The boysí lacrosse pairings were released Friday afternoon and as the Division 1 East is set up, we could see a Lincoln-Sudbury vs. St. Johnís Prep matchup in the first round.
The Eagles have had an uncharacteristically-mediocre season, finishing with a 9-9 record, but their strength of schedule (which concluded with a must-win, 15-12 triumph over Medfield on Wednesday) landed them the No. 13 seed and a preliminary game vs. Lexington.
Assuming the Eagles win that, theyíll have a chance to avenge an 8-6 loss to L-S from the regular season and knock off the team that many believe has the best chance to give Duxbury a run for its money.
The Warriors took the Dragons down to the wire in a 10-9 loss in late April. If L-S and Duxbury each advance, theyíll meet in the semifinals.
On the opposite side of the D1 bracket we find Acton-Boxborough with the No. 2 seed and No. 7 Westford standing in its way. The Grey Ghosts served them one of three losses on the season, though A-B got some revenge with a 10-goal win later in the year.
Masconomet earned the No. 3 seed with a 16-4 finish, while Needham got a tough draw at No. 6 with a potential date with Andover in the first round.
Prediction: Itís going to take someoneís best game paired with Duxburyís worst to keep the Dragons from winning another state title, but there are certainly teams capable of doing that. We saw L-S come close earlier in the year, and you canít count out St. Johnís Prep or Billerica when the calendar flips to June.
Masconomet and Needham have the talent to be disruptive, but the way Acton-Boxborough has been playing, the Colonials appear destined for a matchup with Duxbury in the D1 East finals.
Duxbury over A-B.
Itís a little surprising to see Hingham (17-3) earn the No. 1 seed over Concord-Carlisle (16-0), a team that beat the Harbormen, 9-4, in the Coaches Challenge Cup earlier this season.
The Patriots will now likely have to beat either Reading or Foxboro, two teams who have played very well at times this year, to reach the semifinals.
Catholic-Memorial earned the No. 3 seed but itís not as rewarding as it may seem Ė the Knights will have to beat reigning state champion Medfield to advance. The Warriors have played much better the past few weeks and might be peaking at the right time.
Donít look past Wellesley as the No. 4 seed. The Raiders have all the ingredients that bode well for a long tourney run: An experienced coach, a top-notch goalie and a tight defense. Theyíll have to get by Scituate, which turned in a delightful season this spring, but Wellesley is more than capable.
Prediction: Hingham is talented, no doubt, but they were exposed by Hanover two weeks ago and nearly lost to Scituate three games later, holding on for a 9-8 win. Bottom line: The Harbormen are beatable, and Wellesley should be the team to knock them out.
Concord-Carlisle has looked near-perfect on the field this season. The only concern is the number of young players in important roles, but Tom Dalicandro has yet to have a problem rallying his troops.
C-C over Wellesley.
Dover-Sherborn might be far-and-away the class of Division 3, but the Raiders enter the tournament coming off two tough losses, one to Medfield and another to Franklin.
If two-seeded North Reading is going to take that next step toward being a championship contender, this is the year to do it. Seniors Cody Carbone and Eric Valenti are capable of putting up crooked numbers on the attacking end.
No. 4 Newburyport had a strong year and could make a run, while Norwell is a very good three-seed.
And donít overlook Weston from the No. 6 seed. The defending state champs havenít had the team chemistry they possessed a year ago, but Jared Fong and Joey Pasquale are talented enough to steal a few wins.
Prediction: There are more than a few teams capable of rattling off three or four in a row, but when it comes down to it, this is Dover-Sherbornís title to lose.
D-S over Norwell.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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