Sharon athletic director Dr. Nicholas Schlierf announced last week that the school has hired former Rockland High assistant coach and current Duxbury High softball coach Sandra Lombardi as the new girls’ basketball coach, replacing Cliff Tomassian, who stepped down this summer after three seasons.
This is the first varsity basketball coaching position for Lombardi, who has coached at the sub-varsity level for a number of years, including at Cardinal Spellman, East Bridgewater (her alma mater, where she became interim varsity coach in 2015-16 after the head coach stepped down during the season), and last season at Rockland.
“I’m fortunate that Sharon gave me the opportunity to be a varsity head coach in basketball,” said Lombardi in a phone interview on Thursday afternoon. “I’m very excited about it.”
While this is Lombardi’s first time at the helm of a basketball program, she boasts an impressive coaching resume in softball. She was the coach at Whitman-Hanson and led the Panthers to 13 state tournaments in 15 years before two seasons at Massasoit Community College, before taking her current position at Duxbury.
“I love coaching at the high school level,” Lombardi said. “I think that’s one of the reasons I left Massasoit and came back in softball.”
When asked about what drew her interest about the Sharon position, Lombardi replied, “It’s great community; I’ve heard a lot of great things about Sharon. It’s a very competitive league and I’m a very competitive person.”
The Eagles have a potentially young roster. Lombardi said that only one senior is returning this winter, guard Miranda Cheung, who was part of the hiring committee for the new coach.
“I’m excited about having a younger team,” said Lombardi, “and obviously our expectation will be to qualify for the tournament. Defense is something I’m going to focus on this year and really work with the younger kids.”
King Philip athletic director Gary Brown announced on Wednesday that the school has hired former Wellesley High assistant Amy Siggens as its new girls’ basketball coach, replacing Marty Crowley, who left after four seasons and was hired at Hockomock League rival Attleboro in June.
Siggens played at Westwood High during the early 1990s, spent a post-graduate year at Cushing Academy and walked on for a season at Boston College. She has coaching experience in the Tri-Valley League (TVL) in the Hopkinton program and, after a few years away from coaching, has spent the past couple seasons on the staff at Wellesley. Siggens is also the daughter of former St. Bonaventure, Boston College, Ohio State, and Emerson College men’s basketball coach Jim O’Brien.
When she moved to Attleboro with her family, Siggens saw the opening at KP and decided to apply.
“I just wanted to get into a program to really help change some of it…and really help build it,” Siggens said in a phone interview on Thursday night. “I think I can get KP back to where they deserve to be.”
She added, “I think seeing positive women role models in these roles, not that these men aren’t any good because there are some phenomenal male coaches, but that presence helps. I want to improve them as players and as young women as well.”
With the official announcement just taking place this week, Siggens is looking forward to setting up time to meet with the players. She has already met with Christina Hathaway, who will be a captain this winter, but wanted to give the school time to make the hire official before getting the whole team together.
King Philip, which finished 7-13 last year, will be in the Westwood High girls’ basketball tournament this winter, giving Siggens the chance to coach at her alma mater. The Warriors will also face Wellesley in the tournament, meaning a chance to coach against the team she helped out last year.
Siggens could not contain her excitement for the upcoming season.
“The principal, Lisa Mobley, and [athletic director] Gary Brown have been really wonderful and I’m really thankful to them for giving me this opportunity,” said Siggens. “I wish basketball was starting tomorrow. I just want to get in the gym…I just want to start doing stuff.”
Attleboro High School announced Marty Crowley as its new girls basketball coach on Tuesday morning. Crowley, who spent four years as the girls basketball coach at King Philip, takes over for Rick Patch who stepped down in May.
“We welcome Coach Martin Crowley to AHS,” said Attleboro Athletic Director Mark Houle in a press release. “Coach Crowley’s basketball experience and vision to cultivate a positive experience for our girls at all levels of our program is promising. I look forward to working with Coach Crowley to reach the girls basketball programs goals.”
Crowley takes over a program that posted an impressive 16-8 record last season and finished third in the Kelley-Rex division. The Bombardiers have reached the postseason five straight seasons. During his four years patrolling the bench at King Philip, Crowley helped the Warriors to 33 wins and a playoff appearance in 2014.
Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Ashley Sampson, Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Sarah Deyo, Attleboro
Julia Strachan, Attleboro
Hannah Jerrier, Canton
Ashley Sampson, Foxboro
Lily Sykes, Foxboro
Ali Brigham, Franklin
Shannon O’Connor, King Philip
Meg Hill, Mansfield
Jen Peel, Mansfield
Kate Irwin, Milford
Ashley Ahern, North Attleboro
Caroline Collard, North Attleboro
Kayla Raymond, Oliver Ames
Emma Eberhardt, Sharon
Val Whalen, Stoughton
Lily Patneaude, Taunton
Mish Logie, Attleboro
Emma Murphy, Canton
Grace Tamulionis, Foxboro
Carli Koffinke, Franklin
Julia Leroux, King Philip
Ann Maher, Mansfield
Nicole Dahlgren, Milford
Samantha Taggart, North Attleboro
Niyera Mitchell, Oliver Ames
Shira Stoller, Sharon
Lili Njeim, Stoughton
Mackenzie Handrahan, Taunton
For the first time since the inaugural HockomockSports.com Charity Basketball Classic, a pair of seniors won the Three Point Contests. Mansfield’s Phil Vigeant and North Attleboro’s Ashley Ahern came away with the hardware at Mansfield High School, edging out Taunton’s Tommy MacLean and Attleboro’s Julia Strachan in the finals.
Both Ahern and Strachan put on a show in both rounds. Strachan had the highest total of any shooter – male or female – in the first round, connecting on 19 shots from beyond the arc. Ahern wasn’t far behind, hitting 17 trifectas to advance to the finals. In the final round, Ahern caught fire and hit an impressive 20 shots (on 25 tries) to edge Strachan (16 makes in the final). Ahern set the record for most three’s made by a female (20) in a round and tied Mansfield’s Ryan Boulter for most makes in a round for either male or female. Her total of 37 shots made between two rounds is also an event record. Only North Attleboro’s Brent Doherty (39) made more in 2016, but went to overtime in the final.
On the boys side, Vigeant had the top score in the first round with 16 shots made. MacLean made the final with 15 made shots, just edging Stoughton’s Matt Valle (14). In the final, Vigeant hit his very last shot to get 14. MacLean hit his final three shots but came up just short with 13.
Though MacLean came up short in the final, he now holds the record for all-time shots made in HockomockSports.com Three Point Contest History. In four years, MacLean has drained 65 trifectas. North Attleboro’s Brent Doherty sits in second all time with 62 while Boulter is third overall with 44. Sharon’s Jimmy Fitzhenry hit 12 shots in the first round, setting a new school record for a male player. Valle’s 14 threes is also a Stoughton record for a male shooter.
BOSTON, Mass. – Things were looking good for Foxboro after pitching a shutout in the third quarter, seizing control of its D2 State Semifinal against Arlington Catholic.
Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t quite keep up with the outstanding defense.
The Warriors kept Arlington Catholic without a point for a near 12 minute stretch — the final 3:50 of there first half, the entire eight minutes of the third quarter and the first couple of seconds of the fourth quarter.
However, Foxboro went just 1/10 from the field in the final frame. Meanwhile, the Cougars’ offense finally came to life, scoring 18 points — eight from the charity stripe — and picked up a 37-30 win over the Warriors to advance to the D2 State Final on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, the shots just weren’t falling in the fourth quarter,” said Foxboro head coach Lisa Downs. “To hold a team like that scoreless in third quarter, it was looking pretty optimistic for us. But the shots just weren’t falling tonight.”
Arlington Catholic surged to a 19-10 lead halfway through the second quarter but Foxboro’s defense — and offense — turned it up. The Warriors didn’t allow any points the rest of the half while rattling off a 7-0 run. To start that run, junior Ashley Sampson (13 points, 11 rebounds) drained a three to eclipse the 1,000 point mark for her career.
“Obviously it’s great for her to get her 1,000th point and we’re extremely proud of her,” Downs said. “But she could have cared less about that tonight. She just wanted to win. That attitude bodes well for everyone on the team. The team chemistry, that’s what I’m going to miss more than anything to tell you the truth.”
“I honestly really didn’t care about scoring the 1,000th point, we just wanted to get the win,” Sampson said. “It didn’t happen but we’re going to work just as hard as we did this year to try and get back here next year and hopefully get the ‘W.’”
Riley Collins (five points) added a basket and Grace Tamulionis (five points, six rebounds) converted a put back just before the buzzer to get the Warriors within two, 19-17, at the break.
“We definitely had our looks,” Downs said. “Especially in the first half, we had some bunnies and some short jumpers. Usually our shooting percentage is far better than it was tonight, which will happen, but usually our defense will make up for that and give us additional opportunities. And we had those tonight, but they were very aggressive on defense. Ashley was getting double teamed, sometimes triple teamed and we just weren’t reversing the ball quite enough.”
Foxboro kept the momentum up in the third quarter. Lily Sykes gave the Warriors the lead with a three 90 seconds into the third quarter. Sykes added a free throw, Sampson hit three free throws and Collins drained a three in the final minute to give the Warriors a 26-19 lead through three.
“Those kids from Foxboro, their heart was ridiculous,” said Arlington Catholic coach David Brady. “I thought they scratched and clawed within the rules of basketball to rebound the ball. You get to this point, nobody wants to lose, nobody wants to quit. Foxboro was an incredible team tonight.”
Arlington’s offense came to life in the fourth quarter, mainly by attacking the basket and getting to the line. Erin Donlan (13 points) broke the scoreless streak with a free throw eight seconds into the final frame. Donlan then added two more free throws and then hit a layup to cut the deficit to 26-24. Monica Rayo (eight points, five points) then tied the game with just under six minutes to play and hit another basket a minute later to give the Cougars a 28-26 lead, capping a 9-0 run.
Foxboro’s offense finally broke into the scoring column in the fourth quarter, taking the lead back on a three from Tamulionis at 29-28. Lauren Flahive stretched the lead to two with a free throw with 2:31 to play, but that would be the last of Foxboro’s scoring.
AC’s Lena Perez 11 points, 15 rebounds) tied the game off an inbounds play with just under two minutes to go. Foxboro came up empty on its offensive possession, and the Cougars’ Alexandra Bell (eight rebounds) his a turn-around jumper with 1:20 to play to give AC the lead back.
Foxboro missed a shot and then had a turnover on the next possession, forcing the Warriors into foul mode. AC made five free throws in the final 44 seconds to seal the deal.
“I think defensively we were scrappy as we always are. We created opportunities for ourselves but on the offensive end, when we didn’t set the offense exactly as we normally do, we weren’t getting the looks we normally do. The ones we were getting weren’t the ones we wanted, it just wasn’t our night unfortunately.”
Brady admitted the Cougars’ main defensive game plan focused on Sampson.
“They hit some big shots but we had to live with it a little bit,” Downs said. “To try and take Sampson away, are you kidding me? That girls fantastic. It takes a village to stop her, she’s something else.”
Foxboro girls basketball finishes the season at 22-3 and as Davenport division champions.
Foxboro junior Ashley Sampson has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for March 5th through March 11th. Sampson is the 24th athlete selected for the 2016-2017 school year and the 12th selection during the winter season. She is the third girls basketball player and second Foxboro athlete to be selected this winter.
Sampson, who was selected as the Hockomock MVP by the league’s coaches, scored a game-high 20 points on Monday at Massasoit Community College to help the Warriors win the season series with North Attleboro and advance to the Div. 2 South final. Against Westwood in the South final at Brockton High, Sampson was once again the game’s top scorer with 19 points, as Foxboro claimed its first sectional title since 2003.
“Ashley has really stepped it up for our team each week this season and this past week has really proven what a true leader she has become,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “She not only has led our team each time she steps on the court, but, she does so with a quiet sense of confidence that everyone looks up to.”
Downs added, “The success our team has enjoyed would not have been possible without her.”
In addition to her scoring numbers, Sampson also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out five assists against North and grabbed 10 boards and had four steals against the Wolverines. She has also provided timely scoring for the Warriors, with 12 of her 20 points against North coming in the second half and eight points in the fourth quarter against Westwood to bring Foxboro back for the win.
Sampson and Foxboro will face North champion Arlington Catholic in the state semifinal on Monday night at 5:45 p.m. at the TD Garden. Sampson enters the games just nine points shy of 1,000 for her career.
The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.