CUMBERLAND â€“ By Gary Reedyâ€™s estimation, eight years have elapsed since Cumberland High last captured the Cumberland-Lincoln Boys & Girls Holiday Tournament.
Needless to say, putting an end to such a drought would brighten the Clippersâ€™ spirits heading into the coming year. Cumberland earned the right to play in the championship game after disposing of Woonsocket, 71-63, Tuesday night in the Wellness Center. Junior Ben Bradley paced Cumberland with 19 points along with eight assists and five rebounds.
WARWICK -- Taylor Regoâ€™s goal late in the second overtime period lifted Lincoln to a 3-2 victory over Cumberland in the Toll Gate Holiday Tournament championship game played on Tuesday night at Thayer Arena.
â€śIt took a great shot by Taylor to win this game,â€ť said Lincoln coach Jim Riel. â€śTaylor ended up being named MVP of the tournament.â€ť
Cumberland took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Michael Kinch. Lincoln took a 2-1 lead after two periods on goals by Nick Zammarelli and Mike Enos but the Clippers stayed strong and tied the game in the third stanza on Andrew Plutaâ€™s goal.
SMITHFIELD â€“ For 16 minutes of the Smithfield Officials Tournament, Tolman High held its own against Division I opponent North Providence.
Itâ€™s too bad it was the other 16 minutes that made the difference.
The Tigers fell behind by 25 points at halftime before eventually succumbing to a 57-34 loss to the Cougars in Tuesdayâ€™s opener of the three-day tourney. Senior Danai Porter was the lone bright spot for Tolman, scoring more than two thirds of the offense with a game-best 23 points.
WARWICK â€“ Lincoln High is young this season with more than half of its roster consisting of freshmen and sophomores.
According to head coach James Riel, the one thing the Lions do have in their favor is depth.
While Lincoln may still struggle somewhat against the upper-echelon of teams in Division I, Riel envisions his squad being competitive against its other rivals.
The Lions gave evidence of that the past two games.
WARWICK â€“ It was another win for Cumberland High, its sixth straight without a defeat.
But after his Clippers blanked Division III foe Mount Hope, 2-0, in the second game of the Toll Gate Holiday Tournament at Thayer Arena, CHS head coach Mark Andreozzi wasnâ€™t exactly singing praise about his squad.
Some RIIL history was made last March when the Johnston/North Providence team became the first co-op club to win a state championship, doing so when it swept defending champ Mount Hope in their best-of-three Division III title series.
While Johnston/North Providenceâ€™s championship didnâ€™t come as much as a surprise -- the team was 14-1-1 during the regular season and the top seed in the playoffs -- it was a bit shocking to see a boysâ€™ co-op squad capture a state crown before a girlsâ€™ team.
PAWTUCKET â€” For about 15 minutes in the first half of Friday nightâ€™s game, St. Raphael Academy looked every bit like the defending state championship team that it is, sprinting out to a 39-22 lead over a solid East Providence team that seemed troubled by the speed of the contest.
The Saints built their biggest lead of the night at 60-33, then watched a never-quit East Providence almost get back into the game with a 21-7 run.
At the final horn, the Saints walked off with a 72-56 victory that left head coach Tom Sorrentine shaking his head.
At this stage of baseballâ€™s offseason, the headlines are typically reserved for the big-ticket acquisition and the occasional blockbuster trade.
Behind that glitzy curtain is where youâ€™ll find new Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett. His mission is to replenish the upper levels of the farm system with players who will hold down the fort in Triple-A Pawtucket, ready to contribute if injury besets one of the major-league starters.
Looking back on the 2011 sports year, my most vivid memories relate to a Shea High boys soccer team that dazzled opponents with its talent, ball skills and exuberance for the sport.
The Raiders made soccer fun to watch, even for a traditional sports fan like myself who is more attuned to football than â€śfutbol.â€ť
PAWTUCKET â€” Make no mistake: Tolman made Shea earn its 60-55 victory Tuesday night at the Donaldson Gymnasium.
The Raiders were the dominant club for much of the way, building a 32-23 lead at halftime before going ahead by 17 points with eight minutes remaining. Thatâ€™s when Tolman head coach Mike Kayata decided to switch defenses from man-to-man to a matchup zone that allowed the home team to make a spirited charge.