Here are some thoughts and tidbits you should know about in girls' basketball this week:
1. On the rebound -- No.3 Braintree is looking to rebound after a tough loss to Newton North last Tuesday. The Wamps are still one of the teams to beat. I’m sure the squad would have loved to finish the season off undefeated, but I’m also certain that they would rather lose during the regular season than later on in the tournament. As long as they continue to apply their tough defensive pressure that they used to suffocate opposing teams in the start of the season, they will remain in the hunt.
2. The spark that started the fire -- You cannot talk about No. 19 Newton North’s continuing dominance without mentioning Infiniti Thomas-Waheed. The junior forward fills the stat sheet on any given night. She not only scores when needed to, but she also defends against the opposing team's best players. Whether it is collecting 19 rebounds against Dedham or scoring 24 points against Needham, Waheed makes a point to put her mark on the game. “Infiniti is one of those rare high school basketball players that gives 100 percent every time she steps on the court,” head coach Linda Martindale said. “She is disciplined, hard-working and has an innate competitive sensibility. She does whatever it takes to make herself and the team better.”
3. A shakeup in the Merrimack Valley Conference? -- Don’t look now but there might be a new Merrimack Valley Conference champion this season. The Golden Warriors have held onto the league title for the past seven seasons and now that Billerica defeated Andover on Tuesday, things may get a little interesting. Led by senior point guard Brittany Lomanno, the Indians are unbeaten in the league, and if they continue to take care of their conference foes, this might be the year we crown a new champion. Andover also took a loss against MVC rival Central Catholic Dec. 28.
4. A chance for revenge? -- Sparked by scoring from guards Diondra Woumn, Deidra Newson, and Catherine Stinson, No. 9 Lynn English (13-2, 10-1 Northeastern) is emerging. After two early season losses, the Bulldogs have pulled together a 10-game winning streak. Lynn English faces Revere on Friday, a rematch of the Bulldogs' season-opening loss to their Northeastern league rival.
5. At the top of the world --At the top of the Globe Top 20, Reading (13-0, 11-0 Middlesex League) has been the team to beat. But the top teams should be wary of opponents they have already beaten this season. For instance, after beating Notre Dame (Hingham) by a total of 12 points the week prior, No.11 Pentucket (14-1, 10-0 Cape Ann Div. 1) received its first loss of the season from the unranked Cougars on Saturday thanks to Colleen McClelland, who scored 14 points and collected 12 rebounds. Reading has four more games against Middlesex league opponents the Rockets have already faced. I think I see a pattern developing.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.