Milford, 38 @ Attleboro, 47 – Final – Attleboro staked a lead through a quarter of action and overcame a poor free throw shooting night (10/24) to earn a win. Senior Justin Daniels netted nine of his team-high 14 points in the opening quarter to help the Bombardiers get off to a strong start. The Bombardiers got key three-pointers in each quarter to help key the Hawks at bay. Sophomore Trevor White (10 points) in the second, Evan Houle (eight points) and Alec Eaton (six points) in the third, and Houle again in the fourth. White added six points in the final frame for Attleboro, who led 21-16 at halftime and 32-24 after three quarters. Milford senior Ben Blanchard scored all of his team-high eight points in the first half.
Sharon, 50 @ Canton, 49 – Final – Sharon junior Will Hippler stepped in and drew a charge with 0.3 seconds left to secure a win on the road for the Eagles. Senior Matt Baskin sank a pair of free throws with 7.5 seconds left to put Sharon ahead. Canton had to go the length of the court but Hippler helped off his man, got into position and drew the charge to win the game. The Eagles built a double-digit lead by halftime (22-11) but Canton had a big third quarter, sparked by eight points from Lanse Dorcelus (11 points) and seven points from Steve Burbank (11 points) to get within three, 38-35, going into the fourth. Eric Mischler scored six of his team-high 15 points in the fourth to help Canton seize a lead, going up 48-45 late after a pair of free throws. Hippler also hit a key three in the fourth quarter while Baskin finished with a season-high 20 points, including 13 in the second half. Kiran Chandrasekaran chipped in with 11 points for the Eagles.
Attleboro, 55 @ Milford, 33 – Final – The Bombardiers pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Milford 19-9 in the frame, to secure a second straight win over the Hawks to open the season. Meghan Gordon followed up her career-high on Tuesday with 19 points to pace Attleboro. Gabby Bosh also hit double digits, scoring 11, and Emma Reilly added nine points. Kayla Goldrick chipped in with eight. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said, “It was great to go on the road and pick up a win.” Emma Lawrence led Milford with eight points and Brooke Ferreira and Emily Croteau each had six for Milford, which kept the game close through three quarter on senior night.
Canton, 62 @ Sharon, 19 – Final – The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-1 lead after one quarter and extended the lead to 27 by halftime, rolling to a third win of the season behind a strong defensive performance. Kiara Cerruti powered Canton to its early lead, scoring 11 of her game-high 19 points and knocking down three of her five three-pointers in the first. Sydney Gallery scored 13 and Fay Gallery added 10. Tayla DeGraw chipped in with eight points for the Bulldogs. Sharon was led by Trinity Payne’s seven points.
King Philip, 31 @ Franklin, 66 – Final – Franklin picked up a big win over one of the contenders for the Kelley-Rex crown. Olivia Quinn scored in double digits for the third straight game, finishing with a game-high 18. Kayleigh Houlihan and Brigid Earley each had a dozen points in the win. Jackie Bonner scored 10 points and Cat Spellman added eight points for KP.
North Attleboro, 50 @ Stoughton, 17 – Final – For the second night in a row North got off to a great start and earned a sweep of Stoughto. After scoring the first 23 points on Wednesday, the Rocketeers went into halftime on Thursday leading 28-3 thanks to its high pressure defense. Eleven players scored for North. Amanda Kaiser and Summer Doherty both scored 14 points and Kaiser added 11 rebounds. Taylor McMath had a solid game on the block, scoring six points and grabbing eight boards.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – Canton entered Thursday night’s contest against Stoughton well aware it was at a severe height disadvantage.
Canton boys basketball
And as the game went on, the Black Knights slowly found ways to get the ball into the paint to exploit that advantage.
But in crunch time, with the game hanging in the balance, the Bulldog defense slammed the door shut. Canton didn’t give Stoughton a single look inside, holding the Knights scoreless for the final 3:33 of the game to secure a 46-40 win on the road.
Senior Eric Mischler took a pass from Steve Burbank and drained a three early in the fourth to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game, 41-33. But over the next three minutes, the Black Knights clawed back into it.
Canton boys basketball
Jake Queeney crashed the offensive glass for an uncontested putback, KC Ugwuakazi (15 points, 12 rebounds) converted putback, and two possessions later, converted an old-fashioned three-point play to bring the hosts within one possession, down 43-40.
The Black Knights, however, never attempted another shot from in close the rest of the way, nor did they get a second chance on offense as Canton cleaned up the boards. Stoughton’s final seven possessions resulted in two turnovers and five three-point attempts.
“For us, it was about ball pressure, pressuring the guy making the pass,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy, now in his 10th season at the helm of the Bulldogs. “KC is a problem down low, he is a good player. “Sometimes we did a good job of it and they struggled to get the pass in and it allowed our help defense to rotate, and the times we were late they got good touches and scored. I thought it all about just pressuring them.”
Junior Lanse Dorcelus sliced through the Stoughton defense and scored at the rim with just under two minutes to play to pad Canton’s lead. More stops and a free throw from Dillon Nguyen sealed the deal.
“I think a lot of just comes back to practice,” said first-year Stoughton head coach Evan Taylor. “It’s obviously a strange year, this is only our fourth day that we’ve been together in the past two weeks and two of those days were games. I think as the season goes on, we’ll eliminate some of the mistakes you saw tonight, we’ll study the film more, and get back on track.”
“Canton was doing a good job [preventing it], they are a good defensive team, well-coached but we just didn’t execute,” Taylor said about getting enough paint touches. “We were trying to get some looks inside but I think the lack of execution comes from the lack of practice.”
Mischler (game-high 17 points) helped the Bulldogs get off to a strong start on the offensive end. The team’s leading scorer last season, the Black Knights bottled Mischler up on Tuesday night, holding the senior to just eight points. On Thursday, Mischler came out and hit an early three and had six points in the opening quarter.
Canton boys basketball
After just two makes in the first quarter, Stoughton’s offense found a bit of a groove in the second. Connor Andrews came off the bench with five straight points and the Knights scored six straight attacking the rim. Elisha Claude, the defending Hockomock League champion in the indoor high jump who is playing hoops this season with track delayed, drained a triple and Stoughton had its largest lead at 21-17.
Canton was quick to answer as Nguyen found Mischler wide open cutting to the basket, Dorcelus tied the game on a fast break, and Mischler hit a turnaround midrange jumper at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 23-21 lead at the break.
“[Stoughton] did a really good job on Eric on Tuesday,” Gordy said. “To his credit, Eric watched a ton of film and studied some things he wasn’t doing right and he just came out with a different mindset tonight. He came out like a senior all-star, it’s his team. His mindset and approach was great after they had a really good game plan on Tuesday. And when other guys are hitting shots, it opens up everything.”
A putback from Matt Giglio and a layup from Mischler were answered by back-to-back buckets from Ugwuakazi down low in the paint. And a corner three just before the shot clock from Brady Conlin had the Black Knights ahead.
But the Bulldogs had three players step up and deliver shots over the final four minutes of the quarter that gave the visitors the lead for good. First, Burbank drained a triple for a 30-28 lead. After Waseem Sablon put Stoughton up with 1:32 to play, Ryan Connerney made three straight big plays. First, a strong take to his left past his defender was good for two.
After another Stoughton turnover, Connerney dished to Will Keefe (career-high 11 points) in the corner for a triple with under a minute to go. The Black Knights once again lost possession and this time Connerney knocked down the three himself just before the buzzer for a 38-31 lead after three.
“Six points felt like a lot of points tonight as far as a cushion,” Gordy said of those points at the end of the third. “So when you can knock down a couple of threes, it just opens up the spacing and lets us to hit some back cuts, opens up some driving lanes. In the second quarter when we weren’t hitting, they did a good job of collapsing their defense and kind of daring us to shoot. So when you knock them down, it opens everything up.”
The Black Knights limited Mischler to just five points in the second half, but Burbank, Keefe, and Connerney all connected from deep to supplement the offense.
“When the other guys start hitting shots, any team is going to be tough to stop,” Taylor said. “We knew they had some other shooters, when they start hitting shots it’s tough. If we’re able to hit some of our shots, maybe it’s a different game but [Canton] played well, they were well-prepared.”
Canton boys basketball (2-0) is scheduled to take on Sharon in a battle of unbeatens on Tuesday. Stoughton (0-2) will host North Attleboro on the same night.
Attleboro, 63 @ Taunton, 71 – Final – Taunton sophomore Tristan Herry poured in a career-high 26 points and sophomore Trent Santos added 18 points as the Tigers outlasted Attleboro to get the win. The Tigers held a 50-49 lead after three quarters before finishing strong to close out the win. Herry accounted for half of Taunton’s 10 three-pointers, hitting four in the first half as he netted 18 points in the opening two quarters. Santos (four three-pointers) did most of his damage after the break with 13 points in the second half. Junior Tyler Stewart scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half for Taunton. Attleboro’s Bryant Ciccio scored a team-high 26 points, hitting on 10 two-point field goals, while senior Qualeem Charles added 18 points for the Bombardiers.
North Attleboro, 60 @ Canton, 46 – Final – North Attleboro sophomore Brody Rosenberg connected on three of his four three-pointers in the final quarter to help the Rocketeers pull away with the win. The visitors led after each the first three quarters (13-9 after one, 27-19 at at half), taking a 39-32 advantage into the fourth before putting together its best offensive quarter (21 points). Junior Edan Kelley joined in on the three party, connecting from downtown five times to finish with a career-high 19 points, including four trifectas in the second half. Junior George Ladd was a consistent on the offensive end for the Rocketeers with 15 points. Canton’s Eric Mischler sank three triples and finished with a team-high 13 points while Lanse Dorcelus added 11 points for the Bulldogs.
Sharon, 58 @ Foxboro, 74 – Final – Foxboro created separation with a big second quarter offensively and extended the lead with a big defensive quarter in the third, rolling to a win over Sharon. The win, coupled with Stoughton’s win over Milford, pulls the Warriors into a three-way tie with the Black Knights and Scarlet Hawks for first in the Davenport with one game to go. Foxboro had five players reach double figures for the first time this season with senior Brandon Borde leading the way with a team-high 21 points. Ryan Hughes, Kevin Gallagher, and Will Morrison each added 11 points for the Warriors while Donald Rogers finished with 10 points. Sharon’s Andrew Burton scored a team-high 15 points while Kiran Chandrasekaran added nine points for the Eagles.
Franklin, 59 @ Oliver Ames, 52 – Final – Franklin senior Chris Edgehill scored a team-high 16 points and in the process became the program’s all-time leading scorer. Edgehill tied Matt Palazini’s record of 1,306 with seven points in the first half and then broke the record in the third. Jack Rudolph hit four first half three-pointers, finishng wiht 12 points while both Steven Karayan and Brayden Sullivan chipped in 11 points for the Panthers, who totaled 10 three-pointers as a team. It was close throughout as Franklin held a five point lead after the first (17-12) and second quarters (30-25), and a four-point advantage (45-41) heading into the fourth. The Tigers cut the deficit to two (49-47) with 3:37 left but Franklin pulled away in the end for the win.
King Philip, 44 @ Mansfield, 62 – Final – Mansfield trailed by three after a quarter of play but surged ahead with a 21-point second quarter and never looked back in a win over King Philip. The Warriors had a 13-10 edge after eight minutes but the Hornets had six players score in the second to race in front, leading 31-23 at half and pushing the lead to 10 (46-36) going into the fourth. The Hornets limited to KP to 13 or fewer points in each quarter. In the second, junior TJ Guy scored eight of his team-high 20 points, Matt Boen added five of his 13 points, Drew Rooney and Chris Hill both scored from the floor, and Brendan Foley and Sam Stevens (10 points) each chipped in from the free throw line. Hill added five more in the third while Boen, Rooney, and Stevens each hit fourth quarter three-pointers to pull away. KP senior Tommy Donahue had a team-high 15 points while classmate Alex Fritz added 12 points.
Taunton, 51 @ Attleboro, 65 – Final – The Bombardiers celebrated senior night with a big win that moves them back to .500 on the season and one win from booking a return to the state tournament. Nyah Thomas was Attleboro’s top scorer with 18 points and also added five assists. Meghan Gordon scored 16 and Ryan Johnson added 10, as the Bombardiers had a balanced attack. Attleboro led by 13 at halftime and pushed the lead to 17 heading to the fourth quarter. Bombardiers coach Marty Crowley praised the effort of senior Jackie MacDonald and added, “It was a great way to send our Seniors off in their last home game.” Attleboro closes the season with trips to Franklin and North Attleboro to try and get the tournament-clinching win. Freshman Kameron St. Pierre led all scorers with 21 points and the Tigers also got nine points from eighth grader Sam Lincoln.
Foxboro, 51 @ Sharon, 28 – Final – The Warriors had four players scored in double digits, as they picked up another win to build their seed for the upcoming playoffs. Katelyn Mollica, fresh of getting to 1,000 career points last week, scored 16 to pace Foxboro. Shakirah Ketant, Abby Hassman, and Lizzy Davis all scored 10 points in the win. Leah Fandel scored a team-high 15 points and Ally Brown chipped in with nine for the Eagles.
Oliver Ames, 36 @ Franklin, 70 – Final – The Panthers swept the season series with the Tigers, clinched the outright Kelley-Rex division title, and will have the chance to run the table in league play when they host Attleboro on Thursday. Ali Brigham dominated in the middle, leading all scorers with 22 points and Olivia Quinn scored 13. Meghan O’Connell also had a big night, scoring 13 for the Panthers. OA had a tough time breaking down the Franklin defense. Jess Erlich had seven points to lead the Tigers and Hailey Bourne added five.
Mansfield, 37 @ King Philip, 61 – Final – KP got hot from deep to split the season series with the Hornets and book its spot in the state tournament. The Warriors made 10 threes as a team. Faye Veilleux scored 18 points in the win, Brianna James scored 13, and Faith Roy added 12.
Stoughton, 50 @ Milford, 47 – Final – In a close game from start to finish, Stoughton picked up a key victory on the road over the Scarlet Hawks. Stoughton led by seven after a quarter (15-8) and by six at halftime (30-24) before Milford cut into the deficit and made it a four-point game (41-47) heading into the fourth. Shyanne Trinh paced Stoughton with 20 points, Aliyah Wright added 18 points, and Jess Maddalena added six points and 11 rebounds for the Black Knights.
With a 58-55 advantage with 9.7 seconds to go, the Bulldogs fouled as Sharon crossed half court, “well before the Eagles had a chance to think about launching a tying three-pointer.
It worked as the Eagles came up empty on the first shot and had a violation on the second. Canton couldn’t quite put the game away, missing their chances at the free throw line but immediately fouled on the defensive rebound.
Again, the Eagles came up empty from the line and a defensive rebound and free throw from Dillon Nguyen pushed Canton’s lead to 59-55 with 2.1 seconds left, a scoreline that held through the final buzzer.
“We have rules about when to follow under a certain amount of seconds,” Gordy said. “We were up three and we figured if we fouled, they can’t make a three and they can’t tie the game. As long as we know to get the foul at the right time, then fundamental box outs on the free throws, I feel like it’s the right decision every time.
“We had to do it twice because we didn’t get our free throws but finally on the third time, we got it to four and then we don’t foul.”
The Bulldogs had to hold on at the end because of a second half comeback from the hosts. Canton pushed its lead to 14 early in the second half but the Eagles got a boost from an unexpected source.
After Sharon managed just one free throw total in the second quarter, the Bulldogs outscoring the hosts 10-1, head coach Andrew Ferguson went deep into his bench, putting junior Owen Conway and sophomores Ryan Zunenshine and Sam Cohen — who had each played three quarters of the JV came — into the lineup to start the second half.
On Sharon’s very first offensive possession of the second, Cohen splashed an open three and on the next trip down, drained a contested look from downtown, as the Eagle faithful exploded in the stands, an atmosphere usually reserved for the postseason.
Conway took a feed from sophomore John Baez (five points, six rebounds) and converted through the foul. Despite missing the free throw, Zunenshine battled for the offensive board and putback, swinging momentum in favor of the hosts.
Cohen sank another triple and Baez sliced through the Canton zone for two, getting the Eagles within five at 39-34.
“Execution aside, our effort wasn’t good [in the second quarter],” Ferguson said. “I thought waking up the rest of the roster by playing the swing guys there in the third. Sam Cohen did what he’s been doing at the JV level, what he did the year before at the freshman level…he can shoot the basketball. It was good to see that and it woke the rest of the guys up.
“It woke them up and the first unit played their butts off. I told them if they played with that kind of effort in the first and second quarter, we win that game.”
Canton senior Robbie Gallery (16 points, eight rebounds) used a nice move in the post to convert at the time and then found junior Matt Giglio (nine points, seven rebounds) in the same spot for another two in the final moments of the third quarter to stem the momentum some, giving the Bulldogs a 43-34 lead heading into the fourth.
Sharon’s first unit responded to the wake-up call as Matt Baskin (10 points) hit an early three and Baez added one of his own to get the Eagles within one possession.
Gallery came up with a clutch offensive rebound and putback for a traditional three-point play only for Baskin to answer with a similar play. Kiran Chandrasekaran tied the game with a pair of free throws with 3:41 to play but Giglio knocked down a three on the other end to keep Canton ahead, 51-48, with 3:17 to play.
“Hats off to Sharon on senior night, that crowd brought it tonight,” Gordy said. “I think the most impressive part was [Eric] Mischler’s foul trouble and being able to play that game without our best player. He’s been our best player all year, he’s in the top 15 in scoring [in the Hockomock], and I think he played a total of six minutes, if he played that much. To be able to get a win without him was an awesome experience for our guys, guys that have been practicing and working really hard and tonight they got opportunities, and a lot of guys capitalized.”
Mischler, who averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game entering the game and had a career-high 36 point performance three games prior, finished with three points in those limited minutes.
Gallery again scored for Canton and sophomore Lanse Dorcelus (nine points, three rebounds) sank a free throw for a 54-50 lead but Caleb Gayle hit his second straight shot to halve the deficit and Baskin came up with a strong take for a three-point play and a 55-54 lead with 40.1 to go.
On Canton’s next possession, it appeared Andrew Burton (19 points, 10 rebounds) read a handoff but was called for a foul instead of a jump ball. Gallery hit both for a 56-55 lead and the Eagles lost the handle on the other end, leading to two free throws from Dorcelus to push the lead to 58-55, setting up the fouls at the end.
“We didn’t show up for the first half,” Ferguson said. “Mentally and physically, we just didn’t play well. We didn’t share the basketball, we didn’t set screens and that bled into our defense and we started losing guys, stopped communicating like we had talked about. I was glad to see the sophomores get a run there in the third quarter and kind of wake up that first group that needed it.
“In this league, you can’t play for 16 minutes, you have to play for 32 minutes. Against any team in this league, doesn’t matter what their record is, if you don’t play for 32 minutes, you’re going to get beat and that’s what happened to us.”
The Bulldogs had a strong start to the game, shooting 9-for-13 over the first eight minutes of the game. While Mischler and Gallery dealt with early foul trouble, senior Nick Cushman (14 points, six rebounds) gave the Bulldogs a boost with six points in the opening quarter. Six players scored in the first for Canton.
”Cushman has been our unsung hero this year,” Gordy said. “He was slated behind Kyle Fitzgerald and when Kyle got hurt, he went into a starting role and he ran with it. He’s been one of our top guys this year, and he did some good things tonight before he fouled out. Robbie did some good things for us too, he did what a senior captain should do.”
Canton put up 23 points in the first quarter and would have had a big lead if not for a brilliant start for Burton. He scored 15 of Sharon’s 17 points in the opening quarter to keep the Eagles close before Sharon went cold in the second.
Canton boys basketball (2-12 Hockomock, 5-14 overall) is back home on Tuesday against North Attleboro. Sharon (1-13, 1-15) travels to Foxboro on the same day.
Canton, 51 vs. Norwood, 43 – Final – For the second time this season, Canton used a second half turnaround to knock off Norwood. Down 24-21 at halftime, the Bulldogs dominated the third quarter to the tune of 18-5 to take a lead it never relinquished. Junior Eric Mischler scored eight of his team-high 20 points in the third quarter to help the Bulldogs jump ahead. Kyle Fitzgerald had all 11 of his points after the halftime break while sophomore Lanse Dorcelus hit one of his two threes in the pivotal third quarter. Matt Giglio finished with 10 points in the win.
Milford, 80 vs. Paulo Freire, 65 – Final – Milford juniors Ben Blanchard, Jordan Darling, and Dom Schofield each scored in double figures as the Hawks scored a season-high 80 points in a win over visiting Paulo Freire. Blanchard tied a career-high with 28 points, connecting on seven three pointers including four trifectas in the third quarter. Darling scored nine of his 19 points in the opening quarter as the Scarlet Hawks built a 20-13 lead through eight minutes of action. Schofield netted a career-high 18 points, hitting a pair of three-pointers while scoring 11 of Milford’s 14 second quarter points.
Canton, 67 vs. Brookline, 38 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. The Bulldogs broke the game open with a 10-0 run in the first quarter to jump ahead by 15 and never looked back to win their second game in a row. Kiara Cerruti scored 18 of her game-high 20 points in the first half, burying five three-pointers to help Canton put the game away before the break. Sydney Gallery had a big third quarter, scoring eight of her 14 points, including a corner three in the final seconds of the third that kept Canton up by 21 heading into the final eight minutes. Fay Gallery scored seven of her 11 points in the second half and showed off her all-around game with nine rebounds and four assists. Canton also dominated on the glass, with Cerruti pulling down nine boards, Lilah Milton (six points) grabbing seven, and Kayla Albert (six points) collecting a game-high 12 rebounds. Freshman Han Hong scored her first career points in the fourth quarter.
Attleboro, 153.8 vs. Lowell, 123.6 – Final – Attleboro’s Shawn Trombley took first on the floor, Jacob Mammoli and Anthony Hoyt shared the top spot on the rings, and Andrae Butler was first in four events as the Bombardiers knocked off Lowell. Trombley scored a 7.9 for first on the floor, Mammoli and Hoyt each received a first place score of 6.7 on the rings, and Butler won the pommel horse, the highbar, the parallel bars, and the vault.
Floor – 1. Shawn Trombley, Att – 7.9 | 2. Andrae Butler, Att – 7.2 | 3. Thomas Russo, Att – 7.1
Pommel Horse – 1. A. Butler, Att – 6.3 | 2. S. Trombley, Att – 5.4
Highbar – 1. A. Butler, Att – 8.4 | 2. S. Trombley, Att – 7.2 | 3. Jacob Mammoli, Att – 5.3
Parallel Bars – 1. A. Butler, Att – 7.8 | 2. S. Trombley, Att – 7.1 | 3. J. Mammoli, Att – 6.9
Vault – 1. A. Butler, Att – 9.2 | 2. J. Mammoli, Att – 8.0 | J. Mammoli, Att – 7.4
Rings – T1 J. Mammoli, Att – 6.7 | T1. Anthony Hoyt, Att – 6.7 | 3. A. Butler, Att – 6.0
Canton, 47 @ Norwood, 46 – Final – Canton erased a double-digit halftime deficit and sophomore Lanse Dorcelus hit a pair of huge three-pointers later to help the Bulldogs knock off previously unbeaten Norwood. The Bulldogs trailed 26-16 at halftime but outscored the Mustangs 18-7 in the third to make it a one-point game going into the fourth. Trailing 42-38, Dorcelus’ three-pointers helped Canton take a 46-44 lead. Robbie Gallery (eight points) added a key free throw and Canton got a stop on the final possession to secure the win. Dorcelus finished with a team-high 12 points while Kyle Fitzgerald and Eric Mischler each added eight points in the win.
Stoughton, 91 vs. Boston English, 83 – Final – Stoughton scored 20 or more points in each quarter, picking up the separation it needed by holding Boston English to 14 points in the third quarter to pick up a win in the first round of the Blue Devils Holiday Classic at Randolph High. Senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell scored 11 of his 18 points in the opening quarter as the Black Knights trailed by just one, 25-24, at the first break. Tied 44-44 at halftime, Stoughton poured in 25 points in the third quarter with Ahmad Jahed scoring half of his 16 points in the fame and Obinna Ugwuakazi scoring eight of his team-high 27 points. Senior Tahkwan Gates Brown added eight of his career-high 21 points in the fourth quarter to help the Black Knights seal the win. Stoughton will play host Randolph in the tournament final on Monday at 6:30.
Taunton, 71 @ Durfee, 44 – Final – Taunton pushed its win streak to four with its third straight double-digit victory, earning the Skip Karam championship title. The Tigers built a double-digit lead in the first quarter, putting up 22 points, and never looked back. Six players entered the score sheet in the opening period led by eight points from sophomore Trent Santos, who finished with 13 points. Junior Tyler Stewart scored six of his team-high 15 points in the second quarter to help Taunton build a 40-19 lead by halftime. Sophomore Faisal Mass added 13 points in the win while sophomore Tristan Herry, junior Josh Lopes, and junior Nigel Choate each added eight points in the win.
Foxboro, 65 vs. Concord-Carlisle, 21 – Final – The Warriors tossed a shutout in the first quarter, essentially putting the game away with a 27-0 lead after eight minutes. Katelyn Mollica led all scorers with 20 points and Shakirah Ketant added 12. Nine Warriors got on the score sheet.
Mansfield, 48 vs. Fontbonne, 52 – Final – Fontbonne used a big third quarter to build a sizable lead, which grew to as many as 16 points in the fourth, but the Hornets went on a 20-6 run to get back within two points (50-48) with 30 seconds remaining. Fontbonne hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds to play to seal the win in the consolation game of the holiday tournament. Kayla Vine scored 13 points to pace the Hornets. Ashley Santos scored nine and was named to the all-tournament team and Ally Prentis chipped in with seven points in the loss.
Milford, 40 vs. Greater Lawrence, 26 – Final – Junior Emma Lawrence scored a team-high 14 points as the Scarlet Hawks knocked off Greater Lawrence in the opening round of the Edmund Murphy Winter Tournament. Jillian Michaelson added 12 points in the win while Carly Ferreira had a strong game on the boards with 12 rebounds. Milford will take on host Dracut in the championship game on Sunday at 7:00.
Oliver Ames, 69 vs. Brockton, 38 – Final – Oliver Ames bounced back from its first loss of the season with a dominanting performance in the consolation of the Sue Rivard Holiday Classic, knocking off Brockton, 69-38. Caroline Flynn led the charge for the Tigers, going 15-for-17 from the free throw line to finish with a team-high 23 points. Caroline Peper added 11 points and Hailey Bourne chipped in with 10 points.
Canton, 7 @ Westwood, 0 – Final
Franklin, 0 @ Mount St. Charles, 2 – Final – Franklin goalie Ray Ivers made 28 saves to keep the Panthers in the contest, which was a one-goal game until the final minute until Mount St. Charles tacked on an empty net goal with 18.6 seconds left. Franklin will take on Fairfield Prep out of Connecticut on Sunday at 4:00.
King Philip, 1 vs. North Quincy, 3 – Final – King Philip tied the game in the first period but entered the final period down a goal. The Warriors dominated the third period but couldn’t find an equalizer and the Raiders tacked on an insurance goal with just under two minutes to play. Joe Boselli’s first period goal was assisted by Nolan Feyler.
FOXBORO, Mass. – When it comes to vacation games, you never know what you’re going to get. Add in a noon tipoff on a Friday and it could make for a long afternoon.
But with a senior-laden team, Foxboro had no problems with the early start. The Warriors’ 21-point first quarter was its best offensive frame of the game, one in which it built a double-digit advantage that it never surrendered in a 58-39 conquest of division foe Canton.
The Warriors had six players register in the scoring column over the first eight minutes, connecting on eight field goals on over 60% shooting from the field, with half of the makes from downtown. And Foxboro got it done defensively too, holding the visitors to just three makes with three turnovers.
“It was a big part of what we talked about before the game, being a noontime vacation game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We talked about the team being more awake and ready to play would have a huge advantage in terms of winning the game. And I thought we really did a good job with that. I thought we came out with a ton of energy and a ton of fire.
Foxboro’s defense only improved over the next two quarters, holding the Bulldogs to nine points (no made threes) in the second quarter and just six points (on 20% shooting) in the third quarter.
“We set the tone with our defense, holding them to 10 points in the first quarter,” Gibbs said. “Even a lot of the shots they got were contested shots, tough shots. So our defensive energy that we brought in the first half was huge even though our offense was a little out of sync.”
Dylan Barreira’s (seven rebounds, five assists) offense rebound and free throw gave the hosts early momentum while Ryan Hughes (seven points, five rebounds), Brandon Borde (nine points, seven rebounds, four assists), and Donald Rogers (16 points, five rebounds) followed with consecutive baskets for a quick 7-0 lead.
Foxboro added to its offensive attack with a trio of three-pointers as junior Kevin Gallagher (17 points, four rebounds) sandwiched a pair of triples around one from Borde to extend the hosts’ lead to 16-6. Senior Liam Devlin made Foxboro’s fourth three of the opening quarter on a feed from Barreira while Borde finished off after a team offensive rebound to push the lead to 21-7.
Canton’s Nick Cushman sank a three off a feed from Steve Burbank just before the buzzer to make it 21-10 at the end of a quarter.
Both defenses clamped down early in the second with each time scoring just once in the first three minutes but Rogers sank a big three off a feed from Michael Devlin. Another three minutes passed before Borde scored a tough jumper. Kyle Fitzgerald (six points) and Burbank each scored late in the quarter, and Robbie Gallery had six points and three rebounds in the first half, to keep Canton in shouting distance at halftime.
“Foxboro’s a good team and one of the better defensive teams in our league and the area, so if you get down early and dig yourself a hole, it’s really hard to come back on them with the way that they guard,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “We couldn’t string things together, they had an answer…if we did a few good things on defense, we couldn’t get it going on offense. If we did a few good things on offense, we couldn’t string together a few stops on defense. We have to be more consistent.”
Foxboro quickly extended its lead early in the second half as Gallagher opened up the third quarter with a triple, Rogers lowered his shoulder and drove hard to the basket for two. Canton sophomore Lanse Dorcelus (nine points) sank a three and the Bulldogs got back-to-back stops but couldn’t get any closer before Rogers answered with another strong take.
Dorcelus sank another three and Eric Mischler came up with a steal but Canton’s next trip came up empty and Hughes was left alone down low for an easy two and a 40-25 lead. Gallagher scored on a baseline take and Rogers beat the buzzer with a three as Foxboro closed the quarter on a 7-0 burst to take a 45-25 lead into the fourth.
“We talk a lot about handling and responding to advertising because in a league this tough, you’re not going to have any games where it goes your way for the entire 32 minutes,” Gibbs said. “There’s always going to be those runs and tough stretches from the other teams so we talk a lot about that and how to handle those moments.
“And the other part of that is having a veteran team full of experienced players that have been there before. They’ve been in that situation so many times so they don’t get rattled or panic because Canton made a big shot. I thought that was key for us in both of our wins this season that when the other team made a run, we were able to punch right back.”
The teams traded baskets for the first three minutes of the final quarter, keeping the lead around the 20-point mark until the reserves were put into the game. Gallagher scored Foxboro’s first five points while Dorcelus sank another triple for Canton.
Foxboro pushed the lead to 53-30 before Canton junior Colton Mirliani (nine points) came in and hit his first of three triples. Foxboro freshman Alex Penders scored his first basket with a three-pointer in the final minute.
Foxboro boys basketball (1-1 Hockomock, 2-1 overall) will take on a strong Needham team in the Westwood tournament on Sunday while Canton (0-3, 1-3) has a quick turnaround, traveling to Norwood on Saturday at 12:30.
Canton, 39 @ Franklin, 66 – Final – Franklin denied the visitors a basket in the opening quarter to build a 16-point lead and never looked back, running away with a league win over Canton. The Panthers took a 37-9 advantage in the halftime break with seven players scoring in between the first two quarters and 11 total for the game. Senior Steven Karayan hit three three-pointers while classmate Chris Edgehill sank a pair, combining for half of the Panthers’ 10 three-pointers in the game and tying with a game-high 13 points apiece. Matt Lazarek added 10 points for Franklin while sophomore Lanse Dorcelus paced Canton wight eight points.
North Attleboro, 49 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – Final – Oliver Ames held a double-digit lead in the first half but had to erase a double-digit deficit in the second half to earn a win over the Rocketeers. The Tigers lead 14-4 after eight minutes of play but the Rocketeers answered with 14 points in the second quarter and exploded for 24 points in the third, stretching their lead to as much as 14 in the frame. The Tigers’ clamped down defensively, allowing just seven fourth quarter points while going off for 26 points of their own to get the win. OA junior Amari Brown hit big three and had five of his game-high 19 points in the final quarter while senior Evan Craig scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth. Ryan Burkett added half of his 12 points in the fourth for OA. North Attleboro junior Edan Kelley connected on a pair of triples in North’s big third quarter on his way to a team-high 12 points.
Sharon, 48 @ Mansfield, 73 – Final – For nearly three quarters, the Eagles hung around with state powerhouse Mansfield. Sharon cut the deficit to 46-40 in the second half but the Hornets dominated the final 12 minutes, using a dominant 21-8 fourth quarter to pull away. Junior Matt Boen led the charge for the hosts, scoring a game-high 18 points along with 10 rebounds and three steals, helping Mansfield take a 36-23 lead at halftime. Junior TJ Guy added 15 points and six rebounds in the win while senior Sam Stevens netted 15 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Sharon sophomore John Baez scored all of his team-high 12 points in the second half, including a pair of third-quarter three-pointers to help the Eagles earn a 17-16 edge in the frame. Alex Burton finished with 11 points for the Eagles.
Milford, 60 @ King Philip, 57 – Final – Milford led from start to finish, jumping ahead by as much as 18-points before fending off a second half surge from the host Warriors. Junior Ben Blanchard exploded for a career-high 28 points to pace the visitors, who led 17-13 after one and 33-25 at the halftime break. Blanchard hit a pair of threes and finished with 10 points in the third quarter to help the Hawks build and keep its lead. Junior Jordan Darling, who scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half, drained an important three in the fourth quarter to keep KP at bay. KP senior Andrew McKinney scored 16 of his team-high 20 points after the halftime break, including nine in the third quarter to help the Warriors get back into the game. Senior Alex Fritz hit a trio of second half three-pointers, including one with just 0.6 seconds left to cut Milford’s six point lead in half.
Attleboro, 44 @ Stoughton, 49 – Final – Stoughton used a strong defensive effort and three players in double digits to pick up a second straight win on home court. Aliyah Wright led the way with 14, while Lexi Baptista added 12, and Shyanne Trinh finished with 10.
Franklin, 61 @ Canton, 34 – Final – Sophomore Olivia Quinn scored 22 points to lead the Panthers on the road, her second straight game of at least 20 points. Ali Brigham added 16 for Franklin. Fay and Sydney Gallery scored 15 points apiece for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 59 @ North Attleboro, 34 – Final – OA used a big second quarter to get separation on North, outscoring the Rocketeers 23-9 to build a 16-point lead at halftime and a 24-point lead heading into the fourth. Caroline Peper scored 12 to pace OA in the win. The Tigers also got nine points from Hailey Bourne and eight each from Caroline Flynn and Kelsey Yelle. North coach Nikki Correia gave her team credit for battling to the end, but the Tigers were too tough in transition. Regan Fein scored 13 for North and Amanda Kaiser added eight.
King Philip, 77 @ Milford, 46 – Final – The Warriors bounced back against Milford by making 12 threes as a team. Faith Roy and Courtney Keswick each scored 13 in the win, while Brianna James and Emma Glaser each scored 11 points. Freshman Emily Sawyer scored 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked six shots for her first career double-double. The Hawks had three players in double digits. Jillian Michelson was the top scorer with 12, while Brooke and Carly Ferreira each had 10 in the loss.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 9@ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final – The Warriors exploded for five goals in the second period to skate to a win over Bishop Feehan, who is in their first year at the varsity level. Freshman Reese Pereira scored a pair of second period goals for MOA.
Franklin, 96 @ Canton, 74 – Final
Stoughton @ Foxboro, 7:00
King Philip, 45 @ Taunton, 48 – Final
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield, 6:00
Franklin, 90 @ Canton, 78 – Final
Stoughton @ Foxboro, 7:00
King Philip, 48 @ Taunton, 40 – Final
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield, 6:00
Boys Indoor Track
Taunton, 47 vs. Attleboro, 53 – Final
Canton, 22 vs. Stoughton, 78 – Final – Canton sophomore Kyle Downing was a double-winner but Stoughton swept the top three spots in six events on its way to a big win. Downing clocked in at 5:05.68 to win the 1 Mile race with junior Jack Hernon (5:05.84) right behind for second place. Downing also won the 2 Mile race in 11:14.16 for the Bulldogs. Junior Jonathan Chery added a second place finish in the 55M dash (6.89) and third in the 300M (38.42), placing top six in the entire league in both events.
Foxboro, 31 vs. Sharon, 65 – Final
Milford, 50 vs. North Attleboro, 49 – Final
Franklin, 29 vs. Mansfield, 71 – Final – Mansfield swept three events, including two won by Andrew Williams, to earn a win over Franklin. The Hornets took the top three spots in the 55M dash, the 55M hurdles, and the long jump with Williams taking first in both the hurdles (8.47) and the long jump (19-11.00). Sophomore Dylan Buchanan (8.80) and sophomore Jake Wall (8.98) completed sweep in the hurdles while senior Joe Cappelletti (19-00.00) and junior Stephen Saba (16-11.25) were second and third, respectively, in the long jump. Williams also took first in the high jump, with a league-meet best leap of 6-04.00. Cappelletti won the 55M dash in 6.94 with Wall taking second (6.96) and senior Ethan Thevenot (7.16) rounding out the top three. Other winners for Mansfield included senior Jack Rivard (300M, 38.02), senior Mike Mullahy (2 Mile, 10:22.44), and junior Nico Holmes (shot put, 42-09.25).
King Philip, 37 vs. Oliver Ames, 62 – Final
Girls Indoor Track
Taunton, 68 vs. Attleboro, 31 – Final – Attleboro earned a sweep in the 1 Mile race but the Tigers took the overall win on Friday night. Junior Kelly Neuendorf (5:38.50) pace the Bombardiers in the 1 Mile race with classmate Kimberley Esteban (5:49.88) taking second and sophomore Madison Ellis (5:54.03) crossing third. Attleboro junior Cassondra Stuger won the 300M in 43.70 and was second in the 55M dash (7.76) while junior Kamsi Igbobi won the shot put (31-04.75) and took second in the long jump (14-00.00) for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 34 vs. Stoughton, 62 – Final – Canton senior Bronwyn Mahoney continued to shine at the shot put, taking first with a league-meet best toss but the Bulldogs suffered a loss to Stoughton. Mahoney had the best throw of her career, a PR at 33-06.25 to take first place. Senior Kayla Wong won a pair of events for Canton, taking first in both the 1 Mile (6:09.83) and the 2 Mile (13:43.25) while sophomore Gabby Herivaux set a new PR in the 300M, crossing first in 46.77.
Foxboro, 37 vs. Sharon, 63 – Final
Milford, 36 vs. North Attleboro, 64 – Final
Franklin, 41 vs. Mansfield, 59 – Final
King Philip, 62 vs. Oliver Ames, 38 – Final
North Attleboro, 138.35 @ Franklin, 133.20 – Final – Franklin sophomore Kate Rudolph was the top Panther in all four events and won the All Around but the Rocketeers picked up a close win in the meet. Rudolph was first in the All Around, edging out North’s Lindsay Robinson (34.95) and Megan Collins (34.1). Rudolph scored a 9.0 on the vault, an 8.25 on bars, an 8.9 on the beam, and an 8.95 on the floor.
Franklin results: Vault – K. Rudolph 9.0, Lexi Lupien 8.9, Maia Keohane 8.3, Maddie McGuire 8.1; Bars – K. Rudolph 8.25, EMma Nelson 8.1, Caroline Woelfel 7.8, Ashley Hamman 7.8; Beam – K. Rudolph 8.9, L. Lupien 8.1, A. Hammann 8.05, E. Nelson 7.9; Floor – K. Rudolph 8.95, C. Woelfel 8.9, A. Hammann 8.1, L. Lupien 8.05.
2018-2019 Record: 18-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mark Houle
Attleboro fulfilled high expectations last year with a terrific regular season but had its postseason run cut short in the opening round of the tournament. With an experienced, battle-tested, and deep group of seniors, the Bombardiers are hoping to take the next step during the 2019-2020 season.
The Bombardiers have seven seniors on the roster with six having plenty of valuable minutes at the varsity level. It all starts with a pair of four-year varsity players and captains Bryant Ciccio and Qualeem Charles. Both have played over 60 games for head coach Mark Houle and earned HockomockSports.com First Team honors a year ago. Ciccio (14.7 ppg, 3.2 apg) is like a coach on the floor and Charles (13.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg) is a matchup nightmare and one of the most dominant post players in recent years.
But there is much more to the Bombardiers, such as senior captain Tim Callahan. Callahan had a strong junior season with 7.7 points per game and can change a game with his outside shooting. He will also be relied upon to anchor the defense. Guard Nick McMahon and forward Lorenzo Wilson provided a spark off the bench last season and will be key pieces this season. And senior Jason Weir is back in the mix after missing last year due to injury. Weir showed flashes during his sophomore season, a versatile player that can play in the post or step outside and knock down a three.
Attleboro has a variety of weapons on the offensive end and that will make them difficult to defend. They have a couple of good weapons that can score down low and then a handful of shooters, so the inside-out game will be a big part of the game plan. Charles gives the Bombardiers protection around the rim while all five players are the court will have to contribute on the boards to eliminate second-chance points.
“We will rely on a battle-tested group of seniors, but we will need our underclassman to continue to develop and be ready to step in and play important roles on the team,” said head coach Mark Houle. “We have a hard-working group of players who compete and challenge each other every day in practice.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-10 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Ryan Gordy
After winning back-to-back Davenport division titles, the Bulldogs know it will be a grind to try and get a third with a big target on their backs.
Gone is the program’s all-time leading scorer and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Devin Foster, who was one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league over the past two seasons. That means there is going to be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up for the Bulldogs. Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said this year’s team will be a “much more space and paced” orientated team. Gordy is expecting a more spread out opportunistic approach that will feature contributions from anyone who checks in.
While Foster graduated, the Bulldogs do have a handful of talented and experienced players back on the roster. Senior Kyle Fitzgerald is the top returning scorer from a year ago, netting double figures in six contests. He is also a workhorse on defense and will be one of the leaders on the court. Robbie Gallery, Matt Giglio, and Eric Mischler were all starters at some point during the 2018-2019 season so Gordy will have some veterans to lean on during the year. Gallery, Giglio, and Mischler all showed the ability to come up with a big shot at any time and will help space the floor.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are looking at their versatility and depth to give them flexibility. Gordy believes he has a strong mix of players that will allow him to switch things up and adjust each and every game. Sophomore Lanse Dorcelus earned minutes for the final month of last season and could be a key piece this season.
“We feel like our program is healthy and players have made a commitment to growth,” Gordy said. “This season we are going to focus on the process and maximizing the strengths of our players. Our culture and direction has been a bright spot as we focus on the player person and team development each practice and game. We’re excited to see where we are and where we can get too.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Jon Gibbs
There is good news and bad news when it comes to the Foxboro boys basketball team this season. The good news is that the Warriors expect to once again be one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. The bad news is for the rest of the Hockomock League as Foxboro boasts an improved offense, and combined with their traditional tough defense, has the Warriors in position for a Davenport division title.
With four of their five top scorers back this season, including senior Brandon Borde (team-high 15.3 ppg) and junior Kevin Gallagher (12.9 ppg), the Warriors are looking to ride a balanced approach on offense to improve their scoring after finishing 10th in scoring in the Hockomock League last season (54.4 points per game). Borde is one of the most experienced players back in the league and has the ability to create his own looks as well as lead the team as the floor general. Gallagher had a breakout sophomore season and can really fill up the scoring column, especially from deep.
Borde and Gallagher will also get help from senior Will Morrison, who can catch fire from deep, and senior Ryan Hughes, who can give opponents trouble in the paint. All four players are returning starters from a season ago, so that gives Foxboro an advantage, especially defensively. Head coach Jon Gibbs called the defense the “foundation” of the team. Foxboro has consistently been very fundamentally sound and disciplined on the defensive end.
Seniors Dylan Barreira, Michael Devlin, Liam Devlin, and Donald Rogers all played important minutes last season and will provide a lot of depth for Foxboro.
“We have been making progress each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been very competitive so far as guys work hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we stay hungry, humble, and unselfish, it has the potential to be a very successful season.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Central Quarterfinal Coach: CJ Neely
Ever since the Hockomock League split into two divisions, Franklin has entered each season as one of the top teams in the Kelley-Rex and that looks to be the case yet again this year.
As it does each and every season, defense comes first for the Panthers. Franklin was the best defensive team in the Hockomock League last year, allowing just 48.9 points per game. Not only did the Panthers lead the league in that category, they were the lone team to keep opponents under 50 points on average. It’s the second straight year they’ve had the best defense in the division and third straight year they are in the top three. There are a lot of talented individual defenders on the team but year in and year out, Franklin’s team defense gives them a chance to win.
Offensively, the Panthers boast the top returning scorer in the league in three-year starter Chris Edgehill. Edgehill, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark last season, is an absolute handful to deal with on the offensive end of the court. He can score in a variety of ways, and on top of that, he is very good at getting teammates involved (four assists per game last year). Seniors Jack Rudolph and Steve Karayan are also back after playing valuable minutes last season and will be relied upon on both ends of the floor.
“We have a lot of guys who worked really hard in the offseason to improve and are excited to get on the court,” said head coach CJ Neely. “It’s a great group of people who have a lot of fun together. We need to stay aggressive and share the ball. We hope that strong team defense will continue to be something that defines our program.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dave DeStefano
With a solid group of players returning from last season, second-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping to guide his Warriors back to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Warriors showed flashes throughout last year, including an upset win of Kelley-Rex champions Mansfield on the road. But they were also on the wrong end of a handful of close games, losing five games by five or fewer points. With a year of experience in DeStefano’s system, and for a lot of players their first year of varsity under their belts, King Philip is hoping to turn those close games into wins.
KP boasts two returning starters in Alex Fritz and Andrew McKinney, both standing at 6’3. Fritz had a breakout junior campaign and was the fourth-highest scorer in the Hockomock League with 15.5 points per game. He was able to score in a variety of ways, including through contact at the rim, and will be a vital piece this year. McKinney was fifth on the team in scoring last year, scoring in double-figures in five contests, including a career-high 19 points at Stoughton. Senior Tommy Donahue looks to give the Warriors a strong presence in the post while classmates Owen Conlin and Chris Roy look to be in the mix. Seniors Robbie Jarest and Tom Weir are back in the mix after a year away from the program.
Defensively, King Philip will be relying on its size and physicality. While Donahue (6’5) will be the main rim protector, having long guards and forwards will help KP make life difficult for opponents. The Warriors will need to improve on the defensive end after surrendering a division-high 63.7 points per game last year. DeStefano is looking to get some contributions from junior juniors Donte Barros, Cole Breen, Joe Cullen, Evan Stephens, Will Kinney, and Jake Silveria while sophomores Charlie Grant and Braeden Sottile will likely be in the mix too.
“The boys have really worked hard this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The practices have been really competitive and physical. For us to be successful we will need to make a big commitment on the defensive end of the floor. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops. On offense we are looking to have a balanced attack and create great scoring opportunities as a team.”
2018-2019 Record: 22-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Mike Vaughan
The Hockomock League continues to run through Mansfield.
The Hornets have won the Kelley-Rex division title in eight of its nine years, and it looks like Mansfield will be the team to beat again this year. Three players that burst onto the scene last year – Sam Stevens, TJ Guy, Matt Boen – are now three of the top players in the Hock heading into this season. Mansfield certainly graduated a lot of talent in Tommy Dooling, Damani Scott, and Khristian Conner, but with those three starters back plus seniors Drew Rooney and Makhi Baskin, as well as a handful of newcomers ready to make an impact, Mansfield is poised for another deep tournament run.
Stevens (11.2 ppg) will be one of the toughest players to stop with his ability to finish around the rim as well as deadly three-point shooting, Guy (10.9 ppg) is very good in the post on both ends of the floor, and Boen (9.5 ppg) can score in a variety of ways. All three are capable of filling up the stat sheet on any given night. Baskin provides a lot of energy and can change the game with his effort while Rooney showed last year that he can matchup with some of the top players in the league on the defensive end.
Juniors Brian and Jason See are both strong shooters that work tirelessly on both ends of the floor and should be in the mix for the Hornets this year. Juniors Jack Colby and Brendan Foley will be looking to bring a spark off the bench while sophomore Matt Hyland and freshman Chris Hill are promising young players that could contribute right away.
“I think our depth and ability to play different styles will be a strength of this team,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I’m excited to see where this team can get to as they continue to work hard in practice and mix their individual talents to form our team identity. Transition play, scoring inside and out will be strength on offense. Playing solid man to man and uptempo defense with our depth could create some issues for our opponents.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Paul Seaver
After a season of ups and downs, the Milford Scarlet Hawks are hoping last year’s growing pains transition into a playoff berth this season.
With a large group of returnees, the Hawks will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division title. While head coach Paul Seaver returns the majority of his team, he will need some of the those players to step up on the offensive end the fill the void left by graduation. The Hawks graduated its top three scorers, including the second-highest scorer in the league in Brendan White (18.2 ppg). That means there will be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up and contribute.
Junior Jordan Darling (7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and senior Colby Pires (6.1 ppg) are the top two point producers back this year while junior Dom Schofield also returns after starting as a sophomore. Darling started 19 games this year and was selected to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team after a strong season on both ends of the court. Pires is a leader both on and off the court and plays well in all aspects of the game, and Schofield gives Milford a strong post presence on the defensive end, recording a team-high 38 charges taken last season.
Ralph Franklin Jr., Matty Varteresian, Tyler Whetherbee, and Ben Blanchard all saw time throughout last season and could all be in line for bigger roles this season.
“Our depth will matter, our balance will matter, our chemistry is this group’s most important attribute,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We were the youngest team in the league last season and this group has a lot of players back who are attacking this year with a chip on their shoulder. This group defines what Milford basketball is and that’s a testament to who these kids are hard workers and higher character individuals. I could not be any more excited to coach and work with these kids on a daily basis.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Sean Mulkerrins
There are going to be a lot of new faces dawning the Big Red uniform this winter. After losing nine seniors to graduation, head coach Sean Mulkerrins has just three players back from last year’s nine-win squad.
With a large amount of new players comes a large amount of opportunities. The Rocketeers graduated its two top scorers but bring back senior Ethan Friberg (7.0 ppg) and junior George Ladd (7.4 ppg) to lead the charge offensively this year. Friberg, standing at 6’5, can cause problems in the paint but also van step out and play along the perimeter. Ladd had a breakout sophomore season and was named to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team. He is a little of a throwback player that is very fundamentally sound on the offensive end. Senior Josh Porter, the third returner, saw an expanded role at the end of last season and played well.
Defensively, the Rocketeers will be focusing on limiting opponents to one shot per possession. With some size in the frontcourt, North will try to make it difficult to finish at the rim, and with all five players committed to rebounding, try and minimize second-chance points.
“There will be a lot of new faces with opportunities to make an impact on this year’s team,” Mulkerrins said. “There will definitely be some growing pains and the sooner the new faces adjust to the rigors of varsity basketball, the better we will be.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Don Byron
Last season, Oliver Ames came up just one game shy of the state tournament. Goal number one for the 2019-2020 season is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
With a strong mix of experienced players and hungry new additions, Oliver Ames is ready for the grind that is the Kelley-Rex division and the Hockomock League.
“The expectation is to always get [to the tournament], that’s our first goal,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “We’re pretty optimistic but we know it’s going to be a grind, you have to show up every night, you can’t take a night off.”
Byron has been impressed with his guard play so far this preseason, and that will likely mean featuring three guards in the lineup for the majority of the time. Senior Jay Spillane is a returning starter while classmate Owen Friel and junior Amari Brown were top options off the bench a season ago. Spillane can score in bunches, especially from the outside, while Friel combines a solid shooting game with a hard-nosed defensive approach. Friel’s ability to guard a variety of position makes him a valuable piece in the lineup while Brown is a crafty player that does a nice job getting teammates involved.
Senior center Evan Craig (6’5) will be joined by classmate Ryan Burkett (6’2) in the frontcourt. Both picked up valuable minutes at the varsity level last year and Byron is hoping that will help with their expanded roles this year. Senior guard Adam Cann and junior forwards Trey Buggs and Drew Nickla will provide depth for the Tigers.
“It takes some time to get accustomed to the varsity speed and what we expect at this level,” Byron said. “All of these kids gained experience with us last year, and that year of experience is invaluable.”
2018-2019 Record: 3-17 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrew Ferguson
After a couple of down seasons, the Eagles will be making a strong push to get back into the state tournament for the first time since 2016.
Sharon boasts a number of players who gained varsity experience that will be looking to help the program bounce back. The first being senior Aidan Kane, the team’s leading scorer last season with 11.5 points per game. When he’s on from keep, Kane is one of the top three-point shooters in the league. He has the ability to change a game very quickly if he gets hot from deep. Senior Andrew Burton emerged as one of the Eagles’ top players last year and could be poised to have a breakout year. Sophomore John Baez will start at the point after joining the varsity team for the final month and a half last season.
The Eagles will be relying heavily on its frontcourt to step up on both ends of the court. Senior Caleb Gayle is a traditional post player that will compete hard on both ends of the court, senior Cam Baker is fundamentally sound and a reliable option and junior Hank Ward picked up valuable minutes as a sophomore and will be an important part of the rebound game as well as defensively. Senior Aaron Karten will be in the mix as well, giving the Eagles an athletic frontcourt.
Junior Jordan Barboza should give the Eagles a spark off the bench this year and head coach Andrew Ferguson will look for him as an important defensive piece. Kiran Chandrasekaran had flashes of the strong play off the bench last year and should see an expanded role this year, while junior transfer Matt Baskin could provide a needed scoring punch.
“This group has worked tremendously hard in the offseason and the preseason and is looking to translate that into success throughout the regular season,” Ferguson said. “Many of the players have gained valuable experience at the varsity level over the past two years and our senior class are tremendous leaders who provide a great example for our younger players.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-11 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Preliminary Round Coach: John Gallivan
Stoughton ended its playoff drought last season and with a good amount of those players back again this year, the Davenport division title and a deep playoff run could be in the forecast this season.
The Black Knights have their leading scorer back in 6’5 senior forward Obinna Ugwuakazi, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game with nine double-doubles last year. His athleticism and ability to finish through contact made him a tough matchup for opponents, and he will be at the forefront of the Stoughton offense again this year. Fellow senior Tahkwan Gates Brown, who also stands at 6’5, is also back and we could see the duo play together at times which will certainly make life tough for opponents.
Senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell is back for his third year on varsity. After improving each of the past two seasons, the 2019-2020 season could be a breakout year for Grigalunas-Powell, who can score from three-point range but is also a crafty finisher attacking the rim. Ahmad Jahed had flashes of strong play last year and will be back in the mix again this year, and the same goes for Tommy Sanda. Juniors Brett Pendenza and Jake Queeney are also back after earning some minutes last year.
“We feel like we can score this year both from downtown and from down low,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “And with our size in the paint, we hope to make it difficult for opponents to score consistently.”
2018-2019 Record: 15-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal Coach: Charlie Dacey
After a strong regular season, the Taunton boys basketball team flipped a switch in the tournament and made a run to the D1 South Semis, nearly knocking off powerhouse Mansfield. With a taste of postseason success, the Tigers are hoping to replicate that success this year with another impressive playoff stretch.
The Tigers boast speed, skill, and depth this season and will be in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season. While Taunton lost a lot of production from last year (Lou Vendrell, Mike Quinn, John Martins, Wesner Charles), there are a handful of players battling to earn their chance at minutes in the Tigers’ lineup. One constant in that lineup over the past couple of years is senior Dante Law, who enters his fourth year with the varsity group. Law was Taunton’s leading scorer a year ago with 14.1 points per game but none of the other returners were over five points a game, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity for new players to step up.
Seniors Fabio Goncalves (6’6) and Aiden Pelot, as well as junior Tyler Stewart (6’6) make up the frontcourt for the Tigers. All three played at the varsity level last year and will be key pieces at helping the Tigers defend and win the battle on the boards. Law will be joined by junior Josh Lopes, who showed flashes during his sophomore season, DaeDae Kenion, and sophomore transfer Tristan Herry as key pieces of the offense.
The Tigers are also excited about the depth on the team this year. Junior Danny MacDougall earned starting minutes last year and is a reliable option in a variety of roles while Trent Santos, Logan Lawrence, and Jonathan Torres will all be in the mix for Taunton.
“With this team, press and run should be ‘Plan A’ although there are skills available to play at a slower pace,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.