North Makes Goal Line Stand to Win at Mansfield

North Attleboro football
North Attleboro senior Greg Berthiaume drags a Mansfield tackler with him for a first half touchdown, one of his two scores in the game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – With under eight seconds remaining in the second quarter of Friday night’s rivalry game at Alumni Field, Mansfield faced a third down from the one-yard-line. The Hornets had traveled 61 yards in 45 seconds, now they just had to punch it in. North Attleboro senior Jack Munley had other ideas and stopped Rocco Scarpellini short of the end zone.

Having started the first overtime period with a touchdown, North’s defense had the chance to repeat its earlier trick, stop the Hornets from the one, and clinch a second consecutive impressive road victory. Mansfield QB Connor Curtis tried to keep it himself, looking for a hole in the middle of the line, but was swallowed up by white shirts.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

For the second time in the game, North’s defense made a stand, this time sealing a 27-21 win, avenging last year’s double-overtime defeat to the Hornets at Community Field. It was North’s first win at Mansfield since 2015.

“Whether you get the ball first or second, you’ve got to stop them and it came down to that at the end,” said first-year North coach Mike Strachan. “I’m just really proud of my football team, they fought. To beat Mansfield at Mansfield, with this great team, and this great tradition they have here, I’m really proud of my guys.”

Mansfield coach Mike Redding admitted that he will be second-guessing his call on that final play for a while.

“It’s a heartbreaker,” he explained. “I’ll go over this for 10 years on any call that would’ve worked.

“We’re trying to come up with a little bit of a counter to kind of get them overflowing, get Connor back, he’s great off the fake finding the seam to run. Once we get to the one or two, they’ve just got 11 big, strong bodies up front and we’re young up front and we just can’t quite get movement to punch it in.”

The Hornets started the game on top. Aidan Gleavy made a nice read on a screen pass to force a three-and-out. After Munley sacked Conner Zukowski, Mansfield was able to convert third and long with Zukowski (18-of-28, 300 yards) throwing a 20-yard strike to Trevor Foley (five catches, 134 yards) on the near sideline. CJ Bell followed with a nice grab on the far sideline, hauling in a 29-yard reception.

After Zukowski and Foley combined again for another 17 yards, Scarpellini punched it in from a yard out to make it 7-0.

In the second quarter, Kyle Murphy sacked North quarterback Chase Frisoli to force a punt from the three. Mansfield started at the North 30-yard-line but a holding call stalled the drive. North took over possession and took the momentum.

On third and short from the North 42, Frisoli (12-of-22, 180 yards) looked deep down the sideline to Jovany Rivera (six catches, 123 yards). The 41-yard completion put the Rocketeers in the red zone for the first time. Eight yards and three plays later, facing fourth and two Strachan elected to go for it. Greg Berthiaume wouldn’t be stopped, dragging a would-be tackler with him for a nine-yard, game-tying score.

The North defense followed up that score by forcing a three-and-out. A short punt gifted the visitors the ball at the 26 and North took advantage. A timeout before Austin Clemente attempted a 46-yard field goal led to a change of plan, with North electing to go for it and Frisoli finding Rivera for 21 yards to the eight. On the next snap Berthiaume caught a pass in the flat and dove for the pylon to put Big Red in front.

Mansfield only had 53 seconds on the clock but wasted no time racing up field. Zukowski hit Drew Sacco for 15 yards and Bell for 17. He then fired a 30-yard pass to Foley to get the Hornets down to the two. After a false start, Nolan Bordieri took a sweep for six yards but just short of the end zone. An incompletion and Munley’s big stop, left the Hornets down 14-7 at the break.

Strachan said, “I think we were physical up front. I thought we were very physical and controlled the line of scrimmage.”

North added to its lead on its first possession of the third. Frisoli’s quick release to Rivera down the sideline for 25 yards got them into Mansfield territory and a perfectly executed play action left sophomore Ryan Bannon all alone in the secondary for a 26-yard touchdown.

The Hornets were struggling to get the ground game working but Zukowski was having a lot of success through the air. On the first snap of the next drive, he looked down field for Foley, who made a great adjustment to the flight of the ball and pulled in a 47-yard catch. On the next play, Foley out-jumped the defensive back in the back of the end zone, snatching a 20-yard touchdown.

Down seven in the fourth quarter, Mansfield got the ball back at its own 11. A first down got it out to the 23 and Zukowski again looked down the sideline, this time to Brandon Jackman, who made a great catch for 37 yards. Zukowski appeared to get a cramp at the end of the play and had to come to the sideline. Curtis jumped in and immediately broke away for a 40-yard touchdown run that tied the game with under six minutes remaining.

“We let them go up 14 and then we kind of woke up and started playing clean,” Redding said. “Zuk started throwing the ball well, we spread them out. We really started playing great from when they scored to go up 14 until overtime. We showed a lot of heart.”

North had one more chance to win it in regulation. A 10-play drive to the Mansfield 19 gave Clemente a chance from 36 yards out, but his kick was wide left with just 20 seconds to play.

The visitors had the ball first in OT. On first down, Frisoli flipped a pass over the shoulder of Aidan Conrad in the flat and he walked in with the go-ahead score. Ryan DeGirolamo was in tight coverage to breakup the two-point conversion try, leaving North up six.

Mansfield had four plays to try and tie it. Zukowski looked for Foley on each of the first two plays, with Rivera doing a good job in coverage on the second. On third down, Zukowski hit Sacco in the flat and he showed patience to pick a hole but North converged at the goal line to keep him a yard short.

Curtis came in for the final play, trying to force his way through North’s defensive line, but Zachary Gallagher, Bannon, Berthiaume, and others were on hand to keep the Hornets just short and add another exciting chapter to this historic rivalry.

“We practiced all week in the goal line, what to do, we practiced our new formations, and I really think we just executed it like we’re supposed to,” Berthiaume explained. “When you don’t make mistakes, you win football games.”

Strachan said, “We go to work each week, we talk about that, we say we put the money in the bank and the payout is on Friday nights. This was a big check mark for us and it was a really big test for our team. We’re going to try and enjoy this one, but I’m just really happy with our football team.”

Following a bye week, North Attleboro (2-0) will have its home, and Kelley-Rex, opener when the Rocketeers host currently unbeaten Franklin. Mansfield (1-1) will head out on the road for the first time next Friday, traveling to Worcester to face Doherty.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/16/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Attleboro, 27 vs. Bishop Feehan, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (BF) Dante Bruschi 10-yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) Anthony Salviati 30-yard fumble recovery, A. Salviati XP good.
3rd Quarter: (A) Adrian Rivera 4-yard rush, XP blocked.
4th Quarter: (A) A. Salviati 16-yard interception return, A. Salviati XP good; (A) Matt Harvie 24-yard pass to A. Rivera, A. Salviati XP good.

Canton, 29 vs. Norton, 0 – Final
1Q: (C) Charlie Cox 50-yard interception return, XP failed.
2Q: (C) Owen Lane 22-yard rush, Hayden Rose XP good; (C) O. Lane 62-yard rush, 2pt conversion failed.
3Q: (C) O. Lane 3-yard rush, H. Rose XP good.
4Q: (C) H. Rose 17-yard field goal.

Foxboro, 0 vs. Whitman-Hanson, 7 – Final

Franklin, 37 vs. Brockton, 6 – Final
1Q: No scoring.
2Q: (F) Jase Lyons 3-yard rush, Garrett Portesi XP good; (F) J. Lyons 55-yard pass to Grayson Hunter, XP failed; (F) J. Lyons 35-yard pass to Luke Davis, G. Portesi XP good; (F) J. Lyons 3-yard rush, G. Portesti XP good.
3Q: (F) J. Lyons 5-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good; (F) G. Portesi 22-yard field goal.
4Q: (B) Monteiro 60-yard rush, XP failed.

King Philip, 42 vs. Needham, 0 – Final

North Attleboro, 27 @ Mansfield, 21 – Final (OT)Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (M) Rocco Scarpellini 1-yard rush, Travis Hennessey XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Greg Berthiaume 9-yard rush, Austin Clemente XP good; (NA) Chase Frisoli 8-yard pass to G. Berthiaume, A. Clemente XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) C. Frisoli 26-yard pass to Ryan Bannon, A. Clemente XP good; (M) Conner Zukowski 20-yard pass to Trevor Foley, T. Hennessey XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Connor Curtis 40-yard rush, T. Hennessey XP good.
1st OT: (NA) C. Frisoli 10-yard pass to Aidan Conrad, 2-point conversion failed.

Milford, 34 vs. Wellesley, 14 – Final

Oliver Ames, 22 vs. Quincy, 27 – Final

Stoughton, 26 @ Braintree, 27 – Final

Sharon, 40 @ Westborough, 28 – Final








Boys Soccer
Foxboro, 0 vs. Milton, 3 – Final

Stoughton, 5 @ Norwood, 0 – FinalMatheus Groberio scored a pair of goals to help Stoughton bounce back in a big way with a rout of Norwood. Sam Santos, Tyler Teixeira, and Joao Moratti each scored once on top of Groberio’s brace while Ben Shirey posted the shutout in net.

Girls Soccer
Stoughton, 4 vs. Norwood, 1 – FinalStoughton scored four times in the second half, winning for the second time in as many days. Norwood got the lone goal of the first half and went into the break with the lead, but the Black Knights responded six minutes into the second half and never looked back. Morgan Cook equalized with a shot off the post, assisted by Shayla Ford. Five minutes later, Emma Tran scored what turned out to be the game-winner from the spot. Ford doubled the lead in the 57th minute, breaking past the Norwood defense and finishing. Tran added her second of the day just two minutes later with a 30-yard free kick. Molly Fox made seven saves to pick up the win in goal.

King Philip, 2 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalKP bounced back from a loss to OA by handing Franklin its first loss of the season. Heidi Lawrence scored a brace for the Warriors, who moved back into a first-place tie with the Panthers in the division. Lawrence scored 13 minutes before halftime after a nice run that was picked out by Ella Pisani’s diagonal ball. Norah Anderson got Franklin’s goal off a Katie Ewald corner, but then Lawrence popped up with the winner five minutes from full time. Pisani again provided the killer pass.




Field Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. KP scored a pair of second half goals, both assisted by Kelly Holmes, to pull out a second straight win. The game was scoreless at halftime, but with seven minutes left in the third Holmes found a little bit of space on the left and fired a ball into the middle that was deftly tipped by Nicole MacDonald for the opening goal. The lead stayed at one until the final two minutes when Holmes hit a low cross from the right wing that was deflected in front by Ella McDonnell for a goal that sealed the points. Marley Young had Attleboro’s best chance when her second quarter shot was cleared off the line by Maggie Murphy. Siany Gomez had a huge game in goal for the Bombardiers to keep them in the game until the final minutes.

Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 10 – Final

Franklin, 9 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalFranklin scored five goals in the opening quarter and never went back in a big win on the road over Taunton. Sophia Cuneo opened the scoring less than a minute in, Sydney Rogan and Payten Crandall each scored once, and Haley Wernig scored two goals inside the final minute to give the Panthers a big lead early. Kaitlyn Carney, who scored two goals in the second half, assisted on Franklin’s first four goals. Lindsay Dennett and Brooke Taylor (first career goal) added a goal each for Franklin.

Mansfield @ Oliver Ames, 3:45

North Attleboro, 8 @ Milford, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro scored three goals in each the first and third quarters on its way to a big win over Milford. Caitlin Vacher (from Caroline Folan), Madison Folan (from Ava Spencer), and Julia Puccio (from Sadie Barend) scored one apiece in the first to give North a 3-0 lead. In the third, Rory McGinley, Caroline Folan, and Puccio each had an unassisted goal. Kelsey Thompson and Ava Mckeon both played solid in the midfield to help stop Milford offense and transition the ball up the field for the North Attleboro offense.

Foxboro, 6 @ Sharon, 0 – Final




Volleyball
Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – After a great back-and-forth battle, Sharon prevailed in five sets to take down visiting Foxboro (25-20, 17-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-11). For the Warriors, Sami Sloan recorded eight kills, seven digs, and six aces, Alyssa Cloherty added 30 assists, seven digs, three blocks, and a pair of kills and aces, and Shannon McElhinney chipped in with 16 digs and two aces.

Mansfield, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalIn a hard-fought, competitive match, Oliver Ames prevailed with a 3-0 25-15, 25-19, 25-20) sweep of visiting Mansfield. Senior Courtney Raymond had a strong game with 10 service points and four kills, senior Maddie Homer added 22 digs, sophomore Clare Kavoulis dished out 20 assists, junior Sarah Hilliard had 14 kills, and senior Mary Derba chipped in with five kills.

Attleboro, 0 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalAfter prevailing in a tightly contested first set, King Philip went on to complete the sweep to knock Attleboro from the ranks of the unbeatens (26-24, 25-17, 25-18). Emily Sawyer continued to dominate in the middle with 13 kills along with four blocks and three aces while the Warriors also got big offensive contributions from Ahunna James (six kills, 11 digs) and Sami Shore (eight kills, two ces). Shea Mellman anchored the KP defense with eight digs. For Attleboro, Julia Leonardo recorded 14 digs and six kills while Natalie Brojek added 12 assists, seven digs, and four aces in a strong all-around effort.

Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalFranklin continued its undefeated start to the season with a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-17, 25-16) on the road at Taunton. Makayla Kuykendall had a big game for the Panthers with 11 kills, eight digs, and four aces while Taylor Lacerda continued her streak of strong performances with 17 kills and 11 digs.

Milford @ North Attleboro, 5:15

Golf
Attleboro @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 3:00

Mansfield, 162 @ North Attleboro, 155 – FinalJake Gaskin and Tyson Laviano shared match medalist honors to give North Attleboro a key non-league win over rival Mansfield. Gaskin and Laviano both fired a two-over par round of 37 on Heather Hill’s South Course to lead the Rocketeers. Zach Corsetti shot a 40 and Ishan Kohli rounded out North’s scoring with a 41. Brendan Vokey led the Hornets with a 38, Nate McClean and Hayden O’Connor each shot a 41, and Drew Urban carded a 42.

Foxboro, 162 @ Oliver Ames, 152 – FinalOliver Ames picked up its fifth straight win to start the season, taking down Davenport division foe Foxboro at Pine Oaks. Junior David Rodgers was a co-medalist in the match, sinking a birdie on the fourth hole to finish with a 36 for OA. Michael McGinnis added a 37, Sean Kearns finished with a 39, and Lucas Riley came into the clubhouse with a 40. Foxboro freshman Zac Georgantas also shared match medalist honors with a 36.

2022 Hockomock Football: Players to Watch on Offense

2022 2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense
Milford senior wide out Isaiah Pantalone is one of the players to watch when the new Hockomock League football season kicks off. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Sam Carpenter, Senior – Foxboro

For just the second time, we have a player whose primary position is kicker on the list as Foxboro senior Sam Carpenter makes the cut. At the beginning of high school, Carpenter spent the autumn months on the pitch but when football was forced to the Fall II season due to COVID, he tried out and emerged as the team’s kicker. Fast forward to this season and he enters the year committed to Indiana University as a preferred walk-on. He’s come a long way in less than two years and will be one of the best place kickers in the state this year. His hard work (he won a kicking competition at Rutgers with a 56-yard field goal) during the offseason hasn’t gone unnoticed and he will certainly be a weapon for the Warriors this year. While some programs will find themselves trying to go for it in tough field position and others will struggle to find consistent kicking on PATs, Foxboro has a go-to option that can produce key points.

2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Luke Davis, Senior – Franklin

Franklin had one of the most dynamic offenses in the state last year but one of the only skill players back this year is senior Luke Davis. Although his stats weren’t among the league leaders, he was a vital piece to Franklin’s passing game and a reliable target for quarterback Jared Arone. Now Davis will be one of the Panthers’ primary pass catchers and among the most seasoned receivers in the league. He will also be working with a new quarterback as Jase Lyons takes over. We’ve seen Davis line up all over the field in the past two seasons, going over the middle from the slot or taking corners one-on-one down the sideline. Wherever he lines up this year, he will be a handful for opposing defenses and someone they will certainly need to game plan for. If he gets single coverage on the outside, you can expect him to win a lot of those battles.







2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Trevor Foley, Junior – Mansfield

The reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, Foley had an outstanding season as Mansfield’s primary receiver and the go-to target for first-year quarterback Conner Zukowski. With his size, great hands, and his strength, Foley came through with big grabs in traffic or near the goal line and was able to turn any catch into a big play. He had 41 grabs for 602 yards last season. Foley averaged 14.7 yards per catch and was among the league’s leading receivers with 10 touchdowns. He added 31 tackles and led the team with five interceptions, proving to be as strong a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. Mansfield saw its three-year reign at the top of the division come to an end last year, but the development of the passing game with Foley as the top target has the Hornets looking to regain its spot at the top of the standings.

2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Chase Frisoli, Sophomore – North Attleboro

North Attleboro’s offense is tough to predict heading into the new season because the Div. 3 finalists graduated so many of the team’s primary weapons, but Frisoli returns after a year of experience, and the Rocketeers will need to build around their sophomore signal caller. As a freshman, Frisoli tossed seven touchdown passes, rushed for one, and showed considerable poise for a player who hadn’t even seen a minute of sub-varsity action. With a strong arm and good pocket presence, Frisoli can make plays downfield but was also able to pull the ball down and grab yards with his feet. He will have to develop connections with his new skill players early in the season, but North should continue to improve over the course of the year as he becomes more comfortable with his new weapons and the new coaching staff’s play calling. Big Red doesn’t have many rebuilding seasons, so expectations remain high and Frisoli is a big piece of North’s puzzle for the new season.




2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Rudy Gately, Senior – King Philip

Gately is the latest in a line of every down backs that the KP offense revolves around. Never one to shy away from contact, Gately finished with seven touchdown runs and a pair of scores through the air. He could fight for the hard yards up the middle and had the breakaway speed to turn any gap into a big play. Gately has great vision to find a seam and never goes down on first contact. He added a touchdown against CM in the Super Bowl at Gillette. Gately also brings his physicality to the other side of the ball as a hard-hitting linebacker. The Warriors continue to be one of the contenders for the Kelley-Rex and Div. 2 titles and Gately’s ability to grind out yards and keep the offense on the field will be critical to KP’s success this fall.

2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Jacob Leonard, Senior – Taunton

There’s a quiet optimism surrounding the Taunton program heading into this season, and the list of experienced players on offense is a big reason why. Jacob Leonard will start his third year under center for the Tigers and he’s got a good amount of weapons to use, and maybe most importantly, a very sizable and seasoned offensive line in front of him. Anchored by captains Nathan LaPlante, William Guachichulca-Torres, and Ryan MacDougall, Leonard will be in good hands when drops back to pass or looks to run himself. He has shown the ability to do both in the past, tossing nine touchdowns last season as well as using his legs to make plays — both by design and on scrambles. He has good weapons in junior Jose Touron and senior Mckyen Gonsalves, both of whom he developed chemistry with last season. With an improved running game, Leonard should have more time and space this year and when he’s had that in the past, he’s punished opponents.

2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Isaiah Pantalone, Senior – Milford

It didn’t take Pantalone long to make an impact at the varsity level. After an impressive JV season as a sophomore, the receiver had three receiving touchdowns in the season opener against Foxboro and never looked back. Capable of making big plays on the deep ball or turning a simple screen into a long touchdown, Pantalone was one of the top receivers in the league. He accounted for more than 1,000 yards of offense and scored 13 touchdowns, as Milford made a run to the Div. 2 semifinals. A tough matchup because he can be lined up out wide, in the slot, and in the backfield, Pantalone had defenses guessing all season and helped the Hawks put together one of the league’s top offenses. Milford has raised expectations around the program, including contention for the league and state title, and Pantalone is one of the factors that has the Hawks coming into the season with confidence riding high.




2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Liam Pearl, Junior – Stoughton

Stoughton’s Liam Pearl was off to a strong start during his sophomore year before being limited to the sidelines due to injury. Back healthy, Pearl will be a feature back in a Stoughton offense that is known year-in and year-out for its strong ground game. Operating out of the Wing-T, Stoughton always uses a handful of backs, and Pearl’s combination of size, speed, and strength fit right into the offense that longtime head coach Greg Burke likes to run. He can be a lead blocker or a capable ball carrier as well. He’s athletic enough to get out from the backfield, haul in a pass, and make a play. As most Stoughton players do, he’ll also play on the defensive side of the ball and could very well have a stand-out season on that end as well.

2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Anthony Salviati, Senior – Attleboro

Attleboro’s offense struggled to click into gear last season (finishing with the second-fewest points in the league) but Salviati gives the Bombardiers a versatile weapon who can pick up yards in a variety of ways. Last season, he accounted for more than 800 all-purpose yards in just eight games, giving Attleboro support in all three phases of the game. After a tough start because of injuries, Salviati turned into a big play threat with his speed and ability to make players miss in the open field, making plays as a receiver and lined up in the backfield. He finished with four touchdowns and was also the team’s kicker. Attleboro has a new staff this fall, with a goal of moving up the Kelley-Rex standings and Salviati’s various skills will be a key to getting the offense producing at a higher level.

2022 Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense

Chad Silva, Senior – Oliver Ames

Oliver Ames senior Chad Silva is just one of two players to make this list for the second straight year. One of the most experienced players in the league, it feels like Silva has been around forever because of how many snaps he’s played for the Tigers, both on offense and defense. He was OA’s leading rusher as a sophomore but the emergence of Collin Williamson last year shifted his role into more of a lead blocker. Not a lot of players would be willing to go from the bulk of the carries to doing the dirty work in front, but Silva did just that and Williamson had a terrific season. Now the Tigers are putting the ball back in his hands and his bruising style of running will certainly be difficult for opposing defenses. OA had a great offseason and there is a lot of buzz around the program, and if they end up having a big bounce-back year, don’t be surprised if it’s because of a dominant run game spearheaded by Silva.

Football: 2022 Davenport Division Preview

2022 Davenport Division Preview
Mansfield will compete in the Davenport division for the first time this season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

2022 Davenport Football Preview

20212 Davenport Division Preview

Canton

2021 Record: 2-8
Coach: Anthony Fallon

Key/Returning Players: Jack Flaherty, Sr., LB; Hayden Rose, Sr., LB; Josh Richards, Sr., DB; Charlie Cox, Sr., WR/DB; Julian Prentice, Sr., OL/DL; Jack Digirolamo, Sr., OL/DL; Owen Lane, Jr., QB/LB; Matt Lesser, Sr., OL/DL; Godson Ofonagoro, Sr., RB; James Robbins, Sr., RB; Cole Ouellette, Sr., RB;

Outlook: After experiencing some growing pains against a tough schedule last season, the Bulldogs boast a good number of returning players looking to have a bounce-back year in 2022.

Canton has key pieces in key spots on the field and has a total of 22 seniors on the roster. The defense will be filled with veterans including a talented group of linebackers that include seniors Jack Flaherty (captain) and Hayden Rose along with junior captain Owen Lane. While the linebackers are likely to be the heart of the defense, the Bulldogs also have some key experience – and some noticeable size – on the defensive line with seniors Julian Prentice (captain) and Jack Digirolamo. In the secondary, Charlie Cox and Josh Richards will man the safety positions to anchor the secondary unit.

The Bulldogs have a familiar face back at quarterback in Lane, an athletic lefty that can make plays with both his feet and his arm. As just a sophomore a year ago, Lane gained valuable experience and will be looking to build on a solid campaign. He will work behind a somewhat inexperienced line that is anchored by senior captain Matt Lesser at center with Nathan Levis and sophomore Luke Richard at guard, and junior Giovanni Disasio and sophomore Luke Laguerre at tackle. Senior Godson Ofonagoro has transferred in and will be in the mix at running back along with James Robbins, Cole Ouellette, and Michael Sayers.

Canton opens the season on the road at Dighton-Rehoboth but then hosts back-to-back non-league games as the Bulldogs look to build some momentum before their first meeting with Mansfield since 2012.

2022 Davenport Division Preview

Foxboro

2021 Record: 9-3
Coach: Jack Martinelli

Key/Returning Players: Sam Carpenter, Sr., K; Andrew Finn, Sr., OT/DE; Payton Francis, Sr., SE/S; Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady, Jr., RB/DE; Lincoln Moore, Jr., RB/LB; Tony Sulham, Jr., WR/CB; Jaiquann Williams, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
Foxboro narrowly missed out on a trip to Gillette last year, falling in the Div. 5 state semifinal. The reigning Davenport division champions will have to replace the production of league MVP Dylan Gordon, but the Warriors have a host of younger players ready to step into bigger roles this season and will be excited about adding league title drama to their Thanksgiving Day rivalry with Mansfield.

Even graduating its starting tailback and quarterback, Foxboro will have a lot of depth in the skill positions this season with several underclassmen showing that they are ready to contribute right away. Sophomore Mike Marcucella will take over under center and will have plenty of options in the backfield and at receiver. Junior Lincoln Moore has the strength and quickness to be a dynamic runner along with junior Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady, senior Jaiquann Williams, and sophomore Ben Angelini. Senior Payton France will be an option at wideout, junior Tony Sulham adds speed wherever he lines up, and sophomore Nolan Gordon will be a big target on the outside. The offensive line is loaded with size this season. Senior Andrew Finn will be the leader of a group that includes junior Nate Urman and sophomore Jonathan Balde. Sam Carpenter is one of the league’s top kickers and gives Foxboro the chance for points every possession.

Defense has always been a focal point for the Warriors and they have plenty of experience returning to be a strong group. As one offense, Foxboro will have plenty of size up front. Finn and Mazenkas-O’Grady are constant threats from the ends with Urman and Balde helping out in the interior. Moore was a standout linebacker as a sophomore and he leads a group that includes Williams and Angelini. Sulham is a lockdown corner and Gordon, Francis, and Marcucella will all add depth in the secondary.

“If the players and coaches are patient and are mindful that you never pick up where you left off, assuming nothing, this can be a good football team, characterized by senior strength and tremendous underclass talent,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli.










2022 Davenport Division Preview

Mansfield

2021 Record: 7-4
Coach: Mike Redding

Key/Returning Players: CJ Bell, Jr., WR/CB; Caden Colby, Sr., LB; Connor Curtis, Jr., QB; Ryan DeGirolamo, Sr., TE/DB; Trevor Foley, Jr., SE/DB; Jephte Jean, Sr., OL/DL; Colton Johnson, Sr., OL/DL; Drew Sacco, Sr., RB; Rocco Scarpellini, Sr., FB/LB; Conner Zukowski, Sr., QB

Outlook:
It usually doesn’t take Mansfield long to rebuild and the Hornets come into the new season with an experienced core of returning players, particularly in the skill positions, that is poised to challenge not only for the program’s first Davenport division title but also to make a deep run in the state tournament. With nearly all of its production back from last year, Mansfield will be counting on that year of experience to be ready for a tough schedule meant to prepare the Hornets for the playoffs.

The Mansfield offense should have plenty of balance to it this season. Senior Conner Zukowski will be back under center for the Hornets and he has a host of weapons to take advantage of in both the passing and ground games. Seniors Drew Sacco and Rocco Scarpellini will be in the backfield this season and both are dynamic runners who can grind yards or break big plays. Juniors Brian Butler and Nolan Bordieri could also be added to the mix. Junior Connor Curtis will give another option as a running QB. Junior Trevor Foley emerged as one of the top receivers in the league last season and junior CJ Bell, Bordieri, and junior Brandon Jackman give the Hornets a lot of depth on the outside, while senior Ryan DeGirolamo gives Zukowski a big target at tight end. The line should also be deep this season, led by seniors Jephte Jean and Colton Johnson and newcomers senior Dexter Harris, and juniors Aidan Gleavy, Matt Tryon, and Jason Riley.

Experience is a strength on the other side of the ball as well. Foley and Bell give Mansfield playmakers in the secondary that will cause havoc with opposition passing attacks. Bordieri and Jackman will add to that defensive back group. Jean was an imposing force on the defensive line and he will be helped by Gleavy and Harris. DeGirolamo gives the Hornets a threat from his defensive end position and Riley could step into that role on the other side. Scarpellini and senior Caden Colby will return at linebacker.

“Depth and experience at offensive skill positions with the return of about 95 percent of the team’s production from last year,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said of his team’s strength. “Defensive group is also experienced with the secondary returning three of the four starters and two of the three linebackers, so good experience there as well.”

2022 Davenport Division Preview

Oliver Ames

2021 Record: 4-7
Coach: Ed DeWitt

Key/Returning Players: Jaden Hinton, Sr., OL/DL; Chad Silva, Sr., RB/LB; Chris Young, Sr., OL/DL; Luis Fernandes, Sr., OL/DL; Robert Jenkins, Sr., RB/DB; Jaden Graham, Sr., WR/DB; Bronson Burnham, Sr., WR; John Carey, Sr., OL; Jack Morley, Sr., LB; Jordan Young, Sr., LB; Donovan Howard, Sr., DL; Jack Perron, Sr., DB; Nick Ferrini, Sr., DB; Wayne Casey, Sr., QB;

Outlook: Buoyed by a productive offseason, Oliver Ames is looking to get back into the heart of the division title race this season. The Tigers have a strong nucleus of players back and are hoping a strong line – both offensively and defensively – will pave the way for success this season.

Three of the Tigers’ five captains call the offensive line home so OA will lean heavily on that unit to pave the way for the offense. Columbia University-commit Jaden Hinton has transformed into one of the best two-way linemen in not only the Hock but in the state. He will be joined by fellow captains Chris Young and John Carey, as well as classmate Luis Fernandes. The unit will be in charge of creating holes for four-year starter and captain Chad Silva. After handling lead blocking duties last year, Silva will likely be the feature back for the Tigers and has a great combination of power and speed.

Senior captain Wayne Casey will start under center and will be tasked with controlling the offense. He will work with Robert Jenkins, Jaden Graham, and Bronson Burnham as weapons on offense.

Silva is back for another year at linebacker and is a big-time playmaker on that side of the ball. Seniors Jack Morley and Jordan Young round out an experienced group while Hinton will work with Young, Fernandes, and classmate Donovan Howard along the defensive line. Seniors Jack Perron and Nick Ferrini will play in the secondary alongside Jenkins and Graham.

“I am thrilled about the work our older guys have put in this offseason and really think it should help them pay off,” said OA head coach Ed DeWitt. “We really want to continue to improve week to week and play with more consistency than we did last year.”




2022 Davenport Division Preview

Sharon

2021 Record: 2-9
Coach: Dave Morse

Key/Returning Players: Joden Chanel, Sr., FB/DE; Liam Conway, Jr., QB; Dan Davis, Sr., OL/DT; Gabe Korn, Jr., RB/LB; Jacob McLoughlin, Jr., WR; Kyle Samuels, Sr., WR/DB; Duncan Seaman, Jr., RB/LB; Elijah Wisdom, Jr., FS

Outlook:
Sharon is continuing its independent schedule this fall and, with 13 returning starters, the Eagles will have plenty of experience. Depth continues to be a challenge for the program, but there is room for development, and head coach Dave Morse is hoping that a very young roster will continue to develop this season.

Junior quarterback Liam Conway will lead an offense that is going to try and add more balance this season. Senior Kyle Samuels and junior Jacob McLoughlin will be the primary targets in the passing game. Juniors Gabe Korn and Duncan Seaman will be in the backfield and will give the Eagles a couple of threats in the running game. Senior fullback Joden Chanel will try and lead the way in the running game and senior lineman Dan Davis will be there to open holes.

Defensively, Sharon wants to be more aggressive. Korn and Seaman will lead the linebacking corps and add playmaking on the defensive side of the ball. Davis will be an impact player on the line and Chanel will give Sharon speed on the edge. In the secondary, Samuels will be one of the top cover guys, while junior Elijah Wisdom will be a ball hawk at free safety.

“Hoping to continue to develop and turn that into winning football games,” Morse said. “We are still very young because of the lack of seniors but it is my job to get all of our players up to speed at the varsity level.”

Editor’s note: Sharon is competing a non-league schedule this season.

2022 Davenport Division Preview

Stoughton

2021 Record: 5-6
Coach: Greg Burke

Key/Returning Players: Tagh Swierzewski, Sr., RB/S; Timmy Chung, Sr., LB; Thomas Laz, Sr., OL/DL; Jarred Daughtry, Jr., QB/S; Liam Pearl, Jr., FB/LB; Alex Huynh, Jr., RB/SS; Tyler Noel, Sr., OL/DL; James Currier, Jr., WR/DB; Caden Beder, Sr., OL/LB; Elijah Thomas, Sr., OL/DL;

Outlook: Stoughton finished in the middle of the pack in the Davenport division after an injury-plagued season last year. The Black Knights reached the state tournament and kept it close before falling in the first round, and ended the season with a win over rival Canton on Thanksgiving to finish at 5-6.

Between the graduating seniors and the players returning from injury, there will be plenty of new playmakers for the Black Knights this season. One familiar face will be the one under center as junior Jarred Daughtry is back at quarterback after getting a lot of reps a season ago. Daughtry showed that he can make plays with his arm but he’s very athletic and will be someone opposing defenses have to keep an eye out for.

Running the Wing-T, Daughtry will have senior Tagh Swiezewski and juniors Liam Pearl and Alex Huynh – both of who got off to promising sophomore campaigns before injuries. All three will be involved in blocking and running, and also key pieces in the Stoughton passing game. Junior James Currier has emerged as a top option as a receiver as well.

Stoughton has been known for its tough defenses over the years under longtime head coach Greg Burke, and the Black Knights will be looking to continue that tradition this year. Stoughton gave up over 23 points per game last, which was unusually high for a program that has kept teams under 20 for at least the six seasons prior to that. An athletic secondary will feature Swierziewski, Daughtry, Huynh, and Currier. Timmy Chung returns as one of the starting linebackers alongside Pearl and Beder, while Laz, Noel, and Thomas will all be two-way linemen.

“We need to stay healthy and improve on the line,” said Burke. “We need younger players to play and to improve every week.”

Mansfield Upended By Norwood In Double Overtime

Mansfield boys basketball Trevor Foley
Mansfield sophomore Trevor Foley chases down a loose ball after forcing a turnover in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 MANSFIELD, Mass. — Behind a spectacular defensive effort, the Mansfield boys basketball team battled back to get in position to take the game.

But the signature run that the Hornets have used to put away teams time and time again just never came to close it out.

The Hornets dug themselves out of a 15-point second half hole, erased a seven-point deficit in the final 90 seconds of regulation but couldn’t quite put the finishing touches on the big comeback, falling 57-51 in double overtime to Norwood in the Division 2 Round of 8.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I thought our defense was pretty spectacular,” said Mansfield coach Mike Vaughan, who saw his team force the Mustangs into 25 turnovers. “I thought we did an awesome job on [Noah Beaudet]. I thought we were able to minimize their other guys’ chances and really put ourselves in a position to come back. The problem was, for whatever reason, the second half of the year we’ve struggled scoring. In the first half…you only have 14 points, you can’t do that against a team at this level.

“We continued to stay true to ourselves defensively and started to make some plays, hit a couple of shots. I just can’t say enough about their effort and commitment to playing the right way and playing hard. You can’t get a better high school game out of this.”

Mansfield boys basketball

The Hornets were limited to 14 points total in the opening half, and a bucket just seconds into the start of the second put the Mustangs ahead 29-14. Mansfield refused to go quietly and outscored the visitors 14-4 the rest of the way in the quarter to get back into it.

After an early bucket, sophomore Trevor Foley (16 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, three steals) turned a steal into an emphatic one-handed slam to bring the hosts within a point, 33-32. Mansfield tied it on a free throw from junior Chris Hill (14 points, six rebounds), who tacked on a three a couple of possessions later to tie it 36-36.

Norwood star junior Noah Beaudet broke free for a rare open look and drained a triple and scored three from the foul line to bring the Mustangs back in front, 44-37, with 1:47 to go.

Senior Andrew Slaney connected on a corner three and the Hornets trapped immediately on the inbounds and forced a turnover, resulting in a quick layup from senior Matt Hyland (10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals).

Mansfield forced back-to-back turnovers but missed the front end of a one-and-one and had another chance blocked. With 26 seconds left, Hyland found Hill on a backdoor lob play and Mansfield tied it 44-44. The Hornets got another stop on defense with 10 seconds to go but a layup chance was off the mark for the hosts to send the game into overtime.

Points were at a premium in the four-minute overtime period. Hyland lost control in the paint but the ball fell right to Foley for a layup with 2:17 to go. Hill grabbed a steal but the Hornets missed on a chance to extend the lead. Hyland had a steal on the next possession but the Hornets turned it right back over and Norwood tied the game on a putback from Ziad Awde.

Both teams missed on a three in the final minute as the game went double overtime, tied 46-46.

Mansfield boys basketball

Mansfield sandwiched a pair of misses around a turnover, and Beaudet converted to put the visitors ahead. A free throw cut it to one but a tough jumper from Beaudet extended it back to three, 50-47. The Hornets couldn’t get anything to go on their next trip, and Norwood turned an offensive rebound into two points, 52-47 with 1:15 to go.

Foley scored to cut it to four but the Mustangs did enough at the line to keep the advantage the rest of the way.

“I think it just came down to us missing some bunnies, we had our opportunities. I thought in the first half we were forcing some action and then we got to a point we weren’t forcing it, but there were some opportunities when it looked like easy baskets that we just didn’t put in the hole. I’m not sure we shot great from the foul line either. Those two things…you can’t shoot yourself at this level. Defensively, we did it…we played great on defense and played as good as we could on defense.

“But offensively, I thought there were a lot of times we got exactly what we wanted but didn’t capitalize on it.”

Mansfield had an uncharacteristic day on the offensive end, shooting under 30% from the field overall and under 20% from three-point range.

Hill scored the opening basket of the game but it would end up as Mansfield’s lone lead of regulation. Hyland had the two other buckets but Norwood claimed a 14-6 lead after one.

An early three from Hill gave Mansfield a good start to the second quarter, and points from Foley and Anthony Sacchetti made it 14-13 before Mansfield’s offense went cold and the Mustangs closed the half on a 13-1 run.

Foley ignited the Hornet offense with back-to-back buckets in the third, Hyland and Caden Colby each had one from in close, and Slaney added a three. By the end of the third, Mansfield closed the gap to just five, 33-28.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hornets lose five seniors to graduation including Hyland, Sacchetti, Slaney, Jack Lasbury-Casey, and Riley Waldron.

“They are tremendous kids,” Vaughan said. “This was just a great group, starting with the seniors all the way through. Nice kids, came to work every day and never complained. I had no issues with this team all year long. They were great, it was a fun team to be around.”

Mansfield boys basketball finishes the season at 21-5.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/08/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Division 1

#12 Catholic Memorial, 81 @ #5 Franklin, 78 – Final (OT)Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Division 2
#15 Shepherd Hill, 44 @ #2 Mansfield, 47 – FinalMansfield used a big third quarter to grab the lead and then held on at the end to secure a win over an upset-minded Shepherd Hill. The visitors finished the first half with a 6-0 burst to grab a 21-20 lead at the halftime break. Mansfield responded with an 8-2 run to start the fourth and staked a 38-31 lead going into the fourth quarter. Shepherd Hill got back into it with a run to start the final quarter and got within one with a chance to take the lead but senior Matt Hyland stepped in to take a charge and get the ball back. Caden Colby secured a big defensive rebound and hit two free throws with one second left to help get the win. Hyland finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore Trevor Foley added 14 points, eight boards, and four blocks. Mansfield will host #7 Norwood on Friday, tentatively scheduled for Friday at 6:30.

Girls Basketball
Division 1

#11 Lincoln-Sudbury, 23 @ #6 Franklin, 60 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.

Division 2
#14 Foxboro, 41 @ #3 Oliver Ames, 58 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

#10 Canton, 52 @ #7 Westwood, 49 – Final (OT)

Boys Hockey
Division 1

#19 Franklin, 1 @ #3 Hingham, 4 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/04/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Division 1

#28 Durfee, 39 @ #5 Franklin, 60 – Final A 15-0 run to start the game and a dominant third quarter highlighted Franklin’s big win over visiting Durfee. Sophomore Henry DiGiorgio made a splash in his first game back after missing five games to finish the season, scoring seven of his 10 points in the first while senior Sean Vinson (14 points) hit a pair of first quarter threes to set the tone early. Justin Allen, Will Tracey, and Andrew O’Neill each hit a three in the second as Franklin established a 31-19 lead at halftime. In the third, the Panthers poured in 21 points while holding the Hilltoppers to just eight to extend the lead to 52-27. Sophomore Sean O’Leary scored half of his 12 points in the third while DiGiorgio added a three for Franklin, who will host #21 Catholic Memorial next week.

#38 Concord-Carlisle, 59 @ #6 Taunton, 64 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

#21 Catholic Memorial, 66 @ #12 Attleboro, 62 – Final

Division 2
#31 Middleboro, 41 @ #2 Mansfield, 72 – FinalAfter a competitive first quarter, Mansfield held Middleboro to just four points in the second quarter and nine in the third while its offense didn’t skip a beat from start to finish. The Hornets held a slim 18-14 lead after a quarter but while Mansfield’s offense continued at that same pace in the second, Middleboro’s didn’t thanks to a strong defensive effort from the hosts. Sophomore Trevor Foley scored six points in each of the first three quarters and finished with a career-high 20 points. The Hornets had nine players get on the scoring sheet with senior Matt Hyland chipping in with 13 points and junior Chris Hill (a trio of trifectas) adding 11 points. Mansfield will host ##15 Shepherd Hill next week.

#17 Sharon, 66 @ #16 Agawam, 73 – FinalAfter falling behind early, Sharon rallied to erase most of the deficit but fell just short of the complete comeback. Agawam scored 23 points in the opening quarter with six players contributing to the early advantage. Sharon played the Brownies even in the second, trailing by seven (40-33) at the break. The Eagles, who were without second leading scorer Nate Katznelson, got within one possession (68-65) with just over a minute to go but Agawam closed the game out strong to get the win. Junior Matt Baur led the offense with 19 points while senior Will Hippler scored 15 of his career-high 17 points in the second half to help the Eagles make a game of it. Sophomore Jacob McLoughlin chipped in with 12 points for Sharon.

#24 Foxboro, 70 @ #9 Walpole, 73 – FinalIn a rock fight between two evenly matched teams, Foxboro fell just short on the road at Walpole. A back-and-forth clash saw both teams make runs and take turns with the lead, but neither squad led by double digits throughout the game. The Timberwovles threatened to pull away a couple of times, including early in the fourth before Foxboro junior Alex Penders sank back-to-back three pointers to keep the Warriors in it. Junior Andrew Finn drilled a three with under 30 seconds to go to make it a two-point game. After Walpole hit one of two chances from the line, Foxboro’s heavily contested three point bid was to tie the game was off the mark. Senior Dylan Gordon had his way on the offensive end with a team-high 29 points while Penders finished with 26 points for the Warriors.










Girls Basketball
Division 1

#27 Braintree, 43 @ #6 Franklin, 69 – FinalThe Panthers scored the opening 11 points of the game and never let up, rolling to a big win in the first round. Franklin scored 22 points in the first and 20 int the second, building a 42-21 lead at halftime. The lead grew to 30 points after three. Katie Peterson was Franklin’s top scorer with 17 points, 15 of them coming in the first half. Stefany Padula scored nine (six in the first quarter) and Olivia Quinn and Brigid Earley each scored eight. Julia White chipped in with seven points off the bench for the Panthers. Hailey Sherrick was the game’s top scorer with 22 points for the Wamps, 15 in the second half. Franklin will host No. 11 seed Lincoln-Sudbury in the Sweet Sixteen at a date and time to be determined.

#31 King Philip, 36 @ #2 Wachusett, 54 – FinalKP hung tough with the undefeated Mountaineers through the first half, but the No. 2 seed took control of the game with a big third quarter. The Warriors trailed just 27-23 heading to the locker room, but Wachusett put together a 22-4 third to take control of the game. KP held Wachusett to only five points in the fourth, but was unable to make a serious dent in the deficit. Elizabeth Molla and Jackie Bonner combined for a trio of three-pointers and each scored 11 points to pace the Warriors, while Liv Lafond added eight. KP coach Jeff Miszkiewicz said, “I’m very proud of the way the team conducted themselves in a very tough road environment. They handled themselves with class and left everything they had on the court.”

#26 Mansfield, 37 @ #7 Woburn, 42 – FinalKara Santos scored 18 points and Abby Wager had 14 but it wasn’t enough to help the Hornets overcome Woburn on the road in the Round of 32.

Division 2
#30 North Middlesex, 36 @ #3 Oliver Ames, 79 – FinalOliver Ames senior Caroline Peper poured in 30 points, including the 1,000th of her career, to pace the Tigers to a big win over North Middlesex. OA’s offense was clicking early as the Tigers raced out to a 42-21 lead by halftime. Peper drilled a three-pointer on the first play of the fourth quarter to hit the milestone (see video below). Sophomores Jasmyn Cooper (19 points) and Sarah Hilliard (10 points) also played well in the win.

#23 Tewksbury, 49 @ #10 Canton, 56 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

#19 Nashoba, 38 @ #14 Foxboro, 56 – FinalFreshman Kailey Sullivan scored 28 points in her playoff debut, leading the Warriors to first round win. Foxboro advances to the Round of 16 for a rematch with Oliver Ames.

Girls Hockey
Division 1

#24 Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 @ #9 Haverhill, 6 – Final

Division 2
#25 Franklin, 0 @ #8 Andover, 4 – Final

Taunton Storms Past Mansfield For Share Of Kelley-Rex

Taunton boys basketball Trent Santos
Taunton senior Trent Santos pulls up for a three in transition in the fourth quarter against Mansfield. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 TAUNTON, Mass. — Not many players in the state have the license to take a pull-up three on a fast break in any ordinary game, let alone a tie game in the fourth quarter with the league title at stake.

Taunton’s Trent Santos is an exception.

Santos drained the shot with 4:30 to go to put the Tigers ahead for the first time in the second half, a lead that never vanished as Taunton used a dominant fourth quarter to secure a 56-46 win, clinching at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Taunton boys basketball

Taunton can become the first team besides Mansfield to win the division outright since 2012 with a win over Milford on Friday. Santos finished with 11 of his 27 points in the final quarter along with seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

“I know coach wouldn’t have been too happy if I missed that shot but we were on a run and the momentum was crazy, I just felt it so I shot it and when it went in, I was relieved,” said Santos. “Franklin and Mansfield, all of their help defense and how they force you way out, they do a really good job with it. But that shot, we were on a run there so I felt it.”

Santos’ pull-up three was the midway point of a stunning turnaround for the Tigers. Mansfield’s suffocating defense held the hosts without a point for the final five minutes of the first half, and limited Taunton to 12 hard-earned points in the third quarter.

Going into the fourth, Taunton scored on back-to-back possessions just twice. Once in the first quarter on a putback from Santos and then a three from Faisal Mass (12 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks). And once in the second quarter, a three from Troy Santos (eight points, six rebounds) followed by a layup from Trent Santos. The Tigers didn’t have a significant run at any point through the first 24 minutes.

A commitment to an improved defensive performance and better rebounding (13-4 in the fourth) led to a spirited offensive performance over the final eight minutes as the Tigers opened the quarter with a 14-0 run, and in the end, outscored the Hornets 20-2.

“It was really our defense in the fourth quarter,” Santos said. “We all locked in and committed to rebounding and getting out on the break and we were able to hit some big shots to go on that run that won us the game. It feels amazing, the atmosphere in here was crazy, and in that fourth quarter, it was really fun to play basketball.”

The fourth quarter fittingly started with a stop for the Tigers, first a steal and then a miss from Mansfield. Although Taunton was off on its first shot, sophomore Cyrus Morissette came up with a pair of offensive boards to keep the possession alive and he found Tristan Herry for his lone make from the field, a three-pointer.

Another stop was hauled in by Herry, and he quickly pushed it up for Santos, who didn’t hesitate before draining a three. Out of a timeout, Taunton forced a shot clock violation, Mansfield got a stop of its own, and then Mass came down with a board after the Hornets missed again.

Morissette took a pass at the top of the key and bullied his way to the basket, banking it in to tie it at 44-44 with under five minutes to play.

Then came the steal from Santos, the pass from Herry, and the pull-up three from Santos that put Taunton ahead for good.

“They kind of just locked in collectively defensively,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “We got some stops and obviously came down the other end and hit some shots. Trent hit some shots, maybe not recommended shots but he’s been taking them and making them all year. And Tristan had a big three too, and Cyrus getting to the rim was another one. A lot of small things added up.

“They’ve been working hard all year long and we’ve been pushing them in practice, we really have. And they’ve responded. Other teams I’ve had in the past haven’t always done that. They show up every day and they go, and that’s unique in high school.”

Mansfield had a couple of chances to get back into it but had a travel to start and then missed on a pair of three-point attempts. They got a couple of stops but couldn’t get it going on offense, missing another three and then a pair of free throws.

Taunton boys basketball

Taunton came back the other way and Santos got his man in the air on a fake, took a step to his right, and then drained another triple — his third of the quarter — to make it 50-44 with 1:43 to go.

“That momentum is huge for us, just huge. Success breeds success…it’s at that point, I’m hands off,” Dacey said. “It’s always Mansfield or Franklin, and then us. This year, now it’s us. It’s great for the kids, it’s good for the psyche of the school.”

Taunton boys basketball

Mansfield finally broke its cold spell when sophomore Trevor Foley (10 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks) converted a putback to cut it to four points. Mansfield scrambled on defense to try and double but Santos was able to find Morissette cutting to the basket for two and a 52-46 lead with under a minute to go, icing the win.

“I thought we did a really good job rebounding the and then we gave up the three to Herry off an offensive rebound, and then Santos came down and hit another one and I could see faces on my guys deflated,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I just said to them, when you wear this uniform, you always believe we’re winning. I felt like we played not to lose instead of going out to win. There were so many things in the last four minutes that weren’t what we typically do.

“I thought we did a good job contesting shooters and making them work for everything. I don’t know if they got an open look really throughout the game so I was happy with what I thought was high-level defense. If you’re holding them to 56, you’re doing a pretty good job defensively.”

Santos got off to a great start to the game. After being shut out in the first half during the first meeting in Mansfield, Santos exploded for 12 points out of the game as the Tigers staked a 15-13 lead after eight minutes.

“It’s my eighth time playing [Mansfield] and I get more sick of it every time I play them, they do such a good job moving the ball and forcing us into tough shots and getting us tired, that’s how they win,” Santos said. “For us to really just commit and lock in and finish strong, I think that’s really what won us the game.”

Mansfield took control of the game with a 13-0 run to end the first half. Matt Hyland (17 points, six assists, two steals, two blocks) sandwiched a pair of makes around a putback from Foley to tie the game. Hyland then found Foley for two, Hyland drained a three-pointer, and then a layup from Hyland following a block from Foley had the visitors up 31-24 at the break.

An early three from Troy Santos and a take from Mass got Taunton going early in the third but Mansfield countered with a free throw from Anthony Sacchetti and a transition bucket from Hyland. Chris Hill dropped in a baseline jumper, Sacchetti cut to the basket for two more, and another bucket from Foley had the Hornets ahead, 44-36, going into the fourth.

Mansfield is still mathematically alive for their 10th straight Kelley-Rex title but the Hornets would need to beat both Milford and Attleboro to close the week and would need the Scarlet Hawks to land an upset over Taunton on Friday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Taunton boys basketball

But if Taunton wins on Friday, it will give the Tigers the division title outright. It would be the program’s second straight (after sharing with Mansfield a year ago), and first outright Hock title.

“We still have to win on Friday against Milford, but we definitely had a sour taste in our mouth from last year in the loss at Mansfield, seeing them cut the nets down,” Santos said. “It really felt good to get one back here, against them especially.

Taunton boys basketball (14-1, 16-2) will host Milford on Friday for a chance to clinch the league crown, but the Scarlet Hawks will first travel to Mansfield (12-2, 15-4) on Wednesday night for a date with the Hornets.

Mansfield Edges Franklin In Back-And-Forth Battle

Mansfield boys basketball Matt Hyland
Mansfield senior Matt Hyland goes up for a shot against Franklin’s Sean Vinson (right) and Sean O’Leary (25) in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FRANKLIN, Mass. — One of the best rivalries in the state added a new chapter on Friday night, and it was one of the best games in series history.

Up-and-down, back-and-forth the Panthers and the Hornets went, matching shot for shot and stop for stop over the course of four quarters — and it took every second of the 32 minutes to decide this one.

Mansfield senior Matty Hyland sank both of his one-and-one free throws with 13.4 seconds left and the Hornets held on as Franklin’s last-second turnaround jumper at the elbow hit off the iron and stayed out, securing a 56-55 victory in a thriller.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The largest lead for either side was nine in favor of the hosts after senior Sean Vinson, who had a career-high 27 points in a gutsy performance, knocked down one of his five three-pointers just a minute into the second quarter for a 20-11 lead.

Meanwhile, the visiting Hornets had the lead just three times in the first half. The first coming on the back of an 11-0 run that erased Franklin’s largest advantage, and twice more over the next couple of minutes. But each of the three leads never increased more than two points before Franklin tied it or went back ahead.

Mansfield’s first lead of the second half came on a three-pointer with a minute to go in the third quarter, a 42-41 lead that the Hornets carried into the final quarter.

And the final quarter, a rollercoaster back-and-forth that featured nine lead changes, the largest lead being five points for Mansfield at 52-47, but that too, was quickly erased as the Panthers retook the lead.

“It was a good old-fashioned boxing match,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “How many lead changes were there? It had to be a lot, it was back-and-forth. I think they had a little bigger of a margin than we did, I don’t think we ever had a big lead. I thought there were times we could have folded and put our tail between our legs but we came down and made big plays.

“Against Franklin, you have to find creative ways to score. Sometimes it’s threes, sometimes you have to get to the rim. They are so solid defensively, you have to be creative and find different ways to score each trip, and ultimately, we were able to do that for sure.”

The fourth lead change of the final quarter came on a nice pass from Mansfield junior Chris Hill to find sophomore Trevor Foley cutting to the basket. Foley had one of the best games of his career with 16 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks — more to come on the blocks.

The fifth came right after on a nice up-and-under move from Vinson and the Panthers took a timeout.

Mansfield boys basketball

Mansfield was the first team to get back-to-back buckets in the quarter, first with Hill dropping one in from close, and then after a stop, Hyland battled through some great defense to finish off a tough layup for a 50-47 lead. Another stop led to another bucket from Hyland for Mansfield’s largest lead of the entire game at 52-47.

It didn’t last long: Vinson knocked down a corner three off a pass from Justin Allen (11 points). The Panthers looked poised to tie the game after a turnover but Foley came racing back and pinned the ball against the backboard for a huge chase-down block.

The Panthers, who played the entire second half without leading scorer sophomore Henry Digiorgio because of an injury in the first half, weren’t too fazed as they got a stop and Ben Harvey found Vinson for yet another three, and just like that, Franklin was ahead with under two minutes to play.

The see-saw battle continued, and arguably the biggest plays of the game came next. Hyland came up with an offensive rebound to give the visitors a second shot, which was also off but this time Foley won the battle for the board.

The Hornets missed another chance but once again, Foley came flying in and tipped in the offensive board for two, and a 54-53 lead with under a minute to go. Mansfield won the rebounding battle 9-1 in the final quarter, including five offensive boards.

Andrew Slaney came up for a steal for the Hornets, and Vaughan tried to call a timeout but neither official noticed. The Panthers took advantage with a steal and Allen laid in an uncontested layup for a 54-55 lead with 20 seconds to go.

Mansfield boys basketball

Mansfield came back up the floor in a hurry, and yet again Vaughan’s timeout efforts went unnoticed, and instead, Hyland drew a blocking call for Franklin’s seventh foul of the half.

Hyland finished with 17 of his 25 points in the second half for the Hornets, tying a career-high.

“There’s something to be said about guys like Matty and what he was able to do,” Vaughan said. “Vinson did a really good job against him defensively and really made him work for everything. And as much as I was trying to whine for a foul, he did it clean and he did a really good job of keeping him in front of him and Matty had to work for anything that he got.”

Hyland hit both free throws and Mansfield — who was well under the bonus — strategically fouled twice over the final 10 seconds to drain some clock. Franklin inbounded it with 3.9 seconds left and got off a shot but it was off the mark.

Mansfield boys basketball

“I thought the guys that were out there really gave their heart and soul, I can’t ask for more effort-wise,” said Franklin head coach CJ Neely. “We’ll watch the film and probably see something things we could have done better execution-wise. You don’t want to let it go to that last possession like that, they had a lot of offensive rebounds that we could have pulled in and maybe turned it into a three-point lead instead of a one-point lead.

“You can’t give a team like that multiple chances down the stretch and unfortunately offensive rebounds killed us late. I don’t think it was for most of the game and we made them work for everything they got. Hyland’s a great player and made some big plays down the stretch that really sealed the game.”

As they often have this year, Franklin had a strong start to the game with success from range. Sophomore Andrew O’Neill hit a pair of three-pointers and sophomore Sean O’Leary cashed in on a Mansfield turnover for a quick 8-0 lead. A three from Caden Colby and a late steal and bucket from Foley closed the gap to 15-11 at the end of one.

O’Leary went to work in the paint for two and Vinson sank a three to Franklin’s largest lead but that was short-lived as Mansfield answered with an 11-0 run, sparked by a three from Jack Lasbury-Casey. Foley cleaned up his own miss and had another steal and layup, and Hyland had four straight to take a 22-20 lead.

“I’m proud of Trevor, he’s really come into his own. He’s played well the last couple of games and has kind of built some confidence and starting to play like a junior instead of a sophomore…his first half was huge, he stepped in and really took some of the pressure off Matty.”

Vinson stopped the bleeding to tie it 22-22, and then drained a three after Foley’s tough take handed Mansfield its second lead. Slaney hit one of Mansfield’s five total threes but this time it was Allen who answered with a three. Allen then added another one right before the buzzer to give Franklin a 32-27 lead at halftime.

“Sean Vinson has been one of the best leaders we’ve ever had and I expect nothing less of that when he’s on the floor,” Neely said. “He missed the first matchup [COVID], he was devastated. He was really looking forward to his chance to play Mansfield here at home, and you can see it in the effort he put out there. What a performance for him.”

Franklin finished 10-for-21 from three-point range, but only hit on three trifectas in the second half on half the attempts. Losing Digiorgio was a big blow to not only the shooting game (he made four on Tuesday against Taunton and had three in the first meeting with Mansfield), it hurt the Panthers’ rebounding game (Digiorgio had double-digit boards on Tuesday).

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“That’s our leading scorer and one of our best players, it’s hard to in-game adjust to losing him,” Neely said. “I do think we settled in eventually and get O’Leary some touches inside and Vinson had some big shots, big plays, and we had some other guys step up. But you don’t just replace a guy like Hank, he’s a really good player that we missed out there.”

“We always want to try and take [the three] away because they have a lot of firepower there and they can do it in a hurry, you really have to try and keep them in check,” Vaughan said. “We made some adjustments and obviously Digiorgio not playing is super unfortunate and he’s a high-level scorer and rebounder, so I hope it isn’t bad and he’s back soon. You never want to see something like that happen and it changed their rotations and their shot selection.”

Mansfield boys basketball

Mansfield boys basketball (12-1 Hockomock, 15-3) stays within a game of first place of the division with a game in hand and will travel to first place Taunton for a huge showdown on Tuesday. Franklin (11-3, 15-3) hits the road to visit Milford on the same day.