Boston High School: Quabbin

D4 Central: Doherty 54, Quabbin 27

November, 2, 2013
11/02/13
12:42
AM ET


WORCESTER, Mass. -- A game that had the makings of a shootout quickly turned into a route for host Doherty, as Highlander quarterback Luke Brennan threw five touchdowns in a 54-27 win over Quabbin in the first round of the MIAA Division 4 Central playoffs.

While the final score wasn't indicative of a competitive game, the visiting Panthers and senior quarterback Dylan Kierman made the home crowd nervous early. Kierman, the Central Mass. leader for passing yards and touchdowns, opened the game by leading Quabbin on a 7 play, 84-yard drive that ended when he found classmate Nick Thyden for a 16-yard score.

"They were playing zero coverage (No high safeties), and we knew they were going to play zero coverage," Kierman said. “We also knew we would get a quick touchdown against them, because that’s what we do to zero coverage. But after that they started mixing things up, rotating and jamming, and really starting messing with my reads... They’re a great team, and I take my hat off to them.”

"(That first drive) they got to us," Doherty senior receiver and defensive back Alfred Adarkwah said. “We just had to come back and tighten up the coverage. We got a few coverage sacks and were able to force him out of the pocket. We started to just play as one, because on defense, it’s 11 hats to the ball.”

Adarkwah would also have a hand in Doherty's great offensive day. The 6-foot-4 receiver has been unstoppable in the red zone, and on Doherty's first drive, he hauled in a 12-yard fade route for a touchdown from Brennan. On Quabbin's next drive, Doherty senior Tyler Kmon came on the blitz and sacked Kierman for an 11-yard loss.

After the Panther punt, junior running back Jahkari Carpenter quickly ripped off a 38-yard run, before Kmon punched it in from 14 yards out.

Kierman would again drive the Panthers deep into Doherty territory, but four straight incompletions ended their next drive. Two plays later, Brennan found Adarkwah deep down the left side for a 74-yard touchdown to put the Highlanders up 21-7.

But Quabbin wouldn't fade away quite yet. Facing fourth and 15, Kierman found classmate Justin Coppolino for 24 yards, then hit Thyden for a 19 yard score. But just before the half, the Highlanders would begin a run that would put the game away.

Two minutes before intermission, star receiver Isaac Yiadom lined up in the Wildcat and took it himself for a 20-yard rushing touchdown to give Doherty a 28-14 halftime lead. Only five plays into the second half, Brennan found Adarkwah for the third time, this one an 11-yard score on a hard out route.

A sack from Doherty senior Peter Franco led to a Quabbin four-and-out, and Brennan struck again moments later, this time to junior Javon Watkins from 18 yards out. Finally, Brennan's day ended after the next Doherty drive, when he evaded the rush, sprinted right, then fired a 49-yard bomb downfield to senior Mitch Celaj for his fifth touchdown of the game.

"I’m a big believer in giving respect where respect is due," Kierman said of Brennan. “He definitely deserves all the respect he’s going to get after a game like tonight. I’ve always thought he was a really great quarterback, one of the best in Central Mass.”

Next up for Doherty is a match up with undefeated Hudson, a team that will present many different challenges than Quabbin. While the Panthers' spread passing game is difficult to prepare for, Doherty's team speed on defense made it well equipped to handle Quabbin's style. The Hawks, meanwhile, are a power running, ball control type of offense.

It will be yet another challenge in Division 4 Central for the Highlanders, but they're not going to complicate things.

"We’re good, but to get to the Super Bowl, we have to be great," Adarkwah said. “We just have to work as a unit in practice... We have to just keep the media (And outside expectations) out of our heads, because if we don’t play well, the media won’t be here.”

ESPN Boston 1st-round playoff picks

October, 31, 2013
10/31/13
6:08
PM ET
Division 1 North: No. 5 LOWELL (5-2) at No. 4 ST. JOHN’S PREP (4-3)

Scott Barboza: The Red Raiders seize the opportunity against an undermanned Eagles squad on their path to the section title. Lowell, 20-14.

Brendan Hall: Two weeks ago, I’d have told you St. John’s Prep would emerge victorious here. But that was before they lost a number of key starters on the offensive line. Feels weird predicting the preseason No. 1 in the land to go down in the first round of playoffs, but they are walking wounded headed into this matchup with one of the North’s most athletic defensive fronts. Lowell, 21-10.

Division 2 South: No. 6 KING PHILIP (5-2) at No. 3 NATICK (7-0)

Barboza: Talking with the Redhawks coaching staff earlier this week, there’s a healthy amount of respect going in for the KP defense, in particular linebacker Brett McEvoy, but something tells me the Warriors haven’t seen an offense such as this. Natick, 20-14.

Hall: Somehow, some way, even against one of the state’s top defenses, we know Troy Flutie will find a way to break them for some points. Never underestimate a Flutie with their back against the wall. The question is whether KP’s offense, stagnant in most weeks, can light up the scoreboard itself. Natick, 31-30.

Division 2 South: No. 8 WELLESLEY (4-3) at No. 1 MANSFIELD (7-0)

Barboza: John Fadule can almost single-handedly keep the Raiders in the game, but the onus is on the Raiders defense to step up to perhaps their greatest challenge yet. Mansfield, 31-27.

Hall: Sneaky good battle. Wellesley runs a wide-open spread offense that likes to turn games into track meets, a matchup that tends to favor Mansfield, which has won a few of those types of games this year. Mansfield, 28-24.

Division 2 South: No. 5 DUXBURY (5-1) at No. 4 NEEDHAM (6-1)

Barboza: This might be the most difficult game of the weekend to forecast — just going on gut instinct here. Duxbury, 10-7.

Hall: Every year we always talk about Duxbury as the prototype for athletic teams with lacrosse backgrounds. But the best lacrosse-bred star this year is in Needham, where Mike Panepinto figures to have a ball this postseason after leading the state in rushing. Needham, 30-23.

Division 1 South: No. 5 WEYMOUTH (4-3) at No. 4 BC HIGH (4-3)

Barboza: The Wildcats have to win the turnover battle if they want to hang in this one. Maybe Matt Long can pull out another one from behind his back. BC High, 17-16.

Hall: This one will be sloppy, but in the end I don’t see the Eagles defense surrendering anything more than a touchdown here. BC High, 20-7.

Division 2 Central: No. 5 SHREWSBURY (4-3) at No. 4 NASHOBA (4-3)

Barboza: For a team that had a state-best winning streak rolling earlier this season, after three-straight losses, perception has really changed for this one. Shrewsbury, 21-14.

Hall: The two teams have gone in opposite directions since Nashoba won the first matchup in Week 3, with the Chieftains losing three of their last four while Shrewsbury has won three of its last four. Shrewsbury, 17-3.

Division 4 Central: No. 6 QUABBIN (5-2) at No. 3 DOHERTY (6-1)

Barboza: With both teams able to put ‘em on the board in bunches, I like Doherty’s outside targets just a little bit more. Doherty, 34-30.

Hall: Just a hunch, lots of points will be scored in this one. The biggest enemy for either team might be the sideline markers. Anybody want to take a wager on how many “six” routes are called in this one? Doherty, 40-38.

Division 2 North: No. 7 CAMBRIDGE (3-4) at No. 2 READING (5-1)

Barboza: After the Arlington upset, the Rockets have righted ship some and still have enough horses in the stable with Liam Kenneally. Reading, 14-13.

Hall: My upset special of the week. Reading struggled against spread offenses out of the gate, and the Falcons provide a unique blend of athleticism in the spread that they aren’t accustomed to seeing. I predict a big night for Shaq Anderson. Cambridge, 28-27.

Division 2 North: No. 8 LYNN ENGLISH (2-4) at No. 1 HAVERHILL (5-2)

Barboza: There are some serious backstories to be had, but ultimately, on the field, the Hillies roll. Haverhill, 28-20.

Hall: In Jordan Javier’s return to his former school, I like the Hillies getting one up on Lynn English. There are athletic, Division 1-caliber playmakers on both sides of the ball for both squads, but Haverhill’s runs more fluid. Haverhill, 35-31.

No. 3 SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (6-1) at No. 13 WESTFIELD (7-0)

Barboza: The Bombers are wont to play ball control, but the Golden Eagles come flying out of the cage. Central, 34-27.

Hall: This will be Central’s biggest test since the Week 1 loss to Everett. As always, they’ll be ready. Central, 28-20.

Last Week’s Picks:
Barboza: 8-2 (65-28 overall)
Hall: 7-3 (66-27 overall)

Roundtable: Predicting MIAA Football District Champs

October, 31, 2013
10/31/13
4:21
PM ET
EDITOR'S NOTE: Picks for Western Mass. are omitted, as the district concludes its final week of regular season this weekend)

Brendan Hall
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor


Division 1 North: Everett
Plain and simple, I just don’t see John DiBiaso getting outcoached in this field.

Division 1 South: Attleboro
One of several surprise picks I’m going to lay down here. The Blue Bombardiers’ program has long been a sleeping giant, and they’ve finally awoken this fall with a slew of skilled athletes, including quarterback Tim Walsh, tight end Luke Morrison, receiver Brenden Massey and promising young two-way lineman Kyle Murphy. The key may be junior Damon Belin, a speedy pass-catching running back who is elusive in space.

Division 2 North: Haverhill
Hard to think just two years after an 0-11 campaign, the Hillies are the No. 1 seed in a playoff tournament. Sophomore running back Ian Kessel, one of the area’s leaders in yards from scrimmage, has been at the forefront of the renaissance, and I expect him to have a breakout campaign this next month.

Division 2 South: Natick
If there is one player capable of carrying his team on his back, it is quarterback Troy Flutie, who has put up video game numbers yet again (2,500-plus yards, 35 TD) with an assortment of supporting cast members.

Division 2 Central: Leominster
This is the most talented team of Dave Palazzi’s tenure, and it may be his best coaching job yet. They are not the most physically intimidating team, but they are one of the most disciplined, and they squeeze every inch out of their talents, led by dual threat QB Neil O’Connor. The Blue Devils brought the biggest crowd ever to Gillette Stadium two years ago. I can only imagine what kind of caravan from this football-mad city would show up this year.

Division 3 Northeast: Tewksbury
There may be some bumps in the road in this field, but at the end of the day there isn’t a team as deep as the Redmen in this field. They were the most dominant team in the MVC this season, and with a stable of running backs led by James Sullivan and Eddie Matovu, along with a scheme that draws formations from seemingly every family of offense throughout history, I just don’t see how anyone knocks these guys off.

Division 3 Northwest: Arlington
Two Dubzinskis are better than one, and the father-son duo of head coach John Jr. and his father John Sr. as defensive coordinator has taken the Middlesex by storm this fall after showing promise a year ago. I don’t know what direction this bracket is headed in, but the Spy Ponders are a safe pick.

Division 3 Southeast: Plymouth South
As long as Dylan Oxsen is carrying the rock, I don’t see anyone but the Panthers taking this bracket. It’s a different story after that, though.

Division 3 Southwest: Walpole
The Rebels’ ground game has come along well, after hitting a few bumps. As long as the defense can hold up, their multi-dimensional stable of backs can do the rest.

Division 4 North: Bedford
Another field that can go in an assortment of directions, the ground game dictated by Olan Abner could be the difference.

Division 4 South: Dennis-Yarmouth
The Dolphins typically hit their stride in the second half of the season, and the way this offense is clicking, it’s going to take a flawless defensive performance to shut down Spencer Tyler, Michael Dunn and company.

Division 4 Central: Doherty
Twitter follower and familiar 98.5 The Sports Hub caller “Aidan From Worcester” guarantees Shepherd Hill beats Doherty in this bracket. The Rams are a dangerous bunch, but the Highlanders have arguably the best grouping of pure athletes statewide across Division 4, so I'm sticking to my gut.

Division 5 North: Bishop Fenwick
Rufus Rushins gets much of the glory in this dominant run for the Crusaders, and deservedly so, but quarterback Nick Bona is the catalyst of this offense, and will be the difference in a close game somewhere down the line.

Division 5 South: Abington
The Green Wave lost some key bodies to start the year, but have been rolling ever since, capped with a convincing 36-7 rout of East Bridgewater. The versatile backfield of Al Freeman, Jason Halpin, quarterback Bryan Dwyer and promising sophomore Shawn Donovan will wear front sevens down.

Division 5 Central: Leicester
Tom Rodrick has been the driving force on both sides of the ball, but quarterback Drew Mazzeo puts the Wolverines over the top.

Division 6 North: Latin Academy
There are trendier picks in this field, such as Boston Cathedral, but the Dragons have one of the better overall athletes in this field in quarterback/safety Kyle Dance. He will be the difference.

Division 6 South: Upper Cape
Mike Hernon has done a fantastic job with this program, and while the Rams are a low seed headed into this wide-open field, Jon Dumont is a dangerous asset to this triple-option scheme who can take them deep.

Division 6 Central: Blackstone Valley Tech
Nic Wojnar is as elusive with his feet as he is throwing the ball in the Beavers’ read option scheme. Expect big numbers from the senior this postseason.

***

Scott Barboza
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor


DIVISION 1 NORTH: Lowell
I’ve gone on record since the summertime months saying the Red Raiders are making an appearance at Gillette Stadium this year. Lowell has a tough road there, staring with a first-round road game at St. John’s Prep in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 swing matchup, but I’ve like the strides this defense has made behind Alex Quintero and Shyheim Cullen.

DIVISION 2 NORTH: Haverhill
One of the tougher races to project in Eastern Mass., the Hillies enter as the No. 1 seed. Preseason favorite Reading, a buzz worthy Waltham team and old stalwarts Lincoln-Sudbury could all claim the prize, but I’m going with the upstart Hillies, vindication for the terrific job Tim O’Connor has done since taking over the program.

DIVISION 3 NORTHEAST: Tewksbury
Marblehead might have the best athlete in the field with two-sport standout Brooks Tyrrell, but Tewksbury proves too much to handle, with a three-headed rushing attack and a stout defense.

DIVISION 3 NORTHWEST: Melrose
The Red Raiders lone loss of the regular season came against Middlesex Freedom division rival Wakefield, coming on a late field goal, but I like Melrose the second time around. The teams couldn’t meet until the sectional final and who wouldn’t love ensuring a third meeting of the season by Thanksgiving rivals.

DIVISION 4 NORTH: Watertown
Perhaps a surprise pick coming out of the division, the Red Raiders have some athletes on the boundaries with T.J. Hairston. I think Bedford might be the team to watch here, but just playing a hunch.

DIVISION 5 NORTH: Bishop Fenwick
Pick the Crusaders to go all the way, on a tear through Gillette. They haven’t just beaten teams, they’ve annihilated the CCL’s best, including St. Mary’s (first-round opponent) and Austin Prep, which they both will/can see down the road.

DIVISION 6 NORTH: Cathedral
Another North-based team I have running the field. As I mentioned earlier in the state championship Roundtable, I think the Panthers are just hitting their stride now. This could be the second championship of more to come.

DIVISION 1 SOUTH: Xaverian
Almost wanted to pull the trigger and go with Bridgewater-Raynham here, but I think the Hawks’ defense, which has carried them through the regular season, continues to be the story in the postseason, leading them to Gillette.

DIVISION 2 SOUTH: Mansfield
If this were the World Cup, this would be referred to as the “Group of Death.” Seriously, whichever team survives this gauntlet will be battle-tested. Ever since Week 1, it seems as though Mansfield’s been a team of destiny; they follow through.

DIVISION 3 SOUTHEAST: Plymouth South
An intriguing bracket, littered with some of the Atlantic Coast League’s finest, so look no further than the Panthers, the league’s playoff representative from last season. Nauset and Plymouth North are lurking, but also don’t look past an underrated rivalry game between Somerset-Berkley and Dighton-Rehoboth as a first-round appetizer.

DIVISION 3 SOUTHWEST: Oliver Ames
Another division strongly influenced by the presence of one particular league, in this case the Hockomock. OA and Stoughton drew the top two seeds, but let’s not sleep on No. 4 seed North Attleborough, which plays up in the Kelley-Rex division. Whichever team emerges from the Red Rocketeers’ first-round duel with Walpole could be a dark horse for the sectional title.

DIVISION 4 SOUTH: Westwood
Tons of Tri-Valley League talent to go around here, but I’m sticking with the regular-season champion. It wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if Dennis-Yarmouth wears the sectional crown, but the Wolverines are a team that simply seems to get it done when the chips are on the table, led by dynamic senior quarterback Bo Berluti.

DIVISION 5 SOUTH: Cardinal Spellman
Old Rochester Regional enters the tournament with the No. 1 seeding, having posted some gaudy offensive numbers throughout the year behind running back Richie Phillips. I picked the Cardinals to win the state title from the start of the season, and while I like Fenwick a little more in terms of the state championship, I still envision Spellman returning to Gillette.

DIVISION 6 SOUTH: Millis/Hopedale
Perhaps no injury will have a greater impact on the outlook of the division than that of the Mohawks and lineman Jon Baker. Granted, I still like M/H’s chances emerging from a wide-open field, thanks to running back Chris Ahl. That being said, the Mohawks’ first-round date with Mashpee could determine the sectional champion.

DIVISION 2 CENTRAL: Leominster
I like the Blue Devils to advance to Gillette, but the sectional field is fraught with peril, too. Marlborough and St. John’s (Shrewsbury) can score with the best of them, but I don’t think anything short of an act of god slows down the Leominster caravan.

DIVISION 4 CENTRAL: Doherty
From season’s start, I’ve tabbed the Highlanders as my statewide Division 4 championship favorite. However, the toughest matchup in the path might very well in their first-round test against No. 6 seed Quabbin.

DIVISION 5 CENTRAL: Leicester
Coming into the season, it would have been easy to project Auburn running away with another championship of sorts, but I’m going with the No. 1-seeded Wolverines, led by linebacker Tom Rodrick – a strong Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

DIVISION 6 CENTRAL: West Boylston
This is a case of what have you done for me lately? While No. 1 seed Littleton rolled through its Mid-Wach schedule undefeated, scoring at a clip of nearly 43 points per game, West Boylston notched a thorough win over previously mentioned Leicester two weeks ago. Granted, the Lions’ lone loss of the season came at the hands of Littleton, but after a one-possession loss in Week 1, I’m banking on the second meeting having a different outcome.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 7

October, 23, 2013
10/23/13
12:58
AM ET
Here is our latest "Mr. Football Watch" following Week 7 of the 2013 season. Statistics can be sent to editors Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com) and/or Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com)



THE CONTENDERS*

Troy Flutie, Sr. QB, Natick
Completed 13 of 25 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns, in a 42-19 win over Milton.

Brandon Gallagher, Jr. RB, Bridgewater-Raynham
Carried 24 times for 100 yards and a touchdown, in the Trojans' 20-14 loss to Barnstable.

Hayden Murphy, Sr. RB/WR, Barnstable
In the Red Raiders' thrilling win over Bridgewater-Raynham, carried 14 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 43-yard TD run with less than a minute to go.

Neil O’Connor, Sr. QB, Leominster
In the Blue Devils' 40-15 rout of Nashoba, completed 11 of 19 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns, and also had 50 yards rushing with a fourth score.

Mike Panepinto, Sr. RB, Needham
Ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the Rockets' 33-6 win over Brookline.

Rufus Rushins, Jr. RB, Bishop Fenwick
Carried 19 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the Crusaders' 34-6 rout of St. Mary's of Lynn.

Andrew Smiley, Sr. RB, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Completed 6 of 6 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, and added 91 rushing yards with two more scores, in the Pioneers' 34-9 win over Wachusett.

Cody Williams, Sr. QB, Springfield Central
Was 5 of 11 passing for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and added a rushing touchdown, in the Golden Eagles' 34-6 win over Putnam.

Kyle Wisnieski, Sr. QB, Mansfield
Completed 12 of 27 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in the Hornets' 20-7 win over King Philip.

Isaac Yiadom, Sr. WR/DB, Doherty
Boston College commit caught a touchdown pass and threw for another, in the Highlanders' 28-0 shutout of Worcester North.



FIVE ON THE RISE

Emmanuel Almonte, Jr. QB/DB, Boston English
Totaled 254 yards of offense (190 rushing, 64 passing) and three touchdowns in the Blue & Blue's 24-6 win over West Roxbury. Through six games he is one of the state's leading rushers (1,025 yards, 8 TD, 9.5 yards per carry), in directing a read-option attack; he's also the team's leader in tackles (43).

Shaquille Anderson, Sr. RB, Cambridge
Led the way for the Falcons with 219 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries in their 34-20 win over Medford.

Dan Henrickson, Sr. WR, St. Peter-Marian
Totaled 123 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Guardians' 14-13 loss to Shepherd Hill.

Chris Lindstrom, Jr. OL/DL, Shepherd Hill
Leading a double-wing rushing attack that has accounted for 1,661 yards, 21 touchdowns and 7.2 yards per carry through six games, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound interior guard has been a road grader so far for the Rams.

Jack Sylvester, Sr. RB, Andover
Carried 14 times for 198 yards and two touchdowns, and also hauled in a 15-yard TD catch, in the Golden Warriors' 49-32 win over Rhode Island power La Salle Academy. In the last weeks, he's gained 402 yards with five touchdowns; on the season, he's averaging 8.3 yards per carry.



TOP STATISTICAL LEADERS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Rushing
Chris Ahl, Sr., Millis/Hopedale – 1,098 yards, 14 TD
Mark Wright, Sr., Auburn – 1,084 yards, 12 TD
Emmanuel Almonte, Jr., Boston English – 1,025 yards, 8 TD
Zered McCoy, Sr., Ware – 963 yards, 7 TD
Rufus Rushins, Jr., Bishop Fenwick – 957 yards, 15 TD

Receiving
Zach Elkinson, Jr., Holliston – 662 yards, 10 TD
Nick Thyden, Sr., Quabbin – 643 yards, 9 TD
Jake Bradway, Sr., Belchertown – 638 yards, 7 TD
Dan Henrickson, Sr., St. Peter-Marian – 559 yards, 7 TD
Isaac Yiadom, Sr., Doherty – 534 yards, 3 TD

Passing
Dylan Kierman, Sr., Quabbin – 2,070 yards, 21 TD
Troy Flutie, Sr., Natick – 1,617 yards, 26 TD
Matthew Jeye, Sr., Holliston – 1,543 yards, 18 TD
John Rumney, Sr., Marlborough – 1,499 yards, 19 TD
Andrew Smiley, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – 1,320 yards, 15 TD



*Does not include players who had a bye week


Player of the Week: Mashpee's Robert Andrade

October, 22, 2013
10/22/13
12:38
AM ET
MASHPEE, Mass. -- Simply stated, Mashpee's Robert Andrade had the game of a lifetime.

The Falcons junior running back and jack of all trades, set a program record with seven total touchdowns in a wild 56-38 win over Cape rival Monomoy. He racked up 491 all-purpose yards and his touchdowns came via four methods -- rushing, receiving, passing and kickoff return.

For that, Andrade is our ESPN Boston Player of the Week for Week 7.

Editor Brendan Hall caught up with Andrade for this interview before Monday's workout:



In addition to Andrade's record-setting night, here are our Top 5 performers for Week 7:
  • Robert Andrade, Jr. RB/KR Mashpee - 17 carries, 146 yards, 2 TD; 1 reception, 29 yards, TD; 1-for-1 passing, 79 yards, TD; 4 kickoff returns, 229 yards, 3 TD; 7 tackles, 1 INT vs. Monomoy.
  • Dan Bailey, Jr. LB, North Shore - Made 27 tackles, including one for a loss vs. Minuteman.
  • Frank Roche, Jr. QB, Arlington - Taking over for injured starter Seth Coiley midgame, Roache did everything for the Spy Ponders, scoring 4 total TD, including a 94-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, while running for 172 yards vs. Woburn.
  • Nick Thyden, Sr. WR, Quabbin - 10 catches 250 yds 3 TD in 62-47 loss to St. Bernard's.
  • Chip Wood, Jr. RB, Somerset-Berkley - Ran for 268 yards and scored four total TD, including an 80-yard score on the opening kick vs. Martha's Vineyard.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 6

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
10:54
PM ET
Here is our latest "Mr. Football Watch" following Week 6 of the 2013 season. Statistics can be sent to editors Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com) and/or Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com)

THE CONTENDERS

Troy Flutie, Sr. QB, Natick
Completed 15 of 22 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns, with no interceptions, in the Redhawks’ 42-10 win over Dedham.

Brandon Gallagher, Jr. RB, Bridgewater-Raynham
Ran for 232 yards and a score, and added a 70-yard touchdown reception, in a 27-7 win over Dartmouth.

Hayden Murphy, Sr. RB/WR, Barnstable
In the Red Raiders' 29-20 comeback win over Marshfield, carried 12 times for 116 yards and a touchdown, and caught two passes for 74 yards and another score.

Neil O’Connor, Sr. QB, Leominster
Accounted for a season-high 359 yards of offense (287 passing, 72 rushing) and two scores in the Blue Devils' 47-26 win over Doherty.

Dylan Oxsen, Sr. RB, Plymouth South
In the Panthers' 27-7 win over Nauset, carried a personal record 37 times for 243 yards and four touchdowns.

Mike Panepinto, Sr. RB, Needham
Carried 18 times for 132 yards and a score in the Rockets' 21-0 shutout of Braintree.

Rufus Rushins, Jr. RB, Bishop Fenwick
Ran for 80 yards and a score in the Crusaders' 48-18 rout of Austin Prep.

Andrew Smiley, Sr. RB, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Completed 19 of 33 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the Pioneers' upset loss to cross-town rival Shrewsbury.

Cody Williams, Sr. QB, Springfield Central
Completed 12 of 17 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns in the Golden Eagles’ 40-12 rout of Minnechaug.

Ju’an Williams, Sr. WR, Springfield Central
Caught five passes for 69 yards in the Eagles’ win over Minnechaug.

Kyle Wisnieski, Sr. QB, Mansfield
Completed 13 of 15 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns in the Hornets’ 47-8 rout of Taunton.

FIVE ON THE RISE

Matt Banchs, Sr. FB/LB, Leominster
In the Blue Devils' win over Doherty, recorded 22 tackles and two sacks, and also added 40 yards rushing with a score on offense. Banchs is slowly rising as one of the top defensive players in Central Mass.

Christian Carr, Jr. RB, Plymouth North
In the Eagles' 33-6 win over Falmouth, carried 35 times for 254 yards and four touchdowns, giving him over 700 yards rushing on the season.

Mike Maggipinto, Soph. RB, East Longmeadow
Carried 20 times for 259 yards and five touchdowns in the Spartans’ 40-34 win over Springfield Putnam. He currently leads all Western Mass. running backs in rushing touchdowns (13).

James Sullivan, Jr. RB/DB, Tewksbury
Collected three of the Redmen’s four interceptions, while adding 75 yards on nine carries with a touchdown on offense vs. Methuen.

Miguel Villar-Perez, Jr. RB, Mansfield
Caught three passes for 95 yards and a touchdown in the Hornets’ 47-8 win over Taunton. Through five games he has 575 yards of offense as a pass-catching running back, with eight touchdowns.

TOP STATISTICAL LEADERS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Rushing
Mark Wright, Sr., Auburn – 950 yards, 11 TD
Brooks Tyrrell, Jr., Marblehead – 931 yards, 9 total TD
Chris Ahl, Sr., Millis/Hopedale – 895 yards, 11 TD
Dylan Oxsen, Sr., Plymouth South – 852 yards, 14 total TD
Zered McCoy, Sr., Ware – 843 yards, 5 TD

Passing
Dylan Kierman, Sr., Quabbin – 1,680 yards, 17 TD
John Rumney, Sr., Marlborough – 1,372 yards, 17 TD
Troy Flutie, Sr., Natick – 1,360 yards, 22 TD
Matthew Jeye, Sr., Holliston – 1,298 yards, 13 TD
Ryan Barabe, Jr., Pope John Paul II – 1,255 yards, 14 TD

Receiving
Zach Elkinson, Jr., Holliston – 513 yards, 14 total TD
Jake Bradway, Jr., Belchertown – 489 yards, 7 TD
Brian Daly, Jr., Marblehead – 487 yards, 10 TD
T.J. Hairston, Jr., Watertown – 472 yards, 5 TD
Jack Galvin, Sr., Lowell – 438 yards, 8 TD

Mr. Football Watch: Week 5

October, 8, 2013
10/08/13
5:45
PM ET
Here is our latest "Mr. Football Watch" following Week 5 of the 2013 season. Statistics can be sent to editors Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com) and/or Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com)

THE CONTENDERS*

Troy Flutie, Sr. QB, Natick
Boston College commit completed 14 of 27 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns, and added 47 yards on the ground, in a 28-0 shutout of Norwood.

Brendan Hill, Jr. TE, Mansfield
Caught four passes for 76 yards and a score in the Hornets’ 49-42 win over Attleboro.

Hayden Murphy, Sr. ATH, Barnstable
Ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns in the Red Raiders’ 35-14 win over New Bedford.

Neil O’Connor, Sr. QB/S, Leominster
In just one half of football in the Blue Devils’ 34-0 shutout of Wachusett, accounted for 201 yards of offense and capped things off with a nifty 90-yard interception return to the house.

Mike Panepinto, Sr. RB, Needham
Ran for 135 yards and three touchdowns in the Rockets’ 34-12 win over Framingham.

Rufus Rushins, Jr. RB, Bishop Fenwick
Carried 24 times for 233 yards and four touchdowns in the Crusaders’ commanding 42-20 rout of Cardinal Spellman.

Andrew Smiley, Sr. QB, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
In the Pioneers’ 49-21 win over Nashoba, completed 23 of 29 passes for 335 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, and added 67 rushing yards.

Cody Williams, Sr., Springfield Central
Monmouth commit completed 13 of 18 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns, and added 118 yards and a third score on the ground, in the Golden Eagles’ 19-7 win over Longmeadow.

Ju’an Williams, Sr., Springfield Central
Caught five passes for 96 yards and a touchdown in the Golden Eagles’ 19-7 win over Longmeadow

Kyle Wisnieski, Sr. QB, Mansfield
Completed 19 of 28 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns in the Hornets’ 49-42 thriller over Attleboro.

Isaac Yiadom, Sr. WR/DB, Doherty
Recorded a touchdown catch, his second of the year, in the Highlanders’ 40-12 rout of Worcester South. Through four games he is averaging 30.9 yards per catch, and has recorded 37 tackles on defense.


FIVE ON THE RISE

Bo Berluti, Sr. QB, Westwood
Accounted for 255 yards of offense and three total touchdowns in the Wolverines’ 43-41 double-overtime epic over archrival Holliston. But it will be his gutsy 25-yard, fourth and goal TD pass in the second overtime that will go down in folklore.

Derrell Fernandez, Sr. RB, Weymouth
Carried 225 times for 264 yards and five touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 42-18 win over Brookline.

Mike McGillicuddy, Sr. WR, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
The elusive slot receiver caught nine passes for 113 yards in the Pioneers’ 49-21 win over Nashoba.

Tom Rodrick, Sr. LB, Leicester
The UConn commit recorded 12 tackles, a sack, and blocked field goal in the Wolverines’ 15-6 win over Auburn.

Alex Valles, Sr. RB, Danvers
Carried 24 times for 211 yards and three scores in the Falcons’ 20-12 win over Revere.


TOP STATISTICAL LEADERS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Rushing
Brooks Tyrrell, Jr., Marblehead – 889 yards, 9 total TD
Johnathan Thomas, Sr., St. John’s Prep – 748 yards, 8 total TD
Mark Wright, Sr., Auburn – 760 yards, 8 TD
Olan Abner, Sr., Bedford – 733 yards, 7 TD
Christian Perez, Sr., Northeast – 725 yards, 8 total TD

Passing
Dylan Kierman, Sr., Quabbin – 1,230 yards, 19 TD
John Rumney, Sr., Marlborough – 1,086 yards, 14 TD
Matthew Jeye, Sr., Holliston – 1,072 yards, 11 TD
Troy Flutie, Sr., Natick – 1,035 yards, 17 TD
Andrew Smiley, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – 955 yards, 11 TD

Receiving
Zach Elkinson, Jr., Holliston – 405 yards, 7 TD
Brian Daly, Sr., Marblehead – 395 yards, 8 TD
Dan Henrickson, Sr., St. Peter-Marian – 380 yards, 5 TD
Isaac Yiadom, Sr., Doherty – 371 yards, 2 TD
Mike Bombard, Sr., Chicopee Comp – 369 yards, 3 TD

Dual Threat
Dylan Kierman, Sr., Quabbin – 1,230 passing yards, 284 rushing yards, 21 total TD
Troy Flutie, Sr., Natick – 1,035 passing yards, 316 rushing yards, 18 total TD
Matthew Jeye, Sr., Holliston – 1,072 passing yards, 167 rushing yards, 14 total TD
Andrew Smiley, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 955 passing yards, 169 rushing yards, 16 total TD
Cody Williams, Sr., Springfield Central – 851 passing yards, 254 rushing yards, 13 total TD



*Not including teams who were idle last weekend.

Player of the Week: Dexter's Luke Cuneo

October, 8, 2013
10/08/13
1:14
AM ET
BROOKLINE, Mass. -- In a matchup of Evergreen Conference unbeatens Saturday, Dexter School continued its prodigious offensive pace, scoring a 46-21 win over Holderness.

Dexter again enjoyed a big day from senior quarterback Luke Cuneo.

Cuneo had a career day, throwing for six touchdowns and rushing for another, upping his season-long total to 14 touchdowns through just three games.

On Monday, ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan Hall caught up with Cuneo, our Player of the Week for Week 5:



Along with Cuneo, here are our Top 5 performers for Week 5:

Luke Cuneo, Sr. QB, Dexter - Had 393 passing yards and six touchdowns to go along with 67 yards and a rushing touchdown against Holderness.

Dylan Kierman, Sr. QB, Quabbin - Set the Central Mass single-game passing record in 40-34 overtime win over Oakmont, completing 31 of 44 passes for 456 yards and five touchdowns.

Derrell Fernandez, Sr. RB, Weymouth - In the Wildcats’ 42-18 win over Brookline, carried 25 times for 264 yards and five touchdowns.

Rufus Rushins, Jr. RB, Bishop Fenwick - Carried 24 times for 233 yards and four touchdowns in the Crusaders’ 42-20 win over Cardinal Spellman.

John Rumney, Sr. QB, Marlborough - Completed 15 of 23 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns in the Panthers’ 34-24 win over Westborough.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 4

October, 1, 2013
10/01/13
5:03
PM ET
Here is our latest "Mr. Football Watch" following Week 4 of the 2013 season. Statistics can be sent to editors Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com) and/or Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com)

THE CONTENDERS*

Troy Flutie, Sr. QB, Natick
Did it all in the Redhawks’ 35-14 win over Wellesley, completing 20 of 30 passes for 236 yards and five touchdowns, and adding 170 rushing yards.

Brandon Gallagher, Jr. RB, Bridgewater-Raynham
Carried 20 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns in the Trojans’ 32-0 shutout of New Bedford.

Jack Galvin, Sr. WR, Lowell
Caught four passes for 39 yards and a score in the Red Raiders’ 32-6 win over Billerica.

Brendan Hill, Jr. TE/DE, Mansfield
Caught four passes for 31 yards in the Hornets’ 35-14 win over North Attleborough, but where he did most of his damage was on the defensive side, setting the edge and containing.

Neil O’Connor, Sr. QB, Leominster
Threw for 188 yards and three touchdowns, and added 40 rushing yards, in the Blue Devils’ 41-14 win over Shepherd Hill.

Dylan Oxsen, Sr. RB, Plymouth South
Ran for 191 yards and a touchdown, and added a 90-yard interception return – his second pick-six and three games – in the Panthers’ 21-14 win over cross-town rival Plymouth North.

Mike Panepinto, Sr. RB, Needham
Carried 12 times for 147 yards and two scores in the Rockets’ 41-12 rout of Newton North.

Andrew Smiley, Sr. QB, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Completed 12 of 21 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Pioneers’ wild 20-15 thriller over rival Fitchburg.

Johnathan Thomas, Sr. RB, St. John’s Prep
Carried 19 times for 96 yards in the Eagles’ loss to Everett. But even worse, he is reportedly undergoing season-ending knee surgery later this week after getting hurt in the second half of the game.

Cody Williams, Sr. QB, Springfield Central
In another easy rout, this one a 49-0 drubbing of Holyoke, Williams completed 9 of 12 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Ju’an Williams, Sr. WR, Springfield Central
Caught two passes for 42 yards and score in the Golden Eagles’ 49-0 blanking of Holyoke.

Kyle Wisnieski, Sr. QB, Mansfield
Completed 11 of 16 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the Hornets’ 35-14 win over North Attleborough.

FIVE ON THE RISE

Ryan Barabe, Jr. QB, Pope John Paul II
In the Lions’ 26-22 loss to Boston Cathedral, completed 18 of 25 passes for 279 yards and three scores and an interception. On the season, he is completing 68 percent of his passes for 776 yards and eight scores, which is among the state’s best.

Derek Estes, Sr. CB, Barnstable
Came up with two interceptions in the Red Raiders’ upset of then-No. 1 Xaverian last Friday, helping seal a 15-14 win at the end. He leads the Raiders with three interceptions through three games.

Ian Kessel, Soph. RB, Haverhill
Slowly establishing himself as one of the premier pass-catching tailbacks in Eastern Mass. Through four games he has 245 receiving yards and three touchdowns to go along with 331 rushing yards and five more scores.

Dylan Kierman, Sr. QB, Quabbin
Currently leads all passers in Central Mass. with 774 yards and nine touchdowns.

Brooks Tyrrell, Jr. RB, Marblehead
The Notre Dame lacrosse commit continues his torrid tear through the first half of the season, the latest a 27-carry, 181-yard, two-touchdown performance in a 35-7 win over rival Swampscott.

TOP STATISTICAL LEADERS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Rushing
Johnathan Thomas, Sr., St. John’s Prep – 748 yards, 8 total TD
Mark Wright, Sr., Auburn – 728 yards, 8 TD
Isaiah White, Sr., Beverly - 682 yards, 6 total TD
Brooks Tyrell, Jr., Marblehead – 634 yards, 7 total TD
Dylan Oxsen, Sr., Plymouth South – 609 yards, 10 total TD

Passing
Jordan Bolarinho, Sr., Billerica – 955 yards, 7 TD
Troy Flutie, Sr., Natick – 807 yards, 13 TD
Matthew Jeye, Sr., Holliston – 785 yards, 8 TD
Michael Whitsett, Jr., Chicopee Comp – 781 yards, 4 TD
Ryan Barabe, Jr., Pope John Paul II – 776 yards, 8 TD

Receiving
Cole Bernier, Jr., Old Colony – 339 yards, 3 TD
Mike Bombard, Sr., Chicopee Comp – 335 yards, 3 TD
Brian Daly, Sr., Marblehead – 328 yards, 7 TD
Jack Galvin, Sr., Lowell – 322 yards, 7 TD
Jeff Trainor, Soph., Billerica – 317 yards, 3 TD

Dual Threat**
Troy Flutie, Sr., Natick – 807 passing yards, 269 rushing yards, 14 total TD
Matthew Jeye, Sr., Holliston – 785 passing yards, 156 rushing yards, 10 total TD
Cody Williams, Sr., Springfield Central – 647 passing yards, 169 rushing yards, 10 total TD
Jermal Brevard Jackson, Jr., Boston Cathedral – 262 passing yards, 514 rushing yards, 6 total TD
Neil O’Connor, Sr., Leominster – 542 passing yards, 193 rushing yards, 12 total TD



*Not including teams who were idle last weekend.
**To qualify, quarterbacks must have rushing yards account for at least 15 percent of their total offensive production.


Recap: CMass wins Shrine Chowder Bowl

June, 22, 2012
6/22/12
10:52
PM ET
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- And the streak goes on.

In the 12th annual Shrine Chowder Bowl All-Star Classic, Central Massachusetts hung on to edge Western Mass., 14-6, making it nine straight victories for the visitors.

Central Mass. took that eight-point lead early in the second quarter and looked back only for a minute, ultimately withstanding one late final scoring chance for Western Mass.

“It feels great,” said Central Mass. Offensive MVP Luis Feliz of Clinton, who scored the go-ahead touchdown on an 11-yard run with 9:42 to go in the second quarter. “This will be a great memory.”

West seemed to have a shot at tying late in the fourth quarter. After forcing a turnover on downs, the hosts had a first down on their own 43-yard line. Two errant snaps later, though, they were forced to punt from their own end zone facing a 4th-and-45.

The ball bounced their way again, though, just one play later as Central fumbled on the very next play from scrimmage. Agawam safety Alex Efstratios picked it up and gave Western Mass. one more shot.

Minnechaug quarterback Greg Heineman and the Western squad moved the chains quickly thanks to completions to Tevin Jones and Melquawn Pinkney and hard-earned yards on the ground by T.J. Norris.

It would all be for naught, though, as Heineman, facing a 4th-and-15 on the Central Mass. 30-yard line, was sacked for a 14-yard loss.

On the first drive of the game, Central marched quickly after a 58-yard kickoff return by Leicester’s Tyler Goodney. Nashoba quarterback Trevor Wyand led an efficient six-play drive that resulted in a five-yard touchdown pass to Leominster’s Kevin O’Connor in the back of the end zone.

West answered back quickly, though on the ensuing drive. Heineman checked down to Pinkney, who caught a short pass and then took it 80 yards, weaving his way through many would-be tacklers for an impressive touchdown.

“It really meant a lot to put on a show for my city,” said Pinkney, a recent graduate from Springfield Putnam. “It felt really good to get out there.”

Reversing the curse? Entering Friday’s matchup, it had been eight straight victories for Central and nine wins in all 11 games played since the Chowder Bowl’s inception in 2001.

Despite the friendly nature of the charitable classic, the Western side was determined to turn the tides.

“We wanted to win pretty bad,” said Minnechaug head coach Steve Allosso, who served as the head coach of the Western squad. “I know recently, we’ve been beaten pretty bad. The kids were fired up. I was fired up. After meeting these kids, it was a blast.”

Contrast in styles: Different styles of offense were seen throughout the game and the contrast was seen early on.

Wyand, the quarterback from Nashoba, led a smart and efficient ground attack from the first play on. Quabbin’s Kenny Goodnow, the other Central Mass. signal caller, sprinkled in a few more passes, but for the most part, the visitors were ground oriented Friday.

On the other side of the field, Heineman threw the ball 20 times, connecting on nine passes for 98 yards. Dayvon Williams of Springfield Commerce also went to the air, narrowly missing teammate Tevin Jones on a home run ball in the first half.

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

MIAA Tournament: Boys hoop breakdown & picks

February, 26, 2012
2/26/12
7:10
PM ET
March Madness is finally here.

The MIAA boys and girls basketball tournaments start tomorrow night with a number of preliminary round and play-in games. Check back with us nightly through the state finals at Worcester's DCU Center for scores, updates and analysis on the day's happenings.

To whet your appetite, here is my breakdown and predictions on the 14 boys basketball brackets across the state:

NORTH

Division 1
Favorites: Central Catholic (20-1), Acton-Boxborough (19-1), Westford (17-4), Charlestown (16-4), East Boston (17-4), Lawrence (14-5)
Sleepers: Lowell (13-5), Boston Latin (17-5), St. John’s Prep (13-7), Andover (12-8), Lexington (13-7)
The lowdown: While Central Catholic is the overwhelming favorite here in my opinion, this is a bracket full of traps. Assuming the Raiders top the winner of tonight’s play-in between Medford and Peabody, they could face any of a number of troubling teams en route to the final –- Eastie, Charlestown, Andover and Lowell...Plenty of intriguing first-round matchups here, including Charlestown-Andover and Latin-Lexington, but the buzz kill has to be that St. John’s Prep faces Lawrence in a first-round matchup. Both teams were expected to be dangerous in this bracket...A-B should make a deep run with its three-headed monster of Kevin LaFrancis, Jake Pilecki and Joey Flannery, but watch out for Lexington in the bottom half. It’s tall lineup led by Chris Lee and Josh Sharma, and the Minutemen have surprised teams throughout the season (see: December’s win over Catholic Memorial).
Upset special: Lexington over Boston Latin
Hall’s pick: Central Catholic over East Boston, Acton-Boxborough over Westford in semifinals; Central over A-B in finals.

Division 2
Favorites: North Andover (19-1), Melrose (18-2), Brighton (16-3), New Mission (14-4)
Sleepers: Wakefield (14-6), Reading (14-6), Masconomet (14-6), Chelsea (14-6), Beverly (13-7), Salem (10-10)
The lowdown: Many experts feel like this is North Andover’s bracket to lose, and it’s a fair statement to make. With three legitimate –- and disciplined –- post players who are able to spread the floor, the Scarlet Knights excel at screens and are a tough matchup positions one through five. The return of Derek Collins should take some of the scoring load off Zach Karalis, who might be the best shooter in this field...Melrose is another prohibitive favorite, with super sophomore Jalen Adams leading the charges, but a potential quarterfinal matchup with Reading feels like quite the trap game...A potential quarterfinal between New Mission and Wakefield is also intriguing. Led by Keyon Armstong, Kendall Hamilton and freshman sensation Bruce Brown, Wakefield is among the most athletically gifted in the field.
Upset special: Beverly over Chelsea.
Hall’s pick: North Andover over New Mission, Melrose over Masconomet in semifinals; North Andover over Melrose in finals.

Division 3
Favorites: Danvers (16-4)
Sleepers: Whittier (18-1), Wayland (15-5), Arlington Catholic (14-6), Pentucket (13-7), Hamilton-Wenham (12-6)
The lowdown: Another bracket where the conception is it’s an overwhelming favorite’s to lose. Danvers comes into the tournament with four losses, but has played some of the most dominant stretches of games this season by any Division 3 team. It all starts with George Merry, who has better-than-advertised mobility and accompanying length to pose a nightly matchup problem underneath...Long-time Watertown coach Steve Harrington is cousins with Danvers head coach John Walsh, and might be the best coach in this bracket, if not the state. Playing against mostly Division 1 and Division 2 teams in its league slate, the defending D3 Eastern Mass champs are always battle-tested, and always save their best basketball for March.
Upset special: Watertown over Newburyport
Hall’s pick: Whittier over Watertown, Danvers over Wayland in semifinals; Danvers over Whittier in finals.

Division 4
Favorites: Manchester-Essex (18-2), Pope John XXIII (17-3), St. Mary’s (Lynn) (16-4), Winthrop (16-6)
Sleepers: Snowden (9-9)
The lowdown: St. Mary’s has been in the spotlight since coming within a shred of an overtime upset of St. John’s Prep in the first week of the season, and the Spartans have lived up to the building hype for the most part. But defending D4 state champ Winthrop hasn’t disappointed either. The Northeastern South champs are led once again by league MVP Quinton Dale at forward, who is a nightly double-double threat...We pinned Manchester-Essex as one of several D4 favorites last week, but the ultimate of ultimate trap games could be on tape in the quarterfinals. Snowden is one of the most dangerous sleeper teams statewide in Division 4, led by senior guard Paul Maurice. Six of the Cougars’ nine losses were to Charlestown, East Boston and Madison Park.
Upset special: Winthrop over St. Mary’s
Hall’s pick: Manchester-Essex over Winthrop, Pope John XXIII over Lynnfield in semifinals; M-E over Pope John in finals.

SOUTH

Division 1
Favorites: Brockton (18-2), Catholic Memorial (16-4), BC High (15-5), Franklin (17-3), Weymouth (17-3), Newton North (17-3), Madison Park (16-2)
Sleepers: Needham (15-5), Marshfield (13-5), New Bedford (14-6), Mansfield (14-7)
The lowdown: This might be the most unpredictable field of the entire MIAA tournament. With many favorites, but none of them overwhelming, we could be in for a slew of upsets. Consider Brockton’s quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of No. 9 seed Barnstable and No. 8 seed Catholic Memorial, the latter of which lost to the Boxers earlier this month by one at the buzzer...Needham has exploded over the last two weeks, with a 30-point blowout of Newton North followed by an impressive stonewalling of Stoughton, and they may have the easiest path to the semifinals. Taunton, Natick and the MP Machine are all beatable. That’s just one reason of many why I feel Needham’s late-blooming senior Shy Davis could be the breakout star of this tournament...The toughest section of this bracket is by far the grouping of BC High, Franklin, Weymouth and Mansfield. Whoever comes out of that logjam might have the best path to the finals.
Upset special: New Bedford over North Quincy
Hall’s pick: Brockton over Newton North, BC High over Needham in semifinals; Brockton over BC High in finals.

Division 2
Favorites: King Philip (17-3), Stoughton (16-4), Falmouth (18-2), Randolph (18-2)
Sleepers: Oliver Ames (12-8), Medfield (14-6), Hopkinton (14-6), Wellesley (12-8), Duxbury (11-9), Whitman-Hanson (11-9)
The lowdown: Headed into the season, the consensus was that this would be King Philip’s bracket to lose. Now it’s either the Warriors’ or Stoughton’s, and it just so happens the Hockomock rivals are on opposite ends of the bracket...Falmouth’s Paul Lundberg has certainly entered himself into Coach of the Year consideration, but the pressure could be on the Clippers’ point guard Andrew McGill to keep the ship sailing, what with injury questions in the frontcourt...Many like OA as a sleeper, due to Nick Bruha’s exceptional offensive game, but watch out for Tri-Valley League representatives Medfield and Hopkinton. Medfield has some talented underclassmen, while Hopkinton is the defending D2 South champ and have reigning league MVP Barrett Hanlon back in the fold...Quincy head coach Dave Perry predicted a Whitman-Hanson upset of KP Saturday morning on 1510 AM The Zone. That, coupled with getting their first-round home game moved 20 miles down the road to Taunton High, has got to get the Warriors fired up.
Upset special: Oliver Ames over Somerset
Hall’s pick: Stoughton over Falmouth, King Philip over Hopkinton in semifinals; King Philip over Stoughton in finals.

Division 3
Favorites: Wareham (20-0), Cardinal Spellman (17-5), Martha’s Vineyard (18-2), Rockland (18-2)
Sleepers: Norton (15-5), Norwell (18-2), Bishop Feehan (15-5), Bourne (14-6), Medway (10-10)
The lowdown: Spellman senior Joey Glynn is a household name by now, but the breakout star of this tournament might be Wareham’s Darien Fernandez. The 5-foot-7 fire hydrant of a point guard is almost a microcosm of the Vikings on a whole, who are the state’s last remaining unbeaten in spite of a lack of size. Fernandez has played his way into All-State consideration with his tenacious perimeter defense and non-stop motor, and is a perfect fit for coach Kevin Brogioli’s uptempo style...We joke about the difficulties in scouting Martha’s Vineyard, but it’s true; the Vineyarders have the ultimate advantage in that department -– being on an island that is accessible only by ferry for many teams...That said, we look forward to a potential rematch between Vineyard and Bishop Feehan. Last month the Shamrocks ran out to a 17-2 lead over Vineyard before MV stormed back to win.
Upset special: Medway over Norwell
Hall’s pick: Cardinal Spellman over Martha’s Vineyard, Wareham over Norton in semifinals; Spellman over Wareham in finals.

Division 4
Favorites: Boston Cathedral (13-6), Holbrook (16-2), Westport (19-3), Carver (16-4)
Sleepers: Bishop Connolly (15-5), Cohasset (15-5), Avon (12-8), Blue Hills (10-9), Community Academy (CASH) (3-15)
The lowdown: Written off weeks ago, we have to put Boston Cathedral back among the favorites after getting Kyle Lawyer and Joe Green back in the fold. With both of them back, the Panthers are one of the most dangerous offenses across Division 4. Look out for pint-sized point guard Carlos Bermudez, who is nearly four inches shorter than Wareham’s Darien Fernandez but has just as much heart and motor...Another star in the making might be Holbrook’s Allijah Robinson. The 6-foot-6 sophomore doesn’t get a whole lot of attention playing for a Division 4 school, but he is most definitely on the rise...Carver and Cohasset are two of the most seasoned teams in this bracket, fighting it out in the competitive South Shore League comprised mostly of Division 3 size teams.
Upset special: Boston Cathedral over West Bridgewater.
Hall’s pick: Westport over Avon, Boston Cathedral over Carver in semifinals; Cathedral over Westport in finals.

CENTRAL

Division 1
Favorites: St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (16-4), Holy Name (17-3), St. Peter-Marian (17-3), Wachusett (16-4)
Sleepers: Fitchburg (14-8), Milford (15-5), Marlborough (11-9), Doherty (10-10)
The lowdown: Plenty of contenders here, but St. John’s is the four-time defending champ of this bracket and hasn’t lost since Jan. 10. Bob Foley is the Dean of Massachusetts high school basketball, with well over 800 career wins, and his players are always at their sharpest in March. That said, the Pioneers will have gone over two weeks without game action when they face Milford on March 1...Holy Name won the rubber match with SPM to take the first annual Worcester City Championship last Friday, and are one of the best defensive teams you’ll find outside I-495. We’ve talked a lot about Anthony Hodges’ stifling perimeter defense, but 6-foot-1 Daniel Kegbeh is one of the most explosive rebounders you’ll find around...Fitchburg has sputtered of late, going 5-6 since a 9-2 start, including a five-game losing streak. But like St. John’s, the Red Raiders turn it up in March.
Upset special: Doherty over Shepherd Hill
Hall’s pick: St. John’s over Holy Name, St. Peter-Marian over Wachusett in semifinals; St. John’s over SPM in finals.

Division 2
Favorites: Quabbin (18-3), Northbridge (17-4), Uxbridge (15-6), Groton-Dunstable (14-7)
Sleepers: Clinton (13-7), Auburn (12-8), St. Bernard’s (11-9)
The lowdown: After starting the year with 15 straight wins, Quabbin sputtered, losing three of four, before turning around and winning the Large division of the Clark Tournament. The Panthers will go as far as Christian Horton takes them. The senior is one of Central Mass.’s leading scorers, and is as athletic as they come...Northbridge won this bracket surprisingly last year, not with star power but with defensive grit. It’s a different story this year, with the Rams pegged as a favorite, but this is typically a well-coached squad...One must always be wary of St. Bernard’s, which historically makes deep runs in this bracket. The Bernardians’ record is filled with tough non-league decisions, including an overtime loss to New Bedford at the start of the season...Same for G-D, another historic power in this field which is led by Will Peregoy, Liam Baberich and Kyle Romich.
Upset special: St. Bernard’s over Bartlett.
Hall’s pick: Quabbin over Groton-Dunstable, St. Bernard’s over Uxbridge in semifinals; Quabbin over St. Bernard’s in final.

Division 3
Favorites: Whitinsville Christian (13-5)
Sleepers: Sutton (10-9), Quaboag (17-4), Worcester Tech (16-4), Keefe Tech (16-2), Littleton (15-6), Southbridge (10-9), Bromfield (14-6)
The lowdown: Let’s not sugarcoat this thing. Make no mistake, this is Whitinsville Christian’s bracket to lose. People point to the Crusaders’ recent slide, losing four of five after a 12-1 start. But three of those four losses are to Charlestown, Holy Name and Franklin; and those losses are sandwiched around a very nice 71-54 win over D3 South favorite Cardinal Spellman. Plus, Crusaders point guard Colin Richey might be the best overall player in this bracket...The other team to watch out for here? Sutton, which beat WC 50-45 on Valentine’s Day. We’re still trying to figure out what happened there.
Upset special: Hopedale over South Lancaster.
Hall’s pick: Whitinsville Christian over Bromfield, Worcester Tech over Quaboag in semifinals; Whitinsville over Tech in finals.

WEST

Division 1
Favorites: Springfield Central (19-1)
Sleepers: Springfield Putnam (16-4), Springfield Cathedral (11-9), Springfield Commerce (14-6), West Springfield (16-4), Chicopee (14-6), Westfield (12-8)
The lowdown: Quite frankly, this is Springfield Central’s bracket to lose. With the amount of athleticism on both the starting lineup and the bench, the Golden Eagles are the Brockton of the West, able to go 10 deep with size, scoring and some of the state’s most tenacious defense. The last team to come within single-digits of Central was Commerce, which then turned around and lost to Central by 40 in the rematch last week. Adding to the impressive Central resume is the fact that their lone loss is to Connecticut juggernaut Windsor, which is routinely beating teams by 35 points or more...The more we think about it, Central senior guard Tyrell Springer has earned his way into a spot on the Super Team...The best Springfield player not on Central might be Commerce’s Alex Lopez, a 20-per-night scorere with range. The best non-Springfield player in this field? Could be Westfield’s Joe Meade or Northampton’s Jarrod Neumann.
Upset special: Amherst over Chicopee.
Hall’s pick: Springfield Central over West Springfield, Commerce over Putnam in seminfinals; Central over Commerce in finals.

Division 2
Favorites: South Hadley (11-9), Mahar (17-3)
Sleepers: Belchertown (16-4), Drury (10-8), Taconic (7-13)
The lowdown: We would have penned Sabis as a favorite in this bracket. The Bulldogs are the two-time defending champions in this field, but were knocked out of playoff contention with a Feb. 20 loss to South Hadley. For that reason, we might pin the Tigers as a favorite...Overall, this isn’t an incredibly deep field. Six of the eight qualifying teams in this bracket have seven losses or more. South Hadley is the No. 2 overall seed at nine losses.
Upset special: Greenfield over Belchertown.
Hall’s pick: Mahar over Drury, South Hadley over Greenfield in semifinals; South Hadley over Mahar in finals.

Division 3
Favorites: St. Joseph Central (15-5), New Leadership (12-8)
Sleepers: Lee (15-5), Frontier (15-5), Lenox (13-7), Smith Academy (16-4), Renaissance (17-3)
The lowdown: Pittsfield area power St. Joe’s has an impressive resume. The Crusaders had a strong start to the season, losing to Holy Name by five in the Catholic School Classic at Assumption College. The Crusaders press well, and junior guard Taverick Roberson might be the most talented player in this field...The thorn in St. Joe’s side? New Leadership, which beat St. Joe’s earlier this year by the hair, 79-78. The Wildcats are led by junior guard Joe Crapps, and explosive scorer who is averaging nearly 20 points per game. Not to be forgotten, New Leadership was dominated by Wareham in the D3 state final two years ago. How fitting is it that the two could potentially meet again for a state final rematch down the line?
Upset special: Lenox over Smith Voke.
Hall’s pick: St. Joseph Central over Renaissance, New Leadership over Lee in semifinals; St. Joe’s over New Leadership in finals.

STATE SEMIFINALS

Eastern Mass.
Div. 1 – Central Catholic over Brockton
Div. 2 – North Andover over King Philip
Div. 3 – Danvers over Cardinal Spellman

Central/Western Mass.
Div. 1 – Springfield Central over St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Div. 2 – Quabbin over South Hadley
Div. 3 – Whitinsville Christian over St. Joseph Central

STATE FINALS

Div. 1 – Springfield Central over Central Catholic
Div. 2 – North Andover over Quabbin
Div. 3 – Danvers over Whitinsville Christian
Div. 4 – Boston Cathedral over Manchester-Essex

Brockton is new No. 1 in boys hoop poll

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
3:42
PM ET
We've updated our MIAA Boys Basketball Top 25 poll this afternoon, and for the third consecutive week we have a new No. 1.

Brockton, after beating previous No. 1 Catholic Memorial last Friday at the buzzer in arguably the year's most thrilling finish, take the No. 1 spot for the first time in poll history. It's also the first time in poll history that a team has risen to the No. 1 spot after starting the season unranked.

The Boxers, who have reeled off 12 straight wins since losing by double-digits to BC High in the first week of the season, get the nod at the top spot over No. 2 Springfield Central due to strength of schedule. Prior to the win over the Knights, Brockton beat No. 6 Newton North in overtime, and knocked previously-ranked Mansfield out of the polls with a convincing double-digit victory. Springfield Central's best wins to date are over cross-city rivals Commerce and Cathedral.

Central Catholic moves up to No. 3, while CM falls three spots to No. 4 following the Brockton loss, and Brighton enters the top five for the first time in poll history.

Elsewhere, Charlestown climbs back into the Top 10 after falling out of the poll a month ago. With Rony Fernandez and Omar Orriols back, and Tyrese Hoxter appearing to be over his wrist injury, the Townies are returning to the elite form they showed in the first month of the season.

Franklin makes its debut in the polls at No. 24, while St. Peter-Marian returns to the polls at No. 25 following a thrilling quadruple-overtime win over Quabbin last Friday.

As always, let us know how we're doing in the comments section below, or by emailing Brendan Hall at bhall@espnboston.com

BeantownHoops 'Fall Shootout' bracket

September, 7, 2011
9/07/11
3:28
PM ET
Our friends at Beantown Hoops will be hosting their second annual High School Fall Shootout this Saturday, at Medford High. It's a pretty good lineup of teams represented local MIAA schools, and the tournament schedule is as follows below:

Play-In Games
Andover vs. Hanover, 2:15
Acton-Boxborough vs. Malden, 2:15
Cardinal Spellman vs. Quabbin, 3

Quarterfinals
King Philip vs. St. Peter-Marian, 3
St. John's Prep vs. winner Andover/Hanover, 3:45
Whitinsville Christian vs. winner A-B/Malden, 3:45
New Mission vs. winner Spellman/Quabbin, 4:30

(NOTE: The loser of Andover/Hanover will face the loser of A-B/Malden at 3, and the loser of Spellman/Quabbin will face the loser of KP/SPM at 3:45)

Semifinals -- 5:15

Finals -- 6

Bay State Games: Day 2 Recap

July, 6, 2011
7/06/11
10:41
PM ET
Courtesy Bay State Games media relations director Peter Cohenno:

BASEBALL
Bentley University – Waltham, MA

Northeast 8, Metro 5

Northeast opened the first inning with four quick runs and hung onto their early lead, going on to defeat Metro by an 8-5 margin.

Metro scored once in the first inning, followed by scoreless second and third innings for both squads. Northeast answered in the fourth inning, with a double by sophomore second baseman Riley Warnock (North Reading, North Reading HS), who stole third base as well. Junior catcher Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Concord Carlisle) and junior shortstop Jenssy Troncoso (Salem, Salem HS) both crossed the plate, increasing the lead to 6-1.

Metro kept working to battle back in the fourth inning with another sole unearned run scored by junior second baseman Adam Lucey (Malden, Malden HS).

The squads traded two runs each in the fifth inning. Northeast earned its runs on a series of three singles by junior Hector Perez (Lawrence, Lawrence HS), junior first baseman Sean Glabicky (Peabody, Malden Catholic), and junior catcher Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Concord Carlisle). Metro answered with a single by sophomore catcher Jake Porrazzo (Medford, Malden Catholic) and an unearned run by junior catcher Connor Murray (Lexington, Lexington HS).

Metro held Northeast scoreless through the sixth. Metro’s junior first baseman Robert Wesoloski (Arlington, Arlington Catholic) singled up the middle during the bottom of the sixth, going on to earn Metro’s fourth run of the game. However, it wasn’t enough to overtake Northeast’s commanding lead.

Northeast pitcher, sophomore Scott Tully (Reading, Reading HS), picked up the win, allowing four runs in as many innings, and striking out four batters. He was buoyed by closer junior Ben Panunzio (Middleton, Masconomet Reg. HS), who allowed one run and struck out one in the final two innings.

Southeast 7, Central 6

Junior second baseman Chuckie Connors (Hingham, Boston College HS) went 3-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs scored and helped ignite a comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning that lifted Southeast over Central, 7-6.

Southeast scored four runs in the first two innings to take control of the game, 4-0. In the first, batting in the leadoff spot, Connors walked and then came around to score on a double by junior first baseman Phil Sciretta (Duxbury, Nobles and Greenough). With two outs, sophomore leftfielder Cameron Hanley (Walpole, Walpole HS) singled up the middle to drive in Sciretta and junior designated hitter Will Cousins (Medfield, Medfield HS) followed with a base hit to score Hanley. Southeast tacked on an unearned run in the second.

Central took a big bite out of the deficit in the fourth with three runs. After a pair of walks, junior designated hitter Andrew Montiverdi (Worcester, Worcester Tech HS) singled to right center to push home junior catcher Daniel Whigham (Barre, Quabbin Reg HS). With two outs, junior right fielder Thomas Paine (Upton, Nipmuc Reg HS) singled to right to drive in Montiverdi and junior third baseman Sam Ashline (Clinton, Nashoba Reg HS).

Southeast added a buffer with a run in the fifth to make it 5-3. Junior designated hitter Sean Greene (Hingham, Hingham HS) tripled to left center to drive in junior leftfielder Jake Petruzzelli (Abington, South Shore Voc Tech HS).

Despite trailing the entire game, Central battled back to snatch the lead, 6-5, in the sixth inning. After a double by junior designated hitter Matt Leahey (Rutland, Wachusett Reg HS) put runners on second and third, sophomore first baseman Zackary Tower (Auburn, Auburn HS) doubled to right center to knock in both runners. A costly error with two outs allowed Tower to come around to put Central on top.

Southeast recaptured the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Junior centerfielder Nick Ahearn (Norfolk, Xaverian Bros HS) earned a walk to start the inning and came home on a triple by Connors to tie the game. However, Connors got cut down at home on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Adams later in the frame. After advancing on the play, Adams scored the winning run on a single to right by Sciretta, who was 2-for-4.

Junior pitcher Connor Farrell (Hopkinton, Hopkinton HS) earned the save after he was able to escape the seventh inning unscathed despite surrendering a leadoff walk.

West 10, Coastal 3

Junior centerfielder John Kinne (Great Barrington, Monument Mountain) went 2-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored to pace the West’s offense on the way to a decisive 10-3 victory.

Coastal’s sophomore centerfielder Dan Doughtery (Pembroke, Boston College HS) tallied the first run off a ground out from sophomore first baseman Zachary Perry (Rochester, Tabor Academy). Junior shortstop Jake Salpietro (Berkley, Somerset HS) scored an unearned run after, which would prove to be Coastal’s last run until the seventh inning.

West took command of the game in the second inning when its offense was ignited by a two-run triple from Kinne. West scored four runs on four hits in the frame.

West maintained control of the game’s momentum into the third and fourth innings, scoring another six runs. Junior centerfielder John Kinne (Great Barrington, Monument Mountain) contributed to the team’s offense once again, with a three-run double to left field. Junior rightfielder Anthony Nomakeo (Westfield, Westfield HS) contributed as well, driving home Kinne.

West stretched their lead by another two runs in the fourth inning after junior first baseman Brenden Geary (South Hadley, Tabor) and junior shortstop Frank Crinella (East Longmeadow, Cathedral HS) both scored on Coastal errors.

Coastal’s offensive was quelled by a stellar performance by West junior pitcher Steve Moyers (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS). He pitched the first five innings, facing 18 batters and allowing only two runs. His reliever, junior Joelfi Arias (Springfield, Central HS), finished off Coastal, allowing only one run in two innings of work.

Southeast 12, Metro 8

Southeast had five batters with multiple-hit efforts led by Walpole High School sophomores Johnny Adams (Walpole, Walpole HS), who went 4-for-5 with four runs scored, and leftfielder Cameron Hanley (Walpole, Walpole HS), who was 2-for-4 with a walk, three RBI and two runs, in a 12-8 victory over Metro.

Junior first baseman Sean Greene (Hingham, Hingham HS), junior catcher Will Cousins (Medfield, Medfield HS) and sophomore designated hitter Mark Poli (Medfield, Nobles and Greenough) each reached base three times with two hits and a walk for Southeast.

Southeast jumped out to an 11-0 advantage before Metro was able to claw back and make it interesting with two runs in the fifth and six in the bottom of the seventh.

Sophomore Andrew Dawson (Medway, Medway HS) earned the win on the hill for Southeast, going three shutout innings while allowing just one hit and fanning three.

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