FOXBORO, Mass. – With Foxboro girls basketball trailing, 30-25, with just under two minutes left in the second quarter against Oliver Ames, the Warriors were in need of a spark to close the deficit before halftime.
A three-pointer by sophomore Katelyn Mollica (18 points) cut the lead to 30-28 before Anita Busznyak tied it up with a layup. With time winding down, Chelsea Gibbons hit a layup just before time expired, and Foxboro took a 32-30 lead. From there, the Warriors never looked back, winning their seventh game of the year and remaining undefeated with a 70-57 win over the Tigers.
“That was huge, because you love to go in the locker room even with a little bit of a lead, because it just gives a different atmosphere in the locker room and just gives them a little confidence, because it was neck and neck going into that point,” Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said about the team’s run at the end of the half.
Lizzy Davis (14 points), who spent much of the first half on the bench after two fouls in the first 1:15 of the game, started the third quarter by hitting a three-pointer and then hit back-to-back jump shots to give Foxboro a 39-30 lead.
“Lizzy Davis starting the third quarter off the way she did, I think it just gave everyone a little bit of energy, she was in foul trouble in the first half so I think just for her to do that was huge because it’s easy to get a little bit upset with yourself having three fouls at halftime,” Downs said
Following a made free throw by OA’s Alex Sheldon (five points), Mollica completed a three-point play to give Foxboro their largest lead of the night up to that point at eleven (42-31). A 6-0 run by the Tigers cut the lead to 42-37, but two free throws by Shakirah Ketant (seven points) and a three-pointer by Chelsea Gibbons (16 points) off a feed from Davis put Foxboro back up by ten at 47-37.
“At halftime, we discussed the importance of the third quarter and to come out with a lot of intensity and a lot of poise,” Downs said.
Foxboro led 50-39 with under a minute to play in the third quarter, but back-to-back scores by OA freshman Caroline Peper (17 points off the bench) and Tate Hadges (eight points, four rebounds) cut the Warriors lead to 50-43. Again though, the Warriors scored late in the quarter to shift momentum, as Mollica’s layup with three seconds left in the third quarter gave Foxboro a 52-43 lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, Foxboro never surrendered the lead, as the closest OA got was within eight, after two made free throws by Peper with just over three minutes to go in the quarter made the score 58-50. Another 7-0 run by the Warriors would push their lead to 15 with just over two minutes to go in the half and essentially seal the win for Foxboro.
“The girls that really showed they wanted the ball did some really strong things like Chelsea Gibbons, as I said Lizzy Davis, but I thought Shakirah Ketant came in and did some really great things inside the paint, which we didn’t really have a great inside presence in the first half, so I think adding that was really creating a little bit of a defensive disturbance for Oliver Ames, as they had to focus their attention inside as well as wherever Katelyn Mollica was,” Downs added about the Warriors’ second half performance.
Foxboro (7-0) will travel to Attleboro on Friday to take on the 3-5 Bombardiers. Oliver Ames (5-2) will look to get back in the win column at Mansfield on Friday night.
Oliver Ames, 64 @ Attleboro, 70 – Final – Oliver Ames’ cut Attleboro’s once 19-point lead down to five in the third quarter but the Bombardiers held on for the win. Attleboro took a 38-23 lead into the break but the Tigers clawed their way back into the game to get within five. But the Bombardiers finished the quarter strong and led 53-44 heading into the fourth. Junior Qualeem Charles tied a career-high 28 points while hauling in 11 rebounds. Junior Bryant Ciccio added 17 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Tim Callahan chipped in with nine points. For Oliver Ames, senior Ethan Eckstrom had a career-high 20 points while senior Jake Erlich added a career-best 14 points for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 48 @ Canton, 58 – Final – Canton sophomores Eric Mischler and Matt Giglio combined for 10 three-pointers as the Bulldogs pulled away from the Black Knights in the fourth quarter. Mischler connected on six triples for a career-high 22 points while Giglio hit four threes for a career-high 12 points. Stoughton led by one (13-12) after one, the game was tied 25-25 at halftime, and Canton took a 37-36 lead into the final quarter. Both Mischler and Giglio hit a pair of three pointers in the fourth quarter to help Canton secure the win. Devin Foster added 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win. For Stoughton, junior Obinna Ugwuakazi had a team-high 16 points and hauled in 16 rebounds.
Milford, 41 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final – Foxboro used a 19-point second quarter to build a double-digit advantage and used that cushion and strong defense to get a win over Milford. The Warriors had six players score in the second quarter, including three-pointers from Dylan Barreira and Kevin Gallagher. Junior Brandon Borde posted a team-high 15 points for the Warriors while Anthony Mollica added eight points. Milford sophomore Jordan Darling had a team-high 15 points while senior Brendon Sailer chipped in with 10 points.
Taunton, 63 @ King Philip, 44 – Final – Taunton limited King Philip to just one field goal in the opening quarter and built a 29-14 lead by half in a win on the road. Taunton sophomore Tyler Stewart scored six of his career-high 12 points in the opening frame while Naz Kenion scored 10 of his game-high 15 points in the second half. Senior Mike Quinn added 13 points and junior Dante Law finished with nine points. Junior Alex Fritz had a team-high 13 points for the Warriors.
North Attleboro, 69 @ Sharon, 43 – Final – North Attleboro senior Josh Montague caught fire early, scoring 18 of his game-high 20 points in the opening quarter and the Rocketeers clamped down defensively to earn a division win. Montague’s hot start helped Big Red jump ahead 24-3 at the end of the first quarter. Big Red added 22 points in the second quarter and never looked back from its 46-14 advantage at half. Junior Ethan Friberg and sophomore George Ladd each had 10 points for North. Sharon’s Andrew Burton had a team-high eight points.
Attleboro, 39 @ Oliver Ames, 62 – Final – Oliver Ames had a well balanced attack, scoring 30 or more in each half, on its way to a double-digit win over visiting Attleboro. The Tigers took a 30-20 lead by halftime and never surrendered it in the second half. Junior Tate Hadges had a career-high 16 points and hauled in nine rebounds, senior Alex Sheldon added 11 points, and sophomore Caroline Flynn finished with 10 points for Oliver Ames.
Canton, 60 @ Stoughton, 56 – Final – Canton held on to beat Stoughton on the road to move back above .500 Sydney Gallery scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs, including 7-of-9 from the line, and her sister Fay added 13 points on four made threes. Maggie Connolly added nine points in the win, including 5-for-5 from the free throw line down the stretch. Stoughton got 17 points from Sydnee Hyacinthe and 14 from Aliyah Wright in the loss.
Foxboro, 71 @ Milford, 19 – Final – The Warriors had 11 different players score, led by Katelyn Mollica with 25 points. Lizzy Davis and Anita Busznyak each scored nine in the win.
Mansfield, 47 @ Franklin, 60 – Final – Bea Bondhus scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Panthers in a crucial divisional matchup. Franklin also got 20 points off the bench to hold off the Hornets, who limited Ali Brigham’s scoring with a box-and-one defense. She finished with six points and 12 rebounds. Megan O’Connell stepped in to add seven points and four other players added six apiece for the Panthers.
King Philip, 58 @ Taunton, 49 – Final – After nearly two weeks off, KP started slow and trailed heading into the fourth but exploded for a 25-8 quarter to pull out the win. Faye Veilleux stepped up in the absence of KP’s leading scorer Shannon O’Connor and scored 18 points in the win. Faith Roy added 12 for the Warriors.
**Editor’s note: Due to the late start of the track meet, highlights won’t be posted on this scoreboard page until Saturday afternoon. Boys Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis Center)
Milford, 53.5 vs. Stoughton, 46.5 – Final – Milford won both relay events and swept the 1 Mile and 2 Mile races to earn a close win over the Black Knights. Maxwell Manor was first in the 1 Mile in 4:51.30 with Anthony DiStauro taking second and Aayush Patel crossing third for the Hawks. Miguel Torres won the 2 Mile (10:31.57) with DiStauro and Manor crossing less than 20 seconds later for second and third, respectively. Other winners for Milford included Hugo Lopes (300M, 37.49) and Joey Madden (1000M, 2:41.51). Stoughton’s David Peters was a double-winner, crossing first in the 55M hurdles (7.83) and winning the long jump (20-05.00).
Oliver Ames, 43 vs. Attleboro, 57 – Final – Attleboro swept the 55M dash and had two of the top three finishers in seven events to secure a win over Oliver Ames. Henry Boateng was first in the 55M dash, clocking in at 6.89 with Colin Levis taking second and Dante Williams coming in third. Levis was second the in 300M behind Humza Habib, and Attleboro’s Joey Soucy and Jayden Lockhart (600M) as well as Nathan Seybert and Liam Walker (1000M) took second and third, respectively, in their events to help the Bombardiers in the win. Other winners for Attleboro included Andrew Fasoldt (2 Mile, 10:36.57), David Cataloni (55M hurdles, 8.29), and Alex Paradise (high jump, 5-10.00). Oliver Ames’ Rory McLaughlin was a double-winner, taking first in both the 1000M (2:52.22) and the 1 Mile (4:44.81).
King Philip, 32.66 vs. Franklin, 67.33 Final – Franklin junior Tyler Brogan set a new school record in the 1000M and seniors Liam Pek and Andrew Faught each won a pair of events to pace the Panthers to a win. Brogan clocked in at a league-best 2:35.56 to set the new school mark. Pek won both the 55M dash (7.08) and the 300M (38.13) while Faught crossed first in the 55M hurdles (9.03) and won the long jump (19-04.50). King Philip picked up wins from Michael Griffin (2 Mile, 9:41.74) and Terrell Jacobs-Baston (shot put, 41-10.00).
Canton, 23 vs. Sharon, 73 – Final – Sharon senior Chris Gong won a pair of events and set a new school record as the Eagles pick up a win over Canton. Gong won the 55M dash (6.67) and then set a new school mark in the long jump with a leap of 21-07.00. The Eagles swept the 55M hurdles with Isaiah Stessman (8.32) coming in first and Patrick McManus and Marc Davanzo coming in second and third, respectively. Sharon also took the top three spots in the high jump with McManus winning at 5-06.00 and Stessman and Ruiheng Bai taking second and third. Canton won the 4×400 relay and senior Thomas Pulcini won the shot put with a throw of 35-11.50. Canton junior Junior Sainvil set a new school record in the long jump with a distance of 20.06-00.
North Attleboro, 75 vs. Foxboro, 25 – Final – North Attleboro won eight events on its way to a big win over Foxboro. North Attleboro senior Owen Nassaney was a double-winner, taking first in the high jump as well as the long jump. Other winners for North included Liam Conway (55M dash, 6.87), PJ Gilpatrick (300M, 38.14), Jackson Magas (600M, 1:38.35), Jack Clarke (1 Mile, 4:35.39), Nick Taylor (55M hurdles (9.06), and Emmett Ruote (shot put, 39-02.50). Foxboro picked up wins from Will Regan (1000M, 2:40.41) and Trey Lawson (2 Mile, 10:48.64).
Mansfield, 72 vs. Taunton, 28 – Final – Mansfield took first in 10 events and swept both the 55M dash and 300M to earn a victory over Taunton. Greg Waters (6.82), Aidan Sacco, and Joe Cappelletti were the top finishers in the 55M dash while Tyler King (38.28), Jack Rivard, and Dan Knight crossed in that order to take the top three spots in the 300M. Other winners for Mansfield included Mike Hargadon (600M, 1:27.28), Jason Windvogel (1000M, 2:41.35), Patrick Heavey (1 Mile, 4:44.11), Mike Mullahy (2 Mile, 10:27.66), Andrew Williams (high jump, 6-00.00) and Cappelletti (long jump, 18-04.00). Taunton’s Steven Westgate won the 55M hurdles in 9.02 and Mark Brown took first in the shot put with a toss of 45-00.00, a league-best throw.
Girls Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis Center)
Milford, 74 vs. Stoughton, 25 – Final – Milford took first place in 11 of the 12 events and grabbed second in five of those 11 wins on its way to a big win over Stoughton. Freshmen Sarah Flanagan and Sarah Brogioli, sophomore Kerry O’Connor, and junior Sara Comisky were double-winners for the Hawks, with Flanagan taking first in the 55M dash (7.58) as well as the 300M race (43.43) and Brogioli winning the 55M hurdles (9.61) and high jump (4-04.00). O’Connor won the 600M (1:44.73) as well as the long jump (16-03.25) and Comisky crossed first in the 1 Mile (6:01.54) and the 2 Mile (13:19.80). Stoughton senior Alexa Quinones took first in the shot put with a toss of 27-02.00.
Oliver Ames, 52 vs. Attleboro, 48 – Final – Attleboro had the edge with individual wins but Oliver Ames had two of the top three spots in seven events to earn the close victory. Freshman Tatum Perry took third in the 55M dash and won the 300M race (47.14) while senior Brianna Gibson grabbed first in the 600M (1:51.86) and second in the 55M hurdles to pace the Tigers. Junior Madison Perry tied for first in the 55M dash, Zoe Chazan was second behind Tatum Perry in the 300M, sophomore Grace Simone (29-09.25) and senior Ericka Gaucher went 1-2 in the shot put, senior Gabrielle McLaughlin (5-00.00) and junior Therese Saade finished 1-2 in the high jump, and McLaughlin and Madison Perry took second and third, respectively, in the long jump. Attleboro’s Abisola Olaogun (55M dash, long jump) and Kelly Neuendorf (1 Mile, 2 Mile) were double-winners for the Bombardiers.
King Philip, 42 vs. Franklin, 58 – Final – Franklin won seven events and earned a sweep in the 600M to pick up a close win over ing Philip. Freshman Riley Fitzpatrick clocked in at 1:49.56 to win the 600M with sophomore Sydney Hawkins and senior Emma Clifford just seconds behind to sweep the top three spots. Freshman Jillian Fenerty was a double-winner, taking first in the 55M dash (7.81) and 300M (44.80). Other winners for Franklin included junior Samantha Powderly (1000M, 3:24.66), senior Julia Fenerty (1 Mile, 5:37.36), senior Daniella Pierre (55M hurdles, 9.08) and senior Rachel Anderson (shot put, 29-01.50). King Philip’s Ryenn Hart (2 Mile, 12:40.62), Paige Berdos (high jump, 5-00.00), and Abigail Dunne (long jump, 14-08.50) each had individual wins for the Warriors.
Canton, 23 vs. Sharon, 75 – Final – Sharon took first in 10 of the 12 events and earned sweeps in both the 55M hurdles and high jump to earn a victory over Canton. Jada Johnson won both the 55M hurdles (8.62) and high jump (5-02.00). Junior Elizabeth Lee and senior Maya Biran took second and third in the 55M hurdles while Jill Patel and Elizabeth Lee rounded out the top three in the high jump. Senior Veronica Wallace won two events, taking first in the 300M (44.45) and the long jump (14-09.00). Canton senior Chloe Pennacchio won the 1000M (3:33.20) and junior Bronwyn Mahoney won the shot put (30-05.00).
North Attleboro, 75 vs. Foxboro, 21 – Final – North Attleboro swept four events to earn a big victory over Foxboro. The Rocketeers took the top three spots in the 55M dash (Vanessa Ibrahim, Lily Wetherbee, Meagan Dowd), the 300M (Celina Ibrahim, Morgan Silver, Brayden Rice), the 55M hurdles (Ari Preacher, Sabrina Hauer, Cassidy Becker), and the long jump (C. Ibrahim, Samantha Hawkins, V. Ibrahim). Foxboro picked up wins from Olivia Simoneau (1000M, 3:44.53), Lexi Quinn (1 Mile, 5:26.28), and Jill Finn (2 Mile, 13:58.10).
Mansfield, 53 vs. Taunton, 47 – Final – Mansfield senior and Northeastern commit Amanda Mangano won three events and sophomore Tessa Lancaster picked up two wins to help the Hornets edge Taunton. Mangano won the 55M dash (7.65), the high jump (4-10.00), and the long jump (16-03.75) while Lancaster won both the 1 Mile (5:37.69) and the 2 Mile (league-best 12:18.04) with senior Maggie Riley coming in second in both races. Freshmen Maria Sevastos and Katherine Miller took second and third, respectively, in the 600M to earn valuable points for the Hornets. Winners for Taunton included Kerla Sylvestre (300M, 44.54), Olivia Dias (600M, 1:41.63), Victoria Gravel (55M hurdles, 8.98), and Sthanisha Moreau (shot put, 28-06.00).
Franklin, 107 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – Franklin junior Pat Juszczyszyn, junior Connor Eck, and sophomore James Wu each had an individual win as the Panthers earned a division win in the pool.
Sharon, 73 @ Canton, 95 – Final
Foxboro, 60 @ North Attleboro, 81 – Final – Foxboro swept the 100 breaststroke but North Attleboro claimed the win on Friday. Thomas Perry Jr. (1:19), Kris Andersen, and Anthony Amico took the top three spots for the Warriors in the 100 breaststroke. Thomas VanDell (1:21) added a win in the 100 fly, and Dimitri Davis touched first (1:21) in the 100 backstroke. Foxboro’s 400 relay (Jared Roke, Andersen, Spencer SanBento, and Joseph St. Pierre) took first in 5:12.
Milford, 94 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 75 – Final
Franklin, 94 @ Attleboro, 76 – Final – The Panthers swept the 100 fly and the 500 free to pull away from the Bombardiers in the pool on Friday afternoon. Senior Katie Cashin was a double winner for Franklin while junior Katie McGuire had one individual win. For Attleboro, liz Saltz won both 50 and 100 free, qualifying for states in both races, Jackie Lynch-Bartek won both the 200 free and 100 breaststroke, qualifying for sectionals in the 200 free, Tiffany Chin qualified for sectionals with a win in the 100 backstroke, and Ella Lynch-Bartek placed second in both the 100 free and 100 backstroke, qualifying for sectionals in the 100 free.
Sharon, 83 @ Canton, 87 – Final
Foxboro, 93 @ North Attleboro, 77 – Final
Milford, 81 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 87 – Final
Sharon @ Attleboro, 7:30
Franklin, 139.5 @ Norton, 124.1 – Final – Mia Lizotte took the all-around title with a score of 36.55 and Kate Rudolph took second with a score of 34.8 to help the Panthers earn the non-league win. Lizotte won all four events (9.3 on vault, 8.7 on bars, 9.45 on beam, and 9.1 on the floor), whole Rudolph finished third on the vault (8.9) and the bars (8.3) and second on the beam (9.0) and the floor (8.6). Emma Owens (9.05) finished second on the vault, scored 8.3 on the bars, and 8.5 on the floor. Sadie Rondeau was second on the bars with an 8.4, third on the beam with 8.65, and fourth on floor with an 8.35. Lexi Lupien scored 8.4 on the vault and 8.5 on the beam.
Attleboro, 54 @ Bishop Feehan, 57 – Final – Attleboro 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 – Final – Click 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 – Final – King 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 – Final – Click 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 – Final – Stoughton 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 – Final – Taunton 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.
Mansfield, 37 @ Newtown (Conn.), 43 – Final – Playing 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 – Final – Oliver 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 – Final – The 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.
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 – Final – Cullen 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 Tournament – Canton’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 Tournament – Four 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).
Foxboro, 43 @ Stoughton, 27 – Final – Foxboro’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)
Foxboro, 57 @ Stoughton, 33 – Final – Foxboro 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).
2017-2018 Record: 9-13 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
The Bombardiers were just two wins shy of a playoff spot last season under new head coach Marty Crowley and Attleboro brings back three starters and has added several new faces to the roster to try and make a postseason push this winter.
The graduation of leading scorer Sam Pierce (16 points per game) means that a number of players are going to need to step in and make up for production on offense and on the glass. Senior point guard Jordyn Lako will be back to run the Bombardiers offense and provide three-point shooting, while junior Nyah Thomas is a versatile weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Both are also aggressive defenders, who set the tone on that end of the floor. Senior forward Mackenzie Roberts can score in the post or from beyond the arc and junior Liv McCall is a dynamic guard who is capable of big scoring nights.
Defense has always been the focus of teams that Crowley coaches and the Bombardiers will be no different. To keep up that defensive intensity, the Bombardiers have added depth to the rotation. Seniors Abby Struminski and Dom Garnes (who was out last season with an injury) provide leadership, while sophomores Gabby Bosh and Sonny Stuger and freshmen Meghan Gordon and Lillian Froio are newcomers to keep an eye on.
“Hopefully we can generate scoring opportunities off our defense and use our athleticism to create baskets,” said Crowley. “We have a great mix of experience and youth. We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been spirited and the kids have been working hard.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-11 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Jim Choquette
Last winter, Canton got a taste of the postseason for the first time in seven seasons and now the program will try to build on that momentum while finding a way to replace the scoring and rebounding of Hannah Jerrier, who averaged a double-double for the Bulldogs last winter. An exciting crop of underclassmen has been added to the roster and now Canton will try to build experience with a schedule that puts them on the road for the majority of the first half of the year.
While Jerrier will obviously be missed, the Bulldogs bring back the other four starters and other players with plenty of experience to try and make it a much shorter wait to get back into the playoffs. Senior point guard Julia Hamilton is back to run the offense, senior Erin Devine gives Canton control on the glass and a rim protector on defense, senior Molly Ludwig gives balance to the offense, and senior Maggie Connolly is one of the league’s top defensive players on the perimeter. Senior Nicole Galvin will add depth to the backcourt.
Junior Lilah Milton came on strong at the tail of end of last season, including a huge game in the playoff-clinching win over Weymouth, and could take up some of Jerrier’s scoring from the power forward position. Sophomore Kayla Albert gained valuable experience last season as a freshman and current rookies Sydney and Fay Gallery, and Kiara Cerruti have the potential to step right into the rotation and contribute.
“Details are everything to us,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “If our group of young talent and veteran leadership/experience can continue to stay focused on the details during the good times and tough times of a season then we should continue to improve and have a very excited and successful season.”
2017-2018 Record: 26-2 2017-2018 Finish: Won Div. 2 state championship. Coach: Lisa Downs
Last season was one to remember for the Warriors, who rolled through the regular season in dominating fashion and lived up to the team’s immense potential by bringing home the Div. 2 state title. With the graduation of a very strong senior class, the expectations are much lower for the Warriors this season but there are several returning players and new faces that have Foxboro coach Lisa Downs confident that the program can continue its recent run of success in the Davenport division.
Losing players like Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes, Grace Tamulionis, and Shannon Smally is a challenge for any team, but the Warriors will bring back a pair of starters from the playoff run in sophomore Katelyn Mollica and junior Abby Hassman. Mollica is the team’s top returning scorer and will be one of the top point guards in the Hock with her ability to shoot and score off the dribble. Hassman gives Foxboro a strong presence on the glass and showed increased confidence in her offensive game at the end of last season. Senior Chelsea Gibbons and junior Lizzy Davis should see increased minutes and bigger roles in the offense this year.
Juniors Shakirah Ketant and Yara Fawaz should give Foxboro more depth in the post and contribute on the glass and both saw limited minutes in the playoffs last winter. Sophomores Adrienne Dunn and Jordyn Collins will be newcomers to the backcourt and have impressed during the preseason, while junior forward Anita Busznyak is expected to see a lot more time this year and could be a player to watch.
Downs is hoping this year’s team will learn from the graduating class. She said, “The time they spent practicing with and playing against these girls has really paid off – they know what is expected of them on the court and what is required to be a winning team. We have established a winning culture at Foxboro and the players know that I expect nothing more than what they should expect from themselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 15-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central first round. Coach: John Leighton
The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year’s roster, which reached the state tournament but lost in the opening round to Natick, and there are high expectations on Oak St. as the new season gets underway. Franklin enters the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and its balanced lineup has the potential to make a run in the state tournament as well.
Much of the enthusiasm for Franklin’s chances this winter come from 6-foot-3 center Ali Brigham. The junior recently committed to George Washington (where her father once played) and is the lone returning player from last season HockomockSports.com First Team. While she (deservedly) garners much of the attention, the Panthers have a number of other weapons to give the opposition headaches. Senior guard Bea Bondhus, who committed to Springfield College, is one of the top three-point shooters in the Hock and sophomore guard Elizabeth Wilson is back from an injury that cut short the promising start to her varsity career.
The Panthers will also bring back versatile junior forwards Megan O’Connell and Breanna Atwood, who add size in the paint but can also take defenders off the dribble or knock down outside shots. Seniors Hailey Sanders and Calen Frongillo add depth to the frontcourt, while senior Shannon Gray and juniors Kelsey MacCallum and Sydney Garilli are capable of stepping in at either guard position.
“It is our goal to compete each night and to improve from last year,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “With 10 returning players, we feel our experience will help us to better prepare for the season and compete against the best in our league.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip had to battle injuries throughout head coach Amy Siggens’ first year in charge, including a late season injury to leading scorer Shannon O’Connor, but the Warriors are healthy coming into this season and with a year to get use to a new system, confidence is high that KP can make a push up the standings and fight for a postseason berth this winter.
O’Connor is the key piece returning for the Warriors. A four-year varsity player who has been recruited by Div. I college programs, O’Connor gives KP a consistent scorer and someone who will draw opposing defenses. Senior Julia Leroux will be back at the point and running the KP offense, while junior Faith Roy is the team’s best outside threat and has developed as a ball-handler who can score in a variety of ways. Sophomore Emma Glaser, who battled injuries throughout her freshman season, will add versatility to the lineup and can play multiple positions and her classmate Courtney Keswick is a newcomer to watch in the backcourt.
The Warriors will also have strength in the post with senior Catherine Cummings providing a solid presence on the glass and junior Faye Veilleux giving KP length and athleticism at the forward position. Newcomers like junior Taylor Butler and returning senior Kendall Mason will give added depth and strong play on the defensive end of the floor.
There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding our team this year with our sights on continued growth and improvement upon our overall record from a year ago,” Siggens said. “Our practices have been very competitive and I’m encouraged by our team’s attitude and overall interest in getting better. I like this team a lot and I look forward to the challenge of helping each girl reach her maximum potential.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
After three straight league titles and four trips to the Div. 1 South semifinal in the past four seasons (including back-to-back finals), Mansfield has been one of the most consistent teams in the Hockomock League, but the Hornets enter this season trying to replace Meg Hill, who scored more than 1,000 points and pulled down more than 1,000 points in her stellar career. With 10 seniors and loads of athleticism, this might be a very different looking Mansfield attack, but one that has the potential to keep the Hornets right back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and capable of making another deep tournament run.
The Hornets have been known for slowing the ball down and running intricate sets, but this team is suited for getting up and down the court as quickly as possible, highlighted by senior guard Mady Bendanillo, one of the quickest players in the Hock. Senior forward Maggie Danehy has emerged as a strong interior scorer and someone who can control the glass, but she is also someone who can run like a guard and get out on the break for easy baskets. Seniors Sydney Mulkern and Erin Daniel add wing scoring and are both solid shooters who can spread the floor and open lanes to the basket.
Athletic senior forwards Emily Vigeant and Steph Kemp can outrun many of the guards in the league and senior point guard Kara Bendanillo is another speedster who can push the ball off makes or misses. Sophomore Ashley Santos saw time last year as a rookie and adds to the frontcourt depth and versatility, while junior Becca Hottleman will be back to give Mansfield another option at guard.
It is a different feel to the lineup but one that Mansfield coach Mike Redding feels can be effective. He said, “We need to rebound as a team and must change our style to up-tempo with defensive pressure/fast breaks and play to our strengths (athleticism and depth).”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central quarterfinal. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Milford coach T.J. Dolliver brings back six players from the team that not only reached the state tournament last season but also went on the road and beat Burncoat handily, the program’s first playoff win since 2001. The problem for the Hawks is that almost the entire rotation from last year’s team has graduated, including 1,000-point scorer Kate Irwin.
While this may be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, Dolliver sees it as an opportunity for players to step into new roles and establish themselves as starters and as regular contributors. The lone senior back from last year is forward Grace Risio, who Dolliver said made a difference when she was given the opportunity last year, and sophomore guard Jillian Michelson saw some time in the backcourt as a rookie.
The Hawks will have eight sophomores on the roster this season, so it is clear that Milford is going to try and build with youth, similar to several teams from last year. Among the players from last year’s roster, forwards Katie Maietta, guard Emma Lawrence, and forward Carly Ferreira all got time as freshmen and could see those minutes increase significantly this winter.
Dolliver said, “With our entire rotation graduating last year, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for everyone in the program. It will be exciting to watch who emerges within the group and elevates their game to compete at the varsity level.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Derek Herber
Last year was a tough transition season for the Rocketeers, as North Attleboro moved on from a number of players who were starters for several years and incorporated a number of new, young faces into the lineup. North had a better second half to the season and will try to build on that this winter with a more experienced group of players.
Senior Julia Feid is back on the wing and is North’s top returning scorer, coming off a season in which she averaged more than nine points per game. Fellow seniors Liz Smahi and Emma Noreck will add leadership in the backcourt and try to set the direction for the team this year. Junior point guard Olivia Forbes, who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last season, will be back to get the offense going and provide strong defense on the perimeter. Junior Eliza Dion also returns to add rebounding and interior scoring for a team that can’t count on a lot of height in the paint.
The North offense improved over the course of last season with the addition of sophomore Amanda Kaiser (8.6 points per game) and junior Julia Kleczkowski (40 percent from three-point range), who can both fill it up from the outside and who are both willing to take any shot that presents itself. Several newcomers will fill out the roster with the potential of adding important minutes over the course of the season, including sophomore Lydia Santos and Siobhan Weir.
“We will rely on Julia Feid to be our first option on offense and the sooner we can develop a consistent second option will be a factor in the early part of the season,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “The inside scoring option will hopefully be Eliza Dion, while both Amanda Kaiser and Julia Kleczkowski showed an ability to stretch the defense with their outside shooting in limited time last year.”
2017-2018 Record: 16-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames will be making a transition this year following the graduation of Kayla Raymond, who was a two-time HockomockSports.com First Team performer and last year’s league MVP (and is already a three-time Rookie of the Week at Stonehill College), but the Tigers have a number of returning players to try and make up for Raymond’s production on both ends of the floor and make another run at a league title.
Senior Alex Sheldon grew in confidence over the course of last season and became a double-double machine by the end of the year, dominating on the glass and improving her finishing around the rim. Junior Erin Holberg emerged last year as a strong scorer on the perimeter with her touch from the outside and ability to take defenders off the dribble. Junior Meg Holleran is in her third season on varsity and is a tough, physical defender who can knock down shots from the outside.
Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a strong freshman season, playing several positions (from point guard to small forward), crashing the boards, and showing off decent range. The return of senior Sadie Homer will add energy on both ends of the floor and give the Tigers another strong outside shooter to stretch the floor, while senior Ally Scolnick came off the bench last season to add another shooter to the OA offense.
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of the experienced returning players, “They will lead the youngest team OA has put on the court in quite a long time. We are looking towards gaining valuable game experience and coming into to our own as the season progresses.”
2017-2018 Record: 2-18 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sanda Lombardi
It was a tough winter for new Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi, as the Eagles struggled to a two-win season, but five of their losses were by 10 points or fewer and they return all but one player from last season’s team. With a year to get acclimated to Lombardi’s system, an experienced roster of returning players, and several newcomers, Sharon has its sights set on getting into the postseason for the first time since its run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
Sharon returns its leading scorer and playmaker in senior Emma Eberhardt, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team last season, and she will once again be the focal point of the offense, as well as one of the team’s leading defenders. Eberhardt’s versatility as a wing player should open things up for junior guards Kaitlyn Wallace and Ally Brown, who will both fill in as ball-handlers after the graduation of Miranda Cheung. Wallace will extend defenses with her shooting from the outside and Brown adds energy to the backcourt defense.
Senior guard Bridget McManus will add depth and junior forward Telishya Herbert provides a strong presence in the paint. Junior Olivia Langol-Leonard added frontcourt depth and was active on the glass in her time on the court, while senior forward Evanjuline Elisma can score in transition and adds another solid wing defender.
“We only lost one player due to graduation,” said Lombardi. “We have the entire team back and we added some height. I’m excited to see what the season brings. The girls are working hard and our goal is to qualify for the postseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton started last season with five straight defeats and only one win in the opening eight games, but the Black Knights turned things around with a vengeance, winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season and winning its opening game of the state tournament. Stoughton’s only two losses in its final 14 games of the season were to state champion Foxboro. That is a lot of momentum for the Black Knights to carry into this year.
It may be a little different look for Stoughton this winter after the graduation of Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Instead of being a team that dominates the paint, there will be a host of guards and wing players who can still battle on the glass, but will bring energy and tenacity on the perimeter on both ends of the court. Junior Aliyah Wright is back as the team’s point guard and her length makes her a factor guarding multiple positions. Senior Lindsay McDonald adds versatility as a combo guard and sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe is a dynamic guard and stretches defenses with her ability to shoot from the outside.
While there are a lot of familiar faces returning for the Black Knights, there are several players who will have more responsibility this year and the potential to make big contributions. Junior Lexi Baptista defends well at the forward position and gives a different look on the post, while seniors Hailey Egan and Heather Maddalena will add extra toughness to the backcourt. Junior Shyanne Trinh is still battling an injury at the beginning of the season, but she will give Stoughton a big scoring boost when she returns.
“This season will be all about our effort, energy and enthusiasm on defense,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The Black Knights will be most successful when we put in work on the defensive end and finish each play with a Black Knights rebound.”
2017-2018 Record: 7-15 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton started last winter well and had the potential for making a return to the state tournament, but injuries slowed things down for the Tigers and they missed out on the postseason. While the year didn’t end the way they would have hoped, a number of younger players were given valuable varsity experience and there are a number of returning players ready to make an impact.
Senior Lily Patneaude will be the player to watch for the Tigers, as the team’s leading scorer from last year. After battling an injury down the stretch, her return gives Taunton a consistent primary offensive weapon and takes some of the scoring pressure off her teammates. Senior point guard Alexa White is also back to provide leadership, energy, and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Kelsey White showed flashes as a rookie of being the secondary scorer that Taunton needs, with her ability to knock down shots from the outside and take defenders off the dribble.
Even with a year of experience, Taunton is still a relatively young team. Sophomores Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will provide athleticism from the forward positions and give Taunton effort in the paint, while sophomore Tori DaRose, and freshmen Abby Souza (who saw brief minutes as an eighth-grader last season) and Braeley MacDonald give the Tigers depth off the bench.
“We have great group of enthusiast student athletes consisting of senior leadership, youth, athleticism, and talent,” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan. “This team is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.”
Brigham is the lone member of last season’s HockomockSports.com First Team to return this season, the two-time reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year is one of the reasons that expectations are really high in Franklin this winter. Last year, while averaging 15 points per game, Brigham showed that her game is expanding, as she demonstrated the ability to step away from the basket to knock down shots and even take players off the dribble. At 6-foot-3, she will tower over most teams in the Hock this season and should be penciled in for a double-double just about every night with her ability to control the paint on both ends of the floor. Teams are going to throw double teams, zones, and different defensive looks at Brigham every night, so her movement to find pockets of space and her passing will be important to keep the Panthers humming on offense. Already one of the league’s best rebounders (14 rebounds per game last year) and shot blockers (twice recording more than 10 blocks in a game), Brigham, who is getting Div. I looks, should also be one of the league’s top scoring threats this season and a top contender for player of the year.
With the graduation of Meg Hill, Danehy is going to have to play a much bigger role as Mansfield’s primary post scorer and with the Hornets adopting a more up-tempo offense this season Danehy is the type of forward who can benefit from easy baskets in transition. The senior forward has the size (5-foot-11) and the long reach to be effective in the post and she has become a much more physical player in the past two seasons on varsity, which Mansfield will need as the Hornets try to make up for some of Hill’s rebounding. Danehy has a solid short-range jumper and is quick off her feet to get on the boards ahead of most interior players. At the end of last season, there were games in which Danehy was Mansfield’s most effective player and this year she should get even more chances to fill the stat sheet as the Hornets find their new identity as a fast-breaking team.
Eberhardt is coming off another strong season for the Eagles, in which she averaged a team-high 13.6 points per game along with nearly five rebounds, more than three assists, and more than three steals a night. A versatile scorer, Eberhardt has the size and handle to get to the basket and finish or to get out on the break and score in transition, but she can also step back and knock down jumpers from the outside to extend the defense. Sharon counts on Eberhardt to be the primary playmaker as well as looking for her own shot and she has the ability to step up and guard multiple positions. A strong rebounder throughout her career, Eberhardt has developed an all-around game that has the Eagles eyeing a run at a state tournament spot this winter.
North Attleboro is coming off a rebuilding year that saw several young players emerge and give the Rocketeers hope for a much better winter this time around, but it is the veteran presence of Feid that brings everything together for North. The senior small forward, who averaged more than eight points a night last year, has the length and the handle to get into the paint and cause problems for opposing defenses, but also has the range to step outside and knock down jumpers. North doesn’t have a lot of size in the paint, so Feid will also be counted on as a rebounder and as someone that can help off her player and defend the rim. The most important thing that Feid will bring this year is the confidence that comes from experience, helping the Rocketeers avoid the scoring droughts that held them back last season and keeping things calm against the pressure defense common in the Hock.
As a freshman on Foxboro’s state championship-winning team, Mollica was named to the HockomockSports.com Third Team and she returns with expectations of being one of the top guards in the league this winter. A sharp-shooting point guard, Mollica will see plenty of the ball this year and won’t have the core of upperclassmen to defer to, as she did last season. She is going to be the focal point of the offense, after averaging more than 11 points per game and leading the Warriors with 60 made three-pointers as a rookie. Her ball-handling ability, quickness on both ends of the floor, and her vision (two assists per game last season) have opponents raving about her potential to be Foxboro’s next big star. The Warriors graduated a very strong senior class, but Mollica gives Foxboro hope that the rebuilding process will be quick and include a return to the state tournament.
Despite battling an injury that kept her out of the final few games of the regular season, O’Connor was named to the HockomockSports.com Third Team for the second straight winter. She led the Warriors with nearly 13 points and six rebounds per game and was also a force on the defensive end of the floor, with nearly three steals per game. A guard with the size to match-up against forwards, O’Connor is one of the league’s top shooters off the dribble. She gets good elevation on her shot and has a quick release that is hard to defend, but she also has the vision to pick out an open teammate. O’Connor will give second-year coach Amy Siggens a focal point to run the offense through and will be one of KP’s top ball-handlers against the pressure defense that Hock teams like to play.
When Patneaude went down with an injury in the final few games last year, Taunton struggled to make up for her offense (10 points per game) and the Tigers dropped out of the race for a possible playoff spot. Taunton will be hoping to get a full season from the lefty shooter, who can open up opposing defenses with her range and provide leadership for a relatively young roster. A solid spot-up shooter, Patneaude can also score off the dribble and she has the strength to finish at the rim. She needs to assert herself more on the offensive end, as she can fade from the game at times, but has been Taunton’s most consistent offensive threat for the past few seasons. With Patneaude back for another season and the development of several younger teammates, the Tigers will be eyeing a run at the postseason.
Midway through last season, Sheldon seemed to turn a corner and became much more aggressive around the rim on both ends of the floor. As her confidence grew, she provided OA with a consistent scoring threat in the paint to complement Kayla Raymond, another rim protector, and someone who could control the glass. With Raymond gone this winter, the Tigers will be counting on Sheldon to continue being a double-double threat every night. She showed off a nice touch from 10 feet, but it was her increased aggression at the rim, fighting through contact to finish that lifted her scoring average to nine points per game last year. Sheldon is one of the top returning post players in the league and she should see even more of the ball this year, as the Tigers reload in search of another league title and playoff spot.
Even as an underclassman, Thomas played several roles for the Bombardiers, from primary ball handler to wing scorer to defensive stopper and she showed flashes of being one of the more dynamic combo guards in the league. Consistency will be the key moving forward for Thomas, as Attleboro looks to bounce back this winter and make a run at the postseason. With the ability to get by defenders and create space for her jumper or to get all the way to the basket, Thomas can be the playmaker that Attleboro needs on the offensive end, while her reach and quick first step make her a handful to deal with on the defensive side. As Thomas develops, she has the potential to be the go-to player that Attleboro will need to fill in for the loss of Sam Pierce.
Wright earned HockomockSports.com Second Team honors during a strong sophomore season in which she helped the Black Knights go on a run of 12 wins in 13 games to qualify for the state tournament. The lanky point guard adds size to the Stoughton backcourt, allowing her to guard multiple positions and be a force on the glass, and she has the strength to get through the lane to the rim. A creative finisher in traffic, Wright led Stoughton with more than 10 points per game last year and that should go up as she develops her outside shot and gets more comfortable with her fellow guards Shyanne Trinh and Sydnee Hyacinthe, who both have the ability to stretch the floor. The Black Knights love to pressure the ball on defense and Wright has quick hands to cause havoc and the long strides to get ahead on the break, which will be even more important this year thanks to the team’s guard-heavy lineup.
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – After a slow start, the game and season seemed lost for fifth seeded Oliver Ames (16-6), which had fallen behind by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and trailed 44-30 after Shannon Lynch (14 points) nailed her third three-pointer of the third, but it turned out to be the moment when the Tigers finally got going.
OA rallied with an 18-2 run, sparked by league MVP Kayla Raymond’s 11 points in the third and a strong performance off the bench by freshman Caroline Flynn (15 points), which put the Tigers improbably ahead by two and provided an exciting finish to a game that fourth seeded Bridgewater-Raynham had largely controlled.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Trojans had a comeback of their own and it proved decisive.
Raymond (19 points) scored to put OA ahead 53-51, but the Trojans responded with the game’s final 10 points and pulled out a 61-53 victory that sends them into the Div. 1 South semifinal to face top seed Newton South and ended OA’s first tournament run since moving up to D1 this winter.
“They were just a little bit anxious,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “It was the first time for all of them, with the exception of Kayla, to have experience in the postseason after the first round. I think the fact that there was some level of inexperience, but that’s just trying to get the jitterbugs out.”
She added, “You’ve got to play the whole game and we didn’t.”
Although OA would lead 9-8 after the first quarter, it was a sluggish start for the Tigers. Turnovers would plague OA for the entire first half, as it racked up 18 of them, many of which were unforced. Raymond and junior Alex Sheldon, the team’s two leading scorers were held to just one basket apiece in the first, sophomore Erin Holmberg picked up early foul trouble and senior Abby Reardon went to the bench for a spell due to an injury.
It was not the start that the Tigers were hoping for and gave the Trojans the opportunity to build an early lead. Sheldon (10 points and 10 rebounds) drove to the basket for an old-fashioned three-point play that tied the game at 17-17, but B-R closed the half with nine straight, including five from Kaleigh Matulonis (19 points).
“Once we settled down, we played our game,” said Clement-Holbrook. “I just thought in the second quarter, for whatever the reason was, we weren’t focused. We brought it back and we were starting to show signs of who we are. We missed a close out in the corner, [they] hit a couple threes, because we were helping on penetration.”
The Tigers showed flashes early in the third quarter of being able to get back into the game. Raymond got a three-point play off a Katie Flynn inbound pass, Caroline Flynn hit a runner on the baseline, and Raymond closed the gap to eight with a steal and transition bucket, but each time the Trojans had an answer from deep.
When Raymond ended the third with a corner three off a Holmberg pass, it cut the lead to 44-33 and gave the Tigers a little bit of energy, but it did not seem at the time that it would kick off a furious comeback.
Meg Holleran added a three to start the fourth quarter and Sheldon followed with a finish in traffic and then another dive to the rim plus the foul that made it a four-point game. The traveling OA fans were making a ton of noise, the bench was fired up, and the Tigers were back in a game that seemed over just a few minutes earlier.
“I think it was just the confidence of let’s do what we do, let’s do what got us here,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “Move the ball, get the ball inside. We settled for way too many outside shots early in possessions without making them work defensively.”
Raymond got out in transition for two and Reardon tied the game off a Sheldon assist before Flynn gave the Tigers their first lead since the second quarter with a pair of free throws.
“You were hoping we would have gotten that kind of play from everybody,” said Clement-Holbrook about the play of Caroline Flynn. “She’s a gamer and she’s going to give you everything she has. In terms of her development from the start of the season, she’s come miles.”
After two B-R free throws, Victoria Dacey gave the Trojans back the lead with a three, but Flynn answered right back with a three to tie it and Raymond got open on another inbounds pass for a layup with a little more than two minutes to play, putting OA in front.
On the next B-R possession, the Trojans got into the lane forcing OA to help off the three-point line, which left Matulonis alone for a big shot to regain the lead. Kylee Piche would add four straight points to make it a five-point edge and the Trojans hit free throws to seal the win, while OA struggled to knock down shots on the other end in the final minute.
Clement-Holbrook remarked, “They were playing a little too cautiously with that extra stress on them and they just didn’t handle the pressure well.”
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – The first half was a shootout between the top scorers on each team with New Bedford sophomore Chiron Rose and Oliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond going head-to-head, scoring 15 points apiece. But, it is hard to win a playoff game on the back of one player, even someone like Raymond, the Stonehill-bound Hockomock MVP.
In the second half, the rest of the Tigers took over. Raymond still got her points in the third (before sitting for the entire fourth quarter) but it was OA’s depth that turned a six-point lead at the half into a 69-39 victory over the 12th seeded Whalers in the Tigers’ first postseason game since moving to Div. 1.
“They came out with fire in their eyeballs,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “It was amazing. In the third quarter, we were pushing the pace. We knew that was something that we had to do, we knew we had to run, and I thought the kids did a great job of allowing New Bedford just one shot.”
Rose came out firing and got the sizable traveling contingent from New Bedford excited from the opening whistle. She buried a pair of step-back threes and had eight points in the first to help the Whalers get off to a 8-2 start. The Tigers took a few minutes to get going but then Raymond started to take over and helped OA finish the first on a 14-2 run.
She scored on a feed from sophomore Erin Holmberg then added one of her six blocks on the defensive end, which was rebounded by Katie Flynn (10 rebounds) who then fired an outlet pass to Raymond for a transition basket. She assisted on a three-point play for Alex Sheldon (19 points and 13 rebounds), drilled a three and hit a long jumper.
Rose got off to a great start in the second, scoring the first seven points to put New Bedford back in front at 17-16, but Raymond answered right back with layup off a Meg Holleran assist. Abby Reardon (seven points) and Raymond both scored off two more of Holleran’s five assists and then Raymond added a layup around the out-stretched arms of New Bedford’s 6-foot-2 center Janice Leao (13 rebounds).
A three by Kyara Almeida-Sylvia cut the OA lead to six at the break and a Rose three and a pair from beyond the arc by Monica Eires kept the Whalers in the game, down just 34-29. The Tigers would score the game’s next 13 points and in total put together a 25-2 run that finally broke the game open.
“We had a couple match-up situations, but I thought we remedied them in the second half,” Clement-Holbrook said. “The unsung heroes like Katie Flynn inside just helping on Leao and just from a collective defensive principle I think that’s where we got the points from. We shut them down and just ran the floor.”
Freshman Caroline Flynn got it started with a drive to the rim and she added three assists in the second half. Holmberg scored all eight of her points in the third quarter, finding leak-out opportunities for transition buckets. Sheldon was also a force in the paint, scoring 11 of her 19 points in the second half.
Clement-Holbrook said of Sheldon’s contributions, “She was absolutely, positively key in all this because everyone’s trying to take away Kayla and the fact that we could get the ball inside…we’re just sending shuffle cuts and good movement and that allowed Alex to get the ball and she’s very physical and she’s very strong. She came to play today.”
Raymond, who finished with a line of 23 points, seven rebounds, six blocks, four assists and three steals, was still doing her thing in the third, capping the quarter by picking Rose clean at one end and swooping in for a finger roll at the other. The New Bedford guard, who was held to three points in the second half, was left with a wry smile on her face as she looked up to the rafters following the steal.
“Rose in the first half, she was money and we gave her a little too much room to wiggle,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “In the second half we did a much better job. When we switched Kayla on her, I thought Kayla’s length really bothered her.”
OA led 51-31 after three quarters. The Tigers scored one fewer point in the third than they had in the entire first half. That continued in the fourth quarter as Tate Hadges came off the bench and scored all six of her points, Sheldon continued to control the paint and a trip to the Div. 1 South quarterfinal was confirmed.
When it was mentioned to Clement-Holbrook that the move to Div. 1 seems to be going well, she smiled and replied, “Currently, but we’ll see how these things go.”
Oliver Ames (16-5) will travel to No. 4 seed Bridgewater-Raynham in the quarterfinal round on Saturday, barring a change because of the impending storm.
Stoughton, 61 @ Waltham, 71 – Final – Stoughton scored 42 points in the second half and outscored the host Hawks over the last two quarters but the Black Knights couldn’t overcome a slow first half. The Knights shot just 25% from the floor in the opening half, falling behind 37-19 at the break. Stoughton hit five threes in the second half to help close the gap. Senior Cam Andrews had a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds while classmate Colin Sanda had eight points, six rebounds, and five assists. Both Andrews and Sanda were named to the all-tournament team.
Foxboro, 58 vs. Natick, 45 – Final – Ashley Sampson scored 27 points and Foxboro closed out the regular season by winning the Warrior Classic and sewing up the top seed in Div. 2 South. Sampson was named the tournament MVP after a 29-point performance on Monday and Lily Sykes was named to the all-tournament team.
Franklin, 52 vs. Shepherd Hill, 43 – Final – Ali Brigham and Bea Bondhus combined for 31 points to help the Panthers beat the top seed at the Westboro tournament and one of the top seeds in the Central. Franklin will face Hopkinton in the tournament final on Thursday night.
Oliver Ames, 77 vs Duxbury, 74 – Final (2 OT) – Oliver Ames sophomore Meg Holleran hit a pair of late three-pointers to help the Tigers edge the Dragons in the Norwell Invitational. “Key combinations of grit and determination earned the win,” said OA head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. Senior Kayla Raymond had a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds while classmate Abby Reardon had 12 points, including some key free throws down the stretch. Alex Sheldon added nine points and eight rebounds for the Tigers.
Canton, 2 vs. Medfield, 0 – Final – Canton senior Bubba McNeice scored in the first period and junior Ryan Nolte scored in the second to give the Bulldogs a win in the first round of the Joe Quinn Memorial Tournament. Quinn Gibbs recorded the shutout in net. Canton advances to the finals and will take on host Coyle & Cassidy on Thursday at 7:30.
Oliver Ames, 6 vs. Sandwich, 0 – Final – Max Ward recorded a hat trick to lead the Tigers to a big win in the consolation game of the Jeff Hayes Memorial Tournament. Colin Bourne and Brett Williams each scored once in the first period while senior Adam Healy scored in the second. Rory Madden had two assists while sophomore Owen Connor made 16 saves to earn the shutout.
Taunton, 8 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Taunton senior Will Walsh recorded a hat trick to pace the Tigers past the Black Knights at Asiaf Arena.
Attleboro, 46 @ Mansfield, 64 – Final
Canton, 44 @ Milford, 45 – Final – Milford junior Brendan White hit a three with 0.4 seconds left while being fouled, elevating the Hawks to a win after a wild final minute. Milford had a 42-40 lead with under 30 seconds to play and even got a stop but a jump ball gave Canton the ball back. Devin Foster (17 points) hit three free throws after being fouled to take a 43-42 lead, and after a Milford turnover, Foster hit another free throw to give the Dogs a 44-42 lead. But White took a pass from Kayden Kelley (10 points, 10 rebounds) and hit the winning shot while being fouled. Andrew Fraioli added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Milford while Tony Harris had 16 points for Canton.
Foxboro, 59 @ Stoughton, 53 – Final – Foxboro hit six three-pointers in a 30-point third quarter, turning a 32-16 deficit at halftime into a 46-46 tie heading into the fourth quarter. Bobby Harrison scored five of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter while Joe Morrison added 12 points and Matt Rongione had 11 points, including three triples in the third. Anthony Mollica added five of his eight points in the fourth quarter for Foxboro. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews had a team-high 18 points while senior Steevens Phelimond had a career-high 16 points for the Knights.
Sharon, 45 @ North Attleboro, 58 – Final – North Attleboro senior Chad Peterson returned from injury and scored a career-high 23 points, draining seven three-pointers to lead the Rocketeers to a win over Sharon. Peterson hit four triples in the opening quarter, two more in the second and another in the fourth. North led 34-27 at halftime and 43-38 at the end of three. The Rocketeers clinched the game with a 15-7 fourth quarter. Josh Montague added 11 points for Big Red while Jacob Petersen finished with eight points. Sharon’s Malik Lorquet had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and nine blocks while Alex Kaufmann added 14 points.
Mansfield, 58 @ Attleboro, 40 – Final – Meg Hill had her 12th double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds and she also added four blocks. Hill is now seven points shy of 1,000 for her career. Ann Maher and Sydney Mulkern each added nine points for the Hornets. Sam Pierce paced Attleboro with 11 points and Liv McCall added eight.
Milford, 42 @ Canton, 38 – Final
Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 74 – Final – Foxboro went on a 17-0 run after the opening basket by Stoughton to take control and added a 10-0 run to close out the first half. Ashley Sampson was the game’s top scorer with 18 points, while Grace Tamulionis added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Foxboro also got 12 points from Lily Sykes and nine points from Abby Hassman. Val Whalen led the Black Knights with six.
Taunton, 42 @ Franklin, 69 – Final
King Philip, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 61 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond continued her stellar play this season, scoring 31 points and hauling in 10 rebounds to led the Tigers to a win at home. Alex Sheldon added nine points and 14 rebounds while Erin Holmberg chipped in with eight points.
North Attleboro, 47 @ Sharon, 24 – Final
Mansfield, 146.8 @ Oliver Ames, 142.1 – Final
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Oliver Ames and Franklin had a lot on the line in Friday night’s game at the William F. Nixon Gym. The teams were tied for second place in the Kelley-Rex division and trying to stay within two games of league-leading Mansfield (which has to play both the Panthers and Tigers again this year), while OA was also trying to clinch its spot in the state tournament.
Behind 29 points from senior forward Kayla Raymond and defensive adjustments strong contributions off the bench in the second half, OA rallied from three points down at the break for a 61-54 come from behind victory and a split of the season series with the Panthers.
In the first half, everything offensively for the Tigers ran through Raymond. The Stonehill-commit scored 12 of OA’s 14 points in the first quarter, twice scoring on three-point plays taking the ball to the basket. She added another four in the second in the second, while Caroline Flynn knocked down a three and Abby Reardon added four.
With Raymond on one side and Katie Flynn or Alex Sheldon giving weakside help, OA double-teamed Franklin center Ali Brigham, forcing the Panthers to find scoring on the perimeter. Junior guard Bea Bondhus stepped right in and drilled four threes in the first half, scoring 14 of her team-high 18 points in the process.
Teagan Collins also nailed one from outside, as Franklin closed the half on an 11-4 run to lead 28-25.
“That was the game plan, don’t leave Bondhus alone,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We lost her and she had 14 points in the first half. All I wrote on the board at halftime was 21 (Bondhus) [has] 14, that’s all. Defensively, we needed to make a couple of adjustments and I thought we did.”
OA switched to man-to-man and upped the full-court pressure to try and keep the ball out of Bondhus’ hands. After Raymond tied the game with a three, Megan O’Connell (11 points) scored off a Kelsey MacCallum assist. Erin Holmberg (seven points) hit a three to give OA a lead, but Brigham (14 points and 11 rebounds) answered with a three-point play on an offensive rebound.
“They can make it very tough,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They made it so other kids had to score by focusing on Ali and Bea. I thought we countered it pretty well and we had some kids step up. We worked tremendously hard.”
Raymond continued to pour in the points, showing off nifty footwork under the basket to go up and under for a layup with Brigham on her back, but OA also started to get contributions off the bench. Caroline Flynn (six points) scored on a putback, while Meg Holleran and freshman Tori Harney also chipped in on both ends of the floor.
“They did a great job,” said Clement-Holbrook of the bench effort. “Honestly, we started see that become a part of who we are against Foxboro. I think from that point forward that’s what we want and I think they’re starting to believe a little more.”
OA caught Franklin in the press and Katie Flynn hit Raymond with a perfect pass over the top of the defense for a layup. It was one of five assists for Flynn, who caused problems for the Franklin defense in the high post. The senior also added four points, six steals, two blocks, and four rebounds.
“It’s not fancy, flashy,” said Clement-Holbrook about Flynn’s contributions. “That was one of the things we keyed on to try and get Brigham away from the rim. We had to come up with a scheme to see if we could get her out or over and Katie did such a great job because she hit some nice backdoor passes.”
OA led 44-39 heading to the fourth and Raymond drained a long jumper to get the final quarter started. Franklin would not go away, cutting the lead back down to four. The Tigers stretched it back out to nine on a basket by Holmberg and a jumper by Ally Scolnick, who came off the bench to score all seven of her points in the fourth.
“Kayla was kind of a one-man band in the first half,” said Leighton, “but in the second they got kids some open shots, especially in the transition when we were pressing.”
Clement-Holbrook explained, “Offensively, we did a reasonably good job of opening things up. The first time we played them with Brigham sitting in the middle like that it kind of took us a little while to figure things out. Because we moved people around, I think it made it a little more difficult for them to defend us.”
Brigham scored plus the foul off a feed from O’Connell to keep Franklin within six, but Raymond found Flynn with a wraparound pass on the baseline for a layup. Shannon Gray answered with a three on the other end, but OA beat the press and Scolnick set up Raymond for an easy basket. Raymond then returned the favor for a Scolnick bucket in transition.
“We gave up too many easy ones at the end,” Leighton said. “I thought we might be able to hang with them, but once they started getting those easy ones then they were able to pull away.”
Oliver Ames (10-4, 9-3) will be back at home on Tuesday to take on King Philip. Franklin (10-6, 8-4) will try to bounce back on Tuesday when it welcomes Taunton.