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By BRENDAN McGAIR
One of the interesting subplots for the division tournaments in R.I. boysâ€™ basketball is the use of neutral site high school gyms for Wednesdayâ€™s quarterfinals. The venues include North Providence, East Greenwich, East Providence, South Kingstown, Cumberland and Westerly.
Breaking things down further, all Division I schools are heading to Div. II and III spots. In Division II all four games are taking place on Div. I grounds, while the Division III games are being held in Div. II gyms.
Regarding our local entries, Division III top seed North Smithfield travels to Cumberland on Wednesday to face the survivor of Mondayâ€™s 8/9 matchup (Ponaganset at Juanita Sanchez). The Northmen will tip off at 8 p.m. following the Johnston-Toll Gate semifinal contest.
Staying in Division III, should No. 7 seed Burrillville defeat No. 10 Moses Brown on Monday, the Broncos would head to Westerly to face second-seeded Middletown Wednesday night at 8.
In Division II, top seed Cumberland will head to East Providence Wednesday for an 8 p.m. start against either No. 9 Tolman or No. 8 Exeter/West Greenwich. The Clippersâ€™ â€śRound of 8â€ť opponent will be determined Monday. Two teams who arenâ€™t even close geographically to South Kingstown will set foot on the Rebelsâ€™ home floor as No. 3 North Providence and sixth-seeded Shea will cross paths at 6 p.m.
North Providence and Shea are on the same side of the Division II bracket as No. 2 seed Westerly. The idea was to keep the highest seed in the bracket as close to home as possible, hence the Bulldogs are heading to S.K.
In Division I, the victor of Mondayâ€™s East Providence-Hope game will advance to face top seed La Salle Wednesday at North Providence. That game begins at 8 p.m.
Looking ahead to Fridayâ€™s divisional semifinals, the four remaining Division I schools will head to CCRI-Warwick with the Division II entries using Bryant University. Division III will head to Roger Williams University. All three sites will feature doubleheaders that begin at 6 p.m. with the second game slated for an 8 oâ€™clock start.
Next Sunday, the divisional finals will take place at Brown University. The Division II contest kicks off at 1 p.m followed by Division III (3 p.m.) and Division I (5 p.m.).