Quinn Sets Career-High as Franklin Rolls at OA

Franklin girls basketball
Franklin sophomore Olivia Quinn scored a career-high 32 points, including 23 in the second half, to lead the Panthers to a big win at OA. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – As a freshman, Franklin forward Olivia Quinn got to experience life on the varsity team, spending every practice going up against the Panthers star center Ali Brigham during the team’s run to a Div. 1 Central title. That experience seems to have paid off handsomely for the Panthers because Quinn has taken her game to another level this winter.

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In a showdown at the Nixon Gym of the top two teams in the Kelley-Rex division, Quinn was unstoppable. She poured in a career-high 32 points, including 23 in the second half, and knocked down five three-pointers, including all four that she took after the break.

Quinn and Brigham combined to score 37 of Franklin’s 41 points in the second half, as the Panthers rolled to a 71-41 victory and grabbed control of first place in the division.

“I thought on offense we executed at a high level, especially in the second half,” Franklin coach John Leighton explained. “We got under control, we didn’t kick the ball around the gym, stopped fouling, and just got good possessions. When they doubled Ali, we moved the ball and kids knocked down open shots.”

OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook added, “We just didn’t do the little things we needed to do to stay afloat. Give them credit. They’re the real deal, they certainly are, and I’m grateful that we get another chance because there are certainly things we need to work on. That’s the level that we’re trying to achieve.”

While Brigham, the reigning league MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, will always be the primary focus for opposing teams, but the Panthers showed right away that there are other weapons for teams to deal with. Kaleigh Houlihan knocked down a pair of threes in the first quarter, including one in the corner off an inbounds pass from Elizabeth Wilson to put Franklin up 14-8 after one.

Tate Hadges knocked down a jumper and Caroline Peper (nine points) knocked down her only three of the game, and Hailey Bourne (seven points) hit a jumper off a Meg Holleran assist, as the Tigers tried to keep it close in the second.

Wilson scored all four of her points in the second quarter, Brigham (22 points and three blocks) added four more and Quinn started to find the range with seven in the quarter to help Franklin build the lead. A Quinn corner three on a Houlihan assist made it 30-18, but OA got Caroline Flynn free inside for a layup to cut the lead back to 10 heading into the locker room.

It didn’t take long for the Panthers to break the game wide open, as the Tigers simply couldn’t contain Brigham in the third. The George Washington-commit scored 12 points in the quarter on a variety of post moves on both sides of the rim and even stepping back to drill a three that put the Panthers up 41-26.

“It’s nice having a Div. I kid sitting there,” Leighton said, “but it creates good spacing and (point guard) Erin [Quaile] did a good job creating, getting to the rim when we needed her to. It really puts the defense in peril when everyone is getting touches. No kid can be a spare part.”

When OA did get the ball out of Brigham’s hands, Quinn was there to create another difficult matchup. She scored with a lefty scoop, nailed a three off a Quaile assist, and then hit another from the corner, as Franklin led by as many 22 in the third. Quaile also got to the rim for the only two points not scored by Quinn or Brigham in the quarter.

“As a freshman, I had a lot less confidence,” said Quinn, who entered the week as the fourth leading scorer in the league at more than 15 points per game. “This year, I’m taking on a bigger role in the team and they’re all helping me out and it’s been a great season so far.”

Leighton noted, “Her playing time what it was but she worked her tail off. Going at that speed, going against Ali every day in practice, makes you better. The big thing is confidence. Tonight it all came together. They had a hard time closing out and it gave her the look and she knocked it down.”

Franklin’s defense was preventing OA from keeping the game close, holding the Tigers to just three made field goals in the third. Tori Harney got a jumper after Flynn (10 points and eight rebounds) snagged an offensive board and swung the ball around to the forward. Flynn also scored inside and Bourne managed to slip through the defense on a drive, but it was Franklin by 20 heading to the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, Quinn took over. Quaile set her up for a three and then, after Brigham got a bucket inside, she buried a second one on a kick-out. An offensive rebound for two and the layup plus the foul in transition after a Meghan O’Connell steal put the Panthers up by 27. Another basket on a Brigham assist and a pair at the line completed an impressive night for Quinn and the Panthers.

“We got beat off the dribble repeatedly, we didn’t cover three-point shooters, and I said to them that they’re not 30 points better than we are, but they are today. We didn’t execute any part of our game plan and we didn’t learn from our mistakes.”

Quinn said, “Them being the only other undefeated team in the Hock, this was a big game for us and we really came ready to play with a lot of intensity and gave it to them early.”

Franklin (9-0, 8-0) will be back home on Tuesday in another showdown, this time against Davenport division leader Foxboro. Oliver Ames (8-2, 7-1) will try to bounce back from its second loss when it hosts Milford.

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2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

2018-2019 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview
The new girls basketball season promises to be as competitive as ever with a number of teams jockeying for a place in the state tournament. Here is our team-by-team breakdown. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019-2020 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2018-2019 Record: 8-14
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Martin Crowley
Attleboro was three wins shy of reaching the postseason last year, despite a roster filled with inexperienced players, and the Bombardiers demonstrated the potential in the squad by upsetting Franklin late in the season and handing the Panthers their only league loss. This winter, the Bombardiers will be looking to turn potential into reality and make a jump into the playoff picture.

Six players are returning from last year, including seniors Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall, who give Attleboro a talented backcourt on both ends of the court. Thomas adds length and slashing ability, while McCall is a sharpshooter who will be the team’s primary ball-handler. Sophomore Meg Gordon has taken a big leap from last year and head coach Marty Crowley thinks that she is ready for a breakout season on the wing.

Juniors Gabby Bosh and Emma Reilly will both be back to add some nous to the lineup, while sophomores Hailey and Lindsey Perry add grit and toughness. Junior Ryan Johnson will add size to the frontcourt, while sophomore Lillian Froio and juniors Jackie MacDonald and Laura McVeigh add depth and physicality. Overall, it is a much deeper, more experienced group for Crowley to build lineups with this season.

“For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound,” Crowley said. “Nyah and Liv I am sure are going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone, however, we feel as if we have the players in place who will contribute offensively.”

Canton

2018-2019 Record: 14-7
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal.
Coach: Jim Choquette
Youth was served for the Bulldogs last season, as a talented trio of freshmen jumped into the starting lineup and helped Canton have one of its most successful seasons in program history, with 14 wins and a return to the state tournament. There were still some learning curves to overcome, but now a more experienced group is play with speed and get out on the break as often as possible to give Foxboro a challenge in the Davenport title race and bring home a postseason win.

Although Canton is still a relatively young team, the talent on the roster is undeniable. Sophomores Kiara Cerruti and Sydney and Fay Gallery all had impressive rookie campaigns, showing off their skills on the wing, from three-point range, and in the paint. They will face even more pressure this season, as teams know what they like to do and will be even more determined to take them out of their games.

Sophomore Carly Fitzgerald will be one of the players stepping into the point guard role vacated by the graduation of Julia Hamilton and will be the facilitator getting Canton into its offense. In the paint, Canton has size and athleticism in senior Lilah Milton and junior Kayla Albert, who are both active rebounders and finishers at the rim and both have shown the ability to knock down the occasional jumper as well. Juniors Angie Elias and Sam Lamarr and sophomore Annie Hoban all have experience from last year to add to Canton’s depth.

Canton coach Jim Choquette said, “Each day we will try to improve as a coaching staff and a program. By the end of the season, our hopes are to be playing at our best.”

Foxboro

2017-2018 Record: 20-3
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal.
Coach: Lisa Downs
The two-time defending Davenport division champions return all but one player from last year’s roster, so Foxboro remains the team to beat for the league title and expectations are very high heading into a new season. After a trip to the Div. 2 South semifinals last season, the Warriors will be aiming for even more this winter, trying to regain the top spot not just in the Hock but also in the South sectional.

Junior Katelyn Mollica was the team’s leading scorer last year and is already closing in on 1,000 points for her career. The team’s primary ball-handler and one of the best shooters in the league, Mollica will be one of the top offensive threats in the league. She will have plenty of help. Senior guard Lizzy Davis and senior forwards Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman will also return to the starting lineup this season and add athleticism, speed, and tenacity on both ends of the floor, taking some pressure off Mollica with their ability to score in the open court.

Senior Shakirah Ketant came on strong at the end of last season and gives Foxboro a different, more physical look in the paint. Junior Jordyn Collins is a tough on-the-ball defender and has speed to burn. Seniors Jamie DeVellis and Julia Kelley both saw time on the floor last year and will add to Foxboro’s depth. Sophomore center Hannah Blake is a new face that could provide more strength in the post.

“The Hockomock League continues to produce teams, which make every night a tough one – there are really no teams that you can take lightly,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “The preparation required to compete in this league really benefits teams that get to the postseason.”

Franklin

2018-2019 Record: 21-4
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinal.
Coach: John Leighton
Franklin is coming off its best season in program history and the Panthers have the talent returning to potentially surpass that success this winter. After winning the program’s first sectional title and coming within minutes of reaching the state title game, Franklin returns three of its starters and a host of bench players ready to step into bigger roles this year.

The key to it all is senior Ali Brigham. The George Washington-commit controlled the paint on both ends of the floor last season and remains the league’s most dominant star, as she continues to expand her game to make it even more difficult for the opposition. Teams can’t focus only on Brigham, as senior forward Meghan O’Connell showed in the playoffs the problems she can present with her ability to score and rebound and sophomore Olivia Quinn is another forward with size that teams will struggle to match up with.

Junior point guard Erin Quaile is a tenacious defender and a solid ball-handler, who is developing her outside shot. Senior Sydney Garilli and juniors Elizabeth Wilson, Teagan Collins, and Carissa Alers all saw time last season and will be in the backcourt rotation. Franklin will also add several newcomers, who could step right in and contribute, including juniors Katelynn Taylor and Kaleigh Houlihan and sophomores Emma Sousa and Stefany Padula. On balance, the Panthers look likely to be the team to beat again in the Kelley-Rex.

“I am excited by what I have seen to date,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They are a very motivated group who have bought into their team motto ‘We Over Me.’ They are good teammates who seek team success over individual glory.”




King Philip

2018-2019 Record: 14-8
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip had a breakout season in 2018-19, winning 13 games and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. Returning seven players from last year’s roster, new head coach Dan Nagle takes over a program in solid shape and is looking to build on last season’s success and try to challenge Franklin at the top of the league standings this winter.

Senior Faye Veilleux spearheaded KP’s breakout season when she emerged as one of the top post scorers in the league. Her versatility and her ability to get out in transition will be crucial to Nagle’s fastbreaking style. Senior Faith Roy will give the Warriors a clutch outside shooter and classmate Taylor Butler adds physicality to the guard or forward position.

Junior Emma Glaser will be expected to take on a bigger role after a strong sophomore season on the wing and junior point guard Brianna James demonstrated the ability to get into the lane at will and finish even against taller opponents. Juniors Caroline Aaron and Courtney Keswick are also back from last year to provide depth on the wings and 6-foot-3 freshman Emily Sawyer will give KP much-needed size in the post, as they try to combat Franklin’s Ali Brigham. The Warriors are going to try and break teams down with aggressive defending and their speed in transition.

Nagle said, “It has been a great start to the year with this group of kids. From top to bottom our roster is full of girls who love the game of basketball and are enjoying the process of improving day to day here in the early going. I think we will be a fun team to watch this season, and I look forward to the challenge of having our kids compete night in and night out in an excellent league like the Hockomock.”

Mansfield

2018-2019 Record: 17-6
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Mike Redding
Mansfield has consistently been one of the top programs in the Kelley-Rex division but even the best programs are going to need time to overcome the graduation of 10 seniors. The Hornets will lack experience, but head coach Mike Redding will be looking for improvement over the course of the season and will be hoping to have the team playing its best basketball as the tournament rolls around.

Senior Becca Hottleman was recently cleared after knee surgery and will be back at the point for the Hornets. Hottleman is one of only two players that got starts last year. Junior forward Ashley Santos is the other and she will be one of the players expected to see her numbers take a jump, as she should expect to get a few more looks on the offensive end. Senior Kelly Doherty and junior Kayla Vine will jump into starting roles on the wings, while junior Sara Dooling will be a starter at forward.

While there is a lack of varsity playing time on the roster, there are plenty of upperclassmen that will be expected to contribute. Junior Sarah Sacco will back-up Hottleman at the point, while junior Ally Prentis and senior Grace Benton will add depth at the wing. Senior Grace Maher and juniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking will see time in the frontcourt and freshman wing Abby Wager should get opportunities to build experience this season.

“This group has very limited varsity basketball experience overall because we had that large and talented group of 10 seniors last year, but we’re not young and will rely on senior leadership and a deep junior class and all have varsity experience in other sports,” said Redding. “We have good size and depth in the post and all of them can shoot, handle the ball, and play like guards, which should cause some problems for the defense. It will be a work in progress and we’ll have to battle for wins in a very good league but this will be a good basketball team by February when the tourney rolls around.”

Milford

2018-2019 Record: 1-19
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Last year was a tough one for Milford. After graduating the bulk of the roster, an inexperienced group struggled through the season, but never lost the work rate and closed out the winter with its first win. The Hawks are still relatively young, but head coach TJ Dolliver is approaching the new year with optimism because of his team’s continued growth.

Four juniors are entering their third varsity seasons and the Hawks will be counting on them to provide necessary leadership on and off the court. Emma Lawrence, Jillian Michelson, Carly Fereira, and Katie Maietta have all gotten plenty of playing time last year and the hope is that experience will serve them well this winter.

This will be a guard-heavy lineup, especially with no player over 5-foot-8. Junior Elise Fauerbach will add some physical play to the frontcourt and sophomore forward Jill Araujo is a newcomer that can add some depth in the paint.

“There is a lot to pay attention to but what I care about the most is how we do this together,” said Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls and a great coaching staff and I believe this season will be very rewarding.”

North Attleboro

2018-2019 Record: 7-14
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Nikki Correia
It has been a tough run over the last few seasons for North Attleboro, which won seven games and missed the playoffs for the third straight year, but there are still positives to take away as former assistant Nikki Correia takes over for her first year in charge. North has several experienced players returning to try and push Big Red back up the standings.

The backcourt should be a plus for North with senior point guard Olivia Forbes back to run the show and keep the Rocketeers getting into the transition game that Correia prefers. She will be joined at the guard position by junior Amanda Kaiser, who emerged as not only a threat from deep but also as a tough defender who gets her hands into the passing lane. Juniors Siobhan Weir and Lydia Santos will add to the depth at guard to help with the full-court pressure that North will turn to this year.

North hasn’t had much height in the past few seasons, but there are several forwards who can compete on the glass. Senior forward Eliza Dion is an aggressive defender and can take her defender off the dribble. Senior Regan Fein will add extra depth in the paint. Freshman guard Ava McKeown and sophomore guard Summer Doherty are two newcomers that could make an instant impact.

“I am looking forward to being apart of watching this team and this program grow this year,” Correia said. “There are six returning seniors, so that veteran play will be very helpful, as well as returning a great shooter and adding an athletic sophomore and freshman to the mix.”




Oliver Ames

2018-2019 Record: 13-9
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames had a lot of new faces last year, but the success was very familiar. The Tigers finished with 13 wins and reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal, giving Wellesley all it could handle on the road. A year of experience and the return of a strong core of players means expectations are even higher for OA this winter.

Sophomore Caroline Peper will be the player that is going to draw the most attention at the start of the new season. As a freshman, Peper was one of the league’s top scorers and its top shooters. Junior Caroline Flynn was also an all-star last year. She runs the point, is one of the top passers on the team, and also one of its top rebounders. Her overall game helps the Tigers control games. Also in the backcourt will be seniors Meg Holleran and Erin Holmberg, who is coming back after surgery cost her almost all of last season.

Senior Tate Hadges will be on the front line, giving OA another strong defender and rebounder. Sophomore Hailey Bourne, while undersized, gives the Tigers a lot of effort in the post even when matched up against some of the best frontcourt players in the league. Junior Jess Erlich and Tori Harney and sophomore Anna Murphy will add to the team’s depth on the wing.

“As always, the Hock will present with a very high level of competition,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We are looking forward to being capable of putting together a variety of strong personnel combinations which will provide us with depth as we face those challenges.”

Sharon

2018-2019 Record: 9-11
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Sandra Lombardi
Sharon narrowly missed out on its first playoff appearance under head coach Sandy Lombardi, finishing just one win away from a tournament berth. With three returning starters and several younger players who got significant playing time last year, the Eagles will be eyeing that elusive postseason berth.

Three seniors will be counted on to lead the team at both ends of the floor. Point guard Ally Brown will be expected to get the Eagles into their offensive sets and is a strong defender on the other end, keeping pressure on the perimeter. Shooting guard Kaitlyn Wallace is the team’s top outside threat, stretching the defense with her range and also being a strong passer off the dribble. Forward Telishya Herbert led the team in scoring last year and is a matchup nightmare in the paint with her aggressive play going to the basket.

The starting lineup will be rounded out by junior Leah Fandel and sophomore Trinity Payne, two athletic forwards that will give Sharon decent size on the front line. Senior Nicole Teven, juniors Julia Early and Gaby Cabral and freshman Tess Letendre will all see plenty of playing time this season and will look to contribute to the team’s success.

“Ally, Kaitlyn, and Telishya have the most varsity experience and I expect great things from them this year,” Lombardi said. “We have a young team and I am hoping some of the younger players are able to step up this year as well.”

Stoughton

2018-2019 Record: 7-13
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
A new era will begin this winter, as Stoughton moves into its brand new gym with a lot of new faces on the roster, hoping to get the Black Knights back into the playoff race this season after missing out on the tournament last year.

The key for the Black Knights will be its senior leadership. Although Sydnee Hyacinthe has moved on to Milton Academy, they still return a strong core led by senior Aliyah Wright. The point guard can be a dominant presence on both ends of the floor, sparking Stoughton on defense and breaking down the opposition off the dribble. Senior Shyanne Trinh is healthy to start the season and will be the team’s top outside threat, with the ability to knock down shots off the dribble. Senior forward Lexi Baptista is an athletic post threat who can also step back and knock down the mid-range jumper.

Senior Hannah Pagano and juniors Brooke Bulger, Mackenzie Manning, and Catherine Downey will add to the team’s depth, especially in the backcourt. Sophomore Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and freshman Kyla Sheedy-Goff will be two of the newcomers to the roster that could make a name for themselves this season.

“Despite being somewhat young this season this group of ladies worked really hard in the off-season,” said Stoughton coach Charmain Steele Jordan. “The sky is the limit this season and our Black Knights are going compete hard until the final whistle blows.”

Taunton

2018-2019 Record: 7-15
2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Amy Siggens
After a number of seasons under coach Walter Harrigan, Taunton has turned to former King Philip coach Amy Siggens this year and she has brought plenty of energy into her first preseason with the Tigers, trying to push the program back into the playoff hunt.

As Siggens and the players become more comfortable with each other, the Tigers will count on their returning starters to get things off to a good start. Juniors Sonya and Jaelyn Fernandez and Kelsey White will be the players to watch this season after strong sophomore campaigns. All three have good size, with both Sonya and Jaelyn providing strong presences on the boards and out on the break and White causing match-up issues on the perimeter. All three will need to step up on the defensive end and keep the Tigers running.

Taunton also has depth, although it will be relatively inexperienced. Seniors Liz Crisman and Jaylah Chaves and junior Tori DaRosa will add more depth in the backcourt. Sophomores Braeley McDonald and Abby Souza (who has helped out on varsity since she was an eighth-grader) and freshman Kameron St. Pierre will also chip in this season.

“Any coaching change brings lots of challenges and, this season, we will be faced with our share,” said Siggens. “I am very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far. Our bench is young and talented but how quickly a good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start.”

Brigham Dominates as Franklin Ends Foxboro Streak

Franklin junior center Ali Brigham put up monster numbers (27 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocks) to end Foxboro’s 26-game unbeaten run and keep the Panthers unbeaten in league play this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – Coming into Tuesday night’s showdown, Foxboro and Franklin were both unbeaten (8-0) in Hockomock play and were the league’s top two scoring teams, its top two defensive teams, its two division leaders, and boasted the league’s top two scorers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It was clearly a battle of the top two teams in the Hock and it was a battle that was dominated by the Hock’s top scorer, Ali Brigham. The 6-foot-3 junior center scored 27 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, and blocked six shots, controlling the paint on both ends of the court to help Franklin remain unbeaten with a 52-40 victory.

“She’s frustrated because she thought that she could’ve played better,” Franklin coach John Leighton joked when asked about Brigham’s performance night-in, night-out. “It’s great coaching a kid that wants to become better. She’s not complacent. She’s not close to the player that she wants to be, yet. She keeps expanding her game.”

Franklin’s win ended Foxboro’s 26-game win streak and 33-game league win streak.

While Brigham rightfully stole the headlines for her all-around game, Franklin also won because of its defensive performance on Foxboro sophomore Katelyn Mollica. The league’s second leading scorer was held to just nine points (four in the fourth quarter) thanks to the very close attention of sophomore Erin Quaile.

With Mollica contained, Foxboro was held more than 20 points below its season average.

“It gets tough for Mollica having all that pressure, especially when you have someone who can stick with you the way Quaile did tonight,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “She completely blocked her out and denied her the ball, but I don’t know if we have any answer for Ali Brigham but our goal was to keep her below her average and we didn’t do that.”

The Panthers jumped out to an early lead, as Brigham scored eight points in the first, matching Foxboro’s total in the quarter. She twice got baskets on offensive rebounds, drove to the basket and was set up by a Bea Bondhus drive. Bondhus (nine points) also scored twice herself and Megan O’Connell (10 points) added four points.

Chelsea Gibbons hit a three, Mollica hit a pull-up three and Lizzy Davis scored on a jumper, but that was all the Warriors could manage against Franklin’s pressure defense.

Leighton said, “Erin Quaile and Shannon Gray have been doing this all year. We unleash them on the other team’s best guards and they’re very good athletes and tough as nails but it helps having Ali behind them. They ran a lot of screens for Mollica tonight and I thought we hedged well; no one was alone on an island.”

That pattern held in the second, as the Warriors were held to eight points as a team again. A quick 6-0 run extended the Panthers’ advantage to 14 points, but Foxboro hung around thanks to four points from Yara Fawaz (team-high 12 points and six rebounds). But, whenever Foxboro seemed to be climbing back into the game, Franklin responded and Brigham scored off assists by Quaile and Elizabeth Wilson to push the lead back to 12 at halftime.

“Foxboro doesn’t win as many games in a row as they have without that,” said Leighton about Foxboro continually pushing back. “There is zero quit, but I thought we answered defensively every time they made a run. We got patient on offense, worked the ball around and instead of taking that first open look, work it around and either get an inside touch or kick it out to the open kid.”

The third quarter was back-and-forth. Brigham was again the focal point for the Panthers, who found different ways to get her the ball on the block and moved the ball well from side-to-side and kept the Foxboro defense moving. With Brigham and O’Connell (seven rebounds) controlling the glass, Franklin also prevented the Warriors from getting out in transition.

Fawaz scored four more points in the third, combining well with fellow forward Abby Hassman (five assists) to try and step away from the basket and, of course, Brigham. Davis also drilled a three and Anita Busznyak took a lead pass from Mollica for a rare basket on the break.

Despite Foxboro feeling like it was on the brink of a comeback, the Warriors fell a further point behind heading to the fourth quarter. Still, the hosts kept battling back, with six straight points to start the fourth cutting the lead to 43-36 after Mollica’s steal and layup.

O’Connell answered with a basket and then assisted on a Brigham basket. Fawaz got into the lane to score and make it a nine-point game again, but Bondhus came right back down and drilled a three from the left wing to push the lead into double digits and seal the win.

Brigham remarked, “I think we were just so focused and so ready to win that we just handled what we needed to do. If they went on a run, we came back with another one.”

Downs was philosophical about the end of the win streak. She said, “It’s one of those teams that’s going to help us for down the road to prepare for the postseason because they are so talented. We never really could get past that hump, but they didn’t stop fighting and I give them credit for that.”

Franklin (11-1, 9-0) will be back home on Friday night to host Attleboro, while Foxboro (10-1, 8-1) will host North Attleboro, which comes in with five wins in its last six games.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Panthers Clamp Down on Naps to Stay Unbeaten

Franklin girls basketball
Franklin sophomore Erin Quaile (20) helped lock down the Holy Name guards to earn a non-league win against a potential playoff opponent. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Defense has been the story for Franklin through the opening few games of the season with the Panthers holding its first three opponents to only 30 points per game. Much of the attention is on junior center Ali Brigham (two blocks) and her ability (at 6-foot-3) to dominate the paint, but on Monday night against Holy Name (Worcester) it was the perimeter players who stood out.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Using a combination of players, including sophomore Erin Quaile, senior Shannon Gray, and junior Breanna Atwood, Franklin held Holy Name’s standout guards Jaini Edmonds and Grace O’Gara to just 15 points combined and the Naps to just 13 points as a team in the opening half of a 56-36 victory.

“That’s been a real focus for us to become a better defensive team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “Shooting comes and goes but defense translates every night. They brought a good challenge for us…both lefty guards, which makes it trickier too. We talked a lot about limiting their touches and really make them work for it. They didn’t get a lot of clean looks, which was our goal.”

Brigham was the star for the Panthers on offense, scoring a game-high 24 points, pulling down 15 rebounds, and dishing out four assists from the center of the press break and combining with junior Megan O’Connell (nine points) in the high post. She scored 17 of the team’s 26 points in the first half.

O’Gara scored her only basket of the night to tie the game at 5-5 in the first quarter but then Franklin rolled off eight of the next nine points to finish the quarter with a lead it would never relinquish. Bea Bondhus (eight points) knocked down three free throws to get the lead then Brigham knocked down a free throw line jumper and scored on a rebound.

The Naps scored to start the second but again Franklin put enough stops together to break the game open. O’Connell answered with a layup off a Brigham pass and, after four free throws, the duo switched roles for another easy basket. Brigham scored Franklin’s final nine points of the half, twice getting layups from offensive rebounds.

“She’s expanded her sphere of influence because in the middle of the press break we can use her and then on offense from the three-point line to the hoop and she does different things at different times in the games,” said Leighton about Brigham, who recently committed to George Washington.

In particular, Brigham’s success came from combining and switching positions with O’Connell from the free throw line to the post. Leighton said, “Megan has improved as much as anyone and using her with Ali in the post, you can’t double both of them and it’s really opened things up for her.”

Holy Name tried to put together a run in the third quarter with Edmonds finally getting a few shots to fall and Lilly Krysinski knocking down three jumpers to get the Naps as close as nine points (26-19). Quaile and Atwood knocked down back-to-back threes and then Brigham answered a Holy Name bucket by hitting the glass for a three-point play.

Leighton said, “We’ve been getting layups but we were able go further through the offense and get open looks and knocked down some threes.”

Franklin went into the fourth quarter leading by 11 and proceeded to bust the game wide open. Six different Panthers scored in the fourth, including four each for Brigham and O’Connell. Bondhus drilled a three followed by sophomore Elizabeth Wilson, who scored all five of her points in the fourth.

“I think our practices have really picked up,” Leighton said when asked about the team’s strength in depth. “They get after it and it’s made everyone better. Bre (Atwood) is a lockdown defender and she’s going against Bea in practice and that makes her better, Megan going against Ali, and I think it’s raised everybody’s games.”

It was a dominating performance from the Panthers (3-0), who will try to carry that over on Wednesday when they host Canton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

2018-2019 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

2018-2019 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview
Foxboro sophomore Katelyn Mollica will try to keep the Warriors on top in the Davenport division, as the new Hockomock League girls basketball season gets underway. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2017-2018 Record: 9-13
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Martin Crowley
The Bombardiers were just two wins shy of a playoff spot last season under new head coach Marty Crowley and Attleboro brings back three starters and has added several new faces to the roster to try and make a postseason push this winter.

The graduation of leading scorer Sam Pierce (16 points per game) means that a number of players are going to need to step in and make up for production on offense and on the glass. Senior point guard Jordyn Lako will be back to run the Bombardiers offense and provide three-point shooting, while junior Nyah Thomas is a versatile weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Both are also aggressive defenders, who set the tone on that end of the floor. Senior forward Mackenzie Roberts can score in the post or from beyond the arc and junior Liv McCall is a dynamic guard who is capable of big scoring nights.

Defense has always been the focus of teams that Crowley coaches and the Bombardiers will be no different. To keep up that defensive intensity, the Bombardiers have added depth to the rotation. Seniors Abby Struminski and Dom Garnes (who was out last season with an injury) provide leadership, while sophomores Gabby Bosh and Sonny Stuger and freshmen Meghan Gordon and Lillian Froio are newcomers to keep an eye on.

“Hopefully we can generate scoring opportunities off our defense and use our athleticism to create baskets,” said Crowley. “We have a great mix of experience and youth. We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been spirited and the kids have been working hard.”

Canton

2017-2018 Record: 10-11
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round.
Coach: Jim Choquette
Last winter, Canton got a taste of the postseason for the first time in seven seasons and now the program will try to build on that momentum while finding a way to replace the scoring and rebounding of Hannah Jerrier, who averaged a double-double for the Bulldogs last winter. An exciting crop of underclassmen has been added to the roster and now Canton will try to build experience with a schedule that puts them on the road for the majority of the first half of the year.

While Jerrier will obviously be missed, the Bulldogs bring back the other four starters and other players with plenty of experience to try and make it a much shorter wait to get back into the playoffs. Senior point guard Julia Hamilton is back to run the offense, senior Erin Devine gives Canton control on the glass and a rim protector on defense, senior Molly Ludwig gives balance to the offense, and senior Maggie Connolly is one of the league’s top defensive players on the perimeter. Senior Nicole Galvin will add depth to the backcourt.

Junior Lilah Milton came on strong at the tail of end of last season, including a huge game in the playoff-clinching win over Weymouth, and could take up some of Jerrier’s scoring from the power forward position. Sophomore Kayla Albert gained valuable experience last season as a freshman and current rookies Sydney and Fay Gallery, and Kiara Cerruti have the potential to step right into the rotation and contribute.

“Details are everything to us,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “If our group of young talent and veteran leadership/experience can continue to stay focused on the details during the good times and tough times of a season then we should continue to improve and have a very excited and successful season.”

Foxboro

2017-2018 Record: 26-2
2017-2018 Finish: Won Div. 2 state championship.
Coach: Lisa Downs
Last season was one to remember for the Warriors, who rolled through the regular season in dominating fashion and lived up to the team’s immense potential by bringing home the Div. 2 state title. With the graduation of a very strong senior class, the expectations are much lower for the Warriors this season but there are several returning players and new faces that have Foxboro coach Lisa Downs confident that the program can continue its recent run of success in the Davenport division.

Losing players like Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes, Grace Tamulionis, and Shannon Smally is a challenge for any team, but the Warriors will bring back a pair of starters from the playoff run in sophomore Katelyn Mollica and junior Abby Hassman. Mollica is the team’s top returning scorer and will be one of the top point guards in the Hock with her ability to shoot and score off the dribble. Hassman gives Foxboro a strong presence on the glass and showed increased confidence in her offensive game at the end of last season. Senior Chelsea Gibbons and junior Lizzy Davis should see increased minutes and bigger roles in the offense this year.

Juniors Shakirah Ketant and Yara Fawaz should give Foxboro more depth in the post and contribute on the glass and both saw limited minutes in the playoffs last winter. Sophomores Adrienne Dunn and Jordyn Collins will be newcomers to the backcourt and have impressed during the preseason, while junior forward Anita Busznyak is expected to see a lot more time this year and could be a player to watch.

Downs is hoping this year’s team will learn from the graduating class. She said, “The time they spent practicing with and playing against these girls has really paid off – they know what is expected of them on the court and what is required to be a winning team. We have established a winning culture at Foxboro and the players know that I expect nothing more than what they should expect from themselves.”

Franklin

2017-2018 Record: 15-9
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central first round.
Coach: John Leighton
The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year’s roster, which reached the state tournament but lost in the opening round to Natick, and there are high expectations on Oak St. as the new season gets underway. Franklin enters the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and its balanced lineup has the potential to make a run in the state tournament as well.

Much of the enthusiasm for Franklin’s chances this winter come from 6-foot-3 center Ali Brigham. The junior recently committed to George Washington (where her father once played) and is the lone returning player from last season HockomockSports.com First Team. While she (deservedly) garners much of the attention, the Panthers have a number of other weapons to give the opposition headaches. Senior guard Bea Bondhus, who committed to Springfield College, is one of the top three-point shooters in the Hock and sophomore guard Elizabeth Wilson is back from an injury that cut short the promising start to her varsity career.

The Panthers will also bring back versatile junior forwards Megan O’Connell and Breanna Atwood, who add size in the paint but can also take defenders off the dribble or knock down outside shots. Seniors Hailey Sanders and Calen Frongillo add depth to the frontcourt, while senior Shannon Gray and juniors Kelsey MacCallum and Sydney Garilli are capable of stepping in at either guard position.

“It is our goal to compete each night and to improve from last year,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “With 10 returning players, we feel our experience will help us to better prepare for the season and compete against the best in our league.”

King Philip

2017-2018 Record: 4-16
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip had to battle injuries throughout head coach Amy Siggens’ first year in charge, including a late season injury to leading scorer Shannon O’Connor, but the Warriors are healthy coming into this season and with a year to get use to a new system, confidence is high that KP can make a push up the standings and fight for a postseason berth this winter.

O’Connor is the key piece returning for the Warriors. A four-year varsity player who has been recruited by Div. I college programs, O’Connor gives KP a consistent scorer and someone who will draw opposing defenses. Senior Julia Leroux will be back at the point and running the KP offense, while junior Faith Roy is the team’s best outside threat and has developed as a ball-handler who can score in a variety of ways. Sophomore Emma Glaser, who battled injuries throughout her freshman season, will add versatility to the lineup and can play multiple positions and her classmate Courtney Keswick is a newcomer to watch in the backcourt.

The Warriors will also have strength in the post with senior Catherine Cummings providing a solid presence on the glass and junior Faye Veilleux giving KP length and athleticism at the forward position. Newcomers like junior Taylor Butler and returning senior Kendall Mason will give added depth and strong play on the defensive end of the floor.

There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding our team this year with our sights on continued growth and improvement upon our overall record from a year ago,” Siggens said. “Our practices have been very competitive and I’m encouraged by our team’s attitude and overall interest in getting better. I like this team a lot and I look forward to the challenge of helping each girl reach her maximum potential.”

Mansfield

2017-2018 Record: 20-6
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final.
Coach: Mike Redding
After three straight league titles and four trips to the Div. 1 South semifinal in the past four seasons (including back-to-back finals), Mansfield has been one of the most consistent teams in the Hockomock League, but the Hornets enter this season trying to replace Meg Hill, who scored more than 1,000 points and pulled down more than 1,000 points in her stellar career. With 10 seniors and loads of athleticism, this might be a very different looking Mansfield attack, but one that has the potential to keep the Hornets right back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and capable of making another deep tournament run.

The Hornets have been known for slowing the ball down and running intricate sets, but this team is suited for getting up and down the court as quickly as possible, highlighted by senior guard Mady Bendanillo, one of the quickest players in the Hock. Senior forward Maggie Danehy has emerged as a strong interior scorer and someone who can control the glass, but she is also someone who can run like a guard and get out on the break for easy baskets. Seniors Sydney Mulkern and Erin Daniel add wing scoring and are both solid shooters who can spread the floor and open lanes to the basket.

Athletic senior forwards Emily Vigeant and Steph Kemp can outrun many of the guards in the league and senior point guard Kara Bendanillo is another speedster who can push the ball off makes or misses. Sophomore Ashley Santos saw time last year as a rookie and adds to the frontcourt depth and versatility, while junior Becca Hottleman will be back to give Mansfield another option at guard.

It is a different feel to the lineup but one that Mansfield coach Mike Redding feels can be effective. He said, “We need to rebound as a team and must change our style to up-tempo with defensive pressure/fast breaks and play to our strengths (athleticism and depth).”

Milford

2017-2018 Record: 13-9
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central quarterfinal.
Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Milford coach T.J. Dolliver brings back six players from the team that not only reached the state tournament last season but also went on the road and beat Burncoat handily, the program’s first playoff win since 2001. The problem for the Hawks is that almost the entire rotation from last year’s team has graduated, including 1,000-point scorer Kate Irwin.

While this may be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, Dolliver sees it as an opportunity for players to step into new roles and establish themselves as starters and as regular contributors. The lone senior back from last year is forward Grace Risio, who Dolliver said made a difference when she was given the opportunity last year, and sophomore guard Jillian Michelson saw some time in the backcourt as a rookie.

The Hawks will have eight sophomores on the roster this season, so it is clear that Milford is going to try and build with youth, similar to several teams from last year. Among the players from last year’s roster, forwards Katie Maietta, guard Emma Lawrence, and forward Carly Ferreira all got time as freshmen and could see those minutes increase significantly this winter.

Dolliver said, “With our entire rotation graduating last year, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for everyone in the program. It will be exciting to watch who emerges within the group and elevates their game to compete at the varsity level.”

North Attleboro

2017-2018 Record: 4-16
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Derek Herber
Last year was a tough transition season for the Rocketeers, as North Attleboro moved on from a number of players who were starters for several years and incorporated a number of new, young faces into the lineup. North had a better second half to the season and will try to build on that this winter with a more experienced group of players.

Senior Julia Feid is back on the wing and is North’s top returning scorer, coming off a season in which she averaged more than nine points per game. Fellow seniors Liz Smahi and Emma Noreck will add leadership in the backcourt and try to set the direction for the team this year. Junior point guard Olivia Forbes, who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last season, will be back to get the offense going and provide strong defense on the perimeter. Junior Eliza Dion also returns to add rebounding and interior scoring for a team that can’t count on a lot of height in the paint.

The North offense improved over the course of last season with the addition of sophomore Amanda Kaiser (8.6 points per game) and junior Julia Kleczkowski (40 percent from three-point range), who can both fill it up from the outside and who are both willing to take any shot that presents itself. Several newcomers will fill out the roster with the potential of adding important minutes over the course of the season, including sophomore Lydia Santos and Siobhan Weir.

“We will rely on Julia Feid to be our first option on offense and the sooner we can develop a consistent second option will be a factor in the early part of the season,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “The inside scoring option will hopefully be Eliza Dion, while both Amanda Kaiser and Julia Kleczkowski showed an ability to stretch the defense with their outside shooting in limited time last year.”

Oliver Ames

2017-2018 Record: 16-6
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal.
Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames will be making a transition this year following the graduation of Kayla Raymond, who was a two-time HockomockSports.com First Team performer and last year’s league MVP (and is already a three-time Rookie of the Week at Stonehill College), but the Tigers have a number of returning players to try and make up for Raymond’s production on both ends of the floor and make another run at a league title.

Senior Alex Sheldon grew in confidence over the course of last season and became a double-double machine by the end of the year, dominating on the glass and improving her finishing around the rim. Junior Erin Holberg emerged last year as a strong scorer on the perimeter with her touch from the outside and ability to take defenders off the dribble. Junior Meg Holleran is in her third season on varsity and is a tough, physical defender who can knock down shots from the outside.

Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a strong freshman season, playing several positions (from point guard to small forward), crashing the boards, and showing off decent range. The return of senior Sadie Homer will add energy on both ends of the floor and give the Tigers another strong outside shooter to stretch the floor, while senior Ally Scolnick came off the bench last season to add another shooter to the OA offense.

OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of the experienced returning players, “They will lead the youngest team OA has put on the court in quite a long time. We are looking towards gaining valuable game experience and coming into to our own as the season progresses.”

Sharon

2017-2018 Record: 2-18
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Sanda Lombardi

It was a tough winter for new Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi, as the Eagles struggled to a two-win season, but five of their losses were by 10 points or fewer and they return all but one player from last season’s team. With a year to get acclimated to Lombardi’s system, an experienced roster of returning players, and several newcomers, Sharon has its sights set on getting into the postseason for the first time since its run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.

Sharon returns its leading scorer and playmaker in senior Emma Eberhardt, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team last season, and she will once again be the focal point of the offense, as well as one of the team’s leading defenders. Eberhardt’s versatility as a wing player should open things up for junior guards Kaitlyn Wallace and Ally Brown, who will both fill in as ball-handlers after the graduation of Miranda Cheung. Wallace will extend defenses with her shooting from the outside and Brown adds energy to the backcourt defense.

Senior guard Bridget McManus will add depth and junior forward Telishya Herbert provides a strong presence in the paint. Junior Olivia Langol-Leonard added frontcourt depth and was active on the glass in her time on the court, while senior forward Evanjuline Elisma can score in transition and adds another solid wing defender.

“We only lost one player due to graduation,” said Lombardi. “We have the entire team back and we added some height. I’m excited to see what the season brings. The girls are working hard and our goal is to qualify for the postseason.”

Stoughton

2017-2018 Record: 13-9
2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal.
Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton started last season with five straight defeats and only one win in the opening eight games, but the Black Knights turned things around with a vengeance, winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season and winning its opening game of the state tournament. Stoughton’s only two losses in its final 14 games of the season were to state champion Foxboro. That is a lot of momentum for the Black Knights to carry into this year.

It may be a little different look for Stoughton this winter after the graduation of Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Instead of being a team that dominates the paint, there will be a host of guards and wing players who can still battle on the glass, but will bring energy and tenacity on the perimeter on both ends of the court. Junior Aliyah Wright is back as the team’s point guard and her length makes her a factor guarding multiple positions. Senior Lindsay McDonald adds versatility as a combo guard and sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe is a dynamic guard and stretches defenses with her ability to shoot from the outside.

While there are a lot of familiar faces returning for the Black Knights, there are several players who will have more responsibility this year and the potential to make big contributions. Junior Lexi Baptista defends well at the forward position and gives a different look on the post, while seniors Hailey Egan and Heather Maddalena will add extra toughness to the backcourt. Junior Shyanne Trinh is still battling an injury at the beginning of the season, but she will give Stoughton a big scoring boost when she returns.

“This season will be all about our effort, energy and enthusiasm on defense,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The Black Knights will be most successful when we put in work on the defensive end and finish each play with a Black Knights rebound.”

Taunton

2017-2018 Record: 7-15
2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton started last winter well and had the potential for making a return to the state tournament, but injuries slowed things down for the Tigers and they missed out on the postseason. While the year didn’t end the way they would have hoped, a number of younger players were given valuable varsity experience and there are a number of returning players ready to make an impact.

Senior Lily Patneaude will be the player to watch for the Tigers, as the team’s leading scorer from last year. After battling an injury down the stretch, her return gives Taunton a consistent primary offensive weapon and takes some of the scoring pressure off her teammates. Senior point guard Alexa White is also back to provide leadership, energy, and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Kelsey White showed flashes as a rookie of being the secondary scorer that Taunton needs, with her ability to knock down shots from the outside and take defenders off the dribble.

Even with a year of experience, Taunton is still a relatively young team. Sophomores Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will provide athleticism from the forward positions and give Taunton effort in the paint, while sophomore Tori DaRose, and freshmen Abby Souza (who saw brief minutes as an eighth-grader last season) and Braeley MacDonald give the Tigers depth off the bench.

“We have great group of enthusiast student athletes consisting of senior leadership, youth, athleticism, and talent,” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan. “This team is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.”

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/09/18


Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 6 – FinalMansfield got off to a strong start with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, extended the lead with three runs in the fifth inning and tacked on one more in the sixth in a win over Attleboro. Tyler Dalton went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Hornets’ offense while Cullin Anastasia was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Kevin Dow struck out nine in five innings of work, allowing four hits and just two walks with no runs against to earn the win. Alvaro Espinel was 1-for-3 with an RBI while Matt Callahan (hit) scored Attleboro’s run.

Stoughton, 6 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalStoughton plated four runs with two outs in the top of the third to build a lead it never let go of. Robbie Seaman had a two-run single and Evan Gibb (2-for-4) followed with a two-run double for the Black Knights. George Currier went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Ruben Gonzalez had another strong day, getting the win on the mound (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits, 5 K) and went 3-for-3 with a walk.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 11 – FinalMilford senior Aidan Wilde had three hits, the second one being the 100th of his career, to lead the Hawks to a big win over Canton. Wilde notched the milestone in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single into left field. Sophomore Luke Rosa earned his first career win, striking out three with just one run allowed in five innings of work.

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 6 – FinalTaunton took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring three runs on five hits but Franklin tied the game with three runs off two hits in the top of the fifth. The Tigers responded right away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Medeiros got it done at the plate and on the mound for the Tigers. Offensively, he had two hits and an RBI. And on the mound, he earned the win, allowing just three hits while striking out 10 in a complete game effort. Jacob Crawford added two hits and two runs and Griffin Tomaszycki had a hit, two RBI, and a run scored for the Tigers.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalOliver Ames and King Philip each scored two runs in the first inning but the Tigers were able to beat the Warriors the rest of the way. OA tacked on two more runs in the top of the third, KP cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the third, but the Tigers added the insurance run in the sixth inning. Michael Friel (hit) reached bases three times, stole two bases, scored a run, had an RBI, and played outstanding defense at second base to pace OA to the win. Matt Muir (RBI, double) and Jack Erlich (run) each had two hits for the Tigers. OA’s Tom Parker earned the win with six innings of relief work, not allowing an earned run.

Sharon, 2 @ North Attleboro, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro junior Ryan Warren roped a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a tie game and help the Rocketeers beat upset-minded Sharon. Zach DeMattio got things started with a walk, and pinch runner Billy Drummond took second on a sac bunt from Jeff Gale (2-for-2, two runs). After Cohen reached on a drop third strike, Drummond advanced to third, and Cohen stole second. That’s when Warren delivered. Sharon held a 2-0 lead after an inning but North tied things in the third on DeMattio’s two-out, two-run single. Peter Cohen pitched 5.1 innings of relief to earn the way for the Rocketeers.

Softball
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 15 – Final (6 inn.)Attleboro exploded for 20 hits on the day, getting the game started on the right foot with seven runs in the first inning. Each Bombardier in the lineup had at least one hit led by MacKenzie Killough, who went 3-for-5 with two home runs. Freshman catcher Lora Woyton added a three-run home run, freshman Autumn O’Connell had three hits, Ashley Macia (two doubles) went 3-for-3 and Jordyn Lako was 4-for-5 for the Bombardiers. Jenna Gittle struck out five in six innings of work for Attleboro.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 13 – Final (6 inn.)Milford senior Kelley Reichert struck out 10 in a six-inning performance and Emily Piergustavo (3-for-4, four RBI) and Emily Hartman each belted a two-run home run as the Hawks won big at home. Kate Irwin (two runs), Jess Tomaso (double, two RBI), Antonia Bonina (two runs, RBI), and Maddy Bonvino (double, RBI) each had two hits on the day for Milford.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 10 – FinalFoxboro avenged a loss from earlier in the season to the Black Knights with a big win on its home field on Wednesday afternoon. Lexi Buckner went 3-for-4, including two doubles and a home run, and finished with six RBI to pace Foxboro’s offense. Morgan Sylvestre went 3-for-4, Kelli McCarthy added two hits and two RBI, and Hannah Davis knocked a run in Emma Rohan scattered five hits, walked one and struck out seven for Foxboro.

Taunton, 6 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalTaunton pushed across three runs in the first inning, added another in the second, and put the game out of reach with a pair in the fourth inning on the road at Franklin. Tigers freshman Kelsey White won her fourth game of the season, allowing just one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts (and no walks). Offensively, Alexa White and Liana Duarte (RBI) each had two hits while Jaime Brown (RBI) reached four times with three walks and a triple. Kya Enos, Hanna Aldrich, and McKenzie McAloon each knocked in a run for the Tigers. Franklin scored in the sixth inning when Ally Shea doubled and courtesy runner Molly Collins came around to score on a single from Tara Hartnett. Emily Valentino struck out four while Gabby Colace played a great game defensively for FHS.

King Philip, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip scored eight runs in the top of the third to create separation against the Tigers and never looked back. Destiny Goyco, Lilliana Rolfe, and Faith Turinese each collected three hits for the Warriors while Nicole Carter and Meghan Gorman each pitched in with two apiece. Turinese earned the win, allowing one run in seven innings of work. For OA, Katie Mills was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Mills was knocked in by Katie Abreu (2-for-3); Sarah Tetrault and Lexie Campbell also each had a hit for the Tigers.

North Attleboro, 14 @ Sharon, 2 – Final (5 Inn.)Olivia DesRoches pitched five innings and struck out four to pick up the win for the Rocketeers. Abby Gallagher had four hits and drove in a pair of runs for the North offense, which also got two hits apiece from Olivia Capobianco, Bella Erti (including a two-run homer), and Andrea Miceli. Stephanie Inglese hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Emily Pastore made a “highlight-reel grab” for North in the win.


Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 8 – FinalMilford scored four goals in each the second and third quarters, taking a shutout into the final frame against visiting Attleboro. Freshman Evan Hazard turned aside 15 shots while Andrew Gallagher and Ryan Hazard each scored three goals apiece for the Hawks.

Canton, 7 @ King Philip, 8 – Final (OT)Canton junior Mike Shaw scored in the final minute of the game to tie it and send it to overtime but the Warriors prevailed with the win. KP was able to hold off Canton’s extra-man opportunity to begin the overtime period before netting the winner. Canton sophomore Jack Connolly played great in goal with 12 saves while Dan Cohen (two goals) was one of six Bulldogs to score.

Foxboro, 7 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Franklin, 17 – FinalSenior Johnny O’Glishen scored a pair of goals and added an assist to help the Panthers pick up a big win on Senior Night. Sophomore Ben Greco added a pair of goals, while sophomore Luc Sweeney and junior Patrick Morrison each had one goal and one assist each. Eric LeBlanc scored three goals for Oliver Ames.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Sharon, 7 – FinalSharon limited North Attleboro to just one goal in the first half, building a 4-1 advantage that it never let go of. The Rocketeers got within two late in the fourth quarter but the Eagles secured the win with a seventh goal with three minutes to go. A big reason for Sharon’s big defensive game was goalie Jonathan Greenberg, who turned away 18 shots in the in. Offensively, Chase Waxman had three goals for the Eagles, Kadin Nestler added two, and Spencer Hall and Dan Lilienfield each scored once. Senior Brett Litner collected four assists for the Eagles.

Stoughton, 7 @ Taunton, 5 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Milford, 6 @ Attleboro, 12 – FinalKyra Lyons paced the Bombardiers with seven goals and Kim White scored her first varsity goal in the win. Attleboro also got goals from Hannah Aspinwall, Emily Patton, Sydney DiLiddo, and Rylee Fontes. Head coach Kevin Patton called it a “total team effort.”

King Philip, 16 @ Canton, 5 – Final Seven different players scored goals for the Warriors in another big league win. Olivia Tormey and Caroline Klim each scored four goals for KP and Dana Truini scored twice and assisted on three other goals. Alli Meehan, Lauren Anderson, and Emma Izydorczak each scored once in the win, while Caroline Watson made eight saves in the KP goal. Leah McClellan and Maggie Connolly each scored twice for the Bulldogs and Kaitlyn Goyetch scored once. Connolly also had an assist. Vicki Revanche made 13 saves in the loss.

Mansfield, 5 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final

Franklin, 17 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalFranklin senior Nicole Houlihan and freshman Elizabeth Wilson each accounted for four points apiece as the Panthers rolled to a win on the road. Houlihan had two goals and two assists, Wilson finished with one goal and three assists, and sophomore Erin Walsh chipped in with three goals and three assists. FHS coach Kristin Igoe-Guarino said Annie Walsh and Hailey Toolin both played well in the midfield for the Panthers. Chloe Kilkelly scored twice for Oliver Ames while Olivia Piazza recorded three assists.

Sharon, 9 @ North Attleboro, 8 – FinalMaeve Barbera scored the game-winning goal, her second of the afternoon, for Sharon with 15 seconds left in the game to split the season series against North. Sharon coach Shara Ginthwain called this a “huge win” for the Eagles and said that the game was “very close and competitive the whole time.” She added that the Eagles defense created turnovers in big moments and that the transition was “really great.” Sabrina Robbins scored three goals and Emma Eberhardt had four goals and an assist. Jenna Goldstein had an assist and Rose Wald made five saves in the win. Mackenzie Rosenberg scored six goals in defeat for the Rocketeers.

Boys Tennis
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMansfield went on . the road and picked up a sweep over Attleboro, winning all five matches in straight sets. Luke Nickerson didn’t lose a game at first singles, Luke Devine won 6-3, 6-1 at second singles, and Peter Lally emerged with a 6-3, 7-5 decision at third singles. The team of Sam Cavicchi and Nilay Pangrekar won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles, and Sam Schirmacher and Sam Donellan won by the same score at second doubles for the Hornets.

Milford, 1 @ Canton, 4 – FinalCanton picked up a pair of wins in singles and two more victories in doubles to beat visiting Milford. Dillon Anderson won 7-6, 6-0 at second singles and freshman Minh Duong took a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles for the Bulldogs. The team of Charlie Malloy and Aidas Jakubenas won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles and Justin Luk and Ethan Nguyen prevailed 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles for Canton. Milford’s BrenO’Shaughnessyessy rallied from a one-set deficit to win 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalStoughton freshman Waseem Sablon picked up a win in straight sets at first singles but the Black Knights fell on the road to the Warriors. Sablon won his match 6-3, 6-1.

Franklin, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalFranklin took a pair of wins from singles play and swept doubles in straight sets to get a win on the road at Taunton. Freshman Liam Marr won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and senior Tyler DiPalma prevailed 7-5, 6-2 at third singles. The team of Tony Calderone and Derek Wu won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles while Saketh Saripalli and Shournik Sompally lost just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles for the Panthers.

King Philip, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalKing Philip’s Max Goreham and Riley Outlaw recorded their first career wins, taking a 6-0, 6-4 victory at second doubles in the Warriors sweep of OA. Jake Mager and Zak Ryan added a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles, Nick Putney (first singles) and Jack Cannon (second singles) didn’t lose a game, and Nick Ihley won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles for KP.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap of this match.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalThe Hornets swept doubles play and picked up two more wins in singles action, winning all four matches in straight sets against the visiting Bombardiers. Senior Sarah Doyle won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles and junior Elizabeth Elsner notched a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles for the Hornets. The team of Tessa Garufi and Hannah Podolske won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles while Samantha Sternburg and Aryana Khosravani won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles for Mansfield. Attleboro’s Anna Nelson won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles.

Canton, 5 @ Milford, 0 – FinalCanton freshman Natalie Keppler emerged with a third set breaker to get the win, helping the Bulldogs finish off the sweep on the road. Keppler won 6-4, 2-6, 10-6 to get the win, classmate Rachel Kupferman won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, and Sarah Hernandez won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles for Canton. The team of Stelina Michaelidis and Caitlin Matthews earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles while Anjali Mandal and Jamie Cree teamed up to win 6-2, 6-3 at second doubles for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalFoxboro’s three singles players combined to drop just three games total in a clean sweep over Stoughton. Sophia Prinos didn’t drop a game at first singles, Pamela Nelson won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles, and Kayla Prag earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. Julia Muise and Sarah Prag paired together for a 6-2, 6-4 victory at first doubles while Olivia Dantona and Kendall Milender dropped just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Taunton, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalTaunton won all five of its matches in straights, going on the road to get a sweep at Franklin. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Vanessa Rosa took a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca earned a 6-1, 6-2 decision at third singles. McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin notched a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles while Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier teamed together for a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalAfter dropping a first set tiebreak, Oliver Ames’ second doubles team of Olivia Groebe and Rachel Stryke rallied to win two straight sets and clinch the winning point for the Tigers. Groebe and Stryke won 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2 while OA’s first doubles team of Kristin Bloumbas and Emily Yu also recorded a comeback win, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore Maura Kiernan also won in three set for OA, taking a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 decision at third singles. KP’s Erin Regnier won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles and Meghan Sepich prevailed 6-3, 6-0 at second singles.

Sharon, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalSharon won all five matches in straight sets to earn a sweep of North Attleboro on the road. Nupur Shukla won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles, Lulu Yuan earned a 6-0, 6-3 decision at second singles, and EmilyWen prevailed 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Katie Merport and Sachi Bhasin notched a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein continued their strong season with a 6-3, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 3 vs. Millis, 0 – Final


Franklin’s Offense Breaks Through Against Feehan

By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FRANKLIN, Mass. – After scoring just over one minute into the game, the Franklin girls lacrosse team struggled to find the back of the net for much of the first half.

Despite eight shots on goal during the half, Bishop Feehan goalie Maggie Roberts came up with big save after big save to deny the Panthers, and with 1:06 left to go in the half, the Shamrocks led 2-1.

Kelsey McCallum scored off a shooting space penalty to tie the game at 2-2, and milliseconds before the buzzer sounded to end the half, Hailey Toolin found the back of the net to put Franklin up 3-2.

Those two goals proved to be the spark that Franklin needed, as in the second half their offense broke through with eight goals en route to an 11-4 victory over Bishop Feehan.

“I give credit to their goalie, she was really good, but we weren’t making the changes in our shots we needed to make, and those last two goals really gave us momentum going into the second half, and it kind of gave us an idea of where we need to shoot,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino.

To start the second half, Franklin scored four unanswered goals, including two from Erin Walsh, to put the Panthers up 7-2. With 16:23 left, Feehan scored to make it 7-3, but back-to-back goals by Annie Walsh and Elizabeth Wilson put the game pretty much out of reach at 9-3. Feehan would add another goal, but Franklin tacked on two more in the last 1:09 of the game to finish off the 11-4 win.

One of the keys for Franklin was their success with draw controls, as Franklin won fourteen out of sixteen draws, including ten out of eleven in the second half.

“Our draws have been pretty consistent all year, we’ve been beating teams in draws, we’ve been focused on our possessions on offense, and translating our draw wins into goals, and that’s been our struggle all year, and we were finally able to get more than eight goals this game,” Igoe-Guarino added.

In the first half, Erin Walsh started out the scoring early, netting Franklin’s first goal a minute and fourteen seconds into the game. For much of the first six minutes, Franklin controlled possession, and despite some good looks, they were turned away by Roberts.

With 17:28 left to go, Feehan tied the game up. They had another good opportunity with 10:13 left in the half, but a save by Gianna Cameron kept the game tied up at one with a nice save. Feehan took a 2-1 with 3:05 left to go, but that was the only lead they would hold for the rest of the game.

Franklin (4-3) will travel to Natick on Monday to take on the Redhawks in what will be a rematch of the 2017 MIAA D1 East Quarterfinals.

Bishop Feehan (5-2) will travel to Marshfield on Monday to take on the Rams.

Panthers Pull Away in First Half to Beat Bombardiers

Franklin girls basketball
Franklin sophomore center Ali Brigham scored 22 points (16 in the first half) and pulled down 20 rebounds to lift the Panthers to a 63-51 victory over Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – During the first half, the Bombardiers had little answer for the dynamic inside-outside combination of Franklin sophomore center Ali Brigham and junior guard Bea Bondhus. The duo combined for 30 points before the break to push the Panthers to a 21-point halftime lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Although Attleboro turned up the energy in the second half, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, the lead proved too great to overcome and Franklin stayed within one game of the Kelley-Rex division leaders with a 63-51 victory.

Bondhus opened the paint by knocking down a pair of threes in the opening half and spreading the Attleboro defense out with 14 of her 18 points coming before the break. With the outside threat giving Brigham a little space with which to work, the sophomore showed off an array of offensive moves on the post and stepping away to face the basket.

She scored 16 of her 22 points in the first half and also added 12 of her game-high 20 rebounds. Brigham was also a force on the defensive side with four blocks.

“She’s worked so hard in the offseason to become a much more complete player and we’ve really worked on getting her the ball in scoring positions,” said Franklin coach John Leighton of Brigham. “I think early in the year, we tried to force it when it wasn’t there and now we’re trying to get her in positions to be successful and I think her teammates are doing a good job of that.”

Breanna Atwood got the game started for Franklin, which got right into its dribble-drive offense and full-court press. Atwood (10 points) buried a corner three and scored five points in the first. Then Brigham got going. She scored with a short jumper, an offensive rebound, and a jumper with a foot on the three-point line.

The Panthers kept pressing and Bondhus nailed a corner three and got free for a layup off an inbound pass by Calen Frongillo. Franklin led 21-8 after the first and kept the offense rolling into the second.

“I thought we ran a lot of tempo today,” explained Leighton, “which opens up a lot of stuff. It makes the defense react quicker. We started getting good looks and then you can’t just double on Ali if we’re moving it and finding people.”

Attleboro cut the lead to eight with a transition layup from Nyah Thomas (six points) and a three by Sam Pierce, but then Brigham scored with a drive on the baseline and hit a floater. Bondhus followed with her second three of the half and the lead grew to 17.

“In the first half it kind of got away from us,” said Attleboro coach Marty Crowley. “We were able to reel them back in but they had a spurt at the end of the half to extend it. I’m proud of my kids though because they kept fighting and it’s still an early learning curve for us.”

Brigham added six more points on a jumper, a hook shot going to her right and a put back bucket, while Bondhus got two when she cut to the basket and was found by Atwood and then got a steal and transition basket to put Franklin ahead 42-21 going into halftime.

Coming out of the break, the Bombardiers played with a lot more energy. Junior guard Jordyn Lako provided a spark on the defensive end with two steals, two blocks, five assists, and eight rebounds. Attleboro also started to get the ball into the hands of Pierce, who would score 19 of her game-high 24 points in the second half.

Brigham was limited to six points after halftime (all in the third), as Attleboro gave Mackenzie Roberts more help trying to contain her in the post. Crowley said, “I don’t know if you can really contain her, but our rotations were better than they were in the first half. I thought Kenzie did a pretty good job on her for the most part but that’s why she’s a top caliber player.”

Attleboro trailed by 22 heading to the fourth, but the Bombardiers never let up. Pierce completed a traditional three-point play off a Lako assist, went 5-for-5 from the line, and scored 11 points in the fourth. Liv McCall buried a pair of threes and Attleboro got as close as 10 points in the final minutes.

“They’re tough,” said Leighton. “Sam is a tough kid and when she can get people on her back then she’s tough to defend. A well-coached team, Marty’s always tough and he’s got kids that play real ‘D’ and work hard.”

Crowley said, “We were a little flat here or there. We had a little more energy coming out of halftime and in the second half. We need to play with a little more of a sense of urgency to start games and not expend so much energy coming back.”

Despite a youthful lineup, Franklin trails Mansfield and Oliver Ames by only one game in the league standings and Leighton sees improvement from the start of the season.

“I’m proud as can be,” he said. “We rolled out four sophomores and a junior tonight and that’s only because my freshman (Elizabeth Wilson) is hurt. They’re all buying in, there’s a real work ethic, practices have been competitive, and we’re so young there’s a lot of room for growth.”

Franklin (7-4, 5-2) will put its four-game win streak on the line against King Philip on Friday, while Attleboro (5-6, 3-4) faces a trip to Taunton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/12/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro @ Oliver Ames – Ppd. to 1/14 at 5:00.

Canton, 56 @ Sharon, 42 – FinalSharon built a double-digit lead in the first quarter but Canton rallied in the second to take a lead and never looked back. The Bulldogs trailed 20-9 in the first but took a 28-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. Canton closed the game with strong defense, allowing just seven points in the fourth quarter. Junior Devin Foster scored 18 points for the Bulldogs while senior Tony Harris had nine points and nine rebounds. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet scored a game-high 20 points and hauled in 15 rebounds.

Milford, 51 @ Foxboro, 55 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Mansfield, 52 @ Franklin, 67 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 70 @ Taunton, 72 – FinalKing Philip rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie or win late, but the Tigers survived. Senior Lens Esquil had a team-high 17 points while sophomore Dante Law added 12 points and senior Tyler Medeiros finished with 10 points. For King Philip, senior Pharoah Davis had 18 points while Bruce Santillus added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

North Attleboro, 68 @ Stoughton, 60 – FinalNorth Attleboro junior Jake Petersen poured in a career-high 26 points, hauled in 11 rebounds (six offensive) and had three blocks to lead the Rocketeers to a win. Stoughton took a lead in the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run (50-49), but North Attleboro outscored the Black Knights 19-10 the rest of the way, pulling away in the final minutes. Petersen scored 12 of his points in the second quarter and added eight more in the final frame. Junior Josh Montague added 17 points while classmate Matt Seavey added nine points and nine rebounds off the bench. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews poured in 29 points (four three-pointers) while Colin Sanda added 14 points (four three-pointers).

Girls Basketball
Oliver Ames, 67 @ Attleboro, 54 – FinalKayla Raymond scored a career-high 38 points, her second straight game with at least 30 points, to pace the Tigers to a road win. Raymond also had 11 rebounds while Abby Reardon added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists and Alex Sheldon chipped in with nine points and six boards for OA. Sam Pierce had 18 for the Bombardiers and Liv McCall added 16 in the loss. Before the game, Attleboro honored Sarah Deyo, who became the program’s all-time leading scorer last year and is currently playing at Southern New Hampshire University.

Sharon, 44 @ Canton, 49 – FinalMaggie Connolly scored 14 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 5-2 start to the season. Erin Devine and Hannah Jerrier each had 10 points and Julia Hamilton had six in the win, which was hard-fought for Canton. The Bulldogs led 33-14 at the half, but the Eagles outscored them 30-16 to make it a close finish. Telishya Herbert was Sharon’s top scorer with 13 and Emma Eberhardt added 12.

Foxboro, 67 @ Milford, 47 – FinalLily Sykes was the top scorer for Foxboro with 17 points, while Grace Tamulionis had 16 and Ashley Sampson had 15 points for the Warriors.

Franklin, 49 @ Holy Name, 42 – FinalFranklin went to Worcester and picked up a season sweep against Holy Name. After hitting two clutch free throws that forced overtime in the first meeting with the Naps, freshman Elizabeth Wilson scored 20 points to lead the Panthers.

Taunton, 64 @ King Philip, 62 – Final (OT)The Tigers edged KP 10-8 in overtime after finishing regulation 54-54. Lily Patneaude led Taunton with 16 points and five rebounds and MacKenzie Handrahan chipped in with 15 points and nine boards. Kelsey White had a great overall night for the Tigers with 12 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, and Hannah Moniz had 11 in the win.

Stoughton, 59 @ North Attleboro, 43 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Boys Swimming
Franklin, 91 @ Mansfield, 74 – Final
King Philip @ North Attleboro, 3:15
Sharon, 61 @ Stoughton, 37 – Final

Girls Swimming
Franklin, 93 @ Mansfield, 72 – Final
King Philip @ North Attleboro, 3:15
Sharon, 87 @ Stoughton, 66 – Final

Gymnastics
Canton @ Taunton, 8:00
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro, 7:30

Second Half Run Propels Warriors Past Franklin

Foxboro girls basketball
Foxboro freshman Katelyn Mollica scored 18 points and dished out three assists to help the Warriors earn a big win on the road at Franklin. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – With only a few minutes left in the first half, Franklin sophomore center Ali Brigham made a scored in the lane to put the Panthers ahead 17-12 against defending Davenport division champion Foxboro. It would be Franklin’s largest lead of the game.

Up until that point, the Warriors were struggling to get anything going on offense during Tuesday night’s Hockomock League matchup. Three-pointers were clanging off the rim, the Panthers’ were dominating the glass, and Franklin’s zone defense seemed to have Foxboro off kilter.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

But the experienced Warriors settled down, started to knock down shots, and turned the game on its head in a hurry. After scoring only 12 points over nearly 11 minutes of the first half, they scored 12 in the final three-plus minutes of the second quarter and never looked back.

Foxboro rolled off 20 straight points between the second and third quarters (including the first 18 points of the second half), closed the game on a 52-16 run, and ran out to a 64-33 victory.

“We were missing a few shots in the first half and the girls were critiquing themselves a little bit,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “Once they just settled in during the third quarter and they started hitting a few shots, you could feel the gush of confidence coming back.”

Franklin took an early lead during a first quarter that was largely dominated by both teams’ pressure defenses. After Brigham (12 points and 15 rebounds) scored of an assist by freshman Elizabeth Wilson, the Panthers took an 8-3 lead. Foxboro battled back to tie the game but Bea Bondhus got free on the baseline for a buzzer-beating layup off an inbounds to make it 10-8 after one quarter.

Brigham started to take over in the second with a personal 7-0 run that made it 17-12. Needing a spark, Foxboro got momentum not from its experienced stars but from newcomer Katelyn Mollica (18 points, three assists, and three steals). The freshman guard got a steal and scored on the break to cut the lead to three, as part of her six points in the quarter.

“She’s completely comfortable with them and what I love about her the most is that if she makes a mistake you’d never know it in her body language,” said Downs. “She never alters her game, never gets down on herself, just gets back and tries to get the next defensive stop.”

Grace Tamulionis knocked down a three off an assist by Ashley Sampson to put Foxboro ahead and Lily Sykes (10 points, six assists, and three steals) nailed one from distance as well. After a Calen Frongillo reverse brought Franklin within one, Sampson closed the half with a drive at the buzzer to give Foxboro a 24-21 lead at the break.

It was the start of a 20-0 run that sealed the win.

Sampson, the reigning Hockomock League MVP and Adelphi University-commit, took over the game in the second half. She scored 17 of her game-high 21 points after the break and added five rebounds, four assists, and four steals with her future college coach in the stands watching.

She started the half with four quick points then assisted on a jumper by Mollica. Sykes kicked a pass out to Tamulionis for her second three of the game and assisted on a jumper by Abby Hassman. Mollica drilled her second three of the game and then Sampson buried one as well and suddenly it was a 42-21 lead.

“I thought our 1-3-1 zone worked well in the first half but we were getting tired and we had to adjust,” said Leighton. “In man-to-man they really started exposing every open shot and taking advantage.”

He added, “We’re young. When they went on a run, instead of reacting, we kind of imploded for a bit. That’s something we have to learn from; it’s a great lesson for us.”

Franklin scored only three points in the third quarter, all three by Megan O’Connell (seven points and six rebounds), and the on-the-ball pressure of the Foxboro guards made it very difficult for Brigham to get any touches in the post. The reigning Underclassman of the Year was held to just a single made free throw in the second half.

“I thought Shannon [Smally] and Grace did a great job on Brigham, but more so it was the guards making it difficult for their guards to find her in there,” said Downs. “What we lack in height, we make up for in tenacity.”

Leighton explained, “I thought our offense broke down with ways to create for her. We started doing the ‘just stand underneath and throw it to her and hope something good happens,’ which just isn’t good basketball.”

The Panthers tried several different defensive looks in the game, but Foxboro’s experience was evident with the ball moving from player to player and the extra pass giving the Warriors consistent open looks. Foxboro added 21 points in the fourth, putting the game away and ensuring there was no comeback.

“We hadn’t practiced [the 1-3-1 zone] this week,” said Downs, “but they have it in their back pocket what we need to do – just making that extra pass, rotating the ball and knowing that we have shooters all around the court.”

Foxboro (3-1, 3-0) will try to extend its three-game win streak when it hosts fellow Div. 2 competitor Hopkinton on Thursday, while Franklin (3-1, 2-1) will host Coyle & Cassidy in an exclusion game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.