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PAWTUCKET â Short jumpers, three-pointers, lay-ups. It didnât 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 âThe Cageâ against a Raider defense that always seems to play their opponents tough, victories are hard to come by when youâre having an off-night from the field.
Chris Iannettaâs âGet Out of Jail Freeâ 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 didnât stop Mike Scioscia from lavishing praise upon his new catcher during last weekâs winter meetings.
WOONSOCKET â For Division I openers, Woonsocket High coach George Coderre wasnât exactly doing cartwheels when he saw Smithfield on the schedule. Historically, the Sentinels have always given the Villa Novans a battle whenever the two squads have faced one another on the court.
It was no different on Monday night.
Despite never trailing in its I-North contest and building a lead to as much as 14 points, Woonsocket was never in the comfort zone against the pesky Sentinels until the closing minutes of an eventual 53-41 victory at Savaria Gymnasium.
PROVIDENCE â The wins havenât exactly come against Murderersâ Row. Certainly thatâs food for thought with the Providence Friars in the midst of a 10-day exam period, Ed Cooleyâs first PC team standing at 9-2.
WEST WARWICK â Mount St. Charles took unbeaten La Salle into overtime before dropping a 3-2 decision on Saturday night at the West Warwick Arena.
Sophomore Bryan Lemos netted the game-winner at the 3:09 mark of overtime.
Mount had led 2-1 on a goal by Brandon Borges early in the second period. La Salle, which had defeated Mount 3-1 in the season opener on Dec. 2, tied the game three minutes into the third period on a goal by Stephen Roccio when the Mounties had two players sitting in the penalty box.
KINGSTON â North Smithfieldâs Corinne Coia has been thrown right into the fire by University of Rhode Island basketball coach Cathy Inglese.
The 6-foot-4 freshman has started six games already this season and is averaging 8.7 points per game, third on the team. The Rams are 1-10 this year after Saturdayâs 72-67 overtime loss to Quinnipiac University. Coia netted a career-best 19 points in the setback.
PROVIDENCE â To Ed Cooley, whatâs one more stern test for his Providence Friars before powering down for a 10-day exam period?
Pushed and pressured all day long by a 1-9 Bryant outfit that wasnât supposed to pose that big of a threat, Cooleyâs Friars overcame 34 minutes of âlistlessâ basketball to fight tooth-and-nail over the final six minutes, a stretch which wound up serving as the difference Saturday afternoon at the Dunkinâ Donuts Center.
In the end, the Friars prevailed by a 72-61 count, but it was far from an easy win.
WOONSOCKET â Uncertainty.
That might best describe whatâs in the mind of longtime Woonsocket High track coach George Briggs right now concerning the upcoming winter campaign.
While the numbers are big this year with more than 40 kids, the Villa Novans lost some key point-scorers to graduation, have two of their best athletes recovering from injuries and are still awaiting word if a few more are coming back this year.
CENTRAL FALLS â There were a fair share of turnovers and some sloppy play by both teams, something thatâs common for the first game of the season.
But after 32 minutes of basketball in Fridayâs 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.
âI was very impressed, very impressed with the girlsâ energy,â 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.