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HIGH SCHOOLS

MIAA girls’ basketball power rankings: Press is on for pivotal No. 4 seeds

MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

All seeding races are important leading up to the MIAA state tournament, but the difference between being seeded fourth and fifth might be the most crucial.

State tournament games are hosted by the higher seed up until the semifinals, which transition to neutral sites before the championships at the Tsongas Center. The top four seeds are projected to host all the way through the quarterfinals. A small difference in the power rankings could change who gets a massive home-court advantage down the road for that critical No. 4 vs. No. 5 quarterfinal contest.

Right now, the race for a top-4 seed is tight in most of the girls’ basketball divisions.

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Bishop Feehan (22.33 overall rating), Wachusett (18.44), Woburn (16.94), and Springfield Central (16.30) have held down the top four spots in Division 1 through every MIAA update — but Wellesley (15.73) is now entering the conversation. The Raiders (13-3) have won five straight and still have some tough games that could boost their opponent rating.

Medfield (17.89) and Walpole (15.91) have some distance atop Division 2, but third through sixth is blanketed by less than a point between Billerica (14.60), Notre Dame-Hingham (14.32), Dartmouth (13.80), and Norwood (13.72).

In Division 3, Foxborough (16.11), Medway (14.46), Norwell (14.20), and St. Mary’s (13.45) have a tight grip on the top four. Dover-Sherborn (12.44), Hanover (12.24), and Norton (12.03) are close in pursuit.

Cathedral (13.96), Tyngsborough (12.63), Millis (10.65), and Littleton (9.53) make Division 4 the least-contested bracket right now. South Hadley (8.20) is the only team currently within striking distance of the top four.

The top of Division 5 has been a tug of war between Hoosac Valley (6.82), West Boylston (6.30), and Lenox (6.21). Undefeated Renaissance (4.68) is holding onto the fourth seed, ahead of Westport (4.24) and Palmer (3.96). Renaissance and Westport are separated by a 107-mile commute, making seeding a pivotal battle for travel purposes.

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Ethan Fuller can be reached at ethan.fuller@globe.com.