MC was super from the get-go
Brockton, Andover earn the top basketball spots
The Globe Top 20 boys’ hockey poll ended the same way it started, with Malden Catholic firmly planted as the state’s No. 1 team.
There was only one blemish in the Lancers’ end-to-end rush, a season-opening loss to Delbarton (N.J.).
From there, the Lancers ran off a 20-0-4 record en route to their second straight Super 8 championship.
After playing at Frozen Fenway in January, BC High made another appearance on a big stage by reaching the Super 8 final versus Malden Catholic, making it worthy of the No. 2 spot.
A third Catholic Conference squad, St. John’s Prep, rounded out the top three following another deep run in the Super 8.
Burlington stays right where it was prior to the postseason, ranked No. 7 following a dominant run to the Division 1 title.
Division 2 champion Wilmington makes the biggest leap, climbing into the 11th spot after being unranked heading into tournament play.
Despite missing the postseason for the second straight time, Catholic Memorial remains in the Top 20 (at 19), a nod to its brutal schedule and the fact that a little puck luck at the end of the season could have made things very different.
Duxbury earned the spotlight with a 22-game unbeaten run, which culminated in Friend Weiler’s second consecutive Division 2 championship.
The Dragons were arguably the best program in the state, worthy of placement in a Division 1 schedule.
In the Division 2 final at TD Garden, Duxbury beat No. 5 Falmouth, which was able to limit the potent Dragons to three goals thanks to Clippers freshman goalie Madison Scavotto.
Arlington Catholic, which finished at No. 2, won the Division 1 title by eliminating Woburn and Braintree, then beating Catholic Central rival St. Mary’s to capture its first state title since 2007. Coach Maggie Taverna, 24, guided a team that finished with just three losses.
St. Mary’s finished No. 3, followed by 2011 state champion Hingham.
The boys’ basketball season wrapped up March 17, when Brockton fell to Springfield Central in the Division 1 state final. That sent the title back to Western Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, for the first time since 2004.
Sayvonn Houston, Jamal Reuben, and Jaylen Blakely played extraordinarily well for the Boxers (23-3), who showed a will to win under coach Robert Boen, and for that they earned the final No. 1 ranking.
Brighton emerged as one of the best stories from the Boston City League. The third-ranked Bengals (21-5) battled injuries, ineligibility, and one of the tougher schedules in Division 2 to make it all the way to the state title game.
George Merry and Danvers didn’t draw many headlines during the season but earned one of only two state titles for EMass and a final No. 5 ranking. The Falcons’ inside-out offensive attack and aggressive defense wore down the competition in Division 3.
From the first game of the season, when St. Mary’s took defending Division 1 state champion St. John’s Prep to overtime, it was clear the Spartans had the potential to play with anyone. That translated into trips to TD Garden and the DCU Center for a Division 4 state title, as the Spartans check in at No. 20 in the final ranking.
Andover won its third straight Division 1 state girls’ championship to finish the season undefeated and No. 1 in the poll.
Reading also completed an undefeated season to win its first Division 2 title, landing it in the second spot.
EMass semifinalists Scituate (an overtime loss to Reading) and Braintree (a loss to Andover) finish the season ranked third and fourth. Arlington Catholic rounds out the top five after finishing 21-4 and making it to the North final, where it lost to Reading.
Division 3 champion Pentucket comes in seventh, while Division 4 winner Fenway cracks the Top 20 for the first time this season, in the No. 11 slot.