CANTON, Mass. – After trailing 18-1 to start the game and being down by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter, Canton fought its way back to a standstill. The Bulldogs had largely been riding the hot hand of its stars, Fay Gallery and Sydney Gallery combined for 17 points in the fourth quarter and 39 for the game, but the biggest play of the night came from an unlikely source.
Junior guard Marissa Staffiere had just been subbed out but as she walked to the bench she told Canton coach Jim Choquette and his staff that she wanted to be out there and could help the team win. Choquette agreed and put her back in. When Emily McCabe hustled to keep a possession alive, snagging an offensive rebound on the baseline, she kicked it out to Staffiere for an open look at a straightaway three.
Despite not yet making a basket for the first 31-plus minutes of the game, Staffiere drilled the open look, providing what turned out to the game-winning basket in a 57-52 come from behind victory over Attleboro on Tuesday night at the Masciarelli Gym.
Choquette explained, “At that point, you have to trust your players. [Marissa] believed she could do it and there was no doubt in my mind, I wasn’t going to question her. She would’ve helped us no matter what. If it wasn’t that shot, then it would’ve been something else so I was really, really happy for her.”
The night started as a celebration of the third member of Canton’s senior stars. Kiara Cerruti came into the night needing just one point to become the second female player at Canton to reach 1,000 points for her career (Eileen Morneau in 1996 was the first). Cerruti nearly got the milestone just seconds into the game, but she was unable to finish after a steal led to a breakaway.
Although it took a few minutes, Cerruti was able to get the point she needed, knocking down a free throw to make history.
“She’s been working for this goal since third or fourth grade,” said Choquette. “We used to run our camps here when she was little and she’d be the first one to finish things and the one who stayed latest and she continued all that stuff all the way through her career. That’s the result of dedication and determination for an entire lifetime of playing basketball.”
With the larger crowd in the gym, all of the energy surrounding the chase of a milestone, and without point guard Lindsey Perry and leading scorer Meghan Gordon, the Bombardiers, who had won eight straight coming in, could have let the game get away from them. Instead, they dominated the opening quarter.
Attleboro scored the first 10 points of the game, crashing the boards, and playing tough defense in the paint. Lillian Froio (seven points and nine rebounds) got things going with a put-back and Vanessa Ellis (eight points, 10 rebounds, and four steals) scored a pair of baskets off the offensive glass. Riley Camacho’s steal led to a transition bucket for Lily Routhier and then the duo each buried a three to push the lead to 18-1.
“That’s pretty much our future and I was very impressed,” said Attleboro coach Bri Hochwarter about how her players stepped up without two starters. “I told the kids to hold their head high, they gave it their all on the court and that’s all I could ask for.”
Choquette was full of praise for Attleboro’s performance. He said, “They were really hitting shots. They were down a few players and they were really playing for let’s win it for the girls who can’t be here, which always makes a team play better. I was really impressed with what they did.”
Sydney Gallery got a basket to close out the first, but Canton trailed by 14. The Bulldogs managed to settled down in the second and put together a run that got the lead down to just six at the half. Cerruti (nine points and six steals) started it with a run out for a layup and McCabe added a bucket on a nice pass from Han Hong. Then Fay Gallery started to heat up, scoring seven points in the quarter.
Momentum was with the home side heading to the locker room and seemed to carry over into the third, as Canton continued to chip away. Camacho (12 points) opened things with a three and Kayla Goldrick (12 points and nine rebounds) got an open corner three off a cleverly worked side out-of-bounds play that kept the lead in double digits.
Gallery would lift the Bulldogs back into the game. She scored 10 points in the third, knocking down a trio from the outside and her steal and look ahead got Cerruti and easy two. Gallery’s third triple of the quarter tied the game 33-33 and it felt like Canton might finally have the shorthanded Bombardiers on the ropes.
Attleboro showed its mettle, answering back with six straight to close the quarter. Goldrick slipped an entry pass into Ellis on the right block and the freshman not only made a nice catch but finished plus the foul. Routhier closed the third with an open three off another Goldrick pass and it was 39-33 heading to the fourth.
“We started getting momentum again,” said Hochwarter. “I told the kids in the locker room that basketball is a game of runs and they went on their run in the second quarter but this is our chance. Don’t get defeated if they go on 6-0, 8-0 run, we stop them and then go on our run.”
Both teams kept answering runs by the other in the fourth quarter. After Fay Gallery buried a three to cut the lead to five, Goldrick grabbed two offensive rebounds to finish on the other end and then Froio got a layup after a great hustle play by Sarah Maher, who saved a possession while falling out of bounds under the hoop.
Canton kept battling back. Sydney Gallery got a pair of open looks from the outside, the second set up by a kick out from Cerruti, and she tied the game at 46-46. Camacho got free on the break for two, but Gallery drove down the lane to tie it again with two minutes to play. Her offensive rebound gave Canton the lead at 50-49 and Fay Gallery followed with a bucket to make it a three-point lead with 1:27 to play. The Bulldogs were on a 14-3 run.
“Attleboro took our best punches, they regrouped, and they made a really good run,” said Choquette. “Thankfully, with each momentum-changing shot they hit, we had an answer. They hit a three, Fay hit a three, they hit a three and Sydney hit a three, we got to the free throw line, we got a turnover, so that ultimately disrupts someone trying to finish a game off when you can answer the big shots.”
Every time it seemed Attleboro was out, someone stepped up and made a play. This time, it was Camacho, who took a pass from Routhier and drained her third three of the night to even the score once again. In the end, Canton was able to make one more play and Staffiere’s big shot proved to be the narrow difference.
“I asked kids to step up knowing that we weren’t going to have our two captains on the floor and everyone did,” said Hochwarter. “It just came down to those threes at the end and we weren’t boxing out and giving them second-chance opportunities. They’re a good team and hit some good shots at the end.”
Canton (9-4) will be home again on Friday night for a rematch with league-leading Oliver Ames. Attleboro (10-4) will be on the road to face the other league leader, Franklin.
Stoughton, 65 @ Attleboro, 88 – Final – Attleboro junior Trevor White scored 10 of his career-high 27 points in the opening quarter, helping the Bombardiers establish a double-digit lead it never relinquished against Stoughton. The Bombardiers scored over 20 points in three of the four quarters, racing out to a 24-9 lead after one period. Attleboro carried a 38-25 lead into the locker room at halftime, and then White added 10 more points in the third, hitting a total of four three-pointers. Evan Houle added a trio of three-pointers on his way to 19 points while sophomore Neo Franco had one three and finished with nine points. Joe Francois-Annevil hit four shots from the field and finished with 11 points for the hosts, who carried a 61-44 lead into the final frame. Stoughton senior Connor Andrews went 12-for-13 at the line and hit nine shots from the field for a career-high 31 points while junior Rayan Sablon added 13 points for the Black Knights, who were limited to just five three-pointers.
Canton, 68 @ King Philip, 56 – Final – Canton senior Lanse Dorcelus scored half of his career-high 30 points in the final frame as the Bulldogs pulled away from King Philip in the second half for a key crossover win. Dorcelus had a team-high 15 points going into the final frame, with his squad holding a 45-38 advantage. He hit a three early, added three field goals from two-point range, and then went 6-for-7 from the line to help secure the win. Nate Mei added four of his 10 points in the fourth while senior Dillon Nguyen scored all 11 of his point through the first three quarters. King Philip, who was tied with the visitors 26-26 at halftime, got a team-high 16 points from Braeden Sottile while classmate Danny Clancy added 14 points for the Warriors, who ended up with just five three-pointers and went just 5-for-12 from the free throw line.
Foxboro, 53 @ Franklin, 78 – Final – Franklin opened the game with a big run, established a double-digit advantage by halftime, and never looked back in a win over visiting Foxboro. A strong start led to a 19-point first quarter for the hosts with Will Tracey (eight points) and Andrew O’Neill (12 points) each connecting from deep, and sophomore Sean O’Leary accounting for six of his 10 points. Sophomore Henry Digiorgio (16 points) hit a trio of threes in the second as Franklin took a 35-23 lead into the locker room. Tracey and classmate Sean Vinson (14 points) added threes in the third and O’Neill had seven more points to keep the Panthers ahead, leading 59-38 going into the fourth. Foxboro senior Dylan Gordon had a team-high 12 points while Sam Golub added 10 points for the Warriors.
Sharon, 48 @ Mansfield, 69 – Final – Mansfield’s lead grew at the end of each quarter, culminating in a 23-point fourth quarter to secure a 69-48 win over Sharon, snapping the Eagles’ five-game win streak. Senior Andrew Slaney (11 points), senior Jack Lasbury-Casey (eight points), and junior Dante James (six points) each connected from three-point range to help the hosts build a 12-8 lead at the end of the opening quarter. The lead grew to 27-20 by halftime and then a 19-point third quarter, featuring buckets from Caden Colby, Trevor Foley, and Anthony Sachetti, helped the Hornets push the lead to 40-30 heading into the final frame. Senior Matt Hyland put the game away, scoring 11 of his game-high 25 points in the final frame to help Mansfield pull away. Sophomore Nate Katznelson had a team-high 14 points while junior Matt Baur added all 12 of his points in the second half for the Eagles, who ended up connecting on just one three-pointer coming in the third quarter.
Oliver Ames, 56 @ Taunton, 86 – Final – It was a game to remember for senior Trent Santos, leading Taunton to a big win at home over visiting Oliver Ames. Santos etched his name into the record books, connecting on 11 three-pointers on his way to a career-high 46 points. After just five points in the opening quarter, Trent took center stage. He hit five three-pointers in the second quarter alone, adding five free throws as well for 25 points in the first half, helping his Tigers to a 42-30 lead. The three-point barrage continued after halftime as Trent hit three more in the third quarter and two more in the fourth to get to 46 points. Taunton held an 18-10 lead after one quarter and a 60-43 edge after three quarters of action. Sophomore Troy Santos had a career-high 15 points while senior Faisal Mass added 11 points. Oliver Ames junior Zach Tagliamonte hit 11 shots from the field to finish with a team-high 25 points while senior Drew Baxter added 11 points.
Attleboro, 70 @ Stoughton, 27 – Final – Attleboro’s offense continues to fire on all cylinders, as the Bombardier scored 40 points in the first half to take a big lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. The Bombardiers jumped out to a 20-2 lead after the first quarter and then added another 20 in the second to go into the break up 40-15. Attleboro continued its strong defense in the second half, holding the Black Knights to just 12 points after the break. Meghan Gordon led all scorers with 14 and Lindsey Perry added 12. Kayla Goldrick scored eight, while Lilian Froio and Vanessa Ellis each had seven for Attleboro, which got points from each player on the roster. Vanessa Phelimond and Evie Lam each had five to lead Stoughton.
Franklin, 51 @ Foxboro, 47 – Final – Franklin’s unbeaten run nearly came to an end at Foxboro, but the Panthers rallied from three points down with two minutes to play to remain in first place in the Kelley-Rex. After Foxboro took a one-point lead after the first, Franklin scored 20 in the second to take a 29-24 lead into the locker room. The Warriors won the third to send the game into the final quarter tied. Camryn Collins had a career-high 21 points, including 10 in the third quarter, to lead all scorers. Erin Foley added 13 and knocked down four threes, while Hannah Blake scored all seven of her points in the fourth to help Foxboro take a late lead. Stefany Padula scored eight of her 12 points in the fourth, making 6-of-8 from the line, to help Franklin pull out the win. Katie Peterson and Olivia Quinn each scored 11 points in the win, with 19 of their combined 22 coming in the opening half.
Mansfield, 58 @ Sharon, 29 – Final – Mansfield clamped down defensively in the second half, limiting Sharon to just nine points and turning a close game into a big win. The Hornets led 28-20 heading into the locker room, but came out with a 19-4 third quarter to break the game wide open. Kara Santos scored eight of her 12 points in that third quarter run and Hallie Popat added four of her dozen points to lead Mansfield. Abby Wager chipped in with 10 points, eight in the first half, and Anna Darlington scored all eight of her points before halftime. Rachael Hager led the Eagles with 12 points, all coming on threes in the first half, as she scored 12 of Sharon’s 20 before the break. Jasmine Davis added eight points, scoring a basket in each quarter.
Milford, 41 @ North Attleboro, 30 – Final – Milford made its free throws down the stretch and limited North to just five points in the fourth quarter to pick up its first league win of the season. Jill Araujo and Maddalena Mannucci Pacini each scored 11 points to lead the Hawks. Summer Doherty scored a game-high 15 for the Rocketeers. Milford led 22-17 at halftime but North cut the lead to just two by holding the Hawks to three points in the third. The Hawks turned the tables in the fourth, outscoring the hosts 14-5 over the final eight minutes.
Taunton, 44 @ Oliver Ames, 86 – Final – Oliver Ames scored 53 points in the second half, turning a six-point game into a big win. Taunton made a game of it, keeping close with the hosts and trailed 33-27 at the break. OA got on track in the third and pulled away for the big win. OA senior Caroline Peper led all scorers with 22 points along with five assists while sophomores Kaydance Derba (19 points) and Jasmyn Cooper (13 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists) both had big games for the hosts. Kameron St. Pierre continued her strong season for the Tigers, scoring a team-high 17 points. Abby Souza added 14 points and Cali Melo scored nine in the loss.
Franklin @ King Philip, 7:00
Franklin, 144.2 @ Oliver Ames, 140.55 – Final – Franklin seniors Kate Rudolph and Emma White took the top two spots in the All Around category to help the Panthers land a win over Oliver Ames. Rudolph was first with a score of 37.4 and White was right behind at 36.4. Rudolph was first in the bars (8.85) and the beam (9.5) while taking second in the vault (9.6) and the floor (9.45). White was the winner for the vault (9.7) and the floor (9.7), taking second on the beam (9.0), and fourth on the bars at 8.0. Lizzie Brown added a third place finish on the vault (9.2), Elizabeth Schirduan was third on the bars (8.2) and the beam (9.0), Emma Nelson recorded a 9.0 on the vault and a 8.4. on the bars, and Caroline Woelfel scored key points in the vault (9.1), the beam (8.9), and the floor (8.85).
King Philip, 41 @ Randolph, 69 – Final
Franklin, 64 @ Framingham, 45 – Final – Franklin limited the hosts to just six points in the second quarter, building a double-digit advantage it never relinquished to get the win. Sophomore Henry Digiorgio scored half of his 18 points in the third and earned tournament MVP honors. Senior Sean Vinson scored a career-high 22 points to earn all tournament team honors for the Panthers. Sophomore Sean O’Leary added 13 points in the win. Franklin hit 14 two-point field goals between the second and third quarters to pull away from the Flyers.
Oliver Ames, 57 vs. Classical, 67 – Final
Attleboro, 75 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 45 – Final – Meghan Gordon scored a season-high 28 points to power Attleboro a big non-league victory. Gordon scored 19 of her points in the opening half, as Attleboro built a 36-28 lead at the breal. Attleboro held the Falcons to just six points in the third quarter and extended the lead to 15, before turning the game into a blowout by scoring 26 points in the fourth. Lillian Froio scored 12 points, including eight in the second half, and Lindsey Perry and Lily Routhier each scored 10 points. All three scored four points in the final eight minutes, and Gordon added six. Kayla Goldrick also added four of her eight points in the fourth, as the Bombardiers sealed a big win to close out the year.
Mansfield vs. Fontbonne – Postponed to TBD.
Milford vs. Lowell Catholic, 5:30 (@ Dracut)
Stoughton, 23 vs. Bedford, 45 – Final
Canton, 57 @ Hingham, 52 – Final – Canton rode the scoring of its three stars to earn a split in this week’s home-and-home series against fellow Div. 2 tournament contender Hingham. Fay Gallery scored a game-high 25 points (and five steals), Kiara Cerruti added 19, and Sydney Gallery had 11 (and 12 rebounds) to account for all but two of the Bulldogs’ 57 points on Thursday. After struggling early in Tuesday’s game and allowing Hingham to get a big lead, Canton came out strong on the road, winning the first quarter 16-7, behind nine from Fay Gallery. The Harborwomen bounced back in the second, taking it 18-9, to send the game into halftime tied. Canton was able to limit Hingham to eight points in the third to grab a three-point lead. Cerruti took over in the fourth, scoring 13 points, as Canton held on for the win. Erin Beatty made an impact on the glass in the first meeting and she followed it up by grabbing 14 rebounds in her first start of the season. Marissa Staffiere chipped in with five rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals.
Canton, 4 vs. Whitman-Hanson, 5 – Final (OT)
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Brianna Bracken
Attleboro finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year and, despite only returning one starter, have an experienced corps that will be looking to push the Bombardiers back to postseason contention this season. There was a big change a few weeks ago when Marty Crowley stepped down as coach (after taking the athletic director job at Cumberland High) and former player and freshman coach Brianna Bracken was promoted to take over.
The change in coach won’t change the emphasis on defense and trying to use the roster’s athleticism to get easy baskets in transition. Attleboro’s lone returning starter is senior forward Meghan Gordon, who has improved every season on varsity and averaged nearly 17 points per game last year. Gordon will get help from classmates Lindsey Perry and Lillian Froio, who have both improved offensively and will help the Bombardiers take some of the pressure off Gordon on that end of the floor.
Injuries and transfers will have an impact as well. Senior Hailey Perry suffered a knee injury that will keep her out and last year’s freshman point guard Narissa Smith transferred to Rivers. Junior Lily Routhier has transferred in this year from Wheeler School and will help out on the boards. Sophomores Kayla Goldrick and Rylie Camacho will add to the Attleboro attack after getting experience as freshmen and senior Avery Vieira and sophomore Sarah Maher will try to fill Perry’s role in the backcourt. Sophomore Merry Bosh and Molly Moore and freshman Vanessa Ellis have had impressive preseasons as well.
“We have a great mix of experience and youth,” said Bracken. “We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been intense and the kids have been working really hard.”
2020-2021 Record: 7-5 Coach: James Choquette
Canton could be poised for a big season with a mix of talented underclassmen and an experienced group of seniors who have played together on varsity for four years. The Bulldogs went 7-5 in the shortened 2020-21 season, but expectations are higher this winter, with hopes of challenging the top teams in the Davenport and putting together a playoff run.
Kiara Cerrutiis the team’s top returning scorer and the senior winger will be counted on to provide scoring punch with her mix of inside-outside skills. Fay Gallery is back to run the point for the Bulldogs, getting the team out in transition and finding ways to create good looks for teammates in the halfcourt. Sydney Gallery is also back to give Canton a strong post presence and scoring inside the arc. The three players combined to average 38 points per game last season and give the Bulldogs a strong foundation to build on and help spread the floor for a team that has the potential to be one of the top shooting teams in the league.
Marissa Staffiere and Carly Fitzgerald return to help run the point and give strong defensive effort in the backcourt and junior Samya DaSilva has stepped in to add another versatile weapon on the offensive end. If the Bulldogs can continue to improve defensively, they have the firepower to compete with anyone. Offensively, it will be about ball movement and making sure the ball doesn’t stick on the perimeter.
“Our program continues to grow and improve,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “With a strong senior class and a great group of underclassmen, we hope to improve each day we’re in the gym together and achieve the results we desire. Everyone knows how hard it is to win, but this group is willing to do whatever it takes and we’re so excited to see how this season unfolds.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-2 Coach: Lisa Downs
Foxboro had its four-year reign at the top of the Davenport division come to an end last season, as the Warriors came second to Oliver Ames. With a relatively young roster, Foxboro improved over the course of the shortened season and seemed to be peaking as it headed into what would have been the second half of a normal winter. The hope for this season is that those younger players will build on that experience to make another title challenge and playoff run.
With the graduation of the league’s leading scorer, Katelyn Mollica, the Warriors will have a lot of points to make up but have several players capable of taking on bigger roles this year. Senior forward Hannah Blake could help provide some of that scoring with her solid post-up game and mid-range jumper. Sophomore guards Erin Foley and Camryn Collins both had impressive rookie campaigns and showed versatile offensive games and both are aggressive and athletic defenders, who fit into Foxboro’s typical style.
Senior Andrea Slattery and junior Lauren Miley are under-sized forwards but both bring a lot of energy and aggression to the defensive end and hitting the glass. Freshmen Kaley Sullivan and Ava Hill will jump right into the varsity lineup this season and both could be ready to make instant impacts. Juniors Michelle Brandt and Maddie Maher and sophomore Isabelle Chamberlin will give the Warriors plenty of depth to call on this season, especially with their effort on the defensive end.
“Although we are young and have new faces, I am excited to see the potential and look forward to seeing the improvement every time they step onto the court,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs.
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: John Leighton
Franklin returns eight players, including six seniors, from last year’s team, which extended the Panthers’ win streak to 35 games and clinched a third straight Kelley-Rex division title. The Panthers will be leaning on that experience as they seek to continue their reign at the top of the league and defend the Div. 1 state title that they won in 2019-20.
Senior forward Olivia Quinn will be the focal point of the Franklin offense this year after leading the team in scoring last winter and emerging as one of the top players in the Hock over the past two years. The reigning Kelley-Rex MVP will have plenty of help, particularly in the paint. While Franklin doesn’t have someone with Ali Brigham’s size, the Panthers have seven players on their roster that are listed at 5-foot-9 or taller. Senior Brigid Earley was the team’s leading rebounder last year and junior Katie Peterson is an athletic forward with a versatile game. Senior Emma Sousa is another experienced forward that gives depth in the post.
On the perimeter, Franklin has graduated a lot of its ball-handlers and shooters but senior Stefany Padula, a Springfield College-commit, is back and will help stretch the floor. Junior Bridget Leo is coming off a strong soccer season and could step in at point guard along with seniors Julia White and Jessica Pingeton, who saw some time last year. Sophomore guard Sasha Tracey is the lone underclassman on the roster this season.
“I am very excited to get back on the court with this team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “There is a lot of work ahead of us but there has also been many glimpses of what we could develop into. We have a very strong senior class who has set the bar high for the team. We hope to develop into a close-knit, supportive team that can win in different ways and also play defense that will limit our opponents’ options.”
2020-2021 Record: 5-6 Coach: Jeff Miszkiewicz
There is going to be a transition period for King Philip this season, as the Warriors will be moving from former head coach Dan Nagle’s unique, non-stop pressure, quick-shot system to a new system brought in by first-year coach Jeff Miszkiewicz (who comes from LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island). With seven returning players, including five seniors, the Warriors should have the experience to adjust to the new style and be in the mix in the Kelley-Rex division.
Junior Emily Sawyer will be a major weapon for the Warriors on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-3 center may be the biggest beneficiary of a change in system and is poised for a breakout year in the paint. Her classmate Jackie Bonner will move into a starting role this season, with her ability to create instant offense and be a pest on the defensive side of the game.
Seniors Liv Lafond, Julia Marsden, and Elizabeth Molla also project to be starters for the Warriors this season. All three are versatile wings that can space the floor and attack in transition. Lafond may be the best off-the-dribble player for KP this season and her ability to get into the paint and create will be key. Marsden is a smart player who always seems to be in the right spot and a solid scorer at the rim or out on the perimeter. Molla is a knockdown shooter from the outside and can punish teams that sink down into the paint to guard Sawyer or prevent driving lanes.
“The team plays really hard and is very coachable,” said Miszkiewicz. “I think that’s why we have seen so much improvement over the first week of practice. You’ll see us take full advantage of our athleticism on both offense and defense. We’re going to be a fun team to watch.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Heather McPherson
Mansfield closed out the shortened 2020-21 season with five straight wins and will hope to keep that momentum rolling into this winter, although the Hornets will need a lot of players to step into bigger roles. Six seniors graduated from last year’s team, including the bulk of the team’s frontcourt and two of its three leading scorers. New players will need the early part of the season to adjust to the pace of the varsity level.
The Hornets will be hoping that junior guard Abby Wager’s growing offensive game will allow her to improve on the nine points per game she averaged as a sophomore. Senior Anna Darlington brings tenacity on defense and will make it tough for teams to get into their half court sets. Seniors Kayla Doherty and Sophia Allen will also need to add experience to a lineup that is growing into the season.
Junior guard Olivia Salisbury and sophomore forward Kara Santos are going to be stepping up from utility roles into core pieces of the Mansfield offense this season. Salisbury has good vision and can create chances for teammates, while Santos will be a threat in the paint, making up for some of the size that graduated from last year’s team.
“After a shortened season under my belt I feel confident in the adjustments that the girls have made into a slightly different system than previous years,” said second-year Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “We are emphasizing good fundamental defense and hoping that we can use it to create transition offense.”
2020-2021 Record: 3-8 Coach: TJ Dolliver
Milford ended last season with three wins in its final five games, building a little momentum that the Hawks are going to hope can get them off to a good start this winter. There will be a lot of changes from last year’s squad, as Milford graduated seven players, including a few four-year members of the team, so there may be some growing pains as new faces adjust to a new level.
Four seniors return to add experience and leadership to this year’s team. Guards Jess Douglas, Olivia Morelli, and Aubrey Korpi, and forward Jill Araujo are all back and will give Milford a foundation to build around. With so many new faces in the team this year, head coach TJ Dolliver will be leaning on his upperclassmen to help the younger players adjust, as the coaches work through the best way to utilize everyone’s skills on the court.
Junior forward Emily Croteau and guard Brooke Ferreira will be key players as well. The team’s top two returning scorers, Croteau and Ferreira will have to take on bigger roles this year and may be asked to carry a lot of the scoring punch. A three-year starter at point guard, Ferreira is the team’s top ball-handler and will be expected to get the Hawks into their sets while also looking for her own shot. An undersized forward, Croteau gives the team energy and rebounding, keeping possessions alive and getting chances thanks to her work rate.
“We are making a lot of changes this season,” Dolliver said. “It will be very important how we approach practice in regards to how successful we are this season. We have a lot of potential and I am excited to see where it goes.”
2020-2021 Record: 4-9 Coach: Nikki Correia
North Attleboro had a tough finish to the 2020-21 season, losing five straight to close it out, but all five were against teams with winning records, including two against division champ Oliver Ames. With a full season ahead, North has two of its top scorers back and has added more size in the frontcourt to try and make a postseason push.
The two key returning players will be senior Summer Doherty and junior Ava McKeon. The two aggressive guards give North extra energy on both ends of the floor and push the Rocketeers into the transition game that head coach Nikki Correia prefers. Their defensive effort will be critical for North this season. Senior forward Taylor McMath has improved each year and adds scoring in the paint and is an aggressive rebounder on both ends.
Size hasn’t been a strength for North the past few seasons but freshman Maryellen Charette will be an important addition in the paint. Despite being just a rookie, Charette has shown good footwork with back to the basket and is a strong rebounder. Sam Sweeney is the other freshman on the roster, while North has seven seniors on the roster to provide necessary experience for the younger players.
“I am looking forward to this season with a full schedule and many returning players, so lots of familiarity with each other and playing more under control and trusting each other more,” said Correia. “They are already showing more confidence and being in the right spots, running the offense, and letting the game come to them instead of forcing it.”
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames finished unbeaten and won the Davenport division title last season, but the Tigers will be disappointed to have missed out on a potentially deep tournament run. Coming into this year, expectations remain high with a good mix of experienced players and youth that will be getting their first taste of a full Hockomock League campaign.
Senior guard Caroline Peper is a four-year starter for the Tigers and has always been one of the league’s top long-range shooters, but continues adding to her game and her scoring will be critical. Senior Hailey Bourne is another four-year regular and one of the top defensive players in the league, capable of guarding multiple positions. Their leadership will be a key to OA’s success this winter. Senior forward Anna Murphy has improved each year and has a solid all-around game, making an impact on both ends of the floor, and junior guard Maddie Homer is a quick, tenacious defender and her improved offensive game will be important.
In addition to the more experienced players, OA is excited about the potential of the trio of sophomores who made cameos last year. Forwards Jasmyn Cooper, Kaydance Derba, and Sarah Hilliard all had good rookie seasons that gave a taste of their capabilities. Cooper and Hilliard provide size and scoring in the paint and both are excellent rebounders. Derba also has good size to be a tough matchup on the defensive end and is a dangerous three-point shooter who can stretch the floor.
“The Hockomock League, as always brings its share of tough competition, which will help us better prepare for the new standards established for the power rankings needed for the state tournament,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “The thing that I am most proud of is the fact that my players have worked tirelessly to improve themselves as players and we are ready to give it our best fight.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-10 Coach: Sandy Lombardi
It is hard to predict what type of season this will be for Sharon because the Eagles will be incorporating so many new faces and many of the players will be experiencing their first full season on varsity. After one win in 2020-21, the Eagles return only one senior on this year’s roster, so there is the potential to spring a few surprises on teams this season.
Trinity Payne is the lone senior for the Eagles. The four-year varsity player is a strong defensive presence and can control the glass, especially on the defensive end. Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi is looking for more offensive punch from Payne this season. Junior point guard Tess Lentendre returns after missing a few games last winter. A leader in the backcourt, Letendre is a three-year varsity player and will help control things on the offensive end.
The rest of the starting five for Sharon will be sophomores. Rachel Hager and Eva Poulton both saw time on varsity last season and play out on the wings. Jasmine Davis didn’t play last year but will start at center and should give Sharon extra size in the middle and should be a force on both ends of the court. Junior forward Emily Freeman is back from last year, but the rest of the Sharon roster are newcomers to the varsity team, although Lombardi is expecting good contributions from the bench.
“The girls have been working hard,” Lombardi said. “We are excited for the season and hopefully we can make some noise in the Hock this year.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-9 Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Last year was a little bit of a transition season for Stoughton, as the Black Knights graduated a lot from a team that was a win away from tournament qualification. An inexperienced Stoughton roster had some growing pains in 2020-21, but with five seniors this year head coach Charmaine Steele Jordan is hoping that last year will set a foundation for this year’s team to build on.
Senior Jess Maddalena is an important returning player for Stoughton. After missing her junior season to an injury, Maddalena will give the Black Knights additional scoring and depth on the wing. Senior guard Kate Bulger will be back to run the offense and provide strong perimeter defense. Senior Vanessa Philemond adds athleticism, energy, and rebounding and her length can be a weapon on both ends of the floor.
In addition to their three captains, the Black Knights will also be hoping for big seasons and lots of leadership from senior guards Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and Evie Lam. Stoughton also has three sophomores, Katrina Varnum, Alyssa Edwards, and Maiya Merritt, and freshman Raina Tat, who will be handling their first full season of varsity basketball this season.
“It’s so good to be back on the hardwood to compete this season,” said Steele Jordan. “We will continue to play hard on both ends of the court this season. I am looking forward to the five seniors taking charge and setting the pace for us. We will play tough, be gritty, and battle until the final buzzer sounds each night in the Hock.”
2020-2021 Record: 0-10 Coach: Amy Siggens
Taunton coach Amy Siggens is in her third year in charge of the program (and second season on the sidelines after not coaching last winter) and she will have a very different looking roster to the one that she first inherited. The Tigers graduated six seniors from last year’s team and there will be a lot of untested players getting their first taste of varsity action this season.
There is excitement about the return of junior guard Kameron St. Pierre. After a breakout rookie season in which she averaged more than 14 points per game, St. Pierre sat out last winter and will be back to carry a heavy load for the Taunton offense. The lefty point guard will get the Tigers into their sets and her long-range shooting should open the floor for teammates.
In addition to St. Pierre, the Tigers will have a host of guards to rotate through. Seniors Braeley McDonald, Kyanna Barros, and Abby Souza will give the Tigers plenty of energy on both ends of the floor and could benefit from the attention paid to St. Pierre to get decent looks from the perimeter. Sophomores Cali Melo and Lexi Haywood also have experience at the varsity level. Inside, Taunton will have several new faces but senior forward Olivia Gannon and junior Sayla DePina bring some size in the paint.
“As we look toward the beginning of this basketball season, caution and patience are the words that ring true for us,” said Siggens. “Baptism under fire is an appropriate description for our girls this season but with enthusiasm, hard work, and a commitment to improving, we have a chance to be competitive in a typically demanding Hockomock League.”
Attleboro, 26 @ Franklin, 64 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Franklin jumped out to a 39-10 lead at halftime behind a dominant performance from Ali Brigham and rolled to a big win that completes a perfect run through the Hockomock League. Brigham scored 23 of her game-high 28 points in the first half and added 15 rebounds and blocked five shots in the final league game of her career. She scored 10 points in the first quarter and 13 in the second, including a corner three. Olivia Quinn scored seven of her nine points in the second quarter, as the Panthers outscored Attleboro 22-3 in the frame. Meghan O’Connell scored seven points, Erin Quaile scored six, and Elizabeth Wilson added five in the win. Nyah Thomas had all of Attleboro’s seven points in the first and finished with 10 points and five rebounds to pace the Bombardiers. Meghan Gordon scored five and Lillian Froio added four. Attleboro heads into its final game against North Attleboro needing a win to secure a postseason berth.
Foxboro, 59 @ Walpole, 52 – Final – Katelyn Mollica scored 25 points to lead the Warriors to a big win on the road against Walpole. Lizzy Davis added 11 points and Shakirah Ketant had 10 to help Foxboro extend its win streak to seven games.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – For the past two seasons, Attleboro head coach Marty Crowley has talked about the need for the Bombardiers to be balanced and to get contributions from everyone on the roster. On New Year’s Eve, just 18 hours after beating Cumberland (R.I.), Attleboro showed how dangerous it can be when everyone chips in.
Eight different players scored, three players reached double digits, and eight players had at least three rebounds, as Attleboro beat Mansfield 58-51. It was Attleboro’s first win in the series since 2016, having lost the last seven games against the Hornets.
“People are going to try and take Nyah [Thomas] or Liv [McCall] out of the equation and the other girls stepped up big for us and that was key tonight,” Crowley explained. “We need balance to be successful and tonight they did it. I couldn’t be prouder of my kids. Our defense in the first half was spectacular. It was a total team effort tonight.”
It was a rare early afternoon start and the Hornets looked out of sorts at the opening tip. Mansfield struggled shooting, turned the ball over too often against an aggressive Attleboro defense, and managed only two points in the first quarter and 12 for the half.
“We’re not going to survive too many 12-point halves,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “I don’t know why we can’t shoot in the first quarter, but that’s been our downfall all year. We rallied back and did our best.”
The Bombardiers weren’t exactly shooting the lights out in the first quarter either, scoring only eight points of their own, but things picked up in the second. After Becca Hottleman opened the quarter with a three for Mansfield, Attleboro went on a 12-0 run to take control.
“It has been one of our focuses two days ago at practice,” said Crowley. “We didn’t rebound very well against Feehan, so we were working a lot on securing the ball and being more physical and I thought we controlled the balls in the first half.”
Mansfield tried to keep it close, as Kacey Veiking (10 points and six boards) knocked down a couple of shots, but Lillian Froio answered with her only four points of the night and Nyah Thomas (game-high 15 points and 10 rebounds) hit a tough runner in the lane to make it 26-12 at the break.
The Hornets have been a resilient team this season and have managed to battle back after falling behind early. Last game against Fontbonne, Mansfield managed to make it a two-point game in the fourth quarter after trailing by as many as 16. In the third quarter on Tuesday, Mansfield’s offense woke up, as the Hornets tried to mount another comeback.
Kayla Vine scored seven of her team-high 14 points in the third and also dished out a pair of assists to Veiking. Vine drilled her only three of the game to get Mansfield back within single digits at 34-25 and freshman Abby Wager hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 35-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got to bottle whatever we did in the second half and do that from the beginning. We just can’t wait to play our best until we’re down by double digits,” said Redding. “We’ve got to start playing our best from the get-go. I love our heart, we challenged them at halftime to play with pride and they gave us everything they had and made a game of it in the fourth quarter.”
Attleboro was held to just nine points in the third, six of those from Thomas, who twice turned defensive rebounds into coast-to-coast baskets. In the fourth, the Bombardiers got back to spreading the ball around. Thomas hit McCall on an inbound play in the corner for a big three to get the quarter started and extend the lead back to double digits.
McCall added three free throws after a pair of technical fouls against the Mansfield bench and the lead that was once down to eight was stretched back out to 14.
“We responded. Liv, one of our seniors, hit a big shot for us,” said Crowley. “Everybody contributed for us. Mansfield is a formidable foe. It’s the Hock, you have to come ready to play every night.”
Mansfield kept hanging around. Kelly Doherty had a steal and layup to cut the lead to 10, Ashley Santos (nine points and seven rebounds) drilled a pair of threes in the fourth, and Wager (11 points) scored seven in the quarter to keep the game in doubt.
Every time the Hornets hit a big shot, Attleboro seemed to find an answer on the other end. Johnson scored six points in the fourth, Gordon added four, and Thomas kept getting to the basket, including a big and-one that made it 52-39. McCall added a drive down the middle for two that kept the lead at a dozen.
“We did a decent job, but when we made a mistake they made us pay,” said Redding. “Thomas does a good job, even when you’re doubling, to find a way to get it into the paint. They’re a tough combination. Every time you thought we had momentum, Thomas drives or Liv hits a three.”
The Hornets closed the game on a 9-0 run but by then the damage was done and Attleboro heads into the new year with momentum.
Crowley said, “It’s huge. It’s a good win to put under our belt. Everyone is doing the same thing, it’s a race to 10, and this gets us one step closer.”
Attleboro (3-3) will be back at home on Friday against Oliver Ames, trying to extend its win streak to three games. Mansfield (1-5) will try to end its three-game losing streak when it hosts unbeaten Franklin.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Canton went scoreless for the first six minutes of the second half, allowing Attleboro to grab an eight-point lead in Friday night’s season opener for both teams. But, the Bombardiers struggled to take full advantage of their defensive effort and Canton was able to stay close until its offense finally found a groove.
After going six minutes without a point, the Bulldogs scored 25 over the final 10 minutes, including 18 in the fourth quarter, and they secured a 48-44 road victory.
“When we came out and we weren’t scoring, I don’t think anyone was hanging their heads or sulking about it,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “We were running good offense, we were confident in what we were doing, the ball just happened to not go in.
He added, “All the girls on our team have played together long enough to know if we keep sticking to what we’re doing someone’s going to hit a shot or someone’s going to get a rebound.”
Kiara Cerruti (team-high 16 points) hit a pair of free throws with 2:02 remaining in the third quarter to give Canton its first points of the second half and cut the Attleboro lead to 31-25. Ryan Johnson answered with a layup off a Liv McCall assist, but freshman Samya DaSilva (10 rebounds) drilled a corner three and Fay Gallery (10 points and five assists) hit a layup to make it a three-point game heading to the final quarter.
“[The lead] was two for a long time, it was three for a long time, and we just couldn’t pull away,” said Attleboro coach Marty Crowley. “I think if we pull away a little earlier then maybe it changes it, but we held them scoreless for six minutes and we’re not generating anything off our defense.”
Momentum had switched and the Bulldogs kept control at the start of the fourth. Lilah Milton, the only senior on the roster, scored a pair of tough shots from the right baseline and Sydney Gallery swooped in for a lefty finish to put Canton ahead 36-33.
Fay Gallery had struggled with her shot for most of the game but buried a step-back three to make it 41-37. Cerruti hit a lefty layup and hit a pair of free throws to keep the Bulldogs up by five, 45-40.
Attleboro didn’t go quietly. Nyah Thomas (game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds) made a steal in the backcourt and was able to finish in traffic, followed by a Gabby Bosh offensive rebound and short jumper to cut the lead to just one point.
Again it was Gallery that came through in the clutch. The sophomore, who had been more of a facilitator for the first three quarters, banked in a three to effectively seal the win.
“Fay was able to play with four fouls for the end of the game there and it was good that she did because she hit a big shot to help us win it,” said Choquette. After graduating four-year point guard Julia Hamilton, Canton will need people to step into that role and it was Gallery that took the responsibility for game one. “Fay took the bulk of it tonight, but you saw how many times she found Kiara or she found her sister down low, we got the ball to Samaya and she was able to create some things.”
The Bombardiers came out with the game-plan of putting pressure on the ball-handler, using an aggressive trap at the three-point line. It seemed to work, as Canton struggled to get a rhythm offensively for nearly three quarters.
Thomas was giving the hosts a spark on the other end. She scored 14 points in the first half, slashing through the defense and getting out on the break. Twice Thomas was able to finish plus the contact, once after a Lillian Froio block and the other after a block, rebound, and outlet pass by Meghan Gordon (11 rebounds).
“Nyah was phenomenal,” said Crowley. “She’s worked very hard at her game in the off-season and it showed. She’s one of our leaders, she played under control, and it was good to see her play like this.”
He added, “Our kids played awesome tonight start to finish. If they play like this then we’ll win games in this very competitive league. Give Canton credit, they made shots when they needed to.”
The game was tied at 11 after one, but the Bulldogs had only three made field goals and were 5-for-8 from the line. In the second quarter, Cerruti started to find a rhythm, knocking down a pair of threes and getting to the basket off an assist by Gallery. Sydney Gallery added four in the quarter, on a scoop and then a steal and layup.
It was 23-23 at the break and Attleboro grabbed the lead to start the third. Bosh (seven points) grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a short jumper, then Froio also crashed the glass to get a bucket. McCall finally got a good look in the corner off a Thomas drive-and-dish and her three extended the lead to 31-23.
It took Canton a while to get going, but things seemed to click into gear at the perfect time. The Bulldogs found the range and went home with the road win.
“In a close game, the ultimate thing is to win it and they were able to pull it out, which was awesome,” Choquette said.
Canton (1-0) will be at home on Tuesday and playing host to defending league champion Foxboro. Attleboro (0-1) will stay at home for the visit of Mansfield.
2018-2019 Record: 8-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
Attleboro was three wins shy of reaching the postseason last year, despite a roster filled with inexperienced players, and the Bombardiers demonstrated the potential in the squad by upsetting Franklin late in the season and handing the Panthers their only league loss. This winter, the Bombardiers will be looking to turn potential into reality and make a jump into the playoff picture.
Six players are returning from last year, including seniors Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall, who give Attleboro a talented backcourt on both ends of the court. Thomas adds length and slashing ability, while McCall is a sharpshooter who will be the team’s primary ball-handler. Sophomore Meg Gordon has taken a big leap from last year and head coach Marty Crowley thinks that she is ready for a breakout season on the wing.
Juniors Gabby Bosh and Emma Reilly will both be back to add some nous to the lineup, while sophomores Hailey and Lindsey Perry add grit and toughness. Junior Ryan Johnson will add size to the frontcourt, while sophomore Lillian Froio and juniors Jackie MacDonald and Laura McVeigh add depth and physicality. Overall, it is a much deeper, more experienced group for Crowley to build lineups with this season.
“For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound,” Crowley said. “Nyah and Liv I am sure are going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone, however, we feel as if we have the players in place who will contribute offensively.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-7 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Jim Choquette
Youth was served for the Bulldogs last season, as a talented trio of freshmen jumped into the starting lineup and helped Canton have one of its most successful seasons in program history, with 14 wins and a return to the state tournament. There were still some learning curves to overcome, but now a more experienced group is play with speed and get out on the break as often as possible to give Foxboro a challenge in the Davenport title race and bring home a postseason win.
Although Canton is still a relatively young team, the talent on the roster is undeniable. Sophomores Kiara Cerruti and Sydney and Fay Gallery all had impressive rookie campaigns, showing off their skills on the wing, from three-point range, and in the paint. They will face even more pressure this season, as teams know what they like to do and will be even more determined to take them out of their games.
Sophomore Carly Fitzgerald will be one of the players stepping into the point guard role vacated by the graduation of Julia Hamilton and will be the facilitator getting Canton into its offense. In the paint, Canton has size and athleticism in senior Lilah Milton and junior Kayla Albert, who are both active rebounders and finishers at the rim and both have shown the ability to knock down the occasional jumper as well. Juniors Angie Elias and Sam Lamarr and sophomore Annie Hoban all have experience from last year to add to Canton’s depth.
Canton coach Jim Choquette said, “Each day we will try to improve as a coaching staff and a program. By the end of the season, our hopes are to be playing at our best.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-3 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal. Coach: Lisa Downs
The two-time defending Davenport division champions return all but one player from last year’s roster, so Foxboro remains the team to beat for the league title and expectations are very high heading into a new season. After a trip to the Div. 2 South semifinals last season, the Warriors will be aiming for even more this winter, trying to regain the top spot not just in the Hock but also in the South sectional.
Junior Katelyn Mollica was the team’s leading scorer last year and is already closing in on 1,000 points for her career. The team’s primary ball-handler and one of the best shooters in the league, Mollica will be one of the top offensive threats in the league. She will have plenty of help. Senior guard Lizzy Davis and senior forwards Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman will also return to the starting lineup this season and add athleticism, speed, and tenacity on both ends of the floor, taking some pressure off Mollica with their ability to score in the open court.
Senior Shakirah Ketant came on strong at the end of last season and gives Foxboro a different, more physical look in the paint. Junior Jordyn Collins is a tough on-the-ball defender and has speed to burn. Seniors Jamie DeVellis and Julia Kelley both saw time on the floor last year and will add to Foxboro’s depth. Sophomore center Hannah Blake is a new face that could provide more strength in the post.
“The Hockomock League continues to produce teams, which make every night a tough one – there are really no teams that you can take lightly,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “The preparation required to compete in this league really benefits teams that get to the postseason.”
2018-2019 Record: 21-4 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinal. Coach: John Leighton
Franklin is coming off its best season in program history and the Panthers have the talent returning to potentially surpass that success this winter. After winning the program’s first sectional title and coming within minutes of reaching the state title game, Franklin returns three of its starters and a host of bench players ready to step into bigger roles this year.
The key to it all is senior Ali Brigham. The George Washington-commit controlled the paint on both ends of the floor last season and remains the league’s most dominant star, as she continues to expand her game to make it even more difficult for the opposition. Teams can’t focus only on Brigham, as senior forward Meghan O’Connell showed in the playoffs the problems she can present with her ability to score and rebound and sophomore Olivia Quinn is another forward with size that teams will struggle to match up with.
Junior point guard Erin Quaile is a tenacious defender and a solid ball-handler, who is developing her outside shot. Senior Sydney Garilli and juniors Elizabeth Wilson, Teagan Collins, and Carissa Alers all saw time last season and will be in the backcourt rotation. Franklin will also add several newcomers, who could step right in and contribute, including juniors Katelynn Taylor and Kaleigh Houlihan and sophomores Emma Sousa and Stefany Padula. On balance, the Panthers look likely to be the team to beat again in the Kelley-Rex.
“I am excited by what I have seen to date,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “They are a very motivated group who have bought into their team motto ‘We Over Me.’ They are good teammates who seek team success over individual glory.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-8 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Dan Nagle
King Philip had a breakout season in 2018-19, winning 13 games and reaching the Div. 1 South quarterfinal. Returning seven players from last year’s roster, new head coach Dan Nagle takes over a program in solid shape and is looking to build on last season’s success and try to challenge Franklin at the top of the league standings this winter.
Senior Faye Veilleux spearheaded KP’s breakout season when she emerged as one of the top post scorers in the league. Her versatility and her ability to get out in transition will be crucial to Nagle’s fastbreaking style. Senior Faith Roy will give the Warriors a clutch outside shooter and classmate Taylor Butler adds physicality to the guard or forward position.
Junior Emma Glaser will be expected to take on a bigger role after a strong sophomore season on the wing and junior point guard Brianna James demonstrated the ability to get into the lane at will and finish even against taller opponents. Juniors Caroline Aaron and Courtney Keswick are also back from last year to provide depth on the wings and 6-foot-3 freshman Emily Sawyer will give KP much-needed size in the post, as they try to combat Franklin’s Ali Brigham. The Warriors are going to try and break teams down with aggressive defending and their speed in transition.
Nagle said, “It has been a great start to the year with this group of kids. From top to bottom our roster is full of girls who love the game of basketball and are enjoying the process of improving day to day here in the early going. I think we will be a fun team to watch this season, and I look forward to the challenge of having our kids compete night in and night out in an excellent league like the Hockomock.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Mike Redding
Mansfield has consistently been one of the top programs in the Kelley-Rex division but even the best programs are going to need time to overcome the graduation of 10 seniors. The Hornets will lack experience, but head coach Mike Redding will be looking for improvement over the course of the season and will be hoping to have the team playing its best basketball as the tournament rolls around.
Senior Becca Hottleman was recently cleared after knee surgery and will be back at the point for the Hornets. Hottleman is one of only two players that got starts last year. Junior forward Ashley Santos is the other and she will be one of the players expected to see her numbers take a jump, as she should expect to get a few more looks on the offensive end. Senior Kelly Doherty and junior Kayla Vine will jump into starting roles on the wings, while junior Sara Dooling will be a starter at forward.
While there is a lack of varsity playing time on the roster, there are plenty of upperclassmen that will be expected to contribute. Junior Sarah Sacco will back-up Hottleman at the point, while junior Ally Prentis and senior Grace Benton will add depth at the wing. Senior Grace Maher and juniors Brooke Berube and Kacey Veiking will see time in the frontcourt and freshman wing Abby Wager should get opportunities to build experience this season.
“This group has very limited varsity basketball experience overall because we had that large and talented group of 10 seniors last year, but we’re not young and will rely on senior leadership and a deep junior class and all have varsity experience in other sports,” said Redding. “We have good size and depth in the post and all of them can shoot, handle the ball, and play like guards, which should cause some problems for the defense. It will be a work in progress and we’ll have to battle for wins in a very good league but this will be a good basketball team by February when the tourney rolls around.”
2018-2019 Record: 1-19 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Last year was a tough one for Milford. After graduating the bulk of the roster, an inexperienced group struggled through the season, but never lost the work rate and closed out the winter with its first win. The Hawks are still relatively young, but head coach TJ Dolliver is approaching the new year with optimism because of his team’s continued growth.
Four juniors are entering their third varsity seasons and the Hawks will be counting on them to provide necessary leadership on and off the court. Emma Lawrence, Jillian Michelson, Carly Fereira, and Katie Maietta have all gotten plenty of playing time last year and the hope is that experience will serve them well this winter.
This will be a guard-heavy lineup, especially with no player over 5-foot-8. Junior Elise Fauerbach will add some physical play to the frontcourt and sophomore forward Jill Araujo is a newcomer that can add some depth in the paint.
“There is a lot to pay attention to but what I care about the most is how we do this together,” said Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls and a great coaching staff and I believe this season will be very rewarding.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-14 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Nikki Correia
It has been a tough run over the last few seasons for North Attleboro, which won seven games and missed the playoffs for the third straight year, but there are still positives to take away as former assistant Nikki Correia takes over for her first year in charge. North has several experienced players returning to try and push Big Red back up the standings.
The backcourt should be a plus for North with senior point guard Olivia Forbes back to run the show and keep the Rocketeers getting into the transition game that Correia prefers. She will be joined at the guard position by junior Amanda Kaiser, who emerged as not only a threat from deep but also as a tough defender who gets her hands into the passing lane. Juniors Siobhan Weir and Lydia Santos will add to the depth at guard to help with the full-court pressure that North will turn to this year.
North hasn’t had much height in the past few seasons, but there are several forwards who can compete on the glass. Senior forward Eliza Dion is an aggressive defender and can take her defender off the dribble. Senior Regan Fein will add extra depth in the paint. Freshman guard Ava McKeown and sophomore guard Summer Doherty are two newcomers that could make an instant impact.
“I am looking forward to being apart of watching this team and this program grow this year,” Correia said. “There are six returning seniors, so that veteran play will be very helpful, as well as returning a great shooter and adding an athletic sophomore and freshman to the mix.”
2018-2019 Record: 13-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames had a lot of new faces last year, but the success was very familiar. The Tigers finished with 13 wins and reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal, giving Wellesley all it could handle on the road. A year of experience and the return of a strong core of players means expectations are even higher for OA this winter.
Sophomore Caroline Peper will be the player that is going to draw the most attention at the start of the new season. As a freshman, Peper was one of the league’s top scorers and its top shooters. Junior Caroline Flynn was also an all-star last year. She runs the point, is one of the top passers on the team, and also one of its top rebounders. Her overall game helps the Tigers control games. Also in the backcourt will be seniors Meg Holleran and Erin Holmberg, who is coming back after surgery cost her almost all of last season.
Senior Tate Hadges will be on the front line, giving OA another strong defender and rebounder. Sophomore Hailey Bourne, while undersized, gives the Tigers a lot of effort in the post even when matched up against some of the best frontcourt players in the league. Junior Jess Erlich and Tori Harney and sophomore Anna Murphy will add to the team’s depth on the wing.
“As always, the Hock will present with a very high level of competition,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “We are looking forward to being capable of putting together a variety of strong personnel combinations which will provide us with depth as we face those challenges.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sandra Lombardi
Sharon narrowly missed out on its first playoff appearance under head coach Sandy Lombardi, finishing just one win away from a tournament berth. With three returning starters and several younger players who got significant playing time last year, the Eagles will be eyeing that elusive postseason berth.
Three seniors will be counted on to lead the team at both ends of the floor. Point guard Ally Brown will be expected to get the Eagles into their offensive sets and is a strong defender on the other end, keeping pressure on the perimeter. Shooting guard Kaitlyn Wallace is the team’s top outside threat, stretching the defense with her range and also being a strong passer off the dribble. Forward Telishya Herbert led the team in scoring last year and is a matchup nightmare in the paint with her aggressive play going to the basket.
The starting lineup will be rounded out by junior Leah Fandel and sophomore Trinity Payne, two athletic forwards that will give Sharon decent size on the front line. Senior Nicole Teven, juniors Julia Early and Gaby Cabral and freshman Tess Letendre will all see plenty of playing time this season and will look to contribute to the team’s success.
“Ally, Kaitlyn, and Telishya have the most varsity experience and I expect great things from them this year,” Lombardi said. “We have a young team and I am hoping some of the younger players are able to step up this year as well.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
A new era will begin this winter, as Stoughton moves into its brand new gym with a lot of new faces on the roster, hoping to get the Black Knights back into the playoff race this season after missing out on the tournament last year.
The key for the Black Knights will be its senior leadership. Although Sydnee Hyacinthe has moved on to Milton Academy, they still return a strong core led by senior Aliyah Wright. The point guard can be a dominant presence on both ends of the floor, sparking Stoughton on defense and breaking down the opposition off the dribble. Senior Shyanne Trinh is healthy to start the season and will be the team’s top outside threat, with the ability to knock down shots off the dribble. Senior forward Lexi Baptista is an athletic post threat who can also step back and knock down the mid-range jumper.
Senior Hannah Pagano and juniors Brooke Bulger, Mackenzie Manning, and Catherine Downey will add to the team’s depth, especially in the backcourt. Sophomore Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and freshman Kyla Sheedy-Goff will be two of the newcomers to the roster that could make a name for themselves this season.
“Despite being somewhat young this season this group of ladies worked really hard in the off-season,” said Stoughton coach Charmain Steele Jordan. “The sky is the limit this season and our Black Knights are going compete hard until the final whistle blows.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-15 2018-2019 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
After a number of seasons under coach Walter Harrigan, Taunton has turned to former King Philip coach Amy Siggens this year and she has brought plenty of energy into her first preseason with the Tigers, trying to push the program back into the playoff hunt.
As Siggens and the players become more comfortable with each other, the Tigers will count on their returning starters to get things off to a good start. Juniors Sonya and Jaelyn Fernandez and Kelsey White will be the players to watch this season after strong sophomore campaigns. All three have good size, with both Sonya and Jaelyn providing strong presences on the boards and out on the break and White causing match-up issues on the perimeter. All three will need to step up on the defensive end and keep the Tigers running.
Taunton also has depth, although it will be relatively inexperienced. Seniors Liz Crisman and Jaylah Chaves and junior Tori DaRosa will add more depth in the backcourt. Sophomores Braeley McDonald and Abby Souza (who has helped out on varsity since she was an eighth-grader) and freshman Kameron St. Pierre will also chip in this season.
“Any coaching change brings lots of challenges and, this season, we will be faced with our share,” said Siggens. “I am very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far. Our bench is young and talented but how quickly a good group of less experienced players develop, will determine the degree of our progress and we are off to a good start.”
Franklin, 63 vs. Brighton, 35 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Franklin clamped down defensively, forcing Brighton into 32 turnovers on its way to a big win over the Bengals. The Panthers forced 12 turnovers in the first quarter alone and hit their first eight shots from the floor, taking a 25-6 lead after eight minutes of play. Junior Chris Edgehill had a team-high 15 points, senior Will Harvey added eight points, and Jack Rudolph finished with seven points and three assists. Franklin will play host Bridgewater-Raynham in the championship game of the Larry Fisher Holiday Tournament on Saturday at 4:45.
King Philip, 64 vs. New Mission, 72 – Final – King Philip cut the deficit to just three points late in the fourth quarter but New Mission finished strong to close down the Warriors. Bruce Sanitilus scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the final frame to help KP get back into the game. KP scored 38 points in the second half after being held to 26 in the opening 16 minutes. Alex Fritz added 14 points (11 in the second half) while both Andrew McKinney and Tim Nault finished with 11 points. King Philip will play host Auburn in the consolation game on Friday night at 5:00.
Milford, 60 vs. New Bedford, 51 – Final – Milford built an eight-point lead (19-11) after one quarter, led by 11 at half and after three quarters, and held on for a win over New Bedford. Senior Brendan White had a team-high 17 points and hauled in 14 boards while sophomore Jordan Darling also had a big night, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Oliver Ames, 66 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 29 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Oliver Ames turned a dominant performance on the glass into a big win over Dighton-Rehoboth in an opening round game of the Muscato Tournament. The Tigers had an 11-0 advantage on the boards in the first quarter, grabbing six offensive boards to jump out to a 23-7 lead. OA continued to control the boards with a 23-3 advantage at halftime, resulting in a 34-16 lead at the break. Junior Jay Spillane had a career-high 14 points to pace the Tigers while senior Ethan Eckstrom added 11 points. OA will play Cardinal Spellman in the championship game on Saturday.
Taunton, 77 vs. Charlestown, 53 – Final – Taunton outscored Charlestown 24-9 in the second quarter, and put up 48 points between the second and third to earn a double-digit win over Charlestown. Senior Wesner Charles scored a career-high 21 points while junior Dante Law also had a 21-point performance, including 13 in the first half. Senior Mike Quinn added 11 points and Naz Kenion chipped in with 10 points. Taunton will play host Durfee in the finals of the Skip Karam Holiday Classic on Friday at 6:30.
Attleboro, 42 @ North Attleboro, 34 – Final – Liv McCall scored 16 points to send Attleboro into Saturday’s final of the North Attleboro holiday tournament. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley credited the Bombardiers great team defense and added that Lillian Froio played really well off the bench.
Oliver Ames, 47 vs. Needham, 64 – Final – Oliver Ames trailed by just a point after three quarters but the Rockets dominated the final quarter, outscoring the Tigers 23-7 to earn the win. Freshman Caroline Peper had a career-high 19 points for Oliver Ames, who will host Brockton in the consolation game of the Sue Rivard Holiday Tournament on Friday at 6:00.
Sharon, 34 vs. Middleboro, 38 – Final – Emma Eberhardt led the way for the Eagles with 17 points.
Stoughton, 39 vs. Belmont, 70 – Final – Stoughton junior Aliyah Wright had a team-high 11 points for the Black Knights, who will play Newton South on Friday at 5:00.
Taunton, 65 vs. Durfee, 49 – Final – Taunton jumped out to a 13 point lead by halftime (31-18) and kept control in the second half. Sonya Fernandez had another strong all-around game for the Tigers with 20 points, eight rebounds, and nine blocks. Alexa White added 17 points and Lily Patneaude chipped in with 11 in the win.
Franklin, 2 @ Mount St. Charles (R.I.), 3 – Final (OT) – Franklin senior Joe Lizotte and junior Shane McCaffrey each scored once but the Panthers fell in overtime to host Mount St. Charles. Ryan Cameron had an outstanding game in net for the Panthers. The game will go down as a tie for MIAA purposes.
King Philip, 0 vs. Quincy, 3 – Final
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Cumberland (R.I.), 0 – Final – Tyler Sarro and John Connolly scored for the Rocketeers, who earned their first win of the season.
Oliver Ames, 7 vs. Matignon, 0 – Final – Brett Williams scored two goals and assisted on another and Cullen Gallagher had one goal and a pair of assists to power OA to Friday’s tournament championship game against Hanover. Colin Bourne, Max Ward, Ross Carroll, and Brad Powers also scored for the Tigers, while Owen Connor made nine saves to record the shutout.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Tri-County, 3 – Final – Stoughton’s offense exploded for four goals in the second period, helping the Black Knights pick up the win. Senior Carter Gerome and freshman Colin Alessi each scored a pair of goals for the Knights while freshman Joe McNulty scored the other goal.
Taunton, 0 vs. Scituate, 2 – Final
Canton, 3 vs. Medfield/Norton, 2 – Final (2 OT) – After Medfield/Norton scored twice in the third period to grab the lead, Maggie Malloy scored with just 44 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2-2, forcing overtime and keeping Canton unbeaten this season (both teams get a point for MIAA standings). During the 3-on-3 second OT period, Lauren Fitzpatrick went the length of the ice for her second goal of the game to send the Bulldogs into the Ice House tournament final to face Westwood. Fitzpatrick also opened the scoring for Canton with a second period goal assisted by Lizzie Tassinari and Payton McDonough.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Walpole, 5 – Final
Lowell Tournament (Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Taunton), 9:00
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Sharon), 10:00
Attleboro vs. Norton, 4:30
Franklin, 137.5 @ Mansfield, 147.5 – Final
King Philip @ Taunton, 11:00AM
Sharon @ Taunton, 11:00AM
2017-2018 Record: 9-13 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
The Bombardiers were just two wins shy of a playoff spot last season under new head coach Marty Crowley and Attleboro brings back three starters and has added several new faces to the roster to try and make a postseason push this winter.
The graduation of leading scorer Sam Pierce (16 points per game) means that a number of players are going to need to step in and make up for production on offense and on the glass. Senior point guard Jordyn Lako will be back to run the Bombardiers offense and provide three-point shooting, while junior Nyah Thomas is a versatile weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Both are also aggressive defenders, who set the tone on that end of the floor. Senior forward Mackenzie Roberts can score in the post or from beyond the arc and junior Liv McCall is a dynamic guard who is capable of big scoring nights.
Defense has always been the focus of teams that Crowley coaches and the Bombardiers will be no different. To keep up that defensive intensity, the Bombardiers have added depth to the rotation. Seniors Abby Struminski and Dom Garnes (who was out last season with an injury) provide leadership, while sophomores Gabby Bosh and Sonny Stuger and freshmen Meghan Gordon and Lillian Froio are newcomers to keep an eye on.
“Hopefully we can generate scoring opportunities off our defense and use our athleticism to create baskets,” said Crowley. “We have a great mix of experience and youth. We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been spirited and the kids have been working hard.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-11 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Jim Choquette
Last winter, Canton got a taste of the postseason for the first time in seven seasons and now the program will try to build on that momentum while finding a way to replace the scoring and rebounding of Hannah Jerrier, who averaged a double-double for the Bulldogs last winter. An exciting crop of underclassmen has been added to the roster and now Canton will try to build experience with a schedule that puts them on the road for the majority of the first half of the year.
While Jerrier will obviously be missed, the Bulldogs bring back the other four starters and other players with plenty of experience to try and make it a much shorter wait to get back into the playoffs. Senior point guard Julia Hamilton is back to run the offense, senior Erin Devine gives Canton control on the glass and a rim protector on defense, senior Molly Ludwig gives balance to the offense, and senior Maggie Connolly is one of the league’s top defensive players on the perimeter. Senior Nicole Galvin will add depth to the backcourt.
Junior Lilah Milton came on strong at the tail of end of last season, including a huge game in the playoff-clinching win over Weymouth, and could take up some of Jerrier’s scoring from the power forward position. Sophomore Kayla Albert gained valuable experience last season as a freshman and current rookies Sydney and Fay Gallery, and Kiara Cerruti have the potential to step right into the rotation and contribute.
“Details are everything to us,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “If our group of young talent and veteran leadership/experience can continue to stay focused on the details during the good times and tough times of a season then we should continue to improve and have a very excited and successful season.”
2017-2018 Record: 26-2 2017-2018 Finish: Won Div. 2 state championship. Coach: Lisa Downs
Last season was one to remember for the Warriors, who rolled through the regular season in dominating fashion and lived up to the team’s immense potential by bringing home the Div. 2 state title. With the graduation of a very strong senior class, the expectations are much lower for the Warriors this season but there are several returning players and new faces that have Foxboro coach Lisa Downs confident that the program can continue its recent run of success in the Davenport division.
Losing players like Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes, Grace Tamulionis, and Shannon Smally is a challenge for any team, but the Warriors will bring back a pair of starters from the playoff run in sophomore Katelyn Mollica and junior Abby Hassman. Mollica is the team’s top returning scorer and will be one of the top point guards in the Hock with her ability to shoot and score off the dribble. Hassman gives Foxboro a strong presence on the glass and showed increased confidence in her offensive game at the end of last season. Senior Chelsea Gibbons and junior Lizzy Davis should see increased minutes and bigger roles in the offense this year.
Juniors Shakirah Ketant and Yara Fawaz should give Foxboro more depth in the post and contribute on the glass and both saw limited minutes in the playoffs last winter. Sophomores Adrienne Dunn and Jordyn Collins will be newcomers to the backcourt and have impressed during the preseason, while junior forward Anita Busznyak is expected to see a lot more time this year and could be a player to watch.
Downs is hoping this year’s team will learn from the graduating class. She said, “The time they spent practicing with and playing against these girls has really paid off – they know what is expected of them on the court and what is required to be a winning team. We have established a winning culture at Foxboro and the players know that I expect nothing more than what they should expect from themselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 15-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central first round. Coach: John Leighton
The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year’s roster, which reached the state tournament but lost in the opening round to Natick, and there are high expectations on Oak St. as the new season gets underway. Franklin enters the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and its balanced lineup has the potential to make a run in the state tournament as well.
Much of the enthusiasm for Franklin’s chances this winter come from 6-foot-3 center Ali Brigham. The junior recently committed to George Washington (where her father once played) and is the lone returning player from last season HockomockSports.com First Team. While she (deservedly) garners much of the attention, the Panthers have a number of other weapons to give the opposition headaches. Senior guard Bea Bondhus, who committed to Springfield College, is one of the top three-point shooters in the Hock and sophomore guard Elizabeth Wilson is back from an injury that cut short the promising start to her varsity career.
The Panthers will also bring back versatile junior forwards Megan O’Connell and Breanna Atwood, who add size in the paint but can also take defenders off the dribble or knock down outside shots. Seniors Hailey Sanders and Calen Frongillo add depth to the frontcourt, while senior Shannon Gray and juniors Kelsey MacCallum and Sydney Garilli are capable of stepping in at either guard position.
“It is our goal to compete each night and to improve from last year,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “With 10 returning players, we feel our experience will help us to better prepare for the season and compete against the best in our league.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip had to battle injuries throughout head coach Amy Siggens’ first year in charge, including a late season injury to leading scorer Shannon O’Connor, but the Warriors are healthy coming into this season and with a year to get use to a new system, confidence is high that KP can make a push up the standings and fight for a postseason berth this winter.
O’Connor is the key piece returning for the Warriors. A four-year varsity player who has been recruited by Div. I college programs, O’Connor gives KP a consistent scorer and someone who will draw opposing defenses. Senior Julia Leroux will be back at the point and running the KP offense, while junior Faith Roy is the team’s best outside threat and has developed as a ball-handler who can score in a variety of ways. Sophomore Emma Glaser, who battled injuries throughout her freshman season, will add versatility to the lineup and can play multiple positions and her classmate Courtney Keswick is a newcomer to watch in the backcourt.
The Warriors will also have strength in the post with senior Catherine Cummings providing a solid presence on the glass and junior Faye Veilleux giving KP length and athleticism at the forward position. Newcomers like junior Taylor Butler and returning senior Kendall Mason will give added depth and strong play on the defensive end of the floor.
There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding our team this year with our sights on continued growth and improvement upon our overall record from a year ago,” Siggens said. “Our practices have been very competitive and I’m encouraged by our team’s attitude and overall interest in getting better. I like this team a lot and I look forward to the challenge of helping each girl reach her maximum potential.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
After three straight league titles and four trips to the Div. 1 South semifinal in the past four seasons (including back-to-back finals), Mansfield has been one of the most consistent teams in the Hockomock League, but the Hornets enter this season trying to replace Meg Hill, who scored more than 1,000 points and pulled down more than 1,000 points in her stellar career. With 10 seniors and loads of athleticism, this might be a very different looking Mansfield attack, but one that has the potential to keep the Hornets right back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and capable of making another deep tournament run.
The Hornets have been known for slowing the ball down and running intricate sets, but this team is suited for getting up and down the court as quickly as possible, highlighted by senior guard Mady Bendanillo, one of the quickest players in the Hock. Senior forward Maggie Danehy has emerged as a strong interior scorer and someone who can control the glass, but she is also someone who can run like a guard and get out on the break for easy baskets. Seniors Sydney Mulkern and Erin Daniel add wing scoring and are both solid shooters who can spread the floor and open lanes to the basket.
Athletic senior forwards Emily Vigeant and Steph Kemp can outrun many of the guards in the league and senior point guard Kara Bendanillo is another speedster who can push the ball off makes or misses. Sophomore Ashley Santos saw time last year as a rookie and adds to the frontcourt depth and versatility, while junior Becca Hottleman will be back to give Mansfield another option at guard.
It is a different feel to the lineup but one that Mansfield coach Mike Redding feels can be effective. He said, “We need to rebound as a team and must change our style to up-tempo with defensive pressure/fast breaks and play to our strengths (athleticism and depth).”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central quarterfinal. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Milford coach T.J. Dolliver brings back six players from the team that not only reached the state tournament last season but also went on the road and beat Burncoat handily, the program’s first playoff win since 2001. The problem for the Hawks is that almost the entire rotation from last year’s team has graduated, including 1,000-point scorer Kate Irwin.
While this may be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, Dolliver sees it as an opportunity for players to step into new roles and establish themselves as starters and as regular contributors. The lone senior back from last year is forward Grace Risio, who Dolliver said made a difference when she was given the opportunity last year, and sophomore guard Jillian Michelson saw some time in the backcourt as a rookie.
The Hawks will have eight sophomores on the roster this season, so it is clear that Milford is going to try and build with youth, similar to several teams from last year. Among the players from last year’s roster, forwards Katie Maietta, guard Emma Lawrence, and forward Carly Ferreira all got time as freshmen and could see those minutes increase significantly this winter.
Dolliver said, “With our entire rotation graduating last year, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for everyone in the program. It will be exciting to watch who emerges within the group and elevates their game to compete at the varsity level.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Derek Herber
Last year was a tough transition season for the Rocketeers, as North Attleboro moved on from a number of players who were starters for several years and incorporated a number of new, young faces into the lineup. North had a better second half to the season and will try to build on that this winter with a more experienced group of players.
Senior Julia Feid is back on the wing and is North’s top returning scorer, coming off a season in which she averaged more than nine points per game. Fellow seniors Liz Smahi and Emma Noreck will add leadership in the backcourt and try to set the direction for the team this year. Junior point guard Olivia Forbes, who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last season, will be back to get the offense going and provide strong defense on the perimeter. Junior Eliza Dion also returns to add rebounding and interior scoring for a team that can’t count on a lot of height in the paint.
The North offense improved over the course of last season with the addition of sophomore Amanda Kaiser (8.6 points per game) and junior Julia Kleczkowski (40 percent from three-point range), who can both fill it up from the outside and who are both willing to take any shot that presents itself. Several newcomers will fill out the roster with the potential of adding important minutes over the course of the season, including sophomore Lydia Santos and Siobhan Weir.
“We will rely on Julia Feid to be our first option on offense and the sooner we can develop a consistent second option will be a factor in the early part of the season,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “The inside scoring option will hopefully be Eliza Dion, while both Amanda Kaiser and Julia Kleczkowski showed an ability to stretch the defense with their outside shooting in limited time last year.”
2017-2018 Record: 16-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames will be making a transition this year following the graduation of Kayla Raymond, who was a two-time HockomockSports.com First Team performer and last year’s league MVP (and is already a three-time Rookie of the Week at Stonehill College), but the Tigers have a number of returning players to try and make up for Raymond’s production on both ends of the floor and make another run at a league title.
Senior Alex Sheldon grew in confidence over the course of last season and became a double-double machine by the end of the year, dominating on the glass and improving her finishing around the rim. Junior Erin Holberg emerged last year as a strong scorer on the perimeter with her touch from the outside and ability to take defenders off the dribble. Junior Meg Holleran is in her third season on varsity and is a tough, physical defender who can knock down shots from the outside.
Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a strong freshman season, playing several positions (from point guard to small forward), crashing the boards, and showing off decent range. The return of senior Sadie Homer will add energy on both ends of the floor and give the Tigers another strong outside shooter to stretch the floor, while senior Ally Scolnick came off the bench last season to add another shooter to the OA offense.
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of the experienced returning players, “They will lead the youngest team OA has put on the court in quite a long time. We are looking towards gaining valuable game experience and coming into to our own as the season progresses.”
2017-2018 Record: 2-18 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sanda Lombardi
It was a tough winter for new Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi, as the Eagles struggled to a two-win season, but five of their losses were by 10 points or fewer and they return all but one player from last season’s team. With a year to get acclimated to Lombardi’s system, an experienced roster of returning players, and several newcomers, Sharon has its sights set on getting into the postseason for the first time since its run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
Sharon returns its leading scorer and playmaker in senior Emma Eberhardt, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team last season, and she will once again be the focal point of the offense, as well as one of the team’s leading defenders. Eberhardt’s versatility as a wing player should open things up for junior guards Kaitlyn Wallace and Ally Brown, who will both fill in as ball-handlers after the graduation of Miranda Cheung. Wallace will extend defenses with her shooting from the outside and Brown adds energy to the backcourt defense.
Senior guard Bridget McManus will add depth and junior forward Telishya Herbert provides a strong presence in the paint. Junior Olivia Langol-Leonard added frontcourt depth and was active on the glass in her time on the court, while senior forward Evanjuline Elisma can score in transition and adds another solid wing defender.
“We only lost one player due to graduation,” said Lombardi. “We have the entire team back and we added some height. I’m excited to see what the season brings. The girls are working hard and our goal is to qualify for the postseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton started last season with five straight defeats and only one win in the opening eight games, but the Black Knights turned things around with a vengeance, winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season and winning its opening game of the state tournament. Stoughton’s only two losses in its final 14 games of the season were to state champion Foxboro. That is a lot of momentum for the Black Knights to carry into this year.
It may be a little different look for Stoughton this winter after the graduation of Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Instead of being a team that dominates the paint, there will be a host of guards and wing players who can still battle on the glass, but will bring energy and tenacity on the perimeter on both ends of the court. Junior Aliyah Wright is back as the team’s point guard and her length makes her a factor guarding multiple positions. Senior Lindsay McDonald adds versatility as a combo guard and sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe is a dynamic guard and stretches defenses with her ability to shoot from the outside.
While there are a lot of familiar faces returning for the Black Knights, there are several players who will have more responsibility this year and the potential to make big contributions. Junior Lexi Baptista defends well at the forward position and gives a different look on the post, while seniors Hailey Egan and Heather Maddalena will add extra toughness to the backcourt. Junior Shyanne Trinh is still battling an injury at the beginning of the season, but she will give Stoughton a big scoring boost when she returns.
“This season will be all about our effort, energy and enthusiasm on defense,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The Black Knights will be most successful when we put in work on the defensive end and finish each play with a Black Knights rebound.”
2017-2018 Record: 7-15 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton started last winter well and had the potential for making a return to the state tournament, but injuries slowed things down for the Tigers and they missed out on the postseason. While the year didn’t end the way they would have hoped, a number of younger players were given valuable varsity experience and there are a number of returning players ready to make an impact.
Senior Lily Patneaude will be the player to watch for the Tigers, as the team’s leading scorer from last year. After battling an injury down the stretch, her return gives Taunton a consistent primary offensive weapon and takes some of the scoring pressure off her teammates. Senior point guard Alexa White is also back to provide leadership, energy, and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Kelsey White showed flashes as a rookie of being the secondary scorer that Taunton needs, with her ability to knock down shots from the outside and take defenders off the dribble.
Even with a year of experience, Taunton is still a relatively young team. Sophomores Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will provide athleticism from the forward positions and give Taunton effort in the paint, while sophomore Tori DaRose, and freshmen Abby Souza (who saw brief minutes as an eighth-grader last season) and Braeley MacDonald give the Tigers depth off the bench.
“We have great group of enthusiast student athletes consisting of senior leadership, youth, athleticism, and talent,” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan. “This team is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.”