We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 boys basketball poll this afternoon, to reflect the first week of the 2012-13. To see the complete poll, CLICK HERE.
A few notes and observations about this week's poll:
Debuts for Malden, North Quincy, Wachusett: With preseason selections Franklin (19), Doherty (21) and Charlestown (23) all dropping out after 0-2 starts, a trio of newcomers are making their debuts this week for the first time in the three-year history of ESPNBoston.com's statewide poll.
Malden comes in at No. 21 after a thunderous start to the season, beating Winthrop 98-58 behind 44 points from sophomore Anthony Gilardi. The Golden Tornadoes' top three scoring options -- Rodney Morton, Terrence Maisonneuve and the aforementioned Gilardi -- are a quality trio that could challenge Cambridge for Greater Boston League supremacy. North Quincy comes in at No. 23 after nearly upsetting No. 18 Brockton, then knocking off Wareham to send them stumbling nine spots to No. 25.
Also of note is Wachusett, which had an impressive opening week on the defensive end. They beat Worcester North 63-12, then followed up with a stifling of Doherty, 52-49. The Mountaineers are another potential challenger to St. John's of Shrewsbury's stranglehold on Division 1 Central.
Making splashes: The biggest movers this week were Cambridge (eight spots up to No. 15), Lowell (five spots up to No. 8) and Taunton (five spots up to No. 20), following impressive double-digit victories. In the first week, the three teams combined to go 5-0 with an average margin of victory of 28 points, highlighted Taunton's 85-41 drubbing of Canton, and Lowell's back-to-back blowouts over Haverhill (72-39) and Dracut (82-34). Cambridge also held both of its opponents to 43 points, meaning the teams allowed an average of 40 points per game or less in the opening week.
Top seven remains unchanged: There were no changes to the top seven spots from their preseason designation. Defending Division 1 state champ Springfield Central retains its No. 1 positioning, though they went through some rough patches in wins over Agawam and Sci-Tech. Rounding out the top five are Central Catholic (2), BC High (3), New Mission (4) and St. John's of Shrewsbury (5). Mansfield (6) and Danvers (7) also retained their spots.
Here's how the poll breaks down this week by league affiliation:
Boston City League - 4
Merrimack Valley - 4
Big Three - 2
Catholic Conference - 2
Greater Boston - 2
Hockomock - 2
Bay State - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Middlesex - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Northeastern - 1
Patriot - 1
South Coast - 1
South Shore - 1
Valley League - 1