Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Olivia Quinn, Franklin
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Meghan Gordon, Attleboro
Narissa Smith, Attleboro
Olivia Quinn, Franklin
Erin Quaile, Franklin
Caroline Aaron, King Philip
Emma Glaser, King Philip
Kayla Vine, Mansfield
Abby Wager, Mansfield
Emma Lawrence, Milford
Davenport Division MVP
Katelyn Mollica, Foxboro
Davenport Division All Stars
Kiara Cerruti, Canton
Fay Gallery, Canton
Katelyn Mollica, Foxboro
Jordyn Collins, Foxboro
Amanda Kaiser, North Attleboro
Caroline Flynn, Oliver Ames
Caroline Peper, Oliver Ames
Trinity Payne, Sharon
MacKenzie Manning, Stoughton
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
Stoughton, 67 @ Franklin, 77 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Franklin created separation in the opening quarter and that was proved to be the difference in a non-league crossover clash between the Panthers and visiting Stoughton. The hosts used a 15-3 surge in the first quarter, outscoring the Black Knights 22-10 overall in the first eight minutes. The game hovered around the 10-point cushion the rest of the way, with Stoughton winning the second (17-16) and fourth (21-18) quarters while Franklin edged the visitors in the third (21-19). The closest Stoughton got the rest of the way was seven, down 34-27 in the second quarter, and Franklin had the lead up to as much 19 (49-32) in the third. But the Black Knights continued to make a game of it, the game playing out like a one-possession game throughout. Stoughton made it an eight point game, 70-62, in the final minutes but Jake O’Brien delivered a dagger three, one of 13 made triples for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley saved the best for last, dropping a career-high 34 points (on 71% shooting) along with 11 rebounds in the final game of his high school career. Junior Sean Vinson came off the bench and added a career-high 12 points and six rebounds while Alex Newman had nine points and four boards for the hosts. Senior Waseem Sablon hit six threes for a career-high 22 points for Stoughton while junior KC Ugwuakazi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Jake Queeney finished with 10 points and three assists.
Foxboro, 78 @ King Philip, 68 – Final – Foxboro led by 20 points at halftime and then had to hold off a furious KP comeback to close out the season with a seventh straight victory. KP got the lead down to as little as four in the second half, but the visitors made the plays down the stretch to secure the win. Katelyn Mollica closed out her stellar career with by scoring a career-high 35 points. The two-time state champion, Stonehill College-commit, and league’s leading scorer finished her career with more than 1,400 points, which puts her fourth all-time in program (and school) history. Caroline Aaron was the spark for KP, as she also put up a career-high, scoring 26 points in the loss. Jordyn Collins added 13 points and Hannah Blake and Erin Foley both had 11 for Foxboro.
Stoughton, 24 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – Final – Oliver Ames’ offense was firing on all cylinders on Saturday morning, pouring in 42 first half points in a big win over Stoughton, clinching the Davenport division title. Junior Caroline Peper led the way in scoring with 19 points while senior Kelsey Yelle added 17 points and 15 rebounds in the win. OA recorded 28 assists as a team.
Canton, 59 @ Attleboro, 52 – Final – Canton held off a late Attleboro comeback to close out the season with four straight wins. Kiara Cerruti paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 17. Sydney Gallery added 15 and Fay Gallery chipped in with 11 for Canton. Attleboro cut a 10-point lead in half with a minute remaining, but the Bulldogs had enough on both ends to finish with the victory. Meghan Gordon was Attleboro’s top scorer with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Kayla Goldrick scored 11 points and Narissa Smith and Emma Reilly both finished with eight. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley called it a “great Hock game between two good teams.”
North Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 9 – Final
Foxboro senior Katelyn Mollica has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Jan. 31 through Feb. 6. Mollica is the 11th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2020-21 school year and fifth in the winter season.
Mollica starred last week for the Warriors, scoring more than 20 points in each Foxboro’s two wins over division rival Canton and helping Foxboro close out league play with a six-game win streak. The Stonehill College-commit and 1,000-point scorer led a young Warriors roster to the brink of a fifth straight league title (currently one up in the win column on unbeaten Oliver Ames, who handed Foxboro its only losses of the season and has four league games remaining).
“Katelyn continued to assert herself offensively in two extremely tough games last week against a talented Canton team,” Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said. “Katelyn drew two defenders whenever she touched the ball and she handled this pressure incredibly well. The poise and determination that she has shown throughout this altered season is something that sets her apart from most players.”
On Tuesday night, in the final home game of her standout career, Mollica scored 25 points to power the Warriors to an 11-point win. Two days later, Mollica scored 22 points, knocking down four threes, in a 10-point overtime win against the Bulldogs. She knocked down all four of her free throws, as the Warriors closed OT on an 11-0 run to keep their win streak alive.
Despite the shortened senior season, Mollica, the league’s leading scorer at nearly 18 points per game, will finish her Foxboro career as one of the program’s top five scorers, with three league titles, and two state championships.
The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.
Katelyn Mollica The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Katelyn Mollica The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.
CANTON, Mass. – Leading by six in the closing minutes, the Foxboro offense suddenly went cold. The Warriors slowed the game down to run the clock and things stalled on that end of the court, allowing Canton to rally and send Thursday night’s game into overtime.
For the first two minutes of OT, it remained a struggle to score and a Fay Gallery free throw put the Bulldogs in front 54-53. When the Warriors needed it most, the offense clicked back into gear, closing the game on an 11-0 run, including a clutch three by freshman Camryn Collins with Foxboro leading by just a point, to finish league play with a 64-54 road win.
“We did what we needed to do against a great team,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “To end against a team like that and to know that we got progressively better over the course of the season is really rewarding.”
Foxboro entered the fourth quarter leading by two and threatened to pull away after Jordyn Collins (10 points and seven rebounds) got an easy bucket off an assist by Andrea Slattery and then her sister Camryn turned a steal into a layup and a 47-41 advantage.
Canton hit a couple of free throws to try and chip away, before Katelyn Mollica (game-high 22 points) hit a deep three to extend the lead to seven, which was the largest lead for either team to that point in the game. Two more at the line for KKiara Cerruti (nine points and 10 rebounds) was matched by another Jordyn Collins jumper.
It looked like Foxboro was going to put the game to rest, but Canton continued to claw back into it with a solid defensive effort. Fay Gallery (12 points) faked out her defender and laid the ball in to make it 52-47. After a Foxboro free throw, Cerruti was able to bully her way into the lane and finish with a scoop. Sydney Gallery (team-high 13 points and eight rebounds) got into the lane and knocked down a short jumper to tie the game at 53 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Warriors worked the ball around, but with just two seconds on the shot clock an inadvertent whistle forced them inbound on the side. Foxboro didn’t get a shot off on time, giving Canton the chance to win it with 20 seconds left. The Bulldogs also failed to get up a shot in time, as the clock ran out on regulation.
“In the timeout, I said, we’re going to need to come up with a rebound and we have a chance to win it and if we don’t come up with the rebound then they have the chance to win it,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “We tried to get the ball to the right people and without a doubt Foxboro’s defense is one of the best in the league. If we can give ourselves a chance, that’s what we’re looking for.”
Both teams stayed tight at the start of OT. After Fay Gallery put Canton in front, the Warriors finally got something to fall. Hannah Blake (11 points and seven rebounds) knocked down a jumper in the paint to make it 55-54. Next time down, freshman Erin Foley (eight points) swung the ball around to her classmate and Collins, who had struggled from the field to that point, drilled the biggest shot of her rookie season, putting the Warriors up four.
“She’s getting more consistent with taking that shot,” Downs explained. “I tell her, I have confidence in you take that shot because she’s got a great first step to the basket but if we have her just do that then they’re going to keep giving her that outside shot. She’s got to show that she’s got that range.”
Mollica went 4-for-4 from the line and Blake added a late jumper to push the final lead to double digits.
Choquette said, “When you play Foxboro, there’s a lot of focus on what Katelyn Mollica is doing but give credit they had some other players right behind her who stepped up.”
The game was close throughout. An end-to-end first quarter saw the teams evenly split 30 points. Mollica got off to a good start with seven in the first and Slattery knocked down a three off the bench. The Gallerys paced the Bulldogs with Sydney scoring six and Fay adding five.
In the second, Canton grabbed a slim lead. Samya DaSilva (12 points and six rebounds) was a force in the paint, Cerruti got her first basket to make it 26-20, and Kayla Albert (six points and eight rebounds) closed out the half with a tough finish to make it 28-24. Foley kept Foxboro close with five of her eight points in the second.
Downs said, “The freshmen are getting better with every game. If this was a regular season, who knows where they’d be at come this time. That’s a great team and it’s so good to play against them because it makes us better.”
The Warriors rallied in the third to jump in front. Mollica again was the key. She buried a three after Blake’s offensive rebound and kick-out and then added another to make it 41-36. Fay Gallery answered back with a three of her own, assisted by Marissa Staffiere, but Mollica followed with another jumper. DaSilva cut the deficit to two (43-41) with a good post move right before the end of the quarter.
“It wasn’t a loss because of lack of effort,” said Choquette. “Everyone who walked into that game did everything they could. They just hit a couple of really good shots and ultimately that was it.”
Foxboro (8-2) has closed out league play for the season, but will take on King Philip next weekend. Canton (3-5) has three more league games to play, starting with a home-and-home against Stoughton on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.
Canton, 41 @ Foxboro, 52 – Final – Foxboro extended its win streak to five games and kept its hopes of a league title alive with a senior night win. Katelyn Mollica scored 25 in her final (scheduled) home game and classmate Jordyn Collins added 11 points. Freshman Erin Foley also had 11 for the Warriors.
Oliver Ames @ Stoughton – Postponed to TBD.
Mansfield @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to TBD.
Milford, 39 @ Taunton, 73 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Taunton opened with a 22-point first quarter and started the second quarter on a 15-0 run to create plenty of separation in a win over visiting Milford. Junior Trent Santos scored all nine of his points in the opening quarter as the Tigers staked a 22-14 lead after one. Both Josh Lopes (16 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Isiah Seldon (nine points, five rebounds) scored five points as Taunton pulled away with a 15-0 spurt over the first six minutes of the second. Nigel Choate added 12 points off the bench for the hosts while Tyler Stewart finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Darling led the Hawks with nine points.
Mansfield, 51 @ Franklin, 44 – Final – Mansfield set the tone defensively in the first quarter and then held off a late surge from Franklin to earn a season sweep over the Panthers. The Hornets limited the hosts to four points in the first quarter and carried a 25-14 lead into halftime. Mansfield’s advantage grew to 37-25 going into the final frame before the Panthers got going and clawed back into it, cutting the lead down to 47-42 with under two minutes to go but Mansfield held on for the win. Senior Matt Boen had a team-high 16 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, Jack Colby added 11 points and nine rebounds, Matt Hyland had nine points and six boards, and Brendan Foley chipped in with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Foxboro, 42 @ North Attleboro, 31 – Final – After being held to just 25 points through three quarters, Foxboro exploded for 17 in the fourth to pull out the road win. Both teams played tough defense through three quarters, with the Warriors holding a slim 25-24 lead, but Foxboro found the range and secured the season sweep. Katelyn Mollica and Erin Foley both scored a dozen points for the Warriors. Lydia Santos topped North’s scorers with nine points, while Ava McKeon and Siobhan Weir each scored seven.
Franklin, 63 @ Mansfield, 47 – Final – Franklin jumped out to a 15-3 lead after one quarter and never allowed the Hornets to climb back into the game to stay perfect on the season. Olivia Quinn was the leading scorer for the Panthers for the eighth time in eight games, finishing with 20 points. Elizabeth Wilson had a season-high 16 in the win. Ashley Santos (14 points) and Kayla Vine (11) both hit double digits for the Hornets.
Taunton, 30 @ Milford, 38 – Final – The Hawks used a good defensive performance and strong third quarter to earn a second straight win against the Tigers. The game was tied at 8-8 after the first quarter, but Milford pulled ahead by three heading into halftime. Milford outscored the Tigers 12-5 in the third (with all 12 points coming from the three-point line) to stretch the lead to double digits. Taunton won the fourth, 11-9, but it wasn’t enough to make a comeback. Emma Lawrence knocked down four of Milford’s nine threes and finished with a game-high 12 points. Brooke Ferreira added 10 points and Jillian Michelson had nine. Sonya Fernandez paced the Tigers with nine points.
Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 7 – Final – Franklin exploded for six goals in the second half to skate away with a big win over Mansfield. The Hornets opened the scoring but Justin Abely leveled the scoring on a power play chance with Dylan Marchand and Declan Lovett recording assists. In the second half, Dom Lampasona scored a pair of goals while JT Dwyer, Ben Jarosz, Adam Quinn, and Marchand scored once. Lovett, Marchand, Ryan Sicchio, and Joe LeBlanc all finished with two assists in the win while Gary Mandia made 15 saves in net.
Taunton, 68 @ Milford, 44 – Final – After a close first quarter, Taunton exploded for 22 points in the second quarter while limiting the Hawks to seven points to create a double-digit lead it held onto the rest of the way. Milford led 9-8 after one but Taunton senior Josh Lopes scored nine of this team-high 21 points in the second while senior Tyler Stewart added six of his 10 points to give the Tigers a 30-16 lead at halftime. Junior Trent Santos scored nine of his 16 points in the third as Taunton extended its lead to 50-32 through three quarters. Senior Ben Blanchard scored a team-high 14 points for the Hawks.
Oliver Ames, 76 @ Canton, 40 – Final – Oliver Ames used a number of runs and great team defense to create a big lead by halftime and never looked back. The Tigers built a 35-16 lead by halftime. Caroline Flynn scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds, Caroline Peper added 12 points, and freshman Jasmyn Cooper chipped in with 10 points and eight boards for OA. Sydney Gallery led the way for Canton with 19 points while Fay Gallery added 12 points.
North Attleboro, 46 @ Foxboro, 57 – Final – Foxboro held off North Attleboro in the second half to make it three wins in a row. Katelyn Mollica continued her hot streak, scoring 17 to lead the Warriors. Morgan Sylvestre had a career-high 12 points and Erin Foley added 11 in the win. The Rocketeers were able to get as close as eight points but Foxboro managed to keep them at arm’s length. North didn’t help its own cause with 11 missed free throws, but North coach Nikki Correia was happy with the team’s effort. She highlighted the defensive work of Ava McKeon, who tried to slow down Mollica and make her work for every point. Lydia Santos, Amanda Kaiser, and Taylor McMath all scored 10 points apiece in the loss.
Mansfield, 43 @ Franklin, 62 – Final – Franklin broke the game open in the second half to stay perfect on the season. Behind a strong second quarter, Mansfield had cut the lead to just 25-21 at the half, but the Panthers extended the lead to seven after three and exploded for 25 points in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Olivia Quinn scored a game-high 16 points in the win, while Brigid Earley chipped in with 12. The Hornets were led by Ashley Santos’ eight points. Sarah Dooling and Anna Darlington each scored seven for the visitors.
Sharon, 23 @ Stoughton, 35 – Final – Junior Makiayah Singleton brought a big spark on offense, leading the Knights in scoring with 12 points while senior Camille Firmin grabbed 16 boards and junior Vanessa Phelimond snatched 11 boards and had six steals. Rachel Hager led Sharon in scoring with 10 points.
Attleboro, 58 @ Mansfield, 66 – Final – Mansfield senior Matt Boen poured in a career-high 35 points to help the Hornets overcome an upset bid from visiting Attleboro. The Bombardiers built an eight-point lead after eight minutes (18-10) but Mansfield battled back to make it a two-point game, 33-31, at halftime. Both teams went for 11 points in the third as Attleboro carried a 44-42 lead into the fourth. But Boen flipped a switch in the final frame, hitting a pair of threes and six total field goals, netting 16 points to help the Hornets pull away. Boen also scored 10 points in the second to help the Hornets close the gap. Jack Colby added 10 points while Matt Hyland had eight points. Attleboro senior Justin Daniels shined with a career-high 25 points while Evan Houle and Trevor White each had eight points for the Bombardiers.
Canton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton, 52 @ Foxboro, 44 – Final – After being held to 23 points through three quarters, Stoughton’s offense exploded for 29 points in the fourth quarter to storm past Foxboro. It was a low scoring first half for both sides with the Warriors staking a 14-9 lead through a quarter and an 18-16 lead at halftime. Foxboro had its best offensive showing in third as sophomore Alex Penders (14 points) scored nine of the team’s 13 points to seize a 31-23 lead going into the fourth. But the Black Knights caught fire from three-point land with Connor Andrews (nine points) and Waseem Sablon (10 points) each hitting two and Jake Queeney adding another. Queeney’s three midway through the period gave Stoughton a 38-37 lead before Foxboro jumped back ahead on two free throws from Dylan Gordon (18 points). A strong take from Brett Pendenza put Stoughton back ahead and a steal from Sablon led to two points from junior KC Ugwuakazi (17 points). After a stop, Sablon drained a three as the clock ticked under two minutes. Foxboro got two back from the line but Andrews hit a straightaway three off an offensive rebound to make it 48-40 with a minute to go to ice the win.
Mansfield, 41 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – For the second straight game, Attleboro jumped out to a big first quarter lead, but this time the Bombardiers kept control and didn’t let Mansfield back into the contest. Attleboro led 25-10 after the first quarter, as Meghan Gordon and Narissa Smith combined for 18 of the team’s 25 points. Unlike on Tuesday night, Mansfield couldn’t mount a second quarter comeback and the Bombardiers went into the break leading 42-19. Gordon finished with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds and Smith scored 14 points (knocking down four threes on the night). Emma Reilly added eight in the win. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said it was a “great team victory. Our defense was outstanding tonight.” The Hornets were led by Sarah Dooling and Abby Wager, who each finished with eight points.
Foxboro, 53 @ Stoughton, 13 – Final – Katelyn Mollica had her second straight game with 20-plus points and Foxboro swept the series against the Black Knights with a strong defensive performance. Mollica finished with 22 on the night and Hannah Blake chipped in with nine.
Franklin, 66 @ Taunton, 29 – Final – Franklin went on the road and scored a big win to stay unbeaten on the season. Olivia Quinn was the top scorer for the Panthers with 12 points, but it was a balanced effort as all 13 players got on the score sheet. Taunton got nine points from Sonya Fernandez and eight points from Jaelyn Fernandez in the season opener for the Tigers.
Oliver Ames, 52 @ Sharon, 15 – Final – Oliver Ames used a balanced attack to get a season sweep of Sharon. Caroline Flynn didn’t miss a shot, finishing with 11 points while Sarah Hilliard added eight points. Jasmyn Cooper hauled in 10 rebounds while Maddie Homer had six steals.
North Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to Friday, 2/12.
King Philip, 72 @ Milford, 38 – Final – Emily Sawyer scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to get the Warriors back in the win column. Fellow sophomore Jackie Bonner scored 11 points for KP, which jumped out to a 43-15 lead by halftime and knocked down 11 threes as a team. Milford was led by Emma Lawrence and Jillian Michelson, who both scored eight points.
King Philip, 3 vs. Austin Prep, 8 – Final
Attleboro @ Mansfield, 5:00
Sharon vs. Oliver Ames, 3:30
Foxboro, 64 @ Stoughton, 67 – Final – In a back-and-forth contest, Stoughton won the fourth quarter and the game, holding on as Foxboro’s shot at the buzzer was just off the mark. After a strong start from the Black Knights, Foxboro used a 20-2 in the first quarter to take a double-digit lead after eight minutes. Dylan Gordon (19 points), Sam Golub (11 points), and Ryan LeClair (career-high 15 points) all hit threes in the opening period to give the visitors the lead. Stoughton responded with a big second quarter, with six players recording a field goal including a pair of threes from senior Jake Queeney (career-high 15 points) and one from Christian Georges to tie the game 33-33 at halftime. Golub added two more triples in the third and sophomore Alex Penders had six of his 16 points in the third to help Foxboro take a 52-50 lead going into the fourth. Stoughton junior KC Ugwuakazi scored all of his 14 points in the second half and helped set up one of the biggest shots of the game. With two minutes to go, Ugwuakazi took a pass in the paint and drew the attention of the defense. He found Connor Andrews (nine points), who quickly skipped a pass to Brett Pendenza (career-high 16 points) for a corner three to make it 65-60 with two minutes to play.
Oliver Ames @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD.
King Philip, 61 @ Milford, 66 – Final – Ten players entered the scoring sheet for the Hawks, who broke into the win column with a win over visiting King Philip. The Hawks increased their advantage after each of the first three quarters, holding the visiting Warriors at arms length down the stretch. Senior Jordan Darling scored eight of his 10 points in the opening half while Ben Blanchard (team-high 12 points), Brady Olson, and Wes Solomon all connected from three-point range in the second to give Milford a 33-25 lead at halftime. Dom Schofield and Sean Murray each scored eight points in the third and Max Martin hit a three as the Hawks pushed the advantage to 50-41 going into the final frame. King Philip sophomore Will Laplante hit seven three-pointers for a career-high 26 points to help keep the Warriors in the game. Junior Danny Clancy scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half for KP.
Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 76 – Final – All 11 players scored for Foxboro, which ended its two-game losing streak and moved back over .500 on the season. Katelyn Mollica was the game’s top scorer with 27 points. Camryn Collins also hit double digits with 10 points and Hannah Blake added nine.
Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – Final – Oliver Ames got off to a strong start and never looked back, earning a win at home behind a complete game effort. Caroline Peper was the leading scorer for OA with 11 points while Jess Erlich, Jasmyn Cooper, and Anna Murphy each chipped in with seven points. Caroline Flynn dished out eight assists in the win.
FOXBORO, Mass. – For the second time in three days, one quarter proved decisive for Oliver Ames. On Tuesday, the Tigers won the fourth quarter to break open a one-point game to win by double digits. On Thursday, in Foxboro, the Tigers exploded in the third quarter to build a big lead and then had to hold off the Warriors in the final minutes.
After scoring 22 points in the first half, OA found its offense in the third and put 23 on the board, extending a one-point lead out to 13. The Tigers managed only six points in the fourth (all from the free throw line), but the lead turned out to be just big enough and OA earned the season sweep with a 51-47 victory.
“We’ve just got to fine tune some things and do the right thing in the right situation,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “I’m not disappointed with their effort at all, it’s just about doing the right things at the right time. It’s all growth, just got a little too close for comfort.”
Despite having no fans in the gym and being down by double digits heading into the fourth quarter, the Warriors showed no quit, which impressed their coach.
“I’d love to play them every night because that’s how you get better,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “We definitely did better defensively then we did on Tuesday. Against their zone we just didn’t rotate the ball as much as we should have to give us better, open looks, but for the most part we fought hard.”
After a very even, defensive first half, OA hit high gear coming out of the break. Katelyn Mollica (12 points and seven rebounds) drilled a three to put Foxboro ahead 24-22, but it would be the last lead for the Warriors. Caroline Peper (eight points and eight steals) answered from deep on the other end and put the Tigers ahead to stay.
That three was the start of a 12-0 run that pushed OA’s lead out to double digits. Caroline Flynn (10 points and 10 rebounds) grabbed four points in the run and Jess Erlich (nine points) added four of her own. The Tigers were getting out on the break, finding the cutters in the halfcourt, and crashing the offensive boards.
After freshman Camryn Collins snatched an offensive rebound and found classmate Erin Foley (12 points) for a layup, Foxboro cut the lead back to seven. OA answered right back. Hailey Bourne scored on a drive to the rim, freshman Kaydance Derba (six points, all in the third) buried a three on a Bourne kick out, and Maddie Homer scored on a putback.
Three free throws from Derba extended the advantage to 45-32 after three quarters and it looked like the Tigers were going to run away with it.
“I think we did a good job anticipating,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “I thought we did a good job in terms of rotation defensively and made it difficult for them. I thought we were probably better at executing in the third quarter than any of the other quarters.”
Things dried up offensively for the visitors in the fourth quarter. OA scored only six points and didn’t make a shot from the field. Foxboro took advantage to creep back into the game.
“They just had to listen and realize that we were playing into their hands,” Downs said. “We were dribbling into a trap instead of rotating the ball and we just had to rely on our speed, trying to fast break a little bit more, spread the floor, and get the ball up ahead.”
Aislinn Servaes swung the ball to Mollica for a three that got the lead down to single digits and Jordyn Collins (seven points and eight rebounds) followed with a driving layup that made it 48-41 with 1:35 to play.
“I would’ve liked to see us be a little more consistent in the fourth quarter,” said Clement-Holbrook. “I’d like to see us do a much better job attacking the offensive boards. We’ve got to come to the realization that offensive rebounds are an easy way to score, as opposed to having to run this screen, that screen. We’ve got to be more disciplined going to the boards to score.”
Peper knocked down two clutch free throws to push the lead back to nine but a perfect fast break led to a Camryn Collins three-point play and it was only a six-point game. Hannah Blake (eight points) hit her fourth jumper of the game to make it 50-46 but it was not enough to catch the Tigers.
“They definitely fought to the end,” Downs said about her team’s fourth quarter comeback. “Any normal season, Oliver Ames would be one of the favorites going into the state tournament. It’s a good opportunity, especially for the young girls, to see a quality team like that.”
The first half was back-and-forth, as both teams locked down defensively. OA had a distinct advantage with its length, recording eight blocks in the first half alone. Freshman Jasmyn Cooper didn’t score, but grabbed 10 rebound and blocked three shots.
Foley, who has had a strong start to her varsity career, scored five points in the first quarter and Blake added four, but the game was tied at 12 after one. Foley then buried her second three to put Foxboro ahead 15-12, but freshman Sarah Hilliard came off the bench to spark the Tigers. Her three-point play tied the game and she had a steal and layup to put OA in front. She scored all seven of her points in the second and had OA in front 22-21 at the break.
Oliver Ames (2-0) will be back home on Tuesday to face Sharon, while Foxboro (2-2) will try to bounce back against Stoughton.