PROVIDENCE â Those who are driven to excel fully understand the magnitude of qualifying for the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships.
With that qualification comes an expectation of success, and â when it doesn't come â the hurt runs remarkably deep.
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.
PROVIDENCE â 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 PCâs venerable Alumni Hall gym is the site for Sundayâs âElite Eightâ 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, LaBrancheâs vision of opening Alumni Hallâs doors to the stateâs high school basketball sector became a reality.
SMITHFIELD â 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 Saintsâ 69-61 loss in the âSweet 16â 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. Thatâs exactly what the upstarts from Classical did by placed four players in double figures led by 26 points from Ismael Batista.
SMITHFIELD â St. Raphael Academyâs reign as defending state champs has come to an end â an abrupt one at that.
It was Classical springing the upset Thursday night at Bryant Universityâs Chace Athletic Center, the 13th-seeded Purple receiving multiple contributions up and down the lineup in a 69-61 âRound of 16â victory over the Saints. Classicalâs 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.
PHILADELPHIA â Pawtucketâs Brittany Wilson, a junior guard on the La Salle University womenâs 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.
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 âsecond seasonâ commences tonight at arenas throughout the state.
While the opening weekend of the postseason had long been reserved for the quarterfinal-round series, that wonât 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.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â 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.
âBasically, we have a tendency to rush on offense, and the first half was a classic example,â she said. âThey try to pass too quickly or dribble past (defenders). At halftime, I told them to quit rushing and spread the floor.
WARWICK â 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 âRound of 16â 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.
PROVIDENCE â In preparation for Tuesdayâs game against the Jim Calhoun-less UConn Huskies, Ed Cooley took his club to the movies. The screening didnât include popcorn and soda, rather visual evidence to demonstrate just how far Cooleyâs PC Friars have come from a mediocre showing in an exhibition game to this past weekendâs last-second escape job at DePaul.