North Edges Attleboro On McCarthy’s Buzzer Beater

North Attleboro boys basketball
North Attleboro players swarm Kyle McCarthy following his game-winning buzzer beater against Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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ATTLEBORO, Mass. – North Attleboro senior Kyle McCarthy took the inbounds pass with 5.7 seconds to go and streaked up the right side of the court. He switched the ball to his right hand before crossing back to his left as he hit the three point line. He found space between a pair of defenders, rose up and released.

The ball seemed to take a deflection off a defenders hand, hit the front end of the rim, took a bounce and fell through the net as time expired.

The result was a 56-54 win for North Attleboro in a non-league contest with rival Attleboro, giving the Rocketeers a season sweep of the Bombardiers.

“I saw a couple of defenders in front of me but coach wanted us to attack the hoop,” McCarthy said. “I got to the rim, put it up, it might have been tipped in but it went in, that’s what matters. It was just a great team win. North Attleboro against Attleboro, we couldn’t have scripted it better, it was just an unreal game to be apart of.”

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Both sides traded baskets throughout the fourth quarter, with Attleboro taking a 50-49 lead with just over three minutes to play on a jumper from Nate Douglas. But North had an answer right away as Hacmoni Cuevas took a pass from McCarthy and drained a three near the end of the shot clock to put North ahead 52-50.

The teams traded misses before McCarthy came away with a steal and went down for a layup. His shot rimmed out but senior Jonny Friberg (22 points, 12 rebounds) was there to clean it up with the put back with 1:22 to play.

“When it comes down to it, they made some big plays down the stretch,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “That three by Cuevas was a big one. And then McCarthy is just a gamer, he made a nice play. We were trying to get a sub in to get a matchup but we didn’t get it in. Bottom line, we needed to stop the ball and we didn’t do that. Our kids battled, I think we did a better job on Friberg than we did the first time. Brent’s a terrific player, you can’t make mistakes on him. For them to go back to back and beat two teams is not easy.”

Attleboro senior Jake Dunkley (20 points, 10 rebounds) cut the deficit in half with a pair of free throws with 1:01 to play. The Bombardiers came away with a stop on the defensive end and sprinted ahead to try to find the tying bucket, but North came away with a steal to take possession with 28 seconds to play.

Attleboro was forced to foul its way into the bonus, sending the Rocketeers to the line for a one-and-one opportunity. North missed the front end, giving the Bombardiers a final chance with 12.9 to go.

Douglas navigated his way around a screen and drew the foul to head to the line with two shots. North Attleboro coach Sean Mulkerrins called a timeout before the shots to draw up the play.

“We wanted to get the ball to either Kyle or Brent [Doherty] off the inbounds, get Jonny down for a rebound and then get Moni and Chad [Peterson] set up for a shot,” Mulkerrins said. “We wanted to penetrate and have two guys ready for a shot or Jonny for the rebound. I think there might have been a little luck involved in the shot going in but Kyle did a nice job and we’ve been on the other side of that a couple of that so I think our kids deserved it.”

The largest lead of the entire game was nine, coming midway through the first quarter when Attleboro raced out to a 15-6 lead. Back to back threes from Cuevas and McCarthy helped the Rocketeers cut the deficit down, trailing 17-12 after one quarter.

North surged back to take the lead on back-to-back baskets from Doherty (17 points) and McCarthy but a quick 6-2 surge from the Bombardiers gave the hosts a slim 29-27 advantage at half.

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“We knew after the first game this season, they’d come at us with everything,” Mulkerrins said. “I thought Mark [Houle] and his staff did a tremendous job being without a starter or two or at least kids that can play starter minutes. Coming out, they were so intense defensively and that led to some good offense opportunities for them. Coming off a back to back, we came out a little slow but to our kids’ credit, their mental toughness, we punched back after the first and kept it close.”

It was a see-saw third quarter with Andrew Milliken (eight points, seven rebounds) hitting a three to put Attleboro ahead only for Doherty and Friberg to hit back to back buckets to take the lead back. Dunkley converted a three point play, Friberg responded with two free throws to tie it and then Dunkley drained a three for another three point lead.

Friberg added two but baskets from Dunkley and Lucas Boucicaut created a five point separation. Doherty cut into that with a three, Attleboro’s Elvin Sam (13 points) pushed it back to four with a layup, Friberg answered again but Dunkley had the final basket of the quarter to give the Bombardiers a 46-42 edge heading into the final quarter.

“For us, playing Attleboro at their place, regardless of or record, or scenario or situations, it’s always a tough game,” Mulkerrins said. “It’s one of my favorite places on our schedule to play because the people of Attleboro love basketball. There’s always a great atmosphere and you can’t play in a better gym to get more prepared for the tournament.”

North Attleboro boys basketball (14-7 overall, 10-6 Hockomock) will conclude the regular season on Wednesday when they host Bishop Feehan. The Rocketeers have a chance to earn a home playoff game with a win. Attleboro (12-9, 8-8) will finish the regular season with a trip to Durfee on Wednesday in a showdown of two D1 playoff teams.

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North Attleboro Beats Foxboro, Clinches Davenport

North Attleboro boys basketball
North Attleboro’s Brent Doherty attempts to dribble past Foxboro’s Joe Morrison in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It’s time to dust off the boys basketball league championship banner hanging inside Pickering Gymnasium at North Attleboro High School.

It’s time to add 2017 to the list.

For the first time since 2001, the Rocketeers are Hockomock League champions following a 45-40 win over Foxboro on Friday night. With a win, and a Milford loss to Sharon, North Attleboro clinched the division title outright.

It’s been a long four year stretch for head coach Sean Mulkerrins and his squad. The Rocketeers went 0-20 in his first year at the helm, won just five games a year later and eight games one season ago.

Now, North Attleboro has 12 wins with three games to go and sits atop the Davenport division as Hock champs.

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“To be honest, it’s been a roller coaster,” Mulkerrins said of the past four seasons. “At times, it felt like insurmountable odds, it felt like we were putting in a lot and not necessarily getting a lot. I credit [former Rocketeers coach] Chris Perron, who’s been everything to me as a mentor and a father figure when I played for him here at North, and opposing coaches like Jon [Gibbs] and Mike Vaughan who were helpful along the way.

“Every year we’ve taken a small step. Four years ago, my first captain Jake Lang kept that locker room as positive as it could be. And I think it kept those freshmen seeing and hearing those positive things. It feels good to see those kids go through the process and get here.”

The three freshmen on that winless team were Brent Doherty, Jonny Friberg and Thomas Reynolds. All three, along with classmates Kyle McCarthy and Hacmoni Cuevas, have been a vital part of keeping the program moving forward and winning the title this season.

“This feels great, I couldn’t be happier for the coaches and the team,” Doherty said. “Coming from where we were earlier in my career to winning the Hock tonight is the best feeling. All the hours of practice paid off and now we’re looking to do as much damage as possible in playoffs.”

It took a defensive stand over the final six minutes of the game for the Rocketeers to hold off Foxboro, who secured a second play finish and a trip to the postseason based on all of the results in the league.

“We didn’t talk or say much about a league title, or talk about the tournament during the season because we want to focus on the process,” Mulkerrins said. “We finally mentioned it the other day because we had to come out and play and we wanted to motivate the guys. The defense down the stretch was great. Jon [Gibbs] does such a great job, isolating guys, getting the matchups. It was kind of like playing chess and he’s freaking good. I have so much respect for him. But hats off to our guys, they played just well enough and I’m so proud of them.”

“I thought our effort was terrific all night,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “I thought we really battled and competed. I thought defensively we did a really good job. We came into the game with a plan to deal with Doherty and Friberg. We didn’t want them to beat us, we’re going to try and make other guys step up and make shots and they did. So give credit to North Attleboro, it was a great team win for them.

The Rocketeers led by as much as 10 early in the third quarter but the Warriors fought back to make it a one possession game. North’s Hacmoni Cuevas converted a three point play to put the Rocketeers up 34-25 with 3:51 to play in the third, but Foxboro closed the quarter with a 9-3 run.

After Mark Clagg and Doherty (nine points, three assists) traded three pointers, the Warriors were able to pull within three by shutting down North for the rest of the quarter and both Joe Morrison (nine points) and Teddy Maher connecting from beyond the arc. The Rocketeers led 37-34 heading into the fourth.

That lead didn’t last too long. North’s scoreless streak stretched over two minutes into the final period while Morrison hit a jumper and Andrew Block (seven points, five rebounds, four assists) drove the lane for an easy two to take a 38-37 lead.

While the momentum seemed to be swinging in Foxboro’s favor, suddenly it stopped.

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North broke through on the offensive end, with the inside-out game paying off as Friberg (12 points, 14 rebounds) kicked it out to Cuevas for a three and a 40-38 lead with 5:40 to play.

Foxboro wouldn’t score again until under a minute to play.

“It speaks to the metal toughness of this group,” Mulkerrins said. “Similar to the game at the Dunk against Milford, we were up big, then down big and we could have quit. And this game, same thing. Maybe in years past, this team might have, but I think they finally found out what it means to be a winning team.”

It actually took the Rocketeers two minutes to add onto the lead with Reynolds hitting a pair of key free throws to double the lead with 3:31 to play.

The Warriors had a couple of open looks during the stretch, but were unable to convert.

With just under a minute to play, Friberg took it baseline and somehow managed to reach back underneath the basket and lay it in for a 44-38 lead. Foxboro responded with a putback with 30 seconds to play but Chad Peterson(seven points) iced the game with a free throw as Foxboro missed on the other end.

“I thought down the stretch we got some good looks and we just didn’t make them and that’s just basketball,” Gibbs said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow because at times I thought we executed fine but just didn’t put it in the basket…but that happens some times. At the end of the day, I’m really proud of them. We battled and held them to under 20 points in the second half.

“North did a nice job defensively, they did a lot of things to take us out of our rhythm. Both times we’ve played them this year they made it really difficult for us to score. So give a lot of credit to Sean [Mulkerrins] and credit to those guys on North.”

It was a bit of a slow start for both sides, combing for just five points in the five 5:32 of play. North eventually was able to get into a rhythm and threes from McCarthy and Billy Drummond handed Big Red a 15-9 lead after one.

Foxboro cut the deficit to one (18-17) midway through the second quarter, but North finished the frame with a 9-2 run — a Peterson three, a layup from Doherty, and four straight from Friberg — to take a 27-19 lead into the locker room.

North Attleboro boys basketball (12-7 overall, 9-6 Hockomock) is back in action inside Pickering Gymnasium on Sunday when the Milford Scarlet Hawks come to town. Foxboro (9-9, 8-8) can finish no lower than second in the division, thus clinching a playoff spot. The Warriors will look to improve their record and seeding next ween as they host a February vacation tournament, starting with a game against Randolph.

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Friberg, North Attleboro Overcome Sharon in Overtime

North Attleboro boys basketball
North Attleboro’s Hacmoni Cuevas drives to the basket in the first half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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SHARON, Mass. – Standing at 6’6, North Attleboro senior Jonny Friberg often gives the Rocketeers the edge in the paint.

But due to foul trouble, North Attleboro was forced to find other ways to keep pace with the red-hot shooting Sharon Eagles.

While the Rocketeers did enough to keep pace, Friberg came back in midway through the fourth quarter. He went on to score eight points down the stretch, including the tying basket with 5.9 to send the game into overtime. And in overtime, he scored North’s first nine points and the Rocketeers came away with a thrilling 81-75 win over the Eagles.

Friberg finished with a career-high 27 points and hauled in 13 rebounds to lead the Rocketeers.

“Everything starts with [Friberg] inside and then with the shooters on the outside,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “[Foul trouble] is something we’ve unfortunately had to deal with before. I’m really happy with how Tommy [Reynolds] and Moni [Cuevas] played inside. Hats off to Sharon, they played their butts off tonight. It’s frustrating when Jonny goes out but we’re a team and we have to win like a team, which I think we did tonight.”

It seemed like there would be no stopping the Eagles, especially after they connected on their 12th three pointer (on just 20 attempts) with just under four minutes to play in the game to go up 64-55. Jimmy Fitzhenry’s (16 points) trifecta capped a 10-1 run over the first 4:09 of the period for the Eagles.

“It reminded me of some games against Milford in the last couple of years where we fight back and they counter punch,” Mulkerrins said. “It speaks to the kids’ mental toughness, not giving up in that situation. There wasn’t much to say then we needed to defend better. They have some great kids, [Sharon coach Andrew] Ferguson does a great job with them.”

But North chipped away with Friberg finally back on the court. Senior Brent Doherty (17 points, five assists) drained a three in response to stop the run and after a stop, Friberg hauled in the defensive board and then converted on the other end. Another stop and another Friberg board led to a jumper from Doherty to make it a two point game.

Sharon’s Alex Kaufman (15 points) extended the lead back to four but Friberg hit back to back buckets down low to tie the game with 1:32 left.

With under 30 seconds to play, Sharon senior Ricardo Ripley (17 points) came away with a steal at midcourt that turned into two free throws to put the Eagles up 68-66.

Friberg took a pass from North sophomore Josh Montague (eight points) and muscled in the tying basket with 5.9 to play. Sharon’s buzzer beater attempt came up short.

In overtime, it was all Friberg – no one else on the Rocketeers attempted a field goal. After Sharon took a brief lead on a free throw, Friberg converted his own miss. Reynolds drew a charge on the other end for the Rocketeers and Friberg hit a free throw on the other end.

Kaufman drove to the basket to cut the deficit to two (73-71), but the Rocketeers simply went back to Friberg, who made a nice move in the post for two. Kyle McCarthy (six points, five rebounds, seven assists) hauled in a Sharon missed three and then assisted on another Friberg basket to put North ahead 77-71 with a minute to play.

Along with his 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Friberg had seven of his 13 rebounds.

“This was a huge game for us,” Friberg said. We always preach getting the ball inside because we can have success there. If I don’t have something I’ll pass it. I just took advantage of what we had. The foul trouble is frustrating because I want to be in there but you just have to deal with it.”

McCarthy added three free throws down the stretch and Chad Peterson (eight points, four rebounds) also had one.

“We tried like hell to get [Friberg] his fifth foul but he’s just so big, he finishes around the basket so well,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “He’s gotten so much better than a year ago. I’m looking at the fourth quarter and overtime stats and he just killed us. We did a good job on for three quarters, and it helped he was in foul trouble. But him and Brent, those are big time players and we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch.”

The nine point fourth quarter deficit that the Rocketeers overcame wasn’t the largest deficit they erased during the game. After Sharon took a 20-17 lead after the first quarter, the Eagles rattled off a 13-5 run to build an 11-point lead with less than three minutes until halftime.

But a three from McCarthy, two free throws from Friberg, a put back from Montague and a corner three from Montague helped Big Red get within one. A late three from Ripley gave the Eagles a 36-32 lead at halftime.

Doherty was a big reason that North Attleboro entered the final quarter of the game tied. Doherty netted 10 of his points in the third quarter alone, including a three to open the frame, a field goal that gave North it’s largest lead (46-48) and five straight points late that had the game tied 54-54 after three.

“I don’t know what he was in the first half, he just was off,” Mulkerrins said of Doherty. “It almost felt like he was second guessing his shooting and decision making. We told him at halftime if he’s open just shoot the ball. We said that too everybody. It was huge to get Brent going. The second half by Brent was huge, a lot of contributions from guys in the second half.”

Cuevas finished with eight points and four rebounds while Reynolds had seven points, three rebounds and two assists for Big Red.

Malik Lorquet added eight points and nine rebounds for Sharon.

North Attleboro boys basketball (10-7 overall, 7-6 Hockomock) moves into a tie for the lead in the Davenport division with the win. The Rocketeers have the chance to clinch a playoff berth on Friday on the road at Stoughton. Sharon (3-13, 2-12) has a week off until they are back in action with a trip to Stoughton on Valentine’s Day.

Strong Start Helps King Philip Avenge Loss to North

King Philip boys basketball
King Philip sophomore Kyle Layman takes a three in the first quarter against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Already having matched its win total from a year ago, King Philip came out determined to surpass it on Tuesday night.

On the back of a near flawless first half that included impressive defensive showing, the Warriors raced out to a 25 point lead by halftime and never looked back in a 71-52 win over the Rocketeers.

Starting with a three from sophomore Kyle Latman (12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks), the Warriors were off and running in the first quarter. While the offense shot nearly 50% from the field— including a three Justin Vine (eight points) — the defense was equally impressive, forcing five turnovers.

The Warriors defense also limited North Attleboro to just two field goals in the opening eight minutes – both threes from Hacmoni Cuevas. The Rocketeers were 0/6 from inside the arch though and KP led 18-8 after a quarter.

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King Philip’s defense only got better in the second quarter, and so did its offense.

The Warriors rattled off a 13-2 run over the first four minutes of the second period. Tom Madden (seven points) made back to back baskets and Layman converted a putback for a quick 6-0 spurt. After Chad Peterson knocked down a midrange jumper for North, Layman took a feed from Madden for two, Vine drove to the basket for two and Seth Sullivan (21 points) drained a three to put an exclamation point on the run.

King Philip led 39-14 at halftime, shooting 47% from the field. The Warriors limited North Attleboro to just 18% shooting in the first half.

“I think so, because [North Attleboro] is a good team too,” said KP head coach Mark Champagne when asked if that was a good of a half as the Warriors have played this year. “When we were looking at the scoreboard and were like “Oh, man.” If they came out and scored 10 in a row we wouldn’t be shocked because they’re a good team. I’d say that was our best 16 minutes of the year so far — against a good basketball team. They present a lot of problems with the type of players they have.”

Two keys to King Philip’s strong start came on the defensive end. The Warriors limited North big man Jonny Friberg – who entered the game as the fifth leading scorer in the league – to just four points. KP also put a lot of focus on Brent Doherty (14.3 points per game) by extending their defense full court with Pharoah Davis (12 points) shadowing his every move.

“Doherty makes everyone on the floor better,” Champagne said. “There aren’t a lot of pure point guards so we wanted to limit his touches and wear him down. I don’t think we wore him down but I think we limited his touches and that helped us a lot. With Friberg, we played a little bit more on top of him this time with [Kyle] Layman coming to help. We learned our lesson last time.”

And part of the key to success on offense?

“We shot the ball well too. It’s interesting when you play a team a second time, with what you’re trying to do. I thought we got a good all around effort from the kids.”

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North rolled out full court pressure in the second half to jump start the offense, and it worked. The Rocketeers forced five turnovers and scored 15 points – more than its total in the first half – but KP kept pace with 16 points of its own in the third quarter.

The pressure continued to pay off in the final quarter as the Rocketeers forced seven turnovers, doubling the amount they had forced through the first three periods. Friberg scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and hauled in nine rebounds. Thomas Reynolds added five points and Matt Seavey chipped in with four in the fourth.

North Attleboro scored 38 points on 45% shooting in the second half, cutting the deficit to 20. But the early hole was too much.

The win marks King Philip’s third straight, turning a 3-8 mark to 6-8 overall as the Warriors prepare to go through the Kelley-Rex schedule for a second time. The first time through, KP posted a 1-4 record.

“We didn’t do well the first time through, to be blunt,” Champagne said. “But this is a great start, that’s three in a row now. We had played well the week before that and even though we lost, we improved. We got a little healthier this week. I hope this is a start of it. When you win a little you get some confidence. And we’re getting a little bit more leadership on the floor now too.”

The Warriors (6-8, 5-6 Hockomock) begin their Kelley-Rex schedule on Friday when Attleboro comes to town. North Attleboro (8-7, 5-6) will try to snap its three game skid when Canton comes to town the same night.

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Tamagni’s Buzzer Beater Lifts Milford At The Dunk

Milford girls basketball
Milford’s Zack Tamagni (14) celebrates with Nate Davila after his game-winning buzzer beater. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
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PROVIDENCE, RI — North Attleboro erased an eight point deficit over the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, but left just enough time left on the clock for Milford senior Zack Tamagni.

After two free throws with 5.7 seconds from North Attleboro senior Brent Doherty tied the game, Tamagni took the inbound pass, broke through a pair of defenders at the three point line and then danced his way past the last defender, laying it up with his left and in off the glass as time expired to give the Scarlet Hawks a 57-55 win.

“The leaders on this team stepped up today,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We’ve talked in the last couple of weeks about guys stepping up. Nate Davila stepped up, Zack [Tamagni], Anthony [Arcudi] and Kayden [Kelley] stepped up and Zach Tammaro stepped up coming off the bench, maybe not statistically but he helped big time in the second half.”

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Milford had the original comeback of the game, cutting an 11-point deficit at halftime (35-24) down to just one (41-40) entering the final quarter by outscoring the Rocketeers 16-6 in the third quarter.

The Hawks carried that momentum into the fourth quarter with Nate Davila (14 points) draining an early three to give Milford its first lead since the first quarter. North’s Jonny Friberg (nine points, 13 rebounds, six assists) responded right away to tie the game at 43, but Milford would create separation with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes.

“Everyone will talk about the shot at the end but Milford got themselves back into the game in the third quarter,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “I thought we had some decent shots in the third quarter but we just couldn’t get any rhythm. I thought when the scoreboard got a little tight, we played a little tight. When we’re loose, we play our best basketball. I’m proud of the guys because they fought back but its just tough losing on a play like that. I have to do a better job coaching in those late game situations.”

Tamagni (17 points, four assists) hit two free throws, Ryan Sullivan (10 points, five rebounds) hit one and then three possessions later, Arcudi converted a putback with four minutes to play. Kayden Kelley (12 points, 13 rebounds) came up with a block on the defensive end and then converted a three-point play to put Milford up 51-43 with just over three minutes to play.

That’s when North Attleboro took its turn crafting a comeback. It started with a strong take from Thomas Reynolds (10 points, three boards, two assists) off a feed from Friberg and then was cut to five when Reynolds hit a free throw.

The Rocketeers then forced a turnover, resulting in Reynolds finding Doherty (game-high 18 points) for a three to bring North within two.

Tamagni (38 seconds left) and Friberg (22 seconds left) then each hit a pair of free throws to keep Milford’s two point lead. Tamagni then hit two more but Hacmoni Cuevas converted a putback, plus the harm, to get within two. North corralled the missed three throw and Doherty was fouled with 5.7 seconds left, converting both at the line to tie the game before Tamagni’s heroics.

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“We told him to go to the hoop,” Seaver said of the last play. “It was something we tried to do on Friday to tie the game and things didn’t go our way. We were able to get it today.

“Coming out of halftime, they needed to go and earn the victory if they wanted it, and the kids did that so credit to them.”

North Attleboro came out on fire to start the game, going 7/12 from the field in the first quarter to build a 19-13 lead. Milford was efficient as well, going 5/7 and a perfect 3/3 from deep but had seven turnovers.

“They came out like we did here last year,” Seaver said. “We were on the other side of it this time, it is what it is. We just trusted our defense and in the end, I guess we got one more stop, or just made one more play at the end.

“They were hitting shots early. They had 19 points in the first quarter, we couldn’t guard anyone. We trusted our defense, we didn’t really make an adjustment. We stayed with the zone in the second half and it paid off just enough to get that little separation.”

The Rocketeers’ offense continued its strong start by going 6/9 from the field in the second. At halftime, North Attleboro was 6/10 from deep. But in the second half, Big Red managed just one three on 10 attempts.

“They did a better job on collapsing on [Friberg] in the second half, I don’t think he got many touches in the second half,” Mulkerrins said. “He got a couple of late ones. Missing Chad [Peterson], our rotation was a little screwy. Guys are playing extra minutes and in positions they aren’t always used to playing in. Some guys have to be a shooter when they usually aren’t.”

Milford takes over the top spot in the Davenport division with the win, moving to 8-6 overall and 6-4 in league play. The Scarlet Hawks will try to extended their division lead on Tuesday when Mansfield comes to town. North Attleboro (8-6 overall, 5-5 Hockomock) looks to get back into the win column when it hosts King Philip on the same night.

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Strong Defense Pushes Rocketeers Past Foxboro

By David James, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FOXBORO, Mass. – In a game filled with scoring runs, North Attleboro happened to have the last one, as the Rocketeers outpaced Foxboro 7-2 down the stretch to pull out the Davenport division game 53-47.

For North, it all started with Jonny Friberg (17 points, 11 rebounds), who scored 14 of his points in the first quarter alone. The 6-foot-6 center seemed unguardable and led North on a 7-2 run to start the game, only for the Warriors to respond with a 9-2 run of their own.

After trading points back and forth, the first quarter ended with the Rocketeers up 20-15. “When [Friberg] gets hot, he’s almost impossible to guard one-on-one,” said North coach Sean Mulkerrins. “That forced them to make some adjustments, which opened everything up for everyone else.”

The second quarter was all Foxboro, as seniors Andrew Block (13 points) and Mark Clagg (7 points) led the team on an 18-6 run that ended with the Warriors up 33-27 heading into halftime. The Warriors defense stymied the Rocketeers by swarming Friberg every time he touched the ball and held North to just six points in the quarter.

“We got caught marveling at the scoreboard and got too comfortable relying on Jonny in the first quarter,” Mulkerrins explained. “They made some adjustments and we didn’t respond to them real well.”

The game’s momentum shift came with 6:14 left in the third quarter as Friberg grabbed an offensive rebound and dunked it with authority, posterizing three Foxboro defenders. This was the highlight in North’s 7-0 run to start the second half, capitalizing on three Foxboro turnovers.

After that, the third quarter featured a back-and-forth battle that saw four lead changes, as Foxboro’s Block and Brandon Borde (10 points), matched North’s Tom Reynolds (11 points) and Brent Doherty (9 points), tying the game at 41 heading into the final period.

The score remained close all the way until the 4:00 mark in the fourth quarter when Hacmoni Cuevas hit a three that flipped the switch back in North’s favor, starting a 7-2 run down the stretch that handed North the win.

The defense was the key for the Rocketeers, who caused 10 turnovers in the second half and allowed just six points in the fourth quarter, helping the team outscore the Warriors 26-14 in the second half.

When asked what the difference in the game was, Mulkerrins explained “We really didn’t do anything special. We played our defense and we played it very well. I give a lot of credit to [Kyle] McCarthy and Reynolds for stepping it up and leading us defensively. A lot of those turnovers led to some good looks for us on offense, which helped a lot down the stretch.”

Next up, North Attleboro (7-4) will host rival Attleboro and Foxboro (4-6) will host Taunton on Tuesday.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/20/17

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 59 @ Taunton, 68 – FinalTommy MacLean scored 18 points for the Tigers and Lou Vendrell chipped in with 17. Taunton held Attleboro to six points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

Stoughton, 65 @ Canton, 70 – FinalSophomore Devin Foster paced the Bulldogs with 17 points and Tony Harris scored 15 points and pulled down nine boards, as Canton held off a “furious” rally by the Black Knights. Jake Verille scored a career-high 14 in the win. Cam Andrews had a game-high 24 points for Stoughton.

North Attleboro, 53 @ Foxboro, 47 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

King Philip, 49 @ Franklin, 64 – FinalFreshman Chris Edgehill scored a career-high 16 points for the Panthers and Josh Macchi had 14 in the win.

Mansfield, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 42 – FinalThe Hornets broke the game open with an 18-7 second quarter to take a 20-point lead by halftime. Christian Weber led the way for Mansfield with 17 points and Tyler Boulter added 15. Phil Vigeant (11 points) and Sam Goldberg (10) each reached double-digits for the Hornets.

Milford, 65 @ Sharon, 42 – FinalZack Tamagni scored 22 points to lead the Hawks to the division win. Anthony Arcudi added 15 points and Kayden Kelly scored eight points and pulled in 18 rebounds. Sharon was led by Jimmy Fitzhenry with 11 points.

Girls Basketball
Taunton, 28 @ Attleboro, 66 – Final

Canton, 41 @ Stoughton, 54 – FinalVal Whalen had another strong game for the Black Knights, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Freshman Aliyah Wright added 10 points for Stoughton. Hannah Jerrier had a team-high 11 points for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 47 @ North Attleboro, 53 – FinalAshley Ahern had a team-high 16 points for the second straight game to help North Attleboro take a two-game lead on the Warriors in the Davenport division. Samantha Taggart also scored 16 for North. Ashley Sampson had a game-high 21 for the Warriors and Lauren Flahive added nine fourth quarter points and pulled in nine rebounds in the loss that ended a six-game win streak for Foxboro.

Franklin, 67 @ King Philip, 36 – FinalKate Morse was the top scorer for the Panthers with 15 points. Megan O’Connell added 11 for Franklin, while Ali Brigham and Erin Skidmore each scored 10 and Carli Koffinke had nine points. KP was led by Shannon O’Connor with 14.

Oliver Ames, 17 @ Mansfield, 32 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

Sharon, 37 @ Milford, 48 – FinalThe Eagles battled back to cut the lead to eight points in the fourth quarter, but Milford’s Kate Irwin scored eight of her 15 points in the quarter, including 5-of-6 from the line, to seal the win for the Hawks. Emma Eberhardt led the Eagles with a team-high 13 points and pulled in 12 rebounds, while Shira Stoller scored eight and grabbed seven rebounds.

Hockey
Stoughton, 1 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – P.J. Elliott scored a power play goal in the second period that turned out to be the game-winner. Jake Parker had the other goal for Attleboro. Ryan Chipman had the Stoughton goal. All three of the game’s goals were scored in the second period.

Wrestling
Masconomet Quad (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames went 1-2 on the day, beating Burlington 47-24 but falling to Arlington (37-31) and to Masconomet (40-39). Anthony Berksza (145), Jay Fruci (220) and Dean Pacini (195) each went 3-0 on the day for the Tigers.

Swimming
Boys
Canton, 87 @ Ashland, 89 – Final
Oliver Ames, 75 @ Franklin, 94 – Final
Milford, 106 @ Sharon, 62 – Final

Girls
Canton, 82 @ Ashland, 93 – Final
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Franklin, 113 – Final
Milford, 90 @ Sharon, 80 – Final

Boys Basketball: 2016-17 Davenport Division Preview

2016-2017 Davenport Boys Basketball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016-2017 Davenport Boys Basketball Preview

Canton

2015-2016 Record: 2-18
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ryan Gordy

After a difficult 2015-2016 season, the Bulldogs are looking to build on a strong offseason to have successful season this time around. Canton returns a strong core group that has a year of varsity experience under their belts now.

Junior Tony Harris had a strong sophomore year, leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 13.6 points per game and should be a big factor on both ends of the court this season. Sophomore Devin Foster had a terrific freshman season and will pair with junior Jake Verille, who saw plenty of time a year ago, to form an experienced backcourt.

The Bulldogs will rely on that experienced back court to pace the offense. Canton has a handful of weapons that can connect from deep as well. Defensively, expect Canton to rotate small and big lineups, depending on the matchup.

“The feeling around our program is that we are building momentum and have a chance to be pretty good relatively soon,” Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said. “This is a connected team who will be ready to grind out the always tough Hockomock League schedule.”

Foxboro

2015-2016 Record: 19-5
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Jon Gibbs

Out of all of the teams in the Davenport division, the Warriors certainly have the most holes to fill from a year ago. HockomockSports.com First Teamer Alex DuBrow (15 PPG, 7.1 APG, 2.8 SPG), leading scorer Jason Procaccini (16.3 PPG) and leading rebounder Robbie Lowey (10.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG) all graduated.

The good news is that Foxboro does have some players coming back that have varsity experience, including Joe Morrison, Jamaine Few, Andrew Block and Mark Clagg – his fourth year on varsity. Freshman Brandon Borde could make an impact right away for the Warriors as well.

The Warriors will continue to prioritize defense and rebounding again this season but the offensive game will have to change. Without their top three scorers, Foxboro will rely on sharing the ball and a balanced scoring attack for this season.

“We have a group of high character kids that are working extremely hard every day, they are fun to coach,” Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs said. “Practice has been very competitive, and we are focusing on daily improvement. If we stay committed to continuing to get better, we believe that we will be in position to achieve our goals at the end of the year.”

Milford

2015-2016 Record: 10-11
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 Central First Round
Coach: Paul Seaver

After making a big jump in wins last season, head coach Paul Seaver and his Scarlet Hawks are looking to continue that trend in the 2016-2017 season. Milford qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2013 a year ago and are looking to make it two seasons in a row.

One big challenge will be replacing some of the scoring that graduated. Leading scorer Dimitry Torres (14.5) and second leading scorer Dwight Anderson (12.7) both are gone but senior Zack Tamagni, who scored 10.4 points a game a year ago, is back to lead the Scarlet Hawks this season.

Tamagni, who will pace the offense from the point guard position, will be helped along by senior Anthony Arcudi, who saw plenty of minutes a season ago, and junior Kayden Kelley, who begins his third year on varsity.

Arcudi will help replace some of the outside shooting that graduated while Kelley will give Milford a presence in the post. Tamagni can score from multiple spots on the court and his ability to move the ball and find the open teammate will pay dividends this season.

“Our goal this season is take the next step forward with our program,” Seaver said. “We have some production to replace, but we have the leadership and experience to do so. This is my third season at Milford and I believe that this is the best defensive team that I’ve had.”

North Attleboro

2015-2016 Record: 8-12
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins

A switch to the Davenport division might have come at the perfect time for the Rocketeers, who have a strong core of experienced players looking to make a push for the postseason.

The Rocketeers have seven varsity players back from a year ago, including seniors Brent Doherty and Jonny Friberg, who have both started since their sophomore seasons. Doherty was third in scoring in the Hockomock a year ago with 16.8 points per game, as well as 4.2 RPG and 3.0 APG while Friberg offered Big Red rebounding (5.8 RPG) and a post option on offense (8.8 PPG).

Doherty and Friberg have a strong supporting cast with Kyle McCarthy, Chad Peterson, Tom Reynolds and Hacmoni Cuevas all getting plenty of minutes last season. The Rocketeers deployed more man-to-man defense a year ago after relying on zone the year prior. Expect Big Red to mix it up this year, and with experience using both, the defense could be a solid weapon.

“We believe our strength will be our experience in running our system,” North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins said. “The experience should allow us to develop a more consistent offense which relies on ball movement, spacing, and great shot selection.”

Sharon

2015-2016 Record: 12-10
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Andrew Ferguson

Sharon is bringing back just three players from a year ago so the Eagles will be relying on new faces to step up for the 2016-2017 season.

Though just three players are back, three-year starter Ricardo Ripley is one of them. His experience and skill will be vital, quarterbacking the offense and leading the charge defensively. Both Jimmy Fitzhenry and Malik Lorquet picked up varsity experience last year and will likely see expanded roles this year.

Expect the Eagles to use their speed and athleticism on both ends of the court to try and bother teams. Offensively, Sharon has a couple of shooters that can help space out the floor, which can provide Ripley with the space he needs.

“We’re going to need some of our less experienced varsity players to step up throughout the year,” Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson said. “There is some great chemistry on our team and we’re pushing each other in practice, so hopefully that extends into the season.”

Stoughton

2015-2016 Record: 7-13
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: John Gallivan

The Black Knights will be relying on a big senior class in the 2016-2017 while trying to get back to the postseason and make a push for the division title.

Stoughton has 10 seniors, including captains Ryan Sullivan, Cam Gomes and Matt Valle. Junior Cam Andrews is also a captain for the team. The Black Knights were able to give teams problems with their pace last year and will look to do the same again this year.

With plenty of athletes, the Black Knights will use their speed to try and run past teams while applying lots of pressure on the defensive end. Andrews (12.9 PPG as a sophomore) is one of the top returning scorers in the league and can be a handful for defenses to deal with.

“All four are captains and have two to three years of varsity experience each,” Stoughton head John Gallivan said. “Although we aren’t a real tall team, we have great speed and quickness and plan to play fast as much as possible.”

Rocketeers Score Thanksgiving Day Win at Attleboro

North Attleboro football
Bobby Mylod (31) and Nick Rajotte (34) were awarded Balfour Trophies as the game’s MVPs after beating Attleboro on Thanksgiving Day. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


ATTLEBORO, Mass. – There are few teams in the Hockomock League that can call on as many offensive weapons as North Attleboro and when everything clicks into gear then it can feel like the Rocketeers are capable of moving the ball up and down the field at will.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Everything clicked on Thanksgiving morning at Tozier-Cassidy Field in the 96th annual holiday meeting (and 100th overall) with rival Attleboro.

North Attleboro (9-2) scored on each of its first six possessions, spreading the ball around and proving unstoppable for the Attleboro (4-7) defense. Behind three touchdowns from Offensive MVP Bobby Mylod and two scores from Defensive MVP Nick Rajotte, the Rocketeers rolled to a 41-13 victory and won back “Hilda.”

“Last year was disappointing,” said Mylod of North’s loss to the Bombardiers at Community Field. “We disappointed our seniors. We came out here and we didn’t want that to happen to us. It all paid off.”

North Attleboro coach Don Johnson said, “We’re multi-dimensional. Chad [Peterson] can throw the ball as well as anybody. Nick and Bobby complement each other so well and they’re effective in the passing game too.

“I wouldn’t want to defend us, I know that.”

Attleboro moved the ball on its opening possession but was forced to punt, pinning North back at its own seven-yard-line. The Rocketeers put together a methodical, 15-play, 93-yard drive to open the score and set the tone for the game.

The Bombardiers had a chance to get the Rocketeers off the field, but Kyle McCarthy hit Mylod (six receptions, 119 yards) for 14 yards on a fake punt to keep the drive going. Rajotte (17 carries, 73 yards) led the way with eight carries on the drive, including a 23-yard burst up the middle to get the ball inside the 10 and then the two-yard dive to give North the 6-0 lead.

After another Attleboro punt, forced by a big play by Jay Loring on a screen pass from Tyler McGovern to Cam Furtado for a nine-yard loss, North took over and went right back to work. On third and nine from the North 27, Peterson (11-15, 159 yards) kept the drive alive with a 19-yard completion to Mylod, who would eventually finish it off on an eight-yard sweep. Peterson hit McCarthy for two and a 14-0 lead.

“I thought the offense did a good job controlling the game,” said Johnson, “and that’s what we needed to do, keep them off the field a little bit and just move the ball.”

North were gifted great field position when Attleboro had back-to-back snaps skid across the ground, one recovered by Nathan Barboza on third down and the other a 12-yard loss recovered by McGovern on the punt attempt. Peterson hit McCarthy to for 13 yards and two plays later he hit Mylod for another 13 and the touchdown.

“They’re a great football team,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “They’ve got athletes everywhere. There is a reason why they’re Hock champs this year. When you get them, you need to take opportunities. You can’t take offsides on third and short and you can’t give up a fourth down conversion.”

Attleboro gave itself hope of a comeback right before the break. Elvin Sam broke a 10-yard run and then McGovern hit Furtado for 24 yards down to the North 26. Another completion to Furtado (seven receptions, 66 yards) got the ball inside the North five-yard-line and Furtado punched it in with no time remaining in the half for a 21-6 deficit.

“We reminded them of two years ago,” said Johnson of the conversation in the North locker room, “because we went up by three scores, they got one right at the end of half and that went into overtime. As far as we were concerned at halftime, it was 0-0 and we were starting over again.”

Rajotte nearly stole the momentum right back when he took the opening kick of the third quarter 70 yards for a score, only to have a holding call bring the touchdown back. It did not slow down North though, as the Rocketeers would still extend the lead. Peterson had three straight completions, one each to Hacmoni Cuevas, McCarthy, and Mylod and then Mylod closed out the drive with two carries for 25 yards and a 27-6 lead.

Strachan said, “You go into halftime and you know you’ve got to stop the run and if your coverages aren’t exactly right then you’ll take advantage of it. They were the better team today.”

Attleboro would answer back with a little help from the Rocketeers. Sam pounced on a muffed punt to give the Bombardiers the ball back at the North 22. After a couple of completions from McGovern (9-22, 75 yards), Furtado would push it across on a sweep right to cut the lead to 27-13.

Rajotte returned the ensuing kick 20 yards and McCarthy (eight carries, 86 yards) broke a 38-yard run to set North up again. Rajotte would get his second touchdown from one-yard out to make it 34-13. On North’s next possession, Peterson threw a perfect swing pass to Mylod on the far sideline for 40 yards and then McCarthy got his first score from two-yards out.

“There is very little margin for error,” said Strachan, “and they’re so good at distributing the ball around. They’re not one-dimensional, so if you start taking away the jet, they hit you with the power. If you take away the power, they hit you in the seam.”

For Mylod and the other North seniors, last season’s loss motivated them to ensure they went out on top. He said, “It’s a great ending to my high school career. We had the best team, I felt, and lost to two Super Bowl contending teams. No shame in that. We came out, played our tails off and won.”

Although this was a big victory for the Rocketeers, the series has tightened up in recent years with the teams splitting the last four Thanksgiving Day meetings. While he wants to win every season, Johnson admits that it is better for the rivalry to have it be more balanced.

He said, “I think it just makes it all the more meaningful. Mike and those guys over there, we all know those coaches well, they’re a great staff. They’ve done a great job every year, so we know we’re in a ball game every year on Thanksgiving and I think that’s what makes it special.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Rocketeers Rally But Can’t Catch Top Seed Duxbury

North Attleboro Football
Nick Rajotte (34) and the Rocketeers rallied with two touchdowns in the final eight minutes of the Div. 2 South title game but it was not enough to catch top seed Duxbury. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


DUXBURY, Mass. – With 8:34 remaining in the Friday night’s Div. 2 South final, Duxbury senior wideout Ryan Reagan made one of the plays that demonstrated why he will be playing at Harvard next fall. Mario Bresko had perfect position right in front of the 6-foot-4 receiver and seemed to have both hands on the pass until Reagan leapt and stretched out to pull the ball away from the corner and come down inbounds.

“We did good on defense, held them there and then you get the back shoulder fade to the big kid who’s going to Harvard and we had him covered pretty well,” said North Attleboro coach Don Johnson. “It’s just one kid making a better play.”

The touchdown put the Dragons, who some outlets have ranked as the top team in the state this season, ahead by three scores, but North refused to lay down for the final minutes. Instead, the Rocketeers sped up the offense and rallied with touchdowns on back-to-back possessions to close the gap.

The comeback eventually fell short, as Duxbury converted a third down that allowed the Dragons to kneel down to finish off a 26-19 victory at Raymond Chandler Field and keep their unbeaten season alive.

“It’s a great group of kids,” said Johnson of his team, which had its eight-game win streak snapped by Duxbury. “There’s a whole lot of character there. Certainly not disappointed with the effort by anyone.”

The North came out firing right from the start of the game, trying to put pressure on Duxbury’s senior quarterback Bobby Maimaron. Thomas Reynolds dropped Maimaron for a seven-yard sack on the second play setting up third and long, but the Achille’s heel all game would be the Rocketeers’ struggle to get the defense off the field.

On third and 16, Maimaron (16 carries, 85 yards) took a draw 46 yards down to the North 26. After the Dragons got the ball to the one, Maimaron capped the opening drive with a one-yard keeper to make it 6-0 (the extra point was blocked).

North did make a play on third down on Duxbury’s next possession with Nick Dean breaking up a pass to force fourth and 10 at the Rocketeers 49, but the Dragons faked the punt and Maimaron (17-34, 217 yards) hit Nick Gearin for 26 yards.

“Looking at all the films and they do that all the time,” Johnson explained. “Teams hold them on first and second down and all of sudden they’ve got some kid making a play somewhere. I think it all starts with the quarterback; he’s the key to the whole thing.”

Another third down conversion put the Dragons inside the 10, but North made a defensive stand. Nick Rajotte broke up a pass and Jay Loring pressured Maimaron into an errant pass on fourth down. The Rocketeers would not be able to do the same on Duxbury’s next possession.

Bobby Mylod and Hacmoni Cuevas combined on a 14-yard sack to set up third and 24, but Maimaron connected with Reagan (seven catches, 88 yards) for a 27-yard gain. The drive ended with Maimaron hitting James Miele for a three-yard score and in the process making history with his 113th career touchdown pass breaking the statewide record set by Natick’s Troy Flutie.

The Rocketeers’ offense was stalling, particularly on the ground where Rajotte (eight carries, 23 yards) was struggling to get room. “The run has been our bread and butter and that’s been setting up the pass really.” said Johnson. “It’s been the run controlling the clock and keeping the defense off the field and that’s what we weren’t able to do today.”

Duxbury tried to put the game away before halftime, electing to go for it on fourth and six from the North 48 with fewer than 20 seconds remaining. The move backfired as Cuevas stepped up with an interception and returned it to the Dragons’ 30 with eight seconds on the clock. North quarterback Chad Peterson (19-34, 269 yards) fired a perfect strike to Kyle McCarthy (five catches, 107 yards) to get North on the board at the break.

The Rocketeers had momentum going into halftime and the ball coming out of it with a chance to try and take the lead. After moving down to the Duxbury 29, Peterson was sacked by Brad Backlund for a 13-yard loss and then intercepted by Joe Gooley.

“That was big,” Johnson admitted. “I really thought that if we were really going to make a run for it then we had to get something out of that drive and we just didn’t.”

The Dragons capitalized on the turnover with a 10-play drive that pushed the lead to 12 points. Maimaron hit Reagan on a back shoulder throw in the front corner of the end zone for a three-yard score to make it 19-7.

The teams traded punts but then Peterson was picked off for the second time, this one by Maimaron, to set Duxbury up with a short field. Maimaron converted another fourth down with a three-yard keeper and then Reagan made his highlight-reel grab and it looked like the game was over.

North came right back on its next drive to go 72 yards in seven plays and used up only three minutes off the clock. Peterson hit David Engler on the far sideline, putting just enough on it to beat the safety, and Engler ran in for a 36-yard score.

Duxbury recovered the onside kick but decided to stick with its passing game rather than try to run clock with only five minutes remaining. Reynolds’ pressure forced one incompletion and Dean broke up another pass as North forced a three and out to get the ball right back. This time it was 80 yards in nine plays capped by Peterson finding Bresko for a 25-yard score, Peterson’s third of the night, to cut the lead to 26-19.

“He’s been tough all year,” said Johnson of Peterson. “He’s been in a difficult situation sometimes. We ask a lot of him. A lot was on his shoulders tonight and he stood tall like he usually does.”

The top seed was able to convert another third down to seal the win and lift the Div. 2 South trophy; Duxbury’s second sectional title in as many years.