EPHS boys' hoopsters end most successful regular season in over 40 years

Townies enter D-I playoffs as fifth seed

Posted 2/25/20

The playoff-bound East Providence High School boys’ basketball team completed the most successful regular season for the program in over 40 years when the Townies defeated visiting Cumberland, …

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EPHS boys' hoopsters end most successful regular season in over 40 years

Townies enter D-I playoffs as fifth seed

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The playoff-bound East Providence High School boys’ basketball team completed the most successful regular season for the program in over 40 years when the Townies defeated visiting Cumberland, 57-54, on Senior Night Monday, Feb. 24.

The victory gave the Townies a 13-5 record in Division I games this winter, the most since EPHS went 20-2 in the 1978-79 season.

That long ago year, the locals competed in what was known as the Metropolitan Division and finished second to 22-0 Hendricken, which would go on to win the state title over Pilgrim. The third-seeded Patriots upset EPHS, 57-52, in the semifinals before falling to the Hawks, 66-55, in the finals. Five times since, the Townies won at least 12 regular season D-I games, the last in 2016-17.

Earlier this week against the Clippers, the locals rallied from a five-point deficit at halftime. R.J. Pina paced EPHS with a game-best 21 points. Brian Taylor added 10 and Justin Pena eight. Josh Kauffman and Zach Russell each chipped in seven.

“As I told them after the game, especially the seniors, no group of seniors will ever compare to them when it comes to work ethic. They constantly put the work in during the offseason and it paid off,” said fourth-year EPHS head coach Joe Andrade. “As for the most wins in 40 years, as I said when I took over, I'm just trying to build something here and the kids really stepped up this season.”

The Townies enter the postseason as the definitive No. 5 seed in the Division I championship playoffs and the same in the Open State Tournament, however league playoff games count towards seeding in the latter. Division I teams earn 1 point for wins, D-II .8 and D-III .6.

EPHS appeared likely to host 12th-seeded Central in the opening round of the D-I tourney later this week. The league playoffs conclude March 8. The Open Tourney begins March 10. 

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