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.
FOXBORO, Mass. – It is no secret that Foxboro likes to press, likes to run, and likes to get its offense in transition. So, Attleboro came into Tuesday night’s showdown of league leaders determined to use its zone to force the Warriors to find ways to score in the half-court.
The plan was a solid one, with the one issue that the zone gave sophomore point guard Kailey Sullivan a little bit of space on the perimeter and a little space was all she needed to shoot Foxboro to the win.
Sullivan knocked down six three-pointers, including three in the third quarter, and scored a game-high 25 points, nearly matching the Bombardiers on her own. With Sullivan firing away from deep and the defense holding Attleboro to just 11 points in the first half, the Warriors pulled away for a 60-29 victory that maintains their unbeaten start to league play.
“With Kailey shooting the way that she shoots now, it’s hard for people to defend us in a zone,” Foxboro coach Lisa Downs explained. “So, we just had to find the open spots for her on the floor. I didn’t really think that we’d see a lot of man this season, but I think people are going to have to go to that at some point because we do have so many scorers.”
It didn’t take long for Sullivan to find the range. In a first quarter played at Attleboro’s preferred tempo, Sullivan buried a pair from beyond the arc to put the Warriors in front 8-2. While the Bombardiers were able to slow the game down like they wanted, it was still a struggle to break down the Foxboro defense.
Kayla Goldrick (11 points) and Avery James (six points) were able to hit threes to tie the game, but Ava Hill (five points) stepped back and drilled a corner three and Addie Ruter (10 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks) added a put-back to give Foxboro a 13-8 lead after one.
“We couldn’t get anything going,” admitted Attleboro coach Bri Bracken. “We were getting good shots, they just weren’t falling. I told them at the end of the game that I thought there was a cover on top of the rim because Vanessa’s almost and-one was in the hoop and bounced out.”
One of the reasons for Attleboro’s struggles offensively was the play of Camryn Collins. The junior guard was able to match-up one-on-one with sophomore forward Vanessa Ellis (six rebounds), using her strength and speed to keep one of Attleboro’s top scoring threats to four points and no made field goals.
“She can guard anyone,” Downs said of Collins. “The versatility that she has with the strength and the speed, her athleticism, is just so valuable. A lot of times I would’ve put my center on Ellis and she’s not your typical center and that would’ve been hard for us. Luckily, I have Cam who can match her athleticism and keep her in check.”
After ending the first on a 5-0 run, Foxboro’s pressure turned up a notch in the second. The Warriors went on a 14-0 run to start the quarter and outscored Attleboro 17-3 in the period. Collins (13 points, seven steals, and seven rebounds) and Sullivan would combine for all 17.
Collins got it started with a backdoor cut and layup off a feed from Erin Foley (four assists and seven rebounds) and then knocked down her only three of the night. After a pair of free throws for Sullivan. Collins would get back-to-back steals and turn each of them into layups. Another steal turned into an and-one for Sullivan, who also spotted up in the corner for a three off a nicely worked inbounds play.
Any thoughts of an Attleboro comeback in the second half quickly disappeared. A Sullivan steal led to a layup for Ruter and then Sullivan added a pair from the outside to make it 40-14 (Foley got the assist on both threes). Goldrick tried to keep Attleboro close with an offensive rebound and then a dish out to James for another three, but Sullivan answered right back with her third triple of the quarter and finally a steal and layup for good measure.
Downs praised how Foxboro maintained its defensive intensity in the second half. She said, “I think that’s the most we’ve worked for 32 minutes on defense. Some games we’ll have some dips and do some things good and then get lax a little bit. The work ethic was there for 32 minutes.”
The Bombardiers kept battling in the fourth, as Bracken urged her team to continue going to the basket. Goldrick scored twice, once on a drive to the rim and then on a step-back jumper. Merry Bosh banked in a jumper for her only points and freshman Tia Williamson was able to score on the block.
Collins added four more points in the fourth and Isabella Chamberlin (six rebounds) crashed the boards for a bucket, before dishing out a nice pass to Foley on the backdoor cut.
Bracken acknowledged that her team got frustrated at times as the offense struggled to find a rhythm and that the Bombardiers can learn how to step up to the challenge of playing teams of this caliber. She said, “You just have to play through it. Be tough, take the and-one, and go…It made us better and now we’re onto Franklin and hopefully we can learn from these mistakes and be better for them.”
Foxboro (8-1) will be back on its home court on Friday to take on division rival Canton. Attleboro (6-2), which is tied for first in the Kelley-Rex division despite the loss, has its first meeting with co-leader Franklin.
Milford, 55 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – Attleboro sank four of their nine threes in the fourth quarter to pull away from visiting Milford for their first win in their new gym. Jaiden Outland, who had a game-high 15 points, had one of those threes and scored seven points in the fourth while Hayden Crowley (nine points), Michael Beverly (14 points), and Neo Franco (10 points) also hit from downtown in the frame. Franco had a steal and a layup with just under two minutes to go to push Attleboro’s lead to 59-51 but a jumper from Andrew Rivera (at 1:26) and a layup from Luca Testa (with 45 seconds) brought the Hawks within four, at 59-55. Justin Hanrahan, Beverly, and Outland hit free throws down the stretch, and Spencer Sherck drew a charge to help the Bombardiers close out the win in the final minute. Attleboro head coach Mark Houle praised Sherck’s defensive effort against Milford, who were without two rotation players. Freshman CJ Farrell led Milford with 15 points, Ryan Franklin added 12 points, and Testa finished with 11 points.
Mansfield, 59 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – Mansfield built a 12-point lead at halftime and opened the second half with a 12-0 run to surge past Foxboro in their first showdown as division rivals. After a back-and-forth first quarter that ended with a halfcourt buzzer beater from Trevor Foley (nine points, seven rebounds), Mansfield locked in defensively and limited the Warriors to just two field goals, outscoring the hosts 14-6 to build a 33-21 lead at halftime. Caden Colby (career-high 14 points) hit one of his four threes, Davon Sanders drove to the bucket for two, and Eddie McCoy (nine points) had back-to-back baskets, including a three, and Chris Hill (17 points, eight rebounds) finished a tough layup in transition as the Hornets pushed their lead to 45-21 with 4:30 to go in the third. Foxboro closed on a 13-0 run over the final three minutes to get to the final score. Alex Penders led Foxboro with 16 points while both Ryan Kelley and Sam Golub had eight points apiece.
Franklin, 58 @ King Philip, 50 – Final – Franklin finally pulled away in the fourth quarter, shaking an upset-minded King Philip squad, to grab a 58-50 win on the road. The Panthers led by two at the end of the first quarter (13-11) and halftime (24-22), and carried a three-point lead into the fourth quarter (40-37). Justin Allen hit a pair of key three-pointers in the fourth, Hansy Jacques had six of his 10 points in the frame, and the Panthers got a bucket each from Bradley Herndon, Ben Harvey (13 points), and Sean O’Leary (14 points) to close out the win. After a quiet first half, King Philip senior Will Laplante scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half while Tommy Kilroy added a career-high 12 points.
North Attleboro, 51 @ Taunton, 69 – Final – Buoyed by a 20-point second quarter and a 26-point third quarter, Taunton ran away with a big win at home over visiting North Attleboro. Chris Volcy exploded in the second half, netting 18 of his career-high 20 points to help the Tigers pull away. Senior Chris Perault added a career-high 19 points, knocking down all three of Taunton’s three-pointers. The Rocketeers and Tigers were locked in at 11-11 after eight minutes but Taunton established a 31-20 lead by the break as Troy Santos scored seven of his 11 points in the second quarter. Jonnie Obuchowski and Derek Maceda each scored nine points for the Rocketeers.
Stoughton, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 50 – Final – A see-saw back and forth battle ended with Oliver Ames holding on for a 50-45 win over neighboring Stoughton. With under two minutes to play and locked in a one-possession game at 43-40, Oliver Ames got a pair of big baskets from a pair of underclassmen. Sophomore Cole Craffey drove to the basket for a layup and freshman Soren Lolonga drained a three just before the minute mark to push the Tigers’ lead to 48-40. Stoughton freshman Aiden Wideout answered with a bucket down low off a feed from Liam Pearl, but Craffey was able to work his way through the defense with 20 seconds left to make it 50-42. Matt Greenspoon knocked down a three with 5.7 seconds left to close the gap to 50-45 but OA held on for the win. Chris Elias scored 10 of his team-high 15 points in the second quarter while Lolonga had all 15 of his points in the second half. Stoughton’s Jayden Costa-Haywood finished with a team-high 19 points while Greenspoon added 16 points for the Black Knights, who led 19-18 at halftime.
Attleboro, 56 @ Milford, 35 – Final – Attleboro had three players score in double figures and jumped out to a 20-point lead by halftime to secure its second straight win. Kayla Goldrick and Lily Routhier led the Bombardiers with 13 points apiece. Goldrick helped the visitors get off to a good start with six in the first and Routhier helped build a 36-16 lead at the break with a pair of threes and nine points in the second. Vanessa Ellis scored nine of her 11 points to help break the game open early. Merry Bosh added seven in the win. Milford was led by Erin Michelson’s nine points, all coming in the second half. Aliza Syed scored eight and Olivia Baglione chipped in with six for the Hawks.
Foxboro, 67 @ Mansfield, 31 – Final – Foxboro made it two straight wins to start the season with a dominant road win over fellow division title contender Mansfield. Camryn Collins powered the Warriors on offense with 24 points. Addie Ruter had 13 to continue her strong start to the season with another double-digit scoring night. Erin Foley chipped in with 10.
King Philip, 43 @ Franklin, 54 – Final – Thanks to a strong first half, Franklin picked up a second straight home win to start the season and kept alive its league win streak to 44 games. The Panthers jumped out to a 19-6 lead after one quarter and extended it to 31-15 going into the locker room. Sophomore Chloe Fales (career-high 16 points) and Katie Peterson (14 points) combined for 15 in the opening half and Caelyn Leonard buried a pair of threes and scored all eight of her points in the first. KP picked up its offense in the second half, and cut the lead to as little as seven points, but Franklin held on to secure the victory. Emily Sawyer scored 16 points, including eight in the third. Jackie Bonner had 13 points and Maddie Paschke added 11 in the loss.
Taunton, 46 @ North Attleboro, 32 – Final – Taunton put in a strong defensive performance to make it two wins from two games under first-year coach Gretchen Rodrigues. The Tigers held North to just 10 points in the first half (building a 13-point lead at the break) and then just six in the third quarter to pull away. Jillian Doherty led the way with 14 for the Tigers, including eight of the team’s 12 points in the first. Cali Melo added nine points, while sophomore Chelsea Bousquet had eight and freshman Taryn Campbell added seven. On a tough shooting night as a team, North was led by Ava McKeon’s 15 points. She scored 12 of North’s 16 in the fourth as the hosts tried to mount a late comeback. Freshman Ella McLaughlin added eight points in the loss.
Oliver Ames, 79 @ Stoughton, 42 – Final – OA carried over momentum from the second half of its opener against Franklin and exploded for 79 points on Friday to even its record after two games. The Tigers jumped out to a 21-5 lead after one quarter, extended it to 45-17 at halftime, and added another 22 points in the third. Freshman Kamryn Derba knocked down five three-pointers and finished with a game- (and career-) high 20 points. Classmate Avery Gamble added 14 points (on 9-of-11 from the line) and the duo combined for 25 points before the break. Freshman Maeve Horsman had 12 points, Kaydance Derba scored 11, and Annie Reilly had nine for OA. Stoughton also got an impressive performance from a freshman, as Kirsten McKay scored eight of her career-high 15 points in the third. She added five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Raina Tat chipped in with 10 points and Alyssa Edwards added eight. Katrina Varnum pulled down 14 rebounds for the Black Knights.
Silver Lake Quad (Franklin), 4:00
Foxboro, 40 @ Milford, 69 – Final
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield, 7:00
Stoughton, 58 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 85 – Final
Foxboro, 71 @ Milford, 87 – Final
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield, 7:00
Stoughton, 32 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 84 – Final
ATTLEBORO, Mass. — Mansfield erased an early deficit and kept clawing back throughout the fourth quarter, but the Attleboro girls basketball team refused to lose in the first varsity basketball game played at their brand new high school.
Each time the Hornets made a move to get within one possession, the Bombardiers had an answer. Attleboro got contributions from up and down its roster and some clutch fourth quarter plays to secure a 63-53 win over the visiting Hornets.
“Coming off the loss at Framingham, I was a little nervous about their confidence but they came out strong and that was a huge confidence builder for us,” said Attleboro head coach Bri Bracken. “We talked about it being the first game here, being the first varsity basketball team to play here so it was great to get the win.”
Junior Kayla Goldrick scored 10 of her 17 points in the final frame, cashing in on a clutch steal and a clutch offensive rebound to keep the hosts in front against Mansfield’s comeback bid. Seconds after Mansfield junior Abby Wager drained a three-pointer to cut the deficit to two, Attleboro junior Merry Bosh sank a three from the corner with two minutes to play to dash the Hornets’ hopes of a comeback.
“We switched up our defense a little bit and I think that helped, and when they weren’t hitting from the outside we had to rebound,” Bracken said. “Kayla came up huge in that stretch, just the heart and the hustle there and that’s why she’s one of our captains. Mary Bosh hitting that three late in the game was huge too.”
The Bombardiers got off to a great start as senior Lily Routhier connected on a pair of early three-pointers and Attleboro established a double-digit lead in the first quarter. Wager, Kara Santos (11 points, 11 rebounds), and Olivia Salisbury (18 points, four rebounds) rallied Mansfield back into the contest during the second quarter and a bucket from Ella Palanza handed the Hornets their first lead with under a minute to go in the first half.
Goldrick hit a three with under 10 seconds to play in the second quarter and Attleboro jumped back ahead, 31-29, at halftime.
“I think they had a lot of different players come in and make an impact,” said Mansfield head coach Heather McPherson. “We came in preparing for Ellis and Goldrick, then Routhier hit the threes. And then Bosh had that big three. We’d make these runs and then we’d have a mental mistake. They had a game Friday and got all of those jitters out, I feel like we had all of those jitters from a lot of people.
“I thought we made some good adjustments to get back into but we had some preseason injuries, and even though everyone is back now, but it’s getting into that game shape. We’d have a good run then have to shuffle someone else in. And just too many costly mistakes.”
Sophomore Vanessa Ellis carried Attleboro to a successful third quarter as she scored seven of her 15 points in the frame and had five of her 16 rebounds. Ellis finished off a traditional three-point play with three minutes to go, converted a putback with 1:30 to play in the frame, and sank a pair of free throws with under a minute to go to hand Attleboro a 45-40 advantage going into the fourth.
Santos used a nice move in the paint to get the Hornets on the board and a steal from Bridget Hanley (eight assists, seven rebounds) set up Wager for a layup that cut the deficit to one, 45-44. Routhier and Santos traded baskets as Mansfield trailed by just one before Goldrick drove for two points. Attleboro had another missed but Goldrick crashed the class and put it right back up to make it 51-46.
Santos found Wager for two and the Hornets got a stop on an offensive to try and take the lead but instead it was Goldrick, sitting atop in the Bombardiers’ 2-3 zone, that deflected a pass for the steal and went coast-to-coast for a tough layup to restore the hosts’ two-possession lead
The ball found Mansfield on the ensuing play but the comeback bid was ended when Bosh took a pass from Avery James and hit a three of her own with two minutes to go.
“It was a good team win,” Bracken said. “We were in a lot of foul trouble, I had Avery James on the bench, and Vanessa had four fouls. I threw a couple of freshmen in there and we just needed everyone to step up and they did, they did their job as Bill Belichick says.”
Attleboro girls basketball (1-0 Hockomock, 1-1 overall) hits the road to visit Milford on Friday at a 6:00 tipoff. Mansfield (0-1, 0-1) will have its home opener against rival Foxboro on Friday at 6:30.
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.“
Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – KP scored all five runs in the first inning to pick up its 10th win of the season and hand Taunton just its second loss. Travis Crawford led off with a double and Rudy Gately was hit by a pitch. Shawn Legere and Brendan Sencaj had back-to-back singles to bring in the first two runs of the game. Max Robison plated Legere with a double and Matt Kelley (two hits) had an RBI single. Matt DiFiore brought in the fifth run with a sac fly. Quinn Garstka picked up the win on the mound, going six innings with four hits and two runs allowed, striking out five. Tommy McLeish closed things out for the Warriors, allowing two hits but throwing a clean seventh.
Milford, 3 @ Mansfield, 9 – Final
Sharon, 2 @ North Attleboro, 11 – Final
Attleboro, 18 @ Franklin, 8 – Final – Attleboro scored seven runs in the top of the seventh to put away the Panthers and pick up an important road win. The Bombardiers got off to a great start, scoring three runs in the first. Leadoff hitter Lindsey Perry went 3-for-6 and scored three times, including in the first. Sarah Maher and Lauren Eby each drove in one in the first. Perry scored again in the second, taking home on a wild pitch. Attleboro added a fourth in the third, but Franklin rallied to cut the lead to one (4-3). Carly Johnson-Pellegri and Aislinn Lavery each had RBI. The Bombardiers responded with three more in the fourth, including back-to-back doubles from Lily Routhier and Eby. Franklin cut the lead down to 8-5 with a pair of runs in the bottom half, as Kiera Kotwicki drove in one and scored the other. Attleboro doubled the lead in the sixth. Merry Bosh had a big triple to bring in one. The visitors sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh and broke the game open, taking advantage of a couple errors to put together a rally. Perry doubled in a run and came in to score for the third time. Franklin kept battling and got three back in the bottom half, including back-to-back doubles from Georgia Harvey and Hannah Cacciapaglia.
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Canton, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Alyssa Edwards plated all of Stoughton’s runs with a three-run homer in the top of the sixth. Kate Bulger had a pair of hits and Sydney Menz had one for the Black Knights.
King Philip, 4 @ Taunton, 2 – Final (10 inn.)
Mansfield, 19 @ Milford, 11 – Final – Mansfield pounded out 18 hits and scored 19 runs to pick up a division road win. Following a six-run third inning, the Hornets held an 11-0 edge, but Milford answered with a pair in the bottom of the third. Mansfield scored twice in the fifth, but the Hawks rallied for three to make it 13-5. The teams each scored six runs in the sixth inning. Olivia DeTrolio had four hits to lead the Hornets and drive in three. Alanna Conley had three hits and a pair of RBI, while Cat Kipp continued to swing a hot bat with two hits and four RBI. Olivia Bovey had two hits and three RBI and Liv Madeira added two hits for the Hornets.
North Attleboro, 16 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – The first Sharon batter reached on a dropped third strike but then Kelly Colleran retired the next 21 hitters that she faced to pick up the no-hitter. She finished with 18 strikeouts. Mandi Hanewich, Ally Levine, and Shaelyn Burns all had three hits and three runs scored. Grace Simmons also had three hits and drove in four, while Colleran helped her cause at the plate with three hits, a homer, and five RBI. Maryellen Charette, Emma Hanwell, Mary Rogers, and Maddie Bailey each had a hit and a run scored for North.
Foxboro, 14 @ Canton, 2 – Final
Franklin, 13 @ King Philip, 6 – Final
Mansfield @ Milford, 4:30
North Attleboro, 15 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final
Canton, 6 @ Foxboro, 16 – Final – Foxboro won a battle of the top two teams in the Davenport division and took charge in the title race. Paige Curran continued to be tough to stop offensively, scoring five goals and assisting on two others. Val Beigel and Cate Noone each chipped in with four goals and Mya Waryas scored once and dished out four assists. Mary and Kate Collins each scored once with Mary adding three helpers and Kate assisting on one goal. Audrey Campbell made four saves to grab the win in goal.
King Philip, 3 @ Franklin, 14 – Final – Franklin handed KP its first league loss of the season and took control of the Kelley-Rex title race. The Panthers celebrated senior night and got contributions from all seven of its graduating players. Kenzie Baker had a strong game in the Franklin midfield and Anna Grasso played well in defense. Kate O’Rourke had a hat trick, Stella Regan had two goals and an assist, Jackie O’Neil had a goal and an assist, and Maura Cogavin had a goal. Brigid Earley made five saves. Junior Katie Peterson sparked the Panthers offense with four goals and a pair of helpers and classmate Kaitlyn Carney had three goals and one assist. Haley Izydorczak scored a pair of goals and Julia Marsden had one for the Warriors, who got six saves from freshman goalie Kaitlyn Parish.
Milford, 3 @ Mansfield, 9 – Final
Oliver Ames, 17 @ North Attleboro, 10 – Final – OA moved even with North in the league standings with a big road win. Catie Wilson continued to be a strong presence in the OA attack, scoring seven goals and dishing out a pair of assists, while Jess Widdop was strong in goal with 10 saves. Georgia Costello added five goals and a helper for the Tigers. OA coach Rylie Dalzell credited the defense for picking up the win. Taylor McAndrew caused turnovers and grabbed ground balls and Alyssa Kiff led the team with her communication at the back.
Sharon, 9 @ Taunton, 10 – Final – Cali Melo scored four times and Taunton scored a last-second goal to pick up its first win of the season. Maddison Szala had a hat trick, Aria Cordeiro had two goals, and Sarah Clark found the back of the net for the Tigers. Athena Merck and Bailey Garte each had three goals and an assist for the Eagles. Keira Lydeard had a pair of goals and Anna Hertzel had one in the loss. Tess Letendre had 11 saves and helped keep Sharon in the game right to the end.
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin’s Vayshnav Malhotra and Sameen Shaik both won in straight sets without dropping a game as the Panthers picked up a 5-0 win over Attleboro. Both Malhotra and Shaik won 6-0, 6-0 while senior Drew Mahoney added a 6-2, 6-1 victory in third singles action. The duo of senior Thomas Broyls and sophomore Jay Gorgas secured a 6-2, 6-1 first doubles win while junior Tyler Fitzpatrick teamed up with sophomore Ahan Shetty for a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Canton won at top two singles, but OA showed off its depth by winning at third singles and winning both doubles matches. Kylash Ganesh had a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles to get things started for the Tigers. Top doubles pair, Patrick Dolan and Alex Efremidas, pulled out a 6-2, 7-5 win for a second point and Alex Vasilou and Ben Dias clinched the win for OA with a 6-4, 7-5 hard-fought victory at second doubles.
Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final
Taunton @ King Philip, 3:45
Mansfield, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final
Canton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – After dropping the second set, Oliver Ames’ Mia Corradini prevailed with the win in the third set tiebreaker to complete the 5-0 sweep for the hosts. Corradini took second singles 6-3, 3-6, 10-6, Hannah Farber added a 6-2, 6-2 win at first singles, and Elizabeth O’Brien was victorious 6-2, 6-2 at third singles. OA also swept doubles action with Caroline Peper and Morgan Vasiliou taking a 6-2, 6-2 verdict at first doubles, and Olivia Querzoli and Marina Mierzwinski prevailing 6-1, 6-3 at second doubles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final
Milford @ Mansfield, 3:45
Sharon, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
King Philip @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 6:00
Milford @ Bellingham, 6:00
Taunton vs. Brockton, 5:15
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Brianna Bracken
Attleboro finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year and, despite only returning one starter, have an experienced corps that will be looking to push the Bombardiers back to postseason contention this season. There was a big change a few weeks ago when Marty Crowley stepped down as coach (after taking the athletic director job at Cumberland High) and former player and freshman coach Brianna Bracken was promoted to take over.
The change in coach won’t change the emphasis on defense and trying to use the roster’s athleticism to get easy baskets in transition. Attleboro’s lone returning starter is senior forward Meghan Gordon, who has improved every season on varsity and averaged nearly 17 points per game last year. Gordon will get help from classmates Lindsey Perry and Lillian Froio, who have both improved offensively and will help the Bombardiers take some of the pressure off Gordon on that end of the floor.
Injuries and transfers will have an impact as well. Senior Hailey Perry suffered a knee injury that will keep her out and last year’s freshman point guard Narissa Smith transferred to Rivers. Junior Lily Routhier has transferred in this year from Wheeler School and will help out on the boards. Sophomores Kayla Goldrick and Rylie Camacho will add to the Attleboro attack after getting experience as freshmen and senior Avery Vieira and sophomore Sarah Maher will try to fill Perry’s role in the backcourt. Sophomore Merry Bosh and Molly Moore and freshman Vanessa Ellis have had impressive preseasons as well.
“We have a great mix of experience and youth,” said Bracken. “We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been intense and the kids have been working really hard.”
2020-2021 Record: 7-5 Coach: James Choquette
Canton could be poised for a big season with a mix of talented underclassmen and an experienced group of seniors who have played together on varsity for four years. The Bulldogs went 7-5 in the shortened 2020-21 season, but expectations are higher this winter, with hopes of challenging the top teams in the Davenport and putting together a playoff run.
Kiara Cerrutiis the team’s top returning scorer and the senior winger will be counted on to provide scoring punch with her mix of inside-outside skills. Fay Gallery is back to run the point for the Bulldogs, getting the team out in transition and finding ways to create good looks for teammates in the halfcourt. Sydney Gallery is also back to give Canton a strong post presence and scoring inside the arc. The three players combined to average 38 points per game last season and give the Bulldogs a strong foundation to build on and help spread the floor for a team that has the potential to be one of the top shooting teams in the league.
Marissa Staffiere and Carly Fitzgerald return to help run the point and give strong defensive effort in the backcourt and junior Samya DaSilva has stepped in to add another versatile weapon on the offensive end. If the Bulldogs can continue to improve defensively, they have the firepower to compete with anyone. Offensively, it will be about ball movement and making sure the ball doesn’t stick on the perimeter.
“Our program continues to grow and improve,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “With a strong senior class and a great group of underclassmen, we hope to improve each day we’re in the gym together and achieve the results we desire. Everyone knows how hard it is to win, but this group is willing to do whatever it takes and we’re so excited to see how this season unfolds.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-2 Coach: Lisa Downs
Foxboro had its four-year reign at the top of the Davenport division come to an end last season, as the Warriors came second to Oliver Ames. With a relatively young roster, Foxboro improved over the course of the shortened season and seemed to be peaking as it headed into what would have been the second half of a normal winter. The hope for this season is that those younger players will build on that experience to make another title challenge and playoff run.
With the graduation of the league’s leading scorer, Katelyn Mollica, the Warriors will have a lot of points to make up but have several players capable of taking on bigger roles this year. Senior forward Hannah Blake could help provide some of that scoring with her solid post-up game and mid-range jumper. Sophomore guards Erin Foley and Camryn Collins both had impressive rookie campaigns and showed versatile offensive games and both are aggressive and athletic defenders, who fit into Foxboro’s typical style.
Senior Andrea Slattery and junior Lauren Miley are under-sized forwards but both bring a lot of energy and aggression to the defensive end and hitting the glass. Freshmen Kaley Sullivan and Ava Hill will jump right into the varsity lineup this season and both could be ready to make instant impacts. Juniors Michelle Brandt and Maddie Maher and sophomore Isabelle Chamberlin will give the Warriors plenty of depth to call on this season, especially with their effort on the defensive end.
“Although we are young and have new faces, I am excited to see the potential and look forward to seeing the improvement every time they step onto the court,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs.
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: John Leighton
Franklin returns eight players, including six seniors, from last year’s team, which extended the Panthers’ win streak to 35 games and clinched a third straight Kelley-Rex division title. The Panthers will be leaning on that experience as they seek to continue their reign at the top of the league and defend the Div. 1 state title that they won in 2019-20.
Senior forward Olivia Quinn will be the focal point of the Franklin offense this year after leading the team in scoring last winter and emerging as one of the top players in the Hock over the past two years. The reigning Kelley-Rex MVP will have plenty of help, particularly in the paint. While Franklin doesn’t have someone with Ali Brigham’s size, the Panthers have seven players on their roster that are listed at 5-foot-9 or taller. Senior Brigid Earley was the team’s leading rebounder last year and junior Katie Peterson is an athletic forward with a versatile game. Senior Emma Sousa is another experienced forward that gives depth in the post.
On the perimeter, Franklin has graduated a lot of its ball-handlers and shooters but senior Stefany Padula, a Springfield College-commit, is back and will help stretch the floor. Junior Bridget Leo is coming off a strong soccer season and could step in at point guard along with seniors Julia White and Jessica Pingeton, who saw some time last year. Sophomore guard Sasha Tracey is the lone underclassman on the roster this season.
“I am very excited to get back on the court with this team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “There is a lot of work ahead of us but there has also been many glimpses of what we could develop into. We have a very strong senior class who has set the bar high for the team. We hope to develop into a close-knit, supportive team that can win in different ways and also play defense that will limit our opponents’ options.”
2020-2021 Record: 5-6 Coach: Jeff Miszkiewicz
There is going to be a transition period for King Philip this season, as the Warriors will be moving from former head coach Dan Nagle’s unique, non-stop pressure, quick-shot system to a new system brought in by first-year coach Jeff Miszkiewicz (who comes from LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island). With seven returning players, including five seniors, the Warriors should have the experience to adjust to the new style and be in the mix in the Kelley-Rex division.
Junior Emily Sawyer will be a major weapon for the Warriors on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-3 center may be the biggest beneficiary of a change in system and is poised for a breakout year in the paint. Her classmate Jackie Bonner will move into a starting role this season, with her ability to create instant offense and be a pest on the defensive side of the game.
Seniors Liv Lafond, Julia Marsden, and Elizabeth Molla also project to be starters for the Warriors this season. All three are versatile wings that can space the floor and attack in transition. Lafond may be the best off-the-dribble player for KP this season and her ability to get into the paint and create will be key. Marsden is a smart player who always seems to be in the right spot and a solid scorer at the rim or out on the perimeter. Molla is a knockdown shooter from the outside and can punish teams that sink down into the paint to guard Sawyer or prevent driving lanes.
“The team plays really hard and is very coachable,” said Miszkiewicz. “I think that’s why we have seen so much improvement over the first week of practice. You’ll see us take full advantage of our athleticism on both offense and defense. We’re going to be a fun team to watch.”
2020-2021 Record: 9-4 Coach: Heather McPherson
Mansfield closed out the shortened 2020-21 season with five straight wins and will hope to keep that momentum rolling into this winter, although the Hornets will need a lot of players to step into bigger roles. Six seniors graduated from last year’s team, including the bulk of the team’s frontcourt and two of its three leading scorers. New players will need the early part of the season to adjust to the pace of the varsity level.
The Hornets will be hoping that junior guard Abby Wager’s growing offensive game will allow her to improve on the nine points per game she averaged as a sophomore. Senior Anna Darlington brings tenacity on defense and will make it tough for teams to get into their half court sets. Seniors Kayla Doherty and Sophia Allen will also need to add experience to a lineup that is growing into the season.
Junior guard Olivia Salisbury and sophomore forward Kara Santos are going to be stepping up from utility roles into core pieces of the Mansfield offense this season. Salisbury has good vision and can create chances for teammates, while Santos will be a threat in the paint, making up for some of the size that graduated from last year’s team.
“After a shortened season under my belt I feel confident in the adjustments that the girls have made into a slightly different system than previous years,” said second-year Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “We are emphasizing good fundamental defense and hoping that we can use it to create transition offense.”
2020-2021 Record: 3-8 Coach: TJ Dolliver
Milford ended last season with three wins in its final five games, building a little momentum that the Hawks are going to hope can get them off to a good start this winter. There will be a lot of changes from last year’s squad, as Milford graduated seven players, including a few four-year members of the team, so there may be some growing pains as new faces adjust to a new level.
Four seniors return to add experience and leadership to this year’s team. Guards Jess Douglas, Olivia Morelli, and Aubrey Korpi, and forward Jill Araujo are all back and will give Milford a foundation to build around. With so many new faces in the team this year, head coach TJ Dolliver will be leaning on his upperclassmen to help the younger players adjust, as the coaches work through the best way to utilize everyone’s skills on the court.
Junior forward Emily Croteau and guard Brooke Ferreira will be key players as well. The team’s top two returning scorers, Croteau and Ferreira will have to take on bigger roles this year and may be asked to carry a lot of the scoring punch. A three-year starter at point guard, Ferreira is the team’s top ball-handler and will be expected to get the Hawks into their sets while also looking for her own shot. An undersized forward, Croteau gives the team energy and rebounding, keeping possessions alive and getting chances thanks to her work rate.
“We are making a lot of changes this season,” Dolliver said. “It will be very important how we approach practice in regards to how successful we are this season. We have a lot of potential and I am excited to see where it goes.”
2020-2021 Record: 4-9 Coach: Nikki Correia
North Attleboro had a tough finish to the 2020-21 season, losing five straight to close it out, but all five were against teams with winning records, including two against division champ Oliver Ames. With a full season ahead, North has two of its top scorers back and has added more size in the frontcourt to try and make a postseason push.
The two key returning players will be senior Summer Doherty and junior Ava McKeon. The two aggressive guards give North extra energy on both ends of the floor and push the Rocketeers into the transition game that head coach Nikki Correia prefers. Their defensive effort will be critical for North this season. Senior forward Taylor McMath has improved each year and adds scoring in the paint and is an aggressive rebounder on both ends.
Size hasn’t been a strength for North the past few seasons but freshman Maryellen Charette will be an important addition in the paint. Despite being just a rookie, Charette has shown good footwork with back to the basket and is a strong rebounder. Sam Sweeney is the other freshman on the roster, while North has seven seniors on the roster to provide necessary experience for the younger players.
“I am looking forward to this season with a full schedule and many returning players, so lots of familiarity with each other and playing more under control and trusting each other more,” said Correia. “They are already showing more confidence and being in the right spots, running the offense, and letting the game come to them instead of forcing it.”
2020-2021 Record: 10-0 Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames finished unbeaten and won the Davenport division title last season, but the Tigers will be disappointed to have missed out on a potentially deep tournament run. Coming into this year, expectations remain high with a good mix of experienced players and youth that will be getting their first taste of a full Hockomock League campaign.
Senior guard Caroline Peper is a four-year starter for the Tigers and has always been one of the league’s top long-range shooters, but continues adding to her game and her scoring will be critical. Senior Hailey Bourne is another four-year regular and one of the top defensive players in the league, capable of guarding multiple positions. Their leadership will be a key to OA’s success this winter. Senior forward Anna Murphy has improved each year and has a solid all-around game, making an impact on both ends of the floor, and junior guard Maddie Homer is a quick, tenacious defender and her improved offensive game will be important.
In addition to the more experienced players, OA is excited about the potential of the trio of sophomores who made cameos last year. Forwards Jasmyn Cooper, Kaydance Derba, and Sarah Hilliard all had good rookie seasons that gave a taste of their capabilities. Cooper and Hilliard provide size and scoring in the paint and both are excellent rebounders. Derba also has good size to be a tough matchup on the defensive end and is a dangerous three-point shooter who can stretch the floor.
“The Hockomock League, as always brings its share of tough competition, which will help us better prepare for the new standards established for the power rankings needed for the state tournament,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “The thing that I am most proud of is the fact that my players have worked tirelessly to improve themselves as players and we are ready to give it our best fight.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-10 Coach: Sandy Lombardi
It is hard to predict what type of season this will be for Sharon because the Eagles will be incorporating so many new faces and many of the players will be experiencing their first full season on varsity. After one win in 2020-21, the Eagles return only one senior on this year’s roster, so there is the potential to spring a few surprises on teams this season.
Trinity Payne is the lone senior for the Eagles. The four-year varsity player is a strong defensive presence and can control the glass, especially on the defensive end. Sharon coach Sandy Lombardi is looking for more offensive punch from Payne this season. Junior point guard Tess Lentendre returns after missing a few games last winter. A leader in the backcourt, Letendre is a three-year varsity player and will help control things on the offensive end.
The rest of the starting five for Sharon will be sophomores. Rachel Hager and Eva Poulton both saw time on varsity last season and play out on the wings. Jasmine Davis didn’t play last year but will start at center and should give Sharon extra size in the middle and should be a force on both ends of the court. Junior forward Emily Freeman is back from last year, but the rest of the Sharon roster are newcomers to the varsity team, although Lombardi is expecting good contributions from the bench.
“The girls have been working hard,” Lombardi said. “We are excited for the season and hopefully we can make some noise in the Hock this year.”
2020-2021 Record: 1-9 Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Last year was a little bit of a transition season for Stoughton, as the Black Knights graduated a lot from a team that was a win away from tournament qualification. An inexperienced Stoughton roster had some growing pains in 2020-21, but with five seniors this year head coach Charmaine Steele Jordan is hoping that last year will set a foundation for this year’s team to build on.
Senior Jess Maddalena is an important returning player for Stoughton. After missing her junior season to an injury, Maddalena will give the Black Knights additional scoring and depth on the wing. Senior guard Kate Bulger will be back to run the offense and provide strong perimeter defense. Senior Vanessa Philemond adds athleticism, energy, and rebounding and her length can be a weapon on both ends of the floor.
In addition to their three captains, the Black Knights will also be hoping for big seasons and lots of leadership from senior guards Makaiyah Singleton Rivera and Evie Lam. Stoughton also has three sophomores, Katrina Varnum, Alyssa Edwards, and Maiya Merritt, and freshman Raina Tat, who will be handling their first full season of varsity basketball this season.
“It’s so good to be back on the hardwood to compete this season,” said Steele Jordan. “We will continue to play hard on both ends of the court this season. I am looking forward to the five seniors taking charge and setting the pace for us. We will play tough, be gritty, and battle until the final buzzer sounds each night in the Hock.”
2020-2021 Record: 0-10 Coach: Amy Siggens
Taunton coach Amy Siggens is in her third year in charge of the program (and second season on the sidelines after not coaching last winter) and she will have a very different looking roster to the one that she first inherited. The Tigers graduated six seniors from last year’s team and there will be a lot of untested players getting their first taste of varsity action this season.
There is excitement about the return of junior guard Kameron St. Pierre. After a breakout rookie season in which she averaged more than 14 points per game, St. Pierre sat out last winter and will be back to carry a heavy load for the Taunton offense. The lefty point guard will get the Tigers into their sets and her long-range shooting should open the floor for teammates.
In addition to St. Pierre, the Tigers will have a host of guards to rotate through. Seniors Braeley McDonald, Kyanna Barros, and Abby Souza will give the Tigers plenty of energy on both ends of the floor and could benefit from the attention paid to St. Pierre to get decent looks from the perimeter. Sophomores Cali Melo and Lexi Haywood also have experience at the varsity level. Inside, Taunton will have several new faces but senior forward Olivia Gannon and junior Sayla DePina bring some size in the paint.
“As we look toward the beginning of this basketball season, caution and patience are the words that ring true for us,” said Siggens. “Baptism under fire is an appropriate description for our girls this season but with enthusiasm, hard work, and a commitment to improving, we have a chance to be competitive in a typically demanding Hockomock League.”