Attleboro, 57 @ Mansfield, 64 – Final – Propelled by a strong first quarter (21 points) and a pivotal third quarter (18-4), Mansfield held off a strong fourth quarter from Attleboro to finish league play with a win. Matt Hyland got the Hornets off to a strong start with half of his team-high 16 points in the opening eight minutes and five other Mansfield players got into the scoring column, including threes from Andrew Slaney (12 points) and Chris Hill (12 points) for an early 21-13 lead. Colin Morais (17 points), Jaiden Outland, Neo Franco, and Jake Struminski each hit a three in the second but Dante James had one for Mansfield and Anthony Sacchetti had six points to help the Hornets ahead at the break (39-30). Hyland had another eight points in the third and Slaney added a pair of triples while the Hornets held the Bombardiers to just four points to break the game wide open, taking a 57-34 lead into the fourth. Attleboro made a late push with Morais, Outland, and Franco hitting fourth quarter threes to get the deficit down to single digits.
Foxboro, 51 @ Canton, 47 – Final – Canton continually cut into Foxboro’s lead throughout the game, eventually pulling even with the Warriors but it was senior Dylan Gordon who converted the go-ahead layup and then sank a pair of free throws in the final seconds to ice the win. Junior Alex Penders (12 points), Ryan LeClair (seven points), and Sam Golub (six points) helped Foxboro build leads after the first (12-5) and second quarters (22-18). Lanse Dorcelus hit on three of his four threes in the second and both Matt Chafin and Nate Mei added one each to close the gap by halftime. Chafin and Ashton Cetoute hit from downtown in the third as the Bulldogs made it 36-36 going into the fourth. Gordon finished with 15 of his 17 points in the second half, his lone field goal of the fourth being the go-ahead bucket followed by two free throws. Cam Barreira, fresh off his best shooting performance of the season in a win at Stoughton, came through with a pair of clutch threes in the fourth.
Franklin, 75 @ King Philip, 50 – Final – Franklin’s offense roared to life in the opening half, putting up 21 points in the opening quarter and then 25 more in the second on its way to a big win over King Philip. Sophomore Andrew O’Neil hit five three-pointers, three in the first half, to spark the Panthers’ offense. O’Neill finished with a team-high 21 points while senior Sean Vinson scored all 19 of his points in the first half. King Philip cut into the deficit by winning the third quarter (16-9) with senior Braeden Sottile dropping half of his team-high 20 points in the quarter. But Franklin’s offense got back on track with 22 points in the fourth, with O’Neill adding two more threes and both Evan DaSilva and Caden Sullivan connecting from downtown.
Milford, 48 @ Taunton, 68 – Final – Taunton only led by two possessions going into the fourth quarter (49-43) but the Tigers took care of business in the final eight minutes, running away with a win to clinch the Kelley-Rex division title outright for the first team in program history. Senior Trent Santos hit four of his six three-pointers after halftime and finished with a game-high 26 points to lead the charge. Faisal Mass added 15 points in the win. Milford freshman Andrew Rivera hit a trio of threes and finished with a team-best 23 points.
North Attleboro, 46 @ Oliver Ames, 63 – Final – North Attleboro came out of the gates with 16 points in the first quarter and only trailed by two possessions at halftime but a switch to zone defense from Oliver Ames stalled the Rocketeers’ offense and the Tigers pulled away to finish their regular season with a win. OA held a 30-24 lead at halftime and then got a balanced scoring attack in the third to double its lead from six to 12, carrying a 44-32 lead into the fourth. Drew Baxter had four of his 10 points in the third, MJ Jean Baptiste and Zach Tagliamonte (10 points) each had three, and Dan Reily and Jake Grimaldi each chipped in with a bucket. CJ Williams finished with a team-high 11 points for OA, who had 10 players factor into the scoring. Brody Rosenberg hit a trio of threes to lead North with 13 points, Gavin Wells also had a three trifectas for 11 points and Casey Poirier scored 10 first half points for the Big Red.
Mansfield, 52 @ Attleboro, 58 – Final – Lindsey Perry scored a game-high 16 points, including 12 in the second half, to help the Bombardiers pull out a win and sweep the season series against the Hornets. Mansfield scored 18 in the first, including eight from Anna Darlington, to take a five-point lead after one, but Attleboro stormed back with a 15-8 second to take a two-point lead into the locker room. Vanessa Ellis, Rylie Camacho, and Meghan Gordon combined for 13 in the quarter. Perry and Gordon combined for 13 points in the third, as the Bombardiers extended the lead to six after three, which they were able to hold onto over the final eight minutes. Perry scored six points in the fourth, including 4-of-6 from the free throw line. Gordon finished with 11 points and Ellis and Camacho each scored 10. Abby Wager led the Hornets with 15, including nine points in the third quarter alone, while Darlington finished with 10. Olivia Salisbury chipped in with eight points for the Hornets.
Canton, 44 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final – Seven Warriors were on the score sheet as they held off Canton to sweep the season series with the bulldogs. Kailey Sullivan was the top scorer for the home team with 14 point and Erin Foley added 11. Ava Hill went 6-for-6 from the line to help Foxboro seal the win.
King Philip, 24 @ Franklin, 49 – Final – KP led 10-8 after the first quarter but Franklin held the Warriors to only 14 points over the final 24 minutes to finish the league campaign unbeaten for the third straight season. The Panthers took the second quarter 11-2 and outscored KP 30-12 in the second half for their 42nd straight league win. Olivia Quinn led the way for the Panthers with 13 points, including nine in the second quarter, and went 6-for-6 from the line. Stefany Padula hit a pair of threes and scored eight points, Brigid Earley had seven, and Katie Peterson added six points for Franklin. Liv Lafond was KP’s leading scorer with eight points, Leah Santoro had six, and Emily Sawyer and Jordan Bennett each scored four points in the loss.
Taunton, 37 @ Milford, 54 – Final – Without the league’s leading scorer, Kameron St. Pierre, Taunton struggled offensively early and the Hawks took advantage to pull out a win in their final league game of the season, splitting the seasons series. Milford jumped ahead 14-3 after the first and extended the lead to 14 by halftime. Maddalena Mannucci Pacini scored eight of her game-high 15 points in the first half for Milford. Taunton took the third quarter to slice into the Milford lead, but then the Hawks exploded for 24 points in the fourth, led by Brooke Ferreira’s nine, to seal the win. Ferreira finished with 12 and Jill Araujo added a dozen as well. Cali Melo led Taunton with 10 points and Jillian Doherty added nine, all 19 of their combined points coming in the second half. Lex Haywood chipped in with five.
Oliver Ames, 78 @ North Attleboro, 33 – Final – OA closed out the league campaign with a big road win. The Tigers jumped out to a big lead early in the game and seemed to have an answer for every defensive switch that North threw at them. Senior Caroline Peper exploded for a game-high 24 points and the Tigers got a big boost on the offense end with 12 points apiece from a trio of sophomores: Jasmyn Cooper, Sarah Hilliard, and Kaydance Derba. Summer Doherty scored 11 of her team-high 12 points for North and Maryellen Charette added nine.
MILFORD, Mass. – It has been a long week for Mansfield. Saturday afternoon’s trip to Milford was the fifth game in seven days for the Hornets. Coupled with an early tip, Mansfield could be forgiven for not starting the game with a ton of energy, but the Hornets picked it up with a 22-point third quarter that proved to be the difference.
Abby Wager and Kara Santos scored 16 points apiece, combining for 17 in the third quarter alone, and Mansfield was able to hold the Hawks to just five points and one made basket in the fourth to pull out a 56-47 win that leaves Mansfield on the brink of clinching a spot in the postseason.
“We were playing catch up energy-wise,” said Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “I said they’re going to come out with confidence, they’re going to come out with energy, we need to find it and start right from the beginning. Obviously, we didn’t meet that goal but I think they did what they needed to do to chip away and put it back in our favor.”
Energy was no problem for Milford at the start of the game. The Hawks were also playing their second game in about 16 hours, but came out aggressive on both ends of the court. Emily Croteau (nine points and six rebounds) got things started with a three from the wing and then Brooke Ferreira buried one as well. A Bridget Hanley layup off an inbounds play and a Natalya Gill steal that led to an Anna Darlington bucket got Mansfield within one but Croteau answered with a layup.
Santos had a pair of put-backs to get her night started (she would finish with 13 rebounds) but sophomore Khatrina Leger (11 points and five rebounds), a transfer from Leominster, matched her on the other end to put Milford up 13-11 after one.
“It’s a testament to my girls,” said Milford coach TJ Dolliver. “They’ve been playing hard. We’ve been competing for a while now with some of these big name teams. They want to be here. It’s noon on a Saturday and we have that type of energy, so they want to be here. They’re playing hard and I love that energy.”
The teams kept firing away in the second quarter. Erin Michelson (six points) started it with a three and Santos came down with a nice post move and lefty hook. Croteau added her second three of the game, but Wager (five steals) got on the board with her first three of the day. Michelson hit from deep again to extend the lead to 24-18 but Darlington (10 points, four steals, and three assists) fed Santos in the post for two and then drilled a three.
Milford was hanging in offensively even though leading scorer Maddalena Mannucci Pacini had yet to get on the board. That changed after Mansfield tied it at 24, as she stepped into a long three to put the Hawks back in front and then got free off an inbounds play for a layup. It was 29-27 Milford heading to the locker room, and the Hawks had six threes as a team.
“It’s not just the girls that are in the game, it’s the girls on the bench who don’t get a lot of playing time,” said Dolliver about his team’s compete level. “We have a lot of girls that can knock down some shots. I feel like everyone has stepped up and found their role and worked hard at it.”
Mansfield turned things around in the third. Santos tied it with a layup, but Pacini grabbed a loose ball and hit a pull-up three in transition to make it 32-29. Wager got a layup, Pacini answered with another three, and then Santos pulled down an offensive rebound to set Wager up for a triple. Wager hit a tough runner on the baseline that made it 36-35, Mansfield’s first lead of the game.
Pacini beat the shot clock buzzer with a runner to put the Hawks back in front 40-39, but Wager hit a contested, off-balance three that put the Hornets in front for good. She finished with 11 of her 16 points in the quarter, although she also picked up her fourth foul. Hanley (five points, four assists, and six rebounds) drained a three and Santos and Darlington each got to the rim for buckets, as the Hornets led 49-42 heading to the fourth.
“We went bigger and we were allowed to switch,” McPherson explained. “You can’t cheat off of Abby but then you have to leave Kara, so making them make a choice. Kara hit some big bunnies and Abby hit some big shots too so it worked in our favor.”
Up to that point, the fewest either team had scored in a quarter was Mansfield with 11 in the first. Over the final eight minutes, the teams combined for just 12 points, three made field goals, and 5-for-11 from the line.
Milford needed more than four minutes to get its first points and more than 6-1/2 minutes for its first made field goal. Mansfield’s offense was also a grind, as the Hornets didn’t knock down a second shot until more than five minutes had gone in the fourth.
“They start to inch away, but we don’t pack it in,” Dolliver said. “It’s just tough if we go on a little run where we don’t score and it just starts to settle in that they’re scoring here and there and we’re not and they start to inch away, but they still battle no matter what.”
Santos scored through contact to put the Hornets up by nine. Pacini (game-high 17 points) made two at the line with 3:41 left to cut it back to seven (51-44). Almost a minute later, Rose Maher (five points) had the biggest shot of the night for the Hornets, drilling a three from the wing to extend the lead to 10 with less than three minutes to go.
“This was a big one for us,” said McPherson. “Looking at it, we stacked our own (end-of-season) Roundball Tournament with teams that are in the playoffs (Natick, Bishop Feehan, Westford Academy), so we need to finish out the Hock strong and I think it’s preparing us for the tournament, which is good.”
Mansfield (10-7), who went 4-1 over this tough week, will have the chance to clinch a playoff berth when it hosts Taunton on Tuesday. Milford (4-13) will head to undefeated Franklin on Tuesday.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – A lot of attention going into Tuesday night’s game at the Albertini Gym was on Canton’s leading scorer Kiara Cerruti as she closes in on the 1,000-point mark for her career, but it turned out to be another of the Bulldogs’ three senior stars that stole the show and helped Canton extend its winning streak to seven games.
Fay Gallery knocked down five three-points and scored a game-high 31 points, including 20 in the second half, as Canton answered a Mansfield run with one of its own and then held off the Hornets in the fourth quarter for a 63-56 victory.
I think the benefit of having multiple people who can shoot and drive is it’s hard to stop one in this league, let alone three or four,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “Everyone knew Kiara was trying to get to 1,000, so they’re guarding her like crazy, so it became Fay’s night. It opened up everything. When they made their runs, Fay had an answer with threes.”
The teams came out firing in the first quarter, combining for 30 points. Kara Santos got off to a strong start, scoring six of her 16 in the first and put Mansfield ahead 11-5 with a pair at the line. Cerruti (six points, six rebounds, five steals, and five assists) started a 7-2 run with an offensive rebound and assist on a Gallery jumper. Gallery added a three off an Erin Beatty (eight rebounds) offensive board and kick out and a tough hoop to cut the lead to one.
Cerruti, who had a tough shooting night overall but was credited by Choquette for not trying to force her shots and playing within the offense, grabbed a rebound and knocked down a jumper for a 14-13 lead. She is 20 points shy of 1,000.
Mansfield had one last possession and Abby Wager (eight points, three blocks, and three assists) beat the buzzer with a deep three to send the Hornets into the first break up two.
It was a game of runs and it was the Bulldogs who put together the first one, scoring 16 of the first 20 points of the second quarter and building a 10-point lead. Emily McCabe got things started with a three and then Sydney Gallery turned it on the second, scoring nine of her 14 points in the quarter, showing off an array of post moves and knocking down a three.
Mansfield needed a spark and turned to its bench. Natalya Gill gave the Hornets a boost of energy, scoring seven of her 10 points in the second. She drilled a three and then fought for an offensive rebound and put-back late in the quarter that cut the lead down to four heading into the locker room.
“I think we rotate people who kind of give us that spark, which is nice because it makes us hard for teams to predict,” said Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “It’s kind of a surprise, we don’t know who it’s going to be. I think that spark comes when we’re trusting our offense and working through it and finding each other.”
Gill’s energy carried over into the second half, as Mansfield turned that six-point burst into a 16-2 run, erasing a 10-point deficit and going up by four. Hanley and Anna Darlington (five points) each hit threes that tied the game at 32-32, then Santos went to work in the post with back-to-back baskets.
This time it was Canton’s turn to respond. Samya DaSilva (six points) knocked down a big three to halt Mansfield’s momentum. Fay Gallery did the rest for Canton during a 15-2 run that put the Bulldogs up for good. She hit a three off a Cerruti pass to put Canton ahead and then extended the lead to six off another Cerruti pass. After driving to the basket for two, Gallery took a swing pass from McCabe and hit her third triple of the quarter.
“I commend their offense when I scout them, just how many options they have,” said McPherson. “You’ve got to worry about the Gallery sisters and Cerruti, so there’s a lot of people to worry about, but they stay with all their sets, they set great screens. I thought we played good defense but I also thought Fay, some of those shots were with a hand in her face so what more can you ask a team to do?”
Choquette explained, “We took their best shots, they hit a few really tough shots, they got it inside, hit free throws. We took that and we went back and executed on our end. That’s probably what won the game for us, just being able to answer big, big shots from them.”
Mansfield would get a big three by Gill to stay within six going to the fourth, but DaSilva knocked down her second three of the game to start the quarter and push the lead to nine. Santos threw a long lead pass to Wager who scored plus the foul, but Gallery answered at the other end with another three.
Twice Sydney Gallery matched Mansfield baskets with buckets of her own, as Canton kept the Hornets at arm’s length. Santos got two more in the paint and Hanley drilled a corner three off a Darlington pass to cut the lead down to five, 59-54. After Canton made one at the line, Santos grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it 60-56 with 30 seconds to go.
Gallery made two big free throws and, after an empty trip for the Hornets, McCabe added one at the line to seal the win.
“One thing I’m really proud of with the girls is we talk all the time about needing to be a complete team,” said Choquette. “Emily, she has so much energy, her soccer skills really take over when she sees the floor, her anticipation on defense is second to none.”
Canton (8-3) will start a three-game home stand on Friday with the visit of Foxboro. Mansfield (6-4) will be back home on Friday for a game with Attleboro.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – After getting off to a great start and jumping out to a double digit lead in the first quarter, Mansfield went into the fourth quarter of Sunday afternoon’s matinee with King Philip at the Albertini Gym leading by just two. The Hornets needed to find the energy they started the game with.
Mansfield regained control on the defensive end, got an important lift from reserve forward Brooke Butler on both ends of the floor, and went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth. The Hornets extended the lead to as many as 12 and finished with a 45-35 victory over the Warriors, pushing their win streak to four.
“We’re at a point right now that we have so many kids who want to take it to the basket, take quick shots, we’ve got shooters, we’re not making teams play defense long enough,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “They honed in and went to fundamentals and I feel like our defense was really, really good.”
Afternoon tips sometimes cause problems, as it can be tough to find the necessary energy outside of the normal routine. The Hornets had no problem with that in the first quarter, jumping out to a 13-2 lead.
Olivia Salisbury and Anna Darlington (eight points and seven rebounds) each buried threes and then Abby Wager (game-high 19 points and six steals) got going. She scored in the lane off Darlington’s offensive rebound and assist and then drilled a three plus the foul to put Mansfield up 11. Emily Sawyer (14 rebounds) got the only basket for KP.
The Warriors needed a boost before the game got out of hand, so KP switched its defense to a half-court trap and full-court press, forcing the players to be more aggressive. It worked. KP looked much more engaged on both ends and the Hornets lost any rhythm to their offense.
Knocking down shots also helped KP get back into it. The Warriors made four three-pointers in the quarter. Elizabeth Molla got things started with a three, then Julia Marsden hit one. Kara Santos (six points and nine rebounds) answered with a pair of baskets for Mansfield, but Marsden came back and drilled another to cut the lead to 17-11 midway through the quarter.
Molla set up Jackie Bonner (eight points) for a corner three and, after Rose Maher got two on the other end off an inbounds pass from Bridget Hanley (three blocks, four assists, nine rebounds), Sawyer kicked it out to Kylie Watson for a buzzer-beating jumper. Mansfield led 19-17 at the half.
“We’ve been that way as a team all year,” KP coach Jeff Miszkiewicz explained. “We don’t get off to great starts, but we always battle back. Every single game, we’ve had to battle back.”
He added, “I was trying to get some way to get them to play more energetic on defense and that certainly helped. I think, they got really comfortable on offense, so our defense wasn’t nearly as good as it was (last time out) against Attleboro, so we needed do something to change up what they were seeing.”
KP carried its momentum into the second half. Wager hit a tough layup off a steal but Liv Lafond (nine points, all in the second half) answered. Wager came back with a pull-up jumper, but Bonner knocked down a floater and with the game tied knocked down a big three that put the Warriors ahead 26-23.
It was the only lead that KP had in the game. Darlington grabbed an offensive rebound and scored plus a foul to even things back up with 1:11 left in the third. As time was winding down inside the final 10 seconds of the quarter, Wager got yet another steal and turned it into a go-ahead layup.
McPherson said of Wager, “She’s out-sized for her position, which is a huge advantage. Just to put her on someone and to have that wingspan on you is really hard to think about and she’s come up really big when it matters.”
The basket meant Mansfield would have the lead entering the fourth, but still with a lot of work to do to find its flow on offense. Santos started the quarter with a bucket in the paint and then added a steal and lead pass to Wager for a layup and a foul, making it 33-26.
Lafond got two at the other end with a nice post move, but then Mansfield’s bench came through with several big plays. Butler, who had been guarding the 6-foot-4 Sawyer in the post at times, managed to control a bounce pass and finish for two, Natalya Gill drove to the basket for her only points of the afternoon, and then Butler again finished at the rim thanks to a great drive and dish by Hanley.
“A kid like Brooke Butler comes in and, she doesn’t light up the stat line but does a lot of things that make a huge difference,” said McPherson. “What she lacks in size she makes up with heart. We’re looking for team chemistry and camaraderie and she brings it.”
KP was trying to hang around, but Santos came up with another huge effort play, grabbing two offensive rebounds to keep a possession alive and kicking it out to Wager for a dagger three that put the Hornets up 12 late in the quarter. Leah Santoro got three back for KP but the Hornets had the important win.
“They hit some really big shots,” said Miszkiewicz. “Liv and Julia had foul trouble, Emily got hurt, so we had a lot of things go wrong, but they (Mansfield) played really well. They took advantage of every misstep we had on defense and hit some really big shots.”
Mansfield (6-3) will try to keep things headed in the right direction on Tuesday when it hosts Canton. King Philip (5-4) has lost three in a row heading into a visit from Oliver Ames on Tuesday.
Stoughton, 65 @ Attleboro, 88 – Final – Attleboro junior Trevor White scored 10 of his career-high 27 points in the opening quarter, helping the Bombardiers establish a double-digit lead it never relinquished against Stoughton. The Bombardiers scored over 20 points in three of the four quarters, racing out to a 24-9 lead after one period. Attleboro carried a 38-25 lead into the locker room at halftime, and then White added 10 more points in the third, hitting a total of four three-pointers. Evan Houle added a trio of three-pointers on his way to 19 points while sophomore Neo Franco had one three and finished with nine points. Joe Francois-Annevil hit four shots from the field and finished with 11 points for the hosts, who carried a 61-44 lead into the final frame. Stoughton senior Connor Andrews went 12-for-13 at the line and hit nine shots from the field for a career-high 31 points while junior Rayan Sablon added 13 points for the Black Knights, who were limited to just five three-pointers.
Canton, 68 @ King Philip, 56 – Final – Canton senior Lanse Dorcelus scored half of his career-high 30 points in the final frame as the Bulldogs pulled away from King Philip in the second half for a key crossover win. Dorcelus had a team-high 15 points going into the final frame, with his squad holding a 45-38 advantage. He hit a three early, added three field goals from two-point range, and then went 6-for-7 from the line to help secure the win. Nate Mei added four of his 10 points in the fourth while senior Dillon Nguyen scored all 11 of his point through the first three quarters. King Philip, who was tied with the visitors 26-26 at halftime, got a team-high 16 points from Braeden Sottile while classmate Danny Clancy added 14 points for the Warriors, who ended up with just five three-pointers and went just 5-for-12 from the free throw line.
Foxboro, 53 @ Franklin, 78 – Final – Franklin opened the game with a big run, established a double-digit advantage by halftime, and never looked back in a win over visiting Foxboro. A strong start led to a 19-point first quarter for the hosts with Will Tracey (eight points) and Andrew O’Neill (12 points) each connecting from deep, and sophomore Sean O’Leary accounting for six of his 10 points. Sophomore Henry Digiorgio (16 points) hit a trio of threes in the second as Franklin took a 35-23 lead into the locker room. Tracey and classmate Sean Vinson (14 points) added threes in the third and O’Neill had seven more points to keep the Panthers ahead, leading 59-38 going into the fourth. Foxboro senior Dylan Gordon had a team-high 12 points while Sam Golub added 10 points for the Warriors.
Sharon, 48 @ Mansfield, 69 – Final – Mansfield’s lead grew at the end of each quarter, culminating in a 23-point fourth quarter to secure a 69-48 win over Sharon, snapping the Eagles’ five-game win streak. Senior Andrew Slaney (11 points), senior Jack Lasbury-Casey (eight points), and junior Dante James (six points) each connected from three-point range to help the hosts build a 12-8 lead at the end of the opening quarter. The lead grew to 27-20 by halftime and then a 19-point third quarter, featuring buckets from Caden Colby, Trevor Foley, and Anthony Sachetti, helped the Hornets push the lead to 40-30 heading into the final frame. Senior Matt Hyland put the game away, scoring 11 of his game-high 25 points in the final frame to help Mansfield pull away. Sophomore Nate Katznelson had a team-high 14 points while junior Matt Baur added all 12 of his points in the second half for the Eagles, who ended up connecting on just one three-pointer coming in the third quarter.
Oliver Ames, 56 @ Taunton, 86 – Final – It was a game to remember for senior Trent Santos, leading Taunton to a big win at home over visiting Oliver Ames. Santos etched his name into the record books, connecting on 11 three-pointers on his way to a career-high 46 points. After just five points in the opening quarter, Trent took center stage. He hit five three-pointers in the second quarter alone, adding five free throws as well for 25 points in the first half, helping his Tigers to a 42-30 lead. The three-point barrage continued after halftime as Trent hit three more in the third quarter and two more in the fourth to get to 46 points. Taunton held an 18-10 lead after one quarter and a 60-43 edge after three quarters of action. Sophomore Troy Santos had a career-high 15 points while senior Faisal Mass added 11 points. Oliver Ames junior Zach Tagliamonte hit 11 shots from the field to finish with a team-high 25 points while senior Drew Baxter added 11 points.
Attleboro, 70 @ Stoughton, 27 – Final – Attleboro’s offense continues to fire on all cylinders, as the Bombardier scored 40 points in the first half to take a big lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. The Bombardiers jumped out to a 20-2 lead after the first quarter and then added another 20 in the second to go into the break up 40-15. Attleboro continued its strong defense in the second half, holding the Black Knights to just 12 points after the break. Meghan Gordon led all scorers with 14 and Lindsey Perry added 12. Kayla Goldrick scored eight, while Lilian Froio and Vanessa Ellis each had seven for Attleboro, which got points from each player on the roster. Vanessa Phelimond and Evie Lam each had five to lead Stoughton.
Franklin, 51 @ Foxboro, 47 – Final – Franklin’s unbeaten run nearly came to an end at Foxboro, but the Panthers rallied from three points down with two minutes to play to remain in first place in the Kelley-Rex. After Foxboro took a one-point lead after the first, Franklin scored 20 in the second to take a 29-24 lead into the locker room. The Warriors won the third to send the game into the final quarter tied. Camryn Collins had a career-high 21 points, including 10 in the third quarter, to lead all scorers. Erin Foley added 13 and knocked down four threes, while Hannah Blake scored all seven of her points in the fourth to help Foxboro take a late lead. Stefany Padula scored eight of her 12 points in the fourth, making 6-of-8 from the line, to help Franklin pull out the win. Katie Peterson and Olivia Quinn each scored 11 points in the win, with 19 of their combined 22 coming in the opening half.
Mansfield, 58 @ Sharon, 29 – Final – Mansfield clamped down defensively in the second half, limiting Sharon to just nine points and turning a close game into a big win. The Hornets led 28-20 heading into the locker room, but came out with a 19-4 third quarter to break the game wide open. Kara Santos scored eight of her 12 points in that third quarter run and Hallie Popat added four of her dozen points to lead Mansfield. Abby Wager chipped in with 10 points, eight in the first half, and Anna Darlington scored all eight of her points before halftime. Rachael Hager led the Eagles with 12 points, all coming on threes in the first half, as she scored 12 of Sharon’s 20 before the break. Jasmine Davis added eight points, scoring a basket in each quarter.
Milford, 41 @ North Attleboro, 30 – Final – Milford made its free throws down the stretch and limited North to just five points in the fourth quarter to pick up its first league win of the season. Jill Araujo and Maddalena Mannucci Pacini each scored 11 points to lead the Hawks. Summer Doherty scored a game-high 15 for the Rocketeers. Milford led 22-17 at halftime but North cut the lead to just two by holding the Hawks to three points in the third. The Hawks turned the tables in the fourth, outscoring the hosts 14-5 over the final eight minutes.
Taunton, 44 @ Oliver Ames, 86 – Final – Oliver Ames scored 53 points in the second half, turning a six-point game into a big win. Taunton made a game of it, keeping close with the hosts and trailed 33-27 at the break. OA got on track in the third and pulled away for the big win. OA senior Caroline Peper led all scorers with 22 points along with five assists while sophomores Kaydance Derba (19 points) and Jasmyn Cooper (13 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists) both had big games for the hosts. Kameron St. Pierre continued her strong season for the Tigers, scoring a team-high 17 points. Abby Souza added 14 points and Cali Melo scored nine in the loss.
Franklin @ King Philip, 7:00
Franklin, 144.2 @ Oliver Ames, 140.55 – Final – Franklin seniors Kate Rudolph and Emma White took the top two spots in the All Around category to help the Panthers land a win over Oliver Ames. Rudolph was first with a score of 37.4 and White was right behind at 36.4. Rudolph was first in the bars (8.85) and the beam (9.5) while taking second in the vault (9.6) and the floor (9.45). White was the winner for the vault (9.7) and the floor (9.7), taking second on the beam (9.0), and fourth on the bars at 8.0. Lizzie Brown added a third place finish on the vault (9.2), Elizabeth Schirduan was third on the bars (8.2) and the beam (9.0), Emma Nelson recorded a 9.0 on the vault and a 8.4. on the bars, and Caroline Woelfel scored key points in the vault (9.1), the beam (8.9), and the floor (8.85).
Attleboro, 49 @ Oliver Ames, 44 – Final – Attleboro went on the road and grinded out a key win over a tough Oliver Ames squad in a see-saw battle. The host Tigers got off to a strong start with a 15-7 lead after a quarter of play but the Bombardiers got back into it with their best offensive quarter of the game as five players combined for 17 points which translated into a 24-22 halftime lead. Oliver Ames answered with another strong defensive quarter and took a 35-33 edge into the final quarter. In the fourth, Attleboro went 8-for-14 from the free throw line and had five players contribute to the scoring to pull ahead. Junior Trevor White had a team-high 12 points while Alvin Harrison added 11 in the win. Zach Tagliamonte had a team-high 12 points for OA and Drew Baxter added 10 points.
Franklin, 62 @ Canton, 50 – Final – Franklin overcame a hot start and a first quarter deficit to pick up a win over Canton on the road. The Bulldogs hit five threes in the opening quarter for an 18-15 lead but the Panthers clamped down in the second to hold the hosts to six points to grab a 29-24 lead by the break. The Panthers extended their lead to eight (44-36) after 24 minutes and closed it out with a big final quarter to get the win. Sophomore Henry Digiorgio poured in a carer-high 27 points, scoring 12 in the first half and hitting three three-points in the fourth to cement the win. Sophomore Andrew O’Neill added 11 of his career-high 14 points in the second half for his varsity debut. Canton junior Matt Chafin finished with a career-high 16 points to lead Canton while Conor Hunter accounted for four of the Bulldogs’ 10 three-pointers for 12 points.
Milford, 47 @ Sharon, 60 – Final – Sharon used a 14-0 run between the first and second quarters to take a lead, erasing an early 10-point deficit, and never surrendered the lead the rest of the way. Sophomore Nate Katznelson hit a pair of threes in the second quarter and finished with a career-high 16 points, while sophomore Jacob McLoughlin and junior Jack Bates also hit from deep to help the Eagles turn a four-point deficit at the end of the quarter quarter (17-13) to a eight-point lead at halftime (31-23). Junior Matt Baur scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help close the game out. Milford junior Wyatt Zagami hit five three-pointers and finished with a career-high 19 points in his varsity debut.
Oliver Ames, 49 @ Attleboro, 28 – Final – Oliver Ames put the clamps on defensively, holding the Bombardiers to 11 points and never looked back from there to get a win on the road. Sophomore Jasmyn Cooper had a breakout performance for the Tigers, dropping 17 points to go along with eight rebounds. Anna Murphy added 11 points and a pair of blocks and senior Caroline Peper had a solid showing with 10 points and eight boards.
Canton, 47 @ Franklin, 67 – Final – Franklin extended its win streak to 36 games with a big win in the opener. Katie Peterson was the top scorer for the hosts with 18 points and Stefany Padula had 16, including four threes. Kiara Cerruti kicked off her senior season with a game-high 21 points, including 14 in the second half, for the Bulldogs. Canton led 12-11 after the first quarter, but the Panthers turned it around with a 22-9 second to grab the lead for good. Leading by 13 going into the fourth, Franklin scored 20 points in the final eight minutes to push the lead. Bridget Leo scored 12 points and Olivia Quinn and Brigid Earley each had seven for the Panthers. Sydney Gallery scored seven, all in the second half, and Samya DaSilva added five for the Bulldogs.
North Attleboro, 31 @ Mansfield, 56 – Final – Mansfield broke the game open from the start, pushing out to a 37-14 lead by halftime and rolling to a comfortable win in the season opener. Abby Wager scored all of her game-high 12 points in the opening half for the Hornets and Olivia Salisbury added all of her six points before the break. Anna Darlington and Bridget Hanley both scored eight points in the win. Ava McKeon scored a team-high nine points, including eight in the first half, for North, who struggled to get anything going and had to play from behind right from the start. Freshman Maryellen Charette added seven points for North in her first varsity game.
Sharon, 55 @ Milford, 50 – Final (OT) – Sharon sophomore center Jasmine Davis had a remarkable debut for the Eagles. After sitting out her freshman year, Davis exploded for 32 points and 28 rebounds to lead Sharon to a season-opening, overtime victory at Milford. Despite Davis’ big night, the game was close throughout. Sharon led 20-18 at halftime and the game went into an extra period tied at 46-46. The Eagles outscored Milford 9-4 in the OT to earn the win. Rachel Hager buried four threes to finish with 12 points and Trinity Payne added six for Sharon. Milford was led by senior Maddalena Mannucci Pacini, who also made an impressive varsity debut with 19 points, knocking down four threes. Brooke Ferreira added 12 points and Jill Araujo had six for the Hawks.
Stoughton, 30 @ Taunton, 62 – Final – Kameron St. Pierre marked her return to the Tigers with 23 points to give Taunton a season-opening win. After sitting out her sophomore season, St. Pierre scored 14 points in the first half to help the Tigers jump out to a 28-11 halftime lead. She finished with four made threes on the night. Cali Melo added eight points, all in the second half, and Olivia Gannon also scored eight for the Tigers. Stoughton got 12 points on a trio of threes from Kate Bulger. Evie Lam hit a pair from downtown and had six points and Vanessa Phelimond had six as well for the Black Knights.
Franklin, 7 vs. East Bridgewater, 3 – Final
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Brianna Bracken
Attleboro finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year and, despite only returning one starter, have an experienced corps that will be looking to push the Bombardiers back to postseason contention this season. There was a big change a few weeks ago when Marty Crowley stepped down as coach (after taking the athletic director job at Cumberland High) and former player and freshman coach Brianna Bracken was promoted to take over.
The change in coach won’t change the emphasis on defense and trying to use the roster’s athleticism to get easy baskets in transition. Attleboro’s lone returning starter is senior forward Meghan Gordon, who has improved every season on varsity and averaged nearly 17 points per game last year. Gordon will get help from classmates Lindsey Perry and Lillian Froio, who have both improved offensively and will help the Bombardiers take some of the pressure off Gordon on that end of the floor.
Injuries and transfers will have an impact as well. Senior Hailey Perry suffered a knee injury that will keep her out and last year’s freshman point guard Narissa Smith transferred to Rivers. Junior Lily Routhier has transferred in this year from Wheeler School and will help out on the boards. Sophomores Kayla Goldrick and Rylie Camacho will add to the Attleboro attack after getting experience as freshmen and senior Avery Vieira and sophomore Sarah Maher will try to fill Perry’s role in the backcourt. Sophomore Merry Bosh and Molly Moore and freshman Vanessa Ellis have had impressive preseasons as well.
“We have a great mix of experience and youth,” said Bracken. “We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been intense and the kids have been working really hard.”
2020-2021 Record: 7-5 Coach: James Choquette
Canton could be poised for a big season with a mix of talented underclassmen and an experienced group of seniors who have played together on varsity for four years. The Bulldogs went 7-5 in the shortened 2020-21 season, but expectations are higher this winter, with hopes of challenging the top teams in the Davenport and putting together a playoff run.
Kiara Cerrutiis the team’s top returning scorer and the senior winger will be counted on to provide scoring punch with her mix of inside-outside skills. Fay Gallery is back to run the point for the Bulldogs, getting the team out in transition and finding ways to create good looks for teammates in the halfcourt. Sydney Gallery is also back to give Canton a strong post presence and scoring inside the arc. The three players combined to average 38 points per game last season and give the Bulldogs a strong foundation to build on and help spread the floor for a team that has the potential to be one of the top shooting teams in the league.
Marissa Staffiere and Carly Fitzgerald return to help run the point and give strong defensive effort in the backcourt and junior Samya DaSilva has stepped in to add another versatile weapon on the offensive end. If the Bulldogs can continue to improve defensively, they have the firepower to compete with anyone. Offensively, it will be about ball movement and making sure the ball doesn’t stick on the perimeter.
“Our program continues to grow and improve,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “With a strong senior class and a great group of underclassmen, we hope to improve each day we’re in the gym together and achieve the results we desire. Everyone knows how hard it is to win, but this group is willing to do whatever it takes and we’re so excited to see how this season unfolds.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-2 Coach: Lisa Downs
Foxboro had its four-year reign at the top of the Davenport division come to an end last season, as the Warriors came second to Oliver Ames. With a relatively young roster, Foxboro improved over the course of the shortened season and seemed to be peaking as it headed into what would have been the second half of a normal winter. The hope for this season is that those younger players will build on that experience to make another title challenge and playoff run.
With the graduation of the league’s leading scorer, Katelyn Mollica, the Warriors will have a lot of points to make up but have several players capable of taking on bigger roles this year. Senior forward Hannah Blake could help provide some of that scoring with her solid post-up game and mid-range jumper. Sophomore guards Erin Foley and Camryn Collins both had impressive rookie campaigns and showed versatile offensive games and both are aggressive and athletic defenders, who fit into Foxboro’s typical style.
Senior Andrea Slattery and junior Lauren Miley are under-sized forwards but both bring a lot of energy and aggression to the defensive end and hitting the glass. Freshmen Kaley Sullivan and Ava Hill will jump right into the varsity lineup this season and both could be ready to make instant impacts. Juniors Michelle Brandt and Maddie Maher and sophomore Isabelle Chamberlin will give the Warriors plenty of depth to call on this season, especially with their effort on the defensive end.
“Although we are young and have new faces, I am excited to see the potential and look forward to seeing the improvement every time they step onto the court,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs.
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: John Leighton
Franklin returns eight players, including six seniors, from last year’s team, which extended the Panthers’ win streak to 35 games and clinched a third straight Kelley-Rex division title. The Panthers will be leaning on that experience as they seek to continue their reign at the top of the league and defend the Div. 1 state title that they won in 2019-20.
Senior forward Olivia Quinn will be the focal point of the Franklin offense this year after leading the team in scoring last winter and emerging as one of the top players in the Hock over the past two years. The reigning Kelley-Rex MVP will have plenty of help, particularly in the paint. While Franklin doesn’t have someone with Ali Brigham’s size, the Panthers have seven players on their roster that are listed at 5-foot-9 or taller. Senior Brigid Earley was the team’s leading rebounder last year and junior Katie Peterson is an athletic forward with a versatile game. Senior Emma Sousa is another experienced forward that gives depth in the post.
On the perimeter, Franklin has graduated a lot of its ball-handlers and shooters but senior Stefany Padula, a Springfield College-commit, is back and will help stretch the floor. Junior Bridget Leo is coming off a strong soccer season and could step in at point guard along with seniors Julia White and Jessica Pingeton, who saw some time last year. Sophomore guard Sasha Tracey is the lone underclassman on the roster this season.
“I am very excited to get back on the court with this team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “There is a lot of work ahead of us but there has also been many glimpses of what we could develop into. We have a very strong senior class who has set the bar high for the team. We hope to develop into a close-knit, supportive team that can win in different ways and also play defense that will limit our opponents’ options.”
2020-2021 Record: 5-6 Coach: Jeff Miszkiewicz
There is going to be a transition period for King Philip this season, as the Warriors will be moving from former head coach Dan Nagle’s unique, non-stop pressure, quick-shot system to a new system brought in by first-year coach Jeff Miszkiewicz (who comes from LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island). With seven returning players, including five seniors, the Warriors should have the experience to adjust to the new style and be in the mix in the Kelley-Rex division.
Junior Emily Sawyer will be a major weapon for the Warriors on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-3 center may be the biggest beneficiary of a change in system and is poised for a breakout year in the paint. Her classmate Jackie Bonner will move into a starting role this season, with her ability to create instant offense and be a pest on the defensive side of the game.
Seniors Liv Lafond, Julia Marsden, and Elizabeth Molla also project to be starters for the Warriors this season. All three are versatile wings that can space the floor and attack in transition. Lafond may be the best off-the-dribble player for KP this season and her ability to get into the paint and create will be key. Marsden is a smart player who always seems to be in the right spot and a solid scorer at the rim or out on the perimeter. Molla is a knockdown shooter from the outside and can punish teams that sink down into the paint to guard Sawyer or prevent driving lanes.
“The team plays really hard and is very coachable,” said Miszkiewicz. “I think that’s why we have seen so much improvement over the first week of practice. You’ll see us take full advantage of our athleticism on both offense and defense. We’re going to be a fun team to watch.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Heather McPherson
Mansfield closed out the shortened 2020-21 season with five straight wins and will hope to keep that momentum rolling into this winter, although the Hornets will need a lot of players to step into bigger roles. Six seniors graduated from last year’s team, including the bulk of the team’s frontcourt and two of its three leading scorers. New players will need the early part of the season to adjust to the pace of the varsity level.
The Hornets will be hoping that junior guard Abby Wager’s growing offensive game will allow her to improve on the nine points per game she averaged as a sophomore. Senior Anna Darlington brings tenacity on defense and will make it tough for teams to get into their half court sets. Seniors Kayla Doherty and Sophia Allen will also need to add experience to a lineup that is growing into the season.
Junior guard Olivia Salisbury and sophomore forward Kara Santos are going to be stepping up from utility roles into core pieces of the Mansfield offense this season. Salisbury has good vision and can create chances for teammates, while Santos will be a threat in the paint, making up for some of the size that graduated from last year’s team.
“After a shortened season under my belt I feel confident in the adjustments that the girls have made into a slightly different system than previous years,” said second-year Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “We are emphasizing good fundamental defense and hoping that we can use it to create transition offense.”
2020-2021 Record: 3-8 Coach: TJ Dolliver
Milford ended last season with three wins in its final five games, building a little momentum that the Hawks are going to hope can get them off to a good start this winter. There will be a lot of changes from last year’s squad, as Milford graduated seven players, including a few four-year members of the team, so there may be some growing pains as new faces adjust to a new level.
Four seniors return to add experience and leadership to this year’s team. Guards Jess Douglas, Olivia Morelli, and Aubrey Korpi, and forward Jill Araujo are all back and will give Milford a foundation to build around. With so many new faces in the team this year, head coach TJ Dolliver will be leaning on his upperclassmen to help the younger players adjust, as the coaches work through the best way to utilize everyone’s skills on the court.
Junior forward Emily Croteau and guard Brooke Ferreira will be key players as well. The team’s top two returning scorers, Croteau and Ferreira will have to take on bigger roles this year and may be asked to carry a lot of the scoring punch. A three-year starter at point guard, Ferreira is the team’s top ball-handler and will be expected to get the Hawks into their sets while also looking for her own shot. An undersized forward, Croteau gives the team energy and rebounding, keeping possessions alive and getting chances thanks to her work rate.
“We are making a lot of changes this season,” Dolliver said. “It will be very important how we approach practice in regards to how successful we are this season. We have a lot of potential and I am excited to see where it goes.”
2020-2021 Record: 4-9 Coach: Nikki Correia
North Attleboro had a tough finish to the 2020-21 season, losing five straight to close it out, but all five were against teams with winning records, including two against division champ Oliver Ames. With a full season ahead, North has two of its top scorers back and has added more size in the frontcourt to try and make a postseason push.
The two key returning players will be senior Summer Doherty and junior Ava McKeon. The two aggressive guards give North extra energy on both ends of the floor and push the Rocketeers into the transition game that head coach Nikki Correia prefers. Their defensive effort will be critical for North this season. Senior forward Taylor McMath has improved each year and adds scoring in the paint and is an aggressive rebounder on both ends.
Size hasn’t been a strength for North the past few seasons but freshman Maryellen Charette will be an important addition in the paint. Despite being just a rookie, Charette has shown good footwork with back to the basket and is a strong rebounder. Sam Sweeney is the other freshman on the roster, while North has seven seniors on the roster to provide necessary experience for the younger players.
“I am looking forward to this season with a full schedule and many returning players, so lots of familiarity with each other and playing more under control and trusting each other more,” said Correia. “They are already showing more confidence and being in the right spots, running the offense, and letting the game come to them instead of forcing it.”
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames finished unbeaten and won the Davenport division title last season, but the Tigers will be disappointed to have missed out on a potentially deep tournament run. Coming into this year, expectations remain high with a good mix of experienced players and youth that will be getting their first taste of a full Hockomock League campaign.
Senior guard Caroline Peper is a four-year starter for the Tigers and has always been one of the league’s top long-range shooters, but continues adding to her game and her scoring will be critical. Senior Hailey Bourne is another four-year regular and one of the top defensive players in the league, capable of guarding multiple positions. Their leadership will be a key to OA’s success this winter. Senior forward Anna Murphy has improved each year and has a solid all-around game, making an impact on both ends of the floor, and junior guard Maddie Homer is a quick, tenacious defender and her improved offensive game will be important.
In addition to the more experienced players, OA is excited about the potential of the trio of sophomores who made cameos last year. Forwards Jasmyn Cooper, Kaydance Derba, and Sarah Hilliard all had good rookie seasons that gave a taste of their capabilities. Cooper and Hilliard provide size and scoring in the paint and both are excellent rebounders. Derba also has good size to be a tough matchup on the defensive end and is a dangerous three-point shooter who can stretch the floor.
“The Hockomock League, as always brings its share of tough competition, which will help us better prepare for the new standards established for the power rankings needed for the state tournament,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “The thing that I am most proud of is the fact that my players have worked tirelessly to improve themselves as players and we are ready to give it our best fight.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-10 Coach: Sandy Lombardi
It is hard to predict what type of season this will be for Sharon because the Eagles will be incorporating so many new faces and many of the players will be experiencing their first full season on varsity. After one win in 2020-21, the Eagles return only one senior on this year’s roster, so there is the potential to spring a few surprises on teams this season.
Trinity Payne is the lone senior for the Eagles. The four-year varsity player is a strong defensive presence and can control the glass, especially on the defensive end. Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi is looking for more offensive punch from Payne this season. Junior point guard Tess Lentendre returns after missing a few games last winter. A leader in the backcourt, Letendre is a three-year varsity player and will help control things on the offensive end.
The rest of the starting five for Sharon will be sophomores. Rachel Hager and Eva Poulton both saw time on varsity last season and play out on the wings. Jasmine Davis didn’t play last year but will start at center and should give Sharon extra size in the middle and should be a force on both ends of the court. Junior forward Emily Freeman is back from last year, but the rest of the Sharon roster are newcomers to the varsity team, although Lombardi is expecting good contributions from the bench.
“The girls have been working hard,” Lombardi said. “We are excited for the season and hopefully we can make some noise in the Hock this year.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-9 Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Last year was a little bit of a transition season for Stoughton, as the Black Knights graduated a lot from a team that was a win away from tournament qualification. An inexperienced Stoughton roster had some growing pains in 2020-21, but with five seniors this year head coach Charmaine Steele Jordan is hoping that last year will set a foundation for this year’s team to build on.
Senior Jess Maddalena is an important returning player for Stoughton. After missing her junior season to an injury, Maddalena will give the Black Knights additional scoring and depth on the wing. Senior guard Kate Bulger will be back to run the offense and provide strong perimeter defense. Senior Vanessa Philemond adds athleticism, energy, and rebounding and her length can be a weapon on both ends of the floor.
In addition to their three captains, the Black Knights will also be hoping for big seasons and lots of leadership from senior guards Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and Evie Lam. Stoughton also has three sophomores, Katrina Varnum, Alyssa Edwards, and Maiya Merritt, and freshman Raina Tat, who will be handling their first full season of varsity basketball this season.
“It’s so good to be back on the hardwood to compete this season,” said Steele Jordan. “We will continue to play hard on both ends of the court this season. I am looking forward to the five seniors taking charge and setting the pace for us. We will play tough, be gritty, and battle until the final buzzer sounds each night in the Hock.”
2020-2021 Record: 0-10 Coach: Amy Siggens
Taunton coach Amy Siggens is in her third year in charge of the program (and second season on the sidelines after not coaching last winter) and she will have a very different looking roster to the one that she first inherited. The Tigers graduated six seniors from last year’s team and there will be a lot of untested players getting their first taste of varsity action this season.
There is excitement about the return of junior guard Kameron St. Pierre. After a breakout rookie season in which she averaged more than 14 points per game, St. Pierre sat out last winter and will be back to carry a heavy load for the Taunton offense. The lefty point guard will get the Tigers into their sets and her long-range shooting should open the floor for teammates.
In addition to St. Pierre, the Tigers will have a host of guards to rotate through. Seniors Braeley McDonald, Kyanna Barros, and Abby Souza will give the Tigers plenty of energy on both ends of the floor and could benefit from the attention paid to St. Pierre to get decent looks from the perimeter. Sophomores Cali Melo and Lexi Haywood also have experience at the varsity level. Inside, Taunton will have several new faces but senior forward Olivia Gannon and junior Sayla DePina bring some size in the paint.
“As we look toward the beginning of this basketball season, caution and patience are the words that ring true for us,” said Siggens. “Baptism under fire is an appropriate description for our girls this season but with enthusiasm, hard work, and a commitment to improving, we have a chance to be competitive in a typically demanding Hockomock League.”
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Even with one of the teams changing divisions and the tournament format changing to statewide, there was still an all-Hockomock League matchup in the first round of this year’s state tournament. On Thursday night at Alumni Field, Mansfield hosted Canton in battle of familiar foes.
Mansfield’s center back duo of sophomore Kara Santos and freshman Gabby Smith may never have played in the postseason before, but they looked like seasoned veterans on Thursday, providing a wall in the defensive third and scoring punch on the other end of the field. Smith scored once and assisted on the other and Santos got the game-winner, as the Hornets won 3-0 to advance to next week’s Round of 16.
“They really work well together,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith said of his central defensive pairing. “They have a great friendship, they have an understanding (on the field), they seem to want to just find each other on set pieces. They’re great together.”
The Hornets dominated the ball in the opening half, testing Canton on both flanks and through the middle, but the Bulldogs showed some defensive resiliency. Ava Gilmore and Han Hong provided cover for the back four and centerbacks Allie McCabe and Sarah Dempster largely kept the hosts at bay.
Canton’s issue was getting the ball into the attacking third, where Emily McCabe was being shackled by Smith and Santos and struggling to combine with Fay Gallery.
“Their defense stays compact all the time,” said Canton coach Idris Senyonjo. “They let you play the ball in front of them not behind them, which works.”
Mansfield had the game’s first good chance when Katie Miller got the ball out to Tarynn Smith in the left channel and her cross just missed Olivia Homsi making a late run into the back post. Less than 10 minutes later, Smith tested the range on a 25-yard free kick that looked as though it had gone in, but had actually skimmed over the bar.
It took nearly half and hour for either keeper to be tested. From a throw-in, Miller had a chance on the right side of the box, but her looping shot was comfortably held by Canton keeper Elyse Broderick. It would be the only shot on target by either team in the first half.
The Hornets had a couple of looks from corners late in the half. Tarynn Smith played the first one to the edge of the six-yard box but Carly Devine was unable to keep her header down. The second corner from Smith was an attempt directly on goal, but it slid just wide of the far post.
Three minutes after halftime, the Hornets got the breakthrough. After a rare Canton foray into the Mansfield box, the hosts broke quickly and were able to win a corner when Miller’s shot from distance had Broderick scrambling down to her left to save. Gabby Smith curled an in-swinger with her left foot to the back post and Santos rose above her marker to power a header into the back of the net.
“It was great,” Smith said about the opening goal. “I thought we were on top most of the first half but Canton is a good team. They were organized, tough to break down that first half and that first goal just kind of loosened up the bonds for us and then we were able to find some more.”
In the 49th minute, the Hornets nearly doubled the lead. A cross from left back Anna Darlington picked out Abby Jean in the middle of the box. She beat her defender to the ball and the header beat the keeper only to come back off the post.
Two minutes later, Smith provided Mansfield with a welcome cushion. The freshman lined up a 35-yard free kick and bent a shot up over the outstretched arm of Broderick and under the post for a 2-0 lead.
Canton was pushing for a goal to get back into the game and was having a little more success getting into the final third, although the final ball was lacking. Freshman Emma Cahill was making good ground on the right wing and sophomore Devan Spinale was battling in the midfield but to no avail.
Just after the half-hour mark, Mansfield booked its place into the Sweet Sixteen. Tarynn Smith pounced on a mishit clearance, took a touch onto her right foot, and fired a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to make it 3-0.
The Bulldogs would manage to test Mansfield keeper Olivia Salisbury only once in the game, when McCabe lined up a shot in the closing minutes. In addition to the play of the back four, Bridget Hanley continued to play an important role for the Hornets’ midfield, breaking up attack after attack with strong tackles and clever interceptions.
“She’s done a great job just flying under the radar,” said Smith about Hanley. “People don’t know who she is and what she does and she just brings it every day.”
Canton (6-7-5) battled injuries throughout the season and had many players getting their first taste of tournament play.
“I think we beat a few odds to even make the playoffs, considering the injuries,” Senyonjo explained. “We’ve not been consistent enough to know what kind of game we’re going to have on any given day. I think having made the playoffs this year will drive the team to want to do better next year.”
Mansfield (12-4-1), the No. 11 seed, awaits the winner of No. 6 Medfield and No. 27 West Springfield. If the Warriors win, then Mansfield will be on the road, but if the Terriers win then the game will be back at Alumni Field.
Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton picked up a key two points and gained some ground in the division title race with a win over Stoughton. Jake McCabe continued his current hot streak with two more goals to pace the offense. Erik Valdovinos and Jacob Crugnale each added one goal in the win while Dylan Baird played well in the midfield. The Bulldogs pushed their unbeaten streak to six games and sit just two points out of the lead in the Davenport.
Foxboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – North Attleboro grabbed its third straight win and third straight shutout with a win over visiting Foxboro, leapfrogging the Warriors in the standings. Junior Givany Carney headed in a cross from classmate Griffin Rodden in the 55th minute for the lone goal of the game. David Floyd came up with a handful of big stops to preserve the shutout while Brody Rosenberg and Jaad Ismail had solid showings defensively.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Franklin scored the lone goal of the game just under 15 minutes into the contest to earn a season split with Taunton. Tim O’Keefe served a free kick from the right wing into the area that was redirected before falling to the feet of senior Terry O’Neill, who buried his chance from in close. The Panthers had a handful of good looks in the second half but couldn’t tack on a second goal; Taunton keeper Javonte Fernandes had a pair of terrific stops to help keep the deficit at one.
King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – King Philip sophomore Tommy Lomuscio scored the equalizer with just under 10 minutes to go to help the Warriors grab a point on the road against Mansfield. The Hornets had an ideal start when senior Matt Hyland scored just five minutes into the game to give the hosts the lead, finishing off a pass from classmate James Li. Both Connor O’Reilly (King Philip) and Jack Lasbury-Casey (Mansfield) played well in net.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Sharon recorded the upset of the season, snapping OA’s 10-game unbeaten streak and avenging a 6-1 loss from earlier this year. Adam Landstein scored the lone goal of the game, finishing off a pass from James Zhang. Brady Daylor recorded the shutout in net for the Eagles.
Milford, 0 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro broke open a scoreless game with three goals in the second half and moved back to .500 on the season. Seven minutes into the second half Jamie Davies was able to break the deadlock, assisted by Bethany Alves. Kacey Parker teed up Kahlan Gray for a 30-yard strike that double the lead. Emily Dunlea sealed the win with Attleboro’s third goal. Emily Khang picked up the assist.
Canton, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Canton scored six unanswered goals to pick up a big road win and move a win away from .500 on the season. Emily McCabe had four goals and an assist to power the Bulldogs offensively. Stoughton got off to a good start in the match and grabbed the lead after 12 minutes when Makenzie O’Connor coolly finished from the penalty spot. Canton equalized in the 28th minute when Ava Gilmore found the back of the net from long distance. McCabe broke the deadlock with the last kick of the half, taking a pass from Lauren Shatkin, cutting in on her left foot, and finding the back of the net. McCabe would add three goals in the first 12 minutes of the second half, twice running onto balls in behind the Stoughton back line and tapping in after a cross from the left by Devan Spinale. Fay Gallery wrapped up the scoring in the last minute when she met a McCabe corner at the back post.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Neve Taylor had a goal and an assist, as Foxboro held off a challenge from North to remain in a first-place tie. Taylor opened the scoring, finishing off a feed from Jordan Carman. Erin Foley made it 2-0 off another Carman assist. Kailee McCabe added a third with a solo run and finish. Lauren Miley wrapped up the scoring with a nice touch on a cross by Taylor.
Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Stella Regan’s brace powered Franklin to a road win that keeps the Panthers in first place in the Kelley-Rex, two points ahead of Mansfield and KP. Kelly O’Connor and Selene Hammad each scored as well for the Panthers, while Anya Zub had a pair of assists. Jackie O’Neill and Emma Reilly also had helpers in the win, while Rachel Welch and Haylie Aniki split the clean sheet in goal. Franklin coach Jodi Klein praised her team’s composure and ball movement.
Mansfield, 5 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – The Hornets moved into a tie with KP for second place in the Kelley-Rex with a big win on the road. Mansfield had five different goal scorers. Olivia Homsi got the first on an assist from Tarynn Smith, but KP answered back on a penalty from Ella Pisani. Gabby Smith had the second, scoring direct from a corner, but again the Warriors responded as Mikayla Thompson scored unassisted. Alexis O’Keefe put the visitors back in front, assisted by Bridget Hanley and Tarynn Smith scored off a pass from Anna Darlington for her second point of the night to make it 4-2 at the break. Kara Santos closed out the scoring for the Hornets with a second half free kick. Olivia Salisbury made seven saves, including three diving stops, to pick up the win in goal.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – OA pulled away to earn another win and remain tied with Foxboro atop the Davenport, scoring four goals in the second half. Katie Gibson, Lauren Sellmayer, Carly Gibson, Camryn O’Connor and Allison Evin were the goal scorers for OA while Emily Meyers and Kathrine Farley combined for the shutout in goal. Sharon had strong performances in the midfield from Sofia Goclowski and Amber Marcus-Blank. Jordanna Morris played well for the Eagles in defense and Autumn Simon had a good first half in goal and created several scoring opportunities playing up top after the break.
Canton, 2 @ Braintree, 0 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Algonquin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored three goals in the final quarter to break a tie game and pull away from Algonquin for its 13th win of the season. Algonquin twice took the lead, the first coming in the opening quarter but a goal from Shaw Downing (from Kaitlyn Carney) four minutes later leveled the match, which stayed 1-1 into halftime. Algonquin regained the lead less than a minute into the third but Kendall Jones finished a pass from Carney four minutes later to make it 2-2 heading into the fourth. Haley Wernig put the visitors ahead less than five minutes into the fourth off of Carney’s third assist of the game and then Carney scored herself with just under five minutes to go to make it 4-2.Jones tacked on her second goal of the game two minutes later on a pass from Kaeley Dubriske. Jones also made a pair of huge defensive saves while goalie Megan Sullivan had seven stops.
Taunton, 0 @ New Bedford, 3 – Final – Ashley Amaro and Thalia Nogeira played well in the loss for the Tigers.
Foxboro @ Walpole, 6:00
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames rallied from a two-set deficit to stun Bridgewater-Raynham, earning a season sweep of the Trojans with a 3-2 win (23-25, 21-25, 25-12, 25-12, 15-9). Sophomore Claire O’Rourke helped rally the Tigers with 24 kills and five aces while classmate Sarah Hilliard added 24 kills and four aces. Junior Maddie Homer recorded 42 digs and Hadley Rhodes dished out 39 assists.
SOUTH EASTON, Mass. – Sometimes it takes just one moment to separate two good teams. On Wednesday night at Muscato Stadium, the moment came right before halftime when Oliver Ames senior Camryn O’Connor burst out of midfield and crossed to junior Jenna Gilman at the back post. Making her first start of the season up top, Gilman made no mistake from a few yards out to put the Tigers back in front.
OA was able to hold onto its halftime lead, beating Mansfield 2-1 in a game that had the proper intensity for two teams fighting for first place in their respective divisions, battling for higher rankings in the state tournament, and getting prepared for making deep playoff runs next month.
“I preach all the time that a great game is 2-1,” said OA coach Britt Sellmayer. “Someone is going to make a mistake, someone is going to hit a brilliant goal, and you need two [goals] to win. That’s two games in a row that this team has shown some growth since the Foxboro game where we had a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes to go and it kind of slipped away.
“It’s one of our best games of the year, so I’m pleased because Mansfield’s always tough to break down.”
The first half was largely dominated by the hosts. OA’s pressure on the ball was forcing turnovers high up the pitch and forcing Mansfield to resort to long balls over the top. There was very little time to take a touch and the Hornets struggled early.
Just six minutes into the game, OA had its first chance on a set piece. An in-swinging corner was only partially cleared and Ella McDonough got a foot to it. The shot was blocked onto the post and then a goal-bound rebound effort was blocked by Carly Devine.
In the 12th minute, another set piece would provide the opener. Mansfield keeper Olivia Salisbury did really well to prevent Katie Gibson’s corner from heading straight in, clawing the ball out from under the bar. Alexa Lane was there to knock the rebound back at goal but it was blocked out to Mary Cross. Third time was the charm, as the senior defender poked it home.
Lyla Nappa would have Mansfield’s first shot on goal in the 18th minute and it was comfortably saved by Emily Meyers. At the half-hour mark, the Hornets equalized out of nothing. Abby Jean and Tarynn Smith played a nice one-two about 35 yards from goal. Smith looked up and, for once, had no pressure on her so decided to have a go. The shot slid just under the bar and over the fingers of Meyers to make it 1-1.
“She’s starting to and we need it,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith said of Tarynn Smith finding the back of the net more often in recent games. “We’re built on a team offense. We don’t have the Steph Kemp or the Cam O’Connor or the Kailee McCabe, so we have to get contributions from everybody.”
The remainder of the half was largely controlled by O’Connor. The Boston University-commit was proving difficult to contain, even as the Hornets threw multiple defenders on her. After sending one just wide from 25 yards, O’Connor dribbled past a pair of defenders into the box taking advantage of a Gabby Smith clearance ricocheting off Kara Santos for another chance that went just wide.
In the 39th minute, Lucinda Li Cotter teed up O’Connor from 20 yards that forced Salisbury into a full stretch save, tipping it around the post.
With the clock stopped at the end of the half, O’Connor had her moment. She rode a challenge near midfield and then carried the ball a full 40 yards down the left channel, got to the end line, and sent over a pinpoint, left-footed cross to Gilman ghosting in unmarked at the back post.
“Cam had the big play that we need every game from her,” said Sellmayer. “She is one of those rare players that has pace on the ball. Sometimes there will be a tackle and it ends up on your foot, ends up on my foot, well it usually ends up on her foot a little more often.”
The second half would feature very few chances for either team, but the Hornets made significant improvements in how they played out of the pressure. Smith admitted that it had little to do with his team talk at the break.
He explained, “Got to halftime and said what do you guys think? They were like, coach we were playing scared a little bit. They actually self-reflected and they figured out how to break it down. It’s what I love about these kids, they really think about the game and we’re growing.”
OA had a chance of yet another corner early in the second half but McDonough didn’t catch it cleanly and Santos was in the way to block and clear. In the 64th minute, Katie Gibson had a deflected cross find her at the back post but she couldn’t make clean contact and hit it right at Salisbury. A minute later, Carly Gibson set up O’Connor on her right foot but it was a tame effort that Salisbury snagged.
Those were the only chances for the Tigers after the break, but they were also limiting Mansfield, who was playing better and getting into advanced areas down the wings but still not troubling Meyers. The foursome of McDonough (making her first start), Cross, Allison Evin, and Sophia Byron largely held the Hornets at arm’s length.
“We really didn’t give them many chances inside the 18 and that’s something they’ve worked on,” said Sellmayer. “I thought Kyla [Melton] playing in the midfield gave us another edge on those headers that we didn’t have in the Foxboro game.”
Still, in a one-goal game, all it takes is a single chance to turn two points into one. Mansfield finally got that look in the 70th minute. Santos won the ball at the back and hit a quick outlet to Anna Darlington down the right wing leading to a corner. Smith curled one into the six-yard box and Devine was there but unable to keep her header down.
OA was able to run out the final nine minutes to secure the win and stay level with Foxboro in the Davenport title race
“I keep saying we’re young and learning and we are,” said Smith. “It’s been our mantra all year and it’s a great opportunity to learn about those little things and how to play against a team that’s, in the power rankings, No. 4 four in the state. It was good for us, I’m proud of my girls.”
Oliver Ames (9-1-1) will travel to Canton on Friday. Mansfield (8-3-0), which is four points behind Franklin in the Kelley-Rex with game in hand, will be on the road at Milford on Friday.