Central Catholic new No. 1 in boys hoop poll

We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 boys basketball poll this morning. To see the complete poll, CLICK HERE.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

Central Catholic is new No. 1 -- again: Lawrence area powerhouse Central Catholic returns to the familiar No. 1 spot following Amherst's upset of Springfield Central late last week. The Raiders have now held the No. 1 spot for periods in all three of our years doing the boys basketball poll. The Raiders have been on a tear to start the season, led by the hot shooting of junior guard Tyler Nelson, but they are in for a double whammy these next 48 hours. Tonight, they face archrival Andover in the semifinals of the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament. Then tomorrow night, they face Jersey City, N.J. national power St. Anthony in the nightcap of the Shooting Touch Shootout, at Emmanuel College.

City cleaning house: Dorchester makes its debut this week at No. 20, following a 70-52 pounding of Madison Park late last week. That gives us a record six Boston City League teams in the poll this week -- New Mission (8), East Boston (12), Brighton (14), Charlestown (16), Dorchester (20) and Madison Park (22). Charlestown is the only team in the poll this week with a losing record (2-3), having fallen to St. John's Prep at home last weekend, but we give them credo here for strength of schedule, and the way they beat up on Brighton and Eastie previously. All five of Charlestown's opponents so far are currently ranked in the poll.

Prep makes its entry: Following a hard-fought win over Charlestown on Saturday, improving to 5-0 on the season, St. John's Prep makes its first appearance in the poll since last season, swooping in at No. 18. The Eagles were No. 1 to start their state championship season of 2010-11, and were a preseason Top 5 in 2011-12, but perceptions about dropoff in talent left them out of the Top 25 to start this season. But with Tyler Dooley, Max Burt, Drex Costello and promising sophomore Ben Judson in the fold, the Eagles will not be an easy out.

Here's how the poll breaks down this week by league affiliation:

Boston City League - 6

Merrimack Valley - 4

Catholic Conference - 3

Hockomock - 2

Bay State - 1

Big Three - 1

Central Mass. Conference - 1

Greater Boston - 1

Mid-Wach A - 1

Middlesex- 1

Northeastern - 1

South Shore - 1

South Coast - 1

Valley League - 1