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EPHS girls’ hoops likely steps back with eye on moving forward

Townies would drop down to Division II under realignment proposal

By Mike Rego
Posted 5/15/20

PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School girls’ basketball program would be placed down a level into Division II if the proposed realignment format for the 2020-21 season receives …

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EPHS girls’ hoops likely steps back with eye on moving forward

Townies would drop down to Division II under realignment proposal

Posted

PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School girls’ basketball program would be placed down a level into Division II if the proposed realignment format for the 2020-21 season receives final approval from the Rhode Island Principals Committee on Athletics in the coming weeks.

According to the formula used to determine the realignment plan, the Townies were ranked 29th out of the 51 programs in the state.

School officials and second-year head coach Tshombe Lambert knew the change was likely, understanding the Townies’ struggles in recent seasons playing in Division I. EPHS earned just one victory in the state’s top grouping during the previous two-year alignment cycle, a win which came in January of this calendar year under Lambert when the Townies ended a 27-game D-I losing streak with a victory over Moses Brown. It would prove their only of the winter in 18 league games. 

“It was expected, not desired. But I accept it and my team does as well. We are just excited and anxious to get back to work. We have some good talent coming in and my sophomore class and freshman Ahmya Ingram will be older this year and determined,” said Lambert.

If approved, EPHS would vie in a 19-team middle rung and play the other teams in D-II once for an 18-game regular season schedule. The Townies would be joined in the revamped league by Cumberland, Cranston East, Wheeler, Ponaganset, Westerly, West Warwick, Cranston West, Smithfield, Tolman, Rogers, Pilgrim, Middletown, Central, Shea, Burrillville, Narragansett, Davies and Prout.

Smithfield (ranked 23rd) and Rogers (25th), like EPHS, would be making the move down a level. Tolman (24th), Burrillville (31st) and Davies (33rd) move up a tier from D-III. Scituate (ninth), Juanita Sanchez (12th) and Classical (15th) exit the middle league for D-I in the stead of the Townies, Sentinels and Vikings.

Lambert added, “Our goal is to play hard and compete and eventually work our way back to Division I. We want to be one of the top four teams this season in D-II and have a chance to compete for a Division II title. To many that might be farfetched and unrealistic, and that’s OK. However, my girls believe that and I believe in them. It was our first season together, a lot of lessons learned and we learned a lot about who we are and what we need to do to improve.”

Also of note locally, St. Mary Academy-Bay View would remain in Division I along holdovers La Salle, South Kingstown, Barrington, North Kingstown, St. Raphael, Coventry, Johnston, East Greenwich, Portsmouth,Moses Brown and Chariho as well as the three previously mentioned programs moving up.

Division I would be broken up into three sugbgroups of five. Each team would play sides within their grouping twice and contest a single crossover outing with the other 10 teams for a total of 18 regular season games.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.