Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Attleboro scored very early in the game but Mansfield answered with a goal in the fourth quarter as the Bombardiers and Hornets split the points in a 1-1 tie. Madison Ellis gave the visitors in the lead just three minutes into the contest but Mansfield’s Stori Rounds found the back of the net in the fourth quarter to bring the Hornets level.
Canton, 4 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – Ellie Bohane scored a pair of goals in the first three minutes of the second half to break open a two-goal game and help Canton remain perfect on the season. Bohane’s first came on a rebound after North goalie Hannah Bachand (14 saves) stopped a Maria Femia breakaway. Bohane added a second when she stole and outlet pass and drove across the face of goal. Femia opened the scoring for Canton with a first quarter goal and Samantha Vrabel doubled the lead with her first varsity goal in the second quarter.
Stoughton, 2 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – Foxboro scored twice in each the second and fourth quarters to pull away from an upset-minded Stoughton squad. Sophomore Dylan Rappoli scoed a hat trick for the Warriors, including the opening goal of the game. Stoughton equalized to knot the score 1-1 after a quarter of play. But freshman Mary Collins and Rappoli scored back-to-back goals in the second to give Foxboro a 3-1 edge at the halftime break. Kate Collins, Rappoli, and Mya Waryas added second half goals in the win.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin celebrated Senior Night with a shutout win over visiting Taunton. Holding a 1-0 lead through two quarters of play, the Panthers scored twice in a one-minute span in the third quarter to pull away from the Tigers. Kaitlyn Carney scored an unassisted goal in the second quarter and then tacked on a big insurance goal in the third quarter. Stephanie Bell (from Sara Carney) scored just over eight minutes into the third to make it 2-0. Neilee Hess made eight saves in net for the shutout.
Milford, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – King Philip raced out to a 3-0 lead by halftime and never looked back in a win at home over Milford. Senior captain Abby Nixon scored the first two goals of the game while junior Margo Riley added a third for the Warriors. Senior Paige Bergos (from captain Grace Crocker) and freshman Kelly Holmes (first career goal) scored in the second half for KP. Senior goalie Maddie Paradis (three saves) earned her first shutout in her first career start. Milford goalie Madison Hunt (23 saves) and Olyvia Whyte had strong games for the Hawks.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final
Attleboro, 182 @ Mansfield, 152 – Final – Mansfield got back into the win column with a victory at home over visiting Attleboro. Nate Morreale was the match medalist, shooting a low-round of 36 to pace the Hornets. Ryan Dow added a 37, Joseph Gormley shot a 39, and Ryan Doherty carded a 40. Brendan Raymond led the Bombardiers with a team-low round of 42.
North Attleboro, 159 @ Canton, 146 – Final – Canton junior Will Gefteas fired a one-over round of 35 to pace the Bulldogs to a key division win at home over visiting North Attleboro. Thomas Singleton, Owen Donovan, and Andrew Middleton all shot 37 in the win. North Attleboro’s Sam Gallagher had a team-low round of 37, Jordan Paradis added a 39, Jake Gaskin carded a 41, and Dillon Harding finish with a 42.
Franklin, 161 @ Taunton, 198 – Final – Franklin went on the road and picked up a win over Taunton at Segregansett Country Club. Jack Paterson and Nolan Norton led the way for the Panthers, each carding a low-round of 39. Sean Connelly added a 41 and CJ Steel chipped in with a 42 for Franklin. Spencer Andrews had a team-low round of 44 for the Tigers.
Milford, 178 @ King Philip, 168 – Final
Stoughton, 185 @ Foxboro, 152 – Final
Boys Cross Country
Mansfield @ Attleboro, 3:45
North Attleboro, 24 @ Canton, 31 – Final
Foxboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
King Philip @ Milford, 3:45
Oliver Ames @ Sharon, 3:45
Franklin, 27 @ Taunton, 28 – Final – Franklin had five of the top nine runners, edging out a one-point win over host Taunton. Nicholas Calitri was the race’s winner, clocking in with a first-place time of 16:55. Declan Walmsley secured key points for the Panthers with a fourth-place finish (17:29). Griffin Sieczkiewicz (6th – 17:37), Josh Anderson (7th – 17:38), and Clancy Golden (9th – 18:07) rounded out Franklin’s scoring.
Girls Cross Country
Mansfield @ Attleboro, 3:45
North Attleboro, 24 @ Canton, 31 – Final
Foxboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
King Philip, 28 @ Milford, 28 – Final – The teams were tied at 28-28 through five scorers but King Philip won the tiebreaker with its sixth runner coming in before the Hawks’ sixth runner to give the Warriors the win. Milford’s Emma Lawrence won her third consecutive race, clocking in at 20:01 on her home course. Sophomore Sydney Kalil was second at 20:55 but KP had the next three runners, plus seventh and ninth overall.
Oliver Ames @ Sharon, 3:45
Franklin, 19 @ Taunton, 42 – Final – Franklin took the top three spots on its way to a win on the road at Taunton. Senior Angelina Perez crossed the finish line at 21:10 to win the race while freshman Angelina Batla was right behind (21:13) to take second overall. Senior Sydney Hawkins took third place for the Panthers (21:26). Taunton senior Lily Valcovic (21:45) was the top runner for the Tigers, taking fourth overall, while eighth grader Colby Dunham (22:04) was fifth overall.
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.
Canton, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Canton’s Maria Femia recorded a hat trick as the Bulldogs opened with a big win on the road at neighboring Stoughton. Meghan LaBelle added a pair of goals to go along with Femia’s three tallies while Erin Lane and Sarah Cunningham each scored once in the win. Haley Nelson scored for Stoughton on an assist from Zofia Bangs.
Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Franklin, 10 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Franklin scored four goals in the opening quarter and never looked back in a win on the road over Milford. The Panthers tacked on three more in the second quarter to build a 7-0 lead. Junior Kaitlyn Carney scored a hat trick and had three assists while Stephanie Bell also scored three times for the Panthers.
King Philip, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – King Philip senior Makenzie Manning shined in goal, turning away breakaway after breakaway to help the Warriors open the season with a tightly contested win over Mansfield. The Warriors held a 1-0 lead at halftime but each team found the back of the net twice in the second half. Senior Isabelle Crocker used her speed to get in behind the defense and scored twice for KP while senior Abby Nixon scored the opening goal of the game. Jenn Daniels and Lauren Barreiro played well in the win for KP. Abby Varicchione scored (on an assist from Grace Danehy) and registered an assist on a goal from Stori Rounds. Lily Danehy made 12 saves in goal for the Hornets.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Georgia Costello and Julia Maclaine each scored twice and had an assist as Oliver Ames earned its first win of the season. Lexi Gennis added a goal while Haley Gilman registering an assist. Elleny Bau scored for North Attleboro.
Stoughton, 146 @ Canton, 189 – Final – Canton’s Thomas Singleton and Mike Leonetti shared medalist honors, each shooting a low-round of 36 to pace the Bulldogs at home over Stoughton. Will Gefteas and Owen Donovan rounded out the scoring, each carding a round of 37 for Canton. Stoughton’s Jake Curtis shot a team-low round of 43, Joe Mark added a 48, and both Max Huminik and Jonah Hochberg shot a 49.
Mansfield, 160 @ King Philip, 171 – Final – Mansfield senior Brian See was the match medalist for the third straight time, helping the Hornets pick up a win on the road against KP and improve to 3-0. See shot a 39 while Ava Haggis and Cian Goulet were right behind at 40. Joe Gormley and Jason See each shot a 41 for the Hornets.
Oliver Ames, 161 @ North Attleboro, 165 – Final – It came down to the final group but Oliver Ames was able to pull out a key win on the road. The Tigers trailed by four strokes with one group to go before junior Jake Kaplan, who shot one-over on the last seven holes, came in with a team-low 39 and senior Will Gianni carded a 40 to help Oliver Ames earn the win. Junior Carter Allbritton (41) added birdies on two of the first three holes and sophomore Daniel Paul (41) had a birdie on five. North Attleboro’s Dillon Harding was the match medalist with a round of 38, sophomore Jake Gaskin carded a round of 39, Tyler DeMattio added a 43, and both Aidan Weir and Sam Gallagher shot 45 on the middle course at Heather Hill.
Foxboro, 167 @ Sharon, 180 – Final – Junior Jack Watts was the lone golfer to score under 40, earning match medalist honors and helping Foxboro knock off Sharon. Watts carded a round of 39 on the front nine at Foxboro Country Club with Jack Rounds (42), Dylan Quinn (43), and Luke Davies (43) also scoring for the Warriors. Eric Carter led Sharon with a team-best round of 43 while Nathan Daley and Owen Kevorkian each shot a 45 for the Eagles.
Boys Cross Country
Stoughton, 35 @ Canton, 20 – Final – The Bulldogs had the top three placements to open the season with a win at home over Stoughton. Junior Kyle Downing picked up where he left off, winning the race in 18:34. Downing was followed by senior captain Jack Hernon (19:08) and senior captain Elias Jabbour (19:41). Sophomore Matt Hart (20:59) and freshman Luke Darling (21:44) also scored for Canton.
Sharon, 15 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – Nicolas Olson (19:11), Liam Cody (19:26), and Brooks Stone (19:50) had the top performances for Foxboro.
Milford, 44 @ Franklin, 19 – Final – Franklin showed off its depth, taking first overall in the race and five of the top six spots overall in a win over Milford. Franklin’s Nicholas Calitri was the fastest on the day, taking first in a time of 16:01 on the 3.05 mile course. Josh Anderson (16:22), Griffin Sieczkiewicz (17:09), Clancy Golden (17:22), and Declan Walmsley (17:28) rounded out the scoring for the Panthers.
Mansfield, 20 @ King Philip, 35 – Final
North Attleboro @ Oliver Ames, 3:45
Girls Cross Country
Stoughton, 50 @ Canton, 15 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the Bulldogs, taking the top five spots in the race to get a win at home over Stoughton. Senior captain Marie Messinger was first overall with a time of 21:52. Junior newcomer Kiara Cerruti was second (23:53), senior Amanda Duffin crossed third (24:22), sophomore Johanna Bouwmeester took fourth (24:42), and junior Corinne Campbell was fifth (25:34).
Sharon, 26 @ Foxboro, 31 – Final – Foxboro had a trio of runners in the top five but Sharon was able to squeak out a victory on the road. Aine Fitzpatrick took second overall (22:52) to pace Foxboro with Emilia Lacy (third, 23:11) and Mabel Linck (fifth, 23:12) following shortly after.
Milford, 27 @ Franklin, 30 – Final – Milford swept the top three spots to earn a close win over the defending Kelley-Rex division champions. Junior Emma Lawrence ran away with the win in 19:17, sophomore Sydney Kalil took second in 20:08, and senior Kerry O’Connor rounded out the top three by clocking in a 20:32. Sarah Flanagan (21:19) and Eva Parson (23:35) rounded out the scoring for the Hawks.
Mansfield, 25 @ King Philip, 31 – Final – Mansfield took the top three spots in the race to earn a close win over King Philip. Senior Tessa Lancaster led the way for the Hornets, clocking in at 20:53.4 to take first place overall. Classmates Abigail Greenberg (21:35.6) and Emma Lamson (22:09.0) rounded out the top three for the Hornets. King Philip had the next four runners cross the finish line, led by senior Ava Pisani (22:50). Meg Sherwood (22:55), Katarina Precobb (23:32), and junior Maya Evans (23:41) followed suit for fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.
2019 Boys Record: 1-5 2019 Girls Record: 0-6 Coach: Martin Tighe
The Attleboro boys cross country team has one of its best group of returners, perhaps one of the strongest teams in quite some time. And on the girls side, head coach Martin Tighe has one of the best runners in the league in senior Kelly Neuendorf, a top finisher at last year’s Hockomock League Championship meet. The Bombardiers host opponents at the Highland Park Cross Country Course, which was designed by Tighe and Bishop Feehan coach Bob L’Homme.
Senior Nathan Seybert will be in the mix for one of the fastest runners in the Hockomock League this season. In six dual meets last season, Seybert finished in the top three each time, taking first against both Feehan and Taunton. Tighe notes that Seybert will run around 16:10 or better this season. Attleboro also had Ethan Sylvia, Neil Bowie, Shane Cataloni, and Zachary Stromfors have strong finishes at the league championship meet last year.
On the girls side, Neuendorf is fresh off a top 10 finish at the league championships, clocking in at 20:28.32. She was first in the dual meet against league champion Franklin and finished no worse than third in the six dual meets. Other top runners from the league championship meet last season included Kimberly Esteban, Jazlyn Miller-Villanueva, and Diana Blouin.
“I’m looking forward to the X-C season as are many athletes and coaches,” Tighe said.
2019 Boys Record: 2-4 2019 Girls Record: 1-5 Coach: David Hiltz
Both the Canton girls and boys have spots to fill in their starting lineup but both squads have top runners back on the course this season. The Bulldogs call Pequitside Farm home, a 3.01 mile course that is mixed with trails, grass, and hills that make it one of the more challenging courses in the Davenport.
The boys squad graduated four of the top seven from last season but bring back its three captains in senior Jack Hernon, senior Elias Jabbour, and junior Kyle Downing. Downing was Canton’s top runner throughout last season, culminating in team-best finish at the league championship meet. After the top three of Downing, Hernon, and Jabbour, the Dogs have four spots in the lineup up for grabs. Sophomore Matt Hart, who had a solid freshman season, is a candidate for a breakout year.
“The boys have a good mix of returners with some new faces who have joined,” said head coach David Hiltz. “If we can build some depth with our four and five, run consistently, and stay healthy we should compete within each meet and strive for that third dual meet win (after a 2-3 finish last year).”
The girls have a strong core of three returners, led by senior captains Marie Messinger and Jesse Hart. Messinger was Canton’s top runner at Hocks in 2019 while Hart had strong showings against both Foxboro and Stoughton a year ago. Sophomore Johanna Bouwmeester had a breakout season as a freshman a year ago, including 41st place at Hocks. With four spots in the lineup open, it’s been a mix of other returners as well as some first time runners and freshmen competing for the openings.
“Although graduating senior leadership, there is a good mix of youth and experience that will make the top seven,” Hiltz said. “Similar to the boys, building depth in the four and five spots will determine how successful the team is this fall, with those spots going to some younger runners. A goal of the team is to increase the dual meet wins, and this year with three home meets and strong senior leadership should help in that process. Staying consistent and healthy will be key to their success this season.”
2019 Boys Record: 1-4 2019 Girls Record: 3-2 Coach: Wayne Relleva
With Joe Cusack taking over as athletic director this past school year, Wayne Relleva takes over as head coach for the Warriors’ cross country teams. Relleva will have a pair of young squads with just four seniors on the boys team and just one on the girls side.
Hosting teams at the Payson Road Fields, the Warriors are hoping home course advantage can lead to a strong start to the season as Foxboro hosts its first two meets. The boys squad features 19 total runners with senior captain Liam Cody leading the way. Relleva is also looking for junior Nicolas Olson and sophomore Brooks Stone to play big roles for the Warriors this season.
“For the season, I’m hoping to be highly competitive, improve, and win some races,” Rellava said. “Being as young as we are we have lots of room to grow over our five race season.”
Captain Amy Conley is the lone senior on the girls team and will lead the way for 10 sophomores and a freshman. Half of those sophomores are returners from a season ago, including Aine Fitzpatrick, who could be a major factor in the lineup this season. Relleva is also looking for sophomores Emilia Lacy, Mabel Linck, and Sophia Sougaris to factor into the scoring this year.
“I’m excited to see how this young team grows and comes together over our season, it should be fun to watch,” Relleva said.
2019 Boys Record: 5-0 2019 Girls Record: 4-1 Coach: Nick Bailey & Paul Trovato
Both of Franklin’s cross country squads are coming off league titles and will be looking to replicate that success in 2020. The boys team has won three straight Kelley-Rex titles and have a strong group of runners back this year to try and make it four straight. The girls bring back a pair of Hock all stars from last year’s squad that finished second at Hocks.
“With a strong senior and junior class the 2020 Franklin Boys XC team is looking forward to some tough competition once the races get underway,” said boys head coach Nick Bailey. “This team has put in the hard work necessary to be competitive in the Hockomock League and they have adapted well to social distancing guidelines we are all part of.”
Franklin will be hosting opponents on a course around the high school instead of Dacey Field. The course is a relatively fast course with a mixture of roads and fields that is 3.1 miles long. Senior Nicholas Calitri will be one of the top runners in the entire Hockomock League, fresh off a third place finish at the league meet a year ago. He will be joined by senior Declan Walmsley, who factored into the scoring in the dual meets last season and took 12th overall at the league meet, senior Josh Anderson (54th at Hocks), and junior Griffin Sieckiewicz (33rd at Hocks).
“Quite a few athletes on the team have made some great improvements since their last races all the way back in February and March and have adapted well to the new challenges that have come with the Fall 2020 season,” Bailey said. “One way or another, this will be a memorable year for our cross country team”
All-Hock selections Sydney Brady (10th at Hocks) and Caitlin Casey (18th) lead the way for the Panthers, who shared the division title with OA last year. Brady is a captain along with classmates Sydney Hawkins (who took 10th at Hocks) and Liz Petit. Juniors Charlene Peng and Liliana Duffy will bolster the Panthers lineup following successful sophomore campaigns, both finishing inside the top 30 at Hocks. RuthAnn Mulvey, a sophomore, and Angelina Perez, a senior, make the Panthers one of the deepest squads in the league.
“Last season the team finished second at the Hockomock Championship Meet. This team has a strong group of dedicated runners who are working hard and should be competitive in the Kelley-Rex Division,” said head coach Paul Trovato.
2019 Boys Record: 3-2 2019 Girls Record: 3-2 Coach: Scott Kramer & Lauren Farkash
The King Philip boys and girls cross country teams are in different situations heading into the 2020 season. The girls return their top three runners from last year’s Hockomock Championship race; all three finishing in the top 30. The boys team, however, graduated four of its top five runners from the same meet, including the Gatorade Runner of the Year Mike Griffin and Michael Norberg, who was fourth at Hocks.
But neither team is paying much attention to the past with the focus on the five-race season ahead. Senior Jovan Joseph will pace the pack for the boys, gaining plenty of valuable experience from last year’s group. Joseph is coming off a strong junior campaign that finished with a top 20 finish at the league meet. Head coach Scott Kramer is looking for a combination of juniors and sophomores to fill out the rest of the lineup. Liam Noke, Andrew Noke, Brandon Berdos, Ryan Andrews, and Matt DiFiore will all compete to be in the scoring for KP.
“The returning guys had a great summer of training,” Kramer said. “Captains Jovan Joseph and Sam Evans really ran a great program and it will be tough for any newcomers to get in the pack for us.”
KP has moved the finish line of its 5K course at the Rice Complex in Wrentham but the distance hasn’t changed. The King Philip girls squad, coming off a fourth place finish as a team at Hocks, has its top three runners back in juniors Maya Evans and Meg Sherwood as well as senior Ava Pisani. All three had strong seasons in 2019 with Evans emerging as one of the top competitors in the Hock as seen by her fourth place finish in 19:51.50 at Hocks. With some open spots in the lineup, head coach Lauren Farkash has been happy with the depth so far in training. Leah Burke and Kat Precobb are returners from last year while freshman Bridget Swezey could make an immediate impact.
“My goal this year is to just provide the girls a sense of normalcy during these unusual times,” Farkash said. “Our focus is creating good memories, strong bodies and minds, and having fun! We are not worrying about PRs or win/loss records, their enjoyment of the sport and their physical and mental health is most important!”
2019 Boys Record: 2-3 2019 Girls Record: 3-3 Coach: Ian Flanagan & Carolina DiBiase
Both the Mansfield boys and girls team are aiming to get back atop the Kelley-Rex division this season. After a 14-year run as league champs, Mansfield has been on the outside looking in over the past three seasons and will be relying on some new faces to lead the way this year. On the girls side, the Hornets have a handful of top runners back from last season to try and challenge for the division title. Mansfield will host teams at the Plymouth Street Soccer Fields (5K).
The Hornets lost their top three runners from the Hockomock Championship meet to graduation so head coach Ian Flanagan will be looking for new faces to step up. Mansfield is loaded with upperclassmen who had strong offseasons and run similar times. Junior Collin Stevens finished at 17:43.61 to take 31st overall and will be one of the top runners for the Hornets this season. Seniors Tim Corkery, Ryan Rispoli, and Trevor Flint, as well as junior Chris Leonard, will help round out a well-balanced lineup.
“We have some big shoes to fill from last year losing three of our better runners but the guys on this team are hard workers who are up for the challenge,” Flanagan said. “We also have some promising young guys who will really benefit from this season and will impact some meets this year.”
The girls are under new leadership this season as Carolina DiBiase, who has coached at MHS in the past, takes over for longtime coach Derek Ellis. DiBiase has one of the top runners returning this season in senior captain Tessa Lancaster, who crossed the finish line sixth at the league championships last year. Senior Emma Lamson is the other captain on the team and one of the top runners on the team (22nd at Hocks) as well. Senior Abby Greenberg and junior Cassidy Rice will be runners to watch this season while juniors Sophia Allen and Alanna Conley and freshmen Jen Mullert will help push the pack. Senior Anne Riley and sophomores Alexis DiVasta and Devin Anderson return as starters from last season.
“I am looking forward to seeing what they can do this season,” DiBiase said. “I have taken a break and have really enjoyed getting back into things. The girls look strong and they are ready to run and improve each week.”
2019 Boys Record: 4-1 2019 Girls Record: 3-2 Coach: Dan Gordon & Glenn O’Connor
Expectations are sky high for the Milford girls cross country team as the Hawks are aiming to soar above the competition in the Kelley-Rex division. Meanwhile, the boys might have a small squad but it includes some strong runners eager to make some noise against new competition.
The Milford girls have good reason for such high expectations with a strong group of top runners from the Hockomock League leading the pack. Senior Emma Lawrence will be among the top runners in the region after a strong offseason. In her first season running cross country, Lawrence had a remarkable year that included a 5th place finish at Hocks. She will be joined by sophomore Sydney Kalil (48th at Hocks) and a pair of indoor track league champions in Sarah Flanagan and Kerry O’Connor. Flanagan won the 300M race and O’Connor, who clocked in at 22:38.00 at last year’s league championship meet, was the Hock champ in the 600M. Maren Halpen, Haley Jansons, Eva Parsons, Kate Pease, Fiona Jordan, Stephanie Goulet, and senior captain Brittany Silverman will make the Hawks one of the deepest teams in the league.
“We’re so glad we have a season,” said Milford head coach Glenn O’Connor. “Nobody is going to happy to see the Lady Scarlet Hawks on their XC schedule.”
Dan Gordon takes over as head coach for the boys team, which has reason for optimism after some strong preseason times. Junior James Comisky is back after a strong sophomore campaign and will pace the pack for the Hawks this season. In a preseason 5K scrimmage against Mansfield, Comisky was the top finisher. Sophomore Mark Butters has grown a lot as a runner from his debut season last year and will be a key piece for Milford this season. Captain Jack Jansons will be one of the leaders for the Hawks this year.
“I am looking forward to having a safe, fun, and competitive season,” Gordon said. “My goals are that everyone leaves faster and more knowledgeable about how to race well when it matters most.”
2019 Boys Record: 3-2 2019 Girls Record: 3-2 Coach: Anne Marie McGrail
North Attleboro could be set for a breakout season for both the boys and girls teams this season. Five of the seven Rocketeer boys who scored at the league meet last season were either juniors or sophomores while only two seniors scored on the girls side, meaning North Attleboro should have a deep squad for the 2020 season.
Juniors Christopher Galligan and Griffin Goueck placed 39th and 53rd, respectively, at the league meet last season while junior Mark Carlson, junior Casey Poirier, and senior Jack McLaughlin all clocked in under 19 minutes.
On the girls side, Natalie Kaiser (32nd at Hocks) and Olivia Forbes were lost to graduation but the other six to factor into the scoring were juniors, sophomores or freshmen. Senior Melissa Sapini had North’s top placement for the girls last year when she clocked in at 21:11.52.
2019 Boys Record: 5-1 2019 Girls Record: 5-1 Coach: Kyle Sousa
The Kelley-Rex division could run through Easton this season, for both the girls and the boys. The girls split the division title with Franklin last year but bring back two of the best runners in the league and are poised for a repeat. The boys didn’t win the division but had a stellar showing at Hocks and took first place as a team with five runners in the top 20.
Of those five, the boys have three runners back – senior Kyle Sarney, junior Owen McMorrow, and senior Nathan Reservitz. Sarney will look to build on his fifth place finish at Hocks and be in the mix for one of the fastest runners in the Hock. McMorrow (13th) and Reservitz (17th) weren’t far behind so the Tigers will have a strong nucleus to lead the pack. Head coach Kyle Sousa described the boys team as a seasoned group with a lot of competitive experience.
Catherine O’Donnell and Meghan Reardon highlight a strong girls team for the Tigers. The duo finished in succession at the league meet with O’Donnell clocking in at 20:05.32 for seventh place and Reardon just a couple of seconds behind for eighth overall. Sousa is hoping that a very deep squad will translate to some dual meet wins in the quest for a second straight division title.
“Everyone around the Hockomock League and the state at large knows that the 2020 Season is going to look different than any season before it,” Sousa said. “Now more than ever, we are training through unpredictable adversity, and adapting in real time to the daily curveballs that some with a global pandemic. Never have I been so impressed by the commitment of the young men and women of Oliver Ames Cross Country. Their focus is unwavering — their commitment resolute. We are so grateful to be able to compete this fall. The Hockomock League is one of the premiere cross country leagues in the state, and we are hungry to cut our teeth on the exceptional competition in front of us. It is going to be a tough and gritty season in the Hock and we hope to be right in the thick of it.”
2019 Boys Record: 5-0 2019 Girls Record: 5-0 Coach: Tim Cimeno & Katelyn Decknick
There will be a big hole on the sidelines this season as the Eagles are set to start the 2020 season without coach Alan Conway, who passed away at the beginning of September. Conway was incredibly well-liked around the Hockomock League by runners and his peers.
On the course, the Eagles will be looking to defend their Davenport division titles as both the boys and girls earned a banner during the 2019 season. The girls will rely on a mix of veterans and new faces as they navigate a competitive field. It will start with junior Daphne Theiler, who was second overall at the league championship meet last season (19:41.21). Theiler will be joined by seniors Margaret Li and Berta Faktorovich, two runners are placed in the top 35 at Hocks. The Eagles also have some great new first year runners including sophomores Hannah Li and Grace Hu, as well as freshman Eva Olszewski.
“The girls team is hard working and there is great team spirit,” said head coach Katelyn Decknick. “As defending Hock Champs, we look strong. The team has a nice blend of well established talent and new runners hungry to race.”
The boys squad is returning five of their top seven runners while there are plenty of new faces (60 total on the team) eager to battle for a spot in the lineup. Seniors Sid Reddy (25th at Hocks), Mark Starovoytov (26th), Bradley Weiss (34th), and Jordan Saks, plus junior Balint Mihajlovits will lead a balanced and deep group of runners. New faces to watch include Matthew Lally, Ashmith Yeruva, and Jack Bates. Sharon will host home meets at Deborah Sampson Park (2.83), a flat and fast course.
2019 Boys Record: 0-5 2019 Girls Record: 0-5 Coach: Dave Barbato & Alexis Van Voorhis
There is a lot of potential when it comes to the Stoughton boys and girls cross country teams. The Black Knights made big strides as the season progressed a year ago and head coaches Dave Barbato and Alexis Van Voorhis are hoping that trend continues in 2020.
The girls lost their top runner in Rebecca Lally to graduation so the Black Knights will be relying on Elaine McCarty and Danielle Lawrence to pace the pack this season. Van Voorhis said both runners have looked strong in the two weeks of workouts and is expecting McCarty and Lawrence to work together throughout each race. Stoughton has a deep roster this year than last season and will be looking for Avrie Martin and freshman Lilly Branco to translate their track skills to the cross country course. Junior captain Jessica Maddalena is a key piece but will miss the season due to injury.
“If I were to use one word to describe this team and our season, it would be potential,” Van Voorhis said. “I have hope for every single girl on this team, that if we put in the work, this team could potentially emerge stronger and more determined than when we started. They are all fantastic people, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s improvement throughout the rest of the season.”
The boys team is hoping a year of experience will translate into better times as the Black Knights host opponents on a new course this season. The new course goes around the grounds of the new high school; it’s mostly flat (5K) and should be fast. The squad features four returning runners including captain Bob Currier, Colin Ozturk, Mike Henriques, and Aiden Castillo.
“The strength of their team lies with these juniors,” Barbato said. “If they can be tough, if they think they can be good and if they learn they belong up near the best from other teams Stoughton could win more than they lose.”
2019 Boys Record: 0-5 2019 Girls Record: 2-3 Coach: Jessica Ouellette & Mike Kelley
With a mix of top runners and a deep roster, the Taunton girls team enters the season with high hopes. And there is equal optimism on the boys side with a large group of talent back for the 2020 season.
The girls team features some of the top returning runners in the Hockomock League and a deep roster is providing head coach Mike Kelley with a range of options in his lineup. Senior captain Lily Valcovic and junior Nia Mainer-Smith have emerged as the top two runners for the Tigers this season while senior captains Livvy Weber and Olivia Dias give Taunton plenty of depth of experienced runners. Kelley’s roster got a big boost with a large eighth grade class, including Emersyn DePonte and Colby Dunham, who have quickly established themselves in the top five on the team.
“We’re much deeper than last year, to the point where we’ll be trying to displace other team’s fourth and fifth runners with our sixth and seventh,” Kelley said. “Being able to run in larger packs also takes pressure off individuals. The veterans have been terrific setting the example. We have four eighth graders in our varsity top ten, so the future is bright.”
On the boys side, the Tigers only lost two of their top 10 so there will be plenty of competition in-house and head coach Jessica Ouellette is hoping that translates to some success in the dual meets. Senior captains Ty Cali and Nolan Tavares return as the top two runners, as well as junior Ryan Strawbridge and sophomore Jack Pawlowski, who have put in some serious training over the summer. The Tigers have two runners to watch this year in freshmen Brayden and Andrew Cali, whose PRs last year are 17:39, and 17:50, as eighth graders.
“This is one of the stronger teams Taunton Boys XC has seen,” Ouellette said. “I’m hopeful that we can have our number three runner make a jump to sub-17 to solidify a fast 1-2-3. We have some promising younger talent as well as strong seniority up front. We have a great group of guys, who are motivated to work hard and work together to win.”
Behind a pair of free throws from sophomore TJ Power with 4.9 seconds left, top-seeded St. John’s squeaked out a 56-55 win over the sixth-seeded Panthers in the D1 Central Final.
“Franklin’s got a heck of a team, they’re well-coached, but we’re not bad either,” St John’s coach Bob Foley said after the Pioneers win.
With St John’s leading 52-51 with just over two minutes left to play, Franklin senior Chris Edgehill sunk a free throw to tie the game up, but Power hit a turnaround jumper on the other end to give St. John’s a 54-52 edge.
On Franklin’s ensuing possession, junior Declan Walmsley (eight points, three rebounds) found senior Brayden Sullivan in the corner and the senior knocked down a three to put the Panthers up 55-54. Sullivan then made an outstanding defensive play on the other end to force a backcourt violation by St. John’s.
Franklin couldn’t get a basket on their next possession, but they forced a St. John’s miss to get the ball back with under 30 seconds left. Franklin got to the line with 24.9 seconds left but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
With 4.9 seconds left, Power got fouled shooting from the corner on what at first looked like a three-point attempt, but after some initial discussion from the officials, it was ruled he was inside the three-point line. He made both free throws to put St. John’s up 56-55, and Franklin was unable to score despite having two looks at the basket in the final four seconds.
Both teams got off to a cold start, with neither team in double digits as Franklin led 9-8 after the first quarter on the strength of seven points from Edgehill (game-high 20 points), including a three right before the first-quarter buzzer.
The offenses got going in the second, as Franklin hit five threes in the frame to take a 29-25 lead into the half. St John’s came out hot to start the second half, as Charles Daniels (eight points, 11 rebounds) scored four quick points to tie the game.
Power went 1-2 at the stripe to cap a 5-0 St. John’s run, but Edgehill scored down the other end to put Franklin back on top. After a Malakhi Knight bucket, Edgehill once again found the bottom of the net to put Franklin up 33-32.
A 9-2 St John’s run gave them a 41-35 lead, but Edgehill found Thomas Gasbarro (seven points, five rebounds) and then Walmsley hit a triple to g get Franklin within a point at 41-40.
A Power bucket with just over a minute left in the quarter would be the last basket of the third quarter, with the Pioneers holding onto a 43-40 lead.
The fourth quarter was tight throughout, with the largest lead being at 50-46 for St. John’s with over four minutes to go. Down four, Edgehill sparked Franklin with a three-pointer and then matched a Charles Daniel basket with one of his own before tying the game up at the stripe.
“He’s our all-time leading scorer, he’s been a captain for two years, he’s a guy that always shows up in moments like this, there’s never been a tournament game I don’t think Edgehill hasn’t shown up and not been ready to go and really led us along the way and made all kinds of tough shots,” said Franklin coach CJ Neely. “We’ve had such an unbelievable four years together, it’s gonna be weird going to a Franklin practice or game and not see Chris Edgehill running around out there, it’s been quite a run.”
“This senior class is one of the best senior classes I’ve had since being at Franklin, if not the best,” Neely said. “Basketball players aside, the people that go through practices every day, the type of attitude they brought to practices every day, there was a never that time where you look at it and you say, hey somebody’s being whatever or you have to deal with an attitude problem or not, there’s none of that going on, there’s always just positive people looking to get better for Franklin and nobody looking for themselves…love those guys.”
With the loss, Franklin finishes the season at 18-6. St. John’s will play Springfield Central in the state semi-finals.
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Franklin boys basketball team has proven to be a serious threat from behind the three-point season throughout the course of the season.
The Panthers have a handful of capable shooters that can get hot any given quarter of any given game.
But on Sunday evening, Franklin couldn’t find its rhythm. Only senior Chris Edgehill connected from deep, once in the first quarter, and once each in the third and fourth quarters. The rest of the Panthers, despite some good looks, just couldn’t find the range, missing on nearly two dozen attempts from deep as a team.
So when push came to shove, Franklin turned to what the program has hung its hat on year in and year out: defense.
The sixth-seeded Panthers got five straight stops to close its D1 Central Semifinal matchup with Worcester South, including a pair of three-pointers that could have tied the game, to earn a hard-fought 45-42 win over the second-seeded Colonials.
“We were getting the looks we wanted early, I thought it was nerves and we would start to settle in but we never really did,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “We turned to our defense. We can always control the defense, the offense will come and go. Some nights you’ll make a ton, some nights you’ll struggle. So we had to rely on our defense and we were able to get the stops.”
Seconds after Thomas Gasbarro put the Panthers ahead with a free throw, South’s Octavio Alexander sprinted past Franklin’s defense for two and a 42-41 advantage with just 1:39 to play.
Franklin had a turnover out of a timeout but came up with a big stop and a big defensive rebound from Gasbarro. Edgehill (20 points, nine rebounds, six assists) drained an elbow jumper to put the Panthers ahead with just over a minute to go.
South’s leading scorer Damien Joseph (12 points) was off the mark but Wilton Causey hauled in the offensive board, fouled in the process. However, Causey missed the front end of a one-and-one and Edgehill raced to track down the rebound.
South had to give the foul with 24.5 seconds to go and senior Brayden Sullivan gave the Panthers enough breathing room, sinking both for a 45-42 lead.
Joseph was off the mark on a three-point attempt and Edgehill once again fought for the rebound. Although he missed the front end of his one-and-one change, junior Andrew Byfield won the fight for the offensive board. He tossed it to Jack Rudolph, who made a terrific play while falling out of bounds to pick out Sullivan and keep possession.
South still had a chance as Sullivan missed the free throw, and the Colonials got a look at the buzzer for the tying three but it was off the mark.
“The way we’ve been rebounding the ball, you can’t really go with the foul strategy,” Neely said. “They had such length, they were getting rebounds on their free throws so I just felt like we couldn’t [foul]. We had to rely on the fact that we can get a stop, that’s been our strength all year. Holding [South] to 42 is a nice number for us. We’re happy with that…that’s two games in a row where basically one stop gets it done, and that’s what we did.
“They had a lot of size, multiple bodies they can throw in there. We did a good job for most of the game on the interior but late in the game, they made it an emphasis and made a lot of baskets.”
Matt Lazarek scored twice and Gasbarro added another bucket to help Franklin’s offense get going early, and Edgehill added a late three but the Panthers trailed 11-9 after one.
Offense was hard to come by in the second, the team’s combing for 19 points total. Junior Declan Walmsley finished off an alley-oop with a slam to get the quarter started, Edgehill added two from the field and two from the line and both Rudolph and Gasbarro scored while cutting to the basket but South maintained a lead by half, taking a 20-19 advantage into the locker room.
Franklin had a bright start to the second half, using a 9-0 run over the first two and a half minutes. Edgehill splashed in an early three and then found Rudolph underneath for a creative finish off the glass. Lazarek sank two from the line before Edgehill and Rudolph hooked up again for a 28-20 lead.
South battled back, closing the half on an 11-6 burst that made it a three-point game after three. Steven Karayan finished off an offensive rebound after another missed three from the Panthers, ending a short drought to give Franklin a 34-31 lead heading into the fourth.
The Colonials knotted the score at 35-35 following a pair of free throws from Joseph before Edgehill connected on his — and Franklin’s — third three of the game. South’s Joseph Cabrera scored in the post to make it 39-39, setting up the frantic finish over the final couple of minutes.
“It’s always great, it never gets old being here,” Neely said of the WPI experience. “It’s not guaranteed you’ll make it back here so it’s awesome. We’re excited [to get to the final], you never know how many opportunities you’ll have. So we’re going to try and get the most out of it, hopefully we’ll be up for the challenge one more time.”
Franklin boys basketball (18-5) advances to its fifth D1 Central Final appearance in the past seven seasons. And for the fourth time, the Panthers will meet up with St. John’s Shrewsbury, the top-seed in the bracket this year, on Friday at 6:00 at Worcester State University.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – One of the strengths of Franklin this season has been different players stepping up at different times. The Panthers are a hard team to match up with because it is hard to pinpoint one player that needs to be shut down.
In Monday night’s Div. 1 Central opener, Franklin’s depth was on full display. Senior guard Brayden Sullivan led the way with a game-high 23 points, including 12 in the third quarter alone, but he had plenty of help. Three players scored in double figures, as the Panthers beat visiting Doherty 77-59 and advanced to the sectional quarterfinal.
“That’s been the strength of ours all season, not having one guy that you come in and shut down and say we’ll stop one guy and be fine,” said Franklin coach CJ Neely. “We have a lot of guys who put it in the hoop and we’ve got a lot of guys who do a lot of different things for us.”
Chris Edgehill (nine points) got the night going by scoring Franklin’s first five points, but then Sullivan started to heat up. He drilled a three-pointer to put the Panthers up 10-7 and then got a steal and a layup, plus the foul, to extend the lead to six. He scored eight points in the first quarter and Franklin grabbed a 17-10 lead after one.
Franklin pushed the lead into double digits in the second. Senior Jack Rudolph scored nine of his 14 points in the quarter, half of his team’s 18 in the period. He drilled a three to make it 24-14 and grabbed an offensive rebound for a basket that made it 30-21. Steve Karayan (seven points) followed with a three to make it a 12-point game.
Doherty came right back with four straight points from Noah Callery (12 points) to cut the lead down to eight and Zac Taylor (16 points) had a steal and breakaway to make it even closer. Sullivan chased down Taylor, rose up with the Doherty guard, and blocked his layup attempt.
With the home crowd at its loudest point of the night, Rudolph took the rebound and turned it into a break for the Panthers, finishing to put the hosts up 35-25 at the break.
“Defensively all year, if he’s not the best defensive player in the Hock then he’s definitely in the conversation,” Neely said of Sullivan. “It’s nice to have a guy every game you can say Brayden go guard the other team’s best player and they’re going to have a tough night. So much of what this team’s made of comes from Brayden Sullivan.”
The Panthers threatened to put the game away in the third quarter, as Sullivan caught fire again. He scored 12 of Franklin’s 17 in the third, helping them build the lead to as many as 19 points,
Leading 37-30, Sullivan went on a personal 12-1 run to break the game open. He cut through the lane and finished at the rim, then took advantage of Doherty sinking under a screen to drain a three. Another drive led to a layup and he got out onto the break as well. He finished the run with another steal and layup.
Neely noted that Sullivan just missed out on being selected as an all-star this year and admitted it may have been extra fuel for Monday’s performance. He said, “I think he had something to prove tonight when he wasn’t selected and we thought that was a little extra something for him tonight. A little extra boost.”
The game seemed to be in control, but the Highlanders made a 9-2 run to make things interesting heading to the fourth. Taylor nailed a pair of threes and then Billy Everson (team-high 20 points) grabbed a rebound and finished just before the horn sounded. It was 52-40 after three.
“We were letting them off the hook on some of our possessions,” Neely explained. “We were taking some quick ones and it’s hard because when we have guys open from three we want them to shoot it but sometimes early in the possession we can get that later on and if we grinded them down a little bit, make them fight through a few more screens, couple more cuts, we could’ve gotten even easier looks.
Everson kept the Highlanders hanging around in the fourth quarter, twice answering Franklin baskets with and-ones on the other end, but the Panthers proved to have too much firepower.
Declan Walmsley was the player to step up in the final stretch. He scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth. He got a layup off a Thomas Gasbarro assist, then a three when Rudolph swung it around the perimeter to him. After Rudolph made 1-of-3 at the line, Walmsley grabbed the offensive rebound and finished to make it 65-50.
Doherty whittled the lead back down to 10 but Gasbarro responded with a drive to the rim and Edgehill was left open for a corner three that proved to be the dagger.
Franklin (16-5), which won the Central crown in back-to-back seasons before being knocked out in the first round last year by a strong Algonquin team, will now face a trip to No. 3 seed Natick, which had a strong first season under former Franklin assistant Mike Masto.
“That was one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of, unfortunately we were on the wrong side of it,” said Neely about last year’s playoff opener, “but it was nice to get into here and get that off your shoulders. Get yourself into the next round and now we have a huge challenge ahead of us with Natick.”
MANSFIELD, Mass. – After reviewing film of the first meeting between the Franklin and Mansfield boys basketball teams, Hornet head coach Mike Vaughan came away with two main focus points for the second installment.
“Our whole game plan was to run them off the three-point line and no easy layups, and offensively, pound the ball into the post and play out of it,” Vaughan said.
It turned out to be the recipe for success for the Hornets, using the size of forwards TJ Guy (6’5) and Sam Stevens (6’4) to their advantage in the paint while halving the Panthers’ success rate from three-point range, resulting in a 56-48 win to split the season series.
The first time out, a meeting at Franklin High in early January, the Panthers shot 47% from three-point range and its defense held the Hornets under 50 points, the lone time that’s happened this season.
This time around, Mansfield’s strong closeouts saw the Panthers shoot 27% from the three-point line. And a heavy emphasis in paint touches resulted in a 50% success rate from two-point range plus more free throw attempts, where the Hornets went 13-for-17.
“Once every 15 years we throw the ball in the post.,” Vaughan joked of how rare it is the Hornets make that the focus of their offense. “Our style of play can sometimes hold a player back and I thought throughout the year there’s been times we’ve held TJ back in terms of what he can be good at. Watching film, I saw an opportunity with his size against whoever is going to play him. And in the first game, [Jack] Rudolph did such a good job covering Sammy the first time on the perimeter, so if we got that again, we got [Stevens] inside the post and make them defend inside and out. That created some opportunities for us.
“They are so good defensively, you have to do something to break them down a little bit and I thought that was our best chance.”
The Panthers had the most success from three-point range in the opening quarter of the game with Steven Karayan, Chris Edgehill, and Thomas Gasbarro connecting from downtown, but the Hornets stuck with the game plan and the visitors made just four more threes the rest of the way.
One of those threes came on the first possession of the second quarter when Andrew Byfield (seven points, six rebounds) hit from deep and followed with an easy layup for a 20-15 lead. But the Hornets hit on a 10-0 run over the final 4:30 of the half, a surge the put the hosts ahead for good.
Guy (13 points, 11 rebounds) converted an offensive rebound, Jason See knocked down a three off an offensive board from Guy, who then scored with a nice move in the post for a 22-20 lead.
“They know what we do, we know what they do, what they’re trying to do,” Guy said of the familiarity. “They try to get a lot of shots up, we were trying to get in the post but we both defend each other really well. We felt like we had mismatches inside, and these are the games I like, physical type games. They really shut us down the first game so we knew we had to come in, lock in and get this ‘W.’”
The Panthers took a three before the buzzer and the Hornets cashed in as junior Matt Boen (15 points, five steals, four rebounds) hauled in the defensive rebound with five seconds left, sprinted to half court and unleashed a buzzer-beater that put the Hornets ahead 25-20 at the break.
“After we played them last time where it felt like they bombed threes and everything went in, our focus was to run them off the three-point line and don’t let them blow by for uncontested layups,” Vaughan said. “Make them make plays in the intermediate part of the game and I thought we did a really good job of doing that.
“We kind of settled in, they missed a couple [after making their first couple of shots], I thought we did a really good job of minimizing their opportunities over the final 28 minutes of the game and I thought that was the difference. I thought we did a good job switching everything, keeping everyone in check. We didn’t let them get into a rhythm and everything was contested and difficult.”
Mansfield put Stevens (17 points, seven rebounds) on the block on its first possession of the second half and he scored on a feed from Boen. After Declan Walmsley (17 points) answered with a triple for the Panthers, the Hornets went on a 13-3 surge.
Boen had a steal and layup, Brendan Foley drained a three off the bench, Boen converted a traditional three-point play, Guy scored from the block, and Drew Rooney picked up a steal and went in for a layup to put the hosts ahead 40-26.
“Having a different look, and I really think getting the ball into the post was definitely a different look,” Vaughan said. “And we even had a zone ready, we just didn’t feel there was a time to use it. I know those two things would have thrown a wrinkle because those are two things we don’t typically do that we had prepared, that we thought could give us an advantage from the first time we played them.
“We practiced it for two days, we practice it in individual drills so it’s not foreign throwing the ball in the post but we really stressed it the last couple of days. We haven’t really had them sit down there before but if we were going to gain an advantage today, we felt like it was there. And I even think we had some opportunities to get out of it but we weren’t completely used to being in it.”
Franklin senior Brayden Sullivan finished through contact, Gasbarro hit a free throw, and Walmsley drained a late three for a late surge that put the Panthers in striking distance down 40-32 after three quarters.
“We talked about being something they’d probably do, and for the most part, I didn’t think we did a terrible job, I don’t know what they shot in there,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely on Mansfield’s emphasis on the post game. “They have some big bodies, [Guy] is a Division 1 football player and we don’t have that kind of guy to match up. We did our best, I thought at times we did a good job. Just a couple plays down the stretch here and there, we just didn’t close the deal on some of the defensive possessions and they’ll make you play.”
Stevens hit his lone three of the game and one of Mansfield’s five total triples to open the final quarter and Cincere Gill cut to the basket hard, taking a pass from Stevens as he posted up, for an easy two. Two possessions later, Guy once again put his back to the basket and converted on a feed from Boen for a 47-34 lead with 6:25 to play.
But Franklin refused to go away with Edgehill finding Walmsley on the break for two, Byfield making a nice extra pass for a three from Walmsley, and then four straight free throws from Rudolph made it 49-43.
Rudolph made a nice play for a steal after a Hornet entry pass to the post and sprinted down the court before dishing it off for Byfield for an easy two. Stevens answered with a tough take through traffic but Sullivan scored quickly down the other end as the Panthers got within four, 51-47.
Franklin got three straight stops and Edgehill hit a free throw to make it a one-possession game with two minutes to go. Mansfield missed a three and came up empty on the offensive rebound before the teams traded quick turnovers, and Franklin had the tying three go just long.
Boen hit two free throws with a minute to go to extend the lead back to 53-48 and the Hornets went on to get stops and hit their free throws to earn the 56-48 win.
“They were doing a good job switching a lot of screens and gave us trouble for a significant portion of that second quarter and some of the second half,” Neely said. “I thought when we moved the ball, did what we talked about doing, and got some cutters, I thought we opened them up a little bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t think we had enough patience on the offensive end, we started forcing some stuff early.
“I’m proud of the guys, no question. They aren’t going to give up, they are a great group of kids that have worked hard all season. They aren’t going to roll over and get blown out so I’m proud of them.”
Mansfield boys basketball (12-1 Hockomock, 16-2 overall) holds a one-game lead over Attleboro in the division race with three games to go, starting with a visit from Oliver Ames on Friday. Franklin (10-3, 13-3) falls two games back and will host Taunton on Friday.
Foxboro, 75 @ Canton, 38 – Final – Foxboro built a double-digit lead by halftime and used a dominate third quarter to pull away from the Bulldogs for the win. Foxboro scored 20 points in the second quarter to take a 39-24 lead at halftime and then led the Bulldogs to 14 points in the second half, scoring 23 in the third quarter to pull away. Senior Brandon Borde scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the opening half while junior Kevin Gallagher connected on three of his fourth trifectas in the opening half to give Foxboro its 15-point halftime advantage. Donald Rogers and Ryan Hughes each added eight points for the Warriors while Canton senior Nick Cushman scored a team-high 14 points.
King Philip, 47 @ Franklin, 71 – Final – Franklin had eight players find the scoring column in the opening half, building a 17-point by halftime and never looked back in big division win over King Philip. Jack Rudolph (eight points), Steven Karayan (10 points), Chris Edgehill (12 points), and Andrew Byfield each hit a three-pointer in the opening quarter and the Panthers connected from downtown 12 times. Declan Walmsley accounted for five three-pointers and finished with a career-high 21 points. The Panthers’ defense held KP to single digits in each the first and third quarters, taking a 54-31 advantage into the final quarter. Alex Fritz had a team-high 15 points for KP while Andrew McKinney added 11 points.
Stoughton, 75 @ North Attleboro, 66 – Final – Stoughton overcame a one-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to take a four-point lead by halftime and used that lead to stay in front for the rest of the way. Both teams had their best offensive quarter in the third with the Black Knights pouring in 24 points but the Rocketeers kept it close with 21 points of their own, trailing 56-49 heading into the fourth. Stoughton senior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored 16 of his game-high 27 points in the second half while classmate Myles Griglunas-Powell gave the visitors a boost with 10 of his 14 points in the third quarter. Ugwuakazi had six in the fourth and senior Ahmad Jahed scored seven points in the fourth to keep Stoughton ahead. Tahkwan Gates Brown added 10 points for Stoughton. Junior George Ladd scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half for the Rocketeers while sophomore Brody Rosenberg hit five three-pointers, including four in the third, to finish with 15 points, and junior Edan Kelley added 10 points.
Taunton, 52 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – Final – In a back-and-forth battle, Taunton avenged a one-point loss to Oliver Ames from early in the season with a three-point win on Friday night. Taunton held the hosts to six points in the first quarter, taking a 16-6 advantage but Oliver Ames exploded for 22 points in the second quarter to surge ahead, 28-25, at halftime. Taunton’s defense had another good quarter, holding OA to eight points in the third to take the lead back and held that three-point lead for the win. Sophomore Trent Santos (15 points) hit four three-pointers, including a key one in the fourth quarter while classmate Tristan Herry (10 points) also hit from downtown in the final frame. Tyler Stewart had a team-high 16 points for Taunton. Ryan Burkett had a team-high 14 points for Oliver Ames, Amari Brown added 13 points, and Jay Spillane finished with 10 points.
Sharon, 44 @ Milford, 56 – Final – Six Scarlet Hawks scored in a 20-point third quarter to turned a two-point game into a double-digit advantage in a win over visiting Sharon. Tied at 13-13 after a quarter and Milford holding a 25-23 lead at the break, the Hawks went on a big run to create the necessary separation. Ben Blanchard hit a three and had six of his team-high 14 points in the third, Matty Varteresian also connected from downtown and Dom Schofield scored five of his 11 points in the third to give Milford a 45-33 lead heading into the fourth. Aidan Kane scored a team-high 11 points for the Eagles.
Attleboro, 44 @ Mansfield, 51 – Final – Mansfield trailed by five in the final four minutes, but rallied to pull out the victory. The Hornets went 20-for-22 from the free throw line to hold off Attleboro in a back-and-forth game. Ashley Santos was Mansfield’s top scorer with 13 points and Kayla Vine added 12. Attleboro also had two players in double digits, as Meghan Gordon scored 17 and Nyah Thomas chipped in with 11. Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “Great game in what has become a great rivalry. We played a great first half but Marty made some nice halftime adjustments and they dominated the third.” The Hornets led 25-18 at the break, but Attleboro turned things around with a 17-8 third quarter to lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Canton, 47 @ Foxboro, 55 – Final – Foxboro led by 12 at halftime but Canton clamped down defensively and only allowed the Warriors to score 20 points after the break and keep the game close to the end. The Warriors are a win away from clinching at least a share of their fourth straight league title. Katelyn Mollica powered Foxboro with 17 points and Shakirah Ketant added 16 points in the win.
Franklin, 65 @ King Philip, 39 – Final – Franklin swept the season series with the Warriors and maintained a two-game lead in the division. Ali Brigham had a big night for the Panthers with 27 points and Olivia Quinn scored 18 points to keep Franklin unbeaten.
North Attleboro, 49 @ Stoughton, 48 – Final – In a back-and-forth game that went down to the wire, North was able to do just enough to pull out the road victory. The Black Knights got off to a strong start, particularly on the defensive end, to lead 9-4 after one and 24-22 at halftime. Stoughton led 40-36 entering the fourth, but the Rocketeers held the hosts to just eight points in the final quarter to earn the win. North coach Nikki Correia praised the defense and shot-making down the stretch of Ava McKeon and Taylor McMath. Amanda Kaiser was the top scorer again for North with 20 points, including five three-pointers. Summer Doherty and Regan Fein each scored eight and Eliza Dion added six. Aliyah Wright led all scorers with 22 points and also pulled down 10 rebounds for Stoughton. Shyanne Trinh added 14 and Hannah Papagno scored seven.
Oliver Ames, 70 @ Taunton, 43 – Final – Taunton led by two points at halftime, but OA roared back in the second half. OA turned things around in the third quarter, holding the hosts to just two points to build a double-digit lead and then put the game away with a strong fourth. Caroline Peper led OA with 14 points, Tate Hadges added 13 points, and Meg Holleran chipped in with 11 points. Kameron St. Pierre led the hosts with 20 points and Jaelyn Fernandez added 13 in the loss.
Milford, 35 @ Sharon, 47 – Final – Leah Fandel scored a career-high 19 points, as Sharon turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 12-point win. The Eagles locked down defensively to get the win, holding Milford to just 11 points in the second half. Nicole Teven also scored in double digits with 10 and Kaitlyn Wallace scored eight.
Milford, 57 @ Attleboro, 61 – Final (OT) – Attleboro went 8-for-12 from the free throw line in the overtime period to outlast Milford, who used a furious fourth quarter rally to get back into the game. The Bombardiers got all of their overtime points from the line with senior Nick McMahon going 6-for-8, finishing with 13 points in the game, and senior Qualeem Charles hitting 2-of-4, recording a team-high 20 points in the win. The Bombardiers got off to a terrific start with seven players scoring in the opening quarter, including three-pointers from Justin Daniels, Tim Callahan, and McMahon to seize a 17-5 lead. Attleboro kept its distance, holding a 28-18 lead at halftime and senior Bryant Ciccio scored eight of his 13 points in the third to push the lead to 42-29 with just eight minutes to play. But Milford rallied in the final frame as Ben Blanchard (11 points) connected on three three-pointers, Tyler Wetherbee added one, and Colby Pires (11 points), Jordan Darling (eight points), Max Martin, and Ralph Franklin Jr. (eight points) each converted to force the overtime period. The Hawks connected on seven threes in the game but did not attempt a free throw.
Canton, 61 @ Oliver Ames, 74 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Amari Brown scored 15 of his team-high 24 points in the first half and senior Jay Spillane connected on three three-pointers in the opening 16 minutes as the Tigers built a double-digit lead by half and never looked back. The Tigers scored 17 points in each of the first three quarters and added 23 more in the fourth to get the win. Holding a 17-9 lead through one quarter of play, Brown had nine points in the second and Spillane hit two threes to help the Tigers extended the lead. Ryan Burkett scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, Adam Cann and Owen Friel each hit a three in the third, and Evan Craig finished with 12 points for OA. Junior Eric Mischler hit five three-pointers in the second half and scored a career-high 36 points for Canton.
Foxboro, 68 @ King Philip, 72 – Final (OT) – Foxboro erased a six-point deficit to start the fourth quarter but King Philip’s Owen Conlin hit a pair of three-pointers in the overtime period, punctuating a terrific shooting second half for the Warriors in an important win. KP built a 16-11 lead through one quarter before Foxboro closed it to a one-point game, 30-29, at halftime. KP senior Alex Fritz scored 10 of his team-high 23 points in the third as the Warriors pushed the advantage to 47-41 but Foxboro senior Brandon Borde netted 10 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth to bring the visitors level. Conlin (11 points) hit a three a minute into the extra period and added another a minute later, pushing it to a six-point lead that KP held onto for the rest of the way. The Warriors connected on seven three-pointers after the halftime break while Foxboro totaled just two makes from downtown. Tommy Donahue scored seven of his 13 points between the fourth and overtime and had some key blocks for KP while Robert Jarest added 15 points, connecting on three trifectas. Donald Rogers added 16 point and Ryan Hughes chipped in with 12 points for Foxboro.
Sharon, 50 @ Franklin, 64 – Final – Franklin got off to a strong start in the opening quarter and built on that lead throughout the game to knock off visiting Sharon. Seniors Brayden Sullivan (21 points), Jack Rudolph, and Steven Karayan each hit a three in the opening frame to help the Panthers race out to a 17-9 lead. Sullivan added eight more in the second and senior Chris Edgehill (15 points) connected from three as the Panthers pushed the lead to double-digits, 33-22, at half. Sharon kept pace in the third, down 46-35, but Franklin put the game away with an 18-point fourth quarter. Declan Walmsey added 10 points for Franklin. Andrew Burton led Sharon with 14 points while Aidan Kane added 10 points.
North Attleboro, 60 @ Mansfield, 65 – Final – Mansfield nearly doubled up on North Attleboro in the first half but had to convert key free throws in the final seconds to hold off a second half comeback from the Rocketeers. The Hornets built 33-17 lead at halftime behind a 20-point second quarter but North Attleboro made it interesting with a 20-point third and then a 23-point fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to just one in the final minute of play. Sophomore Brody Rosenberg (17 points, all in the second half) drained a three and hit a pair of free throws to make it a four point game and North’s full court press paid off as junior George Ladd (27 points) got a steal and a layup to make it 59-57. Mansfield junior Matt Boen (17 points) made a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left to make it 61-57 but Rosenberg answered with a three to make it 61-60. Sam Stevens (23 points) hit a pair from the free throw line to push the lead back to three and North was just off the mark on the tying three and Boen hit two more from the line in the final seconds to get the win 65-60.
Attleboro, 67 @ Milford, 43 – Final – Four players scored in double figures for a balanced Attleboro attack. Nyah Thomas was the top scorer for the visitor with 18 points, but Liv McCall also had 15 and Emma Reilly and Meghan Gordon both put in 11. Emma Lawrence led the Hawks with 18 points and Jillian Michelson chipped in with 14.
Oliver Ames, 50 @ Canton, 67 – Final – Canton trailed by two points at the half, but turned things around with a dominant second half, outscoring the Tigers 40-21 after the break. The Bulldogs held OA to just three points in the fourth quarter and shot 10-of-17 from three-point range to pull the upset. Kiara Cerruti was the game’s top scorer with 20 points for Canton. Sydney Gallery had 14 and Fay Gallery added 13, while Samya DaSilva scored 11 and Kayla Albert finished with nine. Caroline Peper led a shorthanded OA squad with 19 and Kelsey Yelle had 10 points.
King Philip, 48 @ Foxboro, 69 – Final – Foxboro won for the second straight game, as Katelyn Mollica scored a game-high 25. Yara Fawaz added 12 points and Shakirah Ketant had 10 in the win. Abby Hassman continued to be a force on the glass, pulling down 13 rebounds.
Franklin, 53 @ Sharon, 20 – Final – Franklin put in another full-team effort to get the win on the road. Ten Panthers scored in the game, led by Ali Brigham’s 12. Nicole Teven and Trinity Payne each scored five to lead the Eagles.
Mansfield, 58 @ North Attleboro, 71 – Final – Amanda Kaiser and North Attleboro roared out to a huge first quarter and rode that big lead to victory. North led 30-12 after eight minutes, as Kaiser knocked down five threes and scored 17 of her 20 points in the first. Mansfield was able to cut the lead to 11 at the half by scoring 21 points in the second and switching to a box-and-one to try and slow Kaiser down, but North kept the lead at double digits after the third and won the fourth to seal the victory. Summer Doherty, Regan Fein, and Eliza Dion all scored a dozen points for North. “We came out aggressive from the jump and Amanda was hitting everything,” said North coach Nikki Correia. “I am so proud of how hard they battled and played for four quarters tonight on both ends!”
Attleboro, 126.10 @ Canton, 116.40 – Final
Attleboro, 126.10 @ Sharon, 100.35 – Final
Canton, 116.40 @ Sharon, 100.35 – Final
Vault: 1. Stella Krawiec, Att – 8.6 | 2. Aly Legere, Att – 8.0 | 3. Ali Dennehy/Amanda Burns, Att – 7.9
Bars: 1. A. Legere, Att – 7.4 | 2. S. Krawiec, Att – 7.3 | 3. A. Dennehy, Att – 7.2
Beam: 1. Talia Aidlin-Perlman, Sha – 8.2 | 2. S. Krawiec/Parker Sweeney, Att – 8.0 | 3. Lauren Raffa, Att – 7.8
Floor: 1. Erin Glearson, Att – 8.8 | 2. A. Burns, Att – 8.7 | 3. T. Aidlin-Perlman, Sha – 8.6