Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin senior Tim Duval set up the Panthers’ first goal and then scored the goal that proved to be the game-winner in a rain-shortened game against Foxboro. Duval set up Donny Tappin inside the opening two minutes to give the hosts an early advantage. Foxboro leveled the game in the 21st minute when Joe Cusack connected with Dylan Barreira. Franklin went ahead again in the 43rd minute when Duval brought down a service from Sam Stowell and buried from inside the area. The game was called for lightning in the 47th minute despite multiple efforts to restart.
Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 5 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin 1 – Final – Foxboro took the lead midway through the first half but Franklin struck early in the second half to earn a draw at home in what both coaches said was a hard fought game from both sides. Warriors freshman Kailee McCabe scored an unassisted goal to put Foxboro ahead. But just 90 seconds into the second half, Hailey Toolin leveled the match on an assist from junior Sabrina Addi. Franklin junior Breanna Atwood made nine saves.
Boys Cross Country
Attleboro, 46 @ King Philip, 17 – Final
Canton, 44 @ Sharon, 18 – Final – Sharon’s Alex Starovoytov won his third straight dual meet to help the Eagles improve to 3-0 on the season. The Eagles finished with eight of the top 10 runners with Jared Osofsky taking second, Jacob Dubin finishing fourth, and Kanishka Sethi rounding out the top five. Canton’s Kyle Downing was the top finisher for the Bulldogs, taking third overall.
Top 10: 1. Alex Starovoytov (Sha, 15:30) 2. Jared Osofsky (Sha, 15:54) 3. Kyle Downing (Can, 16:10) 4. Jacob Dubin (Sha, 16:11) 5. Kanishka Sethi (Sha, 16:13) 6. Bradley Weiss (Sha, 16:14) 7. Jordan Saks (Sha, 16:16) 8. Alex Maddestra (Can, 16:23) 9. Nathan Stockton (Sha, 16:27) 10. Mark Starovoytov (Sha, 16:36).
Foxboro, 15 @ Stoughton, 48 – Final – Foxboro swept the first five finishes on its way to a big win on the road at Stoughton. Ryan Proulx took first in the race followed by Trey Lawson, Paxton Downs, Nate Palter, and Patrick Piscitelli.
Top 10: 1. Ryan Proulx (Fox. 18:34) 2. Trey Lawson (Fox, 19:17) 3. Paxton Downs (Fox, 19:37) 4. Nate Palter (Fox, 19:46) 5. Patrick Piscitelli (Fox, 20:07) 7. Sam Pollack (Fox, 20:22) 8. Tyler Comeau (Fox, 20:30).
Taunton @ Franklin, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 29 @ Mansfield, 26 – Final – Oliver Ames had three of the top five finishers but Mansfield had five of the top eight to earn a close win over the Tigers. Mansfield’s Jason Windvogel took first overall while Michael Mullahy earned fourth to pace the Hornets. Zane Reservitz was OA’s top runner, taking second overall, with Rory McLaughlin following three seconds later for the Tigers.
North Attleboro, 37 @ Milford, 22 – Final – North Attleboro’s Liam Monahan took first in the race but the Hawks had the next three runners cross the finish line, leading the Hawks to a win. Max Manor, Gianni Panno, and Brendan O’Shaugnessy were the top three runners for the Hawks, taking second, third, and fourth in a span of 11 seconds.
Top 10: 1. Liam Monahan (NA, 16:52) 2. Max Manor (Mil, 16:58) 3. Gianni Panno (Mil, 17:08) 4. Brendan O’Shaugnessy (Mil, 17:09) 5. Julian Dixon (NA, 17:17) 6. Chris Berthrong (Mil, 17:29) 7. Anthony Distauro (Mil, 17:38) 8. Miguel Torres (Mil, 18:39) 9. Skyler Poirier (NA, 18:15) 10. Gabe Padro Cota (Mil, 18:19).
Girls Cross Country
Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:45
Canton, 46 @ Sharon, 17 – Final – Sharon improved to 2-1 on the season after taking the top three spots in the race against visiting Canton. Eliana Boxerman, Daphne Theiler, and Juliana Dudziak took first, second, and third, respectively, while Canton’s Chloe Pennacchio was fourth overall.
Foxboro, 17 @ Stoughton, 43 – Final – Foxboro’s trio of Lexi Quinn, Abby Hassman, and Lindsey Nelson continued to impress, crossing the finish line in that order to lead the Warriors to a big win over Stoughton. The Warriors had a strong showing, taking eight of the top 10 spots in the race.
Oliver Ames, 38 @ Mansfield, 21 – Final – Mansfield sophomore Tessa Lancaster and senior Maggie Riley took first and second, respectively, in a tri-meet that also featured Bishop Feehan. Oliver Ames’ Meghan Reardon and Catherine O’Donnell were the first two Tigers to cross the finish line, taking third and fourth overall.
Foxboro, 166 @ Stoughton, 167 – Final – Foxboro freshman Matt Fosella earned medalist honors, shooting a 40 at Easton Country Club to help the Warriors slip by Stoughton. Jack Watts, Noah Hicks, and Jonathan Dowling all shot 42 for Foxboro. Josh Hough led Stoughton with a 41 while Luke Bainton, Jake Curtis, and Kyle Stone each carded a 42 for the Knights.
Mansfield, 167 @ King Philip, 166 – Final
North Attleboro, 156 @ Canton, 154 – Final – Canton’s Chris Lavoie and Thomas Singleton earned co-medalist honors, each shooting a 37 to lead the Bulldogs to a two-stroke win over the visiting Rocketeers. Tommy Dimock, Mike Gobbi, and Mike Leonetti each shot 40 for Canton. North Attleboro’s Marcus Costa and Matt Wanless each carded rounds of 38 to pace Big Red while Jillian Barend, Pat Roberts, and Aidan Weir all finished at 40.
Attleboro, 2 @ Foxboro, 8 – Final – Foxboro junior Dylan Barreira stayed red hot, scoring six goals for the second straight game to lead the Warriors to a big win at home. Barreira scored three goals in each half, giving the hosts a 3-1 edge at the break. Nic Beigel (assist) and Chris Amiable each scored once while Matt Garcia had two assists and Will Morrison had one helper.
Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Both Canton and Mansfield had a handful of corners and long throw in chances but neither side could break the stalemate. Mansfield goalie Anthony Salisbury made a terrific one-handed diving save in the 54th minute to rob Griffin Roach of a goal from just outside the area. On the ensuing corner, Simon Cruz had a big on goal denied by defender Matt O’Donnell, who was positioned at the near post. Alejandro Correal had a strong game in net for the Bulldogs.
Franklin, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
King Philip, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – King Philip raced out to a 3-1 lead at halftime and added four more goals in the second half to pick up two points on the road. KP scored three goals inside the first 11 minutes with sophomore Evan McEvoy (from Zac White) scoring the opening strike and assisting on Ian Zimmerman’s goal two minutes later. Tony Bozza mad 3-0 before Stoughton freshman Mateo Eschleman converted a long throw-in from Ikenna Dike to get on the board. In the second half, McEvoy (from John Cullen) and Cam Lawrence (from Bozza) scored in the first four minutes to make it 6-1. Senior Justin Willson added two more goals on assists from Gavon Fox and Andrew Thompson.
Taunton, 0 @ Milford, 4 – Final – Milford exploded for three goals in the second half to earn a convincing win over visiting Taunton. Omar Lema scored his second goal in as many games just two minutes in to give the Hawks an early lead. But Milford didn’t add onto it until the second half. Jordan Borges made it 2-0 just minutes into the second half on an assist from Walisson de Oliveira. Borges then returned the favor, setting de Oliveira up to a pair of goals to give the Hawks a 4-0 win.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Sharon took a very early lead but had to come up with a late equalizer in the first half to earn a point against visiting Oliver Ames. Isaiah Stessman put the Eagles up less than two minutes in, converting a cross from Brian Higgins to make it 1-0. OA capitalized on an Eagle miscue as Jimmy Keane pounced on a loose ball and tied it for OA. The Tigers then took a lead as sophomore Colin Milliken blasted a shot from atop the 18 to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage. With five seconds left in the first half, Higgins used a nice individual effort to get by the defense and scored to make it 2-2.
Foxboro, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Attleboro took an early led but Foxboro battled back to get the advantage and earn two points. After Attleboro took a 1-0 lead, Jordyn Collins equalized for Foxboro, converting an assist from Kenzi Fraser. Freshman Kailee McCabe scored on a penalty kick midway through the first half, and then scored again in the second half on a pass from Lizzy Davis.
Canton, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Maria Sevastos scored twice and assisted on another as Mansfield stayed unbeaten with a four-goal flurry in the first half against Canton. Steph Kemp and Cassidy McMahon each scored goals for the Hornets and McMahon added an assist as well. Emily Vigeant assisted on a pair of goals in the win.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Stella Regan had a pair of goals in the first half, assisted by Calen Frongillo and Hailey Toolin, to lead the Panthers to a big cross-over win. Breanna Atwood made eight saves to preserve the clean sheet for Franklin. Emma Noreck made six saves for the Rocketeers.
Sharon, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Senior Samantha Gilgan, junior Lauren Picanzi, and senior Daniella Ferrini each scored as Oliver Ames notched a win at home over Sharon.
Stoughton, 1 @ King Philip, 8 – Final – Cara Perry scored for the Black Knights, finding the back of the net off a cross by Mackenzie Manning.
Stoughton, 2 @ Brockton, 0 – Final – Haley Nelson and Allie Howe each cored once as Stoughton went on the road and beat the Boxers of Brockton High. Kayla Laboy recorded the shutout in goal for the Black Knights.
Stoughton, 184 @ Canton, 147 – Final – Canton’s Tommy Dimock shot a match-low round of 35, earning medalist honors while helping the Bulldogs net their lowest score of the season. Mike Gobbi and Mike Leonetti each shot 37 while Thomas Singleton carded a 38. Josh Hough led Stoughton with a 42 and Luke Bainton shot 44.
Mansfield, 174 @ Franklin, 166 – Final – Franklin notched its second straight win over a division foe, this time knocking off Mansfield at Franklin Country Club. Quinten Faro was the match medalist after carding a low round of 38. Jack Paterson added a 40 for the Panthers while Ryan Dow led Mansfield with a round of 40.
Taunton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to time/date TBD.
Milford, 181 @ Sharon, 161 – Final – Ethan Skelly earned medalist honors after shooting a 37 at the Cape Club of Sharon, leading the Eagles to a win over Milford. Andrew Glaser and Nathan Daley each shot 41 for Sharon while Corey Carter carded a round of 42. Riley Lynch led Milford with a 39.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – In a game where chances are at a premium, with physical battles being waged all over the pitch, and with defenses largely coming out on top, finishing is the difference between taking home the points or leaving with none.
Mansfield had one great chance in the box and put it away. Franklin had two chances in the box and both went narrowly off target. So, on Monday night at Pisini Field, the Hornets walked away with a hard-fought 1-0 win and stayed unbeaten, while, for the second time in a week, the Panthers lost a close game with one of the two defending Kelley-Rex division champions.
“It’s such a tough opponent, such a tough place, a great coaching staff, so it’s a good win,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith.
The first scoring chance of the game fell to the Panthers. Junior Carly Alston sprung senior Hailey Toolin down the right wing and she crossed the ball into the six-yard-box. Junior Anna Balkus had made a late run from midfield and got free right in the center but she tried to redirect the ball with her right foot and could only touch it wide.
Mansfield took a while to get going in the game. Franklin’s pressing in the midfield was causing problems for the first 15 minutes, but eventually the Hornets started to string passes together and create looks on goal.
“They pinched their four midfielders together, so it was 4-on-3,” said Smith. “They went forward and brought more people up and then it was man-up or man-even and we were able to take advantage of that or finally go wide and then find a passing angle. Sometimes it takes a while to see what they’re doing and readjust.”
Melissa Reef had the first shot from distance but it was easily saved by Franklin goalie Breanna Atwood. Bryn Anderson nearly opened the scoring with a free kick from 18 yards out, just to the right of the box. Her shot to the near post was only a foot over the bar.
Franklin continued to worry the Mansfield defense with cutting passes in behind. Calen Frongillo was able to slide a pass through the right channel to again get Toolin, who just beat the offside trap, into space but she could only play a ball through the box that was in between a shot and a cross and that Balkus could not get on the end of.
Alston also freed up freshman Stella Regan to make a run at goal, but Mansfield defender Emily Vigeant showed off her pace (and long reach) to get a toe to the ball just before a shot could be taken. Franklin’s young forwards were giving the Hornets back line a fight, but Vigeant and fellow senior Mikaela Maughn were solid throughout.
“She’s so good. She’s been such an unsung player for us for years,” said Smith about Maughn. About Vigeant, he added, “She’s got great soccer IQ. If she has a lack of speed compared to what she’s up against, she reads it quicker than the other person and it makes her look even faster than she is.”
In the 24th minute, Mansfield struck. A giveaway at the back gifted possession to Steph Kemp in the attacking third and she quickly played the ball out to the left toCassidy McMahon. The duo played a quick give-and-go to isolate the last defender and get McMahon free on goal and the senior picked the bottom corner with a cool finish.
Mansfield had two chances to double the lead in the opening five minutes of the second half. Anderson sprayed a pass out to McMahon on the left wing and she squared the ball into Kemp inside the six, but the senior forward could not get the right contact and it was an easy save for Atwood. Anderson again played provider shortly after to set up Sydney Mulkern, but her chipped shot went over the bar.
Just two minutes later, Franklin had another golden opportunity to get on the board. Sophomore Sydney St. Marie got space to attack down the left wing and she played a perfect low cross into the middle to pick out Balkus, but her side-foot effort was again just inches wide of the bottom corner.
“It was the same thing against KP,” Franklin coach Tom Geysen explained. “I thought our kids handled the pressure pretty well, moved the ball pretty decent, made good choices up front, but when you have it wide open and can’t put it in the back of the net…”
Kemp nearly added a second for Mansfield in the 53rd minute only to be denied by Atwood. After making a tackle on the edge of the box, the forward found room to unleash a shot that looked destined for the top corner, but the keeper was able to get fingertips to it and tip it around the bar at full stretch.
Franklin continued to push until the final whistle, with the physicality from both teams ratcheting up as the seconds ticked down. In the end, Mansfield keeper Caty DeMassi made a couple of routine saves, but was well-protected by the defense in front of her and the Hornets headed home with the two points.
While disappointed to not come away with a result, Geysen was still pleased with the effort of the Panthers against one of the league title favorites.
He said, “I don’t think they (Mansfield) were expecting what they got from us after last year. When we played them the second time last year, we had nobody, but we’ve got kids that if we can just take one more step then we’ll score the goals to be competitive with everybody.”
Mansfield (4-0-1) will next travel to Milford on Friday afternoon, while Franklin (2-2-0) will travel to Stoughton.
Mansfield, 1 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Luke Devine scored the game-winner in the 52nd minute to help the Hornets move to 3-0 on the season. Connor Eames came away with a steal just over midfield and passed to junior Peter Oldow. Oldow dummied the pass allowing Luke Savoie to hit a one-timer on frame. The bid was saved but Devine was there to finish it. Mansfield goalie Anthony Salisbury made 12 saves for his first career shutout.
Canton @ Foxboro – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Sharon, 1 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Milford sophomore Lucas Da Silva scored his first varsity goal off an assist from Joey Madden as the Scarlet Hawks finished level with Sharon.
Taunton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Steph Kemp scored two goals and had an assist, Bryn Anderson and Sydney Mulkern each had a goal and an assist, and Kylie Tryder scored her first career goal for the Hornets.
Canton @ Foxboro – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – The Warriors scored twice in the first half to secure the win. Ally Stanton scored the eventual game-winner off a cross by Chloe Layne 15 minutes into the game and then Layne added the second from the penalty spot four minutes later. Taylor Butler made six saves for the clean sheet. Breanna Atwood made nine saves for the Panthers and Franklin coach Tom Geysen said that his team created some good chances and “took some steps forward.”
Milford @ Sharon – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Oliver Ames @ Taunton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Mansfield @ Attleboro – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Foxboro @ Canton – Postponed to Wednesday, 9/26 at 3:45.
King Philip, 4 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – King Philip scored a pair of goals in each half and had a strong defensive effort to blank Franklin. KP freshman Meghan MacDonald scored less then two minutes into the game on a feed from Kate Lindmark to give the Warriors a strong start. Alli Meehan scored the next three goals for the Warriors, tallying unassisted goals at the midway point of each the first and second half, and scoring off a feed from Dana Truini in the second half. Franklin’s Christina Luccini made four saves and Anna Jardine had nine saves for the Panthers. Marissa Canesi and Maeve Ledwith each had strong games defensively for Franklin.
Sharon @ Milford, 3:45
Stoughton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday at 3:45.
Taunton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Wednesday, 9/26 at 6:00.
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield defended home court with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-11, 25-20) win over visiting Attleboro. Olivia McGrath had 10 kills for the Hornets while Stephanie Walker and Olivia Fernando combined for 25 assists. Attleboro’s Chelsea Calcagni led the Bombardiers with seven kills and three aces while Ana Leonardo chipped in with eight assists, a kill, and a block.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton opened its home slate with a 3-0 sweep (25-13, 25-12, 25-22) against Foxboro. Canton’s Nicole Brown had an all around outstanding day with eight kills, 12 assists, and two aces while Sydney Gallery added five kills and was strong at the net. Megan McDonough ran the defense defense with 12 digs and added an ace for the Bulldogs.
Stoughton, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Stoughton notched its second straight road win to open the season, sweeping North Attleboro 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-9). Molly Turner served well for the Black Knights, recording seven aces and adding four kills and four blocks. Amaya Morris played well from the middle, killing six of her nine attempts.
Taunton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Caitlin Cavanaugh had a terrific game, leading the Tigers with 17 kills in a win over Taunton. Sadie Homer had 23 digs, Allie Kemp added 28 assists & six aces, Sarah Litwack chipped in with 15 assists and Jordan Bosse finished with eight kills and three aces.
Sharon, 1 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Sharon @ Canton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Taunton @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Attleboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
King Philip @ Mansfield – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Milford @ North Attleboro – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
2017 Record: 4-13-1 2017 Finish: Missed Playoffs. Coach: Steve Santos
Attleboro improved last season, scoring 18 goals and showing signs of an improved passing game, which head coach Steve Santos has been trying to build over the past few years. An exciting group of younger players added speed to the Bombardiers and the team’s increased depth allowed them to be competitive against even the league’s best teams.
That group has continued to develop and sophomore forwards Isabella Salviati and Briley Harnois will be counted on to provide a consistent threat to the opposition defense. The midfield should be a strength for the Bombardiers this season with a group of versatile players that will set the foundation for the Attleboro passing game. Senior Sam Fasoldt will be joined by juniors Julia Reyes and Ashley Dame, who returns after missing 2017 with a knee injury, and sophomore Jessica Gates. Junior Sophia Salviati will help out in midfield and defense, where Attleboro returns just one starter from last year. Seniors Felicia Laguerre and Ashley Lauzier will be at the heart of the defense in front of goalies Taylor Drake (senior) or Ashley Macia (junior).
“The team looks good and is playing some good passing soccer,” said Santos about the Bombardiers in the preseason. “As a team, our speed is where we need it to be to keep teams on their heels and not let them dictate play.”
2017 Record: 10-8-2 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Tom Geysen
Franklin battled injuries throughout the 2017 season and those injuries tested the Panthers depth, but heading into a new season head coach Tom Geysen is confident that this year’s squad can withstand the rigors of Hockomock play. The Panthers will be tested early, with King Philip, Mansfield, and Canton in the opening four games.
Versatility will be a key for the Panthers this season with players capable of slotting into different positions. One of those players is junior Anna Balkus, who can play up top or drop back into the midfield depending on the formation. Sophomore Sydney St. Marie will also play up top and Geysen said that she has shown real progress from last year. Junior Carly Alston will be in the heart of the midfield, while senior Halle Atkinson will give Franklin an outlet on one wing and sophomore Erin Qualie, fresh off an impressive rookie campaign, will be on the other. Defensively, Franklin will count on third-year center back Grace Gallo, fellow senior Maddie Stewart, and junior Sabrina Addi, who moved from the midfield to defense last fall. Athletic junior Breanna Atwood will jump into goal and continue Franklin’s run of strong goalkeepers.
“We have a good nucleus of kids coming back and kids moving around to new positions,” said Geysen. “There are a lot of freshmen with potential to develop into strong players. Everyone had a good attitude and has been working hard.”
2017 Record: 20-2-2 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 state semifinal. Coach: Gary Pichel
King Philip put together a dominant season in 2017, winning a league title for the first time since 2002 and then winning the Div. 1 South title as well. The Warriors scored 18 more goals than any other team in the Hockomock last year and also allowed fewer goals than all but two teams. With a loaded roster back this fall, KP has its sights set on even more in 2018.
Expectations are sky high for the Warriors this season because of the return of junior forwards Chloe Layne and Avery Snead, the reigning league MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year. Layne and Snead were the top two scorers in the Hock last season and they continue to develop and improve. KP wasn’t a two-player team and they will also count on senior Abby Baker in the midfield along with wingers Makayla Griffin and Ally Stanton to provide outlets when defenses crowd the forwards and close down the middle of the park. Junior Olivia Berry will be in the heart of the defense and look to provide the leadership and physical play of graduated defender Emma Corcoran. Junior Faye Veilleux also stepped in at the end of last season and showed her growth as a defensive presence in midfield.
KP coach Gary Pichel said, “The team’s strength’s lie in the ability of our offense to create a great deal of scoring opportunities. There is a relentless desire to push hard up top and keep it there through pressure on ball at all times. We are fortunate to have players that have the ability to do so on a consistent basis.”
2017 Record: 13-2-2 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Kevin Smith
While King Philip earned a lot of attention for their run to the state semifinal, Mansfield was equally as strong in the league last year. The Hornets matched the Warriors step for step and earned a share of their second straight Kelley-Rex division title. With a number of players back again this year, Mansfield looks ready to battle for a three-peat and make a deep tournament run.
The Hornets feature 13 seniors on this year’s roster, so experience won’t be an issue. Melissa Reef and Bryn Anderson headline the midfield group, with Reef providing cover for the back line and Anderson acting as the fulcrum that gets the offense in motion. The defense will be spearheaded by Emily Vigeant, who has been on the top defenders in the league for the past couple of seasons. She is joined by versatile and physical defenders like Mikaela Maughn, Kerina Geminiani, and Erin Daniel. Goalkeeper Lauren Whitman will be back between the sticks this season.
There will be plenty of depth in the Mansfield attack this fall with Stephanie Kemp, Sydney Mulkern, Amanda Mangano, Cassidy McMahon, and freshman Maria Sevastos all expected to contribute. “We will be hoping to spread out the offense amongst multiple attackers,” said Mansfield coach Kevin Smith.
2017 Record: 11-8-0 2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South first round. Coach: Britt Sellmayer
Oliver Ames had a number of new faces last year, but the Tigers were still able to earn a postseason appearance and were the only team in the league to beat King Philip during the regular season. With another year of experience, OA should be ready for another postseason run.
Defense should be a strength for the Tigers this season with plenty of varsity experience on the back line, including seniors Gabriele McLaughlin, Maeve Hogan, and Brianna Gibson. The defensive unit will help sophomores Emma O’Donnell and Emily Meyers get comfortable in goal, as they try to replace EMass all-star Regan Benton. Junior Abby Hodges will be a key component in the OA midfield this season. Junior Erin Holmberg and senior Maggie Ault will be up front for the Tigers, who will hope to improve on the 31 goals they scored last year.
OA coach Britt Sellmayer said, “We have a good mix of experienced players and younger players that have potential to develop into a good team. The key will be replacing one of the best keepers in EMass in Regan Benton. We are counting on the seniors in the back line staying healthy and providing leadership.”
It has been a few seasons since Taunton made history with a trip to the postseason and a road playoff win at Wellesley, but the program is continuing to build and head coach Edith Dixon expects the Tigers to be an “interesting” team in 2018 with a mix of youth and experience.
Taunton will clearly miss leading scorer Sam Tichelaar and defensive stalwart Kayla Felix, who both graduated after last season, but there is a lot of talent for the Tigers to build around. Grace Pimenta will be back between the pipes and her aggressiveness off her line will help the Taunton defense. Maggie Sullivan will be counted on to be the field general in midfield and Dixon praised her “never-ending motor.” Up front, speed will be a strength for the Tigers, who are hoping to use it to create numerous chances in transition and being aggressive attacking the opposition goal.
Dixon said, “ The best part about this team is their amazing attitude as a group. Everyone has bought into the team concepts and wants to contribute everything they have towards the team goals. This is the first season I’ve had at Taunton where there are no superstars, just 11 players all working together with great synergy.”
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Mansfield had a lot on the line when it traveled to its biggest rival on Friday night. A win against Franklin would clinch at least a share of a third straight league title for the Hornets, while senior center Meg Hill was only seven points away from reaching 1,000 for her career.
With a layup off a feed from Mady Bendanillo late in the first quarter, Hill (17 points, nine rebounds) made quick work of her accomplishment, but the Hornets needed to battle to the end to pull out a 62-48 victory that sealed a three-peat of Kelley-Rex titles.
“We had a chance to come over here to get a share of the title with a 1,000-point scorer, lets get it all done tonight,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “I’m glad it’s over and now we can relax and a win against KP to win it outright takes a little pressure off when we play OA (in the league finale).”
Hill got on the board off the opening tip, as Franklin allowed the Hornets to take a quick lead in order to get points for senior forward Kate Morse, who is out for the season with an injury.
Ann Maher got off to a red-hot start from the outside to help Mansfield stretch the floor and open up an early lead. She hit the first of three from beyond the arc in the quarter off a Hill feed and then Hill knocked down a jumper for a 7-2 advantage. After the Panthers tied it up, another Maher three was followed by another jumper by Hill.
Ali Brigham (11 rebounds) hit a jumper, the first two of her team-high 16 points, but Maher again was able to answer with another shot from long distance. Sitting just one-point from 1,000, Hill reached the milestone with a transition basket, off a feed from Bendanillo (eight assists).
Hill, who became just the second female player in Mansfield history to reach 1,000 points, passed the credit for her milestone on to her teammates. She said, “I don’t shoot on my own. I don’t dribble the ball. So, passes from them are really how I get my points and I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
After a timeout to celebrate Hill’s career mark, Bendanillo closed out the first with a three for a 20-9 lead. The Hornets finished with nine threes as a team.
“We knew Maher was a good shooter and you try to rotate the defense to her and Meg and other set some good screens and she knocked down some quick ones but I thought it was the supporting cast that really shot well for them and really made the difference tonight,” said Franklin coach John Leighton.
Franklin did not back down and rallied in the second quarter. Mansfield tried to switch up defenses to limit Brigham and Bea Bondhus, but Breanna Atwood (10 points) banked in a three-pointer and got behind the defense for a layup off a feed by Megan O’Connell. O’Connell also scored six in the second, finding space at the high post.
“Our kids battled back,” said Leighton. “The shots kept falling for them but we kept battling back and working to get twos. It was a slog, but we stayed with it. I thought at the end of the first quarter we’d find out really quick who we were and we rebounded pretty well.”
Bendanillo (eight points) drilled a second three and Hill scored on an offensive rebound, but O’Connell’s drive in the final minute cut the lead to just 29-26 at halftime.
“She got it done early,” said Redding of Hill getting to 1,000 points, “but then after that they started to come on and had a great second quarter, but I thought we really came out in the third and reestablished ourself with a good inside-outside game.”
The Hornets broke the game open in the third quarter. Maher (15 points) hit the fourth of her five three-pointer on the night to get it started and Hill hit another jumper. Sydney Mulkern (nine points) scored five points in quick succession and suddenly it was a 13-point edge.
Bondhus (10 points) hit a three to get back within 10 but Mansfield showed its depth with Steph Kemp hitting a jumper, Emily Vigeant driving to the basket for two, and Erin Daniel draining a three to push the lead to 48-35 heading to the fourth.
Redding said, “We got a lot of points not by design. We just made smart passes against traps and found open people out of the offense.”
Both teams found scoring a struggle at the start of the fourth and Franklin was able to chip away at the lead, getting it as close as 56-48 after Bondhus finished in traffic, but the Hornets went 6-for-6 from the line to close it out.
“I thought Bea and Ali were super-aggressive in the fourth quarter and we needed them to be,” said Leighton. “All the shots didn’t fall but I thought we got the looks that we needed and we got some defensive stops that we needed.”
Wins at Franklin are always welcome for the Hornets. Four years ago a loss at Franklin cost Mansfield a share of the league title and the Panthers handed the Hornets their only league loss on the same court last season. So, Redding was pleased to walk away with the victory on Friday.
“Any win at Franklin is a tough one,” said Redding. “Both teams switching up defenses left and right and it seemed like both teams had answers. Ali played great, Meg played great, it was a great battle between two of the best teams in the Kelley-Rex.”
In between celebratory photos with teammates, family, and friends, Hill turned her attention not to the points she has scored in her career but to the fact that she has been part of three straight league championships. She said, “That’s what I really wanted. This is just a sidenote, but three league titles that’s really cool. I’m glad to be part of that.”
Mansfield (15-4, 13-1) can clinch the outright league title on Tuesday at King Philip. Franklin (11-7, 9-5) will try to bounce back when it travels to Attleboro.
North Attleboro, 55 @ Attleboro, 52 – Final – Trailing by five in the fourth quarter, North Attleboro junior Nate Gonsalves drained a three to spark an 11-2 run for Big Red. Gonsalves then converted a layup with just over a minute to play, giving the Rocketeers a 51-50 lead. Ethan Friberg and Evan Rosenberg also scored in the run, and Josh Montague scored with just under a minute to play to make it 53-50. Attleboro’s Qualeem Charles and Montague traded two free throws apiece but the Bombardiers’ three-point attempt at the buzzer was just long. North Attleboro had nine players make the score sheet, led by Montague’s 16. Derek Shanks had a career-high 11 points while Gonsalves finished with eight. Dom Victor led Attleboro with 16 points, Charles added 10 points and sophomore Bryant Ciccio chipped in with nine points.
Canton, 46 @ Franklin, 74 – Final – Franklin raced out to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and built a 33-16 lead heading into the break in a big win over Canton. The Panthers extended the lead to 57-36 after three quarters. Junior Jalen Samuels and sophomore Chris Edgehill each scored 22 points in the win for the Panthers.
Foxboro, 45 @ Taunton, 55 – Final – The Tigers extended their lead in each of the first three quarters and held off Foxboro’s late push to finish a win. Taunton led 13-7 after one, and then by 11 following the second (28-17) and third quarters (44-33). Foxboro cut the deficit to five in the fourth quarter (50-45) but the Tigers slammed the door shut. Senior Lens Esquil had a team-high 18 points while classmate Malik Charles added 10 points for the Tigers. Senior Joe Morrison netted a game-high 20 points for Foxboro while sophomore Brandon Borde chipped in with 10 points.
Sharon, 53 @ Mansfield, 81 – Final – Sharon cut the deficit to seven early in the second quarter but Mansfield rattled off a 16-4 run to close the half, creating a double-digit lead it never surrendered. Mansfield senior John McCoy had a team-high 21 points while Sam Hyland had a terrific all-around game with a career-high 16 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet had a team-high 18 points and 14 rebounds while Jimmy Fitzhenry added 12 points.
Milford, 36 @ Oliver Ames, 55 – Final – Oliver Ames held Milford to eight points in the first, and nine in the second before building a double-digit advantage in the second half. OA senior Jack Spillane scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Tigers while Ethan Eckstrom and Matt Muir each chipped in with nine points. Milford senior Andrew Fraioli had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Scarlet Hawks.
Attleboro, 50 @ North Attleboro, 49 – Final – Sam Pierce knocked down the game-winning free throw with eight seconds remaining. The senior forward finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Nyah Thomas also had a double-double for the Bombardiers with 11 points, 11 boards, and five steals. North got 13 points from Julia Santos and 12 points from Julia Feid.
Franklin, 52 @ Canton, 26 – FinalFranklin had seven players score at least five points in the game and put in what head coach John Leighton called the “best defensive effort” of the season by holding Canton to four points in the first half. Megan O’Connell was the top scorer for the Panthers with 12 points, while Breanna Atwood added nine and Ali Brigham had eight.
King Philip @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Mansfield, 55 @ Sharon, 27 – Final – Meg Hill scored 21 points to lead the Kelley-Rex leading Hornets to a road win. Ann Maher added nine for Mansfield. Evanjuline Elisma and Telishya Herbert each scored nine points for the Eagles.
Oliver Ames, 60 @ Milford, 45 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 19-point lead at halftime that was cut down to 11 heading into the final frame, and down to nine with under four minutes to play, but the Tigers finished with an 9-3 run to close the game. Kayla Raymond paced the Tigers with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Alex Sheldon notched a career-high 16 points. Senior Abby Reardon added 10 points and seven assists for the Tigers. Milford’s Kate Irwin had 16 points.
Stoughton @ Canton, 4:30
Oliver Ames, 108 @ Mansfield, 72 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 4:00
Stoughton @ Canton, 4:30
Oliver Ames, 105 @ Mansfield, 65 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 4:00
Taunton, 24 @ Josiah Quincy Upper School, 54 – Final – Taunton picked up wins from Josh Grasso (132), Guerard Theodore (145), Tyler Kennedy (160), Candido Santos, and Woudanly Danger (220).
FRANKLIN, Mass. – During the first half, the Bombardiers had little answer for the dynamic inside-outside combination of Franklin sophomore center Ali Brigham and junior guard Bea Bondhus. The duo combined for 30 points before the break to push the Panthers to a 21-point halftime lead.
Although Attleboro turned up the energy in the second half, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, the lead proved too great to overcome and Franklin stayed within one game of the Kelley-Rex division leaders with a 63-51 victory.
Bondhus opened the paint by knocking down a pair of threes in the opening half and spreading the Attleboro defense out with 14 of her 18 points coming before the break. With the outside threat giving Brigham a little space with which to work, the sophomore showed off an array of offensive moves on the post and stepping away to face the basket.
She scored 16 of her 22 points in the first half and also added 12 of her game-high 20 rebounds. Brigham was also a force on the defensive side with four blocks.
“She’s worked so hard in the offseason to become a much more complete player and we’ve really worked on getting her the ball in scoring positions,” said Franklin coach John Leighton of Brigham. “I think early in the year, we tried to force it when it wasn’t there and now we’re trying to get her in positions to be successful and I think her teammates are doing a good job of that.”
Breanna Atwood got the game started for Franklin, which got right into its dribble-drive offense and full-court press. Atwood (10 points) buried a corner three and scored five points in the first. Then Brigham got going. She scored with a short jumper, an offensive rebound, and a jumper with a foot on the three-point line.
The Panthers kept pressing and Bondhus nailed a corner three and got free for a layup off an inbound pass by Calen Frongillo. Franklin led 21-8 after the first and kept the offense rolling into the second.
“I thought we ran a lot of tempo today,” explained Leighton, “which opens up a lot of stuff. It makes the defense react quicker. We started getting good looks and then you can’t just double on Ali if we’re moving it and finding people.”
Attleboro cut the lead to eight with a transition layup from Nyah Thomas (six points) and a three by Sam Pierce, but then Brigham scored with a drive on the baseline and hit a floater. Bondhus followed with her second three of the half and the lead grew to 17.
“In the first half it kind of got away from us,” said Attleboro coach Marty Crowley. “We were able to reel them back in but they had a spurt at the end of the half to extend it. I’m proud of my kids though because they kept fighting and it’s still an early learning curve for us.”
Brigham added six more points on a jumper, a hook shot going to her right and a put back bucket, while Bondhus got two when she cut to the basket and was found by Atwood and then got a steal and transition basket to put Franklin ahead 42-21 going into halftime.
Coming out of the break, the Bombardiers played with a lot more energy. Junior guard Jordyn Lako provided a spark on the defensive end with two steals, two blocks, five assists, and eight rebounds. Attleboro also started to get the ball into the hands of Pierce, who would score 19 of her game-high 24 points in the second half.
Brigham was limited to six points after halftime (all in the third), as Attleboro gave Mackenzie Roberts more help trying to contain her in the post. Crowley said, “I don’t know if you can really contain her, but our rotations were better than they were in the first half. I thought Kenzie did a pretty good job on her for the most part but that’s why she’s a top caliber player.”
Attleboro trailed by 22 heading to the fourth, but the Bombardiers never let up. Pierce completed a traditional three-point play off a Lako assist, went 5-for-5 from the line, and scored 11 points in the fourth. Liv McCall buried a pair of threes and Attleboro got as close as 10 points in the final minutes.
“They’re tough,” said Leighton. “Sam is a tough kid and when she can get people on her back then she’s tough to defend. A well-coached team, Marty’s always tough and he’s got kids that play real ‘D’ and work hard.”
Crowley said, “We were a little flat here or there. We had a little more energy coming out of halftime and in the second half. We need to play with a little more of a sense of urgency to start games and not expend so much energy coming back.”
Despite a youthful lineup, Franklin trails Mansfield and Oliver Ames by only one game in the league standings and Leighton sees improvement from the start of the season.
“I’m proud as can be,” he said. “We rolled out four sophomores and a junior tonight and that’s only because my freshman (Elizabeth Wilson) is hurt. They’re all buying in, there’s a real work ethic, practices have been competitive, and we’re so young there’s a lot of room for growth.”
Franklin (7-4, 5-2) will put its four-game win streak on the line against King Philip on Friday, while Attleboro (5-6, 3-4) faces a trip to Taunton.
Canton, 71 vs. Boston Latin, 56 – Final – Canton’s offense poured in 25 points in the first quarter, building a 15-point lead and never looking back against visiting Boston Latin. Senior Tony Harris scored a team-high 17 points and hauled in nine rebounds, setting a new program record for career rebounds. Senior Jake Verille added 14 points, junior Devin Foster had 13 points and senior Austin Maffie added 11 points.
Foxboro, 49 vs. Bethel Park, 37 – Final – Holding a two-point lead at halftime, Foxboro outscored Bethel Park 14-5 in the third quarter to create the necessary separation to get the win. Sophomore Brandon Borde scored nine of his 14 points in the crucial third quarter while senior Joe Morrison had five of his team-high 15 points. Bobby Harrison helped seal the win with nine of his 14 points in the final quarter. Foxboro will play Shaler Area High School (PA) in the championship round of its bracket at 12:30 on Friday at Disney.
Franklin, 48 vs. Arlington, 46 – Final – Franklin kept Arlington without a final point over the final two minutes and rattled off five straight points to turn a late deficit into a win. Senior Matt Elias (nine points) hit his first three of the game to tie it 46-46 and sophomore Chris Edgehill scored seven of his 14 points in the final quarter, including a pull-up up jumper late to give the Panthers the lead. Senior Paul Mahon (14 points) was named MVP of the tournament while Edgehill and junior Jalen Samuels were named to the all-tournament team.
Mansfield, 64 vs. BC High, 73 – Final – BC High outscored Mansfield 17-9 in the third quarter, including an 11-0 run to start the second half. Senior John McCoy scored a team-high 21 points while classmate Justin Vine added 12 points for the Hornets.
North Attleboro 53 vs. Reading, 32 – Final – Big Red set the defensive tone early, limiting Reading to just four points in the opening quarter and building a double-digit lead (27-16) by halftime. Junior Josh Montague netted 10 of his team-high 15 points in the first half to help create the lead. Junior Jake Petersen added a career-best 13 points, senior Chad Peterson hit three triples for nine points, and Derek Shanks scored seven points to go along with a strong defensive performance. North will play host Lincoln-Sudbury in the championship of the Warrior Slam on Friday night at 7:00.
Taunton, 79 @ Durfee, 70 – Final – Taunton overcame a woeful start (down 12-1) and a 26-point second quarter from Durfee with a strong second half to earn the win in the championship of the Skip Karam Tournament. Junior Lou Vendrell poured in a career-high 26 points, including 14 in the third quarter, to help the Tigers turn the game around. Sophomore Dante Law added a career-high 25 points while senior Lens Esquil, who was named tournament MVP, scored five of his 10 points in the final quarter to help seal the win.
Franklin, 40 @ Mansfield, 50 – Final – The Hornets took the lead with a 22-11 second quarter and held on for a double-digit win over their Kelley-Rex rival. Ann Maher finished with a team-high 14 points for Mansfield on four three-pointers. Maggie Danehy added nine points and eight rebounds in the win. Bea Bondhus was Franklin’s top scorer with 14 points and Breanna Atwood added seven.
Oliver Ames, 61 vs. Brockton, 47 – Final
Sharon, 59 @ Holliston, 62 – Final – Emma Eberhardt scored 24 points for the Eagles in the loss.
Stoughton, 36 @ Newton North, 40 – Final – Stoughton, which trailed by as much as nine, cut the deficit to just one late in the fourth quarter but Newton North held on for the win. Senior Val Whalen had 17 points and 13 rebounds while sophomore Aliyah Wright chipped in with 13 points.
Taunton, 46 vs. Durfee, 57 – Final – Lily Patneaude and Hannah Moniz each scored 14 points in the loss, while Kelsey White added eight points for the Tigers.
Franklin, 4 vs. LaSalle College, 2 – Final – Luke Downie scored a pair of goals to help the Panthers win their opener of the annual Mount St. Charles tournament. Joey Lizzotte and Zac Falvey also scored for Franklin.
North Attleboro, 8 vs. Cranston West, 4 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Ursuline, 0 – Final – Isabelle Shanteler scored a pair of goals and Catherine Luciano added one for the Warriors. Cate Gallagher earned the shutout in goal.
Lowell Holiday Tournament (Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton), 9:00AM
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Sharon) – North Attleboro and Mansfield both had top-five finishes in the team standings while Oliver Ames had its best showing in program history at the tournament. North was fourth with 183 points while Mansfield took fifth overall with 180 points. OA scored 96.5 points, the most in program history at the Marshfield Tournament (now in its 31st year) to take 14th overall while Sharon took 16th with 65.5 points. The Rocketeers had nine grapplers place inside the top seven, led by Danny Cooper (120, 3-1 with one pin) and Jake Direnzo (126, 4-1) who each finished second. John Kummer (285) took third overall, Adam Eberle (160) and Brad White (195) each placed fourth, Ethan Smith (106), Zack Gould (145) and Reid Wills (160) all placed sixth and Mike Burns (132) was seventh in his bracket.
Mansfield had a strong day with three individual champions, just one of two schools to accomplish the feat. Antonios Sevastos earned up upset over the top seed, 5-4, to win the 113 bracket, Jayden Curley also took down the top-seed, 4-2, to earn the 160 title and Vinnie Holmes won 8-6 for the 182 championship. CJ Glaropoulos finished third at 138 and George Glaropoulos (152) and Will Stratton (132) each had fourth-place finishes for the Hornets.
Oliver Ames’ memorable day was sparked by a second place finish from Dean Pacini (195), who was edged out 4-2 in the final, and junior Anthony Berksza’s fourth-place finish at 145. Freshman Remy Creighton was seventh overall at 106 and Nick McGovern took eighth at 113. For Sharon, Sam Mandelbraut (132) was sixth, Tyler Cashton (152) took seventh and Matt Callan (145) finished eighth.
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.”