Foxboro Defense Locks Down Warrior Classic Title

Foxboro girls basketball
Lizzy Davis scored a team-high 12 points and was a key to Foxboro’ swarming defense that held ORR to only 26 points. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – The old maxim is that defense wins championships. On Tuesday night, Foxboro proved that at least some of the time that maxim is accurate.

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The Warriors held Old Rochester to just 11 points in the first half and didn’t allow more than eight points in a single quarter, overcoming a rough night on the offensive end of the floor and winning 34-26 to take home the title in the annual Warrior Classic.

“We limited a very good team to 11 points in the first half, so I think our defense did what we needed to do,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “We knew they like a physical, frantic game, so we just tried to not match them but create a different kind of chaos with our defense.”

In a rematch of last year’s tournament final, the two teams ramped up the defensive pressure right from the opening whistle and forced both offenses to play faster than they would have liked. The result was a tight, physical game with very few cleanly run sets.

Foxboro got off to a solid start, as Lizzy Davis (12 points and four steals) drilled a three and Katelyn Mollica (eight points) got to the rim for a basket and a 6-0 lead. After Meghan Horan (game-high 14 points) got ORR on the board, Mollica knocked down a pull-up jumper to make it 8-2.

Horan got another basket off a steal, but Davis took a pair of charges in the quarter and the Warriors made everything difficult to lead 8-4 after one.

 

Shakirah Ketant (six points and 10 rebounds) got the second started with a rebound and put-back, but a three-point play from Mary Butler (eight points and 11 rebounds) cut the lead down to just one.

Jordyn Collins kept a possession alive with an offensive rebound that led to an Abby Hassman jumper and then Hassman kicked it out for a Davis three, as the Warriors extended the lead to 17-11 at the break.

Foxboro’s offense started to show signs of life in the third to open some separation between the sides. The Warriors scored 11 in the third, which was the only quarter in which either team managed double digits. Yara Fawaz hit a runner to make it 21-13 and Davis followed with her third three of the night to push the lead to 11. Hassman (four assists) set up Fawaz for a basket, as Foxboro grabbed its largest lead of the night, 26-13.

A Hassman steal led to a Mollica transition basket, but ORR got the final points of the quarter. Foxboro headed into the fourth leading 28-18.

“They were taking away, doubling a lot, and their switching didn’t play into what we like to do offensively,” Downs explained, “but we did what we needed to do get done. To beat a quality team like that, I’m happy with it.”

It felt like the Warriors were heading to a comfortable win, but the Bulldogs wouldn’t go away. Butler got a layup. Horan got a free throw and then a steal that she turned into a basket on the other end and Cadence Johnson scored in the paint to cut the Foxboro lead to just 30-25

Fawaz (six points and six rebounds) had Foxboro’s only basket to that point in the fourth, but Davis was able to break down the ORR defense, drive into the lane, and kick out for an open Mollica jumper that made it a seven-point game. Ketant added a pair of free throws late to seal the win.

Despite only scoring six points in the final quarter, Foxboro walked off the court with the Warrior Classic title and the experience of the type of games that are bound to come in the Div. 2 playoffs.

“As long as we show up on defense, good things are going to happen,” said Downs, “but we’ve got to get our fast break moving a little bit more. When you have the open court and move without the ball, that’s when good things happen. Every time we made that extra pass, we had some open shots.”

Foxboro (19-2) expects to be one of the top seed in the Div. 2 South bracket when the tournament pairings are announced this week.

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