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Monday, December 10, 2012
Braintree No. 1 in first MIAA Girls Hoop poll

By Brendan Hall

We unveiled our first statewide MIAA Top 25 girls basketball poll for the 2012-13 season this afternoon. To see the complete poll, CLICK HERE.

A few notes about this first girls' basketball poll of the season:

Braintree, by a hair, over Reading: We initially pegged Reading as our preseason No. 1, until news arrived that Assumption-bound senior Morgan O'Brien will be sidelined with a knee injury. With that in mind, we went with Braintree at No. 1 in the first poll of the year. The Wamps started three freshmen in last year's run to the Division 1 Eastern Mass. Final, and are one of the favorites across the state, led by sophomore center Molly Reagan.

MVC, DCL representing: The Merrimack Valley Conference and Dual County League are the leagues most represented on the poll, with four and three member teams respectively. Three of the four MVC teams sit in the Top 10, with Central Catholic at No. 4 followed by three-time reigning D1 state champ Andover (5) and Billerica (8). All of the DCL's teams sit in the teens, with Lincoln-Sudbury at No. 13 followed by Westford Academy (15) and Newton South (17).

Also of note, the Catholic Central League has both of its represented schools in the Top 10 -- Archbishop Williams (3) and St. Mary's of Lynn (7).

On the upswing? Three teams who finished last season with losing records start the year in the Top 25, all of who feature a player who signed a National Letter of Intent with a Division 1 program last month. Cambridge (3-13) at No. 6 may be the biggest surprise based on last season, but they boast one of the state's premier slashers in Georgia Tech signee Donnaizha Fountain. Meanwhile, Lehigh-bound point guard Kayla Burton leads No. 17 Newton South (7-12) and Holy Cross-bound guard/forward Maddy Ganser leads No. 21 Needham (9-11).

Here is how the poll breaks down this week by league affiliation:

Merrimack Valley - 4
Dual County - 3
Bay State - 2
Cape Ann - 2
Catholic Central - 2
Hockomock - 2
Tri-Valley - 2
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Greater Boston - 1
Mid-Wach B - 1
Middlesex - 1
Northeastern - 1
Valley League - 1
Valley Wheel - 1