Strong Start Sends Sharon Past Visiting King Philip

Sharon boys basketball Matt Baur
Sharon junior Matt Baur (game-high 19 points) takes a shot over King Philip’s Trevor Clyde in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 SHARON, Mass. — The Sharon boys basketball team is starting to make a habit out of good starts.

For the second straight game, the Eagles scored 22 points in the first quarter to establish a double-digit lead that it never relinquished for the remainder of the game.

Despite holding just a one-point edge over the final three quarters, Sharon secured a comfortable 71-53 win over visiting King Philip after a near-flawless start.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Besides Saturday we really hadn’t been starting well this season so we knew we had to jump on them,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We were a little worried there would be a little bit of a let down after Saturday so I was glad to see they had that energy right from the top.”

The Eagles sliced through the Warriors’ defense early and often, hitting its first six field goals from inside the three-point line (8-for-12 from two-point in the first quarter). Ryan Zunenshine (nine points) and John Baez (four points, 10 assists) each had a pair of layups, sophomore Nate Katznelson attacked the rim for two, and Matt Baur converted a putback to get the offense going.

Senior Will Hippler and sophomore Jacob McLoughlin each added a three, Donyae Pierre (10 rebounds) converted a putback, and Tyler Goodman scored on a breakaway just before the buzzer after a steal from Baur (game-high 19 points, three rebounds).

On the other hand, King Philip tried to spark its offense from three-point range but was unable to hit on eight attempts over the first eight minutes.

The result was a 22-5 advantage for the hosts, a lead that eventually peaked at 24 points in the third quarter and shrunk to as few as 13 points in the fourth, but never went below double-figures to keep the Eagles in front from start to finish.

“That was obviously the difference in the game, they came out and punched us in the face right away,” said King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano. “We did not do a good job responding to it. I think we need to figure out who we are defensively, figure out our identity right now. We’re just too lackadaisical and just expecting the next guy to make a play so we have to figure it out as a team.”

It was relatively even the rest of the way. Sharon put up another 20 points in the second quarter but King Philip’s offense got going with 16 points, despite another quarter without hitting a three.

King Philip had some momentum coming out of half as senior Danny Clancy (four points, 10 rebounds) laid it in for two on a second chance opportunity after Braeden Sottile wrestled his way to an offensive rebound. The Warriors then forced back-to-back turnovers, the first leading to a layup from Sottile on a feed from Will Laplante (nine points, three rebounds, three assists), and the second two free throws from Sottile (13 points, six rebounds).

Sharon boys basketball

Sharon was quick to answer on a nice drive from Zunenshine, and after getting a stop, Katznelson (14 points, six rebounds, two blocks) scored through contact for two more. Baez then grabbed two quick assists, first feeding Katznelson down low and then taking advantage of a KP turnover, hitting Baur in transition for two more.

“Part of the halftime talk was about last night [Stoughton/Canton game] and we’ve been on the other side of games like this before, we came back from 20-points against King Philip a couple of years ago,” Ferguson said. “It’s always in the back of your mind, especially in this league. They had a quick start to the second half but our guys were able to respond.

“We spend 60-70% of practice on defense and I think it’s really starting to bear some fruit this year. John Baez has been unbelievable on the defensive end so far this year and the rest of the team is buying in and especially rebounding the ball. Donyae Pierre came off the bench and grabbed 10 rebounds so when you can get guys to buy into specific roles, your team defense benefits from that.”

Sottile had four points early in the fourth and then a pair of hustle plays from sophomore Trevor Clyde (nine points, four rebounds, three blocks) — first a steal and then an offensive rebound — turned into a three from Sottile and the Warriors capped what turned out to be a 19-8 run over the course of the third quarter and first few minutes of the fourth.

That run cut Sharon’s once 24-point lead down to 13 at 58-45 with just six minutes under to play.

Sharon boys basketball

Sharon, which got threes from Zunenshine and Katznelson in the opening quarter, went without a three in the second and third quarters. The Warriors switched to a 2-3 zone and limited the Eagles’ shooting for the most part.

“I think defensively they did a very good job of getting in our face and made us uncomfortable, and we couldn’t get into a groove,” DeStefano said. “They did a good job with our shooters, we didn’t get many clean looks and it forced us to play out of our element a little bit. And they pressured us with some good hard cuts and it seemed like we were a step late each time.

“They got every 50-50 ball, and anytime it felt like we might make a run they seemed to respond with an offensive rebound or coming up with that 50-50 ball and it just killed our momentum.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

But when they needed a big shot, the Eagles got it off the bench as senior Sam Cohen gave the offense a spark with a three on the ensuing possession. After a turnover, Baez notched another assist by finding Jack Bates wide open for another three, and just like that, the lead ballooned to 64-45 with five minutes to play.

“We want everyone to share the ball, if we can turn down a good shot to get a great shot, we want to. We didn’t shoot the ball well [from three] but I thought we took the ball to the basket really well today which was something we hadn’t done well the last couple of games,” Ferguson said. “So seeing that and making that adjustment was huge for us.”

Sharon boys basketball (4-1 Hockomock, 6-1 overall) will look to make it five wins in a row when it hosts Foxboro in a crucial clash of Davenport contenders on Friday night while King Philip (0-3, 1-4) returns home in search of its first league win when it hosts Milford on the same day.

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2020-2021 Record: 10-6
Coach: Mark Houle

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

After trotting out an entirely new lineup during the shortened COVID season a year ago, Attleboro is looking to build upon the foundation it built and contend for a Kelley-Rex title in a very deep division.

Senior Evan Houle and junior Trevor White are the two returning starters from a year ago but the Bombardiers have a lot of players back that saw valuable minutes off the bench as well. Houle and White both averaged 10 points per game a year ago and will be two of the main options on the offensive end of the court. Alvin Harrison and Joe Francois both played solid minutes last year and give the Bombardiers some size in the paint. Jake Struminski, Christian Dame, and Michael Beverly all played throughout last season and should be in the mix again this year.

The Bombardiers are getting a big boost in the backcourt with the addition of senior Colin Morais, who transferred in after playing in Rhode Island last year. Morais can score in a variety of ways and can really catch fire from three-point range so he will be a welcome addition to the lineup. Sophomore Neo Franco could see an expanded role right away and help provide additional defensive intensity and some scoring punch. Seniors Hayden Hagerty, senior Nathan Hunter-Evans, and junior Jaiden Outland give the Bombardiers some quality depth on the roster.

“I have been very impressed with our work ethic and how our players have set high standards in practice every day,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “I credit our recent graduates for the past several years who set the high expectations for our teams to work hard, be good teammates, and earn our success in practice. We’re looking forward to the always challenging Hockomock League schedule. We must be prepared and be ready to compete at a high level every game.”

Canton

2020-2021 Record: 4-9
Coach: Eric MacKinnon

A new chapter begins for the Bulldogs with Eric MacKinnon taking over as head coach after Ryan Gordy stepped down to take an athletics administrative position with Canton. MacKinnon, a former Hockomock League All-Star for Oliver Ames, has experience coaching at both the high school and collegiate levels and will try to guide a relatively inexperienced group through a tough league schedule.

Canton graduated seven seniors from last year’s team that accounted for nearly 90% of the team’s points scored last year. But with that loss comes a lot of new opportunities for new players to fit into the lineup and rotation. Senior Lanse Dorcelus possesses the most experience of anyone on the roster after getting pulled up to varsity his freshmen year and seeing an expanded role in each of the past two seasons. He could be primed for a breakout year with his ability to attack the rim, and he can score in bunches when he gets going.

Dorcelus is joined by Dillon Nguyen, Conor Hunter, and Nate Mei as returners from last year. All three of those players know what it’s like to play at the varsity level in the Hockomock League so MacKinnon will be leaning on their experience as the Bulldogs try to navigate through a very challenging schedule. MacKinnon is hoping to have the Dogs playing with pace in the halfcourt and will be looking to have a balanced attack on offense with a presence in the post but also a roster that can hit from outside.

“We have a mix of guys who have had varsity experience along with some juniors who weren’t able to swing last year because of covid protocols,” MacKinnon said. “We know we’ll need to be efficient offensively and be sound on the other end to compete every night in this league. We’ve made progress in our early practices and I’ve been impressed by our senior leadership.”

Foxboro

2020-2021 Record: 2-9
Coach: Jon Gibbs

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

There were a lot of growing pains for the Warriors last season, resulting in a 2-9 record during the shortened COVID season. But with its entire starting lineup back plus some added depth, Foxboro could be looking at a worst-to-first type turnaround in 2022.

Senior Dylan Gordon, fresh off an incredible football season for the Warriors, had a breakout season a year ago and was one of the leading scorers in the Hock at 16 points per game. He’s joined by junior Alex Penders, who had some dominant moments at times last year in the paint and averaged 13.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, and juniors Ryan LeClair, Sam Golub (6.4 PPG), and Sean O’Leary. Juniors Andrew Finn and Cam Barreira both played solid minutes at points last year so the Warriors boast eight veteran players now, which is a vast difference from last year when everyone on the roster was making their varsity debut.

The Warriors will look to boast a balanced offensive attack and have the weapons to do so. Whether it’s Penders down low in the post, Gordon slashing to the basket, or Golub lighting it up from deep, Foxboro has options all over the court. Head coach Jon Gibbs is hoping the experience and chemistry the group gained last year will provide a strong foundation for this season. Defensively, the Warriors have some size and length that will allow them to protect the paint, contest shots, and rebound at a high level.

“We have a deep team this year,” Gibbs said. “Guys are pushing each other hard in practice every day as they work to carve out roles for themselves. If we can defend and rebound at a championship level, we have the potential for a very successful season.”







2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Franklin

2020-2021 Record: 6-5
Coach: CJ Neely

Last season marked the second straight year that the Panthers graduated a large senior class and that means there are a lot of opportunities for new faces to step into the starting lineup and expanded roles this year around.

While the Panthers will have an entirely new starting lineup, Franklin will most certainly be right in the mix in a Kelley-Rex division that is jammed-pack with talent. Gone are leading scorer Declan Walmsley (17.5 points per game) along with the next two leading scorers on last year’s roster in Andrew Byfield (10.2) and Jake O’Brien (9.9). Key depth pieces like Zach Harvey (4.5) and Alex Newman (3.6) also graduated so head coach CJ Neely will be working with some new options this year.

Sophomore Henry Digiorgio burst onto the scene as a freshman a year ago and he’s the top returning scorer at 5.4 points per game, although he did reach double figures in the scoring column three times. Sean Vinson and Ben Harvey are the other two players back in the fold that saw some minutes a season ago. But something we’ve seen Franklin do year-in and year-out is reload so there will certainly be some new names to emerge over the next couple of weeks.

While the players change, the style of Franklin basketball has been consistent for years and defense remains to be the calling card under Neely. The Panthers are always a team that puts a lot of pressure, moves the ball around on the offensive end, and incorporates a lot of motion off the ball to keep opposing defenses on their heels.

“Guys have really showed up ready to compete for jobs,” Neely said. “Obviously with five graduating starters from last year’s team there are a lot of roles up for grabs and practices have been great. We have had a very competitive preseason and it has shown that we have a lot of depth and it will be an ongoing battle all year to earn your spot and maintain your spot throughout the year.”

King Philip

2020-2021 Record: 0-10
Head Coach: Dave DeStefano

With a strong mix of experienced players and new faces, King Philip is looking to make some noise in a very talented and deep Kelley-Rex division, one of the best divisions in the state.

Head coach Dave DeStefano is back after missing the COVID season due to the birth of his son and has seven seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and two freshmen on the roster to work with this year. KP has a solid foundation with two returning starters back and both averaged double figures in the scoring column. Junior Will Laplante had a breakout year and will be someone every opposing defense will have to keep an eye on after averaging 16.4 points per game last year. And senior Danny Clancy is one of the hardest-working players and fights for a lot of rebounds on the offensive glass; he averaged 12.2 points per game last year.

Senior Charlie Grant, fresh off leading the King Philip football team to the state final at quarterback, is confident with the ball in his hands and will be like a quarterback for the offense by setting the tempo. Seniors Sean Sullivan and Braeden Sottile will be looking to build on their minutes from a season ago and could see expanded roles this go around. Seniors Will Martorano (6’5) and Drew Danson (6’3) should give the Warriors a big, physical presence in the paint. DeStefano is also expecting juniors Tommy Martorano, Grant Kinney, and Collin Peck to be in the mix after improving a lot over the offseason.

“The boys have really committed this offseason,” said DeStefano, who is hoping a combination of athleticism and physicality lead to success this year. “The practices so far have been really competitive and physical. We know that everyone in this league can score the ball and if we want to be successful we are going to have to commit on the defensive end of the floor. 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 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Mansfield

2020-2021 Record: 15-1 (Kelley-Rex division champions)
Coach: Mike Vaughan

Mansfield won another division title last season and expectations are sky high yet again this year, as the Hornets look to win their 10th straight Kelley-Rex division title and go on a deep tournament run.

While the Hornets reload every year, they have a pretty good head start this season already with senior Matt Hyland and junior Chris Hill back in the lineup. Both boast a lot of experience at the varsity level and are capable of being the best player on the court. Mansfield lost 1,000-point score Matt Boen (just the second player to reach that milestone under head coach Mike Vaughan despite all of the program’s success) to graduation so both Hyland and Hill will take on more responsibility on the offensive end of the floor.

Seniors Jack Lasbury-Casey, Andrew Slaney, and Anthony Sacchetti, along with sophomore Trevor Foley, all saw minutes during last year’s shortened COVID season and could be in line for expanded roles this year. Sacchetti has impressed in the preseason so far and the Hornets have played well with him on the floor, Foley (6’5) creates a lot of matchup problems with his size and athleticism, and both Lasbury-Casey and Slaney can give the offense a boost with their outside shooting.

Caden Colby, Dante James, and JT Veiking all are coming off very successful seasons of JV and the same goes for sophomore Eddie McCoy, who had a strong year on the freshmen squad. All four players are all in the mix for minutes and give the Hornets a very deep roster. The Hornets are looking to use their size and length to their advantage, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

“Overall the expectations are the same, we want to qualify for the tournament as quickly as possible by playing one game at a time, win the league title, and win multiple tournament games,” Vaughan said. “With the quality of the league and our tough non-league schedule, we have a challenge ahead of us but I think we have the pieces to be a very talented and quality basketball team on both ends of the floor.”




Milford

2020-2021 Record: 3-9
Coach: Paul Seaver

It’s not uncommon for a program to graduate its entire starting lineup, and it’s not even uncommon to see the majority of a roster turnover because of graduation. But Milford is in a unique situation in which it graduated its entire team. That’s right, Milford will boast a roster full of players without a minute of varsity experience.

Head coach Paul Seaver has four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen as the Hawks write a new chapter book in program history. Coaches in the Hockomock League will be checking in with their subvarsity coaches, and maybe even their metro coaches, to try and get an idea of what to expect from the Hawks this year.

While we’ll learn more about the Hawks as the season goes on, we do know one thing. Seaver will be leaning on the leadership of senior captains Nick Schuler and Paul Roberts. Both Schuler and Roberts have varsity experience in other sports so their leadership will be key for a program that will be experiencing this level for the first time.

“With a brand new crop of guys this season, we look to compete on both sides of the floor this year while working towards reestablishing the culture and environment of Milford basketball,” Seaver said.

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

North Attleboro

2020-2021 Record: 8-3
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins

The Rocketeers have a roster mixed with new faces and a handful of experienced players and are hoping that combination can lead to some success in a loaded Hockomock League.

After graduating just two seniors two years ago, North lost half of its roster from last year and all five were players that saw valuable minutes for head coach Sean Mukerrins. But on the plus side, the four players back all played a lot of minutes including starters and potential league all-stars Brody Rosenberg and Casey Poirier. Rosenberg was second on the team last year in scoring with 10.4 points per game last year and will need to take on more responsibility on the offensive end this year. Poirier is a capable guard that is confident with the ball in his hands and likes to spread the rock around.

Seniors Gavin Wells (6’3) and Nate Bennett (6’3) are the other two returners for the Big Red and both improved as the season went on last year. Wells emerged as a threat from the perimeter, dropping a season-high 13 points in a road win over Foxboro last season. Bennett can play in a variety of roles and he gives North some good size on the defensive end.

North has developed a reputation for being disciplined and well-prepared on the defensive end of the court, and that will likely be the strength for the squad again this year. On the offensive end, the Rocketeers will follow the lead of Rosenberg and Poirier as an unselfish group that is always looking for the best shot.

“We are excited to get the season started and see where we stack up against the rest of the Hockomock League,” Mulkerrins said. “After graduating a tremendous 2021 class, this group is excited to step in and carve our roles that will help our team succeed.”

Oliver Ames

2020-2021 Record: 9-1 (Davenport division champions)
Coach: Oliver Vil

Oliver Ames had a terrific showing during the shortened COVID season, winning the Davenport division in its first season back after four years in the Kelley-Rex division.

Oliver Vil takes over as head coach of the program after the untimely passing of legendary and Hall of Fame coach Don Byron in June. Byron coached through his battle with cancer for the past couple of seasons, leading the Tigers to the Davenport crown with a 9-1 record last winter.

Vil and the Tigers will honor Byron this season when they play Abington; Byron coached the Green Wave to a sectional title in his final season there before coming to Oliver Ames. The Tigers will be raising funds for Coaches vs. Cancer when they host Abington on December 23rd.

Vil, who was an assistant under Byron before taking the head coaching job at Walpole, has two key pieces back from last year’s squad. Senior Drew Baxter is a crafty guard that can really get going on the offensive side of the ball and score in a variety of ways; he will spearhead the offense while Jake Grimaldi, a senior co-captain, gives the Tigers some size down low. After graduating nine seniors from last year’s roster, there are a lot of opportunities for new faces to take advantage of.

“I look forward to continuing the great tradition at OA,” Vil said. “There are big shoes to fill, but my mentor Don Byron has prepared me for this position. I’m excited for this opportunity and challenge.”




2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Sharon

2020-2021 Record: 4-9
Coach: Andrew Ferguson

Sharon built a solid foundation during last year’s COVID-shortened season and now expectations are high as the Eagles look to build on it and compete for the Davenport division title.

The Eagles have a good chunk of the roster back from last year, all with an important year of experience now under the belt, and an impressive group of young players that are ready to make an immediate impact at the varsity level. Senior John Baez is in his fourth year with the varsity team and will be joined by senior Ryan Zunenshine in the backcourt to give the Eagles an experienced duo spearheading the offense.

The strong senior class also features Sam Cohen, Will Hippler, Donyae Pierre, Nate Yaffe, Ryan Baker, and Brent Cham. Cohen burst onto the scene at the end of his sophomore year and can light it up from three-point range while Hippler is a versatile player that gives the Eagles defensively flexibility. Junior Matt Baur is poised for a breakout season and might be the best player on the court on both sides of the court for the Eagles.

Sophomores Nate Katznelson and Jacob McLoughlin impressed in their first year playing high school ball last year and now will make the jump to the varsity level and could make an immediate impact. Juniors Jack Bates and Tyler Goodman give Sharon quality depth at the guard position. Sharon is hoping to get all five guys on the court involved on the offensive end of the court while a revamped defense could be the spark the Eagles need.

“We are thankful to be playing another season and thank the work of the athletic directors of the league to ensure a full season,” said head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We have been working extremely hard throughout the offseason and the early season to hit the ground running. We have a tight-knit team who have been growing together over the past few years and we can’t wait to get the season started.”

Stoughton

2020-2021 Record: 4-9
Coach: Evan Taylor

With just one starter back from last year, second-year head coach Evan Taylor is relying on a mix of new faces and some returners to make up the nucleus of this year’s squad.

Connor Andrews is the lone starter back for the Black Knights after averaging 8.5 points a year ago. But Stoughton also has a pair of juniors in Josh Rivera and Cashmere Mathurin, along with junior Rayan Sablon, that played meaningful minutes and are in line for expanded roles for the 2021-2022 season. Andrews can do it all on the offensive end and does a lot of the little things right. Not only can he light up the scoreboard with his outside shooting, but he also sets the tone with his hustle and rebounding.

Rivera is a capable ball-handler and likes to get his teammates involved; his energy will set the tone of the defensive end. Matherin’s size and athleticism will give a lot of teams trouble this year and Stoughton is looking for him to be one of the best rim protectors in the league. Sablon will play a variety of roles for the Knights, capable of playing as both the one and the two depending on the scenario. Freshman Matt Greenspoon is a player to watch as the season goes on.

Taylor is putting a big focus on the defensive end of the floor during the preseason. The Black Knights allowed the second-most points against in the Davenport division this year so a renewed focus on defense — with an emphasis on using their speed and athleticism to cause havoc — will be something to keep an eye on.

“We are very pleased with the energy and competition level at practice and we are expecting to be very competitive in the Davenport division this season,” Taylor said.

taunton

2020-2021 Record: 10-1 (Kelley-Rex division champions)
Coach: Charlie Dacey

Last season will always be “what if” for the Tigers, who won their first Hock title by sharing the Kelley-Rex division title with Mansfield. But the past is the past and Taunton is focused on the future, which could be another league title.

There will certainly be a bit of a new look for Taunton with the centerpiece of the offense from the past two seasons Tyler Stewart now causing problems for opponents in the Commonwealth Coast Conference as a member of the Wentworth men’s basketball team, and three-year starter Josh Lopes now suiting up for American International College.

But not all is lost as the Tigers have its three other starters from last year’s squad back in the mix and ready to challenge for another Kelley-Rex crown. Trent Santos is now a three-year starter and led the Tigers in scoring last year with 15.2 points per game and he will be one of the top players in the league again this year. Tristan Herry made a huge jump between his sophomore and junior year and is looking to continue that trend this year, the heart and soul of the defense. And Faisal Mass made a big splash last year and can hurt teams in a variety of ways.

The Tigers are getting a boost with the addition of Jordan Costa, who provides a big boost in the rebounding category and can cause some damage around the rim. He’ll be joined by junior Matt Small (6’4) to give the Tigers another option down low. Sophomores Troy Santos and Morrisette could be contributors to the lineup right away for Taunton.

“We’re looking to be aggressive defensively and dynamic offensively with varied skills being able to finish from different spots and different personnel,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.

2021-2022 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/09/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Taunton, 13 @ King Philip, 2 – Final (5 inn.)A day after a 1-0 win in 11 innings, Taunton’s offense exploded for 13 runs in a big win on the road over King Philip. Sophomore Braden Sullivan had three hits in the win while classmates Ryan MacDougall and Shawn Cali each had two to help the Tigers win. Ty Cali, Dawson Bryce, and Colby Decouta all had two hits as well. Senior Danny MacDougall tossed a five-inning complete game, allowing two earned runes on three hits and one walk, striking out six for the win.

Sharon, 6 @ North Attleboro, 11 – FinalNorth Attleboro set the tone early with a five-run second inning and went on to score in four other innings to knock off Sharon, clinching at least a share of the Davenport division title. Sophomore Aidan Conrad (four hits, three RBI) smashed a solo home run in the third but Sharon rallied to make it a two-run game at 6-4 through three innings. The Rocketeers used a double and a pair of singles in the fourth for a run and then tacked on three more runs on three walks and two hits in the sixth inning. North added one more run in the seventh, off a pair of walks and a pair of hits. Danny Curran struck out four in four innings of work for the win while both Joe Hartnett and Anthony Wescott pitched well in relief.

Softball
Taunton, 18 @ Milford, 0 – FinalTaunton belted out 21 hits on offense while Sam Lincoln and Olyvia Mendonca combined for a one-hit shutout in the Tigers’ big win. Senior Hanna Aldrich went 4-for-4 and hit her 12th home run of the season, finishing with two RBI and three runs, Lianna Oliveira added three hits and three RBI, and Tayah DaCosta and McKenzie McAloon each hit a home run in the win. Lincoln struck out eight in three scoreless innings while Mendonca had one hit allowed and one strikeout in two innings.










Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 21 – Final

Canton, 7 @ Foxboro, 6 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

North Attleboro, 10 @ Sharon, 11 – FinalSharon came out with a one-goal win in a hard fought battle from both teams in the heat. Drew Litner notched six assists to go along with a pair of goals to set the Eagles up for the win. Brady Daylor netted a hat trick and had one assist, Ben Shocket (14-for-19 faceoffs) added a pair of goals and one assist, Dylan Cummings scored twice, and Ryan Zunenshine found the back of the net once. Adam Rabb played well in net with 16 saves.

Oliver Ames @ Stoughton, 3:45

Milford, 7 @ Bellingham, 6 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Franklin, 23 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalFranklin stayed undefeated on the season with a strong defensive effort, allowing just three goals agaisnt in a win on the road over Attleboro. Anna Grasso, Sydney Hawkins, Ali Socci and Emma Sousa all played well defensively in the Panthers’ win. Maura Cogavin netted a hat trick in the win, Kate O’Rourke and Katie Peterson each scored twice and had three assists, and Kaitlin Carney scored four times.

Foxboro, 16 @ Canton, 2 – FinalFoxboro’s Lilly Vey scored a team-high five goals, including the 100th of her career, to help the Warriors earn a big win on the road. Mya Waryas added four goals and an assist, Ella Waryas and Mary Collins each had a pair of goals and one helper, Dylan Rappoli and Paige Curran both recorded two assists and a goal, Kate Collins found the back of the net once, and Val Beigel had two assists in the win.

Sharon, 14 @ North Attleboro, 20 – FinalThe Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter but North Attleboro was able to hold them off and grab the win. Jenna Goldstein had a big game for Sharon, scoring seven goals and assisting on another, while also grabbing three draws. Cass Barbera and Molly McAlevey each scored twice with Barbera adding a pair of helpers. Athena Merck, Vivian Pedicone, and Katelyn Galeota each scored once and Tess Letendre made nine saves in the loss. Amelia Scappaticci had six draw controls and McAlevey had four for Sharon.

King Philip, 18 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalKing Philip picked up its sixth straight win, rolling to a big win on the road over Taunton. Julia Marsden led the charge offensively with five goals and one assist while Peyton Mellman, Haley Izydorczak (two assists), and Lily Brown (three assists) each scored a hat trick in the win. Margo Riley had a great game defensively for the Warriors.




Boys Tennis
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalBrady Jannell moved up to first singles and overcame a one-set deficit, rallying to win in a tiebreaker to help King Philip take a 5-0 win over visiting Taunton. Jannell dropped the first set in a tiebreaker but won the second set and prevailed in a third-set tiebreaker 6-7 (5), 6-3, 10-7. Jon Cohen (second singles), Jackson Hom (third singles), and the team of Adam Gousie and Noah Ihley (second doubles) all won by 6-0, 6-0 scores while the pairing of Connor Sachleben and Diego Nieto secured a 6-2, 6-0 decision at first doubles.

Sharon, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Sharon took a pair of wins from both singles and doubles to secure a 4-1 win over North Attleboro, clinching the Davenport division title outright. Freshman Mehul Bhattacharyya dropped just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 victory at first singles while junior Max Chen added a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles for the Eagles. Sophomore Rithvik Neti and freshman Matthew Lally grabbed a 6-1, 6-0 decision at first doubles and the team of junior Mitch Weiss and freshman Alex Budovalcev prevailed 6-1, 6-2 at second doubles. North Attleboro senior Sam Gallagher was victorious with a 6-2, 6-2 result at second singles.

Girls Tennis
King Philip, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final

Milford, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – Final

Boys Volleyball
King Philip vs. Bellingham, 5:30

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/07/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Stoughton, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalAfter scoring two runs on a bases loaded double in the top of the seventh, Stoughton loaded the bases again but Oliver Ames escaped further damage to earn the win. The Tigers built a 3-0 lead by scoring once in each the first, fifth, and sixth innings. Stoughton loaded the bases in the sixth but Kosta Spiliakos prevented any runs from scoring. The Black Knights loaded them again in the top of the seventh and Kyle Doolin drove in two with a double. Stoughton loaded the bases again but Nate Fulford got the final out. OA took the lead in the first when Ryan McKenney tripled and scored on a fielder’s choice from Derek Milliken. In the fifth, Fulford doubled, moved to third on a sac bunt from Christian Papasodero, and scored on an infield hit from Matt Nigro (5IP, 0R). In the sixth, Fulford extended the lead with an RBI single to score Jadon Ricci (2-for-3, run). Will Whiteside also had two hits for the Tigers while Brady Conlin had two hits and a run for Stoughton. Doolin tossed a complete game for Stoughton with two earned runs allowed on six hits and no walks, striking out six.

Franklin @ Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
Foxboro @ Canton – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
Sharon @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 6/9 at 3:45.

Softball
Mansfield, 7 @ Milford, 6 – FinalMansfield rallied with five runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pull out a one-run win and move within a game of .500 on the season. After the Hornets grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Milford answered with two in the bottom half to grab the lead. The Hawks added one in the third and then three more in the fourth and held a 6-1 advantage. Mansfield’s bats woke up in the fifth with four runs on three hits, a hit batter, a walk and an error to pull within one. In the sixth, two more hits, a walk and a couple of stolen bases sparked a two-run rally that gave the Hornets the lead for good. Milford nearly battled back, putting the tying run on base in the seventh but Mansfield catcher Jill Koppy made a nice grab in foul territory to seal the win. Nicole Kobasa led the Hornets offensively with a pair of hits. Koppy, Casey Moussette, Ashlyn and Alanna Conley, and Olivia DeTrolio also had hits in the win.

Oliver Ames, 9 @ Stoughton, 15 – FinalStoughton pushed across five runs in three separate innings in an offensive-packed game, knocking off visiting Oliver Ames. Stoughton scored five runs in the first only for OA to answer with five of their own runs to make it 5-5. The Black Knights added five more in the fourth but the Tigers responded with one in the fifth and three more in the sixth to make it 10-9. Stoughton put the game away with its third five-run inning, making it 15-9 with a strong sixth inning. Nicole Baker had a big day at the plate for the hosts, going 4-for-4 with a double and three RBI while junior Melody Casna shined in the field, adding two hits at the plate. Sydney Menz (double), Julia Driscoll, and Alyssa Edwards (triple) each contributed two hits while Catherine Leal (RBI single), Kerry Driscoll (triple) and Sarah McGrath each had one hit for Stoughton. Kalei Clark (two runs) recorded three hits while Maddie Homer (two stolen bases, two runs, RBI), Taylor Lake (double, run, three RBI), and Grace Simone (run, two RBI) each had two hits for OA.

King Philip, 0 @ Taunton, 4 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Attleboro @ Franklin – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
Canton @ Foxboro – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 4:00.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD.

Boys Lacrosse
Sharon, 17 @ Attleboro, 11 – FinalSharon went on the road and beat both the heat and the Bombardiers to the tune of an 17-11 outcome. Drew Litner recorded 11 points in the win, pacing the offense with six goals and five assists. Brady Naylor added five goals and an assist in the win while Jace Neslter (two goals), Ben Shocket (goal, two assists), Ryan Zunenshine (goal, assist), and Dylan Cummings (goal, two assists) all had multi-point games. Shocket won 19-of-27 faceoffs and Adam Rabb turned aside 10 shots in net.

Mansfield @ Milford – Postponed to Tuesday, 6/15 at 4:30.
Oliver Ames @ Canton – Postponed to Monday, 6/14 at 7:00.

Girls Lacrosse
Sharon, 8 @ Attleboro, 6 – FinalSharon had seven different scorers to pick up the non-league win under the lights. Jenna Goldstein was the top scorer for the Eagles with two goals and an assist. Cass Barbera, Vivian Pedicone, Molly McAlevey, Amelia Scappaticci, Keira Lydeard, and Athena Merck also had goals for Sharon. Merck and Scappaticci both added assists and Tess Letendre made nine saves to preserve the win.

Milford @ Mansfield, 6:15
Canton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 5:30.

Boys Tennis
Mansfield, 4 @ Milford, 1 – FinalMansfield used a sweep in singles action to record a 4-1 win on the road over Milford. Freshman Kailash Elumelai notched a 10-2 win at first singles, senior Dheeraj Valluru didn’t drop a point in a 10-0 at second singles, and sophomore Jessa Colchamiro added a 10-5 win at third singles. The team of junior Pratham Tallam and Nikhil Nain emerged with a 10-8 win at first doubles while Milford earned a point behind the tandem of Connor MacLeod and Leo Donnelly secured a 10-8 win at second doubles.

Attleboro @ Franklin – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
Canton @ Foxboro – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD.
Oliver Ames @ Stoughton – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.

Girls Tennis
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final

Franklin @ Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
Foxboro @ Canton – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
Sharon @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.

Boys Outdoor Track
Franklin @ Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
King Philip @ Milford, 5:00
Sharon, 26 @ Stoughton, 102 – Final

Girls Outdoor Track
Franklin @ Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 6/10 at 3:45.
King Philip @ Milford, 5:00
Sharon, 37 @ Stoughton, 90 – Final

Wrestling
Canton @ Stoughton, 3:45
Foxboro @ Mansfield, 6:00

Boys Volleyball
Taunton, 3 @ Barnstable, 2 – FinalFor the second straight match, Taunton overcame a 2-1 deficit, winning the fourth and fifth games to pick up a 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 15-7) win on the road at Barnstable. Daniel Medina ran the offense from his setter position, dishing out 54 assists to go along with 11 service points (two aces). Tyler Stewart was responsible for 35 kills, 10 digs and six blocks, Dolan Campbell stepped up with a big game with 12 kills and five blocks, Mattia Casagrande finished with 12 kills and 11 service points, and Faisal Mass chipped in with four blocks and three kills. Travis Nunes (21 digs) anchored the defense with excellent passing on serve receive.

Milford vs. Norwood, 6:00

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/26/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Canton, 6 @ North Attleboro, 7 – FinalBoth teams took a turn erasing a deficit but it was the Rocketeers who walked off with a key division win to move into a three-way tie atop the Davenport. Canton built a 4-0 lead early but North responded with five runs in the bottom of the third to go ahead. Holding a 6-4 lead going into the final inning, the Bulldogs tacked on two runs to tie things up. In the bottom of the seventh, Gavin Wells led off with a single, stole second base, and then scored on a single to right field from Tyler Bannon, his third hit of the game. Wells and sophomore Derek Maceda each had two hits while Hartnett earned the win in relief for the hosts, tossing four innings with no earned runs allowed with three strikeouts. Dennis Colleran smashed a three-run home run in the third to give North the lead. Canton’s Steven Burbank tossed a complete game, allowing four earned runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts. Offensively, Matt Chafin had three hits, including a triple, and an RBO, Nico Bonnano, Andrew Middleton and Burbank each had two hits and Sawyer Julier-Albert drove in a pair of runs.

Softball
North Attleboro, 10 @ Canton, 4 – FinalNorth Attleboro sophomore Kelly Colleran got it done offensively and in the circle to help the Rocketeers sweep Canton. Colleran tossed a complete game with six strikeouts and helped her cause it three hits. Emily Nardelli had a big day at the plate with four hits, two runs, and an RBI, Chloe Mearn and Ally Levine each had two hits, Mandi Hanewich chipped in with a hit, two runs, and a stolen base, and Belle Clarkin added three RBI. For Canton, Liz Bickett (two RBI), Ellie Bohane (two runs), and Olivia Mackwell (RBI) each had a pair of hits. Freshman Jess Wright allowed just one run in three innings of work for Canton.










Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro @ Mansfield, 3:45

Canton, 8 @ North Attleboro, 5 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 2 @ Foxboro, 17 – Final

Milford @ King Philip, 3:45

Sharon, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – FinalSharon’s Drew Litner scored a hat trick and added two assists to lead the Eagles to a close win on the road over Oliver Ames. Brady Daylor added a goal and two assists, Ryan Zunenshine and Gabe Korn each scored once and Ben Shocket (9-of-13 faceoffs) added two assists. Adam Rabb made 22 saves in the win for Sharon. For OA, junior Wyatt Fritchman scored three goals and Remi Creighton added one more while sophomore Noah Isleib turned away 18 shots.




Girls Lacrosse
Mansfield @ Attleboro, 3:45

North Attleboro @ Canton, 3:45

Franklin, 17 @ Taunton, 4 – FinalKaitlyn Carney had a strong day in the circle with five draw controls and three Panthers had five or more points in a win on the road over Taunton. Katie Peterson led the offense with four goals and three assists, Kenzie Baker added four goals and one assists, and Katie Jones scored twice and added four assists in the win. For Taunton, Alana Tavares and Tasia Lajoie each scored twice while goalie Emily Gannon made 10 saves.

King Philip, 19 @ Milford, 5 – FinalKing Philip won its second straight contest, this one with a 19-5 decision on the road over new division foe Milford. Lily McNulty netted her first career goal in the win while Alyssa Legere, Ali Donovan, Nikki McDonald, and Ally Peterson each scored once for the Warriors. Aislinn Bennett, Emily Croteau, Carly Haley, Stephanie Goulet, and Jillian Araujo each scored for Milford.

Oliver Ames, 18 @ Sharon, 10 – FinalOA put together its best offensive performance of the season to hold off Sharon and earn its second win. Jenna Goldstein scored half of Sharon’s goals, won three draw controls, and forced a turnover. Molly McAlevey added a hat trick for the Eagles, while Cass Barbera and Athena Merck each scored once. Merck added a pair of assists and Barbera and Anna Hertzel each assisted on one. Sally Brouhard grabbed three draws, Carly Romanow forced two turnovers, and Tess Letendre made 11 saves in the loss.




Boys Tennis
North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 4 – FinalIn a tightly contested contest at all five matches, Canton emerged with a key division win over North Attleboro. The Bulldogs swept singles action with junior Suraj Ramanathan battled to a 7-5, 6-4 win at first singles, freshman Max Kupferman captured a 6-4, 6-2 win at second singles, and senior Minh Duong prevailed in a 7-5, 7-6 (6) win at third singles. Canton also got a win in doubles with seniors Ethan Nguyen and Jalen Townsend picking up a 6-3, 6-3 win at first doubles. North Attleboro’s Brody Carter and Niteesh Saravanan rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 win at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
Canton, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro earned a pair of wins in singles action and tacked on another win at second doubles to score the victory over visiting Canton. Senior Haley Strom earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles and freshman Anoushka Banerjee secured a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of juniors Kyna Sha and Lauren Consentino earned a 6-1, 6-2 victory at second doubles. Canton’s Lauren Kupferman (first singles, 6-0, 6-0) and the team of Lily Hazam and Olivia Durham (first doubles, 6-4, 6-1) both won.

Outdoor Track
Oliver Ames @ Stoughton, 3:45

Boys Volleyball
King Philip @ Norton, 3:45

Milford @ Millis, 6:00

Taunton, 3 @ North Quincy, 2 – FinalTaunton twice erased a one-set deficit and then prevailed in the match-deciding fifth set to pick up a victory on the road at North Quincy, 3-2 (24-26, 25-16, 19-25, 25-14, 15-12). Travis Nunes had a big day at the service line and in the back row with 16 service points and 12 digs to anchor the Tigers. Tyler Stewart continued to impress at the net with 24 kills, 15 service points, 10 digs, and a pair of blocks while Jakob Thorpe (11 kills), Mattia Casagrande (nine kills), and Faisal Mass (seven kills) all played well offensively. Daniel Medina finished with 41 assists in the win.

Stoughton Sets The Pace In Big Win Over Sharon

Stoughton boys basketball Waseem Sablon
Stoughton’s Waseem Sablon goes up for a layup in the second half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 STOUGHTON, Mass. – On Monday evening, the Stoughton boys basketball team went into Sharon, controlled the tempo, and put up its best offensive performance of the season in a comfortable win over the Eagles.

On Tuesday night, the Black Knights did it again.

Stoughton boys basketball

From senior Colby Andrews’ first basket just 10 seconds into the contest up until sophomore Rayan Sablon’s three-pointer in the final minute, Stoughton had its foot on the gas from start to finish to earn a 74-56 win over the visiting Eagles.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It marked Stoughton’s best offensive output of the season and the most points scored by any Davenport division team so far this season.

“That’s the pace we want, we want to pick it up and we want to get shots up,” said first-year Stoughton head coach Evan Taylor. “I think it’s just been about getting more comfortable with the offense, just being together more as a team. We’re playing together as a team more, everyone is touching the ball and getting more involved.

“We’ve really started to pick up the pace a lot more, which is the tempo we want to play at. Obviously, it helps when shots start falling that weren’t following to start the season. We’ve always had the confidence in the shots, now we’re starting to see them fall.”

The Black Knights were coming off a 72-point performance just 24 hours earlier on the road at Sharon. They followed a similar blueprint on their home court. Stoughton’s offense was off and running from the beginning, laughing up 23 field goal attempts — with seven makes — over the first eight minutes with just one turnover.

That resulted in a 16-13 lead for the hosts, which could have been more if not for a terrific individual effort from Sharon sophomore Matt Baur (18 points, five rebounds), who hit five of the Eagles’ six shots from the floor and had 11 points to keep the visitors close.










Christian Georges converted a putback attempt to push Stoughton’s lead to eight just over two minutes into the second but the Eagles continued to keep up with the Black Knights’ torrid pace. Sam Cohen hit a jumper, Owen Conway drove to the basket for two, and Baur drained a triple. Kiran Chandrasekaran sank a pair of free throws to get the visitors within four, 28-24, with three minutes to go in the first half.

That’s when Stoughton showed just how quickly and deadly its offense can be when it gets going. Junior Connor Andrews drained a three after an offensive rebound and pass from junior KC Ugwuakazi (17 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks). Andrews came up with a turnover on the ensuing inbounds and found senior Jake Queeney (15 points) for a triple, and after two straight Eagles’ turnovers, Ugwuakazi cleaned up his own miss.

Stoughton continued to crash the offensive glass (23 offensive rebounds), this time Cashmere Mathurin grabbed a board and put it back up for two to complete a 10-0 run in less than two minutes.

Even though Sharon broke the run out of a timeout when Ryan Zunenshine converted an offensive rebound into two points, the Black Knights added seven more points over the final minute. Brett Pendenza made a pair of free throws, Sablon drained a three, and Mathurin beat the buzzer with a hard banked-in shot to give Stoughton a 45-28 halftime lead.

Stoughton boys basketball




“That’s not the pace we want to play at,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson, his side committing 10 of its 14 turnovers in the opening half. “The same thing happened last night. They sped us up, they played at the pace they wanted to and that’s a credit to them. We stressed trying to play slower, execute our offense, run our screens, slips, back doors, and we didn’t do it. It was too much one on one, too much first pass shot. It’s disappointing because we had been playing well. We needed to slow it down in this game but we couldn’t play at the pace we wanted.

“We let our bad defensive possessions affect our offense, and we let our bad offensive possessions affect our defensive possessions, it’s a snowball. We weren’t communicating enough defensively, we were helping off the wrong spots, and then we were just selfish on offense.”

A switch to a zone defense by the Eagles helped some but was merely a speed bump for the Black Knights. Brady Conlin knocked down a three against the zone early, and after Stoughton’s longest scoreless stretch of the game of nearly three minutes, Pendenza and Queeney delivered back-to-back triples to help Stoughton push its lead to 54-35 just past the midway point of the third.

Queeney’s isolation step-back triple extended Stoughton’s advantage to 59-37 with two minutes to go in the third but Sharon made a final push to get back into it. Matt Baskin (nine points, 10 rebounds) went coast-to-coast for two and then sank a triple after a Stoughton turnover. Zunenshine used a crafty finish for two and Ryan Baker’s contested heave from deep three-point territory beat the buzzer as the Eagles got back into the game, down 59-47 going into the fourth.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Zunenshine opened with two more to make it a 10-point game but that would be the closest the Eagles would get the rest of the way. Ugwuakazi scored four straight points, had a big block on the defensive end, and Queeney converted another offensive rebound into points as Stoughton restored a comfortable lead at 65-49.

“In the beginning of the season, they’re probably going the other way,” Taylor said of the close game situations in the second and fourth quarters. “There’s been some mental growth. It’s been a growing season for all of them, and with just two returners back from last year, we knew it would be. Everybody is getting experience now, and everyone is learning together. We’ve been watching film, just trying to get better as a team each day.”

Stoughton (4-5 Davenport, 4-5 overall) travels to Mansfield on Thursday for its first of three straight games against Kelley-Rex opponents. Sharon (3-4, 3-5) returns home on Friday night against rival Oliver Ames.

Stoughton boys basketball

Sunday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/16/20

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 51 vs. Newton North, 53 – Final

Sharon, 75 vs. Walpole, 68 – FinalSharon erased a 21-point deficit, using a gigantic fourth quarter to complete the comeback over Walpole in the first round of the Dudley Davenport Classic. The Rebels took a 40-21 lead at halftime but the Eagles responded with six threes in the third quarter alone, scoring 28 points total in the fame to cut the deficit in half, down 58-49 entering the fourth. Sophomore Sam Cohen (nine points) hit half of those threes and Ryan Zunenshine added another at the buzzer to bring the Eagles back into the game. Matt Baskin and Aidan Kane (21 points) each hit a pair of threes in the fourth and Sharon played its best defense of the game in the fourth quarter, closing the game on a 21-4 run to secure the win. Andrew Burton added 12 points, Cam Baker chipped in with 10 points, and Kiran Chandrasekaran (six points) also had a strong game for Sharon.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 0 vs. Plymouth North, 4 – Final

Franklin, 3 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from the game. Franklin took control of the game from the opening face-off, scoring a goal in each period to end a two-game losing streak. The Panthers outshot the Hornets 39-13 for the game, recording 13 shots in each period, and Mansfield struggled with its second game in 24 hours. Conor O’Neil opened the scoring with 2:21 left in the first when he was able to knock in the rebound of a Justin Abely shot from the point. JT Dwyer doubled the lead on the power play three minutes into the second. He corralled a loose puck at the far post and roofed a shot to make 2-0. In the third, Tom Tasker scored shorthanded to wrap up the win, picking the top corner from the right circle. Sean McCafferty was excellent in goal for the Hornets with 36 saves. Ray Ivers made all 13 stops to earn the shutout, including a big stop on a Kyle Oakley breakaway in the third period with Franklin leading by two.

Canton Survives Second Half Surge From Sharon

Canton boys basketball Nick Cushman
Canton senior Nick Cushman goes up for a layup in the first half against Sharon. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
SHARON, Mass. – To foul or not to foul?

Holding a three-point lead late in the game, it’s a question that has divided basketball coaches for years.

But there’s no doubt which side of the argument Canton head coach Ryan Gordy belongs too.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With a 58-55 advantage with 9.7 seconds to go, the Bulldogs fouled as Sharon crossed half court, “well before the Eagles had a chance to think about launching a tying three-pointer.

It worked as the Eagles came up empty on the first shot and had a violation on the second. Canton couldn’t quite put the game away, missing their chances at the free throw line but immediately fouled on the defensive rebound.

Again, the Eagles came up empty from the line and a defensive rebound and free throw from Dillon Nguyen pushed Canton’s lead to 59-55 with 2.1 seconds left, a scoreline that held through the final buzzer.

“We have rules about when to follow under a certain amount of seconds,” Gordy said. “We were up three and we figured if we fouled, they can’t make a three and they can’t tie the game. As long as we know to get the foul at the right time, then fundamental box outs on the free throws, I feel like it’s the right decision every time.

“We had to do it twice because we didn’t get our free throws but finally on the third time, we got it to four and then we don’t foul.”

The Bulldogs had to hold on at the end because of a second half comeback from the hosts. Canton pushed its lead to 14 early in the second half but the Eagles got a boost from an unexpected source.

After Sharon managed just one free throw total in the second quarter, the Bulldogs outscoring the hosts 10-1, head coach Andrew Ferguson went deep into his bench, putting junior Owen Conway and sophomores Ryan Zunenshine and Sam Cohen — who had each played three quarters of the JV came — into the lineup to start the second half.

On Sharon’s very first offensive possession of the second, Cohen splashed an open three and on the next trip down, drained a contested look from downtown, as the Eagle faithful exploded in the stands, an atmosphere usually reserved for the postseason.

Conway took a feed from sophomore John Baez (five points, six rebounds) and converted through the foul. Despite missing the free throw, Zunenshine battled for the offensive board and putback, swinging momentum in favor of the hosts.

Cohen sank another triple and Baez sliced through the Canton zone for two, getting the Eagles within five at 39-34.

“Execution aside, our effort wasn’t good [in the second quarter],” Ferguson said. “I thought waking up the rest of the roster by playing the swing guys there in the third. Sam Cohen did what he’s been doing at the JV level, what he did the year before at the freshman level…he can shoot the basketball. It was good to see that and it woke the rest of the guys up.

“It woke them up and the first unit played their butts off. I told them if they played with that kind of effort in the first and second quarter, we win that game.”

Canton senior Robbie Gallery (16 points, eight rebounds) used a nice move in the post to convert at the time and then found junior Matt Giglio (nine points, seven rebounds) in the same spot for another two in the final moments of the third quarter to stem the momentum some, giving the Bulldogs a 43-34 lead heading into the fourth.

Sharon’s first unit responded to the wake-up call as Matt Baskin (10 points) hit an early three and Baez added one of his own to get the Eagles within one possession.

Gallery came up with a clutch offensive rebound and putback for a traditional three-point play only for Baskin to answer with a similar play. Kiran Chandrasekaran tied the game with a pair of free throws with 3:41 to play but Giglio knocked down a three on the other end to keep Canton ahead, 51-48, with 3:17 to play.

“Hats off to Sharon on senior night, that crowd brought it tonight,” Gordy said. “I think the most impressive part was [Eric] Mischler’s foul trouble and being able to play that game without our best player. He’s been our best player all year, he’s in the top 15 in scoring [in the Hockomock], and I think he played a total of six minutes, if he played that much. To be able to get a win without him was an awesome experience for our guys, guys that have been practicing and working really hard and tonight they got opportunities, and a lot of guys capitalized.”

Mischler, who averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game entering the game and had a career-high 36 point performance three games prior, finished with three points in those limited minutes.










Gallery again scored for Canton and sophomore Lanse Dorcelus (nine points, three rebounds) sank a free throw for a 54-50 lead but Caleb Gayle hit his second straight shot to halve the deficit and Baskin came up with a strong take for a three-point play and a 55-54 lead with 40.1 to go.

On Canton’s next possession, it appeared Andrew Burton (19 points, 10 rebounds) read a handoff but was called for a foul instead of a jump ball. Gallery hit both for a 56-55 lead and the Eagles lost the handle on the other end, leading to two free throws from Dorcelus to push the lead to 58-55, setting up the fouls at the end.

“We didn’t show up for the first half,” Ferguson said. “Mentally and physically, we just didn’t play well. We didn’t share the basketball, we didn’t set screens and that bled into our defense and we started losing guys, stopped communicating like we had talked about. I was glad to see the sophomores get a run there in the third quarter and kind of wake up that first group that needed it.

“In this league, you can’t play for 16 minutes, you have to play for 32 minutes. Against any team in this league, doesn’t matter what their record is, if you don’t play for 32 minutes, you’re going to get beat and that’s what happened to us.”

The Bulldogs had a strong start to the game, shooting 9-for-13 over the first eight minutes of the game. While Mischler and Gallery dealt with early foul trouble, senior Nick Cushman (14 points, six rebounds) gave the Bulldogs a boost with six points in the opening quarter. Six players scored in the first for Canton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

”Cushman has been our unsung hero this year,” Gordy said. “He was slated behind Kyle Fitzgerald and when Kyle got hurt, he went into a starting role and he ran with it. He’s been one of our top guys this year, and he did some good things tonight before he fouled out. Robbie did some good things for us too, he did what a senior captain should do.”

Canton put up 23 points in the first quarter and would have had a big lead if not for a brilliant start for Burton. He scored 15 of Sharon’s 17 points in the opening quarter to keep the Eagles close before Sharon went cold in the second.

Canton boys basketball (2-12 Hockomock, 5-14 overall) is back home on Tuesday against North Attleboro. Sharon (1-13, 1-15) travels to Foxboro on the same day.