NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Foxboro won a state title last season using mostly a six-player rotation, but this year’s squad relies on eight or more players to contribute in different ways every game. On Friday night at North Attleboro, the Warriors needed every bit of that depth to come away from the Pickering Gym with a win.
The league’s top scoring team was held without a made field goal in the first quarter, the league’s second leading scorer, Katelyn Mollica, was held to just six made free throws for the night, and one of Foxboro’s starters, Yara Fawaz, was limited by illness to only a few minutes on the court, but Foxboro still had three players score in double figures and rolled to a 60-29 victory.
“At this time of the year, knowing that I can go eight kids deep and that they can all contribute offensively is huge because last year we couldn’t go that deep,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “That was the fewest points Mollica’s ever had and we can still beat a team by 20-plus points.”
In many ways, the Rocketeers match up well with the Warriors in terms of athleticism and they came out with a game plan to stop the driving lanes, close out hard on shooters, and be as active as possible on the defensive end.
For eight minutes, it worked perfectly. Foxboro was held without a made basket in the first quarter, scoring all five points from the line, including 4-of-4 for Mollica. The problem for the Rocketeers was on the offensive end. North only made three shots of its own and led by just two points after one. Eliza Dion scored four of her six in the first and Colette Petit drilled a three.
Junior center Shakirah Ketant scored Foxboro’s first basket to tie the game at the start of the second quarter, but Amanda Kaiser answered back with a three to regain the lead. It was the last lead that North would hold, as the Warriors went on a 24-2 run to take control.
“It was a great start for us,” said North coach Derek Herber. “You know going in that you have to stop Mollica and then you just hope and pray no one else is hitting, which in that first quarter we played great defense to do that. The problem is they played great defense and we can’t score on the other end. We hung in there until the middle of the second quarter.”
Lizzy Davis scored nine of her 14 points in the second to spark the Foxboro run, while Chelsea Gibbons added five of her 14. After scoring only five points in the first quarter, Foxboro scored 23 in the second, while holding North to just a handful. Davis knocked down a dagger three-pointer as the half ended, helped by Abby Hassman (nine rebounds) chasing down a loose ball.
“It was a dagger,” Herber said about Davis’ buzzer beater. “It just switched the whole tenor of the half…it kind of deflated the kids.”
He added, “We hang in there and we do a lot of good things, but we just can’t score. You feel for everybody, but we go through stretches. We’re just on the cusp. Hopefully it’s a building process and we’re learning from these things.”
In the third quarter, the Warriors extended the lead. Gibbons had a steal under the North basket for a layup plus the foul and then Davis nailed a three to push the lead to 20 points. Jordyn Collins knocked down a jumper and Anita Busznyak twice scored on drives to the basket. Although Regan Fein and Michelle Pothier scored for North, the visitors led 42-19 after three.
Downs explained, “To go into tournament knowing that we have other girls who can contribute when [Katelyn] is being shut down is huge. Shakirah had kind of a breakthrough, Lizzy is back in the scoring, and Chelsea has been pretty consistent.”
North tried to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter, with Kaiser (eight rebounds) getting a layup off an Olivia Forbes steal and then Forbes following with a three off a Kaiser assist and Julia Feid added three points, but Ketant proved to be too much for the Rocketeers to handle in the post.
She scored off a putback, a post move from the left block, and off a steal under the North basket. Ketant had 10 of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter alone, and she also added 12 rebounds as well.
“She was the difference maker today,” said Herber about Ketant’s impact. “In the first game, they didn’t really have a post presence, so we were able to do some things. She was a beast today and just able to take control in there to give them another option.”
Foxboro (16-2, 14-2) will head into its annual Warrior Classic to face Old Rochester on Monday night in a battle of the two teams tied for the top seed in Div. 2 South. North Attleboro (6-14, 4-12) will close out its season on Thursday against Weston.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Coming into Tuesday night’s showdown, Foxboro and Franklin were both unbeaten (8-0) in Hockomock play and were the league’s top two scoring teams, its top two defensive teams, its two division leaders, and boasted the league’s top two scorers.
It was clearly a battle of the top two teams in the Hock and it was a battle that was dominated by the Hock’s top scorer, Ali Brigham. The 6-foot-3 junior center scored 27 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, and blocked six shots, controlling the paint on both ends of the court to help Franklin remain unbeaten with a 52-40 victory.
“She’s frustrated because she thought that she could’ve played better,” Franklin coach John Leighton joked when asked about Brigham’s performance night-in, night-out. “It’s great coaching a kid that wants to become better. She’s not complacent. She’s not close to the player that she wants to be, yet. She keeps expanding her game.”
Franklin’s win ended Foxboro’s 26-game win streak and 33-game league win streak.
While Brigham rightfully stole the headlines for her all-around game, Franklin also won because of its defensive performance on Foxboro sophomore Katelyn Mollica. The league’s second leading scorer was held to just nine points (four in the fourth quarter) thanks to the very close attention of sophomore Erin Quaile.
With Mollica contained, Foxboro was held more than 20 points below its season average.
“It gets tough for Mollica having all that pressure, especially when you have someone who can stick with you the way Quaile did tonight,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “She completely blocked her out and denied her the ball, but I don’t know if we have any answer for Ali Brigham but our goal was to keep her below her average and we didn’t do that.”
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead, as Brigham scored eight points in the first, matching Foxboro’s total in the quarter. She twice got baskets on offensive rebounds, drove to the basket and was set up by a Bea Bondhus drive. Bondhus (nine points) also scored twice herself and Megan O’Connell (10 points) added four points.
Chelsea Gibbons hit a three, Mollica hit a pull-up three and Lizzy Davis scored on a jumper, but that was all the Warriors could manage against Franklin’s pressure defense.
Leighton said, “Erin Quaile and Shannon Gray have been doing this all year. We unleash them on the other team’s best guards and they’re very good athletes and tough as nails but it helps having Ali behind them. They ran a lot of screens for Mollica tonight and I thought we hedged well; no one was alone on an island.”
That pattern held in the second, as the Warriors were held to eight points as a team again. A quick 6-0 run extended the Panthers’ advantage to 14 points, but Foxboro hung around thanks to four points from Yara Fawaz (team-high 12 points and six rebounds). But, whenever Foxboro seemed to be climbing back into the game, Franklin responded and Brigham scored off assists by Quaile and Elizabeth Wilson to push the lead back to 12 at halftime.
“Foxboro doesn’t win as many games in a row as they have without that,” said Leighton about Foxboro continually pushing back. “There is zero quit, but I thought we answered defensively every time they made a run. We got patient on offense, worked the ball around and instead of taking that first open look, work it around and either get an inside touch or kick it out to the open kid.”
The third quarter was back-and-forth. Brigham was again the focal point for the Panthers, who found different ways to get her the ball on the block and moved the ball well from side-to-side and kept the Foxboro defense moving. With Brigham and O’Connell (seven rebounds) controlling the glass, Franklin also prevented the Warriors from getting out in transition.
Fawaz scored four more points in the third, combining well with fellow forward Abby Hassman (five assists) to try and step away from the basket and, of course, Brigham. Davis also drilled a three and Anita Busznyak took a lead pass from Mollica for a rare basket on the break.
Despite Foxboro feeling like it was on the brink of a comeback, the Warriors fell a further point behind heading to the fourth quarter. Still, the hosts kept battling back, with six straight points to start the fourth cutting the lead to 43-36 after Mollica’s steal and layup.
O’Connell answered with a basket and then assisted on a Brigham basket. Fawaz got into the lane to score and make it a nine-point game again, but Bondhus came right back down and drilled a three from the left wing to push the lead into double digits and seal the win.
Brigham remarked, “I think we were just so focused and so ready to win that we just handled what we needed to do. If they went on a run, we came back with another one.”
Downs was philosophical about the end of the win streak. She said, “It’s one of those teams that’s going to help us for down the road to prepare for the postseason because they are so talented. We never really could get past that hump, but they didn’t stop fighting and I give them credit for that.”
Franklin (11-1, 9-0) will be back home on Friday night to host Attleboro, while Foxboro (10-1, 8-1) will host North Attleboro, which comes in with five wins in its last six games.
FOXBORO, Mass. – With Foxboro girls basketball trailing, 30-25, with just under two minutes left in the second quarter against Oliver Ames, the Warriors were in need of a spark to close the deficit before halftime.
A three-pointer by sophomore Katelyn Mollica (18 points) cut the lead to 30-28 before Anita Busznyak tied it up with a layup. With time winding down, Chelsea Gibbons hit a layup just before time expired, and Foxboro took a 32-30 lead. From there, the Warriors never looked back, winning their seventh game of the year and remaining undefeated with a 70-57 win over the Tigers.
“That was huge, because you love to go in the locker room even with a little bit of a lead, because it just gives a different atmosphere in the locker room and just gives them a little confidence, because it was neck and neck going into that point,” Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said about the team’s run at the end of the half.
Lizzy Davis (14 points), who spent much of the first half on the bench after two fouls in the first 1:15 of the game, started the third quarter by hitting a three-pointer and then hit back-to-back jump shots to give Foxboro a 39-30 lead.
“Lizzy Davis starting the third quarter off the way she did, I think it just gave everyone a little bit of energy, she was in foul trouble in the first half so I think just for her to do that was huge because it’s easy to get a little bit upset with yourself having three fouls at halftime,” Downs said
Following a made free throw by OA’s Alex Sheldon (five points), Mollica completed a three-point play to give Foxboro their largest lead of the night up to that point at eleven (42-31). A 6-0 run by the Tigers cut the lead to 42-37, but two free throws by Shakirah Ketant (seven points) and a three-pointer by Chelsea Gibbons (16 points) off a feed from Davis put Foxboro back up by ten at 47-37.
“At halftime, we discussed the importance of the third quarter and to come out with a lot of intensity and a lot of poise,” Downs said.
Foxboro led 50-39 with under a minute to play in the third quarter, but back-to-back scores by OA freshman Caroline Peper (17 points off the bench) and Tate Hadges (eight points, four rebounds) cut the Warriors lead to 50-43. Again though, the Warriors scored late in the quarter to shift momentum, as Mollica’s layup with three seconds left in the third quarter gave Foxboro a 52-43 lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, Foxboro never surrendered the lead, as the closest OA got was within eight, after two made free throws by Peper with just over three minutes to go in the quarter made the score 58-50. Another 7-0 run by the Warriors would push their lead to 15 with just over two minutes to go in the half and essentially seal the win for Foxboro.
“The girls that really showed they wanted the ball did some really strong things like Chelsea Gibbons, as I said Lizzy Davis, but I thought Shakirah Ketant came in and did some really great things inside the paint, which we didn’t really have a great inside presence in the first half, so I think adding that was really creating a little bit of a defensive disturbance for Oliver Ames, as they had to focus their attention inside as well as wherever Katelyn Mollica was,” Downs added about the Warriors’ second half performance.
Foxboro (7-0) will travel to Attleboro on Friday to take on the 3-5 Bombardiers. Oliver Ames (5-2) will look to get back in the win column at Mansfield on Friday night.
Oliver Ames, 64 @ Attleboro, 70 – Final – Oliver Ames’ cut Attleboro’s once 19-point lead down to five in the third quarter but the Bombardiers held on for the win. Attleboro took a 38-23 lead into the break but the Tigers clawed their way back into the game to get within five. But the Bombardiers finished the quarter strong and led 53-44 heading into the fourth. Junior Qualeem Charles tied a career-high 28 points while hauling in 11 rebounds. Junior Bryant Ciccio added 17 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Tim Callahan chipped in with nine points. For Oliver Ames, senior Ethan Eckstrom had a career-high 20 points while senior Jake Erlich added a career-best 14 points for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 48 @ Canton, 58 – Final – Canton sophomores Eric Mischler and Matt Giglio combined for 10 three-pointers as the Bulldogs pulled away from the Black Knights in the fourth quarter. Mischler connected on six triples for a career-high 22 points while Giglio hit four threes for a career-high 12 points. Stoughton led by one (13-12) after one, the game was tied 25-25 at halftime, and Canton took a 37-36 lead into the final quarter. Both Mischler and Giglio hit a pair of three pointers in the fourth quarter to help Canton secure the win. Devin Foster added 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win. For Stoughton, junior Obinna Ugwuakazi had a team-high 16 points and hauled in 16 rebounds.
Milford, 41 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final – Foxboro used a 19-point second quarter to build a double-digit advantage and used that cushion and strong defense to get a win over Milford. The Warriors had six players score in the second quarter, including three-pointers from Dylan Barreira and Kevin Gallagher. Junior Brandon Borde posted a team-high 15 points for the Warriors while Anthony Mollica added eight points. Milford sophomore Jordan Darling had a team-high 15 points while senior Brendon Sailer chipped in with 10 points.
Taunton, 63 @ King Philip, 44 – Final – Taunton limited King Philip to just one field goal in the opening quarter and built a 29-14 lead by half in a win on the road. Taunton sophomore Tyler Stewart scored six of his career-high 12 points in the opening frame while Naz Kenion scored 10 of his game-high 15 points in the second half. Senior Mike Quinn added 13 points and junior Dante Law finished with nine points. Junior Alex Fritz had a team-high 13 points for the Warriors.
North Attleboro, 69 @ Sharon, 43 – Final – North Attleboro senior Josh Montague caught fire early, scoring 18 of his game-high 20 points in the opening quarter and the Rocketeers clamped down defensively to earn a division win. Montague’s hot start helped Big Red jump ahead 24-3 at the end of the first quarter. Big Red added 22 points in the second quarter and never looked back from its 46-14 advantage at half. Junior Ethan Friberg and sophomore George Ladd each had 10 points for North. Sharon’s Andrew Burton had a team-high eight points.
Attleboro, 39 @ Oliver Ames, 62 – Final – Oliver Ames had a well balanced attack, scoring 30 or more in each half, on its way to a double-digit win over visiting Attleboro. The Tigers took a 30-20 lead by halftime and never surrendered it in the second half. Junior Tate Hadges had a career-high 16 points and hauled in nine rebounds, senior Alex Sheldon added 11 points, and sophomore Caroline Flynn finished with 10 points for Oliver Ames.
Canton, 60 @ Stoughton, 56 – Final – Canton held on to beat Stoughton on the road to move back above .500 Sydney Gallery scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs, including 7-of-9 from the line, and her sister Fay added 13 points on four made threes. Maggie Connolly added nine points in the win, including 5-for-5 from the free throw line down the stretch. Stoughton got 17 points from Sydnee Hyacinthe and 14 from Aliyah Wright in the loss.
Foxboro, 71 @ Milford, 19 – Final – The Warriors had 11 different players score, led by Katelyn Mollica with 25 points. Lizzy Davis and Anita Busznyak each scored nine in the win.
Mansfield, 47 @ Franklin, 60 – Final – Bea Bondhus scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Panthers in a crucial divisional matchup. Franklin also got 20 points off the bench to hold off the Hornets, who limited Ali Brigham’s scoring with a box-and-one defense. She finished with six points and 12 rebounds. Megan O’Connell stepped in to add seven points and four other players added six apiece for the Panthers.
King Philip, 58 @ Taunton, 49 – Final – After nearly two weeks off, KP started slow and trailed heading into the fourth but exploded for a 25-8 quarter to pull out the win. Faye Veilleux stepped up in the absence of KP’s leading scorer Shannon O’Connor and scored 18 points in the win. Faith Roy added 12 for the Warriors.
**Editor’s note: Due to the late start of the track meet, highlights won’t be posted on this scoreboard page until Saturday afternoon. Boys Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis Center)
Milford, 53.5 vs. Stoughton, 46.5 – Final – Milford won both relay events and swept the 1 Mile and 2 Mile races to earn a close win over the Black Knights. Maxwell Manor was first in the 1 Mile in 4:51.30 with Anthony DiStauro taking second and Aayush Patel crossing third for the Hawks. Miguel Torres won the 2 Mile (10:31.57) with DiStauro and Manor crossing less than 20 seconds later for second and third, respectively. Other winners for Milford included Hugo Lopes (300M, 37.49) and Joey Madden (1000M, 2:41.51). Stoughton’s David Peters was a double-winner, crossing first in the 55M hurdles (7.83) and winning the long jump (20-05.00).
Oliver Ames, 43 vs. Attleboro, 57 – Final – Attleboro swept the 55M dash and had two of the top three finishers in seven events to secure a win over Oliver Ames. Henry Boateng was first in the 55M dash, clocking in at 6.89 with Colin Levis taking second and Dante Williams coming in third. Levis was second the in 300M behind Humza Habib, and Attleboro’s Joey Soucy and Jayden Lockhart (600M) as well as Nathan Seybert and Liam Walker (1000M) took second and third, respectively, in their events to help the Bombardiers in the win. Other winners for Attleboro included Andrew Fasoldt (2 Mile, 10:36.57), David Cataloni (55M hurdles, 8.29), and Alex Paradise (high jump, 5-10.00). Oliver Ames’ Rory McLaughlin was a double-winner, taking first in both the 1000M (2:52.22) and the 1 Mile (4:44.81).
King Philip, 32.66 vs. Franklin, 67.33 Final – Franklin junior Tyler Brogan set a new school record in the 1000M and seniors Liam Pek and Andrew Faught each won a pair of events to pace the Panthers to a win. Brogan clocked in at a league-best 2:35.56 to set the new school mark. Pek won both the 55M dash (7.08) and the 300M (38.13) while Faught crossed first in the 55M hurdles (9.03) and won the long jump (19-04.50). King Philip picked up wins from Michael Griffin (2 Mile, 9:41.74) and Terrell Jacobs-Baston (shot put, 41-10.00).
Canton, 23 vs. Sharon, 73 – Final – Sharon senior Chris Gong won a pair of events and set a new school record as the Eagles pick up a win over Canton. Gong won the 55M dash (6.67) and then set a new school mark in the long jump with a leap of 21-07.00. The Eagles swept the 55M hurdles with Isaiah Stessman (8.32) coming in first and Patrick McManus and Marc Davanzo coming in second and third, respectively. Sharon also took the top three spots in the high jump with McManus winning at 5-06.00 and Stessman and Ruiheng Bai taking second and third. Canton won the 4×400 relay and senior Thomas Pulcini won the shot put with a throw of 35-11.50. Canton junior Junior Sainvil set a new school record in the long jump with a distance of 20.06-00.
North Attleboro, 75 vs. Foxboro, 25 – Final – North Attleboro won eight events on its way to a big win over Foxboro. North Attleboro senior Owen Nassaney was a double-winner, taking first in the high jump as well as the long jump. Other winners for North included Liam Conway (55M dash, 6.87), PJ Gilpatrick (300M, 38.14), Jackson Magas (600M, 1:38.35), Jack Clarke (1 Mile, 4:35.39), Nick Taylor (55M hurdles (9.06), and Emmett Ruote (shot put, 39-02.50). Foxboro picked up wins from Will Regan (1000M, 2:40.41) and Trey Lawson (2 Mile, 10:48.64).
Mansfield, 72 vs. Taunton, 28 – Final – Mansfield took first in 10 events and swept both the 55M dash and 300M to earn a victory over Taunton. Greg Waters (6.82), Aidan Sacco, and Joe Cappelletti were the top finishers in the 55M dash while Tyler King (38.28), Jack Rivard, and Dan Knight crossed in that order to take the top three spots in the 300M. Other winners for Mansfield included Mike Hargadon (600M, 1:27.28), Jason Windvogel (1000M, 2:41.35), Patrick Heavey (1 Mile, 4:44.11), Mike Mullahy (2 Mile, 10:27.66), Andrew Williams (high jump, 6-00.00) and Cappelletti (long jump, 18-04.00). Taunton’s Steven Westgate won the 55M hurdles in 9.02 and Mark Brown took first in the shot put with a toss of 45-00.00, a league-best throw.
Girls Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis Center)
Milford, 74 vs. Stoughton, 25 – Final – Milford took first place in 11 of the 12 events and grabbed second in five of those 11 wins on its way to a big win over Stoughton. Freshmen Sarah Flanagan and Sarah Brogioli, sophomore Kerry O’Connor, and junior Sara Comisky were double-winners for the Hawks, with Flanagan taking first in the 55M dash (7.58) as well as the 300M race (43.43) and Brogioli winning the 55M hurdles (9.61) and high jump (4-04.00). O’Connor won the 600M (1:44.73) as well as the long jump (16-03.25) and Comisky crossed first in the 1 Mile (6:01.54) and the 2 Mile (13:19.80). Stoughton senior Alexa Quinones took first in the shot put with a toss of 27-02.00.
Oliver Ames, 52 vs. Attleboro, 48 – Final – Attleboro had the edge with individual wins but Oliver Ames had two of the top three spots in seven events to earn the close victory. Freshman Tatum Perry took third in the 55M dash and won the 300M race (47.14) while senior Brianna Gibson grabbed first in the 600M (1:51.86) and second in the 55M hurdles to pace the Tigers. Junior Madison Perry tied for first in the 55M dash, Zoe Chazan was second behind Tatum Perry in the 300M, sophomore Grace Simone (29-09.25) and senior Ericka Gaucher went 1-2 in the shot put, senior Gabrielle McLaughlin (5-00.00) and junior Therese Saade finished 1-2 in the high jump, and McLaughlin and Madison Perry took second and third, respectively, in the long jump. Attleboro’s Abisola Olaogun (55M dash, long jump) and Kelly Neuendorf (1 Mile, 2 Mile) were double-winners for the Bombardiers.
King Philip, 42 vs. Franklin, 58 – Final – Franklin won seven events and earned a sweep in the 600M to pick up a close win over ing Philip. Freshman Riley Fitzpatrick clocked in at 1:49.56 to win the 600M with sophomore Sydney Hawkins and senior Emma Clifford just seconds behind to sweep the top three spots. Freshman Jillian Fenerty was a double-winner, taking first in the 55M dash (7.81) and 300M (44.80). Other winners for Franklin included junior Samantha Powderly (1000M, 3:24.66), senior Julia Fenerty (1 Mile, 5:37.36), senior Daniella Pierre (55M hurdles, 9.08) and senior Rachel Anderson (shot put, 29-01.50). King Philip’s Ryenn Hart (2 Mile, 12:40.62), Paige Berdos (high jump, 5-00.00), and Abigail Dunne (long jump, 14-08.50) each had individual wins for the Warriors.
Canton, 23 vs. Sharon, 75 – Final – Sharon took first in 10 of the 12 events and earned sweeps in both the 55M hurdles and high jump to earn a victory over Canton. Jada Johnson won both the 55M hurdles (8.62) and high jump (5-02.00). Junior Elizabeth Lee and senior Maya Biran took second and third in the 55M hurdles while Jill Patel and Elizabeth Lee rounded out the top three in the high jump. Senior Veronica Wallace won two events, taking first in the 300M (44.45) and the long jump (14-09.00). Canton senior Chloe Pennacchio won the 1000M (3:33.20) and junior Bronwyn Mahoney won the shot put (30-05.00).
North Attleboro, 75 vs. Foxboro, 21 – Final – North Attleboro swept four events to earn a big victory over Foxboro. The Rocketeers took the top three spots in the 55M dash (Vanessa Ibrahim, Lily Wetherbee, Meagan Dowd), the 300M (Celina Ibrahim, Morgan Silver, Brayden Rice), the 55M hurdles (Ari Preacher, Sabrina Hauer, Cassidy Becker), and the long jump (C. Ibrahim, Samantha Hawkins, V. Ibrahim). Foxboro picked up wins from Olivia Simoneau (1000M, 3:44.53), Lexi Quinn (1 Mile, 5:26.28), and Jill Finn (2 Mile, 13:58.10).
Mansfield, 53 vs. Taunton, 47 – Final – Mansfield senior and Northeastern commit Amanda Mangano won three events and sophomore Tessa Lancaster picked up two wins to help the Hornets edge Taunton. Mangano won the 55M dash (7.65), the high jump (4-10.00), and the long jump (16-03.75) while Lancaster won both the 1 Mile (5:37.69) and the 2 Mile (league-best 12:18.04) with senior Maggie Riley coming in second in both races. Freshmen Maria Sevastos and Katherine Miller took second and third, respectively, in the 600M to earn valuable points for the Hornets. Winners for Taunton included Kerla Sylvestre (300M, 44.54), Olivia Dias (600M, 1:41.63), Victoria Gravel (55M hurdles, 8.98), and Sthanisha Moreau (shot put, 28-06.00).
Franklin, 107 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – Franklin junior Pat Juszczyszyn, junior Connor Eck, and sophomore James Wu each had an individual win as the Panthers earned a division win in the pool.
Sharon, 73 @ Canton, 95 – Final
Foxboro, 60 @ North Attleboro, 81 – Final – Foxboro swept the 100 breaststroke but North Attleboro claimed the win on Friday. Thomas Perry Jr. (1:19), Kris Andersen, and Anthony Amico took the top three spots for the Warriors in the 100 breaststroke. Thomas VanDell (1:21) added a win in the 100 fly, and Dimitri Davis touched first (1:21) in the 100 backstroke. Foxboro’s 400 relay (Jared Roke, Andersen, Spencer SanBento, and Joseph St. Pierre) took first in 5:12.
Milford, 94 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 75 – Final
Franklin, 94 @ Attleboro, 76 – Final – The Panthers swept the 100 fly and the 500 free to pull away from the Bombardiers in the pool on Friday afternoon. Senior Katie Cashin was a double winner for Franklin while junior Katie McGuire had one individual win. For Attleboro, liz Saltz won both 50 and 100 free, qualifying for states in both races, Jackie Lynch-Bartek won both the 200 free and 100 breaststroke, qualifying for sectionals in the 200 free, Tiffany Chin qualified for sectionals with a win in the 100 backstroke, and Ella Lynch-Bartek placed second in both the 100 free and 100 backstroke, qualifying for sectionals in the 100 free.
Sharon, 83 @ Canton, 87 – Final
Foxboro, 93 @ North Attleboro, 77 – Final
Milford, 81 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 87 – Final
Sharon @ Attleboro, 7:30
Franklin, 139.5 @ Norton, 124.1 – Final – Mia Lizotte took the all-around title with a score of 36.55 and Kate Rudolph took second with a score of 34.8 to help the Panthers earn the non-league win. Lizotte won all four events (9.3 on vault, 8.7 on bars, 9.45 on beam, and 9.1 on the floor), whole Rudolph finished third on the vault (8.9) and the bars (8.3) and second on the beam (9.0) and the floor (8.6). Emma Owens (9.05) finished second on the vault, scored 8.3 on the bars, and 8.5 on the floor. Sadie Rondeau was second on the bars with an 8.4, third on the beam with 8.65, and fourth on floor with an 8.35. Lexi Lupien scored 8.4 on the vault and 8.5 on the beam.
2017-2018 Record: 9-13 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
The Bombardiers were just two wins shy of a playoff spot last season under new head coach Marty Crowley and Attleboro brings back three starters and has added several new faces to the roster to try and make a postseason push this winter.
The graduation of leading scorer Sam Pierce (16 points per game) means that a number of players are going to need to step in and make up for production on offense and on the glass. Senior point guard Jordyn Lako will be back to run the Bombardiers offense and provide three-point shooting, while junior Nyah Thomas is a versatile weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Both are also aggressive defenders, who set the tone on that end of the floor. Senior forward Mackenzie Roberts can score in the post or from beyond the arc and junior Liv McCall is a dynamic guard who is capable of big scoring nights.
Defense has always been the focus of teams that Crowley coaches and the Bombardiers will be no different. To keep up that defensive intensity, the Bombardiers have added depth to the rotation. Seniors Abby Struminski and Dom Garnes (who was out last season with an injury) provide leadership, while sophomores Gabby Bosh and Sonny Stuger and freshmen Meghan Gordon and Lillian Froio are newcomers to keep an eye on.
“Hopefully we can generate scoring opportunities off our defense and use our athleticism to create baskets,” said Crowley. “We have a great mix of experience and youth. We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been spirited and the kids have been working hard.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-11 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Jim Choquette
Last winter, Canton got a taste of the postseason for the first time in seven seasons and now the program will try to build on that momentum while finding a way to replace the scoring and rebounding of Hannah Jerrier, who averaged a double-double for the Bulldogs last winter. An exciting crop of underclassmen has been added to the roster and now Canton will try to build experience with a schedule that puts them on the road for the majority of the first half of the year.
While Jerrier will obviously be missed, the Bulldogs bring back the other four starters and other players with plenty of experience to try and make it a much shorter wait to get back into the playoffs. Senior point guard Julia Hamilton is back to run the offense, senior Erin Devine gives Canton control on the glass and a rim protector on defense, senior Molly Ludwig gives balance to the offense, and senior Maggie Connolly is one of the league’s top defensive players on the perimeter. Senior Nicole Galvin will add depth to the backcourt.
Junior Lilah Milton came on strong at the tail of end of last season, including a huge game in the playoff-clinching win over Weymouth, and could take up some of Jerrier’s scoring from the power forward position. Sophomore Kayla Albert gained valuable experience last season as a freshman and current rookies Sydney and Fay Gallery, and Kiara Cerruti have the potential to step right into the rotation and contribute.
“Details are everything to us,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “If our group of young talent and veteran leadership/experience can continue to stay focused on the details during the good times and tough times of a season then we should continue to improve and have a very excited and successful season.”
2017-2018 Record: 26-2 2017-2018 Finish: Won Div. 2 state championship. Coach: Lisa Downs
Last season was one to remember for the Warriors, who rolled through the regular season in dominating fashion and lived up to the team’s immense potential by bringing home the Div. 2 state title. With the graduation of a very strong senior class, the expectations are much lower for the Warriors this season but there are several returning players and new faces that have Foxboro coach Lisa Downs confident that the program can continue its recent run of success in the Davenport division.
Losing players like Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes, Grace Tamulionis, and Shannon Smally is a challenge for any team, but the Warriors will bring back a pair of starters from the playoff run in sophomore Katelyn Mollica and junior Abby Hassman. Mollica is the team’s top returning scorer and will be one of the top point guards in the Hock with her ability to shoot and score off the dribble. Hassman gives Foxboro a strong presence on the glass and showed increased confidence in her offensive game at the end of last season. Senior Chelsea Gibbons and junior Lizzy Davis should see increased minutes and bigger roles in the offense this year.
Juniors Shakirah Ketant and Yara Fawaz should give Foxboro more depth in the post and contribute on the glass and both saw limited minutes in the playoffs last winter. Sophomores Adrienne Dunn and Jordyn Collins will be newcomers to the backcourt and have impressed during the preseason, while junior forward Anita Busznyak is expected to see a lot more time this year and could be a player to watch.
Downs is hoping this year’s team will learn from the graduating class. She said, “The time they spent practicing with and playing against these girls has really paid off – they know what is expected of them on the court and what is required to be a winning team. We have established a winning culture at Foxboro and the players know that I expect nothing more than what they should expect from themselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 15-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central first round. Coach: John Leighton
The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year’s roster, which reached the state tournament but lost in the opening round to Natick, and there are high expectations on Oak St. as the new season gets underway. Franklin enters the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and its balanced lineup has the potential to make a run in the state tournament as well.
Much of the enthusiasm for Franklin’s chances this winter come from 6-foot-3 center Ali Brigham. The junior recently committed to George Washington (where her father once played) and is the lone returning player from last season HockomockSports.com First Team. While she (deservedly) garners much of the attention, the Panthers have a number of other weapons to give the opposition headaches. Senior guard Bea Bondhus, who committed to Springfield College, is one of the top three-point shooters in the Hock and sophomore guard Elizabeth Wilson is back from an injury that cut short the promising start to her varsity career.
The Panthers will also bring back versatile junior forwards Megan O’Connell and Breanna Atwood, who add size in the paint but can also take defenders off the dribble or knock down outside shots. Seniors Hailey Sanders and Calen Frongillo add depth to the frontcourt, while senior Shannon Gray and juniors Kelsey MacCallum and Sydney Garilli are capable of stepping in at either guard position.
“It is our goal to compete each night and to improve from last year,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “With 10 returning players, we feel our experience will help us to better prepare for the season and compete against the best in our league.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip had to battle injuries throughout head coach Amy Siggens’ first year in charge, including a late season injury to leading scorer Shannon O’Connor, but the Warriors are healthy coming into this season and with a year to get use to a new system, confidence is high that KP can make a push up the standings and fight for a postseason berth this winter.
O’Connor is the key piece returning for the Warriors. A four-year varsity player who has been recruited by Div. I college programs, O’Connor gives KP a consistent scorer and someone who will draw opposing defenses. Senior Julia Leroux will be back at the point and running the KP offense, while junior Faith Roy is the team’s best outside threat and has developed as a ball-handler who can score in a variety of ways. Sophomore Emma Glaser, who battled injuries throughout her freshman season, will add versatility to the lineup and can play multiple positions and her classmate Courtney Keswick is a newcomer to watch in the backcourt.
The Warriors will also have strength in the post with senior Catherine Cummings providing a solid presence on the glass and junior Faye Veilleux giving KP length and athleticism at the forward position. Newcomers like junior Taylor Butler and returning senior Kendall Mason will give added depth and strong play on the defensive end of the floor.
There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding our team this year with our sights on continued growth and improvement upon our overall record from a year ago,” Siggens said. “Our practices have been very competitive and I’m encouraged by our team’s attitude and overall interest in getting better. I like this team a lot and I look forward to the challenge of helping each girl reach her maximum potential.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
After three straight league titles and four trips to the Div. 1 South semifinal in the past four seasons (including back-to-back finals), Mansfield has been one of the most consistent teams in the Hockomock League, but the Hornets enter this season trying to replace Meg Hill, who scored more than 1,000 points and pulled down more than 1,000 points in her stellar career. With 10 seniors and loads of athleticism, this might be a very different looking Mansfield attack, but one that has the potential to keep the Hornets right back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and capable of making another deep tournament run.
The Hornets have been known for slowing the ball down and running intricate sets, but this team is suited for getting up and down the court as quickly as possible, highlighted by senior guard Mady Bendanillo, one of the quickest players in the Hock. Senior forward Maggie Danehy has emerged as a strong interior scorer and someone who can control the glass, but she is also someone who can run like a guard and get out on the break for easy baskets. Seniors Sydney Mulkern and Erin Daniel add wing scoring and are both solid shooters who can spread the floor and open lanes to the basket.
Athletic senior forwards Emily Vigeant and Steph Kemp can outrun many of the guards in the league and senior point guard Kara Bendanillo is another speedster who can push the ball off makes or misses. Sophomore Ashley Santos saw time last year as a rookie and adds to the frontcourt depth and versatility, while junior Becca Hottleman will be back to give Mansfield another option at guard.
It is a different feel to the lineup but one that Mansfield coach Mike Redding feels can be effective. He said, “We need to rebound as a team and must change our style to up-tempo with defensive pressure/fast breaks and play to our strengths (athleticism and depth).”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central quarterfinal. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Milford coach T.J. Dolliver brings back six players from the team that not only reached the state tournament last season but also went on the road and beat Burncoat handily, the program’s first playoff win since 2001. The problem for the Hawks is that almost the entire rotation from last year’s team has graduated, including 1,000-point scorer Kate Irwin.
While this may be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, Dolliver sees it as an opportunity for players to step into new roles and establish themselves as starters and as regular contributors. The lone senior back from last year is forward Grace Risio, who Dolliver said made a difference when she was given the opportunity last year, and sophomore guard Jillian Michelson saw some time in the backcourt as a rookie.
The Hawks will have eight sophomores on the roster this season, so it is clear that Milford is going to try and build with youth, similar to several teams from last year. Among the players from last year’s roster, forwards Katie Maietta, guard Emma Lawrence, and forward Carly Ferreira all got time as freshmen and could see those minutes increase significantly this winter.
Dolliver said, “With our entire rotation graduating last year, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for everyone in the program. It will be exciting to watch who emerges within the group and elevates their game to compete at the varsity level.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Derek Herber
Last year was a tough transition season for the Rocketeers, as North Attleboro moved on from a number of players who were starters for several years and incorporated a number of new, young faces into the lineup. North had a better second half to the season and will try to build on that this winter with a more experienced group of players.
Senior Julia Feid is back on the wing and is North’s top returning scorer, coming off a season in which she averaged more than nine points per game. Fellow seniors Liz Smahi and Emma Noreck will add leadership in the backcourt and try to set the direction for the team this year. Junior point guard Olivia Forbes, who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last season, will be back to get the offense going and provide strong defense on the perimeter. Junior Eliza Dion also returns to add rebounding and interior scoring for a team that can’t count on a lot of height in the paint.
The North offense improved over the course of last season with the addition of sophomore Amanda Kaiser (8.6 points per game) and junior Julia Kleczkowski (40 percent from three-point range), who can both fill it up from the outside and who are both willing to take any shot that presents itself. Several newcomers will fill out the roster with the potential of adding important minutes over the course of the season, including sophomore Lydia Santos and Siobhan Weir.
“We will rely on Julia Feid to be our first option on offense and the sooner we can develop a consistent second option will be a factor in the early part of the season,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “The inside scoring option will hopefully be Eliza Dion, while both Amanda Kaiser and Julia Kleczkowski showed an ability to stretch the defense with their outside shooting in limited time last year.”
2017-2018 Record: 16-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames will be making a transition this year following the graduation of Kayla Raymond, who was a two-time HockomockSports.com First Team performer and last year’s league MVP (and is already a three-time Rookie of the Week at Stonehill College), but the Tigers have a number of returning players to try and make up for Raymond’s production on both ends of the floor and make another run at a league title.
Senior Alex Sheldon grew in confidence over the course of last season and became a double-double machine by the end of the year, dominating on the glass and improving her finishing around the rim. Junior Erin Holberg emerged last year as a strong scorer on the perimeter with her touch from the outside and ability to take defenders off the dribble. Junior Meg Holleran is in her third season on varsity and is a tough, physical defender who can knock down shots from the outside.
Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a strong freshman season, playing several positions (from point guard to small forward), crashing the boards, and showing off decent range. The return of senior Sadie Homer will add energy on both ends of the floor and give the Tigers another strong outside shooter to stretch the floor, while senior Ally Scolnick came off the bench last season to add another shooter to the OA offense.
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of the experienced returning players, “They will lead the youngest team OA has put on the court in quite a long time. We are looking towards gaining valuable game experience and coming into to our own as the season progresses.”
2017-2018 Record: 2-18 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sanda Lombardi
It was a tough winter for new Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi, as the Eagles struggled to a two-win season, but five of their losses were by 10 points or fewer and they return all but one player from last season’s team. With a year to get acclimated to Lombardi’s system, an experienced roster of returning players, and several newcomers, Sharon has its sights set on getting into the postseason for the first time since its run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
Sharon returns its leading scorer and playmaker in senior Emma Eberhardt, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team last season, and she will once again be the focal point of the offense, as well as one of the team’s leading defenders. Eberhardt’s versatility as a wing player should open things up for junior guards Kaitlyn Wallace and Ally Brown, who will both fill in as ball-handlers after the graduation of Miranda Cheung. Wallace will extend defenses with her shooting from the outside and Brown adds energy to the backcourt defense.
Senior guard Bridget McManus will add depth and junior forward Telishya Herbert provides a strong presence in the paint. Junior Olivia Langol-Leonard added frontcourt depth and was active on the glass in her time on the court, while senior forward Evanjuline Elisma can score in transition and adds another solid wing defender.
“We only lost one player due to graduation,” said Lombardi. “We have the entire team back and we added some height. I’m excited to see what the season brings. The girls are working hard and our goal is to qualify for the postseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton started last season with five straight defeats and only one win in the opening eight games, but the Black Knights turned things around with a vengeance, winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season and winning its opening game of the state tournament. Stoughton’s only two losses in its final 14 games of the season were to state champion Foxboro. That is a lot of momentum for the Black Knights to carry into this year.
It may be a little different look for Stoughton this winter after the graduation of Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Instead of being a team that dominates the paint, there will be a host of guards and wing players who can still battle on the glass, but will bring energy and tenacity on the perimeter on both ends of the court. Junior Aliyah Wright is back as the team’s point guard and her length makes her a factor guarding multiple positions. Senior Lindsay McDonald adds versatility as a combo guard and sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe is a dynamic guard and stretches defenses with her ability to shoot from the outside.
While there are a lot of familiar faces returning for the Black Knights, there are several players who will have more responsibility this year and the potential to make big contributions. Junior Lexi Baptista defends well at the forward position and gives a different look on the post, while seniors Hailey Egan and Heather Maddalena will add extra toughness to the backcourt. Junior Shyanne Trinh is still battling an injury at the beginning of the season, but she will give Stoughton a big scoring boost when she returns.
“This season will be all about our effort, energy and enthusiasm on defense,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The Black Knights will be most successful when we put in work on the defensive end and finish each play with a Black Knights rebound.”
2017-2018 Record: 7-15 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton started last winter well and had the potential for making a return to the state tournament, but injuries slowed things down for the Tigers and they missed out on the postseason. While the year didn’t end the way they would have hoped, a number of younger players were given valuable varsity experience and there are a number of returning players ready to make an impact.
Senior Lily Patneaude will be the player to watch for the Tigers, as the team’s leading scorer from last year. After battling an injury down the stretch, her return gives Taunton a consistent primary offensive weapon and takes some of the scoring pressure off her teammates. Senior point guard Alexa White is also back to provide leadership, energy, and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Kelsey White showed flashes as a rookie of being the secondary scorer that Taunton needs, with her ability to knock down shots from the outside and take defenders off the dribble.
Even with a year of experience, Taunton is still a relatively young team. Sophomores Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will provide athleticism from the forward positions and give Taunton effort in the paint, while sophomore Tori DaRose, and freshmen Abby Souza (who saw brief minutes as an eighth-grader last season) and Braeley MacDonald give the Tigers depth off the bench.
“We have great group of enthusiast student athletes consisting of senior leadership, youth, athleticism, and talent,” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan. “This team is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.”