We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 girls basketball poll for the final time in the 2012-13 season, following last weekend's state championships at Worcester's DCU Center. To view the complete poll, CLICK HERE.
A few notes and observations about the final poll:
Archies elevates to top spot: After a dominant run through the Division 3 tournament, culminating in a third state title in eight seasons, Archbishop Williams moves up into the top spot as the No. 1 overall team in the state. We gave them the edge over Medfield, which lost to Archies during the regular season. During the state tournament, the Bishops' average margin of victory was nearly 20 points. Better yet, next year they could be even better, with just Sara Ryan graduating, but returning talented frontcourt players Alana Gilmer and Jaylen Williams. Still better yet, they will be moving to Division 1 for the 2013-14 season.
Medfield (2), Reading (3), Central Catholic (4) and Braintree (5) round out the top five.
Notable debuts, returns: As with seemingly every conclusion of a basketball season, there are always a few surprise teams that make the final poll. Most notable among the surprise teams is Newton South, which delivered one of the more stunning first-round upsets of the tournament when they knocked off their cross-town rivals, No. 1 seed Newton North, in Division 1 South. The Lions come in at No. 19; also making debuts are back-to-back D4 state champ Fenway (18), along with Nashoba (23), Chicopee (24) and Masconomet (25).
Making returns to the poll in its final installment of the season are North Andover (14), Franklin (15), Lee (20) and Notre Dame of Hingham (21).
MVC reigns supreme: Just like in the final boys poll released yesterday, the Merrimack Valley Conference is the most well-represented on the poll, with four teams. Division 1 state champ Central Catholic comes in at No. 4, followed by Billerica (9), Andover (10) and North Andover (14). That is at least double any league besides the Cape Ann, which had three teams represented in Pentucket (7), Ipswich (17) and Masconomet (25).
Here's how the poll breaks down by league affiliate:
Merrimack Valley - 4
Cape Ann - 3
Bay State - 2
Catholic Central - 2
Dual County - 2
Hockomock - 2
Berkshire County - 1
Boston City - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Independent - 1
Middlesex - 1
Mid-Wach B - 1
Northeastern - 1
Patriot - 1
Suburban - 1
Tri-Valley - 1