Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20Sponsored by Garry Hebert
Hard to believe that the 2018-2019 Massachusetts high school regular season is already half over. Teams now are setting their focus on qualifying for the post-season and trying to win a league champinship.
In this week’s HNIB News Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20, the first ten teams remain the same, with a little bit of jockeying.
There is no jockeying at the top, where #1 BC High (8-1-1) and #2 Pope Francis (7-1-1) continue to flex their muscles.
The Eagles dispatched a pair of Top 10 teams in #6 Catholic Memorial (5-1) and #10 Xaverian (6-2) by four-goal margins. The Cardinals rolled past St. John’s of Shrewsbury, and then, in Saturday’s showdown with unbeaten Austin Prep, took a solid 4-0 victory.
The two powers anxiously await their second meeting of the season – set for January 31st at UMass Boston. Prior to that showdown, BC High will face Burlington Monday, and #9 Framingham next Monday. Pope Francis has a return engagement with St. Johns (S) on Thursday, then #12 Andover on Saturday.
#3 Arlington (7-1-2) and #4 Austin Prep (9-1-1) swap positions this week. These guys also will collide soon – January 28 at Breakaway Ice Center. The Spy Ponders have Wilmington on Saturday, while the Cougars will be busy, seeing St. Johns (S) Monday, Matignon Wednesday and Bishop Fenwick Saturday.
And in yet another looming showdown, #5 Hingham (9-2-0) plays host Monday to #8 St. Mary’s (11-1-0) in what could be a telling game. The Harbormen blanked #16 Reading in their only action this past week, while the Spartans, playing as well as anyone, had shutout wins over #15 Archbishop Williams (4-0) and Matignon (6-0).
The win-by-shutout theme also found its way to #7 Marshfield (6-2-2), which blanked Atlantic Coast League foes Falmouth (5-0) and Dennis-Yarmouth (8-0). The Rams, also have a big game on the docket, a Monday date with #13 Duxbury (10-2-0). Paul Rorke and Sean Kennedy have led a balanced scoring attack for coach Dan Connolly.
Framingham (9-2-1) is up to #9 after beating Weymouth (3-1) and Brookline (10-0) and is on the verge of tournament qualification.
#6 Catholic Memorial (7-2-0) faces off with Reading on Monday, and will see Falmouth (Wednesday) and Malden Catholic (Saturday).
#10 Xaverian (6-3-1) takes on Belmont Monday and Chelmsford Wednesday before the Hawks get their shot at Duxbury on Saturday. Josh Barton, Matty Ryan and Ryan Pomposelli form a solid offensive nucleus.
Highlighting the second half of this week’s rankings, #11 Winchester (9-2-0) and #12 Andover (6-2-2) stay put. Melrose, still unbeaten at 8-0-4, is up a notch, while St. John’s Prep and Braintree fell. Melrose takes on St. John’s Prep on Monday. #17 Billerica (7-2-2) makes its way back into the rankings this week.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Needham (8-5-0), Walpole (7-2-2), Barnstable (7-3-1).