WRENTHAM, Mass. – The King Philip volleyball team is clicking on all cylinders at the right time.
The Warriors, the 2-seed out of the Kelley-Rex division, extended their unbeaten streak to seven straight matches with a convincing 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-18) sweep of the Davenport 3-seed Oliver Ames in the first round of the Hockomock Cup. It’s the sixth straight sweep for King Philip.
King Philip volleyball
Buoyed by the strong serving from Emma Brooks in the first two sets, the powerful swings and blocks at the net from Nicole Coughlan from start to finish, the reliable defense of Lily Carlow, the consistent sets from Lauren Peterson and Stella Bailey, and the timely plays from every other player that stepped onto the court, King Philip was strong in all facets of the game in a match they trailed just once, albeit briefly in the second set.
“They’re working really well as a team right now,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss. “I’ve got a lot of depth on the team so in practice, when we play 6-on-6, it’s very competitive. We’ve got two good groups and at any given time, I have someone I can throw out there and they’ll do a great job. I think that helps us the most. They’re talking a lot more, I think they are just more comfortable being out there. We have half the games so we’ve had half the time to get up to speed.”
It was Brooks’ serving that created the separation for the hosts in each of the first two sets. With the Warriors and Tigers locked in close competition, Brooks stepped to the service line and it resulted in an 8-0 run in both sets, turning a close set into a comfortable lead for the Warriors. She had just one service error in 19 attempts.
“She’s got a good floater,” Geuss said “When it’s moving around like that, it’s tough to [receive] and for them to watch it hit their arms. There’s a lot of movement and she puts a lot of speed on it.”
When Brooks reached the service line in the opening set, KP had just taken an 11-9 lead after a kill from sophomore middle Sami Shore. Brooks had four straight serves that never came back over, including an ace on the fourth attempt. When OA did get it back over, a nice hit from senior Camryn Buckley gave KP a 16-9 lead and forced the visitors into a timeout.
Coughlan smashed a kill out of the timeout to keep the run going and two more strong serves never made it back over; a net violation on KP finally ended the run but the hosts held a 19-9 lead. Carlow (ace) and James (block) put the finishing touches on the set to take a 1-0 lead with a 25-13 decision.
The second set played out similarly, OA getting early points on good serves from sophomore Maddie Homer, a kill from Jordan Bennett, and a nice tip on the second touch from junior setter Hadley Rhodes. KP kept pace with a nice kill off the block from James and another good hit from Coughlan that OA couldn’t get back over.
A serving mistake put Brooks on the line for King Philip with an 11-10 lead and by the time she rotated out, the Warriors turned that small advantage into a 19-10 lead. During that run, Brooks had a pair of aces, Coughlan had a kill and two block kills, and Bailey caught the OA defense with a pass over the net on the second touch.
Coughlan and James both had good swings down the stretch and the Warriors clinched a 2-0 lead on a kill from Buckle to take the second set, 25-18.
“They kind of figured out what we were doing so I give them credit, they came back at us but I think our serving really helped us,” Geuss said. “Our serving was really consistent. Emma had a great run of serves, and when our serves are on, we’re more confident. We’ve been playing well, hopefully we’re on a roll and we’ll continue to play well. The competition is only getting better and better so we just have to rise to the competition but the girls are having fun right now.“
A kill from Coughlan started the final set, Peterson and Carlow each had an ace early, and Shore fooled the defense with a perfectly weighted tip over the block. King Philip led from start to finish in the third set and got some big swings from James down the stretch to ice the win.
King Philip volleyball (10-1) is set to travel to top-seeded Canton, who won yet another Davenport division title this season, on Wednesday at 5:30. Oliver Ames will play in a consolation game on Wednesday.
Franklin, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Franklin went on the road and earned another 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-18) sweep over Milford, moving to 2-0 on the season. Ally Bonnet-Eymard paced the offense for the Panthers with 15 kills while freshman Taylor Lacerda added nine kills in the win. Junior Cailyn Mackintosh went an impressive 18-for-19 on the service line for Franklin.
King Philip, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – King Philip rallied from a 2-0 deficit, winning three straight sets to earn a 3-2 (18-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-18, 15-6) on the road. Giovanna Fruci stepped up big for the Warriors with 14 kills, sophomore Ahunna James added 13 kills and two aces, and Nicole Coughlan had 11 kills and two aces. Lauren Peterson dished out 31 assists and Emma Brooks anchored the defense with 26 digs. For Mansfield, Olivia McGrath (two aces) and Alina Nowakowski (three blocks) each put down 13 kills while Christina Lydon finished with 34 assists. Nicole Santos added four blocks, three kills, and two aces while Julia Kelly had three aces.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames opened its home schedule in style, earning a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-18) sweep over visiting North Attleboro to improve to 2-0 on the season. Sophomore Maddie Homer shined at the service line with 27 service points and three aces, adding 10 digs defensively. Senior Caroline Flynn added 18 kills, senior Sarah Morley had 27 digs and four aces, and junior Hadley Rhodes chipped in 28 assists. For North Attleboro, Joanna Collins-Bilyeu had five kills and five digs while Ava Dunlevy added nine digs.
There is a new level of excitement in the gymnasium at Attleboro High as Mary Katherine Runey takes over as the varsity coach for the Bombardiers.
Attleboro has a mix of returners with experience and new faces to the varsity level, and Runey believes her squad has a tremendous amount of potential. It all starts with senior Ana Leonardo, a four-year starter at the setter position for the Bombardiers. Attleboro has plenty of depth at the setter position with freshman Natalie Brojek joining the mix right away. Leonardo and Brojek will have some experienced hitters to work with including senior opposite Krista Greening, senior middle Kosi Igbobi, and junior outside Delia Barthel. Junior captain Lilly Boedeker brings a lot of energy and experience to the defensive end as the libero, anchoring the Bombardiers’ back row.
“Our program is very excited to be back on the court,” Runey said. “We have a great mix of returning players as well as athletes new to the varsity level. I believe our team has a tremendous amount of potential, and I cannot wait to see what we accomplish this year. Ana and Natalie will certainly bring an intensity to our offense and Lilly matches that defensively.”
2019 Record: 22-3 (Davenport Division Champions) 2019 Finish: Division 2 State Champions Coach: Pat Cawley
The 2019 season was a banner year for the Bulldogs, claiming the Davenport division, the D2 Central sectional crown, and the program’s first ever D2 State Championship.
The returners have been eager to defend their championships, and after waiting just a little bit longer, the Bulldogs have their chance to at least battle for another Hock title. There’s an obvious void in the lineup with the graduation of HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Taylor Harris, one of the most feared hitters in the entire state. But longtime head coach Pat Cawley has an arsenal of weapons at her disposal that makes Canton the team to beat again this year. Senior middle Liz Bickett gets it done both offensively and defensively at the net and is a reliable option in the back row. Senior outside hitter Angie Elias is a reliable option at the net as well as senior middle Shannon Malloy. Senior Jackie Morrissey stepped into the setter role last year and really improved as the season went on while classmate Olivia Chinsen, a captain, is another option at setter after returning from injury. Seniors Nikki Desjardins (libero) and Stephanie Trendell will anchor the Bulldogs’ defense in the back row.
“We are excited and grateful to be back on the court,” Cawley said. “Although we have big shoes to fill at the outside hitter positions, we return several experienced players at middle blocker, setter, and defense. Senior captain Olivia Chinsen and junior Sydney Gallery are back from season-ending injuries and will help make us a stronger team. We are concentrating on building better chemistry and communication, always striving to be the best we can be!”
2019 Record: 11-10 2019 Finish: Reached D2 Central First Round Coach: Vicki Santana
In head coach Vicki Santana’s first year in charge, the Warriors won 11 games and reached the postseason and Foxboro will hope to build on that momentum this season with 10 seniors on the roster.
Defensively, the Warriors should be tough. Kelsey Treweek returns at libero along with defensive specialists Pam Nelson and Grace Fortune. Nelson and Treweek were among the league leaders in digs in the 2019 season. Leading hitter Grace Boudreau graduated, but Santana is counting on several players to provide points with versatile hitters Emma Keefe and Shannon McDonald in the starting lineup. Underclassmen Sami Sloan and Mallorie Meyer will add depth at the net and have the potential to provide an instant impact
“Tryouts and practice were a little bit of a challenge to make sure we are following the Covid guidelines while still having fun and being competitive,” Santana said. “The girls have been so great and are staying positive through all of this. They are taking all of the guidelines seriously because they are so happy to be back in the gym!”
Franklin is coming off back-to-back Kelley-Rex division titles and is in search of their third straight this season, but will be doing so under new guidance. Sam Elliott takes over as head coach of the Panthers after Kelsey Weymouth moved on to the collegiate level after two successful years at the helm.
Elliott is familiar with the program after serving as an assistant last season and she knows she has the pieces to make a push to hang another division title banner in this abbreviated season. Senior captain Ally Bonnet-Eymard enters her fourth year with the team and is among the most dangerous hitters in the league (205 kills) from the left side. She’ll be flanked by senior Emma Chase, who is back for her second straight year starting at middle and gives Franklin a weapon both offensively and defensively. Junior Cailyn Mackintosh really impressed in her first season last year and will be the starting setter while Jill Benoit returns as the starting libero. Elliott is also looking for some younger faces to push for time including sophomore Meghan Linkkila and freshmen Taylor Lacerda and Grace Lacerda.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to play this year, with six seniors it is important that they were able to have their final season,” Elliott said. “As a program we are excited to compete and improve, our group is a mix of returners and new players so it will be fun watching them all come together.”
There will be a lot of familiar faces on the court this season for King Philip, who is looking to ride a strong senior class and an experienced group of players to a second straight Kelley-Rex crown.
Head coach Kristen Guess has weapons all over the court, starting with her three senior captains. Middle Nicole Coughlan has been a force at the net for the past two years and will be one of the toughest players to stop this year. Fellow captains Emma Brooks and Lily Carlow, who both have a lot of experience at the varsity level will anchor the Warriors’ defense from the back row. Senior Giovanna Fruci will be one of KP’s top options at the net as well as sophomore Ahunna James, who had some impressive swings in limited action last year. Guess is looking for seniors Paige Kannally and Camryn Buckley to step up and help with blocking at the net while senior Lauren Peterson will set the entire team in motion from the setter position. Junior Stella Bailey and sophomore Sami Shore have played well in preseason and should be in the mix as well.
“This the most experienced team I have coached, we have depth on the team with strong newcomers,” Guess said.
We are excited to have a season and are ready to play.”
2019 Record: 8-11 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Mark Ledwich
Longtime head coach Melissa Heeden stepped down over the offseason so the Hornets enter this season under the guidance of their new head coach Mark Ledwich. Ledwich is familiar with volleyball in the area as the director of the sport at Mass Premier Courts and brings experience from the collegiate level to the job.
Ledwich has an experienced group to work with during his first year with six players back from last year’s team, most of which saw either starting or at least valuable minutes at the varsity level. The Hornets will have a variety of weapons on the offensive end with its top four attackers back from last year. Junior Julia Kelly (124 kills) led the squad in kills as a sophomore and will be one of the most dangerous hitters in the league this year while Alina Nowakowski, Olivia McGrath, and Kacey Veiking all provide legitimate threats at the net. All four will start the Hornet defense will their blocking with Veiking (35 blocks) among the top returners in that category.
“Our focus this season is on error management and when to stretch a point,” Ledwich said. “We have a lot of heavy hands this year, so knowing when to utilize them in each situation has been a huge focus of the pre-season. With the consistent height we have available in the front row this season we are spending a lot of time discussing approach paths of opposing attackers and how we should funnel each attack to best utilize our attacking strengths.”
2019 Record: 10-10 2019 Finish: Reached D2 Central First Round Coach: Tammy Webber
The Hawks have reached the postseason in each of the past two seasons, and while there isn’t a state tournament this year, Milford is aiming to attain the success that comes with a playoff berth.
Making the switch to the Kelley-Rex will be challenging, but one the Hawks are ready for. With a strong mix of returning players with varsity experience and some new players looking to make a splash, Milford could surprise some teams along the way. Elise Fauerbach returns for her senior season after missing significant time last year due to an injury. Fauerbach will patrol the right side, giving the Hawks a good option defensively with her size, and has a high volleyball IQ. Milford has two key defensive players back with senior Eva Parson (106 digs), who took on the role of libero last season but is in the mix to step into the full rotation, even getting swings as an outside hitter. Junior Sarah Brogioli can play just about anywhere on the court, a reliable option in the back row (106 digs) while also capable of stepping up to the net and connecting on some big swings (96 kills). Lexi Stark is an athletic option at middle that can move side-to-side to help with blocking in all three spots at the net. Sophomore Emily Crouteau is penciled into the setter role to start the year while Aliza Syed will be an option at the net for the Hawks.
2019 Record: 13-6 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Kim Marshall
North Attleboro has been one of the biggest challengers to Canton’s reign atop the Davenport division in recent years, and the Rocketeers are going to be right back in the mix again during this Fall 2 season.
Head coach Kim Marshall has four returning seniors that all have valuable experience at the varsity level and then a strong junior class with consists of eight players ready to make a splash at the varsity level. Senior Joanna Collins-Bilyeu is one of the most experienced players in the league and will be a cornerstone at the net for the Rocketeers after putting down 67 kills a year ago. She will be joined by classmates Annie Grunewald and Jasmine Anderson along the net to give North a formidable attacking trio. Belle Clarkin will anchor the back row that features some new faces so the Rocketeers will be learning as the season goes on. Junior Katherine McHoul is stepping in to take over at the setter position to run the offense.
“I am really excited for this season to start, I just wish it wasn’t so short,” said Marshall. “I am very fortunate, again, to get a wonderful group of student-athletes who continually work so hard, support each other and are so much fun to be around.”
2019 Record: 18-5 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Chelsea Cunningham
Oliver Ames made a run to the Div. 1 South final in 2019 and pushed perennial power Barnstable to a decisive fifth set and, after moving to the Davenport division this season, the Tigers have the potential to give defending state champ Canton a serious challenge for the league title.
Senior Caroline Flynn will be one of the team’s primary attackers on the outside and will get help from classmate Jordan Bennett, who is recovering from an injury but can play multiple positions along the front line. Senior Tori Harney is back after missing all of last season with an injury and will compete for a starting role as a middle hitter. Senior Sarah Morley will transition from defensive specialist to libero this year with senior Allie Zwerle providing leadership in the DS role. Junior Hadley Rhodes will step in as the setter this season, replacing the program’s all-time leader in assists, Allie Kemp, while sophomore Maddie Homer will add athleticism on the back row.
“This team has so much potential to build off of the best season this program has had to date- and we have work to do,” said OA coach Chelsea Cunningham. “With this season being so short, we are hoping to make every moment count in the gym. From bonding with everyone on the team, to mixing up the lineups, and everyone being ready to compete- it’s exciting to FINALLY play after the long wait.”
2019 Record: 6-13 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrea Lovett
The foundation of the Sharon volleyball this season will be its senior class, a strong group of experienced players hungry to make some noise in the Davenport division this season.
The Eagles have four returning seniors in Brynne Aidlin-Perlman, Yvette Nau, Leah Fandel, and Sarah Fandel; all four can play in a variety of roles for Sharon. Aidlin-Perlman is a leader both on and off the court and provides the Eagles with solid defense plus a strong swing from the outside hitter position. Nau is back for another year as the team’s setter and will quarterback the offense, having all three of her classmates as good options at the net. Sara Fandel put a lot of work in during the offseason and has improved greatly at the net and provides the Eagles with a reliable defensive option in the back row while Leah Fandel is a two-way threat at the net from the middle position.
“We have four returning seniors that provide a very solid base for a talented team,” said Sharon head coach Andrea Lovett. “The team is rounded out with talented juniors who will be taking us into next year. Sharon expects to be a threat in our “Hock Bubble” this season.”
2019 Record: 2-14 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Felicia Baptista
The Black Knights are looking to bounce back in a big way during the Fall 2 season. Felicia Baptista is moving up from subvarsity to take over the varsity squad.
Baptista will have a lot of new faces that are new to the varsity level so she plans to rely heavily on her two returners, especially in the early going. That means senior Shanice Landrum and senior Camille Firmin will be key leaders both on and off the court this year as Stoughton looks to battle for the Davenport division crown. Landrum led the team in kills last season with 86 and was one of the best blockers in the Hockomock League with 63. Firmin should see an expanded role at the net as the Knights look to integrate new faces into its lineup under Baptista.
“Even though it is a big building season for us, our team dynamic seems like we have been playing together for years,” Baptista said. “Every day I see big improvements with communication on the court and our defense is looking solid. This year is unique for us because we do have a few boys on our roster and, not only do they bring talent, but they add a light and fun atmosphere to the gym.”
With a large group of experienced players returning this season, the Tigers are eager to put last season behind them and make a splash this year.
Taunton has 10 seniors in total, with nine of them returning players from last season along with one returning junior, so experience will be a strength for this year’s squad. The Tigers will be looking to turn their experience at the varsity level into success on the court in the abbreviated Fall 2 season. Senior captain Jaelyn Fernandez will put the offense into motion from the setter spot and will have some weapons to work with along the net. The Tigers have all three of their top attackers back from a year ago, including senior captain and outside hitter Ella Dunderdale, who led the Tigers in kills last season with 89 kills. Senior Sonya Fernandez (83 kills) and junior Mikayla Cleary (63 kills) will also give the Tigers options from the middle and opposite spots. Seniors Makena Travers, Kailara Andrade, and Fabiana Pereira will anchor the back row for the Tigers. With experience in multiple spots, depth will be key for Taunton this year.
“We are just looking forward to the competition but as we know in the Kelley-Rex you have to be focused and be ready to bring it every night as every team is tough,” said Taunton head coach Toby Chaperon. “We are just hoping we can rise to the challenge each and every match and hope that our execution is sharp.”
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Two days after putting up 79 points in a win against Davenport division rival Canton, Oliver Ames looked up at the clock nearly six minutes into Thursday night’s rematch at the Nixon Gym and saw a zero under its name. It was a sign that things weren’t going to be nearly as comfortable the second time around.
“Consider it ugly but effective,” joked OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook after her team rallied, and then held off a late charge by the Bulldogs, to secure a 53-43 victory that puts the Tigers in pole position for a league title in their first season back in the Davenport in four years.
“We really wanted it to be a fast-paced game but it wasn’t pretty, at all,” Clement-Holbrook continued. “We know who their three-point shooters are, a couple of times we just didn’t get a hand up, we were too far off. I thought we were scrappy. Once we switched our defense, we got a lot of turnovers. I think that got us going and got us back into it.”
Canton showed fight from the opening tip, determined not to allow the game to get away like it did in the first meeting. Kiara Cerruti opened with a quick three and Sydney Gallery added two from beyond the arc, including one off glass, to open a 9-0 lead.
OA looked completely out of sorts on the offensive end, taking quick long-range shots, and struggling to find the mark against an aggressive Bulldogs defense. Caroline Peper knocked down a free throw with 2:10 left in the first to get the Tigers on the board. She followed that with a three, Caroline Flynn knocked down four at the line and suddenly it was a one-point game (11-10) after one.
“They’re physical, they’re probably the biggest team in the league or close to it,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “Their size is a totally different challenge than many of the games we face. They put so much pressure on you whenever you touch the ball that it’s not an easy task just to whip it inside.”
Kelsey Yelle (eight points and six rebounds) gave the Tigers a spark off the bench. She knocked down a pair of mid-range jumpers, both assisted by Hailey Bourne (seven points and four assists) to put OA ahead.
Cerruti had a steal and layup and Gallery a score off an offensive rebound to go back into the lead, but freshman Jasmyn Cooper (five points and seven rebounds) buried a three and grabbed an offensive board that led to a Peper jumper. OA closed the half on a 9-4 run that put them in front for good.
The Tigers stretched the lead into double digits in the third quarter and threatened at several points in the second half to break the game wide open and run away, as they did on Tuesday, but Canton kept finding ways to hang around.
Peper kicked things off in the third with a three off a Flynn assist, had a nifty scoop on the baseline after Bourne swung it around the perimeter, and turned a steal into an easy transition basket. She scored seven of her team-high 15 points in the third. Bourne (seven points and four assists) added a couple of buckets in the quarter, including one off a Flynn (eight points, seven rebounds, and four assists) rebound and dish.
“Caroline Flynn has the heart of a lion,” Clement-Holbrook said. “She really does. She just makes things happen and I hardly got her a rest. She played almost every minute.”
Gallery tried to keep the Bulldogs close with four of her 14 points in the quarter and Cerruti nailed another three, but OA’s defense and rebounding was proving to be a problem. Kayla Albert (14 rebounds) was one of the few players finding any success crashing the glass for the visitors, who went into the fourth trailing 38-28.
“Kayla played amazing underneath,” said Choquette. “She kept a lot of extra balls alive for us and that gives our guards more chances to hit some shots.”
Twice in the fourth quarter, OA led by as may as 13 points. After Cerruti drilled a deep three, Flynn turned a steal into a short pull-up jumper and then Maddie Homer had a quick release jumper on the baseline to make it 44-31. Samya DaSilva answered with her second three of the game, but Homer hit another short jumper and Bourne knocked down a shot from the corner for a 49-36 advantage.
“Maddie Homer coming off the bench did a good job,” said Clement-Holbrook. “We started moving people around and that to me is the beauty of this group because of the depth. If somebody’s not having a good night, we’re going to move them out and move somebody else in.”
It felt like the game was lost, but Canton kept fighting back. Fay Gallery set up Cerruti for her fourth three of the night and then Sydney Gallery got a rare look in the paint to get the lead back down to eight. Cerruti fought off the attentions of a couple Tigers to spin into the lane and then spin the ball off the glass for a tough finish to make it 49-43 with 51.5 to play.
Homer made a clutch bucket for the Tigers to stem the Canton momentum and Jess Erlich hit two shots at the line (her only points of the night) to seal the win.
Choquette said, “The other night wasn’t a really good representation of our team. We had a really good practice yesterday and talked about that and how we can help each other. Every girl decided lets go out there and play the way we’re capable of playing. I was really really proud of the way the girls responded.”
Oliver Ames (6-0) will put its perfect record on the line at Stoughton on Tuesday, while Canton (3-3) will try to end its three-game skid when it travels to Foxboro.
Attleboro, 58 @ Mansfield, 66 – Final – Mansfield senior Matt Boen poured in a career-high 35 points to help the Hornets overcome an upset bid from visiting Attleboro. The Bombardiers built an eight-point lead after eight minutes (18-10) but Mansfield battled back to make it a two-point game, 33-31, at halftime. Both teams went for 11 points in the third as Attleboro carried a 44-42 lead into the fourth. But Boen flipped a switch in the final frame, hitting a pair of threes and six total field goals, netting 16 points to help the Hornets pull away. Boen also scored 10 points in the second to help the Hornets close the gap. Jack Colby added 10 points while Matt Hyland had eight points. Attleboro senior Justin Daniels shined with a career-high 25 points while Evan Houle and Trevor White each had eight points for the Bombardiers.
Canton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton, 52 @ Foxboro, 44 – Final – After being held to 23 points through three quarters, Stoughton’s offense exploded for 29 points in the fourth quarter to storm past Foxboro. It was a low scoring first half for both sides with the Warriors staking a 14-9 lead through a quarter and an 18-16 lead at halftime. Foxboro had its best offensive showing in third as sophomore Alex Penders (14 points) scored nine of the team’s 13 points to seize a 31-23 lead going into the fourth. But the Black Knights caught fire from three-point land with Connor Andrews (nine points) and Waseem Sablon (10 points) each hitting two and Jake Queeney adding another. Queeney’s three midway through the period gave Stoughton a 38-37 lead before Foxboro jumped back ahead on two free throws from Dylan Gordon (18 points). A strong take from Brett Pendenza put Stoughton back ahead and a steal from Sablon led to two points from junior KC Ugwuakazi (17 points). After a stop, Sablon drained a three as the clock ticked under two minutes. Foxboro got two back from the line but Andrews hit a straightaway three off an offensive rebound to make it 48-40 with a minute to go to ice the win.
Mansfield, 41 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – For the second straight game, Attleboro jumped out to a big first quarter lead, but this time the Bombardiers kept control and didn’t let Mansfield back into the contest. Attleboro led 25-10 after the first quarter, as Meghan Gordon and Narissa Smith combined for 18 of the team’s 25 points. Unlike on Tuesday night, Mansfield couldn’t mount a second quarter comeback and the Bombardiers went into the break leading 42-19. Gordon finished with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds and Smith scored 14 points (knocking down four threes on the night). Emma Reilly added eight in the win. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said it was a “great team victory. Our defense was outstanding tonight.” The Hornets were led by Sarah Dooling and Abby Wager, who each finished with eight points.
Foxboro, 53 @ Stoughton, 13 – Final – Katelyn Mollica had her second straight game with 20-plus points and Foxboro swept the series against the Black Knights with a strong defensive performance. Mollica finished with 22 on the night and Hannah Blake chipped in with nine.
Franklin, 66 @ Taunton, 29 – Final – Franklin went on the road and scored a big win to stay unbeaten on the season. Olivia Quinn was the top scorer for the Panthers with 12 points, but it was a balanced effort as all 13 players got on the score sheet. Taunton got nine points from Sonya Fernandez and eight points from Jaelyn Fernandez in the season opener for the Tigers.
Oliver Ames, 52 @ Sharon, 15 – Final – Oliver Ames used a balanced attack to get a season sweep of Sharon. Caroline Flynn didn’t miss a shot, finishing with 11 points while Sarah Hilliard added eight points. Jasmyn Cooper hauled in 10 rebounds while Maddie Homer had six steals.
North Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to Friday, 2/12.
King Philip, 72 @ Milford, 38 – Final – Emily Sawyer scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to get the Warriors back in the win column. Fellow sophomore Jackie Bonner scored 11 points for KP, which jumped out to a 43-15 lead by halftime and knocked down 11 threes as a team. Milford was led by Emma Lawrence and Jillian Michelson, who both scored eight points.
King Philip, 3 vs. Austin Prep, 8 – Final
Attleboro @ Mansfield, 5:00
Sharon vs. Oliver Ames, 3:30
FOXBORO, Mass. – For the second time in three days, one quarter proved decisive for Oliver Ames. On Tuesday, the Tigers won the fourth quarter to break open a one-point game to win by double digits. On Thursday, in Foxboro, the Tigers exploded in the third quarter to build a big lead and then had to hold off the Warriors in the final minutes.
After scoring 22 points in the first half, OA found its offense in the third and put 23 on the board, extending a one-point lead out to 13. The Tigers managed only six points in the fourth (all from the free throw line), but the lead turned out to be just big enough and OA earned the season sweep with a 51-47 victory.
“We’ve just got to fine tune some things and do the right thing in the right situation,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “I’m not disappointed with their effort at all, it’s just about doing the right things at the right time. It’s all growth, just got a little too close for comfort.”
Despite having no fans in the gym and being down by double digits heading into the fourth quarter, the Warriors showed no quit, which impressed their coach.
“I’d love to play them every night because that’s how you get better,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “We definitely did better defensively then we did on Tuesday. Against their zone we just didn’t rotate the ball as much as we should have to give us better, open looks, but for the most part we fought hard.”
After a very even, defensive first half, OA hit high gear coming out of the break. Katelyn Mollica (12 points and seven rebounds) drilled a three to put Foxboro ahead 24-22, but it would be the last lead for the Warriors. Caroline Peper (eight points and eight steals) answered from deep on the other end and put the Tigers ahead to stay.
That three was the start of a 12-0 run that pushed OA’s lead out to double digits. Caroline Flynn (10 points and 10 rebounds) grabbed four points in the run and Jess Erlich (nine points) added four of her own. The Tigers were getting out on the break, finding the cutters in the halfcourt, and crashing the offensive boards.
After freshman Camryn Collins snatched an offensive rebound and found classmate Erin Foley (12 points) for a layup, Foxboro cut the lead back to seven. OA answered right back. Hailey Bourne scored on a drive to the rim, freshman Kaydance Derba (six points, all in the third) buried a three on a Bourne kick out, and Maddie Homer scored on a putback.
Three free throws from Derba extended the advantage to 45-32 after three quarters and it looked like the Tigers were going to run away with it.
“I think we did a good job anticipating,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “I thought we did a good job in terms of rotation defensively and made it difficult for them. I thought we were probably better at executing in the third quarter than any of the other quarters.”
Things dried up offensively for the visitors in the fourth quarter. OA scored only six points and didn’t make a shot from the field. Foxboro took advantage to creep back into the game.
“They just had to listen and realize that we were playing into their hands,” Downs said. “We were dribbling into a trap instead of rotating the ball and we just had to rely on our speed, trying to fast break a little bit more, spread the floor, and get the ball up ahead.”
Aislinn Servaes swung the ball to Mollica for a three that got the lead down to single digits and Jordyn Collins (seven points and eight rebounds) followed with a driving layup that made it 48-41 with 1:35 to play.
“I would’ve liked to see us be a little more consistent in the fourth quarter,” said Clement-Holbrook. “I’d like to see us do a much better job attacking the offensive boards. We’ve got to come to the realization that offensive rebounds are an easy way to score, as opposed to having to run this screen, that screen. We’ve got to be more disciplined going to the boards to score.”
Peper knocked down two clutch free throws to push the lead back to nine but a perfect fast break led to a Camryn Collins three-point play and it was only a six-point game. Hannah Blake (eight points) hit her fourth jumper of the game to make it 50-46 but it was not enough to catch the Tigers.
“They definitely fought to the end,” Downs said about her team’s fourth quarter comeback. “Any normal season, Oliver Ames would be one of the favorites going into the state tournament. It’s a good opportunity, especially for the young girls, to see a quality team like that.”
The first half was back-and-forth, as both teams locked down defensively. OA had a distinct advantage with its length, recording eight blocks in the first half alone. Freshman Jasmyn Cooper didn’t score, but grabbed 10 rebound and blocked three shots.
Foley, who has had a strong start to her varsity career, scored five points in the first quarter and Blake added four, but the game was tied at 12 after one. Foley then buried her second three to put Foxboro ahead 15-12, but freshman Sarah Hilliard came off the bench to spark the Tigers. Her three-point play tied the game and she had a steal and layup to put OA in front. She scored all seven of her points in the second and had OA in front 22-21 at the break.
Oliver Ames (2-0) will be back home on Tuesday to face Sharon, while Foxboro (2-2) will try to bounce back against Stoughton.
Attleboro, 60 @ Milford, 52 – Final – Attleboro opened its season with a win on the road, edging out the Scarlet Hawks in a close contest. With the gamed tied 51-51, senior Alec Eaton drained a three with just under a minute to give the Bombardiers the lead for good. The visitors led at halftime (31-25) but Milford rallied to take a 40-39 lead into the fourth. Eaton (10 points) had two threes in the fourth while Justin Daniels hit another and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the line in the final frame to help Attleboro secure the win. Daniels finished with a career-high 16 points while junior Evan Houle led the way for the Bombardiers with a career-high 17 points. Milford senior Jordan Darling had a game-high 18 points.
Canton, 45 @ Sharon, 42 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game.Canton’s Ryan Connerney scored eight of his career-high 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs held off a late charge from the Eagles to move to 3-0. After a slow first half from both sides, Canton’s offense got into enough of a groove to take a 10-point lead with three minutes to go. But the Eagles continued to claw back into it, getting back-to-back threes from Sam Cohen (11 points). Seven straight points from junior John Baez cut the deficit to just two, 42-40, with 25 seconds to go. Connerney, who went 6/7 from the line in the fourth, hit two more and then came up with a steal on the final inbounds play in secure the win. Eric Mischler added 12 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs while Matt Baskin had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles.
North Attleboro, 50 @ Stoughton, 42 – Final – North Attleboro took the lead after eight minutes of action and never surrendered the lead, keeping the Black Knights at arm’s length throughout the contest. The Rocketeers extended their lead each quarter, taking a 15-11 lead after one and a 29-23 advantage at halftime. North pushed the lead to 38-31 through three quarters before an improved defensive effort helped the Rocketeers slam the door shut. Senior George Ladd had a game-high 19 points, going 5-for-5 from the line in the fourth to help ice the win. Brody Rosenberg added 13 points and Casey Poirier finished with eight points for North. Waseem Sablon led the Black Knights with 11 points.
Milford, 39 @ Attleboro, 71 – Final – Attleboro had to wait a week before tipping off this season, but the Bombardiers put together a strong performance to open with a win. It was a two-point game (13-11) after one quarter but Attleboro pushed the lead to double digits by halftime and then broke the game wide open, as Meghan Gordon and Narissa Smith combined for 19 points in the quarter. Gordon finished with a career-high 24 points and Smith added 16 in her varsity debut. Head coach Marty Crowley praised his team’s defensive effort and a balanced attack on offense. Milford was led by Emma Lawrence with 13 points and Ashanty Barreto.
Sharon, 23 @ Canton, 54 – Final – The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-point lead by halftime and never looked back, cruising to a second win of the season. Fay Gallery followed up her 22 points in the opener with 19 points against the Eagles, including 16 in the first half. She knocked down five three-pointers in the game. Sydney Gallery added 14 for the Bulldogs, nine in the second half, and Kiara Cerruti scored eight points. Canton had eight players score in the win. Gaby Cabral led the Eagles with seven points and Trinity Payne chipped in with six.
Foxboro, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – Final – The Tigers outscored visiting Foxboro by 10 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win in their opener and hand the Warriors their first loss of the season. The Warriors took the lead early in the fourth but the Tigers won the final frame 15-5 to get the win. Senior Kelsey Yelle led the Tigers with 12 points and 12 rebounds while junior Caroline Peper added 10. OA head coach Laney Holbrook praised the effort of seniors Jess Erlich and Caroline Flynn. Sophomore Maddie Homer chipped in with nine points and tough defense. Katelyn Mollica scored 18 in the loss and Foxboro also got a strong performance from its freshmen, as Camryn Collins scored 11 points and Erin Foley added nine.
Franklin, 82 @ King Philip, 62 – Final
Franklin, 93 @ King Philip, 75 – Final