Some high school hoop-related tidbits to pass along âŠ
You could say the three divisional tournaments in boysâ basketball are suffering from the same symptoms normally associated with middle child syndrome. Blame such thinking on our minds being somewhere else, the focus instead on the chaos and suspense hovering over the squeeze-everything-in gauntlet needed to complete the regular season. Thereâs also a great deal of buzz in the air surrounding the open state tournament, the new frontier that will lead to the crowning of one champion.
PAWTUCKET â Austin Silva scored two baskets in the closing 20 seconds as Shea High rallied for a dramatic 51-50 victory over Lincoln on Friday night.
âWe were down three points with 20 seconds left,â Shea coach Matt Pita said. âAustin hit a two-point basket and we put a full-court press on. Lincoln turned the ball over with 13 seconds left. With 1.1 seconds left, Austin drove the lane and hit a layup for the winning basket.â
Silva finished the game with 21 points. Guard Malik Moody added 14 for the Raiders, who are now 10-5 in Division II action.
NORTH PROVIDENCE â Avalanches are known for their fast-moving nature. They are also quite destructive, which Tolman High can attest to.
The rumbles of eventual ruin transpired in the opening five minutes of the second half, host North Providence High going on a game-changing run that made all the good work Tolman had put forth in the opening half a distant memory. By the time the last bit of debris fell onto the hardwood on Friday night, the Tigers found themselves tunneling out from an 80-66 defeat.
CRANSTON â Two of the four heavyweight programs in Division I squared off on Thursday night. Cumberland and Cranston West threw haymakers at each other all night with the defending state champion Clippers getting off the deck to win a 36-28 slugfest.
Cumberland scored five pins, worth six points each in the team scoring, to a pair of deck jobs for the Falcons. Those pins, especially the ones scored by Brandon Ferreri and Tom Lacroix after Cranston West had taken a 25-21 lead after 160 pounds, proved the difference in this topsy-turvy match.
PROVIDENCE â By no means was Providenceâs 68-63 win over South Florida Wednesday night a work of art. Not that anyone in the Friar locker room is about to complain about style points.
PC did not play anywhere near its best but won for the third time in four games to improve to 3-7 in the Big East and 14-9 overall.
âWeâre a high-paced team, but (last night) we didnât score a lot of points,â noted senior big man Ray Hall. âWe had to rely on our defense, and our defense really came through.â
Thereâs a scene in Jerry Maguire in which Jerry, the do-anything-at-all-costs agent, is going over the particulars with Matt Cushman, father of quarterback and surefire top pick Frank. Besides appeasing his pseudo clients with dollar figures and draft stature, Jerry aims for some reassurance from the Cushman camp that he will be entrusted with the negotiations with the NFL team that selects Frank.
Matt Cushman closes the discussion with a firm handshake along with the following: âWhat you have is my whole word, and itâs stronger than oak.â
CUMBERLAND â Another snow day, another lost practice session for Cumberland Highâs wrestling team.
âThis makes me very uncomfortable,â Cumberland coach Steve Gordon was saying on Tuesday morning as another snowstorm hit the region. âI donât have any control over the kidsâ weights when we canât practice. But my guys know what to do. They are pretty good about it. Some of them will go over to Northeast Elite (a wrestling school in Woonsocket) and get a workout in. We canât practice at the school because if school is cancelled, itâs over. You canât practice.â
PAWTUCKET â Thereâs just something so fitting, so appropriate, about longtime state power Bishop Hendricken matching up with St. Raphael Academy, a contender in its own right, this late in the regular season.
COVENTRY â The Coventry Oakers made a statement to the rest of Division I last night.
With the Division I leading St. Raphael Academy Saints strolling into town, the Oakers demonstrated that they will have to be mentioned as a contender for the state crown with a convincing 92-72 victory over the Saints that improved their record to 9-4 in league play.