OA’s Raymond Reaches Milestone and Nets Game-Winner

Kayla Raymond
Former OA star Kayla Raymond is lifted up by her teammates after scoring the game-winner against St. Anselm. Raymond scored her 1,000th career point earlier in the game. (Stonehill Athletics)

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The season didn’t start as expected for former Oliver Ames star Kayla Raymond. The senior forward had been named to the all-conference team in each of her first two seasons, was an honorable mention for DII All-American, led Stonehill to 23 wins and an NE-10 title as a sophomore and, after having last year wiped out because of the pandemic, seemed poised to add to her already impressive collection of accolades.

Instead, Raymond had to come off the bench at the start of the season, the Skyhawks got off to a 3-4 start before the Christmas break, and things looked out of sorts.

The holiday break came at just the right time. Raymond and the Skyhawks reset and have turned things around by winning five of six and going 6-3 overall since returning in the new year. Last week, Raymond provided the highlight of the season when she became the 33rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau and then made the moment even more memorable by scoring a buzzer-beating basket to earn victory over St. Anselm’s.

“I knew I was struggling and I wasn’t happy with the way I was playing,” Raymond said about the start of the season. “I really reflected over Christmas break and came back and kind of changed my mentality a little bit. I think that’s really where it started and I think everyone came back, not just me, and we were ready to play.”

Kayla Raymond

Raymond talked a lot about the team’s improved mentality during the recent run, but health has also played a role in the turnaround. During her sophomore season at Stonehill, Raymond developed heart palpitations that would at times force her out of games. It was a scary situation, but one that she and the coaches have learned to manage.

“It’s something that I can feel right away and I know that if it does happen I just need to get my heart rate down in order for it to stop,” she explained. “It sucks, but that does have to come first before the game.”

A bout of COVID in the fall exacerbated the situation, bringing the palpitations back to the point that Raymond said she had to wear a heart monitor and had to stop all athletic activities for a month. She missed almost all of preseason and admitted that she wasn’t ready physically when the season tipped off.

“It’s definitely very difficult,” Raymond reflected. “I’ve missed a lot of games in my collegiate career, definitely more than I would’ve wanted to. We work so hard during practice and that’s your payment, that’s your reward, to play in the game and it stinks to just be sitting on the bench watching.”

The palpitations are still a concern (she recently had one during the overtime win against Bentley and needed to be subbed out right away to get her heart rate down before re-entering the game), but Raymond has overcome them, worked her way into shape, and is once again playing at the level that made her one of the stars of the NE-10.

“We talk about mental toughness all the time and mental health too,” Raymond said. “Everyone has their own struggles and just being able to come together as a team and being able to pick each other up and push through adversity every day, just being there for each other helps us a lot.”

Kayla Raymond

Raymond is leading the Skyhawks, and is fourth in scoring the conference, at 18.2 points per game. She also leads Stonehill in rebounding and, since the new year, has scored 32 in one game and 26 in two others. Last Saturday, against one of Stonehill’s biggest rivals and the team it beat in the NE-10 championship game two years ago, she reached the 1,000-point plateau in just her 60th career game.

“I tried not to look at the board to see where I was at, that wasn’t my main focus, I just wanted to win the game,” said Raymond, who reached the milestone with a layup late in the fourth quarter. “I scored that last basket and I was running back on defense and I couldn’t help but smile. It was an awesome feeling. I was feeling so many things the other day, I can’t even describe it.”

After a timeout, Raymond was able to be recognized for her accomplishment and take a second to let it sink in, but only a second because there was still a game that needed to be won. With less than a second remaining, Stonehill had an inbounds under the basket and the ball was thrown up to Raymond in the paint. She caught it in mid-air and was able to finish over a crowd of players at the buzzer.

“We huddled up and knew exactly what play we were running,” she said. “Coach didn’t even need to call timeout, we knew. That was a perfect pass by Emily (Bramanti) and a perfect screen by Bella (Isabella Santoro). That was an unbelievable feeling. The game winner, that was unbelievable. I’ll take winning a game over scoring 1,000 any day.”

She added, “I could not have scored 1,000 points or won the game the other day if it wasn’t for my teammate who passed me the ball or my teammate who set the screen for me. I owe it all to them, I really do. As much success as I have out there, I can’t take all the credit for that.”

After being lifted up by her teammates at center court, Raymond went to the stands to see her family. She said that one of the reasons she chose Stonehill and to stay in Easton was that her family could easily come see her play and this was a moment to share with them.

“I walked up the stairs and the crowd was up there and I got cheers right away and it just felt amazing,” Raymond recalled. “I went over to them and gave them a hug and my mom had tears in her eyes and that made me have tears in my eyes. It was a great feeling.”

Kayla Raymond

In addition to her family, Raymond also shared the experience with her good friend and another former Hockomock star, Mansfield’s Meg Hill. They have played AAU together since their sophomore year of high school, held a signing ceremony together when they both chose Stonehill, and have been roommates in college. Hill’s mother made decorations to celebrate Raymond’s milestone basket.

“I love her like a sister,” Raymond said. “She’s my best friend and I’ve known her for so long and it’s just amazing to experience that with her. It’s a great relationship and I love the fact that she was there and I got to be able to experience this with her.”

From health concerns to all that the pandemic has thrown at them over the past two years to just navigating life at college, Raymond said she is grateful to have Hill (a 1,000-point scorer while at Mansfield) there through it all. “She definitely knows me better than anyone else and we’re able to talk to each other and completely open up. If I’m struggling, she’s always there for me. It’s awesome just to have someone like that here with me.”

Although the Skyhawks, who are currently ranked No. 9 in the D2SIDA East Region poll, suffered a setback against Pace this week (in a game that Raymond missed), there is renewed confidence in the team. Stonehill bounced back yesterday with a win over Assumption, powered by Raymond’s game-high 26 points. Raymond believes Stonehill is coming together at the right time to make a run and can compete with anyone in the NE-10.

“I think we all feel like we’re in a really good spot right now,” she explained. “We’re all so locked in and we want to win and we know we can win.”

Ed. Note – Raymond was back in the lineup on Saturday, scoring 26 points to lead Stonehill to a win against Assumption, improving the Skyhawks’ record to 10-7 on the season. It was the third time in the last four games that Raymond scored 20-plus points.

2018 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars

Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Kayla Raymond, Oliver Ames

Hockomock League All Stars

Samantha Pierce, Attleboro
Hannah Jerrier, Canton
Ashley Sampson, Foxboro
Lily Sykes, Foxboro
Bea Bondhus, Franklin
Ali Brigham, Franklin
Shannon O’Connor, King Philip
Meg Hill, Mansfield
Ann Maher, Mansfield
Kate Irwin, Milford
Emily Piergustavo, Milford
Julia Santos, North Attleboro
Kayla Raymond, Oliver Ames
Emma Eberhardt, Sharon
Val Whalen, Stoughton
Aliyah Wright, Stoughton
Lily Patneaude, Taunton

Hornets Stumble in Semi Against South Power Braintree

Mansfield girls basketball
Meg Hill goes up for two of her game-high 19 points against Braintree in the Div. 1 South semifinal at Taunton High. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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TAUNTON, Mass. – In the quarterfinal round against Wellesley, Mansfield (20-6) went on a quick four-point run at the end of the first half that cut the deficit to single digits and gave the Hornets, who have been a standout second half team all season, a little extra confidence heading into halftime.

On Thursday evening at Taunton High, the Hornets got off to a tough start to their Div. 1 South semifinal against Braintree. Plagued by turnovers and struggling to knock down shots in the first half, Mansfield was still able to cut the Wamps lead to 10 points and head coach Mike Redding implored the Hornets to win the final three minutes of the half.

Instead, it was the Wamps that went on a run that essentially won the game.

Braintree went on a 12-1 run in the final three minutes of the second quarter to push the lead to 21 and kept the pressure on throughout the second half, pulling out a 68-40 victory that advanced the Wamps to their seventh straight South final.

“It was kind of what they did last year, they put runs on us and we can’t answer the runs,” said Redding. He added, “The first half we were just so uncharacteristic, throwing the ball away, and we lost so many possessions and when we did turn it over it led to transition points.”

In last year’s South final, Braintree caught fire and rained down threes to beat Mansfield, but on Thursday the Wamps were struggling from the floor in the opening quarter. Braintree was able to build a lead thanks to its defense, which forced a number of turnovers in the opening half and put pressure on the Hornets ball-handlers to deny the entry pass into Meg Hill in the post.

“I thought they played great defensively,” said Redding about the Wamps. “Everyone on the floor is athletic and they’re getting in passing lanes, nothing’s easy. Trying to get it into Meg, but they’re doubling, we didn’t hit many threes, just not many answers. They were simply the better team tonight.”

After Hill scored from a lobbed Ann Maher pass to make it 4-2, Braintree went on a 7-0 run before Hill scored again, this time on Steph Kemp assist. Jeniyah Jones beat the Hornets defense on the baseline and the Wamps led 13-6 after one.

In the second, Hill (19 points and five blocks) continued to be the lone Hornet to find any success on the offensive end. She scored four of the team’s seven points and had all four of Mansfield’s made field goals in the opening half.

Mackenzie Moore scored five points for the Wamps and Jones continued to fill up the scoresheet with eight of her team-high 15 points, including the final six points of the half. She also finished with 10 steals, eight rebounds and five assists. Braintree turned a 22-12 lead into 34-13 by the end of the half and completely took control of the game.

“We know [Jenna] Roche and [Adriana] Timberlake and Mackenzie Moore,” said Redding, “but then kids like Jones come off the bench and get some layups, gets to the line and buries every free throw. I said pregame, they make you pay for every mistake and every turnover led to points.”

It may have been a little too late to save the semifinal, the Hornets did find their offense in the second half. Hill completed a three-point play, Kemp knocked down a jumper off a Sydney Mulkern assist, Maher grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a jumper for her only two points of the game, and Emily Vigeant chipped in with all six of her point in the third.

Mansfield scored 15 points in the third quarter, two more than it scored in the entire first half, but the Wamps were able to score 19 and continued building the lead. Timberlake (14 points) drilled a three, Jones added three points and assisted on back-to-back baskets for Alyssa Tenaglia. Braintree led 53-28 after three.

Maggie Danehy, who was coming off a career-high 20-point game against Wellesley, scored four of her five points in the fourth, but Hill was the focal point for the Hornets down the stretch, scoring eight points to close out her standout career, which Redding said was definitely worthy of the school’s Hall of Fame.

During her four varsity seasons, Hill went to four Div. 1 South semifinals and won three straight league titles, while playing in a remarkable 100 games for the Hornets.

“She’s been a workhorse,” Redding said of Hill. “She hasn’t missed a game due to illness or injury and to average a double-double for 100 games is ridiculous. It’s just a great senior class. I mean, four Final Fours in Div. 1 South, thee championships in a row…it’s tough to end in a game like this where you don’t feel like you competed but when you look at the whole big picture it’s been an amazing run for this senior group.”

The Hornets have been one of the most consistent programs in Div. 1 in recent years, but talented Braintree teams have always stood in the way. Redding is expecting that Mansfield will be right back in the mix again next winter.

He said, “We’ve got a slew of juniors coming back and we’ll compete next year. Braintree’s got a great program; I’m glad some of those seniors are gone so they may come back down to everyone else’s level.”

Hornets Turn It On After Break to Reach Semifinal

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield junior Maggie Danehy (42) scored a game-high 20 points to help the Hornets come from behind and beat Wellesley in the Div. 1 South quarterfinal at Taunton High. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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TAUNTON, Mass. – Mansfield scored the final four points of the first half to cut the Wellesley lead to single digits going into the break in Saturday afternoon’s Div. 1 South quarterfinal at Taunton High. At the time it didn’t feel like much of a turnaround, but for a team that has been dominating in the second half all season it was just the spark that was needed to get going.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hornets turned that small four-point swing into a 13-0 run to get its first lead since the game’s opening basket, allowed only three points in the third quarter and only gave up 11 in the second half. In the end, it turned out to be a 35-11 run to close out the game and give Mansfield a 48-35 victory that books a return to the semifinal.

“That third quarter has been somewhat magical for us,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “I don’t really say much, they just come out and figure it out and start making shots and the momentum builds. When you make shots, then you play better on defense and momentum is so powerful in the game of basketball.”

One of the keys to the comeback was a change from a 1-3-1 zone into a more traditional 2-3 look that allowed the Hornets to get out to the Raiders’ shooters. In the early going, Mansfield was scrambling and Wellesley took advantage.

Emma Dougherty, Brooke Guiffre and Sofie Paulsen each knocked down threes in the opening quarter, as Wellesley opened up a 17-7 lead, which was aided by Meg Hill picking up two fouls inside the opening four minutes of the game. Paulsen (15 points) also got free for seven points in the second, including a three that put Wellesley ahead 24-13.

“We tried some gimmick stuff,” Redding explained. “We didn’t practice, we literally walked through at Mass Premier in the dark this morning how we were going to defend them. We went back to just basic zone and our kids rotated. They have three really good players, but we did a really good job of finding those three.”

The comeback started innocuously enough, as Hill came back into the game and scored off an assist by Ann Maher and then she got a layup off a drive and dish by Sydney Mulkern. The four points cut the lead to seven going into the break and Redding was pleased with the way the team weathered the storm while Hill was in foul trouble.

He said, “We hung in the second quarter with Meg with two fouls and that was the turning point. It was starting to get away from us and when she got two [fouls] in the first quarter I was worried but we hung in, got it to single digits, got into halftime with a little confidence and now we’ve got Meg back in a regular rotation.”

Mulkern assisted on another Hill bucket coming out of halftime and then Maggie Danehy knocked down a jumper to cut the lead to three. Junior point guard Mady Bendanillo then went on a personal 5-0 run that put Mansfield ahead for the first time since it was 2-0. She got a steal and layup plus the foul to tie the game and then grabbed a defensive rebound and beat everyone down the floor for the layup and the lead.

“I don’t know if she had a turnover,” said Redding of Bendanillo. “We run a lot of stuff and she knows exactly where to go with it and I thought that few minute stretch where she was driving and off transition, scoring points for us, really put the game away for us.”

The lead didn’t last long, as Gianna Palli stepped way beyond the arc to hit a three to make it 27-26, but that would be the only basket that the Hornets allowed in the third. Danehy scored on a put-back and then Maher (seven points) made her only three of the game to put the Hornets up by four heading to the fourth.

Mansfield kept the pressure on in the fourth thanks to Danehy, who scored six of the first nine points in the quarter, including a free throw line jumper off a Maher assist that made it 37-30. She finished with a game-high 20 points and pulled down six rebounds.

“Since they were double-teaming Meg, I was open a lot more than I usually am, which helped,” Danehy said after the game. “They left the lane open a lot, so I tried that. It’s way better once you get a couple baskets. It’s always harder to get going if you don’t score in the beginning.”

Wellesley only managed eight points in the fourth, including a pair of threes, and was never able to get any closer than five points.

Maher got free with a cut down the lane off an inbounds pass from Emily Vigeant, who had three assists in the fourth. Hill scored a layup off a Vigeant pass and Bendanillo (10 points and four assists) scored with a drive down the lane. Hill (10 points and 12 boards) capped the win with a layup in traffic off a Danehy assist.

When asked to explain the Hornets’ second half dominance this season, Danehy replied, “We realize that we need to get it together after halftime and [Coach Redding] is always so good at telling us what we need to improve on.”

Mansfield (20-5) will face another familiar Bay State Conference opponent in the semifinal, as the Hornets will get a rematch with No. 2 seed Braintree, which beat Mansfield in last year’s sectional final.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
D1 Central

#1 Franklin, 79 vs. #8 Lincoln-Sudbury, 49 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

D2 Central
#5 Milford, 67 @ #4 Medfield, 60 – FinalMilford jumped out to a 9-0 lead, led 18-10 after the first quarter, took a 37-28 lead into the halftime break and never surrendered its advantage. Medfield used a 9-5 run to close the gap to single digits in the fourth quarter but Milford closed the door to earn the win. Senior Andrew Fraioli paced the visitors with 19 points and 15 rebounds, junior Brendan White added 19 points and 10 rebounds and senior Shane Cosquete chipped in with 11 points.

D2 South
#4 Foxboro, 60 vs. #13 New Mission, 43 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

#7 Canton, 53 vs. #10 O’Bryant, 58 – Final

Girls Basketball
D1 South

#3 Mansfield, 38 vs. #14 Newton North, 28 – FinalIt wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Hornets held off a Newton North comeback in the second half to advance to the Div. 1 quarterfinal. Meg Hill scored 11 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in the win and Maggie Danehy added 11 points and eight boards for Mansfield, which will host sixth seed Wellesley on Saturday afternoon.

#5 Oliver Ames, 69 vs. #12 New Bedford, 39 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

Hornets Rally in Second Half to Win Roundball Classic

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield senior Meg Hill scored a team-high 19 points, including 12 in the second half, as the Hornets rallied for a win against Lowell. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – All season long, Mansfield has found a way to turn games around in the second half by locking down on the defensive end of the floor and getting good looks on offense. The Hornets needed those in-game adjustments again on Wednesday night in the final of the Roundball Classic at the James Albertini Gym.

Mansfield went on an 18-4 run between the third and fourth quarters to turn around a nine-point deficit against Lowell and then held off the Red Raiders in the closing seconds for a 50-48 victory in the regular season finale.

“The third quarter has been pretty good for us,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “The kids are pretty smart, so we make a couple of adjustments on ‘O’ and ‘D’ and they execute at both ends. The triangle-and-two, we didn’t practice it yesterday, we just practiced box-and-one, but they executed like we practiced it for a week.”

At the start of the game, Mansfield went with a box-and-one, using Sydney Mulkern and Emily Vigeant (with the other four defenders always looking to help) to face-guard Lowell senior Shyan Mwai. It worked to stop Mwai, who hit a step-back three but was held to four made field goals and 12 points in the game.

The problem was that her classmate Brittany Mota was finding spaces in the zone and knocking down shots. She scored five in the first to help Lowell build a 12-9 lead after one quarter. She caught fire in the second, getting open looks from both corners and knocking down three from beyond the arc and scoring 11 of her game-high 22.

On offense, Hornets were getting decent looks but were unable to knock down shots consistently. Meg Hill (19 points and 14 rebounds) hit a jumper that cut the Lowell lead to 22-20 but the Red Raiders finished the half on a 7-0 run.

Redding was frustrated during the second quarter, at one point yelling for his team to ‘wake up.’ Apparently the halftime conversation did just that because Mansfield came out of the break looking like a different team, in part because of a defensive switch.

“Mato killed us in the first half, so we went from a box-and-one to a triangle-and-two and that seemed to slow them down a little offensively and our other three kids were able to keep the other three off the boards,” Redding explained.

Ann Maher was switched onto Mato, holding her scoreless for the first 15 minutes of the second half. Still, when Mwai went down the lane and scored plus the foul, the Hornets found themselves trailing 38-31, but the Red Raiders would not make another shot from the floor until the final minute of the game.

Vigeant hustled to score on an offensive rebound and Kara Bendanillo knocked down a pull-up jumper to close the gap to three points heading into the fourth. Hill and Maggie Danehy (14 points and 11 rebounds) each scored four in the third, as the Hornets started to get the ball inside.

“We got simpler on offense because of all the traps and just moved the ball so much better in the second half without the turnovers,” said Redding. “It makes a world of difference when you’re not turning it over and getting it inside to Meg Hill.”

That was the game plan for the fourth, as Hill got the ball under the basket on numerous occasions. Vigeant got a steal and fed Hill for a layup and she scored off a lobbed assist by Mulkern that put the Hornets ahead 41-40, their first lead since it was 13-12.

Danehy, who was named the tournament’s MVP, assisted on a layup for Mulkern and then chased down an offensive rebound and scored to build the lead. After a pair of Lowell free throws, Hill scored again in the paint, this time from a Maher assist, and then Maher (nine points) added a pair at the line to seemingly ice the game at 49-42.

Mato had other ideas. She buried a three to cut the lead to four and then added a second three with 3.4 seconds remaining that got the visitors back within one. Maher made 1-of-2 at the line but Lowell could not collect the rebound and the game ended with a narrow Mansfield win.

“This was a really good test against a quick defensive team that had a couple really good offensive players and our division is really good but there’s not a lot of size…so they’re kind of the same style as Wellesley and Braintree,” said Redding as he looked ahead to the state tournament.

He added, “This was a good win. It secures No. 3 [seed], it secures two home games, which in our division is a pretty valuable place to be.”

Mansfield finishes the regular season at 18-5 (16-3 in terms of seeding for the tournament).

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/19/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 60 @ North Attleboro, 38 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Foxboro, 56 vs. Bishop Feehan, 36 – FinalFoxboro senior Joe Morrison hit three three-pointers in the fourth quarter, helping the Warriors pull away from the visiting Shamrocks. Morrison also scored 12 of his game-high 25 points in the second quarter while the Foxboro defense limited Feehan to just four points in the frame, taking a 27-15 lead at half. Bobby Harrison added 15 points in the win.

Franklin, 76 vs. Tech Boston, 67 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 65 vs. Falmouth, 66 – Final (OT)

Mansfield, 69 vs. Brockton, 64 – FinalMansfield senior Johnny McCoy poured in a career-high 35 points to lead the Hornets to a comeback win against the highly touted Boxers. Brockton held a 37-31 lead at halftime and took a 55-54 advantage into the fourth quarter. Mansfield outscored the Boxers 15-9 in the final frame. McCoy hit four three-pointers and went 13-for-19 from the line with five steals. Justin Vine added eight points while Damani Scott (five rebounds) and Ryan Otto each had seven points.

Milford, 74 vs. Tantasqua, 65 – FinalMilford had a dominant third quarter, pouring in 26 points in the frame to turn a five-point lead at halftime (30-25) into a 56-42 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Junior Brendan White had a team-high 16 points, senior Zach Tammaro added 12 points and Andrew Fraioli finished with 11 points. Kayden Kelley had a double-double for the Hawks with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Oliver Ames, 57 @ Walpole, 49 – FinalOliver Ames seniors Jack Spillane and Matt Muir each dropped 23 points to lead the Tigers to the Walpole Hoop Classic Championship. The Tigers built a 32-23 lead at halftime with Muir, who notched a career-high, hitting three triples. Spillane and Noah Fitzgerald were named to the all-tournament team.

Stoughton, 76 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 53 – FinalStoughton senior Cam Andrews dropped 25 points and classmate Colin Sanda added 15 points to lead the Black Knights to a win over Lincoln-Sudbury. The Black Knights will play host Waltham in the final of the Jake n Joe’s Basketball Cup on Tuesday at 7:00.

Girls Basketball
North Attleboro, 44 @ Attleboro, 56 – FinalSam Pierce led the Bombardiers to the non-league win with a career-high 27 points. Jordyn Lako, Mackenzie Roberts, and Nyah Thomas each pulled down nine rebounds for Attleboro. Julia Santos was North’s top scorer with 12.

Foxboro, 66 vs. Hanover, 59 – FinalClick here for a Recap from this game.

King Philip, 43 vs. Needham, 60 – Final

Mansfield, 60 vs. Marlboro, 21 – Final – The Hornets turned on the defense in the third quarter, holding Marlboro to only three points, and scored 23 points themselves to break the game open. Ann Maher scored 16 points, knocking down five threes, for Mansfield, while Maggie Danehy added 10. Erin Daniel, Meg Hill, Sydney Mulkern, and Kara Bendanillo each added six points apiece for the Hornets. Mansfield will face Lowell in the tournament final after the Red Raiders upset Coyle.

Stoughton, 52 vs. Norwood, 38 – FinalAliyah Wright scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Black Knights, who closed out the regular season by winning 11 of their final 12 games. Stoughton, which held Norwood to only two points in the first quarter and seven in the opening half, also got 12 points from Val Whalen and nine points and 13 rebounds from Jordan Motley.

Taunton, 56 @ Durfee, 47 – FinalThe Tigers closed out the season with a non-league road win, after rallying from a 15-point second half deficit. Kelsey White paced Taunton with 15 points. Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez each scored 11 for the Tigers, Hannah Moniz added nine, and Lily Patneaude had eight.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 2 vs. East Bridgewater, 3 – Final

Franklin, 3 vs. LaSalle Academy, 4 – Final

King Philip, 1 vs. Norwood, 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 vs. North Reading, 5 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 6 vs. Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 2 – FinalJunior Lauren Fitzpatrick recorded four points to held the Bulldogs skate past Whitman-Hanson. Fitzgerald scored hat trick and had one assist in the win.

King Philip, 3 @ Natick, 6 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 7 – Final

Hill Hits Milestone, Hornets Clinch Title at Franklin

Mansfield girls basketball
Senior center Meg Hill celebrates with her teammates after scoring her 1,000th career point in the Hornets’ win at Franklin that clinched at least a share of a third straight league title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Mansfield had a lot on the line when it traveled to its biggest rival on Friday night. A win against Franklin would clinch at least a share of a third straight league title for the Hornets, while senior center Meg Hill was only seven points away from reaching 1,000 for her career.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With a layup off a feed from Mady Bendanillo late in the first quarter, Hill (17 points, nine rebounds) made quick work of her accomplishment, but the Hornets needed to battle to the end to pull out a 62-48 victory that sealed a three-peat of Kelley-Rex titles.

“We had a chance to come over here to get a share of the title with a 1,000-point scorer, lets get it all done tonight,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “I’m glad it’s over and now we can relax and a win against KP to win it outright takes a little pressure off when we play OA (in the league finale).”

Hill got on the board off the opening tip, as Franklin allowed the Hornets to take a quick lead in order to get points for senior forward Kate Morse, who is out for the season with an injury.

Ann Maher got off to a red-hot start from the outside to help Mansfield stretch the floor and open up an early lead. She hit the first of three from beyond the arc in the quarter off a Hill feed and then Hill knocked down a jumper for a 7-2 advantage. After the Panthers tied it up, another Maher three was followed by another jumper by Hill.

Ali Brigham (11 rebounds) hit a jumper, the first two of her team-high 16 points, but Maher again was able to answer with another shot from long distance. Sitting just one-point from 1,000, Hill reached the milestone with a transition basket, off a feed from Bendanillo (eight assists).

Hill, who became just the second female player in Mansfield history to reach 1,000 points, passed the credit for her milestone on to her teammates. She said, “I don’t shoot on my own. I don’t dribble the ball. So, passes from them are really how I get my points and I really couldn’t have done it without them.”

After a timeout to celebrate Hill’s career mark, Bendanillo closed out the first with a three for a 20-9 lead. The Hornets finished with nine threes as a team.

“We knew Maher was a good shooter and you try to rotate the defense to her and Meg and other set some good screens and she knocked down some quick ones but I thought it was the supporting cast that really shot well for them and really made the difference tonight,” said Franklin coach John Leighton.

Franklin did not back down and rallied in the second quarter. Mansfield tried to switch up defenses to limit Brigham and Bea Bondhus, but Breanna Atwood (10 points) banked in a three-pointer and got behind the defense for a layup off a feed by Megan O’Connell. O’Connell also scored six in the second, finding space at the high post.

“Our kids battled back,” said Leighton. “The shots kept falling for them but we kept battling back and working to get twos. It was a slog, but we stayed with it. I thought at the end of the first quarter we’d find out really quick who we were and we rebounded pretty well.”

Bendanillo (eight points) drilled a second three and Hill scored on an offensive rebound, but O’Connell’s drive in the final minute cut the lead to just 29-26 at halftime.

“She got it done early,” said Redding of Hill getting to 1,000 points, “but then after that they started to come on and had a great second quarter, but I thought we really came out in the third and reestablished ourself with a good inside-outside game.”

The Hornets broke the game open in the third quarter. Maher (15 points) hit the fourth of her five three-pointer on the night to get it started and Hill hit another jumper. Sydney Mulkern (nine points) scored five points in quick succession and suddenly it was a 13-point edge.

Bondhus (10 points) hit a three to get back within 10 but Mansfield showed its depth with Steph Kemp hitting a jumper, Emily Vigeant driving to the basket for two, and Erin Daniel draining a three to push the lead to 48-35 heading to the fourth.

Redding said, “We got a lot of points not by design. We just made smart passes against traps and found open people out of the offense.”

Both teams found scoring a struggle at the start of the fourth and Franklin was able to chip away at the lead, getting it as close as 56-48 after Bondhus finished in traffic, but the Hornets went 6-for-6 from the line to close it out.

“I thought Bea and Ali were super-aggressive in the fourth quarter and we needed them to be,” said Leighton. “All the shots didn’t fall but I thought we got the looks that we needed and we got some defensive stops that we needed.”

Wins at Franklin are always welcome for the Hornets. Four years ago a loss at Franklin cost Mansfield a share of the league title and the Panthers handed the Hornets their only league loss on the same court last season. So, Redding was pleased to walk away with the victory on Friday.

“Any win at Franklin is a tough one,” said Redding. “Both teams switching up defenses left and right and it seemed like both teams had answers. Ali played great, Meg played great, it was a great battle between two of the best teams in the Kelley-Rex.”

In between celebratory photos with teammates, family, and friends, Hill turned her attention not to the points she has scored in her career but to the fact that she has been part of three straight league championships. She said, “That’s what I really wanted. This is just a sidenote, but three league titles that’s really cool. I’m glad to be part of that.”

Mansfield (15-4, 13-1) can clinch the outright league title on Tuesday at King Philip. Franklin (11-7, 9-5) will try to bounce back when it travels to Attleboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/06/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 46 @ Mansfield, 64 – Final

Canton, 44 @ Milford, 45 – FinalMilford junior Brendan White hit a three with 0.4 seconds left while being fouled, elevating the Hawks to a win after a wild final minute. Milford had a 42-40 lead with under 30 seconds to play and even got a stop but a jump ball gave Canton the ball back. Devin Foster (17 points) hit three free throws after being fouled to take a 43-42 lead, and after a Milford turnover, Foster hit another free throw to give the Dogs a 44-42 lead. But White took a pass from Kayden Kelley (10 points, 10 rebounds) and hit the winning shot while being fouled. Andrew Fraioli added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Milford while Tony Harris had 16 points for Canton.

Foxboro, 59 @ Stoughton, 53 – FinalFoxboro hit six three-pointers in a 30-point third quarter, turning a 32-16 deficit at halftime into a 46-46 tie heading into the fourth quarter. Bobby Harrison scored five of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter while Joe Morrison added 12 points and Matt Rongione had 11 points, including three triples in the third. Anthony Mollica added five of his eight points in the fourth quarter for Foxboro. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews had a team-high 18 points while senior Steevens Phelimond had a career-high 16 points for the Knights.

Franklin, 63 @ Taunton, 51 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Oliver Ames, 60 @ King Philip, 68 – Final

Sharon, 45 @ North Attleboro, 58 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Chad Peterson returned from injury and scored a career-high 23 points, draining seven three-pointers to lead the Rocketeers to a win over Sharon. Peterson hit four triples in the opening quarter, two more in the second and another in the fourth. North led 34-27 at halftime and 43-38 at the end of three. The Rocketeers clinched the game with a 15-7 fourth quarter. Josh Montague added 11 points for Big Red while Jacob Petersen finished with eight points. Sharon’s Malik Lorquet had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and nine blocks while Alex Kaufmann added 14 points.

Girls Basketball
Mansfield, 58 @ Attleboro, 40 – FinalMeg Hill had her 12th double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds and she also added four blocks. Hill is now seven points shy of 1,000 for her career. Ann Maher and Sydney Mulkern each added nine points for the Hornets. Sam Pierce paced Attleboro with 11 points and Liv McCall added eight.

Milford, 42 @ Canton, 38 – Final

Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 74 – FinalFoxboro went on a 17-0 run after the opening basket by Stoughton to take control and added a 10-0 run to close out the first half. Ashley Sampson was the game’s top scorer with 18 points, while Grace Tamulionis added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Foxboro also got 12 points from Lily Sykes and nine points from Abby Hassman. Val Whalen led the Black Knights with six.

Taunton, 42 @ Franklin, 69 – Final

King Philip, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 61 – FinalOliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond continued her stellar play this season, scoring 31 points and hauling in 10 rebounds to led the Tigers to a win at home. Alex Sheldon added nine points and 14 rebounds while Erin Holmberg chipped in with eight points.

North Attleboro, 47 @ Sharon, 24 – Final

Mansfield, 146.8 @ Oliver Ames, 142.1 – Final