Panthers Downed By St. John’s In D1 Central Final

Franklin boys basketball
Franklin senior Tim Prunier dribbles past a St. John;s defender in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/

WORCESTER, Mass. – Numbers don’t always tell the whole story of a game, but they certainly help explain what happened.
Franklin went from shooting 50% in the first half to just 26% from the floor in the second.
Franklin hit half of their six three point attempts in the first half but struggled from deep in the second half, going 1/9.
St. John’s shot over 40% from the field for the game (nearly 50% in the second half), had a plus-15 advantage on the glass and went 16/19 from the free throw line.
Those numbers totaled up to a 67-52 win for St. John’s over Franklin in the D1 Central Sectional Final.
“I think the offensive rebound for them was a big difference,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “We didn’t do a great job boxing out and they won a lot of the 50/50 balls that were kind of bouncing around. Early in the game I thought we did a decent job but in the middle of the game, we started tipping them while they were grabbing the ball. They got extra shots and they scored, you can’t allow teams like them to get second chances.”
It was an impressive start for Franklin, forcing five turnovers in the first three minutes of play. Senior Kevin Gill and sophomore Paul Mahon harassed the Pioneers at every bounce of the ball. That defense turned into offense as Franklin built an 18-14 lead at the end of the quarter.
But with that tenacious defense came seven fouls called in eight minutes of play (compared to just two for SJS). And a minute into the second, both Gill and Mahon had picked up two fouls apiece.
That allowed the Pioneers to creep back into the game, plus St. John’s 11 first half offensive rebounds. The Pioneers closed the first half with a 10-3 run over the final 2:41 to take a 34-33 lead into halftime.
“Unfortunately we got into some foul trouble,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “Paul was doing an excellent job on defense and then we picked up his second foul. Gill was doing a terrific job on defense then he picked up his second. Sam Harrell comes in and does a pretty good job but then he picked up a couple. Three of our best defenders ending up sitting on the bench in the first half for a long period of time and that’s going to hurt you. With the individual talents they have, that’s going to hurt you.
The first big deficit for the Panthers came when Sean Burke converted a putback to put SJS up 43-37. Paul Mahon’s corner three (the Panther’s lone connection from deep in the second half) cut it back to five but a bucket inside and a pair of free throws pushed the lead to 49-40 with 2:54 to go in the third. SJS held a 51-44 lead going into the final frame.
Franklin pulled within a possession at 51-48 with 5:56 to play behind baskets from Gill and freshman Jay Dieterle but Burke netted four straight points to stretch the lead again. Franklin had a pair of bad breaks down the stretch as after the Panthers came up with a stop, the rebound bounces out off a Franklin player and SJS scored right away. Then after a three point play cut the deficit to six with 2:46 to play, the Panthers got a stop on the other end only for Alex Bradley to get the tip in to put it back to eight.
The Panthers pushed hard with a press to try and create some more turnovers but the Pioneers were able to break it and extend the lead.
“We talked in warmups about getting to the free throw line,” SJS coach Bob Foley said. “We were 16/19? That helps.”
“I thought for the most part it was a really good game,” Neely said. “We had to start pressing at the end which was not part of our game plan. At that point with that deficit with that amount of time left, you have to amp it up and take some chances. They moved the ball well and got some easy layups.”
Gill scored a career-high 17 points in his final game for the Panthers while Dieterle added 11 points and five rebounds, sophomore Connor Peterson had eight points and four rebounds and senior Tim Prunier finished with seven points and seven assists.
Franklin boys basketball wraps up the season at 18-7 with its first Hockomock League Kelley-Rex title since 2012.
“We have a lot of goals coming into every season,” Neely said. “We want to get a home playoff game, we want to win the Hockomock Championship and we did those things. I think we accomplished a lot of goals this year. After losing a ton of seniors that were super talented, I can’t be more proud of these guys. They’re a great group of kids but tonight wasn’t out night, we didn’t play our best game but I won’t take any credit away from St. John’s. Tim did a great job as a captain, obviously as the league MVP. But it didn’t start on the first day of tryouts. They were picking each other up in the offseason for rides, getting everyone involved. He did a great job of captain and all of the seniors did a great job of involving everyone.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Hornets Hold Off Franklin, Moves Into Tie For First

Mansfield boys basketball
Mansfield’s Matt Ehrlich looks to drive in the second half against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/

FRANKLIN, Mass. – Friday night’s contest between rivals Mansfield and Franklin wasn’t the exact same as their first meeting back in January, but the symmetry was apparent.
Just like January’s game, the home team erased a second half double-digit deficit to make it a one possession in the final minutes.
But just like the first time around, the visitors walked away with the win.
Mansfield held off a late rally from the Panthers, keeping Franklin scoreless over the final final minutes, in route to a 55-51 win that pulled the Hornets level atop the Kelley-Rex division with just one league game to go.
Th Hornets doubled their seven point lead at the midway point just five minutes into the second half and increased it to a game-high 15 points off a Christian Weber three to just 2:20 to play in the third, but Franklin wouldn’t go away.
Over the course of the end of the third and the first few minutes of the fourth, the Panthers rattled off a 15-3 run to get the game down to one possession. Sophomore Connor Peterson closed the third with back to back baskets and freshman Jay Dieterle opened the final frame with a three. After Peterson hit a free throw to make it a seven point game, Mansfield’s Tyler Boulter drained a three to get it back to 10.
For the next five minutes, Mansfield only managed one free throw as Franklin crawled back. Dieterle hit another three and after a stop, Peterson went into the paint for two more. Another missed three from the Hornets resulted in a strong take to the hoop from Dieterle to make it a three point game with 4:16 to go. Mansfield’s lone point came via Sam Goldberg’s free throw.
After a steal from Tim Prunier, Sam Harrell took it to the whole strong to cut it to 53-51 with 3:09 left.
The teams traded missed shots and on its next possession, Mansfield milked the shot clock down to the final seconds. With just a few tickets left, junior Matt Ehrlich took a step towards the basket from the three point line but instead of driving, pulled up for a deep two that he drained to make it 55-11 with 1:40 to go.
Franklin missed on the other end but got a stop with just under a minute to go. Dieterle’s three was halfway down but rattled out and despite an offensive rebound, Franklin’s second attempt from three via Paul Mahon was off the mark. Franklin got another offensive rebound and called timeout but Prunier’s deep three hit the back rim. Mansfield missed it’s first free throw of a one and one but with a four point lead, elected to foul with 8.6 seconds left instead of letting the Panthers get a shot off from the floor.
Both teams then traded missed free throws as the clock ran out.
“This puts us back in the driver’s seat,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said with the Hornets moving into a tie for first place. “Now Attleboro becomes a league championship game regardless of what happens with Franklin and Taunton. We got some luck with Franklin slipping up along the way and give us that chance. Tonight was our night to capitalize on our luck and to win tonight means we capitalized. Now we have to go out our fourth in a row.”
The win marked Mansfield’s fourth straight overall and seventh straight in league play.
“I think we’ve matured as a team,” Vaughan said. “We’ve re-identified ourselves as better defensively than we were, we’re not giving up big quarters anymore. Even their run, those weren’t easy shots, those were plays made by very good basketball players. Offensively we got a little stagnant and we had to get out of that. When you play a team like Franklin that’s so good defensively, they wear you out. We were worn out for a while but we stuck with it and kept cutting and moving and Matt Ehrlich buried a huge shot to give us life.”
It was a back and forth opening quarter with each team holding leads. Franklin’s Josh Macchi converted a traditional play with 30 seconds to go to give the Panthers a lead but Mansfield’s Kyle Swansburg beat the shot clock while being fouled in the final seconds to put Mansfield up 16-15 after one.
The Hornets gained some separation in the second quarter. With a one point lead at 21-20, Ehrlich scored five straight points for Mansfield and then Boulter connected on two three’s to give Mansfield a 32-25 lead at half.
“We got a lot of good looks [at the end] too I thought, looks that I’ll take every time,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said, about the team’s late scoreless stretch. “I’m really proud of the effort from the guys battling back after being down, really fought hard and defended. If we defended like the way we did in the second half in the first half, I think we win the game. I think our first half defense was the difference. Mansfield played really well, they moved the ball really well. I felt like we didn’t pressure them enough and they were able to execute what they wanted to execute. That’s usually our bread and butter the defensive pressure but we didn’t do it tonight.”
To start the third, Mansfield was able to stretch the lead to 10 and hold it around there for the majority of the frame. With an 11 point lead (43-32) with just over three minutes to play, Boulter connected on another triple and after Kevin Gill scored at the rim for Franklin, Weber knocked down an open three to make it 49-34.
“I called that timeout in the fourth and said just play the game to win, stop playing it not to lose,” Vaughan said. “In [Franklin’s] late run, some things went their way, some bounces, some calls, some things that just could have gone either way. But that’s part of the game and you play through that stuff and I thought our guys fought through that. From the team we were in January to the team we are now, we’re able to play though that stuff and I think it makes a big difference. Now we’re a team that’s coming out firing all cylinders. When we got flat I thought we did a pretty good job defensively.”
Boulter had a team-high 12 points while Sam Goldberg had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Ehrlich (four rebounds, four assists) and Weber each had nine points, Nick Baskin had six and Max Boen had five points and four assists.
“You play a lot of teams where they have one or two guys you don’t have to worry about, someone who might not shoot and you can help off of it. But Mansfield has so many guys that can spread the floor, they all share it, they move the ball so well, they don’t care who scores. They move the ball to who’s ever open for the shot and it’s pretty impressive offensively. That stinks [for us] because if you miss a rotation or leave a guy, they are going to make you pay for it and they did that tonight.”
Peterson had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Franklin while Dieterle added 18 points and Gill had five points, six rebounds and five assists. Prunier added six rebounds and seven assists.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Vaughan said. “You’ve got to be able to play through the bad ones and capitalize on the good ones. I thought our third quarter was similar to their fourth quarter but we got some stops at the end. We had a cushion from the first half and then the third quarter was ours, the fourth quarter was theirs but in the final two minutes we got the stops to close it out.
“It’s speaks where our team is going. From where we were a month ago to now, I think we’ve got exponentially better. Franklin is a very good team, they’re well rounded and they’re going to do very well in the tournament. We could play this games 100 times and probably go 50-50. These games are won by very good basketball players on both teams.”
Mansfield boys basketball (14-4, 12-3) will host Weymouth on Monday night. It will have a chance to clinch its fourth straight Kelley-Rex crown against Attleboro on February 22nd. Franklin (14-3, 12-3) will take on Everett on Sunday evening in Woburn. The Panthers can clinch a share of the Kelley-Rex with a win over North Attleboro on February 22nd.
“This rivalry doesn’t go away,” Vaughan said. “This is the best $5 in the area that you can spend to come watch these two teams play.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Mansfield Boys Basketball vs. Franklin

Gill Sparks Franklin’s Comeback Win Over Foxboro

Franklin senior Kevin Gill hit a trio of three pointers between the fourth quarter and overtime. (Ryan Lanigan/
Franklin senior Kevin Gill hit a trio of three pointers between the fourth quarter and overtime. (Ryan Lanigan/

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin starting guard Kevin Gill picked a pretty good time to hit his first three of the season.
With the Panthers trailing 52-44 with just over two minutes to play, Gill took a feed from Josh Macchi and drained the triple from the right side to get within two possessions.
After Franklin’s defense forced a turnover on the other end, Gill picked an even better time to hit his second three of the season. Once again it was Macchi playing the role of playmaker, finding Gill wide open in the corner and he drained it.
And then after neither team could hit a go-ahead basket, the teams headed to overtime. That was the best time for Gill to hit his third three of the 2015-2016 campaign. Franklin’s lead was just one as time ticked under a minute in the extra period when Gill found himself in the corner — this time the left side — and hit nothing but net to give the Panthers the lead for good.
Gill helped Franklin cap a big comeback and score a 65-60 win over Foxboro in overtime.
“I knew we needed a big shot and I just happened to be the right place,” Gill said. “I got the ball off of a drive and I just let it go and it felt good when it went in. Making the first one boosted my confidence a lot. I missed one in the first half and I kind of faded out a little bit.
“We knew we just had to make the run first and strike first in overtime and not look back. Foxboro’s a great team but we were able to overcome their runs.”
Macchi got into it himself in the overtime period, hitting an open three to open up the scoring and put Franklin up 55-52. Two free throws from Jason Procaccini (17 points) brought Foxboro within one before Gill’s third triple of the night.
“If he’s shooting the ball, we’ll have four guys in the starting line up that can shoot threes and that will be a problem [for opponents] and then [Peterson] and Macchi will have the inside,” Franklin coach CJ Neely said. “We’ve been encouraging [Gill], we’ve been telling him you have to be able to shoot. You can’t allow teams to sit in the paint, you have to take a couple just to keep them honest. I’m really, really happy for him.”
After freshman Jay Dieterle finished at the rim to expand Franklin’s lead to six with 37 seconds to go, Foxboro suddenly go within two points. Mark Clagg hit the front end of a one and one and then after Foxboro kept possession, Clagg drained a deep three to cut it to 60-58.
Gill knocked down a free throw at the other end but missed the second. Clagg had another go at a deep three that was halfway down, but rimmed out. The Panthers hit their last four free throws to seal the win.
It was all about runs early for the visiting Warriors. Back to back three’s from Andrew Block and Procaccini and layups from Joe Morrison and Robby Lowey (12 points) capped a 10-0 run for Foxboro to end the first quarter, giving the Warriors a 17-10 edge.
Defensive stops at the end of the second quarter helped the Warriors keep a seven point cushion heading into halftime (30-23). Another 10-0 run, with four points from Procaccini and Mark Clagg (11 points) each and two from Alex DuBrow, suddenly the Warriors held a 17 point edge (40-23) over Franklin.
“We knew it was going to be a game of runs,” Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs said. “Both teams have a lot of offensive talent, I think we were the two leading scoring teams in the league coming in. We knew both teams would go on some hot streaks. When we jumped out to that big lead, we certainly knew it wasn’t over, we knew they had a run in them.”
Over the final five minutes of the third and the final eight minutes of the game, Franklin slowly chipped away. To finish the third quarter, the Panthers had a 12-2 run to get within single digits. Macchi had six of the points while Sam Harrell, Tim Prunier and Dieterle each added two apiece.
“[Foxboro] came right and kicked our butts right out of the locker room to start the second half,” Neely said. “I thought we were panicking a little, throwing jump passes, we were on our heels which is totally uncharacteristic for us.
“It was about getting back to who we are. It’s toughness, it’s defense, it’s getting stops at big times and amping up the pace a little bit. Jon [Gibbs] does such a good job, those guys execute so well. It’s like a quarterback sitting in the pocket, when DuBrow is able to sit back there and see everything he’s one of the best players in the league if not the area. I think we had to get up on them and make it difficult for them. I think we sped them up a little bit and made them make decisions a little bit faster.”
Franklin got within four (44-40) behind a three from Dieterle and a pair of free throws to start the fourth but with 3:30 to play, a circus layup from DuBrow put Foxboro back ahead by 10.
Out of a timeout, Prunier got to the basket for two and after Foxboro came up short on the other end, that’s when Gill’s heroics were set in motion.
With 20 seconds left and the game tied at 52-52, Neely elected for a timeout. With just 11 seconds on the shot clock, the Panthers were unable to get a shot up after a pass was fumbled. With just five seconds to go, Foxboro ran a nice double screen to get DuBrow the ball and he drove along the baseline, sucking in the defense and he dished to Lowey but Macchi came from behind with help defense and blocked the last second shot attempt to send the game to overtime.
“We said we needed to get back to basics and get back to who we are,” Neely said of overcoming the 17 point deficit. “When we were down [by 17], we started to call a couple of sets, I told Timmy [Prunier] to be a little more aggressive. When he’s move aggressive then other guys get open. [Connor] Goldstein kind of goes under the radar but he spaces the floor and it opened a lot up, and got us some offensive boards. We got [Josh] Macchi in there to try and get us some offensive rebounds and he played his best game of the season by far.”
“After they made their run I was proud of the way we hung in there,” Gibbs said. “I thought we did a good job of fighting through the adversity, which was something we did a poor job of against Taunton. I thought tonight we responded well, we took the punch and hung in there but we just couldn’t hold on. Coming down the stretch, Franklin just made a couple more plays and shots than we did. I’m so proud of the way that our guys battled, they played their guts out and gave everything. Sometimes it just comes down to whether the ball goes in the basket but give credit to Franklin, they made a couple more plays than we did down the stretch.”
Prunier’s 18 points and four rebounds led the Panthers while Dieterle had 13 points and four rebounds and Gill had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. Macchi had 11 points, eight rebounds and two [vital] assists.
Procaccini had seven rebounds to go with his 17 points, Lowey had six boards along with 12 points and DuBrow finished with eight points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
Franklin held a slim 30-28 edge in rebounding and had made 13/15 of its free throws compared to 8/12 for Foxboro. The Warriors were just 1/11 in the second half and overtime from three point range while Franklin was 5/14 in the second half and overtime.
The Panthers (7-1, 5-1) remain in a three way tie for first place in the Kelley-Rex but something will have to change when they travel to rival Mansfield (6-1, 5-1) on Friday for a 6:30 tip. Foxboro (6-2, 4-2) still remains atop the Davenport and will take a trip to Oliver Ames on the same day and time.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Taunton’s Late Push Earns Win On The Road At Franklin

Taunton's Carlos Borrero had a strong game with 11 points and five assists. (Tom Madigan/Photo)
Taunton’s Carlos Borrero had a strong game with 11 points and five assists. (Tom Madigan/Photo)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FRANKLIN, Mass. – With a two point lead and just under a minute to play, Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey called a timeout. With the inbounds coming just over half court, the Tigers tried to run a double screen to get junior Tommy MacLean an open look but Franklin covered it perfectly.
Instead, senior point guard Carlos Borrero took off to the basket, drew a defender and used a perfect bounce pass to hit Dominique Smith for an easy bucket to extend the lead to four with just 40 seconds to play.
Taunton’s defense held off Franklin’s ensuing chance and picked up a key 57-53 win on the road over the Panthers.
“The way this league goes, you’re always scouted,” Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey said. “Your first option is almost a giveaway to suck the defense and then come back. We did want to go to MacLean but they had the awareness to take that away. [Carlos] had a real good game.”
It was the exclamation point for a terrific final quarter for the Tigers. After trailing by six (43-37) entering the quarter, Taunton opened up the final frame with a 10-2 run to take the lead. Borrero and Quan Roberson each scored before Franklin sophomore Paul Mahon answered on the baseline. Jose Mercado hit a floater and MacLean hit two free throws to tie the game at 45. Two more defensive stops from Taunton were rewarded by buckets from Dominique Smith (from Borrero) and Mercado (from MacLean).
Franklin didn’t go quietly though as sophomore Connor Peterson converted a traditional three point play to get within one and after a basket from Roberson, Tim Prunier got two plus the harm to tie the gam at 51 with 2:36 left.
After a miss from Smith from deep, MacLean corralled the loose ball for an offensive board and got the putback to give Taunton a 53-51 lead. On the other end, Borrero stepped in to take a charge for the Tigers.
“He had a great game, all those charges he took too,” Dacey said of Borerro. “Maybe he heard me complaining about how charges can change the game. He stepped in while other guys weren’t.”
Taunton turned it over on its ensuing possession but its defense came up with another stop, securing a rebound after a Franklin missed three from the corner and then set up its big play out of the timeout.
“We wanted to get them at the three point line because we didn’t want them to beat us from there,” Dacey said. Taunton limited Franklin to 4/17 shooting from deep. “We were fairly confident if we closed out properly and made them put it on the floor then we could defend it at that point. I was real happy with the defense, especially since they scored 90 something against CM. You have to take away the three point and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”
The Tigers held a 9-8 lead with 3:43 left in the first quarter, but the Panthers came to life and went on to take a 19-16 lead after the first quarter. Franklin held Taunton to just six points in the second quarter and took a 29-22 lead into the halftime break.
In the third quarter, Taunton rallied with a 13-5 run, capped with a put back by Roberson to take a brief 35-34 lead. But Franklin quickly responded with a full court pass and easy bucket for Peterson and a 9-0 run to restore an eight point lead. Kevin Gill had five of those points, taking passes from Sam Harrell and Jay Dieterle.
“We could have folded then and we didn’t,” Dacey said. “We stayed with the defense, we even fumbled away from opportunities to get back in the game offensively but we stayed solid defensively and weathered the storm.”
Taunton won the rebounding battle 27-17 and had eight offensive boards.
“They totally out-toughed us during the game,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “The things we pride ourselves on, we didn’t do today. We didn’t take a charge in the game which is not something we do, I can’t remember the last time we didn’t take one in a game. We didn’t box out, so we got out rebounded. I thought our initial defense was pretty good and we got the stops we wanted to especially late in the game but multiple offensive rebounds took the game over. I thought it was pretty back and forth but they got a couple of extra shots from those rebounds and it ended up being the difference really.”
The Tigers had five players reach double digits, Quan Roberson had 14 points, Tommy MacLean had 11 points, four rebounds and seven assists, Carlos Borrero had 11 points and five assists, Dominique Smith had 11 points and six rebounds and Jose Mercado had 10 points and eight rebounds. Franklin’s Tim Prunier had 15 points and four assists, sophomore Connor Peterson had 11 points and Kevin Gill had 10 points for the Panthers.
Taunton (4-2, 3-1) will look to make it two in a row when they travel to Mansfield (5-0, 4-0) on Friday for a 7:00 tip off. Franklin (5-1, 3-1) will look to bounce back on Friday when they travel to King Philip for a 5:30 tip off.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Franklin’s Superb Shooting Delivers Upset of CM

Franklin reacts after upsetting top-ranked Catholic Memorial on Wednesday night. (Ryan Lanigan/
Franklin reacts after upsetting top-ranked Catholic Memorial on Wednesday night. (Ryan Lanigan/

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin typically likes to hangs its hat on defense.
But for at least one night, the Panthers relied on their offense to get the job done.
Franklin shot 50% from beyond the arc, connecting on 17 three pointers and never trailed in the second half in a 92-87 upset of Catholic Memorial, the defending D1 State Champions and the top ranked team in the state.
The Knights are ranked #1 by both ESPNBoston and The Boston Herald.
Freshman Jay Dieterle scored 16 of his team-high 24 points in the second half and sophomore Paul Mahon scored all 18 of his points in the second half to pace the Panthers.
“Taking them, making them, all of that’s kind of ridiculous and I think you need stuff like that to beat a team like CM,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said of the team’s shooting from deep. “[CM’s] firepower is unbelievable. I think we held them to eight in the first quarter and they still put up 87 points. We usually pride ourselves on defense but this was a credit to our guys. I challenged them in the offseason to make 100 shots a day and they took it to heart and you can see the benefit of the guys who put in the work in the offseason.”
For the first quarter, it was Franklin’s defense that worked. The Panthers limited the Knights to just eight points while picking up a seven point cushion — a lead they would rely on for the rest of the game.
The second quarter is when the Panthers started to connect from deep. Tom Houlihan (16 points) connected on three of the team’s six three pointers in the second quarter. The Panthers then shot 10/18 from deep (5/11 in the third, 5/7 in the fourth) in the second half.
“It felt like we couldn’t hit a shot on Monday, we did a ton of shooting yesterday [in practice],” Neely said. “We had to have a light practice because we knew this one would be up and down. OA, they played us so hard so we had to go light so we took a lot of shots in practice and working on beating pressure. We were able to knock some down finally.”
Catholic Memorial was able to turn a five point deficit at halftime into a tie game early in the second half. Using a 12-5 run, the Knights tied the game 49-49 with a chance for a lead with an and-one free throw attempt. Instead, the shot rimmed out and Franklin’s Mahon hit a three on the other end.
The Knights refused to go away despite Franklin’s sharpshooting. A basket from CM’s Brandon Twitty (game-high 27 points) brought the Knights within seven in the fourth quarter at 68-61 with just over five minutes to play.
That’s when Dieterle really stood out. On Franklin’s ensuing trip up court. the freshman drained a wide open three pointer. As CM tried to push the pace and respond, Dieterle was able to get to the floor and take the loose ball. Eventually Franklin got possession of it and once again, Dieterle drained a three, extending the Panther’s lead to 74-61 with just over five minutes to play.
“I was just getting to the hoop more and more as the game went on and I just got more comfortable out there,” Dieterle said. “We all just put in work over the summer, we all got our shots a day…100 makes a day and it’s showing right now. This was amazing.”
After a timeout, the Knights rattled off nine straight points to make it a four point game but Dieterle took the ball to the rim for a finish plus the harm for a three point play. When CM got within five again, Houlihan hit his fifth three of the game to push the lead back to eight. Mahon then hit another three to make it an 11 point lead with two minutes to play.
“We’ve got a freshman out there playing like a senior, we’ve got Mahon burying shots, [Connor] Goldstein, Houlihan too” Neely said. “I mean all of those guys bought into making the 100 shots a day and that changes the way you can play the game when you have shooters that can space it like that.”
Despite fouling, Franklin kept its lead by going 11/13 from the free throw line in the second half. The Knights were 13/22 from the free throw line but just 4/11 in the second half.
“All credit to them, Franklin shots lights out,” CM head coach Denis Tobin said. “I said to our guys that we probably won’t play a team that will shoot this well the entire season. But Franklin made them, good for them they deserved it.”
Sam Harrell chipped in with six points, seven rebounds and five assists, Josh Macchi had 10 points, Kevin Gill scored six points, had seven assists and six rebounds and Tim Prunier had nine points. Prunier, who has been one of the top players in the Hockomock League, was limited because of foul trouble. He had two early in the second quarter and a charge early in the third quarter force him to the bench.
When asked what he would say if he was told before the game that the Panthers would score over 90 points and beat CM with Prunier scoring just nine, Neely said, “I would have been surprised. He’s obviously the leader of our team and he’s a great player but it goes to show that we’re not about one guy, we’ve got a whole team full of guys ready to play. They’ve played without Tim before, he’s been in foul trouble in basically every game we’ve played so far, so they’re used to it now. We have plenty of guys willing to step up and take shots. That was the message going in, to play with confidence and be aggressive. Right before we went out there I said play with an exclamation point.”
“It’s definitely hard having our leader out on the bench but he was great when he was on and everyone had to step up and everyone did,” Dieterle added.
Franklin (4-0) will have some time to rest now as they will be off until December 29th when they take on Algonquin in a non-league contest.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/23/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Franklin, 92 vs. Catholic Memorial, 87 – Final – Franklin freshman Jay Dieterle netted a team-high 24 points and added five rebounds and four assists, sophomore Paul Mahon scored all 18 of his points in the second half, Thomas Houlihan had 16 points, Josh Macchi netted 10 points and Sam Harrell had six points, seven rebounds and five assists. Franklin made 17/34 three pointers in the game. 

Stoughton, 56 @ Falmouth, 67 – Final – Stoughton senior Brandon Teixeira scored a team-high 24 points in the loss for the Black Knights.
King Philip, 1 @ Coyle Cassidy, 4 – Final
Milford, 2 @ Holliston, 4 – Final
Oliver Ames, 2 vs. Dartmouth, 3 – Final –  OA took the lead on a first period goal by Eric LeBlanc, but the Indians scored the next three. Matt Mancini scored on a breakaway in the third period to cut the lead to one. Oliver Ames outshot Dartmouth 42-18 but the Indians’ goalie, Tyler Martin, made 40 saves, including one in the final seconds to get the win.
Taunton, 5 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final Tyler Pietrzyk scored a pair of goals and assisted on a third to lead the Tigers. Zack Albert, Sven Ormseth and Josh Denham also scored for the Tigers. Mark Sheehan and Sean Doherty each had a goal and an assist for the Black Knights, who also got a goal from Brendan Campbell. 
Marshfield Quad – Franklin went 3-0 on the day, beating Marshfield 36-19, Duxbury 50-14 and Pembroke 27-19. 
Plymouth North Quad – Oliver Ames went 2-1 on the day, with its lone loss coming to #24 ranked Cambridge R&L. The Tigers got wins over Plymouth North (49-26) and BC High (35-33) but fell to CRL (42-36). Lustin Funai continued his strong start to the season at 132, going 3-0 with three pins. OA’s Ryan Lehane (152) was also 3-0 with three pins while Jack Mills (22) went 2-0 with a pair of pins. Anthony Berksza (138), Sean Davenport (160), Jacob Murphy (170) and Dean Pachini (195) went 2-1. 
Mansfield, 78 @ Milford, 90 – Final
Mansfield, 88 @ Milford, 82 – Final
Canton, 120.55 @ North Attleboro, 132.45 – Final
Sharon, 133.75 @ North Attleboro, 132.45 – Final
Sharon, 133.75 vs. Canton, 120.55 – Final
Girls Hockey
Canton, 1 @ Sandwich, 1 – Final
Franklin, 3 vs. Leominster/St. Bernards, 5 – Final
King Philip, 4 vs. Westwood, 0 – Final

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/21/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 62 @ Stoughton, 64 – Final – Stoughton senior Brandon Teixeira hit his fifth three pointer of the game with 13 seconds left to put the Black Knights ahead. Teixeira finished with a game-high 27 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Cam Andrews added 15 points and three steals and Cam Gomes had nine points and five rebounds. Attleboro’s Jake Dunkley had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Lucas Boucicaut had 15 points on over 71% shooting and Andrew Miliken added 12 points and eight rebounds.

Mansfield, 72 @ Canton, 47 – Final – Matt Ehrlich scored a team-high 21 points and Phil Vigeant added in 13 points and four assists for the Hornets. Sam Goldberg chipped in with eight points, five rebounds and four assists. Canton’s Woanyen Mahn had a team-high 10 points. 

Taunton, 57 @ Foxboro, 51 – Final

Franklin, 50 @ Oliver Ames, 48 – Final – Kevin Gill scored a turnaround jumper in the paint off an assist from Sam Harrell with just 0.8 seconds left as Franklin completed a big second half comeback. After being down as much as 14, the Panthers rallied for a big third and fourth quarters. Tim Prunier had a team-high 14 points for Franklin. Tim Kelley had a game-high 15 points for Oliver Ames and Dylan Mahoney added 10. 

King Philip, 63 @ Milford, 66 – Final – Milford’s Dwight Anderson recorded a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 10 rebounds while Dee Torres added 15 points and Nate Davila had eight points. King Philip freshman Kyle Layman also had a double-double with 20 points and 25 rebounds. 

North Attleboro, 55 @ Sharon, 69 – Final – Ricardo Ripley was the top scorer for the Eagles with 18 points while Matt Lowerre hit three three pointers and finished with 11 points. Mitchell Sirota and Adam Banks had strong games and combined for 23 points. Brent Doherty led North Attleboro with a game-high 21 points. 
Girls Basketball
Canton, 24 @ Mansfield, 49 – FinalCaroline Maher led the way for the Hornets, who led 43-14 going into the fourth, with 13 points. Jackie Carchedi had a solid overall game for Mansfield with seven points, six rebounds, and seven steals.
Foxboro, 68 @ Taunton, 36 – Final – Ashley Sampson led the way for the Warriors with 25 points. Cassidy Harrison added 11 and Carolyn Will had 10 for Foxboro.

Oliver Ames, 58 @ Franklin, 47 – Final – Kayla Raymond had a double-double for the Tigers with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Niyera Mitchell added 14 points to pace the Tigers, who outscored Franklin 24-10 in the fourth quarter after trailing by six with four minutes to go. Francesca Calabraro added 10 points and Sam Bamford has six of OA’s 12 steals. Franklin was led by Lauren Rudolph with 10 points and Aubrie Kutil and Margaux Welsh each had seven.
Milford, 41 @ King Philip, 37 – FinalKate Irwin led the Hawks with 18 points and Jill Power added nine points for Milford.
Sharon, 44 @ North Attleboro, 57 – Final – The Rocketeers were led by Caroline Collard with 13 points. Ashley Ahern added 11 points and six assists, while Emily Schromm had 10 for North. Sharon was led by Alyssa Piazza with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds and 13 points from Charlotte Ransom. 

Stoughton, 58 @ Attleboro, 49 – Final – Jess Greer led Stoughton with 14 points and sophomore Val Whalen chipped in with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Four different players scored in double figures for the Black Knights. 
Attleboro, 3 vs. Littleton/Bromfield, 2 – Final (2 OT)Attleboro won the game on a goal by P.J. Elliott on the first shift of four on four play in the second overtime for the Bombardiers who advance to the tournament’s championship game. Elliott also had the tying goal in the third period. Jack Flynn scored Attleboro’s first goal on the power play. The game counts as a 2-2 draw in terms of tournament qualification.
Taunton, 6 vs. Durfee, 1 Final – Zack Albert and Jordan Hoey scored a pair of goals while Jake Roberts added one and Jack Patneaude scored his first career goal. Mike Volkmann had three assists and Cam Pitts made 14 saves in net for the win. 
Canton boys, 91 vs. Medfield boys, 80 – Final
Canton girls, 74 vs. Medfield girls, 96 – Final
Mansfield boys 77 vs. Hopkinton boys, 98 –  Final
Mansfield girls, 84 vs. Hopkinton girls, 94 – Final
Oliver Ames boys, 86 @ North Attleboro boys, 82 – Final
Oliver Ames girls, 74 @ North Attleboro girls, 88 – Final

Saturday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/03/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Franklin, 6 @ North Attleboro, 28 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Rajotte 35 yard interception return, Connor Flynn XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) N. Rajotte 50 yard fumble return, C. Flynn XP good; (NA) Chad Peterson 37 yard pass to Bobby Mylod, C. Flynn XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring
4th Quarter: (NA) Kyle McCarthy 27 yard pass to C. Flynn, Connor MacIver XP good; (F) Brad Jarosz 47 yard pass to Sam Harrell, 2pt failed. 
Boys Soccer
Milford, 1 vs. Nipmuc, 2 – Final
Girls Soccer
King Philip @ Walpole, 7:00

Football: 2015 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

By Staff


2014 Record: 4-7
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan
Key/Returning Players: Kyle Murphy, Sr., OT/DT, 6-4, 275 lbs.; Brendan Nunes, Sr., WR/CB, 6-0, 175 lbs.; Tyler McGovern, Jr., QB, 6-3, 190 lbs.; John Burns, Sr., FB/OLB, 5-9, 165 lbs.; Alex Silva, Sr., TE/DE, 5-11, 185 lbs.
Outlook: The Bombardiers come into this season hoping to regain some of the magic of their 2013 run to the Div. 1 South final and doing it while replacing last year’s starting backfield and leading receiver. The reason for optimism in Attleboro is the return of senior lineman Kyle Murphy, who has emerged as a legit FBS prospect and one of the top players on the line in the state. Head coach Mike Strachan told, “He’s got very good feet for a kid that big. We’re looking for some great things from him this season.”
In addition, junior quarterback Tyler McGovern is back under center for his second season, after splitting time with Ross Killion in 2014. McGovern has the size at 6-foot-3 and also has the arm to be a major weapon in the offense and try to make up for some of the lost production from the graduating running backs. McGovern’s growth at QB will be crucial for Attleboro. Strachan said, “He’s got a very quick release, and he’s worked on his feet all offseason. We need him to help get us back to that level we were at two years ago.”
Brendan Nunes is one of the receivers that Attleboro is hoping can turn into a primary target along with senior tight end Alex Silva, although there are question marks about who can become the No. 1 back to take pressure off McGovern and the passing game.
Defense should be a strength for the Bombardiers, who bring back almost all of last year’s starters. Murphy can dominate the line of scrimmage and forces double teams and game plans that can open space for his teammates. John Burns and the linebacking corps will be hoping to take advantage of that extra room to make plays.


2014 Record: 5-6
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell
Key/Returning Players: Ben Riggs SR. 6-3, 300,OL/DL; Joe Giacolone SR 6-2, 270, OL/DL; Nick Yelle SR. 5-9, 180, LB/RB; Luke Gordon SR. 6-1, 175, WR/DB; Sam Harrell SR. 6-0, 180, WR/DB; Jake Lyons JR. 5-10, 190, RB/DB; Tyler Gomes JR. 6-1, 210, FB/DE; Brad Jarosz JR QB; Will O’Reilly SR. WR/DB; Eddie Scannapieco WR/DB
Outlook: The Panthers come into 2015 lacking varsity experience in a lot of places, but with more depth at the skill positions and improved play at the line of scrimmage that has head coach Brad Sidwell entering his 20th season with hopes of getting Franklin into the tournament after back-to-back 5-6 seasons. He said, “Not a lot of experience, but many have been progressing through the sub varsity programs.[We] will play physical football.”
The Panthers will be starting a new quarterback this season with junior Brad Jarosz expected to take over under center and he will have plenty of weapons to use in Franklin’s typically up-tempo offense. Nick Yelle will be in the backfield along with Jake Lyons, while Sam Harrell, Will O’Reilly, Luke Gordon and Eddie Scannapieco are all back on the outside. The offensive line is improved, according to Sidwell, although it may lack depth in case of injuries. Ben Riggs and Joe Giacolone are two-way linemen that can be dominant on both sides of the ball.
Defensively, Franklin will hope that the skill position players continue to develop into strong players in the secondary, while counting on junior defensive end Tyler Gomes to continue his emergence as a strong presence in the pass rush. Franklin will be counting on the opening games against Arlington and Milford to prepare it for the battles to come in the Kelley-Rex Division.
Sidwell said, “Looking forward to working with this group, hard working and great attitude. Getting off to a good start and gaining confidence will be important.”

King Philip

2014 Record: 10-1
2014 Finish: Reached D2 South final
Coach: Brian Lee
Key/Returning Players: John DeLuca, Jr. QB; Bill Dittrich, Sr. OL/DL; James Cooke, Sr. OL/DL; Cory Lombardo, Sr. LB; Nick Bernier Garzon, Sr. DL; Steven Eaton, Sr. RB; R.J. McCarthy, Sr. WR/DB, Giovanni Fernandez, Jr. RB
Outlook: King Philip is coming off its first outright league title and a trip to the Div. 2 South final where it gave eventual state champion Marshfield one of its toughest games of the season. The Warriors are a team based on ball control offense and hard-nosed defense and despite losing a strong core from last year’s squad, head coach Brian Lee will ensure that KP remains a tough team to play against even with a host of young players.
Quarterback John Deluca returns for his junior season, but without some of the weapons that were so prolific from last year including Player of the Year Mark Glebus and wideout Kyle Loewen. Senior running back Steven Eaton will take most of the carries and is hoping to develop some of the explosiveness that made Glebus such a weapon last year. Junior Gio Fernandez also saw some carries last year and is a load at running back, especially in short-yardage situations. Senior R.J. McCarthy is a player to watch at receiver.
The offensive and defensive lines remain a strength for KP with Bill Dittrich and James Cooke returning. Nick Bernier Garzon will also help out on the line, but the key to the defense is senior middle linebacker Cory Lombardo who will be the leader and continues the pattern of strong linebackers at KP.
If the offense can find a groove and the young players develop quickly, KP will have its sights set on a second straight Hockomock title. But, as Lee said, there are “a lot of rookies out there.”


2014 Record: 6-5
2014 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Redding
Key/Returning Players: Diogo Desousa, Jr. K/DE, 5-11, 182 lbs.; Connor Finerty, Sr. RB/LB, 5-11, 200 lbs.; Anthony DeGirolamo, Jr. QB/DB, 5-11, 165 lbs.; Ben Wisnieski, Sr. RB/DB, 5-10, 160 lbs.; Hunter Ferreira, Jr. WR/DB, 6-1, 185 lbs.; Brian Lynch, Jr. RB/DB, 5-8, 170 lbs.; Nick Krouskos, Jr. FB/LB, 5-9, 175 lbs.; Mike Arnold, Sr. TE/DE, 6-1, 205 lbs.; Josh Schafer, Jr. OL/DL, 6-2, 230 lbs.; Matt Kashtan, Sr. OG/NG, 5-8 195 lbs.; Joe Bukuras, Jr. RB/DB, 5-9, 160 lbs.; A.J. Gibbs, Jr. OL/DL, 5-11, 270 lbs.
Outlook: Mansfield enters the season with plenty of depth on both sides of the ball, as the Hornets try to regain the Kelley-Rex Division crown they lost to King Philip in an injury-plagued 2014 season. Head coach Mike Redding, entering his 28th year in charge, is expecting to learn quite a bit about his team with St. John’s Prep, Haverhill, KP, and Attleboro to start the season. Redding noted, “We will need to be hitting on all cylinders for those key games early.”
“Overall, we’re on the young side and a little undersized, but very talented at skill positions and we have very good overall team strength and good team chemistry and leadership,” said Redding.
Mansfield will be making a change under center with junior Anthony Girolamo taking over and his task will be made a little easier by the talented backfield of senior Connor Finerty and junior Brian Lynch, who is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign that saw him rush for eight touchdowns and more than 800 yards. In addition, the Hornets have talent on the edges with receivers Ben Budwey and Hunter Ferreira and athletic tight end Mike Arnold. Junior Josh Schafer will be a player to watch on the line.
Finerty headlines the defensive unit as the outside linebacker and leader on that side of the ball. He will be joined by Ferreira and Anthony Keefe on the outside with Nick Krouskos, Travis Sjoberg, and Nick Martin in the middle. The real strength of the defense could lie in the secondary with all four starters returning and plenty of depth behind them. Joe Bukuras and Connor Driscoll are the corners with Ben Budwey and Ben Wisnieski at safety. Special teams will also be strong with returning kicker Diogo DeSousa, who Redding calls “one of the best kickers” he has had in his time with the Hornets.

North Attleboro

2014 Record: 8-3
2014 Finish: Reached D3 Southwest Quarterfinal
Coach: Don Johnson
Key/Returning Players: Connor Flynn, Sr. K/RB/LB; Nick Morrison, Sr. RB/LB; Bobby Mylod, Jr. RB/LB; Nick Rajotte, Jr. RB/DB; Brodey Barr, Sr. QB/DB; Kyle McCarthy, Jr. QB/DB; Ridge Olsen, Sr. WR/DB; Kyle Gaumond, Sr. WR/DB; Patrick Johnson, Sr. RB/WR/DB; Andy Katch, Sr. OL/DL; Joe Flaherty, Sr. OL; Brendan Nally, Jr. OL; Alex Dion, Sr. OL; Josh Morrison, Sr. OL/DL; Sam Morrison, Sr. OL/DL; Tom Reynolds, Jr. OL/DL; Davon Andrade, Sr. TE/DL
Outlook: After a stunning home loss to Medfield in the opening round of the Div. 3 Southwest playoffs last fall, North Attleboro returns a number of skill position players with hopes of making a run at the Kelley-Rex Division title.
The backfield is loaded with seniors Connor Flynn, who averaged 12.1 yards per carry until a wrist injury kept him out, and Nick Morrison providing steady hands and downhill running while being pushed by the explosive duo of juniors Nick Rajotte and Bobby Mylod, who combined for 13 touchdowns last season. Head coach Don Johnson said of his running backs, “All four backs are versatile and can play multiple positions.” On the outside, North boasts plenty of size at wideout with 6-foot-5 senior Ridge Olsen on one side and Kyle Gaumond on the other.
The biggest question mark is who will be getting the ball to those skill position players? There has been a three-way battle at quarterback during the preseason between senior Brodey Barr, who saw some time under center last year and was primarily a runner, athletic junior Kyle McCarthy, and sophomore Chad Peterson. Johnson explained, “We could use them all, but it might depend more upon how things shake out at other positions, particularly on defense. All three are competitive athletes that can help us in other spots.”
Defensively, North has loads of depth on the line if not loads of experience. Senior twins Josh and Sam Morrison will split time along with senior Davon Andrade and senior defensive tackle Andy Katch, The linebacking corps features Mylod in the middle with Flynn and Nick Morrison on the outside. In the secondary, Gaumond, Barr, Rajotte, Olsen, McCarthy, and Patrick Johnson will all be in the mix depending on match-ups.


2014 Record: 2-9
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris Greding
Key/Returning Players: Brian Cherenfant, RB/DB; Jake Norberto, OL; Santiago Lopez, OL; Jason DaRosa, RB; Damion Theodule, DB; Matt Grey, LB; Jared Williams, DL; Tanner Costa, RB/DB; Lazare Joseph, RB; Adam McLaughlin, WR; Connor Briggs, OL; Nick Brown, DL; Sylvester English, DL; Zakeem Harrow, DL; John Chretien, LB; Breven Walker, DB; Amir Rehim, LB

Outlook: The Tigers are coming off a 2-9 season and will have a new quarterback under center, but head coach Chris Greding is counting on his depth on the line and at the skill positions and overall team speed to get Taunton in the mix in the division.
Senior Brain Cherenfant is one of the fastest players in the league and gives the Tigers a weapon both on offense and in special teams. He will be joined in the backfield by Jason DeRosa, Lazare Joseph and Coyle transfer Tanner Costa, giving Taunton a number of weapons. Adam McLaughlin will be a player to watch at wideout.
The line has also been strengthened with Jake Norberto and Santiago Lopez coming back on the offensive side of the ball and Jared Williams on defense. Connor Briggs will be another player to keep an eye on opening holes for the backs, while the defensive line is bolstered by Florida transfer Sylvester English, Texas transfer Nick Brown, and Boston transfer Zakeem Harrow. The linebacking corps includes Matt Grey and John Chretien, while Breven Walker, Cherenfant and Costa will all play bog roles in the secondary.