Woonsocket Call

Hawks avenge playoff loss to Novans

Young Woonsocket still eyeing Division I playoff spot

- By BRENDAN McGAIR bmcgair@pawtuckett­imes.com

WARWICK – If Bishop Hendricken was going to beat Woonsocket last night, Villa Novans head coach T.J. Ciolfi wanted the Hawks to camp out the free-throw line burying one 15-foot jump shot after another.

“I didn’t want them to get layups and dunks, and they really didn’t get any,” explained Ciolfi.

Hendricken did score enough points to roll to a 66-41 victory at Pepin Gymnasium. The Hawks improve to 10-1 in Division I while the Novans, at 3-8, have to start stringing together some wins and fast in order to gain admittance to the divisional tournament.

“The goal is to make the playoffs,” said Ciolfi. “We can win two of our final four games with help, or three out of four without help. But we have (9-1) Smithfield at home on Friday.”

The cruise-control victory for the Hawks saw sophomore Preston Santos and junior Justin Mazzulla each net 18 points while senior Trevor Lawton dropped 16 points, including the 1,000th of his career. Hendricken hosts 102 St. Raphael on Friday night.

“All of their key guys played the way you’re supposed to when you’re allstate players,” said Ciolfi, whose crew has now dropped five straight.

Cedrick Harris was a bright spot for Woonsocket with 12 points and 15 rebounds while Tyheem Gray added 11 points. The Villa Novans recently lost a couple of key contributo­rs, which as a result has forced Ciolfi to integrate even more untested players to a roster that was pretty young to begin with.

Finding a reliable lowpost option has been a challenge for the Novans and that trend continued last night as the Hawks all but took away the middle. That put even more pressure on Woonsocket’s shooters, but Hendricken’s length also took its toll on one key Novan in particular. Known for his outside shooting, junior T.J. Cahill swished just one 3-pointers as opportunit­ies to hoist away proved few and far between.

“They put a 6- foot- 3 defender on Cahill and that was it,” said Ciolfi. “We’re going to have to get better in terms of getting him the ball.”

All things considered, the Novans were in position to trail the Hawks by single digits heading into halftime. Hendricken had other ideas as a hoop from Lawton and a 3-pointer from Dimitri Rosa transforme­d a seven- point advantage into a 29-17 lead at halftime.

Harris scored inside for the first points of the second half, but it was all Hendricken the rest of the way. Up 43-28, the Hawks ripped off 17 straight points with five of them coming from Lawton. He reached the 1,000- point plateau with 2:31 remaining.

“I thought we played hard, but concentrat­ion for 32 minutes has been an issue lately,” said Ciolfi.

 ?? Photos by Ernest A. Brown ?? Woonsocket's Tyheem Gray (15) sails by Hendricken's Preston Santos (12) for two points during the first half of Wednesday night’s Division I game in Warwick. Hendricken avenged a D-I playoff loss last season to the Villa Novans with a 66-41 victory.
Photos by Ernest A. Brown Woonsocket's Tyheem Gray (15) sails by Hendricken's Preston Santos (12) for two points during the first half of Wednesday night’s Division I game in Warwick. Hendricken avenged a D-I playoff loss last season to the Villa Novans with a 66-41 victory.
 ?? Photo by Ernest A. Brown ?? The Woonsocket boys basketball team likely needs to win three of its last four games to reach the Division I playoffs. The Villa Novans were beaten by Bishop Hendricken Wednesday night.
Photo by Ernest A. Brown The Woonsocket boys basketball team likely needs to win three of its last four games to reach the Division I playoffs. The Villa Novans were beaten by Bishop Hendricken Wednesday night.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States