Super 8 contenders feel the heat in Cape Code Classic
With just days to go before the Super 8 selections, the pressure is mounting on the contenders. If you believe the early results from the Cape Cod Classic, the pressure is getting to some.
Austin Prep, fresh off of a 1-1 tie against fellow Super 8 candidate St. John's Prep, lost again to Hingham, 1-0, in Falmouth. With a 7-6-5 record and second-place standing in the Catholic Central, the Cougars will be in Division 1, not 1A this year.
But for Hingham, a team also very much in contention, the win could put them into the Super 8. But nothing is set in stone; much depends on how they fare the rest of the way in Falmouth, beginning with Waltham Wednesday.
BC High, which has struggled this season, got what appeared to be the winner with less than a minute to play against Waltham, but the Hawks tied the game with 13 seconds left and then Mike Hanley netted the winner with 1:40 to go in overtime.
Waltham has been solid this season, but not in the discussion for the top tournament, and the loss ends BC High's Super 8 hopes and puts them in danger of not being in any tournament (6-7-5 overall record). This will be the first time since 1993 that the Super 8 tournament will be played without the Eagles.
The last contender in action on the Cape was Arlington Catholic, which took on tournament host Falmouth. The Cougars battled back from a 4-2 third-period deficit to send the game to overtime, but Adam Rebessa struck just 13 seconds into the extra frame to eliminate AC from the Classic, 5-4.
Although the Cougars are probably the best positioned of all of the losing squads, the loss could really come to hurt them in the Super 8 seedings. The Catholic Central's first-place team is always a Super 8 participant, but seeding is another question.
In another sign that Reading's run to the title last season may not have been a fluke, but a sign of the changing times, as four public schools will meet in the semifinals. Waltham will battle Hingham and Falmouth takes on Duxbury, who beat Archbishop Williams 3-2.
Another team that has found its road to the Super 8 has gotten much bumpier in the past week is Springfield Cathedral. The dark horse from out west had already beaten BC High, Austin Prep, La Salle (R.I.) and Catholic Memorial, but the sqaud dropped games to BC High and St. John's Prep this week and will meet Needham Wednesday, a game they desperately need to right the ship.
If that wasn't enough drama, Winchester lost its final Middlesex League game to Woburn, 3-2, to lose the league title to Burlington. The Red Devils will make the Super 8. Winchester should, too, but the loss to Woburn puts the decision in the committee's hands.
Winchester's most impressive claim was its two wins over Burlington, but with no games played against any other Super 8 candidate, failing to win the Middlesex title may hurt the Sachems.
Games to watch
Monday - St. John's Prep (7-5-6) at No 3. Catholic Memorial (7-4-4), 12:30 p.m. CM can lock up the Catholic Conference title with win or a tie against the Prep. But if the Eagles manage to grab the win, Malden Catholic will claim the conference title.
Wednesday - St. John's Prep at No. 2 Central Catholic (14-0-6), 8 p.m. In one of the last legitimate challenges to their undefeated bid, the Raiders take on the Eagles, who have been spoilers of late.
Thursday - South Boston (7-6-1) vs. East Boston (3-11-3), 10 a.m., City Leaue championships. Southie and Eastie go at it at Matthews Arena, with the winner advancing to the final Saturday against Boston Latin at 1 p.m.