In our first Beantownhoops Notebook of the season we recap the first month of the season and make some predictions for the rest of the year.
The story of the Boy's season thus far was Central Catholic's near victory to national powerhouse St. Anthony's. Why is this such a big deal? As we all know in our state, a majority of the players who are DI caliber kids go to the prep schools and either finish out there and or reclassify to improve scholarship opportunities. So for any MIAA team to compete on the national stage like Central did it is indeed an accomplishment....Speaking of Central, they are playing in the best division in the state right now. The MVC Large has five ranked teams in our Top 25 (#1 Central, #2 Andover, #3 Lowell, #13 Lawrence, and #14 North Andover) and although Central is the favorite, league play will be intense and have huge playoff ramifications in March.....Biggest surprise of the season so far? Coach Mark Antonelli's Sommerville Highlanders. They have cruised to a 5-0 record, won the Ashland Christmas tourney, and have quality wins against Malden Catholic, Wayland, and a talented Newton South team.....Staying in the GBL, next to the MVC, it might be the next best conference with all five teams being good this season. Cambridge and Everett are mainstays and Malden and Medford are much improved.....Most underrated back court in the state? Arlington Catholic's duo of Matt Woods and Kevin Connors. Woods tore it up in our Fall Shootout in September and willed the Cougars to victory on the road against a solid North Quincy team scoring 28 points. Connors is a three year starter and is one of the top defensive guards in the area.....Brendan Hall pointed out in his opening notes of the season that the 2015 class is loaded with talent, but this class has already passed its expectations. Mansfield's Brenden Hill, Catholic Memorial's Giulien Smith, New Mission's Juwan Gooding, Lowell's Kareem Davis, Oliver Ames' Ryan Carney and Wakefield's Bruce Brown have had solid starts and hopefully will be MIAA mainstays for the next two years.....On the Girls side, can anyone stop Barnstable's Molly Bent? The Super Soph is averaging 31.8 ppg and has her team off to a 4-1 start....#1 Braintree looks to be at the top of the class this year (#1 in our poll, The Herald, and ESPN Boston) after that it is wide open. We will find out more about two teams tonight when #9 Billerica faces #16 Pentucket.....The Beantownhoops Player of the Year race is already heating up between North Andover's Morgan Lumb and Reading's Olivia Healy. They are both DI college players and have led their teams to an undefeated record thus far.....Team not to fall asleep on, the Lynn English Lady Bulldogs. They are currently ranked #25 in our poll, but will get a much needed boost with the return of talented Deidra Newson this Friday against a solid Peabody team. Newson was out during the Boverini tournament and her return will most certainly get Coach Fred Hogan's team back on track....Game to look forward to, January 9th when #11 Fontbonne squares off against #1 Braintree
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