Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 01-09-2020

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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Smithfield Scituate Foster Glocester Edition Sports & Recreation valleybreeze.com @ JANUARY 9-15, 2020 PROVIDENCE – After kicking off its Division I season with back- to-back, down-to-the-wire games, the Smithfield High boys' basketball team suffered a 57-52 loss to La Salle Academy on Monday night at the Rams' gym, as an eight-minute score- less stretch at the start of the second half proved to be the Sentinels' undo- ing. Prior to that defeat, the Sentinels had opened its league schedule last Thursday night with a 68-67 loss at home to Central, but came back two afternoons later to post a 57-55 victory over Cumberland at the Clippers' Wellness Center. And the win over the Clippers was certainly a thriller. With less than a minute to play and the Clippers ahead by a 55-52 score, thanks to a three-pointer by Tyler Provost, the Sentinels cut their deficit to a point on a layup by Matt LaSalandra, who was fouled on the play. LaSalandra missed his free throw and the ball was rebounded by Cumberland's Brendan Raftery. He passed it to point guard Dante Aviles- Santos, who was dribbling it down the court, but Smithfield's Owen Swierad tipped the ball away from Aviles- Santos and over to LaSalandra, who then found Justin Tedeschi for the bucket that gave Smithfield a 56-55 lead with 12.2 seconds to play. The Clippers got the ball back, but the Sentinels stole the ball again, and with 1.8 seconds on the clock, LaSalandra was fouled and sank the first of his two shots. Cumberland called two separate timeouts, but were not able to manufacture anything before the buzzer sounded. "With 12 seconds to go and up by one, (Cumberland) didn't need a three," Smithfield head coach Joe Bennett noted after the game. "For us to be able to stop (Cumberland) with- out them even getting a shot on the basket, that was huge." "We played tough," continued Bennett, who received 25 points from LaSalandra and 17 from Tedeschi. "Our guys battled. (LaSalandra) really stepped up for us in the second half on both ends of the floor, and (Tedeschi) kept us in the game in the first half with his shooting and get- ting up on the break. Owen played very well tonight, and I think our center play between Jack (Stevens) and Andrew (Fanning) also did a very good job." The Sentinels have 10 seniors on this winter's team, including their cap- tains, LaSalandra, Tedeschi, Christian Carmosino, and Jake Lawton, and Bennett said his team also has some good young players as well. They used nine players in their win over Cumberland and improved on what they were not able to do against Central in their first league game. In that loss, the Knights came back from a 44-36 halftime deficit to nip the Sentinels, who received 27 points from LaSalandra and 21 from Tedeschi, and "we weren't doing a very good job defensively against them," Bennett reported. "They were getting down the middle on us every possession and getting to the rim, so we spent a half hour of our practice (on Friday) just working on closing out on defense and taking foul shots – we shot 4-for-11 in the second half from the foul line." After posting a 9-9 mark in D-I play last winter that was his team's best record in three years, Bennett said that they would like to improve upon that record, but "it's a tough league. Everybody comes to play," he added. "You have to take care of everything on a night-to-night basis." The Sentinels opened their season on Dec. 20 with a 91-43 victory in their Injury Fund game against Mount Saint Charles. The Sentinels sank 15 three-pointers in that win, five of them from Tedeschi, who poured in a game-high 26 points. LaSalandra con- tributed 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Lawton and Carmosino added 14 points each. The team then spent the Christmas break in New Hampshire at the Noyes Volkswagen Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College, but posted a 1-2 mark that included a 52-41 defeat in the third-place game of the Red Division to ConVal Regional High of Peterborough, N.H. The Sentinels won their opener by defeating Maine's Wells High, 63-56, as Tedeschi scored 19 points, Carmosino added 16 points and eight rebounds, and Lasalandra had 13 points to guide the way. The following night, they suffered a 67-45 defeat to New York's Mamaroneck High, with Sentinels begin D-I play with 1-2 mark Last-minute heroics propel boys' basketball team to thrilling 57-55 victory over Clippers By KAYLA PANU Valley Breeze & Observer Sports Writer kayla@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY KAYLA PANU Smithfield senior guard MATT LASALANDRA, right, makes his way to the basket as Cumberland senior forward BEN KEELER tries to guard him during the first half of last Saturday afternoon's Division I matchup at the Clippers' Wellness Center. LaSalandra scored 25 points to help lead the Sentinels to a 57-55 victory. See SENTINELS, Page 10 Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to: news@valleybreeze.com, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. Northern Rhode Island Animal Hospital Since 1983 We're close, just 15 minutes from Providence off Rt. 146. 152 School St., North Smithfield Open 6 days: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Our philosophy: (401) 762-2400 • nriah.com We're attentive, grateful, well-behaved (mostly), and always happy to see you. Visit our full-service animal hospital with a team approach to quality veterinary care. Oster law offices TRUSTED FOR THREE GENERATIONS Robert D. Oster, Esq. & Sarah Oster Kelly, Esq. Have you had your legal checkup? 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