SHARON, Mass. – With only seven seconds remaining in overtime, Holliston guard Grace Dzindolet went to the line to try and put the Panthers back in front. The senior hit the first, but her second bounced off the rim and was rebounded by Evanjuline Elisma. The Sharon junior took off like a flash, racing up court with an opportunity to win the game for the Eagles.
Elisma went straight at the basket. There was contact between Elisma and a Holliston defender but there was no whistle, only the final horn putting an end to a thriller that the Panthers pulled out 56-55 to sweep the season series by a combined four points.
“We had a chance at the end and was it a foul?” asked first-year Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi. “I don’t know. If the ref doesn’t blow his whistle then it’s not a foul.”
The Eagles seemed to be playing catch-up right from the opening quarter. Sophomore Allyson Brown (seven points) drilled a three to put Sharon ahead 10-8 in the first, but Holliston went on a 7-2 run to close out the quarter with the lead. Dzindolet scored seven of her team-high 14 points in the first.
Holliston extended the lead in the second, as Sharon was held to just one made field goal for the first six minutes of the quarter. Behind four points from Brooke Geoffroy (12 points and 16 rebounds), the Panthers led 25-16 and seemed on the verge of breaking the game open.
It could have been much closer, but for Sharon’s struggles at the free throw line. The Eagles shot just 6-of-14 at the line in the second and 10-for-24 for the game. Still, as the half was winding down, the Eagles were still in it. Miranda Cheung (seven points), the only senior on the Sharon roster, got a steal and a layup, which was followed by a traditional three-point play by Emma Eberhardt (15 points and 15 rebounds).
Sharon trailed by just one at halftime, but Holliston was able to push the lead to five at several points of the third quarter. Geoffroy had six in the quarter, but Eberhardt scored seven points and Kaitlyn Wallace drilled a three to keep it a two-point game with eight minutes left.
“We’re young, we’re inexperienced but they always play hard,” said Lombardi. “They always play aggressive. The other day we were down 17 at halftime and we came back to be down by one. They could have easily packed it in and gave up but they fought back.”
Wallace and Eberhardt went back-to-back on drives to the hoop to tie the game at 39-39 in the fourth quarter and then Elisma kicked out to Telishya Herbert to knock down a jumper from just inside the three-point line to give the Eagles their first lead since it was 10-8 in the first.
The lead was short-lived, as the Panthers proceeded to go an 8-0 run and seemed to have the game in control after Tess Powers completed a four-point play. Sharon answered. Brown picked up a steal and went the length of the court for a basket and then, off another Brown steal, Elisma got free in transition to make it 47-45.
Cheung battled for a loose ball underneath, grabbed an offensive rebound, and went right up to score and tie the game. Sharon got it back with 27 seconds left and the chance to win it with the final shot, but the Eagles turned it over. Dzindolet thought she had the game-winner on the break only for Wallace to block the shot and keep Sharon alive.
“In a game like this,” Lombardi explained, “it’s the team that makes the fewest mistakes that will come out on top. We missed too many layups. We missed too many foul shots and that’s been a thing all season long.”
Geoffroy put the Panthers in front to start overtime, but Herbert scored on a rebound to tie it. Threes by AbbyRae Wells and Kami Kozubal put the visitors up 55-51, but again the host came right back. Cheung had an offensive rebound to cut the lead to two and then Brown also scored with a putback to tie the game.
“They play hard,” said Lombardi of Chueng and Brown. “For little kids, they play hard, they’re physical, and that’s why they don’t come out of the game too often. I don’t think Ally came out of the game at all today.”
In the excitement after the tying basket, Sharon made a critical mistake. The Eagles fouled Dzindolet with 7.5 seconds remaining and sent her to the line for a pair of free throws.
“They played hard today,” Lombardi said of her team, “but in spurts we didn’t play smart and that was the difference in the game.”
Dzindolet made the first and Elisma had a chance off the missed free throw to get out and run. There was no call on the final attempt and the shot came up short.
“We’re trying,” said Lomnbardi. “We’re young…it’s a learning experience for some of these kids who haven’t played varsity basketball before. So, being in those situations and keeping the game close, hopefully next time we find a way to win.”
Sharon (2-8, 1-5) will try to bounce back on Tuesday when it hosts Stoughton.
SHARON, Mass. – With 29 career starts already under his belt, it’s easy to forget that Foxboro’s Brandon Borde is just a sophomore.
And you’d never know it based on his performance on Saturday night. Borde poured in a career-high 25 points in a dominant effort, helping Foxboro pick up a 73-46 win over the Eagles in the first Davenport division game of the season.
After starting all but one game during his rookie year (senior night), Borde wasted little time getting going during his seventh start of this season. He scored 11 points in the first quarter, helping Foxboro build a double-digit lead it never surrendered.
By halftime, Borde had already surpassed his career-high mark with 19 points and then added six points in the third quarter before resting for the majority of the final frame.
“We’ve been really begging him to be more aggressive in terms of looking for his own shot and attacking the basket,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “He’s such an unselfish kid and such a good passer that a lot of times he defers and he doesn’t realize how good he is.
“Obviously he got going tonight and I think he started to realize he could score almost at will and his confidence really got going. You can see what he’s capable of when he’s that aggressive. Hopefully, that aggressive mindset will become the norm.”
The Warriors and Eagles matched one another through the first five and a half minutes, but Foxboro seized control of the game by closing with an 11-0 run. A free throw from Bobby Harrison and three free throws from Joe Morrison after the buzzer sandwiched a 7-0 run from Borde himself.
Up 10-8, Borde hauled in a defensive rebound before converting at the rim on the other end. After Sharon came up with a block, Borde drained a three on a feed from Anthony Mollica, Sharon missed a three and Borde pulled up in the lane for another two to make it 17-10 with under a minute to play in the first.
The sophomore kept it going in the second quarter. When Sharon’s Malik Lorquet opened the frame with a traditional three-point play to give the home side some momentum, Borde answered with a strong take to the rim himself, converting while being fouled; he also converted the free throw.
After sophomore Will Morrison hit a pair of free throws, Borde read a cross-court pass, picking it off and laying it in for an easy two. Sharon’s Jayvon Monteiro responded with a layup of his own but Borde drained his second triple of the half on a pass from Joe Morrison, giving Foxboro a commanding 30-13 lead.
Foxboro took a 39-18 lead into halftime.
“We were right there with them for the first six and a half minutes but that last minute and a half really killed us in the first quarter,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We knew how good they were defensively, Jon does such a great job with them. Joe Morrison did a great job, Brandon Borde did a great job. Our offense just got stagnant, we didn’t move the ball enough. We went a little one-on-one too much, and that’s a credit to [Foxboro]. They were able to take us out of what we wanted to do by executing what they wanted to do.”
Foxboro put to bed any hopes of a comeback with its best offensive quarter of the game, pouring in 21 points in the frame on 53% shooting. Both Joe Morrison (two three’s) and Borde scored six points in the quarter while Teddy Maher and Ryan Hughes each contributed.
Mollica capped the quarter with his first field goal fo the game, a three-pointer after Joe Morrison forced a turnover on the defensive end.
With both teams playing their starters, Foxboro held the Eagles to 38 points on 35% shooting from the field while forcing 17 turnovers. It marked the sixth time in eight games an opponent has scored fewer than 5 points with Mansfield (50 points) and Franklin (52 points) the lone teams to reach the half-century mark.
“Defense is where it all starts for us, and it’s a huge point of pride for us,” Gibbs said. “I think that’s definitely our calling card as a team. We have a lot of quick, tough, physical guards that are really good at containing dribble penetration. I think we make it tough for teams to get into the paint and break us down off the dribble. We just have some tough-minded kids, they really work at it, they’re really coachable. It’s definitely something we take a lot of pride in.”
Foxboro boys basketball (3-1 Hockomock, 7-1 overall) is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Stoughton. Sharon (0-4, 1-6) will try to get back on track on Tuesday when it hosts North Attleboro at 6:30.
WESTWOOD, Mass. – Sometimes there’s one specific stat or play that a coach can point to that changes the game. Unfortunately for Sharon, it was a handful of stats and combination of plays that resulted in a 59-54 setback to Walpole in the first round of the Westwood Holiday Tournament.
The Eagles had a strong defensive performance, helping force 23 Rebel turnovers, but cooled down considerably on the offensive end after a red-hot start. Sharon shot just 15% from three-point range (3-for-20) and hit just 54% of its free throw attempts (13-for-24) while losing the rebounding battle to Walpole, 39-26.
“It was a combination of things,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “Since I’ve been the freshmen coach here I’ve been preaching layups and free throws. We missed too many layups and we missed too many foul shots. I think if we made some of those layups and those foul shots and we get going from inside, then those threes start falling. I think we settled for too many jump shots instead of taking the ball to the basket.”
Despite the final numbers, Sharon’s offense was nearly unstoppable for nearly the opening five minutes. After giving up the opening bucket of the game, the Eagles went on a 16-0 run over a four-minute span to seize a 16-2 lead.
Over that stretch, the Eagles made seven of their eight field goal attempts. Using a fast tempo, the Eagles quickly turned stops on defense into transition offense. Ben Kaplan (nine points) split right through the lane to start the run and Alex Kaufmann (16 points) sandwiched two layups around an assist to Kaplan for three.
Out of a timeout, Kaufmann converted a traditional three-point play and senior Malik Lorquet (13 points, seven rebounds) scored back-to-back baskets underneath to stretch the lead to 14 points.
“We have to be a one-stop defense and we have to rebound the basketball and run from there,” Ferguson said. “When we did that, we were successful. But when they beat us on the glass, they were more successful than we were.”
But the Rebels’ offense came alive as well. Walpole closed the quarter on a 7-2 run and then continued that run in the second quarter. In a stretch that saw three missed free throws and a pair of turnovers, Walpole knotted the game at 19.
“I looked over at my staff when it was an eight or ten point lead and asked, ‘Why does this feel like just a two-point lead?’ We got complacent, we didn’t have the killer instinct,” Ferguson said. “I think we lacked it some coming off the bench, I think we lacked it some in our starting group. I think they went in here to kind of roll them over after that first four minutes. And Walpole is a very good coached team, [Walpole head coach] Mike [Masto] does a great job. We knew they weren’t going to lay down, and they didn’t. We weren’t really able to finish off the game.”
Holding a 24-23 lead, Sharon got back into the driver’s seat and finished the half with a 9-1 run; a traditional three-point play from Jayvon Monteiro, a layup from Kaplan, a putback from Lorquet and a bucket from Kaufmann, leading 33-24 at the half.
Walpole had its best quarter of the game in the third, scoring 18 points while holding the Eagles to just eight points.
Sophomore Aidan Kane drained a three off a feed from Lester High to give Sharon a 40-34 lead with 3:13 to go in the third quarter. But from there, Walpole surged ahead with an 8-1 run to close the quarter. The Eagles were without three starters due to foul trouble for the end of the third and beginning of the fourth.
The Rebels built its largest lead of the game at that point when Brett Lavanchy (13 points, 10 rebounds) converted off a Sharon turnover to make it 51-46.
But Sharon didn’t go away quietly. As Monteiro drained a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game. After a stop, Lorquet converted down low to get within one, 51-50, with 3:24 to play.
After a minute without scoring, Walpole scored down low for a 53-50 lead and the Rebels’ defense got a stop, with Lorquet picking up his fifth foul on an over the back call.
Walpole pushed it back to five, 55-50, with 1:03 to play. The teams traded two throws apiece to keep the lead at five. Sharon’s Max Tarlin hauled in a late offensive board to give the Eagles a shot at a three, but the chance rimmed in and out.
Tarlin added two free throws to bring Sharon within three with 3.4 seconds to go, but Walpole was able to inbound the ball and make its free throws.
Sharon boys basketball (0-3 Hockomock, 0-4 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it will play host Westwood in the consolation round of the tournament at 5:00.
“We can’t let this snowball to 0-5,” Ferguson said. “Tomorrow will show us what we’re really made of. If we show up and lie down, it really hurts us going into the league and puts us behind the eight ball. But I have faith in my guys that they’ll show up tomorrow and give a good effort. We really want to come out of here with a W and I think we’ll work hard to do that tomorrow.”
The Tigers ramped up the aggressiveness of their 2-3 zone in the second half, holding Sharon to just five points in the third quarter to turn a deficit into a lead, and eventually a 57-49 win over the Eagles in an early-season rivalry game in front of a packed crowd.
“I thought we did an exceptional job in the second half with the defense,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “On the defensive side, it wasn’t too bad early but when you don’t make shots you spend an awful lot of time on the defensive end. We kept Malik [Lorquet] somewhat quiet in the second half and we got out of almost all of the shooters besides a couple of breakdowns.
“Sharon, OA is special. It almost was like a playoff atmosphere. A lot of the kids went through their first varsity experience on Tuesday, but this atmosphere is the next level. You have to be able to tune out the background noise and just play basketball, and I thought especially in the second we did a nice job doing that.”
Trailing by six at the halftime break, Oliver Ames opened the second half with a 12-0 run over the first 4:20 of the quarter. OA’s zone paid off right away as the Tigers forced a shot clock violation on Sharon’s first possession of the half.
Jack Spillane (game-high 22 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) started the run by draining a three-pointer and Ethan Eckstrom (eight points, nine rebounds) converted a putback and scored down low on two of the next three possessions.
Sharon got a stop but was called for a technical, allowing Spillane to hit two free throws. Just over the midway point of the quarter, Spillane went over the top of a switch with Sean O’Brien and drained another three from straight away to cap the run, giving the Tigers a 34-28 lead.
During that stretch, the Eagles had a pair of turnovers, went 0-for-2 from two-point range, and 0-for-4 from three-point range, all but one attempt coming in the final seconds of the shot clock.
“They were very aggressive in the way they were attacking the wings,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We had a couple of guys out of position and we just got a little soft with the way we were taking it to the basket, we had to be stronger. Malik got into a little foul trouble and we kind of lost our way offensively. We’re better when we’re attacking the basket and I think we kind of lost that in the third quarter.
The Eagles finally got on the board with just under three to go on a floater from Jayvon Monteiro, but five straight points from OA senior Matt Muir (11 points) – two on a strong baseline drive and a corner three on a drive and kick from Spillane gave OA its largest lead – 39-32 – late in the third.
“I think when we got the ball inside, we needed to finish a little bit better,” Ferguson said of his Eagles, who shot 32% from the field with just eight free throw attempts (compared to 26 from OA). “We needed to do a bit better from the free throw line…I would have liked to get to the free throw line a little bit more, maybe as much as they did.
“But we kind of let outside factors and some physical play get us out of the way we want to play. That’s a credit to Oliver Ames, they took us out of our game plan. And unfortunately we had a little shut down from some guys, and that’s what happens in a Hockomock League game. If you score five points in a quarter, you’re not going to win very often.”
After going 0-for-7 from three-point range in the third quarter, Sharon got back on track when Jimmy Fitzhenry (nine points, eight rebounds) and Aidan Kane hit back-to-back triples to tie the game a minute into the final frame.
But the Eagles offense cooled once again. Two free throws from Spillane put OA up 41-39, only for Sharon to go 0-for-4 from three-point on its next two possessions, concluding three misses on one possession. Muir made Sharon pay with a corner trey to make it 44-39.
“I think Matt can be that 10 point a game kid,” Byron said of Muir, who hit three triples. “He might not throw 25 on you, but he’s a good consistent spot-up option. A lot of the things we do are based on Jack and penetration. And it can draw a lot of attention, and it did tonight, and they came with Matt’s guy.”
A three from Alex Kaufmann brought the Eagles within two but that would be the closest they would get the rest of the way. Two free throws from Spillane plus a strong take from Eckstrom restored a two-possession lead.
O’Brien (12 points) delivered the dagger with a three with two minutes to play, putting OA up 51-42.
“He was a JV kid last year, he was really good over at Stoughton too,” Byron said of O’Brien. “He’s really poised, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes for a kid who’s only got two games under his belt. He’s been terrific, really solid for us. He’s a competitive kid and he wasn’t affected by the atmosphere.”
Kane hit a three with 17.6 seconds left to make it 53-49, but OA didn’t turn the ball over and took care of business at the free throw line to ice the game.
Lorquet finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Eagles.
Sharon’s offense got off to a strong start against the zone, dropping 16 points — including three triples — in the opening quarter. The Eagles added 12 more points in the second quarter, owning the glass 11-6 in the frame.
Meanwhile, Oliver Ames got off to a slow start, hitting just one field goal (5-of-6 from the free throw line) and six turnovers. The offense came alive a bit in the second quarter, going 3-for-6 from downtown to get within 28-22 at the break.
Sharon (0-2, 0-2) will look for its first win of the season when it hosts Attleboro on the same day.
“It’s good to be 2-0 for a variety of reasons…having to play Stoughton in there place is never easy,” Byron said. “Any road game is tough, but over there can be particularly tough. And then Sharon is a good team, I think they’re going to contend in the small side. It’s kind of a wide-open race on that side and Sharon is pretty darn good. They have some explosive scorers so we’re really happy with what we were able to do in the second half, especially defensively.”
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2017-2018 Hockomock Girls Basketball Preview
2016-2017 Record: 16-8
2016-2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Marty Crowley
The Bombardiers enter the season with a new coaching staff and a very different starting lineup to the one that nearly knocked off Mansfield in the Div. 1 South playoffs last season. Former King Philip coach Marty Crowley has taken over after Rick Patch stepped down in the off-season and he will have only a few returning varsity players to call on this winter.
Senior forward Sam Pierce will be the key piece on offense, as Attleboro tries to replace the more than 30 points per game that was lost with the graduation of Sarah Deyo and Julia Strachan. Pierce has been a consistent scorer and rebounder for the past few seasons, but this will be the first time that she is the primary offensive weapon and could be poised for a breakout year. Junior Jordyn Lako and senior Grace Mayer are strong on-the-ball defenders and should help Crowley implement his high-pressure defensive scheme. Senior Kim White will also be one of Attleboro’s ball-handlers in the backcourt.
One of the players who saw a little time on varsity last season that is expected to make a big jump is sophomore Nyah Thomas, who has the length to be a tough defender and showed in her few appearances last year that she can rebound and take the ball to the basket. Sophomore Liv McCall is a fearless shooter that will stretch the floor and transfer Mackenzie Roberts will give the Bombardiers added size in the paint.
Crowley said, “For us to be successful we must be able to play defense consistently and rebound. Sam, I am sure, is going to draw a lot of attention from other teams, so we must make sure that we are smart offensively and get touches for everyone.”
2016-2017 Record: 6-14
2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Jim Choquette
There has been excitement around the Canton program for the past few seasons and that continues this winter, as the Bulldogs look to secure a place in the state tournament behind an experienced lineup that has been developing together for several years.
Senior Hannah Jerrier is the key for the Bulldogs, as the forward is coming off a league all-star season in which she emerged as a potential double-double night after night. Jerrier is a solid rebounder and scorer in the paint, reaching the 20-point mark nine times last season and averaging more than 16 points and nine rebounds per game. Junior Julia Hamilton will be back at point guard for the Bulldogs to help get the Canton into its offensive sets and provide pressure, on-the-ball defense. Senior Jess Powers is also back after missing a season to a knee injury and will add a boost to the team’s outside shooting and take pressure off Jerrier on offense.
Junior Maggie Connolly returns for her second year in the backcourt and seniors Lindsey Barrett, Nikki Gefteas, and Leya Conard will all add depth to the Canton roster this season, while junior Erin Devine adds another important post presence on both ends of the floor. The versatility of the roster will allow head coach Jim Choquette to change his game plans every game, slowing it down to play half-court or ratcheting up the pressure to go up tempo.
“Canton remains focused on playing together and staying positive for the best season possible,” Choquette said. “Leading up to our first game there’s been an extreme amount of effort and energy by a large group of unselfish girls and our seniors have all been great examples of staying positive throughout all situations!”
2016-2017 Record: 22-3
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 State Semifinal
Coach: Lisa Downs
After winning the Div. 2 South title and reaching the TD Garden last winter, this year’s Foxboro team will have high expectations, but with four starters returning, including reigning Hockomock League MVP Ashley Sampson, the Warriors will once again be the favorites to take home the Davenport division crown.
Having already passed the 1,000-point mark for her career, Sampson enters her senior season as the focal point of the Foxboro offense. Her ability to get into the lane and finish, as well as step back and knock down shots, makes her a tough cover and opens space for her teammates. Fellow senior Lily Sykes is one of the beneficiaries of that space and she can take advantage of open looks on the perimeter. Senior Grace Tamulionis is another player who can stretch the floor for the Warriors and can be an ‘X’ factor for Foxboro in big games. Senior Shannon Smally adds rebounding and post presence to keep defenses honest.
The Warriors are now the veteran team in the division, but there are also several younger players that have developed into critical pieces off the bench, including sophomore Abby Hassman, who has grown in the off-season into a strong rebounder. Freshman Katelyn Mollica will add backcourt depth with her tenacity on defense and already impressive court awareness. Junior Chelsea Gibbons is another player that is expected to step into a bigger role this season.
Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said, “This group of seniors have been part of our Varsity team since their freshmen year and with each year, they have learned and developed more – all of the girls on this year’s team put in the necessary work; now its time to execute.”
2016-2017 Record: 9-11
2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: John Leighton
Franklin got off to a rough start last season, beginning 0-6 with an inexperienced roster, but then closed the year with nine wins in the last 14 games, just missing out on a return to the postseason. This year, the Panthers will try to build on that year of experience and book a return to the playoffs.
The Panthers will have strength in the middle to try and get off to a much better start this season. Sophomore Ali Brigham, last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, has received several Div. I NCAA offers, including one from the University of Minnesota, and at 6-foot-3 can dominate the paint on both ends of the floor. Franklin will also have outside scoring with junior guard Bea Bondhus, who is a consistent three-point shooter and will stretch defenses to open up the post for Brigham.
Franklin has plenty of size this season. Sophomore forwards Breanna Atwood (5-foot-9) and Megan O’Connell (5-foot-10) and senior forward Kate Morse (5-foot-11) will provide plenty of depth on the inside. Junior Shannon Gray will be back to run the point and senior Grace Sameski will add backcourt depth. Freshman guard Elizabeth Wilson is poised to make an instant impact for the Panthers, as she did in the season opener by knocking down three free throws in the final seconds to force overtime against Holy Name.
“We are a young team with only two seniors, but I am very pleased with the effort and progress of the team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton, who is excited about the return of the majority of the team’s scoring and the potential of the youth on the roster.
2016-2017 Record: 7-13
2016-2017 Finish: Missed postseason.
Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip has a new coach this season, with former Wellesley assistant Amy Siggens taking over for Marty Crowley, and there could be a period of adjustment for a still relatively young Warriors roster to adapt to the new system, but there is excitement about the progress being made by the seven returning varsity players.
Boston University-commit Shannon O’Connor will once again be a player to watch for the Warriors this winter. The junior’s ability to shoot off the dribble, defend multiple positions, and take the ball to the basket has made her one of the league’s elite perimeter players. As O’Connor continues to develop as a playmaker that will create open looks for her teammates, including junior Julia Leroux and sophomore Faith Roy. Senior Christina Hathaway (one of only two seniors on the roster) will add strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.
The Warriors will not lack for size this season. O’Connor is listed at 5-foot-11, junior Catherine Cummings and sophomore Faye Veilleux are listed at 5-foot-10, and Roy is listed at 5-foot-9. The versatility of those players will give Siggens room to switch up lineups when needed. KP is still pretty young and Siggens has added two freshmen, Emma Glaser and Brianna James, to this year’s roster.
Siggens said, “Early on we will stress the importance of being unselfish on offense and being tough and aggressive on defense. Knowing mistakes will be made, there will be no small emphasis on the importance of playing hard all the time… I am encouraged by our team’s enthusiasm and attitude.”
2016-2017 Record: 20-4
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final.
Coach: Mike Redding
Replacing the production of last season’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jen Peel is a difficult task, but Mansfield has the talent, depth, and experience in the roster to make it work. The Hornets return four starters from last year’s squad and will lean on a loaded and versatile junior class to try and make it a three-peat of league titles.
The key returner for Mansfield is 6-foot-3 center Meg Hill. The Stonehill College-commit is already the program’s best in blocked shots and is soon to be the career leader in rebounds, while improving her offensive game every season. With Peel gone, junior Mady Bendanillo will be tasked with getting the ball into the post to Hill and to fellow junior Maggie Danehy, who had an impressive start with a double-double against Medfield in the Endowment Game. Reigning HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year Ann Maher will also be back at shooting guard and is one of the team’s most consistent three-point threats.
Juniors Erin Daniel, Emily Vigeant, Sydney Mulkern and Kara Bendanillo will likely compete for the fifth starting spot and all should see plenty of playing time this year. With 5-foot-11 senior Maeve Carney and 5-foot-10 freshman Ashley Santos, the Hornets should be able to dominate the paint and sophomore Becca Hottleman will add depth at the point guard position.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “We have a chance to be very good again with our junior group getting a ton of experience last year and we hope to compete for league title again.” He added that the Hornets bolstered the schedule this season as well. Redding said, “Our record may not be as good as last year when we earned the No. 1 seed, but we will be more battle tested for the state tourney in March.”
2016-2017 Record: 10-11
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central first round.
Coach: T.J. Dolliver
A year after returning to the postseason for the first time since 2012 (and nearly pulling off an upset of Marlboro on the road), Milford brings back seven seniors to try and make a push for a Davenport division title and another state tournament appearance.
The Hawks have a versatile lineup led by four-year starter Kate Irwin. The lefty point guard is one of the most dynamic perimeter scorers and playmakers in the league and she continues to improve each season. Her ability to get into the paint opens up room for her teammates and she can also step back and knock down threes. Irwin will be helped by fellow seniors Gillian Valanzola and Juliana Tracy, who add size on the post.
Senior Emily Piergustavo is a knock-down shooter from beyond the arc and her classmate Jess Tomaso has proven to be a solid rebounder from the guard position. There are also two sophomores and four freshmen on the roster this season to add depth and build for the future under third-year head coach T.J. Dolliver.
Dolliver said, “I am very excited for our team this year. This is my 3rd year with a lot of these girls and seeing how they have progressed over the years have really set this team up for a fun season.”
2016-2017 Record: 18-7
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal.
Coach: Derek Herber
Last season, North Attleboro boasted one of the most experienced lineups in the league with five of its top six players being seniors, but this year the Rocketeers will be incorporating a number of new faces, as only six players (only starter) return from last winter.
The lone returning starter is junior guard Julia Feid, who had a breakout season on the wing and will be counted on to lead the offensive attack this year. Feid’s classmate Emily Haskell will also be on the wing for North this season and will also have a large chunk of the offense run through her. Senior Emily Pastore, junior Liz Smahi, and sophomore Michelle Pothier will also contribute scoring from the wing, while junior Lauren Pezzi and sophomore Olivia Forbes will run the point and distribute the ball in the half court.
The graduation of Caroline Collard and Liz Morehouse leaves an opening on the post, but North has several players that will step in to provide a presence in the paint. Senior Julia Santos and juniors Emma Noreck and Kaley Sullivan will each get opportunities to contribute. North faces a tough early season schedule with the likes of Franklin, Oliver Ames, Archbishop Williams, and Hingham, so it will be critical for the new players to find their feet quickly.
North Attleboro coach Derek Herber said, “The team has quickly began to gel and I am hopeful that we if we can survive the early part of the season, we can qualify for the tournament.”
2016-2017 Record: 13-8
2016-2017 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round.
Coach: Elaine Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames struggled to find consistent offense last season and it kept the Tigers from being able to challenge Mansfield for the league title or make another run in Div. 2 South, but a healthy lineup with several key returning players has OA optimistic for improvements this winter.
The main focus will be on senior forward Kayla Raymond. The Stonehill College-commit is one of the most versatile players in the league, with the length and leaping ability to dominate in the paint and the range to step out and knock down jumpers. Raymond is listed as a forward/center but could potentially be used at multiple positions. Senior guard Abby Reardon is back to get the Tigers into their offensive sets and as one of the league’s top on-the-ball defenders. Classmate Katie Flynn also returns to give Raymond help in the post.
In addition to the seniors, junior Alex Sheldon will provide depth at the forward position and junior Sadie Homer was a dynamic scorer on the perimeter before an injury cut her season short last year. Homer was a solid three-point shooter last year and will be expected to stretch defenses again this season. Sophomore guard Meg Holleran emerged as a playmaker during her freshman campaign and could see a bigger role this year.
“OA is looking to blend some younger talent and are working hard to provide some depth in the backcourt,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “Looking forward to the fight for the Kelly Rex Division.”
2016-2017 Record: 6-14
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Sandra Lombardi
In addition to a new coaching staff, Sharon will see a number of new faces on the roster, as several of last year’s players are focusing on other sports this winter. Former Rockland and East Bridgewater assistant Sandra Lombardi takes over for Cliff Tomassian and will have a young group to work with in her first head coaching position.
Junior small forward Emma Eberhardt is one of the returning players that will be expected to provide leadership and scoring for the Eagles. Eberhardt, a HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team performer last year, was Sharon’s top scorer last winter and also has the size to be a problem for opponents on the glass. She scored 16 points in Sharon’s win over Nipmuc in the season opener. Senior guard Miranda Cheung will also be back for Sharon to provide ball-handling and perimeter shooting.
Sophomore Telishya Herbert made the jump from JV to varsity midway through last season and had an instant impact on the Eagles with her athleticism and her ability to score in the paint. She had 10 points against Nipmuc and could be ready for a breakout year as Sharon’s second scorer to take some pressure off Eberhardt. Also back from last year’s roster are junior Evanjuline Elisma and sophomore Ally Brown.
Lombardi said of her new team, “We are going to be quick and aggressive. I’m excited to see what the season will bring.”
2016-2017 Record: 8-10
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Charmaine Steele-Jordan
The Black Knights narrowly missed out on the postseason last year, despite having a number of underclassmen in the roster, and expectations for this season include a return to the playoffs under third-year head coach Charmaine Steele-Jordan.
Senior Val Whalen was the team’s MVP last season after leading the Black Knights with more than 13 points and nine rebounds per game. Whalen has improved every season and her intensity on defense and on the glass boosts is contagious. Stoughton is a physical team that likes to put pressure on the ball defensively and Whalen sets the tone. Senior Jordan Motley is also a tenacious rebounder and gives the Black Knights another strong presence in the paint.
Sophomore guard Shyanne Trinh had a breakout freshman campaign, scoring more than 10 points per game, and her ball-handling and long-range shooting opens things up for the post players. Fellow sophomore Aliyah Wright also had a strong rookie campaign and her size is a difficult matchup for many of the point guards in the Hock. Stoughton will also count on junior guards Lindsey McDonald and Hailey Egan and sophomore Lexi Baptista. Freshman Sydnee Hyacinthe has also been called up to add depth in the backcourt.
Steele-Jordan said of her senior forwards, “I’m looking forward to their leadership, hustle on the court and their defensive presence this year. Whalen and Motley’s veteran play along with our returning sophomores will be great for the Black Knights this season.”
2016-2017 Record: 1-21
2016-2017 Finish: Missed Postseason.
Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton is coming off a difficult season in which the Tigers finished with just one victory, but one game into the new year and Taunton has already matched that total. The season opening win over Cumberland (R.I.) fits with the optimism around the program, as the Tigers blend youth with experience in the hopes of making a run at a playoff spot.
The Tigers will be led by senior forwards Hannah Moniz and Mackenzie Handrahan, who combined for 26 points in the win at Cumberland and provide a mix of rebounding, scoring at the rim, and outside shooting to balance the Taunton offense. Junior Lily Patneaude also returns from an all-star season and is Taunton’s most dynamic scorer with range from well beyond the arc. Junior Alexa White is another guard that will provide solid contributions on both ends of the floor.
Junior Shantel Andrew, a 5-foot-7 forward, is expected to be a significant contributor this season, after missing two years with knee injuries. As usual, Taunton has plenty of youth on the roster with four freshmen making varsity, a couple of whom got playing experience last year as eighth graders. Forwards Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez and guards Kelsey White and Tori DaRosa are going to be counted on to play big roles this year for the Tigers.
Taunton coach Walter Harrigan said, “Our goal for this year is to continue to work hard while focusing on the development of good habits which will hopefully lead to team improvement and a trip to the state tournament.”
By HockomockSports.com Staff
The Hockomock League held its annual cross-country championships on Saturday morning at the Wrentham Development Center. Below are Hockomock cross-country championship team and individual results.
1. Mansfield – 41
2. Franklin – 59
T3. Oliver Ames – 128
T3. King Philip – 128
5. Milford – 147
6. Sharon – 160
7. Attleboro – 175
8. Taunton – 191
9. North Attleboro – 207
10. Canton – 233
11. Stoughton – 351
12. Foxboro – 355
1. Kalin Petrov, Mansfield – 15:51.77
2. Tyler Brogan, Franklin – 15:58.82
3. Michael Griffin, King Philip – 16:07.51
4. Jack Kalil, Milford – 16:12.33
5. Kevin Crawford, Mansfield – 16:22.24
6. Jason Windvogel, Oliver Ames – 16:25.99
7. Alexander Boedeker, Attleboro – 16:29.76
8. Paul Linehan, Franklin – 16:32.67
9. Patrick Heavey, Mansfield – 16:35.79
10. Michael Norberg, King Philip – 16:44.92
11. Collin Rice, Mansfield – 16:50.18
12. Liam Monahan, North Attleboro – 16:52.45
13. Mitchell Regan, Franklin – 16:53.68
14. Dylan Kehoe, Franklin – 16:55.07
15. Paxton Howard, Mansfield – 16:55.46
16. Hayden Goldsmith, Franklin – 17:01.05
17. Anthony DiStauro, Milford – 17:01.83
18. Zane Reservitz, Oliver Ames – 17:04.51
19. Camden Harrington, Franklin – 17:04.82
20. Cullen Lancaster, Mansfield – 17:13.19
21. Jared Osofsky, Sharon – 17:14.27
22. Colin Messenger, Canton – 17:18.95
23. Nolan Tavares, Taunton – 17:19.67
24. Jack Healey, Canton – 17:20.62
25. Ty Cali, Taunton – 17:22.20
26. Ryan Goldman, Franklin – 17:24.74
27. Michael Hagan, Franklin – 17:27.70
28. Grant Fawcett, Sharon – 17:30.44
29. Nate Reservitz, Oliver Ames – 17:31.28
30. Daniel Barrow, Franklin – 17:33.82
31. Alex Hagen, King Philip – 17:40.55
32. Julian Dixon, North Attleboro – 17:43.32
33. Max Manor, Milford – 17:43.40
34. Alexander Starovoytov, Sharon – 17:49.37
35. Jacob Dubin, Sharon – 17:50.36
36. Peter Sullivan, Mansfield – 17:52.61
37. Colin Quinlan, Taunton – 17:54.01
38. Eric DeLorenzo, King Philip – 17:55.40
39. Alexander Foote, Oliver Ames – 17:55.96
40. Mathew Reilly, Attleboro – 17:57.37
41. Zachary Bellido, Oliver Ames – 17:59.84
42. Luis Oliva, Attleboro – 18:01.02
43. Brendan O’Shaughnessy, Milford – 18:01.45
44. Owen Nipoti, Oliver Ames – 18:02.33
45. Eric McQuiggan, Mansfield – 18:03.02
46. Kevin Osowski, Oliver Ames – 18:03.58
47. Nick Raffa, Attleboro – 18:03.75
48. Alex Maddestra, Canton – 18:05.93
49. Nathan Seybert, Attleboro – 18:07.57
50. Jordan Saks, Sharon – 18:09.17
51. Cameron Parker, Taunton – 18:09.93
52. Tom Flood, North Attleboro – 18:10.52
53. Robert MacInnis, Oliver Ames – 18:11.55
54. Matthew Andrews, King Philip – 18:12.12
55. Matthews Willis, Attleboro – 18:14.99
56. Samuel Page, King Philip – 18.16.06
57. Trey Lawson, Foxboro – 18:16.63
58. Gianni Panno, Milford – 18:18.18
59. Joshua Smith, King Philip – 18:18.44
60. Joey Looney, Oliver Ames – 18:18.60
61. Nicholas Carey, Milford – 18:24.20
62. Justin Miller, Mansfield – 18:26.98
63. Nate Farkash, King Philip – 18:27.76
64. Prem Malkan, North Attleboro – 18:28.36
65. Daniel Becker, Attleboro – 18:32.18
66. Dan Botte, King Philip – 18:33.59
67. Jack Clarke, North Attleboro – 18:34.11
68. Jason Feierstein, Attleboro – 18:35.64
69. Michael Maher, Attelboro – 18:36.74
70. Lucas DeSousa, Taunton – 18:36.98
71. David Fiedorczyk, Oliver Ames – 18:38.32
72. Matthew Shumway, Franklin – 18:41.21
73. Will Eckhart, Stoughton – 18:44.08
74. Ben Thibeault, Manfield – 18:46.08
75. Skyler Poirier, North Attleboro – 18:46.34
76. Daniel Nobrega, North Attleboro – 18:49.31
77. John Greene, Stoughton – 18:57.02
78. Steven Westgate, Taunton – 19:00.84
79. Dylan Weir, North Attleboro – 19:01.02
80. Ben Allaire, Sharon – 19:03.48
81. Timothy Liu, Sharon – 19:04.94
82. Andrew Salvatori, Canton – 19:07.12
83. Noah Wieland, Sharon – 19:07.38
84. Ryan Kelley, Milford – 19:07.96
85. Timothy Gallerani, Taunton – 19:11.55
86. Tieqi Sun, Sharon – 19:13.01
87. Ryan Connor, King Philip – 19:14.18
88. Evan Connor, Stoughton – 19:14.81
89. Paxton Downs, Foxboro – 19:17.57
90. Kanishka Sethi, Sharon – 19:18.61
91. Patrick Piscitelli, Foxboro – 19:19.62
92. Jack Hernon, Canton – 19:24.28
93. William Bradley, North Attleboro – 19:25.04
94. Isaac Walker, Stoughton – 19:35.03
95. Sawyer Julier-Albert, Canton – 19:39.58
96 Brendan McCormick, Attleboro – 19:40.50
97. Chris Rota, Canton – 19:41.72
98. Thomas Cahill, Canton – 19:47.48
99. Matt Floyd, Canton – 19:48.01
100. Nate Palter, Foxboro – 19:55.30
101. Jake Parkman, Foxboro – 19:59.69
102. Joseph Bagarella, North Attleboro – 20:03.10
103. Matthew Letourneau, Taunton – 20:08.40
104. Ethan Freedman, Stoughton – 20:20.73
105. Max Dunderdale, Taunton – 20:22.81
106. Kyle Wanless, Canton – 20:32.41
107. Tommy Bui, Stoughton – 20:51.77
108. Michael Veliotis, Stoughton – 20:53.63
109. Colin Whippen, Canton – 21:09.44
110. Joshua McNamara, Stoughton – 21:11.80
111. Cam DiRosa, Stoughton – 21:14.86
112. Joseph Anderson, Foxboro – 21:20.38
113. Marcos Amado, Stoughton – 21:33.06
1. Franklin – 54
2. Attleboro – 85
3. Oliver Ames – 94
4. North Attleboro – 129
5. Taunton – 158
6. Foxboro – 159
7. Sharon – 161
8. King Philip – 175
9. Mansfield – 178
10. Canton – 272
11. Milford – 302
1. Abby Hassman, Foxboro – 19:03.22
2. Katherine Hartnett, Franklin – 19:27.48
3. Nicole Clermont, Franklin – 19:37.57
4. Elizabeth Peckham, Oliver Ames – 19:40.62
5. Angela Kaiser, North Attleboro – 19:54.69
6. Erin Quinn, King Philip – 20:00.53
7. Lindsey Nelson, Foxboro – 20:26.43
8. Shea Jamieson, Attleboro – 20:32.68
9. Stephanie Hawkins, North Attleboro – 20:33.26
10. Margaret Riley, Mansfield – 20:38.56
11. Nia Mainer-Smith, Taunton – 20:41.50
12. Katrina Walbert, Franklin – 20:42.74
13. Lily Valcovic, Taunton – 20:46.53
14. Madeline Peckham, Oliver Ames – 20:51.22
15. Jamyang Lhadon, Attleboro – 20:57.53
16. Luisa Oliva, Attleboro – 20:57.61
17. Sydney Hawkins, Franklin – 21:04.43
18. Kelly Neuendorf, Attleboro – 21:06.99
19. Megan Leary, North Attleboro – 21:09.08
20. Brianna Cummings, Franklin – 21:10.21
21. Anna Morrison, Sharon – 21:14.48
22. Olivia Timbone, Oliver Ames – 21:16.71
23. Jenna Moyle, Canton – 21:19.16
24. Maria Gieg, Sharon – 21:20.30
25. Sydnee Hyacinthe, Stoughton – 21:21.48
26. Chloe Kikelly, Oliver Ames – 21:25.24
27. Brandi Osborne, Franklin – 21:31.18
28. Nina Sitarski, King Philip – 21:32.11
29. Mackenzie Wildrick, Attleboro – 21:32.42
30. Catherine O’Donnell, Oliver Ames – 21:35.81
31. Eliana Boxerman, Sharon – 21:37.53
32. Juliana Dudziak, Sharon – 21:39.79
33. Charis MacCuish, Oliver Ames – 21:40.41
34. Isabelle Crocker, King Philip – 21:47.42
35. Ella Gutkowski, Franklin – 21:47.83
36. Diana Blouin, Attleboro – 21:48.48
37. Meghan Reardon, Oliver Ames – 21:50.08
38. Julai DiGiacomo, Franklin – 21:50.92
39. Nicole Yeomans, Foxboro – 21:51.90
40. Sarah Doyle, Mansfield – 21:52.66
41. Mary Viera, Franklin – 21:55.30
42. Sara Comisky, Milford – 21:59.16
43. Kailey Melito-Santos, Taunton – 21:59.33
44. Julia Sarro, Oliver Ames – 22:01.62
45. Emma Lamson, Mansfield – 22:06.19
46. Nicol Pnney, Mansfield – 22:10.41
47. Emily Steele, Foxboro – 22:15.04
48. Ellen Marshall, Attleboro – 22:16.60
49. Kaicey Melito-Santos, Taunton – 22:16.92
50. Emily Manning, North Attleboro – 22:18.52
51. Valaree Buonora, Mansfield – 22:18.63
52. Jessica Alestock, Mansfield – 22:18.68
53. Tatyana Mainer-Smith, Taunton – 22:20.39
54. Jordan Willis, North Attleboro – 22:21.56
55. Alexis Marcolini, Milford – 22:23.47
56. Lilia Angelone, King Philip – 22:24.94
57. Olivia Forbes, North Attleboro – 22:28.67
58. Catherine Hanewich, North Attleboro – 22:31.14
59. Catherine Griffin, Sharon – 22:31.62
60. James Polsgrove, Canton – 22:33.41
61. Kate Duffy, Oliver Ames – 22:34.76
62. Leia Quinn, King Philip – 22:36.85
63. Kavya Anbarasu, Sharon – 22:39.45
64. Olivia Weber, Taunton – 22:40.25
65. Kaleigh Walsh, Oliver Ames – 22:42.19
66. Abigail Dunne, King Philip – 22:42.84
67. Chloe Pennacchio, Canton – 22:44.86
68. Margaret Li, Sharon – 22:46.04
69. Jamie Kessler, Sharon – 22:49.04
70. Dayna Aubin, King Philip – 22:51.34
71. Briana Aronne, Attleboro – 22:52.79
72. Kimiya Kim, Franklin – 22:55.07
73. Emma Cunningham, Canton – 22:56.09
74. Ziqin Wong, Taunton – 23:23.44
75. Jaycee Duarte, Taunton – 23:27.61
76. Emily Penta, Mansfield – 23:29.27
77. Kaitlyn Ward, King Philip – 23:37.21
78. Abigail O’Brien, Mansfield – 23:40.09
79. Julia Franey, Stoughton – 23:41.91
80. Katie Manning, Milford – 23:43.05
81. Madison Bettencourt, Taunton – 23:45.09
82. Paige Williams, North Attleboro – 23:50.10
83. Meredith Cowan, Mansfield – 23:52.47
84. Allison Chin, Canton – 23:54.78
85. Maggie Dunn, Canton – 24:15.47
86. Theresa Billo, Stoughton – 24:17.71
87. Kayla Wong, Canton – 24:17.80
88. Alexandra Welch, King Philip – 24:18.21
89. Jill Finn, Foxboro – 24:20.89
90. Jenna Berg, Attleboro – 24:20.89
91. Katherina Donahue, Milford – 24:29.08
92. Catherine Cummings, King Philip – 24:37.40
93. Kate Kelleher, Canton – 24:48.60
94. Lillian Thibeault, Milford – 24:50.32
95. Isabel Hallal, Foxboro – 24:53.88
96. Alexa Lancisi, Milford – 24:58.44
97. Erica Boone, Canton – 25:02.89
98. Amelia Lopez, Attleboro – 25:10.13
99. Katie Ovoian, North Attleboro – 25:32.87
100. Emilia BonTempo, Milford – 25:42.69
101. Deepti Murthy, Sharon – 25:52.16
102. Brianna Bagdasian, Taunton – 25:55.19
103. Emily Bubencik, Foxboro – 26:03.80