DuBrow Back on Point After Return From Injury

Alex DuBrow
Former Foxboro standout Alex DuBrow has returned to the court after a knee injury cost him all but four games of his junior season at Wheaton. (Wheaton Athletics/Keith Nordstrom)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


Wheaton College men’s basketball has a new look squad this season. The Lyons graduated a strong group of seniors and are incorporating nine freshmen into the lineup. One of the “new” faces for Wheaton this winter is a familiar one, as senior point guard Alex DuBrow has made a full recovery from a knee injury that kept him out of all but four games as a junior.

DuBrow has fit seamlessly back into the rotation, leading the Lyons in minutes per game (35.0), points per game (14.3), and assists per game (7.7) through the opening three contests. Wheaton, which was picked last in the NEWMAC preseason coaches poll, has started 2-1.

“It feels amazing,” said DuBrow about getting back on the court. It was one year to the day from his injury and he reflected on his long year and his long recovery to be ready for his senior season. “It was hard…mentally, physically, just sitting every day doing rehab versus playing with my brothers.”

After winning three of the first four games last year, Wheaton looked poised for big things and the former Foxboro High standout was right at the heart of it. But in the fifth game, on an otherwise innocuous drive to the basket, DuBrow felt something pop. He tried to fool the trainers and get back on the court (“Probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done,” he joked), but that was the end of a season in which he felt ready to make his mark.

“The hardest part for me, mentally, was that I was never going to play with those seniors again,” said DuBrow, who noted that he worked the whole summer on his game in preparation. “As a freshman I played a bit and as a sophomore I played a bit, but last year was really the year where those guys I had played with the last few years, it was our time and we really thought we had something going. We were all feeling good and I went down and it kind of sucked.”

For the first time in his playing career, DuBrow was out for a sustained period of time and it gave him a new perspective that, as a team captain, he is trying to share with the many underclassmen on this year’s squad.

“I definitely learned patience. Not everything goes your way,” he explained. “I’ve told them not to take any day for granted because even if you don’t get hurt the four years flies by. These guys, most of them have 80-90 games left, and each one is unique. Keep playing for each other, be a brotherhood, be a family, so that everything on the court is easier.”

DuBrow’s recovery was helped by having his former Foxboro teammate Robby Lowey by his side. The point guard and center combo has played together since middle school and DuBrow said that the chemistry between them on and off the court remains as strong as ever.

“I’ve been throwing him the ball for eight years now and he had to kind of adjust to that, but we’re right back at it,” DuBrow said. “I think seeing him out on the floor with me is always a good thing. We both start together with three freshmen and leading with him, coming back from injury, I think it just made everything more comfortable.”

He was cleared for basketball activities in August and has to wear a brace on his left knee for at least the remainder of this season. DuBrow admitted there has been an adjustment period, trying to get accustomed to wearing a brace, trying to overcome any hesitation about cutting or going to the basket, and trying to find different ways to contribute while building his speed back up.

All of that was in play in the season opener against Wentworth, as well as some early game jitters. The Lyons fell behind by more than 20 points, but were able to chip away at the lead, eventually forcing overtime.

“I told the guys at halftime, it’s just basketball,” DuBrow said. “There’s a reason you’re playing at this level and I knew that for myself that there was a reason I got cleared and fought so hard to be back and then we made our comeback.”

Although Mansfield’s Tommy Dooling ruined Wheaton’s and DuBrow’s comeback with a last second three that handed Wentworth a double overtime victory, it was a game that DuBrow (who scored 19 in the loss) thinks will be a springboard to a big season.

“It was a tough loss but we’re young and I think we learned a lot that game,” he said.

“We were picked last in the NEWMAC but I don’t think teams really know what we‘ve got. I’m healthy, we’ve got Rob as a senior, a couple other upperclassmen, and then nine guys who are competing every day in practice. I think we’re going to be pretty good and I hope this is just the groundwork for years to come for these young guys because they have a lot of promise.”

The freshmen have given DuBrow a boost of energy this season and he is ready to get back to being the pesky point guard that other teams hate to play against. He dished out 10 assists in a home-opening win against Framingham State (Lowey led the way with 19 points), and then led the team with 18 points and five assists to beat Dean College.

“My teammates and coaches, the trust they have in me to run the show really has helped me get back to my normal self and hopefully stronger this year than I ever have been,” said DuBrow. “When the shot clock winds down, they throw me the ball and I go make a play and I’m confident that every time I can do so. The confidence in myself and the confidence that my coaches and my teammates have in me is what pushes me to succeed.”

There is also an appreciation that there is one last chance to impress at Wheaton (DuBrow has a year of eligibility remaining, but Wheaton do not have a graduate program so he would have to go to another school). He is excited to be back on the court and he and the rest of the seniors are not taking anything for granted this season.

“Basketball, that’s my life,” he said. “It’s what I look forward to every single day, practice, games, and just one wrong step, non-contact, took that all away from me last year.

“We know it’s our last year. We looked at each other like what the heck is this team going to look like next year because we didn’t know who was coming in. Once we played pickup with these guys, we thought this could be special and we just have to lead them.”

Foxboro Goes Cold in Semifinal Defeat

Foxboro boys basketball
Jason Procaccini takes a jumper in front of the Foxboro cheering section in Wednesday night’s semifinal. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

FALL RIVER, Mass. – Sometimes the reason behind a win or a loss is complicated. There are a number of factors that could turn the tide from one side to the other over the course of a basketball game .

Sometimes the explanation for the final result is much easier to deduce.

On Wednesday night in the Luke Urban Field House at Durfee High, Foxboro shot nearly 30 three-pointers in its Div. 2 South semifinal against No. 2 seed Whitman-Hanson but made only five. Meanwhile, the Panthers knocked down eight shots from beyond the arc in the first three quarters, six of them by senior Brenndan Rogers.

The Warriors cold shooting allowed Whitman-Hanson to pull out a 64-50 victory and advance to the South final to face Randolph.

“That’s basketball,” said Foxboro coach Jon Gibbs. “I thought we moved the ball well at times and got some good looks and they just didn’t fall.”

“It’s a tough pill to swallow because you hate to lose at the stage and see the season come to a close but the bottom line is they made more shots than we did.”

The Warriors jumped all over Whitman-Hanson in the first quarter. Foxboro’s press was forcing turnovers and leading to shots at the rim. Foxboro led 12-4 out of the gate behind four points from Jason Procaccini, a three from Mark Clagg and a three-point play from Alex DuBrow.

DuBrow then set up Andrew Block for a corner three that made it 15-7, one of his seven assist in the game, and scored on a layup that ended a 5-0 Panthers run. To start the second quarter, DuBrow (nine points) again found Block (six points) in the corner for a three that made it 20-12.

The Panthers turned the game on its head with an 18-4 run to close out the first half. That run continued in the third quarter and stretched to 30-8 after the Block three and gave Whitman-Hanson a 14-point cushion.

The main reason for the turnaround was Rogers, who scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the second and buried four threes – many with a hand in his face.

“The No. 1 emphasis tonight was on defending the three-point line, that’s been Whitman-Hanson’s game all year,” said Gibbs.

“I don’t know how many he ended up with, six, seven threes but give credit to the kid Rogers for an incredible shooting night and he really put the team on his back.”

The Warriors struggled to stem the tide because their own shots were not falling, which meant that they could not get back into the full-court press that seemed to really bother the Panthers in the first quarter.

Gibbs explained, “We really wanted to pressure them and if you can’t score then you can’t press.”

He continued, “It kind of became a situation that snowballed a little bit because I thought our press was very effective early and then for long stretches we couldn’t get into it and they were able to come down and run their offense, which is exactly what we didn’t want them to be able to do.”

The Block three was the lone made field goal in the second quarter for Foxboro but going into halftime it was only a six-point deficit.

The third started with a lob from DuBrow to Procaccini (team-high 16 points) for a layup but that was answered by a layup on the other end from Cole Manning (13 points, 11 rebounds) and then a three by Rogers with Procaccini right in his face.Nick Smith (10 points) hit one from straightaway and Roger buried another and the game started slipping away from the Warriors.

Down by 19, Foxboro put together a quick 7-0 spurt that gave the Warriors fans life. Joe Morrison scored off a backdoor cut and was fouled. He missed the shot from the line but DuBrow grabbed the board and laid it in. Procaccini hit a three from straightaway and the lead was down to 12.

The momentum did not stay on Foxboro’s side although the Warriors continued to battle in the fourth quarter, twice cutting the deficit to single digits.

“I was so proud of the way we played in the fourth quarter, we didn’t quit,” said Gibbs.

One of the sparks that kept Foxboro going was Morrison. The sophomore guard scored six points in the fourth and at times looked like a one-man full-court press. He picked his man’s pocket and scored on a layup then scored again in transition and then again stole an inbounds pass for a layup that made the score 54-45.

“That’s obviously what he was out there for was to spearhead that press,” Gibbs said. “To see him do it on the biggest stage was so impressive and he was a big reason why we were able to hang around.”

The Panthers would not allow the Warriors to get too close, shooting 10-12 from the line down the stretch to seal the win.

Gibbs said, “We were down double digits the whole fourth quarter, our backs were against the wall and we could easily have quit, but we just kept fighting. I thought we showed a lot of heart and character.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Procaccini Lifts Foxboro to Quarterfinal Win

Foxboro boys basketball
Jason Procaccini scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Warriors pulled away late to beat Dartmouth. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry

FOXBORO, Mass. – With a little more than four minutes remaining in Friday night’s quarterfinal against Dartmouth, Foxboro coach Jon Gibbs called a timeout to try and settle his team down.

The Indians had cut a lead that was at one point as high as 18 down to just eight, so Gibbs reminded his team of the game plan on defense and told them to regroup and finish strong. The Warriors listened, allowing only two points from the line over the final four minutes.

“The wheels were coming off, we hit a patch of adversity, and it looked like maybe we weren’t handling it well,” said Gibbs.

“I just called a timeout to remind them that we’re up eight and we made a little adjustment to our press break. I said, let’s break the pressure and then lets take our time and have a good possession every time.”

Foxboro pulled away late, making 6-7 from the line, and finished off Dartmouth 58-40 to advance to the Div. 2 South semifinal. Senior Jason Procaccini led the way for the Warriors with 21 points and 10 rebounds and classmate Alex DuBrow scored 14, including 7-8 from the line in the fourth.

“It’s all about our defense,” Gibbs explained, “and that’s what we’ve said all year. I think we regrouped pretty well, kept our composure and down the stretch our seniors made big plays for us.”

Dartmouth coach Jeff Caron admitted after the game that his team was looking to keep the score low and for the first half the Indians defense was fulfilling that objective, limiting Foxboro to just 22 points. The only problem was that the Warriors held the visitors to only 14.

“The pace and the score was with us for a while but their defense really made things difficult for us on the offensive end,” said Caron.

Procaccini got off to a strong start with eight points in the opening half, including a three that extended the lead to nine at 21-12. He also added three of his team-high four assists in the first half, as most of the offense ran through him.

In the second half, Dartmouth got out of its zone and started to play man-to-man and tried to press in order to create more turnovers that could get the offense going. The switch also opened things up for the Foxboro offense and Procaccini took advantage with seven in the third, as the Warriors used a 12-2 run to break the game open.

He started the half with a spin to the bucket for two, followed by a three from Mark Clagg who added a pair of free throws. After Dartmouth scored two on a pair of technical free throws, DuBrow picked the pocket of the Indians point guard and laid it in and then Procaccini knocked down a jumper plus the foul.

“He’s jut so versatile,” said Gibbs of Procaccini. “He can shoot, he can drive at you, he can post, he can get offensive rebounds, he’s a nightmare in transition. He just has a knack for scoring the ball.”

The Warriors were letting emotions get the better of them and picked up a second technical in the quarter that Dartmouth used to try and stay in the game. Another Procaccini jumper off an offensive rebound and a couple free throws from DuBrow made it 41-23, Foxboro’s biggest lead of the game.

Dartmouth scored the final five of the third quarter, but the lead was still 13 heading to the fourth. The Indians chipped away behind a couple of baskets from leading scorer Matt Craig, who finished with 17 points but was made to work for every point by the defense of Joe Morrison.

“He’s a great player,” said Gibbs of Craig, “and we knew that he was going to look to take over the game. He had 17 points, but he certainly had to work for it. He made a lot of tough shots to get to that and obviously holding them to 40 points, our defense was the key.”

Procaccini tipped in his own missed layup to make it 46-36 but then Craig managed to squeeze down the lane for a layup that cut it back to eight. That would be the final basket scored by the Indians.

DuBrow went 5-6 from e line in the fourth and Procaccini wrapped up the win with a three that extended the lead back to 15 before Andrew Block added some gloss to the final with a three in the final minute.

“They’ve got a good point guard, they’ve got a good big, they have guys that can shoot the ball…you get down like that and start pressing in desperation mode in the third quarter you run out of gas,” said Caron.

“They were the better team tonight, no doubt about that, no excuses.”

Robby Lowey added four points and seven boards, Morrison chipped in with five points, and Jonathan Carnino pulled in nine rebounds for the Warriors.

It turned into a comfortable looking final score, but Gibbs said that this game would be a learning experience for his team, which picked up three technicals in the second half.

“The state tournament is a whole different atmosphere,” he explained.

“The environment is different, the pressure is different, the stakes are totally different so now having a game like this where we encountered a lot of adversity and at times didn’t handle it well gives us the chance to have a teachable moment, look at the film, talk about what happened and hopefully be better next time.”

Foxboro (18-4) will play No. 2 seed Whitman-Hanson at Durfee High at a time and date to be determined.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/12/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Milford, 55 @ Attleboro, 70 – Final – Attleboro had three players score in double-digits, led by a career-high 24 points for junior Jake Dunkley, who also added seven rebounds. Junior Andrew Milliken had 16 points and five rebounds, sophomore Nate Douglas had 14 points and four rebounds and senior Kyle Murphy had 14 rebounds to go along with seven points. Milford’s Zack Tamagni scored a team-high 20 points for the Scarlet Hawks. 

Canton, 34 @ North Attleboro, 43 – Final – North Attleboro junior Brent Doherty scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the second half, including nine of them in the third quarter, which was the period the Rocketeers created an eight point cushion. Senior Ridge Olsen added nine points and Kyle Gaumond had six. Canton’s Tony Harris had 12 points for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 60 @ Franklin, 65 – Final (OT) – Senior Tim Prunier scored a game-high 18 points while freshman Jay Dieterle scored 13 points, senior Kevin Gill had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists and Josh Macchi had 11 points and eight rebounds. Foxboro’s Jason Procaccini scored 17 points, Robby Lowey added 12 points and six rebounds and Mark Clagg had 11 points. 

Sharon, 45 @ King Philip, 52 – Final – King Philip broke into the win column, pouring in 20 points in the first quarter and never looking back. Seth Sullivan had a game-high 13 points while junior Pharaoh Davis added 11 points and junior Noah Goodwin had 10 points. Peter Banks had 10 points for Sharon, who went 2/24 from 3PT range as a team. 

Oliver Ames, 63 @ Mansfield, 78 – Final – Junior Sam Goldberg netted a career-high 23 points (17 in the second half) pulled in 10 rebounds and had four assists to lead the Hornets. Matt Ehrlich added 17 points and Max Boen added 11 points. Oliver Ames’ Tim Kelley had 20 points and Connor Maroney added 15 points. 

Stoughton, 53 @ Taunton, 81 – Final – Senior Jose Mercado netted 25 points and junior Quan Roberson added 22 points as Taunton’s offense scored a season-high 81 points. Stoughton sophomore Cam Andrews had 14 points to lead the Black Knights. 
Girls Basketball
North Attleboro, 50 @ Canton, 38 – Final – North Attleboro was led by junior guard Ashley Ahern, who finished with 18 points. For the second straight night, Hannah Jerrier recorded a double-double for Canton with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Franklin, 45 @ Foxboro, 51 – Final – Sophomore Ashley Sampson led the way for the Warriors with 21 points while sophomore Lily Sykes chipped in with 12 points for Foxboro. 

King Philip, 53 @ Sharon, 45 – Final – KP rallied from eight down in the fourth quarter behind 18 points from freshman Julia Leroux (nine in the fourth quarter alone). Sam Madden added 12 for the Warriors, who outscored the Eagles 22-7 in the final quarter. Sharon was led by Alyssa Piazza with 14 points and Charlotte Ransom with 12.

Mansfield, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 32 – Final – Caroline Maher led the way for the Hornets with 16 points in a game between the top two teams in this week’s girls basketball Hock 5. Meg Hill added eight points and nine rebounds and Jen Peel had eight points and eight assists for Mansfield.

Attleboro, 54 @ Milford, 26 – Final – The Bombardiers were without star forward Sarah Deyo but pulled out the win on the road led by 18 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore Sam Pierce. Emma Vlashi added 12 points for Attleboro in just her second game back from injury and Fatima McDonald chipped in with eight steals.

Taunton, 52 @ Stoughton, 54 – Final – Stoughton seniors Jess Greer and Alecia Quinones each scored a team-high 18 points to lead the Black Knights to a close win. Taunton senior Jordan Wade had 16 points while Lily Patneaude and Alyssa Gibson each added 12 points for the Tigers. 
Hockey
Canton, 11 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Senior Matty Marcone netted his first career goal to lead the Bulldogs to a league win.
Wrestling
Taunton, 42 vs. Josiah Quincy 36 – Final – The Tigers got wins from Chris Fernandes (120), Justin Bradley (132), Brandon DeForitis (145), Alex Simon (170), Jose Anaya (182), Nuno Camara (195), and Mason Frank (220).
Swimming
Boys
Foxboro, 51 @ Oliver Ames, 103 – Final
Girls
Foxboro, 80 @ Oliver Ames, 90 – Final

MacLean Sparks Taunton In Bounce Back Win

Taunton's Tommy MacLean scored a game-high against Foxboro on Monday night. (Tom Madigan/File Photo)
Taunton’s Tommy MacLean scored a game-high against Foxboro on Monday night. (Tom Madigan/File Photo)

By Anthony Rinaldi, HockomockSports.com Contributor
FOXBORO, Mass. – After a tough two-point lose to North Attleboro, the Taunton Tigers bounced back with a 57-51 victory over a good Foxboro Warriors team Monday night at Foxboro High School.
Foxboro got off to a good start in the first quarter. After trading baskets back and forth with the Tigers, the Warriors went on a 6-2 run to finish off the quarter and took a 14-8 lead going into the second.
The second quarter is when the Tigers started to assert themselves both on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, scoring 17 points and only giving up eight points to the Warriors.
“We did a real nice job defensively, we gave up 76 points Friday, and we just committed to playing defense, and good things can happen when you play defense,” Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey said.
“We had some missed opportunities, we got a little sloppy with the ball, and we had a couple of careless turnovers,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs about the second quarter.
Taunton junior Tommy MacLean was the game changer in the quarter for the Tigers scoring 13 of Taunton’s 17 points in the quarter, helping the away team head into the break with a 25-22 lead
“He’s a real smart player” Dacey said of MacLean. “He’s our steadying influence out there and we just kept going at him.”
“I just felt like I was playing with a lot of confidence tonight,” MacLean said. “I just felt like I was getting a lot of open looks off of ball screens and taking what was there.”
The Tigers started off the third quarter right where they left off, with an 11-4 run to extend the lead to double-digits, up 37-26 Foxboro responded a 10-4 run, helped by four points from senior Alex DuBrow, to finish off the quarter strong and get back in the game.
DuBrow then started off the fourth quarter with an and-one layup to cut the Taunton lead down to two, 41-39. Taunton then hit back with four straight points to get their lead back to six. The Warriors got it down to three once again but the Tigers proved to be too much and held on at the end.
“We bounced back after a real tough lose to North Attleboro,” Dacey said. “We had a couple of good days of practice and exploited the mismatches.”
“That’s a good early test for us and after two easy wins it’s a good to play in a game like that to really see where we’re at,” Gibbs added.
For Taunton, MacLean had a game-high 24 points as well as four assists. Quan Roberson added 10 for the Tigers.
For Foxboro, DuBrow had a team-high 14 points, while Rob Lowey added 12 for the Warriors.
The Tigers and Warriors now have some time off. Taunton (2-1) will play in a tournament at Durfee High School starting December 27th. The Warriors (2-1) will play in a tournament at Westwood High School starting December 29th when they take on Walpole.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/17/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Foxboro, 60 @ Canton, 18 – Final – Foxboro senior Alex DuBrow had a game-high 16 points while senior Robby Lowey netted 10 points and Jason Procaccini and Jamaine Few each had nine points. Canton’s Griffin Jerrier had seven points, four rebounds and two steals for the Bulldogs. 
Girls Basketball
Canton, 23 @ Foxboro, 59 – Final – Cassidy Harrison led the Warriors with 14 points while Ashley Sampson was right behind with 12 points. Grace Tamulionis and Carolynn Will each added 10 points for Foxboro. 
Gymnastics
Sharon, 133 @ Oliver Ames, 116.55 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Emma Banks turned in strong performances on floor and beam, scoring an 8.2 and 8.6 respectively. Madi Kligman, Mae Perron, Gabby Martucci, Rachel Fischer, Maeve Hogan and Selena DeCosta all contributed for Oliver Ames.

Ten Boys Basketball Players to Watch in 2015-2016

Taunton's Tommy MacLean (left) and Manfield's Nick Baskin will be two players to watch this season. (Tom Madigan/Photo)
Taunton’s Tommy MacLean will be one player to watch this season. (Tom Madigan/Photo)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
Alex DuBrow, Foxboro – In his first year at Foxboro, DuBrow certainly turned a lot of heads. Seriously, just watch defenders as they try to keep track of the nifty passes DuBrow comes up with game in and game out. The senior has arguably the best vision in the league and that’s a good trait as he will guide the ship full of talented and experienced players this year. He isn’t just a distributor either as he can make his way through defenses to the buckets and isn’t afraid to pull up with a defender on him. Defensively, the word that comes to mind is “pest” and for good reason. He can disrupt opposing ball handlers and get the Foxboro going quickly.
Robby Lowey, Foxboro – Standing at 6’4, Lowey is going to be a player that opponents have to worry about on both ends of the court. The Warriors have a good group of talent with a wide range of skills and that makes it that much harder to deal with Lowey. With DuBrow’s vision (see above), and the shoot and scoring abilities of Mark Clagg and transfer Jason Procaccini, it’s tough to bring help to guard against Lowey. Last year was a big growth year and by the end of the season, Lowey was a constant threat each trip down the court. Defensively he has the length that alters shots and can help clean up the glass on any misses.
Tim Prunier, Franklin – Without a doubt, Prunier will be one of the best in the Hockomock League this year. He’s got a very well rounded game with the ability to make an impact in all phases of the game. Offensively not only does he carry the ball and set the offense in motion, he can score in one on one situations, can move the ball at the right time and even more impressively, he’s one of the best off the ball. Prunier is truly a player you don’t want to lose track of. Defensively he will add a spark to a team that prides itself on stopping teams and forcing turnovers.
Nick Baskin, Mansfield – With a lot of scoring graduated last season, the Hornets are going to need players to step up and Nick Baskin is a strong candidate to do so. Each of the last two seasons, he’s progressed and became more of a threat. He showed off last season that he can connect from deep, especially from the corner. And as the season went on, he got better at getting the ball to the basket and finishing there too. Once he is able to overcome an early season injury, he will be a key piece for the Hornets.
Matt Ehrlich, Mansfield – Two years ago as a freshman, Ehrlich was strictly a spot shooter for the Hornets. After last year, he showed his game is much more complete than just a shooter. Now in his junior year, expect Ehrlich to take his game to the next level, especially with Mansfield looking to somehow replace the production from Michael Boen and Ryan Boulter. Ehrlich is also one of the coolest customers on the court, never getting too high or too low and that’s someone you want on your team. Defensively he has improved each season and despite not being the tallest player on the court, he’s willing to get into the mix on the glass.
Brent Doherty, North Attleboro – One of the toughest decisions we faced as a staff last season was picking the Boys Basketball Underclassman of the Year and that’s a credit to how well Doherty (and Mansfield’s Ehrlich) played in their sophomore seasons. Now a junior and with almost of his teammates back from last year, Doherty is looking at a potential breakout campaign. He’s improved as a scorer over the past two years and is fearless when he takes the ball to the hoop. Even more impressive is his range and willingness to take the big shot in big situations. Defensively he’s got quick feet and can stay in front of his mark. One underrated part of his game is his distribution and with some solid weapons around him, look for Doherty to lead a dangerous Rocketeer offense.
Matt Lowerre, Sharon – I mentioned it in the preseason Hock 5 rankings for boys basketball but I’ll say it again: it seems as though Matt Lowerre has been hitting three pointers for the Eagles for a long time. And to be fair, he’s hit a lot of them in his time on varsity. His shooting ability can change a game very quickly but he also can get past a defender, pull up or take it to the hole to convert there. A two year captain, Lowerre gets it done on the defensive end too. He does well to make it tough for opposing ball handlers get where they want.
Brandon Teixeira, Stoughton – For the past two years, Teixeira has been one of Stoughton’s main sources of offense and we don’t expect that to change much this season. Range isn’t an issue for the senior righty as he can stroke it from distance with the best in the league. But he’s not just a one trick pony, he can get to the basket and can score in a variety of ways. Defensively he – and the entire Stoughton team – will rely on quickness to try and disrupt the flow against offensively and look to get out and run.
Tommy MacLean, Taunton – Although just a junior, this could be the year we see a big jump for MacLean. He’s been a consistent shooter over the past two seasons for two very good Taunton teams but expect him to have a much larger role this year. He’s shown glimpses of other parts of his game over his first two years but expect to see MacLean to take on more of a leadership role this season and be an impactful player. He’s another one that is will to go up against anyone for a rebound despite his size and he’s more than willing to hit the floor for a loose ball.
Jose Mercado, Taunton – Mercado was a question mark last season after transferring from Durfee but after just a couple of games you could see how talented he was. When it comes to offense, there aren’t many shots that Mercado isn’t willing to take – whether it be a three, a drive or a fade away – and to be fair, he scores pretty consistently. He showed off his range last year but he also has the size and length to be a mismatch against defenders in the post. That size and length also comes into play on the defensive end and he will be relied on heavily this season to help protect the rim for the Tigers.

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.”

Foxboro Storms Back in Second Half At Stoughton

Devante Teixeira
Devante Teixeira scored the game-tying goal and created a host of chances as Foxboro came from behind to win. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

STOUGHTON, Mass. – The pitch was not in great shape, it was cold out, the wind was blowing, and facing an opponent that it had beaten by five goals in the first meeting, Foxboro came out sluggish to start the game against Stoughton on Friday afternoon.

Down by a goal at halftime, first-year coach Joe Franchino stood outside the team huddle and senior captain Robby Lowey led the team talk, imploring the Warriors to step it up in the second half.

The talk worked. Foxboro got into gear in the final 40 minutes and its three attackers, Devante Teixeira, Anthony Barreira, and Joe Morrison, each scored goals to give the Warriors a come from behind 3-1 win that keeps them in the Davenport title race with two league games remaining.

“We’re just trying to find a solution not a problem,” said Franchino about the discussion at halftime. “You can blame the pitch, you can blame a lot of things, but it’s all about finding a solution and getting the victory. The guys pulled it together.”

Stoughton took the lead just six minutes into the game. Noah Schulze, who had only minutes earlier flashed a header narrowly wide, stayed with a loose ball that bounced off of Foxboro keeper Clay Leopold and finished.

“It was a great goal by Noah Schulze,” said Stoughton coach Aaron Salter. “He got a little bit fortunate, but it was still a very good finish to keep battling and not stop.”

The best Foxboro chance of the first half fell to Morrison, but the sophomore midfielder was unlucky to see his shot ricochet off the post after a decisive through ball by freshman Nic Biegel.

Barreira also had two shots saved by Stoughton keeper Kyle Silverman at the half hour mark but overall it was a subdued first half from the Warriors. Teixeira in particular was limited in his touches and impact on the game with left back Jeremy Fishman keeping him under wraps with help from centerback Goddy Frombe.

“I thought first half we did a great job in terms of our shape, our organization, how we wanted to play, how we approached it,” said Salter.

He added, “Nick Comeau, his job was to man-mark Joe in the midfield and he did an awesome job. He was everywhere and he was our hardest working player out there.”

After the break, things changed drastically Teixeira, who had seemed frustrated in the opening 40 minutes, suddenly looked like the player that is leading the league in points. He terrorized he left side of the Stoughton defense and eight minutes after the break he equalized.

Morrison tried to get room on the edge of the box but the ball bounced into the path of Teixeira and he managed to flick it past two defenders and hit it first time into the bottom corner.

“In the first half we had him,” said Salter. “He was getting frustrated, he was getting wound up and in the end it was our undoing because it gave him the fire in the belly to go on and smash it into the net.”

Just a minute later, Teixeira was through again but was denied by Silverman. In the 52nd minute, he go to the byline and cut it back for Hussein Kafel but the sophomore’s shot struck the post and stayed out. Teixeira also had what appeared to be a second goal, but the officials waved it off because the shot had actually gone through the netting outside the post.

In the 69th minute, he forced a mistake and rounded the keeper only to have his chance cleared off the post by Frombe.

“He’s MVP all day long,” said Franchino. “Nobody’s had an answer for him all year. He’s a talented player and he’s carried us in the KP game and he started it off here…that’s what he does.”

Stoughton had a couple of chances in the second half. A long goal kick by Silverman picked out Josh Mitchell up front and his flicked header found Fabio Ponce De Leon but his close-range chance went wide. In the 64th minute, Mitchell sent a header wide from a corner.

The missed opportunities would hurt because Foxboro would take the lead in the 70th minute. Barreira collected the ball near midfield and dribbled at the heart of the Stoughton defense. The Black Knights hesitated and allowed Barreira to line up a shot that slipped inside the post from the edge of the box.

With only five minutes remaining, Morrison wrapped up the two points for Foxboro. He kept possession in the box despite being surrounded, created a foot of space, and smashed his shot into the roof of the net giving Silverman no chance.

“It’s good to see Joe get back on the scoresheet because he does so much in the middle of the park,” said Franchino. “You’re getting double teamed being a top player and then you get unlucky at times…he’s grinding it out.”

Salter did not believe that the final score indicated how his team had played but he added, “Those players show a moment of brilliance each and you’re going to get punished. There’s not much you can do, but I’m truly proud of my boys.”

The win moves Foxboro to within a point of league leading Oliver Ames, which plays on Saturday, with two games remaining. The Warriors will face Sharon on Tuesday.

Stoughton needs three points from its remaining two games to qualify for the postseason. The Black Knights will face Canton on Tuesday night.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.