STOUGHTON, Mass. – Stoughton’s offense came knocking multiple times throughout the game, but in the biggest situations, Franklin’s defense slammed the door shut.
The Black Knights loaded the bases in three separate innings and threatened with the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but three separate Panther pitchers came through to limit the damage, helping the Panthers secure a 5-3 win on the road.
After two quick strikeouts to start the game from Stoughton starter Zak Paquette, the Panthers cashed in. Senior Alex Haba had an infield single and quickly moved into scoring position by stealing second. Haba came in to score on a two-out RBI from senior Jake Macchi to put the visitors up 1-0 after a half inning.
Stoughton loaded the bases in the bottom of the first following a walk to junior George Currier, a single from senior Robbie Seaman, and a catcher’s interference but starting pitcher Liam Dailey induced a ground ball for the third out to keep the Knights off the board.
Franklin capitalized on its chances again in the top of the third. Scott Elliott led off with a single and took second when the hit got by the center fielder trying to make a defensive play. Elliott then stole third and came home when the throw from home was high, giving the Panthers a run without a second player putting the ball in play.
The Panthers struck again with two outs to increase the advantage. Cooper Ross reached on an error, took second on a single from JB Floris, and game in to score on an RBI base hit from Dan Markowski to make it 3-0.
“Two-out RBIs are key, they are clutch,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “This is a good offense, and we’ve found ways to score runs in a number of ways. Today it just happened to be the two-out RBI and not quitting on an inning that made the difference.”
The Black Knights had the leadoff man erased with a double play in the second, and then couldn’t push across any runs when they loaded the bases with one out in the third inning. Currier and Seaman had back-to-back singles and junior James Genest reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with the Black Knights trailing 3-0.
Again, Dailey was up to the challenge, getting a strikeout for the second out and inducing a pop up behind the plate that was caught on a nice play by Macchi to keep Stoughton off the board.
“With some of the plays we made, we didn’t make it easy for Liam,” Brown said. “He gave us a great effort, we’re proud of that effort. When he’s on the hill, we feel pretty good about our chances.”
Franklin increased its lead with another big play from Elliott. Junior Jack Nally drew a one-out walk and advanced to second and third on back-to-back wild pitches.Elliot laced a shot to right center field that went past the fielder. With no fence at the Stoughton field, the ball continued rolling allowing Elliott to round the bases for an inside the park home run.
Stoughton once again put pressure on the Panthers in the bottom of the fifth, this time pushing some runs across with the bases load. Cian Swierzewski led off with a single, Seaman was hit by a pitch, and Genest single to load the bases with one out.
Jacob Kaplan came through with an RBI single to get the Knights on the board, and Michael Nazzaro followed with a base hit of his own to bring another run in, making it 5-2. With the bases still loaded, Brown elected to go to the bullpen and brought in junior Cody Trotin.
Trotin came through for Franklin, getting the first batter he faced to strikeout and followed by inducing a fly ball to center to prevent Stoughton from adding to its total.
“We’re young and Franklin is a good team,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. “We didn’t do ourselves any favors today. Zak was locked in to start, you saw it with the two strikeouts, and I felt like we could have done him a little better, we could have made some more plays early on. But at the same time, you have to tip your cap to Franklin. They got the bat on the ball and got a few runs across the dish early that ended up being the difference. But we’re still learning, there’s still room for improvement, but all in all, being a hit away from tying this game we’ll take it.
“We had 11 left on base, but you have to tip your hat to Franklin for making some pitches and getting us out. We’re young, we have some guys that are still getting their feet wet at the varsity level and I think they showed today. Hopefully, we learn from it.”
Genest took over on the mound in relief for the Black Knights, and after the first batter he faced reached on an error, he retired six straight Panthers.
Stoughton brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but again the Panthers got the necessary outs. Seaman led off with a triple and scored on an RBI single from Genest to make it 5-3. Genest moved to second when Kaplan was walked, putting runners on first and second with no outs, forcing Brown to go to his bullpen again.
Junior Will Pacheco got a strikeout and then a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners for the Knights with two outs. Pacheco then got a soft line drive back to the mound for the third out, stranding the tying run on first to get the win.
“We got some outs when we needed them,” Brown said. “Cody Trotin came into a big spot in his first outing of the year. He really gave us what we needed at the time. And obviously, Will Pacheco has been around the block and he just seems to rise to the occasion in pressure situations.”
Franklin baseball (5-0 Hockomock, 6-0 overall) is back in action on Friday when it hosts one of the top teams in the state in Walpole. Stoughton (3-2, 5-2) is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Foxboro.
Attleboro, 11 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final (6 inn.) – Attleboro scored scored once in the second, added three runs in each the third and fifth innings and put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth inning to walk out of Frothingham Park with an 11-1 over the Tigers. Senior Eoin Kelleher shined on the mound as well as at the dish to pace the Bombardiers. He went six innings, scattering four hits and striking out six with one run allowed. He added a double, an RBI, and a run scored offensively while Sam Larkin (two RBI), Tim Callahan (two RBI), and Mason Houle (double, RBI) each had a pair of hits for Attleboro.
Canton, 2 @ Stoughton, 4 – Final – Canton jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Stoughton scored four runs, all on two-out hits, over the final three innings to earn the win. The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second and made it 2-0 in the top fo the fifth. In the bottom half, Robbie Seaman (2-for-3) connected for a two-out, two-run single to knot the score. The Black Knights added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead. Sophomore Brady Conlin (2-for-3) led off with a single and pinch-runner Jake Queeney came around to score on a two-out single from Mike Nazzaro (2-for-3). Zak Paquette then knocked in Nazzaro to make it 4-2. Paquette earned the win on the mound, tossing a complete game allowing six hits with two runs (0 ER), two strikeouts, and three walks.
Foxboro, 7 @ Milford, 8 – Final – Milford sophomore Carter Scudo put the ball in play and senior Matt Shaver scored from third as the Scarlet Hawks walked off with a win over visiting Foxboro. The Warriors held a 7-6 lead entering the final inning but were done in by three fielding errors in the bottom of the seventh. Scudo finished with a double, RBI, and a run scored while senior Tyler Almeida drew three walks and scored twice. Danny Corsini went five innings on the mound for the Hawks while Nick Marcolini earned the win in relief, allowing one hit and striking out one in two innings of work. Foxboro’s Michael Devlin went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, Brian Duncan added three hits, an RBI, and a run scored, and Joe Cavaleri and Sean Yoest each recorded two RBI for Foxboro.
King Philip, 1 @ Taunton, 0 – Final (10 inn.) – Both King Philip starter David Morganelli and Taunton starter Logan Lawrence pitched into extra innings in a terrific pitchers’ duel on Wednesday afternoon. The Warriors were able to string together three hits in the 10th, the last being an RBI single from Morganelli to score Matt Munnafo for the winning run. Morganelli tossed 8.1 scoreless innings, striking out five while allowing five hits and two walks. Chris Sawyer earned the win in relief with 1.2 scoreless innings. Taunton junior Logan Lawrence pitched eight scoreless innings for the Tigers, scattering three hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Mansfield @ Franklin – Postponed to Saturday, 4/13 at 6:00.
Sharon @ North Attleboro – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Attleboro, 15 – Final (5 inn.) – Attleboro’s Makenzie Killough had four hits, including a home run, and McKenzie Bergdoll allowed just three hits as the Bombardiers earned a win over visiting Oliver Ames. The Tigers scored a run in each the first and second innings but the Bombardiers’ offense proved to be too much. Killough also had two doubles and finished with two RBI, Kayla Baptiste went 3-for-3 with two RBI, Jordyn Lako had two hits, including a triple and three RBI, Lindsay Perry had a double and two RBI, and Bergdoll added two hits and two RBI at the plate. OA sophomore Grace Simone was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Freshman Anna Balestino was 1-for-2 with an RBI while senior Colleen Larson scored the other run for OA.
Canton, 4 @ Stoughton, 7 – Final – Stoughton belted out 14 hits on its way its third win of the season, knocking off rival Canton, 7-4. Each player in the Black Knight recorded at least one hit with Karly Estremera leading the way with three. Jordan Lyons, Nikki Coppola and Lexi Baptista each had two hits for the Knights. Nicole Baker had another solid performance in the circle to earn the win. Canton’s Liz Bickett went 3-for-4 with a triple, a pair of singles, and two RBI for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 21 @ Milford, 5 – Final (5 inn.) – Riley Martignetti had three hits and drove in five runs and freshman Peyton Feldman had three hits and three RBI from the lead-off spot to power Foxboro to a big win on the road. Camryn Willis also had three hits for the Warriors, while Morgan Sylvestre went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Emma Rohan went the distance in the circle to get the win. Foxboro coach Mark Maguire called it a complete team performance, as Foxboro got contributions throughout the lineup and all nine starters recorded at least one hit. Milford sophomore Carly Ferreira went 2-for-2 with two RBI, two runs scored and two triples while junior Amanda Wenckus smacked a two-run home run for the Hawks.
Franklin, 11 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final – Mansfield scored three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to cut Franklin’s lead to just three runs (8-5) but the Panthers responded with three runs in the top of the seventh to secure the lead and a win on the road. Franklin jumped out to an 8-0 lead, with Gabby Colace (2-for-2, double, three runs, five RBI) putting the Panthers ahead with a two-run home run in the second inning. The Panthers added five runs in the second and one in the fourth for the 8-0 advantage. After Mansfield cut it to 8-5 through six innings, Franklin senior Jackie Cherry launched a three-run home run to give the Panthers breathing room. Ally Shea (double), Anna Balkus, Peyton Aronne (two RBI), and Maddy White (RBI, run) each had two hits for Franklin. Mansfield left runners on base in every inning but the fourth, including leaving the bases loaded in the first, third, and the seventh. Ella Verheggen went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI in the loss and the Hornets also got two hits apiece from Mary Muldoon and Sarah Cahill. Emma Roche came off the bench with her first hit of the year to start a sixth inning rally.
North Attleboro, 14 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – North Attleboro junior pitcher Bella Erti allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out 11 to help the Rocketeers pick up a win on the road. Annabelle Hebard paced North Attleboro’s offense by going 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI. Ashley Cangiano and Belle Clarkin each had three hits while Emily Nardelli (home run), Katy Daby, Erti, Alex Moulson and Emma Bailey each had two hits. North freshman Mandi Hanewich had a hit, stolen base, RBI, and a run scored. Julia Earley hit a two-run homer for the Eagles in the third inning.
Taunton @ King Philip – Postponed to Thursday, 4/11 at 3:45.
Canton, 7 @ Sharon, 8 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. 0 The Eagles took control of the game with a 4-0 run in the second half that turned a 5-3 halftime deficit into a 7-5 lead with eight minutes to play. Sharon made a defensive stand over the final minute to keep the Bulldogs out and hold on for the victory. Rowan Barnes had a goal and assist in the first quarter as Sharon jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Tommy Vaughan scored to cut the lead in half and then had a behind the back pass to David Allen for the tying goal early in the second. Vaughan then forced a turnover that led to a Chris Lavoie goal to put Canton in front 3-2, but Dan Lillenfeld responded immediately, catching the Bulldogs in transition, to tie it. In the final minute of the half, Griffin Roach and Matt Martin each scored to make it 5-3. Lillenfeld scored the lone goal of the third quarter to make it 5-4 and the Eagles tied it on a Drew Litner goal early in the fourth. Litner added his second to put Sharon ahead and Lillenfeld secured his hat trick with Sharon’s seventh. Roach got Canton back within one but Zack Waxman scored a man-up goal to double the lead. Vaughan got free for his second goal with two minutes left and Canton had possession in the final minute of the game but Adam Rabb made a big save and the Eagles held on.
Milford, 9 @ Attleboro, 8 – Final (OT) – Milford’s Josh Ligor scored the game-winner in overtime to deliver the Scarlet Hawks a dramatic win on the road. Ryan Hazard paced the Hawks’ offense with five goals and an assist while Brendan White scored twice and Mike Demko had one goal. Milford coach Jacob Scordato said Danny Farrell and Jack LeBlanc had great defensive performances in front of Evan Hazard (22 saves).
Franklin, 20 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final – Franklin senior Jacob Alexander won 21-of-27 faceoffs, helping the Panthers control possession in a 20-6 win on the road at North Attleboro. Matt Lazzaro paced the Panther offense with five seven goals and four assists, Jake Davis added five goals, Ben Greco chipped in with two goals and two assists, and Alexander added a pair of goals and assists in the win.
Mansfield, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 11 – Final – Mansfield scored the first goal of the game but Oliver Ames rattled off seven straight to take a commanding lead at halftime and never surrendered that advantage. OA junior Shane Kilkelly scored three goals and assisted on four more while Colin Bourne had a strong game with four goals. Sam Stevens and Sandro Mascierelli each added a pair of goals while Nick Gillis made 13 saves in goal. Mike Reed scored twice and had an assist for the Hornets, Aidan Sacco scored once and had one helper, and Tom Norton and Brad Grant each scored once.
Foxboro @ Stoughton – Postponed to Thursday, 4/25 at 3:45.
Attleboro, 13 @ Milford, 14 – Final – Annie Flanagan scored five times and Emily Haley added four to lead the Hawks to a come from behind victory. Milford scored the game’s final four goals, including Flanagan’s winner with only 35 seconds remaining. Elena Bon Tempo and Riley Campbell each scored twice for the hosts, Sophia Bucal added one, and goalie Savanna Rosado made critical saves down the stretch to help the Hawks come out on top. Attleboro’s Kyra Lyons scored a game-high 10 goals while Rylee Fontes added two and Sydney DiLiddo added one for the Bombardiers.
Sharon, 8 @ Canton, 5 – Final – Rose Wald made nine saves in goal and the midfield collected 13-of-15 draw controls, including a team-high six by Bridget McManus, to help the Eagles hold off Canton in a big Davenport matchup. The Sharon attack clicked today, with five of the eight goals coming off assists. Emma Eberhardt was involved in all eight goals, scoring five and assisting on three others. Jenna Goldstein scored twice, Cass Barbera added one, and Mia Lappen had an assist for the Eagles. Kaitlyn Goyetch scored a hat trick for Canton in the loss.
Foxboro, 14 vs. Bishop Feehan, 6 – Final
North Attleboro, 3 @ Franklin, 19 – Final – Franklin notched its third win of the season with a big victory at home over visiting North Attleboro. Annie Walsh led the way with five goals and two assists while Kelsey MacCallum scored six goals with one helper. Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino said Hailey Toolin had a strong day in the midfield and on defense with three draw controls.
Oliver Ames, 9 @ Mansfield, 15 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Mansfield pulled away in the second half to earn the Kelley-Rex division win. The Hornets led 7-5 at the half and just 9-8 early in the second half but closed the game on a 6-1 run to seal the victory. Katie Garvin scored seven times for Mansfield and Hayleigh Crawford added four. Katie McCarthy made three saves in the win and the Hornets got strong play on draw controls by Lauren Whitman. Maddie Kullen had a big game for the Tigers to keep the game close and head coach Nicole Lang rued OA’s inability to capitalize on the offensive opportunities it created.
King Philip, 19 @ Taunton, 7 – Final – Nine different players scored for the Warriors in a big road win. Caroline Klim led the way with five goals and Dana Truini added four for KP. Ali Wilson had two goals and Jessica Sullivan scored twice and assisted on a third, while Victoria Tormey and Jenna Hitchen each scored once. Three players scored their first varsity goals for the Warriors. Haley Izydorczak had her first two goals and an assist, Lily Brown scored her first goal and had an assist, and Julia Marsden opener her varsity account with a goal as well.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final
Stoughton, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton freshman Suraj Ramanathan won his third match of the year at first singles, picking up a 6-0, 6-4 win to pace the Bulldogs to a win over Stoughton. Sophomore Minh Duong added a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles and the team of Tyler Duffy and Justin Luk were winners at second doubles won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles for the Bulldogs. Stoughton freshman Anish Sinha won 3-6, 6-3, 12-10 at third singles while the team of Hassan Khan and LJ Ferrandiz secured a 6-0, 6-2 win at first doubles.
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Foxboro earned a pair of wins in both singles and doubles action to pick up a 4-1 victory over visiting Milford. Sophomore Jason Kandula won 7-5, 6-4 at second singles and freshman Bo Canfield earned a 6-1, 6-4 decision at third singles for the Warriors. The team of senior Brian Gardner and junior Sean McAvoy won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles while junior Noah Hicks and sophomore Justin Neale prevailed 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles. Milford’s Brendan O’Shaughnessy won 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 10-5 in a hard fought match at first singles.
Franklin, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. – Franklin swept doubles play and earned one more win in singles action to edge Mansfield at Memorial Park. Rohan Herur was the lone singles winner for the Panthers, earning a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles. The team of senior Saketh Saripalli and freshman Vayshnav Malhotra won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles and juniors Shoyaib Shaik and Shoumik Sompally prevailed 7-6 (3), 7-5 at second doubles. Mansfield’s Luke Nickerson won 7-5, 6-1 at first singles and Nilay Pangrekar scored a 6-0, 6-4 win at third singles.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – North Attleboro sophomore Jonah Manso prevailed in a three-set match at first singles but Sharon picked up wins in the other two singles matches while sweeping doubles play. Junior Alberto Olivei won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya secured a 6-4, 6-1 victory at third singles. Sharon’s Max Brody and Max Chen earned a 6-3, 6-0 win at first doubles while Alex Aspel and Jake Ross prevailed 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 in a tight match at second doubles. Manso won 7-6, 1-6, 6-1 at first singles for Big Red.
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – King Philip won all five matches in straight sets to secure a sweep of visiting Taunton. Marco DiStefano won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles, Nick Putney earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles, and Jack Cannon didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 decision at third singles. The team of Nate Ihley and Zak Ryan secured a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles and the team of Jake Mager and Tyler Dowd prevailed 7-5, 6-3 at second doubles.
Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames swept singles play and added one more win from doubles action to pick up a victory over visiting Attleboro. Senior Sarah Leger battled back to win 4-7, 6-2, 11-9 at first singles, junior Maura Kiernan earned a 6-2, 6-4 win at second singles, and Kate McCormick picked up a 6-4, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Sarah Barron and Morgan Vasiliou won 6-2, 6-4 at second doubles for the Tigers. Attleboro’s Nicole Matheson and Lauren Anthony won 6-0, 6-3 at first doubles.
Canton, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Canton picked up a win on the road over Stoughton, winning all five matches in straight sets. Rachel Kupferman didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, Natalie Keppler picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles, and Sarah Hernandez earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at third singles for the Bulldogs. The team of Stelina Michaelidis and Jamie Cree won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles while Kiara Cerruti and Lily Hazam secured a 6-1, 6-3 victory at second doubles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Foxboro continued its unbeaten start to the season with a sweep on the road at Milford. Pam Nelson didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, Sarah Prag prevailed 6-3, 6-4 at second singles, and Maggie McAuliffe earned a 7-5, 6-2 win at third singles for the Warriors. The team of Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta secured a 6-3, 6-4 decision at first doubles while Kethry Milne and Neha Jammula won 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles.
Mansfield, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Mansfield picked up its second win of the season with a sweep on the road at Franklin. Senior Lizzy Elsner didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, freshman Kate Martin won 6-1, 7-5 at second singles, and sophomore Aryana Khosravani earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of senior Hannah Podolske and sophomore Alex Burnham won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles while junior Tori Detch and sophomore Alex Wendland prevailed 7-5, 6-1 at second doubles.
Sharon, 5 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Sharon’s three singles players had a terrific showing, all winning in straight sets without dropping a game in a win at North Attleboro. Senior Nupur Shukla, freshman Valeria Barajas, and junior Makaila Cheung each won 6-0, 6-0 at first, second, and third singles, respectively. The team of Sophia Fein and Sachi Basin earned a 6-0, 6-3 win at first doubles and the team of Lauren Glass and Anjali Jha won 6-4, 6-0 at second doubles.
King Philip, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – King Philip won two matches in both singles and doubles action to secure a victory on the road at Taunton. Junior Erin Regnier won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles while sophomore Katarina Schneider picked up a 6-1, 6-1 decision at second singles for KP. The team of Grace Ely and Katie Welch, both juniors, won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles while sophomores Laura Davenport and Meghan Powers prevailed 7-5, 6-2 at second doubles. Taunton sophomore Jocelyn Pagliuca battled back to win 3-6, 6-4, 10-4 at third singles.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Mansfield junior John Carney pitched a complete game shutout and scored the game’s lone run to help the Hornets open the season with a win. Carney allowed just two hits without issuing a walk, striking out six to get the win. In the second inning, Carney singled and moved to third on a double by Eric Longley (2-for-2). Carney then scored the lone run on a passed ball. Attleboro’s Eoin Kelleher only allowed two four hits in 5.2 innings of work, striking out four with one walk. Sam Larkin had a double (and a terrific catch in right field) and Mason Houle had a single for Attleboro.
Canton, 14 @ Foxboro, 12 – Final – In a game dominated by offense, Canton prevailed with a 14-12 victory over Foxboro. The Bulldogs scored three runs in each the first, third, and fourth innings, and then tacked on five runs in the top of the fifth to take a 14-5 lead. Foxboro scored two runs in the first, three runs in the third, and rallied for seven runs in the fifth to make it a two-run game. Canton sophomore Steven Burbank went 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored while sophomore Matt Connolly had three hits, three RBI, and three runs scored. Junior Nate Quan added two hits and four RBI for the Bulldogs. Foxboro junior Kyle McGinnis went 3-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored, Michael Devlin was 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored, and Adam Lanctot added two hits, two RBI and a run scored for the Warriors. Phil Thomas pitched three scoreless innings in relief for Foxboro.
Franklin, 11 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Franklin opened its season in style with an 11-1 win on the road against King Philip. Junior Brennan Rivera earned the win on the mound, scattering five hits with no walks over six innings of work. Rivera also struck out three without allowing an earned run. Jack Nally had two hits — a double and a triple — with two RBI and three runs scored while Scott Elliott added three hits, an RBI and a run scored. Alex Haba (RBI, run), Jake Macchi (two runs), Cooper Ross (two RBI), JB Floris (RBI), and Joe Lizotte (two runs) each had two hits apiece for Franklin.
Milford, 9 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Milford went on the road and picked up a shutout win in its first game of the 2019 season. Senior Danny Corsini tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out six to earn the win. Offensively, senior Matt Shaver went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, junior Nick Wimmete had three hits and a run scored, and senior Justin Applebee had two hits, two RBI, and two runs scored for the Scarlet Hawks.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final – Stoughton junior Jacob Kaplan connected on a two-out, bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the fourth inning to break a 3-3 tie, giving the Black Knights a win over the defending D2 State Champions in the season opener for both teams. Junior George Currier added two hits for the Black Knights. Stoughton senior Zak Paquette earned the win, tossing a complete game with four strikeouts, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits.
Mansfield, 6 @ Attleboro, 8 – Final – Natalie Mansur gave Attleboro the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning with a pinch-hit, two-run homer. The Bombardiers had jumped out to a 5-2 lead only to have Mansfield respond with four runs in the fifth to take back the lead before Mansur’s big hit. Makenzie Killough continued her hot start to the season with a double and a home, while McKenzie Bergdoll had a pair of hits for the second straight game and drove in a pair. Jenna Gittle pitched the opening 4-2/3 inning and Emily Gittle grabbed the win with 2-1/3 innings of relief. Mady Bendanillo had three hits, including a homer, and drove in four runs for the Hornets in the loss. She plated Kara Bendanillo with a first-inning single, blasted a solo homer in the third and drove in a pair with a single in the fifth. Mary Muldoon also drove in two with a fifth inning single, as the Hornets scored four in the frame to regain the lead at 6-5. Mansfield coach Lori Letendre said, “It was a great back and forth game.”
Canton, 7 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final – Canton held off a late charge by the Warriors, who got a run in the bottom of the seventh and the tying run in scoring position before Caroline Hughes snared a line drive to end the game. Hughes threw a complete game with a pair of strikeouts, allowing three earned runs. Sarah Kelly went 2-for-4 with four RBI to power the Canton offense and Jackie Morrissey was 3-for-4 with an RBI.
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin edged out a pitcher’s duel against the defending league champions thanks to a dominant start from senior Jackie Cherry. She allowed no hits to the potent KP lineup and struck out 10 batters. Cherry allowed only four base-runners, three on walks and one batter reached on an error. Faith Turinese was almost as good for the Warriors, limiting the Panthers to just one earned run. Anna Balkus led-off the bottom of the first with a single, advanced to second on a sac bunt by Gabby Colace and to third on a single by Allie Shea (2-for-3 in the game). Maddy White drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run with an RBI-single. Franklin added a second run in the fifth. Colace doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a groundout, before scoring on a wild pitch. Peyton Arone went 2-for-3 for Franklin and made a pair of great catches in left.
Sharon, 12 @ Milford, 7 – Final – Senior Rebecca Clayman went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and freshman Savannah Gray went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs as the Eagles beat the defending division champs and picked up their first win under head coach Heather Poliferno. Freshman Trinity Payne pitched in relief, getting out of a jam in the fourth by striking out two and going 3-2/3 innings with 5 Ks. She also went 2-for-4 at the plate and hit a fifth inning homer. Meg Hart had an RBI-triple and Taylor Waldrup had two hits for the Hawks.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
Taunton, 21 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final (5 inn.) – Taunton scored 21 runs on 17 hits in its season opener. Hanna Aldrich powered the offense with a pair of homers, three RBI, and four runs scored. Mckenzie McAloon (three runs), Payton Ceglarski, Riley Murphy (three RBI), and Skylar Rheaume (three RBI) all had two hits for Taunton. Kelsey White earned the win with four strikeouts over three innings with Alexa White and freshman Olyvia Mendonca each taking one inning in the circle. Katie Abreu drove in Emma Varella with a fifth inning double for OA’s lone run. Katie Mills and Colleen Larson each had hits for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 3 vs. St. John’s Shrewsbury, 19 – Final
Milford, 13 @ Northbridge, 15 – Final
Foxboro, 12 vs. Wellesley, 15 – Final
Milford, 11 @ Assabet Valley, 3 – Final
Mansfield, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield picked up a sweep on the road, winning all five matches in straight sets. Senior Luke Nickerson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, senior Luke Devine earned a 6-1, 6-0 decision at second singles, and junior Nilay Pangrekar won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Sethu Odayappan and Max Bank won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles and Sam Donellan and Sam Schirmacher picked up a 6-0, 6-0 victory at second singles.
King Philip, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – King Philip’s second doubles team of Tyler Dowd and Jake Mager pulled out a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 win to give the Warriors a 3-2 win over rival Franklin. The Warriors also got wins from Nick Putney (6-3, 4-6, 6-3) at second singles and Jack Cannon (6-4, 6-0) at third singles. Franklin’s Liam Marr won 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 at first singles and the team of Saketh Saripalli and Vayshnav Malhotra won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – Stoughton sophomore Waseem Sablon won at first singles but North Attleboro won at the other four matches to get the win at home. Junior Alex Pfeffer won 6-1, 6-0 at second singles and sophomore Sam Gallagher earned a 6-0, 6-1 decision at third singles for the Rocketeers. The team of Vikram Senthilakumaran and Saketh Uppuluri pulled out a 6-1, 6-3 win at first doubles while Tomas Bentley teamed up with Justin Strom to pick up a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles. Sablon earned a 1-6, 6-3, 10-8 win at first singles for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Taunton didn’t drop a game at first or second singles as well as first doubles in a win on the road at Oliver Ames. Brett Beaulieu (first singles) and Charlie Fiske (second) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Dylan Kullas earned a 6-4, 6-1 win at third singles. Taunton’s Ryan Hebert and Alex Pugh won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles.
Sharon, 4 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Sharon swept doubles play and earned two more wins in singles action to defeat Milford. Danujan Thirumavalavan (first singles) won 6-2, 6-3 while Ruemon Bhattacharya (second singles) earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory. The team of Max Chen and Max Brody won 6-2, 6-2 at first doubles and the team of junior Jake Ross and freshman Deyan Kassev won 6-0, 6-2 at second doubles. Milford senior Riley Lynch won 6-4, 6-0 at third singles.
Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Attleboro senior Bri Aronne overcame a one-set deficit to win the next two and help the Bombardiers clinch a 3-2 win over Mansfield. Aronne won 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 while the first doubles team of Nicole Matheson and Lauren Anthony won 6-0, 6-4 and the duo of junior Rena Danho and junior Jordan Benardo earned a 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 win at second doubles. Mansfield’s Lizzy Elsner won 6-1, 7-5 at first singles and sophomore Aryann Khosravani picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at third singles.
Canton, 0 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final – Foxboro picked up a win over division rival Canton, winning all five matches in straight sets. Pam Nelson won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Sarah Prag earned a 6-1, 6-1 decision at second singles, and Julia Muise won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Foxboro’s first doubles team of Kendall Milender and Paige Krockta won 6-1, 6-1, and the Warriors’ second doubles team of Maggie McAuliffe and Lindsey Young won 6-1, 6-2.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro earned a sweep on the road, winning all five matches in straight sets. Tara Nair won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Mae McLoughlin earned a 6-1, 6-4 decision at second singles, and Jayli Carmichael prevailed 6-1, 6-3 at third singles for the Rocketeers. North Attleboro’s first doubles team of Olivia Willis and Sam Martino won 6-3, 6-1 and the second doubles team of Hayley Strom and Brotiti Nandi didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – Final – Taunton defended home court, winning all five matches in straight sets. Jillian Pagliuca (6-2, 6-2), McKenzie Lucie (6-1, 6-2), and Jocelyn Pagliuca (6-1, 6-0) won at first, second, and third singles, respectively. The team of Sam Martin and Briana Fevrier won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles while Ogechi Ariguzo and Kayla Parrett secured a 6-0, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – Sharon didn’t drop a single game in singles play, winning all three 6-0, 6-0 and all five matches in straight sets to beat Milford. Senior Nupur Shukla (first), freshman Valeria Barajas (second), and sophomore Charlize Martinez swept singles play for the Eagles. The first doubles team of Sachi Bhasin and Sophia Fein won 6-3, 6-4 while the duo of Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles for the Eagles.
King Philip, 3 @ Millis, 1 – Final – King Philip picked up its second win of the season, earning a 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 25-9) win on the road at Millis. The Warriors rode the strong serving of Max Armour (11 service points) and Kyle Desrochers (16 service points), both of whom went on big runs at the service line. Desrochers added 10 digs and Alex Bernhard had a strong game with seven digs. Senior middle Jimmy Peterson paced the net defense with seven blocks.
2018 Record: 9-11 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Steve Dunlea
After missing out on the playoffs by just one game last season, the Bombardiers are hoping to their experience will help them reach the state tournament this year.
Attleboro has experience in its pitching staff, behind the plate, and both in the infield as well the outfield. The Bombardiers pitching was a strength last season and should be again this year. Eoin Kelleher, the 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year, returns for his senior season and will be the anchor on the staff. Junior Ryan Morry impressed during his outings last season and lefty Camden Fitzpatrick will be in the mix as well.
The Bombardiers will be very strong on the left side of the infield. Senior captain Mason Houle will man third base while junior Tim Callahan, a starter last season, takes over at shortstop. Junior Lorenzo Wilson is slated to take the job at first base while Morry and junior Nick McMahon will split time at second base. While it’s a strong group defensively, all four will be relied upon to step up offensively. Attleboro had just 80 runs total last year, least in the Kelley-Rex division.
Another big part of the offense will be center fielder Alvaro Espinal. Espinal is arguably the best fielding outfielder in the league and will also bring a spark to the Bombardiers lineup at the plate. Senior captain Robbie Furtado will fill in at left field while Sam Larkin and Troy Gamache will both see time in right as well as designated hitter. Behind the plate, Troy Van Vliet gives the Bombardiers some experience while sophomore Bailey Camacho gives first-year head coach Steve Dunlea some flexibility at the position.
“The strength of this team is its senior class leadership and team chemistry,” Dunlea said. “We really have a well-balanced team that is strong in all phases of the game. It’s going to be a fun group to watch this year.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ben Shuffain
A strong core of returning players along with some young talent should make for a fun season for the Bulldogs in 2019.
After losing a few key pieces from 2018, there is a good mix of experienced players and talented youth for first-year head coach Ben Shuffain to work with. The Bulldogs will look to three senior captains to the lead the way: Matt Pigeon, Paul Corcoran and Robert Sullivan. Pigeon is a three-year starter behind the plate who batted .368 last season. Corcoran and Sullivan will anchor a deep pitching staff that has looked solid in the preseason.
The pitching staff will also include seniors Kevin McGonigle, Nick Murray, and Joe Bates. Along with them Shuffain will also lean on junior Chris Rota and sophomores Nate Hewitt and Matt Connolly on the mound.
The infield has a double play duo that has shown to work well together featuring senior Mike Konzal and returning second baseman Nathan Quan. Offensively Canton will look to senior Max Macort along with juniors Owen Lahane and Lucas Bryant, and sophomore Steven Burbank.
“We have been very fortunate to have a lot of work outside so far this spring and I think it is going to help us start off on a positive,” Shuffain said. “The team is coming together and we have a great group of kids who really want to turn this program around.”
2018 Record: 5-16 2018 Finish: Reached D3 South First Round Coach: Derek Suess
Foxboro graduated 10 seniors from last year’s squad but there are 12 Warriors returning with varsity experience looking to make another trip to the state tournament.
The Warriors will be relying on their pitching staff this year to lead the way. There is a lot of optimism surrounding the rotation with senior Anthony Mollica and sophomore Sean Yoest each possessing plenty of varsity experience. Those two will be the top guys in the rotation while sophomore Cam Prescott has impressed during the preseason and could fit into the third starting spot. Seniors Guy Quartarone, Brian Duncan, and Philip Thomas as well as juniors Michael Devlin and Joe Cavaleri will be in the mix as well.
When he isn’t on the mound, Mollica will be the anchor of the defense from the shortstop position. He will be joined by sophomore Michael O’Toole at first base, Cavaleri will man third, and Thomas will take over at second base. Senior Adam Lanctot will also see time at second base this season for the Warriors.
In the outfield, Duncan — a senior captain that missed all of last season — will be the anchor, with Devlin handling center field duties and junior James Kaeser rounding out the Warrior outfield. Junior Zach Jenkins will also be in the mix for time in the outfield while junior Kyle McGinnis takes over behind the plate and will be relied upon as a key piece of Foxboro’s offense.
“Mentally, we have to have the same focus, energy, and intensity every single game,” said Foxboro coach Derek Suess. “There are no easy games in the Hockomock League. We must be consistent in our everyday approach in order to have a chance to compete for a league title.”
2018 Record: 21-5 2018 Finish: Division 1A (Super 8) State Champions Coach: Zach Brown
Coming off the program’s first-ever Super 8 state championship, Franklin is going to have a big target on its back — and the Panthers know it.
Franklin lost its top three pitchers in Jake Noviello, Bryan Woelfel, and Jason Ulrickson. Those were the only three pitchers to play during the Panthers’ Super 8 run. This season, the Panthers will turn to the experience of Ben Guzman, Brennan Rivera, and Will Pacheco. All three made appearances a year ago with Guzman and Pacheco registering wins. Guzman is currently recovering from an injury suffered in the preseason but the Panthers are excited for his contributions when he returns. Juniors Liam Dailey and Cody Trotin will also be in the mix after starting for JV last season.
While the pitching staff gets settled in, the Panthers will rely on its defense and offense. After an up-and-down regular season last year offensively, Franklin will be trying to carry over the success it had in the state tournament. Senior Alex Haba is back at shortstop and is one of the best two-way players in the Hockomock. Jake Macchi had a terrific postseason and will be looking to carry that over into his final year starting at catcher for Franklin. Scott Elliott will be the veteran in the outfield for the Panthers as well as a top offensive weapon. All three players — Haba, Macchi, and Elliott — are committed to playing baseball at Merrimack.
Cooper Ross is coming off a strong postseason and will start at third base while junior Jack Nally had a standout sophomore campaign in center field and will move up to the top of the order to set the table for the Panther offense. JB Floris will move from the designated hitter spot to first base and brings an experienced bat with him. Senior Joe Lizotte should see time in the outfield while senior Shane O’Neil’s versatility gives Franklin a lot of options defensively.
“We know this isn’t last year, this is a totally different team with different dynamics,” said Franklin head coach Zach Brown. “We like the makeup of our team, with guys working hard and the seniors being good leaders. I think we could be pretty good defensively, and we’ve shown at times in the preseason to be pretty versatile on offense.”
King Philip is returning a lot of experienced players from last year’s squad and is hoping that will turn into an improved season and berth in the state tournament.
One big reason for optimism is a seasoned pitching staff, which features seniors David Morganelli and Terry Murray. Morganelli posted a 1.99 ERA last season along with 43 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. Murray will be the second starter for the Warriors while juniors Chris Sawyer and Robbie Jarest are expected to factor into the rotation as the season progresses.
“David’s size, strength, and velocity make him a formidable pitcher,” said KP’s second-year head coach Greg Kessler. “His slider and ability to locate his fastball are one of the best in the league. David has an opportunity to be one of the best pitchers in the Hock. He is competitive and has improved a lot in terms of accuracy.”
Sawyer and Jarest will handle the left side of the infield again this year, with Jarest returning as the starting shortstop and Sawyer back manning third base. Both players will be key pieces at the top of KP’s batting order. Senior Ian Zimmerman returns at second base while senior Jake Anderson and sophomore Conor Cooke will both see time behind the plate.
Timmy Nault (.311 last year) will lead the way in the outfield while Zachary Zarba will figure in as well. There is a lot of competition for some open spots in the KP lineup as well.
“We have a lot of work to do this season, we need to improve on our hitting and driving the ball,” Kessler said. “We have a great group of seniors who are dedicated and excited to compete for a Hock Title. This senior group is a collection of great student-athletes and really represent KP well. They are leaders on and off the field”
2018 Record: 19-5 2018 Finish: Super 8 First Round Coach: Joe Breen
Mansfield had a very successful 2018 season that saw the Hornets win the Kelley-Rex division and earned a berth into the Super 8 tournament. But the Hornets enter the 2019 campaign hungrier than ever.
After seeing an early exit from the Super 8, Mansfield is aiming to get back and make some noise in the tournament this year. There will certainly be holes to fill after graduating two top pitchers in Tyler Dalton and Kevin Dow, as well as the steady bat of Justin Pena and the terrific defense of catcher Cullin Anastasia. However, there are 11 players due back from last year’s team and a handful of new faces ready to make an impact of their own.
Junior John Carney and senior Kevin Moran will anchor the rotation; the Hornets unfortunately lost ace Connor Sheehan for the season to an injury. Both Carney and Moran have experience though, and Mansfield is looking to seniors Jake Gerraughty, Matt Scibilia, Aidan Angland, Connor Smith, and sophomore Greg Coyle to fill the relief and spot start roles.
Mansfield brings back two of its three outfielders from last year with centerfielder Sam Nugent and right field Dan Saraceno both returning. Speedy shortstop Mike Hargadon is also back so the Hornets have three key pieces from the top half of the lineup back to pace the offense this year. Look for Eric Longley, Jenkins, Smith, Gerraughty, and Scibilia to also factor into to the Hornet lineup this year.
“It’s been a wild offseason here between losing some of our top guys and coming down with the injury bug but we have a great group of self-motivated returning players that we will look to keep our program going in the right direction,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “There are a lot of positional battles and innings on the mound to be sorted out, but the staff is excited to see the boys compete over the first couple weeks of the pre-season to get ourselves ready for [the first game]. While we had some great success last season, the boys know that we are 0-0 and they are ready to carve their own path.”
2018 Record: 5-15 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Alex Dion
After having a relatively young, inexperienced group in 2018, the Scarlet Hawks have flipped the script, bringing back six starters and eight total players and will be looking to ride that experience to an improved 2019 campaign.
Half of the returning starters are the three starting pitchers from last year, including senior Danny Corsini and juniors Colby Pires and Luke Rosa. Despite a 1-3 record last year, Rosa had a solid 2.97 ERA in 30.2 innings of work with 19 strikeouts. Corsini logged over 35 innings while Pires had over 24, so there is plenty of experience in the Hawk’s rotation.
Senior captain Matt Shaver returns to his shortstop position and will anchor the infield. Corsini and Pires will both see time at third base when they aren’t pitching, Justin Applebee is back for another season at second base, and Tyler Almeida continues his duties as the starting catcher for the Hawks. Senior captain Nick Marcolini gives the Hawks a left-handed option on the mound. Sophomores Carter Scudo (outfield) and Mario Lee (first, pitcher) will also factor in this year.
“I’m looking forward to the 2019 baseball season and am excited about the players that are on our team,” said Milford head coach Alex Dion. “This is a tough league with a lot of good teams and good coaches. I think we have an opportunity to be very competitive this year. I will lead on our returning seniors and captains to push this team in the right direction and I am excited about the young players we have in our program.”
2018 Record: 22-2 2018 Finish: Division 2 State Champions Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro is looking to replicate its success from last season, the best year in program history that resulted in the D2 State Championship. And with a solid group of returning players, there is optimism but the Rocketeers know it certainly won’t come easy.
“We are a team with a decent amount of returning players, but we will need everybody contributing to be successful,” said North Attleboro coach Mike Hart. “We are looking for guys to be more consistent, especially on the offensive side of the game.”
The Rocketeers have three returning starters in the infield, so that will certainly be relied upon as the season gets underway. Senior Nick Raneri started at third last season but will move over to first this year while seniors Shawn Watters and Ryan Warren will take care of business up the middle. Hart says there is a lot of competition for the final spot in the infield with a handful of players possibly seeing time. Brendan McHugh returns as the starting left fielder while Kyle Bolger, Russell Dunlap, and Kyle Briere are all in the mix.
Behind the plate, senior Todd Robinson and junior Owen Harding are battling for the starting spot.
While the Rocketeers look to get the offense going, they will rely on their pitching staff early on. Matt Wanless had a very strong junior year and will be counted on heavily this season while seniors Matt Seavey, Jake Palmer, Jake Carroll, as well as Dunlap and Briere, should be in the mix for innings. Sophomore Dennis Colleran will see an increased role this season and could emerge as a top option for the Big Red.
“We will rely heavily on our pitching staff to lead us, and with smart, mistake-free defense, we will be able to win some games,” Hart said. “I really like the competitiveness our team brings every day. If we can learn from our failures and grind through the tough parts of the season that are sure to come, I believe we can win some ball games.”
2018 Record: 16-8 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Final Coach: Joe Abarr
Oliver Ames is coming off one of its most successful seasons, reaching the D2 South Final last year. The Tigers graduated some key pieces but there is a lot of players back that gives OA hopes at replicating last year’s success.
Senior Chris Pearsons will be a leader on and off the field for the Tigers, moving over from third base to take over the starting shortstop spot. Pearsons is one of the top players in the league, earning HockomockSports.com First Team honors last year after belting out 30 hits for an impressive .448 average. Not only is he a dangerous offensive player, he’s one of the top defensive players in the league as well.
Another key returner for the Tigers is catcher Jake Erlich, who will begin his third year starting behind the plate. Erlich is one of the top defensive catchers in the region and OA is looking for him to have a breakout season at the plate. Junior Jacob Levine showed flashes last season with some timely hits as a pinch hitter. This year, Levine takes over at first and the Tigers will be looking for him to bring a consistent bat to the lineup.
Reid Latham, who went 2-1 last season with a 2.85 ERA, focused heavily on pitching this offseason and will take over as the top starter in the Tigers’ rotation.
“We have an established lineup of varsity hitters with a handful of underclassmen that will be filling in gaps for us,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Abarr. “Our pitching rotation should be solid as long as everyone stays healthy. Last year, the Hock proved to be one of the best leagues in the state. We need to show up and compete every day if we want to be successful.”
After a couple of seasons of being on the outside looking in, the 2019 Sharon Eagles are looking to make strides towards a state tournament berth.
Although it will be a relatively young group, there is strong senior leadership. Head coach Kee Arguimbau is hoping that a nice mix of veterans and new faces will result in a successful season.
Tarlin was also the ace of the staff for the past couple of seasons but senior Noah Kamens should be ready to step into the top spot after some real strong outings last year. A lefty, Kamens does a nice job mixing up his pitches and will be a key part of Sharon’s defense. Kamens will be complemented by 6’6 righty Max LeBlanc, who burst onto the scene a year and had some impressive outings. Jared Reef returns behind the dish and the Eagles are looking for him to have a breakout year offensively.
Junior Alec Filipkowski is moving in from the outfield to second base while sophomore Justin Brown returns to shortstop after picking up valuable experience last season as a freshman. Noah Martinez, who recently returned to Sharon after living in Florida, could be a key piece of the offense while playing the hot corner defensively.
Seniors Dairell Martinez and Matty Jacobsen will be doing their part for the Eagles in the outfield while = senior Ben Reinbold looks to have an impact for Sharon on the mound.
“This year’s team is young. Luckily, what we lack in experience, we make up for in solid leadership,” Arguimbau said. “The seniors have done a phenomenal job in establishing the culture for the team this season. The young guys in the program have followed their lead and have been working hard in the offseason and are ready to continue to put the work in every day.
2018 Record: 10-9 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Mike Armour
Stoughton had a solid season a year ago, but an early exit from the state tournament has left the Black Knights hungry for more in 2019.
It starts with the two co-captains for the Black Knights: senior Zak Paquette and senior Robert Seaman. Paquette emerged as Stoughton’s top option on the mound last season and will be counted on to take on a lot of innings again this season. Paquette isn’t the most flashy pitcher but he helps put Stoughton in position to win games. Seaman will start at shortstop and the Black Knights are looking to him for a big bat in the middle of the lineup.
Last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year George Currier is looking to pick up where he left off last season, giving the Black Knights flexibility with his ability to play anywhere on the field defensively. Seniors Cian Swierzewski, Kevin Dixon, and Kyle Gagnon are all experienced outfielders, James Genest III gives Stoughton a nice presence at the plate offensively, and Mike Nazzaro will handle catching duties.
Newcomers Clayton Rahaman and Jacob Kaplan should log some innings in the outfield, along with Cam Dirosa in the infield and Brady Conlin in the infield and on the mound. Senior pitcher Evan Jackman has impressed so far this preseason and will be a key piece of Stoughton’s starting rotation.
“The goal this season will be to compete every time we set foot on the field, playing sound fundamental baseball and doing the little things to put us in a position to win some ballgames,” said Stoughton head coach Mike Armour. “The boys have been working hard and I expect us to have some fun this year and play the game the right way.”
2018 Record: 1 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Blair Bourque
There is a lot of excitement in Taunton with its new turf field, but the Tigers are hoping it’s their performance on that field that will have people talking by the end of the year.
It all starts with pitching for Taunton this year. With two DI commits in Jack Moynihan (Siena) and Josh Lajoie (St. John’s), the Tigers will certainly be boasting one of the top pitching groups for another season. Moynihan posted a 1.44 ERA with 43 strikeouts while Lajoie fanned 36 batters and had a 1.52 ERA.
Both Moynihan and Lajoie provide a lot of offense as well, but the Tigers will need others to step up to fill some voids from graduation. Tyler Medeiros (.375) and Trevor Pietrzyk (.373) both graduated some Taunton’s offense so head coach Blair Bourque will be looking for some new faces to step up.
The Tigers will be looking to senior Evan Melo to give the offense a spark. Melo will patrol center field and set the table to the offensively from the leadoff spot. Junior Logan Lawrence impressed last year batting .336; Taunton will need his bat to provide pop in the middle of the lineup in 2019.
“We’re certainly excited about having the opportunity to showcase our new turf field,” said Taunton head coach Blair Bourque. “It’s really a dream come true. There’s something special about this year’s team, the senior leadership and camaraderie are substantial.”
Milford, 46 @ Canton, 52 – Final – Canton senior Devin Foster poured in a game-high 28 points, including a three-pointer in the first quarter that made him the all-time leading scorer in Bulldog basketball history, passing Brian Pendergast (1,179 points in 2000). Foster (12 rebounds) scored 12 points in the opening quarter, and then 14 in the second half to help Canton turn a halftime deficit into a win. Milford led 23-20 at the break but the Bulldogs scored 18 points in the third to seize the lead (38-31) with both Ryan Lentol (10 points) and Robbie Gallery scoring five in the frame. Milford’s Brendan White scored 17 of his team-high 20 points in the second half and Danny Corsini added 14 points for the Hawks.
North Attleboro, 47 @ Foxboro, 48 – Final – Foxboro senior Anthony Mollica sank both ends of a one-and-one situation from the foul line with 2.9 seconds to lift the Warriors to a win and a spot in the state tournament. The Rocketeers led by one after a 9-0 run and had the ball with 31 seconds left in the game, and 24 seconds left on the shot clock, but couldn’t extend the lead. Mollica drove to the basket as time ticked away and was able to draw a foul on the floor, with the Rocketeers in the bonus. North Attleboro led 26-20 at half and 36-33 going into the final quarter. An early run from the Warriors put the hosts ahead, leading 46-38. North responded with a 9-0 run, Josh Montague hitting back-to-back baskets to put the Rocketeers up 47-46. Foxboro junior Brandon Borde had a game-high 17 points while Mollica finished with 10, seven coming in the final quarter. Josh Porter, Ethan Friberg, and Jake Petersen each had eight points for North.
Oliver Ames, 66 @ King Philip, 71 – Final (OT) – King Philip overcame a 22-point second half deficit to force overtime and shock Oliver Ames. The Tigers jumped ahead 34-21 by halftime, and extended the lead to as much as 22 before taking a 55-37 lead into the final eight minutes. King Philip held OA to just three points in the final quarter, dropping 21 points of their own to tie the game and force overtime. In the extra period, with KP up by two, senior Bruce Saintilus (27 points) hauled in an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and sank two free throws of his own to extend the lead to four with 10 seconds left to secure the win. Saintilus scored nine points in the fourth quarter comeback and was 6-for-6 from the line in overtime. Juniors Alex Fritz and Andrew McKinney each added 15 points for KP, who scored 34 points over the final 12 minutes after netting just 36 over the course of the first three quarters. Sean O’Brien had a team-high 14 points, Owen Friel added 12 points and Jake Erlich finished with 11 points for OA.
Taunton, 56 @ Mansfield, 65 – Final – Mansfield pulled away late to secure the Kelley-Rex division title, a record seventh straight for the Hornets, surpassing Oliver Ames’ six straight from 1981-1986. Mansfield held a 16-13 lead after a quarter of play, and took a 30-27 advantage into halftime. Taunton continued to battle, taking a brief 41-40 lead late in the third and went into the fourth quarter tied 44-44. Mansfield made a 8-3 run over a three minute span in the fourth quarter to create enough separation for the win. Damani Scott had a team-high 15 points along with 11 rebounds, Sam Stevens added 13 points, and TJ Guy finished with 11 points. Taunton junior Dante Law had a team-high 21 points.
Sharon, 36 @ Stoughton, 80 – Final – Stoughton combined to score 45 points between the second and third periods, running away with a big win over Sharon to qualify for the state tournament for the first time since 2012. The Black Knights connected on an impressive 31 two-point field goals, with 10 players getting on the scoresheet and six of them scoring nine points or more. Junior Obinna Ugwuakazi scored a team-high 13 points, sophomore Brett Pendenza added 11 points, senior Zak Paquette and junior Ahmad Jahed each scored 10 points, and senior Kevin Dixon and junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell each finished nine points. Aidan Kane had a team-high 12 points for Sharon.
Franklin 54 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – Liv McCall and Mackenzie Roberts both scored career-highs and Attleboro head coach Marty Crowley called the game a “phenomenal effort” by the Bombardiers to hand the Panthers their first league loss of the season. McCall scored 18 points and Roberts added 17 to lead Attleboro to the upset. Bea Bondhus had 13 points and Megan O’Connell had 12 for the Panthers.
Canton, 58 @ Milford, 32 – Final – Canton matched its highest win total since 1995 with its 13th win of the season. Maggie Connolly led the way with 13 points, Sydney Gallery added 12 and Kiara Cerruti scored 11 for the Bulldogs.
King Philip, 60 @ Oliver Ames, 69 – Final – A pair of underclassman each scored over 20 points for the Tigers, helping Oliver Ames fend off visiting King Philip. Sophomore Caroline Flynn had a career-high 25 points and hauled in 11 rebounds while freshman Caroline Peper scored a career-high 26 points for OA. Shannon O’Connor led three Warriors in double digits with 23 points, but KP couldn’t find a way back after falling behind early, trailing 32-23 at half. Brianna James scored 13 points and Faye Veilleux added 11 for KP.
Mansfield, 47 @ Taunton, 36 – Final – Mansfield took control of the game in the third quarter, breaking open a 20-20 halftime tie by scoring 19 points in the third. Maggie Danehy scored 16 points and pulled down 12 rebounds and Sydney Mulkern added nine for the Hornets. Sonya Fernandez was the top scorer for the Tigers with 15 points and Lily Patneaude added eight.
Stoughton, 46 @ Sharon, 55 – Final – Emma Eberhardt closed out the season with 15 points to help the Eagles sweep the season series with the Black Knights and finish with nine wins. Kaitlyn Wallace added 13 and Telishya Herbert had 10 in the win. Sophomore Sydnee Hyacinthe scored 18 points for Stoughton.
FOXBORO, Mass. – While the Stoughton Boys basketball team spent the majority of Friday night’s contest trailing Foxboro, the Black Knights never let the Warriors run away with it.
Staying within striking distance for the majority of the game, the Black Knights made their move late in the fourth quarter. Stoughton used an 8-0 run to tie the game with just over two minutes to play, and finished the game with a 9-0 burst.
All in all, Stoughton outscored Foxboro 17-0 over the final 4:24 to stun the Warriors with a 63-52 decision. The win moves Stoughton into a four-way tie in the Davenport division along with Foxboro, Milford, and North Attleboro with two division games left.
“Nothing came easy tonight,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “We had to stay with our stuff. We said at halftime it was the luckiest five-point deficit because we didn’t do anything we talked about doing. The third quarter got a little better, but we were still down three. Then we got down eight. They just stayed with it, stayed with it, and finally got a couple of breaks.”
Foxboro junior Dylan Barreira drained a three to put the Warriors up 53-45 with 4:43 to go. It marked the seventh time that the Warriors had led by eight or more points in the game. But similar to each of the previous times, Stoughton clawed its way back in.
This time, however, the Black Knights were able to tie the game. Junior Thomas Sanda (eight points) scored on a shot from the block, junior Ajahn Rue (13 points, five rebounds) beat his man and attacked the rim on two straight possessions, and senior Kevin Dixon had a strong take to make it 53-53 with 2:07 left.
Foxboro called a timeout to try and stem the tide, but Stoughton junior Ahmad Jahed stole the inbounds pass and found Dixon for an easy bucket and the lead. The Warriors came up with an offensive rebound on its next possession, but Rue was able to knock the ball free for a turnover. Rue once again went to the basket, this time sneaking a layup under the defender for a 57-53 advantage with a minute to go.
The Black Knights continued to get stops, including a big block from Obinna Ugwuakazi. Ugwuakazi, Jahed, and Rue each hit from the free throw line down the stretch to get Stoughton to the final score.
“The lead never felt comfortable, but there were moments I felt we could put them away if we maybe made a couple more shots in a row or a couple of more plays [defensively],” said Foxboro head coach Jon Gibbs. “It seemed like we could never make that last momentum play. We’ve got a young group, so we have to go back to the film and see what went wrong and learn to execute better down the stretch. That’s how our league is, every game is going to be like that.
“We didn’t execute offensively. We had some bad possessions where we weren’t able to get into the right spots or execute what we wanted to. We rushed some shots and I think we just got a little rattled and lost our composure a little bit. And defensively we gave up the paint a little too easy. We gave up some offensive rebounds, they posted up our guards a little bit. In the end, we weren’t able to execute on either end under pressure.”
Foxboro had leads at 15-7 to end the first quarter, 23-15, 26-18, 28-18, and 30-20 in the second quarter, and a 38-29 advantage midway through the third quarter. Stoughton was able to respond each time, cutting into the deficit to get within five or three before Foxboro could pull away.
“They are a hard team to chase,” Gallivan said. “They spread the floor so well and if you have to double, one of their great shooters is going to get a wide open shot. I think it probably would have taken one more and it could have been the dagger but the kids just stuck with it.”
Rue was limited to just two points (on four field goal attempts) entering the fourth quarter, but seemed to flip the switch to get the Black Knights going. Even before sparking the comeback run, Rue gained confidence by converting a traditional three-point play early in the fourth quarter. He had 11 of his 13 points come in the final frame.
“I thought Ajahn took over,” Gallivan said. “I think at one point they had three guys on the floor with four fouls so if you’re switching screens, it becomes which kid do you want to get in foul trouble there. He was able to get to the rim, finished, and I think that got everyone going.”
Foxboro junior Brandon Borde (23 points, nine rebounds) had his way for the most part, scoring seven points in the opening quarter to help the Warriors create a 15-7 lead. The Warriors used a 13-5 run to create a 10-point lead with a minute to go in the half. Borde had three baskets, Ryan Hughes added two field goals, and Will Morrison (10 points) drained a three. Stoughton got some momentum back before the half as Tahkwan Gates Brown (nine points, four rebounds) converted a putback and Myles Grigalunas-Powell drained a three after an offensive rebound from Gates Brown to make it 30-25 at the half.
A three from Foxboro sophomore Kevin Gallagher sparked an early 8-0 run for the Warriors, with Borde adding two field goals and Morrison with a free throw to put the hosts up 38-29.
But as they had done all game, the Black Knights battled back, closing the quarter with an 11-5 run. Zak Paquette sank two free throws, Jahed scored after a steal, Dixon hit a pair from the line, Gates Brown scored down low, and Sanda made both ends of a one-and-one situation to bring the Black Knights within three, 43-40, entering the fourth quarter.
Stoughton boys basketball (6-8 Hockomock, 9-9 overall) hits the road on Tuesday to take on Milford. Foxboro (6-8, 9-8) will look to snap its two-game skid when it travels to Sharon on the same night.
Mansfield, 70 @ Canton, 43 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. Canton held 26-25 at halftime but Mansfield outscored the Bulldogs 24-9 in the third period to take control the game. Mansfield had a 45-17 advantage in the second half. Senior Tommy Dooling had a team-high 15 points, sophomore Matty Boen added 13 points and six rebounds, and sophomore TJ Guy finished with 12 points and seven boards for the Hornets. Canton senior Ryan Lentol finished with a team-high 13 points and six rebounds.
Franklin, 57 @ North Attleboro, 33 – Final – Franklin created all the separation it needed with a big first half. The Panthers led 17-4 after one and took a 31-10 advantage into the break. Junior Chris Edgehill scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first half for Franklin while Jalen Samuels and Will Harvey each added 10 points. North Attleboro senior Josh Montague scored a team-best 12 points while junior Ethan Friberg had nine points.
King Philip, 73 @ Stoughton, 55 – Final – King Philip trailed by nine at halftime but used a monster second half to beat the Black Knights. The Warriors won the third quarter, 23-6, to turn a deficit into a 50-41 lead going into the final quarter. KP added 23 more points in the final quarter to earn the win. Senior Bruce Saintilus scored a career-high 24 points while Andrew McKinney and Alex Fritz both scored 19 points, a career-best for both players. Stoughton junior Obinna Ugwuakazi finished with a team-high 20 points while Zak Paquette recorded a career-high 18 points for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 59 @ Milford, 47 – Final – Holding a 33-26 lead at halftime, Taunton held the Hawks to seven points in the third quarter to create a double-digit lead that it never relinquished in a win over Milford. Taunton senior Lou Vendrell scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter while Mike Qunn (10 points) added a triple to help the Tigers build a 49-33 lead going into the final eight minutes. Taunton junior Dante Law scored a team-high 15 points, including 11 in the opening quarter. Junior Colby Pires and sophomore Jordan Darling each scored 11 points for Milford.
Oliver Ames, 64 @ Sharon, 50 – Final – Sharon held a one-point lead with three minutes to go in the third quarter but Oliver Ames finished strong, doubling the Eagles’ production down the stretch (30-15) to earn the win. Ethan Eckstrom scored six of his team-high 15 points in the final quarter and Owen Friel (career-high 10 points) connected on a pair of three-pointers in the fourth to help the Tigers pull away. Senior Sean O’Brien and sophomore Amari Brown each added eight points for OA. Sharon junior Aidan Kane scored a game-high 17 points while classmate Caleb Gayle added 14 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.
Canton, 51 @ Mansfield, 57 – Final (OT) – Mansfield’s Emily Vigeant hit a three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The Bulldogs got balanced scoring, led by Sydney Gallery’s 12 points. Kiara Cerruti scored 11, Maggie Connolly had nine, and Julia Hamilton added eight points for Canton, which had its five-game win streak come to an end.
North Attleboro, 33 @ Franklin, 57 – Final – Ali Brigham had 25 for the Panthers in the win.
Stoughton, 31 @ King Philip, 73 – Final – KP jumped out to a big lead early in the game and never looked back, as the Warriors clicked on the offensive end of the floor for their sixth win of the season. Faye Veilleux scored 21 points and Julia Leroux added 18 points (on six three-pointers) to spark KP to the win. Shannon O’Connor scored eight as well for the Warriors.
Milford, 23 @ Taunton, 61 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Taunton went on a 25-2 run after Milford opened the scoring and took control of the game before halftime. Alexa White led the way for the hosts with 15 points, while Kelsey White added 12. In the fourth quarter, freshman Abby Souza came off the bench and scored 11 of her 13 points. Ashanty Barreto led the Hawks with six points and Emma Lawrence added five points and 13 rebounds.
Sharon, 50 @ Oliver Ames, 75 – Final – Oliver Ames scored 41 points in the first half, building a 10-point lead at the break, and never looked back to earn the win over Sharon. Freshman Caroline Peper poured in a career-high 25 points to pace the Tigers while Caroline Flynn had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
King Philip, 2 @ Medway, 2 – Final
Taunton, 70 @ Attleboro, 95 – Final
Taunton, 75 @ Attleboro, 92 – Final
Foxboro, 45 @ Oliver Ames, 53 – Final – Oliver Ames used a 20-point third quarter to create a double-digit deficit and then held off Foxboro in the fourth to grind out a win at home over the Warriors. After combining for just 10 first quarter points (6-4, OA lead), the Tigers took a 19-12 lead into the locker room. OA then doubled its production from the first half with 20 points in the third with senior Sean O’Brien scoring seven of his team-high 15 points in the frame. Sophomore Amari Brown and senior Ethan Eckstrom each added nine points for Oliver Ames. Foxboro junior Brandon Borde scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half to help the Warriors stay within striking distance. Sophomore Kevin Gallagher added eight points for Foxboro.
Stoughton, 60 @ Franklin, 74 – Final – Franklin jumped out to a 22-8 lead after the first quarter and maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way. The Panthers led 38-22 at half and 52-31 heading into the final quarter. Senior Jalen Samuels scored a team-high 16 points while junior Chris Edgehill added 13 points, all coming in the first quarters for both players. Will Harvey added eight points for the Panthers, who connected on eight three-pointers. Stoughton junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell had a team-high 14 points while senior Zak Paquette finished with nine points.
Canton, 64 @ King Philip, 63 – Final – Canton senior Ryan Lentol converted a traditional three-point play with eight seconds left to give the Bulldogs a one-point win on the road. Lentol converted his shot to tie the game and then hit the free-throw to put Canton ahead. Devin Foster scored a game-high 31 points and had 12 rebounds while Lentol finished with a career-high 16 points. Canton connected on 20 free throws. KP led by as much as 11 in the third quarter but Canton closed the game and trailed just 45-43 heading into the fourth. KP senior Sam Sesay had a career-high 17 points, Tim Nault added 13 points, and Alex Fritz finished with 11 points.
Milford, 53 @ Mansfield, 62 – Final – Milford had a three-point lead at halftime, and took a 38-36 advantage into the fourth quarter, but the Hornets poured in 26 points in the final frame to earn the win. Sophomore Matty Boen scored eight of his 11 points in the final frame, Tommy Dooling added six of his 12 points in the fourth, and Damani Scott scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half. Junior Sam Stevens had a team-high 14 points for Mansfield, who shot 27-for-36 from the free throw line. Brendan White had a team-high 17 points for the Scarlet Hawks while sophomore Danny Corsini added 10 points.
Sharon, 34 @ Taunton, 72 – Final – Taunton outscored the visiting Eagles 25-3 in the first quarter on its way to a big Hockomock League win. Junior Dante Law scored a team-high 21 points and a total of nine Tigers found their way onto the score sheet. Wesner Charles added 12 points and Naz Kenion finished with 11 points. Sharon’s Ben Kaplan had a team-high eight points.
Franklin, 62 @ Stoughton, 36 – Final – Ali Brigham scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Panthers to a big win. Franklin broke the game open in the second half, after leading just 22-16 at the break. Megan O’Connell chipped in with 11 points in the win. Sydnee Hyacinthe was the top scorer for the Black Knights with 18 points.
Mansfield, 65 @ Milford, 22 – Final – Mansfield pulled out the big win against a hard-working Milford side thanks to balanced scoring. Ashley Santos scored 10 points for the Hornets, who also got six points apiece from four seniors: Erin Daniel, Emily Vigeant, Abby Sullivan and Alicia Hottleman.
Taunton, 43 @ Sharon, 54 – Final – Emma Eberhardt returned after missing the last game with an injury and scored 18 points to help the Eagles pick up an important win. Telishya Herbert added 10 points and Ally Brown chipped in with six to help Sharon hold off a late charge by the Tigers.
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Amanda Lewandowski scored a pair of goals and Gianna Cameron added a goal and an assist for the unbeaten Panthers. Gabby Colace (16 saves) earned the shutout in goal.
King Philip, 96 @ Attleboro, 74 – Final – Attleboro’s Colton Parkinson was a double-winner, taking first in the 200 IM and the 500 free, and Connor Dunn took first in the 100 free but the Bombardiers lost to King Philip.
Mansfield, 79 @ Oliver Ames, 87 – Final
North Attleboro, 72 @ Milford, 88 – Final
King Philip, 82 @ Attleboro, 88 – Final – The Attleboro girls swim team set 12 personal bests on its way to a win over visiting King Philip. Liz Saltz won the 200 and 500 free with state qualifying times in both, Jackie Lynch-Bartek took first in the 100 breaststroke, Ella Lynch Bartek touched first in the 100 free, and Tiffany Chin earned first in the 100 backstroke. Those four swimmers teamed up to win the 200 medley relay for the Bombardiers. Brenna O’Connell joined Saltz and the Lynch-Bartek sisters to win the 200 free relay.
Mansfield, 71 @ Oliver Ames, 91 – Final
North Attleboro, 79 @ Milford, 83 – Final
North Attleboro, 139.4 @ Oliver Ames, 138.2 – Final
Attleboro, 155.7 @ Braintree, 135.9 – Final
RANDOLPH, Mass. – The Stoughton boys basketball team felt like it had let a win slip through its grasp on Friday night against Natick in the opening round of the Blue Devils Holiday Classic.
Facing a 17-point second half deficit, the Black Knights were starring at the possibility of a second straight loss against a team they were capable of beating.
Behind a ramped-up defensive effort, improved shooting, and a big fourth quarter performance from senior captain Josh Cocchi, Stoughton erased that deficit and walked away with a 64-58 win over Weston.
“We’re thrilled to get this one today because we knew we could have played better on Friday night,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan.
A big second quarter gave the Wildcats a 37-24 advantage at the break. Weston extended that lead to 43-26 on a three-pointer by Jake Corbett with 5:44 to play in the third. Stoughton, which had struggled from the field in the first half (22% shooting) began to find its rhythm.
A pair of free throws from junior Obinna Ugwuakazi (26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals) started a 10-0 burst for the Black Knights. Stoughton’s improvement on offense was almost a direct result from its defensive energy. The Knights extended a 2-2-1 press that forced Weston into four turnovers and 0-for-5 shooting from the field in that stretch.
Ugwuakazi scored down low on an assist from Ajahn Rue after a Weston miss, and Myles Grigalunas-Powell scored on a break after Rue came up with a steal. Zak Paquette found Ugwuakazi for a tough two, and the press forced a turnover on a carry.
A steal from Eddie Aldama led to an elbow jumper from Ugwuakazi to make it 45-38 with 2:28 left in the third. A three-point play from Weston pushed the lead back to 10 but a baseline drive from Paquette and a three-point play from Ugwuakazi with just 6.5 left brought the Knights within five but Weston beat the buzzer to take a 50-43 lead into the fourth.
“I think starting 13 or 14-for-14 from the free throw line helped a lot,” Gallivan said of what went into the comeback. “We did a good job of changing of the tempo with the three quarter court zone press. It just made them maybe think a little bit before they stepped into wide open shots like they had in the first half. They looked unbeatable in the second quarter. But the kids hung in there, and we talked at halftime about having one run in us and we did.”
Ugwuakazi had 13 of his 26 points in the third quarter.
“He had a great practice yesterday,” Gallivan said. “They probably didn’t get a good look at him when they scouted Friday night (limited minutes). So it was a good opportunity for him and he took advantage of it.”
A free throw from Ugwuakazi was followed by a turnover by Weston — a travel forced by Stoughton’s pressure. Senior Josh Cocchi hit three-pointer for the Knights, making it a three-point game with 6:22 to go.
It marked Stoughton’s first triple since 2:19 left in the first quarter. The Black Knights had shot 1-for-22 from deep before Cocchi’s make.
“We haven’t shot well all year,” Gallivan said. “It’s about that time to start shooting well. But defense helps obviously. You can’t let your defense, or lack thereof, affect your offense. And we did that at times during the first half.”
Cocchi sank a pair of free throws to get within one but Corbett answered on the other end for the Wildcats. Cocchi came back down the other way, took a feed from Rue and drained another three while being fouled. He converted the free throw to give Stoughton its first lead of the second half, 53-52, with 4:32 to go.
Weston briefly regained the lead on a three-point play by Corbett but Rue answered with a three on the other end to put Stoughton back in front, 56-55, with 3:49 to go.
The Knights got a stop on one end with Ugwuakazi grabbing the rebound. On the other end, Rue found Ugwuakazi with a nice pass and he extended the advantage to 58-55. Cocchi hit one of two free throws after earning a trip to the line with a nice box out.
Thomas Sanda came up with a key loose ball, and after a pair of empty trips from each side, Sanda took a nice feed from Cocchi for an easy two to make it 61-55. Cocchi (1-for-2) and Sanda (2-for-2) added free throws in the final minute to make it 64-58.
“Josh Cocchi was huge [in the fourth],” Gallivan said. “Obinna obviously had a good game but Cocchi was great in the fourth quarter with 11 points. And Tommy Sanda…we say it all the time, he’s always in the right place, he’s always listening, he’s the smartest player on the court so at some point I have to say to myself, ‘Why isn’t he playing more?’ I told him after the first half to be ready because he was going to go back in and he did a nice job.”
Stoughton boys basketball (5-2) resumes Hockomock League play on Friday, January 4th when it travels to Davenport division rival Canton (2-1) for a 6:30 tipoff.
2017-2018 Record: 13-10 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Mark Houle
Expectations are high for the Attleboro Bombardiers, who return all but one player from last year’s squad that won 13 games and qualified for the D1 South tournament. While the majority of the roster is made up of juniors (eight), the Bombardiers have a wealth of experience with almost all players having played at least one year, with a handful with two.
With experience comes options for veteran head coach Mark Houle. The Bombardiers expect to be able to play fast in transition but also slow down and execute in the half court. Attleboro boasts some of the top big men in the league and will look to use that to its advantage. Junior Qualeem Charles (6’5) was selected as a Hock All Star last year and will be a key piece on both sides of the ball with fellow big men Jason Weir, Lorenzo Wilson and Nolan Jaeger looking to factor in.
Junior Bryant Ciccio, also a Hockomock All Star last season, will be the quarterback of the offense from the point guard position. With two years of varsity experience already, Ciccio could be poised for a big season. Seniors Mason Houle and Kevin Velazquez both made big splashes last year and will be key pieces in the frontcourt this year. Velazquez provides high energy and can be a big threat from deep while Houle is a strong two-way player that will make plays on both ends of the court.
“We have several returning players with one or two years of varsity experience and will rely on them to be consistently working hard on both ends of the court,” said Mark Houle. “Our strength will be a strong inside game on offense…[and] our guard play will have multiple players able to handle pressure, score and contribute.”
2017-2018 Record: 16-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Ryan Gordy
The Bulldogs are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory. This season, the Bulldogs will be looking to improve each day and adjust to a new style of play that fits the personnel best.
While three starters are gone, one starter that is back is Devin Foster, a Hockomock League All Star and HockomockSports.com First Team selection a year ago. Foster is a dynamic player that can be a nightmare for opposing defenses trying to stop him. He can shoot the three and really improved on his ability to finish around the rim last year.
Senior Paul Corcoran and junior Kyle Fitzgerald both had starts last season and head coach Ryan Gordy is looking for both players, along with versatile guard Ryan Lentol, to take a big step on the court this season. Corcoran is a strong defender, Fitzgerald will handle the point, and Lentol will do a little bit of everything for the Dogs. All three have a good amount of varsity experience and will be relied upon to be leaders on the court.
“Our culture in our foundation, and our veteran leadership sets the tone for the program,” Gordy said. “If we stay growth oriented this could be a fun season, players are committed to continuous improvement and that’s a pleasure to coach.”
2017-2018 Record: 19-5 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals Coach: Jon Gibbs
Foxboro had a memorable 2018 season, earning 19 wins and sharing the Davenport division title with Canton. But with four of the five starters from that team gone, the 2019 Warriors will try to create their own identity while trying to replicate the success.
The one starter back is junior Brandon Borde (11.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.7 apg) and his two years of experience on varsity will be vital as role players switch to starters and new role players emerge. Borde is a talented guard that can hurt teams in a variety of ways but his strength allows him to finish around the rim in tough situations.
Senior Anthony Mollica had a bit of a coming out party during the end of last season, emerging as an offensive threat for the Warriors. Head coach Jon Gibbs expects more of that throughout this season and will be looking for the likes of Will Morrison, Liam Devlin, Ryan Hughes, and Kevin Gallagher — all players with varsity experience, to step up this year. While Foxboro will likely rely on its defense again this year, three-point shooting should be a strength on the offensive side.
“Right now the focus is on getting better each day,” Gibbs said. “Practices have been competitive. Guys are fighting hard to carve out a role for themselves by earning the trust of their teammates and coaches. If we can continue to defend and rebound at a high level, we have a chance to be very successful.”
2017-2018 Record: 23-4 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 State Final Coach: CJ Neely
The Panthers have reached the D1 State Final each of the past two seasons and it looks like they have the tools to try and make a third straight appearance. Franklin brings back two of the top players in the Hockomock League in senior Jalen Samuels and junior Chris Edgehill.
Both Samuels (13.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Edgehill (17.1 ppg, 3.5 apg) have a wealth of varsity experience that the Panthers will rely on as others battle for minutes in the rotation. Edgehill is one of the most dangerous guards offensively and can score in a variety of ways while Samuels can present a matchup problem for most teams. Will Harvey also has varsity experience and will likely see an increased role in the 2018-2019 season.
The rest of the rotation is up for grabs but there is a lot of choices for head coach CJ Neely, who noted there is a strong amount of depth and balance on this year’s squad. Unsurprisingly, Franklin will be focused on causing problems on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers have been known as a gritty defensive squad and they are looking to continue that tradition this year. Offensively, Neely is hoping unselfishness and outside shooting will help replicate the success of previous seasons.
“It will be a season long battle for minutes and guys will have to earn our trust through defensive intensity and unselfish play on offense,” Neely said. “Our goal is to focus on the process of competing hard and improving each day and the results will reflect our daily effort and attitude.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dave DeStefano
First-year head coach Dave DeStefano is hoping hard work in the offseason will translate into success on the court this year for the King Philip Warriors. DeStefano is the Warriors fifth head coach in the last eight seasons but his familiarity with the Hockomock League (former JV coach at Foxboro) should give him a boost right away.
While the Warriors had only four wins last year, half of their 16 losses came by six points or less, including to D2 State Champions Tech Boston (74-71) and division foes Attleboro and Taunton. King Philip is hoping it can be on the right side of those contests this season. Bruce Santillus and Timmy Nault are the two returning starters from last year, and both showed they are capable of taking over games on the offensive end. Santillus is a versatile player that can score in many ways and is tough in one-on-one matchups. Nault provides a lot of energy on both ends and can give the team a spark when needed.
DeStefano is looking for seniors Tyler Nault, Ian Khung, and Michael O’Brien to build on their minutes from last year and have increased roles for 2018-2019. Junior Andrew McKinney showed a lot of promise last year and could be a big contributor for the Warriors this year. Senior Terry Jacobs-Baston gives KP a nice post presence along with junior Tommy Donahue (6’5) and senior Sam Sesay (6’2). Juniors Alex Fritz, Chris Roy, and Adam Nicastro will all be in the mix for minutes as well.
“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 commit on the defensive end of the floor. We want to make our opponents uncomfortable and focus on working together to get stops.”
2017-2018 Record: 27-2 2017-2018 Finish: D1 State Champions Coach: Mike Vaughan
While the D1 State Championship is in the rearview mirror, expectations are still sky high for Mansfield, who has won six straight Hock Kelley-Rex titles, tying a streak from OA in the 1980s for the longest title run. With a handful of players back and a strong mix of new faces Mansfield will be aiming for its seventh straight.
The Hornets will rely on their most experienced players early on with Damani Scott, Tommy Dooling, and Khristian Conner back. All three have starting experience, and beyond that, a wealth of varsity minutes in the regular season and postseason. Scott had a terrific playoff run last year and could be one of the top players in the Hock this year. Dooling is a talented guard that can hurt teams from deep while Conner can score from all over the floor.
Beyond that trio, there are a handful of new faces trying to establish time in the lineup and rotation. Junior Sam Stevens and sophomores Matt Boen and TJ Guy are top candidates to find time in the rotation. Stevens and Guy both have good size and will give the Hornets a presence in the post while Boen is a crafty guard that will likely contribute offensively right away. Expect Makhi Baskin, Jack Mousette, and Drew Rooney to be in the mix as well.
“We’re looking forward to getting the season started with new faces,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “We’ll have our early challenges getting the new faces up to speed with the varsity level of play, but it’s a talented group, they are working hard, and they are getting better each day. It should be an exciting year as the league looks to be super competitive as always.”
2017-2018 Record: 13-10 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central Semifinal Coach: Paul Seaver
While the Hawks have some experience back this year, it will be key for the new faces to get up to speed as Milford looks to compete for a Davenport division title. Seniors Brendan White, Brendon Sailer, and Steve Sutherland are all back after either starting or playing a lot of minutes last season and will be relied upon, especially early, to guide the Hawks through a difficult schedule.
White was Milford’s leading scorer last season with 14 points per game in the regular season so he will be a key piece for the Hawks again this year. Sailer is a good ball handler and will handle point guard duties. He’s a strong defender and can distribute the ball well, but he is also able to get to the rim or shoot from deep. Sutherland provides the Hawks with an experienced presence in the post but can step out and hit shots as well.
Junior Colby Pires is coming off a successful season on the gridiron and will see a lot of minutes on the court and senior Danny Corsini can provide a spark on the offensive end with his shooting. Sophomore Dom Schofield stands at 6’5 so he can be a matchup problem for some teams in the league while classmate Jordan Darling can do a little bit of everything and could have a breakout year for the Scarlet Hawks.
“Our goal is to simply get better with each passing day,” said Milford head coach Paul Seaver. “We have a lot of newcomers this season and are facing one of our toughest schedules in years. Our goal is to build chemistry and work towards qualifying for the state tournament for a fourth consecutive season.”
2017-2018 Record: 9-11 2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Sean Mulkerrins
After just missing out on the postseason a year ago, North Attleboro is hoping a strong senior class can help the Rocketeers return to the postseason and compete for a Davenport division title. Big Red boasts nine seniors, including three starters and a handful of guys that played plenty of minutes a year ago.
Leading scoring Josh Montague (13.7 points per game) is back and will be one of the top guards in the Hock. He plays well on both ends of the court but really came into his own as a scorer as the season progressed last year. Senior Jacob Petersen, standing at 6’6, will be one of the toughest matchups in the league and his ability to play as a true post player gives North an advantage over other teams. He is also a force on defense that can prevent easy buckets in the paint. Senior Nate Gonsalves improved throughout last year and could be poised for a breakout season for Big Red.
Senior Evan Rosenberg will likely be tasked with guarding some of the top players in the league because of his strong defensive play. Seniors Adam Falcone, Jonathan James, Joe Milosh and Matt Seavey all played last year and that experience will be key as they factor into the rotation again this year. Junior Ethan Friberg got valuable minutes last year and can score in a variety of ways while also giving Big Red size at 6’4. Sophomore George Ladd will be making his varsity debut but is expected to provide North with a spark on offense.
“We are extremely excited about the 2018-2019 season,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “Led by our nine seniors, we hope we can build off of last year’s momentum. We have an extremely intelligent group of players that is coachable, hardworking, and determined. We believe our cohesiveness and depth will allow us to be successful.”
2017-2018 Record: 8-13 2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Don Byron
The Tigers found themselves in an unfamiliar place at the end of last year – on the outside looking in for the postseason. This year, Oliver Ames is hoping to blend a mix of returners, role players, and new faces — both from JV and transfers — into a competitive group that will look to begin a new postseason streak.
A major challenge will be replacing Hockomock League All Star and HockomockSports.com First Team selection Jack Spillane, who led the Hock in scoring during the regular season with 22.3 points per game. The Tigers will aim to have a much more balanced approach this season players that can contribute at each position. It will begin with returning starters Ethan Eckstrom and Jake Erlich, both seniors. Both Eckstrom and Erlich will spend the majority of their time in or around the paint and will be key defensive pieces as well. Sean O’Brien, who mostly came off the bench but was one of the team leaders in minutes, is a high-energy player that contributes on both ends of the court.
Senior Harry DeChellis was slated to be a big contributor for the Tigers last year before suffering a season ending injury so OA is hoping he will step right in and be a leader. Jay Spillane and Ryan Burkett both had successful seasons on JV a year ago and will factor in the rotation while transfers Amari Brown, a sophomore guard, and Evan Craig, a junior forward, both will be impact players right away.
“We should be a lot more balanced on offense, it should spread around,” said Oliver Ames head coach Don Byron. “It’s one of those teams where we have the ability to score at all positions, as well as the guys off the bench. It might change each night but we have a lot of guys that are capable of contributing.”
2017-2018 Record: 4-16 2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrew Ferguson
The Eagles are aiming to improve on both ends of the court this year and are looking to compete for the Davenport title and a trip to the state tournament. After missing out on the playoffs each of the last two seasons, the Eagles are looking to ride a mix of experienced players to try and get back to the postseason.
Sharon will rely heavily on its three senior captains: Aaron Strong, Ben Kaplan, and Alex Kaufmann. Strong is a versatile guard that can be a pest on the defensive end of the court; Kaplan makes a lot of things happen on both ends and was having a strong season as a junior before seeing it cut short to injury; and Kaufmann is in his third year on varsity and is capable of having big scoring games any given night.
Athleticism will be something the Eagles rely on this year on both sides of the ball. Beyond the three senior captains, juniors Andrew Burton, Aidan Kane, and Alec Filipkowski all saw varsity minutes and should be factors as their roles increase this season. Juniors Cameron Baker and Caleb Gayle will also factor into the rotation in the frontcourt.
“This is a very tight knit, energized group and they are continually pushing each other to get better every day,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Ferguson. “We have a good mix of experience and youth to provide depth at multiple positions. We are replacing a lot of offense from last year and have a lot of players vying for those opportunities.”
2017-2018 Record: 6-14 2017-2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: John Gallivan
The Black Knights are hoping a balanced attack on offense and a commitment to defense will result in 10 wins and a trip to the state tournament. Stoughton has five players back with varsity experience so the Knights will lean on those players early as head coach John Gallivan tries to fit a handful of new faces from JV and outside the program into the rotation.
Senior captains Zak Paquette, Josh Cocchi, and Kevin Dixon will be key not only for their contributions on the court but for their leadership as well. They are all experienced players that Gallivan will lean on as he figures out what the best rotations will be.
Senior Ajahn Rue is another returnee and brings a lot of talent to the point guard position while junior Myles Grigalunas-Powell got his feet wet on varsity a year ago and could see an increased role in the 2018-2019 season. After those five, Gallivan is looking for some new faces to step up and establish themselves as go-to options for the Black Knights.
“We are hoping to have more of a balanced attack on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor than we have had in the past,” Gallivan said.
2017-2018 Record: 12-11 2017-2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Charlie Dacey
This year’s version of the Taunton Tigers will be relying on tempo to try and run past the competition in the Hockomock League. Taunton boasts speed throughout the lineup and is hoping that it can use that — offensively and defensively — to its advantage this year. But if necessary, the Tigers can also slow it down and execute in the half court.
Senior guard John Martins and junior forward Dante Law are returning seniors from a season ago and both are quick players that bring experience to a team that is looking to use its speed to emphasize its open court skills. Martins is a steady player that can do a lot of things on both ends of the court and Law is looking to take the next step forward after some strong outings as a sophomore.
Senior Lou Vendrell is back and had a lot of offensive skill that the Tigers will need, especially his outside shot. Similar to Law, junior Naz Kenion had some breakout moments a year ago and Taunton will be looking for more production out of him this season. Prince Brown brings a year of varsity experience back and can provide an offensive spark with his shooting. Senior Mike Quinn rounds out the backcourt while Wesner Charles and Tyler Stewart provide the Tigers with size down low.
“Tempo will be the key this year,” said longtime Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “The roster has some depth and there is speed at every position.”