It was just a year ago that Central Catholic was on the same stage.
Last year Charlestown stopped the Raiders from getting past the semifinals, but on Friday Central Catholic punched its ticket to the next round, again, beating Cambridge, 73-53. Junior point guard Tyler Nelson and senior forward Joel Berroa led the way with 23 points each.
This time around in the semifinals could be a different story for the Raiders as they will be matching up against Andover, a team it knows very well.
In three meetings this season Central Catholic went 3-0 against Andover.
However, the Golden Warriors are coming off a hard fought quarterfinal win against top-seeded St. John's Prep. The Eagles were leading by a point with a little under a minute left, but in a nail-biting victory Andover was able to overcome and beat Prep on its home court, 62-59.
In other Division 1 North action, Lynn English rolled over Haverhill, 76-47, to win its sixth consecutive game and advance to a semifinal date against Everett. The Crimson Tide won their quarterfinal game against Lowell, 56-48.
And if you're looking for a team to give a slight advantage to in this one, good luck because both teams are heading into the next round with serious momentum. Lynn English beat Prep earlier in the month, which has the team extremely confident in the state tournament, while Everett has quietly edged its way a step closer to the finals.
As for the Division 2 North sectionals, the Boston City League Champion Brighton Bengals continue to shine. In their quarterfinal game against Salem, Malik James, who hit a game-winning buzzer beater against Burlington to send Brighton to the quarterfinals, finished with 27 points en route to a 82-61 victory.
After Brighton beat New Mission in the city finals, Bengals coach Hugh Coleman said if the basketball gods wanted it to be, the two teams would meet up for a fourth time this season. Maybe then that seemed like a far-fetched idea, but now it might just happen.
New Mission will travel to Melrose on Saturday to take on the undefeated Red Raiders in the quarterfinals. If the Titans are able to hand Melrose its first loss of the season, they will indeed get yet another shot at beating Brighton.
State tournament action is just heating up so make sure to check back in for more updates throughout the next couple of weeks.
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.