Boys Soccer D1 South
#11 Franklin, 1 @ #6 Natick, 0 – Final – Franklin scored an early goal and the defense had a great game to earn a 1-0 upset of #6 Natick. Lucas Moura scored on an assist from Donny Tappin to put the visitors ahead. Jack Rudolph was outstanding in net in the shutout for Franklin. The Panthers will play the winner of #3 Brockton and #14 Braintree.
#2 Milford, 6 vs. #15 Catholic Memorial, 0 – Final – Milford’s offense exploded for five goals inside an 11-minute span in the first half to earn a first round win over Catholic Memorial. Junior Lucas Da Silva opened the scoring in the 14th minute and the floodgates opened up for the Hawks’ offense. Jordan Borges (from Leo Coelho) doubled the lead less than one minute later, and Joao Pedro Da Silva got in on the scoring action with a goal in the 21st minute. Joao Pedro Da Silva grabbed his second two minutes later off a cross from Pedro Araujo, who then scored himself off a header (from Eduardo Castro) in the 25th minute. Castro converted a fast break for his first career goal in the 34th minute to make it 6-0. Chris Tocci, Gabriel Godoy, and Carlos Terrinha played well defensively for Milford.
Field Hockey D1 South
#5 Franklin, 0 @ #4 Westwood, 1 – Final
#15 Mansfield, 0 @ #7 Notre Dame, 4 – Final
Volleyball D1 Central/East
#3 King Philip, 3 vs. #6 Revere, 0 – Final – King Philip opened its tournament run in impressive fashion with a dominant 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-9) win over Revere. Nicole Coughlan (11 kills, two aces) and Catherine Waldeck (nine kills, three blocks) led the charge offensively for the Warriors while Kristen Masse (three kills, two aces) also had a strong match. The Warriors advance to the D1 Central/West Semifinals to play at #2 Quincy (19-2) on Wednesday at 6:00.
#4 Oliver Ames, 3 vs. #5 Brockton, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this match. – Oliver Ames pulled out a close win in a see-saw battle between the Tigers and Boxers in a rubber match this season. After splitting the regular season series, the Tigers earned bragging rights with a 3-2 (25-9, 19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7) win in the tournament opener for both teams. Senior Allie Kemp with dished out 34 assists, senior Alison Barth had 39 digs, and senior Jordan Bosse and junior Caroline Flynn paced the offense with 15 kills apiece. #4 Oliver Ames will play #1 Dartmouth on Wednesday at 6:30 at Greater New Bedford Voke.
#2 Canton, 3 vs. #10 Tantasqua, 0 – Final – Canton took care of business in its tournament opener, knocking off visiting Tantasqua, 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-14). Taylor Harris was the catalyst for the Bulldogs offense with 16 kills, while Claire Quinn, Shannon Malloy, Liz Bickett (six aces, 10digs), and Angie Elias all played great at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played solid defense, and Jackie Morrissey added 17 assists and 12 digs. #2 Canton advances to the D2 Central Semifinal and will host the winner of #3 North Middlesex and #6 Medfield on Thursday.
“This is a great tie for us,” said Taunton coach Taylor Whitters. “We’ve been struggling a little bit with some finishing and hustling, and in the second half they showed what they are capable of, and they are capable of a lot. They were great teammates today and they worked hard, and going forward that’s what we need to keep doing.”
Franklin scored just under five minutes into the game and added a second tally in the final minute of the first half to take a comfortable 2-0 advantage into the halftime break. The Panthers carried some of that momentum into the second half but couldn’t find the final touch to add a third goal in the second half.
“This was a very bad tie for us as far as I’m concerned, we should have put them away,” said Franklin head coach Fran Bositis. “I thought we had some chances to put them away and didn’t take them. Their goalie played recklessly but he played well. But there’s no way this team should be giving up two goals in a half, let alone the last 15 minutes of the game.”
The Panthers found success playing through balls behind the Tigers’ defense throughout the first half, including junior Ethan Cain played Donny Tappin in alone in the 5th minute, and the senior striker calmly finished his chance to put the visitors up 1-0.
In the second half, Taunton goalie Nolan Melo made tough for Franklin to connect on those chances. Melo was quick off his line and often came out to clear the ball played through.
“He reads the game incredibly well,” Whitters said of Melo. “He’s willing to take risks, and sometimes it’s a big risk, but he anticipates very well. And that is a huge help when teams are trying to play those through balls or the ball over the top.”
Franklin did have its chances though, as Lucas Moura beat a defender one-on-one but his service through the six-yard box just missed Tappin. Six minutes later, Tyler Powderly looked to have given the Panthers some breathing room when he got a piece of a cross from Tappin, but Melo grabbed the ball before it could completely cross the line.
“That’s the type of team that all they need is a chance,” Bositis said. “If we had scored that third goal, I think that would have been it. But allowing them to get the next goal, even with only 15 minutes left, that gave them life. And we just weren’t playing smart at that point anyway.”
Moura had Franklin’s best chance of the half in the 62nd minute, dribbling his way past a defender to get an open shot but Melo made the point-blank save to keep the deficit at 2-0.
That saved proved even bigger as Taunton got on the board just five minutes later. After a long clearance, the Tigers developed a quick 2-on-1 up the middle and junior Donovan Hibbert played senior Alec Nunes onto his right foot, and the striker buried a low shot into the bottom corner of the goal to make it 2-1.
“I think we were building towards it in the second half,” Whitters said. “We were using some high pressure, and once they saw that something was coming from their hustle and their effort, they started to believe, and they started to see some results from it.”
Taunton continued to press, and a free kick service fell into the area and bounced around. The referee at midfield called a handful on the Panthers, awarding the hosts with a penalty kick. Senior Colton Madeira buried the chance from the spot to make it 2-2 in the 75th minute.
Franklin had the majority of chances in the opening half. Tappin flashed a header at the near post off a service from Moura in the 23rd minute but Melo made the stop. Jeff Yelle and Charlie Amante nearly connected in the 28th minute but Melo was quick off his line.
Taunton’s best chance of the first half came when Nunes won a challenge and fired a shot from 25 yards out but Franklin keeper Jack Rudolph made the save on the bounce.
The Panthers made it 2-0 just before the halftime whistle when Ben Moccia played a low service and Tappin made a terrific run to the near post and simply one-timed the cross into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Taunton boys soccer (0-3-3 Hockomock, 0-3-3 overall) entertains Milford on Friday while Franklin (3-1-2, 3-1-3) will host North Attleboro on the same day.
“I think that’s an incredible Franklin team, I just told [Franklin coach] Fran [Bositis] I haven’t seen a team close down space as quickly and efficiently as they do,” said Milford head coach Brian Edwards. “I was very happy with how we were able to move the ball at times against them. The score is great but we have a lot of work to do. We made some mistakes, I thought we were fortunate in how we scored. I think we showed flashes of what we can do but we’ll need to keep getting better each game.
“But anytime you can get a result against a good team like that, we’ll take it.”
Junior Leo Coelho turned some heads with a terrific individual run, beating multiple Panthers before depositing a perfect shot just under the bar to give Milford a lead in the second minute.
Franklin tied the game in the 17th but Milford scored a pair of goals in the final half hour of play to emerge with the victory.
After Coelho’s strike, the Hawks continued to pressure early and had a couple of chances at doubling the lead. In the 9th minute, senior Pedro Moura played Coelho in behind the defense but Franklin keeper Jack Rudolph (eight saves) came charging off his line and Coelho’s touch was just wide of the post.
It wouldn’t be the last time Rudolph would deny the Hawks on a good goal scoring chance.
The Panthers equalized in the 17th minute on one of their few chances in the contest. Senior Donny Tappin made a darting run down the left side, centering with a low cross. Junior Ben Moccia was able to slide and beat his defender, tapping the pass into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
Thanks to Rudolph, that was the scoreline heading into the half. In the 20th minute, Moura connected with Lucas Da Silva, who flicked it back but Moura’s low left-footed shot was swallowed up by Rudolph.
And then just minutes before halftime, Coelho hit one from distance that forced Rudolph into a diving save, getting his fingertips to the shot to force it to hit the post and out for a corner.
Milford regained the lead in the 52nd minute. Senior captain Nuno Mestre looped a throw into the box where Moura was taken down for a penalty kid. Moura hit one down the middle, and Rudolph was able to get the original stop but Moura was alert to the rebound and sprinted up and tapped it in to make it 2-1.
The Hawks had a couple of other chances to add to the lead but couldn’t solve Rudolph. In the 56th minute, Moura tracked down a ball over the top and had an open chance but was denied by Rudolph and the rebound rolled wide. In the 60th minute, Joao Pedro Da Silva connected with Coelho but his shot sizzled just over the bar. Senior Jordan Borges cracked one off the corner of the crossbar and post on a 30-yard free kick in the 64th minute.
The Hawks stifled any efforts from the Panthers to get forward over the final 10 minutes. Coelho moved back from forward to a center defensive midfield position and helped shore up the defense.
“Jack bailed us out, I thought he played great today,” Bositis said. “[Milford] is very crafty, quick, well-skilled…they are good. For us, it was similar to Xaverian where we just aren’t getting it done in the final third.”
Just before the final whistle, won a challenge in the attacking third, catching Rudolph off his line and he calmly dropped a shot into the far post to make it 3-1. Moura nearly made it 4-1 in the final seconds but Rudolph came off his line to deny a partial breakaway chance.
“You want to play a team like that because they test you,” Edwards said. “They’re so well-coached, they’re so athletic, they are good at every position. When you play Franklin, you know every guy is going to be a good athlete and each guy can defend well. So it was a good litmus test for us. We want to be able to move the ball on the ground quickly against big, strong physical teams.”
Milford boys soccer (1-0 overall, 1-0 Hockomock) is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Sharon while Franklin (0-1, 0-1) heads to King Philip on Monday night.
2018 Record: 5-10-3 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Peter Pereira
The Bombardiers have put last year’s season in the rearview mirror and are aiming to get back to the state tournament in 2019.
Attleboro will rely on its eight returners from last year’s squad plus a good amount of new faces to try and make a push for the playoffs. Senior captains Mike Russo, Nathan LaPlume, and Josh Smith will provide leadership both on and off of the field for the Bombardiers. All three have a good amount of varsity experience with LaPlume and Smith tasked with anchoring the Bombardiers’ defensive unit. Both started a season ago so the defense should be a strength to start the season. Russo started in the midfield a year ago and will be in charge of leading that unit. Attleboro will have to fill the shoes left by leading scorer Will Halben (seven goals, five assists) but there is a strong group of forwards that includes Joey Soucy, Justin Lurssen, and Hugo Henriquez — all of whom have varsity experience — that is ready to pace the offense. Patrick Raczkowski and Kevin Raczkowski should give Attleboro help defensively, junior Jackson Singer bolted academy and should give the Bombardiers a boost in the midfield while junior Zackary Brown takes over in goal.
“I am looking to get some leadership and good play from my tri-captains and I’m hoping for a better season [than last year],” said longtime head coach Peter Pereira. “The team’s attitude has been great and we are working hard.”
2018 Record: 10-7-2 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Fran Bositis
Franklin was one of the hottest teams in the league over the second half of the season last year and the Panthers are hoping to carry that momentum into 2019.
When the calendar turned to October, the Panthers finished the regular season 7-1-1. Longtime head coach Fran Bositis has the pieces to continue that success to begin this year and contend for a league title. A strong suit for the 2019 squad will be the defensive unit, featuring returning keeper Jack Rudolph and center backs Sam Stowell and Jacob Cummings. Anytime a team returns two center backs and its keeper, especially a unit that allowed just three goals in its final nine regular seasons, it’s a big positive. Matt Szczepanowski and Trevor O’Neill, both seniors, will factor in defensively as well. Sophomore Terry O’Neill anchors the midfield from the center of the pitch after a successful freshman campaign while the addition of junior Ethan Cain should give Franklin one of the top midfielder duos, and sophomore Tyler Powderly will likely play in a variety of roles. The challenge for Franklin this season will be finding a consistent offense but there is experience up top with Donny Tappin and Lucas Moura back.
“I think we have the potential to be pretty good, but it all comes one game at a time,” Bositis said. “I think if we can score some goals consistently, we can be pretty dangerous this year.”
2018 Record: 4-12-2 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Mike O’Neill
King Philip begins a new chapter in program history as Mike O’Neill takes over after Nick Gale stepped down following a successful stint with the Warriors.
O’Neill will be looking to help the Warriors bounce back from a four-win season, the first time the squad missed the state tournament in over a decade. King Philip graduated nearly a dozen seniors from last year’s squad but have some key players back in key positions. Senior captain Brian McCarthy has a lot of varsity experience and O’Neill will lean on him to organize the midfield. Senior captains Wes Orzell and Matt Clarke anchor the back line and will be tasked with helping the Warriors keep possession by playing out of the back. Behind the defense, senior Grant Orzell and junior Aidan Lindmark are both strong options in goal. Juniors Evan McEvoy and Camron Lawrence both begin their third season on varsity and are poised to have big years at midfield.
“The team is eager to get started, the seniors want to make their mark after a tough season last year, and the juniors and sophomores are hungry to prove themselves,” O’Neill said. “We will need to stay organized and committed to team defending if we are going to be able to compete in the difficult Hockomock League.”
2018 Record: 13-3-5 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Steve Sheridan
The Hornets have won two division titles in the past four years and took second place in the other two seasons, so it’s safe to assume Mansfield will be in the mix once again this year.
In that span of success, Mansfield has been one of the best defensive teams year in and year out, average under a goal against in each of those seasons, including just 0.67 goals against in 2018. The big challenge this season will be replicating that stingy defense because the Hornets graduated their entire back four. The good news is that Mansfield has Anthony Salisbury back in net after he set the program record for shutouts while Cam Bovey serves as the backup keeper, though he is pushing for minutes this season. The strength of the 2019 squad will be in the midfield where senior captains Peter Oldow and Colin Caridi will be. Both have a good amount of varsity experience and will be joined by fellow returners Robbie Healey, Raffi Marzella, Tommy Lanzillo, Colin True, and Evan Eames. Sophomore Dylan Buchanan made a strong impression during his freshman season and will be joined up front by senior Owen Mullahy, who also picked up some valuable minutes a year ago.
“Our biggest question will be, ‘Who’s going to take over our defense that graduated?”, said head coach Steve Sheridan. “That is what I’m trying to figure out and hopefully it will iron itself out during the preseason.”
2018 Record: 8-4-5 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: John Barata
A lot of people learned last year what we already knew: Under head coach John Barata, Oliver Ames doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. The Tigers had to replace their entire starting lineup last season but still had a shot at the division title heading into the final week.
Oliver Ames has a healthy amount of returning players that either started or saw valuable minutes at the varsity level last year starting with seniors Jon Freeman and Matthew Nosalek, who will be key pieces along the back line for the Tigers. Senior Harry Ahearn is another experienced player that will factor in defensively, senior Josh LaBrosse could see time in the midfield or defense, and seniors Nick Farley and Andrew Hanna could get minutes up top. OA has a strong junior class that learned a lot during last season. Colin Milliken, last year’s HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year, will organize the Tigers from the midfield while Anthony DaCosta, Kevin Louhis, and Jimmy Keane are all strong attacking options. Drew Nickla will take over as the starting keeper this year.
“It is too early to tell what we will look like but I’m looking forward to a great season with the boys,” Barata said. “We are excited for the opportunity to compete this season in the Hock. There are lots of talented teams coming back, from the defending champions to the schools with new coaches ready to make a mark. It’s going to be one of the toughest seasons in my tenure and we hope to be competitive.”
2018 Record: 3-12-4 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Taylor Whitters
While the record might not reflect it, it felt like Taunton took a step in the right direction last year, and the Tigers are expecting to take another one this season.
One area of improvement that head coach Taylor Whitters is excited about is the defensive group. The Tigers had the most goals allowed in the Kelley-Rex division but have a reinforced back line ready to fend off the top offenses the Hockomock League has to offer. Senior Colton Medeiros, who had a terrific freshman year before missing time to academy and injury, will anchor the defense in the middle alongside freshman Riley Rebelo. Khalil Ba, a transfer in from Tolman, gives Taunton an outside back that can join in on the attack, while Nolan Melo returns as the starting keeper. Alec Nunes and Colby Fernandes are two dynamic, experienced players that can play both in the midfield or up front. Junior Travis Nunes returns from injury and classmate Hunter Cabral is a versatile player that will play in various roles.
“We have a lot of versatility this year, we’re going to be able to move guys around based on each game,” Whitters said. “No one is locked into a position, we’re going to take it game by game this season.”
FRANKLIN, Mass. – After the game ended, after the bulk of the crowd had filed out of the gym that only a few minutes before had been packed to capacity, and after speaking with his team in the locker room, Franklin coach C.J. Neely was left to reflect on how different the emotions were for his players this year compared to the last time that the Panthers faced Algonquin.
“It’s total shock,” he explained. “I told the guys that I feel bad because you go into the locker room and try to gather your thoughts somehow and tell them how proud you are of them and how good they played all year and you’re just never really ready for the moment to break that down.”
Last season, Franklin (16-5) beat the Tomahawks to win the Div. 1 Central title on its way to a second straight state championship game appearance. This year, the Panthers hosted Algonquin in the opening round of the tournament and the Tomahawks took advantage of the opportunity to avenge that loss, pulling out a 63-60 thriller.
The visitors made their share of huge shots, whether it was freshman Alex Karaban burying a deep three in the fourth quarter to push the lead to four points or senior Sean Cullen ignoring the Franklin fans behind the basket to drain a pair of free throws with 22 seconds remaining.
But, the Panthers were also their own worst enemies, shooting only 13-of-25 from the free throw line. In a game that came down to the final possession, those missed opportunities were the difference.
“It’s a killer,” Neely admitted. “It’s been kind of an Achille’s heel all season in the games that we’ve lost. We joked around a lot that we’d be undefeated if we made free throws and here we are again. I think we can chalk up another one that we lost at the free throw line, unfortunately.”
When the game tipped off, there was still a long line of people waiting to get in the door, as the atmosphere felt more like a final than the opening round. The teams came out firing like it was a final as well, with Algonquin jumping out to an early 6-0 lead before Franklin answered with six straight of its own.
Sean Leonard scored four points in the first and Jalen Samuels (15 points,10 rebounds, and four blocks in his final game) got the Panthers within one when he drove baseline and finished with a one-hand slam. Chris Edgehill (team-high 20 points) gave Franklin its first lead with a deep three in the final seconds of the quarter.
Algonquin used a 4-0 run to grab a 17-16 lead but Samuels scored back-to-back buckets to get the lead back for the hosts. Another three from Edgehill opened up a five-point lead and then Jack Rudolph hit a pull-up jumper in the lane.
After Edgehill knocked down three free throws, Franklin led by seven, but Karaban scored on an offensive rebound and Brian Duffy (game-high 24 points) buried a three to cut the lead to just two. Samuels drove to the basket to finish the half with Franklin up 32-28, but the Panthers went only 5-of-10 at the line in the quarter and 8-for-16 in the half. Those points that were left on the board would prove costly in the end.
In the third quarter, Rudolph got things started by knocking down a three off a set play. It felt like Franklin was on the brink of breaking the game wide open but instead Brian Duffy (game-high 24 points) caught fire. He knocked down three free throws, drilled a three, and then hit a jumper. His personal 8-0 run put the Tomahawks up one.
Edgehill got into the lane to set up Will Harvey for a layup and then Rudolph hit his second three of the quarter before setting Harvey up for another layup. Rudolph and Harvey combined for all 12 of Franklin’s points in the third, keeping the Panthers up by three heading to the fourth.
“Those guys have been good for us,” Neely said about Rudolph and Harvey. “[Will’s] always been that kind of grinder who doesn’t get the notoriety because he does everything but when you’ve got Chris and Jalen scoring the way they do then you don’t get the chance to score the way he can.”
Duffy continued to have the hot hand in the fourth, tying the game with a three, but it was an unlikely source of offense that gave Algonquin the lead. Cullen had only two points through three quarters and was largely a passenger on offense, but he drilled a three to give the visitors a lead and then scored on a three-point play to extend the lead to four. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth.
Franklin kept battling back. Rudolph stole an errant pass, fed Leonard in the paint and he dished it off to Samuels for a layup that made it 52-51. Edgehill hit a pair at the line to make it 58-57 only to have Karaban come down and bury a deep three to make the deficit four.
Neely said, “That was a big three, NBA distance, from Karaban there at the end and we knew that coming in that he does that. It wasn’t a surprise shot or anything like that but it’s just big guts to take it and make it at that time.”
Edgehill answered with a deep three that made it 61-60, but on the other end he committed a foul with just 13 seconds left on the shot clock and 22 ticks left in the game. Cullen stepped to the line and seemed unfazed by the moment, hitting both right in front of the Franklin student section. While Franklin was struggling at the line, Algonquin was 8-of-10 at the stripe in the second half following Cullen’s makes.
Franklin ran the clock down to 11 seconds before Edgehill hit front rim on a very deep three.
“Chris has made some big shots for us and sometimes if you call that timeout the defense really gets the chance to set itself,” Neely said of the decision not to call a timeout on that possession. “I thought he had been able to really create space for his own shot tonight and made some big ones and it’s always that question mark whether you call it or not and let the game play out.”
A foul on the rebound put Algonquin at the line with a chance to seal the win. Ironically, the visitors missed them both and Franklin got one last chance to extend the game.
Samuels snatched the inbounds pass away from a defender at mid-court, but he couldn’t get an off-balance heave to the rim and the Tomahawks bench stormed onto the court to celebrate.
Canton, 64 @ Pentucket, 77 – Final – Canton trailed by just five at halftime (31-26) but the shorthanded Bulldogs surrendered 24 points in the third quarter and couldn’t keep pace with Pentucket. Seniors Devin Foster and Ryan Lentol each scored 20 points for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 67 @ Walpole, 55 – Final – Foxboro shot 50% from three-point range, sinking nine triples and four Warriors reached double-figures in scoring to finish the season with a win over Walpole. Brandon Borde (eight rebounds) had a team-high 16 points, Anthony Mollica added 13 points, and Kevin Gallagher and Michael Devlin each finished with 10 points.
Franklin, 56 vs. Cambridge, 46 – Final – Franklin scored 20 points in the opening quarter and held Cambridge to just seven points in the third to pick up a win in its regular season finale. Juniors Chris Edgehill (18 points) and Jack Rudolph each scored five points in the first while seniors Jalen Samuels (16 points) added four points apiece as the Panthers led 20-12 after one. Franklin’s five-point advantage at half (31-26) ballooned to double-digits by the end of the third (46-33) and the Panthers never looked back.
North Attleboro, 59 vs. Weston, 28 – Final – Julia Feid closed out the season by setting a new career-high with 28 points to lead the Rocketeers to a season sweep of Weston.
Oliver Ames, 73 vs. Newton North, 61 – Final – Freshman Caroline Peper set a new career-high with 31 points (including a perfect 10-for-10 at the line), as OA pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn the win in the regular season finale. The game was tied at 51-51 heading to the fourth but OA outscored Newton North 22-10. Meg Holleran and Hailey Bourne each scored 10 points for the Tigers. OA was 27-of-35 from the line as a team.
Canton, 6 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 1 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
Franklin, 0 vs. Barnstable, 1 – Final
Canton, 1 vs. Walpole, 2 – Final – Lauren Fitzpatrick scored for Canton in the third period to cut the Walpole lead in half, but the Bulldogs couldn’t find a second to tie it.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final – Emma Pereira scored the only goal for MOA, which stayed within one goal until the Wolverines scored an empty netter late in the third.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – For the Franklin boys basketball team, terrific defense led to easy offense.
And that combination resulted in a dominant performance and a comfortably 57-36 win over visiting Attleboro.
The Panthers flipped a two-point game upside down with a 20-0 run over the final six minutes of the second quarter to pull away from the Bombardiers, who entered the contest with a chance to win at least a share of its first Kelley-Rex title.
Franklin limited the visitors to just 22% shooting from the field in the opening half as the Bombardiers couldn’t find a connection from deep, going just 1-for-17 from three-point range. And with consistent stops, Franklin’s pushed the pace and cashed in with an impressive transition offense, converting some easy looks down low. Franklin shot 65% from the field in the opening half, making 12-of-18 shots from two-point range.
“That was definitely our best game of the season, by far,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “The guys were excited to play tonight, there’s no doubt about it. I think they were a little sore about how last game went and how the season has gone in some respects. They wanted to make a statement tonight and I thought they did, especially in that second quarter. We went in at halftime, and we usually have a list of things we want to change or that we did poorly, and we didn’t have many things on the list. The guys really bought in, that was the best they’ve bought in to a game plan and scouting report all season.”
While Attleboro only had four first half turnovers, it couldn’t solve the Panthers defensively. During Franklin’s game-changing run, Attleboro only had one turnover on a shot clock violation, and 0-for-11 from the field, with eight of those shots coming from three-point range.
“They did everything better than us tonight, offensively and defensively,” said Attleboro coach Mark Houle. “They made us really feel uncomfortable all night, and we didn’t have any answers.
“We didn’t hit [a three] in the first quarter but I have confidence in our guys that can shoot it, we can get hot, but we didn’t get enough paint touches. [Franklin] did a nice job of taking that away early, something that most teams haven’t been able to do. That limited us really. But quite honestly, we weren’t executing on offense. There were still things that we could have done, but we weren’t executing, and that led to a stagnant offense. And we couldn’t attack the rim because their defense was set. That was a very good defensive effort by them.”
Franklin led 15-7 after the first quarter but Attleboro opened the second quarter with a quick 5-0 run to make it a two-point game. Bryant Ciccio (11 points) drained a three and Kevin Velazquez picked off a pace and went the distance for a layup to make it 15-13.
From there, it was all Panthers. Jalen Samuels (15 points, nine rebounds, four assists) converted his own putback and then scored off a feed from Chris Edgehill (seven points, seven rebounds, seven assists). Will Harvey (career-high 19 points, nine rebounds) sank a three-pointer off a feed from Jack Rudolph, then Edgehill came down with a defensive rebound, pushed it up court and found Rudolph for two. Samuels then drove to the basket, drew in the defense and dished it off to Harvey for an easy two and a 26-13 lead with 3:43 left in the second quarter.
The Bombardiers tried to shoot their way out of the funk, taking six triples on their next seven possessions. The lone trip that didn’t result in a three-point attempt was a turnover on a shot clock violation.
Meanwhile, Franklin continued to cash in on the offensive end. Edgehill got some space in the lane for two, Jake Macchi (nine points) sank a three on a pass from Rudolph just moments after Samuels blocked an Attleboro three, and Samuels scored in low on a floater to put Franklin up 35-13 heading into halftime.
“Getting out in transition was key for us, getting up and down,” Neely said. “And when we attacked the paint, I think the biggest thing was getting in there and then making the extra pass for some dunks and some layups.”
The second half was much more even than the first, but the damage was already done by the Panthers. Tim Callahan made Attleboro’s second triple of the game with 2:44 left in the quarter (2-for-21 from deep through three), Ciccio added five points, including Attleboro’s only two free throws in the game, and Qualeem Charles (eight points, 10 rebounds) got an early bucket, but Franklin got points from Macchi (a three), Harvey (five) and two apiece from Edgehill and Rudolph to hold a 47-24 advantage entering the fourth.
“One of the biggest things we worked on was long closeouts,” Neely said. “We practiced having to get there and get there with a hand without flying into the crowd. We’re going to have to live with them making a couple. We knew we’d have to focus on Q, you can’t let one guy try and do it himself. I thought Harvey played one of his best games this season, and he rebounded really well and played great defensively.”
Attleboro’s defense limited the Panthers to 10 points in the fourth, but only scored 12 on its own. Mason Houle sank two threes in the fourth, the latter cutting the deficit to 15 points but with only three minutes to go. Harvey added four in the final frame and Matt Lazarek came off the bench to hit a triple for the Panthers, who shot 56% from the floor for the game and dominated the rebounding battle, 33-18.
“We had some good looks, but they were mostly contested shots,” Houle said. “We have to regroup. We have the opportunity to learn from this. We didn’t do many good things tonight on either end tonight. Their transition offense, we didn’t do a good enough job against it. That led to 20 straight points…and just layups. It was them getting the rebound and pushing it for a layup.”
Franklin boys basketball (12-4 Hockomock, 14-5 overall) is back in action on Sunday with a noon tipoff against New Bedford. Attleboro (13-3, 16-4) will try to bounce back when it travels to rival North Attleboro for a non-league clash on Monday.
Taunton, 54 @ Attleboro, 61 – Final – After a close first half, Attleboro used a 22-point third quarter to create the separation it needed to fend off visiting Taunton. The Bombardiers led 14-13 at one, and 30-26 going into the halftime break. Junior Bryant Ciccio scored eight of his team-high 18 points in the third quarter in his return from injury to help spark the Bombardiers, who connected on 10 three-pointers in the game. Qualeem Charles (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Mason Houle (12 points, six rebounds) each added four points apiece in the third to help Attleboro pull away. Taunton junior Naz Kenion scored a career-high 19 points, with eight coming in the final quarter as the Tigers made a push to get back into the game. Dante Law added 12 points, with 10 coming in the second half.
Foxboro, 78 @ Sharon, 48 – Final – Foxboro sophomore Kevin Gallagher poured in a career-high 28 points as the Warriors ran away with a win on the road. Gallagher dropped 12 points in the opening quarter and junior Brandon Borde scored nine of his 16 points in the first as well as Foxboro built a 21-12 lead to start. Gallagher added five threes between the second and third quarters to help Foxboro take a 60-32 advantage into the final quarter. Sharon senior Keenan Delouis had a team-high 12 points, include three three-pointers in the second quarter.
Oliver Ames, 50 @ Franklin, 58 – Final – Franklin scored 20 points in the final quarter to pull away from Oliver Ames to earn the win. The Tigers kept pace with the Panthers through the first three quarters, knotted at 14-14 after eight minutes and trailing by just three at half (25-22) and after three quarters (38-35). Franklin junior Chris Edgehill scored nine of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter, Jalen Samuels netted a third of his 15 points in the fourth, and Jack Rudolph (10 points) went 4-for-4 from the line to help the Panther secure the win. OA sophomore Amari Brown had a team-high 12 points while senior Jake Erlich added 11 points and senior Ethan Eckstrom finished with 10 points.
Mansfield, 74 @ King Philip, 58 – Final – King Philip scored 20 points in the third quarter to make it a three-point game entering the fourth as the Warriors aimed for a season sweep of the visiting Hornets. But Mansfield’s offense exploded in the fourth quarter, connecting on six three-pointers and scoring a total of 27 points in the final frame to run away with a victory to split the season series. Junior Sam Stevens (eight rebounds) had two threes in the fourth, scoring 11 of his team-high 28 points in the quarter while senior Tommy Dooling (seven assists) splashed in three triples for nine of his 19 points. KP junior Alex Fritz (six rebounds) scored a career-high 28 points, including 13 points in the third quarter to get the Warriors back into the game. Andrew McKinney added 10 points and seven rebonds while Bruce Saintilus finished with six points, eight rebounds, and four assists for KP.
Stoughton, 55 @ Milford, 65 – Final – Milford poured in 27 points in the final quarter and limited Stoughton to eight points in the fourth to erase a double-digit halftime deficit to earn the win. The Black Knights led 16-9 after one an took a 36-24 advantage into halftime, but the Scarlet Hawks got within eight (47-39) to start the final quarter and senior Brendan White took over the in the fourth to lead Milford to a comeback win. White sank four three-pointers in the fourth, scoring 15 of his game-high 26 points in the quarter to spark the comeback. After being held without a field goal in the first, White scored six points in the third to help Milford inch closer. Danny Corsini added 14 points for Milford. Myles Grigalunas-Powell paced Stoughton with 18 points and Obinna Ugwuakazi added 14 points for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 61 @ Taunton, 52 – Final – Attleboro led by just two points heading into the fourth quarter but outscored the Tigers by seven in the final eight minutes to pull out the road win. Jordyn Lako scored a season-high 23 points and snagged 12 rebounds for the Bombardiers. Jaelyn Fernandez scored 17 and Alexa White had 13 for Taunton.
North Attleboro, 39 @ Canton, 52 – Final – After allowing the Rocketeers to make 10 three-pointers in the first meeting, Canton did a much better job defending the perimeter, limiting North to just two made threes and only 13 points in the first half to pick up the win. It is the 12th win of the season for the Bulldogs, one away from tying their most wins in a season since 1993. Tayla DeGraw had a great game in her varsity debut, according to head coach Jim Choquette.
Sharon, 34 @ Foxboro, 64 – Final – Katelyn Mollica scored 23 points and Abby Hassman added 10 to lead the Warriors to a big league win.
King Philip, 66 @ Mansfield, 51 – Final – KP jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter and extended it to 19 by halftime, holding the Hornets to just 14 points at the break. But Mansfield closed the gap in the second half, getting the lead down to as little as seven points to start the fourth quarter. The Warriors closed out the win by shooting 8-of-10 at the line in the fourth. Faye Veilleux scored 21 points and Faith Roy continued her strong play in the last week with 16 for KP. Julia Leroux and Emma Glaser each scored seven points in the win. Sydney Mulkern, Maggie Danehy and Mady Bendanillo each scored eight points for the Hornets, while Emily Vigeant added seven.
King Philip, 8 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – King Philip senior Brendan Shandley recorded six points as the Warriors skated to a big league win on the road at Attleboro. Shandley netted a hat trick and added three more assists, Conor Cooke had a pair of goals and a pair of assists, and Chris Daniels finished with a goal and three helpers for KP.
Canton, 4 vs. Hanover, 3 – Final – Canton scored three goals in the third period to hand Hanover just its second loss of the season and the Bulldogs improved to 18-0-0 on the season. The Bulldogs opened the scoring less than a minute into the game off the stick of Timmy Kelleher but Hanover tied the game just a minute later. Ryan Nolte put Canton back ahead with a shorthanded goal early in the second but the Indians tied the game just two minutes later on the power play. Johnny Hagan put Canton back on top with just under five minutes to go in the second and Chris Lavoie made it 4-2 just 39 seconds later. Hanover scored four minutes into the third and had a power play in the middle of the period but Canton killed it off and secured the win.
Franklin, 1 vs. St. John’s (Shrewsbury), 6 – Final
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Wayland, 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Newton South, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames peppered the Newton South net with 49 shots and outplayed the hosts but could only find the back of the net once in a loss on the road. Newton South converted on a pair of deflections on shots from the point and a breakaway while senior Matt Mullaley made 20 saves in goal. Jake Gottwald had the lone tally for Oliver Ames.
Taunton, 11 vs. Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton’s Mike Albert recorded five points and Cam Sneyd added four as the Tigers ran away with a win over visiting Durfee. Albert scored once and had four assists while Sneyd found the back of the net four times. Jordan Couto added a pair of goals while Colton Scheralis netted his first career goal in the win.
Canton, 8 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Maggie Malloy scored her 100th career point and the Bulldogs recorded a fifth straight shutout.
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Cassi Ronan and Regan Paterson each scored for the Panthers to earn the road win. Paterson and Amanda Lewandowski each had an assist for the Panthers.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – When Franklin junior Jack Rudolph drained an open three with just under three and a half minutes left in the game to put his team up by eight, it looked like the Panthers were on their way to evening the season series with rival Mansfield.
But the Panthers didn’t slam the door shut, and Mansfield took full advantage down the stretch.
The Hornets used a 12-4 run over the final three minutes to force overtime, and Hornet senior Tommy Dooling hit a free throw with 5.1 seconds left in the extra period to give Mansfield a 73-72 win and a regular season sweep over Franklin.
It’s Mansfield’s first season sweep of their rivals since 2014 when the Hornets won inside the field house and at the TD Garden.
“We had to fight for every [point], there was not an easy basket out there tonight,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “The fact that we got into the 70s was kind of shocking considering how hard it was. Sometimes when teams have a chance to put us away, they don’t and when they don’t and give us breathing room, at some point we’re going to go on a little run and ultimately that happened with enough time in the fourth quarter. And obviously making free throws in the end helped.”
Rudolph’s six triple of the game gave him a career-high 21 points and the Panthers a 60-52 lead. Franklin’s defense had prevented Mansfield from big runs for the majority of the game and the Panthers looked to be in a good position.
Dooling (19 points) earned a trip to the line and sank two free throws, an immediate and needed response to Rudolph’s three for the Hornets. After a stop on the defensive end, Dooling was fouled while shooting a three, and the senior sank all three attempts to make it a one-possession game with 2:37 to go.
Another stop for Mansfield and again, Dooling drove to the basket and drew contact. His two free throws got the Hornets within one with 2:03 to go.
Jalen Samuels (15 points, seven rebounds) sank a pair from the line on the other end to extend the hosts’ lead to three, but Mansfield sophomore Matty Boen (eight points, five rebounds) drained an open triple to tie the game with 1:38 to go. Franklin’s Will Harvey (two free throws) and Mansfield’s TJ Guy (13 points, six rebounds) traded baskets inside the final minute, Franklin missed a late three and Mansfield had a turnover on its final possession to force overtime.
Free throws from Chris Edgehill (11 points, 10 assists) and Samuels put Franklin in front, but Boen sank his second triple of the game to go up 69-67. A free throw from Makhi Baskin extended it to three, but Edgehill responded with a three to tie the game with just over two minutes left in overtime.
Samuels put Franklin back ahead with a pair from the line but Sam Stevens (nine points) answered after a terrific feed from Baskin.
Franklin had the chance for the last shot but was whistled for an off ball offensive foul. Dooling was fouled before Mansfield could inbound it out of their timeout at midcourt, and the senior went to the line with 5.1 left. After missing the first, Dooling sank the second and Franklin’s last second three was just off the mark.
“I think we just started committing to what we do on offense better,” Dooling said of what went into the comeback. “We started to move the ball more, we started to cut to the rim on slips. TJ and Sammy got some nice layups, and Matty Boen hit some big shots too.”
Mansfield went 14-for-19 from the free throw line between the fourth quarter and overtime.
“I think early we were playing passive and kind of on our heels, and everything was contested,” Vaughan said. “In the fourth, I felt like Tommy did a really nice job asserting himself into the game and did some good things. Ultimately he had the opportunities and made them.
“That’s a big pressure shot in overtime. To be able to miss the first and step back in and make the second, that’s a big play.”
After going up by eight, Franklin went 1-for-7 from the field and 9-for-11 from the free throw line over the final 3:25 of the fourth and all of overtime.
“Disappointing,” said Franklin coach CJ Neely on how he would describe how the game ended. “It was a great game. I told the guys we can be frustrated about whatever we want to be frustrated about but I didn’t think we kept guys in front defensively down the stretch without fouling, put them on the line and let them hang around in a game I thought we should have won.
“I thought we were in control of most of the game. We were playing good basketball, sharing the basketball. Chris did a great job of finding his teammates and guys were stepping up and making shots. We’ve seen them make them in practice, it’s good to see them make them in the game. I think it was 60-52 at one point, and we needed to close it out there but we started fouling, and they kept getting to the line.”
Franklin raced out to an 8-1 lead to start the game and lead 16-11 after one quarter. Rudolph hit three three-pointers in the opening frame to give the Panthers the lead. Both Samuels and Mansfield’s Damani Scott (eight points) picked up two early fouls and missed the majority of the first half.
A three-pointer from Jake Macchi just over a minute into the second quarter gave Franklin a 21-13 lead but Mansfield tightened up defensively and made a run to get back into it. Baskin hit two free throws and Stevens had an easy layup after a steal from Boen. Baskin then had a steal of his own, leading to another layup for Stevens.
The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the first half, with Mansfield going up 33-31 on a triple from Dooling (assisted by Boen) but Franklin answered just before the buzzer when Edgehill found Macchi for a three and a 34-33 halftime edge.
In the third, Rudolph his made a pair of threes within a minute and then turned a steal into a traditional three-point play, putting the Panthers ahead 43-38 with just under five left in the third.
“That’s the kind of stuff we expected from Jack coming into the season, being that third scorer for us offensively,” Neely said. “We’ve seen it in practice and things are starting to develop. I’m really proud of him, it was a great performance for him.”
Franklin’s six-point lead shrunk to just one but Samuels came up with a monster two-handed slam while being fouled to put the Panthers ahead 50-46. Two late technical free throws from Edgehill and a big block from Samuels at the buzzer had Franklin up 52-47 heading into the fourth.
“We were trading baskets, then they’d go on a little run and we didn’t counter it for a while,” Vaughan said. “It was just this grind it out, slow game that we just couldn’t get our hands on. The first game, I felt like we had control of it but this one the control was constantly slipping out of our hands. We did just enough. We shot the ball well enough from the foul line, we were atrocious there on Friday night. Making free throws down the stretch, Tommy at the line and I thought the three in the corner was big.
“CJ does such a good job you don’t know what you’re going to get with his tweaks and his matchups. Last game, they didn’t over play Tommy at all, so we put some stuff in for that and then tonight they overplayed him so we had to adjust on the fly. “
Mansfield boys basketball (11-2 Hockomock, 15-2 overall) is on the road against Oliver Ames while Franklin (9-4, 11-5) visits Taunton, both games on Friday.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – After seeing a large first half lead disappear, the Franklin boys basketball team was on the verge of letting a second half lead evaporate as well.
Holding a five-point lead with 1:30 to, Franklin’s advantage quickly shrunk to just one after a putback from Taunton senior Michel Quinn and a strong take from Lou Vendrell with 39.8 to go.
The Panthers, after scoring 20 points in the first quarter, had been limited to just 30 over the next 23 minutes and were in need of a spark. After a timeout, Franklin got the ball into the hands of junior Chris Edgehill (13 points, five assists), and he took advantage of a Taunton miscommunication after a double screen to get enough separation for a three with 20 seconds left, helping secure a 50-45 win over Taunton.
“It was absolutely a grind,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “Getting off to a great start helps a lot especially when you aren’t playing your best in the middle quarters. The second and third quarters we got really stagnant on offense. We stopped doing everything we did in the first quarter that was working. We weren’t running the floor as hard, we weren’t cutting or screening as hard, we weren’t reacting off screens really well. The motion got stymied, we weren’t moving the ball.”
Franklin was nearly flawless in the opening quarter, racing out to an 18-2 lead over the first six and a half minutes finishing with a 20-6 advantage after one. The Panthers shot 54% from the field and forced seven turnovers to build a big lead.
What looked like a potential blowout slowly turned into a dogfight as the Tigers scratched and clawed their way back in the game. Taunton’s defense stepped up to limit Franklin to just nine points in the second quarter while its offense found a grove, scoring 17.
Quinn (13 points) and John Martins (11 points, eight rebounds, five assists) each hit a three, preceded by a bucket by Vendrell. Two free throws from Dante Law (who missed the majority of the game with foul trouble and fouled out with 5:36 left on a questionable call) cut the deficit to four, 22-18, before Franklin answered with three straight points. Law, Edgehill, Vendrell, Jalen Samuels, and Naz Kenion all missed minutes on the second due to foul trouble.
Taunton’s bench was able to provide a spark with Tyler Stewart (six points, five rebounds), Josh Lopes, Fabio Goncalves, and Krishon Nairne (two rebounds, block) coming to to give the Tigers some valuable minutes. A late three-point play from Jack Rudolph extended Franklin’s lead to eight but Martins responded with a triple. Franklin led 29-23 at half.
“That first quarter was one of the best quarters we’ve had all season,” Neely said.”I think what happens is you get that lead early, you start feeling like you don’t have to work as hard. You start taking some bad shots and then they hit a couple and make a couple of hustle plays, and all of a sudden it’s a close game. Those guys play hard, they are a good team, they have a lot of pride. I give them a lot of credit, they battled back and took a lead on us after going down big. Taunton did a good job, I was impressed with their fight.”
Quinn sandwiched two buckets around one from Martin to knot the game early in the third, and a bucket in low from Stewart gave Taunton its first lead at 31-29.
“In the second and third quarters, we did a nice job defensively,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “But with our offense, we have to maximize our opportunities and I felt like we had too many quick shots tonight. We have to be more patient and run our stuff.”
That’s when the Panthers turned to Samuels (12 points, eight rebounds), a senior captain, to weather the Tigers’ push. Samuels answered with a nice take to tie the game, and then used a two-handed flush to put Franklin back ahead. Samuels made a heads up play on defense, intercepting a pass and going the length of the court for a bucket while being fouled. His free throw completed the three-point play and put Franklin up 36-35.
“That’s a classic Jalen game, when we need him most he shows up,” Neely said. “Those takes to the rim late were huge for us. Defensively, he just finds a way, I know his back is killing him but he had some nice rebounds. I thought he made all the big plays for us down the stretch for us besides Chris’ three.”
Taunton closed the third with a mini 4-0 run – a free throw from Kenion, a layup from Stewart, and a technical free throw from Martins – to make it 36-35 heading into the final frame.
Will Harvey (12 points, seven rebounds) scored early and then capitalized on a Taunton turnover by adding a free throw to put Franklin up 39-37. Thomas Gasbarro and Kenion traded buckets before Samuels extended Franklin’s lead to four with 3:38 to play.
Taunton had three looks but couldn’t convert but Quinn pickpocketed Edgehill at half court and went in for two to make it 43-41. Harvey hit a free throw after being fouled on an offensive rebound and Gasbarro drove to the basket for two after a Taunton turnover to make it 46-41 with 1:30 to go.
“We just talked about what’s made us great over the years and that’s defense and that’s what we have to rely on now,” Neely said. “So down the stretch I went with more of a defensive lineup so we could get some stops. Putting Tom and [Jake] Macchi in there, they really grinded it out. Tom made some big plays for us, got some turnovers and gave us a huge lift defensively.
Quinn scored on a putback after a missed three Franklin got a stop and Vendrell drove to the basket for two with 39.8 left but Edgehill’s triple sealed the win.
Franklin boys basketball (4-2 Hockomock, 6-3 overall) is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to North Attleboro. Taunton (4-2, 7-3) will try to bounce back when it travels to Milford on the same day.