Bench Contributions Help Oliver Ames Hold Off Milford

Oliver Ames boys basketball
Oliver Ames’ Ethan Eckstrom (22) puts up a shot against Milford’s Dom Schofield in the first quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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 NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Behind a fast start, a strong finish, and key contributions off the bench, Oliver Ames boys basketball picked up a crucial win over Milford on Tuesday.

The Tigers came out flying in the opening quarter and built a double-digit lead, but needed a strong fourth quarter after the Hawks got within one possession entering the final frame.

And on top of that, Oliver Ames’ bench combined to score 23 points, including 11 in the crucial final quarter.

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“I thought we had pretty good energy out of the shoot,” said OA head coach Don Byron. “This is a good group, they are pretty mentally tuned in to the situation and understand how important this game is to us. We’re sitting at 5-5 coming in, and the difference between 5-6 and 6-5 as you make the turn is getting bigger every night. We have to do everything we can to take care of home court because we’re on the road a lot in February so it was a big game.”

While Oliver Ames had an 18-5 lead after one, and a 26-15 lead at halftime, the Scarlet Hawks made it a close game with a big third quarter. Milford outscored the Tigers 19-11 in the frame, including four points in the final seconds to make it a one-possession game at 37-34.

A questionable bench technical on Milford gave OA two free throws to begin the final quarter, and senior Michael Greene (career-high 10 points off the bench) gave the Tigers a bit of breathing room by hitting both. After getting a stop on the defensive end, Greene sank a three to put Oliver Ames up 42-34.

Milford got within four behind back-to-back buckets from sophomore Dom Schofield (seven points, five rebounds) but OA senior Sean O’Brien drained a three off a feed from Greene to push it back to seven.

Greene came up with a steal on the next possession, which led to a fast break and two made free throws from senior Ethan Eckstrom (nine points, 11 rebounds) and a 47-38 lead with under five minutes to go.

Junior Owen Friel (four points off the bench) extended OA’s advantage to 11, a lead that the Tigers held for the majority of time left in the game. Friel and Greene each added two more in the final minutes.

Greene and Friel were joined by junior Ryan Burkett (five points, four rebounds) and sophomore Amari Brown (four points, three rebounds, three assists) as key contributors off the bench for OA. The four combined for 23 points.

“When they went zone, that changes the personnel package a little bit,” Byron said. “There were times [Milford] didn’t play particularly big, and we can play a little bit smaller as well. We had a couple of kids that we try to use situationally that got their minutes extended when they went zone, like Michael Greene and Owen Friel.”

While Milford outscored Oliver Ames over the final three quarters (42-38), its slow start to the game ended up being one of the main concerns for head coach Paul Seaver,

“We were not ready to play out of the gate, and I think that dictated the whole game,” Seaver said with Hawks behind 18-5 after one. “We were down early, down often, and everything tonight has to do with our poor start. It’s kind of been the story of the season, we compete for a good chunk of the ball game but not always the result. Sometimes it’s a good start, tonight was a poor start. We have to find a way to play a complete 32 minutes because that’s what you need to do in this league to have any shot at winning a game.”

Oliver Ames’ defense limited the Hawks to just 2-for-13 shooting in the opening quarter and Milford settled for a couple of contested long threes (1-for-9 in the period). Brown came off the bench and scored four points in first, Eckstrom had four in the first along with eight boards, and four other Tigers were on the scoreboard, including a late three from Greene.

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Milford switched to a zone in the second and that seemed to slow the Tigers down a bit, limiting OA to just eight points in the frame. Milford had a 7-0 run to start. The second to get within six but only scored three points the rest of the way and entered halftime down 11, 26-15.

Scarlet Hawks senior Brendan White took over in the third quarter. Fresh off his 40-point performance against Stoughton on Friday, White poured in 14 of his 19 points in the period to help get the Hawks in the game. In the final seconds of the third, White converted a layup and then stole the inbounds pass, quickly putting the ball up for two more to beat the buzzer to make it 37-34. Milford’s bench celebrated by walking onto the floor to greet White but was hit with a technical foul.

Oliver Ames boys basketball (4-5 Hockomock, 6-5 overall) is back in action on Friday when it hosts King Philip. Milford (3-6, 4-8) is also home on Friday night and will entertain Davenport rival Canton.

Hawks Start Strong But Fall To Algonquin In Opener

Milford boys basketball
Milford’s Brendan White drives baseline against Algonquin in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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MILFORD, Mass. – Despite it being the first quarter of the first game of the season for Milford, the Scarlet Hawk defense looked in midseason form.

Using full court pressure and a 2-3 zone, the Hawks gave an experienced Algonquin team fits, forcing 11 turnovers and holding the Tomahawks – D1 Central finalists a season ago – without a field goal for the opening period.

But on the other end of the court, the Scarlet Hawks weren’t able to capitalize on the strong defensive work, and after one quarter, were tied 8-8.

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From there, Algonquin’s offense slowly got going in the second and then exploded in the third game, turning a one-possession game into a double-digit lead, resulting in a 67-51 win over the T-Hawks.

“I thought we came out great in the first quarter, [Algonquin] didn’t even have a field goal just eight free throws, so our defense was very good,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We find positives from this first game, that’s what we have to do to get better. Algonquin was in the D1 Central final last year, they are a very good program, that freshman [Alex Karaban] is a hell of a talent, and they have two of their top three scorers back in addition to that.

“They have tons of talent, this was a good non-league test for us. We wanted to put them on our schedule, we want to challenge ourselves. We certainly were challenged tonight and in the end, they hit shots and we didn’t.”

A three-pointer from Brendan White (21 points, seven rebounds) opened the scoring and then a steal from White led to a three for Brendon Sailer (eight points) and another turnover led to a layup for junior Colby Pires, giving Milford an 8-2 lead.

But the Hawks offense sputtered the rest of the quarter, finishing 3-for-15 from the field and the T-Hawks cashed in with eight free throws to knot the game 8-8 after eight minutes.

Milford’s offense got back on track to start the second quarter, rattling off a 9-1 run over the first two minutes to jump ahead 17-9. The Hawks hit three of their first four shots – a bucket down low from sophomore Jordan Darling, a three-point play from White, a triple from Danny Corsini (eight points), and a free throw from White – to take the lead.

But over the final 5:51, the Hawks went without a field goal (0-for-10), adding just one free throw while the Algonquin offense found some rhythm. The T-Hawks scored seven straight points, including their first field goal (a three from junior Artem Segarra) and finished the half with a 12-1 run to take a 21-18 lead into the break.

“They came out man-to-man and I think we did a nice job against that and got a lead but they switched to their 1-2-2 zone, which we were expecting, but we went ice cold,” Seaver said. “We knew it was coming at some point, but we just weren’t able to step up and knock down shots. But that’s what happens early in the season, that’s why we come to practice tomorrow and get better, we have to be an improved shooting team.

“I thought we got some good looks against the zone, but we just couldn’t knock them down, especially in the third quarter. It was a three-point game at halftime. But we went ice cold, they got some momentum off their defensive stops, and things started to open up a bit.”

Milford’s offensive woes continued into the third quarter as Algonquin – which has 10 seniors on the roster and five juniors – opened the frame with a 9-0 run over the first three minutes. On top of their experienced players, the T-Hawks feature 6’7 freshman guard Alex Karaban, who scored 21 points in the win following a 26-point performance in Algonquin’s season opener on Friday.

Karaban hit a pair of threes in that run, the points coming from senior Nick Redden (16 points, 14 rebounds).

A three from White ended the Algonquin run and a bucket from Darling made it a single-digit game (32-23), but Redden answered with a triple. A three from Sailer cut the deficit to eight with three minutes to play but Algonquin closed the third on an 8-0 run to stretch the lead to 14 (45-31).

Milford continued to push in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get the game back to single digits over the last eight minutes.

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“They hit the shots we needed to hits,” Seaver said. “That really sums it up, we had some looks, they just didn’t fall for us tonight. That’s an experienced team, we lost seven seniors from last year. We have guys in new roles and a handful of guys that played in their first varsity game and that’s a tough team to do that against.

“It’s a hell of a first two games with Algonquin tonight and Franklin on Tuesday but we’re going to learn a lot of about ourselves. But it’s a long season so we just have to keep getting better each day. We’ll take positives from this and give Franklin everything we have on Tuesday.”

Milford boys basketball (0-1) begins Hockomock League play on Tuesday when it travels to play Franklin, the team that beat Algonquin in the D1 Central final a year ago.

Hawks Dominate Second Half To Knock Off Dedham

Milford boys basketball
Milford senior Shane Cosquete goes up for a layup against Dedham in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
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MILFORD, Mass. — Every team talks about playing its best basketball when the playoffs roll around.

The Milford boys basketball team is accomplishing just that.

The Hawks dominated the second half, allowing just three points in the fourth quarter to earn a 46-31 win over Dedham in the Scarlet Hawk Classic Championship. It marked Milford’s sixth straight win to close the regular season.

“Our defense was just fantastic,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver of what changed in the second half. “I don’t know how many points they had in the fourth quarter but I know they had 22 at halftime and only 31 to end the game. That’s what changed down the stretch…our defense was that good when it mattered the most.”

Beyond allowing just three points in the fourth, the Hawks allowed a total of just nine points in the entire second half.

“We talked all season about getting to the point of playing our best basketball when it matters the most down the stretch,” Seaver said. “We’ve said it since December. It’s been a process, we lost games we know we could have won. It took a good chunk of the season for us to get to the point where our confidence led to results. We have a lot of momentum going into the tournament.”

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Points were at a premium in the first half. A late putback in the final minute from Milford senior Andrew Fraioli (nine points, eight rebounds) had the Hawks ahead 10-8 after eight minutes of play.

Neither offense got in gear in the second quarter either. The teams went back and forth, having ties at 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20.

Junior Brendan White (10 rebounds) scored six of his game-high 13 points in the quarter while both Shane Cosquete (12 points) and Fraioli each had two to keep pace with the Marauders. Dedham’s Brian Tavares hit a midrange floater late to give the visitors a 22-20 lead at halftime.

“I credit Dedham’s defense,” Seaver said. “I thought they did a very good job playing tough, playing physical. It took us a while for us to get any offensive flow. Even when we did get to that point, it was a couple of guys hitting a couple of big shots that kind of opened things up for us. Usually, it’s good defense that fuels offense and that was the case in the second half.”

Dedham extended its lead to 26-22 at the midway point of the third quarter, but the Hawks finally got the momentum boost it needed. Senior Zach Tamarro took a feed from Cosquete and drained a three, Milford’s first triple since senior Matt Nickerson hit one early in the first quarter.

That three sparked what turned into a 10-2 run for the Hawks over the final 3:16 of the third quarter.

Kayden Kelley (13 rebounds) grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a putback to give Milford a 27-26 lead. Two possessions later, after Dedham regained the lead, Tammaro made the extra pass to White for a three-pointer. White scored on a nice cut to the basket, giving Milford a 32-28 edge heading into the fourth.

Free throws from Cosquete and Fraioli were answered by two free throws from Dedham’s Michael Mansour. Holding a 36-30 lead with five minutes to play, the Hawks put the game to bed with a 10-1 run to end the game.

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Tamarro dropped in a floater after a nice shot fake, Cosquete drained a three right before the shot clock buzzer and Fraioli scored down low on a feed from Cosquete. Cosquete put an exclamation point on the win with another triple late in the shot clock.

Milford boys basketball (12-8) will now await the tournament seeds, which will be released on Friday. The Hawks could be the third, fourth, or fifth seed based on results posted online. Milford will likely be in a tiebreaker with Grafton and Medfield, with names drawn out of a hat to break the tie. If the Hawks get the third or fourth seed, they will have a home game. The win over Dedham secured the Hawks would be in the three-way tiebreaker.

“We talked about getting a home game. We’ve been following along with everything over the past couple of weeks,” Seaver said. “We have a two-out-of-three shot to get a home game. It was a goal of this team and they did it, they put themselves in position. Now we have to get better at practice and be ready for wherever we play.”

Milford Completes Comeback To Beat Marlboro In OT

Milford boys basketball
Milford’s Kayden Kelley (right) takes a shot over Marlboro’s Chris Doherty in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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MARLBORO, Mass. – The venue was different, the opponent was different, but the situation was all too familiar for Milford.

For the second straight year, the ninth seeded Scarlet Hawks found themselves on the road in a hostile environment in the First Round of the D2 Central Sectional and once again, down double digits.

That’s where the similarities end.

Last year’s second half comeback came up short in the final minutes but the 2017 Scarlet Hawks, with a bit more experience under their belts, erased a 12-point fourth quarter deficit and walked out of Marlboro High with a 78-73 win over the Panthers in overtime.

“I think what really helped us tonight was last year,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “I have a handful of guys who played on the road at Holliston in the same 8-seed, 9-seed matchup. We were down nine at halftime and we came back to take the lead but lost late. It was familiar tonight, playing from behind but tonight we were able to figure it out.

“The kids believed. It says it right there on our shorts, ‘believe.’ They believed, they never thought we were out of it. Even in the first quarter, we were playing from the whole time but they never stopped believing, especially in the tournament.”

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The Scarlet Hawks made their move when they forced 6’8″ Marlboro star Chris Doherty to the bench with four fouls three minutes into the quarter. Junior Kayden Kelley (18 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists) converted a three point play on Doherty’s fourth foul, cutting the deficit to 61-53.

“[Kelley] got dunked on a couple times, you can talk about that if you want but he never stopped playing, he never stopped competing,” Seaver said. “He scored some of the biggest baskets in this game. Just wow, it takes a lot of resiliency to do that and that’s the definition of him.”

With Doherty on the bench, Milford put together a 7-2 run over a two minute span. Kelley hit two free throws, Shane Cosquete hit a floater and Anthony Arcudi (25 points) drained a three from the corner to cut the deficit to three, 63-60, with 2:53 to play.

“I knew how good [Doherty] was coming in, but we knew he got frustrated easily,” Kelley said. “We just kept going at him, once he got four fouls I knew it was my time to takeover.”

Cosquete (13 points) another free throw, Alex Macek came away with a steal on the defensive end, and Zack Tamagni (16 points four assists) converted a three point play with just under two minutes to play to put Milford up 64-63.

Marlboro’s Owen Cappadona (24 points) drained a three in response to put the hosts back up but Tamagni took a defensive rebound the length of the coast and laid it in to tie the game, 66-66, with 48.3 seconds to play.

Milford got a stop on Marlboro’s next possession, but turned the ball over with 2.2 seconds left before getting a shot up. Marlboro had its last second shot from beyond half court hit the front iron to send the game to overtime.

Doherty (17 points, 16 rebounds) started the overtime period and gave Marlboro a brief lead, 68-67 on free throw but Kelley responded with a shot over Doherty to put Milford up 68-67.

The Hawks got a stop on the defensive end and Kelley hauled in the rebound. Doherty went for the steal but instead was whistled for his fifth foul with 3:05 to play.

That gave Milford some momentum with Kelley hitting one free throw and then Cosquete driving to the basket to take a 71-67 lead. The Scarlet Hawks allowed Marlboro to get back into the game, turning to ball over on consecutive possessions leading to four points for the Panthers.

But with Doherty on the bench, the Hawks continued to attack the basket with Kelley taking a feed from Macek to a bucket with just over a minute to play. Marlboro missed a three and Milford went right back to the paint, with Kelley converted a fade away off a pass from Tamagni – who saved the ball from going out of bounds.

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“When [Doherty’s] in the game, he’s huge, it’s tough to get anything inside, that’s why he’s one of the best big men in the state,” Seaver said. “When he fouled out, we started getting Kayden some touches. In overtime he hit two big baskets to kind of ice the game, that’s why you stick with it. Doherty is fantastic, he has a bright basketball future ahead of him. But props to Kayden, he dug in the whole way, all 36 minutes.”

Marlboro cut the deficit to two, and then forced a turnover but their go-ahead three attempt rimmed out with 10 seconds to go. Arcudi hit two free throws to ice the game.

“Unreal, absolutely unreal,” Arcudi said. “[Milford’s] first tournament win since 2013. We knew Chris Doherty had four fouls so we wanted to attack the hoop and get to him. Once he got five, we knew we could get to the basket. It’s all about not being complacent, battling through adversity and getting to the hoop, drawing fouls and getting to the line.”

Milford was forced to get the majority of its offense from outside the three point line early on in the game. The Hawks went 5/7 from three point range in the opening quarter but Marlboro shot 56% from the field, hitting 10 field goals for a 23-17 lead after one.

Milford only hit three more three pointers the rest of the game.

“It’s a credit to Marlboro,” Seaver said. “They probably saw us sometime down the stretch when we were hot from the outside. So credit to them to game plan and take the three away from them. We didn’t hit a ton of threes tonight but we found ways to win and balance is going to help us get through.”

Marlboro led by as much as 13 in the second quarter but Milford battled back with Kelley connecting on a put back at the buzzer to keep the deficit in single digits – 37-29 – going into halftime.

The Scarlet Hawks continued to claw back in the third quarter, getting within five points at the midway point when Tamagni sliced through the defense for a circus layup. But Doherty used a nice spin move in the post for a dunk that sparked a 9-0 run that put the Panthers up 14 with under two minutes to play in the third.

“We had nothing to lose, all the pressure was on them,” Arcudi said. “They went to the state final two years ago, district finals last year. We didn’t have anything to lose so pressure was on them.”

Milford boys basketball (11-10) advances to the D2 Central Quarterfinal to take on top-seeded Nashoba (17-3). Of Nashoba’s three losses, two were against Marlboro. The Hawks will travel to Nashoba on Thursday at 7:30.

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Tamagni’s Buzzer Beater Lifts Milford At The Dunk

Milford girls basketball
Milford’s Zack Tamagni (14) celebrates with Nate Davila after his game-winning buzzer beater. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
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PROVIDENCE, RI — North Attleboro erased an eight point deficit over the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, but left just enough time left on the clock for Milford senior Zack Tamagni.

After two free throws with 5.7 seconds from North Attleboro senior Brent Doherty tied the game, Tamagni took the inbound pass, broke through a pair of defenders at the three point line and then danced his way past the last defender, laying it up with his left and in off the glass as time expired to give the Scarlet Hawks a 57-55 win.

“The leaders on this team stepped up today,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We’ve talked in the last couple of weeks about guys stepping up. Nate Davila stepped up, Zack [Tamagni], Anthony [Arcudi] and Kayden [Kelley] stepped up and Zach Tammaro stepped up coming off the bench, maybe not statistically but he helped big time in the second half.”

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Milford had the original comeback of the game, cutting an 11-point deficit at halftime (35-24) down to just one (41-40) entering the final quarter by outscoring the Rocketeers 16-6 in the third quarter.

The Hawks carried that momentum into the fourth quarter with Nate Davila (14 points) draining an early three to give Milford its first lead since the first quarter. North’s Jonny Friberg (nine points, 13 rebounds, six assists) responded right away to tie the game at 43, but Milford would create separation with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes.

“Everyone will talk about the shot at the end but Milford got themselves back into the game in the third quarter,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “I thought we had some decent shots in the third quarter but we just couldn’t get any rhythm. I thought when the scoreboard got a little tight, we played a little tight. When we’re loose, we play our best basketball. I’m proud of the guys because they fought back but its just tough losing on a play like that. I have to do a better job coaching in those late game situations.”

Tamagni (17 points, four assists) hit two free throws, Ryan Sullivan (10 points, five rebounds) hit one and then three possessions later, Arcudi converted a putback with four minutes to play. Kayden Kelley (12 points, 13 rebounds) came up with a block on the defensive end and then converted a three-point play to put Milford up 51-43 with just over three minutes to play.

That’s when North Attleboro took its turn crafting a comeback. It started with a strong take from Thomas Reynolds (10 points, three boards, two assists) off a feed from Friberg and then was cut to five when Reynolds hit a free throw.

The Rocketeers then forced a turnover, resulting in Reynolds finding Doherty (game-high 18 points) for a three to bring North within two.

Tamagni (38 seconds left) and Friberg (22 seconds left) then each hit a pair of free throws to keep Milford’s two point lead. Tamagni then hit two more but Hacmoni Cuevas converted a putback, plus the harm, to get within two. North corralled the missed three throw and Doherty was fouled with 5.7 seconds left, converting both at the line to tie the game before Tamagni’s heroics.

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“We told him to go to the hoop,” Seaver said of the last play. “It was something we tried to do on Friday to tie the game and things didn’t go our way. We were able to get it today.

“Coming out of halftime, they needed to go and earn the victory if they wanted it, and the kids did that so credit to them.”

North Attleboro came out on fire to start the game, going 7/12 from the field in the first quarter to build a 19-13 lead. Milford was efficient as well, going 5/7 and a perfect 3/3 from deep but had seven turnovers.

“They came out like we did here last year,” Seaver said. “We were on the other side of it this time, it is what it is. We just trusted our defense and in the end, I guess we got one more stop, or just made one more play at the end.

“They were hitting shots early. They had 19 points in the first quarter, we couldn’t guard anyone. We trusted our defense, we didn’t really make an adjustment. We stayed with the zone in the second half and it paid off just enough to get that little separation.”

The Rocketeers’ offense continued its strong start by going 6/9 from the field in the second. At halftime, North Attleboro was 6/10 from deep. But in the second half, Big Red managed just one three on 10 attempts.

“They did a better job on collapsing on [Friberg] in the second half, I don’t think he got many touches in the second half,” Mulkerrins said. “He got a couple of late ones. Missing Chad [Peterson], our rotation was a little screwy. Guys are playing extra minutes and in positions they aren’t always used to playing in. Some guys have to be a shooter when they usually aren’t.”

Milford takes over the top spot in the Davenport division with the win, moving to 8-6 overall and 6-4 in league play. The Scarlet Hawks will try to extended their division lead on Tuesday when Mansfield comes to town. North Attleboro (8-6 overall, 5-5 Hockomock) looks to get back into the win column when it hosts King Philip on the same night.

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Second Half Adjustments Push Milford Past Stoughton

Milford boys basketball
Milford’s Kayden Kelley (left) and Zack Tamagni (right) surround Stoughton’s Izon Swain-Price in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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STOUGHTON, Mass. – After 16 minutes of play, Milford head coach Paul Seaver knew he needed to change something.

Although his Scarlet Hawks trailed by just one, the defense was having a tough time stopping Stoughton junior Cam Andrews, who had 17 points by the halftime break.

The change came in the form of an intensified defensive effort with a full court 2-2-1 press, a switch from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone and a strong focus on getting offensive from down low.

Those changes resulted in a strong second half for the Scarlet Hawks and a 56-50 win over the Black Knights in both teams’ first Davenport clash of the season.

“It’s good to start the division games off on the right foot,” Seaver said. “It was a frustrating non-league loss on Wednesday. To bounce back two days later shows a lot of resiliency from the guys. We finally get to go home next week after five of our first eight on the road. But we have to turn the page and have a good practice tomorrow.”

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Stoughton jumped out to an early lead but Milford chipped away and took its first lead, 11-10, behind a layup from Zack Tamagni (17 points) in the final minute.

Andrews (20 points, seven rebounds) took control of the second quarter – a frame that saw five lead changes in the first minute alone before Stoughton held a slim lead the rest of the way. Andrews shot 4/5 from the field and 4/4 from the free throw line for 13 points in the quarter. Tamagni helped keep the Scarlet Hawks close, registering eight points in the frame while Zach Tomarro hit a late three to bring Milford within one, 27-26, at halftime.

With the changes installed to start the second half, the first four minutes when nearly as perfect as Seaver could have hoped for. Milford’s zone disrupted the rhythm of Stoughton’s offense as the Black Knights went 0/5 from the field and had four turnovers in four minutes.

“Even when we got open looks, we didn’t him them and we were tentative,” Stoughton head coach John Gallivan said. “I thought a lot of that started at the far end with their full court stuff. Even if they didn’t get a steal, they made everyone think twice before you do one thing. Sometimes if it was between ‘A’ and ‘B’ and we chose ‘A,’ it should have been ‘B.’”

Meanwhile on the other end, Milford’s game plan to get junior Kayden Kelley (16 points 11 rebounds) touches was working. Kelley went 4/6 to start the quarter, including a put back off a miss for an 8-0 run of his own to start the second half.

“Cam Andrews ate us up in the first half so that’s pretty much why we needed to go zone,” Seaver said. “[Getting the ball down low] was a focus for us and [Kayden] wanted the ball, he was demanding the ball tonight and he did a good job and that’s what he needs to do,” Seaver said. “He’s an upperclassman now, he’s been on the team for a couple of years. Tonight might have been his best offensive game of his career.”

Cam Gomes (13 points, 10 rebounds) converted a traditional three point play to break Stoughton’s scoreless skid but Kelley came back down the other end with another post basket. Stoughton’s Matt Valle (eight points) drained a three late to cut the deficit to four but a pair of free throws from Milford’s Brendan White gave the Scarlet Hawks a 41-35 lead going into the final quarter.

Tamagni had four points in the first three minutes of the final quarter while Gomes had a pair of free throws. With Milford leading 45-37, Tammaro stepped up to bury a three on back-to-back possessions and the Scarlet Hawks took a 51-37 lead with four and a half minutes to go.

“I thought the kids played hard, I thought they did a nice job of executing our defensive game plan,” Gallivan said. “Milford has some tough guys out there, they have a lot of weapons. If you focus too much on the three-point line, and you saw what happened in the third quarter with Kelley, he was a beast in that quarter. You choose your poison and sometimes its not pretty either way.”

Milford was able to keep a 10 point cushion for the rest of the way until Stoughton scored four points in the final 30 seconds.

Milford boys basketball (4-3 overall, 2-2 Hockomock) return to action on Tuesday with a visit from Canton. Stoughton (1-5, 0-4) will try to bounce back on the same day when it hosts Foxboro.

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Boys Basketball: 2016-17 Davenport Division Preview

2016-2017 Davenport Boys Basketball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016-2017 Davenport Boys Basketball Preview

Canton

2015-2016 Record: 2-18
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ryan Gordy

After a difficult 2015-2016 season, the Bulldogs are looking to build on a strong offseason to have successful season this time around. Canton returns a strong core group that has a year of varsity experience under their belts now.

Junior Tony Harris had a strong sophomore year, leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 13.6 points per game and should be a big factor on both ends of the court this season. Sophomore Devin Foster had a terrific freshman season and will pair with junior Jake Verille, who saw plenty of time a year ago, to form an experienced backcourt.

The Bulldogs will rely on that experienced back court to pace the offense. Canton has a handful of weapons that can connect from deep as well. Defensively, expect Canton to rotate small and big lineups, depending on the matchup.

“The feeling around our program is that we are building momentum and have a chance to be pretty good relatively soon,” Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said. “This is a connected team who will be ready to grind out the always tough Hockomock League schedule.”

Foxboro

2015-2016 Record: 19-5
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Jon Gibbs

Out of all of the teams in the Davenport division, the Warriors certainly have the most holes to fill from a year ago. HockomockSports.com First Teamer Alex DuBrow (15 PPG, 7.1 APG, 2.8 SPG), leading scorer Jason Procaccini (16.3 PPG) and leading rebounder Robbie Lowey (10.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG) all graduated.

The good news is that Foxboro does have some players coming back that have varsity experience, including Joe Morrison, Jamaine Few, Andrew Block and Mark Clagg – his fourth year on varsity. Freshman Brandon Borde could make an impact right away for the Warriors as well.

The Warriors will continue to prioritize defense and rebounding again this season but the offensive game will have to change. Without their top three scorers, Foxboro will rely on sharing the ball and a balanced scoring attack for this season.

“We have a group of high character kids that are working extremely hard every day, they are fun to coach,” Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs said. “Practice has been very competitive, and we are focusing on daily improvement. If we stay committed to continuing to get better, we believe that we will be in position to achieve our goals at the end of the year.”

Milford

2015-2016 Record: 10-11
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 Central First Round
Coach: Paul Seaver

After making a big jump in wins last season, head coach Paul Seaver and his Scarlet Hawks are looking to continue that trend in the 2016-2017 season. Milford qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2013 a year ago and are looking to make it two seasons in a row.

One big challenge will be replacing some of the scoring that graduated. Leading scorer Dimitry Torres (14.5) and second leading scorer Dwight Anderson (12.7) both are gone but senior Zack Tamagni, who scored 10.4 points a game a year ago, is back to lead the Scarlet Hawks this season.

Tamagni, who will pace the offense from the point guard position, will be helped along by senior Anthony Arcudi, who saw plenty of minutes a season ago, and junior Kayden Kelley, who begins his third year on varsity.

Arcudi will help replace some of the outside shooting that graduated while Kelley will give Milford a presence in the post. Tamagni can score from multiple spots on the court and his ability to move the ball and find the open teammate will pay dividends this season.

“Our goal this season is take the next step forward with our program,” Seaver said. “We have some production to replace, but we have the leadership and experience to do so. This is my third season at Milford and I believe that this is the best defensive team that I’ve had.”

North Attleboro

2015-2016 Record: 8-12
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins

A switch to the Davenport division might have come at the perfect time for the Rocketeers, who have a strong core of experienced players looking to make a push for the postseason.

The Rocketeers have seven varsity players back from a year ago, including seniors Brent Doherty and Jonny Friberg, who have both started since their sophomore seasons. Doherty was third in scoring in the Hockomock a year ago with 16.8 points per game, as well as 4.2 RPG and 3.0 APG while Friberg offered Big Red rebounding (5.8 RPG) and a post option on offense (8.8 PPG).

Doherty and Friberg have a strong supporting cast with Kyle McCarthy, Chad Peterson, Tom Reynolds and Hacmoni Cuevas all getting plenty of minutes last season. The Rocketeers deployed more man-to-man defense a year ago after relying on zone the year prior. Expect Big Red to mix it up this year, and with experience using both, the defense could be a solid weapon.

“We believe our strength will be our experience in running our system,” North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins said. “The experience should allow us to develop a more consistent offense which relies on ball movement, spacing, and great shot selection.”

Sharon

2015-2016 Record: 12-10
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Andrew Ferguson

Sharon is bringing back just three players from a year ago so the Eagles will be relying on new faces to step up for the 2016-2017 season.

Though just three players are back, three-year starter Ricardo Ripley is one of them. His experience and skill will be vital, quarterbacking the offense and leading the charge defensively. Both Jimmy Fitzhenry and Malik Lorquet picked up varsity experience last year and will likely see expanded roles this year.

Expect the Eagles to use their speed and athleticism on both ends of the court to try and bother teams. Offensively, Sharon has a couple of shooters that can help space out the floor, which can provide Ripley with the space he needs.

“We’re going to need some of our less experienced varsity players to step up throughout the year,” Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson said. “There is some great chemistry on our team and we’re pushing each other in practice, so hopefully that extends into the season.”

Stoughton

2015-2016 Record: 7-13
2015-2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: John Gallivan

The Black Knights will be relying on a big senior class in the 2016-2017 while trying to get back to the postseason and make a push for the division title.

Stoughton has 10 seniors, including captains Ryan Sullivan, Cam Gomes and Matt Valle. Junior Cam Andrews is also a captain for the team. The Black Knights were able to give teams problems with their pace last year and will look to do the same again this year.

With plenty of athletes, the Black Knights will use their speed to try and run past teams while applying lots of pressure on the defensive end. Andrews (12.9 PPG as a sophomore) is one of the top returning scorers in the league and can be a handful for defenses to deal with.

“All four are captains and have two to three years of varsity experience each,” Stoughton head John Gallivan said. “Although we aren’t a real tall team, we have great speed and quickness and plan to play fast as much as possible.”

Foxboro Closes Out Division Title In Win Over Milford

Foxboro boys basketball
Foxboro’s Rob Lowey goes up strong for a bucket in the first half against Milford (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro erased a nine point second half deficit and slammed the door shut with a dominant fourth quarter to beat Milford, 66-48, and clinch the Davenport Division title outright.
The Warriors held a one point lead at halftime but trailed by as much as nine points in the third quarter and entered the fourth with trailing by one.
Foxboro used a 23-4 fourth quarter to pull away and clinch the program’s first outright league title since 2003.
“Give credit to Milford, they’ve got some very talented scorers and some very talented guards and they made some tough shots,” Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs said. “They’ve been playing really well lately, they had won six of the last seven coming in. I’ve seen them lately have some really big quarters and big halves offensively where they just make shot after shot and that happened some here today. I thought our defense was pretty good for the most part and they just made some contested shots. But I was really proud of the way we fought through the adversity.”
The Scarlet Hawks embarked on a 13-3 run to open the second half and take their biggest lead of the contest. Senior Dimitry Torres (game-high 18 points plus six assists) started the run with a pair of free throws and then found Austin Albano for a corner three to go up 31-29. Zack Tamagni drained a three, Torres found Dwight Anderson for a layup and then Torres found Anthony Arcudi for a three to make it 39-30 with 3:53 to play in the third.
Foxboro was inch back, closing out the quarter on a 13-5 run with all points coming from seniors. Alex DuBrow and Jason Procaccini each scored four points, Jonathan Carnino hit a corner trey late in the shot clock to start the run and Rob Lowey scored off a nice post move.
It didn’t take long for the Warriors to assume the lead in the final quarter with DuBrow — who scored 12 of his 16 points in the final quarter — driving and laying one up and under on Foxboro’s first possession to go up by one. Foxboro never trailed again.
“Falling behind and losing the momentum in the third quarter we could have folded, we could have quit but he hung in there, we stayed with the plan defensively and we picked up our energy level and we were able to execute on offense and start making some plays,” Gibbs said. “I was really proud of the way we hung in there and came back and that’s what good teams do. We’ve been able to fight through it more as the season has gone on and that’s something that can help us when we get to the state tournament.
“I told the guys we’ll find our rhythm eventually on offense and eventually we’ll knock down shots but we had to lock them down and not let them score. I told them if we could lock them down defensively then eventually we’ll catch up and get the lead and I think we did a good job of that. I think we started to get some offense off of our defense when we lifted our energy up.”
Procaccini’s three point play preceded his assist to DuBrow at the top of the arc for a three. DuBrow came away with a steal and easy bucket before the Warriors used the same play – finding Procaccini on the baseline for a kick out to DuBrow for a three to put the run at 13-2.
Sophomore Joe Morrison had back to back steals that resulted in two points from DuBrow, a putback from Lowey off a missed three and a Procaccini layup stretched the run to 19-2. Foxboro went on to win the final quarter 23-4.
“You can’t have a quarter like that against the league champions and expect to win the game,” Milford head coach Paul Seaver said. “I thought we played well for three quarters but things just dominoed for us from there.”
While DuBrow had 12 points in the final frame, all 16 of them came in the second half. He had six assists in the first half and finished with eight overall along with five rebounds.
“He really just put us on his back,” Gibbs said of DuBrow. “He’s a tremendous player, he’s a special player and I think what you saw tonight was just how valuable he is to our team. When we were down and we were in a tough spot and we really needed a spark and someone to make some tough plays and produce, the way he can step up and put the team on his back. Whether it’s making a big basket or making a big pass or a big steal. All of a sudden, when we needed him the most, he was all over the place on both ends of the court. That’s why he’s such a special player and that’s why we’ve been so successful.”
Procaccini finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, Lowery had 15 points and nine rebounds and Mark Clagg chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds. The Warriors had a 34-18 edge in rebounding.
Foxboro boys basketball (16-4, 12-3) will close out the season by hosting Sharon in search of avenging a loss to the Eagles in late January. Milford (9-10, 6-9) finishes the regular season by hosting Canton. With a win, the Scarlet Hawks will qualify for the state tournament.
“Our goal the whole season was to get to the state tournament,” Seaver said. “We’ve grinded through a lot all season and we’ve put ourselves in a position to get there. Now we have to win to get there on Monday so it’s essentially a playoff game and we’re going to treat it like that.”

Foxboro Boys and Girls Complete Sweep of Milford

By Allie Piergustavo, HockomockSports.com Contributor

MILFORD, Mass. – Despite a strong effort by a young Milford girls’ squad, it was not enough to overcome the Foxboro Warriors on Friday night, falling by a score of 66-55.

Dominance from the start was key in the Warrior’s victory. Foxboro outscored Milford 20-7 in the first quarter, despite committing five fouls. Foxboro senior Cassidy Harrison scored 12 of the team’s 20 points in the first.

“She’s been scoring a lot early in games, and everyone moves off of that energy she brings out there offensively,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. Downs also complimented the team’s defense early on in the game. She said, “Our defense in the first half was a catalyst to what we were able to do on offense.”

Milford, however, did not go down without a fight. The effort from the Scarlet Hawks was at top level throughout the entire game. The game as a whole was a total team effort, with points being distributed throughout multiple players.

“We knew who we were going up against; we knew Foxboro was a very good team,” said Milford coach T.J. Dolliver. “We kept the energy up and we needed to, because if we ever hung our head at any point, it would’ve affected us mentally, and in the game as well.”

Despite having a young roster, Milford continues to improve game-by-game. After losing a tough match-up to Sharon on Monday night, they looked to bounce back stronger than before, striving to reach their goal of getting better every game.

Milford’s top scorer on the night was senior Jill Powers with 15 points and she also added six rebounds. Sophomore Nicole Dahlgren added 10 points and five rebounds for Milford.

Foxboro looks to continue its win streak on Tuesday night at home against Franklin, while Milford looks to come back from tonight’s loss Tuesday night at home versus Attleboro.

Foxboro Boys Run Away With Road Victory

After a strong victory on the girl’s side, it was up to the Foxboro boys to complete the sweep. It was soon clear that the team would have little issue completing the challenge. The Warriors completed a statement victory over the Scarlet Hawks, winning 64-44.

After trailing Milford 1-0 for the first minutes of the first quarter, Foxboro’s offense came alive, and ultimately outscored Milford in the first quarter 15-8, while committing just two fouls.

Foxboro’s top scorer for the night was senior forward Rob Lowey, tallying 20 points for the Warriors. Next to Lowey was fellow senior Alex DuBrow, with the guard adding 15 points.

Despite these numbers, Foxboro’s victory tonight was a full team effort. “I was really proud of our depth,” said Foxboro coach Jon Gibbs. “A lot of different guys stepped up for us tonight when we had some of our key guys in foul trouble, so I was really proud of that.”

On the Milford side, the leading scorers for the Scarlet Hawks were junior guard Zach Tamagni and senior forward Dwight Anderson, with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

A junior and senior-heavy roster means returning experience for the team. This has shown throughout the season, especially after a statement win over Davenport rival Sharon this past Monday night.

Milford (3-3, 2-2) looks to bounce back from tonight on Tuesday night at Attleboro. The future for the Warriors is very bright, as well. After tonight’s victory, Foxboro (6-1, 4-1) looks to carry that momentum into the next game at Franklin.

Gibbs said, “We’re continuing to get better, so right now its just continue to get better, and continue to build momentum and keep it going as long as we can.”

Boys Basketball: Davenport Division Preview 2015-16

Sharon's Tyler Smith (2) and David Roelke are two of eight returning varsity players for the Eagles. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Sharon’s Tyler Smith (2) and David Roelke are two of eight returning varsity players for the Eagles. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON

2014-2015 Record: 5-15
2014-2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ryan Gordy
The Bulldogs have a good amount of talent with experience returning this season and have added some key young pieces and head coach Ryan Gordy is hoping that combination will be a recipe for success this season.
Senior captains Rishi Jambunathan, Woanyen Mahn and Ben O’Neill all got plenty of experience last year and will be relied upon in getting the younger players involved. Griffin Jerrier, who was a strong rebounder last year, is also back and will help the Bulldogs in the paint.
“We are a team that has a nice mix of veterans and rookies, we have some athleticism, a good work ethic and IQ for the game,” Gordy said. “I would say we are relatively deep this year with 11 guys who can give quality minutes at the varsity level. Our biggest weakness is that this roster is unproven, and we need to learn how to execute in big moments to win games.”

FOXBORO

2014-2015 Record: 15-8
2014-2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Jon Gibbs
When it comes to talent coming back, Foxboro is near the top of the list with the players they have returning this season. Hockomock League All Stars Alex DuBrow and Robby Lowey are both back for their senior seasons and will look to lead the Warriors to another deep postseason run.
Along with DuBrow and Lowey, Foxboro has junior Mark Clagg (third year of varsity), Andrew Block and Jonathan Carnino all back this season. Sophomore Joe Morrison was brought up at the end of last year and the Warriors got transfer Jason Procaccini from Nobles and he could emerge as one of the Foxboro’s top scoring options. Head coach Jon Gibbs will be relying on experience and depth to try take the next step this year.
“We have some good pieces offensively and should be able to score in a variety of ways, so as long as we stay unselfish, we should be able to put some points on the scoreboard,” Gibbs said. “Ultimately, our success will be determined by how big of a commitment we make to defense and rebounding.”

MILFORD

2014-2015 Record: 2-18
2014-2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Paul Seaver
After just two wins in head coach Paul Seaver’s first year, the Scarlet Hawks are looking to take a big step forward in the 2015-2016 season. With nearly everyone back, Milford is in prime position to pick up more victories this season.
Dwight Anderson, a Hockomock League honorable mention last year, is back for his senior season, junior sharpshooter Nate Davila is back, junior Zack Tamagni will be back running the point and senior Dimitry Torres is a player that can make an impact at both ends of the court. Sophomore Kayden Kelley saw some time in the second half of the season last year and should provide good length and size in the post.
“We return 10 of 14 guys from last year’s team, which was the youngest in the league,” Seaver said. “This group had a terrific offseason, coming together both on and off the court, and helping to rebuild the culture within Milford basketball. Some of our strengths would include our improved teamwork and general awareness of working with each other after having played together so much over the last year.”

OLIVER AMES

2014-2015 Record: 20-4
2014-2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Final
Coach: Don Byron
After reaching the D2 South Final last season, the Tigers will have a to overcome a lot to try and get back there this season. All five starters (Carney, Handy, Kyne, Flynn, Welch) from last year’s team graduated as well as a key role player off the bench (Kelley) and another junior Franklin Holgate transferred to Nobles.
But the goal hasn’t changed for Oliver Ames as the Tigers will be making a push for the postseason again this year. Senior Tim Kelley will be one of the Tigers’ go-to options on the offensive end of the court and junior Carter Evin will provide some size in the post to give OA options on offense and defense. Connor Moroney will also be a source of scoring while Shawn Cardoza is another post player with some good experience.
“We graduated a strong senior class last year but with a nucleus of five returning players who played in a number of high pressure games last year we are optimistic,” head coach Don Byron said. “We also will add seven players who were key players on our successful JV and freshmen teams last year.”

SHARON

2014-2015 Record: 11-10
2014-2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Andrew Ferguson
Similar to Foxboro, Sharon is near the top of the list when it comes to returning players back this year. First year head coach Andrew Ferguson has eight returning varsity players at his disposal as the Eagles will look to not only make the playoffs, but try to get further than they did this past season.
Seniors Matt Lowerre, Tyler Smith, Bryce Smith, Mitchell Sirota, Andrew Filipkowski, David Roelke, and Michael Zola are all back for another year while juniors Ricardo Ripley and Peter Banks both saw time last year. Ferguson will be relying on that depth to try and challenge Foxboro in the Davenport title race. Although the Eagles don’t have a ton of size, they make up for it in athleticism.
“We are very excited to begin the season, and expect a lot from a very experienced roster,” Ferguson said. “Our roster will allow us to be very versatile as we try to create mismatches on both ends of the floor.”

STOUGHTON

2014-2015 Record: 8-12
2014-2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: John Gallivan
There are a lot of questions heading into the season for Stoughton but at the same time, there is a lot of optimism among the Black Knights.
Brandon Teixeira is back for his third year on varsity and is among the best shooters in the league. He will be relied on to captain the team on both ends of the court while junior Ryan Sullivan – who saw minutes last season – should see a bigger role in 2015-2016.
Beyond those two, head coach John Gallivan will be looking for others to step up and emerge as options on offense and as consistent players on defense. Sophomore Cam Andrews could be one of those players after seeing some minutes during his freshman year and junior Cam Gomes could provide some size for the Black Knights.
“There’s a big difference between the games that start at 5:00 and the one’s that start at 6:30,” Gallivan said of JV to varsity. “We have a lot of guys that haven’t played the 6:30 ones yet. We don’t have a ton of size but we can run and we’re hoping to make teams play our style.”