Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/29/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Canton, 84 @ Middleboro, 44 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Foxboro, 52 @ Westwood, 70 – FinalJunior Joe Morrison scored a career-high 16 points but the Warriors fell to Westwood in the first round of the holiday tournament. Senior Mark Clagg added 12 points for Foxboro, who will play Hingham at 5:00 on Friday.

King Philip, 45 vs. Boston Tech, 46 – Final

Milford, 59 vs. Waltham, 46 – FinalMilford senior Zack Tamagni led the Scarlet Hawks with 18 points while classmate Nate Davila added 17 points in the win. Milford wins the second annual Scarlet Hawks Classic.

Oliver Ames, 56 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 74 – FinalOliver Ames was within five at halftime (36-31) but Spellman pulled away in the second half. Jack Spillane led OA with 15 points while Dylan Mahoney added 14 points and Carter Evin chipped in with 13 points.

Girls Basketball
King Philip, 49 vs. Ponaganset 31 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Taunton, 34 @ Durfee, 51 – FinalHannah Moniz had a team-high 20 points for the Tigers, while MacKenzie Handrahan added seven and Jess Regan had six for Taunton.

Stoughton, 55 vs. Notre Dame Academy 49 – FinalVal Whalen led the way for the Black Knights with 17 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Shyanne Trinh scored 17 for Stoughton as well.

Hockey
Franklin, 5 vs. Bishop Guertin 2 – Final

North Attleboro, 6 vs. Barrington, 2 – Final

Wrestling
Phil Tomkiel Holiday Tournament (Franklin), 9:00AM

King Philip Quad (King Philip), 9:00AM

Framingham Holiday Tournament (Milford) – Milford finished in 14th with 59 points at the Framingham Holiday Tournament. Brett Kimball (138) and Ryan Gray (195) each grabbed second place while Stan Demko (220) finished sixth.

Swimming
Boys
Foxboro, 64 @ Hopkinton, 88 – FinalFoxboro won a pair of relays and individual events but fell short to Hopkinton. Kevin Decker came in first in the 100 backstroke while Anthony Quarterone was second and Kristian Anderson touched the wall third. Johnmichael Boucher was first in the 100 breaststroke with James Donoghue coming in second and Andersen taking third. The 200 free relay team of Andersen, Jared Roke, Joshua Sitte and Anirudhha Gubbala finished first while the 400 free relay team of Boucher, Donoghue, Shawn McNamara and Dan Egan came in first.

Girls
Foxboro, 72 @ Hopkinton, 90 – FinalJamie Gorham and Lindsey Nelson each won three events but the Warriors came up short against Hopkinton. Gorham and Nelson, along with Allison Curran and Lexi Nelson came in first in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay. Gorham was also first in the 100 backstroke while Lindsey Nelson won the 100 breaststroke race.

Gymnastics
Canton @ North Attleboro, 6:30

Franklin Edges Canton In Non-League Clash

Franklin hockey
Franklin’s Brendan O’Rielly and Canton’s Jack Goyetch battle for possession. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – Head coaches Chris Spillane and Brian Shuman shared a similar sentiment following Saturday night’s game at the brand new Canton Ice House: more offense.

While the Panthers came away a 2-1 non-league win over the Bulldogs, Spillane has a handful of experienced forwards that were only able to register 15 shots in the game.

For Shuman, his Bulldogs created plenty of scoring chances, putting 23 shots on net but an inexperienced offensive unit was only able to convert once.

The bright side for both teams is that it’s just the first week and both Spillane and Shuman expect their respective teams – and one another’s – to improve in the coming weeks.

“We had it in little bits and spurts but nothing sustained at all,” Spillane said. “That was not one of our better hockey games, from the back end to the front end. I think we had only like 13 shots total which is insane for us. We have most of our returning offensive players back, we should be scoring four goals a game. It just wasn’t offensive game, nor a good defense game.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin scored the game-winning goal less than a minute into the final period. The Panthers started the final period tied 1-1 and on the penalty kill, but junior Brendan O’Rielly powered through into a breakaway, forcing a tripping penalty by Canton.

“We got ourselves in trouble sometimes,” Shuman said. “A little bit too much angst and energy, especially there in the third period. We didn’t know the clock and we had a guy pinch and cause on four on one – just didn’t make smart decisions. I think the guys were just too amped up at times and there were some unfortunate penalties. But overall, we had our chances. We made maybe a few mistakes and they capitalized but we had a boatload of chances and I know their goalie was looking back several times we just couldn’t tap it in.”

After playing four on four for a short time, Franklin went on the power play. O’Rielly had his wrist shot ring off the post but the puck eventually found its way to the blue line. Junior Jack McGrath ripped a shot through traffic and found the back of the net to put the Panthers up 2-1.

“We’ll take that. In games like that, you’ll take any goals you can get,” Spillane said. “That was a nice shot from Jack McGrath. But overall we missed the net a lot. We hit the glass, we were shooting right into players. Their one goal we shot it right into the guy blocking the shot – beautiful job by him but you have to have some hockey awareness and find the lanes.”

It was a back and forth opening period with neither side grabbing the majority of play. Franklin had the pressure early on but couldn’t sustain any attacking zone time. Canton picked up the play in the second half of the period, with Tommy Kilduff forcing a turnover and finding Joe Robinson but Franklin goalie Cam Benham (22 saves) made the kick save.

The Bulldogs kept the pressure up as two minutes later, Bubba McNeice carried possession into the attacking zone but his shot whistled wide. With a power play for the final 1:22 of the period, the Bulldogs nearly cashed in but McNeice’s shot through traffic was pushed aside.

Canton had to overcome an early penalty in the second period but the Bulldogs were able to carry over some momentum from the end of the first. Junior Matt Casamento blocked a Franklin shot at the blue line and raced his way past the defense. He went in alone on goal and potted his wrist shot in with 12:30 to play in the second to put Canton up 1-0.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Matt Casamento was like a ninth defensemen for us last year and we moved him up to forward this year and he’s probably been one of the most pleasant surprises of the preseason and he played a hell of a game in his first varsity action,” Shuman said.

“We need guys like that to step up. We had guys in the top six that got a lot of playing time tonight that didn’t have as many chances as some of the guys that had just a few opportunities. We really have to figure some things out and get the guys in there that earned some more time.”

Canton couldn’t tack onto its lead even with power plays with 7:38 to play and again with 4:48 to go in the second period. The second power play was cut short for a holding call on the Bulldogs.

Franklin nearly tied the game when Colin Oppelt tossed a shot and Joey Blasie had a chance on the rebound but his shot slid just wide. Benham kept Canton from doubling its lead with an impressive kick save on a shot through traffic from Michael Pigeon.

The Panthers cashed in 30 seconds later when Matt Crane unleashed a shot from the blue line and the rebound fell to O’Rielly for the tap in with 1:15 to go in the period.

Canton, on another power play, had a chance in the final seconds but freshman John Hagan saw his shot clank off the crossbar and stay out.

“I thought Canton played very well, they had a good jump in their step and I think they just had the yips, they missed about three or four open nets,” Spillane admitted. “If they convert there, we would have been down. Even on the last shift they had a lot of opportunities. It’s early in the season, I know both teams will get better as the season goes on we just need to make some big steps.”

“It’s just the first game though. Franklin had a lot of guys back, a lot of guys with experience from a state championship team,” Shuman said. “We had a lot of guys in our locker room playing their first varsity game, let alone their first game against Franklin. It was a good game, good hockey game with a lot of chances. We just have to move on and get ready for Westwood.”

Canton (0-1) will try to earn its first win when they play Westwood at the Canton Ice House.

“Two wins is what you want,” Spillane said. “We have a tough stretch coming up with Pope Francis on Thursday, Newburyport on Friday and then we go to Mount – so we have five games against really good teams. So we need to get better fast if we want to compete in those games.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Hockey: 2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Hockey Preview
King Philip and Oliver Ames will be divisional opponents when the two teams tack to the ice this winter after the Tigers were moved from the Davenport. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016-2017 Kelley-Rex Hockey Preview

ATTLEBORO

2015-16 Record: 7-11-2 (1-8-1)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Mark Homer

Attleboro narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last season, losing in its final game against a Div. 3 opponent and this year’s team will be motivated to try and get back in the postseason under new head coach Mark Homer, who made the switch from Oliver Ames where he coached the past three years, and with a new home – moving from Aleixo Arena in Taunton to the new England Sports Village just a couple minutes from the school.

In what has become a common issue for the Bombardiers program, Attleboro will not have
a lot of depth to call on this winter with only 15 skaters and two goalies on the varsity roster, but there is some experience coming back. Senior P.J. Elliott is a talented skater and stick handler who will be counted on to provide the scoring punch along with Jake Parker and Dylan Weallac on the first line.

Sam McKenzie emerged last year as a physical presence and senior captain Eddie Noel will partner him on the top defensive pairing. Sophomore Evan Andrews and freshman Derek Rivet will battle it out for the starting goaltender position for the Bombardiers. There are several other underclassmen who could make immediate impacts, including sophomore forward Cam Littig.

“With the new facility in Attleboro the hopes are that in the coming years, the roster will grow to include increasing depth to the program,” said Homer. “The goal of this years team is to stay healthy, work together as one unit on and off the ice, and get better each day. It’s a new day for Attleboro High School Hockey with a promising future.”

FRANKLIN

2015-16 Record: 18-4-5 (8-0-2)
2015-16 Finish: Won the Div. 1 State Championship
Head Coach: Chris Spillane

After being the first Hockomock League team selected for the prestigious Super 8 tournament in 2014-15 and then graduating 21 players, Franklin was supposed to need a year to rebuild, but the Panthers showed just how strong their program is by bringing home the Div. 1 state championship in a dramatic double overtime thriller against St. Mary’s at the TD Garden. It was the program’s first state title at any level since 1983.

The Panthers graduated another large class of 13 seniors from last year’s champions and lost promising freshman defenseman Kevin Mackay who transferred to Dexter. Still, expectations remain as high as ever for the Panthers, who have won four straight league titles. Much of that excitement comes from the potential in the offensive zone with Franklin returning last year’s title game hero Luke Downie, leading goal scorer Jeremy Miller, and Brendan O’Reilly and the top line of seniors Joey Blasie, Adam Assad, and James Kilroe. Sophomores Matt Holmes and Zach Falvey will add depth to the offense.

Defense is where the Panthers will have some new faces, although seniors Tom Sicchio and Stan Carter will add some experience to the back line. Juniors Jack McGrath and Connor Norton will make the jump up from the JV team to add to the defensive lines and freshman Collin Opet will also see playing time on the defense as well. For the third season in a row, Franklin will have a new No. 1 goalie with senior Cam Benhamand junior Owen Ginley will battle it out for the starting spot.

“For the Panthers to be successful this year it will be a result of a team defense concept,” said Franklin coach Chris Spillane. “The offense will take care of itself, we will be focusing on strong play in our zone.”

KING PHILIP

2015-16 Record: 9-8-4 (5-2-3)
2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South playoffs
Head Coach: Paul Carlow

The Warriors made strides last winter under first-year head coach Paul Carlow, including a regular season tie with Franklin and reaching the postseason for the first time since the program was moved back up to Div. 1. This season, Carlow is hopeful for a return to the postseason and to challenge for KP’s first league title since 2007, despite losing 10 seniors from last year’s roster.

The offensive zone should be strong for the Warriors this season with several key returning players that put up solid totals last winter. Junior forward Collin Cooke is the main weapon after putting up 11 goals and 15 assists for a team-high 26 points to be named a league all-star. He is joined up front by senior Ritchie Lucente, who scored 10 goals and had nine assists last year, and senior Jacob Kelly, who finished with 11 goals and nine assists.

KP will also return a few important pieces on the defensive side of the puck, including junior goalie Shane Frommer, who was 3-1-1 in his five starts last year. Frommer’s start to the hockey season will be slightly delayed after helping the football team win its first Super Bowl title. In front of the Frommer will be senior Jeremy Smith, who chipped in with three goals and four assists last season.

“We had some success last season qualifying for the D1 playoffs,” said Carlow. “We have our work cut out for us this season… We are a young team with only five seniors but I expect us to get back to the playoffs.”

MANSFIELD

2015-16 Record: 5-10-5 (4-4-2)
2015-16 Finish: Missed the playoffs
Head Coach: Mike Balzarini

Last winter was atypical for the Hornets, who missed out on the playoffs and finished fourth in the Kelley-Rex division, but Mansfield is hoping for a quick turnaround under new head coach Mike Balzarini, who makes the move from Milford. The Hornets have a number of returning players, including several from club or other school programs to bolster the depth.

One of the returning players is Joe Olsen, who spent last year with a juniors program but will be a significant addition to the Hornets top attacking line alongside fellow seniors Matt Farragher and Chad Piotti, who both had solid years in 2015-16. Junior Cullen Anastasia is another forward to come back to the program and could step right in to make an impact. Freshman Chris Jenkins is going to be the center on the third line and classmate James Bezeau will also see playing time this year.

On defense, the Hornets will be led by senior Cullen Murphy, a physical presence at the back and one of the leaders on the ice. Juniors Tim Arnold, Ryan O’Hara, and Tyler Oakley will also be important pieces on the top defensive pairings. Freshman Joseph Troiano will also be on the defense after he decided against attending Xaverian this year. The defense will be protecting senior goalies Brendan McKenna and Tony Rullo, who will each see time.

“We’re a lot deeper,” said Balzarini, who said that the Hornets would be carrying four lines and four sets of defensemen and is excited about the potential on the team. “It’s been good having two weeks to prepare. They have to get used to our new system and adhering to the structures that we’re putting in place.”

Oliver Ames

2015-16 Record: 10-10-1
2015-16 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Head Coach: Sean Bertoni

Oliver Ames will be looking to keep its postseason streak alive under new head coach Sean Bertoni – a former standout goalie for Franklin.

If the Tigers want to get back to the state tournament, they’ll need some help from their younger players; Oliver Ames has eight sophomores and four freshman on its roster this year. OA does have seven seniors and a group of experienced juniors that can help lead the way.

Owen Gallagher (26 points), who led the team in scoring a year ago, is back along with Eric LeBlanc (18 points), Cullen Gallagher (13 points) and Max Ward (12 points). Junior Rory Madden also returns this season after a year away; Madden registered 14 points his freshman year. Defensively, seniors Jack Maloney and Jared Costello bring a lot of experience to the blue line. Zach Walsh will be back between the pipes after a strong junior season.

“The goals of the team are to progress from Day one to the end of the year,” Bertoni said. “We have to use our team speed and forecheck extremely hard. We will be a disciplined, hard working aggressive team.”

TAUNTON

2015-16 Record: 13-10-0 (3-7-0)
2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 2 South playoffs
Head Coach: Kris Metea

The Tigers got to experience what the state tournament is like last season for the first time since 2006-07 and only the second time in the past two decades. Taunton had the fourth most wins in a season in the 44-year history of the program and scored a remarkable 106 goals last season, which was the best in the Hock.

This year, Taunton will try to build on its historic season and make a quick return to the postseason. Leading scorer Tyler Pietrzyk has graduated but there is plenty of firepower returning for the Tigers this season, including senior forward Zack Albert who is coming off a 30-point campaign. He will be joined up from by classmate Jordan Hoey, who had 17 points last season and senior Cam Carnes, who had 10 points. Sophomore Cam Sneyd could be poised for a breakout year for the Tigers.

Defensively, Taunton can lean on three-time league all-star Nick Terry, who will man the top defensive pairing. Mike Volkmann may be listed as a defenseman on the roster but he can get forward into the attack with 29 points a season ago. Junior Cam Welby will be a new addition to the defense after playing juniors all of last season. Senior Justin Chappell returns in net.

“This year’s group of seniors are first class kids,” said head coach Kris Metea. “They exemplify leadership across the board…They had a chance to taste the tournament last year, and are focused on acquiring more than just a taste this time around.”

Football: 2016 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

Attleboro

2015 Record: 7-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Cam Furtado, Jr., QB/DB; Tyler McGovern, Sr., QB; Andrew Gingras, Sr., OL/DL; Sam Corrado, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
Attleboro has developed as a program under head coach Mike Strachan and continues to be one of the teams contend with for the Kelley-Rex title even with a number of new faces on the roster heading into this fall. Even with the loss of standout lineman Kyle Murphy, the Bombardiers will have size on both sides of the ball and use that to control the line of scrimmage.

Offensively, senior quarterback Tyler McGovern returns after an injury knocked him out of the starting lineup midway through last season. He gives Attleboro the chance to look downfield, while junior Cam Furtado stepped in at QB last year and proved to be a dynamic athlete who opened up defenses with his legs.

The offense will flow behind senior lineman Andrew Gingras. At 6’5 and 285 pounds, Gingras will be counted on to open holes for senior running back Sam Corrado and also provide a stout run stopper on defense. Corrado will also provide help at linebacker and on special teams.

“The 2016 Bombardiers are a young team with many players that will be competing for time both offensively and defensively,” said Strachan, who is confident that despite the youth on the roster that Attleboro will be a team to watch this fall.

Franklin

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Eian Bain

Key/Returning Players:
Jacob Wolowacki, Sr., RB; Packie Watson, Sr., WR/DB; Joey Blasie, Sr., WR/DB; John Fenton, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Noviello, Jr., QB; Jake Lyons, Sr., RB/DB; Brad Jarosz, Sr., FB/DL; Nick Gordon, So., QB/DB; Khyler Colella, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
There is a lot of energy in the Franklin camp over the past couple of weeks, as new head coach Eian Bain takes over from longtime coach Brad Sidwell and looks to give the Panthers a boost after three straight one-win seasons in the Kelley-Rex division. Bain said that he expects there to be a “different vibe” from the team this season.

The Panthers have a lot of experience coming back this season starting in the backfield with quarterbacks Jake Noviello (junior) and Alex Cregg (senior), who both saw action last season. Whoever is starting will have a host of experienced receivers to look for with Eddie Scannapieco, Packie Watson, and Joey Blasie on the outside and 6’5 Connor Peterson at tight end. The bulk of the offense will run through senior tailback Jacob Wolowacki, who emerged last year as a go-to back with three touchdown runs.

Defensively, Franklin has a lot of talent returning in the back seven led by senior safety Jake Lyons, who will also help out as a running back on offense. The secondary also includes Kyle McInery and Nick Gordon with Justin O’Callahan, Bruce Johnson and Khyler Colella manning the linebacker positions. Brad Jarosz will add size to the defensive end position.

Bain said, “It has been an uptempo, high energy camp in Franklin. Players have answered the bell every step of the way to learn both new offensive and defensive systems. While still a work in progress, the team is making strides every day.”

King Philip

2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players:
John DeLuca, Sr., QB; Sean Garrity, Sr., RB/DB; Brett Mazur, Sr., TE/LB; Alex Olsen, Sr., FB/LB; Giovanni Fernandez, Sr., RB/LB; Daniel Loewen, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Sullivan, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Macrina, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Mello, Sr., WR/DB

Outlook:
King Philip got off to a rough start last season, but managed to turn things around with a dramatic victory at Mansfield and won three out of four to get back into the postseason. The Warriors could be inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball in 2015, but with experienced skill position players coming back KP could be ready to challenge for the league title.

It begins in the backfield with senior quarterback John DeLuca, who is ready for his third year as the starter and is one of the toughest signal callers in the league. This season, DeLuca will have a number of weapons to help put points on the board. Senior running back Sean Garrity will add speed to the edge for the Warriors, while his classmate Giovanni Fernandez is a power back to add another dimension inside the red zone. Senior Michael Mello returns to add experience to the receiving corps.

The strength of the Warriors under head coach Brian Lee has been defense and line play and this season should be no different. Seniors Paul Macrina, Michael Sullivan, and Daniel Loewen will be major factors on both sides of the ball. Senior Alex Olsen has the potential to be the defensive MVP this year taking over the role of graduated linebacker Cory Lombardo. Fernandez and fellow senior Brett Mazur will add strength to the linebacker position as well.

Mansfield

2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Michael Redding

Key/Returning Players:
Hunter Ferreira, Jr., WR/DB; Ben Budwey, Sr., WR; Brian Lynch, Sr., RB; Nick Graham, Sr., RB/DB; Anthony DeGirolamo, Sr., QB; AJ Gibbs, Sr., OL/DL; Colin Gibbons, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Sjoberg, Sr., LB; Andrew Ducharme, Sr., OL/DL; Nick Krouskos, Sr., RB/LB; Diogo DeSousa, Sr., K

Outlook:
Mansfield’s defense held teams to 15 or fewer points in all but two games last year. Only St. John’s Prep and Marshfield (two teams ranked in the top five in the state when they faced the Hornets) were able to get any rhythm going offensively against the Hornets. Despite strength on that side of the ball, Mansfield struggled to find consistency on offense and ended up one point short of a share of the Kelley-Rex division title.

This season, the Hornets offense could be a huge strength with a number of playmakers returning. Senior quarterback Anthony DeGirolamo will be the starter for the second season in a row and will have a strong backfield around him with senior Brian Lynch as the power back and Nick Graham giving Mansfield speed to the edges. DeGirolamo will be able to aim for junior Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the top receivers in the league, and senior Ben Budwey.

On defense, the front seven will once again be a strong feature for the Hornets. A.J. Gibbs, Colin Gibbons, and Andrew Ducharme add size and strength on both sides of the ball, while senior linebacker Travis Sjoberg is a leader with the potential for hitting triple digits in tackles this fall. Senior placekicker Diogo DeSousa is a weapon in special teams after being recognized at kicking camps over the summer.

“We are a senior team (30 seniors),” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding, “but we have some very talented juniors and sophomores that will help us win this year and give us some great depth”

Oliver Ames

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Holland

Key/Returning Players:
Liston Funai, Sr., RB; Jack Mills, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Campbell, Sr., QB/LB; Kyle Gagliardi, Sr., QB/DB; Leandro Moro, Sr., TE/LB; Jay Fruci, Jr., LB; Noah Fitzgerald, Jr., DB; Michael Mulrean, Jr., DB

Outlook:
Oliver Ames head coach Mike Holland is entering his second season in charge of the Tigers and will also be managing the program’s first fall in the Kelley-Rex division. In the last three games of 2015, OA beat Norwell and North Quincy and battled Sharon in a three-point loss on Thanksgiving Day, building momentum heading into this season.

The Tigers are excited about the potential of the offense with two quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet or their arms. Kyle Gagliardi and Travis Campbell are in the mix to be the starter and Holland expressed confidence in both of his seniors. OA also has a strong running game with senior Liston Funai leading the way for a group of backs that provide the Tigers with toughness and the ability to find open space.

OA has a lot of experience returning on the defensive side of the ball. Jack Mills will be a force on both the offensive and defensive line, while Jay Fruci and Leandro Moro will provide a spark from the linebacker spot. The secondary has also been boosted by Noah Fitzgerald and Michael Mulrean. “[We] have an excellent group of seniors and younger guys,” said Holland. “Kids are working hard and putting in strong efforts in all phases.”

Taunton

2015 Record: 1-10
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players:
Adam Mclaughlin, Sr., WR/DB; Andrew Welington, Sr., TE/LB; Collin Hunter, Jr., QB; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Norberto, Sr., OL/DL; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Corrao, Jr., OL/DL; Zakim Harrow, Sr., OL/DL; Sylvester English, Sr., OL/DL; Mike Fernandez, Sr., TE/LB; Brevan Walker, Sr., RB/DB

Outlook:
The Tigers have a new coaching staff this fall, but it will be one that is very familiar to fans of the Hockomock League. Brad Sidwell moved to Taunton after 20 years in charge of the Franklin program. Sidwell comes into his new position with plenty of experience in the league and an experienced roster that has 14 returning starters, but the Tigers enter 2016 without a Kelley-Rex win since 2012.

There is optimism in the camp this preseason because of the large number of returning players and because of the size that Taunton boasts on the front line. Senior Zakim Harrow checks in at 6’2 and 335 pounds, his classmate Sylvester English is 6’1 and 290 pounds and junior Paul Carrao is 6’3 and 270 pounds. Those players will open holes on both sides of the ball and create space for playmakers such as senior linebacker Mike Fernandez and senior running back Brevan Walker.

There is a battle for the quarterback position this season. Junior Collin Hunter threw 11 touchdown passes last fall but sophomore Noah Leonard has impressed in camp and could snag the starting spot for Friday night’s opener at New Bedford. Whoever is under center will have a couple of strong targets to aim for with senior receivers Adam McLaughlin and Sam Krajewski and senior tight end Andrew Wellington all back.

“We’re just looking for improvement everyday,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully with a little confidence we can get off to a good start.”

Franklin Wins First D1 State Championship in 2OT

Franklin hockey
Franklin hockey celebrates its first ever D1 State Championship. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
BOSTON, Mass. – A Cinderella run from the Franklin Panthers ended with a true storybook ending.
Sophomore Luke Downie, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday, scored on a wrist shot six minutes into the second overtime to give Franklin a 4-3 win over St. Mary’s Lynn and the program its first MIAA Division 1 State Championship.
Senior Tyler Oakes connected on a pass from his own zone to senior and Jake Downie (Luke’s cousin) along the boards in the neutral, who then dropped the puck back to Luke after crossing the blue line. Luke fired a wrist shot that deflected off the the leg of a St. Mary’s defenseman and found it’s way over the goalie’s pad short side for the game winner.
“This is awesome,” Luke Downie said postgame. “This is the best birthday present you could ask for.”
Franklin – who had been shutout three straight years in the D2 State Final from 2011-2013 —got off to an ideal start with a pair of first period goals and took that same lead into the final period. But two goals in the first five minutes of the final period from St. Mary’s knotted the game 3-3.
The final 10 minutes remained scoreless, sending the game into a sudden death overtime period. Neither team could find the back of the net in that period either, sending the teams to the locker room for the ice to be cleaned for a second overtime period.
With exactly nine minutes to go in the second overtime period, Downie scored the game winner.
“I think that the problem was we were playing in the wrong division the other times,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane joked. Franklin moved up to Division 1 at the start of the 2013 season. “This has just been one of those Cinderella years. To follow up last year with a new crop of kids and have them commit to something from day one, and to see them enjoy this success, that’s what high school sports are all about.”
Senior captain and defenseman Joe Corsi scored just his third goal of the season to give Franklin the lead midway through the first period. Sophomore Brendan O’Rielly relayed a perfect outlet pass to senior Sean Hedvig in alone on goal but St. Mary’s goalie Andrew LoRusso got a pad to it.
The puck bounced around and as a St. Mary’s defenseman tried to chip it out, Corsi had pinched in and jumped off the ice to grab the puck, put it on the ice and fired it into the back of the net with 8:26 left in the first period.
“They tried to chip it out and I caught it and just put it down,” Corsi said. “Coach always tells me to roll my wrist and I had to roll it on that one. It was just surreal. I haven’t scored a goal like that before.
“This a dream come true. No one believed we could do this at the beginning of the year, except us, all the guys in the locker room. Each in every day we grinding it out, it’s just a dream.”
Just three minutes later, Franklin doubled its lead. Senior Matt Pleshaw fired a wrist shot from inside the blue line that was blocked down. Before LoRusso could smother the puck, junior Joey Blasie poked it in to make it 2-0 with 5:14 left in the period.

Video courtesy of Gavin Mealey

The Spartans cut the deficit in half just 11 seconds into the second period when Eric Pedro knocked in rebound of shot by Dante Maribito.
But Franklin had an answer just minutes later as Alec Gilliatt found sophomore Jeremy Miller behind the net. Miller skated around and found a perfect passing lane between the post and a defenseman to feed freshman Kevin Mackay. Mackay took a step in and sniped one top shelf to make it 3-1 with just over 12 minutes to play in the second period.
Franklin took a 3-1 lead into the final period but once again St. Mary’s found early period success. Less than a minute in, Conor Foley batted in rebound for powerplay goal to make it 3-2. Just three minutes later, Maribito found the back of the net for his third point of the net to tie the game 3-3.
“Huge momentum swings,” Spillane said. “They started to carry the play and their offensive kids started to open up the ice. Nick did a great job making the saves he needed to make. We talked about team defense, keeping them high on the forecheck and the defensive guys winning the battles and chipping the puck out.
“That was a great hockey team we played tonight, it was back and forth and both teams had chances to win. I’m proud of my kids, they responded.”
The Panthers nearly had the winner at the end of the third period but LoRusso went post to post to deny Jake Downie with 1:11 to go.
Neither side produced a clear scoring chance in the 12 minute overtime period but Franklin goalie Nick Jasinski came up with a huge kick save off a redirection in the opening minutes of the second overtime. Just two minutes later, the Panthers had the game winner.
Like it has been all season, the Panthers got contributions from all three lines — and four different goal scorers.
“Four different goal scorers and that’s kind of been the key to our success,” Spillane said. “You can’t really one focus on that one player. I said in the locker room after overtime, someone in this room is going to be a hero. Who wants to be that hero tonight? Luke’s been playing great hockey for us, midseason he just turned it on. As a sophomore it’s great to see him be that hero. Also, Kevin Mackay scored his first high school goal tonight. That’s quite a team to score your first goal of the year. That’s the type of team we are. There are no one or two superstars, it’s 22 kids out there having the same belief, working hard and just grinding it out.”
“To win championships, you have to have depth and that’s what we have,” Corsi added. “Everyone believed and look at where we are now.”
The Panthers were somewhat of an unknown coming into season after graduating 21 seniors from a squad that made a historic run to the Super 8 last season. Now this year’s team has created its own place in history.
“I think it gives us a little validity as a program that we can do that, anytime you graduate that many seniors it’s a challenge,” Spillane said. “It just tells us what our junior varsity and youth programs are like. We have a lot of kids that want to wear that jersey and they’re going to wait around until they get that opportunity. We have 13 seniors this year and very few of them skated last year, if any. They waited four years to put that jersey on and they made the most of it.
“It feels good but it’s not about the coaching staff. Yeah we’re excited but it’s about seeing the faces on these kids in that locker room, how excited they are and how committed they were to win the hockey game. I know a lot of people said it’s a rebuilding year but I guess they thought different.”
Franklin hockey finished the season with an 18-4-5 record.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/08/16

Today’s playoff games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
D1 South Semifinal
#4 Mansfield, 60 vs. #1 Catholic Memorial, 78 – Final – Nick Baskin led Mansfield with 15 points, Max Boen added 13 points and four rebounds, Christian Weber had nine points and Tyler Boulter chipped in with nine points.
Girls Basketball
D2 South Semifinal
#2 Oliver Ames, 56 vs. #3 Falmouth, 40 – Final – Francesca Calabraro scored a team-high 16 points, including 10 in the third quarter, to lead the Tigers to the Div. 2 South final. Kayla Raymond added 12 points and nine boards. Sam Bamford had eight points for OA and Kaitlyn McCarthy and Hannah Carroll each had seven. OA will face Hingham in the Div. 2 South final on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Durfee High.
Hockey
D1 South Semifinal
#4 Franklin, 3 vs. #8 Newton North, 0 – Final – Junior Joey Blasie scored a pair of goals and sophomore Luke Downie had an assist and an empty net goal to lead the Panthers. Franklin will play the winner of Marshfield and Natick on Sunday in the Div. 1 South final at Gallo Arena at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/20/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Hockey
King Philip, 7 @ Attleboro, 6 – FinalJacob Kelly had a hat trick for the Warriors in the victory. Sam Larkin scored a goal and had two assists for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 0 @ Medway, 2 – Final – Justin Slocum made 25 saves in net for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 2 @ Milford, 1 – Final

North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin senior Jake Downie scored a pair of goals in the first period while Joey Blaise added another in the first and Adam Assad scored once in the third period. Zach McGowan scored North Attleboro’s lone goal and freshman goalie Ryan Warren had 37 saves. 
Mansfield, 6 @ Taunton, 2 – Final
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Freshmen Brett Williams and Max Ward each scored a pair of goals for the Tigers. 
Wrestling
Canton, 33 @ Sharon, 48 – Final

Stoughton, 22 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final

Franklin, 21 @ North Attleboro, 42 – FinalNorth jumped out to a 30-0 lead. Nick Gould (145), Jordan Tillinghast (160), Jack Donohue (170), and Nick Morrison (182) each had pins for the Rocketeers. Evan Herandez (195) and Jordan Carlucci (106) had pins for Franklin, which cut the lead to 36-18 with three matches left. Devin Spratt (120) clinched the win for North and Anthony Biaungo (132) finished the match for the hosts with an overtime win. North clinches a share of the league title.
King Philip, 48 @ Taunton, 31 – Final – Taunton got wins from Josh Grasso (126), Justin Bradley (132), Alex Rodriguez (138), Nuno Camara (182), Elijah Simmons (195) and Santiago Lopez (220).

Mansfield, 48 @ Middleboro, 24 – Final

Milford, 26 @ Oliver Ames, 42 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Shea O’Connor (145) got a pin for his 100th career win.
Swimming
Boys
King Philip, 59 @ Taunton, 33 – Final
Girls
King Philip, 51 @ Taunton, 43 – Final
Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 0 – Final
Franklin, 4 vs. Medway/Ashland, 2 – FinalCassi Ronan scored a pair of unassisted goals to break a 2-2 tie for the Panthers. Elizabeth Quinn (assisted by Maddie Hinckley) and Jackie Connelly (from Marlee Paterson) had the other Franklin goals.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Cohasset/Hanover, 3 – Final – Cat Luciano scored a pair of goals and Lilly Feeney and Emily Ierardo each scored once for the Warriors. 

Remmes, KP Hang On To Earn A Point at Franklin

Evan Remmes
Evan Remmes made 36 saves to help King Philip snag a point at Franklin on Sunday night. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

FRANKLIN, Mass. – The Panthers have been on a roll in Hockomock League play. Franklin came into Sunday night’s game with King Philip at Pirelli Veterans Memorial Rink having won 14 straight games in the league, including a perfect 10-0 last year and the first three games of this season’s league schedule.

But as the clock was winding down in the third period, the Warriors looked poised to end that remarkable win streak. With 6:23 left to play, Joey Blasie pounced on a rebound to knock the puck home and finish one of Franklin’s numerous scoring opportunities. The goal canceled out Sam Ross’ first period goal and sent both teams home with a point.

“Evan kept us in it; kept us with the lead,” said KP coach Paul Carlow. “This is probably one of the best public school programs in the state year in, year out, so anytime that you can get a point against them you’ll take it.”

Franklin coach Chris Spillane was blunt in his assessment of the game. He explained, “Our boys learned real quick that you don’t win games just by showing up. King Philip showed up and worked their a—s off and we didn’t.”

The Panthers came out sluggish in the first period. Passing was erratic, the skating was slow, and the hosts struggled at times to control the puck. KP took advantage.

Jeremy Smith sent the first warning shot with a blast from the point that rang the post off a face-off win by Nick Connor. Two minutes later, Matt Smith slid a pass across the crease to a wide open Jacob Kelly but the junior forward’s shot from point-blank range was chipped over the bar.

With 8:05 left in the period, KP made the Panthers pay for the slow start. As Blasie raced from the box back into play, Ross found himself with the puck on his stick on the right side of goal and flicked his shot on net. The puck slipped through a screen and under Nick Jasinski’s pads for the opening goal; the first of the season for the senior.

“No bigger time than to get one against Franklin, right?” asked Carlow. He added, “I think when you get power plays, you have to take advantage. We’ve been working on it and the boys got one.”

Franklin had its chances as well. Remmes made 36 saves on the night and he was increasingly put under pressure as the game wore on. He made a quick reaction kick save to rob Thomas Sicchio in the first and then somehow managed to get a piece of a Jake Downie shot from the edge of the crease; sitting on the puck and keeping it out.

In the third period, just a minute before Franklin tied it, Remmes kept KP in front by getting a toe on a chance for Jeremy Miller who was left all alone by a great pass across the front of goal by Adam Assad.

“He played outstanding,” said Carlow. “You get that out of seniors in a big game. He played well against Canton and he played well tonight.”

In addition to the play of the KP goaltender, Franklin also missed a series of good chances. Brendan O’Rielly had a chance on an open net after Remmes stopped Tyler Oakes’s shot from the point in the first but smashed his shot off the bar. Luke Downie had a similar opportunity in the second on a rebound, again from an Oakes shot, but his effort bounced away off the far post.

“We had plenty of chances to score goals and guys don’t bear down to finish the easy goals and it’s frustrating to watch,” said Spillane. “We missed a lot of open nets, a lot of rebounds, a lot of shots were right at the goaltender when we had open ice.”

The Panthers outshot KP 16-4 in the second period, but the Warriors still created chances. Matt Smith skated in alone but his shot missed the net at the short side. As the period wound down, he had another good opportunity, this time from the right circle, and again went for Jasinski’s blocker side but again it went wide. In the opening 30 seconds of the third, Smith set up Ross in the slot but Jasinski (16 saves) was positioned well to clock the shot.

The pressure would eventually tell for the Panthers. Luke Downie collected the puck behind Remmes and tried to skate in front and score but the goalie kicked it away. Unfortunately for KP, the rebound went straight to Blasie and finally Franklin had someone finish.

Spillane said, “I give them a little credit that they worked hard to grab a point and we battled, but these are games that they have to come out and play 45 minutes. If they don’t play 45 minutes then this is the result against any team in our league.

With 3:20 left, Franklin nearly won the game when O’Reilly’s shot slipped past Remmes and sat right on the line. Cory Lombardo saved his goalie and his team by clearing the puck away. Franklin’s momentum was stymied as twice in the final 5:30 the Panthers were forced to go on the penalty kill.

“They were just unnecessary penalties that put you on the kill and then you’re wasting guys legs as the clock is ticking down,” Spillane said.

The Warriors scored five unanswered goals in the third period on Wednesday to come from behind and beat Taunton. Carlow believes that energy and confidence carried over and helped the Warriors grab a point at Franklin.

“I think that third period against Taunton coming back from a four-goal deficit, a period like that can turn your season,” said Carlow. “I think the guys came out tonight and played off that and gave us three good periods.”

Spillane was clearly disappointed with his team’s performance. After so much success in recent seasons, this may be a wake-up call for an atypically inexperienced roster. When Spillane was asked about it, he chuckled.

“Tomorrow morning they have a wake up call at 7 a.m., I can tell you that,” he said. “We will have a good skate.”

On Wednesday, Franklin (5-3-2, 3-0-1) will play host to divisional rival North Attleboro in a huge game in the Kelley-Rex standings. King Philip (5-4-1, 3-1-1) will travel to Aleixo Arena to face Attleboro.

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

Sunday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/17/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
North Attleboro, 62 vs. Falmouth, 57 – Final – Chad Peterson was the top scorer for the Rocketeers with 14 points. Brent Doherty and Jonny Friberg each chipped in with 10 points apiece while Thomas Reynolds and Ridge Olsen each had seven. 
Hockey
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalThe Warriors took the lead with 8:05 left in the first period on a goal by Sam Ross (assisted by Cory Lombardo and Kyle McCarthy). Franklin tied the game with 6:23 left when Joey Blasie was first to a rebound of a shot by Luke Downie. Evan Remmes made 36 saves for the Warriors, while Nick Jasinski made 16 for Franklin.
Swimming
Foxboro @ King Philip, 3:00