King Philip Outlasts Stoughton in Double Overtime

King Philip boys basketball Chris Roy
King Philip senior Chris Roy (right) drives to the basket against Stoughton’s Ahmad Jahed in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – What looked like a runaway win for the King Philip boys basketball team turned out to be anything but.

Visiting Stoughton erased a 17-point second half deficit, hitting a late three to force overtime and looked on the verge of a victory in the extra period before the Warriors forced double overtime and snatched it right back, earning a 90-84 verdict on Tuesday night.

King Philip seniors Tommy Donahue (20 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks) and Owen Conlin (14 points) came up with huge plays down the stretch to help the Warriors earn the win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Donahue beat the buzzer with an offensive putback in the first overtime and Conlin drew a key charge and hit a big three in the second overtime, a pair of crucial plays that helped the hosts secure the win.

“We talk about how it’s a game of runs and how you respond to them,” said King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano. “I thought we did a good job of getting them early but then we settled in and got a little too comfortable instead of finishing the game strong. I’m happy with the way the guys responded in overtime and we got some big plays down the stretch from Tommy Donahue and Owen Conlin, and that was the difference.

“They each had a huge play with Tommy getting the tip in to force the second overtime and I thought Owen stepping in to take that charge in the second overtime was the difference-maker.”

Stoughton scored first in the second overtime but Donahue answered with a bucket down low. The team’s traded empty trips before Conlin stepped in to take a charge against Obinna Ugwuakazi, who scored a career-high 36 points for Stoughton. Not only did it get the Warriors the ball back, but it was also Ugwuakazi’s fifth foul.

Robert Jarest drove to the basket and finished off the backboard for two before Stoughton’s Myles Grigalunas-Powell (17 points, eight rebounds, four assists) and King Philip’s Alex Fritz (30 points) traded field goals.

After an empty trip from each team, Conlin drained a big three with just under two minutes left to push KP’s lead to 88-82. The game never got closer from there with Stoughton going 0-for-6 in its next couple of possessions and KP held on for the win.

“There’s a lot of positives, there’s a lot of negatives,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “It’s not our first rodeo with having a bad first half and great second half, it’s actually become a cliche with this team. They know it, we know it, and we’re working on it…that was a good high school basketball game.”

Conlin converted in the paint to put the Warriors up 49-32 midway through the third quarter. The Warriors had never trailed in the contest and held a double-digit lead since the first quarter.

But Stoughton gained a little bit of momentum with a strong finish to the frame with Ugwuakazi spearheading a 14-point burst to end the third to bring the Black Knights within striking distance, down 57-46.

That momentum carried over into the fourth in the form of a 9-0 run that featured two points from Brett Pendenza and five from Grigalunas-Powell to get the visitors within two points.

Chris Roy answered with a big three on a feed from Jarest (five points, 14 rebounds, three assists) and two possessions later, Andrew McKinney (16 points, 11 rebounds) completed a traditional three-point play just before the midway point of the fourth to push KP’s advantage back to 63-55.

Ugwuakazi answered with a tough, contested three-pointer and the Black Knights got a stop before Jake Queeney sank another triple, bringing the visitors within two again.

Fritz made one free throw but back-to-back buckets from Stoughton senior Adman Jared and a strong take from Ugwuakazi gave the Black Knights their first lead of the game with 1:32 to play.

Fritz sank two more free throws to put KP ahead before Ugwuakazi had one of his own to knot the score at 68-68. Two more from the line from Fritz preceded a stop by the Warriors, and Fritz went back to the line and sank another to push the lead to three.







Stoughton took advantage, coming back down and Tommy Sanda drained a three with 3.3 seconds left to make it 71-71. King Philip’s half court heave was off to force overtime.

The free throw line helped dictate the direction of the overtime periods with Tahkwan Gates Brown and Fritz trading a pair early on. McKinney put the Warriors ahead and Donahue converted a putback to push the KP lead to 77-74.

Stoughton responded with a 4-0 burst, getting a turnover that led to another three from Queeney as the Black Knights jumped ahead 78-77. Both teams had a pair of misses at the line, Stoughton got another stop, and Sanda pushed the lead to two with another free throw.

Fritz was just off on a contested layup but with more bodies down low, Donahue came up with the offensive rebound and put it right back up before the buzzer to make it 79-79 and forced a second overtime.

“We talk about it being a team game and there are five guys on the court,” DeStefano said. “We still want to use Fritz, but if defenses are overplaying him, then we have other guys that can step in there. We have other guys on this team that can score as we saw tonight.”

It was a bit of a wild start to the game with the teams combining for over 40 points. Fritz and Ugwuakazi, the Hockomock League’s leading scorers, both got it done early.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Fritz shot 7-for-9 in the opening eight minutes, scoring 17 points as the Warriors enjoyed a 27-point outburst to start the game. Ugwuakazi knocked down a pair of triples and finished with 12 of the Black Knights’ 17 points.

After the first quarter, Stoughton’s adjustment to put Queeney on Fritz paid dividends, with Gallivan making a point to highlight Queeney’s defensive work. The Black Knights held Fritz to two points in the second, scoreless in the third, and without a field goal until the second overtime period.

King Philip boys basketball (3-4 Hockomock, 5-5 overall) is back in action on Friday when it entertains Mansfield. Stoughton (2-5, 5-6) will look to snap its three-game skid when it travels to Milford on the same night.

Panthers Pull Away From KP Behind Strong Defense

Franklin boys basketball Chris Edgehill
Franklin senior Chris Edgehill goes up for a shot in the second half against King Philip’s Alex Fritz. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – After struggling against a tough Franklin defense for the first two quarters, the King Philip offense found its rhythm early in the second half.

The Warriors hit three of their first five shots from the floor after being limited to just five total field goals in the first half. And the visiting Panthers had three empty trips and a fourth end in a turnover. Suddenly, Franklin’s double-digit lead was down to just six at 29-23.

Panthers’ coach CJ Neely, who earned his 100th win with Franklin, quickly called a timeout and had a simple message for his squad.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Just relax,” Neely said of the message. “We just went back to the basics [out of the timeout] and we wanted to get them on their heels.”

And just like that, the Panthers’ defense from the first half was back. Senior Ryan Sullivan (13 points, three rebounds) came up with the steal on one end and senior Matt Lazarek finished off an easy layup after a nice pass from classmate Thomas Gasbarro.

Franklin used an 11-2 over the next three and a half minutes to regain its double-digit lead and never looked back to secure a 63-45 win over King Philip.

“We talked a lot about our defense at halftime and how proud we were with the number we had them at half,” Neely said. “We wanted to continue that obviously but we had some turnovers and they had a quick 7-0 run and all of a sudden they are right back in it. I didn’t think we were sharing the ball like we did during the preseason and I thought tonight all of our biggest baskets were on extra passes. Once the ball started moving, the offense started to click.”

KP senior Robert Jarest was the catalyst of the Warriors’ run, finishing off a layup and then sneaking in for a putback off of an offensive rebound. A three-pointer from senior Owen Conlin made it 29-23.

Franklin’s response featured an alert layup from Rudolph, a strong take from senior Chris Edgehill (21 points, five rebounds, three assists), a three from senior Steven Karayan (11 points), and another finish at the rim from Edgehill to make it 40-25 with 1:32 to play in the third.

“Franklin’s defensive intensity just stayed high and we couldn’t respond and keep up with it,” said second-year KP head coach Dave DeStefano. “We had a couple of turnovers and we lost the momentum that we had. Their defense is on another level, it’s really tough to match. The only time we were comfortably was right out of halftime, we started to play hard and do the things we are good at but we couldn’t maintain it.”

KP senior Andrew McKinney (six points, six rebounds) sank a pull up elbow jumper and junior Donte Barros came off the bench and finished off a layup through traffic plus the harm to get the Warriors within 10.

Edgehill and KP’s Chris Roy traded threes but another layup from Karayan and two technical foul free throws from Rudolph gave the Panthers a 47-33 edge after three.

Declan Walmsley and Brayden Sullivan each hit early fourth quarter three-pointers while KP countered with five points from Alex Fritz (11 points). But yet another three, this one from Karayan off a feed from Gasbarro, helped seal the deal. A three-point play from Rudolph and two each from Edgehill and junior Andrew Byfield helped push the lead to 20.

“I think shooting is one of our strengths this year, which is different from last year,” Neely said. Franklin shot 9-for-27 from three-point range. “We can really spread the floor out, and that’s something we talked about at halftime because we felt we had good shooters passing on open looks. That hurt the flow of our offense. We have a ton of confidence in our guys that can shoot, they just have to be ready to shoot.”

Early threes from Edgehill and Sullivan helped Franklin race out to an 8-0 lead to start the game, holding the Warriors off the scoreboard for over four minutes of action until Roy sank a triple. KP got within two on a three from Fritz but that was the only field goal for the KP senior as the Panthers made sure to give him plenty of attention defensively. Fritz also missed over five minutes in the second quarter due to foul trouble.

Fritz scored a career-high 36 points in KP’s season-opener. Sullivan was tasked with man-to-man defense on him, while Rudolph, Gasbarro, and senior Andrew Cunningham all saw him playing defense on him.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“With a guy like that, it’s not a one-man operation defensively,” Neely said. “Brayden’s been pesky on a lot of guys to start the year but we knew it was going to have to be a team effort. I thought we made his shots difficult. He’s going to make some baskets, and some of the shots he makes are some of the highest level shots I’ve seen in the past couple of years so you just have to make it hard. I thought we did a good job of doing that.”

Franklin lead 14-9 after the first quarter but there wasn’t much rhythm in the second eight-minute frame. The Panthers went to the free throw line 18 times in the second quarter while KP made five trips. Edgehill and Byfield converted from down low early but the Panthers had just one more field goal over the final 6:40, hitting 9-of-18 free throws. Franklin led 29-16 at half.

Franklin boys basketball (2-0 Hockomock, 2-0 overall) is back in action on Friday night in its home opener against Canton. King Philip (1-1, 1-1) is also home, hosting Milford.

King Philip Squeaks Past North Attleboro In Overtime

King Philip boys basketball Bruce Saintilus
King Philip senior Bruce Saintilus puts up a shot against North Attleboro’s Nate Gonsalves (15). (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – King Philip senior Bruce Saintilus didn’t see much time in the first half after picking up a pair of quick fouls and was held scoreless through three quarters of play.

Warriors head coach Dave DeStefano knew if his side was going to pull off the win, he needed to get Saintilus going, so he made him a focal part of the offense down the stretch.

Sanitilus delivered, scoring all nine of his points between the fourth quarter and overtime period to help the Warriors edge North Attleboro, 55-52.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After scoring five points in the fourth quarter, the senior forward scored KP’s first bucket in overtime to tie the game, and then used a strong take to give the Warriors a 50-48 lead with 2:36 to play, a lead that the hosts wouldn’t relinquish.

North Attleboro had two looks to tie the game but didn’t convert and Saintilus aggressively attacked the basket to draw the defense and the senior dumped it off to classmate Sam Sesay for an easy layup to go up 52-48.

“With about four minutes left in the fourth quarter I told him that he needs to take over a little bit,” DeStefano said. “If we’re going to win this game we need him getting downhill and going strong, and there will be chances, and to look for the dump downs. He did a great job of doing that in that stretch, and that was huge for us to win that game.”

Rocketeer sophomore George Ladd (12 points, 10 rebounds) converted on an offensive rebound and North Attleboro caught a break when KP missed on a fast break attempt after breaking the Big Red press. But North once again went 0-for-2, and KP gained possession with a minute to go.

KP whittled the shot clock down before missing a jumper, but Saintilus grabbed the offensive rebound. His putback attempt was off, but he was able to knock the rebound out to Alex Fritz, who was intentionally fouled with 34 seconds to go.

Fritz hit both to make it 54-50, and North Attleboro missed on the other end. KP failed to connect on a one-and-one, and North senior Josh Montague (12 points, five rebounds) drove to the basket for two with 4 seconds to go. Tim Nault hit one of two free throws to extend KP’s advantage to three and Sesay was able to block North Attleboro’s three-point attempt from behind just before the buzzer.

“That was a typical Sunday matinee game where the kids aren’t ready to come out and play right away,” DeStefano. “I think the end, the reason we got those offensive rebounds, is that those kids just didn’t want to lose. They are sick of losing so they’re committed to making the plays they need to.

“Two or three weeks ago this group probably would have lost this game. But tonight they hung in there and wanted to win.”

After a relatively slow start from both sides, North Attleboro took a slim 20-18 lead into the halftime break, with the teams combing to shoot under 30% from the field with a combined 15 turnovers.

“We have to learn we can’t just turn it on and off,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “We have to do a better job of getting our guys to give effort and communicate. Other teams in this league are too good, too well coached, and too well prepared. And they want to win just as bad as we do, and sometimes more it looks like. It’s a hard lesson to learn but its’ something we have to.”

King Philip’s offense got going in the third quarter, nearly equaling its first half production by putting up 15 points. The Warriors warmed up from three-point range in the period as well, hitting 3-of-7 shots from deep after just one in the first 16 minutes.

Junior Alex Fritz hit two of those triples, scoring eight of his team-high 15 points in the quarter. His first triple sparked an 11-4 run that saw buckets from Tyler Nault and a three from Ian Khung, helping KP take a 33-28 lead into the final frame.

“Making shots helps but I thought we did a better job of moving the ball and looking for the slip action,” DeStefano said. “Before in the first half, we were a little stagnant. Typical Sunday afternoon game but in the third quarter they were really making sure they were swinging the ball and making hard cuts to the hoop.”

The Warriors extended that lead to seven early on two Saintilus free throws, but North closed it to two (39-37) on a turnaround post move from Matt Seavey (eight points, 11 rebounds). KP again pushed the lead to five with 1:41 to play.

North Attleboro turned to a press in the fourth quarter that helped jump start things. While it wasn’t perfect and KP was able to get some easy looks out of it, the energy it provided sparked the Rocketeers’ offense and helped complete the comeback.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We don’t really have a pressing team, but we’ve done it in spots,” Mulkerrins said. “We thought they might have some trouble against some pressure. The effort it inspired was great but we have to be able to get that in our half court and be more consistent in our defensive effort and offensive execution. We had too many turnovers and we need to be better from the free throw line.”

A KP turnover led to two points from Nate Gonsalves (16 points, six rebounds). And then Ladd came up with a steal with 30 seconds to go to get North the ball back. The first three rimmed out but Seavey made a big play to keep it alive, kicked it out to Gonsalves and he sank a three to knot it 46-46 with 18 seconds left. Neither team was able to convert on their final chance, and the game went into overtime.

King Philip boys basketball (4-6 Hockomock, 5-7 overall) is on the road on Tuesday when it takes on Foxboro. North Attleboro (3-7, 5-7) returns home and will host Mansfield.

King Philip Pulls Away From Sharon In Second Half

Sharon boys basketball
King Philip junior Chris Roy (22) goes up for a shot against King Philip’s Andrew Burton (33) in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – First year King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano made it clear that defense was a priority when he took over the reins of the Warriors’ program.

So it’s no surprise that at halftime, trailing 32-21 to Sharon, that DeStefano challenged his team to make a big commitment to the defensive end of the floor for the final 16 minutes.

His team delivered.

The Warriors held the Eagles to just four points in the third quarter, creating a double-digit lead that it used to come away with a 73-53 decision over Sharon.

“It was all about the defensive effort,” DeStefano said of the big third quarter. “The guys really committed to the defensive end, they boxed out well and didn’t give up a lot of rebounds. I challenged them at halftime to be better on the defensive end and they responded.”

King Philip’s defense was strong from the get-go of the second half, forcing a turnover on Sharon’s first possession, resulting in a putback from Sam Sesay (10 points, seven rebounds).

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

While Sharon took the lead back on a bucket from Andrew Burton (six points, six rebounds), King Philip outscored the Eagles 16-2 over the final 6:24 of the period.

After a turnover, Tim Nault (seven points, seven assists) converted a layup to re-take the lead, Sesay converted another putback on KP’s third shot of the possession, and Sesay scored again on a feed from Chris Roy (13 points) after another Eagle turnover.

Holding a 39-34 lead, the Warriors forced back-to-back turnovers, the first resulting in a bucket from Tyler Nault, the second two points from Sesay off a feed from Tim Nault.

Bruce Saintilus (six points) set up Andrew McKinney (five points, five rebounds) for a bucket and then took advantage of another Sharon turnover for two points while being fouled. Although he missed the free throws, the Warriors grabbed two offensive boards, the second resulting in two more from Saintilus and a 49-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

After hitting six triples in the first half, the Warriors adjusted and attacked the basket more in the third quarter. KP went 9-for-17 from two-point range in the frame and didn’t hit a three.

“I told the guys at half that we can’t rely on the three all game and we’d have to take it to the hole more,” DeStefano said. “We’re not going to be able to sustain the shooting, we needed to attack. We still took too many threes in the second half, and they weren’t all bad but we needed to attack more.”

A big reason for the success from in close was Sesay, who scored eight of his 10 points and grabbed six of his seven rebounds in the third quarter alone.

“He’s a physical specimen. He gives us toughness down there. He knows his role on the team, he doesn’t try and do anything out of his comfort zone. He’s there to bang down low, get boards, a lot of little things and he’s accepted that role, and he played well tonight. And he’s been huge in practice with challenging guys, he’s really become a leader for this team.”

Sharon made it interesting by opening the fourth quarter with a 7-1 run to make it a seven point game, down 50-43 with 6:38 to play in the game. Aidan Kane (career-high 22 points) scored on a feed from Ben Kaplan (10 points), Burton hit a pair of free throws, and Kane sank a triple on a pass from Alex Filipkowski to get close.

The Eagles had two chances to get closer after forcing a KP turnover and getting a stop on defense, but a missed triple and then a steal and layup from Warrior junior Alex f (career-high 18 points) swung the momentum back with the hosts.

A triple from Fritz extended the advantage to 12 for the Warriors but Sharon kept it close, and a putback from Kiran Chandrasekaran (nine points) made it a single-digit deficit but KP answered right away when Tyler Nault buried a three.

“We stopped attacking the basket,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson of what changed in the third quarter. “We’ve been preaching going downhill on offense and we kept going side to side. It was a little reminiscent of the first quarter against Mansfield, we looked a little intimidated and they ramped up their defensive pressure. Unfortunately a couple of shots didn’t fall, a couple of loose balls they beat us to, and we have to get better at those things but I think we will.”

King Philip had a strong shooting night overall, hitting 42% of its shots from the field. But the Warriors were particularly successful from three-point range early on.

The Warriors hit four of their first five attempts from deep in the opening quarter with Roy leading the way. The teams traded early threes, with Sharon holding an 8-7 advantage after a bucket from Aaron Strong. Roy put KP ahead with a layup, extended KP’s lead with a jumper and hit his second three of the frame with a minute to go to help KP lead 17-14 after one.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Eagles battled back in the second quarter, limiting KP to just two triples in the frame. The Warriors led 25-16 with 5:28 to go, but Sharon closed the with a 16-6 surge to take the lead at the break. Kane had back-to-back triples to get within two and Kaplan drained a triple later in the quarter to take the lead. Sharon led 32-21 at the half.

“We had come in with a plan to switch up defenses with them and they really shot us out of our zone early,” Ferguson said. “We went to the man, and did a really good job with it at the end of the first quarter and the entire second quarter. But third quarter, we seemed to get a little tired and had some foul trouble. We lost Aaron Strong to injury, and it just wore on us a bit. They killed us on the offensive glass, getting second and third opportunities. And on top of that, they shot really, really well tonight and we couldn’t keep up.”

King Philip boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) is back in action on Thursday when it takes on New Mission at Auburn High. Sharon (0-3, 0-3) will try to bounce back when it takes on Hingham at Westwood High on Friday evening.

King Philip Names DeStefano as New Boys Hoops Coach

Dave DeStefano
Dave DeStefano (right), pictured here working at a local camp recently, is the new boys basketball coach at KP. (Courtesy photo)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
After a decade of patrolling the sidelines as an assistant coach for two local programs, Dave DeStefano is getting his turn in the spotlight.

King Philip athletic director Gary Brown announced the hiring of DeStefano as the new boys basketball coach on Friday afternoon. DeStefano is the Warriors’ fifth head coach since the start of the 2011-2012 season.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity,” DeStefano told HockomockSports.com. “I’d like to thank Gary Brown and Dr. Lisa Mobley, I’m very appreciative and look forward to working with them. I look at this as a fresh start for everyone in the program. All the players, they are going to have to earn everything. There’s going to be constant competition for each spot and for playing time. I’m really excited to put a product out there that the KP community will be exited about, both on and off the court.”

DeStefano spent the last three seasons as the JV coach at Hockomock rival Foxboro High. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach for Bishop Feehan. During that stretch, the Shamrocks won four Eastern Athletic Conference titles as well as the 2015 D2 South Sectional championship.

“I am extremely proud to announce David DeStefano as the new coach of the King Philip Boys Basketball program,” Brown said in a statement. “David brings passion, enthusiasm, and a wealth of knowledge as the new leader of this program. He impressed our search committee and administration with a personal coaching philosophy that is an excellent match with the core values here at KP.”

King Philip is coming off a season in which it went 4-16, losing six of those games by six points or less, including an overtime loss (74-71) to eventual D2 State Champion Tech Boston. King Philip graduated five players from last year’s squad.

“I plan on working really closely with the youth program and try to build up from there,” DeStefano said. “I don’t want to be just the varsity coach, I want to build the program as a whole and that starts with the youth programs. I want to build a culture of success with the high school program that a lot of other programs have at KP. And we’re going to build it through confidence and unselfish attitudes.”