Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FNL Winter Basketball Poll 2-12-13

WGAM the Game, the all-sports radio station based out of Nashua, is no more. It is now called ESPN New Hamppshire. The station continues it's Friday Night Lights program for basketball this year, and each week the members of the program vote on the top 10 boys basketball teams in the NHIAA.

First, here is a look at how the votes played out. Then I will reveal my ballot, followed by by reasoning behind it. Without any further ado, here is this week's poll:

1. Manchester Central (8)
2. Pembroke
3. Merrimack
4. Trinity
5. Spaulding
6. Nashua South
7. Manchester Memorial
8. Portsmouth
9. Bishop Guertin
10. Conant

(First place votes in parenthesis)

others receiving votes: Lebanon (2); Littleton (1); Exeter (1); Winnacunnet (1); Berlin (1); Bedford (1); Hollis-Brookline (1); Souhegan (1)

Now, here is what my ballot looked like:
1. Manchester Central
2. Pembroke
3. Trinity
4. Merrimack
5. Spaulding
6. Nashua South
7. Manchester Memorial
8. Portsmouth
9. Exeter
10. Bishop Guertin

Now, here's why I voted that way...

1. Manchester Central - easy choice here. Central just keeps on finding a way to win. They are good at closing out games, they're tough defensively and they have multiple weapons who can hurt you on offense. Until they lose, they're #1.

2. Pembroke - the only undefeated team in the entire state (if you include Holiday Tournament games). Pembroke is the hands down best team in D-II, and there's no question that if they were in D-I they would be somewhere up there.

3. Merrimack - the Tomahawks are one of the hottest teams in the state. They've won 6 in a row, including a win over Trinity.

4. Trinity - Trinity is way too good to be ranked any lower than this. The 60-56 loss to Merrimack is their only regular season defeat.

5. Spaulding - simply put, there's no way I can justify ranking them lower than this (no Kante for Memorial, South lost to Exeter), and there's also no way I can justify ranking them higher than this (lost to to Central and Trinity).

6. Nashua South - South really looked good on Sunday night in big win over BG. And while it's true they didn't have Jack Preston when they lost to Nashua North, they still should have won that game. Plus they also lost to Exeter (5-7). Still, this is a team that is definitely capable of making a serious run in March.

7. Manchester Memorial - another team capable of making a serious run in March. Memorial is like a sleeping giant right now. No one seems to be talking about them, but after what they did at the QCIBT and the fact that they're whole team plays hoops year round (for the same AAU program) you just know at any moment they could run the table. Still, tough to put them higher than this until Oumaru Kante returns to the lineup.

8. Portsmouth - who's the #2 team in D-II? For now I say it's Portsmouth, who has won 7 in a row with most of those wins being blowouts.

9. Exeter - the best 5-7 team in the state, hands down. Exeter has won 3 in a row, including wins over Nashua South and Winnacunnet.

10. Bishop Guertin - BG just barely gets a spot on my ballot, despite losing 3 games in a row. In their defense, those 3 losses were to 3 really good teams in Trinity, Merrimack and South.

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