Here are some interesting tidbits in girls' basketball this week:
1. Andover and North Andover will be a spectacle -- No. 20 North Andover will pay a visit to Merrimack Valley Conference rival Andover 7 p.m. Thursday night in the game of the week. When these two teams win, they win big. Both squads are beating teams by an average margin of 26. But don't expect this game to be a blowout. This game should be competitive and I will not be surprised if it comes down to the final possession. Look for the Golden Warriors, who are averaging more than 17 assist per game, to move the ball a lot against a tough Knights defense.
2. In Braintree, defense is key -- When you play close attention to teams like No.1 Braintree, you realize that they do not have a prolific scorer. Any player on any given night can come up big, but it all begins with defense. The Wamps are only giving up 25 points per game and have kept teams under 20 points five times this season. Last Wednesday against Fontbonne, I was impressed at how they clogged up the middle and pressured the ball creating turnover after turnover, making it tough for the Ducks to set up their offense.
3. Medfield is surging -- Medfield has quietly become one of the top teams in the state. They have rebounded from a tough loss to Bentley-commit Jen Gemma and the Fontbonne Ducks by winning six straight. During those six wins, the Big Blue are averaging 67.5 points per game. Even though they're sitting on10 wins, outside of a 49-47 loss to Fontbonne, Medfield hasyet to be tested. This team may be a threat come tournament time, but the lack of competition may cause them some trouble.
4. Scituate will not go away quietly this season -- Despite losing to unranked Duxbury, the Sailors are (5-1), led by Kelly Martin who has taken over for former all-scholastic guard Shannon Brady as the dominate scorer on the team. Martin, who recently scored her 1,000th career point, is averaging 23 points per game and will make sure her team is in the hunt for the Division 2 title.
5. Biggest season turnaround? -- The Bourne girls' basketball team is making a pretty big case for this year's biggest turnaround. The Canalmen are having their best season since 2008, a year they began 13-0 and were a No.1 seed in the tournament. They are currently 9-1 and have already matched their total wins from last season when they went finished 9-11. Coach Mike Tierney may have a squad on his hands. Motivated by a disappointing previous season the year prior, the Canalmen have regrouped and are ready to make statement in the the Division 3 south.
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 fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.