Monday, April 29, 2013

CMass Lax Power Rankings: 4/29/13

Shrewsbury Senior Cam Kerr (Blue)

Editor Joe Parello is thrilled to announce that, along with his weekly Power Rankings, he will be contributing to in an effort to expand their coverage into Central Massachusetts. Look for his first story Thursday night as he heads to Nipmuc Regional High School to watch the Warriors host the Grafton Indians.

By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

It was a mixed week for Central Mass lacrosse, as regional powers St. John's and Algonquin came up short in inter-regional matchups, but Grafton reasserted itself as a contender following a pair of impressive victories.

The top team in our rankings, St. John's, actually scored a nice win over Westborough this weekend, but the Pioneers are surely still smarting from a 8-5 slugfest loss to St. John's Prep in Danvers. Then, reigning champion Algonquin never got it's offense going against Western Mass favorite Longmeadow Saturday, falling 13-3.

The T-Hawks could get a shot at revenge in the state semifinals, but can they get there with senior captain Davis Kraft out?

Rankings after the jump.

1. St John's: 8-2, 1-0 Catholic Conference
2. Algonquin: 7-2, 5-0 Midland A
3. Grafton: 8-2, 5-0 Mid Mass
4. Shrewsbury: 9-2, 4-1 Midland A
5. Nipmuc: 8-1, 5-0 Mid Mass

Grafton shoots up to the No. 3 spot after knocking off a pair of non-league foes in Western Mass power Amherst-Pelham and the Hocomock's Franklin. The 10-9 overtime victory at Amhert-Pelham was as impressive a win as any team in Central Mass has scored, and the Indians' high-scoring duo of Tyler Reilly and Bryan Rotatori seem to be finding the back of the net effortlessly now.

Don't sleep on Shrewbury either. The Colonials couldn't quite get over the hump to beat St. John's or Algonquin, but represented Central Mass very well in a 9-8 overtime win over last year's Western Mass champion Minnechaug.

Oh, and then there's Nipmuc. Their schedule makes them really hard to place, but the Warriors keep on winning. We will certainly know more about CMass goal leader James Broomfield and his team after this Thursday's matchup with Grafton.

Game of the Week: Grafton at Nipmuc: Thursday 3:30 pm

This game features four of the best offensive players in Central Mass. Reilly and Rotatori get all the attention from Grafton, and rightfully so, but Broomfield currently leads the region with 32 goals. The Warriors also boast the region's best passer in Colin Jackson. Jackson's 27 assists lead Central Mass, and Cam Adams brings another double-digit goal scorer to the Warrior attack.

As said above, I will be at Nipmuc this Thursday to cover this intriguing game. Check for a write up and highlights afterward.

Also Keep an Eye On: St. John's at Xaverian: Tuesday and  Hingham at Algonquin: Thursday

Both St. John's and Algonquin get another chance at proving their worth outside of Central Mass. The Pioneers face Eastern Mass' Xaverian Brothers, a squad that has already beaten St. John's Prep (Danvers) twice. It will certainly be a tall order, but things are no easier for the T-Hawks, who will face Patriot Conference favorite Hingham.

The Harbormen are winners of four in a row, with wins over St. John's Prep and a pair of overtime wins over Andover and Winchester. If Algonquin is to hold home field here, the T-Hawk offense will really need to pick things up. Keagan Gillis came on strong with a hat-trick against Shrewsbury, but it will take more than him and Mike Wood to get the job done against Hingham.

Player of the Week: Cam Kerr, Shrewsbury, Senior Attack

It seems like those Colonials keep getting love in this spot, as goalie Chris Gorman scored early season MVP honors here last week. Kerr earned the recognition, however, scoring 4 goals (including the overtime game winner) and adding an assist in Shrewsbury's much-needed win over Minnechaug.

The Colonials are a defensive team, and Luke Warner has shouldered the scoring load for much of the year, but Shrewsbury will need Kerr at his best to make a run come playoff time.