Rhode Island State Championships Decided
Bishop Hendricken’s reign continues…but it wasn’t easy. The four time defending state champions were stretched to overtime before claiming their fifth consecutive title. For junior point guard Billy Baron, it was a coming out party that solidified his reputation as a big game player.
Despite scoring a game high 26 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and coming up with 5 steals, it was the final 30 seconds of the game that were his best. With 17 seconds left on the overtime clock, Woonsocket held a 64-63 lead until they sent Baron to the free-throw line. He showed great composure by calmly knocking down both attempts to give his team the lead. But he was just getting started. As Woonsocket went to inbound the ball, Baron jumped into the passing lane for his final steal of the night. The Villa Novans were forced to again send him to the free-throw line where he knocked down both attempts to ice the game for Bishop Hendricken.
While Baron was certainly the star of the game, especially in the extra period, Woonsocket almost had it won in regulation. They held a 4 point lead, 53-49, with only 1:30 left in regulation before Brendan Degnan scored 2 of his 16 points at the free-throw line. Kevin McCartney, who finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds, scored after Hendricken’s full court pressure forced Woonsocket into a turnover on the next possession. Woonsocket had two shots to win at the end of regulation but neither found the bottom of the net as the game went into overtime.
By avenging an earlier season loss to Woonsocket, Bishop Hendricken becomes only the second team in the history of Rhode Island to win five straight state championships.
North Kingstown’s Mason Kenny, Mount Pleasant’s Lua Ethan Gave, Akinrola, McCartney, and Degnan were named to the All-Tournament Team, while LaPlante and Baron were named the Players of the Game.
Josh Cabrera led four players in double figures as he scored 24 points to lead Classical to a 71-62 victory over West Warwick. Cabrera knocked down four three-pointers, made 10-12 from the free-throw line, and played with great composure for all 32 minutes. He was supported by Lavon Waite (12 points), Nuri Mahmoud (18 points, 17 rebounds), and Victor Kashouh. Classical finished the season with a perfect 24-0 against RIIL competition. Cabrera and West Warwick’s Richard Lizotte (16 points) were the Most Outstanding Players of the game while Rogers’ Mason Choice, Coventry’s Jesse St. Pierre, West Warwick’s Terrell Shelton, Classical’s Ashton Walker, and Mahmoud were selected to the All-Tournament team.
Aujuwon Spence scored 18 points and was named his team’s Most Outstanding Player as Moses Brown defeated Central Falls 57-48 to win the state title. Billy Cosmopulos chipped in with 13 and 13 rebounds while Benjamin Drapcho had 10 and Luke Martin 14. George Carle led Central Falls with 13 points and 12 rebounds.