Monday, January 2, 2017

MIAA Top 25 Boys Basketball Poll: 1/2/17

Hanover is just one of four teams debuting in our Top 25 this week.
Our rankings of the best teams in the state during the 2016-17 basketball season, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 1/2)

1. Cambridge (6-0; Last Ranking  –  1): This time last year, the Falcons were handily defeated by an out-of-state opponent, but at this year’s BABC Holiday Tournament, they handed out the punishment with blowout wins over Portsmouth (NH) and St. Raphael’s (RI).

2. BC High (6-0; Last Ranking  –  2):  Eagles continued to assert their dominance in D1 South with blowout wins over Providence Classical (RI) and Brockton, before holding on for a 61-54 win at Concord-Carlisle on Friday. 

3. Mansfield (5-0; Last Ranking  –  4): They went down to Florida over the Holiday break to test
their mettle, and the young Hornets proved themselves with two huge wins. Now they’ll prepare to face BC High next Wednesday in a premium matchup. 

4. New Mission (3-3; Last Ranking  –  3):  Titans went 1-2 during their annual trip to Florida and a lack of size is a legitimate concern for Cory McCarthy’s squad, but he’ll find a way to maximize what his team does best. 

5. Brighton (3-1; Last Ranking  –  8): While they were unable to remain competitive against Bobby Hurley’s legendary St. Anthony’s (NJ) program, the Bengals showcased their offensive prowess with a 106-73 thrashing of Trenton Central last Friday. Up next is the unofficial battle for Boston City League supremacy against New Mission.

6. Everett (5-0; Last Ranking  –  7): The Crimson Tide overcame a sleepy start to down D3 program Bishop Stang in an 11 a.m. game at the BABC Holiday Tournament. Theo Zidor and Jordan McAfee are showing tremendous improvement around the basket. 

7. Newton North (3-1; Last Ranking  –  11): Halfway through their rivalry tilt with Newton South, the Tigers looked absolutely cooked. Yet Ethan Wright woke up to lead a huge comeback effort, and he carried the day in a narrow win over Catholic Memorial the following night.

8. Catholic Memorial (4-1; Last Ranking  –  5): Yes, the Knights fell in a 76-74 thriller at Newton North last Thursday, but that doesn’t mean we can count out this talented, but unproven squad.

9. Malden Catholic (5-0; Last Ranking  –  17): It’s time to take Malden Catholic seriously as a threat to New Mission and Brighton in D2 North after the Lancers edged an elite Franklin team, and defeated host Somerville at the Holiday Hoop Fest. 

10. Franklin (5-1; Last Ranking  –  6): A nonconference loss to Malden Catholic won’t count against the Panthers' tournament seeding, but it certainly counts in our rankings.    

11. Brookline (4-0; Last Ranking  –  13): The young Warriors stayed hot with a 68-65 win at Burke over the Holiday break. Now they’ll look to stop Newton North’s momentum in another tough road test this Tuesday.

12. Needham (4-1; Last Ranking  –  16): A blowout loss to BC High in their season opener will not cost the Rockets in terms of tournament seeding, but it seems to have heightened their collective focus.

13. Lowell (5-0; Last Ranking  –  14): The Red Raiders season-opening win over Andover is looking more and more impressive as the Golden Warriors continue to build their own resume.  

14. Central Catholic (4-0; Last Ranking  –  13): Raiders built their resume with wins over North Andover and Andover during their Holiday Tournament. They have a huge trip to Lowell on tap for this Tuesday.

14. Marlborough (4-1; Last Ranking  –  9): Algonquin was clearly fired up for a shot at the D2 Central favorites, and the Tomahawks followed through with a 73-69 upset of Chris Doherty and company.

15. Springfield Central (3-0; Last Ranking  –  16): Golden Eagles were idle over the break, and new head coach Darryl Denson will look to keep his team on the right track when they resume play against Northampton this Tuesday. 

16. Nashoba (6-0; Last Ranking  –  NA): The Chieftans opened their season with a win over regional power St. John’s (Shrewsbury) and they’ve continued rolling ever since with wins at Algonquin and Oakmont Regional of late.

17. St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (5-2; Last Ranking  –  21):  The Pioneers bounced back from consecutive close losses to Marlboro and Nashoba with wins over Doherty and Wachusett, capturing the Laska Yuletide tournament at Assumption College.

18. Weston (6-0; Last Ranking  –  19): Wildcats pasted Lynn Tech to remain undefeated on the season. They’ll have two more modest tests against C.A.S.H and Bedford before taking on Cambridge.  

20. Andover (4-2; Last Ranking  –  NA): Defeating conference rival Methuen and falling to Central Catholic over the break puts Andover into our rankings for the first time. Ed. Note- We originally had Andover ranked higher, and wrongly indicated that the Golden Warriors had defeated Central Catholic. We apologize for the error.  

21. Methuen (4-1; Last Ranking  –  18): The Rangers lost a nail-biter, 66-63 to Andover, but bounced back two nights later with a blowout win over North Andover.

22. Boston Cathedral (5-2; Last Ranking  –  NA): While they had a lot of trouble matching up with BC High’s size prior to the Holiday break, the Panthers found a way to exploit bigger teams with a  63-41 beating of St. John’s Prep. 

23. St. John’s Prep (4-1; Last Ranking  –  10): A speedy Boston Cathedral squad gave the Eagles fits in a blowout loss at the BABC Holiday Tournament, and Prep will see a lot more speed with conference tilts coming up against Malden Catholic and Catholic Memorial.

24. St. Mary’s (Lynn) (5-2; Last Ranking  –  24): Spartans continued to play up against D1 programs Lynn English and Lynn Classical, and they earned a split.

25. Hanover (6-1; Last Ranking  –  NA): Indians edged Norwell 60-48 last Wednesday behind 30 points from star guard J.P. Landry.  

Last 10 out:  Attleboro (6-0), Amherst (4-2), Bridgewater-Raynham (4-1), Charlestown (4-2), Dorchester (5-0), Malden (4-1), Maynard (2-1), O’Bryant (3-2), Tewksbury (3-2), Springfield Putnam (2-2)

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