Attleboro, 57 @ Foxboro, 37 – Final – Attleboro’s double-digit lead was cut down to nine in the fourth quarter but that was as close as the Warriors got and the Bombardiers finished strong to score a 57-37 win on the road. The Bombardiers led by as much as 22 points in the third quarter but a strong start to the fourth got the Warriors within 43-34 with 4:30 to play but Evan Houle hit his third three of the game, Alvin Harrison scored down low on the ensuing possession, and Neo Franco laid it in for two more as Attleboro pulled away for the win. Houle finished with a season-high 20 points, Harrison added 13 points, and Franco had nine points for the Bombardiers. Foxboro’s Sam Golub scored all of his team-high 11 points in the second half.
Taunton, 66 @ Canton, 43 – Final – Taunton built a double-digit lead by halftime and outscored the hosts in each quarter on its way to 66-43 win over Canton. The Tigers got off to a great start with 19 points in the opening quarter and also finished strong, outscoring the Bulldogs 17-6 in the fourth quarter. Taunton senior Trent Santos sparked that good start with 10 of his game-high 22 points coming in the opening period while senior Faisal Mass took over in the second half, scoring 16 of his 20 points after the halftime break. Jordan Costa added 11 points for Taunton, who will host Attleboro on Friday. Canton senior Conor Hunter hit four threes and finished with a team-high 14 points while Nate Mei added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
Franklin, 50 @ North Attleboro, 29 – Final – Franklin’s lock down defense was on full display in the opening half, limiting the hosts to a single field goal to build a double-digit lead that it held for the rest of the game. The Panthers only scored 20 points in the first half against a good North Attleboro defense, but shined on the defensive end with just three points allowed over the first 16 minutes of action. North Attleboro’s offense came alive with 18 points in the third quarter but the Panthers were equal to the task, having their best offensive quarter as well with 20 points. Sophomore Andrew O’Neill hit a trio of three pointers in the opening quarter, scoring 11 of his game 17 points to help Franklin establish an early lead. O’Neill finished with five made threes while classmate Sean O’Leary added seven points in the win. Brody Rosenberg led the Rocketeers with eight points.
Mansfield, 59 @ Stoughton, 54 – Final – Stoughton carried some momentum from its big come-from-behind win over Canton on Monday into its contest with undefeated Mansfield on Tuesday, holding a lead at halftime, but the Hornets won the third quarter handily and then held off another comeback attempt from the Black Knights to get the win. Senior Connor Andrews scored 12 of his team-high 24 points in the first quarter and junior Rayan Sablon added nine of his 19 points in the second as Stoughton staked a 29-28 lead at halftime. After some early foul trouble, Mansfield senior Matt Hyland scored 11 of his career-high 27 points in the third quarter and junior Chris Hill had six of his 21 points in the same frame as the Hornets looked to pull away, taking a 47-38 lead into the fourth. Mansfield led by as much as 10 (57-47) with just under four minutes to play before a quick 7-2 burst got Stoughton within five, 59-54, with under a minute to go but neither team added to the score from there.
Milford, 49 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – Final – Oliver Ames turned a possession game early in the second quarter into a 22-point halftime lead and that was the difference as the Tigers snapped a two-game skid. OA held a 20-17 lead before exploding for 32 points in the second quarter alone, establishing a 44-22 lead after 16 minutes of action. Freshman Cole Craffey hit a pair of threes and finished with 13 of his team-high 16 points in the second quarter while MJ Jean-Baptiste (nine points, three steals) and Zach Tagliamonte (13 points) each scored five points in the quarter to help the Tigers pull away. Nick Asiaf added three three-pointers in the third for OA, who took a 58-34 lead into the final quarter. Sophomore big man Jefferson Smock added 11 rebounds and 11 blocks for the Tigers. Freshman Andrew Rivera led the charge for the Hawks with 17 points.
Canton, 83 @ Taunton, 53 – Final – Kiara Cerruti scored a career-high 33 points and added seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to a big road win. Fay Gallery chipped in with 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists and Sydney Gallery scored 17, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out seven assists. Samya DaSilva helped Canton with seven points and four rebounds. Kameron St. Pierre scored all of her team-high 24 points in the opening half. Taunton stayed within 11 at the break, trailing 45-34, but Canton kept up its offensive pressure in the second half and held the Tigers to 19 over the final two quarters. Abby Souza added nine points and Jillian Doherty scored six for Taunton.
Sharon, 40 @ King Philip, 43 – Final – KP rallied in the fourth, holding the Eagles to just six points in the final quarter, to pull out the win. The Warriors jumped out to a 19-14 lead after the first, led by eight points from Emily Sawyer (14 points) and six from Jackie Bonner (team-high 16), but the Eagles bounced back by holding the Warriors to just four in the second to lead 25-23 at halftime. Sophomore Jasmine Davis (18 rebounds) scored 17 of her game-high 25 points in the first half, including nine of Sharon’s 11 in the second, to help the Eagles grab the lead. The third quarter finished even at nine points apiece, but then KP won the fourth 13-6 to snag the victory. Sawyer scored five in the fourth and Elizabeth Molla added four of her seven points in the final eight minutes. Davis was held to four points in each of the second and third quarters. Rachael Hager scored five and Trinity Payne had six for the Eagles.
Oliver Ames, 72 @ Milford, 26 – Final – Oliver Ames quickly shook off any rust from its two week break, running away with a big win on the road at Milford. Sophomore Kaydance Derba hit four first half three-pointers on her way to a career-high 18 points to pace the Tigers. Senior Anna Murphy added 14 points, sophomore Jasmyn Cooper recorded a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, and senior Caroline Peper filled up the stat sheet with eight assists, five steals, and a pair of blocks.
Sharon, 29 vs. East Bridgewater, 50 – Final – Sharon sophomore Jasmine Davis had a double-double for the second straight night, finishing with 23 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.
Attleboro @ King Philip, 8:00
Franklin, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final – After trading goals in the opening period, Mansfield struck four times in the middle period, including two shorthanded tallies, to skate away with a big win over OA. Dillon Benoit scored twice for the Hornets, who went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill, while Kyle Oakley, Ryan Doherty, and Will Cameron each scored once. Sophomore Andrew Livingstone scored for OA off an assist from junior Sean McCarthy.
Stoughton, 12 @ Wareham, 1 – Final – Stoughton junior Sean Farley scored a hat trick to lead the way offensively for the Black Knights on the road at Gallo. Aidan Obrock and Cooper Lehmann each added two goals while Colin Alessi, Colby Strunk, Charlie Caputo, Joe McNulty and Anthony DaSousa scored once.
Taunton vs. Somerset-Berkley, 8:00
Stoughton/Sharon vs. West/East Bridgewater, 8:10
Canton @ Oliver Ames, 7:00
Foxboro @ North Attleboro, 7:00
Mansfield, 15 @ King Philip, 63 – Final
Milford @ Taunton, 7:00
Sharon, 60 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
Taunton, 45 @ Sharon, 54 – Final – The Eagles took a double-digit lead by halftime and held off the Tigers in the second half to win their home opener. Jasmine Davis continued her stellar first season with Sharon, scoring 26 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in the win. She scored nine in the first, as Sharon jumped out to a 16-5 lead, and added another eight in the fourth to keep Taunton at arm’s length. Kameron St. Pierre matched Davis, putting up 26 points for the Tigers, scoring nine in the second and another eight in the fourth. Rachael Hager added an outside threat for the Eagles, knocking down four threes for 12 points, and Trinity Payne added 11 points, including seven in the second quarter, and eight boards. Abby Souza chipped in with six points for the Tigers.
Franklin, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final
Sharon, 87 @ Mansfield, 61 – Final – Sharon’s Michael Wang and Theo Tran both took home four first place finishes to help the Eagles get the win. Wang qualified for states in the 200 free and was apart of two winning relay teams. Tran also won two relays and two individual events. Mansfield’s Rico Palanza won the 50 free and took second in three events but the Hornets fell at home to a talented and deep Sharon squad. Palanza, who has the fourth best time in school history in the event, took first and also qualified for sectionals in the process. He finished second in the 100 free and teamed up with Xavier Gwynne, Jack Friedman, and Ryan Morley to take second in both the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Gwynne also added a second place finish (and PR by nine seconds) in the 100 fly and a third place finish (and PR) in the 200 IM.
Sharon, 93 @ Mansfield, 50 – Final – Sharon’s Isabel Quin and Cedric Sung both won all four of their events to lead the Eagles to a win over the Hornets. For Mansfield, Sofia Seifert and Lauren Morley achieved second place finishes in the 200 Individual Medley and the 50 free, respectively. The relay combination of Caitlyn Wagner, Seifert, Alexis O’Keefe, and Caitlyn Zajac took second place in the 200 Medley relay and The 400 free relay team of Morley, O’Keefe, Zajac & Seifert also took home a second place finish.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It is amazing how much confidence comes from watching that first shot find the bottom of the net. Once one falls, the floodgates can open, the energy picks up on defense, and a game that was slowly slipping away can turn into a comfortable win.
After scoring 10 points through the opening 21 minutes of Friday night’s game at the Pickering Gym, North Attleboro scored 30 points in the final 11 minutes, went on a 25-2 run, and held Sharon to just two points in the third quarter to pull out a 40-29 victory.
“I told them, we have to keep shooting,” North coach Nikki Correia explained. “We have to get into a rhythm. I leaned on my freshmen, all three of them, and they answered big time. They missed a couple at the beginning, but they’re starting to get into the rhythm of the game, they’re starting to figure it out a little bit, we started moving the ball a little bit better, and we started believing in our offense.”
It was a contrast in styles, as North likes to get out and run whenever possible, while the Eagles want to use clock and keep things in the half-court. For the better part of the three quarters, the visitors won the tempo battle.
Summer Doherty (team-high 13 points) nailed a three for the first basket of the game, but North only scored two more points in the first quarter. Trinity Payne (12 rebounds) got a basket on an offensive rebound and then the Eagles started to get the ball into sophomore forward Jasmine Davis.
After a 32-point, 28-rebound performance in the opening game, Davis was the focal point of the North defense, but she scored twice in the post and had six in the first. Carmen Leonardi added a layup with a nice backdoor cut and an assist from Payne.
Things slowed down even more in the second quarter. After combining for 15 points in the first, both teams found a lid on the basket after the first break, and together managed only 10.
“They want to run and I told my kids, we don’t,” said Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi. “We want to play half-court and make them play defense against us in the half-court.”
Rachael Hager (six points) buried a three and Tess Letendre’s put-back had the Eagles up 15-5. North’s comeback started with a three by freshman Sam Faria off a pass from Mandi Hanewich. Doherty then knocked down a pull-up jumper in transition to cut the lead to five.
North had momentum at the start of the third quarter, although it didn’t really feel like it. It took 4-1/2 minutes for either team to score in the second half, and it was Davis (15 points, 18 rebounds, and three blocks) scoring off a rebound to put Sharon up 17-10.
Thirty seconds later, the game flipped. After going five minutes of the third quarter without a point, North rattled off 13 points in the final 3:04 of the quarter.
Faria kicked a pass to classmate Maryellen Charette for a jumper. Then, Charette kicked out a pass to Doherty for her second three of the night. Sam Sweeney (seven points) took a kick-out pass from Taylor McMath (five points and 11 rebounds) for a corner three and North’s first lead at 18-17, then Doherty’s steal led to a Faria jumper. Sweeney hit again from downtown and suddenly North found itself up 23-17.
“Scouting reports said they want to dribble drive, so let’s see if they can hit the outside shot and they started hitting the outside shot,” Lombardi said.
Finding its scoring touch seemed to spark the effort on the defensive end as well. McMath and Charette were doing a solid job of surrounding Davis and denying the entry pass into the post. Doherty was popping up with big steals in the full-court press, and North started to play the game at the pace it prefers.
“That killed us,” Lombardi said of only scoring two points in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. “They did a great job on Jasmine inside. She still had her fair share of rebounds but they did a good job of collapsing on her and we couldn’t hit an outside shot. That was the name of the game.”
Doherty (four assists and four steals) drove baseline and dropped a pass to the opposite block to McMath for a layup plus the foul. She then grabbed a steal in the backcourt and turned it into a wide open layup that made it 30-17.
With just two points in the second half, Sharon needed a spark and finally got the ball into Davis for an easy bucket and a nice finish in the lane. Faria (11 points and four assists) answered with a pair of jumpers before Hager drilled a three to give the Eagles hope at 35-29 but with time running out.
North, which was playing without junior Ava McKeon hit its free throws in the closing minute and walked away with the win.
“Once you start making some shots they get a little bouncy,” said Correia. “I have to remind them that shots aren’t always going to fall but they still need to have that bounce or that pep in their step. I definitely think it’s because the shots started falling and they started buying into it and it took off.”
Attleboro, 49 @ Oliver Ames, 44 – Final – Attleboro went on the road and grinded out a key win over a tough Oliver Ames squad in a see-saw battle. The host Tigers got off to a strong start with a 15-7 lead after a quarter of play but the Bombardiers got back into it with their best offensive quarter of the game as five players combined for 17 points which translated into a 24-22 halftime lead. Oliver Ames answered with another strong defensive quarter and took a 35-33 edge into the final quarter. In the fourth, Attleboro went 8-for-14 from the free throw line and had five players contribute to the scoring to pull ahead. Junior Trevor White had a team-high 12 points while Alvin Harrison added 11 in the win. Zach Tagliamonte had a team-high 12 points for OA and Drew Baxter added 10 points.
Franklin, 62 @ Canton, 50 – Final – Franklin overcame a hot start and a first quarter deficit to pick up a win over Canton on the road. The Bulldogs hit five threes in the opening quarter for an 18-15 lead but the Panthers clamped down in the second to hold the hosts to six points to grab a 29-24 lead by the break. The Panthers extended their lead to eight (44-36) after 24 minutes and closed it out with a big final quarter to get the win. Sophomore Henry Digiorgio poured in a carer-high 27 points, scoring 12 in the first half and hitting three three-points in the fourth to cement the win. Sophomore Andrew O’Neill added 11 of his career-high 14 points in the second half for his varsity debut. Canton junior Matt Chafin finished with a career-high 16 points to lead Canton while Conor Hunter accounted for four of the Bulldogs’ 10 three-pointers for 12 points.
Milford, 47 @ Sharon, 60 – Final – Sharon used a 14-0 run between the first and second quarters to take a lead, erasing an early 10-point deficit, and never surrendered the lead the rest of the way. Sophomore Nate Katznelson hit a pair of threes in the second quarter and finished with a career-high 16 points, while sophomore Jacob McLoughlin and junior Jack Bates also hit from deep to help the Eagles turn a four-point deficit at the end of the quarter quarter (17-13) to a eight-point lead at halftime (31-23). Junior Matt Baur scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help close the game out. Milford junior Wyatt Zagami hit five three-pointers and finished with a career-high 19 points in his varsity debut.
Oliver Ames, 49 @ Attleboro, 28 – Final – Oliver Ames put the clamps on defensively, holding the Bombardiers to 11 points and never looked back from there to get a win on the road. Sophomore Jasmyn Cooper had a breakout performance for the Tigers, dropping 17 points to go along with eight rebounds. Anna Murphy added 11 points and a pair of blocks and senior Caroline Peper had a solid showing with 10 points and eight boards.
Canton, 47 @ Franklin, 67 – Final – Franklin extended its win streak to 36 games with a big win in the opener. Katie Peterson was the top scorer for the hosts with 18 points and Stefany Padula had 16, including four threes. Kiara Cerruti kicked off her senior season with a game-high 21 points, including 14 in the second half, for the Bulldogs. Canton led 12-11 after the first quarter, but the Panthers turned it around with a 22-9 second to grab the lead for good. Leading by 13 going into the fourth, Franklin scored 20 points in the final eight minutes to push the lead. Bridget Leo scored 12 points and Olivia Quinn and Brigid Earley each had seven for the Panthers. Sydney Gallery scored seven, all in the second half, and Samya DaSilva added five for the Bulldogs.
North Attleboro, 31 @ Mansfield, 56 – Final – Mansfield broke the game open from the start, pushing out to a 37-14 lead by halftime and rolling to a comfortable win in the season opener. Abby Wager scored all of her game-high 12 points in the opening half for the Hornets and Olivia Salisbury added all of her six points before the break. Anna Darlington and Bridget Hanley both scored eight points in the win. Ava McKeon scored a team-high nine points, including eight in the first half, for North, who struggled to get anything going and had to play from behind right from the start. Freshman Maryellen Charette added seven points for North in her first varsity game.
Sharon, 55 @ Milford, 50 – Final (OT) – Sharon sophomore center Jasmine Davis had a remarkable debut for the Eagles. After sitting out her freshman year, Davis exploded for 32 points and 28 rebounds to lead Sharon to a season-opening, overtime victory at Milford. Despite Davis’ big night, the game was close throughout. Sharon led 20-18 at halftime and the game went into an extra period tied at 46-46. The Eagles outscored Milford 9-4 in the OT to earn the win. Rachel Hager buried four threes to finish with 12 points and Trinity Payne added six for Sharon. Milford was led by senior Maddalena Mannucci Pacini, who also made an impressive varsity debut with 19 points, knocking down four threes. Brooke Ferreira added 12 points and Jill Araujo had six for the Hawks.
Stoughton, 30 @ Taunton, 62 – Final – Kameron St. Pierre marked her return to the Tigers with 23 points to give Taunton a season-opening win. After sitting out her sophomore season, St. Pierre scored 14 points in the first half to help the Tigers jump out to a 28-11 halftime lead. She finished with four made threes on the night. Cali Melo added eight points, all in the second half, and Olivia Gannon also scored eight for the Tigers. Stoughton got 12 points on a trio of threes from Kate Bulger. Evie Lam hit a pair from downtown and had six points and Vanessa Phelimond had six as well for the Black Knights.
Franklin, 7 vs. East Bridgewater, 3 – Final
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Brianna Bracken
Attleboro finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year and, despite only returning one starter, have an experienced corps that will be looking to push the Bombardiers back to postseason contention this season. There was a big change a few weeks ago when Marty Crowley stepped down as coach (after taking the athletic director job at Cumberland High) and former player and freshman coach Brianna Bracken was promoted to take over.
The change in coach won’t change the emphasis on defense and trying to use the roster’s athleticism to get easy baskets in transition. Attleboro’s lone returning starter is senior forward Meghan Gordon, who has improved every season on varsity and averaged nearly 17 points per game last year. Gordon will get help from classmates Lindsey Perry and Lillian Froio, who have both improved offensively and will help the Bombardiers take some of the pressure off Gordon on that end of the floor.
Injuries and transfers will have an impact as well. Senior Hailey Perry suffered a knee injury that will keep her out and last year’s freshman point guard Narissa Smith transferred to Rivers. Junior Lily Routhier has transferred in this year from Wheeler School and will help out on the boards. Sophomores Kayla Goldrick and Rylie Camacho will add to the Attleboro attack after getting experience as freshmen and senior Avery Vieira and sophomore Sarah Maher will try to fill Perry’s role in the backcourt. Sophomore Merry Bosh and Molly Moore and freshman Vanessa Ellis have had impressive preseasons as well.
“We have a great mix of experience and youth,” said Bracken. “We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been intense and the kids have been working really hard.”
2020-2021 Record: 7-5 Coach: James Choquette
Canton could be poised for a big season with a mix of talented underclassmen and an experienced group of seniors who have played together on varsity for four years. The Bulldogs went 7-5 in the shortened 2020-21 season, but expectations are higher this winter, with hopes of challenging the top teams in the Davenport and putting together a playoff run.
Kiara Cerrutiis the team’s top returning scorer and the senior winger will be counted on to provide scoring punch with her mix of inside-outside skills. Fay Gallery is back to run the point for the Bulldogs, getting the team out in transition and finding ways to create good looks for teammates in the halfcourt. Sydney Gallery is also back to give Canton a strong post presence and scoring inside the arc. The three players combined to average 38 points per game last season and give the Bulldogs a strong foundation to build on and help spread the floor for a team that has the potential to be one of the top shooting teams in the league.
Marissa Staffiere and Carly Fitzgerald return to help run the point and give strong defensive effort in the backcourt and junior Samya DaSilva has stepped in to add another versatile weapon on the offensive end. If the Bulldogs can continue to improve defensively, they have the firepower to compete with anyone. Offensively, it will be about ball movement and making sure the ball doesn’t stick on the perimeter.
“Our program continues to grow and improve,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “With a strong senior class and a great group of underclassmen, we hope to improve each day we’re in the gym together and achieve the results we desire. Everyone knows how hard it is to win, but this group is willing to do whatever it takes and we’re so excited to see how this season unfolds.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-2 Coach: Lisa Downs
Foxboro had its four-year reign at the top of the Davenport division come to an end last season, as the Warriors came second to Oliver Ames. With a relatively young roster, Foxboro improved over the course of the shortened season and seemed to be peaking as it headed into what would have been the second half of a normal winter. The hope for this season is that those younger players will build on that experience to make another title challenge and playoff run.
With the graduation of the league’s leading scorer, Katelyn Mollica, the Warriors will have a lot of points to make up but have several players capable of taking on bigger roles this year. Senior forward Hannah Blake could help provide some of that scoring with her solid post-up game and mid-range jumper. Sophomore guards Erin Foley and Camryn Collins both had impressive rookie campaigns and showed versatile offensive games and both are aggressive and athletic defenders, who fit into Foxboro’s typical style.
Senior Andrea Slattery and junior Lauren Miley are under-sized forwards but both bring a lot of energy and aggression to the defensive end and hitting the glass. Freshmen Kaley Sullivan and Ava Hill will jump right into the varsity lineup this season and both could be ready to make instant impacts. Juniors Michelle Brandt and Maddie Maher and sophomore Isabelle Chamberlin will give the Warriors plenty of depth to call on this season, especially with their effort on the defensive end.
“Although we are young and have new faces, I am excited to see the potential and look forward to seeing the improvement every time they step onto the court,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs.
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: John Leighton
Franklin returns eight players, including six seniors, from last year’s team, which extended the Panthers’ win streak to 35 games and clinched a third straight Kelley-Rex division title. The Panthers will be leaning on that experience as they seek to continue their reign at the top of the league and defend the Div. 1 state title that they won in 2019-20.
Senior forward Olivia Quinn will be the focal point of the Franklin offense this year after leading the team in scoring last winter and emerging as one of the top players in the Hock over the past two years. The reigning Kelley-Rex MVP will have plenty of help, particularly in the paint. While Franklin doesn’t have someone with Ali Brigham’s size, the Panthers have seven players on their roster that are listed at 5-foot-9 or taller. Senior Brigid Earley was the team’s leading rebounder last year and junior Katie Peterson is an athletic forward with a versatile game. Senior Emma Sousa is another experienced forward that gives depth in the post.
On the perimeter, Franklin has graduated a lot of its ball-handlers and shooters but senior Stefany Padula, a Springfield College-commit, is back and will help stretch the floor. Junior Bridget Leo is coming off a strong soccer season and could step in at point guard along with seniors Julia White and Jessica Pingeton, who saw some time last year. Sophomore guard Sasha Tracey is the lone underclassman on the roster this season.
“I am very excited to get back on the court with this team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “There is a lot of work ahead of us but there has also been many glimpses of what we could develop into. We have a very strong senior class who has set the bar high for the team. We hope to develop into a close-knit, supportive team that can win in different ways and also play defense that will limit our opponents’ options.”
2020-2021 Record: 5-6 Coach: Jeff Miszkiewicz
There is going to be a transition period for King Philip this season, as the Warriors will be moving from former head coach Dan Nagle’s unique, non-stop pressure, quick-shot system to a new system brought in by first-year coach Jeff Miszkiewicz (who comes from LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island). With seven returning players, including five seniors, the Warriors should have the experience to adjust to the new style and be in the mix in the Kelley-Rex division.
Junior Emily Sawyer will be a major weapon for the Warriors on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-3 center may be the biggest beneficiary of a change in system and is poised for a breakout year in the paint. Her classmate Jackie Bonner will move into a starting role this season, with her ability to create instant offense and be a pest on the defensive side of the game.
Seniors Liv Lafond, Julia Marsden, and Elizabeth Molla also project to be starters for the Warriors this season. All three are versatile wings that can space the floor and attack in transition. Lafond may be the best off-the-dribble player for KP this season and her ability to get into the paint and create will be key. Marsden is a smart player who always seems to be in the right spot and a solid scorer at the rim or out on the perimeter. Molla is a knockdown shooter from the outside and can punish teams that sink down into the paint to guard Sawyer or prevent driving lanes.
“The team plays really hard and is very coachable,” said Miszkiewicz. “I think that’s why we have seen so much improvement over the first week of practice. You’ll see us take full advantage of our athleticism on both offense and defense. We’re going to be a fun team to watch.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Heather McPherson
Mansfield closed out the shortened 2020-21 season with five straight wins and will hope to keep that momentum rolling into this winter, although the Hornets will need a lot of players to step into bigger roles. Six seniors graduated from last year’s team, including the bulk of the team’s frontcourt and two of its three leading scorers. New players will need the early part of the season to adjust to the pace of the varsity level.
The Hornets will be hoping that junior guard Abby Wager’s growing offensive game will allow her to improve on the nine points per game she averaged as a sophomore. Senior Anna Darlington brings tenacity on defense and will make it tough for teams to get into their half court sets. Seniors Kayla Doherty and Sophia Allen will also need to add experience to a lineup that is growing into the season.
Junior guard Olivia Salisbury and sophomore forward Kara Santos are going to be stepping up from utility roles into core pieces of the Mansfield offense this season. Salisbury has good vision and can create chances for teammates, while Santos will be a threat in the paint, making up for some of the size that graduated from last year’s team.
“After a shortened season under my belt I feel confident in the adjustments that the girls have made into a slightly different system than previous years,” said second-year Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “We are emphasizing good fundamental defense and hoping that we can use it to create transition offense.”
2020-2021 Record: 3-8 Coach: TJ Dolliver
Milford ended last season with three wins in its final five games, building a little momentum that the Hawks are going to hope can get them off to a good start this winter. There will be a lot of changes from last year’s squad, as Milford graduated seven players, including a few four-year members of the team, so there may be some growing pains as new faces adjust to a new level.
Four seniors return to add experience and leadership to this year’s team. Guards Jess Douglas, Olivia Morelli, and Aubrey Korpi, and forward Jill Araujo are all back and will give Milford a foundation to build around. With so many new faces in the team this year, head coach TJ Dolliver will be leaning on his upperclassmen to help the younger players adjust, as the coaches work through the best way to utilize everyone’s skills on the court.
Junior forward Emily Croteau and guard Brooke Ferreira will be key players as well. The team’s top two returning scorers, Croteau and Ferreira will have to take on bigger roles this year and may be asked to carry a lot of the scoring punch. A three-year starter at point guard, Ferreira is the team’s top ball-handler and will be expected to get the Hawks into their sets while also looking for her own shot. An undersized forward, Croteau gives the team energy and rebounding, keeping possessions alive and getting chances thanks to her work rate.
“We are making a lot of changes this season,” Dolliver said. “It will be very important how we approach practice in regards to how successful we are this season. We have a lot of potential and I am excited to see where it goes.”
2020-2021 Record: 4-9 Coach: Nikki Correia
North Attleboro had a tough finish to the 2020-21 season, losing five straight to close it out, but all five were against teams with winning records, including two against division champ Oliver Ames. With a full season ahead, North has two of its top scorers back and has added more size in the frontcourt to try and make a postseason push.
The two key returning players will be senior Summer Doherty and junior Ava McKeon. The two aggressive guards give North extra energy on both ends of the floor and push the Rocketeers into the transition game that head coach Nikki Correia prefers. Their defensive effort will be critical for North this season. Senior forward Taylor McMath has improved each year and adds scoring in the paint and is an aggressive rebounder on both ends.
Size hasn’t been a strength for North the past few seasons but freshman Maryellen Charette will be an important addition in the paint. Despite being just a rookie, Charette has shown good footwork with back to the basket and is a strong rebounder. Sam Sweeney is the other freshman on the roster, while North has seven seniors on the roster to provide necessary experience for the younger players.
“I am looking forward to this season with a full schedule and many returning players, so lots of familiarity with each other and playing more under control and trusting each other more,” said Correia. “They are already showing more confidence and being in the right spots, running the offense, and letting the game come to them instead of forcing it.”
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames finished unbeaten and won the Davenport division title last season, but the Tigers will be disappointed to have missed out on a potentially deep tournament run. Coming into this year, expectations remain high with a good mix of experienced players and youth that will be getting their first taste of a full Hockomock League campaign.
Senior guard Caroline Peper is a four-year starter for the Tigers and has always been one of the league’s top long-range shooters, but continues adding to her game and her scoring will be critical. Senior Hailey Bourne is another four-year regular and one of the top defensive players in the league, capable of guarding multiple positions. Their leadership will be a key to OA’s success this winter. Senior forward Anna Murphy has improved each year and has a solid all-around game, making an impact on both ends of the floor, and junior guard Maddie Homer is a quick, tenacious defender and her improved offensive game will be important.
In addition to the more experienced players, OA is excited about the potential of the trio of sophomores who made cameos last year. Forwards Jasmyn Cooper, Kaydance Derba, and Sarah Hilliard all had good rookie seasons that gave a taste of their capabilities. Cooper and Hilliard provide size and scoring in the paint and both are excellent rebounders. Derba also has good size to be a tough matchup on the defensive end and is a dangerous three-point shooter who can stretch the floor.
“The Hockomock League, as always brings its share of tough competition, which will help us better prepare for the new standards established for the power rankings needed for the state tournament,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “The thing that I am most proud of is the fact that my players have worked tirelessly to improve themselves as players and we are ready to give it our best fight.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-10 Coach: Sandy Lombardi
It is hard to predict what type of season this will be for Sharon because the Eagles will be incorporating so many new faces and many of the players will be experiencing their first full season on varsity. After one win in 2020-21, the Eagles return only one senior on this year’s roster, so there is the potential to spring a few surprises on teams this season.
Trinity Payne is the lone senior for the Eagles. The four-year varsity player is a strong defensive presence and can control the glass, especially on the defensive end. Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi is looking for more offensive punch from Payne this season. Junior point guard Tess Lentendre returns after missing a few games last winter. A leader in the backcourt, Letendre is a three-year varsity player and will help control things on the offensive end.
The rest of the starting five for Sharon will be sophomores. Rachel Hager and Eva Poulton both saw time on varsity last season and play out on the wings. Jasmine Davis didn’t play last year but will start at center and should give Sharon extra size in the middle and should be a force on both ends of the court. Junior forward Emily Freeman is back from last year, but the rest of the Sharon roster are newcomers to the varsity team, although Lombardi is expecting good contributions from the bench.
“The girls have been working hard,” Lombardi said. “We are excited for the season and hopefully we can make some noise in the Hock this year.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-9 Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Last year was a little bit of a transition season for Stoughton, as the Black Knights graduated a lot from a team that was a win away from tournament qualification. An inexperienced Stoughton roster had some growing pains in 2020-21, but with five seniors this year head coach Charmaine Steele Jordan is hoping that last year will set a foundation for this year’s team to build on.
Senior Jess Maddalena is an important returning player for Stoughton. After missing her junior season to an injury, Maddalena will give the Black Knights additional scoring and depth on the wing. Senior guard Kate Bulger will be back to run the offense and provide strong perimeter defense. Senior Vanessa Philemond adds athleticism, energy, and rebounding and her length can be a weapon on both ends of the floor.
In addition to their three captains, the Black Knights will also be hoping for big seasons and lots of leadership from senior guards Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and Evie Lam. Stoughton also has three sophomores, Katrina Varnum, Alyssa Edwards, and Maiya Merritt, and freshman Raina Tat, who will be handling their first full season of varsity basketball this season.
“It’s so good to be back on the hardwood to compete this season,” said Steele Jordan. “We will continue to play hard on both ends of the court this season. I am looking forward to the five seniors taking charge and setting the pace for us. We will play tough, be gritty, and battle until the final buzzer sounds each night in the Hock.”
2020-2021 Record: 0-10 Coach: Amy Siggens
Taunton coach Amy Siggens is in her third year in charge of the program (and second season on the sidelines after not coaching last winter) and she will have a very different looking roster to the one that she first inherited. The Tigers graduated six seniors from last year’s team and there will be a lot of untested players getting their first taste of varsity action this season.
There is excitement about the return of junior guard Kameron St. Pierre. After a breakout rookie season in which she averaged more than 14 points per game, St. Pierre sat out last winter and will be back to carry a heavy load for the Taunton offense. The lefty point guard will get the Tigers into their sets and her long-range shooting should open the floor for teammates.
In addition to St. Pierre, the Tigers will have a host of guards to rotate through. Seniors Braeley McDonald, Kyanna Barros, and Abby Souza will give the Tigers plenty of energy on both ends of the floor and could benefit from the attention paid to St. Pierre to get decent looks from the perimeter. Sophomores Cali Melo and Lexi Haywood also have experience at the varsity level. Inside, Taunton will have several new faces but senior forward Olivia Gannon and junior Sayla DePina bring some size in the paint.
“As we look toward the beginning of this basketball season, caution and patience are the words that ring true for us,” said Siggens. “Baptism under fire is an appropriate description for our girls this season but with enthusiasm, hard work, and a commitment to improving, we have a chance to be competitive in a typically demanding Hockomock League.”