The rosters for the annual Shriners Classic were recently released by the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association and nine Hockomock League football players were selected to compete in this year’s game at Bentley University on Saturday, June 17 at 4:00.
The annual all-star game pits graduating high school seniors from teams in the North and the South and raises money for the Shriners Hospital in Boston. Through the years, the MHSFCA has partnered with the Aleppo Shriners and has donated more than $1 million through its all-star game.
The players were nominated by their coaches and then selected by the coaching staffs that were elected by the MHSFCA to run the game. The South team will be coached by Bill Kinsherf of Archbishop Williams.
In addition to being part of the Shriners Game, Burns, DeLuca, and Mylod were also chosen by the MHSFCA as part of the annual All-State Super 26 Team. Also, North Attleboro assistant coach Jack Johnson will be honored at the annual banquet as one of six MHSFCA Assistant Coaches of the Year.
Each of the nine players were Hockomock League all-stars this fall. DeLuca was named both the league MVP as selected by the coaches and the HockomockSports.com Player of the Year.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. — It’s been quite a 10-day stretch for North Attleboro, qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2011 last week and winning their first Hockomock championship since 2001 on Friday night.
But the Rocketeers had no problem getting motivated for Sunday night’s contest with the visiting Milford Scarlet Hawks.
All they had to do was look back three weeks when the Hawks went coast-to-coast to beat the Rocketeers on a buzzer beater at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Or two seasons ago, when a pair of free throws with no time left turned a one-point advantage into a one-point loss.
In fact, North Attleboro’s senior class was winless against the Hawks heading into the final Hockomock League game of the season.
Hosting Milford for the first time in four years, the Rocketeers closed out the fourth quarter in true championship fashion, outscoring the Scarlet Hawks 20-1 over the final six minutes of play to turn a close game into a 66-45 win.
“We just clinched playoffs, we just won the league championship but we didn’t need any extra motivation for this one,” said North Attleboro senior Thomas Reynolds, who was on the court for both of Milford’s last second wins. “You just have to look back at the last couple of years. Losing on the free throw, losing at the Dunk twice, we had never beat them. It was definitely nice to come in here to get the last league win.”
“It’s a satisfying win for the kids, especially for the seniors,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins, who also picked up his first win over Milford. “For the past four years, Milford has been our boogeyman, we just couldn’t beat them. Hopefully this is just one in a string of games that we’re in here that could potentially get us a home game in the playoffs.
North Attleboro’s strategy to feed big man Jonny Friberg paid off in two ways – the 6’6 senior poured in a career-high 28 points while hauling in 11 rebounds and the pounding inside resulted in some fouls for the Hawks.
Milford was whistled for eight fouls in the third quarter — four of them on Hawks leading rebounder Kayden Kelley (five points, six rebounds).
The Rocketeers started their big run taking advantage of Kelley’s absence with Chad Peterson (eight points, six rebounds, five assists) finishing a put back, Reynolds (nine points, two rebounds) hitting a free throw and then Peterson draining a three off of an offensive rebound.
Brent Doherty (14 points, four rebounds, four assists) found Friberg in the post for two to extend North Attleboro’s lead to 55-44 with four minutes to play. After a pair of stops from the Rocketeers’ defense, Reynolds drained a three off a pass from Peterson to make it 57-44 with 2:31 to play.
“It’s just about confidence,” Reynolds said about being able to close out games better. “We’ve figured out how to win games, close out games. We’re all confident in each other, it doesn’t matter who takes the big shot. We all just want to make sure we get a great shot over a good shot.”
Doherty added a layup and Reynolds added two more free throws to push the run to 15-0 over a five minute span. It marked the second straight game that North Attleboro kept its opponent for five minutes in the final quarter.
Milford shot 0/6 and had five turnovers in the stretch.
“When guys are thinking about defense first and you play good defense, you don’t have to think too much about the offense,” Mulkerrins said. “You look at that 20-1 run down the stretch and a lot of people look at the 20 but I look at the one. If you want to beat teams like Milford and Foxboro, the one is much more important to us.”
North Attleboro had a near flawless start to the game, finding Friberg early and often. The senior scored 11 of the team’s first 14 points while Doherty added five and Peterson had a trifecta. North shot 8/11 from the field while forcing four turnovers.
But Milford responded with an even better second quarter to take the lead into halftime. After North scored the opening bucket of the quarter, the Hawks went on a wild 18-0 run to seize a five point advantage. Zack Tamagni (14 points, four assists) bookended the run with a pair of layups while both Nate Davila (nine points) and Shane Cosquete (nine points, five rebounds) hit a pair of three pointers in the stretch.
The Rocketeers closed the deficit some in the final two minutes of the half, with Doherty finding space for a layup and Friberg grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring right before the buzzer. Milford led 28-25 at half.
Big Red carried that momentum into the third quarter and used a 12-0 run to take the lead back. Reynolds started the run with a three, Friberg added two free throws and a bucket in the paint and Doherty hit a three and converted a put back in the stretch.
“We knew it’d be a game of runs,” Mulkerrins said. “We knew they’d punch back. I thought Milford did an excellent job in the second quarter of executing their game plan and moving the ball and getting the pace that works for them. I was proud of how we finished the second quarter and then we started the second half on a much better run. I’m real proud of the guys for counter punching.”
North Attleboro finished with 19 assists on 23 made field goals and won the rebounding battle 30-27.
“This group has really bought into the concept of team over individual,” Mulkerrins said. “We’re always striving to get a great shot instead of a good shot. To their credit, they continued to share the ball and gave up individual opportunities for the greater good of the team.”
“This has been surreal,” Reynolds said.”To go 0-20 my freshman year and see how far we’ve progressed, it’s just an unreal feeling. I couldn’t be prouder to be teammates with these guys.”
North Attleboro boys basketball (13-7 overall, 10-6 Hockomock) is back in action on Monday when they travel to take on rival Attleboro in a non-league contest at 6:00. Milford (9-10, 7-9) is also back in action on Monday when it hosts Medway. The Scarlet Hawks need a win to get into the state tournament.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It’s time to dust off the boys basketball league championship banner hanging inside Pickering Gymnasium at North Attleboro High School.
It’s time to add 2017 to the list.
For the first time since 2001, the Rocketeers are Hockomock League champions following a 45-40 win over Foxboro on Friday night. With a win, and a Milford loss to Sharon, North Attleboro clinched the division title outright.
It’s been a long four year stretch for head coach Sean Mulkerrins and his squad. The Rocketeers went 0-20 in his first year at the helm, won just five games a year later and eight games one season ago.
Now, North Attleboro has 12 wins with three games to go and sits atop the Davenport division as Hock champs.
“To be honest, it’s been a roller coaster,” Mulkerrins said of the past four seasons. “At times, it felt like insurmountable odds, it felt like we were putting in a lot and not necessarily getting a lot. I credit [former Rocketeers coach] Chris Perron, who’s been everything to me as a mentor and a father figure when I played for him here at North, and opposing coaches like Jon [Gibbs] and Mike Vaughan who were helpful along the way.
“Every year we’ve taken a small step. Four years ago, my first captain Jake Lang kept that locker room as positive as it could be. And I think it kept those freshmen seeing and hearing those positive things. It feels good to see those kids go through the process and get here.”
“This feels great, I couldn’t be happier for the coaches and the team,” Doherty said. “Coming from where we were earlier in my career to winning the Hock tonight is the best feeling. All the hours of practice paid off and now we’re looking to do as much damage as possible in playoffs.”
It took a defensive stand over the final six minutes of the game for the Rocketeers to hold off Foxboro, who secured a second play finish and a trip to the postseason based on all of the results in the league.
“We didn’t talk or say much about a league title, or talk about the tournament during the season because we want to focus on the process,” Mulkerrins said. “We finally mentioned it the other day because we had to come out and play and we wanted to motivate the guys. The defense down the stretch was great. Jon [Gibbs] does such a great job, isolating guys, getting the matchups. It was kind of like playing chess and he’s freaking good. I have so much respect for him. But hats off to our guys, they played just well enough and I’m so proud of them.”
“I thought our effort was terrific all night,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “I thought we really battled and competed. I thought defensively we did a really good job. We came into the game with a plan to deal with Doherty and Friberg. We didn’t want them to beat us, we’re going to try and make other guys step up and make shots and they did. So give credit to North Attleboro, it was a great team win for them.
The Rocketeers led by as much as 10 early in the third quarter but the Warriors fought back to make it a one possession game. North’s Hacmoni Cuevas converted a three point play to put the Rocketeers up 34-25 with 3:51 to play in the third, but Foxboro closed the quarter with a 9-3 run.
After Mark Clagg and Doherty (nine points, three assists) traded three pointers, the Warriors were able to pull within three by shutting down North for the rest of the quarter and both Joe Morrison (nine points) and Teddy Maher connecting from beyond the arc. The Rocketeers led 37-34 heading into the fourth.
That lead didn’t last too long. North’s scoreless streak stretched over two minutes into the final period while Morrison hit a jumper and Andrew Block (seven points, five rebounds, four assists) drove the lane for an easy two to take a 38-37 lead.
While the momentum seemed to be swinging in Foxboro’s favor, suddenly it stopped.
North broke through on the offensive end, with the inside-out game paying off as Friberg (12 points, 14 rebounds) kicked it out to Cuevas for a three and a 40-38 lead with 5:40 to play.
Foxboro wouldn’t score again until under a minute to play.
“It speaks to the metal toughness of this group,” Mulkerrins said. “Similar to the game at the Dunk against Milford, we were up big, then down big and we could have quit. And this game, same thing. Maybe in years past, this team might have, but I think they finally found out what it means to be a winning team.”
It actually took the Rocketeers two minutes to add onto the lead with Reynolds hitting a pair of key free throws to double the lead with 3:31 to play.
The Warriors had a couple of open looks during the stretch, but were unable to convert.
With just under a minute to play, Friberg took it baseline and somehow managed to reach back underneath the basket and lay it in for a 44-38 lead. Foxboro responded with a putback with 30 seconds to play but Chad Peterson(seven points) iced the game with a free throw as Foxboro missed on the other end.
“I thought down the stretch we got some good looks and we just didn’t make them and that’s just basketball,” Gibbs said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow because at times I thought we executed fine but just didn’t put it in the basket…but that happens some times. At the end of the day, I’m really proud of them. We battled and held them to under 20 points in the second half.
“North did a nice job defensively, they did a lot of things to take us out of our rhythm. Both times we’ve played them this year they made it really difficult for us to score. So give a lot of credit to Sean [Mulkerrins] and credit to those guys on North.”
It was a bit of a slow start for both sides, combing for just five points in the five 5:32 of play. North eventually was able to get into a rhythm and threes from McCarthy and Billy Drummond handed Big Red a 15-9 lead after one.
Foxboro cut the deficit to one (18-17) midway through the second quarter, but North finished the frame with a 9-2 run — a Peterson three, a layup from Doherty, and four straight from Friberg — to take a 27-19 lead into the locker room.
North Attleboro boys basketball (12-7 overall, 9-6 Hockomock) is back in action inside Pickering Gymnasium on Sunday when the Milford Scarlet Hawks come to town. Foxboro (9-9, 8-8) can finish no lower than second in the division, thus clinching a playoff spot. The Warriors will look to improve their record and seeding next ween as they host a February vacation tournament, starting with a game against Randolph.
SHARON, Mass. – Standing at 6’6, North Attleboro senior Jonny Friberg often gives the Rocketeers the edge in the paint.
But due to foul trouble, North Attleboro was forced to find other ways to keep pace with the red-hot shooting Sharon Eagles.
While the Rocketeers did enough to keep pace, Friberg came back in midway through the fourth quarter. He went on to score eight points down the stretch, including the tying basket with 5.9 to send the game into overtime. And in overtime, he scored North’s first nine points and the Rocketeers came away with a thrilling 81-75 win over the Eagles.
Friberg finished with a career-high 27 points and hauled in 13 rebounds to lead the Rocketeers.
“Everything starts with [Friberg] inside and then with the shooters on the outside,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “[Foul trouble] is something we’ve unfortunately had to deal with before. I’m really happy with how Tommy [Reynolds] and Moni [Cuevas] played inside. Hats off to Sharon, they played their butts off tonight. It’s frustrating when Jonny goes out but we’re a team and we have to win like a team, which I think we did tonight.”
It seemed like there would be no stopping the Eagles, especially after they connected on their 12th three pointer (on just 20 attempts) with just under four minutes to play in the game to go up 64-55. Jimmy Fitzhenry’s (16 points) trifecta capped a 10-1 run over the first 4:09 of the period for the Eagles.
“It reminded me of some games against Milford in the last couple of years where we fight back and they counter punch,” Mulkerrins said. “It speaks to the kids’ mental toughness, not giving up in that situation. There wasn’t much to say then we needed to defend better. They have some great kids, [Sharon coach Andrew] Ferguson does a great job with them.”
But North chipped away with Friberg finally back on the court. Senior Brent Doherty (17 points, five assists) drained a three in response to stop the run and after a stop, Friberg hauled in the defensive board and then converted on the other end. Another stop and another Friberg board led to a jumper from Doherty to make it a two point game.
Sharon’s Alex Kaufman (15 points) extended the lead back to four but Friberg hit back to back buckets down low to tie the game with 1:32 left.
With under 30 seconds to play, Sharon senior Ricardo Ripley (17 points) came away with a steal at midcourt that turned into two free throws to put the Eagles up 68-66.
Friberg took a pass from North sophomore Josh Montague (eight points) and muscled in the tying basket with 5.9 to play. Sharon’s buzzer beater attempt came up short.
In overtime, it was all Friberg – no one else on the Rocketeers attempted a field goal. After Sharon took a brief lead on a free throw, Friberg converted his own miss. Reynolds drew a charge on the other end for the Rocketeers and Friberg hit a free throw on the other end.
Kaufman drove to the basket to cut the deficit to two (73-71), but the Rocketeers simply went back to Friberg, who made a nice move in the post for two. Kyle McCarthy (six points, five rebounds, seven assists) hauled in a Sharon missed three and then assisted on another Friberg basket to put North ahead 77-71 with a minute to play.
Along with his 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Friberg had seven of his 13 rebounds.
“This was a huge game for us,” Friberg said. We always preach getting the ball inside because we can have success there. If I don’t have something I’ll pass it. I just took advantage of what we had. The foul trouble is frustrating because I want to be in there but you just have to deal with it.”
McCarthy added three free throws down the stretch and Chad Peterson (eight points, four rebounds) also had one.
“We tried like hell to get [Friberg] his fifth foul but he’s just so big, he finishes around the basket so well,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “He’s gotten so much better than a year ago. I’m looking at the fourth quarter and overtime stats and he just killed us. We did a good job on for three quarters, and it helped he was in foul trouble. But him and Brent, those are big time players and we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch.”
The nine point fourth quarter deficit that the Rocketeers overcame wasn’t the largest deficit they erased during the game. After Sharon took a 20-17 lead after the first quarter, the Eagles rattled off a 13-5 run to build an 11-point lead with less than three minutes until halftime.
But a three from McCarthy, two free throws from Friberg, a put back from Montague and a corner three from Montague helped Big Red get within one. A late three from Ripley gave the Eagles a 36-32 lead at halftime.
Doherty was a big reason that North Attleboro entered the final quarter of the game tied. Doherty netted 10 of his points in the third quarter alone, including a three to open the frame, a field goal that gave North it’s largest lead (46-48) and five straight points late that had the game tied 54-54 after three.
“I don’t know what he was in the first half, he just was off,” Mulkerrins said of Doherty. “It almost felt like he was second guessing his shooting and decision making. We told him at halftime if he’s open just shoot the ball. We said that too everybody. It was huge to get Brent going. The second half by Brent was huge, a lot of contributions from guys in the second half.”
Cuevas finished with eight points and four rebounds while Reynolds had seven points, three rebounds and two assists for Big Red.
North Attleboro boys basketball (10-7 overall, 7-6 Hockomock) moves into a tie for the lead in the Davenport division with the win. The Rocketeers have the chance to clinch a playoff berth on Friday on the road at Stoughton. Sharon (3-13, 2-12) has a week off until they are back in action with a trip to Stoughton on Valentine’s Day.
Attleboro, 61 @ King Philip, 58 – Final – Attleboro sophomore completed a traditional three point play with 14 seconds left in the game to give the Bombardiers a 59-58 lead and Jake Dunkley and Andrew Milliken each hit a free throw in the waning moments to earn the win. The Bombardiers rallied from a 20-point deficit in the first half to get the win. Dunkley finished with 14 points, Milliken had 10 and Victor chipped in with 10 points.
Canton, 34 @ North Attleboro, 59 – Final – North Attleboro scored 17 points in the first quarter while holding the Bulldogs to just six and never looked back, snapping a three-game losing streak. “I’m proud of how are kids played tonight,” relayed North coach Sean Mulkerrins. “We weren’t happy with how we played Wednesday so this was important. We challenged our kids to play with more passion tonight. If we continue to play hard on defense and smart on offense we know the results will take care of themselves.” Senior Brent Doherty scored a game-high 17 points while hauling in seven rebounds and classmate Jonny Friberg dropped 16 points and had 14 rebounds. Thomas Reynolds chipped in with 11 points for Big Red. Canton’s Tony Harris and Paul Corcoran each scored seven points.
Foxboro, 67 @ Sharon, 54 – Final – Foxboro erased a first quarter double digit deficit to get within a point at halftime (33-32) and then used a 10-0 to begin the second half. The Warriors went on to win the second half 35-21. Sharon built a 19-5 lead in the first quarter, taking a 21-11 lead after eight minutes. But Foxboro clawed back to get within one by halftime. Junior Joe Morrison and senior Andrew Block each scored 14 points for the Warriors while Mark Clagg added 12 points, Jamaine Few had 11 points and freshman Brandon Borde chipped in with nine points. Sharon junior Malik Lorquet had a game-high 16 points while senior Ricardo Ripley finished with 14 points.
Mansfield, 80 @ Taunton, 72 – Final – Mansfield senior Sam Goldberg scored 18 of his career-high 30 points in the first half and the Hornets held off a late surge from the Tigers to get the win. The Hornets built an early 15 point lead by Taunton battled to get within four (42-38) at halftime. The Tigers used a 6-0 run to start the second half to take the lead but Mansfield took a 59-58 lead into the fourth quarter. Taunton’s Tommy MacLean (14 points) drained a three with just over four minutes to go to bring Taunton with three at 68-65, but Mansfield responded with seven points to extend the lead to 10 with just over two minutes to play. Christian Weber also scored a career-high for the Hornets, netting 23 points including 10 in the final quarter. Taunton freshman Dante Law and sophomore Lou Vendrell each had 15 points for the Tigers while junior Malik Charles had 12 points.
Stoughton, 47 @ Milford, 67 – Final – Milford got off to a strong start and never looked back. Senior Zack Tamagni netted a career-high, dropping 26 points in the win, Shane Cosquete added 11 points and Kayden Kelley notched another double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Stoughton senior Matt Valle scored a career-high 17 points for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 57 @ King Philip, 41 – Final
Canton, 37 @ North Attleboro, 56 – Final – Caroline Collard scored a team-high 11 points for North, while Julia Feid chipped in with 10. Hannah Jerrier was the top scorer for the Bulldogs with a game-high 19.
Foxboro, 65 @ Sharon, 28 – Final _ Ashley Sampson continued her strong week for the Warriors with a game-high 20 points.
Mansfield, 62 @ Taunton, 32 – Final – Jen Peel was the top scorer for the Hornets with 16 points and also dished out seven assists. Meg Hill also had a strong game for Mansfield with 12 points and nine rebounds. Alexa White led the Tigers with eight points and eighth grader Sonya Fernandez added seven.
Stoughton, 24 @ Milford, 55 – Final – Kate Irwin paced the Hawks to a big division win with 23 points. Senior Nicole Dahlgren added 16 for Milford, which moves back to .500 in the league and within one win of tournament qualification.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Already having matched its win total from a year ago, King Philip came out determined to surpass it on Tuesday night.
On the back of a near flawless first half that included impressive defensive showing, the Warriors raced out to a 25 point lead by halftime and never looked back in a 71-52 win over the Rocketeers.
Starting with a three from sophomore Kyle Latman (12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks), the Warriors were off and running in the first quarter. While the offense shot nearly 50% from the field— including a three Justin Vine (eight points) — the defense was equally impressive, forcing five turnovers.
The Warriors defense also limited North Attleboro to just two field goals in the opening eight minutes – both threes from Hacmoni Cuevas. The Rocketeers were 0/6 from inside the arch though and KP led 18-8 after a quarter.
King Philip’s defense only got better in the second quarter, and so did its offense.
The Warriors rattled off a 13-2 run over the first four minutes of the second period. Tom Madden (seven points) made back to back baskets and Layman converted a putback for a quick 6-0 spurt. After Chad Peterson knocked down a midrange jumper for North, Layman took a feed from Madden for two, Vine drove to the basket for two and Seth Sullivan (21 points) drained a three to put an exclamation point on the run.
King Philip led 39-14 at halftime, shooting 47% from the field. The Warriors limited North Attleboro to just 18% shooting in the first half.
“I think so, because [North Attleboro] is a good team too,” said KP head coach Mark Champagne when asked if that was a good of a half as the Warriors have played this year. “When we were looking at the scoreboard and were like “Oh, man.” If they came out and scored 10 in a row we wouldn’t be shocked because they’re a good team. I’d say that was our best 16 minutes of the year so far — against a good basketball team. They present a lot of problems with the type of players they have.”
Two keys to King Philip’s strong start came on the defensive end. The Warriors limited North big man Jonny Friberg – who entered the game as the fifth leading scorer in the league – to just four points. KP also put a lot of focus on Brent Doherty (14.3 points per game) by extending their defense full court with Pharoah Davis (12 points) shadowing his every move.
“Doherty makes everyone on the floor better,” Champagne said. “There aren’t a lot of pure point guards so we wanted to limit his touches and wear him down. I don’t think we wore him down but I think we limited his touches and that helped us a lot. With Friberg, we played a little bit more on top of him this time with [Kyle] Layman coming to help. We learned our lesson last time.”
And part of the key to success on offense?
“We shot the ball well too. It’s interesting when you play a team a second time, with what you’re trying to do. I thought we got a good all around effort from the kids.”
North rolled out full court pressure in the second half to jump start the offense, and it worked. The Rocketeers forced five turnovers and scored 15 points – more than its total in the first half – but KP kept pace with 16 points of its own in the third quarter.
The pressure continued to pay off in the final quarter as the Rocketeers forced seven turnovers, doubling the amount they had forced through the first three periods. Friberg scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and hauled in nine rebounds. Thomas Reynolds added five points and Matt Seavey chipped in with four in the fourth.
North Attleboro scored 38 points on 45% shooting in the second half, cutting the deficit to 20. But the early hole was too much.
The win marks King Philip’s third straight, turning a 3-8 mark to 6-8 overall as the Warriors prepare to go through the Kelley-Rex schedule for a second time. The first time through, KP posted a 1-4 record.
“We didn’t do well the first time through, to be blunt,” Champagne said. “But this is a great start, that’s three in a row now. We had played well the week before that and even though we lost, we improved. We got a little healthier this week. I hope this is a start of it. When you win a little you get some confidence. And we’re getting a little bit more leadership on the floor now too.”
The Warriors (6-8, 5-6 Hockomock) begin their Kelley-Rex schedule on Friday when Attleboro comes to town. North Attleboro (8-7, 5-6) will try to snap its three game skid when Canton comes to town the same night.
PROVIDENCE, RI — North Attleboro erased an eight point deficit over the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, but left just enough time left on the clock for Milford senior Zack Tamagni.
After two free throws with 5.7 seconds from North Attleboro senior Brent Doherty tied the game, Tamagni took the inbound pass, broke through a pair of defenders at the three point line and then danced his way past the last defender, laying it up with his left and in off the glass as time expired to give the Scarlet Hawks a 57-55 win.
“The leaders on this team stepped up today,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We’ve talked in the last couple of weeks about guys stepping up. Nate Davila stepped up, Zack [Tamagni], Anthony [Arcudi] and Kayden [Kelley] stepped up and Zach Tammaro stepped up coming off the bench, maybe not statistically but he helped big time in the second half.”
Milford had the original comeback of the game, cutting an 11-point deficit at halftime (35-24) down to just one (41-40) entering the final quarter by outscoring the Rocketeers 16-6 in the third quarter.
The Hawks carried that momentum into the fourth quarter with Nate Davila (14 points) draining an early three to give Milford its first lead since the first quarter. North’s Jonny Friberg (nine points, 13 rebounds, six assists) responded right away to tie the game at 43, but Milford would create separation with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes.
“Everyone will talk about the shot at the end but Milford got themselves back into the game in the third quarter,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “I thought we had some decent shots in the third quarter but we just couldn’t get any rhythm. I thought when the scoreboard got a little tight, we played a little tight. When we’re loose, we play our best basketball. I’m proud of the guys because they fought back but its just tough losing on a play like that. I have to do a better job coaching in those late game situations.”
Tamagni (17 points, four assists) hit two free throws, Ryan Sullivan (10 points, five rebounds) hit one and then three possessions later, Arcudi converted a putback with four minutes to play. Kayden Kelley (12 points, 13 rebounds) came up with a block on the defensive end and then converted a three-point play to put Milford up 51-43 with just over three minutes to play.
That’s when North Attleboro took its turn crafting a comeback. It started with a strong take from Thomas Reynolds (10 points, three boards, two assists) off a feed from Friberg and then was cut to five when Reynolds hit a free throw.
The Rocketeers then forced a turnover, resulting in Reynolds finding Doherty (game-high 18 points) for a three to bring North within two.
Tamagni (38 seconds left) and Friberg (22 seconds left) then each hit a pair of free throws to keep Milford’s two point lead. Tamagni then hit two more but Hacmoni Cuevas converted a putback, plus the harm, to get within two. North corralled the missed three throw and Doherty was fouled with 5.7 seconds left, converting both at the line to tie the game before Tamagni’s heroics.
“We told him to go to the hoop,” Seaver said of the last play. “It was something we tried to do on Friday to tie the game and things didn’t go our way. We were able to get it today.
“Coming out of halftime, they needed to go and earn the victory if they wanted it, and the kids did that so credit to them.”
North Attleboro came out on fire to start the game, going 7/12 from the field in the first quarter to build a 19-13 lead. Milford was efficient as well, going 5/7 and a perfect 3/3 from deep but had seven turnovers.
“They came out like we did here last year,” Seaver said. “We were on the other side of it this time, it is what it is. We just trusted our defense and in the end, I guess we got one more stop, or just made one more play at the end.
“They were hitting shots early. They had 19 points in the first quarter, we couldn’t guard anyone. We trusted our defense, we didn’t really make an adjustment. We stayed with the zone in the second half and it paid off just enough to get that little separation.”
The Rocketeers’ offense continued its strong start by going 6/9 from the field in the second. At halftime, North Attleboro was 6/10 from deep. But in the second half, Big Red managed just one three on 10 attempts.
“They did a better job on collapsing on [Friberg] in the second half, I don’t think he got many touches in the second half,” Mulkerrins said. “He got a couple of late ones. Missing Chad [Peterson], our rotation was a little screwy. Guys are playing extra minutes and in positions they aren’t always used to playing in. Some guys have to be a shooter when they usually aren’t.”
Milford takes over the top spot in the Davenport division with the win, moving to 8-6 overall and 6-4 in league play. The Scarlet Hawks will try to extended their division lead on Tuesday when Mansfield comes to town. North Attleboro (8-6 overall, 5-5 Hockomock) looks to get back into the win column when it hosts King Philip on the same night.
By David James, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
FOXBORO, Mass. – In a game filled with scoring runs, North Attleboro happened to have the last one, as the Rocketeers outpaced Foxboro 7-2 down the stretch to pull out the Davenport division game 53-47.
For North, it all started with Jonny Friberg (17 points, 11 rebounds), who scored 14 of his points in the first quarter alone. The 6-foot-6 center seemed unguardable and led North on a 7-2 run to start the game, only for the Warriors to respond with a 9-2 run of their own.
After trading points back and forth, the first quarter ended with the Rocketeers up 20-15. “When [Friberg] gets hot, he’s almost impossible to guard one-on-one,” said North coach Sean Mulkerrins. “That forced them to make some adjustments, which opened everything up for everyone else.”
The second quarter was all Foxboro, as seniors Andrew Block (13 points) and Mark Clagg (7 points) led the team on an 18-6 run that ended with the Warriors up 33-27 heading into halftime. The Warriors defense stymied the Rocketeers by swarming Friberg every time he touched the ball and held North to just six points in the quarter.
“We got caught marveling at the scoreboard and got too comfortable relying on Jonny in the first quarter,” Mulkerrins explained. “They made some adjustments and we didn’t respond to them real well.”
The game’s momentum shift came with 6:14 left in the third quarter as Friberg grabbed an offensive rebound and dunked it with authority, posterizing three Foxboro defenders. This was the highlight in North’s 7-0 run to start the second half, capitalizing on three Foxboro turnovers.
After that, the third quarter featured a back-and-forth battle that saw four lead changes, as Foxboro’s Block and Brandon Borde (10 points), matched North’s Tom Reynolds (11 points) and Brent Doherty (9 points), tying the game at 41 heading into the final period.
The score remained close all the way until the 4:00 mark in the fourth quarter when Hacmoni Cuevas hit a three that flipped the switch back in North’s favor, starting a 7-2 run down the stretch that handed North the win.
The defense was the key for the Rocketeers, who caused 10 turnovers in the second half and allowed just six points in the fourth quarter, helping the team outscore the Warriors 26-14 in the second half.
When asked what the difference in the game was, Mulkerrins explained “We really didn’t do anything special. We played our defense and we played it very well. I give a lot of credit to [Kyle] McCarthy and Reynolds for stepping it up and leading us defensively. A lot of those turnovers led to some good looks for us on offense, which helped a lot down the stretch.”
Attleboro, 59 @ Taunton, 68 – Final – Tommy MacLean scored 18 points for the Tigers and Lou Vendrell chipped in with 17. Taunton held Attleboro to six points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.
Stoughton, 65 @ Canton, 70 – Final – Sophomore Devin Foster paced the Bulldogs with 17 points and Tony Harris scored 15 points and pulled down nine boards, as Canton held off a “furious” rally by the Black Knights. Jake Verille scored a career-high 14 in the win. Cam Andrews had a game-high 24 points for Stoughton.
King Philip, 49 @ Franklin, 64 – Final – Freshman Chris Edgehill scored a career-high 16 points for the Panthers and Josh Macchi had 14 in the win.
Mansfield, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 42 – Final – The Hornets broke the game open with an 18-7 second quarter to take a 20-point lead by halftime. Christian Weber led the way for Mansfield with 17 points and Tyler Boulter added 15. Phil Vigeant (11 points) and Sam Goldberg (10) each reached double-digits for the Hornets.
Milford, 65 @ Sharon, 42 – Final – Zack Tamagni scored 22 points to lead the Hawks to the division win. Anthony Arcudi added 15 points and Kayden Kelly scored eight points and pulled in 18 rebounds. Sharon was led by Jimmy Fitzhenry with 11 points.
Taunton, 28 @ Attleboro, 66 – Final
Canton, 41 @ Stoughton, 54 – Final – Val Whalen had another strong game for the Black Knights, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Freshman Aliyah Wright added 10 points for Stoughton. Hannah Jerrier had a team-high 11 points for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 47 @ North Attleboro, 53 – Final – Ashley Ahern had a team-high 16 points for the second straight game to help North Attleboro take a two-game lead on the Warriors in the Davenport division. Samantha Taggart also scored 16 for North. Ashley Sampson had a game-high 21 for the Warriors and Lauren Flahive added nine fourth quarter points and pulled in nine rebounds in the loss that ended a six-game win streak for Foxboro.
Franklin, 67 @ King Philip, 36 – Final – Kate Morse was the top scorer for the Panthers with 15 points. Megan O’Connell added 11 for Franklin, while Ali Brigham and Erin Skidmore each scored 10 and Carli Koffinke had nine points. KP was led by Shannon O’Connor with 14.
Sharon, 37 @ Milford, 48 – Final – The Eagles battled back to cut the lead to eight points in the fourth quarter, but Milford’s Kate Irwin scored eight of her 15 points in the quarter, including 5-of-6 from the line, to seal the win for the Hawks. Emma Eberhardt led the Eagles with a team-high 13 points and pulled in 12 rebounds, while Shira Stoller scored eight and grabbed seven rebounds.
Stoughton, 1 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – P.J. Elliott scored a power play goal in the second period that turned out to be the game-winner. Jake Parker had the other goal for Attleboro. Ryan Chipman had the Stoughton goal. All three of the game’s goals were scored in the second period.
Masconomet Quad (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames went 1-2 on the day, beating Burlington 47-24 but falling to Arlington (37-31) and to Masconomet (40-39). Anthony Berksza (145), Jay Fruci (220) and Dean Pacini (195) each went 3-0 on the day for the Tigers.
Canton, 87 @ Ashland, 89 – Final
Oliver Ames, 75 @ Franklin, 94 – Final
Milford, 106 @ Sharon, 62 – Final
Canton, 82 @ Ashland, 93 – Final
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Franklin, 113 – Final
Milford, 90 @ Sharon, 80 – Final
By Anthony Rinaldi, HockomockSports.com Contributor
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The North Attleboro boy’s basketball team used a total team effort on both offense and defense, resulting in a 54-52 victory over the Sharon Eagles on Tuesday night at Ken Pickering Gym.
It came down to the final play for the second straight game for Big Red, but this time the final basket fell in their favor.
With the Rocketeers up 50-46, Sharon’s Jimmy Fitzhenry hit a three to cut the deficit to one. North Attleboro’s Chad Peterson then responded with a mid-range jump-shot to push the North’s lead back to three. Fitzhenry came back and hit another big three to tie the game late in the quarter.
North Attleboro did not score on their next possession but the Eagles couldn’t break the stalemate with their offensive possession either. North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins called a timeout and, out of that timeout, the Rocketeers swung the ball around. Eventually the ball ended up in the hands of Jonny Friberg, who turned and missed his first bid but caught his miss and put it right back up and in to give North a 54-52 lead with 2.5 seconds left.
Sharon tossed up a half court shot but it hit the backboard and fell to the floor to give North the victory.
“For us as a program that’s trying to learn how to win, we’re still learning but tonight goes a long way in pressing upon them the value of playing hard every possession,” Mulkerrins said.
In the first quarter North Attleboro came out of the gates hot scoring 19 points. Defensively, the Rocketeers switched from a 2-3 zone to a man to man defense possession by possession.
“The logic behind the defense was, Sharon has some kids with really good foot speed and some certain match ups on our end we didn’t feel really great about, we also thought that by mixing up our defense it will mask some of our problems but also give them a pause, they run a ton of set plays and playing some 2-3 would take it out of them some,” Mulkerrins said.
In the second quarter it was mostly all Sharon, who outscored the Rocketeers 15-6. The Eagles started off the quarter with an 11-0 run to take a 23-19 lead. However, a couple of nice passes from Brent Doherty (13 points) to Friberg (14 points) kept North in the quarter going into halftime only down by two.
“We challenged them all week in practice because the second quarter is where the wheels came off last week against Foxboro,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We had a good group defensively and we used our defense to push our offense.”
The third quarter was back and forth between both teams. North Attleboro senior Thomas Reynolds really was the engine that made the Rocketeers go in the frame. He scored six of his eight points to go with six rebounds and an assist in the quarter to help push the Rocketeers.
For Sharon it was senior Ricardo Ripley (17 points) who kept the Eagles in the third quarter, scoring Sharon’s last four baskets and keeping the Rocketeer lead at three going into the final quarter.
North Attleboro (5-4 overall, 2-3 Hockomock) will take on Davenport rival Stoughton at home on Friday at 6:30, while Sharon (2-5, 1-4) will travel to Canton the same day for a 7:00 tipoff.