National Letter of Intent Signing at EPHS
February 7th, 2018 was the National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing day for college athletics. The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution. A prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).
Two East Providence High School student-athletes signed letters of intent Wednesday morning in a ceremony at the high school. Lindsey Amaral and Grace Abrams are members of the soccer team. Both were key players on the school's 2016 State Championship team.
"We are very proud of our student-athletes at EPHS. Today we are particularly proud to witness this letter of intent signing by Lindsey and Grace," said school Athletic Director, Gregg Amore. "The achievements of these two students are credits to them, their teachers, coaches and families," added Amore.
"I am proud of all that you have accomplished, Head Soccer Coach, Angelo Pizzi told his players and an assembled group of team mates and family. "You both followed my motto which is academics over athletics and have made all of us very proud," said Coach Pizzi.
"I visited several schools in New England," Lindsey Amaral said after the ceremony. "I really enjoyed the climate and campus at American International College. They had a lot to offer and I look forward to attending college there," said Amaral.
"I enjoyed the recruitment process," said Grace Abrams. "It was a long process but worth it. Treveeca Nazarene University was a school that fell right into place. I'm glad to have been accepted," she added.
After going 16-0 this year, the Townies lost a heartbreaker for the 2017 state title to Johnston High 2-1. The Townies were undefeated and looking to repeat as state champs. Both students are top scholar athletes at EPHS. Lindsey Amaral was a 4 year starter for the varsity soccer team. She was All-Division selection in 2015 as a sophomore and a 2016 MVP and All-Division selection. She was a defensive MVP in 2016 and 2017. She was also senior Captain in 2017. "Lindsey was a defensive stalwart for the team," added Coach Pizzi. "Her leadership on defense helped contribute to the lowest amount of goals scored against for the state in 2017," Pizzi added. Amaral has attained "High Honors" throughout her years in high school. She has attained an 87.7 GPA in an Honors/College Prep Course of Study.
Grace Abrams was also a top student athlete. Currently ranked #2 in the class of 2018, Abrams has been a four year starter for the team. She was a freshman MVP and offensive MVP as a junior and senior. She was Captain as a senior and the state's second leading scorer in 2016 and 2017. Abrams was 3rd team All-State as a junior and senior as well as All-Division and All-Tournament in 2016 as a junior. "Grace was the RI Interscholastic League East Region Student of the Month in 2017 and a Wendy's High School Heisman winner," said Coach Pizzi. "She also won a Foot Locker Scholar award applicant and 2nd team senior All-State." Abrams also was a team Captain for the Tidal Wave Premier Soccer team.
Academically, Abrams was a Rhode Island and National Honor Society member and a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. She is a recipient of the Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony award; the Harvard Book prize, the RI Scholar Athlete award and is an applicant for the National Association of Secondary School Principals Scholarship. "She received the school's Highest Honors with Distinction" from 2014-2018," added Pizzi.
"We are all proud that Lindsey Amaral and Grace Abrams will be taking their considerable soccer talents to American International College and Travecca Nazarene University respectively, to play NCAA Division II Women's Soccer. Both are honors students in the Honors College Prepatory Program at EPHS. Grace is ranked #2 in the Class of 2018. Townie Pride Never Sleeps," said Athletic Director Gregg Amore.
Both EPHS boys and girls basketball teams lost in quarterfinal action late last month. After trailing by just four points in the first half, Mount Pleasant High ran away with the game in the second half and easily defeated East Providence 85-61. Darren Robinson scored 26 points for Mount Pleasant in their win. Deyshawn Tengbeh led East Providence with 17 points. The Townies are hoping to still compete in the state open division championships.
On Friday February 16, 2018 East Providence’s Myels Nuey scored a game-high 20 points, 17 coming in the first half, and teammate Dion Hazard added 18 points to lead East Providence to an 84-53 win over Central in the preliminary round of the Division I playoffs. Deyshawn Tengbeh had 10 pts., Clinton Ogunronbi 8 pts., Juston Williams 6, Ben Sears 5, Justin Pena 4, Richard Pina 4, Connor Gordon and Julian Andrade each with 3 pts.
In pre-playoff action in February, the Townies had a roller coaster ride of wins and losses as they sought post season play. On February 2nd, EP bopped Cranston West 85-67. Dion Hazard impressed all with 30 points and Deyshawn Tengbeh scored 27. Juston Williams, scored 14 second half points (16 total) for EP.
In a close battle on February 6th, Classical got by the Townies with a 63-60 win as Deyshawn Tengbeh had 21 points and Dion Hazard added 21 in the Townie loss.
The next night, East Providence beat Central 64-51 for their second win over the Knights in the month. Myles Nuey scored 24 points for EP, 21 in the second half.
On Friday, February 9th, East Providence beat Hope High 64-47. Deyshawn Tengbeh had 26 points and Dion Hazard scored 17 points with 10 big rebounds.
On February 12th, Cranston East came into the East Providence gymnasium looking to face a tough Townie squad. The Bolt came away with a scrappy win over EP. Deyshawn Tengbeh had 19 points to lead the Townies. Dion Hazard had 13 points for EP while Ben Sears added 10.
After the 84-53 win over Central in the opening round of playoff action, EPHS Head Coach Joe Andrade said he remains cautiously optimistic. "We are capable of playing with just about anyone but we really have to be on top of our game. Facing the 16-2 Mount Pleasant team at their home court on Tuesday (February 20th at 6pm) will be a big challenge," said Andrade. The Townies ended with a 14-10 record.
Also losing in quarterfinal action were the Lady Townies. Juanita Sanchez High of Providence bounced the Lady Townies out of the playoffs with a 63-51 win last month. Sanchez junior Mariah Rosario dazzled the crowd with eye-popping shooting while scoring 28 points. Rosario had 7 three-point baskets, most of them from deep range. She also amassed her 1,000th career point. Lillian Conti had 14 key points for EP but all in the 2nd half. Conti also took charge in that 2nd half with a few strong successful drives to the basket and good defensive play but it wasn't enough to counter Rosario and Sanchez High. Emma DaSilva had 12 points and Shaniah Hazard added 10 for the Townies.
In earlier action last month the Townies only loss came at the hands of 15-3 Wheeler School on February 9th by a 69-40 score. Courtney Dorr led with 16 points in an otherwise weak Townie offense. Emma DaSilva was the next highest scorer with 6 points for EP.
But other than that, the Townies had looked great all season. In a preview for the Quarterfinal match, East Providence beat Juanita Sanchez in a January 30th game, as both teams battled for first place in the Division II North. Lillian Conti had 17 points, Courtney Dorr had 16 and Shaniah Hazard added 14 in the well balanced Townie offense. Tanya Cooper grabbed 18 rebounds while adding 7 points for EP.
In a game with Wheeler, the East Siders were down by 18 points in the second half but rallied to take a one point lead over East Providence with a minute to play. However the Townies righted the ship and scored the game's last five points for the exciting win.
Other recent action saw East Providence defeat Scituate 48-36 and beat Lincoln 60-30. The Townies suffered a 41-37 loss to Westerly but rebounded with a preliminary playoff round win over Mount St. Charles 47-40.
Shaniah Hazard scored a team-high 16 points against the Mount and had eight rebounds. Hazard also had an impressive 6 assists on scores. Lillian Conti showed great defense and overall play. Conti had 5 steals to go with her 13 points. Tanya Cooper scored eight points and pulled down 13 rebounds.
Bay View Bows Out with Close Loss
Madison D’Ambra had 23 points for Bay View including 3 three-pointers but it wasn't enough to beat LaSalle which held on to a 48-46 win over the Bengals. LaSalle led after the first half 26-15 and Bay View won the second half points scored 31-22 but it was LaSalle who won the game and went onto take the state title.
Bay View Academy defeated East Greenwich in a Division I Quarterfinal game on February 20th with a 43-31 win. The Bengals have had impressive recent wins with victories over East Greenwich 47-41, North Kingstown 50-46, South Kingstown, 52-41 and by a 70-28 score over Lincoln. In the Lincoln game Bay View had ten different players score. Madison D’Ambra had 17 points for the Bengals and Cassie Pare added 12. D’Ambra is averaging 14.4 points per game.