Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/15/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 70 @ Canton, 43 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game. Canton held 26-25 at halftime but Mansfield outscored the Bulldogs 24-9 in the third period to take control the game. Mansfield had a 45-17 advantage in the second half. Senior Tommy Dooling had a team-high 15 points, sophomore Matty Boen added 13 points and six rebounds, and sophomore TJ Guy finished with 12 points and seven boards for the Hornets. Canton senior Ryan Lentol finished with a team-high 13 points and six rebounds.

Franklin, 57 @ North Attleboro, 33 – FinalFranklin created all the separation it needed with a big first half. The Panthers led 17-4 after one and took a 31-10 advantage into the break. Junior Chris Edgehill scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first half for Franklin while Jalen Samuels and Will Harvey each added 10 points. North Attleboro senior Josh Montague scored a team-best 12 points while junior Ethan Friberg had nine points.

King Philip, 73 @ Stoughton, 55 – FinalKing Philip trailed by nine at halftime but used a monster second half to beat the Black Knights. The Warriors won the third quarter, 23-6, to turn a deficit into a 50-41 lead going into the final quarter. KP added 23 more points in the final quarter to earn the win. Senior Bruce Saintilus scored a career-high 24 points while Andrew McKinney and Alex Fritz both scored 19 points, a career-best for both players. Stoughton junior Obinna Ugwuakazi finished with a team-high 20 points while Zak Paquette recorded a career-high 18 points for the Black Knights.

Taunton, 59 @ Milford, 47 – FinalHolding a 33-26 lead at halftime, Taunton held the Hawks to seven points in the third quarter to create a double-digit lead that it never relinquished in a win over Milford. Taunton senior Lou Vendrell scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter while Mike Qunn (10 points) added a triple to help the Tigers build a 49-33 lead going into the final eight minutes. Taunton junior Dante Law scored a team-high 15 points, including 11 in the opening quarter. Junior Colby Pires and sophomore Jordan Darling each scored 11 points for Milford.

Oliver Ames, 64 @ Sharon, 50 – Final Sharon held a one-point lead with three minutes to go in the third quarter but Oliver Ames finished strong, doubling the Eagles’ production down the stretch (30-15) to earn the win. Ethan Eckstrom scored six of his team-high 15 points in the final quarter and Owen Friel (career-high 10 points) connected on a pair of three-pointers in the fourth to help the Tigers pull away. Senior Sean O’Brien and sophomore Amari Brown each added eight points for OA. Sharon junior Aidan Kane scored a game-high 17 points while classmate Caleb Gayle added 14 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.

Girls Basketball
Canton, 51 @ Mansfield, 57 – Final (OT)Mansfield’s Emily Vigeant hit a three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The Bulldogs got balanced scoring, led by Sydney Gallery’s 12 points. Kiara Cerruti scored 11, Maggie Connolly had nine, and Julia Hamilton added eight points for Canton, which had its five-game win streak come to an end.

North Attleboro, 33 @ Franklin, 57 – FinalAli Brigham had 25 for the Panthers in the win.

Stoughton, 31 @ King Philip, 73 – FinalKP jumped out to a big lead early in the game and never looked back, as the Warriors clicked on the offensive end of the floor for their sixth win of the season. Faye Veilleux scored 21 points and Julia Leroux added 18 points (on six three-pointers) to spark KP to the win. Shannon O’Connor scored eight as well for the Warriors.

Milford, 23 @ Taunton, 61 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton went on a 25-2 run after Milford opened the scoring and took control of the game before halftime. Alexa White led the way for the hosts with 15 points, while Kelsey White added 12. In the fourth quarter, freshman Abby Souza came off the bench and scored 11 of her 13 points. Ashanty Barreto led the Hawks with six points and Emma Lawrence added five points and 13 rebounds.

Sharon, 50 @ Oliver Ames, 75 – Final Oliver Ames scored 41 points in the first half, building a 10-point lead at the break, and never looked back to earn the win over Sharon. Freshman Caroline Peper poured in a career-high 25 points to pace the Tigers while Caroline Flynn had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Girls Hockey
King Philip, 2 @ Medway, 2 – Final

Boys Swimming
Taunton, 70 @ Attleboro, 95 – Final

Girls Swimming
Taunton, 75 @ Attleboro, 92 – Final

Gymnastics
Taunton @ Canton, 7:30
Sharon, 122.75 @ Canton, 110 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/11/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 79 @ King Philip, 60 – FinalAttleboro outscored King Philip 29-10 in the second quarter to turn a deficit into the separation it needed for the rest of the way. The Warriors held a 20-18 advantage after one but Attleboro’s offense poured in 29 points in the second quarter to take a 47-30 lead into the break. Junior Bryant Ciccio scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the second frame while senior Kevin Velazquez added seven of his career-high 19 points in the second. Attleboro junior Qualeem Charles shined with 16 points and 15 boards. King Philip’s Tim Nault, Bruce Saintilus, and Sam Sesay each scored 12 points.

Canton, 54 @ Sharon, 38 – FinalCanton turned it on the fourth quarter, scoring 21 points to pull away from a pesky Eagles team to earn the win. Canton led 18-13 at halftime, and took a six point advantage at 33-27 going into the final quarter. Devin Foster had five of his team-high 17 points in the final quarter and grabbed a total of 15 rebounds while sophomore Eric Mischler got going in the final frame with 10 of his 13 points coming in the fourth. Ryan Lentol added nine points and Kyle Fitzgerald scored all seven of his points in the second half. Sharon’s Ben Kaplan and Aidan each scored nine points for the Eagles.

Foxboro, 66 @ Stoughton, 77 – FinalStoughton had its been offensive performance of the season, scoring a season-high 77 points on its way to a win over visiting Foxboro. Stoughton’s four point lead after one quarter (19-15) grew to nine by half as the Knights led 45-36 at the break. Foxboro cut the deficit to four by the end of the third, 60-56, but Stoughton outscored the Warriors 17-10 in the final quarter. Stoughton junior Obinna Ugqwuakazi connected on 13 field goals for a career-high 27 points and hauled in 18 rebounds to pace the Black Knights. Senior Kevin Dixon scored 16 of his career-high 18 points in the second half and five more Stoughton players scored five or more points. Foxboro junior Will Morrison hit six three-pointers for a career-high 18 points to pace the Warriors.

Taunton, 45 @ Franklin, 50 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Oliver Ames, 44 @ Mansfield, 64 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Mansfield broke the game wide open in the second half, thanks to Tommy Dooling’s outside shooting. Dooling hit six of his seven three-pointers after halftime, including four in the third quarter alone, and finished with a game-high 21 points. T.J. Guy scored 11 points for the Hornets, including six in the fourth quarter, and Damani Scott added nine points. Amari Brown tried to keep things close with 10 points for the Tigers, including eight in the third quarter, Sean O’Brien scored nine points and Ethan Eckstrom added eight in the loss.

North Attleboro, 53 @ Milford, 52 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Nate Goncalves (11 points) connected on a pair of free throws to put the Rocketeers up three and that ended up the difference as Big Red held on for a one-point road win at Milford. After Goncalves’ put North up 53-50, the Rocketeers got a stop but Milford senior Brendan White (10 points) converted an offensive rebound to make it a one-point game. North missed the front end of a one-and-one but Milford’s halfcourt shot at the buzzer was off the mark. The Rocketeers led 18-13 after one, and 27-24 at half but an 18-point third quarter from the Scarlet Hawks knotted things at 42-42 going into the final frame. Senior Josh Montague (10 points) had a big three in the fourth and senior Jake Petersen scored half of his eight points in the final quarter. Senior Matt Seavey added a career-high 12 points for North and junior Ethan Friberg finished with 11 points. Junior Colby Pires and sophomore Jordan Darling each added 10 points for Milford.

Girls Basketball
King Philip, 68 @ Attleboro, 54 – FinalKP had three players score in double figures to bounce back from the loss to Canton. Faye Veilleux continued her strong start to the season with a game-high 15 points, but she got plenty of help on Friday with Faith Roy scoring 13 and Julia Leroux scoring 10. Nyah Thomas hit double figures for the second straight game for Attleboro, with 14, and Dom Garnes scored 13 and pulled down 12 rebounds. Liv McCall added 10 for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 58 @ Sharon, 44 – FinalCanton caught fire from three-point range to win its fifth straight game. The Bulldogs knocked down eight threes as a team. Sydney Gallery was the top scorer for the Bulldogs with 16 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Fay Gallery and Kiara Cerruti each scored 14 in the win, while Maggie Connolly scored six points, had seven rebounds and held Sharon’s top scorer Emma Eberhardt to two points in the second half. Eberhardt still managed 11 points for the Eagles, who had a lead after the first quarter. Evanjuline Elisma added seven points in the loss.

Stoughton, 29 @ Foxboro, 58 – FinalFoxboro stayed unbeaten heading into next week’s showdown with fellow division leader Franklin. Katelyn Mollica scored 23 points for the Warriors and Chelsea Gibbons added 14. Stoughton stayed with Foxboro for a half, down only 11 at the break, but the Warriors were able to build momentum and pull away. Aliyah Wright had a team-high 13 points for the Black Knights.

Franklin, 75 @ Taunton, 37 – FinalAli Brigham was dominant again for the Panthers, scoring 26 points and pulling down 17 rebounds. Bea Bondhus added 12 points for Franklin, which had 11 different players get on the score sheet.

Oliver Ames, 32 @ Mansfield, 41 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Milford, 39 @ North Attleboro, 59 – FinalNorth continued its winning run with a strong second half to pull away from the Hawks. Reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Week Julia Feid was the game’s top scorer with 15 points and North also got 12 from Amanda Kaiser. Jillian Michelson scored a team-high 13 for Milford.

Boys Swimming
Canton, 99 @ Foxboro, 50 – FinalFoxboro’s Ben Dorman and Thomas Perry Jr. each had a win and the Warriors’ 400 relay team took first but Canton earned the win overall. Dorman won the 100 backstroke in 1:20 with Kris Andersen taking second. Perry Jr. took first in the 100 breaststroke with teammate Josh Sitte touching second. The team of Jared Roke, Anthony Amico, Jack Groves, and Joseph St. Pierre won the 400 relay in 5:17.

King Philip, 91 @ Oliver Ames, 77 – Final
Milford, 101 @ Sharon, 63 – Final
Stoughton, 35 @ North Attleboro, 90 – Final
Franklin, 56 @ Taunton, 37 – Final

Girls Swimming
Canton, 97 @ Foxboro, 71 – FinalFoxboro’s Pam Nelson had a pair of individual wins, Sarah Egan won once, and the Warriors swept the 400 relay but Canton recorded the win. Nelson won the 200IM (2:32) and the 500 free (6:03), Egan touched first in the 100 backstroke (1:14), and the team of Gina Oullette, Kendall Milender, Madison Feldman, and Shannon Egan won the 400 relay in 5:01.

King Philip, 81 @ Oliver Ames, 94 – Final
Milford, 83 @ Sharon, 86 – Final
Stoughton, 57 @ North Attleboro, 91 – Final
Franklin, 51 @ Taunton, 42 – Final

Sharon Holds On To Earn First Win Over Walpole

Sharon boys basketball
Sharon’s Aaron Strong goes up for a shot in the first quarter against Walpole. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WESTWOOD, Mass. – While there are plenty of different coaching philosophies in the game of basketball, you can essentially split coaches into two groups: those who foul up by three late in the game, and those who don’t.

You can count Sharon’s Andrew Ferguson among the former group.

Right after Sharon senior Aaron Strong (career-high 19 points) sank two free throws to make it 61-58 with 5.2 seconds left, the Eagles fouled, sending Walpole to the line to shoot two with 3.3 to go.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The strategy worked out, as the first free throw was off, forcing the Rebels to purposely miss the second. A loose ball ended up with a jump ball with 0.3 left, and Walpole’s last-second desperation three was off the side of the backboard, giving the Eagles their first win of the season.

“We were very worried of Matt Falvey getting open and hitting a three,” Ferguson said. “We wanted to put them on the line, and then if he missed it, have to make that decision to miss the second. Nick Stamm knew exactly what we wanted to do right away, he did such a great job in the fourth quarter on [Falvey]. We felt fouling was the best strategy for us in that spot. With under 10 seconds left, didn’t want to get caught on a switch on a screen and it ended up working out.”

Ferguson’s concern about Falvey was beyond warranted as the senior guard scored a game-high 29 points, keeping the Rebels within striking distance until their fourth-quarter push that nearly stole the game.

Sharon had a 12-point lead at halftime and entered the final quarter with a 51-42 advantage and control of the game. The Eagles had an answer for Walpole’s early push as Caleb Gayle (eight points, seven rebounds) had back-to-back baskets and Stamm drove to the hoop to put Sharon ahead 57-46 with just under six minutes to go.

Walpole refused to go quietly, hitting a three after Sharon missed a pair of free throws. The Rebels got a turnover on the ensuing inbounds and converted a three-point play to make it 57-52.

After an empty trip, Falvey scored his lone two points on the final quarter with a nice take to the basket.

“That was Nick Stamm’s job, I told him ‘Don’t let him breath’ in the fourth quarter,’” Ferguson said. “Nick knows what his role is and he’s embraced it. He really stepped up to help us in the fourth.”

Sharon had a chance to answer but missed two more free throws. After trading misses over the next two minutes, Walpole made it a one-point game on two free throws from Brian DiPasca (18 points).

Sharon once again failed at the free throw line but forced a turnover on the defensive end to keep the lead. Despite a missed three, Sharon got the offensive rebound and Strong hit one of two chances at the line to push the lead to 58-56 with 1:32 to play.

With 30 seconds to play, Walpole came out of a timeout with a play to try and get level. It looked like the play was going to work when Connor McDonough got free on a curl but Ben Kaplan made a terrific block from behind off the backboard and Strong grabbed the rebound.

“We thought we could pressure them a little bit,” Ferguson said of the defense early on. “They have a young point guard so we were very successful with Ben [Kaplan] and Aaron [Strong] at the top of that 22. But Falvey was really killing us so we switch to the box-and-one and we really shut him down in the fourth quarter. Other guys stepped and hit shots for them but I’m proud of the defensive effort from my guys tonight.”

Strong hit one of two from the line to push the lead to 59-58, but Walpole sophomore Jack Connell drove to the basket for two, cutting the lead to one again. Sharon was almost called for a 10-second violation in the backcourt but Ferguson called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Strong got the ball, was fouled, and hit two free throws to seal the win.

“I told Aaron that I trusted him, that I trusted he would make the free throws,” Ferguson said.

Sharon trailed twice in the early minutes of the game but went ahead 14-10 by the end of the first quarter and never relinquished the advantage.

The Eagles had their best stretch of the first half at the very end of the second quarter. Holding a 22-18 advantage, Sharon closed the first half with an 11-3 run.

Aidan Kane (18 points) drove to the rim for two, Gayle hit a mid-range jumper and Kaplan took it strong to the basket for a 29-19 lead. Strong had one of his six steals and converted an easy two and Kane drilled a three on a feed from Stamm just before the buzzer to make it 33-21.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Sharon’s lead expanded to as much as 15 when Strong converted a layup with five minutes to go in the third quarter, but Walpole rallied to get within seven with under two minutes left in the period. JuniorAlec Filipkowski drilled a three to push the lead back to double digits.

“They ramped up their defensive intensity, they were cutting off the lane really well and we just weren’t making our foul shots,” Ferguson said of what changed in the fourth quarter. “We got to the free throw line but just didn’t cash in there. We’re going to shoot a lot of foul shots tomorrow in practice. Mike [Masto] does a great job with Walpole and they really ramped up their defensive intensity. We have a young group experience wise so we will work on that in practice and get better.”

Sharon boys basketball (1-4) returns home for a Hockomock League game against Davenport division rival North Attleboro on Friday, January 4th at 6:30.

King Philip Pulls Away From Sharon In Second Half

Sharon boys basketball
King Philip junior Chris Roy (22) goes up for a shot against King Philip’s Andrew Burton (33) in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – First year King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano made it clear that defense was a priority when he took over the reins of the Warriors’ program.

So it’s no surprise that at halftime, trailing 32-21 to Sharon, that DeStefano challenged his team to make a big commitment to the defensive end of the floor for the final 16 minutes.

His team delivered.

The Warriors held the Eagles to just four points in the third quarter, creating a double-digit lead that it used to come away with a 73-53 decision over Sharon.

“It was all about the defensive effort,” DeStefano said of the big third quarter. “The guys really committed to the defensive end, they boxed out well and didn’t give up a lot of rebounds. I challenged them at halftime to be better on the defensive end and they responded.”

King Philip’s defense was strong from the get-go of the second half, forcing a turnover on Sharon’s first possession, resulting in a putback from Sam Sesay (10 points, seven rebounds).

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

While Sharon took the lead back on a bucket from Andrew Burton (six points, six rebounds), King Philip outscored the Eagles 16-2 over the final 6:24 of the period.

After a turnover, Tim Nault (seven points, seven assists) converted a layup to re-take the lead, Sesay converted another putback on KP’s third shot of the possession, and Sesay scored again on a feed from Chris Roy (13 points) after another Eagle turnover.

Holding a 39-34 lead, the Warriors forced back-to-back turnovers, the first resulting in a bucket from Tyler Nault, the second two points from Sesay off a feed from Tim Nault.

Bruce Saintilus (six points) set up Andrew McKinney (five points, five rebounds) for a bucket and then took advantage of another Sharon turnover for two points while being fouled. Although he missed the free throws, the Warriors grabbed two offensive boards, the second resulting in two more from Saintilus and a 49-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

After hitting six triples in the first half, the Warriors adjusted and attacked the basket more in the third quarter. KP went 9-for-17 from two-point range in the frame and didn’t hit a three.

“I told the guys at half that we can’t rely on the three all game and we’d have to take it to the hole more,” DeStefano said. “We’re not going to be able to sustain the shooting, we needed to attack. We still took too many threes in the second half, and they weren’t all bad but we needed to attack more.”

A big reason for the success from in close was Sesay, who scored eight of his 10 points and grabbed six of his seven rebounds in the third quarter alone.

“He’s a physical specimen. He gives us toughness down there. He knows his role on the team, he doesn’t try and do anything out of his comfort zone. He’s there to bang down low, get boards, a lot of little things and he’s accepted that role, and he played well tonight. And he’s been huge in practice with challenging guys, he’s really become a leader for this team.”

Sharon made it interesting by opening the fourth quarter with a 7-1 run to make it a seven point game, down 50-43 with 6:38 to play in the game. Aidan Kane (career-high 22 points) scored on a feed from Ben Kaplan (10 points), Burton hit a pair of free throws, and Kane sank a triple on a pass from Alex Filipkowski to get close.

The Eagles had two chances to get closer after forcing a KP turnover and getting a stop on defense, but a missed triple and then a steal and layup from Warrior junior Alex f (career-high 18 points) swung the momentum back with the hosts.

A triple from Fritz extended the advantage to 12 for the Warriors but Sharon kept it close, and a putback from Kiran Chandrasekaran (nine points) made it a single-digit deficit but KP answered right away when Tyler Nault buried a three.

“We stopped attacking the basket,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson of what changed in the third quarter. “We’ve been preaching going downhill on offense and we kept going side to side. It was a little reminiscent of the first quarter against Mansfield, we looked a little intimidated and they ramped up their defensive pressure. Unfortunately a couple of shots didn’t fall, a couple of loose balls they beat us to, and we have to get better at those things but I think we will.”

King Philip had a strong shooting night overall, hitting 42% of its shots from the field. But the Warriors were particularly successful from three-point range early on.

The Warriors hit four of their first five attempts from deep in the opening quarter with Roy leading the way. The teams traded early threes, with Sharon holding an 8-7 advantage after a bucket from Aaron Strong. Roy put KP ahead with a layup, extended KP’s lead with a jumper and hit his second three of the frame with a minute to go to help KP lead 17-14 after one.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Eagles battled back in the second quarter, limiting KP to just two triples in the frame. The Warriors led 25-16 with 5:28 to go, but Sharon closed the with a 16-6 surge to take the lead at the break. Kane had back-to-back triples to get within two and Kaplan drained a triple later in the quarter to take the lead. Sharon led 32-21 at the half.

“We had come in with a plan to switch up defenses with them and they really shot us out of our zone early,” Ferguson said. “We went to the man, and did a really good job with it at the end of the first quarter and the entire second quarter. But third quarter, we seemed to get a little tired and had some foul trouble. We lost Aaron Strong to injury, and it just wore on us a bit. They killed us on the offensive glass, getting second and third opportunities. And on top of that, they shot really, really well tonight and we couldn’t keep up.”

King Philip boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) is back in action on Thursday when it takes on New Mission at Auburn High. Sharon (0-3, 0-3) will try to bounce back when it takes on Hingham at Westwood High on Friday evening.

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2017-2018 Record: 13-10
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Mark Houle

Expectations are high for the Attleboro Bombardiers, who return all but one player from last year’s squad that won 13 games and qualified for the D1 South tournament. While the majority of the roster is made up of juniors (eight), the Bombardiers have a wealth of experience with almost all players having played at least one year, with a handful with two.

With experience comes options for veteran head coach Mark Houle. The Bombardiers expect to be able to play fast in transition but also slow down and execute in the half court. Attleboro boasts some of the top big men in the league and will look to use that to its advantage. Junior Qualeem Charles (6’5) was selected as a Hock All Star last year and will be a key piece on both sides of the ball with fellow big men Jason Weir, Lorenzo Wilson and Nolan Jaeger looking to factor in.

Junior Bryant Ciccio, also a Hockomock All Star last season, will be the quarterback of the offense from the point guard position. With two years of varsity experience already, Ciccio could be poised for a big season. Seniors Mason Houle and Kevin Velazquez both made big splashes last year and will be key pieces in the frontcourt this year. Velazquez provides high energy and can be a big threat from deep while Houle is a strong two-way player that will make plays on both ends of the court.

“We have several returning players with one or two years of varsity experience and will rely on them to be consistently working hard on both ends of the court,” said Mark Houle. “Our strength will be a strong inside game on offense…[and] our guard play will have multiple players able to handle pressure, score and contribute.”

Canton

2017-2018 Record: 16-5
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Ryan Gordy

The Bulldogs are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory. This season, the Bulldogs will be looking to improve each day and adjust to a new style of play that fits the personnel best.

While three starters are gone, one starter that is back is Devin Foster, a Hockomock League All Star and HockomockSports.com First Team selection a year ago. Foster is a dynamic player that can be a nightmare for opposing defenses trying to stop him. He can shoot the three and really improved on his ability to finish around the rim last year.

Senior Paul Corcoran and junior Kyle Fitzgerald both had starts last season and head coach Ryan Gordy is looking for both players, along with versatile guard Ryan Lentol, to take a big step on the court this season. Corcoran is a strong defender, Fitzgerald will handle the point, and Lentol will do a little bit of everything for the Dogs. All three have a good amount of varsity experience and will be relied upon to be leaders on the court.

“Our culture in our foundation, and our veteran leadership sets the tone for the program,” Gordy said. “If we stay growth oriented this could be a fun season, players are committed to continuous improvement and that’s a pleasure to coach.”

Foxboro

2017-2018 Record: 19-5
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jon Gibbs

Foxboro had a memorable 2018 season, earning 19 wins and sharing the Davenport division title with Canton. But with four of the five starters from that team gone, the 2019 Warriors will try to create their own identity while trying to replicate the success.

The one starter back is junior Brandon Borde (11.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.7 apg) and his two years of experience on varsity will be vital as role players switch to starters and new role players emerge. Borde is a talented guard that can hurt teams in a variety of ways but his strength allows him to finish around the rim in tough situations.

Senior Anthony Mollica had a bit of a coming out party during the end of last season, emerging as an offensive threat for the Warriors. Head coach Jon Gibbs expects more of that throughout this season and will be looking for the likes of Will Morrison, Liam Devlin, Ryan Hughes, and Kevin Gallagher — all players with varsity experience, to step up this year. While Foxboro will likely rely on its defense again this year, three-point shooting should be a strength on the offensive side.

“Right now the focus is on getting better each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been competitive. Guys are fighting hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we can continue to defend and rebound at a high level, we have a chance to be very successful.”

Franklin

2017-2018 Record: 23-4
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 State Final
Coach: CJ Neely

The Panthers have reached the D1 State Final each of the past two seasons and it looks like they have the tools to try and make a third straight appearance. Franklin brings back two of the top players in the Hockomock League in senior Jalen Samuels and junior Chris Edgehill.

Both Samuels (13.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Edgehill (17.1 ppg, 3.5 apg) have a wealth of varsity experience that the Panthers will rely on as others battle for minutes in the rotation. Edgehill is one of the most dangerous guards offensively and can score in a variety of ways while Samuels can present a matchup problem for most teams. Will Harvey also has varsity experience and will likely see an increased role in the 2018-2019 season.

The rest of the rotation is up for grabs but there is a lot of choices for head coach CJ Neely, who noted there is a strong amount of depth and balance on this year’s squad. Unsurprisingly, Franklin will be focused on causing problems on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers have been known as a gritty defensive squad and they are looking to continue that tradition this year. Offensively, Neely is hoping unselfishness and outside shooting will help replicate the success of previous seasons.

“It will be a season long battle for minutes and guys will have to earn our trust through defensive intensity and unselfish play on offense,” Neely said. “Our goal is to focus on the process of competing hard and improving each day and the results will reflect our daily effort and attitude.”

King Philip

2017-2018 Record: 4-16
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave DeStefano

First-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping hard work in the offseason will translate into success on the court this year for the King Philip Warriors. DeStefano is the Warriors fifth head coach in the last eight seasons but his familiarity with the Hockomock League (former JV coach at Foxboro) should give him a boost right away.

While the Warriors had only four wins last year, half of their 16 losses came by six points or less, including to D2 State Champions Tech Boston (74-71) and division foes Attleboro and Taunton. King Philip is hoping it can be on the right side of those contests this season. Bruce Santillus and Timmy Nault are the two returning starters from last year, and both showed they are capable of taking over games on the offensive end. Santillus is a versatile player that can score in many ways and is tough in one-on-one matchups. Nault provides a lot of energy on both ends and can give the team a spark when needed.

DeStefano is looking for seniors Tyler Nault, Ian Khung, and Michael O’Brien to build on their minutes from last year and have increased roles for 2018-2019. Junior Andrew McKinney showed a lot of promise last year and could be a big contributor for the Warriors this year. Senior Terry Jacobs-Baston gives KP a nice post presence along with junior Tommy Donahue (6’5) and senior Sam Sesay (6’2). Juniors Alex Fritz, Chris Roy, and Adam Nicastro will all be in the mix for minutes as well.

“The boys have really worked hard this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The practices have been really competitive and physical. For us to be successful we will need to make a big commit on the defensive end of the floor. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops.”

Mansfield

2017-2018 Record: 27-2
2017-2018 Finish: D1 State Champions
Coach: Mike Vaughan

While the D1 State Championship is in the rearview mirror, expectations are still sky high for Mansfield, who has won six straight Hock Kelley-Rex titles, tying a streak from OA in the 1980s for the longest title run. With a handful of players back and a strong mix of new faces Mansfield will be aiming for its seventh straight.

The Hornets will rely on their most experienced players early on with Damani Scott, Tommy Dooling, and Khristian Conner back. All three have starting experience, and beyond that, a wealth of varsity minutes in the regular season and postseason. Scott had a terrific playoff run last year and could be one of the top players in the Hock this year. Dooling is a talented guard that can hurt teams from deep while Conner can score from all over the floor.

Beyond that trio, there are a handful of new faces trying to establish time in the lineup and rotation. Junior Sam Stevens and sophomores Matt Boen and TJ Guy are top candidates to find time in the rotation. Stevens and Guy both have good size and will give the Hornets a presence in the post while Boen is a crafty guard that will likely contribute offensively right away. Expect Makhi Baskin, Jack Mousette, and Drew Rooney to be in the mix as well.

“We’re looking forward to getting the season started with new faces,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “We’ll have our early challenges getting the new faces up to speed with the varsity level of play, but it’s a talented group, they are working hard, and they are getting better each day. It should be an exciting year as the league looks to be super competitive as always.”

Milford

2017-2018 Record: 13-10
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central Semifinal
Coach: Paul Seaver

While the Hawks have some experience back this year, it will be key for the new faces to get up to speed as Milford looks to compete for a Davenport division title. Seniors Brendan White, Brendon Sailer, and Steve Sutherland are all back after either starting or playing a lot of minutes last season and will be relied upon, especially early, to guide the Hawks through a difficult schedule.

White was Milford’s leading scorer last season with 14 points per game in the regular season so he will be a key piece for the Hawks again this year. Sailer is a good ball handler and will handle point guard duties. He’s a strong defender and can distribute the ball well, but he is also able to get to the rim or shoot from deep. Sutherland provides the Hawks with an experienced presence in the post but can step out and hit shots as well.

Junior Colby Pires is coming off a successful season on the gridiron and will see a lot of minutes on the court and senior Danny Corsini can provide a spark on the offensive end with his shooting. Sophomore Dom Schofield stands at 6’5 so he can be a matchup problem for some teams in the league while classmate Jordan Darling can do a little bit of everything and could have a breakout year for the Scarlet Hawks.

“Our goal is to simply get better with each passing day,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We have a lot of newcomers this season and are facing one of our toughest schedules in years. Our goal is to build chemistry and work towards qualifying for the state tournament for a fourth consecutive season.”

North Attleboro

2017-2018 Record: 9-11
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins

After just missing out on the postseason a year ago, North Attleboro is hoping a strong senior class can help the Rocketeers return to the postseason and compete for a Davenport division title. Big Red boasts nine seniors, including three starters and a handful of guys that played plenty of minutes a year ago.

Leading scoring Josh Montague (13.7 points per game) is back and will be one of the top guards in the Hock. He plays well on both ends of the court but really came into his own as a scorer as the season progressed last year. Senior Jacob Petersen, standing at 6’6, will be one of the toughest matchups in the league and his ability to play as a true post player gives North an advantage over other teams. He is also a force on defense that can prevent easy buckets in the paint. Senior Nate Gonsalves improved throughout last year and could be poised for a breakout season for Big Red.

Senior Evan Rosenberg will likely be tasked with guarding some of the top players in the league because of his strong defensive play. Seniors Adam Falcone, Jonathan James, Joe Milosh and Matt Seavey all played last year and that experience will be key as they factor into the rotation again this year. Junior Ethan Friberg got valuable minutes last year and can score in a variety of ways while also giving Big Red size at 6’4. Sophomore George Ladd will be making his varsity debut but is expected to provide North with a spark on offense.

“We are extremely excited about the 2018-2019 season,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “Led by our nine seniors, we hope we can build off of last year’s momentum. We have an extremely intelligent group of players that is coachable, hardworking, and determined. We believe our cohesiveness and depth will allow us to be successful.”

Oliver Ames

2017-2018 Record: 8-13
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Don Byron

The Tigers found themselves in an unfamiliar place at the end of last year – on the outside looking in for the postseason. This year, Oliver Ames is hoping to blend a mix of returners, role players, and new faces — both from JV and transfers — into a competitive group that will look to begin a new postseason streak.

A major challenge will be replacing Hockomock League All Star and HockomockSports.com First Team selection Jack Spillane, who led the Hock in scoring during the regular season with 22.3 points per game. The Tigers will aim to have a much more balanced approach this season players that can contribute at each position. It will begin with returning starters Ethan Eckstrom and Jake Erlich, both seniors. Both Eckstrom and Erlich will spend the majority of their time in or around the paint and will be key defensive pieces as well. Sean O’Brien, who mostly came off the bench but was one of the team leaders in minutes, is a high-energy player that contributes on both ends of the court.

Senior Harry DeChellis was slated to be a big contributor for the Tigers last year before suffering a season ending injury so OA is hoping he will step right in and be a leader. Jay Spillane and Ryan Burkett both had successful seasons on JV a year ago and will factor in the rotation while transfers Amari Brown, a sophomore guard, and Evan Craig, a junior forward, both will be impact players right away.

“We should be a lot more balanced on offense, it should spread around,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “It’s one of those teams where we have the ability to score at all positions, as well as the guys off the bench. It might change each night but we have a lot of guys that are capable of contributing.”

Sharon

2017-2018 Record: 4-16
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Andrew Ferguson

The Eagles are aiming to improve on both ends of the court this year and are looking to compete for the Davenport title and a trip to the state tournament. After missing out on the playoffs each of the last two seasons, the Eagles are looking to ride a mix of experienced players to try and get back to the postseason.

Sharon will rely heavily on its three senior captains: Aaron Strong, Ben Kaplan, and Alex Kaufmann. Strong is a versatile guard that can be a pest on the defensive end of the court; Kaplan makes a lot of things happen on both ends and was having a strong season as a junior before seeing it cut short to injury; and Kaufmann is in his third year on varsity and is capable of having big scoring games any given night.

Athleticism will be something the Eagles rely on this year on both sides of the ball. Beyond the three senior captains, juniors Andrew Burton, Aidan Kane, and Alec Filipkowski all saw varsity minutes and should be factors as their roles increase this season. Juniors Cameron Baker and Caleb Gayle will also factor into the rotation in the frontcourt.

“This is a very tight knit, energized group and they are continually pushing each other to get better every day,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We have a good mix of experience and youth to provide depth at multiple positions. We are replacing a lot of offense from last year and have a lot of players vying for those opportunities.”

Stoughton

2017-2018 Record: 6-14
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: John Gallivan

The Black Knights are hoping a balanced attack on offense and a commitment to defense will result in 10 wins and a trip to the state tournament. Stoughton has five players back with varsity experience so the Knights will lean on those players early as head coach John Gallivan tries to fit a handful of new faces from JV and outside the program into the rotation.

Senior captains Zak Paquette, Josh Cocchi, and Kevin Dixon will be key not only for their contributions on the court but for their leadership as well. They are all experienced players that Gallivan will lean on as he figures out what the best rotations will be.

Senior Ajahn Rue is another returnee and brings a lot of talent to the point guard position while junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell got his feet wet on varsity a year ago and could see an increased role in the 2018-2019 season. After those five, Gallivan is looking for some new faces to step up and establish themselves as go-to options for the Black Knights.

“We are hoping to have more of a balanced attack on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor than we have had in the past,” Gallivan said.

taunton

2017-2018 Record: 12-11
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Charlie Dacey

This year’s version of the Taunton Tigers will be relying on tempo to try and run past the competition in the Hockomock League. Taunton boasts speed throughout the lineup and is hoping that it can use that — offensively and defensively — to its advantage this year. But if necessary, the Tigers can also slow it down and execute in the half court.

Senior guard John Martins and junior forward Dante Law are returning seniors from a season ago and both are quick players that bring experience to a team that is looking to use its speed to emphasize its open court skills. Martins is a steady player that can do a lot of things on both ends of the court and Law is looking to take the next step forward after some strong outings as a sophomore.

Senior Lou Vendrell is back and had a lot of offensive skill that the Tigers will need, especially his outside shot. Similar to Law, junior Naz Kenion had some breakout moments a year ago and Taunton will be looking for more production out of him this season. Prince Brown brings a year of varsity experience back and can provide an offensive spark with his shooting. Senior Mike Quinn rounds out the backcourt while Wesner Charles and Tyler Stewart provide the Tigers with size down low.

“Tempo will be the key this year,” said longtime Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “The roster has some depth and there is speed at every position.”

Sunday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/11/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Canton, 74 vs. Archbishop Williams, 45 – FinalCanton allowed just five points in the third quarter, turning an 11-point advantage (34-23) at halftime into a comfortable 52-28 lead. Senior Tony Harris had a team-high 16 points, junior Devin Foster added 15 points and senior Austin Maffie chipped in with nine points.

Sharon, 61 vs. Norwood, 45 – FinalSharon sophomore Aidan Kane paced the Eagles with a career-high 16 points while senior Malik Lorquet added nine points.

Girls Hockey
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 @ Walpole, 3 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/09/18

Oliver Ames’ Kayla Raymond embraces coach Laney Clement-Holbook after scoring her 1,000th career point. (Courtesy photo)

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Attleboro, 46 – Final

Sharon, 58 @ Canton, 86 – FinalCanton senior Tony Harris poured in 26 of his 33 points in the first half and junior Devin Foster finished with 26 points as the Bulldogs picked up a big win over Sharon. Sharon sophomore Aidan Kane had a career-high 14 points for the Eagles.

Foxboro, 51 @ Milford, 59 – FinalFoxboro raced out to a 9-0 but Milford stormed back to take a slim lead after one. Foxboro regained its advantage at halftime (33-28) but the Hawks struck back, outscoring the Warriors 15-6 in the third to lead 43-39. Kayden Kelley (10 rebounds), Andrew Fraioli (11 rebounds) and Brendan White all had 15 points apiece for Milford. Joe Morrison led the Warriors with a career-high 28 points.

Franklin, 47 @ Mansfield, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Taunton, 68 @ King Philip, 36 – Final

Stoughton, 51 @ North Attleboro, 42 – FinalStoughton had a strong opening quarter and used the lead it created in the period to beat North. The Knights outscored the Rocketeers 17-8 in the opening quarter, the teams both combined for 34 points each over the next three quarters. Stoughton’s Cam Andrews led all scorers with 22 points while junior Owen Nassaney had 13 points for North.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 41 @ Oliver Ames, 52 – FinalOliver Ames’ Kayla Raymond scored 30 points, hitting the 1,000 point mark for her career in the win. Raymond, who is the ninth female player in OA history to reach the milestone, also had 11 rebounds and four steals. Check out the video below.

Canton, 53 @ Sharon, 36 – FinalThe Bulldogs moved within one game of clinching a playoff berth with the road win against the Eagles. Hannah Jerrier once again paced Canton with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Erin Devine chipped in with 12 points, eight rebounds, and six blocks. Emma Eberhardt led the Eagles with 14 and Evanjuline Elisma added seven.

Milford, 26 @ Foxboro, 80 – FinalAshley Sampson led the Warriors with 21 points, while Lily Sykes and Shannon Smally each added 10 for Foxboro, which continued its unbeaten run through the league. All 10 players scored for the Warriors.

Mansfield, 62 @ Franklin, 48 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

King Philip, 71 @ Taunton, 61 – Final

North Attleboro, 46 @ Stoughton, 57 – FinalStoughton bounced back from its loss to Stoughton behind Val Whalen’s 19 points and 16 rebounds, her second double-double against the Rocketeers this season, and 17 points from Aliyah Wright. With the win, the Black Knights get back to .500 on the season.

Boys Hockey
King Philip, 1 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final

Girls Hockey
Stoughton @ Plymouth, 4:30

Shooting, Rebounding Woes Plague Sharon In Loss

Sharon boys basketball
Sharon’s Malik Lorquet fights for a loose ball with Walpole’s Trey Wilkes. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WESTWOOD, Mass. – Sometimes there’s one specific stat or play that a coach can point to that changes the game. Unfortunately for Sharon, it was a handful of stats and combination of plays that resulted in a 59-54 setback to Walpole in the first round of the Westwood Holiday Tournament.

The Eagles had a strong defensive performance, helping force 23 Rebel turnovers, but cooled down considerably on the offensive end after a red-hot start. Sharon shot just 15% from three-point range (3-for-20) and hit just 54% of its free throw attempts (13-for-24) while losing the rebounding battle to Walpole, 39-26.

“It was a combination of things,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “Since I’ve been the freshmen coach here I’ve been preaching layups and free throws. We missed too many layups and we missed too many foul shots. I think if we made some of those layups and those foul shots and we get going from inside, then those threes start falling. I think we settled for too many jump shots instead of taking the ball to the basket.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Despite the final numbers, Sharon’s offense was nearly unstoppable for nearly the opening five minutes. After giving up the opening bucket of the game, the Eagles went on a 16-0 run over a four-minute span to seize a 16-2 lead.

Over that stretch, the Eagles made seven of their eight field goal attempts. Using a fast tempo, the Eagles quickly turned stops on defense into transition offense. Ben Kaplan (nine points) split right through the lane to start the run and Alex Kaufmann (16 points) sandwiched two layups around an assist to Kaplan for three.

Out of a timeout, Kaufmann converted a traditional three-point play and senior Malik Lorquet (13 points, seven rebounds) scored back-to-back baskets underneath to stretch the lead to 14 points.

“We have to be a one-stop defense and we have to rebound the basketball and run from there,” Ferguson said. “When we did that, we were successful. But when they beat us on the glass, they were more successful than we were.”

But the Rebels’ offense came alive as well. Walpole closed the quarter on a 7-2 run and then continued that run in the second quarter. In a stretch that saw three missed free throws and a pair of turnovers, Walpole knotted the game at 19.

“I looked over at my staff when it was an eight or ten point lead and asked, ‘Why does this feel like just a two-point lead?’ We got complacent, we didn’t have the killer instinct,” Ferguson said. “I think we lacked it some coming off the bench, I think we lacked it some in our starting group. I think they went in here to kind of roll them over after that first four minutes. And Walpole is a very good coached team, [Walpole head coach] Mike [Masto] does a great job. We knew they weren’t going to lay down, and they didn’t. We weren’t really able to finish off the game.”

Holding a 24-23 lead, Sharon got back into the driver’s seat and finished the half with a 9-1 run; a traditional three-point play from Jayvon Monteiro, a layup from Kaplan, a putback from Lorquet and a bucket from Kaufmann, leading 33-24 at the half.

Walpole had its best quarter of the game in the third, scoring 18 points while holding the Eagles to just eight points.

Sophomore Aidan Kane drained a three off a feed from Lester High to give Sharon a 40-34 lead with 3:13 to go in the third quarter. But from there, Walpole surged ahead with an 8-1 run to close the quarter. The Eagles were without three starters due to foul trouble for the end of the third and beginning of the fourth.

The Rebels built its largest lead of the game at that point when Brett Lavanchy (13 points, 10 rebounds) converted off a Sharon turnover to make it 51-46.

But Sharon didn’t go away quietly. As Monteiro drained a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game. After a stop, Lorquet converted down low to get within one, 51-50, with 3:24 to play.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After a minute without scoring, Walpole scored down low for a 53-50 lead and the Rebels’ defense got a stop, with Lorquet picking up his fifth foul on an over the back call.

Walpole pushed it back to five, 55-50, with 1:03 to play. The teams traded two throws apiece to keep the lead at five. Sharon’s Max Tarlin hauled in a late offensive board to give the Eagles a shot at a three, but the chance rimmed in and out.

Tarlin added two free throws to bring Sharon within three with 3.4 seconds to go, but Walpole was able to inbound the ball and make its free throws.

Sharon boys basketball (0-3 Hockomock, 0-4 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it will play host Westwood in the consolation round of the tournament at 5:00.

“We can’t let this snowball to 0-5,” Ferguson said. “Tomorrow will show us what we’re really made of. If we show up and lie down, it really hurts us going into the league and puts us behind the eight ball. But I have faith in my guys that they’ll show up tomorrow and give a good effort. We really want to come out of here with a W and I think we’ll work hard to do that tomorrow.”

Oliver Ames Rides Strong Defensive Effort Past Sharon

Oliver Ames boys basketball
Oliver Ames’ Jake Erlich (left) and Sean O’Brien (3) surround Sharon’s Jayvon Monteiro in the third quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – For the second straight game, an improved defensive performance in the second half led Oliver Ames to a win.

The Tigers ramped up the aggressiveness of their 2-3 zone in the second half, holding Sharon to just five points in the third quarter to turn a deficit into a lead, and eventually a 57-49 win over the Eagles in an early-season rivalry game in front of a packed crowd.

“I thought we did an exceptional job in the second half with the defense,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “On the defensive side, it wasn’t too bad early but when you don’t make shots you spend an awful lot of time on the defensive end. We kept Malik [Lorquet] somewhat quiet in the second half and we got out of almost all of the shooters besides a couple of breakdowns.

“Sharon, OA is special. It almost was like a playoff atmosphere. A lot of the kids went through their first varsity experience on Tuesday, but this atmosphere is the next level. You have to be able to tune out the background noise and just play basketball, and I thought especially in the second we did a nice job doing that.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Trailing by six at the halftime break, Oliver Ames opened the second half with a 12-0 run over the first 4:20 of the quarter. OA’s zone paid off right away as the Tigers forced a shot clock violation on Sharon’s first possession of the half.

Jack Spillane (game-high 22 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) started the run by draining a three-pointer and Ethan Eckstrom (eight points, nine rebounds) converted a putback and scored down low on two of the next three possessions.

Sharon got a stop but was called for a technical, allowing Spillane to hit two free throws. Just over the midway point of the quarter, Spillane went over the top of a switch with Sean O’Brien and drained another three from straight away to cap the run, giving the Tigers a 34-28 lead.

During that stretch, the Eagles had a pair of turnovers, went 0-for-2 from two-point range, and 0-for-4 from three-point range, all but one attempt coming in the final seconds of the shot clock.

“They were very aggressive in the way they were attacking the wings,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We had a couple of guys out of position and we just got a little soft with the way we were taking it to the basket, we had to be stronger. Malik got into a little foul trouble and we kind of lost our way offensively. We’re better when we’re attacking the basket and I think we kind of lost that in the third quarter.

The Eagles finally got on the board with just under three to go on a floater from Jayvon Monteiro, but five straight points from OA senior Matt Muir (11 points) – two on a strong baseline drive and a corner three on a drive and kick from Spillane gave OA its largest lead – 39-32 – late in the third.

“I think when we got the ball inside, we needed to finish a little bit better,” Ferguson said of his Eagles, who shot 32% from the field with just eight free throw attempts (compared to 26 from OA). “We needed to do a bit better from the free throw line…I would have liked to get to the free throw line a little bit more, maybe as much as they did.

“But we kind of let outside factors and some physical play get us out of the way we want to play. That’s a credit to Oliver Ames, they took us out of our game plan. And unfortunately we had a little shut down from some guys, and that’s what happens in a Hockomock League game. If you score five points in a quarter, you’re not going to win very often.”

After going 0-for-7 from three-point range in the third quarter, Sharon got back on track when Jimmy Fitzhenry (nine points, eight rebounds) and Aidan Kane hit back-to-back triples to tie the game a minute into the final frame.

But the Eagles offense cooled once again. Two free throws from Spillane put OA up 41-39, only for Sharon to go 0-for-4 from three-point on its next two possessions, concluding three misses on one possession. Muir made Sharon pay with a corner trey to make it 44-39.

“I think Matt can be that 10 point a game kid,” Byron said of Muir, who hit three triples. “He might not throw 25 on you, but he’s a good consistent spot-up option. A lot of the things we do are based on Jack and penetration. And it can draw a lot of attention, and it did tonight, and they came with Matt’s guy.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

A three from Alex Kaufmann brought the Eagles within two but that would be the closest they would get the rest of the way. Two free throws from Spillane plus a strong take from Eckstrom restored a two-possession lead.

O’Brien (12 points) delivered the dagger with a three with two minutes to play, putting OA up 51-42.

“He was a JV kid last year, he was really good over at Stoughton too,” Byron said of O’Brien. “He’s really poised, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes for a kid who’s only got two games under his belt. He’s been terrific, really solid for us. He’s a competitive kid and he wasn’t affected by the atmosphere.”

Kane hit a three with 17.6 seconds left to make it 53-49, but OA didn’t turn the ball over and took care of business at the free throw line to ice the game.

Lorquet finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Eagles.

Sharon’s offense got off to a strong start against the zone, dropping 16 points — including three triples — in the opening quarter. The Eagles added 12 more points in the second quarter, owning the glass 11-6 in the frame.

Meanwhile, Oliver Ames got off to a slow start, hitting just one field goal (5-of-6 from the free throw line) and six turnovers. The offense came alive a bit in the second quarter, going 3-for-6 from downtown to get within 28-22 at the break.

Sharon (0-2, 0-2) will look for its first win of the season when it hosts Attleboro on the same day.

“It’s good to be 2-0 for a variety of reasons…having to play Stoughton in there place is never easy,” Byron said. “Any road game is tough, but over there can be particularly tough. And then Sharon is a good team, I think they’re going to contend in the small side. It’s kind of a wide-open race on that side and Sharon is pretty darn good. They have some explosive scorers so we’re really happy with what we were able to do in the second half, especially defensively.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

2017-2018 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

2017-2018 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017-2018 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2016-2017 Record: 13-10
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Mark Houle

Attleboro will be looking to its youth to try and get back to the state tournament this season. With just two seniors and four juniors, half of the Bombardiers’ roster is made up of underclassman.

But just because the Bombardiers are young, doesn’t mean they aren’t experienced. Senior Nate Douglas, a returning starter, has been getting minutes on varsity since his freshman year, and classmate Elvin Sam emerged as a reliable shooter off the bench last season. Sophomores Qualeem Charles and Bryant Ciccio made big impacts during their rookie campaigns last season. Charles (6’5) will be a big presence in the post while Ciccio will be one of the primary ball handlers.

Charles will be joined by sophomore Jason Weir (6’2) in the post while junior forward Dom Victor will be a game-changer on both ends of the floor. At 6’4, his athleticism will cause a lot of matchup problems for opposing defenses. Douglas and Ciccio will be joined by Mason Houle, Kevin Velazquez and Tim Callahan in the backcourt.

“We will need to have our younger players step up this year,” said AHS head coach Mark Houle. “We expect to be a well-rounded team who can play a fast pace game or well in a half court set.”

Canton

2016-2017 Record: 9-11
2016-2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ryan Gordy

The goal is pretty clear for Canton this season. Not only do the Bulldogs want to reach the postseason for the first time since 2014, they want to compete for the Davenport division title.

With two of the top players back in the lineup, both goals are reasonable. Senior Tony Harris and junior Devin Foster, both HockomockSports.com Third Team selections a year ago, return to anchor a Bulldogs’ team that just missed out on the playoffs last year. They’ll be joined by Austin Maffie and Jake Verille, both returning starters, as well as Paul Corcoran, Kyle Fitzgerald and Ryan Lentol, who all have varsity experience.

Harris and Foster give Canton an immediate edge on offense with two talented scorers, but it will be important for others to step up and make plays all season long. On defense, the Bulldogs will rely on their quickness to try and bother teams.

“This is a fun group who have played a lot of basketball together, they like each other which helps with team chemistry,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “Hopefully that will translate into a good product on the court.”

Foxboro

2016-2017 Record: 12-10
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jon Gibbs

The mantra “Defense Wins Championships” has been proven in many different sports, at many different levels. The 2017-2018 Foxboro Warriors are hoping that will be the case this season.

Head coach Jon Gibbs says that this team has the potential to be the best defensive team that he’s coached. “We have a lot of quick, tough, physical guards that move their feet well on the perimeter and are committed to the defensive end of the court,” he said. “I think this should be a major strength of our team.”

It helps that Foxboro returns the reigning HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year in senior Joe Morrison. As a junior, Morrison routinely limited opponents’ best offensive player, and was a big reason why the Warriors allowed just 55.9 points per game.

Sophomore Brandon Borde returns to the starting lineup alongside Morrison. Borde had a strong freshman season and will likely see his role increase this year, especially on the offensive end of the court. Seniors Teddy Maher and Matt Rognione, both with plenty of varsity experience will both see plenty of time this year and will be relied upon to make plays.

“We have a very good mix of experience and youth,” Gibbs said. “Our seniors have shown excellent leadership thus far, practices have been competitive, and everyone is working hard to earn their spot and get better. We hope to keep building and improving each day so that we are peaking and playing our best basketball at the end of the season.”

Franklin

2016-2017 Record: 22-5
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D1 State Final
Coach: CJ Neely

After making it to the Division 1 State Final a year ago, the Panthers are hoping to be just as competitive this season. With three starters back, and a handful of experienced and talented bench players, the expectations for Franklin are certainly high.

Losing Josh Macchi to graduation will hurt, but the Panthers return their best player in senior Paul Mahon, along with two terrific young talents in junior Jalen Samuels and sophomore Chris Edgehill. When playing at his best, Samuels’ athleticism and offensive skills make him one of the toughest marks in the league. Edgehill really turned it on in the tournament and if he can sustain that level of play throughout the regular season, the Panthers will be a favorite for the league title.

Seniors Alex Klowan, Matt Elias, Jack Rodgers and Gavin Farnan all picked up valuable minutes a season ago and will be key pieces for the Panthers, whether its apart of the starting line up for coming off the bench. Having so many experienced players ready to come off the bench should give Franklin the upper hand on a lot of teams.

“Our strength on the offensive end will be in our balance and willingness to share the ball and create great scoring opportunities for the team,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “On defense, we hope to make our opponents uncomfortable at all times and really focus on getting stops as a unit.”

King Philip

2016-2017 Record: 8-13
2016-2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mark Champagne

After losing just three seniors that played valuable minutes last season, and a full season complete under head coach Mark Champagne, King Philip is looking to take the next step this year and get back to the postseason.

The biggest shoes to fill are those left by Seth Sullivan and Will Weir, but the Warriors have five players back that either started or saw significant varsity minutes a season ago for a team that was just a couple games away from making the playoffs. Not only were they just a couple of games off, they were competitive in almost every game, including a three-point loss to Attleboro, a one-point loss to Taunton, and a three-point loss to Mansfield in a four-game span.

Seniors Tom Madden, Pharoah Davis, and Nolan Bradley are all back this season, along with juniors Kyle Layman and Bruce Santillus. Layman and Madden (both 6’4) will give the Warriors size in the frontcourt while Davis, one of the most experienced players in the league, will be the premier ball handler. Bradley provides King Philip with a threat from beyond the three-point line and Santillus showed this offseason the ability to fill the scoresheet up.

“With more familiarity comes trust, and a more comfortable time spent in the gym this season,” Champagne said. “Guys have worked hard in the offseason and we expect it to pay dividends as we get into our schedule. We have good depth and good leadership.”

Mansfield

2016-2017 Record: 23-3
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Mike Vaughan

This might be the most turnover we’ve seen the Hornets have in quite some time, but just because there will be a lot of new faces doesn’t meet much will change for the Hornets.

Expectations are still sky high, as Mansfield will be looking to compete for another Kelley-Rex title (Mansfield has won five straight division titles). And when it comes to the postseason, the Hornets are aiming to get back to at least the spot they got to last year – the D1 South Final – with aspirations to go further.

All six seniors that graduated all played important roles over the past couple of years for the Hornets, including last year’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Sam Goldberg. However, Mansfield does bring back experience in Tyler Boulter, John McCoy, Ryan Otto and Sam Hyland. Senior Nick Ferraz will give Mansfield some depth in the frontcourt after missing last year to injury, and senior transfer Justin Vine gives the Hornets another shooting option.

Junior Damani Scott showed glimpses at the end of last when he was called up while Khristian Conner and Tommy Dooling should see increased roles this season.

“I think our strength will be controlling the tempo on offense and having a bend don’t break defensive mindset,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I think we have lots of options with going small ball, playing with a taller lineup, or a good shooting line up. That creates lots of tough matchups over the course of the game.”

Milford

2016-2017 Record: 11-12
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D2 Central Quarterfinal
Coach: Paul Seaver

Although the Hawks graduated three of their top scorers from last year, expectations are still high in Milford. It will be tough to replace the offensive output of Zack Tamagni, Anthony Arcudi, and Nate Davila, but the Hawks will be relying on their size this season to get the offense going.

Senior Kayden Kelley is back for his third year starting on varsity and will be an important piece on both ends for Milford. Standing at 6’4, Kelley is a tough matchup and is one of the best rebounders in the league. He averaged 14.3 boards per game a year ago and led the league in double-doubles. Senior Shane Cosquete will start at point guard again this year, and will be relied upon on to set the offense in motion. He will likely be relied upon for more scoring this season.

Junior Brendan White will join the starting lineup after coming off the bench in 23 years ago. A physical presence, White brings energy and defensive toughness to the lineup. Transfers Andew Fraioli (6’5) and Joey Everett (6’3) give the Hawks depth in the frontcourt.

“We’ve improved statistically offensively and defensively over each of the past three seasons and that’s a trend that we will be hoping to continue here in 2017-2018,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver.

North Attleboro

2016-2017 Record: 15-8
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins

It’s no surprise that after graduating four starters, and the team’s sixth man that it will be a youth revolution in Big Red Country. Starters Brent Doherty, Johnny Friberg, Kyle McCarthy and Tommy Reynolds are gone, as well as Moni Cuevas, who played plenty of minutes off the bench.

The one returning starter is senior Chad Peterson, a familiar face in the Rocketeers’ lineup since his freshman year. And all four of the other returning players – senior Derek Shanks and juniors Matt Seavey, Josh Montague and Nate Gonsalves – all saw plenty of minutes last season.

While Peterson will likely take on a leadership role and see increased point production, expect Montague to emerge as a leading scorer for the Rocketeers. Shanks can stretch the floor some and hit mid-range jumpers, Seavey is a solid option in the post, and Gonsalves is a capable ball handler.

Offensive, North will rely on its size. On top of Seavey and Shanks, the Rocketeers have a pair of 6’6 forwards in Jacob Petersen and Owen Nassaney to add depth and size to the frontcourt. Junior Jonathan James, recovering from a football injury, will likely factor in as well.

“We are really looking forward to seeing how this new group gels,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “With a lot of new faces, its really been a preseason spent trying to find our identity. We know we need to grow up really fast as the Hock won’t give us any nights off. We’re really pleased with how this group has responded to the coaching and is accepting the challenges that lay ahead. We are excited to see what this team can accomplish together.”

Oliver Ames

2016-2017 Record: 13-11
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Don Byron

Oliver Ames surpassed most expectations in its first year in the Kelley-Rex division, coming in third and opening the playoffs with a road win at Milton.

But the toughest part about the Kelley-Rex is that the challenge gets harder and harder every year. And with Oliver Ames losing three starters – Carter Evin, Nick Welch, and Dylan Mahoney – to graduation, the Tigers will be facing an uphill battle. The good news is that the Tigers have seniors Jack Spillane and Matt Muir back this year. Both were starters a year ago, and Spillane showed the ability to really fill up the stat sheet, scoring 25 points or more on three occasions.

Junior Ethan Eckstrom, a center, will see more minutes this season and his size will be key to helping defend opposing teams. Senior Noah Fitzgerald showed last year how much of a pest he can be on the defensive side of the ball, and the Tigers will rely on him to do so again this year.

Junior Jake Erlich earned his way into the lineup and picked up valuable experience last season. He will likely see an increased role this season and his strength help the Tigers in the post.

Sharon

2016-2017 Record: 7-13
2016-2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Andrew Ferguson

It will be tough to replace Ricardo Ripley at point guard, but the good news for Sharon is that the majority of the Eagles that played valuable minutes last year as returning this season.

Senior Malik Lorquet broke out of his shell last year and showed that he can take over a game. Now a senior, Lorquet will be a focal point on both sides of the court for the Eagles. Senior Jimmy Fitzhenry can catch fire at any moment, and when he does, he is one of the most dangerous shooters in the league.

Alex Kaufmann also showed glimpses last year as a sophomore, both as a ball handler and a scorer. Between him, Lorquet and Fitzhenry, the Eagles have a solid offensive core to rely on. Jayvon Monteiro is one of the most passionate players in the league and will see an increased role at guard and be key to Sharon’s defense. Aidan Kane, Ben Kaplan, and Aaron Strong will all be important players off the bench for Sharon.

“Our goal is to improve upon last year, the end of the year was a confidence boost for our returning players and we’re hoping to carry over that momentum to this year,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We have an experienced group of starters, but will be looking for our less experienced players to make a jump and help us at the varsity level.”

Stoughton

2016-2017 Record: 5-15
2016-2017 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: John Gallivan

Stoughton will be looking to improve on last year’s season, and the best way to do that will be to improve on the defensive end of the court.

The Black Knights haven’t had too much trouble on the offensive end, and with leading scoring Cam Andrews back for his senior year, it likely won’t be a big issue this year either. But the Knights have allowed a league-high in points each of the last two seasons.

Andrews led the Hockomock League in scoring last year with 17.8 points per game and will demand the attention of opposing defenses. Senior Colin Sanda can also hit from the outside and will be a solid second option for the Black Knights, who graduated eight players including reliable scoring options Cam Gomes and Matthew Valle.

In the frontcourt, junior David Bell (6’2) showed some potential at the end of last year and should factor in more in 2017-2018.

“Offensively we may create problems for some teams but our defense has to be better than it has been in the recent past,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan.

taunton

2016-2017 Record: 13-9
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Charlie Dacey

When it comes to pace, Taunton is hoping to be among the fastest teams in the league this season. The Tigers will still be young this year, but not as much as last year with plenty of young players returning after gaining experience last season.

Seniors Lens Esquil and Malik Charles both played last year and have shown improvement in their skills; they’ll be relied upon to be team leaders this season. Sophomore Dante Law had a tremendous freshman season, and hurt a lot of teams in a lot of ways. Whether it was from deep, like his six three pointers against Foxboro, or his ability to attack the basket, he’s one of the most dangerous young players in the league. Junior Lou Vendrell also emerged as a top scorer last season and could be one of the top shooters in the league this year.

Junior John Martins is another experienced player that is capable of scoring while Diamond Blakely and Prince Brown will share point guard duties. Naz Kenian, Tyler Medeiros, and Wesner Charles are all going to be options for head coach Charlie Dacey as well.

“We have much depth with tremendous team speed,” Dacey said. “If we can learn to harness this speed and use it productively we could be interesting.”