Monday, February 25, 2013
Bracket Breakdown: Girls Tournament
By Ryan Kilian
North: Lynn English is the top seed in a deep and competitive bracket. A potential quarterfinal match-up with defending state champion Andover could be a must see event. No. 2 Billerica, led by senior point guard Brittany Lomanno, is the Merrimack Valley Conference champion and is battle tested, having played a top nonleague schedule. Do not sleep on No. 5 Central Catholic or No. 7 Masconomet as both teams have the talent to knock off a top seed. No. 3 Westford Academy is also playing some of their best basketball of the season.
Pick: Lynn English
South: Newton North draws the No. 1 seed with league rival Braintree drawing the No. 2 seed. The teams split their regular season match-ups and it would be a treat to see a third battle in the South Sectional finals. No. 6 Barnstable and super sophomore Molly Bent should not be taken lightly.
Central/West: No. 1 Holy Name, led by junior Brianna Frias, is the favorite in Central Mass. with No. 2 Algonquin and No. 3 Wachusett also capable of representing. No 1. Northampton and No. 2 Longmeadow are the top teams out West.
Pick: Holy Name
North: No. 1 Reading and Richmond-bound forward Olivia Healy have not lost since late 2011 and it will be very tough to end that streak in the North Sectional this season. No. 3 Arlington Catholic, led by junior forward Maura Buckley, is fresh off a Division 2 Spartan Classic title and is always a threat out of the Catholic Central League. No. 6 North Andover and Hartford-bound guard Morgan Lumb could be dangerous if they re-discover that early season magic.
South: Division 2 South is one of the deepest and most talented brackets in the state this year. No. 2 Medfield is fresh off a win over No. 1 Oliver Ames last week in the Walpole Tournament finals. Boston City League champion No. 3 O’Bryant, No. 4 Duxbury, No. 5. Fontbonne and No. 6 Scituate all have the star power to make deep runs and are all playing some of their best basketball of the season.
Central/West: No. 1 Tyngsboro is undefeated at 20-0 and returns as the favorite in Central Mass. after losing to Reading in last year’s state final. No. 2 Nashoba has also played a tough schedule this year and could challenge to represent. No. 1 Drury is the top team out West.
North: No. 1 Pentucket is the top seed and returning state champion. Pentucket is a smart and skilled, veteran unit led by sophomore guard Kelsi McNamara, daughter of head coach John McNamara. No. 2 St. Mary’s of Lynn and No. 4 Ipswich locked horns last week in the finals of the Spartan Classic in Lynn with St. Mary’s taking home the D3 title. Both teams are hungry and could threaten the returning champions.
South: No. 1 Abington finished the season with a record of 21-1 and has had a great 2012-2013 campaign. Winning percentage also plays a HUGE factor in D3 South as two of the top teams, No. 7 Archbishop Williams and No. 10 Medway play in a First Round game on Thursday. Archies is battle tested as their only losses have come to Reading and out of state opponents.
Pick: Archbishop Williams
Central/West: No. 1 Sabis is the top team and heavy favorite in Western Mass. They played a strong nonleague schedule and have been regulars in the weekly ESPN Boston Top 25 poll this season. No. 1 University Park and No. 2 Blackstone Valley are the top two teams in Central Mass.
North: No. 1 Whittier, led by sophomores Michaela Martin and Samnell Vonleh, has had a great season and has balance at all positions. No. 10 Fenway, led by senior guard Tajanay Veiga-Lee is the returning state champion and No. 6 New Mission is also a threat out of the Boston City League.
South: No. 1 Blue Hills ran the table this season at 20-0. Reigning Sectional champion Greater New Bedford is the No. 4 seed and is also a threat to repeat. No. 2 West Bridgewater, led by junior Brittany Stone, also finished the season strong.
Pick: Greater New Bedford