Strong Start Keeps King Philip Ahead In Win Over North

King Philip boys basketball Brandon Nicastro
King Philip sophomore Brandon Nicastro goes up for a layup against North Attleboro senior Givany Carney in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 WRENTHAM, Mass. — King Philip came out and landed a haymaker against North Attleboro, but the Rocketeers refused to go do without a fight.

The Warriors jumped out to a 17-point lead less than six minutes into the game but had to hold off a handful of comeback attempts from the visiting Rocketeers to eventually secure a 60-50 win on Friday night.

Senior Tommy Martorano hit a trio of three-pointers and scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the opening frame, Tommy Kilroy (10 points, nine rebounds, three assists) tossed in another three for the Warriors, and the hosts turned a quick 11-0 lead into a 19-2 advantage after a transition bucket from Trevor Clyde.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

While it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of the game, North Attleboro closed the first with a quick 7-0 burst and that would be a sign of things to come as the Rocketeers continually scratched and clawed their way back into the game.

“Any good team in this league, they are going to come back,” said King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano. “It’s a game of runs and it’s about how you respond. We knew they would and they did a good job making us uncomfortable with their pressure, we struggled against it for long stretches and I thought that carried over into our defense and our intensity.

“I’m happy the boys were able to roll with the punches and find a way to get through it, and that’s what they were able to do tonight.”

The lead ballooned back to 17 in the third quarter (36-19) after Grant Kinney (12 points, six rebounds, three assists) cashed in on a North turnover with a layup and Tommy McLeish (three points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks) scored in the post. But once again, there was no quit in North Attleboro as they responded with a 15-3 run over the final five minutes of the quarter. Sophomore Chase Frisoli (career-high 16 points, four rebounds) hit a pair of threes and Jonnie Obuchowski (10 rebounds, four assists) added one after an offensive rebound from Ryan Bannon. Frisoli sank another triple after Obuchowski crashed the offensive glass and then beat the shot clock with a mid-range jumper. A free throw from Givany Carney (team-high 17 points) trimmed the once-double-digit advantage down to just five, 39-34, with under a minute to play in the third.

“That’s where the frustration stems from because it’s not our first rodeo at this point,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins about having to overcome the early deficit. “We’ve had too many instances where we aren’t ready to play or not ready to execute part of the gameplan. We put ourselves in holes, and to come back was good. I’m proud of them for that, it speaks to their character and their mental toughness, but sooner than later we have to learn it because we’re making it too difficult for ourselves.”

As the game continued to play out, the Warriors got the shot they needed to answer as Kinney buried a corner three with just seconds left for a 42-34 lead going into the fourth.

KP kept the momentum to start the fourth, landing yet another heavy punch that could have put North away. Martorano (four rebounds) sank another three and then found Clyde out in transition for two more to give the Warriors a comfortable 47-34 lead.

Jack Munley cut to the rim for two for an immediate response from the Big Red, Frisoli attacked the rim for two more, and Munley found Carney for a three on the next trip to get within two possessions at 47-41.

“I thought we were stagnant offensively, credit to KP because their defense was good,” Mulkerrins said. “They got in the paint a lot better than we might have expected and took away some of our drives. I thought the press just freed us up a little bit. We were pressing on offense because we were playing so poorly on defense. I think once they saw the ball go in, they relax a little bit and were able to play a little bit.

“And we had some guys come off the bench play well. I thought our senior captain Jack Munley came in and had the best game he’s had, not to say he hasn’t played well before but he wasn’t getting a lot of rotational minutes and tonight he was an instant spark for us.”

North nearly got closer but KP got a couple of stops and Kilroy snatched an offensive rebound and found Martorano for a much-needed three for KP. A baseline jumper from Kinney was true and once again the Warriors had a double-digit lead with just 2:33 to go.

Derek Maceda answered for North with a strong take and a KP turnover resulted in a layup for Frisoli. North Attleboro, which used a press for the majority of the game, forced another turnover and Obuchowski dished one to Carney in the corner for three, and suddenly the Rocketeers were within four — the closest they had been since the first minute of the game — with just 1:33 to play.

But before North could get established defensively, KP senior Will Laplante (11 points, seven rebounds, three assists) sprinted up the court and found a gap in the middle, dropping in a floater for two. Martorano helped force a turnover and Laplante punished the visitors with a triple with a minute to go, pushing the lead to 57-48, which proved to be the final punch the Warriors needed.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“That was a big five points that Will had in the last couple of minutes. We had some guys hit some big shots when we needed it, and that’s what makes teams great when they can respond in those situations and they did a good job of that tonight.

“We’re still learning to play with the lead. It’s a work in progress and we’re still learning but it’s only the halfway point so we’re getting there.”

North’s 7-0 surge to end the first turned into a 14-3 run overall as the Rocketeers carried some momentum into the second to make it a six-point game. But as they would do the rest of the way, the Warriors responded when they had to as Laplante, Kilroy, and Martorano scored to give KP a double-digit lead, 31-19, going into the half.

King Philip boys basketball (5-3 Hockomock, 7-4 overall) hits the road for a visit to Canton on Tuesday while North Attleboro (0-8, 0-9) will visit Foxboro.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/10/23

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 60 @ Oliver Ames, 55 – FinalAttleboro closed the third quarter with a big run to take the lead and held off a late push from Oliver Ames to get the win. Hayden Crowley, Connor Houle, and Jaiden Outland hit consecutive three-pointers and Justin Hanrahan added a bucket as the Bombardiers finished the third with an 11-0 surge, extending a two-point lead at halftime (24-22) into a 43-35 edge going into the fourth. The Tigers rallied to make it a four-point game at 55-51 but the Bombardiers were able to close it out. Crowley led a balanced scoring attack for the Bombardiers with a team-high 13 points while Neo Franco added 12 points in the win. Michael Beverly chipped in with nine points while both Outland and Hanrahan finished with eight points. Sophomore Cole Craffey paced Oliver Ames with 22 points while freshman Soren Lolonga added 21 points for the Tigers.

Milford, 46 @ Canton, 52 – FinalCanton’s Caden Mirliani and Jamaal McConnell had key back-to-back baskets midway through the fourth quarter to help the Bulldogs secure a win over Milford and a back-and-forth contest. The Hawks had a slim lead at halftime (27-24) and after three quarters (39-37) but the Bulldogs won the fourth quarter to win the game. Zaza Francoeur (team-high 18 points) drilled a three just under two minutes into the final frame to give Canton its first lead of the quarter but Milford freshman CJ Farrell (team-high 12 points) responded with a traditional three-point play to bring the Hawks level. Midway through the fourth, Mirliani sank a three, and after a stop defensively, found McConnell (nine points) for a bucket plus the foul, and after a made free throw, Canton had a six-point edge and the lead for good. Andrew Rivera chipped in with 11 points for Milford.

King Philip, 58 @ Foxboro, 50 – FinalKing Philip erupted for nine three-pointers in the second half alone to overcome a 16-point deficit at halftime and beat Foxboro on the road. The hosts controlled the play in the opening two quarters, holding the visitors to eight points in each the first and second quarters. Senior Alex Penders shined in that same stretch, scoring 16 of his team-high 24 points in the opening 16 minutes to give Foxboro a 32-16 edge at the break. Grant Kinney (12 points) and Tommy McLeish (six points) each hit a pair of threes in the third and Tommy Kilroy (seven points) added another as KP outscored the hosts 17-7 in the third to shrink the deficit down to 39-33 going into the fourth. KP kept hitting from downtown in the fourth as Will Laplante hit one (and had nine of his 11 points in the final quarter) and Trevor Clyde hit two more and had all eight of his points in the fourth, and the Warriors finished with 13 three-pointers, and just five made two-point field goals.

Franklin, 78 @ Sharon, 51 – FinalFranklin had a dominant showing in the second half, pouring in 22 points in the third and 23 more points in the fourth to run away with a big win over Sharon. The Panthers established a 33-25 lead at halftime but the offense came to life with eight players finding the scoring column in the second half. Junior Sean O’Leary stayed hot on the offensive end with a game-high 25 points while senior Ben Harvey had a stellar game with 15 points – including 10 in the second half – along with 11 rebounds and 12 assists for a triple double. Justin Allen hit a trio of three-pointers on the game and scored 10 of his 13 points after the break and Geino Scaringello added a pair of threes and 10 points total. Jacob McLoughlin led a balanced scoring attack for the Eagles with 10 points while Matt Baur and Nate Katznelson each had nine points.

Taunton, 42 @ Mansfield, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

North Attleboro, 53 @ Stoughton, 55 – Final (OT)Stoughton scored its only seven points of overtime in the final minute of play to pull out a win over North Attleboro. Stoughton’s Jayden Costa-Haywood (19 points) sank a free throw with 5.2 seconds left to give the Black Knights a 48-45 lead but North Attleboro’s Givany Carney (10 points) sank a three at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. The Rocketeers built a 53-48 lead with a bucket from sophomore Ryan Bannon (14 points) and a three from sophomore Jonnie Obuchowski. With under a minute to go, Stoughton had a three miss but Jarred Daughtry (10 points) wrestled the ball free under the basket and eventually finished a layup himself, plus the foul. A questionable technical foul led to a total of three free throws and Daughtry sank them all. The Black Knights got the ball back and Costa-Haywood was fouled, and he sank both of his free throws to take the lead. Stoughton was able to get a final stop to hold on for the win. North led 29-28 at half but a 15-point third quarter saw the Knights surge ahead going into the fourth. Liam Pearl added 15 points for Stoughton.








Girls Basketball
Oliver Ames, 50 @ Attleboro, 57 – FinalAttleboro scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, breaking open a tie game and pulling out a win that keeps the Bombardiers unbeaten in the league and alone atop the Kelley-Rex division. Kayla Goldrick finished with a game-high 19 points to lead the hosts, while freshman Avery Gamble led the Tigers with 18 points on 12-of-15 shooting from the free throw line. The Bombardiers got off to a strong start, jumping out to a 21-11 lead after the first. Goldrick scored eight points, Lily Routhier buried a pair of threes (her only points of the night), and Vanessa Ellis chipped in with five to put the home team in front. Gamble would score 13 points between the second and third quarters, matching Attleboro’s total by herself, to help OA climb back into the game, tying things at 34 apiece with eight minutes to go. The Bombardiers found another gear in the fourth, as Ellis scored nine of her 18 points in the frame, Goldrick added five more, and Avery James scored six of her nine points to help pull out the win. Kaydance Derba scored 14 points for OA and added two blocks and two steals, while Sarah Hilliard scored 11 points, 10 of them in the second half. Katherine Farley was big on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds in the first half for the Tigers.

Canton, 44 @ Milford, 50 – FinalMilford outscored Canton 15-9 in the fourth quarter to pull out its first league win of the season and second win its last three games. Brooke Ferreira led the way for the Hawks with 16 points, 11 of them in the first half as Milford led 24-22 at the break. Samya DaSilva was the game’s top scorer with 22. She scored 12 of Canton’s 15 points in the first quarter to keep things close. DaSilva added seven points and Erin Beatty scored six of her eight total in the third, as the Bulldogs managed to tie the game at 34-34 going into the fourth. Ferreira scored four points and freshman Katelyn Kearnan each scored four points in the final quarter to help seal the win. Emily Croteau added eight points for Milford and Han Hong chipped in with six points for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 86 @ King Philip, 41 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Davenport-leading Foxboro surpassed the 80-point mark for the second straight game, putting together a 37-5 run between the opening two quarters to open up a big lead that it would never relinquish. Fresh off a new career-high on Friday night, Kailey Sullivan continued her hot shooting, burying four triples and scoring a game-high 27 points. Sullivan opened the game with 12 in the first quarter, as Foxboro went from 8-7 down to a 26-13 lead. The Warriors then opened the second by scoring the next 18 points before a Maddie Paschke three in the final minute of the quarter. Sullivan added another 10 in the third and Addie Ruter (20 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks) chipped in with eight points to keep pushing the lead. Camryn Collins finished with 19 points, including nine in the fourth, as well as eight rebounds, six assists, and six steals. Erin Foley also had a strong all-around game with seven points, eight rebounds, and five steals. KP was led by Emily Sawyer with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Jackie Bonner added nine points and three assists. Jessi Persky scored all six of her points in the fourth for KP.

Sharon, 31 @ Franklin, 73 – FinalThirteen players got on the score sheet for the Panthers, who won for the second straight game. Franklin took a 29-15 lead into the locker room, but scored 44 points in the second half to pull away for a convincing victory. Katie Peterson scored 15 points for the hosts, including 11 of their 19 in the third quarter. Sasha Tracey had nine, all in the second half, and Bridget Leo, Caelyn Leonard, and Lizzie Newman each finished with eight points for Franklin. Jasmine Davis scored a game-high 21 points for the Eagles, continuing her impressive junior season. Carmen Leonardi chipped in with six, all in the third quatter.

Mansfield, 72 @ Taunton, 43 – FinalMansfield’s offense clicked from the start on Tuesday and the Hornets, for the second time this season, matched a program-high with 72 points. The Hornets scored 41 points in the first half, including 24 in the second quarter, to open up a significant lead before the break and added another 31 after halftime to maintain that advantage. Abby Wager finished with a game-high 25 points and Kara Santos added 18 for the Hornets. The duo combined for 27 points in the first half, while Olivia Salisbury added seven before the break. Sophomore Franchesca Spagna came off the bench to score a career-high nine points, all in the fourth. Taunton got 11 points from freshman Taryn Campbell and 10 points from Skylar McCrohan. Cali Melo added seven of her nine points in the second half for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 31 @ North Attleboro, 42 – FinalNorth Attleboro jumped out to a 29-11 lead at halftime, using its full-court press to cause problems for the Black Knights, and pick up a win that moves the Rocketeers back above .500 in league play. Sam Faria helped North get off to a great start, scoring all of her game-high 16 points in the opening half, outscoring Stoughton on her own. Katie Corsetti added 14 points for the hosts. The Black Knights rallied in the second half, closing the gap with a little run, but North found the plays it needed to close out the win. Raina Tat was Stoughton’s top scorer with eight points. Kirsten McKay had seven points and six rebounds, Katrina Varnum finished with six points and 12 boards, and Leah McCarty added six points and six rebounds in the loss.

Girls Hockey
Franklin, 0 vs. Algonquin, 3 – Final

Boys Swimming
Sharon, 121 @ Seekonk, 42 – Final

Girls Swimming
Sharon, 60 @ Seekonk, 104 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/06/23

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
King Philip, 74 @ Attleboro, 67 – FinalKing Philip built a big lead, survived a rally from Attleboro, and held on for a key win on the road. The Warriors used a 20-point first quarter to establish a double-digit lead carried that advantage into the fourth quarter with a 58-46 lead after three quarters. A quick 6-0 surge — back-to-back threes from Tommy Martorano (19 points) and Tommy Kilroy — to start the fourth pushed the lead to its peak at 64-46 less than a minute into the final frame. But from there, it was a big run from the hosts as the Bombardiers rattled off a 17-2 run over the next five minutes as Jaiden Outland hit a 10-foot jumper to make it a one-possession game. Attleboro forced a turnover but KP got it right back on a steal and score from Tommy McLeish (career-high 15 points) with two minutes to go. A pair of free throws from Outland got the hosts within three again but missed on two chances to cut into the deficit. Trevor Clyde (11 points) converted a layup on the other end, KP got a stop, and Grant Kinney laid in a transition bucket to pull away in the final minute. Will Laplante added 17 points for KP while Outland led Attleboro with a game-high 24 points. Neo Franco added 15 points and freshman Connor Houle chipped in with a career-high 11 points for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 59 @ Stoughton, 54 – FinalCanton got off to a strong start in the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way, securing a key Davenport division win on the road at Stoughton. Matt Chafin (15 points), Jamaal McConnell (11 points) and Caden Mirliani (10 points) each hit a three in the opening frame to help the Bulldogs build a 17-8 lead after eight minutes. The Black Knights battled to get back into it, trailing by three (34-31) at halftime but Canton kept the advantage through three (46-40) and throughout the fourth quarter. Zaza Francoeur added 13 points for the Bulldogs, scoring eight in the second half. Stoughton had four players reach double figures with Jayden Costa-Haywood leading the way with 13 points. Matt Greenspoon added 12 points and both Tagh Swierzewski and Jarred Daughtry had 11 points.

Sharon, 74 @ Foxboro, 71 – Final (OT)Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Taunton, 53 @ Franklin, 61 – FinalFranklin erased a first quarter deficit with a big second quarter, nearly pulled away in the third quarter, and then held off a late comeback bid from Taunton to stay undefeated on the year. Taunton senior Chris Perault (16 points) hit a pair of first quarter threes to give the Tigers a 14-8 lead after one but Franklin’s offense cashed in for 18 points in the second as junior Sean O’Leary started to get going. O’Leary had 10 of his career-high 34 points in the second to jump start the offense and Franklin also got points from Andrew O’Neill (10 points), Bradley Herndon, Justin Allen, and Hansy Jacques to stake a 26-21 halftime lead. An 8-1 start to the second half presented the Panthers with their first double-digit edge but the Tigers clawed back into it got it down to 47-38 going into the fourth. Taunton rallied with a 9-2 run inside the final four minutes and cut the deficit down to five in the final moments but Franklin pulled away for the win. O’Leary finished 10-for-14 from the line and hit 11 field goals — nine from 2-point range. Taunton junior Troy Santos scored 15 of his team-high 22 points after the break to keep the Tigers close.

Oliver Ames, 41 @ Mansfield, 58 – FinalMansfield built a big lead with an impressive second quarter and then blew the game wide open with a dominant third on its way to a victory over Oliver Ames. The Hornets led by just three (10-7) after eight minutes but exploded for 19 points in the second as Trevor Foley scored eight of his 20 points (tied a career-high) in the second and Chris Hill (10 points), Eddie McCoy, JT Veiking, and Davon Sanders each chipped in with points to give Mansfield a 29-14 halftime lead. Mansfield’s offense continued on but the defense really impressed in the third, holding the Tigers to just four points — one field goal and two free throws. Foley added 10 more in the period as the lead ballooned to 47-18 going into the fourth. Sophomore Cole Craffey led OA with 13 points.

North Attleboro, 44 @ Milford, 58 – FinalMilford got off to a great start with 18 points in the first quarter and opened the second half with 19 points in the third quarter and never looked back in a win at home over North Attleboro. Luca Testa paced the Hawks early on, dropping 10 of his 13 points in the first quarter to help Milford stake an early 18-6 lead. North’s Givany Carney had nine of his team-high 16 points in the second to help the Rocketeers keep pace going into halftime (30-18) but Milford had five players contribute to the scoring in a big third quarter to pull away for good. Sophomore Andrew Rivera had 7 of his team-high 15 points in the third, Gus Coutinho added five more, and Testa, CJ Farrell, and Nick Araujo all added to the scoring.








Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 58 @ King Philip, 44 – FinalAttleboro broke the game open with a 15-6 third quarter, pulling out a big road win that leaves the Bombardiers alone in first place in the Kelley-Rex through a quarter of the league campaign. Lily Routhier scored seven of her team-high 15 points in the first, as Attleboro jumped in front 19-13. Emily Sawyer helped KP cut into the deficit by scoring 10 of her team’s 12 points in the second, making it a five-point game heading into the locker rooms. Sawyer would finish with a game-high 18. Kayla Goldrick scored 14 for Attleboro, including 11 in the second half, while Avery James added 13 and Vanessa Ellis had 10 points. The Bombardiers knocked down 10 three-pointers as a team, with James and Routhier each hitting three. Maddie Paschke joined Sawyer in double digits for the Warriors, scoring 12 points, and Jackie Bonner and Taylor Regan each scored seven.

Stoughton, 25 @ Canton, 50 – FinalCanton’s defense locked down the Stoughton offense, allowing no more than eight points in any quarter and only three points over the final eight minutes, to even its record at 2-2. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 29-14 lead at halftime, added a point to their lead in the third, and then outscored the Black Knights 12-3 in the fourth to put the game away. Samya DaSilva scored a team-high 11 points for Canton, including eight in the fourth. Erin Beatty scored nine points, all in the first half, and knocked down a pair of threes. Mercia Kolokithas had six, also with a pair from beyond the arc, and Ava McCoole and Emily McCabe each scored five points in the win. Freshman Kirsten McKay led all scorers with 12 points, 10 of them coming before the break. Leah McCarty added six points and Alyssa Edwards finished with five, including an and-one that was all of the Black Knights’ points in the fourth.

Foxboro, 89 @ Sharon, 40 – FinalKailey Sullivan buried eight three-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Warriors to a big road win that keeps them alone atop the Davenport division. Camryn Collins added 18 points and Addie Ruter had 16 for Foxboro, which had all 10 players get on the scoresheet.

Franklin, 59 @ Taunton, 39 – FinalFranklin got off to a strong start, jumping out to an 18-8 lead after one quarter, extended the lead to 15 at halftime and handed Taunton its first league loss of the season. Chloe Fales scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Panthers. She scored 13 of her points in the first half and went 8-for-10 from the line. Katie Peterson added 13 points, eight in the first half, and Lizzie Newman and Caelyn Leonard each scored seven for the Panthers. Taunton was led by Cali Melo, who scored all 11 of her points in the first half. Taryn Campbell chipped in with six points for the Tigers, who also got five points apiece from Jillian Doherty and Aaliyah Yera.

Milford, 29 @ North Attleboro, 43 – Final North Attleboro put in a strong defensive performance to pick up its second win of the season. The Rocketeers held Milford to just 10 points in the opening half to build a double-digit lead. Milford rallied several times in the second half, but each time North was able to find a way to stymie the comeback. Sam Faria knocked down five from beyond the arc and finished with a career-high 20 points, powering the North offense to its third-highest scoring day of the season. Maryellen Charette gave North a post presence, finishing with 10 points.

Boys Swimming
King Philip @ Attleboro, 7:00

Canton @ Foxboro, 7:30

North Attleboro, 60 @ Milford, 76 – FinalCorey Rattray, Stefano Bonito, and Josh Anderson each won three events to lead the Hawks to the league win. Rattray took first place in the 100-free, as well as being part of the winning 200 medley an 200 free relay teams. Bonito was also part of both relay wins and also claimed the top spot in the 50 free. Anderson was on the 200 free relay and grabbed individual wins in both the 200 and the 500 free. Oskar Khoury also had a pair of wins for Milford, as part of the 200 medley relay and in the 200 IM.

Oliver Ames @ Sharon, 6:00

Girls Swimming
King Philip @ Attleboro, 7:00

Canton @ Foxboro, 7:30

North Attleboro, 82 @ Milford, 79 – FinalNorth Attleboro got a big day from Vivian Racine to pull out a close win over Milford. Racine took first in four events on Friday afternoon, finishing tops individually in the 100 breast and 200 IM. She was also part of the winning 400 free relay, along with Hannah Liang, Gianna Leco, and Sophia Roukhadze, and the 200 medley relay, with Cassie Hobson, Megan Atwood, and Liang. Leco also took first in the 100 fly. Milford kept it close from start-to-finish, thanks in large part to the three first-place finishes for Sarah Wengel. She was the top swimmer in the 50 free and the 100 free, and was part of the winning 200 free relay, joined by Caitlyn Bangert, Vedi Raval, and Madelyn Stochaj.

Oliver Ames @ Sharon, 6:00

Black Knights Knock Off King Philip For First Win

Stoughton boys basketball Matt Greenspoon
Stoughton sophomore Matt Greenspoon goes up for a layup against KP junior Tommy McLeish in the third quarter. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 STOUGHTON, Mass. — Stoughton’s offense wasn’t quite where head coach Evan Taylor wanted it to be through its first two games, but it all came together on Friday night.

The Black Knights had four players reach double figures in the scoring column, two more hauled in double-digit rebounds, and dictated play by controlling the tempo.

The result was a runaway 66-49 win over King Philip in a Hockomock League crossover clash.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We were working harder for better shots tonight,” said Stoughton head coach Evan Taylor. “We were settling a lot in the first two games, averaging something like 30 three-point attempts a game, and I don’t think we did that tonight. I think we attacked the basket a lot more and we started to take the shots we wanted, not just the shots they were giving us.

“The guys were playing tougher on defense, getting up on their guys. We knew they could shoot so that was our game plan going into it. And we started to really move the ball around better on offense, attacking the rim, getting some open shots, and getting to the free throw line.”

Stoughton’s efforts to get to the rim were apparent right from the start. The Black Knights attempted more than twice as many two-point field goals as they three-pointers. That trend continued again in the second quarter, and that success translated into some open looks in the second half, where the Black Knights went 5-for-9 from downtown.

The Knights’ balanced scoring was also apparent early on as Liam Pearl, Matt Greenspoon, and Jarred Daughtry each had five pints while fellow starters Jayden Costa-Haywood and Tagh Swierzewski (13 rebounds) each had a bucket.

Costa-Haywood finished with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds, Daughtry had a career-high 14 points and six rebounds, Greenspoon had a strong all-around game with 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, and Pearl had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

On the flip side, King Philip ended up with more three-point attempts total than twos, going 7-for-35 from the three-point line. The Warriors hit seven threes in the third quarter alone on Tuesday against OA, and got off to a good start with a trio of them in the opening quarter on Friday, but managed just two more in the second and two total in the second half.

“We were settling for too much instead of trying to get some drive and kick action,” said King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano. “Even if we could get some shots out of paint passes, we could have been more in the flow of the offense. They did a good job of getting us outside of the paint and making it hard for us. I don’t think we’ll as bad as we did tonight in other games but we still need to get it in the paint a lot more.

“They controlled the tempo right off the bat and we decided that we weren’t going to match it. I’ll take the blame for it, our practices the last couple of days could have been harder to prepare for this team. Stoughton historically is physical, they play tough, they play aggressive and I should have done a better job preparing them for this game.”

A strong start offensively gave Stoughton a 19-12 lead after a quarter. KP closed the gap to three after back-to-back buckets from Collin Peck and Trevor Clyde, but that would be the closest they’d get the rest of the way.

Sophomore Tommy Kilroy (16 points, seven rebounds, three assists) drained a three with just under two minutes to go but Stoughton surged ahead with a 9-0 burst to end the half. Daughtry drove the lane for two and then leaked out on the break for two more. Pearl found freshman Anthony Alessi in the corner for three with 30 seconds to go, and after another stop, Greenspoon set up Alessi for a long two just before the buzzer for a 37-24 lead at halftime.

Stoughton got hot from three-point range in the second half. After shooting 54% from two-point territory in the first half, the Knights connected at a 56% clip from three-point range in the second half.

Costa-Haywood, Daughtry, and Greenspoon each hit a three to balloon Stoughton’s lead to 19 points midway through the third.

Pearl opened the fourth by shaking his defender to hit an open three, Greenspoon hit another triple after an offensive rebound from Swierzewski, and Pearl cashed in on a KP turnover and Stoughton’s lead peaked at 24 points, 60-36.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton won the rebounding battle, 54-34.

“Our staff preached it all week, we wanted them to be determined to get rebounds. In the first two games, we were kind of backpedaling instead so we wanted them to attack the ball and get more possessions for us.”

Stoughton boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) has four more home games in a row, including a pair of non-league games over break. The Black Knights will host Medway on Wednesday while King Philip (1-2, 1-2) will take on Leominster at Framingham on the same day.

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview Foxboro boys basketball Alex Penders
Foxboro’s Alex Penders goes up for a layup against North Attleboro last season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Attleboro

2021-2022 Record: 16-7
Coach: Mark Houle

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Attleboro has consistently been in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division in recent years, and if the Bombardiers are going to be there again this year, they will have to do so with a lot of new players to the varsity level.

Not only did the Bombardiers graduate a sizable senior class, but the majority of them were also key pieces in longtime head coach Mark Houle’s lineup and rotation. Add in the transfer of promising 6’5-forward Trevor White, and Attleboro has very few pieces left from last year. But that’s not to say Attleboro is without talent. Junior Neo Franco is coming off a very successful first year with the team, earning HockomockSports All-Underclassmen Team honors. Jaiden Outland saw more and more minutes as the season went on and he showed what he’s capable of with a career-high 18 points in Attleboro’s win over Durfee in late February last year; he could be poised for a big year. Senior Michael Beverly is the third returner for the Bombardiers after picking up some minutes last year while newcomer senior Justin Hanrahan could be a key piece right away.

Another reason for optimism is that most of the new faces in the lineup this year played for the Bombardiers’ JV squad last season, which posted an impressive 19-2 record. Seniors Spencer Sherck, Zyeem Charles, Nathan Hodson, and Michael Alfonso will provide key leadership for Houle this year. Junior Max Crawford will join sophomores Dante Monestime, Hayden Crowley, and Brady Erwin as potential contributors for the Bombardiers.

“We need to continue our commitment to be a highly competitive defensive team, our communication, and understanding of defensive concepts is a priority and is a reason we were one of the top defensive teams in the league last year,” Houle said.

Canton

2021-2022 Record: 9-11
Coach: Eric MacKinnon
Canton surprised a lot of people on the outside of the program with a nine-win season that certainly was good enough for a playoff spot, but the Bulldogs have put that seeding drama in the rearview mirror and are now focused on surprising people again this year.

In order to do so, the Bulldogs will need new players to step up as second-year head coach Eric MacKinnon only has one returning starter from last year. Matt Chafin emerged as a top perimeter option, averaging 8.8 points per game last year (reaching double figures in just under half of the games). Although he isn’t returning from last year’s lineup, Julius Hicks provides a big boost for MacKinnon and Bulldogs, coming back after missing all of last season with an injury. Hicks would have certainly been in the rotation last year and will be a vital piece this year. Junior Zaza Francoeur is an athletic wing player that can impact the game on both ends of the floor for the Bulldogs.

Defense emerged as one of Canton’s strengths a season ago as the Bulldogs bought into MacKinnon’s game plan. Canton allowed the least amount of points against in the Davenport division at 50.6, and they will look to replicate that again this year.

“With our personnel and style of play we have the ability to score from the perimeter and play inside-out at times,” MacKinnon said. “Our length and athleticism should allow us to get out in transition.”

Foxboro

2021-2022 Record: 12-10
Coach: Jon Gibbs

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Foxboro is one of the few teams in the league that has more familiar faces returning than not, and after only missing out on the Davenport title by one game last year, the Warriors are aiming to compete with defending champs Sharon and division newcomer Mansfield for the top spot this season.

The Warriors boast one of the better senior classes, anchored by HockomockSports First Team selection Alex Penders. Penders, a 6-foot-5 forward who averaged 16.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game last year and recently committed to play at Ithaca next year, is joined by classmates Sam Golub, Ryan LeClair, and Andrew Finn. Golub and LeClair played a lot of minutes for head coach Jon Gibbs last season and both improved as the season went on. Having three experienced players will certainly give the Warriors an advantage, especially on the defensive side of the ball where Gibbs always has his teams prepared.

Penders can score in a variety of ways and will be a matchup problem for most teams in the league. Golub is a proven shooter that can get hot at any time while LeClair is a pesky defender, and as seen by his performance on the road at Stoughton last year, is a capable scorer. Penders will certainly be the focus of the offense but he’s a very unselfish player and Foxboro should have a good balance in the scoring column. While the Warriors have a strong senior class, they’re still a relatively young team. With only two juniors, the rest of the roster is filled by six sophomores and two freshmen. Junior Ryan Cotter and sophomores Ryan Kelley and Nolan Gordon will be names to keep an eye on.

“This is a very hard-working and coachable group that is improving on a daily basis,” Gibbs said. “We have a very exciting blend of experienced veterans and newcomers who are hungry to contribute. If we can defend and rebound at a high level, the potential is there for a very successful season.”







2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Franklin

2021-2022 Record: 21-4
Coach: CJ Neely
Entering the past two seasons, there was a lot of unknown for the Panthers after graduating a large senior class each year. It’s the opposite this year as Franklin graduated just three players and has the majority of last year’s squad that went 21-4 back in the fold.

After a third-place finish in the Kelley-Rex last season, Franklin could be the team to beat this go around. Junior Sean O’Leary highlights a talented and experienced group of long, athletic players. O’Leary, a 6-foot-4 forward that can score from anywhere on the court and was named to the HockomockSports All-Underclassmen Team last year, will be one of the top players in the league this year. Junior Andrew O’Neill (8.8 points per game) is another returner and head coach CJ Neely will lean on a small but talented senior class that features Ben Harvey (HockomockSports All-Defensive Team), Justin Allen, Geino Scaringello, and Hayden Morandi.

Juniors Hansy Jacques, Bradley Herndon, and Andrew Benoit were all on the team last year and could see increased minutes this season. There will be more opportunities on offense for players to step up with the graduation of Sean Vinson (12.8 ppg) and last year’s leading scorer and HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year Henry Digirogio (16.1 ppg) has opted not to play this year. And promising sophomore Caden Sullivan, who likely would have been in the rotation, will miss significant time due to injury.

“The preseason has been very competitive at practice,” Neely said. “We have a great group of guys who really care for each other. While we do have a good amount of returning players, there is a lot of playing time up for grabs and it will be a daily challenge for guys to earn roles. I have been most impressed with how committed and focused the players have been each day on the court and in film sessions to always look for ways to improve as a group. It will be fun to watch them grow and compete all year.”

King Philip

2021-2022 Record: 6-16
Head Coach: Dave DeStefano
King Philip brings back a good portion of its roster and is looking to book a spot in the tournament and contend for the Kelley-Rex division title.

The Warriors are one of the few teams in the league that brings back their leading scorer from a year ago in Will Laplante, a seasoned veteran that has averaged over 16 points per year in each of the last two seasons. Laplante is joined by senior Grant Kinney, who had some breakout games last year, and Tommy Martorano, who showed that at his best (a career-high 36 points) that he can score with the best players in the league. That trio is three of KP’s top five scorers from a year ago. Senior Colin Peck, a 6-foot-2 forward, will likely see an expanded role after playing some valuable minutes last year.

Juniors Tommy McLeish and Trevor Clyde, both 6-foot-3 forwards, have made a big jump from last year and will be key pieces for head coach Dave DeStefano this year. New additions Danny Silveria and Peter Cataldo, both juniors, look to factor in as key defensive pieces for the Warriors. Sophomore Tommy Kilroy didn’t see a ton of minutes early on last year but his role expanded as the season went on, scoring in double figures against Mansfield and in a win over Xaverian. Fellow sophomores Brandon Nicastro, Drew Laplante, and Jack Assini will all looking to contribute this season as well.

“The boys have really committed this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The limited practices so far have been really competitive. It’s no secret that our defense has to drastically improve to be competitive in the league. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops. On offense, we are looking to have a balanced attack and create great scoring opportunities as a team.”

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Mansfield

2021-2022 Record: 21-5
Coach: Mike Vaughan
Mansfield had its incredible streak of nine straight Kelley-Rex division titles come to an end last season, and now the Hornets start a new chapter as they begin their first season in the Davenport. Expectations remain sky-high for the Hornets, who are an immediate favorite for the division crown.

The Hornets have two of their best scorers back from last year in senior Chris Hill (12.5 ppg) and junior Trevor Foley (8.2 ppg), but Mansfield did graduate its leading scorer in Matty Hyland and lost five of its top seven scorers. That means there’s a lot of opportunity for new faces to step up. Hill has probably played more varsity minutes than anyone else in the league and he can compete at a high-level night in and night out. Foley really emerged as a top player by the end of the season, averaging over 16 points per game in March.

Senior Caden Colby was part of the rotation last year and will see a bigger role this year while classmate JT Veiking is a 6-foot-5 forward that can score on the perimeter or down low. Senior Michael Creedon rounds out the senior class and can provide a spark with increased minutes this year. Junior Eddie McCoy is poised for a breakout year, an athletic wing player that can attack the rim and cause problems for opposing defenses. Juniors Brandon Jackman and Davon Sanders should see time in the Mansfield backcourt this year.

“This season will be our tallest team in my tenure, it will be fun to see what different things we can do on the defensive end,” Vaughan said. “Offensively we should have plenty of power to put points on the board but the big question mark will be how quickly we can find our max compete level.”




Milford

2021-2022 Record: 2-21
Coach: Paul Seaver
Milford had an entirely new team last season and was the youngest team in the league. With just four seniors gone from last year, the Hawks are still a young team but head coach Paul Seaver believes his group learned a lot last year and is trending in the right direction.

The Scarlet Hawks have three of the top four scorers from last season back in the fold, including junior Jake Soares (8.0 ppg), sophomore Andrew Rivera (7.8 ppg), and senior Wyatt Zagami (7.1 ppg). Zagami, who can really fill it up when he’s on a hot streak, is joined by classmates Guy Saintyl, Jacob Ligor, and Joe Buckley to round out a small senior class for the Hawks. Soares was probably Milford’s most consistent player for the first two months before an injury ended his season early, and Rivera showed some glimpses of high-level play throughout the year.

Having a year of experience will be key, especially as a lot of other Hock teams are featuring a lot of first-year varsity players. Sophomore Luca Testa is another young player that saw a lot of minutes for the Hawks last year and will be a key piece during this campaign. Sophomore Gus Coutinho is a dangerous shooter and freshman CJ Farrell could be an impact player right away as well.

“Last season we were very young and very inexperienced,” Seaver said. “We learned how to compete while playing a tough schedule. Now with double digits returnees, we not only aim to improve on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball – we aim to improve in all aspects. Our goals and expectations will be what we make them and what we do with the opportunities that are given to us. I have a great crop of kids who are committed, hard-working individuals who continue to climb the ladder and do things the right way.”

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

North Attleboro

2021-2022 Record: 5-15
Coach: Sean Mulkerrins
North Attleboro battled through an up-and-down season last year that featured some impressive wins — like a double-digit victory over Foxboro and a sweep of Stoughton — as well as some tough losses, like to Foxboro in overtime and to rival Attleboro by just three points. The Rocketeers graduated their two leading scorers from a year ago but return the majority of a roster that was playing their first varsity minutes last year.

Besides its four seniors last year, the rest of the Rocketeers were brand new to the varsity level. That means this year’s group will feature a bit more experience, albeit North is still on the young side. Givany Carney is North’s most experienced player and will be one of the go-to options on the offensive end of the court. Carney is a crafty player that does well getting to the rim with a good combination of speed and size. Senior Jack Munley is a tone-setter and can change the momentum of a game with his effort while senior Derek Maceda showed glimpses last season as a potential go-to guy offensively, both on the perimeter and attacking the basket.

Sophomores Ryan Bannon and Chase Frisoli both played some valuable minutes as freshmen and should see increased roles this year. Bannon is a solid defender and can be a contributor on the offensive end while Frisoli is a high-IQ player with range. Junior Chris Hanewich is another player that head coach Sean Mulkerrins is relying on to contribute on both ends of the floor. With some good experience, North will be looking to establish itself as one of the hardest-working teams in the league, which starts on the defensive end.

“We have a roster of kids who are working hard to improve and learn our system,” Mulkerrins said. “Our practices have been very competitive. We are very focused on building and maintaining our team culture so we are prepared to compete against the talented basketball programs in the Hockomock League.”

Oliver Ames

2021-2022 Record: 10-12
Coach: Oliver Vil
Oliver Ames is going to have a new look this year under second-year head coach Oliver Vil. The Tigers lost the majority of the team that won a preliminary playoff game last season and missed out on the Davenport division title by just a game.

Not only will the lineup feature new faces, but it will also feature a lot of new faces as the Tigers have a deep group this year. Senior captains Chris Elias and Ari Spiliakos are two returners that will be leaders for the team both on and off the court. Senior Nick Asiaf is a capable ball handler and can attack the rim while seniors Nick Rhodes and Jaden Graham provide key depth. Sophomore Cole Craffey played some meaningful minutes a year ago and will be one of the Tigers’ go-to options offensively this year. He’s very confident with the ball and can score inside and out.

With seven of their top eight scorers from a season ago gone, there will be plenty of opportunity for new players to step up. Freshman Solen Lolonga was in the starting lineup for the Tigers’ season-opening win over Southeastern and had a strong showing with 19 points. Vil also has a deep junior class that features Jake Willard, Daniel Casey, Andrew Sullivan, and David Rodgers, who all played in the win.

“Our strength this season on offense will be our ability to move the ball and create shots for one another,” Vil said. “We will have the same defense approach as last season, forcing our opponents into taking difficult shots and limiting transition offensive baskets. We now have minimal room for careless mistakes to compete in an already difficult conference. I am extremely excited to battle a plethora of well-coached disinclined teams every night we step on the floor to play a game this season.”




2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Sharon

2021-2022 Record: 12-9 (Davenport division champions)
Coach: Andrew Ferguson
Sharon won its first Davenport division title in eight seasons last year and with its top three scoring options back in the mix this year, the Eagles will be in contention to repeat that feat again this year.

Senior Matt Baur and juniors Jacob McLoughlin and Nate Katznelson give Sharon one of the top trios of players in the league. Baur, who earned HockomockSports First Team honors last year after averaging 15.1 points and 6 rebounds a game, is the heart and soul of the team. He leads by example both on and off the court and is the engine of the team. He doesn’t have to fill up the scoring column to have a big impact on the game. Both Katznelson and McLoughlin emerged as top players in their first season and will be vital pieces this year.

Senior captains Jack Bates and Tyler Goodman both came off the bench as key pieces for head coach Andrew Ferguson last year and will see increased responsibility this year. Bates is a pesky defender and a good floor general while Goodman can provide a spark with his shooting. Senior Dante James, an athletic wing player, comes over from Mansfield and should give the Eagles a big boost with their depth. Juniors Ryan Brown, Anthony Piron, and Cam Sherman provide backcourt depth while juniors Zach Wise, Jaden Segal, and sophomore Sam Letendre provide physicality to the Eagles’ frontcourt.

“With a small senior class, this team is blending experience with youth and has already begun to form a tight bond both on and off the court. Our practices have been super competitive and we look forward to competing against a very strong schedule.”

Stoughton

2021-2022 Record: 9-11
Coach: Evan Taylor
Last season, Stoughton entered the final stretch of league games right in the mix for the Davenport division title but ended up on the outside looking in finishing in a tie for fourth and just missing out on the postseason. With just a few returners back in the mix, the Knights will be looking for a new group of players to lead them into the tournament and contend for the division crown.

Stoughton has two major challenges to address this year, one on each side of the ball. The Black Knights lost their three top scorers from last year with Connor Andrews (19.9 ppg) and Cash Mathurin (5.9 ppg) graduating, and Rayan Sablon (18.3 ppg) transferring out. Head coach Evan Taylor will lean heavily on his four returning players to try and fill that void. Senior Jayden Costa Haywood played some meaningful minutes a season ago and has taken a big leap and the Knights will look for him to provide an offensive punch. Junior Liam Pearl (5.2 ppg) also worked his way into the rotation and made some key shots in clutch moments, including at Foxboro and at home against Canton. Sophomore Matthew Greenspoon (5.6 ppg) is the top scorer back from last year and will look to build on a strong debut season as a freshman.

The other challenge for Stoughton will be on the defensive end as the Knights look to make a drastic improvement after allowing over 60 points per game last year. On top of the returners, Taylor is looking for senior Tagh Swierzewski and junior Jarred Daughtry to make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball. Other newcomers include senior Obioma Dike, juniors Elijah Connor, and Nathan Figaro, sophomore Mykel Thomas, and freshmen Anthony Alessi and Aiden Rideout.

“Defense has been the main focus at the start of this season,” Taylor said. “Our goal is to be a top three defense in the league with a lot of great on-ball defenders and high IQ players on the
floor.”

taunton

2020-2021 Record: 19-3 (Kelley-Rex division champions)
Coach: Charlie Dacey
This season will mark a new chapter in the storied history of Taunton basketball. After back-to-back Kelley-Rex championships, including the program’s first outright title a year ago, the Tigers will have a lot of new faces in the lineup this year.

The biggest challenge will be replacing the production from one of the best trios in the Hock in recent history in Player of the Year Trent Santos, Faisal Mass, and Tristan Herry, who combined for just under 75% of the team’s scoring last year. One of the familiar faces returning to the starting group is junior Troy Santos, who has the most career points of anyone on the roster. Santos showed some flashes last year but will have a lot more looks this year. Seniors Chris Volcy and Alvinsky Morisseau, and junior Tyson Carter are also returners from last year and figure to see increased minutes this season.

Senior Chris Perault could be the biggest addition for the Tigers, a player that can score both from the perimeter and attacking the basket. Santos will factor in as one of the top shooters both on the team and in the league while Volcy has really improved from last year and could be a top scoring option for the Tigers. Longtime head coach Charlie Dacey is looking for Dimari Brown and Travis Johnson to provide a spark on the low block, plus some more faces to step up off of the bench.

“This year’s Taunton team will be very different from last year. This edition will be faster without a singular scorer, points can come from a variety of styles,” Dacey said. “Speed and aggressive defense will be the key to Taunton’s success this year.”

2022-2023 Hockomock Boys Basketball Preview

Strong Start Sends Sharon Past Visiting King Philip

Sharon boys basketball Matt Baur
Sharon junior Matt Baur (game-high 19 points) takes a shot over King Philip’s Trevor Clyde in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 SHARON, Mass. — The Sharon boys basketball team is starting to make a habit out of good starts.

For the second straight game, the Eagles scored 22 points in the first quarter to establish a double-digit lead that it never relinquished for the remainder of the game.

Despite holding just a one-point edge over the final three quarters, Sharon secured a comfortable 71-53 win over visiting King Philip after a near-flawless start.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Besides Saturday we really hadn’t been starting well this season so we knew we had to jump on them,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We were a little worried there would be a little bit of a let down after Saturday so I was glad to see they had that energy right from the top.”

The Eagles sliced through the Warriors’ defense early and often, hitting its first six field goals from inside the three-point line (8-for-12 from two-point in the first quarter). Ryan Zunenshine (nine points) and John Baez (four points, 10 assists) each had a pair of layups, sophomore Nate Katznelson attacked the rim for two, and Matt Baur converted a putback to get the offense going.

Senior Will Hippler and sophomore Jacob McLoughlin each added a three, Donyae Pierre (10 rebounds) converted a putback, and Tyler Goodman scored on a breakaway just before the buzzer after a steal from Baur (game-high 19 points, three rebounds).

On the other hand, King Philip tried to spark its offense from three-point range but was unable to hit on eight attempts over the first eight minutes.

The result was a 22-5 advantage for the hosts, a lead that eventually peaked at 24 points in the third quarter and shrunk to as few as 13 points in the fourth, but never went below double-figures to keep the Eagles in front from start to finish.

“That was obviously the difference in the game, they came out and punched us in the face right away,” said King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano. “We did not do a good job responding to it. I think we need to figure out who we are defensively, figure out our identity right now. We’re just too lackadaisical and just expecting the next guy to make a play so we have to figure it out as a team.”

It was relatively even the rest of the way. Sharon put up another 20 points in the second quarter but King Philip’s offense got going with 16 points, despite another quarter without hitting a three.

King Philip had some momentum coming out of half as senior Danny Clancy (four points, 10 rebounds) laid it in for two on a second chance opportunity after Braeden Sottile wrestled his way to an offensive rebound. The Warriors then forced back-to-back turnovers, the first leading to a layup from Sottile on a feed from Will Laplante (nine points, three rebounds, three assists), and the second two free throws from Sottile (13 points, six rebounds).

Sharon boys basketball

Sharon was quick to answer on a nice drive from Zunenshine, and after getting a stop, Katznelson (14 points, six rebounds, two blocks) scored through contact for two more. Baez then grabbed two quick assists, first feeding Katznelson down low and then taking advantage of a KP turnover, hitting Baur in transition for two more.

“Part of the halftime talk was about last night [Stoughton/Canton game] and we’ve been on the other side of games like this before, we came back from 20-points against King Philip a couple of years ago,” Ferguson said. “It’s always in the back of your mind, especially in this league. They had a quick start to the second half but our guys were able to respond.

“We spend 60-70% of practice on defense and I think it’s really starting to bear some fruit this year. John Baez has been unbelievable on the defensive end so far this year and the rest of the team is buying in and especially rebounding the ball. Donyae Pierre came off the bench and grabbed 10 rebounds so when you can get guys to buy into specific roles, your team defense benefits from that.”

Sottile had four points early in the fourth and then a pair of hustle plays from sophomore Trevor Clyde (nine points, four rebounds, three blocks) — first a steal and then an offensive rebound — turned into a three from Sottile and the Warriors capped what turned out to be a 19-8 run over the course of the third quarter and first few minutes of the fourth.

That run cut Sharon’s once 24-point lead down to 13 at 58-45 with just six minutes under to play.

Sharon boys basketball

Sharon, which got threes from Zunenshine and Katznelson in the opening quarter, went without a three in the second and third quarters. The Warriors switched to a 2-3 zone and limited the Eagles’ shooting for the most part.

“I think defensively they did a very good job of getting in our face and made us uncomfortable, and we couldn’t get into a groove,” DeStefano said. “They did a good job with our shooters, we didn’t get many clean looks and it forced us to play out of our element a little bit. And they pressured us with some good hard cuts and it seemed like we were a step late each time.

“They got every 50-50 ball, and anytime it felt like we might make a run they seemed to respond with an offensive rebound or coming up with that 50-50 ball and it just killed our momentum.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

But when they needed a big shot, the Eagles got it off the bench as senior Sam Cohen gave the offense a spark with a three on the ensuing possession. After a turnover, Baez notched another assist by finding Jack Bates wide open for another three, and just like that, the lead ballooned to 64-45 with five minutes to play.

“We want everyone to share the ball, if we can turn down a good shot to get a great shot, we want to. We didn’t shoot the ball well [from three] but I thought we took the ball to the basket really well today which was something we hadn’t done well the last couple of games,” Ferguson said. “So seeing that and making that adjustment was huge for us.”

Sharon boys basketball (4-1 Hockomock, 6-1 overall) will look to make it five wins in a row when it hosts Foxboro in a crucial clash of Davenport contenders on Friday night while King Philip (0-3, 1-4) returns home in search of its first league win when it hosts Milford on the same day.