Here are the latest items of interest for boys' basketball followers this week:
1. Bob Crook wins 300th – Not only did Braintree clinch its trip to the tournament with a 59-53 win over Weymouth on Tuesday, but the victory was also special for head coach Bob Crook who won his 300th career game. “I've been lucky to have a lot of good players come through this program,” said the humbled coach. “We have a very young team but we are coming together at the right time.” The Wamps are now on a five-game winning streak and are 6-1 at home this season.
2. IABBO Board 27 Comcast Classic – If you want to see some great high school basketball in Massachusetts, Babson College in Wellesley is the place to be. To start things off on Sunday, sixth-ranked BC High will take on No. 13 Newton North. After that game, top-ranked Danvers will face No. 11 Brighton. The consolation and championship games will be played on Monday (Presidents' Day).
3. Catholic Central Large showdown – With its 86-58 win over Archbishop Williams, No. 18 Cardinal Spellman is now in the driver's seat for the Catholic Central Large title. The 13-3 Cardinals haven't lost a league game this season, but the final one will be the most important as they travel to Arlington Catholic on Wednesday. Spellman already beat the Cougars, 54-46, earlier this season. Be that as it may, if Arlington Catholic beats the Cardinals in the rematch, both teams will finish the year with the same record and will be co-champions of the Catholic Central League.
4. Newton North is rolling – Last time the No. 13 Tigers lost a game was Jan. 8 against Brookline. Newton North's second game against the Warriors this season saw different results as the Tigers were able to clinch the Bay State (Carey) title for the eighth time in nine years with a 65-57 victory. “Character and makeup has led us to success. These kids are gritty, tough, and hard-working.” said coach Paul Connolly, whose team has won 11 consecutive games. “This year's group has set its own identity, similar to the groups in the past, and it has been a pleasure to coach.”
5. Point guard shines for Roxbury Latin – Junior point guard Patrick Benzan has a lot to be proud of in his young career. The six-footer averages an ISL-leading 21 points per game and also leads Roxbury Latin (12-5) with seven rebounds and six assists a game. “He's been a member of the team since his 8th grade year. Essentially we've gone from a 3-win team to a 15-win team, and even New England tournament quarter finalists last year,” explained coach Tony Texeira. “His progress has resulted in success for the program. There's a direct correlation by what he's been able to do on the court and what we do as a team.” The talented guard scored his 1000th career point earlier this season, becoming the second all-time leading scorer at Roxbury Latin. He now has 1,278 career points and is only 271 shy of surpassing Remy Cofield to become the school's all-time leader.
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.