Tuesday, February 20, 2018

MIAA Boys' Basketball Top 25 Poll: Week 10

Franklin (blue) and Mansfield (white) continue to climb in our poll, as the Panthers knocked off previously unbeaten Tech Boston, led by 31 points from sophomore Chris Edgehill (No.3, pictured). The Hornets, meanwhile, defeated a loaded Brockton squad to move into our Top-5. Not a bad week for these Hockomock rivals.    Photo by Eamon Convey
Our latest rankings of the best boys' hoops teams in Massachusetts, as selected by our team of editors and correspondents. Records are accurate as of 2/20/18.

1. Springfield Central (19-0; Last Week - 2) The Golden Eagles have a chance to finish off a spotless regular season on Tuesday versus Amherst, and will enter the Division 1 West tournament as a heavy favorite.

2. Everett (19-1; Last Week - 6) Crimson Tide proved they are the team to beat in Division 1 North with an 80-67 win over St. John's Prep on Sunday.

3. Bishop Stang (19-0; Last Week - 5) Bishop Stang's terrific season continued this week, but a tough test looms on Wednesday in undefeated Apponequet to close out the regular season.

4. Mansfield (19-2; Last Week - 7) Hornets continue to roll, as a 69-64 win over Brockton all but cemented the number one seed for Mansfield in Division 1 South.

5. Catholic Memorial (15-4; Last week – 9) For the Knights, there is nothing better than a hot night in Ronald Perry Gymnasium, where they are now 13-1 in their last 14 games.

6. Franklin (16-2; Last Week - 8) The Panthers became the first team to knock off Tech Boston, with Chris Edgehill's 31 points capping off a terrific weekend for Franklin.

7. Tech Boston (16-1; Last Week - 1) Bears fell for the first time this season on Monday, but will have to recover quickly with Burke on deck in the Boston City League semifinals.

8. Needham (16-3; Last Week - 11) Needham fell to Brookline on Thursday, but responded in a big way taking home the Division 1 Comcast Dvinci Tournament title.

9. Newton North (16-4; Last Week – 3)
Tigers' went 1-1 last week to finish the regular season at 16-4. A nearly two-week long layoff is underway for Newton North before they enter the state tournament as one of the favorites in Division 1 South.

10. Lawrence (17-2; Last Week - 12) Lancers have won eight in a row, including a thrilling come-from behind overtime victory over Lowell to claim the Merrimack Valley Conference Large title.

11. Burke (19-1; Last Week - 13)
Sean Ryan has done a terrific job at the helm this season, and the Bulldogs will get the chance to put their talents on full display when they take on Tech Boston in the City League semifinals on Wednesday.

12. Brockton (16-3; Last Week - 4)
Boxers held their own in road tests against Catholic Memorial and Mansfield but ultimately fell in both. Now fully healthy, Brockton remains a dangerous team come March.

13. Cambridge (16-2; Last Week - 16) Thursday is sure to be an interesting test for the Falcons when they host No. 6 Franklin to close out the regular season.

14. Marlboro (17-2; Last Week – 18)
Panthers have not let up more than 60 points in nine straight contests, and are set for the top seed in Division 2 Central. With a great collection and ball-handlers surrounding Notre Dame-commit big man Chris Doherty, the Panthers have legitimate state title hopes.

15. Lowell (16-4; Last Week - 10) Red Raiders were clutch down the stretch versus BC High, but faltered in similar situations against both Lawrence and Needham.

16. Central Catholic (15-4; Last Week - 19)
Central Catholic is sure to be on everyone's 'don't want to draw' list in Division 1 North come Friday.

17. Belmont (15-5; Last Week - NR)
The Marauders jump into the top 25 poll in style thanks to a terrific end to the regular season. Belmont proved to be a stiff challenge for Catholic Memorial before taking down Arlington and claiming the Division 2 Comcast Dvinci Tournament title.

18. Arlington (15-5; Last Week -16) Admirable showing by the Spy Ponders as a member of the Division 1 Comcast Dvinci Tournament.

19. St. John's Prep (14-5; Last Week - 14) Eagles certainly won't enter the Division 1 North tournament as your traditional No. 8 seed.

20. Whitman-Hanson (15-4; Last Week – 23) Panthers have a chance to prove how could they truly are heading into the state tournament when they take on Bridgewater-Raynham tonight, and either Marshfield or Brookline tomorrow.

21. Wachusett (15-4; Last Week – NR) Wachusett has largely flown under the radar this season, but consecutive road wins at Algonquin and Doherty show that it is sure to be no easy out in the postseason. In  a loaded Division 1 Central that also features Franklin, St. John's (Shrewsbury) and Doherty, don't sleep on the Mountaineers.

22. Apponequet (19-0; Last Week – 25)
Apponequet finds itself as one of just two undefeated teams left in Eastern Mass, along with Bishop Stang. Only one will remain after Wednesday.

23. Marshfield (14-2; Last Week – NR) A.J. Conn has the Rams rolling the right time.

24. Brookline (13-5; Last Week – NR) Warriors showed in their win on Thursday over Needham that when they are on, they can beat anyone in Division 1 South.

25. Springfield Putnam (16-3; Last Week – 24) Remains to be seen whether or not the Beavers can give Springfield Central a run for their money, but Putnam looks to be the second-best team out West.

First 10 Out:
St. Mary's (15-3), BC High (13-6), Hingham (16-2), Canton (16-4), Foxboro (16-4), Natick (14-5), Hanover (16-4), Doherty (14-5), New Bedford (15-5), Arlington (15-5)

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