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Final grades are out

Champions top closing rankings

By Anthony Gulizia
Globe Correspondent / June 28, 2011

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Lincoln-Sudbury ended the baseball season right where it started — No. 1 in the Globe Top 20.

The Warriors lost two of their first three games, yet finished 24-4. Pitcher Adam Ravenelle helped L-S turn its season around and guided the team to its third Division 1 state championship in seven years.

Finishing No. 2 in the poll was Plymouth North (23-2), which won its second Division 2 state championship in four years. At No. 3 was Franklin (15-9), which reached the Division 1 Eastern Mass. final before falling to Lincoln-Sudbury.

Acton-Boxboro (18-6) and St. John’s Prep (15-6), who both lost to Lincoln-Sudbury in the tournament, rounded out the top five.

Newburyport (22-5), which sent 40-year coach Bill Pettingell into retirement with his first Division 3 state championship, cracked the Top 20 for the first time all season, at No. 11. Somerset (17-5), which lost in the Division 2 South final, also debuted at No. 15.

Softball King Philip (25-0) never lost its hold on the No. 1 Globe ranking, capping its perfect season with a 1-0 win over Amherst in the Division 1 final to repeat as state champions. The Warriors were led by the Division 1 Player of the Year, Meg Rico.

At No. 2 was Norwood (21-1), which lost to King Philip in the South Sectional final, 4-2. Ali Maloof and Lauren Duggan put together outstanding seasons for the Mustangs.

Climbing to No. 3 was Acton-Boxboro (19-6), which won the Division 1 North title before falling to King Philip. The Colonials started out 1-4 without star hurler Sarah Ropiak, but got things on track after her return and entered the tournament with a ton of momentum.

Second-year coach and former Red Devil Kristen Mahoney led fourth-ranked Burlington (23-3) to a season for the ages, highlighted by a 17-game winning streak that ended with a 4-3, 11-inning loss to Wahconah in the Division 2 state final.

New Bedford, which entered the tournament at 13-7, earned some major respect in reaching the Division 1 South semifinals, knocking off Mansfield along the way. The Whalers jumped into the poll for the first time this year, at No. 7.

Lacrosse After winning six straight Division 1 state titles in boys’ lacrosse, Duxbury lost to St. John’s Prep in the 2010 final. But this year Duxbury beat the Prep in the final to once again finish No. 1. Billerica, led by Grant Whiteway, the state’s No. 2 all-time scorer, finished No. 2.

In girls’ lacrosse, Westwood finished unbeaten and won its third state title in four years. The only blemish was a midseason tie to Longmeadow, the team the Wolverines beat in the state final. Division 2 state champion Hopkinton finished No. 5.

Volleyball Top-ranked Lincoln-Sudbury earned its second state title in three years, defeating No. 2 Haverhill in the final in one of the best competitions of the spring season.

Globe correspondents Liz Torres, Emily Wright, Braden Campbell, and Seth Lakso contributed to this report.