Taunton, 72 @ Attleboro, 82 – Final – Taunton used a 13-0 run over the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth to cut the deficit to two (59-57) but Attleboro had a response of its own, rattling off a 15-4 run to secure the win. Andrew Milliken hit a pair of threes, Jake Dunkley added four points, Elvin Sam drained a three and freshman Qualeem Charles converted a putback to put Attleboro up 74-63 with just two minutes to go. Dunkley finished with a team-high 21 points, Sam added a career-high 14 points, Milliken had 13 points, Nate Douglas chipped in with 11 points and Charles notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Taunton senior Tommy MacLean dropped a game-high 25 points while Malik Charles, Dante Law and Lens Esquil each scored 10 points for the Tigers.
Canton, 66 @ Stoughton, 69 – Final – Stoughton junior Cam Andrews hit a deep three pointer with just seven seconds left to lift the Black Knights to a win. Andrews finished with 18 points for Stoughton. Canton sophomore Devin Foster scored a career-high 30 points for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 43 @ Mansfield, 61 – Final – Oliver Ames was able to keep pace with the Hornets for 16 minutes, trailing just 29-26 at halftime but Mansfield created separation in the third quarter and never looked back. The Hornets outscored the visitors 16-7 in the third quarter to take a 45-33 lead going into the final period. Mansfield senior Sam Goldberg scored 17 points and hauled in 12 rebounds while classmate Evan Christo was a perfect 6-6 from the field for 13 points. Phil Vigeant added nine points and Max Boen had seven points and seven rebounds. Nick Welch led OA with 16 points and Dylan Mahoney chipped in with 12 points.
Sharon, 78 @ Milford, 65 – Final – After a high scoring first quarter (23-22, Sharon), the Eagles took a seven point advantage (42-35) in the locker room at halftime. Sharon extended its lead to double-digits in the third, eventually taking a 61-50 lead into the final quarter. Milford cut the deficit to five, 65-60, with 4:40 to play but Sharon closed the game with a 13-5 run. Senior Ricardo Ripley connected on a three in the run, Tommy Modelevsky came up with a timely steal and Sharon was efficient at the free throw line down the stretch. Ripley finished with a team-high 20 points, junior Malik Lorquet had 17 points and 15 rebounds and sophomore Alex Kaufmann chipped in with 15 points.
Attleboro, 71 @ Taunton, 44 – Final – Jordyn Lako scored a career-high 24 points for the Bombardiers.
Stoughton, 74 @ Canton, 62 – Final (OT) – Freshman Shyanne Trinh scored 22 of her career-high 32 points in the second half and overtime to lead the Black Knights. Senior Lili Njiem added 14 points, Val Whalen added 12 points, and freshman Aliyah Wright chipped in with 10 points. Junior Jordan Motley added 13 rebounds and seven blocks. Canton’s Emma Murphy and Jess Powers each had 12 points.
King Philip, 52 @ Franklin, 58 – Final – Franklin rallied from 10 points down to start the fourth quarter with a 27-11 run to close out the game. Ali Brigham led the way for the Panthers with 17 points to help Franklin move within one game of tournament qualification. Shannon O’Connor was the top scorer for KP with 14 points.
Mansfield, 61 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – Final –The Hornets scored 40 points in the second half to close out the league campaign with a win. Jen Peel paced Mansfield with 17 points, while Meg Hill chipped in with eight points in the second half and pulled down 11 rebounds. Brenna Burkett was OA’s top scorer with 10 points and Niyera Mitchell had nine.
Milford, 38 @ Sharon, 41 – Final – Emma Eberhardt scored a team-high 15 points and added five steal and three blocks for the Eagles. She also went 3-of-4 from the line in the final 30 seconds to seal the win. Shira Stoller had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
The Tigers grabbed a rebound and had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but a turnover led to an and-one and on the next possession the ball swung from Lauren Flahive out to junior Lily Sykes, who drilled the fourth of her five threes on the night to push the lead back to 10 heading into the fourth.
Sykes finished with a game-high 19 points and hit half of Foxboro’s 10 three-pointers, as the Warriors pulled away in the fourth for a 51-35 victory over OA that moves the hosts within a game of division-leading North Attleboro.
“She’s another one who’s been stepping up for us pretty consistently,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs of Sykes. “When the pressure is on Ashley [Sampson], [Lily] is able to step up and take those shots. That’s huge for us and it opens up things for Ashley too.”
While OA did not struggle offensively to the same level as last week’s loss to Mansfield (the Tigers scored more in the first half on Thursday then they did in the entire game against the Hornets), the Foxboro full-court press and aggressive half-court defense had the Tigers off-balance.
Kayla Raymond (11 points, six rebounds) started the game with a three and Hannah Carroll knocked one down for a 6-3 lead, but the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to a lead they would never relinquish. Kristen Bortolotti (nine points) buried one of her three shots from beyond the arc to tie it, Sampson fed Sykes for her second from outside, and then Sampson (13 points, 10 rebounds) scored off a steal.
Niyera Mitchell hit a jumper and Raymond scored on a rebound putback to cut the lead to four after one, but again Foxboro put together a 10-0 run to break the game open. Sykes knocked down another three, scored on a reverse, and Bortolotti buried a three off a feed from Grace Tamulionis.
Meanwhile, the OA offense was stagnating. Sadie Homer (seven points) hit a three and Raymond got out on the break for a layup to get back into the game but the Tigers struggled to find consistent looks. Riley Collins closed out the half with a corner three to put the Warriors ahead 27-18 at halftime.
“We just couldn’t score,” said Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We made bad decisions and we just couldn’t score. We need to figure this out because we didn’t rebound…Our bread and butter is getting out to run and if you’re not willing to rebound then it’s hard to run.”
The Warriors are regularly out-rebounded and the Tigers had a significant edge in size, but Foxboro was holding its own on the boards and at times dominating the glass. Flahive came off the bench and grabbed eight boards, Tamulionis and Sykes each snagged six, and Sampson grabbed 10.
“Because we don’t have the height,” Downs explained, “we need to work our butts off inside the paint. Once we start facing the taller teams, the stronger teams, that’s going to be huge for us because we can run the ball, we play great defense but if we don’t rebound then we can’t get our offensive game going.”
Bortolotti started the second half with another three and Collins answered an Abby Reardon jumper with an offensive rebound basket. Trailing by 11 the Tigers finally started to click. Mitchell kicked out a pass to Carroll (six points) for a three and then fed Brenna Burkett for a layup before snatching an offensive rebound and going up strong for a basket.
Just when it seemed like the game might be turning towards OA, a turnover handed the ball to Sampson for a layup plus the foul. Foxboro then broke quickly off a rebound and the ball was kicked out to Sykes, who stole any momentum that the Tigers may have built with another long-range shot.
“We got it close, down to four, and then we fell asleep,” said Clement-Holbrook. “It’s been this problem all season long in terms of playing four consistent quarters and it’s just….[shrugs].”
Downs was proud of her team for withstanding the run and turning it back around. She said, “They righted the ship without me having to call a timeout. They were able to settle themselves down on the court, which is something we didn’t do against North Attleboro (in a 53-47 loss).
“Tonight, they settled themselves down and it wasn’t crazy Coach Downs over here. They were able to just relax a little bit and keep their composure.”
Foxboro extended the run to 13-0 with the first seven points of the fourth quarter to effectively put the game away. Sykes scored five more in the run, picking up the scoring for Sampson who was being pressured by Homer.
“That’s going to happen because you’re helping off of someone and they have the game of the century,” said Clement-Holbrook of Sykes. She added, “Sadie did a great job on [Ashley]. If we could have everyone playing with that kind of heart and soul then things would be different.”
Foxboro (8-2, 7-2) will play at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on Sunday against Milford, while Oliver Ames (8-4, 7-3), which is now 1-1/2 games behind Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex, will be off until Tuesday against Canton.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – The second half of Wednesday night’s finale of the 10th annual Sue Rivard Tournament in the Nixon Gym was a microcosm of the first five games for Oliver Ames.
In the third quarter, Oliver Ames could not stop visiting Walpole and gave up 25 points in eight minutes. But then in the fourth quarter OA clamped down and nearly gave itself a shot at a comeback allowing only seven points (all on free throws). It is the inconsistency of a young team that has four of its eight regular contributors playing their first regular varsity minutes.
“We were just inconsistent from top to bottom tonight,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “Unfortunately, we have not really put four quarters together. We’re still trying to find an answer to that. There’s a lot of inexperience and we’re trying to dig deep.”
The struggles defensively in the third quarter doomed the Tigers in a 60-46 loss. The Rebels were led by senior guard Kelly Fogarty’s 28 points, including seven three-pointers, while Kayla Raymond had a team-high 10 points and nine rebounds for OA.
Fogarty got off to a dominant start, shooting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in the first for 12 of the Rebels’ 17 points in the quarter. OA defenders kept getting caught going underneath screens and giving the University of Maine-commit space to get off a shot.
“Fogarty’s a tough cover and we knew that going in,” said Clement-Holbrook, “but it took us too long to figure out who was supposed to hedge and again it’s the lack of experience.”
OA hung around in the first with senior captain Hannah Carroll knocking down a step-back corner three off an assist by Abby Reardon to cut the lead to 11-10 and then Raymond spun through a double team to answer a Fogarty three with a layup and make it 14-12. Bridge Lancaster added a layup plus the foul for Walpole to end the first.
The Rebels got rolling and extended the lead to 10 points on Fogarty’s fifth three of the night, but the Tigers were able to bounce back despite Raymond and Niyera Mitchell (four points, seven rebounds) being forced to the bench with foul trouble.
Sophomore Sadie Homer (nine points), who also spent the majority of the night chasing Fogarty through an endless barrage of screens, gave the Tigers life with a rare four-point play after Katie Flynn kept the play alive with an offensive board. Freshman Megan Holleran then added a layup in transition and Brenna Burkett took a feed from Reardon (nine points, five assists) and the lead was down to four.
“They really stepped up and that was growth because in both Abby and Sadie’s cases they took it upon themselves,” Clement-Holbrook remarked. “If we can get all five players at the same time to do that consistently for four quarters then it’s going to show personal growth we’re looking for.”
Reardon scored on a drive to the basket in the third quarter that made it 28-24, but Walpole answered back with a Fogarty layup on the break, added a pair of jumpers from Morgan O’Brien (13 rebounds) and then two more threes from Fogarty to break the game wide open. Six Rebels scored in the third as Walpole ran the lead as high as 16 (53-37) entering the fourth.
Mitchell scored all four of her points in the third, Holleran chipped in with a three-point play and Homer knocked down a jumper, but OA could not get into a rhythm defensively. That changed in the fourth, as it took Walpole more than four minutes to get its first point and the Rebels would not make a shot from the floor in the quarter.
Unfortunately, the OA offense could not find the range with Raymond scoring off a Holleran assist and Flynn scoring from close-range on a Reardon drive and dish for the only two baskets of the fourth. The Tigers outscored Walpole 9-7 in the final quarter but it was not enough to make a significant dent in the visitors’ lead.
“All foul shots in the fourth quarter, it’s crazy,” said Clement-Holbrook, who saw her team come from behind to earn a berth in the final against Needham on Tuesday. “We’re capable of it and we just have to keep working at it and working at it.”
Oliver Ames (3-2) will get nine days off before its next game against division rival Franklin on Jan. 6.
2015-16 Record: 21-3 (14-2) 2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal Head Coach: Rick Patch
The Bombardiers came within one game of winning their first Hockomock League title last year and despite the loss of 2015-16 Player of the Year Emily Houle to graduation, Attleboro comes into this season as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex again this winter.
One reason for the high expectations for the Bombardiers is senior forward Sarah Deyo. The Southern New Hampshire-commit comes into the season just 68 points shy of 1,000 for her career and is a matchup nightmare for the opposition with her ability to score in the paint and from the outside. Fellow senior Julia Strachan returns from a knee injury that cost her all of last season and the Adelphi-commit adds another strong shooter and rebounder to the front line. The Bombardiers are loaded at the forward position with junior Sam Pierce coming back after a breakout sophomore campaign that saw her average nearly a double-double.
While the strength of the Bombardiers is in the post, Attleboro has experience in the backcourt with senior Mish Logie and sophomore Jordyn Lako returning as the primary ball-handlers and strong on-the-ball defenders. Juniors Grace Mayer and Kim White will add depth in the backcourt off the bench. Guard Liv McCall is another who could contribute this season, among a group of six freshmen that will be on the varsity roster.
“We are very excited about our program and how its progressed over the last three seasons,” said head coach Rick Patch, “and the positive, entitled-to-nothing culture we have established that best represents ‘Blue Pride’ and the Attleboro community.”
2015-16 Record: 13-8 (10-6) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central quarterfinal Head Coach: John Leighton
Franklin has been consistently one of the top programs in the league and despite losing a strong group of seniors, the Panthers are once again in the mix for a league title and a return to the Div. 1 Central tournament.
Leading the way this season is a core of five experienced seniors that offer Franklin a good balance of interior and perimeter scoring. Carli Koffinke is in her third year on varsity and is a threat from the outside, taking advantage of the Panthers’ drive and kick style of offense. Point guard Margaux Welsh will take over the primary ball-handling role and will be expected to get the offense going. Izzy Faught and Grace McDermott will add depth in the backcourt and forward Erin Skidmore adds athleticism and quickness in the paint.
In order to stay consistently competitive, the Panthers have always been able to count on new players coming in to refresh the roster. This winter will be no different with junior forward Kate Morse in her first year on the team as well as sophomore point guard Shannon Gray and three-point threat Bea Bondhus, who had a team-high 11 points in the season opener. Freshmen Ali Brigham and Megan O’Connell will add to Franklin’s front-court depth.
“With so many younger and newer players, we are hoping to build team chemistry and improve each and every day,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “We are very encouraged with our depth and will lean on our seniors for leadership.”
2015-16 Record: 6-14 (4-12) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Martin Crowley
Under head coach Martin Crowley, King Philip has been a very tough team to play against, focused on high-pressure defensive effort and not letting up from the opening tip to the final whistle. This year, the Warriors are hoping to get a little more consistency on the offensive end to match that defensive intensity.
KP will not lack for athletes this winter beginning with returning starter Shannon O’Connor, who emerged as a potential scoring threat on the wing as a freshman last season. Classmate Julia Leroux also impressed in her rookie season and they are already go-to players on the offensive end. Junior forwards Hadley Zolak and Christina Hathaway and senior Courtney Kelleher will give additional scoring and rebounding as athletic forwards that can battle in the paint and get out and run the break.
There is also a youth movement at KP this year with a strong, athletic freshman class that has already put in a standout soccer season this past fall and is ready to contribute to the basketball team as well. Chloe Layne has stepped right in and will be an instant contributor at the point guard position and will be joined by classmate Faith Roy on the varsity roster.
“Youth will be served,” said Crowley, “however our goal is the same it is every season whether you have a veteran team or not and that is to qualify for the tournament in what I believe is the most competitive league in the state.”
2015-16 Record: 21-4 (15-1) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal Head Coach: Mike Redding
The Hornets are coming off the program’s first ever Hockomock League title, edging Attleboro in the final game of a dramatic league campaign, in front of arguably the biggest crowd to watch a game (male or female) in the league last season. This year, Mansfield has the challenge of trying to defend its title despite losing eight seniors from last season.
Mansfield’s title defense begins with senior guard Jen Peel, who has been limited by an injury in the preseason and will be moving from the point to the off-guard position this year. She is one of the best playmakers in the league and will have junior center Meg Hill to find in the half-court. Hill is a dominant force on both ends of the floor and should expect to get even more touches this year and needs to be aggressive looking for her shot.
The Hornets will have plenty of size beyond the 6-foot-3 Hill. Senior Olivia Broyles and junior Maeve Carney are both over six feet tall and sophomores Maggie Danehy and Emily Vigeant are just under six feet. Sophomore twins Mady and Kara Bendanillo will add speed to the roster with Mady having the experience of playing time as a freshmen, including a start in the South semifinal against Bishop Feehan. Junior Ann Maher is another player that can be expected to take on a bigger role this year at the shooting guard position.
“We may be more athletic than a year ago and we’ll run as much as we can and press more than we did a year ago,” said head coach Mike Redding. “It should be fun and with seven sophomores in our top 11 we should get better and better as they get experience and confidence.”
2015-16 Record: 21-4 (13-3) 2015-16 Finish: Won Div. 2 South title Head Coach: Elaine Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames is coming off a remarkable 2015-16 season that saw the Tigers reach the 20-win mark, claim the Davenport division title, make a run to the Div. 2 South title and a chance to play at the TD Garden, and celebrate the career of head coach Elaine Clement-Holbrook, who became the state’s all-time career leader in wins (finishing the season with 645). This year, OA will face the challenge of trying to match that level of success while taking on a new division after being moved into the Kelley-Rex.
The key to the Tigers putting in league title fight is junior forward Kayla Raymond, who is one of the most talented players in the Hock and one of the toughest match-ups with her combination of size, speed, shooting touch, and handle. Raymond will get help from senior guard Hannah Carroll, who became one of the team’s top shooters from the perimeter and can stretch opposing defense. Senior Niyera Mitchell is coming back from an off-season injury and has the size and touch to be a strong performer on both ends of the court.
OA lost only two seniors to graduation but then also lost shooting guard Francesca Calabraro to a knee injury during the soccer season. Senior Abby Reardon will be one of the backcourt players that will be counted on to pick up the scoring slack, while Clement-Holbrook will be hoping for senior Brenna Burkett and junior Sadie Homer to provide a scoring touch at the forward position.
“Moving to the Kelley Rex will be a tremendous challenge for us,” said Clement-Holbrook. “Our goals are the same as before: Compete to qualify for the tournament, challenge for the Hock title and go as deep as possible in the tournament.”
2015-16 Record: 4-16 (2-14) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton is coming off a tough year in which the Tigers only managed four wins, but it was also a chance for a number of young players to get valuable varsity experience and Taunton will be hoping to have it pay off with seven returning players on this season’s roster.
One of the exciting younger players that emerged last year was Lily Patneaude, who showed off athleticism and a range of offensive skills as a freshman. Junior Hannah Moniz is another wing player that can provide scoring off the dribble or from the perimeter. Junior MacKenzie Handrahan will add rebounding and defense on the post and eighth grader Sonya Fernandes could be a newcomer to watch on the Taunton front line.
The back court has a mix of experience and youth led by senior guard Abby Kingman, whose ball-handling and speed will be vital. Kingman’s classmate Jess Regan is returning after missing her entire junior year to an injury and will offer a steady hand at the point guard position. Junior Dominique Bradley and sophomore Alexa White will add depth to the guard positions.
“Taunton has a combination of experience and youth,” said head coach Walter Harrigan, “along with some skill and athleticism that has the makings for a fun and interesting year.”
BOSTON, Mass. – At the end of the third quarter, Oliver Ames was feeling pretty good about itself. The Tigers scored 19 points in the third and had jumped in front of North champion Watertown by a point in Tuesday night’s Eastern Mass. final at the TD Garden.
Momentum seemed to be on OA’s side. But, the Tigers could not sustain that in the fourth.
Watertown clamped down on defense and started stretching the lead, slowly pulling away as OA struggled to find the bottom of the net. The streak started with five points, then nine, then 11 and six minutes into the fourth the Tigers finally scored their first point.
It would be the only one that OA scored in the final quarter. Thanks to a 16-1 run in the fourth, the Raiders pulled away for a 48-34 victory and advanced to Saturday’s state title game in Springfield.
“I think they were thinking about the end and not that there was still enough time left to do something,” sad Clement-Holbrook about how the fourth quarter unraveled for the Tigers.
“You’ve got to put the ball in the basket and I think ultimately that was the thing we didn’t do,” she added. “I think that’s an example of being in this situation before (Watertown started four seniors) where we’re kind of newbies. I’m hoping this will help for next year and the year after that.”
Coming off a struggle offensively in the South final, the Tigers got off to a perfect start at the Garden with Francesca Calabraro scoring a lay-up directly from the opening tip. Hannah Carroll followed with a three and the Tigers led 5-0. Watertown went on a 7-0 run, but Kaitlyn McCarthy buried a straightaway three to make it 8-7 after one.
The inconsistent offense continued in the second, as OA only managed six points. Abby Reardon came off the bench to score four points and Brenna Burkett scored on an offensive rebound but the Raiders took control behind junior center Shannon Murphy.
The Holy Cross-commit scored eight of her game-high 20 points in the second and dominated the lane, finishing with six blocks and 10 rebounds. OA struggled in the paint, especially with Kayla Raymond being forced to the bench with two fouls.
“You can’t shoot over her, you have to move her away from the basket, move the ball, kind of what we were trying to do in some of our previous tournament games,” said Clement-Holbrook of Murphy. “They fought but I think we were overmatched today.”
The Tigers went into halftime trailing 21-14, but it could have been much worse. The Raiders were only 9-19 from the line in the first half.
In the third quarter, something clicked for OA. After a Watertown basket extended the lead to nine, Sam Bamford drilled a three from the corner. Calabraro (nine points) picked off a pass and raced for a lay-up and then Raymond added a three-point play off an inbounds pass to cut the lead to just one point.
The Raiders answered with five straight points, but again OA came back. Raymond (seven points) finished over the top of Murphy and Calabraro had another steal that led to a transition basket.
Raymond knocked down a turn around jumper on the left block and then on the next possession drove baseline but was caught in the air under the basket. Somehow the sophomore spotted Calabraro hanging out by the three-point line and kicked it out for the open look that gave OA its first lead of the second half.
With 45.7 left in the third, Raymond picked up her fourth foul trying to contain Murphy and was forced to go to the bench. She would sit for a while and Watertown took advantage.
“It was detrimental especially where we changed it up on offense and put her out on the high post and were able to get some scores out of that,” said Clement-Holbrook of Raymond’s absence. “We kind of lost our mojo early in the fourth and I think it was really hard for them to bring it back.”
Michaela Antonellis started the fourth with a short jumper in the lane to give the Raiders back the lead, then Felicia Korte stepped outside for a big three. Murphy scored on an offensive rebound and then Korte (11 points) finished a baseline drive and suddenly Watertown was up by eight.
“I don’t know if they did it to us or we did it to us,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “We just didn’t get that pace going fast enough and get out but I think a lot of it was that we didn’t rebound well. If you don’t rebound then it’s hard to run.”
A couple of free throws pushed the lead to 43-33 with fewer than two minutes remaining in the game. McCarthy was fouled and made one of two for the only OA point of the fourth. Murphy capped the game with a lay-up in transition and Clement-Holbrook pulled both her seniors off the court to give the traveling OA contingent a chance to salute them for their efforts.
Clement-Holbrook said, “I don’t want them walking around with their heads down because there’s a lot to be proud of. It’s sadness right now because they know this is the last game they play with Kaitlyn and Sammy and they just love them.”
Coming into the season, Clement-Holbrook knew that she had a good team that could challenge for the Davenport division title, but she had no idea that the Tigers would be capable of making a run to the Div. 2 South title.
She credited her two senior captains, McCarthy and Bamford, for providing the leadership that took a group of relatively inexperienced players on the program’s longest tournament run since winning it all in 2010.
“They’ve been great leaders,” she said, “and I hope and pray that the kids who come back next year have learned a lesson from both those girls in terms of what wonderful role models they have been both in and out of school, on and off the court.”
“I just challenged them…if you can be half the leaders that these two girls have been for you, then that will be success for all of us.
Clement-Holbrook noted that the Tigers would be challenged in other ways, as they prepare for next season with a majority of the team coming back, including top scorers Calabraro and Raymond. OA girls basketball will not be considered a sleeper next year, but a favorite even as it moves up into the Kelley-Rex division for the first time.
“What’s going to happen now is there’s going to be expectations,” said Clement-Holbrook, who joked, “Next year people will probably say I don’t know what I’m doing!”
“These kids have to take this as a challenge to come back more skilled and as better basketball players.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.