Photo courtesy of CCRI
ATTACKING THE HOOP: CCRI's Jess Randall goes up for a shot in traffic during a game against Genesee earlier this year.
The Region XXI men’s basketball tournament is scheduled to be played at the CCRI Knight Campus in Warwick this Friday and Sunday. The teams participating are No. 1 seed and No. 3 nationally ranked Community College of Rhode Island from Warwick.; No. 2 seed Dean College from Franklin, Mass.; and No. 3 seed Orange County Community College from Middletown, N.Y. and Region XV. The third Region XXI team – No. 18 nationally ranked Massasoit Community College – deemed ineligible for the tournament due to a regional bylaw regarding too many technical fouls accrued during the season. The winner of the Region XXI tournament will host the Northeast District Tournament the weekend of March 10 and 11 versus the Region XIX Champion.
The Region XXI tournament schedule is as follows:
Dean College vs. Orange County CC, 7 p.m.
CCRI vs. winner of Dean/OCCC game, 1 p.m.
Lady Knights maul Manchester
The CCRI Lady Knights basketball team hosted the Cougars of Manchester Community College for their final regular season game in a Region XXI non-league contest. In a record-breaking night, the Lady Knights improved to 17-11 and 6-1 in Region XXI play with a convincing 75-42 victory.
CCRI was celebrating Sophomore Day for their lone sophomore, Lauren Masse (Woonsocket), as she played in her final game at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse. In addition, the Lady Knights were also having their annual “Play 4 Kay Pink Out” where they wore pink accessories and raised money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a charitable organization committed to finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers through raising money for scientific research.
The Lady Knights and Cougars battled back and forth for the first 10 minutes. CCRI finally got into a rhythm and took its first lead at 12-10 on a 3-pointer by captain Jahira Smith (Norwich, Conn.). From then, the Lady Knights never trailed again, going into halftime leading 32-22. In the second half, they went to a smaller and quicker lineup, which stifled the Cougars’ offensive flow and allowed CCRI to extend its lead to over 30 points. Manchester never recovered, and the Lady Knights cruised to the victory.
Masse drained five 3-pointers, on 5-10 shooting from behind the 3-point arc, moving her from fourth to second on CCRI’s all-time 3-pointer list. She now has 78 for her career, moving her past Sara Duskiewicz, who had 74 from 2002-2004, and Lauren Harrington, who had 75 from 2007-09.
"I am really happy for Lauren,” CCRI head coach Kate Lynch said. “She has been an important part of this program for two years. She helped set the standard for CCRI basketball last year and she has continued to do so. Being second on the all-time 3-point list is a huge accomplishment and it is well deserved."
Smith was also out to get into the record book with another impressive game for the Lady Knights, finishing with another double-double consisting of 12 points and 10 assists while adding six steals and five rebounds. Smith had broken the single-season record for steals of 93 set by Lauren Harrington in 2008-09 earlier in the season, and her mark now stands at 120 steals for the year. In addition, Smith also set a new single-season assist record with 162 on the season, breaking the former mark of 156 held by Nicole Girard in 2008-09.
Also having an excellent night for CCRI versus Manchester was Jess Randall (Warwick), who had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Rounding out the Lady Knights’ attack was Moe Plummer (Fairfield, Conn.) with 13 points, six rebounds and three steals, Celina Rosa (Plantation, Fla.), who pitched in with eight points and two steals and Nyjah Porcher (New Britain, Conn.), who added seven rebounds and four points.
"I am very proud of our effort in the second half,” Lynch said. “We played much harder, more focused, and more together in the second half. When we play like that, we are fun to watch."
CCRI resumes play next weekend when it travels to Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y. to take part in the Region XXI Tournament. The No. 2 seed Lady Knights will face Region XXI rival and No. 3 seed Dean College on Saturday at 10 a.m. The winner of that game will play the winner of the No.1 seed Monroe College vs. No. 4 seed Orange County Community College game on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
Knights sweep College of Albemarle
The CCRI Knights baseball team concluded its five-game road trip to North Carolina by traveling to Murfreesboro, N.C. to play the Dolphins of the College of the Albemarle from Elisabeth City, N.C. The Knights swept the Dolphins 8-3 and 9-8. With the two victories, the Knights improved to 3-1 on the season. The College of the Albemarle drops to 4-3.
The Knights scored one run in the first on a leadoff single by centerfielder Dylan Gracia (Middletownfollowed by a passed ball and an RBI single by captain Tom Gavitt (Stonington, CT). Jamale Horn (Hoover, Ala.) launched his first home run of the season in the top of the fourth inning to right-center field, giving the Knights their second run. The team added three runs in the sixth on singles by Marc Dorsi (West Haven, Conn.) and Gavitt, followed by an intentional walk to Horn, and a two-run double to left-center by first baseman Brendan Cabral (Scituate). The Knights added three more insurance runs in the top of the seventh on two walks and a two-run single by Dorsi to close out the scoring. Dorsi and Gavitt led the team in the first game with two hits and two RBI apiece. Freshman Todd Lyons (Norwalk, Conn.) pitched six strong innings in his collegiate debut, giving up only four hits while striking out and impressive eleven Dolphin batters. Dylan Pingitore (Johnston) and Rodger Lincoln (East Providence) combined to close out the game by pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
The second game of the doubleheader was filled with drama. Both teams battled back and forth, giving up the lead then reclaiming it back until the Knights scored two runs with two outs in the top of the seventh and held on in the bottom of the inning for a the come-from-behind win.
Dorsi came up with an exciting two-out, two-strike single to drive in the two runs, giving the Knights a 9-8 lead in the top of the seventh. Dorsi's heroics followed singles by freshman Nick Coro (North Providence) and John Razzino (Cranston), followed by a walk by Cabral to load the bases. That set the stage for Dorsi.
Gavitt led the Knights offense with three hits and three RBI and freshmen Coro and Razzino added three hits to lead the offensive explosion.
On the mound for the Knights, Connor Gleason (North Stonington, Conn.) came on in relief of Kevin Dale (Warwick) in the bottom of the sixth inning and closed out the game in the seventh for his second win of the season. Dale's three-inning performance in relief of starter Adam Chrzanowski (Westfield, Mass.) kept the Knights in the game until the offense took over in the last two innings.
The Knights have a week off before heading back on the road next weekend for a three game series at Mercer County Community College in Trenton, N.J.
Lady Knights upend UCAP
The CCRI Lady Knights basketball team hosted the Pointers of the University of Connecticut at Avery Point on Tuesday for a Region XXI non-league game. The Lady Knights defeated the Pointers 70-54.
The Lady Knights controlled the game from the opening tip to the final buzzer. They quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead within the first ten minutes of the game, which they extended to 22 by halftime with the score 44-22. The Pointers played with only five players, but they battled their way back into the game as they cut the lead to 13 multiple times. However, the game would never get any closer.
Smith led the Lady Knights with 16 points with 11 assists while adding four steals and three rebounds, and Randall had 15 points with five rebounds, five steals and two assists. Also helping CCRI was sophomore Masse with nine points, including two 3-pointers and a career high two blocked shots, Porcher, who scored eight points with seven rebounds, and Rosa, who played lockdown defense on UCAP’s Becca Pope for most of the game while adding four points, two assists, two steals and two rebounds. Rounding out the Lady Knights top performers was the frontcourt tandem of Krista Trenholm (Hope Valley) and Jenna Ayala (Paterson, N.J.) who combined for 13 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, a blocked shot and a steal. Plummer added five points, including a 3-pointer with three rebounds. Pope led all scorers with 21 points.
“We were very sluggish all game,” Lynch said. “Defensively, we were not closing the lane. We gave up too many offensive rebounds. We talked about being consistent. We have to prepare for the playoffs in a week. We have to start focusing on the doing the little things day and day out. Those are what win you basketball games.”