CHESHIRE — This year’s CIAC boys basketball tournament truly is a dance on the area front. We’ve got four on the floor.
Cheshire, Southington, Lyman Hall and Wilcox Tech carry the local groove into the postseason.The four teams received their pairings on Wednesday and will be in action next week, starting on Monday night.
The big buzz surrounding the 2018 state tournament is the new format, which is being tried on a one-year trial basis. Out are the old enrollment-based classes, LL, L, M and S. In are the new divisions, I through V, shaped by recent state and league tournament success and strength of conference.
All 21 teams in the elite Division I, led by No. 1-ranked East Catholic, automatically qualified for states. The four other divisions employed the traditional .400-or-better format.
Cheshire is in Division, Southington and Lyman Hall in Division III and Wilcox Tech in Division IV.
Wilcox ranks quite highly. Thanks to an 18-2 regular season, the Indians are a No. 3 seed. Southington, as a No. 7, is also in position to play at least two home games.
You’ve got to win the first, of course, and here’s how the initial matchups look for the locals. All games, as of this writing, will start at 7 p.m.
■Monday: No. 26 Berlin (8-12) at No. 7 Southington (15-7);■Monday: No. 25 Lyman Hall (8-13) at No. 8 Brookfield (14-8);■Tuesday: No. 23 Cheshire (11-10) at No. 10 New London (15-7).
Wilcox Tech has a first-round bye. The Tribe will host the winner of No. 14 Griswold and No. 19 Bacon Academy in the second round on Thursday, March 8.
In the meantime, the Indians are chasing a conference title in the CTC. They took on Goodwin Tech in the semifinals on Wednesday night (see related story).
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