2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

2018-2019 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview
The new girls basketball season promises to be as competitive as ever with a number of teams jockeying for a place in the state tournament. Here is our team-by-team breakdown. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2018-2019 Record: 8-14
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Martin Crowley
Attleboro was three wins shy of reaching the postseason last year, despite a roster filled with inexperienced players, and the Bombardiers demonstrated the potential in the squad by upsetting Franklin late in the season and handing the Panthers their only league loss. This winter, the Bombardiers will be looking to turn potential into reality and make a jump into the playoff picture.

Six players are returning from last year, including seniors Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall, who give Attleboro a talented backcourt on both ends of the court. Thomas adds length and slashing ability, while McCall is a sharpshooter who will be the team’s primary ball-handler. Sophomore Meg Gordon has taken a big leap from last year and head coach Marty Crowley thinks that she is ready for a breakout season on the wing.

Juniors Gabby Bosh and Emma Reilly will both be back to add some nous to the lineup, while sophomores Hailey and Lindsey Perry add grit and toughness. Junior Ryan Johnson will add size to the frontcourt, while sophomore Lillian Froio and juniors Jackie MacDonald and Laura McVeigh add depth and physicality. Overall, it is a much deeper, more experienced group for Crowley to build lineups with this season.

“For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound,” Crowley said. “Nyah and Liv I am sure are going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone, however, we feel as if we have the players in place who will contribute offensively.”

Canton

2018-2019 Record: 14-7
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal.
Coach: Jim Choquette
Youth was served for the Bulldogs last season, as a talented trio of freshmen jumped into the starting lineup and helped Canton have one of its most successful seasons in program history, with 14 wins and a return to the state tournament. There were still some learning curves to overcome, but now a more experienced group is play with speed and get out on the break as often as possible to give Foxboro a challenge in the Davenport title race and bring home a postseason win.

Although Canton is still a relatively young team, the talent on the roster is undeniable. Sophomores Kiara Cerruti and Sydney and Fay Gallery all had impressive rookie campaigns, showing off their skills on the wing, from three-point range, and in the paint. They will face even more pressure this season, as teams know what they like to do and will be even more determined to take them out of their games.

Sophomore Carly Fitzgerald will be one of the players stepping into the point guard role vacated by the graduation of Julia Hamilton and will be the facilitator getting Canton into its offense. In the paint, Canton has size and athleticism in senior Lilah Milton and junior Kayla Albert, who are both active rebounders and finishers at the rim and both have shown the ability to knock down the occasional jumper as well. Juniors Angie Elias and Sam Lamarr and sophomore Annie Hoban all have experience from last year to add to Canton’s depth.

Canton coach Jim Choquette said, “Each day we will try to improve as a coaching staff and a program. By the end of the season, our hopes are to be playing at our best.”

Foxboro

2017-2018 Record: 20-3
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal.
Coach: Lisa Downs
The two-time defending Davenport division champions return all but one player from last year’s roster, so Foxboro remains the team to beat for the league title and expectations are very high heading into a new season. After a trip to the Div. 2 South semifinals last season, the Warriors will be aiming for even more this winter, trying to regain the top spot not just in the Hock but also in the South sectional.

Junior Katelyn Mollica was the team’s leading scorer last year and is already closing in on 1,000 points for her career. The team’s primary ball-handler and one of the best shooters in the league, Mollica will be one of the top offensive threats in the league. She will have plenty of help. Senior guard Lizzy Davis and senior forwards Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman will also return to the starting lineup this season and add athleticism, speed, and tenacity on both ends of the floor, taking some pressure off Mollica with their ability to score in the open court.

Senior Shakirah Ketant came on strong at the end of last season and gives Foxboro a different, more physical look in the paint. Junior Jordyn Collins is a tough on-the-ball defender and has speed to burn. Seniors Jamie DeVellis and Julia Kelley both saw time on the floor last year and will add to Foxboro’s depth. Sophomore center Hannah Blake is a new face that could provide more strength in the post.

“The Hockomock League continues to produce teams, which make every night a tough one – there are really no teams that you can take lightly,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “The preparation required to compete in this league really benefits teams that get to the postseason.”

Franklin

2018-2019 Record: 21-4
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinal.
Coach: John Leighton
Franklin is coming off its best season in program history and the Panthers have the talent returning to potentially surpass that success this winter. After winning the program’s first sectional title and coming within minutes of reaching the state title game, Franklin returns three of its starters and a host of bench players ready to step into bigger roles this year.

The key to it all is senior Ali Brigham. The George Washington-commit controlled the paint on both ends of the floor last season and remains the league’s most dominant star, as she continues to expand her game to make it even more difficult for the opposition. Teams can’t focus only on Brigham, as senior forward Meghan O’Connell showed in the playoffs the problems she can present with her ability to score and rebound and sophomore Olivia Quinn is another forward with size that teams will struggle to match up with.

Junior point guard Erin Quaile is a tenacious defender and a solid ball-handler, who is developing her outside shot. Senior Sydney Garilli and juniors Elizabeth Wilson, Teagan Collins, and Carissa Alers all saw time last season and will be in the backcourt rotation. Franklin will also add several newcomers, who could step right in and contribute, including juniors Katelynn Taylor and Kaleigh Houlihan and sophomores Emma Sousa and Stefany Padula. On balance, the Panthers look likely to be the team to beat again in the Kelley-Rex.

“I am excited by what I have seen to date,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They are a very motivated group who have bought into their team motto ‘We Over Me.’ They are good teammates who seek team success over individual glory.”




King Philip

2018-2019 Record: 14-8
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip had a breakout season in 2018-19, winning 13 games and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. Returning seven players from last year’s roster, new head coach Dan Nagle takes over a program in solid shape and is looking to build on last season’s success and try to challenge Franklin at the top of the league standings this winter.

Senior Faye Veilleux spearheaded KP’s breakout season when she emerged as one of the top post scorers in the league. Her versatility and her ability to get out in transition will be crucial to Nagle’s fastbreaking style. Senior Faith Roy will give the Warriors a clutch outside shooter and classmate Taylor Butler adds physicality to the guard or forward position.

Junior Emma Glaser will be expected to take on a bigger role after a strong sophomore season on the wing and junior point guard Brianna James demonstrated the ability to get into the lane at will and finish even against taller opponents. Juniors Caroline Aaron and Courtney Keswick are also back from last year to provide depth on the wings and 6-foot-3 freshman Emily Sawyer will give KP much-needed size in the post, as they try to combat Franklin’s Ali Brigham. The Warriors are going to try and break teams down with aggressive defending and their speed in transition.

Nagle said, “It has been a great start to the year with this group of kids. From top to bottom our roster is full of girls who love the game of basketball and are enjoying the process of improving day to day here in the early going. I think we will be a fun team to watch this season, and I look forward to the challenge of having our kids compete night in and night out in an excellent league like the Hockomock.”

Mansfield

2018-2019 Record: 17-6
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Mike Redding
Mansfield has consistently been one of the top programs in the Kelley-Rex division but even the best programs are going to need time to overcome the graduation of 10 seniors. The Hornets will lack experience, but head coach Mike Redding will be looking for improvement over the course of the season and will be hoping to have the team playing its best basketball as the tournament rolls around.

Senior Becca Hottleman was recently cleared after knee surgery and will be back at the point for the Hornets. Hottleman is one of only two players that got starts last year. Junior forward Ashley Santos is the other and she will be one of the players expected to see her numbers take a jump, as she should expect to get a few more looks on the offensive end. Senior Kelly Doherty and junior Kayla Vine will jump into starting roles on the wings, while junior Sara Dooling will be a starter at forward.

While there is a lack of varsity playing time on the roster, there are plenty of upperclassmen that will be expected to contribute. Junior Sarah Sacco will back-up Hottleman at the point, while junior Ally Prentis and senior Grace Benton will add depth at the wing. Senior Grace Maher and juniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking will see time in the frontcourt and freshman wing Abby Wager should get opportunities to build experience this season.

“This group has very limited varsity basketball experience overall because we had that large and talented group of 10 seniors last year, but we’re not young and will rely on senior leadership and a deep junior class and all have varsity experience in other sports,” said Redding. “We have good size and depth in the post and all of them can shoot, handle the ball, and play like guards, which should cause some problems for the defense. It will be a work in progress and we’ll have to battle for wins in a very good league but this will be a good basketball team by February when the tourney rolls around.”

Milford

2018-2019 Record: 1-19
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Last year was a tough one for Milford. After graduating the bulk of the roster, an inexperienced group struggled through the season, but never lost the work rate and closed out the winter with its first win. The Hawks are still relatively young, but head coach TJ Dolliver is approaching the new year with optimism because of his team’s continued growth.

Four juniors are entering their third varsity seasons and the Hawks will be counting on them to provide necessary leadership on and off the court. Emma Lawrence, Jillian Michelson, Carly Fereira, and Katie Maietta have all gotten plenty of playing time last year and the hope is that experience will serve them well this winter.

This will be a guard-heavy lineup, especially with no player over 5-foot-8. Junior Elise Fauerbach will add some physical play to the frontcourt and sophomore forward Jill Araujo is a newcomer that can add some depth in the paint.

“There is a lot to pay attention to but what I care about the most is how we do this together,” said Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls and a great coaching staff and I believe this season will be very rewarding.”

North Attleboro

2018-2019 Record: 7-14
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Nikki Correia
It has been a tough run over the last few seasons for North Attleboro, which won seven games and missed the playoffs for the third straight year, but there are still positives to take away as former assistant Nikki Correia takes over for her first year in charge. North has several experienced players returning to try and push Big Red back up the standings.

The backcourt should be a plus for North with senior point guard Olivia Forbes back to run the show and keep the Rocketeers getting into the transition game that Correia prefers. She will be joined at the guard position by junior Amanda Kaiser, who emerged as not only a threat from deep but also as a tough defender who gets her hands into the passing lane. Juniors Siobhan Weir and Lydia Santos will add to the depth at guard to help with the full-court pressure that North will turn to this year.

North hasn’t had much height in the past few seasons, but there are several forwards who can compete on the glass. Senior forward Eliza Dion is an aggressive defender and can take her defender off the dribble. Senior Regan Fein will add extra depth in the paint. Freshman guard Ava McKeown and sophomore guard Summer Doherty are two newcomers that could make an instant impact.

“I am looking forward to being apart of watching this team and this program grow this year,” Correia said. “There are six returning seniors, so that veteran play will be very helpful, as well as returning a great shooter and adding an athletic sophomore and freshman to the mix.”




Oliver Ames

2018-2019 Record: 13-9
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames had a lot of new faces last year, but the success was very familiar. The Tigers finished with 13 wins and reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal, giving Wellesley all it could handle on the road. A year of experience and the return of a strong core of players means expectations are even higher for OA this winter.

Sophomore Caroline Peper will be the player that is going to draw the most attention at the start of the new season. As a freshman, Peper was one of the league’s top scorers and its top shooters. Junior Caroline Flynn was also an all-star last year. She runs the point, is one of the top passers on the team, and also one of its top rebounders. Her overall game helps the Tigers control games. Also in the backcourt will be seniors Meg Holleran and Erin Holmberg, who is coming back after surgery cost her almost all of last season.

Senior Tate Hadges will be on the front line, giving OA another strong defender and rebounder. Sophomore Hailey Bourne, while undersized, gives the Tigers a lot of effort in the post even when matched up against some of the best frontcourt players in the league. Junior Jess Erlich and Tori Harney and sophomore Anna Murphy will add to the team’s depth on the wing.

“As always, the Hock will present with a very high level of competition,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We are looking forward to being capable of putting together a variety of strong personnel combinations which will provide us with depth as we face those challenges.”

Sharon

2018-2019 Record: 9-11
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Sandra Lombardi
Sharon narrowly missed out on its first playoff appearance under head coach Sandy Lombardi, finishing just one win away from a tournament berth. With three returning starters and several younger players who got significant playing time last year, the Eagles will be eyeing that elusive postseason berth.

Three seniors will be counted on to lead the team at both ends of the floor. Point guard Ally Brown will be expected to get the Eagles into their offensive sets and is a strong defender on the other end, keeping pressure on the perimeter. Shooting guard Kaitlyn Wallace is the team’s top outside threat, stretching the defense with her range and also being a strong passer off the dribble. Forward Telishya Herbert led the team in scoring last year and is a matchup nightmare in the paint with her aggressive play going to the basket.

The starting lineup will be rounded out by junior Leah Fandel and sophomore Trinity Payne, two athletic forwards that will give Sharon decent size on the front line. Senior Nicole Teven, juniors Julia Early and Gaby Cabral and freshman Tess Letendre will all see plenty of playing time this season and will look to contribute to the team’s success.

“Ally, Kaitlyn, and Telishya have the most varsity experience and I expect great things from them this year,” Lombardi said. “We have a young team and I am hoping some of the younger players are able to step up this year as well.”

Stoughton

2018-2019 Record: 7-13
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
A new era will begin this winter, as Stoughton moves into its brand new gym with a lot of new faces on the roster, hoping to get the Black Knights back into the playoff race this season after missing out on the tournament last year.

The key for the Black Knights will be its senior leadership. Although Sydnee Hyacinthe has moved on to Milton Academy, they still return a strong core led by senior Aliyah Wright. The point guard can be a dominant presence on both ends of the floor, sparking Stoughton on defense and breaking down the opposition off the dribble. Senior Shyanne Trinh is healthy to start the season and will be the team’s top outside threat, with the ability to knock down shots off the dribble. Senior forward Lexi Baptista is an athletic post threat who can also step back and knock down the mid-range jumper.

Senior Hannah Pagano and juniors Brooke Bulger, Mackenzie Manning, and Catherine Downey will add to the team’s depth, especially in the backcourt. Sophomore Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and freshman Kyla Sheedy-Goff will be two of the newcomers to the roster that could make a name for themselves this season.

“Despite being somewhat young this season this group of ladies worked really hard in the off-season,” said Stoughton coach Charmain Steele Jordan. “The sky is the limit this season and our Black Knights are going compete hard until the final whistle blows.”

Taunton

2018-2019 Record: 7-15
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Amy Siggens
After a number of seasons under coach Walter Harrigan, Taunton has turned to former King Philip coach Amy Siggens this year and she has brought plenty of energy into her first preseason with the Tigers, trying to push the program back into the playoff hunt.

As Siggens and the players become more comfortable with each other, the Tigers will count on their returning starters to get things off to a good start. Juniors Sonya and Jaelyn Fernandez and Kelsey White will be the players to watch this season after strong sophomore campaigns. All three have good size, with both Sonya and Jaelyn providing strong presences on the boards and out on the break and White causing match-up issues on the perimeter. All three will need to step up on the defensive end and keep the Tigers running.

Taunton also has depth, although it will be relatively inexperienced. Seniors Liz Crisman and Jaylah Chaves and junior Tori DaRosa will add more depth in the backcourt. Sophomores Braeley McDonald and Abby Souza (who has helped out on varsity since she was an eighth-grader) and freshman Kameron St. Pierre will also chip in this season.

“Any coaching change brings lots of challenges and, this season, we will be faced with our share,” said Siggens. “I am very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far. Our bench is young and talented but how quickly a good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start.”

Canton Defeats Danvers To Claim First State Title

Canton volleyball
The Canton volleyball team poses with its newly won D2 State Championship trophy at Worcester State. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WORCESTER, Mass. – The most decorated volleyball program in the Hockomock League is adding a new trophy and a new banner to its collection.

The Canton volleyball team battled through the ups and downs of a wildly competitive match to earn a 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-13) win over previously unbeaten Danvers to claim its first-ever D2 State Championship.

The Bulldogs, who have won a Hockomock-best 15 league titles, will be adding a new state championship banner after overcoming a late deficit in the fifth set to earn the win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Honestly I go in every year thinking this team can do it,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley, who has been with the program for 19 years as either the head coach or an assistant. “That’s the way I coach…we’re going to win the Hock, we’re going to go deep in the state tournament, and we’re going to win the state championship.

“Until we got into the tournament did I really believe we could go all the way. I believe in these girls, they have a chemistry that is uncompared. They really care about each other, they don’t get mad at each other on the court…you have to the skill but you have to have the chemistry too and I think this team had that.”

Canton won the first and third sets but Danvers, who entered the match at 25-0, answered each time, including the biggest win by either side in the fourth set that forced a decisive fifth set to decide the state champions.

Like the entire match did, the fifth set went back and forth with ties at 2-2, 4-4, 5-5, and 7-7. An ace from senior Taylor Harris (29 kills, 19 digs, four aces) gave the Bulldogs the slight edge at the switch.

But Canton’s lead quickly evaporated behind two Danvers kills and a play error, putting the Falcons up 10-9 and just five points away from a title. After Cawley called timeout, Canton came up and answered.

A line violation on a serve tied it 10-10, junior middle Liz Bickett (18 kills, 12 digs, two aces) smashed a kill over a block after a nice pass from Nikki Desjardins, and a Falcon hitting error put the Dogs ahead 12-10. A hitting error made it a one-point game but Bickett slammed another kill that brought Harris back into the front row. Danvers’ Carly Goodhue and Harris traded kills to put the Dogs up 14-12. A kill from Madelyn Montanari kept the Falcons alive at 14-13.

But Claire Quinn (eight kills, 19 digs) handled the serve with a nice pass right to setter Jackie Morrissey (49 assists, 12 digs), who pushed a set to the outside and Harris rose up and smashed the ball over the block and to the floor in the heart of the Falcon defense, securing a 15-12 win and the state championship.

“When I saw it was a good pass and we could set the ball I was thrilled because Taylor was feeling it in that fifth set,” Cawley said. “And I was feeling it for her. Just get the ball to Taylor [in the fifth set] and luckily she was able to put it away.”

“It felt really good to get the last point. Coach always tells us to play to the last point and that’s what we did. Coach Cawley has worked so hard all of these years for this to happen.”

Canton led from straight to finish in the opening set. A kill from Bickett and an ace from Steph Trendell (who combined with Desjardins for 22 digs) gave the Dogs an early boost. A kill from Angie Elias and another ace from Trendell pushed the Dogs’ lead to 12-8 but Danvers continued to hang around, forcing a tie at 13-13, 18-18, and again at 20-20.

But the Davenport champs never relinquished the advantage as a service error, a strong Bickett hit, and a kill from Harris pushed Canton to a 23-21 lead. Danvers got a kill out of a timeout to get within one but Harris dropped a shot in front of the back row on the second hit and Bickett sealed the first set with an ace.

“The first set was actually a good set, we got off to a good start,” Cawley said. “Then I think the pressure started creeping in. I knew a couple of key players were playing tight. We just had two tough matches with Westboro and Minnechaug. We’ve played from behind and we’ve played from ahead, and I just had to remind them this is what we’ve done all year.

“The records today didn’t matter. I think sometimes the pressure is on the undefeated team. You learn a lot through losing and we learned a lot from our losses this year (to KP and twice to North Attleboro). I kept reminding them that we have been here many times and we can do this.”

Danvers answered by opening the second set with a quick 7-2 burst. Canton slowly got back into the set and used an 8-2 run that featured three kills from Bickett and Harris and an ace from Quinn to jump ahead 16-14 in the set. But Danvers responded with a 6-1 run for a 20-17 lead, and then won five of the next six points to even the match at 1-1.

The third set started in similar fashion to the second with Danvers building an early five-point lead, this time taking advantage of two net violations and three Canton hitting errors to take a 9-4 lead.

But similar to the second, Canton rallied to keep it close but couldn’t overtake the Falcons for the majority of the match. Trendell had a key ace, Bickett landed a kill, and Harris had three kills in a four-point span that kept Canton within striking distance, down 16-14.

A roll shot from Quinn brought the Dogs within one but a kill off the block from Goodhue and two play errors put Danvers up 21-17. After Cawley calmed the troops during a timeout, Canton won three straight points that featured a huge solo block from Elias on Goodhue, and another block from Bickett to make it 21-20.

Canton tied it out of the break, and then again at 22-22 but Danvers moved within two points of going ahead in the match after Goodhue dropped a perfectly weighted tip over the Canton block for a 23-22 lead.

But Bickett got a kill after a partial block saw the ball hit the floor, junior Shannon Malloy went up and put down a loose serve receive, and Bickett landed another set-sealing ace to give Canton a 25-23 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.

“I think Liz Bickett carried us, got us into that fifth set,” Cawley said. “She was amazing. As well as the defense, I think we played pretty well, we got a lot of balls up to where we could set them. To get the ball to Liz, we have to have some good passing, and Liz was phenomenal.”

It was deja vu in the fourth set for the Bulldogs as Danvers once again raced out to a five-point advantage at 8-3. This time, Canton didn’t have much of an answer and had to use its second timeout down 12-7.




“We were really up and down in this match, I don’t think we played our best volleyball until maybe the fifth set,” Cawley said. “There were a lot of nerves out there and I’m sure Danvers had them too. Taylor had some nerves, she was a little tentative and hit some balls out. She was up and down but really worked through it, and after her first swing in the fifth set, I said ‘she’s back.’ The whole confidence of the team rises up when they see that.

“Danvers is a great team, they had strong defense and #6 [Carly Goodhue] killed us. We couldn’t get the timing of the block because it’s a different type of set than we’ve seen this year. We did touch a lot more [swings] in the third and fourth sets once they adjust. [Danvers] was a good team, but we had to focus on our game.”

Danvers’ extended its lead to as much as 10 before Canton finally got its footing in the fourth set. Senior Katie Lynch came off the bench and landed an ace and got another point for Canton after a strong serve never made it back over. Harris added a kill off the block to halve the deficit, now down just 19-14.

But Danvers finished the set strong out of a timeout, winning six of the next eight points for a decisive 25-16 win, forcing a fifth set.

“We went back into the huddle and just talked about [the fifth set] being a fresh start, a whole new game,” Harris said of Canton’s ability to bounce back from its rough fourth set. “We just had to believe in ourselves and we did.”

While Canton didn’t win the fourth set, Lynch’s serving helped stem the Falcons’ momentum some and showed off the depth the Bulldogs have.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“That definitely sums up this team,” Cawley said. “I carry a big roster and they play against each other every day in practice. They are digging Taylor and Liz in practice and those kids are all ready to go. And they are ready if I call on them at any time. They’ve been on the bench for the tournament and never complained. They are totally involved. If they didn’t push the starters every day, we wouldn’t be here. The non-starters are so important to our program.”

While Harris and Bickett were the standouts and came up with a lot of key plays for the Bulldogs, the win wouldn’t have been possible without the strong play of everyone around them according to Cawley.

“Taylor has a very good supporting cast,” Cawley said. “My other outside Claire is very consistent and she gives us a kill when we need it. I can’t say enough about Liz Bickett…Angie, my opposite [hitter], gives us a lot of blocking, it’s a very unheralded position but she really does a great job. Shannon Malloy in the middle is coming into her own, and our defense did a good job. We’re not a one-dimensional team even though Taylor is a superstar. We need everybody to win in a place like this.

Canton volleyball finishes the season at 22-3.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/13/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Soccer
D1 South

#1 King Philip, 4 vs. #12 Needham, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Volleyball
D2 State Semifinal

#2 Canton, 3 vs. #1 Minnechaug, 1 – FinalAfter splitting the first two sets, Canton won two straight to claim a 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-23) win and advance to the D2 State Final for the first time in program history. “This was a competitive match start to finish, I’m so proud of our girls who hung tough no matter the score,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley. Taylor Harris was immense with 24 kills and 14 digs to lead the Bulldogs while Liz Bickett closed out set three with a block and set three with a kill, finishing with 13 kills, 7 blocks, 15 digs and two aces. Jackie Morrissey distributed the ball well with 35 assists along with 14 digs and three aces. Cawley added Claire Quinn, Angie Elias and Shannon Malloy were strong at the net, and Stephanie Trendell and Nikki Desjardins played super defense. Canton will play Danvers in the D2 State Final on Saturday at 3:00 at Worcester State.

Journey Continues, Canton Claims Central Crown

Canton volleyball
Canton players celebrate the final point that earned the Bulldogs a 3-1 win over Westboro and the D2 Central title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


WELLESLEY, Mass. – Canton volleyball has a long history of success. The Bulldogs have won 15 league titles in the last 17 seasons and have reached nine sectional finals. But, heading into Saturday afternoon’s Div. 2 Central final against Westboro at Wellesley High, Canton had only one sectional title to its name.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Last year, the Bulldogs had a 2-1 lead against Groton-Dunstable but were unable to hold on, as the Crusaders rallied to win the five-set thriller. Only two players (one starter) were back from last year’s squad, but the Bulldogs were right back in the same spot on Saturday. Canton edged the first two sets and then the Rangers pulled out the third to stay alive.

“At the end of the third set, we looked like scared little kids compared to them,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “We were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I was like, come on, we’re up! We’re good and luckily in volleyball a set ends and you get to start again.”

It turns out that Cawley had nothing to worry about. The Bulldogs have been through a lot this season, including a rash of injuries that forced players to adapt to changing lineups. No one expected Canton to be back in this position, so the Bulldogs were unfazed by dropping a set.

Canton came right back in the fourth, jumped out to an early lead, and closed out a 3-1 (25-23, 26-24, 18-25, 25-21) victory.

“We kept saying don’t let up, keep pushing through, and finish it,” said senior Taylor Harris. When asked what the Bulldogs learned from last year’s final, Harris explained, “We learned that if we win the first two then we can’t let up and we have to keep pushing through and we did that today.”

Cawley said, “Half of these kids were on JV last year, so no matter what happened today we were leaving this place with our heads held high. It’s been a journey and I’ve watched these girls improve. Some of these kids who are on the court right now we weren’t even sure we were keeping at tryouts, so to watch them improve so much is amazing.”

The match was even from the start, with neither team able to build a big lead in the first set. Canton’s block, led by juniors Angie Elias, Shannon Malloy, and Liz Bickett, was disrupting the Westboro attack in the early going. Elias and Malloy had back-to-back blocks to end rallies and give Canton the 8-6 lead.

Westboro grabbed its only lead of the set at 11-10, but Bickett (14 kills and 22 digs) answered with a hit from the middle. It took a little while to get her into the game, but Harris (team-high 20 kills and nine digs) came up with two straight kills to push the Canton lead to four. Westboro got the lead back down to just one at 24-23, but Harris rose up again to smash the final point of the first.

The second set was much like the first, with Canton grabbing an early lead by neither team taking full control of the match. Claire Quinn had a kill on the outside and Harris continued to be the most dynamic attacker on the floor, stretching the Canton lead to 14-11.

“Taylor is an amazing player,” said Cawley, who earned her 200th career win in the season opener. “She’s one of the top players I’ve ever coached. Offensively, defensively, blocking she is really a great player but the other kids have to do their jobs too. Taylor is certainly in a class of her own, but without the players that surround her we wouldn’t be here.”

Bickett came through with another point after a long rally and then Harris showed off her defensive ability with a block for a point. The Rangers came right back, scoring two straight and tying the set at 19-19. A Bickett kill made it 23-20 and put the Bulldogs on the brink, but Westboro got two straight before a Harris kill made it set point.

Again Westboro tied it but two errors handed Canton a two-set advantage.

Considering Canton’s history in sectional finals, a two-set lead hardly felt comfortable and the Rangers turned things around in the third to add to the pressure. A Harris kill tied the set at 17-17 and a two-touch put the Bulldogs in front, but the Rangers scored the final eight points of the third to stay alive in the match.

If a dropped set was supposed to heap pressure on Canton, the Bulldogs didn’t show it in the fourth. They jumped out to a 7-2 lead behind an ace from Stephanie Trendell, a kill by Quinn, and a block by Bickett.

“It was really good,” Harris said about the quick start in the fourth. “That let us have momentum to finish out the game.”

Setter Jackie Morrissey (35 assists) has grown into her role this year and she was spraying the ball to several different attackers and adding points from the service line. Quinn had another kill and Bickett added two more points, but a Westboro run put the Rangers ahead 15-14. Quinn sparked a rally with another hit and a Bickett ace and a Harris kill had Canton up 21-17.

Fittingly, it would be Bickett in the middle that would get the final swing, as she buried another shot that Westboro couldn’t handle and sealed a first Central title since 2012.

Cawley said, “Liz is a big softball player. I twisted her arm to play last year. That kid has only played six months of volleyball in her life. She is without a doubt the most improved player, the quickest, I’ve ever coached. She’s just amazing.”

When asked what it meant to win a second sectional title, Cawley said, “I feel really happy for the kids. They work hard and to have this result, I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Harris added, “It means so much. We went through so much this year. We lost 10 seniors from last year, so it’s a really big deal to be back. I think working hard everyday in practice, we never gave up and we wanted to prove everyone wrong who thought we couldn’t make it this year.”

Canton (20-3) will face the West champion, either top seed Minnechaug or No. 2 seed Longmeadow, in the state semifinal on Wednesday at a time and location to be determined.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Canton Sweeps Patriots, Rolls Into Second Straight Final

Canton volleyball
Canton senior hitter Taylor Harris leaps for one of her team-high 13 kills in a dominant win over North Middlesex. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – Canton knew very little about its opponent in Thursday night’s Div. 2 Central semifinal, so it focused on its own game. That was more than enough, as the Bulldogs needed only an hour to dispatch of North Middlesex, rolling to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-19) sweep and a return to the sectional final.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We’ve had our ups and downs this season, the Hock was a very strong league and every day we had to work hard,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “So we’ve been through the trenches, we’ve had so much adversity this year that I think they’re just so happy to be here and just want to do as well as they can.”

Cawley was impressed with the way that her team remained focused on the task at hand, despite dominating the match from the start and despite watching Westboro and Ashland play a five-set thriller in the evening’s first semifinal.

“We’ve really been working on that a lot this year,” she added. “It’s hard in this sport, it’s such a game of momentum and subliminally you let up sometimes but we’ve really, really been working hard.”

The Bulldogs got off to a perfect start to the match, jumping out to a 13-5 lead in the first and using a number of different players in the attack. Claire Quinn (eight kills and 12 digs) had a couple pf early points, one at the service line and one at the net, Angie Elias had a block, and Shannon Malloy had a kill during that stretch.

Elias, Malloy, and Liz Bickett (five kills, three blocks, and three aces) were strong in the middle and limited North Middlesex senior Sara Murphy, who was the top threat for the Patriots.

Each time that the Patriots tried to cut into the lead in the first, Canton had an answer. Quinn picked the right spot on a kill to make it 18-9 and Bickett added an impressive block to make it 21-10. Taylor Harris (team-high 13 kills and 12 digs) smashed a kill to make it 22-11, followed by a pair of Bickett aces. Harris closed out the first with another rocket.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Cawley said about Canton’s performance. “Obviously Taylor Harris is an amazing player and we’re riding her back, but everybody else contributes and does her job. If everybody does their job, then the sky’s the limit really.”

The second set was a carbon copy of the first. Canton jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Harris was instrumental again on the outside, but the Bulldogs remained balanced thanks to the passing of setter Jackie Morrissey (21 assists and 12 digs). The Bulldogs never allowed the visitors to build any momentum in a 25-12 set.

North Middlesex stayed much closer in the third set, hanging around to the final point. Canton never led by more than five points in the third, until the final point of the match. Harris was unstoppable on the outside, with four kills in the set.

Canton (19-3) will face No. 4 seed Westboro in the Central final on Saturday at Wellesley High. The two teams last met in the 2015 final, which the Rangers won 3-0.

“We seem to run into them a lot. Westboro is a great team. They’re very well-coached, they have a lot of strong athletes, and they play a really tough schedule. They’re a fine-tuned machine. We’ll see what we can do on Saturday.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/04/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
D1 South

#11 Franklin, 1 @ #6 Natick, 0 – FinalFranklin scored an early goal and the defense had a great game to earn a 1-0 upset of #6 Natick. Lucas Moura scored on an assist from Donny Tappin to put the visitors ahead. Jack Rudolph was outstanding in net in the shutout for Franklin. The Panthers will play the winner of #3 Brockton and #14 Braintree.

D2 South
#2 Milford, 6 vs. #15 Catholic Memorial, 0 – FinalMilford’s offense exploded for five goals inside an 11-minute span in the first half to earn a first round win over Catholic Memorial. Junior Lucas Da Silva opened the scoring in the 14th minute and the floodgates opened up for the Hawks’ offense. Jordan Borges (from Leo Coelho) doubled the lead less than one minute later, and Joao Pedro Da Silva got in on the scoring action with a goal in the 21st minute. Joao Pedro Da Silva grabbed his second two minutes later off a cross from Pedro Araujo, who then scored himself off a header (from Eduardo Castro) in the 25th minute. Castro converted a fast break for his first career goal in the 34th minute to make it 6-0. Chris Tocci, Gabriel Godoy, and Carlos Terrinha played well defensively for Milford.

#12 North Attleboro, 1 @ #5 Somerset-Berkley, 0 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Girls Soccer
D1 South

#1 King Philip, 6 vs. #16 Hingham, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

#9 Franklin, 0 @ #8 Oliver Ames, 1 – Final (OT)Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Field Hockey
D1 South

#5 Franklin, 0 @ #4 Westwood, 1 – Final
#15 Mansfield, 0 @ #7 Notre Dame, 4 – Final

Volleyball
D1 Central/East

#3 King Philip, 3 vs. #6 Revere, 0 – FinalKing Philip opened its tournament run in impressive fashion with a dominant 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-9) win over Revere. Nicole Coughlan (11 kills, two aces) and Catherine Waldeck (nine kills, three blocks) led the charge offensively for the Warriors while Kristen Masse (three kills, two aces) also had a strong match. The Warriors advance to the D1 Central/West Semifinals to play at #2 Quincy (19-2) on Wednesday at 6:00.

D1 Central/West
#6 Franklin, 1 @ #3 Algonquin, 3 – Final

D1 South
#4 Oliver Ames, 3 vs. #5 Brockton, 2 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match.Oliver Ames pulled out a close win in a see-saw battle between the Tigers and Boxers in a rubber match this season. After splitting the regular season series, the Tigers earned bragging rights with a 3-2 (25-9, 19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7) win in the tournament opener for both teams. Senior Allie Kemp with dished out 34 assists, senior Alison Barth had 39 digs, and senior Jordan Bosse and junior Caroline Flynn paced the offense with 15 kills apiece. #4 Oliver Ames will play #1 Dartmouth on Wednesday at 6:30 at Greater New Bedford Voke.

D2 Central
#2 Canton, 3 vs. #10 Tantasqua, 0 – FinalCanton took care of business in its tournament opener, knocking off visiting Tantasqua, 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-14). Taylor Harris was the catalyst for the Bulldogs offense with 16 kills, while Claire Quinn, Shannon Malloy, Liz Bickett (six aces, 10digs), and Angie Elias all played great at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played solid defense, and Jackie Morrissey added 17 assists and 12 digs. #2 Canton advances to the D2 Central Semifinal and will host the winner of #3 North Middlesex and #6 Medfield on Thursday.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/28/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Franklin, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalAttleboro used a strong second half to earn its third straight win. Mike Russo scored a pair of goals and Jackson Singer found the back of the net once for the Bombardiers. Ethan Cain scored for Franklin on an assist from Donny Tappin.

Canton, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final Milford senior Pedro Araujo scored his league-leading 25th goal of the season and added a pair of second half assists to help the Hawks finish undefeated in the regular season (14-0-2) for the first time in school history. Araujo set up Jordan Borges and Lucas Da Silva for second half strikes.

King Philip, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Mansfield, 1 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalMansfield won its fourth straight and extended its unbeaten streak to seven to keep its postseason hopes alive heading into the final game of the season. Sophomore Matt Hyland scored the lone goal of the game in the 37th minute while Anthony Salisbury had the shutout in net. Hyland took a feed from Dan Rowe, who originally handled a long throw in from Cam Eddy.

Stoughton, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – FinalSharon took the lead midway through the first half and added a pair of second half goals to keep its postseason hopes alive. Viktor Schneider set up Brian Higgins for the opening goal just before the midway point of the first half. Schneider then assisted on a goal from Michael Baur in the second half to make it 2-0. Rhys Davis secured the win by making it 3-0 off an assist from Ben Nathan.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Milford, 0 @ Canton, 1 – Final

North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 3 – FinalJordan Sullivan, Lydia Hershey, Lily Adams, and Abi Slaney played well for the Rocketeers.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip completed its undefeated season (18-0-0) behind three second half goals at home against OA. Chloe Layne scored the opening goal in the 55th minute, finishing off a ball over the top from Jenna Hitchen. Layne returned the favor six minutes later, linking up with Hitchen for a one-timer inside the area to make it 2-0. Makenzie Shandley capped the scoring with a blast from 25 yards out in the 65th minute with Layne getting the assist.

Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalTarynn Smith scored twice and assisted on the third Mansfield goal to put the Hornets within two points of tournament qualification with one game remaining in the regular season. Meg Krone had the third goal for the Hornets and Olivia Salisbury made three saves to secure her eighth clean sheet of the season.

Sharon, 2 @ Stoughton, 6 – FinalStoughton ended its season on a high note with a big win at home over visiting Sharon. Junior Mackenzie Manning and freshman Shayla Ford each had three goals in the win. Hannah Papagno, Rebeca Desousa, Isabella Rodrigues, Sabrina Rodrigues, and Maggie Veliotis each registered an assist in the win.

Volleyball
Canton, 3 @ Quincy, 0 – Final Canton picked up its 17th win in its regular season finale, picking up a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-21) sweep on the road at Quincy. Taylor Harris led Canton with 18 kills and five digs, Liz Bickett had 11 kills and 10 digs, and Jackie Morrissey added 32 assists, nine digs and a pair of aces. Angie Elias, Shannon Malloy and Claire Quinn were strong at the net while Steph Trendell and Nikki Desjardins played great defense for the Bulldogs.

Milford vs. Hopedale, 5:00

Sharon vs. Norwood, 5:00

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/25/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – Football
Foxboro, 21 @ Milford, 10 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 55-yard pass to Elijah Lewis, Cam Prescott XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Luke Rosa 2-yard rush, CJ Cerrella XP good; (M) C. Cerrella 37-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 1-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 44-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.

Football
Canton, 35 @ Sharon, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 2-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 42-yard pass to David Allen, O. Lehane XP good; (C) K. Fitzgerald 8-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Nick Cushman 10-yard fumble return, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 18-yard pass to Jace Emma, O. Lehane XP.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (S) Kiran Chandrasekaran 12-yard pass to Conor McLaughlin, Alec Filipkowski XP good.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 28 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Thomas Gasbarro 5-yard pass to Jake Davis, Parker Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 63-yard pass to Jack Nally, P. Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 32-yard pass to J. Davis, P. Cheuvront XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Nally 5-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 28 – Final

North Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 35 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game
1st Quarter: (S) Clayton Rahaman 20-yard pass to Christian Ais, Anthony Girolamo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Christopher Ais 22-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Christian Ais 36-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good; (S) Christian Ais 27-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) Christian Georges 48-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good.

Girls Soccer
Milford, 3 vs. Walpole, 3 – FinalMilford trailed 3-1 with under 10 minutes play but scored a pair of goals in a three-minute span to earn a draw against visiting Walpole. Carly Ferreira was outstanding in goal for the Hawks while Ashleigh Starks, Juliana France, and Maddie Boyle each scored.

Taunton, 2 @ Stoughton, 2 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this gameStoughton took a lead in each half but Taunton answered each time to split the points in a draw. Emma McSweeney put the Black Knights up with a shot from atop the 18-yard box but Kayla Botelho answered minutes later to make it 1-1 heading into halftime. Mackenzie Manning put the hosts back in front in the 46th minute but Morgan Zakrzewski converted a shot from 20 yards out in the 67th minute to level the scoring.

Field Hockey
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final Attleboro’s Hannah Webster scored the lone goal of the second half to help the Bombardiers earn an impressive draw against the Kelley-Rex champions Franklin. The Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Hanna Richardson and Stephanie Bell (assisted by Amanda Lewandowski) but Attleboro’s Madison Ellis and Anna Beck scored back-to-back goals to tie it 2-2. Richardson (from Lewandowski) scored her second of the half to put Franklin back ahead, 3-2, at halftime. Neilee Hess had 10 saves in net for the Panthers while Olivia Curreri and Molly Collins each had great defensive saves today to help Franklin preserve the tie.

Canton, 4 @ Milford, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.

Foxboro @ North Attleboro, 4:45

Sharon @ Norwell, 4:00

Mansfield @ Taunton, 3:45

King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalOliver Ames scored a pair of second half goals to rally for a win, earning a spot in the state tournament in the final game of the season. KP freshman Lauren Barreiro scored midway through the first half, a 1-0 advantage that the Warriors took into halftime. Cassie Gennis scored a pair of second half goals to help the Tigers rally for the win. Gennis struck in the 41st minute on an assist from Maura Kiernan, and then scored again four minutes later from Georgia Costello to put the hosts in front.

Volleyball
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalFranklin went on the road and earned a 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-12) sweep, earning a share of the Kelley-Rex division title with a win combined with OA’s win over KP. Allyson Bonnet-Eymard had 10 kills and seven digs, Cailyn Mackintosh handed out 17 assists, and Jill Benoit had seven digs for the Panthers.

Canton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – FinalCanton earned a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-13) win on the road to secure sole possession of the Davenport division title. Taylor Harris has 17 kills, two aces and eight digs to pace the Bulldogs while Liz Bickett (13 digs, four aces), Shannon Malloy, Claire Quinn and Angie Elias were solid at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played great defense, and Katie Lynch came in and served well for Canton.

Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalFoxboro won the first set on the road at North Attleboro but the hosts rallied to win three straight to pick up a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-13) win over the Warriors. For Foxboro, Kelsey Treweek (20 digs) and Pam Nelson (16 digs) played well defensively, Shakirah Ketant added four blocks and three kills, and Grace Boudreau had 16 kills and four total blocks.

King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalAfter splitting the first two sets, Oliver Ames won two straight to secure a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21) win over King Philip. With the win, Oliver Ames earns a share of the Kelley-Rex division title alongside the Warriors and Franklin. Senior Jordan Bosse helped pace the offense with 16 kills and 14 digs, Allie Kemp handed out 30 assists, and Alison Barth finished with 22 digs. Junior Jordan Bennett added six kills, two blocks, and three aces in the win. For King Philip, Nicole Coughlan (14 kills, two blocks) and Catherine Waldeck (seven kills, two blocks) had strong games at the net, Ali McNamara added seven kills and two digs, and Kiley Sullivan dished out 19 assists.

Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalMansfield pulled out a pair of tight wins in the first two sets and then finished off a 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-12) sweep on the road. Julia Buiser had 15 service points and five digs, Sam Sternburg added 10 service points and eight digs, and Emily Dardinski had a strong game offensively with five kills for the Hornets.

Stoughton, 1 @ Sharon, 3 – Final

North Beats Canton and Keeps Title Hopes Alive

North Attleboro Volleyball
Joanna Collins-Bilyeu (5) and Eliza Dion (24) go up for the block during North Attleboro’s five-set win against Canton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – While Canton had already secured at least a share of its 15th league title in 17 seasons, there was still a chance that North Attleboro could split and make it two titles in three years for Big Red, but that would require beating the Bulldogs for a second time this season.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

North dropped the first set on Wednesday night, battled to win two close sets in a row, and was forced to a decisive fifth set before securing a 3-2 (18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 18-25, 15-7) victory and a season sweep over its Davenport rival.

“When the energy is up, we thrive,” said North coach Kim Hallahan. “So, it’s nice to play against great competition. They’re a great team and we like that competition, it boosts us and gives us a lot of energy. Luckily, they did it twice.”

The first set was back-and-forth at the start with North building a 16-13 lead behind strong play at the net from its front line, including Kylie Melanson, Joanna Collins-Bilyeu, and Grace Munley. Canton called a timeout to reset and whatever was said in the huddle worked because the Bulldogs rolled off seven straight points and finished the first on a 12-2 run.

After being largely held in check for most of the set, senior hitter Taylor Harris (20 kills) got going for the Bulldogs with three straight kills and then a block for a point. Claire Quinn closed out the set with a kill to put the hosts ahead 1-0 in the match.

“We’ve been fighting through a lot of injuries all year and we’ve been fighting back in matches,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “We’ve had a lot of different lineups and we find ourselves down a lot until they kind of get used to each other and come back.”

The momentum carried over to the start of the second, with Canton jumping out to a 4-0 lead, but North came storming back to take the lead. The lead switched hands five times and the score was tied 13 times in the set, as neither team managed to get any separation. Riding the hot hand of Munley (20 kills) and a big ace from setter Hayley Gaskin that gave them set point, North edged out a 25-23 win in the second.

North took charge in the third set, with Munley continuing to be tough to slow down and Melanson and Abby Gallagher adding alternatives on the outside. It seemed like all the bounces were going North’s way as well, with Munley getting a point on a hit that rolled down the top of the net and dropped into an unoccupied space and then following up a remarkable dig by Canton’s Angie Elias by smashing another kill that made it 20-15.

Just when it looked like the Rocketeers might roll into the lead in the match, Canton came storming back, eventually tying the set at 24-24. With the match on the brink, Gallagher had back-to-back kills to close out the third.

“These girls put in all the time, all the practice, they put in 110 percent and that’s all I’ve ever asked for as a coach,” said Hallahan. “When we go into timeouts, whether we’re down or up, I tell them you have this and you have to believe in yourselves the way I believe in you. They definitely did tonight.”

Canton would not go quietly. In addition to Harris on the outside, the Bulldogs also relied on the middle of the net with Liz Bickett and Shannon Malloy playing well on the inside.

“We did get some points in the middle when we got our passing where we needed it to be,” Cawley explained. “I thought Liz had a great match blocking and hitting and she’s a six-position player for us, so she’s played well all the way around.”

North had the chance to seal the win, leading 16-14 in the fourth, but again Canton managed to rally. This time the Bulldogs scored 11 of the final 13 points in the set, including a seven-point series with Nikki Desjardins at the service line. Fittingly, it was Bickett that rose up with a blast to close it out and force a fifth and deciding set.

In the fifth, the Rocketeers stormed out of the gate, winning five of the first six points. Canton got as close as three on two occasions but North had the answer. Munley was immense in the final set, recording seven kills, and Melanson closed out the match with a blast.

“She was unreal,” Hallahan said about Munley. “She has grown tremendously. She has been the most improved out of any kid that I’ve coached before. She had so much fun tonight, so it’s really great to see that.”

Cawley was glad to see her team continue to fight back in the match and get the chance to perform in a playoff-like atmosphere. “It’s tough losing a match like that,” she said, “but I told the kids, this is what we want to do, this is the volleyball we want to play and unfortunately we couldn’t pull it out. We battled, it’s all I can ask for.”

Despite the loss, Canton (15-3, 12-3) will have the chance to win the title outright when it travels to Milford on Friday.

When Cawley was asked about maintaining the consistent level of success over the past 17 years, she replied, “People look at it because we put the Canton shirts on, we’re going to win, but many, many years it’s a puzzle until midseason and we don’t know how we’re going to do. I keep telling the kids that winning a league title is hard, it’s not expected, and you should enjoy it.”

North Attleboro (12-5, 11-4) will be rooting for Milford on Friday but to have a shot at splitting the title will also have to beat Foxboro in the regular season finale.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/21/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Taunton, 2 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalTaunton took a lead in the first half but needed a second half strike to equalize and earn a draw on the road. Hunter Cabral put the Tigers up on an assist from Colton Madeira. Alec Nunes scored on a penalty kick in the second half to bring the visitors level.

Girls Soccer
Foxboro, 2 @ Walpole, 0 – FinalFoxboro scored once in each half to earn a win on the road at Walpole. Kendra Wentling put the visitors up 1-0 with a goal in the 34th minute on an assist from Alyssa Vandenboom. Jordyn Collins secured the win with a goal in the 75th minute, finishing off a cross from Katelyn Mollica.

Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalThe Bombardiers scored twice in the first half to take control and keep their hopes of making the playoffs alive with four games remaining. Meghan Panzer opened the scoring after just five minutes, finishing off an Emily Dunlea assist. Briley Harnois added a second before the break, assisted by Ashley Dame. Attleboro sealed the win late on with a goal by Ashley Macia, assisted by Cassondra Stuger.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalAttleboro held a 1-0 lead at halftime but needed a late goal to earn a tie on the road at King Philip. Anna Beck put the visitors up in the first half but King Philip freshman Lauren Barriero (from Christina Gifun) and junior Abby Nixon each scored in the second half to put KP ahead. Beck scored her second of the game to make it 2-2. Grace May made seven saves in net for KP.

Canton, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Stoughton @ Foxboro, 3:45

Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 4 – FinalTaunton took a 2-1 just before the midway point of the first half but Franklin answered with two goals before the break, and added an insurance tally in the second half. Alana Tavares put Taunton up 1-0 before Stephanie Bell pulled the Panthers level 27 seconds later. Sophomore Ashley Amarao put the Tigers back in front in the 13th minute but Franklin answered with two goals to take the lead. Kaitlyn Carney tied it on an assist from Amanda Lewandowski, and Bell grabbed her second with Hanna Richardson getting the assist. Molly Collins (from Maeve Ledwith) added an insurance goal in the second half.

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. OA rallied from a goal down to secure a critical road win that moves the Tigers within two points of qualifying for the state tournament. Gabby Devlin gave the Hornets the lead with a goal just five minutes into the game, finishing off a scramble after a quick break. OA tied the game off a corner midway through the first half. Ellie Waters fired a shot from the top of the circle that was redirected into the goal by Sofia Anestam. Both teams had a number of chances to grab the lead, only to be denied by goalies Kayla Hunter (Mansfield) and Kara Ostrander (OA). The Tigers took the lead in the second half when another Waters blast off a corner was controlled on the post and finished by Cassie Gennis.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 0 – Final

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final King Philip took care of business with a 3-0 (25-6, 25-9, 25-18) sweep at home over Attleboro. Senior Alison Hitchen had nine service points, including five aces, and four digs, classmate Kristen Masse added four aces and three kills, and Kiley Sullivan chipped in with three aces. Catherine Waldeck finished with four kills, three aces, and two blocks, and Nicole Coughlan added nine kills and five aces in the win.

Canton, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalCanton’s Nikki Desjardins played great defense and the Bulldogs’ received a handful of strong performances at the net to pick up a 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-17) win over Sharon. Taylor Harris led the way with 11 kills and three aces while Liz Bickett, Claire Quinn, Angie Elias, and Kiara Cerruti played well at the net combining for 18 kills.

Foxboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalFoxboro earned a win on the road to punch its ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2012. Grace Boudreau led the way offensively with 14 kills and two blocks to help the Warriors earn a 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-12) win on the road. Maddie O’Brien dished out 18 assists while Kelsey Treweek (eight digs) and Pam Nelson (nine digs, three kills) anchored the defense. Grace Fortune (14 service points, four aces) and Shakirah Ketant (nine service points, three aces) both had strong games serving.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin defended home court with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-23, 25-13) win at home over Taunton. Mikayla Raffin had a team-high eight kills along with two aces to lead the way, Sarah Jackson added seven kills, Bridget Jackson chipped in with five kills and four aces, and Cailyn Mackintosh had 22 assists in the win.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalOliver Ames picked up a key division win on the road, earning a 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-18) sweep on the road. Jordan Bosse did it all for the Tigers with 14 kills, 10 digs, and three aces while Ryley McNeeley added nine kills and three aces. Allie Kemp had 31 assists while Alison Barth finished with 29 digs. Mansfield’s Kacey Veiking had five kills and three blocks, Sam Sternburg added 14 digs, and Olivia Fernando finished with eight service points.

North Attleboro, 3 @ Milford, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro stayed in the hunt for the Davenport title with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-8, 25-21) sweep on the road at Milford. Kylie Melanson had 11 kills, Brooke Street added nine digs, Eliza Dion chipped in with four blocks, and Hayley Gaskin had 18 assists.