Lacroix Sparks King Philip’s Comeback at Taunton

KP girls basketball
KP senior Jen Lacroix scored all 12 of her points in the second half to help the Warriors bounce back and beat Taunton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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TAUNTON, Mass. – After scoring just three points in the second quarter and nine points in the first half, King Philip needed someone to provide an offensive spark and give the Warriors a lift to try and erase a 12-point deficit.
In the second half, senior guard Jen Lacroix gave KP the boost it needed, scoring all 12 of her points after the break and the Warriors pressure defense forced 19 second half turnovers to turn the deficit into a one-point win on Friday night at Taunton.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” said KP coach Marty Crowley, who noted the improved press break and different offense used against the zone. “We know our defense will keep us in games and tonight our offense picked up in the second half.”
“Jen Lacroix was more than huge for us,” he added. “Jen had a great night shooting the ball.”
The Tigers had a lot of success in the first half running the offense through senior forward Alyssa Gibson, who scored seven of Taunton’s nine first quarter points and finished with a game-high 13. She was able to drive through the lane as well as score on offensive rebounds (14 boards on the night).
“They were running a box on Jordan [Wade],” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan, “and we had a play set up to work the bigs inside and thought it worked pretty well.”
Wade and Lily Patneaude each knocked down threes in the second, as KP sank into the lane to protect against Gibson’s offense, although the forward added another four points in the quarter. Meanwhile, KP managed only two made field goals in the entire first half – one each for Shannon O’Connor and Sam Madden (eight points).
The second half was a very different story. Harrigan said, “I thought they adjusted to it well in the second half. They just overplayed us better. They were quicker to the ball.”
Lacroix knocked a jumper, which was answered by Mackenzie Handrahan, then she hit another shot off an assist by Maddie Purdue, but that was also answered by a drive from Maggie Sullivan, as Taunton kept the lead at 12.
After a pair of free throws from Gibson made the score 27-15, KP closed the quarter on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to just a single point. Madden scored on a layup following a Lacroix steal, Lacroix buried a jumper, Riley Dalzell drove to the basket for a layup and O’Connor scored off a steal, as the Warriors used their defense to create offense.
“We didn’t really have the greatest energy in the first half,” said Crowley. “We talked about being on the road that you need to create your own energy and second half…they’re very smart kids and they know what they need to do.”
He added, “Steal, score and steal, score and fight your way back into the game and the confidence – you can pick your shoulders up a little bit. It was a great win for us.”
The Warriors also started to crash the boards as a team. Although Gibson would lead all players with 14 boards, Dalzell (10 rebounds), Christina Hathaway, and Hadley Zolak all contributed on the glass for KP.
“In order for us to be successful, we don’t have that kid who is going to go out there and score 18-20 a night for us, so we need everybody to do their job,” Crowley explained. “They played together as a team tonight and that’s the most important thing.”
Taunton scored the opening four points of the fourth quarter, Wade and Kia Pate each getting baskets, to extend the lead back to five but then KP took control with a 10-0 run into the final 10 seconds of the game.
Again it was Lacroix with the big shot, as she buried a three that stemmed the tide and cut the lead to two. Riley Dalzell made a pair of free throws that put KP ahead 32-31, its first lead of the game, and then Lacroix knocked down a jumper following an O’Connor steal and Dalzell found Hathaway for a layup that put the Warriors ahead 36-31.
“Their pressure hurt us quite a bit and that pressure defense turned into good offense for them,” said Harrigan. “I think we panicked a little bit.”
Patneaude (11 points) hit a three that made it a two-point game, but O’Connor stepped up to the line and made both free throws to ice it. Patneaude hit another from deep at the buzzer but it was not enough.
Taunton (3016, 2-14) will close out its season on Monday against New Bedford. King Philip (6-13, 4-12) wraps up its campaign at Lowell on Wednesday.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/19/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Milford, 48 @ Foxboro, 66 – Final – Foxboro senior Alex DuBrow scored all of his team-high 16 points in the second half, adding eight assists and five rebounds. Jason Procaccini had 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists, Rob Lowey had 15 points and nine rebounds and junior Mark Clagg finished with 10 points. Milford’s Dimitry Torres scored a game-high 18 points along with six assists. 

Franklin, 64 @ Catholic Memorial, 87 – Final – Senior Tim Prunier and freshman Jay Dieterle each had nine points for the Panthers.

Taunton, 84 @ King Philip, 60 – Final – Taunton senior Jose Mercado poured in a career-high 31 points while Tommy MacLean had 14 points and Dom Smith added 12 points. King Philip’s Pharoah Davis had a team-high 13 points. 
Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 48 vs. Dartmouth, 36 – Final – Emily Houle led the way for Attleboro with 17 points, all in the second half, which leaves her four points shy of 1,000 for her career. She also had 11 rebounds. Sam Pierce added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Bombardiers, Fatima McDonald had eight points, and Sarah Deyo had only three points but chipped in with seven blocks and 10 boards.

Canton, 47 vs. Blackstone-Millville, 42 – FinalThe Bulldogs swept the season series with BMR behind 14 points from Hannah Jerrier and eight apiece from Jess Powers and Meaghan Hunter. Canton turned the game around with a 30-13 second half. 
King Philip, 38 @ Taunton, 37 – FinalJen Lacroix scored all 12 of her points in the second half to lead the Warriors, who bounced back from a 12-point halftime deficit. Sam Madden added eight points for KP and Riley Dalzell had 10 rebounds. Taunton was led by Alyssa Gibson, who finished with 13 points and 14 boards, and Lily Patneaude, who scored 11 points. 
Milford, 44 @ Foxboro, 61 – Final – The Warriors had three players reach double figures, led by Ashley Sampson’s 14 points. Cassidy Harrison added 11 points and Kristen Bortolotti had 10 points. 

North Attleboro, 47 vs. Durfee, 34 – FinalThe Rocketeers were led by junior Caroline Collard with 10 points and Ashley Ahern chipped in with six. 
Sharon, 43 @ Fontbonne, 58 – Final Senior Alyssa Piazza had 19 points, six rebounds, and five steals for the Eagles in the loss. 
Girls Hockey
Canton, 0 @ Whitman-Hanson, 2 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/12/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
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. 
Girls Basketball
Canton, 43 @ Sharon, 67 – FinalCharlotte 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 – FinalNiyera 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 – FinalMeg 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 – FinalCaroline 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 – FinalEmily Houle scored 31 points to lead the Bombardiers and is now only 21 points away from 1,000 for her career.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/15/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 43 @ Taunton, 65 – Final – Taunton junior Quan Roberson netted a game-high 20 points while senior Dominique Smith added a career-high 18 points for the Tigers. Tommy MacLean added 11 points and Jose Mercado had 10 points. Attleboro’s Jake Dunkley had nine points and three rebounds and Lucas Boucicaut also had nine points. Kyle Murphy pulled in 10 rebounds for the Bombardiers. 

Canton, 42 @ Sharon, 47 – Final – Sophomore Malik Lorquet made a big splash in his first full varsity game with nine points and 10 rebounds. Junior Adam Banks also scored nine points for the Eagles. Woanyen Mahn and Rishi Jambunathan each scored nine points for Canton. 

Foxboro, 54 @ Oliver Ames, 50 – Final – Foxboro built a seven point lead by halftime and held on in the second half. Senior Jason Procaccini led with 18 points with classmate Alex DuBrow chipping in with 17 points. Oliver Ames junior Carter Even had 17 points and seniors Shawn Cardoza and Tim Kelley each had 12 points. 

Franklin, 60 @ Mansfield, 57 – Final – Freshman Jay Dieterle hit a three with 1:34 left to put Franklin ahead for good. The Panthers, which led by as much as 22, had to stave off a rally from Mansfield over the third and fourth quarters. Franklin sophomore Connor Peterson scored a career-high 23 points and had seven rebounds, Tim Prunier added 15 points and five assists, sophomore Paul Mahon added eight points and six rebounds and Dieterle had six assists to go with five points. Matt Ehrlich had 16 points and five rebounds for Mansfield and Max Boen added 11 points. 

North Attleboro, 47 @ King Philip, 53 – Final – Juniors Will Weir and Noah Goodwin each scored 13 points for King Philip with senior Ben Smith adding 10 points and junior Pharaoh Davis netted 10 points. North Attleboro junior Brent Doherty scored a career-high 24 points for the Rocketeers.

Milford, 60 @ Stoughton, 77 – Final – Stoughton senior Brandon Teixeira logged his league-leading sixth double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Black Knights enjoyed a strong shooting night from the floor. Junior Ryan Sullivan added a career-best 16 points for Stoughton. Milford junior Nate Davila scored a team-high 18 points and Dwight Anderson added 13 points. 
Girls Basketball
Sharon, 41 @ Canton, 43 – Final Meaghan Hunter led the way for the Bulldogs with 17 points and Emma Murphy added 13, including nine in the fourth quarter. Alyssa Piazza was the top scorer for Sharon with 14 points and Ashley Mukasa added 10.
Oliver Ames, 53 @ Foxboro, 38 – Final – The Tigers had the lead throughout in a key Davenport Division matchup. The Warriors got within one in the third quarter but OA answered with a three to keep the lead. Sophomore Kayla Raymond notched her first double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Hannah Carroll added 10 points and Francesca Calabraro had eight points and nine rebounds. 

Mansfield, 51 @ Franklin, 48 – FinalMeg Hill was the top scorer for the Hornets with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jen Peel added 10 points (eight in the first half) and eight assists for the Hornets and Jackie Carchedi scored nine points (eight in the fourth quarter). Lauren Rudolph led the Panthers with 11 points (nine in the third quarter) and Aubrie Kutil had eight points and nine rebounds.
King Philip, 34 @ North Attleboro, 49 – FinalNorth Attleboro got 10 points apiece from Julia Feid and Emily Haskell. KP was led by Sam Madden and Riley Dalzell, who each scored seven points.
Stoughton, 59 @ Milford, 41 – Final – Julia Foye came off the bench to drain a trio of three pointers and finished with 11 points to spark the Black Knights. Alecia Quinones led Stoughton with a team-high 20 points and added seven steals. 
Taunton, 26 @ Attleboro, 63 – FinalSarah Deyo returned for the Bombardiers with 20 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Sam Pierce chipped in with her fourth straight double-double, 18 points and 11 rebounds. Emma Vlashi also had 11 boards for Attleboro.
Swimming
Canton boy, 109 @ Oliver Ames boys, 63 – Final
Canton girls, 83.5 @ Oliver Ames girls 86.5 – Final
Franklin boys, 70 @ Mansfield boys, 98 – Final
Franklin girls, 92 @ Mansfield girls, 70 – Final

Girls Basketball: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2015-16

Kelley-Rex girls basketball
The Kelley-Rex division looks to be a season long battle again this winter with all six teams hoping to make runs to the state tournament. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Attleboro

2014-15 Record: 14-9 (10-6)
2014-15 Finish: Lost in Div. 1 South first round
Head Coach: Rick Patch

The Bombardiers were disappointed at a first round tournament exit last season and are using that as motivation as they enter the second season under coach Rick Patch. Attleboro enters 2015-16 as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex Division and are getting plenty of hype from opposing coaches who feel that the program can win its first Hockomock title.

Expectations are extremely high because Attleboro returns all but two players from last year. The keys pieces will be senior guard Emily Houle and junior forward Sarah Deyo, who were both among the league’s leading scorers a season ago and have had strong off-season playing for their AAU teams. Each is capable of reaching the 1,000-point plateau for their careers but, maybe more important, both also emerged as elite defensive players last season.

Attleboro did not lose much from last year and added a second transfer in as many years with Julia Strachan coming from division rival North Attleboro. The junior forward adds depth to the forward position, shooting touch from deep, and another strong rebounder. Last year point guard Fatima McDonald came into the program and the senior adds toughness to the lineup with more expected from her now that she has a year of experience under her belt.

Sophomore Sam Pierce and senior Emma Vlashi were productive forwards last season and freshman Jordyn Lako is a newcomer to watch for the Bombardiers. Patch said, “Everyone is excited…We have taken the ‘hard hat’ mentality in putting forth a blue collar, blue pride effort. Our players have really focused on becoming great teammates and leaders.”

Franklin

2014-15 Record: 19-6 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central final
Head Coach: John Leighton

Most programs that lose all but one starter from a team that reached a sectional final would be thinking about rebuilding and the need for a transition year as new players get integrated. Franklin is counting on its system and the depth in its program to reload rather than rebuild this year.

The Panthers reload will benefit from a healthy Lauren Rudolph. The senior guard missed a large portion of last season with an injury sustained during soccer season and added a big scoring punch off the bench when healthy, This year, Rudolph will take on a much larger role as Franklin’s primary scorer, but she also gives them a boost defensively and is good passer in the Panthers’ dribble drive set.

The lone returning starter is senior Aubrie Kutil, who gives Franklin size and strength in the post on both ends of the court. Kutil will be aided by senior forwards Erin Skidmore and Caroline Maguire (who recovered from a volleyball injury to play in the opener) to crash the boards. Senior point guard Olivia Adiletto saw a lot of action last year and will take over as a starter. Junior Carli Koffinke is another player that will step into a bigger role as an offensive spark off the bench.

Newcomers like juniors Isabella Faught and Margaux Welsh will help Franklin make another run at the Kelley-Rex title. Leighton said, “We’re blessed to have depth. We have girls that buy into the system and are willing to play their roles, which is huge for us.”

King Philip

2014-15 Record: 5-15 (3-13)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Martin Crowley

King Philip has been a competitive program since Martin Crowley took over two years ago with its focus on aggressive defense, rebounding, and being difficult to play against. Although last season did not finish the way that the Warriors had hoped, more than one opposing coach has mentioned KP as a sleeper pick to make a run this year.

Leading scorer Emily Sullivan graduated and Crowley noted that “her scoring can’t be replaced with only one player,” but he feels that the pieces are in place to make up for that loss in production. Senior Maddie Purdue will take over at the point guard position this season and she emerged last year as a solid ball-handler and shooter and never shied away from contact as she took the ball to the basket.

Purdue will get plenty of help from a host of versatile and athletic forwards that gives KP plenty of rebounders and active defenders in and around the post. Senior captain Riley Dalzell showed the ability to step back and knock down shots and she will be joined by classmates Sam Madden, Jen Lacroix, and Olivia Dort.

Freshmen Julia Leroux and Shannon O’Connor will also be added to the mix, as Crowley looks to get the Warriors back into the postseason. He said, “I like where we’re at so far. I like our athleticism and we have good depth. We’re trying to get everyone involved.”

MANSFIELD

2014-15 Record: 19-5 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal
Head Coach: Mike Redding

There is plenty of buzz about the Hornets this season, as Mansfield brings back arguably one of the deepest rosters in the league, including four of its five starters from last year’s team that reached the sectional semifinal. Head coach Mike Redding always says that the goal is to be in the mix for the title at the end of the season, but several coaches have noted that the Hornets could be a threat in Div. 1 South not just the Hock.

Mansfield has loads of experience on its roster. Senior guard Caroline Maher, a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, can stretch the defense with her range and is also an elite finisher on the break. Fellow senior Jackie Carchedi was last year’s HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year and adds wing scoring for the Hornets. Seniors Julianna Newell and Sarah Mullahy, fresh off a league title in volleyball, add depth to the forward line.

Jen Peel is back to lead the Hornets as the starting point guard after leading the team in assists and tying for the team lead in points last year. Peel’s ability to get to the basket opens up room on the perimeter for the shooters and draws defenders away from sophomore center Meg Hill. Hill is a double-double threat every game and as she develops more offensively will be a primary weapon for Mansfield this season.

Add in senior guard Jen Kemp, sophomore Ann Maher, among others on the roster and the options are plentiful for Redding. He explained, “We need to work harder on defense, find a good balance on offense with our options and be playing our best ball in February…The parts are all there, we need to put them together and develop some chemistry on and off the court.”

North Attleboro

2014-15 Record: 17-6 (14-2)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal
Head Coach: Derek Herber

The graduation of Melissa Beaupre and Danielle Perron and the transfer of Julia Strachan to rival Attleboro have many people assuming that the Rocketeers’ run of three straight league titles will surely come to an end. However, even with the turnover on the roster, North Attleboro has the talent to stay in the mix again in its last season in the Kelley-Rex (for at least four years).

One of the main reasons for optimism is the return of junior guard Ashley Ahern, who flirted with the option of transferring to prep school, but returned to North at the start of the school year. North coach Derek Herber called Ahern’s decision to stay “great not only for the team but for the league.” Ahern gives the Rocketeers a primary scorer at the two guard position and another solid ball-handler on the perimeter.

Joining Ahern on the perimeter will be junior point guard Samantha Taggart and junior Emily Schromm, who will be the third guard in the rotation. The strength of the Rocketeers this season is in the post with senior forward Emily Peters providing leadership and toughness and juniors Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse adding scoring punch. Collard, in particular, had a breakout season as a sophomore and could be a player to watch offensively for North this year.

The losses from last season’s squad were important, but Herber brings seven players back and is bullish about what the Rocketeers can accomplish. “It’s not going to be helter skelter and run and gun like it was last year,” he said, “but we’re going to play good, solid man-to-man defense.”

Taunton

2014-15 Record: 9-13 (5-11)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Walter Harrigan

Taunton struggled with injuries early last season and got off to a sluggish start. As the Tigers got healthier, they finished the season with momentum and ended the year with nine wins. Taunton coach Walter Harrigan is hoping that the momentum will carry over to this winter and give Taunton a chance at getting back to the postseason.

Unfortunately, injuries have popped up again. Senior forward Abby Small, who Harrigan thought was poised for a great season, injured her knee in the soccer team’s playoff game at Wellesley and will be out for at least a while. Harrigan is hopeful that Small can get back on the court at some point this season and give the Tigers a boost. At the start of the season, the Tigers will turn to senior guard Jordan Wade and senior forward Alyssa Gibson to lead the way as both have been in the program for five years.

Junior point guard Jessica Regan will be “critical,” according to Harrigan, as she will get Taunton into its offense every trip. Fellow junior Abbey Kingman is another player that the coach expects to make a big jump this season. There are also seven freshmen and sophomores on the roster highlighted by sophomore wing Hannah Moniz, who at nearly 6 feet tall has the size to cause any team problems and has the athleticism to play on the perimeter or in the post.

Freshman Lily Patneaude could join Moniz in the starting lineup when she returns from an early season injury. Harrigan said, “I’m excited for the season. We’re not really deep, but we’re athletic. Our defense has really improved and I think we have a chance to sneak into states.”

For a list of 10 Players to Watch in Hockomock League girls’ basketball this season, click here