NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It was senior night for North Attleboro on Tuesday night against Miflord, but the Rocketeers turned to a couple of underclassmen to lead the way. Freshman Amanda Kaiser scored a career-high 14 points (all in the first half) and junior Julia Feid scored a game-high 17 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to pace North.
Senior Julia Santos also chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Rocketeers to propel North to a 55-45 victory over the Hawks in the Kenneth Pickering Gym.
“I thought the underclassmen played really well,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “They wanted to do it for the seniors.”
He added, “I know they’re a little shorthanded and that’s the problem with this league. On any given night…You go on the road on a Tuesday night, unfortunately you’re going to get a game where you might not have your best stuff and then Feid hits those two runners and free throws down the stretch, we pull it out.”
Milford was missing players to injury and school trips and star point guard Kate Irwin was only just back from missing two games to an injury as well, but the Hawks were able to take a 12-11 lead after one quarter.
North picked it up in the second by turning to Kaiser. Feid (five assists) kicked it out to the freshman in the corner for a three and an 18-15 lead, she added a layup in transition (after a Feid pass over the top of the defense), and then she knocked down step-back three in the corner that put North up 26-19.
“We’ve been trying to tell her, she’s got the green light,” said Herber of Kaiser. “She doesn’t lack for confidence and she did very well tonight.”
Feid also knocked down a pair of threes in the second, as North caught fire from the outside. Milford kept it close by hitting from the outside as well. Julie Rabinowitz (12 points) buried a pair from beyond the arc and Irwin (team-high 15 points) hit one, but the Hawks went into the break down 29-22.
“We didn’t finish around the rim at all,” said Miflord coach T.J. Dolliver. “There were a lot of close shots right around the rim, contested here or there, but we just couldn’t finish. Defensively, we just had too many breakdowns.”
Things got worse for the Hawks in the second half, as North scored the first seven points in the third and extended the lead to as many as 14. Senior Emily Haskell hit a three and assisted on a bucket by classmate Santos.
Milford started to climb back in by going inside to Gillian Valanzola, who scored with a post move on the left block. The senior played almost every minute of the game and finished with, six points, 12 rebounds, and nine blocks trying to control the paint.
“We ask a lot of her to play that many minutes because it’s hard for a big to play that many minutes,” Dolliver explained, “but with the injury to Juliana [Tracy] we needed her to.” When it was mentioned that Valanzola stepped up when Milford needed it, Dolliver replied, “She definitely did. I knew that she would.”
Emily Piergustavo (11 points) knocked down a three and Rabinowitz added her third shot from beyond the arc and suddenly Milford was back in it, down just six heading to the fourth.
Irwin started the fourth quarter with a three to cut the lead in half. While it got the senior to 10 points on the night, Herber credited sophomore Olivia Forbes for making it difficult for Irwin and the interior defenders for holding their own in the paint.
“We said, she’s going to get her points, we’ve got to contain her,” he said. “The first time, we doubled down because we were afraid of the inside and they’ve got some kids who can shoot. Santos and [Eliza] Dion and everyone we mixed in there was able to take care of the inside and keep us in it.”
Sophomore Julia Kleczkowski answered Irwin with a three of her own (her only points on the night) and then Feid got going. She scored off the glass in transition off a Haskell assist and then drove the ball to the basket and finished to make it 48-40.
Irwin snagged a long rebound and banked in a three to keep it a five-point game with time running out but Feid went 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute to seal the win.
“It’s definitely been an adjustment,” said Dolliver about working with a short bench. “I knew they were an improved team and I told the girls that before the game and yesterday at practice as well. There were a lot of things that went wrong for us tonight.”
North Attleboro (4-13, 3-12) will try close out league play with a win on Friday against league champion Foxboro. Milford (11-8, 7-8) will close out the regular season against Sharon as it tries to build momentum for the playoffs.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – North Attleboro came storming out of the gates to jump all over King Philip in Wednesday night’s game at the Kenneth Pickering Gym. The Rocketeers held KP to just four points in the first quarter and led by 19 heading into halftime.
Things got much closer in the second half, as the Warriors stormed back in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to as few as six points, but North held its nerve and held off the KP charge to pull out its first league win of the season, 57-48.
“Ultimately, we talked about the last couple days about being aggressive on both ends of the court,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “That first half, I think, was the best we’ve played all year. We were very aggressive.”
Utilizing a full-court press from the opening tip, North was able to keep the Warriors from getting into any rhythm on the offensive end. Four points from Julia Santos and four from Julia Feid put the Rocketeers ahead 8-0 to start and a three by Emma Noreck helped extend the lead to 12-4 after the first quarter.
In the second, North’s pressure continued to create offense. Despite four points apiece from Shannon O’Connor and Julia Leroux in the second, KP continued to fall further behind. Eliza Dion steal led to an easy basket for Feid (10 points, all in the first half) who followed it up with a steal and layup off the ensuing inbound pass.
“We played a little sloppy,” said KP coach Amy Siggens, “and it comes down to a lot of finishing for us, which we work on every day but we’ve just got to keep working on.”
North had no problem finishing in the second. Sophomore Julia Kleczkowski drilled a pair of threes in the quarter, freshman Amanda Kaiser hit one, and senior Emily Haskell scored eight of her team-high 14 points in the second, including a pair from beyond the arc. North went into the break leading 35-16.
Things looked drastically different in the second half. North made only one shot from the field, a layup by Santos (14 points and 10 rebounds) off one of Olivia Forbes’ six assists, and finished the third with six points.
“I said in the second half they’re going to come out aggressive and we have to match that aggressiveness and we didn’t right away,” said Herber. “We had to kind of find ourselves on offense. The third quarter was ugly and that’s kind of how we’ve been. We can’t score and then we can’t set our press, be aggressive, and do the things we want to do.”
KP crept closer behind eight points from O’Connor and a strong effort from the whole team on the glass (Christina Hathaway and Catherine Cummings each had seven rebounds). O’Connor, a Boston University-commit, got free for a pair of layups, both assisted by Faith Roy, scored on an offensive rebound, and a pair of free throws. O’Connor finished with a game-high 22 points and pulled down a game-high 15 boards.
The Warriors were within 13 heading to the fourth and Siggens credited better ball management against the press for being able to get into the offense easier.
She explained, “We just readjusted. We usually create our 1-3 cross and we just had to adjust and bring people back and I think we get caught up very fast and kind of panic. We kept our composure a little bit better in the second half.”
The tough shooting stretch continued into the fourth quarter for the Rocketeers and KP continued to close the gap. O’Connor knocked down a three that made it 47-41, the closest the Warriors had been since the opening quarter. Santos got a scoop in traffic to go to push the lead back to eight, but Leroux (seven points) scrambled in a rebound that made it a six-point game again.
“I called a timeout and said this is what we need to do, we’ve been practicing this, we’ve got to be smarter and we need to play through all this stuff,” Herber explained. “We fought through all that and I’m so proud of the way we played tonight.”
Kaiser made a back-cut and received a nice dish from Forbes for a layup and she and Santos each hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead back out to double digits. O’Connor hit her second three of the quarter, but it was not enough to get KP all the way back.
“They really stepped it up,” said Siggens of her team’s second half comeback attempt. “We just couldn’t convert on a couple of ones we should’ve to really cut into that lead, but I’m very proud of the way they played second half. I couldn’t ask for more.”
North Attleboro (2-11, 1-10) will try to build on its first league win when it travels to Canton on Friday. King Philip (3-9, 2-8) will look to bounce back when it hosts Attleboro.
Franklin, 93 @ Stoughton, 58 – Final – Franklin jumped out to a quick 19-2 lead and never looked back in a road win at Stoughton. The Panthers led 30-11 after one before the Black Knights cut the deficit to nine, 48-39, at halftime. Franklin outscored 45-19 in the second half to earn the win. Senior Paul Mahon led a game-high 21 points while senior Matt Elias and sophomore Chris Edgehill each had 16 points apiece for the Panthers. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews had a team-high 15 points.
King Philip, 57 @ Sharon, 63 – Final (OT) – King Philip raced out to a 13-0 lead, led by as much as 23 in the first half and 31-11 at halftime, but Sharon stormed back with a gigantic second half to stun the Warriors in overtime. Sharon hit one free throw to make it 50-46, then grabbed the offensive rebound to get back to the line. After making the first again, the Eagles came down with the offensive board on the miss. Lester High, who scored a career-high 19 points, drained a three to tie the game with 25 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Malik Lorquet (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Jimmy Fitzhenry (12 points) hit back-to-back baskets, KP answered with a free throw, then High hit his fifth triple of the game to make it 57-53. Tom Madden (12 points) answered in the post to cut it to four, but Fitzhenry drained a three with just under a minute to play to make it 60-53. Pharoah Davis led KP with 14 points.
Milford, 46 @ Attleboro, 38 – Final – A night after scoring 33 and reaching the 1,000-point plateau, Kate Irwin scored 17 points to lead the Hawks to a road win at Attleboro to clinch a spot in the postseason for the second season in a row. Jess Tomaso added 15 points for Milford, while Attleboro was led by Sam Pierce with 14 points.
Stoughton, 47 @ Franklin, 36 – Final – Stoughton won its fourth straight game (all on the road) with a strong defensive effort against the Panthers. Aliyah Wright led the Black Knights with 17 points and Jordan Motley just missed out on a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Sharon, 43 @ King Philip, 63 – Final – KP had four players in double digits in a big home win. Faith Roy was the top scorer for the Warriors with 19 points, while Shannon O’Connor scored 14 and Christina Hathaway and freshman Brianna James each scored 10. Emma Eberhardt was Sharon’s top scorer with 11 points.
North Attleboro, 29 @ Mansfield, 59 – Final – Meg Hill scored 15 points and recorded 12 rebounds in another double-double for the senior center. Ann Maher scored nine, while Sydney Mulkern and Alicia Hottleman each added seven for the Hornets. Julia Feid was the high scorer for North with 10 points.
Boys Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 58 vs. Taunton, 42 – Final
Canton, 52.5 vs. Foxboro, 47.5 – Final – Marquise Montes, Riley McDonnell, and Cordell Smith all placed first in individual races and teamed together along with freshman Cam Sanchez to win the 4×200 relay to help the Bulldogs edge the Warriors. Montes on the 55M (with Sanchez second), McDonnell took first in the 300M (with Smith second and John Guenthner third) and Smith won the high jump (with Steven Brady second and McDonnell tied for third). Brady also won the long jump, Jack Healey won the 2 Mile and was second in the 1 Mile, and Mike Mazzola took second in the 1000M. Gerry Sullivan added a third-place finish in the 600M.
Franklin, 25 vs. Mansfield, 75 – Final – The Hornets clinched another league title with a win over the Panthers. Jareme DiLorenzo had a great meet for Mansfield, taking first in the 55M hurdles (8.12), first in the long jump (20-05.00) and second in the 55M dash (6.98). Mike Hargadon ran a PR (1:26.52) for a second place finish in the 600M, with Mike Shannon coming in first (1:25.29). In the shot put, Dan Radev had a PR of 41-11.25 to take second (behind teammate Kevin McCree’s 45-05.00) and Kalin Petrov had his best performance in the 2 Mile, finishing in 9:42.00.
King Philip, 36 vs. Oliver Ames, 64 – Final
Milford, 33 vs. North Attleboro, 67 – Final
Sharon, 58 vs. Stoughton, 42 – Final
Girls Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 30.5 vs. Taunton, 65.5 – Final
Canton, 36 vs. Foxboro, 60 – Final – Canton’s Jimisha Williams, Leah Murphy and Claire Belisle all won individual events and teamed with Rosana Cho to win the 4×200 relay for the Bulldogs. Williams took first in the 55M, Murphy was on the long jump while Cho took second, and Belisle won the 300M. Ally Chin (2 Mile) and Bronwyn Mahoney (shot put) earned first-place finishes, while Chloe Pennacchio earned points with third-place finishes in both the 1000M and 1 Mile.
Franklin, 59 vs. Mansfield, 41 – Final – Franklin won the division for the third straight year with the victory. For Mansfield, senior Madison Haughey ran a PR in the 55M hurdles and jumped 4’11 in the high jump, qualifying for states in both events. Junior Brynn Anderson knocked off six seconds for a PR in the 1000M, also qualifying for states. Lizzie How also ran a PR in the 300, taking second, with freshman Tessa Lancaster shaved 20 seconds off her 2 Mile run, qualifying for states at 12:14.55.
King Philip, 57 vs. Oliver Ames, 43 – Final
Milford, 43 vs. North Attleboro, 57 – Final
Sharon, 69 vs. Stoughton, 30 – Final
Franklin, 86 @ North Attleboro, 74 – Final
Oliver Ames, 99 @ King Philip, 84 – Final
Franklin, 90 @ North Attleboro, 75 – Final
Oliver Ames, 90 @ King Philip, 95 – Final
North Attleboro, 55 @ Attleboro, 52 – Final – Trailing by five in the fourth quarter, North Attleboro junior Nate Gonsalves drained a three to spark an 11-2 run for Big Red. Gonsalves then converted a layup with just over a minute to play, giving the Rocketeers a 51-50 lead. Ethan Friberg and Evan Rosenberg also scored in the run, and Josh Montague scored with just under a minute to play to make it 53-50. Attleboro’s Qualeem Charles and Montague traded two free throws apiece but the Bombardiers’ three-point attempt at the buzzer was just long. North Attleboro had nine players make the score sheet, led by Montague’s 16. Derek Shanks had a career-high 11 points while Gonsalves finished with eight. Dom Victor led Attleboro with 16 points, Charles added 10 points and sophomore Bryant Ciccio chipped in with nine points.
Canton, 46 @ Franklin, 74 – Final – Franklin raced out to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and built a 33-16 lead heading into the break in a big win over Canton. The Panthers extended the lead to 57-36 after three quarters. Junior Jalen Samuels and sophomore Chris Edgehill each scored 22 points in the win for the Panthers.
Foxboro, 45 @ Taunton, 55 – Final – The Tigers extended their lead in each of the first three quarters and held off Foxboro’s late push to finish a win. Taunton led 13-7 after one, and then by 11 following the second (28-17) and third quarters (44-33). Foxboro cut the deficit to five in the fourth quarter (50-45) but the Tigers slammed the door shut. Senior Lens Esquil had a team-high 18 points while classmate Malik Charles added 10 points for the Tigers. Senior Joe Morrison netted a game-high 20 points for Foxboro while sophomore Brandon Borde chipped in with 10 points.
Sharon, 53 @ Mansfield, 81 – Final – Sharon cut the deficit to seven early in the second quarter but Mansfield rattled off a 16-4 run to close the half, creating a double-digit lead it never surrendered. Mansfield senior John McCoy had a team-high 21 points while Sam Hyland had a terrific all-around game with a career-high 16 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet had a team-high 18 points and 14 rebounds while Jimmy Fitzhenry added 12 points.
Milford, 36 @ Oliver Ames, 55 – Final – Oliver Ames held Milford to eight points in the first, and nine in the second before building a double-digit advantage in the second half. OA senior Jack Spillane scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Tigers while Ethan Eckstrom and Matt Muir each chipped in with nine points. Milford senior Andrew Fraioli had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Scarlet Hawks.
Attleboro, 50 @ North Attleboro, 49 – Final – Sam Pierce knocked down the game-winning free throw with eight seconds remaining. The senior forward finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Nyah Thomas also had a double-double for the Bombardiers with 11 points, 11 boards, and five steals. North got 13 points from Julia Santos and 12 points from Julia Feid.
Franklin, 52 @ Canton, 26 – FinalFranklin had seven players score at least five points in the game and put in what head coach John Leighton called the “best defensive effort” of the season by holding Canton to four points in the first half. Megan O’Connell was the top scorer for the Panthers with 12 points, while Breanna Atwood added nine and Ali Brigham had eight.
King Philip @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Mansfield, 55 @ Sharon, 27 – Final – Meg Hill scored 21 points to lead the Kelley-Rex leading Hornets to a road win. Ann Maher added nine for Mansfield. Evanjuline Elisma and Telishya Herbert each scored nine points for the Eagles.
Oliver Ames, 60 @ Milford, 45 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 19-point lead at halftime that was cut down to 11 heading into the final frame, and down to nine with under four minutes to play, but the Tigers finished with an 9-3 run to close the game. Kayla Raymond paced the Tigers with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Alex Sheldon notched a career-high 16 points. Senior Abby Reardon added 10 points and seven assists for the Tigers. Milford’s Kate Irwin had 16 points.
Stoughton @ Canton, 4:30
Oliver Ames, 108 @ Mansfield, 72 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 4:00
Stoughton @ Canton, 4:30
Oliver Ames, 105 @ Mansfield, 65 – Final
Taunton vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 4:00
Taunton, 24 @ Josiah Quincy Upper School, 54 – Final – Taunton picked up wins from Josh Grasso (132), Guerard Theodore (145), Tyler Kennedy (160), Candido Santos, and Woudanly Danger (220).
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Coming into Friday night’s game at the Pickering Gym, Stoughton had lost four games by seven or less points, struggling to find ways down the stretch to pull out wins. When North Attleboro climbed back to within five points in the fourth quarter, it looked like that may happen again for the Black Knights.
Instead of letting the game slip away, senior forward Val Whalen took over down the stretch. She scored 10 points, made 8-of-10 from the free throw line, and dominated the paint to help Stoughton close with a 17-6 run that sealed a 59-43 victory over North and ended the Black Knights’ winless start in the league.
“This is the best game of Val’s senior year so far and I know she’s going to continue to do great things,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “It was clutch. She stepped up to the line and knocked them down. Obviously, her offensive rebounds were important, but it was nice to see her do well from the free throw line.”
Whalen finished the game with 19 points and 19 rebounds, while also adding four assists and two blocks. North struggled to find an answer for the senior on either end of the floor.
“She’s a nightmare and causes a lot of problems,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “She can shoot a little bit and it drags you out and then you’ve got [Jordan] Motley to grab all the backside rebounds. So, you’ve really got to have two posts and if you don’t have two posts you’re always playing a matchup game.”
Stoughton took over on the boards right from the opening tap. Whalen pulled down nine rebounds in the first quarter and scored seven points, with both of her baskets coming on putbacks at the rim. Sophomore guard Aliyah Wright (13 points, nine rebounds) also chipped in with six in the first.
North tried to stay close with its perimeter game. Julia Feid (team-high 12 points) and Emily Haskell (eight points) each knocked down threes to keep North within seven (17-10) after one quarter.
The Rocketeers made only one shot from the floor in the second, but were managing to stay close thanks to 9-of-12 shooting from the free throw line. Stoughton’s aggressive defense was giving North free points, but sophomores Shyanne Trinh (14 points) and Mariah Harris (seven points) each hit threes to keep the Black Knights ahead.
With North hanging around, down just eight inside the final few seconds of the half, Trinh took off on a coast-to-coast run that ended with a layup and a 30-20 halftime lead, which left North’s bench frustrated.
“We did okay with our game plan, but they’re a good team, they’re battle-tested, and they’ve got some kids who’ve been on varsity for two or three years now,” said Herber.
Fouls continued to rack up for Stoughton in the second half. North shot 12 free throws in the third and reached the bonus before the end of the quarter. Feid scored on an offensive rebound to cut the lead back to 10 and Julia Santos (eight points, 11 rebounds) added a putback as well.
Heading to the fourth quarter, Stoughton’s lead, which had been as many as 13 was down to just seven.
“We were in foul trouble and that really hurt us,” said Steele Jordan, “but we’ve had several close ones that we needed just a little bit more and I think those games helped us in this instance.”
North continued to battle early in the fourth. Sophomore Eliza Dion (seven points) drove through the Stoughton defense for a layup that made it 40-35 and, after a pair of Whalen free throws, Haskell drove on the other side for a bucket that again got the Rocketeers within five points. It was as close as North would get.
Herber said, “They fight, they fight and that’s why I feel so bad for them because they do fight. We’ve been in the last couple of games but we just couldn’t get that big shot.”
Wright scored on a runner in the lane and found Whalen leaking out in transition for an easy basket to push the lead back to nine. Whalen grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Trinh for an open three that put Stoughton up by double digits and then Whalen sealed the win with six free throws in the closing minutes.
“They can do some things in the post that we didn’t have any answers for,” Herber admitted. “Whalen and Motley (14 rebounds) down the stretch really gave us problems and we tried to get them in foul trouble but couldn’t at the end.”
Steele Jordan said, “It’s tough. You have a few tough losses back-to-back, but I have a fantastic team and they work hard for me every day. They dug down, played solid ‘D’, and took their time on offense and it showed today.”
After earning its first win in the league, Steele Jordan is hoping that the team can build off this performance. She said, “They’re young, but they’re coming into their own, which is nice because you always worry about peaking too soon. I’m glad my team is starting to turn the wheels now and really get going.”
Stoughton (2-7, 1-5) will travel to Sharon on Tuesday night trying to make it two in a row in the Hock. North Attleboro (1-7, 0-6) will try to get its first win in the league on Tuesday at Milford.
Attleboro, 61 vs. Bishop Feehan, 48 – Final – Attleboro had six players scored eight or more points, and used a mini-run in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Shamrocks. Up 49-42, the Bombardiers put together a six-point surge that put the game away with just over two minutes to play. Sophomore Bryant Ciccio had a team-high 15 points while classmate Qualeem Charles had eight points and 17 rebounds. Junior Dom Victor added 12 points and eight rebounds, senior Nate Douglas and junior Mason Houle each scored nine points and senior Elvin Sam chipped in with eight points.
Foxboro, 48 vs. Shaler Area (PA), 37 – Final – Foxboro limited Shaler Area to just 14 points in the first half and just 25 points through three quarters to win its bracket in the KSA Holiday Tournament at Disney. Senior Joe Morrison dropped a team-high 14 points and was named tournament MVP. Bobby Harrison added eight points and sophomore Ryan Hughes chipped in with seven points in the win.
King Philip, 48 vs. Braintree, 66 – Final
North Attleboro, 64 @ Lincoln-Sudbury, 59 – Final – North Attleboro saw its eight-point lead shrink down to just three with 20 seconds to play, but junior guard Josh Montague hit a pair of free throws to tie a career-high with 25 points, helping the Rocketeers win the Warrior Winter Slam championship game. North led 34-27 at the half and 46-38 heading into the final quarter. Montague earned tournament MVP honors while Chad Peterson (14 points) and junior Jake Petersen (six points) were named to the all-tournament team.
Attleboro, 26 @ Bishop Feehan, 54 – Final
Milford, 55 @ Hopedale, 27 – Final – Kate Irwin scored 15 points and had five assists for the Hawks, who picked up a big win over their neighbors. Jess Tomaso scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds and Gillian Valanzola had nine points and 13 boards for Milford.
North Attleboro, 30 vs. Westwood, 28 – Final – Julia Feid was the top scorer for the Rocketeers with 14 points to lead North to its first victory of the season.
Foxboro, 3 @ Saint John Paul II, 1 – Final
Franklin, 2 vs. Bishop Guertin, 1 – Final
Lowell Holiday Tournament (Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton) – Franklin had the best showing among Hock teams, placing seventh overall with 112.5 points. Jordan Carlucci (126) placed fifth overall and TJ Remillard (132) took seventh in his bracket. For Foxboro, senior Phil Dure was eighth overall in the 126 bracket and the Warriors earned 64 points. Canton earned 50 points and Stoughton had 31 points.
Attleboro, 85 @ Sharon, 65 – Final – Attleboro hit 10 three-pointers as a team and had six players reach double figures in a big win over Sharon. The Bombardiers held a 39-35 lead at halftime but opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to create separation. Attleboro outscored Sharon 23-9 in the third quarter. Attleboro senior Elvin Sam scored a career-high 17 points while sophomore Bryant Ciccio (seven assists) tied a career-high with 16 points for Attleboro. Dom Victor added 15 points while Qualeem Charles (seven rebounds), Nate Douglas, and Mason Houle each scored 10 points. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet led all scorers with 20 points.
Franklin, 52 @ Foxboro, 54 – Final – Foxboro led by six at halftime (31-25) and extended that lead to as much as 15 in the second half but had to survive a furious late rally by the Panthers. Foxboro led 42-32 going into the fourth quarter but a 7-0 run from the Panthers cut the deficit to just four, 51-47, with 47 seconds left. Bobby Harrison hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to make it a two-possession game. Matt Rongione scored a career-high 15 points for the Warriors while Joe Morrison added 12 points and sophomore Brandon Borde had nine points. Franklin sophomore Chris Edgehill had a game-high 17 points while junior Jalen Samuels added 15 points.
Mansfield, 85 @ Stoughton, 60 – Final – After a close first quarter, Mansfield exploded for 30 points in the second quarter to take a 51-28 lead at halftime. The Hornets had their best defensive quarter of the game in the third, limiting the Black Knights to eight points to pull away completely. Senior John McCoy (9-for-11) scored a team-high 23 points, hauled in 10 rebounds and had three blocks, Khristian Conner notched a career-high 17 points (on 8-for-13 shooting) with seven rebounds and Justin Vine added 16 points. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews scored a game-high 24 points for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 54 @ Milford, 56 – Final (OT) – Milford overcame a 12-point deficit in the final three minutes of the game to send the game to overtime, and then twice erased deficits in the extra period to earn the win. Milford junior Cam Falcon drained a three – his first career field goal – to give the Hawks the early lead in overtime. Taunton rattled off four straight to get the lead back, but two free throws from Milford put the Hawks up 53-52. Taunton scored again to take the but Milford once again sank two free throws to take the lead for good. Brendan White scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Hawks. Steve Sutherland added 12 points in the win for Milford. Taunton sophomore Dante Law scored a game-high 18 points while Lou Vendrell had 10 points for the Tigers.
Oliver Ames, 44 @ North Attleboro, 59 – Final – North Attleboro raced out to a 12-1 lead after one quarter and never looked back. Big Red took a 27-16 lead into halftime and a 36-28 lead into the fourth quarter. Chad Peterson finished with a team-high 13 points, including three triples in the third quarter. Matt Seavey added 10 points and Evan Rosenberg, Josh Montague, and Jake Peterson all had nine points for the Rocketeers. North head coach Sean Mulkerrins praised the defensive work of Derek Shanks. Jack Spillane led the Tigers with 17 points.
Sharon, 32 @ Attleboro, 48 – Final – Attleboro outscored the Eagles 14-3 in the third quarter to break the game open and earn its second straight victory. The Bombardiers were led by Sam Pierce’s 14 points and nine rebounds. Nyah Thomas added 12 points and nine boards and Jordyn Lake scored seven points, pulled down 10 boards, and dished out five assists in the win. Sharon was led by Emma Eberhardt and Evanjuline Elisma, who each scored 10 points.
Canton, 59 @ King Philip, 54 – Final – The Bulldogs scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to rally for a road win at KP, only taking their first lead in the final minute of the game. Hannah Jerrier had a double-double for Canton, scoring 21 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. Erin Devine added 11 points and Maggie Connolly had 10 for the Bulldogs, who shot 15-of-19 from the line as a team.
Stoughton, 30 @ Mansfield, 61 – Final – The Hornets jumped out to an 18-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back to win a second straight game in the league. Meg Hill scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while blocking four shots. Ann Maher added nine points and Maggie Danehy had eight for Mansfield. Val Whalen scored 10 points and Shyanne Trinh had nine in the loss.
Milford, 59 @ Taunton, 44 – Final
North Attleboro, 31 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – Final – Oliver Ames’ defense limited North Attleboro to just 13 points in the first half, taking a 28-13 lead into the break and never looking back. Kayla Raymond led the Tigers with 24 points while Alex Sheldon scored 11 points and Ally Scolnick had eight points. Julia Feid scored a team-high 12 points for North Attleboro.
The Bombardiers enter the season with a new coaching staff and a very different starting lineup to the one that nearly knocked off Mansfield in the Div. 1 South playoffs last season. Former King Philip coach Marty Crowley has taken over after Rick Patch stepped down in the off-season and he will have only a few returning varsity players to call on this winter.
Senior forward Sam Pierce will be the key piece on offense, as Attleboro tries to replace the more than 30 points per game that was lost with the graduation of Sarah Deyo and Julia Strachan. Pierce has been a consistent scorer and rebounder for the past few seasons, but this will be the first time that she is the primary offensive weapon and could be poised for a breakout year. Junior Jordyn Lako and senior Grace Mayer are strong on-the-ball defenders and should help Crowley implement his high-pressure defensive scheme. Senior Kim White will also be one of Attleboro’s ball-handlers in the backcourt.
One of the players who saw a little time on varsity last season that is expected to make a big jump is sophomore Nyah Thomas, who has the length to be a tough defender and showed in her few appearances last year that she can rebound and take the ball to the basket. Sophomore Liv McCall is a fearless shooter that will stretch the floor and transfer Mackenzie Roberts will give the Bombardiers added size in the paint.
Crowley said, “For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound. Sam, I am sure, is going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone.”
2016-2017 Record: 6-14 2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Jim Choquette
There has been excitement around the Canton program for the past few seasons and that continues this winter, as the Bulldogs look to secure a place in the state tournament behind an experienced lineup that has been developing together for several years.
Senior Hannah Jerrier is the key for the Bulldogs, as the forward is coming off a league all-star season in which she emerged as a potential double-double night after night. Jerrier is a solid rebounder and scorer in the paint, reaching the 20-point mark nine times last season and averaging more than 16 points and nine rebounds per game. Junior Julia Hamilton will be back at point guard for the Bulldogs to help get the Canton into its offensive sets and provide pressure, on-the-ball defense. Senior Jess Powers is also back after missing a season to a knee injury and will add a boost to the team’s outside shooting and take pressure off Jerrier on offense.
Junior Maggie Connolly returns for her second year in the backcourt and seniors Lindsey Barrett, Nikki Gefteas, and Leya Conard will all add depth to the Canton roster this season, while junior Erin Devine adds another important post presence on both ends of the floor. The versatility of the roster will allow head coach Jim Choquette to change his game plans every game, slowing it down to play half-court or ratcheting up the pressure to go up tempo.
“Canton remains focused on playing together and staying positive for the best season possible,” Choquette said. “Leading up to our first game there’s been an extreme amount of effort and energy by a large group of unselfish girls and our seniors have all been great examples of staying positive throughout all situations!”
2016-2017 Record: 22-3 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Semifinal Coach: Lisa Downs
After winning the Div. 2 South title and reaching the TD Garden last winter, this year’s Foxboro team will have high expectations, but with four starters returning, including reigning Hockomock League MVP Ashley Sampson, the Warriors will once again be the favorites to take home the Davenport division crown.
Having already passed the 1,000-point mark for her career, Sampson enters her senior season as the focal point of the Foxboro offense. Her ability to get into the lane and finish, as well as step back and knock down shots, makes her a tough cover and opens space for her teammates. Fellow senior Lily Sykes is one of the beneficiaries of that space and she can take advantage of open looks on the perimeter. Senior Grace Tamulionis is another player who can stretch the floor for the Warriors and can be an ‘X’ factor for Foxboro in big games. Senior Shannon Smally adds rebounding and post presence to keep defenses honest.
The Warriors are now the veteran team in the division, but there are also several younger players that have developed into critical pieces off the bench, including sophomore Abby Hassman, who has grown in the off-season into a strong rebounder. Freshman Katelyn Mollica will add backcourt depth with her tenacity on defense and already impressive court awareness. Junior Chelsea Gibbons is another player that is expected to step into a bigger role this season.
Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said, “This group of seniors have been part of our Varsity team since their freshmen year and with each year, they have learned and developed more – all of the girls on this year’s team put in the necessary work; now its time to execute.”
2016-2017 Record: 9-11 2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: John Leighton
Franklin got off to a rough start last season, beginning 0-6 with an inexperienced roster, but then closed the year with nine wins in the last 14 games, just missing out on a return to the postseason. This year, the Panthers will try to build on that year of experience and book a return to the playoffs.
The Panthers will have strength in the middle to try and get off to a much better start this season. Sophomore Ali Brigham, last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, has received several Div. I NCAA offers, including one from the University of Minnesota, and at 6-foot-3 can dominate the paint on both ends of the floor. Franklin will also have outside scoring with junior guard Bea Bondhus, who is a consistent three-point shooter and will stretch defenses to open up the post for Brigham.
Franklin has plenty of size this season. Sophomore forwards Breanna Atwood (5-foot-9) and Megan O’Connell (5-foot-10) and senior forward Kate Morse (5-foot-11) will provide plenty of depth on the inside. Junior Shannon Gray will be back to run the point and senior Grace Sameski will add backcourt depth. Freshman guard Elizabeth Wilson is poised to make an instant impact for the Panthers, as she did in the season opener by knocking down three free throws in the final seconds to force overtime against Holy Name.
“We are a young team with only two seniors, but I am very pleased with the effort and progress of the team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton, who is excited about the return of the majority of the team’s scoring and the potential of the youth on the roster.
King Philip has a new coach this season, with former Wellesley assistant Amy Siggens taking over for Marty Crowley, and there could be a period of adjustment for a still relatively young Warriors roster to adapt to the new system, but there is excitement about the progress being made by the seven returning varsity players.
Boston University-commit Shannon O’Connor will once again be a player to watch for the Warriors this winter. The junior’s ability to shoot off the dribble, defend multiple positions, and take the ball to the basket has made her one of the league’s elite perimeter players. As O’Connor continues to develop as a playmaker that will create open looks for her teammates, including junior Julia Leroux and sophomore Faith Roy. Senior Christina Hathaway (one of only two seniors on the roster) will add strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.
The Warriors will not lack for size this season. O’Connor is listed at 5-foot-11, junior Catherine Cummings and sophomore Faye Veilleux are listed at 5-foot-10, and Roy is listed at 5-foot-9. The versatility of those players will give Siggens room to switch up lineups when needed. KP is still pretty young and Siggens has added two freshmen, Emma Glaser and Brianna James, to this year’s roster.
Siggens said, “Early on we will stress the importance of being unselfish on offense and being tough and aggressive on defense. Knowing mistakes will be made, there will be no small emphasis on the importance of playing hard all the time… I am encouraged by our team’s enthusiasm and attitude.”
2016-2017 Record: 20-4 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
Replacing the production of last season’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jen Peel is a difficult task, but Mansfield has the talent, depth, and experience in the roster to make it work. The Hornets return four starters from last year’s squad and will lean on a loaded and versatile junior class to try and make it a three-peat of league titles.
The key returner for Mansfield is 6-foot-3 center Meg Hill. The Stonehill College-commit is already the program’s best in blocked shots and is soon to be the career leader in rebounds, while improving her offensive game every season. With Peel gone, junior Mady Bendanillo will be tasked with getting the ball into the post to Hill and to fellow junior Maggie Danehy, who had an impressive start with a double-double against Medfield in the Endowment Game. Reigning HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year Ann Maher will also be back at shooting guard and is one of the team’s most consistent three-point threats.
Juniors Erin Daniel, Emily Vigeant, Sydney Mulkern and Kara Bendanillo will likely compete for the fifth starting spot and all should see plenty of playing time this year. With 5-foot-11 senior Maeve Carney and 5-foot-10 freshman Ashley Santos, the Hornets should be able to dominate the paint and sophomore Becca Hottleman will add depth at the point guard position.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “We have a chance to be very good again with our junior group getting a ton of experience last year and we hope to compete for league title again.” He added that the Hornets bolstered the schedule this season as well. Redding said, “Our record may not be as good as last year when we earned the No. 1 seed, but we will be more battle tested for the state tourney in March.”
2016-2017 Record: 10-11 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central first round. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
A year after returning to the postseason for the first time since 2012 (and nearly pulling off an upset of Marlboro on the road), Milford brings back seven seniors to try and make a push for a Davenport division title and another state tournament appearance.
The Hawks have a versatile lineup led by four-year starter Kate Irwin. The lefty point guard is one of the most dynamic perimeter scorers and playmakers in the league and she continues to improve each season. Her ability to get into the paint opens up room for her teammates and she can also step back and knock down threes. Irwin will be helped by fellow seniors Gillian Valanzola and Juliana Tracy, who add size on the post.
Senior Emily Piergustavo is a knock-down shooter from beyond the arc and her classmate Jess Tomaso has proven to be a solid rebounder from the guard position. There are also two sophomores and four freshmen on the roster this season to add depth and build for the future under third-year head coach T.J. Dolliver.
Dolliver said, “I am very excited for our team this year. This is my 3rd year with a lot of these girls and seeing how they have progressed over the years have really set this team up for a fun season.”
Last season, North Attleboro boasted one of the most experienced lineups in the league with five of its top six players being seniors, but this year the Rocketeers will be incorporating a number of new faces, as only six players (only starter) return from last winter.
The lone returning starter is junior guard Julia Feid, who had a breakout season on the wing and will be counted on to lead the offensive attack this year. Feid’s classmate Emily Haskell will also be on the wing for North this season and will also have a large chunk of the offense run through her. Senior Emily Pastore, junior Liz Smahi, and sophomore Michelle Pothier will also contribute scoring from the wing, while junior Lauren Pezzi and sophomore Olivia Forbes will run the point and distribute the ball in the half court.
The graduation of Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse leaves an opening on the post, but North has several players that will step in to provide a presence in the paint. Senior Julia Santos and juniors Emma Noreck and Kaley Sullivan will each get opportunities to contribute. North faces a tough early season schedule with the likes of Franklin, Oliver Ames, Archbishop Williams, and Hingham, so it will be critical for the new players to find their feet quickly.
North Attleboro coach Derek Herber said, “The team has quickly began to gel and I am hopeful that we if we can survive the early part of the season, we can qualify for the tournament.”
2016-2017 Record: 13-8 2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round. Coach: Elaine Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames struggled to find consistent offense last season and it kept the Tigers from being able to challenge Mansfield for the league title or make another run in Div. 2 South, but a healthy lineup with several key returning players has OA optimistic for improvements this winter.
The main focus will be on senior forward Kayla Raymond. The Stonehill College-commit is one of the most versatile players in the league, with the length and leaping ability to dominate in the paint and the range to step out and knock down jumpers. Raymond is listed as a forward/center but could potentially be used at multiple positions. Senior guard Abby Reardon is back to get the Tigers into their offensive sets and as one of the league’s top on-the-ball defenders. Classmate Katie Flynn also returns to give Raymond help in the post.
In addition to the seniors, junior Alex Sheldon will provide depth at the forward position and junior Sadie Homer was a dynamic scorer on the perimeter before an injury cut her season short last year. Homer was a solid three-point shooter last year and will be expected to stretch defenses again this season. Sophomore guard Meg Holleran emerged as a playmaker during her freshman campaign and could see a bigger role this year.
“OA is looking to blend some younger talent and are working hard to provide some depth in the backcourt,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “Looking forward to the fight for the Kelly Rex Division.”
In addition to a new coaching staff, Sharon will see a number of new faces on the roster, as several of last year’s players are focusing on other sports this winter. Former Rockland and East Bridgewater assistant Sandra Lombardi takes over for Cliff Tomassian and will have a young group to work with in her first head coaching position.
Junior small forward Emma Eberhardt is one of the returning players that will be expected to provide leadership and scoring for the Eagles. Eberhardt, a HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team performer last year, was Sharon’s top scorer last winter and also has the size to be a problem for opponents on the glass. She scored 16 points in Sharon’s win over Nipmuc in the season opener. Senior guard Miranda Cheung will also be back for Sharon to provide ball-handling and perimeter shooting.
Sophomore Telishya Herbert made the jump from JV to varsity midway through last season and had an instant impact on the Eagles with her athleticism and her ability to score in the paint. She had 10 points against Nipmuc and could be ready for a breakout year as Sharon’s second scorer to take some pressure off Eberhardt. Also back from last year’s roster are junior Evanjuline Elisma and sophomore Ally Brown.
Lombardi said of her new team, “We are going to be quick and aggressive. I’m excited to see what the season will bring.”
The Black Knights narrowly missed out on the postseason last year, despite having a number of underclassmen in the roster, and expectations for this season include a return to the playoffs under third-year head coach Charmaine Steele-Jordan.
Senior Val Whalen was the team’s MVP last season after leading the Black Knights with more than 13 points and nine rebounds per game. Whalen has improved every season and her intensity on defense and on the glass boosts is contagious. Stoughton is a physical team that likes to put pressure on the ball defensively and Whalen sets the tone. Senior Jordan Motley is also a tenacious rebounder and gives the Black Knights another strong presence in the paint.
Sophomore guard Shyanne Trinh had a breakout freshman campaign, scoring more than 10 points per game, and her ball-handling and long-range shooting opens things up for the post players. Fellow sophomore Aliyah Wright also had a strong rookie campaign and her size is a difficult matchup for many of the point guards in the Hock. Stoughton will also count on junior guards Lindsey McDonald and Hailey Egan and sophomore Lexi Baptista. Freshman Sydnee Hyacinthe has also been called up to add depth in the backcourt.
Steele-Jordan said of her senior forwards, “I’m looking forward to their leadership, hustle on the court and their defensive presence this year. Whalen and Motley’s veteran play along with our returning sophomores will be great for the Black Knights this season.”
2016-2017 Record: 1-21 2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton is coming off a difficult season in which the Tigers finished with just one victory, but one game into the new year and Taunton has already matched that total. The season opening win over Cumberland (R.I.) fits with the optimism around the program, as the Tigers blend youth with experience in the hopes of making a run at a playoff spot.
The Tigers will be led by senior forwards Hannah Moniz and Mackenzie Handrahan, who combined for 26 points in the win at Cumberland and provide a mix of rebounding, scoring at the rim, and outside shooting to balance the Taunton offense. Junior Lily Patneaude also returns from an all-star season and is Taunton’s most dynamic scorer with range from well beyond the arc. Junior Alexa White is another guard that will provide solid contributions on both ends of the floor.
Junior Shantel Andrew, a 5-foot-7 forward, is expected to be a significant contributor this season, after missing two years with knee injuries. As usual, Taunton has plenty of youth on the roster with four freshmen making varsity, a couple of whom got playing experience last year as eighth graders. Forwards Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez and guards Kelsey White and Tori DaRosa are going to be counted on to play big roles this year for the Tigers.
Taunton coach Walter Harrigan said, “Our goal for this year is to continue to work hard while focusing on the development of good habits which will hopefully lead to team improvement and a trip to the state tournament.”
Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Shraeya Srinivasan, Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Sarah Collins, Canton
Lexi Quinn, Foxboro
Meredith Cronin, Foxboro
Shraeya Srinivasan, Foxboro
Ella Gutkowski, Franklin
Emma Clifford, Franklin
Jess Kroushl, Franklin
Julia Fenerty, Franklin
Katherine Hartnett, Franklin
Nicole Clermont, Franklin
Abigail McKeown, King Philip
Courtney Kelleher, King Philip
Fahra Whichard, King Philip
Caitlin Whitman, Mansfield
Jordan Brill-Cass, Mansfield
Julia Harrison, Mansfield
Christina Speliakos, Milford
Leanne Kibbee, Milford
Celine Ibrahim, North Attleboro
Julia Mechlinski, North Attleboro
Julianna Martin, North Attleboro
Leah Jette, North Attleboro
Lily Wetherbee, North Attleboro
Vanessa Ibrahim, North Attleboro
Dana Lowney, Oliver Ames
Desiree Snead, Oliver Ames
Liz Peckham, Oliver Ames
Ariadne Tolay, Sharon
Jada Johnson, Sharon
Meaghan Connolly, Sharon
Shira Stoller, Sharon
Sydney Mayo, Sharon
Samantha Tichelaar, Taunton
Victoria Gravel, Taunton
Victoria Pike, Attleboro
Erika Lum, Canton
Angela VandenBoom, Foxboro
Miranda Smith, Franklin
Abigail Dunne, King Philip
Lauren Duggan, Mansfield
Elena DelloRusso, Milford
Julia Feid, North Attleboro
Samantha Mann, Oliver Ames
Veronica Wallace, Sharon
Aliaya Robinson, Stoughton
Maggie Sullivan, Taunton
For a history of recent Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars, check out our history section.
2017 Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars
For a history of recent Hockomock League Boys Outdoor Track All Stars, check out our history section. You can also see all stars from other sports in our history section. Attleboro Canton Foxboro Franklin King Philip Mansfield Milford North Attleboro Oliver Ames Sharon Stoughton Taunton Attleboro Canton Foxboro Franklin King Philip Mansfield Milford North Attleboro Oliver Ames Sharon Stoughton Taunton Attleboro Canton Foxboro Franklin King Philip Mansfield Milford North Attleboro Oliver Ames Sharon Stoughton Taunton Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Attleboro Canton Foxboro Franklin King Philip Mansfield Milford North Attleboro Oliver Ames Sharon Stoughton Taunton Attleboro Canton Foxboro Franklin King Philip Mansfield Milford North Attleboro Oliver Ames Sharon Stoughton Taunton Attleboro Canton Foxboro Franklin King Philip Mansfield Milford North Attleboro Oliver Ames Sharon Stoughton Taunton Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League Hockomock League
BROCKTON, Mass. – North Attleboro won the first meeting with Foxboro this season, thanks in part to a huge fourth quarter by senior Ashley Ahern. With Ahern out injured for the second meeting, Foxboro ran over the Rocketeers and clinched the Davenport title with a 26-point victory.
On Monday night at Massasoit Community College, the teams met for the third time to not only decide the season series but also to see which team would represent the Hockomock in Saturday’s Div. 2 South final.
With Ahern in uniform for the introductions, but not able to play, North came in with the plan of slowing the game down, turning it into a half-court battle, playing physical defense, and trying to take advantage of its edge in size in the post. The game plan worked perfectly, but Foxboro showed that it had some grit to go along with its ability to put points on the board.
Behind a game-high 20 points from league MVP Ashley Sampson and 17 from fellow junior Lily Sykes, Foxboro defended, crashed the boards, and found just enough offense to pull out a 49-39 victory that earns the Warriors a second trip to the South final in three seasons.
“We did exactly what we needed to do to beat that team,” admitted North Attleboro coach Derek Herber from the first row of the bleachers following the game. “You can’t let them run, you can’t let them shoot all those shots…Through three quarters we did what we needed to do; we just needed a little more offense to get to that spot.”
Foxboro coach Lisa Downs recognized the difficulty of playing an opponent for the third time and credited her team for finding a way to win.
“At this point, jitters are normal and we’re in a different gym, some of these girls have been here and some have not, so we’ll take a ‘W’ any day,” she said. “It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but they played with heart.”
The first quarter was not pretty, but the Warriors had a lead and it felt like they were ready to pull away as they did on their home court three weeks ago. Sampson and Sykes split the scoring in the first, each with six points, but Foxboro lacked the typical frenetic pace that it usually plays at.
North was slowing things down and shots were not falling, which made it difficult to get into the full-court press the Warriors prefer. Sykes opened the second with a drive that extended the lead to eight, but it was the only made field goal by the Warriors in the quarter.
The Rocketeers climbed back into the game with Julia Feid (six points) scoring on a drive and Samantha Taggart drilling a three (her only basket of the game) to cut the lead to four. Emily Haskell gave North a big lift right before the break with a steal and a layup and then a runner on the baseline. The junior’s only four points of the game made it 20-17 at the break.
“I think we were beating ourselves to be honest with you,” said Downs. “We were overthinking our shots because we had some wide open looks and we were just thinking too much instead of releasing the ball. We were only up because of our defense.”
When asked about the sloppiness of the first half, Herber insisted, “Part of the sloppiness is that everything we do, they know, and everything they do, I know, so the sloppiness is playing a third game against a team you’ve seen in a high stakes game.”
In the third quarter, senior forward Caroline Collard started to get going for North, scoring six of her team-high 10 points. Liz Morehouse added three of her five points, including a turn around jumper from the left block. After Feid pulled up for a jumper and Collard scored off an Emily Schromm inbound pass, North was within one at 29-28.
Foxboro was still struggling to find the range and in desperate need of a spark. Sykes stepped up and drilled a three off a Sampson assist to extend the lead to four and then Sampson was able to beat Feid in the post for a layup to give Foxboro a six-point edge heading to the fourth.
“When the shots weren’t falling, we were getting into our own heads, so we just had to settle down,” said Sampson of the Warriors struggles on the offensive end of the floor. “In the third quarter, Lily hit some huge shots and I think once she did that it made everyone more confident.”
Things started to get going for Foxboro in the fourth quarter. Grace Tamulionis opened the quarter with a jumper that Feid answered with a drive, but then Sampson drove and kicked it out to Riley Collins for a straightaway three (her only point of the night) and Foxboro finally had some separation.
“At this point in the season, 22 games in, we’re still telling them to shoot with confidence,” said Downs. “Grace finally warmed up a little bit in the second half, which was huge, and Ashley, so we stepped up when we had to step up and played with grit.”
Tamulionis had six of her seven points in the fourth and Sampson added six as well. North did not give up with Schromm knocking down a jumper and driving the length of the floor for a layup plus the foul. She missed the free throw but grabbed her own rebound with North down 44-38.
The Rocketeers had only more chance to get closer but a long three by Feid was halfway down and popped out and Tamulionis clinched it with an offensive rebound and score on a missed free throw on the other end.
“I’m so proud of the way the girls played,” said Herber. “We held them down as best we could to get to that point. We tried to muck it up as best we could and slow it down and take advantage of our post players.”
When asked about his senior class and what they have brought to the program, Herber could not hide his emotions. He said, “Every year we try to focus on our seniors, but these kids have been with our program as long as I’ve been here, for three years, and they’re just great kids. I just wish better for them today.”
For Sampson and the Warriors the win means a return to Brockton High where the Warriors played eventual state champion Duxbury in 2015. Sampson said, “It’s really exciting. We have an opportunity to win the South final, so it’s just really cool.
“It’s definitely tough. They beat us the first time and we beat them last time by 20-something, so they were out for blood. They wanted it and so did we. It was tough but we had to be mentally prepared for it.”
Foxboro (21-2) will face No. 7 Westwood in the Div. 2 South final on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Brockton High.