Boston High School: Ipswich

The Manchester-Essex Regional High School boys' and girls' lacrosse teams will host the Ipswich High School Tigers on Friday, May 9, at Hyland Field in Manchester in games to benefit brain cancer research. This is the third year the school has hosted lacrosse games to benefit cancer. The first two years all funds raised were donated to breast cancer research.

The girls game will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the boys game to follow at 7 p.m. Ticket prices will be $6 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.

Each player will be wearing the benefit t shirt designed especially for this event during warm-ups prior to each game. T shirts will also be available for sale at the game. All proceeds realized from this event will be donated to brain cancer research.

Roundtable: Midseason All-State, Superlatives

January, 25, 2013
1/25/13
3:46
PM ET
At the midpoint of the MIAA basketball season, we've asked our panel of experts to submit their picks for ESPN Boston All-State, as well as Mr. and Miss Basketball along with a number of superlatives:

***

Brendan Hall
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor


All-State Super Team
G – Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
G – Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
G – Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
G/F – Kamari Robinson, Sr., Springfield Central
F/C – Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland

Second Team
G – Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton
G – Nick McKenna, Sr., Danvers
F – Nick Cambio, Jr., Central Catholic
F – Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield
F – Isaiah Nelsen, Sr., North Andover

Third Team
G – Riyadh Asad, Sr., West Springfield
G – Juwan Gooding, Soph., New Mission
F - Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
C - Dakari Wornum, Sr., Dorchester
C – Chris Baldwin, Soph., Springfield Central

Girls Super Team
G - Infiniti Thomas-Waheed, Jr., Newton North
G - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
F - Caitlyn Abela, Sr., Oliver Ames
C - Molly Reagan, Soph., Braintree

Mr. Basketball Finalists
Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic – WINNER
Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland
Kamari Robinson, Sr., Springfield Central

Defensive Player of the Year – Drew Healy, Lowell
Coach of the Year – John Walsh, Danvers
Best Shooter – Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic
Biggest surprise (player) – Dakari Wornum, Dorchester
Biggest surprise (team) – St. Peter-Marian
Most underrated (player) – David Stewart, Madison Park
Most underrated (team) – Melrose

All-Defensive
G – Tyree Weston, Soph., New Bedford
G – Marcus Middleton, Sr., Stoughton
F – Isshiah Coleman, Sr., New Mission
F – Prince Unaegbu, Sr., Brighton
C – Drew Healy, Sr., Lowell

All-Shooters
Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Tommy Mobley, Soph., Newton North
Daivon Edwards, Sr., Brighton
Giulien Smith, Soph., Catholic Memorial
Ben Judson, Soph., St. John's Prep

Second half sleepers to watch

Dorchester
The Bears are a streaky team, but also a gritty one, as shown in their 58-57 loss to East Boston on Wednesday. Dakari Wornum has been one of the breakout stars of the first half of the season, but a number of athletic shooters -- including Jeduan Langston, Khalil Newson, Ceejae Agnew-Carter and Dean Lee -- can make this team explode at any moment. The expected return of 6-foot-7 junior D'Bryant Coraprez should bolser the frontcourt too.

Sharon
We knew junior point guard Brian Mukasa (18.8 points per game) was good, and we though he had potential to be this good, but we had questions about the Eagles' supporting cast. Jimmy Fritzon (14.2 points per game) has some answers.

Waltham
Hawks are my favorite to win the Dual County League's Large division, in a year of parity across the board. Keep an eye on Mike Gelineau, one of the area's more underrated shooters.

Case
Most expected Wareham to run away with the South Coast Conference (again), but guess who's sitting at 11-2 and 8-1 in the league? The Cardinals are allowing a league-best 46 points per game, and face Wareham on Wednesday for a first-place battle in the SCC. Keep an eye on 6-foot-8 senior center Matt Plante.

***

Chris Bradley
ESPN Boston correspondent


All-State Super Team
G - Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
G - Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
F - Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
F - Kamari Robinson, Sr., Springfield Central
C - Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland

Second Team
G - Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton
G - Riyadh Asad, Sr., West Springfield
F - Nick Simpson, Sr., Brighton
F - Nick Cambio, Sr., Central Catholic
F - Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield

Third Team
G - Nick McKenna, Sr., Danvers
G - Rod Milton, Sr., Worcester South
F - Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
F - Isaiah Nelsen, Sr., North Andover
C - Chris Baldwin, Soph., Springfield Central

Girls Super Team
G - Kayla Burton, Sr., Newton South
G/F - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
G/F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
F - Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover
C - Molly Reagan, Soph., Braintree

Mr. Basketball Finalists
Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic - WINNER
Darien Fernandez, Wareham
Jameilen Jones, BC High
Tyler Gibson, Rockland
Kamari Robinson, Springfield Central

Defensive Player of the Year - Isshiah Coleman, New Mission
Coach of the Year - Sean Connolly, St. John’s Prep
Best Shooter - Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic
Biggest Surprise (Team) – Wachusett
Biggest Surprise (Player) – KayJuan Bynum, Springfield Putnam
Most Underrated (Player) – Sam Dowden, Andover
Most Underrated (Team) – Dorchester

All-Defensive
G - Marcus Middleton, Sr., Stoughton
G/F - Nate Anderson, Sr., New Mission
F - Isshiah Coleman, Sr., New Mission
C - Alex Cooper, Sr., Wachusett
C - Drew Healy, Sr., Lowell

All-Shooters
Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Tim Dufficy, Sr., Whitinsville Christian
Tommy Mobley, Soph., Newton North
Zack Berman, Sr., Wachusett
Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton

Second-half sleepers:

Andover
If Connor Merinder is back in time for the tournament, then consider Andover a favorite in Division 1 North. Central Catholic has clearly separated themselves from BC High, St. John’s Prep, Lowell, and Andover so far, but if Andover gets a healthy, productive Merinder back, they will make a run to the Division 1 North final. The Golden Warriors have gone 10-2 thus far without the 6-foot-5 forward, who is considered one of the MIAA’s best in a loaded 2015 class. Sam Dowden has done a great job of leading Andover so far, but getting a healthy Merinder makes them a legitimate contender to be at the DCU Center come March.

Worcester South
South became the first team to finally knock off previously undefeated Wachusett in Central Mass. The Cononels, who with the win moved to 8-2, did so without junior point guard Kasheen Cunningham, one of the area’s best outside shooters. South has the best scorer in Central Mass. in Rod Milton, a strong young big man in Khalil Bryan-Robinson, and a constant threat from outside in Cunningham—with Central Mass. Division 1 as up in the air as it has been in years, look for South to make a run to the Division 1 finals at WPI.

***

Ryan Kilian
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Mass. Prep Stars (www.massprepstars.com)


Boys Super Team
G - Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
G - Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
G - Malik James, Jr., Brighton
F - Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield
C - Chris Baldwin, Soph., Springfield Central

Girls Super Team
G - Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover
G/F - Alana Gilmer, Soph., Archbishop Williams
G/F - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
C - Molly Reagan, Soph., Braintree

Mr. Basketball
Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic

Miss Basketball
Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading

Defensive Player of the Year
Boys: Kendall Hamilton, Sr., Wakefield
Girls: Infiniti Thomas-Waheed, Jr., Newton North

Coach of the Year
Boys: Mike Kasprzak, Melrose
Girls: John McNamara, Pentucket

Best Shooter
Boys: Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Girls: Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover

Biggest Surprise
Boys: Frantzdy Pierrot, Jr., Melrose
Girls: Molly Bent, Soph., Barnstable

Most Underrated Player
Boys: Doug Gemmell, Sr., Central Catholic
Girls: Tess Noguiera, Sr., Pentucket

Most Underrated Team
Boys: Melrose
Girls: Ipswich

Second Half Sleepers

Boys: Wakefield – They have been hanging in the wings with a few losses and have battled some injuries but with a healthy Bruce Brown and continued improved play of Kendall Hamilton, Mikol Blake-Green and others they should be back in the title hunt by the end of the regular season.

Girls: Westford Academy – Westford Academy has played a very difficult schedule, losing to Bishop Feehan, Wachusett and Billerica by a combined five points. They have wins over Lincoln-Sudbury and Arlington Catholic as resume boosters and can play with any team in the state. Juniors Sam Hyslip and Hannah Hackley lead the Grey Ghosts in most statistical categories.

***

Rob Sarmiento
Founder and Editor, Beantown Hoops (www.beantownhoops.com)


First Team
G - Jameilen Jones, Sr., BC High
G - Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
F - Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
F - Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland
F - Doug Gemmell, Sr., Central Catholic

Second Team
G - Jaleel Bell, Sr., Wayland
G - Jaylen Blakely, Sr., Brockton
G - Malik James, Jr., Brighton
G - Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
F - Isaiah Nelsen, Sr., North Andover

Third Team
G - Giulien Smith, Soph., Catholic Memorial
G - Juwan Gooding, Soph., New Mission
G/F - Bruce Brown, Soph., Wakefield
F - Brendan Hill, Soph., Mansfield
F - Nate Anderson, Sr., New Mission

Girls Super Team
G/F - Donnaizha Fountain, Sr., Cambridge
G/F - Olivia Healy, Sr., Reading
G/F - Molly Bent, Soph., Barnstable
G/F - Morgan Lumb, Sr., North Andover
F - Sarah Hope, Sr., Medway

Mr. Basketball - Jameilen Jones, BC High
Miss Basketball - Olivia Healy, Reading
Coach of the Year - Mark Antonelli, Somerville
Best Shooter - Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic
Biggest Surprise (player) - Molly Bent, Barnstable (Girls)
Biggest Surprise (team) - North Reading
Most Underrated (player) - Jaleel Bell, Wayland
Most Underrated (team) - Melrose

All-Shooters
Tyler Nelson, Jr., Central Catholic
Sam Dowden, Sr., Andover
Sam Bohmiller, Sr., Franklin
Tommy Mobely, Soph., Newton North
Mike Gelineau, Sr., Waltham

Second Half Sleepers

Boys: Franklin - Well-coached and playing in a tough conference will make them battle ready come playoff time. Plus, they have a player who can make threes in bunches with Bohmiller.

Girls: Arlington Catholic - Seem to always make a run and their style of play is tough to prepare for. They are young in some key positions, but first half of the season experience will show during the playoffs.

Reading is new No. 1 in girls hoop poll

January, 25, 2013
1/25/13
2:30
PM ET
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 girls basketball poll last night. To view it, CLICK HERE.

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

New No. 1: With Braintree taking a surprise upset loss at the hands of Newton North on Tuesday, we've got a new No. 1 for the first time all season long. Reading slides up one spot to No. 1, while Archbishop Williams bumps up to No. 2, followed by the aformetioned Wamps (3), Pentucket (4) and Billerica (5). For its upset effort, North moves up four spots to No. 7, one behind unbeaten Oliver Ames (6), followed by Lynn English (8), Central Catholic (9) and St. Mary's of Lynn (10).

Masco makes its debut: Following its 52-41 upset of North Andover on Sunday, Masconomet makes its first appearance in the poll since our final Top 25 last March. The Chieftains are the third Cape Ann League team represented in the poll, joining Pentucket and Ipswich (20).

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

Cape Ann - 3
Catholic Central - 3
Merrimack Valley - 3
Bay State - 2
Mid-Wach A - 2
Bi-County - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Dual County - 1
Eastern Athletic - 1
Hockomock - 1
Independent - 1
Middlesex - 1
Northeastern - 1
Patriot - 1
South Shore - 1
Suburban - 1
Tri-Valley - 1

MIAA football proposal to move to general assembly

June, 7, 2012
6/07/12
2:59
PM ET
The MIAA's Board of Directors voted 11-2 in favor this morning of bringing the proposal for a playoff system that would award six true state champions in football to a special meeting this fall, where a general assembly will vote whether or not to approve and implicate the plan for the 2013 football season.

A previous proposal brought forth in 2010 by then-Plymouth North athletic director Bill Burkhead was rejected 192-114 by a general assembly, but this current proposal appears to have more support. The finance committee gave its support in April. Last month, the MIAA Football Committee approved amendments to the proposal, 15-2; a day later, the MIAA Tournament Management Committee voted 10-4 in favor of it, bringing the plan to its current place before the Board of Directors.

Outgoing Ipswich High principal Barry Cahill led the presentation before the Board of Directors, urging the members to focus on the first few pages of the 29-page proposal. Among the positives highlighted were that it eliminates the safety concern brought by playing three games in 10 days; it is less intrusive on the next season of sports, with 12 teams playing after Thanksgiving as opposed to the current crop of 74; the increase of participation in playoffs; revenue-sharing after Week 7; and travel limited to within the section area, with all 12 teams left playing at Gillette Stadium the first weekend of December.

Concord-Carlisle athletic director Barry Haley brought up the motion to table this to the fall, asking if the board had the authority to dictate this to the 365 member schools, to which Catholic Memorial Athletic Director Alex Campea countered that they do have the right, given the amount of approval votings by the various sub-committees.

"The majority of people on those committees are in favor of this," Campea said. "We talk about scheduling, and when we enter a tournament situation, none of us can dictate the schedule. You get a bracketed seed and play whoever the tournament indicates you play. That's the cost of every tournament -- you're stuck having to travel, it's never convenient based upon where you are in the tournament bracket.

"The bottom line is, all of the issues brought up have been diligently addressed from day one, and it would be a disservice to all prior committees if we don't move to vote on this."

Alluding to the potential changes coming in the state's lacrosse and baseball tournaments, Algonquin Athletic Director Fran Whitten added to Campea's point: "Are those going to go to a general assembly? It just seems odd to me at this point in time, with this many factors in place, that we're going to send this back to a general membership."

Others felt differently. Athol High Athletic Director David King noted that while the Western Mass. brethren voted 45-3 in favor of the proposal, they recommended to him they would like this plan to move to a assembly.

Outgoing MIAA Executive Director Bill Gaine raised some eyebrows when asked, "Let's not be precipitous."

Asked by a group of reporters following to meeting to explain his comment, Gaine elaborated: "“The football committee and the tournament management committee, last time, were not involved in the process. It was a special ad hoc committee, appointed by the board of directors...That reported back to the board of directors what their finding was."

"The finding was by an independent ad hoc committee that said, ‘No, we’ll take it and send it to the committee at your recommendation.’ This time it emanated through the process, just as defined by the government structure, to go to the football committee and anything that’s voted favorably out of the football committee, in terms of a tournament change, that would go to the TMC [tournament management committee]."

Cahill said he was not surprised at the decision to bring this to an assembly.

"Particularly where it went to the full membership last time, I certainly realized that they've had a lot of input coming into this vote, and so we did anticipate that this probably would go to the membership," Cahill said. "At least I think it was wise for them to do a fall meeting and not a spring meeting. I think it would have been hard to put this in place if they had waited until April, planning for September the following year. At least that's a wise move on their part."

Is there still time?

"I think it will just expedite whatever appeals there," he said. "I don't imagine anything in the plan will change between now and when the assembly sees it."

Several other items were brought forth on the agenda. The Board of Directors voted to reject applying two rules modifications the NCAA will be implementing for the upcoming football season. This fall, the kickoff line is moving to to 35-yard line, and the ball will be placed at the 25 yard line instead of 20 following a touchback.

The MIAA board also voted 9-5 in favor of aligning with the Department of Public Health's recommendations on physical examinations, and voted against allowing a one-game exception to finalists in the newly-established Worcester City Championship during basketball season. Holy Name defeated St. Peter-Marian in the inaugural eight-team tournament last February.

Preseason MIAA All-State girls lax team

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
12:06
PM ET
The high school lacrosse season kicks off this week for many top teams across the state. Here is our preseason MIAA girls lacrosse All-State Team and Watch List, as compiled by ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents.

SUPER TEAM
Madison Acton, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Shelby Aubin, Sr. D, Needham
Ally Fazio, Sr. A, Andover
Anne Farnham, Sr. D, Andover
Megan Hennessy, Jr. M, Winchester
Rachel Massicotte, Sr. G, Wayland
Laura McHoul, Sr. M, Westwood
Anna Petrunich, Sr. M, Westborough
Kate Rich, Sr. M, Westwood
Caroline Rizzo, Sr. A, Notre Dame (Hingham)
Rachel Sexton, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Tory Waldstein, Sr. D, Needham

WATCH LIST
Casey Blakeney, Sr. M, Wachusett
Olivia Boudreau, Sr. M, North Andover
Shelby Boudreau, Sr. M, North Andover
Mollie Brown, Sr. G, Westwood
Alexa Cambi, Sr. M, Longmeadow
Tess Chandler, Sr. M, Hopkinton
Catherine Conley, Soph. A, Needham
Elizabeth Constant, Sr. M, Ipswich
Emma Dagres, Sr. A, Weston
Natalie Devine, Sr. M, Fontbonne
Erika Eipp, Sr. A, Groton-Dunstable
Kate Farnham, Sr. D, Andover
Sara Ganio, Sr. M, Lincoln-Sudbury
Emily Giumetti, Jr. M, Duxbury
Rebecca Graves, Sr. M, Bishop Fenwick
Ella Hazar, Soph. A, Westwood
Emmy Horton, Sr. M, Duxbury
Christine Johnson, Sr. M, Reading
Meaghan Jane Keefe, Jr. A, Andover
Jenna Liljeberg, Sr. A, King Philip
Eileen McDonald, Sr. A, Longmeadow
Molly McNamara, Sr. M, Wellesley
Julia Meehan, Sr. M, Weston
Carly O’Connell, Sr. A, Algonquin
Maria Platsidakis, Jr. G, Mansfield
Kathryn Riley, Sr. M, King Philip
Sarah Smith, Jr. M, Acton-Boxborough
Amber Tobin, Sr. M, Minnechaug

D3 North Girls: Pentucket 49, Ipswich 30

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
3:08
PM ET
LOWELL, Mass. -- Pentucket coach John McNamara and his Sachems girls basketball program has its share of history in the Division 3 North tournament. But for this year's team, those were mostly just memories.

Freshman and sophomores during the Pentucket's 2010 state finals loss, the now upperclassmen Sachems are two year removed from the team that went to four consecutive sectional final appearances and are looking to set their own legacy.

After a 49-30 trumping of No. 4 seed Ipswich (18-5) in this morning's final at the Tsongas Center, No. 3 seed Pentucket (20-4) has made it clear the girls are ready to make their own mark.

The Sachems will play Division 3 South winners Fairhaven (22-2) in the TD Garden in Boston on Tuesday.

“This is their legacy now,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara. “They were part of that team, but these kids have done it own their own for the first time. They have taken their team to the (TD) Garden.”

The Sachems opened in dominate fashion by forcing nine first quarter turnovers to pull ahead 9-0 at the four minute mark. After grappling a pair of steals, senior Sarah Higgins used a screen off the passing motion to lay-in Pentucket's its ninth point.

Higgins was a powerful presence both counter-attacking and forcing turnovers at mid-court. The forward lead Pentucket with 12 points, five steals and five rebounds. Teammate junior Alex Moore also scored 10 points.

“I am hoping for five second calls, “ said Higgins. “They look to somebody to put on the ball pressure and force as many turnovers as possible. I want to get in their head and show what I am a defensive player.”

Struggling to score from outside the arc, Ipswich began pressuring the paint early in the second quarter to produce their lowest deficit of the night. Positioning her body out front Bridget Curran drew a pair of free throws, while Julia Davis (both juniors) caught a give-and-go off the 3-point line to cut the score to 12-9 at 5:50.

“We did a better job moving the ball weak side,” said Ipswich coach Mandy Zegarowski. “We were a little more patient with the pressure and clogged up the middle. I think it was just getting the ball over the halfway point and setting up the offense.”

Up 14-10, the Sachems scored 16 straight to put away the Tigers in the final three minutes of the half. A pair of layups by juniors Nicole Viselli and Tess Noguera off breakaways opened the run. While strong motion around the arc and a half-court buzzer beater sent Pentucket into the break up 30-10.

“We focused in practice on eliminating their point guard and big players,” said Zegarowski. “We needed or defense to start creating turnovers. It is a lot easier to score on the fast break when they are trying to set up their zone offense.”

An eight straight point run from Masey Zegarowski in the fourth proved to little to late for Ipswich as they failed to ever cut the second half margin into single-digits. The freshman topped the Tigers in scoring with eight points.

“Last year was a real upset not to get to the Garden,” said Higgins. “I am so happy my senior year we made it there. It is what Pentucket girls' basketball is all about.”

MIAA Sectional Hoop Finals: Picks Reset

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
6:22
PM ET
Last month, prior to the MIAA Basketball Tournament seedings, I listed a number of teams in each division to be considered true contenders for the state championship. One week later, on the first day of the MIAA tournament, I went a little deeper and made my predictions for each of the 14 boys basketball brackets.

Conveniently, this has been one of the wildest MIAA tournaments in recent years. Last night, No. 1 seeds Central Catholic and North Andover went down in their respective brackets; that adds to a number of other contenders getting knocked out, including King Philip, Cardinal Spellman, Falmouth, Catholic Memorial, BC High, Holy Name and Manchester-Essex.

The next 48 hours figure to be just as crazy. We'll be covering all 12 of Saturday's North and South sectional finals, as well as Sunday's Division 1 Central final between St. John's (Shrewsbury) and St. Peter-Marian, so be sure to stick with us throughout the weekend.

For now, I've gone back and hit the reset button on my pre-tournament picks. Here's how I think Saturday and Sunday's slate will turn out.

(NOTE: Division 4 Finals are being played tonight)

BOYS PICKS

Division 1 North
Charlestown (19-4) vs. Lexington (17-7)
Nobody could have predicted this for a final -- and if you did, I have a time warp I'd like to sell you. After some early struggles, the Minutemen have picked up the slack under second-year coach Reggie Hobbs, beating Boston Latin, Westford and Acton-Boxborough in succession to get here. But with Central Catholic and A-B out of the way, the Townies have a clearer path. Expect another big game from Tyrese Hoxter and Co. Pick: Charlestown

Division 2 North
Wakefield (17-6) vs. Brighton (19-4)
Reports of Brighton's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Once thought to be stumbling following the loss of star forward Nick Simpson and subsequent early exit from City Championships, the Bengals have roared to life behind Daivon Edwards and Malik James. Ditto for Wakefield, which came into this tournament a mystery, but has suddenly put the state on notice after knocking off No. 1 overall seed North Andover last night. Pick: Brighton

Division 3 North
Danvers (18-4) vs. Saugus (14-9)
I said this was Danvers' bracket to lose at the beginning of this tournament, and the Falcons have done nothing to prove me otherwise. Saugus beat red-hot Arlington Catholic by 16 last night to advance to the finals, but I still think George Merry will provide too much of a matchup problem. Pick: Danvers

Division 1 South
Brockton (21-2) vs. Madison Park (19-2)
True, the MP Machine is the No. 2 seed in this bracket, but how many predicted the Cardinals would make it this far? Brockton has had some close calls, such as Wednesday's semifinal win over Newton North. But as they showed in their quarterfinal against Catholic Memorial, they can turn it on in a snap. The key here might come down to depth, where I think the Boxers hold an advantage. Excited to see the big-man matchup between Brockton's Sayvonn Houston and MP's Dakim Murray -- two true post players who are among the region's most physical. Pick: Brockton

Division 2 South
Stoughton (19-4) vs. Hopkinton (17-6)
Beware Hopkinton's dribble-drive motion. Just ask King Philip, which succumbed to the Hillers in last year's D2 South Final and again in this year's quarterfinals. We all know about Stoughton's athletic prowess, spearheaded by one of the state's best backcourts in juniors Aaron Calixte and Marcus Middleton. But do not sleep on the Hillers' point guard Barrett Hanlon, a two-time Tri-Valley League MVP who has been terrific this postseason. Pick: Stoughton

Division 3 South
Wareham (23-0) vs. Martha's Vineyard (21-2)
Between Wareham's dogged waterbug point guard Darien Fernandez and Vineyard's electric junior Jack Roberts, this could be one of the day's fastest games. The Vikings are constantly uptempo -- and have one of the state's best lead guards in Fernandez, to do the damage -- while the Vineyarders can run off points in bunches pretty quickly. The key might come down to foul trouble -- Tyler Gomes was the star for Wareham in the semifinals, but they can't afford to have Fernandez on the bench for long stretches again. Pick: Wareham

Division 1 Central
St. John's of Shrewsbury (18-5) vs. St. Peter-Marian (19-5)
If St. John's wins again, for an unprecedented fifth straight Central Mass. title, they may have to rename this tournament the Bob Foley Memorial Bracket. Again and again, Foley's troops have proven that no matter the personnel, bodies graduated, or overall record, they can win out as long as they get in. SPM's Matt Mobley will likely command a sophisticated defensive look, which is why the Guardians' bigs like Steve Flynn and Brian Foley are going to need to be in peak form. Pick: St. John's

Division 2 Central
Quabbin (20-3) vs. St. Bernard's (14-10)
Once one of the state's few remaining unbeatens, Quabbin lost three games but won the Clark Tournament to give themselves some momentum headed into this bracket. It's paid off, as the Panthers have beaten opponents by an average of 24 points in the tournament. Either way, this should be a terrific coaching matchup, between Quabbin's Dennis Dextradeur and St. Bernard's Mark Pierce. Pick: Quabbin

Division 3 Central
Whitinsville Christian (16-5) vs. Littleton (18-6)
Another bracket where I initially pegged a top seed as an overwhelming favorite, and nothing has convinced me to think otherwise. Sorry Littleton, but WC has been playing some of its best basketball, beating each of its opponents by 17 points or more in this tournament. Pick: Whitinsville Christian

Division 1 West
Springfield Central (21-1) vs. Springfield Commerce (16-6)
In these two teams' first matchup, Central survived a tough one, 52-43. When they met three weeks ago, Tyrell Springer nailed four 3-pointers in the second quarter and Central blew out the Red Raiders by nearly 40. I don't think that will happen again, but like Brockton, Central can turn it up in a hurry -- just ask West Springfield, which led Central by three after the first quarter of Wednesday's semifinal, only to lose by 27. Pick: Springfield Central

Division 2 West
South Hadley (13-9) vs. Mahar (19-3)
South Hadley's nine losses are misleading. They earned the No. 2 overall seed in this field, and beat their first two opponents by an average of 17 points. Can Mahar, which survived an overtime thriller to get here, buck the Tigers' trend? Pick: South Hadley

Division 3 West
St. Joseph Central (18-5) vs. Lee (18-5)
This is a St. Joe's team that nearly beat Holy Name back in December, and while I admit I haven't seen too much of this field, I like their chances. An average margin of victory of 26 points so far in this tournament backs this assertion up. Pick: St. Joseph Central

GIRLS PICKS

Division 1 North
Andover (24-0) vs. Masconomet (20-3)
Again, as good as Masco has been in this tournament -- getting Super Team production out of William & Mary signee Brooke Stewart, and great complimentary play from junior Claudia Marsh -- the freight train that is Andover and All-Everything guard Nicole Boudreau will continue to roll its way through. But unlike some of the Golden Warriors' earlier tournament results, I expect the Chieftains to throw haymakers and take the Warriors to the ropes. Pick: Andover

Division 2 North
Reading (22-0) vs. Arlington Catholic (21-3)
Another juggernaut matchup in the fold here. Both teams have gone through some dominant stretches, and AC is the defending state champion here. But the Rockets are a year wiser after last season's disappointing end, and behind Olivia Healy and Morgan O'Brien this team rattles off points in bunches. Pick: Reading

Division 3 North
Pentucket (20-4) vs. Ipswich (18-4)
Win or lose, this is a major step forward for the Ipswich program under head coach Mandy Zegarowski. Unfortunately, their reward is running into the Pentucket machine. Sachems are rolling on defense, allowing just 28 points per game in the playoffs with an average margin of victory of 27 points. So tell me...what's new? Pick: Pentucket

Division 1 South
Franklin (21-2) vs. Braintree (21-2)
Led by senior Paige Marshall, Braintree is playing arguably the state's most inspired defense. Consider the Wamps allowed just eight points -- that's eight points total -- in their first-round win, and are allowing just 22.6 points per game and the playoffs. Will that be enough for Catie Phelan to overcome, or are the defensive stats misleading? Pick: Braintree

Division 2 South
Scituate (23-0) vs. Natick (18-5)
Will Lady Luck run out on Natick, or are the Red and Blue better than we projected? Either way, this is one tough Scituate squad they're about to encounter. The Lady Sailors haven't allowed an opponent to get out of the 30's in nearly a month, and routinely pick up 40 or more rebounds a game. Pick: Scituate

Division 3 South
Archbishop Williams (20-5) vs. Fairhaven (21-2)
Kara Charette will get her points for Fairhaven, but we have to wonder if it it will be enough to overcome Archies' size, which is among the state's biggest. The Bishops are green, but talented, and are playing some terrific defense right now. Pick: Archbishop Williams

Division 1 Central
Holy Name (22-0) vs. Wachusett (17-5)
After some close calls, Holy Name's magical season lives on. The Mountaineers might be Holy Name's toughest opponent to date, and are one of the region's longest. Look for the Naps to key on Bri Schnare and Shannon Holt. Pick: Wachusett

Division 2 Central
Tyngsborough (21-1) vs. Nashoba (20-2)
The top two seeds of this bracket go head-to-head, and it's hard to tell which team has been more dominant so far. The Tigers, who have allowed just 30 points a game in this bracket; or Nashoba, which has had an easier path but has won each game by double-digits. Probably can't go wrong with this one. Pick: Tyngsborough

Division 3 Central
Sutton (19-4) vs. Hopedale (18-4)
Another matchup that is even on paper. But when you knock off Quaboag, that's big points in my book. Pick: Sutton

Division 1 West
Holyoke (20-2) vs. Longmeadow (15-7)
5-foot-2 point guard Monique Heard is the most exciting player nobody in Eastern Mass. is talking about, and a potential Super Team candidate for Holyoke. I like a good story as much as the next scribe. Let's keep this one rolling. Pick: Holyoke

Division 2 West
Mahar (21-1) vs. Palmer (18-4)
Another matchup pitting the bracket's top two seeds against one another. Mahar has survived some gutsy close calls to get here, but beware of Palmer's stingy defense, which is allowing 32 points per game. Pick: Mahar

Division 3 West
Lenox (18-4) vs. Sabis (19-5)
Sabis no doubt has revenge on its mind -- and some unfinished business -- after coming up short in this bracket last year following a dominant regular season. But any time you knock off Lee -- the region's top seed, and the golden standard for Western Mass. small-school basketball since the 1980's -- that's big points in my book. Pick: Lenox

North and South girls' lax tourney brackets

May, 26, 2011
5/26/11
11:34
PM ET
The MIAA published brackets for the North and South Division 1 and Division 2 touraments on their website today. The brackets can be found here.

Andover (D1N), Ipswich (D2N), Westwood (D1S) and Medfield (D2S) earned No. 1 rankings in their respective tournaments.

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