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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Westford, Algonquin debut in boys hoop poll

By Brendan Hall

We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 boys basketball poll this afternoon. To find the complete poll, CLICK HERE.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Poll does not reflect Monday's results)

Some notes and observations about this week's poll:

Debuts for Westford, Algonquin: Two teams make their debuts this week, in Westford Academy (24) and Algonquin (25). For the former it's the Grey Ghosts' first appearance of the 2012-13 season. For Algonquin, it's an historic first, the Tomahawks' first foray into the Top 25 in our poll's three-year history. Stigmatized by a perceived weak schedule, the 8-0 Tomahawks had a dominant showing on Friday against a quality Fitchburg squad, winning by 20 points. They're also speared by a breakout campaign by 6-foot-6 sophomore post player A.J. Brodeur, who is one of Central Mass.'s leading scorers with 17 points per game.

City loses another squad: Hard to believe just a month ago, there were six Boston City League teams in the poll, following Dorchester's surprise upset of Madison Park. Both those teams quickly fell out in the ensuing weeks, and now Charlestown joins them on the list of teams dropping out. It was a less than inspiring week for the Townies, who barely skirted by Latin Academy, then finished the week out with losses to West Roxbury (56-50) and St. Peter-Marian (74-66).

New Mission (2), Brighton (12) and East Boston (15) are the three Boston City League teams representing this week.

Historic week for St. Peter-Marian: In a week that few saw coming, St. Peter-Marian knocked off Catholic Memorial, St. John's of Shrewsbury and Charlestown in a span of six days. For that effort, the Guardians shot up the poll, from No. 25 to No. 14, this week. How long that lasts, however, remains to be seen. The Guardians took one on the chin tonight from unranked Whitinsville Christian, 64-49. The Crusaders themselves sit on the outside looking in, getting notice in the "Last 10 out" section this week.

MVC dominance: For the first time this season, all four of the Merrimack Valley Conference teams in the poll sit in the Top 10. Central Catholic remains No. 1 for the third straight week, followed by Andover (7), North Andover (9) and Lowell (10), the latter of which dropped eight spots following an upset by North Andover on Friday.

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

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