Great Starts Propels Mansfield to Blowout Win

Mansfield girls basketball
Caroline Mahjer scored nine points, including six in the first quarter as Mansfield jumped all over Brockton with a 15-0 run to start the game. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Hornets came into its playoff opener against Big 3 champion Brockton at the James Albertini Gym on a roll. Mansfield had won its final seven games of the regular season, including last Monday’s title-deciding victory over Attleboro.

That momentum carried over to Sunday, as the Hornets stormed out of the locker room and promptly took control of the game with a 15-0 run from the opening tip. Mansfield never looked back and rolled to a comprehensive 72-38 victory and advanced to the quarterfinal of Div. 1 South.

“It’s great when things work how you want them to,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding after the game. “Caroline knocked down some shots from the outside and that opened up things for Meg in the paint…and Jackie was good taking it off the dribble. A lot of things worked well tonight.”

According to Redding, the Hornets had prepared for Brockton to play a lot of man, but the Boxers started the game with a 2-3 zone. The Hornets took advantage.

Jackie Carchedi buried a corner three then fellow senior Caroline Maher hit one from the opposite corner. Maher hit a second three from a couple feet behind the line and Carchedi followed her own shot for a putback that made it 15-0.

When Brockton switched to man-to-man, Mansfield countered by getting the ball inside to sophomore Meg Hill. The 6-foot-2 center scored off an assist by Jen Peel (five assists) and then again off an assist by Maher after a drive to the basket. The Hornets led 21-7 after the first quarter.

“It’s just tournament and it brings out the best in teams,” said Hill who finished the night with 16 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks, “and I think we just kind of clicked. It just worked.”

Brockton coach April Dingwell explained, “We’re I think possibly the smallest team in the state this year…once they started hitting the shots we had to spread it out and opened it right back up for her inside.”

Mansfield uses a deep bench in most games and Redding admitted after the game that he may have started subbing a little too early as the rhythm that the Hornets had in the first disappeared in the second.

Brockton cut the lead to 23-10 in the second but Mansfield countered with an 8-0 run. Peel lobbed a pass into Hill for a finish then, after a pair of free throws by Carchedi (15 points, eight rebounds), Maher found the center after drawing the defense. Juliana Newell closed out the run with a jumper off a Jen Kemp assist.

Leading 32-15 at the half, Mansfield could have taken its foot off the gas in the third but Redding said the team talked about coming out strong after halftime to put the game away.

Again it was Hill who provided the spark, as the Hornets continued to find room for her in the paint. Newell, Carchedi, and Maher found Hill in the lane for close-range finishes.

“I’ve gained confidence from the people around me,” said Hill about her continued improvement on the offensive end. “They tell me that I can finish down there and i think that’s been a huge part because I used to be scared to go to the hoop.”

Peel picked out Carchedi on a back-cut for a layup and also scored on a drive to the basket. The junior point guard then pulled off a trademark fake pass and layup move that built the Mansfield lead to 46-18. Ann Maher followed it with a three and Carchedi with a drive to the basket, as Mansfield led 51-30 heading to the fourth.

Redding called the potential opponents  in the tournament (the sectional’s top three seeds – Newton South, Bishop Feehan, and Braintree) a “real murderer’s row” and in the fourth quarter he turned to his extended bench.

“It’s great to be able to take out the starters and rest them and keep everyone healthy,” he explained.

In the fourth quarter, several players took advantage of the extra playing time and extended the Mansfield lead. Lindsay Dalton scored all six of her points in the fourth, Anna Chiarolanza went 4-4 from the line and freshman Margaret Danehy scored five points in her first varsity minutes of the season.

“I think our girls fought hard the whole game, that’s just a tough team,” said Dingwell.

Mansfield (20-3) will advance to the quarterfinal and face No. 3 seed Newton South. Redding is comfortable with his team’s position and is hoping that the Hornets will have an edge as the Lions will not have played in more than a week.

Momentum was on Mansfield’s side on Sunday and the Hornets will hop it carries over to Thursday.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Mansfield Sweeps Rocketeers to Stay On Top of League

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield sophomore center Meg Hill (31) scored a game-high 12 points and pulled in nine rebounds as the Hornets swept the season series with North. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh Perry

MANSFIELD, Mass. – It should have had a playoff atmosphere. Mansfield came in needing a win to stay tied with Attleboro atop the Kelley-Rex division and North Attleboro still needs a win to qualify for the state tournament and avoid a season sweep by its rival.

Maybe it was the snow outside, maybe it was because it was the first day back from a four-day weekend, but even though the game had a lot of meaning there was a distinct lack of energy in the Albertini Gym on Tuesday night.

The Rocketeers struggled to find consistent offense but cut the Mansfield lead to nine points in the third quarter, but the Hornets broke the game wide open with a 17-2 run and cruised to a 45-30 victory to remain tied for the league lead with two games remaining.

“It’s always like this when we play – points aren’t easy to come by – but the way the first half went, I thought we were pretty good on offense, but probably should’ve had 30,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “The second half we got into a funk again, just not finishing well, but played good defense.”

North Attleboro started the game in a funk. The Rocketeers were missing junior forward Caroline Collard, who is second on the team in scoring, and after an Emily Peters (six points, nine rebounds) layup tied the game at 2-2, the visitors went nearly the remainder of the quarter stuck on two points.

Jackie Carchedi (nine rebounds) scored four of her seven points in the first, including layup following a Jen Peel steal and outlet pass and a jumper that made it 10-2. Liz Morehouse stepped into Collard’s spot and scored on an offensive rebound and a free throw to make it 10-5 after one quarter.

“I thought Kiersten [Bixby] and Liz did a great job in [Caroline’s] stead and gave us quality minutes and doing some damage on the offensive end and giving us some energy,” said North coach Derek Herber.

The spark at the end of the first was quickly erased by the Hornets who started the second on an 11-0 run. Freshman Madyson Bendanillo scored on a pair of drives down the left side of the lane, sophomore Meg Hill added four of her game-high 12 points, and Caroline Maher knocked down a three to break the game open.

“We missed a couple shots and we started thinking about those things instead of just playing basketball,” said Herber. “Unfortunately we need to be tougher mentally and need to keep playing through that.”

North did recover near the end of the quarter and cut the lead, which bloomed to 17 at one point, down to 12 by halftime. Peters scored four points in the second and Emily Schromm knocked down a shot as well.

Despite having a solid lead at the break, Redding felt his team left points on the board, particularly in the paint where Hill had a distinct size advantage over the North forwards.

He said, “We were begging at halftime, get Meg some touches inside. We just didn’t get her enough touches. We feel like she could’ve dominated more.”

Mansfield came out for the second half cold and North continued to creep back into the game. Schromm scored to cut the lead to 10 and then Morehouse (team-high eight points) scored on a layup after a nifty block-to-block bounce pass by Peters that cut the lead to 26-17.

Just when North thought that it was back in the game, Carchedi knocked down a long jumper off a skip pass from Maher and the Hornets found their groove again. Mansfield would go on a 17-2 run into the fourth quarter that essentially put the game away.

“If we could’ve gotten a stop then maybe it’s a different ballgame and maybe we get a little energy into ourselves,” said Herber.

“It’s never easy when you have a couple days off because of the weather or when you’re not in your normal routine. We needed to make our own energy and we didn’t do a good job.”

Following Carchedi’s jumper, Hill scored on a short jumper off an inbounds, Jen Kemp hit a pair of free throws, Olivia Broyles scored on a rebound and all of a sudden it was a 35-19 lead heading to the fourth.

Hill scored on another inbounds layup from Peel (six assists) and then Caroline and Ann Maher each knocked down threes to build the lead to as high as 24 (43-19) and knock out the Rocketeers.

“It was one of those games that you never felt like you’re going to lose but we couldn’t shake them either,” said Redding. “Defensively, we played good man in the second half and never let them get to the point where they can make a run.”

North finally got an offensive spark in the fourth after Mansfield had made some changes to its lineup. Turnovers led to easy baskets in transition and Ashley Ahern scored all seven of her points in the fourth and freshman Julia Feid buried a jumper to cut the lead back down to 15.

Offense continues to be a struggle at times for the Hornets and Redding admitted that the team still needs to find its “rhythm” heading into the playoffs, but Mansfield is still in the running for just the program’s second Hockomock League title (the only title was in 2011), so he will take the win however it plays out.

He said, “Now we’re down to two in the league and they’re both at home. I don’t care if we score 38 or 68, right now wins are wins.”

Mansfield (15-3, 13-1) will get another test of its title credentials on Friday when rival Franklin pays a visit. North Attleboro (9-7, 8-6) will try to book its place in the tournament when it travels to King Philip.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Seniors Come Through as Mansfield Rallies Past Franklin

Jackie Carchedi
Jackie Carchedi (24) scored eight of her nine points in the fourth quarter to help the Hornets escape with a win and stay unbeaten in the league. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FRANKLIN, Mass. – With the game slipping away in the second half, turnovers piling up, and shots clanging off the rim, Mansfield looked like it was on the brink of picking up its first league loss of the season. Then the Hornets found a second wind, and their shooting touch, to pull out the win.

Seniors Jackie Carchedi, Caroline Maher and Jen Kemp knocked down three straight shots from beyond the arc to turn a three-point deficit into a three-point lead. After four free throws were matched by a pair of Franklin layups, the Panthers had one more chance to send the game to overtime but Carli Koffinke’s shot went halfway down and rimmed out.

Mansfield battled back in the fourth quarter for a 51-48 road victory over its rival that keeps the Hornets one game in front of Attleboro at the top of the Kelley-Rex division standings.

“We played inexperienced in the third quarter and that’s surprising for a veteran group,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “We kind of just hung around enough and then we bang in three threes and suddenly we have the lead and didn’t feel like we should be up.”

“These are two very good rivals and this is how it always is; neither side is going to give an inch.”

The Hornets led 24-16 at halftime thanks to a big second quarter from sophomore center Meg Hill, who scored eight of her game-high 17 in the frame. Hill also added four blocks and finished with a game-high 11 rebounds. The Mansfield defense was also smothering Franklin. The Panthers did not hit double digits until there was 1:40 left in the half.

While the half was a struggle, Franklin did find a little momentum before the break. Kristen Donaghy and Margaux Welsh each knocked down threes and sophomore Grace Sameski scored on an offensive rebound to cut the lead to eight.

That energy certainly carried over to the second half. The Panthers stormed out of the locker room and took over the game, scoring the first 15 points of the third quarter and completing an 18-2 run that gave Franklin its biggest lead at 34-26.

“They got a little momentum and they cant miss,” said Redding. “We can’t make a shot and I’m trying to save a couple of timeouts for the fourth quarter. I probably could’ve used five of them in the third quarter.”

Franklin coach John Leighton laughed when asked if he had given a dramatic halftime speech to elicit that type of run. He said, “We tried to change up what we were doing defensively cause Meg Hill is a great player.”

Leighton explained, “We tried to limit the touches for the wings cause they’re such a good outside shooting team and, give her credit, Meg took advantage. In the second half, we tried to pack it in.”

Mansfield went zone to combat Franklin’s success off the dribble, but the Panthers were able to use Aubrie Kutil (eight points, nine rebounds) in the high post to draw the wing defenders into the middle and open space for the shooters. Lauren Rudolph (11 points) suddenly had space and hit a trio of threes, including one of a step-back that had the Panthers bench on its feet.

“Lauren is just such a good scorer,” said Leighton. “In the first half she didn’t get a lot of looks but in the third quarter it opened up a little for her.”

He also praised Kutil for finding space, taking Hill off the dribble, and also being able to find the right pass to pick apart the zone, including a kick out to Caroline Maguire for three of her seven points (which all came in the third). He joked, “[Aubrie’s] my center-point guard.”

“If you let Meg [Hill] stand then you’ll never get inside, so we hoped to make her move a little bit and we did, got her into a little foul trouble and it opened up some things.”

Mansfield helped out by turning the ball over in the third quarter. Redding admitted that the Hornets were “rattled” in the second half but Juliana Newell hit a jumper and Maher (six points) finally found the range on a three that cut the Franklin lead to 36-31 heading into the fourth.

Hill scored to start the quarter and cut the lead to three but junior Catherine Gray got inside and answered with a three-point play on the other end. With Franklin leading 41-35, Carchedi (nine points) hit a three only to have Welsh (six points) answer right back.

A minute later, Carchedi knocked down another big three then Jen Peel (10 points, eight assists) threw a perfect cross-court pass to Maher who was open in the corner and tied the game at 44-44.

“I don’t know when it happened but the switch came on and Jackie and Caroline came alive and got us back into it,” said Redding. “I give Caroline credit. She was in a little slump but she came through with some big ones down the stretch to get us the win.”

Carchedi was forced to the bench after a hard collision on defense (she also went flying into the stands to save a loose ball in the first half, knocking over the water jug and scattering fans behind the Franklin bench). In her place,  Kemp stepped up and made her only shot from the floor to give Mansfield the 47-44 lead.

“I was surprised that Jen took the shot, she usually defers,” said Redding. “It was a gutsy shot. We had some momentum there and we were in position to rebound.”

Peel and Carchedi each hit a pair of free throws and Olivia Adiletto answered each time with layups on the other end to keep the lead at three. After a missed front end of a one-and-one, Franklin had one last chance with 12 seconds left. The Panthers swung the ball around to Koffinke in the corner and her shot looked pure but somehow bounced out allowing Mansfield to breathe a sigh of relief.

Leighton said, “I thought we had a good play and got a good look. I was happy; we always talk about end of the game three-pointers, take the shot and she took it and it was halfway down.”

Redding could only shake his head at another grueling night in the Hockomock. No complaints for the Mansfield coach, as his team remains in first.

“To win at OA and at Franklin in the same week…that’s a good week,” he said. We looked at the schedule and said those are two very dangerous road games, so to get the wins and go back home for two games next week, we’ll take it.”

Mansfield (9-2, 7-0) will be home on Tuesday to host Foxboro. Franklin (4-4, 3-4) will host Stoughton.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Carchedi Propels Mansfield to Road Win Over North

By Lance Reynolds, HockomockSports.com Contributor
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – When the Mansfield high girls’ basketball team traveled to take on North Attleboro Monday night in a battle of league unbeatens, both teams knew that the contest was going to be a defensive battle. Though, the two top teams in the Kelley-Rex might not have anticipated how much of a challenge it was going to be to register a basket.
The Hornets, highlighted by a strong performance from senior captain Jackie Carchedi, made enough plays to walk away with a 39-31 victory over the Rocketeers. The win places Mansfield alone atop of the Kelley-Rex.
The Hornets held a 13 point advantage, 29-16, entering the final eight minutes of play and the lead, at the time, seemed like a comfortable one. However, the Rocketeers rattled off seven consecutive points on baskets from Sam Taggart and Ashley Ahern to cut the deficit to six at the 4:25 mark. Mansfield then responded as Caroline Maher, who hadn’t hit a shot from the field, drilled a three point shot from top of the key to push the Hornet lead back to nine and erase North’s hopes of pulling off a comeback.
“I think if we missed that and they come down to make another three, it’s going to get very interesting if they got to five,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said of Maher’s three pointer. “You could just see that at some point that they’re going to make shots.”
“I thought we get a stop there and it’s a whole momentum changer,” North Attleboro head coach Derek Herber said. “That’s why they’re a good team, they answered the bell – to make it 12 or 11, it was a big shot by her, and we didn’t get a good look coming back down. I liked our effort better in the second half both offensively and defensively.”
Meg Hill started the game’s scoring on a two pointer inside the first minute of play, and gave the Hornets a lead that they never saw taken away from them. The closest the Rocketeers would get to Mansfield was on their first basket from Emily Peters to make the score 3-2. Hill and Carchedi were the main fixtures on the offensive side of the ball for the Hornets, combining to score 25 of the team’s 39 points. Carchedi was the game’s high scorer with 19 while Hill contributed with six to go along with seven rebounds. Juliana Newell had a team high eight rebounds.
“(Carchedi) was a little sick yesterday and we were worried about her, and Meg (Hill) didn’t practice as she had the stomach flu. Thank god they both showed up,” Redding said. “I thought Meg had a great first half and got a little fatigued in the second half. Jackie just hung in there and gave us a great effort at both ends of the floor. It’s a good win on the road – they’re tough, they have big kids inside, their guards are aggressive. It’s an ugly win but it’s a good win on the road to get to 4-0 in the league. We just have to find our rhythm on offense, once we get back up into the 50’s, I think we will be okay.”
Scoring a mere five points in all of the first half, North aspired to come out of the halftime break strong, and start putting the ball through the hoop. Just two minutes into the third quarter, the Rocketeers tallied the same amount of the baskets they had in the first 16 minutes on two jumpers from Peters. There seemed to be some momentum building for North until Maher stole the ball away and found an open Carchedi for a layup putting the margin back to 13. Ahern and Kiersten Bixby answered with baskets to see the Rocketeers get within eight at 22-14, however, Mansfield ended the quarter on a 7-2 run as Carchedi nailed a three pointer and Jen Kemp sunk two free-throws.
“We played good defense, we handled the ball pretty well but we just have to start finishing and executing,” Redding said.
When asked about the offensive stranglehold, Herber responded, “The two teams know each other, and they understand the stakes so I don’t know if it’s timid-ness or mutual admiration that they’re trying to get. Both teams play good defense no matter what, and it’s a premium for good shots. When you think you can take a shot, you go from there.”
Mansfield (5-1) travels to Bishop Feehan on Wednesday night for a rematch of last year’s Division 1 South Semifinal while North (3-2) looks to get back into the win column on Friday night when they host Attleboro.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/28/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 55 vs. Bishop Feehan, 77 – Final
Canton, 74 @ Avon, 33 – Final – Canton senior Griffin Jerrier recorded his first double-double of the season with a game-high 16 points and 11 rebounds. Tony Harris added 14 points, freshman Devin Foster had 11 points and Austin Maffie and Eric Olshaker each scored eight points for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 39 vs. Archbishop Williams, 25 – Final
Sharon, 54 @ Wilmington, 47 – Final – Sharon’s Matt Lowerre dropped in a team-high 16 points and Andrew Filipkowski drained four three pointers and totaled 14 points to help the Eagles. 
Stoughton, 79 vs. Natick, 66 – Final – Brandon Teixeira scored a game-high 25 points and had nine rebounds as the Black Knights opened with a win at the Randolph Holiday Classic. Cam Gomes added 15 points and five rebounds, Ryan Sullivan had 12 points and four rebounds and Cam Andrews had 11 points and four rebounds. Drayton Tisdale had six points, nine rebounds and four assists. 
Taunton, 49 @ Durfee, 65 – Final – Jose Mercado scored 13 points and Tommy MacLean scored 12 points in the loss for the shorthanded Tigers. 
Girls Basketball
Mansfield, 43 vs. Cooperstown, 28 – Final – Caroline Maher was the top scorer for the Hornets, who ended Cooperstown’s 30-game win streak. Jackie Carchedi added 11 points for Mansfield and combined with Jen Kemp to hold Cooperstown’s top scorer, who came in averaging 26 per game, to just seven points.
Oliver Ames, 56 vs. Walpole, 40 – Final – Kaitlyn McCarthy and Francesca Calabraro each scored 13 points for the Tigers. McCarthy added seven rebounds and four assists. Kayla Raymond scored 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks. Sam Bamford scored eight for OA, which advances to face Needham on Tuesday.
Hockey
Canton, 0 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 3 – Final

Foxboro, 1 vs. Latin Academy, 9 – Final
Franklin, 4 vs. Bishop Guertin 1 – Final
King Philip, 4 vs. North Quincy 3 – Final
Stoughton, 2 vs. Norton, 2 – Final – Sean Doherty and Eoin Doherty each scored a goal for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 2 vs. Coyle Cassidy, 7 – Final
Wrestling
Lowell Tournament (Canton, Foxboro, Franklin), 8:00AM
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Sharon, Oliver Ames) – North Attleboro had all members of the team earn points as they finished first overall out of 37 team with 223 points. Sharon finished seventh with 128.5 points, Oliver Ames placed 20th with 67 points and Mansfield was 34th with 26 points. North Attleboro’s Devin Spratt was named the Marshfield Holiday Tournament Outstanding Wrestler after winning at 120 with a pin over St. John Prep’s Malcolm Mitchell. Sharon’s David Ellis-Rech won at 138 with a 4-1 decision over Hingham’s Joey Ryan.
Notable finishes:
113 – Yosef Ellis Rech, Sharon – 3rd Place
113 – Jack Direnzo, North Attleboro – 7th Place
120 – Devin Spratt, North Attleboro – 1st Place
126 – Alex Devitto, North Attleboro – 5th Place
132 – Luke Stillman, Sharon – 4th Place
132 – Brandon Graveline, North Attleboro – 8th Place
138 – David Ellis-Rech, Sharon – 1st Place
138 – Mike Gould, North Attleboro – 5th Place
145 – Tyler Jensen, Sharon – 3rd Place
145 – Nick Gould, North Attleboro – 4th Place
145 – George Glaropolous, Mansfield – 7th Place
152 – Colin Fiske, North Attleboro – 3rd Place
152 – Jason Powell, Sharon – 4th Place
160 – Jordan Tillinghast, North Attleboro – 8th Place
170 – Jack Donahue, North Attleboro – 3rd Place
220 – Leo Thibeault, North Attleboro – 2nd Place
285 – Brennan Sankey, North Attleboro – 2nd Place
285 – Pat Mills, Oliver Ames – 6th Place
Gymnastics
King Philip, 124.85 @ Mansfield, 134.65 – Final
Girls Hockey
Franklin, 7 @ Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 1 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 @ Westwood, 4 – Final

Girls Basketball: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2015-16

Kelley-Rex girls basketball
The Kelley-Rex division looks to be a season long battle again this winter with all six teams hoping to make runs to the state tournament. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Attleboro

2014-15 Record: 14-9 (10-6)
2014-15 Finish: Lost in Div. 1 South first round
Head Coach: Rick Patch

The Bombardiers were disappointed at a first round tournament exit last season and are using that as motivation as they enter the second season under coach Rick Patch. Attleboro enters 2015-16 as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex Division and are getting plenty of hype from opposing coaches who feel that the program can win its first Hockomock title.

Expectations are extremely high because Attleboro returns all but two players from last year. The keys pieces will be senior guard Emily Houle and junior forward Sarah Deyo, who were both among the league’s leading scorers a season ago and have had strong off-season playing for their AAU teams. Each is capable of reaching the 1,000-point plateau for their careers but, maybe more important, both also emerged as elite defensive players last season.

Attleboro did not lose much from last year and added a second transfer in as many years with Julia Strachan coming from division rival North Attleboro. The junior forward adds depth to the forward position, shooting touch from deep, and another strong rebounder. Last year point guard Fatima McDonald came into the program and the senior adds toughness to the lineup with more expected from her now that she has a year of experience under her belt.

Sophomore Sam Pierce and senior Emma Vlashi were productive forwards last season and freshman Jordyn Lako is a newcomer to watch for the Bombardiers. Patch said, “Everyone is excited…We have taken the ‘hard hat’ mentality in putting forth a blue collar, blue pride effort. Our players have really focused on becoming great teammates and leaders.”

Franklin

2014-15 Record: 19-6 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central final
Head Coach: John Leighton

Most programs that lose all but one starter from a team that reached a sectional final would be thinking about rebuilding and the need for a transition year as new players get integrated. Franklin is counting on its system and the depth in its program to reload rather than rebuild this year.

The Panthers reload will benefit from a healthy Lauren Rudolph. The senior guard missed a large portion of last season with an injury sustained during soccer season and added a big scoring punch off the bench when healthy, This year, Rudolph will take on a much larger role as Franklin’s primary scorer, but she also gives them a boost defensively and is good passer in the Panthers’ dribble drive set.

The lone returning starter is senior Aubrie Kutil, who gives Franklin size and strength in the post on both ends of the court. Kutil will be aided by senior forwards Erin Skidmore and Caroline Maguire (who recovered from a volleyball injury to play in the opener) to crash the boards. Senior point guard Olivia Adiletto saw a lot of action last year and will take over as a starter. Junior Carli Koffinke is another player that will step into a bigger role as an offensive spark off the bench.

Newcomers like juniors Isabella Faught and Margaux Welsh will help Franklin make another run at the Kelley-Rex title. Leighton said, “We’re blessed to have depth. We have girls that buy into the system and are willing to play their roles, which is huge for us.”

King Philip

2014-15 Record: 5-15 (3-13)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Martin Crowley

King Philip has been a competitive program since Martin Crowley took over two years ago with its focus on aggressive defense, rebounding, and being difficult to play against. Although last season did not finish the way that the Warriors had hoped, more than one opposing coach has mentioned KP as a sleeper pick to make a run this year.

Leading scorer Emily Sullivan graduated and Crowley noted that “her scoring can’t be replaced with only one player,” but he feels that the pieces are in place to make up for that loss in production. Senior Maddie Purdue will take over at the point guard position this season and she emerged last year as a solid ball-handler and shooter and never shied away from contact as she took the ball to the basket.

Purdue will get plenty of help from a host of versatile and athletic forwards that gives KP plenty of rebounders and active defenders in and around the post. Senior captain Riley Dalzell showed the ability to step back and knock down shots and she will be joined by classmates Sam Madden, Jen Lacroix, and Olivia Dort.

Freshmen Julia Leroux and Shannon O’Connor will also be added to the mix, as Crowley looks to get the Warriors back into the postseason. He said, “I like where we’re at so far. I like our athleticism and we have good depth. We’re trying to get everyone involved.”

MANSFIELD

2014-15 Record: 19-5 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal
Head Coach: Mike Redding

There is plenty of buzz about the Hornets this season, as Mansfield brings back arguably one of the deepest rosters in the league, including four of its five starters from last year’s team that reached the sectional semifinal. Head coach Mike Redding always says that the goal is to be in the mix for the title at the end of the season, but several coaches have noted that the Hornets could be a threat in Div. 1 South not just the Hock.

Mansfield has loads of experience on its roster. Senior guard Caroline Maher, a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, can stretch the defense with her range and is also an elite finisher on the break. Fellow senior Jackie Carchedi was last year’s HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year and adds wing scoring for the Hornets. Seniors Julianna Newell and Sarah Mullahy, fresh off a league title in volleyball, add depth to the forward line.

Jen Peel is back to lead the Hornets as the starting point guard after leading the team in assists and tying for the team lead in points last year. Peel’s ability to get to the basket opens up room on the perimeter for the shooters and draws defenders away from sophomore center Meg Hill. Hill is a double-double threat every game and as she develops more offensively will be a primary weapon for Mansfield this season.

Add in senior guard Jen Kemp, sophomore Ann Maher, among others on the roster and the options are plentiful for Redding. He explained, “We need to work harder on defense, find a good balance on offense with our options and be playing our best ball in February…The parts are all there, we need to put them together and develop some chemistry on and off the court.”

North Attleboro

2014-15 Record: 17-6 (14-2)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal
Head Coach: Derek Herber

The graduation of Melissa Beaupre and Danielle Perron and the transfer of Julia Strachan to rival Attleboro have many people assuming that the Rocketeers’ run of three straight league titles will surely come to an end. However, even with the turnover on the roster, North Attleboro has the talent to stay in the mix again in its last season in the Kelley-Rex (for at least four years).

One of the main reasons for optimism is the return of junior guard Ashley Ahern, who flirted with the option of transferring to prep school, but returned to North at the start of the school year. North coach Derek Herber called Ahern’s decision to stay “great not only for the team but for the league.” Ahern gives the Rocketeers a primary scorer at the two guard position and another solid ball-handler on the perimeter.

Joining Ahern on the perimeter will be junior point guard Samantha Taggart and junior Emily Schromm, who will be the third guard in the rotation. The strength of the Rocketeers this season is in the post with senior forward Emily Peters providing leadership and toughness and juniors Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse adding scoring punch. Collard, in particular, had a breakout season as a sophomore and could be a player to watch offensively for North this year.

The losses from last season’s squad were important, but Herber brings seven players back and is bullish about what the Rocketeers can accomplish. “It’s not going to be helter skelter and run and gun like it was last year,” he said, “but we’re going to play good, solid man-to-man defense.”

Taunton

2014-15 Record: 9-13 (5-11)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Walter Harrigan

Taunton struggled with injuries early last season and got off to a sluggish start. As the Tigers got healthier, they finished the season with momentum and ended the year with nine wins. Taunton coach Walter Harrigan is hoping that the momentum will carry over to this winter and give Taunton a chance at getting back to the postseason.

Unfortunately, injuries have popped up again. Senior forward Abby Small, who Harrigan thought was poised for a great season, injured her knee in the soccer team’s playoff game at Wellesley and will be out for at least a while. Harrigan is hopeful that Small can get back on the court at some point this season and give the Tigers a boost. At the start of the season, the Tigers will turn to senior guard Jordan Wade and senior forward Alyssa Gibson to lead the way as both have been in the program for five years.

Junior point guard Jessica Regan will be “critical,” according to Harrigan, as she will get Taunton into its offense every trip. Fellow junior Abbey Kingman is another player that the coach expects to make a big jump this season. There are also seven freshmen and sophomores on the roster highlighted by sophomore wing Hannah Moniz, who at nearly 6 feet tall has the size to cause any team problems and has the athleticism to play on the perimeter or in the post.

Freshman Lily Patneaude could join Moniz in the starting lineup when she returns from an early season injury. Harrigan said, “I’m excited for the season. We’re not really deep, but we’re athletic. Our defense has really improved and I think we have a chance to sneak into states.”

For a list of 10 Players to Watch in Hockomock League girls’ basketball this season, click here

Mansfield Gets Off to Solid Start In Charity Game

Julianna Newell
Julianna Newell (10) scored 15 points and made 7-8 shots from the floor in Saturday’s game with Medfield at the MIAA Tip Off Showcase. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

MANSFIELD, Mass. – On Saturday afternoon at the James Albertini Gym, Mansfield hosted the MIAA Tip Off Showcase with proceeds from ticket sales and a 50-50 raffle benefiting the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. St. Mary’s (Lynn) took on Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in the opener and in the second game of the day, the Hornets hosted Medfield.

It was a successful day for Mansfield in terms of raising funds for charity and on the court, as the Hornets jumped out to an early lead, got playing time for everyone on the roster, and came away with a 55-39 victory over the perennial Div. 2 power.

“In spurts we looked really good and spurts we were sloppy and that it was the first game,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding after the game.

“I thought we played good D. We wanted to play 50-50 man and zone, so we got a lot of things in for the first game to hopefully carry over into the league.”

Here are several takeaways from the exclusion game against the Warriors:

1. Julianna Newell could be a nightmare for opposing coaches this season. With all the attention that needs to be paid to Jen Peel, Caroline Maher, and Jackie Carchedi on the perimeter and Meg Hill in the paint, Newell is going to see a lot of space to unleash her 10-foot jumper. On Saturday, Medfield consistently left Newell open while focusing on other players and the senior forward was 7-8 from the field for a game-high 15 points.

Redding said of Newell, “One of our hidden secrets is Julianna hitting that midrange jumper. She’s going to get that look and she makes people pay for it. I think that was the highlight of the night.”

2. So much of Mansfield’s success this season is going to depend on the continuing development of Hill. The sophomore center has size that few teams can matchup with and she has the potential to get double-doubles every game. On Saturday, Hill grabbed 11 rebounds and added eight points, but there were still moments when she looked a little tentative finishing around the basket. If Hill can take that next step then Mansfield will be a legitimate threat in Div. 1 South.

Redding noted, “I thought she was good on the boards I just think offensively we need to get her the ball like three feet closer to the basket. She’s settling for the ball six, seven feet away so she can’t finish with a layup. You want to get that power step layup that’s automatic.

He praised Hill’s growth from freshman year and added, “She’s working on it but she has a ways to go in terms of knowing where you are and where you want the ball.”

3. Balance will be the key for the Hornets offensively this season. Caroline Maher (13 points) knocked down three shots from beyond the arc in the opening half against Medfield and that forced the defense to stretch out beyond the arc and opened lanes for Jen Peel (eight points, six assists) to drive into. If Maher and Jackie Carchedi can knock down shots on the perimeter it will open up the Mansfield offense, but Redding insisted that it is equally important that Mansfield not settle for the jumper.

“We took some threes but we didn’t live and die with it,” said Redding. “We got the ball inside.”

For Mansfield to be successful against the strong defenses in the Hockomock, there has to be the balance between getting shots from the outside and making sure that players like Hill and Newell get touches inside.

4. One of the strengths this season will be the depth that Mansfield has on its roster. If Hill is struggling, Redding can turn to Newell, senior Sarah Mullahy, or sophomore Maeve Carney. To give his perimeter players a rest, Redding can turn to seniors Jen Kemp and Anna Chiarolanza and sophomore Ann Maher. He may also get some playing time for freshman Madyson Bendanillo, who showed potential in short spurts on the court against Medfield.

“We played everybody,” explained Redding about Saturday’s game. “That becomes critical when you get into a situation with foul trouble or a kid is out sick. The more you can build depth in this league it pays dividends down the road.”

While it was good to get playing time for the whole roster, Redding knows that the atmosphere will be much different when Mansfield faces Sharon on Tuesday night in the league opener for both teams.

He said, “Now we have to ante it up a little bit more when everything counts and if you’re going to stay in the league race you have to get off to a good start.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/21/15

Today games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
D2 State Final
#3 Oliver Ames, 3 vs. #9 Masconomet, 1 – Final – Masco took the lead in the 13th minute but goals from Chris Romero and Nathaniel Cardoza put Oliver Ames up at halftime. Thomas McCormick added a third for the Tigers in the second half off an assist from sophomore Matt Alvarado. This is the first time in program history Oliver Ames has won a state title. 
HockomockSports.com Soccer Charity All Star Event
Attleboro High School
Boys Soccer
White/Blue Team, 7 vs. Gold Team, 1 – Final – Milford’s Justin Borges scored the lone goal of the first half in the 28th minute to give White a lead at the break. Nine minutes into the second half, Foxboro’s Anthony Barreira doubled the lead and just four minutes later Stoughton freshman Fabio Ponce de Leon got on the end of a cross from North Attleboro’s Matt Coscarella to make it 3-0 White. Stoughton’s Tyler Melo flicked in Barreira for his second of the game and three minutes later, Melo touched to Franklin’s Austin Kent who found Barreira for his hat trick to make it 5-0. Sharon’s Jake Goloboy and King Philip’s Cam Mullins added goals within a minute to make it 7-0. Taunton’s Austin Botelho got on the end of a scramble inside the area in the final minute to get Gold on the board. Thank you to Stoughton head coach Aaron Salter and Attleboro assistant Steve Rodrigues for coaching. Rosters for the game can be viewed here. 
Girls Soccer
White/Blue Team, 5 vs. Gold Team, 3 – Final – North Attleboro’s Hana Caster put White up five minutes into the game but Franklin’s Victoria Stowell leveled the match in first half extra time off a free kick from Oliver Ames’ Zoe Chazan. Attleboro’s Rebekah Entwistle pushed White ahead shortly after the break but Victoria Stowell pulled it even within a minute. Mansfield’s Jen Kemp have White another lead in the 50th minute but Canton’s Sarah MacQuarrie linked up with Attleboro’s Paige Medeiros to make it 3-3. Kemp grabbed her second of the game to make it 4-3 and with 10 minutes to play, Franklin’s Alexis Stowell added a fifth goal for Gold. Thank you to Stoughton’s Tara Daniels and Taunton’s Edie Dixon for coaching. Rosters for the game can be viewed here.

Saturday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/21/15

Today games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
D2 State Final
#3 Oliver Ames, 3 vs. #9 Masconomet, 1 – Final – Masco took the lead in the 13th minute but goals from Chris Romero and Nathaniel Cardoza put Oliver Ames up at halftime. Thomas McCormick added a third for the Tigers in the second half off an assist from sophomore Matt Alvarado. This is the first time in program history Oliver Ames has won a state title. 
HockomockSports.com Soccer Charity All Star Event
Attleboro High School
Boys Soccer
White/Blue Team, 7 vs. Gold Team, 1 – Final – Milford’s Justin Borges scored the lone goal of the first half in the 28th minute to give White a lead at the break. Nine minutes into the second half, Foxboro’s Anthony Barreira doubled the lead and just four minutes later Stoughton freshman Fabio Ponce de Leon got on the end of a cross from North Attleboro’s Matt Coscarella to make it 3-0 White. Stoughton’s Tyler Melo flicked in Barreira for his second of the game and three minutes later, Melo touched to Franklin’s Austin Kent who found Barreira for his hat trick to make it 5-0. Sharon’s Jake Goloboy and King Philip’s Cam Mullins added goals within a minute to make it 7-0. Taunton’s Austin Botelho got on the end of a scramble inside the area in the final minute to get Gold on the board. Thank you to Stoughton head coach Aaron Salter and Attleboro assistant Steve Rodrigues for coaching. Rosters for the game can be viewed here. 
Girls Soccer
White/Blue Team, 5 vs. Gold Team, 3 – Final – North Attleboro’s Hana Caster put White up five minutes into the game but Franklin’s Victoria Stowell leveled the match in first half extra time off a free kick from Oliver Ames’ Zoe Chazan. Attleboro’s Rebekah Entwistle pushed White ahead shortly after the break but Victoria Stowell pulled it even within a minute. Mansfield’s Jen Kemp have White another lead in the 50th minute but Canton’s Sarah MacQuarrie linked up with Attleboro’s Paige Medeiros to make it 3-3. Kemp grabbed her second of the game to make it 4-3 and with 10 minutes to play, Franklin’s Alexis Stowell added a fifth goal for Gold. Thank you to Stoughton’s Tara Daniels and Taunton’s Edie Dixon for coaching. Rosters for the game can be viewed here.

Rockets Make Most Of Opportunities Against Mansfield

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By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

NEEDHAM, Mass. – Needham only had one chance in the entire second half but they made the best of it, taking possession in the middle and using a neat combination to grab the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Mansfield.

The Hornets defense was nearly flawless, thwarting multiple chances from the Rockets as the home side tried to work their offense through the wings and with services into the area. But a combination started by Crea Baker-Durante worked a give and go with Hannah Smith before Baker-Durante found the back of the net from the middle of the area.

“We told them at the beginning it would be like Franklin, there would be very few chances for either team,” Mansfield head coach Kevin Smith said. “It was two teams that like to possess, two teams that like to attack, can defend well, are organized and play good soccer.

“It was a like a chess match. The ball would go this way, they’d react, the ball would go the other way, we’d react. They just happened to get that that quick little counter attack and they buried it.”

It was a competitive back and forth half with each side getting glimpses of chances going forward but both defenses held strong. The lone serious chance came for Needham just over a minute in when D’Najah Picou sent in a shot from 40 yards out that Mansfield goalie Lauren Whitman knocked down and then pounced on the rebound.

Mansfield had chances going forward with good combination play, specifically down the left side but were unable to test the keeper with a serious chance and only registered one shot on frame themselves.

The second half the Hornets were able to get forward more and register a good chance in the 46th minute. Jackie Carchedi played a short corner to Jen Kemp, who went at the defender before laying it back off. Carchedi took a touch and went for the shot at the near post but her chance went over the bar.

The Hornets had another good chance in the 54th minute when the Needham keeper strolled out of the box with the ball in her hands, resulting in a free kick for Mansfield from 20 yards out. Hannah Reiter went for a shot but her low bid was denied by the wall.

“We had some good free kicks, we had some great set piece opportunities and we just couldn’t get them on net or couldn’t just get it in,” Smith said. “Hats off to Needham, they’re a very good team too.”

Just a minute after the free kick, the Rockets converted on their lone chance, leaving Whitman no chance with a shot from inside the area.

Mansfield continued to push numbers up in the final 20 minutes but the center back pairing of Picou and Andrea Glennon combined well to limit any serious scoring chances. The Rockets also did well to keep the play in the attacking half to help kill the clock.

“I’m proud of my girls,” Smith said. “I’ve been blessed, year after year I get fantastic girls and I just hate when it happens like this.”

Mansfield finishes the season with a 12-6-2 record.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.