No Baron, no Ledo…no problem!
Coming into the season the big question in the state of Rhode Island was whether or not Bishop Hendricken could tie a state record by capturing their seventh straight state championship despite a lack of star power.
That question still weighed heavily on many people’s minds coming into Sunday’s final, especially since the team Hendricken was facing, North Kingston, had won their only meeting of the season, 55-52 in the beginning of February.
But Sunday was a day in which Bishop Hendricken would answer all their doubters and then some. Not only did they knock off North Kingston and land their seventh straight state title, tying the record set by the Central High School team of 1974-75, but they did it in commanding style, dominating the game for a 72-49 win.
As for being able to win without a clear cut star, head coach Jamal Gomes’ squad utilized a balanced offensive attack and their trademark tough defense to get the job done as Ryan Palumbo earned Most Outstanding Player with 19 points while Bryan Vachon and Nick Manning had 15 a piece of their own. Tom DeCiantis led the way for North Kingston with 12 while Robbie Walker-Williams took home MOP honors with 10.
Division II Belongs to Portsmouth
Andrew Chrabascz scored his team’s first 7 points and 30 of their 60 for the game in leading Portsmouth over Scituate 60-54 to capture the R.I.I.L. Division II state championship. Jared Hason scored 23 points to pace Scituate.
While the final margin of victory was a relatively slim one, Portsmouth led throughout virtually the entire game. Chrabascz and Hanson earned Most Outstanding Player honors while Evan Hole (11) and Pat Fagan reached double figures for Portsmouth as did Lionel Picot-Vierra (12) for Scituate.
Central Falls Takes Division III in OT
Antonio Mena made the two biggest free-throws of his career when he stepped to the line with the clock reading 0:00 and sank both to force overtime, and Central Falls would ride the wave of momentum into the extra period, opening overtime with a 7-0 run and eventually defeating Johnston 76-73.
After Johnston failed to ice the game at the free-throw line, Mena took the defensive rebound and went coast to coast with the ball in 4.9 seconds, getting all the way to the rim before being fouled. And while Mena sank the biggest shots of the night and finished with 22 points, it was Robert Alers who continued to pace Central Falls offensively, ending with a game high 33 points. Ryan Anderson led the way for Johnston with 25 points while Isaac Medeiros had 22. Alers and Medeiros were named the Most Outstanding Players for their respective teams.