MANSFIELD, Mass. – The cliche is that defense wins championships and, if the cliche is true, then it is no wonder that Franklin had the chance to clinch a Kelley-Rex division title on Tuesday night. The Panthers came into the game against Mansfield in the Albertini Gym allowing a little more than 35 points per game, which was a league best.
With a potential title on the line against the three-time defending champions, the Panthers turned to their defense once again, and added some clutch shooting to go with it.
Franklin held Mansfield to just 14 points in the first half and took control with an 11-0 run just before the break and sealed the win with a 11-4 run down the stretch when the Hornets had gotten back within single digits. With the 47-32 victory, Franklin secured at least a share of its first league title since 2013.
“It’s really what we’ve been working towards all season,” said Franklin senior Bea Bondhus. “Yesterday, at the end of practice we sat in front of the banner in the gym and coach was like, ‘2013 was the last time we won it and you guys have the chance to win it this year.’ Before the game, we were really nervous but he made it clear that this was an opportunity and that we can beat this team.”
The game was a defensive struggle from the opening tip. It took nearly three minutes for either team to get on the scoreboard and the teams were tied at just 7-7 after one.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “They’re aggressive defensively, [Ali] Brigham’s back there if they do get beat off backdoors and off the dribble and it’s hard to make field goals against them and if you’re not getting to the free throw line good luck trying to beat them.”
Mady Bendanillo buried a three off an assist from her sister Kara to open the scoring, but Franklin was able to get the ball into the paint to star center Ali Brigham. The 6-foot-3 junior scored all seven of the Panthers’ points in the first and finished with a game-high 17, along with 10 rebounds and four blocks.
The Hornets continued to hang right with the league leaders late into the second quarter, thanks to its own defensive effort. Mansfield is allowing fewer than 40 points per game this season as well. Emily Vigeant (nine points) scored on a drive and then drilled a three to put the hosts up 14-13 with only a couple of minutes left until halftime.
“The tight start? Mike’s team plays great ‘D’. Bea was never open, Ali was hugged, and they just said beat us with someone else,” Franklin coach John Leighton explained.
Franklin took control in the span of about 90 seconds. Freshman Olivia Quinn scored on an offensive rebound to get the lead back. Shannon Gray knocked down a three to extend the lead to four and then Brigham stepped into a transition three. Gray capped the half with a corner three off a Brigham kick out to open up a 10-point lead.
“That’s exactly how I drew it up with my center hitting a pull-up three,” Leighton joked. “It was huge, especially Shannon hitting a couple because we’ve been working with her. In practice, she nails them but in games she’s the last kid to look for her shot and tonight, when it was there, she took them.”
Redding added, “It was a great defensive battle and then a one-point game became a 10-point game. We played them pretty even in the second half but that run really was the killer.”
Maggie Danehy (10 points and 13 rebounds) opened the second half with a jumper, but each time Mansfield got the lead back to single digits Franklin had a response. Megan O’Connell got a layup off one of Erin Quaile’s five assists and then Quaile drove to the rim for a basket.
Sydney Mulkern hit a three to cut the lead back down to nine points, but Brigham scored at the rim and Quaile hustled to snag an offensive rebound and fed Bondhus (eight points) for an easy finish. The Panthers led 36-23 after three quarters.
“A lot of people, when they talk about our team, they say that Ali carries us but it’s huge for everyone on this team to step up and make shots,” said Bondhus. “Megan, Erin, Shannon, everyone made shots.”
Neither offense clicked in the fourth but Mansfield was able to get as close as eight points (36-28) off a Mulkern drive. With Brigham in foul trouble, the Panthers were starting to rush against the Mansfield press and it looked like the Hornets might just have a chance to get back into the game.
“This is such a game of momentum,” said Leighton, who called a timeout in the fourth quarter to try and rally his team. “I’d love to tell you I drew something new up, but I just wanted to settle them down because they’re good enough. Once we settled, I think the guards handled the pressure better and we ran good offense.”
Following the timeout, the Panthers responded. Quaile scored, extending the lead to 11, and then Bondhus got free for the first time at the three-point lead to break the game open again. She buried a second three, the team’s sixth of the night, to put the game away.
“Bea stayed patient and stayed loose until the fourth quarter and those were some killer shots when we needed them,” said Leighton. He added, “Nothing changes after this. Win or loss, we still have to play the remaining games. Nothing is done.”
Franklin (15-1, 13-0) can clinch the outright title on Friday night when it hosts Taunton. Mansfield (11-4, 10-3) will try to keep up its push for a top-four seed in the Div. 1 South sectional when it travels to Oliver Ames.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – King Philip came into Friday’s game on a high after scoring 73 points and winning by 42 on Tuesday, but the shots that all seemed to go in against Stoughton mostly stayed out against Mansfield. The Hornets, on the other hand, were on fire. They knocked down six three-pointers through three quarters and built their lead to as many as 21 at one point in the third.
Mansfield rode that quick start to a 53-44 victory that keeps the Hornets two games back of league-leading Franklin and alone in second place in the Kelley-Rex division.
“We didn’t think we could play zone the whole night but they never forced us out of it,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “Foul trouble impacted them a little and we kind of played our regular rotation and took advantage of that. Both teams have a lot of great athletes and both of us need to work to score points but we did a good job making open shots when we got them.”
Sydney Mulkern was the spark for the Hornets on Friday, scoring a game-high 20 points, including 14 in the first half. She got off to a quick start, knocking down a three and driving to the basket for a quick 5-0 lead. Mulkern scored on the break, following a pinpoint pass by Becca Hottleman, and added a layup in traffic off an inbounds pass by Kara Bendanillo (four assists).
KP’s offense struggled to get into any rhythm and wasn’t helped by first quarter foul trouble for top scorers Faye Veilleux and Shannon O’Connor.
“That really affects us because they’re both leaders, they allow us to have a flow to the game, they keep us calm, and when they’re together it’s really something special,” said KP coach Amy Siggens about the early foul trouble. “They’ve been getting used to that the last couple of games (following O’Connor’s return from injury) and in a tough game like this they needed to lean on each other.”
O’Connor scored four points in the first and assisted on an Emma Glaser basket that cut the Mansfield lead to two, but the Hornets got four quick points to lead by six after one.
Mulkern kept the hot shooting started with a three in the second and then Emily Vigeant added a pair of threes before halftime as well. In between, Maggie Danehy got started on the offensive end by crashing the boards and getting five points in the quarter. KP tried to hang around by getting a spark off its bench, with sophomores Caroline Aaron (eight points) and Glaser contributing.
Mansfield led by 15 points at the break and looked to put the game away in the third. Danehy hit a couple of jumpers and Mady Bendanillo scored on a put-back. Mulkern added two more threes and the Hornets pulled away to take a 44-23 lead.
“They’re the fastest team we’ve seen so far,” Siggens said, “and I think we’re shell-shocked a little first half and I think we adjusted second half. It just wasn’t falling for us the way it was the other night. Sometimes it’s that and you just have to pick it up in other places.”
KP tried to climb back into the game and make things interesting down the stretch. The Warriors went on an 8-0 run to close out the third with O’Connor hitting a pull-up jumper, Aaron getting to the basket, and Veilleux finally able to get some touches around the basket.
The momentum the Warriors gained during that stretch couldn’t carry over to the fourth because they just couldn’t find the range from the outside. Veilleux hit a jumper off a Faith Roy assist and O’Connor hit a mid-range shot on an inbounds pass from Kendall Mason, but KP wasn’t able to significantly cut into the Mansfield lead.
“We played really well on offense in the first half and the start of the third we were great but then we kind of went dead and the defensive intensity for them picked up,” Redding explained. “I liked the way we played, they battled back and we had to fight our way through the fourth quarter with all the pressure.”
Danehy tried to keep the Warriors at bay when she created three chances on one possession before scoring on an offensive rebound for the third time in the game. “Maggie is just so active on the boards,” Redding said. “Meg [Hill] dominated the boards for us but Maggie does it in a very different way with athleticism and great instincts and gets us those extra points.”
After knocking down six three-pointers on Tuesday night, Julia Leroux made KP’s first three of the night with the game’s final shot and got the Warriors as close as they had been since the second quarter.
“This is the first time we’ve seen it,” Siggens said about Mansfield’s ability to stop KP from getting out on the break. “I think we outscored them in the second half and that’s good, but I attribute a lot of the first half to that shock of how tough they are, how fast they are.”
The Hornets continue to hang around in the league title race, trailing Franklin by two games with one head-to-head meeting left on the schedule.
“This was a huge road win,” Redding remarked. “Every game is like an elimination game. You can’t have a hiccup or you’re done, so this is a big one for us.”
Mansfield (7-3, 6-2) will stay on the road on Tuesday night with a trip to Stoughton, while King Philip (6-3, 5-3) will head to North Attleboro to face the streaking Rocketeers.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Coming into Friday night’s game against Oliver Ames in the Albertini Gym, Mansfield coach Mike Redding wasn’t sure what he would be able to get from senior guard Sydney Mulkern, who had been sick at practice the day before.
As it turns out, the Hornets got plenty from Mulkern. She came off the bench and scored a game-high 17 points, including 13 in the second half and eight in the fourth quarter, to provide the offensive punch in an otherwise defensive struggle with the Tigers, helping the Hornets pull out a 41-32 win.
“Syd was sick all week but she gave us some minutes and just made some big shots,” Mansfield coach Mike Redding said. “We really didn’t think she was going to play tonight. Yesterday she really looked awful and said she’d be able to help a little off the bench and she was probably the difference tonight.”
Neither team was really able to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the court.
The game was tied at 2-2 five minutes into the opening quarter. Maggie Danehy (13 rebounds) scored her only bucket on an offensive rebound to put the Hornets in front, but freshman Caroline Peper (nine points) answered with a three. Ashley Santos scored back-to-back baskets, but Ally Scolnick knocked down a three to tie it 8-8. Caroline Flynn also grabbed 10 rebounds in the first alone and finished with 20 boards for the Tigers.
Mulkern’s first points gave Mansfield a 10-8 lead after one, a lead that it would never relinquish.
The second quarter was even more difficult for both offenses. Mady Bendanillo (eight points and seven rebounds) scored to make it 12-8 but neither team would score again until there was 2:10 left in the quarter when freshman Hailey Bourne got her lone basket of the night for OA. Mulkern hit a layup and Megan MacVicar scored off a Bendanillo assist to make it 18-12 at the break.
“It was 18-12 at the half, come on girls can we score some points?” OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook was left asking at halftime. “We scored 57 against Foxboro and we only managed 12 in a half tonight. I’d be so happy with 41 as a points against game, but, I don’t know, offensively we just weren’t present.”
Mansfield came out in the second half and started to pull away, leading by as many as 12 points at one point. Mulkern started the third with a deep three off a pass from Kara Bendanillo (six steals and three assists). Peper cut the lead to 23-16, but Mady Bendanillo hit a huge three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer to put the Hornets up double digits and her sister followed with a layup in transition for a 28-16 lead.
“There were a lot of good athletes defending and the refs let us play us a little bit and it was just tough to get a good look,” Redding said. “Both teams are pretty well-coached on what the other team wants to do and we had some kids step up.”
OA continued to find points tough to come by, but the Tigers made a little run to cut the Hornets lead to just five. Sadie Homer got a steal and transition layup and twice Meg Holleran was able to find Scolnick (team-high 13 points) on consecutive backdoor cuts.
“We got into no rhythm but I think it was self-inflicted,” said Clement-Holbrook. “Not to discredit Mansfield’s defense because they always play good defense, but we were so out of sync. We had shot but we just didn’t finish them. We are much more capable of presenting ourselves in a better way but we just didn’t play up to our capabilities.”
Kara Bendanillo got out in transition to close the third with a layup and give the Hornets a seven-point edge heading to the fourth. Scolnick opened the fourth with a jumper to keep it close but then Mulkern broke the game wide open.
She sandwiched a Becca Hottleman steal and layup with a pair of threes (one after Kara Bendanillo kept a possession alive with an offensive rebound) to extend the lead back to 11.
OA kept the game on edge to the final whistle by causing havoc with a press, raising the energy of the team but not getting the Tigers any closer than eight points.
“We’d rather win ugly than lose. Defensively we played well but on offense we were just out of sorts,” Redding said. “We made enough shots but we never got into any rhythm and fortunately they didn’t either.”
Redding admitted that this was an important win for the Hornets, despite it still being early in the season. The Hornets, who are seeking a program-record fourth straight league title, trail division-leading Franklin by two games and are now tied with the Tigers for second in the Kelley-Rex.
“This was almost like an elimination game for us,” he said. “Now were still two back and Franklin still has OA twice, they have Foxboro, and we have Franklin at home. There’s a long way to go but you feel like we’re in it and now we need to go on a little run in January to be there in February and have a shot at a [title].”
Mansfield (5-3, 4-2) will face a tough test on Tuesday night with the visit of Canton, which has won five games in a row, while Oliver Ames (5-3, 4-2) will try to get back on track at home against Sharon before facing Franklin for the first time.
2017-2018 Record: 9-13 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
The Bombardiers were just two wins shy of a playoff spot last season under new head coach Marty Crowley and Attleboro brings back three starters and has added several new faces to the roster to try and make a postseason push this winter.
The graduation of leading scorer Sam Pierce (16 points per game) means that a number of players are going to need to step in and make up for production on offense and on the glass. Senior point guard Jordyn Lako will be back to run the Bombardiers offense and provide three-point shooting, while junior Nyah Thomas is a versatile weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Both are also aggressive defenders, who set the tone on that end of the floor. Senior forward Mackenzie Roberts can score in the post or from beyond the arc and junior Liv McCall is a dynamic guard who is capable of big scoring nights.
Defense has always been the focus of teams that Crowley coaches and the Bombardiers will be no different. To keep up that defensive intensity, the Bombardiers have added depth to the rotation. Seniors Abby Struminski and Dom Garnes (who was out last season with an injury) provide leadership, while sophomores Gabby Bosh and Sonny Stuger and freshmen Meghan Gordon and Lillian Froio are newcomers to keep an eye on.
“Hopefully we can generate scoring opportunities off our defense and use our athleticism to create baskets,” said Crowley. “We have a great mix of experience and youth. We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been spirited and the kids have been working hard.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-11 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Jim Choquette
Last winter, Canton got a taste of the postseason for the first time in seven seasons and now the program will try to build on that momentum while finding a way to replace the scoring and rebounding of Hannah Jerrier, who averaged a double-double for the Bulldogs last winter. An exciting crop of underclassmen has been added to the roster and now Canton will try to build experience with a schedule that puts them on the road for the majority of the first half of the year.
While Jerrier will obviously be missed, the Bulldogs bring back the other four starters and other players with plenty of experience to try and make it a much shorter wait to get back into the playoffs. Senior point guard Julia Hamilton is back to run the offense, senior Erin Devine gives Canton control on the glass and a rim protector on defense, senior Molly Ludwig gives balance to the offense, and senior Maggie Connolly is one of the league’s top defensive players on the perimeter. Senior Nicole Galvin will add depth to the backcourt.
Junior Lilah Milton came on strong at the tail of end of last season, including a huge game in the playoff-clinching win over Weymouth, and could take up some of Jerrier’s scoring from the power forward position. Sophomore Kayla Albert gained valuable experience last season as a freshman and current rookies Sydney and Fay Gallery, and Kiara Cerruti have the potential to step right into the rotation and contribute.
“Details are everything to us,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “If our group of young talent and veteran leadership/experience can continue to stay focused on the details during the good times and tough times of a season then we should continue to improve and have a very excited and successful season.”
2017-2018 Record: 26-2 2017-2018 Finish: Won Div. 2 state championship. Coach: Lisa Downs
Last season was one to remember for the Warriors, who rolled through the regular season in dominating fashion and lived up to the team’s immense potential by bringing home the Div. 2 state title. With the graduation of a very strong senior class, the expectations are much lower for the Warriors this season but there are several returning players and new faces that have Foxboro coach Lisa Downs confident that the program can continue its recent run of success in the Davenport division.
Losing players like Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes, Grace Tamulionis, and Shannon Smally is a challenge for any team, but the Warriors will bring back a pair of starters from the playoff run in sophomore Katelyn Mollica and junior Abby Hassman. Mollica is the team’s top returning scorer and will be one of the top point guards in the Hock with her ability to shoot and score off the dribble. Hassman gives Foxboro a strong presence on the glass and showed increased confidence in her offensive game at the end of last season. Senior Chelsea Gibbons and junior Lizzy Davis should see increased minutes and bigger roles in the offense this year.
Juniors Shakirah Ketant and Yara Fawaz should give Foxboro more depth in the post and contribute on the glass and both saw limited minutes in the playoffs last winter. Sophomores Adrienne Dunn and Jordyn Collins will be newcomers to the backcourt and have impressed during the preseason, while junior forward Anita Busznyak is expected to see a lot more time this year and could be a player to watch.
Downs is hoping this year’s team will learn from the graduating class. She said, “The time they spent practicing with and playing against these girls has really paid off – they know what is expected of them on the court and what is required to be a winning team. We have established a winning culture at Foxboro and the players know that I expect nothing more than what they should expect from themselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 15-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central first round. Coach: John Leighton
The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year’s roster, which reached the state tournament but lost in the opening round to Natick, and there are high expectations on Oak St. as the new season gets underway. Franklin enters the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and its balanced lineup has the potential to make a run in the state tournament as well.
Much of the enthusiasm for Franklin’s chances this winter come from 6-foot-3 center Ali Brigham. The junior recently committed to George Washington (where her father once played) and is the lone returning player from last season HockomockSports.com First Team. While she (deservedly) garners much of the attention, the Panthers have a number of other weapons to give the opposition headaches. Senior guard Bea Bondhus, who committed to Springfield College, is one of the top three-point shooters in the Hock and sophomore guard Elizabeth Wilson is back from an injury that cut short the promising start to her varsity career.
The Panthers will also bring back versatile junior forwards Megan O’Connell and Breanna Atwood, who add size in the paint but can also take defenders off the dribble or knock down outside shots. Seniors Hailey Sanders and Calen Frongillo add depth to the frontcourt, while senior Shannon Gray and juniors Kelsey MacCallum and Sydney Garilli are capable of stepping in at either guard position.
“It is our goal to compete each night and to improve from last year,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “With 10 returning players, we feel our experience will help us to better prepare for the season and compete against the best in our league.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip had to battle injuries throughout head coach Amy Siggens’ first year in charge, including a late season injury to leading scorer Shannon O’Connor, but the Warriors are healthy coming into this season and with a year to get use to a new system, confidence is high that KP can make a push up the standings and fight for a postseason berth this winter.
O’Connor is the key piece returning for the Warriors. A four-year varsity player who has been recruited by Div. I college programs, O’Connor gives KP a consistent scorer and someone who will draw opposing defenses. Senior Julia Leroux will be back at the point and running the KP offense, while junior Faith Roy is the team’s best outside threat and has developed as a ball-handler who can score in a variety of ways. Sophomore Emma Glaser, who battled injuries throughout her freshman season, will add versatility to the lineup and can play multiple positions and her classmate Courtney Keswick is a newcomer to watch in the backcourt.
The Warriors will also have strength in the post with senior Catherine Cummings providing a solid presence on the glass and junior Faye Veilleux giving KP length and athleticism at the forward position. Newcomers like junior Taylor Butler and returning senior Kendall Mason will give added depth and strong play on the defensive end of the floor.
There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding our team this year with our sights on continued growth and improvement upon our overall record from a year ago,” Siggens said. “Our practices have been very competitive and I’m encouraged by our team’s attitude and overall interest in getting better. I like this team a lot and I look forward to the challenge of helping each girl reach her maximum potential.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
After three straight league titles and four trips to the Div. 1 South semifinal in the past four seasons (including back-to-back finals), Mansfield has been one of the most consistent teams in the Hockomock League, but the Hornets enter this season trying to replace Meg Hill, who scored more than 1,000 points and pulled down more than 1,000 points in her stellar career. With 10 seniors and loads of athleticism, this might be a very different looking Mansfield attack, but one that has the potential to keep the Hornets right back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and capable of making another deep tournament run.
The Hornets have been known for slowing the ball down and running intricate sets, but this team is suited for getting up and down the court as quickly as possible, highlighted by senior guard Mady Bendanillo, one of the quickest players in the Hock. Senior forward Maggie Danehy has emerged as a strong interior scorer and someone who can control the glass, but she is also someone who can run like a guard and get out on the break for easy baskets. Seniors Sydney Mulkern and Erin Daniel add wing scoring and are both solid shooters who can spread the floor and open lanes to the basket.
Athletic senior forwards Emily Vigeant and Steph Kemp can outrun many of the guards in the league and senior point guard Kara Bendanillo is another speedster who can push the ball off makes or misses. Sophomore Ashley Santos saw time last year as a rookie and adds to the frontcourt depth and versatility, while junior Becca Hottleman will be back to give Mansfield another option at guard.
It is a different feel to the lineup but one that Mansfield coach Mike Redding feels can be effective. He said, “We need to rebound as a team and must change our style to up-tempo with defensive pressure/fast breaks and play to our strengths (athleticism and depth).”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central quarterfinal. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Milford coach T.J. Dolliver brings back six players from the team that not only reached the state tournament last season but also went on the road and beat Burncoat handily, the program’s first playoff win since 2001. The problem for the Hawks is that almost the entire rotation from last year’s team has graduated, including 1,000-point scorer Kate Irwin.
While this may be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, Dolliver sees it as an opportunity for players to step into new roles and establish themselves as starters and as regular contributors. The lone senior back from last year is forward Grace Risio, who Dolliver said made a difference when she was given the opportunity last year, and sophomore guard Jillian Michelson saw some time in the backcourt as a rookie.
The Hawks will have eight sophomores on the roster this season, so it is clear that Milford is going to try and build with youth, similar to several teams from last year. Among the players from last year’s roster, forwards Katie Maietta, guard Emma Lawrence, and forward Carly Ferreira all got time as freshmen and could see those minutes increase significantly this winter.
Dolliver said, “With our entire rotation graduating last year, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for everyone in the program. It will be exciting to watch who emerges within the group and elevates their game to compete at the varsity level.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Derek Herber
Last year was a tough transition season for the Rocketeers, as North Attleboro moved on from a number of players who were starters for several years and incorporated a number of new, young faces into the lineup. North had a better second half to the season and will try to build on that this winter with a more experienced group of players.
Senior Julia Feid is back on the wing and is North’s top returning scorer, coming off a season in which she averaged more than nine points per game. Fellow seniors Liz Smahi and Emma Noreck will add leadership in the backcourt and try to set the direction for the team this year. Junior point guard Olivia Forbes, who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last season, will be back to get the offense going and provide strong defense on the perimeter. Junior Eliza Dion also returns to add rebounding and interior scoring for a team that can’t count on a lot of height in the paint.
The North offense improved over the course of last season with the addition of sophomore Amanda Kaiser (8.6 points per game) and junior Julia Kleczkowski (40 percent from three-point range), who can both fill it up from the outside and who are both willing to take any shot that presents itself. Several newcomers will fill out the roster with the potential of adding important minutes over the course of the season, including sophomore Lydia Santos and Siobhan Weir.
“We will rely on Julia Feid to be our first option on offense and the sooner we can develop a consistent second option will be a factor in the early part of the season,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “The inside scoring option will hopefully be Eliza Dion, while both Amanda Kaiser and Julia Kleczkowski showed an ability to stretch the defense with their outside shooting in limited time last year.”
2017-2018 Record: 16-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames will be making a transition this year following the graduation of Kayla Raymond, who was a two-time HockomockSports.com First Team performer and last year’s league MVP (and is already a three-time Rookie of the Week at Stonehill College), but the Tigers have a number of returning players to try and make up for Raymond’s production on both ends of the floor and make another run at a league title.
Senior Alex Sheldon grew in confidence over the course of last season and became a double-double machine by the end of the year, dominating on the glass and improving her finishing around the rim. Junior Erin Holberg emerged last year as a strong scorer on the perimeter with her touch from the outside and ability to take defenders off the dribble. Junior Meg Holleran is in her third season on varsity and is a tough, physical defender who can knock down shots from the outside.
Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a strong freshman season, playing several positions (from point guard to small forward), crashing the boards, and showing off decent range. The return of senior Sadie Homer will add energy on both ends of the floor and give the Tigers another strong outside shooter to stretch the floor, while senior Ally Scolnick came off the bench last season to add another shooter to the OA offense.
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of the experienced returning players, “They will lead the youngest team OA has put on the court in quite a long time. We are looking towards gaining valuable game experience and coming into to our own as the season progresses.”
2017-2018 Record: 2-18 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sanda Lombardi
It was a tough winter for new Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi, as the Eagles struggled to a two-win season, but five of their losses were by 10 points or fewer and they return all but one player from last season’s team. With a year to get acclimated to Lombardi’s system, an experienced roster of returning players, and several newcomers, Sharon has its sights set on getting into the postseason for the first time since its run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
Sharon returns its leading scorer and playmaker in senior Emma Eberhardt, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team last season, and she will once again be the focal point of the offense, as well as one of the team’s leading defenders. Eberhardt’s versatility as a wing player should open things up for junior guards Kaitlyn Wallace and Ally Brown, who will both fill in as ball-handlers after the graduation of Miranda Cheung. Wallace will extend defenses with her shooting from the outside and Brown adds energy to the backcourt defense.
Senior guard Bridget McManus will add depth and junior forward Telishya Herbert provides a strong presence in the paint. Junior Olivia Langol-Leonard added frontcourt depth and was active on the glass in her time on the court, while senior forward Evanjuline Elisma can score in transition and adds another solid wing defender.
“We only lost one player due to graduation,” said Lombardi. “We have the entire team back and we added some height. I’m excited to see what the season brings. The girls are working hard and our goal is to qualify for the postseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton started last season with five straight defeats and only one win in the opening eight games, but the Black Knights turned things around with a vengeance, winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season and winning its opening game of the state tournament. Stoughton’s only two losses in its final 14 games of the season were to state champion Foxboro. That is a lot of momentum for the Black Knights to carry into this year.
It may be a little different look for Stoughton this winter after the graduation of Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Instead of being a team that dominates the paint, there will be a host of guards and wing players who can still battle on the glass, but will bring energy and tenacity on the perimeter on both ends of the court. Junior Aliyah Wright is back as the team’s point guard and her length makes her a factor guarding multiple positions. Senior Lindsay McDonald adds versatility as a combo guard and sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe is a dynamic guard and stretches defenses with her ability to shoot from the outside.
While there are a lot of familiar faces returning for the Black Knights, there are several players who will have more responsibility this year and the potential to make big contributions. Junior Lexi Baptista defends well at the forward position and gives a different look on the post, while seniors Hailey Egan and Heather Maddalena will add extra toughness to the backcourt. Junior Shyanne Trinh is still battling an injury at the beginning of the season, but she will give Stoughton a big scoring boost when she returns.
“This season will be all about our effort, energy and enthusiasm on defense,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The Black Knights will be most successful when we put in work on the defensive end and finish each play with a Black Knights rebound.”
2017-2018 Record: 7-15 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton started last winter well and had the potential for making a return to the state tournament, but injuries slowed things down for the Tigers and they missed out on the postseason. While the year didn’t end the way they would have hoped, a number of younger players were given valuable varsity experience and there are a number of returning players ready to make an impact.
Senior Lily Patneaude will be the player to watch for the Tigers, as the team’s leading scorer from last year. After battling an injury down the stretch, her return gives Taunton a consistent primary offensive weapon and takes some of the scoring pressure off her teammates. Senior point guard Alexa White is also back to provide leadership, energy, and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Kelsey White showed flashes as a rookie of being the secondary scorer that Taunton needs, with her ability to knock down shots from the outside and take defenders off the dribble.
Even with a year of experience, Taunton is still a relatively young team. Sophomores Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will provide athleticism from the forward positions and give Taunton effort in the paint, while sophomore Tori DaRose, and freshmen Abby Souza (who saw brief minutes as an eighth-grader last season) and Braeley MacDonald give the Tigers depth off the bench.
“We have great group of enthusiast student athletes consisting of senior leadership, youth, athleticism, and talent,” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan. “This team is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.”
King Philip, 4 vs. Bishop Feehan, 5 – Final (8 Inn.) – King Philip senior Jeremy Rhines allowed just one earned run in a strong outing but Bishop Feehan prevailed with a win in extra innings. Rhines tossed 6.1 innings and helped his cause offensively with three hits. Chirs Sawyer and Dan Antunes also had three hits apiece for KP.
Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 8 – Final – Stoughton senior Will Eckhart had a dominant performance on the mound, tossing a complete game shutout to lead the Black Knights to a win. Eckhart allowed six hits, no walks, and struck out seven – including striking out the side on the top of the seventh to end the game. Stoughton’s offense had 14 hits on the day and scored four runs in the fifth inning. Matt Hadley went 4-for-4 with a double, Ruben Gonzalez added three hits, Robbie Seaman went 2-for-3 with a triple, and James Genest had two hits and knocked in two runs.
Attleboro, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final
Mansfield, 19 @ Sharon, 0 – Final (5 Inn.) – Mansfield closed out its season with a 19-hit day, winning in five innings on the road. The Hornets scored eight runs in the second and seven more in the third to put the game out of reach. Sarah Cahill picked up the shutout, allowing only five hits. Caty DeMassi had a big day at the plate, going 5-for-5 with a pair of RBI and Megan Letendre went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Grace Benton drove in three and had two hits, as did Kara Bendanillo and Kerran Holmes. One of Holmes’ hits was a two-run homer in the third and she finished the day with four RBI. Mady Bendanilo, Katie Dardinski, Sydney Woods, Emma Roche, and McKani Copparini all had one hit in the game for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 2 @ Brockton, 3 – Final
King Philip, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 5 – Final
Sharon, 13 @ Cardinal Spellman, 6 – Final
Attleboro, 4 vs. Norton, 8 – Final
Foxboro, 8 vs. Walpole, 13 – Final
Mansfield, 21 @ Milford, 4 – Final
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Sharon, 12 – Final – Sabrina Robbins scored the 250th point of her career to lead the Eagles to a win in the season finale. Robbins finished with five goals and an assist on the day. Emma Eberhardt had another big day as well with three goals and five assists, while Maeve Barbera had two goals and an assist and Mia Lappen had a pair of goals. Rose Wald also hit a milestone for Sharon with her 200th career save. Eagles coach Shara Ginthwain noted that Bridget McManus and Lili Ross both had strong games in defense. Oliver Ames’ Chloe Kilkelly and Olivia Piazza each scored their 100th career goals for the Tigers.
Milford, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro capped its regular season with a victory, earning its 13th win of the season with a sweep of Milford. Emily Chiasson (second singles) and the first doubles team of Azka Siddiq and Leah Marceau each won their match 6-0, 6-0. Senior Jordan Willis prevailed with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win at first singles, Tara Nair emerged with a 7-5, 7-5 win at third singles, and the team of Shurobhi Nandi and Haley Strom won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles for Big Red.
Mansfield, 8 @ Walpole, 1 – Final – Mansfield continued to improve its resume for the postseason with a win over Walpole. The Hornets’ offense scored in every inning but the sixth inning and after the Rebels tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second, Mansfield responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half. Tyler Dalton (RBI, run) and Mike Hargadon (two RBI, run) each had two hits for the Hornets while Dan Saraceno was responsible for driving in two more runs. Kevin Dow earned the win, striking out 10 with four hits allowed and two walks.
North Attleboro, 8 vs. Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – North Attleboro scored three runs in the fifth inning to break open a 2-2 game and never looked back to beat Feehan. Brendan McHugh scored from first after a throwing error on a sac bunt, Nick Sinacola scored on a Zach DeMattio double, and DeMattio came across on a sac fly from Nick Raneri. The Rocketeers added insurance in the sixth inning when Nate Pearce launched a three-run home run to make it 8-3. Feehan took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but North tied it in the bottom half on Pearce’s two-out two-RBI single. Pearce finished the day with five RBI, DeMattio had a pair of doubles, and Sinacola went 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Matt Wanless earned the win, allowing one earned run in 6.1 innings of work while striking out five.
Taunton, 6 @ Durfee, 2 – Final – Taunton’s Tyler Medeiros dazzled on the mound, striking out 11 to earn the win for the Tigers. Medeiros allowed one earned run on three hits and no walks in a stellar performance. Jacob Crawford had a three-run triple for the Tigers while Medeiros added two hits, a run scored, and two RBI.
Stoughton @ Canton – Postponed to Tuesday, 5/29 at 3:45.
King Philip, 19 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final (5 inn.) – King Philip’s offense accounted for 21 hits as the Warriors rolled to a big win on the road over Foxboro. Elise Pereira launched a three-run home run while Brooke Taute and Jess Bonner each added a solo shot in the game. Taute, Meghan Gorman, and Faith Turinese each had three hits while Marjorie Guerrier and Hailey McCasland each belted two hits. Pereira and Turinese combined to throw a two-hit shutout.
Mansfield, 2 @ Holliston, 4 – Final – Mansfield had the tying run on second base in the top of the seventh inning but a nice play in right field robbed the Hornets of a hit and put an end to the visitor’s rally. Sydney Woods had a pair of hits for the Hornets while Kara Bendanillo, Mady Bendanillo, Kerran Holmes and Caitlin Gomes each had one hit. Mansfield pitcher Sarah Cahill struck out six and allowed four hits.
North Attleboro, 9 @ King Philip, 4 – Final
Taunton, 2 @ Mansfield, 16 – Final
Sharon, 14 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 7 – Final
Mansfield, 16 @ Attleboro, 8 – Final
Stoughton, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – In a rematch from earlier in the week, Stoughton once again took wins at first and second singles but Canton won the match with a sweep of doubles play and a win at third singles. Freshman Minh Duong won 6-2, 6-4 at third singles, the team of Justin Luk and Tyler Duffy picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win at first doubles and Charlie Malloy and Aidas Jakubenas earned a 6-7, 6-4, 14-12 win at second doubles to seal the win. Stoughton freshman Waseem Sablon, who finished his rookie year at 10-6, won 6-4, 6-2 at first singles and junior Erik Anderson prevailed 6-1, 6-3 at second singles.
Franklin, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sharon picked up a win in a clash of two of the top teams in the Hockomock this year. The Eagles swept singles play with Fred Bondar (first singles, 6-2, 6-3), Andre Olivei (second, 6-3, 6-2), and Danujan Thirumavalavan (third, 6-0, 6-0) all picking up wins in straight sets. Ashwin Sreevatsa and Arie Chinnappin earned Sharon’s fourth point with a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles. Franklin’s Derek Wu and Tyler DiPalma were victorious, 6-4, 6-4, at first doubles.
North Attleboro, 4 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – North Attleboro swept singles play and notched another win in doubles to earn a non-league victory over King Philip. Senior Richard Bermudez prevailed with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win at first singles, senior Christian Bermudez won 6-1, 6-1 at second singles, and freshman Jonah Manso notched a 6-0, 6-3 win at third singles for the Rocketeers. The team of sophomore Alex Pfeffer and Sam Gallagher won 6-2, 6-4 at second doubles. KP’s Sean Desroches and Nate Ihley won 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 at first doubles.
Canton, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Canton concluded its season with a win over Stoughton, dropping just one game among its three singles matches. Natalie Keppler won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles to finish off an impressive rookie season. Fellow freshman Rachel Kupferman won 6-0, 6-0 to cap her strong debut season while Sarah Hernandez also won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. The team of Nyah Claiborne and Rose Hazam prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 at second doubles. Stoughton’s Ellie Kashian and Alex Soto emerged from first doubles with a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 10-8 win.
North Attleboro, 5 vs. Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final – North Attleboro picked up its 13th win of the season with a clean sweep of Bishop Feehan, taking all five matches in straight sets. Jordan Willis won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Emily Chiasson notched a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles and Katie Ovoian earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at third singles. Azka Siddiq and Leah Marceau recorded a 6-4, 6-1 decision at first singles while Shurobhi Nani and Tara Nair emerged with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at second doubles.
Sharon, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final
Taunton, 3 @ Greater New Bedford, 1 – Final – Taunton went on the road and picked up a 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-11, 25-13) win over GNBVT to finish the season undefeated at 18-0. Malik Charles stepped up to deliver a big performance for the Tigers, finishing with six kills, 12 assists, and 16 digs. Lance Law added 14 kills, nine digs, four blocks and two aces, Lens Esquil chipped in with 10 kills and one block, Collin Hunter added six kills, two blocks, and 10 digs, and Ricardo DaFonseca finished with 28 assists and chipped in with a pair of kills.
King Philip, 2 @ Bishop Feehan, 15 – Final – Pat Limerick had three hits on the day but the Warriors fell on the road to Bishop Feehan. One of Limerick’s hits was a solo home run while Jeremy Rhines also chipped in with three hits and an RBI for the Warriors.
Taunton, 5 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton scored two runs in the top of the fourth and then put the game away with three more runs in the top seventh to beat New Bedford. The Tigers had nine hits as a team with Andrew Gomes (two RBI) and Tyler Medeiros (RBI) each recording two. Josh Lajoie pitched six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to earn the win.
Mansfield, 16 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – Final – Mansfield’s offense used 12 hits, four walks and took advantage of four Trojan errors to pick up a big win on the road. Mansfield broke open a scoreless gae with four runs in the fourth and added seven more in the fifth. Although the Hornets had 12 hits, only one player – Tyler Dalton (three RBI, two runs) – had more than one hit. Ten other Hornets each had one hit with Chris Jenkins and Kyle Moran providing two RBI and a run scored each. Connor Sheehan earned the win, striking out seven with just two walks and three hits allowed in five shutout innings of work.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Bella Erti struck out 13 and walked just one, while going 2-for-3 at the plate with a homer and two RBI, leading North to the Blue-Red Cup title. Abby Gallagher also went 2-for-2 and drove in three runs, while Olivia Capobianco had two hits and scored two runs and Emily Nardelli, Ashley Cangiano and Katherine Munley each had a hit.
Canton @ Randolph, 4:00
Franklin, 0 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 3 – Final – Franklin had the same amount of hits as Bridgewater-Raynham but couldn’t string them together to find a run. Both teams had five hits but the Trojans cashed in on a couple of unearned runs. Jackie Cherry had two hits for the Panthers while Maggie Hobby had one and made two nice catches in foul territory behind the plate. Emily Valentino allowed five hits while striking out four.
Mansfield, 8 @ Duxbury, 4 – Final – The Hornets opened the game with three runs in the first, added three in the fifth and scored a pair of insurance runs in the seventh to pick up the road win. Mady Bendanillo drove in the first run with a double and scored on a double by Felicity McMullin, who scored on a single by Caty DeMassi. In the fifth, Kara Bendanillo again got it started with a single and Megan beat out a bunt to put two on. Mady Bendanillo doubled again, driving in two more runs and then she scored on a sac fly. In the seventh, Letendre and Mady Bendanillo singled and moved up into scoring position on good base-running. McMullin plated one run with a slow roller on the infield and Bendanillo scored on a wild pitch.
Taunton, 14 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – Taunton’s Kelsey White had three hits and knocked in four runs while sister Alexa tossed a complete game with six strikeouts and no walks as the Tigers beat OA. Alexa White scattered five hits while allowing just one earned run to improve to 3-0. Jaylin Couto (home run, four RBI, three runs) and Jaime Brown (RBI) each had two hits for Taunton while Kya Enos (two RBI) and McKenzie McAloon (three runs, two stolen bases) had one hit apiece. For OA, Caroline Mahoney was 2-for-4 with a single, a solo home run and two runs scored, Katie Mills was 1-for-3 with two RBI, and freshman Grace Simone had a single and a run scored.
Stoughton, 1 @ Milton, 5 – Final
Franklin, 12 @ Canton, 5 – Final – Franklin built a 7-1 lead after 24 minutes of play and never looked back to finish its regular season with a win on the road over Canton. Eric Civetti netted seven goals and had three assists while Jake Davis scored a hat trick and had two helpers for the Panthers.
Sharon, 12 vs. Cambridge, 0 – Final – Eight different players found the back of the net for Sharon and Jonny Greenberg recorded a shutout in the Eagles’ win over CambridMitchellchll Director scored a team-high three goals while Kadin Nestler had two goals and two assists. Daniel Lilenfeld added a goal and two assists for Sharon.
Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 20 – Final – Katie Jones led Franklin’s offense with four goals and two assists as the Panthers picked up a win at home. Lilly Kolb added two goals and an assist while Haley DeStefano found the back of the net twice for the Panthers.
Mansfield vs. Natick, 4:00
North Attleboro, 12 vs. Old Rochester, 16 – Final – North Attleboro was tied 7-7 at the half but Old Rochester broke the game open with a strong second half. Kayla Moulin made 11 saves in the game, including the 300th of her career. Camille Pizarro scored five goals, Julia Dakin had three and Mackenzie Rosenberg had a pair for North.
Sharon, 18 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 2 – Final – Lydia Chase led the Eagles with five goals and an assist, while Emma Eberhardt played provider with six assists. Sabrina Robbins had a hat trick, while Mia Lappen, Abbi Solomon (two assists), and Jenna Goldstein all scored two goals apiece. Maeve Barbera added one goal.
Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final
King Philip, 4 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – King Philip dominated doubles play, losing a combined five games and winning both matches in straight sets to defeat Feehan. Sean Desroches and Nate Ihley won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles and the team of Nick Ihley and Aidan Ignatius notched a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles. Nick Putney prevailed with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 win at second singles and Jack Cannon lost just one game (6-0, 6-1) in a victory at third singles.
Sharon, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro’s Ben Pfeffer and Vikram Senthilakumaran emerged from an epic three-set match at first doubles with a win to clinch a victory for the Rocketeers as well as a perfect league record. Pfeffer and Senthilakumaran won 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to clinch the Davenport title for Big Red. With North’s win, Sharon’s run of 38 straight years with a league title comes to an end. Richard Bermudez won 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1) at first singles and Christian Bermudez picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles. Sharon sophomore Danujan Thirumavalavan won 6-2, 6-0 at third singles and the team of Ashwin Sreevatsa and Arie Chinnappan picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles for the Eagles.
Taunton, 5 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton picked up its 14th win of the season with a sweep of New Bedford. The Tigers didn’t drop a single game in singles play as Francois Hennaux (first singles), Brett Beaulieu (second), and Charlie Fiske (third) each won 6-0, 6-0. Dylan Kullas and Mike Briggs won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles and Kyle Dennehy and Trevor Hart paired up for a 6-0, 6-2 win at second doubles.
Foxboro, 1 @ Martha’s Vineyard, 4 – Final – Foxboro’s Sophia Prinos picked up a win at first singles but the Warriors fell to Martha’s Vineyard. Prinos earned a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win for the Warriors’ lone point.
King Philip @ Bishop Feehan, 3:45
North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon defended home court with a sweep of North Attleboro, winning all five matches in straight sets. Nupur Shukla won 6-0, 6-3 at first singles, Lulu Yuan earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles and Katie Merport recorded a 6-0, 6-3 win at third singles. The Eagles’ first doubles team of Emily Wen and Sachi Bhasin won 6-1, 6-0 while Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Taunton vs. New Bedford, 4:00
Milford, 3 vs. BC High, 2 – Final
Taunton, 3 @ Durfee, 0 – Final – Taunton went on the road and swept the Hilltoppers (25-18, 25-17, 25-16) to improve to 16-0 on the season. Ricardo DaFonseca set the offense in motion with 40 assists while Lens Esquil and Lance Law had 13 kills apiece. Collin Hunter and Malik Charle chipped in with six kills each.
By Cameron Merritt, HockomockSports.com Contributor
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Oliver Ames softball team outlasted the Mansfield Hornets in an offensive showdown Monday afternoon at the East Street Fields.
“I think it was a really great team win,” Oliver Ames coach Lindsey Allison said, praising her team for never giving up. “Everybody kind of had a piece of it, which was really nice, and we just battled through adversity.”
Most of the Tiger runs came during an offensive burst in the top of the fourth, where they put up six runs and batted through the lineup. The Hornets a six-run inning of their own in the sixth inning, but the Tigers added on two insurance runs in the seventh to get the win.
On the mound, OA freshman pitcher Emma Varella tossed 5.2 innings, giving up four runs and on six hits and seven walks while striking out three for the win. In relief, senior Lexie Campbell moved over from second and gave up a run and two hits in 1.1 innings.
Oliver Ames broke through first in the top of the second, as a walk to sophomore shortstop Katie Abreu was turned into a run by a single to left from senior third baseman Rachel Han two at-bats later to give the visitors the run advantage.
The game remained much of a pitcher’s duel up until the top of the fourth when the Tiger offense roared to life as seven straight batters made it on base. A leadoff single by senior designated hitter Caroline Mahoney was followed by a walk to junior first baseman Katie Mills and a single by Abreu loaded up the bases for Oliver Ames. A walk to senior right fielder Sarah Tetrault drove in Mahoney to make it 2-0, and Han drove in Mills for her second RBI of the afternoon.
With the bases still loaded and no outs, Allison called on junior Kayla Georgeu to pinch hit.
“[Georgeu] has a serious power stick, so I can always count on her to swing for the fences almost every time she’s up there,” Allison said.
Her decision was proven right as the junior sent a shot into deep left field, clearing the bases with a three-run triple and doubling her team’s lead.
“It was just a good hit,” Georgeu said. “I got all of it and it was great for the team.”
Senior catcher Antonia Peretti drove Georgeu home on a single in the next at-bat, extending the lead to 7-0.
The scoreline remained the same until the bottom of the sixth when Mansfield staged a comeback effort with a six-run inning of their own. Junior third baseman Kara Bendanillo and junior second baseman Megan Letendre drew back-to-back two-out walks and the pair advanced into scoring position on a couple of wild pitches.
With two outs, junior catcher Caty DeMassi drove in the pair of juniors for the first two Hornet runs and would come home herself via a single by infielder Grace Benton to make it 7-3. After Sarah Cahill walked, a single down the right-field line from Felicity McMullin allowed Benton and Cahill to score, bringing the hosts within two.
Varella, who was coming off 10 innings of work in her previous outing, was replaced by Campbell, and after McMullin came home through a wild pitch and a throwing error to first , the inning ended with the Hornets trailing the Tigers by just a run, 7-6, with another inning left to play.
The Tigers, however, were quick to respond as Mahoney, Mills, and Abreu all singled to start off the inning. While OA grounded into a double play at first that denied a run at the plate, Han hit a double into deep left field to bring in Mills and Abreu for two more runs, and the Tigers headed into the bottom half of the inning with a three-run advantage.
Kara Bendanillo lead off the bottom half for Mansfield with an infield single and may have very well scored off Letendre’s gap shot the next at-bat had it not been grabbed in a diving catch by senior center fielder Marissa Guarino. Junior center fielder Mady Bendanillo drove her in off a single, but the Hornets comeback effort would fall short as Campbell sealed the deal for the Tigers.
Though her team is out of tournament contention, Allison felt the win was still very important to the team overall.
“We’re just trying to catch some more people off guard,” she said. “We just want to finish out the season strong, finish it positive, enjoy our seniors for the last couple games and also make sure we’re getting people in to get them ready for next year.”
Oliver Ames (2-12 Hockomock, 2-16 overall) returns to action Tuesday as they host Kelley-Rex co-leaders Taunton while Mansfield (3-12 Hockomock, 5-12 overall) travels to Duxbury Wednesday for a non-league outing against the Dragons.
Mansfield, 5 @ Braintree, 4 – Final – Braintree loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning but senior Kyle Moran limited the damage and picked up the final out to secure the win for the Hornets. Moran inherited first and second with no outs but got the first out on a sacrifice bunt that advanced both runners. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases and scored a run but Moran made a nice grab on a line drive back to the mound and an induced a fly ball to left for the final out. Mansfield scored two runs in the third, Braintree tied it with two in the fourth, but the Hornets took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth. Kevin Dow (two RBI), Chris Jenkins (run), and Mike Hargadon (two runs) had two hits apiece for Mansfield. Dow made the start and struck out 11 in six innings of work with no walks and two earned runs allowed.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Brockton, 8 – Final
Taunton, 4 @ Sharon, 6 – Final
Canton, 3 vs. Boston Latin, 8 – Final
Canton, 10 vs. Boston Latin, 5 – Final
Foxboro, 6 @ Mansfield, 10 – Final – After scoring only three runs in the last three games, the Mansfield offense clicked into gear with 14 hits and 10 runs to put an end to a three-game losing streak. Foxboro took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Mansfield answered with two in the bottom half to get right back into the game and never looked back. Kara Bendanillo, Megan Letendre, and Mady Bendanillo each had three hits, including a third-inning homer for Mady, while Caty DeMassi had two hits and Ella Verheggen, Mary Muldoon, and Kerran Holmes each had one hit apiece. Sarah Cahill earned the win with four strikeouts and scattering six hits.
Franklin, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Annabelle Hebard plated the game’s only run with a sixth-inning single to lift North Attleboro to the win in a rapidly played game. Ashley Cangiano reached on an error with one out in the sixth and Bella Erti followed with a double to move runners into scoring position before Hebard provided the clutch hit. Hebard had three hits for North and Abby Gallagher and Emily Nardelli each had one. Erti tossed a two-hitter, walking just one and striking out four, and got some help in the seventh with a nice catch by Emily Pastore. Jackie Cherry and Maddie White each had a hit for Franklin while Emily Valentino allowed six hits and struck out five for the Panthers.
Stoughton, 7 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final (10 inn.) – Stoughton’s offense came to life with a five-run 10th inning to beat Oliver Ames on the road. Gina Carafa allowed seven hits while striking out four to earn the win in the circle, and helped her own cause with a solo home run in the second and an RBI single in the 10th. Karly Estremera and Lexi Baptista each had three hits for the Knights while Taylor Levine chipped in with two. For OA, Alexis Campbell was 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, Caroline Mahoney (RBI) had two hits, and Sarah Tetrault scored a run for the Tigers. Freshman Emma Varella struck out three in a complete game effort.
Taunton, 2 @ Moses Brown, 0 – Final – Taunton scored a run in the first inning and tacked on an insurance run to beat Moses Brown, one of the top teams in Rhode Island. Freshman McKenzie McAloon had a two-out RBI single to give the visiting Tigers the lead in the first. Kelsey White, who earned the win on the mound, added an insurance run by scoring on a wild pitch in the final inning. White struck out 13 with just three hits allowed and no walks to earn her sixth win of the season. Jaime Brown (double), Liana Duarte (run), and Mackenzie Handrahan each had two hits for the Tigers while Jaylin Couto chipped in with one hit.
Canton, 11 vs. Abington, 2 – Final – Canton extracted some revenge from a season ago, knocking off Abington to qualify for the state tournament. The Bulldogs fell to the Green Wave in the final game last season and missed the playoffs. This year, the win qualified Canton and knocked Abington from postseason contention. After leading just 2-1 after a quarter, Canton dominated the second with seven straight goals to take a 9-1 lead into halftime. Mike Shaw led the offense with five points (goal, four assists), senior Joey Vaughan scored his third goal in the past two games, Nick Mackay and Brendan Albert anchored a great defensive effort. Sophomore Jack Connolly played another strong all-around game with 11 saves.
Franklin, 12 vs. Cohasset, 7 – Final
King Philip, 9 vs. Falmouth, 10 – Final
Mansfield, 19 @ Barnstable, 8 – Final
Taunton vs. New Bedford, 4:00
Canton @ Natick, 4:00
King Philip @ Bishop Feehan, 4:00
Oliver Ames, 17 @ Milford, 6 – Final – Sofia Masciarelli recorded nine points to help Oliver Ames pick up its second win over Milford this season. Masciarelli had five goals and four assists while Ella Hogan scored four goals and Olivia Piazza and Chloe Kilkelly each netted three goals.
Taunton, 4 @ New Bedford, 11 – Final
Mansfield, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Mansfield won all five matches to pick up its first win over Oliver Ames this season. Luke Nickerson (first singles) and Max Bank (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Sam Donellan earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. Sam Schirmacher and Nilay Pangrekar picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles while Dheeraj Valluru and Kai Schirmacher recorded a 6-2, 6-2 win at second doubles for Mansfield.
Taunton, 3 vs. Durfee, 2 – Final
Mansfield, 3 @ Norton, 2 – Final – Mansfield pulled within one match of qualifying for the state tournament with a win over Norton. Sarah Doyle earned a 6-0, 6-2 win at first singles, Elizabeth Elsner picked up a 6-4, 6-1 win at second singles and the team of Tessa Garaufi and Samantha Sternbug emerged victoriously, 6-3, 6-3, at first doubles.
Taunton, 5 @ Durfee, 0 – Final – Taunton junior Jillian Pagliuca won her match at first singles for her 70th career victory, setting a new Taunton girls tennis program record. Pagliuca won 6-2, 6-1 to hit the milestone. Vanessa Rosa (6-1, 6-1) and Jocelyn Pagliuca (6-2, 6-2) rounded out singles wins for the Tigers. McKenzie Lucie and Samantha Martin won 6-1, 6-1 at first doubles and Amanda Pugh and Brianna Fevrier didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames scored two runs in the second, added another in the third and stranded 13 Attleboro base runners to earn a win on the road. CJ Deveau had a two-RBI hit in the second inning to give Oliver Ames the lead while Chris Pearsons (double), Jake Erlich, and Matt Muir each scored for the Tigers. Tom Parker earned the with five scoreless innings of work while Muir got the save, striking out two in the seventh. Ryan Morry allowed five hits and two walks, striking out three in a complete game effort for the Bombardiers.
Sharon, 1 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Sharon tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the seventh but Canton came back with the game-winning run in the bottom half, walking off with a win over the Eagles. Mike Konzal led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and scored on a base hit down the first base line from Nate Quan for the win. The Dogs took the lead in the fourth off when Matt Casamento (double) scored on a passed ball. Sharon’s Ben Stamm singled in the top of the seventh to tie it. Robbie Wilkinson tossed a complete game for Canton, striking out six and walking four with just three hits allowed. Sharon’s Max Tarlin also threw a complete game, striking out six with three walks and seven hits allowed.
Foxboro, 7 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Foxboro senior Devin Hassett allowed just one hit in 3.2 innings of work and sophomore Anthony Mollica didn’t allow any hits in 3.1 innings of relief to lead the Warriors to a win on the road. Milford took a 1-0 lead (Aidan Wilde three walks, run) into the sixth inning but Foxboro exploded for seven runs in the frame to take the lead. Joe Freitas (1-for-3) had two RBI while Joe Cavaleri and JT Burke each had two hits and an RBI in the win. Matt Rongione and Hassett each added a hit and an RBI for the Warriors.
Taunton, 11 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Taunton’s offense had its best showing of the season, scoring two runs in each the third, fourth, fifth innings and then putting the game out of reach with a five-run sixth inning. Jacob Crawford led the Tigers with three hits while Jack Moynihan (two RBI), Jakob Roberts, and Tyler Medeiros each had two hits. Tyler Pietrzyk had a team-high three RBI for the Tigers. Moynihan tossed five scoreless innings for the win, striking out three.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – North Attleboro rallied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to earn a walk off win over visiting Stoughton. Brendan McHugh got things going with a two-out single and then stole second to get into scoring position. Nick Raneri delivered the big hit with a single to right center to bring McHugh (1-for-2, walk, two stolen bases) home for the win. North took the lead in the fifth inning when Nick Sinacola had a one-out single, pinch-runner Jackson Billingkoff moved to third on a single from Zach DeMattio, and Billingkoff scored on a squeeze dropped by McHugh. Stoughton kept the game alive with a run in the top of the seventh behind a leadoff single from Zak Paquette. Pinch runner Jack Brown stole second and took third on an infield hit from Ruben Gonzalez. Brown then scored on a sacrifice fly from Evan Gibb. Stoughton had Gonzalez in scoring position with just one out but Nick Sinacola (CG, 8 H, 1 BB, 8 K) got two strikeouts to keep the game level. Nate Pearce added two doubles and a walk in the win for North.
Attleboro, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames freshman Emma Varella struck out four in a complete game effort but the Tigers fell just short against Attleboro. Katie Abreu was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored. Abbi Holmes had an RBI and Lexie Campbell scored the other run for the Tigers.
Canton, 11 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Canton sophomore Caroline Hughes went 4-for-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles and three RBI while freshman Liz Bickett also was 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI to lead the Bulldogs to a big win on the road. Hughes also pitched four scoreless innings to earn the win. Sarah Kelly added a double, Torie Anglin chipped in with a triple, and Ally Chin had a pair of singles for the Bulldogs.
Milford, 19 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final – Milford’s offense exploded for 22 hits, earning a big win on the road at Foxboro. Shannon Cormier (double, two runs, two RBI), Sabrina Haarstick (RBI), and Maddie Bonvino (double, two RBI) each had three hits to lead the Hawks’ offense. Emily Hartman (four RBI, two doubles), Jess Tomaso (three runs, RBI), and Emily Piergustavo (triple, three runs, RBI) added two hits apiece. Kelley Reichert struck out three while allowing three hits in four innings pitched.
Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 9 – Final – Franklin’s offense continued to roll, plating nine runs to sweep the season series against Mansfield. Franklin scored runs in all but two innings, plating three in each the second and fourth innings. Jackie Cherry tossed a one-hitter, striking out nine to earn the win in the circle. Maddie White (two doubles, run, three RBI) had three hits for the Panthers while Gabby Colace (two runs, RBI), Anna Balkus (three runs, three stolen bases, two RBI) and Meg Caron chipped in with two hits apiece. Megan Letendre had the lone hit of the game for the Hornets, doubling in the fourth inning to score Kara Bendanillo, who had reached on a walk.
North Attleboro, 8 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Andrea Miceli had a two-out single to drive in a run in the fifth and Olivia Capobianco broke the game open with a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Bella Erti picked up the win, striking out five and allowing four hits, and helped her own cause with a pair of hits and an RBI. Abby Gallagher and Katherine Munley each had three hits for the Rocketeers, while Ashley Cangiano (two RBI) and Katy Daby both had two hits. Stoughton’s Karly Estremera was 1-for-3 with a triple, scoring both of the Black Knights’ runs. Jordan Lyons was 2-for-3 at the plate and played an outstanding game at shortstop. Haley Stone, Sarah McGrath, and Taylor Levine each had a single for the Knights.
Oliver Ames, 19 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Steve Heino registered a shutout in his second career varsity start. The Tigers’ offense was balanced with 11 different goal scorers, led by four from Owen Gallagher and three from Colin Bourne.
Canton, 14 vs. Brookline, 13 – Final – Vicki Revanche made 21 saves to help Canton earn a one-goal victory on senior night. Canton coach Laurie Chabot said, “We controlled the game with quick transition, great defense and great shots on goal.” Leah McClellan sparked the Bulldogs offensively with four goals and six assists, while Maggie Connolly added two goals and two assists. Senior Molly Colburn chipped in with a hat trick in the win.
Franklin, 8 vs. Walpole, 9 – Final (OT) – Sophomore Gianna Cameron made 15 saves to keep the Panthers in the game, helping send the game against unbeaten Walpole to overtime, but the Rebels netted the winner to prevail with the win. Annie Walsh had three goals and an assist, Erin Walsh scored once and had an assist, and Kate Jones finished with two goals for the Panthers.
King Philip @ Bishop Feehan, 3:45
Mansfield, 8 @ Sharon, 12 – Final – Rose Wald had a big game for the Eagles, making 15 saves in the win. Sabrina Robbins led the Sharon attack with three goals and an assist, while Emma Eberhardt added two goals and two assists. Lydia Chase and Maeve Barbera each scored twice for the Eagles and Jenna Goldstein, Abbi Solomon, and Cass Barbera each had one goal apiece.
North Attleboro @ Braintree, 4:00
Taunton, 11 @ Oliver Ames, 17 – Final – Taunton freshman Alana Tavares scored six goals, including the 100th of her career in the loss.
Attleboro, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final
Canton, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon didn’t lose a single game in four of the five matches to earn a convincing win on the road at Canton. Fred Bondar (first singles), Andre Olivei (second), Arie Chinnappan (third), and Max Brody and Russell Rapaport (first doubles) all won 6-0, 6-0. The team of Alex Aspel and Eric Zhang earned Sharon’s fifth point with a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles.
Milford, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final
Mansfield, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin picked up two wins in singles play and another in doubles to slip past the Hornets in a close match. Liam Marr picked up a big point with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 win at second singles, Saketh Saipalli didn’t lose a game at third singles, and the team of Tony Calderone and Dan Angermeier won 6-3, 6-1 at second doubles. Mansfield’s Luke Nickerson won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles and the team of Jalaj Singh and Sethu Odayappan won 6-7 (6), 6-2, 10-6 at first doubles.
King Philip, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Taunton’s Francois Hennaux saved six match points at first singles en route to a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win but King Philip won the other four matches to get the victory. Nick Putney won 6-3, 6-2 at second singles, Jack Cannon earned a 6-0, 6-3 win at third singles, the team of Nate Ihley and Sean Desroches rallied for a 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles, and Nick Ihley and Aidan Ignatius won 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles for the Warriors.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro won all five matches in straight sets to get a sweep on the road. Richard Bermudez won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles, freshman Jonah Manso earned a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and sophomore Alex Pfeffer notched a 6-2, 6-0 win at third singles for Big Red. The team of Vikram Senthilakumaran and Ben Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-3 at first doubles and Alex Rinaldi and Sam Gallagher notched a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Sarah Barron won a third set tiebreaker and the team of Olivia Groebe and Rachel Stryke rallied back from a one-set deficit to highlight the Tigers’ sweep of Attleboro. Barron won 7-5, 3-5, 10-4 at third singles while Tate Hadges (first singles) won 6-3, 6-4 and Maura Kiernan (second singles) earned a 6-3, 6-2 win. Groebe and Stryke rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles while Emily Yu and Eva Belanger took a 6-2, 7-5 decision at second doubles.
Sharon, 5 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Sharon won all five matches in straight sets to earn a win on the road over Canton. Nupur Shukla won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles, Lulu Yuan earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles, and Emily Win prevailed 6-0, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Rithika Neti and Sophia Fein won 7-5, 6-4 at first doubles and Ellie Romantz and Makaila Cheung picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win at second doubles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the road Warriors, winning all five matches in straight sets. Sophia Prinos (first singles) and Pamela Nelson (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Kayla Prag earned a 6-1, 6-1 decision at third singles. Foxboro’s first doubles team of Sarah Prag and Julia Muise won 6-0, 6-1 while the team of Olivia Dantona and Kendall Milender picked up a 6-1, 6-2 victory at second doubles.
Franklin, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – The Hornets defended home court by winning two singles matches and sweeping doubles play against visiting Franklin. Sarah Doyle picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at first singles and Elizabeth Elsner followed suit with a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles. The team of Tessa Garufi and Hannah Podolske dropped just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 victory at first doubles, and Samantha Sternburg and Aryana Khosravani won 7-5, 6-3 at second doubles. Franklin’s Lucia Kehoe won 6-3, 6-2 at third singles.
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro punched its ticket to the state tournament with a sweep of visiting Stoughton. Jordan Willis (first singles) and Emily Chiasson (second) each won 6-0, 6-0 while junior Mae McLoughlin earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at third singles for Big Red. Azka Siddiq and Katie Ovoian won 6-2, 6-0 at first doubles while Shurobhi Nani and Brototi Nandi picked up a 6-0, 6-4 victory at second doubles.
Milford, 3 @ Xaverian, 0 – Final
Taunton, 3 vs. North Quincy, 0 – Final – After beating North Quincy on the road in five sets earlier this season, the undefeated Tigers flexed their muscles on home with a clean sweep (25-22, 25-15, 25-20). Lance Law paced the attack with 14 kills and an ace, Lens Esquil added 10 kills and five blocks, and Collin Hunter chipped in with three kills, three blocks, and three aces.