HINGHAM, Mass. – For 32 minutes, the 12th-seeded Foxboro Warriors gave the fifth-seeded Harbormen of Hingham High everything they could handle.
The four minutes of the overtime period, however, was all Hingham.
The Harbormen forced the extra period with a free throw with 1.6 seconds left in regulation and then dominated the extra frame en route to a 76-62 win in the First Round of the Division 2 South Sectional tournament.
Foxboro raced out to a 41-33 lead at halftime but the Harbormen employed a box-and-one defense on Warrior senior star guard Brandon Borde (22 points, nine rebounds) in the second half, a tactic that slowed the Warriors throughout the final 16 minutes of regulation.
By the start of the fourth, Foxboro’s lead shrunk to just two, 45-43, after the Warriors hit just one field goal in the third quarter and scored four points total. The fourth quarter certainly went better and the Warriors went back-and-forth with the hosts.
“They went to the box-and-one [on Borde], we knew it was coming,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We spent a lot of time on it in practice the last two days, we had a lot of different things ready to go, and for the most part, I thought we did get some good looks but it was just one of those nights where the ball didn’t fall at key times. I thought we executed pretty well, just didn’t make enough of our good looks. And it took us out of our rhythm in terms of running our normal offense.
Hingham sophomore Nick Johannes converted a tough layup off the glass to seize a 54-52 lead with 3:28 to go but two possessions later, Foxboro senior Donald Rogers (12 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists) finished a layup through contact, adding a free throw to put Foxboro ahead 55-54 with 2:19 to play.
Thomas Koenen finished down low for Hingham to take the lead back but a hustle offensive rebound from Foxboro senior Dylan Barreira led to a bucket from classmate Ryan Hughes (nine points, six rebounds) off an inbound pass from Rogers.
Hingham answered again, this time as Luke Mashburn sank a difficult turnaround baseline jumper for a 58-57 lead. With just under a minute to go and the shot clock about to expire, Rogers drove to the basket to draw a pair of defenders, leaving Hughes open for an easy finish and a 59-58 lead with 34 seconds to play.
The Warriors got the stop they needed but couldn’t extend their lead, missing the front end of a one-and-one situation with 10.6 seconds to go. Hingham’s Jack Hurley (career-high 28 points, 13 rebounds) was fouled driving to the basket with 1.6 seconds to go. He missed the first but hit the second to tie and send it to overtime.
In overtime, Foxboro had the first possession but came up short. Hingham missed from the line but got the offensive rebound, missed a three, but once again got the offensive rebound, and Johannes finished at the rim. Hingham held a 46-31 advantage on the boards, including 13-7 on offensive rebounds.
“Felt like more [than 13 offensive rebounds],” Gibbs said. “For whatever reason tonight, we just didn’t rebound the ball as well as we needed to. Give credit to Hingham, they attacked the offensive glass with incredible energy. Guards, forwards, everybody on their team seemed to be all over the offensive glass. I thought our guys played hard but those rebounds hurt us. I think especially early on, fouls and rebounds hurt us, they were able to stay within striking distance.”
On the ensuing possession, Hurley deflected a pass free and went in uncontested for a layup and a 63-59 lead, tying Hingham’s largest lead in the same at that point. Another Foxboro miss and Hingham drained a three for a 66-59 lead with 2:32 left.
In all, it was a 13-0 run to start the overtime period before Foxboro got on the board with under a minute to go.
“Once it got it to the overtime, I thought they punched first,” Gibbs said. “We had a couple of good looks that didn’t drop and they knocked down some shots. At that point, with not a lot of time left on the clock, you’re in a tough spot. They stole the momentum early in the overtime and kind of put us back on our heels.”
While Hingham’s defense slowed the Warriors in the second half, the only thing that really held Foxboro back in the first half was fouls (13 team fouls in the first).
Foxboro shot 51.9% from the field over the first 16 minutes, racking up 41 points in the process. The Harbormen had no answer for Borde in the first half as the senior poured in 20 points, including going 4-for-6 from three point range.
Hughes added five points in the first before running in foul trouble in the second, Dylan Barreira converted a traditional three-point play, and Rogers sank a triple to help Foxboro take a 23-14 lead through the first quarter.
Borde added 10 more points in the second quarter as the Harbormen tried to slow Foxboro with a 2-3 zone. Will Morrison (11 points) and Rogers each hit a three and Barreira added two more from the line to help Foxboro take a 41-33 lead into halftime.
The Warriors shot 7-for-14 from three-point range in the first half but only sank one each in the third, fourth, and overtime periods.
Foxboro boys basketball finishes the season at 14-9 with a share of the Davenport division title.
Foxboro, 61 vs. Bishop Feehan, 52 – Final – Foxboro used a pair of big runs in the second half to secure a win over Feehan in the regular season finale for both teams. Trailing midway through the third, the Warriors had a 10-0 burst to take the lead for good, and then created some breathing room with a 12-0 surge in the fourth. Senior Donald Rogers scored 14 of his team-high 22 points in the third quarter, finding success at the free throw line (11-for-12) throughout the game. Brandon Borde added 14 points in the win while both Ryan Hughes and Will Morrison finished with 12 points apiece.
Franklin, 78 @ Weston, 50 – Final
Franklin vs. Bishop Guertin (N.H.), 4:00
Franklin, 2 vs. Marshfield, 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Stoneham, 5 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 @ Whitman-Hanson, 0 – Final – Shortly after MOA goalie Jess Widdop turned aside a third breakaway chance from Whitman-Hanson, Emma Pereira blasted in the game-winning goal with 9:07 left in the third period. With the win, the Warriors qualify for the state tournament.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Foxboro senior Brandon Borde was certainly happy when he scored his 1,000th career point, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. And how it happened was pretty cool, too.
The Warriors’ once 14-point second-half lead had dwindled over the third quarter and the Red Rocketeers were threatening early in the fourth, getting within five.
Just three points away from the milestone, Borde instead recorded an assist to Will Morrison for a three-pointer, and two possessions later, the senior guard got within one point when he converted down low on an inbound pass from Donald Rogers.
The next possession up, Borde (21 points, four rebounds, four assists) used a screen to break free from his man, taking a pass from Ryan Hughes in the corner and hit nothing but net from three-point range, surpassing the milestone with 5:55 left. The shot also proved to be the dagger the Warriors needed to fend off North Attleboro.
Foxboro went on to pick up a 68-57 win, clinching a share of the Davenport division title alongside Stoughton and Milford, who also won on Friday night.
“It means a ton to me, since I was a little kid, I’ve pictured this,” Borde said. “I came to the high school games, shooting around in the gym, watching all the guys ahead of me. It means a lot to represent the town in that way, and I wouldn’t have gotten here without all of the guys I’ve played with since my freshman year to now.
“We had a lot of adversity, dealing with injuries, so [the division title] means a lot. We had two big things happen besides the 1,000, we won a share of the division and we qualified for the state tournament so it was a big night for the team. And it was nice to hit it on a three, kind of cooler than a layup.”
For Foxboro, it was the punctuation of a run that sealed the win, a division title, and a playoff spot. The Warriors had an 11-point lead at halftime (39-28) and pushed the lead to its peak at 44-32 with 6:43 to play on a layup from Borde.
But North Attleboro refused to go away, getting six straight from sophomore Brody Rosenberg — three from deep, three the traditional way — and two more from senior Josh Porter. Junior George Ladd, who was the focus of the North offense for most of the night, got going in the post, scoring through contact to make it 46-42.
Borde stemmed the tide with a finish through traffic and Morrison (15 points, three assists) set up Rogers (15 points, five rebounds, four assists) for a triple, one of 10 made from downtown from the Warriors.
Edan Kelley answered from deep and Ladd (20 points, seven rebounds) added a traditional three-point play but Hughes (eight points, nine rebounds) had four points for the Warriors in the final minute to keep the visitors ahead 55-48 through three quarters.
“In the second half, they really went inside to Ladd and take advantage of their size to get some easy baskets,” Gibbs said. “We had to make some adjustments on how we were defending the post. I was just really proud of the resiliency of our guys. The first half went pretty smoothly for the most part but then they cut it down to four, and the momentum had totally turned.
“Given the circumstances, the pressure of what was at stake, the way the game was going on the road, we could have folded but we didn’t. I thought we really locked in, we got some big stops, got some big rebounds, and we came down and executed on offense and guys made some big shots. I was just really proud, that’s what you hope your team is going to do with a lot of seniors and they did that tonight.”
Ladd sank a pair of free throws to get the Rocketeers within 11 with just under five minutes to go and North’s defense got back-to-back stops but the offense couldn’t cut into the deficit any further. A long possession from the Warriors ended in a three from Rogers on a pass from Dylan Barreira.
“They were the better team tonight, I thought their kids played really hard,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “Brandon Borde is a really tough player, it’s a great achievement to get 1,000 points. He’s a tough matchup. I thought our kids fought hard we just had too many breakdowns, especially on defense. To Foxboro’s credit, when we made a mistake, they generally finished. That was probably the difference.
“It’s frustrating because our guys are better than some of the breakdowns we had. [Foxboro] had a good game plan, they wanted to get us into help, get us into rotation and our rotation was just not where it needed to be. It’s basic fundamental things that we need to be better at and stuff that I have to do a better job of getting them to the level they need to be defensively in the Hockomock League.”
Rogers got Foxboro off to a strong start, getting to the basket three times for six points in the opening quarter while Borde and Hughes each had four, and Morrison hit the first of his five three-pointers. North Attleboro senior Ethan Friberg hit three three-pointers to keep the Rocketeers close, down 17-13 after one.
Borde had a steal and layup to push Foxboro’s lead to nine in the second, and Barreira finished off a three-point play at the midway point of the second to push the Warriors’ lead to 28-17. Tommy Whalen, Rosenberg (13 points, six rebounds), and Ladd kept the Rocketeers in it but Liam Devlin scored off his own miss and then beat the buzzer from three-point range to give Foxboro its 39-28 halftime edge.
With the win, Foxboro earns a share of the Davenport division title, the program’s third since 2016. The Warriors share the crown with Stoughton and Milford, the Warriors split the season series with both teams. Foxboro had to win its final two games to earn a share.
“I just said to them in the locker room, out of the three league championship teams I’ve been fortunate to coach, I’m most proud of this one because of the adversity that they’ve had to overcome,” Gibbs said. “A lot of things in the team with injuries and illnesses that have made it tough for us to have competitive practices at times, made it hard to establish roles and rotations.
“And we’ve had some tough, heart-breaking losses to good teams over the course of the season and every time that happened, they bounced right back. I think throughout the season, we showed a lot of resiliency and that was on full display tonight when North made that run. I’m just really proud of them.”
Foxboro boys basketball (9-7 Hockomock, 11-8 overall) will wrap its season up with three non-league games, starting with a first-round matchup in the Warrior Classic against Holliston on Monday at 2:45. North Attleboro (4-12, 5-14) will close the season with a trip to rival Attleboro for a non-league game on Wednesday.
Attleboro, 63 @ Taunton, 71 – Final – Taunton sophomore Tristan Herry poured in a career-high 26 points and sophomore Trent Santos added 18 points as the Tigers outlasted Attleboro to get the win. The Tigers held a 50-49 lead after three quarters before finishing strong to close out the win. Herry accounted for half of Taunton’s 10 three-pointers, hitting four in the first half as he netted 18 points in the opening two quarters. Santos (four three-pointers) did most of his damage after the break with 13 points in the second half. Junior Tyler Stewart scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half for Taunton. Attleboro’s Bryant Ciccio scored a team-high 26 points, hitting on 10 two-point field goals, while senior Qualeem Charles added 18 points for the Bombardiers.
North Attleboro, 60 @ Canton, 46 – Final – North Attleboro sophomore Brody Rosenberg connected on three of his four three-pointers in the final quarter to help the Rocketeers pull away with the win. The visitors led after each the first three quarters (13-9 after one, 27-19 at at half), taking a 39-32 advantage into the fourth before putting together its best offensive quarter (21 points). Junior Edan Kelley joined in on the three party, connecting from downtown five times to finish with a career-high 19 points, including four trifectas in the second half. Junior George Ladd was a consistent on the offensive end for the Rocketeers with 15 points. Canton’s Eric Mischler sank three triples and finished with a team-high 13 points while Lanse Dorcelus added 11 points for the Bulldogs.
Sharon, 58 @ Foxboro, 74 – Final – Foxboro created separation with a big second quarter offensively and extended the lead with a big defensive quarter in the third, rolling to a win over Sharon. The win, coupled with Stoughton’s win over Milford, pulls the Warriors into a three-way tie with the Black Knights and Scarlet Hawks for first in the Davenport with one game to go. Foxboro had five players reach double figures for the first time this season with senior Brandon Borde leading the way with a team-high 21 points. Ryan Hughes, Kevin Gallagher, and Will Morrison each added 11 points for the Warriors while Donald Rogers finished with 10 points. Sharon’s Andrew Burton scored a team-high 15 points while Kiran Chandrasekaran added nine points for the Eagles.
Franklin, 59 @ Oliver Ames, 52 – Final – Franklin senior Chris Edgehill scored a team-high 16 points and in the process became the program’s all-time leading scorer. Edgehill tied Matt Palazini’s record of 1,306 with seven points in the first half and then broke the record in the third. Jack Rudolph hit four first half three-pointers, finishng wiht 12 points while both Steven Karayan and Brayden Sullivan chipped in 11 points for the Panthers, who totaled 10 three-pointers as a team. It was close throughout as Franklin held a five point lead after the first (17-12) and second quarters (30-25), and a four-point advantage (45-41) heading into the fourth. The Tigers cut the deficit to two (49-47) with 3:37 left but Franklin pulled away in the end for the win.
King Philip, 44 @ Mansfield, 62 – Final – Mansfield trailed by three after a quarter of play but surged ahead with a 21-point second quarter and never looked back in a win over King Philip. The Warriors had a 13-10 edge after eight minutes but the Hornets had six players score in the second to race in front, leading 31-23 at half and pushing the lead to 10 (46-36) going into the fourth. The Hornets limited to KP to 13 or fewer points in each quarter. In the second, junior TJ Guy scored eight of his team-high 20 points, Matt Boen added five of his 13 points, Drew Rooney and Chris Hill both scored from the floor, and Brendan Foley and Sam Stevens (10 points) each chipped in from the free throw line. Hill added five more in the third while Boen, Rooney, and Stevens each hit fourth quarter three-pointers to pull away. KP senior Tommy Donahue had a team-high 15 points while classmate Alex Fritz added 12 points.
Taunton, 51 @ Attleboro, 65 – Final – The Bombardiers celebrated senior night with a big win that moves them back to .500 on the season and one win from booking a return to the state tournament. Nyah Thomas was Attleboro’s top scorer with 18 points and also added five assists. Meghan Gordon scored 16 and Ryan Johnson added 10, as the Bombardiers had a balanced attack. Attleboro led by 13 at halftime and pushed the lead to 17 heading to the fourth quarter. Bombardiers coach Marty Crowley praised the effort of senior Jackie MacDonald and added, “It was a great way to send our Seniors off in their last home game.” Attleboro closes the season with trips to Franklin and North Attleboro to try and get the tournament-clinching win. Freshman Kameron St. Pierre led all scorers with 21 points and the Tigers also got nine points from eighth grader Sam Lincoln.
Foxboro, 51 @ Sharon, 28 – Final – The Warriors had four players scored in double digits, as they picked up another win to build their seed for the upcoming playoffs. Katelyn Mollica, fresh of getting to 1,000 career points last week, scored 16 to pace Foxboro. Shakirah Ketant, Abby Hassman, and Lizzy Davis all scored 10 points in the win. Leah Fandel scored a team-high 15 points and Ally Brown chipped in with nine for the Eagles.
Oliver Ames, 36 @ Franklin, 70 – Final – The Panthers swept the season series with the Tigers, clinched the outright Kelley-Rex division title, and will have the chance to run the table in league play when they host Attleboro on Thursday. Ali Brigham dominated in the middle, leading all scorers with 22 points and Olivia Quinn scored 13. Meghan O’Connell also had a big night, scoring 13 for the Panthers. OA had a tough time breaking down the Franklin defense. Jess Erlich had seven points to lead the Tigers and Hailey Bourne added five.
Mansfield, 37 @ King Philip, 61 – Final – KP got hot from deep to split the season series with the Hornets and book its spot in the state tournament. The Warriors made 10 threes as a team. Faye Veilleux scored 18 points in the win, Brianna James scored 13, and Faith Roy added 12.
Stoughton, 50 @ Milford, 47 – Final – In a close game from start to finish, Stoughton picked up a key victory on the road over the Scarlet Hawks. Stoughton led by seven after a quarter (15-8) and by six at halftime (30-24) before Milford cut into the deficit and made it a four-point game (41-47) heading into the fourth. Shyanne Trinh paced Stoughton with 20 points, Aliyah Wright added 18 points, and Jess Maddalena added six points and 11 rebounds for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 81 @ Sharon, 61 – Final – Seven Bombardiers scored en route to a 24-point first quarter and Attleboro never looked back, securing a win on the road at Sharon. Tim Callahan, Nick McMahon, and Bryant Ciccio each connected on a three-pointer while Justin Daniels, Jason Weir, Lorenzo Wilson, and Qualeem Charles each added to the total to help the Bombardiers build a double-digit lead after eight minutes. Attleboro led 36-17 at halftime and went on to score 23 points in the third and 22 points in the fourth to pull away with the win. Charles had eight of his team-high 20 points in the third, Ciccio netted seven of his 19 points in the same frame, and Callahan drained two more threes and had eight of his 11 points in the third. Sharon junior Matt Baskin caught fire in the second half, hitting six threes and scoring all of his team-high 22 points in the second half. Andrew Burton added 16 points for the Eagles.
Taunton, 55 @ Canton, 43 – Final – Taunton’s defense held the Bulldogs to single digits in each of the first two quarters, building a 30-8 halftime lead that resulted in a big win on the road. The Tigers held Canton to three field goals in the opening half and then pushed the lead to 46-20 heading into the final quarter. Junior Tyler Stewart scored 14 of his 16 points between the second and third quarters while Josh Lopes added 13 points. Danny MacDougall chipped in with a career-high 10 points for Taunton. Canton’s Colton Mirliani hit a trio of three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help close the deficit.
Franklin, 67 @ Foxboro, 61 – Final – Franklin senior Brayden Sullivan converted a key traditional three-point play in the fourth quarter and the Panthers took care of business from the free throw line in the fourth quarter (7-for-10) to grab a close win on the road over Foxboro. It was a consistent night on offense for Franklin, scoring 17 points in three quarters while netting 16 points in the third quarter. Franklin led 17-12 after one, 34-31 at halftime, and took a 50-45 advantage into the final frame. Chris Edgehill scored a team-high 16 points while Sullivan finished with 15 points for the Panthers, who were held to just two three-pointers. Foxboro’s Donald Rogers scored a team-high 14 points, Kevin Gallagher added 11 points, and both Brandon Borde and Will Morrison chipped in with 10 points apiece.
King Philip, 71 @ North Attleboro, 53 – Final – North Attleboro used a 10-0 surge to close the first half to tie the game at halftime but the second half belonged to King Philip as the Warriors scored over 20 points in each of the final two quarters to run away with a win. George Ladd scored six of his team-high 18 points, Ethan Friberg (16 points) sank a pair of threes, and Edan Kelley had five points in the second as the Rocketeers knotted the score at 28-28 through two quarters of play. In the third, KP’s Alex Fritz connected on a trio of three-pointers while Robert Jarest, Andrew McKinney, and Owen Conlin each hit one and the Warriors went off for 22 points to build a double-digit lead. After a successful first half (13 points), the Warriors went back to senior Tommy Donahue (career-high 28 points) and he helped ice the game with 13 points in the fourth quarter. McKinney finished with 15 points and Fritz added 14 points in the win.
Mansfield, 60 @ Stoughton, 38 – Final – A close game for three quarters, Mansfield scored the final 14 points of the game and dominated the fourth quarter to pick up a win on the road at Stoughton. The Hornets held a 40-33 lead going into the fourth quarter, and extended that to 46-38 at the midway point before embarking on its 14-0 run to close the game. Junior Matt Boen recorded a team-high 17 points to go along with seven assists, seven steals, and five rebounds to lead the way for the Hornets. Sam Stevens (six rebounds, six steals) added 12 points and freshman Chris Hill went a perfect 4-for-4 from the field for nine points. Stoughton senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell netted a team-high 13 points while Tahkwan Gates Brown added 11 points for Stoughton.
Sharon, 42 @ Attleboro, 53 – Final – Attleboro got contributions from the whole team to pull out its third straight win and move back to .500 on the season. Meghan Gordon continued her solid play with 13 points and Liv McCall joined her in double digits with 10. Ryan Johnson, Gabby Bosh, and Nyah Thomas all chipped in with eight points for the Bombardiers, who led by only two at halftime (19-17) but extended the advantage to seven after three. Kaitlyn Wallace was the game’s high scorer with 17 for the Eagles and Trinity Payne added 14.
Canton, 56 @ Taunton, 49 – Final – The Bulldogs managed to pull out a back-and-forth win on the road, their fifth win in the last six games. Kameron St. Pierre and Sonya Fernandez paced Taunton with 14 points apiece and eighth grader Sam Lincoln scored a career-high 13 points in the loss.
North Attleboro, 58 @ King Philip, 84 – Final – The Warriors clicked on the offensive end, scoring 40-plus points in each half, knocking down nine threes as a team, and recording assists on 24 of the 36 made shots. Caroline Aaron led the way for KP with 19 points and six boards. Faye Veilleux added 15 points and eight rebounds and Faith Roy had 12 points and six steals. Brianna James filled the stat sheet with eight points, six assists, five steals, and five rebounds. Amanda Kaiser scored 15 to lead the Rocketeers, Regan Fein scored 11, and Summer Doherty had nine, but North struggled with KP’s speed and press. North coach Nikki Correia said, “We came out slow and they absolutely wanted it more than we did. KP never stopped hustling and went after every loose ball.”
Stoughton, 41 @ Mansfield, 55 – Final – Mansfield turned on the defense in the second quarter to grab the lead and never let up to hold off the Black Knights. The Hornets trailed 18-12 after one, as Stoughton’s Shyanne Trinh scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the quarter, but held the Black Knights to only four points in the second and scored 17 to pull ahead. Leading 33-30 in the third quarter, Mansfield knocked down three shots from beyond the arc (two by Kelly Doherty and one at the buzzer by Becca Hottleman) to extend the lead out to 12 heading to the fourth. Ashley Santos and Kayla Vine led the Hornets with 14 points apiece. Hottleman added 10 and Doherty finished with eight. Aliyah Wright added to Trinh’s 19 by scoring 17 of her own for Stoughton.
Milford, 19 @ Oliver Ames, 66 – Final – The Tigers bounced back from their first league defeat of the season with a strong defensive effort against the visiting Hawks. OA allowed only nine points in the first half to jump out to a 25-point lead and continued that effort in the second half, holding Milford to just 10. Caroline Flynn nearly put up a triple-double for the Tigers, scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 boards, and dishing out eight assists. Kelsey Yelle chipped in with 12 points and Jess Erlich added 10 in the win.
Canton @ Milford, 4:00
Attleboro @ Newton North, 5:00
Attleboro vs. Braintree, 5:00 (@ Newton North)
FOXBORO, Mass. – What’s the best remedy for a struggling offense?
For the Mansfield boys basketball team, it started with a ramped-up defensive effort.
The Hornets, limited to less than 20 points in the first half with 10 turnovers, turned the tables on host Foxboro by using a much improved defensive effort to kick start its offense, and that combination resulted in a 50-42 victory.
It was Foxboro’s defense that stole the show for the opening 16 minutes, frustrating a dangerous Hornet offense. The Warriors allowed just three field goals made in the second quarter and had one stretch where they forced the Hornets into five straight turnovers.
But it was truly a tale of two halves as Mansfield controlled for the final 16 minutes. While its turnover woes didn’t disappear right away, with two early second half turnovers, the Hornets’ defense kept Foxboro scoreless for nearly four minutes and without its second make of the period until the final seconds.
That defense led to some easy buckets to kickstart the visitors on the offensive end. An 8-0 run to start the third tied the game and an 8-2 run to close the third put the visitors in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.
“We were significantly more locked defensively in the second half,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “To hold them to a five-point third quarter obviously made a huge difference for us, that probably made the difference in the game. The fourth quarter was a little more even but if we don’t have that third quarter where we come out locked in. At half we said, ‘they’re good defensively and we’re going to grind out our possessions. We’ll get a basket or two throughout a good possession. But we need to defend better.’”
“With the exception of [Kevin] Gallagher hitting two 75-footers from the parking lot, I thought we did a really good job defensively. You take those six points out of the fourth quarter and now you have two back-to-back quarters where we defended well. I thought we did a better job offensively in the second half being patient, setting better screens, getting more people touching the ball and cutting, and being efficient with the ball, as opposed to standing around and watching one guy go against five good defenders.”
The Hornet defense doubled its turnover total in the second half, forcing 11 takeaways in the second half. Foxboro shot nearly 50% from the floor in the opening half but hit at just over a 30% success rate against Mansfield’s active defense in the second half.
Meanwhile, Mansfield cut its turnover number almost in half and shot almost 60% from the field in the second half.
“I thought our defensive intensity and focus was outstanding in the first half,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We really made things difficult for them and we were really locked in on the defensive end. I think the biggest key offensively in the first half is that we did a great job of taking care of the ball and limiting our turnovers. I thought we played with a lot of poise and it was a good tempo.
“But in the second half, unfortunately, they knocked down some threes and offensively, we got a little more stagnant and got away from what made us successful in the first half, we had some costly turnovers that gave them easy scoring opportunities. Credit Mansfield, obviously they turned their defensive intensity up to another level in the second half and Mike made some really good adjustments to disrupt us, so Mansfield deserves a lot of the credit.”
Senior Sam Stevens (14 points, four rebounds) and junior Matt Boen (13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals) knocked down early threes, and Boen hauled in a defensive rebound and found classmate TJ Guy running ahead for an easy two as Mansfield opened the second half on an 8-0 run to knot the score at 27-27.
Foxboro countered with a triple from Will Morrison to stay ahead but Drew Rooney came up with a steal for an easy two, Boen converted a pull jump on the right wing, and then hit a deep contested three. A free throw from Cincere Gill (four points, three assists) helped Mansfield take a 35-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
Gallagher’s deep three kept the Warriors within two but Guy finished after a nice up-fake and the Mansfield defense kept Foxboro at bay for nearly four minutes.
Guy scored in low again, the Mansfield defense forced a turnover with a five-second violation, and Gill drained a three late in the shot clock for a 44-35 lead with 2:42 to play.
“I think [Cincere] gave us a boost,” Vaughan said. “We made the adjustment with Drew to shadow [Brandon] Borde a little bit more which minimized his opportunities. I thought between the two of them, and just coming out of the locker room with a new mindset. Cincere was definitely a spark coming off the bench and he hit the big three too that helped create some separation. It was really a great possession to get an open look for him.”
Stevens put a cherry on top of the comeback with a contested corner three to put the Hornets up 47-37 with two minutes to play.
“I think anytime you can defend people to a satisfactory level, your offense is a heck of a lot easier,” Vaughan said. “You’re not always going down on the defensive end looking at the scoreboard and coming back on the offensive end thinking every basket matters so much. Now you have a little bit of freedom on the offensive end to take some chances, take some risks.”
Borde (15 points, six rebounds, five assists) was a big reason for Foxboro’s strong start to the game. While Stevens, Jason See, Rooney, and Guy each scored for the visitors, Borde scored Foxboro’s first nine points. Ryan Hughes scored to tie the game and Gallagher came off the bench to sink a late triple to give Foxboro a 14-11 lead after one.
Boen nailed a three to open the second quarter but two more from Borde and another three from Gallagher put the hosts ahead 19-14. The lead hovered at five points for a good stretch before senior Dylan Barreira hit an open three and Gallagher hit his third of the opening half to put Foxboro up 27-19 at half. Freshman Chris Hill’s three-pointer was Mansfield’s lone basket of the final five minutes of the second quarter.
“Mansfield is a great team, they are one of the best programs in the state and they don’t lose very often for a reason,” Gibbs said. “They are very, very good at what they do. We wanted to take the game on quarter at a time…you know a team like that has runs in them. You’re not going to beat Mansfield with one big knockout punch, one big home run play. It’s going to be a 32-minute grind, and in the end, they were able to make a few more plays then we did and they deserve credit for that.”
Mansfield boys basketball (3-1 Hockomock, 5-2 overall) is back in action on Wednesday when it continues its road trip with a visit to Milford. Foxboro (1-3, 3-4) will try to snap its current skid when it hosts Oliver Ames on Wednesday.
TAUNTON, Mass. – Coming off back-to-back heartbreaking losses to open the season, it’s understandable that Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey wasn’t comfortable until the final buzzer sounded.
In the opening two contests, the Tigers have led nearly wire-to-wire but for the final seconds of each contest. North Attleboro buried the go-ahead three with 6.7 seconds to go in the season opener and Oliver Ames drained a triple with 8.5 seconds to play for its first lead on Wednesday night.
Taunton found itself in a similar situation on Thursday night, having led for the entire second half with visiting Foxboro mounting a comeback. This time, the Tigers never allowed the lead to evaporate and held on for a 58-52 win over the Warriors, who were playing in their first game of the season.
“That’s a really good win for us,” Dacey said. “[Foxboro] is better than the two teams we’ve played. Coming off back-to-back games, missing Danny MacDougall (sick), it’s a short bench and we’re playing guys that might not normally be playing. We got a little something from everyone.”
With very little varsity experience on the current roster (two seniors, both new to varsity), the Tigers felt like they let two wins slip through their fingers. With Foxboro pushing hard to complete the comeback, Taunton showed some mettle to earn the win.
Foxboro senior Brandon Borde (11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) converted off a Taunton turnover and then set up classmate Ryan Hughes (eight points) for an easy two on back-to-back possessions to cut the Tigers’ lead to 49-46 with just over two minutes to go.
Instead of allowing that momentum to carry over out of a timeout, Taunton sophomore Trent Santos (10 points) pulled up and sank a big three-pointer to answer with 1:44 to play. After trading turnovers, Taunton sophomore Tristan Herry (10 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) came up with a steal that led to an easy two and a 54-46 advantage with 1:02 to play.
Foxboro refused to go away as junior Kevin Gallagher (nine points, three assists) sank one of two free throws, senior Will Morrison (12 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals) picked off a pass that led to a three from Borde, and a full-court press resulted in an errant pass out of bounds by the Tigers to get the visitors the ball back.
Taunton got an important stop as Foxboro missed from downtown but the Tigers, holding a 54-50lead, missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Warriors missed another three attempt and both Herry and junior Tyler Stewart (14 points, 12 rebounds) sank their free throws to ice the game.
In the win, the Tigers had eight of the nine players that played score, and all nine players had at least one board to contribute to a 37-30 advantage on the glass.
“It has to take everyone,” Dacey said, as four Tigers reached double figures in scoring. “They all play hard, they all practice hard. They are a coachable group of kids that have been fun to work with.”
Taunton faced an early deficit (6-0 three minutes in and 9-6 with two minutes to go in the first) but took the lead by the end of the first quarter (13-9). The Tigers only fell behind one, at 19-18 with 2:51 left in the second, the rest of the way.
Any time the Warriors made it close in the second half, Taunton had an answer. The Warriors knotted the score 29-29 early in the third but Taunton senior Logan Lawrence finished through contact to regain the lead, sparking an 11-3 run.
During that run, Stewart converted in the post, junior Josh Lopes (10 points, four rebounds, three steals) had a steal for an easy layup, Stewart finished off a nice feed from Herry, and Santos drained another three for a 40-32 advantage late in the third.
Foxboro answered with a 7-1 burst between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, Dylan Barreira (eight rebounds) battled for an offensive board and earned a free throw, Gallagher converted in the lane, Liam Devlin opened the fourth quarter with a basket on a nice pass from Morrison, and senior Donald Rogers scored off a turnover to make it a two-point game again at 41-39.
Sophomore Faisal Mass (five points, three rebounds) gave the Tigers a nice boost off the bench, coming in to convert an offensive rebound to help halt the Warriors’ momentum. Lopes followed with two, Herry sank two more free throws, and another finish from Stewart pushed the lead back to 49-42.
“I thought offensively it looked like our first game,” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “We were just sloppy and out of sync offensively, and Taunton’s defense had a lot to do with that. But I thought early on we had too many sloppy turnovers with guys trying to do too much early and we couldn’t find our rhythm. Game speed and game atmosphere is obviously different than practice but it was good to get this first one under the belt, and I think we’ll get a lot better moving forward. At Taunton is a pretty unforgiving opener, and give Taunton credit because they capitalized on a lot of our mistakes.
“But I’m proud of the guys that they hung around too. We trailed for most of the game but they hung in there and fought to the end and put ourselves to maybe steal it down the stretch. I thought our defense was good overall but [Taunton] had some timely shots that broke our momentum.”
Herry scored seven of his points in the second quarter and Lopes netted half of his total in that frame to help Taunton take a 29-24 lead at halftime. Juniors Kedrick Santos, Nigel Choate, and William Rowan all came off the bench to provide valuable minutes in the first half.
Both Morrison and Gallagher had a pair of triples to make up half the Warriors’ first half scoring while Devlin came off the bench and had two blocks.
Taunton boys basketball (1-2 Hockomock, 1-2 overall) is back in action on Saturday when it takes on Bishop Stang at New Bedford High School. Foxboro (0-1, 0-1) is back in action against Bishop Feehan on Monday.
2018-2019 Record: 18-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mark Houle
Attleboro fulfilled high expectations last year with a terrific regular season but had its postseason run cut short in the opening round of the tournament. With an experienced, battle-tested, and deep group of seniors, the Bombardiers are hoping to take the next step during the 2019-2020 season.
The Bombardiers have seven seniors on the roster with six having plenty of valuable minutes at the varsity level. It all starts with a pair of four-year varsity players and captains Bryant Ciccio and Qualeem Charles. Both have played over 60 games for head coach Mark Houle and earned HockomockSports.com First Team honors a year ago. Ciccio (14.7 ppg, 3.2 apg) is like a coach on the floor and Charles (13.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg) is a matchup nightmare and one of the most dominant post players in recent years.
But there is much more to the Bombardiers, such as senior captain Tim Callahan. Callahan had a strong junior season with 7.7 points per game and can change a game with his outside shooting. He will also be relied upon to anchor the defense. Guard Nick McMahon and forward Lorenzo Wilson provided a spark off the bench last season and will be key pieces this season. And senior Jason Weir is back in the mix after missing last year due to injury. Weir showed flashes during his sophomore season, a versatile player that can play in the post or step outside and knock down a three.
Attleboro has a variety of weapons on the offensive end and that will make them difficult to defend. They have a couple of good weapons that can score down low and then a handful of shooters, so the inside-out game will be a big part of the game plan. Charles gives the Bombardiers protection around the rim while all five players are the court will have to contribute on the boards to eliminate second-chance points.
“We will rely on a battle-tested group of seniors, but we will need our underclassman to continue to develop and be ready to step in and play important roles on the team,” said head coach Mark Houle. “We have a hard-working group of players who compete and challenge each other every day in practice.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-10 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Ryan Gordy
After winning back-to-back Davenport division titles, the Bulldogs know it will be a grind to try and get a third with a big target on their backs.
Gone is the program’s all-time leading scorer and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Devin Foster, who was one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league over the past two seasons. That means there is going to be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up for the Bulldogs. Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said this year’s team will be a “much more space and paced” orientated team. Gordy is expecting a more spread out opportunistic approach that will feature contributions from anyone who checks in.
While Foster graduated, the Bulldogs do have a handful of talented and experienced players back on the roster. Senior Kyle Fitzgerald is the top returning scorer from a year ago, netting double figures in six contests. He is also a workhorse on defense and will be one of the leaders on the court. Robbie Gallery, Matt Giglio, and Eric Mischler were all starters at some point during the 2018-2019 season so Gordy will have some veterans to lean on during the year. Gallery, Giglio, and Mischler all showed the ability to come up with a big shot at any time and will help space the floor.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are looking at their versatility and depth to give them flexibility. Gordy believes he has a strong mix of players that will allow him to switch things up and adjust each and every game. Sophomore Lanse Dorcelus earned minutes for the final month of last season and could be a key piece this season.
“We feel like our program is healthy and players have made a commitment to growth,” Gordy said. “This season we are going to focus on the process and maximizing the strengths of our players. Our culture and direction has been a bright spot as we focus on the player person and team development each practice and game. We’re excited to see where we are and where we can get too.”
2018-2019 Record: 14-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Jon Gibbs
There is good news and bad news when it comes to the Foxboro boys basketball team this season. The good news is that the Warriors expect to once again be one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. The bad news is for the rest of the Hockomock League as Foxboro boasts an improved offense, and combined with their traditional tough defense, has the Warriors in position for a Davenport division title.
With four of their five top scorers back this season, including senior Brandon Borde (team-high 15.3 ppg) and junior Kevin Gallagher (12.9 ppg), the Warriors are looking to ride a balanced approach on offense to improve their scoring after finishing 10th in scoring in the Hockomock League last season (54.4 points per game). Borde is one of the most experienced players back in the league and has the ability to create his own looks as well as lead the team as the floor general. Gallagher had a breakout sophomore season and can really fill up the scoring column, especially from deep.
Borde and Gallagher will also get help from senior Will Morrison, who can catch fire from deep, and senior Ryan Hughes, who can give opponents trouble in the paint. All four players are returning starters from a season ago, so that gives Foxboro an advantage, especially defensively. Head coach Jon Gibbs called the defense the “foundation” of the team. Foxboro has consistently been very fundamentally sound and disciplined on the defensive end.
Seniors Dylan Barreira, Michael Devlin, Liam Devlin, and Donald Rogers all played important minutes last season and will provide a lot of depth for Foxboro.
“We have been making progress each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been very competitive so far as guys work hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we stay hungry, humble, and unselfish, it has the potential to be a very successful season.”
2018-2019 Record: 17-6 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 Central Quarterfinal Coach: CJ Neely
Ever since the Hockomock League split into two divisions, Franklin has entered each season as one of the top teams in the Kelley-Rex and that looks to be the case yet again this year.
As it does each and every season, defense comes first for the Panthers. Franklin was the best defensive team in the Hockomock League last year, allowing just 48.9 points per game. Not only did the Panthers lead the league in that category, they were the lone team to keep opponents under 50 points on average. It’s the second straight year they’ve had the best defense in the division and third straight year they are in the top three. There are a lot of talented individual defenders on the team but year in and year out, Franklin’s team defense gives them a chance to win.
Offensively, the Panthers boast the top returning scorer in the league in three-year starter Chris Edgehill. Edgehill, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark last season, is an absolute handful to deal with on the offensive end of the court. He can score in a variety of ways, and on top of that, he is very good at getting teammates involved (four assists per game last year). Seniors Jack Rudolph and Steve Karayan are also back after playing valuable minutes last season and will be relied upon on both ends of the floor.
“We have a lot of guys who worked really hard in the offseason to improve and are excited to get on the court,” said head coach CJ Neely. “It’s a great group of people who have a lot of fun together. We need to stay aggressive and share the ball. We hope that strong team defense will continue to be something that defines our program.”
2018-2019 Record: 7-13 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dave DeStefano
With a solid group of players returning from last season, second-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping to guide his Warriors back to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Warriors showed flashes throughout last year, including an upset win of Kelley-Rex champions Mansfield on the road. But they were also on the wrong end of a handful of close games, losing five games by five or fewer points. With a year of experience in DeStefano’s system, and for a lot of players their first year of varsity under their belts, King Philip is hoping to turn those close games into wins.
KP boasts two returning starters in Alex Fritz and Andrew McKinney, both standing at 6’3. Fritz had a breakout junior campaign and was the fourth-highest scorer in the Hockomock League with 15.5 points per game. He was able to score in a variety of ways, including through contact at the rim, and will be a vital piece this year. McKinney was fifth on the team in scoring last year, scoring in double-figures in five contests, including a career-high 19 points at Stoughton. Senior Tommy Donahue looks to give the Warriors a strong presence in the post while classmates Owen Conlin and Chris Roy look to be in the mix. Seniors Robbie Jarest and Tom Weir are back in the mix after a year away from the program.
Defensively, King Philip will be relying on its size and physicality. While Donahue (6’5) will be the main rim protector, having long guards and forwards will help KP make life difficult for opponents. The Warriors will need to improve on the defensive end after surrendering a division-high 63.7 points per game last year. DeStefano is looking to get some contributions from junior juniors Donte Barros, Cole Breen, Joe Cullen, Evan Stephens, Will Kinney, and Jake Silveria while sophomores Charlie Grant and Braeden Sottile will likely be in the mix too.
“The boys have really worked hard this offseason,” DeStefano said. “The practices have been really competitive and physical. For us to be successful we will need to make a big commitment on the defensive end of the floor. 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.”
2018-2019 Record: 22-5 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Mike Vaughan
The Hockomock League continues to run through Mansfield.
The Hornets have won the Kelley-Rex division title in eight of its nine years, and it looks like Mansfield will be the team to beat again this year. Three players that burst onto the scene last year – Sam Stevens, TJ Guy, Matt Boen – are now three of the top players in the Hock heading into this season. Mansfield certainly graduated a lot of talent in Tommy Dooling, Damani Scott, and Khristian Conner, but with those three starters back plus seniors Drew Rooney and Makhi Baskin, as well as a handful of newcomers ready to make an impact, Mansfield is poised for another deep tournament run.
Stevens (11.2 ppg) will be one of the toughest players to stop with his ability to finish around the rim as well as deadly three-point shooting, Guy (10.9 ppg) is very good in the post on both ends of the floor, and Boen (9.5 ppg) can score in a variety of ways. All three are capable of filling up the stat sheet on any given night. Baskin provides a lot of energy and can change the game with his effort while Rooney showed last year that he can matchup with some of the top players in the league on the defensive end.
Juniors Brian and Jason See are both strong shooters that work tirelessly on both ends of the floor and should be in the mix for the Hornets this year. Juniors Jack Colby and Brendan Foley will be looking to bring a spark off the bench while sophomore Matt Hyland and freshman Chris Hill are promising young players that could contribute right away.
“I think our depth and ability to play different styles will be a strength of this team,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “I’m excited to see where this team can get to as they continue to work hard in practice and mix their individual talents to form our team identity. Transition play, scoring inside and out will be strength on offense. Playing solid man to man and uptempo defense with our depth could create some issues for our opponents.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Paul Seaver
After a season of ups and downs, the Milford Scarlet Hawks are hoping last year’s growing pains transition into a playoff berth this season.
With a large group of returnees, the Hawks will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division title. While head coach Paul Seaver returns the majority of his team, he will need some of the those players to step up on the offensive end the fill the void left by graduation. The Hawks graduated its top three scorers, including the second-highest scorer in the league in Brendan White (18.2 ppg). That means there will be a lot of opportunities for new players to step up and contribute.
Junior Jordan Darling (7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and senior Colby Pires (6.1 ppg) are the top two point producers back this year while junior Dom Schofield also returns after starting as a sophomore. Darling started 19 games this year and was selected to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team after a strong season on both ends of the court. Pires is a leader both on and off the court and plays well in all aspects of the game, and Schofield gives Milford a strong post presence on the defensive end, recording a team-high 38 charges taken last season.
Ralph Franklin Jr., Matty Varteresian, Tyler Whetherbee, and Ben Blanchard all saw time throughout last season and could all be in line for bigger roles this season.
“Our depth will matter, our balance will matter, our chemistry is this group’s most important attribute,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We were the youngest team in the league last season and this group has a lot of players back who are attacking this year with a chip on their shoulder. This group defines what Milford basketball is and that’s a testament to who these kids are hard workers and higher character individuals. I could not be any more excited to coach and work with these kids on a daily basis.”
2018-2019 Record: 9-11 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Sean Mulkerrins
There are going to be a lot of new faces dawning the Big Red uniform this winter. After losing nine seniors to graduation, head coach Sean Mulkerrins has just three players back from last year’s nine-win squad.
With a large amount of new players comes a large amount of opportunities. The Rocketeers graduated its two top scorers but bring back senior Ethan Friberg (7.0 ppg) and junior George Ladd (7.4 ppg) to lead the charge offensively this year. Friberg, standing at 6’5, can cause problems in the paint but also van step out and play along the perimeter. Ladd had a breakout sophomore season and was named to the HockomockSports.com All Underclassman team. He is a little of a throwback player that is very fundamentally sound on the offensive end. Senior Josh Porter, the third returner, saw an expanded role at the end of last season and played well.
Defensively, the Rocketeers will be focusing on limiting opponents to one shot per possession. With some size in the frontcourt, North will try to make it difficult to finish at the rim, and with all five players committed to rebounding, try and minimize second-chance points.
“There will be a lot of new faces with opportunities to make an impact on this year’s team,” Mulkerrins said. “There will definitely be some growing pains and the sooner the new faces adjust to the rigors of varsity basketball, the better we will be.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-12 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Don Byron
Last season, Oliver Ames came up just one game shy of the state tournament. Goal number one for the 2019-2020 season is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
With a strong mix of experienced players and hungry new additions, Oliver Ames is ready for the grind that is the Kelley-Rex division and the Hockomock League.
“The expectation is to always get [to the tournament], that’s our first goal,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “We’re pretty optimistic but we know it’s going to be a grind, you have to show up every night, you can’t take a night off.”
Byron has been impressed with his guard play so far this preseason, and that will likely mean featuring three guards in the lineup for the majority of the time. Senior Jay Spillane is a returning starter while classmate Owen Friel and junior Amari Brown were top options off the bench a season ago. Spillane can score in bunches, especially from the outside, while Friel combines a solid shooting game with a hard-nosed defensive approach. Friel’s ability to guard a variety of position makes him a valuable piece in the lineup while Brown is a crafty player that does a nice job getting teammates involved.
Senior center Evan Craig (6’5) will be joined by classmate Ryan Burkett (6’2) in the frontcourt. Both picked up valuable minutes at the varsity level last year and Byron is hoping that will help with their expanded roles this year. Senior guard Adam Cann and junior forwards Trey Buggs and Drew Nickla will provide depth for the Tigers.
“It takes some time to get accustomed to the varsity speed and what we expect at this level,” Byron said. “All of these kids gained experience with us last year, and that year of experience is invaluable.”
2018-2019 Record: 3-17 2018-2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrew Ferguson
After a couple of down seasons, the Eagles will be making a strong push to get back into the state tournament for the first time since 2016.
Sharon boasts a number of players who gained varsity experience that will be looking to help the program bounce back. The first being senior Aidan Kane, the team’s leading scorer last season with 11.5 points per game. When he’s on from keep, Kane is one of the top three-point shooters in the league. He has the ability to change a game very quickly if he gets hot from deep. Senior Andrew Burton emerged as one of the Eagles’ top players last year and could be poised to have a breakout year. Sophomore John Baez will start at the point after joining the varsity team for the final month and a half last season.
The Eagles will be relying heavily on its frontcourt to step up on both ends of the court. Senior Caleb Gayle is a traditional post player that will compete hard on both ends of the court, senior Cam Baker is fundamentally sound and a reliable option and junior Hank Ward picked up valuable minutes as a sophomore and will be an important part of the rebound game as well as defensively. Senior Aaron Karten will be in the mix as well, giving the Eagles an athletic frontcourt.
Junior Jordan Barboza should give the Eagles a spark off the bench this year and head coach Andrew Ferguson will look for him as an important defensive piece. Kiran Chandrasekaran had flashes of the strong play off the bench last year and should see an expanded role this year, while junior transfer Matt Baskin could provide a needed scoring punch.
“This group has worked tremendously hard in the offseason and the preseason and is looking to translate that into success throughout the regular season,” Ferguson said. “Many of the players have gained valuable experience at the varsity level over the past two years and our senior class are tremendous leaders who provide a great example for our younger players.”
2018-2019 Record: 10-11 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D2 South Preliminary Round Coach: John Gallivan
Stoughton ended its playoff drought last season and with a good amount of those players back again this year, the Davenport division title and a deep playoff run could be in the forecast this season.
The Black Knights have their leading scorer back in 6’5 senior forward Obinna Ugwuakazi, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game with nine double-doubles last year. His athleticism and ability to finish through contact made him a tough matchup for opponents, and he will be at the forefront of the Stoughton offense again this year. Fellow senior Tahkwan Gates Brown, who also stands at 6’5, is also back and we could see the duo play together at times which will certainly make life tough for opponents.
Senior Myles Grigalunas-Powell is back for his third year on varsity. After improving each of the past two seasons, the 2019-2020 season could be a breakout year for Grigalunas-Powell, who can score from three-point range but is also a crafty finisher attacking the rim. Ahmad Jahed had flashes of strong play last year and will be back in the mix again this year, and the same goes for Tommy Sanda. Juniors Brett Pendenza and Jake Queeney are also back after earning some minutes last year.
“We feel like we can score this year both from downtown and from down low,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “And with our size in the paint, we hope to make it difficult for opponents to score consistently.”
2018-2019 Record: 15-9 2018-2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal Coach: Charlie Dacey
After a strong regular season, the Taunton boys basketball team flipped a switch in the tournament and made a run to the D1 South Semis, nearly knocking off powerhouse Mansfield. With a taste of postseason success, the Tigers are hoping to replicate that success this year with another impressive playoff stretch.
The Tigers boast speed, skill, and depth this season and will be in the hunt for the Kelley-Rex division title this season. While Taunton lost a lot of production from last year (Lou Vendrell, Mike Quinn, John Martins, Wesner Charles), there are a handful of players battling to earn their chance at minutes in the Tigers’ lineup. One constant in that lineup over the past couple of years is senior Dante Law, who enters his fourth year with the varsity group. Law was Taunton’s leading scorer a year ago with 14.1 points per game but none of the other returners were over five points a game, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity for new players to step up.
Seniors Fabio Goncalves (6’6) and Aiden Pelot, as well as junior Tyler Stewart (6’6) make up the frontcourt for the Tigers. All three played at the varsity level last year and will be key pieces at helping the Tigers defend and win the battle on the boards. Law will be joined by junior Josh Lopes, who showed flashes during his sophomore season, DaeDae Kenion, and sophomore transfer Tristan Herry as key pieces of the offense.
The Tigers are also excited about the depth on the team this year. Junior Danny MacDougall earned starting minutes last year and is a reliable option in a variety of roles while Trent Santos, Logan Lawrence, and Jonathan Torres will all be in the mix for Taunton.
“With this team, press and run should be ‘Plan A’ although there are skills available to play at a slower pace,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey.
Below are the official 2019 Hockomock League Boys Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Leo Coelho, Milford
Hockomock League All Stars
Michael Russo, Attleboro
Joshua Smith, Attleboro
William Keefe, Canton
Joseph Cusack, Foxboro
Dylan Barreira, Foxboro
William Morrison, Foxboro
Samuel Stowell, Franklin
Donald Tappin, Franklin
Jacob Cummings, Franklin
Matthew Clarke, King Philip
Evan McEvoy, King Philip
Evan Eames, Mansfield
Leo Coelho, Milford
Pedro Araujo, Milford
Jordan Borges, Milford
Daniel Santos, Milford
Anthony Salisbury, Mansfield
Kyle Briere, North Attleboro
James Sales, North Attleboro
Matthew Mordini, North Attleboro
Colin Milliken, Oliver Ames
Matthew Nikiciuk, Oliver Ames
Kevin Louhis, Oliver Ames
Isaiah Stessman, Sharon
Nolan Gerome, Stoughton
Nolan Melo, Taunton
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The state tournament doesn’t start until next week, but the North Attleboro boys soccer team got a head start in its final week of the regular season.
The Rocketeers’ final two opponents — Foxboro and Mansfield — head into their season finale’s needing points to qualify for the state tournament. The Warriors, who visited Beaupre Field on Tuesday afternoon, needed one point (a draw or win) while Mansfield needs a win on Thursday afternoon.
North Attleboro passed its first test, scoring a goal in each half to secure a 2-0 win over Foxboro and deny the Warriors a postseason berth.
“You go down against them, how many goals have they’ve given up all year? Not many,” said Foxboro head coach Joe Franchino. “They stay compact and keep it tight. To be fair, they were the better team. Our passing was just a little bit off, I think our intensity from the start wasn’t there. So give credit to them, they came out and beat us today.”
The hosts, who entered the contest with a playoff berth secured via a second-place finish in the Davenport, learned a valuable lesson from their first matchup with Foxboro. Despite taking an early lead, North Attleboro saw the Warriors score back-to-back goals to earn a comeback win.
“We’ve had moments where we scored first, like we did against them last time, and fell asleep,” Burgess said. “So we’ve been really conscious about that. But when we [get a lead] and decide to park the bus, we’re pretty confident. We knew they were going to push because they had to, and as soon as we scored that just kind of fed right into the game plan.
“We saw on film where there were moments that [Foxboro] defended with two guys. I know [Matt] Mordini is faster than half of the defenders in the league, and I know [Matt] Conley is faster than all the defenders in the league. So that gives us a great chance to surprise people.”
This time around, the Warriors need to score played right into the game plan of the hosts. With a defense-first mentally, the Rocketeers’ counter-attack style led to a handful of breakout chances, mostly in the second half after taking a 2-0 lead.
Despite missing out on a golden chance three minutes into the game, the Rocketeers did jump in front on their second chance which came in the 24th minute. Goalie Kyle Briere launched a deep ball over the top of the Foxboro defense that Joey Coscarella made a run onto. The bounce eluded Coscarella, but the run drew a defender free of Matt Mordini, who was able to just get his shot off before the oncoming keeper, placing it into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.
Foxboro’s best chances of the opening half came off free kicks. Junior Dylan Barreira put a shot on goal from 20 yards out but Briere (eight saves) was in position for the stop. Joe Cusack set up the other chance in the 34th minute, putting a free kick into the area but Tim Behn’s bid was over the bar.
“It seemed like we were building out of the back in the first half and we just couldn’t find that final pass,” Franchino said. “They were putting a lot of pressure on our back four. I think we were off in completing passes, breaking lines in the middle third. We didn’t try to play direct, there was some space behind but we didn’t have the intensity. But give credit to North, they came and played well today.”
The game really opened up after North Attleboro doubled its lead just under four minutes into the second half. Mordini played a ball wide to Matt Conley, who got a touch to center the ball and Coscarella latched onto a half volley, finding the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.
From that point on, the Rocketeers had a handful of chances to add to its lead but couldn’t solve Foxboro keeper Dylan Tierney (10 saves). Foxboro had its share of chances but only came up with a pair of serious threats against Briere.
Just minutes after the second goal, another long ball from Briere found Mordini but Tierney made a big one-on-one stop and the rebound fell back into the keepers’ arms. Six minutes later, North senior Alex Pfeffer got a hold of a clearance that forced Tierney into a terrific diving save.
Foxboro junior Jeremy Neale kept the game at a two-goal deficit in the 55th minute by clearing a chance off the line. After Tierney made the initial stop on Coscarella, Mordini’s follow up chance was inches away from crossing the line until Neale intervened.
A change in formation led to more chances for Foxboro over the final 20 minutes. Cusack found Barreira at the back post on a free kick, but Barreira’s high touch was corralled by Briere. Two minutes later, Barreira had back-to-back free kick chances but the first was saved by Briere and the second just skipped wide at the post.
With Foxboro pushing, North’s counter-attack was on as Conley got in behind on a partial breakaway but Tierney came up with another big stop.
Barreira, who was almost always surrounded by a sea of red jerseys, had a shot blocked in the 67th and the loose ball fell to Will Morrison, but his blast went over the bar in the 67th minute. Max Beigel played a quick 1-2 with Barreira but his shot from atop the area was gobbled up in the 75th minute.
Briere put an exclamation point on the shutout with a terrific diving save in the 78th minute, robbing Barreira on a free kick from just outside the area.
“That was a big part coming in, we knew they’d come at us full boar cause they needed the game, they needed a point,” Burgess said. “Mansfield is in the same situation on Thursday so we have a chance to treat both of these games like playoff games. I think it’s great preparation going forward.
“We focused on taking Barreira out of the game, we moved [James] Sales to a different position, he was playing the six instead of the 10. Every set piece, he was always around Barreira, because he killed us last time as he probably he does a lot of teams.”
With Foxboro needing just a point entering the game, Franchino was asked if there was any thought about playing a similar defensive-first style that North plays, but the head coach noted the team was looking for a win to get in.
“That’s not the style we play, we could have had a draw to go through but for me, I was looking to not play the number one seed and get over [North Attleboro], that was my mentality, that’s always my mentality,” Franchino said. “We could have [sat back from the beginning], but I think we if set back, and with the intensity we didn’t have, we would have gotten bombarded. I want to win the game, want to be confident and try to instill that in my players.”
North Attleboro (8-5-3 Hockomock, 8-6-3 overall) will host Mansfield in both teams’ regular season finale on Thursday. The Hornets are unbeaten in seven straight with four straight wins and need a fifth straight in order to qualify for the state tournament. Foxboro finishes the season at 7-8-3.