1987-1988 All State

First Team Second Team
Player School Player School
Ed Cooley Central  Matt Caffrey LaSalle
Abdul Abdullah Central  David Graham West Warwick
Jimmy Varin Our Lady of Providence Todd Mascena Hendricken
Adam Machala Hendricken Jay Sullivan Toll Gate
Ken McDonald North Providence Kenric Taveras Central

First Team Player Recap & Biographies

Ed Cooley and Abdul Abdullah, the players who led Central to an unbeaten season and the Knights' second straight state championship, head the Journal-Bulletin Interscholastic League All-State basketball team. They are joined by sharpshooters Jimmy Varin of Our Lady of Providence, Adam Machala of Hendricken and Ken McDonald of Class B champion North Providence, who were among those who took advantage of the new three-point shot.

The second team features still another player from Central's powerful team, Kenric Tavares, who is a second-team All-Stater for the second year in a row. Todd Mascena, Machala's mate at guard on Hendricken's state runner-up squad, made the second team along with David Graham of West Warwick, Jay Sullivan of Toll Gate and Matt Caffrey of La Salle.

Central was the dominant team - and perhaps the best team - the state has seen since the great Central teams of the 1970s. Cooley and Abdullah were the biggest reasons the Knights finished 28-0

Ed Cooley- Central 
The irrepressible Cooley, a first-team All-Stater last year, averaged 19.9 points on 57 percent from the field and 76.9 percent shooting from the foul line. The well-built 6-foot-3 star, who likely will attend prep school next year, was at home inside or outside. He often sank three-pointers with his distinctive high-arching rainbow shots from the corner, but also pounded the backboards. In the state championship game, he had a sensational 33-point, 13-rebound effort in an 88-82 victory over Hendricken. Cooley averaged nine rebounds a game. Beyond his play, though, he was the team leader off the court. "He was the spiritual leader of the team," coach Harold Metts said of Cooley. "There were times when he was worrying about taking too many shots, about keeping everyone happy on the team. He saw to it that everyone was happy."

Abdul Abdullah- Central
If Cooley was the leader off court, Abdullah was the guy who controlled the game on the court. The junior point guard with the dazzling quickness averaged 14.8 points as he shot 60 percent from the field and 67 percent from the foul line. He is rated a top college prospect, though, more for his ballhandling and passing. He averaged 11 assists per game. 
"It's more than just his quickness," Metts said. "He has that ability to see things before they happen and make things happen. If something's not there, he'll make a move to have the defense react to him to create an opening for a pass." 

Jimmy Varin- Our Lady of Providence 
Varin, a second-team All-Stater last year, completed a tremendous career with his best season. The rugged 6-2 star was a four-year regular for coach Joe Hassett and a second-team All-Stater last year. Varin averaged 21.5 points per game this past season and exceeded 1,000 points for his career. He also averaged 10 rebounds and six assists. "He did everything for us," Hassett said of Varin. "He could have averaged 30 points a game, but he was an unselfish player. We asked him to play guard, to play in the middle, to play in the corners. He did it all." Varin had outstanding shooting range and hit more than 50 three-pointers. But because his team had more strength there than on the boards, he often went inside to help the Padres in that department.

Adam Machala- Hendricken 
Machala was Rhode Island's high-school version of the Billy Donovan and Tommy Garrick stories. Machala was not a heralded star when he began his career. In fact, he didn't play freshman basketball. 
"He was the last man to make the junior varsity as a sophomore and the last man to make the varsity as a junior. He played a little bit for us as a junior," Hendricken coach Steve Ceseretti said. Through it all, though, Machala made steady improvment, primarily because of hard work. "He has a tremendous work ethic," Ceseretti says. "He worked hard in the offseason. He came back this year with confidence. He's made himself into a great player." The smooth-shooting 5-11 guard averaged 21.1 for the Hawks in regular-season play, including 48 three-point baskets as Hendricken won the Class A-One title with a 12-4 record. He continued with a tremendous playoff series that helped the Hawks reach the state finals, where Machala made the all-tournament team. His work included nine more three-point shots in three playoff games, giving him 71 for the season. "He was the player we wanted to have the ball when we needed the key points in close games," Ceseretti said. "It wasn't just his offense that improved so much, either. His defense also became a strength. We played him against the top people on the other team."

Ken McDonald- North Providence 
McDonald was still another player who took great advantage of the three-point shot, sinking 60 in North Providence's 18 league games. The four-year varsity player did much more than lead the scoring with is 20-point average as the Cougars won the Class B title. 
"He became a complete player this year," coach Dave Chevalier said. "He led our team in rebounding (nine per game), which isn't bad for a forward, he was second in assists (five per game), and he played great defense. With us, we demand defense from our players and Kenny gave it to us." McDonald's shooting range was best displayed when he poured in nine three-pointers on the way to a 31-point game as North Providence beat East Greenwich on the final night of the regular season and won the B-Two crown. "But that night he hardly played in the fourth period because we had a big lead. He could have scored a lot more if we needed it," Chevalier said. "He didn't play just to get points. The people who saw our championship game (the victory over Cranston East in the Class B finals) saw that. He had a lot of defenses playing him box-and-one and diamond-and-one all year and when they did, he did what he did in he championship game - set everyone else up."