FRANKLIN, Mass. – Graduation hit both teams’ offense hard. One team lost its all-star, dual-threat quarterback, and the other lost the bulk of its starting receivers, but on Thursday night at Pisini Field both Franklin and Milford showed that they have plenty of firepower remaining.
The two teams combined for 61 points, including 40 in the second half alone, and more than 600 yards through the air. In the end, the Panthers had just enough to hold off the Hawks and pull out a 34-27 victory in the season opener for both programs.
Franklin quarterback Thomas Gasbarro completed 70 percent of his passes (21-of-30) and threw for 293 yard and three touchdowns, while Milford senior Colby Pires completed 57 percent of his throws (12-of-21) for 325 yards and three scores of his own.
It didn’t take the hosts long to get into sync. On its first possession, starting at the Milford 46, Gasbarro hit Jack Nally for an eight-yard completion and then on the second play from scrimmage hit Jake Davis in stride down the far sideline. The senior receiver dove from several yards out and just snuck inside the pylon for a 7-0 lead.
“They’ve got a great connection,” Franklin coach Eian Bain said of Gasbarro and Davis. “Jake is such a terrific athlete and I think that shows in lacrosse and football. Tommy is just a grinder. I don’t think I’ve seen a tougher performance out of a QB. Milford was real creative with their pressures and their scheme defensively. Tommy stood in and he was getting hit on some of those throws.”
Milford’s defense came through with a big stand on Franklin’s next possession. Luke Rosa sacked Gasbarro on fourth and one from the Hawks 29. Milford got the ball and took only five plays to go downfield and tie it. Pires connected with Carter Scudo (four catches for 151 yards) on a 39-yard completion to get to the Franklin 15 and Rosa (16 carries, 87 yards) punched it from there.
On its first drive of the second quarter, Franklin regained the advantage. Gasbarro spread the ball around on the possession, hitting Ben Greco, Owen Palmieri, and Davis. It was Nally that got into the end zone, as Gasbarro threaded the needle on a pass to the front stick, getting the ball just over the corner to make it 14-7.
The Franklin defense held onto the lead with a pair of red zone stops. First, the Panthers were able to cut Pires a yard short on fourth and 11 from the 21 and then, following a punt that gave Milford the ball back in great field position, the Hawks got as close as the six only for Austin Jordan to end the half with a sack of Pires.
Franklin nearly extended its lead on the first drive of the third quarter, but Maxwell Martin made a great play to rip the ball out of the hands of Matt Lazarek for an interception in the end zone. Milford moved the ball out to midfield but there was controversy as the ball came loose on a jet sweep and Franklin recovered. The Hawks claimed it was a pass, not a hand-off, but the officials ruled it a fumble and the Panthers took over.
It became a bigger decision eight plays later when the Panthers punched it in for a two-score lead. Again, it was Gasbarro to Davis (eight catches, 166 yards), matching the receiver’s jersey number with a 23-yard strike. Although the extra point was no good after a low snap, the Panthers led 20-7.
That margin lasted about two minutes. On third and eight from his own 16, Pires found Scudo, who broke free of a tackle and got 28 yards. Then Pires slipped a pass to Dan Farrell over the middle and he found a seam for a 56-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
Fourteen seconds later, the stunned home crowd was right back on its feet.
On the ensuing kick, senior Cole Lakatos, a transfer from Maryland, stepped up to grab the bouncing ball at the 27, found a hole on the left side, and raced 73 yards for his first Franklin touchdown. “Lakatos is brand new, but he’s a football dude and football dudes can play,” said Bain.
While a special teams score could’ve been a beak breaker, the Hawks refused to go away quietly. A 10-play, 78-yard drive got them back within one score. Rosa set up the eventual score with a 22-yard burst down to the Franklin 15. Three plays and one penalty later, on third and 21, Pires threw one up for Scudo on the near sideline and the junior managed to come down with it just in bounds to make it 27-20.
“He’s electric,” Milford coach Anthony Vizakis said of Scudo. “He’s got the speed, he’s got the hands, and we’re really excited to see what he’s going to do.”
When asked if he was surprised at how quickly Pires has gelled with a new set of receivers, Vizakis replied, “They’ve been working all summer. He’s got those guys in the morning working and they’re doing extra stuff after practice, so it didn’t really surprise me. I think we’re only going to get better from here.”
The game settled down for a couple minutes as the teams managed to go just about eight minutes without getting into the end zone. Franklin appeared to put the game away with a 11-play, 71-yard drive that chewed up several minutes off the clock. Sophomore Mack Gulla opened his account for the Panthers when he burst through the line for a four-yard score.
Gasbarro showed off his ability to make plays on the run, keeping a couple of plays alive, taking hits, and managing to find open receivers to keep the drive alive.
“We try to work the scramble drill when we can, but a lot of that is just natural,” said Bain. “He did one that he found Jake Davis near the end there and I’m thinking we’re getting the sack and maybe we’re calling something safe on the next call and punting the ball.”
It seemed like the game was finally out of reach, but appearances can be deceiving. Milford came right back down the field, going 80 yards in only two plays, to make it a one-score game again and give themselves a shot at an onside kick. Pires connected with Scudo for 58 yards to get things started and then with Matt Varteresian for 22 and the score.
“Our kids don’t quit,” said Vizakis. “They play right to the end. We’re training them to play 48 minutes of football now and they played every single play. I’m really proud of the way that they played.”
Franklin managed to collect the onside kick with two minutes left, run out the clock, and finally take a breath.
The Panthers (1-0) will travel to Andover next Saturday, while Milford (0-1) will host Attleboro.
Attleboro got off to a strong start to the 2018 season, jumping out to a 4-1 record with its only loss coming against eventual D2 South champ King Philip, and allowing only five points per game. But a last-minute loss in a shootout against Mansfield and a fourth quarter comeback by Franklin the following week sparked a six-game losing streak to close out the season. The Bombardiers come into 2019 looking to turn that around and use its experience to make a run at the Kelley-Rex title.
Offensively, the Bombardiers will be led by senior quarterback Jason Weir. At a bruising 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Weir is a punishing runner and has a big arm to make plays downfield in the passing game. Junior Justin Daniels will be the starting tailback with senior Isaac Guidel and a big offensive line trying to open holes for the running game, led by senior Qualeem Charles (6-foot-5 and 325 pounds), who has a host of colleges recruiting him. Senior Ethan Cameron will provide a weapon on the outside, while junior Michael Strachan offers another threat over the middle from his tight end position.
Charles will dominate the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball as well, but the strength of the Attleboro defense will be its experienced linebacker corps. Strachan, a three-year starter who is getting looks from some Div. I colleges, will be joined by Guidel and senior Nolan Jaeger. Weir will play strong safety, after two seasons at defensive end, and will be counted on to step in to help stop the run. Cameron will be at free safety and giving the cornerbacks help over the middle. Attleboro has a large contingent of sophomores who could step in to contribute right away, including Alvin Harrison, Chris Leonardo, Adam Pearlstein, and Freddy Wheaton.
Attleboro coach Mike Strachan said, “We are looking forward to the season getting underway and with the leadership of our four captains we are looking to be explosive on offense and very physical defensively. The Hockomock League is one of the best leagues in the state with some great teams. We will have to play our very best each week if we are going to compete at a high level.”
Franklin nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the 2018 season when the Panthers forced perennial power Xaverian to double overtime in the Div. 1 South semifinal. It was a big step forward for the program and head coach Eian Bain hopes it will be a building block for even more success in 2019.
Offensively, the graduation of quarterback Nick Gordon will be a big loss for the Panthers but senior Thomas Gasbarro saw a lot of time under center last year and he will step in and take the starting job. Gasbarro will have plenty of weapons to choose from, as the Panthers have plenty of speedy, athletic players in the skill positions. Senior Jack Nally is a threat out of the backfield or split out wide and his classmate Jake Davis is a solid receiver over the middle or downfield. Senior Matt Lazarek is a potential target from the tight end position and Owen Palmieri is another dangerous ball carrier. Junior Parker Cheuvront emerged last season as one of the top kickers in the Hock and is another weapon that the Panthers can count on if a drive does stall.
The defense is an experienced group. Senior Evan Wertz has been one of the league’s tackle leaders for the past two seasons and he is the team’s top playmaker from his linebacker position. Nally, Davis, Palmieri, and senior Ben Greco give Franklin a tough secondary to throw against and all are capable of coming up with the big turnover to get the ball back in the hands of the offense. Luke Cunningham and Dom Natale will give the Panthers strength at the line of scrimmage.
“The challenge for this group is to continue to improve and build the program,” said Bain. “They need to add their own chapter and their own stamp on the program. We have the right people in the room. We need to play with the swagger and confidence of a contender, but be humble in our preparation. If we stay true to the process, we have great potential.”
Despite not winning the league title last year, the target on King Philip’s back continues to grow.
The Warriors might have missed out on the Kelley-Rex crown, but they won their third straight sectional title and made their this straight appearance in the state final, this time falling to North Andover (6-0). While this year’s senior class knows other than Super Bowl appearances, head coach Brian Lee says this group is focused on taking it one game, starting with the opener against North Attleboro. KP has a strong core of players back on the offensive side of the ball, including quarterback Robbie Jarest and running back Ryan Halliday. Both players had really strong junior seasons and should be the leaders of the group this year. The offensive line includes returners Nolan Gunning (left tackle), Sean Piller (center), and Pat Zarba (right guard) while Wyatt Manzi, Jack Collentro, and Griffin MacKay are in the mix to fill the remaining spots. Having an experienced line bodes well for the KP run game that will heavily feature Ryan Halliday plus fullback Shawn Conniff and halfbacks Sam Callanan and Crawford Cantave.
The Warriors’ defense has been one of the best units in the state in recent years, and while the expectations remain high for the group, there will be a lot of new faces. KP graduated its entire secondary so the Warriors are turning to senior Brian Wasserug and Cantave, a sophomore, to take on starting spots. Halliday and Callanan, both captains, will handle outside linebacker duties with Mike Malatesta in the mix for the middle spot. Gunning and Manzi will also see action on the defensive line alongside Conniff. Dillon Conti takes over kicking duties for the departed Cole Baker.
“These kids know how much work, how much effort it takes to get where we want to be,” Lee said. “But it’s all about going game by game, starting this week with a team [North Attleboro] that we have a ton of respect for.”
Looking at the long list of returning players, it is no surprise that expectations around Alumni Field are sky high this fall. Mansfield enters the season with experience at just about every position and with the bitter taste of last year’s South final loss to rival King Philip still stinging. Despite a rash of injuries that forced running back Aidan Sacco to play as an emergency quarterback for most of the season, Mansfield still won a league title and this year’s team may be even more talented, which has ramped up the hype and put the target squarely on the Hornets’ backs.
The line of scrimmage will be a strength for the Hornets on the offensive side of the ball, as they return four of five starters from last year’s unit that allowed the team to rush for more than 2,600 yards. Senior Jason Comeau and reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year TJ Guy will be two key cogs in the line, while senior Noah Jellenik and junior Jake McCoy are also back. Senior Andrew Cowles will step into the fifth spot. They will seek to protect senior quarterback Jack Moussette, who had a cameo under center last year before an injury forced him to miss the bulk of the season. The skill positions will be loaded with athletes. Cincere Gill had a breakout sophomore season at running back and senior Nick Marciano is back after an injury cut short his junior season. Senior Michael DeBolt was one of the top kickers in the league but also gives Mansfield another weapon on the edges, while senior Vinnie Holmes adds a bruising presence coming out of the backfield.
Holmes is the headliner on the defensive side of the ball. Along with fellow linebackers Marciano, DeBolt, and senior Joe Plath, Holmes will be expected to make big plays all over the field. The defensive line will be strong with three returning players: senior Chris Graham, McCoy, and Guy. Junior Nico Holmes will step in as the fourth man on the line. Much like on offense, speed will be a strength and the secondary is loaded with playmakers, including Gill, junior Matt Boen, and senior Makhi Baskin.
“We have a bunch of experience all over the field, but we really have to develop depth with the second team to handle a tough schedule and challenges every week,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “This is one of the fastest group of skill guys we’ve ever had and we could be explosive on offense. We lack a little size up front on defense, but we should be able to overcome that by flying around with pursuit to the ball with our speed.”
There was no question that 2018 was a tough season for the Tigers. Oliver Ames lost by a point in the season opener to Concord-Carlisle and didn’t earn its only win until the penultimate game against Durfee. The Tigers will hope to turn things around quickly with an infusion of young talent under new head coach Ed DeWitt.
On offense, the players will be learning a new system, but there is experience in the backfield to try and implement different schemes. Senior running back Nathan Cabral figures to see plenty of the ball again this year after his breakout junior season in which he ran for more than 1,100 yards. He will be joined by senior quarterback Cam Perron and senior running back Sam Stevens to give the Tigers a strong core. Seniors Harrison Webster and Adam Cann (who is coming off an injury) will give Perron weapons to utilize on the outside.
There will be a lot of new faces on the defensive side, as DeWitt can call on three or four returning starters and will need a number of players to provide contributions on both sides of the ball. The linebacking corps was particularly hit by graduations, although senior Tyler Campbell can provide some experience and leadership in that position and Cabral brings athleticism to the role. Max Anderson and Anthony DeCosta will be important at the line of scrimmage, while Stevens will step into the secondary along with senior corner Nick Gillis and junior corner Jadon Ricci.
“The competition in camp has been great,” DeWitt said. “The players have committed to the program and bought into the day to day work that we need to do. We are focusing on making sure we treat every day as an opportunity to improve and string together some positive momentum.”
The Tigers started last season with three straight wins and then finished with three wins in their final four games to end 2018 with a winning record. Taunton enters this fall with a relatively inexperienced roster, but one that is looking to continue the momentum in the program and try to push forward so it can challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex division.
One of the biggest changes for the Tigers will be under center. Noah Leonard was the starter for three seasons, but junior Danny MacDougall will take over this year. MacDougall will also see time at receiver to try and take advantage of his athleticism. He will be joined in the backfield by classmates Bretton Heggs and Josh Lopes, who both got time at running back as sophomores. Juniors Kedrick Santos and Devante McPhail will be the primary weapons at receiver. Up front, the Tigers have decent size. Senior Mike Murray will be at center, senior Hussein Kassab at one tackle, junior Marquis Dalomba at the other tackle, and junior Jordan Manning at guard.
Similar to the offensive side of the ball, the Tigers lack experience on defense and are still learning the schemes, but physical scrimmages have helped prepare them for the season. Senior Woudanly Danger is a force at the line of scrimmage and will require attention from opponents and senior Jackson Wellman has been one of the team’s top tacklers from linebacker. Junior defensive end Deandre McPhail adds to the strength of the line. Senior Curt Marshall and MacDougall will be the safeties and senior Cam Carroca will be at corner.
“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and trying to get better and to be competitive in the league,” said Taunton coach Brad Sidwell. “We’re definitely inexperienced, but physically we have guys who can do it and we need to coach them up so they’ll be ready to go once the season gets started.”
Baseball Super 8
#2 St. John’s Prep, 4 vs. #1 Franklin, 1 – Final
#7 Mansfield vs. #5 BC High, 7:00 – Postponed to Tuesday, 6/11 at 4:00 at Campanelli Stadium.
#12 Catholic Memorial, 3 @ #4 Taunton, 4 – Final – Taunton rallied from a 3-0 deficit, scoring twice in the fifth inning and then twice more in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the win. Evan Melo got the Tigers on the board while Nic Notarangelo (2-for-3, walk) had a hit and scored a run in the fifth. In the seventh, Jared Roderick (walk), Andrew Gomes (error), and Melo (walk) loaded the bases with no outs. Gavin Leahy brought in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. After Notarangelo singled to load the bases again, Lucas Martins laid down a bunt to squeeze Nolan Melo in for the winning run. Junior Logan Lawrence earned the win on the mound, allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks, striking out eight. Taunton will travel to #9 Xaverian on Wednesday at 4:00.
#14 Bridgewater-Raynham, 7 @ #11 Attleboro, 8 – Final – Attleboro overcame an early deficit and then held off a late B-R charge to get the win and advance to the D1 South Semifinals. The Trojans raced out to a 4-1 lead over the first 1.5 innings, with Ryan Morry drawing a bases-loaded walk to score Tim Callahan (2-for-4, two runs). Morry (5.2IP, 6K) was strong in relief, which allowed Attleboro to get back into the game. Attleboro jumped in front for good with a five-run second inning. Sam Larkin (2-for-2) knocked in Troy Van Vliet with a single, Camden Fitzpatrick drove in both Callahan and Alvaro Espinal (two walks), and Lorenzo Wilson scorched a triple into the gap to bring two more runs in to make it 5-4. Larkin knocked in Van Vliet in the third, and Van Vliet scored his third run of the game on a sac fly from Espinal in the sixth inning. Attleboro will play #2 Durfee on Wednesday at 4:00 at Fino Field in Milford.
#11 Oliver Ames, 3 @ #3 Dartmouth, 1 – Final (9 Inn.) – Oliver Ames loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth and pushed across two runs to pick up an upset on the road. Jake Erlich and Chris Pearsons (2-for-4, RBI) singled, and Jacob Levine was hit by a pitch in the top of the ninth before senior Reid Latham put the Tigers in front with a one-run single. Cam Perron brought a second run in with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1. Pearsons was strong on the mound, allowing one run on seven hits and no walks, striking out five in seven innings of work. Latham got the win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings in relief. Latham got a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth to strand the winning run at third. Jared Spillane (two walks) was vital in the win, stealing second and scoring on an infield single from Pearsons to put OA up in the fourth. Spillane also started a double play in the bottom of the ninth to help secure the win. Oliver Ames will play #7 Westwood on Wednesday at 4:00 at Adams Field in Quincy.
#8 North Attleboro, 0 @ #1 Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – Final – North Attleboro’s Bella Erti and Bridgewater-Raynham’s Julia Perry put on a show for those in attendance, going back-and-forth in a pitcher’s dual. The Trojans managed just six hits against Erti, who struck out three (including the 400th of her career), getting a bloop single in the bottom of the ninth for the win. Olivia Capobianco and Ashley Cangiano each had a hit for the Rocketeers, Abby Gallagher had a pair of walks, and Emily Nardelli shined defensively at second for North.
#11 Franklin, 0 @ #3 Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – A strong pitching performance from Jackie Cherry and an outstanding defensive effort behind her kept the Panthers in contention for the entire game but the Shamrocks earned a walk-off win with a pair of hits in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tara Hartnett had the lone hit of the game for the Panthers.
Boys Lacrosse D1 South
#6 Duxbury, 8 vs. #2 Franklin, 7 – Final – Franklin held the Dragons without a goal for nearly the entire fourth quarter but Duxbury scored its lone tally of the frame with 16.9 seconds left, finishing off a lengthy offensive possession for the game-winner. Franklin trailed 7-5 after three quarters but Jake Davis (three goals) scored twice in a two-minute span to knot the score 7-7 with three minutes to play. Duxbury scored on a close shot with 16.9 left for the winner. Ben Greco also had three goals for Franklin while Nitin Chaudhury scored once.
Girls Tennis D1 South
#4 Hopkinton, 2 @ #1 Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon picked up two wins in singles action and another in doubles to nip Hopkinton and advance to the D1 South Final. Nupur Shukla earned a 6-4, 6-0 win at first singles, Valeria Barajas picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and the team of Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung won 6-4, 6-2 at second doubles. Sharon (21-0) will play #2 Wellesley (19-0) on Wednesday at 4:00 at Somerset-Berkley. It’s the fourth time in the past five years the Eagles have reached the sectional final and third time they will take on the Raiders. Wellesley won in 2016 and Sharon won in 2017 – both teams went on to win the state title that season.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin entered the postseason with just two losses (both in double overtime) and with its highest-ever seed (No. 2). The Panthers rolled through a perfect league campaign, going 10-0 in the Hockomock, while compiling both the league’s best attack and its stingiest defense.
So, all the pressure was definitely on the Panthers when they opened up the state tournament at Pisini Stadium on Tuesday night against division rival Mansfield. The Hornets were playing with house money, having won the final three games of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs and having lost to Franklin by 20 goals a month ago.
When Jake DiSangro scored with just under six minutes left to go in the opening quarter, cutting the Franklin lead to 2-1, the Hornets bench exploded and there was a fleeting moment where an upset seemed possible.
But, the Panthers responded with two goals in 29 seconds and rattled off seven straight goals to close out the quarter with a 9-1 lead. Franklin never looked back, going up by 14 at halftime, and, despite Mansfield scoring the game’s final five goals, comfortably advancing to the second round with a 19-8 victory.
The combination of junior attackers Jake Davis and Ben Greco and sophomore Matt Lazzaro proved especially potent again for the Panthers on Tuesday. Greco and Lazzaro are cousins and Verrochi said they refer to Davis as “the third cousin.” That familiarity was on display as they combined for 16 of the team’s 19 goals and added 11 assists as well.
“They’ve been playing together since they were young kids,” Verrochi said of his attacking trio. “They just really respect one another and they just do a real nice job moving the ball. It’s just fun to watch when they’re on.”
Davis got things going just about a minute into the game with a rip from the left side under the bar. Ninety seconds later, Greco found Lazzaro cutting through the middle and he went behind-the-back to double the early lead. DiSangro answered four minutes later with Mansfield’s first, managing to beat Franklin goalie Will Davis with a shot while being knocked to the ground.
That goal seemed to spring Franklin to life.
Jacob Alexander, the newly-selected league MVP, won the ensuing face-off and quickly got the ball to Greco, who fed Lazzaro for a goal. Mansfield’s momentum lasted all of eight seconds. Twenty-one seconds after that Greco to Lazzaro made it 4-1.
Lazzaro (seven goals and three assists) hit a cutting Davis (seven goals and two assists) not once, but twice to add to the advantage. Greco (two goals and six assists) took one himself, squeezing past the Mansfield defense and beating goalie Joe Plath (11 saves) from a tight angle. Owen Kielty took a hit but still got a lot on a shot from distance to make it 8-1 and then Nitin Chaudhury wound up in traffic for a ninth just before the end of the quarter.
“We tried to slow them down,” said Mansfield coach Tim Frias. “We implemented a zone a little bit to slow down the high-powered offense but they’re good. They’re No. 2 for a reason.”
Despite Mansfield’s switch to a zone defense, Franklin figured out ways to manufacture space and the ball movement continued to open up scoring chances.
“The kids solved the zone pretty well,” said Verrochi. “They were ball watching and we were fortunate to get some good, open looks. Ben Greco, he’s been doing it all year, our fast breaks, our unsettled situations, the kids just move the ball. This is probably the best ball movement from any team we’ve had.”
The Hornets started the second man-down, but managed to end the Panthers scoring run. Connor Quirk beat two Panthers on the far side trying to clear after a timeout and then he raced all the way on goal before tucking it away.
Chaudhury found Davis with his hands free for a rocket into the corner to get the hosts going again. Davis added a side-arm effort off a turnover and then assisted on Lazzaro’s fourth. With just under five minutes left in the half, Patrick Morrison scooped a ground ball in his defensive third and raced forward on the break to find Greco alone in front for his second. Eleven seconds later, Greco to Lazzaro worked again to make it 14-2.
Lazzaro scored his sixth and Tim Kolb got his first to put the Panthers up by 14 heading into the break. Nico Holmes won the face-off to start the third and powered towards goal, flicking a pass to Brady Kessler for the goal to make it 16-3. Davis added two more and Lazzaro one to push the lead to 19-3, Franklin’s largest of the game.
The Hornets didn’t stop at that point and they pushed to win the final 16 minutes of the game. Aidan Sacco got it started with a goal with 3:57 left in the third and, after a Holmes face-off win, Mansfield got a goal from Brian Rockwell.
Mansfield (8-9) would shut out Franklin in the fourth. Holmes got a goal straight from the face-off to start the quarter, Sacco assisted on a goal by Thomas Norton, and Holmes (two goals and two assists) completed his four-point night with a rocket from long-range.
“That’s all you can ask out of a team is play with pride,” said Frias. “In the second half it was the little things that you hope you take away and can build on that. Hopefully we will.”
Franklin (17-2) advances to take on No. 7 seed Natick on Thursday night.
Franklin, 6 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 4 – Final – Franklin beat Lincoln-Sudbury to claim the Pedroli tournament championship. The Panthers built a 4-0 lead, and once the Warriors threatened by scoring twice, added two runs of their own and then held off Lincoln-Subdury in the final innings for the win. Senior Jake Macchi had two hits and scored two runs to earn tournament MVP honors. Alex Haba also had two hits with an RBI and two runes scored. Scott Elliott (run), Jack Nally (run, RBI), Joe Lizotte (run), Shane O’Neil (run), Cooper Ross (RBI), and JB Floris (RBI) all contributed for Franklin. Brennan Rivera earned the win, allowing one earned run on four hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work while Liam Dailey fanned the final batter for the save.
Taunton, 8 @ New Bedford, 6 – Final – Taunton erased a five-run deficit, scoring eight straight runs between the fifth and sixth innings to earn a win on the road over the Whalers. The Tigers scored three in the fifth to get within two runs before using a five-run sixth inning to take the lead. Junior Colby Lariviere went 2-for-4 and drove in a team-high four runs, junior Nic Notarangelo added two hits, a run scored and three RBI, and junior Jared Roderick had two hits and scored a run. Junior Logan Lawrence was strong in relief with one unearned run allowed on two hits and one walk in two innings of work, striking out three.
Taunton, 13 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – In a game continued from earlier in the week, Taunton earned a season sweep of the Bombardiers. Sophomores Hanna Aldrich (walk, RBI, run), McKenzie McAloon (two doubles, three RBI, run) and Kelsey White (home run, double, RBI, run) each belted out three hits for the Tigers while Jaime Brown (three RBI, run), Paige Silvia (two runs), Ava Venturelli (two runs), and Abbie McDonough (three RBI, two runs) each had two hits. White earned her 14th win of the season, allowing two runs on four hits, one walk, one hit batter, and eight strikeouts in six innings of work.
Attleboro, 6 @ Marblehead, 1 – Final – After finishing a game with Taunton in the morning, the Bombardiers hit the road and picked up a win over Marblehead to qualify for the state tournament. Trailing by a run, McKenzie Bergdoll smashed a two-run home run over the fence in center field to put the visitors up for good in the fourth inning. Meghan Gordon and Lindsey Perry each had RBI singles in the fifth to score Kayla Battisti and Hailey Perry to make it 4-1. Attleboro tacked on two big insurance runs in the seventh when Bergdoll and Lora Woyton (double) each drove in a run. Emily Gittle earned the win in the circle, allowing one unearned run on two hits with eight strikeouts, retiring the last 13 betters in a row.
Franklin, 15 @ Cohasset, 7 – Final – Franklin had one of its best performances of the season, going on the road and beating a good Cohasset team in impressive fashion. The Panthers raced out to a 9-3 lead at halftime and had a 15-4 lead in the fourth quarter. Jacob Alexander won 20-of-25 faceoffs to give the Franklin offense a boost. Matt Lazzaro had four goals and four assists to lead the charge while Jake Davis added four goals and one assist, Ben Greco scored a hat trick and had two assists, and Nitin Chaudhury chipped in with two goals and one helper. Will Davis was solid in net with 12 saves.
Attleboro, 5 @ Taunton, 15 – Final – Taunton had its best offensive outing of the season, plating seven runs in the first inning, five more in the second, and three in the third to beat visiting Attleboro. Jared Roderick (RBI, run), Nic Notaragenlo (RBI, two runs, two walks), and Jack Moynihan (three RBI) each had two hits for the Tigers while Sean Quinlan and Josh Lajoie each drove in a pair of runs. Moynihan earned the win, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and five strikeouts in five innings of work. Danny MacDougall and Justin Rollo each pitched a scoreless inning for Taunton. Attleboro’s Alvaro Espinal went 3-for-4 with a pair of triples.
Sharon, 4 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final (11 Inn.) – Foxboro erased a three-run deficit, scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings but Sharon regained the lead in the top of the 11th and held on the for the win. The Eagles built a 3-0 lead with two runs in the third and one in the fifth before Foxboro got one back in the fifth and tied it in the seventh. Elliot Patotsky scored the game-winning run for Sharon while Justin Nault had two hits. Sophomore JD Rittenberg pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win for Sharon. Foxboro’s Adam Lanctot had two hits and scored two runs.
Franklin, 12 vs. Hopkinton, 6 – Final – After Hopkinton scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to make it a one-run game, Franklin responded with six runs in the bottom half to pull away from the Hillers and earn the win. Scott Elliott had a big day at the plate with four hits, four runs, and two RBI while Jack Nally (two runs, walk), Jake Macchi (run, three RBI), and Jake Fitzgibbons each had two hits for Franklin. Senior Alex Haba added an RBI and a run scored. Ben Guzman earned the win in relief, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk, striking out four in 4.2 innings. Will Pacheco earned the save with one run allowed on two hits and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
King Philip, 5 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – KP senior David Morganelli had a strong outing on the mound, striking out eight in five innings of work to earn the win in a non-league contest against Stoughton. Jake Silveria struck out four in two innings of relief for KP to get the save. Zack Zarba had two hits and two RBI, Chris Sawyer added two hits and an RBI and Morganelli helped his own cause with two hits and an RBI.
Milford, 5 vs. Hopedale, 4 – Final – Milford senior Danny Corsini knocked in Justin Applebee in the ninth inning to give the Hawks a walk-off win over non-league rival Hopedale. With the win, Milford qualifies for the state tournament.
Oliver Ames, 12 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames’ offense exploded for 16 hits in its best offensive showing of the year, beating D-R to keep its postseason hopes alive. Junior Jacob Levine had three hits and smashed a three-run home run, CJ Deveau added two hits and hit a home run, and Jared Spillane added three hits as well for the Tigers. Chris Pearsons earned the win, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out four in five innings of work. Tyler Avery worked two scoreless innings in relief.
Taunton, 11 @ Attleboro, 0 – 5th inning/suspended – The game was stopped in the fifth inning due to weather. The game will be continued on Saturday morning at 10:00AM.
Canton, 1 @ Dedham, 9 – Final
Foxboro, 13 vs. Ursuline Academy, 0 – Final – The Warriors sealed their place in the playoffs with a big win against D2 Ursuline Academy. Emma Rohan went the distance to earn the win, allowing only three hits and striking out five in the shutout. Rylie Martignetti had three hits and drove in five runs to power the offense for Foxboro. Peyton Feldman also had three hits, including a homer, as did Morgan Sylvestre. Chelsea Gibbons went 1-for-2 and drove in three in the win.
King Philip, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – King Philip senior Faith Turinese pitched a great game for the Warriors with just one allowed but the Warriors weren’t able to do any damage offensively. Meghan Gorman, Reagan Simeone and Grace Kelley each had a hit for the Warriors.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ North Attleboro, 16 – Final (5 Inn.) – The Rocketeers sealed the outright Davenport division title with the win. North used a 14-run second inning to put the game away. Katie Daby had a grand slam in the rally, finishing with five RBI in the game. Ashley Cangiano also had three hits and two RBI for North, while Belle Clarkin (two runs scored), Abby Gallagher (two runs), and Olivia Capobianco (three runs) each had a pair of hits. Bella Erti picked up the win, allowing three hits and one unearned run. Katie Abreu knocked in Abbi Holmes on a two-out double in the third for OA’s run.
Franklin, 12 @ Longmeadow, 7 – Final – Franklin went on the road and picked up a marquee victory over Western Mass. powerhouse Longmeadow, who have won four straight sectional titles. Jake Davis led the way with a hat trick and three assists, Nitin Chaudhury also scored a hat trick and had an assist, and Ben Greco scored twice for the Panthers, who jumped ahead 7-3 at half. Will Davis had 12 saves while FHS coach Lou Verocchi noted his defense had a strong performance, limiting the Lancers to four goals through three quarters.
Milford @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 4:30
Oliver Ames, 16 vs. Southeastern, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames earned a win in its final regular season game, finishing with the program’s best regular season record ever at 14-4. Frankie Ireland had three goals and two assists, going over the 100-point mark for his career. Shane Kilkelly added five goals and two assists, Colin Bourne and Sandro Masciarelli each had a hat trick, and Sam Stevens chipped in with a goal and four assists.
Stoughton, 3 vs. Dedham, 12 – Final
Canton vs. Brookline, 3:45
Foxboro, 17 @ Medway, 10 – Final
Milford, 14 vs. Assabet Valley, 2 – Final – Milford celebrated senior night with a big win over visiting Assabet Valley. Seniors Emily Haley and Sophia Bucal led the charge with four goals apiece while senior Riley Campbell added one goal and senior Savanna Rosado made eight saves in net for the win. Junior Elena Bon Tempo added four goals and Alyssa Williamson tacked on a nice goal for the Hawks.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Silver Lake, 13 – Final
Sharon, 10 vs. Bishop Feehan, 12 – Final – Sharon finished with a split of the season series against Feehan, a potential D1 East opponent. Emma Eberhardt, fresh off her 200th career goal two days ago, scored four goals and recorded one assist for the Eagles. Cass Barbera, Maeve Barbera, and Molly McAlevey each scored twice and Mia Lappen added one for Sharon. Rose Wald made 11 saves in the loss.
Taunton, 19 @ Southeastern, 5 – Final – Taunton sophomore Alana Tavares scored her 200th career goal in the Tiger’s win on the road.
Taunton, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Taunton swept all three singles matches with one more point coming in doubles play in a victory over Attleboro. Brett Beaulieu won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Charlie Fiske earned a 7-5, 6-0 decision at second singles, and Dylan Kullas prevailed 6-2, 7-5 at third singles. The team of Conor Fitzsimmons and Trevor Hart won 7-6, 6-1 at second doubles for the Tigers.
Canton @ Milford, 4:00
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin won two singles matches and swept doubles play to beat Oliver Ames and secure at least a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. Sophomore Liam Marr didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles while Rohan Herur dropped just two in a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles. Franklin’s first doubles team of Saketh Saripalli and Shoumik Sompally won 6-0, 6-0 while the Panthers won by default at second doubles. The third singles match was called due to weather.
Mansfield, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip’s first doubles team of Nate Ihley and Zak Ryan overcame a three game deficit in the second set, winning five straight to earn a 6-3, 6-4 win and clinch the victory for the Warriors, who stay in the hunt for the division title with the win. Nick Putney won 6-2, 6-0 at second singles and Jack Cannon added a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles for KP. Mansfield’s Luke Nickerson won 7-5, 6-1 at first singles while Sam Donellan and Dheeraj Valluru picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles.
North Attleboro vs. Framingham, 4:00
Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon won all three singles matches to pick up a victory over Foxboro and clinched the Davenport division title outright. Senior Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-2, 6-1 at first singles, junior Alberto Olivei picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, and freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya earned a 6-0, 6-0 decision at third singles to clinch the win. Foxboro’s Brian Gardner and Justin Neale won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles and the team of Sean McAvoy and Noah nicks prevailed 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles for the Warriors.
Attleboro, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – Taunton won all five matches in straight sets to defend home court against visiting Attleboro. The team of Sam Martin and Brianna Fevrier earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles while the Tigers’ second doubles team of Ogechi Ariguzo and Kayla Parrett picked up a 6-0, 6-2 decision. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles, McKenzie Lucie earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles.
King Philip, 5 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – King Philip won all three singles matches in straight sets to knock off Mansfield and secure the Kelley-Rex division title outright. Junior Erin Regnier won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, sophomore Katarina Schneider picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles, and sophomore Mia Valencia didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Grace Ely and Katie Welch prevailed 4-6, 6-0, 10-7 at first doubles while Laura Davenport and Meghan Powers teamed up for a 6-0, 6-4 win at second doubles.
Milford, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this match. – Canton won all three singles matches and added another in doubles action to beat visiting Milford. Sophomore Rachel Kupferman didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, sophomore Natalie Keppler followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win at second singles, and Sarah Hernandez won 6-2, 5-2 (retired/weather) at third singles. The team of Nyah Claiborne and Rose Hazam earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at first doubles. Milford’s Reese Gavlik and Ketny Sousa won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles.
Oliver Ames @ Norton, 3:30
Sharon, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Sharon won two matches in singles action and one more in doubles to secure the win before the match was called to rain. Senior Nupur Shukla won 6-3, 6-0 at first singles while freshman Valeria Barajas picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles. The team of Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung had the other point for the Eagles with a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Attleboro, 8 @ Bishop Feehan, 9 – Final – Attleboro junior Camden Fitzpatrick had a day to remember at the plate but the Bombardiers fell just short on the road at Bishop Feehan. Fitzpatrick went 3-for-4, hitting a grand slam, a solo home run, and an RBI single for Attleboro.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 7 – Final – Milford scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead and tacked on two runs in each the fifth and sixth innings to beat visiting Canton. Colby Pires was strong on the mound, tossing a complete game with three runs allowed and two strikeouts. Matt Shaver went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Justin Applebee had two hits, an RBI, and a run scored for the Hawks.
Taunton, 3 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final – Mansfield broke open a scoreless game in the bottom of the third, exploding for six runs and then tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth to earn a win over visiting Taunton. The Tigers plated two runs in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 6-2 before Mansfield answered with two runs of its own to make it 8-2. Kyle Moran (two RBI, run), Eric Longley (RBI, two runs), and Jake Gerraughty (run, RBI) each had two hits to pace the Hornets’ offense. John Carney earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks, striking out seven in five innings of work. Matt Scibilia allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk in two innings of relief. Taunton junior Nic Notarangelo went 2-for-3 with two runs scored while sophomore Danny MacDougall went 1-for-3 with two RBI.
Attleboro, 2 vs. Bishop Feehan, 6 – Final
Milford, 13 @ Canton, 12 – Final – Milford senior Lucy Creedon came through in the clutch with the bases, delivering a two-run single in the top of the seventh to give the Hawks a win on the road in a close, back-and-forth contest with Canton. The Bulldogs built an early 6-0 lead, and led 8-3 after three innings before Milford’s offense roared to life with an eight-run fifth inning to take an 11-8 lead. Canton responded with a four-run sixth inning to go ahead 12-11 before Creedon put the visitors in front for good in the seventh. Milford freshman Gianna Cacciola went 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored, hitting a home run that sparked the Hawks’ big fifth inning. Freshman Olivia Morelli went 4-for-4 with three runs and a two-run double for Milford. “Our girls never gave up, they never quit, ” said Milford head coach Steve DiVitto.
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Whitman-Hanson, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Colleen Larson had a game to remember, earning the win in the circle and hitting a home run to pace the Tigers to a win on the road. Larson struck out five in a complete game effort and smacked a three-run home run in the seventh inning to give OA the cushion it needed for the win. OA scored in the seven, third, and fifth innings to build a 4-2 lead. Grace Simone (two runs, RBI), Kayla Georgeu (run, RBI), Katie Abreu (two runs) and Abbi Holmes each had two hits for OA.
Taunton, 9 @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 3 – Final – Taunton scored three runs in the first, tacked on four more in the fifth, and plated two more insurance runs in the sixth to sweep the season series with Dighton-Rehoboth. Kelsey White improved to 12-1 on the season, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits, no walks, and nine strikeouts. White helped her own cause with outstanding defense and drove in three runs offensively. Abbie McDonough went 3-for-3 with an RBI and stolen base while McKenzie McAloon (RBI, SB), Alexa White (two runs), Payton Ceglarski, Jaime Brown, Ava Venturelli (RBI), and Tayah DaCosta (RBI) each had a hit for the Tigers.
Sharon, 2 @ Stoughton, 4 – Final – In a game continued from Monday, Stoughton scored two runs in the final innings to grab a win over visiting Sharon. The Eagles held a 2-1 lead on Monday before freshman Sydney Menz (3-for-3) singled, took third on a bunt single from Karly Estremera, and scored on an RBI from Jordan Lyons. On Tuesday, Menz was the catalyst for the Black Knights again, smacking a one-out triple to right and scoring on a bunt single from Estremera. Lyons grabbed her second RBI by knocking in Estremera with a single. Nicole Baker grabbed her 12th win of the season, stirking out seven with four hits allowed.
Attleboro vs. Bishop Feehan, 5:15
Franklin, 15 @ Canton, 7 – Final – Franklin raced out to a 5-0 lead after a quarter but Canton chipped away to get within two (9-7) early in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers scored the final six goals to pull away and secure a perfect record in Hockomock League action. Jake Davis had three goals and three assists for Franklin while Owen Palmieri scored five goals, Ben Greco had a goal and four assists, and Jacob Alexander (who had a strong day at the faceoff X) added two goals. Griffin Roach (assist) and Andrew Canto each had three goals for Canton while Tommy Vaughan had one goal and two assists. LSM Nick Mackay had his best all-around game of the season and won some key faceoffs for the Bulldogs.
Milford, 1 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Canton swept all three singles matches and grabbed another win in doubles to beat Milford. Freshman Suraj Ramanathan picked up a 6-0, 7-5 win at first singles, sophomore Minh Duong earned a 7-6 (7-0), 6-0 win at second singles, and sophomore Ethan Nguyen secured a 6-2, 7-5 win at third singles for the Bulldogs. The team of senior Tyler Duffy and junior Justin Luk emerged with a 7-5, 6-4 win at first doubles. Milford’s Ben Johnson and Dylan Wang earned a 6-2, 6-3 win at second doubled.
North Attleboro, 4 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – North Attleboro went on the road and swept all three singles matches and added a fourth win at second doubles to beat the Warriors. Jonah Manso (first singles) and Sam Gallagher (third singles), both sophomores, won 6-0, 6-0 while junior Alex Pfeffer secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles. The team of Saketh Uppuluri and Justin Strom picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles. Foxboro’s Brian Gardner and Justin Neale won 6-2, 6-3 at first doubles.
King Philip, 4 @ Xaverian, 1 – Final – King Philip went on the road and knocked off Xaverian in a non-league showdown. Marco DiStefano won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles, Nick Putney won by the same score at second singles, and Jack Cannon completed the singles sweep with a 6-1, 6-0 result at third singles. KP’s first doubles team of Nate Ihley and Zak Ryan earned a 6-0, 6-1 win.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Brockton, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames completed a season sweep of the Boxers with a 3-2 win on the road. The Tigers won all three singles matches to beat Brockton. Senior captain Henry Simone battled to a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win at first singles, freshman Kylash Ganesh won 6-4, 6-4 at second singles, and junior Yusaf Hameed prevailed 6-4, 6-3 at third singles.
Sharon, 3 @ Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – Sharon junior Alberto Olivei prevailed in a tiebreak to win the second set, his match, and the entire match on the road at Bishop Feehan. Olivei won 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) at second singles while freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of senior Max Brody and freshman Max Chen won 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles.
Taunton, 4 @ New Bedford, 1 – Final – For the third straight season, the Taunton boys tennis team is headed to the state tournament. The Tigers qualified by beating New Bedford, sweeping all three singles matches and getting one more win in doubles action. Brett Beaulieu (first singles), Dylan Kullas (third singles), and the team of Barrett Hodgson and Tyler Goddard (second doubles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Charlie Fiske picked up a 6-3, 6-0 win at second singles.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Franklin swept doubles action and earned one more point with a victory in singles action to beat Attleboro. Krissy Stoyonova earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles, the team of Brynn Jacobs and Ashvika Boopathy won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 at first doubles, and Vagmi Kantheti and Tessa Cacioppo teamed up for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win at second doubles. Attleboro’s Ella Lynch-Bartek won 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 at first singles and Bri Aronne picked up a 6-4, 6-0 win at second singles.
Canton, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – The Bulldogs won all five matches in straight sets to knock off Milford on the road. Rachel Kupferman (first singles) and Natalie Keppler (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Sarah Hernandez pulled out a 6-2, 6-1 decision at third singles. The team of Nyah Claiborne and Rose Hazam earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at first doubles while Lily Hazam and Kiara Cerruti won 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 2 vs. Brockton, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames won both doubles matches but suffered two three-set heartbreakers in singles action and another very tight two-set match at third singles. The team of Eva Belanger and Morgan Vasiliou won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles while Erika Mekler and Kathryn McCarthy secured a 6-3, 6-3 at second doubles.
Sharon, 5 vs. Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final – Sharon defended home court with a dominant win over Bishop Feehan, winning four of the five matches in straight sets. Nupur Shukla (first singles) and Valeria Barajas (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 and Charlie Martinez picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles. The team of Sophia Fein and Sachi Bhasin won 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 at first doubles while Jessie Tarnoff and Lauren Glass earned a 6-3, 6-2 win at second doubles.
Taunton, 5 vs. New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton fended off visiting New Bedford, winning all five matches in straight sets. Jillian Pagliuca (first singles) and Jocelyn Pagliuca (third singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while McKenzie Lucie earned a 6-1, 6-4 decision at second singles. The team of Sam Martin and Brianna Fevrier picked up a 6-2, 7-5 win at first doubles with Ogechi Ariguzo and Kayla Parrett teaming up for a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles.
King Philip, 3 vs. Norwood, 0 – Final – After nearly two weeks since their last game, King Philip returned to action with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-13) sweep over Norwood. Cam Corey dished out 30 assists and had six digs, Kyle Desrochers added 13 service points (one ace), and six digs, and Max Armour chipped in with eight service points and four aces. Eric Altobello paced the offense with 11 kills and two digs, Jimmy Peterson added seven kills and a block, and Mike O’Brien finished with five kills.
Milford, 3 vs. Bellingham, 0 – Final – Milford’s Matt Dague had a team-high five kills while Gabe Brandao added four and the Hawks earned a 3-0 sweep (25-13, 25-4, 25-10) over Bellingham. Nuno Mestre dished out 13 assists in the win.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – The Franklin boys lacrosse team knew it was going to get its toughest test from a league opponent when King Philip visited Pisini Field on Monday afternoon.
But it was even tougher than they anticipated.
The Panthers had cruised through its league schedule to this point, racking up seven wins and outscoring Hockomock foes 140-14. On the other side, King Philip raced out to a 10-0 record overall before suffering back-to-back losses to Canton and Grafton — both by one goal — before the clash against the Panthers.
King Philip came out strong, taking the first lead of the game and going in front again in the second quarter. The Warriors limited Franklin to just four goals in the first half, trailing by two at the break.
But Franklin found its footing in the second half, using timely goals in both the third and fourth quarters, and dominated possession en route to an 11-5 victory. The win clinches at least a share of a seventh straight Kelley-Rex division title for the Panthers.
“[King Philip] played well, I didn’t anticipate that they were going to be as good as they are and they surprised me, and they surprised us,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “We didn’t anticipate them to give us the game they did. They were very aggressive, they did a nice job. They are a quality team for sure.”
A slashing call — just one of two penalties called in the game — on the Panthers gave King Philip an early man-up opportunity and the Warriors cashed in. Junior Kevin Riggs found himself in some space and ripped a shot into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
But the lead lasted just a minute as the Panthers responded on its next possession. Senior Nitin Chaudhury gained some space and fired a right-handed shot into the back of the net to make it 1-1. KP’s defensive group of Wes Bishop, Luke D’Amico, and Garrett Maxwell did a nice job of preventing the Panthers from getting any other chances in the first half, limiting Franklin to three shots in the first.
Franklin had a couple of looks on goal in the opening minutes but couldn’t solve KP goalie Andrew McKinney (11 saves), who made back-to-back stops on good shots from Owen Palmieri.
Sophomore Sam Mattson took advantage of McKinney’s stops, using a rocket of a shot to put the Warriors up 2-1 with 7:35 left in the second quarter.
Franklin senior Jacob Alexander gave the Panthers a boost, winning the ensuing faceoff and racing down and bouncing in a shot that made it 2-2. Alexander won the next draw as well, leading to a goal from sophomore Owen Kielty on a nice feed from Ben Greco.
King Philip nearly tied it when Chris Longobardi won the face off, sprinted into the offensive zone and got off an open shot but Franklin goalie Will Davis (five saves) got just enough on it to keep the lead.
Palmieri converted a low shot while being pressured to put the Panthers up 4-2 heading into the half.
A faceoff win from Alexander led to a goal from Will Harvey (from Greco) to extend Franklin’s lead a minute into the second half. Mattson answered with a blast to make it a two-goal game but Franklin scored the final two goals of the third quarter.
First, senior Ben Kolb battled his way through traffic and finished in close to make it 6-3. A minute after Andrew Sajdak had his shot clank off the crossbar, Franklin tacked on another when Jake Davis snuck a tough angle shot under the bar to put the Panthers ahead 7-3 heading into the fourth.
“We started to move the ball a little bit more,” Verrochi said of second half adjustments. “We looked at certain matchups and found ones we felt we could go to goal on. I think we started doing that better and our off ball movement was better in the second half.
“If you’re beating your man, and you draw a slide, whoever’s man slid you gotta follow the slide with the stick lock and loaded, and I think we did a good job with that.”
King Philip was limited to just the one shot from Mattson in the quarter. McKinney made seven saves in the frame but the Panthers made it difficult for the Warriors to clear the zone.
“Andrew McKinney in goal was phenomenal, he really saw the ball well,” said KP head coach Hal Bean. “Those guys were shooting fast and he was on the ball, he was tracking well.
“[Franklin] slides very quickly, probably the fastest we’ve seen. So once our guy broke free from his man, there was someone else on us right away. And to try and get that third guy open was difficult.”
KP had the first possession of the fourth but Pat Morrison and Liam Arsenault combined to force a turnover and Franklin cashed in in transition as sophomore Matt Lazzaro found Greco open in front for an easy finish.
The Warriors pulled one back at the midway point of the fourth as Mattson drew multiple defenders before finding senior Colin DeVellis cutting in front for a close-range finish.
Davis answered less than a minute later on a feed from Greco but Longobardi scored nine seconds later, winning the faceoff and going straight to goal to make it 9-5.
Davis tallied twice more in the final four minutes to make it 11-5.
“[McKinney] played well, he made some nice saves,” Verrochi said. “We have some excellent shooters, some kids that can really shoot the ball.
We rode really tough, and we’ve been doing that all year long. The kids have really bought into that and they are making it tough [for opponents].”
While Franklin clinches another league title, King Philip dropped its third straight contest. But with all three coming against top competition and the Warriors playing well in all three, Bean believes these games will pay off down the road.
“We’re very positive right now,” Bean said. “We are enjoying how we’re playing, they are a tight-knit group. We got pizza after the loss at Grafton. They are upbeat right now. They understand they are playing good lacrosse. They are playing as a team, they work hard, so I expect a lot more wins coming up.”
Franklin boys lacrosse (8-0 Hockomock, 12-1) is back in action on Wednesday when it host Foxboro. King Philip (7-2, 10-3) is at Milford on the same day.
Sharon, 19 vs. Ursuline Academy, 7 – Final – Sharon sophomore Julia Earley was one hit short of the cycle and the Eagles exploded for 19 runs in a win over Ursuline Academy. Earley had a first-inning triple, a double in the third, and a single in the fifth inning. Jody Goldenberg added three hits and a run, Trinity Payne added two hits, including a two-run home run, and senior Ali Small had two hits and four runs scored. Payne struck out nine in the win.
Stoughton, 11 vs. Milton, 4 – Final – Stoughton scored four runs in each the first and third innings, and tacked on three insurance runs in the fifth to earn a non-league win over Milton and punch its ticket to the state tournament. Lexi Baptista (3-for-4, four RBI) launched a three-run home run in the first inning to score both Karly Estremera (three hits, RBI) and Nicole Baker (CG, 7K). Nikki Coppola added an RBI triple to score Brianna Ferrandiz in the first as well.
Franklin, 9 @ Dover-Sherborn, 8 – Final – Franklin senior Nitin Chaudhury (three goals, assist) scored the game-winning goal with 26 seconds left and the Panthers’ defense made a final stand to earn a win on the road. The Panthers trailed by two with under four minutes to go but Jacob Alexander won two straight faceoffs, scoring himself off the first one and junior Jake Davis (two goals, two assists) firing a laser into the back of the net to tie the score. After Chaudhury’s go-ahead goal, a faceoff violation gave Dover-Sherborn one last chance but the Franklin defense shined and forced a turnover as time ran out. Tim Kolb added two goals, Ben Greco added two assists, and Matt Lazzaro scored once and had one helper. Pat Morrison, Liam Arsenault, Spencer Briggs, Jack Sullivan and Will Harvey shined defensively for Franklin.
King Philip, 9 @ Grafton, 10 – Final
Milford @ Stoughton – Postponed to Thursday, 5/16 at 4:00.
Sharon, 15 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 3 – Final
Franklin, 14 vs. Natick, 11 – Final – Franklin defended home turf with a win over a strong Natick team. Freshman Kate O’Rourke paced the Panthers’ offense with four goals, freshman Stella Regan added two goals, and junior Kelsey MacCallum finished with five points (three goals, two assists). Senior Hailey Toolin and junior Alex Field both had strong games defensively, recording two ground balls each while junior Gianna Cameron made seven saves in net.
Mansfield @ Bishop Feehan, 3:30
North Attleboro, 6 vs. Braintree, 11 – Final
Milford @ Attleboro – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/14 at 3:45.
Sharon @ Bishop Feehan – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/21 at 3:45.
Stoughton @ Brockton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Attleboro @ Milford – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/28 at 3:45.
Sharon vs. Bishop Feehan – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/21 at 3:45.
Stoughton vs. Brockton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
King Philip vs. Walpole – Postponed to Friday, 5/24 at 3:45.