Three Hawks scored in double digits and Milford rolled to a 58-39 victory. It was not only the first win of the season for Milford, but also the team’s first league win since the final game of the 2017-18 regular season. It was also nearly 20 points better than the previous top scoring night for the Hawks this season.
“Obviously I’m very excited and I’m happy that the girls are able to experience this because we haven’t had a Hockomock win in a while,” said Milford coach TJ Dolliver. “I’m just happy for the girls, we didn’t even know if we would be here. I have a lot of seniors and I’m happy that we’re here and I’m happy that we’re doing this.”
Although the game wouldn’t end the way that Taunton wanted, the Tigers did have a special moment at the opening tip. Senior guard Kelsey White, who injured her knee last winter and is a non-playing member of this year’s team, was able to celebrate senior night by registering her first minute and her first two points of the season.
“It was awesome,” said Taunton assistant Jenna Olem. “She’s such a great kid to have around the program and the fact that she still wants to be a part of this is really, really special.
Milford came right back with an 8-0 run to take a lead it would never relinquish. Taunton answered with a 6-0 run to tie the game, including a three by Kyanna Barros, but Emma Lawrence (16 points and six rebounds) nailed a three on the other end to restore the lead and Emily Croteau turned a steal into a layup for a 13-8 advantage after one.
The Hawks were just getting started offensively, scoring the next seven points and putting up 20 points total in the second to extend the lead to double digits by halftime.
Lawrence had back-to-back steals where she was able to race past the Taunton players for layups and Brooke Ferreira buried a three to make it 20-8. The Tigers tried to hang around behind senior forward Sonya Fernandez (15 points). She scored 11 of her team’s 13 points in the second (the other two coming on free throws by her sister Jaelyn Fernandez) and knocked down three from beyond the arc.
“She was a big difference tonight,” said Olem, who is filling in on the bench for head coach Amy Siggens this season. “She kind of kept us in the game to begin with, we just couldn’t get a stop for the life of us.”
Milford’s balanced attack proved too much for Taunton to handle. Croteau continued to make plays. She took a Katie Maietta feed and was able to score plus the foul. She missed the free throw, but chased down the rebound and went back up for what was essentially a four-point play. Croteau finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
“Emily rebounds the ball like crazy,” said Dolliver. “She’s our leading rebounder on the year. She does such a good job. My assistant coach made this comment the last couple games, when Emily is on the court you just know because she makes a difference one way or the other.”
Carly Ferreira (nine points and seven rebounds) also hit a big three in the quarter to push the lead up to 15 and Milford went into the break ahead 33-21.
Taunton came out for the second half and tried to get back into the game, cutting the lead to as little as nine points, but the Hawks continued to answer the bell every time they needed a big basket. Jaelyn Fernandez hit Maddie Michenzi for a layup to make it 35-26, but a 12-2 run put Milford in control.
Brooke Ferreira followed her own shot and hit a short jumper to start things. Jillian Michelson (10 points) took an outlet pass from Ashanty Barreto and got a layup and then knocked down a triple off a Lawrence skip pass. Ferreira nailed a corner three, one of six threes for the Hawks on the night, and it was 47-28 heading to the fourth.
The Tigers kept coming. Kristy Gorman had a three-point play after an offensive rebound and Izabella Russell hit a pair of runners high off the glass, but Taunton was never able to get the lead any lower than 14.
“It was tough to get stops tonight,” said Olem, who acknowledged the team is still building after the late start to the winter. “They were pretty much shooting the lights out. Every time we could get back in the game, we could never cut that deficit close enough to really make it a game.”
Croteau drove baseline and had a nice feed to Carly Ferreira for a short jumper and then Ferreira knocked down a stepback jumper to keep the Tigers at arm’s length. Lawrence went end-to-end for a layup and Croteau capped things with another offensive rebound and put-back.
“We don’t exactly play from ahead very often so I told them at the beginning of the fourth quarter, by no means is this game over but you can take your time a little bit,” Dolliver explained. “It would inch closer, but then we would come down and get a big bucket and those were from some of our experienced players.”
Milford (1-6) and Taunton (0-3) will meet again on Thursday night in Milford.
Over the past couple of months, our staff has reviewed hundreds of championship-caliber Hockomock League teams from the past decade (Fall 2010 through Winter 2020) and selected its Top 20 “Teams of the Decade.” During that process, we came across so many talented teams that accomplished so much. Below is a list of teams that just missed out on the final list but stood out for their postseason performances.
2019 Taunton Baseball
Record: 21-7 Division 1 State Champions
The stars aligned perfectly for the Tigers when the postseason rolled around. Although Taunton finished in third in the Kelley-Rex division in the regular season (behind Super 8 selections Franklin and Mansfield), the Tigers took full advantage of their opportunity in Div. 1 South. At 11-7 midway through May, Taunton won four straight to finish the regular season at 15-7 for the fourth seed in the D1 South bracket. After dispatching Marshfield, the Tigers rallied to stun Catholic Memorial with a seventh inning rally, scoring the game-winning run off a bunt from Lucas Martins. Taunton followed with a shutout of Catholic Conference power Xaverian before taking down Hockomock rival Attleboro, 6-1, to win the South.
The magic continued for Taunton, head coach Blair Bourque, and its playoff hero Nic Notarangelo in the D1 State Semifinals. Against a powerful Lincoln-Sudbury side (21-2 entering the game), the Tigers fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning. Logan Lawrence had a huge game, hitting a two-run home run in the first and pitching four scoreless innings in relief. Notarangelo smacked a hard hit to right to score sophomore Ty Cali in the bottom of the ninth inning for the game-winning run. Taunton capped its magical run with a 5-3 win over Shrewsbury and 6’8 Boston College-commit John West. Josh Lajoie made his first start of the playoffs, senior Evan Melo put a cherry on top of a special individual postseason by driving in the game-winning run, and both Notarangelo and Lawrence – as they had done all tournament – made key plays in the final innings to help Taunton secure its first-ever Div. 1 State Championship.
2016 Franklin Boys Hockey
Record: 18-4-5 Division 1 State Champions
Just one year removed from a historic trip to the Super 8, and after graduating 21 seniors, Franklin showed off the depth in its program and erased its demons at the TD Garden, ending a three-decade wait for a second state title. A team without a true star, Franklin’s depth and its work rate were its greatest strengths. The Panthers were 12-3-5 and the fourth seed in Div. 1 when the playoffs began, but it felt like a wide open bracket. The tournament run began with a 2-1 win against Wellesley, followed by a 1-0 win against Walpole in a jam-packed Pirelli Rink.
After dispatching a third straight Bay State Conference team, Newton North, in the semifinal, Franklin avenged a late-season loss against highly-regarded Marshfield. In the state title game at the TD Garden, a place where Franklin and head coach Chris Spillane had come up empty three seasons in a row earlier in the decade, the Panthers led 3-1 heading into the third period against St. Mary’s (Lynn), a team that just missed out on a Super 8 berth. The game went to double overtime before senior Jake Downie assisted on sophomore Luke Downie’s dramatic game- and title-winner and secured a first state title since 1983.
2018 Franklin Baseball
Record: 21-5 Division 1A (Super 8) State Champions
It was a season that started with high expectations and ended in history, but it was hardly a straight and easy path for Franklin. Few will remember because of how the season ended, but the Panthers opened the season by being shutout by Foxboro, were swept by Taunton, and finished a game behind Mansfield in the league. Through it all, Franklin put together a good enough resume that it was selected for the Super 8 for the first time in program history. The Panthers (21-5) entered as the No. 7 seed, but once the playoffs began everything seemed to fall into place.
Thanks to the dynamic duo of Jake Noviello and Bryan Woelfel and a lineup filled with clutch hitters, Franklin beat Wachusett in the opening game and then proceeded to beat St. John’s Prep and Central Catholic (twice). The final three games were all one-run wins. In the Super 8 finale against the Raiders, head coach Zach Brown brought Noviello into the bottom of the eighth in a tie game with runners at second and third. He struck out three of the next four batters (hitting one in between) to somehow keep it tied and in the top of the ninth Evan Wendell’s perfect suicide squeeze plated Steve Luttazi with the title-winning run.
2016 Foxboro Girls Tennis
Record: 19-2 Division 2 State Champions
The third time proved to be the charm for the Foxboro girls’ tennis team. After coming up short in the state final in 2014 and 2015, the Warriors took a 3-2 decision over Wayland to clinch the title. The Warriors dropped two matches all season, both 3-2 to eventual Davenport division champion Sharon, as Foxboro finished second in the division at 14-2. The sister combination of Diana Prinos at first singles and Sophia Prinos at second singles gave Foxboro a huge advantage while junior Lexi Nelson was such a steady presence at third singles.
Behind interim head coaches CJ Neely and Jon Montanaro, the Warriors earned the fourth seed in the Division 2 South bracket and survived an early scare with a 3-2 win over Westwood. The second doubles team of Michaela McCarthy and Morgan Krockta helped the Warriors knock off a strong Hingham team in the quarterfinals and Foxboro swept singles action in both the sectional semifinals and finals to defeat previously unbeaten and top-seeded Apponequet and Hopkinton, respectively. After dropping a singles match in the state final, the Warriors had to show off their depth as a team and the first doubles pairing of sophomore Kayla Prag and freshman Julia Muise pulled out a 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 win to secure the title.
2012 Sharon Football
Record: 10-3 Division 3 Eastern Mass. Champions
It’s hard to think of a more special individual season than the one the Sharon football team had in 2012. To put things in perspective, the Eagles had just won seven games over a seven-year span in the previous decade and its last winning season came in the late 1980s. Head coach Dave Morse led Sharon to four wins in his first year in 2011 but that turned out to be just a preview of what was to come. The Eagles had a special group of players come together and accomplish something a lot of people thought they would never see: bringing a Super Bowl title back to Sharon.
While it wasn’t a perfect season, the Eagles got it done against division foes. Sharon knocked off Canton in overtime, scored with under a minute left to stun previously unbeaten Stoughton, and used a gutsy fourth-quarter fourth-down conversion touchdown to secure a win over Foxboro and clinch its first Davenport division title. In the playoffs, the Eagles held on for a 7-6 win over Pembroke when the Titans’ two-point conversion with a minute to go fell short. In the Super Bowl, senior running back Sean Asnes capped a terrific season with a pair of touchdowns as Sharon notched a 12-3 win over Wayland in a freezing cold game at Bentley University.
2018 Mansfield Boys Basketball
Record: 27-2 Division 1 State Champions
Mansfield’s playoff run during the 2017-2018 season was as close to perfect as you can get in basketball. The Hornets were very good during the regular season, but they were close to unstoppable once the state tournament rolled around. Mansfield suffered two setbacks during the season, one in December to BC High and a 15-point loss on the road to rival Franklin in January. Head coach Mike Vaughan has said that second loss might have been the spark that ignited one of the most impressive playoff campaigns of the decade. With seven seniors (John McCoy, Tyler Boulter, Ryan Otto, Nick Ferraz, Alex Ferraz, Justin Vine, Sam Hyland) and a trio of talented juniors (Damani Scott, Tommy Dooling, Khristian Conner), the Hornets made the most of the playoff opportunity.
The top-seed in Division 1 South, Mansfield rolled through the bracket — and we mean rolled. Mansfield beat all four of its opponents by double figures, dismissing Newton South (76-49) in the first round, avenging its loss to BC High (71-58) in the quarterfinals, eliminating a very good Newton North (70-50) team in the South semis, and beating a talented Brockton (79-65) squad to win the South championship. The momentum continued as the Hornets secured a spot in the state final with an impressive win over Everett (73-65) at the TD Garden. In the D1 State Championship, the Hornets capped a terrific postseason run by taking down rival Franklin (67-54); the matchup marked the first time a pair of teams from the same league met in the D1 final.
2017 Franklin Boys Basketball
Record: 22-5 Division 1 State Finalists
This Franklin boys team might not have won it all, but it packed some of the most memorable games into its great postseason run. The Panthers were good throughout the regular season, and they certainly had their fair share of impressive wins including one over league champ Mansfield, one over a very good Cardinal Spellman team, and concluded the regular season with arguably its best win, a 70-53 decision over a good Tech Boston team. But there were five losses too, including on the road at Canton, and early season tilts against Malden Catholic and Catholic Memorial.
The wins over Spellman and Tech Boston to finish the regular season were a clear sign to head coach CJ Neely that this squad was ready to make some noise in the state tournament. Junior Jalen Samuels helped the hosts knock off upset-minded Acton Boxboro in the opening round and senior Connor Goldstein gave Franklin a needed spark in its semifinal win over St. Peter Marian. In the Central final against perennial power St. John’s Shrewsbury, freshman Chris Edgehill sank a huge three with just over a minute left in overtime and then hit two from the free throw line in the final seconds to help secure Franklin’s first sectional title. In the state semifinal against Springfield Central, the Panthers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with an improbable 8-0 run in the final 20 seconds to force overtime. Four minutes later, Franklin was on its way to its first state championship. Although the Panthers ran into a juggernaut in Cambridge, the run that the Panthers had leading up to that point was a very memorable one.
2018 North Attleboro Baseball
Record: 22-2 Division 2 State Champions
North Attleboro rolled through the regular season, finishing 14-2 in the league and 18-2 overall. Big Red ended a 12-year wait for a league title and took the top seed in Div. 2 South. North’s run to a first-ever state title was hardly a surprise, but the way that the Rocketeers rolled through the South bracket was more than impressive. North scored at will over the first three games of the tournament, out-scoring its opponents 41-4, including a 20-2 win against Dartmouth in the semifinal and a 19-2 win against Oliver Ames in the final.
Behind the pitching of Nick Sinacola and the clutch bat of Zach DeMattio, the Rocketeers were unstoppable heading into the final against Beverly and jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the state championship game (all four runs driven in by DeMattio). The Panthers got to Sinacola for three runs in the fifth to cut the lead to just one run, but he settled down, with the help of his defense, to get through a scoreless sixth and seventh inning and becoming the second Hockomock League baseball team in a week to win a state title.
2018 Taunton Softball
Record: 26-2 Division 1 State Champions
Taunton had lost in the first round in each of the past two postseasons, both times on its home field and both times to league opponents (King Philip in 2016 and North Attleboro in 2017), but the Tigers put it all together in 2018 to erase those playoff struggles. Always one of the most feared lineups in the state, the Taunton offense exploded for 44 runs in six playoff games. The Tigers, under the guidance of legendary coach Dave Lewry, scored nine runs against Dartmouth and Bishop Feehan, six against Newton North, and 13 in the state final against previously unbeaten Wachusett.
The toughest, and arguably most memorable, game of the playoff run was the Div. 1 South final against KP. The Warriors won the league title and had also scored 21 runs in three games to get to the final. After rallying to tie the game in the fifth, Taunton scored the game-winning runs on a single down the third base line by surprise starter and No. 9 hitter Rylie Murphy. KP got the tying runs on base in the seventh, but freshman starter Kelsey White escaped the jam and the Tigers went on to win their first state title in 11 years in blowout fashion (13-2 over Wachusett).
2016 King Philip Softball
Record: 24-4 Division 1 State Champions
There is nothing unusual about King Philip softball going on a playoff run, after all this was the program’s third state title in seven seasons, but the Warriors entered the season as the No. 7 seed in Div. 1 South, had lost the Kelley-Rex title to Taunton, ending a run of nine straight league championships, and lost four times during the regular season. Once the playoffs began, the Warriors flipped a switch. Thanks in large part to a dominant run of games from starting pitcher Kali Magane, KP allowed only two runs in six playoff games and outscored opponents 29-2.
The Warriors beat Taunton in the quarterfinal, winning the season series against the Tigers, and avenged an extra-inning loss from 2015 by beating defending South champion Silver Lake in the final. Magane saved the best for last, striking out 13 and tossing a one-hit shutout in the state title game against Doherty. Magane finished the season by striking out the side in the seventh and closing out an unlikely championship campaign.
North Attleboro, 43 @ Stoughton, 72 – Final – Holding a 31-24 lead at halftime, Stoughton exploded for 26 points in the third quarter to run away with a win at home over North Attleboro. Senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell (five assists) hit two of his four triples in the third, scoring 10 of his career-high 20 points in the frame to lead the charge. Senior Obinna Ugwuakazi added 15 points, senior Tahkwan Gates Brown chipped in with a career-high 13 points, and senior Ahmad Jahed added 13 points for the Black Knights, who connected on eight three-pointers. King Philip junior George Ladd had a team-high 11 points while senior Ethan Friberg finished with 10 points.
Oliver Ames, 64 @ Taunton, 63 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Jay Spillane sank the go-ahead three-pointer with 8.5 seconds left to give the visitors a stunning win. Trailing for the entire game, including a 53-46 deficit with just over five minutes left, OA took its first lead of the game on the triple. After inbounding the ball, junior Amari Brown got the ball back, drove to the basket to draw the defense, and kicked it to the corner to Spillane, who drained his second triple of the game. OA forced a turnover to prevent Taunton from a final shot. Spillane had nine of his 16 points come in the second half while Brown scored 13 of his career-high 19 points in the second half. Ryan Burkett added 12 points for the visitors. Taunton junior Tyler Stewart set a new career-high with 21 points while classmate Josh Lopes added 14 points. Sophomore Tristan Herry chipped in with 13 points, the most for him in a Tiger uniform.
Mansfield, 36 @ Brockton, 51 – Final – The Boxers jumped out to a 14-point (18-4) lead at the end of one quarter and the Hornets were never able to recover. Mansfield did get within 10 (45-35) with just three minutes to play but couldn’t overcome a rough shooting night. Kayla Vine led the way with 11 points, Abby Wager had 10, and Sara Dooling scored nine in the loss.
King Philip, 50 @ Franklin, 80 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – The Panthers dominated from the opening whistle, running out to a 17-0 lead and never allowing a shorthanded Warriors team to get close. Ali Brigham starred for the hosts, scoring a game-high 25 points, pulling down 18 rebounds, and dishing out five assists. Sophomore Olivia Quinn was unstoppable as well, adding 20 points and five rebounds. Meghan O’Connell added 11 points and Stefany Padula had nine in the win. Brianna James scored 14 points for KP and Emma Glaser chipped in with 10.
Stoughton, 37 @ North Attleboro, 64 – Final – The Rocketeers jumped out to 36-16 halftime lead and secured their first win under head coach Nikki Correia. Summer Doherty was North’s top scorer with 12 points, while Amanda Kaiser added 10 and Eliza Dion had nine. All 10 players scored for the Rocketeers. Shyanne Trinh led all scorers with 16 points for the Black Knights. Correia credited the team’s tough defense, quick start, and its ability to take care of the ball for picking up a first win of the season.
Taunton, 54 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – Final – OA grabbed an 18-4 advantage after one and never looked back, growing the lead to 44-18 at the break. Taunton fought hard in the second half, outscoring OA by seven, but couldn’t mount a comeback. Kelsey Yelle paced OA with 16 points, while Caroline Flynn scored 15 and added 10 assists. Caroline Peper added 14 for OA and Tate Hadges and Hailey Bourne each scored 10. Freshman Kameron St. Pierre had a big night for Taunton, scoring 24 points on six three-pointers, and Kelsey White added 11.
Attleboro, 3 vs. Martha’s Vineyard, 3 – Final – Owen Dryjowicz, Aiden Dryjowicz, and Nate Parker each scored once but the Bombardiers settled for a tie with visiting Martha’s Vineyard.
Canton, 3 vs. Shrewsbury, 3 – Final – Canton had its eight-game win streak snapped but erased a pair one-goal deficits to earn a tie push its unbeaten streak to 28 games. Chris Lavoie scored twice for the Bulldogs, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead before Shrewsbury tied the game before the end of the first period. Shrewsbury took a 2-1 lead but senior Johnny Hagan knotted the score. Shrewsbury took its second lead, 3-2, into the third period but Lavoie tallied his second of the game to make it 3-3.
Mansfield, 1 @ Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final
Oliver Ames, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – North Attleboro scored first but Oliver Ames answered as the teams skated to a tie in non-league action. Dennis Morehouse put the hosts ahead early in the first period but OA junior Kevin Tremblay netted the equalizer early in the second on an assist from Ross Carroll. OA senior Owen Connor made 32 saves in the tie.
King Philip, 5 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final – King Philip had four different players light the lamp while Nate Ihley made his season debut inbetween the pipes with a shutout over Coyle. Junior Rocco Bianculli scored a pair of goals while adding an assist to lead the offense. Conor Cooke, Paul McDonald, and Nolan Feyler each scored once in the win, and Ihley made 20 saves for the shutout.
Taunton, 3 vs. Sandwich, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 0 vs. Nauset, 2 – Final
Canton, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Seven different players scored for the Bulldogs, who won their third game of the season, all by shutout. Kaitlyn McLaughlin scored the first goal of her varsity career in the win.
Taunton, 27 @ Canton, 31 – Final – Canton’s Yurii Leskiv, Dominic Sica, and Sawyer Julier-Albert each earned pinfall victories to help the Bulldogs earn a close win over Taunton. Leskiv earned the pin in 3:30 in the 106 matchup, Sica picked up the fall in 2:30 in the 138 match, and Julier-Albert won at 182 in 1:45. Taunton’s Ben Mandeville (132) and Nico Sallaway (170) had pinfall victories for the Tigers.
Foxboro, 28 vs. Brockton, 53 – Final
Oliver Ames, 25 @ Sharon, 48 – Final – Seven Eagles earned pinfall victories to help Sharon open its dual meet schedule with a non-league win over rival Oliver Ames. Adam Landstein, David Gelman, Vinay Chinnam, Aaron Cashton, Tyler Freedman, Alex Danilkovas and Rhamsez Thevenin all won by pin for Sharon. Max Pozner added an 11-7 overtime win while Kirit Gossetty picked up a 7-0 for the Eagles.
Franklin, 92 @ Oliver Ames, 67 – Final
Mansfield, 94 @ Attleboro, 72 – Final – Mansfield’s Mike Peel won a pair of individual events and was apart of two winning relay teams to help the Hornets beat Attleboro. Peel won the 200 free (2:09.95) and the 500 free (6:01.67), teamed up with Owen Lasbury Casey, Rico Palanza, and Aden Schwartz to win the 200 free in 1:45.08, and joined Lasbury Casey, David Piccirilli, and Pranaav Saravanon to win the 400 relay in 4:09.04.
Franklin, 80 @ Oliver Ames, 88 – Final
Mansfield, 65 @ Attleboro, 101 – Final – Attleboro’s Jackie Lynch-Bartek and Ella Lynch-Bartek each won a pair of individual events while helping a pair of Bombardier relay teams take first. Jackie Lynch-Bartek won the 200 Free in 2:15.98 and the 100 Breast in 1:20.40, while Ella Lynch-Bartek took first in both the 100 Free (1:00.62) and the 100 Back (1:11.14). Both were apart of the 200 medley relay (2:11.18) and the 200 free relay (2:00.57) with Faith Morrison and Rachel Priestley. Mansfield’s Mairead Shannon won the 100 fly (1:11.35), took second in the 100 back (1:14.55), and was a member of the winning 400 free relay team with Sofia Seifert, Jess Harris, and Aditi Junagade).
Franklin, 134.45 @ Canton, 112 – Final – Franklin sophomore Elizabeth Schirduan took first in a pair of events while junior Lexi Lupien and sophomore Kate Rudolph each won one to help the Panthers open the season with a win. Schirduan scored an 8.85 to take first in the beam, and notched an 8.15 on the bars to for her second win of the net. Lupien shined on the vault, earning a 9.0 while Rudolph picked up a 9.1 on the floor.
Franklin results: Vault – Lexi Lupien, 9.0; Kate Rudolph, 8.8; Maddie McGuire, 8.7; Maia Keohane, 8.4 … Bars – Elizabeth Schirduran, 8.15; Kate Rudolph, 8.0; Emma Nelson, 7.9; Caroline Woelfel, 7.8 … Beam – Elizabeth Schirduan, 8.85; Kate Rudolph, 8.7; Ashley Hammann, 8.2; Emma Nelson, 8.15 … Floor – Kate Rudolph, 9.1; Caroline Woelfel, 8.6; Lizzie Brown, 8.0; Lexi Lupien, 8.0.
Attleboro, 63 @ Canton, 55 – Final – After trailing at the end of the first and second quarters, Attleboro limited the host Bulldogs to just seven points in the third to jump ahead and went on to pick up its first win of the season. Canton led 15-6 after eight minutes and took a 28-27 advantage into halftime as senior Robbie Gallery scored 13 of his career-high 22 points in the opening half. Senior Bryant Ciccio scored 13 of his team-best 22 points after the break while Justin Daniels dropped eight points in the second quarter to help the Bombardiers get back in the game. Qualeem Charles scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half for the Bombardiers.
Franklin, 56 @ Milford, 34 – Final – Franklin raced out to a 35-11 lead by halftime and never looked back in a win on the road over Milford. The Panthers’ held the Scarlet Hawks to eight points in the opening quarter and just one field goal in the second quarter to take a commanding lead. Senior Chris Edgehill scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the way. Edgehill, Steve Karayan (two), and Brayden Sullivan each hit hit from downtown in the second to help Franklin pull away.
King Philip, 86 @ Sharon, 84 – Final – After letting a 21-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter, King Philip saved the win when senior Alex Fritz nailed a baseline jumper at the buzzer, capping an incredible 36-point effort. The Warriors held a 66-45 advantage after three quarters but the Eagles mounted a comeback, pouring in 39 points in the fourth quarter, even taking the lead inside the final minute. Sharon senior Andrew Burton scored 11 of his career-high 26 points in the final frame, connecting on a shot in the lane to put Sharon up 84-83 with under a minute to play. Fritz answered with a free throw to tie the game and the Warriors forced a turnover to get the ball back. With 5.2 seconds left, Fritz took the ball the length of the court and pulled up for the baseline shot, sinking it as time expired to give KP the win. Fritz scored 10 points in each of the first three quarters, finishing with 11 two-point field goals made. Senior Andrew McKinney added a career-high 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter while Sharon senior Aidan Kane scored a career-high 24 points.
Taunton, 55 @ North Attleboro, 57 – Final – North Attleboro junior Edan Kelley drained the go-ahead three with less than 30 seconds to play and the Rocketeers got a final defensive stop to complete a comeback win over visiting Taunton. After trailing for three quarters, North Attleboro battled back to take a fourth quarter lead but Taunton junior Tyler Stewart (career-high 20 points) scored with just under two minutes to play to go ahead 55-54. After the teams traded empty possessions, North junior George Ladd (team-high 14 points) hauled in a big defensive rebound with 27 seconds left to give the hosts possession. Sophomore Brady Rosenberg, who scored half of his career-best 10 points in the final quarter, found Kelley (13 points) open for a three with just under 10 seconds left to put North ahead 57-54. North’s strategic fouling in the final seconds helped prevent Taunton from getting a good look at the end to secure the win. Taunton junior Josh Lopes had a career-high 18 points.
Foxboro, 65 @ Mansfield, 34 – Final – Katelyn Mollica scored 25 points to lead the Warriors to a season-opening road win. Shakirah Ketant added 12 for Foxboro, which jumped out to an 18-point lead by halftime and led by 26 going into the fourth. Ashley Santos was the top scorer for the Hornets with eight and freshman Ally Wager scored six on her varsity debut.
Milford, 25 @ Franklin, 81 – Final – All 12 Panthers scored, as they started their title defense with a convincing win. Ali Brigham led the way with 25 points and Olivia Quinn added 17. Emma Lawrence paced the Hawks with eight.
Sharon, 33 @ King Philip, 62 – Final – KP hit 13 threes as a team, including eight from junior Courtney Keswick to earn a big win in head coach Dan Nagle’s debut. The Warriors were also tough on defense, forcing a number of turnovers to get the break started. Faye Veilleux added 15 points for KP. Telishya Herbert scored a dozen points in the loss and Leah Fandel added nine for the Eagles.
North Attleboro, 36 @ Taunton, 42 – Final – Freshman Kameron St. Pierre scored a team-high 12 points in her first varsity game to help Amy Siggens earn a win on her Taunton coaching debut. Kelsey White added 10 points, while Jaelyn Fernandez chipped in with eight and Sonya Fernandez added seven for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 23 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – Final – Oliver Ames scored 40 points in the opening half to build a big lead and never looked back to pick up a win at home. Sophomore Carline Peper poured in a game-high 24 points to lead the way for the Tigers. Tate Hadges and Caroline Flynn (15 rebounds) each added 11 points in the win. Stoughton’s Shyanne Trinh had a team-high nine points.
Canton, 75 @ Sharon, 92 – Final
Canton, 101 @ Sharon, 69 – Final
Boys Indoor Track
King Philip vs. Attleboro, 7:30
Canton, 47 vs. Sharon, 52 – Final – Sharon took first place in seven of the 12 events, and earned key points by taking first and second in the 55M hurdles to earn a close win over Canton. Senior Isaiah Stessman won the 55M hurdles in 8.31 and junior Patrick McManus took second for the Eagles in 8.40. The Eagles also picked up wins from Mark Starovoytov (600M, 1:30.64), Jordan Saks (1 Mile, 4:53.18), Ike Ogbonnanze (shot put, 41-00.50), McManus (high jump, 5-08.00) and its two relay teams. Canton’s Jonathan Chery won the 55M dash, setting a new school record in 6.68. Other winners for the Bulldogs included Zachary Goldstein (300M, 37.74), Elias Jabbour (1000M, 2:59.75 – a 15-second PR), Kyle Downing (2 Mile , 10:56.02), and Junior Sainvil (long jump, 20-07.00).
Milford, 55 vs. Foxboro, 44 – Final – Milford swept both relay races and won five more individual events to earn a win over Foxboro. The Hawks earned big points by taking first and second in the 55M dash, the 600M, and the 1 Mile race. Junior Keithley Sutton (6.93) and senior Anthony Ghalbouni (6.99) took the top two spots in the 55M dash, Ghalbouni (1:32.30) and senior Samuel Vilt (1:35.10) had the top two spots in the 600M, and senior Max Manor (4:59.30) and sophomore James Comisky (5:11.14) finished first and second in the 1 Mile. Milford senior Lucas Rosa added on a pair of wins, taking first in the shot put (36-10.00) and the long jump (18-07.50). Foxboro picked up first place finishes from junior Adam Connolly (300M, 39.12), senior Joe Cusack (1000M, 2:58.57), senior Ryan Proulx (2 Mile, 10:12.91), senior Ali Nasri (55M hurdles, 8.82), and senior Tyler Hagan (5-02.00).
Franklin vs. Taunton, 7:30
North Attleboro vs. Stoughton, 7:30
Mansfield, 63 vs. Oliver Ames, 37 – Final – Mansfield earned a sweep in the 600M race and took first and second in the high jump to pick up key points in a win over Oliver Ames. Junior Caden Riley crossed first in the 600M in 1:32.20 with classmate Jack Taylor (1:32.68) right behind for second. Senior Cam Eddy was third in 1:33.61. Senior Andrew Williams had a meet-best jump of 6-04.00 (PR) to take first in the high jump and Ethan Thevenot was second at 5-08.00. Williams also set a PR in the long jump (21’1) while Owen Mullahy added a meet-best time of 10:10.68 in the 2 Mile. Oliver Ames junior Kyle Sarney was the top runner in the entire meet in the 1 Mile at 4:37.22 while senior Rory McLaughlin was second overall in 4:37.27.
Girls Indoor Track
King Philip, 64.5 vs. Attleboro, 35.5 – Final – King Philip swept both the high jump and the 600M to earn a win over Attleboro in the season opener. Paige Berdos won the high jump at 4-10.00 while Grace Mattaliano (4-06.00) and Isabelle Watson (4-04.00) took second and third, respectively. Senior Brianna Quirke was the first to cross in the 600M at 1:52:00, junior Charlotte Majer was right behind at 1:52.08, and senior Liliana Rolfe took third overall in 1:53.53. In her first season doing winter track, Attleboro junior Cassondra Stuger won the 300M (44.73) and the long jump (13-10.25), and took second in the 55M dash (7.90). Other winners for the Bombardiers included junior Kelly Neuendorf (1 Mile, 5:45.22), junior Kimberly Esteban (2 Mile, 12:59.42), and junior Kamsi Igbobi (shot put, 31-04.00).
Canton, 35 vs. Sharon, 64 – Final – The Eagles opened the season in style, taking first place in 10 of the 12 events to knock off Canton. Senior Jada Johnson won a pair of individual events, taking first in the 55M hurdles in 8.89 and earning the top spot in the high jump in 5-04.00. Sharon sophomore Simone Dunbar also had a pair of wins, recording a first-place jump of 15-05.75 in the long jump and taking first in the 55M dash in 7.94. Canton’s Bronwyn Mahoney took first in the shot put, with a personal-best and a meet-best throw of 33-03.25. The Bulldogs’ 4×200 relay team of Rosana Cho, Leah Murphy, Gabby Herivaux, and Kiley Hanlon won in 2:01.63.
Milford, 66 vs. Foxboro, 33 – Final – Milford senior Sara Comisky and junior Kerry O’Connor each won a pair of individual events to lead the Scarlet Hawks to a big win. Comisky won both the 1 Mile (6:03.47) and the 2 Mile (13:31.51) while O’Connor took first in the 300M in 42.58 (meet-best) and recorded a jump of 15-08.00 in the long jump. The Hawks also swept the 55M hurdles with junior Catherine Madden (9.82), senior Bella Gonzalez (10.22), and junior Emma Kingkade (10.24) went 1-2-3 in the event. Foxboro junior Meaghan Christie won the shot put (25-03.25) and junior Emma Dahl crossed first in the 1000M (3:31.92).
2018-2019 Record: 8-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
Attleboro was three wins shy of reaching the postseason last year, despite a roster filled with inexperienced players, and the Bombardiers demonstrated the potential in the squad by upsetting Franklin late in the season and handing the Panthers their only league loss. This winter, the Bombardiers will be looking to turn potential into reality and make a jump into the playoff picture.
Six players are returning from last year, including seniors Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall, who give Attleboro a talented backcourt on both ends of the court. Thomas adds length and slashing ability, while McCall is a sharpshooter who will be the team’s primary ball-handler. Sophomore Meg Gordon has taken a big leap from last year and head coach Marty Crowley thinks that she is ready for a breakout season on the wing.
Juniors Gabby Bosh and Emma Reilly will both be back to add some nous to the lineup, while sophomores Hailey and Lindsey Perry add grit and toughness. Junior Ryan Johnson will add size to the frontcourt, while sophomore Lillian Froio and juniors Jackie MacDonald and Laura McVeigh add depth and physicality. Overall, it is a much deeper, more experienced group for Crowley to build lineups with this season.
“For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound,” Crowley said. “Nyah and Liv I am sure are going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone, however, we feel as if we have the players in place who will contribute offensively.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-7 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Jim Choquette
Youth was served for the Bulldogs last season, as a talented trio of freshmen jumped into the starting lineup and helped Canton have one of its most successful seasons in program history, with 14 wins and a return to the state tournament. There were still some learning curves to overcome, but now a more experienced group is play with speed and get out on the break as often as possible to give Foxboro a challenge in the Davenport title race and bring home a postseason win.
Although Canton is still a relatively young team, the talent on the roster is undeniable. Sophomores Kiara Cerruti and Sydney and Fay Gallery all had impressive rookie campaigns, showing off their skills on the wing, from three-point range, and in the paint. They will face even more pressure this season, as teams know what they like to do and will be even more determined to take them out of their games.
Sophomore Carly Fitzgerald will be one of the players stepping into the point guard role vacated by the graduation of Julia Hamilton and will be the facilitator getting Canton into its offense. In the paint, Canton has size and athleticism in senior Lilah Milton and junior Kayla Albert, who are both active rebounders and finishers at the rim and both have shown the ability to knock down the occasional jumper as well. Juniors Angie Elias and Sam Lamarr and sophomore Annie Hoban all have experience from last year to add to Canton’s depth.
Canton coach Jim Choquette said, “Each day we will try to improve as a coaching staff and a program. By the end of the season, our hopes are to be playing at our best.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-3 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Lisa Downs
The two-time defending Davenport division champions return all but one player from last year’s roster, so Foxboro remains the team to beat for the league title and expectations are very high heading into a new season. After a trip to the Div. 2 South semifinals last season, the Warriors will be aiming for even more this winter, trying to regain the top spot not just in the Hock but also in the South sectional.
Junior Katelyn Mollica was the team’s leading scorer last year and is already closing in on 1,000 points for her career. The team’s primary ball-handler and one of the best shooters in the league, Mollica will be one of the top offensive threats in the league. She will have plenty of help. Senior guard Lizzy Davis and senior forwards Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman will also return to the starting lineup this season and add athleticism, speed, and tenacity on both ends of the floor, taking some pressure off Mollica with their ability to score in the open court.
Senior Shakirah Ketant came on strong at the end of last season and gives Foxboro a different, more physical look in the paint. Junior Jordyn Collins is a tough on-the-ball defender and has speed to burn. Seniors Jamie DeVellis and Julia Kelley both saw time on the floor last year and will add to Foxboro’s depth. Sophomore center Hannah Blake is a new face that could provide more strength in the post.
“The Hockomock League continues to produce teams, which make every night a tough one – there are really no teams that you can take lightly,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “The preparation required to compete in this league really benefits teams that get to the postseason.”
2018-2019 Record: 21-4 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinal. Coach: John Leighton
Franklin is coming off its best season in program history and the Panthers have the talent returning to potentially surpass that success this winter. After winning the program’s first sectional title and coming within minutes of reaching the state title game, Franklin returns three of its starters and a host of bench players ready to step into bigger roles this year.
The key to it all is senior Ali Brigham. The George Washington-commit controlled the paint on both ends of the floor last season and remains the league’s most dominant star, as she continues to expand her game to make it even more difficult for the opposition. Teams can’t focus only on Brigham, as senior forward Meghan O’Connell showed in the playoffs the problems she can present with her ability to score and rebound and sophomore Olivia Quinn is another forward with size that teams will struggle to match up with.
Junior point guard Erin Quaile is a tenacious defender and a solid ball-handler, who is developing her outside shot. Senior Sydney Garilli and juniors Elizabeth Wilson, Teagan Collins, and Carissa Alers all saw time last season and will be in the backcourt rotation. Franklin will also add several newcomers, who could step right in and contribute, including juniors Katelynn Taylor and Kaleigh Houlihan and sophomores Emma Sousa and Stefany Padula. On balance, the Panthers look likely to be the team to beat again in the Kelley-Rex.
“I am excited by what I have seen to date,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They are a very motivated group who have bought into their team motto ‘We Over Me.’ They are good teammates who seek team success over individual glory.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-8 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip had a breakout season in 2018-19, winning 13 games and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. Returning seven players from last year’s roster, new head coach Dan Nagle takes over a program in solid shape and is looking to build on last season’s success and try to challenge Franklin at the top of the league standings this winter.
Senior Faye Veilleux spearheaded KP’s breakout season when she emerged as one of the top post scorers in the league. Her versatility and her ability to get out in transition will be crucial to Nagle’s fastbreaking style. Senior Faith Roy will give the Warriors a clutch outside shooter and classmate Taylor Butler adds physicality to the guard or forward position.
Junior Emma Glaser will be expected to take on a bigger role after a strong sophomore season on the wing and junior point guard Brianna James demonstrated the ability to get into the lane at will and finish even against taller opponents. Juniors Caroline Aaron and Courtney Keswick are also back from last year to provide depth on the wings and 6-foot-3 freshman Emily Sawyer will give KP much-needed size in the post, as they try to combat Franklin’s Ali Brigham. The Warriors are going to try and break teams down with aggressive defending and their speed in transition.
Nagle said, “It has been a great start to the year with this group of kids. From top to bottom our roster is full of girls who love the game of basketball and are enjoying the process of improving day to day here in the early going. I think we will be a fun team to watch this season, and I look forward to the challenge of having our kids compete night in and night out in an excellent league like the Hockomock.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Mike Redding
Mansfield has consistently been one of the top programs in the Kelley-Rex division but even the best programs are going to need time to overcome the graduation of 10 seniors. The Hornets will lack experience, but head coach Mike Redding will be looking for improvement over the course of the season and will be hoping to have the team playing its best basketball as the tournament rolls around.
Senior Becca Hottleman was recently cleared after knee surgery and will be back at the point for the Hornets. Hottleman is one of only two players that got starts last year. Junior forward Ashley Santos is the other and she will be one of the players expected to see her numbers take a jump, as she should expect to get a few more looks on the offensive end. Senior Kelly Doherty and junior Kayla Vine will jump into starting roles on the wings, while junior Sara Dooling will be a starter at forward.
While there is a lack of varsity playing time on the roster, there are plenty of upperclassmen that will be expected to contribute. Junior Sarah Sacco will back-up Hottleman at the point, while junior Ally Prentis and senior Grace Benton will add depth at the wing. Senior Grace Maher and juniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking will see time in the frontcourt and freshman wing Abby Wager should get opportunities to build experience this season.
“This group has very limited varsity basketball experience overall because we had that large and talented group of 10 seniors last year, but we’re not young and will rely on senior leadership and a deep junior class and all have varsity experience in other sports,” said Redding. “We have good size and depth in the post and all of them can shoot, handle the ball, and play like guards, which should cause some problems for the defense. It will be a work in progress and we’ll have to battle for wins in a very good league but this will be a good basketball team by February when the tourney rolls around.”
2018-2019 Record: 1-19 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Last year was a tough one for Milford. After graduating the bulk of the roster, an inexperienced group struggled through the season, but never lost the work rate and closed out the winter with its first win. The Hawks are still relatively young, but head coach TJ Dolliver is approaching the new year with optimism because of his team’s continued growth.
Four juniors are entering their third varsity seasons and the Hawks will be counting on them to provide necessary leadership on and off the court. Emma Lawrence, Jillian Michelson, Carly Fereira, and Katie Maietta have all gotten plenty of playing time last year and the hope is that experience will serve them well this winter.
This will be a guard-heavy lineup, especially with no player over 5-foot-8. Junior Elise Fauerbach will add some physical play to the frontcourt and sophomore forward Jill Araujo is a newcomer that can add some depth in the paint.
“There is a lot to pay attention to but what I care about the most is how we do this together,” said Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls and a great coaching staff and I believe this season will be very rewarding.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Nikki Correia
It has been a tough run over the last few seasons for North Attleboro, which won seven games and missed the playoffs for the third straight year, but there are still positives to take away as former assistant Nikki Correia takes over for her first year in charge. North has several experienced players returning to try and push Big Red back up the standings.
The backcourt should be a plus for North with senior point guard Olivia Forbes back to run the show and keep the Rocketeers getting into the transition game that Correia prefers. She will be joined at the guard position by junior Amanda Kaiser, who emerged as not only a threat from deep but also as a tough defender who gets her hands into the passing lane. Juniors Siobhan Weir and Lydia Santos will add to the depth at guard to help with the full-court pressure that North will turn to this year.
North hasn’t had much height in the past few seasons, but there are several forwards who can compete on the glass. Senior forward Eliza Dion is an aggressive defender and can take her defender off the dribble. Senior Regan Fein will add extra depth in the paint. Freshman guard Ava McKeown and sophomore guard Summer Doherty are two newcomers that could make an instant impact.
“I am looking forward to being apart of watching this team and this program grow this year,” Correia said. “There are six returning seniors, so that veteran play will be very helpful, as well as returning a great shooter and adding an athletic sophomore and freshman to the mix.”
2018-2019 Record: 13-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames had a lot of new faces last year, but the success was very familiar. The Tigers finished with 13 wins and reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal, giving Wellesley all it could handle on the road. A year of experience and the return of a strong core of players means expectations are even higher for OA this winter.
Sophomore Caroline Peper will be the player that is going to draw the most attention at the start of the new season. As a freshman, Peper was one of the league’s top scorers and its top shooters. Junior Caroline Flynn was also an all-star last year. She runs the point, is one of the top passers on the team, and also one of its top rebounders. Her overall game helps the Tigers control games. Also in the backcourt will be seniors Meg Holleran and Erin Holmberg, who is coming back after surgery cost her almost all of last season.
Senior Tate Hadges will be on the front line, giving OA another strong defender and rebounder. Sophomore Hailey Bourne, while undersized, gives the Tigers a lot of effort in the post even when matched up against some of the best frontcourt players in the league. Junior Jess Erlich and Tori Harney and sophomore Anna Murphy will add to the team’s depth on the wing.
“As always, the Hock will present with a very high level of competition,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We are looking forward to being capable of putting together a variety of strong personnel combinations which will provide us with depth as we face those challenges.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sandra Lombardi
Sharon narrowly missed out on its first playoff appearance under head coach Sandy Lombardi, finishing just one win away from a tournament berth. With three returning starters and several younger players who got significant playing time last year, the Eagles will be eyeing that elusive postseason berth.
Three seniors will be counted on to lead the team at both ends of the floor. Point guard Ally Brown will be expected to get the Eagles into their offensive sets and is a strong defender on the other end, keeping pressure on the perimeter. Shooting guard Kaitlyn Wallace is the team’s top outside threat, stretching the defense with her range and also being a strong passer off the dribble. Forward Telishya Herbert led the team in scoring last year and is a matchup nightmare in the paint with her aggressive play going to the basket.
The starting lineup will be rounded out by junior Leah Fandel and sophomore Trinity Payne, two athletic forwards that will give Sharon decent size on the front line. Senior Nicole Teven, juniors Julia Early and Gaby Cabral and freshman Tess Letendre will all see plenty of playing time this season and will look to contribute to the team’s success.
“Ally, Kaitlyn, and Telishya have the most varsity experience and I expect great things from them this year,” Lombardi said. “We have a young team and I am hoping some of the younger players are able to step up this year as well.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
A new era will begin this winter, as Stoughton moves into its brand new gym with a lot of new faces on the roster, hoping to get the Black Knights back into the playoff race this season after missing out on the tournament last year.
The key for the Black Knights will be its senior leadership. Although Sydnee Hyacinthe has moved on to Milton Academy, they still return a strong core led by senior Aliyah Wright. The point guard can be a dominant presence on both ends of the floor, sparking Stoughton on defense and breaking down the opposition off the dribble. Senior Shyanne Trinh is healthy to start the season and will be the team’s top outside threat, with the ability to knock down shots off the dribble. Senior forward Lexi Baptista is an athletic post threat who can also step back and knock down the mid-range jumper.
Senior Hannah Pagano and juniors Brooke Bulger, Mackenzie Manning, and Catherine Downey will add to the team’s depth, especially in the backcourt. Sophomore Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and freshman Kyla Sheedy-Goff will be two of the newcomers to the roster that could make a name for themselves this season.
“Despite being somewhat young this season this group of ladies worked really hard in the off-season,” said Stoughton coach Charmain Steele Jordan. “The sky is the limit this season and our Black Knights are going compete hard until the final whistle blows.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-15 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
After a number of seasons under coach Walter Harrigan, Taunton has turned to former King Philip coach Amy Siggens this year and she has brought plenty of energy into her first preseason with the Tigers, trying to push the program back into the playoff hunt.
As Siggens and the players become more comfortable with each other, the Tigers will count on their returning starters to get things off to a good start. Juniors Sonya and Jaelyn Fernandez and Kelsey White will be the players to watch this season after strong sophomore campaigns. All three have good size, with both Sonya and Jaelyn providing strong presences on the boards and out on the break and White causing match-up issues on the perimeter. All three will need to step up on the defensive end and keep the Tigers running.
Taunton also has depth, although it will be relatively inexperienced. Seniors Liz Crisman and Jaylah Chaves and junior Tori DaRosa will add more depth in the backcourt. Sophomores Braeley McDonald and Abby Souza (who has helped out on varsity since she was an eighth-grader) and freshman Kameron St. Pierre will also chip in this season.
“Any coaching change brings lots of challenges and, this season, we will be faced with our share,” said Siggens. “I am very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far. Our bench is young and talented but how quickly a good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start.”
Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Softball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Kelsey White, Taunton
Hockomock League All Stars
Mckenzie Bergdoll, Attleboro
Makenzie Killough, Attleboro
Lora Woyton, Attleboro
Liz Bickett, Canton
Morgan Sylvestre, Foxboro
Jackie Cherry, Franklin
Ally Shea, Franklin
Anna Balkus, Franklin
Meghan Gorman, King Philip
Faith Turinese, King Philip
Mady Bendanillo, Mansfield
Lucy Creedon, Milford
Ashley Cangiano, North Attleboro
Abby Gallagher, North Attleboro
Bella Erti, North Attleboro
Katie Daby, North Attleboro
Karly Estremera, Stoughton
Alexia Baptista, Stoughton
Nicole Baker, Stoughton
Hanna Aldrich, Taunton
Jaime Brown, Taunton
Alexa White, Taunton
Kelsey White, Taunton
TAUNTON, Mass. – Sophomore Kelsey White and the Taunton softball team didn’t give third-seeded Bishop Feehan many chances, but the Shamrocks took advantage of the little opportunities they had.
Meanwhile, the Tigers had a handful of opportunities, putting at least one runner in scoring position in five innings, and a runner on base in six of the seven innings, but an uncharacteristic performance from second-seeded Taunton put an end to its season.
Bishop Feehan scored single runs in the first, sixth, and seventh innings while Taunton was limited to just one run, leaving six runners on base in scoring position as the Shamrocks earned a 3-1 win a D1 South Semifinal contest.
“We had many chances,” said Taunton head coach Dave Lewry. “It comes down to a game of execution. You have to execute at the plate, in the field, and on the bases, and we picked the wrong game not to execute. It wasn’t a good game for us all around. We didn’t execute. We took too many called strike threes. We played well all year, but the wrong game to play poorly.”
The Shamrocks got off to an ideal start with leadoff hitter Jessica Levesque clubbing a triple to right center field. White (7IP, 6H, 1BB, 3R, 1ER, 3K) induced a ground ball to shortstop and the runner originally held, but after a brief bobble a throwing error allowed Levesque to score and the Feehan runner to get to second.
After a walk, McKenzie McAloon started a double play to get two outs and White got a fly ball to center to strand a runner at third and minimize the damage to just one run.
Taunton had a bevy of chances to tie the game and even take a lead, but couldn’t find the timely hit necessary.
“We had timely hitting,” said Feehan coach Bill Milot. “We did not play a flawless game but fortunately [Taunton] wasn’t able to capitalize on our mistakes and we were able to capitalize on theirs.”
In the bottom of the first, sophomore Hanna Aldrich ripped a two-out double but Feehan pitcher Brooke Scorzinski (7IP, 4H, 4BB, 1ER, 9K) got a pop up in foul territory behind the plate for the third out.
Heads up base running allowed White to get to second on an error in the second with one out, and quickly moved to third on a ground out. But the Tigers couldn’t get the run in as Scorzinski got one of her nine strikeouts to end the frame.
Jaime Brown doubled with one out in the third inning, Alexa White walked, and both advanced on a passed ball to put runners in scoring position with one out. But again Scorzinski got a big strikeout (looking) for the second out. McAloon was hit by the pitch to load the bases but Taunton couldn’t manufacture anything as Scorzinski got a soft line drive back to the circle.
A walk and an error put Kelsey White and Paige Silvia on first and second with no outs but neither runner would advance any further as the Tigers failed on a sac bunt attempt and had three straight fly ball outs.
“I would definitely say it was uncharacteristic,” Lewry said. “Defensively we had a couple of silly little plays, not being aware of the base runners…not being able to get down bunts, that was critical. We tried three or four times and we didn’t get one down. We talked about executing bunts all year, we’ve practiced it all year, we just didn’t do it tonight.
Meanwhile, Kelsey White was cruising on the mound. She retired the side in order in each the second and fourth innings and didn’t let a one-out single past first in the second. A two-out single from Sierra Basara went nowhere in the fifth went nowhere when White got a big strikeout.
“Kelsey had to really battle tonight,” Lewry said. “Some of her pitches weren’t working the way they normally do so we had to go a different way and I thought she did a heck of a job. We could have been out of there allowing one run if we made a couple of plays, it came down to execution and we didn’t get it done.”
The Shamrocks added to their lead with a run in the top of the sixth inning as Caroline Deem blooped a one-out single and took second on a ground ball. Scorzinski sliced a single to right field that Abbie McDonough fielded, firing a throw home but it wasn’t handled at the plate and the runner from second came across.
Taunton finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth but again left runners in scoring position. Silvia had a one-out single and moved to second on a two-out walk from Rylie Murphy. Brown sliced an RBI double to left field to bring a one run in and make it 2-1. With runners on second and third, Scorzinski got the third out with a strikeout.
Feehan tacked on a big insurance run in the top of the seventh inning. Haley Coupal had a one-out single and moved to third on a soft grounder in front of the plate. With two outs, Levesque was able to reach when her grounder was bobbled at first, and Coupal ran all the way from second to home before the Tigers could fire a throw home.
The Tigers brought the heart of their lineup for the seventh inning but Scorzinski retired the side in order for the first time all game.
Taunton softball finishes the season at 22-3 while Bishop Feehan will play Bridgewater-Raynham in the D1 South Final on Sunday.
Baseball Super 8
#7 Mansfield vs. #5 BC High –Postponed to Wednesday, 6/12 at 4:00 at Campanelli Stadium.
Softball D1 South
#10 Marshfield, 0 @ #2 Taunton, 1 – Final – Taunton sophomore Kelsey White was masterful on the mound and senior Alexa White drove in the game-winning run as the Tigers walked off with a win over the Rams. White didn’t issue a walk and allowed just two hits, striking out six in a complete game shutout, getting help from McKenzie McAloon at second and Jaime Brown at second. McAloon (two hits) got things started with a single in the seventh and moved to second on a sac bunt from Payton Ceglarski. Kelsey White drew a walk and Alexa White clubbed a two-out single towards second for the game winning hit. Paige Silvia had a double for the Tigers in the win. Taunton will host #3 Bishop Feehan on Thursday at 7:00.
#4 Foxboro, 15 vs. #1 Wayland, 13 – Final – Sophia DiCenso, Meg Curran, and Jaime Notarangelo each scored a hat trick to pace the Warriors past the top seed. Foxboro will play #4 Medway in the D2 East Final on Friday at 7:00 at Walpole.
TAUNTON, Mass. – Defending state champion Taunton kicked off its title defense on Monday night at Jack Tripp Field against a familiar foe. It is never easy to play a team three times in a season, especially when it is a league rival and annual competitor for the league title.
The Tigers made it a clean sweep against King Philip and earned their third shutout of the Warriors this season, earning a 4-0 victory and getting started on the road to a potential repeat.
“First game of the tournament is always tough,” said Taunton coach Dave Lewry about facing an atypical No. 15 seed in the opening round. “We’ve been there before but all the kids were saying they had the butterflies and were a little nervous early on, so get this out of the way and we can move onto tomorrow.”
Senior outfielder Alexa White added, “It’s definitely a relief to have the first one in the books. We have a young team, so we made sure to talk to them yesterday at practice to be prepared that the atmosphere is different, everything’s different, so you need to keep the energy up and you need to relax, at the plate or in the field.”
King Philip (13-9) had been outscored 19-0 in two regular season meetings with Taunton, but the Warriors came into Monday confident that they could pull the upset and had an early chance to get on the board. Raegan Simeone bunted for a hit with one out in the first and then stole second. After a strikeout, Liliana Rolfe walked to put two on base, but Taunton starter Kelsey White snagged a comebacker by her opposite number, Faith Turinese, to end the inning.
The Warriors wouldn’t have another base runner until a one-out single by Rolfe in the fourth. Rolfe was controversially called out on a steal attempt and a pop up to first baseman Tayah DaCosta ended the threat.
“It’s been a struggle against most quality pitchers,” Beauchemin said about the lack of offense. “You’ve got to get that key hit, but we didn’t have many hits to begin with.”
Taunton wasted no time jumping in front. JJaime Brown led off the bottom frame with a double to right center. Abigail McDonough dropped down a bunt to move Brown to third and a wild pitch allowed her to come home with what would turn out to be the game-winning run.
Beauchemin said, “You can’t make any mistakes against this team. They’re as strong as they were last year, if not stronger.”
It stayed 1-0 until the third inning. With one out Brown drew a walk and again McDonough dropped down a bunt to move her into scoring position. Hanna Aldrich, who was robbed of a single in the first by KP shortstop Meghan Gorman, lined a base hit to left to double the lead.
Lewry said, “I just had a feeling it was going to be one of those games, so we want to get runs any way we can, chip away one at a time if we have to and it seemed to work out.”
In the fourth Taunton gave itself a cushion with a two-out rally. Turinese got a pair of fly balls, including one to deep center by Kelsey White, and seemed to be cruising through another inning, but Paige Silvia took a pitch off her thigh. Alexa White followed with a triple that was crushed into the gap in left center. White scored on a double by eighth grader Ava Venturelli.
“It brings the confidence in the next batter up to keep it going and it definitely gets the girls pumped,” said Alexa White about the importance of two-out rallies.
There was one more threat by the Warriors in the seventh, as they tried to keep their season alive. Rolfe was hit by a pitch with one out, reaching base for the third straight time, and Turinese hustled to beat out an infield single. Taunton’s defense made the plays it needed to with Aldrich and Brown grabbing grounders and getting the outs to seal the win.
“I think the kids gave a very good representation today, we played hard,” said Beauchemin. “We’re not young, but we’re inexperienced and I think next year we’re going to be a very formidable team.”
Lewry praised the Warriors and was happy to get through a third meeting with KP. He said, “I think they’re a much better team than they were at the beginning of the season and I thought they played an excellent game tonight. Their defense was good, their pitching was real good, and they just had some trouble hitting Kelsey, which is good for us.”
When asked if things felt any different entering the playoffs defending last year’s title, White said that the Tigers were just trying to focus on the moment rather than the ultimate destination.
“We’ve got a tough road ahead, we know that, but I think we have the talent to do it,” she said. “It’s about pulling everything together with clutch hits and keeping those rallies going. We have the mentality to take every game one step at a time. Just focus on the game you’re playing.”
Taunton (21-2) will host No. 10 seed Marshfield on Tuesday night at Jack Tripp Field.