Here are some tidbits you should know in boys' basketball this week:
1. Warrior dashes to his 1000th point -- Jaleel Bell and his mother got an unexpected phone call on Sunday from Wayland coach Dennis Doherty. The coach was calling to inform Bell that he was just seven points shy of scoring his 1000th career point, and Bell had no clue. “He doesn't worry about stats. Only number he cares about is who has more at the end of the game,” Doherty said. The 6-2 speedy guard scored his 1000th point in the second quarter, finishing with 26 points and 10 boards in Wayland's 58-53 win over Boston Latin. “It has been a privilege to coach him,” said Doherty about Bell. “He arrived at Wayland as a willed, talented player and has really blossomed.” Behind Bell's strong performance on Tuesday, the Warriors improve to 11-2 and remain atop the Dual County League (Small) standings.
2. Down goes Central Catholic -- There's a first time for everything, right? The top-ranked Raiders hadn't yet lost a game in Massachusetts this season until they ran into No. 6 North Andover Tuesday night. Forward Isaiah Nelsen was outstanding for the Knights, finishing with 28 points while senior Derek Collins contributed with 15 points. With the loss, its first since Dec. 28, Central Catholic is now 12-2 and will host Methuen on Friday before a much anticipated showdown against No. 4 St. John's Prep on Super Bowl Sunday. And speaking of Prep ...
3. Waltham making noise, clinches trip to tournament -- Sunday's game between Central Catholic and St. John's Prep had the potential to be a clash of the top two ranked teams in the state, but No. 19 Waltham had something to say about that. In an afternoon game on Sunday, the Hawks stunned the Eagles, 68-55, handing them their first loss of the season and knocking them out of the No. 2 spot in the Globe's Top 20. “We ran into a very good team, Waltham was just a lot better than us on Sunday,” said Prep coach Sean Connolly. “They played very well defensively and deserved to beat us.” Waltham's tough defense was back at it on Tuesday night as they beat Newton South, 73-55, improving to 11-2 and qualifying for the tournament.
4. Still perfect -- It went down to the wire in Beverly as No. 2 Danvers was able to escape the Panthers, 49-47, to stay unbeaten. Senior Vinny Clifford led the Falcons, hitting the game-winner with 40 ticks left on the clock and finishing with 14 points. Danny Connors and Eric Martin scored 10 points apiece. Undefeated North Reading continued rolling, dropping Ipswich, 64-33, behind Chris Capozzoli's 16 points. The twelfth-ranked Hornets are now averaging 64.2 points per game. No. 14 Melrose (13-0) also added another win to its record on Tuesday night as they defeated Arlington, 59-48.
5. New Mission on a mission -- The 10th-ranked Titans continue to impress and climb the ranks week after week. New Mission won its fifth consecutive game on Friday as it beat Charlestown, 83-57, behind an incredible defensive performance from its man press. “Believe it or not, that was the game plan,” said junior guard Shaquan Murray, who led the Titans with 19 points. “To play defense, pressure and attack. That’s how we were able to get turnovers and fast-break layups and shots.” Two of New Mission's three losses this season were out of state. The other one was an 11-point defeat at the hands of Brighton back in December. But in 2013, the Titans are perfect and guess who they play on Thursday? Brighton. Keep a close eye on the Boston City League.
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.