Monday, January 22, 2018

MIAA Basketball Top 25: Week 6

As deep and talented as any team in the state, Brockton keeps passing every test put in front of it. Still, the Boxers face their toughest week yet, with tests against tops programs from the Catholic Conference, Bay State League and Hockomock.   Photo by Eamon Convey.
 1. Needham (9-0; Last Week - 1) It has been a while since the Rockets have been tested wire-to-wire. That should change Friday with a trip to Newton North.

2. Brockton (11-0; Last Week - 2) The Boxers’ continue to survive every test thrown their way. A Tuesday matchup with Cambridge begins a daunting nine-game stretch that includes Catholic Memorial, Newton North, and Mansfield.

3. Franklin (8-1; Last Week - 3) Quality road win over Attleboro pushed the Panthers' winning streak up to seven.

4. Tech Boston (8-0; Last Week - 4) The Bears will have a chance to inch closer towards the top when they face BC High on Sunday as part of the MLK Invitational.
5. Springfield Central (10-0; Last Week - 5) A 35-point win over Putnam on Friday seals the Golden Eagles’ label as the clear-cut favorite to take home the Division 1 West Sectional crown.

6. Lowell (9-1; Last Week - 8) The Red Raiders quickly turned the page following the loss to Lawrence, defeating Billerica and Methuen in decisive fashion.

7. Newton North (8-3; Last Week – 9) Outside of a hiccup to No. 5 Springfield Central, the Tigers have been as good as anyone the last three weeks.

8. BC High (7-2; Last Week – 11) Eagles shoot back up to eight after a sharp performance against St. John’s Prep. A five game stretch that includes Tech Boston as well as road tests versus Catholic Memorial and the Prep looms.

9. Burke (11-0; Last Week - 12) While the offense is certainly the story, it is hard to overlook the Bulldogs defense, which has allowed less than 60 points in each of their last five games

10. Cambridge (11-1; Last Week - 10) This year's Falcons have a chance to prove they can compete with the cream of the crop Tuesday versus Brockton.

11. Catholic Memorial (7-3; Last week – 14) A 4-0 start in Catholic Conference play has the Knights’ in the drivers seat to win their fourth league title in five years.

12. Bishop Stang (11-0; Last Week - 13) The Spartans got off to a good start in league play defeating Coyle Cassidy, 68-64.

13. St. John's Prep (7-3; Last Week - 6) There is no question about St. John’s Prep’s ability to score as Nate Hobbs, Matt Relihan, and Tommy O’Neil provide plenty of versatility on offense. Can the Eagles get stops when it counts?

14. Lawrence (9-2; Last Week - 7) Less than six days after trouncing Lowell, the Lancers struggled mightily against Central Catholic. That’s the Merrimack Valley Conference for you.

15. Everett (9-1; Last Week - 15) Coach John DiBiaso stands 11 wins away from 500 for his career.

16. St. Mary’s (Lynn) (9-1; Last Week – 16) The Spartans held serve this week to remain perfect in league play.

17. Mansfield (9-2; Last Week - 17) Hornets doing what they need to in order to gain a pair of home games in the Division 1 South tournament.

18. Arlington (9-1; Last Week -18) Spy Ponders showing little signs of loosening their hold on the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division.  

19. Central Catholic (8-3; Last Week - 22) Raiders have found that defensive calling card that has made them so difficult for so many years.

20. Hingham (8-1; Last Week – 20) John Lowther was nothing short of a beast on Friday night, scoring 22 points while pulling in 17 rebounds to keep the Harbormen atop the Patriot League Keenan Division.

21. Doherty (10-2; Last Week - NR) Since dropping its first two games of the season, Doherty has won 10 straight to enter into our poll for the first time this season. Junior guard Marty Silvera continues to show why he's one of the most dynamic scorers in the state, leading Central Mass with over 25 points per game.

22. Maynard (9-1; Last Week - 23) A 79-53 win over Tahanto gave Tigers’ coach Paul Howes his 300th career victory.

23. O’Bryant (8-2; Last Week – 21) Tigers have a chance for a resume win this upcoming Sunday versus Catholic Memorial.

24. Lynn English (8-1; Last Week - NR) Since scoring just 32 points in a loss to St. Mary’s in late December, the Bulldogs have won six straight including a crucial 63-60 win over Lynn Classical on Wednesday.

25. Hanover (8-2; Last Week – NR)
Defending Division 3 state champions seem to be turning a corner.

First 10 Out: Canton (9-1), New Bedford (7-2), Cardinal Spellman (7-2), Falmouth (9-1), Marlboro (9-2), Apponequet (8-0), Springfield Putnman (8-2), Foxboro (10-2), Rockland (8-2), Lynnfield (8-2)

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