Holliston Youth Basketball is Back!!
From: Derek Cordon & Michelle Friedman, HYBA Board Members and HR Beat Reporters
This Winter we are happy to report that the Holliston Youth Basketball Association has 13 teams representing the town in the Metrowest Basketball League. It is certainly nice to see things trending towards normalcy and having the kids back out on the courts. We will be providing a weekly recap of the games so you can follow along to see how all the teams are doing throughout the season.
Opening day of the regular season provided a great start for the Holliston teams. We had a thrilling 1 point win, a victory in overtime and a blowout win, all leading to a combined 11-2 record for the 13 town teams.
Girls 4th Grade
The Holliston 4th grade girls hosted Medway on Sunday in their first ever “travel” game. The team won in a thrilling fashion of 14-12 in overtime. Ella Bennett led the team in scoring with 8 points and Avery Palma scored the go-ahead basket in overtime to seal the victory. The now 1-0 Holliston squad will look to double up their win total when they hit the road to battle Northboro next week.
Girls 5th Grade
The Holliston 5th grade girls team opened the season with a home game at Adams Middle School against Walpole. The game was a nail biter from start to finish. Point guards Emerson Harrington and Brooklyn Lessard orchestrated a consistent fast break approach and led the team in scoring. Late in the 4th quarter, Mackenzie McDonald, hit a clutch basket that gave Holliston the lead. From there, tenacious team defense shut Walpole down and Holliston held on for the 25-24 win. Next up for the 1-0 squad is a road test against the girls from Natick.
Girls 6th Grade
The Holliston 6th grade girls visited Southboro for their first game of the season and came away with a 32-21 win. Lauryn Mulvany, aka “Scrap Dog”, lived up to her nickname taking full advantage of shot opportunities to bury 12 points and lead the squad with an impressive 14 boards. Lucy Mancuso added 10 points due to her fierce breakaways and lane drives through the defense. Mancuso also helped hold Southboro’s offense to 21 points with her defensive skills that yielded 8 steals. The team faced both zone and matchup defense and were ready and prepared for both. Expect an edge-of-the bleacher season as these girls show the grit and go on the hardwood. They will host Hopkinton next Sunday in their home opener.
Girls 7th Grade – Red
The Holliston 7th grade girls (Red) hosted Hopkinton at the Adams Middle School in their first home opener of the season. Grace Gorham led all players in scoring with 12 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Josie Henson chipped in 4 points and contributed a few key defensive stops in the fourth quarter propelling Holliston to a 35-30 win. The 1-0 Holliston squad will welcome Bridgewater to Adams Middle School on Sunday in their second home game of the season.
Girls 7th Grade – White
The Holliston 7th grade girls (White) took to the road with a trip to Arlington for their season opener. Tenacious team defense held Arlington scoreless in the first quarter and the intensity continued throughout the game on the way to a 24-14 win. Ella Coughlin found herself at the free throw line 8 times helping her notch 12 points in the contest. Campbell Harris frustrated Arlington’s offense with a handful of blocked shots and rebounds while patrolling the lane. Winchester will come to town on Sunday for the much anticipated first home game at Adams Middle School.
Girls 8th Grade
Sudbury hosted the Holliston 8th grade girls in the first game of the season. The game remained close until the 4th quarter, when Holliston dropped 17 points on their way to a 31-18 win. Aggressive defense and rebounding by Keira Lucas and Lindsey O’Connell stifled Sudbury’s offense leading to the points explosion in transition. Sophie Lynch tossed in 8 points in the 4th quarter and a clutch 3-pointer by Parker Friedman put the nail in the coffin. Holliston has an early season bye this weekend and will then host Dedham in the home opener.
Boys 4th Grade
The Holliston 4th grade boys team ventured to Bedford for their first ever travel game. The long drive had no negative impact on the team as they triumphed with a final score of 29-13. Solid team defense prevented Bedford from generating any real momentum. Joseph Lawendi was excellent at point guard, and he led all scorers with 9 points. Nathan Eppinger knocked down 8 points and Ryan Magoon buried 6 points. Next up this weekend is another road challenge in Southboro.
Boys 5th Grade – Red
The team from Parkway paid a visit to the Adams Middle School to match up against the Holliston 5th grade boys’ team (Red). After some early game jitters, Holliston was down 12-3 at the half. The boys battled back in the second half behind some ferocious team defense, great rebounding, and 11 2nd half points from the scoring machine, William Hayes. Unfortunately, Holliston fell just short at the buzzer and lost 25-22. The team will welcome Milford next week to Adams Middle School and look to gather their first W of the season.
Boys 5th Grade – White
The Holliston 5th Grade boys (White) welcomed Dover Sherborn to the Adams Middle School Gym for their first game of the season. Quinn McErlean scored 16 points and boosted the team’s confidence with an early lead which it would never relinquish. Jack Firmani had a double – double with 10 points and 10+ rebounds to help close out the 40-26 victory. Dover Sherborn cut the lead and applied strong defensive pressure in the second half of the game. The Holliston team responded with additional offensive contributions from multiple players including Orson Daniels. The rest of the team helped to round out a strong defense performance including lots of hustle from Tyler Hodgdon and Andy Heller. Holliston will head to Dover Sherborn this weekend to face D.S.’s other 5th grade team.
Boys 6th Grade
The Holliston 6th grade boys team visited town rival Westwood in their season opener and came home with the victory of 39-32. The team saw huge buckets down the stretch from forward Connor McDonough, and two key free throws from center Sean Sullivan that iced the game for Holliston. Key steals from guards Jack Whitten and Anthony Faletra made a huge impact. Holliston led for most of the contest but were tested early in the second half when Westwood put on a suffocating full-court press, but Holliston made some timely adjustments to the pressure that allowed them to walk away with the win. Next up this weekend for Holliston is a trip to Norwood.
Boys 7th Grade
The Holliston 7th grade boys team made their way to Arlington for their first tip off of the season. Arlington proved to be no match for the Holliston squad as they went on to capture the win 44-26. Holliston jumped out to an early 11-2 lead after one quarter with superb team defense. Remy Mandeville set the tone with a timely steal and a 3-point play. Cal Leverone led a balanced scoring attack with 11 points, including a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the 3rd quarter. Neel Ashokkumar controlled the boards and led the team in rebounds. Next up, Ashland will be traveling to the Adams Middle School for the home opener.
Boys 8th Grade – Red
The Holliston 8th grade boys (Red) opened the season at home with a convincing win over the Clockers from Ashland with a score of 56-16. Team defense and Holliston’s full court press set the tone in the first half as Ashland was held to just 8 points through the first two quarters. Nathan Dickinson started the scoring spree with 7 first quarter points as Holliston began to build on their lead minute by minute. Tommy Quinn led all scorers with 16 points while Gabe DeJesus and Cooper Firmani added 11 and 10 points respectively. Holliston will look to continue their hot start when Walpole comes to town on Sunday.
Boys 8th Grade – White
A very skilled Needham team paid a visit to the Adams Middle School and gave the Holliston 8th grade boys (White) their first loss of the season 48-21. Needham came out very aggressive and dominated the first quarter. The Holliston boys fought back with solid shooting by Liam Brannigan and lock down defense by Matty Gimblett on Needham’s best player. Even with a lopsided score, Edward Daniels continued to battle playing some of his best basketball and showing that he’s going to be a force at the center position. Holliston will look to bounce back next weekend when they cross over the town line to battle with Hopkinton.