Woonsocket Middle School boys win RIPCOA state championship

Woonsocket Middle School boys win RIPCOA state championship

The members of the Woonsocket Middle School boys' basketball team, which captured the Northern Division regular-season and RIPCOA state championships with a 16-0 record, are, in front from left, Nayan Roman, Paul Hyde, Andrew Bissonette, Julean Nunez, David Hazard, Douglas Goncalves, and Angel Hernandez; in middle row, coach Daniel Chattman, Jermaine Wynkoop, Joel Felix, Antonio Delgado, Jeriel Vazquez, Daunte Melton, and Juelz Stengal; in back, Donte Rogers, Alex Herrera, Jamaury Barr, Rushane Vilane, Andre Bell, Avyion Faux, Demitri Brin, and coach Thomas Gray. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)
Fresh off capturing Northern Division title, basketball team completes unbeaten season by topping Riverside in finals

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The Woonsocket Middle School boys’ basketball team completed an undefeated season on Thursday night by winning the RIPCOA state championship with a 57-51 victory over Riverside in the title game at Cranston East High School.

Woonsocket, which was the second seed in the 12-team playoffs, had rolled to a 75-39 victory at home over 7th-seeded Martin in last Thursday's quarterfinals, as Jamaury Barr (14 points), Andre Bell (12), and Alex Herrera (11) led a balanced scoring attack. In Tuesday's semifinals at the South Kingstown Recreation Center, Woonsocket grabbed a 56-48 victory over 6th-seeded Portsmouth.

The title game saw both teams battle for the lead throughout the opening half and first six minutes of the second. Woonsocket held a 26-24 lead at halftime, and with the score tied at 33-33, the locals scored eight of the next 10 points to reclaim the lead for good. Herrera and Bell each scored 14 points, Jeriel Vazquez added eight, and Joe Felix and Rushaune Vilane each had seven.

Riverside had upset the previously-undefeated top-seeded team, the UCAP (Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program) School, in the semifinals, 77-40.

Woonsocket recently put the finishing touches on a splendid 13-0 regular season that resulted in the Northern Division championship. Twelve of Woonsocket’s wins were decided by 18 or more points. Coach Thomas Gray offered praise for his nine 8th-graders, “and they all play a very important role to help us compete at a very high level of basketball,” he noted. “This is a very talented team, and (coach Daniel Chattman) and I are very proud of them.”