Championship Saturday set for RIIL Basketball
Saturday, March 22, 2014
KINGSTON, RI-- Central and Hendricken played their way into the RIIL Boys’ Basketball State Championship Game with wins Friday night at the Ryan Center, cementing a full slate of State Championship Games (4 in total) for Saturday at the Ryan Center at URI.
Central knocked off Coventry in the first game Friday night thanks to some stellar outside shooting against the Oakers’ 1-3-1 zone defense. The Knights took a 39-26 lead into halftime and the outcome was never in doubt as they rolled to a 70-51 win.
Senior Guard Wayne McKinney scored a game-high 26 points for Central, and fellow seniors Juan Guerrero and Marcus Mitchell added 18 points apiece for the Knights.
Senior Center Sean Roles led the Oakers with 17 points, but Coventry struggled to establish any offensive rhythm and couldn’t get enough stops to threaten a comeback.
Hendricken avenged 2 previous losses to La Salle this season (one in the regular season, one in the Division 1 Tournament) with a 70-62 win in the nightcap. 4 Hawks finished in double figures, but it was a balanced team effort on both ends of the floor that put the underdogs over the top.
La Salle was led by the game’s high scorer, Doug Harrison. The senior big man finished with 19 points, but La Salle’s comeback attempt at the end of the game (they trailed throughout) fell just short.
Central and Hendricken will meet in the Open Tournament Final Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Ryan Center. The Ryan Center will also play host to the 3 Divisional Finals for Girls’ Basketball on Saturday.
The action begins Saturday at 11 a.m. with the Division 3 Girls’ Basketball Championship Game between Juanita Sanchez and North Smithfield.
Juanita Sanchez is the defending champion in Division 3, and after a 14-0 regular season they entered the tournament as favorites to repeat. They’ve done nothing to disprove that theory, defeating Central 67-56 in the Semifinals after earning a bye in the first round.
North Smithfield finished 10-2 in league play this season and also earned a first round bye as the #2 seed in the tournament. They beat Middletown 44-39 in the Semifinals to advance to Saturday’s Championship Game.
Juanita Sanchez defeated North Smithfield 73-28 on February 22nd in the only regular season meeting between the two teams.
The action continues at 1:30 p.m. with the Division 2 Girls’ Basketball Final pitting undefeated St. Raphael against undefeated Rogers.
Both teams went 18-0 in league play this season and earned the top 2 seeds for the Tournament. It’s the first meeting (obviously) of the season for the two teams.
St. Raphael defeated Mount St. Charles, West Warwick, and Scituate to advance to the Division 2 Final. Rogers knocked off Warwick Vets, East Greenwich, and Coventry to advance to the final.
The Division 1 Girls’ Championship Game at 4 p.m. matches up Barrington and North Kingstown.
The 4th seeded Eagles knocked off 5th seeded South Kingstown 42-36 in the Quarterfinals, and then avenged a pair of regular season losses to Bay View with a 43-42 win over the #1 seed Bengals in the Semifinals.
North Kingstown is the #2 seed and defeated divisional foe Westerly 59-49 in the Quarterfinals. The Skippers then won a 52-49 thriller over 3rd seeded La Salle in the Semifinals.
North Kingstown won the lone regular season meeting between the two teams, beating the Eagles 64-56 on January 24th. If Barrington can pull the minor upset on Saturday they will have beaten every team in Division 1 this season and earned the distinction of “state champions.”
Be sure to stay tuned to GoLocalProv.com all day Saturday as State Championship Results are posted throughout the afternoon. For even more instantaneous updates from the Ryan Center, follow Jack Andrade on Twitter @RealJackAndrade.