Boston High School: Ed Markowski

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

March, 6, 2013
3/06/13
4:08
PM ET
At the risk of using a culinary metaphor, the regular season comprised the appetizer for boys’ basketball.

Rhode IslandThe soup and salad comprised the division tournaments. And the entrée is what 16 teams have been anxiously waiting to devour.

After Hope, Cumberland and North Smithfield annexed the Division I, II and III tournament championships, respectively, they’ll join 13 other teams for the third year that the Interscholastic League has held a tournament to determine the overall state champion.

The 16 teams are placed in four regions and seeded according to the final Power Point standings for the first round which tipped off Wednesday night:

Region 1: No. 16 West Warwick (17-8) vs. No. 1 Classical (17-5); No. 9 North Providence (16-5) vs. No. 8 Westerly (17-5).

Region 2: No. 16 Hendricken (11-10) vs. No. 2 La Salle (16-6); No. 10 Coventry (13-10) vs. No. 7 Hope (14-12).

Region 3: No. 14 Cranston West (14-9) vs. No. 3 North Kingstown (20-3); No. 11 Barrington (17-7) vs. No. 6 Mount Pleasant (13-8).

Region 4: No. 13 Prout (15-8) vs. No. 4 Cumberland (22-3); No. 12 Shea (16-8) vs. No. 5 North Smithfield (24-0).

How the three division champions reached their destination is an interesting story in each case.

Hope, for example, only was seeded eighth in the Division I Tournament. Yet the blue Wave captured their first championship since 1994 by beating fifth-seeded Coventry, 65-62 in the semifinals and upsetting third-seeded Classical, 69-65, in the finals.

Manny Kargbo scored a game-high 32 points (including 16-of-18 free throws) in the win over the Oakers while Ben Vezele posted a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

The Purple, who averaged 70 points per game during the regular season, connected on only 18.7 percent (3-for-16) of their 3-point shots against the Hawks and needed a free throw from Kealen Ives with eight seconds left in regulation to break a 44-44 tie and earn a 45-44 victory in the other semifinal.

Ives led Classical with 20 points.

Without question the parents of the Cumberland players weren’t even born the last time the Clippers won a state title – 1936 when the school annexed the former Class C crown.

Do the math and that championship ended a 77-year drought.

A late 16-4 run enabled Cumberland to build an 11-point lead over the Raiders and eased the pressure going down the stretch.

Dylan Boisclair led Cumberland with 22 points while Tom Lazarus chipped in with 21, including the last nine from the charity stripe.

All North Smithfield did en route to the D-III championship was post the best record (24-0) in school history.

The Northmen beat East Greenwich, 66-55, in the finals, which enabled them to become the first team since Classical in 2008 to go undefeated and win a division title.

North Smithfield’s Cody L’Heureux arguably played a game he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

Not only did he score a game-high 31 points, but he notched his 1,000th career point in the process on one of his five treys.

DOUBLE DRIBBLES

In other games of note prior to the division tournaments:
  • Hope’s Kargbo scored his 1,000th career point during a 52-51 victory over Cranston East, which clinched a playoff berth. Kargbo finished with 14 points and an assist on Vezele’s game-winning basket.
  • Vezele recorded a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds (to go with five blocked shots) as Hope beat East Providence, 66-51, in a Division I preliminary round game.
  • L’Heureux delivered a premonition of things to come when he scored 27 points, including six treys, as North Smithfield whipped Davies, 79-53.
DOBSON IN ELITE COMPANY

Westerly’s Hannah Dobson moved into second place on the school’s all-time scoring list (boys and girls) as the Bulldogs belted Coyle-Cassidy, 48-31 in a non-league game.

Dobson now has 1,514 career points.

Scituate (14-2) clinched first place in Division II-North by beating Johnston, 52-40, with Sadie Ross contributing a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds).

HAWKS LEAD THE PACK

Hendricken (13-2-1) remained atop the standings in the Division I Cimini Division by beating Cranston West, 5-2.

Three was the magic number in that game because Matt Creamer recorded a hat trick while Ed Markowski was credited with three assists.

Mount St. Charles (13-3-0) remained right behind Hendricken thanks to a 5-1 win over Barrington. Brian Belisle played a superb game by scoring two goals and assisting on the other three.

HENDRICKEN WRESTLERS THE BEST

Maybe what Hendricken’s wrestling team did on Feb.14 should have been an indication of things to come.

Coach Kevin Hennessey’s team handed Cumberland its first dual-meet loss in five years by coasting to a 47-9 victory, improving the Hawks’ record to 15-0.

Then, in the state championships, Hendricken won its first title since 2004 even though it only had one boy win an individual crown – Jason Davol at 106 pounds.

Hendricken amassed 168 points while Exeter/West Greenwich and Johnston tied for second with 133.5 points each.

The key for Hendricken was its ability to score points in the “wrestle-backs.”

Nicholas Celico, Rob Lanni, Anthony DiMauro, Chris Barone and Dallas Sauer lost in the quarterfinals but maintained their composure and annexed victories that earned them third-place finishes.

In other matches of note:
  • Warwick Vets’ John Alteri won his third state title by blanking Cumberland’s Cody Beaudette, 2-0, at 113 pounds.
  • Alteri’s teammate, Nathaniel Colicci, defended his 126-pound state title by beating Moses Brown’s Andrew Howard. The bout was tied at 2-2 after three regulation periods and three overtime sessions. The tiebreaker was Colicci’s ability to hold Howard for 30 seconds.
  • While the 126-pound bout was the longest of the day, the 138-pound final was the shortest since defending champion Christian LaBrie of Exeter/West Greenwich pinned Cumberland’s Jon Mancini in 24 seconds.
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.

Recap: Hendricken (R.I.) 5, Notre Dame (Conn.) 3

February, 23, 2013
2/23/13
1:18
AM ET
WARWICK, R.I. -- All of a sudden, the bull's-eye on the collective backs of the Bishop Hendricken became larger.

That’s what happened Friday night when the defending Division I Rhode Island state champions beat defending Division I Connecticut champion Notre Dame High, 5-3, at Thayer Arena in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate.

“That’s as good a team as we’ve played all season,” Hendricken coach Jim Creamer said. “I really like the way we’ve played over the last week. We’re practicing well. We’re playing well. I think we’re moving in the right direction come playoff time.”

Ed Markowski led the Hawks (13-3-1) with two goals and two assists while the coach’s son, Matt, contributed a goal plus an assist.

While coach Creamer obviously was pleased with his team’s performance, just the opposite was the case with Green Knights coach Bill Gerosa.

“We were embarrassed by a better team tonight,” Gerosa said. “We didn’t come to play. Our scoring line [Billy Vizzo, Greg Zullo and Jesse Ruocco] did score except we gave up more than we got.

“We just had a total team breakdown, especially against their top line. Markowski, Creamer and [Andrew] Fera were terrific. But we were schooled tonight. It was an embarrassing display for Notre Dame and West Haven. A lot of it had to do with the speed of Bishop Hendricken.”

What made the final score even more noteworthy was the fact that the Green Knights (14-4-0) stepped on the ice having allowed only 23 goals in their previous 17 games.

“We’ve had one line that’s really been productive for us,” Jim Creamer said, referring to the Markowski-Creamer-Fera line. “They’ve been pretty consistent all year and had one of their better nights all year tonight.

“When they move the puck well, they generate good chances for themselves. And we got a power play goal with those guys involved. I think they were involved in four of the five goals. Then, we put out our fourth line and it chipped in late.”

Ryan Lynch put Notre Dame on the board at 6:48 of the first period when he skated in front of the net and slid the puck under starting goalie Mitchell Proulx (15 saves).

Hendricken tied it when Markowski unloaded a slap shot from the left circle that beat Luc Amatruda (28 saves) at 8:02.

The Hawks skated into the first intermission leading 2-1 thanks to Matt Creamer’s goal at 13:46 – a snap shot from the left circle.

Zullo tied it one last time at 6:07 of the second on a slap shot from between the circles. But Markowski gave Hendricken a 3-2 lead at 12:36 on a wrist shot from the slot.

“He’s a typical senior leader and a captain,” Jim Creamer said of Markowski. “He’s been very, very consistent all year.

“We’re only going to be as good as that line is so we need them to be good.”

Good describes Hendricken’s play in the third when it scored on a power play with Tucker Alberigo stuffing the puck past Amatruda at 1:31.

Then, as coach Creamer alluded to, the Hawks’ fourth line joined in the fun when Brandon Mitchell tapped home the rebound of a Sam Boulanger shot at 4:25 for a 5-2 lead.

In retrospect, that rendered a last-minute goal by Vizzo, who slid the puck past backup goalie Craig Colson (16 saves), moot.

“We have another game [Saturday night] so we have to get ready for that,” Gerosa said. “We have to forget about this one after an hour and get ready for that one, otherwise we’ll never improve.

“It was a disappointing effort from the goaltender on out. We’re a better team than this but we didn’t show it tonight.”

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