Hornets Stumble in Semi Against South Power Braintree

Mansfield girls basketball
Meg Hill goes up for two of her game-high 19 points against Braintree in the Div. 1 South semifinal at Taunton High. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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TAUNTON, Mass. – In the quarterfinal round against Wellesley, Mansfield (20-6) went on a quick four-point run at the end of the first half that cut the deficit to single digits and gave the Hornets, who have been a standout second half team all season, a little extra confidence heading into halftime.

On Thursday evening at Taunton High, the Hornets got off to a tough start to their Div. 1 South semifinal against Braintree. Plagued by turnovers and struggling to knock down shots in the first half, Mansfield was still able to cut the Wamps lead to 10 points and head coach Mike Redding implored the Hornets to win the final three minutes of the half.

Instead, it was the Wamps that went on a run that essentially won the game.

Braintree went on a 12-1 run in the final three minutes of the second quarter to push the lead to 21 and kept the pressure on throughout the second half, pulling out a 68-40 victory that advanced the Wamps to their seventh straight South final.

“It was kind of what they did last year, they put runs on us and we can’t answer the runs,” said Redding. He added, “The first half we were just so uncharacteristic, throwing the ball away, and we lost so many possessions and when we did turn it over it led to transition points.”

In last year’s South final, Braintree caught fire and rained down threes to beat Mansfield, but on Thursday the Wamps were struggling from the floor in the opening quarter. Braintree was able to build a lead thanks to its defense, which forced a number of turnovers in the opening half and put pressure on the Hornets ball-handlers to deny the entry pass into Meg Hill in the post.

“I thought they played great defensively,” said Redding about the Wamps. “Everyone on the floor is athletic and they’re getting in passing lanes, nothing’s easy. Trying to get it into Meg, but they’re doubling, we didn’t hit many threes, just not many answers. They were simply the better team tonight.”

After Hill scored from a lobbed Ann Maher pass to make it 4-2, Braintree went on a 7-0 run before Hill scored again, this time on Steph Kemp assist. Jeniyah Jones beat the Hornets defense on the baseline and the Wamps led 13-6 after one.

In the second, Hill (19 points and five blocks) continued to be the lone Hornet to find any success on the offensive end. She scored four of the team’s seven points and had all four of Mansfield’s made field goals in the opening half.

Mackenzie Moore scored five points for the Wamps and Jones continued to fill up the scoresheet with eight of her team-high 15 points, including the final six points of the half. She also finished with 10 steals, eight rebounds and five assists. Braintree turned a 22-12 lead into 34-13 by the end of the half and completely took control of the game.

“We know [Jenna] Roche and [Adriana] Timberlake and Mackenzie Moore,” said Redding, “but then kids like Jones come off the bench and get some layups, gets to the line and buries every free throw. I said pregame, they make you pay for every mistake and every turnover led to points.”

It may have been a little too late to save the semifinal, the Hornets did find their offense in the second half. Hill completed a three-point play, Kemp knocked down a jumper off a Sydney Mulkern assist, Maher grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a jumper for her only two points of the game, and Emily Vigeant chipped in with all six of her point in the third.

Mansfield scored 15 points in the third quarter, two more than it scored in the entire first half, but the Wamps were able to score 19 and continued building the lead. Timberlake (14 points) drilled a three, Jones added three points and assisted on back-to-back baskets for Alyssa Tenaglia. Braintree led 53-28 after three.

Maggie Danehy, who was coming off a career-high 20-point game against Wellesley, scored four of her five points in the fourth, but Hill was the focal point for the Hornets down the stretch, scoring eight points to close out her standout career, which Redding said was definitely worthy of the school’s Hall of Fame.

During her four varsity seasons, Hill went to four Div. 1 South semifinals and won three straight league titles, while playing in a remarkable 100 games for the Hornets.

“She’s been a workhorse,” Redding said of Hill. “She hasn’t missed a game due to illness or injury and to average a double-double for 100 games is ridiculous. It’s just a great senior class. I mean, four Final Fours in Div. 1 South, thee championships in a row…it’s tough to end in a game like this where you don’t feel like you competed but when you look at the whole big picture it’s been an amazing run for this senior group.”

The Hornets have been one of the most consistent programs in Div. 1 in recent years, but talented Braintree teams have always stood in the way. Redding is expecting that Mansfield will be right back in the mix again next winter.

He said, “We’ve got a slew of juniors coming back and we’ll compete next year. Braintree’s got a great program; I’m glad some of those seniors are gone so they may come back down to everyone else’s level.”

Hornets Turn It On After Break to Reach Semifinal

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield junior Maggie Danehy (42) scored a game-high 20 points to help the Hornets come from behind and beat Wellesley in the Div. 1 South quarterfinal at Taunton High. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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TAUNTON, Mass. – Mansfield scored the final four points of the first half to cut the Wellesley lead to single digits going into the break in Saturday afternoon’s Div. 1 South quarterfinal at Taunton High. At the time it didn’t feel like much of a turnaround, but for a team that has been dominating in the second half all season it was just the spark that was needed to get going.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hornets turned that small four-point swing into a 13-0 run to get its first lead since the game’s opening basket, allowed only three points in the third quarter and only gave up 11 in the second half. In the end, it turned out to be a 35-11 run to close out the game and give Mansfield a 48-35 victory that books a return to the semifinal.

“That third quarter has been somewhat magical for us,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “I don’t really say much, they just come out and figure it out and start making shots and the momentum builds. When you make shots, then you play better on defense and momentum is so powerful in the game of basketball.”

One of the keys to the comeback was a change from a 1-3-1 zone into a more traditional 2-3 look that allowed the Hornets to get out to the Raiders’ shooters. In the early going, Mansfield was scrambling and Wellesley took advantage.

Emma Dougherty, Brooke Guiffre and Sofie Paulsen each knocked down threes in the opening quarter, as Wellesley opened up a 17-7 lead, which was aided by Meg Hill picking up two fouls inside the opening four minutes of the game. Paulsen (15 points) also got free for seven points in the second, including a three that put Wellesley ahead 24-13.

“We tried some gimmick stuff,” Redding explained. “We didn’t practice, we literally walked through at Mass Premier in the dark this morning how we were going to defend them. We went back to just basic zone and our kids rotated. They have three really good players, but we did a really good job of finding those three.”

The comeback started innocuously enough, as Hill came back into the game and scored off an assist by Ann Maher and then she got a layup off a drive and dish by Sydney Mulkern. The four points cut the lead to seven going into the break and Redding was pleased with the way the team weathered the storm while Hill was in foul trouble.

He said, “We hung in the second quarter with Meg with two fouls and that was the turning point. It was starting to get away from us and when she got two [fouls] in the first quarter I was worried but we hung in, got it to single digits, got into halftime with a little confidence and now we’ve got Meg back in a regular rotation.”

Mulkern assisted on another Hill bucket coming out of halftime and then Maggie Danehy knocked down a jumper to cut the lead to three. Junior point guard Mady Bendanillo then went on a personal 5-0 run that put Mansfield ahead for the first time since it was 2-0. She got a steal and layup plus the foul to tie the game and then grabbed a defensive rebound and beat everyone down the floor for the layup and the lead.

“I don’t know if she had a turnover,” said Redding of Bendanillo. “We run a lot of stuff and she knows exactly where to go with it and I thought that few minute stretch where she was driving and off transition, scoring points for us, really put the game away for us.”

The lead didn’t last long, as Gianna Palli stepped way beyond the arc to hit a three to make it 27-26, but that would be the only basket that the Hornets allowed in the third. Danehy scored on a put-back and then Maher (seven points) made her only three of the game to put the Hornets up by four heading to the fourth.

Mansfield kept the pressure on in the fourth thanks to Danehy, who scored six of the first nine points in the quarter, including a free throw line jumper off a Maher assist that made it 37-30. She finished with a game-high 20 points and pulled down six rebounds.

“Since they were double-teaming Meg, I was open a lot more than I usually am, which helped,” Danehy said after the game. “They left the lane open a lot, so I tried that. It’s way better once you get a couple baskets. It’s always harder to get going if you don’t score in the beginning.”

Wellesley only managed eight points in the fourth, including a pair of threes, and was never able to get any closer than five points.

Maher got free with a cut down the lane off an inbounds pass from Emily Vigeant, who had three assists in the fourth. Hill scored a layup off a Vigeant pass and Bendanillo (10 points and four assists) scored with a drive down the lane. Hill (10 points and 12 boards) capped the win with a layup in traffic off a Danehy assist.

When asked to explain the Hornets’ second half dominance this season, Danehy replied, “We realize that we need to get it together after halftime and [Coach Redding] is always so good at telling us what we need to improve on.”

Mansfield (20-5) will face another familiar Bay State Conference opponent in the semifinal, as the Hornets will get a rematch with No. 2 seed Braintree, which beat Mansfield in last year’s sectional final.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Hornets Rally in Second Half to Win Roundball Classic

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield senior Meg Hill scored a team-high 19 points, including 12 in the second half, as the Hornets rallied for a win against Lowell. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – All season long, Mansfield has found a way to turn games around in the second half by locking down on the defensive end of the floor and getting good looks on offense. The Hornets needed those in-game adjustments again on Wednesday night in the final of the Roundball Classic at the James Albertini Gym.

Mansfield went on an 18-4 run between the third and fourth quarters to turn around a nine-point deficit against Lowell and then held off the Red Raiders in the closing seconds for a 50-48 victory in the regular season finale.

“The third quarter has been pretty good for us,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “The kids are pretty smart, so we make a couple of adjustments on ‘O’ and ‘D’ and they execute at both ends. The triangle-and-two, we didn’t practice it yesterday, we just practiced box-and-one, but they executed like we practiced it for a week.”

At the start of the game, Mansfield went with a box-and-one, using Sydney Mulkern and Emily Vigeant (with the other four defenders always looking to help) to face-guard Lowell senior Shyan Mwai. It worked to stop Mwai, who hit a step-back three but was held to four made field goals and 12 points in the game.

The problem was that her classmate Brittany Mota was finding spaces in the zone and knocking down shots. She scored five in the first to help Lowell build a 12-9 lead after one quarter. She caught fire in the second, getting open looks from both corners and knocking down three from beyond the arc and scoring 11 of her game-high 22.

On offense, Hornets were getting decent looks but were unable to knock down shots consistently. Meg Hill (19 points and 14 rebounds) hit a jumper that cut the Lowell lead to 22-20 but the Red Raiders finished the half on a 7-0 run.

Redding was frustrated during the second quarter, at one point yelling for his team to ‘wake up.’ Apparently the halftime conversation did just that because Mansfield came out of the break looking like a different team, in part because of a defensive switch.

“Mato killed us in the first half, so we went from a box-and-one to a triangle-and-two and that seemed to slow them down a little offensively and our other three kids were able to keep the other three off the boards,” Redding explained.

Ann Maher was switched onto Mato, holding her scoreless for the first 15 minutes of the second half. Still, when Mwai went down the lane and scored plus the foul, the Hornets found themselves trailing 38-31, but the Red Raiders would not make another shot from the floor until the final minute of the game.

Vigeant hustled to score on an offensive rebound and Kara Bendanillo knocked down a pull-up jumper to close the gap to three points heading into the fourth. Hill and Maggie Danehy (14 points and 11 rebounds) each scored four in the third, as the Hornets started to get the ball inside.

“We got simpler on offense because of all the traps and just moved the ball so much better in the second half without the turnovers,” said Redding. “It makes a world of difference when you’re not turning it over and getting it inside to Meg Hill.”

That was the game plan for the fourth, as Hill got the ball under the basket on numerous occasions. Vigeant got a steal and fed Hill for a layup and she scored off a lobbed assist by Mulkern that put the Hornets ahead 41-40, their first lead since it was 13-12.

Danehy, who was named the tournament’s MVP, assisted on a layup for Mulkern and then chased down an offensive rebound and scored to build the lead. After a pair of Lowell free throws, Hill scored again in the paint, this time from a Maher assist, and then Maher (nine points) added a pair at the line to seemingly ice the game at 49-42.

Mato had other ideas. She buried a three to cut the lead to four and then added a second three with 3.4 seconds remaining that got the visitors back within one. Maher made 1-of-2 at the line but Lowell could not collect the rebound and the game ended with a narrow Mansfield win.

“This was a really good test against a quick defensive team that had a couple really good offensive players and our division is really good but there’s not a lot of size…so they’re kind of the same style as Wellesley and Braintree,” said Redding as he looked ahead to the state tournament.

He added, “This was a good win. It secures No. 3 [seed], it secures two home games, which in our division is a pretty valuable place to be.”

Mansfield finishes the regular season at 18-5 (16-3 in terms of seeding for the tournament).

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/19/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 60 @ North Attleboro, 38 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Foxboro, 56 vs. Bishop Feehan, 36 – FinalFoxboro senior Joe Morrison hit three three-pointers in the fourth quarter, helping the Warriors pull away from the visiting Shamrocks. Morrison also scored 12 of his game-high 25 points in the second quarter while the Foxboro defense limited Feehan to just four points in the frame, taking a 27-15 lead at half. Bobby Harrison added 15 points in the win.

Franklin, 76 vs. Tech Boston, 67 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 65 vs. Falmouth, 66 – Final (OT)

Mansfield, 69 vs. Brockton, 64 – FinalMansfield senior Johnny McCoy poured in a career-high 35 points to lead the Hornets to a comeback win against the highly touted Boxers. Brockton held a 37-31 lead at halftime and took a 55-54 advantage into the fourth quarter. Mansfield outscored the Boxers 15-9 in the final frame. McCoy hit four three-pointers and went 13-for-19 from the line with five steals. Justin Vine added eight points while Damani Scott (five rebounds) and Ryan Otto each had seven points.

Milford, 74 vs. Tantasqua, 65 – FinalMilford had a dominant third quarter, pouring in 26 points in the frame to turn a five-point lead at halftime (30-25) into a 56-42 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Junior Brendan White had a team-high 16 points, senior Zach Tammaro added 12 points and Andrew Fraioli finished with 11 points. Kayden Kelley had a double-double for the Hawks with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Oliver Ames, 57 @ Walpole, 49 – FinalOliver Ames seniors Jack Spillane and Matt Muir each dropped 23 points to lead the Tigers to the Walpole Hoop Classic Championship. The Tigers built a 32-23 lead at halftime with Muir, who notched a career-high, hitting three triples. Spillane and Noah Fitzgerald were named to the all-tournament team.

Stoughton, 76 vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 53 – FinalStoughton senior Cam Andrews dropped 25 points and classmate Colin Sanda added 15 points to lead the Black Knights to a win over Lincoln-Sudbury. The Black Knights will play host Waltham in the final of the Jake n Joe’s Basketball Cup on Tuesday at 7:00.

Girls Basketball
North Attleboro, 44 @ Attleboro, 56 – FinalSam Pierce led the Bombardiers to the non-league win with a career-high 27 points. Jordyn Lako, Mackenzie Roberts, and Nyah Thomas each pulled down nine rebounds for Attleboro. Julia Santos was North’s top scorer with 12.

Foxboro, 66 vs. Hanover, 59 – FinalClick here for a Recap from this game.

King Philip, 43 vs. Needham, 60 – Final

Mansfield, 60 vs. Marlboro, 21 – Final – The Hornets turned on the defense in the third quarter, holding Marlboro to only three points, and scored 23 points themselves to break the game open. Ann Maher scored 16 points, knocking down five threes, for Mansfield, while Maggie Danehy added 10. Erin Daniel, Meg Hill, Sydney Mulkern, and Kara Bendanillo each added six points apiece for the Hornets. Mansfield will face Lowell in the tournament final after the Red Raiders upset Coyle.

Stoughton, 52 vs. Norwood, 38 – FinalAliyah Wright scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Black Knights, who closed out the regular season by winning 11 of their final 12 games. Stoughton, which held Norwood to only two points in the first quarter and seven in the opening half, also got 12 points from Val Whalen and nine points and 13 rebounds from Jordan Motley.

Taunton, 56 @ Durfee, 47 – FinalThe Tigers closed out the season with a non-league road win, after rallying from a 15-point second half deficit. Kelsey White paced Taunton with 15 points. Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez each scored 11 for the Tigers, Hannah Moniz added nine, and Lily Patneaude had eight.

Boys Hockey
Foxboro, 2 vs. East Bridgewater, 3 – Final

Franklin, 3 vs. LaSalle Academy, 4 – Final

King Philip, 1 vs. Norwood, 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 vs. North Reading, 5 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 6 vs. Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, 2 – FinalJunior Lauren Fitzpatrick recorded four points to held the Bulldogs skate past Whitman-Hanson. Fitzgerald scored hat trick and had one assist in the win.

King Philip, 3 @ Natick, 6 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 7 – Final

Hill Hits Milestone, Hornets Clinch Title at Franklin

Mansfield girls basketball
Senior center Meg Hill celebrates with her teammates after scoring her 1,000th career point in the Hornets’ win at Franklin that clinched at least a share of a third straight league title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRANKLIN, Mass. – Mansfield had a lot on the line when it traveled to its biggest rival on Friday night. A win against Franklin would clinch at least a share of a third straight league title for the Hornets, while senior center Meg Hill was only seven points away from reaching 1,000 for her career.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With a layup off a feed from Mady Bendanillo late in the first quarter, Hill (17 points, nine rebounds) made quick work of her accomplishment, but the Hornets needed to battle to the end to pull out a 62-48 victory that sealed a three-peat of Kelley-Rex titles.

“We had a chance to come over here to get a share of the title with a 1,000-point scorer, lets get it all done tonight,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “I’m glad it’s over and now we can relax and a win against KP to win it outright takes a little pressure off when we play OA (in the league finale).”

Hill got on the board off the opening tip, as Franklin allowed the Hornets to take a quick lead in order to get points for senior forward Kate Morse, who is out for the season with an injury.

Ann Maher got off to a red-hot start from the outside to help Mansfield stretch the floor and open up an early lead. She hit the first of three from beyond the arc in the quarter off a Hill feed and then Hill knocked down a jumper for a 7-2 advantage. After the Panthers tied it up, another Maher three was followed by another jumper by Hill.

Ali Brigham (11 rebounds) hit a jumper, the first two of her team-high 16 points, but Maher again was able to answer with another shot from long distance. Sitting just one-point from 1,000, Hill reached the milestone with a transition basket, off a feed from Bendanillo (eight assists).

Hill, who became just the second female player in Mansfield history to reach 1,000 points, passed the credit for her milestone on to her teammates. She said, “I don’t shoot on my own. I don’t dribble the ball. So, passes from them are really how I get my points and I really couldn’t have done it without them.”

After a timeout to celebrate Hill’s career mark, Bendanillo closed out the first with a three for a 20-9 lead. The Hornets finished with nine threes as a team.

“We knew Maher was a good shooter and you try to rotate the defense to her and Meg and other set some good screens and she knocked down some quick ones but I thought it was the supporting cast that really shot well for them and really made the difference tonight,” said Franklin coach John Leighton.

Franklin did not back down and rallied in the second quarter. Mansfield tried to switch up defenses to limit Brigham and Bea Bondhus, but Breanna Atwood (10 points) banked in a three-pointer and got behind the defense for a layup off a feed by Megan O’Connell. O’Connell also scored six in the second, finding space at the high post.

“Our kids battled back,” said Leighton. “The shots kept falling for them but we kept battling back and working to get twos. It was a slog, but we stayed with it. I thought at the end of the first quarter we’d find out really quick who we were and we rebounded pretty well.”

Bendanillo (eight points) drilled a second three and Hill scored on an offensive rebound, but O’Connell’s drive in the final minute cut the lead to just 29-26 at halftime.

“She got it done early,” said Redding of Hill getting to 1,000 points, “but then after that they started to come on and had a great second quarter, but I thought we really came out in the third and reestablished ourself with a good inside-outside game.”

The Hornets broke the game open in the third quarter. Maher (15 points) hit the fourth of her five three-pointer on the night to get it started and Hill hit another jumper. Sydney Mulkern (nine points) scored five points in quick succession and suddenly it was a 13-point edge.

Bondhus (10 points) hit a three to get back within 10 but Mansfield showed its depth with Steph Kemp hitting a jumper, Emily Vigeant driving to the basket for two, and Erin Daniel draining a three to push the lead to 48-35 heading to the fourth.

Redding said, “We got a lot of points not by design. We just made smart passes against traps and found open people out of the offense.”

Both teams found scoring a struggle at the start of the fourth and Franklin was able to chip away at the lead, getting it as close as 56-48 after Bondhus finished in traffic, but the Hornets went 6-for-6 from the line to close it out.

“I thought Bea and Ali were super-aggressive in the fourth quarter and we needed them to be,” said Leighton. “All the shots didn’t fall but I thought we got the looks that we needed and we got some defensive stops that we needed.”

Wins at Franklin are always welcome for the Hornets. Four years ago a loss at Franklin cost Mansfield a share of the league title and the Panthers handed the Hornets their only league loss on the same court last season. So, Redding was pleased to walk away with the victory on Friday.

“Any win at Franklin is a tough one,” said Redding. “Both teams switching up defenses left and right and it seemed like both teams had answers. Ali played great, Meg played great, it was a great battle between two of the best teams in the Kelley-Rex.”

In between celebratory photos with teammates, family, and friends, Hill turned her attention not to the points she has scored in her career but to the fact that she has been part of three straight league championships. She said, “That’s what I really wanted. This is just a sidenote, but three league titles that’s really cool. I’m glad to be part of that.”

Mansfield (15-4, 13-1) can clinch the outright league title on Tuesday at King Philip. Franklin (11-7, 9-5) will try to bounce back when it travels to Attleboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/06/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 46 @ Mansfield, 64 – Final

Canton, 44 @ Milford, 45 – FinalMilford junior Brendan White hit a three with 0.4 seconds left while being fouled, elevating the Hawks to a win after a wild final minute. Milford had a 42-40 lead with under 30 seconds to play and even got a stop but a jump ball gave Canton the ball back. Devin Foster (17 points) hit three free throws after being fouled to take a 43-42 lead, and after a Milford turnover, Foster hit another free throw to give the Dogs a 44-42 lead. But White took a pass from Kayden Kelley (10 points, 10 rebounds) and hit the winning shot while being fouled. Andrew Fraioli added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Milford while Tony Harris had 16 points for Canton.

Foxboro, 59 @ Stoughton, 53 – FinalFoxboro hit six three-pointers in a 30-point third quarter, turning a 32-16 deficit at halftime into a 46-46 tie heading into the fourth quarter. Bobby Harrison scored five of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter while Joe Morrison added 12 points and Matt Rongione had 11 points, including three triples in the third. Anthony Mollica added five of his eight points in the fourth quarter for Foxboro. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews had a team-high 18 points while senior Steevens Phelimond had a career-high 16 points for the Knights.

Franklin, 63 @ Taunton, 51 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Oliver Ames, 60 @ King Philip, 68 – Final

Sharon, 45 @ North Attleboro, 58 – FinalNorth Attleboro senior Chad Peterson returned from injury and scored a career-high 23 points, draining seven three-pointers to lead the Rocketeers to a win over Sharon. Peterson hit four triples in the opening quarter, two more in the second and another in the fourth. North led 34-27 at halftime and 43-38 at the end of three. The Rocketeers clinched the game with a 15-7 fourth quarter. Josh Montague added 11 points for Big Red while Jacob Petersen finished with eight points. Sharon’s Malik Lorquet had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and nine blocks while Alex Kaufmann added 14 points.

Girls Basketball
Mansfield, 58 @ Attleboro, 40 – FinalMeg Hill had her 12th double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds and she also added four blocks. Hill is now seven points shy of 1,000 for her career. Ann Maher and Sydney Mulkern each added nine points for the Hornets. Sam Pierce paced Attleboro with 11 points and Liv McCall added eight.

Milford, 42 @ Canton, 38 – Final

Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 74 – FinalFoxboro went on a 17-0 run after the opening basket by Stoughton to take control and added a 10-0 run to close out the first half. Ashley Sampson was the game’s top scorer with 18 points, while Grace Tamulionis added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Foxboro also got 12 points from Lily Sykes and nine points from Abby Hassman. Val Whalen led the Black Knights with six.

Taunton, 42 @ Franklin, 69 – Final

King Philip, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 61 – FinalOliver Ames senior Kayla Raymond continued her stellar play this season, scoring 31 points and hauling in 10 rebounds to led the Tigers to a win at home. Alex Sheldon added nine points and 14 rebounds while Erin Holmberg chipped in with eight points.

North Attleboro, 47 @ Sharon, 24 – Final

Gymnastics
Mansfield, 146.8 @ Oliver Ames, 142.1 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/02/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 73 @ King Philip, 65 – FinalAttleboro sophomore Bryant Ciccio scored 15 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, helping the Bombardiers storm past King Philip. The Warriors built a 20-point lead in the second quarter, but an 11-2 run from Attleboro made it a 10-point game at halftime (31-21). Ciccio and Dom Victor each scored six points in the third period, helping Big Blue outscore KP 25-10 in the period, including a three from Victor at the buzzer. Qualeem Charles added 11 points and 16 rebounds, Kevin Velazquez added 11 points off the bench, Nate Douglas chipped in with eight points while Mason Houle and Elvin Sam each finished with seven points, including key second-half triples. King Philip senior Pharoah Davis scored a career-high 23 points for the Warriors.

North Attleboro, 39 @ Canton, 58 – FinalCanton senior Tony Harris tied a program record with a career-high 36 points to lead the Bulldogs to a win over visiting North Attleboro. The Dogs built a 14-11 lead in the first quarter and then took a 35-21 lead into the halftime break. Harris hit seven three-pointers in the game, Austin Maffie had nine points and junior Devin Foster dished out 14 assists. Josh Montague had a team-high 12 points while junior Jake Petersen added nine points for Big Red.

Sharon, 54 @ Foxboro, 63 – FinalSharon led 19-11 after one, and took a 26-25 lead into the half but the Warriors outscored the Eagles 21-6 in the third quarter to seize control of the game. Junior Anthony Mollica scored 12 of his career-high 18 points in the first half and Matt Rongione dropped eight of his 11-points in the third quarter to help the Warriors. Sophomore Brandon Borde added 11 points for the Warriors. Sharon’s Alex Kaufmann had a team-high 18 points.

Oliver Ames, 36 @ Franklin, 70 – FinalFranklin was in control from the beginning with sophomore Chris Edgehill scoring a team-high 24 points in the win.

Mansfield, 74 @ Taunton, 54 – FinalMansfield opened the second half on an 11-0 run, turning a 37-26 lead into a 22-point advantage in the third quarter. Senior Tyler Boulter led the way with 22 points, including four three-pointers, seven rebounds, and three steals. Damani Scott added 13 points and six rebounds and Ryan Otto chipped in with 12 points for the Hornets, who had 10 players register points.

Milford, 66 @ Stoughton, 69 – FinalStoughton senior Cam Andrews connected on a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to lift the Black Knights to a division win over the visiting Scarlet Hawks. Milford junior Cam Falcon hit a deep three to tie the game with under 30 seconds to play but Andrews, who scored a career-high 36 points, hit the last shot to earn the win.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 58 @ King Philip, 53 – Final (OT)Attleboro rallied from six points down in the final minute of the fourth quarter to force overtime and earn a sweep of the season series. Sam Pierce led the way with 21 points, while Nyah Thomas and Liv McCall each had 12 (including five in overtime). Faith Roy scored 15 for the Warriors and Julia Leroux added 12.

North Attleboro, 52 @ Canton, 68 – FinalHannah Jerrier had career nights in points, rebounds and charges taken to help Canton pull out an important victory to push the Bulldogs back above .500 and get within two wins of a tournament berth. Jerrier finished with 41 points and 25 rebounds while adding four assists, three steals and two charges taken. Erin Devine also had a double-double for Canton with 10 points and 14 boards and added six assists as well.

Sharon, 30 @ Foxboro, 72 – FinalAshley Sampson scored 20 points and Katelyn Mollica had 16 for the Warriors to keep the Davenport leaders unbeaten in league play.

Franklin, 54 @ Oliver Ames, 61 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Taunton, 29 @ Mansfield, 56 – FinalMansfield broke the game open with a strong defensive second half, holding Taunton to just five points after going into the break tied at 24-24. Meg Hill continues to close in on 1,000 points for her career with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Maggie Danehy also chipped in with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sydney Mulkern added nine points. Hannah Moniz paced the Tigers with 12 points and MacKenzie Handrahan had eight.

Milford, 42 @ Stoughton, 47 – FinalAliyah Wright scored 14 points to lead the Black Knights to a sixth straight win, helping Stoughton get back to .500 on the season and take over second place in the Davenport division. Lindsey McDonald added a season-high 12 points and 11 rebounds for Stoughton.

Boys Hockey
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final

Boys Swimming
Hockomock League Championships (@ Milford) – Click here for a photo gallery from this event.

Gymnastics
North Attleboro, 141.8 @ King Philip, 136.0 – Final

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro vs. Braintree, 7:30

Mansfield Rallies in Third Quarter to Beat Milford

Mansfield girls basketball
Mansfield went on a 22-0 run in the third quarter to overcome an eight-point deficit and come from behind to beat Milford on the road. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MILFORD, Mass. – Heading into halftime of Tuesday night’s game at Milford High, the Hawks seemed on the verge of an upset over Kelley-Rex division leader Mansfield, but a collision in the final minute of the second quarter proved to be the game’s decisive moment and sparked a big second half comeback for the Hornets.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Senior point guard Kate Irwin, who had been held to five points and two assists in the first half, but who drew most of the attention from the Mansfield defense, collided with Mady Bendanillo and landed hard. Irwin could not return and the Hornets were able to take advantage.

Mansfield ran off 22 unanswered points in the third quarter to not only take the lead but also take control of the game on the way to a 53-40 victory that keeps the Hornets in front by two games in the league standings.

“This is a game that defines how good Kate Irwin is,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “They’ve got a really good team but she’s the engine that makes it go. They had us on the ropes and we were going to be in deep trouble to get a win out of here with her in for a full game. She’s an MVP-caliber type player.”

With the Hornets mixing things up on defense and keying on Irwin, trying to keep the ball out of her hands, other Milford players needed to step up. Juliana Tracy scored all five of her points in the first, knocking down a three and scoring on a rebound, and Jess Tomaso drove to the hoop for two.

Mansfield would hold a 14-10 lead after the first thanks to senior center Meg Hill (17 points and 10 rebounds). She scored the Hornets’ first six points and, as the Hawks sank down on the paint, Emily Vigeant and Ann Maher (six points) drilled threes.

In the second quarter, Milford made the Hornets pay for giving so much attention to Irwin. After a jumper by Maggie Danehy (eight points and 10 rebounds) put Mansfield up by seven, the Hawks started to click.

Piergustavo knocked down a pull-up jumper, Gillian Valanzola drove to the basket for two points, and Julie Rabinowitz drilled a three to cut the lead to two. Piergustavo nailed her second three of the game to give Milford its first lead at 23-22, as part of a 13-0 run to close the half. Valanzola got free on another drive and Irwin caught Mansfield with a back cut and layup and Piergustavo closed the quarter with another three.

“I think we got got good looks,” said Milford coach T.J. Dolliver. “We have the players to step up and make those shots. We’ve expected defenses to take away Kate, but we don’t really plan for it and we don’t really practice it too much because we have the pieces that we need to be a complete basketball team.”

Coming out of halftime, Irwin was forced to the bench holding an ice pack and the Hawks never recovered. Mansfield turned things around, locking down on defense and shutting out Milford in the quarter, while finally getting the offense in gear.

Maher hit a three to cut the lead to a single point and then the Hornets took back the lead after Vigeant tracked down a rebound and assisted on a Hill basket. Bendanillo added four points in the third and Sydney Mulkern came off the bench to score nine points on three shots from beyond the arc to push the lead to 14 (44-30) heading into the fourth.

“Not many kids can come off the bench and first shot bury the three but she’s cool and calm and she’s got confidence in her shot,” said Redding of Mulkern. “She gives us a really good defender. She’s quick, long and defends really well.”

He added, “We played a great third quarter. Obviously, it helped not having to defend Kate but we also woke up on offense, started passing it well, and making some shots.”

The Hawks struggled without their point guard in the third, but Dolliver credited his team for not allowing the game to get out-of-hand and pushing back in the fourth.

“When Kate goes down and can’t enter the game again, the team is in shock a little bit,” he explained. “It takes a little while to get over that as an athlete, but I still thought we played well in the second half. There were the first five minutes or so where we were stagnant offensively, and defensively, and it’s a matter of picking yourself up and starting to play better.”

Milford cut the lead to 12, but Danehy scored on an offensive rebound and Hill drained a jumper. Rabinowitz nailed her second three and Tomaso (six points) scored with a baseline drive, before Piergustavo (14 points) ended with her fourth three.

“People are going to look at the box score and say, oh Milford lost by 13, but that’s not the story of the game,” said Dolliver. “I’m very proud of the way we played and we’re just trying to get ready for the playoffs.”

Redding had a similar thought after the final whistle. He admitted, “We’re lucky to get out of here. Stoughton did us a favor and we almost gave it back tonight. I told the girls, from here on in everyone’s out to knock us off. We have to bring our ‘A’ game.”

Mansfield (12-4, 10-1) will get back into division play on Friday when it hosts Taunton. Milford (10-5, 6-5) will try to hold onto second in the Davenport when it faces Stoughton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/26/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 59 @ Milford, 51 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 93 @ Stoughton, 58 – FinalFranklin jumped out to a quick 19-2 lead and never looked back in a road win at Stoughton. The Panthers led 30-11 after one before the Black Knights cut the deficit to nine, 48-39, at halftime. Franklin outscored 45-19 in the second half to earn the win. Senior Paul Mahon led a game-high 21 points while senior Matt Elias and sophomore Chris Edgehill each had 16 points apiece for the Panthers. Stoughton senior Cam Andrews had a team-high 15 points.

King Philip, 57 @ Sharon, 63 – Final (OT)King Philip raced out to a 13-0 lead, led by as much as 23 in the first half and 31-11 at halftime, but Sharon stormed back with a gigantic second half to stun the Warriors in overtime. Sharon hit one free throw to make it 50-46, then grabbed the offensive rebound to get back to the line. After making the first again, the Eagles came down with the offensive board on the miss. Lester High, who scored a career-high 19 points, drained a three to tie the game with 25 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Malik Lorquet (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Jimmy Fitzhenry (12 points) hit back-to-back baskets, KP answered with a free throw, then High hit his fifth triple of the game to make it 57-53. Tom Madden (12 points) answered in the post to cut it to four, but Fitzhenry drained a three with just under a minute to play to make it 60-53. Pharoah Davis led KP with 14 points.

Girls Basketball
Milford, 46 @ Attleboro, 38 – FinalA night after scoring 33 and reaching the 1,000-point plateau, Kate Irwin scored 17 points to lead the Hawks to a road win at Attleboro to clinch a spot in the postseason for the second season in a row. Jess Tomaso added 15 points for Milford, while Attleboro was led by Sam Pierce with 14 points.

Foxboro, 61 @ Oliver Ames, 39 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 47 @ Franklin, 36 – FinalStoughton won its fourth straight game (all on the road) with a strong defensive effort against the Panthers. Aliyah Wright led the Black Knights with 17 points and Jordan Motley just missed out on a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Sharon, 43 @ King Philip, 63 – FinalKP had four players in double digits in a big home win. Faith Roy was the top scorer for the Warriors with 19 points, while Shannon O’Connor scored 14 and Christina Hathaway and freshman Brianna James each scored 10. Emma Eberhardt was Sharon’s top scorer with 11 points.

North Attleboro, 29 @ Mansfield, 59 – FinalMeg Hill scored 15 points and recorded 12 rebounds in another double-double for the senior center. Ann Maher scored nine, while Sydney Mulkern and Alicia Hottleman each added seven for the Hornets. Julia Feid was the high scorer for North with 10 points.

Boys Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 58 vs. Taunton, 42 – Final

Canton, 52.5 vs. Foxboro, 47.5 – FinalMarquise Montes, Riley McDonnell, and Cordell Smith all placed first in individual races and teamed together along with freshman Cam Sanchez to win the 4×200 relay to help the Bulldogs edge the Warriors. Montes on the 55M (with Sanchez second), McDonnell took first in the 300M (with Smith second and John Guenthner third) and Smith won the high jump (with Steven Brady second and McDonnell tied for third). Brady also won the long jump, Jack Healey won the 2 Mile and was second in the 1 Mile, and Mike Mazzola took second in the 1000M. Gerry Sullivan added a third-place finish in the 600M.

Franklin, 25 vs. Mansfield, 75 – FinalThe Hornets clinched another league title with a win over the Panthers. Jareme DiLorenzo had a great meet for Mansfield, taking first in the 55M hurdles (8.12), first in the long jump (20-05.00) and second in the 55M dash (6.98). Mike Hargadon ran a PR (1:26.52) for a second place finish in the 600M, with Mike Shannon coming in first (1:25.29). In the shot put, Dan Radev had a PR of 41-11.25 to take second (behind teammate Kevin McCree’s 45-05.00) and Kalin Petrov had his best performance in the 2 Mile, finishing in 9:42.00.

King Philip, 36 vs. Oliver Ames, 64 – Final

Milford, 33 vs. North Attleboro, 67 – Final

Sharon, 58 vs. Stoughton, 42 – Final

Girls Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis)
Attleboro, 30.5 vs. Taunton, 65.5 – Final

Canton, 36 vs. Foxboro, 60 – FinalCanton’s Jimisha Williams, Leah Murphy and Claire Belisle all won individual events and teamed with Rosana Cho to win the 4×200 relay for the Bulldogs. Williams took first in the 55M, Murphy was on the long jump while Cho took second, and Belisle won the 300M. Ally Chin (2 Mile) and Bronwyn Mahoney (shot put) earned first-place finishes, while Chloe Pennacchio earned points with third-place finishes in both the 1000M and 1 Mile.

Franklin, 59 vs. Mansfield, 41 – FinalFranklin won the division for the third straight year with the victory. For Mansfield, senior Madison Haughey ran a PR in the 55M hurdles and jumped 4’11 in the high jump, qualifying for states in both events. Junior Brynn Anderson knocked off six seconds for a PR in the 1000M, also qualifying for states. Lizzie How also ran a PR in the 300, taking second, with freshman Tessa Lancaster shaved 20 seconds off her 2 Mile run, qualifying for states at 12:14.55.

King Philip, 57 vs. Oliver Ames, 43 – Final

Milford, 43 vs. North Attleboro, 57 – Final

Sharon, 69 vs. Stoughton, 30 – Final

Boys Swimming
Franklin, 86 @ North Attleboro, 74 – Final
Oliver Ames, 99 @ King Philip, 84 – Final

Girls Swimming
Franklin, 90 @ North Attleboro, 75 – Final
Oliver Ames, 90 @ King Philip, 95 – Final

Hornets Clamp Down on OA to Gain Division Lead

Mansfield girls basketball
Maggie Danehy (42) drives past Kayla Raymond for two of her 10 points to help the Hornets beat OA and take a one-game lead in the division. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – In the three game leading into Friday night’s first-place showdown with Mansfield in the William F. Nixon Gym, Oliver Ames senior forward Kayla Raymond had averaged 32 points per game. But defense has been the cornerstone of back-to-back league titles for the Hornets and they came out intent on keeping the Stonehill-commit quiet.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Using a box-and-one defense and taking advantage of a roster filled with athletic wing defenders, Mansfield held Raymond to just six points on the night and the Tigers to only seven points as a whole in the first half to win 44-31 in the first of two meetings between the teams this season.

“We have the highest respect for Kayla and you have to start your defense with slowing her down,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “We’re fortunate that we have Maggie [Danehy], Steph [Kemp], Emily [Vigeant], Sydney [Mulkern], four different people that can run around and are long enough and quick enough to keep it out of her hands.”

He added, “We’re really good defensively when we can zero in on one player and take her out and then rebound when other people miss.”

The game plan worked to perfection in the first half. Mansfield held OA scoreless for the opening five minutes of the game, allowed only one made field goal in the first quarter and three made shots in the first half to build a 24-7 lead at the break.

“It disrupted us and we’ve got to be better at recognizing that other people can do things too,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook of Mansfield’s ability to deny Raymond touches. “We depend on Kayla all the time and the other kids have to gain the confidence in their ability to do what they’re capable of doing and we didn’t do that in the first half.”

Mansfield also got off to a strong start offensively with Ann Maher scoring all eight of her points in the first, including a pair from beyond the arc, and Meg Hill getting five of her game-high 16 points. Hill, who will team up with Raymond at Stonehill next year, also added nine rebounds and five blocks, just missing out on another double-double.

In the second quarter, Meg Holleran came off the bench and scored four points for the Tigers, one layup off a Raymond assist that momentarily looked like it might get the hosts going and a second after Katie Flynn pulled down and defensive board and sprung Holleran on the break.

“She did a good job,” said Clement-Holbrook of Holleran. “She scored some points, she was physical inside, but we just weren’t disciplined offensively.”

Those were the only baskets of the quarter for OA, while Mansfield continued to get the ball into the paint with Hill scoring off assists by Maher and Kemp and Danehy (10 points and nine rebounds) scoring five in the quarter. Hill capped the half by knocking down a long jumper to make it 24-7.

The second half was much better from the Tigers, although OA only managed two made shots in the third quarter as well. Alex Sheldon scored all five of her points in the third and Raymond got on the board, going 3-of-4 from the line. Holleran (10 points) also knocked down one of her two second half threes but Mansfield matched the Tigers in the quarter.

The Hornets were sparked off the bench by Mulkern (10 points), who knocked down a three after Mady Bendanillo swung the ball around the perimeter and added four more points in the fourth as well.

“We did a good job getting Meg looks and then they did a good job doubling in the second half and Sydney Mulkern really stepped up,” said Redding. “They left someone open and it ended up being her a few teams. We’re good enough when they double Meg to keep people honest and give her room to score in the paint.”

OA was not able to close the gap in the third, despite having moments when it seemed as though the momentum may have swung to the Tigers.

“In the second half, we made a few adjustments and I think we got some positive things out of those adjustments,” said Clement-Holbrook. “[Ally] Scolnick had three threes that went in-and-out and I think if those go down it would have changed momentum a little.”

Erin Holmberg scored five of her seven points in the fourth, including a three on the game’s final shot, and Holleran knocked down her second three of the night. Raymond finally got a clean look and hit a three for her only made field goal in the game.

Hill scored twice in the fourth, both on assists from freshman Ashley Santos, to keep the Hornets ahead by a comfortable margin, as OA never got closer than 13 in the second half.

Clement-Holbrook said of her relatively inexperienced roster, “Those kids in those moments where there’s a lot of pressure on them, they’ve just got to be equal to the task and they’ve got to handle it. I have a lot of kids who haven’t played at this level, so they’ve got to be able to handle the bright lights.”

With the win, Mansfield moves a full game ahead of OA and Franklin in the Kelley-Rex, but Redding knows the Hornets still have a lot of work to do to clinch a three-peat. He explained, “It’s good to get to the halfway point controlling your own destiny. We’re in a good spot but there is a lot of basketball left to play. It’s going to be a good race to the end.”

Mansfield (9-4, 7-1) will travel to Sharon on Tuesday, while Oliver Ames (7-3, 6-2) faces a trip to Milford.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.