Brockton’s Defense Overwhelms Attleboro In Opener

Attleboro boys basketball
Attleboro junior Mason Houle drives to the basket in the first half against Brockton. (Ryan Lanigan/
BROCKTON, Mass. – For the first 16 minutes of the game, the 13th-seeded Attleboro Bombarders went punch for punch with the third-seeded Brockton Boxers.

But the second half was a different story.

The Boxers amped up their defensive pressure, leading to turnovers and transition baskets and a 71-48 win in the opening round of the D1 South tournament.

Attleboro trailed by as much as five but held a 9-8 lead at the midway point of the first, and used a late three to knot the game 15-15 at the end of one.

Sophomore Bryant Ciccio (13 points) scored six straight for Attleboro early in the second quarter, each bucket erasing a deficit to tie the game.

A banked three from junior Mason Houle gave the Bombardiers a 24-23 edge, and two free throws from senior Nate Douglas (eight points) put Big Blue back in front 26-25 at the midway point.

But late in the first half, the Boxers switched their defense up to apply a halfcourt trap. From that point, Attleboro scored just two points over the final four minutes, a bucket down low off the hands of sophomore Qualeem Charles (eight points, nine rebounds).

Although trailing 32-28 at half, the Bombardiers seemed to be in a good spot, shooting nearly 50% from the floor despite missing some transition layups.

“We were okay at halftime,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “I thought if we came out in the second half and played a little bit better…we did some really good things in the first half we just had to hit some transition baskets on our own side. But we really never put the pressure on them to keep it close. Their defense in the second half just swarmed us. Even our good looks didn’t seem as good.”

“I just said to Coach Houle that I thought [Attleboro] controlled the game in the first half,” said Brockton head coach Bob Boen. “We were playing at their pace, we were doing what they wanted to do. I thought we were lucky to be ahead by four the way the first half went. I just decided we couldn’t play that way any longer, we had to get out and start pressing and pressuring in the half court.

Unfortunately for Attleboro, it was the Boxers who dominated the second half.

The halfcourt trap continued to bother Attleboro, who had more turnovers (seven) than field goals made (five) in the third quarter. Brockton’s active pressure led to easy transition buckets.

“[The pressure] made the difference,” Boen said. “It really got us lively and kind of took them out of their offense. They made a couple of threes against us but not much else. We did a real nice job with it, we were active and covered up when they made good passes.”

Kevin Velazquez hit an early triple to cut the deficit to three, and Douglas drained one from deep to get the Bombardiers within six with five minutes left in the third. But Attleboro couldn’t find consistency in its offense due to the trap and Brockton rattled off eight straight points over the next two and a half minutes.

“We did some good things early in the game obviously,” Houle said. “Even in the first half we had some opportunities to get them out of the 1-3-1 but we missed some shots and missed on some inside outs. We had a couple of chances in transition to really kind of force them into some different things. I thought if we got a couple of baskets against the 1-3-1 early on they might not have stayed in it, it definitely gave us fits there.”

Charles snapped the run with a putback of his own miss to get it back to 10, but Brockton created plenty of separation with a 9-3 run to finish the quarter, taking a 57-41 lead into the final quarter.

“They are long, they are quick and they got into the passing lanes, and we didn’t come to the ball,” Houle said. “When we did have opportunities to make plays, we didn’t play with as much confidence in the second half. I think that’s what it came down to. We were a little less confident as the game went on.”

It was more of the same in the fourth for Attleboro. The Bombardiers only managed seven points in the final quarter and didn’t score until two minutes left in the game. Ciccio hit two free throws, Lorenzo Wilson scored in the paint and Jornell Abadia drained a three.

“One of the things we had to do tonight was play through contact, and we didn’t do that,” Houle said. “And they had their run outs, and we didn’t want to let them get out in transition. So two things right there hurt us, especially in the third quarter. That opened the lead a little bit.”

Attleboro boys basketball finishes the season 13-10.

Attleboro Rides Big Second Half Past North Attleboro

Attleboro boys basketball
Attleboro’s Bryant Ciccio attempts a layup against North Attleboro in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The six of the last seven contests between rivals Attleboro and North Attleboro have been decided by 10 points or less, and the Rocketeers have walked away victorious in all of them.

Attleboro was ready to buck the trend.

After being limited to 18 points in the first half, the Bombardiers made the necessary adjustments to get the offense in gear and picked up a 60-38 win over Big Red. It marked Big Blue’s first victory over their neighbor since January 2004.

“Anytime it’s Attleboro against North Attleboro, we want to play our best,” said longtime AHS coach Mark Houle. “We had an opportunity to go out and cement a victory against a good team. I think our kids did a nice job executing in the second half and I was really proud of them.”

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The Bombardiers relied upon improved rebounding (a 22-11 advantage in the second half), transition offense, and improved three-point shooting (six triples in the second compared to one in the first half) to turn a two-point deficit at halftime into an eight-point lead entering the fourth and a 22-point win.

And the biggest reason for a lot of that was Attleboro’s Qualeem Charles (17 points). The 6’5” sophomore hauled in 10 of his 14 rebounds in the second half, which help set up the transition game. And on offense, Charles demanded the attention of North’s defense, which helped open things up on the perimeter.

“I think Mark [Houle] did a great job at half, they adjusted to our fronting and double teaming of Charles,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “To his kids’ credit, [Kevin] Velazquez and a couple other guys hit some open threes in the weak side corner. It was a little frustrating because we know its the read and we know its the counter to our counter, so maybe we just need to recognize it a step sooner on the skip pass.

“Hats off to Attleboro, they out-executed us in the second half. I feel for our two seniors, tough to go out this way. But Attleboro is a well-coached team and they have a lot of kids that can put the ball in the hoop.”

A triple from sophomore Bryant Ciccio (nine points, four rebounds) helped tie the game, 23-23, with under five minutes left in the third quarter. From there, the Bombardiers rattled off a 12-2 run to seize control of the game.

Nate Douglas (10 points, eight rebounds) went baseline for two, Ciccio hit a pair of free throws, Charles converted a putback and Mason Houle and Tim Callahan each hit a three-pointer to stretch Attleboro’s lead to two.

A putback at the buzzer from North’s Matt Seavey (eight points, three rebounds) cut the deficit to single digits heading into the fourth quarter, 35-27.

That’s when things clicked for Attleboro.

Charles scored down low on a feed from Ciccio, and then Attleboro took advantage of North bringing weak side help on the big man. Douglas found Velazquez (14 points, three assists) on skip passes into the weak side corner for back-to-back three-pointers.

Then the Bombardiers got out in transition with Velazquez threading the needle with a long bounce pass for an easy two for Jason Weir.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We were just going too fast so we just slowed it down on offense,” Houle said. “We were trying to attack the rim and everything was clogged. They were switching on defense so our motion offense really wasn’t doing anything. So we went to some of our quick hitter stuff.

“They really looked to front Q and bring help from the weak side. If we couldn’t get it into Q, we could skip it and get some good looks and Kevin was able to hit them. And then after that, we finally got Q inside on the seal. Those were the adjustments we worked on and it was good to see them execute in the second half.”

North’s Derek Shanks (nine points, six rebounds) had six consecutive points for the hosts but Attleboro had an answer each time. Ciccio sandwiched a pair of buckets around another triple from Velazquez in the weak side corner to give the Bombardiers a 52-36 lead with 3:40 to play.

Charles scored down low on two consecutive possessions while Douglas put an exclamation point on the win with a breakaway dunk.

“When he’s inside like that, he’s a mismatch,” Houle said of Charles. “North is big and long but he’s still a mismatch because he’s so good with his hands and his feet. They have to put another body in there, and when we can hit the shots, it works well. Fortunately for us, we hit the shots. If we don’t hit the shots then they are winning those possessions.”

North Attleboro raced out to a 6-0 lead after hitting its first three shots of the game but Attleboro closed the game with a 6-2 run over the final six minutes.

Shanks tied the game, 12-12, in the second quarter with a pair of free throws, Josh Montague (eight points) hit a triple, Jake Petersen (eight points, four rebounds) converted a putback and Nate Gonsalves hit a three late to give North a 20-18 lead at halftime.

“I thought we defended fairly well in the first half. We knew where they wanted to go and with the exception of one set play they ran, we didn’t feel like they ever got their first option. Second half, they made a couple of extra buckets and we had some empty possessions, and I think we started losing a little bit of confidence we had in the first half.”

Attleboro boys basketball (12-9 overall) will close out its regular season when it hosts Durfee on Wednesday night at 6:30. Attleboro (8-11) concludes its season when it travels to rival Bishop Feehan on the same night at the same time.

“It’s North Attleboro and Feehan so I shouldn’t have to say much to motivate our guys,” Mulkerrins said. “It’s the last game for our two seniors and our manager so there’s motivation to play for those three games. When they know it’s their last game, I’m sure the kids will have a little extra motivation.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/02/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 73 @ King Philip, 65 – FinalAttleboro sophomore Bryant Ciccio scored 15 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, helping the Bombardiers storm past King Philip. The Warriors built a 20-point lead in the second quarter, but an 11-2 run from Attleboro made it a 10-point game at halftime (31-21). Ciccio and Dom Victor each scored six points in the third period, helping Big Blue outscore KP 25-10 in the period, including a three from Victor at the buzzer. Qualeem Charles added 11 points and 16 rebounds, Kevin Velazquez added 11 points off the bench, Nate Douglas chipped in with eight points while Mason Houle and Elvin Sam each finished with seven points, including key second-half triples. King Philip senior Pharoah Davis scored a career-high 23 points for the Warriors.

North Attleboro, 39 @ Canton, 58 – FinalCanton senior Tony Harris tied a program record with a career-high 36 points to lead the Bulldogs to a win over visiting North Attleboro. The Dogs built a 14-11 lead in the first quarter and then took a 35-21 lead into the halftime break. Harris hit seven three-pointers in the game, Austin Maffie had nine points and junior Devin Foster dished out 14 assists. Josh Montague had a team-high 12 points while junior Jake Petersen added nine points for Big Red.

Sharon, 54 @ Foxboro, 63 – FinalSharon led 19-11 after one, and took a 26-25 lead into the half but the Warriors outscored the Eagles 21-6 in the third quarter to seize control of the game. Junior Anthony Mollica scored 12 of his career-high 18 points in the first half and Matt Rongione dropped eight of his 11-points in the third quarter to help the Warriors. Sophomore Brandon Borde added 11 points for the Warriors. Sharon’s Alex Kaufmann had a team-high 18 points.

Oliver Ames, 36 @ Franklin, 70 – FinalFranklin was in control from the beginning with sophomore Chris Edgehill scoring a team-high 24 points in the win.

Mansfield, 74 @ Taunton, 54 – FinalMansfield opened the second half on an 11-0 run, turning a 37-26 lead into a 22-point advantage in the third quarter. Senior Tyler Boulter led the way with 22 points, including four three-pointers, seven rebounds, and three steals. Damani Scott added 13 points and six rebounds and Ryan Otto chipped in with 12 points for the Hornets, who had 10 players register points.

Milford, 66 @ Stoughton, 69 – FinalStoughton senior Cam Andrews connected on a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to lift the Black Knights to a division win over the visiting Scarlet Hawks. Milford junior Cam Falcon hit a deep three to tie the game with under 30 seconds to play but Andrews, who scored a career-high 36 points, hit the last shot to earn the win.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 58 @ King Philip, 53 – Final (OT)Attleboro rallied from six points down in the final minute of the fourth quarter to force overtime and earn a sweep of the season series. Sam Pierce led the way with 21 points, while Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall each had 12 (including five in overtime). Faith Roy scored 15 for the Warriors and Julia Leroux added 12.

North Attleboro, 52 @ Canton, 68 – FinalHannah Jerrier had career nights in points, rebounds and charges taken to help Canton pull out an important victory to push the Bulldogs back above .500 and get within two wins of a tournament berth. Jerrier finished with 41 points and 25 rebounds while adding four assists, three steals and two charges taken. Erin Devine also had a double-double for Canton with 10 points and 14 boards and added six assists as well.

Sharon, 30 @ Foxboro, 72 – FinalAshley Sampson scored 20 points and Katelyn Mollica had 16 for the Warriors to keep the Davenport leaders unbeaten in league play.

Franklin, 54 @ Oliver Ames, 61 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Taunton, 29 @ Mansfield, 56 – FinalMansfield broke the game open with a strong defensive second half, holding Taunton to just five points after going into the break tied at 24-24. Meg Hill continues to close in on 1,000 points for her career with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Maggie Danehy also chipped in with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sydney Mulkern added nine points. Hannah Moniz paced the Tigers with 12 points and MacKenzie Handrahan had eight.

Milford, 42 @ Stoughton, 47 – FinalAliyah Wright scored 14 points to lead the Black Knights to a sixth straight win, helping Stoughton get back to .500 on the season and take over second place in the Davenport division. Lindsey McDonald added a season-high 12 points and 11 rebounds for Stoughton.

Boys Hockey
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final

Boys Swimming
Hockomock League Championships (@ Milford) – Click here for a photo gallery from this event.

North Attleboro, 141.8 @ King Philip, 136.0 – Final

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Braintree, 7:30

Foxboro Holds Off Late Surge To Beat Attleboro

Foxboro boys basketball
Foxboro’s Brandon Borde goes up for a layup in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Attleboro used its defense to get back into the game, but Foxboro used its defense to slam the door shut on the Bombardiers’ comeback.

Trailing 58-52 with just over two minutes left in the game, Attleboro applied a full court pressure. The result was back-to-back steals from senior Nathan Douglas (12 points), the first Douglas scored on himself, the second turning into a layup from Elvin Sam.

After Foxboro called timeout, Attleboro’s defense once again came up with a big play. Sam and junior Mason Houle jumped onto a loose ball, forcing a jump ball and giving possession to the hosts, down two, with a minute to go.

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But before Attleboro could set its play in motion, Foxboro senior Teddy Maher came up with a huge steal in a one-on-one situation. The Warriors used nearly the entire play clock before sophomore Brandon Borde (10 points, four rebounds) drove through traffic converted at the rim for a 60-56 lead with 22 seconds to play.

The Bombardiers called timeout and executed right away as sophomore Qualeem Charles (career-high 28 points, 12 rebounds) quickly scored down low to get the deficit back to two with 12 seconds to go.

Foxboro senior Joe Morrison (19 points) got the inbounds, was fouled, and iced the game with a pair of free throws, giving the Warriors a hard-fought 62-58 win over Attleboro in a very entertaining contest.

“I thought we showed incredible poise,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “They threw that press on us and we weren’t really ready for it, and they got two quick steals. The momentum was completely in Attleboro’s favor…we’re on the road, the crowd is getting louder. It would have been really easy for us to fold but Teddy made a senior play. Teddy’s a phenomenal defender, he gives us a lot of intangibles, he gives a lot of things that don’t really show up in the box score but that’s what seniors do this time of year. They make winning plays.

“I thought it showed a lot of character and a lot of poise, instead of us folding mentally, we showed some true toughness and came up with a big stop when things weren’t going our way.”

“It was a good fight by us to get back in it, to get it within two,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “We didn’t execute towards the end, we wanted to go inside but you never know what could have happened. Foxboro does a nice job and makes you work for everything you get.”

It was the second time Attleboro rallied in the second half, only for Foxboro to regain its footing late. The Warriors led by 10 (36-26) at halftime, but the Bombardiers executed their game plan nearly flawlessly early in the third to get back into it.

Houle (four points, six assists) drove to the basket for two, Dom Victor hit back-to-back shots in the paint, Charles converted a pair of putbacks and then completed a traditional three-point play after a feed from Houle, giving Attleboro a 39-38 lead on the back of a 13-2 run over the first four minutes of the third.

Foxboro regained the lead when senior Matt Rongione (14 points) knocked down his fourth three-pointer of the game and Maher converted a layup after an Attleboro turnover. But the Bombardiers went to work down low again, with Charles hitting two free throws after being fouled in the paint, and Victor again converting close to the basket.

“In the third quarter we came out and we did a nice job of really going high low with our bigs,” Mark Houle said. “We got a lot of paint touches and got Dom going down low. When they started overplaying our guards we had some good layup opportunities. I think we got back in it going inside, which is our strength, but Foxboro’s defense is obviously good. The outside looks we got were contested and we didn’t hit the outside shots that you’d like to be able to knock down.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Morrison took over for the final 90 seconds of the third. He came up with a steal and went the distance for a layup. After a steal fromDevin Hassett, Morrison drained a three-pointer to put the Warriors up five. And then the senior hit a technical free throw with 7.8 seconds left to give Foxboro a 49-43 lead entering the fourth.

Morrison also had five points in the fourth quarter, including an early three that put Foxboro up nine, an assist on Borde’s alley-layup at the midway point that kept Foxboro ahead by seven, and his game-clinching free throws.

“That’s Joe…it seems like its that way in every game that in the second half, in the fourth quarter, coming down the stretch when we need big plays, Joe is the one who is right there to make it, whether its on the offensive end or the defensive end,” Gibbs said. “He’s incredible, he’s without a doubt the best pure winner and pure competitor I’ve ever coached. He just has the knack for the big play, whatever we need. We’re so lucky to have him, he’s a once in a lifetime player for me as a coach. He’s the ultimate winner and you saw it tonight.”

The first half was highlighted by mismatches on both sides of the court. Charles was Attleboro’s focus early on, scoring eight points and hauling in five rebounds in the first quarter. Douglas hit both of the Bombardiers’ three-pointers of the game in the opening frame, helping Big Blue take a 16-14 lead after one.

While Charles gave Attleboro an advantage down low on the offensive end, Foxboro’s ability to spread the floor and shoot from distance gave the Warriors a leg up, especially in the second quarter.

Foxboro hit five three-pointers in the second quarter to surge past Attleboro. Senior Bobby Harrison (career-high 15 points) was responsible for four of those triples, taking advantage of his matchup. With Charles defending the hoop in the paint, Harrison was left open and converted his chances. Rongione also hit a three in the period, helping the Warriors seize a 36-26 lead at the break.

“Obviously [Charles] presents a huge mismatch for us when they are on offense because we don’t have anyone to match his size inside,” Gibbs said. “But we were also hoping we could do the same when we had the ball and use our perimeter to cause some mismatches for them. We talked to Bobby a lot about setting ball screens on the perimeter and pulling out to either shoot or drive.

“Bobby was able to get some open looks and to his credit, he stepped up and knocked them down. He caused Attleboro some problems, I assume they don’t want [Charles] out on the perimeter chasing guys around, and he was forced to come out because Bobby made some threes.”

Foxboro finished 10-for-19 from three-point and 23-for-47 from the field overall.

“Foxboro is a talented team, and Borde and Morrison are very good off the dribble,” Houle said. “We really wanted to use Qualeem as much as we could inside to sag the middle. I think the first quarter we were able to get away with it but once Harrison hit one, we had more of a soft close out, then he hit two, then hit the third one which was a dagger. Then we had to open up more and get out and cover him. That was big because we were hoping to be able to sag more inside and not allow that ball penetration.”

Foxboro boys basketball (8-3 Hockomock, 12-3 overall) begins its second go through of the Davenport schedule on Friday when it hosts Sharon at 6:30. Attleboro (6-5, 9-6) will try to bounce back when it travels to take on King Philip on Friday at 7:00.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Attleboro Grounds Hawks With Second Half Comeback

Attleboro boys basketball
Attleboro’s Jason Weir attacks the basket in the first half against Milford. (Ryan Lanigan/
MILFORD, Mass. – It was a tale of two halves in a crossover matchup between Milford and Attleboro boys basketball. The Hawks started hot but it was the Bombardiers that finished strong.

Big Blue overcame an 11-point deficit at halftime with a stellar third quarter and then finished the job in the second half, finishing the game off with an 8-0 run over the final two minutes to beat the Hawks, 59-51.

“I think the difference in the second half was we did a good job of pressuring their guards and we did a better job in the post,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “Their post players are very talented, Kelley is very talented and Fraioli is a big talented kid that takes up a lot of space, sets good screens. Their high-low really hurt us really so in the second half we did a better job of dropping our big in the paint and kind of forcing them to take an outside shot. It could have hurt us but it ended up helping us in the long run because we got multiple stops and that’s what we needed to get.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The fourth quarter featured plenty of momentum swings but the Bombardiers put an exclamation point on the comeback with a couple of big plays in the final minutes.

A putback from sophomore Qualeem Charles (10 points, 16 rebounds) and a pull up jumper just inside the free throw line from Bryant Ciccio (nine points) gave Attleboro an early five-point lead, but Milford chipped away with four straight points from junior Brendan White (17 points) to cut the deficit to one.

Senior Nate Douglas drained a three to get the lead back to four and then hit one of two free throws to take a 50-45 lead. Milford’s Kayden Kelley (11 points, 15 rebounds) scored four straight points, taking feeds from White and Andrew Fraioli (eight points, five rebounds) on slips to the basket to again cut it down to one.

Velazquez came up with another steal but was fouled, and hit one of two free throws to extend the lead to two. Fraioli answered immediately with a bucket while being fouled to tie the game, but couldn’t convert the free throw to take a lead.

Tied 51-51, Attleboro put together its best stretch to win the game. Immediately following Fraioli’s tying bucket, Charles scored in traffic down low to regain the lead. Milford missed a three, Dom Victor (10 points, seven rebounds) hauled in the rebound and hit one of two free throws after being fouled.

Despite missing the second free throw, Charles came across the paint to grab the board. Attleboro called timeout, and out of the break, hit a huge shot.

Mason Houle and Douglas played catch as the shot clock ticked down. With just a few seconds remaining, Houle went in to Charles in the post, sucking the defense in. Charles returned the pass to Houle with just a couple of seconds on the shot clock, and the junior could have forced a contested three, but instead made one extra pass to Douglas in the corner. The senior calmly buried a three, giving Attleboro a 57-51 lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We’ve been stressing at practice, especially recent, the extra pass gets us that great look, an uncontested look,” Houle said of the play. “An inside-outside look, and then the pass to the corner and Nate Douglas hit a really big three for us. It gave us a lot of energy, and in this game [six points] felt like a cushion. It might have been our biggest lead of the game at the time and it put pressure on them to make a play.”

Victor picked off a pass two plays later and went in along, finishing with a two-handed slam to put an exclamation point on the win.

“We wanted to be team tough tonight and that means doing the right things for our team, for our teammates,” Houle said. “In the flow of the game, it’s not always going to be easy. There’s going to be runs on both sides. I was proud of the toughness we had as a team. They came right back and tied it and we showed toughness and went right back down to take the lead.”

After being outrebounded 30-25 through three quarters, the Bombardiers had a 12-8 advantage in the final frame.

“Our key is always rebounding and we did a better job of it in the second half,” Houle said. “I think overall pressuring the guards was key, it kind of got us into a good defensive rhythm. Then we were able to get out on some breaks, got some transition baskets and that gave us some energy. Our energy in the second half throughout the whole second half was very good. “

The hosts came out red-hot in the opening quarter, hitting four of their first six attempts from behind the arc and shooting 50% from the field to build an early double-digit lead, and a 14-point advantage late in the quarter.

A late three from Ciccio cut the deficit to 11 at the end of one, and the teams played an even second period. Milford led by as much as 15 (25-10) at the midway point of the period, but Attleboro outscored the Hawks 11-5 the rest of the way to keep the deficit the same at halftime as it was after one.

Momentum swung in favor of the visitors in the third quarter. Attleboro sophomore Tim Callahan bookended the Bombardiers’ 19-6 surge in the period with a pair of three’s. An inbounds play on the baseline from Ciccio to Douglas resulted in a traditional three-point play.

Trailing by 10, Douglas hit a pair of free throws, Kevin Velazquez drained a three then two plays later, stole a pass and went in for an easy layup. The teams traded a pair of misses before Victor hit two free throws to make it a one-point game.

Fraioli converted a putback to extend the lead back to three but Victor drove strong to the basket for two, and Callahan drained another three off a feed from Charles to give Attleboro a 42-40 lead after three.

“Playing Milford is always tough, Coach Seaver does a terrific job,” Houle said. “Their kids play hard and they have a recipe to win every single night. They have tough bigs, they can shoot it, so we knew coming in it wouldn’t be an easy game…there’s never an easy game in this league. We knew coming in we had to play well and fortunately, we played very well in the second half.”

Attleboro boys basketball (6-4 Hockomock, 9-4 overall) returns to action on Sunday to take on Bishop Feehan at 3:00. Milford (4-6, 6-7) will try to snap its current two-game skid on Tuesday when it travels to Mansfield.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Attleboro Storms Past OA With Second Half Comeback

Attleboro boys basketball
Attleboro’s Bryant Cicco (right) attempts to drive past Oliver Ames’ Noah Fitzgerald in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – For two and a half quarters, Oliver Ames’ zone defense frustrated Attleboro’s offense and limited its high-power offense to just 27 points.

But once the Bombardiers found their rhythm, due in part to an improved defensive showing, Attleboro was nearly unstoppable the rest of the way.

Attleboro outscored Oliver Ames 44-16 over the final 12 minutes of play, erasing a double-digit deficit and turning it into a double-digit win, 71-57.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think it started with our defensive energy,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “Early on, they kind of had their way, they had some transition baskets early. In the second half, we did a better job of getting back and not letting up any easy baskets. It was a physical game.

“We finally started penetrating their zone on the offensive end, which got us some open looks, and we were able to penetrate and go inside to [Qualeem Charles]. It took a little while to get the rhythm going, we really didn’t have it. Once we did that then we felt more confident and knock down some shots.”

The Bombardiers were limited to 10 points in the first quarter and 11 points in the second. Meanwhile, Oliver Ames senior Jack Spillane (career-high 34 points) was getting almost everything he wanted. He scored 18 of the Tigers’ first 19 points and helped OA take a 31-21 lead at the break.

Attleboro started hot in the third quarter, quickly getting the game within six but then went cold from outside. Big Blue missed from three-point range on six straight possessions, allowing Oliver Ames to get out in transition and convert, taking a 41-27 lead with 3:35 to go in the third quarter.

But on the ensuing possession, Attleboro finally got the ball in low as junior RMff (eight points, six assists) found sophomore Qualeem Charles (13 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks) who converted plus the harm. Charles’ traditional three-point play set the Attleboro offense in motion.

“You want to have some balance there but we weren’t getting the ball inside enough,” Houle said. “With any zone, there are some gaps and once we started penetrating with guard play to get into them, that created some opportunities for our bigs. When you play a zone you can get a three anytime you want, but when you’re not hitting them you have to get some paint touches.”

Senior Nate Douglas (17 points, four rebounds) and sophomore Jason Weir (seven points, five rebounds) made back-to-back baskets, and then Weir came up with a putback off of a missed three to keep the momentum with Attleboro.

“Jason Weir was one of the guys that came off the bench for us and had a terrific game,” Houle said. “Not only scoring but he got some key rebounds and some second-chance opportunities for us. And he played a physical game for us. We talked at halftime about how we needed guys to step up and he was one of them.”

After an Oliver Ames miss, sophomore Bryant Ciccio (career-high 18 points, five rebounds, five assists) went coast to coast, finishing with a nice up and under move high off the glass. Big Blue got another stop and this time fed Charles at the top of the key, sucking the defense in which allowed the sophomore to find Ciccio for a three-pointer.

Douglas hit a pull up on the baseline shortly before the buzzer to cap a 16-2 run, tying the game 43-43 at the end of the third.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With the game in the balance over the final eight minutes, Attleboro finished the job.

Spillane gave OA an early lead with a nice take to the basket, but Charles hauled in an offensive rebound and converted a putback to tie it. Charles scored on another offensive rebound only for OA’s Noah Fitzgerald (six points, three assists) to respond.

Attleboro put the game away over the next two and a half minutes with a 14-2 run. Ciccio started the surge with a layup and then Houle picked off a cross-court pass and went in alone for a layup, plus the foul, for the traditional three-point play.

Spillane brought OA within three with a pair of free throws but Douglas and Kevin Velazquez drained threes to extend the lead to 58-49. Charles finished the run with a free throw and yet another putback.

“Nate Douglas played his best game of the season, he was aggressive on offense and made impact plays for us on both ends of the court,” Houle said. “He played like a senior and we needed him to perform like he did for us to come back and win the game.”

After shooting 40% in the first half (50% from three-point range), the Tigers shot just 30% from the field in the second half and hit just one triple.

“Part of it is offensively we did more [in the first half],” said OA head coach Don Byron about the first half effectiveness of the zone defense. “They’re taking the ball out of bounds, we’re setting our defense every time. Once it turns into a more free-flowing game, we’re at a disadvantage then.

“We worked hard it but our efficiency in the second half wasn’t as sharp, We threw some passes away, made some simple, unforced mistakes. We just didn’t shoot the ball as well. And a couple of guys that we kept quiet early found themselves and we weren’t able to knock them off their stride at that point.”

Attleboro boys basketball (4-2 Hockomock, 7-2 overall) is back in action on Tuesday in a key Kelley-Rex division showdown with first place Franklin; a battle of the division’s top scoring team against top defensive team. Oliver Ames (2-4, 4-5) hits the road to take on Taunton on the same day.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/03/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 77 @ Durfee, 59 – FinalAttleboro junior Dom Victor dropped a career-high 18 points while hauling in eight rebounds to lead the Bombardiers to a win on the road. Sophomore Bryant Ciccio also added a career-high with 17 points while senior Elvin Sam added 15 points and junior Mason Houle finished with 12 points.

Canton, 62 @ Archbishop Williams, 57 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 74 vs. Catholic Memorial, 60 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 69 vs. Durfee, 57 – FinalDespite 31 points from Durfee’s Shaelyn Correiro, Attleboro pulled out a double-digit win to move back above .500 on the season. Sam Pierce had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Attleboro, while Nyah Thomas added 13 points, MacKenzie Roberts had 12, and Liv McCall had 11 in the win. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said that Jordyn Lako was “immense defensively” for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 57 vs. Dover-Sherborn, 34 – FinalHannah Jerrier scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down 18 rebounds as Canton improved to 3-1 with the non-league win. Erin Devine added eight points, six blocks, and seven boards for the Bulldogs and freshman Kayla Albert scored four points, grabbed five rebounds, blocked three shots and had two assists on her varsity debut. Canton coach Jim Choquette called it a “great effort from the entire team.”

Franklin, 43 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 53 – Final

Mansfield, 46 @ Bishop Feehan, 61 – FinalAnn Maher scored a team-high 17 points and Meg Hill added 15 for the Hornets, which split the season series with the Shamrocks. Maggie Danehy also scored eight points in the loss.

Boys Hockey
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 5 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 9 – FinalMansfield scored three goals in the opening period and added four more in the second period. Tim Arnold had a pair of goals for the Hornets while Nick Levine, Matt Copponi, and Coleman Jenkins each scored their first career goals. Nick Menz recorded a shutout in the third period for the Hornets.

North Attleboro, 7 @ Taunton, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s first line was at its best, scoring all seven of the Rocketeers’ goals in a win over Taunton. Anthony Zamiello scored a hat trick while Jason McNeany and Drew Wissler each scored a pair of goals for North.

Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 @ Franklin, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 6 vs. St. Joseph Prep, 4 – Final

Canton, 48 @ Milford, 27 – Final

Foxboro, 8 @ North Attleboro, 57 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this meet.

Franklin, 64 @ St. John’s Shrewsbury, 6 – Final

Mansfield, 50 @ King Philip, 19 – Final

Taunton, 12 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – FinalOliver Ames junior Anthony Berksza picked up his 15th win of the season to help the Tigers defeat Taunton. Taunton’s Woudanly Danger (220) and Mason Frank (285) picked up wins for the visiting Tigers.

Sharon, 43 @ Stoughton, 29 – Final

Boys Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 48 vs. King Philip, 51 – Final

Canton, 34 vs. Milford, 65 – FinalCanton’s Cordel Smith won a pair of events, taking first in the 300M (38.66) and qualifying for states in the high jump (5-10.00). Cam Sanchez crossed first in the 55M dash (6.99) while Jack Healey took second in both the 1 Mile (5:07.15) and the 2 Mile (11:05.91). Riley McDonnell placed second in the 300M (38.70).

Foxboro, 18.5 vs. Sharon, 81.5 – Final

Franklin, 73 vs. Taunton, 27 – Final

Mansfield, 66 vs. Oliver Ames, 34 – FinalMansfield swept the points in the 1000M with Kevin Crawford taking first (2:43.68), Jackson Murphy placing second (2:50.43) and Sean Lanzillo coming in third (2:51.51). Nick Horn (37.77) and Dan Knight (39.11) took first and second in the 300M for the Hornets while Jareme DiLorenzo (8.17) and Matt Buiser (9.12) were first and second in the 55M hurdles.

North Attleboro, 55.5 vs. Stoughton, 44.5 – Final

Girls Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 25 vs. King Philip, 75 – Final

Canton, 24 vs. Milford, 75 – FinalCanton’s Chloe Pennacchio was a double winner, taking first in the 1 Mile (6:07.08) and the 1000M (3:33.09). Bronwyn Mahoney also placed first for the Bulldogs, winning the shot put (29-04.00).

Foxboro, 30 vs. Sharon, 70 – Final

Franklin, 69 vs. Taunton, 31 – Final

Mansfield, 49 vs. Oliver Ames, 51 – FinalOliver Ames pulled out a narrow win over Mansfield on Wednesday afternoon. Mansfield’s Amanda Mangano was first in the 55M dash (7.59) and the long jump (16-11.00) while taking third in the high jump (4-8.00). Alexis Kiyanda won her first race of the year, crossing first in the 300M at 45.61. The Hornets’ 4×200 relay of Gabrielle Devlin, Julia Harrison, Angela Corkery, and Meg Kuras ran a season-best time of 1:53.42 for the win.

North Attleboro, 82 vs. Stoughton, 14 – Final

Boys Swimming
Canton, 63 vs. Ashland, 91 – Final

Girls Swimming
Canton, 75 vs. Ashland, 91 – Final

Mansfield @ Attleboro, 7:30

Sharon, 121.45 @ Franklin, 128.40 – FinalFranklin junior Mia Lizotte won the all-around for the second straight meet, earning a 34.7 to edge out Sharon’s Ariana Chabot (30.9). Franklin junior Sadie Rondeau placed first on the beam for the Panthers with an 8.35 while freshman Lexi Lupien took second in each the vault, beam, and floor.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/29/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 61 vs. Bishop Feehan, 48 – FinalAttleboro had six players scored eight or more points, and used a mini-run in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Shamrocks. Up 49-42, the Bombardiers put together a six-point surge that put the game away with just over two minutes to play. Sophomore Bryant Ciccio had a team-high 15 points while classmate Qualeem Charles had eight points and 17 rebounds. Junior Dom Victor added 12 points and eight rebounds, senior Nate Douglas and junior Mason Houle each scored nine points and senior Elvin Sam chipped in with eight points.

Foxboro, 48 vs. Shaler Area (PA), 37 – FinalFoxboro limited Shaler Area to just 14 points in the first half and just 25 points through three quarters to win its bracket in the KSA Holiday Tournament at Disney. Senior Joe Morrison dropped a team-high 14 points and was named tournament MVP. Bobby Harrison added eight points and sophomore Ryan Hughes chipped in with seven points in the win.

King Philip, 48 vs. Braintree, 66 – Final

North Attleboro, 64 @ Lincoln-Sudbury, 59 – FinalNorth Attleboro saw its eight-point lead shrink down to just three with 20 seconds to play, but junior guard Josh Montague hit a pair of free throws to tie a career-high with 25 points, helping the Rocketeers win the Warrior Winter Slam championship game. North led 34-27 at the half and 46-38 heading into the final quarter. Montague earned tournament MVP honors while Chad Peterson (14 points) and junior Jake Petersen (six points) were named to the all-tournament team.

Oliver Ames, 76 vs. South Boston, 52 – Final

Sharon, 54 vs. Walpole, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 26 @ Bishop Feehan, 54 – Final

Milford, 55 @ Hopedale, 27 – FinalKate Irwin scored 15 points and had five assists for the Hawks, who picked up a big win over their neighbors. Jess Tomaso scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds and Gillian Valanzola had nine points and 13 boards for Milford.

North Attleboro, 30 vs. Westwood, 28 – FinalJulia Feid was the top scorer for the Rocketeers with 14 points to lead North to its first victory of the season.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 3 @ Saint John Paul II, 1 – Final
Franklin, 2 vs. Bishop Guertin, 1 – Final

Lowell Holiday Tournament (Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton) – Franklin had the best showing among Hock teams, placing seventh overall with 112.5 points. Jordan Carlucci (126) placed fifth overall and TJ Remillard (132) took seventh in his bracket. For Foxboro, senior Phil Dure was eighth overall in the 126 bracket and the Warriors earned 64 points. Canton earned 50 points and Stoughton had 31 points.

Attleboro Showcases Offensive Prowess In Big Win

Attleboro boys basketball
Attleboro’s Tim Callahan drives to the basket in the second half against Dartmouth. (Ryan Lanigan/
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Attleboro boy’s basketball team wasted little time in flexing its offensive muscles against Dartmouth.

Bombardier sophomore Bryant Ciccio scored less than five seconds into the game off of the opening tip and then hit back-to-back threes, giving Attleboro an 8-0 lead just 1:13 into the game.

Attleboro went on another 8-0 run to start the second quarter, creating a double-digit lead that was never relinquished in a 72-44 win for the Indians.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“In the game of basketball it’s those surges and runs that can make the difference,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “If you pile those back to back, you can really pull away. We went from a six-point lead to a 14 point lead, and once you get another one, you’re able to cut out any chance of a comeback.

“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to put away a team early and I think today, early in the second half we did that. It started with defense, especially our half-court defense which was pretty solid.”

Dartmouth closed the first quarter strong to stay within two possessions (14-6) after eight minutes. But the separation came early in the second. Sophomore Qualeem Charles (eight points, seven rebounds) converted one of two free throws before sophomore Tim Callahan, fresh off the bench, came up with a steal and easy layup.

After a miss, Charles came up with a big offensive rebound and putback and two possessions later, junior Mason Houle (eight points, three assists) drained a three off a feed from Ciccio to make it 22-8 with just over five minutes left in the third.

“We’re still learning, we turned the ball over a lot against the zone, it’s the first time we’ve seen a zone team,” Houle said. I think we were prepped for it earlier this year but didn’t see it and we just didn’t take care of the ball in the half court as much as we should have. And our transition defense is something we have to work on, things we can’t do going forward.”

Mason Houle banked a three from just over half court at the halftime buzzer, giving Attleboro its largest lead, 33-14, heading into the locker rooms.

While the teams were level for the first four minutes of the third quarter, the Bombardiers put the game away with an 11-0 run over the next two minutes.

Callahan (career-high 15 points) got it started with a triple, then came up with a steal for an easy layup. Ciccio forced another turnover and Nate Douglas (six points) hit a jumper. Ciccio then split the defense and hit a pull up jumper and Callahan capped the run with a strong take to the basket.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“He scored when we needed him too, and he’s capable of doing that,” Houle said of Callahan. “He’s a solid player, and only a sophomore. He’s filling his role very well right now coming off the bench. As soon as he comes in he gets open looks and he’s ready to knock them down. He made some mistakes in some rotations on defense but overall he definitely had his finest game for us.”

Ciccio finished with a game-high 16 points along with three assists.

“I think Bryant really played a solid game for us,” Houle said. “And Bryant’s done that for us the last couple of games. He’s leading us from the point guard position and he’s doing a nice job defensively. He’s getting open looks and he’s hitting shots. He scored the first eight points and they were all from what we want to do. I definitely think Bryant’s last couple of games, both ends of the court, he’s really playing solid for us.”

Attleboro shot 50% (27/54) from the floor overall and hit 12 of its 25 three-point attempts. It marked the third straight game that the Bombardiers hit double-digit threes, following 11 triples against Stoughton and 10 against Sharon. On Wednesday afternoon, five different Attleboro players connected for at least one three-pointer.

“When you can shot 50% from three good things are going to happen,” Houle said. “Guys start running out at you and then it opens things up inside too. We have a nice balance right now. Kids are understanding where the shots are coming from and they are working hard on them. When the ball goes in, it makes it easier.”

Attleboro boys basketball (2-1 Hockomock, 3-1 overall) is back in action on Friday when it welcomes in-town rival Bishop Feehan at 6:30.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/19/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 85 @ Sharon, 65 – FinalAttleboro hit 10 three-pointers as a team and had six players reach double figures in a big win over Sharon. The Bombardiers held a 39-35 lead at halftime but opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to create separation. Attleboro outscored Sharon 23-9 in the third quarter. Attleboro senior Elvin Sam scored a career-high 17 points while sophomore Bryant Ciccio (seven assists) tied a career-high with 16 points for Attleboro. Dom Victor added 15 points while Qualeem Charles (seven rebounds), Nate Douglas, and Mason Houle each scored 10 points. Sharon senior Malik Lorquet led all scorers with 20 points.

King Philip, 57 @ Canton, 66 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 52 @ Foxboro, 54 – Final Foxboro led by six at halftime (31-25) and extended that lead to as much as 15 in the second half but had to survive a furious late rally by the Panthers. Foxboro led 42-32 going into the fourth quarter but a 7-0 run from the Panthers cut the deficit to just four, 51-47, with 47 seconds left. Bobby Harrison hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to make it a two-possession game. Matt Rongione scored a career-high 15 points for the Warriors while Joe Morrison added 12 points and sophomore Brandon Borde had nine points. Franklin sophomore Chris Edgehill had a game-high 17 points while junior Jalen Samuels added 15 points.

Mansfield, 85 @ Stoughton, 60 – FinalAfter a close first quarter, Mansfield exploded for 30 points in the second quarter to take a 51-28 lead at halftime. The Hornets had their best defensive quarter of the game in the third, limiting the Black Knights to eight points to pull away completely. Senior John McCoy (9-for-11) scored a team-high 23 points, hauled in 10 rebounds and had three blocks, Khristian Conner notched a career-high 17 points (on 8-for-13 shooting) with seven rebounds and Justin Vine added 16 points. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews scored a game-high 24 points for the Black Knights.

Taunton, 54 @ Milford, 56 – Final (OT)Milford overcame a 12-point deficit in the final three minutes of the game to send the game to overtime, and then twice erased deficits in the extra period to earn the win. Milford junior Cam Falcon drained a three – his first career field goal – to give the Hawks the early lead in overtime. Taunton rattled off four straight to get the lead back, but two free throws from Milford put the Hawks up 53-52. Taunton scored again to take the but Milford once again sank two free throws to take the lead for good. Brendan White scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Hawks. Steve Sutherland added 12 points in the win for Milford. Taunton sophomore Dante Law scored a game-high 18 points while Lou Vendrell had 10 points for the Tigers.

Oliver Ames, 44 @ North Attleboro, 59 – FinalNorth Attleboro raced out to a 12-1 lead after one quarter and never looked back. Big Red took a 27-16 lead into halftime and a 36-28 lead into the fourth quarter. Chad Peterson finished with a team-high 13 points, including three triples in the third quarter. Matt Seavey added 10 points and Evan Rosenberg, Josh Montague, and Jake Peterson all had nine points for the Rocketeers. North head coach Sean Mulkerrins praised the defensive work of Derek Shanks. Jack Spillane led the Tigers with 17 points.

Girls Basketball
Sharon, 32 @ Attleboro, 48 – FinalAttleboro outscored the Eagles 14-3 in the third quarter to break the game open and earn its second straight victory. The Bombardiers were led by Sam Pierce’s 14 points and nine rebounds. Nyah Thomas added 12 points and nine boards and Jordyn Lake scored seven points, pulled down 10 boards, and dished out five assists in the win. Sharon was led by Emma Eberhardt and Evanjuline Elisma, who each scored 10 points.

Canton, 59 @ King Philip, 54 – FinalThe Bulldogs scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to rally for a road win at KP, only taking their first lead in the final minute of the game. Hannah Jerrier had a double-double for Canton, scoring 21 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. Erin Devine added 11 points and Maggie Connolly had 10 for the Bulldogs, who shot 15-of-19 from the line as a team.

Foxboro, 64 @ Franklin, 33 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 30 @ Mansfield, 61 – FinalThe Hornets jumped out to an 18-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back to win a second straight game in the league. Meg Hill scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while blocking four shots. Ann Maher added nine points and Maggie Danehy had eight for Mansfield. Val Whalen scored 10 points and Shyanne Trinh had nine in the loss.

Milford, 59 @ Taunton, 44 – Final

North Attleboro, 31 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – FinalOliver Ames’ defense limited North Attleboro to just 13 points in the first half, taking a 28-13 lead into the break and never looking back. Kayla Raymond led the Tigers with 24 points while Alex Sheldon scored 11 points and Ally Scolnick had eight points. Julia Feid scored a team-high 12 points for North Attleboro.

Sharon @ Oliver Ames, 8:00