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Novans down Tigers to win Holiday Classic hoop title

December 27, 2013

Woonsocket guard Randy Reyes drives past Tolman defender Nathan Gagnon as he works the ball down the court during the first half of the Villa Novans’ victory on Friday night in the championship game of the 41st annual Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland/Lincoln Roadshow Holiday Classic at Cumberland High’s Wellness Center. PHOTO BY ERNEST A. BROWN

CUMBERLAND — In the end, Woonsocket High took advantage of five turnovers in the final 3:37 while mustering an 11-0 flurry in the span of 2:43 to roll to a 63-51 triumph over Tolman in the championship game of the 41st annual Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland/Lincoln Roadshow Holiday Classic on Friday night.

It turned out to be the Villa Novans’ team-leading eighth in the history of the oldest holiday tourney in Rhode Island. Had the Tigers eked it out, it would’ve been their sixth, which would have pushed them into a three-place tie with host Cumberland and Lincoln.

Junior Elijah Vazquez led the victors with 15 points, while senior center Piotr Linek netted nine, junior Angel Robles seven and seniors Blaine Desimpelaere, Randy Reyes and Elliot Nunez six each.

For Tolman, junior Steve Otis paced his contingent with 16 points. Senior Alex Lopez finished with 11, junior Nate Gagnon eight and Keanu Perry four, as did Tyler Reece.

Josh Mousseau grabbed a team-high nine boards for the Novans, six in the final half, while Mousseau chipped in five, with four coming over the last 16 minutes.

“Obviously, I liked the fact we won, and that we kept our composure at the end, hitting some free throws (seven of 10 to be exact),” offered head coach Kyle Ivey-Jones after his squad moved to 4-2 overall. “We showed some signs of maturity from our senior group, and that’s just what I need from them night after night.”

The Tigers fought back to knot it at 50-50 for the sixth time in the stanza on Fernandes’ two free throws with 3:37 remaining, but Fortes gave the Novans the lead for good when he converted a three-point play at 2:19.

Woonsocket then took advantage of five steals over the remaining ticks. Linek hit a nice box-and-weave hook with 89 seconds left to make it 56-50, and Robles, Linek and Reyes helped out with five of six from the stripe after that.

Those earning spots on the All-Tournament Team, named for former BGCCL Athletic Director Jim Marsland, included Otis and Alex Lopez of Tolman; Linek and Vazquez of the Novans; and Tyge Joyce of Lincoln, which defeated Cumberland in the consolation tilt.

The MVP award, not surprisingly, went to Novans’ senior co-captain Randy Reyes.

In the consolation tilt, Lincoln overcame deficits of 21-6 at the break and 46-44 with only 86 seconds left in regulation to claim a thrilling 57-53 overtime victory over host Cumberland.

With 11 seconds remaining in regulation, sophomore Tyler Britt grabbed a rebound and nailed the putback to knot it at 46-46 and force the extra session.

Britt picked up where he left off in OT, canning a 16-footer only 12 ticks elapsed on the clock, and senior co-captain Tyge Joyce dropped a baseline jumper with 3:04 remaining before Britt hit a floater at 2:35.
That gave Lincoln six unanswered points and a 52-46 lead.

Senior Joe Fine’s putback and classmate Grant Osmundson’s trey knifed the lead to 52-51 with 1:40 left, but Joyce’s conventional three-point play regained for Lincoln a four-point cushion.

Junior Nick Poli’s layup with 50 seconds on the clock cut it to 55-53, though junior Will Britt’s easy fast-break lay-in with 25 ticks remaining iced it.

Osmundson missed a three just before the horn.

Tyler Britt closed with a team-leading 14 points, while Joyce and Luke Kelly each netted 10. Junior forward Steve Denio, brother Will Britt and junior Mark Benway all managed six as the Lions improved to 2-3 overall.

The Clippers fell to 2-4, despite Fine’s 13 points (five-for-five from the stripe) and Poli’s additional 11. Junior point Tyler Calabro and senior co-captain Ryan Cotter chipped in nine and eight, respectively, while freshman Brandon Kolek and Osmundson added five apiece.

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