TAUNTON, Mass. — After a slow start to the game on the offensive end, Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey turned to a defensive adjustment in search of an energy boost.
The Tigers extended their defense to full-court pressure from the second quarter on, and while it had some positives on the defensive end, its biggest impact was changing the pace to where Taunton wanted it to be.
That tempo kicked Taunton’s offense into gear and the hosts combined a strong finish to the third quarter with a hot start to the fourth to run away with a 64-52 win over visiting Foxboro.
“We had to,” Dacey said of the decision to press. The Tigers had just three buckets in the first quarter, shooting under 20%. “I think we got into a good tempo [with the press]. We’re able to run around, we didn’t really turn them over but it sped the game up and got it to where we wanted it.”
The Warriors had their best stretch in the middle of the third quarter anchored by senior Alex Penders (21 points, 10 rebounds), who sat out the entire second quarter due to foul trouble. Penders sparked an 11-2 run for Foxboro, assisting or scoring on the first four buckets of the run while Sam Golub capped it with a three-pointer off an offensive rebound and assist from Ryan Cotter. That run presented Foxboro with its lone lead of the second half, 38-33.
Taunton took the punch and countered with one of its own, landing a 12-2 run in response. Troy Santos (17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) drained a three after an offensive rebound from Dimari Brown, and Chris Volcy (18 points, 10 rebounds, 6 steals) turned a steal into a traditional three-point lead down the other end, giving the Tigers the lead back for good. Volcy and Santos each added two more and Chris Perault (22 points, 5 rebounds) capitalized on a turnover for two and a 45-40 lead going into the fourth.
“If we’re not shooting well, which we didn’t tonight, we have to find our points in other ways,” Dacey said. Taunton went 9-for-10 from the free throw line, scored 20 points off turnovers, and 17 second chance points. “It’s not the most attractive sometimes, but guys like Volcy will do the work to get them. Dimari had a couple offensive rebounds in his first varsity start.
“You have to piece it together because [Foxboro] isn’t easy to play. They’re disciplined. You get that element in your game, that makes you a better team.”
The Tigers carried the momentum into the fourth and duplicated that run, opening the fourth with another 12-2 surge. Perault opened the scoring and then converted a putback after an early turnover from the Warriors. Penders cleaned up his own miss to keep Foxboro within seven, but a steal from Volcy led to a three from Santos and then Volcy sank a triple of his own. After a Foxboro miss, Santos got a layup and suddenly the Tigers had a comfortable lead at 57-42 with four minutes to play.
“I thought mentally our response wasn’t as good as it needed to be when they went on that run,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We lost our focus and composure a little bit and didn’t stick to the plan as much as we needed to. When you do that against a team that is as explosive as Taunton, things can snowball really quickly. If you can’t focus on the one play that you’re on, the game can get away from you quickly and that’s what you saw tonight. We’re going to use it as a learning experience and it’s a good reminder we have to stay present and win the possession we’re on.
“I thought Taunton was able to get the game to the tempo they wanted in the second half, it was in their pace. Against them, we wanted to make it more of a half court game and their press sped us up. Even though there were a lot of possessions that we ultimately got good shots and good looks, it was in their tempo and over time, that favored them.”
Penders scored half of Foxboro’s 14 first quarter points and hauled in three rebounds, but was hit with his third foul with 1:30 to go. Ryan Kelley added a first quarter three while Sam Golub (9 points, 6 rebounds) and Ryan Cotter also scored as the Warriors staked a 14-6 lead.
Nolan Gordon, Andrew Finn, and Ian Foley had second quarter buckets to keep Foxboro’s offense going but Perault erupted for 11 points in the frame as the Tigers jumped ahead, 24-23, at halftime.
Taunton boys basketball (8-3 Hockomock, 10-4 overall) hits the road to visit North Attleboro on Friday while Foxboro (5-6, 9-6) takes a trip to division-leading Mansfield.
Attleboro, 63 @ North Attleboro, 51 – Final – Attleboro built a double-digit advantage by halftime and kept the host Rocketeers at bay throughout the second half to score a rivalry win on the road. The Bombardiers limited North to single-digit scoring in each of the first two quarters and a 16-point second quarter, highlighted by eight points from Hayden Crowley (14 points total), helped extend the lead to 30-16 after two quarters of action. The Rocketeers got their offense going with 19 points in the third as sophomore Austin Clemente caught fire from downtown, hitting four triples in the frame while classmate Jonnie Obuchowski hit another had had five in the frame to help the hosts close the gap to just seven, 42-35, going into the fourth. Crowley, Jaiden Outland (12 points), and Michael Beverly (seven of his 10 points in the fourth) each hit a triple in the final frame to keep Attleboro ahead. Junior Neo Franco had a team-high 16 points for the Bombardiers while senior Givany Carney led North with 15 points apiece.
Mansfield, 69 @ Canton, 43 – Final – Mansfield senior Chris Hill set the tone early by scoring all 12 of his points in the first eight minutes, helping the Hornets establish a big lead that they kept the rest of the way. Hill sank a trio of three-pointers in the first for a 19-6 lead after just a period of play. Davon Sanders added seven of his career-high 18 points in the second while the Hornets got baskets from Trevor Foley (13 points), Eddie McCoy, and JT Veiking to stake a 34-22 lead at halftime. Mansfield continued to outscore the Bulldogs as Foley had seven more in the third and Caden Colby added a three. Sanders, Colby, Foley, McCoy, Veiking, and senior Michael Creedon all scored in the fourth to add to the lead. Matt Chafin had a trio of threes in the second and finished with a team-high 13 points while Jamaal McConnell added 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 51 @ Foxboro, 56 – Final – Foxboro took the lead in the first quarter and never surrendered it, grinding out a hard-fought win against Oliver Ames. After a slow start from both sides saw the Warriors stake an 11-6 lead after a quarter, the Warriors had their best offensive stretch with 19 points in the second quarter. Sophomores Ryan Kelley and Nolan Gordon each hit a three, Ryan LeClair and Ryan Cotter each added a bucket, and senior Alex Penders had half of his team-high 14 points in the frame to give Foxboro a 30-22 advantage at the break. OA’s Nick Asiaf hit two of his six threes in the third quarter and had eight of his career-high 22 points in the game while sophomore Zach Ivanoski had five points to help the Tigers claw back into it and cut the deficit to 41-37 going into the fourth. Penders had an early three-point play to start the fourth and LeClair drained a corner three to push Foxboro’s lead to 10. Chris Elias answered for OA with four straight points but Gordon sank his second triple of the game to keep the Warriors ahead.
Milford, 46 @ Franklin, 66 – Final – Franklin played well on both sides of the ball, pouring in 36 points in the first half while limiting the visitors to just 16, and the Panthers never looked back from there. After taking a 15-6 lead through one quarter of action, Franklin really extended its advantage with 21 points in the second quarter. Andrew O’Neill had half of his 10 points in the second, Caden Sullivan added a triple, and Sean O’Leary had seven of his team-high 17 points in the game to build a 36-16 halftime lead. Geino Scaringello had two threes and finished with 10 points for Franklin, which had 11 players register points. Sophomore Andrew Rivera (five rebounds) and freshman CJ Farrell (eight rebounds) paced the Hawks with 16 points apiece.
Stoughton, 61 @ Sharon, 77 – Final – Sharon had six players contribute to a massive first quarter and the Eagles never looked back after that in a win at home over Stoughton. Matt Baur had two threes and eight of his 13 points in the first quarter, Ryan Brown and Tyler Goodman each added a triple, and Jack Bates, Jacob McLoughlin, and Nate Katznelson each had field goals as the Eagles blitzed the visiting Black Knights to stake a 25-6 lead after a quarter. Katznelson finished with a team-high 21 points and hauled in 10 boards and McLoughlin added 14 points and seven assists in the win. Obi Dike and Nathan Figaro each had career-highs, finishing with 14 points apiece while Elijah Connor chipped in with 11 points for the Black Knights.
North Attleboro, 32 @ Attleboro, 56 – Final – Attleboro carried over the momentum from its strong second half on Tuesday, jumping out to a 32-13 lead in the first half on Friday. Kayla Goldrick scored a career-high 21 points for the Bombardiers, 15 of them coming in the first half. Vanessa Ellis added 18, splitting her points between the two halves. Molly Moore hit a pair of threes for her six points. Katie Corsetti was North’s top scorer with seven points, all of them coming in the first half. Ella McLaughlin and Sam Sweeney each scored six in the loss. With the win, Attleboro stays just a game back of league-leading Franklin.
Canton, 34 @ Mansfield, 54 – Final – Mansfield led by four points at halftime, but broke the game wide open with a 20-5 third quarter, sealing its seventh win in the past eight games. Abby Wager sparked the rally in the third, scoring 12 of her game-high 19 points in the quarter. Kara Santos added 10 points, Bridget Hanley had eight points (all in the first half), and Rose Maher finished with seven for the Hornets. Canton was tied after one and trailed just 26-22 at the break. Samya DaSilva buried three triples and scored a team-high 17, including 10 points in the first half to keep the Bulldogs close. Freshman Deanna Kolokithas scored seven and her sister Mercia hit a first quarter three for Canton.
Foxboro, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 32 – Final – Foxboro stayed perfect in league play and moved a game closer to a Davenport title with a convincing win over the defending champs. The Warriors, who knocked down nine threes as a team, got off to a big start and never let up. Foxboro led 21-5 after one quarter and went into the break up 37-12. The Warriors kept it up in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 35-20 for its second straight win by 40-plus points. Kailey Sullivan was the game’s top scorer, burying five triples and finishing with 19 points. Camryn Collins added 17 (12 in the first half), Addie Ruter scored 14, and Erin Foley had 10 in the win. Isabelle Chamberlin gave Foxboro a lift on the boards with a game-high 14 rebounds. Freshman Avery Gamble led OA with 15, 10 coming in the second half. Fellow rookies Maeve Horsman and Kamryn Derba each scored five for the Tigers.
King Philip, 62 @ Taunton, 41 – Final – KP had nine different scorers and secured its fifth straight victory, remaining two back of Franklin in the Kelley-Rex standings. The Warriors jumped out to a 15-2 lead after one and 34-14 heading to the locker room. Jordan Bennett and Emily Sawyer combined for 23 of KP’s points in the first half to take control of the game. Sawyer finished with a game-high 21 and Bennett added 15. Jessi Persky chipped in with six in the win. Taunton got 11 points from Tarynn Campbell, seven of them in the second half as the Tigers put 27 on the board. Cali Melo scored eight (six after the break) and Lexi Haywood hit a pair from beyond the arc in the second half. Skylar McCrohan also had six for the Tigers.
Franklin, 57 @ Milford, 28 – Final – Franklin locked down on defense, holding Milford to just 10 points in the first half, and exploded for 28 second quarter points to pick up a seventh straight win, clinch a playoff berth, and hold onto its one-game lead in the division. Leading 9-4 after one, Franklin found another gear in the second. Katie Peterson had a dozen, Chloe Fales added eight, and Caelyn Leonard scored six in the second quarter. Fales (trio of three-pointers) and Peterson each finished with 16 points and Leonard had eight. Milford scored 14 in the third, cutting two points off the lead. Brooke Ferreira had five of her six points in the frame and Emily Croteau (six points) knocked down one of her two threes in the quarter. TJ Downing had four for the Hawks.
Attleboro, 47 @ Sharon, 57 – Final – Attleboro rallied to get within two possessions with just under a minute to go but the Eagles got a big stop and hit enough free throws to hold on for the win. Senior Matt Baur had his best game of the season as he poured in a game-high 24 points along with six rebounds while junior Nate Katznelson added 12 points and eight boards for the Eagles. Sharon took a seven-point lead into halftime (26-17) but a 19-point third quarter pushed the Eagles’ advantage to 45-32 going into the fourth quarter. Baur had eight points in the third while Katznelson, Ryan Brown, Jacob McLoughlin, Dante James, and Tyler Goodman (10 points, including two threes in the fourth quarter) each added a bucket to give Sharon a double-digit lead. Attleboro made it interesting int he final three minutes with a 9-0 run. Jaiden Outland (14 points) hit two free throws, Hayden Crowley got a floater to fall and followed with a three-pointer off an offensive rebound, and Outland added a tough reverse finish with 46 seconds left to make it 53-47.
King Philip, 51 @ Canton, 55 – Final – Canton had a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter but had to hold off a late push from visiting King Philip before securing the win. Senior Matt Chafin (team-high 16 points) dropped in three three-pointers in the first half while Zaza Francoeur and Caden Mirliani each added one in the third to give the Bulldogs a 38-27 lead going into the fourth. Julius Hicks had five points in the fourth while Chafin, Jeremiah Predin (11 points), Jamaal McConnell, and Ashton Cetoute all contributed to the scoring column in the final quarter to keep Canton ahead. Tommy Martorano and Will Laplante each had 15 points to lead the way for the Warriors, who had 24 points in the fourth quarter after scoring just 27 points through the first three.
North Attleboro, 47 @ Foxboro, 63 – Final – Foxboro doubled its lead in the third quarter and then pulled away for good with its best offensive stretch in the fourth quarter. Ryan Kelley hit a pair of threes in the first half and Nolan Gordon, Andrew Finn, and Alex Penders each had one — plus eight points from Ryan Cotter — as the Warriors staked a 31-27 lead at halftime. Ryan LeClair added a triple in the third while Foxboro’s defense held North in check in the third with just eight points allowed to make it 43-35 going into the fourth. Penders finished with 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, Sam Golub had seven of his 11, and Gordon added two more buckets on his way to a career-high 12 points. Givany Carney had five of his team-high 15 points in the second, Derek Maceda (15 points) added two buckets, and both Austin Clemente and Chase Frisoli hit threes in the second to kept North close at half.
Milford, 63 @ Stoughton, 73 – Final – Buoyed by a big third quarter, Stoughton snapped a three-game skid with a win over Milford. Sophomore Matt Greenspoon hit three of his five three-pointers in the first half and freshman Anthony Alessi dropped in two more as the Black Knights staked a 32-28 lead at half time. Greenspoon added two more threes in the third, Liam Pearl had four of his 12 points, Tagh Swierzewski sank a triple, and senior Jayden Costa-Haywood got going offensively with nine of his team-high 24 points in the third as the Black Knights won the quarter 25-12. Milford sophomore Andrew Rivera hit four threes and finished with a team-high 19 points, sophomore Luca Testa added 14 points, and freshman CJ Farrell also had four threes and finished with 12 points.
Taunton, 46 @ Oliver Ames, 43 – Final – Oliver Ames put up 30 points between the second and third quarters to take a lead into the final frame but the visiting shorthanded Tigers from Taunton limited the hosts to just seven points in the fourth and held on for the win. Junior Troy Santos scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, helping his side cut a seven-point halftime deficit (24-17) down to just three (36-33) going into the fourth. Tyson Carter (nine points) and Al Morisseau each had four points in the fourth quarter to help Taunton close it out. Jakari Innocent and Chris Volcy had six points apiece for Taunton. OA freshman Soren Lolonga tied a career-high with 21 points, including 16 in the first half. Sophomore Cole Craffey added 10 points while Nick Asiaf and Chris Elias each had a three in the third to keep OA ahead. OA had a couple of looks at the tying three in the last minute but couldn’t get a shot to fall.
Sharon, 51 @ Attleboro, 73 – Final – Lily Routhier scored a career-high in points and recorded a triple-double to power the Bombardiers to a bounce back win over Sharon. Routhier finished with 26 points, 10 steals, and 11 rebounds, allowing the Bombardiers to overcome a 35-point, 21-rebound performance from Sharon forward Jasmine Davis and stay within a game of league-leading Franklin. Davis dominated the first half, scoring 20 points and Tess Letendre (five rebounds) added seven of her nine before the break to send the Eagles into the locker room ahead 32-29. Attleboro held Sharon to 11 points in the third, nine of them from Davis, to take the lead and the hosts carried that momentum into the fourth quarter, outscoring Sharon 26-8 to earn the big win. Routhier sparked the big final quarter, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and scoring 11 points. Avery James added a pair from beyond the arc and eight points in the fourth for Attleboro. James finished with 17 points and Kayla Goldrick added 12. Vanessa Ellis and Sarah Maher also chipped in with six points apiece in the win.
Canton, 43 @ King Philip, 47 – Final – Jackie Bonner scored 13 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, allowing KP to hold off a late charge by the Bulldogs and secure a fourth straight win. Emily Sawyer also scored 18 for the Warriors, eight of them coming in the first quarter as KP took an early 9-6 lead. She added five more in the second and Bonner had three to open a 23-16 advantage at the break. The deficit stayed the same through three quarters, but Samya DaSilva sparked a Canton comeback in the fourth. She scored 10 of her game-high 21 in the final eight minutes and Mercia Kolokithas (six points) knocked down a three to chip away at the KP lead. Bonner kept the Bulldogs at bay, burying three shots from beyond the arc. Sawyer added another three points in the quarter as well and KP hung on. Maddie Paschke provided six points for the Warriors, while Canton got five points apiece from Han Hong and Erin Beatty.
Foxboro, 71 @ North Attleboro, 30 – Final – North Attleboro ran a triangle-and-two to try and limit Foxboro’s backcourt scoring, but sophomore center Addie Ruter continued her strong season and scored a game-high 17 points to help the Warriors secure their 10th win. Foxboro is the first of the league’s girls basketball teams to clinch a postseason berth. The Warriors continued to play their league-best defense, holding North to 11 points in the first half to build a 20-point lead going into the locker room. Despite the attentions of North’s defense, Camryn Collins finished with 16 points and Kailey Sullivan added 15. Erin Foley also got to double digits, scoring 10 for the visitors. Freshman Ella McLaughlin was North’s top scorer, knocking down four threes to finish with a dozen points.
Stoughton, 45 @ Milford, 47 – Final – Milford rallied in the fourth quarter, overturning a three-point deficit and pulling out a second league win of the season. Emily Croteau sparked the rally by scoring seven of her 11 points over the final eight minutes, with freshman Katelyn Kearnan chipping in with three more and Aliza Syed adding her lone basket of the night. Kearnan scored a career-high 14 to lead the Hawks, knocking down a trio of three-pointers. Brooke Ferreira scored a dozen points, six of them in the third. Katrina Varnum was Stoughton’s top scorer with 14 points and added 16 rebounds and four blocks, Kirsten McKay added 12 points in the loss, and Leah McCarty had eight points, 12 rebounds, and a pair of blocks. Varnum and McCarty combined for 10 in the second quarter, as the Black Knights outscored Milford 18-12 to take a 26-21 lead into the locker room. Kearnan and Ferreira would help the Hawks chip away at the deficit, combining for 11 points in the third to bring Milford back within three.
Oliver Ames, 63 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – OA continued its strong recent form, winning its fourth straight game. The visitors turned the game on its head right from the start, outscoring Taunton 19-3 in the first to build a big lead that it would carry to the final whistle. Kamryn Derba, Kaydance Derba, and Sarah Hilliard combined for 17 of those 19 in the first. Taunton rallied in the second to cut the deficit to 11, as Chelsea Bousquet and Lexi Haywood scored 11 points together in the quarter. OA put the game out of reach with a 17-6 third. The same trio again stepped up for the visitors, combining for 13 in the frame. Kamryn Derba finished with a game-high 16 points, while her older sister added 13 points, including a trio of triples. Hilliard also finished in double digits with 10 points. Bousquet led Taunton with eight, Haywood scored seven, and Tarynn Campbell added six.
Franklin @ King Philip, 7:00
Sharon @ Mansfield, 7:00
Foxboro, 73 @ Stoughton, 50 – Final – Junior Ryan Cotter tied a career-high, sophomore Ryan Kelley scored a new career-high, and senior Alex Penders had another stellar all-around performance to lead Foxboro to a win on the road. The Warriors erupted for 24 points in the opening quarter to establish a double-digit lead, and then used a 9-0 surge in the middle of a 22-point second quarter to create the separation they carried the rest of the way. Kelley accounted for four of Foxboro’s seven threes and finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Cotter went 6-for-10 from the floor, tying a career-best with 15 points along with nine rebounds and four assists. Penders shined on both ends with a game-high 21 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks, and four assists. Sophomore Nolan Gordon added a career-high 10 points for Foxboro and senior Ryan LeClair had eight points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Stoughton junior Jarred Daughtry had a career-high 15 points.
North Attleboro vs. Medway – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton/Sharon, 5 vs. Quincy/North Quincy, 1 – Final – Ava Buckley scored four times to lead the Black Knights to their first win of the season. Ella Cummings added a goal and two assists for Stoughton/Sharon and Molly Corvino had a pair of helpers. The Black Knights also got assists from Amanda Reid and Samantha Calapai to take home the win.
Foxboro, 74 @ Stoughton, 61 – Final
Foxboro, 71 @ Stoughton, 22 – Final
FOXBORO, Mass. — Sharon knew its offense could keep them in the game, but if they wanted to complete the comeback it had to be done on the defensive end.
The Eagles got all the stops they needed, holding Foxboro scoreless for the final four minutes of regulation and forced a huge turnover with 30 seconds to go in the extra period that led to the go-ahead basket, and Sharon earned a hard-fought 74-71 overtime win over the Warriors.
Foxboro junior Ryan Cotter (15 points, six rebounds, five assists) converted his own miss to take a 71-70 lead with just under 1:30 to play and despite the Warriors getting a stop, Sharon was able to get the ball back after forcing a turnover.
The Eagles tossed it out of bounds themselves but head coach Andrew Ferguson quickly entered his defensive subs, and the move paid off.
Sophomore Sam Letendre deflected the inbounds pass and it went right to the hands of junior Ryan Brown — two players that just came in for defensive purposes — and Brown quickly laid it in for two and the lead.
Sharon kept its full-court pressure and as Foxboro tried to break it, Tyler Goodman came soaring in from his own half and intercepted a lob pass. He was fouled and sank two from the line with 22.3 seconds to go to give the Eagles a 74-71 lead.
Foxboro had one look at a three that was off the mark and out on Sharon. On the ensuing inbounds, Sharon quickly fouled to prevent another and held on for the win.
“We knew we’d have to get stops to get back into that game,” Ferguson said. “We focus so much on our core values and two of them are physical rebounding and aggressive defense. I think that’s what got us back into the game. Relentless pressure from our guards, I thought Nate Katznelson did a fantastic job down low. We felt like in the first half, bad offense bled into bad defense. We turned up the defense in the second half and I think that really helped our offense too.”
Foxboro’s Ryan LeClair (15 points, five assists) hit three and Ian Foley made a nice cut to the basket for a layup to hand the Warriors an eight-point edge at 67-59 with just over four minutes to go. The Warriors held a 10-point lead at halftime and kept the Eagles at arm’s length for the majority of the second half.
From there, the Eagles grinded out an 8-0 run over the final minutes to force the extra period.
Jack Bates split a pair of defenders for a layup, Matt Baur (13 points, three rebounds) hit a jumper, and after a two-minute scoreless stretch from both sides, the Eagles turned a steal from Baur into a layup from junior Nate Katznelson (24 points, six rebounds) on a nice feed from Jacob McLoughlin (10 points, six assists) to cut the deficit to just 67-65 with 1:30 to go in regulation.
Sharon’s defense got a stop, surviving a turnaround three in the corner and a putback bid at the shot clock. On the offensive end, McLoughlin got around his man, drew the help, and dropped one off to Goodman (12 points, five rebounds, five assists) for an easy two to make it 67-67.
Each team had a chance inside the final 20 seconds but Foxboro had a turnover and the Eagles’ three-point attempt at the buzzer was off.
“We scored 67 points in regulation, I just told the guys that has to be enough to win,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We have to be able to get big stops down the stretch and close games out with our defense. With the lead at the half, the eight-point lead going into the fourth, and being at home…we just have to get a little more consistent with our execution defensively so we can close those games out.
“The effort was there, there’s no doubt we competed hard and gave everything we had for the entire game, we just have to execute a little better on the defensive end.”
Entering the game, both teams were among the top five scoring teams in the Hockomock League and combined to feature five of the top 16 scorers in the league. Add in Sharon’s Matt Baur, a HockomockSports First Team selection from a year ago, that was playing in his first league game of the year.
So it wasn’t a big surprise when the offense was the story early on. Baur, Cotter, Sharon’s Dante James, LeClair, and Goodman all traded threes for the first five field goals of the game. There was little separation in the first eight minutes and the Eagles and Warriors finished level at 17-17.
The back-and-forth continued in the second with Alex Penders (19 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Katznelson trading buckets, followed by Foxboro’s Sam Golub and Katznelson trading shots. It wasn’t until the final three minutes of the half that Foxboro found some separation.
Golub hit a jumper and then found Penders for two more. Foley found Penders with a difficult baseline feed, and Cotter capped the 8-0 run with a layup to give the Warriors a 36-26 halftime lead.
Foxboro’s lead fluctuate for the third quarter but never went away. Any time the Warriors threatened to pull away, the Eagles answered. Cotter found LeClair for two to push the lead to a dozen midway through the third only for Katznelson to answer with a triple, and then a steal and score from James. A putback from Katznelson closed the gap down to five.
The Warriors answered with an 8-0 burst capped by a three from Penders as the lead peaked at 13 points (52-39) but over the final two minutes, Sharon stayed in it by closing the quarter with a 7-2 run.
“We have a tough stretch with Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield in a row and we had some time off so we were able to mix some things in defensively,” Ferguson said. The Eagles deployed a zone at times on top of some full-court pressure. “What a job by Sam Letendre and Ryan Brown at the end, coming in and forcing that turnover and getting the bucket. Those guys know what their roles are, coming in and playing defense. I’m super proud of them for their effort.”
Sharon’s increased pressure defensively resulted in an increase in Foxboro turnovers. The Warriors had seven total at halftime but the Eagles forced seven more in each of the third and fourth quarters, and four more in overtime.
“We’ve been very good taking care of the ball but Sharon makes an effort to pressure the ball, reach and gamble for steals, and deny passing lanes,” Gibbs said. “They really look to create offense off of their defense. Certainly give credit to their defense for putting us under pressure.”
Sharon boys basketball (3-1 Hockomock, 5-1 overall) returns home to take on Kelley-Rex division-leading Franklin on Tuesday. Foxboro (1-3, 4-3) is back at home against King Philip.
Foxboro, 60 @ Barnstable, 50 – Final – Foxboro jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and pulled away with a strong second half to earn a win on the road at Barnstable. Senior Alex Penders anchored the big start, scoring 11 of his game-high 26 points in the opening eight minutes and Sam Golub (11 points) hit one of his three three-pointers to help the Warriors establish a 19-9 lead. After Barnstable closed the deficit to six at halftime (30-24), Penders got it going again in the third with eight more points, Ryan Cotter and Ryan LeClair each added buckets, and Golub sank another three as the Warriors established a 47-33 lead going into the fourth.
Franklin, 62 @ Xaverian, 56 – Final – Franklin cashed in from downtown against Xaverian’s zone defense, sinking 12 three-pointers on its way to a non-league win on the road. Senior Justin Allen was responsible for over half of the Panthers’ threes, hitting a total of seven for a team-high 21 points. Allen hit one in each the first, second, and fourth quarters but erupted for four of them in the third to help the Panthers build a 53-40 lead going into the fourth. Andrew O’Neill hit two more threes while Geino Scaringello, Bradley Herndon, and Sean O’Leary each connected for one. O’Leary added 20 points in the win.
Oliver Ames, 55 vs. Classical, 54 – Final (OT) – Oliver Ames forced overtime with just seconds to go and then hit the game-winning shot inside the final 10 seconds of overtime to knock off Classical. Sophomore Cole Craffey hit a free throw with three seconds to go to tie the game and force the extra period. With five seconds to go, and Oliver Ames trailing by two, freshman Soren Lolonga drilled a corner three to give the Tigers the win.
Sharon, 63 @ Holliston, 47 – Final – Sharon raced out to an early lead, pushed it to double-digits by halftime, and never looked back in a win on the road. Senior Dante James scored nine of his 16 points in the third quarter to help the Eagles stay in front in the second half despite 19 points from the hosts in the third. Jacob McLoughlin added 13 points and Tyler Goodman scored nine of his 11 points in the first half. Senior Matt Baur scored seven points in his season debut.
Stoughton, 68 vs. Bedford, 77 – Final (2OT) – Stoughton rallied to erase a 12-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to force overtime and had a big defensive stop to force double overtime, but the Black Knights came up short against visiting Bedford. Jayden Costa-Haywood erupted for a career-high 39 points, including some key buckets late in the game and in overtime, to pace Stoughton. The comeback in regulation, which was punctuated with a 5-0 surge over the final 22 seconds, came down to the wire. Costa-Haywood sank a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game with 22 seconds to go, and then senior Tagh Swierzewski stole the inbounds pass near midcourt. That led to a layup from Costa-Haywood with four seconds to go to tie the game. Costa-Haywood came in clutch again in overtime with two free throws to tie the game with 20 seconds left and Jarred Daughtry came up with a steal at the top of the key to prevent the visitors from attempting a game-winning shot. Stoughton scored first in overtime but couldn’t get another bucket, falling 77-68.
Stoughton, 48 vs. Bedford, 52 – Final
North Attleboro, 44 @ Taunton 50 – Final (OT) – Taunton rallied from six points down in the fourth quarter (38-32 after three), using its full-court press to hold North to just five points in the final eight minutes and force overtime. In the OT period, the Tigers outscored North 7-1 to earn their second win against the Rocketeers this season. Cali Melo was the top scorer for the Tigers with 15, including nine in the first half to keep Taunton within one (24-23) at the break. Transfer Skylar McCrohan added 10 points (eight in the first half) and Jillian Doherty chipped in with seven. Katie Corsetti, who started both of the holiday tournament games due to an injury to Ava McKeon, had another big game for North, scoring a game-high 17 points. Sam Faria added 14 and Maryellen Charette had six for the Rocketeers. North coach Nikki Correia was proud of her team’s effort over the past two days and saw a lot of things for the Rocketeers to build on.
Canton, 5 vs. Wakefield, 3 – Final
North Attleboro vs. Westboro, 6:00
Taunton, 5 vs. Apponoquet, 1 – Final
Canton, 3 vs. Pembroke, 1 – Final
Franklin, 3 vs. Dedham, 2 – Final – After Dedham battled back from two goals down to tie it, Julia Flynn popped up in the third period with her third goal of the afternoon to lift the Panthers to the non-league win. Flynn scored twice in the opening period to put Franklin in control, but Dedham rallied with a pair of tallies in the second. Lindsay Atkinson had a pair of assists for the Panthers.
King Philip, 3 vs. Natick, 0 – Final – Kelly Holmes scored once and assisted on a second goal, as KP pulled out a win over Natick in the consolation round of the Medway New Year’s Classic. Katie McGann and Katarina Precobb each scored once for the Warriors, while Mara Boldy and Grace Lehan-Allen each recorded assists. Malory Johnston made 34 saves to earn the shutout.
Franklin, 24 @ Ashland, 51 – Final
Framingham Tournament (King Philip), 10:00AM
Canton, 67 vs. Bishop Feehan, 65 – Final (OT) – Canton’s Matt Chafin hit a late three to help the Bulldogs force overtime and both Zaza Francoeur and Julius Hicks connected from downtown in the extra period in a win over Bishop Feehan. With the Shamrocks up by a point, Chafin (18 points) hit a corner three with under 10 seconds to go to make it 53-51. Feehan hit a layup at the buzzer to force overtime. Jamaal McConnell (18 points) opened the extra period with a traditional three-point play and then hit Francoeur (14 points) for a three on Canton’s next trip up the court. After Feehan closed the deficit down to two, Chafin drove to the layup for a bucket late in the shot clock. Hicks added a three on Canton’s next possession to push it to 64-59. Chafin added a key free throw in the final seconds to ice the win.
Foxboro, 82 @ Hopkinton, 80 – Final (OT) – Foxboro senior Sam Golub erupted for a career-high 40 points to help the Warriors topple the Hillers on the road. The Warriors staked a lead after the first quarter after connecting on five threes in the opening eight minutes, including three from Golub. But Hopkinton rallied to take the lead at halftime (33-31) and increased it to 60-52 going into the final quarter. Golub hit three more three-pointers in the third to keep the Warriors close, and Foxboro held the hosts to just 10 points in the fourth to rally back. Golub had seven more in the fourth while Ryan LeClair (11 points), Ryan Cotter (11 points), and Alex Penders (11 points) also scored to bring Foxboro back in it. In overtime, Golub stayed hot with four field goals, including one more three for a total of eight for the game, and Penders had a big block in the final seconds to preserve the win.
Oliver Ames vs. Cardinal Spellman, 6:30
Stoughton, 59 vs. Medway, 55 – Final – Trailing by two with under a minute to go, Stoughton finished off its comeback with a 7-1 run over the final 50 seconds to take down visiting Medway. Jarred Daughtry (11 points) cut the deficit to one with a free throw, and off a miss from the line, Tagh Swierzewski kept the play alive and Jayden Costa-Haywood, who scored a team-high 23 points, converted the putback for the lead. Stoughton got a stop on defense and Liam Pearl hit two from the line with 24.1 seconds to go to extend the lead to 57-54. Medway was off the mark on two free throws on their end and sophomore Matt Greenspoon iced the game with two more free throws with 1.6 seconds to go. Costa-Haywood scored 11 points in the fourth while Swierzewski, Greenspoon, and freshman Anthony Alessi each had a three in the final frame.
Taunton, 61 vs. Dartmouth, 57 – Final – After letting a halftime lead slip away in the third quarter, Taunton finished strong with 22-point fourth quarter to pick up the win and snap Dartmouth’s unbeaten start to the season. The Tigers cashed in from the free throw line in the fourth, going 9-for-13 from the line over the final eight minutes. Junior Troy Santos scored 13 of his team-high 17 points in the second half while junior Tyson Carter gave Taunton a huge boost with a career-high 14 points. Chris Perault had nine points all in the first half and freshman Jakari Innocent added nine points, including five in the fourth quarter.
King Philip, 59 vs. Leominster, 51 – Final – King Philip played its best defensive game of the season to hand Leominster its first loss of the season. The Warriors held the Blue Devils to just nine points in the second quarter as KP turned a one-point deficit at the end of the first quarter into a five point halftime lead. KP kept its distance with a 40-33 lead going into the fourth and then went 9-for-12 from the line in the final eight minutes to ice the win. Senior Will Laplante hit four three-pointers and poured in a game-high 25 points to pace the KP offense while Tommy Martorano tossed in a trio of triples and finished with 14 points. Sophomore Tommy Kilroy had five points but also played outstanding defensive game for KP. King Philip will take on Framingham at 4:00 on Thursday.
Franklin, 70 vs. Carlsbad (Calif.), 54 – Final – Franklin had five players score in double figures and dominated on the glass to overcome 32 points from Carlsbad star Madison Huhn and pick up a non-league win and hand head coach John Leighton his 300th career victory. The Panthers jumped out to a quick start, scoring 21 points in the first and building an 11-point lead. Huhn, who is committed to Miami (Ohio), caught fire in the second, with 18 of her team’s 21 points to cut the lead down to five at the break. After a nearly even third quarter, the Panthers exploded for 21 points in the fourth to break things open and seal the win. Katie Peterson was the top scorer for the Panthers with 21 points, including seven in the first and eight in the third quarter. Sophomore Chloe Fales added 13 points, knocking down three from beyond the arc, including a pair of triples in the fourth to help Franklin pull away. Bridget Leo scored 11 points, six of them in the first, and Lizzie Newman and Caelyn Leonard each added 10 points.
King Philip, 34 @ Framingham, 71 – Final
Oliver Ames, 29 vs. Walpole, 49 – Final – OA was held to only four points in the second quarter and six in the fourth, as the Tigers fell in the opener of the Sue Rivard Tournament. Walpole led by three after one, but a 12-4 second quarter opened up a double digit advantage (24-13) at halftime. The Tigers had a solid start to the second half, but Walpole built the lead back to 12 after three and didn’t look back. Sarah Hilliard led OA for the second straight game, scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds. Maddie Homer chipped in with six points and 10 rebounds. OA will face Bishop Fenwick in the consolation round.
Sharon, 61 vs. Silver Lake, 58 – Final – Jasmine Davis was unstoppable on Wednesday, scoring 34 points and grabbing 26 rebounds to lead the Eagles to the final of the Quincy Holiday Tournament. Davis also dished out three assists and had a pair of steals and blocks. In the closing seconds, her two free throws sealed the win for Sharon. Carmen Leonardi (six points, three boards, and two assists), Eva Poulton (six points), and Thea Caproni (five points) also gave the Eagles solid all-around performances. Sharon faces the host team in the tournament final.
Attleboro, 2 @ Norton, 9 – Final – Attleboro scored once in the first period and once in the third but the Bombardiers weren’t able to recover from four goals in the first seven minutes by Norton. Nick Fernandes scored off of an assist from Michael Lachance with three minutes to go in the first period while sophomore Austin Bessette scored his first career goal just over three minutes into the third with assists from Colin Flynn and Owen Parker.
Canton, 4 @ Westwood, 1 – Final
Franklin, 1 vs. St. Mary’s, 2 – Final
Mansfield, 4 vs. Shrewsbury, 5 – Final
Taunton, 5 @ Middleboro, 7 – Final
Canton, 0 @ Notre Dame Academy, 3 – Final
Hockomock Stars, 0 vs. HPNA, 7 – Final
Lowell Tournament (Foxboro, Franklin, Milford), 12:00
Marshfield Holiday Tournament – Taunton had one champion and two finalists and finished third as a team while Sharon had three finalists to earn fifth overall at the Marshfield Holiday Tournament. Taunton’s Ethan Harris was the top seed in the 182 bracket and used a pair of falls and one decision while Sharon’s Cormac Horlbogen, the second seed, had two decisions and one fall to each reach the final. Harris took the individual bracket with a 16-2 major decision in the final. Taunton’s Ben Mandeville (145) and Logan Frank (220) and Sharon’s Ashmith Yeruva (106) and Cam Birnbaum (126) all reached the finals. North Attleboro was 18th overall with Austin Dean (160) taking fourth, Mansfield was 22nd with Colton Johnson taking first in the 220 bracket, and Oliver Ames finished 27th with Nathan Lipski (145) finishing sixth.
Mansfield, 126.25 @ Oliver Ames, 130.50 – Final
Attleboro @ Oliver Ames, 130.50 – Final
Attleboro, 59 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 54 – Final – Attleboro junior Neo Franco had ice in his veins down the stretch, hitting key free throws in the final moments to help the Bombardiers secure a key non-league on the road. Franco, fresh off a career-high 29 point performance earlier this week against Stoughton, stayed hot with 27 points on Thursday night. Trailing by a point at 54-53, Franco was fouled driving to the basket and sank both free throws to put Attleboro ahead with 18.7 seconds left. After Attleboro got a stop on defense, Franco was fouled and hit two more to make it a two-possession game in the final seconds. He finished 8-for-10 from the line in the fourth quarter alone and had 12 points total in the fourth. Jaiden Outland (seven points) had a big three-pointer in the fourth Michael Beverly (11 points) set the tone early for the visitors with a pair of triples in the first quarter.
Canton, 69 @ Southeastern, 54 – Final – Canton scored 18 points in the third quarter and 24 points in the fourth quarter, turning a small halftime deficit into a double-digit win on the road at Southeastern. The Bulldogs connected on five three-pointers in the first half, including a pair from Julius Hicks (16 points) but trailed by a bucket, 29-27, at halftime. Senior Matt Chafin sparked the offense in the third, scoring 11 of his career-high 20 points in the quarter and Zaza Francoeur (16 points) added a triple to give Canton a 45-38 lead going into the fourth. Chafin and Francoeur each scored a pair of buckets, Hicks hit two more threes and both Jeremiah Predin and Caden Mirliani connected from deep as Canton pulled away for the win.
Foxboro, 72 @ Milton, 52 – Final – Foxboro senior Alex Penders scored the first bucket of the game and dominated the rest of the way, tying a career-high with 30 points to lead the Warriors to a big win on the road at Milton. Penders scored 13 points in the opening quarter, Sam Golub (11 points) and Ryan LeClair each had four, and Ryan Kelley and Ryan Cotter (10 points) each hit a shot to give Foxboro a commanding 25-12 lead after eight minutes. Foxboro carried a 40-22 lead into the locker room. Penders went right back to work in the third with nine more points to give Foxboro a 56-35 lead going into the fourth.
Sharon, 67 vs. Plymouth North, 51 – Final – Sharon built a double-digit lead by halftime and used a big third quarter to pull away for a big win against visiting Plymouth North. Dante James hit five three-pointers, including a pair in Sharon’s big third quarter, and finished with a career-high 25 points. James got the Eagles going with a pair of threes in the first while Ryan Brown, Jacob McLoughlin (22 points), and Tyler Goodman all connected from downtown in the opening eight minutes to give the Eagles a 16-10 lead after a quarter. McLoughlin and Nate Katznelson (nine points) each scored six in the second for a 32-20 halftime lead. Plymouth North cut the deficit down to single digits in the third but Goodman drained a three and James scored 10 points in the quarter alone to help pull away.
Mansfield, 42 @ Bishop Feehan, 57 – Final
Sharon, 39 @ Leominster, 49 – Final – Rachael Hager led the Eagles with 15 points and Jasmine Davis added 12 in the loss.
Canton, 4 vs. Hanover, 1 – Final – Canton scored three goals in the second period to earn a key win over state powerhouse Hanover. Pat Drury, Brian Middleton, and AJ Thomas each scored in the second to give the Bulldogs the lead. Sophomore Travis Thomas tacked on an empty net goal in the third to secure the win.
Franklin, 2 @ Boston Latin Academy, 1 – Final – After going to overtime with Canton on Wednesday, Franklin was back in action in another tight one just 24 hours later. Lindsay Atkinson scored the game-winner late in the third period, off an assist from Julia Flynn, to lift the Panthers to the win. Avery Greco scored Franklin’s first goal, with Shaw Downing picking up the assist. Izzy Brown had another stellar game in goal for the Panthers.
Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Casey Milliken, Oliver Ames
Hockomock League All Stars
Alex Vecchioli, Attleboro
Lucas Marques, Attleboro
Toby Smith, Attleboro
Jake McCabe, Canton
Carson Eagles, Canton
Ryan Cotter, Foxboro
Rex Cinelli, Franklin
Trey Lovell, Franklin
Will Kryzak, Franklin
Noah Cain, Franklin
Matt Crago, King Philip
Derek McGrath, Mansfield
Grady Sullivan, Mansfield
Nick Ribeiro, Milford
Eduardo Santana, Milford
Kaua Pereira, Milford
Zach Smahi, North Attleboro
Carson Dameron, North Attleboro
Casey Milliken, Oliver Ames
Hector Bucio, Oliver Ames
Luke Churchill, Oliver Ames
Andrew Martins, Oliver Ames
Rhys Davis, Sharon
Adam Eastman, Sharon
Matheus Groberio, Stoughton
Javonte Fernandes, Taunton
Esvin Morales, Attleboro
Ashton Cetoute, Canton
Marco Pacini, Foxboro
Will Klawson, Franklin
Dermott Amorim, King Philip
Aiden Steele, Mansfield
Arthur Tome, Milford
Givani Carney, North Attleboro
Ryan Linhares, Oliver Ames
Matt Baur, Sharon
Kyle Grant, Stoughton
Riley Rebello, Taunton
Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
Attleboro has consistently been in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division in recent years, and if the Bombardiers are going to be there again this year, they will have to do so with a lot of new players to the varsity level.
Not only did the Bombardiers graduate a sizable senior class, but the majority of them were also key pieces in longtime head coach Mark Houle’s lineup and rotation. Add in the transfer of promising 6’5-forward Trevor White, and Attleboro has very few pieces left from last year. But that’s not to say Attleboro is without talent. Junior Neo Franco is coming off a very successful first year with the team, earning HockomockSports All-Underclassmen Team honors. Jaiden Outland saw more and more minutes as the season went on and he showed what he’s capable of with a career-high 18 points in Attleboro’s win over Durfee in late February last year; he could be poised for a big year. Senior Michael Beverly is the third returner for the Bombardiers after picking up some minutes last year while newcomer senior Justin Hanrahan could be a key piece right away.
Another reason for optimism is that most of the new faces in the lineup this year played for the Bombardiers’ JV squad last season, which posted an impressive 19-2 record. Seniors Spencer Sherck, Zyeem Charles, Nathan Hodson, and Michael Alfonso will provide key leadership for Houle this year. Junior Max Crawford will join sophomores Dante Monestime, Hayden Crowley, and Brady Erwin as potential contributors for the Bombardiers.
“We need to continue our commitment to be a highly competitive defensive team, our communication, and understanding of defensive concepts is a priority and is a reason we were one of the top defensive teams in the league last year,” Houle said.
2021-2022 Record: 9-11 Coach: Eric MacKinnon
Canton surprised a lot of people on the outside of the program with a nine-win season that certainly was good enough for a playoff spot, but the Bulldogs have put that seeding drama in the rearview mirror and are now focused on surprising people again this year.
In order to do so, the Bulldogs will need new players to step up as second-year head coach Eric MacKinnon only has one returning starter from last year. Matt Chafin emerged as a top perimeter option, averaging 8.8 points per game last year (reaching double figures in just under half of the games). Although he isn’t returning from last year’s lineup, Julius Hicks provides a big boost for MacKinnon and Bulldogs, coming back after missing all of last season with an injury. Hicks would have certainly been in the rotation last year and will be a vital piece this year. Junior Zaza Francoeur is an athletic wing player that can impact the game on both ends of the floor for the Bulldogs.
Defense emerged as one of Canton’s strengths a season ago as the Bulldogs bought into MacKinnon’s game plan. Canton allowed the least amount of points against in the Davenport division at 50.6, and they will look to replicate that again this year.
“With our personnel and style of play we have the ability to score from the perimeter and play inside-out at times,” MacKinnon said. “Our length and athleticism should allow us to get out in transition.”
Foxboro is one of the few teams in the league that has more familiar faces returning than not, and after only missing out on the Davenport title by one game last year, the Warriors are aiming to compete with defending champs Sharon and division newcomer Mansfield for the top spot this season.
The Warriors boast one of the better senior classes, anchored by HockomockSports First Team selection Alex Penders. Penders, a 6-foot-5 forward who averaged 16.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game last year and recently committed to play at Ithaca next year, is joined by classmates Sam Golub, Ryan LeClair, and Andrew Finn. Golub and LeClair played a lot of minutes for head coach Jon Gibbs last season and both improved as the season went on. Having three experienced players will certainly give the Warriors an advantage, especially on the defensive side of the ball where Gibbs always has his teams prepared.
Penders can score in a variety of ways and will be a matchup problem for most teams in the league. Golub is a proven shooter that can get hot at any time while LeClair is a pesky defender, and as seen by his performance on the road at Stoughton last year, is a capable scorer. Penders will certainly be the focus of the offense but he’s a very unselfish player and Foxboro should have a good balance in the scoring column. While the Warriors have a strong senior class, they’re still a relatively young team. With only two juniors, the rest of the roster is filled by six sophomores and two freshmen. Junior Ryan Cotter and sophomores Ryan Kelley and Nolan Gordon will be names to keep an eye on.
“This is a very hard-working and coachable group that is improving on a daily basis,” Gibbs said. “We have a very exciting blend of experienced veterans and newcomers who are hungry to contribute. If we can defend and rebound at a high level, the potential is there for a very successful season.”
2021-2022 Record: 21-4 Coach: CJ Neely
Entering the past two seasons, there was a lot of unknown for the Panthers after graduating a large senior class each year. It’s the opposite this year as Franklin graduated just three players and has the majority of last year’s squad that went 21-4 back in the fold.
After a third-place finish in the Kelley-Rex last season, Franklin could be the team to beat this go around. Junior Sean O’Leary highlights a talented and experienced group of long, athletic players. O’Leary, a 6-foot-4 forward that can score from anywhere on the court and was named to the HockomockSports All-Underclassmen Team last year, will be one of the top players in the league this year. Junior Andrew O’Neill (8.8 points per game) is another returner and head coach CJ Neely will lean on a small but talented senior class that features Ben Harvey (HockomockSports All-Defensive Team), Justin Allen, Geino Scaringello, and Hayden Morandi.
Juniors Hansy Jacques, Bradley Herndon, and Andrew Benoit were all on the team last year and could see increased minutes this season. There will be more opportunities on offense for players to step up with the graduation of Sean Vinson (12.8 ppg) and last year’s leading scorer and HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year Henry Digirogio (16.1 ppg) has opted not to play this year. And promising sophomore Caden Sullivan, who likely would have been in the rotation, will miss significant time due to injury.
“The preseason has been very competitive at practice,” Neely said. “We have a great group of guys who really care for each other. While we do have a good amount of returning players, there is a lot of playing time up for grabs and it will be a daily challenge for guys to earn roles. I have been most impressed with how committed and focused the players have been each day on the court and in film sessions to always look for ways to improve as a group. It will be fun to watch them grow and compete all year.”
2021-2022 Record: 6-16 Head Coach: Dave DeStefano
King Philip brings back a good portion of its roster and is looking to book a spot in the tournament and contend for the Kelley-Rex division title.
The Warriors are one of the few teams in the league that brings back their leading scorer from a year ago in Will Laplante, a seasoned veteran that has averaged over 16 points per year in each of the last two seasons. Laplante is joined by senior Grant Kinney, who had some breakout games last year, and Tommy Martorano, who showed that at his best (a career-high 36 points) that he can score with the best players in the league. That trio is three of KP’s top five scorers from a year ago. Senior Colin Peck, a 6-foot-2 forward, will likely see an expanded role after playing some valuable minutes last year.
Juniors Tommy McLeish and Trevor Clyde, both 6-foot-3 forwards, have made a big jump from last year and will be key pieces for head coach Dave DeStefano this year. New additions Danny Silveria and Peter Cataldo, both juniors, look to factor in as key defensive pieces for the Warriors. Sophomore Tommy Kilroy didn’t see a ton of minutes early on last year but his role expanded as the season went on, scoring in double figures against Mansfield and in a win over Xaverian. Fellow sophomores Brandon Nicastro, Drew Laplante, and Jack Assini will all looking to contribute this season as well.
“The boys have really committed this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The limited practices so far have been really competitive. It’s no secret that our defense has to drastically improve to be competitive in the league. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops. On offense, we are looking to have a balanced attack and create great scoring opportunities as a team.”
2021-2022 Record: 21-5 Coach: Mike Vaughan
Mansfield had its incredible streak of nine straight Kelley-Rex division titles come to an end last season, and now the Hornets start a new chapter as they begin their first season in the Davenport. Expectations remain sky-high for the Hornets, who are an immediate favorite for the division crown.
The Hornets have two of their best scorers back from last year in senior Chris Hill (12.5 ppg) and junior Trevor Foley (8.2 ppg), but Mansfield did graduate its leading scorer in Matty Hyland and lost five of its top seven scorers. That means there’s a lot of opportunity for new faces to step up. Hill has probably played more varsity minutes than anyone else in the league and he can compete at a high-level night in and night out. Foley really emerged as a top player by the end of the season, averaging over 16 points per game in March.
Senior Caden Colby was part of the rotation last year and will see a bigger role this year while classmate JT Veiking is a 6-foot-5 forward that can score on the perimeter or down low. Senior Michael Creedon rounds out the senior class and can provide a spark with increased minutes this year. Junior Eddie McCoy is poised for a breakout year, an athletic wing player that can attack the rim and cause problems for opposing defenses. Juniors Brandon Jackman and Davon Sanders should see time in the Mansfield backcourt this year.
“This season will be our tallest team in my tenure, it will be fun to see what different things we can do on the defensive end,” Vaughan said. “Offensively we should have plenty of power to put points on the board but the big question mark will be how quickly we can find our max compete level.”
2021-2022 Record: 2-21 Coach: Paul Seaver
Milford had an entirely new team last season and was the youngest team in the league. With just four seniors gone from last year, the Hawks are still a young team but head coach Paul Seaver believes his group learned a lot last year and is trending in the right direction.
The Scarlet Hawks have three of the top four scorers from last season back in the fold, including junior Jake Soares (8.0 ppg), sophomore Andrew Rivera (7.8 ppg), and senior Wyatt Zagami (7.1 ppg). Zagami, who can really fill it up when he’s on a hot streak, is joined by classmates Guy Saintyl, Jacob Ligor, and Joe Buckley to round out a small senior class for the Hawks. Soares was probably Milford’s most consistent player for the first two months before an injury ended his season early, and Rivera showed some glimpses of high-level play throughout the year.
Having a year of experience will be key, especially as a lot of other Hock teams are featuring a lot of first-year varsity players. Sophomore Luca Testa is another young player that saw a lot of minutes for the Hawks last year and will be a key piece during this campaign. Sophomore Gus Coutinho is a dangerous shooter and freshman CJ Farrell could be an impact player right away as well.
“Last season we were very young and very inexperienced,” Seaver said. “We learned how to compete while playing a tough schedule. Now with double digits returnees, we not only aim to improve on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball – we aim to improve in all aspects. Our goals and expectations will be what we make them and what we do with the opportunities that are given to us. I have a great crop of kids who are committed, hard-working individuals who continue to climb the ladder and do things the right way.”
2021-2022 Record: 5-15 Coach: Sean Mulkerrins
North Attleboro battled through an up-and-down season last year that featured some impressive wins — like a double-digit victory over Foxboro and a sweep of Stoughton — as well as some tough losses, like to Foxboro in overtime and to rival Attleboro by just three points. The Rocketeers graduated their two leading scorers from a year ago but return the majority of a roster that was playing their first varsity minutes last year.
Besides its four seniors last year, the rest of the Rocketeers were brand new to the varsity level. That means this year’s group will feature a bit more experience, albeit North is still on the young side. Givany Carney is North’s most experienced player and will be one of the go-to options on the offensive end of the court. Carney is a crafty player that does well getting to the rim with a good combination of speed and size. Senior Jack Munley is a tone-setter and can change the momentum of a game with his effort while senior Derek Maceda showed glimpses last season as a potential go-to guy offensively, both on the perimeter and attacking the basket.
Sophomores Ryan Bannon and Chase Frisoli both played some valuable minutes as freshmen and should see increased roles this year. Bannon is a solid defender and can be a contributor on the offensive end while Frisoli is a high-IQ player with range. Junior Chris Hanewich is another player that head coach Sean Mulkerrins is relying on to contribute on both ends of the floor. With some good experience, North will be looking to establish itself as one of the hardest-working teams in the league, which starts on the defensive end.
“We have a roster of kids who are working hard to improve and learn our system,” Mulkerrins said. “Our practices have been very competitive. We are very focused on building and maintaining our team culture so we are prepared to compete against the talented basketball programs in the Hockomock League.”
2021-2022 Record: 10-12 Coach: Oliver Vil
Oliver Ames is going to have a new look this year under second-year head coach Oliver Vil. The Tigers lost the majority of the team that won a preliminary playoff game last season and missed out on the Davenport division title by just a game.
Not only will the lineup feature new faces, but it will also feature a lot of new faces as the Tigers have a deep group this year. Senior captains Chris Elias and Ari Spiliakos are two returners that will be leaders for the team both on and off the court. Senior Nick Asiaf is a capable ball handler and can attack the rim while seniors Nick Rhodes and Jaden Graham provide key depth. Sophomore Cole Craffey played some meaningful minutes a year ago and will be one of the Tigers’ go-to options offensively this year. He’s very confident with the ball and can score inside and out.
With seven of their top eight scorers from a season ago gone, there will be plenty of opportunity for new players to step up. Freshman Solen Lolonga was in the starting lineup for the Tigers’ season-opening win over Southeastern and had a strong showing with 19 points. Vil also has a deep junior class that features Jake Willard, Daniel Casey, Andrew Sullivan, and David Rodgers, who all played in the win.
“Our strength this season on offense will be our ability to move the ball and create shots for one another,” Vil said. “We will have the same defense approach as last season, forcing our opponents into taking difficult shots and limiting transition offensive baskets. We now have minimal room for careless mistakes to compete in an already difficult conference. I am extremely excited to battle a plethora of well-coached disinclined teams every night we step on the floor to play a game this season.”
2021-2022 Record: 12-9 (Davenport division champions) Coach: Andrew Ferguson
Sharon won its first Davenport division title in eight seasons last year and with its top three scoring options back in the mix this year, the Eagles will be in contention to repeat that feat again this year.
Senior Matt Baur and juniors Jacob McLoughlin and Nate Katznelson give Sharon one of the top trios of players in the league. Baur, who earned HockomockSports First Team honors last year after averaging 15.1 points and 6 rebounds a game, is the heart and soul of the team. He leads by example both on and off the court and is the engine of the team. He doesn’t have to fill up the scoring column to have a big impact on the game. Both Katznelson and McLoughlin emerged as top players in their first season and will be vital pieces this year.
Senior captains Jack Bates and Tyler Goodman both came off the bench as key pieces for head coach Andrew Ferguson last year and will see increased responsibility this year. Bates is a pesky defender and a good floor general while Goodman can provide a spark with his shooting. Senior Dante James, an athletic wing player, comes over from Mansfield and should give the Eagles a big boost with their depth. Juniors Ryan Brown, Anthony Piron, and Cam Sherman provide backcourt depth while juniors Zach Wise, Jaden Segal, and sophomore Sam Letendre provide physicality to the Eagles’ frontcourt.
“With a small senior class, this team is blending experience with youth and has already begun to form a tight bond both on and off the court. Our practices have been super competitive and we look forward to competing against a very strong schedule.”
2021-2022 Record: 9-11 Coach: Evan Taylor
Last season, Stoughton entered the final stretch of league games right in the mix for the Davenport division title but ended up on the outside looking in finishing in a tie for fourth and just missing out on the postseason. With just a few returners back in the mix, the Knights will be looking for a new group of players to lead them into the tournament and contend for the division crown.
Stoughton has two major challenges to address this year, one on each side of the ball. The Black Knights lost their three top scorers from last year with Connor Andrews (19.9 ppg) and Cash Mathurin (5.9 ppg) graduating, and Rayan Sablon (18.3 ppg) transferring out. Head coach Evan Taylor will lean heavily on his four returning players to try and fill that void. Senior Jayden Costa Haywood played some meaningful minutes a season ago and has taken a big leap and the Knights will look for him to provide an offensive punch. Junior Liam Pearl (5.2 ppg) also worked his way into the rotation and made some key shots in clutch moments, including at Foxboro and at home against Canton. Sophomore Matthew Greenspoon (5.6 ppg) is the top scorer back from last year and will look to build on a strong debut season as a freshman.
The other challenge for Stoughton will be on the defensive end as the Knights look to make a drastic improvement after allowing over 60 points per game last year. On top of the returners, Taylor is looking for senior Tagh Swierzewski and junior Jarred Daughtry to make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball. Other newcomers include senior Obioma Dike, juniors Elijah Connor, and Nathan Figaro, sophomore Mykel Thomas, and freshmen Anthony Alessi and Aiden Rideout.
“Defense has been the main focus at the start of this season,” Taylor said. “Our goal is to be a top three defense in the league with a lot of great on-ball defenders and high IQ players on the
2020-2021 Record: 19-3 (Kelley-Rex division champions) Coach: Charlie Dacey
This season will mark a new chapter in the storied history of Taunton basketball. After back-to-back Kelley-Rex championships, including the program’s first outright title a year ago, the Tigers will have a lot of new faces in the lineup this year.
The biggest challenge will be replacing the production from one of the best trios in the Hock in recent history in Player of the Year Trent Santos, Faisal Mass, and Tristan Herry, who combined for just under 75% of the team’s scoring last year. One of the familiar faces returning to the starting group is junior Troy Santos, who has the most career points of anyone on the roster. Santos showed some flashes last year but will have a lot more looks this year. Seniors Chris Volcy and Alvinsky Morisseau, and junior Tyson Carter are also returners from last year and figure to see increased minutes this season.
Senior Chris Perault could be the biggest addition for the Tigers, a player that can score both from the perimeter and attacking the basket. Santos will factor in as one of the top shooters both on the team and in the league while Volcy has really improved from last year and could be a top scoring option for the Tigers. Longtime head coach Charlie Dacey is looking for Dimari Brown and Travis Johnson to provide a spark on the low block, plus some more faces to step up off of the bench.
“This year’s Taunton team will be very different from last year. This edition will be faster without a singular scorer, points can come from a variety of styles,” Dacey said. “Speed and aggressive defense will be the key to Taunton’s success this year.”