Cumberland needed to make something happen in a hurry and Nick Tribelli answered the call with a stunning pin at 126 pounds.
â€śOnce we got that win from Nick, I knew we had a shot,â€ť Cumberland coach Steve Gordon said after his Clippers rallied for a 44-29 triumph.
LINCOLN â€“ You want to keep fighting the good fight, but sometimes thatâ€™s not nearly enough.
A season littered with frustrating moments continues for Kent Crooks and his Lincoln High squad. The Lions dressed just six players for Tuesday nightâ€™s Division II-Central contest against Shea, the Raiders taking full advantage in a 66-37 runaway performance at The Lionsâ€™ Den.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman Highâ€™s â€śsleeping giantâ€ť of a basketball team is still sleeping.
The Tigers slumbered through the opening eight minutes of Tuesday nightâ€™s clash with Division II-Central leader North Providence, falling behind 27-8 before essentially playing the Cougars even for the rest of the game, finally losing by an 87-72 margin.
North Providence saw a 15-point halftime lead shrink to 10 with 10:30 left in the game. The Cougars hardly blinked. They just took the ball to the basket and got fouled, making 24 of 31 free throws in the game.
A quick check on how several locals are performing at the college level (Editor's note: all stats are current through Sunday, February 12):
A five-game winning streak has Fairfield in the thick of MAAC race with the play of Pawtucket native Rakim Sanders representing a major reason why. Sanders led the Stags with 13 points in Sundayâ€™s 68-51 win against Loyola University while logging a team-best 37 minutes.
Woonsocket High School athletic director George Nasuti feels a common bond with his colleagues at other city schools in Rhode Island, in places like Pawtucket, Central Falls and Providence. He knows the budget restraints that ADs in those cities deal with, and can easily relate to the student-athletes and the economic realities many of them face during the school year.