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Final Globe Top 20:

Reading zipped to the pinnacle

Boys' hockey title worth top ranking

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Bob Holmes
Globe Staff / March 23, 2008

Twenty-five wins, one Super 8 title, and a ZIP code that has become more than just a postal destination.

It's amazing what becoming the first public school team in 18 years to win the Division 1A hockey title has done for 01867, otherwise known as Reading Memorial High School. The Reading students' support for their team was heard in a frequent chant of "01, 018, 01867" wherever the Super 8 games were played.

For coach Peter Doherty, also the owner of Dynamic Sports in Reading, the chant was music to his ears, and for more than one reason. T-shirts with the town's ZIP code along with "Super 8" have been flying out of his store at $12 a pop.

The Rockets, led by their high-scoring senior line of Mike Lozzi, Rob Toczylowski, and Pat Kiley, were an easy choice to finish No. 1 in the final Globe Top 20 boys' hockey poll. Malden Catholic took No. 2, followed by the rest of the Catholic Conference.

The choice for No. 1 in girls' hockey was even easier.

Top-ranked St. Mary's (25-0) became the first MIAA hockey team since the 1998 Catholic Memorial boys to have a perfect season. The Spartans outscored their opponents in the tournament, 29-5, including an 8-0 shutout of Framingham and 7-1 wins over Arlington and Wakefield. Senior Abby Gauthier became the MIAA's all-time leading scorer with 179 goals and 179 assists, and Christen Hart notched her 200th career point in the Division 1 final against Wakefield, which finishes the season at No. 3.

No. 2 Hingham (23-1-2), with a four-year-old program, won its first Division 2 state championship by beating No. 4 Milton (17-1-3).

Basketball

For the girls, numbers were analyzed and reanalyzed: Andover had lost in the semifinals the past three years in a row, Dighton-Rehoboth's Mary Nwachukwu averaged more than 30 points a game, New Mission's tallest player stood 5 feet 6 inches, and so on.

But in the end, the numbers didn't matter - at least in state divisions.

Division 1 and 3 teams appeared to outperform their Division 2 counterparts in the MIAA tournament, and a Division 2 squad took the Boston City championship from a Division 4 team's grasp: Brighton 61, New Mission 55.

Furthermore, previously undefeated Bishop Feehan - ranked first in the final regular-season Globe rankings - was ousted in the Division 2 South semifinals by Wellesley, a virtual unknown on the EMass radar that went on to take the state crown.

While Wellesley paddled past Division 2's top teams, Archbishop Williams and Cardinal Spellman made a case for Division 3. The Bishops, led by Christine Duffy and Casey Capello, defeated the Cardinals, 60-45, in the South Sectional and went on to an EMass championship and a state title victory over Quaboag.

That was good enough to give Archbishop Williams the top spot in the final rankings.

And although No. 2 Andover lost in the Division 1 state championship, the Golden Warriors had a stellar run, jumping their three-year sectional semifinal hurdle by holding off defending state champion and longtime rival Lowell. They won the EMass championship, too, by taking down Big Three champion New Bedford, before running into a wall against Northampton.

No. 20 Cohasset took its crown in the most competitive of the state championship games, a 44-36 nail-biter in overtime vs. Manchester-Essex.

It wasn't tough to decide which teams would be at the top of the boys' rankings. State champions Central Catholic (Division 1) and Catholic Memorial (Division 2) proved how valuable a solid forward/guard tandem can be. Central Catholic finished at No. 1, while CM was the seventh-ranked team.

Throughout the year, the Raiders flipped between Adrian Gonzales and Carson Desrosiers as their main threats at forward, while junior guard Billy Marsden lit it up with his shooting. Meanwhile, Knights forward Julian Colarusso and guard Brendan Monteiro were exceptional, helping CM cruise to big wins and survive close calls.

They proved their mettle in the playoffs, and so did Division 3 EMass champ Scituate (final ranking No. 9), Division 4 king North Cambridge Catholic (No. 20), and a host of others (Dartmouth, Framingham, Reading, Everett, etc.) that put on stellar runs.

Globe correspondents Chris Estrada, Matt Porter, Amanda Bruno, and Maggie Cassidy contributed to this report.

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