Sports


Basketball State Playoffs Have New Format As Nighthawks Compete In Division II Bracket

Published: March 06, 2018 at 12:00 am

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Nick Weiland, right, and the Nighthawks, are competing in the new Division II state bracket. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Nick Weiland, right, and the Nighthawks, are competing in the new Division II state bracket. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Newtown High School's basketball team, seeded 21st, will begin Division II state playoff action with a visit to No. 12 Ledyard in the first round, on March 6, beginning at 6 pm. The winner of the Newtown-Ledyard game earns a visit to fifth-seeded Pomperaug of Southbury, scheduled for Thursday. The divisional format is new this year. Newtown previously competed in Class LL, the largest of the four school sizes.
A proposal from the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Boys' Basketball Committee to expand the boys' basketball championships from four divisions to five and alter the way those divisions are determined was approved by the Board of Control at its September 21, 2017, meeting for a one-year trial beginning with the 2017-18 championship. Prior to the vote from the Board of Control the proposal was shared with and vetted by all leagues and conferences, as well as the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors and the Connecticut High School Coaches Association.

Under the new format schools have been placed in divisions using a group of factors including recent success in CIAC tournament and league championship play, the overall strength of the league in which they compete, and their power point ranking over the past three seasons (determined by sum of wins of opponents they defeated).

"This new format is the result of a lot of hard work from members of our boys basketball committee and aims to address the concerns we've heard from our membership about inequity challenges specific to the boys' basketball tournament," Connecticut Association of Schools-CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff stated in a September 21 press release.

All the schools in Division I qualified for the CIAC tournament, while a winning percentage of .400 was required for tournament qualification in the other four divisions.

"I think it's a great way to start and I think it's going to be positive for the state," Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch said of the new format.

The format, much like boys' hockey, which also uses a divisional system while most sport teams still participate in brackets based on school size, is not without possible flaws considering graduation changes the experience-level of teams, and injuries come into play during the course of the season.

Tallcouch, who serves on the All-State Selection Committee and with the All Star Game Selection Committee, along with members of the CIAC Boys' Basketball Committee, and said the format will be vetted and tweaked in the offseason in order to add more teams, possibly to Division I, and consider teams with seven wins qualifying for the states in the other divisions.

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2