Seekonk High School
The Warriors have all the ingredients for a successful season and are better than the 2-3 record they posted heading into press time before the New Year. The biggest challenge for coach Alex DaLuz and the Warriors going forward will be matching the performance at home when they go on the road. In two home wins before the New Year, the Warriors averaged 71.5 points per game, but in the three road losses, they only scored 42.3 points per game. A lot that has to do with the road opponents as Seekonk took the bus to three extremely good programs to start the season: Norton, Old Rochester and North Smithfield, R.I. Look for the Warriors to put the early season jitters behind them and make a run for the state tournament in 2020. Kyle Blanchard, Kam Casala and Nathan Clarke have been leading the Warriors on the offensive side, and Clarke and Elijah Leonard have been battling on the boards so far. This is a team to watch in the new year with tons of talent, good coaching, and players who put enormous amounts of effort in game in and gam out.
The Warriors ended 2019 at 2-2, but the biggest highlight of the young season has been the milestone moment for senior guard Mia DiBiase. In the first half of the home game against Norton on Dec. 23, the three-time South Coast Conference all-star drilled the second of two free throws to score her 1,000th career point. The game was stopped and she was congratulated by teammates, coaches and her family who had come to watch. “She’s meant everything to this program,” Seekonk coach Bill Paulo said after the game. “She’s a great kid. Everyone’s so happy for her. She’s done a great job leading this program.” Paulo presented DiBiase with a special basketball signed by all the players on this year’s and last year’s teams. A point guard with a smooth shot who attacks the rim and plays much bigger than her size, DiBiase has committed to play at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. next season. While DiBiase has been the catalyst for Seekonk so far, the team is also getting solid play from Kate Leinson, Ally Dantas, Lauren Paulo, Lauren Tortolani, Bria Dunphy and Maggie McKitchen.
Both the boys and girls teams sit at 1-0 in the SCC Small division entering 2020 with wins against Wareham. In the most recent meet, the win over Wareham. Andrew Cabral led the way with two first-place finishes, the 1,000 meters and high jump. Other top finishers for the boys were Pivek Patel in the shot put, Henry Jordan in the 600, Caleb Cloud in the 55 hurdles, James Tenreiro in the mile and Jacob Klang in the 2-mile. The Seekonk girls were led by Hannah Bradbury (600 and mile) and Allison Houle (50 sprint and high jump) with two first-place finishes apiece. Madison Costa took the top spot in the 55 hurdles and Makenzie Gingras won the shot put. Both also had solid showings at the SCC Relays before the holiday. January is a big month for the Warriors as they will face SCC rivals Case, Bourne and Fairhaven.
The Seekonk swimming teams are off to a blazing start this season with wins in their only meets before press time, which does not include the Jan. 7 home meet against Apponequet. Both the boys and girls squads defeated Apponequet on the road last month with the girls prevailing 93-61 and the boys winning 84-73.
The girls team took first place in eight events with strong showings from Addison Abreu, Jayla Pina, Natalie Kach and Korryn Cartwright. The four combined to win the 200 medley relay in 1:56.38 and the 200 freestyle relay in 1:45.46. Abreu also won the 200 freestyle in 2:04.17. Cartwright took top honors in the 200 individual medley in 2:23.13 and 100 butterfly in 1:03.55. Pina was also victorious in the 50 freestyle (25.48) and the 100 freestyle (56.67). Ella Gerardi rounded out the top finishers with a win in the 500 freestyle in 6:30.39.
The quartet of Robert Strycharz, Chris Strycharz, Blake Anderson and Finn Patterson won both 200 relays for the boys team as they took the medley in 1:49.46 and the freestyle in 1:38.53. Anderson triumphed in the 50 freestyle (22.79) and the 200 freestyle (1:55.50) while Chris took the top spot in the 200 IM (2:16.51) and 500 freestyle (5:28.42). Robert was victorious in two other events as well, the 100 freestyle (52.58) and the 100 breaststroke (1:03.14). Nicholas Yang took top honors in the 100 backstroke in 1:12.84.
The D-R/Seekonk team started slow but erupted to a four-game winning streak and sat at 4-2 at press time. Seekonk sophomore forward Devin Dailey leads the team with six goals, including a hat trick in a 9-3 win over Durfee on Dec. 30. The team started 0-2 with just one goal, but has since found its footing with 22 goals in the four victories, including six in a big South Coast Conference win over Old Rochester on Jan. 2. Coach Tom Fecteau’s squad faced another tough SCC game on Jan. 4 against Somerset Berkley that was played after press time, so check out @ReporterSports1 on Twitter for details and more on the team throughout the season.
The Falcons entered the new year at 3-2 with two conference wins over Bourne and Fairhaven, and a victory in the consolation game of the Val Muscato Holiday Tournament over Classical at Oliver Ames High School. In the last game before the new year, a victory over Classical, junior wing John Marcille had 15 points and senior guard Shane Mello also had 15 as the duo continue to pace the offense through the first few weeks of the season. Starting with Jan. 3’s home contest against Apponequet, which was played after press deadline, the Falcons will have 13 straight games against South Coast Conference teams, meaning the next month is critical as the conference race starts to take shape. Longtime coach Bill Cuthbertson has returned to the bench after missing last season, and the Falcons brought him back in style with a victory in the season-opener against Bourne last month.
New coach Chris Perron’s team is off to a nice start of the season, sitting at 2-1 at press time before the new year with two South Coast Conference victories over Wareham and Fairhaven. Junior guard Emily D’Ambrosio has led the Falcons in scoring in all three of their games, including the opening-night loss to Bishop Stang. In the last game before press time, a 61-42 win over Wareham, she netted 23 points with nine assists and nine rebounds. The Falcons have also been getting solid play from senior captain Meg Reed and freshman guard Ella Damon. “So far, I’m very happy with the way these kids have worked and the support we’re getting. The team defense tonight in the third quarter helped us get the lead we needed. Let’s hope we can do that the rest of the season,” Perron said after beating the Vikings last week.
Both the boys and girls teams received their Christmas presents a little early when both finished first overall at the South Coast Conference Relays at the Reggie Lewis Center at Northeastern University in Boston on Dec. 23, including a first-place finish by the girls shot put team. It was the icing on the cake for a very successful start to the season as both teams won their only dual meets before the new year against Fairhaven last month. The girls won 70-16 and the boys triumphed 59-27. The Falcons, led by coaches DeLano and Goss, will have four big SCC meets this month against GNB Voc-Tech, Old Rochester, Apponequet and Somerset Berkley.
The Reporter will continue its sports coverage in 2020 as we’ll be at track and swim meets in January, and keep up with the basketball teams and the DR/Seekonk hockey squad. Our sports coverage lives and breathes online, so check our digital platforms (@ReporterSports1 on Twitter, The Reporter on Facebook, and ReporterToday.com) for continuous updates, articles, videos and more throughout the month. Coaches, players and parents: If anyone has a story idea or wants to report scores or results, drop us a message on social media or an email to Sports@ReporterToday.com.