Franklin Drops Heartbreaker To St. John’s In D1C Final

Franklin boys basetball
Franklin’s Thomas Gasbarro takes a shot in front of his bench in the D1 Central Final. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Contributor

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Franklin and St. John’s Shrewsbury boys basketball teams are no stranger to each other, squaring off in the state tournament for the fifth time in the last seven years.

And just like the times before it, it came down to the wire.

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Behind a pair of free throws from sophomore TJ Power with 4.9 seconds left, top-seeded St. John’s squeaked out a 56-55 win over the sixth-seeded Panthers in the D1 Central Final.

“Franklin’s got a heck of a team, they’re well-coached, but we’re not bad either,” St John’s coach Bob Foley said after the Pioneers win.

With St John’s leading 52-51 with just over two minutes left to play, Franklin senior Chris Edgehill sunk a free throw to tie the game up, but Power hit a turnaround jumper on the other end to give St. John’s a 54-52 edge.

On Franklin’s ensuing possession, junior Declan Walmsley (eight points, three rebounds) found senior Brayden Sullivan in the corner and the senior knocked down a three to put the Panthers up 55-54. Sullivan then made an outstanding defensive play on the other end to force a backcourt violation by St. John’s.

Franklin couldn’t get a basket on their next possession, but they forced a St. John’s miss to get the ball back with under 30 seconds left. Franklin got to the line with 24.9 seconds left but missed the front end of a one-and-one.

With 4.9 seconds left, Power got fouled shooting from the corner on what at first looked like a three-point attempt, but after some initial discussion from the officials, it was ruled he was inside the three-point line. He made both free throws to put St. John’s up 56-55, and Franklin was unable to score despite having two looks at the basket in the final four seconds.

Both teams got off to a cold start, with neither team in double digits as Franklin led 9-8 after the first quarter on the strength of seven points from Edgehill (game-high 20 points), including a three right before the first-quarter buzzer.

The offenses got going in the second, as Franklin hit five threes in the frame to take a 29-25 lead into the half. St John’s came out hot to start the second half, as Charles Daniels (eight points, 11 rebounds) scored four quick points to tie the game.

Power went 1-2 at the stripe to cap a 5-0 St. John’s run, but Edgehill scored down the other end to put Franklin back on top. After a Malakhi Knight bucket, Edgehill once again found the bottom of the net to put Franklin up 33-32.

A 9-2 St John’s run gave them a 41-35 lead, but Edgehill found Thomas Gasbarro (seven points, five rebounds) and then Walmsley hit a triple to g get Franklin within a point at 41-40.

A Power bucket with just over a minute left in the quarter would be the last basket of the third quarter, with the Pioneers holding onto a 43-40 lead.

The fourth quarter was tight throughout, with the largest lead being at 50-46 for St. John’s with over four minutes to go. Down four, Edgehill sparked Franklin with a three-pointer and then matched a Charles Daniel basket with one of his own before tying the game up at the stripe.

“He’s our all-time leading scorer, he’s been a captain for two years, he’s a guy that always shows up in moments like this, there’s never been a tournament game I don’t think Edgehill hasn’t shown up and not been ready to go and really led us along the way and made all kinds of tough shots,” said Franklin coach CJ Neely. “We’ve had such an unbelievable four years together, it’s gonna be weird going to a Franklin practice or game and not see Chris Edgehill running around out there, it’s been quite a run.”

Along with Edgehill, Franklin graduates Andrew Cunningham, Thomas Gasbarro, Steven Karayan, Matt Lazarek, Brayden Sullivan, and Jack Rudolph from this year’s team.

“This senior class is one of the best senior classes I’ve had since being at Franklin, if not the best,” Neely said. “Basketball players aside, the people that go through practices every day, the type of attitude they brought to practices every day, there was a never that time where you look at it and you say, hey somebody’s being whatever or you have to deal with an attitude problem or not, there’s none of that going on, there’s always just positive people looking to get better for Franklin and nobody looking for themselves…love those guys.”

With the loss, Franklin finishes the season at 18-6. St. John’s will play Springfield Central in the state semi-finals.

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Panthers Claw Past Colonials In Central Semis

Franklin boys basketball Brayden Sullivan
Franklin senior Brayden Sullivan goes up for a layup against Worcester South in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Franklin boys basketball team has proven to be a serious threat from behind the three-point season throughout the course of the season.

The Panthers have a handful of capable shooters that can get hot any given quarter of any given game.

But on Sunday evening, Franklin couldn’t find its rhythm. Only senior Chris Edgehill connected from deep, once in the first quarter, and once each in the third and fourth quarters. The rest of the Panthers, despite some good looks, just couldn’t find the range, missing on nearly two dozen attempts from deep as a team.

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So when push came to shove, Franklin turned to what the program has hung its hat on year in and year out: defense.

The sixth-seeded Panthers got five straight stops to close its D1 Central Semifinal matchup with Worcester South, including a pair of three-pointers that could have tied the game, to earn a hard-fought 45-42 win over the second-seeded Colonials.

“We were getting the looks we wanted early, I thought it was nerves and we would start to settle in but we never really did,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “We turned to our defense. We can always control the defense, the offense will come and go. Some nights you’ll make a ton, some nights you’ll struggle. So we had to rely on our defense and we were able to get the stops.”

Seconds after Thomas Gasbarro put the Panthers ahead with a free throw, South’s Octavio Alexander sprinted past Franklin’s defense for two and a 42-41 advantage with just 1:39 to play.

Franklin had a turnover out of a timeout but came up with a big stop and a big defensive rebound from Gasbarro. Edgehill (20 points, nine rebounds, six assists) drained an elbow jumper to put the Panthers ahead with just over a minute to go.

South’s leading scorer Damien Joseph (12 points) was off the mark but Wilton Causey hauled in the offensive board, fouled in the process. However, Causey missed the front end of a one-and-one and Edgehill raced to track down the rebound.

South had to give the foul with 24.5 seconds to go and senior Brayden Sullivan gave the Panthers enough breathing room, sinking both for a 45-42 lead.

Joseph was off the mark on a three-point attempt and Edgehill once again fought for the rebound. Although he missed the front end of his one-and-one change, junior Andrew Byfield won the fight for the offensive board. He tossed it to Jack Rudolph, who made a terrific play while falling out of bounds to pick out Sullivan and keep possession.

South still had a chance as Sullivan missed the free throw, and the Colonials got a look at the buzzer for the tying three but it was off the mark.










“The way we’ve been rebounding the ball, you can’t really go with the foul strategy,” Neely said. “They had such length, they were getting rebounds on their free throws so I just felt like we couldn’t [foul]. We had to rely on the fact that we can get a stop, that’s been our strength all year. Holding [South] to 42 is a nice number for us. We’re happy with that…that’s two games in a row where basically one stop gets it done, and that’s what we did.

“They had a lot of size, multiple bodies they can throw in there. We did a good job for most of the game on the interior but late in the game, they made it an emphasis and made a lot of baskets.”

Matt Lazarek scored twice and Gasbarro added another bucket to help Franklin’s offense get going early, and Edgehill added a late three but the Panthers trailed 11-9 after one.

Offense was hard to come by in the second, the team’s combing for 19 points total. Junior Declan Walmsley finished off an alley-oop with a slam to get the quarter started, Edgehill added two from the field and two from the line and both Rudolph and Gasbarro scored while cutting to the basket but South maintained a lead by half, taking a 20-19 advantage into the locker room.

Franklin had a bright start to the second half, using a 9-0 run over the first two and a half minutes. Edgehill splashed in an early three and then found Rudolph underneath for a creative finish off the glass. Lazarek sank two from the line before Edgehill and Rudolph hooked up again for a 28-20 lead.

South battled back, closing the half on an 11-6 burst that made it a three-point game after three. Steven Karayan finished off an offensive rebound after another missed three from the Panthers, ending a short drought to give Franklin a 34-31 lead heading into the fourth.

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The Colonials knotted the score at 35-35 following a pair of free throws from Joseph before Edgehill connected on his — and Franklin’s — third three of the game. South’s Joseph Cabrera scored in the post to make it 39-39, setting up the frantic finish over the final couple of minutes.

“It’s always great, it never gets old being here,” Neely said of the WPI experience. “It’s not guaranteed you’ll make it back here so it’s awesome. We’re excited [to get to the final], you never know how many opportunities you’ll have. So we’re going to try and get the most out of it, hopefully we’ll be up for the challenge one more time.”

Franklin boys basketball (18-5) advances to its fifth D1 Central Final appearance in the past seven seasons. And for the fourth time, the Panthers will meet up with St. John’s Shrewsbury, the top-seed in the bracket this year, on Friday at 6:00 at Worcester State University.

Sullivan Sparks Franklin in Opener Against Doherty

Franklin boys basketball
Brayden Sullivan (25) scored a game-high 23 points and sparked the Panthers with a typically strong defensive effort as Franklin opened the playoffs with a big win against Doherty. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – One of the strengths of Franklin this season has been different players stepping up at different times. The Panthers are a hard team to match up with because it is hard to pinpoint one player that needs to be shut down.

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In Monday night’s Div. 1 Central opener, Franklin’s depth was on full display. Senior guard Brayden Sullivan led the way with a game-high 23 points, including 12 in the third quarter alone, but he had plenty of help. Three players scored in double figures, as the Panthers beat visiting Doherty 77-59 and advanced to the sectional quarterfinal.

“That’s been the strength of ours all season, not having one guy that you come in and shut down and say we’ll stop one guy and be fine,” said Franklin coach CJ Neely. “We have a lot of guys who put it in the hoop and we’ve got a lot of guys who do a lot of different things for us.”

Chris Edgehill (nine points) got the night going by scoring Franklin’s first five points, but then Sullivan started to heat up. He drilled a three-pointer to put the Panthers up 10-7 and then got a steal and a layup, plus the foul, to extend the lead to six. He scored eight points in the first quarter and Franklin grabbed a 17-10 lead after one.

Franklin pushed the lead into double digits in the second. Senior Jack Rudolph scored nine of his 14 points in the quarter, half of his team’s 18 in the period. He drilled a three to make it 24-14 and grabbed an offensive rebound for a basket that made it 30-21. Steve Karayan (seven points) followed with a three to make it a 12-point game.

Doherty came right back with four straight points from Noah Callery (12 points) to cut the lead down to eight and Zac Taylor (16 points) had a steal and breakaway to make it even closer. Sullivan chased down Taylor, rose up with the Doherty guard, and blocked his layup attempt.

With the home crowd at its loudest point of the night, Rudolph took the rebound and turned it into a break for the Panthers, finishing to put the hosts up 35-25 at the break.

“Defensively all year, if he’s not the best defensive player in the Hock then he’s definitely in the conversation,” Neely said of Sullivan. “It’s nice to have a guy every game you can say Brayden go guard the other team’s best player and they’re going to have a tough night. So much of what this team’s made of comes from Brayden Sullivan.”

The Panthers threatened to put the game away in the third quarter, as Sullivan caught fire again. He scored 12 of Franklin’s 17 in the third, helping them build the lead to as many as 19 points,

Leading 37-30, Sullivan went on a personal 12-1 run to break the game open. He cut through the lane and finished at the rim, then took advantage of Doherty sinking under a screen to drain a three. Another drive led to a layup and he got out onto the break as well. He finished the run with another steal and layup.

Neely noted that Sullivan just missed out on being selected as an all-star this year and admitted it may have been extra fuel for Monday’s performance. He said, “I think he had something to prove tonight when he wasn’t selected and we thought that was a little extra something for him tonight. A little extra boost.”

The game seemed to be in control, but the Highlanders made a 9-2 run to make things interesting heading to the fourth. Taylor nailed a pair of threes and then Billy Everson (team-high 20 points) grabbed a rebound and finished just before the horn sounded. It was 52-40 after three.

“We were letting them off the hook on some of our possessions,” Neely explained. “We were taking some quick ones and it’s hard because when we have guys open from three we want them to shoot it but sometimes early in the possession we can get that later on and if we grinded them down a little bit, make them fight through a few more screens, couple more cuts, we could’ve gotten even easier looks.

Everson kept the Highlanders hanging around in the fourth quarter, twice answering Franklin baskets with and-ones on the other end, but the Panthers proved to have too much firepower.

Declan Walmsley was the player to step up in the final stretch. He scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth. He got a layup off a Thomas Gasbarro assist, then a three when Rudolph swung it around the perimeter to him. After Rudolph made 1-of-3 at the line, Walmsley grabbed the offensive rebound and finished to make it 65-50.

Doherty whittled the lead back down to 10 but Gasbarro responded with a drive to the rim and Edgehill was left open for a corner three that proved to be the dagger.

Franklin (16-5), which won the Central crown in back-to-back seasons before being knocked out in the first round last year by a strong Algonquin team, will now face a trip to No. 3 seed Natick, which had a strong first season under former Franklin assistant Mike Masto.

“That was one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of, unfortunately we were on the wrong side of it,” said Neely about last year’s playoff opener, “but it was nice to get into here and get that off your shoulders. Get yourself into the next round and now we have a huge challenge ahead of us with Natick.”

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Charles Hits 1,000, Ignites Bombardiers Past Panthers

Attleboro boys basketball Qualeem Charles
Attleboro senior Qualeem Charles (35) celebrates in front of the home crowd after scoring his 1,000th career point. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Attleboro High School had 1,000 point fever, and the only prescription was more ‘Q.’

‘Q’ being senior Qualeem Charles, the 6’5, 290-pound center and four-year starter for the Bombardiers, who went a perfect 11-for-11 from the floor, the last bucket giving him his 1,000th career point. Charles is the second Bombardier to reach the milestone in the past nine days, joining classmate Bryant Ciccio.

Behind Charles’ 27 points, 18 coming in the second half, Attleboro grinded out a 62-56 win over a hot-shooting Franklin squad, giving the Bombardiers a season sweep of the Panthers for the first time since joining the Hockomock League.

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“I was aiming for 15 in the first half, but I wasn’t mad it didn’t happen, it was a close game and Franklin is a tough team,” Charles said. “I came out hot in the third quarter and the team kept feeding me. I’ve been a pass-first guy but all of my teammates keep rooting me on to shoot it, even if I miss, they want me to keep shooting. My teammates were patient in getting me the ball.

“It’s crazy to get the sweep over Franklin, the first time [Attleboro] has done that. Ever since we were in fifth grade, this is all me and Bryant have talked about so it’s crazy to both get it.”

An even, back-and-forth first half had the teams tied at 28-28 through two quarters. And from Attleboro’s first possession of the second half, it was clear the emphasis would be on getting Charles the ball.

Nick McMahon (10 points, seven rebounds, six assists) found the big man for a traditional three-point play, and while it was close and even tied at points through the rest of the game, the Bombardiers never trailed.

Q sank a pair from the line, two more down low on an entry pass from Tim Callahan, and another three-point play gave Attleboro a 38-35 near the midway point of the third. Callahan accounted for four straight points before Charles got back into the scoring column. Justin Daniels hit his second three of the game as Attleboro held a 47-42 lead after three. After scoring nine points in the opening half, Charles scored 12 in the third.

“He’s a very unselfish player, we had to tell him to shoot more,” said Attleboro coach Mark Houle, who has coached a pair of 1,000-point scorers for the second time in his career. “About six weeks ago, we told him if he gets the ball inside you have to put it up. It helps our team when he shoots. He’s been doing it more the last month and that’s helped us be a better team.”

While Attleboro had plenty of success down low, the Panthers were keeping pace because of their outside shooting. The Panthers hit six three-pointers in the opening half while Jack Rudolph, Steven Karayan, and Andrew Byfield (13 points, four rebounds, four assists) each connected from downtown to keep Franklin in the game.

With Charles having the hot hand, and just six points away from the milestone, the Bombardiers continued to find ways to get him the ball. A patient approach that often featured more than a half dozen passes before getting a look into the paint to Charles helped open lanes.

“We had to work hard for everything,” Houle said. “I think the best thing about tonight was we trusted our motion offense more than we have all year. I thought our kids executed very well, we made the extra pass…and it was everyone, kids came off the bench like Alec [Eaton] and Justin [Daniels]…and that opened up the offense. We hit the right guys.

“And I don’t think that we forced the ball inside, I think it came within the flow of the offense. I was proud of the way we played. And we defended better tonight. Hard to say that with them hitting 13 three-pointers but we defended better than the past two games and that’s a step in the right direction for us.”

Charles scored Attleboro’s first bucket of the quarter on a feed from Callahan, repeated that feat on the next trip, and did the same exact thing on the third possession of the quarter, the last one giving him his 1,000th point.

“It’s hard to help off on him, you’re trying to pick your poison where it’s coming from,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “Last game we helped off a ton and Weir got loose for a big game, Ciccio had over 20. We were trying to flip the script a little bit, change it up and see what we can do without over helping. They did a really good job of moving the ball and being patient. They switched sides a couple of times and made us work, and I thought our guys played hard, it’s just such a tough matchup.”




The big bucket pushed Attleboro’s lead to 53-45 with 6:11 to go but Franklin got a big response on a three from Rudolph but a mid-range baseline jumper from Jason Weir and a three from McMahon gave the hosts a 58-50 lead with three minutes to play.

Franklin missed on a three but Brayden Sullivan (nine points) came up with the Panthers’ fifth offensive rebound and found Chris Edgehill (17 points, four rebounds) for a three. After another stop. Edgehill returned the favor and Sullivan sank a three to make it 58-56 with 1:31 to play.

The Panthers had a strong defensive possession but McMahon was able to get the ball on his right and got around a defender for a layup just before the shot clock to push the lead back to four. Franklin, which finished 13-for-30 from three-point, was off the mark from three.

“Shooting is obviously one of our strengths but at the same time, we would have liked to get to the rim a little bit more,” Neely said. Franklin had a total of 16 attempts from inside the three-point line. “I didn’t think we made Q defend enough on the ball screen, which was part of the game plan, and we got away from it early. I thought overall our offense was pretty good, we got some good looks down the stretch but credit [Attleboro], that matchup was tough for us.”

Ciccio came up with a steal on Franklin’s next possession and went in for an easy two to help seal the win.

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“Just so proud of this senior group and all the work they put in,” Houle said. “And they work hard for each other, they work hard for each other. I’m proud of seeing Bryant and Q being able to enjoy this at home with the Attleboro fans, a pretty special moment for them.

“This group really wants to pull for each other. That’s that part you don’t see on a scoreboard or in stats. You see it in practice, you see it after wins, you see it more so after losses. And they came together and played tougher tonight, that comes from them playing for each other.”

Attleboro boys basketball (12-4 Hockomock, 14-5 overall) is back in action on Sunday at the Comcast Tournament at Woburn High, taking on Newton North at 6:30. Franklin (11-5, 14-5) travels to Weston on Thursday at 1:00.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/11/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 63 @ Taunton, 71 – FinalTaunton sophomore Tristan Herry poured in a career-high 26 points and sophomore Trent Santos added 18 points as the Tigers outlasted Attleboro to get the win. The Tigers held a 50-49 lead after three quarters before finishing strong to close out the win. Herry accounted for half of Taunton’s 10 three-pointers, hitting four in the first half as he netted 18 points in the opening two quarters. Santos (four three-pointers) did most of his damage after the break with 13 points in the second half. Junior Tyler Stewart scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half for Taunton. Attleboro’s Bryant Ciccio scored a team-high 26 points, hitting on 10 two-point field goals, while senior Qualeem Charles added 18 points for the Bombardiers.

North Attleboro, 60 @ Canton, 46 – FinalNorth Attleboro sophomore Brody Rosenberg connected on three of his four three-pointers in the final quarter to help the Rocketeers pull away with the win. The visitors led after each the first three quarters (13-9 after one, 27-19 at at half), taking a 39-32 advantage into the fourth before putting together its best offensive quarter (21 points). Junior Edan Kelley joined in on the three party, connecting from downtown five times to finish with a career-high 19 points, including four trifectas in the second half. Junior George Ladd was a consistent on the offensive end for the Rocketeers with 15 points. Canton’s Eric Mischler sank three triples and finished with a team-high 13 points while Lanse Dorcelus added 11 points for the Bulldogs.

Sharon, 58 @ Foxboro, 74 – FinalFoxboro created separation with a big second quarter offensively and extended the lead with a big defensive quarter in the third, rolling to a win over Sharon. The win, coupled with Stoughton’s win over Milford, pulls the Warriors into a three-way tie with the Black Knights and Scarlet Hawks for first in the Davenport with one game to go. Foxboro had five players reach double figures for the first time this season with senior Brandon Borde leading the way with a team-high 21 points. Ryan Hughes, Kevin Gallagher, and Will Morrison each added 11 points for the Warriors while Donald Rogers finished with 10 points. Sharon’s Andrew Burton scored a team-high 15 points while Kiran Chandrasekaran added nine points for the Eagles.

Franklin, 59 @ Oliver Ames, 52 – FinalFranklin senior Chris Edgehill scored a team-high 16 points and in the process became the program’s all-time leading scorer. Edgehill tied Matt Palazini’s record of 1,306 with seven points in the first half and then broke the record in the third. Jack Rudolph hit four first half three-pointers, finishng wiht 12 points while both Steven Karayan and Brayden Sullivan chipped in 11 points for the Panthers, who totaled 10 three-pointers as a team. It was close throughout as Franklin held a five point lead after the first (17-12) and second quarters (30-25), and a four-point advantage (45-41) heading into the fourth. The Tigers cut the deficit to two (49-47) with 3:37 left but Franklin pulled away in the end for the win.

King Philip, 44 @ Mansfield, 62 – FinalMansfield trailed by three after a quarter of play but surged ahead with a 21-point second quarter and never looked back in a win over King Philip. The Warriors had a 13-10 edge after eight minutes but the Hornets had six players score in the second to race in front, leading 31-23 at half and pushing the lead to 10 (46-36) going into the fourth. The Hornets limited to KP to 13 or fewer points in each quarter. In the second, junior TJ Guy scored eight of his team-high 20 points, Matt Boen added five of his 13 points, Drew Rooney and Chris Hill both scored from the floor, and Brendan Foley and Sam Stevens (10 points) each chipped in from the free throw line. Hill added five more in the third while Boen, Rooney, and Stevens each hit fourth quarter three-pointers to pull away. KP senior Tommy Donahue had a team-high 15 points while classmate Alex Fritz added 12 points.

Milford, 74 @ Stoughton, 78 – Final (OT)Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.










Girls Basketball
Taunton, 51 @ Attleboro, 65 – FinalThe Bombardiers celebrated senior night with a big win that moves them back to .500 on the season and one win from booking a return to the state tournament. Nyah Thomas was Attleboro’s top scorer with 18 points and also added five assists. Meghan Gordon scored 16 and Ryan Johnson added 10, as the Bombardiers had a balanced attack. Attleboro led by 13 at halftime and pushed the lead to 17 heading to the fourth quarter. Bombardiers coach Marty Crowley praised the effort of senior Jackie MacDonald and added, “It was a great way to send our Seniors off in their last home game.” Attleboro closes the season with trips to Franklin and North Attleboro to try and get the tournament-clinching win. Freshman Kameron St. Pierre led all scorers with 21 points and the Tigers also got nine points from eighth grader Sam Lincoln.

Canton, 64 @ North Attleboro, 53 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Foxboro, 51 @ Sharon, 28 – FinalThe Warriors had four players scored in double digits, as they picked up another win to build their seed for the upcoming playoffs. Katelyn Mollica, fresh of getting to 1,000 career points last week, scored 16 to pace Foxboro. Shakirah Ketant, Abby Hassman, and Lizzy Davis all scored 10 points in the win. Leah Fandel scored a team-high 15 points and Ally Brown chipped in with nine for the Eagles.

Oliver Ames, 36 @ Franklin, 70 – FinalThe Panthers swept the season series with the Tigers, clinched the outright Kelley-Rex division title, and will have the chance to run the table in league play when they host Attleboro on Thursday. Ali Brigham dominated in the middle, leading all scorers with 22 points and Olivia Quinn scored 13. Meghan O’Connell also had a big night, scoring 13 for the Panthers. OA had a tough time breaking down the Franklin defense. Jess Erlich had seven points to lead the Tigers and Hailey Bourne added five.

Mansfield, 37 @ King Philip, 61 – FinalKP got hot from deep to split the season series with the Hornets and book its spot in the state tournament. The Warriors made 10 threes as a team. Faye Veilleux scored 18 points in the win, Brianna James scored 13, and Faith Roy added 12.

Stoughton, 50 @ Milford, 47 – FinalIn a close game from start to finish, Stoughton picked up a key victory on the road over the Scarlet Hawks. Stoughton led by seven after a quarter (15-8) and by six at halftime (30-24) before Milford cut into the deficit and made it a four-point game (41-47) heading into the fourth. Shyanne Trinh paced Stoughton with 20 points, Aliyah Wright added 18 points, and Jess Maddalena added six points and 11 rebounds for the Black Knights.

Hornets Hang On To Split Season Series With Panthers

Mansfield boys basketball Matt Boen
Mansfield junior Matt Boen goes up for a layup in the second half against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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MANSFIELD, Mass. – After reviewing film of the first meeting between the Franklin and Mansfield boys basketball teams, Hornet head coach Mike Vaughan came away with two main focus points for the second installment.

“Our whole game plan was to run them off the three-point line and no easy layups, and offensively, pound the ball into the post and play out of it,” Vaughan said.

It turned out to be the recipe for success for the Hornets, using the size of forwards TJ Guy (6’5) and Sam Stevens (6’4) to their advantage in the paint while halving the Panthers’ success rate from three-point range, resulting in a 56-48 win to split the season series.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The first time out, a meeting at Franklin High in early January, the Panthers shot 47% from three-point range and its defense held the Hornets under 50 points, the lone time that’s happened this season.

This time around, Mansfield’s strong closeouts saw the Panthers shoot 27% from the three-point line. And a heavy emphasis in paint touches resulted in a 50% success rate from two-point range plus more free throw attempts, where the Hornets went 13-for-17.

“Once every 15 years we throw the ball in the post.,” Vaughan joked of how rare it is the Hornets make that the focus of their offense. “Our style of play can sometimes hold a player back and I thought throughout the year there’s been times we’ve held TJ back in terms of what he can be good at. Watching film, I saw an opportunity with his size against whoever is going to play him. And in the first game, [Jack] Rudolph did such a good job covering Sammy the first time on the perimeter, so if we got that again, we got [Stevens] inside the post and make them defend inside and out. That created some opportunities for us.

“They are so good defensively, you have to do something to break them down a little bit and I thought that was our best chance.”

The Panthers had the most success from three-point range in the opening quarter of the game with Steven Karayan, Chris Edgehill, and Thomas Gasbarro connecting from downtown, but the Hornets stuck with the game plan and the visitors made just four more threes the rest of the way.

One of those threes came on the first possession of the second quarter when Andrew Byfield (seven points, six rebounds) hit from deep and followed with an easy layup for a 20-15 lead. But the Hornets hit on a 10-0 run over the final 4:30 of the half, a surge the put the hosts ahead for good.

Guy (13 points, 11 rebounds) converted an offensive rebound, Jason See knocked down a three off an offensive board from Guy, who then scored with a nice move in the post for a 22-20 lead.

“They know what we do, we know what they do, what they’re trying to do,” Guy said of the familiarity. “They try to get a lot of shots up, we were trying to get in the post but we both defend each other really well. We felt like we had mismatches inside, and these are the games I like, physical type games. They really shut us down the first game so we knew we had to come in, lock in and get this ‘W.’”

The Panthers took a three before the buzzer and the Hornets cashed in as junior Matt Boen (15 points, five steals, four rebounds) hauled in the defensive rebound with five seconds left, sprinted to half court and unleashed a buzzer-beater that put the Hornets ahead 25-20 at the break.

“After we played them last time where it felt like they bombed threes and everything went in, our focus was to run them off the three-point line and don’t let them blow by for uncontested layups,” Vaughan said. “Make them make plays in the intermediate part of the game and I thought we did a really good job of doing that.

“We kind of settled in, they missed a couple [after making their first couple of shots], I thought we did a really good job of minimizing their opportunities over the final 28 minutes of the game and I thought that was the difference. I thought we did a good job switching everything, keeping everyone in check. We didn’t let them get into a rhythm and everything was contested and difficult.”

Mansfield put Stevens (17 points, seven rebounds) on the block on its first possession of the second half and he scored on a feed from Boen. After Declan Walmsley (17 points) answered with a triple for the Panthers, the Hornets went on a 13-3 surge.

Boen had a steal and layup, Brendan Foley drained a three off the bench, Boen converted a traditional three-point play, Guy scored from the block, and Drew Rooney picked up a steal and went in for a layup to put the hosts ahead 40-26.

“Having a different look, and I really think getting the ball into the post was definitely a different look,” Vaughan said. “And we even had a zone ready, we just didn’t feel there was a time to use it. I know those two things would have thrown a wrinkle because those are two things we don’t typically do that we had prepared, that we thought could give us an advantage from the first time we played them.

“We practiced it for two days, we practice it in individual drills so it’s not foreign throwing the ball in the post but we really stressed it the last couple of days. We haven’t really had them sit down there before but if we were going to gain an advantage today, we felt like it was there. And I even think we had some opportunities to get out of it but we weren’t completely used to being in it.”










Franklin senior Brayden Sullivan finished through contact, Gasbarro hit a free throw, and Walmsley drained a late three for a late surge that put the Panthers in striking distance down 40-32 after three quarters.

“We talked about being something they’d probably do, and for the most part, I didn’t think we did a terrible job, I don’t know what they shot in there,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely on Mansfield’s emphasis on the post game. “They have some big bodies, [Guy] is a Division 1 football player and we don’t have that kind of guy to match up. We did our best, I thought at times we did a good job. Just a couple plays down the stretch here and there, we just didn’t close the deal on some of the defensive possessions and they’ll make you play.”

Stevens hit his lone three of the game and one of Mansfield’s five total triples to open the final quarter and Cincere Gill cut to the basket hard, taking a pass from Stevens as he posted up, for an easy two. Two possessions later, Guy once again put his back to the basket and converted on a feed from Boen for a 47-34 lead with 6:25 to play.

But Franklin refused to go away with Edgehill finding Walmsley on the break for two, Byfield making a nice extra pass for a three from Walmsley, and then four straight free throws from Rudolph made it 49-43.

Rudolph made a nice play for a steal after a Hornet entry pass to the post and sprinted down the court before dishing it off for Byfield for an easy two. Stevens answered with a tough take through traffic but Sullivan scored quickly down the other end as the Panthers got within four, 51-47.

Franklin got three straight stops and Edgehill hit a free throw to make it a one-possession game with two minutes to go. Mansfield missed a three and came up empty on the offensive rebound before the teams traded quick turnovers, and Franklin had the tying three go just long.

Boen hit two free throws with a minute to go to extend the lead back to 53-48 and the Hornets went on to get stops and hit their free throws to earn the 56-48 win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“They were doing a good job switching a lot of screens and gave us trouble for a significant portion of that second quarter and some of the second half,” Neely said. “I thought when we moved the ball, did what we talked about doing, and got some cutters, I thought we opened them up a little bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t think we had enough patience on the offensive end, we started forcing some stuff early.

“I’m proud of the guys, no question. They aren’t going to give up, they are a great group of kids that have worked hard all season. They aren’t going to roll over and get blown out so I’m proud of them.”

Mansfield boys basketball (12-1 Hockomock, 16-2 overall) holds a one-game lead over Attleboro in the division race with three games to go, starting with a visit from Oliver Ames on Friday. Franklin (10-3, 13-3) falls two games back and will host Taunton on Friday.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/31/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 77 @ Attleboro, 65 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Foxboro, 75 @ Canton, 38 – FinalFoxboro built a double-digit lead by halftime and used a dominate third quarter to pull away from the Bulldogs for the win. Foxboro scored 20 points in the second quarter to take a 39-24 lead at halftime and then led the Bulldogs to 14 points in the second half, scoring 23 in the third quarter to pull away. Senior Brandon Borde scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the opening half while junior Kevin Gallagher connected on three of his fourth trifectas in the opening half to give Foxboro its 15-point halftime advantage. Donald Rogers and Ryan Hughes each added eight points for the Warriors while Canton senior Nick Cushman scored a team-high 14 points.

King Philip, 47 @ Franklin, 71 – FinalFranklin had eight players find the scoring column in the opening half, building a 17-point by halftime and never looked back in big division win over King Philip. Jack Rudolph (eight points), Steven Karayan (10 points), Chris Edgehill (12 points), and Andrew Byfield each hit a three-pointer in the opening quarter and the Panthers connected from downtown 12 times. Declan Walmsley accounted for five three-pointers and finished with a career-high 21 points. The Panthers’ defense held KP to single digits in each the first and third quarters, taking a 54-31 advantage into the final quarter. Alex Fritz had a team-high 15 points for KP while Andrew McKinney added 11 points.

Stoughton, 75 @ North Attleboro, 66 – Final Stoughton overcame a one-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to take a four-point lead by halftime and used that lead to stay in front for the rest of the way. Both teams had their best offensive quarter in the third with the Black Knights pouring in 24 points but the Rocketeers kept it close with 21 points of their own, trailing 56-49 heading into the fourth. Stoughton senior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored 16 of his game-high 27 points in the second half while classmate Myles Griglunas-Powell gave the visitors a boost with 10 of his 14 points in the third quarter. Ugwuakazi had six in the fourth and senior Ahmad Jahed scored seven points in the fourth to keep Stoughton ahead. Tahkwan Gates Brown added 10 points for Stoughton. Junior George Ladd scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half for the Rocketeers while sophomore Brody Rosenberg hit five three-pointers, including four in the third, to finish with 15 points, and junior Edan Kelley added 10 points.

Taunton, 52 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – Final In a back-and-forth battle, Taunton avenged a one-point loss to Oliver Ames from early in the season with a three-point win on Friday night. Taunton held the hosts to six points in the first quarter, taking a 16-6 advantage but Oliver Ames exploded for 22 points in the second quarter to surge ahead, 28-25, at halftime. Taunton’s defense had another good quarter, holding OA to eight points in the third to take the lead back and held that three-point lead for the win. Sophomore Trent Santos (15 points) hit four three-pointers, including a key one in the fourth quarter while classmate Tristan Herry (10 points) also hit from downtown in the final frame. Tyler Stewart had a team-high 16 points for Taunton. Ryan Burkett had a team-high 14 points for Oliver Ames, Amari Brown added 13 points, and Jay Spillane finished with 10 points.

Sharon, 44 @ Milford, 56 – FinalSix Scarlet Hawks scored in a 20-point third quarter to turned a two-point game into a double-digit advantage in a win over visiting Sharon. Tied at 13-13 after a quarter and Milford holding a 25-23 lead at the break, the Hawks went on a big run to create the necessary separation. Ben Blanchard hit a three and had six of his team-high 14 points in the third, Matty Varteresian also connected from downtown and Dom Schofield scored five of his 11 points in the third to give Milford a 45-33 lead heading into the fourth. Aidan Kane scored a team-high 11 points for the Eagles.










Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 44 @ Mansfield, 51 – FinalMansfield trailed by five in the final four minutes, but rallied to pull out the victory. The Hornets went 20-for-22 from the free throw line to hold off Attleboro in a back-and-forth game. Ashley Santos was Mansfield’s top scorer with 13 points and Kayla Vine added 12. Attleboro also had two players in double digits, as Meghan Gordon scored 17 and Nyah Thomas chipped in with 11. Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “Great game in what has become a great rivalry. We played a great first half but Marty made some nice halftime adjustments and they dominated the third.” The Hornets led 25-18 at the break, but Attleboro turned things around with a 17-8 third quarter to lead heading into the final eight minutes.

Canton, 47 @ Foxboro, 55 – FinalFoxboro led by 12 at halftime but Canton clamped down defensively and only allowed the Warriors to score 20 points after the break and keep the game close to the end. The Warriors are a win away from clinching at least a share of their fourth straight league title. Katelyn Mollica powered Foxboro with 17 points and Shakirah Ketant added 16 points in the win.

Franklin, 65 @ King Philip, 39 – FinalFranklin swept the season series with the Warriors and maintained a two-game lead in the division. Ali Brigham had a big night for the Panthers with 27 points and Olivia Quinn scored 18 points to keep Franklin unbeaten.

North Attleboro, 49 @ Stoughton, 48 – FinalIn a back-and-forth game that went down to the wire, North was able to do just enough to pull out the road victory. The Black Knights got off to a strong start, particularly on the defensive end, to lead 9-4 after one and 24-22 at halftime. Stoughton led 40-36 entering the fourth, but the Rocketeers held the hosts to just eight points in the final quarter to earn the win. North coach Nikki Correia praised the defense and shot-making down the stretch of Ava McKeon and Taylor McMath. Amanda Kaiser was the top scorer again for North with 20 points, including five three-pointers. Summer Doherty and Regan Fein each scored eight and Eliza Dion added six. Aliyah Wright led all scorers with 22 points and also pulled down 10 rebounds for Stoughton. Shyanne Trinh added 14 and Hannah Papagno scored seven.

Oliver Ames, 70 @ Taunton, 43 – FinalTaunton led by two points at halftime, but OA roared back in the second half. OA turned things around in the third quarter, holding the hosts to just two points to build a double-digit lead and then put the game away with a strong fourth. Caroline Peper led OA with 14 points, Tate Hadges added 13 points, and Meg Holleran chipped in with 11 points. Kameron St. Pierre led the hosts with 20 points and Jaelyn Fernandez added 13 in the loss.

Milford, 35 @ Sharon, 47 – FinalLeah Fandel scored a career-high 19 points, as Sharon turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 12-point win. The Eagles locked down defensively to get the win, holding Milford to just 11 points in the second half. Nicole Teven also scored in double digits with 10 and Kaitlyn Wallace scored eight.

Swimming
Hockomock Boys Swim Championships – Click here for results and a photo gallery of this event.

Girls Gymnastics
Mansfield @ Attleboro, 7:00
Sharon, 109.00 @ Franklin, 132.60 – Final
Franklin, 132.60 vs. Medway, 121.00 – Final

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/28/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Milford, 57 @ Attleboro, 61 – Final (OT)Attleboro went 8-for-12 from the free throw line in the overtime period to outlast Milford, who used a furious fourth quarter rally to get back into the game. The Bombardiers got all of their overtime points from the line with senior Nick McMahon going 6-for-8, finishing with 13 points in the game, and senior Qualeem Charles hitting 2-of-4, recording a team-high 20 points in the win. The Bombardiers got off to a terrific start with seven players scoring in the opening quarter, including three-pointers from Justin Daniels, Tim Callahan, and McMahon to seize a 17-5 lead. Attleboro kept its distance, holding a 28-18 lead at halftime and senior Bryant Ciccio scored eight of his 13 points in the third to push the lead to 42-29 with just eight minutes to play. But Milford rallied in the final frame as Ben Blanchard (11 points) connected on three three-pointers, Tyler Wetherbee added one, and Colby Pires (11 points), Jordan Darling (eight points), Max Martin, and Ralph Franklin Jr. (eight points) each converted to force the overtime period. The Hawks connected on seven threes in the game but did not attempt a free throw.

Canton, 61 @ Oliver Ames, 74 – FinalOliver Ames junior Amari Brown scored 15 of his team-high 24 points in the first half and senior Jay Spillane connected on three three-pointers in the opening 16 minutes as the Tigers built a double-digit lead by half and never looked back. The Tigers scored 17 points in each of the first three quarters and added 23 more in the fourth to get the win. Holding a 17-9 lead through one quarter of play, Brown had nine points in the second and Spillane hit two threes to help the Tigers extended the lead. Ryan Burkett scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, Adam Cann and Owen Friel each hit a three in the third, and Evan Craig finished with 12 points for OA. Junior Eric Mischler hit five three-pointers in the second half and scored a career-high 36 points for Canton.

Foxboro, 68 @ King Philip, 72 – Final (OT)Foxboro erased a six-point deficit to start the fourth quarter but King Philip’s Owen Conlin hit a pair of three-pointers in the overtime period, punctuating a terrific shooting second half for the Warriors in an important win. KP built a 16-11 lead through one quarter before Foxboro closed it to a one-point game, 30-29, at halftime. KP senior Alex Fritz scored 10 of his team-high 23 points in the third as the Warriors pushed the advantage to 47-41 but Foxboro senior Brandon Borde netted 10 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth to bring the visitors level. Conlin (11 points) hit a three a minute into the extra period and added another a minute later, pushing it to a six-point lead that KP held onto for the rest of the way. The Warriors connected on seven three-pointers after the halftime break while Foxboro totaled just two makes from downtown. Tommy Donahue scored seven of his 13 points between the fourth and overtime and had some key blocks for KP while Robert Jarest added 15 points, connecting on three trifectas. Donald Rogers added 16 point and Ryan Hughes chipped in with 12 points for Foxboro.

Sharon, 50 @ Franklin, 64 – FinalFranklin got off to a strong start in the opening quarter and built on that lead throughout the game to knock off visiting Sharon. Seniors Brayden Sullivan (21 points), Jack Rudolph, and Steven Karayan each hit a three in the opening frame to help the Panthers race out to a 17-9 lead. Sullivan added eight more in the second and senior Chris Edgehill (15 points) connected from three as the Panthers pushed the lead to double-digits, 33-22, at half. Sharon kept pace in the third, down 46-35, but Franklin put the game away with an 18-point fourth quarter. Declan Walmsey added 10 points for Franklin. Andrew Burton led Sharon with 14 points while Aidan Kane added 10 points.

North Attleboro, 60 @ Mansfield, 65 – FinalMansfield nearly doubled up on North Attleboro in the first half but had to convert key free throws in the final seconds to hold off a second half comeback from the Rocketeers. The Hornets built 33-17 lead at halftime behind a 20-point second quarter but North Attleboro made it interesting with a 20-point third and then a 23-point fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to just one in the final minute of play. Sophomore Brody Rosenberg (17 points, all in the second half) drained a three and hit a pair of free throws to make it a four point game and North’s full court press paid off as junior George Ladd (27 points) got a steal and a layup to make it 59-57. Mansfield junior Matt Boen (17 points) made a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left to make it 61-57 but Rosenberg answered with a three to make it 61-60. Sam Stevens (23 points) hit a pair from the free throw line to push the lead back to three and North was just off the mark on the tying three and Boen hit two more from the line in the final seconds to get the win 65-60.

Stoughton, 63 @ Taunton, 73 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.










Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 67 @ Milford, 43 – FinalFour players scored in double figures for a balanced Attleboro attack. Nyah Thomas was the top scorer for the visitor with 18 points, but Liv McCall also had 15 and Emma Reilly and Meghan Gordon both put in 11. Emma Lawrence led the Hawks with 18 points and Jillian Michelson chipped in with 14.

Oliver Ames, 50 @ Canton, 67 – FinalCanton trailed by two points at the half, but turned things around with a dominant second half, outscoring the Tigers 40-21 after the break. The Bulldogs held OA to just three points in the fourth quarter and shot 10-of-17 from three-point range to pull the upset. Kiara Cerruti was the game’s top scorer with 20 points for Canton. Sydney Gallery had 14 and Fay Gallery added 13, while Samya DaSilva scored 11 and Kayla Albert finished with nine. Caroline Peper led a shorthanded OA squad with 19 and Kelsey Yelle had 10 points.

King Philip, 48 @ Foxboro, 69 – FinalFoxboro won for the second straight game, as Katelyn Mollica scored a game-high 25. Yara Fawaz added 12 points and Shakirah Ketant had 10 in the win. Abby Hassman continued to be a force on the glass, pulling down 13 rebounds.

Franklin, 53 @ Sharon, 20 – FinalFranklin put in another full-team effort to get the win on the road. Ten Panthers scored in the game, led by Ali Brigham’s 12. Nicole Teven and Trinity Payne each scored five to lead the Eagles.

Mansfield, 58 @ North Attleboro, 71 – FinalAmanda Kaiser and North Attleboro roared out to a huge first quarter and rode that big lead to victory. North led 30-12 after eight minutes, as Kaiser knocked down five threes and scored 17 of her 20 points in the first. Mansfield was able to cut the lead to 11 at the half by scoring 21 points in the second and switching to a box-and-one to try and slow Kaiser down, but North kept the lead at double digits after the third and won the fourth to seal the victory. Summer Doherty, Regan Fein, and Eliza Dion all scored a dozen points for North. “We came out aggressive from the jump and Amanda was hitting everything,” said North coach Nikki Correia. “I am so proud of how hard they battled and played for four quarters tonight on both ends!”

Taunton, 60 @ Stoughton, 68 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Girls Gymnastics
Attleboro, 126.10 @ Canton, 116.40 – Final
Attleboro, 126.10 @ Sharon, 100.35 – Final
Canton, 116.40 @ Sharon, 100.35 – Final

Results:
Vault: 1. Stella Krawiec, Att – 8.6 | 2. Aly Legere, Att – 8.0 | 3. Ali Dennehy/Amanda Burns, Att – 7.9
Bars: 1. A. Legere, Att – 7.4 | 2. S. Krawiec, Att – 7.3 | 3. A. Dennehy, Att – 7.2
Beam: 1. Talia Aidlin-Perlman, Sha – 8.2 | 2. S. Krawiec/Parker Sweeney, Att – 8.0 | 3. Lauren Raffa, Att – 7.8
Floor: 1. Erin Glearson, Att – 8.8 | 2. A. Burns, Att – 8.7 | 3. T. Aidlin-Perlman, Sha – 8.6

Attleboro Starts, Finishes Strong In Win Over Franklin

Attleboro boys basketball Bryant Ciccio
Attleboro senior Bryant Ciccio goes up for a shot against Franklin’s Andrew Cunningham in the third quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Behind a blazing start and a strong finish, the Attleboro boys basketball team earned a crucial division win on the road in Franklin on Friday night.

Senior Bryant Ciccio ignited the Bombardiers from the start, scoring half of Attleboro’s 22 first quarter points, and the visitors connected on four three-pointers in the opening quarter to build a lead they would never relinquish.

And to finish, it was a 12-2 run that spanned the first six minutes of the fourth quarter that propelled the Bombardiers to a 63-51 decision on the road.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think the biggest thing about tonight was that we stuck to the game plan,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “We weren’t just shooting on the first available shot, we really tried to get some paint shots. We didn’t get a lot but I think working the clock, making them work defensively, and looking to see where we had opportunities on skips and seals, I think that helped us.

“And Bryant coming out and really feeling it early was a spark for us. And defensively I thought we played pretty well.”

In the first, Ciccio (21 points, four rebounds, four assists) hit his first two shots, including one triple, and later in the frame hit a pair of three-pointers inside a 30-second span, the latter coming in transition that put the visitors ahead 17-8. Tim Callahan (nine points) added the other triple to give the Bombarders a 22-13 lead after eight minutes.

And in the fourth, holding a 48-41 advantage to start, the Bombardiers clamped down defensively to limit the hosts to just one made field goal over six minutes to push the lead to 60-43. Senior Qualeem Charles (10 points, 10 rebounds) got half of his points in the span and senior Jason Weir (career-high 17 points, seven rebounds) sank one of his four trifectas to give the Bombardiers breathing room.

“Jason played really well, he played within himself,” Houle said. “He’s the type of player that can play inside or outside and he’s definitely shooting the ball a lot better, he’s confident in himself. He didn’t play last year (injury) so it’s taken a little while but I’m really proud of his efforts because he’s stuck with it, he continues to battle. He’s such a competitor and it was a big night for him.

“I thought throughout the game, everyone at some point stepped up. I thought [Franklin] did a great job on Q, making him work for everything but he had a couple of key possessions in the fourth that were big for us. I don’t think it was one guy consistently but I thought different guys stepped up for us at different times and it was a really solid win against a very good team at Franklin.”

Charles started the late run off of a feed from Nick McMahon (six rebounds, four assists), who found Callahan for a bucket two plays later. Ciccio had a rare miss but Charles gobbled up the rebound and muscled through a foul to put it back in as the Bombardiers surged to a 54-43 lead with 5:15 to play.

After a bit of a lull from both sides, Attleboro got Charles the ball again and he was fouled, sinking one of two from the line. Callahan came up with a steal, Ciccio drove to the basket to collapse the defense and found Weir, who drained a three. Ciccio added two free throws with two minutes left to make it 60-43.

While Franklin entered the fourth having success from deep (6-for-18), the Panthers went ice cold from downtown for the majority of the final quarter. Jack Rudolph (14 points, four rebounds, five assists) had the Panthers’ lone bucket of the stretch with a nice take to the basket that made it 50-43 at the time.

After that, the Panthers missed on five straight three-pointers, had a turnover, and then missed two more from downtown.

“They came out hot in the first and that was a tough way to start the game, falling behind,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “Ciccio was lights out, he was doing everything out there, he’s an awesome player. And at the end, I think our offense got a little stagnant and we started to force it a little bit. We don’t have the luxury to go out there and play one-on-one basketball, that’s not what we’ve been about. When we’ve been successful, it’s been a team effort, it’s been extra passes, ball reveals, screening for each other, and taking pride in all of those little details.










“Tonight, I thought we got away from those details in those big moments. It felt like we tried to get it all back in one basket. We got it down to five in the third but I thought it was a lot of those little things. I didn’t think we executed our plan very well, I didn’t think we made them earn it as much tonight. I’m not taking anything away from [Attleboro], they played great but when you’re trying to get back into a game, you can’t have lapses on those little moments.”

Franklin surged in each the second and third quarters to close the gap, but could never quite get over the hump. The only time the Panthers led in the game was after Steven Karayan (13 points) opened the game with a three-pointer.

In the second, Declan Walmsley converted through the contact after a steal from Brayden Sullivan. Rudolph sank a three-pointer and Matt Lazarek had an open layup as the Panthers closed the gap to 25-20. After a free throw from Charles, Karayan hit another three to make it a three-point game.

But Ciccio and Justin Daniels each converted from deep to give Attleboro a 32-25 lead at halftime.

Franklin closed the gap to three early in the third on a steal from Lazarek and layup from Chris Edgehill. Weir and Edgehill traded three-pointers but a steal from Charles led to a fast break for Ciccio and layup from Callahan.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Sullivan got around his man to make it a three-point game again, but once more Attleboro answered with Ciccio connecting from downtown. Weir hit another three and Attleboro took advantage of two offensive rebounds from Weir and Callahan to push the lead to 48-41 after three.

“Both teams worked really hard,” Houle said. “They seemed to take more threes in the fourth than we did, and they are a good shooting team. It’s not like we were giving them the threes, but fortunately, they weren’t hitting them and we were getting some key box-outs and rebounds.”

Attleboro boys basketball (9-1 Hock, 11-2 overall) remains in a first-place tie with Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex with six games to go. The Bombardiers will host Davenport-leading Milford on Tuesday. Franklin (8-2, 11-2) will host Sharon on the same night.

Taunton Shines On Both Ends To Knock Off Franklin

Taunton boys basketball Tyler Stewart
Taunton boys basketball junior Tyler Stewart blocks a shot in the first half against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
TAUNTON, Mass. – The Taunton boys basketball team delivered a message to the rest of the Hockomock League on Friday night.

At the expense of visiting Franklin, that message was sent loud and clear.

The Tigers, locked in at both ends of the floor from start to finish, had one of their best all-around games since joining the league nearly a decade ago, earning a dominating 83-52 win over the previously unbeaten Panthers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“That was one of the best games we’ve played on both ends of the floor,” said longtime Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.

Not that it was a hard decision for Dacey to make following a first half in which the Tigers were terrific on the defensive end of the court and a second half in which Taunton was nearly unstoppable on the offensive end.

“The underdog mentality the kids have…they are willing to work hard, they are great in practice,” Dacey said. “They’ve responded really well this year.”

Taunton set the tone with its active defense the featured steals from sophomore Tristan Herry (eight points, eight assists, five rebounds) and junior Danny MacDougall in the opening four minutes. The Tigers also stepped in to take a pair of charges (sophomore Trent Santos and MacDougall) in the opening minutes; Franklin finished with nine first half turnovers.

The energy on the defensive end translated to the offensive side for the Tigers, who raced out to a 10-4 lead in the game and took a 15-10 lead after one. Santos (21 points) had five points in the opening quarter while junior Tyler Stewart (21 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, two blocks) and Josh Lopes (23 points) had four points apiece in the first quarter.

“We worked on fighting through screens so we just had to stay focused, and we had to work on our close outs with their three-point shooting,” Dacey said. “It’s all fundamental stuff but these guys are willing to execute it come game time. It’s hard for 32 minutes to go through the Franklin grind. If you’re going to beat the best, you have to match what they do out there.”

Stewart, a 6’6 forward, remained a focal point of the Tigers’ offense, adding six more in the second quarter. The offense was contagious with Herry (four points), sophomore Faisal Mass, and MacDougall joining the scoring sheet in the second.

The Tigers held the Panthers to just 10 points in each the first and second quarters. Franklin senior Chris Edgehill (18 points, four rebounds) hit a pair of threes inside the final three minutes of the half to keep the visitors in the game, down 31-20 at halftime.

“We got beat in every aspect of the game of basketball tonight,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “Taunton had a group that played with a chip on their shoulder with a lot of to prove…that was a group of hungry kids that came out right from the start ready to play, ready to compete. They had a great gameplan, and defensively they really tightened up early and we struggled to score.

“Once we started to get a little something going, we came out for the second half feeling alright and scored on the first possession but they just had an answer for pretty much everything. The floodgates really opened up after that. We’re not really in the business of trying to manage the scoreboard so we got into some defenses that weren’t our style but we had to try something to get back into it, we got up and pressed a little.”

True to form, Franklin emerged from the locker room with renewed energy as Santos fouled Panther senior Brayden Sullivan (10 points). Not only did Sullivan make the two free throws, Santos — arguably the Tigers’ top shooter — went to the bench with his third foul.

Franklin couldn’t capitalize on a Taunton turnover and the Tigers made them pay as Lopes ignited a three-point parade with his (and Taunton’s) first trifecta of the game.

Thomas Gasbarro sank a pair from the line to make it a 10-point game at 34-24 but Stewart answered down low on a feed from Herry, who set up Lopes for another three on Taunton’s next possession.

“That’s our gameplan, we have to get Tyler touches early,” Dacey said. “[Franklin] was throwing guys at him tonight, a couple times he had three guys on him but he’s pretty good at kicking it out. Six assists doesn’t surprise me tonight. Josh is a shooter and he hits his first couple he’s going to have a good night and Trent is a shooter, he doesn’t lack confidence putting them up.”

Jack Rudolph kept the Panthers in it finishing off a layup after a nice cut but once against Stewart answered off a nice feed from Nigel Choate and then Stewart scored on his own miss. Gasbarro set Sullivan up after a steal but Lopes came back down and sank a three for a 46-28 lead with three minutes left in the third.

‘You have to be able to respond,” Dacey said. “That’s the mark of a mature team, and even though we aren’t a mature team on paper (two seniors), we matured tonight. To be able to respond to their energy…we figured the first four minutes they would press and try and make it a full court game. We were able to respond to it.”




Edgehill finished through contact and the Panthers got a stop but a pair of offensive rebounds, the second hauled in by Stewart and put back up for two. Edgehill sank a three to try and keep the Panthers close but Lopes answered with his fourth three of the third quarter.

Herry added Taunton’s fifth three of the quarter in the final minute and Choate drove the baseline for a nice finish to cap a strong offensive quarter, putting the hosts up 57-35.

If there was any hope for a comeback, Taunton’s hot start to the fourth quickly put it to rest. Santos, back after missing the third in foul trouble, drained a three on the first play of the fourth. Mass was money on a 12-foot pull up, Stewart converted a traditional three-point play, and Santos pulled up for a long two as the Tigers pulled off a 12-3 run over the first two minutes of the fourth quarter.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We had to adjust with Stewart killing us inside, so we started to sink down on him a little more and that opened the three a little more and credit to them, they shot great from three, it felt like they were 8-for-8,” Neely said. “We’ve kind of developed an identity of being a defensive team and I didn’t see it tonight. When you start pressing a little bit, sometimes you forget what makes you good in the first place.”

Taunton finished the second half going 8-for-11 from three-point range and 20-for-28 (71%) from the field overall.

Taunton boys basketball (4-2 Hockomock, 8-2 overall) earned its eighth straight win and will be back in action on Tuesday when it welcomes Milford to town. Franklin (5-1, 8-1) entertains North Attleboro on the same day.