MANSFIELD, Mass. – With starting point guard Jordan Bennettt in street clothes and shooting guard Jackie Bonner forced to the sidelines with an injury in the second quarter, King Philip had its backcourt depth tested in Tuesday night’s visit to the Albertini Gym. While freshman Jessi Persky did an admirable job of staying composed against Mansfield’s pressure, senior Leah Santoro stepped up with the biggest shots of the night.
Twice in the final minutes of the game, Santoro, who hadn’t scored since the first quarter, found herself all alone in the corner in front of the KP bench, and both times she hit nothing but net. Santoro’s threes gave KP its biggest lead since the end of the first quarter and the second effort turned out to be the game-winning bucket in a 59-55, come from behind victory.
“I feel like last year there were some games that we let get away from us,” KP coach Jeff Miszkiewicz said about his team’s ability to find a way to win this season. “So, I feel like that’s something we’ve really been focusing on, the mental side of the game, staying in it no matter what. Such a big credit to the team for constantly believing in it, for really executing some amazing plays down the stretch. That execution’s what got us this win.”
KP’s backcourt played well in tough circumstances, but once again it was senior center Emily Sawyer that put the Warriors in a position to win. She scored 14 points in each half, finishing with a game-high 28 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Sawyer’s put-back in the fourth quarter put the Warriors in front for the first time since it 22-21 and she buried a pair of free throws with just nine seconds remaining to seal the win.
“I’m so proud of her because that was one of the first things I tried to preach to her was how to move without the basketball and how to play with the ball in her hands,” Miszkiewicz said of Sawyer. “Not be biased, but she’s the MVP of the league. The fact that she gets double-, triple-, quadruple-teamed and she still has 20 and 20 almost every night is unbelievable.”
“She scored 28, and I thought our bigs handled her nicely in terms of physicality,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson said. “I think KP rose to the challenge of [Bonner] being out and they kind of avenged that injury nicely. I think matchups were a bit of an issue, Sawyer of course, but Natalya has been playing really well for us but she’s an under-sized four.”
The game started off end-to-end, as Mansfield tried to negate KP’s size advantage in the paint by running at every opportunity. Abby Wager got going right away, hitting a jumper and then burying a three after Kara Santos (11 rebounds) snagged an offensive board. A Santos steal and long outlet turned into an easy fast break bucket.
KP climbed right back into the game. Santoro hit a tough runner and Bonner (eight points) drilled a pair of threes and another shot with a foot on the line. Olivia Salisbury (eight points) got an and-one to help the Hornets, but the rest of the scoring was all Wager. She hit a second three and finished with 13 of Mansfield’s 16 first quarter points.
Sawyer was also off to a strong start. She took a nice feed from Santoro on a sideline inbound play to score in the paint and showed off an array of moves on the block, including a nice turn around jumper that made it 20-16.
Mansfield trailed by six after one, but found a way to lock things down defensively in the second. Bonner was forced to the sideline after getting whacked on the nose and KP struggled to find any rhythm on that end of the floor.
Natalya Gill started the comeback with a banked in three and Hallie Popat knocked down a jumper. Santos added a put-back and Bridget Hanley got a steal under her own basket and went coast-to-coast to cap an 11-0 run and give the Hornets a 27-22 lead. Sawyer got a pair of baskets to cut the lead to one but Salisbury hit a jumper and Wager nailed another triple to extend the lead back to seven going into the locker room.
Each time KP seemed poised to be making a run in the third, Mansfield had an answer. Persky scored in transition to make it a four-point game, but then Hanley fed Santos (six points) on a nice dive to the rim. Sawyer grabbed a put-back, but then Hanley (eight points) drove to the basket, Ella Palanza followed with one of her own, and Gill grabbed a loose ball in the paint for a layup.
Down 10, KP went on a critical 4-0 run to close out the quarter and build momentum. Sawyer got behind the defense on the break for a layup and Persky took the contact and sank a runner on the baseline.
Paschke (nine points and nine rebounds) was proving to be a tough matchup all night and she got a couple of buckets to start the fourth quarter. Then it was Sawyer’s turn to get going again, grabbing offensive rebounds on back-to-back possessions to put KP in front 49-48.
McPherson admitted, “We have this momentum shift where we start to get down in the points and instead of trusting our offense, we kind of go rogue. KP played a great game, but what we need to do now is learn from that and figure out how we can get that momentum to shift back in our favor. We deflate instead of kind of rising to the occasion.”
Santoro looped another long sideline inbounds pass over the defense and into Sawyer’s hands for a close-range finish, but Palanza responded with a nice lefty drive through the lane to tie the game at 51 apiece. Santoro would prove to be the hero. She drilled one from the corner and then Paschke’s baseline drive drew a crowd of defenders and she kicked it out to Santoro in the same spot, with the same result.
“You don’t just replace two ball handlers like that and Leah hit some really big shots in the fourth quarter,” Miszkiewicz said of his backcourt players stepping up late. “Maddie with some strong drives. Two freshmen, Maddie Keough and Jessi Persky stepping up in that situation is really unbelievable.”
King Philip (9-4) will try to make it seven straight wins, and move one closer in the Kelley-Rex title race, when it hosts league-leading Franklin on Friday. Mansfield (8-6) will travel to Davenport-leading Foxboro on Friday looking to hand the Warriors their first league loss of the season and keep them from clinching the league title.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Even though Franklin and Mansfield are now competing in separate divisions, the rivalry remains between the two programs and the expectations remain for a tough, physical matchup. It may not be the prettiest game, but it’s guaranteed to be competitive.
On Tuesday night in Franklin, the two teams met for the only time this winter. The game was back-and-forth from the opening whistle, with eight ties and 15 lead changes. Through the first three quarters no team managed to lead by more than five points. Franklin went on an 8-0 run in the final minute of the game, extending the lead to double digits, and that was enough to hold off the Hornets for a 63-55 win.
“We tried to get them out of their sets,” Franklin coach John Leighton explained. “Obviously, they still scored a lot of points, but I think they had to grind a little bit more for them. That was the kind of game we wanted.”
Asked about the importance of being challenged like the Panthers were on Tuesday, Leighton replied, “It’s huge. This what playoff basketball feels like. We want to play way better than this when we get there, but this gets you ready for it.”
The game promised to be close not only because of the rivalry but also because both teams came in playing well. Franklin was riding a five-game win streak that allowed the Panthers to take a slim lead in the Kelley-Rex, while the Hornets were on a six-game streak to turn around a tough start that saw them win just once in their opening five games.
It was scrappy from the opening tip. The Panthers grabbed a 6-2 lead in the first quarter after Katie Peterson (17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks) hit a baseline jumper and drove to the rim.
Mansfield responded with an 8-0 run of its own. Natalya Gill (13 points and seven rebounds) hit a runner, Abby Wager (15 points and three blocks) went coast-to-coast after a defensive rebound, Ella Palanza drove through the lane for a bucket, and Bridget Hanley (seven points and three assists) swooped in for a lefty finish.
Sasha Tracey came off the bench and knocked down a three-pointer to bring Franklin within one and Peterson’s buzzer beater was halfway down but spun out, as the Hornets led 10-9 after one.
Gill was a big spark off the bench. She started the second with a three to put Mansfield up four. and Kara Santos (15 points and six rebounds) grabbed a put-back to make it 15-11. Franklin wouldn’t get too far away, as Caelyn Leonard (eight points and six boards) drilled a three to cut the lead to a point.
Wager answered with a three that would make it 23-19, but Lizzie Newman (six points, seven rebounds, and two blocks) cut through the lane for two and Peterson twice found driving lanes to put the hosts in front. Gill responded again, burying a corner three that made it 26-26.
“Franklin’s speed is tough to compete with and then they add the size with it,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson said. “Natalya came in first shift and worked on the boards and worked defensively and then hit some shots. I think that’s what makes us dangerous is we’ve got Kara and Abby but we do a good job switching up who gives us those other points every night.”
After a couple of free throws, Franklin had one more chance. Peterson drove and kicked to Chloe Fales (14 points and six rebounds) in the corner and the sophomore beat the buzzer with a three to send the Panthers into the locker room up 29-28.
Gill got the second half started with a bucket to regain the lead but Newman answered on the other end. Wager drilled a corner three to make it 36-33 but Peterson scored in the paint and Bridget Leo (10 points and three assists) turned a steal into a layup. Fales then buried another shot from deep to put Franklin up 40-38.
Leo forced another turnover and converted it for two points, but Santos, who had six points in the third, got free on an inbounds play for an easy bucket. Again Franklin got a big three late in the quarter. This time it was Tracey, who made it 45-40.
“They were trying to frustrate us and that was the game plan, but we needed to be opportunistic and we needed to be patient enough to let it happen,” Leighton said. “The first half we forced so many early looks. Once we got better looks, we were good, just had to wait for those opportunities. That’s what I love about Sasha, when she’s open, she’s ready to take the shot.”
Any momentum was quickly stifled by the Hornets, as Gill started the fourth with a three on a kick-out by Olivia Salisbury and Wager used her reach to force a steal and finished on the other end. Peterson made sure that Franklin wouldn’t fall behind, pulling up for a contested jumper in the lane and grabbing an offensive rebound for two.
Wager hit a long two, but Franklin rattled off six straight, with Fales getting a pair of baskets, including one off a Newman steal and long outlet pass. Hanley kept Mansfield in the game, knocking one down from the corner to cut the lead to 55-50 and Santos made a nice baseline drive to get within three.
Peterson came up with maybe the biggest play of the game with 1:09 on the clock. Leonard missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Peterson was able to rise highest to snatch the rebound. Fales then made a nice pass across the lane to Leonard for a huge basket.
Franklin would add the next six points, making good stops on one end, crashing the boards, and knocking down free throws on the other. It wasn’t expected to be easy, but it was the type of game that both coaches knew would benefit their teams in the long-run.
“I thought we battled,” McPherson said. “I was really impressed with how we played and I think coming from the beginning of the season to now, we’re so much improved. We’re looking to compete.”
Franklin (9-2) will try to make it seven wins on the trot when it travels to Milford on Friday night. Mansfield (7-5) will try to get right back on track when it hosts Canton.
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.“
Attleboro, 67 vs. Durfee, 42 – Final – After falling behind in the first quarter, Attleboro dominated the final three quarters to earn a season sweep of Durfee. Playing shorthanded without leading scorer Evan Houle, the Bombardiers got a huge boost from junior Jaiden Outland, who hit four three pointers and finished with career-high 18 points to pace the Attleboro offense. Durfee held a 18-14 lead after eight minutes but Attleboro came storming back in a 22-point second quarter with Outland netting eight point, Jake Struminski adding six of his eight points, and Colin Morais chipping in with five of his 15 points. The Bombardiers won the second quarter 22-5, taking a 36-23 lead into the locker room.
Canton, 66 vs. Fenway, 49 – Final – Holding a six point lead at the break, Canton used a 19-point third quarter to stretch the lead and eventually finish off Fenway for the second time in as many days. The Bulldogs got scoring contributions from six players in the big third quarter with senior Lanse Dorcelus scoring six of his team-high 16 points, senior Nate Mei adding five of his 13 points, and Matt Chafin (11 points), Dillon Nguyen, Conor Hunter, and Bahsor Mahn (eight points) all scored in the quarter as Canton turned its halftime lead (32-26) in a 51-36 advantage going into the fourth. Jacob Solomon added a trio of threes and finished with nine points.
Foxboro, 58 vs. Medfield, 54 – Final – Tied at halftime, Foxboro pulled ahead for good with a big third quarter to land a key win over Division 2 foe Medfield. Foxboro had a 20-15 lead after a quarter but the teams went into the locker room at halftime deadlocked, 30-30. Five different Foxboro players scored in the third and the Warriors had their best defensive frame of the game, winning the third 17-9. Alex Penders had five of his 14 points, Andrew Finn and Cam Barreira each sank a three, Sam Golub (nine points) added a basket, and Dylan Gordon had four of his team-high 22 points to help Foxboro pull away.
Franklin, 43 vs. Leominster, 30 – Final – Anchored by one of its best defensive efforts of the season, Franklin landed an impressive win over one of the two ranked teams in Division 2. Junior Ben Harvey had a fantastic showing on the defensive end, holding one of Central Mass’ best players Justin Dadah Jr. to just one three-pointer in the fourth quarter. The Panthers used a 16-0 run across the first and second quarters to create separation. Sophomore Sean O’Leary scored eight of his 11 points in the opening half while Harvey got it going on the offensive end with six points in the second. Geino Scaringello gave the Franklin offense a big boost in the second half with all of his nine points coming over the final two frames.
King Philip, 68 vs. Falmouth, 36 – Final – King Philip poured in 26 points in the third quarter to run away with a big win over Falmouth in the first round of the Somerset-Berkley tournament. The Warriors built a 27-16 lead at halftime, getting a trio of three-pointers from Grant Kinney in the first half and one apiece from Braeden Sottile (10 points) and freshman Tommy Kilroy. Junior Will Laplante took over in the third, hitting three more threes and went on to finish with 16 of his team-high 24 points after the halftime break. Charlie Grant and Sottile also hit threes in the third quarter for KP, who had 12 makes from three-point range.
Mansfield, 56 vs. Westford Academy, 41 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Mansfield struggled in the opening quarter against Westford’s zone, but the Hornets turned things around in the second quarter to send the teams into the locker room tied. In the second half, Mansfield locked down defensively, allowing only one point in the third and 12 points in the half, to pull out a win against a team ranked in the top 10 in Div. 1 and advance to the final of the Roundball Classic. Matt Hyland led all scorers with 16, 10 in the second half, and added nine rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Chris Hill added 13, including seven in the second to help the Hornets even up the game and 4-for-4 from the line in the fourth quarter. Andrew Slaney nailed four threes, including two in the first to keep Mansfield close, and finished with 12 points. Mansfield hit eight from beyond the arc as a team and will face the winner of Whitman-Hanson and Brockton in Wednesday’s final.
Milford, 46 vs. Shrewsbury, 57 – Final
Sharon, 59 vs. Walpole, 71 – Final – Sharon trailed by just three at halftime but Walpole exploded for 27 points in the third quarter to run away with the win in the championship game of the Davenport Classic. Sophomore Nate Katznelson dropped a career-high 27 points for the Eagles, but Walpole’s balanced attack — five players scored in the third — and successful three-point shooting in the third (five makes) ended up the difference.
Stoughton, 59 vs. Milton, 38 – Final – After a back-and-forth first quarter, Stoughton dominated the middle quarters to build a double digit lead that never relinquished the rest of the way. Junior Rayan Sablon hit four three-pointers in the first half and finished with 22 of his career-high 31 points to help the Black Knights get the win. Connor Andrews added nine of his 17 points in the opening half as Stoughton built a 34-19 lead at halftime and had a 46-25 lead going into the fourth.
Taunton, 77 @ New Bedford, 42 – Final – Taunton senior Trent Santos scored his 1,000th career point as the Tigers rolled to a big win to finish the regular season. Santos finished with 29 points in the win and hit the milestone with — fittingly — a pull up three in transition in the fourth quarter. Santos had five threes in the game and 10 total makes. Chris Volcy came off the bench and scored half of his 12 points in Taunton’s 25-point second quarter, turning a close game into a blowout by halftime (43-21). Faisal Mass added eight points for Taunton, which had nine players get in the scoring column.
Attleboro, 61 @ Durfee, 30 – Final – The Bombardiers held Durfee to 12 points in the first half, building a 32-12 lead through two quarters and never looking back to record a fifth straight win. Meghan Gordon scored 12 of her 16 points and Lindsey Perry scored all seven of her points in the first half to get Attleboro off to a great start. Vanessa Ellis scored 13 points (eight in the second half) and Rylie Camacho buried four three-pointers and finished with 12. Avery Vieira scored six of her eight points in the fourth.
Foxboro, 61 vs. Cambridge, 30 – Final – Kailey Sullivan scored 23 points, knocking down five three-pointers, as the Warriors rolled to a big win in the opening round of the Warrior Classic. Nine players scored for Foxboro, which will face Walpole on Tuesday night in the final.
Mansfield, 54 vs. Westford Academy, 55 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Abigail Chambers hit a three from six feet behind the arc with only 4.5 on the clock and Westford pulled out a come from behind win in the first round of the Roundball Classic. The Hornets had led 54-48 in the closing minutes, but Westford closed the game on a 7-0 run. Abby Wager scored a team-high 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to pace the Hornets. She added six rebounds and four steals. Kara Santos chipped in with nine points (five in the fourth) and Bridget Hanley added nine points, five assist, and two blocks. Natlya Gill came off the bench and scored seven points. Mansfield will face Natick on Wednesday afternoon in the consolation round of the tournament.
Taunton, 52 vs. New Bedford, 59 – Final – Taunton and New Bedford had a shootout in the second half, as the teams combined for 68 points, but the Tigers weren’t able to pull off a comeback in the season finale and the Whalers earned a split of the season series. Kameron St. Pierre had a team-high 17 points for the Tigers, all of them in the second half, and knocked down three from beyond the arc. Liv Gannon scored nine, all in the first half, and Cali Melo and Abby Souza each scored eight points for the Tigers.
Canton, 46 @ Westwood, 40 – Final – The Bulldogs closed out the regular season by winning the title at the Riley Classic and beating one of the teams ahead of them in the Div. 2 power rankings. Fay Gallery scored 17 points, dished our four assists, and had three steals to lead the way for Canton. Kiara Cerruti added 16 points and three steals and Sydney Gallery had seven points, five boards, and three assists. Canton also got a lot of help on the glass, with Han Hong and Erin Beatty each pulling down six rebounds and Samya DaSilva grabbing five boards. Marissa Staffiere made a pair of clutch free throws at the end to help seal the win. Fay Gallery was named tournament MVP and Cerruti was named to the all-tournament team.
King Philip, 49 vs. Archbishop Williams, 28 – Final – KP jumped out to a 16-2 lead after one quarter and extended that lead to 34-6 at halftime, running away with a big win in the consolation round of the end-of-season tournament. The Warriors had 48 points through three quarters. All 14 players saw time on the court and 11 ended up on the score sheet. Liv Lafond led the Warriors with 10 points, while Emily Sawyer had eight and Kylie Watson and Julia Marsden each scored seven points in the win. Olivia Ali knocked down a three-pointer for her first career varsity points.
North Attleboro, 1 vs. Walpole, 3 – Final
Mansfield, 3 vs. King Philip, 6 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Rockland, 2 – Final (OT) – After being shutout by Rockland in the first time around, Stoughton pushed the Bulldogs to the limit this time around before falling in overtime. Joe McNulty had the goal for the Black Knights, Steven Westerlund had a strong game defensively, and Chris Andrade played well in net with 29 saves.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 vs. Dedham, 0 – Final – MOA freshman Emma Rabinovich sparked the offense with her first career goal less than a minute into the game and the Warriors never looked back, skating to a shutout win over Dedham. Rabinovich lit the lamp 30 seconds into the game and then Kylie O’Keefe doubled the lead with a minute left in the period to make it 2-0. Cammy Shanteler (from O’Keefe) and Cataline Kipp each added a goal for the Warriors. Jess Widdop made 35 saves in net to earn the shutout for MOA.
MILFORD, Mass. – It has been a long week for Mansfield. Saturday afternoon’s trip to Milford was the fifth game in seven days for the Hornets. Coupled with an early tip, Mansfield could be forgiven for not starting the game with a ton of energy, but the Hornets picked it up with a 22-point third quarter that proved to be the difference.
Abby Wager and Kara Santos scored 16 points apiece, combining for 17 in the third quarter alone, and Mansfield was able to hold the Hawks to just five points and one made basket in the fourth to pull out a 56-47 win that leaves Mansfield on the brink of clinching a spot in the postseason.
“We were playing catch up energy-wise,” said Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “I said they’re going to come out with confidence, they’re going to come out with energy, we need to find it and start right from the beginning. Obviously, we didn’t meet that goal but I think they did what they needed to do to chip away and put it back in our favor.”
Energy was no problem for Milford at the start of the game. The Hawks were also playing their second game in about 16 hours, but came out aggressive on both ends of the court. Emily Croteau (nine points and six rebounds) got things started with a three from the wing and then Brooke Ferreira buried one as well. A Bridget Hanley layup off an inbounds play and a Natalya Gill steal that led to an Anna Darlington bucket got Mansfield within one but Croteau answered with a layup.
Santos had a pair of put-backs to get her night started (she would finish with 13 rebounds) but sophomore Khatrina Leger (11 points and five rebounds), a transfer from Leominster, matched her on the other end to put Milford up 13-11 after one.
“It’s a testament to my girls,” said Milford coach TJ Dolliver. “They’ve been playing hard. We’ve been competing for a while now with some of these big name teams. They want to be here. It’s noon on a Saturday and we have that type of energy, so they want to be here. They’re playing hard and I love that energy.”
The teams kept firing away in the second quarter. Erin Michelson (six points) started it with a three and Santos came down with a nice post move and lefty hook. Croteau added her second three of the game, but Wager (five steals) got on the board with her first three of the day. Michelson hit from deep again to extend the lead to 24-18 but Darlington (10 points, four steals, and three assists) fed Santos in the post for two and then drilled a three.
Milford was hanging in offensively even though leading scorer Maddalena Mannucci Pacini had yet to get on the board. That changed after Mansfield tied it at 24, as she stepped into a long three to put the Hawks back in front and then got free off an inbounds play for a layup. It was 29-27 Milford heading to the locker room, and the Hawks had six threes as a team.
“It’s not just the girls that are in the game, it’s the girls on the bench who don’t get a lot of playing time,” said Dolliver about his team’s compete level. “We have a lot of girls that can knock down some shots. I feel like everyone has stepped up and found their role and worked hard at it.”
Mansfield turned things around in the third. Santos tied it with a layup, but Pacini grabbed a loose ball and hit a pull-up three in transition to make it 32-29. Wager got a layup, Pacini answered with another three, and then Santos pulled down an offensive rebound to set Wager up for a triple. Wager hit a tough runner on the baseline that made it 36-35, Mansfield’s first lead of the game.
Pacini beat the shot clock buzzer with a runner to put the Hawks back in front 40-39, but Wager hit a contested, off-balance three that put the Hornets in front for good. She finished with 11 of her 16 points in the quarter, although she also picked up her fourth foul. Hanley (five points, four assists, and six rebounds) drained a three and Santos and Darlington each got to the rim for buckets, as the Hornets led 49-42 heading to the fourth.
“We went bigger and we were allowed to switch,” McPherson explained. “You can’t cheat off of Abby but then you have to leave Kara, so making them make a choice. Kara hit some big bunnies and Abby hit some big shots too so it worked in our favor.”
Up to that point, the fewest either team had scored in a quarter was Mansfield with 11 in the first. Over the final eight minutes, the teams combined for just 12 points, three made field goals, and 5-for-11 from the line.
Milford needed more than four minutes to get its first points and more than 6-1/2 minutes for its first made field goal. Mansfield’s offense was also a grind, as the Hornets didn’t knock down a second shot until more than five minutes had gone in the fourth.
“They start to inch away, but we don’t pack it in,” Dolliver said. “It’s just tough if we go on a little run where we don’t score and it just starts to settle in that they’re scoring here and there and we’re not and they start to inch away, but they still battle no matter what.”
Santos scored through contact to put the Hornets up by nine. Pacini (game-high 17 points) made two at the line with 3:41 left to cut it back to seven (51-44). Almost a minute later, Rose Maher (five points) had the biggest shot of the night for the Hornets, drilling a three from the wing to extend the lead to 10 with less than three minutes to go.
“This was a big one for us,” said McPherson. “Looking at it, we stacked our own (end-of-season) Roundball Tournament with teams that are in the playoffs (Natick, Bishop Feehan, Westford Academy), so we need to finish out the Hock strong and I think it’s preparing us for the tournament, which is good.”
Mansfield (10-7), who went 4-1 over this tough week, will have the chance to clinch a playoff berth when it hosts Taunton on Tuesday. Milford (4-13) will head to undefeated Franklin on Tuesday.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – A lot of attention going into Tuesday night’s game at the Albertini Gym was on Canton’s leading scorer Kiara Cerruti as she closes in on the 1,000-point mark for her career, but it turned out to be another of the Bulldogs’ three senior stars that stole the show and helped Canton extend its winning streak to seven games.
Fay Gallery knocked down five three-points and scored a game-high 31 points, including 20 in the second half, as Canton answered a Mansfield run with one of its own and then held off the Hornets in the fourth quarter for a 63-56 victory.
I think the benefit of having multiple people who can shoot and drive is it’s hard to stop one in this league, let alone three or four,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “Everyone knew Kiara was trying to get to 1,000, so they’re guarding her like crazy, so it became Fay’s night. It opened up everything. When they made their runs, Fay had an answer with threes.”
The teams came out firing in the first quarter, combining for 30 points. Kara Santos got off to a strong start, scoring six of her 16 in the first and put Mansfield ahead 11-5 with a pair at the line. Cerruti (six points, six rebounds, five steals, and five assists) started a 7-2 run with an offensive rebound and assist on a Gallery jumper. Gallery added a three off an Erin Beatty (eight rebounds) offensive board and kick out and a tough hoop to cut the lead to one.
Cerruti, who had a tough shooting night overall but was credited by Choquette for not trying to force her shots and playing within the offense, grabbed a rebound and knocked down a jumper for a 14-13 lead. She is 20 points shy of 1,000.
Mansfield had one last possession and Abby Wager (eight points, three blocks, and three assists) beat the buzzer with a deep three to send the Hornets into the first break up two.
It was a game of runs and it was the Bulldogs who put together the first one, scoring 16 of the first 20 points of the second quarter and building a 10-point lead. Emily McCabe got things started with a three and then Sydney Gallery turned it on the second, scoring nine of her 14 points in the quarter, showing off an array of post moves and knocking down a three.
Mansfield needed a spark and turned to its bench. Natalya Gill gave the Hornets a boost of energy, scoring seven of her 10 points in the second. She drilled a three and then fought for an offensive rebound and put-back late in the quarter that cut the lead down to four heading into the locker room.
“I think we rotate people who kind of give us that spark, which is nice because it makes us hard for teams to predict,” said Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “It’s kind of a surprise, we don’t know who it’s going to be. I think that spark comes when we’re trusting our offense and working through it and finding each other.”
Gill’s energy carried over into the second half, as Mansfield turned that six-point burst into a 16-2 run, erasing a 10-point deficit and going up by four. Hanley and Anna Darlington (five points) each hit threes that tied the game at 32-32, then Santos went to work in the post with back-to-back baskets.
This time it was Canton’s turn to respond. Samya DaSilva (six points) knocked down a big three to halt Mansfield’s momentum. Fay Gallery did the rest for Canton during a 15-2 run that put the Bulldogs up for good. She hit a three off a Cerruti pass to put Canton ahead and then extended the lead to six off another Cerruti pass. After driving to the basket for two, Gallery took a swing pass from McCabe and hit her third triple of the quarter.
“I commend their offense when I scout them, just how many options they have,” said McPherson. “You’ve got to worry about the Gallery sisters and Cerruti, so there’s a lot of people to worry about, but they stay with all their sets, they set great screens. I thought we played good defense but I also thought Fay, some of those shots were with a hand in her face so what more can you ask a team to do?”
Choquette explained, “We took their best shots, they hit a few really tough shots, they got it inside, hit free throws. We took that and we went back and executed on our end. That’s probably what won the game for us, just being able to answer big, big shots from them.”
Mansfield would get a big three by Gill to stay within six going to the fourth, but DaSilva knocked down her second three of the game to start the quarter and push the lead to nine. Santos threw a long lead pass to Wager who scored plus the foul, but Gallery answered at the other end with another three.
Twice Sydney Gallery matched Mansfield baskets with buckets of her own, as Canton kept the Hornets at arm’s length. Santos got two more in the paint and Hanley drilled a corner three off a Darlington pass to cut the lead down to five, 59-54. After Canton made one at the line, Santos grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it 60-56 with 30 seconds to go.
Gallery made two big free throws and, after an empty trip for the Hornets, McCabe added one at the line to seal the win.
“One thing I’m really proud of with the girls is we talk all the time about needing to be a complete team,” said Choquette. “Emily, she has so much energy, her soccer skills really take over when she sees the floor, her anticipation on defense is second to none.”
Canton (8-3) will start a three-game home stand on Friday with the visit of Foxboro. Mansfield (6-4) will be back home on Friday for a game with Attleboro.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – After getting off to a great start and jumping out to a double digit lead in the first quarter, Mansfield went into the fourth quarter of Sunday afternoon’s matinee with King Philip at the Albertini Gym leading by just two. The Hornets needed to find the energy they started the game with.
Mansfield regained control on the defensive end, got an important lift from reserve forward Brooke Butler on both ends of the floor, and went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth. The Hornets extended the lead to as many as 12 and finished with a 45-35 victory over the Warriors, pushing their win streak to four.
“We’re at a point right now that we have so many kids who want to take it to the basket, take quick shots, we’ve got shooters, we’re not making teams play defense long enough,” Mansfield coach Heather McPherson. “They honed in and went to fundamentals and I feel like our defense was really, really good.”
Afternoon tips sometimes cause problems, as it can be tough to find the necessary energy outside of the normal routine. The Hornets had no problem with that in the first quarter, jumping out to a 13-2 lead.
Olivia Salisbury and Anna Darlington (eight points and seven rebounds) each buried threes and then Abby Wager (game-high 19 points and six steals) got going. She scored in the lane off Darlington’s offensive rebound and assist and then drilled a three plus the foul to put Mansfield up 11. Emily Sawyer (14 rebounds) got the only basket for KP.
The Warriors needed a boost before the game got out of hand, so KP switched its defense to a half-court trap and full-court press, forcing the players to be more aggressive. It worked. KP looked much more engaged on both ends and the Hornets lost any rhythm to their offense.
Knocking down shots also helped KP get back into it. The Warriors made four three-pointers in the quarter. Elizabeth Molla got things started with a three, then Julia Marsden hit one. Kara Santos (six points and nine rebounds) answered with a pair of baskets for Mansfield, but Marsden came back and drilled another to cut the lead to 17-11 midway through the quarter.
Molla set up Jackie Bonner (eight points) for a corner three and, after Rose Maher got two on the other end off an inbounds pass from Bridget Hanley (three blocks, four assists, nine rebounds), Sawyer kicked it out to Kylie Watson for a buzzer-beating jumper. Mansfield led 19-17 at the half.
“We’ve been that way as a team all year,” KP coach Jeff Miszkiewicz explained. “We don’t get off to great starts, but we always battle back. Every single game, we’ve had to battle back.”
He added, “I was trying to get some way to get them to play more energetic on defense and that certainly helped. I think, they got really comfortable on offense, so our defense wasn’t nearly as good as it was (last time out) against Attleboro, so we needed do something to change up what they were seeing.”
KP carried its momentum into the second half. Wager hit a tough layup off a steal but Liv Lafond (nine points, all in the second half) answered. Wager came back with a pull-up jumper, but Bonner knocked down a floater and with the game tied knocked down a big three that put the Warriors ahead 26-23.
It was the only lead that KP had in the game. Darlington grabbed an offensive rebound and scored plus a foul to even things back up with 1:11 left in the third. As time was winding down inside the final 10 seconds of the quarter, Wager got yet another steal and turned it into a go-ahead layup.
McPherson said of Wager, “She’s out-sized for her position, which is a huge advantage. Just to put her on someone and to have that wingspan on you is really hard to think about and she’s come up really big when it matters.”
The basket meant Mansfield would have the lead entering the fourth, but still with a lot of work to do to find its flow on offense. Santos started the quarter with a bucket in the paint and then added a steal and lead pass to Wager for a layup and a foul, making it 33-26.
Lafond got two at the other end with a nice post move, but then Mansfield’s bench came through with several big plays. Butler, who had been guarding the 6-foot-4 Sawyer in the post at times, managed to control a bounce pass and finish for two, Natalya Gill drove to the basket for her only points of the afternoon, and then Butler again finished at the rim thanks to a great drive and dish by Hanley.
“A kid like Brooke Butler comes in and, she doesn’t light up the stat line but does a lot of things that make a huge difference,” said McPherson. “What she lacks in size she makes up with heart. We’re looking for team chemistry and camaraderie and she brings it.”
KP was trying to hang around, but Santos came up with another huge effort play, grabbing two offensive rebounds to keep a possession alive and kicking it out to Wager for a dagger three that put the Hornets up 12 late in the quarter. Leah Santoro got three back for KP but the Hornets had the important win.
“They hit some really big shots,” said Miszkiewicz. “Liv and Julia had foul trouble, Emily got hurt, so we had a lot of things go wrong, but they (Mansfield) played really well. They took advantage of every misstep we had on defense and hit some really big shots.”
Mansfield (6-3) will try to keep things headed in the right direction on Tuesday when it hosts Canton. King Philip (5-4) has lost three in a row heading into a visit from Oliver Ames on Tuesday.
King Philip, 41 @ Attleboro, 76 – Final – Attleboro got off to a blistering start with 27 points in the opening quarter, and kept its foot on the pedal with 20 more points in the second on its way to a big win over King Philip. Alvin Harrison scored all nine of his points in the opening quarter, one of six Bombarders to hit a shot from the field as the hosts established a 27-11 lead after just eight minutes. Junior Trevor White accounted for four of Attleboro’s nine made three-pointers, including three in the opening half that led to a 47-23 halftime lead. White finished with a game-high 20 points, Evan Houle added 13 points, including a trio of trifectas, and sophomore Neo Franco chipped in with nine points. Will Laplante led King Philip with 11 points.
Sharon, 51 @ Canton, 59 – Final – Canton exploded for 21 points in the third quarter to surge ahead of Sharon and held on to land an upset win over the visiting Eagles. Trailing 27-25 at halftime, five different Bulldogs hit field goals, including a pair of threes from Jacob Solomon, to help the hosts stake a 46-38 lead going into the fourth. Canton was held to just one field goal in the fourth but went 10-for-12 from the free throw line to stay ahead. Senior Lanse Dorcelus score a game-high 17 points, going 9-for-10 from the free throw line to lead the charge offensively while Solomon finished with nine points. Junior Jack Bates scored a team-high 11 points for the Eagles while classmate Matt Baur added 10 points.
Foxboro, 56 @ Oliver Ames, 65 – Final – Oliver Ames built a lead in the first quarter and added enough cushion in the second quarter to keep Foxboro at bay throughout the remainder of the game to get back into the win column, snapping a three-game skid. The Tigers got a balanced scoring attack with nine players registering points, and OA found success attacking the basket with 22 two-point field goals compared to just a pair of three-pointers. After just two points in the first half, junior Zach Tagliamonte got it going in the second to finish with a game-high 18 points. MJ Jean-Baptiste added 12 points and Drew Baxter had 10 for OA, which led 15-10 after one quarter, 30-18 at halftime, and 44-35 going into the final frame. Foxboro’s offense came alive in the second half, hitting on all eight of its three-pointers but couldn’t close the gap. Senior Dylan Gordon and juniors Sam Golub and Alex Penders all finished with 13 points apiece.
Milford, 34 @ Franklin, 77 – Final – Franklin poured in 21 points in the first quarter and never looked back in a big win over visiting Milford. Junior Justin Allen hit half of his four three-pointers in the first quarter, sophomore Henry Digiorgio hit had one of his game-high five three-pointers in the opening quarter, and senior Sean Vinson also hit from deep as the Panthers established a 21-9 lead after one, and pushed the lead to 40-17 at half after hitting five more threes in the second, including one from freshman Caden Sullivan. Digiorgio finished with a game-high 21 points, Allen had 16 points, Vinson finished at 10 points, and junior Geino Scaringello chipped in with 10 second half points.
North Attleboro, 48 @ Stoughton, 46 – Final – Junior Jack Munley had a big block late and North Attleboro hit just enough free throws down the stretch to score an upset on the road at Stoughton. Stoughton led by one possession at halftime (23-20) and at the end of the third quarter (34-32) but the Rocketeers pulled even late and went ahead on free throws in the final minute. Freshman Ryan Bannon tied the game with a free throw before Stoughton went back ahead with one of their own. Senior Brody Rosenberg (game-high 16 points) went 2-for-2 at the line to put North ahead, 47-46, with 13 seconds to go and Munley came up with a big block on the other end to get the ball back. Junior Givany Carney (11 points) gave North a two-point lead with a free throw with five seconds to go, and Stoughton’s last-second three was off the mark. Senior Connor Andrews had a team-high 13 points while sophomore Liam Pearl added 11 points for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 49 @ King Philip, 45 – Final – Meghan Gordon scored eight of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, as Attleboro rallied to pick up a road win and extend its streak to six straight victories. Attleboro led 28-18 at halftime, but the Warriors stormed out of the break, holding the Bombardiers to just four points in the third to take the lead. The visitors took the fourth quarter 17-11 to pull it out despite only making five field goals in the second half. Lindsey Perry added 11 points, including seven in the first, and Kayla Goldrick scored eight in the win. Emily Sawyer paced KP with 16 points, scoring six in each of the second and third quarters. Julia Marsden scored 10 and Liv Lafond finished with seven for the Warriors.
Canton, 66 @ Sharon, 33 – Final – Kiara Cerruti and Sydney Gallery each scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs to a sixth straight win. Cerruti added five rebounds and two assists and Gallery had six boards. Fay Gallery scored nine points and had five steals, while Emily McCabe chipped in with nine rebounds, five assists, and five steals and Marissa Staffiere had four assists. Samya DaSilva had four points and five rebounds and also played lockdown defense on Sharon star sophomore Jasmine Davis, holding her to four points and without a made basket.
Oliver Ames, 65 @ Foxboro, 30 – Final – Oliver Ames raced out to a 35-9 lead by halftime and controlled the game from start to finish to secure a key division win over Foxboro. “We played great defense, and controlled the glass at both ends and got great finishes…it was a total team effort,” said OA head coach Laney Holbrook. Senior Caroline Peper led the offense with 18 points while Hailey Bourne provided a big spark with a season-high 12 points. Sophomore Jasmyn Cooper added 12 points, 11 rebounds, and seven steals while classmate Kaydance Derba added nine points.
Franklin, 62 @ Milford, 19 – Final – Franklin held Milford to six or fewer points in each quarter to continue its win streak. The Panthers jumped out to a 23-4 lead after the first and then extended the lead to 41-9 by halftime. Katie Peterson and Olivia Quinn each scored 11 to lead the Panthers and Stefany Padula added 10, as a dozen Franklin players got on the board. Maeve Driscoll led Milford with six, all in the fourth quarter on a pair of threes. Maddalena Mannucci Pacini and Brooke Ferreira each scored four.
Mansfield, 72 @ Taunton, 62 – Final – Mansfield survived a Taunton fourth quarter comeback and won a shootout at the Raboiun Field House to make it three straight victories. Bridget Hanley led the way for the Hornets with a career-high 27 points, knocking down six of Mansfield’s 13 threes. Kameron St. Pierre was Taunton’s top scorer, finishing with a game-high 35 and making six threes of her own. The Hornets jumped out to a 42-128 lead by halftime and added three more to the lead after the third quarter, but Taunton responded with 25 points in the fourth to cut the lead back to 10. Abby Wager added 16 points for the Hornets, all but one coming in the first half, and Natalya Gill scored 11. Kara Santos chipped in with nine, including six in the fourth. Jillian Doherty scored eight and Abby Souza had seven in the loss.
Foxboro, 70 @ Abington, 65 – Final – Foxboro took a lead in the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way in securing a win on the road over Abington. Senior Dylan Gordon hit 10 shots from the field, including just one three-pointer, on his way to a career-high 27 points to pace the Warriors, who led 13-8 after one and 33-25 at halftime. Junior Alex Penders added 18 points while the Warriors got key three-pointers from Sam Golub, Ryan LeClair, Andrew Finn, and Cam Barreira. Foxboro carried a 50-44 lead into the final quarter.
Mansfield, 65 @ BC High, 87 – Final – Mansfield held a one-point lead (19-18) after the first quarter but couldn’t recover from the 10-point deficit it faced at halftime to suffer its first loss of the season. Senior Matt Hyland had a team-high 20 points while Dante James and Jack Lasbury-Casey each chipped in with 12 points.
Mansfield, 54 vs. Notre Dame Academy, 40 – Final – Mansfield trailed by two after the first quarter but then put together an 18-8 second to take a lead that it wouldn’t relinquish, picking up a non-league home win. Abby Wager led the way for the Hornets with 16 points and Natalya Gill added 13, including three makes from beyond the arc. The duo combined for 10 of Mansfield’s 12 points in the first, but NDA led by two after eight minutes. In the second, Mansfield scored 18 points to head into the locker room up by eight. Wager and Hallie Popat (seven points) each scored five in the quarter and Gill knocked down a three. Wager and Gill were back at it in the third, teaming up for 11 of Mansfield’s 15, as the Hornets went into the fourth up by 10. NDA was held to just five points in the final quarter, as Mansfield locked down defensively to seal the win. Kara Santos scored six points on her return to the lineup.
Canton, 3 vs. Newburyport, 1 – Final
Franklin, 9 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Foxboro scored a first period goal to cut Franklin’s lead in half at 2-1 after a period of play, but the Panthers scored seven unanswered over the final two periods to secure the win. Ben Jarosz and Adam Quinn each scored twice and recorded two assists apiece to pace the Panthers’ offense. Dylan Marchand added a pair of goals and an assist, Dom Lampasona scored once and had one helper, and eight other Panthers recorded one point. Franklin freshman Jack O’Connor made 14 saves for the win. Ben Ricketts scored for Foxboro off of an assist from Derek Axon.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Quincy, 8 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Sean McCarthy scored a hat trick but the Tigers fell on the road to Quincy. Sophomore Andrew Livingstone lit the lamp twice and had three assists for OA while freshman Shaun Teehan scored once and had one assist. Sophomore Sean Kearns had a pair of assists while McCarthy and Matt Lawson each tallied one helper.
Stoughton, 5 vs. East Bridgewater, 6 – Final – Stoughton’s Sean Farley found the back of the net twice but the Black Knights lost a tight contest with East Bridgewater. Charlie Caputo, Ryan Summers, and Cooper Card also scored for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 1 @ Somerset-Berkley, 4 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ Algonquin, 1 – Final (OT) – Franklin scored with under a minute left in the third period to earn a comeback point against Algonquin. Down 1-0, the Panthers pulled the goalie and Ava Villella redirected a shot from Maggie McCaffrey with 5.9 seconds to go to pull even.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Longmeadow, 2 – Final
King Philip, 5 vs. Archbishop Williams, 1 – Final
Attleboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.
Mansfield @ King Philip, 12:30
Sharon, 127 @ Taunton, 124 – Final