Foxboro, 64 @ Stoughton, 67 – Final – In a back-and-forth contest, Stoughton won the fourth quarter and the game, holding on as Foxboro’s shot at the buzzer was just off the mark. After a strong start from the Black Knights, Foxboro used a 20-2 in the first quarter to take a double-digit lead after eight minutes. Dylan Gordon (19 points), Sam Golub (11 points), and Ryan LeClair (career-high 15 points) all hit threes in the opening period to give the visitors the lead. Stoughton responded with a big second quarter, with six players recording a field goal including a pair of threes from senior Jake Queeney (career-high 15 points) and one from Christian Georges to tie the game 33-33 at halftime. Golub added two more triples in the third and sophomore Alex Penders had six of his 16 points in the third to help Foxboro take a 52-50 lead going into the fourth. Stoughton junior KC Ugwuakazi scored all of his 14 points in the second half and helped set up one of the biggest shots of the game. With two minutes to go, Ugwuakazi took a pass in the paint and drew the attention of the defense. He found Connor Andrews (nine points), who quickly skipped a pass to Brett Pendenza (career-high 16 points) for a corner three to make it 65-60 with two minutes to play.
Oliver Ames @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD.
King Philip, 61 @ Milford, 66 – Final – Ten players entered the scoring sheet for the Hawks, who broke into the win column with a win over visiting King Philip. The Hawks increased their advantage after each of the first three quarters, holding the visiting Warriors at arms length down the stretch. Senior Jordan Darling scored eight of his 10 points in the opening half while Ben Blanchard (team-high 12 points), Brady Olson, and Wes Solomon all connected from three-point range in the second to give Milford a 33-25 lead at halftime. Dom Schofield and Sean Murray each scored eight points in the third and Max Martin hit a three as the Hawks pushed the advantage to 50-41 going into the final frame. King Philip sophomore Will Laplante hit seven three-pointers for a career-high 26 points to help keep the Warriors in the game. Junior Danny Clancy scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half for KP.
Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 76 – Final – All 11 players scored for Foxboro, which ended its two-game losing streak and moved back over .500 on the season. Katelyn Mollica was the game’s top scorer with 27 points. Camryn Collins also hit double digits with 10 points and Hannah Blake added nine.
Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – Final – Oliver Ames got off to a strong start and never looked back, earning a win at home behind a complete game effort. Caroline Peper was the leading scorer for OA with 11 points while Jess Erlich, Jasmyn Cooper, and Anna Murphy each chipped in with seven points. Caroline Flynn dished out eight assists in the win.
Canton, 48 @ Milford, 68 – Final – Milford used a strong second half to pull away from Canton to get the win, clinching a share of the Davenport division title along with Foxboro and Stoughton. Milford held a 34-30 lead at halftime and pushed that advantage to nine, up 49-38, heading into the fourth. The Scarlet Hawks poured in 20 points in the final quarter to secure the win. Ben Blanchard hit four threes and went 6-for-7 from the free throw line for 18 points while senior Colby Pires had a pair of threes and was 8-for-8 from the line to also record 18 points for the Hawks. Ralph Franklin Jr. chipped in with 13 points in the win. Canton’s Nick Cushman scored a team-high 14 points while Robbie Gallery added 10 points.
King Philip, 62 @ Oliver Ames, 74 – Final – Oliver Ames’ offense was hot from the start, scoring 19 or more in each of the first three quarters, building a 20-point lead entering the fourth quarter. After 19 points in the first, the Tigers dropped 20 points in the second to take a double-digit halftime lead (39-25) and scored 19 more in the third to seize a 58-38 edge. Senior Jay Spillane scored 11 of his team-high 18 points in the second while Adam Cann sank two of his three triples in the frame to help OA build its lead. Amari Brown added 10 of his 16 points in the third while Evan Craig scored half of his 16 points in the fourth. Ryan Burkett added 12 points for OA, scoring in each quarter. King Philip’s Alex Fritz scored a game-high 28 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter.
Stoughton, 56 @ Sharon, 51 – Final – A close game throughout, Stoughton made the plays down the stretch to pull out the win and clinch a share of the Davenport division title along with Foxboro and Milford. Tied at 48-48 with 3:33 to go, the Black Knights used a 7-0 surge over two and a half minutes to close out the win. Obinna Ugwuakazi (10 points) hit two of three free throws, Donte Tyler drained a three, his first bucket of the game, and Myles Grigalunas-Powell (17 points) drove to the basket for two to give Stoughton a 55-48 lead with just under a minute to go. Tahkwan Gates Brown added 14 points for Stoughton, which led 14-12 after one, 29-25 at half, and 42-38 going into the final quarter. Andrew Burton scored a team-high 14 points for Sharon, Matt Baskin added 12 points, and Aidan Kane chipped in with 10 points.
Mansfield, 75 @ Taunton, 69 – Final (OT) – Mansfield used a three-point play to tie the game and got a stop on the final play of regulation, and then used a 6-0 surge in overtime to grab a win over the Tigers. Taunton had a 63-60 lead but couldn’t pad the lead with free throws and Mansfield junior TJ Guy (10 points) came down the other end and completed a three-point play to tie it 63-63. The Tigers had a chance with 12 seconds let but the Hornets defense locked in prevented Taunton from getting a look. Taunton’s Josh Lopes put the hosts ahead early in the overtime but Sam Stevens (23 points) brought the visitors level. After a Tiger miss, junior Matt Boen (28 points) sank two free throws, came up with a steal, and sank two more free throws to push the lead to 72-68. Taunton made it a one possession game but Stevens iced the game from the line. Taunton sophomore Trent Santos had a team-high 23 points while Tyler Stewart added 17 points for the Tigers, who trailed at the end of the first (11-7) and halftime (30-27), but took a 50-46 lead into the fourth quarter.
Milford, 33 @ Canton, 54 – Final
North Attleboro, 55 @ Foxboro, 73 – Final – Foxboro completed its league campaign with an eighth straight win, and its second win in as many nights. Lizzy Davis scored 24 points, a season-high, to lead the Warriors to the victory. Katelyn Mollica also had a big night, finishing with 23, and Yara Fawaz got into double digits with 12. The Rocketeers cut a 16-point halftime lead down to eight going into the fourth quarter, but the Warriors exploded for 24 points in the final eight minutes to pull out the win. “I told the girls at halftime we need to come out strong make a quick few baskets and get them to call a timeout,” said North coach Nikki Correia. “We did that and locked down on the defensive end but we just couldn’t sustain it.” Regan Fein led North with 12 points and Olivia Forbes scored 11 in the loss. Ava McKeon and Amanda Kaiser both scored nine for the visitors. North Attleboro goes into the final game of the regular season against Attleboro with both teams needing a win to qualify for the tournament.
Oliver Ames, 50 @ King Philip, 65 – Final – King Philip split the season series with Oliver Ames and won its third game in four days to close out the regular season. Brianna James scored 21 to power the Warriors to the win. Faye Veilleux added 10 points, Faith Roy scored nine, and Emma Glaser had a great all-around game with six points, eight rebounds, six steals, and six assists. Tori Harney led OA with 10 points while Caroline Flynn and Anna Murphy each chipped in with nine.
Taunton, 36 @ Mansfield, 45 – Final – Becca Hottleman scored a career-high 16 points to celebrate her senior night with a win. Ashley Santos chipped in with eight for the Hornets, who trailed 8-7 after one quarter but jumped in front by three by halftime. A 14-8 third quarter, thanks in part to a trio of three-pointers from Hottleman, extended the Mansfield lead to nine and that was how the game finished. Sonya Fernandez was the top scorer for the Tigers with 13, while Sam Lincoln added 10 and Kameron St. Pierre had eight.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – After winning the opening three games of the season by an average of 30 points per night, Oliver Ames was off to a perfect start, but the Tigers knew that Friday afternoon’s opening round of the annual Sue Rivard Tournament would be one of the toughest challenges to this point in the year.
Walpole proved to be more than OA could handle, pulling away with an 8-3 run over the final three minutes of the game, to secure the 48-44 victory and handing the Tigers their first loss of the young season.
“That’s not really our strength,” OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of Walpole’s ability to force the Tigers into a half-court game.
She added, “We need to be able to read situations because we missed offensive opportunities and then we forced things that weren’t there. We have to be better. We weren’t in any rhythm today. We’ve got to grow up and face the difficult situations.”
The Tigers couldn’t handle Walpole senior guard Sydney Scales, who scored 25 of her team’s 48 points and was able to get into the lane almost at will. She got to the line on 10 different possessions and forced the Tigers to double in the lane, which opened up shots for her teammates.
The Rebels looked like they were on the brink of breaking the game open in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 31-24 after a pair of Scales free throws. OA showed its resiliency to bounce back and force a 34-34 tie heading into the final eight minutes.
Caroline Flynn (18 points and 13 rebounds) hit four straight free throws to cut the lead to just three. Flynn then added a basket on an offensive board to make it 34-30. Tate Hadges grabbed three straight on the offensive glass to earn a trip to the line. She knocked down one to make it a three-point game and then Flynn spotted up in the corner on a Jess Erlich look ahead on the break and buried a three that tied it in the closing seconds of the quarter.
“We put too much pressure on her and somebody else needs to step up and help her,” Clement-Holbrook said of Flynn, who was also tasked with chasing Scales on the defensive end for the bulk of the game. “If we don’t, then we become one-dimensional and we need to be multi-dimensional to be successful.”
Walpole bounced right back with five straight to start the fourth, all by Scales. It took more than three minutes for the Tigers to get on the board, but Erlich’s basket made it just a three-point game. Caroline Peper (12 points) hit a pair at the line and then she knocked down her first three-pointer since the opening minutes to give OA a 41-40 lead with 3:03 to play, its first lead since the first quarter.
The visitors answered right back. Scales kicked out to Elisabeth Roche for a big three that restored the Walpole lead. Hailey Bourne (seven points) made one-of-two at the line and OA had the ball with a chance to get back in front, but Brooke Walonis stole the ball and then drilled a clutch three for a four-point edge.
OA wasn’t done. The Rebels shot just 4-for-13 from the line in the fourth quarter and allowed the Tigers to hang around, despite their shooting struggles. Bourne came up with a huge rebound and putback with 21.3 on the clock.
The Tigers got the ball back after Walpole made one-of-two and got a good look for Peper for a tying three but she wasn’t able to knock it down. One more free throw sealed the win for the Rebels and sent them to the tournament final.
“We couldn’t get the foul shot in and then Pep struggled off that screen,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “I was just disappointed because I thought we lost every 50-50 ball in the second half and we weren’t playing with basketball I.Q.”
She added, “I know the level of competition was beyond what we had seen and we just didn’t play like we had been.”
OA got off to a decent start to the game. Flynn and Peper each buried threes to put the Tigers up 6-0. The two Carolines combined for all 13 of OA’s points in the first. Peper scored in transition, off an Anna Murphy assist, to make it 13-10. Scales, who had seven in the first, continued to cause problems and she drove to the basket to put Walpole up 15-13 after one.
Defense was the star in the second quarter. Flynn cut the lead in half (19-16) with a layup plus the foul and Erlich cut backdoor for a layup that made it a two-point game (20-18). With Walpole leading by four, Meg Holleranstole the ball and fed Bourne for a layup to make it 24-22 at the break.
Oliver Ames (3-1) will take on neighboring Brockton in the consolation round of the Rivard Tournament on Saturday.
2018-2019 Record: 8-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
Attleboro was three wins shy of reaching the postseason last year, despite a roster filled with inexperienced players, and the Bombardiers demonstrated the potential in the squad by upsetting Franklin late in the season and handing the Panthers their only league loss. This winter, the Bombardiers will be looking to turn potential into reality and make a jump into the playoff picture.
Six players are returning from last year, including seniors Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall, who give Attleboro a talented backcourt on both ends of the court. Thomas adds length and slashing ability, while McCall is a sharpshooter who will be the team’s primary ball-handler. Sophomore Meg Gordon has taken a big leap from last year and head coach Marty Crowley thinks that she is ready for a breakout season on the wing.
Juniors Gabby Bosh and Emma Reilly will both be back to add some nous to the lineup, while sophomores Hailey and Lindsey Perry add grit and toughness. Junior Ryan Johnson will add size to the frontcourt, while sophomore Lillian Froio and juniors Jackie MacDonald and Laura McVeigh add depth and physicality. Overall, it is a much deeper, more experienced group for Crowley to build lineups with this season.
“For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound,” Crowley said. “Nyah and Liv I am sure are going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone, however, we feel as if we have the players in place who will contribute offensively.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-7 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Jim Choquette
Youth was served for the Bulldogs last season, as a talented trio of freshmen jumped into the starting lineup and helped Canton have one of its most successful seasons in program history, with 14 wins and a return to the state tournament. There were still some learning curves to overcome, but now a more experienced group is play with speed and get out on the break as often as possible to give Foxboro a challenge in the Davenport title race and bring home a postseason win.
Although Canton is still a relatively young team, the talent on the roster is undeniable. Sophomores Kiara Cerruti and Sydney and Fay Gallery all had impressive rookie campaigns, showing off their skills on the wing, from three-point range, and in the paint. They will face even more pressure this season, as teams know what they like to do and will be even more determined to take them out of their games.
Sophomore Carly Fitzgerald will be one of the players stepping into the point guard role vacated by the graduation of Julia Hamilton and will be the facilitator getting Canton into its offense. In the paint, Canton has size and athleticism in senior Lilah Milton and junior Kayla Albert, who are both active rebounders and finishers at the rim and both have shown the ability to knock down the occasional jumper as well. Juniors Angie Elias and Sam Lamarr and sophomore Annie Hoban all have experience from last year to add to Canton’s depth.
Canton coach Jim Choquette said, “Each day we will try to improve as a coaching staff and a program. By the end of the season, our hopes are to be playing at our best.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-3 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Lisa Downs
The two-time defending Davenport division champions return all but one player from last year’s roster, so Foxboro remains the team to beat for the league title and expectations are very high heading into a new season. After a trip to the Div. 2 South semifinals last season, the Warriors will be aiming for even more this winter, trying to regain the top spot not just in the Hock but also in the South sectional.
Junior Katelyn Mollica was the team’s leading scorer last year and is already closing in on 1,000 points for her career. The team’s primary ball-handler and one of the best shooters in the league, Mollica will be one of the top offensive threats in the league. She will have plenty of help. Senior guard Lizzy Davis and senior forwards Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman will also return to the starting lineup this season and add athleticism, speed, and tenacity on both ends of the floor, taking some pressure off Mollica with their ability to score in the open court.
Senior Shakirah Ketant came on strong at the end of last season and gives Foxboro a different, more physical look in the paint. Junior Jordyn Collins is a tough on-the-ball defender and has speed to burn. Seniors Jamie DeVellis and Julia Kelley both saw time on the floor last year and will add to Foxboro’s depth. Sophomore center Hannah Blake is a new face that could provide more strength in the post.
“The Hockomock League continues to produce teams, which make every night a tough one – there are really no teams that you can take lightly,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “The preparation required to compete in this league really benefits teams that get to the postseason.”
2018-2019 Record: 21-4 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinal. Coach: John Leighton
Franklin is coming off its best season in program history and the Panthers have the talent returning to potentially surpass that success this winter. After winning the program’s first sectional title and coming within minutes of reaching the state title game, Franklin returns three of its starters and a host of bench players ready to step into bigger roles this year.
The key to it all is senior Ali Brigham. The George Washington-commit controlled the paint on both ends of the floor last season and remains the league’s most dominant star, as she continues to expand her game to make it even more difficult for the opposition. Teams can’t focus only on Brigham, as senior forward Meghan O’Connell showed in the playoffs the problems she can present with her ability to score and rebound and sophomore Olivia Quinn is another forward with size that teams will struggle to match up with.
Junior point guard Erin Quaile is a tenacious defender and a solid ball-handler, who is developing her outside shot. Senior Sydney Garilli and juniors Elizabeth Wilson, Teagan Collins, and Carissa Alers all saw time last season and will be in the backcourt rotation. Franklin will also add several newcomers, who could step right in and contribute, including juniors Katelynn Taylor and Kaleigh Houlihan and sophomores Emma Sousa and Stefany Padula. On balance, the Panthers look likely to be the team to beat again in the Kelley-Rex.
“I am excited by what I have seen to date,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They are a very motivated group who have bought into their team motto ‘We Over Me.’ They are good teammates who seek team success over individual glory.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-8 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip had a breakout season in 2018-19, winning 13 games and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. Returning seven players from last year’s roster, new head coach Dan Nagle takes over a program in solid shape and is looking to build on last season’s success and try to challenge Franklin at the top of the league standings this winter.
Senior Faye Veilleux spearheaded KP’s breakout season when she emerged as one of the top post scorers in the league. Her versatility and her ability to get out in transition will be crucial to Nagle’s fastbreaking style. Senior Faith Roy will give the Warriors a clutch outside shooter and classmate Taylor Butler adds physicality to the guard or forward position.
Junior Emma Glaser will be expected to take on a bigger role after a strong sophomore season on the wing and junior point guard Brianna James demonstrated the ability to get into the lane at will and finish even against taller opponents. Juniors Caroline Aaron and Courtney Keswick are also back from last year to provide depth on the wings and 6-foot-3 freshman Emily Sawyer will give KP much-needed size in the post, as they try to combat Franklin’s Ali Brigham. The Warriors are going to try and break teams down with aggressive defending and their speed in transition.
Nagle said, “It has been a great start to the year with this group of kids. From top to bottom our roster is full of girls who love the game of basketball and are enjoying the process of improving day to day here in the early going. I think we will be a fun team to watch this season, and I look forward to the challenge of having our kids compete night in and night out in an excellent league like the Hockomock.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Mike Redding
Mansfield has consistently been one of the top programs in the Kelley-Rex division but even the best programs are going to need time to overcome the graduation of 10 seniors. The Hornets will lack experience, but head coach Mike Redding will be looking for improvement over the course of the season and will be hoping to have the team playing its best basketball as the tournament rolls around.
Senior Becca Hottleman was recently cleared after knee surgery and will be back at the point for the Hornets. Hottleman is one of only two players that got starts last year. Junior forward Ashley Santos is the other and she will be one of the players expected to see her numbers take a jump, as she should expect to get a few more looks on the offensive end. Senior Kelly Doherty and junior Kayla Vine will jump into starting roles on the wings, while junior Sara Dooling will be a starter at forward.
While there is a lack of varsity playing time on the roster, there are plenty of upperclassmen that will be expected to contribute. Junior Sarah Sacco will back-up Hottleman at the point, while junior Ally Prentis and senior Grace Benton will add depth at the wing. Senior Grace Maher and juniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking will see time in the frontcourt and freshman wing Abby Wager should get opportunities to build experience this season.
“This group has very limited varsity basketball experience overall because we had that large and talented group of 10 seniors last year, but we’re not young and will rely on senior leadership and a deep junior class and all have varsity experience in other sports,” said Redding. “We have good size and depth in the post and all of them can shoot, handle the ball, and play like guards, which should cause some problems for the defense. It will be a work in progress and we’ll have to battle for wins in a very good league but this will be a good basketball team by February when the tourney rolls around.”
2018-2019 Record: 1-19 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Last year was a tough one for Milford. After graduating the bulk of the roster, an inexperienced group struggled through the season, but never lost the work rate and closed out the winter with its first win. The Hawks are still relatively young, but head coach TJ Dolliver is approaching the new year with optimism because of his team’s continued growth.
Four juniors are entering their third varsity seasons and the Hawks will be counting on them to provide necessary leadership on and off the court. Emma Lawrence, Jillian Michelson, Carly Fereira, and Katie Maietta have all gotten plenty of playing time last year and the hope is that experience will serve them well this winter.
This will be a guard-heavy lineup, especially with no player over 5-foot-8. Junior Elise Fauerbach will add some physical play to the frontcourt and sophomore forward Jill Araujo is a newcomer that can add some depth in the paint.
“There is a lot to pay attention to but what I care about the most is how we do this together,” said Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls and a great coaching staff and I believe this season will be very rewarding.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Nikki Correia
It has been a tough run over the last few seasons for North Attleboro, which won seven games and missed the playoffs for the third straight year, but there are still positives to take away as former assistant Nikki Correia takes over for her first year in charge. North has several experienced players returning to try and push Big Red back up the standings.
The backcourt should be a plus for North with senior point guard Olivia Forbes back to run the show and keep the Rocketeers getting into the transition game that Correia prefers. She will be joined at the guard position by junior Amanda Kaiser, who emerged as not only a threat from deep but also as a tough defender who gets her hands into the passing lane. Juniors Siobhan Weir and Lydia Santos will add to the depth at guard to help with the full-court pressure that North will turn to this year.
North hasn’t had much height in the past few seasons, but there are several forwards who can compete on the glass. Senior forward Eliza Dion is an aggressive defender and can take her defender off the dribble. Senior Regan Fein will add extra depth in the paint. Freshman guard Ava McKeown and sophomore guard Summer Doherty are two newcomers that could make an instant impact.
“I am looking forward to being apart of watching this team and this program grow this year,” Correia said. “There are six returning seniors, so that veteran play will be very helpful, as well as returning a great shooter and adding an athletic sophomore and freshman to the mix.”
2018-2019 Record: 13-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames had a lot of new faces last year, but the success was very familiar. The Tigers finished with 13 wins and reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal, giving Wellesley all it could handle on the road. A year of experience and the return of a strong core of players means expectations are even higher for OA this winter.
Sophomore Caroline Peper will be the player that is going to draw the most attention at the start of the new season. As a freshman, Peper was one of the league’s top scorers and its top shooters. Junior Caroline Flynn was also an all-star last year. She runs the point, is one of the top passers on the team, and also one of its top rebounders. Her overall game helps the Tigers control games. Also in the backcourt will be seniors Meg Holleran and Erin Holmberg, who is coming back after surgery cost her almost all of last season.
Senior Tate Hadges will be on the front line, giving OA another strong defender and rebounder. Sophomore Hailey Bourne, while undersized, gives the Tigers a lot of effort in the post even when matched up against some of the best frontcourt players in the league. Junior Jess Erlich and Tori Harney and sophomore Anna Murphy will add to the team’s depth on the wing.
“As always, the Hock will present with a very high level of competition,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We are looking forward to being capable of putting together a variety of strong personnel combinations which will provide us with depth as we face those challenges.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sandra Lombardi
Sharon narrowly missed out on its first playoff appearance under head coach Sandy Lombardi, finishing just one win away from a tournament berth. With three returning starters and several younger players who got significant playing time last year, the Eagles will be eyeing that elusive postseason berth.
Three seniors will be counted on to lead the team at both ends of the floor. Point guard Ally Brown will be expected to get the Eagles into their offensive sets and is a strong defender on the other end, keeping pressure on the perimeter. Shooting guard Kaitlyn Wallace is the team’s top outside threat, stretching the defense with her range and also being a strong passer off the dribble. Forward Telishya Herbert led the team in scoring last year and is a matchup nightmare in the paint with her aggressive play going to the basket.
The starting lineup will be rounded out by junior Leah Fandel and sophomore Trinity Payne, two athletic forwards that will give Sharon decent size on the front line. Senior Nicole Teven, juniors Julia Early and Gaby Cabral and freshman Tess Letendre will all see plenty of playing time this season and will look to contribute to the team’s success.
“Ally, Kaitlyn, and Telishya have the most varsity experience and I expect great things from them this year,” Lombardi said. “We have a young team and I am hoping some of the younger players are able to step up this year as well.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
A new era will begin this winter, as Stoughton moves into its brand new gym with a lot of new faces on the roster, hoping to get the Black Knights back into the playoff race this season after missing out on the tournament last year.
The key for the Black Knights will be its senior leadership. Although Sydnee Hyacinthe has moved on to Milton Academy, they still return a strong core led by senior Aliyah Wright. The point guard can be a dominant presence on both ends of the floor, sparking Stoughton on defense and breaking down the opposition off the dribble. Senior Shyanne Trinh is healthy to start the season and will be the team’s top outside threat, with the ability to knock down shots off the dribble. Senior forward Lexi Baptista is an athletic post threat who can also step back and knock down the mid-range jumper.
Senior Hannah Pagano and juniors Brooke Bulger, Mackenzie Manning, and Catherine Downey will add to the team’s depth, especially in the backcourt. Sophomore Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and freshman Kyla Sheedy-Goff will be two of the newcomers to the roster that could make a name for themselves this season.
“Despite being somewhat young this season this group of ladies worked really hard in the off-season,” said Stoughton coach Charmain Steele Jordan. “The sky is the limit this season and our Black Knights are going compete hard until the final whistle blows.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-15 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
After a number of seasons under coach Walter Harrigan, Taunton has turned to former King Philip coach Amy Siggens this year and she has brought plenty of energy into her first preseason with the Tigers, trying to push the program back into the playoff hunt.
As Siggens and the players become more comfortable with each other, the Tigers will count on their returning starters to get things off to a good start. Juniors Sonya and Jaelyn Fernandez and Kelsey White will be the players to watch this season after strong sophomore campaigns. All three have good size, with both Sonya and Jaelyn providing strong presences on the boards and out on the break and White causing match-up issues on the perimeter. All three will need to step up on the defensive end and keep the Tigers running.
Taunton also has depth, although it will be relatively inexperienced. Seniors Liz Crisman and Jaylah Chaves and junior Tori DaRosa will add more depth in the backcourt. Sophomores Braeley McDonald and Abby Souza (who has helped out on varsity since she was an eighth-grader) and freshman Kameron St. Pierre will also chip in this season.
“Any coaching change brings lots of challenges and, this season, we will be faced with our share,” said Siggens. “I am very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far. Our bench is young and talented but how quickly a good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start.”