NEWTON, Mass. – For 24 minutes, Mansfield played even with top-seeded Catholic Memorial, maybe even a little better.
But over the final minutes, the Knights turned a tie game in a double-digit difference and picked up a 78-60 win over the Hornets.
A near flawless first quarter gave Mansfield a 19-13 lead and the fourth-seeded Hornets took a 37-35 advantage into the halftime break. Despite facing a six point deficit late in the third, a pair of corner three’s – one from junior Max Boen and one from sophomore Tyler Boulter – tied the game 53-53 head into the final quarter.
But the wheels came off a bit for Mansfield, starting off 1/10 from the floor, finishing 3/17 in the frame and going 0/8 from three point. CM rattled off six straight points to build a lead but a traditional three point play from Nick Baskin kept it a one possession game.
Over the next three minutes, the Knights scored on five straight possessions while Mansfield had a pair of turnovers, an offensive foul, a pair of missed three pointers, a missed layup and a pair of missed putback attempts.
“They have really good basketball players,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said of CM. I thought we did a really good job on [Brandon] Twitty and a pretty good job on [Matt] Hanna. The [Ulyen] Coleman kid hit a big three, they got to the rim and they scored a couple times in transition. I just thought they wore us out, which I didn’t think was going to be the case because of our depth.
“Foul trouble early obviously hurt us a little bit, in terms of staying in a nice rhythm and routine. Like any game, there are multiple phases of the game. When we had them against the ropes, they got into a whole new phase into how they were playing. In one on one, they were slightly better at more positions and I think that made a big difference.”
Catholic Memorial’s run started with a baseline drive from Coleman (13 points, seven rebounds) and then grabbed another when Brian Grant converted an offensive rebound off a missed three. Another offensive board turned into a three for Coleman to push the lead to 10 and 6’6 Stephen Azums converted in the paint and then added a free throw on the next trip to make it 69-56 with 2:55 to play and seal the deal.
“We had our chance,” Vaughan said. “I was hoping if we were able to weather the storm in the third quarter maybe been up a couple points and then give yourself a head start so when the first couple baskets happen in the fourth, you’re not down but maybe you’re tied. That might have made a difference in the outcome, or at least down the stretch. The scoreboard looked lopsided but that wasn’t a 15 point game by all means. That was a tough fourth quarter and we missed a couple of baskets. And I don’t think they were all bad shots. We missed two bunnies inside, we had an uncontested [three].
“Overall I think the kids executed the gameplan that we were trying to accomplish. We eliminated the possessions, we kept them in check for the most part. Compared to what they’ve scored all year, I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping them where we needed too.”
Mansfield’s start was bright, finishing the first quarter with an 11-2 run to take a 19-13 lead. Nick Baskin scored consecutive baskets and Boulter added another to take the lead. Sam Goldberg got to the rim and Max Boen drained a three to cap the run.
An early three from Nick Baskin, a drive by Christian Weber and a three from Boulter gave Mansfield its biggest lead of the game at 27-15 with 5:42 to go in the first half. The Knights were able to close the gap but late free throws from Boen and Evan Christo kept the Hornets ahead at half.
Mansfield kept the lead for the first five minutes of the second half but four straight points from Hanna gave the Knights their first lead since the first quarter. A three point play from Twitter and a three from Hanna out CM up with a minute to go but Boen’s three with 41 seconds and Boulter’s three wtih :08 to go in the quarter tied the game.
“We played outstanding [in the first half],” Vaughan said. “Again, our guys are good basketball players and that puts us in that position. We knew they would give up some stuff. I won’t know until I watch the film how much [of cutting to the basket] we stopped doing in the fourth quarter. It felt like we cut a little less, a little less aggressive in the late shot clock. Some things we were getting in the first half we weren’t getting in the second half. Part of that might be that [CM’s] backs were against the wall and they realized they needed one last quarter. I say this a lot that your seniors are going to lead you to the promise land and ultimately CM’s seniors did just that.”
While Mansfield limited Catholic Memorial’s best player Twitty to 12 points and the Knights’ second option to 18 (with six coming late in the game with the lead secure), senior transfer Justin Leip and Coleman each added 13 points and Azums had 11 points and 16 rebounds.
“When you get the third player [that scores], you become undefendable,” Vaughan said. “That’s what happened. Once Leip started to make shots and Coleman hit that fourth quarter dagger, that’s the third guy that you can’t stop. I think a few times we over-rotated and if we had stayed a little more base like we were in the first half, it might have made a difference.”
Baskin led Mansfield with 15 points, Boen added 13 points and four rebounds, Weber had nine points and Boulter chipped in with nine points.
“In early January I would have said no shot [that we’d make it this far],” Vaughan said. “I thought we were a team destined to be a one and done. We kind of had that mindset, that attitude, and not a good swagger. With where we were at as a team in early January, overall I didn’t think we’d make it this far. But once we got rolling and got a couple quality wins under our belt and started to play the way we’re capable of playing, I thought we were the team I wanted to be and a team that could play with CM.”
Mansfield boys basketball finishes the season as Hockomock Kelley Rex Champions and with a record of 20-5.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s playoff games are listed below.
D1 South Semifinal
#4 Mansfield, 60 vs. #1 Catholic Memorial, 78 – Final – Nick Baskin led Mansfield with 15 points, Max Boen added 13 points and four rebounds, Christian Weber had nine points and Tyler Boulter chipped in with nine points.
D2 South Semifinal
#2 Oliver Ames, 56 vs. #3 Falmouth, 40 – Final – Francesca Calabraro scored a team-high 16 points, including 10 in the third quarter, to lead the Tigers to the Div. 2 South final. Kayla Raymond added 12 points and nine boards. Sam Bamford had eight points for OA and Kaitlyn McCarthy and Hannah Carroll each had seven. OA will face Hingham in the Div. 2 South final on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Durfee High.
D1 South Semifinal
#4 Franklin, 3 vs. #8 Newton North, 0 – Final – Junior Joey Blasie scored a pair of goals and sophomore Luke Downie had an assist and an empty net goal to lead the Panthers. Franklin will play the winner of Marshfield and Natick on Sunday in the Div. 1 South final at Gallo Arena at 6:30 p.m.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – One by one, each Mansfield starter made a contribution to keep the Hornets in the game offensively.
And together as a unit, the Hornets locked down on the defensive side in the second half.
In the end was a 64-60 win for the 4th seeded Hornets over the #5 seed Brockton Boxers.
“We came out of the locker room and said we were going to win it on defense,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said. “I knew our offense would kind of take care of itself, we’d find a way to get some junk baskets or get a layup here or there or someone would knock down a three but it really came down to us getting defensive stops. I thought in the first half we didn’t get and I was happy to go into the locker room down four. I told them we could have been down 15 and if we gave up 72 or more points in that game we were going to lose. I think the guys heard the message loud and clear.”
Trailing 36-32 to start the second, Mansfield’s focus on getting stops paid off, allowing the Boxers to score just six points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the offense roared to life with 16 points to take a lead into the final quarter.
Mansfield shot just 23% from three point range on 13 attempts in the first half but opened the second half with a set play that resulted in a three from Christian Weber (13 points) from straightaway. The Hornets got stops on four the next five trips up the floor from Brockton and took the lead with 5:34 to play on a layup from Weber. With the game tied 40-40, the Hornets ventured on an 8-2 run over the next 4:40 to secure the lead for good.
Weber drained another three off a pass from Max Boen (team-high 14 points) and then Boen drained a three of his own – while getting fouled – to put the Hornets up 46-40. Phil Vigeant added a bucket in the paint before Brockton was finally able to break the run with a bucket from Jonathan Duvivier (34 points) in the final seconds of the third quarter.
The Boxers pulled within three to start the final frame but another trey from Boen and an up and under take from Weber – plus the harm – pushed the lead back to eight with 6:28 to play. Boen then drove down the lane for a layup to give the Hornets a 57-46 lead with 4:10 to play. In the first 12 minutes of the second half, Mansfield limited Brockton to just 10 points.
“Christian did a great job on Jonathan [Duvivier] in the second half,” Vaughan said. “In the first half we got everything comfortably, in the second half he really had to work and grind to get that. I think the third quarter was ultimately what put us in the driver’s seat.
“He’s kind of been a silent assassin [on offense],” Vaughan added about Weber, who scored all of his 13 points in the second half. “He’s stepping up and doing a lot of good things. He’s really quiet but he’s doing a lot of good things. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think he was one of our top defenders but now I’ve given him the assignment of the other team’s best players every night. He’s deceptively quick and he’s got a good IQ for the game. He’s done a great job in the second half of the year.”
Brockton made a final push over the next two minutes – aided by an extended press – getting within five points at 57-52 with three minutes to play. But off an inbounds from the baseline, Boen found Weber in the corner for a three to make it 60-52 with just over two minutes to go.
The Boxers had two chances in a six point game but both Boen and Evan Christo stepped in and took charges on consecutive series to force turnovers. Sam Goldberg and Phil Vigeant combined for four free throws down the stretch to seal the game.
“I don’t think [Brockton] did much different than we expected,” Vaughan said. Brockton beat the Hornets in overtime during the regular season. “I thought we played really flat [early], everything was a step slow. At times they were pressing rebounds with three guys and we weren’t outletting in transition. Our staple is kind of lets get the ball and get over half court as quickly as possible and take what the defense gives us. If there are three guys in the backcourt then the defense is giving us layups and we didn’t take that. I think in the third quarter when we made that adjustment – first we had to rebound – and we did that and got out in transition a couple of times. Once we got that I thought it made a big difference.”
Brockton’s best offensive quarter was the opening frame, dropping 22 points while shooting 50% from the floor. Senior Nick Baskin poured in nine of his 11 points in the first quarter to help the Hornets stay within striking distance, trailing 22-14 after one.
The Boxers scored 14 points in the second quarter but junior Matt Ehrlich stepped up offensively to once again keep Mansfield in the game. Ehrlich was 4/7 in the quarter, including a three midway through and scored all nine of his points in the quarter.
Goldberg, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds, scored in every quarter. Mansfield’s starters combined for 58 of the team’s 64 points.
“That’s great balance,” Vaughan said. “I think that’s what makes us dangerous, the ability in any given quarter. Nick kept us in the game early then Matt kind of got doing in the second. Then Christian had the big third, Sam kind of chipped away in each quarter. That’s really the type of team I think we are. And Max hit the big three when we needed a big basket when they cut it close.”
Mansfield (20-4) advances to the D1 South Semifinals for the fourth straight year. For the third year in a row, the Hornets will face off against Catholic Memorial. In 2014, the Knights beat Mansfield in triple overtime in the sectional semifinal while in 2015 beat the Hornets in the sectional final.
Mansfield boys basketball and Catholic Memorial are set to face off the D1 South Semifinals at Newton South with a date and time still to be determined.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below.
#4 Mansfield, 75 vs. #13 New Bedford, 51 – Final – Sam Goldberg scored a game-high 16 points and hauled in 11 rebounds as Mansfield battled back from a first quarter deficit. Matt Ehrlich added 13 points, including 12 in the vital second quarter rally. Christian Weber added 12 points and Nick Baskin chipped in with 10 points.
#7 Taunton, 83 vs. #10 Plymouth South, 54 – Final – Jose Mercado scored 28 points in just three quarters of play because of foul trouble to lead the Tigers. Along with Mercado’s 28 points, junior Quan Roberson had a double-double with 16 points and was a big factor on the boards with 10 rebounds. Carlos Borrero and Tommy MacLean each had 10 points while they combined for 13 assists. Brevan Walker and Lens Esquil combined for 15 points off the bench.
#3 Foxboro, 68 vs. #14 Nauset, 53 – Final – Foxboro grabbed a lead after the first quarter, grew it by halftime and stretched it to as much as 20 points in the second half. Senior Jason Procaccini scored a team-high 15 points while classmates Rob Lowey added 15 points and Jonathan Carnino had 11 points.
#15 Sharon, 52 @ #2 Whitman-Hanson, 54 – Final – Sharon used a full court press to come back from a double-digit first half deficit and take its first lead, 50-49, with 2:25 to play. The Eagles were unable to take the lead in a tie game and the Panthers sank two free throws with 0.2 seconds left to get the win. Mitchell Sirota led Sharon with career-high 17 points and Tyler Smith added 11 points.
#16 Oliver Ames, 63 @ #1 Bishop Feehan, 68 – Final
#4 Franklin, 2 vs. #13 Wellesley, 1 – Final
#9 King Philip, 1 vs. #8 Newton North, 3 – Final
#3 Canton, 10 vs. #14 Sandwich, 1 – Final
#24 Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 @ #9 Notre Dame, 11 – Final
#26 King Philip, 0 @ #7 Plymouth, 4 – Final
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Friday night’s contest between rivals Mansfield and Franklin wasn’t the exact same as their first meeting back in January, but the symmetry was apparent.
Just like January’s game, the home team erased a second half double-digit deficit to make it a one possession in the final minutes.
But just like the first time around, the visitors walked away with the win.
Mansfield held off a late rally from the Panthers, keeping Franklin scoreless over the final final minutes, in route to a 55-51 win that pulled the Hornets level atop the Kelley-Rex division with just one league game to go.
Th Hornets doubled their seven point lead at the midway point just five minutes into the second half and increased it to a game-high 15 points off a Christian Weber three to just 2:20 to play in the third, but Franklin wouldn’t go away.
Over the course of the end of the third and the first few minutes of the fourth, the Panthers rattled off a 15-3 run to get the game down to one possession. Sophomore Connor Peterson closed the third with back to back baskets and freshman Jay Dieterle opened the final frame with a three. After Peterson hit a free throw to make it a seven point game, Mansfield’s Tyler Boulter drained a three to get it back to 10.
For the next five minutes, Mansfield only managed one free throw as Franklin crawled back. Dieterle hit another three and after a stop, Peterson went into the paint for two more. Another missed three from the Hornets resulted in a strong take to the hoop from Dieterle to make it a three point game with 4:16 to go. Mansfield’s lone point came via Sam Goldberg’s free throw.
After a steal from Tim Prunier, Sam Harrell took it to the whole strong to cut it to 53-51 with 3:09 left.
The teams traded missed shots and on its next possession, Mansfield milked the shot clock down to the final seconds. With just a few tickets left, junior Matt Ehrlich took a step towards the basket from the three point line but instead of driving, pulled up for a deep two that he drained to make it 55-11 with 1:40 to go.
Franklin missed on the other end but got a stop with just under a minute to go. Dieterle’s three was halfway down but rattled out and despite an offensive rebound, Franklin’s second attempt from three via Paul Mahon was off the mark. Franklin got another offensive rebound and called timeout but Prunier’s deep three hit the back rim. Mansfield missed it’s first free throw of a one and one but with a four point lead, elected to foul with 8.6 seconds left instead of letting the Panthers get a shot off from the floor.
Both teams then traded missed free throws as the clock ran out.
“This puts us back in the driver’s seat,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said with the Hornets moving into a tie for first place. “Now Attleboro becomes a league championship game regardless of what happens with Franklin and Taunton. We got some luck with Franklin slipping up along the way and give us that chance. Tonight was our night to capitalize on our luck and to win tonight means we capitalized. Now we have to go out our fourth in a row.”
The win marked Mansfield’s fourth straight overall and seventh straight in league play.
“I think we’ve matured as a team,” Vaughan said. “We’ve re-identified ourselves as better defensively than we were, we’re not giving up big quarters anymore. Even their run, those weren’t easy shots, those were plays made by very good basketball players. Offensively we got a little stagnant and we had to get out of that. When you play a team like Franklin that’s so good defensively, they wear you out. We were worn out for a while but we stuck with it and kept cutting and moving and Matt Ehrlich buried a huge shot to give us life.”
It was a back and forth opening quarter with each team holding leads. Franklin’s Josh Macchi converted a traditional play with 30 seconds to go to give the Panthers a lead but Mansfield’s Kyle Swansburg beat the shot clock while being fouled in the final seconds to put Mansfield up 16-15 after one.
The Hornets gained some separation in the second quarter. With a one point lead at 21-20, Ehrlich scored five straight points for Mansfield and then Boulter connected on two three’s to give Mansfield a 32-25 lead at half.
“We got a lot of good looks [at the end] too I thought, looks that I’ll take every time,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said, about the team’s late scoreless stretch. “I’m really proud of the effort from the guys battling back after being down, really fought hard and defended. If we defended like the way we did in the second half in the first half, I think we win the game. I think our first half defense was the difference. Mansfield played really well, they moved the ball really well. I felt like we didn’t pressure them enough and they were able to execute what they wanted to execute. That’s usually our bread and butter the defensive pressure but we didn’t do it tonight.”
To start the third, Mansfield was able to stretch the lead to 10 and hold it around there for the majority of the frame. With an 11 point lead (43-32) with just over three minutes to play, Boulter connected on another triple and after Kevin Gill scored at the rim for Franklin, Weber knocked down an open three to make it 49-34.
“I called that timeout in the fourth and said just play the game to win, stop playing it not to lose,” Vaughan said. “In [Franklin’s] late run, some things went their way, some bounces, some calls, some things that just could have gone either way. But that’s part of the game and you play through that stuff and I thought our guys fought through that. From the team we were in January to the team we are now, we’re able to play though that stuff and I think it makes a big difference. Now we’re a team that’s coming out firing all cylinders. When we got flat I thought we did a pretty good job defensively.”
Boulter had a team-high 12 points while Sam Goldberg had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Ehrlich (four rebounds, four assists) and Weber each had nine points, Nick Baskin had six and Max Boen had five points and four assists.
“You play a lot of teams where they have one or two guys you don’t have to worry about, someone who might not shoot and you can help off of it. But Mansfield has so many guys that can spread the floor, they all share it, they move the ball so well, they don’t care who scores. They move the ball to who’s ever open for the shot and it’s pretty impressive offensively. That stinks [for us] because if you miss a rotation or leave a guy, they are going to make you pay for it and they did that tonight.”
Peterson had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Franklin while Dieterle added 18 points and Gill had five points, six rebounds and five assists. Prunier added six rebounds and seven assists.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Vaughan said. “You’ve got to be able to play through the bad ones and capitalize on the good ones. I thought our third quarter was similar to their fourth quarter but we got some stops at the end. We had a cushion from the first half and then the third quarter was ours, the fourth quarter was theirs but in the final two minutes we got the stops to close it out.
“It’s speaks where our team is going. From where we were a month ago to now, I think we’ve got exponentially better. Franklin is a very good team, they’re well rounded and they’re going to do very well in the tournament. We could play this games 100 times and probably go 50-50. These games are won by very good basketball players on both teams.”
Mansfield boys basketball (14-4, 12-3) will host Weymouth on Monday night. It will have a chance to clinch its fourth straight Kelley-Rex crown against Attleboro on February 22nd. Franklin (14-3, 12-3) will take on Everett on Sunday evening in Woburn. The Panthers can clinch a share of the Kelley-Rex with a win over North Attleboro on February 22nd.
“This rivalry doesn’t go away,” Vaughan said. “This is the best $5 in the area that you can spend to come watch these two teams play.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Mansfield Boys Basketball vs. Franklin
Today’s games are listed below.
Taunton, 61 @ Attleboro, 64 – Final – A back and forth fourth quarter ended with a big three from Jake Dunkley and a key free throw as the Bombardiers scored their first win over Taunton since Valentine’s Day 2013. Dunkley finished with a game-high 20 points while Kyle Murphy, Andrew Milliken and Lucas Boucicaut each had 12 points. Carlos Borrero led Taunton with 17 points while Jose Mercado added 13 points.
Sharon, 59 @ Canton, 50 – Final
Oliver Ames, 39 @ Foxboro, 47- Final – Jason Procaccini’s 15 points was a game-high as Foxboro grinded to a win to clinch at least a share of the Davenport division title. It marks the program’s first ever Davenport title and first league title since 2003. Charlie Ryan had 12 points for Oliver Ames.
Mansfield, 55 @ Franklin, 51 – Final – Franklin rallied from a 15 point second half deficit to get within two in the final minutes but a big shot from Mansfield’s Matt Ehrlich and key stops sealed the win for the Hornets. Tyler Boulter had a team-high 12 points while Sam Goldberg had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Matt Ehrlich (four rebounds, four assists) and Christian Weber each had nine points, Nick Baskin had six and Max Boen had five points and four assists. Franklin sophomore Connor Peterson scored 21 points and hauled in nine rebounds while freshman Jay Dieterle netted 18 points.
King Philip, 38 @ North Attleboro, 49 – Final – Mario Bresko led the Rocketeers with 12 points.
Stoughton, 53 @ Milford, 59 – Final – Dimitry Torres once again led the way for the Scarlet Hawks, dropping in a game-high 21 points. Zack Tamagni added 13 points while Anthony Arcudi chipped in with 19 points. Dwight Anderson had nine points and 10 rebounds while Kayden Kelley added 10 rebounds. Stoughton sophomore Cam Andrews had a team-high 18 points.
Canton, 43 @ Sharon, 67 – Final – Charlotte Ransom scored 19 points and six rebounds for Sharon. The Eagles also got a career-high 18 points from Emma Eberhardt and 16 points and five rebounds from Alyssa Piazza.
Foxboro, 40 @ Oliver Ames, 55 – Final – Niyera Mitchell came off the bench for OA to score 15 points and pull down 17 rebounds, both of which were game highs. Kayla Raymond added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Francesca Calabraro scored 11. Ashley Sampson was the top scorer for Foxboro with 15 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and Cassidy Harrison added 12.
Franklin, 38 @ Mansfield, 44 – Final – Meg Hill and Caroline Maher led the way for Mansfield with 12 points apiece. Lauren Rudolph was the top scorer for Franklin with eight points.
North Attleboro, 60 @ King Philip, 35 – Final – Caroline Collard and Ashley Ahern each scored 13 points for the Rocketeers. Riley Dalzell led the Warriors with 13 points.
Milford, 59 @ Stoughton, 41 – Final – Christine Pye was the top scorer for the Hawks with 14 points, while Jill Powers chipped in with 10.
Attleboro, 63 @ Taunton, 30 – Final – Emily Houle scored 31 points to lead the Bombardiers and is now only 21 points away from 1,000 for her career.
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TAUNTON, Mass. – In a see-saw, back and forth game with very little separation, all it took was 30 seconds for Mansfield to grab the momentum and the lead – one they wouldn’t relinquish – in a 66-58 win over Taunton.
Taunton’s Tommy MacLean tied the game at 54 with a traditional three point play with just over three and a half minutes to go. Mansfield responded quickly as Sam Goldberg fed Christian Weber for a three. On the other end, Goldberg intercept a cross court pass and went down for a layup. On the ensuing inbounds, Mansfield got the ball back and Weber converted at the rim for two more.
Just like that, Mansfield had a 61-54 lead with just under three minutes to go.
“I haven’t seen the stats yet but I’m guessing overall team shooting percentage we shot a little better than we did the first time we played them and I’d guess they shot a little lower,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said. “It might have been a little luck and it might have been the fact that we did a better job defensively overall. That was not an easy one. Taunton did a good job controlling the tempo and we kind of got stagnant playing the way they like to play. We hit the big three and that was a huge momentum swing. It was kind of even momentum at that point and that helped swing it our way.”
After a couple of stops, Goldberg converted on a backdoor cut but another three point play from MacLean cut the deficit to six with 1:37 to play. Taunton got a steal and Jose Mercado hit one of two free throws to make it a five point game. Goldberg hit a free throw back on the other end to stretch it back to six and Taunton couldn’t respond on the other end, missing a pair of shots.
Mansfield jumped out to a hot start, leading by as much as nine in the first quarter. But Taunton gained some life in the second quarter, scoring 20 points – including their lone three pointer of the game – and the teams went into halftime knotted at 31 apiece.
The Tigers had the lead for the majority of the third quarter, but didn’t lead by more than four points. Mercado hit a pair to go up 39-35 and Carlos Borrero’s jumper kept the Tigers up 41-37. Mansfield stormed back to take the lead off a three from Tyler Boulter but Borrero drove for two more to put Taunton up 45-44 after three quarters.
Mansfield opened the final stanza with an 8-2 run, four apiece from both Matt Ehrlich and Evan Christo. Up by five, near the midpoint of the fourth, Taunton responded when Borrero nailed a pair of free throws and then MacLean’s first traditional three point play tied the game.
“I thought we got the stops when we needed them,” Vaughan said. “It was about three minutes left and I’m not sure they scored more than one field goal the rest of the way. And the one they did, that wasn’t even a breakdown, that was a really tough play by MacLean. I told the guys that I like where we’re at and the direction we’re going. To gut out a game that got early and us good says volumes about where we are now compared to a month ago. It’s all about playing your basketball in March. I don’t want to see Taunton in the tournament if we can avoid it.”
“There’s the separation,” Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey said about the quick 7-0 run by the Hornets. “Mansfield just executed real well. We know what they’re going to do, we’ve seen it before, they’ve done it to us. We had to come down the other end and execute and we didn’t. I think it was three or four possessions that changed the course of the game.”
Mansfield finished with just one more made field goal (24/45 compared to 23/48) than Taunton and converted one fewer free throw (10/14 compared to 11/15) but the biggest difference came down to Mansfield’s eight three pointers compared to Taunton’s one.
“They close out on you,” Dacey said of his team’s limited deep shooting. “And that’s what we wanted to do to them. We changed our defense in the second half to take their threes away. But then we’re giving up layups because they were going by us.”
“I think the first time we played them it was relatively close and they went on a 14-0 run to really stretch the lead. That’s just the type of games that these match ups have been over the last couple of years,” Vaughan said. “Whoever gets the last run can find a way to win it. I’m just happy where we’re at. Guys are getting in a nice rhythm and making adjustments. That’s a team we want to be, win games with adjustments even with the turnovers.”
Weber had a team-high 12 points and added six rebounds, Ehrlich had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists, Boulter had 10 points, Goldberg had nine points, eight rebounds and four assists, Vigeant added nine points, Christo had six and both Nick Baskin and Max Boen had five points.
“It makes it really hard to sub,” Vaughan said with a laugh. “It makes it hard to defend too. It’s finding different guys and different ways to get points. Teams can’t really shut down one guy which helps an offensive plan. But at the end of the day this will be won or lost down the stretch playing defense. I think our offense will take care of itself as time goes on but it’s the defense that we have to grind through more and fine tune a little more.”
Taunton was led by a career-high 17 points from Carlos Borrero while Quan Roberson added 15 points, three blocks and a pair of boards and assists and Mercado had 15 points and four rebounds.
Mansfield (12-4, 10-3) moves into a tie with the Tigers in second place in the Kelley-Rex title. The Hornets will try to make it three straight when they travel to North Attleboro on Tuesday. Taunton (12-4, 10-3) will entertain Franklin in a key divisional showdown at 6:30 on Tuesday.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Mansfield boys basketball
Today’s games are listed below.
Canton, 51 @ Attleboro, 60 – Final – With the game tied, Attleboro used an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter and used that as separation to beat Canton. Jake Dunkley had a game-high 18 points and added seven rebounds, Andrew Milliken had 10 points and six rebounds and Kevin Aguirre chipped in with a career best 10 points.
Foxboro, 64 @ North Attleboro, 57 – Final – Jason Procaccini and Alex DuBrow each scored 18 points for the Warriors and Rob Lowey added 10 points. North Attleboro senior Ridge Olsen had a game-high 19 points and junior Brent Doherty added 17 points.
Milford, 58 @ Franklin, 74 – Final – Final – Milford had a lead midway through the third quarter but the Panthers outscored the Scarlet Hawks 36-18 over the final 12 minutes of play. Franklin freshman Jay Dieterle tied a career-high with 24 points while sophomore Connor Peterson chipped in 14 points. Milford’s Dwight Anderson had 19 points and Anthony Arcudi added 11 points.
Oliver Ames, 57 @ King Philip, 62 – Final – Tom Madden might have scored just eight points but KP head coach Matt Coute said they all came at a big time, including a fourth quarter three. Madden added a career best 10 rebounds as the Warriors rallied from a halftime deficit. Noah Goodwin led the Warriors with 18 points and Seth Sullivan added 16 points. Oliver Ames’ Carter Evin had a game-high 21 points and Tim Kelley added 13 points.
Sharon, 62 @ Taunton, 59 – Final – Up three, the Eagles elected to foul to send the Tigers to the line instead of giving them a chance to tie. Taunton missed the front end of the bonus and Sharon was able to hold on. Sharon had 11 players score with junior Peter Banks leading the way with 12 points, Matt Lowerre adding 11 points and Michael Zola adding nine points. Taunton’s Quan Roberson had a game-high 18 points while Tommy MacLean and Jose Mercado each added 11 points.
Mansfield, 70 @ Stoughton, 52 – Final – Junior Christian Weber connected on six three pointers for a career-high 19 points and the Hornets stretched a five point lead at the end of three into an 18 point win. Nick Baskin added 13 points and Max Boen had 11 points and five rebounds.
Attleboro, 61 @ Canton, 28 – Final – Sarah Deyo scored 19 points, Emily Houle scored 14 points and Samantha Pierce added 12 points for Attleboro. Canton’s Hannah Jerrier led the Bulldogs with eight points.
North Attleboro, 53 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final – North Attleboro was led by Ashley Ahern, who scored 23 points, while Caroline Collard added 12 for the Rocketeers. Ashley Sampson had 24 points for Foxboro.
Franklin, 68 @ Milford, 42 – Final – The Panthers broke the game open with a 24-6 second quarter. Lauren Rudolph was Franklin’s top scorer with 14. Aubrie Kutil added 12 points for the Panthers and Olivia Adiletto had 10. Milford’s Kate Irwin finished with 13 points.
King Philip, 27 @ Oliver Ames, 40 – Final – Kayla Raymond paced the Tigers with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds and senior Kaitlyn McCarthy scored 12 points. With the win, OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook broke the state record for career victories with her 634th win. KP was led by Julia Leroux with eight points and Christina Hathaway with seven.
Mansfield, 51 @ Stoughton, 36 – Final – Meg Hill and Caroline Maher were the top scorers for the Hornets, each with 17 points. Alecia Quinones had 16 points and nine rebounds for Stoughton.
Taunton, 30 @ Sharon, 43 – Final – The Eagles broke open a tight game by scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory. Charlotte Ransom led the way for Sharon with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Shira Stoller had nine points and four assists and Veronica Wallace added nine as well.
Mansfield, 141.3 @ Attleboro, 139.8 – Final
North Attleboro, 132.75 @ King Philip, 130.9 – Final
By Josh Perry, Managing Editor
BOSTON, Mass. – When Matt Ehrlich buried a corner three, his third of the game, the Hornets held a 20-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Despite the big lead, Mansfield never felt comfortable thinking back to last year’s meeting in which the Bengals erased a 22-point deficit to pick up the win.
History was repeating itself in the fourth quarter on Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden. Brighton put together a run that cut the lead to just eight points and Mansfield coach Mike Vaughan called a timeout to talk to his team.
“I think we got tight. We started looking at the time and the scoreboard,” said Vaughan. “I tried to use my timeouts better to get the guys back focused on the game plan.”
The timeout worked and the Hornets scored seven of the next nine points to keep a double digit lead into the final minute on their way to a 60-51 victory in the third annual GoodSports Invitational.
“We had three keys coming into the game – take care of the basketball, rebound the basketball, and play hard – and tonight I think we did all three of those things,” said Vaughan.
Brighton coach Hugh Coleman was effusive in his praise for the Hornets. He said, “They really pass the ball and move and run their sets. It’s hard to kind of tell kind of where my guys are at based on the fact that they (Mansfield) were playing such good basketball.”
The good basketball started right off the tip. Mansfield jumped out to an early 11-3 lead thanks to a pair of threes from Ehrlich and five points from senior Nick Baskin.
“We need to have those shots to go in so we can get each other pumped up,” said Baskin (nine points) of the early success on offense. “Those shots fell, we got pumped up, worked hard all game and we got the ‘W’.”
Brighton cut into the lead with a 7-0 run but Mansfield scored the final five points of the first to lead 16-10. In the second, sophomore Tyler Boulter came off the bench to give the Hornets a huge lift. He knocked down a pair of shots from beyond the arc and finished at the rim for eight of his career-high 16 points. He matched that with another eight points in the third quarter as well.
“We look for different guys to step up and make plays and he definitely stepped up to the call today,” said Vaughan. “This is his style of game – less thinking and more reacting. I thought he did a good job responding off the bench.”
Sam Goldberg (10 rebounds) also stepped up in the second with six of his 14, including a three-point play that turned the game around after Brighton took its only lead at 17-16 and a three-pointer following a strong Max Boen offensive rebound.
“We just tried to keep them on their heels, neutralize their speed and athleticism, move the ball in early offense and then try to be aggressive with the dribble afterwards,” said Vaughan.
Leading by nine at halftime, Mansfield broke the game wide open in the third, outscoring the Bengals 14-6 for a 46-29 lead heading to the fourth. Ehrlich (nine points) buried a three to make the lead 20 to start the quarter.
Brighton remained confident that it could get back into the game and turned to aggressive man-to-man defense, which slowed down the Mansfield motion offense.
“We absolutely have the confidence that we can make a run,” said Coleman. “Sometimes I think we get a little bit selfish, a little bit individual basketball, and we need to break that habit.”
He added, “We tried to get a little aggressive and go to man-to-man. It hurt us a little early and then in the second half we picked it up and closed the gap.”
Mykel Derring was the spark on offense for Brighton, scoring 11 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth. He buried three shots from beyond the arc and knocked down a couple of free throws. Following an offensive rebound by Jerrod Clark, Johnny Ortiz hit a shot in the lane to cut Mansfield’s advantage to just eight points (53-45).
Vaughan looked to Goldberg to get the Hornets back on track. He explained, “I said to him at the beginning of the fourth quarter that he was a big ‘X’ factor and we needed him to close this game out.”
Goldberg managed to get into the lane and finish at the rim, which was a change of pace for the perimeter-oriented Hornets. He scored six points in the fourth and helped build the lead back to double digits along with five from classmate Christian Weber, including a corner three that essentially iced the game.
“We had turned into primarily a perimeter team,” said Vaughan. “[Sam] needed to change that and get down the hill and get to the rim and get to the foul line.”
When asked what this game means after a tough stretch that included losses to league rivals Taunton, Franklin, and Foxboro, Vaughan responded, “I think it redeems one of those losses and it puts us back in the conversation that we’re legit.”
He continued, “I think it redeems one of the losses for a team that needs to mature and grow up and…find an identity as a group.”
Sitting at a table set up in the press room, Baskin was asked what the experience of playing at the TD Garden is like. He replied, “This is my second time playing here and it’s always fun. We work hard here and it’s a good time for us. It’s a fun time.”
When asked if he thought this put Mansfield back on the map for Div. 1 South opponents, Baskin smiled and said, “Yes sir.”
Mansfield (8-3, 6-3) will return to action on Tuesday with a trip to Stoughton.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.
Today’s game is listed below.
Mansfield, 61 vs. Brighton, 50 – Final – Tyler Boulter led the Hornets at TD Garden with a career-high 16 points. Junior Sam Goldberg added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Mansfield, which also got nine points each from junior Matt Ehrlich and senior Nick Baskin.