TAUNTON, Mass. – Coming off back-to-back heartbreaking losses to open the season, it’s understandable that Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey wasn’t comfortable until the final buzzer sounded.
In the opening two contests, the Tigers have led nearly wire-to-wire but for the final seconds of each contest. North Attleboro buried the go-ahead three with 6.7 seconds to go in the season opener and Oliver Ames drained a triple with 8.5 seconds to play for its first lead on Wednesday night.
Taunton found itself in a similar situation on Thursday night, having led for the entire second half with visiting Foxboro mounting a comeback. This time, the Tigers never allowed the lead to evaporate and held on for a 58-52 win over the Warriors, who were playing in their first game of the season.
“That’s a really good win for us,” Dacey said. “[Foxboro] is better than the two teams we’ve played. Coming off back-to-back games, missing Danny MacDougall (sick), it’s a short bench and we’re playing guys that might not normally be playing. We got a little something from everyone.”
With very little varsity experience on the current roster (two seniors, both new to varsity), the Tigers felt like they let two wins slip through their fingers. With Foxboro pushing hard to complete the comeback, Taunton showed some mettle to earn the win.
Foxboro senior Brandon Borde (11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) converted off a Taunton turnover and then set up classmate Ryan Hughes (eight points) for an easy two on back-to-back possessions to cut the Tigers’ lead to 49-46 with just over two minutes to go.
Instead of allowing that momentum to carry over out of a timeout, Taunton sophomore Trent Santos (10 points) pulled up and sank a big three-pointer to answer with 1:44 to play. After trading turnovers, Taunton sophomore Tristan Herry (10 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) came up with a steal that led to an easy two and a 54-46 advantage with 1:02 to play.
Foxboro refused to go away as junior Kevin Gallagher (nine points, three assists) sank one of two free throws, senior Will Morrison (12 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals) picked off a pass that led to a three from Borde, and a full-court press resulted in an errant pass out of bounds by the Tigers to get the visitors the ball back.
Taunton got an important stop as Foxboro missed from downtown but the Tigers, holding a 54-50lead, missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Warriors missed another three attempt and both Herry and junior Tyler Stewart (14 points, 12 rebounds) sank their free throws to ice the game.
In the win, the Tigers had eight of the nine players that played score, and all nine players had at least one board to contribute to a 37-30 advantage on the glass.
“It has to take everyone,” Dacey said, as four Tigers reached double figures in scoring. “They all play hard, they all practice hard. They are a coachable group of kids that have been fun to work with.”
Taunton faced an early deficit (6-0 three minutes in and 9-6 with two minutes to go in the first) but took the lead by the end of the first quarter (13-9). The Tigers only fell behind one, at 19-18 with 2:51 left in the second, the rest of the way.
Any time the Warriors made it close in the second half, Taunton had an answer. The Warriors knotted the score 29-29 early in the third but Taunton senior Logan Lawrence finished through contact to regain the lead, sparking an 11-3 run.
During that run, Stewart converted in the post, junior Josh Lopes (10 points, four rebounds, three steals) had a steal for an easy layup, Stewart finished off a nice feed from Herry, and Santos drained another three for a 40-32 advantage late in the third.
Foxboro answered with a 7-1 burst between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, Dylan Barreira (eight rebounds) battled for an offensive board and earned a free throw, Gallagher converted in the lane, Liam Devlin opened the fourth quarter with a basket on a nice pass from Morrison, and senior Donald Rogers scored off a turnover to make it a two-point game again at 41-39.
Sophomore Faisal Mass (five points, three rebounds) gave the Tigers a nice boost off the bench, coming in to convert an offensive rebound to help halt the Warriors’ momentum. Lopes followed with two, Herry sank two more free throws, and another finish from Stewart pushed the lead back to 49-42.
“I thought offensively it looked like our first game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We were just sloppy and out of sync offensively, and Taunton’s defense had a lot to do with that. But I thought early on we had too many sloppy turnovers with guys trying to do too much early and we couldn’t find our rhythm. Game speed and game atmosphere is obviously different than practice but it was good to get this first one under the belt, and I think we’ll get a lot better moving forward. At Taunton is a pretty unforgiving opener, and give Taunton credit because they capitalized on a lot of our mistakes.
“But I’m proud of the guys that they hung around too. We trailed for most of the game but they hung in there and fought to the end and put ourselves to maybe steal it down the stretch. I thought our defense was good overall but [Taunton] had some timely shots that broke our momentum.”
Herry scored seven of his points in the second quarter and Lopes netted half of his total in that frame to help Taunton take a 29-24 lead at halftime. Juniors Kedrick Santos, Nigel Choate, and William Rowan all came off the bench to provide valuable minutes in the first half.
Both Morrison and Gallagher had a pair of triples to make up half the Warriors’ first half scoring while Devlin came off the bench and had two blocks.
Taunton boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it takes on Bishop Stang at New Bedford High School. Foxboro (0-1, 0-1) is back in action against Bishop Feehan on Monday.
2018-2019 Record: 18-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mark Houle
Attleboro fulfilled high expectations last year with a terrific regular season but had its postseason run cut short in the opening round of the tournament. With an experienced, battle-tested, and deep group of seniors, the Bombardiers are hoping to take the next step during the 2019-2020 season.
The Bombardiers have seven seniors on the roster with six having plenty of valuable minutes at the varsity level. It all starts with a pair of four-year varsity players and captains Bryant Ciccio and Qualeem Charles. Both have played over 60 games for head coach Mark Houle and earned HockomockSports.com First Team honors a year ago. Ciccio (14.7 ppg, 3.2 apg) is like a coach on the floor and Charles (13.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg) is a matchup nightmare and one of the most dominant post players in recent years.
But there is much more to the Bombardiers, such as senior captain Tim Callahan. Callahan had a strong junior season with 7.7 points per game and can change a game with his outside shooting. He will also be relied upon to anchor the defense. Guard Nick McMahon and forward Lorenzo Wilson provided a spark off the bench last season and will be key pieces this season. And senior Jason Weir is back in the mix after missing last year due to injury. Weir showed flashes during his sophomore season, a versatile player that can play in the post or step outside and knock down a three.
Attleboro has a variety of weapons on the offensive end and that will make them difficult to defend. They have a couple of good weapons that can score down low and then a handful of shooters, so the inside-out game will be a big part of the game plan. Charles gives the Bombardiers protection around the rim while all five players are the court will have to contribute on the boards to eliminate second-chance points.
“We will rely on a battle-tested group of seniors, but we will need our underclassman to continue to develop and be ready to step in and play important roles on the team,” said head coach Mark Houle. “We have a hard-working group of players who compete and challenge each other every day in practice.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-10 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Ryan Gordy
After winning back-to-back Davenport division titles, the Bulldogs know it will be a grind to try and get a third with a big target on their backs.
Gone is the program’s all-time leading scorer and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Devin Foster, who was one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league over the past two seasons. That means there is going to be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up for the Bulldogs. Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said this year’s team will be a “much more space and paced” orientated team. Gordy is expecting a more spread out opportunistic approach that will feature contributions from anyone who checks in.
While Foster graduated, the Bulldogs do have a handful of talented and experienced players back on the roster. Senior Kyle Fitzgerald is the top returning scorer from a year ago, netting double figures in six contests. He is also a workhorse on defense and will be one of the leaders on the court. Robbie Gallery, Matt Giglio, and Eric Mischler were all starters at some point during the 2018-2019 season so Gordy will have some veterans to lean on during the year. Gallery, Giglio, and Mischler all showed the ability to come up with a big shot at any time and will help space the floor.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are looking at their versatility and depth to give them flexibility. Gordy believes he has a strong mix of players that will allow him to switch things up and adjust each and every game. Sophomore Lanse Dorcelus earned minutes for the final month of last season and could be a key piece this season.
“We feel like our program is healthy and players have made a commitment to growth,” Gordy said. “This season we are going to focus on the process and maximizing the strengths of our players. Our culture and direction has been a bright spot as we focus on the player person and team development each practice and game. We’re excited to see where we are and where we can get too.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Jon Gibbs
There is good news and bad news when it comes to the Foxboro boys basketball team this season. The good news is that the Warriors expect to once again be one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. The bad news is for the rest of the Hockomock League as Foxboro boasts an improved offense, and combined with their traditional tough defense, has the Warriors in position for a Davenport division title.
With four of their five top scorers back this season, including senior Brandon Borde (team-high 15.3 ppg) and junior Kevin Gallagher (12.9 ppg), the Warriors are looking to ride a balanced approach on offense to improve their scoring after finishing 10th in scoring in the Hockomock League last season (54.4 points per game). Borde is one of the most experienced players back in the league and has the ability to create his own looks as well as lead the team as the floor general. Gallagher had a breakout sophomore season and can really fill up the scoring column, especially from deep.
Borde and Gallagher will also get help from senior Will Morrison, who can catch fire from deep, and senior Ryan Hughes, who can give opponents trouble in the paint. All four players are returning starters from a season ago, so that gives Foxboro an advantage, especially defensively. Head coach Jon Gibbs called the defense the “foundation” of the team. Foxboro has consistently been very fundamentally sound and disciplined on the defensive end.
Seniors Dylan Barreira, Michael Devlin, Liam Devlin, and Donald Rogers all played important minutes last season and will provide a lot of depth for Foxboro.
“We have been making progress each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been very competitive so far as guys work hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we stay hungry, humble, and unselfish, it has the potential to be a very successful season.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Central Quarterfinal Coach: CJ Neely
Ever since the Hockomock League split into two divisions, Franklin has entered each season as one of the top teams in the Kelley-Rex and that looks to be the case yet again this year.
As it does each and every season, defense comes first for the Panthers. Franklin was the best defensive team in the Hockomock League last year, allowing just 48.9 points per game. Not only did the Panthers lead the league in that category, they were the lone team to keep opponents under 50 points on average. It’s the second straight year they’ve had the best defense in the division and third straight year they are in the top three. There are a lot of talented individual defenders on the team but year in and year out, Franklin’s team defense gives them a chance to win.
Offensively, the Panthers boast the top returning scorer in the league in three-year starter Chris Edgehill. Edgehill, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark last season, is an absolute handful to deal with on the offensive end of the court. He can score in a variety of ways, and on top of that, he is very good at getting teammates involved (four assists per game last year). Seniors Jack Rudolph and Steve Karayan are also back after playing valuable minutes last season and will be relied upon on both ends of the floor.
“We have a lot of guys who worked really hard in the offseason to improve and are excited to get on the court,” said head coach CJ Neely. “It’s a great group of people who have a lot of fun together. We need to stay aggressive and share the ball. We hope that strong team defense will continue to be something that defines our program.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dave DeStefano
With a solid group of players returning from last season, second-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping to guide his Warriors back to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Warriors showed flashes throughout last year, including an upset win of Kelley-Rex champions Mansfield on the road. But they were also on the wrong end of a handful of close games, losing five games by five or fewer points. With a year of experience in DeStefano’s system, and for a lot of players their first year of varsity under their belts, King Philip is hoping to turn those close games into wins.
KP boasts two returning starters in Alex Fritz and Andrew McKinney, both standing at 6’3. Fritz had a breakout junior campaign and was the fourth-highest scorer in the Hockomock League with 15.5 points per game. He was able to score in a variety of ways, including through contact at the rim, and will be a vital piece this year. McKinney was fifth on the team in scoring last year, scoring in double-figures in five contests, including a career-high 19 points at Stoughton. Senior Tommy Donahue looks to give the Warriors a strong presence in the post while classmates Owen Conlin and Chris Roy look to be in the mix. Seniors Robbie Jarest and Tom Weir are back in the mix after a year away from the program.
Defensively, King Philip will be relying on its size and physicality. While Donahue (6’5) will be the main rim protector, having long guards and forwards will help KP make life difficult for opponents. The Warriors will need to improve on the defensive end after surrendering a division-high 63.7 points per game last year. DeStefano is looking to get some contributions from junior juniors Donte Barros, Cole Breen, Joe Cullen, Evan Stephens, Will Kinney, and Jake Silveria while sophomores Charlie Grant and Braeden Sottile will likely be in the mix too.
“The boys have really worked hard this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The practices have been really competitive and physical. For us to be successful we will need to make a big commitment on the defensive end of the floor. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops. On offense we are looking to have a balanced attack and create great scoring opportunities as a team.”
2018-2019 Record: 22-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Mike Vaughan
The Hockomock League continues to run through Mansfield.
The Hornets have won the Kelley-Rex division title in eight of its nine years, and it looks like Mansfield will be the team to beat again this year. Three players that burst onto the scene last year – Sam Stevens, TJ Guy, Matt Boen – are now three of the top players in the Hock heading into this season. Mansfield certainly graduated a lot of talent in Tommy Dooling, Damani Scott, and Khristian Conner, but with those three starters back plus seniors Drew Rooney and Makhi Baskin, as well as a handful of newcomers ready to make an impact, Mansfield is poised for another deep tournament run.
Stevens (11.2 ppg) will be one of the toughest players to stop with his ability to finish around the rim as well as deadly three-point shooting, Guy (10.9 ppg) is very good in the post on both ends of the floor, and Boen (9.5 ppg) can score in a variety of ways. All three are capable of filling up the stat sheet on any given night. Baskin provides a lot of energy and can change the game with his effort while Rooney showed last year that he can matchup with some of the top players in the league on the defensive end.
Juniors Brian and Jason See are both strong shooters that work tirelessly on both ends of the floor and should be in the mix for the Hornets this year. Juniors Jack Colby and Brendan Foley will be looking to bring a spark off the bench while sophomore Matt Hyland and freshman Chris Hill are promising young players that could contribute right away.
“I think our depth and ability to play different styles will be a strength of this team,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I’m excited to see where this team can get to as they continue to work hard in practice and mix their individual talents to form our team identity. Transition play, scoring inside and out will be strength on offense. Playing solid man to man and uptempo defense with our depth could create some issues for our opponents.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Paul Seaver
After a season of ups and downs, the Milford Scarlet Hawks are hoping last year’s growing pains transition into a playoff berth this season.
With a large group of returnees, the Hawks will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division title. While head coach Paul Seaver returns the majority of his team, he will need some of the those players to step up on the offensive end the fill the void left by graduation. The Hawks graduated its top three scorers, including the second-highest scorer in the league in Brendan White (18.2 ppg). That means there will be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up and contribute.
Junior Jordan Darling (7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and senior Colby Pires (6.1 ppg) are the top two point producers back this year while junior Dom Schofield also returns after starting as a sophomore. Darling started 19 games this year and was selected to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team after a strong season on both ends of the court. Pires is a leader both on and off the court and plays well in all aspects of the game, and Schofield gives Milford a strong post presence on the defensive end, recording a team-high 38 charges taken last season.
Ralph Franklin Jr., Matty Varteresian, Tyler Whetherbee, and Ben Blanchard all saw time throughout last season and could all be in line for bigger roles this season.
“Our depth will matter, our balance will matter, our chemistry is this group’s most important attribute,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We were the youngest team in the league last season and this group has a lot of players back who are attacking this year with a chip on their shoulder. This group defines what Milford basketball is and that’s a testament to who these kids are hard workers and higher character individuals. I could not be any more excited to coach and work with these kids on a daily basis.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Sean Mulkerrins
There are going to be a lot of new faces dawning the Big Red uniform this winter. After losing nine seniors to graduation, head coach Sean Mulkerrins has just three players back from last year’s nine-win squad.
With a large amount of new players comes a large amount of opportunities. The Rocketeers graduated its two top scorers but bring back senior Ethan Friberg (7.0 ppg) and junior George Ladd (7.4 ppg) to lead the charge offensively this year. Friberg, standing at 6’5, can cause problems in the paint but also van step out and play along the perimeter. Ladd had a breakout sophomore season and was named to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team. He is a little of a throwback player that is very fundamentally sound on the offensive end. Senior Josh Porter, the third returner, saw an expanded role at the end of last season and played well.
Defensively, the Rocketeers will be focusing on limiting opponents to one shot per possession. With some size in the frontcourt, North will try to make it difficult to finish at the rim, and with all five players committed to rebounding, try and minimize second-chance points.
“There will be a lot of new faces with opportunities to make an impact on this year’s team,” Mulkerrins said. “There will definitely be some growing pains and the sooner the new faces adjust to the rigors of varsity basketball, the better we will be.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Don Byron
Last season, Oliver Ames came up just one game shy of the state tournament. Goal number one for the 2019-2020 season is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
With a strong mix of experienced players and hungry new additions, Oliver Ames is ready for the grind that is the Kelley-Rex division and the Hockomock League.
“The expectation is to always get [to the tournament], that’s our first goal,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “We’re pretty optimistic but we know it’s going to be a grind, you have to show up every night, you can’t take a night off.”
Byron has been impressed with his guard play so far this preseason, and that will likely mean featuring three guards in the lineup for the majority of the time. Senior Jay Spillane is a returning starter while classmate Owen Friel and junior Amari Brown were top options off the bench a season ago. Spillane can score in bunches, especially from the outside, while Friel combines a solid shooting game with a hard-nosed defensive approach. Friel’s ability to guard a variety of position makes him a valuable piece in the lineup while Brown is a crafty player that does a nice job getting teammates involved.
Senior center Evan Craig (6’5) will be joined by classmate Ryan Burkett (6’2) in the frontcourt. Both picked up valuable minutes at the varsity level last year and Byron is hoping that will help with their expanded roles this year. Senior guard Adam Cann and junior forwards Trey Buggs and Drew Nickla will provide depth for the Tigers.
“It takes some time to get accustomed to the varsity speed and what we expect at this level,” Byron said. “All of these kids gained experience with us last year, and that year of experience is invaluable.”
2018-2019 Record: 3-17 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrew Ferguson
After a couple of down seasons, the Eagles will be making a strong push to get back into the state tournament for the first time since 2016.
Sharon boasts a number of players who gained varsity experience that will be looking to help the program bounce back. The first being senior Aidan Kane, the team’s leading scorer last season with 11.5 points per game. When he’s on from keep, Kane is one of the top three-point shooters in the league. He has the ability to change a game very quickly if he gets hot from deep. Senior Andrew Burton emerged as one of the Eagles’ top players last year and could be poised to have a breakout year. Sophomore John Baez will start at the point after joining the varsity team for the final month and a half last season.
The Eagles will be relying heavily on its frontcourt to step up on both ends of the court. Senior Caleb Gayle is a traditional post player that will compete hard on both ends of the court, senior Cam Baker is fundamentally sound and a reliable option and junior Hank Ward picked up valuable minutes as a sophomore and will be an important part of the rebound game as well as defensively. Senior Aaron Karten will be in the mix as well, giving the Eagles an athletic frontcourt.
Junior Jordan Barboza should give the Eagles a spark off the bench this year and head coach Andrew Ferguson will look for him as an important defensive piece. Kiran Chandrasekaran had flashes of the strong play off the bench last year and should see an expanded role this year, while junior transfer Matt Baskin could provide a needed scoring punch.
“This group has worked tremendously hard in the offseason and the preseason and is looking to translate that into success throughout the regular season,” Ferguson said. “Many of the players have gained valuable experience at the varsity level over the past two years and our senior class are tremendous leaders who provide a great example for our younger players.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-11 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Preliminary Round Coach: John Gallivan
Stoughton ended its playoff drought last season and with a good amount of those players back again this year, the Davenport division title and a deep playoff run could be in the forecast this season.
The Black Knights have their leading scorer back in 6’5 senior forward Obinna Ugwuakazi, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game with nine double-doubles last year. His athleticism and ability to finish through contact made him a tough matchup for opponents, and he will be at the forefront of the Stoughton offense again this year. Fellow senior Tahkwan Gates Brown, who also stands at 6’5, is also back and we could see the duo play together at times which will certainly make life tough for opponents.
Senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell is back for his third year on varsity. After improving each of the past two seasons, the 2019-2020 season could be a breakout year for Grigalunas-Powell, who can score from three-point range but is also a crafty finisher attacking the rim. Ahmad Jahed had flashes of strong play last year and will be back in the mix again this year, and the same goes for Tommy Sanda. Juniors Brett Pendenza and Jake Queeney are also back after earning some minutes last year.
“We feel like we can score this year both from downtown and from down low,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “And with our size in the paint, we hope to make it difficult for opponents to score consistently.”
2018-2019 Record: 15-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal Coach: Charlie Dacey
After a strong regular season, the Taunton boys basketball team flipped a switch in the tournament and made a run to the D1 South Semis, nearly knocking off powerhouse Mansfield. With a taste of postseason success, the Tigers are hoping to replicate that success this year with another impressive playoff stretch.
The Tigers boast speed, skill, and depth this season and will be in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season. While Taunton lost a lot of production from last year (Lou Vendrell, Mike Quinn, John Martins, Wesner Charles), there are a handful of players battling to earn their chance at minutes in the Tigers’ lineup. One constant in that lineup over the past couple of years is senior Dante Law, who enters his fourth year with the varsity group. Law was Taunton’s leading scorer a year ago with 14.1 points per game but none of the other returners were over five points a game, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity for new players to step up.
Seniors Fabio Goncalves (6’6) and Aiden Pelot, as well as junior Tyler Stewart (6’6) make up the frontcourt for the Tigers. All three played at the varsity level last year and will be key pieces at helping the Tigers defend and win the battle on the boards. Law will be joined by junior Josh Lopes, who showed flashes during his sophomore season, DaeDae Kenion, and sophomore transfer Tristan Herry as key pieces of the offense.
The Tigers are also excited about the depth on the team this year. Junior Danny MacDougall earned starting minutes last year and is a reliable option in a variety of roles while Trent Santos, Logan Lawrence, and Jonathan Torres will all be in the mix for Taunton.
“With this team, press and run should be ‘Plan A’ although there are skills available to play at a slower pace,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.
LOWELL, Mass. – It was fitting that the final out bounced to sophomore shortstop Ty Cali. He jumped into the lineup in the playoffs after starter Danny MacDougall suffered an injury in the first game of the postseason. Cali had two hits and an RBI in Saturday night’s Div. 1 state championship game at Lowell’s LeLacheur Park and was an example of the way the whole Taunton program came together to send the Tigers on an improbable championship run.
That run came to a climax on Saturday, as Taunton (21-7) got four hits and a pair of RBI from the bottom three in its lineup, got four strong innings from senior Josh Lajoie, who was making his first start of the playoffs, and rallied with a pair of runs in the final two innings after seeing a 3-0 lead slip away.
The Tigers found a way to win, a common thread throughout the tournament, pulling out a 5-3 victory against Shrewsbury to secure the program’s first-ever state championship.
“We knew it was going to be another tough game,” said Taunton coach Blair Bourque. “That’s a great team over there and they gave us everything we could handle. We were able to put some at-bats together. It’s a team effort.”
Senior pitcher Logan Lawrence, who picked up the win with three innings of relief, said, “It almost feels too good. First time in history winning sectionals, never mind winning states.”
A state championship seemed farfetched in April. The Tigers stumbled out of the gates, going 4-4 in their opening eight games, but they stayed the course and eventually things turned around. Taunton finished the season by going 17-3 over its final 20 games. Its only losses in that span were to Super 8 participants Mansfield (twice) and Franklin.
“At the beginning of the year we all talked about it in the weight room about how nice it would be, but we also knew how difficult it would be and all the hard work it would take, and how much better we’d have to get throughout the year,” said senior Jack Moynihan.
“We knew we’d have to keep fighting and everyone in the program has busted their butts.”
Bourque said, “This season we had a lot of adversity early and I think that helped us down the road. Obviously, the Mansfields and the Franklins are the teams we want to compete with. This is a step in the right direction.”
On Saturday, the Tigers faced Shrewsbury ace John West. The 6-foot-8 junior has already committed to Boston College and he lived up to the billing the first time through the Taunton order. He struck out five, held the Tigers hitless, and allowed only one base runner over the first three innings.
West may have drawn the headlines prior to the game, but he was matched over the first three innings by Lajoie. The St. John’s University-commit got the ball for the final and allowed only two hits through four innings. An error and a walk gave Shrewsbury its only rally in that stretch, but Lajoie responded with a strikeout and induced a pop up to get out of the jam.
Taunton grabbed the lead in the fourth. Colby Lariviere drew a one-out walk and would come all the way around to score when Lawrence’s line drive skipped past the centerfielder and turned into a triple. Nolan Melo came in to run at third base and he would score on a perfectly placed safety squeeze by Jared Roderick.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth. Evan Melo led off the inning by drilling a double into the corner in right and he was quickly brought home by a Cali single. Gavin Leahy drew a walk and Lucas Martins had an infield single to load the bases with one out but a double play ended the inning.
“It’s great because as a pitcher you look at the bottom of the order and you think just breeze through them,” said Lawrence about Taunton getting production from its full lineup. “When you know for a fact that other teams aren’t going to be able to breeze through the bottom of your lineup, that helps you a lot mentally. A lot of confidence comes from that.”
Shrewsbury did not go quietly. In the bottom of the fifth, the Colonials had three straight singles, including a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Lajoie was pulled for Lawrence, who gave up an RBI-single on his first pitch.
The next batter hit a shot down the first base line but Lariviere made a diving stop and got the lead runner at home. The batter had slipped so a return throw to first turned into a double play. With a chance to get out of the inning with the lead, Lawrence gave up a single to West, which scored a pair and tied the game.
Rather than letting their heads drop, the Tigers got right back to the plate and promptly grabbed back the lead. Roderick reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then took third on an error that allowed Andrew Gomes to reach. For the second time in the game, Bourque called for a squeeze and this time it was Evan Melo who dropped it down, pushing it up the first base line for a single and an RBI.
“We have confidence in ourselves and our ability to generate a couple of runs here and there,” Bourque explained. “There was no panic, we’ve been down before. Last game, we were down twice, so we had the confidence in our ability to generate some offense.
Taunton loaded the bases with one out for the second straight inning but both times failed to score a run. Lawrence made sure that it wouldn’t hurt too much by throwing a perfect sixth inning.
In the seventh, Taunton added an important insurance run. Nic Notarangelo, who’s inclusion in the starting lineup coincided with the Tigers’ improvement, started the inning by drilling a triple to the wall in right. Two batters later, Lariviere made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly to left.
As it turned out, the Tigers didn’t need the extra run. Lawrence got back to the mound for the seventh inning and threw another clean inning. He got a grounder to second, a strikeout, and then a grounder to short to seal the win and the championship.
“Nothing, just strictly adrenaline,” said Lawrence about what was going through his mind in the seventh. “When it was a 3-2 [count] and everyone was screaming, oh my god…” Lawrence shook his head, chuckled, and smiled.
Lajoie added, “It’s a dream come true. You dream of this at the beginning of the season and then you go through the season with your team, battling, and you see the pieces falling together…It’s unbelievable; I’m speechless.”
Notarangelo, who has been the Tigers’ hottest hitter down the stretch, was 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, so Lawrence and Melo decided to deliver a vote of confidence right before he headed to the plate.
Notarangelo delivered, smacking a hard hit double to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Ty Cali from second and the Tigers walked off with a 6-5 win in over Lincoln-Sudbury in a D1 State Semifinal, sending Taunton to its first ever state championship.
“Nic came into the lineup about midway through the season and since then, he hasn’t stopped,” Lawrence said. “He knew he had a rough couple of at-bats, but we just wanted to let him know that we believe in him. He didn’t need us to do that but we wanted to show him support.”
It was Taunton’s only lead of the game as the Tigers trailed 3-0 after just a half inning and had to erase a two-run deficit in the sixth inning.
“They were telling me there was no one better,” Notarangelo said of the on-deck conversation. “The fact that they have confidence in me gave me confidence in the box. It’s a team game and we’re the most passionate team that I know. Whenever we’re down, you can’t count us out. We fight to the last out, the last pitch, you can’t count us out.
“I had seen the pitcher before and he wasn’t throwing anything funny so I was just waiting for one that was in my zone and luckily I got it.”
Final: Taunton 6, Lincoln-Sudbury 5. Who else but Nic Notarangelo with the walk-off hit to drive in Ty Cali and the Tigers are headed to the D1 State Final, their first ever appearance. #hockomockpic.twitter.com/TzqQa2qA3g
Sophomore Ty Cali legged out a one-out double and sophomore pinch hitter Alyjah Marshall earned a walk to bring Notarangelo to the plate. Three pitches later, Notarangelo delivered the game-winning hit to bring Cali in, sending the Tigers into a frenzy.
“They don’t quit,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “It’s something that from early on, we’ve played some really tough games and faced a lot of adversity. It’s tough to beat a team that doesn’t quit, and these guys don’t quit, they have each others backs. They work hard, they play hard, and I’m really proud to manage them. I can’t say enough about the camaraderie, hard work, and determination…you name it. It’s been there all year.
“Nic has been our guy, I was hoping he’d get a chance to swing the bat in the last inning. He had a difficult game so far so it was huge for him. It was only a matter of time until he broke out and put the barrel on the ball.”
While Notarangelo delivered the winning hit, the Tigers might not have been in position to do so without the work of Lawrence. Not only did Lawrence club a two-run home run in the first inning the stemmed the tide, he came on in relief and pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and escaping a bases-loaded situation in the sixth to earn the win.
“He saved us, he’s been great throughout the whole tournament, the whole year,” Notarangelo said of Lawrence. “I couldn’t be more proud of what he’s done this year.”
Lawrence came on after five innings of work for Tiger ace Jack Moynihan, who struck out six and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and one walk.
“Jack [Moynihan] has picked us up all season long, he’s picked me up if I had a bad game,” Lawrence said. “You have to reciprocate that energy. He does good for me all the time so I’m going to do my best for him.”
L-S, who had lost just two games all season on its way to a North sectional title, jumped on the Tigers with three runs in the top of the first inning. Connor Lachman doubled, Jesse McCullough and James Dillon singled, and an RBI groundout from Andrew Cahill put the Warriors ahead 3-0.
But the lead was short lived as the Tigers offense answered immediately. Lucas Martins drew a one-out walk, stole second, and then scored after a single from Colby Lariviere. Lawrence smashed the fourth pitch he saw over the left field fence for a two-run home run, tying the game 3-3 after one.
“Our plan was to just chip away,” Obviously you don’t want to go down but we have faith in Jack being able to keep us in the game. [Lincoln-Sudbury] hit the ball really well, that’s a good team over there. We knew we were in for a dog fight and we were hoping to keep the damage to a minimum and Jack did a great job of doing that for us. Logan came in and pitched phenomenal, that was a gutsy effort from him. His home run got us back in the game and kind of took the edge off. That let us know we could compete with them.
Moynihan settled in, striking out the side in the second inning but the top half of L-S’ lineup struck again in the third inning. Lachman doubled again, advanced on a ground out, and Dillon walked to put runners on the corner. Dillon attempted to steal second, forcing a throw but it ended up in centerfield, allowing Lachman to score. But Taunton limited the damage as Dillon tried to go from second to home. Evan Melo fired to Martins and he fired to Andrew Gomes at home for the tag.
Lachman surprised the Tigers with a bunt to lead off the fifth, advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third, and scored when the throw from home on the pickoff attempt got past the third baseman.
Taunton had momentum in the third when Martins singled and advanced to second on an error. Lawrence walked and the Tigers executed a double steal but Martins was then called out for supposedly coming off the bag at third.
In the top of the sixth, Milind Lele reached on an error, advanced to second on a ground out, Matthew Ray was hit by a pitch, the Tigers intentionally walked Lachman to load the bases but Lawrence induced a grounder to first to prevent any damage.
Lawrence reached second on a two-base error to start the bottom of the sixth and took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a passed ball that was also ball four for Jared Roderick. Roderick stole second, Nolan Melo was hit by a pitch, Roderick stole third, and then scored on a squeeze bunt from Evan Melo up the first base line to make it 5-5.
“Execution has been huge for us all year, and those are the fundamentals we practice day in and day out. It’s one of those things, when it works its great because we spend a lot of time on it. For Evan to come through was huge, it’s still difficult to execute and he came through.
“What’s happened before doesn’t faze these guys. They cheer for each other. Even when I told Gavin [Leahy], a senior, that’d he be pinch hit for [by Marshall in the ninth], he said OK. It’s fun to be able to coach a team that isn’t selfish and cheer for each other, even if they lose their spot. The bottom of the order has been different each game and it’s been someone different game.”
L-S had its lone hit against Lawrence to leadoff the seventh inning, but Gomes erased him at second on a steal attempt.
Taunton baseball (20-7) will play Central sectional champion Shrewsbury in the D1 State Final. Currently, there is no date or time listed on the MIAA website but it’s scheduled to be played at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.
“We’ve got one to go, might as well win it,” Notarangelo said.
BROCKTON, Mass. – Taunton junior Nic Notarangelo joined the Tigers’ starting lineup on his birthday on May 16th in the City Championship against rival Coyle & Cassidy.
After going a perfect 3-for-3 that day, Notarangelo stuck in the lineup and hasn’t stopped doing damage since.
Notarangelo, patrolling left field for the Tigers since that game, had two hits and drove in three runs on Saturday, including the game-winner in the second inning with a triple, to pace fourth-seeded Taunton to a 6-1 win over #11 Attleboro in the D1 South Sectional Final at Campanelli Stadium.
It’s the first sectional title in program history for the Tigers.
“This feels great, it’s all my team, my team is always there to back me up, I always hear them cheering,” Notarangelo said. “It gives me adrenaline, it gives me confidence at the plate. We were great in the field, our pitching was outstanding but we had some trouble getting the hitting going at the beginning of the year. But it’s all about practice, we all feed off each other. Every day, we’ve been in the cages whether we’ve had practice or not and now it’s all paid off.”
Notarangelo, who has hit safely in all but two games since joining the lineup (with eight multi-hit games), smoked a two-out triple to deep left centerfield to bring in Sean Quinlan (single) and Evan Melo (single) and put Taunton up 3-0, a lead it never relinquished.
One game that Notarangelo didn’t have a hit was the Tigers’ playoff win over Xaverian. But instead of a hit, he had arguably the biggest play of the game with a diving catch in the first inning, stranding two Hawks on base. Taunton went on to win 2-0.
“Nic had that diving catch against Xaverian that really changed the momentum even it was the first inning,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “And then he came up huge again this game. Those were huge runs for us to get. He’s a kid that is quiet, does the right things, works hard, stays after. I’m really proud of him, he’s come a long way this year. He started to get some at-bats later in the season and was doing some damage and hasn’t looked back since.”
Three runs was plenty for right-handed pitchers Logan Lawrence and Josh Lajoie. Lawrence, a junior, earned the win by allowing one unearned run in four innings of work, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out six.
Lajoie, a senior, allowed just three bases runners (one hit, two walks) in three innings of work while recording four strikeouts. None of the three Bombardiers advanced past first against Lajoie.
“Logan was great, he came up big and executed pitches when he needed to, which was important,” Bourque said. “He was scrapping and thew the ball well, his location was a little off today that got him in some trouble. Then Josh did a phenomenal job coming in and shutting the door, making sure they didn’t get too many guys on.
“Last year we lost to Durfee in a playoff game after beating them twice in the regular season. We knew it’d be tough coming in today, especially the second game against Attleboro when we were able to hit the ball pretty good but they had played five games in five days so we kind of threw that game away. We knew they are a good team, they are here for a reason. We knew the challenge that was ahead of us and we met that challenge and I’m really proud of these guys.”
Taunton’s Jared Roderick, Andrew Gomes, Quinlan, and Melo all clubbed consecutive singles to lead off the second inning, with Melo’s hit bringing Gomes home (Roderick was picked off at second by Attleboro starter Ryan Morry [5IP, 8H, 2BB, 6ER, 2K). After Morry got a ground out, Notarangelo smacked his third triple of the season to bring in two more runs.
“I think early on, we might have been pressing, I’m not sure what it was exactly,” Bourque said the offensive turnaround this season. “But as the weather warmed up, so did our bats. I think there were some games we needed the offense when the pitching wasn’t there and it came through. It’s a team game and I think we’ve proven that.”
Attleboro had a chance to respond right away as they loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third. Both Troy Gamache and Nick McMahon singled and Tim Callahan reached on an error after a bunt. It looked like the Bombardiers would bring at least one run in on a bloop single to shallow left, but Taunton sophomore shortstop Ty Cali, who joined the starting lineup for the playoffs after the Tigers lost Danny MacDougall to injury, sprinted and made the catch on the run to hold the runners in place.
“That was the play of the day there,” Bourque said. “He played in the New Bedford game when Danny pitched so he had a couple of innings of varsity experience but not much. We were just asking for him to make the routine plays and he’s done a great job stepping in for us.”
After the first out, Lawrence came back with back-to-back strikeouts against the heart of the Bombardiers’ lineup to escape without any damage done.
Lawrence’s momentum carried to the plate as he clubbed a one-out triple in the bottom of the inning, and beat the throw on Roderick’s squeeze bunt to make it 4-0.
The Bombardiers had another chance to cut into the lead in the top of the fourth but only managed to put a dent into it. Troy Van Vliet reached on a one-out error, Gamache singled with two outs, and McMahon was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Van Vliet to score but Lawrence induced a ground ball up the middle that Cali fielded and fired to first for the third out.
“They were definitely lacking,” Attleboro head coach Steve Dunlea said of timely hits. “Part of that is on us, part of it you tip your cap because they made some good pitches.
“That’s a talented pitching staff [Taunton] has, really talented. I was just saying to the kids how this is the farthest an Attleboro team has been in quite some time. I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished this year, this senior group. None of them had played in a tournament game before and made it all the way to here, that takes leadership. We started 0-2, kind of a tough 0-2, but we pulled together as a family and that’s how they played the rest of the season.”
Taunton canceled that run with one of its own in the bottom half. Evan Melo drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a chopper to second, and Lucas Martins brought the run in, slicing a single to right field just fair to make it 5-1.
The Tigers tacked on another insurance run in the sixth inning as Gomes led off with a walk, ending Morry’s day. Eoin Kelleher, the Bombardiers’ ace, came on in relief on just two days rest. Kelleher got a fly out to left before Evan Melo’s single put two on. A fielder’s choice advanced Gomes to third and Notarangelo singled to bring in pinch runner Nolan Melo in to make it 6-1.
Cali erased a leadoff single in the top of the seventh by turning a double play and Lajoie got the last out on called strikes to send the Tigers into a big celebration.
“I don’t think its hit home yet but it’s something I’m really proud of the kids and what they’ve accomplished so far,” Bourque said. “You couldn’t ask for a better group of guys, of hard workers. The camaraderie they’ve had all season. The offseason weight room, the captain’s practices, you name it. They deserve everything they get.”
Attleboro finishes the season at 14-10, concluding a terrific postseason run that saw the Bombardiers knock off Barnstable on the road, Bridgewater-Raynham, and second-seeded Durfee.
“I think they are starting to figure what they’ve accomplished and obviously it hurts right now,” Dunlea said. “You want to continue on but for me, it was just a great experience with an unbelievable group of seniors. They really cared about the program, they had goals for this team, and it was just really fun to be a part of that.”
Taunton baseball (19-7) advances to the D1 State Semifinal and will take on North sectional champion Lincoln-Sudbury (21-2), the top seed in that bracket. The Tigers will take on the Warriors on Tuesday at Alumni Field in Lowell at 7:00.
Baseball Super 8
#2 St. John’s Prep, 4 vs. #1 Franklin, 1 – Final
#7 Mansfield vs. #5 BC High, 7:00 – Postponed to Tuesday, 6/11 at 4:00 at Campanelli Stadium.
#12 Catholic Memorial, 3 @ #4 Taunton, 4 – Final – Taunton rallied from a 3-0 deficit, scoring twice in the fifth inning and then twice more in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the win. Evan Melo got the Tigers on the board while Nic Notarangelo (2-for-3, walk) had a hit and scored a run in the fifth. In the seventh, Jared Roderick (walk), Andrew Gomes (error), and Melo (walk) loaded the bases with no outs. Gavin Leahy brought in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. After Notarangelo singled to load the bases again, Lucas Martins laid down a bunt to squeeze Nolan Melo in for the winning run. Junior Logan Lawrence earned the win on the mound, allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks, striking out eight. Taunton will travel to #9 Xaverian on Wednesday at 4:00.
#14 Bridgewater-Raynham, 7 @ #11 Attleboro, 8 – Final – Attleboro overcame an early deficit and then held off a late B-R charge to get the win and advance to the D1 South Semifinals. The Trojans raced out to a 4-1 lead over the first 1.5 innings, with Ryan Morry drawing a bases-loaded walk to score Tim Callahan (2-for-4, two runs). Morry (5.2IP, 6K) was strong in relief, which allowed Attleboro to get back into the game. Attleboro jumped in front for good with a five-run second inning. Sam Larkin (2-for-2) knocked in Troy Van Vliet with a single, Camden Fitzpatrick drove in both Callahan and Alvaro Espinal (two walks), and Lorenzo Wilson scorched a triple into the gap to bring two more runs in to make it 5-4. Larkin knocked in Van Vliet in the third, and Van Vliet scored his third run of the game on a sac fly from Espinal in the sixth inning. Attleboro will play #2 Durfee on Wednesday at 4:00 at Fino Field in Milford.
#11 Oliver Ames, 3 @ #3 Dartmouth, 1 – Final (9 Inn.) – Oliver Ames loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth and pushed across two runs to pick up an upset on the road. Jake Erlich and Chris Pearsons (2-for-4, RBI) singled, and Jacob Levine was hit by a pitch in the top of the ninth before senior Reid Latham put the Tigers in front with a one-run single. Cam Perron brought a second run in with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1. Pearsons was strong on the mound, allowing one run on seven hits and no walks, striking out five in seven innings of work. Latham got the win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings in relief. Latham got a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth to strand the winning run at third. Jared Spillane (two walks) was vital in the win, stealing second and scoring on an infield single from Pearsons to put OA up in the fourth. Spillane also started a double play in the bottom of the ninth to help secure the win. Oliver Ames will play #7 Westwood on Wednesday at 4:00 at Adams Field in Quincy.
#8 North Attleboro, 0 @ #1 Bridgewater-Raynham, 1 – Final – North Attleboro’s Bella Erti and Bridgewater-Raynham’s Julia Perry put on a show for those in attendance, going back-and-forth in a pitcher’s dual. The Trojans managed just six hits against Erti, who struck out three (including the 400th of her career), getting a bloop single in the bottom of the ninth for the win. Olivia Capobianco and Ashley Cangiano each had a hit for the Rocketeers, Abby Gallagher had a pair of walks, and Emily Nardelli shined defensively at second for North.
#11 Franklin, 0 @ #3 Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final – A strong pitching performance from Jackie Cherry and an outstanding defensive effort behind her kept the Panthers in contention for the entire game but the Shamrocks earned a walk-off win with a pair of hits in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tara Hartnett had the lone hit of the game for the Panthers.
Boys Lacrosse D1 South
#6 Duxbury, 8 vs. #2 Franklin, 7 – Final – Franklin held the Dragons without a goal for nearly the entire fourth quarter but Duxbury scored its lone tally of the frame with 16.9 seconds left, finishing off a lengthy offensive possession for the game-winner. Franklin trailed 7-5 after three quarters but Jake Davis (three goals) scored twice in a two-minute span to knot the score 7-7 with three minutes to play. Duxbury scored on a close shot with 16.9 left for the winner. Ben Greco also had three goals for Franklin while Nitin Chaudhury scored once.
Girls Tennis D1 South
#4 Hopkinton, 2 @ #1 Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon picked up two wins in singles action and another in doubles to nip Hopkinton and advance to the D1 South Final. Nupur Shukla earned a 6-4, 6-0 win at first singles, Valeria Barajas picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and the team of Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung won 6-4, 6-2 at second doubles. Sharon (21-0) will play #2 Wellesley (19-0) on Wednesday at 4:00 at Somerset-Berkley. It’s the fourth time in the past five years the Eagles have reached the sectional final and third time they will take on the Raiders. Wellesley won in 2016 and Sharon won in 2017 – both teams went on to win the state title that season.
Baseball D1 South
#13 Marshfield, 0 @ #4 Taunton, 6 – Final – Taunton senior Jack Moynihan tossed his second straight complete game shutout, this time lifting the Tigers in their tournament opener against Marshfield. Moynihan scattered five hits and one walk across seven innings, striking out 12 to earn the win. Taunton scored three runs in the second inning and tacked on one more in each the third, fourth, and sixth innings. Nic Notarangelo (run), Logan Lawrence, and Evan Melo (run) each had a hit and an RBI for the Tigers. Lucas Martins, Colby Lariviere (two walks), Jared Roderick, and Andrew Gomes each had a hit for Taunton as well. The Tigers will host #12 Catholic Memorial, who knocked off #5 Plymouth North 1-0, on Monday at 4:00.
#11 Attleboro, 5 @ #6 Barnstable, 3 – Final – Attleboro raced out to a 4-0 lead over the first three innings and Ryan Morry (4.1 IP, 1ER, 4K) and Eoin Kelleher combined to tame Barnstable to earn the upset on the road. The Bombardiers scored once in the first, twice in the second, and once more in the third. After the Raiders got on the board with runs in the third and fourth, Attleboro pushed the lead to 5-2 with a run in the sixth. Barnstable loaded the bases in the sixth with one out but Kelleher limited the hosts to one run and pitched a 1-2-3 final inning to secure the win. In the first, Alvaro Espinal (1-for-2, two walks, stolen base) singled, stole second and scored on a single from Camden Fitzpatrick (two RBI). In the second, both Troy Gamache (two hits) and Tim Callahan scored, the latter driving in the former, who then scored on a sac fly from Fitzpatrick. Nick McMahon drove in Morry in the third to make it 4-0. In the sixth, Gamache drove in Mason Houle with a double. Attleboro will now host #14 Bridgewater-Raynham, who upset #3 Natick 5-1, on Monday at 4:00 at Hayward Field.
#9 Milton, 7 @ #8 North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Milton raced out to a 4-0 lead over the first two innings and never looked back to knock off the defending D2 State Champions. Jake Carroll had a pinch-hit RBI to get the Rocketeers on the board in the seventh and Kyle Bolger launched a solo home run in the seventh for North. Rocketeers coach Mike Hart said Dennis Colleran had a tremendous relief outing.
#11 Oliver Ames, 1 @ #6 Duxbury, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Reid Latham pitched a gem, tossing a complete game shutout to lead the Tigers to an upset win on the road at Duxbury. Latham scattered five hits and two walks while striking out nine to earn the win. The Tigers were able to manufacture a run against Duxbury ace Charlie Coon (7IP, 3H, 3BB, 14K) in the fourth inning. Junior Jacob Levine reached on a walk, pinch-runner Justin Sarnecki stole second, and scored on an error. Jake Erlich, Nate Fulford, and Latham each had a single in the win. Junior Kyle O’Connor had the defensive play of the game for the Tigers, fielding the ball in right with his bare hand and gunning a runner at the plate in the bottom of the fourth. The Tigers will now travel to #3 Dartmouth on Monday at 4:00.
#13 Milford, 13 @ #4 Southeastern, 3 – Final – Milford’s offense exploded for 13 runs to earn an upset on the road at fourth-seeded Southeastern. Justin Applebee continued his strong season at the plate with three hits and a walk, scoring four runs while driving in a run. Tyler Almeida had two hits, a walk, a run scored and drove in three runs while Danny Corsini had two hits, a walk, and a run scored. Corsini earned the win on the mound, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out six in a complete game effort. Milford awaits the winner of #5 Stoughton and #12 Greater New Bedford, which is on Saturday at 11:00 AM at Stoughton High.
#20 Foxboro, 5 @ #13 Dedham, 8 – Final – Camryn Willis pitched a “terrific game,” according to head coach Mark Maguire, striking out three and allowing just seven hits in the loss. The Warriors got two hits apiece from Peyton Feldman, Chelsea Gibbons, and Morgan Sylvestre.
Boys Lacrosse D1 South
#7 Natick, 2 @ #2 Franklin, 10 – Final – The Panthers put on a defensive clinic, limiting the visitors to just two goals on 10 total shots to advance to the D1 South Semifinals. Franklin’s defensive unit of Pat Morrison, Liam Arsenault, and Spencer Briggs, along with close D Will Harvey and Luc Sweeney limited Natick from getting many good looks throughout the night. Franklin led 5-1 at halftime and held the visitors to just one goal through three quarters. Nitin Chaudhury had three goals and an assist, Matt Lazzaro scored twice with two helpers, Jake Davis netted a pair of goals with one assist, and Ben Kolb and Harvey each scored once. Jacob Alexander won 13-of-16 faceoffs while Will Davis made seven saves in net. The Panthers await the winner of #3 Xaverian and #6 Duxbury, which will be played on Friday at 5:00. Franklin will play the winner on Monday.
#5 Westwood, 10 @ #4 Foxboro, 8 – Final – Charlie Baughan, Bobby Yerardi, and Aidan Stapleton each scored twice but the Warriors saw their lead slip away in the final minutes of the game. Foxboro held an 8-7 lead with 6:50 to go but Westwood scored twice to take the with just under three minutes to go. Foxboro had one final chance in the last minute but couldn’t convert its chance and the Wolverines added an empty net goal. Pete Conley and Brendan Tully each scored once while freshman Matt Tully made 11 saves.
Girls Lacrosse D1 East
#7 Hopkinton, 11 @ #2 Franklin, 19 – Final
#8 King Philip, 9 @ #1 Walpole, 21 – Final
Franklin, 13 @ Framingham, 3 – Final – Franklin’s Scott Elliott, Jack Nally, and Joe Lizotte each drove in a pair of runs as the Panthers cruised on the road for their 21st win of the season and head coach Zach Brown’s 100th career victory. Elliott had three hits and scored twice, Nally added a run, and Lizotte scored twice in the win. Shane O’Neil scored three times, JB Floris scored twice, and Dan Markowski (two runs) and Trip Pisano each had an RBI. Liam Dailey earned the win for Franklin with three hits allowed and two strikeouts in three innings of work.
Foxboro, 3 vs. Norton, 4 – Final
Taunton, 6 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – Taunton senior Jack Moynihan scattered four hits in a complete game shutout to lead the Tigers to their 15th win of the season. Moynihan struck out four in seven innings of work. Offensively, junior Nic Notarangelo had two hits, two RBI and a run scored while Colby Lariviere, Logan Lawrence, and Jordan Roderick each drove in a run for the Tigers.
Oliver Ames, 13 vs. Brockton, 16 – Final – Oliver Ames scored five runs in the seventh inning but couldn’t complete the comeback against Brockton in an exclusion game. Senior Justyn Glennon smacked a double off the tree in center field to start the Tigers’ final inning rally. Senior CJ Deveau added a bases-clearing triple and classmate Chris Pearsons went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored. Junior Jacob Levine added a pair of doubles while sophomore Jadon Ricci had three hits and drove in four runs.
Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 11 – Final – Franklin scored four runs in each the second and sixth innings to pull away from the visiting Bulldogs. Maddy White (four RBI) and Tara Hartnett (two RBI) paced the Panther offense while Jackie Cherry and Emily Valentino combined for 10 strikeouts.
Boys Volleyball Central
#2 Milford, 3 vs. #15 Keefe Tech, 0 – Final – Milford opened up its 2019 playoff campaign with a 3-0 sweep (2-58, 25-4, 25-11) of visiting Keefe Tech. Tiago Filadelfo and Zach Browne each had a tram-high seven kills for Milford which had nine players record a kill and 30 total as a unit. Milford advances to the MIAA Central quarterfinals and will host #7 St. John’s Shrewsbury on Tuesday at 6:00.
Franklin, 6 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 4 – Final – Franklin beat Lincoln-Sudbury to claim the Pedroli tournament championship. The Panthers built a 4-0 lead, and once the Warriors threatened by scoring twice, added two runs of their own and then held off Lincoln-Subdury in the final innings for the win. Senior Jake Macchi had two hits and scored two runs to earn tournament MVP honors. Alex Haba also had two hits with an RBI and two runes scored. Scott Elliott (run), Jack Nally (run, RBI), Joe Lizotte (run), Shane O’Neil (run), Cooper Ross (RBI), and JB Floris (RBI) all contributed for Franklin. Brennan Rivera earned the win, allowing one earned run on four hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work while Liam Dailey fanned the final batter for the save.
Taunton, 8 @ New Bedford, 6 – Final – Taunton erased a five-run deficit, scoring eight straight runs between the fifth and sixth innings to earn a win on the road over the Whalers. The Tigers scored three in the fifth to get within two runs before using a five-run sixth inning to take the lead. Junior Colby Lariviere went 2-for-4 and drove in a team-high four runs, junior Nic Notarangelo added two hits, a run scored and three RBI, and junior Jared Roderick had two hits and scored a run. Junior Logan Lawrence was strong in relief with one unearned run allowed on two hits and one walk in two innings of work, striking out three.
Taunton, 13 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – In a game continued from earlier in the week, Taunton earned a season sweep of the Bombardiers. Sophomores Hanna Aldrich (walk, RBI, run), McKenzie McAloon (two doubles, three RBI, run) and Kelsey White (home run, double, RBI, run) each belted out three hits for the Tigers while Jaime Brown (three RBI, run), Paige Silvia (two runs), Ava Venturelli (two runs), and Abbie McDonough (three RBI, two runs) each had two hits. White earned her 14th win of the season, allowing two runs on four hits, one walk, one hit batter, and eight strikeouts in six innings of work.
Attleboro, 6 @ Marblehead, 1 – Final – After finishing a game with Taunton in the morning, the Bombardiers hit the road and picked up a win over Marblehead to qualify for the state tournament. Trailing by a run, McKenzie Bergdoll smashed a two-run home run over the fence in center field to put the visitors up for good in the fourth inning. Meghan Gordon and Lindsey Perry each had RBI singles in the fifth to score Kayla Battisti and Hailey Perry to make it 4-1. Attleboro tacked on two big insurance runs in the seventh when Bergdoll and Lora Woyton (double) each drove in a run. Emily Gittle earned the win in the circle, allowing one unearned run on two hits with eight strikeouts, retiring the last 13 betters in a row.
Franklin, 15 @ Cohasset, 7 – Final – Franklin had one of its best performances of the season, going on the road and beating a good Cohasset team in impressive fashion. The Panthers raced out to a 9-3 lead at halftime and had a 15-4 lead in the fourth quarter. Jacob Alexander won 20-of-25 faceoffs to give the Franklin offense a boost. Matt Lazzaro had four goals and four assists to lead the charge while Jake Davis added four goals and one assist, Ben Greco scored a hat trick and had two assists, and Nitin Chaudhury chipped in with two goals and one helper. Will Davis was solid in net with 12 saves.
Milford, 3 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Milford scored two runs in the top of the fifth to take its second lead of the game but Foxboro answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to go back in front, and the Warriors hung on for the win. Sean Yoest went 3-for-3 with two runs scored while Anthony Mollica, Tom Marcucella and Adam Lanctot each drove in a run. Michael Devlin allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits, two walks, and three hit batters, striking out two. Cam Prescott was strong in relief, allowing two hits and one walk in 2.1 innings.
Taunton, 2 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 1 – Final (8 inn.) – Taunton junior Logan Lawrence shined on the mound and the Tigers’ offense delivered in the first extra inning to beat Coyle and claim the City Championship. Lawrence pitched a complete game, allowing one unearned run on six hits while striking out six. Jared Roderick drove in Lucas Martins for the game-winning run in the eighth inning.
Milford, 4 @ Foxboro, 16 – Final – Emma Rohan returned from injury and threw a complete game, striking out five, to pick up the victory. Morgan Sylvestre powered the Foxboro offense, going 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBI, and Chelsea Gibbons chipped in with a pair of hits in the win.
Attleboro, 10 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Attleboro scored five runs in the third inning and tacked on three more in the fifth, turning a one-run game into a big win on the road. Sophomore Natalie Mansur was 3-for-4 and had a solo home run for the Bombardiers while Gabby Bosh and Autumn O’Connell each had two hits. Jenna Gittle earned the win, striking out nine in a complete game effort. Taylor Lake (double, run), Grace Simeone (two RBI), and Katie Mills each had two hits for the Tigers.
Milford, 8 @ Stoughton, 4 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game. – Stoughton built a two-goal lead after a period of play but Milford held the Knights to just two goals the rest of the way and pitched a fourth quarter shutout to secure a win on the road. Juniors Foster McLeod and Charlie Morgan (two goals) scored in the first quarter for Stoughton but Milford scored three goals in the first two minutes of the third (Danny Farrell, Josh Ligor, Ryan Hazard) and had a 3-2 lead at half. Milford’s Brendan White and Stoughton’s Mike McLaughlin traded goals before Hazard grabbed his second with a rocket of a shot and senior Mike Demko scored to make it 6-3. Morgan got his second of the game late in the third to keep Stoughton within two. But Milford didn’t allow Stoughton much offensively in the final quarter, and both White and Ligor scored again to ice the game.
Sharon, 9 vs. Hopkinton, 15 – Final – Rose Wald made 12 saves to keep Sharon in the game and Emma Eberhardt scored six times and assisted on two others but it wasn’t enough for the Eagles to pick up the road win. Mia Lappen added a pair of goals and Jenna Goldstein scored once for Sharon.
Taunton, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Taunton swept singles action and grabbed another win in doubles to beat Milford and move within one victory of qualifying for the state tournament. Brett Beaulieu didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, Charlie Fiske won 6-3, 7-5 at second singles, and Dylan Kullas earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Trevor Hart and Ryan Hebert rallied for a 1-6. 7-6, 6-3 win at first doubles.
Attleboro, 4 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – With two wins in singles play and two more from doubles action, Attleboro earned a 4-1 decision on the road. Ella Lynch-Bartek won 6-2, 6-4 at first singles, Brianna Aronne earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory at second singles, the team of Lauren Anthony and Nicole Matheson picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win at first doubles, and Jordan Benardo and Rena Danho teamed together for a 6-3, 6-4 win at second doubles. Franklin’s Ashvika Boopathy won 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 at third singles.
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Foxboro won four matches in straight sets to give the Warriors a victory over the visiting Hawks. Pam Nelson didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, Julia Muise earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles, the team of Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta picked up a 6-3, 6-0 win at first doubles, and Kethry Milne teamed up with Lindsey Young for a 7-5, 6-1 win at second doubles. Milford’s Olivia Marshall won 7-5, 6-1 at third singles.
Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip defended home court, sweeping singles play and getting another win at second doubles to knock off Taunton. Erin Regnier won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Katarina Schneider picked up a 6-1, 6-1 decision at second singles, and Mia Valencia prevailed 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. KP’s second doubles team of Laura Davenport and Isabelle MacMeans won 6-3, 6-4. Taunton’s Sam Martin and Brianna Fevrier won 6-4, 6-4 at first doubles.
Oliver Ames, 4 vs. Brockton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames’ second doubles team of Sarah Morley and Kate McCormick rallied from a first set loss and Maura Kiernan battled to win a first set tiebreaker on her way to a straight set victory as the Tigers beat neighboring Brockton. Kiernan won 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 at second singles while Sarah Barron took home a 6-0, 6-4 decision at third singles. After losing the first set 4-6, Morley and McCormick got the point by winning the next two 6-2, 6-1. OA’s first doubles team of Eva Belanger and Morgan Vasiliou won 6-1, 7-5.