After three months of battling through everything the best athletes in Boston could throw at them, four high school teams, two on the girl's side and two on the boy's side, will square off with Boston bragging rights on the line.
The Defending champion O'Bryant Panthers will look to defend their Boston City League Championship crown against the team they defeated a year ago, Fenway, on the girl's side at 5 p.m. EDT. While rivals East Boston and Madison Park, the top teams in the Boston North standing, will play for the third time this season with a championship on the line. Both games will take place at Madison Park High School in Roxbury, with the games being televised on Boston Neighborhood Network.
Less than a year ago O'Bryant earned a 50-43 victory over Fenway at the same gym behind some strong defense and clutch plays in the final minutes.
A year later the two teams are in the same spot after fantastic seasons in league play. O'Bryant (12-2) finished a perfect 12-0 to finish first in the Boston South Division and the Tigers have won six in a row, all by 20 points or more. In the semifinals, O'Bryant held Madison Park to just two points in the fourth quarter, en route to a 53-28 win on Madison Park's home floor.
The Tigers will face a Fenway (14-3) side that was just as good in league play, finishing with a 13-0 record against Boston City League teams. Outside of consecutive losses to #5 Arlington Catholic early in the season, Fenway has won 12 of 13 games, with the sole loss coming at Fontbonne Academy. During that stretch, the Panthers defeated every opponent by double-digits including New Mission (63-53) in the semifinals on Wednesday.
While the girl's side has been slightly predictable, the boy's side has been full of surprises all season long. With perennial power Charlestown full of talent and carrying high expectations this season, no one expected both East Boston and Madison Park to qualify for the City Tournament with only two spots for three talented teams. It took until the final week of the regular season but Madison Park qualified last Tuesday with a victory over Charlestown and now has a chance to earn their first title since winning in 2009 and 2010.
Madison Park (16-2) finished second in the Boston North Division with a 15-2 record, with the team's sole two losses coming against East Boston. The Cardinals are 8-1 on the season at home, with their only loss coming against East Boston by a 61-59 score on January 5. The host school is riding a four-game winning streak after Thursday's 67-64 semifinals victory over Brighton.
The East Boston Jets (15-4) are looking for some revenge of their own, after last season's loss in the championship game to Charlestown. East Boston rolled through Boston North with a 10-1 record behind the league's best defense (52.1 points allowed per game). Thursday they showed off that defense, forcing a slew of New Mission turnovers en route to a a 62-43 victory. The win over New Mission was the sixth straight for East Boston, five of which have come by 15 points or more.
You can follow @SethOrensky for updates from Madison Park High School and check for updates on our Boston City League Championship Thread.