|Nick Cambio: Another talented sophomore emerging for Rick Nault|
Central Catholic takes pole-position (Atari)
1) Central Catholic (11-0) - Passed yet another test in impressive fashion as they beat SJP easily on Sunday behind 18 points from junior forward Joel Berroa and 16 from sophomore forward Nick Cambio. Then yesterday, CC won easily as they clobbered Dracut. *Buzz Naismith, "About halfway through the season and a few days after beating St Johns Prep by 20, undefeated Central Catholic has officially emerged as the Division One favorite in Massachusetts. The Raiders are exceptionally deep, with a half-dozen or so guys capable of stepping up and carrying the scoring load on a given night, and with senior guard Luis Puello out for most of the season thus far with an ankle, Rick Nault's squad has needed it. On certain nights this season it's been senior forward Doug Gemmel. On other nights, sophomore guard Tyler Nelson has carried the load. Then there's junior forward Joel Berroa, who went for 18 on Sunday against is SJP. And highly-talented sophomore forward Nick Cambio has started to come on strong as well, rebounding the ball hard and dropping 16 points in CC's win over The Prep. As Puello gets back in shape, regains his stride, and meshes with his thriving mates, this Central Catholic team is going to be very difficult to beat heading into the frontier."
2) Newton North (11-0) - Tigers remained unbeaten with an important league-win over Needham on Friday night in a front of a capacity crowd in Tree City and then took care of Natick yesterday behind 22 points from senior guard Jared Masinton.
3) Acton-Boxboro (12-1) -The Colonials made it an even dozen in terms of earning wins as they defeated Newton South yesterday. Head Coach Rick Kilpatrick has seniors Kevin LaFrancis and Joey Flannery both averaging about 20 points each per game.
4) Catholic Memorial (10-2) - After losing a dogfight to BC High late last week, the Knights bested Boston Latin over the weekend before cruising over Xaverian yesterday.
5) BC High (10-3) - Is there any question as to what Massachusetts high school team plays the toughest schedule? Without a doubt, Bill Loughnane's squad will have experienced all different types of ball games by the time the madness arrives. BCH got a huge win over CM last week, fell to SJP on Friday night, and then yesterday, they won an easy one over Westie.
6) Brockton (10-1) - The Boxers held on to beat Andover by 2 on Friay after nearly blowing a 20 point 2nd half lead. Then won easily over Bridgewater-Raynam yesterday for the lucky 11th.
7) East Boston (9-3) - Junior wing Kenny Ramos had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards as Eastie earned a solid win yesterday over South Boston.
8. Madison Park (12-1) - Dennis Wilson's squad has been solid all season, and yesterday they took care of business against Latin Academy to move to 12-1 on the season.
9) Charlestown (7-3) - If Edson Cardoso can get Ronny Fernandez, Tyrese Hoxter, and Omar Orriols out on the floor together, I don't think anyone would be surprised to see the Townies storm back to the top when it counts.
10. Franklin (8-3) - After losing their first three games out of the gate to King Philip, Stoughton, and CM, Franklin has turned the tables to win eight straight, including a huge win over Mansfield on Friday night.
11. Mansfield (8-4) - Over the weekend, the Hornets suffered their first Hockomock loss in many a fortnight as they fell to Franklin.
12) St Johns Prep - (7-4) - After ending BC High's 8-game winning streak in impressive fashion last Friday night, SJP lost by 20 to Central Catholic on Sunday. Then yesterday,the Prep fell again as Malden Catholic beat 'em on a buzzer beater.
13. Weymouth (10-1) - Jim Dolan's club has been perfect other than a loss to Newton North a few weeks back on the road. They'll get another chance at the Tigers soon...
14. Boston Latin (12-2) - Other than two losses to Top 5 teams in Acton-Boxborough and Catholic Memorial, Brendan Smith's club has been impressively efficient.
15. Westford Academy (12-2) - After suffering December defeats at the hands of Acton-Boxborough and Boston Latin, the Grey Ghosts have gone 6-0 in January, including a victory over A-B that sets up a game 3 rubber match between the two DCL squads on February 10th.
16. Andover - (8-3) - On Friday night, Dave Fazio's club roared back from a 20-point 2nd half deficit before coming up just short against Brockton.
17. Lawrence (9-3) - Beat Lowell on Friday night in a rivalry-game before dropping one to D4 Cathedral HS over the weekend.
18) Needham (8-4) - Suffered a set-back last Friday when they visited Newton North and then came back last night with an easy win over Walpole.
19. New Bedford (7-4?) - Hard for the Ship to get info on this squad...with Steve Wynn, Jonathan Fortes, and Cameron Walker, you've got to think the Whalers will be substantially dangerous come tournament time.
20) Lexington (7-6) - Up and down season for a squad that has been stung by injuries. As they get healthy, look for Reggie Hobbs' club to get their product peaking by February break.
Doorstep: Lowell, Lynn English, Brookline, Attleboro, Somerville