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March 2nd, 2012

Hawks too tough for Broncos in playoff opener

March 2, 2012

WARWICK — Burrillville did everything in its power to beat heavily favored Bishop Hendricken on Friday night in the opening game of their best-of-three State Championship semifinal-round series at Thayer Arena.
The fourth-seeded Broncos turned in one of their best efforts of the season, an effort that saw them play a penalty-free game with the regular-season champs and match their physical play and defensive prowess, but in the end, the hosts took advantage of a couple of breaks to come out on top, 4-2.

Tying it all together: Pawtucket's LaBranche instrumental in bringing 'Elite Eight' games to PC's Alumni Hall

March 2, 2012

PROVIDENCE — 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 PC’s venerable Alumni Hall gym is the site for Sunday’s “Elite Eight” 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, LaBranche’s vision of opening Alumni Hall’s doors to the state’s high school basketball sector became a reality.

March 1st

Hockey postseason gets under way this weekend

March 1, 2012

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 ‘second season’ commences tonight at arenas throughout the state.
While the opening weekend of the postseason had long been reserved for the quarterfinal-round series, that won’t 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.

February 29th

Burrillville/Ponaganset girls await Div. I hockey finals

February 29, 2012

BURRILLVILLE — History has been extremely good to the Burrillville/Ponaganset co-op team when it comes to playing Barrington’s East Bay co-op squad.
Even since Barrington joined the girls’ hockey varsity ranks eight years ago, the Broncos have had the Eagles’ number. They own a 12-2 record against them, and a five-game win streak that has seen the Eagles strengthen their numbers by adding Mount Hope and Portsmouth to its co-op squad, yet the Broncos still win each time by five or more goals.

North Smithfield girls advance to Div. III semifinals

February 29, 2012

NORTH SMITHFIELD — 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.
“Basically, we have a tendency to rush on offense, and the first half was a classic example,” she said. “They try to pass too quickly or dribble past (defenders). At halftime, I told them to quit rushing and spread the floor.

February 28th

Mount girls prepare for La Salle in state finals

February 28, 2012

WOONSOCKET -- For a team that owns a magnificent 17-1 record and has outshot its opponents by an imposing 91-12 count, it’s safe to say that Mount St. Charles hasn’t experienced too many long nights at the office this season.
But there has been one team that has made life somewhat challenging for the Mounties throughout the season, and it’s not the one that topped them back in mid-December, but the one that came awfully close to doing so in each of its three meetings with the defending champs.

Friars deliver in home finale, top Huskies, 72-70

February 28, 2012

PROVIDENCE – In preparation for Tuesday’s game against the Jim Calhoun-less UConn Huskies, Ed Cooley took his club to the movies. The screening didn’t include popcorn and soda, rather visual evidence to demonstrate just how far Cooley’s PC Friars have come from a mediocre showing in an exhibition game to this past weekend’s last-second escape job at DePaul.

Cooley on UConn coach: ‘I’m a big Jim Calhoun fan’

February 28, 2012

PROVIDENCE – It’s just not the players who burn with desire, clamoring to face the very best. Coaches too relish the opportunity to match wits and strategies whenever there’s a noted leader of the pack residing in the opposite corner.

February 27th

Burrillville/Ponaganset skates into finals

February 27, 2012

BURRILLVILLE — The script from Monday night’s Division I playoff game between the Burrillville/Ponaganset co-op team and North Smithfield read the same as the one from the previous two games of their best-of-three series.
For the third straight game, the Broncos kept the majority of the action in the Northmen’s end of the rink and outshot them by a better than 3-to-1 ratio, and for the third straight game, N.S. goaltender Britney Evangelista frustrated the Broncos with another superb performance.

It's now or never for local girls' hoops squads

February 27, 2012

When it comes to predicting who will play for the three state championships on March 10 at the Ryan Center, it shouldn’t take a lot of thought.
In Division I, all signs point to the two unbeaten teams, defending champion La Salle and rival Bay View. In Division II, you can take your pick among the North’s Moses Brown (17-1) and the South’s Narragansett and Rogers (each 16-2), and in Division III, unbeaten Juanita Sanchez and defending champ Middletown (16-3) are the clear-cut favorites.

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