Friday, May 26, 2017

MIAA Boys' Lax Seeding Instant Analysis: D2 Central/West

Longmeadow (black uniform) and St. John's (white) are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, in D2 C/W.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Here is our obligatory reminder that none of these seeds are official until tomorrow morning (just in case there's a formulation mistake), but we're still moving onward and upward with our section-by-section look at the MIAA boys' lacrosse tournament.

Click to enlarge

Meadow on Top

When Longmeadow went on the road and defeated St. John's (Shrewsbury) 8-3, the Lancers essentially locked up the top seed in the bracket. Not content with that, however, Longmeadow also defeated D1 power Duxbury to close out the most impressive season of anybody west of 495.

With an explosive attack, led by Noah Skole, Kris Campbell and Spencer Robbins, plus a back end led by star pole Pat Abad, and one of the best face-off guys in the state in Sam Byrne, the Lancers are a prohibitive favorite.

The Contenders

That said, there are plenty of teams capable of defeating the Lancers on a given day, including St. John's. The Pioneers simply couldn't possess enough the first time around against Longmeadow, but played well defensively until the dam broke in the second half. Minnechaug's explosive offense will also be a factor, as will balanced Shrewsbury, which has found itself defensively as the year has progressed.

Another team to watch out for will be Algonquin, which had to win back-to-back league games against Groton-Dunstable and Shrewsbury just to get here. The T-Hawks are playing with house money, and with an attack powered by Matt Cannon and Zach Skowronek, Gonk has the talent to surprise some people.

Mid-Wach B Well Represented

The second-tier of the Mid-Wach was an interesting league, as Marlboro, Nashoba and Shepherd Hill all went 5-5 in league play. Trying to figure out which one will step up now that the tournament is here seems impossible, but Nashoba has really come on strong offensively, while Shepherd Hill's combination of high-scoring Tristan Pietz and face-off specialist Jake Zablocki should make them a tough out.

Marlboro has one of the most talented starting lineups in the region, with Rutgers commit sophomore Dom Carter and star junior Evan Doherty, but do the Panthers have the depth to make a deep run? In the end, it will likely come down to matchups, and Nashoba's first round game against Westfield seems much more manageable than Marlboro's looming trip to Shrewsbury, or Shepherd Hill's game at Minnechaug.

No comments :