Sawyer Dominates, KP Rallies for Win at Mansfield

King Philip Girls Basketball
Emily Sawyer scored 28 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead King Philip on a come from behind win at Mansfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – With starting point guard Jordan Bennettt in street clothes and shooting guard Jackie Bonner forced to the sidelines with an injury in the second quarter, King Philip had its backcourt depth tested in Tuesday night’s visit to the Albertini Gym. While freshman Jessi Persky did an admirable job of staying composed against Mansfield’s pressure, senior Leah Santoro stepped up with the biggest shots of the night.

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Twice in the final minutes of the game, Santoro, who hadn’t scored since the first quarter, found herself all alone in the corner in front of the KP bench, and both times she hit nothing but net. Santoro’s threes gave KP its biggest lead since the end of the first quarter and the second effort turned out to be the game-winning bucket in a 59-55, come from behind victory.

“I feel like last year there were some games that we let get away from us,” KP coach Jeff Miszkiewicz said about his team’s ability to find a way to win this season. “So, I feel like that’s something we’ve really been focusing on, the mental side of the game, staying in it no matter what. Such a big credit to the team for constantly believing in it, for really executing some amazing plays down the stretch. That execution’s what got us this win.”

KP’s backcourt played well in tough circumstances, but once again it was senior center Emily Sawyer that put the Warriors in a position to win. She scored 14 points in each half, finishing with a game-high 28 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Sawyer’s put-back in the fourth quarter put the Warriors in front for the first time since it 22-21 and she buried a pair of free throws with just nine seconds remaining to seal the win.

“I’m so proud of her because that was one of the first things I tried to preach to her was how to move without the basketball and how to play with the ball in her hands,” Miszkiewicz said of Sawyer. “Not be biased, but she’s the MVP of the league. The fact that she gets double-, triple-, quadruple-teamed and she still has 20 and 20 almost every night is unbelievable.”

“She scored 28, and I thought our bigs handled her nicely in terms of physicality,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson said. “I think KP rose to the challenge of [Bonner] being out and they kind of avenged that injury nicely. I think matchups were a bit of an issue, Sawyer of course, but Natalya has been playing really well for us but she’s an under-sized four.”

The game started off end-to-end, as Mansfield tried to negate KP’s size advantage in the paint by running at every opportunity. Abby Wager got going right away, hitting a jumper and then burying a three after Kara Santos (11 rebounds) snagged an offensive board. A Santos steal and long outlet turned into an easy fast break bucket.

KP climbed right back into the game. Santoro hit a tough runner and Bonner (eight points) drilled a pair of threes and another shot with a foot on the line. Olivia Salisbury (eight points) got an and-one to help the Hornets, but the rest of the scoring was all Wager. She hit a second three and finished with 13 of Mansfield’s 16 first quarter points.

Sawyer was also off to a strong start. She took a nice feed from Santoro on a sideline inbound play to score in the paint and showed off an array of moves on the block, including a nice turn around jumper that made it 20-16.

Mansfield trailed by six after one, but found a way to lock things down defensively in the second. Bonner was forced to the sideline after getting whacked on the nose and KP struggled to find any rhythm on that end of the floor.

Natalya Gill started the comeback with a banked in three and Hallie Popat knocked down a jumper. Santos added a put-back and Bridget Hanley got a steal under her own basket and went coast-to-coast to cap an 11-0 run and give the Hornets a 27-22 lead. Sawyer got a pair of baskets to cut the lead to one but Salisbury hit a jumper and Wager nailed another triple to extend the lead back to seven going into the locker room.

Each time KP seemed poised to be making a run in the third, Mansfield had an answer. Persky scored in transition to make it a four-point game, but then Hanley fed Santos (six points) on a nice dive to the rim. Sawyer grabbed a put-back, but then Hanley (eight points) drove to the basket, Ella Palanza followed with one of her own, and Gill grabbed a loose ball in the paint for a layup.

Down 10, KP went on a critical 4-0 run to close out the quarter and build momentum. Sawyer got behind the defense on the break for a layup and Persky took the contact and sank a runner on the baseline.

Paschke (nine points and nine rebounds) was proving to be a tough matchup all night and she got a couple of buckets to start the fourth quarter. Then it was Sawyer’s turn to get going again, grabbing offensive rebounds on back-to-back possessions to put KP in front 49-48.

McPherson admitted, “We have this momentum shift where we start to get down in the points and instead of trusting our offense, we kind of go rogue. KP played a great game, but what we need to do now is learn from that and figure out how we can get that momentum to shift back in our favor. We deflate instead of kind of rising to the occasion.”

Santoro looped another long sideline inbounds pass over the defense and into Sawyer’s hands for a close-range finish, but Palanza responded with a nice lefty drive through the lane to tie the game at 51 apiece. Santoro would prove to be the hero. She drilled one from the corner and then Paschke’s baseline drive drew a crowd of defenders and she kicked it out to Santoro in the same spot, with the same result.

“You don’t just replace two ball handlers like that and Leah hit some really big shots in the fourth quarter,” Miszkiewicz said of his backcourt players stepping up late. “Maddie with some strong drives. Two freshmen, Maddie Keough and Jessi Persky stepping up in that situation is really unbelievable.”

King Philip (9-4) will try to make it seven straight wins, and move one closer in the Kelley-Rex title race, when it hosts league-leading Franklin on Friday. Mansfield (8-6) will travel to Davenport-leading Foxboro on Friday looking to hand the Warriors their first league loss of the season and keep them from clinching the league title.

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Attleboro Avoids Canton Upset Bid in Defensive Battle

Attleboro girls basketball
Lily Routhier knocked down a pair of jumpers in the fourth quarter, helping Attleboro hold off Canton’s bid for an upset of the Kelley-Rex title challengers. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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CANTON, Mass. – With just under four seconds left to play in Monday night’s game at the Masciarelli Gym, Samya DaSilva got two hands on a defensive rebound and Canton was able to get a quick timeout to draw up one last play. Down three points and needing to go the length of the court, the attempted baseball pass was picked off near mid-court by Vanessa Ellis (five steals), who dribbled out the clock.

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The steal allowed Attleboro to squeak past the Bulldogs 32-29 in a competitive game that featured plenty of energy and effort but not much offensive flow and even less scoring.

“It’s a ‘W’ in the win column, so I’ll take it, but there’s things we need to work on,” said Attleboro coach Bri Bracken. “We learned a lot and again we’ve just got to play through contact. I think we look a lot for drawing fouls and just go up strong. It’s going to be a long week ahead of us, so we just need to take it day-by-day.”

Canton has lost seven times this season by 10 points or less. In the past two weeks, the Bulldogs have faced the top three teams in the Kelley-Rex and lost by a combined 11 points, while holding all three to under their season scoring marks.

Defense has been Canton’s calling card all season, but the Bulldogs, who graduated a combined 3,100 career points from last year’s roster, haven’t gotten the baskets they need to covert those impressive defensive performances into victories.

“We knew coming into the summer that defense was probably going to have to be something we hang out hat on and at least give us a chance to play with any of the teams,” Canton coach Jim Choquette explained. “In the third quarter we didn’t even give them a field goal, it was just a couple of free throws. The girls work so hard to set screens the right way, run plays the right way to get themselves opportunities.”

Things started out fine for the Bombardiers, who scored nearly half their total points in the opening quarter and jumped out to a 15-7 lead. Avery James buried a three and Kayla Goldrick (10 points, nine rebounds, and four steals) took a long lead pass from Lily Routhier for a quick layup.

Han Hong (five points) grabbed an offensive rebound to get Canton on the board and Erin Beatty followed a Goldrick layup with a put-back that cut the lead to 7-6. It set a pattern, as Canton was aggressive on the glass to limit the Bombardiers to one shot and earn extra possessions on offense. Beatty (four points) would finish with 19 rebounds, including 13 in the first half.

“She might be the best player I’ve ever coached in terms of overall rebounding in her career,” Choquette said of Beatty. “Without those extra possessions that Erin and Emily and all the girls come up with defensively, we’d be in real trouble. Those extra opportunities give us the chance to take extra shots, get back into our sets.”

Attleboro closed the first on an 8-1 run. Routhier (eight points and eight boards), who recorded a triple-double last week, drilled a three and James followed with a tough, pull-up jumper. Merry Bosh then closed the scoring for the Bombardiers by knocking down a deep two for an eight-point lead at the first intermission.

The Bombardiers scored 15 points in the opening eight minutes. Over the next 16 minutes, they managed just two field goals and eight points.

“We were just being too passive,” Bracken said. “Kids were trying to give it to another girl, thinking they may have a better shot. They were trying to be unselfish, but they always play unselfish. There’s a difference between playing passive and unselfish. It was a mess.”

Canton was hardly lighting up the scoreboard on the other end. The Bulldogs would score seven in the second and just five in the third, managing to only cut the first-quarter deficit in half heading to the fourth.

Bosh opened the second with a three to extend the lead to 11, Attleboro’s largest of the night, but those would be the only points for either team until the final 2:30 of the quarter. Beatty again turned an offensive rebound into points, using a nice post move to score. After freshman Tia Williamson got her only basket of the night (off a nice entry pass by Bosh), Jess Wright knocked down a pair at the line and DaSilva (seven points and three blocks) drained a three from several steps behind the line. Attleboro went to the locker room ahead 20-14.

Offense seemed to get even harder to come by after the break. Emily McCabe (five points and nine rebounds) turned a steal into a layup, but the score remained the same until Goldrick made a pair at the line with 3:19 left in the third. A minute later, Hong was able to slice through the lane for a layup and cut the lead to just three, but Ellis would add one free throw (her only point of the night) in the final minute of the quarter.

The fourth quarter almost felt like an offensive explosion compared to the previous two. Mercia Kolokithas drilled a three on a kick-out by DaSilva. Routhier followed with a baseline jumper to go back up three, but then Kolokithas got free from straightaway and nailed a second triple to tie the game at 25-25 with 6:06 to play.

Attleboro finally got a little going on the other end when Routhier restored the lead on another jumper. Goldrick followed with a tough runner in the lane to make it 29-25. Down five with 2:14 to go, McCabe would get a clean look at a straightaway three and brought Canton to within just two points.

DaSilva had a chance to tie the game at the line with 1:38 left, but hit one of two. As the shot clock was winding down 35 seconds later, Goldrick hit the biggest shot of the night, pulling up on the baseline for a short jumper and a three-point lead.

Attleboro was 4-of-8 from the line coming into the fourth, but went just 1-of-8 in the final eight minutes, giving Canton chances to tie, but the Bulldogs couldn’t find the clutch shot and the Bombardiers escaped, pulling even with Franklin in the win column.

Bracken told her team after the final whistle, “You guys need to have confidence in yourself. I know I have confidence in them. We’re a really good team. We have a long road ahead of us but, and I didn’t want to jinx it, us and Franklin are battling right now and you have to keep that in the back of your mind and we need to grind it out. Keep working hard and hustling every game no matter what.”

Attleboro (9-3) travels to Durfee on Wednesday in a game that could have a lot of say in Div. 1 power rankings. Canton (2-10) gets a second look at Notre Dame Academy, which held off the Bulldogs by four points in Hingham in early January.

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Sharon Hangs On Down the Stretch to Beat Stoughton

Sharon Girls Basketball
Sharon junior Jasmine Davis scored 30 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to lead the Eagles to their first road win of the season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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STOUGHTON, Mass. – Jasmine Davis stepped to the line with just a few seconds remaining on the clock with the opportunity to seal Sharon’s first road win of the season and cap yet another big game from the league’s leading scorer. Despite missing both on her last trip to the line, Davis calmly sank two, making it a two possession game and ending Stoughton’s furious comeback attempt.

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With those free throws, Davis finished with 30 points, 20 rebounds, two blocks, and three assists, and Sharon needed just about all of that to pull out the 51-47 victory.

Sharon coach Matt DellaBarba said, “Jasmine is clearly the focus, she’s obviously very talented, but we keep telling the other girls, when they double- and triple-team Jasmine, they’re going to have opportunities and we need to make the most of them. They did exactly that tonight.”

Stoughton fell behind by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but rather than allow the game to get out of hand (and after scoring only four points in the third) the Black Knights rallied. Katrina Varnum (six points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks) hit a short jumper on a dish from freshman Kirsten McKay. Freshman Molly Fox followed with a shot on the baseline, again off a pass from McKay, to cut the lead down to 42-37.

After Davis scored again in the post, Leah McCarty (seven points and four steals) hit one of two shots at the line on back-to-back trips. Davis made two more at the line, but Raina Tat (15 points) stole the ball in the backcourt and converted the layup to stay within five. With the Black Knights closing fast, Sharon got the ball back into Davis’ hands, but Stoughton collapsed defensively and the junior forward kicked it out to classmate Eva Poulton (seven points and six rebounds) for a clutch three.

“We just try to keep building them up,” DellaBarba said about keeping the rest of the team confident to take shots when they get the chance. “Jasmine is incredibly talented but you need more than one girl to win and the girls are buying into that. We’re starting to click.”

Varnum made one of two at the line to make it a four-point game and Tat snatched the rebound, dribbled to the perimeter, and buried a jumper. The first official signaled that the shot was a three, but it went down as a long two, keeping Sharon’s lead at five. Tat made sure her next effort was well behind the line, drilling a big three and making it 49-47 with 16 seconds left.

“I think that’s what we’ve been doing all season long is battling back and not laying down,” explained first-year Stoughton coach Eric Adams. “We’re not giving up. As a young team, every day they come out here to practice from baseline to baseline and they play hard. That’s all I can ask for from a young team.”

Sharon nearly turned it over but managed to get to half court. After a timeout, the Eagles got the ball inbounds and 13 seconds ran off the clock before the Black Knights were able to get a foul. Davis stepped up and sealed the win.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle between the teams’ leading scorers. Davis looked unstoppable in the paint, scoring 11 of Sharon’s 14 in the first, with Tess Letendre (seven points and five assists) burying a three for the only other points from the visitors. McKay got off to a great start as well, nailing a step-back three to start the game and scoring seven in the quarter. Tat added another five to help Stoughton build a 17-14 lead.

Sharon rallied in the second. Davis kicked out to Letendre for a big three to go ahead 22-21, although Tat answered with one from deep to tie the game at 24 apiece. Davis continued to battle inside, scoring another nine points in the second, and Poulton came up with a couple of big buckets to help the Eagles go in front 32-28.

While the Eagles lean on Davis, for good reason, other players were stepping up with important shots. Bailey Garte hit a baseline jumper and a corner three to start the third quarter. Sharon would only get two more points in the frame, but the Eagles also held Stoughton to just one made field goal and four points, all from McKay (17 points).

“As a freshman, she exceed what we all expected of her,” Adams said of McKay. “Sometimes we ask too much of her, but she says that she can handle it and we’re going to ride that as long as we can.”

One key for Sharon was the play of point guard Olivia Landstein, who was pressured full-court all night but seemed unperturbed and able to get the Eagles into their sets. “She’s really been thrown to the wolves this year,” DellaBarba said about Landstein. “We didn’t start her for the first couple minutes tonight and let her see the game and watch it develop and I think she did a great job coming in and taking advantage of it.”

It looked like the Eagles might cruise to the win after going up by double digits, but the Black Knights kept fighting back, effort that their coach thinks has the team on the right track.

“Going against the No. 1 scorer in the Hockomock League,” Adams said, praising his team’s work on the defensive end. “All we have to do is adjust a few things for the next game and we’re going to have another thriller.

Sharon (3-11) will try to build on the win when it hosts North Attleboro on Tuesday. Stoughton (2-11) will face a tough visit from Franklin next week.

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Franklin Grinds Out Tough Win Over Mansfield

Franklin girls basketball
Sophomore Chloe Fales drives baseline in the second half of Franklin’s win over Mansfield. Fales scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half of the 63-55 win. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Even though Franklin and Mansfield are now competing in separate divisions, the rivalry remains between the two programs and the expectations remain for a tough, physical matchup. It may not be the prettiest game, but it’s guaranteed to be competitive.

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On Tuesday night in Franklin, the two teams met for the only time this winter. The game was back-and-forth from the opening whistle, with eight ties and 15 lead changes. Through the first three quarters no team managed to lead by more than five points. Franklin went on an 8-0 run in the final minute of the game, extending the lead to double digits, and that was enough to hold off the Hornets for a 63-55 win.

“We tried to get them out of their sets,” Franklin coach John Leighton explained. “Obviously, they still scored a lot of points, but I think they had to grind a little bit more for them. That was the kind of game we wanted.”

Asked about the importance of being challenged like the Panthers were on Tuesday, Leighton replied, “It’s huge. This what playoff basketball feels like. We want to play way better than this when we get there, but this gets you ready for it.”

The game promised to be close not only because of the rivalry but also because both teams came in playing well. Franklin was riding a five-game win streak that allowed the Panthers to take a slim lead in the Kelley-Rex, while the Hornets were on a six-game streak to turn around a tough start that saw them win just once in their opening five games.

It was scrappy from the opening tip. The Panthers grabbed a 6-2 lead in the first quarter after Katie Peterson (17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks) hit a baseline jumper and drove to the rim.

Mansfield responded with an 8-0 run of its own. Natalya Gill (13 points and seven rebounds) hit a runner, Abby Wager (15 points and three blocks) went coast-to-coast after a defensive rebound, Ella Palanza drove through the lane for a bucket, and Bridget Hanley (seven points and three assists) swooped in for a lefty finish.

Sasha Tracey came off the bench and knocked down a three-pointer to bring Franklin within one and Peterson’s buzzer beater was halfway down but spun out, as the Hornets led 10-9 after one.

Gill was a big spark off the bench. She started the second with a three to put Mansfield up four. and Kara Santos (15 points and six rebounds) grabbed a put-back to make it 15-11. Franklin wouldn’t get too far away, as Caelyn Leonard (eight points and six boards) drilled a three to cut the lead to a point.

Wager answered with a three that would make it 23-19, but Lizzie Newman (six points, seven rebounds, and two blocks) cut through the lane for two and Peterson twice found driving lanes to put the hosts in front. Gill responded again, burying a corner three that made it 26-26.

“Franklin’s speed is tough to compete with and then they add the size with it,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson said. “Natalya came in first shift and worked on the boards and worked defensively and then hit some shots. I think that’s what makes us dangerous is we’ve got Kara and Abby but we do a good job switching up who gives us those other points every night.”

After a couple of free throws, Franklin had one more chance. Peterson drove and kicked to Chloe Fales (14 points and six rebounds) in the corner and the sophomore beat the buzzer with a three to send the Panthers into the locker room up 29-28.

Gill got the second half started with a bucket to regain the lead but Newman answered on the other end. Wager drilled a corner three to make it 36-33 but Peterson scored in the paint and Bridget Leo (10 points and three assists) turned a steal into a layup. Fales then buried another shot from deep to put Franklin up 40-38.

Leo forced another turnover and converted it for two points, but Santos, who had six points in the third, got free on an inbounds play for an easy bucket. Again Franklin got a big three late in the quarter. This time it was Tracey, who made it 45-40.

“They were trying to frustrate us and that was the game plan, but we needed to be opportunistic and we needed to be patient enough to let it happen,” Leighton said. “The first half we forced so many early looks. Once we got better looks, we were good, just had to wait for those opportunities. That’s what I love about Sasha, when she’s open, she’s ready to take the shot.”

Any momentum was quickly stifled by the Hornets, as Gill started the fourth with a three on a kick-out by Olivia Salisbury and Wager used her reach to force a steal and finished on the other end. Peterson made sure that Franklin wouldn’t fall behind, pulling up for a contested jumper in the lane and grabbing an offensive rebound for two.

Wager hit a long two, but Franklin rattled off six straight, with Fales getting a pair of baskets, including one off a Newman steal and long outlet pass. Hanley kept Mansfield in the game, knocking one down from the corner to cut the lead to 55-50 and Santos made a nice baseline drive to get within three.

Peterson came up with maybe the biggest play of the game with 1:09 on the clock. Leonard missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Peterson was able to rise highest to snatch the rebound. Fales then made a nice pass across the lane to Leonard for a huge basket.

Franklin would add the next six points, making good stops on one end, crashing the boards, and knocking down free throws on the other. It wasn’t expected to be easy, but it was the type of game that both coaches knew would benefit their teams in the long-run.

“I thought we battled,” McPherson said. “I was really impressed with how we played and I think coming from the beginning of the season to now, we’re so much improved. We’re looking to compete.”

Franklin (9-2) will try to make it seven wins on the trot when it travels to Milford on Friday night. Mansfield (7-5) will try to get right back on track when it hosts Canton.

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OA Picks Up the Pace to Pick Up Win Against Sharon

Oliver Ames girls basketball
Freshman Avery Gamble drives to the basket for two of her team-high 17 points in OA’s win over visiting Sharon. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – On the first possession of the game, freshman Avery Gamble swung the ball around to classmate Kamryn Derba, who drilled a deep three. More than five minutes later, those were the only three points on the board for Oliver Ames in Friday night’s visit of Sharon to the Nixon Gym.

The Tigers would finish the opening quarter with just seven points, been outscored by Sharon star junior forward Jasmine Davis on her own, and trailed by four points.

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As has so often been the case down the years, OA looked to the other end of the floor to get its spark on offense. The Tigers turned to a full-court press, ratcheted up the pressure on Sharon’s backcourt to limit touches for Davis, and started to play with greater pace and urgency.

OA went on to score 25 points in the second, took a double-digit lead and was off and running towards a 68-36 victory that got the young Tigers back to .500 in league play.

“Once we started pressing, we started finding more of a rhythm on offense, things started opening up,” first-year OA coach Brittany Engle explained. “We want to start with more defensive intensity anyway, sometimes it’s easier said than done. Changing things up defensively gave them the spark that they needed.”

Following Derba’s game-opening three, Sharon went on a 9-0 run. Carmen Leonardi (eight points and four rebounds) tied the game with a triple and then Davis started to get space in the post. The team’s leading scorer, Davis got started with a nice drive to the left hand, knocked down a baseline jumper, and then a nice move on the left block.

The hosts finally settled down and got a few good possessions, with Katherine Farley providing a nice burst of energy off the bench. The junior forward grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Maddie Homer (seven steals and nine rebounds) for a short jumper. Davis kept momentum with Sharon, grabbing an offensive rebound and going up strong to make it 11-7.

OA would take control of the game in the second. Gamble (team-high 17 points) took a feed from Derba and buried a three that tied the game and Homer followed with a triple from the corner to put the Tigers ahead 16-13. It was a lead that they would never relinquish.

Gamble caught fire in the quarter, finding seams to drive through the lane and get to the rim for left-handed finishes. She had nine points in the second. Kaydance Derba (nine points and two blocks) also found the range from deep, burying a pair from beyond the arc to stretch the defense.

“They’re very good in transition,” Sharon coach Matt DellaBarba said. “They always have been and we wanted to get them out of that. I thought we did a good job in the first half, they made that second quarter run, but overall I thought we did a good job getting our guards back and taking easy baskets away from them. Second half, it got away from us a little bit.”

Davis tried to keep the Eagles in the game, scoring six more in the second. Despite facing constant double and triple teams, she scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. DellaBarba said, “We’re really missing Rachael Hager. She really frees up Jasmine.”

He continued, “They were playing 2-3 zone and just sticking their bottom three on Jasmine and we were getting some looks from the outside but none of them were really falling. We’ve got to do more on our end to help her out a little bit.”

Once the Tigers got in front, they never let off the gas. Gamble added another six points in the third, including a layup off another Homer steal, and the Derba sisters combined for a trio of three-pointers, as OA did a better job of drawing the defense and getting in-rhythm perimeter looks. Kamryn finished the game with 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Eva Poulton (four points and nine rebounds) got a bucket, as did Tess Letendre and Olivia Landstein, but the Eagles were having a hard time getting the ball into the post to Davis. OA extended its lead to 50-29 after three.

“Our goal was to pressure the guards, make the post-entry pass difficult, deny her so they can’t see her numbers, and then double down in the post if she gets it,” Engle said about the game plan on Davis. “We weren’t aggressive enough denying her, but in the second half we were.”

Freshman Maeve Horsman added six points for OA in the fourth and Brianna Monteiro (four points and six rebounds) turned a steal into a fast-break bucket. Davis got a pair of looks in the paint for the Eagles, but she had only six points in the second half as OA sent multiple defenders at her on every possession.

After a tough start to the season, against a tough schedule that included top ranked teams from Div. 1-3, the defending D2 state champions have won three in a row. Engle saw signs of a turnaround in the loss to Attleboro.

“We executed the game plan better and they bought in,” she said. “We grew in the games that we lost, but it’s kind of demoralizing to not have the end result be what they want it to be. For them to see their growth and now see the results match that growth, I think that’s been really beneficial.”

Oliver Ames (4-6) will try to make it four straight wins with a trip to Taunton on Tuesday, before next week’s showdown with league-leading Foxboro. Sharon (2-10) will try to bounce back with a tough trip to Attleboro.

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