Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Matt Boen, Mansfield
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Justin Daniels, Attleboro
Declan Walmsley, Franklin
Will Laplante, King Philip
Matt Boen, Mansfield
Jack Colby, Mansfield
Matt Hyland, Mansfield
Jordan Darling, Milford
Trent Santos, Taunton
Tyler Stewart, Taunton
Davenport Division Co-MVPs
Amari Brown, Oliver Ames
George Ladd, North Attleboro
Davenport Division All Stars
Ryan Connerney, Canton
Dylan Gordon, Foxboro
Alex Penders, Foxboro
George Ladd, North Attleboro
Brody Rosenberg, North Attleboro
Amari Brown, Oliver Ames
Drew Baxter, Oliver Ames
KC Ugwuakazi, Stoughton
Matt Baskin, Sharon
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
Sharon, 50 @ Milford, 62 – Final – Six players in a game-changing second quarter as Milford turned a close game into a comfortable lead that it never relinquished. The Hawks had a 10-6 lead after eight minutes before exploding for 24 points in the second quarter with Ben Blanchard scoring seven of his 13 points and Jordan Darling netting seven of his 16 points to help Milford get the win. Wes Solomon and Max Martin each connected from three-point range while Ralph Franklin Jr. and Brady Olson each scored in the second to give the Hawks a 34-15 lead at halftime. Blanchard added two more threes and Darling connected from three in the third as Milford carried a 48-35 lead into the fourth quarter. Sharon had 10 players get into the scoring column as Rohan Prakash came off the bench to tie for a team-high eight points.
Stoughton, 53 @ Oliver Ames, 62 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Oliver Ames overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to pick up a win over Stoughton, clinching sole possession of the Davenport division title. The Black Knights had a great start, putting up 17 points in the first quarter and 19 more in the second to build a 36-26 lead at halftime. But OA’s defense limited the visitors to 13 points in the third and just four in the fourth, and on the offensive end the Tigers cashed in on 23 offensive rebounds to get the win. OA exploded for 26 points in the third to take a 52-49 lead into the fourth. With points hard to come by in the fourth, Stoughton got possession back down 56-53 with 1:35 to play but an issue with the official book resulted in a technical foul on the Black Knights. OA sank both free throws, snapping a 3:30 scoreless drought. OA got a big stop and Amari Brown (23 points) scored in transition to ice the win. Drew Nickla (16 points, 11 rebounds) was the catalyst behind the offensive rebounding surge while Drew Baxter added nine points and six rebounds and Will Whiteside had seven points and 14 rebounds. Stoughton junior KC Ugwuakazi had 16 points and eight rebounds while senior Waseem Sablon added 13 points.
Taunton, 59 @ Attleboro, 56 – Final – Taunton got just enough stops down the stretch, including a go-ahead three-point attempt from Attleboro with five seconds to go, to earn the win on the road and keep its division title hopes alive. Senior Tyler Stewart scored six of his 20 points in the final frame and junior Tristan Herry hit a huge three with just over four minutes to go to put the visitors up 56-54. Attleboro tied the game off a Taunton turnover with senior Justin Daniels, who scored a career-high 29 points, converted a layup with three minutes to go. Stewart put Taunton ahead with a free throw and the Tigers blanked the Bombardiers the rest of the way. Junior Trent Santos added 13 points and junior Faisal Mass had 11 points in the win for the Tigers. Evan Houle and Alec Eaton chipped in with nine points apiece for Attleboro.
Mansfield, 74 vs. Lowell Catholic, 57 – Final – Holding a six-point lead at halftime, Mansfield dropped 21 points in the third quarter to turn its advantage into 57-42 going into the final quarter. Brendan Foley, Jack Colby, and Matt Hyland all hit from three-point range and had five points apiece in the third to help the Hornets pull away for the win. Senior Matt Boen led the offensive charge with 20 points along with nine assists and six rebounds. Hyland finished with a career-high 17 points an eight assists while Foley had 12 points and Colby chipped in with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Oliver Ames, 63 @ Stoughton, 15 – Final – Oliver Ames completed a perfect 10-0 season with a win on the road over Stoughton. Caroline Peper led the balanced scoring attack for the Tigers with 12 points while Kelsey Yelle added 10 points and Caroline Flynn chipped in wit nine points. Freshman Jasmyn Cooper finished with eight boards in the win.
Milford, 39 @ Taunton, 73 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Taunton opened with a 22-point first quarter and started the second quarter on a 15-0 run to create plenty of separation in a win over visiting Milford. Junior Trent Santos scored all nine of his points in the opening quarter as the Tigers staked a 22-14 lead after one. Both Josh Lopes (16 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Isiah Seldon (nine points, five rebounds) scored five points as Taunton pulled away with a 15-0 spurt over the first six minutes of the second. Nigel Choate added 12 points off the bench for the hosts while Tyler Stewart finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Darling led the Hawks with nine points.
Mansfield, 51 @ Franklin, 44 – Final – Mansfield set the tone defensively in the first quarter and then held off a late surge from Franklin to earn a season sweep over the Panthers. The Hornets limited the hosts to four points in the first quarter and carried a 25-14 lead into halftime. Mansfield’s advantage grew to 37-25 going into the final frame before the Panthers got going and clawed back into it, cutting the lead down to 47-42 with under two minutes to go but Mansfield held on for the win. Senior Matt Boen had a team-high 16 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, Jack Colby added 11 points and nine rebounds, Matt Hyland had nine points and six boards, and Brendan Foley chipped in with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Foxboro, 42 @ North Attleboro, 31 – Final – After being held to just 25 points through three quarters, Foxboro exploded for 17 in the fourth to pull out the road win. Both teams played tough defense through three quarters, with the Warriors holding a slim 25-24 lead, but Foxboro found the range and secured the season sweep. Katelyn Mollica and Erin Foley both scored a dozen points for the Warriors. Lydia Santos topped North’s scorers with nine points, while Ava McKeon and Siobhan Weir each scored seven.
Franklin, 63 @ Mansfield, 47 – Final – Franklin jumped out to a 15-3 lead after one quarter and never allowed the Hornets to climb back into the game to stay perfect on the season. Olivia Quinn was the leading scorer for the Panthers for the eighth time in eight games, finishing with 20 points. Elizabeth Wilson had a season-high 16 in the win. Ashley Santos (14 points) and Kayla Vine (11) both hit double digits for the Hornets.
Taunton, 30 @ Milford, 38 – Final – The Hawks used a good defensive performance and strong third quarter to earn a second straight win against the Tigers. The game was tied at 8-8 after the first quarter, but Milford pulled ahead by three heading into halftime. Milford outscored the Tigers 12-5 in the third (with all 12 points coming from the three-point line) to stretch the lead to double digits. Taunton won the fourth, 11-9, but it wasn’t enough to make a comeback. Emma Lawrence knocked down four of Milford’s nine threes and finished with a game-high 12 points. Brooke Ferreira added 10 points and Jillian Michelson had nine. Sonya Fernandez paced the Tigers with nine points.
Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 7 – Final – Franklin exploded for six goals in the second half to skate away with a big win over Mansfield. The Hornets opened the scoring but Justin Abely leveled the scoring on a power play chance with Dylan Marchand and Declan Lovett recording assists. In the second half, Dom Lampasona scored a pair of goals while JT Dwyer, Ben Jarosz, Adam Quinn, and Marchand scored once. Lovett, Marchand, Ryan Sicchio, and Joe LeBlanc all finished with two assists in the win while Gary Mandia made 15 saves in net.
Foxboro, 64 @ Stoughton, 67 – Final – In a back-and-forth contest, Stoughton won the fourth quarter and the game, holding on as Foxboro’s shot at the buzzer was just off the mark. After a strong start from the Black Knights, Foxboro used a 20-2 in the first quarter to take a double-digit lead after eight minutes. Dylan Gordon (19 points), Sam Golub (11 points), and Ryan LeClair (career-high 15 points) all hit threes in the opening period to give the visitors the lead. Stoughton responded with a big second quarter, with six players recording a field goal including a pair of threes from senior Jake Queeney (career-high 15 points) and one from Christian Georges to tie the game 33-33 at halftime. Golub added two more triples in the third and sophomore Alex Penders had six of his 16 points in the third to help Foxboro take a 52-50 lead going into the fourth. Stoughton junior KC Ugwuakazi scored all of his 14 points in the second half and helped set up one of the biggest shots of the game. With two minutes to go, Ugwuakazi took a pass in the paint and drew the attention of the defense. He found Connor Andrews (nine points), who quickly skipped a pass to Brett Pendenza (career-high 16 points) for a corner three to make it 65-60 with two minutes to play.
Oliver Ames @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD.
King Philip, 61 @ Milford, 66 – Final – Ten players entered the scoring sheet for the Hawks, who broke into the win column with a win over visiting King Philip. The Hawks increased their advantage after each of the first three quarters, holding the visiting Warriors at arms length down the stretch. Senior Jordan Darling scored eight of his 10 points in the opening half while Ben Blanchard (team-high 12 points), Brady Olson, and Wes Solomon all connected from three-point range in the second to give Milford a 33-25 lead at halftime. Dom Schofield and Sean Murray each scored eight points in the third and Max Martin hit a three as the Hawks pushed the advantage to 50-41 going into the final frame. King Philip sophomore Will Laplante hit seven three-pointers for a career-high 26 points to help keep the Warriors in the game. Junior Danny Clancy scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half for KP.
Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 76 – Final – All 11 players scored for Foxboro, which ended its two-game losing streak and moved back over .500 on the season. Katelyn Mollica was the game’s top scorer with 27 points. Camryn Collins also hit double digits with 10 points and Hannah Blake added nine.
Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – Final – Oliver Ames got off to a strong start and never looked back, earning a win at home behind a complete game effort. Caroline Peper was the leading scorer for OA with 11 points while Jess Erlich, Jasmyn Cooper, and Anna Murphy each chipped in with seven points. Caroline Flynn dished out eight assists in the win.
Attleboro, 60 @ Milford, 52 – Final – Attleboro opened its season with a win on the road, edging out the Scarlet Hawks in a close contest. With the gamed tied 51-51, senior Alec Eaton drained a three with just under a minute to give the Bombardiers the lead for good. The visitors led at halftime (31-25) but Milford rallied to take a 40-39 lead into the fourth. Eaton (10 points) had two threes in the fourth while Justin Daniels hit another and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the line in the final frame to help Attleboro secure the win. Daniels finished with a career-high 16 points while junior Evan Houle led the way for the Bombardiers with a career-high 17 points. Milford senior Jordan Darling had a game-high 18 points.
Canton, 45 @ Sharon, 42 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game.Canton’s Ryan Connerney scored eight of his career-high 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs held off a late charge from the Eagles to move to 3-0. After a slow first half from both sides, Canton’s offense got into enough of a groove to take a 10-point lead with three minutes to go. But the Eagles continued to claw back into it, getting back-to-back threes from Sam Cohen (11 points). Seven straight points from junior John Baez cut the deficit to just two, 42-40, with 25 seconds to go. Connerney, who went 6/7 from the line in the fourth, hit two more and then came up with a steal on the final inbounds play in secure the win. Eric Mischler added 12 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs while Matt Baskin had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles.
North Attleboro, 50 @ Stoughton, 42 – Final – North Attleboro took the lead after eight minutes of action and never surrendered the lead, keeping the Black Knights at arm’s length throughout the contest. The Rocketeers extended their lead each quarter, taking a 15-11 lead after one and a 29-23 advantage at halftime. North pushed the lead to 38-31 through three quarters before an improved defensive effort helped the Rocketeers slam the door shut. Senior George Ladd had a game-high 19 points, going 5-for-5 from the line in the fourth to help ice the win. Brody Rosenberg added 13 points and Casey Poirier finished with eight points for North. Waseem Sablon led the Black Knights with 11 points.
Milford, 39 @ Attleboro, 71 – Final – Attleboro had to wait a week before tipping off this season, but the Bombardiers put together a strong performance to open with a win. It was a two-point game (13-11) after one quarter but Attleboro pushed the lead to double digits by halftime and then broke the game wide open, as Meghan Gordon and Narissa Smith combined for 19 points in the quarter. Gordon finished with a career-high 24 points and Smith added 16 in her varsity debut. Head coach Marty Crowley praised his team’s defensive effort and a balanced attack on offense. Milford was led by Emma Lawrence with 13 points and Ashanty Barreto.
Sharon, 23 @ Canton, 54 – Final – The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-point lead by halftime and never looked back, cruising to a second win of the season. Fay Gallery followed up her 22 points in the opener with 19 points against the Eagles, including 16 in the first half. She knocked down five three-pointers in the game. Sydney Gallery added 14 for the Bulldogs, nine in the second half, and Kiara Cerruti scored eight points. Canton had eight players score in the win. Gaby Cabral led the Eagles with seven points and Trinity Payne chipped in with six.
Foxboro, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – Final – The Tigers outscored visiting Foxboro by 10 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win in their opener and hand the Warriors their first loss of the season. The Warriors took the lead early in the fourth but the Tigers won the final frame 15-5 to get the win. Senior Kelsey Yelle led the Tigers with 12 points and 12 rebounds while junior Caroline Peper added 10. OA head coach Laney Holbrook praised the effort of seniors Jess Erlich and Caroline Flynn. Sophomore Maddie Homer chipped in with nine points and tough defense. Katelyn Mollica scored 18 in the loss and Foxboro also got a strong performance from its freshmen, as Camryn Collins scored 11 points and Erin Foley added nine.
Franklin, 82 @ King Philip, 62 – Final
Franklin, 93 @ King Philip, 75 – Final
FRANKLIN, Mass. – If there was a textbook on how to play Franklin basketball, it would look a lot like how the Panthers played on Tuesday night.
In a 62-52 season-opening win over visit Milford, the Panthers’ unselfish offense resulted in four players reaching double-figures in the scoring column and their aggressive defense never let the senior-laden Hawks get comfortable.
Maybe more impressive was that the game marked the first meaningful minutes for all but two Panthers — Declan Walmsley (game-high 18 points, six rebounds) and Andrew Byfield (13 points, 13 rebounds). The other seven Franklin players that checked in were experiencing their first meaningful minutes in a varsity game.
“There’s a certain level of expectation we have and guys like [Jake] O’Brien and [Zach] Harvey, they watched as juniors and didn’t get to play very much but they were at practice every day, playing that type of defense and they know how much it means to our team,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely, who is in his seventh season at the helm of the Panthers. “They don’t just become good defenders all of a sudden because they are seniors, they’ve been working at it, going against really good players in practice so it’s not a total shock when they get the chance to play. These guys are tough, they have good attitudes and they come to work. Defense is something we’re always going to take pride in.”
Walmsley was a steady presence throughout for the Panthers, the top-scoring option returning from last year’s squad that graduated an experienced and talented group of players. The senior hit a three in the opening quarter, earned a trip to the line, and came up with a steal to set the tone for the hosts.
Byfield overcame some early jitters and turnovers to score 10 of his points in the second half. His game-high 13 boards helped limit the visiting Hawks to a total of four offensive rebounds.
To top it off, the Panthers got a big boost from freshman Henry Digiorgio (15 points), who provided a big spark off the bench in the opening quarter with a pair of threes. And when Milford made its biggest run of the game, Digiorgio sank arguably the biggest shot of the game in the third quarter to push the hosts’ lead back to double-digits.
A back-and-forth first quarter had Franklin ahead 15-14, Milford staying in it on the back of senior Jordan Darling (10 rebounds, four assists) who scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the first eight minutes. The Panthers’ defense really shined in the second as they held the Hawks to just five points on 2-of-13 shooting with three turnovers.
“You always want to jump on teams early but we knew Milford has a lot of experience, a lot of guys that have played in big tournament games, guys that won a division title last year…we knew we’d have our hands full but we wanted to be aggressive and make it difficult on their offense,” Neely said. “Getting a couple to go early and getting a lead early at home is nice, and those guys have to just come into the gym with all this stuff going on, maybe they aren’t comfortable right away and we get a cushion early on.”
Meanwhile, Franklin’s offense inched away on some success from three-point range. Walmsley connected early and O’Brien (12 points, four assists) hit two more to push the lead to 24-16. Byfield hit a three in the final minute to give the Panthers a 29-19 lead at the break.
“We weren’t ready to play, period,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver, also in his seventh season. “Mentally we just weren’t ready to play. [Franklin] hits shots and they defend, and they do it amongst the best teams in the state year in and year out. I’m disappointed right now, we have to be better.”
Milford made its move in the third quarter, hitting a pair of threes — one from Ben Blanchard (10 points) and one from Max Martin (12 points) — in the first 90 seconds of the half after connecting from downtown just twice in the first two quarters.
The Panthers answered with a 7-0 burst when Byfield converted off a turnover and O’Brien used a quick step to get past his defender for an easy two. But Milford continued to claw back as Darling sparked an 8-0 run with a three. Ralph Franklin Jr. got to the rim for two and Martin hit another corner three and the Panthers’ lead shrunk to just 38-33 with two minutes left in the third.
Digiorgio sank a pair of free throws to snap the run, and two possessions later, the freshman sank a straightaway three with the shot clock about to expire and just seconds left in the third to push the Panther advantage back to 10 at 43-33.
“We knew he was a good player, we had seen him play at the Metro level,” Neely said of Digiorgio. “You never know how it will translate to the varsity level but he has confidence which is good. We told him you’re either varsity or not, doesn’t matter a sophomore or freshman. That was a huge bucket.”
An early five points from Darling gave the visitors some hope for a comeback but Byfield, O’Brien, and Digiorgio scored in succession, and the Panthers’ lead never shrunk to single digits again.
The teams won’t have to wait long for a rematch as the Hawks (0-1) will host the Panthers (1-0) on Thursday night, tipping off at 7:00.
“I think being at home will benefit us, I think it’s that type of situation this year,” Seaver said. “It’s a little more of a comfort level given the protocols. But we have to be better. We have to be better in practice tomorrow and we have to be better in the game on Thursday.”
Sharon is looking to make some noise in the Davenport division this season and three-year player John Baez will be a key piece to the puzzle for the Eagles. A strong two-way player, Baez runs the Eagles’ offense from the point guard position and anchors the defense with his aggressive on-ball perimeter defense. We’ve seen flashes over the past two seasons of what Baez can do on the offensive end and this could be the year it all comes together. With a couple of good shooters surrounding him, Baez should have some space to work with and his decision making will be key on offense. His instincts on defense can help turn into points on the offensive end for the Eagles.
Milford is one of the hardest teams to stop when they have momentum on their side, feeding off the energy both on and off the court. Senior Ben Blanchard is a perfect fit for that type of offense, an instant boost on the offensive end when the Hawks need it. Blanchard can score in a variety of ways, including slicing through defenses with confidence to finish at the rim. But he really sets himself apart with his shooting touch from deep. In his first year as a starter, Blanchard averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game, hitting a career-high 28 points twice. With a very senior-heavy team that includes a lot of weapons, defenses are going to have to find a way to give extra attention to covering Blanchard.
Simply put, Mansfield senior Matt Boen is one of the most versatile players to play in the Hockomock League over the past decade. A HockomockSports.com First Team selection a season ago, Boen is a true “stat stuffer.” He shot nearly 50% from the field last season and averaged 14.6 points per game to go along with 4.4 assists. And when it comes to the defensive end, he has great instincts reading plays and passes, averaging over three steals a game last year while collecting 6.9 boards. Each of the past two seasons we’ve seen him really improve on the offensive end, becoming a crafty finisher at the rim with both his right or favored left hand. And just about any given time during the game, Boen is a threat to catch fire from downtown. He will certainly be in the Kelley-Rex division MVP discussion.
Oliver Ames graduated five of its six top scorers from last year’s squad so head coach Don Byron will certainly need some new names to step up. But the good news for the Tigers is that Amari Brown, who led the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game, is back to run the offense. Brown enters his third year on varsity and that familiarity will be key as new faces integrate themselves into the lineup. Brown is a solid shooter but his strength is in his ability to attack the basket successfully. Not only does his quickness and savvy ball handling allow him to get past defenders, Brown is really good at finishing through contact. Brown scored in double figures in 19 of 22 games and will likely be one of the top scorers in the Davenport this year. On top of all his offensive prowess, Brown is a strong defender, earning HockomockSports.com All-Defensive Team honors last year with 32 steals.
Milford senior Jordan Darling makes the list for the second straight year, and for good reason. The Hawks have a very talented roster this season and were probably primed for a run at the sectional title. But winning the Kelley-Rex division this season would be a pretty impressive accomplishment in its own right. Darling is a big reason why the Hawks are being mentioned at the top of the division race. The combination of size and skill he provides down low makes him a really tough matchup for opponents. He can step out and take on defenders while attacking the basket or he can post up down in the paint and go to work with his back to the rim. He was second on the Hawks last year with 13.5 points, doubling his production from sophomore year to junior year. Look for that production to continue to rise this season for Darling (9.7 rebounds).
Mansfield’s TJ Guy is one of the toughest matchups in the league and is poised for a big senior season as the Hornets push for a ninth-straight division title. Guy can score from all over the court, improving his three-point shot last year, but really excels at attacking the basket. Usually matched up with someone with size, Guy uses a quick first step and his speed to his advantage and can score through contact, a crafty finisher down low. He shot an impressive 53% from the field last season, always a reliable option to clash the glass. Not only is Guy a force on the boards, he has great vision for a big man as seen by his 2.5 assists last season.
A three-year starter, North Attleboro senior George Ladd enters this shortened season as one of the top players in the Davenport division. Often tabbed as an “old-school” type player by opposing coaches, Ladd is a true throwback that mostly plays inside the three-point line. We saw during his sophomore year his ability to finish down in the post, and that continued last season. But he really improved with his ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. We’re expecting another big step this season for his senior year. He averaged a team-high 14.9 points per game last season with a relatively inexperienced group around him. Now, he’ll have a strong group of weapons around him that will give him some more space. Ladd is also one of the best rebounders in the league (10.1 last year), especially on the offensive end that gives the Rocketeers second and third chances.
Canton missed out on the postseason last year, battling through growing pains with nearly an entirely new lineup. One bright spot that emerged from last season was Eric Mischler, who enters his season as one of the most dangerous scorers in the league. He’s a tough matchup for defenders, constantly working off-ball to find space to work with. He’s a dangerous catch and shoot scorer but can also be successful with the ball in his hands. He’s a good finisher around the rim, using his length to convert at the rim. He was the Bulldogs’ leading scorer a season ago with 13.2 points per game, hitting over 20 points five times including a career-high 36 point showing on the road at OA. The Davenport is wide open and Canton has a strong core of players led by Mischler on the offensive end.
There’s a lot of ways to sum up Tyler Stewart’s junior season but the best way we can describe it is “dominant.” Stewart had a breakout season for the Tigers, really emerging as a threat on both ends of the court. Stewart was a walking double-double, cleaning up the glass on both ends while doing a great job finding ways to score down low. His patience down low was key, often using fakes to get open looks or get to the free throw line. He averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game (61.5% from 2-pt range), 12.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists along with a handful of blocks. Stewart is surrounded by a bevy of weapons (Josh Lopes, Trent Santos, Tristan Herry, etc.) so it’s tough to double him but that’s what opposing defenses will have to do to try and slow him down. Now, fingers crossed that Taunton can get on the court this year.
Franklin had a very strong senior class last season so a lot of the spotlight went there but one player that really improved and impressed by the end of the season was Declan Walmsley. Through the first 13 games of last year, Walmsley only reached double-digits in scoring once but then finished the season by reaching that point in six of the last 11 games. With an even more expanded role this season look for the senior guard to really emerge as one of the top offensive threats in the league. He showed off his touch from three-point range last year but can cause a lot of damage in and around the rim. At 6’2, he can really be a tough matchup for opposing guards. Walmsley could be the breakout player of the season.
Below are the official 20020 Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Bryant Ciccio, Attleboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Bryant Ciccio, Attleboro
Qualeem Charles, Attleboro
Eric Mischler, Canton
Brandon Borde, Foxboro
Donald Rogers, Foxboro
Chris Edgehill, Franklin
Alex Fritz, King Philip
Matthew Boen, Mansfield
Sam Stevens, Mansfield
TJ Guy, Mansfield
Ben Blanchard, Milford
Jordan Darling, Milford
George Ladd, North Attleboro
Amari Brown, Oliver Ames
Obinna Ugwuakazi, Stoughton
Myles Grigalunas-Powell, Stoughton
Tyler Stewart, Taunton
Nick McMahon, Attleboro
Nick Cushman, Canton
Ryan Hughes, Foxboro
Brayden Sullivan, Franklin
Tommy Donahue, King Philip
Andrew Rooney, Mansfield
Colby Pires, Milford
Edan Kelley, North Attleboro
Ryan Burkett, Oliver Ames
Andrew Burton, Sharon
Ahmad Jahed, Stoughton
Josh Lopes, Taunton
MILFORD, Mass. – With all things considered, down just three points heading into the fourth quarter certainly wasn’t the worst situation for the Milford boys basketball team.
The Hawks were on the verge of erasing a forgettable first quarter in which Hopkinton dominated, draining shot after shot to build a 23-4 lead — a 19-point advantage less than seven minutes into the game.
But Milford was never quite able to get over the hump down the stretch, going ice cold from deep in the final frame as the eighth-seeded Hillers earned a 66-59 upset of the fourth-seeded Scarlet Hawks.
“We were down 23-4, they were shooting lights out, and the hole was too big to dig out of,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We kind of weathered the storm, we got it down to five or six [at halftime], we just couldn’t get over the hump. Give [Hopkinton] credit, they are a good team, they had a good game plan. They took away Colby and Ben with their box-and-one and their triangle-and-two. We needed other shots to fall. And [Hopkinton] shot the lights out.”
Milford trimmed the large first quarter deficit down to 13 by the end of the period, and the upward trajectory continued as the Hawks dropped 21 points in the second to trail by just six, 37-31, at the halftime break.
Hopkinton threatened to run away with it as its lead ballooned to 12 points (46-34) two minutes into the third but Milford continued to battle back, holding the Hillers to two points over the final four minutes and scoring nine points themselves to head into the fourth down 51-48.
The shot Milford needed never came, misfiring on their first nine three-point attempts from the field. Hopkinton opened a 58-51 lead just before the midway point of the final quarter before junior Ralph Franklin Jr. (15 points, six rebounds), who gave the Hawks a big boost off the bench all game, hit two from the line after hauling in an offensive rebound.
The score stayed frozen at 59-53 for over two minutes as both Tyler Wetherbee and Max Martin stepped in to take charges to give Milford a chance. Junior Jordan Darling (14 points, 11 rebounds) converted his own miss and Hopkinton missed seven straight free throws to keep the Hawks in the game.
Darling sank a free throw with 1:15 to go to make it 60-56, and senior Colby Pires tipped a pass free to give the Hawks the ball back, but Milford couldn’t convert on a shot in the paint. Hopkinton sank two at the line and then forced the Hawks into a turnover, sinking two more for a 64-56 lead.
Matty Varteresian sank his second triple of the game, and Milford’s first of the fourth, with 11 seconds to go but the Hillers had a large enough lead to hold on.
“We had open shots, they dared other players to beat them,” Seaver said. “We had some guys hit some shots but we just couldn’t get enough to go down, especially in the fourth quarter. And the defense wasn’t good enough for us. It was a sign of a team with three seniors on the roster. [Hopkinton] has seven or eight seniors on their roster and they made plays. When it comes to the tournament, seniors do weird things and can find a way sometimes.”
It was a dream start for the Hillers, who knocked off top-seeded Grafton in the opener round and now will take on Wayland in the D2 Central Final. Hopkinton went 9-for-17 from the floor in the opening eight minutes, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.
And it wasn’t just one Hiller either, as six different players joined the scoring column in the opening minutes. And each of the four three-pointers came from a different player with Steven Maffiore, Thomas Ambrosone, Brian Keefe, and Travis Finfrock all connected from long range. And Hopkinton big man Elan Rosen had his way down low, going 3-for-3.
Wetherbee hit a three, Sean Murray came off the bench for a free throw, and Darling had a strong take to help Milford finish with a 6-0 surge to qualm the storm some.
After hitting a three to start the quarter, Darling was whistled for a foul, sending him to the bench alongside fellow starter Dom Schofield, both with two fouls. Franklin Jr. kept the Hawks afloat though, hitting a three and then a free throw. Wetherbee added three the traditional way and Ben Blanchard got free for his first triple of the game.
Murray hit another free throw and Franklin Jr. had four straight points as Milford closed with a 5-0 burst to get within 37-31 at the break.
After going down a dozen in the third, Milford’s bench sparked the comeback to get the Hawks back in the game. Franklin Jr. fought for an offensive board and putback and Varteresian splashed in a three.
Martin added a three of his own on one end and came up with a steal on the other, leading to a fast break that resulted in two free throws from Pires. Darling closed with four straight points as Milford trialed 51-48 after three.
“Guys came off the bench like they have all season, we are a deep team and versatility has been a positive,” Seaver said. “It gave us a spark but we just couldn’t get over it, which goes back to the hole we dug early in the game which is frustrating.”
Milford boys basketball finishes the season at 14-8.