Taking Stock of the Hock: Girls Basketball 2014/2015

Hockomock Kat Tamulionis Foxboro

Foxboro senior guard Kat Tamulionis (30) is one of the front-runners for the Player of the Year award at the midway point of the season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

With over half of the season officially in the books, editor Josh Perry takes a look at where he thinks things stand in girls basketball.

Who is the current girls’ basketball Player of the Year?
Coming into the season, there seemed to be a three-player race for Player of the Year with seniors Melissa Beaupre of North Attleboro, Lexi Martin of Franklin, and Kat Tamulionis of Foxboro the clear front-runners. At this point in the season, Tamulionis has taken the lead. The senior guard is the leader and leading scorer for the team at the top of the Davenport division. Despite facing every team’s best defender and almost constant double teams, the Merrimack-commit is still one of the league’s top scorers.

Unlike Martin and Beaupre, Tamulionis is expected to carry the load offensively for theWarriors every night and so far that has worked out pretty well with Foxboro off to a 10-2 start. The only losses were to Kelley-Rex teams Franklin and Mansfield, both of which have deep rosters and a lot of guards to throw at Tamulionis for the full 32 minutes. The pressure has been on her all season long and Tamulionis has risen to the occasion.

While Tamulionis may be my pick at the moment, there is plenty of time for other players (most likely Martin and Beaupre) to step up and make a case for themselves.

What has been the biggest surprise this season?
Coming into the season with only two returning starters, last year’s leading scorer and point guard sidelined by a knee injury, and a new coaching staff, this easily could have been a transition year for Attleboro. But the Bombardiers have continued to play the type of defense that led them to 17 wins in 2013-14 and sophomore Sarah Deyo has emerged as a top level scorer beside junior Emily Houle.

Attleboro has also gotten strong contributions from supporting players like senior Kimberly Runey and freshman Sam Pierce and junior transfer Fatima McDonald has stepped in to the point guard role allowing Houle to play off the ball as the shooting guard. First-year coach Rick Patch has the Bombardiers poised to make another appearance in the tournament and has a marquee win under his belt with the overtime victory against Mansfield.

To make things even better for the final eight games of the season, Kerry Beland said that she is very close to returning from injury and her return will be a huge lift. She was a dynamic scorer last year and gives the Bombardiers a boost with speed and ability to get into the lane.

HockomockSports.com Midseason First Team
F – Lexi Martin
F – Melissa Beaupre
G – Kat Tamulionis
G – Emily Houle
G – Jen Peel

At this point, which team will be going the furthest in the tournament?
This is a tough one to call since all the teams play in very difficult brackets with established powers at every turn.

Mansfield seems to have found the missing piece of the puzzle with the inside presence of freshman Meg Hill, but with teams like Bishop Feehan, Brockton, and Braintree among others in D1 South, the Hornets may be a year away from contending for a sectional title.

Foxboro is a strong contender in D2 South, but may have the same issue of last season in trying to match up with the size and strength of Duxbury. Having said that, the Warriors ran with Duxbury last season and if they had made a few more shots in the second half, could have pulled the upset.

The teams that seem to be poised to make a run this postseason are Franklin and North Attleboro. The Rocketeers seem to have stepped up on the defensive side of the ball this season and have a few more options on the offensive side of the ball with sophomore Caroline Collard developing into a threat on the post. The Panthers have strength in depth and made the sectional semifinals last season even while battling injuries. Westford, Wachusett, and Holy Name are strong opponents, but a healthy Franklin should be able to match up well.

Having to make a choice at this moment, I’m going to say the pieces are in place for the Rocketeers to make noise in the playoffs. This is the chance for Beaupre and Danielle Perron to end their North careers with a trophy and to turn around North’s recent run of first round playoff exits.

What is your bold prediction for the rest of the season?
I’m not great at bold predictions and this one isn’t really going out on a limb, but the Kelley-Rex division title will come down to the final two league games of the season. North Attleboro, which is unbeaten in the league and has a two-game lead, still has Foxboro and Franklin to play and will face Mansfield in the next to last game of the season. In the league finale, the Hornets face Franklin in a game that could very well decide who finishes at the top.

There are a lot of possibilities remaining and a lot of teams that could impact the title race. North Attleboro has the lead and if the Rocketeers win out then they earn a three-peat, but there’s a lot of basketball still to be played.

Ryan Lanigan
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