For the second straight year, the ninth seeded Scarlet Hawks found themselves on the road in a hostile environment in the First Round of the D2 Central Sectional and once again, down double digits.
That’s where the similarities end.
Last year’s second half comeback came up short in the final minutes but the 2017 Scarlet Hawks, with a bit more experience under their belts, erased a 12-point fourth quarter deficit and walked out of Marlboro High with a 78-73 win over the Panthers in overtime.
“I think what really helped us tonight was last year,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “I have a handful of guys who played on the road at Holliston in the same 8-seed, 9-seed matchup. We were down nine at halftime and we came back to take the lead but lost late. It was familiar tonight, playing from behind but tonight we were able to figure it out.
“The kids believed. It says it right there on our shorts, ‘believe.’ They believed, they never thought we were out of it. Even in the first quarter, we were playing from the whole time but they never stopped believing, especially in the tournament.”
The Scarlet Hawks made their move when they forced 6’8″ Marlboro star Chris Doherty to the bench with four fouls three minutes into the quarter. Junior Kayden Kelley (18 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists) converted a three point play on Doherty’s fourth foul, cutting the deficit to 61-53.
“[Kelley] got dunked on a couple times, you can talk about that if you want but he never stopped playing, he never stopped competing,” Seaver said. “He scored some of the biggest baskets in this game. Just wow, it takes a lot of resiliency to do that and that’s the definition of him.”
With Doherty on the bench, Milford put together a 7-2 run over a two minute span. Kelley hit two free throws, Shane Cosquete hit a floater and Anthony Arcudi (25 points) drained a three from the corner to cut the deficit to three, 63-60, with 2:53 to play.
“I knew how good [Doherty] was coming in, but we knew he got frustrated easily,” Kelley said. “We just kept going at him, once he got four fouls I knew it was my time to takeover.”
Cosquete (13 points) another free throw, Alex Macek came away with a steal on the defensive end, and Zack Tamagni (16 points four assists) converted a three point play with just under two minutes to play to put Milford up 64-63.
Marlboro’s Owen Cappadona (24 points) drained a three in response to put the hosts back up but Tamagni took a defensive rebound the length of the coast and laid it in to tie the game, 66-66, with 48.3 seconds to play.
Milford got a stop on Marlboro’s next possession, but turned the ball over with 2.2 seconds left before getting a shot up. Marlboro had its last second shot from beyond half court hit the front iron to send the game to overtime.
Doherty (17 points, 16 rebounds) started the overtime period and gave Marlboro a brief lead, 68-67 on free throw but Kelley responded with a shot over Doherty to put Milford up 68-67.
The Hawks got a stop on the defensive end and Kelley hauled in the rebound. Doherty went for the steal but instead was whistled for his fifth foul with 3:05 to play.
That gave Milford some momentum with Kelley hitting one free throw and then Cosquete driving to the basket to take a 71-67 lead. The Scarlet Hawks allowed Marlboro to get back into the game, turning to ball over on consecutive possessions leading to four points for the Panthers.
But with Doherty on the bench, the Hawks continued to attack the basket with Kelley taking a feed from Macek to a bucket with just over a minute to play. Marlboro missed a three and Milford went right back to the paint, with Kelley converted a fade away off a pass from Tamagni – who saved the ball from going out of bounds.
“When [Doherty’s] in the game, he’s huge, it’s tough to get anything inside, that’s why he’s one of the best big men in the state,” Seaver said. “When he fouled out, we started getting Kayden some touches. In overtime he hit two big baskets to kind of ice the game, that’s why you stick with it. Doherty is fantastic, he has a bright basketball future ahead of him. But props to Kayden, he dug in the whole way, all 36 minutes.”
Marlboro cut the deficit to two, and then forced a turnover but their go-ahead three attempt rimmed out with 10 seconds to go. Arcudi hit two free throws to ice the game.
“Unreal, absolutely unreal,” Arcudi said. “[Milford’s] first tournament win since 2013. We knew Chris Doherty had four fouls so we wanted to attack the hoop and get to him. Once he got five, we knew we could get to the basket. It’s all about not being complacent, battling through adversity and getting to the hoop, drawing fouls and getting to the line.”
Milford was forced to get the majority of its offense from outside the three point line early on in the game. The Hawks went 5/7 from three point range in the opening quarter but Marlboro shot 56% from the field, hitting 10 field goals for a 23-17 lead after one.
Milford only hit three more three pointers the rest of the game.
“It’s a credit to Marlboro,” Seaver said. “They probably saw us sometime down the stretch when we were hot from the outside. So credit to them to game plan and take the three away from them. We didn’t hit a ton of threes tonight but we found ways to win and balance is going to help us get through.”
Marlboro led by as much as 13 in the second quarter but Milford battled back with Kelley connecting on a put back at the buzzer to keep the deficit in single digits – 37-29 – going into halftime.
The Scarlet Hawks continued to claw back in the third quarter, getting within five points at the midway point when Tamagni sliced through the defense for a circus layup. But Doherty used a nice spin move in the post for a dunk that sparked a 9-0 run that put the Panthers up 14 with under two minutes to play in the third.
“We had nothing to lose, all the pressure was on them,” Arcudi said. “They went to the state final two years ago, district finals last year. We didn’t have anything to lose so pressure was on them.”
Milford boys basketball (11-10) advances to the D2 Central Quarterfinal to take on top-seeded Nashoba (17-3). Of Nashoba’s three losses, two were against Marlboro. The Hawks will travel to Nashoba on Thursday at 7:30.
Six girls’ basketball teams will begin their quests for a state championship when the state tournament begins this week. League champions Mansfield (Div. 1 South) and Foxboro (Div. 2 South) both earned the top seed in their respective brackets, but neither will have an easy road with league rivals like Attleboro, Oliver Ames, and North Attleboro posing major threats to bringing home a trophy. Milford will also represent the league as the lone Hock team in Div. 2 Central.
As usual, Div. 1 South is a loaded bracket with some of the top programs in the state, including defending state champion Bishop Feehan and perennial powers Braintree and Newton North. Mansfield (18-2) earned the top seed in a coin flip with the Shamrocks, who beat the Hornets in an exclusion game during the regular season. More important than the seed, Mansfield will now avoid the Shamrocks, the Wamps, and the Tigers until the South final.
Led by senior guard Jen Peel and junior center Meg Hill, the Hornets like to slow the pace down and focus on strong defense, which held teams to a league-best 38.0 points per game. Mansfield is young this season, but deep and versatile and head coach Mike Redding’s squad should match up well against the teams on its side of the bracket, including potential semifinal opponents Wellesley or Marshfield (which Mansfield beat 52-47 in December).
In order for the Hornets to get to the semifinals, they may have to go through Kelley-Rex rival Attleboro (15-7), which claimed the No. 8 seed and will host Brockton (Attleboro beat the Boxers 63-55 in December). The Bombardiers have scuffled down the stretch, losing seven of its final 14 games of the regular season, but closed it out by putting 94 points up on Durfee in the season finale.
With seniors Sarah Deyo and Julia Strachan, Attleboro has a potent inside-out combo and has been one of the top offensive teams in the league this year, averaging a league-best 61.4 points per game. The issue for the Bombardiers will be trying to slow down Jen Peel and Mansfield in the quarterfinal, if they can get past a dangerous Brockton team in Tuesday’s playoff opener. Attleboro struggled in two losses to Mansfield in the regular season, but will be hoping third time is the charm to set up a potential rematch with Wellesley, which knocked the Bombardiers out of last year’s tournament.
Foxboro (18-2) has been on fire to close out the season, winning 12 in a row entering the playoffs, including a 20-point win over North Attleboro to claim the league title and an impressive overtime win over Lincoln-Sudbury in the end-of-season tournament. The Warriors will be led by league MVP Ashley Sampson, who scored 31 in that win over L-S and nailed a three-pointer that forced OT, but a strong supporting cast includes Lily Sykes and Grace Tamulionis. The scary part is that all three are juniors and will be back next winter as well.
The Warriors will not have an easy path in Div. 2 South, which is another loaded bracket, and will have to face one of the two finalists from 2016, either Hingham or Oliver Ames, in the quarterfinal and could potentially face the Rocketeers for a third time in the semifinal. Westwood, Nauset, and Falmouth, which knocked Foxboro out of the tournament last year, could wait in the sectional final.
Oliver Ames (13-7), the defending Div. 2 South champ, has had an up and down first season in the Kelley-Rex but managed to claim second in the division and is a sleeper to retain its South title. The Tigers will have a very difficult road to try and repeat with a trip to last year’s South finalist Hingham waiting in the first round and a potential meeting with Foxboro looming in the quarterfinal (the Warriors won the league meeting between the teams 51-35).
Kayla Raymond will be the focus of all of OA’s opponents, but trying to slow down the junior forward is easier said than done. If the Tigers can get support for Raymond from senior Niyera Mitchell and find consistent outside shooting, then OA will be a tough matchup. Losing sophomore guard Sadie Homer during the season and senior Francesca Calabraro prior to it has made things tougher but no one will take head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook’s team lightly.
North Attleboro (16-6) is another sleeper in Div. 2 South. Last year, the Rocketeers were knocked out in the first round by OA on a last second Raymond basket and could have made a similar run to the Tigers if they had made it through. This year, North comes in with six losses, but only one to a team in Div. 2 and that was the league final against Foxboro. Despite missing senior guard Ashley Ahern to injury, North earned an impressive come from behind win against Attleboro in the final week and has the potential to make a deep run this year.
The Rocketeers are loaded with experienced seniors, including forward Caroline Collard and guards Samantha Taggart and Emily Schromm, who have shown the ability to win close games against good teams this season. North beat Foxboro in the first meeting, beat Oliver Ames by one, and has also beaten potential tourney opponents Hingham and Westwood this year. North faces Madison Park to start and likely will face Duxbury in the quarterfinal to try and get a rubber match with Foxboro in the semifinal.
Milford (10-10) qualified for the tournament for the first time since 2012 and has shown immense progress in head coach T.J. Dolliver’s second season in charge. But, the Hawks have also struggled down the stretch, albeit against a tough stretch of league opponents including North Attleboro and Foxboro twice, OA, and Attleboro. The Hawks will be in Div. 2 Central and will likely face Marlboro in the playoff opener, which is a team similar to the Hawks that shoots a lot of threes and does not have a true post presence.
The Hawks will be counting on a big game from junior guard Kate Irwin, who has been among the league’s top scorers this season, but Milford has a lot of versatile players that can cause teams problems on the perimeter and in the paint, including senior Nicole Dahlgren. If the Hawks do get through the first round, then they will travel to No. 3 seed Groton-Dunstable and could face a couple of Eastern Mass. transplants in Hopkinton and Medfield.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. — It’s been quite a 10-day stretch for North Attleboro, qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2011 last week and winning their first Hockomock championship since 2001 on Friday night.
But the Rocketeers had no problem getting motivated for Sunday night’s contest with the visiting Milford Scarlet Hawks.
All they had to do was look back three weeks when the Hawks went coast-to-coast to beat the Rocketeers on a buzzer beater at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Or two seasons ago, when a pair of free throws with no time left turned a one-point advantage into a one-point loss.
In fact, North Attleboro’s senior class was winless against the Hawks heading into the final Hockomock League game of the season.
Hosting Milford for the first time in four years, the Rocketeers closed out the fourth quarter in true championship fashion, outscoring the Scarlet Hawks 20-1 over the final six minutes of play to turn a close game into a 66-45 win.
“We just clinched playoffs, we just won the league championship but we didn’t need any extra motivation for this one,” said North Attleboro senior Thomas Reynolds, who was on the court for both of Milford’s last second wins. “You just have to look back at the last couple of years. Losing on the free throw, losing at the Dunk twice, we had never beat them. It was definitely nice to come in here to get the last league win.”
“It’s a satisfying win for the kids, especially for the seniors,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins, who also picked up his first win over Milford. “For the past four years, Milford has been our boogeyman, we just couldn’t beat them. Hopefully this is just one in a string of games that we’re in here that could potentially get us a home game in the playoffs.
North Attleboro’s strategy to feed big man Jonny Friberg paid off in two ways – the 6’6 senior poured in a career-high 28 points while hauling in 11 rebounds and the pounding inside resulted in some fouls for the Hawks.
Milford was whistled for eight fouls in the third quarter — four of them on Hawks leading rebounder Kayden Kelley (five points, six rebounds).
The Rocketeers started their big run taking advantage of Kelley’s absence with Chad Peterson (eight points, six rebounds, five assists) finishing a put back, Reynolds (nine points, two rebounds) hitting a free throw and then Peterson draining a three off of an offensive rebound.
Brent Doherty (14 points, four rebounds, four assists) found Friberg in the post for two to extend North Attleboro’s lead to 55-44 with four minutes to play. After a pair of stops from the Rocketeers’ defense, Reynolds drained a three off a pass from Peterson to make it 57-44 with 2:31 to play.
“It’s just about confidence,” Reynolds said about being able to close out games better. “We’ve figured out how to win games, close out games. We’re all confident in each other, it doesn’t matter who takes the big shot. We all just want to make sure we get a great shot over a good shot.”
Doherty added a layup and Reynolds added two more free throws to push the run to 15-0 over a five minute span. It marked the second straight game that North Attleboro kept its opponent for five minutes in the final quarter.
Milford shot 0/6 and had five turnovers in the stretch.
“When guys are thinking about defense first and you play good defense, you don’t have to think too much about the offense,” Mulkerrins said. “You look at that 20-1 run down the stretch and a lot of people look at the 20 but I look at the one. If you want to beat teams like Milford and Foxboro, the one is much more important to us.”
North Attleboro had a near flawless start to the game, finding Friberg early and often. The senior scored 11 of the team’s first 14 points while Doherty added five and Peterson had a trifecta. North shot 8/11 from the field while forcing four turnovers.
But Milford responded with an even better second quarter to take the lead into halftime. After North scored the opening bucket of the quarter, the Hawks went on a wild 18-0 run to seize a five point advantage. Zack Tamagni (14 points, four assists) bookended the run with a pair of layups while both Nate Davila (nine points) and Shane Cosquete (nine points, five rebounds) hit a pair of three pointers in the stretch.
The Rocketeers closed the deficit some in the final two minutes of the half, with Doherty finding space for a layup and Friberg grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring right before the buzzer. Milford led 28-25 at half.
Big Red carried that momentum into the third quarter and used a 12-0 run to take the lead back. Reynolds started the run with a three, Friberg added two free throws and a bucket in the paint and Doherty hit a three and converted a put back in the stretch.
“We knew it’d be a game of runs,” Mulkerrins said. “We knew they’d punch back. I thought Milford did an excellent job in the second quarter of executing their game plan and moving the ball and getting the pace that works for them. I was proud of how we finished the second quarter and then we started the second half on a much better run. I’m real proud of the guys for counter punching.”
North Attleboro finished with 19 assists on 23 made field goals and won the rebounding battle 30-27.
“This group has really bought into the concept of team over individual,” Mulkerrins said. “We’re always striving to get a great shot instead of a good shot. To their credit, they continued to share the ball and gave up individual opportunities for the greater good of the team.”
“This has been surreal,” Reynolds said.”To go 0-20 my freshman year and see how far we’ve progressed, it’s just an unreal feeling. I couldn’t be prouder to be teammates with these guys.”
North Attleboro boys basketball (13-7 overall, 10-6 Hockomock) is back in action on Monday when they travel to take on rival Attleboro in a non-league contest at 6:00. Milford (9-10, 7-9) is also back in action on Monday when it hosts Medway. The Scarlet Hawks need a win to get into the state tournament.
The Warriors weren’t going to share the Hockomock League Championship title with anyone.
For the second straight year, King Philip took home first place at the league meet held at Milford High School, pulling away from Canton, Milford, Franklin and Taunton down the stretch. The Warriors had a total of 279 points.
“It was an exciting meet to come into,” said first-year KP head coach Jack Pettine. “We were looking to do the best we could today. Throughout the season we had a lot of great competition to prepare us for today.”
King Philip won the first event of the day (200 medley relay) and it turned out to be the only first place finish the Warriors. In the final 10 events, the Warriors relied on their depth with a swimming finishing in fourth or better in eight of them. The only two events KP didn’t have a placement in the top six were the 100 yard free and the 200 free relay.
“We had some really strong showings from guys all throughout the team,” Pettine said. “After our guys who came in first, the guys who came in second, those little points really add up at the end to get us in first place.”
The team of sophomore Colby Vieira, senior Jack Poppenberger, senior Andy Sprague and sophomore Tyler Stringfellow got the Warriors off to a strong start, clocking in at 1:46.96 to win the 200 medley relay, edging Franklin, Milford and Franklin by a second or less.
That foursome went on to pace King Philip the rest of the way.
Vieira took fourth in the 200 IM (2:07.78) and third in the 100 backstroke (57.74), Poppenberger took third in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.04) and was apart of the 200 free relay that placed seventh, Sprague had a pair of third place finishes, first in the 50 free (23.35) and then in the 100 fly (55.12) and Stringfellow took second in both the 200 free (1:50.30) and 500 free (4:53.69).
Sprague, Vieira and Stringfellow, along with Dean Whyte, took second in the 400 free relay (3:28.06) to finish the meet.
KP also got strong performances from freshman John Dionis (eighth in the 200 free), Dean Whyte (eighth in 200 IM and fifth in the 100 backstroke) and Tate Duffy (fourth in 500 free and eighth in 100 breaststroke). All three were also apart of the 200 free relay that took seventh.
“Dean Whyte came in with some really good placing, Andy Sprague and John Dionis picked up some big points, Kyle Loud helped out too,” Pettine said. “Pretty much everyone on the team, top to bottom, came through in the clutch and that was exciting. It was all-team effort which is great.
“And I could not have done this season without my assistant coach Danielle Hopkins. She kept me going through it all. She worked great with the kids, she was one of our biggest strengths all season long.”
Fresh off a Davenport division dual meet title, Canton carried its momentum in to grab second place with 256 points.
The Bulldogs followed the lead of senior Sebastian Melendez (four time winner) and capitalized on strong showings in the freestyle events to get second place.
Melendez took first in both the 200 free (1:45.54) and the 500 free (4:46.23) – touching the wall at least five seconds ahead of second place in both events. Melendez also anchored the 400 free relay to a thrilling comeback in the final event of the meet and was also apart of the 200 free relay that took first.
Melendez was joined by seniors Owen Guerini and Sean Mitchell as well as freshman Adrian Bankowski in both relay wins.
“Those were big points there are the end, that really elevated us at the end,” said Canton coach Cheryl Cavanaugh. “Our relays were awesome. All of the kids had personal bests, some of the kids were even knocking as much as five and six seconds off of their time. It was an incredible day for us.
“All of the kids in the middle really improved today and knocked a lot of time off.”
Guerini, Mitchell and Bankowski made their mark throughout the meet as well. Mitchell picked up points with a second place in the 50 free (22.99) and touched in fourth in the 100 breaststroke, Guerini was fifth in the 50 free (23.39) and finished sixth overall in the 100 free and Bankowski, in his first league championship meet, was seventh overall in the 50 free (23.88) and came in sixth in the 500 free (5:32.55)
Diego Ferstler also record points for the Bulldogs, placing ninth in the 50 free, 11th in the 100 free and taking 10th in the 200 medley relay along with Chris Milne, Matthew Gilmore and Justin Diep. Mile also took 11th in the 100 breaststroke and Gilmore and Deep took sixth and 12th, respectively, in the 100 fly.
“We were right in the thick of things for a while and we were shocked to be in first at times and be with the big schools,” Cavanaugh said. “We came in just looking for personal bests and trying to get as many medals as we could. It was great for the kids to hear we were in contention for first place.”
Milford rounded out the top three, finishing with 251 points. Senior Nick Antonellis followed up an impressive performance at last year’s meet with another strong showing on Friday night.
“We were right in the thick of it the entire day,” said Milford head coach Dave Chaplin. “I’ve got to give total credit to our staff, they really prepared the kids for a great performance today. I don’t think we had a kid dive in the pool and not swim their best. Every sectional and state qualifying time we were looking to accomplish, we did that in spades. Just a fantastic effort, it was a great performance.”
Antonellis claimed first place in both the 200 IM (1:59.15) and the 100 fly (53.96) and helped two relay teams to top five finishes.
Antonellis teamed with Daniel Pacella, Chris Watson and Marcello Panno to clock in at 1:47.65 in the 200 medley relay – good enough for third place. That same foursome teamed together for the 400 free relay and finished in 3:35.26, taking fourth place.
Watson surged to a first place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
Panno also placed in the 50 free (sixth, 23.65) and the 100 free (fifth, 52.71). Scarlet Hawk freshman Gillieson Hobert took seven in the 100 backstroke (1:04.77) and 11th in the 50 free (25.25) and teamed with Pacella, Michael Khoury and Gianni Panno for a fourth place finish in the 200 free relay.
Franklin senior Connor Bourgeois won the 50 free (22.51), Oliver Ames sophomore Kyle Gray touched first in a very close 100 free race, coming in at 51.20 – 0.02 seconds ahead of Sharon’s Jason Hertz. North Attleboro’s Nick Haddad claimed first in the 100 backstroke (55.09).
King Philip’s Cara Angelo and Oliver Ames’ Cam Bourne won the diving championships at the beginning of the meet.
1. King Philip – 279
2. Canton – 256
3. Milford – 251
4. Franklin – 249.50
5. Taunton – 238
6. Oliver Ames – 210.50
7. Attleboro – 149
8. Mansfield – 138
9. North Attleboro – 133
10. Sharon – 129
11. Foxboro – 31
12. Stoughton (one swimmer) – 4
200 Yard Medley Relay
1. King Philip (Colby Vieira, Jack Poppenberger, Andy Sprague, Tyler Stringfellow) – 1:46.96
2. Franklin (Jack Cashin, Roy Wang, Sumit Choudhury, Connor Bourgeois) – 1:47.41
3. Milford (Daniel Pacella, Chris Watson, Nick Antonellis, Marcello Panno) – 1:47.65
4. Taunton (Navid Darius, Matthew Heather, Caelan Schrama, Noah Moniz) – 1:47.98
5. Attleboro (Colton Parkinson, Camren Fuller, Casey Cross, Connor Dunn) – 1:50.56
6. Mansfield (Zachary Costello, Jared Gabrilowtiz, Sebastian Gwynne, Matthew Weiner) – 1:54.34
200 Yard Free
1. Sebastian Melendez, Canton – 1:45.54
2. Tyler Stringfellow, King Philip – 1:50.30
3. Andrew Abramson, Oliver Ames – 1:56.01
4. Sumit Choudhury, Franklin – 2:02.94
5. Matthew Heather, Taunton – 2:03.00
6. Gianni Panno, Milford – 2:05.40
200 Yard IM
1. Nick Antonellis, Milford – 1:59.15
2. Nick Haddad, North Attleboro – 2:04.76
3. Colton Parkinson, Attleboro – 2:04.28
4. Colby Vieira, King Philip – 2:07.78
5. Noah Moniz, Taunton – 2:07.83
6. Roy Wang, Franklin – 2:10.41
50 Yard Free
1. Connor Bourgeois, Franklin – 22.51
2. Sean Mitchell, Canton – 22.99
3. Andy Sprague, King Philip – 23.35
4. Jason Hertz, Sharon – 23.37
5. Owen Guerini, Canton – 23.39
6. Marcello Panno, Milford – 23.65
100 Yard Butterfly
1. Nick Antonellis, Milford – 53.96
2. Sebastian Gwynne, Mansfield – 54.99
3. Andy Sprague, King Philip – 55.12
4. Kyle Gray, Oliver Ames – 55.17
5. Sumit Choudhury, Franklin – 59.84
6. Matthew Gilmore, Canton – 1:00.65
100 Yard Free
1. Kyle Gray, Oliver Ames – 51.20
2. Jason Hertz, Sharon – 51.22
3. Connor Bourgeois, Franklin – 51.30
4. Caelan Schrama, Taunton – 51.65
5. Marcello Panno, Milford – 52.17
6. Owen Guerini, Canton – 53.08
500 Yard Free
1. Sebastian Melendez, Canton – 4:46.23
2. Tyler Stringfellow, King Philip – 4:53.69
3. Colton Parkinson, Attleboro – 4:54.04
4. Tate Duffy, King Philip – 5:07.26
5. Andrew Abramson, Oliver Ames – 5:07.35
6. Nicholas Lombardo, Oliver Ames – 5:14.78
200 Yard Free Relay
1. Canton (Owen Guerini, Sean Mitchell, Adrian Bankowski, Sebastian Melendez) – 1:31.65
2. Franklin (Jack Cashin, Roy Wang, Sumit Choudhury, Connor Bourgeois) – 1:35.85
3. Sharon (Alexander Lurie, Kevin Yang, Dennis Chau, Jason Hertz) – 1:38.51
4. Milford (Daniel Pacella, Michael Khoury, Gianni Panno, Gillieson Hobert) – 1:39.57
5. Oliver Ames (Anthony Carraggi, Nicholas Lombardo, Alex Buche, Kyle Gray) – 1:40.41
6. North Attleboro (Lucas Haddad, Camrin Young, Brian Hines, Nick Haddad) – 1:42.15
100 Yard Backstroke
1. Nick Haddad, North Attleboro – 55.05
2. Noah Moniz, Taunton – 57.10
3. Colby Vieira, King Philip – 57.74
4. Nicholas Lombardo, Oliver Ames – 1:00.84
5. Dean Whyte, King Philip – 1:02.22
6. Navid Darius, Taunton – 1:04.31
100 Yard Breaststroke
1. Chris Watson, Milford – 1:06.35
2. Roy Wang, Franklin – 1:06.80
3. Jack Poppenberger, King Philip – 1:07.04
4. Sean Mitchell, Canton – 1:07.30
5. Jack Cashin, Franklin – 1:07.89
6. Lucas Haddad, North Attleboro – 1:08.27
400 Yard Free Relay
1. Canton (Owen Guerini, Sean Mitchell, Adrian Bankowski, Sebastian Melendez) – 2:36.31
2. King Philip (Andy Sprague, Dean Whyte, Colby Vieira, Tyler Stringfellow) – 3:28.06
3. Taunton (Noah Moniz, Matthew Heather, Johnathan Rego, Caelan Schrama) – 3:31.89
4. Milford (Marcello Panno, Daniel Pacella, Chris Watson, Nick Antonellis) – 3:35.26
5. Oliver Ames (Nicholas Lombardo, Alex Buche, Andrew Abramson, Kyle Gray) – 3:35.39
6. Attleboro (Connor Dunn, Casey Cross, Camren Fuller, Colton Parkinson) – 3:44.91
PROVIDENCE, RI — North Attleboro erased an eight point deficit over the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, but left just enough time left on the clock for Milford senior Zack Tamagni.
After two free throws with 5.7 seconds from North Attleboro senior Brent Doherty tied the game, Tamagni took the inbound pass, broke through a pair of defenders at the three point line and then danced his way past the last defender, laying it up with his left and in off the glass as time expired to give the Scarlet Hawks a 57-55 win.
“The leaders on this team stepped up today,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We’ve talked in the last couple of weeks about guys stepping up. Nate Davila stepped up, Zack [Tamagni], Anthony [Arcudi] and Kayden [Kelley] stepped up and Zach Tammaro stepped up coming off the bench, maybe not statistically but he helped big time in the second half.”
Milford had the original comeback of the game, cutting an 11-point deficit at halftime (35-24) down to just one (41-40) entering the final quarter by outscoring the Rocketeers 16-6 in the third quarter.
The Hawks carried that momentum into the fourth quarter with Nate Davila (14 points) draining an early three to give Milford its first lead since the first quarter. North’s Jonny Friberg (nine points, 13 rebounds, six assists) responded right away to tie the game at 43, but Milford would create separation with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes.
“Everyone will talk about the shot at the end but Milford got themselves back into the game in the third quarter,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “I thought we had some decent shots in the third quarter but we just couldn’t get any rhythm. I thought when the scoreboard got a little tight, we played a little tight. When we’re loose, we play our best basketball. I’m proud of the guys because they fought back but its just tough losing on a play like that. I have to do a better job coaching in those late game situations.”
Tamagni (17 points, four assists) hit two free throws, Ryan Sullivan (10 points, five rebounds) hit one and then three possessions later, Arcudi converted a putback with four minutes to play. Kayden Kelley (12 points, 13 rebounds) came up with a block on the defensive end and then converted a three-point play to put Milford up 51-43 with just over three minutes to play.
That’s when North Attleboro took its turn crafting a comeback. It started with a strong take from Thomas Reynolds (10 points, three boards, two assists) off a feed from Friberg and then was cut to five when Reynolds hit a free throw.
The Rocketeers then forced a turnover, resulting in Reynolds finding Doherty (game-high 18 points) for a three to bring North within two.
Tamagni (38 seconds left) and Friberg (22 seconds left) then each hit a pair of free throws to keep Milford’s two point lead. Tamagni then hit two more but Hacmoni Cuevas converted a putback, plus the harm, to get within two. North corralled the missed three throw and Doherty was fouled with 5.7 seconds left, converting both at the line to tie the game before Tamagni’s heroics.
“We told him to go to the hoop,” Seaver said of the last play. “It was something we tried to do on Friday to tie the game and things didn’t go our way. We were able to get it today.
“Coming out of halftime, they needed to go and earn the victory if they wanted it, and the kids did that so credit to them.”
North Attleboro came out on fire to start the game, going 7/12 from the field in the first quarter to build a 19-13 lead. Milford was efficient as well, going 5/7 and a perfect 3/3 from deep but had seven turnovers.
“They came out like we did here last year,” Seaver said. “We were on the other side of it this time, it is what it is. We just trusted our defense and in the end, I guess we got one more stop, or just made one more play at the end.
“They were hitting shots early. They had 19 points in the first quarter, we couldn’t guard anyone. We trusted our defense, we didn’t really make an adjustment. We stayed with the zone in the second half and it paid off just enough to get that little separation.”
The Rocketeers’ offense continued its strong start by going 6/9 from the field in the second. At halftime, North Attleboro was 6/10 from deep. But in the second half, Big Red managed just one three on 10 attempts.
“They did a better job on collapsing on [Friberg] in the second half, I don’t think he got many touches in the second half,” Mulkerrins said. “He got a couple of late ones. Missing Chad [Peterson], our rotation was a little screwy. Guys are playing extra minutes and in positions they aren’t always used to playing in. Some guys have to be a shooter when they usually aren’t.”
Milford takes over the top spot in the Davenport division with the win, moving to 8-6 overall and 6-4 in league play. The Scarlet Hawks will try to extended their division lead on Tuesday when Mansfield comes to town. North Attleboro (8-6 overall, 5-5 Hockomock) looks to get back into the win column when it hosts King Philip on the same night.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Coming into a game, Foxboro opponents know that they have to try and contain the Warriors leading scorer Ashley Sampson. The offense flows through the junior guard, who always seems to have the ball in her hands and can make plays in a number of different ways.
While stopping one player is hard enough, the challenge grows when the other players find the range as well. On Saturday morning at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Milford struggled to contain a Foxboro attack that was spearheaded by junior forward Grace Tamulionis, who scored a game- (and career-) high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and four steals.
Foxboro had three scorers reach double digits and eight players get on the board on Saturday to beat Milford 66-37 and pull into a first place tie with North Attleboro atop the Davenport division standings.
“We’ve been practicing a little bit more and been able to translate that into the games,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “It started on Thursday against Oliver Ames (a 51-35 win) and they’re shooting the ball with a lot more confidence. It’s not just one girl that is contributing and every day we’re getting someone new to step up.”
Foxboro came out firing in the first quarter and Sampson led the way with eight of her 16 points. Three times Sampson got to the baseline on drives to the hoop and she also knocked down a step-back jumper. Tamulionis also looked up for it from the start with four points in the first.
Milford stayed close largely thanks to Jill Burley. After Riley Collins drilled a three off a Lauren Flahive assist to push the Foxboro lead to nine, Burley, who scored seven of her 11 in the quarter, scored on a pair of drives to the hoop to cut the deficit to five despite leading scorer Kate Irwin being forced to the bench with foul trouble.
In the second, Emma Liskov came off the bench to score five of her team-high 13 points to keep Milford hanging around, but Foxboro was able to push the lead to nine by the break. Shannon Smally scored her lone basket to make it 22-15 and then Flahive and Kristen Bortolotti (from a Lily Sykes steal and assist) scored the final four points of the half.
When asked if playing in the arena setting could have impacted the way the Hawks started, Milford coach T.J. Dolliver responded, “It could’ve been, I can’t say for sure. I know for me, it’s a big environment and it’s a little intimidating, but after you get out there and run around you’re playing, you’re coaching.”
In the third quarter, Milford was held to only two made field goals (one for Liskov and the other for Christine Pye) and Foxboro’s defense continued to shut down Irwin, who was held to just one point for the game.
“Our focus was to block her out from touching the ball,” said Downs of guarding Irwin. “We kept rotating Lily and Riley, our two quickest girls, and that’s going to tire anyone out.”
Dolliver added, “It’s tough. In games like this, you need your stars, your leading scorer, to show up and unfortunately it wasn’t a good game for all of us. It’s hard for me to say the effort wasn’t there because I have a great group of girls…but we didn’t show up to play.”
On the other end, Tamulionis emerged as the go-to player for the Foxboro offense. She scored 10 points in the third, including a pair of threes, and looked confident every time she touched the ball. Sykes (12 points) extended the lead to 20 with a pair of high-arcing three-pointers of her own that closed out the third with Foxboro ahead 47-27.
“Grace has been doing some amazing things defensively and on the boards and now to have her being able to put the points on the board is just an extra bonus that’s going to get us far,” said Downs of Tamulionis’ contributions.
Sampson scored four in the fourth quarter, Sykes added six, Collins knocked down a three, and Tamulionis hit a jumper as well. Milford was struggling to slow down the Warriors, who were shooting the lights out.
“We didn’t have a game plan of trying to stop Ashley,” said Dolliver, “because they have so many; we had to stop so many. They made some really good, contested shots, pulled away, and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Downs was asked what impact it has on the Warriors when different players provide scoring, as Tamulionis did on Saturday and Sykes did against OA (she had 19 against the Tigers). Downs replied, “It’s huge. When we have another girl that other teams aren’t really paying attention to…all the focus isn’t on Ashley. That opens up a lot more things that we can do offensively.”
Foxboro (9-2, 8-2) is now tied with North Attleboro for first in the division heading into a tough trip to Attleboro on Tuesday. Milford (8-5, 5-5) drops to .500 in the league this season and faces a trip to Kelley-Rex leader Mansfield.