WOONSOCKET — Woonsocket’s rough start to the 2010-11 season added another painful chapter on Monday night at Savaria Gymnasium.
Smithfield became the latest club to add to Woonsocket’s ever-growing frustration with a 63-41 runaway performance by the Sentinels. Senior Kyle Morvan burned Woonsocket for a game-high 31 points as the Smithfield senior owned the low post. Edwin Jones led the Villa Novans with 11 points while Andreas Brackett and Jesse Charette each netted nine points.
This certainly wasn’t the start to the season Kyle Ivey-Jones had in mind. The 22-point loss to Smithfield drops Woonsocket to 0-4 in Division I-North, 1-6 overall. The Villa Novans have dropped five straight since beating Central Falls in the opening round of the Lynch Memorial Tournament on Dec. 9. Five of their six defeats have come by double figures.
The question is whether Woonsocket can turn things around. Getting Flavio Barros back would certainly help (the senior has been sidelined since suffering a fractured hip against St. Raphael on Dec. 11). However, as Ivey-Jones explained, changes are going to have to come from those who put on the uniforms.
“My approach to certain guys has changed. I’m trying to come up with different ways and different approaches, but it’s not me. These guys have to be willing to change,” said Ivey-Jones. “A lot of them are still used to their bad habits, and they don’t want to change them. Until that happens we are going to continue to struggle.”
Normally it doesn’t take much for Ivey-Jones to address his team in a volatile fashion if the head coach sees something he doesn’t like. On Monday Ivey-Jones was the picture of calm, mainly because his vocal cords have been worn out already.
“You can tell by voice that I’m frustrated,” said Ivey-Jones.
Do the players feel the same way?
“I’m pretty sure they are,” Ivey-Jones responded.
The most glaring problem the Novans encountered Monday was their inability to knock down shots. Despite firing at a 7-for-30 clip in the first half, Woonsocket was within striking distance at halftime, trailing Smithfield, 26-21. Things didn’t get much better for the home team in the second half, as Woonsocket managed just three field goals in the opening eight-plus minutes.
“I can’t say we turned the ball over because we only had 14 for the game,” said Ivey-Jones. “We just didn’t knock down shots.”
Nor did the Novans find a way to corral Morvan. The Sentinels’ top scorer was the driving force behind Smithfield (2-1 Division I-North) not looking back after opening the second half on a 14-0 run, which was aided by four Woonsocket turnovers. Morvan scored eight points during the flurry, flashing off an array of post moves that left the Woonsocket defenders dumbstruck.
“Kyle always had a lot of game, even as a youngster, but he would get down on himself,” said Joe Bennett, Smithfield’s veteran head coach. “Instead of posting up in the first half he was running from 3-point line to 3-point line. Obviously we want to keep him under the basket. He’s working hard and he knows he has a chance to play at the next level. Woonsocket did have height, but he uses his body very well.”
Bennett spoke about his team still “trying to find its identity.” After losing by 29 points to La Salle in its league opener, Smithfield has come back to post back-to-back blowout wins over Mt. Pleasant and now Woonsocket.
As for Woonsocket, there’s still time to right the ship, but as Ivey-Jones notes, positive results need to start happening soon.
SMITHFIELD (63): Ryan Benoit 2 0-0 4, Connor Bouchard 2 0-2 5, Nick Cabral 0 0-0 0, Tim Cabral 1 0-0 3, Andrew Langellier 0 0-0 0, Matt Luca 3 0-0 6, Brendan Moretti 0 0-0 0, Matt Reddy 0 0-0 0, Anthony Rubiano 0 0-0 0, Nicholas Vitacca 4 0-0 8, Joe Pate 0 0-0 0, Kyle Morvan 13 3-8 31, Chad Fair 3 0-0 6. Totals: 28 3-10 63.
WOONSOCKET (41): Jesse Charette 3 2-7 9, Kodie Spearman 1 0-0 2, Andreas Brackett 3 3-4 9, David Haworth 0 0-0 0, Cody L’Heureux 0 0-0 0, Edwin Jones 4 1-2 11, Kory Lawrence 1 2-4 7, Pepe Torres 2 1-4 6, Kevin Chamberlain 0 0-0 0, Alonzo Ocasio 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 9-21 41.
Halftime: S 26-21.
Three-point field goals: S 2 (Connor Bouchard, Tim Cabral); W 4 (Edwin Jones 2, Pepe Torres, Jesse Charette).