Maybe Mount St. Charles will win a record 43rd state boys’ hockey championship. After all, the Mount returns 13 players from last season’s team that posted a 21-8-0 overall record and lost in a pulsating, best-of-three finals to Bishop Hendricken.
But the Mounties were unable to win their own Holiday Face-Off Tournament.
In fact, the Mount didn’t even reach the finals of this season’s tournament because it was eliminated in the semifinals, 6-5, by Delbarton School of Morristown, N.J.
The Green Wave swamped the Mount by scoring four first period goals, including a hat trick by John Balocco, which trumped a two-goal, two-assist performance by Dan Glod.
But in the finals, Fairfield Prep (Conn.) edged Delbarton, 4-3, on Matt Wikman’s goal at 5:50 of a second overtime period.
LaSalle College finished third by blanking La Salle Academy, 5-0, with Ryan Williams also recording a hat trick.
The only Rhode Island team to finish in the top five was Hendricken, as the Hawks beat Bishop Guertin (N.H.), 3-1, with Matt Creamer (the son of head coach Jim Creamer) scoring one goal and assisting on another.
TIGERS CRAWL INTO THE NIGHT
While Mount St. Charles made news (albeit of a negative type) on the ice, Tolman also made news that essentially was disturbing.
Tolman, which has won six Division III state championships, will be dropping boys’ hockey after this season because, quite simply, it’s going to lack enough players.
The current team dresses only 13 players – eight of whom are seniors. And for the second season in a row, there are zero freshmen on the team which also is minus any sophomores.
Nevertheless, the Tigers are 6-1-1 in their first eight games.
Ironically, Tolman’s cross-town rival in Pawtucket, Shea, dropped hockey in 1987 – after winning its only then-Met C title – because of a lack of players.
DRIBBLING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
Like most states, Rhode Island featured numerous holiday basketball tournaments.
Following are the results of the more prominent ones:
Ben Bradley poured in 27 points as Cumberland beat Woonsocket, 68-58, in the finals of the long-standing Cumberland/Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Holiday Tournament. Bradley, who was voted MVP honors, scored 13 points and dished out eight assists as the Clippers beat Tolman, 62-46, in the semifinals. The Villa Novans advanced to the finals by beating Lincoln, 53-46, with Nicholas Jusczszyn scoring 20 points.
Kody Greenhalgh clinched MVP honors after scoring a game-high 23 points to lead West Warwick to a 67-57 victory over Scituate in the finals of the West Warwick Holiday Tournament.
Justin Pratt keyed a rally that saw North Kingstown overcome a double-digit deficit and defeat Shea, 74-63, in the Barrington Boosters Holiday Tournament championship game. Pratt scored 26 points – 18 coming on six 3-point shots.
Mackenzie Ramsay and Sarah LaMountain scored five points apiece in overtime and West Warwick converted five free throws in the final moments of regulation as the Wizards beat Coventry, 68-60, in the Coventry Credit Union Classic title game. Coventry’s Sarah McGrath forced the extra session when she drained a 3-point shot with seven seconds left in regulation.
Juanita Sanchez boasted the MVP in Elfreda Hoff as it captured the City of Providence Holiday Tournament by outlasting Classical, 37-25, in the finals. Hoff scored 31 of her team’s points against the Purple after notching 25 in a 53-19 romp over Hope in the semifinals.
Just before the holidays, Prout’s Eric Ramelka surpassed the 1000-point mark for his career as the Crusaders beat Lincoln, 61-46.
EAGLES, PURPLE REIGN
Division I champion Barrington and Division II champ Classical combined to place a total of five players on the First Team All-State Soccer Team.
Eagles earning First Team honors were keeper Andrew Jones (who also was named an All-American); midfielder Christian Egglin; and fullback Carson Hall.
Classical was represented by midfielder Asa Sohn (he played on three consecutive state championship teams, two in Division III and in Division II last season) and forward Julio Jimenez (he led all Interscholastic League players with 27 goals and 11 assists for a total of 38 points).
Rounding out the first team were midfielder Dan Apajee and fullback Greg Forgue from La Salle; forward Christian Rodriguez (21 goals) and midfielder Stiven Montiero from Central Falls; midfielder Brandon Jumoas and keeper Justus Heinstchel Von Heinegg from Portsmouth.
SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE
La Salle Academy’s All-Everything running back Josh Morris has announced he’ll be attending Brown University next fall.
Morris, who led the Rams to the Division I regular-season title, rushed for 2,725 yards and 36 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons.
Hendricken’s Mike King will play his baseball at Boston College, after earning Second Team All-State honors last spring for Division I state champ Hendricken.
Alex Perreault, a First Team All-State selection last spring in lacrosse for Hendricken, opted for perennial power Johns Hopkins.
St. Raphael Academy’s Nicholas Karalekas, who received the Carl Yastrzemski Scholarship (a four-year scholarship endowed by the Red Sox Hall of Famer), will enroll at Merrimack College and play baseball.
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.