CANTON, Mass. – With just under four seconds left to play in Monday night’s game at the Masciarelli Gym, Samya DaSilva got two hands on a defensive rebound and Canton was able to get a quick timeout to draw up one last play. Down three points and needing to go the length of the court, the attempted baseball pass was picked off near mid-court by Vanessa Ellis (five steals), who dribbled out the clock.
The steal allowed Attleboro to squeak past the Bulldogs 32-29 in a competitive game that featured plenty of energy and effort but not much offensive flow and even less scoring.
“It’s a ‘W’ in the win column, so I’ll take it, but there’s things we need to work on,” said Attleboro coach Bri Bracken. “We learned a lot and again we’ve just got to play through contact. I think we look a lot for drawing fouls and just go up strong. It’s going to be a long week ahead of us, so we just need to take it day-by-day.”
Canton has lost seven times this season by 10 points or less. In the past two weeks, the Bulldogs have faced the top three teams in the Kelley-Rex and lost by a combined 11 points, while holding all three to under their season scoring marks.
Defense has been Canton’s calling card all season, but the Bulldogs, who graduated a combined 3,100 career points from last year’s roster, haven’t gotten the baskets they need to covert those impressive defensive performances into victories.
“We knew coming into the summer that defense was probably going to have to be something we hang out hat on and at least give us a chance to play with any of the teams,” Canton coach Jim Choquette explained. “In the third quarter we didn’t even give them a field goal, it was just a couple of free throws. The girls work so hard to set screens the right way, run plays the right way to get themselves opportunities.”
Things started out fine for the Bombardiers, who scored nearly half their total points in the opening quarter and jumped out to a 15-7 lead. Avery James buried a three and Kayla Goldrick (10 points, nine rebounds, and four steals) took a long lead pass from Lily Routhier for a quick layup.
Han Hong (five points) grabbed an offensive rebound to get Canton on the board and Erin Beatty followed a Goldrick layup with a put-back that cut the lead to 7-6. It set a pattern, as Canton was aggressive on the glass to limit the Bombardiers to one shot and earn extra possessions on offense. Beatty (four points) would finish with 19 rebounds, including 13 in the first half.
“She might be the best player I’ve ever coached in terms of overall rebounding in her career,” Choquette said of Beatty. “Without those extra possessions that Erin and Emily and all the girls come up with defensively, we’d be in real trouble. Those extra opportunities give us the chance to take extra shots, get back into our sets.”
Attleboro closed the first on an 8-1 run. Routhier (eight points and eight boards), who recorded a triple-double last week, drilled a three and James followed with a tough, pull-up jumper. Merry Bosh then closed the scoring for the Bombardiers by knocking down a deep two for an eight-point lead at the first intermission.
The Bombardiers scored 15 points in the opening eight minutes. Over the next 16 minutes, they managed just two field goals and eight points.
“We were just being too passive,” Bracken said. “Kids were trying to give it to another girl, thinking they may have a better shot. They were trying to be unselfish, but they always play unselfish. There’s a difference between playing passive and unselfish. It was a mess.”
Canton was hardly lighting up the scoreboard on the other end. The Bulldogs would score seven in the second and just five in the third, managing to only cut the first-quarter deficit in half heading to the fourth.
Bosh opened the second with a three to extend the lead to 11, Attleboro’s largest of the night, but those would be the only points for either team until the final 2:30 of the quarter. Beatty again turned an offensive rebound into points, using a nice post move to score. After freshman Tia Williamson got her only basket of the night (off a nice entry pass by Bosh), Jess Wright knocked down a pair at the line and DaSilva (seven points and three blocks) drained a three from several steps behind the line. Attleboro went to the locker room ahead 20-14.
Offense seemed to get even harder to come by after the break. Emily McCabe (five points and nine rebounds) turned a steal into a layup, but the score remained the same until Goldrick made a pair at the line with 3:19 left in the third. A minute later, Hong was able to slice through the lane for a layup and cut the lead to just three, but Ellis would add one free throw (her only point of the night) in the final minute of the quarter.
The fourth quarter almost felt like an offensive explosion compared to the previous two. Mercia Kolokithas drilled a three on a kick-out by DaSilva. Routhier followed with a baseline jumper to go back up three, but then Kolokithas got free from straightaway and nailed a second triple to tie the game at 25-25 with 6:06 to play.
Attleboro finally got a little going on the other end when Routhier restored the lead on another jumper. Goldrick followed with a tough runner in the lane to make it 29-25. Down five with 2:14 to go, McCabe would get a clean look at a straightaway three and brought Canton to within just two points.
DaSilva had a chance to tie the game at the line with 1:38 left, but hit one of two. As the shot clock was winding down 35 seconds later, Goldrick hit the biggest shot of the night, pulling up on the baseline for a short jumper and a three-point lead.
Attleboro was 4-of-8 from the line coming into the fourth, but went just 1-of-8 in the final eight minutes, giving Canton chances to tie, but the Bulldogs couldn’t find the clutch shot and the Bombardiers escaped, pulling even with Franklin in the win column.
Bracken told her team after the final whistle, “You guys need to have confidence in yourself. I know I have confidence in them. We’re a really good team. We have a long road ahead of us but, and I didn’t want to jinx it, us and Franklin are battling right now and you have to keep that in the back of your mind and we need to grind it out. Keep working hard and hustling every game no matter what.”
Attleboro (9-3) travels to Durfee on Wednesday in a game that could have a lot of say in Div. 1 power rankings. Canton (2-10) gets a second look at Notre Dame Academy, which held off the Bulldogs by four points in Hingham in early January.
Attleboro, 63 @ North Attleboro, 51 – Final – Attleboro built a double-digit advantage by halftime and kept the host Rocketeers at bay throughout the second half to score a rivalry win on the road. The Bombardiers limited North to single-digit scoring in each of the first two quarters and a 16-point second quarter, highlighted by eight points from Hayden Crowley (14 points total), helped extend the lead to 30-16 after two quarters of action. The Rocketeers got their offense going with 19 points in the third as sophomore Austin Clemente caught fire from downtown, hitting four triples in the frame while classmate Jonnie Obuchowski hit another had had five in the frame to help the hosts close the gap to just seven, 42-35, going into the fourth. Crowley, Jaiden Outland (12 points), and Michael Beverly (seven of his 10 points in the fourth) each hit a triple in the final frame to keep Attleboro ahead. Junior Neo Franco had a team-high 16 points for the Bombardiers while senior Givany Carney led North with 15 points apiece.
Mansfield, 69 @ Canton, 43 – Final – Mansfield senior Chris Hill set the tone early by scoring all 12 of his points in the first eight minutes, helping the Hornets establish a big lead that they kept the rest of the way. Hill sank a trio of three-pointers in the first for a 19-6 lead after just a period of play. Davon Sanders added seven of his career-high 18 points in the second while the Hornets got baskets from Trevor Foley (13 points), Eddie McCoy, and JT Veiking to stake a 34-22 lead at halftime. Mansfield continued to outscore the Bulldogs as Foley had seven more in the third and Caden Colby added a three. Sanders, Colby, Foley, McCoy, Veiking, and senior Michael Creedon all scored in the fourth to add to the lead. Matt Chafin had a trio of threes in the second and finished with a team-high 13 points while Jamaal McConnell added 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ Foxboro, 56 – Final – Foxboro took the lead in the first quarter and never surrendered it, grinding out a hard-fought win against Oliver Ames. After a slow start from both sides saw the Warriors stake an 11-6 lead after a quarter, the Warriors had their best offensive stretch with 19 points in the second quarter. Sophomores Ryan Kelley and Nolan Gordon each hit a three, Ryan LeClair and Ryan Cotter each added a bucket, and senior Alex Penders had half of his team-high 14 points in the frame to give Foxboro a 30-22 advantage at the break. OA’s Nick Asiaf hit two of his six threes in the third quarter and had eight of his career-high 22 points in the game while sophomore Zach Ivanoski had five points to help the Tigers claw back into it and cut the deficit to 41-37 going into the fourth. Penders had an early three-point play to start the fourth and LeClair drained a corner three to push Foxboro’s lead to 10. Chris Elias answered for OA with four straight points but Gordon sank his second triple of the game to keep the Warriors ahead.
Milford, 46 @ Franklin, 66 – Final – Franklin played well on both sides of the ball, pouring in 36 points in the first half while limiting the visitors to just 16, and the Panthers never looked back from there. After taking a 15-6 lead through one quarter of action, Franklin really extended its advantage with 21 points in the second quarter. Andrew O’Neill had half of his 10 points in the second, Caden Sullivan added a triple, and Sean O’Leary had seven of his team-high 17 points in the game to build a 36-16 halftime lead. Geino Scaringello had two threes and finished with 10 points for Franklin, which had 11 players register points. Sophomore Andrew Rivera (five rebounds) and freshman CJ Farrell (eight rebounds) paced the Hawks with 16 points apiece.
Stoughton, 61 @ Sharon, 77 – Final – Sharon had six players contribute to a massive first quarter and the Eagles never looked back after that in a win at home over Stoughton. Matt Baur had two threes and eight of his 13 points in the first quarter, Ryan Brown and Tyler Goodman each added a triple, and Jack Bates, Jacob McLoughlin, and Nate Katznelson each had field goals as the Eagles blitzed the visiting Black Knights to stake a 25-6 lead after a quarter. Katznelson finished with a team-high 21 points and hauled in 10 boards and McLoughlin added 14 points and seven assists in the win. Obi Dike and Nathan Figaro each had career-highs, finishing with 14 points apiece while Elijah Connor chipped in with 11 points for the Black Knights.
North Attleboro, 32 @ Attleboro, 56 – Final – Attleboro carried over the momentum from its strong second half on Tuesday, jumping out to a 32-13 lead in the first half on Friday. Kayla Goldrick scored a career-high 21 points for the Bombardiers, 15 of them coming in the first half. Vanessa Ellis added 18, splitting her points between the two halves. Molly Moore hit a pair of threes for her six points. Katie Corsetti was North’s top scorer with seven points, all of them coming in the first half. Ella McLaughlin and Sam Sweeney each scored six in the loss. With the win, Attleboro stays just a game back of league-leading Franklin.
Canton, 34 @ Mansfield, 54 – Final – Mansfield led by four points at halftime, but broke the game wide open with a 20-5 third quarter, sealing its seventh win in the past eight games. Abby Wager sparked the rally in the third, scoring 12 of her game-high 19 points in the quarter. Kara Santos added 10 points, Bridget Hanley had eight points (all in the first half), and Rose Maher finished with seven for the Hornets. Canton was tied after one and trailed just 26-22 at the break. Samya DaSilva buried three triples and scored a team-high 17, including 10 points in the first half to keep the Bulldogs close. Freshman Deanna Kolokithas scored seven and her sister Mercia hit a first quarter three for Canton.
Foxboro, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 32 – Final – Foxboro stayed perfect in league play and moved a game closer to a Davenport title with a convincing win over the defending champs. The Warriors, who knocked down nine threes as a team, got off to a big start and never let up. Foxboro led 21-5 after one quarter and went into the break up 37-12. The Warriors kept it up in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 35-20 for its second straight win by 40-plus points. Kailey Sullivan was the game’s top scorer, burying five triples and finishing with 19 points. Camryn Collins added 17 (12 in the first half), Addie Ruter scored 14, and Erin Foley had 10 in the win. Isabelle Chamberlin gave Foxboro a lift on the boards with a game-high 14 rebounds. Freshman Avery Gamble led OA with 15, 10 coming in the second half. Fellow rookies Maeve Horsman and Kamryn Derba each scored five for the Tigers.
King Philip, 62 @ Taunton, 41 – Final – KP had nine different scorers and secured its fifth straight victory, remaining two back of Franklin in the Kelley-Rex standings. The Warriors jumped out to a 15-2 lead after one and 34-14 heading to the locker room. Jordan Bennett and Emily Sawyer combined for 23 of KP’s points in the first half to take control of the game. Sawyer finished with a game-high 21 and Bennett added 15. Jessi Persky chipped in with six in the win. Taunton got 11 points from Tarynn Campbell, seven of them in the second half as the Tigers put 27 on the board. Cali Melo scored eight (six after the break) and Lexi Haywood hit a pair from beyond the arc in the second half. Skylar McCrohan also had six for the Tigers.
Franklin, 57 @ Milford, 28 – Final – Franklin locked down on defense, holding Milford to just 10 points in the first half, and exploded for 28 second quarter points to pick up a seventh straight win, clinch a playoff berth, and hold onto its one-game lead in the division. Leading 9-4 after one, Franklin found another gear in the second. Katie Peterson had a dozen, Chloe Fales added eight, and Caelyn Leonard scored six in the second quarter. Fales (trio of three-pointers) and Peterson each finished with 16 points and Leonard had eight. Milford scored 14 in the third, cutting two points off the lead. Brooke Ferreira had five of her six points in the frame and Emily Croteau (six points) knocked down one of her two threes in the quarter. TJ Downing had four for the Hawks.
Attleboro, 47 @ Sharon, 57 – Final – Attleboro rallied to get within two possessions with just under a minute to go but the Eagles got a big stop and hit enough free throws to hold on for the win. Senior Matt Baur had his best game of the season as he poured in a game-high 24 points along with six rebounds while junior Nate Katznelson added 12 points and eight boards for the Eagles. Sharon took a seven-point lead into halftime (26-17) but a 19-point third quarter pushed the Eagles’ advantage to 45-32 going into the fourth quarter. Baur had eight points in the third while Katznelson, Ryan Brown, Jacob McLoughlin, Dante James, and Tyler Goodman (10 points, including two threes in the fourth quarter) each added a bucket to give Sharon a double-digit lead. Attleboro made it interesting int he final three minutes with a 9-0 run. Jaiden Outland (14 points) hit two free throws, Hayden Crowley got a floater to fall and followed with a three-pointer off an offensive rebound, and Outland added a tough reverse finish with 46 seconds left to make it 53-47.
King Philip, 51 @ Canton, 55 – Final – Canton had a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter but had to hold off a late push from visiting King Philip before securing the win. Senior Matt Chafin (team-high 16 points) dropped in three three-pointers in the first half while Zaza Francoeur and Caden Mirliani each added one in the third to give the Bulldogs a 38-27 lead going into the fourth. Julius Hicks had five points in the fourth while Chafin, Jeremiah Predin (11 points), Jamaal McConnell, and Ashton Cetoute all contributed to the scoring column in the final quarter to keep Canton ahead. Tommy Martorano and Will Laplante each had 15 points to lead the way for the Warriors, who had 24 points in the fourth quarter after scoring just 27 points through the first three.
North Attleboro, 47 @ Foxboro, 63 – Final – Foxboro doubled its lead in the third quarter and then pulled away for good with its best offensive stretch in the fourth quarter. Ryan Kelley hit a pair of threes in the first half and Nolan Gordon, Andrew Finn, and Alex Penders each had one — plus eight points from Ryan Cotter — as the Warriors staked a 31-27 lead at halftime. Ryan LeClair added a triple in the third while Foxboro’s defense held North in check in the third with just eight points allowed to make it 43-35 going into the fourth. Penders finished with 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, Sam Golub had seven of his 11, and Gordon added two more buckets on his way to a career-high 12 points. Givany Carney had five of his team-high 15 points in the second, Derek Maceda (15 points) added two buckets, and both Austin Clemente and Chase Frisoli hit threes in the second to kept North close at half.
Milford, 63 @ Stoughton, 73 – Final – Buoyed by a big third quarter, Stoughton snapped a three-game skid with a win over Milford. Sophomore Matt Greenspoon hit three of his five three-pointers in the first half and freshman Anthony Alessi dropped in two more as the Black Knights staked a 32-28 lead at half time. Greenspoon added two more threes in the third, Liam Pearl had four of his 12 points, Tagh Swierzewski sank a triple, and senior Jayden Costa-Haywood got going offensively with nine of his team-high 24 points in the third as the Black Knights won the quarter 25-12. Milford sophomore Andrew Rivera hit four threes and finished with a team-high 19 points, sophomore Luca Testa added 14 points, and freshman CJ Farrell also had four threes and finished with 12 points.
Taunton, 46 @ Oliver Ames, 43 – Final – Oliver Ames put up 30 points between the second and third quarters to take a lead into the final frame but the visiting shorthanded Tigers from Taunton limited the hosts to just seven points in the fourth and held on for the win. Junior Troy Santos scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, helping his side cut a seven-point halftime deficit (24-17) down to just three (36-33) going into the fourth. Tyson Carter (nine points) and Al Morisseau each had four points in the fourth quarter to help Taunton close it out. Jakari Innocent and Chris Volcy had six points apiece for Taunton. OA freshman Soren Lolonga tied a career-high with 21 points, including 16 in the first half. Sophomore Cole Craffey added 10 points while Nick Asiaf and Chris Elias each had a three in the third to keep OA ahead. OA had a couple of looks at the tying three in the last minute but couldn’t get a shot to fall.
Sharon, 51 @ Attleboro, 73 – Final – Lily Routhier scored a career-high in points and recorded a triple-double to power the Bombardiers to a bounce back win over Sharon. Routhier finished with 26 points, 10 steals, and 11 rebounds, allowing the Bombardiers to overcome a 35-point, 21-rebound performance from Sharon forward Jasmine Davis and stay within a game of league-leading Franklin. Davis dominated the first half, scoring 20 points and Tess Letendre (five rebounds) added seven of her nine before the break to send the Eagles into the locker room ahead 32-29. Attleboro held Sharon to 11 points in the third, nine of them from Davis, to take the lead and the hosts carried that momentum into the fourth quarter, outscoring Sharon 26-8 to earn the big win. Routhier sparked the big final quarter, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and scoring 11 points. Avery James added a pair from beyond the arc and eight points in the fourth for Attleboro. James finished with 17 points and Kayla Goldrick added 12. Vanessa Ellis and Sarah Maher also chipped in with six points apiece in the win.
Canton, 43 @ King Philip, 47 – Final – Jackie Bonner scored 13 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, allowing KP to hold off a late charge by the Bulldogs and secure a fourth straight win. Emily Sawyer also scored 18 for the Warriors, eight of them coming in the first quarter as KP took an early 9-6 lead. She added five more in the second and Bonner had three to open a 23-16 advantage at the break. The deficit stayed the same through three quarters, but Samya DaSilva sparked a Canton comeback in the fourth. She scored 10 of her game-high 21 in the final eight minutes and Mercia Kolokithas (six points) knocked down a three to chip away at the KP lead. Bonner kept the Bulldogs at bay, burying three shots from beyond the arc. Sawyer added another three points in the quarter as well and KP hung on. Maddie Paschke provided six points for the Warriors, while Canton got five points apiece from Han Hong and Erin Beatty.
Foxboro, 71 @ North Attleboro, 30 – Final – North Attleboro ran a triangle-and-two to try and limit Foxboro’s backcourt scoring, but sophomore center Addie Ruter continued her strong season and scored a game-high 17 points to help the Warriors secure their 10th win. Foxboro is the first of the league’s girls basketball teams to clinch a postseason berth. The Warriors continued to play their league-best defense, holding North to 11 points in the first half to build a 20-point lead going into the locker room. Despite the attentions of North’s defense, Camryn Collins finished with 16 points and Kailey Sullivan added 15. Erin Foley also got to double digits, scoring 10 for the visitors. Freshman Ella McLaughlin was North’s top scorer, knocking down four threes to finish with a dozen points.
Stoughton, 45 @ Milford, 47 – Final – Milford rallied in the fourth quarter, overturning a three-point deficit and pulling out a second league win of the season. Emily Croteau sparked the rally by scoring seven of her 11 points over the final eight minutes, with freshman Katelyn Kearnan chipping in with three more and Aliza Syed adding her lone basket of the night. Kearnan scored a career-high 14 to lead the Hawks, knocking down a trio of three-pointers. Brooke Ferreira scored a dozen points, six of them in the third. Katrina Varnum was Stoughton’s top scorer with 14 points and added 16 rebounds and four blocks, Kirsten McKay added 12 points in the loss, and Leah McCarty had eight points, 12 rebounds, and a pair of blocks. Varnum and McCarty combined for 10 in the second quarter, as the Black Knights outscored Milford 18-12 to take a 26-21 lead into the locker room. Kearnan and Ferreira would help the Hawks chip away at the deficit, combining for 11 points in the third to bring Milford back within three.
Oliver Ames, 63 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – OA continued its strong recent form, winning its fourth straight game. The visitors turned the game on its head right from the start, outscoring Taunton 19-3 in the first to build a big lead that it would carry to the final whistle. Kamryn Derba, Kaydance Derba, and Sarah Hilliard combined for 17 of those 19 in the first. Taunton rallied in the second to cut the deficit to 11, as Chelsea Bousquet and Lexi Haywood scored 11 points together in the quarter. OA put the game out of reach with a 17-6 third. The same trio again stepped up for the visitors, combining for 13 in the frame. Kamryn Derba finished with a game-high 16 points, while her older sister added 13 points, including a trio of triples. Hilliard also finished in double digits with 10 points. Bousquet led Taunton with eight, Haywood scored seven, and Tarynn Campbell added six.
Franklin @ King Philip, 7:00
Sharon @ Mansfield, 7:00
Foxboro, 42 @ Attleboro, 48 – Final – Foxboro hit a three with six minutes to go to create an eight point lead but Attleboro closed out the game on 16-2 run to snag the win. Michael Beverly (nine points) hit a tough layup and Connor Houle followed with a three-pointer. Spencer Sherck’s lone field goal of the game was a big one as he sank a triple to bring the Bombardiers even at 40-40, and after another defensive stop, Beverly hit a contested elbow jumper to put Attleboro ahead. Following a Foxboro miss, Hayden Crowley used a pump fake to buy some space and rattled home a three to make it 45-40 with three minutes to go. Foxboro’s Alex Penders (22 points) turned a turnover into a layup to make it a one-possession game, but the Warriors couldn’t crack Attleboro’s defense again. Jaiden Outland (15 points) beat the shot clock with a mid-range jumper with just 20 seconds left in the game to push it to 47-42. Foxboro led 13-12 after a quarter before Attleboro rallied for a 27-22 halftime lead. The Warriors held the hosts to just two points in the third to take a 34-29 lead into the fourth.
Canton, 52 @ Franklin, 57 – Final – The Bulldogs battled hard on the road and kept pace with top-ranked Franklin but the Panthers ultimately hung on for a hard-fought win. Canton came to play from the jump, building a 14-12 lead after a quarter but Franklin fought back in the second including five points from sophomore Caden Sullivan, who was making his season debut. Junior Sean O’Leary got it going in the second half for the Panthers, scoring 14 of his team-high 18 points after the break. Carrying a 39-35 lead into the fourth, Bradley Herndon and Justin Allen hit key threes to keep Franklin ahead. Ben Harvey added 10 points for Franklin. Jamaal McConnell had a team-high 15 points for the Bulldogs, Zaza Francoeur added 13 points, and Matt Chafin finished with 10 points.
Sharon, 76 @ King Philip, 68 – Final – King Philip cut the deficit down to three in the fourth quarter but Sharon never surrendered its lead and picked up an important win on the road. KP had a lead after the first quarter (17-14) and at halftime (34-33) but the Eagles pulled ahead in the third. Dante James scored nine of his 16 points in the third and Nate Katznelson added eight of his 21 points in the frame as Sharon swapped a one-point halftime deficit into a 56-50 lead going into the fourth. Tyler Goodman scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth and the Eagles went 8-for-9 from the line (15-for-18 for the game) to keep the lead. Jacob McLoughlin added 14 points for the visitors and Matt Baur chipped in with 12 points. Will Laplante went 11-for-14 from the free throw line and finished with a team-high 19 points, Tommy Martorano added 14 points, and Grant Kinney chipped in with 13 points.
Mansfield, 71 @ Milford, 52 – Final – Mansfield set the tone with a 21-point first quarter and increased its lead throughout the next three quarters to land a road win at Milford. The Hornets created a six-point lead after one (21-15) and extended it by double digits at halftime (33-23). Mansfield finished with 13 three-pointers and had five players score in double figures. Caden Colby hit four of those threes and had a team-high 14 points along with four boards and three assists while Eddie McCoy (12 points, nine assists, three steals), Davon Sanders (11 points, four assists), Chris Hill (11 points, six rebounds) and JT Veiking (10 points) each connected on two threes.
Oliver Ames, 38 @ North Attleboro, 30 – Final – North Attleboro opened the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run to get within a point but a big three from OA sophomore Cole Craffey (13 points) with just over two minutes left kept the Tigers ahead for good. Givany Carney scored six of his 11 points in the fourth, Jonnie Obuchkowski hit a three, and both Ryan Bannon and Derek Maceda chipped in with two points as the Rocketeers closed a 29-17 deficit at the start of the final quarter down to 31-30. Craffey’s three restored a two-possession lead for the Tigers. Craffey hit two free throws with a minute to go to extend the lead to 36-30. Freshman Soren Lolonga led OA with 14 points.
Stoughton, 46 @ Taunton, 81 – Final – Taunton built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and then dominated the second half to run away with a 81-46 win over visiting Stoughton. After a 21-point first quarter, Taunton established a 36-25 lead at halftime. The Tigers kept the pressure on in the third with 21 more points but turned up their aggressiveness on defense, forcing five turnovers and holding the Knights to a total of seven points to extend the advantage to 57-32, ending the frame with a 9-0 surge. Freshman Jakari Innocent had a strong game on both ends, finishing with a team-high 18 pooints, 10 rebounds, six steals, three assists, and two blocks. Chris Perault (17 points), Alivensky Morriseau (13 points, five rebounds), and Chris Volcy (12 points, 15 rebounds, three steals) all finished in double-digits for Taunton while Troy Santos chipped in with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and a pair of steals. Stoughton senior Jayden Costa-Haywood scored the Knights’ first 21 points and finished with a game-high 26 points.
Franklin, 47 @ Canton, 41 – Final – Franklin avoided a big upset on Tuesday and moved into a first-place tie with Attleboro ahead of Friday’s showdown. Canton jumped out to a 14-9 lead after one. Mercia Kolokithas buried a pair of threes and Emily McCabe had one in the first to help the Bulldogs grab the early advantage. The Panthers were able to cut the deficit to one before halftime, but managed only 18 points in the opening 16 minutes. Franklin would grab a one-point lead in the third. Katie Peterson scored six of Franklin’s 12 points to make it 30-29 going to the fourth. In the final eight minutes, Franklin’s offense finally clicked and the Panthers scored 17 points. Peterson added four more, finishing with a team-high 17, and Chloe Fales added five of her 10 points. Samya DaSilva scored four of her five points in the fourth to help keep Canton close. The Bulldogs finished with eight three-pointers as a team. Kolokithas made five of them and she scored a team-high 17. Emily McCabe chipped in with seven points. Bridget Leo added seven for the Panthers.
King Philip, 48 @ Sharon, 38 – Final – Jasmine Davis scored 17 points for the Eagles and Eva Poulton added 10.
Milford, 30 @ Mansfield, 56 – Final – The Hornets got off to a slow start offensively, but a 16-2 second quarter helped Mansfield open up a double-digit lead at halftime. Abby Wager was the top scorer for the Hornets with 15 points, including six in the third quarter as Mansfield broke the game open. Kara Santos added 14 points, scoring six of Mansfield’s 10 in the first and six of the 13 in the fourth. Rose Maher and Bridget Hanley each chipped in with five points apiece. Milford was led by Aliza Syed, who scored 10 points and knocked down a pair of threes. Erin Michelson scored five in the loss.
North Attleboro, 32 @ Oliver Ames, 60 – Final – OA won back-to-back games for the first time this season, scoring 20 points in the first quarter to grab a lead that it never relinquished. Kaydance Derba (eight rebounds) scored eight points in the first, with Avery Gamble (10 rebounds and five steals) and Sarah Hilliard adding six apiece for the Tigers. Leading 31-16 at the break, the Tigers came out of the locker room intent on putting the game away. OA scored 23 points in the third, with Gamble scoring 12 of her game-high 18 and fellow freshman Kamryn Derba (five assists) scoring nine of her 11 in the quarter. The Derba sisters each scored 11 points and each nailed a trio of three-pointers. Hilliard would finish up with 10 points. Annie Reilly came off the bench to give the Tigers a spark on the defensive end, grabbing six boards and four steals. North battled to the end, holding OA to only six points in the fourth. Ava McKeon (six points) returned from injury to give North a spark on both ends of the floor. Sam Sweeney added eight points for the visitors.
Canton, 46 @ Notre Dame Academy, 51 – Final – Mercia Kolokithas knocked down five threes and scored a career-high 17 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Bulldogs in a tough road loss against a fellow Div. 2 playoff contender. After a slow start offensively, Canton scored 20 points in the second quarter, including a pair of threes from Kolokithas, to take a 25-20 lead at halftime. Fatima Sidibay added six of her 10 points in the quarter to help Canton jump in front. NDA came back in the third, holding Canton to just five points and taking a six-point lead into the fourth. Kolokithas buried a trio of threes in the fourth and Emily McCabe knocked down one, as Canton scored 16 points in the final quarter, but the Bulldogs weren’t able to get the stops they needed to complete the comeback.
Foxboro, 2 vs. Norton, 5 – Final
Stoughton/Sharon, 0 @ St. Joseph Prep, 5 – Final
Taunton @ Franklin, 7:00
Franklin, 131.60 @ Mansfield, 137.60 – Final
North Attleboro, 125.35 @ Mansfield, 137.60 – Final
North Attleboro, 125.35 vs. Franklin, 131.60 – Final
King Philip, 74 @ Attleboro, 67 – Final – King Philip built a big lead, survived a rally from Attleboro, and held on for a key win on the road. The Warriors used a 20-point first quarter to establish a double-digit lead carried that advantage into the fourth quarter with a 58-46 lead after three quarters. A quick 6-0 surge — back-to-back threes from Tommy Martorano (19 points) and Tommy Kilroy — to start the fourth pushed the lead to its peak at 64-46 less than a minute into the final frame. But from there, it was a big run from the hosts as the Bombardiers rattled off a 17-2 run over the next five minutes as Jaiden Outland hit a 10-foot jumper to make it a one-possession game. Attleboro forced a turnover but KP got it right back on a steal and score from Tommy McLeish (career-high 15 points) with two minutes to go. A pair of free throws from Outland got the hosts within three again but missed on two chances to cut into the deficit. Trevor Clyde (11 points) converted a layup on the other end, KP got a stop, and Grant Kinney laid in a transition bucket to pull away in the final minute. Will Laplante added 17 points for KP while Outland led Attleboro with a game-high 24 points. Neo Franco added 15 points and freshman Connor Houle chipped in with a career-high 11 points for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 59 @ Stoughton, 54 – Final – Canton got off to a strong start in the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way, securing a key Davenport division win on the road at Stoughton. Matt Chafin (15 points), Jamaal McConnell (11 points) and Caden Mirliani (10 points) each hit a three in the opening frame to help the Bulldogs build a 17-8 lead after eight minutes. The Black Knights battled to get back into it, trailing by three (34-31) at halftime but Canton kept the advantage through three (46-40) and throughout the fourth quarter. Zaza Francoeur added 13 points for the Bulldogs, scoring eight in the second half. Stoughton had four players reach double figures with Jayden Costa-Haywood leading the way with 13 points. Matt Greenspoon added 12 points and both Tagh Swierzewski and Jarred Daughtry had 11 points.
Taunton, 53 @ Franklin, 61 – Final – Franklin erased a first quarter deficit with a big second quarter, nearly pulled away in the third quarter, and then held off a late comeback bid from Taunton to stay undefeated on the year. Taunton senior Chris Perault (16 points) hit a pair of first quarter threes to give the Tigers a 14-8 lead after one but Franklin’s offense cashed in for 18 points in the second as junior Sean O’Leary started to get going. O’Leary had 10 of his career-high 34 points in the second to jump start the offense and Franklin also got points from Andrew O’Neill (10 points), Bradley Herndon, Justin Allen, and Hansy Jacques to stake a 26-21 halftime lead. An 8-1 start to the second half presented the Panthers with their first double-digit edge but the Tigers clawed back into it got it down to 47-38 going into the fourth. Taunton rallied with a 9-2 run inside the final four minutes and cut the deficit down to five in the final moments but Franklin pulled away for the win. O’Leary finished 10-for-14 from the line and hit 11 field goals — nine from 2-point range. Taunton junior Troy Santos scored 15 of his team-high 22 points after the break to keep the Tigers close.
Oliver Ames, 41 @ Mansfield, 58 – Final – Mansfield built a big lead with an impressive second quarter and then blew the game wide open with a dominant third on its way to a victory over Oliver Ames. The Hornets led by just three (10-7) after eight minutes but exploded for 19 points in the second as Trevor Foley scored eight of his 20 points (tied a career-high) in the second and Chris Hill (10 points), Eddie McCoy, JT Veiking, and Davon Sanders each chipped in with points to give Mansfield a 29-14 halftime lead. Mansfield’s offense continued on but the defense really impressed in the third, holding the Tigers to just four points — one field goal and two free throws. Foley added 10 more in the period as the lead ballooned to 47-18 going into the fourth. Sophomore Cole Craffey led OA with 13 points.
North Attleboro, 44 @ Milford, 58 – Final – Milford got off to a great start with 18 points in the first quarter and opened the second half with 19 points in the third quarter and never looked back in a win at home over North Attleboro. Luca Testa paced the Hawks early on, dropping 10 of his 13 points in the first quarter to help Milford stake an early 18-6 lead. North’s Givany Carney had nine of his team-high 16 points in the second to help the Rocketeers keep pace going into halftime (30-18) but Milford had five players contribute to the scoring in a big third quarter to pull away for good. Sophomore Andrew Rivera had 7 of his team-high 15 points in the third, Gus Coutinho added five more, and Testa, CJ Farrell, and Nick Araujo all added to the scoring.
Attleboro, 58 @ King Philip, 44 – Final – Attleboro broke the game open with a 15-6 third quarter, pulling out a big road win that leaves the Bombardiers alone in first place in the Kelley-Rex through a quarter of the league campaign. Lily Routhier scored seven of her team-high 15 points in the first, as Attleboro jumped in front 19-13. Emily Sawyer helped KP cut into the deficit by scoring 10 of her team’s 12 points in the second, making it a five-point game heading into the locker rooms. Sawyer would finish with a game-high 18. Kayla Goldrick scored 14 for Attleboro, including 11 in the second half, while Avery James added 13 and Vanessa Ellis had 10 points. The Bombardiers knocked down 10 three-pointers as a team, with James and Routhier each hitting three. Maddie Paschke joined Sawyer in double digits for the Warriors, scoring 12 points, and Jackie Bonner and Taylor Regan each scored seven.
Stoughton, 25 @ Canton, 50 – Final – Canton’s defense locked down the Stoughton offense, allowing no more than eight points in any quarter and only three points over the final eight minutes, to even its record at 2-2. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 29-14 lead at halftime, added a point to their lead in the third, and then outscored the Black Knights 12-3 in the fourth to put the game away. Samya DaSilva scored a team-high 11 points for Canton, including eight in the fourth. Erin Beatty scored nine points, all in the first half, and knocked down a pair of threes. Mercia Kolokithas had six, also with a pair from beyond the arc, and Ava McCoole and Emily McCabe each scored five points in the win. Freshman Kirsten McKay led all scorers with 12 points, 10 of them coming before the break. Leah McCarty added six points and Alyssa Edwards finished with five, including an and-one that was all of the Black Knights’ points in the fourth.
Foxboro, 89 @ Sharon, 40 – Final – Kailey Sullivan buried eight three-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Warriors to a big road win that keeps them alone atop the Davenport division. Camryn Collins added 18 points and Addie Ruter had 16 for Foxboro, which had all 10 players get on the scoresheet.
Franklin, 59 @ Taunton, 39 – Final – Franklin got off to a strong start, jumping out to an 18-8 lead after one quarter, extended the lead to 15 at halftime and handed Taunton its first league loss of the season. Chloe Fales scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Panthers. She scored 13 of her points in the first half and went 8-for-10 from the line. Katie Peterson added 13 points, eight in the first half, and Lizzie Newman and Caelyn Leonard each scored seven for the Panthers. Taunton was led by Cali Melo, who scored all 11 of her points in the first half. Taryn Campbell chipped in with six points for the Tigers, who also got five points apiece from Jillian Doherty and Aaliyah Yera.
Milford, 29 @ North Attleboro, 43 – Final – North Attleboro put in a strong defensive performance to pick up its second win of the season. The Rocketeers held Milford to just 10 points in the opening half to build a double-digit lead. Milford rallied several times in the second half, but each time North was able to find a way to stymie the comeback. Sam Faria knocked down five from beyond the arc and finished with a career-high 20 points, powering the North offense to its third-highest scoring day of the season. Maryellen Charette gave North a post presence, finishing with 10 points.
King Philip @ Attleboro, 7:00
Canton @ Foxboro, 7:30
North Attleboro, 60 @ Milford, 76 – Final – Corey Rattray, Stefano Bonito, and Josh Anderson each won three events to lead the Hawks to the league win. Rattray took first place in the 100-free, as well as being part of the winning 200 medley an 200 free relay teams. Bonito was also part of both relay wins and also claimed the top spot in the 50 free. Anderson was on the 200 free relay and grabbed individual wins in both the 200 and the 500 free. Oskar Khoury also had a pair of wins for Milford, as part of the 200 medley relay and in the 200 IM.
Oliver Ames @ Sharon, 6:00
King Philip @ Attleboro, 7:00
Canton @ Foxboro, 7:30
North Attleboro, 82 @ Milford, 79 – Final – North Attleboro got a big day from Vivian Racine to pull out a close win over Milford. Racine took first in four events on Friday afternoon, finishing tops individually in the 100 breast and 200 IM. She was also part of the winning 400 free relay, along with Hannah Liang, Gianna Leco, and Sophia Roukhadze, and the 200 medley relay, with Cassie Hobson, Megan Atwood, and Liang. Leco also took first in the 100 fly. Milford kept it close from start-to-finish, thanks in large part to the three first-place finishes for Sarah Wengel. She was the top swimmer in the 50 free and the 100 free, and was part of the winning 200 free relay, joined by Caitlyn Bangert, Vedi Raval, and Madelyn Stochaj.
2021-2022 Record: 16-7 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Brianna Bracken
Former Attleboro standout Bri Bracken took over the coaching duties late in the preseason a year ago, but she stepped right into her first varsity job and led the Bombardiers to a 16-win season and a return to the state tournament. The graduation of top scorer Meg Gordon will be tough to replace, but the Bombardiers have a versatile lineup and a focus on the defensive side of the ball that still makes them a tough challenge even for the top teams in the league.
Attleboro returns only two starters from last season. Junior Kayla Goldrick impressed in her first two years on varsity, playing on the wing or as the primary ball-handler. Her control on both sides of the ball will be critical this season. Senior Lily Routhier, who transferred from Wheelock last year, is a strong rebounder and can score in multiple ways around the paint. Sophomore Vanessa Ellis wasn’t a starter for most of last year, but she came through with some big games down the stretch, scoring in bunches around the rim and being a force on the glass.
An injury to junior Rylie Camacho will deprive the Bombardiers of one of their best perimeter shooters, but Bracken will be hoping that juniors Merry Bosh and Molly Moore and sophomore Avery James can step into bigger roles in the backcourt and add scoring punch. Senior Sarah Maher is going to have a bigger role on both ends this season, bringing the energy and intensity every game. This will be a different look from last year, as the Bombardiers will have different go-to players every night.
“We have a great mix of experience and youth,” Bracken said. “We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been intense and the girls have been working really hard.”
2021-2022 Record: 16-7 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Quarterfinal Coach: Jim Choquette
How do you move on from graduating not just one but three of the best players in program history? That will be the challenge for Canton coach Jim Choquette this season, as the Bulldogs are coming off a winter that included a rare home playoff game and a trip to the Div. 2 quarterfinals and return a group of players that have experience but will need to step into bigger roles this year.
There is a veteran core that the Bulldogs will be relying on. Senior forward Samya DaSilva can score in the paint and knock down shots from the perimeter, while classmate Erin Beatty has been a force on the boards and brings a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. Senior guards Emily McCabe, Marissa Staffiere, and Han Hong all can run the point and are strong defensive players who will be tasked with keeping the ball moving for Canton on offense to find the best shot.
In addition to those familiar faces, juniors Fatima Sidibay and Jess Wright will provide additional athleticism in the frontcourt. Junior Mercia Kolokithas can stretch defenses with her perimeter shooting and sophomore Sally Hoban will provide depth on the wing along with Ava McCoole. Deanna Kolokithas is another newcomer to watch this season, as she can give Canton a boost at point guard, allowing the veteran guards to move off the ball.
“Every season is different, even if you have similar players,” Choquette explained. “We have spoken about that this year and I’ve encouraged our team to write their own narrative, what they want, how they want to get it, and the sacrifices they’re willing to make to accomplish it. I’m so excited to see how we respond as coaches to help them and as players to achieve.”
2021-2022 Record: 14-8 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Sweet Sixteen Coach: Lisa Downs
While head coach Lisa Downs knew there would be some growing pains for a roster loaded with underclassmen, Foxboro was not only building for the future in 2021-22 but showing that it could already compete with the league’s top teams. This season, adding a year of experience to their talented core, the Warriors will be aiming to get back to the top of the Davenport division and make a run in the state tournament.
The backcourt was the key for Foxboro last winter. Sophomore Kailey Sullivan burst onto the scene and was the rare freshman that could lead a team in scoring and also look right at home running the point against the tough defenses in the Hock. Junior Camryn Collins finished just behind Sullivan in the scoring charts, but her handle, her athleticism, and her ability to read the game made her an impact player on both ends of the court. Add in junior Erin Foley’s tenacity on the defensive end and it is a backcourt that can cause any team problems from baseline to baseline.
Foxboro also got solid contributions in the front court from sophomore Ava Hill, who looked increasingly comfortable as the season wore on, and junior Isabelle Chamberlin. Sophomore Adie Ruter will be a new piece to the puzzle this season. The 6-foot-2 center gives a new dimension to the Warriors’ offense and her development in the off-season has her poised for a breakout year. Freshmen Kylie Sampson and Adrianna Porazzo continue the tradition of underclassmen jumping right onto varsity with an opportunity to contribute.
“I’m anxious to get started working with this team,” Downs said. “I really envision a pretty high ceiling once we get established. We will continue the Foxboro team culture of hard work on defense and team play on offense, so it will be pretty exciting to see what they are able to accomplish.”
2021-2022 Record: 22-2 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Quarterfinal Coach: John Leighton
Franklin has dominated the Kelley-Rex division for the past four years, which included a state title run as well, but with a lot of new faces jumping into the lineup this season, the league title race could be a lot closer this winter. The Panthers may not be able to overwhelm teams with size like they have in past few years, but an athletic core of players returns to play typically tough defense and get out and run on the break.
The focal point this season will be senior forward Katie Peterson. After a breakout junior year in which she led the team in scoring, the UMass girls lacrosse commit comes back as one of the top wings in the league. Her athleticism will be critical on both ends of the floor. Senior guard Bridget Leo is also back to run the offense and will be one of the team’s top perimeter defenders. Senior Lizzie Newman emerged last season as a solid rebounder and post defender and her outside shooting could be a major factor.
There are also several players who stepped in at times last year that will need to take on bigger roles for the Panthers this season. Junior Sasha Tracey gives Franklin good length on the wing and adds another athlete that can get out on the break and finish. Her improved outside shot will also help stretch defenses. Sophomore Chloe Fales is a newcomer to watch with her athleticism and ability to score at multiple levels.
“This team is working to find its identity and play unselfish basketball,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “I have been very impressed with the leadership of our seniors who have stepped up and provided mentorship to our younger players to speed their integration into the team.”
2021-2022 Record: 11-11 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Jeff Miszkiewicz
Only the two division winners allowed fewer points per game than King Philip last season, as the Warriors focused on strong half court defense under first-year coach Jeff Miszkiewicz. Defense will remain key for KP this season, but there is also an effort to bring more balance to an offense that struggled to keep up with some of the top teams in the Hock. With a year of experience in the new system, the Warriors will be looking to provide a challenge to Franklin and Oliver Ames in the Kelley-Rex.
Senior center Emily Sawyer has developed into a force on both ends of the floor and her presence in the paint will be a major piece of KP’s play this year. An almost automatic double-double every night, Sawyer has improved her offense every year and remains an imposing shot blocker and disruptor on defense. Fellow senior Jackie Bonner will give KP much-needed balance on offense with her ability to shoot from distance and take defenders off the dribble. KP looked like a different team when she went down with an injury last season.
While Bonner and Sawyer get a lot of the attention, KP has solid depth in both the front and backcourt. Senior guard Leah Santoro gives the Warriors a tenacious perimeter defender and junior Jordan Bennett runs the offense well at the point and showed flashes of being a threat from three-point range. Junior forward Maddie Paschke provides energy, rebounding, and finishing in the paint, and classmate Kylie Watson continues to improve on shot-making both in the paint and from the outside.
Miszkiewicz is also counting on several new faces to add to his squad this season. “They all bring something different to the court and have a chance to really impact games this year,” he said. “We can score on all three levels consistently, so we look to attack any advantages that we can get. Last year, we prided ourselves on playing tough, gritty defense. We try to make every shot difficult and hold teams to one shot.”
2021-2022 Record: 12-11 2021-2022 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32 Coach: Heather McPherson
Mansfield will play in the Davenport division for the first time this winter and, with only three players graduating from last year’s playoff team and both of its leading scorers back, there are hopes that this could be a title-winning debut for the Hornets.
Senior Abby Wager is the team’s top scorer from a year ago and the athletic wing will be the focal point for most teams defensively this year. The Southern New Hampshire-commit causes problems on both ends of the floor with her length and speed and her addition of different facets to her offensive game. If teams want to extend out to the perimeter, Mansfield can also hurt them in the paint with junior forward Kara Santos, who emerged as a consistent scorer on the block.
Experience should be no problem for the Hornets, who have a host of players that gained valuable experience last season. In the backcourt, seniors Olivia Salisbury and Bridget Hanley can run the point and step up with big scoring nights when needed. Senior Natalya Gill was instant offense off the bench for the Hornets, while classmate Rose Maher can knock down big shots from the outside. Senior Brooke Butler gives the Hornets another strong rebounder and paint presence.
“Extremely excited for the season,” said McPherson. “The level of focus and pace that we have committed to this preseason makes me extremely excited for the season with these girls!”
2021-2022 Record: 5-14 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: TJ Dolliver
Milford brings back five seniors from last year’s team, including a pair of four-year varsity players at captain, which the Hawks hope can provide the leadership for a move up the Kelley-Rex standings. After winning five games a year ago, Milford continues to set its sights on getting back into the playoff picture.
Senior forward Emily Croteau is an all-energy player at forward and will be one of the players that Milford counts on at both ends of the floor. She crashes the boards, defends, and her hustle is infectious. Classmate Brooke Ferreira is more of a calming presence in the backcourt, getting the Hawks into their sets and knocking down shots on the perimeter. Fellow seniors Molly Hartman and Aliza Syed will add experience and strength in the paint.
Junior forward Khatrina Leger could be ready for a breakout year after impressing in flashes as a sophomore. Leger used her athleticism to keep possessions alive and was able to get creative with her finishing around the rim. Classmate Erin Michelson uses her length on the wing to cause problems on the defensive side and junior Maeve Driscoll can come into the game and make some big shots on the perimeter.
“We have a lot of versatile players with different skills so our offense and defense is going to rely on execution during the games,” said Milford coach TJ Dolliver. “I have a great group of girls who are ready to compete on a daily basis. We have a lot of room to grow and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes us.”
2021-2022 Record: 4-16 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Nikki Correia
North Attleboro incorporated plenty of youth into last year’s rotation and those young players will need to be ready from the start this winter because the Rocketeers are only returning four varsity players from 2021-22 and have as many underclassmen (four) as seniors on this year’s team. It is a guard-heavy rotation, which fits into head coach Nikki Correia’s preferred up-tempo style, but there will be a learning curve for a relatively inexperienced group.
Senior Ava McKeon will be the leader on the court for North this season. A four-year varsity player, McKeon gives the Rocketeers an edge with her tenacity, toughness, and athleticism. The rest of the team can feed off the energy that she provides on both ends of the court. Sophomore guards Sam Faria and Sam Sweeney both showed as rookies that they can knock down shots from the outside, but need to be more consistent to take the North offense to the next level. Classmate Maryellen Charette also impressed at times as a freshman and could be ready for a breakout year at forward. Confidence will be important for the younger players to meet the expectations that come from being regular starters.
North has added some new faces to the roster this year to contribute off the bench and give teams different looks. Senior guard Emma Hanwell and forwards Kylie James and Kayla Dominique, as well as junior forward Katie Corsetti will make the jump up from the JV team this season. Freshman guard Ella McLaughlin is another player with the potential to make instant contributions.
“I think our strengths on offense will be our quick guard play,” Correia said. “Our offense seems to be a little more organized and the guards are able to control the tempo. I am really looking forward to the season with this group of players. We are young and have so much potential to really surprise some opponents this year.”
2021-2022 Record: 22-3 (Davenport champions) 2021-2022 Finish: Won Div. 2 state title Coach: Brittany Engle
The defending Div. 2 state champions are going to have a very different look this season. Not only did Oliver Ames lose its top two scorers (Caroline Peper to graduation and Jasmyn Cooper to transfer) but also saw the retirement of legendary coach Laney Clement-Holbrook after more than four decades in charge. OA has turned to former assistant coach Brittany Engle, who is also a 1,000-point scorer and former state champ for the Tigers, who inherits a roster with only four returning players from last season.
Junior guard Kaydance Derba is the team’s top returning scorer and is one of the best long-range shooters in the league. Her length, her passing, and her ball-handling will all be critical for a team that is going to rely on a lot of relatively inexperienced players. Classmate Sarah Hilliard might be ready for a breakout season. The junior forward showed flashes of being a dominant post player last year, coming up with huge games on both ends of the floor during OA’s tournament run and her athleticism is a tough matchup for most teams.
A pair of seniors round out the returning players. Maddie Homer, who was voted volleyball MVP this fall, missed time last year due to injury but she came back to play a role in the state title game win against Norwood. She brings a lot of intensity on the defensive end and is another solid ball-handler that can get the Tigers into their sets. Classmate Grace Dupill will bring more athleticism to the forward position and leadership for a young squad that wants to challenge Franklin for the Kelley-Rex title.
“I’m excited for the season,” Engle said. “We’ve got a lot of good athletes who work hard, and are coachable and competitive. Coming off of a state title, expectations are high, but measured. This is a different team, but one with a lot of potential.”
2021-2022 Record: 4-16 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Matt DellaBarba
Coming off a four-win season, Sharon returns four starters and nine players from last year’s roster, intent on making a move up the standings in the Davenport division. There is a change on the sidelines, with former Plymouth South coach Matt DellaBarba taking over this season and he will be hoping to utilize the experience that the Eagles have to make a run at a potential playoff spot.
Most of the focus this winter will be on junior center Jasmine Davis. After a stellar first varsity season in which she introduced herself with a 30-point, 20-rebound debut against Milford, Davis was one of the most prolific post players in the league as a sophomore. Sharon can take advantage of the attention Davis will draw to create shooting space for classmate Rachael Hager, who can force defenses to stay home with her ability to knock down shots from distance. Senior Tess Letendre and junior Eva Poulton round out the returning starters and both are solid ball-handlers and defenders in the backcourt and give the Eagles balance on both ends of the floor.
There is going to be plenty of experience coming off the bench for Sharon as well. In the backcourt, senior Clara Armon and juniors Carmen Leonardi and Natalie David will give the Eagles good energy and aggressiveness. Seniors Samantha Dunham and Emily Freeman add depth, rebounding, and solid defense in the front court. DellaBarba wants to make sure all of his players are threats to score on offense and communicate well in his team defense scheme.
“Being completely new to the Hockomock League I’m not entirely sure what to expect in my first season in the league,” DellaBarba said. “I know year in and year out the Hockomock League is one of the most competitive leagues in the state, so our focus right now is making sure we’re approaching every practice and game with energy and giving maximum effort in every opportunity that we receive.”
2021-2022 Record: 1-19 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Eric Adams
Stoughton had its struggles in 2021-22, winning just one game, but the Black Knights are in the process of rebuilding through youth. With former assistant Eric Adams taking over for Charmaine Steele Jordan this winter, Stoughton will have continuity on the sidelines despite the coaching change and that should be a boost for a lineup that features only two seniors.
While young, Stoughton does have some varsity experience to call on. Senior guards Andrea Khouzami and Anna Hobbs will provide much-needed leadership in the backcourt. Junior Maiya Merritt is a quick guard who can get into the lane and sophomore Raina Tat showed that she has the ability to stretch defenses with her range, and the confidence to not pass up an open look.
In the front court, junior Alyssa Edwards is a three-sport athlete and she uses her strength and quickness to good effect on both ends of the court. Junior Katrina Varnum gives Stoughton a rim protector and a solid rebounder to protect the paint, while she also showed increasing confidence as a finisher around the rim. Sophomore Leah McCarty returns to give more depth on the block. Stoughton also has four freshmen on the roster, guards Kristen McKay, Molly Fox, Isabel Belmonte, and Cecelia Squires, who could be stepping in and getting minutes right away.
“This team is a young team; two seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and four freshmen,” Adams explained. “This year is going to be a building year and we are eager to grow as a program.”
2021-2022 Record: 4-16 2021-2022 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Gretchen Rodrigues
The transfer of the league’s leading scorer from last year, Kameron St. Pierre, will be a big challenge for Taunton this season. Losing more than 20 points per game, nearly half of the team’s nightly output, will obviously require more than just one or two players to step up. First-year coach Gretchen Rodrigues is counting on her team’s athleticism and focusing on the defensive end of the floor first to get the Tigers out and running this season.
Junior point guard Cali Melo will be a key player for the Tigers in this system, not only setting the pace for the team but also providing the energy on the defensive side of the floor. Melo is a tenacious defender and rebounder and will be like a coach on the floor. Junior guard Lexi Haywood provides long-distance shooting for the Tigers and is one of the players that could benefit from a few more touches on the offensive end. Sophomore Jillian Doherty gives Taunton more speed and finishing on the break and senior McMina Clermont adds more vocal leadership, defense, and rebounding.
While a lot of the focus is on the outgoing players, Taunton also got a transfer in who could be a major factor in the paint this season. Sophomore Skylar McCrohan has come from Somerset Berkley and Rodrigues will be counting on her crashing the boards and getting buckets in the post. Freshman Taryn Campbell is a quick guard and solid shooter, who will come in and contribute right away.
“We are going to push the ball, play hard all the time, play unselfish, and be in great shape,” Rodrigues said. “My style is up and down, pressure a lot, and utilize all 94 feet.“