Shorthanded Hornets Fall To Feehan in Semis

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield’s Jackie Carchedi drives past a Feehan defender in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
BROCKTON, Mass. – Hampered by a slow start, an injury to a starter and facing a Bishop Feehan stout defense, Mansfield suffered a 66-45 setback to the Shamrocks in the D1 South Semifinal at Massasoit Community College.
The Shamrocks applied a full court man to man press from the get go, forcing the Hornets to turn it over nine times in the first eight minutes. By the conclusion of the first quarter, Bishop Feehan held a 20-6 lead.
Meanwhile, Mansfield was without junior point guard Jen Peel, a two time Hockomock League All Star, due to an injury sustained in the previous game against Newton South.
“At the start we were shaky, nervous early and had some turnovers and they jumped on us,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said. “Once we settled down we were OK but it was just too far away. We played tough in the second half to score 30 but just the shaky start hurt us.
“It’s tough, they’re scoring and then getting right into the press and you’re working so hard just to break the press and by the time you do, you’re tired at the other end and don’t execute. It snowballs on you and our bench was a little shorter too. Losing Jen as a starter, now Mady [Bendanillo], instead of coming off the bench, is playing a ton of minutes so we were a little thin at the guard position.”
Feehan senior Lauren Manis scored five of her 21 points in the opening quarter and hauled in four of her 12 rebounds to lead the way.
The Hornets had a good start to the second quarter with Caroline Maher (15 points) intercepting a pass and draining a three on the other end to cut the deficit to 11. The Hornets defense held the Shamrocks scoreless for nearly two minutes to start the quarter but then Feehan rattled off eight straight points to push the lead to 19.
Feehan kept the press up for the half and while only having one turnover in the second quarter, Mansfield trailed 32-16 at the break but shot just 25% from the field.
Mansfield’s offense was much better in the second half but the deficit remained the same. Maher scored eight her points in the second half and Jackie Carchedi, who also had six rebounds and three assists, scored nine of her 12 points in the second frame. Sarah Mullahy came off the bench to add five points.
“I thought. Mady played very well as a freshman but certainly losing a 300 assist, 500 point career girl [in Jen Peel] that has played 70 games in a row, it’s going to throw you off a little bit,” Redding said. “I think the story of the night was thought Manis was unbelievable. She was very active on the boards, made some great drives and shots and we simply didn’t any answers for her. And I don’t know how many offensive rebounds they had but it was way too many and way too many second chances.”
When the Hornets were able to break the press, they looked to try to feed sophomore Meg Hill, who was coming off a career-high 24 points against Newton South. But Feehan clearly focused in on Hill with 6’0 forward Marissa Fontaine marking her in man coverage and the 6’2 Manis available in lob help.
“We didn’t do a great job of getting [Hill] a lot of touches but Fontaine was physical wth her,” Redding said. “I just thought our entry passes could have been a little higher and deeper. Even on the back side they did a good job of helping if we got it over the top. I thought that was a big factor, we just didn’t get Meg enough quality touches. That was one of many issues.”
Mansfield girls basketball finishes the season with a 21-4 record and the program’s second ever Hockomock League title.
“We had a great year,” Redding said. “We lost to a very talented basketball team and a team that played very well tonight. We have to be proud of our season with the Hockomock title, getting to the final four in one of the best divisions I’ve ever seen. Sooner or later you meet your match and they were the better team.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Feehan’s Dominate Second Quarter Rocks Mansfield

By Lance Reynolds. HockomockSports.com Contributor
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – After the Mansfield Hornets were able to hold the high scoring Shamrocks of Bishop Feehan to six points in the first quarter, things were looking good.
But that all changed in the second quarter when Bishop Feehan seized the lead, outscoring the Hornets 17-2 and never looking back in a 45-35 decision.
Possessing a five point lead entering the second quarter, Mansfield looked to widen their margin, and to prevent the Shamrocks from heating up from the floor. Feehan had other thoughts in mind and started to use a full-court press that caused havoc for the Hornets.
Emily Miccile started a 6-0 run and Lauren Manis and Marissa Fontaine scored the other baskets in the run, each of them coming off of steals in their end of the court as the Hornets had trouble getting past midcourt.
Jackie Carchedi answered with Mansfield’s lone basket of the quarter off an inbound pass from Jen Peel to put Mansfield up 13-12 – their last lead of the contest. Katie Nelson and Manis guided the Shamrocks to an 11-0 run to end the half, and take a 23-13 margin into halftime.
“The second quarter was the downfall. We just couldn’t make a shot, and really for the first time this year, we didn’t look good handling the ball – we had a ton of turnovers,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said. “Once you start turning it over in your end against them, they’re going to eat you alive. If we could have just played a better second quarter, maybe we make a game of it. That was the turning point. I liked how we competed, we just have to make better decisions with the ball, and you just can’t give it to them in their end.”
The Hornets looked to get back into it in the third quarter, but Nelson continued to spark Feehan knocking down all three of her two-point field goals, and Manis kept up her persistent efforts on the offensive boards, collecting three Shamrock misses. Trailing 29-18, Mansfield went on a 5-0 run, and tried to weather the storm. Meg Hill hit a baseline jumper off of a feed from Carchedi then Peel swiped the ball away from Manis and found Hill under the basket. Hill gathered the pass, and was fouled on the shot attempt. The sophomore center knocked down both of her foul shots, and on Feehan’s ensuing possession, the Hornets forced a shot clock violation. Momentum seemed to be mounting as Sarah Mullahy followed by converting two shots from the free-throw line, and cut the Shamrock lead to five at 29-24. However, Feehan wasn’t fazed, and took a 33-24 lead going into the remaining eight minutes of play.
Leading the Shamrocks was Nelson with 18 points, scoring six points in each of final three quarters after being held scoreless in the first frame. Manis recorded a double-double with 15 points to go along with 21 rebounds while Fontaine had eight points and eight boards.
“They did a good job. Nelson floats around and gets open, Fontaine is good at the elbow, Manis is a bump inside. They have a lot of weapons. Miccile can hit the three, Forbes can keep you honest. There are just a lot of people to stop,” Redding said. “We were trying to stop Nelson, and if we play them again, we have to find her better and quicker, can’t let her to go to her left – she’s just really crafty, and is such a smooth shooter. Manis is so athletic in the paint, and I felt that Meg held her own on the boards. It was a good battle – it was a good test for them, it was good for us, that’s why we scheduled it.”
Feehan increased their lead to as much as 18 at 45-27 in the fourth quarter, but Mansfield scored the last eight points of the game including a three-pointer from Ann Maher to put the final score at 45-35.
Although the Hornets failed to gain revenge against the Shamrocks from the D1 South Semifinal loss last season, holding Bishop Feehan to just 45 points shouldn’t be taken lightly. Mansfield is the first opponent that Feehan has faced this season that held them to under 50 points. The Hornets held the Shamrocks to a 28.5% s field goal percentage. Despite the defensive efforts, Mansfield failed to capitalize as they made just 12 of their 47 shot attempts, and the turnovers that Feehan caused didn’t help either.
“We’re a good zone team. We can play man, but against them, there are some tough matchups. We played pretty aggressive in the zone and rotated,” Redding said of his team’s defensive efforts. “Manis is just tough. Sometimes in the zone, you lose track of her when the shot goes up, and she finds openings. I think the downfall was that we wasted too many possessions on offense with too many turnovers. We had some good spurts, but that second quarter was just you pulling your hair out, and I wish we had five timeouts in a quarter.”
The first eight minutes of play was everything that the Hornets could have asked for. Baskets from Hill, Peel, Carchedi, and Julianna Newell led Mansfield to a 9-2 advantage with three minutes left in the quarter. Manis registered all six of the Shamrock points, while being a menace the glass with eight rebounds.
Carchedi was the Hornets high scorer with nine points, Newell finished with eight, and Hill had seven.
Although walking away with a win would have been much sweeter, Redding stated that there’s a lot to learn from the loss, and ultimately feels that the loss will help in the long-run.
“We did some good things. I liked the competition,” Redding said. “It’s going to help us when we play OA and Franklin next week, that’s really why we scheduled it. I think we learned some things today that might help us if we get them again in the tournament in March.”
Mansfield (6-2) returns to league play on Friday night when they host Taunton at 5:30 in a girls-boys doubleheader.
 

Girls Basketball: Kelley-Rex Division Preview 2015-16

Kelley-Rex girls basketball
The Kelley-Rex division looks to be a season long battle again this winter with all six teams hoping to make runs to the state tournament. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Attleboro

2014-15 Record: 14-9 (10-6)
2014-15 Finish: Lost in Div. 1 South first round
Head Coach: Rick Patch

The Bombardiers were disappointed at a first round tournament exit last season and are using that as motivation as they enter the second season under coach Rick Patch. Attleboro enters 2015-16 as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex Division and are getting plenty of hype from opposing coaches who feel that the program can win its first Hockomock title.

Expectations are extremely high because Attleboro returns all but two players from last year. The keys pieces will be senior guard Emily Houle and junior forward Sarah Deyo, who were both among the league’s leading scorers a season ago and have had strong off-season playing for their AAU teams. Each is capable of reaching the 1,000-point plateau for their careers but, maybe more important, both also emerged as elite defensive players last season.

Attleboro did not lose much from last year and added a second transfer in as many years with Julia Strachan coming from division rival North Attleboro. The junior forward adds depth to the forward position, shooting touch from deep, and another strong rebounder. Last year point guard Fatima McDonald came into the program and the senior adds toughness to the lineup with more expected from her now that she has a year of experience under her belt.

Sophomore Sam Pierce and senior Emma Vlashi were productive forwards last season and freshman Jordyn Lako is a newcomer to watch for the Bombardiers. Patch said, “Everyone is excited…We have taken the ‘hard hat’ mentality in putting forth a blue collar, blue pride effort. Our players have really focused on becoming great teammates and leaders.”

Franklin

2014-15 Record: 19-6 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central final
Head Coach: John Leighton

Most programs that lose all but one starter from a team that reached a sectional final would be thinking about rebuilding and the need for a transition year as new players get integrated. Franklin is counting on its system and the depth in its program to reload rather than rebuild this year.

The Panthers reload will benefit from a healthy Lauren Rudolph. The senior guard missed a large portion of last season with an injury sustained during soccer season and added a big scoring punch off the bench when healthy, This year, Rudolph will take on a much larger role as Franklin’s primary scorer, but she also gives them a boost defensively and is good passer in the Panthers’ dribble drive set.

The lone returning starter is senior Aubrie Kutil, who gives Franklin size and strength in the post on both ends of the court. Kutil will be aided by senior forwards Erin Skidmore and Caroline Maguire (who recovered from a volleyball injury to play in the opener) to crash the boards. Senior point guard Olivia Adiletto saw a lot of action last year and will take over as a starter. Junior Carli Koffinke is another player that will step into a bigger role as an offensive spark off the bench.

Newcomers like juniors Isabella Faught and Margaux Welsh will help Franklin make another run at the Kelley-Rex title. Leighton said, “We’re blessed to have depth. We have girls that buy into the system and are willing to play their roles, which is huge for us.”

King Philip

2014-15 Record: 5-15 (3-13)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Martin Crowley

King Philip has been a competitive program since Martin Crowley took over two years ago with its focus on aggressive defense, rebounding, and being difficult to play against. Although last season did not finish the way that the Warriors had hoped, more than one opposing coach has mentioned KP as a sleeper pick to make a run this year.

Leading scorer Emily Sullivan graduated and Crowley noted that “her scoring can’t be replaced with only one player,” but he feels that the pieces are in place to make up for that loss in production. Senior Maddie Purdue will take over at the point guard position this season and she emerged last year as a solid ball-handler and shooter and never shied away from contact as she took the ball to the basket.

Purdue will get plenty of help from a host of versatile and athletic forwards that gives KP plenty of rebounders and active defenders in and around the post. Senior captain Riley Dalzell showed the ability to step back and knock down shots and she will be joined by classmates Sam Madden, Jen Lacroix, and Olivia Dort.

Freshmen Julia Leroux and Shannon O’Connor will also be added to the mix, as Crowley looks to get the Warriors back into the postseason. He said, “I like where we’re at so far. I like our athleticism and we have good depth. We’re trying to get everyone involved.”

MANSFIELD

2014-15 Record: 19-5 (13-3)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South semifinal
Head Coach: Mike Redding

There is plenty of buzz about the Hornets this season, as Mansfield brings back arguably one of the deepest rosters in the league, including four of its five starters from last year’s team that reached the sectional semifinal. Head coach Mike Redding always says that the goal is to be in the mix for the title at the end of the season, but several coaches have noted that the Hornets could be a threat in Div. 1 South not just the Hock.

Mansfield has loads of experience on its roster. Senior guard Caroline Maher, a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, can stretch the defense with her range and is also an elite finisher on the break. Fellow senior Jackie Carchedi was last year’s HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year and adds wing scoring for the Hornets. Seniors Julianna Newell and Sarah Mullahy, fresh off a league title in volleyball, add depth to the forward line.

Jen Peel is back to lead the Hornets as the starting point guard after leading the team in assists and tying for the team lead in points last year. Peel’s ability to get to the basket opens up room on the perimeter for the shooters and draws defenders away from sophomore center Meg Hill. Hill is a double-double threat every game and as she develops more offensively will be a primary weapon for Mansfield this season.

Add in senior guard Jen Kemp, sophomore Ann Maher, among others on the roster and the options are plentiful for Redding. He explained, “We need to work harder on defense, find a good balance on offense with our options and be playing our best ball in February…The parts are all there, we need to put them together and develop some chemistry on and off the court.”

North Attleboro

2014-15 Record: 17-6 (14-2)
2014-15 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South semifinal
Head Coach: Derek Herber

The graduation of Melissa Beaupre and Danielle Perron and the transfer of Julia Strachan to rival Attleboro have many people assuming that the Rocketeers’ run of three straight league titles will surely come to an end. However, even with the turnover on the roster, North Attleboro has the talent to stay in the mix again in its last season in the Kelley-Rex (for at least four years).

One of the main reasons for optimism is the return of junior guard Ashley Ahern, who flirted with the option of transferring to prep school, but returned to North at the start of the school year. North coach Derek Herber called Ahern’s decision to stay “great not only for the team but for the league.” Ahern gives the Rocketeers a primary scorer at the two guard position and another solid ball-handler on the perimeter.

Joining Ahern on the perimeter will be junior point guard Samantha Taggart and junior Emily Schromm, who will be the third guard in the rotation. The strength of the Rocketeers this season is in the post with senior forward Emily Peters providing leadership and toughness and juniors Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse adding scoring punch. Collard, in particular, had a breakout season as a sophomore and could be a player to watch offensively for North this year.

The losses from last season’s squad were important, but Herber brings seven players back and is bullish about what the Rocketeers can accomplish. “It’s not going to be helter skelter and run and gun like it was last year,” he said, “but we’re going to play good, solid man-to-man defense.”

Taunton

2014-15 Record: 9-13 (5-11)
2014-15 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Walter Harrigan

Taunton struggled with injuries early last season and got off to a sluggish start. As the Tigers got healthier, they finished the season with momentum and ended the year with nine wins. Taunton coach Walter Harrigan is hoping that the momentum will carry over to this winter and give Taunton a chance at getting back to the postseason.

Unfortunately, injuries have popped up again. Senior forward Abby Small, who Harrigan thought was poised for a great season, injured her knee in the soccer team’s playoff game at Wellesley and will be out for at least a while. Harrigan is hopeful that Small can get back on the court at some point this season and give the Tigers a boost. At the start of the season, the Tigers will turn to senior guard Jordan Wade and senior forward Alyssa Gibson to lead the way as both have been in the program for five years.

Junior point guard Jessica Regan will be “critical,” according to Harrigan, as she will get Taunton into its offense every trip. Fellow junior Abbey Kingman is another player that the coach expects to make a big jump this season. There are also seven freshmen and sophomores on the roster highlighted by sophomore wing Hannah Moniz, who at nearly 6 feet tall has the size to cause any team problems and has the athleticism to play on the perimeter or in the post.

Freshman Lily Patneaude could join Moniz in the starting lineup when she returns from an early season injury. Harrigan said, “I’m excited for the season. We’re not really deep, but we’re athletic. Our defense has really improved and I think we have a chance to sneak into states.”

For a list of 10 Players to Watch in Hockomock League girls’ basketball this season, click here

Mansfield Gets Off to Solid Start In Charity Game

Julianna Newell
Julianna Newell (10) scored 15 points and made 7-8 shots from the floor in Saturday’s game with Medfield at the MIAA Tip Off Showcase. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

MANSFIELD, Mass. – On Saturday afternoon at the James Albertini Gym, Mansfield hosted the MIAA Tip Off Showcase with proceeds from ticket sales and a 50-50 raffle benefiting the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. St. Mary’s (Lynn) took on Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) in the opener and in the second game of the day, the Hornets hosted Medfield.

It was a successful day for Mansfield in terms of raising funds for charity and on the court, as the Hornets jumped out to an early lead, got playing time for everyone on the roster, and came away with a 55-39 victory over the perennial Div. 2 power.

“In spurts we looked really good and spurts we were sloppy and that it was the first game,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding after the game.

“I thought we played good D. We wanted to play 50-50 man and zone, so we got a lot of things in for the first game to hopefully carry over into the league.”

Here are several takeaways from the exclusion game against the Warriors:

1. Julianna Newell could be a nightmare for opposing coaches this season. With all the attention that needs to be paid to Jen Peel, Caroline Maher, and Jackie Carchedi on the perimeter and Meg Hill in the paint, Newell is going to see a lot of space to unleash her 10-foot jumper. On Saturday, Medfield consistently left Newell open while focusing on other players and the senior forward was 7-8 from the field for a game-high 15 points.

Redding said of Newell, “One of our hidden secrets is Julianna hitting that midrange jumper. She’s going to get that look and she makes people pay for it. I think that was the highlight of the night.”

2. So much of Mansfield’s success this season is going to depend on the continuing development of Hill. The sophomore center has size that few teams can matchup with and she has the potential to get double-doubles every game. On Saturday, Hill grabbed 11 rebounds and added eight points, but there were still moments when she looked a little tentative finishing around the basket. If Hill can take that next step then Mansfield will be a legitimate threat in Div. 1 South.

Redding noted, “I thought she was good on the boards I just think offensively we need to get her the ball like three feet closer to the basket. She’s settling for the ball six, seven feet away so she can’t finish with a layup. You want to get that power step layup that’s automatic.

He praised Hill’s growth from freshman year and added, “She’s working on it but she has a ways to go in terms of knowing where you are and where you want the ball.”

3. Balance will be the key for the Hornets offensively this season. Caroline Maher (13 points) knocked down three shots from beyond the arc in the opening half against Medfield and that forced the defense to stretch out beyond the arc and opened lanes for Jen Peel (eight points, six assists) to drive into. If Maher and Jackie Carchedi can knock down shots on the perimeter it will open up the Mansfield offense, but Redding insisted that it is equally important that Mansfield not settle for the jumper.

“We took some threes but we didn’t live and die with it,” said Redding. “We got the ball inside.”

For Mansfield to be successful against the strong defenses in the Hockomock, there has to be the balance between getting shots from the outside and making sure that players like Hill and Newell get touches inside.

4. One of the strengths this season will be the depth that Mansfield has on its roster. If Hill is struggling, Redding can turn to Newell, senior Sarah Mullahy, or sophomore Maeve Carney. To give his perimeter players a rest, Redding can turn to seniors Jen Kemp and Anna Chiarolanza and sophomore Ann Maher. He may also get some playing time for freshman Madyson Bendanillo, who showed potential in short spurts on the court against Medfield.

“We played everybody,” explained Redding about Saturday’s game. “That becomes critical when you get into a situation with foul trouble or a kid is out sick. The more you can build depth in this league it pays dividends down the road.”

While it was good to get playing time for the whole roster, Redding knows that the atmosphere will be much different when Mansfield faces Sharon on Tuesday night in the league opener for both teams.

He said, “Now we have to ante it up a little bit more when everything counts and if you’re going to stay in the league race you have to get off to a good start.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

The 2015 Hockomock Volleyball All Stars & HMs

Elizabeth Hamilton
Below are the official Hockomock League Golf All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Elizabeth Hamilton, Canton

Hockomock League All Stars

Elizabeth Hamilton, Canton
Olivia Devoe, Canton
Rye Verille, Canton
Victoria Kelley, Foxboro
Dayna McCue, Franklin
Beth Neal, Franklin
Caroline Maguire, Franklin
Josie Rowean, King Philip
Gwen Uyrus, King Philip
Micaela Murray, King Philip
Cathryn Heavey, Mansfield
Sarah Mullahy, Mansfield
Megan Hill, Mansfield
Sara Youssef, North Attleboro
Bridgett Whalen, Stoughton
Molly Sullivan, Taunton
Tatum Speicher, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Michelle Sheehan, Attleboro
Nicole Poole, Canton
Julia DiCenso, Foxboro
Aubrie Kutil, Franklin
Carly Adams, King Philip
Jessica Haradon, Mansfield
Kelley Reichert, Milford
Rachel Meilan, North Attleboro
Bridget McCarthy, Oliver Ames
Melissa Ader, Sharon
Bianca DeSousa, Stoughton
Emily Moor, Taunton

The 2015 Hockomock Volleyball All Stars & HMs

Elizabeth Hamilton
Below are the official Hockomock League Golf All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Elizabeth Hamilton, Canton

Hockomock League All Stars

Elizabeth Hamilton, Canton
Olivia Devoe, Canton
Rye Verille, Canton
Victoria Kelley, Foxboro
Dayna McCue, Franklin
Beth Neal, Franklin
Caroline Maguire, Franklin
Josie Rowean, King Philip
Gwen Uyrus, King Philip
Micaela Murray, King Philip
Cathryn Heavey, Mansfield
Sarah Mullahy, Mansfield
Megan Hill, Mansfield
Sara Youssef, North Attleboro
Bridgett Whalen, Stoughton
Molly Sullivan, Taunton
Tatum Speicher, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Michelle Sheehan, Attleboro
Nicole Poole, Canton
Julia DiCenso, Foxboro
Aubrie Kutil, Franklin
Carly Adams, King Philip
Jessica Haradon, Mansfield
Kelley Reichert, Milford
Rachel Meilan, North Attleboro
Bridget McCarthy, Oliver Ames
Melissa Ader, Sharon
Bianca DeSousa, Stoughton
Emily Moor, Taunton

Tigers Sweep Mansfield, Advance to South Semifinal

Taunton volleyball
Taunton celebrates a poitn during its 3-0 win over league champion Mansfield on Monday night in the D1 South quarterfinal. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

MANSFIELD, Mass. – The crowd was packed into the stands on both sides of the net, hurling taunts and cheering on their respective teams. It was an atmosphere that the boys’ basketball teams would be thrilled to get this winter.

The home half of the crowd was noticeably quieter in the third set, as Taunton took control. The Tigers, who already led the match 2-0, took a 14-6 lead after a strong serve by Alyssa Gibson (five kills, two blocks). The wheels had come off for the Hornets and the season seemed destined to end.

However, the first-time league champions would lay down and let the season end without a fight. Meg Hill (10 kills) had a pair of blocks and three massive kills from her spot in the middle and Sarah Mullahy added two kills. Jessica Haradon won a service point and suddenly it was 20-20 and the noise in the Albertini Gym was deafening.

Twice Taunton got within a point of the win and twice Mansfield held on. Finally, Molly Sullivan hit a dipping serves that the Hornets could not return and the Tigers took the third set for a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 29-27) victory and advanced to the Div. 1 South semifinal.

“We told our kids in a timeout that they’re going to keep fighting,” said Taunton coach Toby Chaperon. “They’re not a team that’s just going to sit back and let themselves get beat.”

He added, “I give all the credit to my coaches and my kids. Sometimes at the high school level you put in a game plan and you try to execute and it just doesn’t work out…this time it did.”

The Tigers came into the game looking to generate more offense than what they achieved last time out against the Hornets. Mansfield swept that match 3-0, so Chaperon moved Aimee Kistner from the middle to the outside to get more offense going. It worked and Kistner led the team with 11 kills and added eight digs.

“Aimee Kistner just played unreal. She hit the ball well,” said Chaperon. About the switch of positions, he added, “Maybe that threw them off just enough to keep them on their heels.”

Early in the game it was Gibson that provided the spark with several big blocks and kills in the middle and Sam Reaume and Emily Moor chipped in with big plays. The balanced attack at the net made Taunton difficult to matchup with.

“We had four girls over 100 kills,” said Chaperon. “We know girls, when we call upon them, can get the job done.”

Mansfield coach Melissa Heeden thought her team started well enough, with Mullahy having a strong first set, but then the passing slipped and the hitting dropped as a result. She also credited a strong Taunton defense, which was led by Sullivan and Meghan Navarro who combined for 10 digs.

“We started hitting and blocking okay in the beginning,” said Heeden, “but once our passing was a little off enough for us not to be able to hit that threw us off a little bit.”

In the third set, Heeden turned to her seniors to lead the team. As she talked about the senior class, the coach struggled to hold back tears and noted that the group of six players was still huddled together by the net well after the match had ended.

She said, “We struggled in serve/receive tonight, we struggled in passing…we had two girls getting hurt in the middle of it…but for them to deal with all of that and for them to just push through was huge. They just kept fighting.”

Reflecting on the crowd, the noise, and the fact that one of the few empty baners hanging in the gym will next fall have a year placed on it, Heeden remarked, “Five years ago you would ever have packed a gym like this. I looked around at the beginning of the game and was just so proud that it was a basketball-like atmosphere.”

In the midst of the loss, senior setter Cathryn Heavey reached a milestone. She had 27 assists in the match, which moved her past the 1,000 assist mark for her career. Her counterpart Tatum Speicher had 26 assists on the night.

Chaperon likewise appreciated the opportunity to coach in this type of game. In his 10th year in charge, this is the first time that he has had a team reach the postseason.

“I turned to my coaches and said this is what it’s all about,” Chaperon said. “Two good teams, great crowd, excitement, energy…it’s fun.”

Now, he hopes the Tigers can continue to move forward and make more history for the program. He said, “We knew that we had a special group of girls and hopefully we can push on.”

Taunton will travel to New Bedford on Thursday in the Div. 1 South semifinal. The Whalers swept the season series.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Thursday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/29/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Soccer
North Attleboro, 0 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – North Attleboro claimed the Leach and Garner Cup with a 5-3 advantage on penalty kicks following a scoreless draw. Brendan Matracia saved a penalty in the shootout and Matt Coscarella scored the final PK for North. Coscarella and Zach Rodrigues were named the game’s MVPs.
Sharon, 2 @ Canton, 0 – Final

Oliver Ames, 2 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalWith the draw OA wins the outright Davenport title. Nathaniel Cardoza scored with six minutes remaining to earn the draw. Chris Romero opened the scoring for the Tigers in the first half and had two others called back. Devante Teixeira equalized in the first half and then assisted on Anthony Barreira’s go-ahead goal early in the second.

King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – King Philip sophomore Tyler Mann put the Warriors up a goal with just over 10 minutes left to play but just a minute later Nick Parent headed home a service from Austin Kent to knot the game at one. 

Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – After a scoreless first half, Mansfield scored twice inside the opening minutes of the second half. Jareme DiLorenzo opened the scoring off an assist from Nick Hyland then Charlie Rogers doubled the lead off a feed from Brad Eames. Michael Kirejczyk made eight saves to record his 10th save, which is a single season record for Mansfield. With the win, the Hornets clinch the program’s first ever outright Hockomock title. 
Stoughton, 2 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Stoughton freshman Fabio Ponce De Leon scored an early goal, converting a shot at the near post while sophomore Tyler Melo doubled the lead off a cross from junior Jeremy Fishman. Head coach Aaron Salter said Kyle Silverman made an outstanding save at the end of the match to keep the clean sheet. With the win, Stoughton qualified for the state tournament for the second straight year. 
Girls Soccer
North Attleboro, 0 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Rebekah Entwistle scored the lone goal of the game for the Bombardiers to win the Blue-Red Cup. Kayla Merritt had the assist. Madison Brown (Attleboro) and Hana Caster (North) were named the game’s MVPs.

Sharon, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Shannon Foley and Sarah MacQuarrie each had a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs. Lilah Sullivan had Canton’s other goals.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalRiley Collins and Carolynn Will scored the goals for the Warriors in the second half to come back from a 1-0 deficit. Dana Lowney scored the OA goal on an assist from Francesca Calabraro.
Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – Alexis Stowell opened the scoring off an assist by her sister Victoria. Jess Kroushl added a second off an assist by Alexis Stowell and Halle Atkinson scored an unassisted third.

Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Alana Vincent scored the winning goal for the Tigers with six minutes remaining to clinch a playoff spot. It was Vincent’s second goal of the game. Sam Tichelaar also scored for Taunton. Jackie Carchedi and Jill Savoie each scored for the Hornets. 

Milford, 2 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Katie Brown and Kristen Franzini scored the goals for Milford. Rachel LeBlanc and Maggie Boyle each had assists. Stoughton’s goal was scored by Amelia Cochran off an assist from Emmie Sprague. Marissa Williams and Alecia Quinones both played well in net for the Black Knights according to head coach Tara Daniels. 
Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton got the win at home with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-11 victory. Sarah Reissfelder had six kills and Nicole Poole paced the offense with 23 assists and added 12 digs. Canton head coach Pat Cawley said Emma Gobbi, Kaitlin McCarthy and Kelly Dever played well at the net.

Foxboro, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final

King Philip, 3 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – With the match tied 1-1, KP picked up the a vital win in game three and walked away with a  25-11, 16-25, 27-25, 25-21 win. Josie Rowean led the way with 16 kills, Gwen Uyrus added six kill, Amelia Murphy and Emma Lopez each had four kills and Micaela Murray had seven digs. Franklin’s Aubrie Kutil had 10 kills, Beth Neal had 19 assists, seven kills and two blocks and Alyssa Shea had seven kills.

Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalWith a win and a loss from Franklin, Mansfield clinched a share of the Hockomock League’s Kelley-Rex title, the program’s first ever Hockomock League title. Mansfield picked up the sweep with a 25-18, 25-23, 25-19. Cathryn Heavey had 31 assists, Sarah Mullahy had 17 service points, Meg Hill had 15 kills and Jess Haradon finished with 10 digs. 
Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Stoughton’s Bridgette Whalen had eight blocks, 10 kills, 11 digs, 11 service points and fives aces and Valerie Whalen with five blocks and seven kills.

Monday's Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/26/15

Today’s games are listed below.
Girls Soccer
Mansfield, 2 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Mansfield’s Emma Oldow scored both of the Hornets’ goals, with assists from Jen Kemp and Becca Bornstein. The Hornets outshot the Whalers by a large margin (25-2) while Lauren Whitman made one save to get her first career shutout.
Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield got the win at home 25-12, 25-16, 25-6. Mansfield head coach Melissa Heeden said all six of the team’s seniors — Alli Belanger, Cathryn Heavey, Kelsey Hernon, Sarah Mullahy, Juliana Newell and Colleen Riley – played well in the win. Hernon had seven service points, Mullahy had 17 service point and five digs and Riley added 12 service points and nine aces. 
Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Stoughton won the first set but Canton rallied back to win the next three and get the 16-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-17 win. Elizabeth Hamilton led Canton with 14 kills and 15 digs, Sarah Reissfelder and Rye Verille combined for 13 kills and Nicole Poole had 33 assists. Head coach Pat Cawley said Olivia Devoe played great defensively and Kelly Dever hit .500 with six kills. Stoughton’s Ava Siegel had 14 service points, 12 digs and eight kills and Bridgette Whalen had 18 digs, 10 kills and seven blocks.

Foxboro, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Franklin, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Franklin got the win on the road with a 25-17, 24-26, 25-22, 29-27 win. Maddie Kuzio stepped into the lineup and played terrific defense according to head coach Kate Horsmann and had 12 service points, seven digs and five aces. Beth Neal had 21 assists, 12 kills, three aces and a block, Aubrie Kutil had 13 kills and three digs and Dayna McCue had 12 digs, five aces and a pair of kills.

King Philip, 1 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton’s Tatum Speicher became the first player in program history to reach 1,000 assists, setting up the first kill of the fourth set, to lead the Tigers to a marathon win over King Philip. Three of the four sets went over the 25 point threshold as Taunton got the 30-28, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24 win. Speicher had 34 assists in the match, Emily Moor played well with 15 kills and four aces and Meghan Navarro and Molly Sullivan combined for 18 digs, 10 aces and 23 service points. King Philip’s Josie Rowean had eight service points in game one and finished with 18 kills overall, Gwen Uyrus had 11 kills and Micaela Murray added five service points in game three, including two aces. 

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Field Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Caitlin Whitman, Caroline Maher, Emily Ierardo and Mary Kate Kelly each scored once in the win for Mansfield. 
Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Kara Ploss made 10 saves to deny Canton an equalizing goal while Angela Connolly scored the lone goal for the Black Knights.

Foxboro, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Franklin, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Senior Kelsey McPhee scored a pair of goals and Dana Lewandowski also scored once for the Panthers. Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper said Taylor Reutlinger and Kenzi Pleshaw also had strong games.

King Philip, 2 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – The Warriors scored once in each half to get the road on the win. Alli Meehan opened the scoring for KP with an unassisted goal in the first half and Caitlin Donahue added a second off an assist from Courtney Foley in the second half. 

Oliver Ames, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Olivia Powers scored a pair of goals for Oliver Ames and Carly Cidado and Sara Stevens each scored once. Head coach Janice Sundell said Hannah Friend and Katie Davenport played well for OA.