Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 02-07-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND – After watch- ing the Blackstone Valley Prep boys' basketball team win five of its last six games to move one victory away from its first playoff berth as an RIIL squad, BVP fans packed the Pride's gymnasium on Monday night to see if their team could seal the deal against one of the Division III's top teams. Unfortunately for the Pride, Mount Hope felt right at home in their cross- over matchup and ran away with the contest. Not only did the Huskies rattle off the first 15 points, but they took a 21-point lead with five minutes still to play in the first half and never looked back in ending up with an 81-44 triumph that was their 11th win in 13 games. The loss dropped the Pride's divi- sion record to 6-7, but they trudged out of their home gym knowing that they still had five more chances to pick up their magical seventh victory and the postseason berth that accom- panies it. On Wednesday night, they paid a visit to Scituate to battle the two-win Spartans, and on Friday at 7 p.m., they will host winless Davies. Their final three games are against their Division III-South rivals: undefeated Toll Gate, Ponaganset, which entered the week with a 12-1 record, and Exeter/West Greenwich. "We're hoping," BVP head coach Kevin Payette said when asked about closing in on a tournament berth just one season after claiming the Coastal Prep League title. "We have five more games and we have to be ready to play all five, and hopefully we can get to the playoffs, give a good effort there, and see what happens." Monday night's loss clearly disap- pointed Payette, not just because his team struggled to contain the hot- shooting Huskies, which swished a dozen three-pointers in the game and owned a 44-17 command at halftime, but because the effort that helped key his team's recent 5-1 stretch was nowhere to be found. "We had a couple of games when we'd forget to show up, and tonight was one of them," said Payette, who received 15 points from freshman guard Chris Rodriguez and 12 from sophomore forward Xavier Mendez in Monday's loss. "I think for us our biggest thing is that our effort is very inconsistent. If your effort's not there, over and over again, you're going to have situations like this, so hopefully we can learn from this and move for- ward." Prior to Monday's defeat, the Pride gained plenty of attention with their string of wins and some of the teams they defeated, including northern R.I. rivals North Smithfield, Lincoln, and Mount Saint Charles. On Jan. 15, the Pride grabbed a 60-59 thriller at home with the Northmen that saw Mendez win the game with a short buzzer-beating jumper. Double-doubles from junior forward Abdoulaye Sall and Mendez helped the Pride top the Lincoln, 57-51, and Mounties, 62-58, and BVP also took a close contest on the road with St. Patrick, 60-56. The loss during that stretch, a 44-43 defeat to Rogers in Newport, also came down to the wire, as a layup by the hosts with four seconds to play turned out to be the difference. "We won a number of close games, which is a positive," added Payette. "We started slow, but we made some good strides going into the middle part of our league schedule, and we have some wins that we're proud of. But right now, we have to be ready to play every game, and we just have to keep building and keep getting bet- ter." 24 SPORTS & RECREATION FEBRUARY 7-13, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION place in the Class C meet's 300 in 40.05 seconds and 15th in the 55 dash in 7.32 seconds. "Folake had done track in middle school, but really improved a ton this season," said Leger. "I really worked with her a lot on her starts and just thinking through different points of the race. She had never run the 55 before because she never ran indoors, but she went from an 8-3 to a 7.9, which is a huge jump in that event." Pires, meanwhile, was the Pride's top athlete in their victories over Ponaganset and Tolman, as he cap- tured the 300 in 39.54 seconds and took second in the 55 in 7.22. The Pride also picked up third-place finishes in that meet from Glenn Mensah in the 55 (7.23) and Jorge de Leon in the shot put (28 feet, four inches). While de Leon has been scoring points for the Pride in the shot, an event they didn't compete in last spring, Darius Winfield has also par- ticipated in another event that's brand new to the program, the long jump. "He just literally jumped into the long jump after never practiced it before," said Leger. "I worked with him with a couple of drills and then he went out and jumped 16 feet." Not only will the Pride continue to hone their skills in those events, but they will also add the discus and the javelin, as well as the other jump- ing and hurdling events, to their repertoire in the spring. Leger, who plans to hold most of his workouts at Central Falls' Higginson Avenue com- plex, said that the only event his team will not compete in is the hammer. "That event is a little too special- ized," he added. "But I'm really glad that the school was able to get us more equipment this year and help us try to really grow the program." INDOOR TRACK From Page 23 BREEZE PHOTO BY ERIC BENEVIDES Blackstone Valley Prep junior guard JARELL JOSE CARLOS, right, gets ready to toss in a layup over Mount Hope junior forward JADEN SIEMBAB during the first half of Monday night's game, an 81-44 win by the visiting Huskies. Disappointing defeat for BVP Despite lopsided loss to Mount Hope, boys' basketball team needs one more win to clinch first RIIL Div. III playoff berth By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor sports@valleybreeze.com LINCOLN – The Manville Farm League will hold registrations for the upcoming season on Friday, Feb. 15, from 7 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 16, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Father Brouillette Center on 33 Division St., located behind St. James Church. The baseball league is open to both boys and girls ages 7-12. Players must turn 7 by April 1 and cannot turn 13 before July 1. The registration fee is $35 per child, $50 for two children, and $60 per family, and all first-year players must bring a copy of their birth cer- tificates. All games are played at Manville Park. Contact Jeanne Sylvestre at jsylves- tre923@aol.com for more informa- tion. 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