By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – For the third straight game, Milford was on fire from downtown.
For the third straight game, the Scarlet Hawks made double-digit threes and their hot shooting helped pick up a 75-63 win over North Attleboro to pick up consecutive wins for the first time since 2013.
“We hit shots, that’s it really,” Milford head coach Paul Seaver said. “We hit shots on Friday and we hit shots tonight. Dee Torres has been our catalyst. I think he started it off with the first three of the game. When you hit shots, everything just got a lot more smoothly.”
Milford opened the game with a pair of three pointers from Dimitry Torres but really opened things up over the last four and a half minutes of the first quarter. With the game tied 7-7, the Scarlet Hawks rattled off a 15-0 run over the next three minutes, suddenly building a 22-7 lead.
Sophomore Kayden Kelley was responsible for eight of the points in the run and junior Zack Tamagni handled the other seven, including Milford’s third three of the quarter, to create a big lead. Brent Doherty and Chad Peterson stole a little momentum back with a three each just before the end of the quarter.
But the momentum quickly swung back in favor of the Scarlet Hawks. Over the first four plus minutes of the second quarter, a 12-4 run capped by a three from Torres. A three from Nate Davila was followed by a layup and a free throw from Dwight Anderson. Josh Andonian drained a corner three before Torres’ capping shot from downtown.
“That’s been our been our MO recently,” Seaver said of making three point shots. “That’s something we didn’t have two or three weeks ago. I think our average was like five or so three’s and now we’re averaging double figures the last couple of games.”
The Scarlet Hawks finished with 12 three pointers for the second straight game (hitting the same mark in a 68-50 win over Canton on Friday) and hitting 10 against Franklin this past Tuesday.
North finished with a 6-2 run to conclude the first half to cut the deficit to 12 at halftime, trailing 36-24.
Milford again continued its hot streak, starting the third quarter with a 9-2 run to creates its largest lead of the game at that point. Tamagni and Kelley each had a basket while Torres his a three and and went to the hoop for two more to put Milford up 45-26.
“I think they’ve rejuvenated themselves,” Seaver said. “We were playing hard but we weren’t getting the results we wanted in that six game stretch. Now shots are falling and the confidence is going up.”
The Rocketeers showed some fight one the final three minutes with a run of their own. A put back from Mario Bresko and a layup was sandwiched around a three from Brent Doherty Two more from Bresko cut the lead back to 12. Milford called a timeout and out of it, an offensive foul on Big Red turned into a three from Andonian and with the clock ticking away the final seconds of the third, Alex Macek pulled up for another three to make it 53-35 after three.
Doherty scored nine of his game-high 21 points in the final quarter and Bresko added 10 of his 17 points in the final frame but the deficit proved to be too much. Milford added a trio of threes in the final quarter as well.
Over the final three periods, Milford had just a three point advantage. But a nine point lead after the first quarter proved to be the key to the separation.
“Give Milford all the credit in the world,” North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins said. “We knew they would pressure us, we prepared for that even though it didn’t look like it at times. I think our kids got a little shellshocked early. I’m not sure if we were as prepared for that zone as we should have been. I think it had a little to do with the moment and the arena and a lot to do with Milford making shots and attacking the glass early. We were playing on our heels and it started to seep into our offense. We started taking early threes, forgetting plays, forgetting defensive assignments. When you put yourself in that big of a hole it’s tough to come back from.”
North Attleboro had been averaging over 60 points a game but through three quarters was stuck at 35 points, which can be credited to Milford’s press and zone defense. It was only after a 28 point fourth quarter they were able to get the offense in gear.
“We were switching defenses all game – box and one, 2-3 zone, man – we played them all,” Seaver said. “We switched up our two presses too. It was our goal to just keep them on their heels and I think we did a good job for a while. They ended up scoring the ball still, they’ve got some shooters and some offensive talent and you just have to stick with them until the end of the game.”
Defensively, the Rocketeers entered allowing just 58 points per game. Milford’s 75 points was the most allowed all season.
“The biggest disappointment was in our defensive effort,” Mulkerrins said. “You just can’t give up 75 points. The threes I think started us to break some of our rules. The kids would worry about the threes then we’re not in help position, then we’re late there and they can kick it out. It all just spiraled from there.
“I’ve been saying we can beat anyone on our schedule but I always say but anybody can beat us. We can’t show up certain nights against certain teams and be there mentally and physically and then other nights lay an egg. I feel for the kids cause this was a great event and big opportunity but this was still a game we had to play but we just didn’t execute.”
Kayden Kelley finished with a career-high 16 points and added eight rebounds, Torres added 16 points, Andonian had a career-high 11 points and Tamagni had 10 points. Doherty had five rebounds and five assists along with his 21 points and Bresko added three rebounds with his 17 points. Junior Jonny Friberg had nine points and four rebounds.
Milford (5-8, 4-7) will be back in action on Tuesday when they take on Mansfield in the second game of a doubleheader, slated for 6:45. North Attleboro (5-8, 4-7) will try to snap its current four game skid when they travel to Stoughton on Tuesday night at 6:30.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below.
Attleboro, 43 @ Mansfield, 61 – Final – Mansfield built a double-digit lead by halftime and never looked back. Matt Ehrlich had a team-high 14 points and added four rebounds, Sam Goldberg had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and Max Boen (four rebounds), Tyler Boulter and Phil Vigeant each had six points for the Hornets. Jake Dunkley had a game-high 15 points for Attleboro, Lucas Boucicaut added 12 points and Kyle Murphy had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Milford, 68 @ Canton, 50 – Final – Dimitry Torres netted a career-high 26 points to spark the Scarlet Hawks to a road win at Canton. Dwight Anderson added 15 points and Josh Andonian chipped in with 10 points for Milford.
Foxboro, 46 @ Sharon, 49 – Final – David Roelke hit a three as time expired to lift Sharon to a key Davenport division win. Roelke had a team-high 12 points while Peter Banks (eight rebounds) and Bryce Smith each had 10 points. Foxboro’s Jason Procaccini had a game-high 18 points and added 11 rebounds and six steals. Alex DuBrow had 13 points and Rob Lowey had seven points and 14 rebounds.
North Attleboro, 57 @ Franklin, 60 – Final – Tim Prunier hit two free throws down the stretch to stretch the Panthers’ lead to three as Franklin outlasted North Attleboro. The Rocketeers trailed by nine at halftime but rallied to get a 45-44 lead heading into the final period. Prunier finished with a team-best 18 points while freshman Jay Dieterle added 13 points and sophomore Connor Peterson had 11 points. North junior Brent Doherty also had 18 points, Kyle McCarthy scored a career-high 13 points in his first start and Mario Bresko added 11 points.
King Philip, 54 @ Taunton, 62 – Final – King Philip led for three quarters but Taunton was able to overcome the deficit and get the win in the final quarter. Senior Carlos Borrero scored all 11 of his points in the second half and senior Jose Mercado finished with a game-high 17 points. Tommy MacLean added 13 points. Sophomore Tom Madden had a team-high 13 points for KP, who also got 10 points from Seth Sullivan and Pharoah David each.
Stoughton, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 70 – Final – Dylan Mahoney had a team-high 15 points while Tim Kelley, Shawn Cardoza and Nick Welch all added 11 points apiece in the Tigers’ big win.
Canton, 47 @ Milford, 42 – Final – Kate Irwin was Milford’s top scorer with 10 points in the win. Jill Powers and Nicole Dahlgren each added nine for the Hawks.
Sharon, 20 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – Ashley Sampson had a game-high 15 points, Grace Tamulionis added 11 points and MacKenzie Anderson chipped in with six points.
Franklin, 63 @ North Attleboro, 47 – Final – Franklin broke open a three-point game at the half with a 20-5 run in the third quarter. Carli Koffinke was the top scorer for the Panthers with 13, while Aubrie Kutil added a double-double with 11 points. Lauren Rudolph for Franklin and Olivia Adiletto eight. Emily Peters scored 20 points for the Rocketeers in a losing effort.
Taunton, 41 @ King Philip, 50 – Final – KP outscored the Tigers 15-5 in the fourth quarter to get the win. Rylie Dalzell led the Warriors with 13 points. KP also got 10 points each from Maddie Purdue and Christina Hathaway. Taunton sophomore Hannah Moniz had a game-high 14 points and freshman Lily Patneaude chipped in with nine points for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 38 @ Attleboro, 48 – Final – The Bombardiers finished the game with a 9-0 run in the final 4:27 to clinch the win. Sam Pierce led Attleboro with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sarah Deyo had 13 points and 12 boards and Emily Houle had nine points for the Bombardiers. Mansfield was led by Jen Peel with 11 points and five assists. Meg Hill added nine points, 11 rebounds, and eight blocks.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ Stoughton, 34 – Final – Francesca Calabraro led all scorers with a season-high 23 points and added eight steals while classmate Niyera Mitchell had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Canton @ King Philip, 7:00
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 5:30
Canton @ King Philip, 7:00
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 5:30
Oliver Ames, 87 @ Stoughton, 63 – Final