11. Cohasset (8-3) -- The Skippers remain our favorite in Division 3 given the weapons they possess and we think challenges like the one against Arlington (and upcoming games with Marshfield and Barnstable) will have this team battle tested.
12. Dover-Sherborn (8-4) -- We're interested to see how the Raiders respond to a tough stretch that saw them drop games against Cohasset, Walpole, and Medfield. D-S played each team tough and its next six opponents to close out the regular season could endure the wrath of a team eager to get back on the winning track (just ask Ashland).
13. Wellesley (12-2) -- We were disappointed with the intensity of the Raiders in their one-sided loss to Walpole. We're happy to see Wellesley rebound with some quality efforts, including an overtime win over Scituate.
14. Scituate (7-5) -- If only every small school would challenge itself like the Sailors. With tough matchups coming up against Longmeadow and Arlington, this squad could limp into the Division 3 tournament with seven losses (or more), but absolutely no one will want to play them.
15. Needham (11-3) -- The Rockets played a competitive game against Xaverian and we're interested to see how they fare against Bay State Conference rival Walpole Wednesday. But here's something to munch on: Needham beat Braintree by a combined score of 29-6 in two wins this spring. Tenth-ranked Arlington lost to that same Braintree team, 18-8. Go figure.
16. King Philip (14-0) -- We're not certain we're going to know for sure just how good this team is until the postseason rolls around. Upcoming games with Falmouth and Barnstable could give us a better idea.
17. Lowell (9-4) -- We saw a lot of potential when we watched Lowell fall to Billerica earlier this season and now it seems the Raiders are finally putting it together. Lowell produced a statement victory with that 12-2 thumping of Reading and will carry a four-game winning streak into a stretch where the Raiders will meet some of the top squads in the Merrimack Valley Conference (Chelmsford, Central Catholic, and Andover are the Raiders' next three opponents).
18. Reading (10-2) -- Lopsided losses to Billerica and Lowell leave us wondering if the Rockets have some sort of MVC hex against them. Regardless, they continue to take care of business in the Middlesex League and we're itching for the Lexington rematch on May 13.
19. North Andover (11-3) -- The Knights lost to Marblehead (a team that's better than its 6-4 record might indicate), but will have to fight to keep its top 20 spot with upcoming games against Masconomet (its other Cape Ann loss), Reading, Peabody, and Winchester.
20. Barnstable (10-3) -- Losses to Catholic Memorial and Hingham were head scratchers, but the Raiders do boast quality wins over Scituate, Falmouth and Sandwich.
Malden Catholic (7-5) -- The Lancers are in a bit of a tailspin with losses last week to St. John's Prep, Xaverian, and Chelmsford. That's three quality opponents, but it doesn't get any easier with another batch of Catholic Conference games on tap after today's battle with Arlington.
Falmouth (12-3) -- Dropped out of the Top 20 given the loss to Sandwich, but don't overlook the Clippers. They still boast quality wins over the likes of Marshfield and Wayland.
The top 5 by division:
3. St. John's Prep
4. BC High
On the fringe: Billerica, Andover, Needham, Lowell
5. King Philip
On the fringe: Reading, North Andover, Falmouth
4. Austin Prep
On the fringe: Hamilton-Wenham, Ipswich, Lynnfield
1. Westwood (10-0-1) -- Some quality challenges on the horizon in Norwell, Hopkinton, and Duxbury (all road games).
2. Wellesley (11-0-1) -- Is it too early to whisper something about an undefeated regular season?
3. Framingham (11-1-1) -- It's disappointing there's no rematch with Wellesley during the regular season. Only chance for Round 2 would be in the Eastern Mass. championship.
4. Lincoln-Sudbury (12-1) -- A rematch with Acton-Boxboro on May 15 appears to be the biggest hurdle remaining before the postseason.
5. Winchester (9-0-2) -- Coach Suzanne Ontso has to love how her team is pulling out wins in these close games, including the 9-8 nail-biter over Andover last week.
6. Duxbury (7-1-1) -- The Green Dragons got taken to the wire by Hingham, but came way with the W and are undefeated in their last eight games.
7. Andover (9-3) -- Updating our message from last week: In games against non-2007 state finalists, Andover is 8-0. The Warriors did fall to both Division 1 finalists -- Framingham and Longmeadow -- in back-to-back games this spring, and fell to Division 2 finalist Winchester last week.
8. King Philip (12-2) -- An impressive week with three wins in which the Warriors outscored their opponents by a combined total of 56-14.
9. Needham (9-2-1) -- The postponed game against Duxbury will be made up on May 16, but the Rockets have plenty of challenges before that including games against Andover (Thursday) and Framingham (May 14).
10. Reading (8-1-2) -- The Rockets settled for a tie with a solid North Andover squad, but will have to be firing on all cylinders when they travel to Winchester today.
11. Lexington (9-2) -- The Minutemen will get a chance to see how much they've improved with a rematch against Winchester on Thursday.
12. Acton-Boxboro (10-1-1) -- Five straight wins have the Colonials rolling, but they'll be tested as their final five opponents (after today's game) have records that are three games above .500 or better, including Lincoln-Sudbury and Reading.
13. Hopkinton (11-2-1) -- The Hillers are building the momentum they will surely need as their rematch with Tri-Valley League rival Westwood nears (May 13).
14. North Andover (12-1-1) -- The good news: The Scarlet Knights tied Reading, 7-7. The bad news: North Andover fell to Andover, 12-4. The Knights remain a team to watch in Division 2.
15. Masconomet (10-1) -- Defense isn't exactly this team's backbone, but you can't argue with the results, especially with a current six-game winning streak. The Chieftains travel to North Andover Wednesday.
16. Franklin (10-2) -- The Panthers have a chance to avenge one of their losses when they travel to meet King Philip Wednesday.
17. Sandwich (10-0) -- Thursday's tilt with Falmouth could be the toughest remaining challenge for the undefeated Blue Knights.
18. Hingham (7-4) -- The Harbormen are itching to get back on the winning track having not won since April 22. Hingham endured back-to-back losses to Shrewsbury and Duxbury during a thin stretch of games.
19. Weston (7-4) -- Back-to-back losses to Dual County League foes Concord-Carlisle and Lincoln-Sudbury (both Division 1 foes) will sting, but make this team better in the long run.
20. Notre Dame Academy (8-2-1) -- The Cougars are playing with a lot of confidence and a recent win over Norwell helped them leap into the Top 20.
Norwell (5-4) -- Hitting a bit of a rough patch here with recent losses, including to Wellesley and Notre Dame (Hingham).
The top 5 by division:
On the fringe: King Philip, Needham, Reading, Lexington, Acton-Boxboro
4. North Andover
On the fringe: North Andover, Hingham, Franklin, Weston, Norwell
Here's how our friends at LaxPower view the rankings using their computer rankings:
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