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February 21, 2013

Sizing up Cape Ann's state tournament teams

Now that the winter high school sports regular season has officially come to an end it’s time to look forward to the state tournament.

Four teams will be representing Cape Ann this tournament season in Gloucester girls basketball, Rockport hockey and Manchester Essex boys and girls basketball. Some will have a tough road, some are serious contenders, all are battle tested. Pairings will be announced for boys and girls basketball on Friday with the hockey pairings coming out on Saturday. Here’s a look at how the local tournament teams stack up as we approach the postseason.

Gloucester girls basketball (10-10)@text1:: At .500 Gloucester enters the Division 2 North state tournament as a serious underdog. The Fishermen, however, enter the tournament with one thing in their favor; the fact that they have been in postseason mode for the last couple of weeks.

At 6-10, Gloucester needed to run the table over the final four games of the regular season just to make it to the tournament. Brandon Lewis’ squad did just that avenging earlier season losses to Swampscott and Danvers while sweeping the season series with Marblehead and Manchester Essex.

Gloucester has played with the necessary desperation for two weeks now, its life has been on the line for the last four games and as a result the team turned in some of its best basketball of the season.

While they are surely battle tested, the Fishermen will likely draw an extremely talented and high seeded team on the road in the first round of the tournament, and there are some very good teams at the top of Division 2 North.

Gloucester may be an underdog this postseason, but it is also a team that nobody is going to want to square off with in the early rounds. Sure the Fishermen have had their share of ups and downs this season and their style of play is not always easy on the eyes.

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