Tuesday, January 2, 2018

MIAA Basketball Top 25: Week 3

Our rankings of the best teams in the state, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 1/1)

1. Needham (5-0; Last Week - 1) The Rockets handled Xaverian, 65-41, on Dec. 30 to remain undefeated heading into the New Year.

2. St. John's Prep (4-1; Last Week - 2) Huge wins for Prep over Lawrence (97-92 in OT) and Central Catholic (80-68) to take the Commonwealth Motors Classic at Methuen High over the weekend.

3. Lowell (5-0; Last Week - 4) Seemingly hitting their stride after a scare in their opener at Andover, the Red Raiders have won four in a row since by an average margin of 41.8 points per game.

4. Central Catholic (3-1; Last Week - 3) With star forward Colin Bradenese suspended, the Raiders fell to a locked-in St. John’s Prep team in the finals of the Commonwealth Motors Classic.

5. Cambridge (5-0; Last Week - 6) Falcons survived a nearly disastrous second half to edge Portsmouth (NH), then easily handled Bishop Hendricken (RI) at the BABC Holiday Classic for the program’s 50th consecutive win.

6. Tech Boston (6-0; Last Week - 7) Maurice Works and Walter Dew-Hollins led a strong defensive effort to best King Philip (74-71) and Bridgewater-Raynham (70-63) at the Larry Fisher Holiday Tournament. 

7. Brockton (7-0; Last Week - 9) Boxers took down crosstown rival Cardinal Spellman, 79-63, to win the Val Muscato Holiday Tournament.

8. BC High (4-1; Last Week - 10) Impressive road win for the Eagles, as they went down to Mansfield and handed the Hornets their first loss of the year, 73-64.

9. Mansfield (5-1; Last Week - 8) The Hornets bounced back from that narrow loss to BC High with a 60-47 win over Bridgewater-Raynham on Dec. 31.

10. Newton North (3-2; Last Week - 11) Continually navigating a minefield with one of the toughest schedules in the state, the Tigers edged rival Catholic Memorial, 72-64, in their holiday tournament.

11. Franklin (3-1; Last Week - 13) The Panthers emerged victorious at Somerville’s Holiday Hoopfest with a 48-46 win over Arlington.  

12. Lynn Classical (5-0; Last Week - 12) While offense was hard to come by in a 49-44 win over St. Mary’s, Classical was able to lean on its defense to win the Walter Boverini Tournament on their home court.

13. Everett (4-1; Last Week - 5) Same issues that have plagued the Crimson Tide in years past resurfaced in a 76-71 win to struggling Brighton at the BABC Holiday Classic.

14. O’Bryant (4-0; Last Week - 14) The idle Tigers will resume action in the New Year with a Jan. 3 date against Milton.

15. Springfield Central (5-0; Last Week - 15) Golden Eagles maintained their perfect record with an 80-54 win over Springfield Science & Tech on Dec. 27, postponing a Dec. 23 date with Hartford, CT powerhouse Weaver due to weather.

16. Brookline (4-1; Last Week - 19)  Chris Camille (knee) returned to help Brookline edge New Rochelle (NY) and host Cathedral at the BABC Holiday Classic.

17. Burke (6-0; Last Week - 25) Junior guard Levar Williams is the real deal. He led the Bulldogs to consecutive wins over Bishop Hendricken (RI) and Belmont at the BABC Holiday Classic.

18. Brighton (2-3; Last Week - 20) Mixed results for the defending D2 state champions at the BABC Holiday Classic, as the Bengals bounced back from a 54-53 loss to defending D3 North champion Watertown with a win over D1 power Everett.

19. Arlington (4-1; Last Week - 17) Spy Ponders gave defending D1 Western Mass. champion Franklin everything it could handle in the finals at Somerville’s Hoopfest.

20. St. Mary’s (Lynn) (4-2; Last Week - 18)  Spartans came back in the second half, but fell just short in a thrilling 49-44 loss at Lynn Classical on Dec. 29.  

21. Springfield Putnam (4-0; Last Week - 21) Beavers continued their hot start with wins over Madison Park and Providence Mount Pleasant (RI), which defeated Brighton earlier this season.

22. Maynard (3-0; Last Week - 22) Impressive win for the Tigers at Groton-Dunstable, a team that had defeated a solid D2 program in Woburn two days prior.

23. Hingham (5-1; Last Week - 23) The Harbormen stayed hot this week with wins over Westwood and Walpole. 

24. Bishop Stang (6-0; Last Week - NA) Hard to leave the Spartans out of the mix after they defeated Cathedral and Watertown at the BABC Holiday Classic. Damien Perry dropped a school record 39 points in the win over Cathedral.

25. Catholic Memorial (3-2; Last Week - 16) Back to the drawing board for the Knights after losing to Newton North. Will they be able to compete with elite D1 programs by season’s end?

Last 10 Out:  Andover (3-2), Bedford (6-1), Cardinal Spellman (4-1), Foxboro (6-1), Lawrence (5-1), Lynn English (5-1), Marlboro (5-1), Natick (4-1), Wellesley (5-1), Whitman-Hanson (6-1)

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