Here are five things you need to know in boys' basketball this week:
1. North Reading finishes 20-0 – To say that North Reading, which finished last year 7-13, have bounced back this season is an understatement. A couple of weeks ago, the unbeaten team won its 16th game, clinching the Cape Ann Large title. “Finishing undefeated wasn’t our goal at the beginning of the season, but right now we are chasing history and it would be nice to that get that last win,” said coach Joseph Casey after his team's 46-44 win over Triton. And on Tuesday night, behind John Mastascusa's 17 points and Tommy Hogan's 15, the No. 11 Hornets beat Shawsheen Tech to finish the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1977, only the second time in school history.
2. Boston City League championship – No. 9 Brighton is coming off a huge win over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Danvers in the Comcast Classic on Sunday night. The Bengals will look to build off that momentum as they kick off the Boston City League tournament 4 p.m. Wednesday against South Boston, followed by Dorchester vs. New Mission. The winners of the two games will meet in the final 6:30 p.m. Thursday. All games will be played at Madison Park.
3. Bracketology – On Friday, Feb. 22, the MIAA will draw and announce its pairings for the state tournament. The sectional finals will take place between March 8-10, the semifinals will be played at the TD Garden on March 12 and the state championship is at the DCU Center (Worcester) on March 16.
4. Division 1 North outlook – Top-ranked St. John's Prep locked up the No. 1 seed in the North, finishing the season with an 18-2 overall record (8-0 against the league). The two teams the Eagles lost to this season, Waltham and Lynn English, both also qualified for the North sectional. No. 2 Central Catholic, which lost to Prep twice this season, will be another powerhouse in the tournament. Lowell and Andover will also be representing the Merrimack Valley in what should be some great, hard-fought postseason basketball.
5. Division 1 South outlook – One thing that is for certain in the South sectional is that it won't be lacking any action or talent. Five of the qualifying teams for this section – Mansfield, BC High, Newton North, New Bedford and Barnstable – are ranked in the Globe's Top 20. Besides those mentioned, there are a handful of other squads that have proven to be tough competitors this season, such as Taunton, Natick, Franklin, Brookline and Brockton, which won the South sectional last year and lost to Springfield Central in the Division 1 state championship.
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.