Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Emily Houle, Attleboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Sarah Deyo, Attleboro
Emily Houle, Attleboro
Emma Murphy, Canton
Cassidy Harrison, Foxboro
Ashley Sampson, Foxboro
Aubrie Kutil, Franklin
Lauren Rudolph, Franklin
Meg Hill, Mansfield
Jen Peel, Mansfield
Caroline Maher, Mansfield
Kate Irwin, Milford
Ashley Ahern, North Attleboro
Francesca Calabraro, Oliver Ames
Kayla Raymond, Oliver Ames
Alyssa Piazza, Sharon
Alecia Quinones, Stoughton
Sam Pierce, Attleboro
Hannah Jerrier, Canton
Lily Sykes, Foxboro
Olivia Adiletto, Franklin
Maddie Purdue, King Philip
Jackie Carchedi, Mansfield
Nicole Dahlgren, Milford
Emily Peters, North Attleboro
Samantha Bamford, Oliver Ames
Jordan Motley, Stoughton
Charlotte Ransom, Sharon
Jordan Wade, Taunton
TAUNTON, Mass. – After scoring just three points in the second quarter and nine points in the first half, King Philip needed someone to provide an offensive spark and give the Warriors a lift to try and erase a 12-point deficit.
In the second half, senior guard Jen Lacroix gave KP the boost it needed, scoring all 12 of her points after the break and the Warriors pressure defense forced 19 second half turnovers to turn the deficit into a one-point win on Friday night at Taunton.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” said KP coach Marty Crowley, who noted the improved press break and different offense used against the zone. “We know our defense will keep us in games and tonight our offense picked up in the second half.”
“Jen Lacroix was more than huge for us,” he added. “Jen had a great night shooting the ball.”
The Tigers had a lot of success in the first half running the offense through senior forward Alyssa Gibson, who scored seven of Taunton’s nine first quarter points and finished with a game-high 13. She was able to drive through the lane as well as score on offensive rebounds (14 boards on the night).
“They were running a box on Jordan [Wade],” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan, “and we had a play set up to work the bigs inside and thought it worked pretty well.”
Wade and Lily Patneaude each knocked down threes in the second, as KP sank into the lane to protect against Gibson’s offense, although the forward added another four points in the quarter. Meanwhile, KP managed only two made field goals in the entire first half – one each for Shannon O’Connor and Sam Madden (eight points).
The second half was a very different story. Harrigan said, “I thought they adjusted to it well in the second half. They just overplayed us better. They were quicker to the ball.”
Lacroix knocked a jumper, which was answered by Mackenzie Handrahan, then she hit another shot off an assist by Maddie Purdue, but that was also answered by a drive from Maggie Sullivan, as Taunton kept the lead at 12.
After a pair of free throws from Gibson made the score 27-15, KP closed the quarter on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to just a single point. Madden scored on a layup following a Lacroix steal, Lacroix buried a jumper, Riley Dalzell drove to the basket for a layup and O’Connor scored off a steal, as the Warriors used their defense to create offense.
“We didn’t really have the greatest energy in the first half,” said Crowley. “We talked about being on the road that you need to create your own energy and second half…they’re very smart kids and they know what they need to do.”
He added, “Steal, score and steal, score and fight your way back into the game and the confidence – you can pick your shoulders up a little bit. It was a great win for us.”
The Warriors also started to crash the boards as a team. Although Gibson would lead all players with 14 boards, Dalzell (10 rebounds), Christina Hathaway, and Hadley Zolak all contributed on the glass for KP.
“In order for us to be successful, we don’t have that kid who is going to go out there and score 18-20 a night for us, so we need everybody to do their job,” Crowley explained. “They played together as a team tonight and that’s the most important thing.”
Taunton scored the opening four points of the fourth quarter, Wade and Kia Pate each getting baskets, to extend the lead back to five but then KP took control with a 10-0 run into the final 10 seconds of the game.
Again it was Lacroix with the big shot, as she buried a three that stemmed the tide and cut the lead to two. Riley Dalzell made a pair of free throws that put KP ahead 32-31, its first lead of the game, and then Lacroix knocked down a jumper following an O’Connor steal and Dalzell found Hathaway for a layup that put the Warriors ahead 36-31.
“Their pressure hurt us quite a bit and that pressure defense turned into good offense for them,” said Harrigan. “I think we panicked a little bit.”
Patneaude (11 points) hit a three that made it a two-point game, but O’Connor stepped up to the line and made both free throws to ice it. Patneaude hit another from deep at the buzzer but it was not enough.
Taunton (3016, 2-14) will close out its season on Monday against New Bedford. King Philip (6-13, 4-12) wraps up its campaign at Lowell on Wednesday. Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
Today’s games are listed below. Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 43 @ Mansfield, 61 – Final – Mansfield built a double-digit lead by halftime and never looked back. Matt Ehrlich had a team-high 14 points and added four rebounds, Sam Goldberg had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and Max Boen (four rebounds), Tyler Boulter and Phil Vigeant each had six points for the Hornets. Jake Dunkley had a game-high 15 points for Attleboro, Lucas Boucicaut added 12 points and Kyle Murphy had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Milford, 68 @ Canton, 50 – Final – Dimitry Torres netted a career-high 26 points to spark the Scarlet Hawks to a road win at Canton. Dwight Anderson added 15 points and Josh Andonian chipped in with 10 points for Milford.
Foxboro, 46 @ Sharon, 49 – Final – David Roelke hit a three as time expired to lift Sharon to a key Davenport division win. Roelke had a team-high 12 points while Peter Banks (eight rebounds) and Bryce Smith each had 10 points. Foxboro’s Jason Procaccini had a game-high 18 points and added 11 rebounds and six steals. Alex DuBrow had 13 points and Rob Lowey had seven points and 14 rebounds.
North Attleboro, 57 @ Franklin, 60 – Final – Tim Prunier hit two free throws down the stretch to stretch the Panthers’ lead to three as Franklin outlasted North Attleboro. The Rocketeers trailed by nine at halftime but rallied to get a 45-44 lead heading into the final period. Prunier finished with a team-best 18 points while freshman Jay Dieterle added 13 points and sophomore Connor Peterson had 11 points. North junior Brent Doherty also had 18 points, Kyle McCarthy scored a career-high 13 points in his first start and Mario Bresko added 11 points.
King Philip, 54 @ Taunton, 62 – Final – King Philip led for three quarters but Taunton was able to overcome the deficit and get the win in the final quarter. Senior Carlos Borrero scored all 11 of his points in the second half and senior Jose Mercado finished with a game-high 17 points. Tommy MacLean added 13 points. Sophomore Tom Madden had a team-high 13 points for KP, who also got 10 points from Seth Sullivan and Pharoah David each.
Stoughton, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 70 – Final – Dylan Mahoney had a team-high 15 points while Tim Kelley, Shawn Cardoza and Nick Welch all added 11 points apiece in the Tigers’ big win. Girls Basketball
Canton, 47 @ Milford, 42 – Final – Kate Irwin was Milford’s top scorer with 10 points in the win. Jill Powers and Nicole Dahlgren each added nine for the Hawks.
Sharon, 20 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – Ashley Sampson had a game-high 15 points, Grace Tamulionis added 11 points and MacKenzie Anderson chipped in with six points.
Franklin, 63 @ North Attleboro, 47 – Final – Franklin broke open a three-point game at the half with a 20-5 run in the third quarter. Carli Koffinke was the top scorer for the Panthers with 13, while Aubrie Kutil added a double-double with 11 points. Lauren Rudolph for Franklin and Olivia Adiletto eight. Emily Peters scored 20 points for the Rocketeers in a losing effort.
Taunton, 41 @ King Philip, 50 – Final – KP outscored the Tigers 15-5 in the fourth quarter to get the win. Rylie Dalzell led the Warriors with 13 points. KP also got 10 points each from Maddie Purdue and Christina Hathaway. Taunton sophomore Hannah Moniz had a game-high 14 points and freshman Lily Patneaude chipped in with nine points for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 38 @ Attleboro, 48 – Final – The Bombardiers finished the game with a 9-0 run in the final 4:27 to clinch the win. Sam Pierce led Attleboro with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sarah Deyo had 13 points and 12 boards and Emily Houle had nine points for the Bombardiers. Mansfield was led by Jen Peel with 11 points and five assists. Meg Hill added nine points, 11 rebounds, and eight blocks.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ Stoughton, 34 – Final – Francesca Calabraro led all scorers with a season-high 23 points and added eight steals while classmate Niyera Mitchell had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Swimming Boys
Canton @ King Philip, 7:00
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 5:30 Girls
Canton @ King Philip, 7:00
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 5:30
Oliver Ames, 87 @ Stoughton, 63 – Final
Today’s games are listed below. Girls Basketball
King Philip, 61 @ Framingham, 45 – Final – Freshman Julia Leroux tallied a career-high 17 points to lead the Warriors. Maddie Purdue added nine points for KP, while Hadley Zolak and Courtney Kelleher each had eight. KP coach Martin Crowley said, “Great win for the kids having to go back to back days.” Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – Sam Larkin and P.J. Elliott had the goals for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Mike Dadasis, Seamus Pecararo and Matt Lazaro scored for the Bulldogs while Will Walsh had the Tigers’ lone tally.
Franklin, 9 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final– Luke Downie, Ryan Hohman, Joe Lizotte and Zac Falvey all scored their first varsity goals in the win for the Panthers.
King Philip, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Kyle McCarthy scored a pair of goals for King Philip while Matt Smith, Jacob Kelly, Clay Geuss and Jeremy Smith each scored once. Stoughton freshman goalie AJ Scott made 40 saves in net while Barry Cooke had the Black Knights’ lone goal.
Mansfield, 2 @ Brockton, 6 – Final
North Attleboro, 6 @ Milford, 1 – Final Wrestling
Canton’s Peckham Tournament (Canton, Mansfield, King Philip, Sharon), 9:30
Franklin @ Franklin County Tech – Franklin went 4-0 with wins over Maher (64-9), Holliston (38-12), Pioneer (24-6) and Athol (24-9).
Natick Tournament – Milford placed third among 13 teams with 176 points. Carlos Terrinha was second at 113, Brett Kimball was second at 132, Ryan Gray was second at 182, Nick Johnson was second at 195, Nick Marcolini placed third at 106, Eliel Mares was third at 138, Ryan Nesta was fourth at 160, John Niro placed fourth at 285 and Jason Pinto was sixth at 126. Whitman-Hanson Tournament – North Attleboro won the 16-team tournament with 14 of their 17 wrestlers earning medals.
Sandwich Quad – Oliver Ames went 2-1 on the day, picking up a 48-30 win over Sandwich and a 49-21 win over Melrose but suffered a 53-9 loss to Hingham. Liston Funai (132) went 2-0 on the day with a pair of pins and Pat Mills (22) was 3-0 with three pins for the Tigers.
Taunton @ Quincy – Taunton picked up two wins from Justin Bradley (126), Alex Simon (170) and Santiago Lopez (220). Three other Tigers picked up one win on the day: Cooper Moreton (106), Josh Grasso (126) and Hannah Driscoll (160). Taunton lost to Walpole (15-60) and Quincy (30-54). Girls Hockey
Canton, 1 vs. Falmouth, 3 – Final
Franklin, 0 @ Medfield, 2 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 1 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final
By Anthony Rinaldi, HockomockSports.com Contributor
WRENTHAM, Mass.- The Franklin boy’s and girl’s basketball teams both took double-digit victories Friday night on the road at King Philip.
In the first quarter of the first game, the boy’s got off to a quick 10-0 lead. Franklin used quick ball movement, and the extra pass to the open shooter to get themselves out in front early. They kept this up throughout the quarter giving themselves a 14-point lead (26-12).
In the second quarter Franklin continued its team play and quick passing to build on their double-digit lead. They also continued to full-court press King Philip, which gave the Warriors trouble throughout the game. The press would allow the Panthers to get turnovers and quick buckets in transition to give themselves a 20-point lead (47-27) at halftime.
“I thought the guys shared the ball, especially early in the game, really well. We came in with that being an emphasis”, Franklin coach C.J. Neely said.
“We wanted to wear them down,” Neely said when talking about the press. “Pressure was definitely a game-plan tonight, I thought the guys did a nice job, they rotated well.”
In the third quarter with the offense not clicking as it was in the first half the Panthers relied on that press and their defense to hold the Warriors to only two points both of which came from foul shots.
“We gave up a little too many open threes, we weren’t closing out very well in the first half,” Neely said. “At halftime I challenged them to get out on shooters and make them attack the rim, I thought we did good job both at protecting the paint and contesting open shots.”
The fourth quarter was all about maintaining the lead and continuing to play hard for the Panthers, and that they did cruising to a 67-41 victory.
For Franklin the leading scorer was Tim Prunier with 14 points, Paul Mahon was the only other Panther in double digits with 12 points. For King Philip, Noah Goodwin had nine points.
Strong Start Sparks Franklin Girls
In the second game of the evening the Franklin girls’ team got off to a similar start, grabbing an early 8-2 lead through eight straight points from Aubrie Kutil. The Warriors continued to fight and try and answer the Panthers in the opening frame, but the visitors took a nine-point lead into the second quarter.
In the second quarter it was all about foul shots for the Panthers. Eleven of their 18 points in the frame came from the charity stripe.
“We got off to a run and I thought that might continue throughout the game, but give them (King Philip) credit they made six points back to back they’re a good team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton.
About the foul shots he said “In high school basketball if you make your foul shots it seems to end well.”
In the third quarter, the Panthers really played well defensively only giving up nine points again, but they could not hit a foul shot (4-12), which kept King Philip in the game going into the fourth quarter.
In that fourth, with about 4:30 left, KP hit a three and then a jumper, which brought the Panther lead down to nine and it looked like the Warriors were gaining momentum. However, senior Olivia Adiletto hit a big three with 3:45 left in the game to give the Panthers a 12-point lead (56-44). Then defensively they did not give up another point to the Warriors taking the game 64-44.
“I thought the defensive end in the fourth quarter is where it was won,” Leighton said.
“Olivia slowed everything down and got us set, to try and give different people looks…I was really proud of my tri-captains tonight as well.”
For Franklin, Adiletto was the leading scorer with a game-high 20 points. Kutil was also in double figures for the Panthers, contributing 15 points along with 13 rebounds. For King Philip, Maddie Purdue was the leading scorer with 13, Sam Madden was also in double digits with 11.
On the boy’s side Franklin (6-1, 4-1) next week has a big week as they take on Foxboro on Tuesday at home, then go on the road to face Kelly-Rex rival Mansfield three days later. King Philip (0-6, 0-5) has two straight home games, against Sharon and North Attleboro.
On the girl’s side, Franklin (4-2, 3-2) goes on the road to face Foxboro,then faces Mansfield. King Philip (1-6, 0-5) goes on the road on Saturday to play Framingham,then face Sharon on Tuesday.
Today’s games are listed below. Boys Basketball
Taunton, 65 vs. Hope (RI), 39 – Final– Sophomore Tyler Medeiros scored a team-high 13 points to pace a balanced attack for Taunton. Senior Jose Mercado and junior Tommy MacLean each chipped in with 12 points in the win for the Tigers. Girls Basketball
King Philip, 57 vs. Cumberland, 44 – Final– Rylie Dalzell scored 11 of her team-high 15 points in the second as the Warriors outscored Cumberland 21-8 over the final eight minutes. Julia Leroux added 10 points, Shannon O’Connor and Maddie Purdue each chipped in with nine points and head coach Marty Crowley said Courtney Kelleher played a big role off the bench. Hockey
King Philip, 1 vs. Milton, 3 – Final
Mansfield, 0 vs. St. Peter Marian, 4 – Final
North Attleboro, 3 vs. Nauset, 0 – Final Wrestling
Marshfield Tournament (Mansfield, North Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Sharon) – After one day of competition, North Attleboro is sitting in first with 138 points. Sharon is currently in 5th with 85, Oliver Ames is in 17th with 58 points and Mansfield is in 32nd with 24 points. North Attleboro has eight wrestlers that have advanced to the semifinals while Sharon has five grapplers in the semi finals. The list includes Sharon’s Yosef Ellis-Rech (113), Luke Stillman (132), David Ellis-Rech (138), Tyler Jensen (145) and Jason Powell (152) and North Attleboro’s Devin Spratt (120), Alex Devitto (126), Mike Gould (138), Nick Gould (145), Colin Fiske (152), Jack Donahue (170), Leo Thibeault (220) and Brennan Sankey (285).
By Josh Perry, Managing Editor
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – King Philip has prided itself on its defensive effort in the past couple seasons and on Saturday night the Warriors went into Smithfield (R.I.) and held the Sentinels to just 37 points.
Unfortunately, the offense is still a work in progress. KP only scored 10 points in the second half and none in the final five minutes in a 37-34 loss in the opening game of the Smithfield Holiday Tournament.
KP coach Martin Crowley said, “You hold a team under 40 points and you think you have a shot and all the stuff we did in the first half, we stopped doing in the second. We became impatient.”
The Warriors led 24-20 at the break and Sam Madden hit a layup that extended the lead to 27-22 early in the second half (Rhode Island uses halves not quarters). Freshman Julia Leroux had a steal and a fast break bucket that made it 29-23.
The Sentinels battled back with baskets by Julia Mitchell (six points) and a layup by Michaela Dolan that cut the lead to just two, but then Leroux (team-high eight points) stepped into a three-pointer off an assist by Maddie Purdue that kicked the lead up to five.
The game turned into a war of attrition for the final 10 minutes with neither team getting any flow going on the offensive end. KP would go five minutes without a basket until a jumper by Olivia Dort with just over five minutes left to play. It was the final basket for the Warriors.
On the other end, the KP defense was keeping it in the game. Purdue had blocks on consecutive Smithfield possessions, Rylie Dalzell, Madden, and Leroux each came up with several steals. Despite going through a fallow stretch on offense, Dort’s jumper still had the Warriors up by five (34-29).
Crowley said, “We’d get a stop and turn it over; get a stop and then turn it over, We didn’t capitalize on those like the first half.”
“In a game like this, three-, four-, five-point game, if you don’t convert on your chances then it’s going to comeback to haunt you.”
Those missed opportunities did eventually hurt the Warriors. Juliana Romeo scored a traditional three-point play on a drive to the basket for the final three of her game-high 11 points to make it a two-point game and then Mitchell scored on a put back to tie it.
“If you let scrappy teams hang around then they’ll beat you in the end,” said Crowley.
That proved to be the case, as Taylor Deming (10 rebounds) got free in the corner and buried a jumper to put the Sentinels ahead by three inside the final minute.
The Warriors would still have several possessions to try and tie it, but on both attempts they turned it over without getting a shot off. In the final five seconds, Smithfield missed the front end of a one-and-one and freshman Shannon O’Connor (six points) pushed the ball up court and had a look but it was off target.
“We’re trying to go too quick,” said Crowley about the second half struggles. “We’re not making good passes and once it starts to snowball it goes and it’s tough to try and get your confidence back.”
He added, “We always felt like we were in control but then a kid hits a three to tie it and a kid hits one to go ahead and momentum swings.”
The first half was far from a shootout with both teams struggling from the floor. Leroux knocked down a three to make it 11-9 before Smithfield went on an 8-0 run. KP answered right back with a 10-0 run of its own.
Jen Lacroix started it with a corner three then added a layup and a couple of free throws. In the middle O’Connor buried her second three-pointer of the half. Dort added a three-point play to close out the half with the Warriors in front.
About his two freshmen, O’Connor and Leroux, Crowley said, “They’re great assets for the program. They’re really special players and they’re going to help us in the long run.”
KP (0-4) will have little time to dwell on Saturday’s game. The Warriors will be back on the court against Cumberland (R.I.) on Sunday, also at Smithfield High. Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
2014-15 Record: 14-9 (10-6) 2014-15 Finish: Lost in Div. 1 South first round Head Coach: Rick Patch
The Bombardiers were disappointed at a first round tournament exit last season and are using that as motivation as they enter the second season under coach Rick Patch. Attleboro enters 2015-16 as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex Division and are getting plenty of hype from opposing coaches who feel that the program can win its first Hockomock title.
Expectations are extremely high because Attleboro returns all but two players from last year. The keys pieces will be senior guard Emily Houle and junior forward Sarah Deyo, who were both among the league’s leading scorers a season ago and have had strong off-season playing for their AAU teams. Each is capable of reaching the 1,000-point plateau for their careers but, maybe more important, both also emerged as elite defensive players last season.
Attleboro did not lose much from last year and added a second transfer in as many years with Julia Strachan coming from division rival North Attleboro. The junior forward adds depth to the forward position, shooting touch from deep, and another strong rebounder. Last year point guard Fatima McDonald came into the program and the senior adds toughness to the lineup with more expected from her now that she has a year of experience under her belt.
Sophomore Sam Pierce and senior Emma Vlashi were productive forwards last season and freshman Jordyn Lako is a newcomer to watch for the Bombardiers. Patch said, “Everyone is excited…We have taken the ‘hard hat’ mentality in putting forth a blue collar, blue pride effort. Our players have really focused on becoming great teammates and leaders.”
2014-15 Record: 19-6 (13-3) 2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central final Head Coach: John Leighton
Most programs that lose all but one starter from a team that reached a sectional final would be thinking about rebuilding and the need for a transition year as new players get integrated. Franklin is counting on its system and the depth in its program to reload rather than rebuild this year.
The Panthers reload will benefit from a healthy Lauren Rudolph. The senior guard missed a large portion of last season with an injury sustained during soccer season and added a big scoring punch off the bench when healthy, This year, Rudolph will take on a much larger role as Franklin’s primary scorer, but she also gives them a boost defensively and is good passer in the Panthers’ dribble drive set.
The lone returning starter is senior Aubrie Kutil, who gives Franklin size and strength in the post on both ends of the court. Kutil will be aided by senior forwards Erin Skidmore and Caroline Maguire (who recovered from a volleyball injury to play in the opener) to crash the boards. Senior point guard Olivia Adiletto saw a lot of action last year and will take over as a starter. Junior Carli Koffinke is another player that will step into a bigger role as an offensive spark off the bench.
Newcomers like juniors Isabella Faught and Margaux Welsh will help Franklin make another run at the Kelley-Rex title. Leighton said, “We’re blessed to have depth. We have girls that buy into the system and are willing to play their roles, which is huge for us.”
2014-15 Record: 5-15 (3-13) 2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Martin Crowley
King Philip has been a competitive program since Martin Crowley took over two years ago with its focus on aggressive defense, rebounding, and being difficult to play against. Although last season did not finish the way that the Warriors had hoped, more than one opposing coach has mentioned KP as a sleeper pick to make a run this year.
Leading scorer Emily Sullivan graduated and Crowley noted that “her scoring can’t be replaced with only one player,” but he feels that the pieces are in place to make up for that loss in production. Senior Maddie Purdue will take over at the point guard position this season and she emerged last year as a solid ball-handler and shooter and never shied away from contact as she took the ball to the basket.
Purdue will get plenty of help from a host of versatile and athletic forwards that gives KP plenty of rebounders and active defenders in and around the post. Senior captain Riley Dalzell showed the ability to step back and knock down shots and she will be joined by classmates Sam Madden, Jen Lacroix, and Olivia Dort.
Freshmen Julia Leroux and Shannon O’Connor will also be added to the mix, as Crowley looks to get the Warriors back into the postseason. He said, “I like where we’re at so far. I like our athleticism and we have good depth. We’re trying to get everyone involved.”
2014-15 Record: 19-5 (13-3) 2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal Head Coach: Mike Redding
There is plenty of buzz about the Hornets this season, as Mansfield brings back arguably one of the deepest rosters in the league, including four of its five starters from last year’s team that reached the sectional semifinal. Head coach Mike Redding always says that the goal is to be in the mix for the title at the end of the season, but several coaches have noted that the Hornets could be a threat in Div. 1 South not just the Hock.
Mansfield has loads of experience on its roster. Senior guard Caroline Maher, a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, can stretch the defense with her range and is also an elite finisher on the break. Fellow senior Jackie Carchedi was last year’s HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year and adds wing scoring for the Hornets. Seniors Julianna Newell and Sarah Mullahy, fresh off a league title in volleyball, add depth to the forward line.
Jen Peel is back to lead the Hornets as the starting point guard after leading the team in assists and tying for the team lead in points last year. Peel’s ability to get to the basket opens up room on the perimeter for the shooters and draws defenders away from sophomore center Meg Hill. Hill is a double-double threat every game and as she develops more offensively will be a primary weapon for Mansfield this season.
Add in senior guard Jen Kemp, sophomore Ann Maher, among others on the roster and the options are plentiful for Redding. He explained, “We need to work harder on defense, find a good balance on offense with our options and be playing our best ball in February…The parts are all there, we need to put them together and develop some chemistry on and off the court.”
2014-15 Record: 17-6 (14-2) 2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal Head Coach: Derek Herber
The graduation of Melissa Beaupre and Danielle Perron and the transfer of Julia Strachan to rival Attleboro have many people assuming that the Rocketeers’ run of three straight league titles will surely come to an end. However, even with the turnover on the roster, North Attleboro has the talent to stay in the mix again in its last season in the Kelley-Rex (for at least four years).
One of the main reasons for optimism is the return of junior guard Ashley Ahern, who flirted with the option of transferring to prep school, but returned to North at the start of the school year. North coach Derek Herber called Ahern’s decision to stay “great not only for the team but for the league.” Ahern gives the Rocketeers a primary scorer at the two guard position and another solid ball-handler on the perimeter.
Joining Ahern on the perimeter will be junior point guard Samantha Taggart and junior Emily Schromm, who will be the third guard in the rotation. The strength of the Rocketeers this season is in the post with senior forward Emily Peters providing leadership and toughness and juniors Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse adding scoring punch. Collard, in particular, had a breakout season as a sophomore and could be a player to watch offensively for North this year.
The losses from last season’s squad were important, but Herber brings seven players back and is bullish about what the Rocketeers can accomplish. “It’s not going to be helter skelter and run and gun like it was last year,” he said, “but we’re going to play good, solid man-to-man defense.”
2014-15 Record: 9-13 (5-11) 2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton struggled with injuries early last season and got off to a sluggish start. As the Tigers got healthier, they finished the season with momentum and ended the year with nine wins. Taunton coach Walter Harrigan is hoping that the momentum will carry over to this winter and give Taunton a chance at getting back to the postseason.
Unfortunately, injuries have popped up again. Senior forward Abby Small, who Harrigan thought was poised for a great season, injured her knee in the soccer team’s playoff game at Wellesley and will be out for at least a while. Harrigan is hopeful that Small can get back on the court at some point this season and give the Tigers a boost. At the start of the season, the Tigers will turn to senior guard Jordan Wade and senior forward Alyssa Gibson to lead the way as both have been in the program for five years.
Junior point guard Jessica Regan will be “critical,” according to Harrigan, as she will get Taunton into its offense every trip. Fellow junior Abbey Kingman is another player that the coach expects to make a big jump this season. There are also seven freshmen and sophomores on the roster highlighted by sophomore wing Hannah Moniz, who at nearly 6 feet tall has the size to cause any team problems and has the athleticism to play on the perimeter or in the post.
Freshman Lily Patneaude could join Moniz in the starting lineup when she returns from an early season injury. Harrigan said, “I’m excited for the season. We’re not really deep, but we’re athletic. Our defense has really improved and I think we have a chance to sneak into states.”
For a list of 10 Players to Watch in Hockomock League girls’ basketball this season, click here.