Franklin Falls Short In South Final To Xaverian

Franklin baseball
Franklin junior reliever James Kuczmiec threw two perfect innings of relief for the Panthers. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FRANKLIN, Mass. – The Franklin baseball team came up just short in the D1 South Sectional Final against Xaverian, but it sure wasn’t for a lack of effort.

The Panthers rallied to get within one run twice and had the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t get over the hump, falling 5-4 to the visiting Hawks.

Franklin had a hit in five of the seven innings, putting a runner in scoring position in four of those frames. The Panthers pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fourth and made it a one-run game again with a run in the sixth, but Franklin also left the bases loaded in two innings and left a runner in scoring position in two other frames.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It was a great game, both teams competed hard and both teams had opportunities…they just made a few more plays than we did today,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “We certainly applied pressure and had our chances, even right there to the end. But unfortunately, some walks, some miscues…and they had two big blows. I’m just really proud of this team, especially the seniors.

“Having that gap year, you wonder and worry about if the culture is going to change. When I say they’ve done everything I’ve asked them to, and they’ve done it with tremendous attention to detail, passion, and effort. It’s a great group and I’m really sad to see this season at times.”

Franklin sophomore Alfred Mucciarone worked around a pair of errors in the top of the first inning, getting a soft grounder back to the mound to strand a Xaverian runner at third. Franklin also put a runner in scoring position in the first on hits from Chris Goode and Nate Cooke, but the former was stranded at second.

The Hawks broke open the scoreless game in the top of the third inning on a one-out single from Liam Foley, who moved to second on a walk to Matt Brinker. Foley came around to score on an infield error as the ball got through on the left side to make it 1-0. On the next at-bat, Xaverian’s John Connolly launched a three-run blast over the fence to give the visitors a 4-0 lead.

Franklin junior lefty Ethan Voellmicke came on in relief and got back-to-back fly balls to get out of the inning without further damage.

Voellmicke gave up one hit in the top of the fourth but quickly bounced back to get out of the inning and Franklin’s offense got them back in the game with a big bottom of the fourth.

Jack Marino kept the inning alive with a two-out single, Eisig Chin followed with an infield hit, and CJ Jette walked to load the bases. Junior Jacob Jette, fresh off a 12 strikeout performance in the semifinals, came in and delivered a huge two-out RBI pinch-hit up the middle to get the hosts on the board.

Sophomore Ryan Gerety kept the momentum going by smacking a line drive to left to score both Chin and CJ Jette to get the Panthers within a run. Goode walked to load the bases again for Franklin but Xaverian starter Ryan Douglas got a pop-up in foul territory to the catcher to keep the lead.

Franklin got two quick outs to start the fifth inning but Connolly struck again, this time with a solo shot over the left field fence to give the Hawks a two-run cushion.

Junior righty James Kuczmiec took over on the mound for the Panthers and retired the Hawks in order to give the Panthers some momentum going to the bottom half.

“Those guys have been just nails for us all year out of the pen,” Brown said of Voellmicke and Kuczmiec, who combined to allow just two hits in 4.2 innings of work. “We do it a little bit differently, we pass the baton and trust those guys to do their job. And thankfully, they’ve really embraced that role. They aren’t questioning me about being a starter. Their role is equally as important and they are out there throwing those critical innings at the end of the game. And we have all the confidence in the world to go with them.

“Ethan did a great job settling it down and this team answers, they really do. We’ve talked a lot about being frontrunners or competitors, and frontrunners kind of go away when it gets tough and these guys don’t. They keep fighting, keep competing, keep clawing and keep applying pressure so I’m really proud of them.”

CJ Jette and freshman Henry Digiorgio earned back-to-back one-out walks and Gerety smacked a single into right field but Brinker fielded the throw from right fielder Justice Ciampa on the bounce and applied the tag at home to cut down a runner.

Goode had a two-out single to load the bases for Franklin and Digiorgio came in to score on a wild pitch. With first open, Xaverian elected to intentionally walk Jake Fitzgibbons to load the bases, and Connolly, who came on in relief, got a big strikeout to end the threat and the inning.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Marino came up with a big one-out hit in the bottom of the seventh, representing the tying run on base. Connolly got another strikeout for the second out but Marino stole second to get into scoring position. Franklin put the ball in play but it was a line drive right at the shortstop for the final out.

“A lot of times we try to use this game as a vehicle to try and teach those life lessons,” Brown said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go your way but I’m really proud of how they handled it. Some teams come unglued and there’s finger-pointing, but that’s not this group. They stay together, they fought to end because they really care.”

Franklin finishes the season at 16-2.

Goode Night: Panthers Walk Off With Win Over Eagles

Franklin baseball Ryan Gerety
Franklin sophomore Ryan Gerety slides safely into second with a stolen base in the first inning against BC High. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FRANKLIN, Mass. – It looked like Franklin and BC High were headed to extra innings when Panther junior Chris Goode flared a high fly ball into foul territory down the right field line with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Instead, the ball eluded the right fielder and dropped harmlessly in foul territory. Goode made the most out of his second chance.

Franklin baseball

With a runner on third, Goode hit a slow roller to the left side of the infield and raced down the first base line, beating the throw from the shortstop for a walk-off infield single as CJ Jette crossed the plate for the winning run, giving the top-seeded Panthers a 2-1 win over 13th-seeded Eagles.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin will host Xaverian on Monday night in the D1 South Sectional Final.

“After I popped it up, and my approach for every at-bat, I just take a deep breath and erase everything that happened before and focus on the next pitch,” Goode said. “I worked the count to 3-2, saw the outside pitch and put it on the ground, put it in play and the second I saw it on the ground I was going to beat it out with the shortstop playing deep.”

Franklin baseball

CJ Jette was the catalyst behind the winning run, recording his third hit of the game out of the eighth spot in the lineup to lead off the bottom of the inning. Head coach Zach Brown went to his bench next, bringing in senior Jon Turner, who laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Jette over to second.

Sophomore Ryan Gerety grounded out to short but Jette advanced to third on the play. Goode overcame the foul ball early in the at-bat to work the count full before putting it in play for the game-winning hit.

“He’s been one of our best guys all year,” Brown said of Goode, who was without a hit to that point. “It felt like he had just missed a couple of pitches [in previous at-bats]. He was on time, just a little under. He made the adjustment after he hit the foul ball and got above it and it worked out for us.”

“It was exactly what we thought it was going to be. Just two really good two baseball teams locking together. We had a feeling it was going to come down who could execute in the late innings. I’m just proud of the guys. CJ Jette is an animal at the bottom of the lineup, and Jon Turner, a senior coming off the bench, hasn’t really played much this year and was in a big spot, and he had ice water in his veins. Just really proud of the guys.”

Franklin baseball










The Panthers were in position to win largely due to a stellar pitching outing from junior Jacob Jette, who tossed a complete game with 12 strikeouts for the win. In the final four innings, he allowed just one hit (a single in the fourth but stranded the runner at second) and one walk (stranded the runner at second after a stolen base). He retired the side in order in the fifth and seventh, giving the Panthers some momentum heading into the home half of the final inning.

“Unbelievable performance by Jette,” Goode said of his classmate. “We couldn’t pick him up with the run support but it ended up working out. He pitched his ass, he was having more kids swinging swords than I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

Franklin didn’t waste much time grabbing the lead, pushing across a run in the bottom of the first. Jacob Jette worked around two walks in the top half, getting back-to-back strikeouts and a pop-up to center to give the Panthers energy heading into the bottom half.

Gerety was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a fielder’s choice by Nate Cooke, and came home to score on a wild pitch as Franklin seized a 1-0 lead.

CJ Jette reached on a two-out bunt in the bottom of the third and Jake Fitzgibbons drew a two-out walk in the third, but neither advanced past first. BC High scored a run in the top of the third to tie the game. Tim Wagner smashed a two-out double off the fence in right-center field to bring Chris Capozzi (leadoff single) home to make it 1-1.




After being retired in order in the fourth by BC High starter Josh Sunderland (CG, 2ER, 5H, 3BB, 8K), Franklin’s offense had a big opportunity to take the lead back in the bottom of the fifth. CJ Jette singled, freshman Henry Digiorgio was hit by a pitch, and Gerety was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs.

Sunderland got a big out with a strikeout and then got a huge assist from his defense as first baseman Andrew Manning made a diving catch on a hard-hit line drive from Fitzgibbons and quickly got back to his feet to tag first for a double play to escape the inning without any damage.

Wagner walked to open the top of the sixth but Jacob Jette got back-to-back strikeouts (both looking) and a grounder to first to halt any momentum the Eagles possibly picked up.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“They’ve just been really resilient all year,” Brown said. “They’re a confident group and they believe in each other, and that’s been on display. You can’t fake that stuff. You feel the emotion swing and then you feel the resolve. A lot of that had to do with Jacob. He went out and had a good inning and gave us another chance to come back and execute.”

It marks Franklin’s first appearance in the D1 South final since 2011, when they also beat BC High in the semis and played Xaverian in the finals, earning a 6-5 win that year.

First pitch between the Panthers and Hawks is scheduled for Monday at 7:00 PM at Franklin High.

Franklin baseball

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/21/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
D1 South

#16 Durfee, 1 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – Final (5 Inn.)Franklin exploded for 12 runs in the fourth innning, turning a two-run game into a blowout against visiting Durfee. The Panthers built a 3-1 lead over the first three innings but the offense was nearly unstoppable in the fourth, recording nine hits and three walks to put the game out of reach. Junior Chris Goode (double, run, three RBI), sophomore Ryan Gerety (double, three runs, two RBI) and freshman Henry DiGiorgio (three runs, RBI) all smacked three hits to lead the way for the Franklin offense. CJ Jette added two hits and two runs, Jack Marino drove in two runs and scored twice, Jake Fitzibbons hit a double, had a walk and drove in two runs, Nate Cooke reached twice with an RBI, and Ben Jarosz had a hit, two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Jacob Jette earned the win on the mound, allowing one run on three hits and a walk in four innings of work while striking out six. Franklin will host #8 Norwood on Wednesday at 7:00PM.

#10 Walpole, 4 @ #7 Taunton, 6 – Final (8 Inn.)Taunton senior Danny MacDougall launched a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth as the Tigers survived a scare from visiting Walpole. The Timberwolves got off to a strong start with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning but Taunton was quick to respond, plating four runs in the bottom of the first. Ty Cali, Dawson Bryce, and Danny MacDougall all singled to load the bases and sophomore Ryan MacDougall cleared them with a three-run triple to put the hosts ahead. A wild pitch allowed Ryan MacDougall to score to make it 4-2. Walpole cut the deficit to one with a run in the top of the second and then tied the game with a single in the top of the seventh. Bryce managed a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth to keep the inning alive and Danny MacDougall launched his third home run of the year to win it. Conor Quinlan shined in relief for the Tigers, taking over to start the third inning. Quinlan allowed just one run on five hits, striking out eighth to get the win. Taunton will travel to #2 seed Bridgewater-Raynham on Wednesday at 4:00.

#12 Mansfield, 0 @ #5 Wellesley, 1 – FinalMansfield went pitch-for-pitch with Wellesley but couldn’t push across a run, falling 1-0 on the road to the Raiders. Aaron Blinn allowed just one run on three hits without issuing a walk, striking out nine in five innings of work. James Gilleran struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief. Mansfield was limited to just two hits between two Wellesley pitchers, putting on five baserunners via walk but couldn’t get a run home.

#22 Attleboro, 4 @ #6 Braintree, 14 – Final

#14 King Philip, 3 @ #3 Xaverian, 8 – Final

D2 South
#9 Oliver Ames, 11 @ #8 North Attleboro, 12 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Gavin Wells singled up the middle with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Rocketeers a walk-off win over Oliver Ames in an epic back-and-forth battle at Community Field. Oliver Ames jumped ahead with five runs in the first two innings and a two-run home run from Jake Waxman helped push the Tigers’ lead to 7-4 in the top of the fifth innings. The Rocketeers responded with six runs in the bottom half as Christian Bates smacked a two-run double to tie the game and Derek Maceda put North ahead with a two-run double for a 9-7 advantage. Wells added an RBI single in the sixth to make it a three-run game and Dennis Colleran launched a solo home run to make it 11-7 going into the last inning. Down to their final three outs, the Tigers rallied to tie the game as Nate Fulford blasted a three-run home run to make it 11-11. Jared Penta led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and stole second. North loaded the bases with no outs after an intentional walk and Wells brought in the game-winner with a base hit. Penta and Wells each had three hits for the Rocketeers while Colleran and Tyler Bannon each had two hits. For OA, Will Whiteside went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs while Jadon Ricci (two RBI, two runs), Waxman, and Patrick Finnerty (run, RBI) each had two hits. North Attleboro will travel to #1 seed Nauset on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00PM.

#11 Canton, 0 @ #5 Plymouth South, 4 – FinalPlymouth South scored twice in each of the first two innings and that was all the offense the Panthers needed to knock off visiting Canton. The Bulldogs were limited to just three hits total with Nate Hewitt recording a pair of them, including a double. Matt Quan also reached base twice with one hit and one walk.










Softball
D1 South

#16 Stoughton, 0 @ #1 Taunton, 17 – Final (5 Inn.)Taunton opened its playoffs with an offensive explosion. The Tigers had 17 hits as a team, including three homers, and rolled to a big win. McKenzie McAloon led the way, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, four runs scored, and five RBI. Hayley Krockta went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBI and bashed a home run. Angie Lynch (2-for-4) added a homer, drove in two, and scored twice, while Tayah DaCosta had Taunton’s third homer, part of a 3-for-4 day where she drove in three and scored two runs. Kelsey White dominated in the circle, allowing only one hit and striking out 11 over five innings. Nicole Baker had the lone hit for the Black Knights. Taunton hosts Walpole on Wednesday in the quarterfinal.

#13 Milton, 3 @ #4 King Philip, 6 – FinalKing Philip overcame an early three-run deficit to fend off an upset big from Milton. An infield single, a bunt single, and a home run in the top of the first gave the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead but KP scored in four straight innings between the third and the sixth to get the lead for good. Paige Berdos got the hosts on the board in the third inning, leading off with a single, stealing a base and scoring on a sac fly from Charlotte Raymond. Patience at the plate helped the Warriors bring two more runs in during the fourth inning to tie the game. Maddie Paschke walked, Ava Kelly singled, and Taylor Regan walked to load the bases before Jordan Bennett drew a walk to bring a run in. Berdos was then hit by a pitch to bring in another run to make it 3-3. In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Sarah Cullen smacked a two-run home run to put KP ahead for the first time and the Warriors added a key insurance run in the sixth when Raymond drove in Berdos with a single. Bennett settled in nicely after the first inning, allowing just one base runner after the third inning which was a walk in fifth that was erased on a double play. King Philip will host #5 seed Plymouth North on Wednesday at 6:30 at the Plainville Athletic League complex.

#18 Mansfield, 5 @ #2 Natick, 4 – Final (8 Inn.)Mansfield pulled off the upset of the tournament so far, going on the road and beating the number-two seed in extra innings. Natick came from behind to tied the game in the seventh and force extras, but Jill Koppy led off the top of the eighth with a triple and she came in to score the game-winning run on a two-out single from Ashlyn Conley. Natick had a 2-0 lead after four innings, but the Hornets responded with a four-run fifth. Ashlyn Conley singled to start the rally and Nicole Kobasa followed with a hit of her own. Alanna Conley drove them both in with a single. After an error moved Conley to third, she was brought home on a bunt by Olivia DeTrolio that led to another defensive mistake. Callie Lake bunted and heads up base running from DeTrolio turned it into Mansfield’s fourth run. Mansfield will travel to Silver Lake in the D1 South quarterfinal.

#14 Attleboro, 3 @ #3 Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final

#11 Bridgewater-Raynham, 3 @ #6 North Attleboro, 2 – Final (9 Inn.)North faced extra innings for the second playoff game in a row, but the Rocketeers couldn’t find a way past the defending South champions. The Rocketeers got off to a great start with a run in the first. Mandi Hanewich doubled and was bunted to third by Emily Nardelli. Zoey McDonough drove in the go-ahead run with a single. North doubled its lead in the fourth. Ally Levine reached on an error and pinch runner Emma Hanwell scored on a Shaelyn Burns double. B-R tied the game in the fifth with a two-run inning. The game stayed tied until the top of the ninth when a solo homer put the Trojans in front. McDonough allowed only one earned run and struck out seven in the loss. North also flashed the leather, with two double plays, one initiated by Belle Clarkin and the other started by Kelly Colleran.

D2 South
#12 Foxboro, 18 @ #5 Diman, 6 – FinalThe top three in the lineup drove in 13 combined runs and the Warriors rolled to a win in Fall River. Foxboro scored 10 runs in the first four innings and scored at least once in every inning but the sixth. Leadoff hitter Peyton Feldman set the table for Foxboro, as she went 3-for-3 with three walks, but she also added punch with a double, a triple, three runs scored, and five RBI. Emma Callahan had a pair of hits and drove in four and Morgan Sylvestre went 2-for-5 with four RBI. Jillian Slattery continued her strong playoffs with two hits, three runs scored, and two RBI from the nine-hole. Fiona Dunn scored four times and Nicole Theriault scored three times for the Warriors. Callahan had seven strikeouts and got better as the game went on, retiring the final 11 hitters that she faced to pick up her second postseason win. Foxboro will travel to Notre Dame Academy in the D2 South quarterfinal.

#22 Canton, 6 @ #6 Plymouth South, 18 – FinalCanton cut an 8-0 deficit to just three in the fourth inning, but Plymouth South scored eight times over the fifth and sixth innings to seal the win and a place in the quarterfinal. Brogan O’Leary sparked the fourth inning rally with a single and Taylor Reynolds and Olivia Mackwell both drove in runs. Amanda Vrabel had the big hit, a two-RBI triple. Reynolds added another RBI in the fifth.




Boys Lacrosse
D1 South

#16 Mansfield, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 16 – FinalFranklin’s Justin Alexander only lost one faceoff as the Panthers rolled to their third win over Mansfield this season, this one in the state tournament. Sophomore Luke Davis led the attack with three goals and six assists, Matt Lazzaro added three goals and four assists and Jayden Consigli netted five goals in the win. Owen Kielty added a pair of goals and Joe Consigli notched a goal and four assists. Franklin will host #9 seed Wellesley on Wednesday at 6:30.

#10 King Philip, 2 @ #7 Duxbury, 16 – Final

D2 South
#8 Nauset, 11 @ #1 Canton, 15 – Final

D2 Central/East
#8 North Attleboro, 3 @ #1 Medfield, 16 – Final
#7 Walpole, 12 @ #2 Foxboro, 9 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
D1 East

#9 Acton-Boxboro, 10 @ #1 Franklin, 15 – FinalFranklin jumped ahead of Acton-Boxboro early and never surrendered the lead to advance to the next round. The Panthers took a 5-1 lead after the first quarter and pushed the advantgae to 11-1 by halftime. Franklin held a 13-4 advantage going into the final quarter where A-B pumped in some goals to tighten the score. Katie Jones scored three goals and had two assists while Katie Peterson accounted for a pair of goals and a pair of assists in the win. Jamie Tanner played well on defense and in the midfield, notching six draw controls and three caused turnovers. Brigid Earley made eight saves in the win for Franklin, who will host #5 seed Lincoln-Sudbury on Wednesday at 4:00.

#7 Concord-Carlisle, 21 @ #2 King Philip, 4 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game.

D2 East
#7 Bedford, 12 @ #2 Foxboro, 11 – Final




Boys Tennis
D1 South

#8 Needham, 3 @ #1 Franklin, 2 – FinalFranklin took wins at first and second singles but lost both doubles matches and third singles, falling to Needham to end the season. Senior Liam Marr emerged from a battle at first singles with a 6-4, 4-6, 14-12 win while Vayshnav Malhotra recorded a 6-3, 2-6, 10-5 win at second singles for the Panthers.

#11 Plymouth North, 0 @ #3 Sharon, 5 – FinalSharon won all five matches in straight sets to get past Plymouth North and advance to the D1 South Semifinals. Freshman Mehul Bhattacharyya secured a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles, junior Ruemon Bhattacharyya added a 6-4, 6-3 win at second singles, and junior Max Chen battled to a 6-0, 6-3 win at third singles. Sharon’s first doubles team of freshmen Matthew Lally and Alex Budoraclev won in straight sets while the Eagles also were victorious at second doubles. Sharon will travel to #2 seed Brookline on Wednesday at 3:00 at Waldstein Park.

D2 South
#5 Bishop Feehan, 3 @ #4 Canton, 2 – Final

Girls Tennis
D1 South

#8 Sharon, 2 @ #1 King Philip, 3 – Final

D2 South
#8 Monomoy, 2 @ #1 Foxboro, 3 – FinalFoxboro dropped a total of four games between its three singles matches and that was enough to take down Monomoy and advance. Athena Li rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win at first singles, Pam Nelson continued her hot streak with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking at second singles, and Sarah Prag clinched the win with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles. Foxboro will host the winner of #4 seed Martha’s Vineyard and #5 seed Medfield on Thursday.

Wrestling
D2 South

#3 Hingham, 33 @ #2 North Attleboro, 45 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Central

#10 King Philip, 1 @ #2 Milford, 3 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Franklin Rides Fourth Inning Rally Past Taunton

Franklin baseball Jacob Jette
Franklin junior left-handed pitcher Jacob Jette throws a pitch in the first inning against Taunton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Through seven games this season, the Franklin baseball team hasn’t faced too much adversity, outscoring opponents 71-18 in dominating fashion.

So when head coach Zach Brown looked up at the scoreboard after 3.5 innings and saw a three-run deficit — the first time the Panthers had trailed by that much all season — he knew he was going to learn something new about his team.

Six straight singles and four runs later, the Panthers were back on top, an advantage they would hold the rest of the way in a 4-3 win over the Tigers.

Franklin baseball Taunton baseball

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We talk about it all the time, adding another tool to the toolbox,” Brown said after his team improved to 9-0 on the season. “So knowing that you can come back in a game against a good team is important. The message to the players was that we were going to learn a lot about us as a team. The game doesn’t go according to a script as much as we’d love it to. Taunton is a really good team, they’re the defending state champs so expect nothing less than a really good fight.”

Taunton took the lead with a run in the top of the third and added onto its advantage with two more in the top of the fourth.

Sophomore Ben Jarosz led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single through the left side and junior Jack Marino followed with a base hit through the right side. Sophomore Eisig Chin joined the hit parade with a hit up the middle to bring Jarosz home to get the Panthers on the board.

CJ Jette battled back from an 0-2 count and hit one to the left side that was knocked down by the third baseman but without a play at first, there was no throw which loaded the bases. Freshman Henry DiGiorgio smacked a hard ground back to first that was knocked down but no play could be made and a run crossed to make it 3-2.










“I was a little disappointed yesterday because I felt like we struck out too much,” Brown said. “I felt like we needed to get back to shortening up a little bit, just finding a way with a better two-strike approach. I really do feel like that inning was a pretty good example of that. CJ Jette’s at-bat really stands out to me, he was down two strikes, shortened up, found a way, and hit a hard buy in the five-six hole to keep the inning alive for us. There were a lot of good at-bats there but that one stuck out to me.”

Franklin baseball Taunton baseball

Ryan Gerety then connected on Franklin’s sixth straight single, this one up the middle that plated both Chin and Jette to put the hosts ahead 4-3. Taunton starter Danny MacDougall (6IP, 9H, 1BB, 4ER, 4K) prevented any further damage by getting three straight pop-ups from the heart of Franklin’s lineup to strand runners at second and third.

Franklin turned to the bullpen to replace starter Jacob Jette (5IP, 6H, 2BB, 3ER, 3K), bringing in junior James Kuczmiec to close the door. Kuczmiec and classmate Ethan Voellmicke have been steady, reliable options for the Panthers so far this season.

Kuczmiec got the job done on Tuesday night, retiring the side in order in the top of the sixth. Taunton’s Ty Cali stroked a two-out single to put the tying run on base but Kuczmiec induced a grounder for the final out to get the two-inning save.

“The back end of our bullpen has been really, really good, it’s been a strength for us all year and those two guys (Kuczmiec and Voellmicke) have been really sharp,” Brown said. “They’ve given us great effort and I’m really proud of them both. We’re going to keep relying on them to do those things for us. Anytime they have the ball, we feel pretty good about our chances.”




There wasn’t much happening offensively for either side between the first two innings. Franklin junior Chris Goode drew a one-out walk in the first and made it to third after Nate Cooke reached on an error but MacDougall stranded the runner on third.

The Panthers put runners in scoring position again in the second on a single from Chin and a bunt single from CJ Jette but sophomore Ryan MacDougall got an unassisted out at first and Bretton Heggs made a nice catch in left to keep the game scoreless.

Taunton took the lead in the top of the third when Colby DaCouta ripped a ground-rule double over the field in left field. Cali had his first single of the day to move DaCouta to third and he scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0. Jacob Jette prevented further damage by getting a strikeout and a ground to strand Cali at second.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the top of the fourth, junior Dawson Bryce led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a fielder’s choice for the second out. Sophomore Shawn Cali connected for a double to bring Bryce home to double the lead and Jack Gobin followed with a base hit to bring Cali home for a 3-0 lead.

“It feels like we’re one play away, one inning away,” said Taunton coach Blair Bourque. “We need someone to step up and make a play or make a pitch in those situations. We’re right there we just have to eliminate those big innings, stop the bleeding somehow. We have a great team so we’ll figure it out but it’s a short season so we don’t have as much time. But we’re excited to get back at it again tomorrow and try to figure things out.”

Franklin baseball (6-0 Kelley-Rex, 9-0 overall) is in action on Thursday with another home game, this time against Sharon. Taunton (3-3, 5-4) returns to host North Attleboro on the same day.

Franklin baseball Taunton baseball

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/17/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 3 @ Milford, 4 – Final

Sharon, 3 @ Canton, 5 – FinalCanton got off to a strong start offensively and held off a late rally attempt from Sharon to get the win and stay unbeaten on the year. The Bulldogs pushed across two runs in the first inning and tacked on single runs in the second and third to establish a 4-0 lead. Sharon rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to make it a one-run game but Canton gave itself some breathing room with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Cam Sanchez (RBI), Matt Chafin (two runs), and Steven Burbank (RBI, run) each recorded two hits for the hosts, who had 10 hits as a team. Andrew Middleton picked up his third win of the season, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks, striking out eight in six innings of work. Andrew Butler recorded the save with a scoreless inning in relief. Sharon’s Colby Lentell drove in two runs for the Eagles while Justin Brown and Daniel Zagoren each had one RBI.

Oliver Ames, 5 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final Foxboro took advantage of free bases and aggressive base running to jump out to an early lead and held on the rest of the way. The Warriors drew four walks in the opening inning and had five stolen bases, resulting in a 6-1 lead after an inning of action. Oliver Ames was able to close the gap with two in the third and one more in the fourth, but Foxboro scored an important insurance run in the sixth inning. Tom Marcucella (run, two RBI) and Sean Yoest (run, RBI) each had two hits for the Warriors while Sean O’Leary (run), Liam Mulkern, and Mike O’Toole each drove in a run. Cam Prescott got the win on the mound, allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks, striking out five in five innings of work. Senior Sebastian Ortiz closed it out, allowing one run on two hits and two walks, striking out a pair in two innings. Oliver Ames’ Jaden Ricci went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored while Patrick Finnerty and Nate Fulford each drove in a pair of runs for OA.

King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 10 – Final (5 inn.)For the fourth time in just five games, Franklin’s offense put up double-digit runs and the Panthers recorded their second straight shutout, this time a 10-0 decision over King Philip. Sophomore Alfred Mucciarone tossed five shutout innings for the win, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out six. Offensively, Ryan Gerety had a pair of hits including a double, scoring twice while Jake Fitzgibbons added an RBI on two hits. Ben Jarosz had three hits on the day with a run scored and an RBI, Nate Cooke scored once and had an RBI, and Henry DiGiorgio had a hit, a walk, and scored twice.

Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 8 – FinalTaunton had a strong day at the plate, scoring in five of the seven innings to knock off visiting Mansfield for a key division win. The Tigers plated two runs in the first inning and added two more in each the third and fourth, tacking on single runs in the fifth and sixth. Ty Cali set the tone for the Tigers’ offense, scoring three runs on two hits (including a triple) and driving in one run from the leadoff spot. Ryan MacDougall, Danny MacDougall (two runs), and Bretton Heggs each added a hit and an RBI while Dawson Bryce drove in a pair of runs and scored once. On the mound, Conor Quinlan got the win, allowing just one unearned run on five hits and one walk, recording six strikeouts in five innings. Evan Cali pitched two innings in relief, allowing one run with one strikeout.

North Attleboro, 4 @ Stoughton, 7 – FinalStoughton senior Brady Conlin got it done both at the plate and on the mound as Stoughton rallied for an important division win over rival North Attleboro. North Attleboro’s Gavin Wells had a two-out two-run single in the top of the fifth inning to put the Rocketeers up 4-1 but Stoughton answered with a big sixth inning to take their first lead, an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish. Conlin tossed a complete game, striking out five with two walks. Conlin also had a solo home run to left in the bottom of the fourth that got Stoughton on the board. In the sixth, Colin Alessi singled in the tying run while Kyle Doolin drove in two more with a double.










Softball
Milford, 0 @ Attleboro, 12 – FinalAttleboro senior Lora Woyton fired a two-hitter to earn her second win of the season in the circle, leading the Bombardiers past visiting Milford. Woyton struck out eight in five innings of work and helped her own cause offensively, going 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs scored.The Bombardiers used strong team defense behind Woyton to limit the Hawks’ chances. Hailey Perry and Natalie Mansur each had two hits and scored a run while Kayla Goldrick added two hits for Attleboro, who had everyone in the lineup score.

Foxboro, 7 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalFor Oliver Ames, Taylor Lake had an RBI single that scored Mollie Crabtree while Grace Simone, who had two hits on the day, had a two-run double that scored Maddie Homer and Emma Varella. Katie Melendy pitched a complete game, striking out four for OA.

Franklin, 5 @ King Philip, 8 – FinalAfter Franklin took the lead in the top of the first inning, King Philip tied the game in the bottom half and then built a lead with runs in the third, fifth, and sixth innings to knock off the visiting Panthers. Tied 2-2 through an inning, KP took the lead with a run in the third, extended their advantage with two in the fifth, and added three more in the sixth. Franklin rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh but KP shut the door to stay unbeaten. Charlotte Raymond had a big day for KP, going 3-for-3 at the plate, including a two-run home run. She finished with three RBI and three runs scored, reaching a fourth time after being hit by a pitch. Paige Berdos added two hits, a run, and an RBI while sophomore Sarah Cullen blasted a two-run home run.

Sharon, 4 @ Canton, 7 – FinalGillian Gordon earned her first career win and gave Canton its first win of the season. Gordon struck out six over seven innings of work. Taylor Reynolds was 3-for-3 with three doubles and a pair of RBI, while Ellie Bohane and Liz Bickett both went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs. Olivia Mackwell started the scoring for Canton by driving in a pair in the fourth.

Taunton, 12 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final (5 inn.)Taunton held Mansfield to two hits to earn its fourth shutout in five games this season. It was scoreless until the third inning when Taunton scored five times to take control. The Tigers added seven runs in the top of the fifth to grab the win. Taunton leadoff hitter Angie Lynch set the tone with three hits and two runs while Hannah Aldrich drove in for runs on three hits, including a home run. Skylar Rheaume, McKenzie McAloon, Kelsey White, and Tayah DaCosta each drove in a run for the Tigers. Freshman Sam Lincoln earned the win in the circle, allowing just two hits in a five-inning complete game effort, striking out 10. Jillian Koppy and Molly Kucharski had Mansfield’s only hits.

Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 12 – FinalNorth got its fourth straight solid start, as Kelly Colleran struck out 12 and allowed only two hits and two walks to earn the shutout. The Rocketeers haven’t allowed more than one run in a game since giving up 11 in the season opener. Colleran helped her own cause with a pair of hits, including a solo homer. Emily Nardelli led the North offense with three hits, including a double and a three-run homer, and drove in four. Zoey McDonough and Shaelyn Burns both had two hits and two RBI and Mandi Hanewich had a couple of nice catches in the outfield.




Boys Lacrosse
Foxboro, 19 @ Attleboro, 8 – Final

North Attleboro, 4 @ Franklin, 20 – FinalFranklin moved to 4-0 on the season with a big win over visiting North Attleboro. Matt Lazzaro led the offensive charge with three goals and two helpers while sophomores Jayden Consigli and Luke Davis each recorded four goals apiece. Jack Maguire made six saves in net for the win.

Sharon, 12 @ Mansfield, 10 – FinalBen Shocket won 19-of-25 faceoffs and six different Eagles found the back of the net in a win on the road over Mansfield. Brady Daylor led the way offensively for the visitors with five goals, Drew Litner and Kobe Jacobson each scored twice, and Bobby Burns, Connor McLoughlin, and Shocket each scored once in the win. Adam Rabb had a strong showing in net with 17 saves.

Oliver Ames @ King Philip, 3:45

Stoughton, 4 @ Milford, 8 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Foxboro, 18 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this gameFoxboro used a balanced scoring attack and a dominant day on the draw to earn the road win. Mya Waryas (two assists) and Lilly Vey (one assist) were the top scorers with three goals apiece. Ella Waryas (two assists), Mary Collins, Kate Collins, Val Beigel, and Paige Curran each scored two goals, as the Warriors worked the ball around and made sure everyone got a touch. Dylan Rappoli had a goal and three assists and Grace Riley added one goal for Foxboro. Hannah Webster scored for Attleboro in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout and Maggie Porreca made five saves in goal.

Canton, 8 @ Taunton, 17 – FinalTaunton senior Alana Tavares had 10 draw controls and scored nine goals to help the Tigers defend their home turf against visiting Canton. Tasia Lajoie added four controls and six goals in the win while Rosemary McGrath had three draw controls and three assists in the win. Senior Tori DaRosa and junior Sarah Clark each netted one goal, freshman Cali Melo added an assist, and junior Emily Gannon added 13 saves in the win.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Franklin, 20 – FinalKenzie Baker did it all for the Panthers with five draw controls, two goals, and two assists as Franklin rolled to a win at home. Stella Regan added four draw controls and three goals, Katie Jones chipped in with three goals and an assist, and Payten Crandall (two ground balls) played well defensively.

Sharon, 7 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final




Boys Tennis
Milford @ Attleboro, 3:45

Sharon, 4 @ Canton, 1 – FinalSharon took a pair of wins in both singles and doubles play to earn a key win on the road over division rival Canton. Mehul Bhattacharyya (6-1, 6-1) won at first singles for the Eagles while Max Chen earned a 6-1, 6-4 win at third singles. The team of Matthew Lally and Rithvik Neti emerged with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at first doubles while the Eagles’ second doubles pairing of Mitch Weiss and Alex Budovalcio secured a 6-0, 6-0 decision at second doubles. Canton freshman Max Kupferman earned a 6-4, 6-4 win in a well-played second singles matchup.

Foxboro, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalFoxboro won all three singles matches in straight sets and emerged with victories in both doubles matches to earn a win over Oliver Ames. Junior Garrett Spillane picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win at first singles, senior Justin Neale won 6-1, 7-5 at second singles, and senior Jason Kandula picked up a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles. Foxboro’s first doubles pairing of junior Bo Canfield and freshman Justin Kandula won 6-3, 6-2 while junior Guillermo Marroquin and freshman Visruth Shavalam teamed up for a 6-7, 7-5, 10-6 win at second doubles.

Franklin @ King Philip, 3:45

Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final

Stoughton @ North Attleboro, 3:45

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 4 @ Milford, 1 – FinalAttleboro went on the road and picked up a pair of wins from both singles and doubles action to take down host Milford. Ella Lynch Bartek (6-0, 6-2) and Lauren Anthony (6-0, 6-0) each picked up wins at first and second singles, respectively, for the Bombardiers. The team of Rachel Rainey and Saharla Yusuf picked up a 6-1, 6-1 decision at first doubles while Attleboro’s second doubles team of freshmen Maddie Fulscado and Kyra Johnson won 6-0, 6-1. For Milford, Lavinia Mocenni battled back for a 2-6, 6-0, 10-5 win at third singles.

Canton, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – FinalSharon swept both doubles matches and grabbed one more victory at third singles to fend off an upset bid from visiting Canton. The team of Anjali Jha and Ritu Sreeram battled to a hard-fought 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) win at first doubles while Sharon’s second doubles team of Sophia Oh and Sasha Fein emerged with a 6-4, 6-1 victory. Sophomore Allie Aguilar was impressive in Sharon’s third win, recording a 6-0, 6-0 decision at third singles. Canton’s Rachel Kupferman notched a 6-2, 6-4 win at first singles while Laura Correal recorded a 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 win at second singles.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalFoxboro didn’t drop a single game in any of its three singles matches and added one more win in doubles play to secure a victory over visiting Oliver Ames. Athena Li (first), Pam Nelson (second) and Sarah Prag (third) each won 6-0, 6-0 to sweep the singles matches. The team of Maggie McAuliffe and Abby Costa added a 6-0, 6-2 decision at first double for Foxboro’s fourth point. OA’s second doubles team of Lizzie MacAdam and Elizabeth O’Brien picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win.

King Philip @ Franklin, 3:45

Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalMansfield went on the road and earned a win over Taunton by sweeping doubles play and adding a pair of straight-set decisions in singles play. The team of Sarah Harrington and Alexis O’Keefe battled for a 7-5, 5-7, 10-6 win at first doubles while ALly McDavitt and Caroline Guravage took care of business with a 6-1, 6-4 win at second doubles. Mansfield senior Alex Burnham won 6-3, 6-4 at first singles and junior Kate Martin earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles. Taunton’s Kayla Parrett notched a 6-3, 6-4 win at second singles.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton picked up its third straight win, this time defending home court with a victory over visiting division rival North Attleboro. Stoughton’s second doubles team of Nadia Prokopiuk and Stefani Reznikow continued their impressive campaign, clinching the winning point with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win. Allie Lada moved up to first singles and picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win for the Black Knights while. The first doubles team of Emily Pham-Nguyen and Emilia Lada added a 6-2, 7-5 win at first doubles. North Attleboro’s Haley Strom (7-5, 6-3) and Lauren Hunt (6-1, 6-0) won at second and third singles, respectively.

Boys Outdoor Track
Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:45

Girls Outdoor Track
Attleboro, 59 @ King Philip, 77 – FinalAttleboro’s Cassondra Stuger won a pair of events but King Philip was able to earn the overall team win on Monday. Stuger won both the 400M (61.6) and the 200M (26.6) for the Bombardiers, who also got first-place finishes from Diana Blouin (1 Mile, 5:37.6), Kelly Neuendorf (2 Mile, 12:16.0), Elayna Marinelli (javelin, 78-7), Samantha Fregault (discus, 72-1), and Kamsi Igbobi (shot put, 34-5).

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 3 vs. Barnstable, 1 – FinalTaunton won its fourth straight match to open the season, this time a 3-1 decision (25-17, 25-16, 20-25, 25-14) over visiting Barnstable. Daniel Medina set the offense in motion with 34 assists, adding two kills in while Tyler Stewart had an impressive showing with 19 kills, five blocks, and 13 digs in the win. Travis Nunes played well defensively and in serve receive for the Tigers, Mattia Casagrande added six kills and seven aces, and Jakob Thorpe chipped in seven kills and four aces.

Milford vs. Bellingham, 6:00

Wrestling
Oliver Ames @ Foxboro, 4:30
King Philip, 25 @ Franklin, 51 – Final
Milford, 45 @ Stoughton, 10 – Final

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/13/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Foxboro, 2 @ Attleboro, 17 – FinalAttleboro scored two runs in each of the first three innings and then exploded for 11 runs in the fourth inning to collect its first win at its new turf field. Cam Foster, Matt McMahon, and Jake Gorman led the offensive charge for the hosts with three hits apiece while Eric Laurila scored three runs. Gorman also picked up the win on the mound.

Canton, 12 @ Taunton, 8 – FinalLocked in a one-run game through three innings, Canton’s offense caught fire in the top of the fourth inning with nine runs in an offensive packed win on the road at Taunton. Sawyer Julier-Albert clubbed three hits, including a double and a triple, with three RBI and two runs scored while Nico Bonnano had one RBI and one run scored on three hits to pace the Bulldogs’ offense, which totaled 13 hits. Steven Burbank and Matt Quan both drove in a pair of runs with two hits apiece, scoring once in the win. Taunton junior Dawson Bryce had a team-high three hits, driving in two runs and scoring twice.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 10 – Final (5 Inn.)Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.Franklin’s Jacob Jette allowed just one hit in a five-inning complete game effort while the Panthers’ offense had its second double-digit scoring effort in the last three games. Jette issued three walks while striking out eight to earn the win. Jack Marino and Ben Jarosz each went 1-for-2 for the Panthers, driving in a pair of runs while scoring once themselves. Chris Goode added an RBI and two runs scored while freshman Henry DiGiorgio had a hit, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. North’s Gavin Wells came in with a pinch-hit to break up the no-hitter in the top of the fifth.

Sharon, 5 @ Mansfield, 6 – FinalMansfield struck for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to prevail in a see-saw battle with visiting Sharon for the Hornets’ third win of the season. The hosts jumped out to a three-run lead in the bottom of the second inning but the Eagles responded by pushing across five in the top of the third to seize the lead. Cody Geddis clubbed a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to help put the hosts ahead for good. Junior Jared Fraone drove in two runs with a double in the game while Anthony Sacchetti had the other RBI for the Hornets, who had seven hits total and drew four walks. Luke Urban added two hits in the win. Mansfield senior Ben Mintz earned the win in relief, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings with just one two hits and one walked allowed, striking out three. For Sharon, Nate Yaffe went 3-for-3 with two RBI while Ethan Pototsky (hit, run, two walks) and Justin Brown (RBI, run) each helped contribute to the scoring.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ King Philip, 7 – FinalKing Philip pushed across three runs in the third, one more in the fourth, and put the game out of reach with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Shawn Lagere reached base four times for the hosts, drawing two walks along with a double and scored three times to help spark the KP offense. Conor Cooke added two hits, scoring both twice while Eli Reed had a triple in the sixth and came in to score. Jake Burns allowed two runs in four innings of work while Tommy Martarano tossed three innings with one run allowed. For OA, Joe Cicchetti (RBI), Nate Fulford, and Patrick Finnerty each had extra bases hits, Jadon Ricci chipped in with a pair of hits, and Jake Waxman and Nate Carpentier each drove in a run.

Stoughton, 10 @ Milford, 4 – FinalStoughton’s offense set the tone early with four runs in the top of the first and pulled away with three more in the fifth and two in the top of the sixth to secure a win on the road at Fino Field. Offensively, Brandon Mantilla-Mercado led the way going 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI for the Black Knights, Kyle Doolin added two hits with two runs and two RBI, and Brady Conlin scored twice on a pair of walks. Doolin pitched into the sixth inning to earn the win, allowing three earned runes on six hits and four walks, striking out six. Jonah Ly tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to close the door.










Softball
Attleboro, 6 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final

Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 13 – Final (6 Inn.)Zoey McDonough had her second strong start of the season, picking up the win with six strikeouts and just one walk over six innings. McDonough also showed resilience by pitching well with runners on base. Kelly Colleran continued to dominate at the plate with another three hits (her fourth straight game with at least three hits to start her varsity career). She was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Ally Levine also went 3-for-4 with a double and drove in four runs. Emily Nardelli had a pair of hits and made a nice running catch in shallow right field. Belle Clarkin and Chloe Mearn both has strong games defensively at the corners. Julia Forman capped the game with a deep drive that scored Maddie Bailey.

Taunton, 21 @ Canton, 0 – Final (5 Inn.)Taunton continued its perfect start to the season and recorded its third shutout in four games. After plating one in the top of the first, the Tigers exploded for 10 runs in the second inning to break the game open, added four more in the third, and then six in the fourth. Taunton pounded out 23 hits as a team. Kyleah Plumb went 3-for-4, scored twice, and drove in three runs, Hanna Aldrich went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, Kelsey White went 3-for-3 with a homer, four RBI, and three runs scored, Tayah DaCosta was 3-for-4 with two RBI, two doubles, and four runs scored, and Hayley Krockta went 3-for-3 with four RBI and three runs scored. White also got the start in the circle, allowing one hit and striking out nine in three innings. Olivia Mendonca pitched the final two innings for Taunton. Sarah Kelly and Taylor Reynolds had Canton’s two hits in the loss.

Mansfield, 11 @ Sharon, 1 – FinalMansfield bounced back after a pair of losses and got back to .500 on the season with the road win. The Hornets didn’t get going until the fourth inning when they took advantage of three hits and aggressive base running to score three runs. Mansfield added five runs on five hits in the fourth and then tacked on three more in the sixth. Casey Moussette went 3-for-4 and Olivia Madeira and Callie Lake both had a pair of hits, including a triple apiece. Lake also had an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at the plate from center field in the third inning. Alanna Conley, Ashlyn Conley, Nicole Kobasa, Molly Kucharski, and Liv DeTrolio each had a hit for the Hornets. Trinity Payne started for Sharon and struck out eight, while also scoring the lone run for the Eagles. Ally Foulsham went 3-for-4 in the loss.

King Philip, 18 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip continued its torrid start to the season under new head coach Kate Fallon, earning its fourth win in a row to begin the 2021 campaign. The Warriors clubbed 22 hits as a team with Sarah Cullen (three RBI, triple, two runs), Maddie Paschke (two runs), and Meg Sherwood (two runs) each collecting three hits on the day. Sophomore Libby Walsh drove in four runs on two hits, including a home run, and Jordan Bennett knocked in three runs on two hits, including a triple. Caitlin Miller blasted a fifth-inning home run for the Tigers while Katherine Farley and Emma Varella each had a hit for OA.




Boys Lacrosse
North Attleboro, 10 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final North Attleboro earned a season sweep over division foe Oliver Ames with a 10-6 win on the road. For the Tigers, sophomore goalie Noah Isleib made 21 saves, Ross Carroll found the back of the net four times, and Remi Creighton had two assists and one goal.

Girls Lacrosse
Oliver Ames, 4 @ North Attleboro, 9 – FinalAfter letting the lead slip away in the final minute on the road, North Attleboro bounced back with a big defensive performance to knock off OA and split the season series. OA head coach Gen Rogan praised the effort of goalie Emma O’Donnell in the second half as well as the defensive unit of Emilee Nuss, Lili Lozano, and Taylor McAndrew.

Foxboro, 16 @ Sharon, 3 – FinalSophomore Paige Curran scored six goals and assisted on another to lead the Warriors to a second straight win over division rival Sharon. Ella Waryas added a hat trick and Lilly Vey scored twice and had an assist, while Maddie Maher made five saves in the win. Jenna Goldstein had a pair of goals and Molly McAlevey had the other for the Eagles, who got nine saves from goalie Tess Letendre.




Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – FinalFoxboro swept all three singles matches in straight sets and picked up another win in doubles action to break into the win column for the 2021 campaign. Garrett Spillane picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at first singles, Justin Neale didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jason Kandula earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Bo Canfield and Justin Kandula emerged with a 6-4, 6-2 win at first doubles for Foxboro. Attleboro’s Alejandro Jimenez and Tyler Rocchio won 6-0, 6-3 at second doubles.

Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 5 – FinalCanton defended home court with a sweep over visiting Taunton to move to 4-0 on the season. Junior Suraj Ramanathan, freshman Max Kupferman, and senior Minh Duong all won in singles action for the Bulldogs. Sophomores Jorge Nebril Gayubo and Jad Antoun emerged with a victory at first doubles in a third set tie-breaker while junior Kevin Moltenbrey and sophomore Davis Lamb won at second doubles.

Franklin, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalIn a battle of two of the top teams from each division, Franklin secured a pair of three-set tiebreaker wins and won three more in straight sets to beat the Rocketeers on the road. Liam Marr impressed in a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles while juniors Vayshnav Malhotra and Drew Mahoney came away with wins after a third-set tiebreaker. Malhotra battled back to win 3-6, 6-1, 10-4 while Mahoney also came back from a first-set deficit with a 2-6, 6-2, 11-9 win. Senior Anish Gundimeda and junior Sameen Shaik prevailed with a 6-3, 6-4 win at first doubles while junior Thomas Broyles and freshman Jay Gorgas had a strong showing in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.

King Philip, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalKing Philip went on the road to Easton and won all five matches to get its first victory of the season. Senior Nick Putney didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, junior Brady Jannek earned a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and junior Jon Cohen picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win at third singles. The team of Jackson Hom and Connor Sachleben secured a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while Noah Ihley paired with Adam Gousie for a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Milford, 1 @ Stoughton, 4 – FinalStoughton won in straight sets in all three singles matches and added another win in doubles play to defend home court against visiting Milford. Waseem Sablon was impressive in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles while Rayan Sablon replicated that success at second singles with the same score. Junior Anish Sinha added a 6-0, 6-1 at third singles while the team of Murtaza Khalil and Ben Dias picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at second doubles.

Mansfield, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – FinalSharon junior Ruemon Bhattacharyya emerged with a hard-fought win at first singles as the Eagles swept singles play in a win against visiting Mansfield. Bhattacharyya earned a 6-3, 7-5 win, freshman Mehul Bhattacharyya didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles while junior Max Chen secured a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles. Juniors Mitch Weiss and Jonah Nathan added a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles for the Eagles. Seniors Kai Schirmacher and Nikhil Lankipalle prevailed at first doubles 6-4, 3-6, 10-8.




Girls Tennis
Foxboro, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalFoxboro continued its dominance in singles action and added one more win in doubles play in a road win at Attleboro. Athena Li (first singles) and Pam Nelson (second singles) each walked away with a 6-0, 6-0 win while Sarah Prag took home a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles. Maggie McAuliffe and Abby Costa added another win for the Warriors with a 6-0, 5-7, 6-0 decision at first doubles. Attleboro’s Emma Pion and Olivia Meier emerged with a 7-5, 6-2 win at second doubles.

Canton, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalCanton’s Laura Correal prevailed with a three-set win at second doubles to help the Bulldogs pick up a win on the road. Correal secured a 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 win for the deciding point, Rachel Kupferman (first singles, 6-0, 6-0) and the first doubles team of Lily Hazam and Olivia Durham (7-5, 6-3) also picked up wins for the visitors. Cayeesha Charles won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles for Taunton while the team of Morgan Smith and Riley Roderick earned a 6-4, 7-5 win at second doubles.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – FinalTaking two wins in singles play and two more in doubles, Franklin defended home court against visiting North Attleboro. Junior Vedika Vinayak rallied for a 0-6, 7-5, 6-3 win at first singles while freshman Hailey Morin took home a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles. Juniors Jessica Pingeton and Chloe Barca battled back to secure a 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at first doubles while junior Amulya Jayam and sophomore Shriya Rajesh prevailed victorious at second doubles, 6-4, 6-3. North Attleboro’s Lauren Hunt won 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 at third singles.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalKing Philip defended home court with a sweep of singles play, adding one more win from doubles play, to knock off visiting OA. Katarina Schneider (6-0, 6-0) didn’t drop a game at first singles, Mia Valencia (6-0, 6-1) only lost one game at second singles, and Sammie Taylor emerged from third singles with a 6-3, 7-5 win, The team of Ahunna James and Shea Mellman added a 6-3, 6-0 win at first doubles. OA’s second doubles team of Kate McLaughlin and Grace House prevailed with a third-set tiebreaker win, 6-3, 3-6, 10-5.

Stoughton, 5 @ Milford, 0 – FinalStoughton went on the road and won all five matches in straight sets to earn a sweep of host Milford. Brooke Bulger picked up a 6-2, 7-5 win at first singles, Allie Lada didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 victory at second singles, and Lena Allie battled for a 6-2, 6-3 win at third singles. Emily Pham-Nguyen and Emilia Lada teamed up for a 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles while Stoughton’s second doubles pairing of Nadia Prokopiuk and Stefani Reznikow added a 6-1, 6-1 win.

Sharon @ Mansfield, 3:45




Boys Outdoor Track
Milford @ Attleboro, 3:45

Franklin, 44 @ Mansfield, 92 – FinalMansfield earned a sweep in three events and two first and second in two more to pick up a big win over Franklin. Jake Wall, who won four events, won the long jump at 22’9” with Xavier Manuel (19’2”) taking second and Dylan Buchanan (18’10”). The Hornets also swept the triple jump (Wall – 42’7.75”; Dana Johnson – 38’6.25”; Manuel – 36’10.25”) and the 110M hurdles (Buchanan – 16.3, Evan Rawlings – 18.4; Ryan Munroe – 18.5). In the 2 Mile race, Riley Tremblay crossed first in 10:42.8 with Tim Corkery (10:52.7) taking second while Jack Taylor (137’) and Stephen Saba (118’2”) took first and second, respectively, in the javelin. Wall added wins in the 100M (11.) and the 200M (22.6) while the Hornets also picked up wins from Caden Riley (52.5 – 400M), Aengus McGill (92’7” – discus), Charles Newcomb (39’8” – shot put) and the 4×100 relay team (DaSean Peters-Wolfe, Isaiah Kinds, Munroe, Buchanan – 45.4).

Girls Outdoor Track
Milford, 78 @ Attleboro, 56 – FinalAttleboro picked up first place finishes from Elayna Marinelli (89’1”) in the shot put, Amber Masse (63’) in the discus, Kamsi Igbobi (32’11.5”) in the shot put, Cassondra Stuger (32’11.5”) in the triple jump, and Rebecca Rainey (4’8) in the high jump.

Franklin, 60 @ Mansfield, 76 – FinalMansfield senior Tessa Lancaster won a pair of distance events and freshman Norah Puleo took first in one race while anchoring the final leg of a winning relay team as Mansfield beat Attleboro. Lancaster took first in both the 1 Mile (5:40.4) and the 2 Mile (12:36) while Puleo finished strong to earn first — and a PR — in the 800M (2:27.3). Puleo ran the final leg of Mansfield’s 4×400 relay team, joining Anna Darlington, Caitlin Dumouchel, and Rosie McIntyre to win in 4:14.3. Mansfield’s 4×100 relay team of Abigail Scott, Meghan Driscoll, Erika Penney, and Colleen Waters won in 50.8.

Wrestling
Canton, 29 @ Oliver Ames, 45 – Final
Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 36 – Final
Milford, 38 @ Franklin, 31 – Final
Mansfield @ King Philip, 3:45
Sharon @ North Attleboro, 3:45

Mansfield Rides Second Half Rally Past Franklin

Mansfield boys basketball Jack Colby
Mansfield senior Jack Colby is defended by Franklin’s Jake O’Brien in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 MANSFIELD, Mass. – For nearly three quarters, the Franklin boys basketball was following its gameplay to near perfection.

The Panthers were sharing the ball on offense, cutting to the basket, and hitting open looks from outside. And the defense was on point too, keeping the Hockomock League’s leading scorer Matt Boen in check for over 20 minutes.

But as the visitors learned the hard way, anything short of a full 32-minute performance isn’t enough to beat the Hornets.

Mansfield boys basketball

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin’s double-digit second half lead evaporated, shrinking over the final minutes of the third quarter and disappearing by the midway point of the fourth. Instead, it was Mansfield who walked away with a double-digit victory, 60-50, behind a big second half turnaround.

There wasn’t much separating the teams throughout the first half but a pair of late threes had the Panthers up 32-24 at the halftime break. Franklin added two more from downtown range in the opening minutes of the third and suddenly, what was once a back-and-forth game that featured lead change after lead change, was looking like a runaway win for the Panthers up 42-27 at the midway point of the third.

“I just thought we had to exert ourselves a little bit on both ends of the court,” offered Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan.

It started with defense as the Hornets held the visitors without points for nearly five minutes. In fact, Mansfield allowed just two points over the final five minutes of the third quarter. And with stops on the defensive end came some confidence on the offensive end.










Boen got the offense going with a floater from the baseline and senior Brendan Foley had an easy layup after a nice back cut. After two more free throws from Boen, junior Matt Hyland (14 points, five rebounds) hit a big three and junior Chris Hill had a nice take to the rim.

Boen capped Mansfield’s 13-2 run by hitting both of his chances from the free throw line and just like that, the deficit was just four, 44-40, going into the fourth. Mansfield went 19-of-25 from the line while Franklin was 4-of-6.

Mansfield boys basketball

“It helped they missed some shots that they didn’t miss in the first half,” Vaughan added. “They shot the ball really well, they did some things to put ourselves in some bad situations. Historically I like to give Franklin credit for their defense but [on offense] they put us in some situations that don’t normally get put in with their cutting and their movement, they were really committed to it. And I don’t think it was a lack of effort as much as really good design by them. And they hit shots to follow it.”

Franklins seemed to shake off the Hornets’ run when senior Andrew Byfield scored down low and freshman Henry Digiorgio had a big steal that ended up with a free throw. But by this point, Mansfield was in a rhythm as Jack Colby (12 points, nine rebounds) hit two free throws after a big defensive board and Boen tied the game with five minutes to go with a triple.

Mansfield got a stop and Boen, who was limited to just five points on 3-of-3 shooting in the first half, drained another triple to put the hosts ahead. Byfield answered with a putback on one end but Colby corralled an offensive rebound on the other end, completing a traditional three-point play after being fouled on the putback.

“We have to be consistent throughout the game,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “Everything we did to get that lead went out the window when they started to make that run. Honestly, I didn’t think we handled it well mentally…we started doing things that were out of character, different from what we were doing in the first half…the ball movement, the patience, the sharing the basketball, following the scout defensively…instead we started to press a little bit trying to make plays instead of letting it come to us. We had a very specific plan defensively and I thought we got away from that and they got free.”

Mansfield boys basketball

Franklin shot 46% from the field (11-of-24) in the first half but managed just seven makes (7-of-28) in the second half, including just 2-of-12 from three-point range.

Another Franklin miss allowed Mansfield to get out and run and Boen attacked the rim for two, and following a Franklin turnover, it was two more points for the senior guard for a 57-50 lead with just over two minutes to go.

“I thought we tried to make up their entire run on one possession,” Neely said. “We knew they’d make some plays but instead of buckling down when it happened, it seemed like we started to panic a bit and take shots that were uncharacteristic to what was giving us success. You can’t allow that to happen against Mansfield, they’re a great team, they are disciplined and they aren’t going away.”

An off-ball offensive foul gave the Hornets the ball back and Hyland made the most of a second chance opportunity, darting to the basket for two to ice the win.




“Once we figured their pace on offense to at least slow them down some, they missed a couple shots, and we were able to go down and score a couple in a row,” Vaughan said, “We found some rhythm and it felt like they got a little tight. As they say, you’d rather be playing well in the fourth than the first.”

Franklin’s best offensive quarter was the second with five of their six makes from the field coming from three-point range. Sean Vinson hit the first one, Jake O’Brien (14 points) hit three in a three minute span, and freshman Henry Digiorgio had another. Declan Walmsley (11 points, nine rebounds) added two three-pointers in the game while Alex Newman had one as the Panthers finished with 10 makes from downtown.

Mansfield boys basketball

Boen ended up with 12 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. With Franklin paying extra attention to the senior guard, and with Hornet senior forward TJ Guy out with an injury, Mansfield needed other players to step up. Both Hyland and Colby answered the call.

Both players scored five points in the opening quarter to help the Hornets keep pace with the visitors, who hit three trifectas in the opening eight minutes. Digiorgio (10 points) hit two of those to help the Panthers build a 15-14 lead after one quarter.

Hyland continued to attack the basket in the second quarter while Franklin’s defense continued to limit Boen’s touches. In the second half, Colby made a lot of hustle players, including a team-high four offensive rebounds, to help spark the comeback.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Hyland and Jack stepped up and had some big plays for us,” Vaughan said. “And granted, [Boen] hit some shots too which built our confidence. When he scores, the level of pressure for the other guys goes down. They have some room to make a mistake because they know he’s going to find a way to make a basket. Then all of a sudden, they’re making baskets too and that inflates the confidence. Both Hyland and Jack came up with big plays right when we needed them to.

“I talked to Jack earlier this season about how we needed him to be a competitor, not just someone who sits in the corner and shoots threes. We need a mixture of both and he’s really taken that to heart. If he just sits in the corner and shoots, I can sub someone else in for that. If he’s grabbing rebounds, plays defense, contests defense, I can’t replace him. He becomes one of the guys I have to leave on the floor for most of the game. And Jack, out of all kids on this team, has made an unbelievable commitment to the game and now you’re seeing the fruits of his labor, it’s paying off. Now we need to see him committed to that style of play each game.”

This will be the quickest turnaround between games for the two rivals as Mansfield (6-0 overall, 5-0 Kelley-Rex) travel to Franklin (4-3, 4-3) on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Mansfield boys basketball

Taunton Rides Fourth Quarter Run Past Franklin

Taunton boys basketball Tristan Herry
Taunton junior Tristan Herry goes up for a layup against Franklin senior Declan Walmsley on Saturday morning. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 TAUNTON, Mass. – After leading for nearly the entire game, Taunton’s advantage evaporated after Franklin’s strong start to the fourth quarter.

Taunton boys basketball

Instead of letting the visitors’ momentum snowball, the Tigers fought back.

Taunton’s answer was an 11-2 run over the next three minutes, jumping back ahead for good in a 72-65 win over Franklin to give the Tigers a regular season sweep of the Panthers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It was what you’d expect for a Saturday morning game, it didn’t feel like either team was there defensively,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “We were out of it defensively all day. It was a close game in the second half and we were acting like we were down 20. We have to get over our mistakes quicker, we have kids that dwell on them too long.”

The Tigers carried a 55-51 advantage into the fourth quarter but the lead didn’t last long as the Panthers came out strong to start the final period. Jake O’Brien (13 points) finished through contact and Declan Walmsley (20 points, six rebounds, four assists) hit two from the line then drained a straightaway triple to put Franklin ahead 58-55, just its second lead after a brief one-point edge in the second quarter.

But there was no quit in the Tigers, orchestrating a run that would put them ahead for good. Senior Josh Lopes, who had been held scoreless through three quarters, hit one from the line and then finished off a traditional three-point play following a Franklin turnover.

Taunton got a stop and junior Trent Santos (nine points) dropped a pass down low for senior big man Tyler Stewart (15 points, 15 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass, four assists) to finish. Franklin senior Zach Harvey (12 points, six rebounds, nine assists, three steals), who had a terrific all-around game for the Panthers, made a diving save out of bounds that resulted in a layup for Andrew Byfield to keep it a one-point game at 61-60.










“We spent a lot of time on the offense at practice after Thursday’s game, we knew we had to get better and take care of the ball better and have more effective movement,” said Franklin coach CJ Neely. “I thought the guys did a really good job, I was really happy with how we moved the ball and our patience. You could see what we’re capable of on offense when we moved the ball so hopefully, the guys learned their lesson.

“But we gave them too many opportunities on the defensive end, we didn’t secure enough rebounds or finish off defensive possessions like we usually do and that crushed us. You can’t let a really good team like that have second or third chances like that.”

Taunton boys basketball

Stewart, who drew double teams all game, showed off his passing skills with a nice feed to Faisal Mass (five points, six rebounds), who was cutting baseline for an easy two. Mass then blocked a putback attempt and two plays later, junior Tristan Herry (14 points, four rebounds) found Lopes for a big three and a 66-60 lead with under three minutes to go.

Walmsley answered for the Panthers with another three to make it a one-possession game but Santos confidently sliced through the defense and dropped in a floater as the clock ticked under two minutes to go. Franklin was off the mark on a three and Stewart pushed the lead to six on a free throw.

O’Brien found space and converted at the rim for two to make it 69-65, and the Panthers got an important stop but Herry was the first to the floor to pounce on the loose ball for the offensive rebound (Taunton’s 18th offensive rebound) and got a timeout to keep possession with 29.2 seconds to go. Santos hit two from the line to ice the win.

“[Tristan] is the energizer bunny for us, he really is,” Dacey said of Herry, who not only grabbed the key offensive rebound but also shined defensively and stepped in to take charges. “And the other kids feed off of it too, and they feed off of Danny [MacDougall] too. We have some guys that are laid back, and that was one issue today where we had too many guys too laid back simultaneously. So getting the energy from those two guys really helped.”




While MacDougall didn’t factor into the fourth quarter scoring, he played a huge role through the first three quarters for the hosts. He came off the bench and hit two shots in the first quarter and grabbed two boards, helping the Tigers to a 22-19 lead after eight minutes.

Taunton boys basketball

He added two more field goals in the second quarter with nice takes to the rim and dished out three assists, while Isiah Seldon also came off the bench for a pair of field goals in the second as Taunton staked a 41-35 halftime lead.

Franklin made it a two-point game early in the third before Santos pushed it back to five with a three. Then MacDougall came up with a steal and found Lopes streaking up the court. Lopes’ feet were accidentally tripped up by a defender and he tossed the ball up as he was falling out of bounds, and MacDougall alertly sprinted the floor and grabbed possession, and laid it in for two and a 51-44 lead. MacDougall finished with a career-high 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

“Danny’s unbelievable…he did a good job today,” Dacey said. “We felt like we weren’t losing anything, there wasn’t a drop off when we put Danny in today. He really helped out.”

While Herry and MacDougall provided a big energy boost for the home team, Harvey did the same for the visitors. The senior guard was a menace on both ends of the court, locking up one of the Tigers’ top guards while running the offense.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

On top of his career-high 12 points (on 6-of-8 shooting), he dished out a career-high nine assists with only two turnovers, grabbing three steals on defense. His ability to penetrate the defense led to easy layups and open looks from three-point range for the likes of Walmsley, Alex Newman, and freshman Henry Digiorgio (13 points, 3-of-8 three point).

“Zach’s a captain for us for those types of reasons,” Neely said. “He doesn’t do many of the fanfare things that everyone sees, but it’s nice to see he get some assist numbers. But his contributions go far beyond the stat book. He was spraying it around and getting guys good looks, he takes on tough defensive matchups. He had Lopes today and held him scoreless until the fourth. I’m really happy for him because he had a great game, I just wish it could have been a ‘W.’”

Taunton (2-0) returns to action next week on Tuesday when it travels to take on Kelley-Rex newcomer Milford. Franklin (4-2) will try to snap its current two-game skid when it makes the trip to take on rival Mansfield on the same day.

Taunton boys basketball

Taunton Holds Off Franklin To Give Dacey 400th Win

Charlie Dacey Taunton boys basketball
Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey, who earned his 400th win on Thursday, watches the action in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 TAUNTON, Mass. – Most teams in the Hockomock League are hitting the halfway point of the regular season this week, but the Taunton boys basketball team is just getting started.

Charlie Dacey Taunton boys basketball

While it was a victory for Taunton to just get on the court after weeks of delays, the Tigers were in search of a different kind of win.

Buoyed by a hot start offensively and solid defense throughout, the Tigers won their season opener, 55-46, giving head coach Charlie Dacey his 400th career win — all coming with Taunton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I thought our defense was pretty good,” Dacey said. “That’s a lot of motion, you can’t duplicate what they do in practice. If they were hitting their shots we would have been in trouble because they had some decent looks.

“We were hitting the threes [early] which certainly helps. Then we kind of insisted on shooting them as the game went on, which drives me crazy.”

Dacey coached at the sub-varsity level for over a decade, including seven years at Taunton, before taking over for the 1989-1990 season.

“It’s always a matter of longevity,” Dacey said of his milestone win. “We’ve got a little bit of a culture here in Taunton and there’s an expectation here. But it’s the kids, it’s true, it’s all about the kids. You don’t get this many wins without having some good, coachable kids and this is the most coachable group I’ve had in a while.”

The Tigers didn’t show much rust at the start of the game, shooting just under 50% from the floor and connecting from three-point range four times. The pace was frantic from the start, with the teams combining for over 50 possessions in the first eight minutes.

Charlie Dacey Taunton boys basketball










Junior Faisal Mass (13 points, six rebounds) converted a pass from Trent Santos (10 points, four rebounds) on the opening possession and the Tigers were off and running. Tyler Stewart (11 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) scored down low, Josh Lopes (11 points, four rebounds) scored five straight surrounded by a pair of Franklin turnovers, and Santos sank a three as Taunton jumped out to a 12-5 lead just over three minutes in.

Santos hit his second trifecta of the period, Stewart hit two from the line after being fouled, and Lopes capped the quarter with his second three-pointer to give Taunton a 20-11 lead after one.

That momentum continued into the second as senior Danny MacDougall came off the bench to give the Tigers an early boost. After a free throw and a Franklin turnover, MacDougall knocked down a corner three. Taunton’s defense kept the hosts off the board for almost three minutes to start the second.

After a little lull, Mass sank a corner three and Nigel Choate came up with a steal, the Tigers eventually getting a three-pointer from Tristan Herry to make it 30-15 just past the midway point of the second. Lopes scored at the rim, Stewart cleaned up a miss with a putback, and Herry made a late layup for a 36-20 halftime lead.

“I think the start of the game was, unfortunately, the difference right off the bat,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “It felt like they got all 20 points in the first five minutes. It’s a big hole to dig against a really good team. It was a game we could have easily lost by 30 but credit to our guys for sticking with it. I thought defensively we did a really good job but scoring 46 points isn’t going to get it done.

“Just too many turnovers throughout the game really hurt us. Credit them for their defensive pressure, they had some blocked shots early so we were a little tentative taking it to the rim at times.”

To no one’s surprise, Franklin didn’t lay down and slowly crawled its way back into the contest. Even though Mass hit a three to open the second half to give the Tigers a 19-point lead, it would be the last triple for the visitors. And the Panthers held Taunton to just six points the rest of the third.

Charlie Dacey Taunton boys basketball

Freshman Henry Digiorgio connected from downtown early in the frame andAndrew Byfield (from Zach Harvey) added another triple as the Panthers stayed within striking distance. Despite limiting Taunton to just nine points in the quarter, Franklin entered the fourth quarter staring at a 45-30 deficit.




Taunton’s offense continued to sputter against Franklin’s aggressive defense. Not only were the Panthers doing a good job taking away open looks on the three-point line, Franklin put plenty of attention on Stewart, who dominated the paint all of last season.

Missed free throws and turnovers plagued both teams for the first four minutes of the final period, so when Santos finished off a fast break transition basket to make it 49-35 with 4:33 to go, Taunton’s lead looked safe.

But Byfield (nine points, six rebounds, two blocks) crashed the offensive boards for two, Jake O’Brien (17 points) drove the lane and hit a floater, and Declan Walmsley (nine points, eight rebounds) went coast-to-coast for two and suddenly it was just 49-41 with 2:27 to play.

“I don’t think fatigue was the issue but it was like, what’s going on?…we just lost our mojo [in the second half],” Dacey said. “The difference in games played matters. This is the first time we’ve been at game speed, and it certainly showed in places.”

Taunton turned it over coming out of a timeout and Walmsley found Byfield for two. The Tigers had three chances at stopping the run but couldn’t find the bottom of the net. Franklin’s three-point attempt was off with under a minute to go and Stewart hit one free throw after grabbing the defensive rebound.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Two more from Mass pushed it to 52-43 but a corner three from Alex Newman brought it back to a six-point game. Taunton made enough from the line down the stretch to hold on.

“They have three or four guys that can easily be a league all star so it’s kind of like pick your poison, trying to figure out which guy you want to stop,” Neely said. “We saw it last year, you stop one and another one gets going. They are a great team, I feel bad they don’t have a state tournament to play in because that’s one of the best teams around.”

Taunton (1-0) will host Franklin (4-1) in a rematch on Saturday morning at 11:00 AM.

Charlie Dacey Taunton boys basketball

Strong Team Effort Pushes Panthers Past Hawks

Franklin boys basketball Jake O'Brien
Franklin’s Jake O’Brien goes up for a shot in the first half against Milford. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FRANKLIN, Mass. – If there was a textbook on how to play Franklin basketball, it would look a lot like how the Panthers played on Tuesday night.

In a 62-52 season-opening win over visit Milford, the Panthers’ unselfish offense resulted in four players reaching double-figures in the scoring column and their aggressive defense never let the senior-laden Hawks get comfortable.

Maybe more impressive was that the game marked the first meaningful minutes for all but two Panthers — Declan Walmsley (game-high 18 points, six rebounds) and Andrew Byfield (13 points, 13 rebounds). The other seven Franklin players that checked in were experiencing their first meaningful minutes in a varsity game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“There’s a certain level of expectation we have and guys like [Jake] O’Brien and [Zach] Harvey, they watched as juniors and didn’t get to play very much but they were at practice every day, playing that type of defense and they know how much it means to our team,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely, who is in his seventh season at the helm of the Panthers. “They don’t just become good defenders all of a sudden because they are seniors, they’ve been working at it, going against really good players in practice so it’s not a total shock when they get the chance to play. These guys are tough, they have good attitudes and they come to work. Defense is something we’re always going to take pride in.”

Walmsley was a steady presence throughout for the Panthers, the top-scoring option returning from last year’s squad that graduated an experienced and talented group of players. The senior hit a three in the opening quarter, earned a trip to the line, and came up with a steal to set the tone for the hosts.

Byfield overcame some early jitters and turnovers to score 10 of his points in the second half. His game-high 13 boards helped limit the visiting Hawks to a total of four offensive rebounds.

To top it off, the Panthers got a big boost from freshman Henry Digiorgio (15 points), who provided a big spark off the bench in the opening quarter with a pair of threes. And when Milford made its biggest run of the game, Digiorgio sank arguably the biggest shot of the game in the third quarter to push the hosts’ lead back to double-digits.







A back-and-forth first quarter had Franklin ahead 15-14, Milford staying in it on the back of senior Jordan Darling (10 rebounds, four assists) who scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the first eight minutes. The Panthers’ defense really shined in the second as they held the Hawks to just five points on 2-of-13 shooting with three turnovers.

“You always want to jump on teams early but we knew Milford has a lot of experience, a lot of guys that have played in big tournament games, guys that won a division title last year…we knew we’d have our hands full but we wanted to be aggressive and make it difficult on their offense,” Neely said. “Getting a couple to go early and getting a lead early at home is nice, and those guys have to just come into the gym with all this stuff going on, maybe they aren’t comfortable right away and we get a cushion early on.”

Meanwhile, Franklin’s offense inched away on some success from three-point range. Walmsley connected early and O’Brien (12 points, four assists) hit two more to push the lead to 24-16. Byfield hit a three in the final minute to give the Panthers a 29-19 lead at the break.

“We weren’t ready to play, period,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver, also in his seventh season. “Mentally we just weren’t ready to play. [Franklin] hits shots and they defend, and they do it amongst the best teams in the state year in and year out. I’m disappointed right now, we have to be better.”




Milford made its move in the third quarter, hitting a pair of threes — one from Ben Blanchard (10 points) and one from Max Martin (12 points) — in the first 90 seconds of the half after connecting from downtown just twice in the first two quarters.

The Panthers answered with a 7-0 burst when Byfield converted off a turnover and O’Brien used a quick step to get past his defender for an easy two. But Milford continued to claw back as Darling sparked an 8-0 run with a three. Ralph Franklin Jr. got to the rim for two and Martin hit another corner three and the Panthers’ lead shrunk to just 38-33 with two minutes left in the third.

Digiorgio sank a pair of free throws to snap the run, and two possessions later, the freshman sank a straightaway three with the shot clock about to expire and just seconds left in the third to push the Panther advantage back to 10 at 43-33.

“We knew he was a good player, we had seen him play at the Metro level,” Neely said of Digiorgio. “You never know how it will translate to the varsity level but he has confidence which is good. We told him you’re either varsity or not, doesn’t matter a sophomore or freshman. That was a huge bucket.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

An early five points from Darling gave the visitors some hope for a comeback but Byfield, O’Brien, and Digiorgio scored in succession, and the Panthers’ lead never shrunk to single digits again.

The teams won’t have to wait long for a rematch as the Hawks (0-1) will host the Panthers (1-0) on Thursday night, tipping off at 7:00.

“I think being at home will benefit us, I think it’s that type of situation this year,” Seaver said. “It’s a little more of a comfort level given the protocols. But we have to be better. We have to be better in practice tomorrow and we have to be better in the game on Thursday.”