Top 25 MIAA Boys Basketball Poll: Feb. 8

Brendan C. Hall/ESPN

1. Catholic Memorial (12-2, Last Week: 1): The Knights showed grit and toughness in its 76-75 win against St. John’s Prep, proving it can grind out wins when necessary. They will look to avenge one of their two losses when they welcome BC High on Tuesday. Friday’s matchup with Brockton is now a very intriguing game to watch, given the Boxers’ recent success.

2. Cambridge (13-1, Last Week: 2): The Falcons stay at No. 2 this week after a 13-point conference win against Westford Academy. A difficult three-game stretch looms later in the week when they take on No. 18 Newton South on Thursday before locking up with Archbishop Molloy (N.Y.) and either Andover or Central Catholic in the Raider Roundball Classic Sunday and Monday.

3. Putnam (13-1, Last Week: 3): The consensus best team in Western Mass. continued its dominance over over the Pioneer Valley with a 47-point win over Springfield Commerce. Two home games should help the Beavers as they look to build on their four-game winning streak this week.

4. New Mission (12-3, Last Week: 4): The Titans continued its run through the Boston City League when it took down O’Bryant, second-place in the North Division, 70-50. That marks 10 wins in a row for Cory McCarthy’s crew with less than two weeks remaining before the City Championship.

5. St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (15-1, Last Week: 5): SJS remains entrenched at No. 5 this week following a 25-point victory over Worcester Burncoat. With nine wins in a row now and only four games remaining on its regular season schedule, it will hope to carry this momentum into the D1 Central playoffs.

6. Brockton (12-4, Last Week: 15): The Boxers continue their rapid rise up the rankings this week after getting by Mansfield and Newton North in an 8-day span. While they have rebounded nicely from their 1-3 start, they have a chance to make an emphatic statement to the rest of the Division 1 South field Friday against Catholic Memorial.

7. Newton North (14-2, Last Week: 6): The Tigers drop a spot after Sunday’s overtime loss to Brockton. They will look to rebound Tuesday at 13-3 Norwood before they travel to Bay State Conference foe Needham, a team that is 12-3 and only lost to North by 1 point on Jan. 15. With games against Brighton and either Everett or Franklin on the schedule after that, the Bay State Conference is still up for grabs.

8. Concord-Carlisle (13-1, Last Week: 7): Make that 13 in a row for the Patriots after they took down Billerica and Wayland this past week. They will look to keep the momentum going this week against Bedford, a team they beat by 25 earlier this season.

9. Salem (14-0, Last Week: 8): The Witches remained undefeated and in control of its own destiny with a 69-54 win against Saugus. A Wednesday matchup with No. 11 Lowell will be a measuring stick game as both teams prepare for what they hope is a deep postseason run in their respective divisions.

10. Franklin (13-1, Last Week: 9): This team has won 9 games in a row and has not lost in a month. It still leads Taunton and Mansfield in the Hockomock Kelley-Rex, but that could change when Franklin faces both this week. After that, it has a brutal three-game stretch (Everett, Brighton or Newton North, Catholic Memorial) so this divisional race is not over by any means.

11. Lowell (13-2, Last Week: 11): The Red Raiders continue to set the pace at the top of the MVC Large after a 15-point win at Central Catholic. A Wednesday night matchup against No. 9 Salem is wedged between two conference games this week, so it should be a fun few days for the basketball program.

12. Brighton (11-5, Last Week: 10): Hugh Coleman’s team has taken on all challengers this season, whether it meant traveling to New Jersey to play in a showcase event or playing out of conference games against the likes of Brockton, Mansfield, and St. John’s Prep. More of the same is coming in the final two weeks of the season as the Bengals close out its Boston City League schedule against Charlestown before games against Newton North and either Everett or Franklin leading into the City Championship.

13. Everett (11-2, Last Week: 12): The Crimson Tide were off this past week, but its schedule is anything but easy moving forward. It has a Wednesday night game against Lynn Classical, followed by a tough Sunday-Monday back-to-back against Franklin and either Brighton or Newton North. A week after that is a rematch with Salem, a team that beat the Tide by 15 back in December.

14. Bishop Feehan (14-0, Last Week: 14): The Shamrocks remain undefeated after two decisive conference victories this week against Coyle-Cassidy and Martha’s Vineyard. They have only Durfee on the schedule this week before four games in seven days starting next Monday.

15. Mansfield (12-4, Last Week: 17): Games against Franklin and No. 17 BC High remain the biggest road blocks on the Hornets’ regular season schedule as it fights for the Kelley-Rex division title. First, they travel to North Attleborough Tuesday night for another conference matchup.

16. Taunton (12-4, Last Week: 16): On Saturday, the Tigers lost to Mansfield, which gave the conference win back to the Hornets it gained with its Jan. 8 victory. The Tuesday night meeting with Franklin is the toughest game remaining on the team’s schedule, but the Tigers need to win if they want to gain ground in the divisional race.

17. BC High (9-5, Last Week: 19): The Eagles continue to lurk as a team that is capable of taking down any team on any given night, as evidence by its wins against Catholic Memorial and Brockton. They travel to CM Tuesday night hoping to make it a clean sweep over the Knights, something no team has been able to do this season.

18. Newton South (12-3, Last Week: 18): South continued to grind out wins with two more against conference foes Acton-Boxborough and Lincoln-Sudbury. Three of its last four wins were of five points or less. It hopes to keep its win streak going at Boston Latin on Tuesday before it travels to No. 2 Cambridge Thursday.

19. St. John’s Prep (8-6, Last Week: 13): Prep’s slide continued with a heartbreaking one-point loss to No. 1 Catholic Memorial on Tuesday. It welcomes scrappy Catholic Conference foe Xaverian on Tuesday and 13-3 Charlestown on Thursday.

20. Marlborough (12-4, Last Week: 25): A healthy Chris Doherty proved quite beneficial as Marlborough took down Nashoba, a team it lost to back in December. Conference games against Groton-Dunstable and North Middlesex are on tap this week before a Valentine’s Day matchup with No. 24 Tewksbury, which could present an interesting contrast in playing styles.

21. Boston Cathedral (15-2, Last Week: 20): Cathedral sticks in the poll this week courtesy of four victories of 22-plus points. With three games remaining on its regular season schedule, it has a comfortable divisional lead over Cardinal Spellman, which it beat by 22 points on Tuesday.

22. Danvers (12-3, Last Week: 22): The Falcons stick at No. 22 this week after a decisive victory over Lynn English. The win is their seventh in a row and puts them at the top of the Northeastern Conference North division with five games remaining in the regular season.

23. Whitman-Hanson (14-0, Last Week: 23): The undefeated streak continued with a 74-63 win over Quincy. W-H is very much in the drivers seat of the Patriot League Keenan division, but its game at Duxbury this week could be tricky, a team it only beat by two earlier in the season and gave No. 12 Brighton all it could handle at the MLK Invitational.

24. Tewksbury (11-3, Last Week: NR): The Redmen sneak back in the poll following its fourth straight victory. They have a packed schedule still remaining with 8 games in two weeks. Still, with its propensity to shoot and shoot often from the perimeter, this team has the potential to sneak up on teams in the postseason.

25. Old Rochester (14-1, Last Week: NR): ORR jumps back in the poll after two wins last week. It now has a cushion at the top of the South Coast Conference with away games against Dighton-Rehoboth and Bishop Stang ahead this week.

Last 10 Out: Andover (11-5), Arlington (12-4), Belmont (13-4), Charlestown (13-3), Chicopee (11-3), Foxborough (11-3), Medfield (14-3), Needham (12-3), Quincy (10-4), Wachusett (11-4)