#1 Foxboro, 45 vs. #16 Scituate, 37 – Final – Lily Sykes led the way for Foxboro with 20 points and Ashley Sampson added 16 for the Warriors. Foxboro will face No. 8 Hingham in the Div. 2 South quarterfinal on Saturday, 3/4 at 2 p.m.
#4 North Attleboro, 44 vs. #13 Madison Park, 17 – Final – Caroline Collard scored 12 points to lead the Rocketeers. North will face No. 5 Duxbury on Saturday, 3/4 at 6 p.m. in the Div. 2 South quarterfinal.
#9 Oliver Ames, 38 @ #8 Hingham, 45 – Final – Oliver Ames held a lead into the fourth quarter but Hingham was able to complete the comeback. Hannah Carroll had a career-high 15 points while Kayla Raymond added 12 points and Katie Flynn had 13 rebounds.
Franklin, 73 @ Attleboro, 65 – Final – Franklin built a 10-point lead heading into the final quarter and held off the Bombardiers to earn the win. Attleboro cut the deficit to five on two separate occasions, including with just under a minute to play but the Panthers finished the game strong. Connor Peterson had 16 points while Josh Macchi and Paul Mahon each chipped in with 14 points for the Panthers.
Foxboro, 51 @ Canton, 44 – Final – It was a close contest throughout between the two Davenport rivals, with Canton seizing a 14-10 lead after one and Foxboro 26-23 at half and 34-33 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to one with less than a minute to play but Foxboro senior Andrew Block drained a three to put the Warriors ahead for good. Block scored eight of his 11 points in the final quarter while Joe Morrison scored 13 points, Mark Clagg had nine points and both Brandon Borde and Jamaine Few each had eight points. Canton sophomore Devin Foster had 13 points and junior Tony Harris added 10 points.
Mansfield, 56 @ King Philip, 53 – Final – Mansfield senior Sam Goldberg (six reobunds) scored 17 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, helping offset a poor shooting night by the Hornets to clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title. Mansfield shot just 3-23 from three point range with only Max Boen (11 points) connecting from deep. Goldberg scored 11 points in the third quarter to give Mansfield a 43-36 lead heading into the fourth. The senior scored six of the team’s 13 points in the final quarter. Evan Christo added 11 rebounds for the Hornets.
Sharon, 81 @ Stoughton, 72 – Final – Sharon junior Malik Lorquet had a monster night for the Eagles, tying a career-high with 17 points while hauling in 13 rebounds and adding four steals and three blocks. Senior Jimmy Fitzhenry had a team-high 18 points while classmate Danny Emerman finished with 12 points. Stoughton junior Cam Andrews scored a game-high 24 points.
Attleboro, 52 @ Franklin, 59 – Final (OT) – Franklin rallied late in the game to force overtime and outscored Attleboro 16-9 in the extra period. Carli Koffinke buried a pair of threes (her only two of the game) and Bea Bondhus scored five points in OT to lead the Panthers, after the duo combined for only one point in regulation. Freshman Ali Brigham was the game’s top scorer, leading the Panthers with 21 points, and classmate Megan O’Connell added nine points in the win. Julia Strachan led the Bombardiers with 18 points and Sarah Deyo had nine.
Canton, 28 @ Foxboro, 69 – Final – After scoring 31 on Monday night, Ashley Sampson scored a team-high 17 on Tuesday to ensure that Foxboro will go into the final league game in at least a tie for first place in the division. Kristen Bortolotti scored 16 points and Riley Collins had 11 for the Warriors.
King Philip, 33 @ Mansfield, 52 – Final – Junior Ann Maher paced the Hornets with a game-high 14 points. Sophomore Emily Vigeant chipped in with six points and Jen Peel added 12 assists for Mansfield, which had 11 players score in the game. Julia Leroux and Christina Hathaway each scored seven points apiece for the Warriors.
Milford, 55 @ Hopedale, 37 – Final – With the victory, Milford booked a place in the state tournament for the first time since 2012.
Taunton, 20 @ Oliver Ames, 54 – Final – Oliver Ames had another impressive defensive effort while junior Kayla Raymond scored a game-high 11 points. Niyera Mitchell and Hannah Carroll each had nine points for OA.
Stoughton, 59 @ Sharon, 45 – Final – Stoughton was led by a pair of freshmen against the Eagles. Aliyah Wright scored a team-high 17 points, while Shyanne Trinh added 15 points for the Black Knights.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Bellingham, 2 – Final – Stoughton senior Jon Lessa netted a hat trick to pace the Black Knights past Bellingham. Brendan Campbell and Josh Hough also found the back of the net for the Knights.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Cat Luciano scored a hat trick for the Warriors and Madison Haughey scored the fourth.
Today’s games are listed below. We will update this post with any changes based on the information we receive.
Attleboro, 67 @ Oliver Ames, 61 – Final – Oliver Ames made a push in the second half with 24 points in the third quarter, and took a 53-46 lead, but the Bombardiers battled back to get the win an earn a postseason berth. Nate Douglas scored a career-high 16 points while Jake Dunkley also added 16 points for the Bombardiers. Lucas Boucicaut added 13 points in the win. Oliver Ames senior Nick Welch had a game-high 20 points while Jack Spillane and Carter Evin each had 13 points and Dylan Mahoney added 11 points.
Milford, 48 @ Foxboro, 55 – Final – Milford took an 11-10 lead after the first quarter but it Foxboro seized control in the second quarter and never looked back. The Warriors took a 29-25 lead by halftime but then relied on a late surge in the third quarter to create separation. Andrew Block dropped a career-high 20 points, including two threes late in the third. Mark Clagg also hit a three in the third to help the Warriors get the separation. Joe Morrison added 12 points and Jamaine Few chipped in with 11 points. Milford’s Anthony Arcudi had a team-high 17 points while Zack Tamagni and Kayden Kelley each had 10 points.
King Philip, 63 @ Taunton, 64 – Final – Taunton freshman Dante Law hit a three pointer at the buzzer to lift the Tigers over the Warriors. Law (18 points) took a pass from sophomore Luis Vendrell (13 points), who drove the lane before kicking it out to Law. Vendrell had the tying bucket for the Tigers, converting an outlet pass from Tommy MacLean (12 points) to knot the game with 12 seconds to play. KP’s Seth Sullivan scored a pair of free throws to put the Warriors ahead but Law’s buzzer beater.
North Attleboro, 66 @ Stoughton, 56 – Final – North Attleboro had its two leading scorers come alive in the final quarter. Brent Doherty (six rebounds) scored 11 of his 21 points and Jonny Friberg (10 rebounds) netted eight of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Rocketeers qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2011. North Attleboro took a 43-42 lead into the final quarter but outscored the Black Knights 23-14 in the frame. Senior Kyle McCarthy (10 rebounds) helped carry Big Red in the middle quarters, totaling 10 of his 12 points between the second and third quarters. Stoughton’s Cam Gomes had a team-high 17 points while Matt Valle added 14 points and Ryan Sullivan finished with 10 points.
Oliver Ames, 55 @ Attleboro, 50 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Kayla Raymond scored 20 of her career-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Tigers to a season sweep of the Bombardiers. Oliver Ames held a 25-19 advantage at half but Attleboro took a slim lead early in the fourth quarter. But Oliver Ames was able to battle back to earn the win. Raymond also had 10 rebounds while Hannah Carroll added 12 points and Niyera Mitchell registered 12 rebounds. “It was a great defensive effort,” said OA head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook.
Foxboro, 54 @ Milford, 33 – Final – Ashley Sampson led the way for the Warriors with 19 points and Lily Sykes added 12 for Foxboro, which remained in a first place tie with North Attleboro.
Franklin, 37 @ Mansfield, 59 – Final – The Hornets sealed the outright Kelley-Rex division title with the victory. It is the third league title in program history and first time that the Hornets have won back-to-back championships. Meg Hill scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Mansfield, while Jen Peel scored 18 points and had six assists and Ann Maher scored 11 points. Franklin was led by freshman Ali Brigham’s 11 points and also got nine points from senior Carli Koffinke.
Taunton, 30 @ King Philip, 54 – Final – KP was led by sophomore Julia Leroux, who finished with 18 points, and classmate Shannon O’Connor, who tallied 11 points. Jess Regan was the top scorer for the Tigers with nine points.
Stoughton, 25 @ North Attleboro, 48 – Final – Caroline Collard had 13 points to lead the Rocketeers, who stay in a first place tie with Foxboro with the win. Val Whalen was the top scorer for Stoughton with 11 points.
Attleboro @ State Championships (@ Newton North) – Attleboro placed fifth overall with a score of 142.95.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Beginning the season with a relatively young and inexperienced lineup, Franklin opened with six straight losses. Given time to figure out the varsity level, the kids have turned out to be alright after all.
All 11 of the players on the Franklin roster saw time on Friday night in the first game of a doubleheader at the William F. Nixon Gym and nine of those players got on the scoresheet, as the Panthers showed off their depth to beat Oliver Ames 59-48. It was the fifth straight win and sixth in the last eight games for Franklin, which is now .500 in the league and four wins from booking a playoff spot.
“It’s a tremendous difference,” said Franklin coach John Leighton about the team’s confidence over the past few weeks compared to the start of the season. “You start 0-6 with a young team then they’re going to doubt themselves. They’re going to question things. I’m so impressed by every member of the team picking each other up and that’s lifted the confidence.”
In the first meeting with the Tigers, Franklin allowed Oliver Ames to pull away late for a double digit win. On Friday, it was the Panthers that put together a strong final quarter to turn a five-point lead into an 11-point win.
Franklin scored 17 points in the fourth, 12 of those coming at the free throw line. The Panthers shot 12-of-16 from the charity stripe and all but three of its final 14 points came from the line.
Shannon Gray, who had only three points entering the final quarter, led the way by making 5-of-6 free throws, while freshman Ali Brigham (10 points, 10 rebounds) scored on a putback and senior Carli Koffinke (team-high 13 points) knocked down one of her four three-pointers to help seal the victory.
“In the fourth quarter, Shannon Gray, who had barely scored, was attacking the rim and drawing fouls and that’s what we needed,” said Leighton. “Early it was Ali dominating and Carli scoring…I love to have that balance.”
OA was shorthanded on Friday with sophomore guard Sadie Homer sidelined with a knee injury, but the Tigers came out strong and led 14-13 after one. Senior Hannah Carroll got off to a strong start with five of her 12 points in the quarter, both baskets off assists by Kayla Raymond, who added four of her team-high 15 in the first.
Koffinke kept the Panthers in it early, burying a pair of threes off assists from Bea Bondhus and Grace McDermott. Leighton said of Koffinke, “She’s worked so hard at her shot and her game. You can see that she’s worked and if she gets a couple inches then she’s going to take it and really it’s a weapon for us.”
The defense picked up in the second for Franklin, which held OA to just eight points and grabbed a six-point halftime edge. Gray (eight points) started the second with a three off the first of Izzy Faught’s three assists in the quarter. Grace Sameski knocked one down to extend the lead and then Kate Morse (10 points, five rebounds, four assists) hit another. Carroll hit a pair from beyond the arc to keep OA hanging around.
The Panthers extended the lead to as many as 10 points in the third with Morse again providing big plays. She buried an elbow jumper and then a big three that made it 40-30.
“Cool as a cucumber,” said Leighton about Morse. “Kate’s a great three-sport athlete, but she’s really come on as a basketball player this year and I’m thrilled to have her another season.”
Brigham chipped in with four in the quarter and Koffinke knocked down another three, but Franklin could not put away the Tigers. OA battled back behind senior point guard Abby Reardon, who scored seven of her nine points in the third and assisted on a Katie Flynn transition layup.
“We’ve lost several games in this scenario where we couldn’t close out,” said Leighton. “We talked about playing more of a full game. Good possessions, hold them to one shot, make your free throws, then you can play with the lead and it’s hard to beat.”
The Panthers followed that formula down the stretch and pulled out the win. It was a total team effort, which is what Leighton thinks defines this year’s team.
He explained, “One way we’ve improved over the course of the year is exactly that. We have 11 girls, they all play and the idea is to get the open girl to take the shot and really work to make sure it’s a good shot. We really worked to move the ball a lot better the last few games.”
Franklin (6-8, 6-6) will try to keep its win streak alive on Monday with a trip to Taunton. Oliver Ames (9-5, 8-4) will look to get back on track, and clinch a tournament spot, when the Tigers travel to King Philip.
The Tigers grabbed a rebound and had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but a turnover led to an and-one and on the next possession the ball swung from Lauren Flahive out to junior Lily Sykes, who drilled the fourth of her five threes on the night to push the lead back to 10 heading into the fourth.
Sykes finished with a game-high 19 points and hit half of Foxboro’s 10 three-pointers, as the Warriors pulled away in the fourth for a 51-35 victory over OA that moves the hosts within a game of division-leading North Attleboro.
“She’s another one who’s been stepping up for us pretty consistently,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs of Sykes. “When the pressure is on Ashley [Sampson], [Lily] is able to step up and take those shots. That’s huge for us and it opens up things for Ashley too.”
While OA did not struggle offensively to the same level as last week’s loss to Mansfield (the Tigers scored more in the first half on Thursday then they did in the entire game against the Hornets), the Foxboro full-court press and aggressive half-court defense had the Tigers off-balance.
Kayla Raymond (11 points, six rebounds) started the game with a three and Hannah Carroll knocked one down for a 6-3 lead, but the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to a lead they would never relinquish. Kristen Bortolotti (nine points) buried one of her three shots from beyond the arc to tie it, Sampson fed Sykes for her second from outside, and then Sampson (13 points, 10 rebounds) scored off a steal.
Niyera Mitchell hit a jumper and Raymond scored on a rebound putback to cut the lead to four after one, but again Foxboro put together a 10-0 run to break the game open. Sykes knocked down another three, scored on a reverse, and Bortolotti buried a three off a feed from Grace Tamulionis.
Meanwhile, the OA offense was stagnating. Sadie Homer (seven points) hit a three and Raymond got out on the break for a layup to get back into the game but the Tigers struggled to find consistent looks. Riley Collins closed out the half with a corner three to put the Warriors ahead 27-18 at halftime.
“We just couldn’t score,” said Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We made bad decisions and we just couldn’t score. We need to figure this out because we didn’t rebound…Our bread and butter is getting out to run and if you’re not willing to rebound then it’s hard to run.”
The Warriors are regularly out-rebounded and the Tigers had a significant edge in size, but Foxboro was holding its own on the boards and at times dominating the glass. Flahive came off the bench and grabbed eight boards, Tamulionis and Sykes each snagged six, and Sampson grabbed 10.
“Because we don’t have the height,” Downs explained, “we need to work our butts off inside the paint. Once we start facing the taller teams, the stronger teams, that’s going to be huge for us because we can run the ball, we play great defense but if we don’t rebound then we can’t get our offensive game going.”
Bortolotti started the second half with another three and Collins answered an Abby Reardon jumper with an offensive rebound basket. Trailing by 11 the Tigers finally started to click. Mitchell kicked out a pass to Carroll (six points) for a three and then fed Brenna Burkett for a layup before snatching an offensive rebound and going up strong for a basket.
Just when it seemed like the game might be turning towards OA, a turnover handed the ball to Sampson for a layup plus the foul. Foxboro then broke quickly off a rebound and the ball was kicked out to Sykes, who stole any momentum that the Tigers may have built with another long-range shot.
“We got it close, down to four, and then we fell asleep,” said Clement-Holbrook. “It’s been this problem all season long in terms of playing four consistent quarters and it’s just….[shrugs].”
Downs was proud of her team for withstanding the run and turning it back around. She said, “They righted the ship without me having to call a timeout. They were able to settle themselves down on the court, which is something we didn’t do against North Attleboro (in a 53-47 loss).
“Tonight, they settled themselves down and it wasn’t crazy Coach Downs over here. They were able to just relax a little bit and keep their composure.”
Foxboro extended the run to 13-0 with the first seven points of the fourth quarter to effectively put the game away. Sykes scored five more in the run, picking up the scoring for Sampson who was being pressured by Homer.
“That’s going to happen because you’re helping off of someone and they have the game of the century,” said Clement-Holbrook of Sykes. She added, “Sadie did a great job on [Ashley]. If we could have everyone playing with that kind of heart and soul then things would be different.”
Foxboro (8-2, 7-2) will play at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on Sunday against Milford, while Oliver Ames (8-4, 7-3), which is now 1-1/2 games behind Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex, will be off until Tuesday against Canton.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – When Oliver Ames head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook walked out of the locker room after delivering her postgame message to the team, she did not even wait until the question had been asked before answering, “Never…never…never.”
After more than 40 years at the helm of the Tigers, a career that has encompassed more than 650 wins, Clement-Holbrook admitted that she had never had a team go without a made field goal for an entire half. That was, at least, until Friday night at the Albertini Gym against division leading Mansfield.
Despite coming into the game having scored 60 points in three of its last four games, OA came out ice cold against the Hornets, was held scoreless in the first quarter, shot 0-19 from the field in the first half, and managed only 17 points for the game (34 below its season average). Clement-Holbrook said, “Everything was tentative. We didn’t go to our strengths.”
Although the Tigers had historic struggles on the offensive end, Mansfield was hardly firing on all cylinders. The Hornets reached double-digits in a quarter just once, scored only four points in the fourth quarter and shot 4-16 from the free throw line (all in the first half). However, it was enough for Mansfield to pull out a 32-17 victory and take control of its own destiny in the race for the league title.
“It’s hard to describe,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding with a shake of his head. “We had our moments where we executed and scored but never on a continuous basis. As inconsistent as we were, they just had a nightmare time shooting the ball.”
He added, “This was one of the weirdest ‘big games’ I’ve ever been a part of. It felt like two teams battling for last place instead of battling for first. But, if you told me at the beginning of the season that we’d be in first place after the first eight [games] I would’ve taken it and run.”
Mansfield started the game by going inside to 6-foot-3 junior center Meg Hill (18 points, 17 rebounds). Jen Peel (five points, five assists) flipped a pass to Hill for a layup and sophomore Maggie Danehy got Hill a good look with a pass to the left block. Hill added a couple of free throws, but the Hornets had a long stretch without scoring until Ann Maher knocked down a three off a Steph Kemp assist.
That bucket gave Mansfield a 9-0 lead heading to the second. Mady Bendanillo set up Hill for a fast break basket to start the quarter and OA finally got on the board with a pair of free throws by Abby Reardon (team-high six points, all from the line) with 5:39 left in the half.
The Tigers would get only one more point before the break, while the Hornets shot 2-14 from the line in the second and needed a scoring burst at the end of the second, including three points from Erin Daniel and a drive from Peel to get separation.
“I think they got apprehensive when their shots weren’t falling and because of that we did not defend,” said Clement-Holbrook. “I mean, Hill got everything and anything that she wanted and that was certainly not part of the game plan.”
Redding noted, “Both teams are really athletic, we both know what we want to do, so I think defense wins the day. We’re fortunate we had just enough offense to win it.”
The Hornets talked about the free throws at halftime and how OA was one good run from getting back into the game. Mansfield started the third quarter strongly and again it was Hill that the offense ran through. Hill scored six of the first eight points of the third and Peel buried a three to extend the lead to 19.
“At times we did a good job getting it in and at times we were a little low,” said Redding of running the Mansfield offense through Hill. “The other thing is when all the attention’s on her, it does open other people for drives and shots.”
Niyera Mitchell knocked down a jumper for the Tigers’ first made field goal and she assisted on a basket for Kayla Raymond (five points, 10 rebounds). Hannah Carroll knocked down a three for her only points of the night that cut the lead to as little as 13 at 30-17 in the fourth quarter.
“I think if we had played the first half like we played the second half, I think we probably would have been a lot closer,” admitted Clement-Holbrook.
Redding called timeout knowing that his team needed a basket and Peel was able to flick a no-look pass over the defense to Hill for another layup. It was the final point for either team.
Mansfield has now beaten title rivals Attleboro and OA in the past two weeks and has a one-game lead over both. Defense has been the calling card for the Hornets, who have held four of the top six scorers in the league (Ashley Sampson, Sarah Deyo, Julia Strachan, and Raymond) well below their season averages and are allowing a league-best 37.0 points per game.
“We’re doing what it takes to win tough games and we’ll take it at this point,” said Redding.
Clement-Holbrook is hoping for a response from the Tigers in their next game. She said, “They’ve got to be able to rise above this now and come back on Tuesday and be ready to roll.
She added, “It wasn’t the team that I was hoping would show up today and I hope they learn their lesson from this…We have to hold each other accountable.”
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Much of the attention on Oliver Ames this season will be centered on junior forward Kayla Raymond, and rightfully so, but the Tigers are going to need other players to step up if they want to repeat last season’s run to the Div. 2 South title.
On Friday night, in the opener of a Coaches vs. Cancer doubleheader, those other players made the plays that the Tigers needed to pull out a divisional road win against Franklin. While Raymond was once again the star with a game-high 22 points and 14 rebounds, OA had five other players score at least six points.
“That’s ultimately what we have to do,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “Everyone is going to be keying on Kayla and that’s what they’re going to be focused on doing and we need other people who can step up and contribute and take some of the pressure off.”
In the opening quarter OA needed only one player, as Raymond scored eight of the Tigers’ nine points in the first and the Panthers were held scoreless for the opening 6:40 of the game.
“She didn’t force anything, but the second you go one-on-one…she’s into the offense immediately,” said Franklin coach John Leighton about Raymond. “She’s a junior, she’s only going to get better. She’s a great kid and makes her team better.”
Franklin scored the final four points of the first and despite the rough start trailed by only five at the first break. In the second, both teams exploded offensively, splitting 52 points between them in a back-and-forth quarter.
The Panthers were given a lift by sophomore Bea Bondhus off the bench, scoring 11 of her team-high 14 points in the quarter. Her driving layup gave Franklin its first lead at 25-23. Freshman Ali Brigham chipped in with eight of her 12 points in the second as well, giving the Panthers an inside-out combination that was tough to guard.
“She’s got her length and she’s athletic and you can just tell she’s going to get better every time she plays,” said Clement-Holbrook of Brigham, who also pulled in 10 rebounds. “Her awareness as to where the ball is, where the defense is, how to time the ball over the top, she’s going to be a serious issue to deal with.”
Raymond continued her strong performance burying a three from the corner and scoring off an assist by Meg Holleran (six points). Senior Hannah Carroll also heated up in the second, scoring seven of her nine points, including a transition three. Katie Flynn added six of her eight points and Sadie Homer (eight points, 10 rebounds, six steals) chipped in with a three to close the half and put OA back up five.
“I thought we came out in the first quarter too high energy and not enough execution,” said Leighton. “When that second shift came through for everybody, you saw marked improvement. I thought Ali and Bea really sparked us there and I thought Shannon [Gray] really stepped up at point guard and move the ball well for us.”
The Panthers cut into the lead in the third. Katie Morse scored the first five points of the quarter, including a corner three to tie it only to have Homer answer it on the other end. Carli Koffinke scored on a drive, but again OA matched it with a layup from Abby Reardon (six points). Koffinke (eight points) hit a floater to close out the quarter with Franklin down just two, 44-42.
Needing to close out the game, OA went back to its star. Raymond hit a turnaround jumper on the right block, assisted on a basket for Flynn, then snatched an offensive rebound for a basket. Homer added a steal and an assist on a Reardon layup and then Raymond drilled her second three to put the Tigers ahead by 12.
Franklin continued to hang around but had turnovers on consecutive possessions and OA closed it out with free throws. “That’s been our Achille’s heel,” said Leighton. “Big game, big crowd, and things got a little tighter.”
He added, “In the end you have to play better ‘D’. You can’t give up 60 points in high school girls’ basketball regularly and win. I thought we made some steps forward but Kayla Raymond is a special kid and when we packed it in they had other kids step up and make shots.”
Clement-Holbrook is still looking for consistency from her relatively young team and hoping to see a four-quarter performance.
She explained, “We didn’t play our best and the fact that they were able to get things together in the final three minutes was really the difference.
“In no game this season have we played four consistently good quarters. I told the seniors, a quarter of the season is already over and we need to play with urgency.
Oliver Ames (4-2) will try to keep momentum high against King Philip on Tuesday before its showdown with league-leading Attleboro next Friday. Franklin (0-6) is young and struggling through a rare tough start to the season, but will hope to get the season jumpstarted next week against Taunton.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – The second half of Wednesday night’s finale of the 10th annual Sue Rivard Tournament in the Nixon Gym was a microcosm of the first five games for Oliver Ames.
In the third quarter, Oliver Ames could not stop visiting Walpole and gave up 25 points in eight minutes. But then in the fourth quarter OA clamped down and nearly gave itself a shot at a comeback allowing only seven points (all on free throws). It is the inconsistency of a young team that has four of its eight regular contributors playing their first regular varsity minutes.
“We were just inconsistent from top to bottom tonight,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “Unfortunately, we have not really put four quarters together. We’re still trying to find an answer to that. There’s a lot of inexperience and we’re trying to dig deep.”
The struggles defensively in the third quarter doomed the Tigers in a 60-46 loss. The Rebels were led by senior guard Kelly Fogarty’s 28 points, including seven three-pointers, while Kayla Raymond had a team-high 10 points and nine rebounds for OA.
Fogarty got off to a dominant start, shooting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in the first for 12 of the Rebels’ 17 points in the quarter. OA defenders kept getting caught going underneath screens and giving the University of Maine-commit space to get off a shot.
“Fogarty’s a tough cover and we knew that going in,” said Clement-Holbrook, “but it took us too long to figure out who was supposed to hedge and again it’s the lack of experience.”
OA hung around in the first with senior captain Hannah Carroll knocking down a step-back corner three off an assist by Abby Reardon to cut the lead to 11-10 and then Raymond spun through a double team to answer a Fogarty three with a layup and make it 14-12. Bridge Lancaster added a layup plus the foul for Walpole to end the first.
The Rebels got rolling and extended the lead to 10 points on Fogarty’s fifth three of the night, but the Tigers were able to bounce back despite Raymond and Niyera Mitchell (four points, seven rebounds) being forced to the bench with foul trouble.
Sophomore Sadie Homer (nine points), who also spent the majority of the night chasing Fogarty through an endless barrage of screens, gave the Tigers life with a rare four-point play after Katie Flynn kept the play alive with an offensive board. Freshman Megan Holleran then added a layup in transition and Brenna Burkett took a feed from Reardon (nine points, five assists) and the lead was down to four.
“They really stepped up and that was growth because in both Abby and Sadie’s cases they took it upon themselves,” Clement-Holbrook remarked. “If we can get all five players at the same time to do that consistently for four quarters then it’s going to show personal growth we’re looking for.”
Reardon scored on a drive to the basket in the third quarter that made it 28-24, but Walpole answered back with a Fogarty layup on the break, added a pair of jumpers from Morgan O’Brien (13 rebounds) and then two more threes from Fogarty to break the game wide open. Six Rebels scored in the third as Walpole ran the lead as high as 16 (53-37) entering the fourth.
Mitchell scored all four of her points in the third, Holleran chipped in with a three-point play and Homer knocked down a jumper, but OA could not get into a rhythm defensively. That changed in the fourth, as it took Walpole more than four minutes to get its first point and the Rebels would not make a shot from the floor in the quarter.
Unfortunately, the OA offense could not find the range with Raymond scoring off a Holleran assist and Flynn scoring from close-range on a Reardon drive and dish for the only two baskets of the fourth. The Tigers outscored Walpole 9-7 in the final quarter but it was not enough to make a significant dent in the visitors’ lead.
“All foul shots in the fourth quarter, it’s crazy,” said Clement-Holbrook, who saw her team come from behind to earn a berth in the final against Needham on Tuesday. “We’re capable of it and we just have to keep working at it and working at it.”
Oliver Ames (3-2) will get nine days off before its next game against division rival Franklin on Jan. 6.
2015-16 Record: 21-3 (14-2) 2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal Head Coach: Rick Patch
The Bombardiers came within one game of winning their first Hockomock League title last year and despite the loss of 2015-16 Player of the Year Emily Houle to graduation, Attleboro comes into this season as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex again this winter.
One reason for the high expectations for the Bombardiers is senior forward Sarah Deyo. The Southern New Hampshire-commit comes into the season just 68 points shy of 1,000 for her career and is a matchup nightmare for the opposition with her ability to score in the paint and from the outside. Fellow senior Julia Strachan returns from a knee injury that cost her all of last season and the Adelphi-commit adds another strong shooter and rebounder to the front line. The Bombardiers are loaded at the forward position with junior Sam Pierce coming back after a breakout sophomore campaign that saw her average nearly a double-double.
While the strength of the Bombardiers is in the post, Attleboro has experience in the backcourt with senior Mish Logie and sophomore Jordyn Lako returning as the primary ball-handlers and strong on-the-ball defenders. Juniors Grace Mayer and Kim White will add depth in the backcourt off the bench. Guard Liv McCall is another who could contribute this season, among a group of six freshmen that will be on the varsity roster.
“We are very excited about our program and how its progressed over the last three seasons,” said head coach Rick Patch, “and the positive, entitled-to-nothing culture we have established that best represents ‘Blue Pride’ and the Attleboro community.”
2015-16 Record: 13-8 (10-6) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central quarterfinal Head Coach: John Leighton
Franklin has been consistently one of the top programs in the league and despite losing a strong group of seniors, the Panthers are once again in the mix for a league title and a return to the Div. 1 Central tournament.
Leading the way this season is a core of five experienced seniors that offer Franklin a good balance of interior and perimeter scoring. Carli Koffinke is in her third year on varsity and is a threat from the outside, taking advantage of the Panthers’ drive and kick style of offense. Point guard Margaux Welsh will take over the primary ball-handling role and will be expected to get the offense going. Izzy Faught and Grace McDermott will add depth in the backcourt and forward Erin Skidmore adds athleticism and quickness in the paint.
In order to stay consistently competitive, the Panthers have always been able to count on new players coming in to refresh the roster. This winter will be no different with junior forward Kate Morse in her first year on the team as well as sophomore point guard Shannon Gray and three-point threat Bea Bondhus, who had a team-high 11 points in the season opener. Freshmen Ali Brigham and Megan O’Connell will add to Franklin’s front-court depth.
“With so many younger and newer players, we are hoping to build team chemistry and improve each and every day,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “We are very encouraged with our depth and will lean on our seniors for leadership.”
2015-16 Record: 6-14 (4-12) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Martin Crowley
Under head coach Martin Crowley, King Philip has been a very tough team to play against, focused on high-pressure defensive effort and not letting up from the opening tip to the final whistle. This year, the Warriors are hoping to get a little more consistency on the offensive end to match that defensive intensity.
KP will not lack for athletes this winter beginning with returning starter Shannon O’Connor, who emerged as a potential scoring threat on the wing as a freshman last season. Classmate Julia Leroux also impressed in her rookie season and they are already go-to players on the offensive end. Junior forwards Hadley Zolak and Christina Hathaway and senior Courtney Kelleher will give additional scoring and rebounding as athletic forwards that can battle in the paint and get out and run the break.
There is also a youth movement at KP this year with a strong, athletic freshman class that has already put in a standout soccer season this past fall and is ready to contribute to the basketball team as well. Chloe Layne has stepped right in and will be an instant contributor at the point guard position and will be joined by classmate Faith Roy on the varsity roster.
“Youth will be served,” said Crowley, “however our goal is the same it is every season whether you have a veteran team or not and that is to qualify for the tournament in what I believe is the most competitive league in the state.”
2015-16 Record: 21-4 (15-1) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal Head Coach: Mike Redding
The Hornets are coming off the program’s first ever Hockomock League title, edging Attleboro in the final game of a dramatic league campaign, in front of arguably the biggest crowd to watch a game (male or female) in the league last season. This year, Mansfield has the challenge of trying to defend its title despite losing eight seniors from last season.
Mansfield’s title defense begins with senior guard Jen Peel, who has been limited by an injury in the preseason and will be moving from the point to the off-guard position this year. She is one of the best playmakers in the league and will have junior center Meg Hill to find in the half-court. Hill is a dominant force on both ends of the floor and should expect to get even more touches this year and needs to be aggressive looking for her shot.
The Hornets will have plenty of size beyond the 6-foot-3 Hill. Senior Olivia Broyles and junior Maeve Carney are both over six feet tall and sophomores Maggie Danehy and Emily Vigeant are just under six feet. Sophomore twins Mady and Kara Bendanillo will add speed to the roster with Mady having the experience of playing time as a freshmen, including a start in the South semifinal against Bishop Feehan. Junior Ann Maher is another player that can be expected to take on a bigger role this year at the shooting guard position.
“We may be more athletic than a year ago and we’ll run as much as we can and press more than we did a year ago,” said head coach Mike Redding. “It should be fun and with seven sophomores in our top 11 we should get better and better as they get experience and confidence.”
2015-16 Record: 21-4 (13-3) 2015-16 Finish: Won Div. 2 South title Head Coach: Elaine Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames is coming off a remarkable 2015-16 season that saw the Tigers reach the 20-win mark, claim the Davenport division title, make a run to the Div. 2 South title and a chance to play at the TD Garden, and celebrate the career of head coach Elaine Clement-Holbrook, who became the state’s all-time career leader in wins (finishing the season with 645). This year, OA will face the challenge of trying to match that level of success while taking on a new division after being moved into the Kelley-Rex.
The key to the Tigers putting in league title fight is junior forward Kayla Raymond, who is one of the most talented players in the Hock and one of the toughest match-ups with her combination of size, speed, shooting touch, and handle. Raymond will get help from senior guard Hannah Carroll, who became one of the team’s top shooters from the perimeter and can stretch opposing defense. Senior Niyera Mitchell is coming back from an off-season injury and has the size and touch to be a strong performer on both ends of the court.
OA lost only two seniors to graduation but then also lost shooting guard Francesca Calabraro to a knee injury during the soccer season. Senior Abby Reardon will be one of the backcourt players that will be counted on to pick up the scoring slack, while Clement-Holbrook will be hoping for senior Brenna Burkett and junior Sadie Homer to provide a scoring touch at the forward position.
“Moving to the Kelley Rex will be a tremendous challenge for us,” said Clement-Holbrook. “Our goals are the same as before: Compete to qualify for the tournament, challenge for the Hock title and go as deep as possible in the tournament.”
2015-16 Record: 4-16 (2-14) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton is coming off a tough year in which the Tigers only managed four wins, but it was also a chance for a number of young players to get valuable varsity experience and Taunton will be hoping to have it pay off with seven returning players on this season’s roster.
One of the exciting younger players that emerged last year was Lily Patneaude, who showed off athleticism and a range of offensive skills as a freshman. Junior Hannah Moniz is another wing player that can provide scoring off the dribble or from the perimeter. Junior MacKenzie Handrahan will add rebounding and defense on the post and eighth grader Sonya Fernandes could be a newcomer to watch on the Taunton front line.
The back court has a mix of experience and youth led by senior guard Abby Kingman, whose ball-handling and speed will be vital. Kingman’s classmate Jess Regan is returning after missing her entire junior year to an injury and will offer a steady hand at the point guard position. Junior Dominique Bradley and sophomore Alexa White will add depth to the guard positions.
“Taunton has a combination of experience and youth,” said head coach Walter Harrigan, “along with some skill and athleticism that has the makings for a fun and interesting year.”
BOSTON, Mass. – At the end of the third quarter, Oliver Ames was feeling pretty good about itself. The Tigers scored 19 points in the third and had jumped in front of North champion Watertown by a point in Tuesday night’s Eastern Mass. final at the TD Garden.
Momentum seemed to be on OA’s side. But, the Tigers could not sustain that in the fourth.
Watertown clamped down on defense and started stretching the lead, slowly pulling away as OA struggled to find the bottom of the net. The streak started with five points, then nine, then 11 and six minutes into the fourth the Tigers finally scored their first point.
It would be the only one that OA scored in the final quarter. Thanks to a 16-1 run in the fourth, the Raiders pulled away for a 48-34 victory and advanced to Saturday’s state title game in Springfield.
“I think they were thinking about the end and not that there was still enough time left to do something,” sad Clement-Holbrook about how the fourth quarter unraveled for the Tigers.
“You’ve got to put the ball in the basket and I think ultimately that was the thing we didn’t do,” she added. “I think that’s an example of being in this situation before (Watertown started four seniors) where we’re kind of newbies. I’m hoping this will help for next year and the year after that.”
Coming off a struggle offensively in the South final, the Tigers got off to a perfect start at the Garden with Francesca Calabraro scoring a lay-up directly from the opening tip. Hannah Carroll followed with a three and the Tigers led 5-0. Watertown went on a 7-0 run, but Kaitlyn McCarthy buried a straightaway three to make it 8-7 after one.
The inconsistent offense continued in the second, as OA only managed six points. Abby Reardon came off the bench to score four points and Brenna Burkett scored on an offensive rebound but the Raiders took control behind junior center Shannon Murphy.
The Holy Cross-commit scored eight of her game-high 20 points in the second and dominated the lane, finishing with six blocks and 10 rebounds. OA struggled in the paint, especially with Kayla Raymond being forced to the bench with two fouls.
“You can’t shoot over her, you have to move her away from the basket, move the ball, kind of what we were trying to do in some of our previous tournament games,” said Clement-Holbrook of Murphy. “They fought but I think we were overmatched today.”
The Tigers went into halftime trailing 21-14, but it could have been much worse. The Raiders were only 9-19 from the line in the first half.
In the third quarter, something clicked for OA. After a Watertown basket extended the lead to nine, Sam Bamford drilled a three from the corner. Calabraro (nine points) picked off a pass and raced for a lay-up and then Raymond added a three-point play off an inbounds pass to cut the lead to just one point.
The Raiders answered with five straight points, but again OA came back. Raymond (seven points) finished over the top of Murphy and Calabraro had another steal that led to a transition basket.
Raymond knocked down a turn around jumper on the left block and then on the next possession drove baseline but was caught in the air under the basket. Somehow the sophomore spotted Calabraro hanging out by the three-point line and kicked it out for the open look that gave OA its first lead of the second half.
With 45.7 left in the third, Raymond picked up her fourth foul trying to contain Murphy and was forced to go to the bench. She would sit for a while and Watertown took advantage.
“It was detrimental especially where we changed it up on offense and put her out on the high post and were able to get some scores out of that,” said Clement-Holbrook of Raymond’s absence. “We kind of lost our mojo early in the fourth and I think it was really hard for them to bring it back.”
Michaela Antonellis started the fourth with a short jumper in the lane to give the Raiders back the lead, then Felicia Korte stepped outside for a big three. Murphy scored on an offensive rebound and then Korte (11 points) finished a baseline drive and suddenly Watertown was up by eight.
“I don’t know if they did it to us or we did it to us,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “We just didn’t get that pace going fast enough and get out but I think a lot of it was that we didn’t rebound well. If you don’t rebound then it’s hard to run.”
A couple of free throws pushed the lead to 43-33 with fewer than two minutes remaining in the game. McCarthy was fouled and made one of two for the only OA point of the fourth. Murphy capped the game with a lay-up in transition and Clement-Holbrook pulled both her seniors off the court to give the traveling OA contingent a chance to salute them for their efforts.
Clement-Holbrook said, “I don’t want them walking around with their heads down because there’s a lot to be proud of. It’s sadness right now because they know this is the last game they play with Kaitlyn and Sammy and they just love them.”
Coming into the season, Clement-Holbrook knew that she had a good team that could challenge for the Davenport division title, but she had no idea that the Tigers would be capable of making a run to the Div. 2 South title.
She credited her two senior captains, McCarthy and Bamford, for providing the leadership that took a group of relatively inexperienced players on the program’s longest tournament run since winning it all in 2010.
“They’ve been great leaders,” she said, “and I hope and pray that the kids who come back next year have learned a lesson from both those girls in terms of what wonderful role models they have been both in and out of school, on and off the court.”
“I just challenged them…if you can be half the leaders that these two girls have been for you, then that will be success for all of us.
Clement-Holbrook noted that the Tigers would be challenged in other ways, as they prepare for next season with a majority of the team coming back, including top scorers Calabraro and Raymond. OA girls basketball will not be considered a sleeper next year, but a favorite even as it moves up into the Kelley-Rex division for the first time.
“What’s going to happen now is there’s going to be expectations,” said Clement-Holbrook, who joked, “Next year people will probably say I don’t know what I’m doing!”
“These kids have to take this as a challenge to come back more skilled and as better basketball players.”
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.