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EPHS expects to remain among state’s elite in realigned boys’ hoops

Townies ranked fourth in formula used to determine division placement

By Mike Rego
Posted 5/11/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — Boys’ high school basketball, on the heels of the just released new football format, is the next sport expected to be realigned by the Rhode Island Principals Committee …

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EPHS expects to remain among state’s elite in realigned boys’ hoops

Townies ranked fourth in formula used to determine division placement

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Boys’ high school basketball, on the heels of the just released new football format, is the next sport expected to be realigned by the Rhode Island Principals Committee on Athletics and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League in the coming weeks, included in the new format is a revamped Division I in which East Providence stays a part.

The Townies, by virtue of their performance in recent years, are expected to remain among the state’s elite programs in Division I. Based on win percentage and enrollment during the span covered, East Providence ranked fourth in Rhode Island boys’ hoops. Only reigning D-I champion Bishop Hendricken, 2019 D-I and Open State Tourney champ North Kingstown and Mt. Pleasant placed ahead of the locals.

Rival LaSalle rounded out the top five followed by Woonsocket, Cranston East, then Division II sides Narragansett and Barrington and D-I Smithfield at 10.

With those figures in mind, the plan is to arrange the 16-team Division I into four subgroups of four during the next winter according the proposal likely to be presented to the RIPCOA for a second and final vote at its June meeting.

As was done with football, realignment would be just for a single year, rather than the usual two, while schools and officials contend with the ongoing ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. The RIPOCA would review the subject again next spring.

For the 2020-21 season at least, East Providence would be in the revised I-East with LaSalle, Mt. Pleasant and newly promoted Barrington.

“They wanted to keep teams closer together geography based,” said EPHS head coach Joe Andrade. “We will be with LaSalle, Mt. Pleasant and Barrington, which ultimately is an extremely tough division.”

Narragansett and Westerly, 11th in the points rankings, would make the jump up to join holdovers North Kingstown and South Kingstown in I-South.

The proposed I-Central would be the only revised grouping consisting of existing teams in the league: Cranston East, Hendricken, Central and Classical.

The new I-North would see Smithfield, Cumberland and Woonsocket remain with Shea, ranked 12th, being added from D-II.

Cumberland was the lowest ranked team (17th) to stay in the top tier while Portsmouth (14th) and East Greenwich (16th) were the highest ranked teams not to be moved up. Central was ranked 15th and Classical 13th.

“In the realignment rankings Mount (Pleasant) was No. 3, EP No. 4, LaSalle No. 5 and Barrington No. 9 so I am little baffled why that was not looked at. If it’s geography based we should be with Shea,” Andrade added. “I believe they should have looked at that rankings. It’s kind of tough to put Nos. 3, 4 and 5 all together and some other divisions are weaker.”

As for the league playoff format, six wins during the regular season is expected to the minimum needed to qualify for the D-I championship tournament. Teams will continue to accrue points during the regular and postseasons to then earn a berth into the Open State Tourney as has traditionally been the case.

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