Defending Division 3 championship Pentucket has its work cut out today, going against powerhouse Archbishop Williams (21-5), the second-ranked team in the EMass poll.
The two schools meet in the Division 3 semifinal at the Boston Garden at 4:15 p.m.
Archies’ loss total is deceiving because the Bishops were beaten by some tough opponents, including No. 1 Reading, two New Jersey schools and a team from Rhode Island.
Archies has a 6-3 sophomore center, Jaylen Williams, who is committed to Penn State. UMass has offered another Bishops sophomore, Alana Gilmer, who is 6-foot.
Williams comes from an athletic family. Her father, Brent Williams, 48, played defensive end for the New England Patriots (1986-1993), the Seattle Seahawks (1994-95) and New York Jets (1996). He recorded 45.5 careers sacks, including 43.5 with New England.
“Talent-wise, they maybe the top team in the state,” Pentucket coach John McNamara said about Archies. “They’re like an all-star team of kids who have college scholarship offers. They have a front court of a 6-3, 6-2 and a 6-footer. And then they have three very talented guards. I think all six of those kids have college scholarship offers already.”
Its imperative Pentucket’s offense takes care of the basketball. Archies runs a full-court press.
“They go on runs,” McNamara said. “They have so much offensive talent that they hit you with a 9-0 run and then a four-point game is up to 13. We have to control and contain the pace in that sense that we can’t let them go on runs. We have to secure the ball.”
But McNamara said trying to control the pace won’t be easy.
Tomorrow will be the fourth state semifinal meeting between Pentucket and Archies since 2007. Archies has a 2-1 edge, winning in 2007 and ‘08. The Sachems won in 2010.
Central faces stacked Braintree.
Central Catholic will play powerhouse Braintree today at the Garden at 7:45 p.m. in the Division 1 state semifinal.