Strong Defense Pushes Rocketeers Past Foxboro

By David James, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FOXBORO, Mass. – In a game filled with scoring runs, North Attleboro happened to have the last one, as the Rocketeers outpaced Foxboro 7-2 down the stretch to pull out the Davenport division game 53-47.

For North, it all started with Jonny Friberg (17 points, 11 rebounds), who scored 14 of his points in the first quarter alone. The 6-foot-6 center seemed unguardable and led North on a 7-2 run to start the game, only for the Warriors to respond with a 9-2 run of their own.

After trading points back and forth, the first quarter ended with the Rocketeers up 20-15. “When [Friberg] gets hot, he’s almost impossible to guard one-on-one,” said North coach Sean Mulkerrins. “That forced them to make some adjustments, which opened everything up for everyone else.”

The second quarter was all Foxboro, as seniors Andrew Block (13 points) and Mark Clagg (7 points) led the team on an 18-6 run that ended with the Warriors up 33-27 heading into halftime. The Warriors defense stymied the Rocketeers by swarming Friberg every time he touched the ball and held North to just six points in the quarter.

“We got caught marveling at the scoreboard and got too comfortable relying on Jonny in the first quarter,” Mulkerrins explained. “They made some adjustments and we didn’t respond to them real well.”

The game’s momentum shift came with 6:14 left in the third quarter as Friberg grabbed an offensive rebound and dunked it with authority, posterizing three Foxboro defenders. This was the highlight in North’s 7-0 run to start the second half, capitalizing on three Foxboro turnovers.

 

After that, the third quarter featured a back-and-forth battle that saw four lead changes, as Foxboro’s Block and Brandon Borde (10 points), matched North’s Tom Reynolds (11 points) and Brent Doherty (9 points), tying the game at 41 heading into the final period.

The score remained close all the way until the 4:00 mark in the fourth quarter when Hacmoni Cuevas hit a three that flipped the switch back in North’s favor, starting a 7-2 run down the stretch that handed North the win.

The defense was the key for the Rocketeers, who caused 10 turnovers in the second half and allowed just six points in the fourth quarter, helping the team outscore the Warriors 26-14 in the second half.

When asked what the difference in the game was, Mulkerrins explained “We really didn’t do anything special. We played our defense and we played it very well. I give a lot of credit to [Kyle] McCarthy and Reynolds for stepping it up and leading us defensively. A lot of those turnovers led to some good looks for us on offense, which helped a lot down the stretch.”

Next up, North Attleboro (7-4) will host rival Attleboro and Foxboro (4-6) will host Taunton on Tuesday.

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