2019-2020 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Taunton boys basketball
Taunton’s Dante Law dunks the ball in the second half against Oliver Ames last season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019-2020 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2018-2019 Record: 18-5
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Mark Houle

Attleboro fulfilled high expectations last year with a terrific regular season but had its postseason run cut short in the opening round of the tournament. With an experienced, battle-tested, and deep group of seniors, the Bombardiers are hoping to take the next step during the 2019-2020 season.

The Bombardiers have seven seniors on the roster with six having plenty of valuable minutes at the varsity level. It all starts with a pair of four-year varsity players and captains Bryant Ciccio and Qualeem Charles. Both have played over 60 games for head coach Mark Houle and earned HockomockSports.com First Team honors a year ago. Ciccio (14.7 ppg, 3.2 apg) is like a coach on the floor and Charles (13.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg) is a matchup nightmare and one of the most dominant post players in recent years.

But there is much more to the Bombardiers, such as senior captain Tim Callahan. Callahan had a strong junior season with 7.7 points per game and can change a game with his outside shooting. He will also be relied upon to anchor the defense. Guard Nick McMahon and forward Lorenzo Wilson provided a spark off the bench last season and will be key pieces this season. And senior Jason Weir is back in the mix after missing last year due to injury. Weir showed flashes during his sophomore season, a versatile player that can play in the post or step outside and knock down a three.

Attleboro has a variety of weapons on the offensive end and that will make them difficult to defend. They have a couple of good weapons that can score down low and then a handful of shooters, so the inside-out game will be a big part of the game plan. Charles gives the Bombardiers protection around the rim while all five players are the court will have to contribute on the boards to eliminate second-chance points.

“We will rely on a battle-tested group of seniors, but we will need our underclassman to continue to develop and be ready to step in and play important roles on the team,” said head coach Mark Houle. “We have a hard-working group of players who compete and challenge each other every day in practice.”

Canton

2018-2019 Record: 14-10
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Ryan Gordy

After winning back-to-back Davenport division titles, the Bulldogs know it will be a grind to try and get a third with a big target on their backs.

Gone is the program’s all-time leading scorer and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Devin Foster, who was one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league over the past two seasons. That means there is going to be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up for the Bulldogs. Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said this year’s team will be a “much more space and paced” orientated team. Gordy is expecting a more spread out opportunistic approach that will feature contributions from anyone who checks in.

While Foster graduated, the Bulldogs do have a handful of talented and experienced players back on the roster. Senior Kyle Fitzgerald is the top returning scorer from a year ago, netting double figures in six contests. He is also a workhorse on defense and will be one of the leaders on the court. Robbie Gallery, Matt Giglio, and Eric Mischler were all starters at some point during the 2018-2019 season so Gordy will have some veterans to lean on during the year. Gallery, Giglio, and Mischler all showed the ability to come up with a big shot at any time and will help space the floor.

Defensively, the Bulldogs are looking at their versatility and depth to give them flexibility. Gordy believes he has a strong mix of players that will allow him to switch things up and adjust each and every game. Sophomore Lanse Dorcelus earned minutes for the final month of last season and could be a key piece this season.

“We feel like our program is healthy and players have made a commitment to growth,” Gordy said. “This season we are going to focus on the process and maximizing the strengths of our players. Our culture and direction has been a bright spot as we focus on the player person and team development each practice and game. We’re excited to see where we are and where we can get too.”

Foxboro

2018-2019 Record: 14-9
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Jon Gibbs

There is good news and bad news when it comes to the Foxboro boys basketball team this season. The good news is that the Warriors expect to once again be one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. The bad news is for the rest of the Hockomock League as Foxboro boasts an improved offense, and combined with their traditional tough defense, has the Warriors in position for a Davenport division title.

With four of their five top scorers back this season, including senior Brandon Borde (team-high 15.3 ppg) and junior Kevin Gallagher (12.9 ppg), the Warriors are looking to ride a balanced approach on offense to improve their scoring after finishing 10th in scoring in the Hockomock League last season (54.4 points per game). Borde is one of the most experienced players back in the league and has the ability to create his own looks as well as lead the team as the floor general. Gallagher had a breakout sophomore season and can really fill up the scoring column, especially from deep.

Borde and Gallagher will also get help from senior Will Morrison, who can catch fire from deep, and senior Ryan Hughes, who can give opponents trouble in the paint. All four players are returning starters from a season ago, so that gives Foxboro an advantage, especially defensively. Head coach Jon Gibbs called the defense the “foundation” of the team. Foxboro has consistently been very fundamentally sound and disciplined on the defensive end.

Seniors Dylan Barreira, Michael Devlin, Liam Devlin, and Donald Rogers all played important minutes last season and will provide a lot of depth for Foxboro.

“We have been making progress each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been very competitive so far as guys work hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we stay hungry, humble, and unselfish, it has the potential to be a very successful season.”

Franklin

2018-2019 Record: 17-6
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Central Quarterfinal
Coach: CJ Neely

Ever since the Hockomock League split into two divisions, Franklin has entered each season as one of the top teams in the Kelley-Rex and that looks to be the case yet again this year.

As it does each and every season, defense comes first for the Panthers. Franklin was the best defensive team in the Hockomock League last year, allowing just 48.9 points per game. Not only did the Panthers lead the league in that category, they were the lone team to keep opponents under 50 points on average. It’s the second straight year they’ve had the best defense in the division and third straight year they are in the top three. There are a lot of talented individual defenders on the team but year in and year out, Franklin’s team defense gives them a chance to win.

Offensively, the Panthers boast the top returning scorer in the league in three-year starter Chris Edgehill. Edgehill, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark last season, is an absolute handful to deal with on the offensive end of the court. He can score in a variety of ways, and on top of that, he is very good at getting teammates involved (four assists per game last year). Seniors Jack Rudolph and Steve Karayan are also back after playing valuable minutes last season and will be relied upon on both ends of the floor.

“We have a lot of guys who worked really hard in the offseason to improve and are excited to get on the court,” said head coach CJ Neely. “It’s a great group of people who have a lot of fun together. We need to stay aggressive and share the ball. We hope that strong team defense will continue to be something that defines our program.”




King Philip

2018-2019 Record: 7-13
2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave DeStefano

With a solid group of players returning from last season, second-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping to guide his Warriors back to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.

The Warriors showed flashes throughout last year, including an upset win of Kelley-Rex champions Mansfield on the road. But they were also on the wrong end of a handful of close games, losing five games by five or fewer points. With a year of experience in DeStefano’s system, and for a lot of players their first year of varsity under their belts, King Philip is hoping to turn those close games into wins.

KP boasts two returning starters in Alex Fritz and Andrew McKinney, both standing at 6’3. Fritz had a breakout junior campaign and was the fourth-highest scorer in the Hockomock League with 15.5 points per game. He was able to score in a variety of ways, including through contact at the rim, and will be a vital piece this year. McKinney was fifth on the team in scoring last year, scoring in double-figures in five contests, including a career-high 19 points at Stoughton. Senior Tommy Donahue looks to give the Warriors a strong presence in the post while classmates Owen Conlin and Chris Roy look to be in the mix. Seniors Robbie Jarest and Tom Weir are back in the mix after a year away from the program.

Defensively, King Philip will be relying on its size and physicality. While Donahue (6’5) will be the main rim protector, having long guards and forwards will help KP make life difficult for opponents. The Warriors will need to improve on the defensive end after surrendering a division-high 63.7 points per game last year. DeStefano is looking to get some contributions from junior juniors Donte Barros, Cole Breen, Joe Cullen, Evan Stephens, Will Kinney, and Jake Silveria while sophomores Charlie Grant and Braeden Sottile will likely be in the mix too.

“The boys have really worked hard this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The practices have been really competitive and physical. For us to be successful we will need to make a big commitment on the defensive end of the floor. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops. On offense we are looking to have a balanced attack and create great scoring opportunities as a team.”

Mansfield

2018-2019 Record: 22-5
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Mike Vaughan

The Hockomock League continues to run through Mansfield.

The Hornets have won the Kelley-Rex division title in eight of its nine years, and it looks like Mansfield will be the team to beat again this year. Three players that burst onto the scene last year – Sam Stevens, TJ Guy, Matt Boen – are now three of the top players in the Hock heading into this season. Mansfield certainly graduated a lot of talent in Tommy Dooling, Damani Scott, and Khristian Conner, but with those three starters back plus seniors Drew Rooney and Makhi Baskin, as well as a handful of newcomers ready to make an impact, Mansfield is poised for another deep tournament run.

Stevens (11.2 ppg) will be one of the toughest players to stop with his ability to finish around the rim as well as deadly three-point shooting, Guy (10.9 ppg) is very good in the post on both ends of the floor, and Boen (9.5 ppg) can score in a variety of ways. All three are capable of filling up the stat sheet on any given night. Baskin provides a lot of energy and can change the game with his effort while Rooney showed last year that he can matchup with some of the top players in the league on the defensive end.

Juniors Brian and Jason See are both strong shooters that work tirelessly on both ends of the floor and should be in the mix for the Hornets this year. Juniors Jack Colby and Brendan Foley will be looking to bring a spark off the bench while sophomore Matt Hyland and freshman Chris Hill are promising young players that could contribute right away.

“I think our depth and ability to play different styles will be a strength of this team,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I’m excited to see where this team can get to as they continue to work hard in practice and mix their individual talents to form our team identity. Transition play, scoring inside and out will be strength on offense. Playing solid man to man and uptempo defense with our depth could create some issues for our opponents.”

Milford

2018-2019 Record: 9-12
2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Paul Seaver

After a season of ups and downs, the Milford Scarlet Hawks are hoping last year’s growing pains transition into a playoff berth this season.

With a large group of returnees, the Hawks will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division title. While head coach Paul Seaver returns the majority of his team, he will need some of the those players to step up on the offensive end the fill the void left by graduation. The Hawks graduated its top three scorers, including the second-highest scorer in the league in Brendan White (18.2 ppg). That means there will be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up and contribute.

Junior Jordan Darling (7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and senior Colby Pires (6.1 ppg) are the top two point producers back this year while junior Dom Schofield also returns after starting as a sophomore. Darling started 19 games this year and was selected to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team after a strong season on both ends of the court. Pires is a leader both on and off the court and plays well in all aspects of the game, and Schofield gives Milford a strong post presence on the defensive end, recording a team-high 38 charges taken last season.

Ralph Franklin Jr., Matty Varteresian, Tyler Whetherbee, and Ben Blanchard all saw time throughout last season and could all be in line for bigger roles this season.

“Our depth will matter, our balance will matter, our chemistry is this group’s most important attribute,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We were the youngest team in the league last season and this group has a lot of players back who are attacking this year with a chip on their shoulder. This group defines what Milford basketball is and that’s a testament to who these kids are hard workers and higher character individuals. I could not be any more excited to coach and work with these kids on a daily basis.”

North Attleboro

2018-2019 Record: 9-11
2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins

There are going to be a lot of new faces dawning the Big Red uniform this winter. After losing nine seniors to graduation, head coach Sean Mulkerrins has just three players back from last year’s nine-win squad.

With a large amount of new players comes a large amount of opportunities. The Rocketeers graduated its two top scorers but bring back senior Ethan Friberg (7.0 ppg) and junior George Ladd (7.4 ppg) to lead the charge offensively this year. Friberg, standing at 6’5, can cause problems in the paint but also van step out and play along the perimeter. Ladd had a breakout sophomore season and was named to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team. He is a little of a throwback player that is very fundamentally sound on the offensive end. Senior Josh Porter, the third returner, saw an expanded role at the end of last season and played well.

Defensively, the Rocketeers will be focusing on limiting opponents to one shot per possession. With some size in the frontcourt, North will try to make it difficult to finish at the rim, and with all five players committed to rebounding, try and minimize second-chance points.

“There will be a lot of new faces with opportunities to make an impact on this year’s team,” Mulkerrins said. “There will definitely be some growing pains and the sooner the new faces adjust to the rigors of varsity basketball, the better we will be.”




Oliver Ames

2018-2019 Record: 10-12
2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Don Byron

Last season, Oliver Ames came up just one game shy of the state tournament. Goal number one for the 2019-2020 season is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

With a strong mix of experienced players and hungry new additions, Oliver Ames is ready for the grind that is the Kelley-Rex division and the Hockomock League.

“The expectation is to always get [to the tournament], that’s our first goal,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “We’re pretty optimistic but we know it’s going to be a grind, you have to show up every night, you can’t take a night off.”

Byron has been impressed with his guard play so far this preseason, and that will likely mean featuring three guards in the lineup for the majority of the time. Senior Jay Spillane is a returning starter while classmate Owen Friel and junior Amari Brown were top options off the bench a season ago. Spillane can score in bunches, especially from the outside, while Friel combines a solid shooting game with a hard-nosed defensive approach. Friel’s ability to guard a variety of position makes him a valuable piece in the lineup while Brown is a crafty player that does a nice job getting teammates involved.

Senior center Evan Craig (6’5) will be joined by classmate Ryan Burkett (6’2) in the frontcourt. Both picked up valuable minutes at the varsity level last year and Byron is hoping that will help with their expanded roles this year. Senior guard Adam Cann and junior forwards Trey Buggs and Drew Nickla will provide depth for the Tigers.

“It takes some time to get accustomed to the varsity speed and what we expect at this level,” Byron said. “All of these kids gained experience with us last year, and that year of experience is invaluable.”

Sharon

2018-2019 Record: 3-17
2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Andrew Ferguson

After a couple of down seasons, the Eagles will be making a strong push to get back into the state tournament for the first time since 2016.

Sharon boasts a number of players who gained varsity experience that will be looking to help the program bounce back. The first being senior Aidan Kane, the team’s leading scorer last season with 11.5 points per game. When he’s on from keep, Kane is one of the top three-point shooters in the league. He has the ability to change a game very quickly if he gets hot from deep. Senior Andrew Burton emerged as one of the Eagles’ top players last year and could be poised to have a breakout year. Sophomore John Baez will start at the point after joining the varsity team for the final month and a half last season.

The Eagles will be relying heavily on its frontcourt to step up on both ends of the court. Senior Caleb Gayle is a traditional post player that will compete hard on both ends of the court, senior Cam Baker is fundamentally sound and a reliable option and junior Hank Ward picked up valuable minutes as a sophomore and will be an important part of the rebound game as well as defensively. Senior Aaron Karten will be in the mix as well, giving the Eagles an athletic frontcourt.

Junior Jordan Barboza should give the Eagles a spark off the bench this year and head coach Andrew Ferguson will look for him as an important defensive piece. Kiran Chandrasekaran had flashes of the strong play off the bench last year and should see an expanded role this year, while junior transfer Matt Baskin could provide a needed scoring punch.

“This group has worked tremendously hard in the offseason and the preseason and is looking to translate that into success throughout the regular season,” Ferguson said. “Many of the players have gained valuable experience at the varsity level over the past two years and our senior class are tremendous leaders who provide a great example for our younger players.”

Stoughton

2018-2019 Record: 10-11
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Preliminary Round
Coach: John Gallivan

Stoughton ended its playoff drought last season and with a good amount of those players back again this year, the Davenport division title and a deep playoff run could be in the forecast this season.

The Black Knights have their leading scorer back in 6’5 senior forward Obinna Ugwuakazi, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game with nine double-doubles last year. His athleticism and ability to finish through contact made him a tough matchup for opponents, and he will be at the forefront of the Stoughton offense again this year. Fellow senior Tahkwan Gates Brown, who also stands at 6’5, is also back and we could see the duo play together at times which will certainly make life tough for opponents.

Senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell is back for his third year on varsity. After improving each of the past two seasons, the 2019-2020 season could be a breakout year for Grigalunas-Powell, who can score from three-point range but is also a crafty finisher attacking the rim. Ahmad Jahed had flashes of strong play last year and will be back in the mix again this year, and the same goes for Tommy Sanda. Juniors Brett Pendenza and Jake Queeney are also back after earning some minutes last year.

“We feel like we can score this year both from downtown and from down low,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “And with our size in the paint, we hope to make it difficult for opponents to score consistently.”

taunton

2018-2019 Record: 15-9
2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Charlie Dacey

After a strong regular season, the Taunton boys basketball team flipped a switch in the tournament and made a run to the D1 South Semis, nearly knocking off powerhouse Mansfield. With a taste of postseason success, the Tigers are hoping to replicate that success this year with another impressive playoff stretch.

The Tigers boast speed, skill, and depth this season and will be in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season. While Taunton lost a lot of production from last year (Lou Vendrell, Mike Quinn, John Martins, Wesner Charles), there are a handful of players battling to earn their chance at minutes in the Tigers’ lineup. One constant in that lineup over the past couple of years is senior Dante Law, who enters his fourth year with the varsity group. Law was Taunton’s leading scorer a year ago with 14.1 points per game but none of the other returners were over five points a game, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity for new players to step up.

Seniors Fabio Goncalves (6’6) and Aiden Pelot, as well as junior Tyler Stewart (6’6) make up the frontcourt for the Tigers. All three played at the varsity level last year and will be key pieces at helping the Tigers defend and win the battle on the boards. Law will be joined by junior Josh Lopes, who showed flashes during his sophomore season, DaeDae Kenion, and sophomore transfer Tristan Herry as key pieces of the offense.

The Tigers are also excited about the depth on the team this year. Junior Danny MacDougall earned starting minutes last year and is a reliable option in a variety of roles while Trent Santos, Logan Lawrence, and Jonathan Torres will all be in the mix for Taunton.

“With this team, press and run should be ‘Plan A’ although there are skills available to play at a slower pace,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/15/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 5 @ King Philip, 1 – Final (8 Inn.)Attleboro junior Nick McMahon had a day to remember, scoring both the tying and game-winning runs to lead the Bombardiers to a key road win. McMahon went 3-for-3 at the play, stole three bases, and played stellar defense at second base for Attleboro. King Philip scored in the fourth to take the lead but Attleboro tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. McMahon singled, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice fly from Camden Fitzpatrick and hustled home on a passed ball to make it 1-1. McMahon was the catalyst for a four-run eighth inning for Attleboro. After leading off with a single, McMahon stole second and then stole third when Alvaro Espinal drew a walk. Fitzpatrick delivered an RBI single to bring McMahon home, and Lorenzo Wilson had a two-run double to push the lead to 4-1. Wilson came home to score on a sac fly from Troy Van Vliet. Eoin Kelleher started and went four innings giving up one run while Max Amaral pitched four shut out innings in relief to pick up his fourth win of the season.

Sharon, 10 @ Canton, 13 – FinalCanton’s offense came alive for 17 hits, resulting in 13 runs and a win over visiting Sharon. Nate Quan set the table for the Bulldogs, going 5-for-5 with four runs and an RBI from the leadoff spot. Canton scored three runs in each the first two innings and then plated five in the third inning. Sharon scored six runs in the sixth inning to make it a three-run game. Steven Burbank (three runs, three RBI), Sawyer Julier-Albert (two runs, two RBI), Matt Connolly (RBI), and Mike Konzal (two runs, RBI) each had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs. Sharon’s Justin Nault went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run, and Justin Brown (run, RBI), Hank Ward (two RBI, run), and Max LeBlanc (run) each had two hits for the Eagles.

Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalFoxboro’s Joe Cavaleri had a strong day on the mound, limiting the Black Knights to just five hits in a complete game effort. Cavaleri allowed one run in the third inning, finishing with one walk and four strikeouts. After Stoughton took the lead in the third, Foxboro responded with a pair of runs in each the fourth and fifth innings, tacking on an insurance run in the seventh. Cavaleri led the charge offensively with three hits and two runs scored while Kyle McGinnis (two RBI) and James Kaeser (RBI) each had two hits for the Warriors. Stoughton junior George Currier had two hits while Jacob Kaplan drove in Zak Paquette with a sacrifice fly.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 8 – FinalFranklin junior Liam Dailey tossed a complete game shutout and senior Jake Macchi uncorked a grand slam as the Panthers swept the season series against the Tigers, clinching at least a share of the Kelley-Rex division title with the win. Dailey needed just 63 pitches, allowing three hits with no walks, striking out four in an efficient performance. Macchi finished with six RBI total, Alex Haba also had an RBI and a run scored, Jack Nally scored twice, Scott Elliott had a hit and two runs scored, and Joe Lizotte and Brennan Rivera each scored once.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 15 – FinalMansfield built a 3-1 lead over the first three innings but then exploded for seven runs in the fourth and added five more in the fifth to pull away with a big win over visiting Oliver Ames. Juniors John Carney and Chris Jenkins combined for a one-hitter with no walks allowed. Nick Dumouchel was the lone Hornet with multiple hits, recording six RBI on two hits for Mansfield, which totaled nine hits as a team. Kyle Moran (run) drove in two runs while Carney, Connor Fitzpatrick, and Michael DeBolt each drove in one run. Carney struck out eight in five scoreless with one hit allowed (and one hit batter) while Jenkins tossed two scoreless innings.

Milford, 6 @ North Attleboro, 8 – FinalNorth Attleboro seniors Brendan McHugh and Todd Robinson each hit a home run as the Rocketeers knocked off visiting Milford for a season sweep of the Hawks. After trading runs in the first inning, North Attleboro had its biggest inning with four runs in the second. After an RBI double from Kyle Bolger (three hits), McHugh launched a three-run home run to give the Hawks a 5-1 lead. An inning later, Robinson (two hits) smashed a two-out solo shot to extend the advantage to 6-1. The Hawks battled back with two runs in the fourth and again in the fifth to make it a one-run game at 6-5. But Nick Raneri and Jake Palmer each drove a run in in the sixth inning to give the Rocketeers the cushion they needed. Sophomore Dennis Colleran got the win on the mound while senior Matt Seavey earned the save. Sophomore Jared Penta added three hits and two runs scored.




Softball
King Philip, 13 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Sharon, 1 @ Canton, 13 – Final (6 Inn.)Caroline Hughes went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in a run, while Steph Trendell went 2-for-3 and brought in three runs to power the Bulldogs to a division win. Taylor Reynolds helped break the game open for Canton with a two-run double. Sophia Santos earned her fourth win of the season, allowing one run and striking out three. Ally Chin and Katy Lynch both went 3-for-4 in the win.

Stoughton, 13 @ Foxboro, 5 – FinalStoughton jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then scored six unanswered after the Warriors cut the deficit to two with a five-run third inning. Freshman Sydney Menz paced the Black Knights with three hits (two singles, triple, RBI), Nikki Coppola also had a triple, a single, and an RBI, and sophomore Nicole Baker had a single, a double, and drove in two runs. Brianna Ferrandiz (two RBI), Sarah McGrath (two RBI), Melody Casna (RBI) and Lexi Baptista each had two hits for Stoughton. Foxboro scored all five of its runs in the third with Maria Dunn hitting a triple and Allie Willis driving in two runs. Baker earned her 11th win of the season, scattering six hits, one walk, and striking out six.

Franklin, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Mansfield, 8 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – FinalMansfield rallied in the final three innings to pull out a road win that clinches a playoff berth for the Hornets. OA scored all five of its runs in the third inning, but Sarah Cahill (10 strikeouts) settled down to hold the Tigers off the board for the final four innings and the Hornets offense got going. In the third, Emma Varella squeezed in Colleen Larson (double) and both Katie Abreu and Taylor Lake launched two-run home runs for the Tigers, who played terrific defense. In the fifth, Mansfield rallied to tie the game. Caty DeMassi and Mary Muldoon both had two-RBI singles in the frame. In the sixth, the Hornets grabbed the lead. Mady Bendanillo and DeMassi singled and both scored on a Muldoon double. Cahill came into score an insurance run in the seventh when she scored from first on a double by Kara Bendanillo. Mansfield had 15 hits as a team, including a 3-for-4 day for Megan Letendre.

North Attleboro, 17 @ Milford, 0 – Final (6 Inn.)Bella Erti struck out 10 in six innings and allowed only five hits to lead North to a road win. Mandi Hanewich had three hits, three runs scored, and three RBI for the Rocketeers. Olivia Capobianco, Abby Gallagher (four RBI), and Alex Moulson all had two hits for North. Katy Daby drove in one with a sac fly and Emma Bailey drove in two in the win.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 2 @ Canton, 13 – FinalCanton raced out to an 8-0 lead by halftime and never looked back in a win over visiting Attleboro on Senior Night. Seniors Griffin Roach (three goals, two assists), Dan Cohen (two goals, assist), Matt Martin, and Brendan Albert each scored for the Bulldogs while George Kent and Sam Walsh anchored the defense. Junior Tommy Vaughan added three goals and three assists.

Foxboro, 5 @ Franklin, 12 – FinalFranklin used a strong performance to pick up a convincing win over visiting Foxboro. The Panthers took a 9-1 lead into the fourth quarter to win the Kelley-Rex division title outright. Jake Davis scored four goals and had two assists, Matt Lazzaro scored a hat trick and had two helpers and Jacob Alexander (14-for-21 faceoffs) scored twice with one assist. Foxboro’s Brendan Tully and Shayne Kerrigan each scored twice while Aidan Stapleton found the back of the net once. Freshman Matt Tully made 12 saves for Foxboro.

King Philip, 18 @ Milford, 6 – Final

Mansfield, 7 @ North Attleboro, 10 – FinalMansfield had a terrific first half, building a 4-2 lead at halftime but North Attleboro scored eight second half goals and limited the Hornets to just three to get the win. Connor Quirk led Mansfield with four goals and two assists while Aidan Sacco, Mike Reed, and Jake DiSangro each scored once.

Sharon, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 13 – FinalTrailing 9-6, Oliver Ames scored the final seven goals of the game to earn a comeback win over the visiting Eagles. Colin Bourne had three timely goals for the Tigers while Shane Kilkelly (three goals, one assist) and Sam Stevens (two goals, two assists) each had four points. Remi Creighton added a pair of goals and an assist and Frankie Ireland chipped in with three helpers for OA.

Girls Lacrosse
Canton, 20 @ Attleboro, 10 – Final

Franklin, 14 @ Foxboro, 10 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

North Attleboro, 19 @ Mansfield, 9 – FinalThe Rocketeers kept their playoff hopes alive with a big win on the road. Katie Lindstrom scored seven goals and assisted on two others to lead North and Lexi Sinacola added a pair of goals and five helpers. Lindsay Spratt had a hat trick, and Maggie O’Brien and Siobhan Weir (assist) both scored twice, while Regan Fein (assist), Lily Cameron (assist), and Taylor McMath all scored once in the win. Faith Graveline preserved the win for Big Red with 15 saves.

Oliver Ames, 6 @ Sharon, 14 – FinalJenna Goldstein (five goals) and Emma Eberhardt (four goals and an assist) combined for nine goals and 10 points to lead the Eagles to another league win. Mia Lappen added three goals and an assist, Maxine Gordon had a goal and two helpers, and Bridget McManus scored once and assisted on another in the victory.

Milford, 3 @ King Philip, 17 – FinalThe Warriors had 11 different goal scorers to earn their 10th win of the season and clinch second place in the Kelley-Rex division. Caroline Klim and Mackenzie Mazur both scored hat tricks and Klim added an assist as well. Olivia Tormey and Ali Wilson both scored twice, while Victoria Tormey, Shayla Weitzman, Emma Izydorczak, Jess Sullivan, Ava Tormey, Dana Truini, and Lily Brown each scored once.




Boys Tennis
King Philip, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalKing Philip won twice at singles and once in doubles, losing just two games between the three matches in a win over Attleboro. Marco DiStefano (first singles) and Nick Putney (second) each won 6-0, 6-1 while the team of Nate Ihley and Jack Cannon didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles. Attleboro’s Ryan Gordon won 6-3, 7-5 at third singles while the team of Tyler Evans and Ryan Solari picked up a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) win at second doubles.

Sharon, 5 @ Canton, 0 – FinalSharon went on the road and earned a sweep, winning all five matches in straight sets to beat Canton. Senior Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles, junior Alberto Olivei picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles, and freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Sharon’s first doubles team of senior Max Brody and freshman Max Chen won 6-1, 6-1 while Alex Aspel and Deyan Kassev teamed up for a 6-1, 6-4 win at second doubles.

Stoughton, 2 @ Foxboro, 3 – FinalFoxboro swept doubles play and got another win at third singles to squeak by visiting Stoughton. Sean McAvoy and Justin Neale earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles while Noah Hicks and Bo Canfield secured a 6-2, 6-1 win at second doubles. Senior Brian Gardner picked up the third point with a 6-2, 6-2 win at third singles. Stoughton sophomore Waseem Sablon won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and senior Erik Anderson prevailed 6-4, 6-2 at second singles.

Franklin, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalThe Panthers won all five matches in straight sets to get the sweep, picking up their 11th victory of the season. Liam Marr won 6-2, 6-0 at first singles, Rohan Herur earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at second singles, and Sameen Shaik emerged from third singles with a 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 decision. The team of Vayshnav Malhotra and Lucas Gulick won 6-3, 6-0 at first doubles while Saket Gandham paired up with Shoumik Sompally for a 6-0, 6-2 win at second doubles.

Milford, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – FinalThe Rocketeers dropped just one game total in three singles matches and four in the two doubles matches in a win over visiting Milford. Jonah Manso won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles while Alex Pfeffer (second) and Sam Gallagher (third) both won 6-0, 6-0. North’s first doubles team of Tomas Bentley and Vikram Senthilakumaran secured a 6-2, 6-0 win while Saketh Uppuluri and Justin Strom walked away with a 6-1, 6-1 decision at second doubles.

Mansfield, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalMansfield had impressive performances in all four matches, winning a fifth by default. Luke Nickerson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles while Luke Devine served up a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles. The team of Sam Donellan and Jonah Fine won 6-0, 6-2 while Nikhil Lankipalle and Diwakar Sandhu teamed up for a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalKing Philip won all three singles matches in straight sets on its way to a victory over Attleboro. Erin Regnier picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at first singles, Katarina Schneider added a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles, and Mia Valencia didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Grace Ely and Meghan Powers emerged with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 win at first doubles while Laura Davenport and Katie Welch won 6-4, 6-2 at second doubles.

Canton, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalSharon picked up three wins in singles action, all in straight sets, and added another point at first doubles to knock off the visiting Bulldogs. Nupur Shukla won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles, Valeria Barajas picked up a 6-4, 6-4 win at second singles, and Charlie Martinez earned a 6-1, 6-1 decision at third singles. The team of Sachi Bhasin and Lauren Glass dropped just one game at first doubles, winning 6-1, 6-0. Canton’s Rose Hazam and Nyah Claiborne picked up a 6-4, 6-0 win at second doubles.

Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Taunton, 4 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalThe Tigers won in straight sets in all three singles wins as well as the point from first doubles to pick up a victory on the road. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, McKenzie Lucie secured a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Brianna Fevrier and Kayla Parrett picked up a 6-4, 6-2 decision at first doubles. Franklin’s Ashvika Boopathy and Vaquri Kantheri earned a 6-2, 4-6, 12-10 win at second doubles.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Milford, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro won in straight sets in its four victories, picking up a win on the road at Milford. Tara Nair won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles and Olivia Wills picked up a 6-4, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Sam Martino and Haley Strom earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at first doubles while North Attleboro’s second doubles pairing of Jayli Carmichael and Liana Nichols won 6-0, 6-3. Milford’s Juliana France emerged with a 6-0, 4-6, 10-7 win at second singles.

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalMansfield punched its ticket to the state tournament with a 3-2 win over visiting Oliver Ames. The Hornets’ first doubles team of Hannah Podolske and Sam Sternburg prevailed 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to secure the win for Mansfield. Lizzy Elsner added a 6-1, 6-4 win at first singles and Aryana Khosravani secured a 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles. Oliver Ames’ Maura Kiernan won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles and the team of Kate McCormick and Sarah Morley emerged 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 at second doubles.

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 3 @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 2 – FinalTaunton inched within one win of a state tournament berth, battling to a 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 21-25, 16-14) win on the road over Dighton-Rehoboth. Jason Khang had a strong game defensively with 21 digs and Edward Paiva dished out 33 assists. Tyler Stewart paced the offense with 16 kills and five blocks while Fabio Goncalves and Alex Tavares each put down 13 kills and had two blocks.

Eagles Honor Cronin With Comeback Victory

Sharon boys basketball
Sharon junior Andrew Burton makes a move against a Norwood defender in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
SHARON, Mass. – Before Sunday’s matinee meeting between Sharon boys basketball and Norwood, the Eagles honored former longtime coach Basil Cronin, who passed away last year.

Cronin coached basketball at Sharon High for 37 years, including a 17-year stint as varsity head coach from 1983 to 1999. The Eagles won four league titles in the span and climbed to the top of the mountain in 1991 with a Division 2 State Championship.

While this year’s Sharon squad continues to grow, it honored Basil the best it could, orchestrating a gritty come-from-behind 70-66 win over the visiting Mustangs.

“That was the goal, we wanted to get a win after recognizing Coach Cronin,” said current Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “Our freshmen coach Larry Yaffe, who played here for Basil, did such a great job setting everything up. We had a lot of alumni here, Mrs. Cronin was here, so getting a win was really a cherry on top of a great afternoon.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Eagles trailed after both the first and third quarters, faced a seven-point deficit early in the fourth, and were behind with under 30 seconds left. Sharon outscored the Mustangs 13-3 over the final three minutes, and 6-1 the final minute, to secure the victory.

Norwood led for the majority of the fourth quarter, answering anytime the Eagles made a bucket to try and get back in the game. With Sharon trailing 63-57, junior Andrew Burton (13 points, eight rebounds) sliced through the defense for a layup. The Eagles got a key stop and Andrew Strong (13 points) converted a pair of free throws to get Sharon within two.

The Mustangs had two chances to extend the lead but couldn’t convert against Sharon’s defense, and Burton hauled in a big defensive rebound and converted on the other end with another strong take to tie it at 63-63 with 1:23 to go.

Sharon briefly took the lead when Burton sank a free throw, but Norwood cashed in on a foul away from the basket, hitting both free throws to retake a 65-64 lead with a minute to go. The Eagles missed on the ensuing possession and even sent Norwood to the line, but the Mustangs only hit one of two free throws.

Ferguson put in a lineup of shooters for the ensuing possession, and the spread offense worked out. The Eagles moved the ball around the court with a lot of off ball movement, the rock ending up in the hands of Ben Kaplan (11 points) in the corner. The senior didn’t hesitate and drained a three to put Sharon up 67-66 with just 22 seconds left.

“It was a three or we’d get someone going downhill for a layup,” Ferguson said. “With the guys we had one the court, we’re able to spread the floor and didn’t have a post presence. We wanted to spread them out and a senior made a big play on a big shot. Aidan is our best shooter but we have enough trust in all the guys on the floor to make that shot.”

Sharon forced a travel on Norwood’s ensuing possession and Aidan Kane (10 points) pushed the lead to two with a free throw. The Mustangs were whistled for an illegal screen on their next possession and Burton iced the game with a pair of free throws in the final seconds.

Norwood had five offensive rebounds in the first quarter and capitalized on the second chances to put together an 11-4 run. Sharon sophomore Kiran Chandrasekaran drained a three in the final seconds to pull the Eagles within four, down 16-12 at the end of one.

Sharon kicked it into gear in the second quarter, opening the frame with a 13-0 run to take the lead. Strong set the tone with a steal and traditional three-point play on the first play of the quarter. Alec Filipkowski added a three pointer, sophomore Hank Ward (eight points, four rebounds) converted a putback, Kaplan got a kind bounce on a corner three and then converted after a Norwood turnover for a 25-16 advantage.

The Eagles led 30-25 at the halftime break.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the third, the Mustangs opened with an 8-2 run to take the lead before Burton scored to take it right back. A Norwood three was answered by a bucket from Chandrasekaran off a feed from freshman John Baez. Senior Alex Kaufmann put the Eagles ahead 42-41 with a traditional three-point play, but the Mustangs closed the quarter with an 8-4 run to seize a 50-45 advantage after three.

“It felt similar to the Walpole game but this time we had to fight back,” Ferguson said. “It shows a lot about these guys, especially the younger guys on the floor for some of those runs. It shows they’re going to be able to step into this spot down the road. And we had a couple of seniors made some big plays for us. It’s a good mix of kids and our younger kids are learning from our seniors. Now we have to take that next step.”

Sharon boys basketball (2-15 overall) will try to make it two in a row when it hosts Foxboro on Tuesday at 6:30.