Lynn English returns to Top 25 boys hoop poll

We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 boys basketball poll this afternoon. To view it, CLICK HERE.

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

English, Spellman, Northampton return: Last month, Lynn English stumbled from No. 3 in the poll all the way out, following a span of three losses in four games. But this week, the Bulldogs storm back into the poll, at No. 11, following back to back wins over Danvers and Salem, the two other Northeastern Conference teams ranked this week. English was a preseason Top 5 selection, but came out of the gates snakebitten with the injury to guard Stevie Collins sustained during the fall. However, the Bulldogs could be peaking at the right time as we hit the stretch run of the regular season.

Northampton (22) and Cardinal Spellman (23) make returns to the poll after absences, while Wellesley (24) and Belmont (25) make their season debuts.

Putnam avoids scare, stays on top: Springfield Putnam hangs onto its No. 1 position. But for the first time since they initially took the top spot in the final poll of the 2012-13 season, it was in serious jeopardy. The Beavers were down five to Holyoke with 1:30 to go, but some gumptious decisions late -- capped by a buzzer-beater from Ty Nichols -- allowed them to escape with their unbeaten streak still intact. It has now been nearly a year since the Beavers last lost, going back to their game against West Springfield on Feb. 12, 2013. That puts their win streak at 24, the longest active streak in Massachusetts.

As always, here is how our poll breaks down by league and division affiliation:

Catholic Conference – 3

Central Mass. Conference – 3

Northeastern – 3

Bay State – 2

Boston City League – 2

Eastern Athletic – 2

Greater Boston – 2

Catholic Central - 1

Hockomock – 1

Merrimack Valley – 1

Middlesex – 1

Mid-Wach A – 1

Patriot – 1

Valley League – 1

Valley Wheel – 1

Division 1 North - 5

Division 1 South - 6

Division 1 Central - 3

Division 1 West – 2

Division 2 North – 3

Division 2 South – 2

Division 2 Central – 1

Division 3 South - 2