Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 04-01-2021

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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22 SPORTS & RECREATION APRIL 1-7, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER The SMITHFIELD 4TH-GRADE BOYS' BASKETBALL TEAM recently captured the Rhode Island Metrowest League champi- onship at the Longplex Family & Sports Center in Tiverton by posting a 40-26 victory over East Greenwich in the championship game. The win improved Smithfield's record to 11-0. Competing against 10 other 4th-grade teams from throughout the state, Smithfield won the regular-season title with a 9-0 record and also defeated Cumberland in the semifinals, 52-26. The team, which was not affiliated with the Smithfield Youth Basketball Association, averaged 45 points per game and only allowed an average of 23 points per game. The members of the team are, from left, Gavin Gibree, Brady McShane, Henry Begnoche, Brayden Huoth, John Wozniak, Conner Curtis, and Will Lally. The coaches are John Wozniak, Eric Gibree, and Steve Curtis. "It was crazy," Zambarano said. "When I saw (Carpenter) fumble, I said, 'Oh, no,' and I just saw the ball and dove for it. I didn't even realize what was happening at the moment. I had no second thoughts – I just went after it and scored the touchdown." The Chieftains' contest with the Knights had been scheduled for Friday night on their campus, but Ponaganset, which had been forced to the sidelines because of COVID issues, returned to practice that Monday and needed a few more workouts under its belt before it could throw on its new dark green home jer- seys for a game. And the Chieftains' lack of practice certainly showed in Sunday's game, especially when it came to holding onto the ball. They fumbled the ball an astounding eight times and lost it on three occasions. "Most of our mistakes were because of our lack of practice," said Ponaganset head coach Jim Cook. "We practiced for a few days in Week One, and then we went into quaran- tine. We actually had to practice this morning in order to play this game tonight, and (the weather) was worse than this." "And we never had a scrimmage," continued Cook. "This was the first time we went live. But the kids put a lot of time in to get ready for this game, and they pulled together and did a great job. Obviously, it was sloppy, but at least the kids fought to the end and they got to play." Carpenter, who ran for nearly 2,400 yards to earn Second-Team All-State honors last season, turned in another excellent effort, as he ran for 125 yards on 17 carries and erased a 6-0 halftime deficit by scoring on a 28-yard run 3:51 into the third quarter and a 46-yard scamper four minutes later. But the Knights, who were limited to 62 yards of offense in the opening half, tied the score at 12-12 with 51 seconds to play in the quarter on a 62-yard touchdown pass from quarter- back Chris Cardolino to wide receiver Connor Hawes, who caught a slant pass that was nearly batted away by a defensive back and brought it to the house. Ponaganset nearly snapped the tie on its ensuing possession, as a 66-yard bootleg down the Chieftains' sideline by junior quarterback Chris Brennan brought the ball to the Knights' 30. But three plays later, the Chieftains lost the handle on the ball, and the Knights scooped it up. In the first overtime, which saw each team get the ball on their opponent's 10-yard-line, the Knights turned the ball over on downs, as an illegal pro- cedure penalty and a six-yard sack by sophomore defensive end Rafael Ayriyan spoiled that possession. But the Chieftains fumbled the ball away on their first play of their possession, setting the stage for the second OT. The Knights again came up short on their series, no thanks to two illegal procedure penalties and an intercep- tion by junior defensive back Sal Bianca, but the Chieftains made good on their next opportunity, as a one- yard run by Carpenter was followed by the game's amazing finish. The Chieftains are back in action on Saturday with a 6 p.m. game against Toll Gate at Cranston Stadium. The Titans posted a 19-11 victory over Smithfield in their season opener last Friday night at the Boyle Athletic Complex, with the Sentinels getting a 55-yard touchdown run from senior tailback Keith Beck and the defense adding a pair of safeties. Smithfield 4th-graders take R.I. Metrowest League title CHIEFTAINS From Page 10 BREEZE PHOTOS BY ERIC BENEVIDES Ponaganset junior tailback MARCUS CARPENTER, who ran for 125 yards on 17 carries, erased a 6-0 halftime deficit by scor- ing a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter of Sunday's D-IV opener against the Exeter-West Greenwich/Prout co-op team at Johnston High. The Chieftains posted an 18-12 victory that was decided in double overtime. NP-Smithfield Babe Ruth League tryouts take place Saturday at NPHS NORTH PROVIDENCE – The North Providence-Smithfield Babe Ruth League will conduct its tryouts for the upcoming season for new players from North Providence, Smithfield, and Lincoln on Saturday at North Providence High's field. Players are encouraged to register in advance by contacting league president Lou Zammarelli at lou@ or 401-572-6347 to receive a registration form or for more information. All 13-year-old candidates should report to the field at 10:45 a.m., and 14- and 15-year-old candidates should report at 12:45 p.m. The season will begin at the end of the month. Ponaganset junior fullback JOHN ZAMBARANO, left, shown talking to head coach JIM COOK during a timeout in Sunday's game, scored the game-win- ning touchdown in double overtime by recovering a fumble in the end zone. It was his first career varsity touchdown.

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