Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 5

From Derek Cordon & Michelle Friedman

If it happens on the basketball court, it will be a part of our weekly report

And then there was one…one lone team remains undefeated for Holliston.  Keep it going coaches McHugh, McDonald and Dufault, and all of the 7th Grade Boys Team.  In other hardwood action, we had last minute wins, last minute losses and last-minute postponements.  We also managed to have 2 games end with the same score of 19-18.

Girls’ 8th Grade

The Holliston 8th grade girls’ game was postponed this week. The team will return to action on Jan. 19th for a matchup with Bellingham.

Girls’ 7th Grade (White)

The Holliston 7thgrade girls paid a visit to Dover-Sherborn to take on the Raiders and came away with a 22-17 victory.  Holliston maintained a lead throughout the first three quarters, then allowed D-S to claw back into the game.  Holliston regrouped and refocused then scored the final few points of the game.  Emma Kampersal’s intense and aggressive defense forced a handful of turnovers to go along with her 4 points.  Campbell Harris continues to be a force in the paint blocking shots and grabbing rebounds while also leading the team offensively with 8 points.  Grace Schoenberg also tallied 6 points in the contest.  The Holliston team will head down route 27 for a match up at the Kingsbury Club with Medfield on January 16th.

Girls’ 7th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 7th grade girls (Red) team hosted the Norton Lancers this week.  The game was an exciting back and forth battle between two equally matched teams.  Despite the exceptional effort, the Panthers ultimately fell 35-28.  Katie Joslin attacked the basket with fervor and dropped 10 points on the Lancers.  Hadley McAdams added 8 points while running the point for Holliston.  Grace Gorham contributed 6 points and hauled in a team leading 4 rebounds.  Callie Dietz provided exceptional outside shooting by swishing two crucial shots.  Holliston will be on the road next week versus Canton.

Girls’ 6th Grade

The Holliston 6th grade girls welcomed Canton (Green) to the Adams Middle School and lost a close one by a score of 31-29. The heart and hustle of the Lady Panthers was palpable. The girls were out to right a loss from 2 years ago and they nearly made it happen. Cate McCarron led the team in scoring with 11 points. Mia Faletra flushed down 10 points and as the team’s point guard, she kept the tempo of the game up with 5 solid steals. Skylar MacDonald pushed the team to give it their all just like she did with her no fear dives for loose balls. Maddy Moore helped the team by snagging 7 rebounds. Gianna Sgarano played a fierce defensive game protecting the lane and fighting to grab the ball for the team. Holliston will travel to Foxboro on Jan 16th for their next battle.

Girls’ 5th Grade

If it’s exciting finishes you are after, the Holliston 5th grade girls are a team to follow – three of their five games have been decided by two points or less.  This week they hosted Canton at the Adams Middle School for another hard-fought battle.  Canton came out strong with an 8-2 first quarter lead, but Holliston tightened up its defense with noteworthy contributions from Chelsea Dufault and Sedona Cicciarella.  Slowly, Holliston chipped away at the lead, eventually tying the score at 18 a piece with two minutes left in the game.  With three seconds left on the clock, Canton drove to the basket and a heartbreaking foul was called against Holliston sending Canton to the line.  They hit the first shot, giving Canton the one-point lead and Maddie Sullivan made a huge rebound after the Canton player missed the second free throw.  Holliston made a valiant effort to orchestrate a final shot, but 1.5 seconds didn’t give them enough time to do so successfully and they dropped a tough one 19-18.  Next up, Holliston will head to Brookline on January 16th.

Girls’ 4th Grade

The Holliston 4th grade girls team traveled this week to take on the Raiders of Dover-Sherborn.  The game had the fans on the edge of their seats despite the 8:30AM start.  The girls came back from a 4-point deficit with less than 3 minutes remaining to defeat Dover-Sherborn 19-18.  Danika Do Rosario hit the game winning free throw with 12 seconds remaining on the clock.  With only 7.8 seconds remaining D-S looked like they were going to hit the game winning shot, but Danika was there with the block to seal the victory.  Do Rosario led the Panthers with 9 points and 5 rebounds.  Ella Bennett added another 6 points to go along with 2 steals.  Gwen Miranda chipped in 2 critical points and played stellar defense for Holliston.  The 4-1 Panthers return home this week to take on Woburn at the Adams Middle School.

Boys’ 8th Grade (White)

The Holliston 8th grade boys (White) were undermanned with only 6 healthy players. The squad competed extremely hard against an undefeated Dedham team and wound up losing 64-38. Matty Gimblett, Edward Daniels and Josh Higgins were all in double figures in scoring with Matty hitting 5 three pointers. Jay Patel had his best game since returning to the team with multiple hustle plays and Bhumin Karunakar had 3 points and several hard fought rebounds. Josiah Carney led the team from the point guard position and continued to play tough defense. There was no quit in this team playing hard and hustling until the final whistle. Holliston will look for their first win of the season next week on the road in Westwood. 

Boys’ 8th Grade (Red)

The 3-0 Holliston 8th grade boys (Red) traveled to Natick on Sunday to play the 3-1 Hawks.  Relatively untested to this point in the season, the game was to serve as a good barometer on where this young Panthers team ranked in their division.  From the opening tip, there was one obvious mismatch with Natick’s big man, who towered over everyone on the Holliston squad, making it easy for him to pour in 22 points enroute to a 67-32 rout of the Panthers.  The Holliston big men, Cooper Firmani, Jayden Hayes, and Max Maurao played a tough game, grabbing several rebounds and combining for 14 hard earned points, and Tommy Quinn led all Holliston scorers with 7 points. Ultimately, the bigger, faster, and better shooting Hawks proved too much.  Holliston falls to 3-1 and will travel to Old Rochester Regional High School next week to take on the 3-0 Rochester Bulldogs in another tough test. 

Boys’ 7th Grade

The Holliston 7th grade boys improved to 5-0 in league play and 10-0 overall with the best effort of the season against FLBC winning the contest 34-22.  The trademark for the 7th grade boys is their team defense.  FLBC came into the contest averaging 42 points per game.  The Panthers held their best player to only 5 points with an assortment of players defending him or helping if he was driving to the basket.  Ethan Suhajda drew the assignment first and had 2 blocks including one at the 3-pont line.  Midway through the 4th quarter FLBC had a breakaway, but Thomas DiPippo chased the player down to have the play of the game with a block as he went up for a layup.  The play was a great example of effort and team defense.  There were few easy baskets for either team.  The score was 0-0 midway in the first quarter, but Holliston jumped out to 8-2 lead at the end of the quarter as Cal Leverone connected on two jump shots and Ethan Suhajda drove to the basket for four points.  Jack McDonald led all scorers with 13.  Luke McHugh added 7 and Ethan Suhajda scored 6 for the Panthers.  The team will look to remain unbeaten next week with a home contest against the Mustangs of Medway.

Boys’ 6th Grade

The Holliston 6th grade boys’ game was an absolute track meet with host Hopkinton and the Panthers came away with a 43-38 win. Both teams were pressing full court and running fast break basketball.  The team did an excellent job handling the unrelenting pressure and scoring early despite Hopkinton’s press.  Connor McDonough led the way with 9 points as well as 3 offensive rebounds.  Nick Flannery did a little bit of everything, hauling in 5 rebounds to go with his 7 points, including a three pointer.  Joining the three-point hit parade was Gavin McGann who canned his first three of the season, as well as, doing a good job in the back court handling the pressure.  Anthony Faletra was instrumental in breaking their pressure as well taking it to the hoop for 10 points, but it was on the defensive end where Anthony shined, snagging a team high 5 steals.  Center Sean Sullivan dominated on the inside, pulling down an incredible 10 rebounds (8 defensive, 2 offensive). Holliston will welcome Seekonk to the Adams Middle School on Jan 19th.

Boys’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) traveled to Milton (Silver) for the fifth game of the season. Trailing by 8 points at halftime, the team roared back with a 26-4 run in the second half led by Jack Firmani with 10 second half points to clinch the game.  Again, this was a complete team effort as Nick DiPippo, Andy Heller and others clamped down on defense in the second half.  On offense, several players had big games including 8 points from Chris Baker, who’s scoring kept the team in the game in the first half, and key second half scoring from Charlie Peterson, Orson Daniels and Quin McErlean. Holliston will next head to Milford (Black) on Jan 16.

Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) welcomed Milton (Black) to the Adams Middle School gym.  The boys continued their hot streak, taking down Milton by a score of 33-24.  William Hayes and Ben Furey led the team in scoring with 13 and 10 points, respectively.  Eli Boggess was a defensive force with 10 rebounds and 7 steals.  He also chipped in offensively with 8 points of his own.  Andrew Ferguson had another strong defensive game with 7 rebounds, 2 steals and a couple of blocked shots. Colton McGrath contributed on a nice coast to coast layup coming off a steal in the Milton offensive zone.  The group continues to gel as a team, with the remaining boys contributing in spots not always seen on the stat sheet, like setting appropriate picks and screens to help open up the offense.  Next week, the team will travel to Brookline for what should be a competitive contest. 

Boys’ 4th Grade

The Holliston 4th grade boys’ team hosted Arlington last week at the Adams Middle School and lost by a score of 30-12.  Despite Holliston’s 2nd quarter defensive adjustments, the Panthers were unable to hold off Arlington’s offense.  Nathan Eppinger scored 6 points and Joseph Lawendi scored 4 points to lead the team in scoring.  Gavin Bauch and Leo Wagner made strong defensive contributions to keep the game closer than it could have been.  The Holliston team will welcome Medfield to the Adams Middle School on January 16th.

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