Efficient Shooting Helps Taunton Overcome Franklin

Taunton boys basketball
Taunton’s Tommy MacLean points out directions in the first half against Franklin. (Tom Madigan/Photo)


TAUNTON, Mass. – If there was one game that reflected on how this season has gone for Taunton, it was Tuesday night’s win over Franklin.
The Tigers offense shot an impressive 57% from the floor, had 18 assists on 31 field goals, out-rebounded the Panthers 36-24 and scored over 80 points.
Luckily that was enough to overcome 26 turnovers and over 70 points from Franklin.
What has been an up and down season so far is currently back on the up side as Taunton scored an 83-72 win to sweep the season series against the Panthers.
“It should be impossible, I don’t have explanation other than we were pretty efficient when we didn’t turn it over,” Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey said. “It wasn’t much of an artistic performance. The turnovers were just staggering, just staggering. I mean some of them, saying it politely, were unforced. It’s hard to believe we scored over 80 points with that many turnovers but obviously we were pretty productive when we didn’t turn it over.”
The scoring for the first half was typical of the Tigers when they’re on, shooting nearly 60% from the floor (17/29) to put up 39 points. But 15 turnovers showed a glimpse of of the Tigers we’ve seen in other games, including their loss to Sharon.
But after facing some adversity late, including a 17-5 run by the Panthers to take the lead after three quarters and a four point deficit with just over six minutes to play, the Tigers switched it back to on.
Tim Prunier’s traditional three point play putting the Panthers up 59-55 with just over six minutes to play. But Quan Roberson dropped in a layup and then followed up his own miss with a putback to tie the game. Senior Carlos Borrero drove to the basket for two for the lead and then Roberson went up and under, putting the perfect spin off the glass plus the harm to go up 64-60. Borrero front rimmed a three on Taunton’s next trip but Dom Smith was first to the rebound and laid it back in for a six point lead.
Josh Macchi’s corner three brought the visitors back within but a three point play from Borrero was followed by a stop and a basket from Jose Mercado to make it 71-63 with 3:02 to go. The closest Franklin would get the rest of the way six (73-67) but a pair of blocks from Roberson down the stretch, the Tigers’ ability to run through the press and successful free throw shooting down the final minute and a half proved enough for Taunton.
“The first meeting was a rock fight and this one was open court stuff,” Dacey said. “That’s kind of our forte too, get in the open court, spread the court and just find the mismatch. There was always at least one out there for us, even if we had three others guys convinced they had one too. That was the turnover issue. Once we get into the open court and start flying, the better for us. We’re a transition team, you can see that. But you have to play defense to transition effectively. Of course it comes with some turnovers but sometimes we weren’t even pushing the ball and turning it over.”
“We gave them too many easy baskets,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “Our offense did a poor job of playing defense, turning it over and giving them easy buckets. They were able to get behind us in transition sometimes. To be honest I just didn’t think we came with our type of basketball tonight. Other than maybe one guy, I don’t think we brought it. We seemed very flat throughout. The guys made a nice run to get back into it which I’m proud of but at the end of the day, Taunton wanted this game more than us. I thought Taunton brought more intensity tonight.”
After a slow first couple of minutes, Taunton got the pace of the game where they wanted: fast. The Tigers were quick in transition and rattled off a 14-4 run, capped with a three from Smith and a floater from Roberson to go ahead 16-9. After the first minutes, Taunton had 23 points and an eight point lead.
Franklin sophomore Paul Mahon provided the Panthers a spark with a pair of steals and easy buckets to get within six and Prunier and sophomore Connor Peterson added consecutive baskets to get within two. But Taunton outscored Franklin 12-8 over the final four minutes of the half, capped with a layup from Tommy MacLean to go into the break up 39-33.
When Taunton went up by 11 in the first two and a half minutes in, Franklin slowly chipped away. Mahon again was the catalyst. First, the sophomore drained a three from the left side, then raced across the baseline, intercepting the inbounds pass, launching a three from the right corner that rimmed out but the sophomore grabbed the rebound and found an open Macchi for two. Prunier got Franklin within two and then with just under a minute to play, Mahon drained a three to tie the game at 51.
“He was by far our best player tonight and that was the best I’ve seen him play,” Neely said of Mahon. “He’s played well in some AAU games but on that stage, against that type of opponent, he brought everything.”
Roberson finished with a career-high 25 points (on 63% shooting), eight rebounds and a pair of assists, steals and blocks.
“Quan is a touch matchup, he really is,” Dacey said. “If we have to roll him to the block against a guard, we’ll do that. But if he’s out there with a big, that really forced CJ to change the way he did things. He’s got a good basketball sense. We spread the court and let him make decisions and he makes good decisions. Then when he gets around the rim, he’s kind of wiry and finishes when it doesn’t look like he should be able too. Plus he’s hitting his free throws now, which he wasn’t doing earlier in the season.”
Mercado added 19 points and seven rebounds, MacLean had 17 points, five assists and four rebounds, Smith had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Borrero had seven points, nine rebounds and five assists.
“He’s the absolute x-factor,” Dacey said of Smith, who missed the Mansfield game over the weekend. “He’s got energy, he’s a pretty good on the ball defender. He does a lot of little things. He doesn’t even have to score for us but when he scores points, that means the court is spread out and he’s getting his points off offensive putbacks and leaking out.”
Defensively, Taunton focused on getting out on Franklin’s shooters to try and take the three point away. Franklin shot 5/20 from deep.
“Absolutely, we wanted to focus on [Jay] Dieterle and Mahon,” Dacey said. “Obviously they can shoot the three. But then Prunier is blowing by people cause there’s no help there. We had to pick our poison like we did the other night and we decided to take away the three and if they were getting to the rim, shame on our on the ball defense.
“We wanted to take away Dieterle’s threes, we wanted to take away Peterson in the post and we wanted to defend Prunier, I think that’s their big three. I don’t think we did a great job on Prunier but I think we kind of minimized Dieterle and did an okay job on Peterson. But they scored 72 points so we didn’t go a great job defensively either.”
Prunier led the Panthers with 20 points, four assists and three rebounds, freshman Jay Dieterle had 17 points and seven rebounds and Mahon finished with 19 points, five rebounds and six steals.
Franklin (14-2, 12-2) stays atop the Kelley-Rex division but just a game ahead of the Tigers and Mansfield, who they will host on Friday night. Taunton boys basketball (13-4, 11-3) will take a trip to Attleboro on Friday night.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/09/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 88 @ King Philip, 66 – Final – Senior Kyle Murphy scored a career-high 21 points, pulling in eight rebounds and picking up three steals. Jake Dunkley paced the Bombardiers with 12 of his 17 points in the opening quarter, Berlyns Abraham had 12 points and six rebounds and Andrew Milliken also chipped in with 12 points.

Canton, 47 @ Oliver Ames, 70 – Final – Carter Evin scored 20 points and hauled in nine rebounds and Nick Welch came off the bench to net 14 points. Tony Harris scored a team-high 14 points for Canton.

Foxboro, 72 @ Stoughton, 55 – Final – Foxboro senior Jason Procaccini led all scorers with a game-high 21 points while Alex DuBrow (13 points) and Mark Clagg (11 points) also scored in double figures. Stoughton’s Jared Maher had 14 points for the Black Knights.

Franklin, 72 @ Taunton, 83 – Final – Quan Roberson scored a career-high 25 points and hauled in eight rebounds to go along with a pair of steals, blocks and assists to lead the Tigers. Jose Mercado added 19 points and seven rebounds, Tommy MacLean had 17 points, five assists and four rebounds, Dom Smith had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Carlos Borrero had seven points, nine rebounds and five assists. Tim Prunier led Franklin with 20 points, four assists and three rebounds, sophomore Paul Mahon finished with 19 points, five rebounds and six steals and freshman Jay Dieterle had 17 points and seven rebounds.

Sharon, 56 @ Milford, 57 – Final – Dimitry Torres hit a layup going across the paint with 4.3 seconds left to put the Scarlet Hawks ahead, then holding off a last second shot from the Eagles. Torres finished with a team-high 19 points while Zack Tamagni notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, having hit a half court buzzer beater to tie the game at the end of three. Kayden Kelley had seven points and 10 rebounds and Dwight Anderson added 10 points and seven rebounds for Milford.

Mansfield, 66 @ North Attleboro, 49 – Final – The Hornets held just a two point advantage at halftime and then just six at the end of three quarters but won the final quarter 23-12 to pick up the win. Sam Goldberg was a perfect 5/5 from the field for a game-high 13 points, also grabbing seven rebounds. Max Boen added 12 points and Matt Ehrlich had 10 points for Mansfield. Chad Peterson led North with 12 points while Brent Doherty and Jonny Friberg each added nine points. 
Girls Basketball
Oliver Ames, 58 @ Canton, 29 – FinalKayla Raymond led the Tigers with 12 points while Hannah Carroll added 11 and Francesca Calabraro had 10 points. Emma Murphy was Canton’s top scorer with 10. The two teams joined together for Play4Kay Pink Night to raise money for breast cancer research.
Stoughton, 38 @ Foxboro, 83 – Final – Cassidy Harrison and Ashley Sampson each scored 18 points for the Warriors, who had five players reach double figures. Hailey Maling added 13 points, Grace Tamulionis scored 12 points and Lily Sykes finished with 10. 
Taunton, 30 @ Franklin, 65 – FinalErin Skidmore paced the Panthers with 15 points. Aubrie Kutil added 12 points and Catherine Gray had 10 for Franklin.

King Philip, 28 @ Attleboro, 46 – Final
North Attleboro, 30 @ Mansfield, 45 – FinalMeg Hill led Mansfield with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Jackie Carchedi had seven points and nine boards and Jen Peel had five points and six assists. North was led by Liz Morehouse with eight points and Ashley Ahern who scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter. 
Milford, 53 @ Sharon, 46 – Final – Kate Irwin led the way for Milford with 13 points and Nicole Dahlgren added nine for the Hawks. Sharon was led by Alyssa Piazza who had a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Charlotte Ransom added 13 points, five rebounds, and four steals.
Girls Hockey
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 3 @ Medfield, 6 – Final – Cat Luciano scored a pair of goals for the Warriors while Lilly Feeney added one. 

Franklin Uses Fast Start in Sunday Matinee Win Over KP

Franklin boys basketball
Franklin freshman Jay Dieterle (44) had a game-high 21 points on Sunday against KP. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)


FRANKLIN, Mass. – Despite holding the league’s best record, Franklin was starting to develop a bad habit.
For the past three games the Panthers have had sluggish starts and have had to battle their way back.
Based on how Franklin started on Sunday afternoon, it looks like they’ve snapped out of it.
Franklin started out with full court pressure and forced three consecutive turnovers in just over two minutes of play and forced another that resulted pointed and by the halfway mark of the first quarter grabbed hold of a 16-4 lead. After a timeout from the Warriors, Franklin continued its pressure and ended to quarter on a 8-4 run to take a 24-8 lead after just a quarter of play.
“We actually emphasized having a good start,” Franklin coach CJ Neely said. “We’ve had a couple games in a row, Sharon, North and Milford, where we’ve come out of the gates slow and had to battle back. We needed to put something together right out of the locker room and we needed the bench to be into it. I thought we did a nice job defensively and turned them over a bit. Then we hit shots which is always good. I thought the guys did well right from the start.”
Freshman Jay Dieterle was the beneficiary to many of the forced turnovers by the Panthers. After the first, Dieterle drove for a bucket. Sophomore Paul Mahon came up with the next turnover and found Tim Prunier for an easy two. Dieterle then went baseline for a layup to put Franklin up 8-2. KP replied with it’s second field goal of the game but Dieterle and Mahon drained back to back three pointers to make it 14-4.
Out of the timeout, Franklin got a stop and Dieterle back to back three pointers and Prunier’s floater in the lane in the final seconds capped a strong opening quarter for Franklin.
The rest of the way was relatively even. Franklin won the second quarter 14-11 and the third quarter 18-13 while KP claimed the final quarter 10-8.
Franklin hit on four of their seven attempts from three point range in the opening quarter while the Warriors went 0/7 from downtown. Franklin was 6/12 from deep by halftime while the Warriors were 0/11.
“Franklin always plays with good energy. We had three practices before the snowstorm preparing for the run and jump,” KP head coach Matt Coute said. “Against any run and jump, not just their run and jump, if you space the floor well and have a ball reversal open and you bring a post guy up to the middle it makes it very difficult for them to rotate and guard the whole floor but when they throw as many guys at you as Franklin does, it wears you down and when you wear down physically, you wear down mentally.”
In the final minutes of the third quarter, Franklin rattled off a 12-6 run to cement the lead.
“We wanted to get them going and have high intensity right from the the start,” Neely said. “It’s kind of an awkward situation because of the snow on Friday and the kids’ routines are different. The team that usually plays more aggressive, regardless of execution, will be in a good spot and if you execute as well you’ll be in a great spot. I thought we came out aggressively and that carried over.”
Dieterle had a game-high 21 points while sophomore Connor Peterson notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Mahon and Prunier each had nine points while Prunier also had six rebounds and three assists.
Freshman Kyle Layman netted a team-high 12 points for the Warriors and junior Tom Sullivan provided a spark off the bench with eight points and a pair of rebounds.
“I’m happy with our kids effort,” Coute said. “I thought they listened to the gameplan but we just didn’t execute it. I’m happy with a lot of the efforts, I thought Tom Sullivan, who hasn’t played a lot of minutes this year played really well for us and was rewarded for what he’s done in practice. And I thought Tom Madden and Kyle Layman, our young guys, really had good contributions. The scores from the first game and today were similar but I thought today the effort was much better from us.”
Franklin boys basketball (14-1, 12-1) holds a two game lead on the Kelley-Rex race but has a crucial pair of games this week. The Panthers will travel to Taunton on Tuesday and then host Mansfield on Friday – the two teams tied for second place. King Philip (5-10, 4-9) will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they host Attleboro.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Franklin Boys Basketball

Panthers Press The Issue In Second Half Against Sharon

Franklin sophomore Connor Peterson releases a shot in the first half in a sea of Sharon defenders. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Franklin sophomore Connor Peterson releases a shot in the first half in a sea of Sharon defenders. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief

SHARON, Mass. – Franklin’s defense certainly wasn’t bad in the first half, surrendering just 21 points to Sharon. But faced with a four point deficit at the break, Franklin head coach CJ Neely challenged his team to crank it up.
The Panthers switched to a full court press to start the second half. The pressure worked off and turned it into a 10-3 run over the first three minutes of the quarter and then when Sharon got it within two again, the Panthers closed with another 10-3 in the last 2:30.
“We played much more aggressive in the second half,” Neely said. “We didn’t want to come right away with the press, we thought they might expect it because we had some out a lot of games this year with pressure. I still thought our defense was pretty good. That’s the third straight game we’ve gone against a run from other teams early and they’ve been hitting tough shots, at least I think they’re tough.”
“We saved the pressure a little bit for the second half. I challenged them. They were playing on their heels, they weren’t attacking the rim, they were worried about turning it over and worried about making mistakes. I think the second half they were more aggressive and more confident.”
Matt Lowerre drained a three to open the third to stretch Sharon’s lead to seven points but Franklin went to work from there. Kevin Gill hit a pair of free throws and after a turnover, freshman Jay Dieterle drained a three from the corner. Dieterle then put Franklin ahead, draining another deep ball and sophomore Connor Peterson followed it up with a two handed dunk after a nice screen from Dieterle and a perfect pass from Tim Prunier.
Ricardo Ripley drove for two but two free throws from Dieterle and another bucket from Peterson extended the lead to five. David Roelke hit a high arching three to get within two, but the Panthers banged out another 10-3 run.
Starting with a three from Dieterle – who had 11 of his 13 points in the quarter – Franklin was then able to get to the line. Prunier hit four straight free throws and the scoring for Franklin was capped by a corner three from Kevin Gill.
Franklin turned a four point deficit at halftime into a nine point lead after three with a 24-11 quarter.
“We weren’t really executing well and we didn’t seem to be on the same page offensively. We weren’t playing with any kind of confidence. I don’t know what the problem was, we just seemed passive in the first half,” Neely said. “Second half, we needed to be aggressive and deliberate and if we did that I told them we’d be fine.”
And Franklin was fine. Sharon did cut the deficit down to seven with three minutes to play off a layup from Jimmy Fitzhenry but that would be as close as the Eagles would get. Prunier hit two more free throws and then Gill drove to the basket to ice it.
“We couldn’t handle their pressure,” Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson said of the difference between the first and second halves. “Franklin did an excellent job pressuring us in the back court. I think we threw the ball around a little too much. And for about a five minute spurt we left Dieterle open in the corner a few too many times. In the first half we did an excellent job contesting shots and contesting their drives. I think the second half we got a little tired, a little worn down from their press and we lost them a few times on the defensive end and that ended up being the difference.
“A lot of their 24 points [in the third quarter] stemmed from the fact that we couldn’t get anything going offensively, which is an absolute credit to their defense. I think that bled into our defensive effort. They were able to get out in transition a little bitter than us which allows to find their open shooters. When their shooters are open, they don’t miss.”
After hitting just one three on nine attempts in the first half, the Panthers connected from deep four times in the third in seven tries and finished 5/9 total from deep in the second half.
“It makes them have to respect it and come out of the paint which we weren’t making them do in the first because we weren’t making our shots,” Neely said of his team being able to knock down three point shots. “Jay buried a few and I heard them yelling about changing things so it allowed Tim and other guys to get to the rim. When you have your shooters spacing the floor it certainly opens it up and give you options.”
Peterson was the game’s high scorer, netting 15 points but maybe the most impressive was his defense and his career-high 18 rebounds.
“He was a big difference, I thought he dominated the paint defensively,” Neely said of Peterson. “All of their shots inside were difficult shots. They got some looks when they beat guys off the dribble but he was there to absorb the penetration and making them take tough shots without fouling. And the rebounding was just immense. That’s the kind of kid he is. He has that strength and that athleticism.”
Beyond Peterson, both Prunier (seven rebounds, four steals) and Dieterle (four rebounds) had 13 points while Gill added eight points. Lowerre led Sharon with 12 points and five rebounds while Peter Banks had four points and eight rebounds.
Franklin (13-1, 11-1) earned its eighth straight win and will put that streak on the line on Friday when they host King Philip on Friday at 7:00. Sharon (9-5, 8-4) falls a game back in the Davenport hunt but will look to try and keep pace when they host Oliver Ames on Friday.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/01/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 76 – Final – Oliver Ames created an early cushion and used that to fend off a late charge from Attleboro. Senior Tim Kelley and junior Carter Evin each scored 21 points for the Tigers with Dylan Mahoney adding 10 points. Attleboro’s Andrew Milliken had a team-high 20 points and added five rebounds, Jake Dunkley added 17 points and six rebounds, Lucas Boucicaut had 14 points and sophomore Nate Douglas chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Taunton, 63 @ Canton, 51 – Final – Jose Mercado led all scorers with 23 points for Taunton. Canton sophomore Tony Harris had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.
King Philip, 44 @ Foxboro, 64 – Final – Foxboro used a 15-0 run in the third quarter to create the separation against the Warriors. Three different Foxboro players registered in double figures for scoring, led by Alex DuBrow’s 15 points. Mark Clagg added 13 points and Jason Procaccini had 12 points. Kyle Layman led King Philip with 14 points and Will Weir added 11 points.

Franklin, 55 @ Sharon, 41 – Final – Franklin turned a four point deficit at halftime into a nine point lead by the end of the third quarter. Sophomore Connor Peterson had 15 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Tim Prunier had 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals and freshman Jay Dieterle added 13 points and four rebounds. 
Girls Basketball
Canton, 60 @ Taunton, 46 – Final – Emma Murphy scored a career-high 24 points in the win for the Bulldogs. Hannah Jerrier added 14 for Canton and Meaghan Hunter had six.
Foxboro, 60 @ King Philip, 42 – FinalCassidy Harrison was the top scorer for the Warriors with 20 points and Ashley Sampson chipped in with 19.
Franklin, 45 @ Sharon, 33 – Final – Alyssa Piazza led the Eagles with 11 points. Sharon also got eight points from Charlotte Ransom and seven from Veronica Wallace.
Oliver Ames, 44 @ Attleboro, 56 – FinalEmily Houle scored 30 points to lead the Bombardiers. Sarah Deyo added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Attleboro. Oliver Ames was led by Francesca Calabraro, who scored 11 and Hannah Carroll added 10.
Canton, 5 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalMatt Lazaro scored his 100th career point for Canton in the win. Dan Creavin scored the lone goal for the Bombardiers and goaltender Tim Gile made 26 saves. 

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/29/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 43 @ Mansfield, 61 – Final – Mansfield built a double-digit lead by halftime and never looked back. Matt Ehrlich had a team-high 14 points and added four rebounds, Sam Goldberg had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and Max Boen (four rebounds), Tyler Boulter and Phil Vigeant each had six points for the Hornets. Jake Dunkley had a game-high 15 points for Attleboro, Lucas Boucicaut added 12 points and Kyle Murphy had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Milford, 68 @ Canton, 50 – Final – Dimitry Torres netted a career-high 26 points to spark the Scarlet Hawks to a road win at Canton. Dwight Anderson added 15 points and Josh Andonian chipped in with 10 points for Milford.

Foxboro, 46 @ Sharon, 49 – Final – David Roelke hit a three as time expired to lift Sharon to a key Davenport division win. Roelke had a team-high 12 points while Peter Banks (eight rebounds) and Bryce Smith each had 10 points. Foxboro’s Jason Procaccini had a game-high 18 points and added 11 rebounds and six steals. Alex DuBrow had 13 points and Rob Lowey had seven points and 14 rebounds. 

North Attleboro, 57 @ Franklin, 60 – Final – Tim Prunier hit two free throws down the stretch to stretch the Panthers’ lead to three as Franklin outlasted North Attleboro. The Rocketeers trailed by nine at halftime but rallied to get a 45-44 lead heading into the final period. Prunier finished with a team-best 18 points while freshman Jay Dieterle added 13 points and sophomore Connor Peterson had 11 points. North junior Brent Doherty also had 18 points, Kyle McCarthy scored a career-high 13 points in his first start and Mario Bresko added 11 points. 

King Philip, 54 @ Taunton, 62 – Final – King Philip led for three quarters but Taunton was able to overcome the deficit and get the win in the final quarter. Senior Carlos Borrero scored all 11 of his points in the second half and senior Jose Mercado finished with a game-high 17 points. Tommy MacLean added 13 points. Sophomore Tom Madden had a team-high 13 points for KP, who also got 10 points from Seth Sullivan and Pharoah David each. 

Stoughton, 48 @ Oliver Ames, 70 – Final – Dylan Mahoney had a team-high 15 points while Tim Kelley, Shawn Cardoza and Nick Welch all added 11 points apiece in the Tigers’ big win. 
Girls Basketball
Canton, 47 @ Milford, 42 – Final – Kate Irwin was Milford’s top scorer with 10 points in the win. Jill Powers and Nicole Dahlgren each added nine for the Hawks.

Sharon, 20 @ Foxboro, 50 – Final – Ashley Sampson had a game-high 15 points, Grace Tamulionis added 11 points and MacKenzie Anderson chipped in with six points. 

Franklin, 63 @ North Attleboro, 47 – Final – Franklin broke open a three-point game at the half with a 20-5 run in the third quarter. Carli Koffinke was the top scorer for the Panthers with 13, while Aubrie Kutil added a double-double with 11 points. Lauren Rudolph for Franklin and Olivia Adiletto eight. Emily Peters scored 20 points for the Rocketeers in a losing effort. 

Taunton, 41 @ King Philip, 50 – Final – KP outscored the Tigers 15-5 in the fourth quarter to get the win. Rylie Dalzell led the Warriors with 13 points. KP also got 10 points each from Maddie Purdue and Christina Hathaway. Taunton sophomore Hannah Moniz had a game-high 14 points and freshman Lily Patneaude chipped in with nine points for the Tigers. 

Mansfield, 38 @ Attleboro, 48 – Final – The Bombardiers finished the game with a 9-0 run in the final 4:27 to clinch the win. Sam Pierce led Attleboro with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sarah Deyo had 13 points and 12 boards and Emily Houle had nine points for the Bombardiers. Mansfield was led by Jen Peel with 11 points and five assists. Meg Hill added nine points, 11 rebounds, and eight blocks.

Oliver Ames, 51 @ Stoughton, 34 – Final – Francesca Calabraro led all scorers with a season-high 23 points and added eight steals while classmate Niyera Mitchell had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. 
Canton @ King Philip, 7:00
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 5:30
Canton @ King Philip, 7:00
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 5:30
Oliver Ames, 87 @ Stoughton, 63 – Final

Taking Stock of the Hock: Boys Basketball 2015-16

Taunton senior Jose Merardo dribbles around a defender in the first half against Mansfield. (Tom Madigan/Photo).
Taunton senior Jose Merardo dribbles around a defender in the first half against Mansfield. (Tom Madigan/Photo).

With nearly half of the games gone for all of the Hockomock teams, our editors Ryan Lanigan and Josh Perry take a look at where things currently stand for boys basketball.

Who is the midseason boys’ basketball Player of the Year?

Ryan Lanigan – As of the midpoint of the season, I’d say Taunton senior forward Jose Mercado is the current Player of the Year. He came into this week averaging 16.2 points per game and dropped a game-high 24 points in a comeback win over Milford. There were a lot of questions about the Tigers when some pieces from last year graduated or transferred. So far this year, Taunton has answered those questions so far this season with roads wins at Franklin and Mansfield. As one league coach told me, when Mercado is playing at his best that he’s “a man among boys.” He can score literally from anywhere, he’s a solid shooter from deep, can take the ball to the basket strong and has no fear with some midrange shots. Two other names to keep your eye on for the rest of the season are North Attleboro’s Brenty Doherty and Stoughton’s Brandon Teixeira.

Josh Perry – Player of the Year is as always a tough race to call at the midway point, especially with the league title races as close as they are. Franklin entered the season as one of the favorites in the Kelley-Rex and so far has lived up to that potential through the opening 10 games, which has included wins over Catholic Memorial, Foxboro and Mansfield. One of the main reasons for the Panthers success this year has been the play of senior guard Tim Prunier, who provides a steady hand in the backcourt as well as nearly 16 points per game. For a team that seems to have a different player stepping up every game, Prunier has been the consistent driving force this season and has the Panthers once again in the thick of the title race.

Who is the midseason boys’ basketball Underclassman of the Year?

Lanigan – I can’t remember the last time I wrote out the list of possible candidates for our UCOTY award and had so many possible candidates. There were nearly 10 names I came up with right off the top of my head but the one that stuck out the most was Franklin freshman Jay Dieterle. I remember the first game I saw the Panthers this year (against CM), I asked two former players if Dieterle saw much time. In about 30 seconds, he was in the game and drained a pair of three pointers. It’s one thing to be just a good shooter but Dieterle has already proven he has no fear taking the ball to the basket, taking a big shot in crunch time and he’s also a very strong rebounder. There’s still plenty of games to go but right now, Dieterle is already one of the better freshman I’ve seen in this league.
Perry – My pick for Underclassman of the Year has a familiar name to fans of the Hockomock. The Layman family has had quite an impact on the King Philip program and this season a new face has emerged in freshman forward Kyle Layman. The 6-foot-3 rookie has made an immediate impression with his ability to control the glass and as a defensive weapon in the middle of the zone. He has also shown a nice touch around the basket. He is a different player than his brother Jake, who is currently building his draft stock at Maryland, but he has the potential to be an important piece for the Warriors for the next four years.

Midseason First Team

G – Brent Doherty, North Attleboro
G – Alex DuBrow, Foxboro
G – Tim Prunier, Franklin
F – Brandon Teixeira, Stoughton
F – Jose Mercado, Taunton

F – Brandon Teixeira, Stoughton
F – Jose Mercado, Taunton
G – Alex DuBrow, Foxboro
G – Brent Doherty, North Attleboro
G – Tim Prunier, Franklin

What has been the biggest surprise this season?
Lanigan – Franklin graduated four of their five starters from last season – three of them that played at an All Star level – and graduated a good handful of depth players as well. I remember going to a preseason tournament and seeing the Panthers and barely recognizing anyone. Now they sit tied atop the Kelley-Rex division and look poised for a deep playoff run. Tim Prunier has been strong but it’s the supporting cast that has really been impressive. Obviously freshman Jay Dieterle has been a big boost but sophomore Paul Mahon has also been a huge asset while classmate Connor Peterson certainly looks like he has taken a big step. Kevin Gill has been a steady starter while Josh Macchi, Tom Houlihan and Connor Goldstein have all provided sparks off the bench. While some thought this could have been a rebuilding year for the Panthers, it’s looking like it could be a banner year.

Perry – The biggest surprise for me this season has been Taunton’s place at the top of the Kelley-Rex division at the midway point. The Tigers returned important pieces including Jose Mercado and Tommy MacLean, but the loss of E.J. Dambreville has not had nearly the impact that had been anticipated. Even without a couple of important transfers, Taunton just came through a week in which it beat both Franklin and Mansfield and it sits tied with the Panthers atop the standings. The surprise is not that Taunton is good, there was plenty of talent on the roster coming in, but to see Taunton right there with a shot at it first league title, with the second best offense in the Hock (64.2 ppg) and the third best defense (51.6 ppg), has been surprising.

At this point, which team will be going furthest in the tournament?

Lanigan This is always one of the hardest questions that we do for the midseason report. Franklin has a strong shot at making a deep run in the Central but inexperience will be the question as they approach the postseason. Taunton has been terrific this season and have a lot of guys that can hurt you on any given night but depth could become an issue down the stretch. Mansfield is still a strong team and when they get going, they will be a team no one wants to see in D1 South.

But my pick is Foxboro. The Warriors showed this past Friday night just how good they can be when they have Alex DuBrow, Jason Procaccini and Rob Lowey all clicking offensively. On top of that, role players like Jonathan Carnino, Andrew Block, Mark Clagg and Joe Morrison have all shown they can hit a big shot when needed. The big challenge will be on the defensive end if they can clamp down and keep their heads in the game. I said it in the preseason and I’m sticking with it now: I think we’ll see the Warriors in the sectional finals.

Perry –  Picking who will go furthest in the tournament is a fun exercise because it is impossible to know the match-ups. If I had to pick one team right now, it would be Franklin. The Central has plenty of tough teams, but to get to the sectional final, the Panthers could realistically only have to win two games, which makes the path to the final considerably shorter in not necessarily easier than that of the likes of Foxboro, Mansfield, and Taunton. All of these teams have the chance to make noise this year but in terms of who will get the furthest I’m leaning towards the Panthers.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/19/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 57 @ Sharon, 73 – Final – Attleboro cut a 10-point Sharon lead at halftime down to two in the third quarter but the Eagles were able to pull away. Sharon hit 12 three pointers between three players – senior Matt Lowerre hit five, sophomore Jimmy Fitzhenry hit four and senior Tyler Smith had three. Fitzhenry finished with a game-high 20 points and Lowerre had 17 points. Attleboro junior Jake Dunkley had 19 points and nine rebounds and sophomore Nate Douglas chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds. 

King Philip, 66 @ Canton, 53 – Final – King Philip stormed out to a 20-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Senior Ben Smith his six three pointers for a game-high 18 points, freshman Kyle Layman had 15 points and eight rebounds, junior Noah Goodwin had 13 points and junior Pharoah Davis had 12 points. Canton senior Griffin Jerrier scored a team-high 13 points for the Bulldogs. 

Mansfield, 51 @ Foxboro, 69 – Final – Foxboro used an 11-0 run in the middle of the second quarter to create separation while its defense prevent Mansfield from gathering any momentum offensively. Foxboro senior Alex DuBrow scored a game-high 22 points and had eight rebounds, senior Rob Lowey had 16 points and eight rebounds and senior Jason Procaccini added 14 points and five rebounds. Mansfield junior Sam Goldberg had 10 points to lead the Hornets. 

Franklin, 83 @ Stoughton, 63 – Final – The Panthers held a six point lead at halftime (41-35) as the two teams combined for over 75 points in the first half. Franklin had a 23 point third quarter and added 19 more points in the final quarter. Sophomore Connor Peterson had a game-high 16 points while senior Tim Prunier and freshman Jay Dieterle each added 15 points for Franklin. Stoughton senior Brandon Teixeira had a team-high 14 points for the Black Knights. 

Taunton, 62 @ Milford, 50 – Final – Milford held a four point lead at halftime and at the end of the third quarter but Taunton won the fourth quarter 29-13 to get the win. Taunton junior Tommy MacLean scored 20 points in the win for the Tigers. Milford sophomore Kayden Kelley had 14 points and 15 rebounds, Dimitry Torres added 11 points and Dwight Anderson had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Scarlet Hawks. 

North Attleboro, 74 @ Oliver Ames, 70 – Final – Brent Doherty scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Rocketeers. North Attleboro held a 20 point lead at halftime (44-24) but Oliver Ames stormed back with 25 points in the third quarter and 13 more in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime tied 62-62-. Doherty connected on seven three pointers and went 3/4 from the free throw line in overtime. Sophomore Mario Bresko finished with seven points, including a key three pointer in overtime. Junior Jonny Friberg scored a career-high 18 points and had 10 rebounds for North. Oliver Ames’ Carter Evin scored 21 of his career-high 26 points in the second half to help OA get back into it. Tim Kelley added 23 points and senior Shawn Cardoza had nine points for the Tigers. 
Girls Basketball
Canton, 38 @ King Philip, 56 – FinalThe Warriors turned the game around with a 22-4 second quarter. Shannon O’Connor was the top scorer for KP with 10. Sam Madden and Julia Lerouix each scored nine for the Warriors. Canton was led by Emma Murphy with nine points.
Foxboro, 45 @ Mansfield, 49 – Final – Jen Peel was Mansfield’s top scorer with 14 points. Juliana Newell added 10 points and pulled in 12 rebounds and Meg Hill grabbed 14 boards. Cassidy Harrison had a game-high 19 points to lead the Warriors.
Stoughton, 35 @ Franklin, 55 – FinalOlivia Adiletto was the top scorer for Franklin with 13 points. Lauren Rudolph added 11 for the Panthers, who had 10 players on the score sheet. Stoughton was led by Alecia Quinones with 11 points.
Milford, 40 @ Taunton, 44 – FinalThe Tigers rallied in the fourth quarter, outscoring Milford 14-7, to pick up their first win of the season. Alyssa Gibson led the way for Taunton with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Wade added nine and Kia Pate had 10 rebounds. Milford was led by Katie Irwin with 12 points and Nicole Dahlgren added 10.
Oliver Ames, 49 @ North Attleboro, 52 – FinalThe Rocketeers were led by forwards Caroline Collard and Emily Peters who combined for 24 points. Julia Feid added 13 for North. The Tigers were led by Kayla Raymond with 15 points.
Sharon, 35 @ Attleboro, 75 – Final – Emily Houle scored 33 points and added seven steals to pace the Bombardiers to a big win. Sarah Deyo chipped in with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Sam Pierce added another 10 points. Emma Eberhardt was Sharon’s top scorer with 14 and Veronica Wallace added 11.
Canton boys, 77 @ Sharon boys, 93 – Final
Canton girls, 92 @ Sharon girls, 76 – Final

Franklin Holds Off Wicked Rally From Mansfield

Franklin's Connor Peterson hangs on the rim after a two handed dunk in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Franklin’s Connor Peterson hangs on the rim after a two handed dunk in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
MANSFIELD, Mass. – Based on the final score, it certainly looked like another typical back and forth game between Mansfield and Franklin.
But this one was different.
Franklin led by as much as 22 points — on the road at Mansfield — and looked to be racing away with a rout over the rival Hornets.
But this one was different.
The Hornets rattled off a 20-8 run to close the third quarter and then outscored the Panthers 19-7 to start the fourth quarter to take their first lead (57-55) since the first quarter. Another chapter in the storied rivalry looked to be complete with another Mansfield home win.
But this one was different.
After Mansfield took the lead with 1:46 left, Franklin coach CJ Neely called a timeout. His play had two main options — senior Tim Prunier or freshman Jay Dieterle. The defense zeroed in on Prunier and Dieterle came off a ball screen to take a pass from the senior captain. He lined up and drilled his first three of the game from straight away and Mansfield regained the lead with 1:34 to go. After a stop on the other end sophomore Paul Mahon drove to the basket for two to make it 60-57.
The Hornets had two chances at tying shots, one with just under 10 seconds to go that hit the back of the rim and one with just a half second left with junior Matt Ehrlich catching, turning and shooting from just over half court that missed off the backboard.
It marked Franklin’s first win at Mansfield since February 2012 and Franklin coach CJ Neely’s first win inside James Albertini Gymnasium. Although just in his second year at Franklin, Neely coached Foxboro for seven years beforehand.
“We came in with a good game plan I thought and I told the guys if they executed we could really hold them and keep them from scoring and we were able to in the first half obviously,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “Their press hurt us a little bit. We knew Foxboro was in the same place we were in on Tuesday and we came back [against them] so we kept telling them to stick with it for the whole game. They stayed with it, they made enough plays.
“Credit [Mansfield], they’re a great team and you can’t hold them down for a whole game, we were happy to do it for a half.”
Franklin’s lead was 10 by the end of the first quarter at 15-5 as sophomore Connor Peterson scored over half of the Panthers points (8). The Panthers kept their lead for the second quarter and took a 29-16 advantage into the halftime break.
Peterson finished with a career-high 23 points and added seven rebounds. The sophomore had a pair of two handed dunks in the second half that kept some momentum with the Panthers.
“We definitely came in thinking that CP was ready to get it going offensively and we want to make sure he got the ball when he sealed well,” Neely said. “I have been all over him at practice about anticipating and being ready to score when we drive and drop off to him so he can be aggressive to the rim. It’s good to see he was listening.”
“I wanted to stay near the paint and whenever someone drove, they could lay it off to me and I’d seal my man,” Peterson said. “I’ve been been waiting to [dunk] it all season so I was really psyched about it. I know the team gets really pumped after it so it helps.”
The separation came over the first 3:30 of the third quarter. While the Panthers rattled off an 11-2 run, Mansfield continued it’s shooting woes from the first half to the second half. The Hornets were just 7/29 from the field over the first 16 minutes, including 0/10 from three point range. Head coach Mike Vaughan admitted he didn’t know the last time Mansfield went without a three point field goal, saying it had been “a long time.” To start the second half, Mansfield went 0/3 and had three turnovers.
Four straight points Peterson started Franklin’s run with Kevin Gill, Dieterle and Mahon each chipped in with a bucket.
Out of a timeout, things changed for Mansfield as Vaughan decided to up the pressure defensively with a press. It didn’t work every time but it certainly gave Mansfield a boost, with junior Matt Ehrlich being the biggest beneficiary.
Ehrlich scored 9 of the Hornet’s next 11 points and Nick Baskin, Sam Goldberg, Christian Weber and Tyler Boulter each added to Mansfield’s 20-8 run to get within 10.
“It was identical,” Vaughan said when asked if the Hornets used a similar approach in their comeback against Taunton a week prior. “I don’t even know if we’re a press team, I wrestle with it. The problem is doing it for 32 minutes, that’s hard. It might be something we have to look at doing more of just to kind of get the kids running. They seem to react better when they are moving. At the end of the day this comes down to our offense in the first half. If we do what we’re supposed to do on both ends and we can weather the storm of Franklin playing very well, I think the outcome is different. But the game is two halves. Franklin got the better of us, they did a great job. I don’t take anything away from what they did.”
The momentum carried into the fourth quarter with Phil Vigeant scoring seven straight points to cut the deficit to just three. Peterson added two for Franklin but Ehrlich answered with a three to make it a two point game. Prunier hit a three to extend back to five but Max Boen replied with a deep ball of his own. After Peterson and Goldberg traded buckets, Boen hit back to back layups and the Hornets took a 57-55 lead with less than two minutes to play.
“We knew coming in their defense was good. We played six on five the last couple of days at practice to try and prepare for it,” Vaughan said. “Timmy’s a great player on both sides of the floor. He kind of created the little bit of separation for them, gave them a consistent offensive force. He’s a special player, he’s one of the better players in the league. I thought in the second half we did a better job. When we played with energy, and we did the same thing against Taunton, and we started to do what we wanted, we’re a good basketball team.
“I take the positive at the end of the game. We’re not even midway through the season, this is a very balanced league and to see their celebration like that, it tells you where our program is at. [Franklin] had a good game plan, they played hard but we played a little flat and tentative early. I thought we would find our identity [as a team] earlier [in the season] but it’s taken a little longer than I thought. In the second half I think we saw a glimpse of what our identity is going to look like. When you can get that much celebration out of a game, it’s good for us.”
Diertle, who hit the go-ahead shot with 1:34 to go, had just two points prior to the shot. He was 0-2 from downtown and had yet to make a field goal. Still, Neely knew what options he wanted in that play.
“No hesitation with the freshman, Jay has been someone that I trust like my family, I love the kid,” Neely said. “In a big moment — we saw him have some big shots against CM too — I had no doubt it was going to go in. We had him come off the screen and we had Prunier if the defense came to Jay. He came off it and buried the shot. Total confidence in the kid, he gets it done. We have other guys we can draw it up for too but he had that look in his eye that he wanted it.”
Prunier finished with 15 points and five assists and was credited by both coaches for his play on both ends of the floor. Dieterle added six assists to his five points and Mahon had eight points and six rebounds.
Ehrlich led the Hornets with 16 points and five rebounds while Boen had 11 points and Goldberg had nine points and nine rebounds.
Franklin (8-1, 6-1) will take a visit to Stoughton on Tuesday for a 6:30 tipoff. Mansfield (6-2, 5-2) will travel to Davenport-leading Foxboro on the same day for a game at the same time.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/15/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 43 @ Taunton, 65 – Final – Taunton junior Quan Roberson netted a game-high 20 points while senior Dominique Smith added a career-high 18 points for the Tigers. Tommy MacLean added 11 points and Jose Mercado had 10 points. Attleboro’s Jake Dunkley had nine points and three rebounds and Lucas Boucicaut also had nine points. Kyle Murphy pulled in 10 rebounds for the Bombardiers. 

Canton, 42 @ Sharon, 47 – Final – Sophomore Malik Lorquet made a big splash in his first full varsity game with nine points and 10 rebounds. Junior Adam Banks also scored nine points for the Eagles. Woanyen Mahn and Rishi Jambunathan each scored nine points for Canton. 

Foxboro, 54 @ Oliver Ames, 50 – Final – Foxboro built a seven point lead by halftime and held on in the second half. Senior Jason Procaccini led with 18 points with classmate Alex DuBrow chipping in with 17 points. Oliver Ames junior Carter Even had 17 points and seniors Shawn Cardoza and Tim Kelley each had 12 points. 

Franklin, 60 @ Mansfield, 57 – Final – Freshman Jay Dieterle hit a three with 1:34 left to put Franklin ahead for good. The Panthers, which led by as much as 22, had to stave off a rally from Mansfield over the third and fourth quarters. Franklin sophomore Connor Peterson scored a career-high 23 points and had seven rebounds, Tim Prunier added 15 points and five assists, sophomore Paul Mahon added eight points and six rebounds and Dieterle had six assists to go with five points. Matt Ehrlich had 16 points and five rebounds for Mansfield and Max Boen added 11 points. 

North Attleboro, 47 @ King Philip, 53 – Final – Juniors Will Weir and Noah Goodwin each scored 13 points for King Philip with senior Ben Smith adding 10 points and junior Pharaoh Davis netted 10 points. North Attleboro junior Brent Doherty scored a career-high 24 points for the Rocketeers.

Milford, 60 @ Stoughton, 77 – Final – Stoughton senior Brandon Teixeira logged his league-leading sixth double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Black Knights enjoyed a strong shooting night from the floor. Junior Ryan Sullivan added a career-best 16 points for Stoughton. Milford junior Nate Davila scored a team-high 18 points and Dwight Anderson added 13 points. 
Girls Basketball
Sharon, 41 @ Canton, 43 – Final Meaghan Hunter led the way for the Bulldogs with 17 points and Emma Murphy added 13, including nine in the fourth quarter. Alyssa Piazza was the top scorer for Sharon with 14 points and Ashley Mukasa added 10.
Oliver Ames, 53 @ Foxboro, 38 – Final – The Tigers had the lead throughout in a key Davenport Division matchup. The Warriors got within one in the third quarter but OA answered with a three to keep the lead. Sophomore Kayla Raymond notched her first double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Hannah Carroll added 10 points and Francesca Calabraro had eight points and nine rebounds. 

Mansfield, 51 @ Franklin, 48 – FinalMeg Hill was the top scorer for the Hornets with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jen Peel added 10 points (eight in the first half) and eight assists for the Hornets and Jackie Carchedi scored nine points (eight in the fourth quarter). Lauren Rudolph led the Panthers with 11 points (nine in the third quarter) and Aubrie Kutil had eight points and nine rebounds.
King Philip, 34 @ North Attleboro, 49 – FinalNorth Attleboro got 10 points apiece from Julia Feid and Emily Haskell. KP was led by Sam Madden and Riley Dalzell, who each scored seven points.
Stoughton, 59 @ Milford, 41 – Final – Julia Foye came off the bench to drain a trio of three pointers and finished with 11 points to spark the Black Knights. Alecia Quinones led Stoughton with a team-high 20 points and added seven steals. 
Taunton, 26 @ Attleboro, 63 – FinalSarah Deyo returned for the Bombardiers with 20 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Sam Pierce chipped in with her fourth straight double-double, 18 points and 11 rebounds. Emma Vlashi also had 11 boards for Attleboro.
Canton boy, 109 @ Oliver Ames boys, 63 – Final
Canton girls, 83.5 @ Oliver Ames girls 86.5 – Final
Franklin boys, 70 @ Mansfield boys, 98 – Final
Franklin girls, 92 @ Mansfield girls, 70 – Final