Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Shaughnessy Leads Needham Past St. John's Prep for Early Season Statement

By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

Danvers, Mass. - Thomas Shaughnessy is never one to shy away from the big moment, so it was to no one's surprise that the fourth quarter brought out his best.

Led by Shaughnessy’s 18 points, six assists, and four rebounds, Needham came away with a statement 72-62 win over No. 1 St. John’s Prep on Connaughton Court at St. John’s Prep.

Eagles’ senior forward Tommy O’Neil finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds to pace SJP.

The defending Division 1 South Sectional champs asserted themselves from the opening tip, leaning on their star in Shaughnessy, and receiving big production from Brandon Monheimer (13 points) and sophomore Will Dorian (11 points) to control the pace of play.

Needham (1-0) won three of the four quarters, including the first and the fourth by a combined 43-28 margin.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Brief 2017-18 MIAA Hoops Primer

Franklin returns a ton of talent and, now, experience, making the Panthers a favorite to get back to the state championship game.
By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

Ed. Note- Our statewide Top 25 is currently posted, as the first full week of MIAA hoops is now in the books. With that in mind, our Matt Feld figured he would give a brief overview of how he sees things shaking out across all divisions of MIAA basketball.

Ed. Note Part 2- A previous version of this story listed Tech Boston as D4 instead of D2. We regret the error and have corrected it.

Needham surprised many last season with their run to the Division 1 South Sectional championship.

This season, the Rockets will not fly under anyone’s radar.

MIAA Basketball Top 25: Preseason Poll

Newton North's Ethan Wright (left) and Needham's Thomas Shaughnessy will again look to lead their teams deep into MassMadness.

 Our (sorta) preseason rankings of the best teams in the state, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 12/11)
1. St. John's Prep (Last Season: 16-6) With a 6-foot-8 center in Tommy O’Neil and an elite wing in 6-foot-3 Nate Hobbs, the Eagles have the weaponry necessary to make a run at a Catholic Conference title and potentially a state championship.  
2. Newton North (Record Last Season: 17-7) Prized prospect Ethan Wright decided to stay at Newton North and he’ll have a lot more help this year, with young talents Noah Neville and Aaron Cooley ready to step up in supporting roles.   
3. Needham (Last Season: 20-5) Thomas Shaughnessy returns after putting on a show in the state tournament last winter, leading the Rockets to their first sectional title and competing valiantly against eventual champion Cambridge in the state semifinals.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

NFL Week 14 Primer (With Picks): The Wild NFC

Even Case Keenum can't believe that Case Keenum is, like, good this year. What is going on in the NFC?

 By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

So, uh, the NFC is kind of interesting.

We have two 10-win teams in Philadelphia and Minnesota. We have two 9-win teams in New Orleans and Los Angeles. And we have three 8-win teams in Atlanta, Carolina, and Seattle. Also, Dallas, Detroit, and Green Bay still have a reasonable outside chance to sneak in as the 6-seed.

(Technically, Washington and Arizona are also still alive, but they would need to (a) win out, and (b) see pretty much every team listed above lose in every game that wasn't against each other, so let's ignore them for now.)

Have we been here before? It seems like every year the NFC just becomes an all-out fustercluck in the final month of the season. Atlanta took a huge step forward with their win over New Orleans last night, but they might end up with the short stick in the NFC South because of their schedule (they have to play both Carolina and New Orleans in the final two weeks, whereas Carolina and New Orleans play each other but then each also play the 4-8 Bucs).

Seattle also took a huge step forward on Sunday night, not only posting a statement win against the conference's best team, but also clawing their way a game closer to the Rams, and giving themselves what could end up being a valuable tiebreaker, seeding-wise, if some weird stuff happens between now and Christmas.

Football Outsiders each week simulates the remainder of the season 50,000 times, using their statistical models to rate each team. Entering this week (so, not including Thursday's result), their projections were as follows:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Our 2017 MIAA Football Award Winners

By SuiteSports Staff

After another exciting year of Massachusetts high school football, SuiteSports.com and its panel of high school correspondents are excited to announce our MIAA Football award winners.

While a bevy of players stood out this season, including all who made our second annual All-State Team, these stood above the rest due to their production and value to their teams, both during the regular season and in the state tournament.

This group helped their respective programs reach new heights, and excelled as individuals, on and off the field.

So, at long last, here are this year’s SuiteSports MIAA Football Award Winners.