Bulldogs Pull Away From Big Red For Key Division Win

Canton boys basketball
Canton’s Devin Foster (4) goes up for a shot against North Attleboro’s Jake Petersen (50) in the second quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – Holding an eight-point lead entering the final eight minutes of the game, the Canton boys basketball team did all the little things to extend that advantage and hold on for a win at the end.

The Bulldogs used a pair of steals and a pair of offensive rebounds to open the fourth with a 7-0 run, jumping out to its largest lead of the game at 45-30, and then held off a late push from visiting North Attleboro over the final three minutes to secure a 58-54 victory.

North Attleboro started with possession trailing 38-30 in the fourth but Ryan Lentol (nine points, seven rebounds) came up with a steal that led to a layup from Kyle Fitzgerald (11 points, nine rebounds, four assists).

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Rocketeers tried to go down low on the ensuing possession but Devin Foster (21 points, seven rebounds) came from the weak side to knock it free. Canton’s first shot was blocked by Jake Petersen but Fitzgerald grabbed the offensive board and found Foster for a triple. After an empty trip from the Big Red, Canton missed a triple, but Foster was there for the putback to put the Bulldogs ahead 45-30 with six minutes to play.

Canton had half of its eight offensive rebounds in the final quarter and out-rebounded the Rocketeers, 10-6, in the final frame.

“To get those extra possessions against a good team, it was the difference,” said Canton head coach Ryan Gordy. “We talked about it at halftime because we were behind on the glass. We talked about being able to get a little lower and crashing on the weak side for offensive rebounds. Felt like we made that adjustment and did a good job in the second half.”

The Bulldogs led by 11 with just over a minute to go but the Rocketeers continued to battle to the final white. Josh Montague (15 points) hit free throws and followed with a strong take to the Tim to make it 51-44 with a minute to go. Canton pushed the lead back to 10 behind free throws from Lentol and Foster, but Montague answered with two free throws and junior Ethan Friberg connected on a three to cut the deficit to six with 21 seconds left.

Canton also applied a press at various times in the second half, mostly intended to keep the pace slow while holding the lead.

“It becomes a time management thing,” Gordy said. “Once you get up 12 in a Davenport game in this rock fight type games, anytime you can have time management in the fourth quarter is valuable. The press helped take some time off the block and got the ball out of Montague’s hands, he’s such a good player, he kind of makes the whole thing work for him so we kind of wanted to get the ball out of his hands with that press.”

North forced a turnover but couldn’t convert and Foster tacked on two more free throws to make it 57-49. Josh Porter added five points over the final seconds to get North within four at the buzzer.

“I thought our defensive effort overall tonight was subpar,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “There was always one rotation that we missed. Coach Gordy made a great adjustment, they were slipping hard in the third quarter. Foster got going, which you know he’s going to, and then in that fourth quarter when they had that run, we’re down so every minute and every possession matters. We just didn’t play well and Canton made us look pretty bad at times.”

Canton’s eight-point lead to start the fourth was the result of a strong third quarter. Leading by two at halftime, the Bulldogs opened the second half with an 11-1 run. After Foster was held to six points on two made field goals in the first half, Canton made it a priority to get their leading scorer looks early on.

Foster answered the challenge, driving to the basket on Canton’s second possession for two. After a miss from North, Foster again was able to get into an isolation situation and used the glass to sink another layup. Canton came up with two offensive rebounds on its next trip, the latter leading to a corner three from sophomore Eric Mischler and the Bulldogs suddenly led 30-21.

Foster came up with a steal, and despite losing possession for a split second, grabbed it back and went in for two. North got on the board via a free throw from Friberg but Canton countered with a nice feed from Lentol to a cutting Matt Giglio (13 points, four rebounds) and the sophomore finished to extend the advantage to 34-22 halfway through the quarter.

“The whole thing starts with Devin, everyone knows that, and then it becomes contagious,” Gordy said. “When good things are happening with Devin, other guys step up and play well as well. Devin only had six at halftime so we wanted to get him some good looks so we ran a few sets for him early and to his credit, he knocked down shots and made plays. He might have cold stretches but he’s too good of a player to play like it for a whole game.”

North responded with an 8-4 run over the final four minutes to stay within striking distance going into the final quarter.

To begin the game, Canton built an 8-2 lead over the first four minutes but the teams combined for 20 points over the final four minutes of the first. Foster and Giglio each had a pair of threes in the frame while five different Rocketeers hit a field goal, including a three from Nate Gonsalves (12 points). Canton led 16-11 after one.

The Rocketeers’ defense shined in the second quarter and helped the visitors get back in the game. North limited Canton to 2-for-14 shooting in the frame, held the Bulldogs without a three-pointer, and forced three turnovers. Meanwhile, North’s offense got into gear scoring all of its points over the final 5:43, including a 7-1 run to finish the quarter.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Gonsalves bookended the run with a triple and a layup while Petersen and Friberg hit free throws and sophomore George Ladd (eight points, six rebounds) converted with a nice move in the post. North trailed 23-21 at half.

“I thought in the first half, we had two possessions we didn’t run the right thing, we missed some free throws, they had some offensive rebounds, and we were only down two,” Mulkerrins said. “So we tried to address those fixable things but the biggest thing is we have to defend better. We’re not going to put up 75 points. The defense just wasn’t there, and that has to be better.”

Canton boys basketball (6-2 Hockomock, 7-3 overall) is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Taunton. North Attleboro (3-5, 5-5) will visit King Philip on the same day.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/15/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 70 @ Canton, 43 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game. Canton held 26-25 at halftime but Mansfield outscored the Bulldogs 24-9 in the third period to take control the game. Mansfield had a 45-17 advantage in the second half. Senior Tommy Dooling had a team-high 15 points, sophomore Matty Boen added 13 points and six rebounds, and sophomore TJ Guy finished with 12 points and seven boards for the Hornets. Canton senior Ryan Lentol finished with a team-high 13 points and six rebounds.

Franklin, 57 @ North Attleboro, 33 – FinalFranklin created all the separation it needed with a big first half. The Panthers led 17-4 after one and took a 31-10 advantage into the break. Junior Chris Edgehill scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first half for Franklin while Jalen Samuels and Will Harvey each added 10 points. North Attleboro senior Josh Montague scored a team-best 12 points while junior Ethan Friberg had nine points.

King Philip, 73 @ Stoughton, 55 – FinalKing Philip trailed by nine at halftime but used a monster second half to beat the Black Knights. The Warriors won the third quarter, 23-6, to turn a deficit into a 50-41 lead going into the final quarter. KP added 23 more points in the final quarter to earn the win. Senior Bruce Saintilus scored a career-high 24 points while Andrew McKinney and Alex Fritz both scored 19 points, a career-best for both players. Stoughton junior Obinna Ugwuakazi finished with a team-high 20 points while Zak Paquette recorded a career-high 18 points for the Black Knights.

Taunton, 59 @ Milford, 47 – FinalHolding a 33-26 lead at halftime, Taunton held the Hawks to seven points in the third quarter to create a double-digit lead that it never relinquished in a win over Milford. Taunton senior Lou Vendrell scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter while Mike Qunn (10 points) added a triple to help the Tigers build a 49-33 lead going into the final eight minutes. Taunton junior Dante Law scored a team-high 15 points, including 11 in the opening quarter. Junior Colby Pires and sophomore Jordan Darling each scored 11 points for Milford.

Oliver Ames, 64 @ Sharon, 50 – Final Sharon held a one-point lead with three minutes to go in the third quarter but Oliver Ames finished strong, doubling the Eagles’ production down the stretch (30-15) to earn the win. Ethan Eckstrom scored six of his team-high 15 points in the final quarter and Owen Friel (career-high 10 points) connected on a pair of three-pointers in the fourth to help the Tigers pull away. Senior Sean O’Brien and sophomore Amari Brown each added eight points for OA. Sharon junior Aidan Kane scored a game-high 17 points while classmate Caleb Gayle added 14 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.

Girls Basketball
Canton, 51 @ Mansfield, 57 – Final (OT)Mansfield’s Emily Vigeant hit a three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The Bulldogs got balanced scoring, led by Sydney Gallery’s 12 points. Kiara Cerruti scored 11, Maggie Connolly had nine, and Julia Hamilton added eight points for Canton, which had its five-game win streak come to an end.

North Attleboro, 33 @ Franklin, 57 – FinalAli Brigham had 25 for the Panthers in the win.

Stoughton, 31 @ King Philip, 73 – FinalKP jumped out to a big lead early in the game and never looked back, as the Warriors clicked on the offensive end of the floor for their sixth win of the season. Faye Veilleux scored 21 points and Julia Leroux added 18 points (on six three-pointers) to spark KP to the win. Shannon O’Connor scored eight as well for the Warriors.

Milford, 23 @ Taunton, 61 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton went on a 25-2 run after Milford opened the scoring and took control of the game before halftime. Alexa White led the way for the hosts with 15 points, while Kelsey White added 12. In the fourth quarter, freshman Abby Souza came off the bench and scored 11 of her 13 points. Ashanty Barreto led the Hawks with six points and Emma Lawrence added five points and 13 rebounds.

Sharon, 50 @ Oliver Ames, 75 – Final Oliver Ames scored 41 points in the first half, building a 10-point lead at the break, and never looked back to earn the win over Sharon. Freshman Caroline Peper poured in a career-high 25 points to pace the Tigers while Caroline Flynn had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Girls Hockey
King Philip, 2 @ Medway, 2 – Final

Boys Swimming
Taunton, 70 @ Attleboro, 95 – Final

Girls Swimming
Taunton, 75 @ Attleboro, 92 – Final

Gymnastics
Taunton @ Canton, 7:30
Sharon, 122.75 @ Canton, 110 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/11/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 79 @ King Philip, 60 – FinalAttleboro outscored King Philip 29-10 in the second quarter to turn a deficit into the separation it needed for the rest of the way. The Warriors held a 20-18 advantage after one but Attleboro’s offense poured in 29 points in the second quarter to take a 47-30 lead into the break. Junior Bryant Ciccio scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the second frame while senior Kevin Velazquez added seven of his career-high 19 points in the second. Attleboro junior Qualeem Charles shined with 16 points and 15 boards. King Philip’s Tim Nault, Bruce Saintilus, and Sam Sesay each scored 12 points.

Canton, 54 @ Sharon, 38 – FinalCanton turned it on the fourth quarter, scoring 21 points to pull away from a pesky Eagles team to earn the win. Canton led 18-13 at halftime, and took a six point advantage at 33-27 going into the final quarter. Devin Foster had five of his team-high 17 points in the final quarter and grabbed a total of 15 rebounds while sophomore Eric Mischler got going in the final frame with 10 of his 13 points coming in the fourth. Ryan Lentol added nine points and Kyle Fitzgerald scored all seven of his points in the second half. Sharon’s Ben Kaplan and Aidan each scored nine points for the Eagles.

Foxboro, 66 @ Stoughton, 77 – FinalStoughton had its been offensive performance of the season, scoring a season-high 77 points on its way to a win over visiting Foxboro. Stoughton’s four point lead after one quarter (19-15) grew to nine by half as the Knights led 45-36 at the break. Foxboro cut the deficit to four by the end of the third, 60-56, but Stoughton outscored the Warriors 17-10 in the final quarter. Stoughton junior Obinna Ugqwuakazi connected on 13 field goals for a career-high 27 points and hauled in 18 rebounds to pace the Black Knights. Senior Kevin Dixon scored 16 of his career-high 18 points in the second half and five more Stoughton players scored five or more points. Foxboro junior Will Morrison hit six three-pointers for a career-high 18 points to pace the Warriors.

Taunton, 45 @ Franklin, 50 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Oliver Ames, 44 @ Mansfield, 64 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Mansfield broke the game wide open in the second half, thanks to Tommy Dooling’s outside shooting. Dooling hit six of his seven three-pointers after halftime, including four in the third quarter alone, and finished with a game-high 21 points. T.J. Guy scored 11 points for the Hornets, including six in the fourth quarter, and Damani Scott added nine points. Amari Brown tried to keep things close with 10 points for the Tigers, including eight in the third quarter, Sean O’Brien scored nine points and Ethan Eckstrom added eight in the loss.

North Attleboro, 53 @ Milford, 52 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Nate Goncalves (11 points) connected on a pair of free throws to put the Rocketeers up three and that ended up the difference as Big Red held on for a one-point road win at Milford. After Goncalves’ put North up 53-50, the Rocketeers got a stop but Milford senior Brendan White (10 points) converted an offensive rebound to make it a one-point game. North missed the front end of a one-and-one but Milford’s halfcourt shot at the buzzer was off the mark. The Rocketeers led 18-13 after one, and 27-24 at half but an 18-point third quarter from the Scarlet Hawks knotted things at 42-42 going into the final frame. Senior Josh Montague (10 points) had a big three in the fourth and senior Jake Petersen scored half of his eight points in the final quarter. Senior Matt Seavey added a career-high 12 points for North and junior Ethan Friberg finished with 11 points. Junior Colby Pires and sophomore Jordan Darling each added 10 points for Milford.

Girls Basketball
King Philip, 68 @ Attleboro, 54 – FinalKP had three players score in double figures to bounce back from the loss to Canton. Faye Veilleux continued her strong start to the season with a game-high 15 points, but she got plenty of help on Friday with Faith Roy scoring 13 and Julia Leroux scoring 10. Nyah Thomas hit double figures for the second straight game for Attleboro, with 14, and Dom Garnes scored 13 and pulled down 12 rebounds. Liv McCall added 10 for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 58 @ Sharon, 44 – FinalCanton caught fire from three-point range to win its fifth straight game. The Bulldogs knocked down eight threes as a team. Sydney Gallery was the top scorer for the Bulldogs with 16 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Fay Gallery and Kiara Cerruti each scored 14 in the win, while Maggie Connolly scored six points, had seven rebounds and held Sharon’s top scorer Emma Eberhardt to two points in the second half. Eberhardt still managed 11 points for the Eagles, who had a lead after the first quarter. Evanjuline Elisma added seven points in the loss.

Stoughton, 29 @ Foxboro, 58 – FinalFoxboro stayed unbeaten heading into next week’s showdown with fellow division leader Franklin. Katelyn Mollica scored 23 points for the Warriors and Chelsea Gibbons added 14. Stoughton stayed with Foxboro for a half, down only 11 at the break, but the Warriors were able to build momentum and pull away. Aliyah Wright had a team-high 13 points for the Black Knights.

Franklin, 75 @ Taunton, 37 – FinalAli Brigham was dominant again for the Panthers, scoring 26 points and pulling down 17 rebounds. Bea Bondhus added 12 points for Franklin, which had 11 different players get on the score sheet.

Oliver Ames, 32 @ Mansfield, 41 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Milford, 39 @ North Attleboro, 59 – FinalNorth continued its winning run with a strong second half to pull away from the Hawks. Reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Week Julia Feid was the game’s top scorer with 15 points and North also got 12 from Amanda Kaiser. Jillian Michelson scored a team-high 13 for Milford.

Boys Swimming
Canton, 99 @ Foxboro, 50 – FinalFoxboro’s Ben Dorman and Thomas Perry Jr. each had a win and the Warriors’ 400 relay team took first but Canton earned the win overall. Dorman won the 100 backstroke in 1:20 with Kris Andersen taking second. Perry Jr. took first in the 100 breaststroke with teammate Josh Sitte touching second. The team of Jared Roke, Anthony Amico, Jack Groves, and Joseph St. Pierre won the 400 relay in 5:17.

King Philip, 91 @ Oliver Ames, 77 – Final
Milford, 101 @ Sharon, 63 – Final
Stoughton, 35 @ North Attleboro, 90 – Final
Franklin, 56 @ Taunton, 37 – Final

Girls Swimming
Canton, 97 @ Foxboro, 71 – FinalFoxboro’s Pam Nelson had a pair of individual wins, Sarah Egan won once, and the Warriors swept the 400 relay but Canton recorded the win. Nelson won the 200IM (2:32) and the 500 free (6:03), Egan touched first in the 100 backstroke (1:14), and the team of Gina Oullette, Kendall Milender, Madison Feldman, and Shannon Egan won the 400 relay in 5:01.

King Philip, 81 @ Oliver Ames, 94 – Final
Milford, 83 @ Sharon, 86 – Final
Stoughton, 57 @ North Attleboro, 91 – Final
Franklin, 51 @ Taunton, 42 – Final

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/08/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
North Attleboro, 50 @ Attleboro, 68 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Foxboro, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 53 – Final Oliver Ames used a 20-point third quarter to create a double-digit deficit and then held off Foxboro in the fourth to grind out a win at home over the Warriors. After combining for just 10 first quarter points (6-4, OA lead), the Tigers took a 19-12 lead into the locker room. OA then doubled its production from the first half with 20 points in the third with senior Sean O’Brien scoring seven of his team-high 15 points in the frame. Sophomore Amari Brown and senior Ethan Eckstrom each added nine points for Oliver Ames. Foxboro junior Brandon Borde scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half to help the Warriors stay within striking distance. Sophomore Kevin Gallagher added eight points for Foxboro.

Stoughton, 60 @ Franklin, 74 – FinalFranklin jumped out to a 22-8 lead after the first quarter and maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way. The Panthers led 38-22 at half and 52-31 heading into the final quarter. Senior Jalen Samuels scored a team-high 16 points while junior Chris Edgehill added 13 points, all coming in the first quarters for both players. Will Harvey added eight points for the Panthers, who connected on eight three-pointers. Stoughton junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell had a team-high 14 points while senior Zak Paquette finished with nine points.

Canton, 64 @ King Philip, 63 – FinalCanton senior Ryan Lentol converted a traditional three-point play with eight seconds left to give the Bulldogs a one-point win on the road. Lentol converted his shot to tie the game and then hit the free-throw to put Canton ahead. Devin Foster scored a game-high 31 points and had 12 rebounds while Lentol finished with a career-high 16 points. Canton connected on 20 free throws. KP led by as much as 11 in the third quarter but Canton closed the game and trailed just 45-43 heading into the fourth. KP senior Sam Sesay had a career-high 17 points, Tim Nault added 13 points, and Alex Fritz finished with 11 points.

Milford, 53 @ Mansfield, 62 – FinalMilford had a three-point lead at halftime, and took a 38-36 advantage into the fourth quarter, but the Hornets poured in 26 points in the final frame to earn the win. Sophomore Matty Boen scored eight of his 11 points in the final frame, Tommy Dooling added six of his 12 points in the fourth, and Damani Scott scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half. Junior Sam Stevens had a team-high 14 points for Mansfield, who shot 27-for-36 from the free throw line. Brendan White had a team-high 17 points for the Scarlet Hawks while sophomore Danny Corsini added 10 points.

Sharon, 34 @ Taunton, 72 – FinalTaunton outscored the visiting Eagles 25-3 in the first quarter on its way to a big Hockomock League win. Junior Dante Law scored a team-high 21 points and a total of nine Tigers found their way onto the score sheet. Wesner Charles added 12 points and Naz Kenion finished with 11 points. Sharon’s Ben Kaplan had a team-high eight points.

Girls Basketball
King Philip, 41 @ Canton, 53 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Oliver Ames, 57 @ Foxboro, 70 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 62 @ Stoughton, 36 – FinalAli Brigham scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Panthers to a big win. Franklin broke the game open in the second half, after leading just 22-16 at the break. Megan O’Connell chipped in with 11 points in the win. Sydnee Hyacinthe was the top scorer for the Black Knights with 18 points.

Mansfield, 65 @ Milford, 22 – Final – Mansfield pulled out the big win against a hard-working Milford side thanks to balanced scoring. Ashley Santos scored 10 points for the Hornets, who also got six points apiece from four seniors: Erin Daniel, Emily Vigeant, Abby Sullivan and Alicia Hottleman.

Taunton, 43 @ Sharon, 54 – FinalEmma Eberhardt returned after missing the last game with an injury and scored 18 points to help the Eagles pick up an important win. Telishya Herbert added 10 points and Ally Brown chipped in with six to help Sharon hold off a late charge by the Tigers.

Girls Hockey
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalAmanda Lewandowski scored a pair of goals and Gianna Cameron added a goal and an assist for the unbeaten Panthers. Gabby Colace (16 saves) earned the shutout in goal.

Boys Swimming
King Philip, 96 @ Attleboro, 74 – FinalAttleboro’s Colton Parkinson was a double-winner, taking first in the 200 IM and the 500 free, and Connor Dunn took first in the 100 free but the Bombardiers lost to King Philip.

Mansfield, 79 @ Oliver Ames, 87 – Final

North Attleboro, 72 @ Milford, 88 – Final

Girls Swimming
King Philip, 82 @ Attleboro, 88 – FinalThe Attleboro girls swim team set 12 personal bests on its way to a win over visiting King Philip. Liz Saltz won the 200 and 500 free with state qualifying times in both, Jackie Lynch-Bartek took first in the 100 breaststroke, Ella Lynch Bartek touched first in the 100 free, and Tiffany Chin earned first in the 100 backstroke. Those four swimmers teamed up to win the 200 medley relay for the Bombardiers. Brenna O’Connell joined Saltz and the Lynch-Bartek sisters to win the 200 free relay.

Mansfield, 71 @ Oliver Ames, 91 – Final

North Attleboro, 79 @ Milford, 83 – Final

Gymnastics
North Attleboro, 139.4 @ Oliver Ames, 138.2 – Final

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro, 155.7 @ Braintree, 135.9 – Final

Sunday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/06/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Canton, 65 vs. Milton, 57 – FinalCanton senior Devin Foster poured in a career-high 33 points to lead the Bulldogs to a key non-league win over visiting Milton. Foster hit five three-pointers, including four in the first half. Foster had 10 points in the opening quarter and finished the first half with 23 points. Sophomore Eric Mischler added 10 points, all in the first half, while senior Ryan Lentol came alive in the second half with all eight of his points coming in the third and fourth quarters.

Girls Basketball
Canton, 45 vs. Milton, 38 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-point lead by halftime, but Milton stormed back into the game by limiting Canton to only three points in the third quarter. The Wildcats got as close as three points, but Canton pulled out the victory. Kiara Cerruti led the way for Canton with 15 points and eight rebounds. Classmate Sydney Gallery added 11 points and six boards, while Fay Gallery scored 10 points and had five rebounds. Erin Devine had seven rebounds in the win.

Girls Hockey
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Whitman-Hanson, 2 – FinalMOA used a late power play goal to secure a win and two points against Whitman-Hanson. Whitman-Hanson took a 1-0 lead but the Warriors answered off the stick of freshman Kylie O’Keefe, assisted by classmates Cierra Doherty and Skyler Sharfman. MOA took a lead in the second period when Sharfman fired a wrist shot in six minutes into the second. The Panthers answered early in the third but the line of O’Keefe, Doherty, and Sam Ledin was able to draw a penalty. Mackenzi Fraser found Izzy Shanteler below the goal line, and she found Emma Pereira out in front for the game-winner.

Stoughton, 2 @ Scituate, 4 – Final

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/18/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 39 @ Stoughton, 44 – FinalStoughton hauled in eight of their 20 offensive rebounds in the final quarter and turned those boards into 12 points in a win over Attleboro. The Bombardiers led 34-26 after three quarters of play but the Black Knights won the fourth quarter 18-5 to earn the victory. Junior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored a career-high 16 points and hauled in 16 rebounds to lead the way for Stoughton while Eddie Aldama chipped in with 11 points. Senior Mason Houle had a game-high 17 points for Attleboro.

Franklin, 50 @ Canton, 52 – FinalWith Franklin holding a 50-49 lead, Canton senior Ryan Lentol stole an inbounds pass, kept it in bounds while finding classmate Paul Corcoran (10 points) for a baseline layup to give the Bulldogs a 51-50 lead with 5.2 left in the game. Canton forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds and Devin Foster (20 points) hit a free throw in the final seconds to help the Bulldogs secure the win. Kyle Fitzgerald added 11 points in the win for Canton. Junior Chris Edgehill had a team-high 16 points for Franklin, Jalen Samuels added 13 points, and Will Harvey finished with 12 points.

Taunton, 49 @ Foxboro, 56 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 46 @ Milford, 79 – FinalMilford scored 42 points in the first half and had four players finish in double digits in scoring in a victory over visiting King Philip. Brendon Sailer (18 points), Danny Corsini (15 points) and Colby Pires (13 points) all set new career highs in scoring while Brendan White had 17 points for the Hawks, which led 63-24 after three quarters. Timmy Nault and Sam Sesay (career-high) each had 10 points for King Philip while Andrew McKinney and Alex Fritz each finished with eight points.

Mansfield, 75 @ Sharon, 57 – FinalMansfield built a 219-point lead by halftime, taking a 44-25 lead into the break, and never looked back in a win over Sharon. Damani Scott scored 19 of his career-high 29 points in the first half while Tommy Dooling (six threes) scored 16 of his career-high 22 points in the opening 16 minutes to help the Hornets build the big lead. Khristian Conner chipped in with 11 points for Mansfield. Aaron Strong led Sharon with 13 points while Andrew Burton chipped in with 12 points.

Oliver Ames, 45 @ North Attleboro, 46 – Final (OT)North Attleboro closed the fourth quarter on a 7-2 run to help force overtime and then outscored the Tigers 6-5 in the extra period to get the win. A pull up jumper from Evan Rosenberg with just over 30 seconds left put North ahead 40-38 but Jake Erlich hit two free throws in the final seconds to send it to overtime. North Attleboro’s Jake Petersen scored five of his 11 points in the overtime period to lift the Rocketeers. Nate Gonsalves finished with a career-high 16 points for Big Red. Amari Brown paced Olier Ames with 13 points while Harry DeChellis finished with 10 points.

Girls Basketball
Stoughton, 51 @ Attleboro, 41 – FinalAliyah Wright was the top scorer for the Black Knights with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Sydnee Hyacinthe had 16 points and six assists, as Stoughton won its second game in a row and moved above .500 for the first time this season.

Foxboro, 78 @ Taunton, 38 – FinalFour players scored in double figures as the Warriors made it three wins out of three to start the season. Katelyn Mollica led Foxboro with 18, but the Warriors also got 16 points from Yara Fawaz and 11 each from Abby Hassman and Chelsea Gibbons.

Milford, 39 @ King Philip, 79 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Sharon,, 29 @ Mansfield, 47 – FinalSharon was down only six entering the final quarter but Mansfield finally broke the game open with a 14-2 fourth to pull out the win. Maggie Danehy scored 12 points and pulled down 14 boards in the win. Mansfield also got 10 points from Emily Vigeant and seven from Ashley Santos. Evanjuline Elisma paced the Eagles with nine points and Emma Eberhardt added eight.

North Attleboro, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 79 – FinalAlly Scolnick led the Tigers in scoring for the third straight game to start the season, tallying 17 points in the win. Caroline Flynn added 13 points and five assists, Tate Hadges had 12 points, and Alex Sheldon had 11 for OA. Tigers coach Laney Clement-Holbrook called it a great effort on both ends of the floor.

Gymnastics
Taunton, 129 @ Oliver Ames, 131.65 – FinalOliver Ames junior Lauren Picanzi took first in the All Around with a 35.2, including a 9.0 on both the beam and the floor. OA sophomore Ashlyn Latham placed fourth in the All Around, and tied for second with an 8.8 on floor.

Boys Swimming
Taunton, 48 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 38 – FinalFreshman Tim Luc and eighth grader Gerald Grealish each won a pair of individual events and Taunton swept the three relays to get a win over Coyle. Luc won the 100 fly (sectional qualifying 57.96) and 100 free (53.39) while Grealish touched first in the 100 backstroke (1:05.91) and the 200 IM (2:18.44). Freshman Brady Callahan won the 200 free (2:09.00) and was second in the 100 backstroke (1:06.54). Taunton dominated all three relay events, capturing the 200 Medley and 400 Free (Callahan, Grealish, Luc, Peter Ye), as well as the 200 Free (Johnathan Trinh, Khan Orgil Enkhbileg, Garrett Rainey, Martin Dafov).

Girls Swimming
Taunton, 55 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 33 – FinalTaunton took first and second in all but one individual event and swept all three relays in a win over Coyle. Senior Erin Schrama, senior Ashley Mitchell, and eighth grader Tiffany Ye were all double winners for Taunton. Schrama won the 200 IM (sectional qualifying 2:26.70) as well as the 100 breast (1:15.99) while Mitchell was a double winner in the distance events, tackling the 200 and 500 free events.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/14/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 62 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final (OT)Attleboro junior Bryant Ciccio (24 points) hit a couple of clutch free throws between the end of regulation and the overtime period to help the Bombardiers earn the win. Mansfield senior Tommy Dooling (16 points) converted a putback with eight seconds left to give the Hornets a 58-57 lead but Ciccio hit a free throw with 0.6 seconds left to send the game into overtime. The Hornets held a 62-59 lead with under a minute to go in the extra period but a steal and layup from Mason Houle (10 points) made it a one-point game with 32 seconds to play. After getting a stop, Ciccio hit two free throws to put Attleboro up 63-62. The Bombardiers forced a backcourt violation, got the clock down to 2.4 seconds, missed a pair of free throws but prevented Mansfield from getting a shot off at the final buzzer. “I’m proud of our effort, we stayed together and made big plays tonight in crucial situations on both ends of the court,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “We made it a priority to make the next play and didn’t panic.” Qualeem Charles added 15 points for Attleboro while Tim Callahan had 10 points. Damani Scott added 16 points and Matt Boen finished with 11 points for the Hornets.

Foxboro, 60 @ Canton, 65 – FinalCanton outscored Foxboro 43-31 between the two middle quarters, helping the Bulldogs turn an early deficit into a lead it never relinquished. Junior Kyle Fitzgerald scored 14 of his 16 points in those two periods while senior Devin Foster spread his 16 points out among all four corners. Ryan Lentol connected on four three-pointers for a career-high 14 points while Robbie Gallery added nine for Canton. Foxboro sophomore Kevin Gallagher scored a team-high 14 points, senior Anthony Mollica added 13 points, and junior Brandon Borde finished with 12 points.

King Philip, 39 @ Franklin, 62 – FinalAfter scoring 21 points in the first half, Franklin exploded for 21 points in the third quarter along to pull away from the Warriors. The Panthers led 21-13 at half but held a 42-29 advantage through three quarters. The Panthers added 20 more points in the final frame. Junior Chris Edgehill netted a team-high 16 points while Jack Rudolph added 14 points and Thomas Gasbarro finished with 13 points. Alex Fritz had a team-high 13 points for King Philip.

Sharon, 51 @ Milford, 66 – FinalHolding a three-point lead at halftime, up 28-25, Milford opened the second half with a 12-0 run and never looked back in a win over Sharon. Milford senior Brendan White poured in a career-high 29 points while hauling in 14 rebounds to pace the Scarlet Hawks. Brendon Sailer scored nine of his 13 points in the third quarter to help the Hawks create separation. Colby Pires and Jordan Darling pitched in with eight points apiece. Aidan Kane scored a team-high 12 points for Sharon with Ben Kaplan and Caleb Gayle each chipping in with eight points each.

Stoughton, 45 @ North Attleboro, 44 – FinalStoughton junior Ajahn Rue hit the game-winning three pointer with 1.8 seconds left to lift the Black Knights to the win on the road. Stoughton led 42-41 late in the game before North Attleboro junior George Ladd drained a three to put the Rocketeers ahead 44-42. On the ensuing inbounds, Rue (12 points) brought the ball up and pulled up for the three to put the Black Knights back ahead. Stoughton junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, helping the Black Knights rally from a 26-19 deficit at half. Evan Rosenberg led North Attleboro with 12 points and Nate Gonsalves chipped in with 10 points.

Taunton, 53 @ Oliver Ames, 50 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 51 @ Mansfield, 63 – FinalMaggie Danehy had a career-high 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Hornets, helping Mansfield earn its first league win of the season. The Hornets trailed after the first quarter but an 18-10 second pushed Mansfield ahead for good. Sophomore Ashley Santos also had a career-high with 11 points in the win and Becca Hottleman had eight points and four assists. Attleboro was led for the second game in a row by Mackenzie Roberts, who scored eight, while Jordyn Lako and Liv McCall each had seven points.

Canton, 61 @ Foxboro, 86 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Franklin, 62 @ King Philip, 34 – FinalAli Brigham continued her strong start to the season, scoring 28 points to lead the Panthers to a second straight win. Franklin jumped in front 46-14 after three quarters with Megan O’Connell adding 19 points and Bea Bondhus scoring six. KP was led by Faye Veilleux with 14 points.

Milford, 41 @ Sharon, 54 – FinalTelishya Herbert scored a game-high and career-high 30 points, sparking the Eagles to their first win of the season. Emma Eberhardt added eight points in the win. Emma Lawrence scored 22 of Milford’s 41 points in the loss, which was a career-high for her, and Katie Maietta had eight in the loss.

North Attleboro, 51 @ Stoughton, 62 – FinalSophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe bounced back from a tough opener against OA with 19 points, seven assists, and four steals, while junior Aliyah Wright had 18 points and eight rebounds to get the Black Knights their first win of the season. Senior Lindsay McDonald double-digit rebounds for the second straight game, pulling down 18 boards in the win.

Oliver Ames, 63 @ Taunton, 51 – FinalOA pulled away late in a close game that featured a lot of runs from both sides and moved to 2-0 on the season. Senior All Scolnick paced OA with 22 points and classmate Sadie Homer ran the game at the point for the Tigers. Taunton was led by Jaelyn Fernandez with 17 points and Sonya Fernandez with 12.

Boys Swimming
Foxboro, 36 @ Taunton, 49 – FinalA sophomore, a freshman, and an eighth grader all won a pair of events to lead the Tigers to a win in their first meet of the season. Sophomore Garrett Rainey won both the 200 free and the 500 free, freshman Tim Luc won the 200 IM (2:20.92) and the 100 fly (59.12), and eighth grader Gerald Grealish touched first in the 100 free (59.21) and 100 breaststroke (1:12.13). Taunton’s 200 medley relay of Brady Callahan, Peter Ye, Tim Luc, and Martin Dafov and 400 free relay of Callahan, Grealish, Ye, and Luc both took first. The Warriors took first and second in the 200 relay with Ben Dorman, Thomas Perry, Dimitrios Davis, and Thomas VanDell taking first in 1:57 and the team of Jared Roke, Kris Andersen, Spencer SanBento, and Joseph St. Pierre coming in second. VanDell added a second place finish in the 50 free for Foxboro.

Franklin, 36 @ Stoughton, 7 – Final

Girls Swimming
Foxboro, 53 @ Taunton, 41 – FinalFoxboro took first place in six individual races and one relay race to earn a victory over Taunton. Pam Nelson and Lindsey Nelson earned a pair of wins, with Pam touching first in the 200 IM (2:31) and the 100 free (1:02) and Lindsey winning the 500 free (6:21) and 100 breaststroke (1:24), Sarah Egan won the 200 free (2:29) and Gina Ouellette earned first in the 100 fly (1:14). Foxboro’s 200 relay team of Nelson, Nelson, Ooullette and Egan earned first in 2:01. For Taunton, freshman Angelina Lynch won the 50 free (27.12) and eighth grader Tiffany Ye won the 100 backstroke (1:09.42). Taunton’s 200 medley relay of Jacalin Gallagher, Ye, Marisa Gay, and Lynch and the 400 free relay of Gallagher, Macey Jorge, Gay, and Ye both took first place.

Franklin, 73 @ Stoughton, 31 – FinalFranklin’s 200 free relay team of Heather McCarthy, Alyssa LaPuma, Katie Chew, and Katie Cashin qualified for sectionals with a time of 1:53.97.

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2018-2019 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2017-2018 Record: 13-10
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Mark Houle

Expectations are high for the Attleboro Bombardiers, who return all but one player from last year’s squad that won 13 games and qualified for the D1 South tournament. While the majority of the roster is made up of juniors (eight), the Bombardiers have a wealth of experience with almost all players having played at least one year, with a handful with two.

With experience comes options for veteran head coach Mark Houle. The Bombardiers expect to be able to play fast in transition but also slow down and execute in the half court. Attleboro boasts some of the top big men in the league and will look to use that to its advantage. Junior Qualeem Charles (6’5) was selected as a Hock All Star last year and will be a key piece on both sides of the ball with fellow big men Jason Weir, Lorenzo Wilson and Nolan Jaeger looking to factor in.

Junior Bryant Ciccio, also a Hockomock All Star last season, will be the quarterback of the offense from the point guard position. With two years of varsity experience already, Ciccio could be poised for a big season. Seniors Mason Houle and Kevin Velazquez both made big splashes last year and will be key pieces in the frontcourt this year. Velazquez provides high energy and can be a big threat from deep while Houle is a strong two-way player that will make plays on both ends of the court.

“We have several returning players with one or two years of varsity experience and will rely on them to be consistently working hard on both ends of the court,” said Mark Houle. “Our strength will be a strong inside game on offense…[and] our guard play will have multiple players able to handle pressure, score and contribute.”

Canton

2017-2018 Record: 16-5
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Ryan Gordy

The Bulldogs are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory. This season, the Bulldogs will be looking to improve each day and adjust to a new style of play that fits the personnel best.

While three starters are gone, one starter that is back is Devin Foster, a Hockomock League All Star and HockomockSports.com First Team selection a year ago. Foster is a dynamic player that can be a nightmare for opposing defenses trying to stop him. He can shoot the three and really improved on his ability to finish around the rim last year.

Senior Paul Corcoran and junior Kyle Fitzgerald both had starts last season and head coach Ryan Gordy is looking for both players, along with versatile guard Ryan Lentol, to take a big step on the court this season. Corcoran is a strong defender, Fitzgerald will handle the point, and Lentol will do a little bit of everything for the Dogs. All three have a good amount of varsity experience and will be relied upon to be leaders on the court.

“Our culture in our foundation, and our veteran leadership sets the tone for the program,” Gordy said. “If we stay growth oriented this could be a fun season, players are committed to continuous improvement and that’s a pleasure to coach.”

Foxboro

2017-2018 Record: 19-5
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jon Gibbs

Foxboro had a memorable 2018 season, earning 19 wins and sharing the Davenport division title with Canton. But with four of the five starters from that team gone, the 2019 Warriors will try to create their own identity while trying to replicate the success.

The one starter back is junior Brandon Borde (11.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.7 apg) and his two years of experience on varsity will be vital as role players switch to starters and new role players emerge. Borde is a talented guard that can hurt teams in a variety of ways but his strength allows him to finish around the rim in tough situations.

Senior Anthony Mollica had a bit of a coming out party during the end of last season, emerging as an offensive threat for the Warriors. Head coach Jon Gibbs expects more of that throughout this season and will be looking for the likes of Will Morrison, Liam Devlin, Ryan Hughes, and Kevin Gallagher — all players with varsity experience, to step up this year. While Foxboro will likely rely on its defense again this year, three-point shooting should be a strength on the offensive side.

“Right now the focus is on getting better each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been competitive. Guys are fighting hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we can continue to defend and rebound at a high level, we have a chance to be very successful.”

Franklin

2017-2018 Record: 23-4
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 State Final
Coach: CJ Neely

The Panthers have reached the D1 State Final each of the past two seasons and it looks like they have the tools to try and make a third straight appearance. Franklin brings back two of the top players in the Hockomock League in senior Jalen Samuels and junior Chris Edgehill.

Both Samuels (13.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Edgehill (17.1 ppg, 3.5 apg) have a wealth of varsity experience that the Panthers will rely on as others battle for minutes in the rotation. Edgehill is one of the most dangerous guards offensively and can score in a variety of ways while Samuels can present a matchup problem for most teams. Will Harvey also has varsity experience and will likely see an increased role in the 2018-2019 season.

The rest of the rotation is up for grabs but there is a lot of choices for head coach CJ Neely, who noted there is a strong amount of depth and balance on this year’s squad. Unsurprisingly, Franklin will be focused on causing problems on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers have been known as a gritty defensive squad and they are looking to continue that tradition this year. Offensively, Neely is hoping unselfishness and outside shooting will help replicate the success of previous seasons.

“It will be a season long battle for minutes and guys will have to earn our trust through defensive intensity and unselfish play on offense,” Neely said. “Our goal is to focus on the process of competing hard and improving each day and the results will reflect our daily effort and attitude.”

King Philip

2017-2018 Record: 4-16
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave DeStefano

First-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping hard work in the offseason will translate into success on the court this year for the King Philip Warriors. DeStefano is the Warriors fifth head coach in the last eight seasons but his familiarity with the Hockomock League (former JV coach at Foxboro) should give him a boost right away.

While the Warriors had only four wins last year, half of their 16 losses came by six points or less, including to D2 State Champions Tech Boston (74-71) and division foes Attleboro and Taunton. King Philip is hoping it can be on the right side of those contests this season. Bruce Santillus and Timmy Nault are the two returning starters from last year, and both showed they are capable of taking over games on the offensive end. Santillus is a versatile player that can score in many ways and is tough in one-on-one matchups. Nault provides a lot of energy on both ends and can give the team a spark when needed.

DeStefano is looking for seniors Tyler Nault, Ian Khung, and Michael O’Brien to build on their minutes from last year and have increased roles for 2018-2019. Junior Andrew McKinney showed a lot of promise last year and could be a big contributor for the Warriors this year. Senior Terry Jacobs-Baston gives KP a nice post presence along with junior Tommy Donahue (6’5) and senior Sam Sesay (6’2). Juniors Alex Fritz, Chris Roy, and Adam Nicastro will all be in the mix for minutes as well.

“The boys have really worked hard this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The practices have been really competitive and physical. For us to be successful we will need to make a big commit on the defensive end of the floor. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops.”

Mansfield

2017-2018 Record: 27-2
2017-2018 Finish: D1 State Champions
Coach: Mike Vaughan

While the D1 State Championship is in the rearview mirror, expectations are still sky high for Mansfield, who has won six straight Hock Kelley-Rex titles, tying a streak from OA in the 1980s for the longest title run. With a handful of players back and a strong mix of new faces Mansfield will be aiming for its seventh straight.

The Hornets will rely on their most experienced players early on with Damani Scott, Tommy Dooling, and Khristian Conner back. All three have starting experience, and beyond that, a wealth of varsity minutes in the regular season and postseason. Scott had a terrific playoff run last year and could be one of the top players in the Hock this year. Dooling is a talented guard that can hurt teams from deep while Conner can score from all over the floor.

Beyond that trio, there are a handful of new faces trying to establish time in the lineup and rotation. Junior Sam Stevens and sophomores Matt Boen and TJ Guy are top candidates to find time in the rotation. Stevens and Guy both have good size and will give the Hornets a presence in the post while Boen is a crafty guard that will likely contribute offensively right away. Expect Makhi Baskin, Jack Mousette, and Drew Rooney to be in the mix as well.

“We’re looking forward to getting the season started with new faces,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “We’ll have our early challenges getting the new faces up to speed with the varsity level of play, but it’s a talented group, they are working hard, and they are getting better each day. It should be an exciting year as the league looks to be super competitive as always.”

Milford

2017-2018 Record: 13-10
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central Semifinal
Coach: Paul Seaver

While the Hawks have some experience back this year, it will be key for the new faces to get up to speed as Milford looks to compete for a Davenport division title. Seniors Brendan White, Brendon Sailer, and Steve Sutherland are all back after either starting or playing a lot of minutes last season and will be relied upon, especially early, to guide the Hawks through a difficult schedule.

White was Milford’s leading scorer last season with 14 points per game in the regular season so he will be a key piece for the Hawks again this year. Sailer is a good ball handler and will handle point guard duties. He’s a strong defender and can distribute the ball well, but he is also able to get to the rim or shoot from deep. Sutherland provides the Hawks with an experienced presence in the post but can step out and hit shots as well.

Junior Colby Pires is coming off a successful season on the gridiron and will see a lot of minutes on the court and senior Danny Corsini can provide a spark on the offensive end with his shooting. Sophomore Dom Schofield stands at 6’5 so he can be a matchup problem for some teams in the league while classmate Jordan Darling can do a little bit of everything and could have a breakout year for the Scarlet Hawks.

“Our goal is to simply get better with each passing day,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We have a lot of newcomers this season and are facing one of our toughest schedules in years. Our goal is to build chemistry and work towards qualifying for the state tournament for a fourth consecutive season.”

North Attleboro

2017-2018 Record: 9-11
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins

After just missing out on the postseason a year ago, North Attleboro is hoping a strong senior class can help the Rocketeers return to the postseason and compete for a Davenport division title. Big Red boasts nine seniors, including three starters and a handful of guys that played plenty of minutes a year ago.

Leading scoring Josh Montague (13.7 points per game) is back and will be one of the top guards in the Hock. He plays well on both ends of the court but really came into his own as a scorer as the season progressed last year. Senior Jacob Petersen, standing at 6’6, will be one of the toughest matchups in the league and his ability to play as a true post player gives North an advantage over other teams. He is also a force on defense that can prevent easy buckets in the paint. Senior Nate Gonsalves improved throughout last year and could be poised for a breakout season for Big Red.

Senior Evan Rosenberg will likely be tasked with guarding some of the top players in the league because of his strong defensive play. Seniors Adam Falcone, Jonathan James, Joe Milosh and Matt Seavey all played last year and that experience will be key as they factor into the rotation again this year. Junior Ethan Friberg got valuable minutes last year and can score in a variety of ways while also giving Big Red size at 6’4. Sophomore George Ladd will be making his varsity debut but is expected to provide North with a spark on offense.

“We are extremely excited about the 2018-2019 season,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “Led by our nine seniors, we hope we can build off of last year’s momentum. We have an extremely intelligent group of players that is coachable, hardworking, and determined. We believe our cohesiveness and depth will allow us to be successful.”

Oliver Ames

2017-2018 Record: 8-13
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Don Byron

The Tigers found themselves in an unfamiliar place at the end of last year – on the outside looking in for the postseason. This year, Oliver Ames is hoping to blend a mix of returners, role players, and new faces — both from JV and transfers — into a competitive group that will look to begin a new postseason streak.

A major challenge will be replacing Hockomock League All Star and HockomockSports.com First Team selection Jack Spillane, who led the Hock in scoring during the regular season with 22.3 points per game. The Tigers will aim to have a much more balanced approach this season players that can contribute at each position. It will begin with returning starters Ethan Eckstrom and Jake Erlich, both seniors. Both Eckstrom and Erlich will spend the majority of their time in or around the paint and will be key defensive pieces as well. Sean O’Brien, who mostly came off the bench but was one of the team leaders in minutes, is a high-energy player that contributes on both ends of the court.

Senior Harry DeChellis was slated to be a big contributor for the Tigers last year before suffering a season ending injury so OA is hoping he will step right in and be a leader. Jay Spillane and Ryan Burkett both had successful seasons on JV a year ago and will factor in the rotation while transfers Amari Brown, a sophomore guard, and Evan Craig, a junior forward, both will be impact players right away.

“We should be a lot more balanced on offense, it should spread around,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “It’s one of those teams where we have the ability to score at all positions, as well as the guys off the bench. It might change each night but we have a lot of guys that are capable of contributing.”

Sharon

2017-2018 Record: 4-16
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Andrew Ferguson

The Eagles are aiming to improve on both ends of the court this year and are looking to compete for the Davenport title and a trip to the state tournament. After missing out on the playoffs each of the last two seasons, the Eagles are looking to ride a mix of experienced players to try and get back to the postseason.

Sharon will rely heavily on its three senior captains: Aaron Strong, Ben Kaplan, and Alex Kaufmann. Strong is a versatile guard that can be a pest on the defensive end of the court; Kaplan makes a lot of things happen on both ends and was having a strong season as a junior before seeing it cut short to injury; and Kaufmann is in his third year on varsity and is capable of having big scoring games any given night.

Athleticism will be something the Eagles rely on this year on both sides of the ball. Beyond the three senior captains, juniors Andrew Burton, Aidan Kane, and Alec Filipkowski all saw varsity minutes and should be factors as their roles increase this season. Juniors Cameron Baker and Caleb Gayle will also factor into the rotation in the frontcourt.

“This is a very tight knit, energized group and they are continually pushing each other to get better every day,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We have a good mix of experience and youth to provide depth at multiple positions. We are replacing a lot of offense from last year and have a lot of players vying for those opportunities.”

Stoughton

2017-2018 Record: 6-14
2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: John Gallivan

The Black Knights are hoping a balanced attack on offense and a commitment to defense will result in 10 wins and a trip to the state tournament. Stoughton has five players back with varsity experience so the Knights will lean on those players early as head coach John Gallivan tries to fit a handful of new faces from JV and outside the program into the rotation.

Senior captains Zak Paquette, Josh Cocchi, and Kevin Dixon will be key not only for their contributions on the court but for their leadership as well. They are all experienced players that Gallivan will lean on as he figures out what the best rotations will be.

Senior Ajahn Rue is another returnee and brings a lot of talent to the point guard position while junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell got his feet wet on varsity a year ago and could see an increased role in the 2018-2019 season. After those five, Gallivan is looking for some new faces to step up and establish themselves as go-to options for the Black Knights.

“We are hoping to have more of a balanced attack on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor than we have had in the past,” Gallivan said.

taunton

2017-2018 Record: 12-11
2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Charlie Dacey

This year’s version of the Taunton Tigers will be relying on tempo to try and run past the competition in the Hockomock League. Taunton boasts speed throughout the lineup and is hoping that it can use that — offensively and defensively — to its advantage this year. But if necessary, the Tigers can also slow it down and execute in the half court.

Senior guard John Martins and junior forward Dante Law are returning seniors from a season ago and both are quick players that bring experience to a team that is looking to use its speed to emphasize its open court skills. Martins is a steady player that can do a lot of things on both ends of the court and Law is looking to take the next step forward after some strong outings as a sophomore.

Senior Lou Vendrell is back and had a lot of offensive skill that the Tigers will need, especially his outside shot. Similar to Law, junior Naz Kenion had some breakout moments a year ago and Taunton will be looking for more production out of him this season. Prince Brown brings a year of varsity experience back and can provide an offensive spark with his shooting. Senior Mike Quinn rounds out the backcourt while Wesner Charles and Tyler Stewart provide the Tigers with size down low.

“Tempo will be the key this year,” said longtime Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “The roster has some depth and there is speed at every position.”

Bulldogs Answer the Call in First Home Playoff Game

Canton football
Canton junior running back Kyle Fitzgerald had a big game, including a pair of touchdowns, as the Bulldogs beat Hanover in the program’s first home playoff game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – At the final whistle, there wasn’t the type of celebration you would expect from a team that just played its first playoff game in decades, not to mention its first ever playoff game in front of its home fans. There was a quiet, subdued feeling as the Canton players surrounded their coaches to talk about a 27-13 win against no. 5 seed Hanover on Friday night at WWII Veterans Memorial Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think it was a learning experience,” said Canton coach Dave Bohane. “They are very excited about next week and believe me they are very happy but what you’re seeing there is more relief that the penalties and turnovers didn’t cost them.”

Junior running back Kyle Fitzgerald remarked, “Obviously, it was awesome. We came out here looking to win and we were confident. We had to overcome adversity, we had a whole lot of penalties and stuff, but we got it done. It feels good.”

While penalties slowed the game down, and cut short a couple of potential scoring drives for the hosts, Canton showed its resiliency in the second half. Hanover, which had struggled to sustain anything on offense, twice scored on big plays to cut the lead down to just a touchdown, but both times the Bulldogs answered with long possessions to extend the lead.

“It’s been the same thing all year, since the first game against D-R (Dighton-Rehoboth) when we were down at halftime, we came back,” Fitzgerald explained. “I know my team will come back after any adversity.”

Canton doesn’t have a lot of experience with the football playoffs, but the Bulldogs came out flying in the first quarter to jump in front by a couple scores.

After stuffing the Indians on the opening kickoff, the Canton defense forced a three-and-out and took over at its own 48. The offense went right to work with junior quarterback Johnny Hagan showing off his ability to make plays with his feet (15 carries, 87 yards) and his arm (7-of-17, 80 yards). He hit Gersom Rivera for a 23-yard completion on third down to get inside the five and then two plays later Brendan Albert punched it in from two yards out.

The Bulldogs were trying to send a message and they forced another three-and-out from the Hanover offense. On fourth down, punter Jack Delahunt rolled out to the far sideline and tried to make it to the sticks only to be cut down a yard short. Canton got the ball at the Indians 24.

Bohane said, “They wanted a finesse game and we wanted a power game and I thought we needed at the very beginning of the game we needed play on our terms. I thought for the most part we did, maybe to the point that we were a little over-aggressive and dealt with a lot of penalties.”

Hagan got 16 yards on second and 17 and then Rivera gained nine over a pair of carries. Fitzgerald (19 carries, 143 yards) took it from there, finding a seam from five yards out for a 14-0 lead at the end of the first 11 minutes.

“It kind of got the jitters out of our stomachs and gave us some breathing room,” said Fitzgerald about the quick start. “Obviously, they came back so if we didn’t have that lead early on then it could’ve been a different game.”

The game really could have been over by halftime. The defense continued to put pressure on Hanover quarterback Andrew Carroll, including a big pass rush from junior Jack Connolly and then a sack from Albert to get the ball back.

Canton marched right back into Hanover territory, with Hagan converting a fourth down play with a four-yard keeper. Fitzgerald then had the highlight of the night on a sweep to the left for 32 yards in which he hurdled a Hanover defensive back before being brought down at the Indians six. On the next play, the Bulldogs fumbled a handoff and lost possession.

After another defensive stand, the Bulldogs offense went on the move again. Fitzgerald had another big gain, this time for 35 yards, and Canton got as far as the Hanover 15 but then a holding call and a sack forced them back. A last-second pass to Rivera was tipped away and it was 14-0 at the break.

“I was very concerned that we didn’t put it away in the first half,” Bohane admitted. “We don’t commit a lot of turnovers but that was a turnover at the wrong time and it gave them a chance and we were fighting for the game into the fourth quarter.”

On its first possession of the second half, Hanover stunned the Canton crowd (and sideline) by finally finding a big play on offense. Despite Albert getting into the backfield and hitting Carroll as he threw, the Indians signal caller was able to get the ball downfield to Drew Berard, who beat his coverage for a 60-yard score.

The Bulldogs answered with a 17-play, 70-yard drive to regain the two-score advantage and eat up the final 8:44 of the third quarter. Hagan found Ryan Lentol on an eight-yard completion to convert a big third down and then Fitzgerald on a comeback route for nine yards on a fourth and eight. On third down, Hagan then connected with Jace Emma for a 13-yard score and a 20-7 lead.

“There were times that we didn’t move the chains when we needed it, like North Attleboro in the third quarter when we needed a big drive,” Bohane said, “So here we are a week later and we needed it and we got it. We had to make some adjustments but it was enough to win.”

Hanover came right back with a even more shocking play. On fourth and one, the Bulldogs had Evan Ritchie caught in the backfield, but he slipped out of the grasp of a would-be tackler and bolted up the Hanover sideline for a 66-yard score.

Rather than getting down, Canton just went back to work on offense, grinding out a 12-play, 72-yard, six-minute drive that sealed the win. Hagan gained 29 yards on a pair of keepers and had an 18-yard pass to Fitzgerald to get to the Hanover 20. After Fitzgerald got the Bulldogs got the ball to the two, Hagan was denied on a pair of sneaks, so the Bulldogs went back to Fitzgerald for the one-yard score to seal the win with three minutes to play.

Next Friday, Canton (7-1) will travel to Falmouth to face the top seeded Clippers. Fitzgerald was already looking forward to the trip. He said, “Foxboro almost did it tonight. (The Warriors lost 22-14 to Falmouth.) We know we can play with these guys. We were four points away from a potential one-seed, so we’re confident.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Late Stop Lifts North Attleboro To Share Of Davenport

North Attleboro football
North Attleboro’s Nick Raneri dives forward as Canton’s Kyle Fitzgerald (left) and Gersom Rivera attempt to bring him down. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
CANTON, Mass. – The North Attleboro football team has waited all season for its defense to come up with a game-changing play.

In the final regular season game, with their backs against the wall and a chance to share the Davenport division on the line, the defense finally delivered.

With just over a minute to go, Canton found itself inside the red zone down by four. On second and eight from the 18, the Bulldogs went for the go-ahead score. Junior quarterback Johnny Hagan was forced to throw under pressure, and junior Gersom Rivera waited in the end zone with open arms, but North Attleboro senior Omar Jasseh made a terrific leaping interception to rob Canton of a touchdown, securing a 14-10 win for the Rocketeers.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We’ve been all waiting all year [for that],” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “We really haven’t gotten a big play on defense all year. We’ve been hanging in and hanging in, and relying on our offense to chew up the clock. Tonight we needed our defense to step up and we finally got that big play.

“I was thinking it should have happened on three different plays, it felt like we could have picked it off. I think our kids were playing a little tentative and didn’t want to get burned deep when they probably could have made a play on the ball.”

Canton started its drive at the own 48 with 3:28 left in the game. After an incompletion and a three-yard rush, the Bulldogs quickly faced a third and seven scenario.

Hagan hit Ryan Lentol on a hitch route for eight yards to move the sticks, Rivera (seven carries, 35 yards) picked up six yards on the ground, and two plays later Hagan linked up with Jace Emma for 15-yards to get to the North 20-yard line. Two plays later, Jasseh made the play in the end zone to deny the Bulldogs the Davenport title outright.

“Credit to North, the pass rush started to get to us a bit,” said Canton head coach Dave Bohane. “Johnny is a competitor, he tried to win the game, and he took a shot. North has good coaches, and they brought some kids, and I think they made Johnny get rid of the ball differently than he normally would. But I’m proud of my guys, they battled right to the wire as usual.

“We’ve come a long way. To be in a game of this magnitude, and still have some meaningful games to look forward to, that’s good for the program. I think we have a little rivalry with North Attleboro now. To win the Hockomock League is an accomplishment, and this was a pretty good game tonight. So I think this puts us in a good position heading into the playoffs.”

It was an exciting end to a second half that was dominated by both defenses. Before its final drive of the game, Canton’s first three chances of the second half all resulted in punts. The Bulldogs moved the ball 37 yards on their second drive, advancing into North territory but back-to-back negative plays forced a punt.

North Attleboro’s offense didn’t fare much better, but it was enough. The Rocketeers had a little success on their first drive of the second half, but a sack from Brendan Albert put North in a hole, and Canton forced a turnover on downs at midfield.

After getting the ball back, the Rocketeers hit the home run play they were looking for, but only after converting a fourth down. On 3rd and 16th, the Rocketeers spread things out but went with a QB draw and Nick Raneri (15 carries, 74 yards) sprinted up the middle for 15 yards. At their own 44, North went for it, and Raneri pounded his way for two yards and a first down.

On the next play, senior Brendan McHugh (12 carries, 106 yards) came across from the right side for a sweep but instead of going all the way across, the senior cut back up a gap on the right side and sprinted for a 54-yard touchdown to put North Attleboro up 14-10 with 54 seconds to go in the third quarter.

It was the only scoring play of the second half.

“We decided to try and spread them out a bit with our formation,” Johnson said of changes in the second half. “We were running a lot of double tight early, and we had success on the first drive of the game, but they have a hell of a defense and shut us down. At halftime, we thought we could loosen them up with the formation, and I think that helped free up McHugh a little.”

The Rocketeers had an ideal start to the contest. Canton’s first drive picked up 33 yards but stalled and was forced to punt. North’s offense went right to work, starting at its own 10-yard line.

North needed just five plays to go almost the entire length of the field. Raneri ran for 10 yards, McHugh went off for 14 yards, Raneri scrambled to find Ryan Gaumond for 42 yards and then went back to the ground for 20 more yards himself.

On first and goal, Raneri kept it himself and went in from four yards out for a 7-0 lead with 5:55 to go in the first.

“McHugh really has it all, he’s fast and he probably doesn’t get enough credit for his toughness,” Bohane said. “He runs hard and he’s a hard kid to bring down, especially with his speed. One of our coaches said he’s the best back in the league and at times he certainly looked like it. He’s good and Raneri is a handful, and they made some really nice play calls with him at the right time.”

The Bulldogs finally got things going offensively right at the end of the first quarter. Hagan ran for seven yards and hit Emma for a third down conversion. On the final play of the opening quarter, Hagan hit Kyle Fitzgerald (96 all purpose yards) up the seam for a 39-yard pass.

On the first play of the second quarter, Hagan pitched it to Rivera on the right side and the junior scampered in to make it 7-7.

Canton’s defense got a stop to get the ball back and used eight plays to move into North territory, gaining 43 yards. But a holding play hurt the drive and the Bulldogs settled for a 34-yard field goal from junior Owen Lehane, taking a 10-7 lead into halftime.

The win gives North Attleboro a share of the 2018 Davenport division title, marking the fourth straight year that the Rocketeers have won a league title. It’s the first time in program history that North has won four straight.

“It was big for us to still have a chance at the title,” Johnson said after losing to Stoughton last week. “This is our fourth consecutive title for us, no North Attleboro team has ever won four in a row. The loss last week was also our first loss in the league since 2014, so the kids were feeling down about that too. But they still had an opportunity in front of them to do what no other senior group has done, so that was a real motivator.

“[Canton] is a hell of a football team. We’re sharing the title with them, and they deserve that share of it. They have a great football team over there, and the scary thing is they are all juniors, but I’ll worry about that next year.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“As high as we were for this game, we can kind of breath a little bit and focus on the playoffs,” Bohane said. “We’re really excited to be in the playoffs and I honestly can’t wait to find out who we’re playing and get to work. We wanted to win this game badly but we wanted to play competitive and come out healthy. And I think we’re in a good position moving forward.”

North Attleboro football (4-1 Hockomock, 5-2 overall) likely earns a home game in the D3 South playoffs with the victory, though final seeds aren’t announced until late in the weekend. The Rocketeers will also likely return to Community Field for the first round playoff game. Canton (4-1, 6-1) will also likely host a game in Division 5 South.