By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken basketball team rolled past visiting Cranston East 91-46 in the teams' league opener last Friday evening. Hendricken was led by junior guard Sebastian Thomas, who went off for a game-high 31 points. "e;In my
The Bishop Hendricken basketball team rolled past visiting Cranston East 91-46 in the teams’ league opener last Friday evening.
Hendricken was led by junior guard Sebastian Thomas, who went off for a game-high 31 points.
“In my opinion, he’s one of the top guards in the state. He’s actually been sick to start the season so it was good to see him have a lot of energy today. He was attacking and making plays and that is what our focus with him has been these past few days. He didn’t have much practice time since he didn’t have the legs, but now he does and he’s shifted. He can score, he can finish, midrange, threes, in my opinion he’s one of the top guards in the state of Rhode Island,” said Hendricken coach Jamal Gomes.
Thomas was also voted a team captain by his peers recently, and has earned the respect of his teammates in the early going.
“You need to have balance; balance is the key to winning. Sebastian is very well-respected by his teammates, we voted on captains and he, along with Angel Sanchez, Helio Sousa and Sebastian Basilio were named captains. They’re all great leaders, they are good kids that work hard, and (for Thomas) it says a lot to have teammates vote a junior as captain. We’re expecting him to have an outstanding season,” said Gomes.
Thomas thanked his coaches and teammates for helping him get off to such a strong start.
“The coaches at practice have been doing a good job of finding ways to get me open, other teams will be keying in on me, so I have been doing a good job of getting open and my teammates have been doing a great job of setting screens,” said Thomas.
The Hawks jumped out to a 48-24 lead in the first half, much thanks to a strong defensive performance. Between caused turnovers in transition, blocked shots, solid rebounding, Hendricken set the tone early and quickly took control.
“It’s early, and we like to cause havoc on defense. Lots of deflections, steals, we want to play a quick game. It’s early in the season and we need to clean a lot of things up, but what I liked today was our energy, I liked our defense. The offense will catch up in time, but our defense always has to remain consistent and they played hard today. We were able to mix up defenses today,” said Gomes.
Hendricken also had a brief scare in the first half when senior captain Angel Sanchez exited with a gash above his eye, one that would require stitches after the contest.
After 10 minutes away from the action, Sanchez retuned to the game bandaged up and hit a three-pointer on his first shot back and finished the game with 18 points overall.
“That’s Angel Sanchez. He was the best football player in the state and probably the toughest kid in the state. He’s a fighter, how many guys would do that? There aren’t a lot of guys like that,” said Gomes.
The Hawks continued to roll and to extend the lead throughout the second half. Thomas felt that the team’s conditioning was key in wearing down the Bolts.
“At practice, our coaches focus a lot on our conditioning, so as you can see out there, the other team started to get tired and starting making subs, but our guys were energized and hustled to the ball in the second half,” said Thomas.
Helio Sousa also scored 16 points for the Hawks in the win, while Justin Perez added eight. Alvin Baez led East with 16 points, followed by Kevin Pinheiro with six.
“This is a big win, especially with it being the first game of the year,” said Thomas. “It’s going to help us throughout the year.”