Foxboro, 69 vs. Randolph, 58 – Final – Foxboro had a strong third quarter, turning a five-point lead into a double-digit advantage (57-45) going into the final quarter. It was a balanced scoring attack for the Warriors with four players scoring in double-figures. Senior Andrew Block led the way with 14 points, freshman Brandon Borde added 12 points and Joe Morrison and Joe Bartucca each scored 10 points. Mark Clagg added nine points and Jamaine Few finished with eight points.
Franklin, 70 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 66 – Final – Franklin was impressive in the first three quarters, building an 18 point lead before Spellman closed the gap in the final quarter. Franklin senior Josh Macchi registered a career-high 22 points while junior Paul Mahon added 15 points and sophomore Jalen Samuels finished with 14 points.
Milford, 73 vs. Medway, 46 – Final – With its back against the wall, Milford put on a dominant performance to qualify for the state tournament for the second straight year. Scarlet Hawks seniors combined for 52 points to lead the way. Anthony Arcudi had a team-high 18 points while Nate Davila had 14 points, Zack Tamagni had 13 points and Alex Macek chipped in with seven points. Junior Kayden Kelley had 11 points and 17 rebounds in the win.
Oliver Ames, 66 @ Walpole, 53 – Final – Oliver Ames finished the regular season on a high note, taking the consolation game in the Rebel Classic at Walpole. Junior Jack Spillane poured in a team-high 25 points to pace the Tigers while Carter Evin added 15 points and Dylan Mahoney chipped in with 12 points. OA now awaits seeding for the D2 South tournament.
Sharon, 62 vs. Xaverian, 58 – Final – Sharon won the 2017 Walpole Hoop Classic win a win over Xaverian, ending the 2017 campaign on a four-game win streak. Junior Malik Lorquet was named tournament MVP, scoring 12 points and adding 14 rebounds. Junior Jimmy Fitzhenry was named to the all tournament team after scoring 14 points. Senior Ricardo Ripley finished with a team-high 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Stoughton, 64 vs. Tantasqua, 59 – Final – Stoughton junior Cam Andrews dropped a team-high 20 points and senior Cam Gomes chipped in with 13 points as the Black Knights advanced to the finals of the Warrior Classic to play Foxboro.
North Attleboro, 51 @ Attleboro, 47 – Final – The Rocketeers avenged an earlier loss to the Bombardiers. Emily Schromm was the top scorer for North with 13 points and fellow senior Samantha Taggart scored 12. Attleboro was led by Sarah Deyo’s 22 points.
Foxboro, 54 vs. Whitman-Hanson, 39 – Final – Recently named league MVP Ashley Sampson led the way for the Warriors with 27 points and senior Kristen Bortolotti added 12 in the win. Foxboro will face Lincoln-Sudbury in the final of the Warrior Classic on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Stoughton, 8 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Junior forward Brendan Campbell scored a career-best four goals to lead the Black Knights. Sophomore Sean Doherty netted a hat trick and classmate Luke Bainton found the back of the net once.
Franklin, 1 vs. Lasalle Academy, 4 – Final
King Philip, 1 @ Norwood, 4 – Final
Taunton, 3 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield scored three goals in the third period to earn two points and qualify for the state tournament. The teams were level 1-1 after the first period, and then 2-2 during the second period. Tim Arnold gave the Hornets the lead in the third period on assists from Chad Piotti and Cullin Anastasia. Freshman Chris Jenkins gave Mansfield a 4-2 advantage on the power play, taking a feed from Anastasia. Taunton cut the deficit to one but Matt Farragher scored a shot handed goal off an assist from junior Tyler Oakley. Joe Olsen scored in the first period on assists from Farragher and Oakley while Farragher scored in the second on an assist from Olsen.
Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Lowell Catholic, 1 – Final
Franklin, 0 vs. Ursuline, 3 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ Westwood, 3 – Final
FOXBORO, Mass. – For the past month, Foxboro and North Attleboro have been taking care of business on the court with half an eye on each other’s results. Since the two teams last met on Jan. 20, North went 5-2 (despite missing senior guard Ashley Ahern for all seven games) including a five-game win streak entering Friday night. Meanwhile, Foxboro rattled off nine straight wins, eight off those coming in the league.
Grace Tamulionis scored 11 points, knocking down a trio of three-pointers, and all four of her shots were assisted by Lily Sykes (seven assists). Kristen Bortolotti also got off to a strong start with six of her 12 points in the first.
“It’s what they’ve been doing,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “They’ve been hot for a while. Once they got that consistent third shooter then they present a matchup problem for anyone. I was hoping we could mix and match and keep them uncomfortable but unfortunately they came out and shot the ball very well.”
The lead stretched to as many as 18 in the second quarter, after a Lauren Flahive (six points) jumper, but North started to find the range on offense and slow down the Warriors. Samantha Taggart scored seven of her team-high 12 in the second and assisted on a Caroline Collard (seven points, seven rebounds) jumper that cut the lead to 28-21.
It was as close as the Rocketeers would get for the rest of the night. Hailey Maling drove and kicked out to Riley Collins for a three that regained a double digit lead for the hosts at the break.
“Obviously, we had a great first quarter and we were bound to have a little bit of an offensive letdown in the second, but to be up by 10 going into halftime I was pleased with that,” said Downs. “Just the way the came out and the amount of energy they showed, I knew we were in for a good game.”
Foxboro came out of halftime intent on putting the game away and that is what the Warriors did, using an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 21 points (46-25). Ashley Sampson (game-high 19 points) was the aggressor for the Warriors, scoring seven in the third including a corner three off a Sykes assist and then going coast-to-coast for a layup off a steal. Bortolotti and Tamulionis (18 points) each added four in the quarter.
“In the second quarter we were able to score and defend a little better and keep them disrupted. In the third quarter, we just couldn’t sustain it offensively,” said Herber, whose team trailed 50-32 entering the fourth.
On Monday night against Bridgewater-Raynham, Foxboro had only four players get on the score sheet, but on Friday eight Warriors scored at least two points. That balance made it difficult for North to send help for Emily Schromm on Sampson and the senior got into foul trouble in the third quarter. In the end, Schromm and Collard would both foul out.
“The problem is the third player,” Herber explained. “We can cover two, but the third player is a tough matchup for us. We need to keep our bigs in the game to score on offense but it puts them in a bind on defense.”
Foxboro also had a decisive edge on the glass, despite North’s advantage in height. The Warriors were plus-10 on the boards, which Downs credited to a total team effort.
She said, “That hasn’t been our story all season long…especially against a team that has some height on us…They were all contributing to keeping that ball and getting second and third opportunities.”
Julia Feid scored a traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 19 in the fourth, but Foxboro responded to seal the win and the title. Sampson hit a pair of free throws (two of her six points in the fourth and 13 in the second half) and then assisted on a Maling jumper. Maling then provided her second assist of the game on a kick-out to Tamulionis for a dagger three.
“You can’t win games with two or three girls scoring,” Downs said, “and we have scorers, so we have to make sure that we keep them in the offense and we’re rotating the ball to get different looks from different people so that we’re a hard matchup.”
After clinching its eighth league title and second in the past three seasons, Foxboro (16-2, 14-2) will try to sew up the top seed in Div. 2 South in its end-of-season Warrior Classic beginning with Whitman-Hanson on Monday. North Attleboro (15-5, 13-3) will also try to work on its seeding for Div. 2 South and get revenge for an earlier loss when it travels to Attleboro.
Franklin, 73 @ Attleboro, 65 – Final – Franklin built a 10-point lead heading into the final quarter and held off the Bombardiers to earn the win. Attleboro cut the deficit to five on two separate occasions, including with just under a minute to play but the Panthers finished the game strong. Connor Peterson had 16 points while Josh Macchi and Paul Mahon each chipped in with 14 points for the Panthers.
Foxboro, 51 @ Canton, 44 – Final – It was a close contest throughout between the two Davenport rivals, with Canton seizing a 14-10 lead after one and Foxboro 26-23 at half and 34-33 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to one with less than a minute to play but Foxboro senior Andrew Block drained a three to put the Warriors ahead for good. Block scored eight of his 11 points in the final quarter while Joe Morrison scored 13 points, Mark Clagg had nine points and both Brandon Borde and Jamaine Few each had eight points. Canton sophomore Devin Foster had 13 points and junior Tony Harris added 10 points.
Mansfield, 56 @ King Philip, 53 – Final – Mansfield senior Sam Goldberg (six reobunds) scored 17 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, helping offset a poor shooting night by the Hornets to clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title. Mansfield shot just 3-23 from three point range with only Max Boen (11 points) connecting from deep. Goldberg scored 11 points in the third quarter to give Mansfield a 43-36 lead heading into the fourth. The senior scored six of the team’s 13 points in the final quarter. Evan Christo added 11 rebounds for the Hornets.
Sharon, 81 @ Stoughton, 72 – Final – Sharon junior Malik Lorquet had a monster night for the Eagles, tying a career-high with 17 points while hauling in 13 rebounds and adding four steals and three blocks. Senior Jimmy Fitzhenry had a team-high 18 points while classmate Danny Emerman finished with 12 points. Stoughton junior Cam Andrews scored a game-high 24 points.
Attleboro, 52 @ Franklin, 59 – Final (OT) – Franklin rallied late in the game to force overtime and outscored Attleboro 16-9 in the extra period. Carli Koffinke buried a pair of threes (her only two of the game) and Bea Bondhus scored five points in OT to lead the Panthers, after the duo combined for only one point in regulation. Freshman Ali Brigham was the game’s top scorer, leading the Panthers with 21 points, and classmate Megan O’Connell added nine points in the win. Julia Strachan led the Bombardiers with 18 points and Sarah Deyo had nine.
Canton, 28 @ Foxboro, 69 – Final – After scoring 31 on Monday night, Ashley Sampson scored a team-high 17 on Tuesday to ensure that Foxboro will go into the final league game in at least a tie for first place in the division. Kristen Bortolotti scored 16 points and Riley Collins had 11 for the Warriors.
King Philip, 33 @ Mansfield, 52 – Final – Junior Ann Maher paced the Hornets with a game-high 14 points. Sophomore Emily Vigeant chipped in with six points and Jen Peel added 12 assists for Mansfield, which had 11 players score in the game. Julia Leroux and Christina Hathaway each scored seven points apiece for the Warriors.
Milford, 55 @ Hopedale, 37 – Final – With the victory, Milford booked a place in the state tournament for the first time since 2012.
Taunton, 20 @ Oliver Ames, 54 – Final – Oliver Ames had another impressive defensive effort while junior Kayla Raymond scored a game-high 11 points. Niyera Mitchell and Hannah Carroll each had nine points for OA.
Stoughton, 59 @ Sharon, 45 – Final – Stoughton was led by a pair of freshmen against the Eagles. Aliyah Wright scored a team-high 17 points, while Shyanne Trinh added 15 points for the Black Knights.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Bellingham, 2 – Final – Stoughton senior Jon Lessa netted a hat trick to pace the Black Knights past Bellingham. Brendan Campbell and Josh Hough also found the back of the net for the Knights.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Cat Luciano scored a hat trick for the Warriors and Madison Haughey scored the fourth.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Despite school being canceled in Foxboro due to a storm that never materialized, the Warriors began a very important week by hosting a non-league game with Bridgewater-Raynham, a team that they beat by nearly 30 points the first time around.
Monday’s second meeting was considerably closer. Foxboro had only four players get on the score sheet (and one of those players had a single point), but one of those four was junior guard Ashley Sampson and she scored a game-high 31 to lead the Warriors to a 56-44 win, their eighth in a row, and a sweep of the Trojans.
It also kicked off a busy week that could end with Foxboro clinching its second league title in three seasons.
“We like to control the tempo of the game and push the ball when we want to push it and slow it down when we want to slow it down,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs, “and they started to control the tempo, which is a little unsettling, but the girls righted the ship when they needed.”
At the beginning of the game, the Warriors looked like a team that was still enjoying a restful snow day and B-R was able to jump out to a 12-7 lead behind 10 first quarter points from senior Kelly Page (team-high 19).
“We were a little sluggish,” Downs admitted. “I love everything the same; I love routine. So, to not have the same routine, I don’t like it and they’re teenage girls and they need it the same every time.”
Foxboro woke up and found a groove to close out the first half on a 19-4 run to take control of the game. Grace Tamulionis (nine points, six rebounds, five steals, and three blocks) got things started with a jumper in the lane from a Kristen Bortlotti assist. Sampson scored in transition to cut the lead to one and, after the Trojans scored on an offensive rebound, Lily Sykes drove to the basket for two of her 15.
Sampson ended the first with free throws to give the hosts a 15-14 lead and Foxboro clamped down in the second quarter, allowing only two points to go ahead by double digits at halftime. Sykes and Sampson each scored four and Tamulionis drilled a straightaway three off a Lauren Flahive assist to make it 26-16 at the break.
B-R started to find its offense in the third quarter and cut the lead to as few as three points at 34-31. Page added another five points and Nina Morrison had seven of her nine in the third, as the Trojans took control of the glass and had Foxboro on its heels.
Needing a spark, Foxboro turned to Sampson and the junior delivered. She went on a personal 9-2 run and the Warriors regained a double digit lead. She scored on the break and then, after Sykes had one of her eight steals, Sampson added another layup plus the foul. Another Sykes steal led to another easy basket and Sampson capped the quarter with a reverse for a 43-33 lead.
“When Lily and Ashley are on together,” said Downs, “there’s not many teams that can stop that combination. Grace was a little off tonight offensively…but we did what we needed to do and at this point in the season I’m happy with that kind of win.”
Again B-R tried to cut into the lead in the fourth, but a Sampson three-point play made the lead nine points, then Sykes scored on a drive to the basket, and Tamulionis got an open look for three off an assist by Flahive (seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks), who also fed Sampson for a layup that put Foxboro up by 14.
“I thought for the most part we did well but it got a little frantic at the end,” Downs said. “We just have to remain more composed going into the tournament when the games start to get tighter.”
Foxboro (14-2, 12-2) will get back into league play with Canton on Tuesday night then a showdown with fellow league leader North Attleboro on Friday in a game that will decide the winner of the Davenport division.
Mansfield, 66 @ Attleboro, 56 – Final – Mansfield erased a four point deficit in the fourth quarter, closing the game with a 14-0 run to earn the win on the road. Mansfield senior Benjamin Albanese connected on a trio of three pointers and finished with a career-high 13 points to help the Hornets. Christian Weber hit four three-pointers for a team-high 18 points while Sam Goldberg had 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Attleboro freshman Bryant Ciccio scored 14 points while senior Jake Dunkley netted 11 points.
Milford, 36 @ Canton, 46 – Final – Canton used a 20-point second quarter to build a 31-15 lead at halftime and then held the Scarlet Hawks to just six points in the final quarter to earn the win. “It’s nice to see focus and execution,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “We had a game plan coming in and what we practiced carried over into the game. When we are focused we can be a dangerous team. Milford is explosive so we new we had to defend for four quarters.” Junior Tony Harris led the Bulldogs with 16 points and 11 rebounds while classmate Jake Verille added 13 points for Canton.
Stoughton, 47 @ Foxboro, 62 – Final – Foxboro built a 10-point lead in the first quarter and held onto that lead the rest of the way. The Warriors went up 22-12 at the first and 35-22 at halftime. Foxboro used a 7-0 run to begin the fourth quarter to put the game away. Senior Jamaine Few tied a career-high with 17 points while Joe Morrison added 16 points and freshman Brandon Borde chipped in with nine points. Stoughton senior Cam Gomes had a team-high 11 points.
King Philip, 52 @ Oliver Ames, 63 – Final – Oliver Ames moved within a win of qualifying for the state tournament with a win over King Philip. Senior Nick Welch scored a team-high 19 points while junior Jack Spillane chipped in with 13 points for the Tigers.
Foxboro, 65 @ Stoughton, 49 – Final – Kristen Bortolotti scored 19 points to lead the Warriors, who moved a half-game in front of idle North Attleboro at the top of the Davenport division. Grace Tamulionis added 14 points and Ashley Sampson had 12 for Foxboro.
Franklin, 49 @ Taunton, 29 – Final – Bea Bondhus had a team-high 14 points for Franklin and freshman Ali Brigham added 11 as the Panthers made it three straight wins and seven wins in the last nine games.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ King Philip, 35 – Final – Oliver Ames limited the Warriors to just 12 points at halftime, rolling to a 51-35 win on the road. Kayla Raymond dropped a team-high 19 points for the Tigers while Niyera Mitchell chipped in with 10 points.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Connor Ford put North Attleboro up 1-0 in the first period and Erik Clements scored his first goal of the game early in the third period to give the Rocketeers a 2-0 lead. Oliver Ames’ Eric LeBlanc cut the deficit in half midway through the final period and the Tigers had a couple of chances to tie the game with the goalie pulled, but Clements got his second of the game with an empty netter to ice the game. OA freshman goalie Owen Connor made 27 saves in his first start.
Taunton vs. Bristol Plymouth, 7:00
Franklin, 7 @ Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 0 – Final
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Over the past couple of games, Foxboro has been able to turn to some of its supporting cast for big nights. Lily Sykes scored 19 in the win over Oliver Ames and on Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center it was Grace Tamulionis who stepped up with a career-high 20 points to beat Sharon.
On Wednesday night at Attleboro, the now league-leading Warriors were able to turn to star Ashley Sampson. Not only did the junior guard scored a game-high 27 points and snag seven steals, but she also took turns guarding Bombardiers star forward Sarah Deyo. It was the kind of all-around performance that head coach Lisa Downs has been counting on from Sampson.
“She was a leader on the court tonight, which is what I’ve been asking of her pretty much from day one,” Downs explained. “She took control of the offensive end and she had the tough defensive matchup…so it wasn’t like she got to take a rest on the defensive end.”
Sampson’s big night helped Foxboro pull out a 58-46 victory over the Bombardiers and keep the Warriors in a first place tie with North Attleboro atop the Davenport division standings. Meanwhile, the defeat dropped Attleboro two games behind Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex.
“It all comes with preparation and we’re not preparing ourselves well enough for a team that’s aggressive and fast like that,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch. “When you get off to a slow start and get down a little bit, it’s hard to come back against a team like that.”
After the game, Downs called the first half defensive performance by the Warriors as their best of the season. Foxboro used its team speed, depth, and versatility to stymie the Bombardiers. The Warriors held Attleboro to just 17 points as a team in the half and held Samantha Pierce and Julia Strachan scoreless over the opening 16 minutes of play.
Downs added, “That was the key. We had to keep fresh legs on Strachan and they did a fantastic job holding her to zero points in the first half and then Deyo is a matchup nightmare, so we had to know whoever we put in there had to be as physical as they can be, which is not always our strong suit.”
Foxboro added Lauren Flahive to the starting lineup on Wednesday, going smaller but adding speed. It paid dividends immediately, as the Warriors used a 13-0 run to break the game open in the first quarter. Sampson scored seven in the first and Kristen Bortolotti added four. Tamulionis (team-high nine rebounds), fresh off her career-high on Sunday, buried a pair from beyond the arc for six of her 12 on the night.
Deyo had four in the first and assisted on a three by Jordyn Lako to close out the quarter but the Bombardiers trailed by 12 points. Deyo, who finished with 15 points an 15 rebounds, added another six points in the second, but she was struggling to get the ball in good positions and four of her five baskets in the first half came from offensive rebounds.
“We go up and down too,” said Patch, ‘and my whole point with [the girls] was push the ball, go to the basket, and get points in the paint. That’s how we beat them last year with all our kids down and this year it was the game plan but it just wasn’t happening.”
Sampson buried a three off a Shannon Smally kick out and then stole the ball from Deyo, who was also bringing the ball up the court at times, and went in for a layup. Sykes (10 points) drilled a three and it was a 31-17 lead at half for the visitors.
“We knew we had to play our best defense to beat a quality team like Attleboro,” said Downs. “They’re going to fight you tooth and nail every possession, so if you can take care of business on the defensive end and hold their offense lower than they have in recent game then we knew we’d be in decent shape.”
Coming out of halftime, Attleboro started to pick up the pace and tried to cut into the lead, scoring as many points in the third as it had in the entire first half. Deyo twice got the ball at the rim for easy baskets, Grace Mayer (five points) buried a corner three, and Pierce (eight points) finally got going with four in the quarter.
Foxboro held onto a double digit lead through the third thanks to eight more points by Sampson, including a baseline drive to the basket plus the foul that pushed the lead to as many as 17 points. Bortlotti (seven points) ended a mini-run by the Bombardiers to give Foxboro a 47-34 lead heading to the fourth.
Attleboro gave the Warriors a scare in the fourth by scoring the opening eight points to cut the lead down to as little as five. Pierce had four of those points and Lako scored in transition from a Mish Logie assist. The home crowd was making noise and the bench was fired up, but the Warriors forced a pair of turnovers and took back control.
After Sykes knocked down a couple of free throws, Sampson took the ball baseline and got to the rim and then on the next possession again got into the heart of the Attleboro defense for another layup that put Foxboro ahead 53-42. Sykes closed out the game going 5-of-8 from the line.
“We just lost our poise, had two or three turnovers that resulted in two baskets on the other end that made it 11 and it’s hard to overcome that,” Patch said. “It’s definitely discouraging but we’ve got to get better preparation.”
This was a big win for Foxboro to stay level with the Rocketeers, which beat King Philip earlier in the night.
Downs said, “It was huge. Before tonight we were tied with North but head-to-head they were one up on us, so we knew we had to win this game. It was a big one.”
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Coming into a game, Foxboro opponents know that they have to try and contain the Warriors leading scorer Ashley Sampson. The offense flows through the junior guard, who always seems to have the ball in her hands and can make plays in a number of different ways.
While stopping one player is hard enough, the challenge grows when the other players find the range as well. On Saturday morning at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Milford struggled to contain a Foxboro attack that was spearheaded by junior forward Grace Tamulionis, who scored a game- (and career-) high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and four steals.
Foxboro had three scorers reach double digits and eight players get on the board on Saturday to beat Milford 66-37 and pull into a first place tie with North Attleboro atop the Davenport division standings.
“We’ve been practicing a little bit more and been able to translate that into the games,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “It started on Thursday against Oliver Ames (a 51-35 win) and they’re shooting the ball with a lot more confidence. It’s not just one girl that is contributing and every day we’re getting someone new to step up.”
Foxboro came out firing in the first quarter and Sampson led the way with eight of her 16 points. Three times Sampson got to the baseline on drives to the hoop and she also knocked down a step-back jumper. Tamulionis also looked up for it from the start with four points in the first.
Milford stayed close largely thanks to Jill Burley. After Riley Collins drilled a three off a Lauren Flahive assist to push the Foxboro lead to nine, Burley, who scored seven of her 11 in the quarter, scored on a pair of drives to the hoop to cut the deficit to five despite leading scorer Kate Irwin being forced to the bench with foul trouble.
In the second, Emma Liskov came off the bench to score five of her team-high 13 points to keep Milford hanging around, but Foxboro was able to push the lead to nine by the break. Shannon Smally scored her lone basket to make it 22-15 and then Flahive and Kristen Bortolotti (from a Lily Sykes steal and assist) scored the final four points of the half.
When asked if playing in the arena setting could have impacted the way the Hawks started, Milford coach T.J. Dolliver responded, “It could’ve been, I can’t say for sure. I know for me, it’s a big environment and it’s a little intimidating, but after you get out there and run around you’re playing, you’re coaching.”
In the third quarter, Milford was held to only two made field goals (one for Liskov and the other for Christine Pye) and Foxboro’s defense continued to shut down Irwin, who was held to just one point for the game.
“Our focus was to block her out from touching the ball,” said Downs of guarding Irwin. “We kept rotating Lily and Riley, our two quickest girls, and that’s going to tire anyone out.”
Dolliver added, “It’s tough. In games like this, you need your stars, your leading scorer, to show up and unfortunately it wasn’t a good game for all of us. It’s hard for me to say the effort wasn’t there because I have a great group of girls…but we didn’t show up to play.”
On the other end, Tamulionis emerged as the go-to player for the Foxboro offense. She scored 10 points in the third, including a pair of threes, and looked confident every time she touched the ball. Sykes (12 points) extended the lead to 20 with a pair of high-arcing three-pointers of her own that closed out the third with Foxboro ahead 47-27.
“Grace has been doing some amazing things defensively and on the boards and now to have her being able to put the points on the board is just an extra bonus that’s going to get us far,” said Downs of Tamulionis’ contributions.
Sampson scored four in the fourth quarter, Sykes added six, Collins knocked down a three, and Tamulionis hit a jumper as well. Milford was struggling to slow down the Warriors, who were shooting the lights out.
“We didn’t have a game plan of trying to stop Ashley,” said Dolliver, “because they have so many; we had to stop so many. They made some really good, contested shots, pulled away, and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Downs was asked what impact it has on the Warriors when different players provide scoring, as Tamulionis did on Saturday and Sykes did against OA (she had 19 against the Tigers). Downs replied, “It’s huge. When we have another girl that other teams aren’t really paying attention to…all the focus isn’t on Ashley. That opens up a lot more things that we can do offensively.”
Foxboro (9-2, 8-2) is now tied with North Attleboro for first in the division heading into a tough trip to Attleboro on Tuesday. Milford (8-5, 5-5) drops to .500 in the league this season and faces a trip to Kelley-Rex leader Mansfield.
The Tigers grabbed a rebound and had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but a turnover led to an and-one and on the next possession the ball swung from Lauren Flahive out to junior Lily Sykes, who drilled the fourth of her five threes on the night to push the lead back to 10 heading into the fourth.
Sykes finished with a game-high 19 points and hit half of Foxboro’s 10 three-pointers, as the Warriors pulled away in the fourth for a 51-35 victory over OA that moves the hosts within a game of division-leading North Attleboro.
“She’s another one who’s been stepping up for us pretty consistently,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs of Sykes. “When the pressure is on Ashley [Sampson], [Lily] is able to step up and take those shots. That’s huge for us and it opens up things for Ashley too.”
While OA did not struggle offensively to the same level as last week’s loss to Mansfield (the Tigers scored more in the first half on Thursday then they did in the entire game against the Hornets), the Foxboro full-court press and aggressive half-court defense had the Tigers off-balance.
Kayla Raymond (11 points, six rebounds) started the game with a three and Hannah Carroll knocked one down for a 6-3 lead, but the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to a lead they would never relinquish. Kristen Bortolotti (nine points) buried one of her three shots from beyond the arc to tie it, Sampson fed Sykes for her second from outside, and then Sampson (13 points, 10 rebounds) scored off a steal.
Niyera Mitchell hit a jumper and Raymond scored on a rebound putback to cut the lead to four after one, but again Foxboro put together a 10-0 run to break the game open. Sykes knocked down another three, scored on a reverse, and Bortolotti buried a three off a feed from Grace Tamulionis.
Meanwhile, the OA offense was stagnating. Sadie Homer (seven points) hit a three and Raymond got out on the break for a layup to get back into the game but the Tigers struggled to find consistent looks. Riley Collins closed out the half with a corner three to put the Warriors ahead 27-18 at halftime.
“We just couldn’t score,” said Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We made bad decisions and we just couldn’t score. We need to figure this out because we didn’t rebound…Our bread and butter is getting out to run and if you’re not willing to rebound then it’s hard to run.”
The Warriors are regularly out-rebounded and the Tigers had a significant edge in size, but Foxboro was holding its own on the boards and at times dominating the glass. Flahive came off the bench and grabbed eight boards, Tamulionis and Sykes each snagged six, and Sampson grabbed 10.
“Because we don’t have the height,” Downs explained, “we need to work our butts off inside the paint. Once we start facing the taller teams, the stronger teams, that’s going to be huge for us because we can run the ball, we play great defense but if we don’t rebound then we can’t get our offensive game going.”
Bortolotti started the second half with another three and Collins answered an Abby Reardon jumper with an offensive rebound basket. Trailing by 11 the Tigers finally started to click. Mitchell kicked out a pass to Carroll (six points) for a three and then fed Brenna Burkett for a layup before snatching an offensive rebound and going up strong for a basket.
Just when it seemed like the game might be turning towards OA, a turnover handed the ball to Sampson for a layup plus the foul. Foxboro then broke quickly off a rebound and the ball was kicked out to Sykes, who stole any momentum that the Tigers may have built with another long-range shot.
“We got it close, down to four, and then we fell asleep,” said Clement-Holbrook. “It’s been this problem all season long in terms of playing four consistent quarters and it’s just….[shrugs].”
Downs was proud of her team for withstanding the run and turning it back around. She said, “They righted the ship without me having to call a timeout. They were able to settle themselves down on the court, which is something we didn’t do against North Attleboro (in a 53-47 loss).
“Tonight, they settled themselves down and it wasn’t crazy Coach Downs over here. They were able to just relax a little bit and keep their composure.”
Foxboro extended the run to 13-0 with the first seven points of the fourth quarter to effectively put the game away. Sykes scored five more in the run, picking up the scoring for Sampson who was being pressured by Homer.
“That’s going to happen because you’re helping off of someone and they have the game of the century,” said Clement-Holbrook of Sykes. She added, “Sadie did a great job on [Ashley]. If we could have everyone playing with that kind of heart and soul then things would be different.”
Foxboro (8-2, 7-2) will play at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on Sunday against Milford, while Oliver Ames (8-4, 7-3), which is now 1-1/2 games behind Mansfield in the Kelley-Rex, will be off until Tuesday against Canton.
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – After taking all of Christmas break off and not playing for 17 days, Foxboro is in the midst of a busy stretch of basketball and on Monday night traveled to Bridgewater-Raynham for a non-league matchup against the Trojans.
The Warriors were clearly the more talented team and took a big lead into halftime but came out sluggish to start the third quarter, allowing the hosts to go on a 7-2 run that cut the lead to 14 points and forced head coach Lisa Downs into a timeout.
Downs was able to wake Foxboro up from its halftime slumber and the Warriors scored 15 of the next 19 points to take back control and head into the fourth with a 25-point advantage. Foxboro cruised to a 65-36, extending its win streak to four games since a season-opening loss to Mansfield and made it three straight wins by more than 20 points.
The Warriors came out with typical intensity on the defensive side of the floor and held the Trojans to only one made field goal in the first quarter and only three for the entire first half, but they were also committing fouls and sent B-R to the line 12 times. Junior guard Ashley Sampson missed almost the entire first quarter after picking up a second early foul.
“That’s kind of been our Achille’s heel the past few games,” said Downs. “We play so fast and our hands are so quick that if the refs are calling the touch fouls and the hand checks…We’re very aggressive and we work on that but we also work on not using our hands, which is not what we’ve been doing the past couple games.”
It took the Warriors time to get going offensively without Sampson, but Grace Tamulionis (eight points, seven rebounds) knocked down a jumper and scored on a drive down the lane. Lauren Flahive also came off the bench to score four of her eight points, both on pump-fakes and drives to the basket.
Leading 11-4 after the first, Foxboro brought Sampson back in for the second and the offense exploded for 22 points. Sampson (game-high 16 points) got it started with a bucket in transition and then buried a three off a Lily Sykes assist. Sykes (15 points) followed it with a score plus the foul to cap a 9-0 run.
Sykes would assist on a Tamulionis corner three and then Hailey Maling kicked it out to Sykes for another three and a 33-14 halftime advantage.
The intensity that the Warriors showed in the early part of the game was mimicked by the Trojans at the start of the second half. B-R went into a full-court press and Foxboro seemed rattled by it, struggling to get the ball up the court and turning it over frequently. B-R went on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 35-21 before Downs called a timeout.
“They just got a little bit lax on our rebounding and our half-court defense wasn’t as good as it had been in the first half,” she explained. “Things like that just make me cringe.”
Sampson scored back-to-back baskets out of the timeout to restore an 18-point lead and sparked another Foxboro run that had the Warriors doubling up the Trojans heading to the fourth.
Flahive scored on a layup, Riley Collins (10 points) finished a three-point play on the break and then Sykes closed the quarter with a corner three off a Tamulionis assist and another from deep off an assist by Shannon Smally. Collins started the fourth with a shot from long distance and then Kristen Bortolotti followed with a three as well, as the game turned into a rout.
“Riley’s been a little sparkplug in there,” said Downs. “She’s been great to have out there this year. She’s a great complement to have off the bench for Ashley or Lily or even to have the three on the floor is a powerful thing.”
The Warriors are not the biggest team but they were able to hold their own on the glass, pulling down one fewer rebound than the Trojans on the night. It is a key component to the defensive effort and Downs was happy to see players like Flahive, Sykes (five rebounds), and Sampson (seven rebounds) get involved.
“Grace did a great job on the boards and even Lauren Flahive did good things on the boards,” Downs said. “That’s the thing I tell them all the time is that you don’t have to be a great basketball player to be a great rebounder or good defensive player, it’s all about effort and who wants it more.”
Foxboro (4-1) will return to league play on Tuesday night when it hosts Stoughton.
2015-16 Record: 6-14 (3-13) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Jim Choquette
The Bulldogs continue to add to the program both on the court and on the bench with former Canton and UMass Boston star Olivia Murphy joining the coaching staff this season to help out with the freshman team. It is a sign of the continued growth of the program under head coach Jim Choquette, who is hoping that the momentum built at the end of last season will carry over to this year.
Senior forward Emma Murphy returns after a league all-star season and will be joined on the front line by returning starters senior Casey Shea and juniorHannah Jerrier, who was an honorable mention for all-star last winter. Adding depth on the front line will be sophomore forwards Molly Ludwig and Erin Devine, who lacks inexperience but adds significant height.
“Our strengths will be scrappy defense and rebounding on both ends,” said Choquette. “our goal is to improve each game and be playing our best headed into the last part of the season…the faster we find chemistry the faster we’ll find the win column.”
2015-16 Record: 15-7 (11-5) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal Head Coach: Lisa Downs
Despite a lot of youth in the lineup, Foxboro has been one of the top teams in the Davenport division for several seasons and this year should be no different, as the Warriors enter the winter with very high expectations and as one of the favorites for the league title.
A lot of the interest in the Warriors stems from the continued development of junior point guard Ashley Sampson, who has turned into one of the best all-around guards in the Hockomock and is the player that the Foxboro offense flows through. Sampson has plenty of help in the backcourt with classmate Lily Sykes, who offers scoring from the perimeter, and seniors Lauren Flahive, Riley Collins (back after an injury), and Hailey Maling, who are all strong on the ball defenders.
In the front court, Kristen Bortolotti is back after missing last year with an injury and will add speed and a strong mid-range game. Junior Grace Tamulionis is another matchup nightmare for the opposition with her size on the boards and on defense and her ability to step outside and shoot the three. Junior Shannon Smally continues to improve and gives the Warriors an inside presence, while newcomers Chelsea Gibbons and Abby Hassmancould make big contributions for the Warriors.
“The girls have been playing together throughout the summer and fall and this familiarity should work to our benefit this season,” said head coach Lisa Downs. “We will continue to focus on our running game and our defensive efforts and I am fortunate to have the players that not only buy into this system, but, also appreciate this pace.”
2015-16 Record: 9-11 (5-11) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: T.J. Dolliver
After missing out on a playoff spot by one game a season ago under first-year head coach T.J. Dolliver, Milford enters this winter with high hopes of making the leap into the postseason with a deep and versatile roster that has gained a lot of experience together over the past few seasons.
The enthusiasm for the Hawks begins with dynamic junior point guard Kate Irwin, who has shown the ability to get to the basket at will, draw defenses to get open looks for her teammates and also be a pesky on the ball defender. With Irwin creating open shots, junior Emily Piergustavo’s return after missing last year with an injury will be a big boost on the perimeter along with senior guard Jill Burley.
“These girls have been playing together for a while and their team chemistry is amazing,” said Dolliver. “We are starting to learn the minor details of offense and defense in order to give our team a better chance of success.”
2015-16 Record: 11-10 (9-7) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South tournament Head Coach: Derek Herber
The Rocketeers head into their first season in the Davenport division with eight returning players from last year’s team that was two points away from a first round victory in the Div. 2 South tournament against Hock rival Oliver Ames.
Senior Ashley Ahern is a three-year starter at guard and was the team’s leading scorer last winter. Ahern will be the player that gets the offense going, but she will get plenty of help from her classmates, Emily Schromm and Samantha Taggart. Schromm was one of the top defenders in the league and can stretch a defense with her outside shooting and Taggart can play all three guard positions and led North in assists last year. In the paint, senior Caroline Collard is the team’s leading rebounder and showed a soft touch around the basket.
North can also look for improvements from sophomore Julia Feid, who got valuable minutes as a rookie last year, senior Liz Morehouse, who adds depth in the post, and juniors Julia Santos, who both brought athleticism off the bench at the wing positions. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Roberts is a newcomer who adds size and outside shooting and junior Emily Pastore can step in at all three guard positions.
The Rocketeers have plenty of experience on the roster and will be one of the favorites for the league title at the beginning of the season. While head coach Derek Herber can count on a number of returning players, he hopes to “mix in a few new faces into the lineup to help with depth.”
Sharon is another team that has been building with youth and has created a lot of depth on its roster and, despite losing three of its top four scorers from last winter, has garnered preseason hype as a potential sleeper to make a return to the postseason for the first time since the Eagles made a run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
The Eagles will be hoping for an improvement on the offensive side of the ball, which was a challenge at times last winter. Junior point guard Shira Stoller, a three-year starter, is continuing to improve at limiting turnovers and looking for her own shot as well as setting up teammates. One of the players that benefits from Stoller’s ability to get into the lane is sophomore Emma Eberhardt, who was third on the team in points as a rookie and continues to develop into a consistent wing scorer.
Sophomore Veronica Wallace has emerged as one of the top backcourt defenders during the preseason and is one of the fastest players on the Sharon roster. Senior Ana Crosby, who is also a standout on the soccer and lacrosse fields, is another player that is continuing to improve and will have an increased role this season. Freshman Kaitlyn Wallace is a newcomer to watch and could have a bigger role to play over the course of the year.
“Our defense is going to have to be our key in order to compete, and our girls know that,” said third-year coach Cliff Tomassian. “We get our best looks on offense off of great defensive stands. Our girls are going to have to be patient and vigilant on both ends and be ready to take chances.”
2015-16 Record: 7-11 (7-9) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
The Black Knights lost six seniors to graduation but this offers plenty of opportunities for a new crop of younger players to get playing time and learn the system of second-year head coach, and former Stoughton star, Charmaine Steele Jordan.
Two of the players that will be counted on most this season are junior forwards Val Whalen and Jordan Motley, who are two of the best rebounders in the league and can also get out on the break and score in transition. Their development in the half-court offense will be a key for Stoughton making a playoff push in the Davenport division this season. Senior Lili Njiem is another player that could make a big impact, as one of the team’s three captains.
The Black Knights will have as many senior as freshmen on this year’s roster (three) along with four sophomores and three juniors, so the foundation for the future is in place. Shyanne Trinh, Lexi Baptista, and Aliyah Wright are the three newcomers to the program who will be hoping to make an instant impact.
“So excited for the upcoming season,” said Steele Jordan. “We lost six seniors so there is lots of opportunity for our players to step up. Our returnees from last year will contribute for us despite being pretty young.”