Here are some tidbits in boys' basketball this week:
1. Central Catholic missing key player -- The Raiders started the season 5-0 before losing their first game of the year, an out of state contest against St. Anthony's in New Jersey. Central Catholic bounced back with seven straight wins, making a statement as the best team in Massachusetts. However, last Tuesday, in their first loss since December, the Raiders lost one of their best players, senior captain Doug Gemmell. The 6-foot-4 forward suffered a head injury in the 58-52 loss to North Andover. It proved to be an issue for Central Catholic who lost to St. John's Prep just five days later. “We don't know if he's going to return,” said head coach Rick Nault. “[Doug] is our emotional leader and he does so many things for us in terms of getting the guys ready to play. We're really missing him.”
2. North Reading clinches title -- No. 10 North Reading remained undefeated on Tuesday night by beating Pentucket, 54-36. Not only was it the Hornets' sixteenth win of the season, it was also a special night as they clinched the Cape Ann Large title. Four different players scored double digits for the Hornets, but senior Chris Capozzoli led the team with 15 points.
3. Franklin qualifies for tournament -- The Panthers are heading to the tournament once again after beating Sharon, 54-40. Franklin was led by senior guard Sam Bohmiller who finished with 22 points and five assists. The Panthers started the season losing three of its four first games but have battled back behind their tough defense. “That is one of our goals every year,” said coach Dean O'Connor about the team's defense which is only allowing an average of 47 points per game. “It looked like this year would be a little bit more of a struggle but the kids keep improving and have gotten better each week.”
4. Brighton extends winning streak -- Brighton trailed New Mission by 20 points last Thursday yet found a way to rally and beat Brighton for the second time this season. The eleventh-ranked Bengals won their ninth consecutive game on Tuesday, beating Madison Park, 77-70, in double overtime. With the win, Brighton (11-3) has secured the top spot in the city tournament and looks to continue its winning ways.
5. Concord-Carlisle's turnaround -- With such tough competition in the Dual County League, it's easy to be overlooked at times. The Patriots lost five of the team's first eight games this season which put them behind early on. Since then, Concord-Carlisle has won seven of eight, including a huge win over No. 20 Waltham and another one over No. 19 Wayland. The Patriots only have two league games left on their regular season schedule, which means the title might be out of reach. But keep a close eye on them as the tournament rolls around.
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.