The 2016 Hockomock Boys Basketball All Stars & HMs

Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Tim Prunier, Franklin

Hockomock League All Stars

Jake Dunkley, Attleboro
Alex DuBrow, Foxboro
Rob Lowey, Foxboro
Jason Procaccini, Foxboro
Tim Prunier, Franklin
Connor Peterson, Franklin
Jay Dieterle, Franklin
Samuel Goldberg, Mansfield
Matthew Ehrlich, Mansfield
Dimitry Torres, Milford
Brent Doherty, North Attleboro
Carter Evin, Oliver Ames
Matt Lowerre, Sharon
Brandon Teixeira, Stoughton
Jose Mercado, Taunton
Tommy MacLean, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Kyle Murphy, Attleboro
Devin Foster, Canton
Jonathan Carnino, Foxboro
Kevin Gill, Franklin
Will Weir, King Philip
Max Boen, Mansfield
Dwight Anderson, Milford
Jonny Friberg, North Attleboro
Tim Kelley, Oliver Ames
Ricardo Ripley, Sharon
Cameron Andrews, Stoughton
Quan Roberson, Taunton

Panthers Downed By St. John’s In D1 Central Final

Franklin boys basketball
Franklin senior Tim Prunier dribbles past a St. John;s defender in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/

WORCESTER, Mass. – Numbers don’t always tell the whole story of a game, but they certainly help explain what happened.
Franklin went from shooting 50% in the first half to just 26% from the floor in the second.
Franklin hit half of their six three point attempts in the first half but struggled from deep in the second half, going 1/9.
St. John’s shot over 40% from the field for the game (nearly 50% in the second half), had a plus-15 advantage on the glass and went 16/19 from the free throw line.
Those numbers totaled up to a 67-52 win for St. John’s over Franklin in the D1 Central Sectional Final.
“I think the offensive rebound for them was a big difference,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “We didn’t do a great job boxing out and they won a lot of the 50/50 balls that were kind of bouncing around. Early in the game I thought we did a decent job but in the middle of the game, we started tipping them while they were grabbing the ball. They got extra shots and they scored, you can’t allow teams like them to get second chances.”
It was an impressive start for Franklin, forcing five turnovers in the first three minutes of play. Senior Kevin Gill and sophomore Paul Mahon harassed the Pioneers at every bounce of the ball. That defense turned into offense as Franklin built an 18-14 lead at the end of the quarter.
But with that tenacious defense came seven fouls called in eight minutes of play (compared to just two for SJS). And a minute into the second, both Gill and Mahon had picked up two fouls apiece.
That allowed the Pioneers to creep back into the game, plus St. John’s 11 first half offensive rebounds. The Pioneers closed the first half with a 10-3 run over the final 2:41 to take a 34-33 lead into halftime.
“Unfortunately we got into some foul trouble,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “Paul was doing an excellent job on defense and then we picked up his second foul. Gill was doing a terrific job on defense then he picked up his second. Sam Harrell comes in and does a pretty good job but then he picked up a couple. Three of our best defenders ending up sitting on the bench in the first half for a long period of time and that’s going to hurt you. With the individual talents they have, that’s going to hurt you.
The first big deficit for the Panthers came when Sean Burke converted a putback to put SJS up 43-37. Paul Mahon’s corner three (the Panther’s lone connection from deep in the second half) cut it back to five but a bucket inside and a pair of free throws pushed the lead to 49-40 with 2:54 to go in the third. SJS held a 51-44 lead going into the final frame.
Franklin pulled within a possession at 51-48 with 5:56 to play behind baskets from Gill and freshman Jay Dieterle but Burke netted four straight points to stretch the lead again. Franklin had a pair of bad breaks down the stretch as after the Panthers came up with a stop, the rebound bounces out off a Franklin player and SJS scored right away. Then after a three point play cut the deficit to six with 2:46 to play, the Panthers got a stop on the other end only for Alex Bradley to get the tip in to put it back to eight.
The Panthers pushed hard with a press to try and create some more turnovers but the Pioneers were able to break it and extend the lead.
“We talked in warmups about getting to the free throw line,” SJS coach Bob Foley said. “We were 16/19? That helps.”
“I thought for the most part it was a really good game,” Neely said. “We had to start pressing at the end which was not part of our game plan. At that point with that deficit with that amount of time left, you have to amp it up and take some chances. They moved the ball well and got some easy layups.”
Gill scored a career-high 17 points in his final game for the Panthers while Dieterle added 11 points and five rebounds, sophomore Connor Peterson had eight points and four rebounds and senior Tim Prunier finished with seven points and seven assists.
Franklin boys basketball wraps up the season at 18-7 with its first Hockomock League Kelley-Rex title since 2012.
“We have a lot of goals coming into every season,” Neely said. “We want to get a home playoff game, we want to win the Hockomock Championship and we did those things. I think we accomplished a lot of goals this year. After losing a ton of seniors that were super talented, I can’t be more proud of these guys. They’re a great group of kids but tonight wasn’t out night, we didn’t play our best game but I won’t take any credit away from St. John’s. Tim did a great job as a captain, obviously as the league MVP. But it didn’t start on the first day of tryouts. They were picking each other up in the offseason for rides, getting everyone involved. He did a great job of captain and all of the seniors did a great job of involving everyone.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Franklin Dominates Flyers To Reach Sectional Final

Franklin boys basketball
Franklin freshman Jay Dieterle tied for a team-high 15 points in the win over Framingham. (Ryan Lanigan/

WORCESTER, Mass. – There was no second half drama this time around.
After nearly blowing a double-digit cushion in the opening round of the playoffs, Franklin raced out to a huge first half lead and never looked back with a 73-36 rout of 7th seeded Framingham.
With the win, the Panthers return to the D1 Central Final for the second time in three years.
“I’m extremely happy,” Franklin head CJ Neely said of his team’s first half dominance. “I think they did an awesome job following our scouting report. We talked over the past few days about being better at engaging in the scouting report, knowing what their strengths are. They have two legitimate scorers on that team and we did a good job of taking them out and getting them out of their strengths. They missed some shots early and we rebounded pretty well and that kind of spurned us on to a nice run and gave us a cushion.”
It didn’t take long for Franklin to establish its dominance, forcing a turnover on Framingham’s first possession and getting stops on the next four. On the other end, Paul Mahon’s second make of the game, this one a three, capped a 9-0 start over the first two minutes of play.
Freshman Jay Dieterle pumped in nine of his team-high 15 points in the first quarter to give the Panthers a 20-5 edge at the end of eight minutes.
It was more of the same in the second quarter. Sophomore Connor Peterson was a force in the paint, scoring nine of Franklin’s first 11 points in the quarter. Defensively, the Panthers forced four turnovers in the first five minutes of the second quarter and forced the Flyers to go 0/7 from the floor in that stretch.
Framingham hit a pair of free throws in the quarter but did not connect on a field goal in the second. Josh Macchi scored inside and Mahon drained another three late in the quarter, giving Franklin a commanding 36-7 lead at the break.
“Tim [Prunier] actually brought that up right off the bat when we walked into the locker room at halftime.” Neely said about the team’s second half against Westford Academy, in which a 15 point lead evaporated in the second half. “He was reminding the guys about last game and talking about we needed to keep the pressure up. That was definitely an emphasis at halftime. We didn’t have to adjust a lot at halftime. We just wanted to stay with the plan, share the ball and execute.”
The Panthers got a good start to the second half as Dieterle sank a three, Prunier hit a pair of free throws and Mahon drove to the basket for two more to create a 43-7 lead.
Midway through the quarter, the Panthers were able to rest their starters. Senior Patrick Rodgers, sophomore Connor Goldstein and freshman Jalen Samuels all netted six points off the bench in the second half and junior Ryan Hodgkins added five points.
Dieterle added six rebounds to his 15 points while Peterson had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Mahon, a sophomore, was third in scoring with 10 points.
“I’ve told those guys they are varsity players, doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a sophomore, once you’re here you’re a varsity player and you have to go out and be a varsity guy,” Neely said. “When Peterson is being aggressive he can be a dominate force in there and Jay, you would never know he was a freshman unless you looked at the roster.”
With the starters on the floor in the first half, Franklin’s defense was tenacious and the Flyers shot just 2/25 from the floor.
“Over the past four or so games, it’s something we’ve really been harping on, ” Neely said of the defense. “We were really upset with that five game skid, we felt like we left a couple on the table and it left us with a sour taste in our mouth. We’ve really been working hard on the defensive end, as hard as we ever have, and we’ve seen some improvement in the last two weeks.”
Franklin boys basketball (17-5) will now play top-seeded St. John’s Shrewsbury in the D1 Central Final on Wednesday, March 9th at 7:00, back at WPI. SJS (21-1) beat Wachusett in the other semifinal.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Prunier, Gill Help Franklin Hold Off Westford Academy

Franklin boys basketball
Franklin’s Tim Prunier goes airborne after splitting two defenders in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/

FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin senior Kevin Gill can add another team to his list.
Oliver Ames, check.
Foxboro, check.
Westford Academy, check.
For the third time this season, Gill was to go-to guy in crunch time and on Thursday night, his strong take to the basket with 15 seconds to play gave the Panthers a 62-60 win over Westford Academy.
“I get the ball and it just feels right,” Gill said about late game situations. “I heard coach yelling for one shot but I just saw the lane and I just took it.”
While the layup broke a tie game, it was nearly a basket that brought Franklin back from a deficit. With just over a minute to play with the game tied a 60, Franklin had an inbounds play in the offensive half, right in the corner.
The play went awry and senior Tim Prunier’s inbounds pass went straight into the hands of Westford Academy’s Nicholas Fiorillo. Fiorillo took off, racing out into a breakaway all alone on his way for a layup. What looked like a certain basket for the Grey Ghosts quickly turned into one of the best hustle plays you’ll see.
Prunier got on his horse and sprinted back on defense, getting back in time to knock the ball free from the dribble just before Fiorillo went up with it. As the ball bounced towards the baseline, Prunier lounged and dove, getting a hand to the ball and whipping it back in bounds. Gill was able to get a hand to it, deflecting it on and the Panthers were able to keep possession.
Westford Academy did not score again.
“Talk about big plays by the seniors,” a relieved Franklin coach CJ Neely said. “Tim Prunier probably saved our season by sprinting back and make that defensive play. That’s one of the best individual plays and defensive plays that I’ve ever seen. Your season, your career is on the line and that’s why he was the MVP of the league. Kevin Gill has done it time and again this year. He’s had multiple games where he’s been our guy down the stretch. We’ve been begging him to go more for his offensive and he finds the best moments to do it it seems like.”
Gill scored six of Franklin’s nine points in the fourth quarter while Prunier had a layup of his own.
“I knew it was an awful pass so it was just my instinct to get back on defense,” Prunier said. “I knew the time and the score so I knew I had to get my butt back there and do what I could do. I saw him dribble to the right and I knew I could get it. I just busted by butt and got it and then luckily I was able to stay inbounds and throw it back in and my teammates were able to recover it. I didn’t think there was anything else I could do so I went for the ball.”
“We thought the ball was going to be side out but it was in the corner, so our play was off,” Gill added. ”I don’t know what happened but his play just saved the game right there. That was incredible hustle by Tim and then he saved the ball from going out of bounds too which is insane, I don’t know how he did that.”

Franklin dominated the first half and took a 15 point lead into the locker room but a furious rally from the Grey Ghosts brought the teams level at the conclusion of the third quarter, tied 53-53.
Neither side was able to score for over three minutes of the final frame but freshman Jay Dieterle’s free throw with 4:47 put Franklin ahead again. Gill drove for two to increase the lead to three. On Franklin’s next possession, Prunier was able to get the defense to switch after a handoff from Gill and easily drove to the hoop to make it 58-53 with 3:43 to go.
But like they did in the third quarter, Westford Academy rallied back again. Jon Glidden brought WA within three but a pair of free throws from Gill pushed it back to five. Scotty Callahan floated one in the lane and Fiorillo drained a three out of an inbounds play to tie the game at 60-60 with two minutes to play.
The teams traded turnovers over a 45 second stretch in a game of giveaways before Prunier’s hustle play set up Franklin at the end.
A contested three from Dieterle with 30 seconds to go bounced off the iron but a strong effort from sophomore Connor Peterson helped the ball roll out to Gill. Gill eventually took a pass back from sophomore Paul Mahon and immediately raced around his defender and to the basket for a layup with 17 seconds to play.
Westford called a timeout with 12.3 left and ran a play to get a look at a three, but the shot bounced off the back of the rim and Peterson was able to track the high rebound as the buzzer sounded.
“We knew from experience, we’re a battle tested team,” Prunier said. “We’ve been in both sides of that situation, the team coming back and the team giving up the lead so we knew how to respond. We said we had been there before so we knew if we just kept it together we’d be fine.”
After giving up 25 points in the third quarter, Franklin clamped down defensively and surrendered just seven points in the final frame.
“We pressed a lot in the first half,” Neely said. “We backed it off a little bit in the fourth quarter and just said we’re going back to our normal defense and we’re going to rely on our shell concept and get stops. They hit some tough shots and get some offensive boards. We wanted to take away the easy baskets and make them earn everything. We did a great job of that in the first half and the fourth quarter.”
Dieterle tied his career-high with 24 points (18 in the first half) in his postseason debut to lead the Panthers while Prunier added 12 points, five steals, four rebounds and four assists. Gill had nine points and six points and four steals and Peterson added nine points and seven points.
“The younger guys are phenomenal, they have such high standards,” Prunier said. “They’re all great players. But being a senior, we knew it was coming down to the line and we didn’t want it to be our last game so we gave it all that we had.”
“We knew we had to fight for every possession, on offense and on defense,” Gill said. “We just had to grind out the game.”
Franklin boys basketball (16-5) advances to the D1 Central Semifinals for the second straight year. The Panthers are scheduled to play #7 Framingham on Saturday at WPI at 5:00.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/03/16

Today’s playoff games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
D1 Central
#3 Franklin, 62 vs. #6 Westford Academy, 60 – Final – Freshman Jay Dieterle tied a career-high with 24 points to pace the Panthers’ offense. Senior Kevin Gill broke the tie with a layup with 15 seconds to play. Senior Tim Prunier had 12 points and also came away with a big steal in the final minutes to prevent an easy basket from WA. Franklin will play #7 Framingham on Saturday at 5:00 at WPI.
Girls Basketball
D1 South
#4 Attleboro, 32 vs. #5 Wellesley, 43 – Final

#6 Mansfield, 40 @ #3 Newton South, 37 – FinalMeg Hill had a career-high 24 points for the Hornets. Jackie Carchedi added nine points for Mansfield and Caroline Maher hit two clutch free throws in the closing seconds. Mansfield will face No. 2 seed Bishop Feehan in the D1 South semifinal.
D2 South
#15 North Attleboro, 46 @ #2 Oliver Ames, 47 – Final – The Tigers host No. 7 seed Notre Dame Academy on Saturday.

#6 Foxboro, 75 vs. #11 O’Bryant, 28 – Final – Cassidy Harrison led a balanced offensive attack with a team-high 15 points, Ashley Sampson and Grace Tamulionis each had 13 points and Hailey Maling added 12 points. The Warriors travel to No. 3 seed Falmouth on Saturday.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/22/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 64 @ Attleboro, 52 – Final – Mansfield clinched a share of the Kelley-Rex title with the win. The Hornets have won four straight Kelley-Rex titles and sixth in the last seven years. Sam Goldberg had 12 points and seven rebounds, Christian Weber added 11 points and six assists and Max Boen had nine points and five assists. Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan won his 200th career game. 

Canton, 48 @ Milford, 71 – Final – The Scarlet Hawks won their fifth game in the last six to clinch a playoff berth. Dimitry Torres led Milford with 23 points while Dwight Anderson added 16 points, Jack DeSantis chipped in with a career-high 10 points and Josh Andonian finished seven points. Canton freshman Devin Foster had a career-high 16 points and sophomore Tony Harris added 15 points.

Sharon, 73 @ Foxboro, 84 – Final (OT) – Jason Procaccini scored a game-high 24 points as the Warriors held on after a rally from the Eagles. Rob Lowey added 14 points while Alex DuBrow, Jonathan Carnino and Mark Clagg all chipped in with 10 points apiece. 

Franklin, 77 @ North Attleboro, 39 – Final – Freshman Jay Dieterle dropped in a team-high 19 points as the Panthers claimed their first league title since 2012. With the win, Franklin won a share of the Kelley-Rex title with Mansfield. Sophomore Connor Peterson had 12 points and senior Tim Prunier added 10 points.

Oliver Ames, 74 @ Stoughton, 55 – Final – Junior Carter Evin scored a career-high 28 points and pulled in 10 rebounds. Dylan Mahoney added 15 points, Nick Welch had 11 points and Tim Kelley added 10 points for OA. Jared Costa-Haywood led the Black Knights with 17 points, Cam Gomes had 12 points and sophomore Cam Andrews chipped in with 10 points. Senior captain Nick Quattrucci hauled in seven rebounds.

King Philip, 56 vs. Dartmouth, 60 – Final – King Philip rallied from a 13 point halftime deficit but the Indians were able to hold on. Seth Sullivan had a team-high 18 points while sophomore Justin Vine added 15 points.

Taunton, 59 @ New Bedford, 69 – Final
Girls Basketball
Milford, 62 @ Canton, 47 – Final

Foxboro, 57 @ Sharon, 49 – Final – Foxboro had four players reach double figures for scoring. Lily Sykes led the Warriors with 16 points while Ashley Sampson added 13 points, Grace Tamulionis had 12 points and Carolynn Will finished with 10 points. Sharon was led by Alyssa Piazza with 20 points and four steals, while Charlotte Ransom had seven points, all in the fourth quarter. Shira Stoller had seven assists and Emma Eberhardt had 11 points for the Eagles.

North Attleboro, 45 @ Franklin, 54 – Final
Attleboro, 43 @ Mansfield, 56 – Final – The Hornets clinched the Kelley-Rex division title with the win. It is the second in the program’s history. Jen Peel led the way with 18 points and five assists. Meg Hill added 11 points and 15 rebounds and Juliana Newell scored 12 for Mansfield. Attleboro was led by Sarah Deyo, who finished with 15 points. Sam Pierce added 10 for the Bombardiers.

Stoughton, 32 @ Oliver Ames, 63 – Final – Sophomore Kayla Raymond led the Tigers with a game-high 16 points while Kaitlyn McCarthy added 13 points and Niyera Mitchell had 12 points. 
Taunton, 48 vs. New Bedford, 17 – Final – Senior Kia Pate led Taunton with 11 points, sophomore Hannah Moniz added nine points, senior Alyssa Gibson finished with eight points and senior Jordan Wade chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.
Attleboro, 4 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk, 1 – Final
Milford, 3 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/19/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Milford, 48 @ Foxboro, 66 – Final – Foxboro senior Alex DuBrow scored all of his team-high 16 points in the second half, adding eight assists and five rebounds. Jason Procaccini had 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists, Rob Lowey had 15 points and nine rebounds and junior Mark Clagg finished with 10 points. Milford’s Dimitry Torres scored a game-high 18 points along with six assists. 

Franklin, 64 @ Catholic Memorial, 87 – Final – Senior Tim Prunier and freshman Jay Dieterle each had nine points for the Panthers.

Taunton, 84 @ King Philip, 60 – Final – Taunton senior Jose Mercado poured in a career-high 31 points while Tommy MacLean had 14 points and Dom Smith added 12 points. King Philip’s Pharoah Davis had a team-high 13 points. 
Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 48 vs. Dartmouth, 36 – Final – Emily Houle led the way for Attleboro with 17 points, all in the second half, which leaves her four points shy of 1,000 for her career. She also had 11 rebounds. Sam Pierce added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Bombardiers, Fatima McDonald had eight points, and Sarah Deyo had only three points but chipped in with seven blocks and 10 boards.

Canton, 47 vs. Blackstone-Millville, 42 – FinalThe Bulldogs swept the season series with BMR behind 14 points from Hannah Jerrier and eight apiece from Jess Powers and Meaghan Hunter. Canton turned the game around with a 30-13 second half. 
King Philip, 38 @ Taunton, 37 – FinalJen Lacroix scored all 12 of her points in the second half to lead the Warriors, who bounced back from a 12-point halftime deficit. Sam Madden added eight points for KP and Riley Dalzell had 10 rebounds. Taunton was led by Alyssa Gibson, who finished with 13 points and 14 boards, and Lily Patneaude, who scored 11 points. 
Milford, 44 @ Foxboro, 61 – Final – The Warriors had three players reach double figures, led by Ashley Sampson’s 14 points. Cassidy Harrison added 11 points and Kristen Bortolotti had 10 points. 

North Attleboro, 47 vs. Durfee, 34 – FinalThe Rocketeers were led by junior Caroline Collard with 10 points and Ashley Ahern chipped in with six. 
Sharon, 43 @ Fontbonne, 58 – Final Senior Alyssa Piazza had 19 points, six rebounds, and five steals for the Eagles in the loss. 
Girls Hockey
Canton, 0 @ Whitman-Hanson, 2 – Final

Franklin’s Multiple Comeback Attempts Come Up Short

Franklin boys basketball
Franklin’s Tim Prunier, who scored a career-high 25 points, pulls up for a shot in the second half against Everett. (Ryan Lanigan/

WOBURN, Mass. – First it was overcoming a 14-0 hole to start the game.
Then it was battling all the way back with a huge second quarter to get within four at halftime.
Then it was clawing back from a double-digit deficit in the second half to get within two points in the fourth quarter.
Despite multiple comeback runs, the Panthers could never equal Everett, dropping their third straight by the score of 80-71.
Saying it was a slow start for Franklin would be an understatement as the Panthers mixed in misses of open looks and contested ones while the Crimson Tide raced out to a double digit lead. Franklin started 0/8 from the floor while Everett, taking advantage of some second opportunities, went 4/7 and lead 14-0 halfway through the first.
Although there were spurts from both sides, it was essentially even the rest of the way. In fact, Franklin outscored Everett over the remaining 28 minutes of game play.
“Everett is a tough team, their length is tough to deal with,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “We’re a little shorthanded with our bigs and they were able to get their hands on a lot of balls and get some extra possessions. And in the end that proved to be a difference.”
After the 14-0 start, Franklin and Everett finished the first quarter 6-6 but the Panthers first real push came in the second quarter.
Tim Prunier scored five straight points but the Crimson Tide pushed the lead right back to 16. With just under four minutes to play in the half, Connor Goldstein connected on a three to make it a 12 point game and freshman Jay Dieterle drove to the rim to cut it to 10. Everett’s Ghared Boyce (30 points) drained a three but Franklin close the half on an 11-4 run.
“After the first quarter I thought it was pretty evenly played, back and forth,” Neely said. Their #2, Boyce, we knew he was a good player but he was ridiculous. He was burying shots and making plays right when we’d cut it close. Off of nothing too, and that can be frustrating. You’re working so hard and you score but then he comes down and has one quick move and scores. I thought our guys worked hard on him, he’s just a really good player.”
Five points from Josh Macchi, four from Goldstein and two apiece from Dieterle and Prunier, the latter being a drive to the rim before the buzzer, pulled the Panthers within striking distance at 40-36 at the break.
Franklin had a bright start to the second quarter with Dieterle draining a three to get within one but a 15-6 run from Everett restored a double-digit lead halfway through the quarter. The lead grew to as much as 13 but another 11-4 run to close the quarter brought the Panthers right back in it.
Dieterle’s traditional three point play started the run and then Prunier followed with a three. Macchi, who notched a career-high 15 points off the bench, hauled in an offensive rebound and finished plus the harm and once again Prunier beat the buzzer by slicing through the defense to make it 65-59 after three quarters.
Macchi started the fourth with four straight points to bring the Panthers within two (65-63) with just under seven seconds to go but Franklin’s shooting went cold. Franklin went 0/9 from the floor over the next six minutes, including five three point attempts. In that time span the Panthers were able to add three points via free throws but Everett assumed a nine point lead.
Prunier hit a three to break the cold stretch and get within six but a three point play from Boyce sealed the game.
“When you play a team like that, you can’t score six points in a quarter,” Neely said. “You can’t come out like that and expect to win. We cut it to four at halftime and we felt like it was a new game but they had a run to start the second half and we’re in a hole a game. We just had to battle and grind the whole game. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Prunier finished with a career-high 25 points along with four rebounds and three assists. Macchi added eight rebounds to go along with his 15 points, Dieterle had 11 points and five rebounds an both Goldstein and Paul Mahon had nine points.
Franklin boys basketball (14-4) will play in the consolation of the Comcast/Arbella tournament at Woburn High on Monday at 1:00 against Brighton.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Hornets Hold Off Franklin, Moves Into Tie For First

Mansfield boys basketball
Mansfield’s Matt Ehrlich looks to drive in the second half against Franklin. (Ryan Lanigan/

FRANKLIN, Mass. – Friday night’s contest between rivals Mansfield and Franklin wasn’t the exact same as their first meeting back in January, but the symmetry was apparent.
Just like January’s game, the home team erased a second half double-digit deficit to make it a one possession in the final minutes.
But just like the first time around, the visitors walked away with the win.
Mansfield held off a late rally from the Panthers, keeping Franklin scoreless over the final final minutes, in route to a 55-51 win that pulled the Hornets level atop the Kelley-Rex division with just one league game to go.
Th Hornets doubled their seven point lead at the midway point just five minutes into the second half and increased it to a game-high 15 points off a Christian Weber three to just 2:20 to play in the third, but Franklin wouldn’t go away.
Over the course of the end of the third and the first few minutes of the fourth, the Panthers rattled off a 15-3 run to get the game down to one possession. Sophomore Connor Peterson closed the third with back to back baskets and freshman Jay Dieterle opened the final frame with a three. After Peterson hit a free throw to make it a seven point game, Mansfield’s Tyler Boulter drained a three to get it back to 10.
For the next five minutes, Mansfield only managed one free throw as Franklin crawled back. Dieterle hit another three and after a stop, Peterson went into the paint for two more. Another missed three from the Hornets resulted in a strong take to the hoop from Dieterle to make it a three point game with 4:16 to go. Mansfield’s lone point came via Sam Goldberg’s free throw.
After a steal from Tim Prunier, Sam Harrell took it to the whole strong to cut it to 53-51 with 3:09 left.
The teams traded missed shots and on its next possession, Mansfield milked the shot clock down to the final seconds. With just a few tickets left, junior Matt Ehrlich took a step towards the basket from the three point line but instead of driving, pulled up for a deep two that he drained to make it 55-11 with 1:40 to go.
Franklin missed on the other end but got a stop with just under a minute to go. Dieterle’s three was halfway down but rattled out and despite an offensive rebound, Franklin’s second attempt from three via Paul Mahon was off the mark. Franklin got another offensive rebound and called timeout but Prunier’s deep three hit the back rim. Mansfield missed it’s first free throw of a one and one but with a four point lead, elected to foul with 8.6 seconds left instead of letting the Panthers get a shot off from the floor.
Both teams then traded missed free throws as the clock ran out.
“This puts us back in the driver’s seat,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said with the Hornets moving into a tie for first place. “Now Attleboro becomes a league championship game regardless of what happens with Franklin and Taunton. We got some luck with Franklin slipping up along the way and give us that chance. Tonight was our night to capitalize on our luck and to win tonight means we capitalized. Now we have to go out our fourth in a row.”
The win marked Mansfield’s fourth straight overall and seventh straight in league play.
“I think we’ve matured as a team,” Vaughan said. “We’ve re-identified ourselves as better defensively than we were, we’re not giving up big quarters anymore. Even their run, those weren’t easy shots, those were plays made by very good basketball players. Offensively we got a little stagnant and we had to get out of that. When you play a team like Franklin that’s so good defensively, they wear you out. We were worn out for a while but we stuck with it and kept cutting and moving and Matt Ehrlich buried a huge shot to give us life.”
It was a back and forth opening quarter with each team holding leads. Franklin’s Josh Macchi converted a traditional play with 30 seconds to go to give the Panthers a lead but Mansfield’s Kyle Swansburg beat the shot clock while being fouled in the final seconds to put Mansfield up 16-15 after one.
The Hornets gained some separation in the second quarter. With a one point lead at 21-20, Ehrlich scored five straight points for Mansfield and then Boulter connected on two three’s to give Mansfield a 32-25 lead at half.
“We got a lot of good looks [at the end] too I thought, looks that I’ll take every time,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said, about the team’s late scoreless stretch. “I’m really proud of the effort from the guys battling back after being down, really fought hard and defended. If we defended like the way we did in the second half in the first half, I think we win the game. I think our first half defense was the difference. Mansfield played really well, they moved the ball really well. I felt like we didn’t pressure them enough and they were able to execute what they wanted to execute. That’s usually our bread and butter the defensive pressure but we didn’t do it tonight.”
To start the third, Mansfield was able to stretch the lead to 10 and hold it around there for the majority of the frame. With an 11 point lead (43-32) with just over three minutes to play, Boulter connected on another triple and after Kevin Gill scored at the rim for Franklin, Weber knocked down an open three to make it 49-34.
“I called that timeout in the fourth and said just play the game to win, stop playing it not to lose,” Vaughan said. “In [Franklin’s] late run, some things went their way, some bounces, some calls, some things that just could have gone either way. But that’s part of the game and you play through that stuff and I thought our guys fought through that. From the team we were in January to the team we are now, we’re able to play though that stuff and I think it makes a big difference. Now we’re a team that’s coming out firing all cylinders. When we got flat I thought we did a pretty good job defensively.”
Boulter had a team-high 12 points while Sam Goldberg had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Ehrlich (four rebounds, four assists) and Weber each had nine points, Nick Baskin had six and Max Boen had five points and four assists.
“You play a lot of teams where they have one or two guys you don’t have to worry about, someone who might not shoot and you can help off of it. But Mansfield has so many guys that can spread the floor, they all share it, they move the ball so well, they don’t care who scores. They move the ball to who’s ever open for the shot and it’s pretty impressive offensively. That stinks [for us] because if you miss a rotation or leave a guy, they are going to make you pay for it and they did that tonight.”
Peterson had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Franklin while Dieterle added 18 points and Gill had five points, six rebounds and five assists. Prunier added six rebounds and seven assists.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Vaughan said. “You’ve got to be able to play through the bad ones and capitalize on the good ones. I thought our third quarter was similar to their fourth quarter but we got some stops at the end. We had a cushion from the first half and then the third quarter was ours, the fourth quarter was theirs but in the final two minutes we got the stops to close it out.
“It’s speaks where our team is going. From where we were a month ago to now, I think we’ve got exponentially better. Franklin is a very good team, they’re well rounded and they’re going to do very well in the tournament. We could play this games 100 times and probably go 50-50. These games are won by very good basketball players on both teams.”
Mansfield boys basketball (14-4, 12-3) will host Weymouth on Monday night. It will have a chance to clinch its fourth straight Kelley-Rex crown against Attleboro on February 22nd. Franklin (14-3, 12-3) will take on Everett on Sunday evening in Woburn. The Panthers can clinch a share of the Kelley-Rex with a win over North Attleboro on February 22nd.
“This rivalry doesn’t go away,” Vaughan said. “This is the best $5 in the area that you can spend to come watch these two teams play.”
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Mansfield Boys Basketball vs. Franklin