East Providence's St. Martha team wins second consecutive CAL hoops championship
WARWICK — The St. Martha’s boys' Cadet Division basketball team won its second consecutive Catholic Athletic League state championship on Sunday, March 9, with a 51-38 victory over Holy Apostles in a game played at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick.
St. Martha was paced by 13 points from Tommy Lopes and 11 from Kyle Vieira. Marcus McCarthy had 8 points and played a solid game at the point for St. Martha. Brandon Thomas also had eight, including two 3s. Zecaree Veiga, Cameron Almeida and David Oguinronbi played outstanding defense underneath. Jacob Melo gave the team some valuable minutes off the bench.
In the first half of the title game, Derek Geiger hit two 3-point shots to give St. Martha the early lead. The locals stretched their edge to 11 in the second half before Holy Apostles cut it to four (38-34) with a 7-0 run. Vieira then hit two 3s as St. Martha outscored Holy Apostles 13-4 down the stretch to secure the victory.
In the semifinals St. Martha defeated St. Benedict, 63-38. Veiga had 17, Lopes 15, Thomas 13 and Almeida 10. St. Martha finished tied for first with Holy Apostles during the regular season, each team compiling a record of 11-1. St. Martha was given the No. 1 seed in the playoffs by virtue of their win at Holy Apostles. St. Martha did not lose a game on the court but was forced to forfeit a game when eight of its nine players could not play in a game due to conflicts with the Rhode Island high school junior varsity layoffs.
Previously, St. Martha also won the Team Providence Athletics Holiday Classic for the second year in a row. Over the span of two seasons St. Martha’s won 34 of its last 35 games played, with two 17-game winning streaks bookending a loss to an AAU team in a the finals of a postseason tournament last year.
Of the St. Martha’s players, McCarthy was the starting point guard on the La Salle Academy JV team and Lopes and Veiga were starters for the East Providence High School JV team. Almeida, Geiger, Oguinronbi, Thomas and Vieira also played for the EPHS JV. DeVante Rose played on the team until he was called up to varsity at E.P. Jarron Santos left the team early in the season due to an injury and was also called up to varsity during the season.