Foxboro Stuns Stoughton With Last Minute Surge

Foxboro boys basketball Alex Penders
Foxboro junior Alex Penders goes up for a shot inside a sea of Stoughton defenders in the first half on Wednesday. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 STOUGHTON, Mass. — For the majority of the season, the Foxboro boys basketball team has leaned heavily on the offensive contributions of its top three scorers Dylan Gordon, Alex Penders, and Sam Golub.

With their division title hopes on the line, and a chance to inch closer to a playoff berth, the Warriors got a huge boost from two additional faces.

Senior Cam Barreira hit five three-pointers in the first three quarters, netting a career-high 15 points that helped keep the Warriors in the game.

And then junior Ryan LeClair scored Foxboro’s final nine points, including the go-ahead basket with 20 seconds to go to help the Warriors secure a 67-66 win on the road over Stoughton.

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“This team has matured so much from the beginning of the season,” said Foxboro coach Jon Gibbs. “We’ve had some really gritty wins the last couple of weeks when we’ve been down but hung in there and shown a lot of resiliency. We’ve been about to make some adjustments and close out the game strong. I’m just so proud of them for them to hang in there and keep their composure and make big plays on both ends down the stretch.”

Stoughton led for over 30 minutes of action, stretching the lead to as much as 14 in the first half but also had a 12-point advantage early in the fourth quarter.

But each time it looked like Stoughton was set to stretch it to an insurmountable lead, Foxboro fought back.

The Black Knights’ once 14-point lead shrunk to five by halftime. In the third quarter, Stoughton used an 11-1 run to turn a one-point lead into a double-digit advantage.

Stoughton kept the Warriors in check to start the fourth too, getting a pull-up jumper from Connor Andrews (14 points, four rebounds) to push the lead to 58-46 with just under seven minutes to play.

Foxboro boys basketball

Foxboro’s run started just before the midway point of the quarter, fittingly with a bucket from LeClair, who scored 11 of his career-high 16 points in the fourth. Penders (14 points, eight rebounds) sank a pair of free throws, and despite a contested deep three from Andrews, Foxboro continued to find success as Barreira found Penders for two.

Sam Golub (nine rebounds) came up with a steal and a layup and Penders took a feed from Gordon (16 points, 12 rebounds) and finished with three minutes left to make it a two-possession game. After another, LeClair drained a three to cut the deficit to 64-61 with 2:46 to go.

Stoughton was off the mark on a baseline take after a nice play set up the backdoor cut and LeClair got around his man and dropped in a floater in the lane. After another stop, LeClair went to the line and hit both free throws to give Foxboro its first lead, 65-64, with 1:56 to go.

Foxboro boys basketball

Junior Rayan Sablon, who had a career-high 30 points, went up and under and finished a tough take to send Stoughton back in front with 1:31 to go. The teams traded misses and turnovers — Foxboro missed twice while Stoughton turned it over twice.

After the second turnover, LeClair found space attacking the basket again and laid it in for a 67-66 lead with 12 seconds to go.

“Ryan was tremendous, especially down the stretch,” Gibbs said. “Because of the way they were trying to guard us and take away Dylan and Alex, we were trying to take advantage of that. So we put the ball in his hands and we basically put the game in his hands and he responded in a big way. He was able to get in the paint and he made great decisions and finished plays. He made some tough shots and made some great passes and I thought he was flawless in his decision-making.

“He makes a ton of contributions on the defensive end and as the point guard, as the floor general. It’s been brewing for a while to get his offense going and you saw tonight it all come out and saw what he’s capable of.”

With just three team fouls, Foxboro fouled twice — first with 5.9 seconds left and then second with 2.4 seconds left. It worked as Stoughton had to settle for an off-balance three at the buzzer that was short.

“We only had three team fouls and they had two guards that are phenomenal,” Gibbs said. “Sablon and Andrews are unbelievable offensive talents and they both had it going tonight, they were making tough shots all night. We wanted to keep them out of the lane but it’s easier said than done. We thought if we could foul a few times to break up their rhythm and shorten the clock, that maybe that would prevent them from getting downhill and it ended up working out pretty well.”

While it was LeClair’s big plays that completed the comeback for Foxboro, the Warriors likely wouldn’t have been in a position to make a late charge without Barreira’s big shots through the first three quarters.

After a make in the first quarter, Barreira added two more three-pointers in the second. With Stoughton holding a double-digit lead, Foxboro had managed just three points through the first five minutes of the second quarter. Barreira sparked a 12-6 run to close the quarter with a three and hit another a minute and a half later.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the third, Barreira hit two more in the first three minutes of the quarter, helping the Warriors stay close despite an early three from Andrews, two more from Sablon, and a putback from Cash Mathurin (nine rebounds).

“Cam shot the extremely well for us and he was due for a game like this,” Gibbs said. “He’s a really good shooter, he buries shots every day in practice and everyone on our team has faith in him to shoot those shots. He was on fire tonight, and there were stretches we had that we struggled to score and his three’s kept us in striking distance.”

Foxboro boys basketball (7-8 Hockomock, 8-8 overall) closes out its league schedule on Friday with a visit to Canton. The Warriors would need to win that game, and also get a win from Stoughton (6-9, 7-9), who is hosting Sharon on the same night.

Foxboro Outlasts North Attleboro In Overtime Battle

Foxboro boys basketball Alex Penders
Foxboro junior Alex Penders goes up for a layup in the first half against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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 FOXBORO, Mass. – There’s never a dull night in the Davenport division.

Even on a Monday, in a rescheduled game inside a gym with capacity limitations, division rivals Foxboro and North Attleboro battled back and forth before the Warriors emerged with a 62-55 overtime win.

It looked like Foxboro was on the verge of the win at the end of regulation, holding a four-point lead with 23.6 seconds to go. But as we’ve seen earlier this season and in years prior, nothing is decided until the final buzzer.

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North Attleboro came flying down the court to cut the deficit in half with 18 seconds to go and then forced a jump ball off the inbounds with 9.9 seconds to go. The Warriors kept possession but a heave down court on the ensuing inbounds was picked off by North senior Gavin Wells.

Wells got the ball to classmate Brody Rosenberg, who got past his defender, split another two Warriors, went up and under the rim, and finished just before the buzzer to send the game to overtime, 51-51.

Foxboro boys basketball

The back-and-forth slugfest that started in the fourth quarter continued to start overtime as junior Alex Penders (16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks) finished down low off a feed from senior Dylan Gordon (16 points, 11 rebounds), but North quickly answered on a drive from senior Casey Poirier, who tied a career-high 22 points along with 10 boards.

Gordon took it to the rim to get the Warriors back ahead while North’s layup bid was just off the mark. Andrew Finn (9 points, 9 rebounds) increased the lead to three with a free throw, and again, the Rocketeers’ two chances from down low rolled off the rim and out. North got a stop but a contested layup bounced out.

Junior guard Sam Golub sank his fourth triple down the other end and Foxboro’s advantage jumped to six, 59-53, with a minute to go in overtime. Golub finished with a career-high 16 points.

“I was very proud of the response to start overtime,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “I reminded them of the Stoughton game earlier this year, the same thing happened with the other team scoring at the buzzer. We came out and won that one, so I reminded them of that and we had to move on to the next four minutes. It had to start with our defense and I was really proud of the grit they showed and how they were able to go out and execute. I thought it showed a lot of character and hopefully, it will stay that way the rest of the season.”

Foxboro boys basketball

North Attleboro was unable to answer again as Foxboro connected enough from the free throw line to keep the Rocketeers at bay over the final minute.

“I’m proud of the way our guys didn’t quit through the fourth quarter,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “We just had too many mental errors, whether it was missed bunnies or just being in the wrong spot. And I don’t know if it was fatigue or mental, or a combination of both, but I thought there was a stretch we had some missed assignments. After making them earn a lot, I thought all of a sudden we kind of opened things up for them and give them credit, they made the shots. We just couldn’t make enough shots down the stretch.”

Penders scored six points in the first quarter to help the hosts establish an early 13-9 advantage after one quarter, and then Golub had eight in the second quarter as the Warriors’ lead ballooned to double-digits, 30-19, at halftime.

North responded in a big way in the third, preventing Foxboro from pulling away with one of its best shooting quarters of the season. Poirier hit a three to start the second half and hit another two trips later. Gordon answered with a triple of his own to keep the lead at nine but North Attleboro closed the rest of the quarter on an 11-3 run.

Senior Nate Bennett scored off a nice post move and sophomore Derek Maceda splashed in a triple. A minute later, Wells hit a triple of his own off a pass from Givany Carney (11 points, four rebounds, four assists), and then Wells returned the favor to Carney for a three — North’s five trifecta of the frame — with less than 30 seconds to go to cut what was once a 13-point deficit down to one point going into the fourth.

“We wanted to come out and win the third to get more separation but to North’s credit, they knocked down a bunch of shots in the third to get them back in the game in the hurry, and because they were able to score more that allowed them to get into their full court pressure which just threw us out of rhythm and sped us up,” Gibbs said. “I thought there were times we got good shots out of it that we just didn’t make but North’s shooting changed the momentum of the game.”

There weren’t any runs from either squad in the fourth, only punches and counterpunches.

Poirier scored to give the Rocketeers their first lead since the opening bucket but Finn answered on the other end to get the hosts back ahead right away.

Foxboro boys basketball

Carney broke a lengthy scoreless stretch but North’s lead once again just lasted seconds as Gordon cut to the basket for two off a feed from Penders. The visitors tied it on a free from Poirier and North once again took the lead on a layup from Carney.

After a defensive stop, Gordon muscled his way to the rim for two more to make it 45-45 with 1:41 to play. Ryan LeClair (five points, four rebounds, four assists) found Finn on a baseline cut for two and Penders stole an inbounds pass and sank two from the line to put Foxboro back in front.

“I think it’s experience, these guys have played a lot of games together now going back to last season,” Gibbs said. “The quality of this league and how tough the teams are. Even though we’ve had some tough losses, playing against quality teams has helped us get better, learn and prepare for these situations.”

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After a free throw from Gordon, Foxboro led 50-45 with 33 seconds to play but the visitors were able to rally for a 6-1 burst in the final moments, starting with a layup from Poirier.

“The last two weeks or so, Casey is playing at the level he expects himself to be at,” Mulkerrins said. “And [Carney] has emerged that’s been aggressive for us. But at the end of the day, we need more points. It’s hard to win in this league no matter what but when you’re barely breaking 50 points you have to be pretty near perfect on defense, and at times we’ve been pretty close.”

Foxboro boys basketball (2-5 Hockomock, 3-5 overall) will try to make it two in a row when it hosts Milford for its second game of a four-game homestand on Tuesday. North Attleboro (2-6, 2-7) returns home to host Taunton on the same night.

Rocketeers Ride Experience Past Young Warriors

North Attleboro boys basketball George Ladd
North Attleboro senior George Ladd takes a shot over Foxboro sophomore Alex Penders in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FOXBORO, Mass. – The final eight minutes of Wednesday afternoon’s contest gave us a glimpse into the future as a young Foxboro squad scratched and clawed its way back into the game, showing what the Warriors are capable of.

But the first 24 minutes belonged to North Attleboro, a veteran group that built a big cushion through the first three quarters and showed its experience by making enough plays down the stretch to fend off Foxboro’s ferocious comeback attempt, earning a 61-53 win.

North Attleboro boys basketball George Ladd

The Rocketeers’ offense exploded for 21 points in the first quarter and added 19 more in the second, carrying a 17-point lead into the final quarter. The Warriors made things interesting, cutting the deficit to single digits with three minutes to play but North Attleboro did enough to close out the win.

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“Basketball is a game of swings, I always say it,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “They are a younger team, we have an older group and I didn’t want us to have a hangover from the 23-point final to lead into this start so I want at them pretty hard yesterday and prior to the start of the game to stress how important a good start was. Jon [Gibbs] obviously does a great job and they came back with a counter punch and thankfully we had just enough of a cushion.”

North Attleboro followed a similar blueprint from its win over the Warriors (58-35) on Monday evening as Mulkerrins stressed the importance of a strong start, fully aware of what Foxboro can do (as seen in the fourth quarter).

The Rocketeers heeded the advice of their coach and came out flying in the first eight minutes. North score on six of its first eight possessions to build a 13-4 lead over the first four minutes of action. After missing on the first possession, Casey Poirier (nine points, five rebounds) took a feed from Edan Kelley (nine points) to break the ice and get the run started.

North Attleboro boys basketball George Ladd

“North is an excellent team, they are a veteran team and they execute extremely well on offense,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “They get the ball to the right guys in the right places and put you in difficult positions. And defensively they are so well prepared and they do a great job taking away what you want to do, which is a credit to their coaches and players. Playing against a good team like that, it certainly gives us a good measuring stick moving forward.”










Brody Rosenberg (nine points, five assists, four rebounds) sniffed out a pass and laid it in for two and Poirier scored after Jared Vacher forced a Foxboro turnover. The Big Red missed on its first shot of the next possession but junior Gavin Wells (career-high 13 points) crashed hard and tipped it back in. North’s defense got its sixth stop of the game and Rosenberg cut to the basket, taking a feed from Kelley for two and a 10-2 lead, forcing the home side into a timeout.

Foxboro got one stop but couldn’t turn it into points and North came back down and senior George Ladd (21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) came down with a traditional three-point play. JuniorDylan Gordon (16 points) hit two from the line but Kelley answered with a three to make it 16-6, a double-digit lead the visitors would carry for the majority of the game.

“We knew that Foxboro would be ready and it wouldn’t be a continuation of what the scoreboard was from the first game,” Mulkerrins said of the strong start. “I was real happy with the way our guys were locked in. There were a couple of things, counters to the counters so to speak, that I thought we were ready for. Defensively we were locked in too.”

Ladd added two more and Rosenberg drained a three off a feed from Poirier and the visitors staked a 21-8 claim through one quarter.

Foxboro made things interesting in the opening moments of the second with back-to-back threes from sophomore Sam Golub (12 points, four rebounds) to get within two possessions but North responded with a pair of runs to regain a comfortable lead. Wells, Kelley, and Poirier all hit from two-point range and then Jason Rodriguez linked up with Ladd for two more. Ladd used a strong post move for two to cap a 10-4 surge that put the Rocketeers ahead 31-20.

North Attleboro boys basketball George Ladd

Gordon finished at the rim to get Foxboro back into the scoring column but North used another run, this time a 9-2 spurt to close out the first half. Wells drained a corner three off a feed from Ladd and then Rosenberg rewarded Ladd for his movement down low. Kelley scored off a turnover and then fed Wells for two in the final minute to put North ahead 40-22 at the half.

At halftime, North Attleboro had 12 assists on its 18 makes from the field.

“Our guys have done a great job committing to sharing the ball with each other,” Mulkerrins said. “It starts with George because if your best player offensively isn’t willing to share the ball then it creates some issues. We know he’s going to get doubled, going to get tripled and he’s willing to share it and I think there’s a domino effect.”




Foxboro’s defense started to slow the Rocketeers’ offense in the third quarter, limiting the visitors to just 10 points on four makes from the floor while forcing three turnovers. Foxboro’s offense was steady. Four players scored for the Warriors with Gordon getting four, Golub and sophomore Alex Penders (16 points, 15 rebounds three blocks) had a bucket each, and Sean O’Leary drained a three but the deficit was 50-33 going into the final quarter.

The Warriors made things interesting with a quick 7-0 run to open the fourth quarter, Golub making an early three, and Gordon scoring four straight in just 1:30 of action. Six straight from Ladd, including a traditional three-point play, kept the visitors ahead, pushing the lead back to 56-42, but Foxboro continued to claw its way back.

“Penders is a heck of a player, he’s a bull,” Mulkerrins said. “We tried to go to George early and often to try and see what counter [Foxboro] would make defensively. They did a good job on him but I thought later in the contest, a couple of penetrations he made from the right-wing area, I thought he showed his senior stripes a bit there and made some big buckets for us.”

Penders had back-to-back strong takes down low and Gordon sliced through the defense for two more and the lead was down to just six, 56-48, with three minutes to go. Foxboro fouled to try and extend the game and North obliged with some missed free throws but the Rocketeers’ defense clamped down and didn’t let Foxboro get any closer.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wells added four free throws down the stretch to help ice the game.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of their effort,” Gibbs said. “North made some timely shots throughout the game and we missed some shots that we probably hope to make. We had a couple of stretches where we got sloppy with the ball and had some turnovers and that allowed North to build a little bit of a lead.

“But at the end of the day, our effort and energy was phenomenal and it could have been easy for a team that’s 2-8 to quit when you’re doing 17 points going into the fourth quarter but we fought and scrapped and battled and made it a game and a had chance to steal it. I think that speaks a lot to the character of those kids and I’m really proud of that.”

North Attleboro boys basketball (7-2 Davenport, 7-2 overall) kept its hopes for a share of the division title alive with a win at the time but Oliver Ames won it outright with a victory over Stoughton later in the day. The Rocketeers travel to Sharon on Friday to close out their division schedule. Foxboro finishes its season at 2-8 in the division and 2-9 overall.

North Attleboro boys basketball George Ladd

Foxboro Closes Out Canton To Earn First Win

Foxboro boys basketball Sam Golub
Foxboro sophomore Sam Golub dribbles past Canton senior Ryan Connerney in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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 FOXBORO, Mass. – It was a situation the Foxboro boys basketball team had been in before this season. But the young Warriors were more than happy to come away with a different outcome

The Warriors have been in plenty of tight games this season but whether it was overtime, an untimely turnover, or an unlikely offensive outburst from their opponent, Foxboro couldn’t find its way into the win column — until Thursday night.

Foxboro made all of the plays it needed to down the stretch, including a huge three-pointer from sophomore Ryan LeClair, to earn its first win of the season, 46-39, over visiting Canton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think we were just more consistent on the small controllable things,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “Offensively, down the stretch, we were able to take care of the ball and keep our composure against pressure and we executed and got good shots. Earlier in the season, in late-game situations, we were having some untimely turnovers, and not only that, the other team would break out for a big momentum basket. We didn’t do that tonight, we were able to get quality shots and guys stepped up to make the big shots.”

Locked into another close game in the fourth quarter, the Warriors withstood pressure from a talented Canton team. Even after its four-point lead evaporated and momentum seemed to swing in favor of the Bulldogs, Foxboro didn’t panic.

The game was knotted at 29-29 after three quarters, setting up a winner-take-all fourth period. And for six minutes, it was a back-and-forth battle with each team matching the other, basket for basket, and stop for stop.

Foxboro boys basketball

Junior Dylan Gordon, who scored a career-high 22 points, put the hosts ahead with a strong take to the rim, LeClair hit one from the line with just over three minutes to go, and sophomore Alex Penders scored his first basket of the game to give Foxboro a 37-33 lead with just under three minutes to go.










Canton took its turn to answer as senior Ryan Connerney (10 points) sliced through the defense to the rim for two and then found Steven Burbank (13 points) on a nice backdoor cut to tie the game as the clock ticked under two minutes to go.

But the Warriors refused to wilt under pressure and came back with an answer of their own. Halfway through the shot clock, LeClair found some separation after setting a screen and drained a deep straightaway three to make it 40-37 with 1:35 to play.

“He’s always been a really confident kid, and that’s one of his best attributes and that’s really important for a point guard,” Gibbs said. “Each passing game, we’ve really seen that confidence grow and with that, he’s improved more and more and grown into his role. He just continues to get better. We want him to take that shot in that moment, we all believe in him and I’m really happy for him that he stepped up and knocked it down.

Foxboro got a stop after Canton’s attempt at a tying three was just off the mark. This time, LeClair drove left past his defender which forced a pair of Bulldogs to help. The sophomore guard dumped a pass off to Sean O’Leary, who finished off a tough layup for a 42-37 advantage with less than a minute to go.

The Bulldogs kept it close when junior Lanse Dorcelus drove from the right wing into the paint and finished through contact. Down three, Canton elected to foul Gordon, who drained a pair from the line to ice the win for the Warriors.

“It’s a classic Canton-Foxboro game where every single basket is hard to come by,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “At the end of the game, it was tied late, they had kids that made more plays when it mattered. They made plays in winning time and we’re still learning how to do that.




“When we get hot, we get real hot and when we get cold, we get real cold. Tonight was one of the cold nights and credit to Foxboro, they played great defense. That’s a team that’s been working hard all season. I’m disappointed for us but congrats to them for getting their first win, they deserved to win tonight, we didn’t.”

LeClair might not have been in position for his big three and assist in the final minutes if it wasn’t for a big shot from junior Cam Barreira earlier in the game. Sophomore Sam Golub (six points, six rebounds) drained a three for Foxboro with 4:10 to go in the second quarter but the Warriors would go on a long drought before scoring again.

Canton rattled off a 10-0 run over the course of the next 8:41 of game time. Steven Burbank scored the last four points of the first half to give the Bulldogs an 18-17 lead at halftime. Connerney converted a traditional three-point play and Eric Mischler (11 points, five rebounds) drained a corner three off a nice feed from Connerney and the Bulldogs held a 24-17 lead with 3:44 left in the third.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Out of a timeout, Barreira came up with a huge shot. The inbounds found Penders, who was immediately double-teamed. The sophomore center alertly turned and dished to Barreira in the corner and the junior didn’t hesitate, sinking a three-pointer that lit a fire under the Warriors.

Barreira’s bucket sparked a 12-5 run that brought the hosts back into the game. Gordon scored six straight, sandwiching a pair of field goals around two from the line. And Golub hit his second three of the game to put Foxboro ahead 29-26. Canton’s Will Keefe answered with a triple in the final seconds to make it 29-29 going into the fourth.

Foxboro (1-6 Davenport, 1-6 overall) will travel to Canton (3-3, 3-6) for a rematch on Wednesday at 7:00.

Foxboro boys basketball

Hingham Sinks Foxboro In Overtime Of Playoff Opener

Foxboro boys basketball Brandon Borde
Foxboro senior Brandon Borde is fouled as he drives to the basket against Hingham in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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HINGHAM, Mass. – For 32 minutes, the 12th-seeded Foxboro Warriors gave the fifth-seeded Harbormen of Hingham High everything they could handle.

The four minutes of the overtime period, however, was all Hingham.

The Harbormen forced the extra period with a free throw with 1.6 seconds left in regulation and then dominated the extra frame en route to a 76-62 win in the First Round of the Division 2 South Sectional tournament.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Foxboro raced out to a 41-33 lead at halftime but the Harbormen employed a box-and-one defense on Warrior senior star guard Brandon Borde (22 points, nine rebounds) in the second half, a tactic that slowed the Warriors throughout the final 16 minutes of regulation.

By the start of the fourth, Foxboro’s lead shrunk to just two, 45-43, after the Warriors hit just one field goal in the third quarter and scored four points total. The fourth quarter certainly went better and the Warriors went back-and-forth with the hosts.

“They went to the box-and-one [on Borde], we knew it was coming,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We spent a lot of time on it in practice the last two days, we had a lot of different things ready to go, and for the most part, I thought we did get some good looks but it was just one of those nights where the ball didn’t fall at key times. I thought we executed pretty well, just didn’t make enough of our good looks. And it took us out of our rhythm in terms of running our normal offense.

Hingham sophomore Nick Johannes converted a tough layup off the glass to seize a 54-52 lead with 3:28 to go but two possessions later, Foxboro senior Donald Rogers (12 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists) finished a layup through contact, adding a free throw to put Foxboro ahead 55-54 with 2:19 to play.

Thomas Koenen finished down low for Hingham to take the lead back but a hustle offensive rebound from Foxboro senior Dylan Barreira led to a bucket from classmate Ryan Hughes (nine points, six rebounds) off an inbound pass from Rogers.

Hingham answered again, this time as Luke Mashburn sank a difficult turnaround baseline jumper for a 58-57 lead. With just under a minute to go and the shot clock about to expire, Rogers drove to the basket to draw a pair of defenders, leaving Hughes open for an easy finish and a 59-58 lead with 34 seconds to play.

The Warriors got the stop they needed but couldn’t extend their lead, missing the front end of a one-and-one situation with 10.6 seconds to go. Hingham’s Jack Hurley (career-high 28 points, 13 rebounds) was fouled driving to the basket with 1.6 seconds to go. He missed the first but hit the second to tie and send it to overtime.

In overtime, Foxboro had the first possession but came up short. Hingham missed from the line but got the offensive rebound, missed a three, but once again got the offensive rebound, and Johannes finished at the rim. Hingham held a 46-31 advantage on the boards, including 13-7 on offensive rebounds.

“Felt like more [than 13 offensive rebounds],” Gibbs said. “For whatever reason tonight, we just didn’t rebound the ball as well as we needed to. Give credit to Hingham, they attacked the offensive glass with incredible energy. Guards, forwards, everybody on their team seemed to be all over the offensive glass. I thought our guys played hard but those rebounds hurt us. I think especially early on, fouls and rebounds hurt us, they were able to stay within striking distance.”

On the ensuing possession, Hurley deflected a pass free and went in uncontested for a layup and a 63-59 lead, tying Hingham’s largest lead in the same at that point. Another Foxboro miss and Hingham drained a three for a 66-59 lead with 2:32 left.




In all, it was a 13-0 run to start the overtime period before Foxboro got on the board with under a minute to go.

“Once it got it to the overtime, I thought they punched first,” Gibbs said. “We had a couple of good looks that didn’t drop and they knocked down some shots. At that point, with not a lot of time left on the clock, you’re in a tough spot. They stole the momentum early in the overtime and kind of put us back on our heels.”

While Hingham’s defense slowed the Warriors in the second half, the only thing that really held Foxboro back in the first half was fouls (13 team fouls in the first).

Foxboro shot 51.9% from the field over the first 16 minutes, racking up 41 points in the process. The Harbormen had no answer for Borde in the first half as the senior poured in 20 points, including going 4-for-6 from three point range.

Hughes added five points in the first before running in foul trouble in the second, Dylan Barreira converted a traditional three-point play, and Rogers sank a triple to help Foxboro take a 23-14 lead through the first quarter.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Borde added 10 more points in the second quarter as the Harbormen tried to slow Foxboro with a 2-3 zone. Will Morrison (11 points) and Rogers each hit a three and Barreira added two more from the line to help Foxboro take a 41-33 lead into halftime.

The Warriors shot 7-for-14 from three-point range in the first half but only sank one each in the third, fourth, and overtime periods.

Foxboro boys basketball finishes the season at 14-9 with a share of the Davenport division title.

Borde Hits Milestone As Foxboro Earns Share Of Title

Foxboro boys basketball Brandon Borde
Foxboro senior Brandon Borde gives a thumbs up to the crowd after scoring his 1,000th career point in the fourth quarter against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Foxboro senior Brandon Borde was certainly happy when he scored his 1,000th career point, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. And how it happened was pretty cool, too.

The Warriors’ once 14-point second-half lead had dwindled over the third quarter and the Red Rocketeers were threatening early in the fourth, getting within five.

Just three points away from the milestone, Borde instead recorded an assist to Will Morrison for a three-pointer, and two possessions later, the senior guard got within one point when he converted down low on an inbound pass from Donald Rogers.

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The next possession up, Borde (21 points, four rebounds, four assists) used a screen to break free from his man, taking a pass from Ryan Hughes in the corner and hit nothing but net from three-point range, surpassing the milestone with 5:55 left. The shot also proved to be the dagger the Warriors needed to fend off North Attleboro.

Foxboro went on to pick up a 68-57 win, clinching a share of the Davenport division title alongside Stoughton and Milford, who also won on Friday night.

“It means a ton to me, since I was a little kid, I’ve pictured this,” Borde said. “I came to the high school games, shooting around in the gym, watching all the guys ahead of me. It means a lot to represent the town in that way, and I wouldn’t have gotten here without all of the guys I’ve played with since my freshman year to now.

“We had a lot of adversity, dealing with injuries, so [the division title] means a lot. We had two big things happen besides the 1,000, we won a share of the division and we qualified for the state tournament so it was a big night for the team. And it was nice to hit it on a three, kind of cooler than a layup.”

For Foxboro, it was the punctuation of a run that sealed the win, a division title, and a playoff spot. The Warriors had an 11-point lead at halftime (39-28) and pushed the lead to its peak at 44-32 with 6:43 to play on a layup from Borde.

But North Attleboro refused to go away, getting six straight from sophomore Brody Rosenberg — three from deep, three the traditional way — and two more from senior Josh Porter. Junior George Ladd, who was the focus of the North offense for most of the night, got going in the post, scoring through contact to make it 46-42.

Borde stemmed the tide with a finish through traffic and Morrison (15 points, three assists) set up Rogers (15 points, five rebounds, four assists) for a triple, one of 10 made from downtown from the Warriors.

Edan Kelley answered from deep and Ladd (20 points, seven rebounds) added a traditional three-point play but Hughes (eight points, nine rebounds) had four points for the Warriors in the final minute to keep the visitors ahead 55-48 through three quarters.

“In the second half, they really went inside to Ladd and take advantage of their size to get some easy baskets,” Gibbs said. “We had to make some adjustments on how we were defending the post. I was just really proud of the resiliency of our guys. The first half went pretty smoothly for the most part but then they cut it down to four, and the momentum had totally turned.

“Given the circumstances, the pressure of what was at stake, the way the game was going on the road, we could have folded but we didn’t. I thought we really locked in, we got some big stops, got some big rebounds, and we came down and executed on offense and guys made some big shots. I was just really proud, that’s what you hope your team is going to do with a lot of seniors and they did that tonight.”

Ladd sank a pair of free throws to get the Rocketeers within 11 with just under five minutes to go and North’s defense got back-to-back stops but the offense couldn’t cut into the deficit any further. A long possession from the Warriors ended in a three from Rogers on a pass from Dylan Barreira.










“They were the better team tonight, I thought their kids played really hard,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “Brandon Borde is a really tough player, it’s a great achievement to get 1,000 points. He’s a tough matchup. I thought our kids fought hard we just had too many breakdowns, especially on defense. To Foxboro’s credit, when we made a mistake, they generally finished. That was probably the difference.

“It’s frustrating because our guys are better than some of the breakdowns we had. [Foxboro] had a good game plan, they wanted to get us into help, get us into rotation and our rotation was just not where it needed to be. It’s basic fundamental things that we need to be better at and stuff that I have to do a better job of getting them to the level they need to be defensively in the Hockomock League.”

Rogers got Foxboro off to a strong start, getting to the basket three times for six points in the opening quarter while Borde and Hughes each had four, and Morrison hit the first of his five three-pointers. North Attleboro senior Ethan Friberg hit three three-pointers to keep the Rocketeers close, down 17-13 after one.

Borde had a steal and layup to push Foxboro’s lead to nine in the second, and Barreira finished off a three-point play at the midway point of the second to push the Warriors’ lead to 28-17. Tommy Whalen, Rosenberg (13 points, six rebounds), and Ladd kept the Rocketeers in it but Liam Devlin scored off his own miss and then beat the buzzer from three-point range to give Foxboro its 39-28 halftime edge.

With the win, Foxboro earns a share of the Davenport division title, the program’s third since 2016. The Warriors share the crown with Stoughton and Milford, the Warriors split the season series with both teams. Foxboro had to win its final two games to earn a share.

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“I just said to them in the locker room, out of the three league championship teams I’ve been fortunate to coach, I’m most proud of this one because of the adversity that they’ve had to overcome,” Gibbs said. “A lot of things in the team with injuries and illnesses that have made it tough for us to have competitive practices at times, made it hard to establish roles and rotations.

“And we’ve had some tough, heart-breaking losses to good teams over the course of the season and every time that happened, they bounced right back. I think throughout the season, we showed a lot of resiliency and that was on full display tonight when North made that run. I’m just really proud of them.”

Foxboro boys basketball (9-7 Hockomock, 11-8 overall) will wrap its season up with three non-league games, starting with a first-round matchup in the Warrior Classic against Holliston on Monday at 2:45. North Attleboro (4-12, 5-14) will close the season with a trip to rival Attleboro for a non-league game on Wednesday.

Second Half Turnaround Sends Mansfield Past Foxboro

Mansfield boys basketball Matt Boen
Mansfield junior Matt Boen drives to the basket in the second half against Foxboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FOXBORO, Mass. – What’s the best remedy for a struggling offense?

For the Mansfield boys basketball team, it started with a ramped-up defensive effort.

The Hornets, limited to less than 20 points in the first half with 10 turnovers, turned the tables on host Foxboro by using a much improved defensive effort to kick start its offense, and that combination resulted in a 50-42 victory.

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It was Foxboro’s defense that stole the show for the opening 16 minutes, frustrating a dangerous Hornet offense. The Warriors allowed just three field goals made in the second quarter and had one stretch where they forced the Hornets into five straight turnovers.

But it was truly a tale of two halves as Mansfield controlled for the final 16 minutes. While its turnover woes didn’t disappear right away, with two early second half turnovers, the Hornets’ defense kept Foxboro scoreless for nearly four minutes and without its second make of the period until the final seconds.

That defense led to some easy buckets to kickstart the visitors on the offensive end. An 8-0 run to start the third tied the game and an 8-2 run to close the third put the visitors in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.

“We were significantly more locked defensively in the second half,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “To hold them to a five-point third quarter obviously made a huge difference for us, that probably made the difference in the game. The fourth quarter was a little more even but if we don’t have that third quarter where we come out locked in. At half we said, ‘they’re good defensively and we’re going to grind out our possessions. We’ll get a basket or two throughout a good possession. But we need to defend better.’”

“With the exception of [Kevin] Gallagher hitting two 75-footers from the parking lot, I thought we did a really good job defensively. You take those six points out of the fourth quarter and now you have two back-to-back quarters where we defended well. I thought we did a better job offensively in the second half being patient, setting better screens, getting more people touching the ball and cutting, and being efficient with the ball, as opposed to standing around and watching one guy go against five good defenders.”

The Hornet defense doubled its turnover total in the second half, forcing 11 takeaways in the second half. Foxboro shot nearly 50% from the floor in the opening half but hit at just over a 30% success rate against Mansfield’s active defense in the second half.

Meanwhile, Mansfield cut its turnover number almost in half and shot almost 60% from the field in the second half.

“I thought our defensive intensity and focus was outstanding in the first half,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We really made things difficult for them and we were really locked in on the defensive end. I think the biggest key offensively in the first half is that we did a great job of taking care of the ball and limiting our turnovers. I thought we played with a lot of poise and it was a good tempo.

“But in the second half, unfortunately, they knocked down some threes and offensively, we got a little more stagnant and got away from what made us successful in the first half, we had some costly turnovers that gave them easy scoring opportunities. Credit Mansfield, obviously they turned their defensive intensity up to another level in the second half and Mike made some really good adjustments to disrupt us, so Mansfield deserves a lot of the credit.”

Senior Sam Stevens (14 points, four rebounds) and junior Matt Boen (13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals) knocked down early threes, and Boen hauled in a defensive rebound and found classmate TJ Guy running ahead for an easy two as Mansfield opened the second half on an 8-0 run to knot the score at 27-27.

Foxboro countered with a triple from Will Morrison to stay ahead but Drew Rooney came up with a steal for an easy two, Boen converted a pull jump on the right wing, and then hit a deep contested three. A free throw from Cincere Gill (four points, three assists) helped Mansfield take a 35-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

Gallagher’s deep three kept the Warriors within two but Guy finished after a nice up-fake and the Mansfield defense kept Foxboro at bay for nearly four minutes.

Guy scored in low again, the Mansfield defense forced a turnover with a five-second violation, and Gill drained a three late in the shot clock for a 44-35 lead with 2:42 to play.

“I think [Cincere] gave us a boost,” Vaughan said. “We made the adjustment with Drew to shadow [Brandon] Borde a little bit more which minimized his opportunities. I thought between the two of them, and just coming out of the locker room with a new mindset. Cincere was definitely a spark coming off the bench and he hit the big three too that helped create some separation. It was really a great possession to get an open look for him.”

Stevens put a cherry on top of the comeback with a contested corner three to put the Hornets up 47-37 with two minutes to play.

“I think anytime you can defend people to a satisfactory level, your offense is a heck of a lot easier,” Vaughan said. “You’re not always going down on the defensive end looking at the scoreboard and coming back on the offensive end thinking every basket matters so much. Now you have a little bit of freedom on the offensive end to take some chances, take some risks.”

Borde (15 points, six rebounds, five assists) was a big reason for Foxboro’s strong start to the game. While Stevens, Jason See, Rooney, and Guy each scored for the visitors, Borde scored Foxboro’s first nine points. Ryan Hughes scored to tie the game and Gallagher came off the bench to sink a late triple to give Foxboro a 14-11 lead after one.

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Boen nailed a three to open the second quarter but two more from Borde and another three from Gallagher put the hosts ahead 19-14. The lead hovered at five points for a good stretch before senior Dylan Barreira hit an open three and Gallagher hit his third of the opening half to put Foxboro up 27-19 at half. Freshman Chris Hill’s three-pointer was Mansfield’s lone basket of the final five minutes of the second quarter.

“Mansfield is a great team, they are one of the best programs in the state and they don’t lose very often for a reason,” Gibbs said. “They are very, very good at what they do. We wanted to take the game on quarter at a time…you know a team like that has runs in them. You’re not going to beat Mansfield with one big knockout punch, one big home run play. It’s going to be a 32-minute grind, and in the end, they were able to make a few more plays then we did and they deserve credit for that.”

Mansfield boys basketball (3-1 Hockomock, 5-2 overall) is back in action on Wednesday when it continues its road trip with a visit to Milford. Foxboro (1-3, 3-4) will try to snap its current skid when it hosts Oliver Ames on Wednesday.

Foxboro Rides Strong Start To Big Win Over Canton

Foxboro boys basketball Donald Rogers
Foxboro boys basketball senior Donald Rogers drives to the basket in the first half against Canton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FOXBORO, Mass. – When it comes to vacation games, you never know what you’re going to get. Add in a noon tipoff on a Friday and it could make for a long afternoon.

But with a senior-laden team, Foxboro had no problems with the early start. The Warriors’ 21-point first quarter was its best offensive frame of the game, one in which it built a double-digit advantage that it never surrendered in a 58-39 conquest of division foe Canton.

The Warriors had six players register in the scoring column over the first eight minutes, connecting on eight field goals on over 60% shooting from the field, with half of the makes from downtown. And Foxboro got it done defensively too, holding the visitors to just three makes with three turnovers.

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“It was a big part of what we talked about before the game, being a noontime vacation game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We talked about the team being more awake and ready to play would have a huge advantage in terms of winning the game. And I thought we really did a good job with that. I thought we came out with a ton of energy and a ton of fire.

Foxboro’s defense only improved over the next two quarters, holding the Bulldogs to nine points (no made threes) in the second quarter and just six points (on 20% shooting) in the third quarter.

“We set the tone with our defense, holding them to 10 points in the first quarter,” Gibbs said. “Even a lot of the shots they got were contested shots, tough shots. So our defensive energy that we brought in the first half was huge even though our offense was a little out of sync.”

Dylan Barreira’s (seven rebounds, five assists) offense rebound and free throw gave the hosts early momentum while Ryan Hughes (seven points, five rebounds), Brandon Borde (nine points, seven rebounds, four assists), and Donald Rogers (16 points, five rebounds) followed with consecutive baskets for a quick 7-0 lead.

Foxboro added to its offensive attack with a trio of three-pointers as junior Kevin Gallagher (17 points, four rebounds) sandwiched a pair of triples around one from Borde to extend the hosts’ lead to 16-6. Senior Liam Devlin made Foxboro’s fourth three of the opening quarter on a feed from Barreira while Borde finished off after a team offensive rebound to push the lead to 21-7.

Canton’s Nick Cushman sank a three off a feed from Steve Burbank just before the buzzer to make it 21-10 at the end of a quarter.

Both defenses clamped down early in the second with each time scoring just once in the first three minutes but Rogers sank a big three off a feed from Michael Devlin. Another three minutes passed before Borde scored a tough jumper. Kyle Fitzgerald (six points) and Burbank each scored late in the quarter, and Robbie Gallery had six points and three rebounds in the first half, to keep Canton in shouting distance at halftime.

“Foxboro’s a good team and one of the better defensive teams in our league and the area, so if you get down early and dig yourself a hole, it’s really hard to come back on them with the way that they guard,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “We couldn’t string things together, they had an answer…if we did a few good things on defense, we couldn’t get it going on offense. If we did a few good things on offense, we couldn’t string together a few stops on defense. We have to be more consistent.”

Foxboro quickly extended its lead early in the second half as Gallagher opened up the third quarter with a triple, Rogers lowered his shoulder and drove hard to the basket for two. Canton sophomore Lanse Dorcelus (nine points) sank a three and the Bulldogs got back-to-back stops but couldn’t get any closer before Rogers answered with another strong take.

Dorcelus sank another three and Eric Mischler came up with a steal but Canton’s next trip came up empty and Hughes was left alone down low for an easy two and a 40-25 lead. Gallagher scored on a baseline take and Rogers beat the buzzer with a three as Foxboro closed the quarter on a 7-0 burst to take a 45-25 lead into the fourth.

“We talk a lot about handling and responding to advertising because in a league this tough, you’re not going to have any games where it goes your way for the entire 32 minutes,” Gibbs said. “There’s always going to be those runs and tough stretches from the other teams so we talk a lot about that and how to handle those moments.

“And the other part of that is having a veteran team full of experienced players that have been there before. They’ve been in that situation so many times so they don’t get rattled or panic because Canton made a big shot. I thought that was key for us in both of our wins this season that when the other team made a run, we were able to punch right back.”

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The teams traded baskets for the first three minutes of the final quarter, keeping the lead around the 20-point mark until the reserves were put into the game. Gallagher scored Foxboro’s first five points while Dorcelus sank another triple for Canton.

Foxboro pushed the lead to 53-30 before Canton junior Colton Mirliani (nine points) came in and hit his first of three triples. Foxboro freshman Alex Penders scored his first basket with a three-pointer in the final minute.

Foxboro boys basketball (1-1 Hockomock, 2-1 overall) will take on a strong Needham team in the Westwood tournament on Sunday while Canton (0-3, 1-3) has a quick turnaround, traveling to Norwood on Saturday at 12:30.

Taunton Toughs Out First Win Over Visiting Foxboro

Taunton boys basketball Tyler Stewart
Taunton junior Tyler Stewart goes up for an uncontested layup in the second half against Foxboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
TAUNTON, Mass. – Coming off back-to-back heartbreaking losses to open the season, it’s understandable that Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey wasn’t comfortable until the final buzzer sounded.

In the opening two contests, the Tigers have led nearly wire-to-wire but for the final seconds of each contest. North Attleboro buried the go-ahead three with 6.7 seconds to go in the season opener and Oliver Ames drained a triple with 8.5 seconds to play for its first lead on Wednesday night.

Taunton found itself in a similar situation on Thursday night, having led for the entire second half with visiting Foxboro mounting a comeback. This time, the Tigers never allowed the lead to evaporate and held on for a 58-52 win over the Warriors, who were playing in their first game of the season.

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“That’s a really good win for us,” Dacey said. “[Foxboro] is better than the two teams we’ve played. Coming off back-to-back games, missing Danny MacDougall (sick), it’s a short bench and we’re playing guys that might not normally be playing. We got a little something from everyone.”

With very little varsity experience on the current roster (two seniors, both new to varsity), the Tigers felt like they let two wins slip through their fingers. With Foxboro pushing hard to complete the comeback, Taunton showed some mettle to earn the win.

Foxboro senior Brandon Borde (11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) converted off a Taunton turnover and then set up classmate Ryan Hughes (eight points) for an easy two on back-to-back possessions to cut the Tigers’ lead to 49-46 with just over two minutes to go.

Instead of allowing that momentum to carry over out of a timeout, Taunton sophomore Trent Santos (10 points) pulled up and sank a big three-pointer to answer with 1:44 to play. After trading turnovers, Taunton sophomore Tristan Herry (10 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) came up with a steal that led to an easy two and a 54-46 advantage with 1:02 to play.

Foxboro refused to go away as junior Kevin Gallagher (nine points, three assists) sank one of two free throws, senior Will Morrison (12 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals) picked off a pass that led to a three from Borde, and a full-court press resulted in an errant pass out of bounds by the Tigers to get the visitors the ball back.

Taunton got an important stop as Foxboro missed from downtown but the Tigers, holding a 54-50lead, missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Warriors missed another three attempt and both Herry and junior Tyler Stewart (14 points, 12 rebounds) sank their free throws to ice the game.

In the win, the Tigers had eight of the nine players that played score, and all nine players had at least one board to contribute to a 37-30 advantage on the glass.

“It has to take everyone,” Dacey said, as four Tigers reached double figures in scoring. “They all play hard, they all practice hard. They are a coachable group of kids that have been fun to work with.”

Taunton faced an early deficit (6-0 three minutes in and 9-6 with two minutes to go in the first) but took the lead by the end of the first quarter (13-9). The Tigers only fell behind one, at 19-18 with 2:51 left in the second, the rest of the way.

Any time the Warriors made it close in the second half, Taunton had an answer. The Warriors knotted the score 29-29 early in the third but Taunton senior Logan Lawrence finished through contact to regain the lead, sparking an 11-3 run.

During that run, Stewart converted in the post, junior Josh Lopes (10 points, four rebounds, three steals) had a steal for an easy layup, Stewart finished off a nice feed from Herry, and Santos drained another three for a 40-32 advantage late in the third.

Foxboro answered with a 7-1 burst between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, Dylan Barreira (eight rebounds) battled for an offensive board and earned a free throw, Gallagher converted in the lane, Liam Devlin opened the fourth quarter with a basket on a nice pass from Morrison, and senior Donald Rogers scored off a turnover to make it a two-point game again at 41-39.

Sophomore Faisal Mass (five points, three rebounds) gave the Tigers a nice boost off the bench, coming in to convert an offensive rebound to help halt the Warriors’ momentum. Lopes followed with two, Herry sank two more free throws, and another finish from Stewart pushed the lead back to 49-42.

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“I thought offensively it looked like our first game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We were just sloppy and out of sync offensively, and Taunton’s defense had a lot to do with that. But I thought early on we had too many sloppy turnovers with guys trying to do too much early and we couldn’t find our rhythm. Game speed and game atmosphere is obviously different than practice but it was good to get this first one under the belt, and I think we’ll get a lot better moving forward. At Taunton is a pretty unforgiving opener, and give Taunton credit because they capitalized on a lot of our mistakes.

“But I’m proud of the guys that they hung around too. We trailed for most of the game but they hung in there and fought to the end and put ourselves to maybe steal it down the stretch. I thought our defense was good overall but [Taunton] had some timely shots that broke our momentum.”

Herry scored seven of his points in the second quarter and Lopes netted half of his total in that frame to help Taunton take a 29-24 lead at halftime. Juniors Kedrick Santos, Nigel Choate, and William Rowan all came off the bench to provide valuable minutes in the first half.

Both Morrison and Gallagher had a pair of triples to make up half the Warriors’ first half scoring while Devlin came off the bench and had two blocks.

Taunton boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it takes on Bishop Stang at New Bedford High School. Foxboro (0-1, 0-1) is back in action against Bishop Feehan on Monday.

Stoughton Stuns Foxboro With Late Game Surge

Stoughton boys basketball Ajahn Rue
Stoughton’s Ajahn Rue splits a pair of Foxboro defenders for a layup in the fourth quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FOXBORO, Mass. – While the Stoughton Boys basketball team spent the majority of Friday night’s contest trailing Foxboro, the Black Knights never let the Warriors run away with it.

Staying within striking distance for the majority of the game, the Black Knights made their move late in the fourth quarter. Stoughton used an 8-0 run to tie the game with just over two minutes to play, and finished the game with a 9-0 burst.

All in all, Stoughton outscored Foxboro 17-0 over the final 4:24 to stun the Warriors with a 63-52 decision. The win moves Stoughton into a four-way tie in the Davenport division along with Foxboro, Milford, and North Attleboro with two division games left.

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“Nothing came easy tonight,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “We had to stay with our stuff. We said at halftime it was the luckiest five-point deficit because we didn’t do anything we talked about doing. The third quarter got a little better, but we were still down three. Then we got down eight. They just stayed with it, stayed with it, and finally got a couple of breaks.”

Foxboro junior Dylan Barreira drained a three to put the Warriors up 53-45 with 4:43 to go. It marked the seventh time that the Warriors had led by eight or more points in the game. But similar to each of the previous times, Stoughton clawed its way back in.

This time, however, the Black Knights were able to tie the game. Junior Thomas Sanda (eight points) scored on a shot from the block, junior Ajahn Rue (13 points, five rebounds) beat his man and attacked the rim on two straight possessions, and senior Kevin Dixon had a strong take to make it 53-53 with 2:07 left.

Foxboro called a timeout to try and stem the tide, but Stoughton junior Ahmad Jahed stole the inbounds pass and found Dixon for an easy bucket and the lead. The Warriors came up with an offensive rebound on its next possession, but Rue was able to knock the ball free for a turnover. Rue once again went to the basket, this time sneaking a layup under the defender for a 57-53 advantage with a minute to go.

The Black Knights continued to get stops, including a big block from Obinna Ugwuakazi. Ugwuakazi, Jahed, and Rue each hit from the free throw line down the stretch to get Stoughton to the final score.

“The lead never felt comfortable, but there were moments I felt we could put them away if we maybe made a couple more shots in a row or a couple of more plays [defensively],” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “It seemed like we could never make that last momentum play. We’ve got a young group, so we have to go back to the film and see what went wrong and learn to execute better down the stretch. That’s how our league is, every game is going to be like that.

“We didn’t execute offensively. We had some bad possessions where we weren’t able to get into the right spots or execute what we wanted to. We rushed some shots and I think we just got a little rattled and lost our composure a little bit. And defensively we gave up the paint a little too easy. We gave up some offensive rebounds, they posted up our guards a little bit. In the end, we weren’t able to execute on either end under pressure.”

Foxboro had leads at 15-7 to end the first quarter, 23-15, 26-18, 28-18, and 30-20 in the second quarter, and a 38-29 advantage midway through the third quarter. Stoughton was able to respond each time, cutting into the deficit to get within five or three before Foxboro could pull away.

“They are a hard team to chase,” Gallivan said. “They spread the floor so well and if you have to double, one of their great shooters is going to get a wide open shot. I think it probably would have taken one more and it could have been the dagger but the kids just stuck with it.”

Rue was limited to just two points (on four field goal attempts) entering the fourth quarter, but seemed to flip the switch to get the Black Knights going. Even before sparking the comeback run, Rue gained confidence by converting a traditional three-point play early in the fourth quarter. He had 11 of his 13 points come in the final frame.

“I thought Ajahn took over,” Gallivan said. “I think at one point they had three guys on the floor with four fouls so if you’re switching screens, it becomes which kid do you want to get in foul trouble there. He was able to get to the rim, finished, and I think that got everyone going.”

Foxboro junior Brandon Borde (23 points, nine rebounds) had his way for the most part, scoring seven points in the opening quarter to help the Warriors create a 15-7 lead. The Warriors used a 13-5 run to create a 10-point lead with a minute to go in the half. Borde had three baskets, Ryan Hughes added two field goals, and Will Morrison (10 points) drained a three. Stoughton got some momentum back before the half as Tahkwan Gates Brown (nine points, four rebounds) converted a putback and Myles Grigalunas-Powell drained a three after an offensive rebound from Gates Brown to make it 30-25 at the half.

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A three from Foxboro sophomore Kevin Gallagher sparked an early 8-0 run for the Warriors, with Borde adding two field goals and Morrison with a free throw to put the hosts up 38-29.

But as they had done all game, the Black Knights battled back, closing the quarter with an 11-5 run. Zak Paquette sank two free throws, Jahed scored after a steal, Dixon hit a pair from the line, Gates Brown scored down low, and Sanda made both ends of a one-and-one situation to bring the Black Knights within three, 43-40, entering the fourth quarter.

Stoughton boys basketball (6-8 Hockomock, 9-9 overall) hits the road on Tuesday to take on Milford. Foxboro (6-8, 9-8) will look to snap its two-game skid when it travels to Sharon on the same night.