POWERADE hoops rankings: Final

St. Joseph opened the season ranked No. 1 in the POWERADE state rankings, and that's exactly where the Cadets finish. Senior Timajh Parker turned in an exceptional season, and he came up big in the Class LL state championship game, leading St. Joseph past Hillhouse, 62-54.

The Cadets lost just one game on the season, a blip at hands of Bridgeport Central in late February, but other than that they were consistently the best team in the state. St. Joseph beat quality teams like New London (twice), Trinity Catholic and Ridgefield (twice) before taking out Hillhouse in the championship game.

Career finishes the season ranked No. 2 after defeating Northwest Catholic to win the Class L title. Both of the Panthers losses this season came to No. 3 Hillhouse (both by a single point), but Career avenged those setbacks by winning the third meeting, 60-55 on Feb. 28.

Looking forward to 2012-13, the early favorites for the top spot would have to be Hillhouse and Northwest Catholic. Both teams came just short of winning state titles this season, and they have major talent coming back next year.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings

  1. St. Joseph (25-1) — Last week: No. 2

  2. Career (26-2) — Last week: No. 3

  3. Hillhouse (26-2) — Last week: No. 4

Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).