Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/20/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Stoughton, 61 @ Waltham, 71 – FinalStoughton scored 42 points in the second half and outscored the host Hawks over the last two quarters but the Black Knights couldn’t overcome a slow first half. The Knights shot just 25% from the floor in the opening half, falling behind 37-19 at the break. Stoughton hit five threes in the second half to help close the gap. Senior Cam Andrews had a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds while classmate Colin Sanda had eight points, six rebounds, and five assists. Both Andrews and Sanda were named to the all-tournament team.

Taunton, 71 @ Catholic Memorial, 90 – Final

Girls Basketball
Canton, 65 @ Weymouth, 59 – Final (OT)Click here for a Recap from this game.

Foxboro, 58 vs. Natick, 45 – FinalAshley Sampson scored 27 points and Foxboro closed out the regular season by winning the Warrior Classic and sewing up the top seed in Div. 2 South. Sampson was named the tournament MVP after a 29-point performance on Monday and Lily Sykes was named to the all-tournament team.

Franklin, 52 vs. Shepherd Hill, 43 – FinalAli Brigham and Bea Bondhus combined for 31 points to help the Panthers beat the top seed at the Westboro tournament and one of the top seeds in the Central. Franklin will face Hopkinton in the tournament final on Thursday night.

Oliver Ames, 77 vs Duxbury, 74 – Final (2 OT)Oliver Ames sophomore Meg Holleran hit a pair of late three-pointers to help the Tigers edge the Dragons in the Norwell Invitational. “Key combinations of grit and determination earned the win,” said OA head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. Senior Kayla Raymond had a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds while classmate Abby Reardon had 12 points, including some key free throws down the stretch. Alex Sheldon added nine points and eight rebounds for the Tigers.

Boys Hockey
Canton, 2 vs. Medfield, 0 – FinalCanton senior Bubba McNeice scored in the first period and junior Ryan Nolte scored in the second to give the Bulldogs a win in the first round of the Joe Quinn Memorial Tournament. Quinn Gibbs recorded the shutout in net. Canton advances to the finals and will take on host Coyle & Cassidy on Thursday at 7:30.

Oliver Ames, 6 vs. Sandwich, 0 – FinalMax Ward recorded a hat trick to lead the Tigers to a big win in the consolation game of the Jeff Hayes Memorial Tournament. Colin Bourne and Brett Williams each scored once in the first period while senior Adam Healy scored in the second. Rory Madden had two assists while sophomore Owen Connor made 16 saves to earn the shutout.

Taunton, 8 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalTaunton senior Will Walsh recorded a hat trick to pace the Tigers past the Black Knights at Asiaf Arena.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/16/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 70 @ Taunton, 45 – FinalAttleboro’s offense was clicking on Friday night, shooting over 60% from the field in a win over the Tigers. With the win, Attleboro qualifies for the state tournament. The Bombardiers were 29-for-48 from the field, including eight three-pointers. Sophomore Bryant Ciccio had a career-high 24 points along with seven assists, Kevin Velazquez and senior Nate Douglas each added 13 points apiece and sophomore Qualeem Charles had six points and 13 rebounds.

Stoughton, 56 @ Canton, 65 – FinalCanton added to its lead after each of the first three quarters to beat Stoughton and clinch a share of the Davenport division title, the program’s first Hock title since 1992. The Bulldogs led 11-8 after one, 32-26 at halftime and 47-37 heading into the fourth. Senior Jake Verille scored a career-high 20 points while classmate Austin Maffie poured in 20 points and hauled in 10 rebounds to pace Canton. Colin Sanda had 15 points and four assists for the Black Knights.

North Attleboro, 38 @ Foxboro, 56 – Final

King Philip, 49 @ Franklin, 62 – FinalFranklin pulled away in the fourth quarter to hold off an upset attempt from King Philip. The Panthers led 36-35 going into the final period and scored 26 points to secure the win. Senior Paul Mahon paced Franklin with 21 points while junior Jalen Samuels added 17 points.

Mansfield, 59 @ Oliver Ames, 48 – Final

Milford, 72 @ Sharon, 55 – FinalMilford scored 45 points in the first half, running away with a win over a division foe on the road. Junior Brendan White scored a game-high 24 points, Andrew Fraioli (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Kayden Kelley (10 points, 12 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles and Zach Tammaro chipped in with 13 points. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet scored a team-high 20 points for the Eagles.

Girls Basketball
Taunton, 42 @ Attleboro, 43 – FinalJordyn Lako hit a go-ahead free throw with eight seconds left and Liv McCall sealed the win with a steal three seconds later. Sam Pierce scored 14 points to lead the Bombardiers, while Nyah Thomas added eight. Hannah Moniz was Taunton’s top scorer with 10 points.

Canton, 48 @ Stoughton, 49 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Foxboro, 66 @ North Attleboro, 41 – FinalLily Sykes scored a team-high 23 points for the Warriors, who capped off the program’s first perfect season in the Hockomock League.

Franklin, 57 @ King Philip, 41 – Final

Oliver Ames, 49 @ Mansfield, 42 – FinalOliver Ames pulled away late, breaking open a 34-34 game by going 5-for-5 from the line and scoring off its defense down the stretch to earn a split of the season series with the Hornets. Abby Reardon and Caroline Flynn each came up with key free throws during that stretch. Kayla Raymond led the way for the Tigers with 14 points and Erin Holmberg added 11. Maggie Danehy had 13 and Mady Bendanillo had 10 for Mansfield.

Sharon, 55 @ Milford, 62 – FinalEmily Piergustavo celebrated senior night with a career-high in points and a triple-double to help the Hawks close out the regular season with a win. Piergustavo scored 27 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists. Julie Rabinowitz scored 14 for Milford, knocking down four three-pointers. Emma Eberhardt was Sharon’s top scorer with 27 points, while Telishya Herbert had 15 and Kaitlyn Wallace has 11.

Raymond, OA Beat Franklin to Book Playoff Spot

Oliver Ames girls basketball
Oliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond (35) pulls up for a jumper against Franklin. Raymond scored a game-high 29 points to help the Tigers clinch a tournament berth. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames and Franklin had a lot on the line in Friday night’s game at the William F. Nixon Gym. The teams were tied for second place in the Kelley-Rex division and trying to stay within two games of league-leading Mansfield (which has to play both the Panthers and Tigers again this year), while OA was also trying to clinch its spot in the state tournament.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Behind 29 points from senior forward Kayla Raymond and defensive adjustments strong contributions off the bench in the second half, OA rallied from three points down at the break for a 61-54 come from behind victory and a split of the season series with the Panthers.

In the first half, everything offensively for the Tigers ran through Raymond. The Stonehill-commit scored 12 of OA’s 14 points in the first quarter, twice scoring on three-point plays taking the ball to the basket. She added another four in the second in the second, while Caroline Flynn knocked down a three and Abby Reardon added four.

With Raymond on one side and Katie Flynn or Alex Sheldon giving weakside help, OA double-teamed Franklin center Ali Brigham, forcing the Panthers to find scoring on the perimeter. Junior guard Bea Bondhus stepped right in and drilled four threes in the first half, scoring 14 of her team-high 18 points in the process.

Teagan Collins also nailed one from outside, as Franklin closed the half on an 11-4 run to lead 28-25.

“That was the game plan, don’t leave Bondhus alone,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We lost her and she had 14 points in the first half. All I wrote on the board at halftime was 21 (Bondhus) [has] 14, that’s all. Defensively, we needed to make a couple of adjustments and I thought we did.”

OA switched to man-to-man and upped the full-court pressure to try and keep the ball out of Bondhus’ hands. After Raymond tied the game with a three, Megan O’Connell (11 points) scored off a Kelsey MacCallum assist. Erin Holmberg (seven points) hit a three to give OA a lead, but Brigham (14 points and 11 rebounds) answered with a three-point play on an offensive rebound.

“They can make it very tough,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They made it so other kids had to score by focusing on Ali and Bea. I thought we countered it pretty well and we had some kids step up. We worked tremendously hard.”

Raymond continued to pour in the points, showing off nifty footwork under the basket to go up and under for a layup with Brigham on her back, but OA also started to get contributions off the bench. Caroline Flynn (six points) scored on a putback, while Meg Holleran and freshman Tori Harney also chipped in on both ends of the floor.

“They did a great job,” said Clement-Holbrook of the bench effort. “Honestly, we started see that become a part of who we are against Foxboro. I think from that point forward that’s what we want and I think they’re starting to believe a little more.”

OA caught Franklin in the press and Katie Flynn hit Raymond with a perfect pass over the top of the defense for a layup. It was one of five assists for Flynn, who caused problems for the Franklin defense in the high post. The senior also added four points, six steals, two blocks, and four rebounds.

“It’s not fancy, flashy,” said Clement-Holbrook about Flynn’s contributions. “That was one of the things we keyed on to try and get Brigham away from the rim. We had to come up with a scheme to see if we could get her out or over and Katie did such a great job because she hit some nice backdoor passes.”

OA led 44-39 heading to the fourth and Raymond drained a long jumper to get the final quarter started. Franklin would not go away, cutting the lead back down to four. The Tigers stretched it back out to nine on a basket by Holmberg and a jumper by Ally Scolnick, who came off the bench to score all seven of her points in the fourth.

“Kayla was kind of a one-man band in the first half,” said Leighton, “but in the second they got kids some open shots, especially in the transition when we were pressing.”

Clement-Holbrook explained, “Offensively, we did a reasonably good job of opening things up. The first time we played them with Brigham sitting in the middle like that it kind of took us a little while to figure things out. Because we moved people around, I think it made it a little more difficult for them to defend us.”

Brigham scored plus the foul off a feed from O’Connell to keep Franklin within six, but Raymond found Flynn with a wraparound pass on the baseline for a layup. Shannon Gray answered with a three on the other end, but OA beat the press and Scolnick set up Raymond for an easy basket. Raymond then returned the favor for a Scolnick bucket in transition.

“We gave up too many easy ones at the end,” Leighton said. “I thought we might be able to hang with them, but once they started getting those easy ones then they were able to pull away.”

Oliver Ames (10-4, 9-3) will be back at home on Tuesday to take on King Philip. Franklin (10-6, 8-4) will try to bounce back on Tuesday when it welcomes Taunton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Third Quarter Run Lifts Foxboro to Win at Oliver Ames

Foxboro girls basketball
Foxboro senior Grace Tamulionis (21) scored 19 points to lead the Warriors to a tough road win at Oliver Ames. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – For three quarters, Oliver Ames did its best to make life difficult for Davenport division leader Foxboro in its visit to the William F. Nixon Gym on Friday night. Playing without the team’s and the league’s top scorer, senior Kayla Raymond, the Tigers turned up the defensive pressure and forced the Warriors to grind out each possession.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Unfortunately for the hosts, all it took was one big quarter for the Warriors to break the game open and get another league win. Foxboro closed the first half on a 10-3 run to lead by double digits, used a 21-0 run to start the second half to build a big lead, and withstood a late OA rally to win 61-39.

It was the eighth time this season that Foxboro has won by at least 20 points, although few 20-point wins were as difficult as this.

“I honestly thought we saw that Kayla wasn’t playing and decided to take a night off a little bit,” admitted Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “There’s no excuse for that. OA is always going to be a quality team…and they’re always great defensively, so we should’ve been ready for the pressure.”

OA needed an offensive spark without Raymond and in the first quarter sophomore Erin Holmberg provided that lift with seven of her 11 points, including the Tigers’ lone made three on the night. Junior Alex Sheldon (12 rebounds) added six of her game- and career-high 20 points in the first.

“We don’t have Kayla obviously but nobody has to do anything extraordinary,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook about the message prior to the tip. “Everybody has to do their job and maybe a little extra and we’ll be okay. Just keep digging, just keep digging, just keep digging.”

She added, “Play good defense, try to limit them to one shot, limit their threes and we’ve got a chance. And for three quarters of the game that’s exactly what they did.”

Even with the defensive pressure ramped up, Foxboro held an 18-13 lead after one quarter. Lily Sykes (12 points and six assists) had seven points and Grace Tamulionis (team-high 19 points) knocked down a pair of threes for six points.

The second quarter was even better for the OA defense, stifling the Warriors and limiting the transition game that allows Foxboro to create so much separation, but the offense struggled. A floater on the baseline by Holmberg cut the OA lead to 19-15, but the Tigers would only get one more basket (a layup by Ally Scolnick off a Katie Flynn inbound pass) in the second.

Foxboro started to push the lead with a 10-3 run to close the half. Ashley Sampson (16 points, six steals, and four assists) scored plus a foul and got to the basket on a Sykes assist to make it 29-18 at the break.

The Warriors came out of the break a totally different team. Sampson scored in the half-court and instantly the full-court press started to force turnovers. Tamulionis drilled her third three of the game off an Abby Hassman assist and then Tamulionis assisted on a Sykes three.

“She’s instrumental,” said Downs of Tamulionis. “She works hard and she has a beautiful shot and I think the less time she has to think about that shot the better off she is. We recognized that she was the open player and she hit some big shots for us.”

Suddenly, the floodgates were open for Foxboro.

Sampson twice scored off her own steals, Tamulionis added five more points, Sykes scored in transition, and Shannon Smally (10 rebounds) scored all four of her points in what ended up being a 21-0 run (31-3 including the second quarter) and a 50-18 lead.

“They played a little better in the third quarter and the defense picked up a little bit,” said Downs. “We were able to get a few deflections, a few steals, and that generated layups and then we just got the momentum.”

With the game seemingly out of reach, OA started to settle down again and began a big run that would see the Tigers creep back within reach. Caroline Flynn scored off a Meg Holleran pass, Scolnick scored on the break and Sheldon added two more to make it 52-24 heading to the fourth.

“These were significant minutes in terms of pressure,” said Clement-Holbrook about getting playing time for her younger players. “We were playing against Foxboro’s first five, so I think it was a good barometer for us to see who can do what in what situations. I thought they adjusted.”

OA continued to grind in the fourth quarter. The Tigers held Foxboro without a point for six minutes, scored the first 15 points of the fourth (21-2 run overall), and climbed back with 13 points. Sheldon was the major force in that run, as she scored 11 points in the fourth quarter alone, twice getting on the break for three-point plays.

“It was awesome,” said Clement-Holbrook of the comeback. “We’re really proud of them. Hopefully we can not revert back from this point now, hopefully we can move it forward.”

When asked about the fourth quarter, Downs replied, “Not pretty at all.” After dropping back into a half-court defense, Downs called for the press for the final minutes and Foxboro ran off nine straight (five from Tamulionis) to seal the win.

“They’re more comfortable in the press,” Downs said, “so we were in half-court because of the score but once they chipped away a little we went back and they were like, okay this is where we’re comfortable.”

Foxboro (12-2, 10-0) will have another crossover game on Tuesday when Attleboro pays a visit. Oliver Ames (8-4, 7-3) will be on the road Tuesday to face Canton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/23/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
North Attleboro, 55 @ Attleboro, 52 – FinalTrailing by five in the fourth quarter, North Attleboro junior Nate Gonsalves drained a three to spark an 11-2 run for Big Red. Gonsalves then converted a layup with just over a minute to play, giving the Rocketeers a 51-50 lead. Ethan Friberg and Evan Rosenberg also scored in the run, and Josh Montague scored with just under a minute to play to make it 53-50. Attleboro’s Qualeem Charles and Montague traded two free throws apiece but the Bombardiers’ three-point attempt at the buzzer was just long. North Attleboro had nine players make the score sheet, led by Montague’s 16. Derek Shanks had a career-high 11 points while Gonsalves finished with eight. Dom Victor led Attleboro with 16 points, Charles added 10 points and sophomore Bryant Ciccio chipped in with nine points.

Canton, 46 @ Franklin, 74 – FinalFranklin raced out to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and built a 33-16 lead heading into the break in a big win over Canton. The Panthers extended the lead to 57-36 after three quarters. Junior Jalen Samuels and sophomore Chris Edgehill each scored 22 points in the win for the Panthers.

Foxboro, 45 @ Taunton, 55 – FinalThe Tigers extended their lead in each of the first three quarters and held off Foxboro’s late push to finish a win. Taunton led 13-7 after one, and then by 11 following the second (28-17) and third quarters (44-33). Foxboro cut the deficit to five in the fourth quarter (50-45) but the Tigers slammed the door shut. Senior Lens Esquil had a team-high 18 points while classmate Malik Charles added 10 points for the Tigers. Senior Joe Morrison netted a game-high 20 points for Foxboro while sophomore Brandon Borde chipped in with 10 points.

Stoughton, 60 @ King Philip, 55 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Sharon, 53 @ Mansfield, 81 – FinalSharon cut the deficit to seven early in the second quarter but Mansfield rattled off a 16-4 run to close the half, creating a double-digit lead it never surrendered. Mansfield senior John McCoy had a team-high 21 points while Sam Hyland had a terrific all-around game with a career-high 16 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet had a team-high 18 points and 14 rebounds while Jimmy Fitzhenry added 12 points.

Milford, 36 @ Oliver Ames, 55 – FinalOliver Ames held Milford to eight points in the first, and nine in the second before building a double-digit advantage in the second half. OA senior Jack Spillane scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Tigers while Ethan Eckstrom and Matt Muir each chipped in with nine points. Milford senior Andrew Fraioli had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Scarlet Hawks.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 50 @ North Attleboro, 49 – FinalSam Pierce knocked down the game-winning free throw with eight seconds remaining. The senior forward finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Nyah Thomas also had a double-double for the Bombardiers with 11 points, 11 boards, and five steals. North got 13 points from Julia Santos and 12 points from Julia Feid.

Franklin, 52 @ Canton, 26 – Final Franklin had seven players score at least five points in the game and put in what head coach John Leighton called the “best defensive effort” of the season by holding Canton to four points in the first half. Megan O’Connell was the top scorer for the Panthers with 12 points, while Breanna Atwood added nine and Ali Brigham had eight.

Taunton, 27 @ Foxboro, 85 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

King Philip @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.

Mansfield, 55 @ Sharon, 27 – FinalMeg Hill scored 21 points to lead the Kelley-Rex leading Hornets to a road win. Ann Maher added nine for Mansfield. Evanjuline Elisma and Telishya Herbert each scored nine points for the Eagles.

Oliver Ames, 60 @ Milford, 45 – FinalOliver Ames built a 19-point lead at halftime that was cut down to 11 heading into the final frame, and down to nine with under four minutes to play, but the Tigers finished with an 9-3 run to close the game. Kayla Raymond paced the Tigers with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Alex Sheldon notched a career-high 16 points. Senior Abby Reardon added 10 points and seven assists for the Tigers. Milford’s Kate Irwin had 16 points.

Boys Swimming
Stoughton @ Canton, 4:30
Oliver Ames, 108 @ Mansfield, 72 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 4:00

Girls Swimming
Stoughton @ Canton, 4:30
Oliver Ames, 105 @ Mansfield, 65 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 4:00

Wrestling
Taunton, 24 @ Josiah Quincy Upper School, 54 – FinalTaunton picked up wins from Josh Grasso (132), Guerard Theodore (145), Tyler Kennedy (160), Candido Santos, and Woudanly Danger (220).

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro @ Newton North, TBD

Hornets Clamp Down on OA to Gain Division Lead

Mansfield girls basketball
Maggie Danehy (42) drives past Kayla Raymond for two of her 10 points to help the Hornets beat OA and take a one-game lead in the division. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – In the three game leading into Friday night’s first-place showdown with Mansfield in the William F. Nixon Gym, Oliver Ames senior forward Kayla Raymond had averaged 32 points per game. But defense has been the cornerstone of back-to-back league titles for the Hornets and they came out intent on keeping the Stonehill-commit quiet.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Using a box-and-one defense and taking advantage of a roster filled with athletic wing defenders, Mansfield held Raymond to just six points on the night and the Tigers to only seven points as a whole in the first half to win 44-31 in the first of two meetings between the teams this season.

“We have the highest respect for Kayla and you have to start your defense with slowing her down,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “We’re fortunate that we have Maggie [Danehy], Steph [Kemp], Emily [Vigeant], Sydney [Mulkern], four different people that can run around and are long enough and quick enough to keep it out of her hands.”

He added, “We’re really good defensively when we can zero in on one player and take her out and then rebound when other people miss.”

The game plan worked to perfection in the first half. Mansfield held OA scoreless for the opening five minutes of the game, allowed only one made field goal in the first quarter and three made shots in the first half to build a 24-7 lead at the break.

“It disrupted us and we’ve got to be better at recognizing that other people can do things too,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook of Mansfield’s ability to deny Raymond touches. “We depend on Kayla all the time and the other kids have to gain the confidence in their ability to do what they’re capable of doing and we didn’t do that in the first half.”

Mansfield also got off to a strong start offensively with Ann Maher scoring all eight of her points in the first, including a pair from beyond the arc, and Meg Hill getting five of her game-high 16 points. Hill, who will team up with Raymond at Stonehill next year, also added nine rebounds and five blocks, just missing out on another double-double.

In the second quarter, Meg Holleran came off the bench and scored four points for the Tigers, one layup off a Raymond assist that momentarily looked like it might get the hosts going and a second after Katie Flynn pulled down and defensive board and sprung Holleran on the break.

“She did a good job,” said Clement-Holbrook of Holleran. “She scored some points, she was physical inside, but we just weren’t disciplined offensively.”

Those were the only baskets of the quarter for OA, while Mansfield continued to get the ball into the paint with Hill scoring off assists by Maher and Kemp and Danehy (10 points and nine rebounds) scoring five in the quarter. Hill capped the half by knocking down a long jumper to make it 24-7.

The second half was much better from the Tigers, although OA only managed two made shots in the third quarter as well. Alex Sheldon scored all five of her points in the third and Raymond got on the board, going 3-of-4 from the line. Holleran (10 points) also knocked down one of her two second half threes but Mansfield matched the Tigers in the quarter.

The Hornets were sparked off the bench by Mulkern (10 points), who knocked down a three after Mady Bendanillo swung the ball around the perimeter and added four more points in the fourth as well.

“We did a good job getting Meg looks and then they did a good job doubling in the second half and Sydney Mulkern really stepped up,” said Redding. “They left someone open and it ended up being her a few teams. We’re good enough when they double Meg to keep people honest and give her room to score in the paint.”

OA was not able to close the gap in the third, despite having moments when it seemed as though the momentum may have swung to the Tigers.

“In the second half, we made a few adjustments and I think we got some positive things out of those adjustments,” said Clement-Holbrook. “[Ally] Scolnick had three threes that went in-and-out and I think if those go down it would have changed momentum a little.”

Erin Holmberg scored five of her seven points in the fourth, including a three on the game’s final shot, and Holleran knocked down her second three of the night. Raymond finally got a clean look and hit a three for her only made field goal in the game.

Hill scored twice in the fourth, both on assists from freshman Ashley Santos, to keep the Hornets ahead by a comfortable margin, as OA never got closer than 13 in the second half.

Clement-Holbrook said of her relatively inexperienced roster, “Those kids in those moments where there’s a lot of pressure on them, they’ve just got to be equal to the task and they’ve got to handle it. I have a lot of kids who haven’t played at this level, so they’ve got to be able to handle the bright lights.”

With the win, Mansfield moves a full game ahead of OA and Franklin in the Kelley-Rex, but Redding knows the Hornets still have a lot of work to do to clinch a three-peat. He explained, “It’s good to get to the halfway point controlling your own destiny. We’re in a good spot but there is a lot of basketball left to play. It’s going to be a good race to the end.”

Mansfield (9-4, 7-1) will travel to Sharon on Tuesday, while Oliver Ames (7-3, 6-2) faces a trip to Milford.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/12/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro @ Oliver Ames – Ppd. to 1/14 at 5:00.

Canton, 56 @ Sharon, 42 – FinalSharon built a double-digit lead in the first quarter but Canton rallied in the second to take a lead and never looked back. The Bulldogs trailed 20-9 in the first but took a 28-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. Canton closed the game with strong defense, allowing just seven points in the fourth quarter. Junior Devin Foster scored 18 points for the Bulldogs while senior Tony Harris had nine points and nine rebounds. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet scored a game-high 20 points and hauled in 15 rebounds.

Milford, 51 @ Foxboro, 55 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Mansfield, 52 @ Franklin, 67 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 70 @ Taunton, 72 – FinalKing Philip rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie or win late, but the Tigers survived. Senior Lens Esquil had a team-high 17 points while sophomore Dante Law added 12 points and senior Tyler Medeiros finished with 10 points. For King Philip, senior Pharoah Davis had 18 points while Bruce Santillus added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

North Attleboro, 68 @ Stoughton, 60 – FinalNorth Attleboro junior Jake Petersen poured in a career-high 26 points, hauled in 11 rebounds (six offensive) and had three blocks to lead the Rocketeers to a win. Stoughton took a lead in the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run (50-49), but North Attleboro outscored the Black Knights 19-10 the rest of the way, pulling away in the final minutes. Petersen scored 12 of his points in the second quarter and added eight more in the final frame. Junior Josh Montague added 17 points while classmate Matt Seavey added nine points and nine rebounds off the bench. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews poured in 29 points (four three-pointers) while Colin Sanda added 14 points (four three-pointers).

Girls Basketball
Oliver Ames, 67 @ Attleboro, 54 – FinalKayla Raymond scored a career-high 38 points, her second straight game with at least 30 points, to pace the Tigers to a road win. Raymond also had 11 rebounds while Abby Reardon added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists and Alex Sheldon chipped in with nine points and six boards for OA. Sam Pierce had 18 for the Bombardiers and Liv McCall added 16 in the loss. Before the game, Attleboro honored Sarah Deyo, who became the program’s all-time leading scorer last year and is currently playing at Southern New Hampshire University.

Sharon, 44 @ Canton, 49 – FinalMaggie Connolly scored 14 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 5-2 start to the season. Erin Devine and Hannah Jerrier each had 10 points and Julia Hamilton had six in the win, which was hard-fought for Canton. The Bulldogs led 33-14 at the half, but the Eagles outscored them 30-16 to make it a close finish. Telishya Herbert was Sharon’s top scorer with 13 and Emma Eberhardt added 12.

Foxboro, 67 @ Milford, 47 – FinalLily Sykes was the top scorer for Foxboro with 17 points, while Grace Tamulionis had 16 and Ashley Sampson had 15 points for the Warriors.

Franklin, 49 @ Holy Name, 42 – FinalFranklin went to Worcester and picked up a season sweep against Holy Name. After hitting two clutch free throws that forced overtime in the first meeting with the Naps, freshman Elizabeth Wilson scored 20 points to lead the Panthers.

Taunton, 64 @ King Philip, 62 – Final (OT)The Tigers edged KP 10-8 in overtime after finishing regulation 54-54. Lily Patneaude led Taunton with 16 points and five rebounds and MacKenzie Handrahan chipped in with 15 points and nine boards. Kelsey White had a great overall night for the Tigers with 12 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, and Hannah Moniz had 11 in the win.

Stoughton, 59 @ North Attleboro, 43 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Boys Swimming
Franklin, 91 @ Mansfield, 74 – Final
King Philip @ North Attleboro, 3:15
Sharon, 61 @ Stoughton, 37 – Final

Girls Swimming
Franklin, 93 @ Mansfield, 72 – Final
King Philip @ North Attleboro, 3:15
Sharon, 87 @ Stoughton, 66 – Final

Gymnastics
Canton @ Taunton, 8:00
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro, 7:30

Rockets Take Off in Fourth Quarter to Upend OA

Oliver Ames girls basketball
Oliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond (35) scored 18 points and pulled down 14 rebounds but it was not enough to avoid a loss to Needham in the Sue Rivard Tournament opener. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames was struggling to start the fourth quarter, having made only one shot from the field and scored three points in nearly four minutes. Defensively, the Tigers had held Needham to only one made field goal and just five points so trailed by only one when Kayla Raymond rose up and drained her second three of the game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

OA, which led 35-34 heading into the final eight minutes, grabbed hold of a 41-39 lead with Raymond’s three and seemingly had also grabbed the momentum in Wednesday afternoon’s opener of the annual Sue Rivard Tournament at the William F. Nixon Gym.

Unfortunately for the Tigers that would be their final made shot. Needham closed out the fourth quarter with an 11-1 run to turn things around and came away with a 50-42 victory that sends the Rockets to Thursday’s final against another Bay State Conference team, Walpole (which beat Brockton earlier in the day).

“In the fourth quarter we just disappeared, said OA coach Elaine Clement-Holbrook. “They’ve got to come of age and learn to play the whole game at the same level of intensity. They need to learn play within themselves and not try to do something not in their wheelhouse.”

Needham started the fourth with a three by sophomore Kiara McIntyre, who came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points, which put the Rockets up 37-35. Raymond (18 points and 14 rebounds) finished in transition off an Abby Reardon assist to tie the game. After a series of free throws, Raymond drilled a shot from the outside for OA’s final lead of the night.

McIntyre forced a turnover in the backcourt and fed freshman Caroline Klemm for a layup to tie it. McIntyre then drove to the basket to put Needham in front to stay and Marianna Jantzen (14 points) added a scooped finish before another Klemm layup and then two free throws pushed the lead to eight inside the final minute.

The Tigers would finish with only seven points in the fourth quarter.

“It came down to turnovers,” explained Clement-Holbrook, but the other thing that did not help us was that our defense was so inconsistent and gave them a lot of chances. From an offensive standpoint, our shooting percentage was abysmal.”

OA took the lead from the start of the game, ahead 12-8 after the first quarter. The Tigers added an 8-3 run to close out the first half with a four-point edge going into the break.

Tate Hadges hit a jumper off a Caroline Flynn assist, Raymond scored on an offensive rebound, and Alex Sheldon (eight points) scored at the rim to make it 22-21. OA got one last possession in the second quarter and Flynn banked home a 30-foot three-pointer to make it 25-21 at halftime.

The lead could have been much larger for the hosts. OA dominated on the glass with five players having at least five rebounds in the first half alone. Raymond led the way with 14 rebounds, but Sheldon (12 rebounds), Caroline Flynn (eight rebounds), and Katie Flynn (seven rebounds) also chipped in to keep possessions alive and keep the Rockets off the boards.

Unfortunately for OA, the good looks it was creating from its offensive sets and the extra looks it was getting from its advantage on the glass went to waste.

“I was looking at the shooting chart from the first half and you look at how many shots we missed…the bottom line is that if you get the ball under the basket then you have to finish and they did not finish,” said Clement-Holbrook, who estimated that the Tigers missed 50 shots in the game.

In the third quarter, Needham chipped into the lead with McIntyre and Jantzen combining for 11 points in the quarter. Raymond scored four points in the third and Meg Holleran drilled a three but the Tigers lead was down to one heading into the fourth.

As the lead got tighter, so did the Tigers. Clement-Holbrook noted, “I think they started to get into panic mode and they started to force things. We understood there were going to be double teams and we did not handle it well. We tried dribbling through things that were not there.”

It is OA’s first loss of the year and Clement-Holbrook hopes this will be an early season lesson for the Tigers. She said, “Hopefully we can recognize where we made our mistakes so we can come back better.”

Oliver Ames (3-1, 3-0) will play Brockton in the consolation game of the Rivard Tournament on Thursday evening.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/12/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 50 @ Canton, 53 – FinalCanton held a one-point lead at halftime (28-27) but used an 8-0 run to start the second half to create the separation it needed. The Bulldogs went up 51-41 with 5:29 to play, but Attleboro’s switch to a zone defense stalled Canton’s offense and got the Bombarders back into the game. Attleboro had a 9-2 run and had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but the shot missed and Canton picked up its first win over Attleboro since 2013. Senior Tony Harris scored a game-high 18 points while hauling in 15 rebounds, senior Austin Maffie added 11 points and junior Devin Foster finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Attleboro junior Dom Victor had a team-high 16 points while sophomore Qualeem Charles had 12 points.

Mansfield, 50 @ Foxboro, 43 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

King Philip, 53 @ Milford, 47 – FinalMilford held the lead until the final minutes of the game, but King Philip took the lead late and earned the win on the road. Milford junior Brendan White dropped a career-high 20 points while senior Kayden Kelley had 15 points for the Hawks.

Oliver Ames, 64 @ Stoughton, 53 – FinalStoughton rallied at the end of the first half, using seven straight points from senior Greg Firmin (career-high 14 points) to take a 34-32 lead at halftime. But Oliver Ames switched to a 2-3 zone and took control of the game in the second half. OA senior Jack Spillane led all scorers with 24 points while junior Jake Erlich scored 13 points for the Tigers.

Taunton, 64 @ Sharon, 62 – FinalSharon overcame a 13-point deficit over the final 90 seconds and had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but came up just shy. Taunton jumped out to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter before taking a 34-25 lead into the locker room. The Tigers kept their lead in double-digits, 50-40, heading into the final quarter. Sharon outscored Taunton 22-12 in the final frame but the Tigers escaped with the win. Sophomore Dante Law netted a team-high 20 points for Taunton while junior Lou Vendrell scored a career-high 18 points. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet led all scorers with 22 points and 12 rebounds, Jimmy Fitzhenry added 14 points and Lester High had 11 points.

Girls Basketball
Canton, 39 @ Attleboro, 37 – FinalHannah Jerrier scored 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Erin Devine added eight points, eight rebounds, three blocks, and three assists as Canton rallied in the final minute to open its season with a road victory. The Bulldogs trailed 37-36 with a minute left and scored to take the lead, adding a free throw in the final 20 seconds. Julia Hamilton added seven points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs. Attleboro was led by Sam Pierce’s 12 points, while Jordyn Lako scored 10 in the loss.

Foxboro, 43 @ Mansfield, 37 – FinalThe Warriors got 12 points from Grace Tamulionis and nine points from Lily Sykes (on a combined five three-pointers) to win the Hockomock opener for both teams in a battle of last season’s league champions. The Warriors took the lead with a 15-6 fourth-quarter run. The game was tied 37-37 with 2:00 remaining and Shannon Smally scored the go-ahead basket for Foxboro. Mansfield got 11 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks from Meg Hill and nine points on a trio of three-pointers from Ann Maher.

North Attleboro, 37 @ Franklin, 61 – FinalAli Brigham scored 16 points to lead Franklin to a win in the Hockomock League opener for both teams. Bea Bondhus added 15 points and freshman Elizabeth Wilson had 12 for the Panthers.

Milford, 56 @ King Philip, 64 – FinalShannon O’Connor scored a game-high 26 points to give new head coach Amy Siggens a win in her first game in charge. Faith Roy added 10 points and Faye Veilleux had nine for the Warriors. Siggens said it was a total team effort and highlighted KP turning the ball over only 10 times in the game. She added, “They just played so well together.” Milford was led by Kate Irwin with 22 points and Emily Piergustavo scored 16 in the loss.

Stoughton, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 55 – Final Oliver Ames held a comfortable 45-29 lead after three quarters, but the Knights rattled off a 17-4 run over the first five minutes of the final quarter to make it a three-point game. OA’s defense clamped down and allowed just two more points the rest of the way while Abby Reardon and Tori Harney hit key free throws to seal the win. Kayla Raymond scored 25 points and Caroline Flynn added 14 to lead Oliver Ames to a season-opening victory.

Sharon, 42 @ Taunton, 58 – FinalTaunton got 15 points from Hannah Moniz to open its season with a second straight win, exceeding the win total from last winter. Jaelyn Fernandez added 11 points, Mackenzie Handrahan had 10 points and seven boards, Alexa White had eight points and six steals, and Lily Patneaude and Kelsey White each had seven points in the victory. Emma Eberhardt scored 21 points and Kaitlyn Wallace added 16 for the Eagles.

Boys Swimming
Canton, 108.5 @ Attleboro, 49.5 – Final

Boys Swimming
Canton, 91 @ Attleboro, 78 – Final

2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview
The girls’ basketball season is about to tip off and we’ve got capsules for each of the 12 teams that are looking to bring home Kelley-Rex and Davenport division titles. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2016-2017 Record: 16-8
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Marty Crowley

The Bombardiers enter the season with a new coaching staff and a very different starting lineup to the one that nearly knocked off Mansfield in the Div. 1 South playoffs last season. Former King Philip coach Marty Crowley has taken over after Rick Patch stepped down in the off-season and he will have only a few returning varsity players to call on this winter.

Senior forward Sam Pierce will be the key piece on offense, as Attleboro tries to replace the more than 30 points per game that was lost with the graduation of Sarah Deyo and Julia Strachan. Pierce has been a consistent scorer and rebounder for the past few seasons, but this will be the first time that she is the primary offensive weapon and could be poised for a breakout year. Junior Jordyn Lako and senior Grace Mayer are strong on-the-ball defenders and should help Crowley implement his high-pressure defensive scheme. Senior Kim White will also be one of Attleboro’s ball-handlers in the backcourt.

One of the players who saw a little time on varsity last season that is expected to make a big jump is sophomore Nyah Thomas, who has the length to be a tough defender and showed in her few appearances last year that she can rebound and take the ball to the basket. Sophomore Liv McCall is a fearless shooter that will stretch the floor and transfer Mackenzie Roberts will give the Bombardiers added size in the paint.

Crowley said, “For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound. Sam, I am sure, is going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone.”

Canton

2016-2017 Record: 6-14
2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Jim Choquette

There has been excitement around the Canton program for the past few seasons and that continues this winter, as the Bulldogs look to secure a place in the state tournament behind an experienced lineup that has been developing together for several years.

Senior Hannah Jerrier is the key for the Bulldogs, as the forward is coming off a league all-star season in which she emerged as a potential double-double night after night. Jerrier is a solid rebounder and scorer in the paint, reaching the 20-point mark nine times last season and averaging more than 16 points and nine rebounds per game. Junior Julia Hamilton will be back at point guard for the Bulldogs to help get the Canton into its offensive sets and provide pressure, on-the-ball defense. Senior Jess Powers is also back after missing a season to a knee injury and will add a boost to the team’s outside shooting and take pressure off Jerrier on offense.

Junior Maggie Connolly returns for her second year in the backcourt and seniors Lindsey Barrett, Nikki Gefteas, and Leya Conard will all add depth to the Canton roster this season, while junior Erin Devine adds another important post presence on both ends of the floor. The versatility of the roster will allow head coach Jim Choquette to change his game plans every game, slowing it down to play half-court or ratcheting up the pressure to go up tempo.

“Canton remains focused on playing together and staying positive for the best season possible,” Choquette said. “Leading up to our first game there’s been an extreme amount of effort and energy by a large group of unselfish girls and our seniors have all been great examples of staying positive throughout all situations!”

Foxboro

2016-2017 Record: 22-3
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Semifinal
Coach: Lisa Downs

After winning the Div. 2 South title and reaching the TD Garden last winter, this year’s Foxboro team will have high expectations, but with four starters returning, including reigning Hockomock League MVP Ashley Sampson, the Warriors will once again be the favorites to take home the Davenport division crown.

Having already passed the 1,000-point mark for her career, Sampson enters her senior season as the focal point of the Foxboro offense. Her ability to get into the lane and finish, as well as step back and knock down shots, makes her a tough cover and opens space for her teammates. Fellow senior Lily Sykes is one of the beneficiaries of that space and she can take advantage of open looks on the perimeter. Senior Grace Tamulionis is another player who can stretch the floor for the Warriors and can be an ‘X’ factor for Foxboro in big games. Senior Shannon Smally adds rebounding and post presence to keep defenses honest.

The Warriors are now the veteran team in the division, but there are also several younger players that have developed into critical pieces off the bench, including sophomore Abby Hassman, who has grown in the off-season into a strong rebounder. Freshman Katelyn Mollica will add backcourt depth with her tenacity on defense and already impressive court awareness. Junior Chelsea Gibbons is another player that is expected to step into a bigger role this season.

Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said, “This group of seniors have been part of our Varsity team since their freshmen year and with each year, they have learned and developed more – all of the girls on this year’s team put in the necessary work; now its time to execute.”

Franklin

2016-2017 Record: 9-11
2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: John Leighton

Franklin got off to a rough start last season, beginning 0-6 with an inexperienced roster, but then closed the year with nine wins in the last 14 games, just missing out on a return to the postseason. This year, the Panthers will try to build on that year of experience and book a return to the playoffs.

The Panthers will have strength in the middle to try and get off to a much better start this season. Sophomore Ali Brigham, last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, has received several Div. I NCAA offers, including one from the University of Minnesota, and at 6-foot-3 can dominate the paint on both ends of the floor. Franklin will also have outside scoring with junior guard Bea Bondhus, who is a consistent three-point shooter and will stretch defenses to open up the post for Brigham.

Franklin has plenty of size this season. Sophomore forwards Breanna Atwood (5-foot-9) and Megan O’Connell (5-foot-10) and senior forward Kate Morse (5-foot-11) will provide plenty of depth on the inside. Junior Shannon Gray will be back to run the point and senior Grace Sameski will add backcourt depth. Freshman guard Elizabeth Wilson is poised to make an instant impact for the Panthers, as she did in the season opener by knocking down three free throws in the final seconds to force overtime against Holy Name.

“We are a young team with only two seniors, but I am very pleased with the effort and progress of the team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton, who is excited about the return of the majority of the team’s scoring and the potential of the youth on the roster.

King Philip

2016-2017 Record: 7-13
2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Amy Siggens

King Philip has a new coach this season, with former Wellesley assistant Amy Siggens taking over for Marty Crowley, and there could be a period of adjustment for a still relatively young Warriors roster to adapt to the new system, but there is excitement about the progress being made by the seven returning varsity players.

Boston University-commit Shannon O’Connor will once again be a player to watch for the Warriors this winter. The junior’s ability to shoot off the dribble, defend multiple positions, and take the ball to the basket has made her one of the league’s elite perimeter players. As O’Connor continues to develop as a playmaker that will create open looks for her teammates, including junior Julia Leroux and sophomore Faith Roy. Senior Christina Hathaway (one of only two seniors on the roster) will add strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.

The Warriors will not lack for size this season. O’Connor is listed at 5-foot-11, junior Catherine Cummings and sophomore Faye Veilleux are listed at 5-foot-10, and Roy is listed at 5-foot-9. The versatility of those players will give Siggens room to switch up lineups when needed. KP is still pretty young and Siggens has added two freshmen, Emma Glaser and Brianna James, to this year’s roster.

Siggens said, “Early on we will stress the importance of being unselfish on offense and being tough and aggressive on defense. Knowing mistakes will be made, there will be no small emphasis on the importance of playing hard all the time… I am encouraged by our team’s enthusiasm and attitude.”

Mansfield

2016-2017 Record: 20-4
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final.
Coach: Mike Redding

Replacing the production of last season’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jen Peel is a difficult task, but Mansfield has the talent, depth, and experience in the roster to make it work. The Hornets return four starters from last year’s squad and will lean on a loaded and versatile junior class to try and make it a three-peat of league titles.

The key returner for Mansfield is 6-foot-3 center Meg Hill. The Stonehill College-commit is already the program’s best in blocked shots and is soon to be the career leader in rebounds, while improving her offensive game every season. With Peel gone, junior Mady Bendanillo will be tasked with getting the ball into the post to Hill and to fellow junior Maggie Danehy, who had an impressive start with a double-double against Medfield in the Endowment Game. Reigning HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year Ann Maher will also be back at shooting guard and is one of the team’s most consistent three-point threats.

Juniors Erin Daniel, Emily Vigeant, Sydney Mulkern and Kara Bendanillo will likely compete for the fifth starting spot and all should see plenty of playing time this year. With 5-foot-11 senior Maeve Carney and 5-foot-10 freshman Ashley Santos, the Hornets should be able to dominate the paint and sophomore Becca Hottleman will add depth at the point guard position.

Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “We have a chance to be very good again with our junior group getting a ton of experience last year and we hope to compete for league title again.” He added that the Hornets bolstered the schedule this season as well. Redding said, “Our record may not be as good as last year when we earned the No. 1 seed, but we will be more battle tested for the state tourney in March.”

Milford

2016-2017 Record: 10-11
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central first round.
Coach: T.J. Dolliver

A year after returning to the postseason for the first time since 2012 (and nearly pulling off an upset of Marlboro on the road), Milford brings back seven seniors to try and make a push for a Davenport division title and another state tournament appearance.

The Hawks have a versatile lineup led by four-year starter Kate Irwin. The lefty point guard is one of the most dynamic perimeter scorers and playmakers in the league and she continues to improve each season. Her ability to get into the paint opens up room for her teammates and she can also step back and knock down threes. Irwin will be helped by fellow seniors Gillian Valanzola and Juliana Tracy, who add size on the post.

Senior Emily Piergustavo is a knock-down shooter from beyond the arc and her classmate Jess Tomaso has proven to be a solid rebounder from the guard position. There are also two sophomores and four freshmen on the roster this season to add depth and build for the future under third-year head coach T.J. Dolliver.

Dolliver said, “I am very excited for our team this year. This is my 3rd year with a lot of these girls and seeing how they have progressed over the years have really set this team up for a fun season.”

North Attleboro

2016-2017 Record: 18-7
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Derek Herber

Last season, North Attleboro boasted one of the most experienced lineups in the league with five of its top six players being seniors, but this year the Rocketeers will be incorporating a number of new faces, as only six players (only starter) return from last winter.

The lone returning starter is junior guard Julia Feid, who had a breakout season on the wing and will be counted on to lead the offensive attack this year. Feid’s classmate Emily Haskell will also be on the wing for North this season and will also have a large chunk of the offense run through her. Senior Emily Pastore, junior Liz Smahi, and sophomore Michelle Pothier will also contribute scoring from the wing, while junior Lauren Pezzi and sophomore Olivia Forbes will run the point and distribute the ball in the half court.

The graduation of Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse leaves an opening on the post, but North has several players that will step in to provide a presence in the paint. Senior Julia Santos and juniors Emma Noreck and Kaley Sullivan will each get opportunities to contribute. North faces a tough early season schedule with the likes of Franklin, Oliver Ames, Archbishop Williams, and Hingham, so it will be critical for the new players to find their feet quickly.

North Attleboro coach Derek Herber said, “The team has quickly began to gel and I am hopeful that we if we can survive the early part of the season, we can qualify for the tournament.”

Oliver Ames

2016-2017 Record: 13-8
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round.
Coach: Elaine Clement-Holbrook

Oliver Ames struggled to find consistent offense last season and it kept the Tigers from being able to challenge Mansfield for the league title or make another run in Div. 2 South, but a healthy lineup with several key returning players has OA optimistic for improvements this winter.

The main focus will be on senior forward Kayla Raymond. The Stonehill College-commit is one of the most versatile players in the league, with the length and leaping ability to dominate in the paint and the range to step out and knock down jumpers. Raymond is listed as a forward/center but could potentially be used at multiple positions. Senior guard Abby Reardon is back to get the Tigers into their offensive sets and as one of the league’s top on-the-ball defenders. Classmate Katie Flynn also returns to give Raymond help in the post.

In addition to the seniors, junior Alex Sheldon will provide depth at the forward position and junior Sadie Homer was a dynamic scorer on the perimeter before an injury cut her season short last year. Homer was a solid three-point shooter last year and will be expected to stretch defenses again this season. Sophomore guard Meg Holleran emerged as a playmaker during her freshman campaign and could see a bigger role this year.

“OA is looking to blend some younger talent and are working hard to provide some depth in the backcourt,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “Looking forward to the fight for the Kelly Rex Division.”

Sharon

2016-2017 Record: 6-14
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Sandra Lombardi

In addition to a new coaching staff, Sharon will see a number of new faces on the roster, as several of last year’s players are focusing on other sports this winter. Former Rockland and East Bridgewater assistant Sandra Lombardi takes over for Cliff Tomassian and will have a young group to work with in her first head coaching position.

Junior small forward Emma Eberhardt is one of the returning players that will be expected to provide leadership and scoring for the Eagles. Eberhardt, a HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team performer last year, was Sharon’s top scorer last winter and also has the size to be a problem for opponents on the glass. She scored 16 points in Sharon’s win over Nipmuc in the season opener. Senior guard Miranda Cheung will also be back for Sharon to provide ball-handling and perimeter shooting.

Sophomore Telishya Herbert made the jump from JV to varsity midway through last season and had an instant impact on the Eagles with her athleticism and her ability to score in the paint. She had 10 points against Nipmuc and could be ready for a breakout year as Sharon’s second scorer to take some pressure off Eberhardt. Also back from last year’s roster are junior Evanjuline Elisma and sophomore Ally Brown.

Lombardi said of her new team, “We are going to be quick and aggressive. I’m excited to see what the season will bring.”

Stoughton

2016-2017 Record: 8-10
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Charmaine Steele-Jordan

The Black Knights narrowly missed out on the postseason last year, despite having a number of underclassmen in the roster, and expectations for this season include a return to the playoffs under third-year head coach Charmaine Steele-Jordan.

Senior Val Whalen was the team’s MVP last season after leading the Black Knights with more than 13 points and nine rebounds per game. Whalen has improved every season and her intensity on defense and on the glass boosts is contagious. Stoughton is a physical team that likes to put pressure on the ball defensively and Whalen sets the tone. Senior Jordan Motley is also a tenacious rebounder and gives the Black Knights another strong presence in the paint.

Sophomore guard Shyanne Trinh had a breakout freshman campaign, scoring more than 10 points per game, and her ball-handling and long-range shooting opens things up for the post players. Fellow sophomore Aliyah Wright also had a strong rookie campaign and her size is a difficult matchup for many of the point guards in the Hock. Stoughton will also count on junior guards Lindsey McDonald and Hailey Egan and sophomore Lexi Baptista. Freshman Sydnee Hyacinthe has also been called up to add depth in the backcourt.

Steele-Jordan said of her senior forwards, “I’m looking forward to their leadership, hustle on the court and their defensive presence this year. Whalen and Motley’s veteran play along with our returning sophomores will be great for the Black Knights this season.”

Taunton

2016-2017 Record: 1-21
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Walter Harrigan

Taunton is coming off a difficult season in which the Tigers finished with just one victory, but one game into the new year and Taunton has already matched that total. The season opening win over Cumberland (R.I.) fits with the optimism around the program, as the Tigers blend youth with experience in the hopes of making a run at a playoff spot.

The Tigers will be led by senior forwards Hannah Moniz and Mackenzie Handrahan, who combined for 26 points in the win at Cumberland and provide a mix of rebounding, scoring at the rim, and outside shooting to balance the Taunton offense. Junior Lily Patneaude also returns from an all-star season and is Taunton’s most dynamic scorer with range from well beyond the arc. Junior Alexa White is another guard that will provide solid contributions on both ends of the floor.

Junior Shantel Andrew, a 5-foot-7 forward, is expected to be a significant contributor this season, after missing two years with knee injuries. As usual, Taunton has plenty of youth on the roster with four freshmen making varsity, a couple of whom got playing experience last year as eighth graders. Forwards Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez and guards Kelsey White and Tori DaRosa are going to be counted on to play big roles this year for the Tigers.

Taunton coach Walter Harrigan said, “Our goal for this year is to continue to work hard while focusing on the development of good habits which will hopefully lead to team improvement and a trip to the state tournament.”