With Central Catholic and Hingham knocking off Chelmsford and Winchester respectively, the Lions and Sachems' Super 8 chances each got a little dimmer. Both were the underdog in their Monday matchups, but losing to fellow Super 8 hopefuls this late in the season is the opposite of helpful.
The loss for Chelmsford (11-3-4, 9-2-2) keeps them behind Central Catholic (11-2-3, 9-0-1) in the Merrimack Valley Conference. Chelmsford hadnít lost a game since its last meeting with CC back on Jan. 12, but hadnít played a team the caliber of the Raiders since then either. The only real threat the Lions played over their recent winning streak was Xaverian, whom they tied 3-3. Chelmsfordís road to the TD Garden just got bumpier with just three games left in its regular season.
Winchester (11-4-2, 9-3-2) suffered yet another loss to a big-name school in the team's past five contests, previously falling 5-0 to Reading on Jan. 30 and 1-0 to Wilmington on Jan. 26. The Sachems even had a difficult time against Woburn -- just one game prior to losing to Hingham -- winning that game by a score of 3-2. At this point, the Middlesex League is Readingís for the taking at 14-1-4 (11-0-3). Winchester doesnít have a great chance of rallying to secure the league title and has to play Barnstable on Feb. 20 to start the Cape Cod Hockey Showdown tournament. Itís hard to see the Sachems getting their name called come Super 8 selection day.
Key games ahead on Saturday
Springfield Cathedral vs. St. Johnís Prep
The top two teams in the Globe top 20 are facing off down in Springfield in a game that has Super 8 seeding implications. The Panthers will be facing one of the top three Globe teams in consecutive weeks. Cathedral (14-0-2) tied BC High, 2-2 ,in the second meeting of the season between the two teams. St. Johnís Prep (13-2) hasnít lost since Jan. 9 when it fell 2-0 against the Eagles and the Panthers are undefeated on the season. If this game ends in anything but a tie, the result will certainly have affect where each team gets seeded.
BC High vs. Duxbury (Cape Cod Classic Tournament)
With the exception of a few notable games against the likes of Marshfield and Barnstable among others, the Green Dragons have played a pretty empty schedule this season. Duxbury might be 12-1-4 on the season but the Eagles are easily its toughest test of the year. If the Green Dragons can beat or even tie BC High (9-2-3), chances are theyíll move up the top 20 rankings and impress more than a few Super 8 decision makers. Knocking off Duxbury wouldnít do much for the Eagles, but it would help further solidify their claim to being one of the top three teams in the state.
Braintree vs. Catholic Memorial
Catholic Memorial head coach Bill Hanson openly admitted after his team's 4-3 loss to BC High on Feb. 2 that his young players have suffered from a mental breakdown. The Knights have lost or tied in their last seven contests, with their last victory coming against Malden Catholic back on Jan. 8. The Wamps are no strangers to tough competition this season, playing in the Bay State Conference against the likes of Framingham and Norwood. Catholic Memorial (8-5-2) needs this victory to get back on the right track but a loss makes a big case for the Wamps (13-3-1) in the Super 8 discussion.
Wilmington vs. Reading
Wilmington, in all likelihood, needs to win the rest of its games to have a chance at making the Super 8 tournament as a Division 2 team. Thatís going to be tough considering Wilmington plays Reading this Saturday and then Tewksbury on Feb. 20. The Rockets have been cruising through this hockey season and dashing Wilmingtonís hopes at a Super 8 berth would another feather in an already crowded hat for them. Reading is 14-1-4 so far this season, defeating the likes of Winchester, Xaverian and sweeping its two meetings with Lexington this year.
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 fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.