2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

A new girls basketball season will tip off in January. Read a team-by-team look at each team. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2020-2021 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2019-2020 Record: 10-12
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Martin Crowley
After a couple of rebuilding years, Attleboro made a jump last winter and clinched its return to the playoffs in the final game of the regular season. While the Bombardiers will miss the all-around game of Nyah Thomas, who is at Worcester State after a breakout senior season, Attleboro will count on six returners from last year’s roster and a couple of promising newcomers to make some noise in the Kelley-Rex.

Thomas’ scoring and ball-handling will be tough to replicate, but the Bombardiers have strength and athleticism in the post. Junior Meg Gordon developed into a double-double machine last year, using her quickness and length to cause problems in the paint. Senior Ryan Johnson is another forward with length that can impact the game on the glass and protecting the rim.

In the backcourt, senior Gabby Bosh is back to run the point as well as being a pesky defender. Juniors Hailey and Lindsey Perry will also add to the depth at the guard position and to the team’s overall speed and defensive effort. Freshmen guards Kayla Goldrick and Narissa Smith are newcomers that have the potential to make an instant impact and should immediately find themselves in the backcourt rotation.

Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said, “For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound. This is by far the most athletic team we have had and hopefully we can use that to our advantage. We are blessed to be in the gym everyday with such great kids and that is a win in itself.”

Canton

2019-2020 Record: 13-10
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Jim Choquette
Canton has been a youthful team with potential for the past two seasons and the Bulldogs come into the winter with an opportunity to turn that potential into the program’s first league title since 1992. After graduating just one player from last year’s team and with many of its standout players now in year three as starters, Canton has the experience to match its talent.

Juniors Fay and Sydney Gallery and Kiara Cerruti have been standouts since their first games as freshmen and have the all-around games to cause match-up problems for the opposition. All three can score from the perimeter, but Sydney gives the Bulldogs a presence on the post while Fay can score off the dribble and be a playmaker on offense. Cerruti is a pure scorer, with good range and the ability to take defenders off the bounce.

Depth should be a strength for the Bulldogs this season, with players able to come off the bench and produce at every position. Carly Fitzgerald and Marissa Staffiere will return in the backcourt, giving Canton solid ball-handlers and a pair of strong defenders. Senior Kayla Albert adds length and rebounding in the paint and sophomore Samya DaSilva showed off great footwork last year and will be another scoring threat on the block.

“I’m very excited to take the floor with this group of girls,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “I love their desire to improve, win games and represent the town of Canton to the best of their abilities. We all want to improve on our past successes, and we’ve been working hard to do so. Very lucky to be coaching this team!”

Foxboro

2019-2020 Record: 24-2
2019-2020 Finish: D2 State Co-Champion
Coach: Lisa Downs
Foxboro closed out the 2019-20 season by winning its final 16 games and securing a second state title in the past three seasons. The Warriors graduated four starters from last year’s team, so players will have to step into bigger roles this season and newcomers will have to produce right away to make it five straight Davenport titles.

Defense and tempo are the hallmarks of Foxboro’s success under head coach Lisa Downs and that should be the same this year. For scoring, the Warriors are going to count on senior Katelyn Mollica. One of the top players in the league for the past three seasons, the Stonehill College-commit is one of the league’s top shooters and strong help defender. Senior Jordyn Collins is another key component from last year’s team, as a tenacious defender and a slasher who can get to the rim.

Senior Hannah Blake will step into the starting lineup at center this winter and Downs thinks that she has the potential to be one of the best bigs in the league. Senior Morgan Sylvestre had some big moments last year (for instance, the D2 South final against Hingham) and will see more time at point guard this year. Freshmen guards Camryn Collins and Erin Foley will both be in the mix right away and sophomore Lauren Miley is back after missing all of last year with an injury.

“We graduated a large chunk of our roster from last season so we will have quite a few new faces on the court to accompany Katelyn,” Downs said. “We will continue to focus on our defensive efforts and will strive to pursue the fast pace that we have become familiar with. Safety of the girls is obviously my first concern, but it is also my hope to be able to provide the most fulfilling season possible in terms of overall improvement on both ends of the court.”

Franklin

2019-2020 Record: 25-0
2019-2020 Finish: D1 State Co-Champion
Coach: John Leighton
Last winter, Franklin went start-to-finish as the top team not only in the league but in the state and capped off an undefeated season with the program’s first state championship. The graduation of center Ali Brigham, who was arguably the program’s best-ever player, is a big change for the Panthers this year but there is plenty of talent and experience on the roster to make a push for a three-peat of Kelley-Rex titles.

Junior Olivia Quinn is one of the main reasons that the Panthers are considered the favorites in the Kelley-Rex again this year. Quinn scored nearly 400 points and was one of the top three or four players in the league last season. She continues to develop and improve and will be the focal point of the offense this year. Senior Erin Quaile is the two-time Defensive Player of the Year but is also a solid point guard who limits turnovers, calms things down, and gets Franklin into its sets.

The offense will obviously look a little different this year, without a 6-foot-3 center in the middle, but the Panthers have talent on the wings to cause problems. Seniors Elizabeth Wilson and Kaleigh Houlihan, and junior Stefany Padula can all stretch the defense with their ability to knock down perimeter shots. The forward position should also be strong with Emma Sousa, Brigid Early, and Katie Peterson giving Franklin length and athleticism on the block.

“We are excited to be back on the court and I have been very impressed by our depth,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “Our girls have been committed to getting better and competing on every play.”

King Philip

2019-2020 Record: 12-9
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip head coach Dan Nagle has implemented a unique system based on high pressure and constant running. The Warriors don’t have to worry about shot clock violations. With a roster of athletic players who will all be counted on at some point and have a year of experience in the system, Nagle hopes this year’s team can create even more chaos that last winter and push Franklin at the top of the Kelley-Rex.

Senior Emma Glaser is the team’s top returning scorer and the Springfield College-commit will be counted on to take a step up, as the Warriors lost their top three scorers to graduation and transfers. Glaser is an athletic wing with range out beyond the three-point line. Athleticism is a common theme for this roster. Senior Caroline Aaron is another versatile wing who can contribute on both ends of the floor.

Depth won’t be an issue for the Warriors, who regularly sub five players at once and everyone gets playing time. Junior guards Elizabeth Molla, Liv Lafond, Grace Clyde, and Julia Marsden will provide scoring punch. At 6-foot-3, sophomore center Emily Sawyer gives KP a unique weapon in the middle and looks more comfortable with the speed at varsity. Senior Courtney Keswick battled injuries last year but is back healthy and gives KP a consistent three-point threat. Sophomore Jackie Bonner is a scorer being moved up from JV who could be poised for a breakout year.

Nagle said, “It’s year two in the system, so the learning curve has been a lot smaller and kids are picking things up fast. What we do is no secret. It’s going to be pandemonium every game, win or lose. This year’s team might even be a better fit for it because generally we have better team speed and it being year two makes a huge difference.”

Mansfield

2019-2020 Record: 9-14
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Heather McPherson
After more than two decades in charge, Mike Redding retired as head coach after last season. There will be some continuity for the program however, as former player and assistant coach Heather McPherson will move into the first seat this year. McPherson can count on continuity on the floor as well, with six seniors among the returning players for the Hornets.

While the Hornets missed the playoffs last year, they also had some impressive wins against playoff teams along the way, beating Attleboro, King Philip, and Bishop Feehan. Senior Kayla Vine was one of the league’s top perimeter shooters and also a solid playmaker with her ability to get into the paint. Senior Ashley Santos extended her range as a shooter last year was a strong all-around player that was a tough matchup on both ends of the court. Sophomore Abby Wager showed flashes of her potential as a scorer during a strong rookie season and her development could be a big boost this year.

Mansfield will have plenty of depth to call on. Senior Ally Prentis adds another shooter, senior Sarah Dooling is another versatile forward, and seniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking give the Hornets a lot of height in the paint. Junior Anna Darlington and sophomore Olivia Salisbury should see more time in the backcourt.

McPherson said, “I couldn’t ask for a better senior group to begin my varsity coaching career, they have set an exciting tone to the season with their energy, effort, enthusiasm. With all of the uncertainty that this year has brought we are excited for the opportunity to be playing basketball. For us to compete each night we will need to play good fundamental basketball.”

Milford

2019-2020 Record: 3-17
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: TJ Dolliver
While Milford went winless in league play last year, the Hawks lost no one to graduation and will have seven seniors on this season’s roster. Experience will be a key for Milford, which for the first time will be playing in the Kelley-Rex division. Although the Hawks have struggled at times offensively, no one can argue with the team’s effort and athleticism, especially on defense (ask state champion Foxboro, which was held to just 44 points last year) and that should once again be the team’s strength.

Senior Emma Lawrence will be the team’s focal point this year after an all-star junior season. Lawrence has long arms, endless energy, and the ability to get to the basket. Fellow senior Jillian Michelson is another player who will shadow the opposing team’s top offensive player and use her speed and length to cause problems. Sophomore Brooke Ferreira stepped in at point guard last year and had an impressive rookie campaign. Her ball-handling and ability to get into the lane was critical to the team’s offense, which could at times struggle from the perimeter.

Milford is not a tall team, but the Hawks have several versatile forwards that crash the boards and will make it tough for teams to score in the paint. Seniors Carly Ferreira, Katie Maietta, and Elise Fauerbach add physicality on the block for a team that likes to get up and pressure the ball.

“Having a senior-heavy roster and a team of hard working girls, this season will be a lot of fun,” said Milford coach TJ Dolliver.

North Attleboro

2019-2020 Record: 9-11
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Nikki Correia
Under first-year head coach Nikki Correia, North Attleboro bounced back last year and went into the final game of the regular season with a chance of clinching a return to the postseason. Although Big Red missed out on the tournament, the Rocketeers come into this season with optimism. A year of experience in Correia’s system and a strong corps of returning players gives North hopes of springing a surprise in the Davenport division.

Senior guard Amanda Kaiser will remain the focal point for opposing defenses and will force them to extend beyond the three-point line to prevent her from getting going. Kaiser is also a strong defender, who can kickstart the North break by forcing turnovers. Sophomore Summer Doherty is another wing player whose quickness and length causes problems on defense and her strength allows her to get into the lane on offense.

Senior Siobhan Weir keeps things calm even as North tries to get out and run as often as possible, while also adding a strong mid-range game. Senior Lydia Santos missed last season with injury and will be another strong ball-handler and leader in the backcourt. Sophomore Ava McKeon had an impressive rookie season on the wing and uses her strength and athleticism to get into the lane and her energy to get on the boards. Fellow sophomore Taylor McMath got called up last season and made an instant impact as a post player. North isn’t the tallest team, but McMath gives the Rocketeers extra length in the paint on both ends of the floor.

“I know with my team they have been so excited just to be on the basketball court again with their teammates and ready to compete,” said Correia. “Overall we have a strong unit and I can not wait to start the basketball season and see what these girls will do as a team. They all bring different strengths to the game so once they can mesh it all together on the court it will be great to see.”

Oliver Ames

2019-2020 Record: 14-7
2019-2020 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames is back in the Davenport division for the first time since 2016, when the Tigers won their last league title. OA returns with the goal of ending Foxboro’s four-year run as the top team in the division and has a talented, experienced roster to try and win the program’s Hock-best 23rd league title.

The Tigers pushed Franklin for the Kelley-Rex crown all the way to the final week of league play last year and that experience has given them added confidence heading into the new season. Injuries took their toll down the stretch, but when fully healthy OA boasts one of the deepest rosters in the league. Caroline Flynn is more of a point forward than a point guard but she has developed into one of the league’s top playmakers, while also being one of its top rebounding guards. Caroline Peper battled a back injury all of last season, but when healthy is one of the top shooters in the Hock.

Junior Hailey Bourne has emerged as one of the top defensive players in the league, capable of guarding players on the perimeter or in the post. Senior Jess Erlich adds shooting from her forward position. OA has six returning players who will be bolstered by an exciting crop of newcomers, including freshman guard Jasmyn Cooper.

OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook, who passed the 700-win mark last season, said, “OA’s strengths will come from the depth of their lineup and a cast of young and upcoming players with great intensity and love for the game. Despite the challenges associated with pandemic, OA is excited to have the chance to play this season and value every second they get to compete for the top spot.”

Sharon

2019-2020 Record: 4-16
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Sandy Lombardi
Sharon finished with only four wins last season, but the Eagles also lost seven games by 10 points or less, including five games by five points or fewer and twice lost by a single basket. With a good core of versatile players returning, the Eagles are hoping to make a move up the standings in what continues to be a competitive Davenport division.

The graduations of Ally Brown and Kaitlyn Wallace take away two of the team’s top ball-handlers and perimeter scorers, but the Eagles can make up for that with strength in the paint. Senior Leah Fandel and junior Trinity Payne are difference makers on both ends of the court, capable of crashing the boards, protecting the rim, and offering interior scoring. Both players are capable of stepping back and knocking down short jumpers too, adding a different dimension to the offense.

Sophomore guards Tess Letendre and Emily Freeman will be counted on to pick up some of the slack on the perimeter and get the Eagles into their offensive sets. Seniors Gaby Cabral and Julia Early will also be counted on to take bigger roles this season. The Eagles will also have a pair of freshmen, Rachel Hager and Eva Poulton, who will be expected to contribute right away.

“I’m excited for the girls to have an opportunity to play this season,” said Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi. “Looking back a few months ago I would not have imagined us having a season at all.”

Stoughton

2019-2020 Record: 9-11
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last year, falling just one win short of qualifying for the tournament (that included a one-point loss to North Attleboro midway through the season). The Black Knights will have to try and make up for the graduation of their two leading scorers, Aliyah Wright and Shyanne Trinh, but head coach Charmaine Steele Jordan expects that this year’s roster will live up to the program’s standard of hustle, hard work, and aggressiveness.

Mackenzie Manning is the team’s top returning scorer and Steele Jordan is counting on the senior guard to provide leadership and passion for the younger players. Fellow seniors Cate Downey and Jess Maddalena (who is out for the season with an injury) are also going to be counted on to set the tone for the team.

Junior guard Makaiyah Singleton Rivera saw plenty of time last year and gives the Black Knights a boost of speed and energy on the perimeter. There are also several underclassmen who will be jumping up to varsity and could add important minutes this season. Sophomore guards Kiara Scardina and Shayla Ford and freshman forward Alyssa Edwards are newcomers to keep an eye on this season.

Steele Jordan said, “I’m really thankful for all the players that came out for our program this year in the middle of pandemic. Looking forward to kicking off the season in 2021. Our goals have not changed, the Black Knights will play hard, play together and represent the Stoughton community with pride this season.”

Taunton

2019-2020 Record: 5-15
2019-2020 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Amy Siggens
Taunton has struggled to get going this winter, as practices were halted after just three days and the teams won’t resume basketball activities until next week, which has forced the opening games with Attleboro to be postponed. The Tigers will also be without last year’s leading scorer, sophomore Kameron St. Pierre, who has opted out. With all of that, second-year head coach Amy Siggens is still excited that the team this season and building on the fundamentals of her system.

The Tigers will be an experienced, if still young, team this season. Seniors Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will be the focal points on the offensive end. They are both versatile players capable of stepping back and knocking down shots and also taking their defenders off the dribble. Their athleticism on both ends of the court makes them a tough matchup. They also provide leadership for a team that is building consistency. The Tigers won five games last year, but also lost seven times by single digits, including once in overtime.

A strength of the team will be its depth in the backcourt. Senior Tori DaRosa is a tough defender and gets the Tigers into their sets. Juniors Abby Souza and Braeley McDonald are also strong options to provide shooting off the bench. Sophomore Maddie Michenzie can be a force on the boards and adds a different dimension in the post on both ends of the court.

“We’re rolling with the punches here,” said Siggens about having to postpone practices until the New Year. “Everyday is something new and you just have to adjust. We’re focusing on the leadership of our seniors but also the development of our young kids. This is a year to really pull it back and go after the fundamentals and the basics.”

2020 Hockomock League Cross Country Preview

Hockomock League Cross Country
Runners take off from the starting line at the 2019 Hockomock League Championship meet. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Hockomock League Cross Country

2020 Hockomock League Cross Country Preview

Hockomock League Cross Country

Attleboro

2019 Boys Record: 1-5
2019 Girls Record: 0-6
Coach: Martin Tighe
The Attleboro boys cross country team has one of its best group of returners, perhaps one of the strongest teams in quite some time. And on the girls side, head coach Martin Tighe has one of the best runners in the league in senior Kelly Neuendorf, a top finisher at last year’s Hockomock League Championship meet. The Bombardiers host opponents at the Highland Park Cross Country Course, which was designed by Tighe and Bishop Feehan coach Bob L’Homme.

Senior Nathan Seybert will be in the mix for one of the fastest runners in the Hockomock League this season. In six dual meets last season, Seybert finished in the top three each time, taking first against both Feehan and Taunton. Tighe notes that Seybert will run around 16:10 or better this season. Attleboro also had Ethan Sylvia, Neil Bowie, Shane Cataloni, and Zachary Stromfors have strong finishes at the league championship meet last year.

On the girls side, Neuendorf is fresh off a top 10 finish at the league championships, clocking in at 20:28.32. She was first in the dual meet against league champion Franklin and finished no worse than third in the six dual meets. Other top runners from the league championship meet last season included Kimberly Esteban, Jazlyn Miller-Villanueva, and Diana Blouin.

“I’m looking forward to the X-C season as are many athletes and coaches,” Tighe said.

Hockomock League Cross Country

Canton

2019 Boys Record: 2-4
2019 Girls Record: 1-5
Coach: David Hiltz
Both the Canton girls and boys have spots to fill in their starting lineup but both squads have top runners back on the course this season. The Bulldogs call Pequitside Farm home, a 3.01 mile course that is mixed with trails, grass, and hills that make it one of the more challenging courses in the Davenport.

The boys squad graduated four of the top seven from last season but bring back its three captains in senior Jack Hernon, senior Elias Jabbour, and junior Kyle Downing. Downing was Canton’s top runner throughout last season, culminating in team-best finish at the league championship meet. After the top three of Downing, Hernon, and Jabbour, the Dogs have four spots in the lineup up for grabs. Sophomore Matt Hart, who had a solid freshman season, is a candidate for a breakout year.

“The boys have a good mix of returners with some new faces who have joined,” said head coach David Hiltz. “If we can build some depth with our four and five, run consistently, and stay healthy we should compete within each meet and strive for that third dual meet win (after a 2-3 finish last year).”

The girls have a strong core of three returners, led by senior captains Marie Messinger and Jesse Hart. Messinger was Canton’s top runner at Hocks in 2019 while Hart had strong showings against both Foxboro and Stoughton a year ago. Sophomore Johanna Bouwmeester had a breakout season as a freshman a year ago, including 41st place at Hocks. With four spots in the lineup open, it’s been a mix of other returners as well as some first time runners and freshmen competing for the openings.

“Although graduating senior leadership, there is a good mix of youth and experience that will make the top seven,” Hiltz said. “Similar to the boys, building depth in the four and five spots will determine how successful the team is this fall, with those spots going to some younger runners. A goal of the team is to increase the dual meet wins, and this year with three home meets and strong senior leadership should help in that process. Staying consistent and healthy will be key to their success this season.”

Hockomock League Cross Country

Foxboro

2019 Boys Record: 1-4
2019 Girls Record: 3-2
Coach: Wayne Relleva
With Joe Cusack taking over as athletic director this past school year, Wayne Relleva takes over as head coach for the Warriors’ cross country teams. Relleva will have a pair of young squads with just four seniors on the boys team and just one on the girls side.

Hosting teams at the Payson Road Fields, the Warriors are hoping home course advantage can lead to a strong start to the season as Foxboro hosts its first two meets. The boys squad features 19 total runners with senior captain Liam Cody leading the way. Relleva is also looking for junior Nicolas Olson and sophomore Brooks Stone to play big roles for the Warriors this season.

“For the season, I’m hoping to be highly competitive, improve, and win some races,” Rellava said. “Being as young as we are we have lots of room to grow over our five race season.”

Captain Amy Conley is the lone senior on the girls team and will lead the way for 10 sophomores and a freshman. Half of those sophomores are returners from a season ago, including Aine Fitzpatrick, who could be a major factor in the lineup this season. Relleva is also looking for sophomores Emilia Lacy, Mabel Linck, and Sophia Sougaris to factor into the scoring this year.

“I’m excited to see how this young team grows and comes together over our season, it should be fun to watch,” Relleva said.







Hockomock League Cross Country

Franklin

2019 Boys Record: 5-0
2019 Girls Record: 4-1
Coach: Nick Bailey & Paul Trovato
Both of Franklin’s cross country squads are coming off league titles and will be looking to replicate that success in 2020. The boys team has won three straight Kelley-Rex titles and have a strong group of runners back this year to try and make it four straight. The girls bring back a pair of Hock all stars from last year’s squad that finished second at Hocks.

“With a strong senior and junior class the 2020 Franklin Boys XC team is looking forward to some tough competition once the races get underway,” said boys head coach Nick Bailey. “This team has put in the hard work necessary to be competitive in the Hockomock League and they have adapted well to social distancing guidelines we are all part of.”

Franklin will be hosting opponents on a course around the high school instead of Dacey Field. The course is a relatively fast course with a mixture of roads and fields that is 3.1 miles long. Senior Nicholas Calitri will be one of the top runners in the entire Hockomock League, fresh off a third place finish at the league meet a year ago. He will be joined by senior Declan Walmsley, who factored into the scoring in the dual meets last season and took 12th overall at the league meet, senior Josh Anderson (54th at Hocks), and junior Griffin Sieckiewicz (33rd at Hocks).

“Quite a few athletes on the team have made some great improvements since their last races all the way back in February and March and have adapted well to the new challenges that have come with the Fall 2020 season,” Bailey said. “One way or another, this will be a memorable year for our cross country team”

All-Hock selections Sydney Brady (10th at Hocks) and Caitlin Casey (18th) lead the way for the Panthers, who shared the division title with OA last year. Brady is a captain along with classmates Sydney Hawkins (who took 10th at Hocks) and Liz Petit. Juniors Charlene Peng and Liliana Duffy will bolster the Panthers lineup following successful sophomore campaigns, both finishing inside the top 30 at Hocks. RuthAnn Mulvey, a sophomore, and Angelina Perez, a senior, make the Panthers one of the deepest squads in the league.

“Last season the team finished second at the Hockomock Championship Meet. This team has a strong group of dedicated runners who are working hard and should be competitive in the Kelley-Rex Division,” said head coach Paul Trovato.

King Philip

2019 Boys Record: 3-2
2019 Girls Record: 3-2
Coach: Scott Kramer & Lauren Farkash
The King Philip boys and girls cross country teams are in different situations heading into the 2020 season. The girls return their top three runners from last year’s Hockomock Championship race; all three finishing in the top 30. The boys team, however, graduated four of its top five runners from the same meet, including the Gatorade Runner of the Year Mike Griffin and Michael Norberg, who was fourth at Hocks.

But neither team is paying much attention to the past with the focus on the five-race season ahead. Senior Jovan Joseph will pace the pack for the boys, gaining plenty of valuable experience from last year’s group. Joseph is coming off a strong junior campaign that finished with a top 20 finish at the league meet. Head coach Scott Kramer is looking for a combination of juniors and sophomores to fill out the rest of the lineup. Liam Noke, Andrew Noke, Brandon Berdos, Ryan Andrews, and Matt DiFiore will all compete to be in the scoring for KP.

“The returning guys had a great summer of training,” Kramer said. “Captains Jovan Joseph and Sam Evans really ran a great program and it will be tough for any newcomers to get in the pack for us.”

KP has moved the finish line of its 5K course at the Rice Complex in Wrentham but the distance hasn’t changed. The King Philip girls squad, coming off a fourth place finish as a team at Hocks, has its top three runners back in juniors Maya Evans and Meg Sherwood as well as senior Ava Pisani. All three had strong seasons in 2019 with Evans emerging as one of the top competitors in the Hock as seen by her fourth place finish in 19:51.50 at Hocks. With some open spots in the lineup, head coach Lauren Farkash has been happy with the depth so far in training. Leah Burke and Kat Precobb are returners from last year while freshman Bridget Swezey could make an immediate impact.

“My goal this year is to just provide the girls a sense of normalcy during these unusual times,” Farkash said. “Our focus is creating good memories, strong bodies and minds, and having fun! We are not worrying about PRs or win/loss records, their enjoyment of the sport and their physical and mental health is most important!”

Hockomock League Cross Country

Mansfield

2019 Boys Record: 2-3
2019 Girls Record: 3-3
Coach: Ian Flanagan & Carolina DiBiase
Both the Mansfield boys and girls team are aiming to get back atop the Kelley-Rex division this season. After a 14-year run as league champs, Mansfield has been on the outside looking in over the past three seasons and will be relying on some new faces to lead the way this year. On the girls side, the Hornets have a handful of top runners back from last season to try and challenge for the division title. Mansfield will host teams at the Plymouth Street Soccer Fields (5K).

The Hornets lost their top three runners from the Hockomock Championship meet to graduation so head coach Ian Flanagan will be looking for new faces to step up. Mansfield is loaded with upperclassmen who had strong offseasons and run similar times. Junior Collin Stevens finished at 17:43.61 to take 31st overall and will be one of the top runners for the Hornets this season. Seniors Tim Corkery, Ryan Rispoli, and Trevor Flint, as well as junior Chris Leonard, will help round out a well-balanced lineup.

“We have some big shoes to fill from last year losing three of our better runners but the guys on this team are hard workers who are up for the challenge,” Flanagan said. “We also have some promising young guys who will really benefit from this season and will impact some meets this year.”

The girls are under new leadership this season as Carolina DiBiase, who has coached at MHS in the past, takes over for longtime coach Derek Ellis. DiBiase has one of the top runners returning this season in senior captain Tessa Lancaster, who crossed the finish line sixth at the league championships last year. Senior Emma Lamson is the other captain on the team and one of the top runners on the team (22nd at Hocks) as well. Senior Abby Greenberg and junior Cassidy Rice will be runners to watch this season while juniors Sophia Allen and Alanna Conley and freshmen Jen Mullert will help push the pack. Senior Anne Riley and sophomores Alexis DiVasta and Devin Anderson return as starters from last season.

“I am looking forward to seeing what they can do this season,” DiBiase said. “I have taken a break and have really enjoyed getting back into things. The girls look strong and they are ready to run and improve each week.”




Milford

2019 Boys Record: 4-1
2019 Girls Record: 3-2
Coach: Dan Gordon & Glenn O’Connor
Expectations are sky high for the Milford girls cross country team as the Hawks are aiming to soar above the competition in the Kelley-Rex division. Meanwhile, the boys might have a small squad but it includes some strong runners eager to make some noise against new competition.

The Milford girls have good reason for such high expectations with a strong group of top runners from the Hockomock League leading the pack. Senior Emma Lawrence will be among the top runners in the region after a strong offseason. In her first season running cross country, Lawrence had a remarkable year that included a 5th place finish at Hocks. She will be joined by sophomore Sydney Kalil (48th at Hocks) and a pair of indoor track league champions in Sarah Flanagan and Kerry O’Connor. Flanagan won the 300M race and O’Connor, who clocked in at 22:38.00 at last year’s league championship meet, was the Hock champ in the 600M. Maren Halpen, Haley Jansons, Eva Parsons, Kate Pease, Fiona Jordan, Stephanie Goulet, and senior captain Brittany Silverman will make the Hawks one of the deepest teams in the league.

“We’re so glad we have a season,” said Milford head coach Glenn O’Connor. “Nobody is going to happy to see the Lady Scarlet Hawks on their XC schedule.”

Dan Gordon takes over as head coach for the boys team, which has reason for optimism after some strong preseason times. Junior James Comisky is back after a strong sophomore campaign and will pace the pack for the Hawks this season. In a preseason 5K scrimmage against Mansfield, Comisky was the top finisher. Sophomore Mark Butters has grown a lot as a runner from his debut season last year and will be a key piece for Milford this season. Captain Jack Jansons will be one of the leaders for the Hawks this year.

“I am looking forward to having a safe, fun, and competitive season,” Gordon said. “My goals are that everyone leaves faster and more knowledgeable about how to race well when it matters most.”

Hockomock League Cross Country

North Attleboro

2019 Boys Record: 3-2
2019 Girls Record: 3-2
Coach: Anne Marie McGrail
North Attleboro could be set for a breakout season for both the boys and girls teams this season. Five of the seven Rocketeer boys who scored at the league meet last season were either juniors or sophomores while only two seniors scored on the girls side, meaning North Attleboro should have a deep squad for the 2020 season.

Juniors Christopher Galligan and Griffin Goueck placed 39th and 53rd, respectively, at the league meet last season while junior Mark Carlson, junior Casey Poirier, and senior Jack McLaughlin all clocked in under 19 minutes.

On the girls side, Natalie Kaiser (32nd at Hocks) and Olivia Forbes were lost to graduation but the other six to factor into the scoring were juniors, sophomores or freshmen. Senior Melissa Sapini had North’s top placement for the girls last year when she clocked in at 21:11.52.

Oliver Ames

2019 Boys Record: 5-1
2019 Girls Record: 5-1
Coach: Kyle Sousa
The Kelley-Rex division could run through Easton this season, for both the girls and the boys. The girls split the division title with Franklin last year but bring back two of the best runners in the league and are poised for a repeat. The boys didn’t win the division but had a stellar showing at Hocks and took first place as a team with five runners in the top 20.

Of those five, the boys have three runners back – senior Kyle Sarney, junior Owen McMorrow, and senior Nathan Reservitz. Sarney will look to build on his fifth place finish at Hocks and be in the mix for one of the fastest runners in the Hock. McMorrow (13th) and Reservitz (17th) weren’t far behind so the Tigers will have a strong nucleus to lead the pack. Head coach Kyle Sousa described the boys team as a seasoned group with a lot of competitive experience.

Catherine O’Donnell and Meghan Reardon highlight a strong girls team for the Tigers. The duo finished in succession at the league meet with O’Donnell clocking in at 20:05.32 for seventh place and Reardon just a couple of seconds behind for eighth overall. Sousa is hoping that a very deep squad will translate to some dual meet wins in the quest for a second straight division title.

“Everyone around the Hockomock League and the state at large knows that the 2020 Season is going to look different than any season before it,” Sousa said. “Now more than ever, we are training through unpredictable adversity, and adapting in real time to the daily curveballs that some with a global pandemic. Never have I been so impressed by the commitment of the young men and women of Oliver Ames Cross Country. Their focus is unwavering — their commitment resolute. We are so grateful to be able to compete this fall. The Hockomock League is one of the premiere cross country leagues in the state, and we are hungry to cut our teeth on the exceptional competition in front of us. It is going to be a tough and gritty season in the Hock and we hope to be right in the thick of it.”




Hockomock League Cross Country

Sharon

2019 Boys Record: 5-0
2019 Girls Record: 5-0
Coach: Tim Cimeno & Katelyn Decknick
There will be a big hole on the sidelines this season as the Eagles are set to start the 2020 season without coach Alan Conway, who passed away at the beginning of September. Conway was incredibly well-liked around the Hockomock League by runners and his peers.

On the course, the Eagles will be looking to defend their Davenport division titles as both the boys and girls earned a banner during the 2019 season. The girls will rely on a mix of veterans and new faces as they navigate a competitive field. It will start with junior Daphne Theiler, who was second overall at the league championship meet last season (19:41.21). Theiler will be joined by seniors Margaret Li and Berta Faktorovich, two runners are placed in the top 35 at Hocks. The Eagles also have some great new first year runners including sophomores Hannah Li and Grace Hu, as well as freshman Eva Olszewski.

“The girls team is hard working and there is great team spirit,” said head coach Katelyn Decknick. “As defending Hock Champs, we look strong. The team has a nice blend of well established talent and new runners hungry to race.”

The boys squad is returning five of their top seven runners while there are plenty of new faces (60 total on the team) eager to battle for a spot in the lineup. Seniors Sid Reddy (25th at Hocks), Mark Starovoytov (26th), Bradley Weiss (34th), and Jordan Saks, plus junior Balint Mihajlovits will lead a balanced and deep group of runners. New faces to watch include Matthew Lally, Ashmith Yeruva, and Jack Bates. Sharon will host home meets at Deborah Sampson Park (2.83), a flat and fast course.

Stoughton

2019 Boys Record: 0-5
2019 Girls Record: 0-5
Coach: Dave Barbato & Alexis Van Voorhis
There is a lot of potential when it comes to the Stoughton boys and girls cross country teams. The Black Knights made big strides as the season progressed a year ago and head coaches Dave Barbato and Alexis Van Voorhis are hoping that trend continues in 2020.

The girls lost their top runner in Rebecca Lally to graduation so the Black Knights will be relying on Elaine McCarty and Danielle Lawrence to pace the pack this season. Van Voorhis said both runners have looked strong in the two weeks of workouts and is expecting McCarty and Lawrence to work together throughout each race. Stoughton has a deep roster this year than last season and will be looking for Avrie Martin and freshman Lilly Branco to translate their track skills to the cross country course. Junior captain Jessica Maddalena is a key piece but will miss the season due to injury.

“If I were to use one word to describe this team and our season, it would be potential,” Van Voorhis said. “I have hope for every single girl on this team, that if we put in the work, this team could potentially emerge stronger and more determined than when we started. They are all fantastic people, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s improvement throughout the rest of the season.”

The boys team is hoping a year of experience will translate into better times as the Black Knights host opponents on a new course this season. The new course goes around the grounds of the new high school; it’s mostly flat (5K) and should be fast. The squad features four returning runners including captain Bob Currier, Colin Ozturk, Mike Henriques, and Aiden Castillo.

“The strength of their team lies with these juniors,” Barbato said. “If they can be tough, if they think they can be good and if they learn they belong up near the best from other teams Stoughton could win more than they lose.”

Hockomock League Cross Country

Taunton

2019 Boys Record: 0-5
2019 Girls Record: 2-3
Coach: Jessica Ouellette & Mike Kelley
With a mix of top runners and a deep roster, the Taunton girls team enters the season with high hopes. And there is equal optimism on the boys side with a large group of talent back for the 2020 season.

The girls team features some of the top returning runners in the Hockomock League and a deep roster is providing head coach Mike Kelley with a range of options in his lineup. Senior captain Lily Valcovic and junior Nia Mainer-Smith have emerged as the top two runners for the Tigers this season while senior captains Livvy Weber and Olivia Dias give Taunton plenty of depth of experienced runners. Kelley’s roster got a big boost with a large eighth grade class, including Emersyn DePonte and Colby Dunham, who have quickly established themselves in the top five on the team.

“We’re much deeper than last year, to the point where we’ll be trying to displace other team’s fourth and fifth runners with our sixth and seventh,” Kelley said. “Being able to run in larger packs also takes pressure off individuals. The veterans have been terrific setting the example. We have four eighth graders in our varsity top ten, so the future is bright.”

On the boys side, the Tigers only lost two of their top 10 so there will be plenty of competition in-house and head coach Jessica Ouellette is hoping that translates to some success in the dual meets. Senior captains Ty Cali and Nolan Tavares return as the top two runners, as well as junior Ryan Strawbridge and sophomore Jack Pawlowski, who have put in some serious training over the summer. The Tigers have two runners to watch this year in freshmen Brayden and Andrew Cali, whose PRs last year are 17:39, and 17:50, as eighth graders.

“This is one of the stronger teams Taunton Boys XC has seen,” Ouellette said. “I’m hopeful that we can have our number three runner make a jump to sub-17 to solidify a fast 1-2-3. We have some promising younger talent as well as strong seniority up front. We have a great group of guys, who are motivated to work hard and work together to win.”

Late Push Lifts Stoughton Over Sharon in Finale

Stoughton girls basketball
Stoughton’s Aliyah Wright scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to close her high school career with a win against Sharon. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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STOUGHTON, Mass. – Stoughton and Sharon had combined for 13 points through the opening 12 minutes of the second half and the Black Knights went into the closing stretch holding onto a slim six-point lead in Friday night’s season finale for both teams. Needing a spark to finish with a win, Stoughton turned to its senior and leading scorer.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Shyanne Trinh scored five of her team-high 11 points in a 30-second span to turn a close game into a double-digit lead and the Black Knights scored the game’s final 10 points to pull out a 37-22 victory that split the season series with the Eagles.

“They knew it was their last game, so there was a lot of emotions for them,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan of her seniors, Trinh, Aliyah Wright, and Heather Papagno.

“It hasn’t been the easiest season for us because there’s been a lot of close games that they just didn’t finish off but tonight they fought and they’re a representation of what I hope for the future of this program with their heart and their hustle.”

Trinh hit a step-back, straightaway three for her first points of the second half and then Wright (10 points and 15 rebounds) grabbed a defensive board on the next Sharon possession and her quick look ahead found Trinh for a transition basket.

After not having scored for more than four minutes in the fourth, Stoughton found the spark it needed to put the game away. A couple of free throws and a runner off the glass by Jess Maddalena sealed the win.

Sharon (4-16) was held to only eight points after the break and the 15-point deficit at the final whistle could have been much narrower, but the Eagles shot only 8-for-27 from the line and made only two shots from the field in the second half.

“Especially against a team that’s playing a zone, you’re attacking the rim but you’ve got to finish or get to the line, which we did but just couldn’t hit our foul shots tonight,” said Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi.

The hosts got off to a strong start to the game, jumping out to a 7-0 lead. Wright scored six in the first quarter, including a defensive rebound that she turned into a fastbreak layup. Mackenzie Manning also started well, scoring five of her seven points in the first. She buried a three that put Stoughton ahead 13-3.

Kaitlyn Wallace (six points and eight rebounds) made a three in the first and Leah Fandel got her first points on an offensive rebound, but the Eagles trailed 16-6 after one.

Lombardi said. “I knew being their senior night that they were going to come out rip-roaring and ready to go and we beat them last time, so maybe a revenge night on senior night. They came out and were ready to play and I don’t think we were at the beginning of the game.”

Offense became a grind for both teams starting in the second, as they combined for three made field goals, Fandel (10 points and 11 rebounds) had both buckets for the Eagles and scored five points in the quarter, but Sharon only managed eight points in the second.

The positive for the Eagles was defense, as they held the Black Knights to only seven. Trinh scored four for Stoughton, including a tough runner, but it was the only made shot in the second.

“Our defense always keeps us in games,” said Lombardi. “I thought we played pretty good defense. We just sometimes struggle to score and that’s what happens tonight.”

It remained a struggle on offense heading out of halftime.

Sharon made only one shot in the third, a Fandel post move off an assist from Ally Brown, and knocked down three free throws (on eight attempts). Stoughton managed to hit two shots, one from Wright off a Trinh assist and another on a Manning drive to the rim, but those were the only points from the Black Knights, who led 27-19 heading to the fourth.

Steele Jordan said, “Every time we’ve got to play them, you just know it’s going to be a fight. We’re crosstown rivals and it’s a battle. Wallace is a tough player and No. 1 (Fandel), they were exposing us on the low block.”

Brown got the fourth quarter started well by knocking down a three that cut the lead to just five. Kyla Sheedy-Goff (five rebounds) got a free throw to push the lead to six, but both teams went scoreless for several minutes until Trinh turned the game on its head.

Stoughton (9-11) finished the season one win shy of a playoff berth, which includes a loss to Sharon in the first meeting. “You always want to finish the season on a win,” said Steele Jordan. “There are games that I can point to, there are a lot of games you look back on think, dang we were right there.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.

Trinh, Stoughton Hold Off Taunton in Fourth Quarter

Stoughton girls basketball
Stoughton senior Shyanne Trinh scored 18 of her team-high 20 points in the second half, including 12 points in the fourth quarter, to beat Taunton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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STOUGHTON, Mass. – At this stage of the season, every win is important, as teams are chasing tournament qualification. On Tuesday night, Stoughton and Taunton played with the urgency of two teams that could ill-afford another loss. It was physical, it was back-and-forth, and it was only decided in the closing minute.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Black Knights were happy that they had senior guard Shyanne Trinh to turn to down the stretch. Trinh scored 18 of her team-high 20 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter and five of the game’s final eight points. Her runner broke a 60-60 tie and proved to be the game-winner.

Thanks in part to Trinh’s fourth quarter heroics, Stoughton pulled out a 68-60 victory over the visiting Tigers. The win leaves the Black Knights chasing three wins from their final five games to try and book a spot in the postseason.

“Our team persevered tonight,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “They fought hard. We’ve had a couple of losses that were really hard to swallow and I was proud of them that they worked hard. I told them, it’s not going to be handed to us. Yes you’re talented but you have to put in work.”

She added, “Taunton came back at us and we responded. Sometimes team come back at you and you start to hurry and get on your heels, but they stayed composed.”

Trinh managed only two points in the first half, but the team’s leading scorer got it going after the break. She scored six points in the third and showed signs of finding the range, as the hosts went into the fourth leading 46-44.

She drilled a pair of threes early in the fourth to help extend the lead to as many as six. After Sonya Fernandez (who scored 22 of her 23 points in the second half, including 12 of her own in the fourth) drilled a three to put Taunton ahead for the first time since the first quarter, Mackenzie Manning (12 points) answered with a triple of her own to make it 58-56.

A series of free throws left the game tied at 60, when Trinh beat her marker off the dribble, got into the lane, and knocked down a runner to put the Black Knights ahead for good. After a pair at the line from Jess Maddalena (seven points and seven rebounds), Aliyah Wright (17 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists) found Trinh behind the Taunton defense for a wide open layup that sealed the win.

“She was really long initially and I wanted to say to her, just step in, but you know a shooter, she’s just got to shoot the wrinkles off and second half she’ll start hitting,” Steele Jordan about Trinh’s fourth quarter.

The Tigers kept battling back in the fourth as well. Fernandez was immense in the second half, keeping her team in the game and showing off a full repertoire on offense, from scoring in the paint to stepping outside and knocking down threes.

“She’s a leader on this team,” Taunton coach Amy Siggens said about Fernandez. “We’ve worked on her inside-outside game and when she starts to feel it, you just sit back and say alright lets go and see where this takes us. She’s really, really stepped up her game.”

In the first quarter, Stoughton showed off some of its depth to grab the lead. Manning drilled a three and scored off the dribble, Maddalena grabbed an offensive board for two, and with Stoughton holding just a three-point lead Cate Downey came off the bench to knock down a pair from beyond the arc and extend the advantage to 20-11 after one.

“We’ve talked a lot about how we can’t rely just on Shy and Aliyah,” said Steele Jordan. “There’s other players on our team that can contribute on a regular basis, whether it’s rebounding or shooting. I’m like you guys wouldn’t be on my varsity team if I didn’t think you could play. They’re finally starting to get that confidence.”

Taunton would battled back with an 8-1 run to start the second quarter. Kameron St. Pierre (22 points and 10 rebounds) scored five points during that stretch and fellow freshman Maddy Michenzie (10 rebounds) grabbed an offensive board and putback to make it 21-19.

Jaelyn Fernandez (nine points and six assists) scored four in the second and assisted on St. Pierre’s third three of the half to tie the game at 27, but Stoughton again finished the quarter well. Maddalena hit two at the line and then blocked a shot at the other end. Downey grabbed the loose ball and threw an outlet to Wright for a transition basket and a four-point lead at the break.

The Stoughton lead never got larger than five in the third quarter, as the teams kept trading baskets. Sonya Fernandez heated up in the third with 10 points, but Stoughton always had an answer. After Fernandez nailed a three on one end, Trinh scored on the break. When St. Pierre drilled one, Wright responded with a three of her own. Taunton was able to trim two points off the lead but went into the fourth down 46-44.

Taunton would rue some missed opportunities in the final quarter, as they continued to crash the boards and give themselves multiple opportunities, but were unable to cash in on those chances.

“This was a very physical, tough game and I think that got into our head a little bit,” said Siggens. “We get it and we’re not always focused on the win. It’s about developing. You want to ease people into it but you can’t sometimes and you have to throw people to wolves and see how they react.”

She added, “The cuts we’re making, the passes we’re making, we’re doing the right things, now the the next step is finishing.”

Stoughton (7-8, 4-7) will host North Attleboro on Friday night, trying to split the season series with the Rocketeers and move another step closer to a playoff berth. Taunton (4-9, 3-8) will play host to Oliver Ames on Friday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/17/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Taunton, 46 @ Attleboro, 52 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Canton, 39 @ North Attleboro, 54 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s defense limited the visiting Bulldogs to single digits in each of the first two quarters and finished strong in the fourth to pick up a win. The Rocketeers had their best offensive quarter to start the game as four players found the scoring column to build a 17-5 lead. North junior George Ladd scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half while Edan Kelley added seven of his 10 points in the first two quarters. Josh Porter, Tommy Whalen, Brody Rosenberg, Jared Vacher, and Ethan Friberg (eight points) all scored in the fourth to help the Rocketeers secure the win. Matt Giglio and Eric Mischler each scored eight points for Canton.

Foxboro, 70 @ Sharon, 50 – FinalFoxboro scored 18 or more points in three quarters on its way to a big win on the road over Sharon. The Warriors exploded for 23 points in the opening eight minutes and responded well when the Eagles closed the deficit to five points early in the third quarter. Foxboro led 34-24 at halftime and extended that advantage to 52-40 after three quarters. Senior Brandon Borde scored all of his team-high 20 points in the first three quarters while senior Ryan Hughes closed the game strong with nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Donald Rogers added 14 points and Kevin Gallagher chipped in with nine for Foxboro. Caleb Gayle paced Sharon with 16 points.

Oliver Ames, 54 @ Franklin, 57 – FinalSenior Chris Edgehill scored a season-high 26 points and the Panthers held off a late rally from Oliver Ames to get the win. Oliver Ames held a 17-11 lead after a quarter of play and took a 24-23 advantage into halftime but Franklin used a big third quarter to take the lead for good. The Panthers poured in 23 points in the third with senior Brayden Sullivan scoring nine of his 11 points in the frame and both Edgehill and Steven Karayan hit from three to give Franklin a 46-37 lead heading into the fourth. OA had a shot to tie it at the buzzer but it was off the mark. Evan Craig scored a team-high 13 points for OA, Owen Friel added 12 points, Jay Spillane chipped in with 11 points, and Ryan Burkett added 10 points for the Tigers.

Mansfield, 71 @ King Philip, 66 – FinalMansfield closed the third quarter on a 12-5 run to turn a deficit into a lead and held on for a close win on the road at KP. The Warriors took a 45-40 lead in the third quarter but the Hornets got three-pointers from Sam Stevens (30 points), Jason See (eight points), and freshman Chris Hill to seize a 52-50 lead after three quarters. Stevens added two more threes in the fourth quarter and TJ Guy scored half of his 12 points in the final frame to help the Hornets close the door. KP senior Robert Jarest scored a career-high 22 points, including 13 in the first quarter. Chris Roy added a career-high 16 points for KP while Alex Fritz finished with 13 points.

Stoughton, 67 @ Milford, 60 – FinalStoughton led at the end of each quarter and five Black Knights scored in the fourth to help secure a key division win on the road. Stoughton led 19-16 after a quarter, took a 33-31 edge into halftime, and held a 49-43 advantage through 24 minutes of action. In the fourth, senior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored six of his team-high 22 points in the fourth, Myles Grigalunas-Powell added three points in the fourth, Tahkwan Gates Brown added half of his eight points in the fourth, Tommy Sanda (eight points) drained a three, and Brett Pendenza scored a basket. Pendenza scored a career-high 15 points to give Stoughton a big boost, including three three-pointers between the second and third quarters. Jordan Darling led Milford with 17 points, Ben Blanchard added 16 points, and Colby Pires finished with 11 points.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 66 @ Taunton, 62 – Final (OT)Meghan Gordon scored a career-high 20 points to power the Bombardiers to an overtime win at Taunton. In a game that went back-and-forth right to the final whistle, Nyah Thomas scored 19 and Liv McCall scored 10 for the visitors. Attleboro shot 7-of-9 from the line in the extra period to pull out the win. Kameron St. Pierre scored a game-high 22 points for the Tigers and Jaelyn Fernandez added 20, but Taunton wasn’t able to make enough plays down the stretch of regulation or OT to pull out the victory.

North Attleboro, 53 @ Canton, 48 – FinalNorth used a big third quarter to grab control of the game heading into the fourth and then held off Canton to pull out a big road win. The Bulldogs led 20-15 at the break, but North won the third quarter 25-12 to take a 40-32 lead into the final eight minutes. Amanda Kaiser was the star for the North offense. Kaiser wasn’t feeling well coming into the game and had only two points at halftime, but she exploded for 19 of her team’s 25 points in the third, burying five threes in a row. She scored 24 of her game-high 26 in the second half. “She was in a zone and we just let her go with it,” said North coach Nikki Correia. “When a shooter gets that hot you just create space for them and give them the green light.” Summer Doherty was clutch at the line in the final quarter, hitting 7-of-7 down the stretch to help North hold on.

Sharon, 24 @ Foxboro, 66 – FinalFoxboro made it three straight wins with another strong defensive performance and four players scoring in double digits. Lizzy Davis paced the offense with 14 points and Katelyn Mollica scored 12. Forwards Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman each scored 10 points in the win.

Franklin, 71 @ Oliver Ames, 41 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

King Philip, 55 @ Mansfield, 59 – FinalNeither team led by more than four points at any point in a game that was back-and-forth throughout. Becca Hottleman knocked down a free throw that put the Hornets up by two with less than a minute to play and then a Mansfield steal turned into a Kayla Vine layup for a four-point edge with 20 seconds to play. Vine led the way for the Hornets with another 20-point night. Ashley Santos added nine and Brooke Berube scored eight. Claire Keswick was the top scorer for KP with 12 points. Faith Roy and Emma Glaser each scored eight for the Warriors. Mansfield led by a single point after one quarter and at halftime, extended it two by the end of the third quarter and then scored 19 points in the fourth to pull out the win.

Milford, 31 @ Stoughton, 57 – FinalStoughton used a balanced attack to pick up a key win over a division foe in visiting Milford. Shyanne Trinh had 14 points, Aliyah Wright added 13 points, and Jess Maddalena finished with 11 points. Kyla Sheedy-Goff was a force defensively with six blocks for the Black Knights.




Boys Swimming
Attleboro, 35 @ Taunton, 59 – Final
Stoughton @ Canton, 7:00
Milford @ Foxboro, 7:00
King Philip @ Franklin, 7:00
North Attleboro, 49 @ Sharon, 74 – Final

Girls Swimming
Attleboro, 53 @ Taunton, 41 – Final Attleboro’s Ella Lynch-Bartek and Brenna O’Connell finished first and second, respectively, in both the 50 free and 100 free to help the Bombardiers pick up a win over Taunton. Lynch-Bartek qualified for sectionals with her time in the 100 free. Faith Morrison added a win in the 500 free and Jackie Lynch-Bartek took first int he 100 breaststroke. Attleboro’s 200 free relay team of Jackie Lynch-Bartek, Ella Lynch-Bartek, Brenna O’Connell, and Rachel Priestley placed first.

Stoughton @ Canton, 7:00

Milford @ Foxboro, 7:00

King Philip @ Franklin, 7:00

North Attleboro, 73 @ Sharon, 85 – Final

Girls Gymnastics
Attleboro @ King Philip, 7:30
Canton @ Taunton, 8:00
North Attleboro @ Mansfield, 7:00

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Burlington, 7:00

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/06/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 50 @ Foxboro, 42 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

King Philip, 80 vs. Plymouth North, 68 – Final – King Philip senior Alex Fritz was nearly unstoppable on Monday night, pouring in a career-high 42 points to lead the Warriors to a win over Plymouth North. Without Fritz in the lineup a couple of weeks ago, the Warriors suffered a loss on the road to Plymouth North but the senior guard made his presence known in the second meeting. He hit three three-pointers and finished with 15 points in the opening quarter as KP built a 20-15 lead. He sank two more triples in the second while Cole Breen and Robbie Jarest also hit from downtown to give the Warriors a 40-30 edge at halftime. Fritz went back to work in the third with 11 more points and Tommy Donahue scored seven of his 13 points in the third as the hosts extended the lead to 64-52. KP hit 12 free throws in the final quarter, going 27-for-42 from the line in the game total, to help ice the win.

Stoughton, 78 @ Fenway, 50 – FinalStoughton senior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored all of his team-high 23 points in the first half as the Black Knights built a big lead and never looked back. After seven points in an opening quarter that featured a pair of threes from Myles Grigalunas-Powell (11 points) and one more from Brett Pendenza, Stoughton held a 24-19 lead. Ugwuakazi scored 16 points in the second quarter, Grigalunas-Powell added five more, and Donte Tyler hit a three as Stoughton’s advantage ballooned to 48-28 by half. Jake Queeney hit a three in the third and Tahkwan Gates Brown scored twice as Stoughton pushed its lead to 60-34 through three quarters. Pendenza, Ahmad Jahed, and KC Ugwuakazi each finished with seven points for Stoughton.

Girls Basketball
Stoughton, 55 @ Milton, 43 – FinalStoughton swept the season series with Milton to earn its third win in a row and fourth in the last five games. Aliyah Wright got things going for the Black Knights on the offensive end with 19 points and Shyanne Trinh added 14. Jess Maddalena gave Stoughton a presence on the glass, pulling down 13 rebounds.

Boys Hockey
Stoughton, 1 vs. Rockland, 4 – Final

Boys Swimming
Canton, 80 @ Dedham, 85 – Final
Sharon, 90 @ Oliver Ames, 66 – Final

Girls Swimming
Canton, 81 @ Dedham, 94 – Final
Sharon, 69 @ Oliver Ames, 96 – Final

Girls Gymnastics
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 7:30

Cross Country: 2019 Hockomock League Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Hockomock Cross Country Preview

Attleboro

2018 Boys Record: 0-5
2018 Girls Record: 2-3
Home Course:
Coach: Martin Tighe

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Attleboro boys and girls cross country squads as they begin the season with a brand new course.

The town converted Highland Country Club into a multi-use facility that includes a 3.1-mile cross country course that will be named after Mark Coogan, an Attleboro native at competed in the 1996 Olympics. Head coach Marty Tighe worked alongside Bishop Feehan coach Bob L’Homme to design the course and the teams will host the first invitational later this month with 22 teams from both Massachusetts and Rhode Island registered. With a new course, the Attleboro boys team looks to compete with the other top teams in the league led by junior Nathan Seybert, who finished in the top 20 (17:12.03) at last year’s league championship. Seybert had a very strong offseason and expects to be among the top runners in the league.

While the depth isn’t the same on the girls’ side, they do have some top runners returning. Kelly Neuendorf had a terrific sophomore campaign, punctuated by a 13th place finish at the league championships, and will be looking to continue that success this season.

Canton

2018 Boys Record: 2-4
2018 Girls Record: 1-5
Home Course: Pequitside Farm
Coach: David Hiltz

The Canton boys cross country team is looking to build on the past two seasons while the girls are hoping to avoid the injury bug this season. The boys’ squad has won a pair of dual meets in back-to-back season and return a majority of their top runners from last year. Sophomore Kyle Downing will lead the way after taking first for the Bulldogs in all of the dual meets last season. Senior captain Alex Maddestra will also be a top option, as both him and Downing clocked in under 18 at the league championships a year ago. Junior Jack Hernon had a big offseason and has impressed so far this preseason while junior Elias Jabbour and senior captain Chris Rota look to round out the top five for Canton.

“I think the boys have the potential to be very successful this season,” said head coach David Hiltz. “We have a healthy mix of talent and depth, along with hosting two of the previous three Davenport Champs on our home course, we have a real opportunity for achievement this fall.”

On the girls’ side, the Bulldogs will have a younger squad but with more depth for the 2019 season. They did lose their top runner to graduation in Chloe Pennacchio but have some strong contributors back and even picked up a new runner that figures to be in the top five mix. Junior Jessie Hart had a strong sophomore campaign and will likely lead the pack while senior captain Kayla Wong is back to full health and will be looking to replicate the success she had two seasons ago. Junior Marie Messinger has switched sports over to cross country this fall and will be one of Canton’s top runners. Beyond the top three, the Bulldogs have space for new names to step into the top group A mix of experienced seniors all the way to freshman will all be competing for the final spots.

“There is a top three that is emerging, but for the first time in a few years, the girls have a good mix of depth…some seniors who are experienced and ready as well as some new, younger freshman who are coming in and looking to compete,” Hiltz said. “If they stay healthy, the girls have the talent to be better than they were a year ago. It’s an exciting place to be at as a team.”

Foxboro

2018 Boys Record: 1-4
2018 Girls Record: 5-0 (Davenport Division Champions)
Home Course: Payson Field Road
Coach: Joe Cusack

Foxboro might have two of the top runners in the league this season, with the girls looking to defend their division title and the boys’ team looking to have a bounce-back season.

On the girls’ side, the Warriors graduated last year’s winner at the Hockomock League Championships in Lexi Quinn but bring back Abby Hassman, a three-time league all star and former league MVP that placed second just behind Quinn. Coming into the season, Hassman will likely set the pace for all runners in the Hockomock League, finishing in the top three at the league championships in each of the three years she has participated. Seniors Jenn Yeomans, Emily Steele, and Isabel Hallal all return from last year’s division-winning squad. Freshman Sophie Sougaris will also be in the mix for the Warriors this season.

Foxboro senior Ryan Proulx returns as the top runner for the boys’ team and could be the fastest returner in the Davenport division this season. Proulx won three races last season and took second overall in Foxboro’s other two races, the top Warrior in all five league dual meets. A lot of hard work has made senior Nate Palter another top option for the Warriors. Foxboro will be looking for other names to step up to round out the top five throughout the season.

Franklin

2018 Boys Record: 5-0 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2018 Girls Record: 4-1
Home Course: Dacey Field
Coaches: Nick Bailey & Paul Trovato

The Franklin boys squad went a perfect 5-0 in league dual meets last season to win the Kelley-Rex division title and the 2019 squad to poised to replicate that success this year. Not only did the Panthers win the dual title, but top three finishers from senior Tyler Brogan and junior Nicholas Calitri also helped Franklin claim first place at the Hockomock League Championships. Brogan has been a top runner in the Hock for the past three years and is off to a good start this season, winning the Tommy Cochary High School Mile in Falmouth in August. Calitri had a great sophomore campaign, finishing third overall at Hocks and will be a top runner again this year. Senior Cam Harrington will give Franklin a strong third option while the Panthers are looking for Joe Zercie, Declan Walmsley, Clancy Golden, Griffin Sieczkiewicz, Matt Zielinski, and Alec Hanley to all be in the mix throughout the season.

“As a team, the 2019 Franklin High Cross Country team is looking to continue to be competitive in a very talented Hockomock League,” said head coach Nick Bailey. “With a number of very talented runners as well as some younger runners looking to make a name for themselves, the Franklin boys have prepared themselves for a very challenging Hockomock league dual meet season.”

The girls’ squad graduated a staggering 22 seniors from last year’s Kelley-Rex division-winning team, so there will be a lot of new faces. Junior Sydney Hawkins is one of the top returning runners for the Panthers, finishing in the top 20 at the Hockomock League championships last year. Senior Sarah Giuliano took 22nd overall last year at the league meet and will give the Panthers a strong top duo alongside Hawkins. Franklin will also rely on junior Sidney Brady, sophomore Caitlin Casey, and sophomore Liliana Duffy

“The team has good leadership and is very supportive and will be competitive in the Hockomock League,” said head coach Paul Trovato.

King Philip

2018 Boys Record: 3-2
2018 Girls Record: 2-3
Home Course: Rice Field
Coaches: Chris Elgar & Lauren Farkash

Senior Mike Griffin returns to defend his Hockomock League Championship win and will have a strong core of runners alongside them as the Warriors look to challenge for the Kelley-Rex title and a top spot at Hocks. Griffin clocked in at 15:54.57 to win Hocks while classmate Michael Norberg took eighth overall, so King Philip has a strong 1-2 punch to lead the way this season. Senior Eric DeLorenzo finished 14th overall and the Warriors are also expecting strong seasons out of seniors Dan Botte, Nate Farkash, and Shea Duffy. Junior Javon Joseph will likely be in the top five mix for KP this season while classmates Andrew Noke and Liam Noke are battling for a spot as well. Sophomores Ryan Andrews, Matt DiFiore, and Brendan Weddleton, along with freshmen Brendon Berdos and Nate Sylven have all had strong showings so far this preseason and will be in the mix as KP pushes for a league title.

“I am very excited with the depth that the squad has this year,” said KP head coach Chris Elgar. “In a league that is so competitive, it will come in handy. As a team we are looking to build on the first squad qualifying for the All State meet from last fall.”

On the girls’ side, the Warriors are looking to replicate the success from a year ago. The Warriors lost three dual meets last season by three, nine, and 11 points so the record of 2-3 was a bit deceiving. KP showed their depth with a terrific performance at the league championships taking second place overall. In that race, sophomore Maya Evans put an exclamation point on a great first year by finishing fourth overall at 19:51. Ava Pisani and Abby Simmons have had strong preseasons and will be apart of the top five for the Warriors throughout the year. Meg Sherwood is looking to continue the success following a strong rookie year and Dayna Aubin will be another strong option for KP this season.

“Our top five looks really strong, so I’m hoping we can have a winning dual meet record with a little bit more experience,” said KP coach Lauren Farkash. “It’s going to be a lot of work but the girls are excited, they are fired up, so we’ll see what we can do. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about the season.”

Mansfield

2018 Boys Record: 5-1
2018 Girls Record: 5-1 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
Home Course: Plymouth Street Soccer Complex
Coaches: Ian Flanagan & Derek Ellis

The Mansfield girls team has a lot of talent back to try and defend its Kelley-Rex division championship, but head coach Derek Ellis knows it’s going to take a lot of hard work throughout the season to fend off the tough competition in the Hockomock League. The Hornets have five of their top seven runners back from the team that won the Hockomock League Championship race last season. Junior Tessa Lancaster, who took third overall at Hocks, will lead the pack this season and will challenge for the top spot in the league this year. She will be joined by senior Jess Alestock, who finished in the top 20 last year alongside captain Brinly Meelia, both who should big pieces of the puzzle for Mansfield this year. Junior Emma Lamson and senior Julia Miller are looking to take the next step after strong seasons a year ago. Ellis also expects junior Annie Riley and sophomore Meghan Johnston to be important contributors this year.

“Cross country championships are not easy to win, you need your top five runners to perform at their highest level in that championship race, you can’t afford to have one person to have an off day,” Ellis said. “I believe the freshman group on this team is going to give this team some much-needed depth. The freshman did their summer training and have looked great in the early workouts. I would not be surprised if they factor into the scoring at the championship meet.”

On the other side, there is a big change for the boys’ squad. For the first time in a long time, it won’t be Julie Collins with a stopwatch in hand leading the Hornets. Ian Flanagan takes over as head coach but expectations are still high for one of the most dominant programs in the Hockomock League. Mansfield had its streak of 14 straight league titles snapped last season when Franklin won the dual meet title so the Hornets are looking to get back on top in 2019. The strength of the team this year will be depth. Senior Mike Mullahy is back after a top-five finish at Hocks a year ago but the Hornets graduated all of their top five runners. Flanagan will be looking to senior Ben Giffen and junior Trevor Flint to step up and be top options this season while juniors Tim Corkery and James Schlenker, along with sophomore Collin Stevens, will be in the mix.

“With it being my first year, I was anxious to see what kind of shape everyone was in coming into the year,” Flanagan said. “So far I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvements made over the summer. Everyone is on the same page, with expectations and goals. Having run in the league not too long ago I know the prestige of Mansfield cross country, and it is great to see these guys want to put Mansfield cross country back on the map.”

Milford

2018 Boys Record: 4-1
2018 Girls Record: 2-3
Home Course: Milford High
Coach: John Vanderkeyl & Glenn O’Connor

Milford had one of its best seasons since joining the Hockomock League on the boys’ side, but the 2019 squad will have a completely different look. The Scarlet Hawks graduated 10 of its top 12 runners so there is plenty opportunity for new runners to step up for head coach John Vanderkeyl. Captain Max Manor, who is coming off a solid spring track season and has been a top option for Milford since his freshman year, will lead the pack this season and will be in contention for a top spot in the league this year. The Hawks are also looking for senior Liam Bennett to have a big year after a strong offseason. Sophomore James Comisky could have a chance to have a big season while seniors Sam Vilt and Gabe Pardo Cota, junior Andres Alvarez (an XC newcomer), and freshman Mark Butters are likely to factor into the Hawks’ top seven this season.

“We are a young team but we have a group of guys that ran all summer to get in shape and are ready to step into the big shoes that we have left to fill,” Vanderkeyl said. “I am hoping that they are all ready to make the jump to help compete for the Davenport Division and stay in the top half of the league. There are so many fresh faces and guys that are really starting to figure it all out and I am excited for the season.”

The Milford girls cross country also graduated a good amount of runners from last year but expectations are still high as the Hawks bring back their top two runners from last year. Senior captains Lexi Marcolini and Sara Comisky, who both finished in the top 25 at Hocks last year, will be leading the pack for Milford this year. Another reason for high expectations is the addition of three runners from Milford’s spring 4×400 team that qualified for the New Balance Nationals. Bella Gonzalez (400M hurdles), Emma Lawrence (400M), and Kerry O’Connor (D3 State Champ at the 300M indoors and D2 State Champ at 200M outdoors) are now members of the cross country team and are looking to give Milford a big boost. Sophomore Stephanie Goulet and freshman Sydney Kalil will also be in the mix this year.

“We’re looking to surprise the Hockomock League in 2019,” said head coach Glenn O’Connor.

North Attleboro

2018 Boys Record: 3-2
2018 Girls Record: 4-1
Home Course: North Attleboro High
Coach: Anne Marie McGrail

North Attleboro will be looking to continue their dual meet season success after both squads had strong campaigns in 2018.

On the boys’ side, the Rocketeers will have to place their top runners in Julian Dixon and Liam Monahan, who were their top runners at the Hockomock League championships last year. Senior Daniel Nobrega and sophomore Christopher Galligan had the best finishes at that meet for returning runners.

Senior Olivia Forbes had a top 20 finish at the league meet last year while Catherine Hanewich clocked in at 21:34 to finish 29th overall, which bodes well for the Rocketeers during the 2019 season.

Oliver Ames

2018 Boys Record: 3-3
2018 Girls Record: 0-6
Home Course: Borderland State Park
Coach: Kyle Sousa

The Oliver Ames girls team has five of its top seven runners back from a year ago, including one of the duos in the Hockomock League. Juniors Catherine O’Donnell and Meghan Reardon will lead the way for the Tigers in 2019, both coming off top 10 finishes at the league championship meet last season. Oliver Ames also has a lot of the depth in the program with senior captain Julia Sarro and juniors Abbey Querzoli and Rachel Davis coming off strong training sessions over the summer.

“There is no question in my mind that this is one of the most committed groups of athletes you will ever find,” said head coach Kyle Sousa on the girls’ team. “These girls have been training all summer long, pushing each other to the limit. This is not just a group of talented runners. It is a team that has already begun making sacrifices for each other. I trust every one of them to come through on race day. They are so strong–physically and mentally. Don’t ever count them out.”

There is a lot of optimism on the boys’ side as well. Despite graduating their top runner in Zane Reservitz, the Tigers bring back the other six of their top seven from last year’s squad that placed 4th in Division 3 and 15th at the All State Meet. Seniors Rory McLaughlin, Owen Nipoti, and David Fiedorczyk will bring a tremendous amount of varsity experience, juniors Kyle Sarney and Nate Reservitz will be a major threat to watch, and sophomore Owen McMorrow is looking to continue the success he had his rookie year.

“It’s relatively rare to see this much experience on your varsity squad,” Sousa said of the boys’ team. “All of these guys have been battle-tested at the highest level of Massachusetts Cross Country. When the gun goes off I know they will never quit on each other. They will fight for every body, every point, every second, every inch of the 5000-meter race. That is all we ask. And that is all we need.”

Sharon

2018 Boys Record: 5-0 (Davenport Division Champions)
2018 Girls Record: 3-2
Home Course: Deb Sampson Park
Coach: Phil Gingras & Alan Conway

Sharon might not have a star runner on its boys’ team this year, but the Eagles are a very deep team and any one of a half dozen runners could take first in a given race. Mark Starovoytov, Bradley Weiss, Sid Reddy, Jordan Saks, Jimmy Kong, and Jacob Dubin have all had good showings this preseason and all six are vying for the Eagles’ top spot. Sophomore Balint Mihajlovits had a strong rookie season and should be in the mix this season. Freshmen Nathaniel Traut and Michael Williams could factor in as well after strong preseason showings.

“If this team continues to push each other as they have over the last couple weeks, they stand to have a shot at a birth at All-States,” said coach Phil Gingras.

On the girls’ side, the Eagles have three top runners returning ready to push for the league title. Sophomore Daphne Theiler had a tremendous freshman year (6th place at Hocks) and will lead the pack again for Sharon this season. Senior captains Eliana Boxerman and Juliana Dudziak will be alongside Theiler leading the Eagles. Gingras noted all three had strong summers and will be critical during the dual meet season. Senior captain Kavya Anbarasu, junior Margaret Li, and senior transfer Dani Williams provide solid depth for Sharon, which could be in store for a memorable season.

“If these girls [Anbarasu, Li, Williams] are able to close the gap on the lead pack they’ll stand a shot to do something special in the postseason,” Gingras said.

Stoughton

2018 Boys Record: 0-5
2018 Girls Record: 0-5
Home Course: Houghton’s Pond
Coach: Dave Barbato & Katrina Daly

First-year head coach Dave Barbato is aiming for improvement throughout the season as the Black Knights look to bounce back from last year. Stoughton has to replace top runner Colin Rahaman but senior Sebastian Malek and sophomore Bobby Currier will be two solid options for Barbato. Malek improved throughout the course of last season and finished at 20:26.91 at the league meet. Currier was one of the top newcomers for Stoughton a year ago, clocking in at 21:23.00 at Hocks.

The Black Knights don’t have as many runners on the girls’ side as some of the other programs in the league but will be looking to give just as much effort. Captain Julia Franey and senior Rebecca Lally will be the leaders of the pack for this group. Lally had the top finish of all returners at least year’s championship meet at 22:19. Sophomore Jess Maddalena will be building off a strong rookie season and freshman Elaine McCarty will certainly be in the mix for the Black Knights this season.

“With some time to train and some trust in the new things they are seeing there should be some improvement by late season,” Barbato said.

Taunton

2018 Boys Record: 1-4
2018 Girls Record: 2-3
Home Course: Taunton High
Coach: Jessica Ouellette & Mike Kelley

The Taunton girls team is hoping the experience gained last season will pay off this year, with nine of their top 10 runners back for 2019. The Tigers finished fifth at the Hockomock League Championships a year ago and are hoping to be in contention to move up the leaderboard this year. Sophomore Nia Mainer-Smith is back the lead the pack for Taunton coming off a 10th place finish at Hocks. Junior Olivia Dias looks to be another top runner for the Tigers; both Dias and Mainer-Smith were apart of the Tigers’ 4×400 team that ran at Nike Outdoor Nationals this past spring. Kailey Melito-Santos, Olivia Weber, Tatyana Mainer-Smith, Lily Valcovic, and Kaicey Melito-Santos all had strong seasons last year as well.

“We’re looking to build off the momentum from 2018, which was the first time we ever beat Oliver Ames or King Philip,” said head coach Mike Kelley. “Nine of our top ten runners from last year return and the league seems fairly wide open. Our big team goals are finishing with a winning record in the dual meet season, finishing in the top three at Hocks, and the top eight at the Eastern Mass Division 1 meet.”

On the boys’ side, the Tigers bring back six of the top seven after graduating just one senior in that group last season. Junior Nolan Tavares had a stellar sophomore campaign and was the top runner for the Tigers at the league championship meet last year, just missing out on a top 10 placement. Tavares will be at the front of the pack alongside classmate Ty Cali and senior captain Colin Quinlan. Sophomore Ryan Strawbridge has looked strong as he makes his return from an injury during track season.

“The team’s resiliency and energy in supporting one another continues to be some of our biggest strengths,” said head coach Jessica Ouellette.