Canton Sweeps OA to Take Lead in Davenport

Canton volleyball
Canton celebrates a point in the second set. The Bulldogs earned a 3-0 win at Oliver Ames to take a one-game lead in the division. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Canton has been searching for the right lineup combination all season. Based on its performance in Monday evening’s battle of Davenport co-leaders in the Nixon Gym, it seems the Bulldogs might have finally found their best rotations.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Bulldogs put together a complete performance, never trailing until late in the third set, and never allowing Oliver Ames to build momentum and get into the match. Canton won 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23) and now has a one-game lead on the Tigers with three matches left in the season.

“We always try to get off to a good start,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “Whether you can or you can’t, it depends on the day. It’s a lot easier to play when you’re ahead and that was to our benefit but we did let them catch up in the second set and again in the third. To the kids’ credit they did buckle down and get it done.”

Canton showed off a balanced attack to build a lead in the first set. Liz Bickett (11 kills and 17 digs) had back-to-back hits to put the Bulldogs in front 10-7. After Caroline Flynn’s kill got OA back within two, the Bulldogs kept winning rallies, got an ace from Taylor Reynolds and pushed the lead to as many as five (15-10).

A block by freshman Sarah Hilliard and an ace from Amanda Barth kept the Tigers hanging around, but a pair of kills from outside hitter Anna Verille extended the lead back to four. Back-to-back blocks by Hadley Rhodes (21 assists and seven kills) and Tori Harneyy and then a tip by Flynn (11 kills) tied things up at 19-19.

Just when it looked like OA might be able to steal the first set, Canton ran off four straight, including an accurate tip by setter Jackie Morrissey and a big swing from Angie Elias (14 kills). Elias sealed the 1-0 lead with a well-placed tip, her fifth point of the first.

The visitors seemed to carry over the momentum into the second, continuing to win the battles at the net, led by Elias, Bickett, and Sydney Gallery (seven kills), who stepped into the middle in the absence of Shannon Malloy and had an impressive match on both sides of the ball. Her tip put the Bulldogs up 10-5.

“Syd’s first time playing middle and she did a great job,” said Cawley. “We didn’t even get to practice with her in the middle.”

Flynn capped a long rally with a cross-court kill, but Elias answered back with two of the next three points for an 18-11 lead. Down 20-13 and in danger of falling behind by two sets, OA managed to fight back and won nine of the next 11 points to tie it up at 22-22.

“We’ve made it interesting, but I want to make it count,” said OA coach Chelsea Cunningham. “Our lineup changes every single game, but it builds opportunities for everyone on the team, which I appreciate, and their willingness to try and give it their all.”

The Tigers were playing better defense in that stretch, although a block by Talya DeGraw and an ace by Nikki Desjardins slowed the comeback. Hilliard came through with another block in the middle and Harney found an angle for a big swing. An ace by Sarah Morley (23 digs) and quick tip by Rhodes tied the set and then Jordan Bennett made it 23-23 with a kill.

Again, the visitors had an answer. Bickett restored the lead with a tip down the line and then closed out the second with a kill to put the Bulldogs in control.

Cawley said, “I thought our ball control today was excellent. I thought our defense did a great job. We focused on being there to block, but I think our offense kept their defense off-balance. That’s a credit to our defense, which got the ball to our setter so we could put pressure on their defense.”

The familiar pattern continued in the third set, as Canton jumped out in front again. Down 14-8, OA started to climb back into it, following an ace by Alexandra Zwerle and a block by Courtney Raymond. Elias answered with an ace and the Bulldogs remained in front 16-12. The Tigers rolled off six of the next seven points to grab their first lead of the match.

Raymond added an ace to her earlier block and Flynn had a big swing on the outside. Bennett added another kill and OA led 21-19 in the third, looking to try and extend the match.

“These games are what will make us stronger,” said Cunningham. “They’re fighting. I get to give other kids the opportunity to play and they’re feisty. Them taking those risks definitely helps ignite a little bit of energy our team needs right now.”

Canton just seemed to make the big plays when it needed and found any openings in the OA defense. Verille dropped a shot in between a few Tigers and Bickett scored with a block to tie the set. Raymond had a kill to tie things back up at 23-23, but the Bulldogs won the final two points to seal the match.

“Their coverage was fantastic,” Cunningham added, “and that challenges us because we’re suffering on coverage right now. We’ve just got to bounce back. Hopefully it will be a quick turnaround.”

The Bulldogs have now won four straight after being swept by Sharon. Cawley saw that match as a good reminder to her team about how little separates the teams in the Davenport this season.

“Every loss is a learning experience,” she explained. “Last year we lost twice to North and I think it was the best thing for us to understand that you can lose. Every team out there is good and you can’t take anyone for granted. We’re not above the rest of the competition at all, we’re right there with everyone.”

Canton (6-1) will host Oliver Ames (5-2) on Wednesday looking to move one step closer to a 14th league title in the past 15 seasons.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/10/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Oliver Ames, 43 @ North Attleboro, 48 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Foxboro, 58 @ Canton, 46 – FinalFoxboro opened the second half with an 8-0 run, doubling its lead in the process, and never looked back in a win on the road over Canton. Foxboro’s slim (13-10) lead after eight minutes grew to 25-17 by the halftime break, and its strong start to the third quarter pushed the advantage to 16 and the Warriors never surrendered their advantage, carrying a 42-26 lead into the fourth. Junior Dylan Gordon scored 15 of his 17 points in the middle quarters while sophomore Alex Penders recorded 13 of his 17 points in the second half. Sam Golub had a strong night from downtown, hitting four three-pointers for 12 points for the Warriors. Eric Mischler led Canton with 13 points while classmate Ryan Connerney added 12 points.

Milford, 32 @ Attleboro, 59 – FinalAttleboro’s defense limited the visiting Scarlet Hawks to single digits in the scoring column in each of the four quarters to earn a big win. The Bombardiers held a 10-7 lead after one quarter of action but had a successful second quarter on both ends of the court to seize a 28-16 halftime lead. Junior Evan Houle set a new career-high with 20 points, including 14 points in the first half. Houle added two more threes in the third as the Bombardiers saw their lead balloon to 41-23. Sophomore Trevor White added 12 points in the win.




Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 71 @ Taunton, 49 – FinalIt was just a four-point game after one, but Attleboro used a 22-8 second quarter to break it open and pick up the road win. Meghan Gordon had a monster game for the Bombardiers with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Emma Reilly chipped in with 15 and freshman point guard Narissa Smith added seven points and eight assists. Sonya Fernandez had a big game for the Tigers, scoring 21 points in the loss. Kristy Gorman and Kyanna Barros both scored six points for Taunton.

North Attleboro, 37 @ Oliver Ames, 65 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. With the win, OA clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title. The Tigers can now win it outright with a victory in either of its final two games. Caroline Peper paced OA with 15 points and five steals and Kelsey Yelle added 10 points. The Tigers also got great performances from their trio of freshmen – Kaydance Derba (10 points and five rebounds), Sarah Hilliard (nine points and five rebounds), and Jasmyn Cooper (six points, eight rebounds, and five assists). OA used a 14-2 to grab a nine-point lead after one and then scored 20 in the second quarter to lead by 20 at halftime. North got no closer than 17 points in the second half. The Rocketeers were shorthanded with leading scorer Amanda Kaiser among the players out on Wednesday, but Ava McKeon picked up the scoring slack with a team-high 14, including seven in the first. Cailyn Maxcy added 10 points and Taylor McMath had six.

Milford, 39 @ Sharon, 33 – Final

Boys Hockey
Attleboro @ Taunton, 6:00
Canton, 5 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final

Girls Hockey
King Philip, 4 @ Canton, 2 – FinalKing Philip goalie Mallory Johnston made 24 saves as the Warriors snapped Canton’s 19-game unbeaten streak, dating back to January 2020. KP took a 1-0 lead in the first period and added two more in the second period to build a 3-1 lead. Avari Maxwell had two goals for KP while Kelly Holmes and Sydney O’Shea each had a goal and two assists in the win.

Swimming
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro

Gymnastics
King Philip @ Taunton, 8:30
Oliver Ames vs. Attleboro, 7:30 (Virtual)
Attleboro vs. Mansfield, 7:30 (Virtual)
Oliver Ames vs. Mansfield, 7:30 (Virtual)

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/21/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 58 @ Mansfield, 66 – FinalMansfield senior Matt Boen poured in a career-high 35 points to help the Hornets overcome an upset bid from visiting Attleboro. The Bombardiers built an eight-point lead after eight minutes (18-10) but Mansfield battled back to make it a two-point game, 33-31, at halftime. Both teams went for 11 points in the third as Attleboro carried a 44-42 lead into the fourth. But Boen flipped a switch in the final frame, hitting a pair of threes and six total field goals, netting 16 points to help the Hornets pull away. Boen also scored 10 points in the second to help the Hornets close the gap. Jack Colby added 10 points while Matt Hyland had eight points. Attleboro senior Justin Daniels shined with a career-high 25 points while Evan Houle and Trevor White each had eight points for the Bombardiers.

Canton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.

Stoughton, 52 @ Foxboro, 44 – FinalAfter being held to 23 points through three quarters, Stoughton’s offense exploded for 29 points in the fourth quarter to storm past Foxboro. It was a low scoring first half for both sides with the Warriors staking a 14-9 lead through a quarter and an 18-16 lead at halftime. Foxboro had its best offensive showing in third as sophomore Alex Penders (14 points) scored nine of the team’s 13 points to seize a 31-23 lead going into the fourth. But the Black Knights caught fire from three-point land with Connor Andrews (nine points) and Waseem Sablon (10 points) each hitting two and Jake Queeney adding another. Queeney’s three midway through the period gave Stoughton a 38-37 lead before Foxboro jumped back ahead on two free throws from Dylan Gordon (18 points). A strong take from Brett Pendenza put Stoughton back ahead and a steal from Sablon led to two points from junior KC Ugwuakazi (17 points). After a stop, Sablon drained a three as the clock ticked under two minutes. Foxboro got two back from the line but Andrews hit a straightaway three off an offensive rebound to make it 48-40 with a minute to go to ice the win.

Taunton, 55 @ Franklin, 46 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.




Girls Basketball
Mansfield, 41 @ Attleboro, 63 – FinalFor the second straight game, Attleboro jumped out to a big first quarter lead, but this time the Bombardiers kept control and didn’t let Mansfield back into the contest. Attleboro led 25-10 after the first quarter, as Meghan Gordon and Narissa Smith combined for 18 of the team’s 25 points. Unlike on Tuesday night, Mansfield couldn’t mount a second quarter comeback and the Bombardiers went into the break leading 42-19. Gordon finished with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds and Smith scored 14 points (knocking down four threes on the night). Emma Reilly added eight in the win. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said it was a “great team victory. Our defense was outstanding tonight.” The Hornets were led by Sarah Dooling and Abby Wager, who each finished with eight points.

Foxboro, 53 @ Stoughton, 13 – FinalKatelyn Mollica had her second straight game with 20-plus points and Foxboro swept the series against the Black Knights with a strong defensive performance. Mollica finished with 22 on the night and Hannah Blake chipped in with nine.

Franklin, 66 @ Taunton, 29 – FinalFranklin went on the road and scored a big win to stay unbeaten on the season. Olivia Quinn was the top scorer for the Panthers with 12 points, but it was a balanced effort as all 13 players got on the score sheet. Taunton got nine points from Sonya Fernandez and eight points from Jaelyn Fernandez in the season opener for the Tigers.

Oliver Ames, 52 @ Sharon, 15 – FinalOliver Ames used a balanced attack to get a season sweep of Sharon. Caroline Flynn didn’t miss a shot, finishing with 11 points while Sarah Hilliard added eight points. Jasmyn Cooper hauled in 10 rebounds while Maddie Homer had six steals.

North Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to Friday, 2/12.

King Philip, 72 @ Milford, 38 – FinalEmily Sawyer scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to get the Warriors back in the win column. Fellow sophomore Jackie Bonner scored 11 points for KP, which jumped out to a 43-15 lead by halftime and knocked down 11 threes as a team. Milford was led by Emma Lawrence and Jillian Michelson, who both scored eight points.

Girls Hockey
King Philip, 3 vs. Austin Prep, 8 – Final

Swimming
Attleboro @ Mansfield, 5:00
Sharon vs. Oliver Ames, 3:30

Third Quarter Scoring Lifts OA to Sweep of Foxboro

Oliver Ames girls basketball
Oliver Ames scored 23 points in the third quarter and then held off a Foxboro comeback to beat the Warriors for the second time in three days. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – For the second time in three days, one quarter proved decisive for Oliver Ames. On Tuesday, the Tigers won the fourth quarter to break open a one-point game to win by double digits. On Thursday, in Foxboro, the Tigers exploded in the third quarter to build a big lead and then had to hold off the Warriors in the final minutes.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After scoring 22 points in the first half, OA found its offense in the third and put 23 on the board, extending a one-point lead out to 13. The Tigers managed only six points in the fourth (all from the free throw line), but the lead turned out to be just big enough and OA earned the season sweep with a 51-47 victory.

“We’ve just got to fine tune some things and do the right thing in the right situation,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “I’m not disappointed with their effort at all, it’s just about doing the right things at the right time. It’s all growth, just got a little too close for comfort.”

Despite having no fans in the gym and being down by double digits heading into the fourth quarter, the Warriors showed no quit, which impressed their coach.

“I’d love to play them every night because that’s how you get better,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “We definitely did better defensively then we did on Tuesday. Against their zone we just didn’t rotate the ball as much as we should have to give us better, open looks, but for the most part we fought hard.”

After a very even, defensive first half, OA hit high gear coming out of the break. Katelyn Mollica (12 points and seven rebounds) drilled a three to put Foxboro ahead 24-22, but it would be the last lead for the Warriors. Caroline Peper (eight points and eight steals) answered from deep on the other end and put the Tigers ahead to stay.

That three was the start of a 12-0 run that pushed OA’s lead out to double digits. Caroline Flynn (10 points and 10 rebounds) grabbed four points in the run and Jess Erlich (nine points) added four of her own. The Tigers were getting out on the break, finding the cutters in the halfcourt, and crashing the offensive boards.

After freshman Camryn Collins snatched an offensive rebound and found classmate Erin Foley (12 points) for a layup, Foxboro cut the lead back to seven. OA answered right back. Hailey Bourne scored on a drive to the rim, freshman Kaydance Derba (six points, all in the third) buried a three on a Bourne kick out, and Maddie Homer scored on a putback.

Three free throws from Derba extended the advantage to 45-32 after three quarters and it looked like the Tigers were going to run away with it.

“I think we did a good job anticipating,” Clement-Holbrook explained. “I thought we did a good job in terms of rotation defensively and made it difficult for them. I thought we were probably better at executing in the third quarter than any of the other quarters.”

Things dried up offensively for the visitors in the fourth quarter. OA scored only six points and didn’t make a shot from the field. Foxboro took advantage to creep back into the game.

“They just had to listen and realize that we were playing into their hands,” Downs said. “We were dribbling into a trap instead of rotating the ball and we just had to rely on our speed, trying to fast break a little bit more, spread the floor, and get the ball up ahead.”

Aislinn Servaes swung the ball to Mollica for a three that got the lead down to single digits and Jordyn Collins (seven points and eight rebounds) followed with a driving layup that made it 48-41 with 1:35 to play.

“I would’ve liked to see us be a little more consistent in the fourth quarter,” said Clement-Holbrook. “I’d like to see us do a much better job attacking the offensive boards. We’ve got to come to the realization that offensive rebounds are an easy way to score, as opposed to having to run this screen, that screen. We’ve got to be more disciplined going to the boards to score.”

Peper knocked down two clutch free throws to push the lead back to nine but a perfect fast break led to a Camryn Collins three-point play and it was only a six-point game. Hannah Blake (eight points) hit her fourth jumper of the game to make it 50-46 but it was not enough to catch the Tigers.

“They definitely fought to the end,” Downs said about her team’s fourth quarter comeback. “Any normal season, Oliver Ames would be one of the favorites going into the state tournament. It’s a good opportunity, especially for the young girls, to see a quality team like that.”

The first half was back-and-forth, as both teams locked down defensively. OA had a distinct advantage with its length, recording eight blocks in the first half alone. Freshman Jasmyn Cooper didn’t score, but grabbed 10 rebound and blocked three shots.

Foley, who has had a strong start to her varsity career, scored five points in the first quarter and Blake added four, but the game was tied at 12 after one. Foley then buried her second three to put Foxboro ahead 15-12, but freshman Sarah Hilliard came off the bench to spark the Tigers. Her three-point play tied the game and she had a steal and layup to put OA in front. She scored all seven of her points in the second and had OA in front 22-21 at the break.

Oliver Ames (2-0) will be back home on Tuesday to face Sharon, while Foxboro (2-2) will try to bounce back against Stoughton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.