Strong Defensive Effort Propels Hornets In South Final

Mansfield boys basketball
Mansfield’s Sam Goldberg converts a layup in the second half against Bridgewater-Raynham. (Ryan Lanigan/
BROCKTON, Mass. – Mansfield has been known for its ball movement, decisive three point shooting and machine-like offense.

But they’re a pretty good defensive team as well — and the top-seeded Hornets proved that on Monday night.

In a game with points coming at a premium, Mansfield’s defense shined and its offense made just enough plays down the stretch to pick up a 43-39 win over #4 Bridgewater-Raynham in the D1 South Semifinals.

The Trojans came into the contest averaging 67.5 points per game. It marked just the second time that B-R was held under 50 points — the only other time was when Mansfield beat the Trojans (52-45) back in January.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Talk about a fantastic game on both ends, by both teams on the defensive end,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I don’t know if we can say our offense or their offense was bad, I think the defense on both ends was that good. We had to have a great game plan [defensively] and I think our guys executed it. B-R had a great game plan and they executed it too. I think it came down to a few late baskets, a couple of free throws down the stretch, a couple of big rebounds we were able to secure that put is in a position to win the game.

“What tremendous effort by B-R and what they took away from us. I’m proud as hell of our guys that they were able to execute our game plan, even in a grind. Sometimes it gets hard, you lose focus or you lose track. Every defensive possession mattered and I don’t think we gave up one that were I said OK we did what we had to do our best to minimize their opportunities.”

Though there weren’t many big runs, one of the most important stretches of the game came at the midway point of the final quarter. Bridgewater-Raynham used a 5-0 spurt to tie the game 35-35 on a three point play from EJ Dambreville (18 points, 13 rebounds) and a basket from John Tesson (eight points, eight rebounds) with 3:33 to play.

On the ensuing possession, with the shot clock in single digits, Mansfield had its response on the other end. Max Boen (eight points) drained a three to put the Hornets back up, 38-35, with just over three minutes to play. It was just Mansfield’s second three-pointer of the game. After making their first attempt of the game, the Hornets missed 15 straight until Boen’s shot.

“The three by Boen was huge, that was just a huge basket for us,” Vaughan said. ”Especially considering he missed some in the first half, a couple uncontested ones. He was bummed out a little in the locker room and I just said to him ‘Just go get one, shoot like yourself.’ And he did it. That’s what seniors do, that’s what good basketball players do. They find opportunities and he made it.”

The Hornets came up with a big stop on the other end as Dambreville was called for an offensive foul. On the offensive end, Mansfield used up the majority of the shot clock before Christian Weber found Sam Goldberg (11 points, 11 rebounds) down low. Goldberg was fouled and added a three throw to put Mansfield up 39-35 with just over two minutes to play.

On the defensive end, Sam Hyland came up with a big block for the Hornets. The Trojans got possession back but Bobby Long was whistled for an illegal screen to give Mansfield the ball back. Mansfield took all 30 seconds of the shot clock, unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.

But once again, Mansfield was disciplined on defense and stepped in to take a charge from Hesson.

“[B-R] is good and they’re talented and they can put five guys on the floor at any time that can score,” Vaughan said. “We preached for a couple of days at practice this week that we had to be disciplined, we had to keep the ball in front of us. This wasn’t the same B-R team we played a month and a half ago. I thought the guys answered the test. Guys had to take on some matchups – we had some mismatches in the post, we had help, guys got beat off the dribble, help defenders slid in to take the charge. Overall, what a great defensive effort from both teams and I’m proud of our guys that we were able to maintain that for 32 minutes.

Mansfield missed on the other end at the end of the shot clock but B-R couldn’t convert either. Goldberg hauled in the rebound – his fifth of the second half – and was fouled. He made both to put the Hornets up 41-35 with 20 seconds to play. B-R scored on the other end but Phil Vigeant (nine points, three rebounds), iced the game with two free throws with 11.7 seconds to play.

“I thought defensively they did a tremendous job of keeping us away from the hoop,” Vaughan said. “In the second half, I thought we did a better job of loosing them up and getting some back cuts scoring behind them. A couple times we didn’t score but we got fouls, which gave us opportunities late in the game to get to the line being in the bonus. Overall I was just happy with the focus, by both teams but more that we were able to maintain it for 32 minutes.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield’s started the game with a terrific first possession, filled with plenty of ball movement and then a three from Vigeant. But that would be their last made three point until the final minutes of the game. The Hornets were just 1/9 from three point in the opening quarter.

However, Mansfield got an offensive boost from an unlikely source. Evan Christo, who had been one of the top defenders for the Hornets, came alive with four points and four rebounds in the opening quarter. Christo put Mansfield up 5-0 with a put back and then 9-4 with another late in the period.

He scored the opening basket of the second quarter and added a huge block in a one-on-one situation in the fourth quarter while Mansfield held on to a four point lead.

“He’s by far one of the most underrated players we’ve had here in terms of his contributions because he doesn’t score a lot of points night in and night out,” Vaughan said of Christo. “But talk about a big block, taking the guy one on one and then secured the rebound so it wasn’t a loose ball, it was our ball. Just the stuff he’s bringing to the table night and night out. He doesn’t need much praise to do it either. He’s just a tremendous young man who’s playing at a high level right now and defensively, he’s kind of our anchor right now.”

After taking a 16-15 lead into halftime, the Hornets fell behind twice in the third quarter, and even were tied with a minute to play in the third. However, John McCoy found Goldberg cutting to the basket and the senior drained two free throws to give the Hornets a four point lead (30-26) going into the fourth.

“We just had to stick to what we did well all year,” Goldberg said. “Shots weren’t falling but we had to just keep shooting and attacking the basket, get down hill. B-R did a great job of getting up on us so we utilized back door cuts and slips in the second half.

“They have a similar build that we do in that they’re athletic, medium sized guys. I thought our best strength defensively was being able to switch on everything. Being able to match their intensity and athleticism was huge for us.”

Goldberg scored nine of his 11 points and five of his 11 rebounds in the second half.

“I thought in the first half he was passive,” Vaughan said of the Hockomock League MVP. “When we came out of the locker room [at halftime] I told him this isn’t how you want to end your career. In the second half, I thought he did a better job of asserting himself on both ends, both offensively and defensively. Just a few points here and there, a couple of free throws, or a couple aggressive drives to the basket can swing a game like this either way. We just happened to be on the winning end.”

Mansfield boys basketball (23-2) advances to the D1 South Final to take on #3 Needham (19-4). It marks the fourth time since 2011 that the Hornets have reached the sectional final while this is Needham’s first ever appearance. The teams will square off on Friday at Taunton High. The time has yet to be announced by the MIAA.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/22/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 86 @ Durfee, 80 – FinalAttleboro erased a 10-point deficit to begin the final quarter, rattling a 16-2 run over the final three minutes of the game to earn a season sweep of the Hilltoppers. Trailing 78-70, Bombardier senior Jake Dunkley (28 points) drained a three and then junior Nate Douglas poured in nine straight points of his own. With Attleboro up 84-80 with 17 seconds to go, Lucas Boucicaut hit a pair of free throws to ice the game. Douglas finished with 20 points while freshman Qualeem Charles added 14 points and Elvin Sam chipped in with 10 points.

King Philip, 79 vs. Greater New Bedford, 67 – Final (OT)

Mansfield, 80 vs. Weymouth, 35 – FinalMansfield set the tone early, jumping out to a 21-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. Phil Vigeant led the way with 13 points and five rebounds while Sam Goldberg added 11 points and six rebounds, Christian Weber had 10 points and six assists and Evan Christo added 10 points and three boards.

North Attleboro, 68 vs. Bishop Feehan, 51 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Brent Doherty tied a career-high with 28 points as the Rocketeers picked up their seventh straight win. Big Red scored 24 points in the first quarter, building a double-digit lead then and never looking back. Doherty added a half court buzzer beater at the halftime buzzer to give North a 39-27 lead at the break. Senior Jonny Friberg added 16 points and 12 rebounds while classmate Kyle McCarthy chipped in with 11 points.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 94 vs. Durfee, 58 – Final

Mansfield, 54 vs. Abington, 59 – FinalMansfield junior Meg Hill scored a team-high 21 points, added 10 rebounds and had four blocks and was named to the Roundball Classic all-tournament team. Ann Maher added 14 points for the Hornets and was also named to the all-tournament team.

North Attleboro, 42 vs. Bishop Feehan, 74 – Final

Oliver Ames, 51 @ Norwell, 34 – FinalNorwell cut a double-digit deficit down to six heading into the final quarter but the Tigers held the Clippers to just four points in the final frame. Kayla Raymond led OA with 19 points and 10 Rebounds while Abby Reardon finished with 13 points and five assists.

Attleboro, 3 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk, 3 – Final
Foxboro, 5 @ Blue Hills, 2 – Final

Franklin, 3 vs. Marshfield, 4 – Final

King Philip, 1 vs. Medway, 3 – Final

Mansfield, 3 @ Winthrop, 2 – Final

Stoughton, 3 vs. Norton, 1 – FinalLuke Bainton, Sean Doherty and Brendan Campbell each found the back of the net to help the Black Knights end the season with a win.

Girls Hockey
Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 2 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ Medfield, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Ursuline Academy, 6 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/17/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Taunton, 72 @ Attleboro, 82 – FinalTaunton used a 13-0 run over the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth to cut the deficit to two (59-57) but Attleboro had a response of its own, rattling off a 15-4 run to secure the win. Andrew Milliken hit a pair of threes, Jake Dunkley added four points, Elvin Sam drained a three and freshman Qualeem Charles converted a putback to put Attleboro up 74-63 with just two minutes to go. Dunkley finished with a team-high 21 points, Sam added a career-high 14 points, Milliken had 13 points, Nate Douglas chipped in with 11 points and Charles notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Taunton senior Tommy MacLean dropped a game-high 25 points while Malik Charles, Dante Law and Lens Esquil each scored 10 points for the Tigers.

Canton, 66 @ Stoughton, 69 – FinalStoughton junior Cam Andrews hit a deep three pointer with just seven seconds left to lift the Black Knights to a win. Andrews finished with 18 points for Stoughton. Canton sophomore Devin Foster scored a career-high 30 points for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 40 @ North Attleboro, 45 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 72 @ King Philip, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Oliver Ames, 43 @ Mansfield, 61 – FinalOliver Ames was able to keep pace with the Hornets for 16 minutes, trailing just 29-26 at halftime but Mansfield created separation in the third quarter and never looked back. The Hornets outscored the visitors 16-7 in the third quarter to take a 45-33 lead going into the final period. Mansfield senior Sam Goldberg scored 17 points and hauled in 12 rebounds while classmate Evan Christo was a perfect 6-6 from the field for 13 points. Phil Vigeant added nine points and Max Boen had seven points and seven rebounds. Nick Welch led OA with 16 points and Dylan Mahoney chipped in with 12 points.

Sharon, 78 @ Milford, 65 – FinalAfter a high scoring first quarter (23-22, Sharon), the Eagles took a seven point advantage (42-35) in the locker room at halftime. Sharon extended its lead to double-digits in the third, eventually taking a 61-50 lead into the final quarter. Milford cut the deficit to five, 65-60, with 4:40 to play but Sharon closed the game with a 13-5 run. Senior Ricardo Ripley connected on a three in the run, Tommy Modelevsky came up with a timely steal and Sharon was efficient at the free throw line down the stretch. Ripley finished with a team-high 20 points, junior Malik Lorquet had 17 points and 15 rebounds and sophomore Alex Kaufmann chipped in with 15 points.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 71 @ Taunton, 44 – FinalJordyn Lako scored a career-high 24 points for the Bombardiers.

Stoughton, 74 @ Canton, 62 – Final (OT)Freshman Shyanne Trinh scored 22 of her career-high 32 points in the second half and overtime to lead the Black Knights. Senior Lili Njiem added 14 points, Val Whalen added 12 points, and freshman Aliyah Wright chipped in with 10 points. Junior Jordan Motley added 13 rebounds and seven blocks. Canton’s Emma Murphy and Jess Powers each had 12 points.

North Attleboro, 39 @ Foxboro, 65 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 52 @ Franklin, 58 – FinalFranklin rallied from 10 points down to start the fourth quarter with a 27-11 run to close out the game. Ali Brigham led the way for the Panthers with 17 points to help Franklin move within one game of tournament qualification. Shannon O’Connor was the top scorer for KP with 14 points.

Mansfield, 61 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – FinalThe Hornets scored 40 points in the second half to close out the league campaign with a win. Jen Peel paced Mansfield with 17 points, while Meg Hill chipped in with eight points in the second half and pulled down 11 rebounds. Brenna Burkett was OA’s top scorer with 10 points and Niyera Mitchell had nine.

Milford, 38 @ Sharon, 41 – FinalEmma Eberhardt scored a team-high 15 points and added five steal and three blocks for the Eagles. She also went 3-of-4 from the line in the final 30 seconds to seal the win. Shira Stoller had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/14/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Franklin, 73 @ Attleboro, 65 – FinalFranklin built a 10-point lead heading into the final quarter and held off the Bombardiers to earn the win. Attleboro cut the deficit to five on two separate occasions, including with just under a minute to play but the Panthers finished the game strong. Connor Peterson had 16 points while Josh Macchi and Paul Mahon each chipped in with 14 points for the Panthers.

Foxboro, 51 @ Canton, 44 – FinalIt was a close contest throughout between the two Davenport rivals, with Canton seizing a 14-10 lead after one and Foxboro 26-23 at half and 34-33 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to one with less than a minute to play but Foxboro senior Andrew Block drained a three to put the Warriors ahead for good. Block scored eight of his 11 points in the final quarter while Joe Morrison scored 13 points, Mark Clagg had nine points and both Brandon Borde and Jamaine Few each had eight points. Canton sophomore Devin Foster had 13 points and junior Tony Harris added 10 points.

Mansfield, 56 @ King Philip, 53 – FinalMansfield senior Sam Goldberg (six reobunds) scored 17 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, helping offset a poor shooting night by the Hornets to clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title. Mansfield shot just 3-23 from three point range with only Max Boen (11 points) connecting from deep. Goldberg scored 11 points in the third quarter to give Mansfield a 43-36 lead heading into the fourth. The senior scored six of the team’s 13 points in the final quarter. Evan Christo added 11 rebounds for the Hornets.

Oliver Ames, 73 @ Taunton, 61 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Sharon, 81 @ Stoughton, 72 – FinalSharon junior Malik Lorquet had a monster night for the Eagles, tying a career-high with 17 points while hauling in 13 rebounds and adding four steals and three blocks. Senior Jimmy Fitzhenry had a team-high 18 points while classmate Danny Emerman finished with 12 points. Stoughton junior Cam Andrews scored a game-high 24 points.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 52 @ Franklin, 59 – Final (OT)Franklin rallied late in the game to force overtime and outscored Attleboro 16-9 in the extra period. Carli Koffinke buried a pair of threes (her only two of the game) and Bea Bondhus scored five points in OT to lead the Panthers, after the duo combined for only one point in regulation. Freshman Ali Brigham was the game’s top scorer, leading the Panthers with 21 points, and classmate Megan O’Connell added nine points in the win. Julia Strachan led the Bombardiers with 18 points and Sarah Deyo had nine.

Canton, 28 @ Foxboro, 69 – FinalAfter scoring 31 on Monday night, Ashley Sampson scored a team-high 17 on Tuesday to ensure that Foxboro will go into the final league game in at least a tie for first place in the division. Kristen Bortolotti scored 16 points and Riley Collins had 11 for the Warriors.

King Philip, 33 @ Mansfield, 52 – FinalJunior Ann Maher paced the Hornets with a game-high 14 points. Sophomore Emily Vigeant chipped in with six points and Jen Peel added 12 assists for Mansfield, which had 11 players score in the game. Julia Leroux and Christina Hathaway each scored seven points apiece for the Warriors.

Milford, 55 @ Hopedale, 37 – FinalWith the victory, Milford booked a place in the state tournament for the first time since 2012.

Taunton, 20 @ Oliver Ames, 54 – FinalOliver Ames had another impressive defensive effort while junior Kayla Raymond scored a game-high 11 points. Niyera Mitchell and Hannah Carroll each had nine points for OA.

Stoughton, 59 @ Sharon, 45 – FinalStoughton was led by a pair of freshmen against the Eagles. Aliyah Wright scored a team-high 17 points, while Shyanne Trinh added 15 points for the Black Knights.

Stoughton, 5 vs. Bellingham, 2 – FinalStoughton senior Jon Lessa netted a hat trick to pace the Black Knights past Bellingham. Brendan Campbell and Josh Hough also found the back of the net for the Knights.

Girls Hockey
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalCat Luciano scored a hat trick for the Warriors and Madison Haughey scored the fourth.

Hornets Sting Franklin, Take Control of Kelley-Rex

Mansfield boys basketball
Mansfield’s Max Boen pulls up for a shot in the second half against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Another chapter in the storied rivalry between Mansfield and Franklin is complete.

And it looks a lot like last year.

For the second straight season, Mansfield won the second game of the series on the road in Franklin after the Panthers won the first contest. This time, the Hornets prevailed 60-43.

Last year’s two contests mirrored each other because of big comebacks from the visiting team.

This year’s two contests mirrored each other because of double digit victories.

Mansfield raced out to a 17-6 lead after the first quarter, with senior Sam Goldberg (12 points, eight rebounds, four assists) putting an exclamation mark on the frame with an off balance three at the buzzer.

In comparison, it was the Hornets who were held in check to just five points in the first matchup. It took until the 3:49 of the third quarter of the first game for Mansfield to reach 17 points the first time around.

“We got a much better start than the first game,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “It’s probably very similar to the first game. After the first game, CJ [Neely] said that at some point they got a little lucky that we missed shots. And to be honest, I have to say the same thing. We got a little lucky they missed some early shots and we were able to capitalize on and create a little separation. I thought our defense was really solid.

“The score doesn’t really represent the level of play and the level that Franklin’s at…that’s a dynamite program that’s going to do great in the state tournament. We’re fortunate we’re playing better, we’re more consistent. Our defensive energy has been fantastic. Now its just a matter of taking care of KP on Tuesday.”

As Mansfield was able to keep the Panthers from scoring the post — largely due to double teams and strong help defense on Franklin center Connor Peterson — the Panthers found life in outside shooting from the hand of Connor Goldstein (21 points).

The Panthers had their best offensive quarter in the second with Goldstein recording 12 of the team’s 18 points to cut the deficit to single digits, 31-24, at halftime.

“[Our post defense] was great,” Vaughan said. “I thought Evan [Christo] did a good job of coming in and that changed our matchups. It kind of eliminates Sam from early foul trouble and moves him off the ball to be a help defender. We were able to do some things with two forwards. Peterson’s a great player, one of the best in the league. For us to be able to neutralize him, we had to throw two bodies at him.”

It looked like that momentum of Franklin’s strong second quarter was going to carry into the third quarter when the Panthers got a steal and easy bucket to start the quarter and a three point play from Jalen Samuels (eight points, five rebounds) cut the lead to 33-29.

But in true Mansfield fashion, as they did time and time again throughout the game, the Hornets answered.

It was an 8-0 run that spanned nearly the rest of the quarter. First, Max Boen (14 points, six rebounds, three assists), scored off a feed from Phil Vigeant (12 points, three assists). Then it was Evan Christo from Boen, followed by two from Boen from Goldberg. Goldberg converted at the rim himself and Tyler Boulter added two free throws to make it 43-29. Goldstein added a three before the buzzer to cut into the lead for Franklin, ending a scoreless drought of over five minutes.

“We talked at halftime about getting one third quarter run,” Vaughan said. “We knew they’d make adjustments and come out and make a push at it, and they did. That’s just a sign of a good team. They cut into it. We had to weather the storm and go on our run ourselves.”

It looked like Franklin had some momentum to build off of when Goldstein drained another corner three.

But on Mansfield’s ensuing possession, Vigeant answered with a trifecta of his own to swing the momentum right back in the visitors’ favor.

“I think it’s a credit to Mansfield, they did a great job. They came in well prepared obviously, they always do,” Neely said. “It’s two good teams that are going to battle like they always do. It’s 3-3 over the past couple of years. We know it’s going to be a battle. Sometimes shots are going for one side and not for the other. And big runs happen and all of a sudden…you know. When things get tough, you have to get back to the basics of what makes your team great instead of panicking and forcing things. I thought we forced things too much tonight.”

Vigeant’s three was the start of what turned out to be a 12-0 game-sealing run from the Hornets. Goldberg added three free throws, Vigeant scored two straight field goals and Boen scored on a feed from Christian Weber (12 points) to put Mansfield up 58-37 with 2:25 to go.

“It’s huge because you can’t have guys take plays off, you can’t have guys lay an egg,” Vaughan said of the balanced scored. “I thought Max played well early, I thought Weber had some huge plays, I thought Goldberg stepped in and made some plays when he had to. Those are the things you have to do to beat good teams. You have to maximize as many possessions as you can.”

Similar to how Franklin was about to limit Mansfield’s offense to just 25% shooting from the floor in the first game, the Hornets held Franklin to just 30% from the floor and the Panthers attempted just seven free throws.

“These games never disappoint,” Vaughan said. “They’ve been great for a long time. The level of play and energy and passion from the kids is second to none. You can’t beat it. There’s no lack of coaching, there’s no lack of passion and effort from either team. We were fortunate to get this one, they got the first one.”

Mansfield boys basketball (16-2 overall, 13-1 league) takes over sole possession of first place in the Kelley-Rex division with the win. The Hornets can clinch a share of their fifth straight division title with a win on Tuesday at King Philip. Franklin (14-4, 12-2) will attempt to bounce back on Tuesday at Attleboro.

Hornets Dominate From Start To Finish Against North

Mansfield boys basketball
Mansfield’s Christian Weber (3) hits Ben Albanese with a bounce pass in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/
MANSFIELD, Mass. – As if Mansfield didn’t have a good enough first half, building an impressive 43-14 lead by the break, the Hornets were nearly flawless in the third quarter to put an end to any comeback bids.

The Hornets went 11/13 from the field in the third quarter, running away with an 83-41 win over the visiting Rocketeers of North Attleboro.

Even more impressive, the Hornets had 10 assists on the 11 made field goals — the lone bucket without a field goal was a putback on a miss. The Hornets did have four turnovers in the period but had just one missed shot that resulted in a defensive rebound for North.

“I thought right from the get-go we did a tremendous job of setting the tone defensively,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “Then offensively we picked our spots and got into a nice rhythm. We picked our spots when to dribble, when to keep the ball moving, when to break guys down off the dribble. The point totals were awesome to me, getting that many guys in the book and scoring six, eight, 12, 15 points is a good thing.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Christian Weber had a terrific game with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists — scoring six points and adding two assists in the third quarter — while Sam Goldberg added 15 points and four rebounds. Max Boen recorded 14 points and eight rebounds after missing one game with an injury, Tyler Boulter netted eight points and Evan Christo finished with seven points and three rebounds.

In the third quarter, Goldberg netted eight points, Weber had six, Boen had four, Ryan Otto and Phil Vigeant each hit a three and Boulter added two. Ben Albanese had four assists, Weber had three, Vigeant had two and Sam Hyland had one helper.

“We made the right choices on both ends of the floor,” Vaughan said. “I thought we did a good job of when we helped, and when we didn’t, and we never really over-rotated. Offensively I thought Weber did a great job in transition of picking when we go and put pressure and when we pull out and reverse. I thought the combination was good. We’re getting healthy and as we get our sea legs underneath us a group, I think this is a little bit of a sign we can be down the stretch. They’re starting to believe and good things are starting to happen.”

Things couldn’t have gone much better for the Hornets to start the game while things couldn’t have been much worse for the Rocketeers.

North’s Brent Doherty (seven points) scored the opening basket of the game but Mansfield came storming back to build an 11-2 lead midway through the first quarter. The second four minutes continued to go in Mansfield’s favor and the Hornets held a 21-4 advantage after just eight minutes.

Mansfield shot 8/18 from the field in the first quarter, including a trio of trifectas. Meanwhile, North Attleboro was just 2/15 field (0/6 from deep), including misses on some open looks.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“All the credit in the world goes to Mansfield,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “Their kids shared the ball well, they made shots early and they are tough team to play against from behind. When you get behind a team like Mansfield, the kids naturally start to press a little bit. We talked at halftime about still trying to do our stuff and be us and not get out of our comfort zone. Mansfield defended really well, they shot really well and that’s why they are who they are.”

The Hornets kept up its efficient offense in the second quarter, shooting 10/16 from the field with four more assists. Mansfield totaled 20 assists for the game.

“The ball distribution was great. Everyone was moving the ball, it wasn’t just one or two guys. I thought everyone did a good job sharing the basketball.”

Jonny Friberg led the Rocketeers in scoring with 13 points and four rebounds. Beyond Doherty’s even points, Matt Seavey had six points and Derek Shanks netted five points.

Mansfield (11-2 overall, 9-1 Hockomock) is back in action in a big non-league clash with Bridgewater-Raynham on Sunday at 5:15. North Attleboro (8-5, 5-4) will take on Milford at 11:45AM at the Dunkin Donuts Center in a battle of Davenport division leaders.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Panthers’ Defense Takes The Sting Out Of Hornets

Franklin boys basketball
Franklin’s Paul Mahon (left) drives to the basket against Mansfield’s Sam Goldberg in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Sometimes the numbers don’t always tell the whole story, but you don’t need to look much further than the halftime score between Franklin and Mansfield.

The visiting Panthers held a 24-10 lead over the Hornets. Franklin held the hosts to just four first half field goals (4/26) and used that advantage to pick up a 52-40 win.

“We pride ourselves on the defensive side of the floor, that’s one of our staples,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “Anytime you can hold [Mansfield] to 40 you’re going to be jacked up and excited. You know they can score the ball with the best of them, they were one of, if not the top, scoring team in the league. Usually we try to keep them in the 50s and we know its going to be grind. It was about playing 32 minutes and buying into the scouting report for all 32 minutes. The guys did a great job of focusing on the game plan.

“There were some lapses and Mansfield being Mansfield, pretty much every time we lapsed on the scouting report, they took advantage of it right away. At halftime we talked about just being true to the scouting report, follow the game plan and we’ll be fine and I think that worked out tonight.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin took just 3:14 to build a double-digit lead, racing out to 11-1 lead to start the game. The Panthers immediately went to Connor Peterson on their first post, resulting in two free throws in and the lead. Peterson also added a put back, Paul Mahon converted a layup and freshman Chris Edgehill had five points in the run, including a three pointer to cap the spurt.

Mansfield didn’t register its first field goal until 1:15 left in the quarter when Evan Christo took a bounce pass on a baseline cut for a layup.

John McCoy drained Mansfield’s first three of the game to get within five in the second quarter (13-8) but the Hornets only scored once more in the quarter with Sam Goldberg scoring down low with just over five minutes to play.

Franklin went on to finish the second quarter with a 9-0 run — four straight from Josh Macchi, a three from Connor Goldstein and another layup from Mahon – for a 24-10 advantage at the break.

“They did a good job. Franklin had a great game plan and executed it to a tee,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said. “They believed…I don’t know how much we believed. CJ did a good job of getting them to buy in. Even on offense when they had opportunities in transition and could have given us more possessions, they were disciplined, they were reversing the ball back out and getting a good quality shot. That’s hard to do as a high school kid, obviously CJ did a good job of getting his guys in position to do that.”

“That’s why this league is great, it’s why this is a great rivalry game…you have to show up to play. You have to make plays, follow game plans and do all the little things. I said a couple of weeks ago the one question mark was can we consistently do the little things and hold each other accountable doing those little things and tonight early, I thought we had some opportunities to score and we passed. Then we start pressing and we start shooting when we should have been passing. We never got the combo right. It’s party execution and its partly Franklin did an excellent job playing defense.”

Peterson scored a team-high 12 points and hauled in 10 rebounds while Mahon and Edgehill each had 11 points. Macchi finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“When you have two big guys like Josh and CP, you’d be a fool not to try and get the ball in there as much as possible,” Neely said. “They doubled them and those guys did a nice job of reading the double team and finding open shooters when they did. And when they didn’t, they did a good job attacking the rim and did a real nice job of finishing around the rim.”

Tyler Boulter and Phil Vigeant each finished with 10 points to pace the Hornets.

Mansfield matched its first half scoring in just over six minutes in the third quarter but Franklin matched them nearly bucket for bucket, holding a 33-20 lead after a putback from Christo.

The Hornets went 1/11 from three point in the first half, 1/4 in the third quarter and 1/5 in the final frame.

“You start to overthink the game,” Vaughan said. “Then the next shot becomes the biggest shot in the world because you don’t have a ton of points and the separation that’s created. We never went on a run that we typically go on. We usually find an 8-0 or 10-0 run and we just couldn’t find one and again that’s partly to Franklin doing a great job executing CJ’s game plan and just us being a little more accountable and a little more focused and execute the game plan a little bit better.”

Matt Elias drained a three and Edgehill got a layup to fall to extend Franklin’s lead to 18 with under a minute to play in the third.

The Panthers shot 45% from the field overall, including 50% from two-point range. Mansfield hit just 25% of its shots from the field and just 15% from deep.

“Without giving away the company secrets, our goal is to get them into their second and third options,” Neely said. “They have a lot of really good players that have really good abilities individual. They are like an offensive machine, they work really well when everything is working together. If you can disrupt that machine a little bit and hopefully get guys in spots they aren’t used to being in. They missed a good amount of good looks in the first half. To hold them to 10, they have to miss shots too. You can’t hold a team to 10 without some bad luck for them.”

The teams traded buckets for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter but the Hornets finally clawed within 12 behind a three from Boulter with two minutes to play. Franklin went 10/15 from the free throw line in the final quarter to maintain the advantage built in the first half.

“We’re still in a great position,” Vaughan said. “We just have to figure a way to minimize mistakes and get back to playing the way we play instead of trying to adjust to what they do. Partly that’s on me as well. I have to do a better job of putting us in a better position to win. I thought we had an advantage somewhere and now at the end of the game, I’m not sure that advantage is there. Next time we play, over there, we’ll give them another dog fight, another classic.”

Franklin boys basketball (8-2 overall, 6-0 Hockomock) hosts Attleboro on Tuesday while Mansfield (7-2, 5-1) will try to bounce back when King Philip comes to town on the same day.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Boys Basketball: 2016-17 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Mansfield boys basketball
(Tom Madigan/Photo).

By Staff

2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Boys Basketball Preview


2015-2016 Record: 7-15
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mark Houle

After missing out on the playoffs a year ago, Attleboro will be relying on its senior leadership to try and earn a trip to the state tournament.

Captains Jake Dunkley and Andrew Milliken will help anchor the team along with classmates Lucas Boucicaut, Berlyns Abraham and Robby Peirce. Dunkley was the second leading scorer in the league last year with 18 points per game while Milliken is another top scoring option for the Bombardiers.

Boucicaut and junior Nate Douglas will pair up in the backcourt while freshman Bryant Ciccio will likely see plenty of minutes after his performance on opening night on Friday. Abraham provides length and athleticism down low and can make life difficult in the post for opponents.

“We need to defend and rebound to create transition opportunities and execute with a focus on details,” Attleboro head coach Mark Houle said. “Our strength will be our senior leadership.”


2015-2016 Record: 19-5
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D1 Central Final
Coach: CJ Neely

There is no rebuilding when it comes to Franklin, just reloading. Despite graduating a handful of talent, including the Hockomock League MVP Tim Prunier and a couple other strong players, the Panthers are still in a spot to challenge for the Kelley-Rex title.

Two big reasons for that are juniors Paul Mahon and Connor Peterson. Both players started last year and were important pieces as the Panthers claimed a division title. With at least year of experience for both, look for both to be key players this season. Mahon has developed as a shooter to compliment his strong defensive game while Peterson continues to be one of the top big men in the league,.

The Panthers will look to move the ball as much as possible on offense and hope to have a balanced scoring attack so defenses can’t focus in on just a player or two. Franklin has been on the better teams defensively in recent history and will look to continue that trend for the 2016-2017 season.

“We are very excited about this group of guys,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “Having a good balance of talent has made our practice games very competitive, everyone has really been pushing each other hard. Each year our goal remains the same, we will focus on day to day improvement and let the results take care of themselves.

“We want to be defined as a hardworking group that plays aggressively and shares the ball offensively. I think if we can stay committed to trusting each other and consistently competing on both ends of the floor we can have a good year.”

King Philip

2015-2016 Record: 5-15
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mark Champagne

The Warriors are returning a strong group of players from last year’s squad with one noticeable addition — new head coach Mark Champagne.

Champagne will have a group of experienced players to work with this season. Tom Madden, Noah Goodwin, Kyle Layman, Will Weir, Seth Sullivan, Pharaoh Davis and Justin Vine all saw either starting minutes or valuable time off the bench a season ago. Matt Lehoullier and Noah Bradley will also factor int this season to provide the Warriors with depth.

Goodwin and Weir have the most experience and will captain the team along with Sullivan. Madden impressed last year as did Layman during his rookie campaign. Between Goodwin, Weir, Madden and Layman, King Philip will have plenty of size to use down low. Davis and Sullivan are both strong with the ball while Vine provides KP with a shooting threat.

“We are very excited as a coaching staff to compete in the Hockomock League,” Champagne said. “We are fortunate to have a hard working group of players who are hungry for success.”


2015-2016 Record: 20-5
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Mike Vaughan

Even though Mansfield won the Kelley-Rex division a year ago, the Hornets still might be bringing back the most talent in the league this year. After only graduating three seniors, Mike Vaughan has nearly all of his weapons at his disposal again this year. First Team selection Sam Goldberg (11.3 PPG, 7.9 RPG) leads a strong group back that includes Christian Weber, Matt Ehrlich, Max Boen, Phil Vigeant, Tyler Boulter and Evan Christo. Expect the likes of John McCoy, Sam Hyland and Kristian Conner to also factor in for the Hornets.

It doesn’t matter who it is listed above, almost all of them are capable of being “the guy” on any given night, which makes Mansfield incredibly hard to defend. Weber, Ehrlich, Vigeant, Boen and Boulter are all strong from beyond the arc but also have no problem making the extra pass to find a better shot.

“We’re looking forward to a fun season with seven seniors and a great group of underclassmen, we should have plenty of depth to stay competitive,” Vaughan said. “The league looks loaded again with talent so we shouldn’t have any nights off.”

Oliver Ames

2015-2016 Record: 11-11
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Don Byron

The Tigers will face a steep challenge because of the switch to the Kelley-Rex division but bringing back a strong core of players will be a big help.

Seniors Carter Evin, Dylan Mahoney, Nick Welch and Mike Graziano are all back as are juniors Matt Muir and Jack Spillane. All six players saw time last year, including some who started all season long.

Between the returning players, the Tigers will be able to score from multiple positions. Evin, a Second Team selection, led the Tigers in scoring with 13.4 points per game – and did so in a variety of ways. Mahoney is able to shoot or attack the hoop while both Welchn and Graziano showed the ability to get hot from deep.

“We have a number of players back who played quite a bit last year and showed marked improvement during the course of the season,” Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron said. “We’ll be leaning on them as we develop depth from a number of kids who played jv last year. Our schedule will be a challenge as we make the move to the Kelly-Rex division of the league and our non-league schedule won’t provide any breaks either.”


2015-2016 Record: 16-7
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Charlie Dacey

While there will be some changes for Taunton this year, there will also be some similarities to last year. The Tigers will aim to use their speed and athleticism to their advantage and try to make up for their lack of size and experience.

The youthful Tigers will by led by the very experienced Tommy MacLean, who has played varsity minutes since his freshman year. Junior Tyler Medeiros is back after suffering an injury early last year while junior Lens Esquil also got some minutes a year ago.

Junior Malik Charles, sophomores John Martin and Luis Vendrell and freshmen Dante Law and Naz Kenan are all likely to factor in for Taunton this season. Another positive early on for Taunton is shooting, boasting a handful of players that can consistently knock down shots from deep.

“Our immediate strengths are speed and shooting,” Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey said. “Hopefully, our speed can counter our youth and allow us to play an uptempo game.”

Hornets Celebrate Senior Night With Pair of Wins

Mansfield boys basketball
Mansfield senior Nick Baskin takes the ball to the basket against Weymouth. (Josh Perry/

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Mansfield boys’ and girls’ basketball teams both celebrated senior nights with victories on Monday night in the Albertini Gym and both advanced to the finals of the 2016 Round Ball Classic. The boys pulled away in the second half to roll past Weymouth 69-42, while the girls used a strong finish to get past Walpole 51-39.

Although Weymouth came into the game with just one win on the season, Mansfield could expect to be challenged, as the Wildcats are led by former Franklin coach Dean O’Connor and even just one year in have already taken on some of his trademark intensity.

“You can already see Dean’s effect in terms of his kids’ knowledge of where they need be and the challenges they presented on their defensive end,” said Mansfield coach Mike Vaughan. “There were a lot of possessions we didn’t look real comfortable.”

He added, “The biggest difference is that we have guys who can score they don’t.”

The Hornets mixed and matched the lineup with junior Sam Goldberg sidelined with injury and with Vaughan making sure that his seniors got plenty of time on the court. Kyle Swansburg scored five of his team-high 14 points in the opening quarter and junior Christian Weber scored six, all on drives to the basket.

“When he’s going to the hoop and Matt [Ehrlich] complements him going to the hoop and we can score inside out then I think it makes a big difference,” said Vaughan about Weber’s contributions.

Weymouth shocked the Hornets by hanging around through the first quarter. The Wildcats scored 15 points, led by Adrian Quinn’s five. The problem for Weymouth was trying to keep that output going over four quarters.

Mansfield scored another 16 points in the second with Phil Vigeant scoring five points including a put back on a missed free throw that extended the lead to 22-17. Matt Ehrlich added five in the quarter as well, three on a layup plus the foul and another bucket that pushed the Hornets lead to its largest of the first half, 11.

Weymouth scored the final four points of the half to stay within single digits at the break, but Mansfield broke the game wide open in the third. Leading 37-31, the Hornets went on a 13-2 run to close out the quarter and build a comfortable edge heading to the fourth.

Ehrlich (eight points) started the run with a layup and a free throw then Swansburg scored over Weymouth’s 6-foot-9 center Julian Mincey and hit a pair from the line. Evan Christo scored to make it 46-31 and Tyler Boulter scored on an offensive rebound. After a Weymouth hoop, Vigeant (seven points) scored again to close the quarter.

Vaughan said, “Overall I was happy with the ball movement and sharing the basketball and trying to work to get the best available shot as a team and not just necessarily an individual.”

If there was any thought that the Wildcats may be able to make it a game in the fourth quarter, Mansfield ended those fears early. Boulter buried a three-pointer, followed by another shot from deep by Max Boen and then Boulter took the ball strong to the rim. After Swansburg hit a pair of free throws to make it 61-41, Mansfield emptied its bench to give debuts to younger players.

Mansfield will face Cohasset in the Round Ball Classic final on Thursday and Vaughan said that the team still has plenty to work on as it looks ahead to the tournament.

“We just keep talking about continuing to get better, to be solid as a group, and just get better each day and each game,” said Vaughan. “We want to be playing our best starting next week and we’re playing really good basketball right now, so I like where we’re at.”

Mansfield 51, Walpole 39

The final score made it seem a comfortable win, but with just fewer than three minutes remaining in the game, Kelly Fogarty’s fifth three-pointer of the game had brought Walpole back within two at 41-39.

Momentum was with the visitors but the Hornets regrouped and closed the game with 10-0 run that started with Meg Hill being left open on an inbound play under the basket for her first points of the night. Then in transition Jen Peel added her sixth assist of the night to Juliana Newell (10 points) for an easy layup and the lead was quickly back to six points.

Hill had been quiet for most of the game but she pulled down a big defensive rebound and scored in the paint to build the lead to 47-39. Peel and Anna Chiarolanza each made two from the line to seal the victory.

“We showed a little character,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “We kind of held off the charge, kind of took back control, had a few good possessions to get some separation to put the game away.”

Despite starting with an unusual lineup thanks to senior night, the Hornets jumped in front early. Mansfield outscored the Rebels 16-6 in the first quarter, led by Caroline Maher’s five points. The lead grew to 11 by halftime with Peel (six points) adding four in the second and Jackie Carchedi and Jen Kemp each knocking down jumpers.

But Walpole dominated the third quarter and came all the way back to tie the game. Newell scored four of her 10 in the quarter but Fogarty nailed two threes, Melanie Weber collected an offensive rebound and scored, Emma Flynn banked home a three and Courtney Brigham scored in the paint to even things up at 31-31.

“You know, up 11 at the half and we played a lot of people and then we just fell asleep at halftime and they definitely came to play,” said Redding. “They came in needing to win two out of three to get into the tournament and they definitely played like it in the second half and Fogarty heated up.”

Mansfield scored the final four of the third to get the lead back and in the fourth quarter turned to Maher to hold off the Walpole charge. The senior guard scored six in the fourth, including a banked floater on an offensive rebound and a layup on the break.

“She wants to make shots in the end,” said Redding of Maher. She’s played for four years, Jackie has played for three, Jen is in her third year, the guard position is loaded with experience and in close games you need people who are going to put it on the floor, get it to our bigs, get to the free throw line and make free throws.”

In the end, Mansfield had enough to get the win and stay within touching distance of one of the high seeds in the upcoming Div. 1 South tournament. The Hornets will face Dartmouth on Thursday in the Round Ball Classic before taking on Attleboro on Monday to decide the winner of the Kelley-Rex division.

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