Birchwood takes big leap in Central Division standings

Birchwood takes big leap in Central Division standings

Boys’ basketball team improves from four victories to 10-4 record, tie for fourth place

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Winners of just four games a season ago, the Birchwood Middle School boys’ basketball team made a giant leap in the Central Division standings this winter.

Birchwood capped a successful season on Jan. 30 by defeating Hope Highlands, 54-39. That was the sixth victory in the last seven games for Birchwood, which finished its season with a record of 10-4 and in a three-way tie for fourth place with Feinstein and Warwick Vets in the 15-team division.

Unfortunately for Birchwood, Feinstein earned the final playoff spot based on tiebreakers in the formula used by the RIPCOA.

“None of the coaches that I talked to liked the fact that the playoff field was cut in half this year from 24 to 12 teams,” noted head coach Jerry Rubino. “With 44 middle school teams playing basketball, 12 just doesn’t seem fair, but that’s the way it is.

“Nevertheless, I was extremely proud of what these boys accomplished this season,” Rubino added. “I have not coached middle school since 1998 when I was the girls’ coach at Birchwood, but I really enjoyed working this great group of boys.”

In Birchwood’s season finale, Birchwood held an opponent to under 40 points for the ninth time this season.

“We allowed the fewest total points (578, or 41.3 points per game) of any team in our division,” Rubino added. “It really validates all the time, effort, and energy we put in at practice working on defensive schemes. The whole team really bought into the importance of bringing a high intensity level on the defensive end each and every game.”