Scott Stands Tall To Help Stoughton Beat Attleboro

Stoughton hockey
Stoughton sophomore AJ Scott watches a shot go wide in the third period against Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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BROCKTON, Mass. – Stoughton senior Jon Lessa and sophomore Sean Doherty each recorded a pair of points and sophomore goalie AJ Scott had an impressive performance in net as the Black Knights beat Attleboro, 2-1.

Less than a month after the Bombardiers beat the Black Knights in a league game by the same score, Stoughton flipped the script this time around to get two points in a non-league clash.

Scott made 34 saves, including 16 in the first period, while Lessa and Doherty took turns setting each other up for go-ahead goals for the Black Knights.

“And Attleboro has a great offense, the first time we played them we couldn’t stop their chances,” said Stoughton head coach Dan Mark on Scott’s play. “They have some good forwards. I thought overall we did a pretty good job. We gave up 35 shots but it went progressively down each period.”

The Bombardiers struck first in the team’s meeting back in January, building a 2-0 lead in the second period.

This time around, Stoughton took the lead, not wasting much time on the game’s first power play. An interference call put the Black Knights on a man advantage opportunity and just over a minute in, Stoughton took the lead.

Lessa, a captain, raced past a defenseman and dropped a shot on target as he wrapped behind the net. The puck popped free right in the middle and Doherty pounced, firing one in from close range to put Stoughton up 1-0.

But less than a minute after taking the lead, the Black Knights took a penalty. Attleboro needed just 10 seconds to tie the contest.

Attleboro won the face off, senior PJ Elliott ripped a shot from the slot that Scott was able to stop but sophomore Cam Littig came flying around the back of the net and tucked the rebound chance in from a tight angle to make it 1-1.

The Bombardiers nearly carried that momentum into the second period with a big chance early on but Scott stood tall for Stoughton. Just over a minute into the middle frame, the Bombardiers won an offensive face off and the puck ended on the stick of Littig for a close range bid but Scott got just enough to turn it aside.

The save turned out to be a big one as the Knights regained the lead just a minute later.

This time Doherty played the role of helper and Lessa took on the role of finisher. The sophomore staked past a defenseman towards the boards behind he net, but slammed on the breaks, turned back and fired a centering pass for a one timer that Lessa roofed to put Stoughton up 2-1.

“They played well today,” Mark said of his first line of Lessa, Doherty and junior Brendan Campbell. “They created a lot of good opportunities. I thought their goalie [Evan Andrews] played really well too. That breakaway save was huge.”

The breakaway Mark was referring to came at the midway point of the second period. After the Bombardiers hit the crossbar on a shot from Jake Parker, the two teams traded penalties.

That gave Attleboro a man advantage opportunity but it was Stoughton that came away with the best scoring chance.

Campbell broke free and was able to go in alone on goal but Andrews stood his ground and denied the bid with a leg save.

Scott had one his best sequences near the end of the middle period. Both Parker (20 goals on the season) and Littig had shots through traffic that somehow Scott was able to get with a piece of his glove (on Littig’s shot) and then blocked the second with his chest.

Neither side found the back of the net in the third period, both Scott and Andrews making big saves in the frame.

First it was Scott, as Parker raced around a defenseman and fired a tight angle shot but the sophomore made the stop with his paddle.

While on a power play, Lessa found Doherty on the doorstep but Andrews was quick to react to deny the sophomore. A minute later, Doherty and Lessa used a quick give and go in the attacking area with the latter releasing a close range shot but it sailed wide.

Attleboro had its best chance to level the game with 30 seconds to play, skating six players with the goalie pulled. Elliott ended up with the puck in the slot for an open shot but Scott made the point blank save to preserve the win.

“We’re not used to being in that position so sometimes the kids get nervous but I thought they kept their composure pretty good there at the end,” Mark said.

Attleboro finished with a 35-20 advantage in shots on goal.

“I thought we played well to the point where we had a lot of offense zone times,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Homer said. “It’s one of those frustrating games where you feel like you outplayed the other team but the other team’s goalie makes all the stops. Kudos to [Scott]. Similar to the OA game, when it was 1-0, OA didn’t get to the hard parts of the ice in front of the net and we did the same thing tonight. We had chances but we didn’t take advantage of them.”

Stoughton hockey (4-11-2 overall, 1-7 Hockomock) hosts Bellingham on Tuesday while Attleboro (6-11-1, 2-7) will host Shawsheen on Wednesday. The Bombardiers need two points against either Shawsheen or Dighton-Rehoboth to qualify for the state tournament.

Law, Vendrell Help Taunton Bounce Back At Stoughton

Taunton boys basketball
Taunton freshman Dante Law puts up a shot in the second half at Stoughton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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STOUGHTON, Mass. – Taunton sophomore Luis Vendrell kept his team afloat in the first half and freshman Dante Law took control in the second half to lead the Tigers to an 80-61 win at Stoughton.

Vendrell scored 11 big his career-high 17 points in the first half as the Tigers took a 32-29 lead into half. Law – who drained a three before the halftime buzzer to give the Tigers that slim lead – went on to score 15 of his career-high 22 points in the second half.

It was a stark comparison in performances for Taunton, who were limited to just 36 points on Monday in a game at Franklin.

“It was better [than Monday] but we are just not doing a good job rebounding,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “With our size, OK that’s an issue but still you have to lay a body on someone and keep them off the boards. It’s almost like they saw our game on Monday, decided to sell out on the boards and send six, seven guys on the boards.”

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After a back and forth first quarter – a period that featured five lead changes and three ties – the Tigers held 14-11 lead. A three from Tommy MacLean (nine points, eight assists, four steals, four rebounds) stretched Taunton’s to six but Stoughton rattled off a quick 6-0 run to tie the game again.

The teams traded baskets until the final seconds, when Law drained his free throw just before the buzzer off an inbounds play.

The teams stayed within possession or two of each other for the first half of the third quarter and Colin Sanda’s (career-high 13 points, five rebounds) bucket brought Stoughton within three, 40-37 with just under fourth minutes to go.

But that’s when Taunton was able to gain some separation, rattling off a 14-4 run to conclude the quarter. Freshman Naz Kenian (11 points) got the run going, Law drained a three and Vendrell drove the lane for a quick 7-0 spurt. Stoughton freshman Ajahn Rue converted a three point play for the Black Knights but Vendrell got back to back baskets inside the final minute and Law beat the buzzer once again with another three to hand Taunton a 54-41 lead through three.

“The threes loosened it up a bit for us,” Dacey said. “But our gym is such a comfort zone for us. We play so differently. This gym and Attleboro are the two bugaboos for us.” Taunton shot just 6/22 from three (26/45 from 2PT).

The Tigers had their best offensive quarter of the game in the fourth, dropping 26 points.

Stoughton cut the lead to nine with three minutes to play but Taunton responded with a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach. Kenian drained a three, Lens Esquil (14 points, 10 rebounds) converted a layup and a pair of three throws and Vendrell his a pair of free throws to put the Tigers up 73-55.

Matt Valle added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Black Knights while sophomore Josh Cocchi chipped in with a career-high 10 points. Cam Gomes had eight points and eight rebounds.

Taunton boys basketball (12-6 overall, 7-6 Hockomock) is scheduled to be back in action on Friday when they host King Philip. The Warriors won the first matchup 70-51. Stoughton (3-12, 2-11) will host North Attleboro on the same night.

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Hockomock Wrestling Championships 2017

Hockomock wrestling
Franklin’s Brian Farrell (top) grapples with Sharon’s Matt Callan at Hocks. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Franklin had three individual champions, two second place finishes and four more grapplers finish third or fourth to win the team title at the Hockomock League Wrestling Championships at Oliver Ames on Saturday.

The Panthers registered 218.5 points, edging out North Attleboro (212.5 points) and Foxboro (200.5 points).

Franklin’s Ian Bakalars won the 113 title with a 6-2 decision, Mike Racca notched a first round pin to win the 120 title and Dylan Maclean earned the 145 title with a pin. Jordan Carlucci (106) and Brian Perry (285) had second place finishes, Evan Hernandez (182) and Kyler Colella (195) each came in third and TJ Remillard (126) and Brian Farrell (132) both placed fourth.

The Rocketeers, who have clinched at least a share of the Davenport division dual meet title, only had one winner in the tournament but once again show off its depth with three second place finishes, and nine other wrestlers finishing either third, fourth, fifth or sixth. North Attleboro’s Nick Gould was the team’s only champion, scoring an impressive 14-0 win at 152. It marks the second straight year Gould won a Hockomock title after winning the 145 title a year ago. Dan Cooper (113), Jake Direnzo (120) and Brandon Graveline (132) each placed second for Big Red.

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Foxboro’s Matt Kelley was impressive in winning his third straight Hockomock League title. Kelley raced out to a quick 14-0 lead before scoring a pin to earn the Hockomock title at 132. During his sophomore year, Kelley won the 120 title and during his junior year, Kelley scored an 8-0 decision to win the 126 title. Brian Kelley was equally impressive, notching a 10-0 win in a very competitive 138 bracket to win his first Hockomock title. Matt Mullally held on for a 6-5 win to claim the Hock title at 160 – his second straight title at that weight class.

While plenty of veterans claimed titles, there were three freshmen that won Hockomock League titles in their first ever championship event. Mansfield’s Antonios Sevastos, who suffered a first round pin to Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci in a dual meet earlier this week, avenged that loss by scoring a takedown in the final 20 seconds to win the 106 crown. Teammate and classmate Vinnie Holmes continued his stellar freshman campaign, rolling through the bracket and picking up a 14-2 win in the finals. Canton’s Eddie Marinilli made his mark as well, winning four matches on the day, including an 11-2 decision in the 126 final match.

Oliver Ames was fifth on the day, the top finishing team without a champion. Sophomore Anthony Berksza was second at 145 and sophomore Dean Pacini made a run to the finals before falling to Milford’s Ryan Gray (7-1) at 195.

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Team Results

1. Franklin – 218.5
2. North Attleboro – 212.5
3. Foxboro – 200.5
4. Oliver Ames – 128
5. King Philip – 119
6. Canton – 115.5
7. Sharon – 108.5
8. Mansfield – 107
9. Stoughton – 106
10. Milford – 79
11. Taunton – 48

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Finals

WeightMatchupResult
106Jordan Carlucci (Franklin) vs. Antonios Secastos (Mansfield)Sevastos (2-0)
113Ian Bakalars (Franklin) vs. Dan Cooper (North Attleboro)Bakalars (6-2)
120Jake Direnzo (North Attleboro) vs. Mike Racca (Franklin)Racca (pin)
126Eddie Marinilli (Canton) vs. Yosef Ellis-Rech (Sharon)Marinilli (11-2)
132Matt Kelley (Foxboro) vs. Brandon Graveline (North Attleboro)Kelley (pin)
138Brian Kelley (Foxboro) vs. Brett Kimball (Milford)Kelley (10-0)
145Anthony Berksza (Oliver Ames) vs. Dylan Maclean (Franklin)Maclean (pin)
152Nick Gould (North Attleboro) vs. Max Dorman (Foxboro)Gould (14-0)
160Matt Mullally (Foxboro) vs. Cameron Smith (King Philip)Mullally (6-5)
170Wilhelm Bolt (Sharon) vs. Vinnie Holmes (Mansfield)Holmes (14-2)
182Nuno Camara (Taunton) vs. Nick DeGloria (King Philip)DeGloria (9-4)
195Ryan Gray (Milford) vs. Dean Pacini (Oliver Ames)Gray (7-1)
220Andrew Iverson (Stoughton) vs. Bradley Oliverio (King Philip)Oliverio (3-1)
285Lino Azul (Stoughton) vs. Brian Perry (Franklin)Azul (14-5)

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King Philip Rides Fourth Quarter Run Past Stoughton

King Philip boys basketball
King Philip’s Pharoah Davis (right) goes up for a shot against Stoughton’s Cam Andrews (4). (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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STOUGHTON, Mass. – In a game in which the largest lead either side had was four through the first three quarters, it was only a matter of time before one side rattled off a game-changing run.

That run came from the King Philip Warriors, who went on a 10-0 spurt that took less than two minutes in the final quarter to pick up a 62-51 win over Stoughton.

The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter (15-15), separated by just two at halftime (29-27 Stoughton) and again knotted through 24 minutes of play (42-42). The largest lead at that point was when the Black Knights led 25-21 late in the first half.

Stoughton scored on its first two possessions of the fourth quarter on baskets from Cam Gomes (12 points) but wouldn’t add another field goal the rest of the way. Nolan Bradley started the run, taking a pass from Pharoah Davis to tie the game at 46 with 5:44 to play.

Seth Sullivan (14 points) took in a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup on back to back possessions to give the Warriors a 50-46 lead. Sophomore Kyle Layman (21 points, six rebounds, three blocks) hit a jumper and then found Sullivan on a cut up the middle for a layup to cap the 10-0 run with four minutes to play.

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A free throw from Stoughton’s Cam Andrews (17 points, seven rebounds, three assists) followed by two more from Craig Goodrich brought the Black Knights within five (54-49) with 3:08 to play but Justin Vine answered on the other end for KP. After a stop defensively, KP missed on the other end but Will Weir grabbed the rebound and Sullivan converted two free throws with just under two minutes to play to make it 58-49.

“The wins are huge at this point in the season,” said KP head coach Mark Champagne said. “We have to win 11 [to qualify for the tournament] because we have the 21 games. It’s a really good win and we really needed the win too.”

“I think [the run] was all driven by their defense,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “They just stepped it up a notch and took it to a level that we didn’t have an answer for. A six point lead seemed like 26 when it’s been that kind of game. They stepped it up and we stepped it back, and that’s what happens.”

After missing time in the first half because of an eye injury, Sullivan gave the Warriors a big boost in the second half. The senior scored all of his 14 points in the second half with 10 of them coming in the final quarter.

“We had a lot of adversity int he first half with Seth out, [Tom] Madden sick – I thought he sucked it up and played well – and Noah Goodwin isn’t even here, he’s got the bug. Every team is going to go through the flu,” Champagne said. “That was a good, gritty win. We were tied after three, down two at halftime. We came out and did a good job against their pressure. I thought we scored off of it a lot. Down the stretch, it was a little scary with some of the decisions we made playing against the clock but they had to foul just to get the bonus so that wasted more time.”

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Both Layman and Andrews had strong starts for their respective sides. Layman was 4/7 from the field to net nine points in the opening quarter while Andrews was 3/5 (2/2 FT) to lead the Black Knights with nine points as the teams were tied 15-15.

Both sides got help from the bench in the second quarter. While Adrian Castillo and Bradley provided a spark for KP, Stoughton got four points from Izon Swain-Price and two points apiece from Justin Ly, Luis Monteiro and Matt Gallagher to take a 29-27 advantage into the break.

Although King Philip won the game, the Warriors were held without a three point field goal (0/10).

“Seth wasn’t in the game as much, [Justin] Vine stepped in on one he made – Justin did a good job down the stretch and Pharoah was in foul trouble in the first,” offered Champagne. “I thought Adrian Castillo and Nolan Bradley did a great job off the bench. Bradley only had seven points but they were big points.”

The win marked the second time Layman, just a sophomore, went over the 20-point mark this season. He scored a career-high 24 points earlier this month in a win over Taunton.

“It’s becoming more consistent, and as it should be,” Champagne said. “Just like Cam Andrews is for them, he’s a very good player. I think it’s a matter of confidence for a sophomore. Sophomore year is an interesting year but he’s done a great job for us.”

King Philip (4-8 overall, 3-6 Hockomock) will look to make it two in a row when they welcome Sharon to Wrentham on Friday night. Stoughton (3-8, 2-7) tries to bounce back the same night with a trip to Franklin.

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Experienced Rocketeers Hold Off Stoughton

“North
North Attleboro senior Ashley Ahern (13) scored a team-high 17 points, including 10 in the second half as North pulled out a win at Stoughton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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STOUGHTON, Mass. – The home team just would not go away. Despite trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter against Davenport division-leading North Attleboro, which came in with only one loss on the season, Stoughton continued to fight and twice cut the lead to as little as six points.

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There was no panic on the North bench. With four seniors in the starting lineup and eight players returning from last season’s trip to the state title, the Rocketeers have plenty of experience in close games on the road.

Senior Ashley Ahern scored five of her team-high 17 points and dished out an assist for a Julia Feid three, as North went on a 10-0 run to put the game away late. The Rocketeers continued their unbeaten start to the league campaign with a 59-47 and extended their lead in the division to 1-1/2 games over Milford and Foxboro.

“We had a lot of these games last year and they’ve learned from them,” said North coach Derek Herber. “They’ve learned all the bad things that can happen and they persevere and hit the tough shots, get the big rebounds and go from there.”

North led 43-34 heading into the fourth quarter, but after Feid knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Rocketeers ahead by double digits freshman Shyanne Trinh (six points) drilled a three off a Val Whalen assist. On the next possession, Lili Njiem, Stoughton’s lone senior in the regular rotation, snagged an offensive rebound (her 12th rebound of the game) and laid it in to cut the lead to six.

Caroline Collard (12 points, 10 rebounds) hit a pair from the line, but freshman Aliyah Wright (11 points, nine rebounds) answered right back for the Black Knights with a drive to the basket. After a turnover, Jordan Motley (19 rebounds) had a chance to cut it to four, but her free throws would not fall.

North got the rebound and took control. Samantha Taggart hit Collard on a roll to the basket for a layup, then Ahern drew the defense and kicked out to Feid for a three in front of the North bench. Julia Santos kicked out to Ahern for a deep three and then she added a pair from the line to push the advantage back to 16.

“They are veteran and they’re solid and they’re tough and they win close games,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan about North. “They got it done.”

There was plenty for the Stoughton coach to be proud of on Friday night. The Black Knights played with intensity from the opening tip, dominated on the glass, and kept the Rocketeers off-balance on the offensive end of the floor.

Steele Jordan said, “I as impressed with their effort and their intensity. They really played hard. There’s a lot of winnable games in the Hock and we just have to believe that we can get it done.”

North jumped out to a lead in the first quarter, showing off the team’s depth. The Rocketeers would have eight players on the scoresheet in the game, including junior Emily Haskell, who scored all four of her points in the first to help out North ahead 14-8. Trinh hit a three at the buzzer to cut the lead in half going to the second.

Thanks to four points apiece from Ahern and Collard and contributions off the bench from Santos and senior Liz Morehouse (six points), North extended the lead to 10 by halftime.

“She brings energy all the time,” said Herber of Morehouse. “She does so many little things for us, the rebounding, the boxing out, the taking a charge. She’s one of those kids who knows what we need to get out of her and she knows her role and plays it the best.”

Stoughton hung around in the third and kept the deficit to single digits thanks largely to the play of Whalen. The junior forward put in a monster performance, pulling down 23 rebounds on the night and scoring 15 of her game-high 20 points after the break, including nine in the third quarter alone.

“She just goes so hard,” said Steele Jordan of Whalen. “She’s a workhorse and she gives me effort every night. She’s definitely progressed a lot from last year to this year. She’s got that mentality that I can compete in the Hock and I’m one of the best post players. I love that about her.”

Njiem added a three in the third and Wright had four points in the quarter, but North kept a solid lead thanks to its seniors. Ahern had five, Collard had four and Morehouse and Emily Schromm each had three in the period.

Stoughton never backed down, but in the end North made the plays to come out with the win. Herber explained, “We knew going in that it was going to be one of those games. We play the same style of basketball they do, slow it down, make it a little ugly, play good defense, rebound and get opportunistic offense.

“We were able to get some offensive looks off our press and pull it out.”

Steele Jordan added about the Black Knights, “I couldn’t be prouder to coach them and I keep telling them we can do this. There’s still a ton of season left. They’re starting to buy into it and that’s important when you’re young.”

North Attleboro (8-1) travels to Cranston East on Saturday and then will take on the two teams tied for second in the Davenport, starting with Milford on Tuesday. Stoughton (1-7) will look for its first league win of the season on Tuesday against Sharon.

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Second Half Adjustments Push Milford Past Stoughton

Milford boys basketball
Milford’s Kayden Kelley (left) and Zack Tamagni (right) surround Stoughton’s Izon Swain-Price in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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STOUGHTON, Mass. – After 16 minutes of play, Milford head coach Paul Seaver knew he needed to change something.

Although his Scarlet Hawks trailed by just one, the defense was having a tough time stopping Stoughton junior Cam Andrews, who had 17 points by the halftime break.

The change came in the form of an intensified defensive effort with a full court 2-2-1 press, a switch from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone and a strong focus on getting offensive from down low.

Those changes resulted in a strong second half for the Scarlet Hawks and a 56-50 win over the Black Knights in both teams’ first Davenport clash of the season.

“It’s good to start the division games off on the right foot,” Seaver said. “It was a frustrating non-league loss on Wednesday. To bounce back two days later shows a lot of resiliency from the guys. We finally get to go home next week after five of our first eight on the road. But we have to turn the page and have a good practice tomorrow.”

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Stoughton jumped out to an early lead but Milford chipped away and took its first lead, 11-10, behind a layup from Zack Tamagni (17 points) in the final minute.

Andrews (20 points, seven rebounds) took control of the second quarter – a frame that saw five lead changes in the first minute alone before Stoughton held a slim lead the rest of the way. Andrews shot 4/5 from the field and 4/4 from the free throw line for 13 points in the quarter. Tamagni helped keep the Scarlet Hawks close, registering eight points in the frame while Zach Tomarro hit a late three to bring Milford within one, 27-26, at halftime.

With the changes installed to start the second half, the first four minutes when nearly as perfect as Seaver could have hoped for. Milford’s zone disrupted the rhythm of Stoughton’s offense as the Black Knights went 0/5 from the field and had four turnovers in four minutes.

“Even when we got open looks, we didn’t him them and we were tentative,” Stoughton head coach John Gallivan said. “I thought a lot of that started at the far end with their full court stuff. Even if they didn’t get a steal, they made everyone think twice before you do one thing. Sometimes if it was between ‘A’ and ‘B’ and we chose ‘A,’ it should have been ‘B.’”

Meanwhile on the other end, Milford’s game plan to get junior Kayden Kelley (16 points 11 rebounds) touches was working. Kelley went 4/6 to start the quarter, including a put back off a miss for an 8-0 run of his own to start the second half.

“Cam Andrews ate us up in the first half so that’s pretty much why we needed to go zone,” Seaver said. “[Getting the ball down low] was a focus for us and [Kayden] wanted the ball, he was demanding the ball tonight and he did a good job and that’s what he needs to do,” Seaver said. “He’s an upperclassman now, he’s been on the team for a couple of years. Tonight might have been his best offensive game of his career.”

Cam Gomes (13 points, 10 rebounds) converted a traditional three point play to break Stoughton’s scoreless skid but Kelley came back down the other end with another post basket. Stoughton’s Matt Valle (eight points) drained a three late to cut the deficit to four but a pair of free throws from Milford’s Brendan White gave the Scarlet Hawks a 41-35 lead going into the final quarter.

Tamagni had four points in the first three minutes of the final quarter while Gomes had a pair of free throws. With Milford leading 45-37, Tammaro stepped up to bury a three on back-to-back possessions and the Scarlet Hawks took a 51-37 lead with four and a half minutes to go.

“I thought the kids played hard, I thought they did a nice job of executing our defensive game plan,” Gallivan said. “Milford has some tough guys out there, they have a lot of weapons. If you focus too much on the three-point line, and you saw what happened in the third quarter with Kelley, he was a beast in that quarter. You choose your poison and sometimes its not pretty either way.”

Milford was able to keep a 10 point cushion for the rest of the way until Stoughton scored four points in the final 30 seconds.

Milford boys basketball (4-3 overall, 2-2 Hockomock) return to action on Tuesday with a visit from Canton. Stoughton (1-5, 0-4) will try to bounce back on the same day when it hosts Foxboro.

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