â€śEveryone has to be ready. Everyone is in the same boat.â€ť
Those words, echoed by East Providence head coach Alex Butler, shall serve as the equivalent to ringing the opening bell on Wall Street. Tonight will see the curtain raised on league play, which with the expansion of the open tournament and the doing away (at least for this season) of the division tournaments, has taken on even greater emphasis.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Short jumpers, three-pointers, lay-ups. It didnâ€™t matter. No matter what North Smithfield tossed up in its Division III matchup with host Shea on Tuesday night, nothing seemed to fall.
When you are inside the small and always-boisterous confines of â€śThe Cageâ€ť against a Raider defense that always seems to play their opponents tough, victories are hard to come by when youâ€™re having an off-night from the field.
Chris Iannettaâ€™s â€śGet Out of Jail Freeâ€ť card arrived two weeks ago when the St. Raphael Academy alumnus was acquired by the Los Angeles Angels to be their everyday catcher.
Relocating from the Rocky Mountains that adorn Colorado to sun-splashed Southern California has already reaped one major benefit for the 28-year-old. Keep in mind that Iannetta has yet to suit up for his new manager, but that didnâ€™t stop Mike Scioscia from lavishing praise upon his new catcher during last weekâ€™s winter meetings.
PROVIDENCE â€” The wins havenâ€™t exactly come against Murderersâ€™ Row. Certainly thatâ€™s food for thought with the Providence Friars in the midst of a 10-day exam period, Ed Cooleyâ€™s first PC team standing at 9-2.
PAWTUCKET â€“ Sure, tournament bragging rights were on the line when Tolman and Shea met Saturday night in the finals of the James W. Donaldson Memorial Tip-Off Tournament, which is designed to pay homage to the memory of the longtime Tolman High teacher and coach. Itâ€™s just that thereâ€™s a whole other realm to take into account.
PAWTUCKET â€“ For St. Raphael Academy, Saturdayâ€™s game against Providence Country Day was merely a matter of surviving.
Playing for the third time in as many days, the Saints did just enough to squeeze out an 81-73 victory in the championship game of the Dennis M. Lynch Jr. Memorial Tournament.
Junior Charles Correa stole the show at the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club on his way to earning tourney MVP honors, registering a game-high 30 points to go along with seven assists and five rebounds.
WARWICK â€“ Tolman High took care of business on Saturday night, scoring early and often en route to an 8-0 victory over Warwick Veterans.
The Tigers struck just 14 seconds into the game when Ryan Pedro converted a pass from Ed Reall for a 1-0 lead. Kody Casavant then scored the next game less than one minute later. Ryan Deighan and Reall added goals to give Tolman a 4-0 lead after one period.
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ There were a fair share of turnovers and some sloppy play by both teams, something thatâ€™s common for the first game of the season.
But after 32 minutes of basketball in Fridayâ€™s non-leaguer between North Smithfield and host Central Fall, both coaches were satisfied with the effort â€“ one that equated to a 45-34 victory in the Warriorsâ€™ favor.
â€śI was very impressed, very impressed with the girlsâ€™ energy,â€ť said first-year coach Jayar Santos, who replaces longtime Warrior mentor Joe Handy.
CUMBERLAND â€“ With a starting lineup comprised entirely of juniors, Cumberland head coach Gary Reedy believes that positive things are in store for his squad this winter.
The first step in the right direction took place Friday night with Cumberland disposing of Johnston, 69-60, in an Injury Fund non-league contest at the Wellness Center. Ben Bradley, one of those aforementioned 11th graders, led all scorers with 24 points while also contributing six rebounds and three steals.
PAWTUCKET â€” Defending state champion St. Raphael Academy toyed with Central Falls in the opening game of the Dennis M. Lynch Memorial Tournament on Thursday night, rolling to a 72-38 victory as the Saintsâ€™ 1-2 punch of Cesar Mejia (22 points) and Charles Correa (16 points) equaled the Warriorsâ€™ final scoring total all by themselves.
â€śWe have a lot of kinks to work out,â€ť SRA coach Tom Sorrentine admitted after the game ended. â€śBut we do have our 1-2 punch back. Davon Robertson is our third returning starter. We have to fill in the other spots.â€ť