Stoughton, 19 @ North Attleboro, 63 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. North Attleboro came out flying, scoring the game’s first 23 points, and rolled to its first win of the season. Amanda Kaiser scored 19 points and grabbed four steals and Summer Doherty had 11 points and four steals in the win. Nine players scored for North, including nine points from Cailyn Maxcy and seven from Abby Camelio. Kate Bulger and Cate Downey each scored four points for the Black Knights, who were playing their season opener after two weeks off and with only one practice before the game. The two teams will square off again on Thursday night.
Stoughton/Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 10 – Final – The Bulldogs stayed perfect on the season with a big win on senior night. Among the goal scorers for Canton were seniors Faith Nelson (two goals) and Meghan LaBelle.
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final
Attleboro, 119 @ Milford, 40 – Final
Attleboro, 77 @ Milford, 79 – Final
Mansfield @ Canton, 1:00
Attleboro, 131.00 vs. Sharon, 118.00 – Final
2019-2020 Record: 10-12 2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Martin Crowley
After a couple of rebuilding years, Attleboro made a jump last winter and clinched its return to the playoffs in the final game of the regular season. While the Bombardiers will miss the all-around game of Nyah Thomas, who is at Worcester State after a breakout senior season, Attleboro will count on six returners from last year’s roster and a couple of promising newcomers to make some noise in the Kelley-Rex.
Thomas’ scoring and ball-handling will be tough to replicate, but the Bombardiers have strength and athleticism in the post. Junior Meg Gordon developed into a double-double machine last year, using her quickness and length to cause problems in the paint. Senior Ryan Johnson is another forward with length that can impact the game on the glass and protecting the rim.
In the backcourt, senior Gabby Bosh is back to run the point as well as being a pesky defender. Juniors Hailey and Lindsey Perry will also add to the depth at the guard position and to the team’s overall speed and defensive effort. Freshmen guards Kayla Goldrick and Narissa Smith are newcomers that have the potential to make an instant impact and should immediately find themselves in the backcourt rotation.
Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said, “For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound. This is by far the most athletic team we have had and hopefully we can use that to our advantage. We are blessed to be in the gym everyday with such great kids and that is a win in itself.”
2019-2020 Record: 13-10 2019-2020 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Jim Choquette
Canton has been a youthful team with potential for the past two seasons and the Bulldogs come into the winter with an opportunity to turn that potential into the program’s first league title since 1992. After graduating just one player from last year’s team and with many of its standout players now in year three as starters, Canton has the experience to match its talent.
Juniors Fay and Sydney Gallery and Kiara Cerruti have been standouts since their first games as freshmen and have the all-around games to cause match-up problems for the opposition. All three can score from the perimeter, but Sydney gives the Bulldogs a presence on the post while Fay can score off the dribble and be a playmaker on offense. Cerruti is a pure scorer, with good range and the ability to take defenders off the bounce.
Depth should be a strength for the Bulldogs this season, with players able to come off the bench and produce at every position. Carly Fitzgerald and Marissa Staffiere will return in the backcourt, giving Canton solid ball-handlers and a pair of strong defenders. Senior Kayla Albert adds length and rebounding in the paint and sophomore Samya DaSilva showed off great footwork last year and will be another scoring threat on the block.
“I’m very excited to take the floor with this group of girls,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “I love their desire to improve, win games and represent the town of Canton to the best of their abilities. We all want to improve on our past successes, and we’ve been working hard to do so. Very lucky to be coaching this team!”
2019-2020 Record: 24-2 2019-2020 Finish: D2 State Co-Champion Coach: Lisa Downs
Foxboro closed out the 2019-20 season by winning its final 16 games and securing a second state title in the past three seasons. The Warriors graduated four starters from last year’s team, so players will have to step into bigger roles this season and newcomers will have to produce right away to make it five straight Davenport titles.
Defense and tempo are the hallmarks of Foxboro’s success under head coach Lisa Downs and that should be the same this year. For scoring, the Warriors are going to count on senior Katelyn Mollica. One of the top players in the league for the past three seasons, the Stonehill College-commit is one of the league’s top shooters and strong help defender. Senior Jordyn Collins is another key component from last year’s team, as a tenacious defender and a slasher who can get to the rim.
Senior Hannah Blake will step into the starting lineup at center this winter and Downs thinks that she has the potential to be one of the best bigs in the league. Senior Morgan Sylvestre had some big moments last year (for instance, the D2 South final against Hingham) and will see more time at point guard this year. Freshmen guards Camryn Collins and Erin Foley will both be in the mix right away and sophomore Lauren Miley is back after missing all of last year with an injury.
“We graduated a large chunk of our roster from last season so we will have quite a few new faces on the court to accompany Katelyn,” Downs said. “We will continue to focus on our defensive efforts and will strive to pursue the fast pace that we have become familiar with. Safety of the girls is obviously my first concern, but it is also my hope to be able to provide the most fulfilling season possible in terms of overall improvement on both ends of the court.”
2019-2020 Record: 25-0 2019-2020 Finish: D1 State Co-Champion Coach: John Leighton
Last winter, Franklin went start-to-finish as the top team not only in the league but in the state and capped off an undefeated season with the program’s first state championship. The graduation of center Ali Brigham, who was arguably the program’s best-ever player, is a big change for the Panthers this year but there is plenty of talent and experience on the roster to make a push for a three-peat of Kelley-Rex titles.
Junior Olivia Quinn is one of the main reasons that the Panthers are considered the favorites in the Kelley-Rex again this year. Quinn scored nearly 400 points and was one of the top three or four players in the league last season. She continues to develop and improve and will be the focal point of the offense this year. Senior Erin Quaile is the two-time Defensive Player of the Year but is also a solid point guard who limits turnovers, calms things down, and gets Franklin into its sets.
The offense will obviously look a little different this year, without a 6-foot-3 center in the middle, but the Panthers have talent on the wings to cause problems. Seniors Elizabeth Wilson and Kaleigh Houlihan, and junior Stefany Padula can all stretch the defense with their ability to knock down perimeter shots. The forward position should also be strong with Emma Sousa, Brigid Early, and Katie Peterson giving Franklin length and athleticism on the block.
“We are excited to be back on the court and I have been very impressed by our depth,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “Our girls have been committed to getting better and competing on every play.”
2019-2020 Record: 12-9 2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip head coach Dan Nagle has implemented a unique system based on high pressure and constant running. The Warriors don’t have to worry about shot clock violations. With a roster of athletic players who will all be counted on at some point and have a year of experience in the system, Nagle hopes this year’s team can create even more chaos that last winter and push Franklin at the top of the Kelley-Rex.
Senior Emma Glaser is the team’s top returning scorer and the Springfield College-commit will be counted on to take a step up, as the Warriors lost their top three scorers to graduation and transfers. Glaser is an athletic wing with range out beyond the three-point line. Athleticism is a common theme for this roster. Senior Caroline Aaron is another versatile wing who can contribute on both ends of the floor.
Depth won’t be an issue for the Warriors, who regularly sub five players at once and everyone gets playing time. Junior guards Elizabeth Molla, Liv Lafond, Grace Clyde, and Julia Marsden will provide scoring punch. At 6-foot-3, sophomore center Emily Sawyer gives KP a unique weapon in the middle and looks more comfortable with the speed at varsity. Senior Courtney Keswick battled injuries last year but is back healthy and gives KP a consistent three-point threat. Sophomore Jackie Bonner is a scorer being moved up from JV who could be poised for a breakout year.
Nagle said, “It’s year two in the system, so the learning curve has been a lot smaller and kids are picking things up fast. What we do is no secret. It’s going to be pandemonium every game, win or lose. This year’s team might even be a better fit for it because generally we have better team speed and it being year two makes a huge difference.”
2019-2020 Record: 9-14 2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Heather McPherson
After more than two decades in charge, Mike Redding retired as head coach after last season. There will be some continuity for the program however, as former player and assistant coach Heather McPherson will move into the first seat this year. McPherson can count on continuity on the floor as well, with six seniors among the returning players for the Hornets.
While the Hornets missed the playoffs last year, they also had some impressive wins against playoff teams along the way, beating Attleboro, King Philip, and Bishop Feehan. Senior Kayla Vine was one of the league’s top perimeter shooters and also a solid playmaker with her ability to get into the paint. Senior Ashley Santos extended her range as a shooter last year was a strong all-around player that was a tough matchup on both ends of the court. Sophomore Abby Wager showed flashes of her potential as a scorer during a strong rookie season and her development could be a big boost this year.
Mansfield will have plenty of depth to call on. Senior Ally Prentis adds another shooter, senior Sarah Dooling is another versatile forward, and seniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking give the Hornets a lot of height in the paint. Junior Anna Darlington and sophomore Olivia Salisbury should see more time in the backcourt.
McPherson said, “I couldn’t ask for a better senior group to begin my varsity coaching career, they have set an exciting tone to the season with their energy, effort, enthusiasm. With all of the uncertainty that this year has brought we are excited for the opportunity to be playing basketball. For us to compete each night we will need to play good fundamental basketball.”
2019-2020 Record: 3-17 2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: TJ Dolliver
While Milford went winless in league play last year, the Hawks lost no one to graduation and will have seven seniors on this season’s roster. Experience will be a key for Milford, which for the first time will be playing in the Kelley-Rex division. Although the Hawks have struggled at times offensively, no one can argue with the team’s effort and athleticism, especially on defense (ask state champion Foxboro, which was held to just 44 points last year) and that should once again be the team’s strength.
Senior Emma Lawrence will be the team’s focal point this year after an all-star junior season. Lawrence has long arms, endless energy, and the ability to get to the basket. Fellow senior Jillian Michelson is another player who will shadow the opposing team’s top offensive player and use her speed and length to cause problems. Sophomore Brooke Ferreira stepped in at point guard last year and had an impressive rookie campaign. Her ball-handling and ability to get into the lane was critical to the team’s offense, which could at times struggle from the perimeter.
Milford is not a tall team, but the Hawks have several versatile forwards that crash the boards and will make it tough for teams to score in the paint. Seniors Carly Ferreira, Katie Maietta, and Elise Fauerbach add physicality on the block for a team that likes to get up and pressure the ball.
“Having a senior-heavy roster and a team of hard working girls, this season will be a lot of fun,” said Milford coach TJ Dolliver.
2019-2020 Record: 9-11 2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Nikki Correia
Under first-year head coach Nikki Correia, North Attleboro bounced back last year and went into the final game of the regular season with a chance of clinching a return to the postseason. Although Big Red missed out on the tournament, the Rocketeers come into this season with optimism. A year of experience in Correia’s system and a strong corps of returning players gives North hopes of springing a surprise in the Davenport division.
Senior guard Amanda Kaiser will remain the focal point for opposing defenses and will force them to extend beyond the three-point line to prevent her from getting going. Kaiser is also a strong defender, who can kickstart the North break by forcing turnovers. Sophomore Summer Doherty is another wing player whose quickness and length causes problems on defense and her strength allows her to get into the lane on offense.
Senior Siobhan Weir keeps things calm even as North tries to get out and run as often as possible, while also adding a strong mid-range game. Senior Lydia Santos missed last season with injury and will be another strong ball-handler and leader in the backcourt. Sophomore Ava McKeon had an impressive rookie season on the wing and uses her strength and athleticism to get into the lane and her energy to get on the boards. Fellow sophomore Taylor McMath got called up last season and made an instant impact as a post player. North isn’t the tallest team, but McMath gives the Rocketeers extra length in the paint on both ends of the floor.
“I know with my team they have been so excited just to be on the basketball court again with their teammates and ready to compete,” said Correia. “Overall we have a strong unit and I can not wait to start the basketball season and see what these girls will do as a team. They all bring different strengths to the game so once they can mesh it all together on the court it will be great to see.”
2019-2020 Record: 14-7 2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames is back in the Davenport division for the first time since 2016, when the Tigers won their last league title. OA returns with the goal of ending Foxboro’s four-year run as the top team in the division and has a talented, experienced roster to try and win the program’s Hock-best 23rd league title.
The Tigers pushed Franklin for the Kelley-Rex crown all the way to the final week of league play last year and that experience has given them added confidence heading into the new season. Injuries took their toll down the stretch, but when fully healthy OA boasts one of the deepest rosters in the league. Caroline Flynn is more of a point forward than a point guard but she has developed into one of the league’s top playmakers, while also being one of its top rebounding guards. Caroline Peper battled a back injury all of last season, but when healthy is one of the top shooters in the Hock.
Junior Hailey Bourne has emerged as one of the top defensive players in the league, capable of guarding players on the perimeter or in the post. Senior Jess Erlich adds shooting from her forward position. OA has six returning players who will be bolstered by an exciting crop of newcomers, including freshman guard Jasmyn Cooper.
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook, who passed the 700-win mark last season, said, “OA’s strengths will come from the depth of their lineup and a cast of young and upcoming players with great intensity and love for the game. Despite the challenges associated with pandemic, OA is excited to have the chance to play this season and value every second they get to compete for the top spot.”
2019-2020 Record: 4-16 2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Sandy Lombardi
Sharon finished with only four wins last season, but the Eagles also lost seven games by 10 points or less, including five games by five points or fewer and twice lost by a single basket. With a good core of versatile players returning, the Eagles are hoping to make a move up the standings in what continues to be a competitive Davenport division.
The graduations of Ally Brown and Kaitlyn Wallace take away two of the team’s top ball-handlers and perimeter scorers, but the Eagles can make up for that with strength in the paint. Senior Leah Fandel and junior Trinity Payne are difference makers on both ends of the court, capable of crashing the boards, protecting the rim, and offering interior scoring. Both players are capable of stepping back and knocking down short jumpers too, adding a different dimension to the offense.
Sophomore guards Tess Letendre and Emily Freeman will be counted on to pick up some of the slack on the perimeter and get the Eagles into their offensive sets. Seniors Gaby Cabral and Julia Early will also be counted on to take bigger roles this season. The Eagles will also have a pair of freshmen, Rachel Hager and Eva Poulton, who will be expected to contribute right away.
“I’m excited for the girls to have an opportunity to play this season,” said Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi. “Looking back a few months ago I would not have imagined us having a season at all.”
2019-2020 Record: 9-11 2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last year, falling just one win short of qualifying for the tournament (that included a one-point loss to North Attleboro midway through the season). The Black Knights will have to try and make up for the graduation of their two leading scorers, Aliyah Wright and Shyanne Trinh, but head coach Charmaine Steele Jordan expects that this year’s roster will live up to the program’s standard of hustle, hard work, and aggressiveness.
Mackenzie Manning is the team’s top returning scorer and Steele Jordan is counting on the senior guard to provide leadership and passion for the younger players. Fellow seniors Cate Downey and Jess Maddalena (who is out for the season with an injury) are also going to be counted on to set the tone for the team.
Junior guard Makaiyah Singleton Rivera saw plenty of time last year and gives the Black Knights a boost of speed and energy on the perimeter. There are also several underclassmen who will be jumping up to varsity and could add important minutes this season. Sophomore guards Kiara Scardina and Shayla Ford and freshman forward Alyssa Edwards are newcomers to keep an eye on this season.
Steele Jordan said, “I’m really thankful for all the players that came out for our program this year in the middle of pandemic. Looking forward to kicking off the season in 2021. Our goals have not changed, the Black Knights will play hard, play together and represent the Stoughton community with pride this season.”
2019-2020 Record: 5-15 2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Amy Siggens
Taunton has struggled to get going this winter, as practices were halted after just three days and the teams won’t resume basketball activities until next week, which has forced the opening games with Attleboro to be postponed. The Tigers will also be without last year’s leading scorer, sophomore Kameron St. Pierre, who has opted out. With all of that, second-year head coach Amy Siggens is still excited that the team this season and building on the fundamentals of her system.
The Tigers will be an experienced, if still young, team this season. Seniors Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will be the focal points on the offensive end. They are both versatile players capable of stepping back and knocking down shots and also taking their defenders off the dribble. Their athleticism on both ends of the court makes them a tough matchup. They also provide leadership for a team that is building consistency. The Tigers won five games last year, but also lost seven times by single digits, including once in overtime.
A strength of the team will be its depth in the backcourt. Senior Tori DaRosa is a tough defender and gets the Tigers into their sets. Juniors Abby Souza and Braeley McDonald are also strong options to provide shooting off the bench. Sophomore Maddie Michenzie can be a force on the boards and adds a different dimension in the post on both ends of the court.
“We’re rolling with the punches here,” said Siggens about having to postpone practices until the New Year. “Everyday is something new and you just have to adjust. We’re focusing on the leadership of our seniors but also the development of our young kids. This is a year to really pull it back and go after the fundamentals and the basics.”
Attleboro, 7 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Attleboro earned its second win of the season and a sweep of Milford with another shutout win. The Bombardiers had 11 players find the score sheet with Amanda Burns and Shae Salisbury leading the way with two goals apiece. Sarah McMahon and Campbell Compton each recored a pair of assists while Laura McVeigh, Madison Ellis, and Kaelin Coleman all found the back of the net once for Attleboro.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames and Foxboro split the points on Thursday afternoon, settling for a 1-1 draw at Sam Berns Field. Oliver Ames’ Sofia Anestam scored in the second quarter off of an assist from Georgia Costello. OA goalie Peyton Phillips made nine saves to help the Tigers earn a point on the road.
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored twice inside a four-minute space in the opening quarter and held off King Philip the rest of the way to get a key win. Amanda Lewandowski scored both for the Panthers, opening the scoring at 7:07 on an assist from Stephanie Bell and then doubling the lead just over three minutes later. Neilee Hess made five saves in the win for the Panthers. Head coach Michelle Hess praised the defensive play of Kendall Jones and Kate O’Rourke, and added that Sara Carney had a stellar outing in the midfield. KP senior goalie Makenzie Manning kept the Warriors in it with 18 saves and head coach Lisa Cropper said both senior Ali Beltramini and freshman Kelly Holmes played well.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton nearly stole a point with a late fourth quarter surge earlier in the week in its trip to North Attleboro. This time around, the Black Knights completed the comeback. Trailing 2-1 late in the fourth quarter, Haley Nelson scored her second goal of the game to knot the score at 2-2 with 2:30 to go. Just 30 seconds later, Zofia Bangs deposited the go-ahead goal to give Stoughton a win at home. Lena Allie had 10 saves in net for Stoughton while head coach Dan Mark lauded the excellent defensive performances from Cate Downey and Julia Driscoll.
Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton scored a fourth quarter goal to pull out a second straight draw against the Hornets. Mansfield jumped into the lead in the second quarter with freshman Lola Varricchione knocking in a loose ball in the crease. Alexandra Burnham picked up the assist. Taunton goalie Emily Gannon made a number of saves and defender Jocelyn Pagliuca stopped several Mansfield breakaways to keep it a one-goal game. In the fourth quarter, Alana Tavares slipped a pass through to Ashley Amaro and the junior forward got a touch past the last defender and raced half the field before scoring the tying goal.
Milford, 183 @ Attleboro, 177 – Final
Sharon, 168 @ Canton, 154 – Final – The Bulldogs had five golfers shoot 40 or better on Thursday afternoon at Blue Hill Country Club leading to a win over Sharon. Owen Donovan and Will Gefteas were the match co-medalists, each carding a round of 37. Mike Leonetti, Conor Hunter, Nate MacDonald, and Aiden French each shot a 40 in the win. For Sharon, Nathan Daley had a team-low round of 39, Eric Carter added a 41, and both Rosie Leonard and Noah Glassman carded a round of 44.
Oliver Ames, 175 @ Foxboro, 164 – Final – Foxboro earned a key division win at home at Foxboro Country Club against Oliver Ames. For OA, senior Logan Domenico had a team-low round of 42, senior Sam Kagan added a 43, and both freshman David Rogers and junior Jake Kaplan came into the clubhouse with a round of 45.
Franklin, 158 @ King Philip, 166 – Final – Franklin picked up its sixth straight win to open the season, earning its second straight close win over division foe King Philip. Jack Paterson and Brian Sandham led the way for the Panthers at Wentworth Hill Country Club, both shooting a team-low round of 38. Pat Dolan and Nolan Norton each added a 41 in the win. Mike Matheson was the match medalist, leading KP with a low-round of 37 while Jared Curran chipped in with a 40 for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 163 @ Taunton, 194 – Final – Mansfield continued its unbeaten start to the season with its second straight win over the Tigers, this time at Segregansett Country Club. Joe Gormley had the low-round for the Hornets, coming off the links with a 38 while Nate Morreale was right behind with a 39. Ryan Doherty added a 42 and Hunter Tang added a 44 in the win.
Stoughton, 179 @ North Attleboro, 161 – Final – North Attleboro defend its home green at Heather Hill Country Club, taking down visiting Stoughton behind a match-medalist round of 39 from sophomore Jake Gaskin. Tyler DeMattio added a 40 for the Rocketeers while both Sam Gallagher and Dillon Harding chipped in with a 41. Anthony Hern paced the Knights with a 42, Jonah Hochberg and Max Huminik each came in at 45 and Jake Curtis finished with a 47.
Boys Cross Country
King Philip, 41 @ Franklin, 18 – Final – Nicholas Calitri broke his own course record, setting a new time of 15:56 as he crossed first in Franklin’s win over King Philip. Griffin Sieczkiewicz (16:19) took second overall on the 3.05 mile course and Josh Anderson (16:21) rounded out the top three for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley (fifth, 16:52) and Clancy Golden (seventh, 17:21) also scored in the Panthers’ win.
Mansfield, 32 @ Taunton, 23 – Final – Taunton swept the top three spots in the race to earn its first ever win over Mansfield since joining the Hockomock League. Senior Nolan Tavares won the race in 17:11 while classmate Ty Cali (17:29) took second and freshman Brayden Cali (17:43) was third overall. Junior Ryan Strawbridge (17:51) and Andrew Cali (17:51.5) also scored for the Tigers.
Girls Cross Country
King Philip, 48 @ Franklin, 15 – Final
Mansfield, 24 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – Mansfield had the top three finishers in Thursday’s race, all finishing within a minute of one another to get a win over Taunton. Abigail Greenberg crossed the finish line at 20:39 to take first place for Mansfield while Tessa Lancaster (20:41) and Emma Lamson (21:26) took second and third, respectively. Cassidy Rice (seventh, 23:07) also scored for the Hornets. Senior Lily Valcovic was the top runner for the Tigers, taking fourth overall in 21:48. Eighth graders Colby Dunham (fifth, 22:16) and Emersyn DePonte (sixth, 22:52) had strong showings for Taunton.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – At this stage of the season, every win is important, as teams are chasing tournament qualification. On Tuesday night, Stoughton and Taunton played with the urgency of two teams that could ill-afford another loss. It was physical, it was back-and-forth, and it was only decided in the closing minute.
The Black Knights were happy that they had senior guard Shyanne Trinh to turn to down the stretch. Trinh scored 18 of her team-high 20 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter and five of the game’s final eight points. Her runner broke a 60-60 tie and proved to be the game-winner.
Thanks in part to Trinh’s fourth quarter heroics, Stoughton pulled out a 68-60 victory over the visiting Tigers. The win leaves the Black Knights chasing three wins from their final five games to try and book a spot in the postseason.
“Our team persevered tonight,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “They fought hard. We’ve had a couple of losses that were really hard to swallow and I was proud of them that they worked hard. I told them, it’s not going to be handed to us. Yes you’re talented but you have to put in work.”
She added, “Taunton came back at us and we responded. Sometimes team come back at you and you start to hurry and get on your heels, but they stayed composed.”
Trinh managed only two points in the first half, but the team’s leading scorer got it going after the break. She scored six points in the third and showed signs of finding the range, as the hosts went into the fourth leading 46-44.
She drilled a pair of threes early in the fourth to help extend the lead to as many as six. After Sonya Fernandez (who scored 22 of her 23 points in the second half, including 12 of her own in the fourth) drilled a three to put Taunton ahead for the first time since the first quarter, Mackenzie Manning (12 points) answered with a triple of her own to make it 58-56.
A series of free throws left the game tied at 60, when Trinh beat her marker off the dribble, got into the lane, and knocked down a runner to put the Black Knights ahead for good. After a pair at the line from Jess Maddalena (seven points and seven rebounds), Aliyah Wright (17 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists) found Trinh behind the Taunton defense for a wide open layup that sealed the win.
“She was really long initially and I wanted to say to her, just step in, but you know a shooter, she’s just got to shoot the wrinkles off and second half she’ll start hitting,” Steele Jordan about Trinh’s fourth quarter.
The Tigers kept battling back in the fourth as well. Fernandez was immense in the second half, keeping her team in the game and showing off a full repertoire on offense, from scoring in the paint to stepping outside and knocking down threes.
“She’s a leader on this team,” Taunton coach Amy Siggens said about Fernandez. “We’ve worked on her inside-outside game and when she starts to feel it, you just sit back and say alright lets go and see where this takes us. She’s really, really stepped up her game.”
In the first quarter, Stoughton showed off some of its depth to grab the lead. Manning drilled a three and scored off the dribble, Maddalena grabbed an offensive board for two, and with Stoughton holding just a three-point lead Cate Downey came off the bench to knock down a pair from beyond the arc and extend the advantage to 20-11 after one.
“We’ve talked a lot about how we can’t rely just on Shy and Aliyah,” said Steele Jordan. “There’s other players on our team that can contribute on a regular basis, whether it’s rebounding or shooting. I’m like you guys wouldn’t be on my varsity team if I didn’t think you could play. They’re finally starting to get that confidence.”
Taunton would battled back with an 8-1 run to start the second quarter. Kameron St. Pierre (22 points and 10 rebounds) scored five points during that stretch and fellow freshman Maddy Michenzie (10 rebounds) grabbed an offensive board and putback to make it 21-19.
Jaelyn Fernandez (nine points and six assists) scored four in the second and assisted on St. Pierre’s third three of the half to tie the game at 27, but Stoughton again finished the quarter well. Maddalena hit two at the line and then blocked a shot at the other end. Downey grabbed the loose ball and threw an outlet to Wright for a transition basket and a four-point lead at the break.
The Stoughton lead never got larger than five in the third quarter, as the teams kept trading baskets. Sonya Fernandez heated up in the third with 10 points, but Stoughton always had an answer. After Fernandez nailed a three on one end, Trinh scored on the break. When St. Pierre drilled one, Wright responded with a three of her own. Taunton was able to trim two points off the lead but went into the fourth down 46-44.
Taunton would rue some missed opportunities in the final quarter, as they continued to crash the boards and give themselves multiple opportunities, but were unable to cash in on those chances.
“This was a very physical, tough game and I think that got into our head a little bit,” said Siggens. “We get it and we’re not always focused on the win. It’s about developing. You want to ease people into it but you can’t sometimes and you have to throw people to wolves and see how they react.”
She added, “The cuts we’re making, the passes we’re making, we’re doing the right things, now the the next step is finishing.”
Stoughton (7-8, 4-7) will host North Attleboro on Friday night, trying to split the season series with the Rocketeers and move another step closer to a playoff berth. Taunton (4-9, 3-8) will play host to Oliver Ames on Friday.