CUMBERLAND – After winning the Cumberland-Lincoln Boys & Girls Club Roadshow Holiday Classic the last time it was played in 2019, the Tolman High boys’ basketball team have failed this season, but have it all. Likewise won the consolation match with a 56-50 victory over Cumberland last Wednesday, Dec. 29, at the Clippers’ wellness center.
âI reminded (the players) of (the championship) so we’ve had some success here,â said Tolman head coach Bill Coughlin. âWe had mixed results this week, but I’m really happy that they played hard and played selflessly. It was nice.”
The Tigers’ victory over the Clippers surprisingly concluded the 48th annual holiday tournament, which is the oldest in the state, as the championship game between Lincoln and Woonsocket was postponed due to COVID concerns in the Lincoln team. This game has not yet been rescheduled, but it will be up to these two teams to decide if it is played.
Coming to the consolation game, the Clippers fell to Lincoln, 55-47, in an overtime fight, while the Tigers were sorely lacking in numbers in their 55-46 loss to Woonsocket.
âWe had six (players),â Coughlin said. âWe had 11 tonight, but we were a little shorthanded (against Woonsocket). Five guys came back from a number of things – not all related to COVID – and it was good to find them. I think the guys (in defeat) have had a good experience, but it’s good to have a more full family.
The Tigers were shooting all cylinders against the Clippers, taking a 10 point lead after the first and second quarters. Tolman had a 39-29 lead in the half and continued to keep the pressure on in the third quarter to take a 50-37 lead. Despite dropping 13 points to start the fourth, the Clippers fought within six points, but didn’t come close to the lead.
Not only were they on the cusp of the offensive end of the ball, but they were also physical on defense, getting steals and rebounds.
âWe are very proud of our man-to-man relationship,â Coughlin said. âWe think the defense is traveling. Even on nights when the hits don’t fall, you can still control that end of the ground. They buy and do a good job. We’re a bit undersized, but they really work to get the rebounds.
Vanguard Maarten Lopes, who scored 15 points, led the way for the Tigers; his classmate guard Jaylin Baptista, who added 13, and second-year striker Malik Gelinas, who also had 10. Coughlin pointed out Lopes, Baptista and senior guard Jayel Rodrigues, who picked up where they had quit last year as players from all divisions.
He also praised senior forward Rodney Wilson, who was on the squad in his sophomore year but missed his entire junior year with injury. Coughlin is happy Wilson is back and is contributing again.
Cumberland junior guard Kalil Fofana, who scored an 18-point high, and Lopes, who also scored 22 points in his team’s loss to Woonsocket, have been named to the Jim Marsland Memorial tournament squad.
The Tigers, who were due to return to their Division II schedule on Tuesday night by visiting Middletown, kicked off their championship season on December 16 with a 54-47 victory at Johnston, as runner-up Isaiah Gois scored 23 points, Baptista in added 18, and Lopes had 11.
Thursday at 7 p.m., the Tigers will host their neighbor North Providence for their first game in two seasons at their Donaldson gymnasium. In last year’s shortened two-month season, they played all of their home games at Jenks Junior High due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
âIt’s awesome,â Coughlin said of his return to Tolman. âIt’s a unique gym with a lot of character. “
As for the D-II season, Coughlin said his team will play one game at a time, “but I think they have the talent, the work ethic and the character to take a chance,” he said. he adds.