Foxboro Closes Out Canton To Earn First Win

Foxboro boys basketball Sam Golub
Foxboro sophomore Sam Golub dribbles past Canton senior Ryan Connerney in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FOXBORO, Mass. – It was a situation the Foxboro boys basketball team had been in before this season. But the young Warriors were more than happy to come away with a different outcome

The Warriors have been in plenty of tight games this season but whether it was overtime, an untimely turnover, or an unlikely offensive outburst from their opponent, Foxboro couldn’t find its way into the win column — until Thursday night.

Foxboro made all of the plays it needed to down the stretch, including a huge three-pointer from sophomore Ryan LeClair, to earn its first win of the season, 46-39, over visiting Canton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think we were just more consistent on the small controllable things,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “Offensively, down the stretch, we were able to take care of the ball and keep our composure against pressure and we executed and got good shots. Earlier in the season, in late-game situations, we were having some untimely turnovers, and not only that, the other team would break out for a big momentum basket. We didn’t do that tonight, we were able to get quality shots and guys stepped up to make the big shots.”

Locked into another close game in the fourth quarter, the Warriors withstood pressure from a talented Canton team. Even after its four-point lead evaporated and momentum seemed to swing in favor of the Bulldogs, Foxboro didn’t panic.

The game was knotted at 29-29 after three quarters, setting up a winner-take-all fourth period. And for six minutes, it was a back-and-forth battle with each team matching the other, basket for basket, and stop for stop.

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Junior Dylan Gordon, who scored a career-high 22 points, put the hosts ahead with a strong take to the rim, LeClair hit one from the line with just over three minutes to go, and sophomore Alex Penders scored his first basket of the game to give Foxboro a 37-33 lead with just under three minutes to go.










Canton took its turn to answer as senior Ryan Connerney (10 points) sliced through the defense to the rim for two and then found Steven Burbank (13 points) on a nice backdoor cut to tie the game as the clock ticked under two minutes to go.

But the Warriors refused to wilt under pressure and came back with an answer of their own. Halfway through the shot clock, LeClair found some separation after setting a screen and drained a deep straightaway three to make it 40-37 with 1:35 to play.

“He’s always been a really confident kid, and that’s one of his best attributes and that’s really important for a point guard,” Gibbs said. “Each passing game, we’ve really seen that confidence grow and with that, he’s improved more and more and grown into his role. He just continues to get better. We want him to take that shot in that moment, we all believe in him and I’m really happy for him that he stepped up and knocked it down.

Foxboro got a stop after Canton’s attempt at a tying three was just off the mark. This time, LeClair drove left past his defender which forced a pair of Bulldogs to help. The sophomore guard dumped a pass off to Sean O’Leary, who finished off a tough layup for a 42-37 advantage with less than a minute to go.

The Bulldogs kept it close when junior Lanse Dorcelus drove from the right wing into the paint and finished through contact. Down three, Canton elected to foul Gordon, who drained a pair from the line to ice the win for the Warriors.

“It’s a classic Canton-Foxboro game where every single basket is hard to come by,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “At the end of the game, it was tied late, they had kids that made more plays when it mattered. They made plays in winning time and we’re still learning how to do that.




“When we get hot, we get real hot and when we get cold, we get real cold. Tonight was one of the cold nights and credit to Foxboro, they played great defense. That’s a team that’s been working hard all season. I’m disappointed for us but congrats to them for getting their first win, they deserved to win tonight, we didn’t.”

LeClair might not have been in position for his big three and assist in the final minutes if it wasn’t for a big shot from junior Cam Barreira earlier in the game. Sophomore Sam Golub (six points, six rebounds) drained a three for Foxboro with 4:10 to go in the second quarter but the Warriors would go on a long drought before scoring again.

Canton rattled off a 10-0 run over the course of the next 8:41 of game time. Steven Burbank scored the last four points of the first half to give the Bulldogs an 18-17 lead at halftime. Connerney converted a traditional three-point play and Eric Mischler (11 points, five rebounds) drained a corner three off a nice feed from Connerney and the Bulldogs held a 24-17 lead with 3:44 left in the third.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Out of a timeout, Barreira came up with a huge shot. The inbounds found Penders, who was immediately double-teamed. The sophomore center alertly turned and dished to Barreira in the corner and the junior didn’t hesitate, sinking a three-pointer that lit a fire under the Warriors.

Barreira’s bucket sparked a 12-5 run that brought the hosts back into the game. Gordon scored six straight, sandwiching a pair of field goals around two from the line. And Golub hit his second three of the game to put Foxboro ahead 29-26. Canton’s Will Keefe answered with a triple in the final seconds to make it 29-29 going into the fourth.

Foxboro (1-6 Davenport, 1-6 overall) will travel to Canton (3-3, 3-6) for a rematch on Wednesday at 7:00.

Foxboro boys basketball

Hornets Take Cares Of Business In Win Over Warriors

Mansfield boys soccer Grady Sullivan Matt Angelini Foxboro
Mansfield’s Grady Sullivan (10) tries to get past the pressure of Foxboro’s Matt Angelini in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 MANSFIELD, Mass. – The regular season is firmly in the rearview mirror for the Mansfield boys soccer team. The focus is now on making a statement in the Hockomock Cup postseason tournament.

That quest started on Tuesday for the Hornets, the second-seed out of the Kelley-Rex division, with a very business-like performance in the form of a 2-0 win over Foxboro, the Davenport’s third-place club.

The Hornets spent most of the 80 minutes pushing the ball up field, putting a lot of pressure on Foxboro’s back four with services into the area. Almost every restart from the attacking half turned into a long back into the box, putting a lot of stress on the Warrior defense.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Not only did it result in a pair of goals and a dozen more chances, but it also helped prevent the Warriors from building anything out of the back. The high pressure would often force a big clearance out of the back that the Hornets would collect and put right back into the mix in the final third.

“We should have had about 10 goals but we just didn’t finish,” said Mansfield head coach Steve Sheridan. “But we put the pressure on them…we did what we practiced except for the finishing. I expected us to play that way, been expecting it for a while, we finally did it today when it counts. I expect a tight game, I expected it to be maybe a little more chippy. But it was a good game I’m happy with it.”

It took Mansfield less than two minutes to get on the front foot with a good bid on goal. Dylan Buchanan did well to take down a long ball, touch around a defender and blasted a left-footed shot that was denied on a good saver from Nick Penders, tipping the shot over the bar.

The chances continued to come for the hosts, sophomore Grady Sullivan with a bid in the 12th minute and junior Matt Hyland had his cross-turned-shot scooped up by Penders two minutes later. A nice combo from Sagar Koul and Buchanan led to a shot by the former, but wide, in the 25th minute. And a minute later, Aidan Steele latched onto a turnover and looped the ball over a defender but Penders was quick off his line.










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Foxboro found its footing a bit as it built out of the back from Penders. Max Beigel found some space along the right-wing before centering to Matt Angelini, but his low shot from distances was gobbled up by Mansfield keeper Eric Sullivan.

The Hornets came very close in the 29th minute, a service from Tommy Lanzillo on a corner found Koul alone in front but the close-range bid was over the bar.

But just before the halftime whistle, Mansfield finally cashed in. After the Warriors were able to counter, the Hornets came right back up field on a counter of their own, taking advantage of space in the final third.

Starting with Sullivan, the Hornets pushed forward before Lanzillo collected possession just over half, quickly turning and finding Hyland streaking in alone down the left side. After taking a touch, Hyland deposited a shot inside the near post past the oncoming keeper for a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

“I don’t think [Mansfield] did anything special to stop us, we started in a 4-3-2-1 which isn’t conducive to hold the ball a lot, we were looking to counter,” said first-year Foxboro coach Dan Ambrosio. “I think my boys were a little intimidated, [Mansfield] is a bit bigger, more physical, faster…and they are really organized in the back.

“With the way they play, you kind of have to put defense first and it’s not the prettiest game to watch. It’s effective in a way in this situation, and it’s been their style for years. It’s just one of those things, you try to pack it in to respond to their style of play.”




Mansfield boys soccer Foxboro boys soccer

The second half started just as the first did, Mansfield’s pressure paying off as Michael Caridi intercepted a pass out of the back, found Hyland out wide for a cross to Steele but Foxboro’s Justin Neale, who alongside his brother Jeremy had standout games at outside back, was quick to recover to thwart the chance.

Mansfield kept at it and quickly added a second goal. A kick in on the far side from Ethan Scholes was played low into the area, taking a pair of deflections right to the feet of Lanzillo, who was by himself at the far post. He quickly put the ball on his right foot and blasted a low shot out of the reach of Penders to make it 2-0.

“That’s one of the main reasons we’re playing with so much pressure, we don’t want to let them out,” Sheridan said. “I hadn’t seen tape on them this year, but I was told they like to get the ball to [Matt Angelini] and [Max Beigel] and play through them, play one on one. I’ll take almost anyone in this league one-on-one with our goals. We didn’t want them to get the ball to them.”

Foxboro had a couple of attempts to get back into the mix but couldn’t get one past Sullivan. Junior Cam Barreira looped a shot that was caught by Sullivan just under the bar in the 58th minute, and then Foxboro’s best chance — an indirect kick inches from the penalty spot — was blocked away by Evan Eames as the Hornets loaded in front of goal with bodies to prevent a shot on goal.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield advances to the semifinal round of the Hockomock Cup and will renew acquaintances with a familiar foe in Oliver Ames. The Tigers, who ran through the competition in the Davenport division and sit at 11-0, were Mansfield’s main competition for the Kelley-Rex title for the past four seasons.

“I’m excited to see them play,” Sheridan said. “I’ve watched them afar for the last year, I saw them play indoors down in Weymouth. There’s a level of excitement that comes with playing them, we have one shot at it. This is it for us, hopefully we can make it a good game.”

The Hornet and Tigers will clash at Muscato Stadium in Easton later this week with a date and time yet to be announced. Foxboro will play a consolation game against Franklin this week as well.

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