A clear theme emerged from the first half of the South Shore high school basketball season: surprises.
The Patriot League is the best example. Pembroke (Fisher) and Marshfield (Keenan) enter this week as leaders of both divisions. If you answered a pre-season poll, I bet no team would be one of the top two picks to be top of the league. Plymouth South and Scituate are hot on the heels of Pembroke in the Fisher Division.
Despite losing some key elements from last season, Archbishop Williams has gotten off to a strong start this season. The Bishops have wiggle room at the top of the Catholic Central League’s Southern Division.
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Last ranking and record as of Sunday morning in parentheses.
1. Bred from British Columbia (1, 8-0)
It’s hard to imagine the Eagles having a better start to the season than this. Even in just eight games, BC High has racked up a stellar resume of marquee wins. Mike Loughnane, who recently scored his 1,000th point, is having an incredible season. The Eagles’ best streak is a pair of 22-point winning streaks over Mansfield and Malden Catholic. The Eagles were the No. 4 seed in the MIAA Division 1 power rankings that were released on Friday.
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2. Pembroke (3, 11-0)
The Titans are in uncharted territory for the program with this incredible start. Pembroke built a 2.5 game lead in the Fisher Division title race and picked up stellar wins over Hingham, Whitman-Hanson, Plymouth South, Scituate, North Quincy and Archbishop Williams. There is one Patriot Power the Titans are looking to pick up a win against – Marshfield. Pembroke will face the Rams on Tuesday at home. During the women’s basketball team’s run a few years, the Pembroke gym was an electric atmosphere. That feeling is back this season when the boys speak up.
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3. Randolph (8-1, NR)
The Blue Devils lost their season opener to Middleboro, 42-40. Since then, Randolph has won eight straight. The South Shore League’s Sullivan Division title race is jam-packed with Randolph (5-1 in the league), Abington (5-1) and Middleboro (5-2). Defense has been Randolph’s calling card this season. Only one opponent scored more than 50 points against the Blue Devils (68-52 victory over Cohasset). Randolph has championship games against Middleboro (Friday) and Abington (February 7) coming up.
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4. Marshfield (7-1, NR)
Since losing to North Quincy, the Rams have quietly pulled off five straight wins. On January 14, Marshfield won an overtime thriller against Whitman-Hanson, 71-69, as Connor Walden hit the winning shot with 2 seconds left. The Rams have a tough streak ahead. Over the next two weeks, Marshfield will play Pembroke, Plymouth South, Scituate and Hingham.
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5. Hingham (9-2, NR)
The Harbormen have won five in a row and that streak includes stellar wins over Bridgewater-Raynham and Whitman-Hanson. Nick Johannes and Liam McBridge might be the best 1-2 punch in the area.
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6. South Plymouth (6-2, 2)
The Panthers have had speed bumps this week, dropping back-to-back games at Whitman-Hanson and Pembroke. Plymouth South are looking to get back on track with a three game week.
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7. Middleboro (8-2, 7)
The Sachems are in the middle of a crowded title race in the SSL Sullivan Division. Middleboro suffered a setback with a loss to East Bridgewater but bounced back with solid wins over Norwell and Cohasset. Friday’s game at Randolph is important.
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8. Scite (8-2, 4)
The Sailors’ two losses resulted in three points combined (Pembroke and Plymouth South). Friday’s game at North Quincy is an important game in the league title picture, especially with Pembroke having a two-game lead in the loss column.
9. Bishop Williams (8-3, 5)
The Bishops are 2-2 in their last four games, but are still in good shape in the league title table. Friday’s game against St. Mary’s of Lynn (11-1) is a tough game.
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10. Cardinal Spellman (6-5, NR)
The Cardinals started 0-5 and have now won six straight. Jaydan Exalus began that streak with a 41-point performance in a 59-58 win over Cathedral and continued with a 67-64 overtime triumph over O’Bryant on Saturday.
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On the bubble: North Quincy (6-3), Braintree (5-3), Southeastern (3-2), Caver (7-3), Cohasset (6-3), Bridgewater-Raynham (6-3)
Bubble thoughts: North Quincy has a lot of ground to make up for, but I still wouldn’t count them in the Patriot Fisher title race… The South Shore League Tobin Division title race should be fun… Carver is on for a surprising 7-3 start but the Skippers are used to being in the big games… BR’s non-league schedule is incredibly tough and the Trojans will be a team to watch in the tournament even if their record has some losses above .