Stoughton Stuns Foxboro With Late Game Surge

Stoughton boys basketball Ajahn Rue
Stoughton’s Ajahn Rue splits a pair of Foxboro defenders for a layup in the fourth quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FOXBORO, Mass. – While the Stoughton Boys basketball team spent the majority of Friday night’s contest trailing Foxboro, the Black Knights never let the Warriors run away with it.

Staying within striking distance for the majority of the game, the Black Knights made their move late in the fourth quarter. Stoughton used an 8-0 run to tie the game with just over two minutes to play, and finished the game with a 9-0 burst.

All in all, Stoughton outscored Foxboro 17-0 over the final 4:24 to stun the Warriors with a 63-52 decision. The win moves Stoughton into a four-way tie in the Davenport division along with Foxboro, Milford, and North Attleboro with two division games left.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Nothing came easy tonight,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “We had to stay with our stuff. We said at halftime it was the luckiest five-point deficit because we didn’t do anything we talked about doing. The third quarter got a little better, but we were still down three. Then we got down eight. They just stayed with it, stayed with it, and finally got a couple of breaks.”

Foxboro junior Dylan Barreira drained a three to put the Warriors up 53-45 with 4:43 to go. It marked the seventh time that the Warriors had led by eight or more points in the game. But similar to each of the previous times, Stoughton clawed its way back in.

This time, however, the Black Knights were able to tie the game. Junior Thomas Sanda (eight points) scored on a shot from the block, junior Ajahn Rue (13 points, five rebounds) beat his man and attacked the rim on two straight possessions, and senior Kevin Dixon had a strong take to make it 53-53 with 2:07 left.

Foxboro called a timeout to try and stem the tide, but Stoughton junior Ahmad Jahed stole the inbounds pass and found Dixon for an easy bucket and the lead. The Warriors came up with an offensive rebound on its next possession, but Rue was able to knock the ball free for a turnover. Rue once again went to the basket, this time sneaking a layup under the defender for a 57-53 advantage with a minute to go.

The Black Knights continued to get stops, including a big block from Obinna Ugwuakazi. Ugwuakazi, Jahed, and Rue each hit from the free throw line down the stretch to get Stoughton to the final score.

“The lead never felt comfortable, but there were moments I felt we could put them away if we maybe made a couple more shots in a row or a couple of more plays [defensively],” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “It seemed like we could never make that last momentum play. We’ve got a young group, so we have to go back to the film and see what went wrong and learn to execute better down the stretch. That’s how our league is, every game is going to be like that.

“We didn’t execute offensively. We had some bad possessions where we weren’t able to get into the right spots or execute what we wanted to. We rushed some shots and I think we just got a little rattled and lost our composure a little bit. And defensively we gave up the paint a little too easy. We gave up some offensive rebounds, they posted up our guards a little bit. In the end, we weren’t able to execute on either end under pressure.”

Foxboro had leads at 15-7 to end the first quarter, 23-15, 26-18, 28-18, and 30-20 in the second quarter, and a 38-29 advantage midway through the third quarter. Stoughton was able to respond each time, cutting into the deficit to get within five or three before Foxboro could pull away.

“They are a hard team to chase,” Gallivan said. “They spread the floor so well and if you have to double, one of their great shooters is going to get a wide open shot. I think it probably would have taken one more and it could have been the dagger but the kids just stuck with it.”

Rue was limited to just two points (on four field goal attempts) entering the fourth quarter, but seemed to flip the switch to get the Black Knights going. Even before sparking the comeback run, Rue gained confidence by converting a traditional three-point play early in the fourth quarter. He had 11 of his 13 points come in the final frame.

“I thought Ajahn took over,” Gallivan said. “I think at one point they had three guys on the floor with four fouls so if you’re switching screens, it becomes which kid do you want to get in foul trouble there. He was able to get to the rim, finished, and I think that got everyone going.”

Foxboro junior Brandon Borde (23 points, nine rebounds) had his way for the most part, scoring seven points in the opening quarter to help the Warriors create a 15-7 lead. The Warriors used a 13-5 run to create a 10-point lead with a minute to go in the half. Borde had three baskets, Ryan Hughes added two field goals, and Will Morrison (10 points) drained a three. Stoughton got some momentum back before the half as Tahkwan Gates Brown (nine points, four rebounds) converted a putback and Myles Grigalunas-Powell drained a three after an offensive rebound from Gates Brown to make it 30-25 at the half.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

A three from Foxboro sophomore Kevin Gallagher sparked an early 8-0 run for the Warriors, with Borde adding two field goals and Morrison with a free throw to put the hosts up 38-29.

But as they had done all game, the Black Knights battled back, closing the quarter with an 11-5 run. Zak Paquette sank two free throws, Jahed scored after a steal, Dixon hit a pair from the line, Gates Brown scored down low, and Sanda made both ends of a one-and-one situation to bring the Black Knights within three, 43-40, entering the fourth quarter.

Stoughton boys basketball (6-8 Hockomock, 9-9 overall) hits the road on Tuesday to take on Milford. Foxboro (6-8, 9-8) will look to snap its two-game skid when it travels to Sharon on the same night.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/01/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 57 @ Mansfield, 63 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Canton, 46 @ Foxboro, 54 – FinalAfter a back-and-forth first half, Foxboro was able to gradually pull away and iced the game with clutch free throws down the stretch. After an even (10-10) first quarter, Foxboro opened with an 11-3 run to gain the lead but Canton responded with a 14-2 run to go ahead 27-23 late in the second quarter. A brief 5-0 run, capped by sophomore Kevin Gallagher’s (16 points) three-pointer at the buzzer, gave Foxboro a 28-27 lead at half. Foxboro led 40-34 heading into the fourth quarter, and although Canton cut it to one possession late in the game, Warrior senior Anthony Mollica hit four free throws to seal it. Junior Brandon Borde added 15 points for Foxboro while Canton senior Devin Foster had a game-high 17 points.

Franklin, 76 @ King Philip, 60 – FinalFranklin junior Chris Edgehill poured in a career-high 35 points to pace the Panthers to a season sweep of the Warriors. The Panthers led by 13 at halftime (42-29) and entering the fourth quarter (56-43). Edgehill scored 15 of Franklin’s 20 points in the final frame to seal the win. Jalen Samuels added 17 points for the Panthers, who connected on 10 three-pointers. Tim Nault hit half of KP’s 10 three-pointers and finished with a team-high 16 points.

Milford, 56 @ Sharon, 45 – FinalMilford overcame a slow start and gradually pulled away from Sharon. The Hawks trailed 11-9 at the end of one quarter but took a three-point (20-17) lead into the halftime break. The Hawks extended their lead to 34-27 at the end of three and then put the game to bed with a 22-point fourth quarter. Brendan White paced Milford with 24 points (17 in second half) and 18 rebounds and senior Brendon Sailer added 16 points. Kiran Chandrasekaran led Sharon with a team-high 11 points.

North Attleboro, 70 @ Stoughton, 65 – FinalNorth Attleboro erased an 18-point deficit with a monster second half to earn a win on the road. After being limited to 19 points in the first half (include a buzzer-beating three), the Rocketeers exploded for 51 second half points to earn the come-from-behind win. Trailing 32-19 at half, North Attleboro buried a barrage of three-pointers to begin the third, hitting four of their eight triples in the frame. North extended its advantage to a nine-point lead early in the fourth before Stoughton clawed its way back, getting with one at 66-65 with 11.6 seconds left but North secured the win with free throws and a steal. Junior Ethan Friberg had a career-high 18 points while senior Josh Montague added 17 points, and seniors Matt Seavey and Nate Gonsalves each chipped in with 12 points. Ajahn Rue led Stoughton with a career-high 23 points and Obinna Ugwuakazi added 14 points.

Oliver Ames, 37 @ Taunton, 39 – FinalA low-scoring tone was set early as the teams combined for just seven points (6-1 Taunton) in the opening quarter. Taunton extended its lead to 19-12 at half but Oliver Ames had a 16-point third quarter to take a 28-26 lead going into the fourth quarter. Lou Vendrell paced Taunton with a game-high 17 points while John Martins scored all of his seven points in the second half. Ethan Eckstrom led OA with 12 points while Michael Greene added 10 points, all in the second half.

Girls Basketball
Mansfield, 47 @ Attleboro, 36 – FinalThe game was tied 20-20 at halftime but the Hornets broke the game open in the second half to remain just two games back of league-leading Franklin heading into Tuesday’s showdown. Maggie Danehy scored 15 points and Sydney Mulkern added 12 for Mansfield. Liv McCall paced the Bombardiers with 13.

Foxboro, 55 @ Canton, 37 – FinalKatelyn Mollica scored 22 points for the second time this week, helping the Warriors get back on track and move within one win of clinching a third straight league title. Chelsea Gibbons scored 13 in the win.

King Philip, 45 @ Franklin, 68 – FinalAli Brigham scored 27 points and Meghan O’Connell added 10 for the Panthers, who remain unbeaten in league play this season and can clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title with a win against Mansfield on Tuesday. Shannon O’Connor was the top scorer for the Warriors with nine points.

Sharon, 53 @ Milford, 25 – FinalTelishya Herbert led all scorers with 10 points for the Eagles and Sara Fandel added nine. Ally Brown and Trinity Payne each scored eight points in the win. Sharon needs three more wins to book a spot in the state tournament.

Stoughton, 48 @ North Attleboro, 47 – FinalStoughton kept its postseason hopes alive with a big road win. Shyanne Trinh paced the Black Knights with 21 points and added four blocks. Lindsay McDonald added 12 points and nine boards in the win.

Taunton, 34 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – FinalOA moved one win closer to sealing a spot in the state tournament with a big home win. Freshman Caroline Peper led the way with 20 points and Jess Erlich added 10 and five rebounds for the tigers, who held a 32-20 advantage at halftime.

Swimming
Hockomock Boys Swim Championships – Click here for a recap and photo gallery from this event.

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Lowell, 6:30

Vendrell Sparks Taunton To Win Over Stoughton

Taunton boys basketball Lou Vendrell
Taunton senior Lou Vendrell drives to the basket for a layup in the fourth quarter against Stoughton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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STOUGHTON, Mass. – A shorthanded Taunton team has seen a pair of seniors step up over the past two games. Tuesday night on the road against Stoughton, they had a third senior rise to the occasion.

Following in the footsteps of John Martins (30 points against Canton) and Ryan Sullivan (27 points against Mansfield), senior Lou Vendrell came off the bench to provide a big spark for the Tigers, leading Taunton to a 70-61 win on the road.

Vendrell scored a season-high 20 points, including 11 points in the fourth quarter, to help the Tigers secure an important win as they inch closer to a postseason berth.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It was a huge win, being shorthanded,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “These guys that have carried us for three games are all good kids, they’ve done a nice job.”

Without three starters, the Tigers posted a 1-1 record last week so Tuesday’s road trip to Stoughton was an important one. Martins had another solid effort for the Tigers, dropping 15 points and hauling in eight rebounds while sophomore Josh Lopes came off the bench and scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half.

Taunton built a 10-point lead by using a 13-4 run over the final 2:15 of the first half. In the second half, Stoughton continued to push back into the game but the Tigers never surrendered the lead.

The Black Knights kept the visitors scoreless for the first 4:13 of the third quarter but could only muster six points of their own. Martins scored off a turnover and assist from Vendrell to get Taunton on the board, up 37-31. A three from Lopes extended that advantage to 40-31 with three minutes left in the third.

But Stoughton continued to chip away. Four points from Obinna Ugwuakazi (21 points, 11 rebounds) and two from Tahkwan Gates Brown (six points, five assists) got the Black Knights within five but a three-point play from Lopes kept Taunton ahead, 43-47, going into the final quarter.

“Those two guys are learning to play together,” Gallivan said of Ugwuakazi and Gates Brown. “At the beginning of the season we were playing one at a time, but they’re learning. They are looking for each other too. It’s not always pretty, but it can be effective.”

Taunton’s lead ballooned to 12 when sophomore Tyler Stewart come up with a steal then found Vendrell on the break early in the fourth quarter. Vendrell returned the favor to Stewart for two and a 51-40 lead, and then Stewart found Quinn in the corner for a three and Vendrell converted on a breakaway to make it 56-42 with 4:38 to play.

The 14-point lead was far from safe, however, as Ugwuakazi converted down low, Kevin Dixon splashed in a triple, and sophomore Jake Queeney came off the bench to drain a three to make it 58-50 with 2:14 to play.

“Queeney did a nice job, came off the bench and hit some shots,” Gallivan. “He’s played a couple of varsity quarters, he had one quarter of eligibility left tonight so we put him in and he did well.”

A free throw from Ugwuakazi cut the deficit to seven, but Vendrell responded with a jumper in the paint to put the Tigers up 60-51.

“If he starts off playing well, he does well for the game,” Dacey said of Vendrell. :He was confident tonight. He had a lot of momentum and was participating on both ends of the floor too which I think factored in.”

Ugwuakazi and Quinn traded two points apiece and Queeney hit another triple to get Stoughton within six, 62-56, with 1:29 to go. Each team had an empty trip, and Lopes raced out for a layup and a 64-56 lead.

“14 points out of a sophomore in a pressure situation like that? He’s a worker,” Dacey said of Lopes. “He’s worked his butt off, he’s in a good spot right now, and he deserves it.”

With under a minute to go, the Black Knights were forced to foul and Taunton was able to hold on for the win.

In the first half, Stoughton junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell (13 points, five rebounds, four assists) helped the Black Knights jump ahead 12-8, but Taunton closed the opening quarter with a 6-0 run (two each from Krishon Nairne, Martins, and Vendrell) for a 14-12 lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the second quarter, Martins took control of the offense and scored eight points in the quarter. A three-pointer from Ajahn Rue brought Stoughton within one at 22-21 with under three minutes to go but the Tigers finished the quarter strong with a 13-4 run.

Martins made back-to-back triples, Vendrell added in five straight, and Martins converted shortly before the buzzer for a 35-25 lead at the break.

“[John] makes good decisions out there,” Dacey said. “We’re trying to run some things, and he manages to settle it down and occasionally takes care of business himself. That’s the senior leadership we need.”

Taunton boys basketball (7-4 Hockomock, 10-5) begins a three-game home stand when it welcomes Oliver Ames on Friday night. Stoughton (4-7, 7-8) has its second straight home contest when it entertains North Attleboro.

Black Knights Battle Back To Beat Weston

Stoughton boys basketball
Stoughton’s Kevin Dixon goes up for a layup against Weston in the first quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
RANDOLPH, Mass. – The Stoughton boys basketball team felt like it had let a win slip through its grasp on Friday night against Natick in the opening round of the Blue Devils Holiday Classic.

Facing a 17-point second half deficit, the Black Knights were starring at the possibility of a second straight loss against a team they were capable of beating.

Behind a ramped-up defensive effort, improved shooting, and a big fourth quarter performance from senior captain Josh Cocchi, Stoughton erased that deficit and walked away with a 64-58 win over Weston.

“We’re thrilled to get this one today because we knew we could have played better on Friday night,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan.

A big second quarter gave the Wildcats a 37-24 advantage at the break. Weston extended that lead to 43-26 on a three-pointer by Jake Corbett with 5:44 to play in the third. Stoughton, which had struggled from the field in the first half (22% shooting) began to find its rhythm.

A pair of free throws from junior Obinna Ugwuakazi (26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals) started a 10-0 burst for the Black Knights. Stoughton’s improvement on offense was almost a direct result from its defensive energy. The Knights extended a 2-2-1 press that forced Weston into four turnovers and 0-for-5 shooting from the field in that stretch.

Ugwuakazi scored down low on an assist from Ajahn Rue after a Weston miss, and Myles Grigalunas-Powell scored on a break after Rue came up with a steal. Zak Paquette found Ugwuakazi for a tough two, and the press forced a turnover on a carry.

A steal from Eddie Aldama led to an elbow jumper from Ugwuakazi to make it 45-38 with 2:28 left in the third. A three-point play from Weston pushed the lead back to 10 but a baseline drive from Paquette and a three-point play from Ugwuakazi with just 6.5 left brought the Knights within five but Weston beat the buzzer to take a 50-43 lead into the fourth.

“I think starting 13 or 14-for-14 from the free throw line helped a lot,” Gallivan said of what went into the comeback. “We did a good job of changing of the tempo with the three quarter court zone press. It just made them maybe think a little bit before they stepped into wide open shots like they had in the first half. They looked unbeatable in the second quarter. But the kids hung in there, and we talked at halftime about having one run in us and we did.”

Ugwuakazi had 13 of his 26 points in the third quarter.

“He had a great practice yesterday,” Gallivan said. “They probably didn’t get a good look at him when they scouted Friday night (limited minutes). So it was a good opportunity for him and he took advantage of it.”

A free throw from Ugwuakazi was followed by a turnover by Weston — a travel forced by Stoughton’s pressure. Senior Josh Cocchi hit three-pointer for the Knights, making it a three-point game with 6:22 to go.

It marked Stoughton’s first triple since 2:19 left in the first quarter. The Black Knights had shot 1-for-22 from deep before Cocchi’s make.

“We haven’t shot well all year,” Gallivan said. “It’s about that time to start shooting well. But defense helps obviously. You can’t let your defense, or lack thereof, affect your offense. And we did that at times during the first half.”

Cocchi sank a pair of free throws to get within one but Corbett answered on the other end for the Wildcats. Cocchi came back down the other way, took a feed from Rue and drained another three while being fouled. He converted the free throw to give Stoughton its first lead of the second half, 53-52, with 4:32 to go.

Weston briefly regained the lead on a three-point play by Corbett but Rue answered with a three on the other end to put Stoughton back in front, 56-55, with 3:49 to go.

The Knights got a stop on one end with Ugwuakazi grabbing the rebound. On the other end, Rue found Ugwuakazi with a nice pass and he extended the advantage to 58-55. Cocchi hit one of two free throws after earning a trip to the line with a nice box out.

Thomas Sanda came up with a key loose ball, and after a pair of empty trips from each side, Sanda took a nice feed from Cocchi for an easy two to make it 61-55. Cocchi (1-for-2) and Sanda (2-for-2) added free throws in the final minute to make it 64-58.

“Josh Cocchi was huge [in the fourth],” Gallivan said. “Obinna obviously had a good game but Cocchi was great in the fourth quarter with 11 points. And Tommy Sanda…we say it all the time, he’s always in the right place, he’s always listening, he’s the smartest player on the court so at some point I have to say to myself, ‘Why isn’t he playing more?’ I told him after the first half to be ready because he was going to go back in and he did a nice job.”

Stoughton boys basketball (5-2) resumes Hockomock League play on Friday, January 4th when it travels to Davenport division rival Canton (2-1) for a 6:30 tipoff.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/28/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 54 @ Bishop Feehan, 57 – FinalAttleboro took a 45-40 late in the third quarter but a 6-0 burst from the hosts had the Shamrocks ahead entering the final quarter and Bishop Feehan held on for the win. Senior Mason Houle scored a career-high 20 points for the Bombardiers, Kevin Velazquez added 11 points, and both Bryant Ciccio and Qualeem Charles finished with 10 points.

Foxboro, 52 vs. LaSalle Academy (R.I.), 31 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game.Foxboro’s defense had a strong outing, limiting visiting La Salle Academy to just 11 points in the first half. The Warriors led 29-11 at the break, but La Salle outscored the hosts 15-9 in the third quarter to inch back into the game. Foxboro erased any idea of a comeback with a quick 7-0 run to begin the fourth quarter, expanding the advantage it 46-26. Sophomore Kevin Gallagher scored a career-high 19 points, hitting five three-pointers. Junior Brandon Borde added 12 points and seven rebounds while junior Will Morrison chipped in with nine points.

King Philip, 71 @ Auburn, 53 – FinalKing Philip used a terrific start to build a double-digit lead by halftime and never looked back with a win on the road at Auburn. Six players combined to score 25 points in the opening quarter for the Warriors, including seven from junior Alex Fritz (nine points) and six from Andrew McKinney (14 points). Senior Bruce Saintilus finished with a team-high 21 points, including 12 points in the third quarter.

North Attleboro, 48 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 36 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game.Lincoln-Sudbury closed the third quarter on a 13-2 run, erasing an eight-point deficit to take a 31-28 lead into the final period. North Attleboro responded with its best quarter on both ends of the floor, outscoring the Warriors 20-5 in the frame to earn the double-digit win. Josh Montague (nine points) got North within one before Ethan Friberg (12 points, seven rebounds) hit back-to-back triples and then a pair of free throws. L-S cut it to three with a triple but Friberg found Matt Seavey with a quick two and Nate Gonsalves (11 points, seven rebounds) scored four straight points to extend the advantage to 42-34. A late triple put North up by double-digits. North Attleboro had a terrific defensive performance, limiting L-S to single digits in three of the four quarters.

Sharon, 49 vs. Hingham, 73 – Final

Stoughton, 58 vs. Natick, 61 – FinalStoughton junior Ajahn Rue scored a team-high 20 points but the Black Knights fell by three to Natick in the first round of the Blue Devil Holiday Classic at Randolph High.

Taunton, 57 @ Durfee, 73 – FinalTaunton trailed by just two at the end of one quarter but Durfee pushed the lead to eight by half (31-23) and then blew the game open with a 23-point third quarter. Junior Dante Law had a team-high 18 points while Wesner Charles added 10 points.

Girls Basketball
Mansfield, 37 @ Newtown (Conn.), 43 – FinalPlaying under Conn. rules hurt the Hornets on Friday. With no shot clock, Newtown was able to sit on its lead for the entire fourth quarter and pull out the victory in the end. Mady Bendanillo led Mansfield with 13 points and Maggie Danehy had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.

Milford, 24 vs. Hopedale, 48 – Final

Oliver Ames, 54 vs. Brockton, 50 – FinalOliver Ames overcame a 10-point deficit at halftime, putting up 38 points in the second half to earn a win over Brockton. Freshman Caroline Peper led the Tigers with 15 points, senior Alex Sheldon added 13 points and sophomore Caroline Flynn finished with eight points and 16 rebounds.

Sharon, 45 vs. Plymouth South, 37 – Final Telishya Herbert paced the Eagles with 15 points and Evanjuline Elisma added 11 to help Sharon win the consolation game at the Cardinal Spellman tournament.

Stoughton, 35 vs. @ Newton South, 56 – FinalThe Black Knights lost for the second in two days to a highly-ranked Div. 1 team. Sydnee Hyacinthe scored 15 points and Aliyah Wright added 12 for Stoughton. Wright was named to the all-tournament team.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 6 @ Cohasset, 1 – Final
Franklin, 3 vs. Bishop Guertin (NH), 2 – Final (OT)
Mansfield, 3 vs. Lowell Catholic, 2 – Final

Oliver Ames, 4 vs. Hanover, 6 – FinalCullen Gallagher and Matt McCormack each scored a goal and assisted on another, but it wasn’t enough for the Tigers, who out shot Hanover 40-30 in the loss. Owen Connor made 24 saves in goal, while Max Ward and Colin Bourne also scored for OA. Bryan Kearns had a pair of assists for the Tigers.

Wrestling
Lowell TournamentCanton’s Eddie Marinilli became the first wrestling in program history to win an individual title at the George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament. Marinilli took first in the 145 bracket, which featured 60 wrestlers. Marinilli knocked off the fifth seeded wrestler in the quarterfinals to earn his 100th career win and then took down the top-seeded grappler Jacob Cardozo of Southington in the semifinals. In the finals, Marinilli used takedowns in the first and second periods, plus an escape in the third, to pick up a 5-3 win. Franklin had the top finish as a team, taking 17th overall with 89 points. Foxboro was 21st with 80 points, Canton totaled 72 points, Stoughton had 35 points and Taunton finished with 27 points. Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci (132) was the top Panther, taking third overall while Jake Carlucci (113) and Dominic Sackley (170) each took eighth. For Foxboro, William Ogebebor battled his way to a third place finish at 220 and Adam Lanctot (120) had a sixth place finish. Taunton’s Woudanly Danger (285) was seventh overall.

Framingham Tournament King Philip and Milford both finished inside the top 10 at the 24-team Framingham Holiday Tournament. The Warriors were sixth overall with one individual champion and 133.5 points while the Hawks picked up 126 points with two champions. KP’s Shawn Conniff (195) won an individual title, earning a second round pin over Methuen’s Erick Lucas. Trailing 3-2 after a round, and 5-2 early in the second, Conniff used an escape, a takedown, and a near fall to go up 8-5 before getting the pin. Mohammad Lotfi (145) took second for the Warriors while Michael Gorman (113) and Jackson Kelley (138) each had fourth place finishes. Milford’s Carlos Terrinha (120) and Nick Marcolini (152) each won their brackets, with Marcolini picking up his 100th career win on the day. Ryan Hazard (170) added a third place finish for the Hawks.

Marshfield TournamentFour Hockomock teams placed in the top 13 teams at the annual Marshfield Holiday Tournament, which featured 37 teams. Mansfield had the best finish among Hock teams, taking third with 181 points, including two individual champions. North Attleboro was right behind, taking fourth with 157 and one champion. Oliver Ames had its best finish in program history, taking 12th with 98 points and one champion while Sharon finished 13th with 97 points. Mansfield’s Jayden Curley won the 170 bracket and earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award. George Glaropoulos won the 160 bracket while Antonios Sevastos (120), CJ Glaropoulos (152), and Ethan Nirenberg (182) each had third place finishes. North Attleboro senior Mateusz Kudra remained unbeaten on the year, winning the 285 bracket with an 8-0 major decision in the final. Liam Rizk (182) was second while Michael Burns (138) took third and John Kummer (220) was fourth overall. Oliver Ames senior Dean Pacini didn’t give up a single point all tournament on his way to being champion at 195, pinning all four of his opponents. Billy Tat (170) had a second place finish for the Tigers. Sharon had seven grapplers place in the top 10, highlighted by seventh place finishes from Alex Bolt (195) and Aaron Cashton (132).

Boys Swimming
Foxboro, 43 @ Stoughton, 27 – FinalFoxboro’s Spencer SanBento won a pair of individual races and was a member of two winning relay teams in the Warriors’ win over Stoughton. SanBento touched first in each the 50 free (30.97) and the 100 free (1:13). He joined Dimitri Davis, Thomas VanDell, and Ben Dorman to win the 200 relay (2:07), and then teamed up with Jared Roke, Kris Anderson, and Joseph St. Pierre to win the 400 relay (5:21).

Stoughton @ Sharon, 3:00 (@ Randolph)

Girls Swimming
Foxboro, 57 @ Stoughton, 33 – FinalFoxboro swept the three relay events to highlight a win over the Black Knights. In the 200 medley, Sarah Egan, Lindsey Nelson, Gina Ouellette, and Pam Nelson clocked in a 2:14 to get the win. That same group took first in the 200 relay (2:01) while Shannon Egan, Kendall Milender, Madison Feldman, and Ouellette touched first in the 400 relay (4:53).

Stoughton @ Sharon, 3:00 (@ Randolph)

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/21/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 48 @ Durfee, 44 – FinalHolding a three-point lead with just over a minute to go, Attleboro junior Tim Callahan (12 points) hit a three pointer to give the Bombardiers a bit of a cushion. The Hilltoppers got within three with just under a minute to go but Bryant Ciccio (14 points) and Mason Houle (11 points) each hit a pair of free throws down the stretch to earn the win. Attleboro held a 38-20 advantage on the boards with Lorenzo Wilson (nine rebounds) leading the way.

Foxboro, 48 vs. Bishop Feehan, 36 – FinalFoxboro overcame a five-point halftime deficit, limiting the Shamrocks to just 13 points in the entire second half. Feehan led 23-18 at the break but Foxboro put up 20 points in the third and took a 38-31 lead into the fourth quarter. Foxboro junior Brandon Borde scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half while junior Will Morrison added 11 points for the Warriors.

Franklin, 73 @ Catholic Memorial, 78 – FinalFranklin led 40-39 at halftime, and took a 59-55 lead into the final frame but Catholic Memorial was able to take the lead midway through. Trailing 72-64 with three minutes to go, the Panthers got within two, and then within one when Jalen Samuels (17 points) hit a three with 9.3 seconds left. But the Knights hit two free throws and thwarted a last bid from the Panthers. Junior Chris Edgehill had a team-high 27 points for the Panthers.

Sharon, 53 @ King Philip, 73 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield, 73 @ BC High, 51 – FinalMansfield built a 10-point lead by halftime but doubled the advantage with a big third quarter in a win over BC High. The Hornets led 35-25 at half and then outscored the Eagles 20-9 in the third to pull away. Senior Damani Scott had a team-high 18 points for Mansfield while Tommy Dooling added 17 points and junior Sam Stevens finished with 14 points.

Milford, 59 vs. Westboro, 74 – FinalMilford trailed by just four at halftime, down 36-32, but Westboro outscored the Hawks 20-10 in the third quarter to create a double digit lead that it didn’t relinquish the rest of the way. Danny Corsini poured in a career-high 26 points for the Hawks, including 16 in the second quarter. Brendon Sailer and Jordan Darling each added nine points for the Hawks.

Stoughton, 64 @ Archbishop Williams, 58 – FinalStoughton outscored the Bishops 17-8 in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead by halftime, up 30-18. The Black Knights extended the advantage to 48-32 after three quarters and then withstood a strong fourth quarter from Archies to get the win. Junior Ajahn Rue poured in a career-high 22 points to pace Stoughton.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 55 vs. Durfee, 34 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

North Attleboro, 37 @ Bishop Feehan, 57 – FinalNorth had a lead at halftime, but the Shamrocks stormed back into the game in the second half and North coach Derek Herber said that the Rocketeers struggled to keep the offense going. Julia Feid was North’s top scorer with 14 points.

Stoughton, 42 vs. Brockton, 65 – FinalAliyah Wright paced the Black Knights with a team-high 21 points.

Wrestling
Oliver Ames Quad – Foxboro went 3-0 on the day, beating BC High 41-31, Oliver Ames 41-27, and Plymouth North 57-14. Adam Lanctot, Tommy Gallagher, Mike Sheehan, and William Ogbebor all went undefeated for the Warriors.

Boys Swimming
Canton, 62 @ Franklin, 102 – Final

King Philip, 88 @ Foxboro, 51 – FinalFoxboro’s Dimitri Davis took first in the backstroke in a time of 1:21.

Mansfield, 56 @ Sharon, 95 – Final

Girls Swimming
Canton, 62.5 @ Franklin, 102.5 – Final

King Philip, 96 @ Foxboro, 68 – FinalFoxboro’s 200 relay team of Sarah Egan, Pam Nelson, Lindsey Nelson, and Gina Ouellette took first in a time of 1:58.

Mansfield, 65 @ Sharon, 106 – FinalSharon’s Cleo Zhou qualified for sectionals with the time of 01:07.60 in the 100 backstroke while Shruthi Kaveti, Procheta Gosh, Jyaleen Wu, and Muskan Kumar qualified for sectionals in the 200 free relay with a time of 01:53.28.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/14/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 62 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final (OT)Attleboro junior Bryant Ciccio (24 points) hit a couple of clutch free throws between the end of regulation and the overtime period to help the Bombardiers earn the win. Mansfield senior Tommy Dooling (16 points) converted a putback with eight seconds left to give the Hornets a 58-57 lead but Ciccio hit a free throw with 0.6 seconds left to send the game into overtime. The Hornets held a 62-59 lead with under a minute to go in the extra period but a steal and layup from Mason Houle (10 points) made it a one-point game with 32 seconds to play. After getting a stop, Ciccio hit two free throws to put Attleboro up 63-62. The Bombardiers forced a backcourt violation, got the clock down to 2.4 seconds, missed a pair of free throws but prevented Mansfield from getting a shot off at the final buzzer. “I’m proud of our effort, we stayed together and made big plays tonight in crucial situations on both ends of the court,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “We made it a priority to make the next play and didn’t panic.” Qualeem Charles added 15 points for Attleboro while Tim Callahan had 10 points. Damani Scott added 16 points and Matt Boen finished with 11 points for the Hornets.

Foxboro, 60 @ Canton, 65 – FinalCanton outscored Foxboro 43-31 between the two middle quarters, helping the Bulldogs turn an early deficit into a lead it never relinquished. Junior Kyle Fitzgerald scored 14 of his 16 points in those two periods while senior Devin Foster spread his 16 points out among all four corners. Ryan Lentol connected on four three-pointers for a career-high 14 points while Robbie Gallery added nine for Canton. Foxboro sophomore Kevin Gallagher scored a team-high 14 points, senior Anthony Mollica added 13 points, and junior Brandon Borde finished with 12 points.

King Philip, 39 @ Franklin, 62 – FinalAfter scoring 21 points in the first half, Franklin exploded for 21 points in the third quarter along to pull away from the Warriors. The Panthers led 21-13 at half but held a 42-29 advantage through three quarters. The Panthers added 20 more points in the final frame. Junior Chris Edgehill netted a team-high 16 points while Jack Rudolph added 14 points and Thomas Gasbarro finished with 13 points. Alex Fritz had a team-high 13 points for King Philip.

Sharon, 51 @ Milford, 66 – FinalHolding a three-point lead at halftime, up 28-25, Milford opened the second half with a 12-0 run and never looked back in a win over Sharon. Milford senior Brendan White poured in a career-high 29 points while hauling in 14 rebounds to pace the Scarlet Hawks. Brendon Sailer scored nine of his 13 points in the third quarter to help the Hawks create separation. Colby Pires and Jordan Darling pitched in with eight points apiece. Aidan Kane scored a team-high 12 points for Sharon with Ben Kaplan and Caleb Gayle each chipping in with eight points each.

Stoughton, 45 @ North Attleboro, 44 – FinalStoughton junior Ajahn Rue hit the game-winning three pointer with 1.8 seconds left to lift the Black Knights to the win on the road. Stoughton led 42-41 late in the game before North Attleboro junior George Ladd drained a three to put the Rocketeers ahead 44-42. On the ensuing inbounds, Rue (12 points) brought the ball up and pulled up for the three to put the Black Knights back ahead. Stoughton junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, helping the Black Knights rally from a 26-19 deficit at half. Evan Rosenberg led North Attleboro with 12 points and Nate Gonsalves chipped in with 10 points.

Taunton, 53 @ Oliver Ames, 50 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 51 @ Mansfield, 63 – FinalMaggie Danehy had a career-high 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Hornets, helping Mansfield earn its first league win of the season. The Hornets trailed after the first quarter but an 18-10 second pushed Mansfield ahead for good. Sophomore Ashley Santos also had a career-high with 11 points in the win and Becca Hottleman had eight points and four assists. Attleboro was led for the second game in a row by Mackenzie Roberts, who scored eight, while Jordyn Lako and Liv McCall each had seven points.

Canton, 61 @ Foxboro, 86 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Franklin, 62 @ King Philip, 34 – FinalAli Brigham continued her strong start to the season, scoring 28 points to lead the Panthers to a second straight win. Franklin jumped in front 46-14 after three quarters with Megan O’Connell adding 19 points and Bea Bondhus scoring six. KP was led by Faye Veilleux with 14 points.

Milford, 41 @ Sharon, 54 – FinalTelishya Herbert scored a game-high and career-high 30 points, sparking the Eagles to their first win of the season. Emma Eberhardt added eight points in the win. Emma Lawrence scored 22 of Milford’s 41 points in the loss, which was a career-high for her, and Katie Maietta had eight in the loss.

North Attleboro, 51 @ Stoughton, 62 – FinalSophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe bounced back from a tough opener against OA with 19 points, seven assists, and four steals, while junior Aliyah Wright had 18 points and eight rebounds to get the Black Knights their first win of the season. Senior Lindsay McDonald double-digit rebounds for the second straight game, pulling down 18 boards in the win.

Oliver Ames, 63 @ Taunton, 51 – FinalOA pulled away late in a close game that featured a lot of runs from both sides and moved to 2-0 on the season. Senior All Scolnick paced OA with 22 points and classmate Sadie Homer ran the game at the point for the Tigers. Taunton was led by Jaelyn Fernandez with 17 points and Sonya Fernandez with 12.

Boys Swimming
Foxboro, 36 @ Taunton, 49 – FinalA sophomore, a freshman, and an eighth grader all won a pair of events to lead the Tigers to a win in their first meet of the season. Sophomore Garrett Rainey won both the 200 free and the 500 free, freshman Tim Luc won the 200 IM (2:20.92) and the 100 fly (59.12), and eighth grader Gerald Grealish touched first in the 100 free (59.21) and 100 breaststroke (1:12.13). Taunton’s 200 medley relay of Brady Callahan, Peter Ye, Tim Luc, and Martin Dafov and 400 free relay of Callahan, Grealish, Ye, and Luc both took first. The Warriors took first and second in the 200 relay with Ben Dorman, Thomas Perry, Dimitrios Davis, and Thomas VanDell taking first in 1:57 and the team of Jared Roke, Kris Andersen, Spencer SanBento, and Joseph St. Pierre coming in second. VanDell added a second place finish in the 50 free for Foxboro.

Franklin, 36 @ Stoughton, 7 – Final

Girls Swimming
Foxboro, 53 @ Taunton, 41 – FinalFoxboro took first place in six individual races and one relay race to earn a victory over Taunton. Pam Nelson and Lindsey Nelson earned a pair of wins, with Pam touching first in the 200 IM (2:31) and the 100 free (1:02) and Lindsey winning the 500 free (6:21) and 100 breaststroke (1:24), Sarah Egan won the 200 free (2:29) and Gina Ouellette earned first in the 100 fly (1:14). Foxboro’s 200 relay team of Nelson, Nelson, Ooullette and Egan earned first in 2:01. For Taunton, freshman Angelina Lynch won the 50 free (27.12) and eighth grader Tiffany Ye won the 100 backstroke (1:09.42). Taunton’s 200 medley relay of Jacalin Gallagher, Ye, Marisa Gay, and Lynch and the 400 free relay of Gallagher, Macey Jorge, Gay, and Ye both took first place.

Franklin, 73 @ Stoughton, 31 – FinalFranklin’s 200 free relay team of Heather McCarthy, Alyssa LaPuma, Katie Chew, and Katie Cashin qualified for sectionals with a time of 1:53.97.

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.”

Stoughton Opens Season With Win Over Archies

Stoughton boys basketball
Stoughton’s Obinna Ugwuakazi goes up for a shot in the second half against Archbishop Williams. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 STOUGHTON, Mass. – With a combination of experienced, young, and new players on the team this year, Stoughton head coach John Gallivan has yet to determine how the pieces of the puzzle best fit together.

And while it may take a couple of games to integrate the team and find the best lineups at the right times, his most experienced varsity players stepped up in key moments to help deliver a 66-62 win on opening night against Archbishop Williams.

Senior captain Zak Paquette scored nine of his career-high 16 points in the final quarter while junior Ajahn Rue (10 points) buried a three with under a minute left to help the Black Knights fend off a comeback attempt from the Bishops.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Zak had some big buckets for us in the fourth quarter and I thought the three that Ajahn hit by our bench late was huge,” Gallivan said. “It came right in the flow of the game and it was the kind of thing that should have happened instead of being forced. It was a gutsy shot when it should have been taken and obviously we needed it.

“We still have to figure out a lot of pieces, where they go and how they fit.”

While Archies had the strong start (11-2 lead in the first quarter), it was Stoughton that had success throughout the middle quarters. Paquette’s first triple of the game just under a minute the final quarter off a pass from Kevin Dixon gave Stoughton its largest lead at 55-39 and it looked like Stoughton was set to run away with the game.

But Archies refused to go away, making it a single digit game (59-50) but the midway point of the quarter, and used a 7-2 spurt to get within four, 61-57, with just under two minutes to go.

Stoughton responded with a key stretch, Paquette finishing underneath after a nice feed from senior Edward Aldama (four points, four rebounds) and then Rue came up with a steal to get possession back. Rue and Paquette combined for a two-man game in the corner, the passing resulting in a three from Rue and a 66-57 lead with 38 seconds to play.

Archies took an early lead but Stoughton was able to claw back into the game and make it a one-possession game after eight minutes. After an emotional pregame ceremony that honored David Bell and Nick Joyce, two of four Stoughton students that passed away in a tragic accident last May. Bell was slated to be a senior captain this season and Joyce played of sub varsity last season but attended plenty of varsity games over the years watching older brother Kris Joyce (1,000 point scorer).

Stoughton came out flying but the energy didn’t translate into points as the Bishops staked an 11-2 lead. From there, the Knights settled in and made a game of it. Rue, Myles Grigalunas-Powell, and Tahkwan Gates Brown (six points) came off the bench to help Stoughton get in gear.

The Knights closed the quarter with a 7-2 run, highlighted by a pair of putbacks from Obinna Ugwuakazi (11 points, 10 rebounds) and a triple from Rue and trailed just 19-17 after one.

“If we could have started that way instead of going down….we talked about using the emotion but not getting swamped by it,” Gallivan said. “We left a lot out there, we got some decent looks and we tried to do some things we’re not capable of doing. To [Archbishop Williams’] credit, they knocked some shots down.”

A three from sophomore Brett Pendenza and a midrange jumper from Ahmad Jahed helped Stoughton jump in front, a lead they didn’t relinquish the rest of the way. Paquette had a traditional three point and Josh Cocchi hit a pair of three throws to give Stoughton a 31-26 lead at half.

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Stoughton extended its lead by outscoring the Bishops 19-11 in the third quarter. Ugwuakazi had five of his points in the frame, Aldama scored a pair of buckets, Cocchi drained a triple wit just over a minute left in the third, and Kevin Dixon converted a putback at the to make it 50-37 heading into the fourth.

“I thought the middle third of the game, we were pretty good,” Gallivan said. “The beginning and the end were shaky but that could be a product of having so many new faces.”

Stoughton boys basketball (1-0) opens Hockomock League play on Tuesday with a trip to Oliver Ames for a 6:30 tipoff.

Milford Sneaks Out Win Against Stoughton in Finale

Milford football
Milford senior Brendan White (4) had an interception, a fumble recovery, and scored a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, as part of the Hawks’ win at Stoughton in the regular season finale. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – When the final whistle sounded at Stonehill College’s WB Mason Stadium, Milford had no idea whether or not it had done enough to secure a spot in the Div. 3 South playoffs but Hawks coach Anthony Vizakis was sure that they had done all they could on Friday night.

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“These kids never quit,” Vizakis said. “A couple of weeks ago the seniors took it upon themselves to take control of the ship and steer it and they’ve done a really good job of getting the team to where they wanted to go. I can’t say enough about that group right there.”

Milford closed out its regular season with a come from behind, 18-15 win at division rival Stoughton in a game that felt like the postseason for both teams. At the start of the night, unofficially, the Black Knights held the final spot in the South bracket with Milford a spot behind and now both teams will have to wait and see how this result impacts the MIAA’s formula.

For the Hawks, it is a third straight win after losing the opening four games of the season. Senior Brendan White, who scored a touchdown, intercepted a pass, and recovered a fumble against the Black Knights, admitted that Friday’s win meant a lot to the upperclassmen.

“It really means a lot to these guys,” White said. “We’ve been through everything together going back to middle school. The way we responded, the way we came back from the hole we dug ourselves into, really shows how good this group of guys is and how Milford football culture is coming back.”

Milford knew it needed a win to have any shot at the postseason and the Hawks had several opportunities to get off to a great start and take the lead in the first half.

Shapel Feaster intercepted John Burke on third down on Stoughton’s first possession, returning it to the Black Knights 33. But the Hawks failed to take advantage. Four plays later, Colby Pires’ fourth down pass to Brendan White fell incomplete and the hosts took back over.

Stoughton was held without a first down on its first three possessions, while the Hawks drove into Black Knights territory on each of the first three times they had the ball. Each time, Milford saw its drive stall, including a touchdown that was called back due to a block in the back penalty.

On the third drive, Sean Lehane (four catches, 70 yards) lined up a 42-yard field goal attempt. The Black Knights blocked the kick with enough force that it ricocheted all the way to the Milford 30 where Christian Georges pounced on it.

Despite having only 13 yards of offense to that point, Stoughton found itself with a chance to take the lead. On third and seven, Burke (9-16, 111 yards) rolled out to the near sideline and he found Alex Iverson open. The senior running back turned and bowled his way through a couple of would-be tacklers for a 26-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

It was the one of only two first downs that Stoughton would get in the first half.

The Hawks needed a spark and finally put together a complete drive right before halftime. Pires (13-22, 183 yards) hit Hugo Lopes for a 30-yard gain to get things started. He then connected with Lehane on a bubble screen for 40 yards down to the one, where Jeff Grier hustled to make the touchdown-saving tackle. On the next play, Pires found Feaster wide open for the touchdown. The extra point was blocked and Stoughton went into the break ahead 7-6.

The Hawks started the third quarter by driving into Stoughton territory but were forced to punt. The Black Knights finally looked to get something going on offense when Burke was able to find Iverson, despite being hit by Josh Ligor, for a 28-yard gain. On fourth down, Burke’s pass was picked off by White to end the drive.

After another Milford punt, Stoughton turned the ball over for the third time. Again it was White that made the play, diving in to recover a botched hand-off at the Black Knights 19. Three plays later, Pires slipped a pass to White underneath the coverage and he dove into the end zone for Milford’s first lead, 12-7.

“That kid…he’s just heart and soul,” Vizakis said about White. “He gives every single thing he has every day and that kid is the definition of a tough football player and a great leader.”

Trailing for the first time on the night, Stoughton put together its best drive. The Black Knights marched 75 yards on 10 plays, mixing up the run and pass and getting Burke outside the pocket. Grier (11 carries, 56 yards) got it going with a 20 yard sweep and a pass interference call on a third down bomb helped keep the drive alive. Christopher Ais would give Stoughton back the lead when he found a seam on the left side and scored from 12 yards out.

Burke rolled to the near sideline and threw a strike to Malachi Green-Hightower, who just managed to keep his feet inbounds, for the two-point conversion and a 15-12 lead with 5:20 to play.

The Milford offense had been struggling at the start of the season, but scored 40-plus points in each of its last two games and seemed to have turned a corner.

The offense came through again in the fourth quarter, going 64 yards on seven plays in just under four minutes to earn the victory. Lucas Rosa (13 carries, 63 yards) had a run of 14 to get the ball to midfield and then Pires went deep to Feaster for 27 yards on the right sideline. After Rosa went 21 yards on two carries, Milford had the ball at the one. Ryan Pearl came off the bench and ran two sneaks to get the ball across for the score.

Vizakis said, “They scored, we expected them to score a few touchdowns tonight, but we also expected to score some more points at the end. That’s a great football team over there…but our kids don’t quit.”

Stoughton had 1:40 left to try and salvage the win. On third and six from his own 33, Burke looked deep down the sideline to Ajahn Rue and the junior receiver went up with Feaster. Both players came down with the ball, but the Milford defensive back ripped possession away, earning his second interception of the night and sealing the win.

“Clutch, clutch,” Vizakis said about Feaster. “He’s the emotional leader and just does the right things at the right time. Talk about a kid who’s overcome adversity in his own life to come out and play football with his friends on Friday nights, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

White added, “I think it was just our attitude from the beginning of the game. We had an attitude that we’re the best team on the field. Stoughton is a really good team and they played really hard but I think we just won the battle tonight.”

Milford (3-4, 3-2) and Stoughton (3-4, 2-3) will now wait and see how the playoff standings work out. The MIAA will announce its official brackets this weekend.

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