Homecoming for two Portsmouth players at Spring Classic

Cole Swider, Chris Herren play in fund-raiser for Maher Center

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PORTSMOUTH — The top boys high school basketball players from public and private school around the state converged at Portsmouth High School Wednesday night for the second annual Higher Learning Sports Spring Classic.

Portions of proceeds from the event benefited the James Maher Center in Middletown, which supports adults with developmental disabilities.

The game turned into a high-scoring thriller, as team Navy won in overtime, 132-130, over White.

It was a homecoming of sorts for two former Portsmouth High School players.

While he played for the losing team, Cole Swider of Portsmouth, who’s now a member of the St. Andrew’s School squad, was the overall high scorer with 45 points. He scored 24 of his points in the first half, which powered White to a 69-64 lead at the break.

Cole was recently named Rhode Island’s Gatorade Player of the Year, which distinguished him as the top high school basketball player in the state.

Portsmouth’s Chris Herren, now playing for Tabor Academy, added 22 points from the bench. He also won the three-point shooting contest at halftime.

Matt Clark of the PHS and Portsmouth Abbey’s Andrew Fonts each scored six points. 

Tyler Murray of Tiverton High School, playing for Navy, finished with 10 points.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.