Boston City League Championship Preview

With school vacation week here, the Boston City League championship is now in front of us. The semifinals will be played on Wednesday and the championship a day later at Madison Park High School.

Central Division champion Dorchester will take on North Division runner-up East Boston in the first semifinal. This will be a matchup of two teams without much size and that have turned it on of late. The Jets went through a four-game losing streak early on, but have won ten in a row. Included in that streak is a win over Dorchester in late January and two wins over surging Brighton that got them into second place in the division. Dorchester has won seven in a row since losing to the Jets in late January. They are well-tested, and in this current streak they beat a very strong Cambridge Rindge & Latin team from outside the league.

Dorchester has a talent advantage, especially with the backcourt of Markus Neale, Khalil Newson and Justin Clarke. East Boston, though, will battle them, and they have done that all season through some adversity. It’s a game that can easily go either way.

New Mission won the North Division and will take on Snowden in the second game. Simply put, New Mission should take this one, even though the main focus is on the state tournament. The Titans are battle-tested and have been the best team in the city all year, with their only two losses coming against St. Joseph’s (NJ) and Putnam. There’s no shame in losing to those two teams. They have shown they can win in blowouts and pull out close games. These two teams didn’t meet during the regular season.

The championship game on Thursday night should see New Mission against a guard-oriented team that will have to break the Titans’ press. New Mission has succeeded in pressing teams into submission and is the deepest team in the city. There’s a reason they ran through the city without a loss, although the North Division is down a little this year as most teams lost a lot of talent and experience from a year ago.

Strange things can happen when a lot is on the line, and surely the other three teams all want to knock off the Titans. Teams always want to beat the favorites, and in the city that doesn’t change. On Wednesday and possibly Thursday, a team will have a chance to do it.

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