Stoughton Sets The Pace In Big Win Over Sharon

Stoughton boys basketball Waseem Sablon
Stoughton’s Waseem Sablon goes up for a layup in the second half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 STOUGHTON, Mass. – On Monday evening, the Stoughton boys basketball team went into Sharon, controlled the tempo, and put up its best offensive performance of the season in a comfortable win over the Eagles.

On Tuesday night, the Black Knights did it again.

Stoughton boys basketball

From senior Colby Andrews’ first basket just 10 seconds into the contest up until sophomore Rayan Sablon’s three-pointer in the final minute, Stoughton had its foot on the gas from start to finish to earn a 74-56 win over the visiting Eagles.

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It marked Stoughton’s best offensive output of the season and the most points scored by any Davenport division team so far this season.

“That’s the pace we want, we want to pick it up and we want to get shots up,” said first-year Stoughton head coach Evan Taylor. “I think it’s just been about getting more comfortable with the offense, just being together more as a team. We’re playing together as a team more, everyone is touching the ball and getting more involved.

“We’ve really started to pick up the pace a lot more, which is the tempo we want to play at. Obviously, it helps when shots start falling that weren’t following to start the season. We’ve always had the confidence in the shots, now we’re starting to see them fall.”

The Black Knights were coming off a 72-point performance just 24 hours earlier on the road at Sharon. They followed a similar blueprint on their home court. Stoughton’s offense was off and running from the beginning, laughing up 23 field goal attempts — with seven makes — over the first eight minutes with just one turnover.

That resulted in a 16-13 lead for the hosts, which could have been more if not for a terrific individual effort from Sharon sophomore Matt Baur (18 points, five rebounds), who hit five of the Eagles’ six shots from the floor and had 11 points to keep the visitors close.










Christian Georges converted a putback attempt to push Stoughton’s lead to eight just over two minutes into the second but the Eagles continued to keep up with the Black Knights’ torrid pace. Sam Cohen hit a jumper, Owen Conway drove to the basket for two, and Baur drained a triple. Kiran Chandrasekaran sank a pair of free throws to get the visitors within four, 28-24, with three minutes to go in the first half.

That’s when Stoughton showed just how quickly and deadly its offense can be when it gets going. Junior Connor Andrews drained a three after an offensive rebound and pass from junior KC Ugwuakazi (17 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks). Andrews came up with a turnover on the ensuing inbounds and found senior Jake Queeney (15 points) for a triple, and after two straight Eagles’ turnovers, Ugwuakazi cleaned up his own miss.

Stoughton continued to crash the offensive glass (23 offensive rebounds), this time Cashmere Mathurin grabbed a board and put it back up for two to complete a 10-0 run in less than two minutes.

Even though Sharon broke the run out of a timeout when Ryan Zunenshine converted an offensive rebound into two points, the Black Knights added seven more points over the final minute. Brett Pendenza made a pair of free throws, Sablon drained a three, and Mathurin beat the buzzer with a hard banked-in shot to give Stoughton a 45-28 halftime lead.

Stoughton boys basketball




“That’s not the pace we want to play at,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson, his side committing 10 of its 14 turnovers in the opening half. “The same thing happened last night. They sped us up, they played at the pace they wanted to and that’s a credit to them. We stressed trying to play slower, execute our offense, run our screens, slips, back doors, and we didn’t do it. It was too much one on one, too much first pass shot. It’s disappointing because we had been playing well. We needed to slow it down in this game but we couldn’t play at the pace we wanted.

“We let our bad defensive possessions affect our offense, and we let our bad offensive possessions affect our defensive possessions, it’s a snowball. We weren’t communicating enough defensively, we were helping off the wrong spots, and then we were just selfish on offense.”

A switch to a zone defense by the Eagles helped some but was merely a speed bump for the Black Knights. Brady Conlin knocked down a three against the zone early, and after Stoughton’s longest scoreless stretch of the game of nearly three minutes, Pendenza and Queeney delivered back-to-back triples to help Stoughton push its lead to 54-35 just past the midway point of the third.

Queeney’s isolation step-back triple extended Stoughton’s advantage to 59-37 with two minutes to go in the third but Sharon made a final push to get back into it. Matt Baskin (nine points, 10 rebounds) went coast-to-coast for two and then sank a triple after a Stoughton turnover. Zunenshine used a crafty finish for two and Ryan Baker’s contested heave from deep three-point territory beat the buzzer as the Eagles got back into the game, down 59-47 going into the fourth.

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Zunenshine opened with two more to make it a 10-point game but that would be the closest the Eagles would get the rest of the way. Ugwuakazi scored four straight points, had a big block on the defensive end, and Queeney converted another offensive rebound into points as Stoughton restored a comfortable lead at 65-49.

“In the beginning of the season, they’re probably going the other way,” Taylor said of the close game situations in the second and fourth quarters. “There’s been some mental growth. It’s been a growing season for all of them, and with just two returners back from last year, we knew it would be. Everybody is getting experience now, and everyone is learning together. We’ve been watching film, just trying to get better as a team each day.”

Stoughton (4-5 Davenport, 4-5 overall) travels to Mansfield on Thursday for its first of three straight games against Kelley-Rex opponents. Sharon (3-4, 3-5) returns home on Friday night against rival Oliver Ames.

Stoughton boys basketball

Canton Survives Second Half Surge From Sharon

Canton boys basketball Nick Cushman
Canton senior Nick Cushman goes up for a layup in the first half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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SHARON, Mass. – To foul or not to foul?

Holding a three-point lead late in the game, it’s a question that has divided basketball coaches for years.

But there’s no doubt which side of the argument Canton head coach Ryan Gordy belongs too.

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With a 58-55 advantage with 9.7 seconds to go, the Bulldogs fouled as Sharon crossed half court, “well before the Eagles had a chance to think about launching a tying three-pointer.

It worked as the Eagles came up empty on the first shot and had a violation on the second. Canton couldn’t quite put the game away, missing their chances at the free throw line but immediately fouled on the defensive rebound.

Again, the Eagles came up empty from the line and a defensive rebound and free throw from Dillon Nguyen pushed Canton’s lead to 59-55 with 2.1 seconds left, a scoreline that held through the final buzzer.

“We have rules about when to follow under a certain amount of seconds,” Gordy said. “We were up three and we figured if we fouled, they can’t make a three and they can’t tie the game. As long as we know to get the foul at the right time, then fundamental box outs on the free throws, I feel like it’s the right decision every time.

“We had to do it twice because we didn’t get our free throws but finally on the third time, we got it to four and then we don’t foul.”

The Bulldogs had to hold on at the end because of a second half comeback from the hosts. Canton pushed its lead to 14 early in the second half but the Eagles got a boost from an unexpected source.

After Sharon managed just one free throw total in the second quarter, the Bulldogs outscoring the hosts 10-1, head coach Andrew Ferguson went deep into his bench, putting junior Owen Conway and sophomores Ryan Zunenshine and Sam Cohen — who had each played three quarters of the JV came — into the lineup to start the second half.

On Sharon’s very first offensive possession of the second, Cohen splashed an open three and on the next trip down, drained a contested look from downtown, as the Eagle faithful exploded in the stands, an atmosphere usually reserved for the postseason.

Conway took a feed from sophomore John Baez (five points, six rebounds) and converted through the foul. Despite missing the free throw, Zunenshine battled for the offensive board and putback, swinging momentum in favor of the hosts.

Cohen sank another triple and Baez sliced through the Canton zone for two, getting the Eagles within five at 39-34.

“Execution aside, our effort wasn’t good [in the second quarter],” Ferguson said. “I thought waking up the rest of the roster by playing the swing guys there in the third. Sam Cohen did what he’s been doing at the JV level, what he did the year before at the freshman level…he can shoot the basketball. It was good to see that and it woke the rest of the guys up.

“It woke them up and the first unit played their butts off. I told them if they played with that kind of effort in the first and second quarter, we win that game.”

Canton senior Robbie Gallery (16 points, eight rebounds) used a nice move in the post to convert at the time and then found junior Matt Giglio (nine points, seven rebounds) in the same spot for another two in the final moments of the third quarter to stem the momentum some, giving the Bulldogs a 43-34 lead heading into the fourth.

Sharon’s first unit responded to the wake-up call as Matt Baskin (10 points) hit an early three and Baez added one of his own to get the Eagles within one possession.

Gallery came up with a clutch offensive rebound and putback for a traditional three-point play only for Baskin to answer with a similar play. Kiran Chandrasekaran tied the game with a pair of free throws with 3:41 to play but Giglio knocked down a three on the other end to keep Canton ahead, 51-48, with 3:17 to play.

“Hats off to Sharon on senior night, that crowd brought it tonight,” Gordy said. “I think the most impressive part was [Eric] Mischler’s foul trouble and being able to play that game without our best player. He’s been our best player all year, he’s in the top 15 in scoring [in the Hockomock], and I think he played a total of six minutes, if he played that much. To be able to get a win without him was an awesome experience for our guys, guys that have been practicing and working really hard and tonight they got opportunities, and a lot of guys capitalized.”

Mischler, who averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game entering the game and had a career-high 36 point performance three games prior, finished with three points in those limited minutes.










Gallery again scored for Canton and sophomore Lanse Dorcelus (nine points, three rebounds) sank a free throw for a 54-50 lead but Caleb Gayle hit his second straight shot to halve the deficit and Baskin came up with a strong take for a three-point play and a 55-54 lead with 40.1 to go.

On Canton’s next possession, it appeared Andrew Burton (19 points, 10 rebounds) read a handoff but was called for a foul instead of a jump ball. Gallery hit both for a 56-55 lead and the Eagles lost the handle on the other end, leading to two free throws from Dorcelus to push the lead to 58-55, setting up the fouls at the end.

“We didn’t show up for the first half,” Ferguson said. “Mentally and physically, we just didn’t play well. We didn’t share the basketball, we didn’t set screens and that bled into our defense and we started losing guys, stopped communicating like we had talked about. I was glad to see the sophomores get a run there in the third quarter and kind of wake up that first group that needed it.

“In this league, you can’t play for 16 minutes, you have to play for 32 minutes. Against any team in this league, doesn’t matter what their record is, if you don’t play for 32 minutes, you’re going to get beat and that’s what happened to us.”

The Bulldogs had a strong start to the game, shooting 9-for-13 over the first eight minutes of the game. While Mischler and Gallery dealt with early foul trouble, senior Nick Cushman (14 points, six rebounds) gave the Bulldogs a boost with six points in the opening quarter. Six players scored in the first for Canton.

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”Cushman has been our unsung hero this year,” Gordy said. “He was slated behind Kyle Fitzgerald and when Kyle got hurt, he went into a starting role and he ran with it. He’s been one of our top guys this year, and he did some good things tonight before he fouled out. Robbie did some good things for us too, he did what a senior captain should do.”

Canton put up 23 points in the first quarter and would have had a big lead if not for a brilliant start for Burton. He scored 15 of Sharon’s 17 points in the opening quarter to keep the Eagles close before Sharon went cold in the second.

Canton boys basketball (2-12 Hockomock, 5-14 overall) is back home on Tuesday against North Attleboro. Sharon (1-13, 1-15) travels to Foxboro on the same day.

Milford Survives Sharon Surge With Overtime Win

Milford boys basketball Jordan Darling
Milford junior Jordan Darling goes up for a layup in the first half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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SHARON, Mass. – A typical high school basketball game will feature plenty of momentum swings and runs over the course of 32 minutes.

The Sharon and Milford boys basketball teams managed to fit all of the drama into the fourth quarter and overtime on Sunday afternoon. Although the Eagles managed to erase a large second half deficit, and another Milford lead in the final seconds, the Hawks prevailed with a 79-78 overtime victory on the road.

“That was just a classic, wild high school basketball game, that’s the only way to sum it up,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver.

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The Hawks’ lead ballooned to as much as 18 halfway through the third quarter, and the advantage sat at 55-42 with the visitors just eight minutes away from a win.

The Eagles had other plans, however, dominating the fourth quarter to the tune of an 11-0 run over the first four minutes, putting the Hawks’ lead in serious jeopardy. Despite a timeout to try and stop the bleeding, Sharon continued on, pushing the run to 17-0 to seize a four-point lead with two minutes to play.

But as shocking as the run from the Eagles was, so was the response from the Hawks, which was a 9-0 burst in a one minute span, turning a four-point deficit into a five-point lead. Again, Sharon refused to fold by rattling off a 7-2 burst over the final 20 seconds, capped by sophomore John Baez’s ridiculous three-pointer that beat the buzzer to force overtime.

“That was mostly just effort,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson of the comeback. “We got down 18 points in the third quarter so we called a timeout, switched up our defenses a little bit. The kids worked unbelievably hard on the defensive end, we found some shots on the offensive end with it. But it comes back to their effort and hard work.”

Sharon senior Andrew Burton (24 points, five rebounds, six assists) gave the hosts the lead in the overtime period before Milford senior Colby Pires (19 points, nine rebounds) answered with his fifth three-pointer of the game to put the visitors in front.

Baez knotted the score with a free throw before Ralph Franklin Jr. sank one of his own to put the Hawks back in front. Junior Matt Baskin (career-high 27 points, eight rebounds) sank a pair from the line on one end but a foul on the box out allowed Jordan Darling (22 points, 14 rebounds) to reciprocate on the other end for a 72-71 lead.

Baskin drove through the lane for two more for a lead with 1:20 to play but it was Darling again who had the answer, finishing over good defense down low. Tyler Wetherbee and Darling combined for three free twos as the Hawks’ defense picked up key back-to-back stops on defense.

Caleb Gayle brought the Eagles within two but Ben Blanchard (20 points) converted two huge free throws in the final seconds. Senior Aidan Kane sank a three at the buzzer to bring the final score to a one-point game.

“Give [Sharon] all the credit,” Seaver said. “We played well enough to build a double-digit lead, I think we got it up to 18 at one point. And they are the ones who hit shots in the fourth quarter and more importantly got stops. It took us forever to finally get a basket to fall. At the end of the day, a win is a win in this league. Everybody you play on any given night is good and you have to be ready to go. But a win is a win.”

Blanchard was a big reason that Milford got off to a strong start, hitting three trifectas in the opening eight minutes, slashing to the basket for another two for 11 of Milford’s 20 first quarter points.

The Hawks used an 11-3 burst in the second quarter to create the separation it carried into the fourth quarter. A three-pointer from Kane brought the Eagles within one possession at 22-19 but Darling hit four straight free throws, Pires knocked down a three, Blanchard scored again, and Ralph Franklin Jr. finished at the rim for a 33-22 advantage.

While Milford’s offense continued its normal pace in the third quarter, Sharon got a huge boost from Baskin. The junior wing scored 12 of his points in that quarter, keeping the Eagles within shouting distance entering the fourth quarter. He hit twice from three-point range and had three buckets driving to the hoop.

“We think he can be a very good player in this league and he’s gaining confidence in each practice, in each game,” Ferguson said about Baskin, who transferred into the program this season. “We’re in his ear about it. He creates a lot of mismatches with his height, length, and offensive ability. If they put a big on him, he can take them off the dribble or if they put a smaller guy on him, we can put him in the post and he made some nice post moves today. He really asserted himself for the first time this year.”

Burton sparked the fourth quarter with four straight points and Baez added a free throw. The Eagles took advantage of a foul and a technical foul, making two of the four three throws and Cam Baker (10 points) scored on the ensuing possession to make it 55-51.

“Their zone really slowed us down,” Seaver said. “We tried to get it to the high post, we tried to dump it down and we actually had a lot of good looks from the outside but we just went ice cold for a long stretch. That translated to a poor defensive end during their comeback but credit Sharon. Credit their zone, they did a good job changing the pace on us. In the end, we made one more play, hit one more free throw, and that’s what we needed.”

Kiran Chandrasekaran took a feed from Burton and finished to make it 55-53 and Burton tied the game after a fast break. Burton gave the Eagles the lead with a free throw and Baskin pushed it to 59-55 with a three-pointer with two minutes left.

Pires played the role of hero for the Hawks. After Darling hit a free throw, Pires sank two technical foul free throws and then drained a corner three on the ensuing possession. After the Hawks drew a charge, Pires sank another triple and Milford suddenly had a 64-59 lead.

“Colby is a three-year varsity player, a two-time captain, a two-year starter and he’s kind of the heart and soul of this program,” Seaver said. “He made senior plays and he made winning plays. That’s who he is, that’s what he does and most importantly he showed it on the court today for us.”

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Baskin hit two free throws with 20.3 seconds left only for Blanchard to answer with two of his own with 11.5 seconds left. Burton drove to the hoop for two and the Eagles were able to create a turnover on Milford’s inbounds pass. Baez beat the buzzer with a three to force overtime.

“It’s a matter of mentality,” Ferguson said of what can turn games like this into a win. “Yeah, maybe this group hasn’t won a lot of basketball games but they want to win basketball games. We saw that there. I have to coach it better, we have to get a little better with our execution, and we have to maintain our emotions. I think that hurt us today. Hopefully, these experiences are building the confidence that will help us in the long run.”

Milford boys basketball (3-1 Hockomock, 3-1 overall) moves into sole possession of first place in the Davenport with the win and will be back in action on Wednesday against Mansfield. Sharon (0-4, 0-5) will host Taunton on Tuesday in search of its first win.

Eagles Honor Cronin With Comeback Victory

Sharon boys basketball
Sharon junior Andrew Burton makes a move against a Norwood defender in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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SHARON, Mass. – Before Sunday’s matinee meeting between Sharon boys basketball and Norwood, the Eagles honored former longtime coach Basil Cronin, who passed away last year.

Cronin coached basketball at Sharon High for 37 years, including a 17-year stint as varsity head coach from 1983 to 1999. The Eagles won four league titles in the span and climbed to the top of the mountain in 1991 with a Division 2 State Championship.

While this year’s Sharon squad continues to grow, it honored Basil the best it could, orchestrating a gritty come-from-behind 70-66 win over the visiting Mustangs.

“That was the goal, we wanted to get a win after recognizing Coach Cronin,” said current Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “Our freshmen coach Larry Yaffe, who played here for Basil, did such a great job setting everything up. We had a lot of alumni here, Mrs. Cronin was here, so getting a win was really a cherry on top of a great afternoon.”

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The Eagles trailed after both the first and third quarters, faced a seven-point deficit early in the fourth, and were behind with under 30 seconds left. Sharon outscored the Mustangs 13-3 over the final three minutes, and 6-1 the final minute, to secure the victory.

Norwood led for the majority of the fourth quarter, answering anytime the Eagles made a bucket to try and get back in the game. With Sharon trailing 63-57, junior Andrew Burton (13 points, eight rebounds) sliced through the defense for a layup. The Eagles got a key stop and Andrew Strong (13 points) converted a pair of free throws to get Sharon within two.

The Mustangs had two chances to extend the lead but couldn’t convert against Sharon’s defense, and Burton hauled in a big defensive rebound and converted on the other end with another strong take to tie it at 63-63 with 1:23 to go.

Sharon briefly took the lead when Burton sank a free throw, but Norwood cashed in on a foul away from the basket, hitting both free throws to retake a 65-64 lead with a minute to go. The Eagles missed on the ensuing possession and even sent Norwood to the line, but the Mustangs only hit one of two free throws.

Ferguson put in a lineup of shooters for the ensuing possession, and the spread offense worked out. The Eagles moved the ball around the court with a lot of off ball movement, the rock ending up in the hands of Ben Kaplan (11 points) in the corner. The senior didn’t hesitate and drained a three to put Sharon up 67-66 with just 22 seconds left.

“It was a three or we’d get someone going downhill for a layup,” Ferguson said. “With the guys we had one the court, we’re able to spread the floor and didn’t have a post presence. We wanted to spread them out and a senior made a big play on a big shot. Aidan is our best shooter but we have enough trust in all the guys on the floor to make that shot.”

Sharon forced a travel on Norwood’s ensuing possession and Aidan Kane (10 points) pushed the lead to two with a free throw. The Mustangs were whistled for an illegal screen on their next possession and Burton iced the game with a pair of free throws in the final seconds.

Norwood had five offensive rebounds in the first quarter and capitalized on the second chances to put together an 11-4 run. Sharon sophomore Kiran Chandrasekaran drained a three in the final seconds to pull the Eagles within four, down 16-12 at the end of one.

Sharon kicked it into gear in the second quarter, opening the frame with a 13-0 run to take the lead. Strong set the tone with a steal and traditional three-point play on the first play of the quarter. Alec Filipkowski added a three pointer, sophomore Hank Ward (eight points, four rebounds) converted a putback, Kaplan got a kind bounce on a corner three and then converted after a Norwood turnover for a 25-16 advantage.

The Eagles led 30-25 at the halftime break.

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In the third, the Mustangs opened with an 8-2 run to take the lead before Burton scored to take it right back. A Norwood three was answered by a bucket from Chandrasekaran off a feed from freshman John Baez. Senior Alex Kaufmann put the Eagles ahead 42-41 with a traditional three-point play, but the Mustangs closed the quarter with an 8-4 run to seize a 50-45 advantage after three.

“It felt similar to the Walpole game but this time we had to fight back,” Ferguson said. “It shows a lot about these guys, especially the younger guys on the floor for some of those runs. It shows they’re going to be able to step into this spot down the road. And we had a couple of seniors made some big plays for us. It’s a good mix of kids and our younger kids are learning from our seniors. Now we have to take that next step.”

Sharon boys basketball (2-15 overall) will try to make it two in a row when it hosts Foxboro on Tuesday at 6:30.

Sharon Holds On To Earn First Win Over Walpole

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

King Philip Pulls Away From Sharon In Second Half

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

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

His team delivered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Borde Leads Foxboro Past Sharon In Davenport Clash

Foxboro boys basketball
Foxboro sophomore Brandon Borde converts a layup in the first half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
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SHARON, Mass. – With 29 career starts already under his belt, it’s easy to forget that Foxboro’s Brandon Borde is just a sophomore.

And you’d never know it based on his performance on Saturday night. Borde poured in a career-high 25 points in a dominant effort, helping Foxboro pick up a 73-46 win over the Eagles in the first Davenport division game of the season.

After starting all but one game during his rookie year (senior night), Borde wasted little time getting going during his seventh start of this season. He scored 11 points in the first quarter, helping Foxboro build a double-digit lead it never surrendered.

By halftime, Borde had already surpassed his career-high mark with 19 points and then added six points in the third quarter before resting for the majority of the final frame.

“We’ve been really begging him to be more aggressive in terms of looking for his own shot and attacking the basket,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “He’s such an unselfish kid and such a good passer that a lot of times he defers and he doesn’t realize how good he is.

“Obviously he got going tonight and I think he started to realize he could score almost at will and his confidence really got going. You can see what he’s capable of when he’s that aggressive. Hopefully, that aggressive mindset will become the norm.”

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The Warriors and Eagles matched one another through the first five and a half minutes, but Foxboro seized control of the game by closing with an 11-0 run. A free throw from Bobby Harrison and three free throws from Joe Morrison after the buzzer sandwiched a 7-0 run from Borde himself.

Up 10-8, Borde hauled in a defensive rebound before converting at the rim on the other end. After Sharon came up with a block, Borde drained a three on a feed from Anthony Mollica, Sharon missed a three and Borde pulled up in the lane for another two to make it 17-10 with under a minute to play in the first.

The sophomore kept it going in the second quarter. When Sharon’s Malik Lorquet opened the frame with a traditional three-point play to give the home side some momentum, Borde answered with a strong take to the rim himself, converting while being fouled; he also converted the free throw.

After sophomore Will Morrison hit a pair of free throws, Borde read a cross-court pass, picking it off and laying it in for an easy two. Sharon’s Jayvon Monteiro responded with a layup of his own but Borde drained his second triple of the half on a pass from Joe Morrison, giving Foxboro a commanding 30-13 lead.

Foxboro took a 39-18 lead into halftime.

“We were right there with them for the first six and a half minutes but that last minute and a half really killed us in the first quarter,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We knew how good they were defensively, Jon does such a great job with them. Joe Morrison did a great job, Brandon Borde did a great job. Our offense just got stagnant, we didn’t move the ball enough. We went a little one-on-one too much, and that’s a credit to [Foxboro]. They were able to take us out of what we wanted to do by executing what they wanted to do.”

Foxboro put to bed any hopes of a comeback with its best offensive quarter of the game, pouring in 21 points in the frame on 53% shooting. Both Joe Morrison (two three’s) and Borde scored six points in the quarter while Teddy Maher and Ryan Hughes each contributed.

Mollica capped the quarter with his first field goal fo the game, a three-pointer after Joe Morrison forced a turnover on the defensive end.

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With both teams playing their starters, Foxboro held the Eagles to 38 points on 35% shooting from the field while forcing 17 turnovers. It marked the sixth time in eight games an opponent has scored fewer than 5 points with Mansfield (50 points) and Franklin (52 points) the lone teams to reach the half-century mark.

“Defense is where it all starts for us, and it’s a huge point of pride for us,” Gibbs said. “I think that’s definitely our calling card as a team. We have a lot of quick, tough, physical guards that are really good at containing dribble penetration. I think we make it tough for teams to get into the paint and break us down off the dribble. We just have some tough-minded kids, they really work at it, they’re really coachable. It’s definitely something we take a lot of pride in.”

Lorquet led Sharon with 11 points and six rebounds while Lester High and Jimmy Fitzhenry each scored 10 points for the Eagles.

Foxboro boys basketball (3-1 Hockomock, 7-1 overall) is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Stoughton. Sharon (0-4, 1-6) will try to get back on track on Tuesday when it hosts North Attleboro at 6:30.

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Shooting, Rebounding Woes Plague Sharon In Loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oliver Ames Rides Strong Defensive Effort Past Sharon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friberg, North Attleboro Overcome Sharon in Overtime

North Attleboro boys basketball
North Attleboro’s Hacmoni Cuevas drives to the basket in the first half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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SHARON, Mass. – Standing at 6’6, North Attleboro senior Jonny Friberg often gives the Rocketeers the edge in the paint.

But due to foul trouble, North Attleboro was forced to find other ways to keep pace with the red-hot shooting Sharon Eagles.

While the Rocketeers did enough to keep pace, Friberg came back in midway through the fourth quarter. He went on to score eight points down the stretch, including the tying basket with 5.9 to send the game into overtime. And in overtime, he scored North’s first nine points and the Rocketeers came away with a thrilling 81-75 win over the Eagles.

Friberg finished with a career-high 27 points and hauled in 13 rebounds to lead the Rocketeers.

“Everything starts with [Friberg] inside and then with the shooters on the outside,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “[Foul trouble] is something we’ve unfortunately had to deal with before. I’m really happy with how Tommy [Reynolds] and Moni [Cuevas] played inside. Hats off to Sharon, they played their butts off tonight. It’s frustrating when Jonny goes out but we’re a team and we have to win like a team, which I think we did tonight.”

It seemed like there would be no stopping the Eagles, especially after they connected on their 12th three pointer (on just 20 attempts) with just under four minutes to play in the game to go up 64-55. Jimmy Fitzhenry’s (16 points) trifecta capped a 10-1 run over the first 4:09 of the period for the Eagles.

“It reminded me of some games against Milford in the last couple of years where we fight back and they counter punch,” Mulkerrins said. “It speaks to the kids’ mental toughness, not giving up in that situation. There wasn’t much to say then we needed to defend better. They have some great kids, [Sharon coach Andrew] Ferguson does a great job with them.”

But North chipped away with Friberg finally back on the court. Senior Brent Doherty (17 points, five assists) drained a three in response to stop the run and after a stop, Friberg hauled in the defensive board and then converted on the other end. Another stop and another Friberg board led to a jumper from Doherty to make it a two point game.

Sharon’s Alex Kaufman (15 points) extended the lead back to four but Friberg hit back to back buckets down low to tie the game with 1:32 left.

With under 30 seconds to play, Sharon senior Ricardo Ripley (17 points) came away with a steal at midcourt that turned into two free throws to put the Eagles up 68-66.

Friberg took a pass from North sophomore Josh Montague (eight points) and muscled in the tying basket with 5.9 to play. Sharon’s buzzer beater attempt came up short.

In overtime, it was all Friberg – no one else on the Rocketeers attempted a field goal. After Sharon took a brief lead on a free throw, Friberg converted his own miss. Reynolds drew a charge on the other end for the Rocketeers and Friberg hit a free throw on the other end.

Kaufman drove to the basket to cut the deficit to two (73-71), but the Rocketeers simply went back to Friberg, who made a nice move in the post for two. Kyle McCarthy (six points, five rebounds, seven assists) hauled in a Sharon missed three and then assisted on another Friberg basket to put North ahead 77-71 with a minute to play.

Along with his 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Friberg had seven of his 13 rebounds.

“This was a huge game for us,” Friberg said. We always preach getting the ball inside because we can have success there. If I don’t have something I’ll pass it. I just took advantage of what we had. The foul trouble is frustrating because I want to be in there but you just have to deal with it.”

McCarthy added three free throws down the stretch and Chad Peterson (eight points, four rebounds) also had one.

“We tried like hell to get [Friberg] his fifth foul but he’s just so big, he finishes around the basket so well,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “He’s gotten so much better than a year ago. I’m looking at the fourth quarter and overtime stats and he just killed us. We did a good job on for three quarters, and it helped he was in foul trouble. But him and Brent, those are big time players and we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch.”

The nine point fourth quarter deficit that the Rocketeers overcame wasn’t the largest deficit they erased during the game. After Sharon took a 20-17 lead after the first quarter, the Eagles rattled off a 13-5 run to build an 11-point lead with less than three minutes until halftime.

But a three from McCarthy, two free throws from Friberg, a put back from Montague and a corner three from Montague helped Big Red get within one. A late three from Ripley gave the Eagles a 36-32 lead at halftime.

Doherty was a big reason that North Attleboro entered the final quarter of the game tied. Doherty netted 10 of his points in the third quarter alone, including a three to open the frame, a field goal that gave North it’s largest lead (46-48) and five straight points late that had the game tied 54-54 after three.

“I don’t know what he was in the first half, he just was off,” Mulkerrins said of Doherty. “It almost felt like he was second guessing his shooting and decision making. We told him at halftime if he’s open just shoot the ball. We said that too everybody. It was huge to get Brent going. The second half by Brent was huge, a lot of contributions from guys in the second half.”

Cuevas finished with eight points and four rebounds while Reynolds had seven points, three rebounds and two assists for Big Red.

Malik Lorquet added eight points and nine rebounds for Sharon.

North Attleboro boys basketball (10-7 overall, 7-6 Hockomock) moves into a tie for the lead in the Davenport division with the win. The Rocketeers have the chance to clinch a playoff berth on Friday on the road at Stoughton. Sharon (3-13, 2-12) has a week off until they are back in action with a trip to Stoughton on Valentine’s Day.