FOXBORO, Mass. – What’s the best remedy for a struggling offense?
For the Mansfield boys basketball team, it started with a ramped-up defensive effort.
The Hornets, limited to less than 20 points in the first half with 10 turnovers, turned the tables on host Foxboro by using a much improved defensive effort to kick start its offense, and that combination resulted in a 50-42 victory.
It was Foxboro’s defense that stole the show for the opening 16 minutes, frustrating a dangerous Hornet offense. The Warriors allowed just three field goals made in the second quarter and had one stretch where they forced the Hornets into five straight turnovers.
But it was truly a tale of two halves as Mansfield controlled for the final 16 minutes. While its turnover woes didn’t disappear right away, with two early second half turnovers, the Hornets’ defense kept Foxboro scoreless for nearly four minutes and without its second make of the period until the final seconds.
That defense led to some easy buckets to kickstart the visitors on the offensive end. An 8-0 run to start the third tied the game and an 8-2 run to close the third put the visitors in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.
“We were significantly more locked defensively in the second half,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “To hold them to a five-point third quarter obviously made a huge difference for us, that probably made the difference in the game. The fourth quarter was a little more even but if we don’t have that third quarter where we come out locked in. At half we said, ‘they’re good defensively and we’re going to grind out our possessions. We’ll get a basket or two throughout a good possession. But we need to defend better.’”
“With the exception of [Kevin] Gallagher hitting two 75-footers from the parking lot, I thought we did a really good job defensively. You take those six points out of the fourth quarter and now you have two back-to-back quarters where we defended well. I thought we did a better job offensively in the second half being patient, setting better screens, getting more people touching the ball and cutting, and being efficient with the ball, as opposed to standing around and watching one guy go against five good defenders.”
The Hornet defense doubled its turnover total in the second half, forcing 11 takeaways in the second half. Foxboro shot nearly 50% from the floor in the opening half but hit at just over a 30% success rate against Mansfield’s active defense in the second half.
Meanwhile, Mansfield cut its turnover number almost in half and shot almost 60% from the field in the second half.
“I thought our defensive intensity and focus was outstanding in the first half,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We really made things difficult for them and we were really locked in on the defensive end. I think the biggest key offensively in the first half is that we did a great job of taking care of the ball and limiting our turnovers. I thought we played with a lot of poise and it was a good tempo.
“But in the second half, unfortunately, they knocked down some threes and offensively, we got a little more stagnant and got away from what made us successful in the first half, we had some costly turnovers that gave them easy scoring opportunities. Credit Mansfield, obviously they turned their defensive intensity up to another level in the second half and Mike made some really good adjustments to disrupt us, so Mansfield deserves a lot of the credit.”
Senior Sam Stevens (14 points, four rebounds) and junior Matt Boen (13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals) knocked down early threes, and Boen hauled in a defensive rebound and found classmate TJ Guy running ahead for an easy two as Mansfield opened the second half on an 8-0 run to knot the score at 27-27.
Foxboro countered with a triple from Will Morrison to stay ahead but Drew Rooney came up with a steal for an easy two, Boen converted a pull jump on the right wing, and then hit a deep contested three. A free throw from Cincere Gill (four points, three assists) helped Mansfield take a 35-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
Gallagher’s deep three kept the Warriors within two but Guy finished after a nice up-fake and the Mansfield defense kept Foxboro at bay for nearly four minutes.
Guy scored in low again, the Mansfield defense forced a turnover with a five-second violation, and Gill drained a three late in the shot clock for a 44-35 lead with 2:42 to play.
“I think [Cincere] gave us a boost,” Vaughan said. “We made the adjustment with Drew to shadow [Brandon] Borde a little bit more which minimized his opportunities. I thought between the two of them, and just coming out of the locker room with a new mindset. Cincere was definitely a spark coming off the bench and he hit the big three too that helped create some separation. It was really a great possession to get an open look for him.”
Stevens put a cherry on top of the comeback with a contested corner three to put the Hornets up 47-37 with two minutes to play.
“I think anytime you can defend people to a satisfactory level, your offense is a heck of a lot easier,” Vaughan said. “You’re not always going down on the defensive end looking at the scoreboard and coming back on the offensive end thinking every basket matters so much. Now you have a little bit of freedom on the offensive end to take some chances, take some risks.”
Borde (15 points, six rebounds, five assists) was a big reason for Foxboro’s strong start to the game. While Stevens, Jason See, Rooney, and Guy each scored for the visitors, Borde scored Foxboro’s first nine points. Ryan Hughes scored to tie the game and Gallagher came off the bench to sink a late triple to give Foxboro a 14-11 lead after one.
Boen nailed a three to open the second quarter but two more from Borde and another three from Gallagher put the hosts ahead 19-14. The lead hovered at five points for a good stretch before senior Dylan Barreira hit an open three and Gallagher hit his third of the opening half to put Foxboro up 27-19 at half. Freshman Chris Hill’s three-pointer was Mansfield’s lone basket of the final five minutes of the second quarter.
“Mansfield is a great team, they are one of the best programs in the state and they don’t lose very often for a reason,” Gibbs said. “They are very, very good at what they do. We wanted to take the game on quarter at a time…you know a team like that has runs in them. You’re not going to beat Mansfield with one big knockout punch, one big home run play. It’s going to be a 32-minute grind, and in the end, they were able to make a few more plays then we did and they deserve credit for that.”
Mansfield boys basketball (3-1 Hockomock, 5-2 overall) is back in action on Wednesday when it continues its road trip with a visit to Milford. Foxboro (1-3, 3-4) will try to snap its current skid when it hosts Oliver Ames on Wednesday.
Canton, 38 vs. Bishop Feehan, 62 – Final – The Bulldogs stayed within striking distance for a half but scored just 13 points in the second half as Bishop Feehan pulled away for the win. Robbie Gallery scored nine of his team-high 13 points in the first half and Eric Mischler had six of his nine points in the opening two quarters as Canton trailing 38-25at halftime. Gallery and Mischler were the lone Bulldogs to score in the third as the Shamrocks pulled away 51-32 heading into the fourth.
Foxboro, 47 @ Westwood, 54 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Foxboro erased an early 18-point deficit, taking a one-point lead into the final quarter but ran out of gas in the fourth as Westwood picked up the win. The Wolverines raced out to a 10-0 lead and pushed it all the way to 20-2 late in the first. Foxboro clawed its way back with a strong second quarter to go into halftime down 31-24, and then won the third quarter to go up 38-37. Brandon Borde (10 points, seven rebounds) scored to put the Warriors up 40-39 but the Wolverines responded with a 9-0 run, with Foxboro going 0-for-7 in the stretch. Borde and Donald Rogers (eight rebounds) brought Foxboro within four, down 48-44, but the Wolverines hit their free throws down the stretch to pull away. Kevin Gallagher had a team-high 13 points, Liam Devlin added six points, and Dylan Barreira had a strong all around game for Foxboro.
King Philip, 71 @ Xaverian, 69 – Final (OT) – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – King Philip senior Alex Fritz scored half of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, hitting key free throws down the stretch, to help the Warriors pull out a win over Xaverian. Fritz (10 rebounds, four assists) netted seven points in the fourth and added eight more in overtime, hitting two free throws with 25 seconds left to break the tie and adding one more in the final seconds. Senior Tommy Donahue scored all 13 of his points in the second half for KP, who overcame an eight-point fourth quarter deficit. Robert Jarest (six points, four rebounds), Andrew McKinney (12 points, five rebounds, three assists), and Chris Roy all had key points down the stretch in the fourth quarter to help KP force the extra period.
North Attleboro, 46 @ Lincoln-Sudbury, 59 – Final – North Attleboro faced an 18-point deficit at halftime but clamped down defensively out of the break, limiting L-S to just three third quarter points to make a four-point game heading into the fourth, but the Warriors controlled the final quarter to get the win. Trailing 18-8 after one and 36-18 at half, the Rocketeers outscored the hosts 17-3 in the third to make it 39-35 entering the final quarter. Senior Josh Porter scored eight of his career-high 17 points in the third and Brody Rosenberg (12 points) hit a big three in the third to bring North back into the contest. Junior George Ladd finished with 11 points.
Oliver Ames, 77 @ Barnstable, 55 – Final – Oliver Ames Ryan Burkett and the Tigers dominated from start to finish, pouring in 50 first-half points and rolling to their second win over Barnstable this season. Burkett scored a career-high 28 points on 12 two-point field goals to pace the Tigers. Burkett scored 13 points in the first half, added eight more in the third quarter, and added seven more in the fourth quarter. Junior Amari Brown scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half and senior Jay Spillane added 14 points in the win.
Stoughton, 66 @ Randolph, 67 – Final – Stoughton erased a 16-point deficit but fell just short in the championship game of the Blue Devils Holiday Classic against host Randolph. Senior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored a career-high 34 points to pace the Black Knights.
Taunton, 73 @ New Bedford, 67 – Final – Taunton let a seven-point lead slip in the fourth quarter but the Tigers controlled the overtime period to earn their fifth straight win. Tied 18-18 after one and trailing 28-27 at halftime, Taunton dropped 22 points in the third quarter to take a 49-42 advantage but the Whalers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Junior Tyler Stewart dominated the second half for Taunton, finishing with a career-high 28 points including six points in overtime. Sophomore Tristan Herry added three of his 13 points in the extra period and sophomore Faisal Mass added a free throw to help Taunton pick up the win. Sophomore Trent Santos added 15 points for the Tigers.
Attleboro, 45 @ Cumberland (R.I.), 35 – Final – The Bombardiers turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and got clutch baskets down the stretch to grab an out-of-state win. Attleboro held Cumberland’s leading scorer Madi Zancan to just two baskets after halftime, following a 16-point first half. After the hosts cut the lead down to just three points late in the game, Emma Reilly and Hailey Perry knocked down big shots to extend the lead. Nyah Thomas was once again the top scorer for the Bombardiers, continuing her impressive start to the season with 21 points.
Canton, 47 @ Nauset, 54 – Final
King Philip, 64 @ Bishop Feehan, 70 – Final
Stoughton, 40 vs. Hanover, 39 – Final – Stoughton picked up an important win in the consolation game of the Rockland Holiday Tournament, edging out Hanover. Shyanne Trinh led the charge for the Black Knights with 22 points and four steals while Aliyah Wright added 16 points and 15 rebounds in the win. Kyla Sheedy-Goff gave Stoughton a big boost with six blocks and eight boards.
Taunton, 51 @ New Bedford, 79 – Final – Kameron St. Pierre scored 21 points, her second straight game with 20-plus, to pace the Tigers in a tough road loss. Jaelyn Fernandez added nine points for Taunton.
Foxboro, 47 vs. Needham, 44 – Final – Foxboro outscored Needham 16-5 in the second quarter to build a double digit lead, kept that advantage heading into the fourth but had to hold on for the win after being limited to just seven points in the fourth quarter. Six Warriors contributed the the 16-point second quarter with Kevin Gallagher (nine points) hitting a pair of threes and Brandon Borde (12 points), Donald Rogers (13 points), Dylan Barreira (seven points), Ryan Hughes, and Liam Devlin each scoring a bucket. Rogers scored the rest of his points all in the second half, including five of Foxboro’s seven in the fourth. The Warriors will take on host Westwood in the championship game of the Westwood Holiday Tournament on Monday at 7:00.
Franklin, 76 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 51 – Final – A close game through three quarters, Franklin dominated the fourth quarter to earn a convincing win in the Larry Fisher Championship game at Bridgewater-Raynham. Franklin led by two after one quarter, just one point at 29-28 at halftime, and took a 51-47 lead into the final frame but the Panthers’ defense limited the Trojans to just two field goals, four points total in the fourth to pull away for the win. Steven Karayan hit half of his six triples in the final quarter on his way to a career-high 20 points to earn tournament MVP honors while senior Brayden Sullivan added 14 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Jack Rudolph scored seven of his 13 points in the open quarter while Chris Edgehill scored all nine of his points in the second half. Franklin connected on 12 three-pointers in the game.
Oliver Ames, 69 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 77 – Final – Oliver Ames took a three-point into the fourth quarter but couldn’t overcome a spectacular performance from Cardinal Spellman senior Craig Faria. Faria scored 16 of his 40 points in the final quarter to carry the Cardinals to a win in the Muscato Holiday Tournament final. OA senior Ryan Burkett scored a career-high 23 points and was named to the all-tournament team while Amari Brown added 18 points and Owen Friel chipped in with 13 points for the Tigers.
Milford, 38 @ Dracut, 56 – Final – Milford led 25-23 at halftime of the Edmund Murphy Winter Classic final, but the hosts turned the tables with a strong second half. The Middies outscored Milford 33-13 after the break to win the tourney title. Emma Lawrence had a strong game for the Hawks, scoring 20 points in the loss.
Sharon, 30 vs. Holliston, 31 – Final – The Eagles came up just short in a non-league game against Holliston. Sharon trailed by five heading into the fourth quarter of a defensive battle. The Eagles scored the first five points of the fourth to tie the game at 28-28 with under three minutes remaining, but the Panthers were able to do enough to grab the win. Nicole Teven and Leah Fandel each scored eight points and Trinity Payne scored seven for the Eagles.
Franklin, 6 vs. Fairfield Prep, 4 – Final – After falling behind 2-0 in the opening period, Franklin found the net five times in the second period to skate to a win over Fairfield Prep. “Fairfield was very talented team, I’m proud of my boys for working the system and working hard,” said Franklin head coach Anthony Sarno. Conor O’Neil (from Sean Connelly and Tom Tasker) and Kyle Hedvig (from Will Sheehan and Declan Lovett) scored to knot the score at 2-2. CJ Jette (from Colin Hedvig and Joe LeBlanc) put the Panthers ahead and Tasker (from Lovett and Colin Hedvig) and Kyle Hedvig (from Lovett, his third assist) scored back-to-back goals to put the Panthers up 5-2. Dylan Marchand (from LeBlanc) tacked on an important third period goal.
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Burrillville (R.I.), 1 – Final (OT)
Canton, 3 vs. Westwood, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Lizzie Tassinari scored a power play goal with eight minutes left to play, lifting the Bulldogs to a win in a back-and-forth title game of the Pat Walsh Tournament. Olivia Maffeo scored twice for Canton, as the teams twice traded goals only seconds apart in the second period. After Westwood scored first, Maffeo blasted a shot under the bar to tie it and then she gave Canton the lead with a wrister from just inside the blue line only to have the Wolverines answer right back. Tassinari scored the winner with a shot from the right face-off circle that went through a screen and inside the far post.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 vs. Medway/Ashland, 3 – Final (SO) – Mansfield/Oliver Ames twice took a one-goal lead but settled for a tie against Medway. For holiday tournament purposes, the game went into a shootout where Medway earned the win but it registers as a tie for MIAA purposes. Alex Ledin (from Reese Pereira and Ella Waryas) put the Warriors up 1-0 in the first while Emma Pereira (from Emma Garland) gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage in the second.
Franklin, 133.40 @ Medway, 117.60 – Final
FOXBORO, Mass. – When it comes to vacation games, you never know what you’re going to get. Add in a noon tipoff on a Friday and it could make for a long afternoon.
But with a senior-laden team, Foxboro had no problems with the early start. The Warriors’ 21-point first quarter was its best offensive frame of the game, one in which it built a double-digit advantage that it never surrendered in a 58-39 conquest of division foe Canton.
The Warriors had six players register in the scoring column over the first eight minutes, connecting on eight field goals on over 60% shooting from the field, with half of the makes from downtown. And Foxboro got it done defensively too, holding the visitors to just three makes with three turnovers.
“It was a big part of what we talked about before the game, being a noontime vacation game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We talked about the team being more awake and ready to play would have a huge advantage in terms of winning the game. And I thought we really did a good job with that. I thought we came out with a ton of energy and a ton of fire.
Foxboro’s defense only improved over the next two quarters, holding the Bulldogs to nine points (no made threes) in the second quarter and just six points (on 20% shooting) in the third quarter.
“We set the tone with our defense, holding them to 10 points in the first quarter,” Gibbs said. “Even a lot of the shots they got were contested shots, tough shots. So our defensive energy that we brought in the first half was huge even though our offense was a little out of sync.”
Dylan Barreira’s (seven rebounds, five assists) offense rebound and free throw gave the hosts early momentum while Ryan Hughes (seven points, five rebounds), Brandon Borde (nine points, seven rebounds, four assists), and Donald Rogers (16 points, five rebounds) followed with consecutive baskets for a quick 7-0 lead.
Foxboro added to its offensive attack with a trio of three-pointers as junior Kevin Gallagher (17 points, four rebounds) sandwiched a pair of triples around one from Borde to extend the hosts’ lead to 16-6. Senior Liam Devlin made Foxboro’s fourth three of the opening quarter on a feed from Barreira while Borde finished off after a team offensive rebound to push the lead to 21-7.
Canton’s Nick Cushman sank a three off a feed from Steve Burbank just before the buzzer to make it 21-10 at the end of a quarter.
Both defenses clamped down early in the second with each time scoring just once in the first three minutes but Rogers sank a big three off a feed from Michael Devlin. Another three minutes passed before Borde scored a tough jumper. Kyle Fitzgerald (six points) and Burbank each scored late in the quarter, and Robbie Gallery had six points and three rebounds in the first half, to keep Canton in shouting distance at halftime.
“Foxboro’s a good team and one of the better defensive teams in our league and the area, so if you get down early and dig yourself a hole, it’s really hard to come back on them with the way that they guard,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “We couldn’t string things together, they had an answer…if we did a few good things on defense, we couldn’t get it going on offense. If we did a few good things on offense, we couldn’t string together a few stops on defense. We have to be more consistent.”
Foxboro quickly extended its lead early in the second half as Gallagher opened up the third quarter with a triple, Rogers lowered his shoulder and drove hard to the basket for two. Canton sophomore Lanse Dorcelus (nine points) sank a three and the Bulldogs got back-to-back stops but couldn’t get any closer before Rogers answered with another strong take.
Dorcelus sank another three and Eric Mischler came up with a steal but Canton’s next trip came up empty and Hughes was left alone down low for an easy two and a 40-25 lead. Gallagher scored on a baseline take and Rogers beat the buzzer with a three as Foxboro closed the quarter on a 7-0 burst to take a 45-25 lead into the fourth.
“We talk a lot about handling and responding to advertising because in a league this tough, you’re not going to have any games where it goes your way for the entire 32 minutes,” Gibbs said. “There’s always going to be those runs and tough stretches from the other teams so we talk a lot about that and how to handle those moments.
“And the other part of that is having a veteran team full of experienced players that have been there before. They’ve been in that situation so many times so they don’t get rattled or panic because Canton made a big shot. I thought that was key for us in both of our wins this season that when the other team made a run, we were able to punch right back.”
The teams traded baskets for the first three minutes of the final quarter, keeping the lead around the 20-point mark until the reserves were put into the game. Gallagher scored Foxboro’s first five points while Dorcelus sank another triple for Canton.
Foxboro pushed the lead to 53-30 before Canton junior Colton Mirliani (nine points) came in and hit his first of three triples. Foxboro freshman Alex Penders scored his first basket with a three-pointer in the final minute.
Foxboro boys basketball (1-1 Hockomock, 2-1 overall) will take on a strong Needham team in the Westwood tournament on Sunday while Canton (0-3, 1-3) has a quick turnaround, traveling to Norwood on Saturday at 12:30.
TAUNTON, Mass. – Coming off back-to-back heartbreaking losses to open the season, it’s understandable that Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey wasn’t comfortable until the final buzzer sounded.
In the opening two contests, the Tigers have led nearly wire-to-wire but for the final seconds of each contest. North Attleboro buried the go-ahead three with 6.7 seconds to go in the season opener and Oliver Ames drained a triple with 8.5 seconds to play for its first lead on Wednesday night.
Taunton found itself in a similar situation on Thursday night, having led for the entire second half with visiting Foxboro mounting a comeback. This time, the Tigers never allowed the lead to evaporate and held on for a 58-52 win over the Warriors, who were playing in their first game of the season.
“That’s a really good win for us,” Dacey said. “[Foxboro] is better than the two teams we’ve played. Coming off back-to-back games, missing Danny MacDougall (sick), it’s a short bench and we’re playing guys that might not normally be playing. We got a little something from everyone.”
With very little varsity experience on the current roster (two seniors, both new to varsity), the Tigers felt like they let two wins slip through their fingers. With Foxboro pushing hard to complete the comeback, Taunton showed some mettle to earn the win.
Foxboro senior Brandon Borde (11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) converted off a Taunton turnover and then set up classmate Ryan Hughes (eight points) for an easy two on back-to-back possessions to cut the Tigers’ lead to 49-46 with just over two minutes to go.
Instead of allowing that momentum to carry over out of a timeout, Taunton sophomore Trent Santos (10 points) pulled up and sank a big three-pointer to answer with 1:44 to play. After trading turnovers, Taunton sophomore Tristan Herry (10 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) came up with a steal that led to an easy two and a 54-46 advantage with 1:02 to play.
Foxboro refused to go away as junior Kevin Gallagher (nine points, three assists) sank one of two free throws, senior Will Morrison (12 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals) picked off a pass that led to a three from Borde, and a full-court press resulted in an errant pass out of bounds by the Tigers to get the visitors the ball back.
Taunton got an important stop as Foxboro missed from downtown but the Tigers, holding a 54-50lead, missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Warriors missed another three attempt and both Herry and junior Tyler Stewart (14 points, 12 rebounds) sank their free throws to ice the game.
In the win, the Tigers had eight of the nine players that played score, and all nine players had at least one board to contribute to a 37-30 advantage on the glass.
“It has to take everyone,” Dacey said, as four Tigers reached double figures in scoring. “They all play hard, they all practice hard. They are a coachable group of kids that have been fun to work with.”
Taunton faced an early deficit (6-0 three minutes in and 9-6 with two minutes to go in the first) but took the lead by the end of the first quarter (13-9). The Tigers only fell behind one, at 19-18 with 2:51 left in the second, the rest of the way.
Any time the Warriors made it close in the second half, Taunton had an answer. The Warriors knotted the score 29-29 early in the third but Taunton senior Logan Lawrence finished through contact to regain the lead, sparking an 11-3 run.
During that run, Stewart converted in the post, junior Josh Lopes (10 points, four rebounds, three steals) had a steal for an easy layup, Stewart finished off a nice feed from Herry, and Santos drained another three for a 40-32 advantage late in the third.
Foxboro answered with a 7-1 burst between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, Dylan Barreira (eight rebounds) battled for an offensive board and earned a free throw, Gallagher converted in the lane, Liam Devlin opened the fourth quarter with a basket on a nice pass from Morrison, and senior Donald Rogers scored off a turnover to make it a two-point game again at 41-39.
Sophomore Faisal Mass (five points, three rebounds) gave the Tigers a nice boost off the bench, coming in to convert an offensive rebound to help halt the Warriors’ momentum. Lopes followed with two, Herry sank two more free throws, and another finish from Stewart pushed the lead back to 49-42.
“I thought offensively it looked like our first game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We were just sloppy and out of sync offensively, and Taunton’s defense had a lot to do with that. But I thought early on we had too many sloppy turnovers with guys trying to do too much early and we couldn’t find our rhythm. Game speed and game atmosphere is obviously different than practice but it was good to get this first one under the belt, and I think we’ll get a lot better moving forward. At Taunton is a pretty unforgiving opener, and give Taunton credit because they capitalized on a lot of our mistakes.
“But I’m proud of the guys that they hung around too. We trailed for most of the game but they hung in there and fought to the end and put ourselves to maybe steal it down the stretch. I thought our defense was good overall but [Taunton] had some timely shots that broke our momentum.”
Herry scored seven of his points in the second quarter and Lopes netted half of his total in that frame to help Taunton take a 29-24 lead at halftime. Juniors Kedrick Santos, Nigel Choate, and William Rowan all came off the bench to provide valuable minutes in the first half.
Both Morrison and Gallagher had a pair of triples to make up half the Warriors’ first half scoring while Devlin came off the bench and had two blocks.
Taunton boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it takes on Bishop Stang at New Bedford High School. Foxboro (0-1, 0-1) is back in action against Bishop Feehan on Monday.
2018-2019 Record: 18-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mark Houle
Attleboro fulfilled high expectations last year with a terrific regular season but had its postseason run cut short in the opening round of the tournament. With an experienced, battle-tested, and deep group of seniors, the Bombardiers are hoping to take the next step during the 2019-2020 season.
The Bombardiers have seven seniors on the roster with six having plenty of valuable minutes at the varsity level. It all starts with a pair of four-year varsity players and captains Bryant Ciccio and Qualeem Charles. Both have played over 60 games for head coach Mark Houle and earned HockomockSports.com First Team honors a year ago. Ciccio (14.7 ppg, 3.2 apg) is like a coach on the floor and Charles (13.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg) is a matchup nightmare and one of the most dominant post players in recent years.
But there is much more to the Bombardiers, such as senior captain Tim Callahan. Callahan had a strong junior season with 7.7 points per game and can change a game with his outside shooting. He will also be relied upon to anchor the defense. Guard Nick McMahon and forward Lorenzo Wilson provided a spark off the bench last season and will be key pieces this season. And senior Jason Weir is back in the mix after missing last year due to injury. Weir showed flashes during his sophomore season, a versatile player that can play in the post or step outside and knock down a three.
Attleboro has a variety of weapons on the offensive end and that will make them difficult to defend. They have a couple of good weapons that can score down low and then a handful of shooters, so the inside-out game will be a big part of the game plan. Charles gives the Bombardiers protection around the rim while all five players are the court will have to contribute on the boards to eliminate second-chance points.
“We will rely on a battle-tested group of seniors, but we will need our underclassman to continue to develop and be ready to step in and play important roles on the team,” said head coach Mark Houle. “We have a hard-working group of players who compete and challenge each other every day in practice.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-10 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Ryan Gordy
After winning back-to-back Davenport division titles, the Bulldogs know it will be a grind to try and get a third with a big target on their backs.
Gone is the program’s all-time leading scorer and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Devin Foster, who was one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league over the past two seasons. That means there is going to be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up for the Bulldogs. Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said this year’s team will be a “much more space and paced” orientated team. Gordy is expecting a more spread out opportunistic approach that will feature contributions from anyone who checks in.
While Foster graduated, the Bulldogs do have a handful of talented and experienced players back on the roster. Senior Kyle Fitzgerald is the top returning scorer from a year ago, netting double figures in six contests. He is also a workhorse on defense and will be one of the leaders on the court. Robbie Gallery, Matt Giglio, and Eric Mischler were all starters at some point during the 2018-2019 season so Gordy will have some veterans to lean on during the year. Gallery, Giglio, and Mischler all showed the ability to come up with a big shot at any time and will help space the floor.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are looking at their versatility and depth to give them flexibility. Gordy believes he has a strong mix of players that will allow him to switch things up and adjust each and every game. Sophomore Lanse Dorcelus earned minutes for the final month of last season and could be a key piece this season.
“We feel like our program is healthy and players have made a commitment to growth,” Gordy said. “This season we are going to focus on the process and maximizing the strengths of our players. Our culture and direction has been a bright spot as we focus on the player person and team development each practice and game. We’re excited to see where we are and where we can get too.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Jon Gibbs
There is good news and bad news when it comes to the Foxboro boys basketball team this season. The good news is that the Warriors expect to once again be one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. The bad news is for the rest of the Hockomock League as Foxboro boasts an improved offense, and combined with their traditional tough defense, has the Warriors in position for a Davenport division title.
With four of their five top scorers back this season, including senior Brandon Borde (team-high 15.3 ppg) and junior Kevin Gallagher (12.9 ppg), the Warriors are looking to ride a balanced approach on offense to improve their scoring after finishing 10th in scoring in the Hockomock League last season (54.4 points per game). Borde is one of the most experienced players back in the league and has the ability to create his own looks as well as lead the team as the floor general. Gallagher had a breakout sophomore season and can really fill up the scoring column, especially from deep.
Borde and Gallagher will also get help from senior Will Morrison, who can catch fire from deep, and senior Ryan Hughes, who can give opponents trouble in the paint. All four players are returning starters from a season ago, so that gives Foxboro an advantage, especially defensively. Head coach Jon Gibbs called the defense the “foundation” of the team. Foxboro has consistently been very fundamentally sound and disciplined on the defensive end.
Seniors Dylan Barreira, Michael Devlin, Liam Devlin, and Donald Rogers all played important minutes last season and will provide a lot of depth for Foxboro.
“We have been making progress each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been very competitive so far as guys work hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we stay hungry, humble, and unselfish, it has the potential to be a very successful season.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Central Quarterfinal Coach: CJ Neely
Ever since the Hockomock League split into two divisions, Franklin has entered each season as one of the top teams in the Kelley-Rex and that looks to be the case yet again this year.
As it does each and every season, defense comes first for the Panthers. Franklin was the best defensive team in the Hockomock League last year, allowing just 48.9 points per game. Not only did the Panthers lead the league in that category, they were the lone team to keep opponents under 50 points on average. It’s the second straight year they’ve had the best defense in the division and third straight year they are in the top three. There are a lot of talented individual defenders on the team but year in and year out, Franklin’s team defense gives them a chance to win.
Offensively, the Panthers boast the top returning scorer in the league in three-year starter Chris Edgehill. Edgehill, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark last season, is an absolute handful to deal with on the offensive end of the court. He can score in a variety of ways, and on top of that, he is very good at getting teammates involved (four assists per game last year). Seniors Jack Rudolph and Steve Karayan are also back after playing valuable minutes last season and will be relied upon on both ends of the floor.
“We have a lot of guys who worked really hard in the offseason to improve and are excited to get on the court,” said head coach CJ Neely. “It’s a great group of people who have a lot of fun together. We need to stay aggressive and share the ball. We hope that strong team defense will continue to be something that defines our program.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dave DeStefano
With a solid group of players returning from last season, second-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping to guide his Warriors back to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Warriors showed flashes throughout last year, including an upset win of Kelley-Rex champions Mansfield on the road. But they were also on the wrong end of a handful of close games, losing five games by five or fewer points. With a year of experience in DeStefano’s system, and for a lot of players their first year of varsity under their belts, King Philip is hoping to turn those close games into wins.
KP boasts two returning starters in Alex Fritz and Andrew McKinney, both standing at 6’3. Fritz had a breakout junior campaign and was the fourth-highest scorer in the Hockomock League with 15.5 points per game. He was able to score in a variety of ways, including through contact at the rim, and will be a vital piece this year. McKinney was fifth on the team in scoring last year, scoring in double-figures in five contests, including a career-high 19 points at Stoughton. Senior Tommy Donahue looks to give the Warriors a strong presence in the post while classmates Owen Conlin and Chris Roy look to be in the mix. Seniors Robbie Jarest and Tom Weir are back in the mix after a year away from the program.
Defensively, King Philip will be relying on its size and physicality. While Donahue (6’5) will be the main rim protector, having long guards and forwards will help KP make life difficult for opponents. The Warriors will need to improve on the defensive end after surrendering a division-high 63.7 points per game last year. DeStefano is looking to get some contributions from junior juniors Donte Barros, Cole Breen, Joe Cullen, Evan Stephens, Will Kinney, and Jake Silveria while sophomores Charlie Grant and Braeden Sottile will likely be in the mix too.
“The boys have really worked hard this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The practices have been really competitive and physical. For us to be successful we will need to make a big commitment on the defensive end of the floor. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops. On offense we are looking to have a balanced attack and create great scoring opportunities as a team.”
2018-2019 Record: 22-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Mike Vaughan
The Hockomock League continues to run through Mansfield.
The Hornets have won the Kelley-Rex division title in eight of its nine years, and it looks like Mansfield will be the team to beat again this year. Three players that burst onto the scene last year – Sam Stevens, TJ Guy, Matt Boen – are now three of the top players in the Hock heading into this season. Mansfield certainly graduated a lot of talent in Tommy Dooling, Damani Scott, and Khristian Conner, but with those three starters back plus seniors Drew Rooney and Makhi Baskin, as well as a handful of newcomers ready to make an impact, Mansfield is poised for another deep tournament run.
Stevens (11.2 ppg) will be one of the toughest players to stop with his ability to finish around the rim as well as deadly three-point shooting, Guy (10.9 ppg) is very good in the post on both ends of the floor, and Boen (9.5 ppg) can score in a variety of ways. All three are capable of filling up the stat sheet on any given night. Baskin provides a lot of energy and can change the game with his effort while Rooney showed last year that he can matchup with some of the top players in the league on the defensive end.
Juniors Brian and Jason See are both strong shooters that work tirelessly on both ends of the floor and should be in the mix for the Hornets this year. Juniors Jack Colby and Brendan Foley will be looking to bring a spark off the bench while sophomore Matt Hyland and freshman Chris Hill are promising young players that could contribute right away.
“I think our depth and ability to play different styles will be a strength of this team,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I’m excited to see where this team can get to as they continue to work hard in practice and mix their individual talents to form our team identity. Transition play, scoring inside and out will be strength on offense. Playing solid man to man and uptempo defense with our depth could create some issues for our opponents.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Paul Seaver
After a season of ups and downs, the Milford Scarlet Hawks are hoping last year’s growing pains transition into a playoff berth this season.
With a large group of returnees, the Hawks will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division title. While head coach Paul Seaver returns the majority of his team, he will need some of the those players to step up on the offensive end the fill the void left by graduation. The Hawks graduated its top three scorers, including the second-highest scorer in the league in Brendan White (18.2 ppg). That means there will be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up and contribute.
Junior Jordan Darling (7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and senior Colby Pires (6.1 ppg) are the top two point producers back this year while junior Dom Schofield also returns after starting as a sophomore. Darling started 19 games this year and was selected to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team after a strong season on both ends of the court. Pires is a leader both on and off the court and plays well in all aspects of the game, and Schofield gives Milford a strong post presence on the defensive end, recording a team-high 38 charges taken last season.
Ralph Franklin Jr., Matty Varteresian, Tyler Whetherbee, and Ben Blanchard all saw time throughout last season and could all be in line for bigger roles this season.
“Our depth will matter, our balance will matter, our chemistry is this group’s most important attribute,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We were the youngest team in the league last season and this group has a lot of players back who are attacking this year with a chip on their shoulder. This group defines what Milford basketball is and that’s a testament to who these kids are hard workers and higher character individuals. I could not be any more excited to coach and work with these kids on a daily basis.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Sean Mulkerrins
There are going to be a lot of new faces dawning the Big Red uniform this winter. After losing nine seniors to graduation, head coach Sean Mulkerrins has just three players back from last year’s nine-win squad.
With a large amount of new players comes a large amount of opportunities. The Rocketeers graduated its two top scorers but bring back senior Ethan Friberg (7.0 ppg) and junior George Ladd (7.4 ppg) to lead the charge offensively this year. Friberg, standing at 6’5, can cause problems in the paint but also van step out and play along the perimeter. Ladd had a breakout sophomore season and was named to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team. He is a little of a throwback player that is very fundamentally sound on the offensive end. Senior Josh Porter, the third returner, saw an expanded role at the end of last season and played well.
Defensively, the Rocketeers will be focusing on limiting opponents to one shot per possession. With some size in the frontcourt, North will try to make it difficult to finish at the rim, and with all five players committed to rebounding, try and minimize second-chance points.
“There will be a lot of new faces with opportunities to make an impact on this year’s team,” Mulkerrins said. “There will definitely be some growing pains and the sooner the new faces adjust to the rigors of varsity basketball, the better we will be.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Don Byron
Last season, Oliver Ames came up just one game shy of the state tournament. Goal number one for the 2019-2020 season is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
With a strong mix of experienced players and hungry new additions, Oliver Ames is ready for the grind that is the Kelley-Rex division and the Hockomock League.
“The expectation is to always get [to the tournament], that’s our first goal,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “We’re pretty optimistic but we know it’s going to be a grind, you have to show up every night, you can’t take a night off.”
Byron has been impressed with his guard play so far this preseason, and that will likely mean featuring three guards in the lineup for the majority of the time. Senior Jay Spillane is a returning starter while classmate Owen Friel and junior Amari Brown were top options off the bench a season ago. Spillane can score in bunches, especially from the outside, while Friel combines a solid shooting game with a hard-nosed defensive approach. Friel’s ability to guard a variety of position makes him a valuable piece in the lineup while Brown is a crafty player that does a nice job getting teammates involved.
Senior center Evan Craig (6’5) will be joined by classmate Ryan Burkett (6’2) in the frontcourt. Both picked up valuable minutes at the varsity level last year and Byron is hoping that will help with their expanded roles this year. Senior guard Adam Cann and junior forwards Trey Buggs and Drew Nickla will provide depth for the Tigers.
“It takes some time to get accustomed to the varsity speed and what we expect at this level,” Byron said. “All of these kids gained experience with us last year, and that year of experience is invaluable.”
2018-2019 Record: 3-17 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrew Ferguson
After a couple of down seasons, the Eagles will be making a strong push to get back into the state tournament for the first time since 2016.
Sharon boasts a number of players who gained varsity experience that will be looking to help the program bounce back. The first being senior Aidan Kane, the team’s leading scorer last season with 11.5 points per game. When he’s on from keep, Kane is one of the top three-point shooters in the league. He has the ability to change a game very quickly if he gets hot from deep. Senior Andrew Burton emerged as one of the Eagles’ top players last year and could be poised to have a breakout year. Sophomore John Baez will start at the point after joining the varsity team for the final month and a half last season.
The Eagles will be relying heavily on its frontcourt to step up on both ends of the court. Senior Caleb Gayle is a traditional post player that will compete hard on both ends of the court, senior Cam Baker is fundamentally sound and a reliable option and junior Hank Ward picked up valuable minutes as a sophomore and will be an important part of the rebound game as well as defensively. Senior Aaron Karten will be in the mix as well, giving the Eagles an athletic frontcourt.
Junior Jordan Barboza should give the Eagles a spark off the bench this year and head coach Andrew Ferguson will look for him as an important defensive piece. Kiran Chandrasekaran had flashes of the strong play off the bench last year and should see an expanded role this year, while junior transfer Matt Baskin could provide a needed scoring punch.
“This group has worked tremendously hard in the offseason and the preseason and is looking to translate that into success throughout the regular season,” Ferguson said. “Many of the players have gained valuable experience at the varsity level over the past two years and our senior class are tremendous leaders who provide a great example for our younger players.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-11 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Preliminary Round Coach: John Gallivan
Stoughton ended its playoff drought last season and with a good amount of those players back again this year, the Davenport division title and a deep playoff run could be in the forecast this season.
The Black Knights have their leading scorer back in 6’5 senior forward Obinna Ugwuakazi, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game with nine double-doubles last year. His athleticism and ability to finish through contact made him a tough matchup for opponents, and he will be at the forefront of the Stoughton offense again this year. Fellow senior Tahkwan Gates Brown, who also stands at 6’5, is also back and we could see the duo play together at times which will certainly make life tough for opponents.
Senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell is back for his third year on varsity. After improving each of the past two seasons, the 2019-2020 season could be a breakout year for Grigalunas-Powell, who can score from three-point range but is also a crafty finisher attacking the rim. Ahmad Jahed had flashes of strong play last year and will be back in the mix again this year, and the same goes for Tommy Sanda. Juniors Brett Pendenza and Jake Queeney are also back after earning some minutes last year.
“We feel like we can score this year both from downtown and from down low,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “And with our size in the paint, we hope to make it difficult for opponents to score consistently.”
2018-2019 Record: 15-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal Coach: Charlie Dacey
After a strong regular season, the Taunton boys basketball team flipped a switch in the tournament and made a run to the D1 South Semis, nearly knocking off powerhouse Mansfield. With a taste of postseason success, the Tigers are hoping to replicate that success this year with another impressive playoff stretch.
The Tigers boast speed, skill, and depth this season and will be in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season. While Taunton lost a lot of production from last year (Lou Vendrell, Mike Quinn, John Martins, Wesner Charles), there are a handful of players battling to earn their chance at minutes in the Tigers’ lineup. One constant in that lineup over the past couple of years is senior Dante Law, who enters his fourth year with the varsity group. Law was Taunton’s leading scorer a year ago with 14.1 points per game but none of the other returners were over five points a game, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity for new players to step up.
Seniors Fabio Goncalves (6’6) and Aiden Pelot, as well as junior Tyler Stewart (6’6) make up the frontcourt for the Tigers. All three played at the varsity level last year and will be key pieces at helping the Tigers defend and win the battle on the boards. Law will be joined by junior Josh Lopes, who showed flashes during his sophomore season, DaeDae Kenion, and sophomore transfer Tristan Herry as key pieces of the offense.
The Tigers are also excited about the depth on the team this year. Junior Danny MacDougall earned starting minutes last year and is a reliable option in a variety of roles while Trent Santos, Logan Lawrence, and Jonathan Torres will all be in the mix for Taunton.
“With this team, press and run should be ‘Plan A’ although there are skills available to play at a slower pace,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.
Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Leo Coelho, Milford
Hockomock League All Stars
Michael Russo, Attleboro
Joshua Smith, Attleboro
William Keefe, Canton
Joseph Cusack, Foxboro
Dylan Barreira, Foxboro
William Morrison, Foxboro
Samuel Stowell, Franklin
Donald Tappin, Franklin
Jacob Cummings, Franklin
Matthew Clarke, King Philip
Evan McEvoy, King Philip
Evan Eames, Mansfield
Leo Coelho, Milford
Pedro Araujo, Milford
Jordan Borges, Milford
Daniel Santos, Milford
Anthony Salisbury, Mansfield
Kyle Briere, North Attleboro
James Sales, North Attleboro
Matthew Mordini, North Attleboro
Colin Milliken, Oliver Ames
Matthew Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Kevin Louhis, Oliver Ames
Isaiah Stessman, Sharon
Nolan Gerome, Stoughton
Nolan Melo, Taunton
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The state tournament doesn’t start until next week, but the North Attleboro boys soccer team got a head start in its final week of the regular season.
The Rocketeers’ final two opponents — Foxboro and Mansfield — head into their season finale’s needing points to qualify for the state tournament. The Warriors, who visited Beaupre Field on Tuesday afternoon, needed one point (a draw or win) while Mansfield needs a win on Thursday afternoon.
North Attleboro passed its first test, scoring a goal in each half to secure a 2-0 win over Foxboro and deny the Warriors a postseason berth.
“You go down against them, how many goals have they’ve given up all year? Not many,” said Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino. “They stay compact and keep it tight. To be fair, they were the better team. Our passing was just a little bit off, I think our intensity from the start wasn’t there. So give credit to them, they came out and beat us today.”
The hosts, who entered the contest with a playoff berth secured via a second-place finish in the Davenport, learned a valuable lesson from their first matchup with Foxboro. Despite taking an early lead, North Attleboro saw the Warriors score back-to-back goals to earn a comeback win.
“We’ve had moments where we scored first, like we did against them last time, and fell asleep,” Burgess said. “So we’ve been really conscious about that. But when we [get a lead] and decide to park the bus, we’re pretty confident. We knew they were going to push because they had to, and as soon as we scored that just kind of fed right into the game plan.
“We saw on film where there were moments that [Foxboro] defended with two guys. I know [Matt] Mordini is faster than half of the defenders in the league, and I know [Matt] Conley is faster than all the defenders in the league. So that gives us a great chance to surprise people.”
This time around, the Warriors need to score played right into the game plan of the hosts. With a defense-first mentally, the Rocketeers’ counter-attack style led to a handful of breakout chances, mostly in the second half after taking a 2-0 lead.
Despite missing out on a golden chance three minutes into the game, the Rocketeers did jump in front on their second chance which came in the 24th minute. Goalie Kyle Briere launched a deep ball over the top of the Foxboro defense that Joey Coscarella made a run onto. The bounce eluded Coscarella, but the run drew a defender free of Matt Mordini, who was able to just get his shot off before the oncoming keeper, placing it into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.
Foxboro’s best chances of the opening half came off free kicks. Junior Dylan Barreira put a shot on goal from 20 yards out but Briere (eight saves) was in position for the stop. Joe Cusack set up the other chance in the 34th minute, putting a free kick into the area but Tim Behn’s bid was over the bar.
“It seemed like we were building out of the back in the first half and we just couldn’t find that final pass,” Franchino said. “They were putting a lot of pressure on our back four. I think we were off in completing passes, breaking lines in the middle third. We didn’t try to play direct, there was some space behind but we didn’t have the intensity. But give credit to North, they came and played well today.”
The game really opened up after North Attleboro doubled its lead just under four minutes into the second half. Mordini played a ball wide to Matt Conley, who got a touch to center the ball and Coscarella latched onto a half volley, finding the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.
From that point on, the Rocketeers had a handful of chances to add to its lead but couldn’t solve Foxboro keeper Dylan Tierney (10 saves). Foxboro had its share of chances but only came up with a pair of serious threats against Briere.
Just minutes after the second goal, another long ball from Briere found Mordini but Tierney made a big one-on-one stop and the rebound fell back into the keepers’ arms. Six minutes later, North senior Alex Pfeffer got a hold of a clearance that forced Tierney into a terrific diving save.
Foxboro junior Jeremy Neale kept the game at a two-goal deficit in the 55th minute by clearing a chance off the line. After Tierney made the initial stop on Coscarella, Mordini’s follow up chance was inches away from crossing the line until Neale intervened.
A change in formation led to more chances for Foxboro over the final 20 minutes. Cusack found Barreira at the back post on a free kick, but Barreira’s high touch was corralled by Briere. Two minutes later, Barreira had back-to-back free kick chances but the first was saved by Briere and the second just skipped wide at the post.
With Foxboro pushing, North’s counter-attack was on as Conley got in behind on a partial breakaway but Tierney came up with another big stop.
Barreira, who was almost always surrounded by a sea of red jerseys, had a shot blocked in the 67th and the loose ball fell to Will Morrison, but his blast went over the bar in the 67th minute. Max Beigel played a quick 1-2 with Barreira but his shot from atop the area was gobbled up in the 75th minute.
Briere put an exclamation point on the shutout with a terrific diving save in the 78th minute, robbing Barreira on a free kick from just outside the area.
“That was a big part coming in, we knew they’d come at us full boar cause they needed the game, they needed a point,” Burgess said. “Mansfield is in the same situation on Thursday so we have a chance to treat both of these games like playoff games. I think it’s great preparation going forward.
“We focused on taking Barreira out of the game, we moved [James] Sales to a different position, he was playing the six instead of the 10. Every set piece, he was always around Barreira, because he killed us last time as he probably he does a lot of teams.”
With Foxboro needing just a point entering the game, Franchino was asked if there was any thought about playing a similar defensive-first style that North plays, but the head coach noted the team was looking for a win to get in.
“That’s not the style we play, we could have had a draw to go through but for me, I was looking to not play the number one seed and get over [North Attleboro], that was my mentality, that’s always my mentality,” Franchino said. “We could have [sat back from the beginning], but I think we if set back, and with the intensity we didn’t have, we would have gotten bombarded. I want to win the game, want to be confident and try to instill that in my players.”
North Attleboro (8-5-3 Hockomock, 8-6-3 overall) will host Mansfield in both teams’ regular season finale on Thursday. The Hornets are unbeaten in seven straight with four straight wins and need a fifth straight in order to qualify for the state tournament. Foxboro finishes the season at 7-8-3.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – King Philip’s offense exploded for four goals in the first half and never looked back to earn two points in a win over visiting Attleboro. Alex Leon scored a pair of goals to pace the offense while Steven Griffin had a goal and two assists in the win. Leon opened the scoring in the 14th minute on an assist from Brian McCarthy, and Ajae Olson doubled the lead four minutes later with Cam Lawrence setting things up. Griffin scored in the 26th minute on a feed from Owen Teixeira, and then set up Leon for KP’s fourth goal in the 38th minute. Griffin returned the favor to Teixeira in the second half for a 47th minute goal.
Canton, 0 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – The Eagles scored twice in the final 10 minutes at Gillette Stadium to earn an important victory. The first goal came with less than 10 minutes remaining, as Brian Higgins had his shot from inside the box saved by Canton goalie Alejandro Correal but the rebound fell right to Viktor Schneider, who made no mistake from close range. With time running down, the Eagles sealed the win when Schneider flicked a header to Mason Benton for a cool finish into the corner. Sharon now needs four points from its final three games to qualify for the playoffs.
Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Foxboro senior Dylan Barreira scored a first half hat trick and the Warriors kept their postseason hopes alive with a win at Stoughton. Barreira opened the scoring in the 30th minute, getting a deflected shot to find inside of the far post. He added a second on a nice shot from top of the area in the 32nd minute, and completed his hat trick by cleaning up a long throw from Tim Behn (two assists) in the 33rd minute. An own goal gave the Warriors a 4-0 lead, and in the 59th minute, Behn’s long throw found Barreira, who crossed for a one-timer from Joe Cusack to make it 5-0.
Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin picked up a win at home to qualify for the state tournament. Senior Donny Tappin orchestrated all three goals, setting up Ben Moccia for the first two goals of the net. Tappin then assisted on a goal from Charlie Amante to help Franklin secure the win.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield rallied for a pair of second half goals to earn an upset win over once-beaten Oliver Ames and keep its playoff hopes alive. The Tigers took the lead midway through the first half when Anthony DaCosta finished off a pass from Matthew Nikiciuk. Mansfield pulled level in the 58th minute as sophomore Sagar Koul finished a corner from Dan Rowe. Koul bagged his second of the game and the game-winner in the 78th minute off a service from Ethan Scholes.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Milford and North Attleboro traded first half goals to split the points. Leo Coelho put the hosts ahead shortly before the midway mark of the first half before James Sales pulled the visitors level, burying a second ball off a corner kick.
King Philip, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – King Philip found the back of the net three times in the second half to pull away and secure two points on the road at Attleboro. Kiera Lindmark (from Avery Snead) put the visitors on the board with a shot just under the crossbar in the 34th minute. Chloe Layne scored the next two for KP, finishing off a cross from Ava Tormey in the 53rd minute and getting a touch to Makayla Griffin’s free kick service in the 67th minute. Paulina Bazcowski capped KP’s scoring, going top shelf on a feed from Layne. Attleboro coach Steve Santos praised his team’s defensive effort to keep it close with the unbeaten Warriors. Briley Harnois scored the lone goal for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 4 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Elisa Diletizia scored a second half hat trick to power Canton to a big win at Gillette Stadium. The Eagles controlled play in the opening half, but failed to take the few chances that came their way. Canton took advantage to grab the lead against the run of play. Olivia Rodman created space for a cross from the left and it was turned in by a Sharon defender for a 1-0 lead at the break. Diletizia scored all three of her goals from outside the box, including the final shot that was curled in off the far post, moving the Bulldogs back to .500 and needing two points from the final two games to make the postseason.
Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 13 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Bridgette Ginley scored twice in the first half to help secure Franklin’s spot in the state tournament. Ginley scored 10 minutes into the game off an assist by Sydney St. Marie and then added Franklin’s third with four minutes to go in the half, off an assist by Chloe Barca. Anna Grasso had the second, from Anna Balkus. In the second half, Sabrina Addi scored an unassisted goal and Rachel Hogan got the fifth, assisted by Bridget Leo. Taunton goalie Grace Pimenta made at least a dozen saves to keep the Tigers close.
Mansfield, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Mansfield took a first half lead but Oliver Ames found the back of the net twice in the second half to pick up its 13th win of the season. Erin Holmberg finished off a cross from Allison Evin to bring the hosts level. Leah Johnson scored the winner for OA, getting a touch on a corner kick from Abby Hodges. Olivia Carroll and Mary Cross had strong games for OA.
Milford, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – A back and forth contest ended in a scoreless draw with each team earning a point. Regan Fein recorded her fifth shutout for North Attleboro while Alex Moulson, Collette Petit, Lydia Hershey and Taylor Ward had strong games for North Attleboro. North coach Bill Wallace noted Tess Collins had her best game since returning from injury.