Category Archives: High School

Mass. High School Hockey: Lancers finish off rollercoaster season with Garden Party

The scene from above TD Garden as the Malden Catholic Lancers finished atop the Super 8 world for the third year in a row (Photo/Joshua Kummins).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

BOSTON – Pomp and circumstance was in the air on Sunday evening as the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association concluded its annual Division IA Tournament with a bang on TD Garden.

The Malden Catholic Lancers and Austin Prep Cougars went forward and back throughout the contest, but it was the bunch experienced on the big stage that pulled away in the end, earning a 3-2 victory for their third Super Eight title in as many years.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Lancer sophomore Ara Nazarian, who scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season in the win. “We just worked hard through the Super Eight. We were kind of the underdog coming in, so we just outworked the other team, got pucks deep and went to work.”

Just to qualify for the tournament, the tenth-seeded Lancers endured a play-in game with Archbishop Williams, before leading a perfect road to Causeway Street, amassing straight victories over Springfield Cathedral and a semifinal win over Catholic Conference rival Catholic Memorial on Wednesday at Tsongas Center.

“I’m very excited for the kids,” said John McLean, Lancer head coach and former Merrimack College assistant. “We have an up-and-down year and the kids pulled through. We did not have a lot of support out there. We knew we had the talent, but we just had to get them on the right page.”

A tough season, especially to start, it was for MC as it begun just 5-7-2, before rattling off 11 in a row to close the season in grand fashion.

“There were a lot of doubters and a lot of pressure on these kids, so they feel really good about themselves right now.”

From the outset, Austin Prep senior captain Nolan Vesey did all that he could to make the Cougar crowd happy as he streaked through the wing – just 14 seconds into the proceedings – and fired a wrister by Malden Catholic senior stopper Connor Maloney.

From then on, it was all Lancers.

“First shot goals happen,” McLean said. “BC High, last year, scored on their first shot, so we didn’t even think about it. It happens and you can’t worry about it.”

MC changed the tides and closed the opening stanza with two goals, heading into the intermission with a 2-1 edge. Maloney, a Woburn native, held steady and gave the offense time to play catch up.

At 5:25, UMass Lowell recruit and Lancer junior Tyler Sifferlen took a pass from future UMass Minuteman Mike Iovanna in the right-hand circle and fed the a wrist shot through Prep sophomore Elijah Harris for his 14th goal of the season.

With just two minutes to go before the first break, sophomore right winger Austin Goldstein snapped a pretty wrist shot one-on-one with the defense to cap off a rush with junior assistant captain and defender Nick Rolli.

Neither side found the back of the net in the second period, but Harris and Maloney each saw their fair share of quality chances.

Harris was the arguable star of the period as he kept the Cougars within one, thanks to a pair of huge saves on Nazarian, who fired a straight on shot, before spinning and grabbing a rebound off the crease about midway through.

Junior Patrick Wrenn beat Harris with 5:15 left, but the sophomore reached back and pulled the puck from the goal line to keep the puck from being scored.

Nazarian, a sure Division I prospect in just his second season on Crystal Street, gave MC some breathing room at 2:24 of the final period as he, again, streaked through the wing and squeaked a five-hole shot between the wickets of Harris for a 3-1 lead.

“[They come] all the time,” McLean said of the amount of chances his sophomore centerman from Boxford creates. “He’s done it since he was a mite. Nothing surprises me, he’s a very talented hockey player…and always shows up in the big games.”

“I don’t want to lose him…not at all.”

The Cougars were forced to kill a penalty in the final two minutes of regulation and Vesey broke in alone shorthanded, only to be denied by the stone cold pads of Maloney.

Vesey, a North Reading native and younger brother of Harvard freshman Jim, found the back of the net on a backhanded rebound with 26.5 seconds left, making it a 3-2 game, but that was as close as Maloney would allow in the Lancers’ win.

For the game, the Lancers held a 36-14 shots on goal advantage and became the first team to win their play-in game to become state champions.

SCOREBOARD:

Girls –

Division I: St. Mary’s 2, Arlington Catholic 1
Division II: Duxbury 1, Falmouth 0

Boys –

Division II: Wilmington 4, Franklin 0
Division III: Westfield 4, Swampscott 1
Division I: Burlington 4, Marshfield 2

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Recap: Littleton bests Maynard, advances to semi-finals

Courtesy of Maynard Athletic Department

By DANNY JAILLET

LITTLETON, Mass.– In what was a thrilling basketball game between two Tiger teams, one ultimately came up short. Unfortunately for head coach Paul Howes and the Maynard Tigers, it was they who would suffer the bitter taste of defeat with a 70-59 loss.

The first half was very evenly matched, with neither team gaining a substantial advantage on the scoreboard. Maynard held their own against the number one seeded Tigers trading buckets throughout much of the first two frames. Both squads had tremendous energy and fed off of the energy from the raucous fan sections. Littleton was down 31-27 with just seconds to go in the first half when star player Chris Murray hit a deep three-pointer to bring the game within one.

The second half was a different story. The blistering up-tempo play of Littleton appeared to be taking its toll on Maynard, who seemed to have lost much of the energy that they played with in the first half. It was during this stretch that Murray put the team on his back. He ended up scoring a game-high 31 points, and was particularly effective from three-point range, draining a few three-pointers from behind the three-point line. His quickness and speed also allowed him to get inside the paint and drive to the basket, something that Maynard could not stop. Murray led all Littleton scorers with 31 points while fellow senior classmate Ryan Sullivan chipped in 12.

Even in defeat, Maynard played hard and with the effort that has become a trademark of Howes-coached teams. Junior Ryan Fowler led Maynard with 19 points while senior Colby LeSage added 12. For LeSage, this was his last high school basketball game. Although Maynard lost, this season was not by any means a failure. The Tigers finished the year at 16-6 and with LeSage being the only senior, the future looks very bright for Maynard basketball.

Littleton (21-1) plays the winner of tonight’s game between Abby Kelley and South Lancaster Monday at WPI. The game will tip-off at 7:30 PM.

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Close Games Bring Intensity to RIIL Open Tournament

BY TIM SCOTT

Throughout Rhode Island, there were many intense basketball games that changed the outcomes of several teams’ destinies. When the maximum margin of victory was just five points, the closeness and tension associated with the eight postseason games reached an all-time high, and demonstrated the talent of sixteen basketball teams.

With collegiate venues such as CCRI-Warwick, Roger Williams University, and Rhode Island College, the teams demonstrated their competitiveness, and their tenacity at critical times. Although only eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals at Providence College’s Alumni Hall, each game demonstrated the motto which says that “anything could happen, on any given day.”

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
Games Held at Rhode Island College
(1) CLASSICAL 50, (16) West Warwick 47
In a game where many thought that Classical would dominate, the West Warwick Wizards rose to the challenge by forcing tough shots and playing tough defense. At halftime, the Wizards held an advantageous 20-16 lead. However, the Purple, led by Ismael Batista, outscored the Wizards 34-27 in the second half to avoid the upset. Classical played tough defense in the final two minutes, and clutch free throws put the icing on the victory cake.

(8) WESTERLY 52, (9) North Providence 48
In a battle of highly competitive Division II teams, Westerly relied on its role-players to defeat the North Providence Cougars, 52-48. Even though the Cougars held Rhode Island’s leading scorer Austin Cilley to only 10 points, they did not have an answer for Jacee Hamelin. The freshman had a triple double (17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), and provided a spark in the second half. Max Bumarch had 16 rebounds while scoring 8 points, and Phil Lynch scored 9 points. Meanwhile, for the Cougars, Jeff Malloney and Samuel Odukoya each scored 16 points, while Joel Diaz and Jeff DiDomenico contributed 14 points.

Games Held at CCRI-Warwick

LaSalle's Damon Gomes (24) battles Hendricken's Kazre Cummings for a loose ball in Wednesday's tournament game (picture courtesy of the Providence Journal).

(15) BISHOP HENDRICKEN 59, (2) LaSalle Academy 54
In one of the biggest stunners so far, the Bishop Hendricken Hawks played well from start to finish, defeating a depleted LaSalle team, 59-54. Since LaSalle had several players suspended due to an off-court skirmish in the Divisional Tournament, their lineup was young and inexperienced. William Tavares led all scorers with 22 points, which contributed to a victorious effort by the Hawks. Kazre Cummings scored 15 points, while Will Parmlee added 10 for the Hawks. For the Rams, Adrian LeFleur scored 17 points, while Damon Gomes contributed 10 more.

(7) HOPE 65, (10) Coventry 63
In a rematch of the Division I Semifinal game, the Hope Blue Wave overcame a halftime deficit to beat Coventry, 65-63. The current Division I champions scored 30 points in the second half, and played a very sturdy offensive game. Manny Kargbo led all scorers with 18 points, while Ben Vezele contributed 16 points. Meanwhile, for Coventry, Austin Gagan scored 16 points, and Brendan Haynes scored 14.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28
Games Held at CCRI-Warwick
(11) BARRINGTON 42, (6) Mount Pleasant 40
In a strong defensive contest, the 11th-seeded Barrington Eagles avenged an Injury Fund loss in December to defeat the Mount Pleasant Kitlies, 42-40. Barrington took the lead in the final minutes, and never looked back after that. Despite the absence of scoring threat Corey Daugherty (mononucleosis), several players stepped up for Barrington throughout the game. Nick Raymond scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half, making 6-of-8 free throws. Jesse Browne scored 10 points, and Colin Vatter hit two three-point shots. Meanwhile, for the Kilties, Jovel Beckford scored 16 points, while Zdahmond Dale contributed 14 points.

(3) NORTH KINGSTOWN 68, (14) Cranston West 67
In a crazy finish, the North Kingstown Skippers relied on the clutch heroics of Justin Pratt to knock off the Cranston West Falcons, 68-67. With 0.7 seconds left, a jump-ball call gave the Skippers possession (at the time, the Falcons led, 67-65). The Skippers inbounded the ball to Pratt, who sunk a three from the perimeter at the buzzer. With that three, Pratt scored 13 points on the night. Matt Quianoo led all scorers with 23 points, while Owen Heath scored 15. For the Falcons, Tyler Fann scored 23 points, while Mike Rainone contributed 14.

Games Held at Roger Williams University
(5) NORTH SMITHFIELD 73, (12) Shea 69
North Smithfield became the first Division III team to advance to the Elite Eight since the tournament’s inception in 2011. The Northmen showed their offensive prowess against an athletic Shea Raiders squad, emerging victorious with a 73-69 score. Peter Keenan led all scorers with 20 points, while Breno Pena scored 18. Cody L’Heureux also scored 14 for the Northmen. The Raiders were led by Eli Itkin with 20 points, while Alvin Semedo scored 13.

(13) PROUT 61, (4) Cumberland 57

Prout's Eric Ramieka (23) scores over Cumberland defender Trent Vasey (40) in Thursday's game (picture courtesy of Providence Journal).

Prout’s perseverance and patience against a stout Cumberland defense paid off with a 61-57 victory. The Crusaders outscored the Clippers, 34-26, to clinch the victory. Eric Ramieka scored a game-high 23 points. Justin Bristol scored 14 points, and Josh DiPietro contributed 11 points for Prout. Meanwhile, for Cumberland, Ben Bradley led the scoring with 15 points. Gregg Joubert scored 13 points, and the duo of Dylan Boisclair and Tom Lazaras each scored 9 points.

The Elite Eight will play their games on Sunday, March 3, at Providence College’s Alumni Hall. The winners of these four games will travel to the Ryan Center on Friday, March 8, and potentially to the championship on March 10.

Here is the schedule of games for Sunday, March 3.
11:30 am: (11) Barrington at (3) North Kingstown
1:30 pm-(15) Bishop Hendricken at (7) Hope
6:30 pm-(8) Westerly at (1) Classical
8:30 pm-(13) Prout at (5) North Smithfield


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Preview: Maynard-Littleton hardwood rivalry renewed Friday night

Courtesy of Maynard Athletic Department

by DANNY JAILLET

LITTLETON, Mass.– There is an adage that goes “the third time’s a charm.” For the Maynard Tigers, they hope the “charm” comes, in the form of a win tomorrow night when they face off against rival Littleton Tigers in the second game of the 2013 MIAA basketball playoffs. Both teams are coming off impressive wins. Littleton’s last game resulted in a 70-59 win, as they beat Quabog in the Small School championship game of the Clark University high school basketball tournament back on February 23.

Maynard meanwhile is coming off an impressive victory of their own. Maynard Junior Ryan Fowler anchored the Tigers blistering offensive attack as he tallied 19 points. Also playing well was freshman Cal Howes as he chipped in 15 points. Perhaps most impressive was the Tigers team defensive effort as they held the visiting Bethany Christian Eagles to just 10 points in the first half. Maynard’s suffocating defense combined with their sharpshooting resulted in a 61-28 win. However, the Maynard Tigers know that this upcoming game tomorrow is not going to be an easy contest.

Littleton and Maynard have squared off twice this season. Back on January 8, Littleton star junior Chris Murray tallied 23 points while fellow classmate Alex McLaughlin chipped in 12 more as Littleton gave their home fans a 70-59 victory. A rematch came on January 31 when the two teams met in the Maynard High School gym. This time it was Ryan Sullivan providing the offensive spark as he tallied 19 points. Chris Murray chipped in an additional 15 points and while he was not the leading scorer, he certainly made his presence known. Juniors Sean Peterson and Jeff Gately scored 12 and 13 points respectively but Maynard’s valiant efforts were not enough as Littleton won the game 71-44.

If the Maynard Tigers want to win tomorrow and advance, they need to contain Chris Murray. Plain and simple, he is their star player. He presents a matchup problem because he is one of the taller kids on Littleton, which makes him very difficult to defend especially on the perimeter. He is a very good midrange shooter as well and that dual-threat capability makes him a tough matchup. This also means that with the extra attention given to Murray, there may be some holes in the defense and other players may be given open looks. However, Murray was really a “thorn in Maynard’s side” last game so I think if they can stop him, a victory is definitely in the cards.

My prediction for tomorrow’s game is that Littleton will give Maynard a tough challenge. With that being said, I am predicting a Maynard victory.

PREDICTION: MAYNARD 63, LITTLETON 60

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2013 RIIL Open State Tournament Preview

BY TIM SCOTT

For the third year, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League will be hosting their annual Open State Tournament. This year’s tournament will feature sixteen of the state’s best teams, and will culminate with the eventual state champion.

Each of the teams were chosen based on a Power Points system. A Division I team received 1.0 points for a league victory. A Division II team received 0.8 for a league victory, while a Division III team received 0.6 points for a league victory. These guidelines also applied to postseason play, and each team received points for postseason victories.

Pawtucket’s Saint Raphael Academy (2011) and Providence’s Central High School (2012) were the first two state champions under this new tournament format, but surprisingly, both of these teams will not be in the state tournament. Since both teams finished with losing records, they were not eligible among the top sixteen.

By the numbers, there are eight Division I teams, seven Division II teams, and one Division III team that will be participating in this year’s tournament. The opening round games will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at three collegiate campuses (Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick, Rhode Island College, and Roger Williams University). The winners of these eight games will play on Sunday, March 3, in a quadruple-header at Providence College’s Mullaney Hall. The Final Four and State Championship Games will be held at the Ryan Center, home of the University of Rhode Island Rams.

Here are the team-by-team previews for every participating team in this year’s state tournament.

Classical defenders Ismael Batista (12) and Oscar Morales (14) defend against Hope's Johnson Weah in Sunday's Division I championship (picture courtesy of the Providence Journal).

1. CLASSICAL PURPLE (17-5, 15-3 in Division I)
The Purple had one of the strongest teams in Division I, and it showed during the 2012-2013 season. Led by veteran coach John Kavanagh, the Purple finished with a 15-3 record in Division I. Playoff victories over Cranston West and Bishop Hendricken improved their rankings. They may have lost to crosstown rival, Hope, in the Division I Finals on Sunday, but this did not take away from a great season. Junior Kealen Ives led the scoring with 22.2 points, while seniors Terrill Toe (19.8) and Ismael Batista (18.6) were major contributors to their success. Classical’s experience and performance in clutch situations should be beneficial as they try to pursue the team’s first RIIL State Title.

2. LaSALLE ACADEMY RAMS (16-6, 16-2 in Division I)
The LaSalle Academy Rams, who are coached by Eric Simonelli, have overcome several obstacles to become a top contender in Rhode Island. After 2012 leading scorer Tom Hunt left for Saint Andrew’s, the team depended on first-year coach Simonelli for guidance and performed well. But despite the departure of leading scorer Mike Clark and the suspension of a few key players due to a role in an off-court skirmish, the Rams still have a solid talent core that will make them competitive. Brothers Jared (12.7) and Dexter Thompson (11.3) lead the Rams, and will make key contributions for the Rams down the stretch.

3. NORTH KINGSTOWN SKIPPERS (20-3, 16-2 in Division I)
The North Kingstown Skippers, coached by Aaron Thomas, have one of the strongest talent cores in the state of Rhode Island. A strong veteran presence and good team chemistry made this team very hard to beat in Division I, resulting in a 16-2 league record. Seniors Owen Heath (13.4), Justin Pratt (12.6), Chris Hess (10.4), Austin Barry (9.4), and Matt Quainoo (9.3) lead a strong veteran core that can play a strong amount of minutes, and make games competitive for many teams across the state.

4. CUMBERLAND CLIPPERS (22-3, 15-3 in Division II)
The Division II champion Cumberland, coached by Gary Reedy, come into the playoffs with a strong momentum boost. Winning their previous five games, the Clippers rolled past Exeter/West Greenwich, Barrington, and Shea in order to win their first basketball championship since 1936. Like North Kingstown, the majority of the Clippers’ regular players are seniors. Led by guard Tom Lazaras (15.0), center Dylan Boisclair (14.7), guard Ben Bradley (13.5), and forward Gregg Joubert (8.4), the Clippers have a strong veteran core, and come to play in close situations. When the challenges are up against, the Clippers have a strong team chemistry that will make them a tough opponent in the tournament.

5. NORTH SMITHFIELD NORTHMEN (24-0, 18-0 in Division III)
One of the biggest stories in the RIIL basketball world, the North Smithfield Northmen finished the 2012-2013 season with an undefeated 24-0 record. Coached by TJ Ciolfi, the Northmen won big in all of their games, and beat non-DIII teams Coventry, Lincoln, and Central Falls in the process. Seniors Cody L’Heureux (16.8) and Matt Walkow (16.3), as well as junior Peter Keenan (13.1) led the Northmen in offensive production, and role players Dan Jordan (8.8) and Breno Pena (7.0) will be of great value during the postseason chase. If they win, the Northmen will be the first DIII team in the Elite Eight since the tournament’s inception in 2011.

6. MOUNT PLEASANT KILTIES (13-8, 12-6 in Division I)
The Mount Pleasant Kilties, who are coached by Charles Holliday, are a very competitive team that hails from the basketball hotbed of Providence. The Kilties finished with a 12-6 record in Division I, but fell to Coventry in the quarterfinals of the Division I tournament. Senior Jovel Beckford (17.4) is a slick three-point specialist, who can burn defenders on any given day. Juniors Zdahmond Dale (14.2) and Joseph Putu (7.7) are very solid players, and will make this Kilties squad very competitive in the state tournament.

7. HOPE BLUE WAVE (14-12, 9-9 in Division I)
The Blue Wave have proven themselves as postseason juggernauts in the past two years. Coached by David Nyblom, the Blue Wave finished in the State Finals against Central last year. Despite finishing 9-9 this year with the eighth seed in the DI tournament, Hope rode their blue wave past East Providence, LaSalle, Coventry, and Classical enroute to the Division I championship. Hope has a talent core that can make them a Cinderella story in the RIIL State Tournament. Seniors Manny Kargbo (18.7), Johnson Weah (9.7), and Wayne Andrews-Clements (8.5), along with junior Ben Vezele (8.3) will be key role players for the Blue Wave in this year’s tournament.

8. WESTERLY BULLDOGS (17-5, 15-3 in Division II)
The Bulldogs, who have appeared in each of the last three state tournaments, have a strong squad that will be competitive. Coached by Michael Gleason, the Bulldogs finished 15-3 in Division II, and won several key games. Even though they were upset by West Warwick in the Quarterfinals of the DII Tournament, the Bulldogs still play tight and exciting games. The big reason for their success has been senior scoring sensation Austin Cilley. Cilley, who set the school record in points scored, also led Rhode Island with an average of 25.8 points per game. Contributing players Jacee Hamelin (9.6), Zach Burbine (9.4), and Max Bumarch (7.3) will be good players who will set up opportunities for high-scoring games during the course of the tournament.

9. NORTH PROVIDENCE COUGARS (16-5, 15-3 in Division II)
The Cougars, who continue to churn up talent under head coach Paul Rizzo, lost a majority of their Elite Eight team last year, but have the talent pool to make a repeat appearance at Alumni Hall. Seniors Joel Diaz (15.4), Sam Odukoya (14.8), Jake DiDomenico (14.2), and Jeff Malloney (9.1) were valuable players as the Cougars finished with a 15-3 record in the Division II ranks. Diaz is a sharpshooter, and the post-playing skills of Odukoya and DiDomenico will be challenging for several opposing defenders, and the toughness in the paint will be hard to beat. The Cougars will be a team that could be exciting to watch in the tournament.

10. COVENTRY OAKERS (13-10, 10-8 in Division I)
The Coventry Oakers are a team that fight for possessions, and convert opportunities into points quickly. Coached by Tom Campbell, their record may not indicate their success, but their margins of victory against top teams make convincing arguments. In the DI tournament, the Oakers upset Mount Pleasant, 71-66, and only lost to eventual champion Hope by three points (65-62).

11. BARRINGTON EAGLES (17-7, 13-5 in Division II)
The Barrington Eagles are a prominent example of how good offense and good defense

Barrington players Coleman Maglio (left) and Jared Silk (15) look to help Barrington achieve success in the state tournament (picture courtesy of the Barrington Times).

make for successful performances. Coached by Patrick Sullivan, the Eagles avenged the loss of 1000 point scorer Ben Engvall (who transferred to Choate Rosemary Hall) with a solid 13-5 record in Division II. The Eagles defeated Prout in the DII Quarterfinals, but fell to Cumberland in the DII Semifinals, 58-43. Senior Jesse Browne (15.0) will be a key player for the Eagles, as he is a player who could score from both inside and outside the arc. Despite the loss of sophomore Corey Daugherty (14.7) to mononucleosis, several players will need to play strongly in his absence. Kevin Mannix (5.9), Jared Silk (5.8), and Nick Raymond (5.8) will look to be major contributors as the Eagles look to make a good run in the postseason.

12. SHEA RAIDERS (16-8, 12-6 in Division II)
The Shea Raiders are an athletic squad that can make games really close and intense. Coached by Matt Pita, the Raiders finished 12-6 in Division II, and were looking to make a run. Shea scored big victories over North Providence and West Warwick in the DII Tournament before falling to Cumberland, 60-54, in the Division II Championship. Seniors Eli Itkin (12.7) and Alvin Semedo (12.1), along with junior Chris Mainville (10.6) are the leading scorers for the Raiders. With an athletic roster that can do the distance in any game, expect the Raiders to be tough competition in the playoffs.

13. THE PROUT SCHOOL CRUSADERS (15-8, 13-5 in Division II)
In their first year of playing in Division II (they previously played in DIII), the Prout Crusaders combine height and shooting in their gameplan. Coached by Jed O’Malley, the Crusaders finished 13-5 in their inaugural campaign in DII, but fell to Barrington in the quarterfinals of the Division II Tournament. Their leading scorers are Eric Ramieka (20.3), Justin Bristol (13.3), and Chris DiClemente (10.5). Each of their players can make key contributions at any time, and they could be a formidable bunch in this year’s state tournament.

14. CRANSTON WEST FALCONS (14-9, 10-8 in Division I)
The Cranston West Falcons, who are two years removed from a Division I Championship, are a youthful squad that could make big runs in any game. Coached by James Moretti, the Falcons finished 10-8 in Division I, and clinched a berth in the tournament with strong athleticism. Despite falling to Classical in the DI Quarterfinals, the Falcons have several bright spots on their roster. Seniors Tevin Goins (13.8) and Mike Rainone (10.5) have led the offensive charge, while Tyler Fann (9.6) will provide a spark on defense. The Falcons have experience, and that could help them in the tournament.

15. BISHOP HENDRICKEN HAWKS (11-10, 9-9 in Division I)
Despite the loss of sharpshooter Lee Messier to Tilton, a depleted Hendricken roster still made significant strides during the 2012-2013 season. Strengthened by head coach Jamal Gomes, the Hawks managed to cash in postseason victories over Cranston East and North Kingstown in the DI Tournament to ensure a spot in the state tournament. Seniors William Tavares (14.0), Kazre Cummings (9.9), and Ryan Hagerty (9.3) are the major contributors for the Hendricken squad, who use lockdown defense to limit opposing offenses. A strong defense and the will to move on in the playoffs could help Hendricken in the tournament.

16. WEST WARWICK WIZARDS (17-8, 11-7 in Division II)
The West Warwick Wizards are a very young squad who edged out the DIII runner up, East Greenwich, with their powerpoints in order to clinch the 16th seed. The Wizards lost 5 of their final 6 games in the regular season before turning it around in the postseason. Big wins over Portsmouth and Westerly helped them to the DII Semifinals before losing an overtime thriller to Shea. Coached by Richard Grenier, the Wizards are a young squad whose main contributors are mostly freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Junior Brad Young (16.4), sophomore Kody Greenhalgh (14.9), and freshman Trevor Lawton (12.1) are the big three for West Warwick, who amount for a significant amount of their points. In a few years, this team could be a potential threat of the state title, but it is never too late for future success to begin.

SCHEDULE FOR THE RIIL OPEN STATE TOURNAMENT:
REGION ONE (Wednesday, 2/27 at Rhode Island College)
6:00-(9) North Providence at (8) Westerly
8:00-(16) West Warwick at (1) Classical

REGION TWO (Wednesday, 2/27 at CCRI-Warwick)
6:30-(15) Bishop Hendricken at (2) LaSalle Academy
8:15-(10) Coventry at (7) Hope

REGION THREE (Thursday, 2/28 at CCRI-Warwick)
6:30-(11) Barrington at (6) Mount Pleasant
8:15-(14) Cranston West at (3) North Kingstown

REGION FOUR (Thursday, 2/28 at Roger Williams University)
6:00-(12) Shea at (5) North Smithfield
8:00-(13) Prout at (4) Cumberland

SUNDAY, MARCH 3: ELITE EIGHT (at Providence College-Alumni Hall)
FRIDAY, MARCH 8: FINAL FOUR (at Ryan Center-URI)
SUNDAY, MARCH 10: RI CHAMPIONSHIP (at Ryan Center-URI)

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A Visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame

by Patrick Cavanaugh

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. I never knew you could squeeze heaven into 40,000 square feet of basketball history. I will now try my best to describe the sights and sounds inside the “Hoop Hall,” a historical monument celebrating its 53rd anniversary.

I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Springfield, which is just a short walk across the parking lot from the Basketball Hall of Fame. On Saturday, my family and I decided to cross the lot and enter the complex. There are several business in a building that connects to the sphere-shaped Hall of Fame. It is an overwhelming site to take in. They even have an ESPN Radio station in the building!

As you approach the entrance, there are two basketball hoops outside on the sidewalk. There were a few groups in attendance at the Hall of Fame, so as we walked by, we saw a few youngsters taking layups.

Once inside the building, the entrance to the Hall of Fame is on the right. On the walls, pictures of some of the most well-known basketball players, coaches, and officials pictures and names were shown. On the floor, you could compare your shoe size with all-stars like Shaquille O’Neal or Bob Lanier.

Once you enter the official Basketball Hall of Fame, you are in an open gym where people of all ages are taking shots on an NBA regulation-sized court. They have a dunk challenge in the corner of the gym. Five hoops are set up all at different heights, and people of all ages were showing their skills.

San Antonio Spurs Exhibit

We then head up the stairs to the second level. On this floor, there are exhibits honoring teams and coaches at all levels. At each exhibit, there was a locker room type setup. You can open the lockers and learn some interesting facts about each topic.

All of the exhibits are set up by skill-level. They put all of the high-school exhibits together, all of the college exhibits together, all of the NBA exhibits together.

As you walk around, there are some interactive activities too. Whether it is virtual basketball,  testing how high you can jump, or playing arcade-style basketball. After we played all of the interactive games, we reached my favorite part of the Hall of Fame, the media exhibits.

Looking down on the court, they had exhibits where you could call a play as a broadcaster, read a teleprompter as a studio anchor, or see all different camera views as a television producer. It was great!

Then, 0n the third level, was perhaps the most interesting. It was the Honors Ring. I walked around and looked at every inductee and each artifact. With each name came an in-depth description of each inductee and what they contributed to the game that Dr. Naismith created years ago.

Overall, it was a great place to visit. I gained so much knowledge while having fun at the Basketball Hall of Fame. I thought I knew all there was to the game of basketball, going into the Hall of Fame, but I was completely wrong. It is a great place to visit, and I recommend it to everyone! What a great time!

Patrick Cavanaugh covers New England sports for www.BostonSportsU18.com and BostonSportsRadio.net. He can be reached at .

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MSCHA High School All-Star Game: Kurker, Team North Doubles Up South at DCU Center

WORCESTER — Sam Kurker of St. John’s Prep (pictured) led the way for the Team North All-Stars with two goals as they upended the Team South All-Stars 4-2 at the DCU Center on Sunday in the3rd Annual MSCHA High School All-Star Game.

Team South jumped on the board quickly at the 41 second mark when Tom Cahill (Pembroke) buried a feed from Conal Lynch (Boston Latin) in the slot to go up 1-0. Defense was reigning supreme for most of the period until Sam Kurker (St. John’s Prep) scored back to back goals 20 seconds apart with just over a minute remaining to put Team North up 2-1 after 15 minutes. North goaltender Joe Cerulo (Wakefield) made three saves while South goaltender Kyle Moran (Marshfield) stopped seven North shots. Team North held a 9-4 shots advantage through one period.

The teams had a more upbeat tempo to start off the second as North’s Daniel Holland (Woburn) was tripped on a rush to the net by South’s Ken Jacobson (Duxbury) to put North on the power play. They quickly capitalized as defenseman Nikko Markham (St. Mary’s) beat goaltender Derek Kwok (Natick) under the crossbar at 1:32 to give the North a 3-1 cushion. The South’s best chance in the 2nd period came when Jake O’Rourke (Medway) weaved through two defenders but was stoned by North goaltender Dave Letarte (St. John’s Prep). Kurker almost struck again late in the period when his feed out front deflected off the post to keep the score at 3-1 North. North goaltender Dave Letarte made eight saves while South goaltender Derek Kwok made seven saves. The shots stood at 17-12 in favor of the North after 30 minutes of play.

The South cut the deficit to 3-2 as Kevin Emmerling (St. John’s Shrewsbury) buried a cross crease feed from Conal Lynch at the 4:10 mark of the 3rd period. The North answered right back at 5:30 when Peter Sikalis (Acton-Boxborough) teed up a shot from the left point that beat goaltender Connor Murray (Needham) glove side to give the North another two goal cushion. The North was able to squash any hopes of a South comeback the rest of the game allowing only four shots in the 3rd period. North goaltender Kyle Williams (Central Catholic) made three saves while South goaltender Connor Murray made nine saves.

Notes
MVP: Sam Kurker (2 goals). Team North went 1 for 1 on the power play while Team South didn’t register a power play opportunity. Conal Lynch assisted on both South goals. Final shots: Team North 27, Team South 16. Complete rosters and team information from the game are available by clicking here.

Courtesy recap by Mike Billings/Worcester Sharks.

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Help Out Two of Boston Sports U18′s Writers!

Two of BSU18′s “longtime” writers, Eddie Pannone and Joseph Kuykendall are seniors in high school and thus will be attending college next year. They both have entered to win a $5000 scholarship to help them in their efforts to pay for college. The first step in hopefully winning the scholarship is a voting period. For this, BSU18 kindly asks that you take the time to vote for both Eddie and Joseph. It is the same contest but winners are divided by state and since Eddie is from RI and Joseph from MA you can vote for both without affecting the other negatively! So please vote! All you have to do is click on the links below and follow the instructions. It takes all of 20 seconds. Be sure to vote for both! You can vote once a day so be sure to vote every day.

Many thanks from the BSU18 staff!

Eddie’s page: https://www.hood.com/promo/scholarship/default.aspx?sid=B7CE3FB9-495C-4204-A05C-8A60ADE4ECCE

Joseph’s page: https://www.hood.com/promo/scholarship/default.aspx?sid=78708319-FBCA-4155-B561-60B01A986339

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Chance of a Lifetime for BC High and Catholic Memorial Results in 4-0 BC High win

Junior Goalie Peter Cronin (above) of Norwell posted a 4-0 shutout as his BC High Eagles beat Catholic Memorial as a part of Frozen Fenway.

by Joseph Kuykendall

BOSTON, Mass—When people grow up and talk to their kids and grandkids about their high school playing days, usually the big state championship game, senior night, and their best game come up in that conversation. But BC High and Catholic Memorial hockey players have something else special to add to the list of conversation talking points.

The Eagles and the Knights took part in the Sun Life Frozen Fenway at Fenway Park. Started two years ago, Frozen Fenway found its way to Boston as part of the NHL’s Winter Classic in which the Bruins hosted the Flyers. Also Boston College and BU utilized the rink at Fenway to play a rivalry game of their own.

Anyway, this year Fenway Sports Group brought Frozen Fenway back to Fenway Park, with a bigger slate of games than just an NHL and a hockey game. This year there was a series of both men and women’s high school and college hockey games spanning from January 2nd to January 14th with some public skates squeezed in between.

BC High and CM were chosen to be one of the high school games as the two Catholic Conference rivals is one of, if not the biggest rivalry in Massachusetts High School sports. To make it even better, entering the contest, BC High and CM were ranked 3rd and 6th respectively in ESPN Boston’s Top 25 Poll.

After a scoreless first period, BC High put up 3 goals in the second and 1 in the third to seal the shutout win over CM.

In Massachusetts high school hockey, periods are only 15 minutes long and nothing of importance (Penalty or goal) happened for either team until 4:33 into the first period. And all it was…a power play for the Knights thanks to a penalty committed by Connor Noonan of the Eagles.

Shortly after the penalty, BC High Goalie Peter Cronin, a Norwell native, had an incredible set of saves. He made an initial save from a CM player but didn’t initially secure the puck on a rebound shot from CM, Cronin goes back to his left and made an incredible glove extension save. This was it for exciting plays in the first period as the teams would head into the first intermission in a 0-0 deadlock.

Whatever BC High coach John Flaherty did to inspire his team during the second break did the job.

BC High quickly broke the scoreless game 39 seconds into the 2nd period on a goal from the Senior Assistant Captain Bartley Regan. Regan is also the BC High football quarterback. Regan captained the team to a Massachusetts Super Bowl Championship.

Less than six minutes later, Sophomore Adam Foley gave the Eagles some separation with a goal of his own to extend the BC High lead to 2-0. Foley’s goal was assisted by Tom Besinger.

BC High would add one more goal later on in the second period to all but seal the win against their cross-town rival.

BC High would get one final goal in the third period from Captain Matt Sullivan and would once again hold the Knights scoreless.

The 4-0 win by the Eagles extended their record to 6-1-0 and is a good sign as it was the Eagles first game after their first loss on the season last Saturday to (1) Malden Catholic. Cronin got credit for the shutout and he also got credit from Regan,“I give all the credit to Peter Cronin,” said the captain.

Despite a compliment from his captain and a shutout against his school’s rival, Cronin was quick to not take all the credit, “Everybody, all the way through [played great]. We have six defenseman, they all played great; big credit goes to them the shutout’s for them too.”

That right there is what wins championships; unselfishness among a team.

CM is now 4-3-0 and has only scored 13 goals through those seven games. They will need a quick turnaround to forget things especially a loss like Saturday’s and gain momentum back.

KUYKENDALL CAN BE FOLLWED ON TWITTER @JOEKBSU18 AND CONTACTED AT [email protected]

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Listen to Joseph Kuykendall of BSU18 broadcast Lowell @ Andover high school basketball game tonight!

Joseph Kuykendall of Boston Sports U18 will be braodcasting the Lowell Red Raiders vs. Andover Golden Warriors basketball game tonight.

Kuykendall broadcasts Andover’s home games as part of a Senior project. This will be his third game that he has broadcasted so far.

Kuykendall is doing this project as he wants to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

Please listen into the broadcast by clicking here. Coverage will begin around 7:25 PM.

For any questions, comments, or live air shout outs, email Kuykendall at [email protected] or Tweet to him @JoeKBSU18

Hope you listen in!

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