A look around at the different section battles in boys' basketball this week as the tournament heats up:
1. Division 1 North sectional quarter finals -- Third-seeded Westford Academy and fifth-seeded Waltham both got the boot after losing first round games, respectively, on Tuesday night. On the other hand, led by Max Butterbrodt's 19 points, St. John's Prep advanced to the quarterfinals after a 30-point rout over Billerica. The Eagles will have their work cut out for them as they play Andover, which is coming off a 68-60 win over Medford, on Friday night. In other Division 1 North action, senior guard Tyree Gregory (22 points) led Everett to a 77-55 and a date with Lowell in the quarterfinals. Cambridge will play the winner of Central Catholic/Malden while Haverhill awaits the results from Lynn English/Somerville.
2. Division 2 North sectional breakdown -- Undefeated Melrose will see its first tournament action on Thursday when it hosts Arlington, with the winner of that game going on to face New Mission. The Titans, who fell just short of the Boston City League Championship, have shifted their focus and that was evident in Tuesday's 60-57 win over Reading. Speaking of the Boston City League, Brighton's Malik James nailed a game-winning buzzer beater which lifted the Bengals to a two-point win over Burlington. Brighton plays Salem, which is coming off a 67-65 OT win over Winchester. However, is it too early to start thinking about the fourth round between Brighton and New Mission? Across the board, Wakefield senior Kendall Hamilton scored 16 points and grabbed six boards to eliminate Malden Catholic and set up a quarterfinals date with Lynn Classical. Second-seeded North Andover hosts Latin Academy on Thursday while Concord-Carlisle and Woburn battle it out on Wednesday.
3. Division 3 South sectional first round -- Norwell edged out Foxboro with a 41-38 win on Monday and will now hit the road to take on top-ranked Wareham. In similar fashion, Rockland will host Westwood, which beat Hanover, 66-64, in the preliminary round. With other matchups such as Bishop Feehan vs. Dover-Sherborn and Case vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, the one that stands out the most is Ashland at Cardinal Spellman. The third-seeded Cardinals, Catholic Central champs, haven't lost a game since January 17 and are in great position to continue that winning-streak.
4. Division 3 North sectional matchups -- Dual County League (Small) MVP Jaleel Bell scored 19 points, leading Wayland to a 69-64 win over Saugus in the first round. The Warriors will play the winner of Arlington Catholic vs. Stoneham. Because of its dominant season and unbeaten record, North Reading received the first round bye and will take on either Northeast Regional or Watertown. Second-seeded Danvers, which lost its last two games despite starting the season 18, hosts Greater Lawrence on Thursday for the chance to advance to a quarter finals showdown against the Minuteman.
5. Division 4 South sectional kicks off -- All eight of the first round games in this sectional will be played on Thursday. In some of the more notable games, top-seeded Westport hosts Millis, Cape Cod Academy takes on Bristol Plymouth and West Bridgewater takes on Avon. All four quarter final games will be played at 7 p.m. Friday.
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.