Boston High School: Ed Cooley

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

March, 22, 2012
From 1968 through 1992, Central High dominated boys’ basketball in Rhode Island.

Rhode IslandUnder coaching legends Jim Adams and Don Pastine, the Knights captured 11 of 24 state championships including seven in a row from 1968-75.

Players like Rickey Santos, Marvin Barnes, Mike Hazard and current Providence College head coach Ed Cooley became household names.

But when parochial schools like Hendricken, St. Raphael and La Salle began capitalizing on their ability to draw student-athletes from all over the state, the scales titled in their favor to the point where they annexed 16 of the last 17 titles prior to this season.

Fifth-seeded Central turned the clock back earlier this month when it beat intra-city rival/14th-seeded Hope, 66-59 behind the stellar play of Jerelle Washington.

Washington, a sophomore, tossed in 28 points – 16 in the second half which enabled the Knights to overcome an 11-point deficit and clinch their 12th state title – in the first time they’ve played the Blue Wave for the championship since 1971.

The Knights finished the season with a 19-5 overall record and broke Hope’s eight-game winning streak in the process.

Central beat ninth-seeded Rogers, 54-46, in the semifinals as Daniel Mendez scored 16 points.

The Blue Wave (14-12) advanced to the finals for the first time since 2007 by defeating second-seeded La Salle, 69-65, in overtime.

Manny Kargbo scored five of his overall 24 points at the free throw line in OT to help clinch the victory.

La Salle Academy, Narragansett and Juanita Sanchez captured the Division 1, 2 and 3 girls’ state basketball championships, respectively. But while winning titles is old news for the Rams, it made front-page headlines for the Mariners and Cavaliers.

Narragansett beat Classical, 51-40, for the Division II title – the school’s first in 18 years.

Juanita Sanchez, meanwhile, claimed the Division III crown by defeating defending champion Middletown, 49-36 – the first in the eight-year history of the program.

La Salle, not surprisingly, walked off with its ninth Division I title since the 1998-99 season by outlasting Bay View, 53-49.

Narragansett’s Mercedes Harris earned MVP honors after posting a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds.

The Cavaliers (23-3 overall) won more than eight games for the first time in program history.

D’Asia Allen paced Juanita Sanchez with 18 points, which helped Tyrone Dale win a state title in his first season as the team’s head coach.

The “hook” in the La Salle-Bay View game was that each team finished 18-0 in its respective division (La Salle in I-South and Bay View in I-North).

Davida Dale paced La Salle with 13 points while Vandell Andrade led Bay View with 16.

Maybe Hendricken won’t win a gazillion state hockey championships like Mount St. Charles has over the decades. But the Hawks will cherish their most recent title moreso than most.

Why? One reason being it snapped Mount’s current run of consecutive State Championship Division crowns at four.

Secondly, the Hawks did something few teams have been able to do when they faced Mount in the third and deciding game of a best-of-three series – win that game, in this case, 5-2.

Invariably, when the Mounties drop Game 1, the running joke is they have their opponent just where they want them – in position to be swept over the final two games.

Junior Paul Filipone etched his name into Hendricken sports lore by not only scoring in overtime to give his team a 4-3 victory in Game 1 but he also scored two of the Hawks’ first four goals in Game 3.

Filipone scored once in each of the first two periods while Justin Finan drove a dagger into the Mounties’ collective hearts with a second-period goal which produced a 4-1 lead.

Mount forced a deciding game when Brian Larence made 32 saves to backstop a 3-2 victory.

Don’t ask why the smallest state in the country has four state hockey tournaments.

Actually, the reason is there’s such a gap between the various schools that it’s a virtual necessity.

Moses Brown copped the Division I crown by sweeping Barrington 6-4 and 4-2.

The Quakers thus ended their hockey affiliation with the Interscholastic League in style because they’ll be playing an independent schedule commencing next season.

Junior Nathan Farrington came up big in the third period of each game by twice scoring two goals. His short-handed goal in Game 2 gave the Quakers a 3-1 lead – a margin they didn’t relinquish.

Coventry retained its Division II championship by sweeping Prout 2-0 and 6-1.

Junior Mike Presola was voted tourney MVP honors after scoring three goals and assisting on two.

During their two-year championship run, the Oakers have compiled a 33-3-0 regular-season record.

“Townie Pride” has taken a blow over the last year as East Providence has been beset with serious financial problems. But the hockey team put those woes on the back burner for a while by nipping Mount Hope, 2-1, in the Game 3 of their Division III championship series.

As a result, the Townies earned their first state hockey title in seven years.

Ryan Barry was named the tournament’s MVP by scoring one goal and assisting on five others.

Another of the state’s smaller schools made major waves on the national track scene at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in The Big Apple.

The quartet of Dan Kilcoyne, Bryce Kelley, Jake Kilcoyne and Mike Marsella captured the 4-x-1-mile relay in a national-record time of 17:20.20 – breaking the previous mark by 1.38 seconds.

The Chargers, who’re coached by Bill Haberek, beat out such long-time powers as Shaker High (Latham, N.Y.) and Christian Brothers (Lincroft, N.J.).

Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y, he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

November, 10, 2011
One interesting subplot that's developed during the Connecticut high school football season is the competition for the state's Gatorade Player of the Year.

ConnecticutThrough eight weeks the prime contenders are a pair of senior quarterbacks: Masuk's Casey Cochran and Cromwell's Anthony Morales.

Cochran, who won the award last year, has directed Masuk to 21 consecutive victories and may play for the best team in the state. He's completed 88 of 111 passes for 2,123 yards this season. Cochran has thrown 27 touchdown passes and has been intercepted three times.

Despite Cochran's gaudy numbers, it's Morales who leads the state in touchdown passes (30) and passing yardage (2,376). Morales, who is playing for his third coach in as many years, has completed 105 of 147 passes and has been intercepted four times. He has thrown for at least four touchdowns in five of Cromwell's eight games.

(Read full post)

New London's Dunn commits to Providence

August, 24, 2011
ESPN senior basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep is reporting that New London (Conn.) guard Kris Dunn, considered by many the nation's top uncommitted point guard, has verbally committed to Providence College for the 2012-13 season.

The 6-foot-3 Dunn visited the Providence campus today, and gave a verbal commitment to head coach Ed Cooley earlier today. Yesterday, Dunn told Telep he would be deciding between the Friars and in-state UConn by the end of this week.

"Providence is a special place for me," Dunn said. "I have a great connection with the coaches but most importantly with [coach Ed Cooley]. He made my family and I feel at home and like we were wanted."

In the eyes of many, this is a home run for the Friars. Dunn is the No. 30 overall player in the Class of 2012, and at least one national analyst -- Telep -- calls it the biggest addition for Providence since Pete Gillen landed former Washington Wizard and Manhattan high school legend God Shammgod back in 1995.

You can read the rest of Telep's article here.

Providence offers New Hampton's Auguste

June, 8, 2011
New Hampton (N.H.) power forward Zach Auguste told ESPN's Paul Biancardi this afternoon that he was offered a scholarship from new Providence head coach Ed Cooley.

Auguste, a 6-foot-9 Marlborough native, visited the Friars unofficially for the second time earlier this week and sat down with Cooley and his staff.

"Coach Cooley is a very real person," Auguste said. "He's personable and real and I felt very comfortable with him and his whole staff. They see me as a guy who can help the program immediately. Plus, basketball is like church there (at PC), everybody goes."

Auguste also mentioned that he speaks three languages fluently (Greek, French Creole and English) and hopes to major in business, possibly internationally, a major which Providence offers.

Auguste also holds offers from Notre Dame, Boston College, UMass, Wake Forest, Virginia, DePaul, Oregon State and Penn State. He is also garnering attention from West Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, Georgia Tech and Alabama.

Ledo's recruitment still wide open

April, 27, 2011
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein checks in today on his recruiting blog with Notre Dame Prep swingman Ricardo Ledo, who has yet to list any favorites among the many schools that are lining up for his services.

Kentucky is among the most notable on the list, and was thought to be the favorite before the Providence native gave then-PC head coach Keno Davis a phone call Christmas Eve to give his commitment. The pledge to the Friars lasted a little over a month before he decided to open up his recruitment again.

"I don't have any favorites right now," he told Finkelstein. "I'm just trying to feel the process out and take some visits."

All that said, the Friars and new head coach Ed Cooley are still very much in the mix here. As Finkelstein writes:

Don't expect that to discourage new Providence coach Ed Cooley though because he shares similar roots to Ledo, who has made his top recruiting target since taking over the Big East program last month. That's fine by Ledo as he says the Friars are still very much an option for him.

"I like Coach Cooley," he said. "He actually knows a lot of my family. They're definitely still on my list."

Outside of Providence's campus, Ledo says he had only seen Syracuse and West Virginia, having attended the Orange's Team Camp two years ago and played in the West Virginia Jam Fest last summer, before seeing UConn's campus unofficially last week.

"I want to see more places and get a feel for the schools," he said.

Another place Ledo says he definitely wants to see this time around is Kentucky.

"UConn is recruiting me hard, Kentucky is coming hard, and Providence hard," he said. "West Virginia, Texas, Florida, UCLA, and Louisville too."

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school basketball talent, be sure to check out Finkelstein's blog.