Hornets Run Into Braintree Buzzsaw in South Final

Mansfield girls basketball
Perennial power Braintree put on an offensive clinic to win its fifth Div. 1 South title in the past six years, beating Mansfield 72-43 at Taunton High. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


TAUNTON, Mass. – Mansfield came into Friday night’s Div. 1 South final at Taunton High allowing only 37 points per game, including just 31 points in each of its two playoff victories. Of course, the Hornets had not faced a team like Braintree this season.

The Wamps, perennially one of the top programs in the state, nearly put up double what the Hornets were allowing per game this season. Braintree knocked down nine three-pointers (seven in the first half) and, even with star guard Keelah Dixon sidelined with an injury for the third and fourth quarters, rolled to a 72-43 victory and the team’s fifth South title in the past six years.

“They’re great off the dribble, they had some great drives and when we did double they kicked out,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “We’re a really good defensive team and they were simply at another level tonight executing, shooting…they’ve got a lot of kids who can score in different ways.”

He added, “Offensively, I thought we were okay but the more shots they made our morale dropped a little bit and they just pulled away.”

The Hornets were hanging around early in the game, trailing 10-6 midway through the first quarter, but the Wamps went on a 15-4 run to break the game wide open. Adriana Timberlake (team-high 17 points) and Jenna Roche (14 points) knocked down three from beyond the arc and Isabella Tonetti added eight points in the first.

It only got worse for Mansfield in the second, as the Hornets were held to just two points on a basket by senior Jen Peel (seven points), while Braintree continued to pile on with 15 to hold a 40-12 lead at the break. Dixon (13 points) added seven in the second before hobbling off at halftime.

“They’ve got nine, 10 kids who can play and, you know, they can all handle the ball, they can all shoot the three if you leave them open, and they’re a handful to handle defensively,” said Redding. “On the other end, they’re as good as anyone defensively. That’s a tough combination. We’re a good team and we certainly met our match and were humbled tonight.”

Mansfield rarely gives up 20 points in a half, but on Friday the Hornets twice allowed Braintree to score 20 points in a single quarter. That included the third, as Timberlake scored eight points, including a pair of threes, and Roche added eight of her own.

The third was also Mansfield’s top offensive quarter with 17 points. Junior center Meg Hill scored six of her game-high 19 points (to go along with 10 rebounds), Ann Maher scored off a Mady Bendanillo assist and Peel (eight assists) and Erin Daniel each nailed threes.

Hill added another seven points in the fourth and Maggie Danehy showed flashes with a finish despite contact, but the Wamps continued to execute perfectly against the Hornets defense and cruised to another sectional title and trip to the TD Garden.

Redding noted, “I like how we battled. We scored 30 in the second half. Obviously, it’s too little, too late, but the kids have a lot of heart and played more like our team in the second half.”

Mansfield will bring back all but two players for next season, as it tries to three-peat as Kelley-Rex division champions.

“Our kids had a great year,” Redding said. “To get to the final is a great achievement and it’s tough to lose like this but I’m just so proud of what we had to do to get here. Thirteen of the 15 are back and maybe this experience will get is a little deeper next year.”

One of those seniors who will not be back next year is Peel, who has been a starter for the Hornets for three seasons and turned into one of the top guards in the league. Peel found it tough to score consistently in the playoffs, but Redding knows that the Hornets will miss her next year.

“She’s seeing everyone’s best defender,” explained Redding. “Every time she gets the ball, they’re going to double and help and she’s just not getting much space to breathe let alone shoot. She finds a way; she’s such a competitor.”

Mansfield finished the season at 20-4 and 15-1 in the Hockomock League.

Hill, Peel Lead Mansfield Into Final of Roundball Classic

Mansfield girls basketball
Meg Hill (31) scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lift Mansfield past Marlboro and into the final of the Roundball Classic. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


MANSFIELD, Mass. – None of Mansfield’s opponents this season will be shocked as to who the Hornets will turn to on the offensive side of the ball. Everyone knows that senior guard Jen Peel is going to have the ball in her hands and will be looking for junior center Meg Hill.

Of course, having that knowledge does not make them any easier to stop.

Marlboro found that out on Monday evening in the third game of the Roundball Classic at the Albertini Gym, as Hill scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and Peel scored 18 points and dished out six assists (four of them on baskets by Hill) to lead Mansfield to a 54-38 victory that puts the Hornets in Wednesday’s final against Abington.

“Jen every now and then will do something crazy,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding, “but then the next two possessions it’s no-look for a layup. We’ll live with some of the mistakes with all the benefits that come along with Jen.”

He added, “Meg did a good job. I thought she dominated the boards when she was inside and she hit some big shots for us.”

The Hornets jumped out to a 15-8 lead at the end of the first quarter with Hill (eight points) and Peel (five points) combining for 13. Hill scored eight of Mansfield’s first 10 points, including three jumpers from around 10 feet from the hoop. Peel added a deep three off a Kara Bendanillo assist to open the lead up.

In the second, Mansfield started to pull away and seemed to have the game in control. Hill scored six points in the quarter, twice scoring at the rim from Ann Maher assists, and Stephanie Kemp added her lone basket on the break as the Hornets built a 28-17 lead.

But the Panthers crept back into the game before halftime on what was an 8-2 run. Marlboro started to control the glass and use those second opportunities to score, including a rebound by Maddison Farrell and a kick out for a three by Halle McCabe that brought the lead back to eight.

Mansfield held a seven-point advantage at the start of the third quarter, which Maher turned to 10 with her lone three points of the game. Marlboro kept fighting and cut the lead to 36-30 before a 9-2 run put Mansfield back on top by double digits heading to the fourth. Peel made four free throws in the run and Mady Bendanillo showed off her speed to race past the defense and score in transition.

“We started okay and in the second quarter we were completely out of sync,” said Redding, “but we’re showing that we’re growing up and we took control of the game in the third and pulled away.”

Bendanillo started the fourth with an assist to Maggie Danehy for a layup on the break and Emily Vigeant added another transition basket. Peel drove to the basket for a hoop and the Hornets held Marlboro to only six points and one made basket in the fourth as the defense picked up.

Redding said about the Hornets holding the Panthers to only 17 points in the second half, “We ended up playing a little more man than zone, which helped with boxing out and getting rebounds and we executed a little bit better on offense.”

Mansfield will advance to the final of the Roundball Classic to face Abington, which beat Dartmouth in the opening game of the day. The Hornets, with just one loss in the regular season (their second was an exclusion game), are also trying to stay in the running for the top seed in Div. 1 South.

Redding explained, “We’ve just got to get one more and then worry about coin flips and all that.”

Mansfield (18-2, 15-1) will take on Abington on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Peel Powers Hornets Past Attleboro and to League Title

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield senior Jen Peel (14) scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Hornets to a season sweep of Attleboro and clinched at least a share of a second straight league title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


MANSFIELD, Mass. – Last winter Mansfield edged Attleboro on the final night of the league campaign to earn the program’s second Hockomock title. Coming into this season, the Hornets were young with only two seniors on the roster and a host of talented, if inexperienced, underclassmen.

Hornets coach Mike Redding knew his team would still be good, and would get better over the course of the season, but he had no idea that with three games left to spare Mansfield would have the chance to win back-to-back titles for the first time in program history.

That is exactly what the Hornets accomplished on Monday night. Led by senior point guard Jen Peel, who scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds despite being the focal point of the Attleboro defense, Mansfield pulled out a 54-47 victory in the James Albertini Gym to sweep the season series against the Bombardiers and clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title.

“If you told me we’d clinch a share of the title with three to play, I’d say no way,” said Redding. “I think we were hoping we’d be hanging around at this point and the girls have played above and beyond all year. They played really high-level basketball beyond their years.”

Peel came out firing and buried a pair of threes, as the Hornets jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. She added seven points in the second to give Mansfield a halftime lead and in the fourth quarter Peel knocked down the final two of her five three-pointers on the night to extend the Hornets’ lead to as many as 11 and seal the victory.

“I think the bottom line is Jen Peel took over the game. She hit some big threes, was driving and creating, and played great,” said Redding. He added, “She’s just so good with the ball and her vision is great, she finds open people, and she’s the difference tonight.”

Mansfield got off to a quick start in the first, but Attleboro answered back with an 11-0 run take the lead for the first time. Julia Strachan found Sarah Deyo open in the corner for her second three-pointer of the quarter and a piece of program history.

With that basket, Deyo recorded her 1,222nd career point, which moved her past Becky Hardt (Class of 1994) on the school’s all-time scoring chart. Deyo, who finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds on the night, is now the highest scoring female player in Attleboro history.


“That’s a great testament to her hard work,” said Rick Patch of Deyo’s accomplishment. “She takes a beating, she does a lot of little things, and she’s worked hard for that since elementary school. It’s great for her to see her hard work pay off.”

After Deyo’s slice of history, Kara Bendanillo answered back with a three of her own to tie the game at 11-11. Following a pair of free throws by Sam Pierce (eight points), Bendanillo drove and kicked a pass to Meg Hill (eight points, eight rebounds) for a 15-foot jumper that tied the game at 13 apiece after one.

Despite being in the double bonus for the majority of the second quarter, Attleboro struggled to get consistent offense. Strachan was held scoreless for the entire first half and Deyo had no points in the second. The teams traded baskets with Kim White (eight points) knocking down a jumper and Mish Logie and Jordyn Lako scoring on drives that gave Attleboro its last lead of the game at 21-19.

Erin Daniel came off the bench to give Mansfield a spark, assisting on a Mady Bendanillo (eight points, nine rebounds) three and knocking down a long jumper to tie the game. After a Peel free throw, Ann Maher drove to the basket and Peel hit three from the line to close out the half with a six-point advantage.

Attleboro hung around in the third quarter. Grace Mayer banked in a long jumper from a tough angle, Deyo scored on an offensive rebound, and Strachan hit her only shot from the field to cut the lead to 34-32. Mansfield saw Hill head to the bench with her fourth foul with five minutes remaining in the third, but the Bombardiers struggled to take advantage.

Senior Olivia Broyles gave the Hornets a huge lift with a putback and, after Deyo got a three-point play, she scored on a layup off a Peel assist. Those were her only four points of the game, but Broyles also played an important role as a defensive substitute for Hill down the stretch.

“The hidden hero of the game was Olivia Broyles, just playing unbelievable defense and rebounding when Meg got into some foul trouble,” said Redding.

Patch said, “There was no offensive sync. It was like we were playing downhill; we were playing at a breakneck speed. I think we went like 1-for-8 in the next eight possessions. That would’ve been a point to regain momentum, take the lead, and…we didn’t.”

Maggie Danehy and Hill scored the opening four points of the fourth to give Mansfield a little cushion and then Peel put the game away for the Hornets with three-pointers on back-to-back possessions that extended the lead to 11 at 50-39.

“Jen Peel was just on fire when she needed to be,” said Patch. “She hit big shots when she needed to and that’s why she’s an MVP-caliber player. She makes that team go.”

Redding added, “These are two very, very good games and I’m just praying we don’t play again in D1 South, which could happen and if it does it will be another battle.”

Mansfield (14-2, 12-1) can clinch the outright title on Friday night and avenge its only league loss of the season against Franklin. Attleboro (13-4, 9-4) will also look to avenge an earlier defeat and take control of second place in the division with a trip to Oliver Ames.

Hornets Win Another Title Showdown As OA Goes Cold

Mansfield girls basketball
Meg Hill (31) scored 18 points and pulled down 17 rebounds to lead Mansfield to a win over Oliver Ames in a battle of top teams in the Kelley-Rex division. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


MANSFIELD, Mass. – When Oliver Ames head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook walked out of the locker room after delivering her postgame message to the team, she did not even wait until the question had been asked before answering, “Never…never…never.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After more than 40 years at the helm of the Tigers, a career that has encompassed more than 650 wins, Clement-Holbrook admitted that she had never had a team go without a made field goal for an entire half. That was, at least, until Friday night at the Albertini Gym against division leading Mansfield.

Despite coming into the game having scored 60 points in three of its last four games, OA came out ice cold against the Hornets, was held scoreless in the first quarter, shot 0-19 from the field in the first half, and managed only 17 points for the game (34 below its season average). Clement-Holbrook said, “Everything was tentative. We didn’t go to our strengths.”

Although the Tigers had historic struggles on the offensive end, Mansfield was hardly firing on all cylinders. The Hornets reached double-digits in a quarter just once, scored only four points in the fourth quarter and shot 4-16 from the free throw line (all in the first half). However, it was enough for Mansfield to pull out a 32-17 victory and take control of its own destiny in the race for the league title.

“It’s hard to describe,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding with a shake of his head. “We had our moments where we executed and scored but never on a continuous basis. As inconsistent as we were, they just had a nightmare time shooting the ball.”

He added, “This was one of the weirdest ‘big games’ I’ve ever been a part of. It felt like two teams battling for last place instead of battling for first. But, if you told me at the beginning of the season that we’d be in first place after the first eight [games] I would’ve taken it and run.”

Mansfield started the game by going inside to 6-foot-3 junior center Meg Hill (18 points, 17 rebounds). Jen Peel (five points, five assists) flipped a pass to Hill for a layup and sophomore Maggie Danehy got Hill a good look with a pass to the left block. Hill added a couple of free throws, but the Hornets had a long stretch without scoring until Ann Maher knocked down a three off a Steph Kemp assist.

That bucket gave Mansfield a 9-0 lead heading to the second. Mady Bendanillo set up Hill for a fast break basket to start the quarter and OA finally got on the board with a pair of free throws by Abby Reardon (team-high six points, all from the line) with 5:39 left in the half.

The Tigers would get only one more point before the break, while the Hornets shot 2-14 from the line in the second and needed a scoring burst at the end of the second, including three points from Erin Daniel and a drive from Peel to get separation.

“I think they got apprehensive when their shots weren’t falling and because of that we did not defend,” said Clement-Holbrook. “I mean, Hill got everything and anything that she wanted and that was certainly not part of the game plan.”

Redding noted, “Both teams are really athletic, we both know what we want to do, so I think defense wins the day. We’re fortunate we had just enough offense to win it.”

The Hornets talked about the free throws at halftime and how OA was one good run from getting back into the game. Mansfield started the third quarter strongly and again it was Hill that the offense ran through. Hill scored six of the first eight points of the third and Peel buried a three to extend the lead to 19.

“At times we did a good job getting it in and at times we were a little low,” said Redding of running the Mansfield offense through Hill. “The other thing is when all the attention’s on her, it does open other people for drives and shots.”

Niyera Mitchell knocked down a jumper for the Tigers’ first made field goal and she assisted on a basket for Kayla Raymond (five points, 10 rebounds). Hannah Carroll knocked down a three for her only points of the night that cut the lead to as little as 13 at 30-17 in the fourth quarter.

“I think if we had played the first half like we played the second half, I think we probably would have been a lot closer,” admitted Clement-Holbrook.

Redding called timeout knowing that his team needed a basket and Peel was able to flick a no-look pass over the defense to Hill for another layup. It was the final point for either team.

Mansfield has now beaten title rivals Attleboro and OA in the past two weeks and has a one-game lead over both. Defense has been the calling card for the Hornets, who have held four of the top six scorers in the league (Ashley Sampson, Sarah Deyo, Julia Strachan, and Raymond) well below their season averages and are allowing a league-best 37.0 points per game.

“We’re doing what it takes to win tough games and we’ll take it at this point,” said Redding.

Clement-Holbrook is hoping for a response from the Tigers in their next game. She said, “They’ve got to be able to rise above this now and come back on Tuesday and be ready to roll.

She added, “It wasn’t the team that I was hoping would show up today and I hope they learn their lesson from this…We have to hold each other accountable.”

Mansfield (9-2, 7-1) will host Sharon on Tuesday, while Oliver Ames (7-3, 6-2) will host Milford.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/17/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 51 @ Franklin, 63 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Canton, 51 @ Foxboro, 55 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 39 @ Mansfield, 58 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Taunton, 62 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Stoughton, 68 @ Sharon, 61 – FinalStoughton junior Cam Andrews scored a career-high 28 points to pace the Black Knights to their first win over Sharon since January 2013. Stoughton held a double-digit lead at halftime (35-23) but Sharon cut it to five (49-44) entering the fourth quarter. The Black Knights outscored Sharon 7-3 over the final two minutes of play. Ricardo Ripley led the Eagles with 19 points while Malik Lorquet added 13 points and Jimmy Fitzhenry had 12 points.

Girls Basketball
Franklin, 38 @ Attleboro, 49 – Final

Foxboro, 69 @ Canton, 31 – FinalAshley Sampson scored a game-high 20 points for the Warriors. Hailey Maling added 15 and Grace Tamulionis had 10 for Foxboro. Hannah Jerrier scored 11 points and Emma Murphy added 10 for the Bulldogs.

Mansfield, 60 @ King Philip, 28 – FinalJen Peel was the top scorer with 18 points in the win. Ann Maher and Maggie Danehy each chipped in with nine points apiece and Meg Hill had six points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets. KP was led by Julia Leroux and Christina Hathaway, who both scored eight points.

Milford, 45 @ North Attleboro, 51 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

Oliver Ames, 57 @ Taunton, 20 – FinalOliver Ames build a 24-6 lead at halftime and never looked back. Kayla Raymond led OA with 15 points and seven rebounds while Abby Reardon added eight points and four assists.

Sharon, 29 @ Stoughton, 43 – FinalJordan Motley and Val Whalen each had double-doubles for the Black Knights. Motley had 11 points and 23 rebounds and Whalen scored 12 points and pulled down 18 boards. Sharon sophomore Emma Eberhardt scored a team-high 15 points for the Eagles.

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro @ Braintree, 7:00

Hornets Shut Down Explosive Attleboro in Big Win

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield swarmed the high-powered Attleboro offense and held the Bombardiers to 40 points below their per game average in a 61-30 road win that gives the Hornets an early edge in the Kelley-Rex division. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Coming into Tuesday night’s game, unbeaten Attleboro was averaging more than 70 points per game, which was the highest scoring total of any basketball team in the Hockomock (male or female). Meanwhile, Mansfield was unbeaten on the back of a stingy defense that was allowing opponents only 40 points per game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It was a battle of contrasts and a battle of two teams that had developed a rivalry over the course of last year’s Kelley-Rex title race, which came down to the final night of the regular season. The intensity was high on and off the court on Tuesday and it felt like the playoffs not a game from the first half of the season.

The Bombardiers will be thankful that there are still 11 league games left to play, including a rematch in the Albertini Gym on Feb. 6, because this night belonged to the Hornets. Behind 22 points and five steals from senior Jen Peel and a stifling defense that limited Attleboro to two made field goals in the first half, Mansfield rolled to a 61-30 victory that gives the Hornets an early edge in their quest to repeat as league champs.

“This win was one of the most important wins that we’re going to have to get,” said Peel. “It sets the tone for the rest of the league, gives us the top spot for league champs and when we get them again it’s going to be a huge game.”

Mansfield coach Mike Redding added, “It was our night. Everything went our way. When you’re shooting threes off the backboard when you don’t mean them to it’s a sign that it’s going to be a good night.”

Sophomore Maggie Danehy got things started with a layup that was answered by a basket for Jordyn Lako (on an assist by Mish Logie), but then Mansfield took control with a 14-0 run. Peel knocked down a pair of threes, including one that caromed off the glass, and scored eight points in the first. Ann Maher (15 points) banked in the first of her five threes on the night and Mady Bendanillo (eight points, eight rebounds, five assists) buried one from the corner.

Logie hit a three off a Sam Pierce assist to close the quarter but the Bombardiers found themselves in an 18-7 hole and with the ‘Big Three’ of Sarah Deyo, Julia Strachan, and Pierce held to only two free throws.

“You have to give Mansfield all the credit,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch. “They were the better prepared team, they were the tougher team, and they beat us in the categories we usually win, which is defense, rebound, hustle, and they really took us out of it.”

The Hornets continued the defensive pressure in the second, holding Attleboro to six points (all from the free throw line). Mansfield went into halftime holding a 28-13 lead and the Bombardiers looked stunned.

In Mansfield’s season opener, Maher (with help off the bench from Kara Bendanillo) held Foxboro star Ashley Sampson scoreless and on Tuesday she put in a similar effort on Strachan (seven points), who came in averaging more than 20 per game.

“She’s not really our most athletic player but she’s one of our smartest kids,” said Redding of Maher. “She always had good position, stayed tight, didn’t let her go to her right, and we didn’t give her very many open threes at all.”

In the third quarter, Attleboro tried to make a concerted effort to get the ball to Deyo (12 points, 12 rebounds), who would score seven in the period but she was having a difficult time getting good looks in the paint against Meg Hill (six points, six rebounds, four blocks). Strachan scored five in the quarter, but the Bombardiers could not piece together the possessions it needed to make a run.

Redding explained, “Bottom line, I thought we played really good man-to-man defense.”

Peel added six points in the third (four from the line), Maher knocked down another three, and Mady Bendanillo scored off a defensive rebound that she took the length of the court for a layup.

“She’s just so fast off the dribble and creates so much,” said Redding of Bendanillo. “She’s finding the right people, getting steals and we sub her out but I don’t think we need to. She could probably play a full 32 minutes.”

Mansfield won the third quarter, which Redding said was the focus coming out of halftime, and then put the game away with a 16-0 run to start the fourth with Peel and Maher each knocking down a pair of threes.

“Every quarter we came out, I said play like we did in the first quarter, with the same intensity,” Peel explained. “If we let down even a little bit that’s when Attleboro makes those shots that changes the game and we did a great job of shutting them down.”

Redding said, “We’re deeper. I think they’re big three got a little tired as the game went on. That was a big emphasis pregame that our bench would make a difference tonight.”

He continued, “Everyone stepped up…It was just everything we could’ve hoped for in 32 minutes.”

When asked if it was better to get a game like this out of the system early in the season rather than late, Patch responded, “Every year, in every sport, a team has a game where nothing goes right. It’s never a good time to have it…We had a really flat practice yesterday and it carried over.”

Mansfield (7-1) will try to keep the momentum going on Friday when it travels to Franklin. Attleboro (8-1) will look to bounce back when it heads to Oliver Ames.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Great Starts Propels Mansfield to Blowout Win

Mansfield girls basketball
Caroline Mahjer scored nine points, including six in the first quarter as Mansfield jumped all over Brockton with a 15-0 run to start the game. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Hornets came into its playoff opener against Big 3 champion Brockton at the James Albertini Gym on a roll. Mansfield had won its final seven games of the regular season, including last Monday’s title-deciding victory over Attleboro.

That momentum carried over to Sunday, as the Hornets stormed out of the locker room and promptly took control of the game with a 15-0 run from the opening tip. Mansfield never looked back and rolled to a comprehensive 72-38 victory and advanced to the quarterfinal of Div. 1 South.

“It’s great when things work how you want them to,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding after the game. “Caroline knocked down some shots from the outside and that opened up things for Meg in the paint…and Jackie was good taking it off the dribble. A lot of things worked well tonight.”

According to Redding, the Hornets had prepared for Brockton to play a lot of man, but the Boxers started the game with a 2-3 zone. The Hornets took advantage.

Jackie Carchedi buried a corner three then fellow senior Caroline Maher hit one from the opposite corner. Maher hit a second three from a couple feet behind the line and Carchedi followed her own shot for a putback that made it 15-0.

When Brockton switched to man-to-man, Mansfield countered by getting the ball inside to sophomore Meg Hill. The 6-foot-2 center scored off an assist by Jen Peel (five assists) and then again off an assist by Maher after a drive to the basket. The Hornets led 21-7 after the first quarter.

“It’s just tournament and it brings out the best in teams,” said Hill who finished the night with 16 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks, “and I think we just kind of clicked. It just worked.”

Brockton coach April Dingwell explained, “We’re I think possibly the smallest team in the state this year…once they started hitting the shots we had to spread it out and opened it right back up for her inside.”

Mansfield uses a deep bench in most games and Redding admitted after the game that he may have started subbing a little too early as the rhythm that the Hornets had in the first disappeared in the second.

Brockton cut the lead to 23-10 in the second but Mansfield countered with an 8-0 run. Peel lobbed a pass into Hill for a finish then, after a pair of free throws by Carchedi (15 points, eight rebounds), Maher found the center after drawing the defense. Juliana Newell closed out the run with a jumper off a Jen Kemp assist.

Leading 32-15 at the half, Mansfield could have taken its foot off the gas in the third but Redding said the team talked about coming out strong after halftime to put the game away.

Again it was Hill who provided the spark, as the Hornets continued to find room for her in the paint. Newell, Carchedi, and Maher found Hill in the lane for close-range finishes.

“I’ve gained confidence from the people around me,” said Hill about her continued improvement on the offensive end. “They tell me that I can finish down there and i think that’s been a huge part because I used to be scared to go to the hoop.”

Peel picked out Carchedi on a back-cut for a layup and also scored on a drive to the basket. The junior point guard then pulled off a trademark fake pass and layup move that built the Mansfield lead to 46-18. Ann Maher followed it with a three and Carchedi with a drive to the basket, as Mansfield led 51-30 heading to the fourth.

Redding called the potential opponents  in the tournament (the sectional’s top three seeds – Newton South, Bishop Feehan, and Braintree) a “real murderer’s row” and in the fourth quarter he turned to his extended bench.

“It’s great to be able to take out the starters and rest them and keep everyone healthy,” he explained.

In the fourth quarter, several players took advantage of the extra playing time and extended the Mansfield lead. Lindsay Dalton scored all six of her points in the fourth, Anna Chiarolanza went 4-4 from the line and freshman Margaret Danehy scored five points in her first varsity minutes of the season.

“I think our girls fought hard the whole game, that’s just a tough team,” said Dingwell.

Mansfield (20-3) will advance to the quarterfinal and face No. 3 seed Newton South. Redding is comfortable with his team’s position and is hoping that the Hornets will have an edge as the Lions will not have played in more than a week.

Momentum was on Mansfield’s side on Sunday and the Hornets will hop it carries over to Thursday.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.