NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Foxboro won a state title last season using mostly a six-player rotation, but this year’s squad relies on eight or more players to contribute in different ways every game. On Friday night at North Attleboro, the Warriors needed every bit of that depth to come away from the Pickering Gym with a win.
The league’s top scoring team was held without a made field goal in the first quarter, the league’s second leading scorer, Katelyn Mollica, was held to just six made free throws for the night, and one of Foxboro’s starters, Yara Fawaz, was limited by illness to only a few minutes on the court, but Foxboro still had three players score in double figures and rolled to a 60-29 victory.
“At this time of the year, knowing that I can go eight kids deep and that they can all contribute offensively is huge because last year we couldn’t go that deep,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “That was the fewest points Mollica’s ever had and we can still beat a team by 20-plus points.”
In many ways, the Rocketeers match up well with the Warriors in terms of athleticism and they came out with a game plan to stop the driving lanes, close out hard on shooters, and be as active as possible on the defensive end.
For eight minutes, it worked perfectly. Foxboro was held without a made basket in the first quarter, scoring all five points from the line, including 4-of-4 for Mollica. The problem for the Rocketeers was on the offensive end. North only made three shots of its own and led by just two points after one. Eliza Dion scored four of her six in the first and Colette Petit drilled a three.
Junior center Shakirah Ketant scored Foxboro’s first basket to tie the game at the start of the second quarter, but Amanda Kaiser answered back with a three to regain the lead. It was the last lead that North would hold, as the Warriors went on a 24-2 run to take control.
“It was a great start for us,” said North coach Derek Herber. “You know going in that you have to stop Mollica and then you just hope and pray no one else is hitting, which in that first quarter we played great defense to do that. The problem is they played great defense and we can’t score on the other end. We hung in there until the middle of the second quarter.”
Lizzy Davis scored nine of her 14 points in the second to spark the Foxboro run, while Chelsea Gibbons added five of her 14. After scoring only five points in the first quarter, Foxboro scored 23 in the second, while holding North to just a handful. Davis knocked down a dagger three-pointer as the half ended, helped by Abby Hassman (nine rebounds) chasing down a loose ball.
“It was a dagger,” Herber said about Davis’ buzzer beater. “It just switched the whole tenor of the half…it kind of deflated the kids.”
He added, “We hang in there and we do a lot of good things, but we just can’t score. You feel for everybody, but we go through stretches. We’re just on the cusp. Hopefully it’s a building process and we’re learning from these things.”
In the third quarter, the Warriors extended the lead. Gibbons had a steal under the North basket for a layup plus the foul and then Davis nailed a three to push the lead to 20 points. Jordyn Collins knocked down a jumper and Anita Busznyak twice scored on drives to the basket. Although Regan Fein and Michelle Pothier scored for North, the visitors led 42-19 after three.
Downs explained, “To go into tournament knowing that we have other girls who can contribute when [Katelyn] is being shut down is huge. Shakirah had kind of a breakthrough, Lizzy is back in the scoring, and Chelsea has been pretty consistent.”
North tried to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter, with Kaiser (eight rebounds) getting a layup off an Olivia Forbes steal and then Forbes following with a three off a Kaiser assist and Julia Feid added three points, but Ketant proved to be too much for the Rocketeers to handle in the post.
She scored off a putback, a post move from the left block, and off a steal under the North basket. Ketant had 10 of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter alone, and she also added 12 rebounds as well.
“She was the difference maker today,” said Herber about Ketant’s impact. “In the first game, they didn’t really have a post presence, so we were able to do some things. She was a beast today and just able to take control in there to give them another option.”
Foxboro (16-2, 14-2) will head into its annual Warrior Classic to face Old Rochester on Monday night in a battle of the two teams tied for the top seed in Div. 2 South. North Attleboro (6-14, 4-12) will close out its season on Thursday against Weston.
King Philip, 54 @ Attleboro, 58 – Final – Attleboro senior Mason Houle hit a big three and junior Qualeem Charles sank two big free throws as the Bombardiers held off an upset bid from King Philip. Houle (15 points) took a feed from Kevin Velazquez (nine points) and drained a three to make it 56-48 with 1:20 to play. KP’s Bruce Saintilus (21 points) answered with a three of his own to make it 56-51. After a stop, Tim Nault sank a three for the Warriors to make it 56-54 with 39 seconds to play. Charles (13 points, eight rebounds) hit two free throws with 12.4 left to secure the win for Attleboro. Tim Callahan added 13 points for Attleboro while Alex Fritz finished with 13 points for the Warriors.
Sharon, 43 @ Canton, 69 – Final – Canton senior Devin Foster scored 31 points to lead the Bulldogs to a win. With the victory and other results from the Davenport division, the Bulldogs clinched at least a share of the division title.
Franklin, 67 @ Taunton, 49 – Final – After an even first quarter, Franklin controlled the final three periods to secure a win on the road over Kelley-Rex rival Taunton. Tied at 12-12 through eight minutes, Franklin created a 30-23 lead heading into the halftime break. The Panthers then extended the lead to 49-33 after three and never looked back to get the win. Franklin junior Chris Edgehill scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, Jalen Samuels added 14 points, and both Jake Macchi and Will Harvey (all points in the first half) finished with 10 points apiece. Dante Law had a team-high 10 points for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 60 @ Oliver Ames, 51 – Final – Mansfield connected on nine three-pointers and found success at the free throw line to return home with a win over Oliver Ames. Sophomores TJ Guy and Matt Boen each had 16 points for the Hornets, who held a three point lead at halftime (29-26) and entering the final quarter (45-42). Sam Stevens scored five of his eight points in the final quarter for Mansfield.
Milford, 53 @ North Attleboro, 63 – Final – North Attleboro was perfect from the field in the fourth quarter, going 9-for-9, and poured in 31 points to complete a comeback win over visiting Milford. The Rocketeers were limited to 16 points in the first half but equaled that total in the third quarter. Trailing 41-32 after three, the Rocketeers opened the fourth with an 8-0 run to get back into the game. Junior Ethan Friberg (11 points) hit a pair of threes in the fourth, sophomore George Ladd added 10 points (all in the second half), and Nate Gonsalves scored all eight of his points in the final quarter. Senior Josh Montague scored a team-high 19 points while Josh Porter added nine points, including a big layup in the fourth quarter. Brendan White had a team-high 14 points and Brendon Sailer added 13 points for the Hawks.
Attleboro, 44 @ King Philip, 63 – Final – Faith Roy set a career-high with 22 points to lead the Warriors to a win that clinches a state tournament berth. Shannon O’Connor and Faye Veilleux chipped in with 12 points apiece for KP.
Sharon, 48 @ Canton, 65 – Final – Kiara Cerruti scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Bulldogs to their 11th win this season. Defensively, seniors Maggie Connolly and Julia Hamilton combined for 14 steals in the win. Emma Eberhardt scored 19 points in the loss and Telishya Herbert added 15 for the Eagles.
Foxboro, 79 @ Stoughton, 36 – Final – Katelyn Mollica had 25 points, including seven three-pointers, to lead the Warriors to a division win. Yara Fawaz had 16 points and Abby Hassman and Chelsea Gibbons each scored nine points in the win.
Taunton, 37 @ Franklin, 82 – Final – Franklin clinched the outright league title with the win. It’s the first title since 2013 for the Panthers. Eleven different players scored for the Panthers in the win led by Ali Brigham with 20 points. Bea Bondhus added 16 and Meghan O’Connell had 13 in the win. Sonya Fernandez was Taunton’s top scorer with 12.
Mansfield, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 39 – Final – Maggie Danehy led the way for the Hornets with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Mady Bendanillo added 10 ppoints, four assists, and three steals in the win. OA closed the gap in the fourth quarter, cutting an 11-point lead to just six, thanks in part to freshman Caroline Peper, who scored 14 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth.
North Attleboro, 55 @ Milford, 19 – Final – Liz Smahi and Julia Kleczkowski each scored eight points for the Rocketeers.
Foxboro, 9 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Brendan Tully netted a hat trick and Kirk Leach scored twice as the Warriors skated to a win over Stoughton at Asiaf. Sean Doherty and Carter Gerome each scored for Stoughton.
Mansfield @ Sharon, 7:30
Oliver Ames, 137.95 @ Mansfield, 147.05 – Final
Attleboro, 55 @ Oliver Ames, 53 – Final – Attleboro overcame a 13-point deficit in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 21-12 in the final quarter to get the win. The Bombardiers trailed 35-22 in the third before closing the gap to 41-34 entering the fourth quarter. The Bombarders opened the fourth with a 12-5 run, tying the game at 46 with four minutes to play. Attleboro had a three-point lead but OA’s Sean O’Brien hit one from deep to tie the game. Attleboro senior Mason Houle hit two free throws with 20 seconds left and the Bombardiers forced a turnover with seconds left to secure the win. Houle finished with a team-high 20 points while Qualeem Chares added 16 points and eight rebounds. Kevin Velazquez scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including nine in the fourth quarter. OA senior Ethan Eckstrom had a team-high 15 points.
Canton, 52 @ Stoughton, 58 – Final – Stoughton scored 34 points in the second half to pick up a key division win over rival Canton. Junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell was held scoreless in the first half but exploded for 14 points in the second half while Ahmad Jahed added a career-high 13 points to pace the Black Knights. Kevin Dixon and Tahkwan Gates Brown each finished with 11 points for the Black Knights, who trailed 26-24 at half but took a 42-36 lead into the fourth quarter. Devin Foster led Canton with 16 points.
Foxboro, 63 @ Milford, 66 – Final – Milford trailed by 14 at halftime but used a spirited second half to secure the win. Milford scored 19 points in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to single digits (51-42) but then exploded for 24 points in the final period to get the comeback win over the Warriors. Brendan White scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter and also grabbed 15 rebounds to pace the Hawks’ comeback. White put Milford ahead 62-61 after converting an offensive rebound, and Danny Corsini (11 points) came up with a steal and bucket to make it 64-61. Sophomore Jordan Darling added 15 points for Milford Foxboro had a look for the tying bucket at the buzzer but it was just off the mark. The Warriors, who were without leading scorer Brandon Borde, were led by sophomore Kevin Gallagher’s career-high 24 points while senior Anthony Mollica added 16 points.
King Philip, 52 @ Taunton, 59 – Final – King Philip used a 16-point third quarter to tie the score at 43-43 heading into the final frame, but the Tigers’ defense limited the Warriors to just nine points in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Senior Michael Quinn had a team-high 21 points while John Martins added 12 points and Naz Kenion finished with 11 points. Junior Alex Fritz led KP with a career-high 22 points while Bruce Saintilus added 18 points.
Sharon, 43 @ North Attleboro, 50 – Final – North Attleboro senior Nate Gonsalves (13 points) hit a pair of three pointers and junior Ethan Friberg added one as the Rocketeers were able to pull away from Sharon in the fourth quarter. Big Red held a 20-13 lead at halftime but the Eagles exploded for 17 points in the third, as junior Aidan Kane hit three triples and had 11 of his team-high 15 points in the quarter. North had connected on just two threes heading into the fourth but totaled 18 points in the fame to get the win. Senior Josh Montague and sophomore George Ladd each added 13 points for North.
Oliver Ames, 58 @ Attleboro, 28 – Final – Oliver Ames ramped up the defensive intensity in the second half, limiting the Bombardiers to just 11 points as the Tigers ran away with the win. Tate Hadges led OA, which led 33-17 at half, with 12 points while freshmen Caroline Peper and Hailey Bourne each added 10 points.
Stoughton, 34 @ Canton, 56 – Final – The Bulldogs clinched a playoff spot with the win. It is the quickest that Canton has clinched a playoff berth in about two decades. Head coach Jim Choquette credited his team’s defensive performance for earning the win and sealing a quick return to the state tournament. Sydnee Hyacinthe had 12 points and Shyanne Trinh had 10 for the Black Knights.
Milford, 13 @ Foxboro, 75 – Final – Katelyn Mollica scored 19 to lead the Warriors, who clinched at least a share of their third straight Davenport title. Shakirah Ketant had 13 ponints and 11 rebounds and Yara Fawaz added 12 points for Foxboro.
King Philip, 74 @ Taunton, 37 – Final – Faith Roy scored 21 points, including 16 in the first quarter, helping the Warriors jump out to a big lead right from the opening tip and they never looked back. KP coach Amy Siggens said that the team’s defensive intensity made the difference. Shannon O’Connor added 16 and Faye Veilleux had 12 points for the Warriors, who are one win away from booking a spot in the state tournament.
North Attleboro, 52 @ Sharon, 57 – Final (OT) – Ally Brown and Telishya Herbert each scored 13 points for the Eagles, who move within two wins of clinching a playoff spot. Emma Eberhardt and Evanjuline Elisma each scored eight points in the win.
FOXBORO, Mass. – Coming into Tuesday night’s showdown, Foxboro and Franklin were both unbeaten (8-0) in Hockomock play and were the league’s top two scoring teams, its top two defensive teams, its two division leaders, and boasted the league’s top two scorers.
It was clearly a battle of the top two teams in the Hock and it was a battle that was dominated by the Hock’s top scorer, Ali Brigham. The 6-foot-3 junior center scored 27 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, and blocked six shots, controlling the paint on both ends of the court to help Franklin remain unbeaten with a 52-40 victory.
“She’s frustrated because she thought that she could’ve played better,” Franklin coach John Leighton joked when asked about Brigham’s performance night-in, night-out. “It’s great coaching a kid that wants to become better. She’s not complacent. She’s not close to the player that she wants to be, yet. She keeps expanding her game.”
Franklin’s win ended Foxboro’s 26-game win streak and 33-game league win streak.
While Brigham rightfully stole the headlines for her all-around game, Franklin also won because of its defensive performance on Foxboro sophomore Katelyn Mollica. The league’s second leading scorer was held to just nine points (four in the fourth quarter) thanks to the very close attention of sophomore Erin Quaile.
With Mollica contained, Foxboro was held more than 20 points below its season average.
“It gets tough for Mollica having all that pressure, especially when you have someone who can stick with you the way Quaile did tonight,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs. “She completely blocked her out and denied her the ball, but I don’t know if we have any answer for Ali Brigham but our goal was to keep her below her average and we didn’t do that.”
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead, as Brigham scored eight points in the first, matching Foxboro’s total in the quarter. She twice got baskets on offensive rebounds, drove to the basket and was set up by a Bea Bondhus drive. Bondhus (nine points) also scored twice herself and Megan O’Connell (10 points) added four points.
Chelsea Gibbons hit a three, Mollica hit a pull-up three and Lizzy Davis scored on a jumper, but that was all the Warriors could manage against Franklin’s pressure defense.
Leighton said, “Erin Quaile and Shannon Gray have been doing this all year. We unleash them on the other team’s best guards and they’re very good athletes and tough as nails but it helps having Ali behind them. They ran a lot of screens for Mollica tonight and I thought we hedged well; no one was alone on an island.”
That pattern held in the second, as the Warriors were held to eight points as a team again. A quick 6-0 run extended the Panthers’ advantage to 14 points, but Foxboro hung around thanks to four points from Yara Fawaz (team-high 12 points and six rebounds). But, whenever Foxboro seemed to be climbing back into the game, Franklin responded and Brigham scored off assists by Quaile and Elizabeth Wilson to push the lead back to 12 at halftime.
“Foxboro doesn’t win as many games in a row as they have without that,” said Leighton about Foxboro continually pushing back. “There is zero quit, but I thought we answered defensively every time they made a run. We got patient on offense, worked the ball around and instead of taking that first open look, work it around and either get an inside touch or kick it out to the open kid.”
The third quarter was back-and-forth. Brigham was again the focal point for the Panthers, who found different ways to get her the ball on the block and moved the ball well from side-to-side and kept the Foxboro defense moving. With Brigham and O’Connell (seven rebounds) controlling the glass, Franklin also prevented the Warriors from getting out in transition.
Fawaz scored four more points in the third, combining well with fellow forward Abby Hassman (five assists) to try and step away from the basket and, of course, Brigham. Davis also drilled a three and Anita Busznyak took a lead pass from Mollica for a rare basket on the break.
Despite Foxboro feeling like it was on the brink of a comeback, the Warriors fell a further point behind heading to the fourth quarter. Still, the hosts kept battling back, with six straight points to start the fourth cutting the lead to 43-36 after Mollica’s steal and layup.
O’Connell answered with a basket and then assisted on a Brigham basket. Fawaz got into the lane to score and make it a nine-point game again, but Bondhus came right back down and drilled a three from the left wing to push the lead into double digits and seal the win.
Brigham remarked, “I think we were just so focused and so ready to win that we just handled what we needed to do. If they went on a run, we came back with another one.”
Downs was philosophical about the end of the win streak. She said, “It’s one of those teams that’s going to help us for down the road to prepare for the postseason because they are so talented. We never really could get past that hump, but they didn’t stop fighting and I give them credit for that.”
Franklin (11-1, 9-0) will be back home on Friday night to host Attleboro, while Foxboro (10-1, 8-1) will host North Attleboro, which comes in with five wins in its last six games.
North Attleboro, 58 vs. Bishop Feehan, 37 – Final – North Attleboro limited Bishop Feehan to just 15 points in the opening half, building a 32-15 lead by the break and never looked back. The Rocketeers pounded the paint, using their size to their advantage, connecting on 26 two-point field goals. Jake Petersen had a team-high 14 points for North while Josh Montague added 10 points, sophomore George Ladd finished with nine points, and Nate Gonsalves chipped in seven points.
Taunton 72 vs. New Bedford, 66 – Final – New Bedford raced out to a 24-14 lead after the first quarter, and had the lead up to as much as 15 before Taunton closed the gap with a big second quarter. Senior Lou Vendrell scored nine of his 11 points in the second quarter on three triples to help the Tigers cut the deficit to just two, 31-29, at halftime. Senior Mike Quinn scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, Wesner Charles added 14 points, and John Martins scored all 10 of his points in the second half to help the Tigers earn the win.
Canton, 57 @ Weymouth, 48 – Final – Canton got strong games from three of its freshmen to win on the road at Weymouth (where the Bulldogs clinched a playoff spot last season). Kiara Cerruti led the way for the Bulldogs with 19 points, including 6-of-8 at the line. Sydney Gallery scored 12 and her sister Fay chipped in with 11 points. Canton coach Jim Choquette credited the team’s defensive pressure and its transition game for the win, which moved the Bulldogs back to .500 on the season.
Foxboro, 54 vs. Walpole, 40 – Final – The Warriors won a second non-league game in a row to stay unbeaten on the season. Katelyn Mollica was the top scorer for Foxboro with 14 points and the Warriors also got strong games from Yara Fawaz and Chelsea Gibbons, who each scored 13 points.
Milford, 19 @ Norwood, 61 – Final
North Attleboro, 61 @ Weston, 42 – Final – North went on the road and earned its first win of the season. Julia Feid scored 20 points to pace the Rocketeers and Eliza Dion added 12 points in the victory.
Sharon, 43 vs. Holliston, 49 – Final – The Eagles stormed back into the game in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to catch Holliston. Kaitlyn Wallace had 12 points, Evanjuline Elisma had 11, and Telishya Herbert had eight in the loss.
Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 9 – Final – Canton senior Ryan Nolte scored a hat trick and six other players found the back of the net as the Bulldogs opened league play with an impressive win over Attleboro.
King Philip, 2 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – King Philip dominated in shots but had to kill five penalties and needed a late third period goal to earn a win over Foxboro. The Warriors, who had a 36-9 advantage in shots, went ahead in the first period on a goal from Jack Coulter, assisted by Luke D’Amico. Foxboro tied the game on a tally from Brendan Tully (unassisted) with 2:23 to go in the second period. KP sophomore Rocco Bianculli scored the game-winner on a feed from senior Brendan Shandley and junior Chris Daniels. with 2:36 to play. Foxboro had a power play over the final 1:39 but the Warriors’ best chance hit the post in the final moments and stayed out.
Franklin, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game. – Franklin senior Regan Paterson scored a pair of goals and assisted on another to pace the Panthers to a key road win. Paterson opened the scoring just 53 seconds into the game, using a self pass off the boards to beat the defense and then finished with a nice shot. Franklin made it 2-0 with a power play goal with 3:10 left in the first. Tina Pisano played the puck behind the net, Paterson collected it, and found Jordan Dwyer open in front for a goal. Canton got on the board with 1:10 left in the second period as Leah McClellan found Katie Trerice, and her shot from just inside the blue line found its way through traffic and into the net. Franklin responded with a power play goal early in the third. Pisano found Cassi Ronan streaking into the area and she connected with Paterson right in front. Lauren Fitzpatrick scored with 1:18 on the power play to bring the Bulldogs within one. Gabby Colace made 33 saves in the win for Franklin.
King Philip, 1 vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 2 @ Cambridge, 11 – Final
Sharon, 37 @ Canton, 26 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this dual meet. – Sharon’s Vinay Chinnam (126) and Tyler Cashton (152) earned pinfall victories and the Eagles got 18 points from forfeits to earn a win over Canton. Huguens Pierre (138) and Max Pozner (145) also had wins for the Eagles. Canton’s Zach Peters (106, dec.), Jack Turano (113, pin), Mark Carstairs (120, dec.), Harry Carter (152, pin), Jordan Neundorf (160, dec.), and Cole Murphy (170, dec.) had wins for the Bulldogs.
Taunton, 24 @ King Philip, 53 – Final – Six Warriors won by pinfall and two more won by decision as King Philip picked up a win over Taunton. Conor Harrington (106), Michael Gorman (113), Sam DeBaggis (126), Jackson Kelley (138), Sean O’Brien (170), and Shawn Conniff (195) all won by pin for KP while Mohammad Lofti (145, 16-0) and Luke Fitch (182, 4-0) each won by decision without giving up a point. Taunton’s Tyler Lima (120, pin), Christian Balmain (152, dec.), Candido Santos (160, dec.), and Woudanly Danger (285, pin) picked up wins.
Mansfield, 33 @ Melrose, 39 – Final
Oliver Ames, 74 @ Franklin, 93 – Final – Junior Chris Carey took first in the 100 free and junior Pat Juszczyszyn won the 500 free to pace the Panthers to a win.
Oliver Ames, 93 @ Franklin, 74 – Final – Franklin senior Katie Cashin was a double winner, taking first in both the 100 free and 20 free.
Oliver Ames, 130.4 @ Canton, 102.75 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up its third straight win to begin the season, with junior Lauren Picanzi capturing his third straight first place finish in the All Around. Picanzi scored a 33.7 while OA sophomore Ashlyn Latham was second with a 32.8. Latham had a meet-best 9.0 on the vault.
Franklin, 55 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 47 – Final – Franklin started and finished strong in the championship game of the Larry Fisher Holiday Tournament to beat the hosts. Franklin junior Steve Karayan connected on six three-pointers, including two in the first and two in the fourth quarters, for a career-high 18 points. The Panthers led 36-34 heading into the final quarter but outscored the Trojans 19-13 in the frame to pull away with the win. Senior Jalen Samuels added 14 points and was named tournament MVP while senior Jake Macchi added a career-high 12 points.
Oliver Ames, 51 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 45 – Final – Oliver Ames limited the Cardinals to four points in the second quarter to build a 25-14 advantage at the break, and took a 40-26 lead into the final frame but had to hold off a furious charge from Spellman to earn the win. Spellman cut the lead to 48-45 with 31 seconds to go but OA secured the win in the championship game of the Muscato Holiday Tournament. Senior Ethan Eckstrom scored 13 points and was named tournament MVP while junior Jay Spillane also scored 13 points for the Tigers.
Foxboro, 63 @ Hopkinton, 23 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Lizzy Davis led the Warriors with 16 points, while Katelyn Mollica had 15 and Yara Fawaz added 10. Shakirah Ketant came off the bench to add seven points, nine rebounds, and four blocks for Foxboro, which didn’t allow a made field goal during the second and third quarters.
Mansfield, 40 vs. Ridgefield (Conn.), 32 – Final – Mansfield led by just two points entering the fourth, but pulled away by holding Ridgefield to only five points in the final quarter. Defense was the key for the Hornets, who led 20-10 at halftime despite shooting 0-for-16 from the field in the second. Sydney Mulkern had 14 points and Maggie Danehy recorded a second double-double in as many days with 10 points and 14 boards.
North Attleboro, 49 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 55 – Final – Amanda Kaiser led the Rocketeers with 22 points in the consolation game of their holiday tournament.
Attleboro, 26 vs. Norwood, 39 – Final – The Bombardiers played even with unbeaten Norwood in the second half but couldn’t overcome a tough start on the offensive end after falling behind 21-8 at halftime. Liv McCall scored a team-high seven points and was named to the all-tournament team. Nyah Thomas added six points for Attleboro.
Attleboro, 2 vs. Dartmouth, 2 – Final – Attleboro rallied for a pair of third period goals to earn a tie with Dartmouth. Cam Littig scored twice in the final period to bring the Bombardiers level, with Ryan Morry assisting on both goals. Sam Larkin and Aidan Diggin also had an assist for Attleboro.
Canton, 4 vs. Westwood, 0 – Final – Canton’s Ryan Nolte and Johnny Hagan scored in the second period and Timmy Kelleher and Chris Lavoie tacked on goals in the third period as the Bulldogs claimed the Joe Donnelly Cup with a win over Westwood.
Foxboro, 8 vs. St. John Paul II/Sacred Heart, 2 – Final – Kirk Leach picked up five points and Ronnie MacLellan registered four points as the Warriors skated to a win in the championship game of the JP2 Hockey Classic. Leach scored twice and picked up three assists while MacLellan was responsible for one goal and three helpers.
King Philip 7, vs. Brockton, 4 – Final – King Philip scored four goals in the second period, turning a deficit into a lead, and tacked on two more in the final period to get the win over the Boxers. Senior Luke D’Amico put the Warriors on the board in the first but KP trailed 2-1 after one. Goals from Brendan Shandley, Rocco Bianculli, Aiden Boulger, and Garrett Maxwell helped the Warriors take a 5-4 lead into the final period. Jack Coulter and D’Amico scored insurance goals in the third period while James Lewis finished with 14 saves in net.
North Attleboro, 2 vs. Moses Brown (R.I.), 3 – Final
Canton, 1 vs. Westwood, 5 – Final – Lauren Fitzpatrick scored Canton’s only goal.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip scored early in the third period to go up 3-1 but Mansfield/Oliver Ames rallied for three straight goals, including the game-winner with just over a minute left to pick up a win over the Warriors. Sydney O’Shea and Morgan Cunningham scored first period goals to put KP up 2-0. Izzy Shanteler got MOA on the board in the second but Meghan Gorman made it 3-1 with an early third period goal. But Emma Pereira scored with 10:47 left, Shanteler got her second with 5:10 to go, and Pereira tallied her second with 1:04 to play for the game-winner. Skyler Sharfman had two assists for MOA while Jess Widdop made 18 saves in goal.
Stoughton, 2 @ St. Joseph Prep/Mt. Alvernia, 8 – Final
Wrestling Agawam Tournament – Franklin had eight wrestlers finish fifth or better and took fourth overall as a team with 145 points. Drew DiFilippo was the 106 champion, winning 13-8 in the finals over Moses Oquendo of Holyoke. Alex Facassa (126) and Liam Cogavin (182) each took second, Matt Leofanti (220) earned a third place finish, Luke Cashin (152), Nolan Sheridan (195), and Quinn Fila-Montgomery (113) each placed fourth, and Michael Hasenfus (132) took fifth overall.
Attleboro, 39 @ Stoughton, 44 – Final – Stoughton hauled in eight of their 20 offensive rebounds in the final quarter and turned those boards into 12 points in a win over Attleboro. The Bombardiers led 34-26 after three quarters of play but the Black Knights won the fourth quarter 18-5 to earn the victory. Junior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored a career-high 16 points and hauled in 16 rebounds to lead the way for Stoughton while Eddie Aldama chipped in with 11 points. Senior Mason Houle had a game-high 17 points for Attleboro.
Franklin, 50 @ Canton, 52 – Final – With Franklin holding a 50-49 lead, Canton senior Ryan Lentol stole an inbounds pass, kept it in bounds while finding classmate Paul Corcoran (10 points) for a baseline layup to give the Bulldogs a 51-50 lead with 5.2 left in the game. Canton forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds and Devin Foster (20 points) hit a free throw in the final seconds to help the Bulldogs secure the win. Kyle Fitzgerald added 11 points in the win for Canton. Junior Chris Edgehill had a team-high 16 points for Franklin, Jalen Samuels added 13 points, and Will Harvey finished with 12 points.
King Philip, 46 @ Milford, 79 – Final – Milford scored 42 points in the first half and had four players finish in double digits in scoring in a victory over visiting King Philip. Brendon Sailer (18 points), Danny Corsini (15 points) and Colby Pires (13 points) all set new career highs in scoring while Brendan White had 17 points for the Hawks, which led 63-24 after three quarters. Timmy Nault and Sam Sesay (career-high) each had 10 points for King Philip while Andrew McKinney and Alex Fritz each finished with eight points.
Mansfield, 75 @ Sharon, 57 – Final – Mansfield built a 219-point lead by halftime, taking a 44-25 lead into the break, and never looked back in a win over Sharon. Damani Scott scored 19 of his career-high 29 points in the first half while Tommy Dooling (six threes) scored 16 of his career-high 22 points in the opening 16 minutes to help the Hornets build the big lead. Khristian Conner chipped in with 11 points for Mansfield. Aaron Strong led Sharon with 13 points while Andrew Burton chipped in with 12 points.
Oliver Ames, 45 @ North Attleboro, 46 – Final (OT) – North Attleboro closed the fourth quarter on a 7-2 run to help force overtime and then outscored the Tigers 6-5 in the extra period to get the win. A pull up jumper from Evan Rosenberg with just over 30 seconds left put North ahead 40-38 but Jake Erlich hit two free throws in the final seconds to send it to overtime. North Attleboro’s Jake Petersen scored five of his 11 points in the overtime period to lift the Rocketeers. Nate Gonsalves finished with a career-high 16 points for Big Red. Amari Brown paced Olier Ames with 13 points while Harry DeChellis finished with 10 points.
Stoughton, 51 @ Attleboro, 41 – Final – Aliyah Wright was the top scorer for the Black Knights with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Sydnee Hyacinthe had 16 points and six assists, as Stoughton won its second game in a row and moved above .500 for the first time this season.
Foxboro, 78 @ Taunton, 38 – Final – Four players scored in double figures as the Warriors made it three wins out of three to start the season. Katelyn Mollica led Foxboro with 18, but the Warriors also got 16 points from Yara Fawaz and 11 each from Abby Hassman and Chelsea Gibbons.
Sharon,, 29 @ Mansfield, 47 – Final – Sharon was down only six entering the final quarter but Mansfield finally broke the game open with a 14-2 fourth to pull out the win. Maggie Danehy scored 12 points and pulled down 14 boards in the win. Mansfield also got 10 points from Emily Vigeant and seven from Ashley Santos. Evanjuline Elisma paced the Eagles with nine points and Emma Eberhardt added eight.
North Attleboro, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 79 – Final – Ally Scolnick led the Tigers in scoring for the third straight game to start the season, tallying 17 points in the win. Caroline Flynn added 13 points and five assists, Tate Hadges had 12 points, and Alex Sheldon had 11 for OA. Tigers coach Laney Clement-Holbrook called it a great effort on both ends of the floor.
Taunton, 129 @ Oliver Ames, 131.65 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Lauren Picanzi took first in the All Around with a 35.2, including a 9.0 on both the beam and the floor. OA sophomore Ashlyn Latham placed fourth in the All Around, and tied for second with an 8.8 on floor.
Taunton, 48 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 38 – Final – Freshman Tim Luc and eighth grader Gerald Grealish each won a pair of individual events and Taunton swept the three relays to get a win over Coyle. Luc won the 100 fly (sectional qualifying 57.96) and 100 free (53.39) while Grealish touched first in the 100 backstroke (1:05.91) and the 200 IM (2:18.44). Freshman Brady Callahan won the 200 free (2:09.00) and was second in the 100 backstroke (1:06.54). Taunton dominated all three relay events, capturing the 200 Medley and 400 Free (Callahan, Grealish, Luc, Peter Ye), as well as the 200 Free (Johnathan Trinh, Khan Orgil Enkhbileg, Garrett Rainey, Martin Dafov).
Taunton, 55 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 33 – Final – Taunton took first and second in all but one individual event and swept all three relays in a win over Coyle. Senior Erin Schrama, senior Ashley Mitchell, and eighth grader Tiffany Ye were all double winners for Taunton. Schrama won the 200 IM (sectional qualifying 2:26.70) as well as the 100 breast (1:15.99) while Mitchell was a double winner in the distance events, tackling the 200 and 500 free events.
FOXBORO, Mass. – There are a lot of new faces on Foxboro this season and players jumping into bigger roles for the defending Div. 2 state champions, but some things haven’t changed for the Warriors. The game is still played at a fast pace, the defense is still aggressive, and Foxboro continues to win Davenport games.
One of the returning starters is sophomore Katelyn Mollica and on Friday night, even with Canton senior Maggie Connolly (seven steals) hounding her for three quarters, she dominated. Mollica scored a career-high 31 points, including 17 in the third quarter alone to lift the Warriors to a 86-61 win in an early season divisional clash.
“She’s unreal, and that step-back…you can’t defend against that,” said Foxboro coach Lisa Downs about Mollica’s offensive game. “Once we were able to fast break too that got her in the open court with the ball in her hands, so that freed her up and she’s money at the free throw line.”
Connolly was also the star on offense for the Bulldogs, scoring a career-high 22 points in the loss, but this game was a learning experience for Canton’s talented underclassmen.
“Even if some of these girls who were on the court tonight weren’t during last year’s run, they were at practices and seeing how it has to be done to be successful,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette about the Warriors. “Our girls are young and trying to figure that out.”
Foxboro jumped out to its speed right from the opening tip, taking a 10-2 lead in the opening minutes and with four different players getting on the board. Canton tried to get back into by forcing turnovers, with Connolly getting out on the break and finishing a pair of three-point plays on her way to a 12-point first quarter.
The Warriors just kept scoring, with Chelsea Gibbons (13 points) putting in five in the first and Mollica adding six, but the Bulldogs closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to just 20-16. On the first play of the second, Julia Hamilton lobbed a pass into Erin Devine for an easy layup that made it a two-point game.
It would be as close as the Bulldogs would get for the rest of the night, as Foxboro outscored Canton 24-11 in the second to take control of the game.
Mollica added eight in the quarter, including six from the free throw line, and Abby Hassman (the other returning starter from the state title game) scored six of her eight mostly driving the ball to the basket. Junior Lizzy Davis and sophomore Adrienne Dunn each added a three top open up a 17-point lead at the break.
“I was just angry,” Downs said about the discussion between the first two quarters. “We weren’t looking up quick enough. Our fast break wasn’t working because we were getting two or three dribbles too long and not going up the sideline. Once we started getting it into a track meet that opened things up.”
One area that Foxboro dominated was on the glass. Hassman (10 rebounds) and junior Yara Fawaz (seven boards) led the way for the Warriors, using their athleticism and quickness to control the paint. Canton also battled foul trouble for much of the first half, forcing a lot of subbing and rotating the lineup.
Choquette said, “Both games we were in the same boat. Some of the younger girls just have to adjust and realize they call it a little tighter. On the other hand, I like that they’re being aggressive, they’re not scared, and they’re not backing down.”
Mollica took over in the third. After back-to-back baskets by Gibbons extended the lead to 22 points, Mollica stepped back for a three-pointer, then hit a pull-up jumper in transition, and scored again on the break to push the advantage to 59-30.
Freshmen Sydney Gallery (nine points) and Kiara Cerruti (10 points) scored buckets for the Bulldogs, but then Mollica drilled a pair of threes to avoid any slip in the momentum.
In the fourth, Canton tried to claw back with Connolly adding six more points and the talented group of freshmen starting to find their footing. Syndey Gallery scored six in the quarter, while her sister Fay added five of her nine points and Cerruti scored four. It wasn’t enough to get Canton back in the game but it was a positive way to finish the night.
“This is a great test for where we are right now,” said Choquette. “We can get back to practice the next few days, get ready for Franklin, and then have two weeks to fully dissect everything and what we need to improve on.”
Downs praised her bench for being able to hold onto the lead in the fourth, including six points from junior Julia Kelley, but also praised the Bulldogs. “Those freshmen are good,” she said, “so once they get a couple games under their belt it’s going to be a totally different Canton team.”
Foxboro (2-0) will try to stay unbeaten when it travels to Taunton on Wednesday night. Canton (1-1) will look to bounce back with a tough trip to unbeaten Franklin.
Canton, 55 @ Attleboro, 59 – Final – Attleboro built a 12-point lead by halftime but Canton chipped away in the second half, making it a one-point game late in the fourth quarter. Bombardiers junior Bryant Cicco (17 points) answered with a layup with less than a minute to play to extend the lead to 58-55 and junior Qualeem Charles (13 points) hit a free throw in the final moments to ice the win for Attleboro. Mason Houle added 13 points and Tim Callahan chipped in with 11 points with three three-pointers for Attleboro. Canton senior Devin Foster scored a game-high 27 points, including 16 in the second half, to help the Bulldogs get back in the game. Robbie Gallery added 11 points for Canton.
Milford, 29 @ Franklin, 64 – Final – After a slow first quarter for both teams (8-4 Panthers), Franklin built a 25-12 lead at halftime and kept that lead the rest of the way in a win over Milford. Franklin junior Chris Edgehill scored 17 of his game-high 25 points in the second half to keep the Panthers ahead while Jalen Samuels chipped in with 12 points. Franklin had five players score in a 17-point second quarter that helped create the separation. Senior Brendan White led the Hawks with 15 points.
North Attleboro, 48 @ Taunton, 73 – Final – Taunton had a strong start to both the first and third quarters to earn a win over visiting North Attleboro. The Tigers put up 26 points in the opening quarter with six players scoring a field goal, and took a 43-29 lead at halftime. Taunton opened the second half with an 11-2 run and never looked back. Tigers junior Dante Law scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter to help Taunton pull away. Naz Kenion (12 points), Lou Vendrell (11 points), and John Martins (10 points) all scored in double-figures for Taunton. North Attleboro’s Josh Montague had a team-high 15 points, Nate Gonsalves added 13 points and sophomore George Ladd recorded 10 points in his varsity debut.
Stoughton, 39 @ Oliver Ames, 57 – Final – Holding a three-point lead at the break (25-22), Oliver Ames had a big third quarter to pull away from visiting Stoughton. The Tigers limited the Black Knights to just two points in the third quarter while scoring 15 points to take a 40-24 lead into the final quarter. Oliver Ames senior Ethan Eckstrom scored half of his career-high 16 points in the third quarter while Sean O’Brien and Jake Erlich each added 10 points in the win. Stoughton junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell scored a team-high 11 points for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 39 @ Canton, 53 – Final – Freshman Kiara Cerruti scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had five assists on her varsity debut and classmate Fay Gallery had 16 points on four three-pointers in her first varsity action to lead the Bulldogs to a season opening win.
Mansfield, 50 @ Foxboro, 59 – Final – Katelyn Mollica led the way for the Warriors with 21 points, including four three-pointers and 9-of-10 shooting at the free throw line. Yara Fawaz and Abby Hassman each scored eight points and Chelsea Gibbons pulled down 12 rebounds in the win. Maggie Danehy scored 11 points and Mady Bendanillo had 10 for the Hornets in the loss.
Franklin, 61 @ Milford, 20 – Final – Franklin jumped out in front early, leading 41-12 at halftime, and never looked back in both teams’ season opener. Ali Brigham scored 29 for the Panthers, who also got 10 points from Bea Bondhus and eight points from freshman Olivia Quinn in her varsity debut. Jillian Michelson scored seven points and Emma Lawrence had six for the Hawks.
King Philip, 49 @ Sharon, 39 – Final – Shannon O’Connor scored 15 points for the Warriors in the season opener, despite sitting for a portion of the second half. Faith Roy added 13 points in the win and KP coach Amy Siggens praised Emma Glaser for her effort on the glass (nine rebounds) and on the defensive end.
North Attleboro, 41 @ Taunton, 44 – Final – Taunton got balanced scoring to earn the win in the leaguer opener for both teams. Lily Patneaude scored 13 points and grabbed six boards for the Tigers, while Kelsey White added 12 points and snatched eight steals. Sonya Fernandez had nine points and 10 boards, Jaelyn Fernandez had three points and 15 boards, and Alex White had seven points and five assists for Taunton. Julia Feid was the top scorer for the Rocketeers with 19 points.
Sharon, 58 @ Attleboro, 96 – Final – Attleboro’s Colton Parkinson qualified for states in both the 200 and 500 freestyle as the Bombardiers opened the season with a win. Attleboro’s 200 medley relay qualified for sectionals as well.
Foxboro, 69 @ Norton, 68 – Final –
Sharon, 80 @ Attleboro, 89 – Final – Attleboro’s Liz Salts qualified for states in a pair of events to help the Bombarders open the season with a victory. Salts qualified for states in both the 100 free and 200 free while Jackie Lynch-Bartek qualified for sectionals in the 100 breaststroke. The Bombardiers’ 200 free relay also qualified for states.
2017-2018 Record: 9-13 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Martin Crowley
The Bombardiers were just two wins shy of a playoff spot last season under new head coach Marty Crowley and Attleboro brings back three starters and has added several new faces to the roster to try and make a postseason push this winter.
The graduation of leading scorer Sam Pierce (16 points per game) means that a number of players are going to need to step in and make up for production on offense and on the glass. Senior point guard Jordyn Lako will be back to run the Bombardiers offense and provide three-point shooting, while junior Nyah Thomas is a versatile weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Both are also aggressive defenders, who set the tone on that end of the floor. Senior forward Mackenzie Roberts can score in the post or from beyond the arc and junior Liv McCall is a dynamic guard who is capable of big scoring nights.
Defense has always been the focus of teams that Crowley coaches and the Bombardiers will be no different. To keep up that defensive intensity, the Bombardiers have added depth to the rotation. Seniors Abby Struminski and Dom Garnes (who was out last season with an injury) provide leadership, while sophomores Gabby Bosh and Sonny Stuger and freshmen Meghan Gordon and Lillian Froio are newcomers to keep an eye on.
“Hopefully we can generate scoring opportunities off our defense and use our athleticism to create baskets,” said Crowley. “We have a great mix of experience and youth. We are excited about what lies ahead. Practices have been spirited and the kids have been working hard.”
2017-2018 Record: 10-11 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South first round. Coach: Jim Choquette
Last winter, Canton got a taste of the postseason for the first time in seven seasons and now the program will try to build on that momentum while finding a way to replace the scoring and rebounding of Hannah Jerrier, who averaged a double-double for the Bulldogs last winter. An exciting crop of underclassmen has been added to the roster and now Canton will try to build experience with a schedule that puts them on the road for the majority of the first half of the year.
While Jerrier will obviously be missed, the Bulldogs bring back the other four starters and other players with plenty of experience to try and make it a much shorter wait to get back into the playoffs. Senior point guard Julia Hamilton is back to run the offense, senior Erin Devine gives Canton control on the glass and a rim protector on defense, senior Molly Ludwig gives balance to the offense, and senior Maggie Connolly is one of the league’s top defensive players on the perimeter. Senior Nicole Galvin will add depth to the backcourt.
Junior Lilah Milton came on strong at the tail of end of last season, including a huge game in the playoff-clinching win over Weymouth, and could take up some of Jerrier’s scoring from the power forward position. Sophomore Kayla Albert gained valuable experience last season as a freshman and current rookies Sydney and Fay Gallery, and Kiara Cerruti have the potential to step right into the rotation and contribute.
“Details are everything to us,” said Canton coach Jim Choquette. “If our group of young talent and veteran leadership/experience can continue to stay focused on the details during the good times and tough times of a season then we should continue to improve and have a very excited and successful season.”
2017-2018 Record: 26-2 2017-2018 Finish: Won Div. 2 state championship. Coach: Lisa Downs
Last season was one to remember for the Warriors, who rolled through the regular season in dominating fashion and lived up to the team’s immense potential by bringing home the Div. 2 state title. With the graduation of a very strong senior class, the expectations are much lower for the Warriors this season but there are several returning players and new faces that have Foxboro coach Lisa Downs confident that the program can continue its recent run of success in the Davenport division.
Losing players like Ashley Sampson, Lily Sykes, Grace Tamulionis, and Shannon Smally is a challenge for any team, but the Warriors will bring back a pair of starters from the playoff run in sophomore Katelyn Mollica and junior Abby Hassman. Mollica is the team’s top returning scorer and will be one of the top point guards in the Hock with her ability to shoot and score off the dribble. Hassman gives Foxboro a strong presence on the glass and showed increased confidence in her offensive game at the end of last season. Senior Chelsea Gibbons and junior Lizzy Davis should see increased minutes and bigger roles in the offense this year.
Juniors Shakirah Ketant and Yara Fawaz should give Foxboro more depth in the post and contribute on the glass and both saw limited minutes in the playoffs last winter. Sophomores Adrienne Dunn and Jordyn Collins will be newcomers to the backcourt and have impressed during the preseason, while junior forward Anita Busznyak is expected to see a lot more time this year and could be a player to watch.
Downs is hoping this year’s team will learn from the graduating class. She said, “The time they spent practicing with and playing against these girls has really paid off – they know what is expected of them on the court and what is required to be a winning team. We have established a winning culture at Foxboro and the players know that I expect nothing more than what they should expect from themselves.”
2017-2018 Record: 15-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central first round. Coach: John Leighton
The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year’s roster, which reached the state tournament but lost in the opening round to Natick, and there are high expectations on Oak St. as the new season gets underway. Franklin enters the season as the favorite in the Kelley-Rex division and its balanced lineup has the potential to make a run in the state tournament as well.
Much of the enthusiasm for Franklin’s chances this winter come from 6-foot-3 center Ali Brigham. The junior recently committed to George Washington (where her father once played) and is the lone returning player from last season HockomockSports.com First Team. While she (deservedly) garners much of the attention, the Panthers have a number of other weapons to give the opposition headaches. Senior guard Bea Bondhus, who committed to Springfield College, is one of the top three-point shooters in the Hock and sophomore guard Elizabeth Wilson is back from an injury that cut short the promising start to her varsity career.
The Panthers will also bring back versatile junior forwards Megan O’Connell and Breanna Atwood, who add size in the paint but can also take defenders off the dribble or knock down outside shots. Seniors Hailey Sanders and Calen Frongillo add depth to the frontcourt, while senior Shannon Gray and juniors Kelsey MacCallum and Sydney Garilli are capable of stepping in at either guard position.
“It is our goal to compete each night and to improve from last year,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “With 10 returning players, we feel our experience will help us to better prepare for the season and compete against the best in our league.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Amy Siggens
King Philip had to battle injuries throughout head coach Amy Siggens’ first year in charge, including a late season injury to leading scorer Shannon O’Connor, but the Warriors are healthy coming into this season and with a year to get use to a new system, confidence is high that KP can make a push up the standings and fight for a postseason berth this winter.
O’Connor is the key piece returning for the Warriors. A four-year varsity player who has been recruited by Div. I college programs, O’Connor gives KP a consistent scorer and someone who will draw opposing defenses. Senior Julia Leroux will be back at the point and running the KP offense, while junior Faith Roy is the team’s best outside threat and has developed as a ball-handler who can score in a variety of ways. Sophomore Emma Glaser, who battled injuries throughout her freshman season, will add versatility to the lineup and can play multiple positions and her classmate Courtney Keswick is a newcomer to watch in the backcourt.
The Warriors will also have strength in the post with senior Catherine Cummings providing a solid presence on the glass and junior Faye Veilleux giving KP length and athleticism at the forward position. Newcomers like junior Taylor Butler and returning senior Kendall Mason will give added depth and strong play on the defensive end of the floor.
There is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding our team this year with our sights on continued growth and improvement upon our overall record from a year ago,” Siggens said. “Our practices have been very competitive and I’m encouraged by our team’s attitude and overall interest in getting better. I like this team a lot and I look forward to the challenge of helping each girl reach her maximum potential.”
2017-2018 Record: 20-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South final. Coach: Mike Redding
After three straight league titles and four trips to the Div. 1 South semifinal in the past four seasons (including back-to-back finals), Mansfield has been one of the most consistent teams in the Hockomock League, but the Hornets enter this season trying to replace Meg Hill, who scored more than 1,000 points and pulled down more than 1,000 points in her stellar career. With 10 seniors and loads of athleticism, this might be a very different looking Mansfield attack, but one that has the potential to keep the Hornets right back on top in the Kelley-Rex division and capable of making another deep tournament run.
The Hornets have been known for slowing the ball down and running intricate sets, but this team is suited for getting up and down the court as quickly as possible, highlighted by senior guard Mady Bendanillo, one of the quickest players in the Hock. Senior forward Maggie Danehy has emerged as a strong interior scorer and someone who can control the glass, but she is also someone who can run like a guard and get out on the break for easy baskets. Seniors Sydney Mulkern and Erin Daniel add wing scoring and are both solid shooters who can spread the floor and open lanes to the basket.
Athletic senior forwards Emily Vigeant and Steph Kemp can outrun many of the guards in the league and senior point guard Kara Bendanillo is another speedster who can push the ball off makes or misses. Sophomore Ashley Santos saw time last year as a rookie and adds to the frontcourt depth and versatility, while junior Becca Hottleman will be back to give Mansfield another option at guard.
It is a different feel to the lineup but one that Mansfield coach Mike Redding feels can be effective. He said, “We need to rebound as a team and must change our style to up-tempo with defensive pressure/fast breaks and play to our strengths (athleticism and depth).”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central quarterfinal. Coach: T.J. Dolliver
Milford coach T.J. Dolliver brings back six players from the team that not only reached the state tournament last season but also went on the road and beat Burncoat handily, the program’s first playoff win since 2001. The problem for the Hawks is that almost the entire rotation from last year’s team has graduated, including 1,000-point scorer Kate Irwin.
While this may be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, Dolliver sees it as an opportunity for players to step into new roles and establish themselves as starters and as regular contributors. The lone senior back from last year is forward Grace Risio, who Dolliver said made a difference when she was given the opportunity last year, and sophomore guard Jillian Michelson saw some time in the backcourt as a rookie.
The Hawks will have eight sophomores on the roster this season, so it is clear that Milford is going to try and build with youth, similar to several teams from last year. Among the players from last year’s roster, forwards Katie Maietta, guard Emma Lawrence, and forward Carly Ferreira all got time as freshmen and could see those minutes increase significantly this winter.
Dolliver said, “With our entire rotation graduating last year, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for everyone in the program. It will be exciting to watch who emerges within the group and elevates their game to compete at the varsity level.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Derek Herber
Last year was a tough transition season for the Rocketeers, as North Attleboro moved on from a number of players who were starters for several years and incorporated a number of new, young faces into the lineup. North had a better second half to the season and will try to build on that this winter with a more experienced group of players.
Senior Julia Feid is back on the wing and is North’s top returning scorer, coming off a season in which she averaged more than nine points per game. Fellow seniors Liz Smahi and Emma Noreck will add leadership in the backcourt and try to set the direction for the team this year. Junior point guard Olivia Forbes, who was on the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team last season, will be back to get the offense going and provide strong defense on the perimeter. Junior Eliza Dion also returns to add rebounding and interior scoring for a team that can’t count on a lot of height in the paint.
The North offense improved over the course of last season with the addition of sophomore Amanda Kaiser (8.6 points per game) and junior Julia Kleczkowski (40 percent from three-point range), who can both fill it up from the outside and who are both willing to take any shot that presents itself. Several newcomers will fill out the roster with the potential of adding important minutes over the course of the season, including sophomore Lydia Santos and Siobhan Weir.
“We will rely on Julia Feid to be our first option on offense and the sooner we can develop a consistent second option will be a factor in the early part of the season,” said North Attleboro coach Derek Herber. “The inside scoring option will hopefully be Eliza Dion, while both Amanda Kaiser and Julia Kleczkowski showed an ability to stretch the defense with their outside shooting in limited time last year.”
2017-2018 Record: 16-6 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames will be making a transition this year following the graduation of Kayla Raymond, who was a two-time HockomockSports.com First Team performer and last year’s league MVP (and is already a three-time Rookie of the Week at Stonehill College), but the Tigers have a number of returning players to try and make up for Raymond’s production on both ends of the floor and make another run at a league title.
Senior Alex Sheldon grew in confidence over the course of last season and became a double-double machine by the end of the year, dominating on the glass and improving her finishing around the rim. Junior Erin Holberg emerged last year as a strong scorer on the perimeter with her touch from the outside and ability to take defenders off the dribble. Junior Meg Holleran is in her third season on varsity and is a tough, physical defender who can knock down shots from the outside.
Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a strong freshman season, playing several positions (from point guard to small forward), crashing the boards, and showing off decent range. The return of senior Sadie Homer will add energy on both ends of the floor and give the Tigers another strong outside shooter to stretch the floor, while senior Ally Scolnick came off the bench last season to add another shooter to the OA offense.
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook said of the experienced returning players, “They will lead the youngest team OA has put on the court in quite a long time. We are looking towards gaining valuable game experience and coming into to our own as the season progresses.”
2017-2018 Record: 2-18 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Sanda Lombardi
It was a tough winter for new Sharon coach Sandra Lombardi, as the Eagles struggled to a two-win season, but five of their losses were by 10 points or fewer and they return all but one player from last season’s team. With a year to get acclimated to Lombardi’s system, an experienced roster of returning players, and several newcomers, Sharon has its sights set on getting into the postseason for the first time since its run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.
Sharon returns its leading scorer and playmaker in senior Emma Eberhardt, who was on the HockomockSports.com Third Team last season, and she will once again be the focal point of the offense, as well as one of the team’s leading defenders. Eberhardt’s versatility as a wing player should open things up for junior guards Kaitlyn Wallace and Ally Brown, who will both fill in as ball-handlers after the graduation of Miranda Cheung. Wallace will extend defenses with her shooting from the outside and Brown adds energy to the backcourt defense.
Senior guard Bridget McManus will add depth and junior forward Telishya Herbert provides a strong presence in the paint. Junior Olivia Langol-Leonard added frontcourt depth and was active on the glass in her time on the court, while senior forward Evanjuline Elisma can score in transition and adds another solid wing defender.
“We only lost one player due to graduation,” said Lombardi. “We have the entire team back and we added some height. I’m excited to see what the season brings. The girls are working hard and our goal is to qualify for the postseason.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-9 2017-2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal. Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan
Stoughton started last season with five straight defeats and only one win in the opening eight games, but the Black Knights turned things around with a vengeance, winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season and winning its opening game of the state tournament. Stoughton’s only two losses in its final 14 games of the season were to state champion Foxboro. That is a lot of momentum for the Black Knights to carry into this year.
It may be a little different look for Stoughton this winter after the graduation of Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Instead of being a team that dominates the paint, there will be a host of guards and wing players who can still battle on the glass, but will bring energy and tenacity on the perimeter on both ends of the court. Junior Aliyah Wright is back as the team’s point guard and her length makes her a factor guarding multiple positions. Senior Lindsay McDonald adds versatility as a combo guard and sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe is a dynamic guard and stretches defenses with her ability to shoot from the outside.
While there are a lot of familiar faces returning for the Black Knights, there are several players who will have more responsibility this year and the potential to make big contributions. Junior Lexi Baptista defends well at the forward position and gives a different look on the post, while seniors Hailey Egan and Heather Maddalena will add extra toughness to the backcourt. Junior Shyanne Trinh is still battling an injury at the beginning of the season, but she will give Stoughton a big scoring boost when she returns.
“This season will be all about our effort, energy and enthusiasm on defense,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The Black Knights will be most successful when we put in work on the defensive end and finish each play with a Black Knights rebound.”
2017-2018 Record: 7-15 2017-2018 Finish: Missed postseason. Coach: Walter Harrigan
Taunton started last winter well and had the potential for making a return to the state tournament, but injuries slowed things down for the Tigers and they missed out on the postseason. While the year didn’t end the way they would have hoped, a number of younger players were given valuable varsity experience and there are a number of returning players ready to make an impact.
Senior Lily Patneaude will be the player to watch for the Tigers, as the team’s leading scorer from last year. After battling an injury down the stretch, her return gives Taunton a consistent primary offensive weapon and takes some of the scoring pressure off her teammates. Senior point guard Alexa White is also back to provide leadership, energy, and tenacity on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Kelsey White showed flashes as a rookie of being the secondary scorer that Taunton needs, with her ability to knock down shots from the outside and take defenders off the dribble.
Even with a year of experience, Taunton is still a relatively young team. Sophomores Jaelyn and Sonya Fernandez will provide athleticism from the forward positions and give Taunton effort in the paint, while sophomore Tori DaRose, and freshmen Abby Souza (who saw brief minutes as an eighth-grader last season) and Braeley MacDonald give the Tigers depth off the bench.
“We have great group of enthusiast student athletes consisting of senior leadership, youth, athleticism, and talent,” said Taunton coach Walter Harrigan. “This team is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.”