ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Attleboro came into Friday night’s non-league visit of Durfee without two starters and three rotation players, but the Bombardiers didn’t miss a beat. Nine players got on the score sheet, Attleboro’s pressure defense was intense, and the Bombardiers rolled to a 55-34 victory.
“It’s good that the young kids are getting minutes,” said Attleboro coach Marty Crowley. “It will pay dividends. If not now, then somewhere down the line, but it was a great team victory tonight, the kids played together, unselfish, and when we play like that anything is possible.”
Liv McCall led the way for Attleboro with a game-high 14 points and also added five assists. In addition, the Bombardiers got contributions from up and down the bench and got critical minutes from a strong group of underclassmen.
“We try to preach for us to be successful find the open man,” Crowley said of the Attleboro offense. “Durfee is a tough team but tonight we were a step quicker and I thought we moved the ball very, very well.”
Durfee only dressed eight players on Friday and Attleboro took advantage of its shorthanded opponent with an aggressive trapping press. Without top on-the-ball defenders Jordyn Lako and Nyah Thomas, who were both injured, the Bombardiers used this team defense to cause the Hilltoppers problems.
Attleboro jumped out to a 10-2 lead. Abby Struminski, one of four players to finish with six points, buried a three off an offensive rebound and assist by Mackenzie Roberts and freshman Meghan Gordon got an easy bucket off a steal.
After Durfee cut the lead to 12-6, sophomore Gabby Bosh> (five points) banked in a three off a Gordon assist and then Gordon got out on the break for a layup and a 17-6 edge after the opening quarter.
Things got tighter in the second because the Bombardiers went cold from the floor. Freshman Mackenzie Carreiro scored six of her seven points in the quarter and pulled Durfee back as close as four points, but Attleboro regained control with an 11-0 run to close the half.
“For us it’s always about defense and I thought our defense played very well tonight,” Crowley explained. “Our turnovers were limited tonight, we had more pluses than minuses, and our guards did a great job.”
McCall set up sophomore Ryan Johnson (six points) for a fast break basket and then Gordon drained a three to push the lead back to double digits. McCall added a steal and layup and Sonny Stuger managed to get to the basket with a drive from the elbow. The Bombardiers led 32-17 at the break.
Durfee kept fighting in the third, but never got any closer than 16 points. McCall swished a three, freshman Hailey Perry (six points) got a bucket off a McCall assist and sophomore Emma Reilly (six points) scored four points in the third to keep the Hilltoppers at an arms length.
The game was put away with an 11-4 fourth quarter. McCall continued to turn defense into offense with a pair of steals and fast break baskets. Reilly added another two points with an offensive rebound, Johnson knocked down a jumper, and Perry got her second made field goal of the night.
It was the perfect reaction for a team missing several key pieces and a great way to head into the holiday break.
“It’s next man up,” Crowley said. “When people are out, then it’s about the system and the young kids are buying in. It’s exciting.”
Attleboro (2-3) will get six days off for Christmas break before traveling to North Attleboro for the teams’ league matchup.
2017-2018 Record: 9-13 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
The Bombardiers were just two wins shy of a playoff spot last season under new head coach Marty Crowley and Attleboro brings back three starters and has added several new faces to the roster to try and make a postseason push this winter.
The graduation of leading scorer Sam Pierce (16 points per game) means that a number of players are going to need to step in and make up for production on offense and on the glass. Senior point guard Jordyn Lako will be back to run the Bombardiers offense and provide three-point shooting, while junior Nyah Thomas is a versatile weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Both are also aggressive defenders, who set the tone on that end of the floor. Senior forward Mackenzie Roberts can score in the post or from beyond the arc and junior Liv McCall is a dynamic guard who is capable of big scoring nights.
Defense has always been the focus of teams that Crowley coaches and the Bombardiers will be no different. To keep up that defensive intensity, the Bombardiers have added depth to the rotation. Seniors Abby Struminski and Dom Garnes (who was out last season with an injury) provide leadership, while sophomores Gabby Bosh and Sonny Stuger and freshmen Meghan Gordon and Lillian Froio are newcomers to keep an eye on.
“Hopefully we can generate scoring opportunities off our defense and use our athleticism to create baskets,” said Crowley. “We have a great mix of experience and youth. We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been spirited and the kids have been working hard.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-11 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Jim Choquette
Last winter, Canton got a taste of the postseason for the first time in seven seasons and now the program will try to build on that momentum while finding a way to replace the scoring and rebounding of Hannah Jerrier, who averaged a double-double for the Bulldogs last winter. An exciting crop of underclassmen has been added to the roster and now Canton will try to build experience with a schedule that puts them on the road for the majority of the first half of the year.
While Jerrier will obviously be missed, the Bulldogs bring back the other four starters and other players with plenty of experience to try and make it a much shorter wait to get back into the playoffs. Senior point guard Julia Hamilton is back to run the offense, senior Erin Devine gives Canton control on the glass and a rim protector on defense, senior Molly Ludwig gives balance to the offense, and senior Maggie Connolly is one of the league’s top defensive players on the perimeter. Senior Nicole Galvin will add depth to the backcourt.
Junior Lilah Milton came on strong at the tail of end of last season, including a huge game in the playoff-clinching win over Weymouth, and could take up some of Jerrier’s scoring from the power forward position. Sophomore Kayla Albert gained valuable experience last season as a freshman and current rookies Sydney and Fay Gallery, and Kiara Cerruti have the potential to step right into the rotation and contribute.
“Details are everything to us,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “If our group of young talent and veteran leadership/experience can continue to stay focused on the details during the good times and tough times of a season then we should continue to improve and have a very excited and successful season.”
2017-2018 Record: 26-2 2017-2018 Finish: Won Div. 2 state championship. Coach: Lisa Downs
Last season was one to remember for the Warriors, who rolled through the regular season in dominating fashion and lived up to the team’s immense potential by bringing home the Div. 2 state title. With the graduation of a very strong senior class, the expectations are much lower for the Warriors this season but there are several returning players and new faces that have Foxboro coach Lisa Downs confident that the program can continue its recent run of success in the Davenport division.
Losing players like Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes, Grace Tamulionis, and Shannon Smally is a challenge for any team, but the Warriors will bring back a pair of starters from the playoff run in sophomore Katelyn Mollica and junior Abby Hassman. Mollica is the team’s top returning scorer and will be one of the top point guards in the Hock with her ability to shoot and score off the dribble. Hassman gives Foxboro a strong presence on the glass and showed increased confidence in her offensive game at the end of last season. Senior Chelsea Gibbons and junior Lizzy Davis should see increased minutes and bigger roles in the offense this year.
Juniors Shakirah Ketant and Yara Fawaz should give Foxboro more depth in the post and contribute on the glass and both saw limited minutes in the playoffs last winter. Sophomores Adrienne Dunn and Jordyn Collins will be newcomers to the backcourt and have impressed during the preseason, while junior forward Anita Busznyak is expected to see a lot more time this year and could be a player to watch.
Downs is hoping this year’s team will learn from the graduating class. She said, “The time they spent practicing with and playing against these girls has really paid off – they know what is expected of them on the court and what is required to be a winning team. We have established a winning culture at Foxboro and the players know that I expect nothing more than what they should expect from themselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 15-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central first round. Coach: John Leighton
The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year’s roster, which reached the state tournament but lost in the opening round to Natick, and there are high expectations on Oak St. as the new season gets underway. Franklin enters the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and its balanced lineup has the potential to make a run in the state tournament as well.
Much of the enthusiasm for Franklin’s chances this winter come from 6-foot-3 center Ali Brigham. The junior recently committed to George Washington (where her father once played) and is the lone returning player from last season HockomockSports.com First Team. While she (deservedly) garners much of the attention, the Panthers have a number of other weapons to give the opposition headaches. Senior guard Bea Bondhus, who committed to Springfield College, is one of the top three-point shooters in the Hock and sophomore guard Elizabeth Wilson is back from an injury that cut short the promising start to her varsity career.
The Panthers will also bring back versatile junior forwards Megan O’Connell and Breanna Atwood, who add size in the paint but can also take defenders off the dribble or knock down outside shots. Seniors Hailey Sanders and Calen Frongillo add depth to the frontcourt, while senior Shannon Gray and juniors Kelsey MacCallum and Sydney Garilli are capable of stepping in at either guard position.
“It is our goal to compete each night and to improve from last year,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “With 10 returning players, we feel our experience will help us to better prepare for the season and compete against the best in our league.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip had to battle injuries throughout head coach Amy Siggens’ first year in charge, including a late season injury to leading scorer Shannon O’Connor, but the Warriors are healthy coming into this season and with a year to get use to a new system, confidence is high that KP can make a push up the standings and fight for a postseason berth this winter.
O’Connor is the key piece returning for the Warriors. A four-year varsity player who has been recruited by Div. I college programs, O’Connor gives KP a consistent scorer and someone who will draw opposing defenses. Senior Julia Leroux will be back at the point and running the KP offense, while junior Faith Roy is the team’s best outside threat and has developed as a ball-handler who can score in a variety of ways. Sophomore Emma Glaser, who battled injuries throughout her freshman season, will add versatility to the lineup and can play multiple positions and her classmate Courtney Keswick is a newcomer to watch in the backcourt.
The Warriors will also have strength in the post with senior Catherine Cummings providing a solid presence on the glass and junior Faye Veilleux giving KP length and athleticism at the forward position. Newcomers like junior Taylor Butler and returning senior Kendall Mason will give added depth and strong play on the defensive end of the floor.
There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding our team this year with our sights on continued growth and improvement upon our overall record from a year ago,” Siggens said. “Our practices have been very competitive and I’m encouraged by our team’s attitude and overall interest in getting better. I like this team a lot and I look forward to the challenge of helping each girl reach her maximum potential.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
After three straight league titles and four trips to the Div. 1 South semifinal in the past four seasons (including back-to-back finals), Mansfield has been one of the most consistent teams in the Hockomock League, but the Hornets enter this season trying to replace Meg Hill, who scored more than 1,000 points and pulled down more than 1,000 points in her stellar career. With 10 seniors and loads of athleticism, this might be a very different looking Mansfield attack, but one that has the potential to keep the Hornets right back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and capable of making another deep tournament run.
The Hornets have been known for slowing the ball down and running intricate sets, but this team is suited for getting up and down the court as quickly as possible, highlighted by senior guard Mady Bendanillo, one of the quickest players in the Hock. Senior forward Maggie Danehy has emerged as a strong interior scorer and someone who can control the glass, but she is also someone who can run like a guard and get out on the break for easy baskets. Seniors Sydney Mulkern and Erin Daniel add wing scoring and are both solid shooters who can spread the floor and open lanes to the basket.
Athletic senior forwards Emily Vigeant and Steph Kemp can outrun many of the guards in the league and senior point guard Kara Bendanillo is another speedster who can push the ball off makes or misses. Sophomore Ashley Santos saw time last year as a rookie and adds to the frontcourt depth and versatility, while junior Becca Hottleman will be back to give Mansfield another option at guard.
It is a different feel to the lineup but one that Mansfield coach Mike Redding feels can be effective. He said, “We need to rebound as a team and must change our style to up-tempo with defensive pressure/fast breaks and play to our strengths (athleticism and depth).”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central quarterfinal. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Milford coach T.J. Dolliver brings back six players from the team that not only reached the state tournament last season but also went on the road and beat Burncoat handily, the program’s first playoff win since 2001. The problem for the Hawks is that almost the entire rotation from last year’s team has graduated, including 1,000-point scorer Kate Irwin.
While this may be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, Dolliver sees it as an opportunity for players to step into new roles and establish themselves as starters and as regular contributors. The lone senior back from last year is forward Grace Risio, who Dolliver said made a difference when she was given the opportunity last year, and sophomore guard Jillian Michelson saw some time in the backcourt as a rookie.
The Hawks will have eight sophomores on the roster this season, so it is clear that Milford is going to try and build with youth, similar to several teams from last year. Among the players from last year’s roster, forwards Katie Maietta, guard Emma Lawrence, and forward Carly Ferreira all got time as freshmen and could see those minutes increase significantly this winter.
Dolliver said, “With our entire rotation graduating last year, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for everyone in the program. It will be exciting to watch who emerges within the group and elevates their game to compete at the varsity level.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Derek Herber
Last year was a tough transition season for the Rocketeers, as North Attleboro moved on from a number of players who were starters for several years and incorporated a number of new, young faces into the lineup. North had a better second half to the season and will try to build on that this winter with a more experienced group of players.
Senior Julia Feid is back on the wing and is North’s top returning scorer, coming off a season in which she averaged more than nine points per game. Fellow seniors Liz Smahi and Emma Noreck will add leadership in the backcourt and try to set the direction for the team this year. Junior point guard Olivia Forbes, who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last season, will be back to get the offense going and provide strong defense on the perimeter. Junior Eliza Dion also returns to add rebounding and interior scoring for a team that can’t count on a lot of height in the paint.
The North offense improved over the course of last season with the addition of sophomore Amanda Kaiser (8.6 points per game) and junior Julia Kleczkowski (40 percent from three-point range), who can both fill it up from the outside and who are both willing to take any shot that presents itself. Several newcomers will fill out the roster with the potential of adding important minutes over the course of the season, including sophomore Lydia Santos and Siobhan Weir.
“We will rely on Julia Feid to be our first option on offense and the sooner we can develop a consistent second option will be a factor in the early part of the season,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “The inside scoring option will hopefully be Eliza Dion, while both Amanda Kaiser and Julia Kleczkowski showed an ability to stretch the defense with their outside shooting in limited time last year.”
2017-2018 Record: 16-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames will be making a transition this year following the graduation of Kayla Raymond, who was a two-time HockomockSports.com First Team performer and last year’s league MVP (and is already a three-time Rookie of the Week at Stonehill College), but the Tigers have a number of returning players to try and make up for Raymond’s production on both ends of the floor and make another run at a league title.
Senior Alex Sheldon grew in confidence over the course of last season and became a double-double machine by the end of the year, dominating on the glass and improving her finishing around the rim. Junior Erin Holberg emerged last year as a strong scorer on the perimeter with her touch from the outside and ability to take defenders off the dribble. Junior Meg Holleran is in her third season on varsity and is a tough, physical defender who can knock down shots from the outside.
Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a strong freshman season, playing several positions (from point guard to small forward), crashing the boards, and showing off decent range. The return of senior Sadie Homer will add energy on both ends of the floor and give the Tigers another strong outside shooter to stretch the floor, while senior Ally Scolnick came off the bench last season to add another shooter to the OA offense.
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of the experienced returning players, “They will lead the youngest team OA has put on the court in quite a long time. We are looking towards gaining valuable game experience and coming into to our own as the season progresses.”
2017-2018 Record: 2-18 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sanda Lombardi
It was a tough winter for new Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi, as the Eagles struggled to a two-win season, but five of their losses were by 10 points or fewer and they return all but one player from last season’s team. With a year to get acclimated to Lombardi’s system, an experienced roster of returning players, and several newcomers, Sharon has its sights set on getting into the postseason for the first time since its run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
Sharon returns its leading scorer and playmaker in senior Emma Eberhardt, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team last season, and she will once again be the focal point of the offense, as well as one of the team’s leading defenders. Eberhardt’s versatility as a wing player should open things up for junior guards Kaitlyn Wallace and Ally Brown, who will both fill in as ball-handlers after the graduation of Miranda Cheung. Wallace will extend defenses with her shooting from the outside and Brown adds energy to the backcourt defense.
Senior guard Bridget McManus will add depth and junior forward Telishya Herbert provides a strong presence in the paint. Junior Olivia Langol-Leonard added frontcourt depth and was active on the glass in her time on the court, while senior forward Evanjuline Elisma can score in transition and adds another solid wing defender.
“We only lost one player due to graduation,” said Lombardi. “We have the entire team back and we added some height. I’m excited to see what the season brings. The girls are working hard and our goal is to qualify for the postseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton started last season with five straight defeats and only one win in the opening eight games, but the Black Knights turned things around with a vengeance, winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season and winning its opening game of the state tournament. Stoughton’s only two losses in its final 14 games of the season were to state champion Foxboro. That is a lot of momentum for the Black Knights to carry into this year.
It may be a little different look for Stoughton this winter after the graduation of Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Instead of being a team that dominates the paint, there will be a host of guards and wing players who can still battle on the glass, but will bring energy and tenacity on the perimeter on both ends of the court. Junior Aliyah Wright is back as the team’s point guard and her length makes her a factor guarding multiple positions. Senior Lindsay McDonald adds versatility as a combo guard and sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe is a dynamic guard and stretches defenses with her ability to shoot from the outside.
While there are a lot of familiar faces returning for the Black Knights, there are several players who will have more responsibility this year and the potential to make big contributions. Junior Lexi Baptista defends well at the forward position and gives a different look on the post, while seniors Hailey Egan and Heather Maddalena will add extra toughness to the backcourt. Junior Shyanne Trinh is still battling an injury at the beginning of the season, but she will give Stoughton a big scoring boost when she returns.
“This season will be all about our effort, energy and enthusiasm on defense,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The Black Knights will be most successful when we put in work on the defensive end and finish each play with a Black Knights rebound.”
2017-2018 Record: 7-15 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton started last winter well and had the potential for making a return to the state tournament, but injuries slowed things down for the Tigers and they missed out on the postseason. While the year didn’t end the way they would have hoped, a number of younger players were given valuable varsity experience and there are a number of returning players ready to make an impact.
Senior Lily Patneaude will be the player to watch for the Tigers, as the team’s leading scorer from last year. After battling an injury down the stretch, her return gives Taunton a consistent primary offensive weapon and takes some of the scoring pressure off her teammates. Senior point guard Alexa White is also back to provide leadership, energy, and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Kelsey White showed flashes as a rookie of being the secondary scorer that Taunton needs, with her ability to knock down shots from the outside and take defenders off the dribble.
Even with a year of experience, Taunton is still a relatively young team. Sophomores Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will provide athleticism from the forward positions and give Taunton effort in the paint, while sophomore Tori DaRose, and freshmen Abby Souza (who saw brief minutes as an eighth-grader last season) and Braeley MacDonald give the Tigers depth off the bench.
“We have great group of enthusiast student athletes consisting of senior leadership, youth, athleticism, and talent,” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan. “This team is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.”
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Early in the second half of Thursday night’s finale of the 30th annual Rhode Island Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament, Ponaganset guard Jillian DelPrete hit back-to-back runners to put the Chieftains ahead 23-22 and force King Philip to call a timeout.
After the timeout, KP settled down and the Warriors defense clamped down. Ponaganset was held to only eight points over the final 12 minutes of the game.
Senior Courtney Kelleher scored all 10 of her points in the second half and also pulled in 14 rebounds on the night, while sophomore guard Shannon O’Connor scored 14 points and dished out five assists to help the Warriors pull away for a 49-31 win and the tournament title.
“They’re a scrappy, physical, tough team,” said KP Martin Crowley about the Chieftains. “We knew we’d have a tougher game today, but our kids responded really, really well.”
It did not start well for the Warriors, who came out flat and fell behind by as many as seven points in the first half. DelPrete (team-high 13 points) buried a three to make it 11-4, but KP responded with a 6-0 run to close the gap. O’Connor scored four of those points and Catherine Cummings (seven rebounds) grabbed an offensive board and put-back.
Trailing again by five, KP took control of the game with an 11-0 run. Julia Leroux (seven points) collected a lobbed pass from Faith Roy for a layup to get it started then O’Connor hit Roy for quick-release jumper to make it 16-15 and give KP the lead for the first time. Leroux assisted on a jumper by freshman Sophia McLaughlin and the Warriors went into the break leading 22-19.
“We were a little flat coming out but we closed the half strong and one of our goals was to keep them under 20 points for the half and in the second half we were even better defensively,” said Crowley.
O’Connor hit a pair of free throws to give KP back the lead at 24-23 then Roy hit her second jumper. That was when Kelleher started to assert herself on the boards and on the scoreboard. She scored on an offensive rebound then off an assist by Roy. Another put-back and another layup, this time on an assist by O’Connor, provided some separation between the teams.
“Courtney Kelleher was huge for us coming down the stretch,” said Crowley. “She’s the lone senior on this team and we needed senior leadership today and we got it.”
While Kelleher was controlling the paint (she also had three blocks), O’Connor was controlling the point guard position, especially after Leroux fouled out late in the second half. O’Connor continually got into the lane and had the vision to drop passes off to her teammates, including twice to Christina Hathaway as the Warriors put the game away down the stretch.
“Shannon is a good ballplayer,” said Crowley. “She’s the real deal. She doesn’t usually play point for us but this week she did. She did a good job handling the ball. She was under control and we put the ball where it needed to be.”
KP was able to rotate players down the stretch and got buckets from Kendall Mason and Grace Ely (off an assist by Faye Vellieux), as the closing minutes ended up being comfortable with a double-digit lead.
“You know, it’s a good win for us, on the road,” said Crowley, and it’s back to the battles next week and we’re off and running.”
When it was noted that the Hockomock League was doing well at the start of the season (8-of-12 teams have a winning record), including KP and Attleboro each going 2-0 in Rhode Island tournaments, Crowley responded, “Not that our league needs validation…but it’s a testament to the players and coaches we have in our league and how good they are.”
Sharon, 40 @ Attleboro, 59 – Final – Sharon raced out to an 18-9 lead after the first quarter, but the Bombardiers climbed back for with a big second quarter to come within two at halftime. The Bombardiers held Sharon to just 12 points in the second half to earn their fourth win of the season. Jake Dunkley led Attleboro with 15 points. Ricardo Ripley scored a career-high 21 points for the Eagles.
Foxboro, 55 @ Franklin, 67 – Final – Franklin turned a seven point lead (27-20) at the halftime break into a double-digit advantage (50-37) by the end of third quarter. Franklin’s Connor Peterson led all scorers with 19 points while Josh Macchi added 14 points and Paul Mahon chipped in with 12 points for the Panthers. Foxboro’s Andrew Block had a team-high 14 points while Mark Clagg scored 12 points, Joe Morrison had 10 points and Joe Bartucca finished with eight points.
Stoughton, 40 @ Mansfield, 71 – Final – Mansfield used a dominate second quarter to stretch a two possession game into a comfortable lead by halftime. The Hornets outscored the Black Knights 21-4 in the second quarter and held a 37-14 lead at the break. Tyler Boulter and Sam Goldberg (six rebounds) each had 13 points while Phil Vigeant added 11 points, with a team-high three three-point field goals. Stoughton senior Izon Swain-Price netted a team-high 11 points.
Milford, 56 @ Taunton, 71 – Final – Taunton freshman Dante Law tied a career-high with 18 points to lead the way for the Tigers. Lou Vendrell scored a season-high 15 points while senior Tommy MacLean finished with 13 points. Milford senior Zack Tamagni led the Scarlet Hawks with 18 points while junior Kayden Kelley had 11 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
North Attleboro, 40 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – Final – Oliver Ames raced out to a 18-9 lead after the first quarter and used that lead as a launching point the rest of the way. The Rocketeers got it within nine at the end of the third quarter (40-31) but Oliver Ames finished the game by winning the fourth quarter 19-9. Carter Evin and Jack Spillane each had 16 points for the Tigers while Dylan Mahoney added 14 points. Brent Doherty led Big Red with 14 points while Jonny Friberg added 11 points.
King Philip, 46 @ Canton, 23 – Final – Shannon O’Connor led the way for the Warriors with 15 points. Christina Hathaway added eight points for KP in what head coach Martin Crowley called, a “great team win.” Casey Shea was top scorer for the Bulldogs with 10 points.
Franklin, 31 @ Foxboro, 52- Final – Ashley Sampson reached the 20-point mark for the second game in a row, leading the Warriors with 22. Lily Sykes chipped in with 17 for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 54 @ Stoughton, 33 – Final – The Hornets outscored Stoughton 19-5 in the fourth quarter to break open a close game and pull out the win. Meg Hill led the way for Mansfield with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and nine blocks. Jen Peel added 14 points, five assists and three steals for the Hornets. Stoughton freshman Shyanne Trinh had a team-high 16 points for the Black Knights while Val Whalen had nine points and eight rebounds.
Taunton, 39 @ Milford, 52 – Final – Kate Irwin paced the Hawks with 22 points and Jill Burley added 15 in the win. Milford trailed 32-25 at halftime but took control with an 18-2 run in the third quarter and allowed only seven points in the second half.
Oliver Ames, 45 @ North Attleboro, 46 – Final – The Rocketeers avenged a one-point loss in last year’s playoffs by edging the Tigers in a game that had “playoff-like atmosphere.” Ashley Ahern was top scorer for North with 15 points and Kayla Raymond led OA with 21.
Attleboro, 136.6 @ Franklin, 126 – Final – Attleboro’s Emma Humphrey (36.7) scored a 9.4 on bars, a 9.4 on floor, 9.0 on the vault and 8.9 on beam to lead the Bombardiers to the win. Franklin sophomore Mia Lizotte was not far behind at 36.3, scoring 9.2 on floor, vault and beam and 8.7 on bars.
2015-16 Record: 21-3 (14-2) 2015-16 Finish: Reached the Div. 1 South quarterfinal Head Coach: Rick Patch
The Bombardiers came within one game of winning their first Hockomock League title last year and despite the loss of 2015-16 Player of the Year Emily Houle to graduation, Attleboro comes into this season as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex again this winter.
One reason for the high expectations for the Bombardiers is senior forward Sarah Deyo. The Southern New Hampshire-commit comes into the season just 68 points shy of 1,000 for her career and is a matchup nightmare for the opposition with her ability to score in the paint and from the outside. Fellow senior Julia Strachan returns from a knee injury that cost her all of last season and the Adelphi-commit adds another strong shooter and rebounder to the front line. The Bombardiers are loaded at the forward position with junior Sam Pierce coming back after a breakout sophomore campaign that saw her average nearly a double-double.
While the strength of the Bombardiers is in the post, Attleboro has experience in the backcourt with senior Mish Logie and sophomore Jordyn Lako returning as the primary ball-handlers and strong on-the-ball defenders. Juniors Grace Mayer and Kim White will add depth in the backcourt off the bench. Guard Liv McCall is another who could contribute this season, among a group of six freshmen that will be on the varsity roster.
“We are very excited about our program and how its progressed over the last three seasons,” said head coach Rick Patch, “and the positive, entitled-to-nothing culture we have established that best represents ‘Blue Pride’ and the Attleboro community.”
2015-16 Record: 13-8 (10-6) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central quarterfinal Head Coach: John Leighton
Franklin has been consistently one of the top programs in the league and despite losing a strong group of seniors, the Panthers are once again in the mix for a league title and a return to the Div. 1 Central tournament.
Leading the way this season is a core of five experienced seniors that offer Franklin a good balance of interior and perimeter scoring. Carli Koffinke is in her third year on varsity and is a threat from the outside, taking advantage of the Panthers’ drive and kick style of offense. Point guard Margaux Welsh will take over the primary ball-handling role and will be expected to get the offense going. Izzy Faught and Grace McDermott will add depth in the backcourt and forward Erin Skidmore adds athleticism and quickness in the paint.
In order to stay consistently competitive, the Panthers have always been able to count on new players coming in to refresh the roster. This winter will be no different with junior forward Kate Morse in her first year on the team as well as sophomore point guard Shannon Gray and three-point threat Bea Bondhus, who had a team-high 11 points in the season opener. Freshmen Ali Brigham and Megan O’Connell will add to Franklin’s front-court depth.
“With so many younger and newer players, we are hoping to build team chemistry and improve each and every day,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “We are very encouraged with our depth and will lean on our seniors for leadership.”
2015-16 Record: 6-14 (4-12) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Martin Crowley
Under head coach Martin Crowley, King Philip has been a very tough team to play against, focused on high-pressure defensive effort and not letting up from the opening tip to the final whistle. This year, the Warriors are hoping to get a little more consistency on the offensive end to match that defensive intensity.
KP will not lack for athletes this winter beginning with returning starter Shannon O’Connor, who emerged as a potential scoring threat on the wing as a freshman last season. Classmate Julia Leroux also impressed in her rookie season and they are already go-to players on the offensive end. Junior forwards Hadley Zolak and Christina Hathaway and senior Courtney Kelleher will give additional scoring and rebounding as athletic forwards that can battle in the paint and get out and run the break.
There is also a youth movement at KP this year with a strong, athletic freshman class that has already put in a standout soccer season this past fall and is ready to contribute to the basketball team as well. Chloe Layne has stepped right in and will be an instant contributor at the point guard position and will be joined by classmate Faith Roy on the varsity roster.
“Youth will be served,” said Crowley, “however our goal is the same it is every season whether you have a veteran team or not and that is to qualify for the tournament in what I believe is the most competitive league in the state.”
2015-16 Record: 21-4 (15-1) 2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal Head Coach: Mike Redding
The Hornets are coming off the program’s first ever Hockomock League title, edging Attleboro in the final game of a dramatic league campaign, in front of arguably the biggest crowd to watch a game (male or female) in the league last season. This year, Mansfield has the challenge of trying to defend its title despite losing eight seniors from last season.
Mansfield’s title defense begins with senior guard Jen Peel, who has been limited by an injury in the preseason and will be moving from the point to the off-guard position this year. She is one of the best playmakers in the league and will have junior center Meg Hill to find in the half-court. Hill is a dominant force on both ends of the floor and should expect to get even more touches this year and needs to be aggressive looking for her shot.
The Hornets will have plenty of size beyond the 6-foot-3 Hill. Senior Olivia Broyles and junior Maeve Carney are both over six feet tall and sophomores Maggie Danehy and Emily Vigeant are just under six feet. Sophomore twins Mady and Kara Bendanillo will add speed to the roster with Mady having the experience of playing time as a freshmen, including a start in the South semifinal against Bishop Feehan. Junior Ann Maher is another player that can be expected to take on a bigger role this year at the shooting guard position.
“We may be more athletic than a year ago and we’ll run as much as we can and press more than we did a year ago,” said head coach Mike Redding. “It should be fun and with seven sophomores in our top 11 we should get better and better as they get experience and confidence.”
2015-16 Record: 21-4 (13-3) 2015-16 Finish: Won Div. 2 South title Head Coach: Elaine Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames is coming off a remarkable 2015-16 season that saw the Tigers reach the 20-win mark, claim the Davenport division title, make a run to the Div. 2 South title and a chance to play at the TD Garden, and celebrate the career of head coach Elaine Clement-Holbrook, who became the state’s all-time career leader in wins (finishing the season with 645). This year, OA will face the challenge of trying to match that level of success while taking on a new division after being moved into the Kelley-Rex.
The key to the Tigers putting in league title fight is junior forward Kayla Raymond, who is one of the most talented players in the Hock and one of the toughest match-ups with her combination of size, speed, shooting touch, and handle. Raymond will get help from senior guard Hannah Carroll, who became one of the team’s top shooters from the perimeter and can stretch opposing defense. Senior Niyera Mitchell is coming back from an off-season injury and has the size and touch to be a strong performer on both ends of the court.
OA lost only two seniors to graduation but then also lost shooting guard Francesca Calabraro to a knee injury during the soccer season. Senior Abby Reardon will be one of the backcourt players that will be counted on to pick up the scoring slack, while Clement-Holbrook will be hoping for senior Brenna Burkett and junior Sadie Homer to provide a scoring touch at the forward position.
“Moving to the Kelley Rex will be a tremendous challenge for us,” said Clement-Holbrook. “Our goals are the same as before: Compete to qualify for the tournament, challenge for the Hock title and go as deep as possible in the tournament.”
2015-16 Record: 4-16 (2-14) 2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs Head Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton is coming off a tough year in which the Tigers only managed four wins, but it was also a chance for a number of young players to get valuable varsity experience and Taunton will be hoping to have it pay off with seven returning players on this season’s roster.
One of the exciting younger players that emerged last year was Lily Patneaude, who showed off athleticism and a range of offensive skills as a freshman. Junior Hannah Moniz is another wing player that can provide scoring off the dribble or from the perimeter. Junior MacKenzie Handrahan will add rebounding and defense on the post and eighth grader Sonya Fernandes could be a newcomer to watch on the Taunton front line.
The back court has a mix of experience and youth led by senior guard Abby Kingman, whose ball-handling and speed will be vital. Kingman’s classmate Jess Regan is returning after missing her entire junior year to an injury and will offer a steady hand at the point guard position. Junior Dominique Bradley and sophomore Alexa White will add depth to the guard positions.
“Taunton has a combination of experience and youth,” said head coach Walter Harrigan, “along with some skill and athleticism that has the makings for a fun and interesting year.”
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
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.