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.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Trailing by 11 points with eight minutes remaining is a difficult hole to dig out of, particularly when you have only managed 22 points in the first 24 minutes of the game, including just five points in the third.
Even facing tough odds, the experienced Rocketeers started the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s Div. 2 South quarterfinal against Duxbury in the Ken Pickering Gym believing they could win.
“We came in really confident and we all knew in the back of our minds that we were going to get this game,” said senior guard Samantha Taggart, who scored a team-high 16 points. “We played them two years ago, and got destroyed, and it was really important to avenge a loss like that and to get back to the semifinals.”
Not only did North have its best offensive output of the night in the fourth quarter with 14 points, the Rocketeers also held Duxbury scoreless, tossing a shutout in the fourth to pull off an epic comeback and earn a 36-33 victory.
“I didn’t know it was a shutout until the end of the game,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “That just talks about our senior leadership. They’ve been a great group of kids who knew from the beginning who they were. They were going to have to outwork teams and today they did that.”
The quarter started with North trailing 33-22. Caroline Collard (10 points, 11 rebounds) knocked down a jumper off a Taggart assist to get things started. North put the ball in the hands of sophomore guard Julia Feid to create and she drew a foul and made one of two at the line to cut the lead to eight points.
The second free throw bounced away and was chased down by Liz Morehouse, who could not get her shot to fall. Collard snagged another offensive board and swung the ball back to Feid for a straightaway three that got the crowd starting to believe a comeback was possible with 6:07 left to play.
Emily Haskell brought North within three points with a long jumper on the far side and suddenly the whole atmosphere in the building was changed. North fans were fired up and it only got louder when Taggart took the ball the length of the court for a layup that made it 33-32 inside the final two minutes. Collard grabbed her own miss, got fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws for North’s first lead since it was 10-8 in the first quarter.
On the other end, Collard blocked a pair of shots, her third and fourth of the night, and grabbed the defensive board to get North back the ball. Taggart was fouled and hit both her shots from the line to make it 36-33.
On Duxbury’s final possession, the Dragons continued to struggle finding a shot. Lill Foote was forced to throw up a fall away that was rebounded by Morehouse and set off raucous celebrations on the North bench.
“They played some great defense, we just had to play better offense for one quarter and that’s what we did,” said Herber.
Taggart added, “Our morale was really down in the third quarter because they went on a run. We talked about how we had to step it up on defense and we did exactly that. Everything just clicked together.
“I don’t think we’ve held anyone scoreless, but we’ve come close. I think this was the best defensive stand of the season and in such a big game too.”
North got off to a decent start offensively against the tall, physical Duxbury defense. Taggart scored eight of North’s 10 points in the first and the Rocketeers trailed by just two. Collard scored four points in the second and North continued to hang around, trailing by just four heading into halftime, 21-17.
“That whole first half, Sam kept us in it and gave us opportunities to be in this game,” said Herber. “We’re not a bunch of superstars. We’re going to fight through as best we can.”
Things changed in the third, as Duxbury started to get into a rhythm by getting the ball inside to senior forward Nicole Callander, who scored eight of her team-high 11 points in the quarter. Meanwhile, North got a three from Feid (seven points) and a drive by Taggart.
The Rocketeers were down but not out. North showed the tenacity that has allowed it to go 8-4 since an injury ended the season for senior Ashley Ahern, who was the team’s leading scorer.
“With Ashley, we’re a smaller team but a much faster team,” said Taggart. “Now that Ashley is out and Liz Morehouse is starting, we’re a taller team so it changes that whole aspect of the game, but we still work together. It’s a new style but we’re coming together and making it work.”
Taggart reflected on her final game at the Pickering Gym. She said, “It would have been heartbreaking if we had lost, but to come back from being down makes it that much better.”
Herber could not contain his excitement after the game. He said, “These kids are always fighting. We’re the smallest team then we’re the team that can’t shoot then we lose Ashley and we’re down 11 to Duxbury…I’m so happy that I’m just babbling on.
“Now we get another shot at the semifinal; not many kids can say they’ve been to the semifinal twice in a career.”
North Attleboro (18-6) will face top seed Foxboro in the Div. 2 South semifinal on Monday at 5:30 at Massasoit Community College. The teams split two meetings during the regular season.
FOXBORO, Mass. – For the past month, Foxboro and North Attleboro have been taking care of business on the court with half an eye on each other’s results. Since the two teams last met on Jan. 20, North went 5-2 (despite missing senior guard Ashley Ahern for all seven games) including a five-game win streak entering Friday night. Meanwhile, Foxboro rattled off nine straight wins, eight off those coming in the league.
Grace Tamulionis scored 11 points, knocking down a trio of three-pointers, and all four of her shots were assisted by Lily Sykes (seven assists). Kristen Bortolotti also got off to a strong start with six of her 12 points in the first.
“It’s what they’ve been doing,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “They’ve been hot for a while. Once they got that consistent third shooter then they present a matchup problem for anyone. I was hoping we could mix and match and keep them uncomfortable but unfortunately they came out and shot the ball very well.”
The lead stretched to as many as 18 in the second quarter, after a Lauren Flahive (six points) jumper, but North started to find the range on offense and slow down the Warriors. Samantha Taggart scored seven of her team-high 12 in the second and assisted on a Caroline Collard (seven points, seven rebounds) jumper that cut the lead to 28-21.
It was as close as the Rocketeers would get for the rest of the night. Hailey Maling drove and kicked out to Riley Collins for a three that regained a double digit lead for the hosts at the break.
“Obviously, we had a great first quarter and we were bound to have a little bit of an offensive letdown in the second, but to be up by 10 going into halftime I was pleased with that,” said Downs. “Just the way the came out and the amount of energy they showed, I knew we were in for a good game.”
Foxboro came out of halftime intent on putting the game away and that is what the Warriors did, using an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 21 points (46-25). Ashley Sampson (game-high 19 points) was the aggressor for the Warriors, scoring seven in the third including a corner three off a Sykes assist and then going coast-to-coast for a layup off a steal. Bortolotti and Tamulionis (18 points) each added four in the quarter.
“In the second quarter we were able to score and defend a little better and keep them disrupted. In the third quarter, we just couldn’t sustain it offensively,” said Herber, whose team trailed 50-32 entering the fourth.
On Monday night against Bridgewater-Raynham, Foxboro had only four players get on the score sheet, but on Friday eight Warriors scored at least two points. That balance made it difficult for North to send help for Emily Schromm on Sampson and the senior got into foul trouble in the third quarter. In the end, Schromm and Collard would both foul out.
“The problem is the third player,” Herber explained. “We can cover two, but the third player is a tough matchup for us. We need to keep our bigs in the game to score on offense but it puts them in a bind on defense.”
Foxboro also had a decisive edge on the glass, despite North’s advantage in height. The Warriors were plus-10 on the boards, which Downs credited to a total team effort.
She said, “That hasn’t been our story all season long…especially against a team that has some height on us…They were all contributing to keeping that ball and getting second and third opportunities.”
Julia Feid scored a traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 19 in the fourth, but Foxboro responded to seal the win and the title. Sampson hit a pair of free throws (two of her six points in the fourth and 13 in the second half) and then assisted on a Maling jumper. Maling then provided her second assist of the game on a kick-out to Tamulionis for a dagger three.
“You can’t win games with two or three girls scoring,” Downs said, “and we have scorers, so we have to make sure that we keep them in the offense and we’re rotating the ball to get different looks from different people so that we’re a hard matchup.”
After clinching its eighth league title and second in the past three seasons, Foxboro (16-2, 14-2) will try to sew up the top seed in Div. 2 South in its end-of-season Warrior Classic beginning with Whitman-Hanson on Monday. North Attleboro (15-5, 13-3) will also try to work on its seeding for Div. 2 South and get revenge for an earlier loss when it travels to Attleboro.
Attleboro, 61 @ King Philip, 58 – Final – Attleboro sophomore completed a traditional three point play with 14 seconds left in the game to give the Bombardiers a 59-58 lead and Jake Dunkley and Andrew Milliken each hit a free throw in the waning moments to earn the win. The Bombardiers rallied from a 20-point deficit in the first half to get the win. Dunkley finished with 14 points, Milliken had 10 and Victor chipped in with 10 points.
Canton, 34 @ North Attleboro, 59 – Final – North Attleboro scored 17 points in the first quarter while holding the Bulldogs to just six and never looked back, snapping a three-game losing streak. “I’m proud of how are kids played tonight,” relayed North coach Sean Mulkerrins. “We weren’t happy with how we played Wednesday so this was important. We challenged our kids to play with more passion tonight. If we continue to play hard on defense and smart on offense we know the results will take care of themselves.” Senior Brent Doherty scored a game-high 17 points while hauling in seven rebounds and classmate Jonny Friberg dropped 16 points and had 14 rebounds. Thomas Reynolds chipped in with 11 points for Big Red. Canton’s Tony Harris and Paul Corcoran each scored seven points.
Foxboro, 67 @ Sharon, 54 – Final – Foxboro erased a first quarter double digit deficit to get within a point at halftime (33-32) and then used a 10-0 to begin the second half. The Warriors went on to win the second half 35-21. Sharon built a 19-5 lead in the first quarter, taking a 21-11 lead after eight minutes. But Foxboro clawed back to get within one by halftime. Junior Joe Morrison and senior Andrew Block each scored 14 points for the Warriors while Mark Clagg added 12 points, Jamaine Few had 11 points and freshman Brandon Borde chipped in with nine points. Sharon junior Malik Lorquet had a game-high 16 points while senior Ricardo Ripley finished with 14 points.
Mansfield, 80 @ Taunton, 72 – Final – Mansfield senior Sam Goldberg scored 18 of his career-high 30 points in the first half and the Hornets held off a late surge from the Tigers to get the win. The Hornets built an early 15 point lead by Taunton battled to get within four (42-38) at halftime. The Tigers used a 6-0 run to start the second half to take the lead but Mansfield took a 59-58 lead into the fourth quarter. Taunton’s Tommy MacLean (14 points) drained a three with just over four minutes to go to bring Taunton with three at 68-65, but Mansfield responded with seven points to extend the lead to 10 with just over two minutes to play. Christian Weber also scored a career-high for the Hornets, netting 23 points including 10 in the final quarter. Taunton freshman Dante Law and sophomore Lou Vendrell each had 15 points for the Tigers while junior Malik Charles had 12 points.
Stoughton, 47 @ Milford, 67 – Final – Milford got off to a strong start and never looked back. Senior Zack Tamagni netted a career-high, dropping 26 points in the win, Shane Cosquete added 11 points and Kayden Kelley notched another double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Stoughton senior Matt Valle scored a career-high 17 points for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 57 @ King Philip, 41 – Final
Canton, 37 @ North Attleboro, 56 – Final – Caroline Collard scored a team-high 11 points for North, while Julia Feid chipped in with 10. Hannah Jerrier was the top scorer for the Bulldogs with a game-high 19.
Foxboro, 65 @ Sharon, 28 – Final _ Ashley Sampson continued her strong week for the Warriors with a game-high 20 points.
Mansfield, 62 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – Jen Peel was the top scorer for the Hornets with 16 points and also dished out seven assists. Meg Hill also had a strong game for Mansfield with 12 points and nine rebounds. Alexa White led the Tigers with eight points and eighth grader Sonya Fernandez added seven.
Stoughton, 24 @ Milford, 55 – Final – Kate Irwin paced the Hawks to a big division win with 23 points. Senior Nicole Dahlgren added 16 for Milford, which moves back to .500 in the league and within one win of tournament qualification.
Attleboro, 51 @ Foxboro, 59 – Final (OT) – Foxboro junior Joe Morrison scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the first half, giving the Warriors a 28-21 lead by the break. Attleboro cut the deficit to two heading into the final quarter and tied the game inside the final minute to send the game to overtime. Foxboro junior Teddy Maher came up clutch with a big three in overtime as the Warriors outscored Attleboro 11-3 in the extra frame. Senior Andrew Block and freshman Brandon Borde added 10 points apiece for Foxboro. Andrew Milliken scored a team-high 14 points for the Bombardiers while freshman Qualeem Charles added 11 points.
Oliver Ames, 56 @ Canton, 45 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Nick Welch scored a career-high 28 points, accounting for half of Oliver Ames’ points in a remarkable performance. Carter Evin added 13 points for the Tigers.
Franklin, 80 @ Sharon, 57 – Final – Franklin scored 26 points in the first quarter and never looked back, hitting the 80 point mark for the second game in a row. Junior Paul Mahon dropped a game-high 18 points while senior Josh Macchi chipped in with 16 points for the Panthers. Sharon junior Malik Lorquet had 13 points and 10 rebounds and senior Ben Stamm added 10 points for the Eagles.
Mansfield, 66 @ Milford, 53 – Final – Milford raced out to a 12-3 lead and stayed within three late in the third quarter, but Mansfield was able to pull away with with a 16-9 final quarter. The Hornets connected on nine three pointers with Max Boen (11 points, six rebounds, four assists) hitting three and Christian Weber (11 points, four assists), Sam Hyland (10 points, five rebounds) and Ben Albanese (six points) each hitting two trifectas. Sam Goldberg led Mansfield with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Milford’s Anthony Arcudi poured in a career-high 30 points while Zack Tamagni added 10 points for the Hawks.
Canton, 33 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – Final – Oliver Ames’ defense limited Canton to just 15 points in the second half while the offense kept its pace to pick up the win at home. Kayla Raymond had 16 points and 15 rebounds, Niyera Mitchell added 16 points and both Hannah Carroll and Abby Reardon netted 10 points.
Sharon, 34 @ Franklin, 76 – Final – The Panthers had four players reach double figures in points led by Carli Koffinke’s 15. Ali Brigham added 12, Margaux Welsh had 11, and Bea Bondhus scored 10 for the Panthers. Sharon freshman Telishya Herbert, a recent varsity call-up, led the Eagles with eight points.
North Attleboro, 51 @ King Philip, 28 – Final – Julia Feid was the top scorer for North Attleboro with 14 points, while fellow sophomore Shannon O’Connor led KP with seven points.
Milford, 43 @ Mansfield, 53 – Final – Jen Peel scored 15 points and dished out eight assists for the Hornets, Ann Maher added 13 points and Meg Hill scored 12 points and pulled to lead Mansfield. Kate Irwin was Milford’s top scorer with 12 points and Christine Pye added eight for the Hawks.
Attleboro, 6 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield built a 4-0 lead after the first period but Attleboro stormed back, netting three goals in the second period and then three more in the third period to get the win. Jake Parker scored five goals to lead the comeback for the Bombardiers while Cam Littig scored once.
Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final – Bubba McNeice scored twice and Brian Ghostlaw netted his first career goal to pace the Bulldogs. Mike Dadasis and Ryan Lodge scored back to back goals early in the first period to give Canton a 2-0 lead after one period. Charlie Malloy and Ryan Nolte also scored for Canton in the game.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Six different players found the back of the net for the Tigers, starting with a goal from junior captain Eric LeBlanc. Senior Mike Nikiciuk added a goal and an assist and freshman Hunter Costello scored his first career goal. Freshman goalie Owen Connor made five saves in the third period.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final
North Attleboro, 8 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – North Attleboro sophomore Anthony Zammiello netted a hat trick in the first period while Devin Sparrow and Justin Moccia each scored their first career goals. Jon Lessa scored a third period goal for the Black Knights.
Canton, 43 @ Stoughton, 30 – Final
Franklin, 45 @ King Philip, 18 – Final – Franklin clinched the Kelley-Rex title outright, its first since 2014 and the program’s 17th Hockomock title with a win at KP.
Milford @ Taunton, 6:00
Sharon, 12 @ North Attleboro 60 – Final – North Attleboro clinched its first ever Davenport division title outright in its first year in the division with the win over the Eagles.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – North Attleboro was trailing by a point as the clock wound down under 90 seconds remaining in Tuesday’s game at the Kenneth Pickering Gym. The Rocketeers needed someone to make a play to avoid the upset against an upstart Milford team that was trying to tie North for the Davenport division lead.
Senior Ashley Ahern picked the pocket of Jill Burley, her fifth steal of the game, and raced the length of the court for a layup to give North a 46-45 lead. It turned out to be the game-winning basket, as the Rocketeers locked down on defense and Ahern sealed the 51-45 victory by knocking down 5-of-6 free throws.
It was an impressive come from behind win for the hosts, who trailed by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, but also an indication of how far Milford has come in head coach T.J. Dolliver’s second season that the Hawks had the division leaders on the ropes.
“They did,” replied North coach Derek Herber about Milford having the Rocketeers on the edge. “We’ve seen enough of them…I told my girls that they’re scrappy like us and they can shoot a little bit, so we’ve got to be ready to play. They came out right away and did exactly that.
“They’ve come a long way and credit to T.J., he’s put a team together over there and they’re going to be a problem throughout the season.”
The opening quarter was an indication of the confidence that the Hawks are playing with this season. In an end-to-end period that resembled a track meet as much as a basketball game, the Hawks got points from six different players and scored 19 points.
Christine Pye (eight points) knocked down a pair of long jumpers and Burley scored four of her eight points on a pair of runners in the lane. Nicole Dahlgren (12 points, eight rebounds, five assists) scored on an offensive rebound plus the foul then assisted on a three-pointer by Juliana Tracy.
North kept it close in the opening quarter with a strong offensive attack of its own. Ahern scored four of her game-high 16 points and sophomore Julia Feid added six of her seven points in the first.
The pace continued in the second quarter, but the scoring slowed down. The teams scored six points apiece and headed into halftime with the Hawks ahead 25-21.
In the third quarter, Milford came out strong and took a double digit lead. Kate Irwin flipped a pass over the defense to Dahlgren for a layup then Gillian Valanzola used a pump fake to get past Caroline Collard in the post for a basket. After Dahlgren scored on one of Burley’s six assists, she then managed to keep a play alive while falling to set up Irwin (six points) for a three.
North trailed 36-26 and Herber called timeout.
“We’ve got to execute better on offense,” Herber told his team. “We have a height advantage, so lets try to get the ball to Collard and if we get the shots off that look that’s what we need to do. We were able to put some pressure on their guards and get in their face a little bit.”
Feid snagged a rebound of a missed free throw and fed it to Collard for a layup to get North started. Collard then scored a layup in transition off an Ahern assist and another off of a Feid inbound pass to get the Rocketeers back within three. Collard scored 10 of her game-high 16 in the quarter.
North regained the lead before the end of the third on back-to-back steals and transition baskets by Ahern. Dolliver was left rueing the missed opportunity to put North away.
“We just turned the ball over too much and it was just…careless,” he said. “They played good defense on it, but they were passes that we could avoid. We definitely have to take care of the ball a little more and that was the difference.”
North extended the run to 13 straight points with a pair of free throws and then Samantha Taggart answered a Dahlgren jumper with a three-pointer that made it 42-38. Pye scored on a layup to cut the lead in half, but Liz Morehouse scored her only points of the night to push the lead back to four.
Pye was left open on an inbounds play for a layup and then Dahlgren buried a straightaway three-pointer that put Milford back in front by a point with time running out for North.
“I was happy to see that they bounced back,” said Dolliver of his team’s response to the North run. “I really love this group. That’s the No. 1 seed [in the division] and you had them, so it’s a good sign in that aspect but I hold them to higher standards now. They know how to take care of end-of-game situations.”
The North defense was aggressive throughout the second half with Ahern causing problems for Burley and Emily Schromm holding Irwin, who currently leads the Hockomock in scoring, to just six points. It was Ahern who made the biggest play, turning the game around for North when it needed a stop and scoring the final seven points of the game.
“They all know it too, she’s the heart of the team,” said Herber of Ahern. “They take their cue from her. If she’s up on her person and in their face then everyone else has to have the same mentality. She’s still a little banged up and she fought through it today.”
North Attleboro (9-2, 6-0) will continue a tough stretch when it hosts Foxboro on Friday in another game against a team that is one game back in the division. Milford (6-2, 4-2) will have no time to dwell on the loss, as the Hawks host Hopedale on Wednesday.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – The home team just would not go away. Despite trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter against Davenport division-leading North Attleboro, which came in with only one loss on the season, Stoughton continued to fight and twice cut the lead to as little as six points.
There was no panic on the North bench. With four seniors in the starting lineup and eight players returning from last season’s trip to the state title, the Rocketeers have plenty of experience in close games on the road.
Senior Ashley Ahern scored five of her team-high 17 points and dished out an assist for a Julia Feid three, as North went on a 10-0 run to put the game away late. The Rocketeers continued their unbeaten start to the league campaign with a 59-47 and extended their lead in the division to 1-1/2 games over Milford and Foxboro.
“We had a lot of these games last year and they’ve learned from them,” said North coach Derek Herber. “They’ve learned all the bad things that can happen and they persevere and hit the tough shots, get the big rebounds and go from there.”
North led 43-34 heading into the fourth quarter, but after Feid knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Rocketeers ahead by double digits freshman Shyanne Trinh (six points) drilled a three off a Val Whalen assist. On the next possession, Lili Njiem, Stoughton’s lone senior in the regular rotation, snagged an offensive rebound (her 12th rebound of the game) and laid it in to cut the lead to six.
Caroline Collard (12 points, 10 rebounds) hit a pair from the line, but freshman Aliyah Wright (11 points, nine rebounds) answered right back for the Black Knights with a drive to the basket. After a turnover, Jordan Motley (19 rebounds) had a chance to cut it to four, but her free throws would not fall.
North got the rebound and took control. Samantha Taggart hit Collard on a roll to the basket for a layup, then Ahern drew the defense and kicked out to Feid for a three in front of the North bench. Julia Santos kicked out to Ahern for a deep three and then she added a pair from the line to push the advantage back to 16.
“They are veteran and they’re solid and they’re tough and they win close games,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan about North. “They got it done.”
There was plenty for the Stoughton coach to be proud of on Friday night. The Black Knights played with intensity from the opening tip, dominated on the glass, and kept the Rocketeers off-balance on the offensive end of the floor.
Steele Jordan said, “I as impressed with their effort and their intensity. They really played hard. There’s a lot of winnable games in the Hock and we just have to believe that we can get it done.”
North jumped out to a lead in the first quarter, showing off the team’s depth. The Rocketeers would have eight players on the scoresheet in the game, including junior Emily Haskell, who scored all four of her points in the first to help out North ahead 14-8. Trinh hit a three at the buzzer to cut the lead in half going to the second.
Thanks to four points apiece from Ahern and Collard and contributions off the bench from Santos and senior Liz Morehouse (six points), North extended the lead to 10 by halftime.
“She brings energy all the time,” said Herber of Morehouse. “She does so many little things for us, the rebounding, the boxing out, the taking a charge. She’s one of those kids who knows what we need to get out of her and she knows her role and plays it the best.”
Stoughton hung around in the third and kept the deficit to single digits thanks largely to the play of Whalen. The junior forward put in a monster performance, pulling down 23 rebounds on the night and scoring 15 of her game-high 20 points after the break, including nine in the third quarter alone.
“She just goes so hard,” said Steele Jordan of Whalen. “She’s a workhorse and she gives me effort every night. She’s definitely progressed a lot from last year to this year. She’s got that mentality that I can compete in the Hock and I’m one of the best post players. I love that about her.”
Njiem added a three in the third and Wright had four points in the quarter, but North kept a solid lead thanks to its seniors. Ahern had five, Collard had four and Morehouse and Emily Schromm each had three in the period.
Stoughton never backed down, but in the end North made the plays to come out with the win. Herber explained, “We knew going in that it was going to be one of those games. We play the same style of basketball they do, slow it down, make it a little ugly, play good defense, rebound and get opportunistic offense.
“We were able to get some offensive looks off our press and pull it out.”
Steele Jordan added about the Black Knights, “I couldn’t be prouder to coach them and I keep telling them we can do this. There’s still a ton of season left. They’re starting to buy into it and that’s important when you’re young.”
North Attleboro (8-1) travels to Cranston East on Saturday and then will take on the two teams tied for second in the Davenport, starting with Milford on Tuesday. Stoughton (1-7) will look for its first league win of the season on Tuesday against Sharon.
Canton, 55 @ Attleboro, 64 – Final – In a back and forth close matchup, Jake Dunkley and Attleboro pulled away in the fourth quarter. Dunkley finished with 20 points while classmate Berlyns Abraham had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Nate Douglas added 12 points for the Bombardiers. Canton sophomore Devin Foster had a career-high 21 points while Tony Harris added 12 points and five rebounds and Jake Verille added eight points and three rebounds.
Foxboro, 36 @ Mansfield, 66 – Final – Mansfield limited Foxboro to just 14 second half points, turning a two point lead at the end of the first quarter into a 15-point lead at halftime and a 27 point lead at the end of three. John McCoy, Max Boen and Sam Goldberg (six rebounds) each scored 11 points apiece to lead the Hornets. Andrew Block had 11 points and seven rebounds for Foxboro.
Milford, 60 @ King Philip, 50 – Final – Between the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter, Milford rattled off a 19-2 run that created a cushion they held for the rest of the way. With KP up 10-2, the Scarlet Hawks flipped the game with the run. Senior Anthony Arcudi netted a game-high 17 points, Shane Cosquete added 10 points, both Zach Tamagni and Nate Davila scored nine points and junior Kayden Kelley hauled in 15 rebounds to go with four rebounds. Justin Vine and Tom Madden each scored 12 points apiece while Pharaoh Davis came off the bench to score 10 points for the Warriors.
Stoughton, 47 @ Oliver Ames, 55 – Final– After being tied after the opening quarter, Oliver Ames opened a three point lead by halftime, a four point lead after three quarters and then held that lead in the fourth quarter. Three Tigers scored in double digits, led by Dylan Mahoney’s 21 points. Junior Jack Spillane added a career-best 16 points and Carter Evin chipped in with 10 points. Stoughton senior Cam Gomes dropped a career-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds.
Sharon, 51 @ Taunton, 65 – Final – Sharon was able to hang around through three quarters but Taunton pulled ahead in the final quarter. Freshman Dante Law scored a career-high 18 points to pace the Tigers with senior Tommy MacLean adding 13 points. Jimmy Fitzhenry led Sharon with 16 points while senior Ricardo Ripley chipped in with 12 points.
Attleboro, 92 @ Canton, 53 – Final
Franklin, 36 @ North Attleboro, 43 – Final – The Rocketeers outscored Franklin 19-12 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win in their season opener. Ashley Ahern led the way for North with 15 points, including eight in the fourth, and sophomore Julia Feid had 10 for the Rocketeers. Franklin was led by freshman Ali Brigham who scored 18 points in her second varsity game.
King Philip, 47 @ Milford, 44 – Final – The Warriors rallied from seven points down in the fourth quarter to pull out the win in their season opener. Sophomore Shannon O’Connor was the top scorer for KP with 12 points and freshman Faith Roy chipped in with nine. Junior Hadley Zolak had six points for KP, including important baskets down the stretch. Milford was led by Kate Irwin’s 17 points.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ Stoughton, 32 – Final – OA was led by three players with 11 points apiece – senior Niyera Mitchell, junior Kayla Raymond, and freshman Meg Holleran.
Taunton, 29 @ Sharon, 46 – Final – Sharon jumped out to an early lead and never let up. Sophomore Emma Eberhardt was the top scorer for the Eagles with 18 points and added eight rebounds and six steals. Shira Stoller added six points, eight rebounds, and nine assists for Sharon.
Mansfield, 3 @ Norwood, 3 – Final – Chad Piotti scored a pair of goals, including the game-tying goal in the third period, to earn Mansfield a point in the opener. Joey Olsen added the other goal for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 5 @ Framingham, 11 – Final
2015-16 Record: 6-14 (3-13) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Jim Choquette
The Bulldogs continue to add to the program both on the court and on the bench with former Canton and UMass Boston star Olivia Murphy joining the coaching staff this season to help out with the freshman team. It is a sign of the continued growth of the program under head coach Jim Choquette, who is hoping that the momentum built at the end of last season will carry over to this year.
Senior forward Emma Murphy returns after a league all-star season and will be joined on the front line by returning starters senior Casey Shea and juniorHannah Jerrier, who was an honorable mention for all-star last winter. Adding depth on the front line will be sophomore forwards Molly Ludwig and Erin Devine, who lacks inexperience but adds significant height.
“Our strengths will be scrappy defense and rebounding on both ends,” said Choquette. “our goal is to improve each game and be playing our best headed into the last part of the season…the faster we find chemistry the faster we’ll find the win column.”
2015-16 Record: 15-7 (11-5) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal Head Coach: Lisa Downs
Despite a lot of youth in the lineup, Foxboro has been one of the top teams in the Davenport division for several seasons and this year should be no different, as the Warriors enter the winter with very high expectations and as one of the favorites for the league title.
A lot of the interest in the Warriors stems from the continued development of junior point guard Ashley Sampson, who has turned into one of the best all-around guards in the Hockomock and is the player that the Foxboro offense flows through. Sampson has plenty of help in the backcourt with classmate Lily Sykes, who offers scoring from the perimeter, and seniors Lauren Flahive, Riley Collins (back after an injury), and Hailey Maling, who are all strong on the ball defenders.
In the front court, Kristen Bortolotti is back after missing last year with an injury and will add speed and a strong mid-range game. Junior Grace Tamulionis is another matchup nightmare for the opposition with her size on the boards and on defense and her ability to step outside and shoot the three. Junior Shannon Smally continues to improve and gives the Warriors an inside presence, while newcomers Chelsea Gibbons and Abby Hassmancould make big contributions for the Warriors.
“The girls have been playing together throughout the summer and fall and this familiarity should work to our benefit this season,” said head coach Lisa Downs. “We will continue to focus on our running game and our defensive efforts and I am fortunate to have the players that not only buy into this system, but, also appreciate this pace.”
2015-16 Record: 9-11 (5-11) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: T.J. Dolliver
After missing out on a playoff spot by one game a season ago under first-year head coach T.J. Dolliver, Milford enters this winter with high hopes of making the leap into the postseason with a deep and versatile roster that has gained a lot of experience together over the past few seasons.
The enthusiasm for the Hawks begins with dynamic junior point guard Kate Irwin, who has shown the ability to get to the basket at will, draw defenses to get open looks for her teammates and also be a pesky on the ball defender. With Irwin creating open shots, junior Emily Piergustavo’s return after missing last year with an injury will be a big boost on the perimeter along with senior guard Jill Burley.
“These girls have been playing together for a while and their team chemistry is amazing,” said Dolliver. “We are starting to learn the minor details of offense and defense in order to give our team a better chance of success.”
2015-16 Record: 11-10 (9-7) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South tournament Head Coach: Derek Herber
The Rocketeers head into their first season in the Davenport division with eight returning players from last year’s team that was two points away from a first round victory in the Div. 2 South tournament against Hock rival Oliver Ames.
Senior Ashley Ahern is a three-year starter at guard and was the team’s leading scorer last winter. Ahern will be the player that gets the offense going, but she will get plenty of help from her classmates, Emily Schromm and Samantha Taggart. Schromm was one of the top defenders in the league and can stretch a defense with her outside shooting and Taggart can play all three guard positions and led North in assists last year. In the paint, senior Caroline Collard is the team’s leading rebounder and showed a soft touch around the basket.
North can also look for improvements from sophomore Julia Feid, who got valuable minutes as a rookie last year, senior Liz Morehouse, who adds depth in the post, and juniors Julia Santos, who both brought athleticism off the bench at the wing positions. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Roberts is a newcomer who adds size and outside shooting and junior Emily Pastore can step in at all three guard positions.
The Rocketeers have plenty of experience on the roster and will be one of the favorites for the league title at the beginning of the season. While head coach Derek Herber can count on a number of returning players, he hopes to “mix in a few new faces into the lineup to help with depth.”
Sharon is another team that has been building with youth and has created a lot of depth on its roster and, despite losing three of its top four scorers from last winter, has garnered preseason hype as a potential sleeper to make a return to the postseason for the first time since the Eagles made a run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
The Eagles will be hoping for an improvement on the offensive side of the ball, which was a challenge at times last winter. Junior point guard Shira Stoller, a three-year starter, is continuing to improve at limiting turnovers and looking for her own shot as well as setting up teammates. One of the players that benefits from Stoller’s ability to get into the lane is sophomore Emma Eberhardt, who was third on the team in points as a rookie and continues to develop into a consistent wing scorer.
Sophomore Veronica Wallace has emerged as one of the top backcourt defenders during the preseason and is one of the fastest players on the Sharon roster. Senior Ana Crosby, who is also a standout on the soccer and lacrosse fields, is another player that is continuing to improve and will have an increased role this season. Freshman Kaitlyn Wallace is a newcomer to watch and could have a bigger role to play over the course of the year.
“Our defense is going to have to be our key in order to compete, and our girls know that,” said third-year coach Cliff Tomassian. “We get our best looks on offense off of great defensive stands. Our girls are going to have to be patient and vigilant on both ends and be ready to take chances.”
2015-16 Record: 7-11 (7-9) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
The Black Knights lost six seniors to graduation but this offers plenty of opportunities for a new crop of younger players to get playing time and learn the system of second-year head coach, and former Stoughton star, Charmaine Steele Jordan.
Two of the players that will be counted on most this season are junior forwards Val Whalen and Jordan Motley, who are two of the best rebounders in the league and can also get out on the break and score in transition. Their development in the half-court offense will be a key for Stoughton making a playoff push in the Davenport division this season. Senior Lili Njiem is another player that could make a big impact, as one of the team’s three captains.
The Black Knights will have as many senior as freshmen on this year’s roster (three) along with four sophomores and three juniors, so the foundation for the future is in place. Shyanne Trinh, Lexi Baptista, and Aliyah Wright are the three newcomers to the program who will be hoping to make an instant impact.
“So excited for the upcoming season,” said Steele Jordan. “We lost six seniors so there is lots of opportunity for our players to step up. Our returnees from last year will contribute for us despite being pretty young.”