Franklin, 76 @ Attleboro, 72 – Final (OT) – Franklin erased a five-point deficit over the final 90 seconds to send the game into overtime and then outscored the Bombardiers 8-4 in the final period to earn the win. Paul Mahon hit the tying three with less than a minute to play and then hit another triple early in overtime to put Franklin up 73-68. Jalen Samuels poured in a career-high 28 points along with 17 rebounds to lead the Panthers. Samuels scored eight of his points between the fourth and overtime. Sophomore Chris Edgehill added 20 points for Franklin. For Attleboro, sophomore Bryant Ciccio had a career-high 19 points, including 11 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bombardiers build a lead. Kevin Velazquez added a career-best 14 points while sophomore Qualeem Charles had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Mansfield, 73 @ King Philip, 54 – Final – After leading by just three at the half (34-31), Mansfield outscored the Warriors by eight in the third and then dropped 21 points in the final quarter to pick up a division win. Senior John McCoy paced the Hornets with 20 points and seven rebounds while Khristian Conner dropped 16 points. Sam Hyland added 12 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Hornets. KP’s Bruce Santillus scored a career-high 17 points.
Milford, 49 @ North Attleboro, 36 – Final – North Attleboro limited Milford to just 14 points at halftime, but could only score 16 of its own. The Scarlet Hawks offense came alive in the second half, outscoring North 35-20. Junior Brendan White scored nine of his game-high 16 points in the third quarter while Kayden Kelley had 10 points and 13 rebounds and Andrew Fraioli finished with nine points and nine rebounds. North Attleboro junior Josh Montague led the Rocketeers with 12 points.
Oliver Ames, 60 @ Taunton, 61 – Final – Taunton sophomore Dante Law hit a deep, contested three with just three seconds left to help Taunton earn a 61-60 decision over Oliver Ames. OA took the lead on a bucket from junior Ethan Eckstrom with 20 seconds left before Law hit the game-winner. OA held a 57-51 lead with five minutes to play but Taunton used a 7-1 run to tie the game. Taunton senior Lens Esquil had a game-high 19 points while junior John Martins had a career-high 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers in the second half. Law and Malik Charles each had 10 points. Jack Spillane led OA with 20 points while Matt Muir scored a career-high 16 points for the visitors.
Sharon, 65 @ Stoughton, 91 – Final – Stoughton connected on 16 three-pointers en route to its best offensive performance of the season. Senior Cam Andrews scored 26 points (five three-pointers) while classmate Colin Sanda (five three-pointers) added a career-high 17 points and sophomore Ajahn Rue (four three-pointers) had a career-high 18 points, seven assists, and seven steals. Malik Loruqet led the Eagles with 20 points.
Canton, 34 @ Foxboro, 79 – Final – Ashley Sampson poured in 28 points as Foxboro continued its unbeaten start in the league. Lily Sykes added 15 points and Katelyn Mollica had 11 for the Warriors.
King Philip, 28 @ Mansfield, 53 – Final – Meg Hill recorded another double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds and also had four blocks. Ann Maher scored nine points and Maggie Danehy and Emily Vigeant each had seven for Mansfield. KP was led by Catherine Cummings with 11 points, while Faith Roy chipped in with five.
North Attleboro, 41 @ Milford, 51 – Final – Kate Irwin scored 19 points for the Hawks, who move back into a second-place tie in the Davenport. Emily Piergustavo added 13 points for Milford.
Taunton, 22 @ Oliver Ames, 66 – Final – Oliver Ames jumped out to a 32-18 lead at halftime and put on a dominant second-half performance to earn the win. OA senior Kayla Raymond continued her strong play with 28 points, five rebounds, and five steals while Ally Scolnick added 11 points in the win. OA head coach Laney Holbrook noted sophomore Erin Holmberg played great defense for the host Tigers.
Stoughton, 45 @ Sharon, 36 – Final – Stoughton junior Hailey Egan dropped a career-best 14 points to lead the Black Knights to a division win on the road at Sharon. Senior Val Whalen added a team-high 13 rebounds while freshman Sydnee Hyacinthe had a game-high five steals for the Black Knights.
Oliver Ames, 94.5 @ Attleboro, 72.5 – Final
Oliver Ames, 92.5 @ Attleboro, 70.5 – Final
Attleboro @ Oliver Ames – Ppd. to 1/14 at 5:00.
Canton, 56 @ Sharon, 42 – Final – Sharon built a double-digit lead in the first quarter but Canton rallied in the second to take a lead and never looked back. The Bulldogs trailed 20-9 in the first but took a 28-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. Canton closed the game with strong defense, allowing just seven points in the fourth quarter. Junior Devin Foster scored 18 points for the Bulldogs while senior Tony Harris had nine points and nine rebounds. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet scored a game-high 20 points and hauled in 15 rebounds.
King Philip, 70 @ Taunton, 72 – Final – King Philip rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie or win late, but the Tigers survived. Senior Lens Esquil had a team-high 17 points while sophomore Dante Law added 12 points and senior Tyler Medeiros finished with 10 points. For King Philip, senior Pharoah Davis had 18 points while Bruce Santillus added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
North Attleboro, 68 @ Stoughton, 60 – Final – North Attleboro junior Jake Petersen poured in a career-high 26 points, hauled in 11 rebounds (six offensive) and had three blocks to lead the Rocketeers to a win. Stoughton took a lead in the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run (50-49), but North Attleboro outscored the Black Knights 19-10 the rest of the way, pulling away in the final minutes. Petersen scored 12 of his points in the second quarter and added eight more in the final frame. Junior Josh Montague added 17 points while classmate Matt Seavey added nine points and nine rebounds off the bench. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews poured in 29 points (four three-pointers) while Colin Sanda added 14 points (four three-pointers).
Oliver Ames, 67 @ Attleboro, 54 – Final – Kayla Raymond scored a career-high 38 points, her second straight game with at least 30 points, to pace the Tigers to a road win. Raymond also had 11 rebounds while Abby Reardon added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists and Alex Sheldon chipped in with nine points and six boards for OA. Sam Pierce had 18 for the Bombardiers and Liv McCall added 16 in the loss. Before the game, Attleboro honored Sarah Deyo, who became the program’s all-time leading scorer last year and is currently playing at Southern New Hampshire University.
Sharon, 44 @ Canton, 49 – Final – Maggie Connolly scored 14 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 5-2 start to the season. Erin Devine and Hannah Jerrier each had 10 points and Julia Hamilton had six in the win, which was hard-fought for Canton. The Bulldogs led 33-14 at the half, but the Eagles outscored them 30-16 to make it a close finish. Telishya Herbert was Sharon’s top scorer with 13 and Emma Eberhardt added 12.
Foxboro, 67 @ Milford, 47 – Final – Lily Sykes was the top scorer for Foxboro with 17 points, while Grace Tamulionis had 16 and Ashley Sampson had 15 points for the Warriors.
Franklin, 49 @ Holy Name, 42 – Final – Franklin went to Worcester and picked up a season sweep against Holy Name. After hitting two clutch free throws that forced overtime in the first meeting with the Naps, freshman Elizabeth Wilson scored 20 points to lead the Panthers.
Taunton, 64 @ King Philip, 62 – Final (OT) – The Tigers edged KP 10-8 in overtime after finishing regulation 54-54. Lily Patneaude led Taunton with 16 points and five rebounds and MacKenzie Handrahan chipped in with 15 points and nine boards. Kelsey White had a great overall night for the Tigers with 12 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, and Hannah Moniz had 11 in the win.
Mansfield, 64 @ Attleboro, 51 – Final – Mansfield opened the second half with a 12-2 surge, turning a deficit into an eight-point lead and never looked back. Attleboro held a 30-28 lead at the break but Mansfield took control of the game by outscoring the Bombardiers 22-8 in the frame. Mansfield senior John McCoy dropped a career-high 24 points, hauled in nine rebounds, had five assists and four steals to lead the Hornets, who totaled 10 steals as a team. Damani Scott tied a career-high with 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Ryan Otto chipped in with 10 points. Attleboro sophomore Bryant Ciccio tied a career-high with 17 points.
Milford, 51 @ Canton, 61 – Final – Canton connected on 14 three-pointers as a team, jumping out to a 19-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, and a 30-17 lead at the break. The Bulldogs furthered the lead with a 21-12 third quarter. Senior Tony Harris led the way with 18 points while classmate Austin Maffie netted 17 points for the Bulldogs. Milford junior Brendan White led the Hawks with 14 points.
Stoughton, 41 @ Foxboro, 54 – Final – Foxboro increased its lead after each of the first three quarters to beat the visiting Black Knights. The Warriors led 16-11 after one, 31-20 at the halftime break, and 43-29 heading into the final quarter. Sophomore Brandon Borde led the way offensively with a game-high 19 points while senior Bobby Harrison added 14 points and senior Joe Morrison chipped in with 13 points. Stoughton head coach John Gallivan noted that Alex Sjoquist played well defensively for the Black Knights.
King Philip, 53 @ Oliver Ames, 51 – Final – King Philip outscored Oliver Ames 21-14 in the third quarter to take a lead and held off a late comeback attempt from OA to earn the win. The Warriors had eight players get on the score sheet, led by Brendan King’s 11 points. Both Pharoah Davis and Tom Madden added nine points while Tim Nault chipped in with seven points. Jack Spillane led Oliver Ames with 23 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, while junior Ethan Eckstrom scored 11 points.
North Attleboro, 67 @ Sharon, 61 – Final – North Attleboro overcame an early 16-2 deficit with a strong second half to earn the win. Sharon led 16-7 after the first quarter and 27-20 at the halftime break. Big Red came out with a huge third quarter, outscoring the Eagles 18-7 to seize a lead, and then built a 62-47 lead with just under two minutes to play. North senior Chad Peterson came off the bench, hitting three triples in the second half on his way to a game-high 15 points. Josh Montague added 13 points, Ethan Friberg scored a career-high 11 points (10 in the second half) and junior Jake Petersen had eight points. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet had a game-high 17 points and 12 rebounds while Alex Kaufmann added 16 points and Jimmy Fitzhenry had 11 points and three steals.
Attleboro, 31 @ Mansfield, 52 – Final – Mansfield opened a one-game lead on Attleboro in the league standings with the win. Meg Hill scored 15 points, had 11 boards, and blocked three shots for the Hornets, who also got 11 points from Erin Daniel, eight points and six assists from Mady Bendanillo, and eight points and nine rebounds from Maggie Danehy. Attleboro got 10 points from Sam Pierce and eight points from Liv McCall in the loss.
Foxboro, 74 @ Stoughton, 46 – Final – Ashley Sampson scored 23 points to lead the Warriors to a seventh straight win, six of which were by double digits. Lily Sykes added 15, Shannon Smally had 13, and Grace Tamulionis had 10 points for Foxboro. Stoughton sophomore Shyanne Trinh led the Black Knights with 10 points.
Franklin, 55 @ Taunton, 41 – Final – Sophomore center Ali Brigham recorded a triple-double to help the Panthers earn the road win and stay within a game of first place Mansfield. Brigham scored 15 points, recorded 13 rebounds, and had 10 blocks on the night.
Oliver Ames, 47 @ King Philip, 34 – Final – Leading 32-28 with four minutes to play, Oliver Ames closed the game with a 15-6 run to put the game away and earn the win. Senior Kayla Raymond had a monster night with 30 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks to lead the way for the Tigers, who trailed KP 16-14 at the half. Alex Sheldon added 10 points and eight rebounds in the win for OA.
Sharon, 51 @ North Attleboro, 49 – Final – Telishya Herbert led the way with 17 points for the Eagles, who earned their first league win of the season. Emma Eberhardt added 13 points in the win.
Franklin, 126 @ Attleboro, 45 – Final
Franklin, 103 @ Attleboro, 67 – Final
Attleboro, 134 @ Sharon, 127.6 – Final
Franklin, 130.85 @ Oliver Ames, 136.6 – Final – Franklin junior Mia Lizotte won the all-around for the third straight meet with a 35.95, edging out Oliver Ames’ Hannah Moynihan (35.5). Lizotte earned an 8.85 on beam, an 8.7 on bars and a 9.2 on both vault and floor. Franklin senior Liz Traphagen was second for the Panthers on the vault (8.2) and the floor (9.0). Junior Sadie Rondeau was second for the Panthers on both the bars and the beam.
Foxboro, 69 @ Sharon, 28 – Final – Freshman Katelyn Mollica scored a game-high 20 points for the Warriors, who also got 15 points from Grace Tamulionis and 14 points from Ashley Sampson.
Oliver Ames, 50 @ Franklin, 56 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five blocks while junior All Scolnick added 11 points and collected three steals for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 42 @ Taunton, 36 – Final – Ann Maher scored a game-high 12 points, as the Hornets bounced back from an early deficit to earn the come from behind victory. Taunton jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, led 22-14 at half, and 28-26 after three, but the Hornets scored 16 in the fourth for the win. Meg Hill had eight points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for Mansfield, while Lily Patneaude had 11 and Kelsey White had eight for the Tigers.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton’s Lauren Fitzpatrick scored a pair of goals and assisted on another to help the Bulldogs pick up a key division win over visiting MOA.
Franklin, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Regan Paterson led the way for the Panthers with a pair of goals and freshman Gabby Colace picked up the shutout in goal. Jillian McLaughlin, Maddie Hinckley, Jordan Dwyer, Katelyn Brown, and Victoria Quinn also scored goals for Franklin.
King Philip, 2 vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, 4 – Final
Peckham Tournament (Canton, King Philip, Mansfield, Sharon) – Mansfield took first place at the annual Peckham Tournament hosted at Canton High School. The Hornets scored 193.5 points as a team while King Philip placed third with 137 points. Sharon (106.5) was sixth and Canton (98) took seventh. The Hornets had four individual winners with Antonios Sevastos (113), George Glaropoulos (152), Jayden Curley (160) and Vinnie Holmes (182) all taking first. Ciaran Connolly (145), CJ Glaropoulos (138) and Will Stratton (132) added second-place finishes for the Hornets. For King Philip, Jackson Kelley (126), Joseph Fruci (145) and Luke Fitch (170) all won their brackets while Jake Malatesta (160) and Shawn Conniff (182) garnered second place honors. Canton’s Eddie Marinilli (138) and Anis Chakir (132) rounded out the winners for the Hockomock teams. Sharon had eight grapplers finish inside the top four, led by third-place finishes from Justin Wells (285) and Will Stern (120).
Chelmsford Tournament (Foxboro) – Foxboro placed fifth overall as a team, finishing with 138 points. Host Chelmsford won the tournament with 204.5 points, followed by Nobles (165), Westford (162.5) and Framingham (156). Phil Dure (126) was the lone individual champion for the Warriors while Adam Lanctot (113) took third place and Dave Dow (160) earned a fourth-place finish.
Natick Duals (Franklin) – Franklin cruised through the Natick Duals tournament, winning all five of its matches, including the final round against the hosts. The Panthers beat Concord-Carlisle (73-6), Merrimack (62-12), Brookline (47-13), Hopkinton (72-9) and Natick (69-3) to earn the crown. Jake Carlucci, Kenny Sauer, Ian Bakalars, TJ Remillard, Brian Farrell, Seamus Cogavin, and Riley Downing all went undefeated on the day for Franklin.
North Attleboro Quad (North Attleboro) – North Attleboro picked up four convincing victories at its own super quad and had five wrestlers go 4-0 on the day. Big Red notched wins over Bridgewater-Raynham (57-9), St. John’s Prep (54-17), Plymouth State (42-21) and LaSalle (48-25). Ethan Smith (106, three pins), Jake Direnzo (126, two pins), Adam Eberle (160, three pins), Chris Ferrigno (182, one pin) and Brad White (195, two wins) all had four wins for the Rocketeers.
Oliver Ames Quad (Oliver Ames, Hingham, Sandwich, Shepherd Hill) – Oliver Ames grabbed two wins at its own quad meet to improve to 11-2 overall. The Tigers earned wins over Sandwich (58-4) and Shepherd Hill (55-0) but fell to Hingham (38-30). Both Dean Pacini and Anthony Berksza went 3-0 on the day with a pair of pins.
Today’s games are listed below. Don’t forget, Player of the Week nominations are due by Saturday night. You can email (email@example.com) your pick or send it to us on social media. Make sure to include a reason why.
Milford, 48 vs. Bishop Stang, 60 – Final – Senior Andrew Fraioli scored a team-high 12 points but the Scarlet Hawks fell to unbeaten Bishop Stang in an exclusion game. Senior Kayden Kelley added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Milford.
Sharon, 47 @ Westwood, 59 – Final – Sharon senior Malik Lorquet led the Eagles with 16 points and was named to the Westwood Holiday All-Tournament team.
Stoughton, 54 vs. Natick, 74 – Final – Stoughton junior David Bell scored a team-high 18 points for the Black Knights, who fell in the championship game of the Randolph Blue Devils Holiday Classic. Seniors Cam Andrews and Colin Sanda were named to the all-tournament team.
Foxboro, 42 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 41 – Final – Lily Sykes knocked down a three-pointer inside the final 10 seconds to earn Foxboro the victory and a split of the season series with Coyle. Ashley Sampson was held scoreless in the first half but finished with a team-high 11 points and Shannon Smally added eight points in the win.
Stoughton, 49 @ Norwood, 32 – Final – Stoughton gathered a season-high 17 steals as a team and earned its first win of the season. Sophomores Shyanne Trinh and Aliyah Wright each scored 13 points for the Knights while senior Val Whalen had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Canton, 5 vs. Pembroke, 2 – Final
Foxboro, 3 vs. Christian Brothers Academy, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Plymouth South, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames erased three one-goal deficits during the game but Plymouth South broke the 3-3 tie with a late goal. Junior Brett Williams scored twice for the Tigers while sophomore Jake Gottwald scored his first career goal.
Stoughton, 1 @ Taunton, 8 – Final – Taunton’s Will Walsh was involved in seven of the Tigers’ eight goals, scoring a hat trick and adding four assists in a non-league win. Trevor Pietrzyk also netted a hat trick along with three assists, Jake Roberts and Owen Ross each scored once and Brady Nichols had two helpers. Sean Bunker made 16 saves to earn the win in net.
Canton, 3 vs. Milton, 2 (OT) – Final – Canton erased a pair of one-goal deficits, tying the game 2-2 late in the third period. The game will go down as a tie for MIAA purposes, but to determine a tournament champion, the game went into overtime. Junior Maggie Malloy scored the game-winner to lift the Bulldogs to the title.
Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 – Final
King Philip, 1 vs. Walpole, 8 – Final
Stoughton, 5 @ St. Joseph Prep/Mt. Alvernia, 2 – Final
King Philip @ Montachusett Tech, 10:00AM
Norton Quad (Mansfield, Taunton) – Mansfield picked up a pair of wins at the quad, including a big victory over the hosts. The Hornets’ Ethan Nirenberg (195) fought off his back for a minute to avoid being pinned, helping seal the win for Mansfield, 39-36, against the Lancers. Mansfield also beat Nauset, 34-10. Taunton dropped both of its matches, falling to Norton (51-6) and Nauset (34-30). Woudanly Danger (220) went 2-0 on the day for the Tigers while Eric Dacey (120), Austin MacArthur (126), Josh Grasso (138) and Mason Franklin (285) all picked up a win for Taunton.
Sharon Quad (Sharon) – Sharon split the day, picking up a win over Norwood (60-16) but falling to Mt. Hope (RI) (47-34).
Foxboro, 52 vs. Hopkinton, 38 – Final – Ashley Sampson was the top scorer for the Warriors for the second straight game, leading the way with 16 points. Lilly Sykes added 11 and freshman Katelyn Mollica scored nine in the non-league victory.
Franklin, 44 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 61 – Final
King Philip, 59 vs. Framingham, 25 – Final – KP head coach Amy Siggens said Faith Roy had an “unbelievable” game on both ends of the floor for the Warriors, which included scoring a game-high 20 points. Shannon O’Connor chipped in with 11 for KP.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – With only a few minutes left in the first half, Franklin sophomore center Ali Brigham made a scored in the lane to put the Panthers ahead 17-12 against defending Davenport division champion Foxboro. It would be Franklin’s largest lead of the game.
Up until that point, the Warriors were struggling to get anything going on offense during Tuesday night’s Hockomock League matchup. Three-pointers were clanging off the rim, the Panthers’ were dominating the glass, and Franklin’s zone defense seemed to have Foxboro off kilter.
But the experienced Warriors settled down, started to knock down shots, and turned the game on its head in a hurry. After scoring only 12 points over nearly 11 minutes of the first half, they scored 12 in the final three-plus minutes of the second quarter and never looked back.
Foxboro rolled off 20 straight points between the second and third quarters (including the first 18 points of the second half), closed the game on a 52-16 run, and ran out to a 64-33 victory.
“We were missing a few shots in the first half and the girls were critiquing themselves a little bit,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “Once they just settled in during the third quarter and they started hitting a few shots, you could feel the gush of confidence coming back.”
Franklin took an early lead during a first quarter that was largely dominated by both teams’ pressure defenses. After Brigham (12 points and 15 rebounds) scored of an assist by freshman Elizabeth Wilson, the Panthers took an 8-3 lead. Foxboro battled back to tie the game but Bea Bondhus got free on the baseline for a buzzer-beating layup off an inbounds to make it 10-8 after one quarter.
Brigham started to take over in the second with a personal 7-0 run that made it 17-12. Needing a spark, Foxboro got momentum not from its experienced stars but from newcomer Katelyn Mollica (18 points, three assists, and three steals). The freshman guard got a steal and scored on the break to cut the lead to three, as part of her six points in the quarter.
“She’s completely comfortable with them and what I love about her the most is that if she makes a mistake you’d never know it in her body language,” said Downs. “She never alters her game, never gets down on herself, just gets back and tries to get the next defensive stop.”
Grace Tamulionis knocked down a three off an assist by Ashley Sampson to put Foxboro ahead and Lily Sykes (10 points, six assists, and three steals) nailed one from distance as well. After a Calen Frongillo reverse brought Franklin within one, Sampson closed the half with a drive at the buzzer to give Foxboro a 24-21 lead at the break.
It was the start of a 20-0 run that sealed the win.
Sampson, the reigning Hockomock League MVP and Adelphi University-commit, took over the game in the second half. She scored 17 of her game-high 21 points after the break and added five rebounds, four assists, and four steals with her future college coach in the stands watching.
She started the half with four quick points then assisted on a jumper by Mollica. Sykes kicked a pass out to Tamulionis for her second three of the game and assisted on a jumper by Abby Hassman. Mollica drilled her second three of the game and then Sampson buried one as well and suddenly it was a 42-21 lead.
“I thought our 1-3-1 zone worked well in the first half but we were getting tired and we had to adjust,” said Leighton. “In man-to-man they really started exposing every open shot and taking advantage.”
He added, “We’re young. When they went on a run, instead of reacting, we kind of imploded for a bit. That’s something we have to learn from; it’s a great lesson for us.”
Franklin scored only three points in the third quarter, all three by Megan O’Connell (seven points and six rebounds), and the on-the-ball pressure of the Foxboro guards made it very difficult for Brigham to get any touches in the post. The reigning Underclassman of the Year was held to just a single made free throw in the second half.
“I thought Shannon [Smally] and Grace did a great job on Brigham, but more so it was the guards making it difficult for their guards to find her in there,” said Downs. “What we lack in height, we make up for in tenacity.”
Leighton explained, “I thought our offense broke down with ways to create for her. We started doing the ‘just stand underneath and throw it to her and hope something good happens,’ which just isn’t good basketball.”
The Panthers tried several different defensive looks in the game, but Foxboro’s experience was evident with the ball moving from player to player and the extra pass giving the Warriors consistent open looks. Foxboro added 21 points in the fourth, putting the game away and ensuring there was no comeback.
“We hadn’t practiced [the 1-3-1 zone] this week,” said Downs, “but they have it in their back pocket what we need to do – just making that extra pass, rotating the ball and knowing that we have shooters all around the court.”
Foxboro (3-1, 3-0) will try to extend its three-game win streak when it hosts fellow Div. 2 competitor Hopkinton on Thursday, while Franklin (3-1, 2-1) will host Coyle & Cassidy in an exclusion game.
Stoughton, 57 @ Attleboro, 72 – Final – Attleboro turned a one-point lead after one (17-16) into a 12-point gap by halftime (38-26) and never looked back against the visiting Black Knights. The Bombardiers shot 11-for-19 from three-point range (58%) with junior Mason Houle hitting five, netting a career-high 19 points. Sophomore Qualeem Charles also had a career night, netting a personal best 21 point while hauling in 18 rebounds. Junior Dom Victor added 10 points for Attleboro, who led 52-43 after three quarters. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews notched a team-high 17 points while Colin Sanda produced 13 points for the visitors.
Canton, 59 @ Mansfield, 67 – Final – Canton took a one-point lead after the first quarter, and a three-point lead into the fourth but Mansfield outscored the visitors 23-12 in the final frame to pull out the win. Mansfield opened the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run to create the separation. Senior John McCoy (10 rebounds) led the way for the Hornets with a career-high 22 points while Damani Scott dropped a career-high 13 points along with 12 rebounds. Canton’s Tony Harris scored a career-high 23 points with 11 rebounds while junior Devin Foster added 13 points.
Foxboro, 57 @ King Philip, 48 – Final – Foxboro senior Joe Morrison played the role of run stopper, draining a key three-pointer with just over a minute to play to help the Warriors survive a comeback attempt from King Philip. Foxboro built a 46-29 lead with just over a minute to play in the third quarter before KP put together a comeback over the next eight minutes. KP outscored Foxboro 16-5 during the stretch, closing the gap to just five (50-45) before Morrison buried the big shot. Morrison finished with a game-high 20 points, sophomore Brandon Borde added a career-high 15 points and Bobby Harrison added a career-best 10 points for Foxboro. King Philip senior Pharoah Davis led the hosts with 16 points, Brendan King added 11 points and junior Kyle Layman chipped in with 10 points.
Milford, 36 @ Franklin, 55 – Final – Franklin sophomore Chris Edgehill exploded for a career-high 28 points, helping the Panthers race past Milford. Franklin built a double-digit lead in the first quarter and kept a comfortable cushion the rest of the way, leading 34-21 at the break. Junior Jalen Samuels added 10 points and eight rebounds in the win for Franklin. Andrew Fraioli led Milford with eight points.
North Attleboro, 51 @ Taunton, 72 – Final – Taunton’s offense scored 20 or more points in two quarters and had 11 different players find the scoresheet in a win over North Attleboro, who was playing its season opener. The Tigers raced out to a 22-10 lead after the first quarter with sophomore Dante Law scoring seven of his team-high 18 points and junior Lou Vendrell netting six of his eight points in the frame. North junior Josh Montague scored 18 of his career-high 25 points between the second and third quarters. Taunton junior John Martins added 10 points while senior Lens Esquil added nine and sophomore Prince Brown chipped in with eight points.
Attleboro, 46 @ Stoughton, 43 – Final – The Bombardiers rallied from eight points down in the final quarter by outscoring the Black Knights 19-8 in the fourth to earn Marty Crowley’s first win at Attleboro. Abby Struminski hit a go-ahead three to put Attleboro in front and Jordyn Lako and Sam Pierce hit free throws to seal the victory. Pierce was Attleboro’s top scorer with 16 and Nyah Thomas added 11. Aliyah Wright led Stoughton with 15 points while Jordan Motley had eight points and 17 rebounds.
Mansfield, 67 @ Canton, 35 – Final – Mansfield bounced back from a loss to Foxboro with a road win at Canton. Mady Bendanillo and Meg Hill were the top scorers for the Hornets, each with 13 points.
King Philip, 21 @ Foxboro, 65 – FinalLily Sykes scored 21 points and Ashley Sampson had 14 to lead Foxboro to a second straight victory in the league. Abby Hassman also chipped in with 14 rebounds in the win.
Franklin, 58 @ Milford, 47 – Final – Three players scored in double digits, as Franklin improved to 3-0 on the season. Bea Bondhus scored 19 points, Megan O’Connell scored 17 and Ali Brigham had 10 points for the Panthers. Gillian Valanzola was Milford’s top scorer with 13 points.
Taunton, 50 @ North Attleboro, 29 – Final – The Tigers made it three wins from three games with a road win at North. Mackenzie Handrahan led Taunton with 17 points and nine rebounds and Lily Patneaude added 11 points in the victory. Julia Santos was the top scorer for North with nine points.
Oliver Ames, 54 @ Sharon, 27 – Final – Oliver Ames’ defense limited the Eagles to just 12 points at halftime, building a double-digit lead and never looking back. OA senior Kayla Raymond recorded a game-high 13 points while junior Alex Sheldon added 12 points for the Tigers in the win. Ally Brown scored eight points to lead the Eagles.
The Bombardiers enter the season with a new coaching staff and a very different starting lineup to the one that nearly knocked off Mansfield in the Div. 1 South playoffs last season. Former King Philip coach Marty Crowley has taken over after Rick Patch stepped down in the off-season and he will have only a few returning varsity players to call on this winter.
Senior forward Sam Pierce will be the key piece on offense, as Attleboro tries to replace the more than 30 points per game that was lost with the graduation of Sarah Deyo and Julia Strachan. Pierce has been a consistent scorer and rebounder for the past few seasons, but this will be the first time that she is the primary offensive weapon and could be poised for a breakout year. Junior Jordyn Lako and senior Grace Mayer are strong on-the-ball defenders and should help Crowley implement his high-pressure defensive scheme. Senior Kim White will also be one of Attleboro’s ball-handlers in the backcourt.
One of the players who saw a little time on varsity last season that is expected to make a big jump is sophomore Nyah Thomas, who has the length to be a tough defender and showed in her few appearances last year that she can rebound and take the ball to the basket. Sophomore Liv McCall is a fearless shooter that will stretch the floor and transfer Mackenzie Roberts will give the Bombardiers added size in the paint.
Crowley said, “For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound. Sam, I am sure, is 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.”
2016-2017 Record: 6-14 2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Jim Choquette
There has been excitement around the Canton program for the past few seasons and that continues this winter, as the Bulldogs look to secure a place in the state tournament behind an experienced lineup that has been developing together for several years.
Senior Hannah Jerrier is the key for the Bulldogs, as the forward is coming off a league all-star season in which she emerged as a potential double-double night after night. Jerrier is a solid rebounder and scorer in the paint, reaching the 20-point mark nine times last season and averaging more than 16 points and nine rebounds per game. Junior Julia Hamilton will be back at point guard for the Bulldogs to help get the Canton into its offensive sets and provide pressure, on-the-ball defense. Senior Jess Powers is also back after missing a season to a knee injury and will add a boost to the team’s outside shooting and take pressure off Jerrier on offense.
Junior Maggie Connolly returns for her second year in the backcourt and seniors Lindsey Barrett, Nikki Gefteas, and Leya Conard will all add depth to the Canton roster this season, while junior Erin Devine adds another important post presence on both ends of the floor. The versatility of the roster will allow head coach Jim Choquette to change his game plans every game, slowing it down to play half-court or ratcheting up the pressure to go up tempo.
“Canton remains focused on playing together and staying positive for the best season possible,” Choquette said. “Leading up to our first game there’s been an extreme amount of effort and energy by a large group of unselfish girls and our seniors have all been great examples of staying positive throughout all situations!”
2016-2017 Record: 22-3 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Semifinal Coach: Lisa Downs
After winning the Div. 2 South title and reaching the TD Garden last winter, this year’s Foxboro team will have high expectations, but with four starters returning, including reigning Hockomock League MVP Ashley Sampson, the Warriors will once again be the favorites to take home the Davenport division crown.
Having already passed the 1,000-point mark for her career, Sampson enters her senior season as the focal point of the Foxboro offense. Her ability to get into the lane and finish, as well as step back and knock down shots, makes her a tough cover and opens space for her teammates. Fellow senior Lily Sykes is one of the beneficiaries of that space and she can take advantage of open looks on the perimeter. Senior Grace Tamulionis is another player who can stretch the floor for the Warriors and can be an ‘X’ factor for Foxboro in big games. Senior Shannon Smally adds rebounding and post presence to keep defenses honest.
The Warriors are now the veteran team in the division, but there are also several younger players that have developed into critical pieces off the bench, including sophomore Abby Hassman, who has grown in the off-season into a strong rebounder. Freshman Katelyn Mollica will add backcourt depth with her tenacity on defense and already impressive court awareness. Junior Chelsea Gibbons is another player that is expected to step into a bigger role this season.
Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said, “This group of seniors have been part of our Varsity team since their freshmen year and with each year, they have learned and developed more – all of the girls on this year’s team put in the necessary work; now its time to execute.”
2016-2017 Record: 9-11 2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: John Leighton
Franklin got off to a rough start last season, beginning 0-6 with an inexperienced roster, but then closed the year with nine wins in the last 14 games, just missing out on a return to the postseason. This year, the Panthers will try to build on that year of experience and book a return to the playoffs.
The Panthers will have strength in the middle to try and get off to a much better start this season. Sophomore Ali Brigham, last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, has received several Div. I NCAA offers, including one from the University of Minnesota, and at 6-foot-3 can dominate the paint on both ends of the floor. Franklin will also have outside scoring with junior guard Bea Bondhus, who is a consistent three-point shooter and will stretch defenses to open up the post for Brigham.
Franklin has plenty of size this season. Sophomore forwards Breanna Atwood (5-foot-9) and Megan O’Connell (5-foot-10) and senior forward Kate Morse (5-foot-11) will provide plenty of depth on the inside. Junior Shannon Gray will be back to run the point and senior Grace Sameski will add backcourt depth. Freshman guard Elizabeth Wilson is poised to make an instant impact for the Panthers, as she did in the season opener by knocking down three free throws in the final seconds to force overtime against Holy Name.
“We are a young team with only two seniors, but I am very pleased with the effort and progress of the team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton, who is excited about the return of the majority of the team’s scoring and the potential of the youth on the roster.
King Philip has a new coach this season, with former Wellesley assistant Amy Siggens taking over for Marty Crowley, and there could be a period of adjustment for a still relatively young Warriors roster to adapt to the new system, but there is excitement about the progress being made by the seven returning varsity players.
Boston University-commit Shannon O’Connor will once again be a player to watch for the Warriors this winter. The junior’s ability to shoot off the dribble, defend multiple positions, and take the ball to the basket has made her one of the league’s elite perimeter players. As O’Connor continues to develop as a playmaker that will create open looks for her teammates, including junior Julia Leroux and sophomore Faith Roy. Senior Christina Hathaway (one of only two seniors on the roster) will add strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.
The Warriors will not lack for size this season. O’Connor is listed at 5-foot-11, junior Catherine Cummings and sophomore Faye Veilleux are listed at 5-foot-10, and Roy is listed at 5-foot-9. The versatility of those players will give Siggens room to switch up lineups when needed. KP is still pretty young and Siggens has added two freshmen, Emma Glaser and Brianna James, to this year’s roster.
Siggens said, “Early on we will stress the importance of being unselfish on offense and being tough and aggressive on defense. Knowing mistakes will be made, there will be no small emphasis on the importance of playing hard all the time… I am encouraged by our team’s enthusiasm and attitude.”
2016-2017 Record: 20-4 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
Replacing the production of last season’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jen Peel is a difficult task, but Mansfield has the talent, depth, and experience in the roster to make it work. The Hornets return four starters from last year’s squad and will lean on a loaded and versatile junior class to try and make it a three-peat of league titles.
The key returner for Mansfield is 6-foot-3 center Meg Hill. The Stonehill College-commit is already the program’s best in blocked shots and is soon to be the career leader in rebounds, while improving her offensive game every season. With Peel gone, junior Mady Bendanillo will be tasked with getting the ball into the post to Hill and to fellow junior Maggie Danehy, who had an impressive start with a double-double against Medfield in the Endowment Game. Reigning HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year Ann Maher will also be back at shooting guard and is one of the team’s most consistent three-point threats.
Juniors Erin Daniel, Emily Vigeant, Sydney Mulkern and Kara Bendanillo will likely compete for the fifth starting spot and all should see plenty of playing time this year. With 5-foot-11 senior Maeve Carney and 5-foot-10 freshman Ashley Santos, the Hornets should be able to dominate the paint and sophomore Becca Hottleman will add depth at the point guard position.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “We have a chance to be very good again with our junior group getting a ton of experience last year and we hope to compete for league title again.” He added that the Hornets bolstered the schedule this season as well. Redding said, “Our record may not be as good as last year when we earned the No. 1 seed, but we will be more battle tested for the state tourney in March.”
2016-2017 Record: 10-11 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central first round. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
A year after returning to the postseason for the first time since 2012 (and nearly pulling off an upset of Marlboro on the road), Milford brings back seven seniors to try and make a push for a Davenport division title and another state tournament appearance.
The Hawks have a versatile lineup led by four-year starter Kate Irwin. The lefty point guard is one of the most dynamic perimeter scorers and playmakers in the league and she continues to improve each season. Her ability to get into the paint opens up room for her teammates and she can also step back and knock down threes. Irwin will be helped by fellow seniors Gillian Valanzola and Juliana Tracy, who add size on the post.
Senior Emily Piergustavo is a knock-down shooter from beyond the arc and her classmate Jess Tomaso has proven to be a solid rebounder from the guard position. There are also two sophomores and four freshmen on the roster this season to add depth and build for the future under third-year head coach T.J. Dolliver.
Dolliver said, “I am very excited for our team this year. This is my 3rd year with a lot of these girls and seeing how they have progressed over the years have really set this team up for a fun season.”
Last season, North Attleboro boasted one of the most experienced lineups in the league with five of its top six players being seniors, but this year the Rocketeers will be incorporating a number of new faces, as only six players (only starter) return from last winter.
The lone returning starter is junior guard Julia Feid, who had a breakout season on the wing and will be counted on to lead the offensive attack this year. Feid’s classmate Emily Haskell will also be on the wing for North this season and will also have a large chunk of the offense run through her. Senior Emily Pastore, junior Liz Smahi, and sophomore Michelle Pothier will also contribute scoring from the wing, while junior Lauren Pezzi and sophomore Olivia Forbes will run the point and distribute the ball in the half court.
The graduation of Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse leaves an opening on the post, but North has several players that will step in to provide a presence in the paint. Senior Julia Santos and juniors Emma Noreck and Kaley Sullivan will each get opportunities to contribute. North faces a tough early season schedule with the likes of Franklin, Oliver Ames, Archbishop Williams, and Hingham, so it will be critical for the new players to find their feet quickly.
North Attleboro coach Derek Herber said, “The team has quickly began to gel and I am hopeful that we if we can survive the early part of the season, we can qualify for the tournament.”
2016-2017 Record: 13-8 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round. Coach: Elaine Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames struggled to find consistent offense last season and it kept the Tigers from being able to challenge Mansfield for the league title or make another run in Div. 2 South, but a healthy lineup with several key returning players has OA optimistic for improvements this winter.
The main focus will be on senior forward Kayla Raymond. The Stonehill College-commit is one of the most versatile players in the league, with the length and leaping ability to dominate in the paint and the range to step out and knock down jumpers. Raymond is listed as a forward/center but could potentially be used at multiple positions. Senior guard Abby Reardon is back to get the Tigers into their offensive sets and as one of the league’s top on-the-ball defenders. Classmate Katie Flynn also returns to give Raymond help in the post.
In addition to the seniors, junior Alex Sheldon will provide depth at the forward position and junior Sadie Homer was a dynamic scorer on the perimeter before an injury cut her season short last year. Homer was a solid three-point shooter last year and will be expected to stretch defenses again this season. Sophomore guard Meg Holleran emerged as a playmaker during her freshman campaign and could see a bigger role this year.
“OA is looking to blend some younger talent and are working hard to provide some depth in the backcourt,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “Looking forward to the fight for the Kelly Rex Division.”
In addition to a new coaching staff, Sharon will see a number of new faces on the roster, as several of last year’s players are focusing on other sports this winter. Former Rockland and East Bridgewater assistant Sandra Lombardi takes over for Cliff Tomassian and will have a young group to work with in her first head coaching position.
Junior small forward Emma Eberhardt is one of the returning players that will be expected to provide leadership and scoring for the Eagles. Eberhardt, a HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team performer last year, was Sharon’s top scorer last winter and also has the size to be a problem for opponents on the glass. She scored 16 points in Sharon’s win over Nipmuc in the season opener. Senior guard Miranda Cheung will also be back for Sharon to provide ball-handling and perimeter shooting.
Sophomore Telishya Herbert made the jump from JV to varsity midway through last season and had an instant impact on the Eagles with her athleticism and her ability to score in the paint. She had 10 points against Nipmuc and could be ready for a breakout year as Sharon’s second scorer to take some pressure off Eberhardt. Also back from last year’s roster are junior Evanjuline Elisma and sophomore Ally Brown.
Lombardi said of her new team, “We are going to be quick and aggressive. I’m excited to see what the season will bring.”
The Black Knights narrowly missed out on the postseason last year, despite having a number of underclassmen in the roster, and expectations for this season include a return to the playoffs under third-year head coach Charmaine Steele-Jordan.
Senior Val Whalen was the team’s MVP last season after leading the Black Knights with more than 13 points and nine rebounds per game. Whalen has improved every season and her intensity on defense and on the glass boosts is contagious. Stoughton is a physical team that likes to put pressure on the ball defensively and Whalen sets the tone. Senior Jordan Motley is also a tenacious rebounder and gives the Black Knights another strong presence in the paint.
Sophomore guard Shyanne Trinh had a breakout freshman campaign, scoring more than 10 points per game, and her ball-handling and long-range shooting opens things up for the post players. Fellow sophomore Aliyah Wright also had a strong rookie campaign and her size is a difficult matchup for many of the point guards in the Hock. Stoughton will also count on junior guards Lindsey McDonald and Hailey Egan and sophomore Lexi Baptista. Freshman Sydnee Hyacinthe has also been called up to add depth in the backcourt.
Steele-Jordan said of her senior forwards, “I’m looking forward to their leadership, hustle on the court and their defensive presence this year. Whalen and Motley’s veteran play along with our returning sophomores will be great for the Black Knights this season.”
2016-2017 Record: 1-21 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton is coming off a difficult season in which the Tigers finished with just one victory, but one game into the new year and Taunton has already matched that total. The season opening win over Cumberland (R.I.) fits with the optimism around the program, as the Tigers blend youth with experience in the hopes of making a run at a playoff spot.
The Tigers will be led by senior forwards Hannah Moniz and Mackenzie Handrahan, who combined for 26 points in the win at Cumberland and provide a mix of rebounding, scoring at the rim, and outside shooting to balance the Taunton offense. Junior Lily Patneaude also returns from an all-star season and is Taunton’s most dynamic scorer with range from well beyond the arc. Junior Alexa White is another guard that will provide solid contributions on both ends of the floor.
Junior Shantel Andrew, a 5-foot-7 forward, is expected to be a significant contributor this season, after missing two years with knee injuries. As usual, Taunton has plenty of youth on the roster with four freshmen making varsity, a couple of whom got playing experience last year as eighth graders. Forwards Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez and guards Kelsey White and Tori DaRosa are going to be counted on to play big roles this year for the Tigers.
Taunton coach Walter Harrigan said, “Our goal for this year is to continue to work hard while focusing on the development of good habits which will hopefully lead to team improvement and a trip to the state tournament.”
With a relatively inexperienced roster, Franklin got off to a tough, 0-6 start during the 2016-2017 season, but the Panthers started to gel, went on a run to close out the year, and narrowly missed out on a playoff spot. One of the keys to that turnaround was the play of then-freshman center Ali Brigham, who displayed a range of moves in the post that belied her inexperience at the varsity level. She finished with 236 points as a freshman. Brigham was also a standout defender, blocking 56 shots as a rookie, and an imposing rebounder, pulling down 237 last year. The reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year is listed at 6-foot-3 this winter and has already been receiving Div. I college offers. She has the potential to be a dominant force in the paint for the Panthers, who are looking to challenge defending champ Mansfield for the Kelley-Rex title this season.
Sharon has a new coach and a new-look roster this winter, but the one mainstay for the Eagles is Emma Eberhardt. The junior wing was the team’s leading scorer in 2016-17, averaging more than 14 points per game, despite regularly facing the opposition’s best defender and constant double teams. Eberhardt was also one of Sharon’s top rebounders, using her size to make plays in the paint while having the range to step out and stretch the floor for first-year coach Sandra Lombardi’s offense. Eberhardt got off to an impressive start to this season, scoring 16 in a big win at Nipmuc to give her coach a winning start, and there is the potential for last year’s All-Underclassman Team performer to take another leap this season and become one of the league’s most consistent wing scorers.
The loss of point guard Jen Peel will be a tough one to overcome for Mansfield because of her ability to get the Hornets into their offensive sets and her ability to get the ball to senior center Meg Hill in good scoring positions. Hill, listed at 6-foot-3, can dominate the paint for Mansfield but will be counting on her teammates to get her touches in the post, so that she can show off her growing array of moves, including her improved range out to 8-10 feet. Hill, a HockomockSports.com First Team selection last year, is already second on Mansfield’s all-time list for rebounds and the all-time leader in blocks (with 293). The Stonehill University-commit added to those totals against Medfield in the season opener pulling down 10 boards and blocking three shots. If Hill can continue to improve and stay aggressive on offense, it could be the difference that earns Mansfield a third straight league title and possibly a return to the Div. 1 South final.
Milford reached the playoffs last winter for the first time since 2012 and nearly pulled off a first round upset at Marlboro. One of the keys to the resurgence for the Hawks has been point guard Kate Irwin, who has been a dynamic scorer and playmaker for Milford since she jumped onto varsity four years ago. The lefty has the quickness and the handle to get wherever she wants on the floor and combines strong finishing at the rim with the range to knock down shots from deep. This makes her a very tough cover and also opens space for her teammates. Milford has some experience on the roster, as many of the Hawks have been on varsity for several seasons, and a mix of shooters and versatile forwards that play to Irwin’s strengths. If Irwin can continue to develop into one of the league’s elite perimeter scorers (she averaged 16 points per game last year), then it could be a quick return to the postseason for Milford this winter.
One of the reasons for optimism for Canton this winter is the return of senior forward Hannah Jerrier, who was one of the league’s most consistent post scorers in 2016-2017, and was a potential double-double every night. Jerrier averaged 16.5 points per game last year and pulled down more than nine rebounds per night. Nine times last year, Jerrier scored more than 20 points in a game, despite being the main focus of every opponent’s defensive plan. With a quick first step, good size to shoot over defenders, and the tenacity to get the ball to the rim, Jerrier has become a standout on the offensive side of the floor and has also developed into a strong rim protector and elite rebounder for the Bulldogs. Her growth as a presence in the paint will be a key for Canton this winter as they seek a postseason berth.
King Philip will have a new coach this season, as Amy Siggens steps in for Martin Crowley, and the new coach will inherit a standout scorer on the perimeter in junior Shannon O’Connor, who has already committed to play for Boston University. O’Connor is coming off a HockomockSports.com Third Team and All-Underclassman Team season, averaging more than 12 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals per game for a very young Warriors team. A guard who can shoot off the dribble and who is fearless taking the ball to the basket, O’Connor also showed good vision to find open teammates. As the Warriors continue to gain experience, O’Connor’s playmaking ability will be a key to the offense clicking and after a strong AAU campaign, expectations are high that O’Connor will become one of the league’s most consistent perimeter scorers this year.
As she enters her fourth year on the varsity, senior forward Samantha Pierce will finally have the opportunity to the be the focal point of the Attleboro offense. Sharing shots with the likes of Emily Houle, Sarah Deyo, and Julia Strachan over the last few seasons, Pierce enters the winter as the top returning scorer for the Bombardiers and as a versatile piece of new coach Martin Crowley’s offense. While playing as a power forward, Pierce has the range to stretch defenses beyond the three-point line and can take bigger players off the dribble. She has also developed into a strong presence on the glass and will be a contender for a double-double every night. In addition to being the top offensive weapon for Attleboro, Pierce will also have to step into the leadership void for a team that is relatively inexperienced with a number of new faces throughout the roster. This could be a breakout season for the forward, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team as a sophomore.
For the past three seasons, since she broke out as a freshman for the Tigers, senior forward Kayla Raymond has made this site’s list of players to watch and has come into each of those seasons as a potential MVP or player of the year candidate. The Stonehill University-commit is one of the most versatile players in the league, with range out to the three-point line, the handle to take defenders off the dribble, and the size and length to finish at the rim. Raymond is arguably the best leaper in the league as well, making her not only a threat on offense but one of the league’s top rebounders and one of its best rim protectors. This winter, Raymond is listed as a forward/center for head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook and there is the potential for Raymond to spend more time in the paint than in years past. This could be a boost to her scoring, as she is tough to guard when close to the basket, but expect OA to try and move her around and get her the ball as often as possible. If Raymond can put together a season like she is capable of, then OA could be in the running for the Kelley-Rex title.
Reigning Hockomock League MVP and two-time HockomockSports.com First Team selection Ashley Sampson is hoping to lead Foxboro even further than last season’s trip to the TD Garden. With Sampson in the backcourt, the Warriors are among the team’s being talked about for a Div. 2 title. Sampson is a do-everything guard, who seems unstoppable when taking the ball to the basket. She finishes at the rim as well as anyone in the Hock and manages to get the ball to the hoop despite contact. Sampson, an Adelphi University-commit, is also an elite shooter with range beyond the arc and has been one of the team’s leading rebounders despite playing on the perimeter. Last year, she averaged 19 points and seven rebounds per game and was one of Foxboro’s top on-the-ball defenders, who has the size and speed to guard multiple positions. Having already passed the 1,000-point mark for her career and continuing to improve every season, Sampson has the potential to be one of the all-time greats for the Warriors and push Foxboro to even greater heights this winter.
Stoughton likes to grind teams down with pressure defense, aggressive play on the glass, and by getting out on the break and few players embody the style implemented by head coach Charmaine Steele-Jordan than senior forward Val Whalen. The team’s leading scorer and rebounder from last season, Whalen was a HockomockSports.com Second Team selection by leading a very young Black Knights squad to within one win of the postseason. She averaged 13 points and nine rebounds per game last winter and every night had the potential to pull down a double-double. An athletic forward with long reach and the tenacity to go after every loose ball, Whalen will be counted on again to provide leadership for the still pretty young team. As her jump shot and finishing continue to improve, Whalen could become one of the league’s top post players this season and could be the key to helping Stoughton get back into the playoffs.