The first-ever Good Sports TD Garden Invitational goes down Saturday, with seven rivalry matchups all taking place at the home of the Boston Celtics. Below is the schedule, along with my picks for each matchup:
TRITON (3-7) vs. BISHOP FENWICK (7-6), 10 a.m.
The Skinny: It’s been a rough few weeks for Triton, which is in the midst of a four-game losing skid after a 3-3 start. But one has to like the Vikings’ chances on the glass, with junior center Ellsworth Rogers averaging nearly a double-double so far. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound offensive lineman throws his weight around underneath, making himself an imposing matchup. Meanwhile, first-year head coach John Preziosa has been just the shot in the arm the Crusaders needed, getting a lot of mileage out of leading scorer Matt Costello.
Hall’s Pick: Bishop Fenwick
NO. 16 ST. JOHN'S PREP (9-1) vs. WELLESLEY (8-2), 11:30 a.m.
The Skinny: Momentum is on the Prep’s side after Max Burt, Ben Judson, Kareem Davis and company took down rival BC High on Wednesday night, the Eagles’ most impressive win to date. But with high spirits comes a sneaky trap in Wellesley, which has quietly put together one of the Bay State Conference’s most impressive first halves. Joey Roberts, Aidan James and Malik Rochelle leads the way in scoring, but keep an eye on 6-foot-7 junior Ryan Noel, who could pose some matchup problems for the Eagles.
Hall’s Pick: St. John’s Prep
MALDEN (6-2) vs. LYNN CLASSICAL (7-5), 1 p.m.
The Skinny: Underrated matchup between two North Shore adversaries, there’s a lot of athleticism to behold in this one. Start with Malden, which gets a lot of production out of 6-foot-4 junior Anthony Gilardi, a lefty with great range from deep, one of Eastern Mass.’s leading scorers at 23.3 points per game. Classical, meanwhile, is coming off a 66-64 upset of city archrival Lynn English, and is a sleeper in Division 2 North. Phil Rogers, who scored 30 in the Rams’ upset of English, may be the most dangerous of the bunch.
Hall’s Pick: Lynn Classical
LEXINGTON (4-8) vs. ACTON-BOXBOROUGH (5-4), 2:30 p.m.
The Skinny: It hasn’t been the most glamorous of starts for Lexington, though there is plenty of upside down the road with juniors David Barner and James Laurenzi, while brothers Hugh and Harry O’Neil have given the Minutmen spark as well. A-B is off to another solid start under coach Rick Kilpatrick, and is looking to string together a win streak to start the second half of the season. A number of players fit quality roles for the Colonials, including Alex Boyd, Eustaquio Carvalho, Reid Larsen and Michael Mundowa. But the key matchup may be down low, where forward Nnamdi Udokwu has been a solid rebounder.
Hall’s Pick: Acton-Boxborough
NO. 12 ANDOVER (8-2) vs. NO. 17 BROOKLINE (7-3), 4 p.m.
The Skinny: Both teams are coming off surprise losses – Andover to Chelmsford, and Brookline to upstart Natick – and could use some momentum here to right the ship. Andover has gotten every inch out of its lineup so far, led by juniors David Giribaldi and Connor Merinder, and they might pose a feisty challenge for Brookline’s backcourt, led by returning All-State point guard Elijah Rogers (18.9 points per game). The key matchup may come down to how the Golden Warriors face up with Brookline’s 6-foot-6 center Obi Obiora, one of the state’s best defensive post players.
Hall’s Pick: Brookline
NO. 2 MANSFIELD (12-1) vs. FRANKLIN (7-4), 5:30 p.m.
The Skinny: Mansfield won the first meeting between these fierce rivals, and the Hornets will surely be favored in the second installment here. But after playing most of the season’s first half down three of its expected starters to injury, they finally took a loss on Thursday night, to Attleboro, raising suspicions as to how much longer they can keep up this frenetic pace despite being snakebitten. Their depth will be tested here, but at the front they hold their own between Rocky DeAndrade, Ryan Boulter, Kyle Wisnieski and Michael Boen. Franklin, led by star Chris Rodgers, has quietly risen towards the top of the Hockomock Kelly-Rex once again, to nobody’s surprise. Led by 6-foot-6 junior Marcus Giese, the Panthers play one of the Hock’s stingiest defenses, allowing 53 points per game. And if history says anything, the Panthers are a much tougher out the second time around.
Hall’s Pick: Franklin
NO. 5 NEWTON NORTH (9-1) vs. NEWTON SOUTH (4-5), 7 p.m.
The Skinny: This could be one of the best crowds of the day. Led by Phil Levine-Caleb, Mark Karmiy and Geoff Gray, South would love nothing more than an upset of its cross-town rivals in this one. But that is going to be easier said than done against the Tigers, who are once again on a roll to no one’s surprise. All-State guard Tommy Mobley is arguably the state’s most automatic shooter, but keep an eye on the burly Ezekial Francisco down low. North won the first meeting, 70-50.
Hall’s Pick: Newton North