Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 26 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 15-yard rush, James Gilleran XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) C. Gill 3-yard rush, J. Gilleran XP good; (M) Nico Holmes 3-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (M) C. Gill 45-yard rush, XP failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
North Attleboro, 14 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (NA) Tyler DeMattio 1-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Cam Prescott 7-yard pass to Luis Sulham, Sam Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Carpenter 25-yard field goal good.
4th Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 16-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good.
King Philip, 36 @ Canton, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Crawford Cantave 22-yard rush, 2pt pass good.
2nd Quarter (KP) Tom McLeish 10-yard pass to Danny Clancy, Matt Kelley XP good; (KP) C. Cantave 8-yard rush, M. Kelley XP good.
3rd Quarter: (C) Anthony Botelho touchdown pass to Vincent O’Brien, Will Keefe XP good; (KP) C. Cantave 20-yard rush, M. Kelley XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) Charlie Grant 8-yard pass to D. Clancy, M. Kelley XP good.
Sharon, 33 @ Blue Hill, 38 – Final
Milford, 28 @ Stoughton, 21 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (S) John Burke 73-yard pass to Christian Ais, XP blocked; (M) Brady Olson 75-yard pass to Max Martin, XP blocked.
2nd Quarter: (M) Carter Scudo 52-yard rush, B. Olson 2-point pass to Jayden Agnew.
3rd Quarter: (S) J. Burke 5-yard rush, J. Burke 2-point pass to Emmett Pearl.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Scudo 1-yard rush; Nicholas Araujo XP good; (S) C. Ais 22-yard rush, Jonah Ly XP good; (M) Tyler Lane 22-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
Taunton, 30 vs. West Bridgewater, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Danny MacDougall 43-yard pass to Trent Santos, Matt Abouzied XP good; (T) Jake Leonard 14-yard rush, M. Abouzied XP good.
2nd Quarter: (T) Brett Heggs 3-yard rush, XP failed; (WB) West Bridgewater 2-yard rush, XP good; (T) D. MacDougall 45-yard rush, M. Abouzied XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) M. Abouzied 28-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (WB) West Bridgewater 4-yard rush, XP good; (WB) West Bridgewater 8-yard pass, 2pt rush good; (WB) West Bridgewater 13-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
Stoughton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final
Sharon, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
Attleboro @ Mansfield
Ryan Lanigan: Mansfield
Josh Perry: Mansfield
North Attleboro @ Foxboro
Ryan Lanigan: Foxboro
Josh Perry: North Attleboro
King Philip @ Canton
Ryan Lanigan: King Philip
Josh Perry: King Philip
Sharon @ Blue Hill
Ryan Lanigan: Sharon
Josh Perry: Sharon
Milford @ Stoughton
Ryan Lanigan: Stoughton
Josh Perry: Milford
Oliver Ames @ Franklin (Saturday)
Ryan Lanigan: Franklin
Josh Perry: Franklin
It has been nearly impossible to separate these two standouts for the past two seasons and now the University of New Haven commits will be trying to cap their careers with a Davenport division title. Fast and tough, shifty and physical, both Ais brothers have a unique mix of strength to break tackles and footwork to make defenders miss altogether. Christian had more than 900 total yards as a running back, receiver, and returner last year, while Christopher had nearly 600 yard on the ground and scored nine touchdowns in eight games. Few teams can count on a pair of dynamic runners like this. They are also both playmakers on the other side of the ball with Christopher averaging more than eight tackles per game and Christian picking off a pair of passes in 2019. With the twins spearheading a powerful running game, Stoughton enters this season as the favorite to bring home its first league title since 2015.
Running back is a critical position for a KP offense that is based on the ground game and Cantave looks to be next in a long line of talented players to go through the Warriors backfield. As a sophomore, Cantave jumped into a bigger role after an injury to Ryan Halliday and he showed off his strength and a quick first step. He rushed for a pair of touchdowns last season, while also being a playmaker in the secondary with two interceptions. His anticipation and quickness that he showed off at corner will be important as he gets more touches this season on the offensive side of the ball. KP loves to run it anyway, but a shorter preseason and new faces in some of the skill positions (including at quarterback) makes it even more likely that Cantave will have a big role to play in the Warriors pushing Mansfield for the Kelley-Rex title.
Especially at the high school level, the importance of the kicking game can be overlooked, but having a dependable, consistent kicker can make a huge difference. Franklin knows that if it gets inside the 30-yard-line, it’s likely to walk away with points because Cheuvront has shown to have one of the biggest and most accurate legs in the league for the past two seasons. In addition to a season-long kick of 34 yards against Mansfield, Cheuvront made 28-of-30 extra points, ensuring Franklin’s high-powered offense got the full seven points every time it reached the end zone. In addition, Cheuvront’s big kick offs helped pin the opposition deep in its own territory. With a lot of new faces on offense this year, the Panthers are glad to know they have points ready and waiting on Cheuvront’s left leg.
It was an atypical season for the Rocketeers in 2019. North finished outside the playoff and league title races, but there was potential for a quick turnaround as North featured a number of new faces in skill positions. One of those was DeMattio, who grabbed the quarterback position as a sophomore and showed off his athleticism and toughness to earn HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year honors. He led North in rushing with 609 yards on 135 carries, despite battling a series of injuries throughout the year. DeMattio added another 613 yards through the air, completing 41 passes on the season. Never one to shy away from contact, DeMattio was willing to put his head down and fight through tackles against even the toughest defenses. As North builds experience, expect the Rocketeers to be more versatile on offense to take some of the pressure off DeMattio, which should open things up for more of the big plays that he is capable of making.
Gill emerged as not only one of the league’s top running backs last season, but also as one of its top all-around talents. He made an impact in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) and played a major role in the Hornets making a run to the Div. 2 state title. Gill rushed for 979 yards last season on just 102 carries, averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. He was one of the league leaders with 10 rushing touchdowns and showed his versatility on offense with 18 catches for 231 yards. Quick and elusive, Gill was a big play waiting to happen on every snap, but was also willing to cut inside and grind out yards when needed. As Mansfield’s top returning rusher, Gill should see even more of the ball this year and have even more chances to rack up yards in big chunks. He is also a playmaker in the secondary and showed off a big leg in the punting game as well. Mansfield will be a league title favorite to start the season and Gill is a big reason why.
After being on the receiving end of touchdown passes in each of the past two years, Taunton senior Danny MacDougall will be the one throwing the ball this season. MacDougall is making the switch from receiver to quarterback this season but it won’t be the first time he’s thrown a pass for the Tigers. MacDougall threw a two-point conversion on the last play of the game that gave the Tigers a win over Weymouth near the end of the 2019 season. A Hartford-baseball commit, MacDougall was apart of Taunton’s D1 State Championship baseball team and helped the Tigers’ basketball team win their first Kelley-Rex division title this past winter. Now he’s hoping to carry that winning tradition over to the gridiron against a loaded schedule. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Taunton offense clicks into gear after missing out on a traditional offseason.
During his sophomore season two years ago, Sharon’s Nico Marrero made big plays on both sides of the ball and the Eagles looked like they had a two-way playmaker to lead the way for the next two seasons. But an unfortunate injury took away the 2019 campaign for Marrero. Now the running back/linebacker is back and ready to make some noise during his senior year. Marrero doesn’t shy away from contact on the defensive end, a downhill type player that can get into the backfield. He carries the ball in similar fashion, willing to run through contact but can also break out with his legs, cutting into space and pulling away from would-be tacklers. Sharon has an improved offensive line this year and with Morrero back in the fold, the Eagles have an offense capable of making some plays.
Murray is one of several Attleboro players who saw plenty of time on the field as a sophomore and will be looking to build on that experience for a breakout season. A good complement to the power running of Michael Strachan, Murray doesn’t shy away from physical, inside running, but adds a different dimension with his quickness and shiftiness and is capable of breaking away for a big play on every down. As he becomes more comfortable with the speed of the varsity game, Murray has the potential to be the focal point of the Attleboro running game. The Bombardiers are going to be doing a lot of ground-and-pound this season and Murray could be the every down back that they need to consistently move the ball against the top defenses in the Kelley-Rex.
Scudo became one of the top weapons in Milford’s explosive passing attack last season and was one of the top big-play receivers in the league. Scudo caught 29 passes for 401 yards last year and also carried the ball 45 times for 213 yards. He scored eight total touchdowns, four each on the ground and through the air. He even jumped in at QB during the playoffs. This season, Scudo will have a new quarterback to link up with, following the transfer of former Bishop Feehan standout Brady Olson. With his versatility, capable of being a deep threat, a weapon in the screen game, and a possession receiver, Scudo has the potential for a big season. Milford is moving into the Kelley-Rex this year, which poses a new set of challenges, but the Hawks have the offensive firepower to make some noise.
Foxboro qualified for the playoffs in 2019, but dynamic quarterback Shayne Kerrigan’s graduation leaves a big hole in the offense heading into this season. Sulham has the potential to pick up some of that slack. The wide receiver is a playmaker in both the passing and ground game for the Warriors. He caught a pair of touchdown passes as a junior and, despite battling injuries last year, showed flashes of the speed and shiftiness that makes it tough to track him. His versatility gives the Warriors an added dimension to the offense because they can move him around and forces the defense to keep an eye on wherever he lines up. Sulham was also dangerous in the return game, consistently putting Foxboro into strong starting field positions.There will be a few new faces for the Foxboro offense this year, but Sulham provides a solid outlet and is a weapon that the Warriors can exploit to keep the ball moving this season.
Attleboro, 44 @ Franklin, 60 – Final – Franklin established a lead after a quarter, built on it by halftime, and pulled away with a dominant third quarter to avenge its loss to Attleboro. The Panthers were up 31-20 at the halftime break before winning the third quarter, 20-4, to put the game away. Declan Walmsley (13 points) hit a pair of threes in the third, Andrew Byfield (11 points) added five points and both Jake O’Brien and Zach Harvey added four as the Panthers took a 51-24 lead into the final frame.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ Stoughton, 47 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Drew Nickla beat the shot clock with a spinning shot in the lane with just over a minute to go and the Tigers hung on for a win over the Black Knights. Nickla scored eight of his career-high 20 points as the Tigers raced out to a 21-6 lead through eight minutes, and carrie a 29-17 advantage into halftime. OA led by 10 (42-32) going into the fourth but a late 7-0 run from the Knights made it a two-point game in the final minutes, setting up Nickla’s big basket. Amari Brown added 11 points for OA in the win. Brett Pendenza scored a team-high 18 points for Stoughton while KC Ugwuakazi chipped in with 10 points.
Mansfield, 74 @ Milford, 36 – Final – After a close first quarter, Mansfield extended its lead to double-digits by halftime and never looked back in a win over Milford. The Hornets held a slim 10-8 lead after a quarter, pushed the advantage to 30-16 at halftime, and went off for 22 third quarter points for a 52-30 edge going into the final frame. Senior Matt Boen led the way with a team-high 30 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two assists, junior Chris Hill added 15 points, five rebounds, and four steals, and senior Brendan Foley finished with 10 points.
King Philip, 55 @ Taunton, 84 – Final – Taunton’s offense was too much too handle for the visiting Warriors as the Tigers scored 40 first half points and exploded for 29 points in the third quarter to pull away. The Warriors kept pace with the hosts through the first eight minutes, trailing by just two, 21-19, after the first. Taunton’s offense kept rolling with 19 more points in the second for a 40-28 lead at halftime before its 29-point third made it 69-43. Junior Trent Santos scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the third. Tyler Stewart added 16 points, Josh Lopes finished with 13 points, Nigel Choate chipped in with 11 points and Danny MacDougall scored 10 points for Taunton. Sophomore Will Laplante led KP with a game-high 20 points.
Franklin, 47 @ Attleboro, 28 – Final – Franklin closed out is second straight unbeaten regular season with a sweep of the Bombardiers. Olivia Quinn led the Panthers in all 10 games this season, including 16 points against Attleboro. Elizabeth Wilson, who recently committed to Endicott College, chipped in with nine points for the Panthers.
Sharon, 22 @ North Attleboro, 65 – Final – North celebrated senior night with a strong defensive performance and a big win. All four seniors hit double digits for the Rocketeers. Amanda Kaiser led the way with 19, including 12 in the opening quarter. Lydia Santos added a dozen, Siobhan Weir had 11 points, and Cailyn Maxcy scored a career-high 10. North led 40-16 at halftime, but allowed only six points after the break and North coach Nikki Correia praised her team’s pressure defense for creating easy baskets on the other end of the floor.
Stoughton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to TBD.
Milford, 41 @ Mansfield, 61 – Final – All 10 Hornets scored for Mansfield on Thursday, as the Hornets pulled away for a big win. Olivia Salisbury scored nine point to pace Mansfield, while Abby Wager and Kayla Vine each scored eight points. Jillian Michelson was Milford’s top scorer with 10 points.
Stoughton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames avenged its loss to the Black Knights on Wednesday evening with a 2-1 win on Thursday afternoon. Freshman Jack Corey scored his first career goal while classmate Andy Livingstone scored the game-winner late in the third for the Tigers.
“It was what you’d expect for a Saturday morning game, it didn’t feel like either team was there defensively,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “We were out of it defensively all day. It was a close game in the second half and we were acting like we were down 20. We have to get over our mistakes quicker, we have kids that dwell on them too long.”
The Tigers carried a 55-51 advantage into the fourth quarter but the lead didn’t last long as the Panthers came out strong to start the final period. Jake O’Brien (13 points) finished through contact and Declan Walmsley (20 points, six rebounds, four assists) hit two from the line then drained a straightaway triple to put Franklin ahead 58-55, just its second lead after a brief one-point edge in the second quarter.
But there was no quit in the Tigers, orchestrating a run that would put them ahead for good. Senior Josh Lopes, who had been held scoreless through three quarters, hit one from the line and then finished off a traditional three-point play following a Franklin turnover.
Taunton got a stop and junior Trent Santos (nine points) dropped a pass down low for senior big man Tyler Stewart (15 points, 15 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass, four assists) to finish. Franklin senior Zach Harvey (12 points, six rebounds, nine assists, three steals), who had a terrific all-around game for the Panthers, made a diving save out of bounds that resulted in a layup for Andrew Byfield to keep it a one-point game at 61-60.
“We spent a lot of time on the offense at practice after Thursday’s game, we knew we had to get better and take care of the ball better and have more effective movement,” said Franklin coach CJ Neely. “I thought the guys did a really good job, I was really happy with how we moved the ball and our patience. You could see what we’re capable of on offense when we moved the ball so hopefully, the guys learned their lesson.
“But we gave them too many opportunities on the defensive end, we didn’t secure enough rebounds or finish off defensive possessions like we usually do and that crushed us. You can’t let a really good team like that have second or third chances like that.”
Taunton boys basketball
Stewart, who drew double teams all game, showed off his passing skills with a nice feed to Faisal Mass (five points, six rebounds), who was cutting baseline for an easy two. Mass then blocked a putback attempt and two plays later, junior Tristan Herry (14 points, four rebounds) found Lopes for a big three and a 66-60 lead with under three minutes to go.
Walmsley answered for the Panthers with another three to make it a one-possession game but Santos confidently sliced through the defense and dropped in a floater as the clock ticked under two minutes to go. Franklin was off the mark on a three and Stewart pushed the lead to six on a free throw.
O’Brien found space and converted at the rim for two to make it 69-65, and the Panthers got an important stop but Herry was the first to the floor to pounce on the loose ball for the offensive rebound (Taunton’s 18th offensive rebound) and got a timeout to keep possession with 29.2 seconds to go. Santos hit two from the line to ice the win.
“[Tristan] is the energizer bunny for us, he really is,” Dacey said of Herry, who not only grabbed the key offensive rebound but also shined defensively and stepped in to take charges. “And the other kids feed off of it too, and they feed off of Danny [MacDougall] too. We have some guys that are laid back, and that was one issue today where we had too many guys too laid back simultaneously. So getting the energy from those two guys really helped.”
While MacDougall didn’t factor into the fourth quarter scoring, he played a huge role through the first three quarters for the hosts. He came off the bench and hit two shots in the first quarter and grabbed two boards, helping the Tigers to a 22-19 lead after eight minutes.
Taunton boys basketball
He added two more field goals in the second quarter with nice takes to the rim and dished out three assists, while Isiah Seldon also came off the bench for a pair of field goals in the second as Taunton staked a 41-35 halftime lead.
Franklin made it a two-point game early in the third before Santos pushed it back to five with a three. Then MacDougall came up with a steal and found Lopes streaking up the court. Lopes’ feet were accidentally tripped up by a defender and he tossed the ball up as he was falling out of bounds, and MacDougall alertly sprinted the floor and grabbed possession, and laid it in for two and a 51-44 lead. MacDougall finished with a career-high 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
“Danny’s unbelievable…he did a good job today,” Dacey said. “We felt like we weren’t losing anything, there wasn’t a drop off when we put Danny in today. He really helped out.”
While Herry and MacDougall provided a big energy boost for the home team, Harvey did the same for the visitors. The senior guard was a menace on both ends of the court, locking up one of the Tigers’ top guards while running the offense.
On top of his career-high 12 points (on 6-of-8 shooting), he dished out a career-high nine assists with only two turnovers, grabbing three steals on defense. His ability to penetrate the defense led to easy layups and open looks from three-point range for the likes of Walmsley, Alex Newman, and freshman Henry Digiorgio (13 points, 3-of-8 three point).
“Zach’s a captain for us for those types of reasons,” Neely said. “He doesn’t do many of the fanfare things that everyone sees, but it’s nice to see he get some assist numbers. But his contributions go far beyond the stat book. He was spraying it around and getting guys good looks, he takes on tough defensive matchups. He had Lopes today and held him scoreless until the fourth. I’m really happy for him because he had a great game, I just wish it could have been a ‘W.’”
Taunton (2-0) returns to action next week on Tuesday when it travels to take on Kelley-Rex newcomer Milford. Franklin (4-2) will try to snap its current two-game skid when it makes the trip to take on rival Mansfield on the same day.
“I thought our defense was pretty good,” Dacey said. “That’s a lot of motion, you can’t duplicate what they do in practice. If they were hitting their shots we would have been in trouble because they had some decent looks.
“We were hitting the threes [early] which certainly helps. Then we kind of insisted on shooting them as the game went on, which drives me crazy.”
Dacey coached at the sub-varsity level for over a decade, including seven years at Taunton, before taking over for the 1989-1990 season.
“It’s always a matter of longevity,” Dacey said of his milestone win. “We’ve got a little bit of a culture here in Taunton and there’s an expectation here. But it’s the kids, it’s true, it’s all about the kids. You don’t get this many wins without having some good, coachable kids and this is the most coachable group I’ve had in a while.”
The Tigers didn’t show much rust at the start of the game, shooting just under 50% from the floor and connecting from three-point range four times. The pace was frantic from the start, with the teams combining for over 50 possessions in the first eight minutes.
Charlie Dacey Taunton boys basketball
Junior Faisal Mass (13 points, six rebounds) converted a pass from Trent Santos (10 points, four rebounds) on the opening possession and the Tigers were off and running. Tyler Stewart (11 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) scored down low, Josh Lopes (11 points, four rebounds) scored five straight surrounded by a pair of Franklin turnovers, and Santos sank a three as Taunton jumped out to a 12-5 lead just over three minutes in.
Santos hit his second trifecta of the period, Stewart hit two from the line after being fouled, and Lopes capped the quarter with his second three-pointer to give Taunton a 20-11 lead after one.
That momentum continued into the second as senior Danny MacDougall came off the bench to give the Tigers an early boost. After a free throw and a Franklin turnover, MacDougall knocked down a corner three. Taunton’s defense kept the hosts off the board for almost three minutes to start the second.
After a little lull, Mass sank a corner three and Nigel Choate came up with a steal, the Tigers eventually getting a three-pointer from Tristan Herry to make it 30-15 just past the midway point of the second. Lopes scored at the rim, Stewart cleaned up a miss with a putback, and Herry made a late layup for a 36-20 halftime lead.
“I think the start of the game was, unfortunately, the difference right off the bat,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “It felt like they got all 20 points in the first five minutes. It’s a big hole to dig against a really good team. It was a game we could have easily lost by 30 but credit to our guys for sticking with it. I thought defensively we did a really good job but scoring 46 points isn’t going to get it done.
“Just too many turnovers throughout the game really hurt us. Credit them for their defensive pressure, they had some blocked shots early so we were a little tentative taking it to the rim at times.”
To no one’s surprise, Franklin didn’t lay down and slowly crawled its way back into the contest. Even though Mass hit a three to open the second half to give the Tigers a 19-point lead, it would be the last triple for the visitors. And the Panthers held Taunton to just six points the rest of the third.
Charlie Dacey Taunton boys basketball
Freshman Henry Digiorgio connected from downtown early in the frame andAndrew Byfield (from Zach Harvey) added another triple as the Panthers stayed within striking distance. Despite limiting Taunton to just nine points in the quarter, Franklin entered the fourth quarter staring at a 45-30 deficit.
Taunton’s offense continued to sputter against Franklin’s aggressive defense. Not only were the Panthers doing a good job taking away open looks on the three-point line, Franklin put plenty of attention on Stewart, who dominated the paint all of last season.
Missed free throws and turnovers plagued both teams for the first four minutes of the final period, so when Santos finished off a fast break transition basket to make it 49-35 with 4:33 to go, Taunton’s lead looked safe.
But Byfield (nine points, six rebounds, two blocks) crashed the offensive boards for two, Jake O’Brien (17 points) drove the lane and hit a floater, and Declan Walmsley (nine points, eight rebounds) went coast-to-coast for two and suddenly it was just 49-41 with 2:27 to play.
“I don’t think fatigue was the issue but it was like, what’s going on?…we just lost our mojo [in the second half],” Dacey said. “The difference in games played matters. This is the first time we’ve been at game speed, and it certainly showed in places.”
Taunton turned it over coming out of a timeout and Walmsley found Byfield for two. The Tigers had three chances at stopping the run but couldn’t find the bottom of the net. Franklin’s three-point attempt was off with under a minute to go and Stewart hit one free throw after grabbing the defensive rebound.
Two more from Mass pushed it to 52-43 but a corner three from Alex Newman brought it back to a six-point game. Taunton made enough from the line down the stretch to hold on.
“They have three or four guys that can easily be a league all star so it’s kind of like pick your poison, trying to figure out which guy you want to stop,” Neely said. “We saw it last year, you stop one and another one gets going. They are a great team, I feel bad they don’t have a state tournament to play in because that’s one of the best teams around.”
Taunton (1-0) will host Franklin (4-1) in a rematch on Saturday morning at 11:00 AM.
But junior Tyler Stewart (23 points, 20 rebounds) cleaned up an offensive rebound for two and sophomore Trent Santos (11 points, five rebounds) drained a three, and just like that, all was right with Taunton.
Those buckets sparked a 10-0 spurt in the first quarter and Taunton dominated the third quarter to the tune of 21-4 to help the Tigers pin down a 64-44 upset of the Rams.
“We had tournament jitters for sure, I get that and kind of expected that,” Dacey said. “Defensively, [the third quarter] was excellent. Josh [Lopes] was leading the charge for us. He was on [Mike] Walsh, he’s their player, and josh did a nice job disrupting him all night long. That was the key because he’s there go-to guy and Josh did a nice job on him.”
Santos sank a second three and Stewart added another putback as Taunton quickly put the nerves in the backseat, taking a 10-4 lead just past the halfway mark of the first.
And then it was a three from junior Nigel Choate (seven points) off the bench, a triple from Lopes (13 points, four rebounds, three assists), and a spot up, contested three from straightaway from sophomore Faisal Mass (seven points) to beat the buzzer capped a 10-3 over the final 1:28 of the first to put Taunton ahead 20-8 after a quarter.
The Rams cut the deficit to seven when Trey O’Connor hit from deep and Evan Mallios converted an offensive rebound but Lopes answered for Taunton and Stewart went to work down low with four straight points. Mass added four more and the Tigers had a 31-22 lead at halftime.
Lopes opened the third with a three and Stewart converted off a feed from Danny MacDougall (five rebounds, three assists) to give the Tigers a good start on the offensive end. But the story was the Tigers’ defense, holding the hosts without a point for nearly four minutes.
The Rams went 0-for-2 from three-point – both contested well – and had a harder time attacking the basket with Stewart in the way. Both Lopes and Santos had steals in that span as well.
When Walsh, the Rams’ top offensive option, finally got his first shot off of the first half, MacDougall got a piece of it from behind. It wasn’t until O’Connor capitalized on a Tiger turnover that the Rams got on the board with 4:25 left in the third.
“It all started with the defense for us,” Stewart said, who also had three blocks. “We really tried to limit their three-point shots, close out hard, and make someone other than Walsh beat us. We focused a lot on him, we wanted to keep the ball out of his hands.
“We talked in the locker room and really emphasized our defense, we talked a lot about closing out on their shots and getting the rebounds. And then that defense led to offense for us.”
Taunton finished the quarter strong, closing on a 16-2 run after the Rams got on the board. Stewart cleaned up his own miss, Santos drilled a shot after a steal, and then Stewart showed some range with an elbow jumper.
Stewart hit two at the line then fought for an offensive rebound, feeding Choate for an easy two plus the foul. MacDougall had another block and linked up with Stewart again, and then Lopes pickpocketed a Ram and went in for a layup while being fouled, completing the three-point play in the final seconds of the quarter to seize a 52-26 lead.
Through three quarters, Lopes and the Tigers limited Walsh to 1-for-10 shooting, the lone make being a three in the final minute of the first.
“Tyler should be getting a touch every time down the floor, no matter what they are doing defensively, no matter how we are shooting good or bad…he can make things happen,” Dacey said. “He had the size [advantage] and he’s got some athleticism, he’s not a stiff down there. He can create once he gets the ball in the right place, and if they send a double at him he knows what to do and it’s helped discourage teams from doubling.
“Josh stepped up [on the offensive end] too, and Trent made some threes for us. Nigel had a big three for us too. When we settle down, we’re fine but a typical young team, we have our moments.”
The Tigers spent the majority of the fourth running the shot clock down before getting a look. Stewart added four more, Santos had three, Lopes and MacDougall two each, and sophomore Tristan Herry, who battled foul trouble in the first half, had a free throw.
Taunton boys basketball (15-5) will take a ride up Route 24 on Friday to take on #2 Brockton (16-4) at 6:30.
TAUNTON, Mass. – Each time the Taunton boys basketball team hits the court, the first option in the offensive game plan is to get junior Tyler Stewart the ball.
The Tigers didn’t need to look for a second or third option many times on Tuesday night as Stewart, a 6’5 center, delivered a career-high 34 points to lead the hosts to a 73-63 win over visiting Stoughton. With the win, Taunton punched its ticket for the postseason.
Stewart, who also hauled in 13 rebounds and had a pair of blocks, shot 16-of-24 from two-point range and came away with points after each of his nine offensive rebounds to lead the way for the Tigers.
“What a night,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey about Stewart’s performance. “When we’re practicing, there are all sorts of convolutions we expect people to do to him, and we were expecting doubles from all over the place and it just didn’t happen tonight. If you leave him alone down low, obviously he can do some business. He’s used to waiting for the double and he’s able to finish when he’s close to the rim like that.”
Taunton wasted little time getting Stewart the ball as he scored the first two buckets for the home team, including a three-point play on the first possession of the game.
Only five times in the game did a possession that included a shot from Stewart not result in points for Taunton. He had back-to-back misses early in the first quarter, and another one later that resulted in a missed putback from a teammate. He converted his only other miss of the first with a putback of his own.
He did the same with his lone miss of the second quarter and shot 5-for-7 in the third quarter, but one miss was a full-court heave to try and beat the buzzer. And in the fourth, he had just three shots but the one time he missed, he gathered the offensive rebound and scored himself.
“That’s always going to be the first look, getting Tyler a touch,” Dacey said. “If the double comes, we can kick it out but he’s our go-to guy. And the rest of the league has smartened up on Trent [Santos], Canton was denying him the ball and Mansfield is just Mansfield, they can deny anyone. But if they deny those guys, that leaves Tyler down low. And Danny [MacDougall] and Faisal [Mass] are doing a good job recognizing the double team.”
Stewart’s early success (14 points in the opening quarter) resulted in a big lead for the Tigers after eight minutes (18-6). Taunton added 19 more points in the second quarter, getting four apiece from sophomore Faisal Mass (14 points, seven rebounds) and junior Josh Lopes (eight points, four assists), and a pair of layups from sophomore Tristan Herry (nine points, six rebounds, four assists) and junior Nigel Choate.
But Stoughton’s offense showed signs of life as well, with senior guard Ahmad Jahed (eight rebounds, five assists) scoring half of his 16 points in the second quarter and Myles Grigalunas-Powell (16 points, 10 rebounds, three assists) and Donte Tyler hitting three-pointers to get the Black Knights within 11, down 37-26, at halftime.
Stewart scored eight points early in the third with Trent Santos (from Danny MacDougall), Mass, and Choate also chipping in as the Tigers stretched the lead to 17 points, up 49-32 with 3:30 to play in the third quarter.
Stoughton turned to the three-point line to get back into the game and found success, closing the third quarter on a 12-4 run. Grigalunas-Powell, Brett Pendenza, Jake Queeney, and Obinna Ugwuakazi (12 points, eight rebounds) all connected down downtown to cut the deficit to 53-44 entering the fourth.
Queeney and Ugwuakazi sandwiched three-pointers around a make from Stewart to open the fourth quarter and suddenly Stoughton was down just five with seven minutes to play. After Taunton missed on back-to-back three-point chances, they got the ball back down low to Stewart, who ended up grabbing his own miss and putting it off the glass.
Another stop preceded a free throw from Lopes to make it 58-50 with 5:26 to play and Mass drove the baseline with a strong take to push the advantage back to double figures, 60-50, with 4:39 left.
“He’s really improved over the course of the season,” Dacey said of Mass. “He was in football shape at the beginning of the year and now he’s got a little bit of quickness, he has the toughness…and he’s just a sophomore too. It was just important for us to get into a flow because we didn’t on Friday night.”
Mass scored twice more in crunch time with Herry and Lopes each adding buckets as Taunton increased its lead to 68-54. Queeney sank another three late to make it an 11-point game but Stoughton was unable to get the deficit within single digits again.
“We started to relax,” Dacey said. “And we’re not young anymore, that’s no longer an excuse. The sophomores have had a ton of experience now. There’s no such thing as relaxing in this league, especially against that team. They play on emotion and I didn’t want them to get going, because when they get going they are tough. They are so athletic, they can obviously hit the three, so they can get back into a game pretty quickly.”
Taunton boys basketball (7-4 Hockomock, 11-4 overall) will visit Oliver Ames on Friday. OA nipped Taunton with a three-pointer in the final seconds in the first meeting on December 18th. Stoughton (4-7 Hockomock, 7-8 overall) will travel to North Attleboro on the same night. The Black Knights handed Big Red a loss in the first meeting.
Attleboro, 81 @ Sharon, 61 – Final – Seven Bombardiers scored en route to a 24-point first quarter and Attleboro never looked back, securing a win on the road at Sharon. Tim Callahan, Nick McMahon, and Bryant Ciccio each connected on a three-pointer while Justin Daniels, Jason Weir, Lorenzo Wilson, and Qualeem Charles each added to the total to help the Bombardiers build a double-digit lead after eight minutes. Attleboro led 36-17 at halftime and went on to score 23 points in the third and 22 points in the fourth to pull away with the win. Charles had eight of his team-high 20 points in the third, Ciccio netted seven of his 19 points in the same frame, and Callahan drained two more threes and had eight of his 11 points in the third. Sharon junior Matt Baskin caught fire in the second half, hitting six threes and scoring all of his team-high 22 points in the second half. Andrew Burton added 16 points for the Eagles.
Taunton, 55 @ Canton, 43 – Final – Taunton’s defense held the Bulldogs to single digits in each of the first two quarters, building a 30-8 halftime lead that resulted in a big win on the road. The Tigers held Canton to three field goals in the opening half and then pushed the lead to 46-20 heading into the final quarter. Junior Tyler Stewart scored 14 of his 16 points between the second and third quarters while Josh Lopes added 13 points. Danny MacDougall chipped in with a career-high 10 points for Taunton. Canton’s Colton Mirliani hit a trio of three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help close the deficit.
Franklin, 67 @ Foxboro, 61 – Final – Franklin senior Brayden Sullivan converted a key traditional three-point play in the fourth quarter and the Panthers took care of business from the free throw line in the fourth quarter (7-for-10) to grab a close win on the road over Foxboro. It was a consistent night on offense for Franklin, scoring 17 points in three quarters while netting 16 points in the third quarter. Franklin led 17-12 after one, 34-31 at halftime, and took a 50-45 advantage into the final frame. Chris Edgehill scored a team-high 16 points while Sullivan finished with 15 points for the Panthers, who were held to just two three-pointers. Foxboro’s Donald Rogers scored a team-high 14 points, Kevin Gallagher added 11 points, and both Brandon Borde and Will Morrison chipped in with 10 points apiece.
King Philip, 71 @ North Attleboro, 53 – Final – North Attleboro used a 10-0 surge to close the first half to tie the game at halftime but the second half belonged to King Philip as the Warriors scored over 20 points in each of the final two quarters to run away with a win. George Ladd scored six of his team-high 18 points, Ethan Friberg (16 points) sank a pair of threes, and Edan Kelley had five points in the second as the Rocketeers knotted the score at 28-28 through two quarters of play. In the third, KP’s Alex Fritz connected on a trio of three-pointers while Robert Jarest, Andrew McKinney, and Owen Conlin each hit one and the Warriors went off for 22 points to build a double-digit lead. After a successful first half (13 points), the Warriors went back to senior Tommy Donahue (career-high 28 points) and he helped ice the game with 13 points in the fourth quarter. McKinney finished with 15 points and Fritz added 14 points in the win.
Mansfield, 60 @ Stoughton, 38 – Final – A close game for three quarters, Mansfield scored the final 14 points of the game and dominated the fourth quarter to pick up a win on the road at Stoughton. The Hornets held a 40-33 lead going into the fourth quarter, and extended that to 46-38 at the midway point before embarking on its 14-0 run to close the game. Junior Matt Boen recorded a team-high 17 points to go along with seven assists, seven steals, and five rebounds to lead the way for the Hornets. Sam Stevens (six rebounds, six steals) added 12 points and freshman Chris Hill went a perfect 4-for-4 from the field for nine points. Stoughton senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell netted a team-high 13 points while Tahkwan Gates Brown added 11 points for Stoughton.
Sharon, 42 @ Attleboro, 53 – Final – Attleboro got contributions from the whole team to pull out its third straight win and move back to .500 on the season. Meghan Gordon continued her solid play with 13 points and Liv McCall joined her in double digits with 10. Ryan Johnson, Gabby Bosh, and Nyah Thomas all chipped in with eight points for the Bombardiers, who led by only two at halftime (19-17) but extended the advantage to seven after three. Kaitlyn Wallace was the game’s high scorer with 17 for the Eagles and Trinity Payne added 14.
Canton, 56 @ Taunton, 49 – Final – The Bulldogs managed to pull out a back-and-forth win on the road, their fifth win in the last six games. Kameron St. Pierre and Sonya Fernandez paced Taunton with 14 points apiece and eighth grader Sam Lincoln scored a career-high 13 points in the loss.
North Attleboro, 58 @ King Philip, 84 – Final – The Warriors clicked on the offensive end, scoring 40-plus points in each half, knocking down nine threes as a team, and recording assists on 24 of the 36 made shots. Caroline Aaron led the way for KP with 19 points and six boards. Faye Veilleux added 15 points and eight rebounds and Faith Roy had 12 points and six steals. Brianna James filled the stat sheet with eight points, six assists, five steals, and five rebounds. Amanda Kaiser scored 15 to lead the Rocketeers, Regan Fein scored 11, and Summer Doherty had nine, but North struggled with KP’s speed and press. North coach Nikki Correia said, “We came out slow and they absolutely wanted it more than we did. KP never stopped hustling and went after every loose ball.”
Stoughton, 41 @ Mansfield, 55 – Final – Mansfield turned on the defense in the second quarter to grab the lead and never let up to hold off the Black Knights. The Hornets trailed 18-12 after one, as Stoughton’s Shyanne Trinh scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the quarter, but held the Black Knights to only four points in the second and scored 17 to pull ahead. Leading 33-30 in the third quarter, Mansfield knocked down three shots from beyond the arc (two by Kelly Doherty and one at the buzzer by Becca Hottleman) to extend the lead out to 12 heading to the fourth. Ashley Santos and Kayla Vine led the Hornets with 14 points apiece. Hottleman added 10 and Doherty finished with eight. Aliyah Wright added to Trinh’s 19 by scoring 17 of her own for Stoughton.
Milford, 19 @ Oliver Ames, 66 – Final – The Tigers bounced back from their first league defeat of the season with a strong defensive effort against the visiting Hawks. OA allowed only nine points in the first half to jump out to a 25-point lead and continued that effort in the second half, holding Milford to just 10. Caroline Flynn nearly put up a triple-double for the Tigers, scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 boards, and dishing out eight assists. Kelsey Yelle chipped in with 12 points and Jess Erlich added 10 in the win.
Canton @ Milford, 4:00
Attleboro @ Newton North, 5:00
Attleboro vs. Braintree, 5:00 (@ Newton North)
TAUNTON, Mass. – The Taunton boys basketball team delivered a message to the rest of the Hockomock League on Friday night.
At the expense of visiting Franklin, that message was sent loud and clear.
The Tigers, locked in at both ends of the floor from start to finish, had one of their best all-around games since joining the league nearly a decade ago, earning a dominating 83-52 win over the previously unbeaten Panthers.
“That was one of the best games we’ve played on both ends of the floor,” said longtime Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.
Not that it was a hard decision for Dacey to make following a first half in which the Tigers were terrific on the defensive end of the court and a second half in which Taunton was nearly unstoppable on the offensive end.
“The underdog mentality the kids have…they are willing to work hard, they are great in practice,” Dacey said. “They’ve responded really well this year.”
Taunton set the tone with its active defense the featured steals from sophomore Tristan Herry (eight points, eight assists, five rebounds) and junior Danny MacDougall in the opening four minutes. The Tigers also stepped in to take a pair of charges (sophomore Trent Santos and MacDougall) in the opening minutes; Franklin finished with nine first half turnovers.
The energy on the defensive end translated to the offensive side for the Tigers, who raced out to a 10-4 lead in the game and took a 15-10 lead after one. Santos (21 points) had five points in the opening quarter while junior Tyler Stewart (21 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, two blocks) and Josh Lopes (23 points) had four points apiece in the first quarter.
“We worked on fighting through screens so we just had to stay focused, and we had to work on our close outs with their three-point shooting,” Dacey said. “It’s all fundamental stuff but these guys are willing to execute it come game time. It’s hard for 32 minutes to go through the Franklin grind. If you’re going to beat the best, you have to match what they do out there.”
Stewart, a 6’6 forward, remained a focal point of the Tigers’ offense, adding six more in the second quarter. The offense was contagious with Herry (four points), sophomore Faisal Mass, and MacDougall joining the scoring sheet in the second.
The Tigers held the Panthers to just 10 points in each the first and second quarters. Franklin senior Chris Edgehill (18 points, four rebounds) hit a pair of threes inside the final three minutes of the half to keep the visitors in the game, down 31-20 at halftime.
“We got beat in every aspect of the game of basketball tonight,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “Taunton had a group that played with a chip on their shoulder with a lot of to prove…that was a group of hungry kids that came out right from the start ready to play, ready to compete. They had a great gameplan, and defensively they really tightened up early and we struggled to score.
“Once we started to get a little something going, we came out for the second half feeling alright and scored on the first possession but they just had an answer for pretty much everything. The floodgates really opened up after that. We’re not really in the business of trying to manage the scoreboard so we got into some defenses that weren’t our style but we had to try something to get back into it, we got up and pressed a little.”
True to form, Franklin emerged from the locker room with renewed energy as Santos fouled Panther senior Brayden Sullivan (10 points). Not only did Sullivan make the two free throws, Santos — arguably the Tigers’ top shooter — went to the bench with his third foul.
Franklin couldn’t capitalize on a Taunton turnover and the Tigers made them pay as Lopes ignited a three-point parade with his (and Taunton’s) first trifecta of the game.
Thomas Gasbarro sank a pair from the line to make it a 10-point game at 34-24 but Stewart answered down low on a feed from Herry, who set up Lopes for another three on Taunton’s next possession.
“That’s our gameplan, we have to get Tyler touches early,” Dacey said. “[Franklin] was throwing guys at him tonight, a couple times he had three guys on him but he’s pretty good at kicking it out. Six assists doesn’t surprise me tonight. Josh is a shooter and he hits his first couple he’s going to have a good night and Trent is a shooter, he doesn’t lack confidence putting them up.”
Jack Rudolph kept the Panthers in it finishing off a layup after a nice cut but once against Stewart answered off a nice feed from Nigel Choate and then Stewart scored on his own miss. Gasbarro set Sullivan up after a steal but Lopes came back down and sank a three for a 46-28 lead with three minutes left in the third.
‘You have to be able to respond,” Dacey said. “That’s the mark of a mature team, and even though we aren’t a mature team on paper (two seniors), we matured tonight. To be able to respond to their energy…we figured the first four minutes they would press and try and make it a full court game. We were able to respond to it.”
Edgehill finished through contact and the Panthers got a stop but a pair of offensive rebounds, the second hauled in by Stewart and put back up for two. Edgehill sank a three to try and keep the Panthers close but Lopes answered with his fourth three of the third quarter.
Herry added Taunton’s fifth three of the quarter in the final minute and Choate drove the baseline for a nice finish to cap a strong offensive quarter, putting the hosts up 57-35.
If there was any hope for a comeback, Taunton’s hot start to the fourth quickly put it to rest. Santos, back after missing the third in foul trouble, drained a three on the first play of the fourth. Mass was money on a 12-foot pull up, Stewart converted a traditional three-point play, and Santos pulled up for a long two as the Tigers pulled off a 12-3 run over the first two minutes of the fourth quarter.
“We had to adjust with Stewart killing us inside, so we started to sink down on him a little more and that opened the three a little more and credit to them, they shot great from three, it felt like they were 8-for-8,” Neely said. “We’ve kind of developed an identity of being a defensive team and I didn’t see it tonight. When you start pressing a little bit, sometimes you forget what makes you good in the first place.”
Taunton finished the second half going 8-for-11 from three-point range and 20-for-28 (71%) from the field overall.
Taunton boys basketball (4-2 Hockomock, 8-2 overall) earned its eighth straight win and will be back in action on Tuesday when it welcomes Milford to town. Franklin (5-1, 8-1) entertains North Attleboro on the same day.
TAUNTON, Mass. – Coming off back-to-back heartbreaking losses to open the season, it’s understandable that Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey wasn’t comfortable until the final buzzer sounded.
In the opening two contests, the Tigers have led nearly wire-to-wire but for the final seconds of each contest. North Attleboro buried the go-ahead three with 6.7 seconds to go in the season opener and Oliver Ames drained a triple with 8.5 seconds to play for its first lead on Wednesday night.
Taunton found itself in a similar situation on Thursday night, having led for the entire second half with visiting Foxboro mounting a comeback. This time, the Tigers never allowed the lead to evaporate and held on for a 58-52 win over the Warriors, who were playing in their first game of the season.
“That’s a really good win for us,” Dacey said. “[Foxboro] is better than the two teams we’ve played. Coming off back-to-back games, missing Danny MacDougall (sick), it’s a short bench and we’re playing guys that might not normally be playing. We got a little something from everyone.”
With very little varsity experience on the current roster (two seniors, both new to varsity), the Tigers felt like they let two wins slip through their fingers. With Foxboro pushing hard to complete the comeback, Taunton showed some mettle to earn the win.
Foxboro senior Brandon Borde (11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) converted off a Taunton turnover and then set up classmate Ryan Hughes (eight points) for an easy two on back-to-back possessions to cut the Tigers’ lead to 49-46 with just over two minutes to go.
Instead of allowing that momentum to carry over out of a timeout, Taunton sophomore Trent Santos (10 points) pulled up and sank a big three-pointer to answer with 1:44 to play. After trading turnovers, Taunton sophomore Tristan Herry (10 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) came up with a steal that led to an easy two and a 54-46 advantage with 1:02 to play.
Foxboro refused to go away as junior Kevin Gallagher (nine points, three assists) sank one of two free throws, senior Will Morrison (12 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals) picked off a pass that led to a three from Borde, and a full-court press resulted in an errant pass out of bounds by the Tigers to get the visitors the ball back.
Taunton got an important stop as Foxboro missed from downtown but the Tigers, holding a 54-50lead, missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Warriors missed another three attempt and both Herry and junior Tyler Stewart (14 points, 12 rebounds) sank their free throws to ice the game.
In the win, the Tigers had eight of the nine players that played score, and all nine players had at least one board to contribute to a 37-30 advantage on the glass.
“It has to take everyone,” Dacey said, as four Tigers reached double figures in scoring. “They all play hard, they all practice hard. They are a coachable group of kids that have been fun to work with.”
Taunton faced an early deficit (6-0 three minutes in and 9-6 with two minutes to go in the first) but took the lead by the end of the first quarter (13-9). The Tigers only fell behind one, at 19-18 with 2:51 left in the second, the rest of the way.
Any time the Warriors made it close in the second half, Taunton had an answer. The Warriors knotted the score 29-29 early in the third but Taunton senior Logan Lawrence finished through contact to regain the lead, sparking an 11-3 run.
During that run, Stewart converted in the post, junior Josh Lopes (10 points, four rebounds, three steals) had a steal for an easy layup, Stewart finished off a nice feed from Herry, and Santos drained another three for a 40-32 advantage late in the third.
Foxboro answered with a 7-1 burst between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, Dylan Barreira (eight rebounds) battled for an offensive board and earned a free throw, Gallagher converted in the lane, Liam Devlin opened the fourth quarter with a basket on a nice pass from Morrison, and senior Donald Rogers scored off a turnover to make it a two-point game again at 41-39.
Sophomore Faisal Mass (five points, three rebounds) gave the Tigers a nice boost off the bench, coming in to convert an offensive rebound to help halt the Warriors’ momentum. Lopes followed with two, Herry sank two more free throws, and another finish from Stewart pushed the lead back to 49-42.
“I thought offensively it looked like our first game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We were just sloppy and out of sync offensively, and Taunton’s defense had a lot to do with that. But I thought early on we had too many sloppy turnovers with guys trying to do too much early and we couldn’t find our rhythm. Game speed and game atmosphere is obviously different than practice but it was good to get this first one under the belt, and I think we’ll get a lot better moving forward. At Taunton is a pretty unforgiving opener, and give Taunton credit because they capitalized on a lot of our mistakes.
“But I’m proud of the guys that they hung around too. We trailed for most of the game but they hung in there and fought to the end and put ourselves to maybe steal it down the stretch. I thought our defense was good overall but [Taunton] had some timely shots that broke our momentum.”
Herry scored seven of his points in the second quarter and Lopes netted half of his total in that frame to help Taunton take a 29-24 lead at halftime. Juniors Kedrick Santos, Nigel Choate, and William Rowan all came off the bench to provide valuable minutes in the first half.
Both Morrison and Gallagher had a pair of triples to make up half the Warriors’ first half scoring while Devlin came off the bench and had two blocks.
Taunton boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it takes on Bishop Stang at New Bedford High School. Foxboro (0-1, 0-1) is back in action against Bishop Feehan on Monday.