Here are some interesting tidbits on the high school girls' basketball scene:
1. There are always a few speed bumps on the road to the state tournament. For teams like Reading it comes in the form of ACL tears. However, despite missing their starting point guard, Morgan O'Brien, the Rockets (7-0) are undefeated with key wins over league foes Watertown, Lexington, and Burlington.
2. Don't underestimate conference games. Conference victories are just a little sweeter and tasteful. After No. 3 Central Catholic snapped No. 8 Andover's 42-game winning streak, including five consecutive wins over the Raiders dating back to 2011, the Raiders were stunned by unranked North Andover to give coach Sue Breen her first victory over Central Catholic since she took over the position back in 1999.
3. Two wins can go a long way. After beating two ranked teams, (Arlington Catholic and Lynn English) St.Mary's found their way on the top 20 this week. The Spartans (8-0) are defeating their opponents in impressive fashion, dominating their league (4-0), and are on pace to compete for a Catholic Central league championship title.
4. Billerica vs. host Central Catholic will be an interesting matchup to watch Friday. There is a lot of history brewing between these two ball clubs. Central Catholic defeated Billerica in the tournament last season, but the Indians got the best of the Raiders in the fall tournament this season.The conference matchup will feature Central Catholic junior center Casey McLaughlin, who will work to dominant the paint, and point guard Brittany Lomanno who will be orchestrating Billerica's offense. They're both stud players. Expect this to be a very physical and defensive game.
5. Pentucket on its way up. Pentucket climbed its way to the No. 9 spot in the Globe top 20 with an impressive victory over No. 7 Billerica, 59-39, last Wednesday. The Sachems are using their defense to propel them to victories, while returning players, Kelsi McNamara, Coley Veselli and McKenna Kilian, provide them a spark offensively. The unbeaten Sachems sit on top of the Cap Ann league at 7-0.
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
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.