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Monday, January 7, 2013
SPM debuts in latest boys hoop Top 25 poll

By Brendan Hall

We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 boys basketball poll this afternoon, following a weekend of wild upsets. To view the complete poll, CLICK HERE.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

SPM makes season debut: Following its 54-49 upset of Catholic Memorial yesterday, St. Peter-Marian (7-1) jumps into the poll, at No. 25. It's the first time the Guardians are in the Top 25 since the end of last season, when they made an unprecedented run to the Division 1 Central final. SPM was a Top 10 team for spurts of the 2011-12 season, when ESPN Boston All-Stater Matt Mobley led Central Mass. in scoring; and while this year's team is devoid of any superstars, they have been among the state's most efficient pressure defenses.

With SPM's first appearance of the season, that brings the total to four Central Mass. teams in this week's poll: Wachusett (8), followed by St. John's of Shrewsbury (18) and Worcester South (23). SPM's win also sent Catholic Memorial tumbling eight spots to No. 17.

Prep soars into the Top 10: Following its win over BC High on Friday, St. John's Prep jumps up 10 spots to No. 7, by far the biggest leap of the week. It's the first time the Eagles have been in the Top 10 since the first half of the 2011-12 season, when Steve Haladyna and Co. were a preseason Top 5 coming off the 2011 Division 1 state championship. Tyler Dooley and Drex Costello have provided terrific senior leadership so far, while sophomore Ben Judson has had one of the better breakthrough campaigns statewide.

GBL closing in: There are no Greater Boston League teams represented in the poll for the first time all season, but four of the league's five teams sit in our "Last 10 Out": Cambridge (3-2), Everett (3-2), Malden (4-1) and Somerville (6-0). That could all change quickly, as league play begins this week.

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

Boston City League - 4
Merrimack Valley - 4
Catholic Conference - 3
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Hockomock - 2
Valley Wheel - 2
Bay State - 1
Big Three - 1
Inter-High - 1
Middlesex - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Northeastern - 1
South Coast - 1
South Shore - 1