MANSFIELD, Mass. – With starting point guard Jordan Bennettt in street clothes and shooting guard Jackie Bonner forced to the sidelines with an injury in the second quarter, King Philip had its backcourt depth tested in Tuesday night’s visit to the Albertini Gym. While freshman Jessi Persky did an admirable job of staying composed against Mansfield’s pressure, senior Leah Santoro stepped up with the biggest shots of the night.
Twice in the final minutes of the game, Santoro, who hadn’t scored since the first quarter, found herself all alone in the corner in front of the KP bench, and both times she hit nothing but net. Santoro’s threes gave KP its biggest lead since the end of the first quarter and the second effort turned out to be the game-winning bucket in a 59-55, come from behind victory.
“I feel like last year there were some games that we let get away from us,” KP coach Jeff Miszkiewicz said about his team’s ability to find a way to win this season. “So, I feel like that’s something we’ve really been focusing on, the mental side of the game, staying in it no matter what. Such a big credit to the team for constantly believing in it, for really executing some amazing plays down the stretch. That execution’s what got us this win.”
KP’s backcourt played well in tough circumstances, but once again it was senior center Emily Sawyer that put the Warriors in a position to win. She scored 14 points in each half, finishing with a game-high 28 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Sawyer’s put-back in the fourth quarter put the Warriors in front for the first time since it 22-21 and she buried a pair of free throws with just nine seconds remaining to seal the win.
“I’m so proud of her because that was one of the first things I tried to preach to her was how to move without the basketball and how to play with the ball in her hands,” Miszkiewicz said of Sawyer. “Not be biased, but she’s the MVP of the league. The fact that she gets double-, triple-, quadruple-teamed and she still has 20 and 20 almost every night is unbelievable.”
“She scored 28, and I thought our bigs handled her nicely in terms of physicality,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson said. “I think KP rose to the challenge of [Bonner] being out and they kind of avenged that injury nicely. I think matchups were a bit of an issue, Sawyer of course, but Natalya has been playing really well for us but she’s an under-sized four.”
The game started off end-to-end, as Mansfield tried to negate KP’s size advantage in the paint by running at every opportunity. Abby Wager got going right away, hitting a jumper and then burying a three after Kara Santos (11 rebounds) snagged an offensive board. A Santos steal and long outlet turned into an easy fast break bucket.
KP climbed right back into the game. Santoro hit a tough runner and Bonner (eight points) drilled a pair of threes and another shot with a foot on the line. Olivia Salisbury (eight points) got an and-one to help the Hornets, but the rest of the scoring was all Wager. She hit a second three and finished with 13 of Mansfield’s 16 first quarter points.
Sawyer was also off to a strong start. She took a nice feed from Santoro on a sideline inbound play to score in the paint and showed off an array of moves on the block, including a nice turn around jumper that made it 20-16.
Mansfield trailed by six after one, but found a way to lock things down defensively in the second. Bonner was forced to the sideline after getting whacked on the nose and KP struggled to find any rhythm on that end of the floor.
Natalya Gill started the comeback with a banked in three and Hallie Popat knocked down a jumper. Santos added a put-back and Bridget Hanley got a steal under her own basket and went coast-to-coast to cap an 11-0 run and give the Hornets a 27-22 lead. Sawyer got a pair of baskets to cut the lead to one but Salisbury hit a jumper and Wager nailed another triple to extend the lead back to seven going into the locker room.
Each time KP seemed poised to be making a run in the third, Mansfield had an answer. Persky scored in transition to make it a four-point game, but then Hanley fed Santos (six points) on a nice dive to the rim. Sawyer grabbed a put-back, but then Hanley (eight points) drove to the basket, Ella Palanza followed with one of her own, and Gill grabbed a loose ball in the paint for a layup.
Down 10, KP went on a critical 4-0 run to close out the quarter and build momentum. Sawyer got behind the defense on the break for a layup and Persky took the contact and sank a runner on the baseline.
Paschke (nine points and nine rebounds) was proving to be a tough matchup all night and she got a couple of buckets to start the fourth quarter. Then it was Sawyer’s turn to get going again, grabbing offensive rebounds on back-to-back possessions to put KP in front 49-48.
McPherson admitted, “We have this momentum shift where we start to get down in the points and instead of trusting our offense, we kind of go rogue. KP played a great game, but what we need to do now is learn from that and figure out how we can get that momentum to shift back in our favor. We deflate instead of kind of rising to the occasion.”
Santoro looped another long sideline inbounds pass over the defense and into Sawyer’s hands for a close-range finish, but Palanza responded with a nice lefty drive through the lane to tie the game at 51 apiece. Santoro would prove to be the hero. She drilled one from the corner and then Paschke’s baseline drive drew a crowd of defenders and she kicked it out to Santoro in the same spot, with the same result.
“You don’t just replace two ball handlers like that and Leah hit some really big shots in the fourth quarter,” Miszkiewicz said of his backcourt players stepping up late. “Maddie with some strong drives. Two freshmen, Maddie Keough and Jessi Persky stepping up in that situation is really unbelievable.”
King Philip (9-4) will try to make it seven straight wins, and move one closer in the Kelley-Rex title race, when it hosts league-leading Franklin on Friday. Mansfield (8-6) will travel to Davenport-leading Foxboro on Friday looking to hand the Warriors their first league loss of the season and keep them from clinching the league title.
Attleboro, 63 @ North Attleboro, 51 – Final – Attleboro built a double-digit advantage by halftime and kept the host Rocketeers at bay throughout the second half to score a rivalry win on the road. The Bombardiers limited North to single-digit scoring in each of the first two quarters and a 16-point second quarter, highlighted by eight points from Hayden Crowley (14 points total), helped extend the lead to 30-16 after two quarters of action. The Rocketeers got their offense going with 19 points in the third as sophomore Austin Clemente caught fire from downtown, hitting four triples in the frame while classmate Jonnie Obuchowski hit another had had five in the frame to help the hosts close the gap to just seven, 42-35, going into the fourth. Crowley, Jaiden Outland (12 points), and Michael Beverly (seven of his 10 points in the fourth) each hit a triple in the final frame to keep Attleboro ahead. Junior Neo Franco had a team-high 16 points for the Bombardiers while senior Givany Carney led North with 15 points apiece.
Mansfield, 69 @ Canton, 43 – Final – Mansfield senior Chris Hill set the tone early by scoring all 12 of his points in the first eight minutes, helping the Hornets establish a big lead that they kept the rest of the way. Hill sank a trio of three-pointers in the first for a 19-6 lead after just a period of play. Davon Sanders added seven of his career-high 18 points in the second while the Hornets got baskets from Trevor Foley (13 points), Eddie McCoy, and JT Veiking to stake a 34-22 lead at halftime. Mansfield continued to outscore the Bulldogs as Foley had seven more in the third and Caden Colby added a three. Sanders, Colby, Foley, McCoy, Veiking, and senior Michael Creedon all scored in the fourth to add to the lead. Matt Chafin had a trio of threes in the second and finished with a team-high 13 points while Jamaal McConnell added 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ Foxboro, 56 – Final – Foxboro took the lead in the first quarter and never surrendered it, grinding out a hard-fought win against Oliver Ames. After a slow start from both sides saw the Warriors stake an 11-6 lead after a quarter, the Warriors had their best offensive stretch with 19 points in the second quarter. Sophomores Ryan Kelley and Nolan Gordon each hit a three, Ryan LeClair and Ryan Cotter each added a bucket, and senior Alex Penders had half of his team-high 14 points in the frame to give Foxboro a 30-22 advantage at the break. OA’s Nick Asiaf hit two of his six threes in the third quarter and had eight of his career-high 22 points in the game while sophomore Zach Ivanoski had five points to help the Tigers claw back into it and cut the deficit to 41-37 going into the fourth. Penders had an early three-point play to start the fourth and LeClair drained a corner three to push Foxboro’s lead to 10. Chris Elias answered for OA with four straight points but Gordon sank his second triple of the game to keep the Warriors ahead.
Milford, 46 @ Franklin, 66 – Final – Franklin played well on both sides of the ball, pouring in 36 points in the first half while limiting the visitors to just 16, and the Panthers never looked back from there. After taking a 15-6 lead through one quarter of action, Franklin really extended its advantage with 21 points in the second quarter. Andrew O’Neill had half of his 10 points in the second, Caden Sullivan added a triple, and Sean O’Leary had seven of his team-high 17 points in the game to build a 36-16 halftime lead. Geino Scaringello had two threes and finished with 10 points for Franklin, which had 11 players register points. Sophomore Andrew Rivera (five rebounds) and freshman CJ Farrell (eight rebounds) paced the Hawks with 16 points apiece.
Stoughton, 61 @ Sharon, 77 – Final – Sharon had six players contribute to a massive first quarter and the Eagles never looked back after that in a win at home over Stoughton. Matt Baur had two threes and eight of his 13 points in the first quarter, Ryan Brown and Tyler Goodman each added a triple, and Jack Bates, Jacob McLoughlin, and Nate Katznelson each had field goals as the Eagles blitzed the visiting Black Knights to stake a 25-6 lead after a quarter. Katznelson finished with a team-high 21 points and hauled in 10 boards and McLoughlin added 14 points and seven assists in the win. Obi Dike and Nathan Figaro each had career-highs, finishing with 14 points apiece while Elijah Connor chipped in with 11 points for the Black Knights.
North Attleboro, 32 @ Attleboro, 56 – Final – Attleboro carried over the momentum from its strong second half on Tuesday, jumping out to a 32-13 lead in the first half on Friday. Kayla Goldrick scored a career-high 21 points for the Bombardiers, 15 of them coming in the first half. Vanessa Ellis added 18, splitting her points between the two halves. Molly Moore hit a pair of threes for her six points. Katie Corsetti was North’s top scorer with seven points, all of them coming in the first half. Ella McLaughlin and Sam Sweeney each scored six in the loss. With the win, Attleboro stays just a game back of league-leading Franklin.
Canton, 34 @ Mansfield, 54 – Final – Mansfield led by four points at halftime, but broke the game wide open with a 20-5 third quarter, sealing its seventh win in the past eight games. Abby Wager sparked the rally in the third, scoring 12 of her game-high 19 points in the quarter. Kara Santos added 10 points, Bridget Hanley had eight points (all in the first half), and Rose Maher finished with seven for the Hornets. Canton was tied after one and trailed just 26-22 at the break. Samya DaSilva buried three triples and scored a team-high 17, including 10 points in the first half to keep the Bulldogs close. Freshman Deanna Kolokithas scored seven and her sister Mercia hit a first quarter three for Canton.
Foxboro, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 32 – Final – Foxboro stayed perfect in league play and moved a game closer to a Davenport title with a convincing win over the defending champs. The Warriors, who knocked down nine threes as a team, got off to a big start and never let up. Foxboro led 21-5 after one quarter and went into the break up 37-12. The Warriors kept it up in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 35-20 for its second straight win by 40-plus points. Kailey Sullivan was the game’s top scorer, burying five triples and finishing with 19 points. Camryn Collins added 17 (12 in the first half), Addie Ruter scored 14, and Erin Foley had 10 in the win. Isabelle Chamberlin gave Foxboro a lift on the boards with a game-high 14 rebounds. Freshman Avery Gamble led OA with 15, 10 coming in the second half. Fellow rookies Maeve Horsman and Kamryn Derba each scored five for the Tigers.
King Philip, 62 @ Taunton, 41 – Final – KP had nine different scorers and secured its fifth straight victory, remaining two back of Franklin in the Kelley-Rex standings. The Warriors jumped out to a 15-2 lead after one and 34-14 heading to the locker room. Jordan Bennett and Emily Sawyer combined for 23 of KP’s points in the first half to take control of the game. Sawyer finished with a game-high 21 and Bennett added 15. Jessi Persky chipped in with six in the win. Taunton got 11 points from Tarynn Campbell, seven of them in the second half as the Tigers put 27 on the board. Cali Melo scored eight (six after the break) and Lexi Haywood hit a pair from beyond the arc in the second half. Skylar McCrohan also had six for the Tigers.
Franklin, 57 @ Milford, 28 – Final – Franklin locked down on defense, holding Milford to just 10 points in the first half, and exploded for 28 second quarter points to pick up a seventh straight win, clinch a playoff berth, and hold onto its one-game lead in the division. Leading 9-4 after one, Franklin found another gear in the second. Katie Peterson had a dozen, Chloe Fales added eight, and Caelyn Leonard scored six in the second quarter. Fales (trio of three-pointers) and Peterson each finished with 16 points and Leonard had eight. Milford scored 14 in the third, cutting two points off the lead. Brooke Ferreira had five of her six points in the frame and Emily Croteau (six points) knocked down one of her two threes in the quarter. TJ Downing had four for the Hawks.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Even though Franklin and Mansfield are now competing in separate divisions, the rivalry remains between the two programs and the expectations remain for a tough, physical matchup. It may not be the prettiest game, but it’s guaranteed to be competitive.
On Tuesday night in Franklin, the two teams met for the only time this winter. The game was back-and-forth from the opening whistle, with eight ties and 15 lead changes. Through the first three quarters no team managed to lead by more than five points. Franklin went on an 8-0 run in the final minute of the game, extending the lead to double digits, and that was enough to hold off the Hornets for a 63-55 win.
“We tried to get them out of their sets,” Franklin coach John Leighton explained. “Obviously, they still scored a lot of points, but I think they had to grind a little bit more for them. That was the kind of game we wanted.”
Asked about the importance of being challenged like the Panthers were on Tuesday, Leighton replied, “It’s huge. This what playoff basketball feels like. We want to play way better than this when we get there, but this gets you ready for it.”
The game promised to be close not only because of the rivalry but also because both teams came in playing well. Franklin was riding a five-game win streak that allowed the Panthers to take a slim lead in the Kelley-Rex, while the Hornets were on a six-game streak to turn around a tough start that saw them win just once in their opening five games.
It was scrappy from the opening tip. The Panthers grabbed a 6-2 lead in the first quarter after Katie Peterson (17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks) hit a baseline jumper and drove to the rim.
Mansfield responded with an 8-0 run of its own. Natalya Gill (13 points and seven rebounds) hit a runner, Abby Wager (15 points and three blocks) went coast-to-coast after a defensive rebound, Ella Palanza drove through the lane for a bucket, and Bridget Hanley (seven points and three assists) swooped in for a lefty finish.
Sasha Tracey came off the bench and knocked down a three-pointer to bring Franklin within one and Peterson’s buzzer beater was halfway down but spun out, as the Hornets led 10-9 after one.
Gill was a big spark off the bench. She started the second with a three to put Mansfield up four. and Kara Santos (15 points and six rebounds) grabbed a put-back to make it 15-11. Franklin wouldn’t get too far away, as Caelyn Leonard (eight points and six boards) drilled a three to cut the lead to a point.
Wager answered with a three that would make it 23-19, but Lizzie Newman (six points, seven rebounds, and two blocks) cut through the lane for two and Peterson twice found driving lanes to put the hosts in front. Gill responded again, burying a corner three that made it 26-26.
“Franklin’s speed is tough to compete with and then they add the size with it,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson said. “Natalya came in first shift and worked on the boards and worked defensively and then hit some shots. I think that’s what makes us dangerous is we’ve got Kara and Abby but we do a good job switching up who gives us those other points every night.”
After a couple of free throws, Franklin had one more chance. Peterson drove and kicked to Chloe Fales (14 points and six rebounds) in the corner and the sophomore beat the buzzer with a three to send the Panthers into the locker room up 29-28.
Gill got the second half started with a bucket to regain the lead but Newman answered on the other end. Wager drilled a corner three to make it 36-33 but Peterson scored in the paint and Bridget Leo (10 points and three assists) turned a steal into a layup. Fales then buried another shot from deep to put Franklin up 40-38.
Leo forced another turnover and converted it for two points, but Santos, who had six points in the third, got free on an inbounds play for an easy bucket. Again Franklin got a big three late in the quarter. This time it was Tracey, who made it 45-40.
“They were trying to frustrate us and that was the game plan, but we needed to be opportunistic and we needed to be patient enough to let it happen,” Leighton said. “The first half we forced so many early looks. Once we got better looks, we were good, just had to wait for those opportunities. That’s what I love about Sasha, when she’s open, she’s ready to take the shot.”
Any momentum was quickly stifled by the Hornets, as Gill started the fourth with a three on a kick-out by Olivia Salisbury and Wager used her reach to force a steal and finished on the other end. Peterson made sure that Franklin wouldn’t fall behind, pulling up for a contested jumper in the lane and grabbing an offensive rebound for two.
Wager hit a long two, but Franklin rattled off six straight, with Fales getting a pair of baskets, including one off a Newman steal and long outlet pass. Hanley kept Mansfield in the game, knocking one down from the corner to cut the lead to 55-50 and Santos made a nice baseline drive to get within three.
Peterson came up with maybe the biggest play of the game with 1:09 on the clock. Leonard missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Peterson was able to rise highest to snatch the rebound. Fales then made a nice pass across the lane to Leonard for a huge basket.
Franklin would add the next six points, making good stops on one end, crashing the boards, and knocking down free throws on the other. It wasn’t expected to be easy, but it was the type of game that both coaches knew would benefit their teams in the long-run.
“I thought we battled,” McPherson said. “I was really impressed with how we played and I think coming from the beginning of the season to now, we’re so much improved. We’re looking to compete.”
Franklin (9-2) will try to make it seven wins on the trot when it travels to Milford on Friday night. Mansfield (7-5) will try to get right back on track when it hosts Canton.
Foxboro, 42 @ Attleboro, 48 – Final – Foxboro hit a three with six minutes to go to create an eight point lead but Attleboro closed out the game on 16-2 run to snag the win. Michael Beverly (nine points) hit a tough layup and Connor Houle followed with a three-pointer. Spencer Sherck’s lone field goal of the game was a big one as he sank a triple to bring the Bombardiers even at 40-40, and after another defensive stop, Beverly hit a contested elbow jumper to put Attleboro ahead. Following a Foxboro miss, Hayden Crowley used a pump fake to buy some space and rattled home a three to make it 45-40 with three minutes to go. Foxboro’s Alex Penders (22 points) turned a turnover into a layup to make it a one-possession game, but the Warriors couldn’t crack Attleboro’s defense again. Jaiden Outland (15 points) beat the shot clock with a mid-range jumper with just 20 seconds left in the game to push it to 47-42. Foxboro led 13-12 after a quarter before Attleboro rallied for a 27-22 halftime lead. The Warriors held the hosts to just two points in the third to take a 34-29 lead into the fourth.
Canton, 52 @ Franklin, 57 – Final – The Bulldogs battled hard on the road and kept pace with top-ranked Franklin but the Panthers ultimately hung on for a hard-fought win. Canton came to play from the jump, building a 14-12 lead after a quarter but Franklin fought back in the second including five points from sophomore Caden Sullivan, who was making his season debut. Junior Sean O’Leary got it going in the second half for the Panthers, scoring 14 of his team-high 18 points after the break. Carrying a 39-35 lead into the fourth, Bradley Herndon and Justin Allen hit key threes to keep Franklin ahead. Ben Harvey added 10 points for Franklin. Jamaal McConnell had a team-high 15 points for the Bulldogs, Zaza Francoeur added 13 points, and Matt Chafin finished with 10 points.
Sharon, 76 @ King Philip, 68 – Final – King Philip cut the deficit down to three in the fourth quarter but Sharon never surrendered its lead and picked up an important win on the road. KP had a lead after the first quarter (17-14) and at halftime (34-33) but the Eagles pulled ahead in the third. Dante James scored nine of his 16 points in the third and Nate Katznelson added eight of his 21 points in the frame as Sharon swapped a one-point halftime deficit into a 56-50 lead going into the fourth. Tyler Goodman scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth and the Eagles went 8-for-9 from the line (15-for-18 for the game) to keep the lead. Jacob McLoughlin added 14 points for the visitors and Matt Baur chipped in with 12 points. Will Laplante went 11-for-14 from the free throw line and finished with a team-high 19 points, Tommy Martorano added 14 points, and Grant Kinney chipped in with 13 points.
Mansfield, 71 @ Milford, 52 – Final – Mansfield set the tone with a 21-point first quarter and increased its lead throughout the next three quarters to land a road win at Milford. The Hornets created a six-point lead after one (21-15) and extended it by double digits at halftime (33-23). Mansfield finished with 13 three-pointers and had five players score in double figures. Caden Colby hit four of those threes and had a team-high 14 points along with four boards and three assists while Eddie McCoy (12 points, nine assists, three steals), Davon Sanders (11 points, four assists), Chris Hill (11 points, six rebounds) and JT Veiking (10 points) each connected on two threes.
Oliver Ames, 38 @ North Attleboro, 30 – Final – North Attleboro opened the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run to get within a point but a big three from OA sophomore Cole Craffey (13 points) with just over two minutes left kept the Tigers ahead for good. Givany Carney scored six of his 11 points in the fourth, Jonnie Obuchkowski hit a three, and both Ryan Bannon and Derek Maceda chipped in with two points as the Rocketeers closed a 29-17 deficit at the start of the final quarter down to 31-30. Craffey’s three restored a two-possession lead for the Tigers. Craffey hit two free throws with a minute to go to extend the lead to 36-30. Freshman Soren Lolonga led OA with 14 points.
Stoughton, 46 @ Taunton, 81 – Final – Taunton built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and then dominated the second half to run away with a 81-46 win over visiting Stoughton. After a 21-point first quarter, Taunton established a 36-25 lead at halftime. The Tigers kept the pressure on in the third with 21 more points but turned up their aggressiveness on defense, forcing five turnovers and holding the Knights to a total of seven points to extend the advantage to 57-32, ending the frame with a 9-0 surge. Freshman Jakari Innocent had a strong game on both ends, finishing with a team-high 18 pooints, 10 rebounds, six steals, three assists, and two blocks. Chris Perault (17 points), Alivensky Morriseau (13 points, five rebounds), and Chris Volcy (12 points, 15 rebounds, three steals) all finished in double-digits for Taunton while Troy Santos chipped in with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and a pair of steals. Stoughton senior Jayden Costa-Haywood scored the Knights’ first 21 points and finished with a game-high 26 points.
Franklin, 47 @ Canton, 41 – Final – Franklin avoided a big upset on Tuesday and moved into a first-place tie with Attleboro ahead of Friday’s showdown. Canton jumped out to a 14-9 lead after one. Mercia Kolokithas buried a pair of threes and Emily McCabe had one in the first to help the Bulldogs grab the early advantage. The Panthers were able to cut the deficit to one before halftime, but managed only 18 points in the opening 16 minutes. Franklin would grab a one-point lead in the third. Katie Peterson scored six of Franklin’s 12 points to make it 30-29 going to the fourth. In the final eight minutes, Franklin’s offense finally clicked and the Panthers scored 17 points. Peterson added four more, finishing with a team-high 17, and Chloe Fales added five of her 10 points. Samya DaSilva scored four of her five points in the fourth to help keep Canton close. The Bulldogs finished with eight three-pointers as a team. Kolokithas made five of them and she scored a team-high 17. Emily McCabe chipped in with seven points. Bridget Leo added seven for the Panthers.
King Philip, 48 @ Sharon, 38 – Final – Jasmine Davis scored 17 points for the Eagles and Eva Poulton added 10.
Milford, 30 @ Mansfield, 56 – Final – The Hornets got off to a slow start offensively, but a 16-2 second quarter helped Mansfield open up a double-digit lead at halftime. Abby Wager was the top scorer for the Hornets with 15 points, including six in the third quarter as Mansfield broke the game open. Kara Santos added 14 points, scoring six of Mansfield’s 10 in the first and six of the 13 in the fourth. Rose Maher and Bridget Hanley each chipped in with five points apiece. Milford was led by Aliza Syed, who scored 10 points and knocked down a pair of threes. Erin Michelson scored five in the loss.
North Attleboro, 32 @ Oliver Ames, 60 – Final – OA won back-to-back games for the first time this season, scoring 20 points in the first quarter to grab a lead that it never relinquished. Kaydance Derba (eight rebounds) scored eight points in the first, with Avery Gamble (10 rebounds and five steals) and Sarah Hilliard adding six apiece for the Tigers. Leading 31-16 at the break, the Tigers came out of the locker room intent on putting the game away. OA scored 23 points in the third, with Gamble scoring 12 of her game-high 18 and fellow freshman Kamryn Derba (five assists) scoring nine of her 11 in the quarter. The Derba sisters each scored 11 points and each nailed a trio of three-pointers. Hilliard would finish up with 10 points. Annie Reilly came off the bench to give the Tigers a spark on the defensive end, grabbing six boards and four steals. North battled to the end, holding OA to only six points in the fourth. Ava McKeon (six points) returned from injury to give North a spark on both ends of the floor. Sam Sweeney added eight points for the visitors.
Attleboro, 57 @ Taunton, 64 – Final – Attleboro cut the deficit down to four with just over a minute to play but Taunton closed the game strong for the win. The Tigers jumped out to a lead with 22 points in the opening quarter, carrying a similar advantage into halftime (39-28) and into the fourth quarter (47-39). Attleboro’s Hayden Crowley scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, Michael Beverly had seven points in the second half, and Jaiden Outland added 10 of his 16 in the second half to get the Bombardiers within four, 58-54, with 1:16 to play but Taunton closed it out. Junior Troy Santos paced Taunton with a team-high 24 points, Chris Volcy added 14 points, Tyson Carter chipped in with 13 points, and freshman Jakari Innocent finished with 11 points.
Franklin, 72 @ North Attleboro, 59 – Final – Locked in a one-point game just over a minute into the fourth quarter, Franklin ran away with a win behind a strong final six minutes. North Attleboro sophomore Jonnie Obuchkowski scored a layup with 6:20 to play, bringing the Rocketeers within a point at 55-54 but Franklin senior Justin Allen (10 points) answered with a deep three and the Panthers outscored the hosts 14-5 the rest of the way. Bradley Herndon, who scored a career-high 20 points, hit a free throw and scored off an offensive rebound and Sean O’Leary converted a putback as the Panthers pushed the lead to 63-54 with 4:43 to play. Franklin forced a pair of turnovers, including a steal from Allen, that both led to transition layups for Herndon to help pull away. O’Leary carried Franklin through the first three quarters, finishing with a game-high 28 points. North Attleboro had a balanced scoring attack, led by senior Givany Carney with 13 points. Obuchowski finished with 11 points while sophomore Chase Frisoli added 10 points.
King Philip, 61 @ Milford, 55 – Final – King Philip fell behind by double-digits going into the fourth quarter but dominated the final eight minutes to pull out a comeback win on the road at Milford. The Scarlet Hawks held a one-point lead after the first quarter (20-19) but the Warriors won the second frame by a point, sending the teams into the locker room at halftime tied 34-34. Milford’s offense continued in the third with 15 points while the Warriors went cold, netting just five points, as the Scarlet Hawks staked a 49-39 edge going into the fourth. In the fourth, KP erupted for 22 points, their best offensive quarter, while the Hawks went cold from the field. Tommy Martorano scored 10 of his 12 points in the final frame while Grant Kinney, Tommy Kilroy, and Brandon Nicastro (10 points) also contributed to the big fourth. Will Laplante also had five points in the fourth but really shined in the first half, scoring 19 of his game-high 27 points in the opening half. Luca Testa led Milford with 16 points and Gus Coutinho added 10 points.
Sharon, 64 @ Mansfield, 60 – Final – Sharon used a balanced offense and a physical defensive effort to secure one of its biggest wins in recent history, knocking off Mansfield for the first time since 2008. Jacob McLoughlin led the charge with 19 points, Nate Katznelson added 18 points, and Dante James finished with 16 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Tyler Goodman, James, and McLoughlin all hit from downtown in the second quarter to help the Eagles establish a 31-26 halftime lead. McLoughlin (9), James (3), and Katznelson (6) accounted for all of Sharon’s points in the third as the lead increased to 49-41 going into the fourth. Mansfield battled back, including a deep three from JT Veiking with 12 seconds left to make it a two-point game. Matt Baur hit two free throws for his only points of the game and the Eagles stole the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the win. Veiking and Trevor Foley each scored 13 points to lead the Hornets while Chris Hill chipped in with 12 points.
Oliver Ames, 58 @ Canton, 31 – Final – With four players in double digits and dominant second and third quarters, OA snapped a five-game losing streak and earned its second win of the season. The Tigers led 10-8 after one, but scored 20 points in each of the second and third quarters, while holding the Bulldogs to single digits in each quarter. Freshman Avery Gamble was OA’s top scorer with 16 points, as well as six rebounds and four steals. Freshman Kamryn Derba and juniors Sarah Hilliard and Kaydance Derba each finished with a dozen points for the Tigers. Samya DaSilva was the game’s top scorer with 18, including all nine of Canton’s second quarter points. Erin Beatty and Emily McCabe each scored three for the Bulldogs.
Stoughton, 27 @ Foxboro, 77 – Final – Foxboro dominated for the third straight game, remaining unbeaten in league play this season and keeping hold of its lead in the Davenport division. Addie Ruter continued her strong sophomore season with a game-high 22 points. Camryn Collins added 17 and Kailey Sullivan also finished in double digits with 14. Stoughton was led by Raina Tat’s seven points, while Leah McCarty scored four points and grabbed seven rebounds.
North Attleboro, 17 @ Franklin, 64 – Final – Franklin’s defensive pressure shut down North to secure a win that keeps the Panthers within one of league leader Attleboro. The Panthers held the Rocketeers to six points in the first quarter, 15 for the half, and then clamped down even further after the break. North was held to a single basket in the second half, a fourth quarter bucket for Maryellen Charette. After doubling up the Rocketeers in the first half, 30-15, a 24-0 third quarter broke the game wide open. Katie Peterson led 11 Franklin scorers with 11 points. Chloe Fales and Bridget Leo each added nine points and Lizzie Newman chipped in with eight. Sam Faria and Katie Corsetti were North’s top scorers with six points apiece.
Milford, 32 @ King Philip, 44 – Final – KP bounced back from a tough loss to Foxboro by putting together a strong defensive performance and pulling out a win against Milford. The game was close after one quarter, with Emily Croteau scoring nine of Milford’s 12 points to keep the Hawks within two. Croteau finished with a team-high 14. Emily Sawyer added six points in the first and five in the second, on her way to a game-high 15, putting the Warriors up 29-21 at the break. Kylie Watson buried a pair of threes in the first half to help KP build its lead. The second half was all about defense. KP held Milford to only a single point in the third quarter, a free throw by Brooke Ferreira, but only managed six points of its own, half of them by Maddie Paschke (who finished with 11). The Hawks were able to score 10 points in the fourth, but only outscored the hosts by one, as KP held on for the win.
Mansfield, 68 @ Sharon, 51 – Final – Mansfield came flying out of the gates, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and 38 in the opening half to build a lead it wouldn’t relinquish and secure a fourth straight victory. Abby Wager scored a team-high 22 and she combined with Kara Santos to score 13 of the team’s 21 in the first. Santos finished with nine points, as did Bridget Hanley. Mansfield also got seven points apiece from Rose Maher and Olivia Salisbury in a strong team performance. Sharon tried to rally in the second half, scoring 34 points as a team, but only cutting four points off Mansfield’s halftime advantage. Jasmine Davis continues to be one of the league’s top scorers, finishing with 27 points and also grabbing 19 boards and blocking two shots. She scored 19 in the second half and went 15-of-17 from the line. Eva Poulton added 10 points for the Eagles.
Taunton, 6 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Taunton, 43 @ Attleboro, 83 – Final
Foxboro, 55 @ Sharon, 92 – Final
Franklin @ North Attleboro, 7:15
Taunton, 73 @ Attleboro, 94 – Final
Foxboro, 84 @ Sharon, 68 – Final
Franklin @ North Attleboro, 7:15
Franklin, 133.65 @ King Philip, 138.00 – Final
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro, 7:30
Attleboro, 43 @ Catholic Memorial, 72 – Final
Mansfield, 57 vs. BC High, 41 – Final – Mansfield continued to impress on the defensive end of the court, holding BC High to single digits in both the third and fourth quarters on its way to a 57-41 win. The Hornets jumped out to a quick start with 19 points in the first eight minutes but the visiting Eagles responded with 16 points in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 33-26 at halftime. Mansfield allowed just one point in the first 3:33 of the final quarter and continued to pull away down the stretch. Chris Hill led a balanced scoring effort with 14 points, seven steals, six rebounds, four assists, and three blocks, Trevor Foley (nine rebounds, five assists) and Caden Colby (six rebounds) each added 11 points, and Davon Sanders chipped in with nine points.
Mansfield, 52 @ Oliver Ames, 45 – Final – Mansfield scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, turning a tie game into a seven-point road win against a division rival. Kara Santos turned it on in the final eight minutes, scoring 14 of her game-high 22 points in the last quarter, including a pair of threes. Sophomore Ella Palanza scored five of her 11 in the fourth and Bridget Hanley (14 points) drilled a three, one of her four makes from beyond the arc. OA trailed 22-17 at halftime, but the Tigers rallied in the third (13-8) to tie the game and had its best scoring quarter in the fourth, although it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Hornets. Freshman Avery Gamble scored 12 points, including eight in the second quarter, to lead the Tigers. Sarah Hilliard scored 10 of 11 points in the second half. Freshman Kamryn Derba added eight points and her older sister Kaydance chipped in with seven points, eight blocks, and three steals.
Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Ella Pisani, King Philip
Hockomock League All Stars
Emily Dunlea, Attleboro
Jamie Davies, Attleboro
Emily McCabe, Canton
Mekhala Costello, Canton
Erin Foley, Foxboro
Norah Anderson, Franklin
Rachel Welch, Franklin
Anya Zub, Franklin
Kelly O’Connor, Franklin
Ella Pisani, King Philip
Grace Lawler, King Philip
Heidi Lawrence, King Philip
Kara Santos, Mansfield
Bridget Hanley, Mansfield
Olivia Salisbury, Mansfield
Dani Atherton, Milford
Emma Pratt, North Attleboro
Lucinda Li Cotter, Oliver Ames
Mary Cross, Oliver Ames
Taylor deVos, Oliver Ames
Emma Gavin, Oliver Ames
Sofia Goclowski Sharon
Autumn Simon, Sharon
Shayla Ford, Stoughton
Emma Tran, Stoughton
Juliana Matos, Taunton
Bethany Alves, Attleboro
Han Hong, Canton
Lindsey Resnick, Foxboro
Haylie Aniki, Franklin
Danielle Lomuscio, King Philip
Olivia Dunham, Mansfield
Serena Borges, Milford
Clara Giuliano, North Attleboro
Sophia Byron, Oliver Ames
Sally Brouhard, Sharon
Katrina Varnum, Stoughton
Emily Calderon, Taunton
Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. — Mansfield erased an early deficit and kept clawing back throughout the fourth quarter, but the Attleboro girls basketball team refused to lose in the first varsity basketball game played at their brand new high school.
Each time the Hornets made a move to get within one possession, the Bombardiers had an answer. Attleboro got contributions from up and down its roster and some clutch fourth quarter plays to secure a 63-53 win over the visiting Hornets.
“Coming off the loss at Framingham, I was a little nervous about their confidence but they came out strong and that was a huge confidence builder for us,” said Attleboro head coach Bri Bracken. “We talked about it being the first game here, being the first varsity basketball team to play here so it was great to get the win.”
Junior Kayla Goldrick scored 10 of her 17 points in the final frame, cashing in on a clutch steal and a clutch offensive rebound to keep the hosts in front against Mansfield’s comeback bid. Seconds after Mansfield junior Abby Wager drained a three-pointer to cut the deficit to two, Attleboro junior Merry Bosh sank a three from the corner with two minutes to play to dash the Hornets’ hopes of a comeback.
“We switched up our defense a little bit and I think that helped, and when they weren’t hitting from the outside we had to rebound,” Bracken said. “Kayla came up huge in that stretch, just the heart and the hustle there and that’s why she’s one of our captains. Mary Bosh hitting that three late in the game was huge too.”
The Bombardiers got off to a great start as senior Lily Routhier connected on a pair of early three-pointers and Attleboro established a double-digit lead in the first quarter. Wager, Kara Santos (11 points, 11 rebounds), and Olivia Salisbury (18 points, four rebounds) rallied Mansfield back into the contest during the second quarter and a bucket from Ella Palanza handed the Hornets their first lead with under a minute to go in the first half.
Goldrick hit a three with under 10 seconds to play in the second quarter and Attleboro jumped back ahead, 31-29, at halftime.
“I think they had a lot of different players come in and make an impact,” said Mansfield head coach Heather McPherson. “We came in preparing for Ellis and Goldrick, then Routhier hit the threes. And then Bosh had that big three. We’d make these runs and then we’d have a mental mistake. They had a game Friday and got all of those jitters out, I feel like we had all of those jitters from a lot of people.
“I thought we made some good adjustments to get back into but we had some preseason injuries, and even though everyone is back now, but it’s getting into that game shape. We’d have a good run then have to shuffle someone else in. And just too many costly mistakes.”
Sophomore Vanessa Ellis carried Attleboro to a successful third quarter as she scored seven of her 15 points in the frame and had five of her 16 rebounds. Ellis finished off a traditional three-point play with three minutes to go, converted a putback with 1:30 to play in the frame, and sank a pair of free throws with under a minute to go to hand Attleboro a 45-40 advantage going into the fourth.
Santos used a nice move in the paint to get the Hornets on the board and a steal from Bridget Hanley (eight assists, seven rebounds) set up Wager for a layup that cut the deficit to one, 45-44. Routhier and Santos traded baskets as Mansfield trailed by just one before Goldrick drove for two points. Attleboro had another missed but Goldrick crashed the class and put it right back up to make it 51-46.
Santos found Wager for two and the Hornets got a stop on an offensive to try and take the lead but instead it was Goldrick, sitting atop in the Bombardiers’ 2-3 zone, that deflected a pass for the steal and went coast-to-coast for a tough layup to restore the hosts’ two-possession lead
The ball found Mansfield on the ensuing play but the comeback bid was ended when Bosh took a pass from Avery James and hit a three of her own with two minutes to go.
“It was a good team win,” Bracken said. “We were in a lot of foul trouble, I had Avery James on the bench, and Vanessa had four fouls. I threw a couple of freshmen in there and we just needed everyone to step up and they did, they did their job as Bill Belichick says.”
Attleboro girls basketball (1-0 Hockomock, 1-1 overall) hits the road to visit Milford on Friday at a 6:00 tipoff. Mansfield (0-1, 0-1) will have its home opener against rival Foxboro on Friday at 6:30.
2021-2022 Record: 16-7 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Brianna Bracken
Former Attleboro standout Bri Bracken took over the coaching duties late in the preseason a year ago, but she stepped right into her first varsity job and led the Bombardiers to a 16-win season and a return to the state tournament. The graduation of top scorer Meg Gordon will be tough to replace, but the Bombardiers have a versatile lineup and a focus on the defensive side of the ball that still makes them a tough challenge even for the top teams in the league.
Attleboro returns only two starters from last season. Junior Kayla Goldrick impressed in her first two years on varsity, playing on the wing or as the primary ball-handler. Her control on both sides of the ball will be critical this season. Senior Lily Routhier, who transferred from Wheelock last year, is a strong rebounder and can score in multiple ways around the paint. Sophomore Vanessa Ellis wasn’t a starter for most of last year, but she came through with some big games down the stretch, scoring in bunches around the rim and being a force on the glass.
An injury to junior Rylie Camacho will deprive the Bombardiers of one of their best perimeter shooters, but Bracken will be hoping that juniors Merry Bosh and Molly Moore and sophomore Avery James can step into bigger roles in the backcourt and add scoring punch. Senior Sarah Maher is going to have a bigger role on both ends this season, bringing the energy and intensity every game. This will be a different look from last year, as the Bombardiers will have different go-to players every night.
“We have a great mix of experience and youth,” Bracken said. “We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been intense and the girls have been working really hard.”
2021-2022 Record: 16-7 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Quarterfinal Coach: Jim Choquette
How do you move on from graduating not just one but three of the best players in program history? That will be the challenge for Canton coach Jim Choquette this season, as the Bulldogs are coming off a winter that included a rare home playoff game and a trip to the Div. 2 quarterfinals and return a group of players that have experience but will need to step into bigger roles this year.
There is a veteran core that the Bulldogs will be relying on. Senior forward Samya DaSilva can score in the paint and knock down shots from the perimeter, while classmate Erin Beatty has been a force on the boards and brings a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. Senior guards Emily McCabe, Marissa Staffiere, and Han Hong all can run the point and are strong defensive players who will be tasked with keeping the ball moving for Canton on offense to find the best shot.
In addition to those familiar faces, juniors Fatima Sidibay and Jess Wright will provide additional athleticism in the frontcourt. Junior Mercia Kolokithas can stretch defenses with her perimeter shooting and sophomore Sally Hoban will provide depth on the wing along with Ava McCoole. Deanna Kolokithas is another newcomer to watch this season, as she can give Canton a boost at point guard, allowing the veteran guards to move off the ball.
“Every season is different, even if you have similar players,” Choquette explained. “We have spoken about that this year and I’ve encouraged our team to write their own narrative, what they want, how they want to get it, and the sacrifices they’re willing to make to accomplish it. I’m so excited to see how we respond as coaches to help them and as players to achieve.”
2021-2022 Record: 14-8 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Sweet Sixteen Coach: Lisa Downs
While head coach Lisa Downs knew there would be some growing pains for a roster loaded with underclassmen, Foxboro was not only building for the future in 2021-22 but showing that it could already compete with the league’s top teams. This season, adding a year of experience to their talented core, the Warriors will be aiming to get back to the top of the Davenport division and make a run in the state tournament.
The backcourt was the key for Foxboro last winter. Sophomore Kailey Sullivan burst onto the scene and was the rare freshman that could lead a team in scoring and also look right at home running the point against the tough defenses in the Hock. Junior Camryn Collins finished just behind Sullivan in the scoring charts, but her handle, her athleticism, and her ability to read the game made her an impact player on both ends of the court. Add in junior Erin Foley’s tenacity on the defensive end and it is a backcourt that can cause any team problems from baseline to baseline.
Foxboro also got solid contributions in the front court from sophomore Ava Hill, who looked increasingly comfortable as the season wore on, and junior Isabelle Chamberlin. Sophomore Adie Ruter will be a new piece to the puzzle this season. The 6-foot-2 center gives a new dimension to the Warriors’ offense and her development in the off-season has her poised for a breakout year. Freshmen Kylie Sampson and Adrianna Porazzo continue the tradition of underclassmen jumping right onto varsity with an opportunity to contribute.
“I’m anxious to get started working with this team,” Downs said. “I really envision a pretty high ceiling once we get established. We will continue the Foxboro team culture of hard work on defense and team play on offense, so it will be pretty exciting to see what they are able to accomplish.”
2021-2022 Record: 22-2 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Quarterfinal Coach: John Leighton
Franklin has dominated the Kelley-Rex division for the past four years, which included a state title run as well, but with a lot of new faces jumping into the lineup this season, the league title race could be a lot closer this winter. The Panthers may not be able to overwhelm teams with size like they have in past few years, but an athletic core of players returns to play typically tough defense and get out and run on the break.
The focal point this season will be senior forward Katie Peterson. After a breakout junior year in which she led the team in scoring, the UMass girls lacrosse commit comes back as one of the top wings in the league. Her athleticism will be critical on both ends of the floor. Senior guard Bridget Leo is also back to run the offense and will be one of the team’s top perimeter defenders. Senior Lizzie Newman emerged last season as a solid rebounder and post defender and her outside shooting could be a major factor.
There are also several players who stepped in at times last year that will need to take on bigger roles for the Panthers this season. Junior Sasha Tracey gives Franklin good length on the wing and adds another athlete that can get out on the break and finish. Her improved outside shot will also help stretch defenses. Sophomore Chloe Fales is a newcomer to watch with her athleticism and ability to score at multiple levels.
“This team is working to find its identity and play unselfish basketball,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “I have been very impressed with the leadership of our seniors who have stepped up and provided mentorship to our younger players to speed their integration into the team.”
2021-2022 Record: 11-11 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Jeff Miszkiewicz
Only the two division winners allowed fewer points per game than King Philip last season, as the Warriors focused on strong half court defense under first-year coach Jeff Miszkiewicz. Defense will remain key for KP this season, but there is also an effort to bring more balance to an offense that struggled to keep up with some of the top teams in the Hock. With a year of experience in the new system, the Warriors will be looking to provide a challenge to Franklin and Oliver Ames in the Kelley-Rex.
Senior center Emily Sawyer has developed into a force on both ends of the floor and her presence in the paint will be a major piece of KP’s play this year. An almost automatic double-double every night, Sawyer has improved her offense every year and remains an imposing shot blocker and disruptor on defense. Fellow senior Jackie Bonner will give KP much-needed balance on offense with her ability to shoot from distance and take defenders off the dribble. KP looked like a different team when she went down with an injury last season.
While Bonner and Sawyer get a lot of the attention, KP has solid depth in both the front and backcourt. Senior guard Leah Santoro gives the Warriors a tenacious perimeter defender and junior Jordan Bennett runs the offense well at the point and showed flashes of being a threat from three-point range. Junior forward Maddie Paschke provides energy, rebounding, and finishing in the paint, and classmate Kylie Watson continues to improve on shot-making both in the paint and from the outside.
Miszkiewicz is also counting on several new faces to add to his squad this season. “They all bring something different to the court and have a chance to really impact games this year,” he said. “We can score on all three levels consistently, so we look to attack any advantages that we can get. Last year, we prided ourselves on playing tough, gritty defense. We try to make every shot difficult and hold teams to one shot.”
2021-2022 Record: 12-11 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Heather McPherson
Mansfield will play in the Davenport division for the first time this winter and, with only three players graduating from last year’s playoff team and both of its leading scorers back, there are hopes that this could be a title-winning debut for the Hornets.
Senior Abby Wager is the team’s top scorer from a year ago and the athletic wing will be the focal point for most teams defensively this year. The Southern New Hampshire-commit causes problems on both ends of the floor with her length and speed and her addition of different facets to her offensive game. If teams want to extend out to the perimeter, Mansfield can also hurt them in the paint with junior forward Kara Santos, who emerged as a consistent scorer on the block.
Experience should be no problem for the Hornets, who have a host of players that gained valuable experience last season. In the backcourt, seniors Olivia Salisbury and Bridget Hanley can run the point and step up with big scoring nights when needed. Senior Natalya Gill was instant offense off the bench for the Hornets, while classmate Rose Maher can knock down big shots from the outside. Senior Brooke Butler gives the Hornets another strong rebounder and paint presence.
“Extremely excited for the season,” said McPherson. “The level of focus and pace that we have committed to this preseason makes me extremely excited for the season with these girls!”
2021-2022 Record: 5-14 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: TJ Dolliver
Milford brings back five seniors from last year’s team, including a pair of four-year varsity players at captain, which the Hawks hope can provide the leadership for a move up the Kelley-Rex standings. After winning five games a year ago, Milford continues to set its sights on getting back into the playoff picture.
Senior forward Emily Croteau is an all-energy player at forward and will be one of the players that Milford counts on at both ends of the floor. She crashes the boards, defends, and her hustle is infectious. Classmate Brooke Ferreira is more of a calming presence in the backcourt, getting the Hawks into their sets and knocking down shots on the perimeter. Fellow seniors Molly Hartman and Aliza Syed will add experience and strength in the paint.
Junior forward Khatrina Leger could be ready for a breakout year after impressing in flashes as a sophomore. Leger used her athleticism to keep possessions alive and was able to get creative with her finishing around the rim. Classmate Erin Michelson uses her length on the wing to cause problems on the defensive side and junior Maeve Driscoll can come into the game and make some big shots on the perimeter.
“We have a lot of versatile players with different skills so our offense and defense is going to rely on execution during the games,” said Milford coach TJ Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls who are ready to compete on a daily basis. We have a lot of room to grow and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes us.”
2021-2022 Record: 4-16 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Nikki Correia
North Attleboro incorporated plenty of youth into last year’s rotation and those young players will need to be ready from the start this winter because the Rocketeers are only returning four varsity players from 2021-22 and have as many underclassmen (four) as seniors on this year’s team. It is a guard-heavy rotation, which fits into head coach Nikki Correia’s preferred up-tempo style, but there will be a learning curve for a relatively inexperienced group.
Senior Ava McKeon will be the leader on the court for North this season. A four-year varsity player, McKeon gives the Rocketeers an edge with her tenacity, toughness, and athleticism. The rest of the team can feed off the energy that she provides on both ends of the court. Sophomore guards Sam Faria and Sam Sweeney both showed as rookies that they can knock down shots from the outside, but need to be more consistent to take the North offense to the next level. Classmate Maryellen Charette also impressed at times as a freshman and could be ready for a breakout year at forward. Confidence will be important for the younger players to meet the expectations that come from being regular starters.
North has added some new faces to the roster this year to contribute off the bench and give teams different looks. Senior guard Emma Hanwell and forwards Kylie James and Kayla Dominique, as well as junior forward Katie Corsetti will make the jump up from the JV team this season. Freshman guard Ella McLaughlin is another player with the potential to make instant contributions.
“I think our strengths on offense will be our quick guard play,” Correia said. “Our offense seems to be a little more organized and the guards are able to control the tempo. I am really looking forward to the season with this group of players. We are young and have so much potential to really surprise some opponents this year.”
2021-2022 Record: 22-3 (Davenport champions) 2021-2022 Finish: Won Div. 2 state title Coach: Brittany Engle
The defending Div. 2 state champions are going to have a very different look this season. Not only did Oliver Ames lose its top two scorers (Caroline Peper to graduation and Jasmyn Cooper to transfer) but also saw the retirement of legendary coach Laney Clement-Holbrook after more than four decades in charge. OA has turned to former assistant coach Brittany Engle, who is also a 1,000-point scorer and former state champ for the Tigers, who inherits a roster with only four returning players from last season.
Junior guard Kaydance Derba is the team’s top returning scorer and is one of the best long-range shooters in the league. Her length, her passing, and her ball-handling will all be critical for a team that is going to rely on a lot of relatively inexperienced players. Classmate Sarah Hilliard might be ready for a breakout season. The junior forward showed flashes of being a dominant post player last year, coming up with huge games on both ends of the floor during OA’s tournament run and her athleticism is a tough matchup for most teams.
A pair of seniors round out the returning players. Maddie Homer, who was voted volleyball MVP this fall, missed time last year due to injury but she came back to play a role in the state title game win against Norwood. She brings a lot of intensity on the defensive end and is another solid ball-handler that can get the Tigers into their sets. Classmate Grace Dupill will bring more athleticism to the forward position and leadership for a young squad that wants to challenge Franklin for the Kelley-Rex title.
“I’m excited for the season,” Engle said. “We’ve got a lot of good athletes who work hard, and are coachable and competitive. Coming off of a state title, expectations are high, but measured. This is a different team, but one with a lot of potential.”
2021-2022 Record: 4-16 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Matt DellaBarba
Coming off a four-win season, Sharon returns four starters and nine players from last year’s roster, intent on making a move up the standings in the Davenport division. There is a change on the sidelines, with former Plymouth South coach Matt DellaBarba taking over this season and he will be hoping to utilize the experience that the Eagles have to make a run at a potential playoff spot.
Most of the focus this winter will be on junior center Jasmine Davis. After a stellar first varsity season in which she introduced herself with a 30-point, 20-rebound debut against Milford, Davis was one of the most prolific post players in the league as a sophomore. Sharon can take advantage of the attention Davis will draw to create shooting space for classmate Rachael Hager, who can force defenses to stay home with her ability to knock down shots from distance. Senior Tess Letendre and junior Eva Poulton round out the returning starters and both are solid ball-handlers and defenders in the backcourt and give the Eagles balance on both ends of the floor.
There is going to be plenty of experience coming off the bench for Sharon as well. In the backcourt, senior Clara Armon and juniors Carmen Leonardi and Natalie David will give the Eagles good energy and aggressiveness. Seniors Samantha Dunham and Emily Freeman add depth, rebounding, and solid defense in the front court. DellaBarba wants to make sure all of his players are threats to score on offense and communicate well in his team defense scheme.
“Being completely new to the Hockomock League I’m not entirely sure what to expect in my first season in the league,” DellaBarba said. “I know year in and year out the Hockomock League is one of the most competitive leagues in the state, so our focus right now is making sure we’re approaching every practice and game with energy and giving maximum effort in every opportunity that we receive.”
2021-2022 Record: 1-19 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Eric Adams
Stoughton had its struggles in 2021-22, winning just one game, but the Black Knights are in the process of rebuilding through youth. With former assistant Eric Adams taking over for Charmaine Steele Jordan this winter, Stoughton will have continuity on the sidelines despite the coaching change and that should be a boost for a lineup that features only two seniors.
While young, Stoughton does have some varsity experience to call on. Senior guards Andrea Khouzami and Anna Hobbs will provide much-needed leadership in the backcourt. Junior Maiya Merritt is a quick guard who can get into the lane and sophomore Raina Tat showed that she has the ability to stretch defenses with her range, and the confidence to not pass up an open look.
In the front court, junior Alyssa Edwards is a three-sport athlete and she uses her strength and quickness to good effect on both ends of the court. Junior Katrina Varnum gives Stoughton a rim protector and a solid rebounder to protect the paint, while she also showed increasing confidence as a finisher around the rim. Sophomore Leah McCarty returns to give more depth on the block. Stoughton also has four freshmen on the roster, guards Kristen McKay, Molly Fox, Isabel Belmonte, and Cecelia Squires, who could be stepping in and getting minutes right away.
“This team is a young team; two seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and four freshmen,” Adams explained. “This year is going to be a building year and we are eager to grow as a program.”
2021-2022 Record: 4-16 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Gretchen Rodrigues
The transfer of the league’s leading scorer from last year, Kameron St. Pierre, will be a big challenge for Taunton this season. Losing more than 20 points per game, nearly half of the team’s nightly output, will obviously require more than just one or two players to step up. First-year coach Gretchen Rodrigues is counting on her team’s athleticism and focusing on the defensive end of the floor first to get the Tigers out and running this season.
Junior point guard Cali Melo will be a key player for the Tigers in this system, not only setting the pace for the team but also providing the energy on the defensive side of the floor. Melo is a tenacious defender and rebounder and will be like a coach on the floor. Junior guard Lexi Haywood provides long-distance shooting for the Tigers and is one of the players that could benefit from a few more touches on the offensive end. Sophomore Jillian Doherty gives Taunton more speed and finishing on the break and senior McMina Clermont adds more vocal leadership, defense, and rebounding.
While a lot of the focus is on the outgoing players, Taunton also got a transfer in who could be a major factor in the paint this season. Sophomore Skylar McCrohan has come from Somerset Berkley and Rodrigues will be counting on her crashing the boards and getting buckets in the post. Freshman Taryn Campbell is a quick guard and solid shooter, who will come in and contribute right away.
“We are going to push the ball, play hard all the time, play unselfish, and be in great shape,” Rodrigues said. “My style is up and down, pressure a lot, and utilize all 94 feet.“
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Penalty shootouts are unnerving experiences. Your season is on the line and most of the team can do little more than watch from the middle of the field, as teammates step to the spot or toe the goal line and try to become heroes. If you’re going to have to go through a shootout, then it helps having a record-holding senior standing in goal.
Olivia Salisbury made five saves in regulation and overtime, but it was her two stops in the shootout that eventually decided Wednesday night’s visit of Longmeadow to Alumni Field. The Hornets advanced 4-3 on penalties after the game finished 2-2.
Longmeadow forward Samantha Goodrich, who scored the first for the Lancers as they battled back to force overtime, stepped up to take the first penalty. Salisbury bounced a couple of times, planted, and dove to her right, getting two hands to the shot. After Bridget Hanley made no mistake to put the Hornets ahead 1-0, Salisbury, who set a new school record for career clean sheets this season, was able to this time go down to her left and palm Jamie Greenman’s shot around the post.
“We do at least two or three rounds [of PKs] every day, so it’s definitely a lot of practice but then again you never know when it’s people that you’ve never taken PKs against,” Salisbury said afterwards. “You have to just go in thinking that you can save it.”
She added, “After saving the first one, it definitely set the pace for me. I got way more excited and then after stopping the second one I was very, very excited.”
Mansfield would put the next penalty over the bar and Longmeadow scored to cut the lead to 2-1, but Brooke Penney and Courtney Croak, a pair of players who saw little action during the game, both scored to put the Hornets on the brink.
Catherine Pelliccia powered her penalty past the dive of Salisbury, meaning senior Olivia Homsi would get the chance to close things out and keep her, and Mansfield’s season, alive. She gave the Longmeadow keeper no chance, finding the bottom left corner to seal the win. As she raced back to midfield, Homsi was engulfed by half of her teammates, while the rest went to congratulate Salisbury.
“She made two good saves,” Mansfield coach Kevin Smith said about Salisbury. “She’s been fantastic. I’d put her up against anyone in the state as a goalie, I really would.”
When asked about his final goal scorer, Smith added, “She broke her wrist in the OA game and she said, I’ll be ready for PKs coach, I’ll be ready for PKs and thankfully she got cleared to play.”
In the 18th minute, Alexandra Fernandes, who was a menace to the Longmeadow back line all night, made a smart turn and put a shot on goal that was spilled for a corner. This time, Dunham’s cross was to center back partner Kara Santos and she looped her header back across goal and over the keeper’s dive to make it 1-0.
Longmeadow was struggling to create good looks. Greenman tried an angled ball to Gracie DiStefano, but Dunham and Jill Koppy combined to clear the dangerous pass.
Eight minutes before the break, Mansfield doubled its lead. Hawthorne hit a cross-field pass to Fernandes on the right. The freshman had a beautiful touch to take it past her marker and then she fired a shot into the bottom far corner to make it 2-0.
Mansfield seemed to be in total control of the match, but the Lancers halved the deficit just seven minutes into the second half. Goodrich made a nice move onto her right foot and curled a 20-yard shot past the dive of Salisbury and just under the bar.
The Lancers had the momentum and nearly tied it when Teia Vengco crossed from the right to the back post, but Greenman wasn’t able to make clean contact and Salisbury was able to collect. A couple minutes later and the visitors did equalize. Goodrich played a beautiful one-touch pass over the top for Greenman in the left channel. The Mansfield back line was stretched and DiStefano was open in the middle for a tap in.
“Even being up 2-0, they were fantastic, they were a great team,” Smith said about the Lancers. “At halftime, we were talking that even up 2-0 we needed to keep going because they were so good that they can come back at any time and they did.”
Dunham would have one more chance before the end of regulation on a 30-yard free kick. The freshman hit it pure but the ball wouldn’t dip quite enough, crashing back off the crossbar.
In the second overtime, it was Longmeadow’s turn to come close to a winner. Goodrich was again the catalyst, turning her marker on the right side and smacking the bar from a tight angle. The rebound fell to Greenman bur again the contact wasn’t great and Salisbury was gratefully able to snag the shot.
That left penalties to decide things and Salisbury to provide the winning moments.
“It’s what the game is all about, that high intensity,” Salisbury explained. “In a game like this, where if you don’t win you’re done, it’s a crazy feeling and you want nothing more than to win. It’s such a different feeling than a regular season game or winning 3-0. It’s so more of a rewarding feeling.”
Smith added, “After full time, I said adversity makes champions, so what are we going to be? We finally had some adversity and it was good. It tested us and we came out the other side.”
Mansfield (13-3-4) will now travel to No. 3 seed Minnechaug on Saturday afternoon.