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March 16, 2012 New England Hoop News Staff
Division I - Springfield Central vs. Brockton
This will be an uptempo game with plenty of high-level athletes on the floor. Brockton has size to match with Central's imposing frontline of 6'6 Jevaughn McMillian and 6'5 Kamari Robinson in 6'6 Sayvonn Houston. They also have a solid point guard in junior, Jaylen Blakely. All in all, this should be a great game and provide plenty of excitement.
We're going with Springfield Central by 5.
Division II - Brighton vs. Mahar
Mahar has had a great run, but we're pretty confident that they haven't seen anything like the pressure that Brighton will impose on them tomorrow. Brighton has athletes that come out and defend in man to man or an extrended zone that forces guards to make plays. Malik James is a dynamic sophomore point guard that has a chance to be very good and should lead them to the win. But don't count out seniors Travon Godette and Jesse LaCroix, who are focused and have Mahar playing at a high level.
Brighton by 10.
Division III - Danvers vs. St. Joseph's - Pittsfield
We were able to see St. Joseph's earlier in the year and they certainly have a team that is capable of playing with anyone. They create havoc on the floor, get up and down, and have size inside to counter their solid guard play. But, their size is certainly going to be tested this weekend against Danvers. George Merry is a 6'7 skilled big man that will extend the defense and make plays for others. A pair of junior shooters in Nick McKenna and Nick Bates, provide plenty of scoring options for Danvers. Meanwhile, St. Joe's has Taverick Roberson, a 5'9 bull of a guard as well as Joe and Lavante Wiggins filling the wings.
We're predicting St. Joe's by 4 in this one.
Class LL - St. Joseph's vs. Hillhouse
St. Jospeh's Trumbull is the best team in New England, at least that's our opinion. They have size in 6'8 Towson-commit, Timajh Parker-Rivera, 6'7 Pat Hopkins, and 6'3 sophomore Quincy Mcknight. Although they lost 6'4 Diamonte Zarba due to academics, they really haven't missed a beat. A 69-59 convincing win over New London on Wednesday has them ready to take on a talented and deep Hillhouse squad. James Jennings will have his hands full with the Hillhouse backcourt of 5'7 Andre Anderson and 5'7 Bobby Bynum. Look for a high-tempo pace as Hillhouse will look to control the flow with their defense and pressure.
In the end, we have the Cadets winning by 6.
Class L - Northwest Catholic vs. Career Magnet
Another New Haven school in the state championships as head coach Larry Kelly has done a tremendous job building Career into a consistent power. Not taking anything away from John Mirabello at Northwest Catholic, who has done an equally impressive job. Career has given Hillhouse it's only loss of the season and hopes to provide one more loss, this time to NW Catholic. NW obviously has the state's best prospect in Kuran Iverson, a 6'8 wing that handles like a point guard as well as Kyle Huffman a tough combo guard. Meanwhile, Career has the trio of Kenny Armstead, Eric Hassell, and Treyvon Moore. Career will provide constant pressure on NW and Iverson.
We're predicting Career to win by 3.
Class M - Waterford vs. Watertown
Waterford scored a very impressive win over ND - Fairfield earlier this week behind 19 points and 12 rebounds from 6'9 center Nolan Long. Meanwhile, Watertown had a dominating performance against Ledyard with a 69-47 victory. Watertown will counter the 6'9 Long with a 6'5 solid center in Tom O'Brien. Waterford point guard Geary McLeod will look to run the show and control the tempo but it might not be enough. Watertown just dismantled Ledyard, a team that Waterford lost to just a few weeks ago. Chris Oates and Jon Mitchell will bother McLeod on the defensive end and at the end of the day, we're predicting that to be the difference in the game.
Watertown by 10.
Class S - Capital Prep vs. Immaculate
We haven't had a chance to see Immaculate this year, but they certainly come into this game with a impressive record, 22-1, and resume, with wins over ND Fairfield (twice) and Kolbe Cathedral. Capital Prep will definitely have their hands full against Immaculate. They boast a front line of 6'8 Victor Melo, 6'7 Connor Holbrook, and 6'5 Brian Hatcher. Their guard play might be more impressive in Felipe Texiera, Dan McCorkle and Marcos De Olivereira. But, and a big but, Prep has one of the state's top players in 5'10 guard, Kahlil Dukes, averaging 22 points a game as a junior. Already having received a plethora of Division I offers, Dukes is complimented by 6'3 sophomore Levy Gillespie and 6'4 Brandon Marshall. Not only do these guys have a nice rapport together at Prep, but they have played together year around on the AAU circuit. Immaculate has nine seniors on the roster, which might just be enough to give them the edge.
Immaculate by 5.
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