Deyo, Vlashi Carry Bombardiers into Quarters

Attleboro girls basketball
Sarah Deyo scored 27 points and pulled in 17 rebounds to lead the Bombardiers to a first round win over Durfee. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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ATTLEBORO, Mass. – In the first round of last year’s Div. 1 South tournament, Attleboro faced Needham just a week after beating the Rockets for the second time in the season. Trying to beat the same opponent for the third time proved too much, as the Needham went on the road and upset Attleboro.

Less than a week after beating Durfee for the second time this season, Attleboro opened this year’s tournament with a third game against the Hilltoppers. Junior forward Sarah Deyo admitted that the Needham game was on her mind as she prepared for Tuesday’s match-up.

“I was thinking about it all day,” Deyo said. “I was like, crap last year we played Needham and then we lost to them in the first round and I hope it’s not that result again.”

Deyo almost single-handedly ensured there would be no repeat of last year’s upset. She scored 25 points and dominated the glass, pulling in 17 rebounds, as the Bombardiers held off a second half charge to beat Durfee 57-44 and advance to the sectional quarterfinal.

“That’s Sarah,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch with a rueful shake of the head. “When you need it, she’s up for it. She was doing a lot of things. She was passing the ball a little bit to get people looks…she just feeds it to everybody else and that’s great.”

Attleboro got off to a slow start, handing Durfee a quick 5-0 lead, but then Deyo started to go to work. She scored off a Sam Pierce assist, followed by a three from Emily Houle, and then managed to corral a loose ball for a layup and score off an offensive rebound. She had seven in the first and finished the quarter with an assist on a jumper by Grace Mayer.

Deyo continued the good work in the second, adding another nine points including a perfect 7-7 from the line (she was 8-9 from the line in the first half but 1-7 in the second). Houle chipped in with five of her 11 points, including a step-back three that was quickly followed by another long-range shot by Fatima McDonald.

Attleboro led 29-19 at the half and things felt like they were falling into place for a comfortable win, but in the third quarter (as they did last Wednesday) the Hilltoppers made a charge. Jordyn Gauvin (team-high 16 points) scored five in the third and a Reagan McDonald jumper got Durfee as close as five points at 37-32.

The Bombardiers needed a spark in the third quarter and were not finding success going through the usual troika of Deyo, Houle, and Pierce, so in stepped senior forward Emma Vlashi.

Another player that missed time this season with injury, Vlashi stepped off the bench and provided instant offense, scoring eight of her 12 points in the quarter. She scored on a layup off a Deyo drop pass then on the break after a Mish Logie steal and assist and capped it off a great touch pass from Pierce across the paint.

“Emma just has that energy when she plays within herself,” said Patch. “She gave us a little bit of a spark when the lead got down to seven, five and jumped it back to 11 just by her offensive rebounding and her finishing near the basket.”

“That was so huge,” added Deyo. “Emma really helped us out; she was the ‘X’ factor. Without her I don’t think we would have had the game that we had.”

Deyo gave the hosts a little momentum heading to the fourth with an offensive rebound at the buzzer that extended the lead to 39-32. Houle followed that with a three on Attleboro’s first possession of the final quarter and Logie added another from the corner a few seconds later.

The lead grew to 11 when Deyo scored plus the foul off an inbounds play, before Vlashi added her final four points to put the Bombardiers ahead 52-39 with time winding down. Deyo capped it with a pair of putbacks, as Attleboro crushed the Hilltoppers on the glass to pull out the win.

“Last game they beat us on the boards both offensively and defensively, so a big aspect of the game was make sure we get the rebounds and don’t let them get second chance points,” said Deyo, who was helped on the glass by Houle with nine rebounds, McDonald with eight and Pierce and Valshi each with seven.

Patch noticed a different attitude for his team in this year’s playoff opener compared to last season against Needham. He explained, “I think the mindset last year was uncertainty…I think the expectation this year is we expect to win.”

He continued, “We always talk about making plays and I think last year they were hopeful and this year they expect to do it.”

The Bombardiers confidence will be put to the test when they host No. 5 seed Wellesley on Thursday night in the Div. 1 South quarterfinal.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/01/16

Today’s playoff games are listed below.
Girls Basketball
D1 South

#4 Attleboro, 57 vs. #13 Durfee, 44 – FinalSarah Deyo led the way for the Bombardiers with 25 points and 17 rebounds. Emma Vlashi came off the bench to score 12 points, all in the second half, and pulled in seven rebounds, while Emily Houle scored 11 and grabbed nine rebounds. Attleboro will host No. 5 seed Wellesley on Thursday.
Hockey
D2 South

#6 North Attleboro, 9 vs. #11 Taunton 0 – Final
#12 Oliver Ames, 1 vs. #5 Pembroke 5 – Final

Hornets Beat Attleboro and Clinch League Title

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield celebrated a victory over Attleboro that clinched the program’s second Hockomock League title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – Four years ago, Mansfield won only four games. Those freshmen are now seniors and on Monday night, they capped their final season in Mansfield colors by climbing a ladder, scissors in hand, to cut down the nets at the Albertini Gym.
“This is huge,” said senior Caroline Maher, moments before she got the chance to go up the ladder and celebrate with a piece of the net. “My freshman year we had four wins and now we have 18 or 19, I don’t even know, and we’re going to the state tournament. I’m so happy and so proud of us.”
The Hornets used a strong second half to exact a measure of revenge on Attleboro with a 56-43 victory in front a standing room only, raucous crowd to split the season series with the Bombardiers and clinched the Kelley-Rex division title. It is the program’s second Hockomock title and first since 2011.
Maher added, ““I remember watching the 2010-11 team winning it and I thought, oh I want to be up there on the ladder cutting that string.”
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said of his senior class, “They just keep getting better; a lot of camaraderie, young kids stepping in to help and just a lot of fun to be around. I’m really proud of what they did.”
Attleboro came into the game with its sights set on the program’s first Hockomock title and jumped out to an early lead, up 12-8 after the first quarter. Junior Sarah Deyo sparked the Bombardiers with seven of her team-high 15 in the first, including an early three and a couple of layups.
Juliana Newell (12 points) kept Mansfield in the game with four in the first and another six points in the second, most coming off her familiar mid-range jumper. Jen Peel stepped up in the second and scored half of her game-high 18 points in the quarter with drives into the middle of the Attleboro defense.
“She got in the lane the other time,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch, “but this time she was looking to score. We made the adjustment to just keep her in front of us, but there were times that we lost her.”
A Jordyn Lako three had given Attleboro a 22-15 lead, but Peel scored five straight points to cut the lead to four. After a pair of free throws by Fatima McDonald, Peel got another layup and a pair from the line to bring Mansfield within two. After Sam Pierce (10 points) buried a three, Newell closed out the first half with a runner that kept the Hornets within three at 27-24.
In the third quarter, Meg Hill took over the game. The sophomore center scored all 11 of her points in the third and a big chunk of her game-high 15 rebounds and four blocks.
Redding said, “We kept kidding her the last couple weeks about going into ‘Beast Mode.’ You can be a nice kid off the court but you’ve got to step on and ante up and as a sophomore she did that in the third quarter. She changed the tone of the game.”
Hill started the half with a layup off an inbound pass by Peel (five assists) but Mish Logie followed with a corner three to extend the lead to four. Peel answered that with a transition basket plus the foul.
“For all the good things she does, we’ll live with a couple of turnovers,” said Redding of Peel. She can always seem to find a lane. As tight as things are, she always finds a way through.”
After a Pierce jumper, Hill scored four straight to give Mansfield the lead at 33-32, its first since the opening basket of the game. She continued to dominate the paint on a personal 8-0 run that put Mansfield up by five, a lead that the Hornets would carry into the fourth quarter.
“There were a couple calls, not blaming the ref, it was just reffed in a way that we haven’t seen all year so to make that adjustment – we just couldn’t,” Patch explained. “We had to focus on boxing out harder…it was making it much tougher for our kids.”
Deyo hit a three late in the third quarter and then added another one to start the fourth and bring Attleboro back within two. After a Newell layup and a pair of free throws from Jackie Carchedi, Emma Vlashi (six points) scored on a drive to the hoop and another shot in the paint and it was 45-43.
Coming into the game, Emily Houle needed four points to hit 1,000 for her career, but in the fourth quarter she had been held to only a pair of free throws. At several points in the game, Houle seemed more like a decoy as the offense flowed in different directions, but she finally got free on the baseline with a chance to tie the game.
The jumper was halfway down but spun out. Attleboro did not score another point in the game.
“It’s baffling,” said Patch about the struggle to get Houle the ball. “We’re coming out of timeouts calling certain plays and I don’t know if it’s the environment or whatever, we trained for it, we practiced for it.
Mansfield forced a steal from McDonald and Peel raced the length of the court to score plus the foul, putting the Hornets up by six. On the next trip, Carchedi took a deep three that was off line, but the senior was the first to react and rebounded her own miss to score a dagger basket.
“I don’t know who our MVP is but I think she may have my vote just because she does so much at both ends of the floor,” said Redding of Carchedi. “She really does everything for us. She doesn’t score a lot of points for us but that offensive rebound and score was huge.”
The Hornets knocked down free throws in the closing minutes to clinch the victory and with it the title. Maher got her wish and was able to stand atop the ladder and hold her piece of the net.
“We’ve played together for so long, longer than I can remember,” she said of the senior class. “The fourth grade ‘A’ team, but for a few kids that went to Feehan this is the team.”
Redding added, “Just a great game with a lot of players stepping up…There’s a 50-50 chance that we could play in the quarterfinal, so get ready for the rubber match.”
Mansfield will await the tournament pairings that will come out this weekend, while Attleboro will close out its regular season (and Emily Houle will continue her quest for 1,000) on Wednesday at Durfee.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Milestone Delayed But Attleboro Avoids Trap

Attleboro girls basketball
Emily Houle scored 17 points on Friday afternoon leaving her four points shy of 1,000 heading into Monday’s game with Mansfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The crowd was packed in behind and across from the Attleboro bench, with balloons, signs, and more celebrating senior guard Emily Houle and her quest to become the first female to score 1,000 career points for Attleboro since Sarah Wright in 1999, which she needed 21 to attain on Friday afternoon in her final home game of the regular season.

Houle scored 17, all in the second half, so the full celebration will have to wait until Attleboro’s game at Mansfield on Monday night, but the Bombardiers had enough in reserve to avoid the trap of facing non-league Dartmouth after a week off and three days before the game that will decide the Kelley-Rex title.

Attleboro struggled early on against Dartmouth’s triangle-and-two defense but managed to pull out a 48-36 victory on an afternoon that ended with very little attention being paid to the final score.

The Indians, playing less than 24 hours after a loss at Mansfield on Thursday night, started the game with Cali Andrade doing her best to deny Houle the ball. With the Bombardiers trying to get Houle the ball as often as possible to help her get to the milestone, Attleboro’s offense bogged down in the first quarter and the top scoring team in the Hock was held to just six points.

“We do some stuff on it but we haven’t seen enough of it,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch about the triangle and two defense. “I think with the not playing for a week, the sideshow of the thousand and the electricity in the air, the kids were tight at the beginning.”

Senior guard Fatima McDonald (eight points) was Attleboro’s lone source of offense, scoring all six points in the first, including a drive to the hoop and a three. In the second, sophomore Sam Pierce chipped in with four of her 10 points and Grace Mayer and Mish Logie each contributed layups.

At halftime, the Bombardiers trailed 17-14 and needed to find an answer to all of the attention being put on Houle and Sarah Deyo (seven blocks, 10 rebounds).

“I thought if we’re not careful this could get away because a similar thing happened at Stoughton when we were down a bunch of players,” said Patch.

“I was disappointed in our defensive rebounding…because that’s effort, that’s discipline and regardless of everything else that’s going on we just weren’t able to do that.”

In the third quarter, the Bombardiers clamped down on defense. Kelsey Shurtleff (team-high 12 points) knocked down a pair of threes but the Indians were no longer getting anything inside and Attleboro took control of the glass.

Patch explained, “I think the person that started that fire was Sam Pierce. She’s that link, when she plays well then  we’re at another level. She came out for five minutes and played very well and it kind of spread [the lead].”

A McDonald layup and a Deyo putback pulled Attleboro within one at 19-18, then Pierce assisted on a Logie three that once again cut the lead to one. In transition Houle finally got on the board with a layup that gave Attleboro its first lead since it was 2-0. Pierce added to it with a basket on an inbound and a steal and layup.

Houle (11 rebounds) tacked on a three off a missed Dartmouth free throw and then another bucket in transition that had the crowd on its feet and pushed the Attleboro lead to 34-25 heading to the fourth.

Dartmouth scored the first four points of the final quarter to hang around, but Attleboro broke the game open with an 11-0 run, including seven points from Houle that put her at 14 for the night and needing seven points in three minutes to reach 1,000.

With Attleboro leading by 16 at 45-29, the focus of both benches turned to the impending milestone.

“In the fourth quarter, when I saw we were up 16, I told her that everything is going through you,” said Patch. “I said, we’ve got the game, let’s just get her the ball.”

The Indians turned to a four corners offense in the closing minutes, clearly with no intention of trying to mount a comeback and purely interested in limiting Attleboro’s offensive possessions. Meanwhile, the Bombardiers were fouling intentionally to put the Indians on the line so they could then get the ball back.

Now the focus will turn to Monday night and the matchup with Mansfield that will determine the league title. The boys’ game against the Hornets has been moved up to 5 p.m., while the girls’ start was pushed back to 7:15 to allow both fanbases to see the league finale (and cheer Houle when she reaches 1,000).

“I think at this point with her being so close…she’s going to get it,” said Patch. “We’re just going to play the game. I’m glad that we got it close enough that it won’t be a sideshow on Monday; it will just be Mansfield and Attleboro going at it for the championship.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Houle Drops 30, Bombardiers Outlast Oliver Ames

Attleboro girls basketball
Attleboro senior Emily Houle (3) scored 30 points on Monday night to lead the Bombardiers to a win against OA. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Davenport leading Oliver Ames has only allowed an average of 35.4 points per games to its opponents this season. On Monday night at Kelley-Rex leading Attleboro, the Tigers gave up nearly that many points to Emily Houle alone.

The Bombardiers senior guard scored 30 points to lead Attleboro to a 56-44 victory that temporarily moves it into first place alone in the division.

“Big time players play big games and I told her that I’m glad she played it there because we needed it,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch. “I thought she was great.”

Houle scored Attleboro’s first seven points of the game, knocking down a couple of jumpers and a three-pointer. She scored seven points in each of the first three quarters and then snagged nine in the fourth to help the Bombardiers hold off the Tigers for back-to-back wins against division leaders.

“You can worry about Deyo and Pierce but everything goes through Emily Houle,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook, who was honored on the court before the game for setting the state record for career wins.

“She got seven points early on and if you’re a scorer and you have a scorer’s mentality that’s what happens. It’s like okay it’s going to go tonight.”

In the first, Houle scored the first seven for Attleboro and then Sarah Deyo added four as the hosts jumped out to an 11-4 lead. Oliver Ames responded with an 11-0 run to jump into the lead. Francesca Calabraro (11 points) knocked down a three-pointer and Kaitlyn McCarthy (eight points) knocked down a pair from beyond the arc. The Tigers forced 11 Attleboro turnovers in the first.

Deyo scored before the end of the quarter to cut the lead to two and Houle knocked down a three to put Attleboro ahead 16-15 early in the second. After a Houle free throw, OA bounced back, this time with a 9-0 run and took a 24-17 lead.

“It was almost like we were passing a volleyball out there; it was going so slow to our teammates, which is totally unlike us,” said Patch about the early turnovers. “I wasn’t panicking because I was like that’s not like us.”

He added, “When it got to 24-17…we just said we need to start making plays. Do not pass it unless it’s 100 percent you can get it there. If you don’t know what to do, attack the basket off the dribble.”

OA nearly had another solid defensive possession coming out of a timeout, but Houle threw up a 24-foot prayer as the buzzer sounded and, proving that it was going to be one of those nights for her, dropped through to cut the lead to four.

It proved to be the spark for the Bombardiers, who would go on an 11-0 run to close the half. Emma Vlashi came off the bench and scored five straight to give Attleboro a one-point lead and freshman Jordyn Lako buried a three to make it 28-24 at the break.

“She had a great little rebound, she had a banker from about eight feet,” said Patch about Vlashi’s contribution, “and when we got in here it was just let’s reset for the third quarter.”

Early in the third quarter, OA found itself in foul trouble. With a small roster to begin with, the Tigers struggled to get a flow to its offense when Sam Bamford (four assists) and Hannah Carroll (10 points) went to the bench.

“I don’t know that it hurt us from a defensive standpoint, but it hurt us a little on offense,” said Clement-Holbrook. “Early on I thought we moved the ball well and hit some shots from the perimeter, but then we had those issues where we had to move people around.”

Deyo (15 points, 11 rebounds) scored five straight points, including a step-back three, to give Attleboro an eight-point lead. Lako got a steal and a transition basket and Houle knocked down a shot to extend it to 12.

Kayla Raymond (seven points) and Niyera Mitchell (10 rebounds) each scored for OA to keep it close but Houle answered right back with four straight points. Calabraro got a layup at the buzzer, but Attleboro went into the fourth leading by 10.

Carroll scored six of her 10 in the fourth and Bamford scored all four of her points, but it was not enough to get back into the game. The Bombardiers had too much offense, even with under the weather sophomore Sam Pierce (seven rebounds) being held scoreless. Houle scored nine in the fourth and Deyo buried a big three.

“I thought we didn’t utilize the post as well as we could’ve tonight,” said Clement-Holbrook. “It’s all growing pains…We were fighting and it wasn’t for lack of effort, we just need to be smart.”

The Bombardiers have now won 11 in a row and are one ahead of Mansfield in the win column (the Hornets play Milford on Tuesday). Considering the injury issues that Attleboro has suffered this season, Patch is thrilled with where his team sits at this stage.

“To be where we are now, considering everything that’s happened, we’re very happy,” he said. “To get OA with only one day of practice…was very tough and now we can give the kids a chance to exhale a little bit and get ourselves ready for Friday night.”

The Bombardiers (15-1, 11-1) will host North Attleboro on Friday night. Oliver Ames (11-3, 9-3), which leads Foxboro by a single game, will travel to Sharon.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Attleboro Shuts Down Hornets, Tied for League Lead

Sam Pierce
Attleboro sophomore Sam Pierce scored a game-high 14 points, eight in the second half, to help the Bombardiers tie Mansfield atop the Kelley-Rex standings. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

ATTLEBORO, Mass. – With 4:27 left in the fourth quarter, Jen Peel hit a pull-up jumper from just inside the free throw line to pull Mansfield within one of Attleboro in Friday night’s meeting of the top two teams in the Kelley-Rex.

The Hornets had held the Bombardiers to just two made free throws in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 39-38, but that would be as close as Mansfield could get. Coming out of a timeout, Attleboro scored the final nine points of the game to pull out a 48-38 victory and tied Mansfield atop the league standings.

“Honestly, this means everything to us,” said Attleboro senior guard Emily Houle, who passed the 900-point mark for her career on Friday. “From the start of the season, we’ve been faced with a lot of adversity, so to come this far…we’ve battled.”

“We kept saying we deserve this because when you go through that much it just feels really, really good to get this.”

After Peel’s basket, the last of her team-high 11 points, sophomore forward Sam Pierce answered with a jumper and then on the next possession Sarah Deyo (13 points, 11 rebounds) battled for an offensive rebound and fed Pierce for another jumper in the paint. Pierce finished with a game-high 14 points and added 11 rebounds.

“In just one year, she’s improved tremendously,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch of Pierce. “She can play mid-range, she can play under the basket, she can play on the perimeter, and she’s the one I told that how she plays will determine if we win.”

Leading by five, Attleboro had another chance to extend the lead but Meg Hill got out quickly and blocked a three attempt by Deyo (Hill finished with eight blocks on the night), but the ball bounced right back to the Attleboro junior who drilled her second chance at a dagger three from the corner to make it 46-38.

“We’d play great ‘D’ and then kick out for an open three and that was a killer,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “They worked hard on the boards and we didn’t get a lot of second chances on our end.”

The game was close throughout. The final margin of eight turned out to be the largest lead for either team.

Mansfield jumped out to an early lead behind Hill (nine points, 11 rebounds). The sophomore scored on a layup and then a free throw line jumper to help the Hornets to a 6-2 lead. Senior Juliana Newell also scored four in the quarter and the visitors led 10-7 after one.

After combining for just five points in the opening quarter, Attleboro’s big three of Deyo, Houle and Pierce scored 13 of the Bombardiers 15 in the second to give the home team the lead, helped by Hill picking up a second foul seconds into the quarter. Emma Vlashi picked up an offensive rebound and scored at the buzzer for a 22-18 lead at the half.

Mansfield got five points from Peel in the second, but the junior point guard was under constant pressure from several Attleboro players, including freshman Jordyn Lako, junior Mishelle Logie, and (for a brief cameo) sophomore Grace Mayer.

“We just threw Lako out there and told her to go crazy, like she does in practice,” said Patch. “You’re going to make some playas and we’ll make some for you if you mess up. Jen Peel is phenomenal…and I think Jordyn was able to wear her down a little bit.”

The Hornets got off to a strong start to the third quarter. After a Pierce basket began the half, Caroline Maher scored on a putback layup and then on another layup when she picked off a cross-court pass. Jackie Carchedi (eight points) buried her second three of the night to put Mansfield ahead and after a putback by Hill the game was tied 27-27.

Attleboro managed to come away from the third with the lead in part because of big shots by some of the unheralded players. Lako knocked down a three, Vlashi was left open and knocked down a 10-footer and then Logie buried a deep three. The Bombardiers went into the fourth up 37-32.

“It definitely take some pressure off me, Sarah, and Sam,” said Houle about her teammates coming through with big shots. “Coming into game I feel more confident because I know we have girls that can take the shot and make it.”

Redding explained, “We said, okay we need to stop the big three. We did okay with that but Logie and Vlashi hit some big shots. We were willing to give it to them and they hit them and that was a big difference in the game.”

Again the Hornets made a run to come back and cut the lead to a single point, but the Attleboro defense clamped down to shut out Mansfield for the final four minutes.

Houle said, “We just worked hard. We were diving on the ground for balls and I think that was really what gave us the energy to keep going.”

It was the Hornets first loss of the season in the league and afterwards everyone was already looking forward to the rematch in the Albertini Gym on Feb. 22.

“We’ve just got to keep winning and give ourselves a chance when we get them at home to play better offensively,” said Redding. 

“I think when we play again there will be something on the line for both teams and it will be a great game, but you can’t have a letdown until then.”

Attleboro (14-1, 10-1) will face another league leader in its next game on Monday when it hosts Oliver Ames. Mansfield (12-3, 10-1) will host Milford on Monday night.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Taking Stock of the Hock: Girls Basketball 2015-16

Sarah Deyo
Sarah Deyo (32) has been one of the top scorers in the league this season and is one of the main reasons that the injury-hit Bombardiers have started 10-1. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

With nearly half of the games gone for all of the Hockomock teams, our editors Ryan Lanigan and Josh Perry take a look at where things currently stand for girls’ basketball.

Who is the midseason girls’ basketball Player of the Year?

Josh Perry – Attleboro has been snakebitten with injuries this season. Just two games in and Player of the Year candidate Emily Houle and senior starter Emma Vlashi were both knocked out with knee injuries (both have returned and been productive for the Bombardiers) and then in game three junior forward Julia Strachan went down with a season-ending injury. Despite losing three-fifths of the opening night starting lineup, Attleboro is currently 10-1 overall and just one game back of Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex standings.

Much of that success can be placed squarely on the shoulders of Sarah Deyo. The junior forward is second in the league in scoring with 18.2 points per game and has been a double-double machine even as teams turn all of their defensive focus on her. After missing a game due to an arm injury, Deyo returned to score 20 points in a big win over Taunton. Attleboro still has a chance of bringing home its first Hockomock title largely because Deyo has been able to carry the team during the first half.

Ryan Lanigan – Foxboro is just one game out of first place at the midway mark in a very tight Davenport Division race and a big reason has been because of the player of Ashley Sampson. The sophomore is third in the league in scoring with 15.6 points per game and has been a big player for Lisa Downs and the Warriors so far this season. Sampson has the ability to cut through defenses, which can open up a lot of looks for a young Warriors team that can really stroke it from deep. She’s also one of the better shooters in the league and is tough to get around defensively.

Who is the midseason girls’ basketball Underclassman of the Year?

Perry There are so many great choices from Kayla Raymond at Oliver Ames or Sam Pierce at Attleboro or Meg Hill at Mansfield, which is really just the tip of the iceberg for young talent in the league, but my pick right now has to be Foxboro sophomore guard Ashley Sampson. Coming off a breakout rookie season, Sampson grew a couple of inches in the off-season and seemed to grow even more confident in running the offense as well.

She is currently averaging 15.6 points per game and seems to be stepping right into the considerable hole left by the graduation of Kat Tamulionis. Sampson is the primary ballhandler and despite being the target of every team’s defensive game plan still manages to get to the basket and to find her teammates for open looks. She has also emerged as a strong on the ball defender, the spark for the Warriors run and gun style, and even a contender for Player of the Year.

Lanigan – Since I picked Ashley Sampson as my current Player of the Year, I’ll go in a different direction here and go with Attleboro’s Samantha Pierce as the top Underclassman at the halfway point. The Bombardiers have been ravaged with injuries but one of the few constants in the lineup for Attleboro has been Pierce. She can knock down shots from deep and is a very good rebounder, especially for just a sophomore. The combo of Pierce and Sarah Deyo make it hard for opponents to get much going at the basket but Pierce can also stop out and guard on the perimeter. When Attleboro has needed someone step up through its injury issues this year, Pierce has been a big help.

Midseason First Team

Perry
F – Sarah Deyo, Attleboro
F – Caroline Collard, North Attleboro
G – Ashley Sampson, Foxboro
G – Caroline Maher, Mansfield
G – Alecia Quinones, Stoughton

Lanigan
F – Sarah Deyo, Attleboro
F – Alyssa Piazza, Sharon
G – Ashley Sampson, Foxboro
G – Alecia Quinones, Stoughton
G – Jen Peel, Mansfield

What has been the biggest surprise this season?

Perry I think that everyone expected Stoughton to get a boost this year from the hiring of Charmaine Steele Jordan. One of the program’s best ever players and all-time leading scorers, she brings plenty of on the court experience and a renewed energy around the team, but it would have been hard to predict coming in that the Black Knights would be 6-2 at this point, with a win over Attleboro, and with Alecia Quinones leading the league in scoring at more than 20 points per game.

Stoughton is only a few wins away from qualifying for a return to the state tournament and is tied for the league lead with Oliver Ames. While things could get tougher for the Black Knights in the next couple of weeks (North, Mansfield, a rematch with Foxboro, and two games against OA are still left on the schedule) but to be in this position at this stage is still a great accomplishment and a big turn around for the program.

Lanigan – When we released our preseason Hock 5 rankings, we had Oliver Ames at No. 5. With a couple nice pieces back, we thought the playoffs would be within reach. As of this past week, we have them at No. 2 and not only is a playoff spot possible, but a Davenport title is a possibility. Laney Clement-Holbrook has the Tigers playing at a great pace and with strong leadership from Sam Bamford and Kaitlyn McCarthy, a lot of the younger pieces like Francesca Calabraro, Niyera Mitchell, Kayla Raymond and Hannah Carroll have been able to step up and make big plays. Although OA making a run for the division title and possibly a deep postseason run is my pick, we should never be surprised when OA has success with Laney Clement-Holbrook on the bench.

At this point, which team will be going furthest in the tournament?

Perry – There are a lot of teams that have the potential to make a run in the tournament this season. The Hockomock is one of the deepest girls’ basketball leagues in the state and certainly does a lot to prepare teams for the rigors of making a push in the postseason. However, D1 South is an absolute bear with the likes of Braintree and Feehan (the top two teams in the state), so the road is extremely difficult for Attleboro and Mansfield.

Oliver Ames is my pick right now for the team with the chance to go furthest as the Tigers look to have the balanced scoring and the defensive intensity to give teams in D2 South fits. Also, OA is coming off a solid win over Foxboro, which would probably be the second favorite to make a push for a return to the D2 South final.

Although I think OA is the team that will be go the furthest, keep an eye on Franklin in D1 Central. The Panthers have a habit of reaching sectional semifinals and after a big win over Holy Name in the season opener will have thoughts of challenging Westford, A-B, L-S, and Wachusett for the district title.

Lanigan – This is always a tough one and I truly believe that the Hockomock League is one of the toughest for girls basketball this season. Oliver Ames is likely to be a threat in D2 South and Franklin should be the most battle tested team in D1 Central.
But my pick is for Mansfield. The Hornets have faced a number of stiff tests so far this year and so far, they have come out on the winning side. They picked up wins on the road at North Attleboro, Oliver Ames and Franklin and then came home to beat Foxboro. Each time so far this season when you think that Mansfield might drop one to another team in the Hock 5, they have emerged victorious. They still have two big tests with Attleboro left and a date with a strong Stoughton team next week. If they can get a strong seed in the D1 South bracket, I can see them making a return trip to the South Semifinals.
If Attleboro can get healthy and avoid the injury bug, they will be another team to look out for in D1 South.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/15/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 43 @ Taunton, 65 – Final – Taunton junior Quan Roberson netted a game-high 20 points while senior Dominique Smith added a career-high 18 points for the Tigers. Tommy MacLean added 11 points and Jose Mercado had 10 points. Attleboro’s Jake Dunkley had nine points and three rebounds and Lucas Boucicaut also had nine points. Kyle Murphy pulled in 10 rebounds for the Bombardiers. 

Canton, 42 @ Sharon, 47 – Final – Sophomore Malik Lorquet made a big splash in his first full varsity game with nine points and 10 rebounds. Junior Adam Banks also scored nine points for the Eagles. Woanyen Mahn and Rishi Jambunathan each scored nine points for Canton. 

Foxboro, 54 @ Oliver Ames, 50 – Final – Foxboro built a seven point lead by halftime and held on in the second half. Senior Jason Procaccini led with 18 points with classmate Alex DuBrow chipping in with 17 points. Oliver Ames junior Carter Even had 17 points and seniors Shawn Cardoza and Tim Kelley each had 12 points. 

Franklin, 60 @ Mansfield, 57 – Final – Freshman Jay Dieterle hit a three with 1:34 left to put Franklin ahead for good. The Panthers, which led by as much as 22, had to stave off a rally from Mansfield over the third and fourth quarters. Franklin sophomore Connor Peterson scored a career-high 23 points and had seven rebounds, Tim Prunier added 15 points and five assists, sophomore Paul Mahon added eight points and six rebounds and Dieterle had six assists to go with five points. Matt Ehrlich had 16 points and five rebounds for Mansfield and Max Boen added 11 points. 

North Attleboro, 47 @ King Philip, 53 – Final – Juniors Will Weir and Noah Goodwin each scored 13 points for King Philip with senior Ben Smith adding 10 points and junior Pharaoh Davis netted 10 points. North Attleboro junior Brent Doherty scored a career-high 24 points for the Rocketeers.

Milford, 60 @ Stoughton, 77 – Final – Stoughton senior Brandon Teixeira logged his league-leading sixth double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Black Knights enjoyed a strong shooting night from the floor. Junior Ryan Sullivan added a career-best 16 points for Stoughton. Milford junior Nate Davila scored a team-high 18 points and Dwight Anderson added 13 points. 
Girls Basketball
Sharon, 41 @ Canton, 43 – Final Meaghan Hunter led the way for the Bulldogs with 17 points and Emma Murphy added 13, including nine in the fourth quarter. Alyssa Piazza was the top scorer for Sharon with 14 points and Ashley Mukasa added 10.
Oliver Ames, 53 @ Foxboro, 38 – Final – The Tigers had the lead throughout in a key Davenport Division matchup. The Warriors got within one in the third quarter but OA answered with a three to keep the lead. Sophomore Kayla Raymond notched her first double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Hannah Carroll added 10 points and Francesca Calabraro had eight points and nine rebounds. 

Mansfield, 51 @ Franklin, 48 – FinalMeg Hill was the top scorer for the Hornets with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jen Peel added 10 points (eight in the first half) and eight assists for the Hornets and Jackie Carchedi scored nine points (eight in the fourth quarter). Lauren Rudolph led the Panthers with 11 points (nine in the third quarter) and Aubrie Kutil had eight points and nine rebounds.
King Philip, 34 @ North Attleboro, 49 – FinalNorth Attleboro got 10 points apiece from Julia Feid and Emily Haskell. KP was led by Sam Madden and Riley Dalzell, who each scored seven points.
Stoughton, 59 @ Milford, 41 – Final – Julia Foye came off the bench to drain a trio of three pointers and finished with 11 points to spark the Black Knights. Alecia Quinones led Stoughton with a team-high 20 points and added seven steals. 
Taunton, 26 @ Attleboro, 63 – FinalSarah Deyo returned for the Bombardiers with 20 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Sam Pierce chipped in with her fourth straight double-double, 18 points and 11 rebounds. Emma Vlashi also had 11 boards for Attleboro.
Swimming
Canton boy, 109 @ Oliver Ames boys, 63 – Final
Canton girls, 83.5 @ Oliver Ames girls 86.5 – Final
Franklin boys, 70 @ Mansfield boys, 98 – Final
Franklin girls, 92 @ Mansfield girls, 70 – Final

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/12/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Milford, 55 @ Attleboro, 70 – Final – Attleboro had three players score in double-digits, led by a career-high 24 points for junior Jake Dunkley, who also added seven rebounds. Junior Andrew Milliken had 16 points and five rebounds, sophomore Nate Douglas had 14 points and four rebounds and senior Kyle Murphy had 14 rebounds to go along with seven points. Milford’s Zack Tamagni scored a team-high 20 points for the Scarlet Hawks. 

Canton, 34 @ North Attleboro, 43 – Final – North Attleboro junior Brent Doherty scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the second half, including nine of them in the third quarter, which was the period the Rocketeers created an eight point cushion. Senior Ridge Olsen added nine points and Kyle Gaumond had six. Canton’s Tony Harris had 12 points for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 60 @ Franklin, 65 – Final (OT) – Senior Tim Prunier scored a game-high 18 points while freshman Jay Dieterle scored 13 points, senior Kevin Gill had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists and Josh Macchi had 11 points and eight rebounds. Foxboro’s Jason Procaccini scored 17 points, Robby Lowey added 12 points and six rebounds and Mark Clagg had 11 points. 

Sharon, 45 @ King Philip, 52 – Final – King Philip broke into the win column, pouring in 20 points in the first quarter and never looking back. Seth Sullivan had a game-high 13 points while junior Pharaoh Davis added 11 points and junior Noah Goodwin had 10 points. Peter Banks had 10 points for Sharon, who went 2/24 from 3PT range as a team. 

Oliver Ames, 63 @ Mansfield, 78 – Final – Junior Sam Goldberg netted a career-high 23 points (17 in the second half) pulled in 10 rebounds and had four assists to lead the Hornets. Matt Ehrlich added 17 points and Max Boen added 11 points. Oliver Ames’ Tim Kelley had 20 points and Connor Maroney added 15 points. 

Stoughton, 53 @ Taunton, 81 – Final – Senior Jose Mercado netted 25 points and junior Quan Roberson added 22 points as Taunton’s offense scored a season-high 81 points. Stoughton sophomore Cam Andrews had 14 points to lead the Black Knights. 
Girls Basketball
North Attleboro, 50 @ Canton, 38 – Final – North Attleboro was led by junior guard Ashley Ahern, who finished with 18 points. For the second straight night, Hannah Jerrier recorded a double-double for Canton with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Franklin, 45 @ Foxboro, 51 – Final – Sophomore Ashley Sampson led the way for the Warriors with 21 points while sophomore Lily Sykes chipped in with 12 points for Foxboro. 

King Philip, 53 @ Sharon, 45 – Final – KP rallied from eight down in the fourth quarter behind 18 points from freshman Julia Leroux (nine in the fourth quarter alone). Sam Madden added 12 for the Warriors, who outscored the Eagles 22-7 in the final quarter. Sharon was led by Alyssa Piazza with 14 points and Charlotte Ransom with 12.

Mansfield, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 32 – Final – Caroline Maher led the way for the Hornets with 16 points in a game between the top two teams in this week’s girls basketball Hock 5. Meg Hill added eight points and nine rebounds and Jen Peel had eight points and eight assists for Mansfield.

Attleboro, 54 @ Milford, 26 – Final – The Bombardiers were without star forward Sarah Deyo but pulled out the win on the road led by 18 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore Sam Pierce. Emma Vlashi added 12 points for Attleboro in just her second game back from injury and Fatima McDonald chipped in with eight steals.

Taunton, 52 @ Stoughton, 54 – Final – Stoughton seniors Jess Greer and Alecia Quinones each scored a team-high 18 points to lead the Black Knights to a close win. Taunton senior Jordan Wade had 16 points while Lily Patneaude and Alyssa Gibson each added 12 points for the Tigers. 
Hockey
Canton, 11 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Senior Matty Marcone netted his first career goal to lead the Bulldogs to a league win.
Wrestling
Taunton, 42 vs. Josiah Quincy 36 – Final – The Tigers got wins from Chris Fernandes (120), Justin Bradley (132), Brandon DeForitis (145), Alex Simon (170), Jose Anaya (182), Nuno Camara (195), and Mason Frank (220).
Swimming
Boys
Foxboro, 51 @ Oliver Ames, 103 – Final
Girls
Foxboro, 80 @ Oliver Ames, 90 – Final

Attleboro Overcomes Another Injury to Defeat North


Emily Houle
Emily Houle (3) scored eight of her 13 points in the second half as Attleboro survived the loss of Sarah Deyo to pull out a road win at North Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

NORTH ATTLEBORO – The Bombardiers have been snakebitten with injuries this season. A day after finding out that junior Julia Strachan was lost for the year to a knee injury, Attleboro watched as Sarah Deyo walked off the court holding her elbow just 1:17 into the second half against North Attleboro on Friday night.

Deyo had a first half double-double and scored the first bucket of the third quarter, but she would be done after scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds and helping the Bombardiers grab a slim, five-point advantage.

Rather than allowing the disappointment of losing another key player cost it the game, Attleboro, as it has all season, had other players step up.

Sophomore Sam Pierce scored 15 points (nine in the second half) and had 12 rebounds and senior Emily Houle, in only her third game back from her own injury, had 13 points (eight in the second half) and 11 rebounds to lead the Bombardiers to a 51-43 victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader at the Pickering Gym.

“I think our box out and rebound stuff was outstanding,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch. “We didn’t really run much [on offense] but the big thing they did was compete. They didn’t let up, they focused.”

North came out strong at the end of a tough week that saw it face three of its fiercest rivals (Mansfield and Bishop Feehan were the others). Emily Schromm started the game with the first of her three three-pointers on the night and later in the quarter Ashley Ahern completed a four-point play on the far sideline. Sam Taggart scored four points in the first, including a long two at the buzzer.

The Bombardiers counted on Deyo to stay close in the opening quarter. The junior scored six points, many of them on second chance opportunities, as Attleboro dominated on the glass.

“They’re a tough matchup,” said North coach Derek Herber about trying to keep Attleboro off the boards. “Defensively, we rebound okay but it’s the offensive rebounds we don’t force a lot of teams to play on the defensive boards.”

In the second, Attleboro went on a run to grab the lead. After Emily Peters (seven points) and Schromm knocked down threes to put North ahead 24-19, the Bombardiers scored nine of the next 10 points. Deyo tied the game with a jumper, then Emma Vlashi, in her first game back from injury, hit two free throws to give Attleboro the lead and Houle made it four with a steal and transition layup.

“She just got cleared today,” said Patch of Vlashi. “The plan was to only have her play like six minutes and then a couple of things where Sarah goes down and you just go by how you feel.”

With Deyo on the bench icing her arm, Taggart (nine points) buried a three to bring North back within two and then Kiersten Bixby scored on an offensive rebound to tie it at 32. Momentum seemed to be on the home team’s side, but first Houle and then Pierce knocked down threes from opposite corners to give the Bombardiers a 38-34 lead heading to the fourth.

“Sam posts up all the time but she can play on the outside,” Patch explained. “We give those kids the green light. They can shoot anytime they think they can make it.”

Attleboro carried the momentum into the final quarter with some help from poor shooting by the Rocketeers. Time and again, North created openings for Ahern, Schromm, and Taggart but the shots just would not fall.

“We played some good offense but right now we’re having a tough time shooting,” said Herber. “Part of that is Attleboro and the teams we’re playing but part of it is us. To use a golf reference, we have the ‘yips’ right now.”

Houle picked off a pass and assisted on a fast break bucket for Fatima McDonald that built the lead to 10 and Houle later completed a three-point play to answer an Ahern layup and essentially ice the game.

“At halftime we kept saying they’re starting to tire,” said Patch. “On the offensive side, even when we weren’t running a play, just put pressure on them and make them work and wear them down a little bit.”

North has dropped three straight games this week and the three-time defending league champions are now two games behind league leading Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex standings.

Herber is hopeful that this level of competition will lead to positive results later in the season, but at the moment the shooting woes are making for some tough nights. He added, “Unfortunately, there’s no easy nights in the league and no easy nights on our schedule. We’ll be battle-tested but hopefully we can get a little offensive flow at some point.”

Attleboro (8-1, 4-1) will travel to Milford in its next game on Tuesday, while North Attleboro (3-3, 3-2) will travel to Canton.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.