Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 7

From Derek Cordon and Michelle Friedman

If you have Holliston Basketball Pride – these weekly recaps are a sneak peek inside

Who is preparing the Holliston 8th graders for high school basketball?  On the girls’ side, it is Coach John O’Connell, assisted by Jeff Lynch and Brad Lucas.  We have two 8th grade boys’ teams – Coach Kevin Quinn is the leader for one team with Mike Maurao and Ray Howell as the assistants.  Coach Eric Higgins has the other squad and gets his assistance from Bill Klein and Stephen Peters.   Thank you all for volunteering your time.  It is greatly appreciated.

In this week’s basketball action – unfortunately Holliston’s last undefeated team was defeated.  On the flip side, Holliston took down another town’s last unbeaten team.  We had a heartbreaking overtime loss and an exciting one-point win.  We also have a 5-game winning streak in the mix – keep it going 4th grade girls!

Girls’ 8th Grade

The Holliston 8th grade girls had a slow start against Milton that resulted in their second loss of the season with a score of 28-18.  The team showed plenty of heart and played an excellent 4th quarter defense, however it was too little too late.  Parker Friedman and Bridget Doherty continue to play great basketball on both ends of the court.  The Holliston girls will look to rebound against Medway on Sunday.

Girls’ 7th Grade (White)

The Holliston 7th grade girls (White) team welcomed Millis to the Adams Middle School.  Millis won the contest 28-14 with one of their players scoring 20 points.  Holliston’s scoring was led by Ella Coughlin who had 6 points.  Adriana Bulmer, Eliza Gebski and Campbell Harris combined for the other 8 points.  Millis came in as the #1 team in the standings with Holliston ranked #2.  Millis (6-1) remains at the top of the leaderboard and even with the loss, Holliston’s 4-2 record is good enough to hang on to second place.  Holliston has a pair of games this weekend where they will welcome Hopkinton on Saturday and Medway on Sunday, both at the Adams Middle School.     

Girls’ 7th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 7th grade girls (Red) team travelled to Mass Premier this weekend to play the Norton Lancers.  Norton was able to take the rematch on Sunday 39-20 in large part by sinking five 3-pointers against the Panthers.  Holliston managed to get the game back within 10 points at the start of the 2nd half, but ultimately the comeback fell short.  The team was led in scoring by Reese Friedman and Hadley McAdams who dropped 6 points each.  Kate McGovern added 2 points while playing excellent defense against the Norton forwards.  Aaria Parjapati and Josie Henson added 5 fierce rebounds each while battling the taller Lancers front line.  The team will be travelling to Providence on Sunday to watch the UConn women’s basketball team take on Providence College to provide inspiration prior to their matchup with the Arlington Spyponders.    

Girls’ 6th Grade

The Holliston 6th grade girls came out hot and hungry for the WIN and they succeeded with a final score of 28-17 over rival Westwood.  Lucy Mancuso netted 11 points that came from her fearless lane drives and sharp cuts to the hoop. Mia Faletra scored 7 points and played a gritty, focused game at point guard. The points would not provide a win without shutdown defense. Ashleigh Dickinson brought the fury with her defensive traps leading to steals and point making conversions. Cate McCarron owned the boards with 7 rebounds.  Next up for the Holliston team is a road trip to Brookline.

Girls’ 5th Grade

The Holliston 5th grade girls continue to make team defense and rebounding their top priority.  This week they faced an undefeated Canton team on the road.  With a record of 5-0, Canton averaged 26 points per game in their 5 wins.  Holliston held the Canton team to 9 points for a 12-9 victory.  Once again, the girls were in a game that came down to the wire as Canton held a 9-8 lead late in the fourth quarter.  With three minutes left, Emerson Harrington hit a free throw to tie the game.  A minute later Mackenzie McDonald made a basket to take the lead, and in the final minute Emma Arsenault hit a free throw to lock in the win.  The big story of course, was the outstanding defense played by the entire team.  Every player gave 100% from start to finish, frustrating a team that has had a great deal of offensive success.   Emerson Harrington was a constant nuisance to their point guard and accumulated 6 steals.  Olivia Kerchner and Sedona Cicciarella each had 7 rebounds, and Emma Arsenault pulled down 6.  Next week, the girls travel to Millis to take on another worthy opponent and there is a family rivalry brewing as Maddie Sullivan prepares to go head to head with her first cousin. 

Girls’ 4th Grade

The Holliston 4th grade girls team welcomed the Arlington Spyponders to the Adams Middle School this week.  The Panthers continued their strong play to start the year and came away with a 27-15 win.  The victory marked the 5th straight win for Holliston.  The Panthers signature ‘in your face’ defense produced 15 team steals spread across 7 different players.  Emily Spurway nailed a free throw late in the game to seal the victory.  Ella Bennett led the team with 12 points by continually weaving through multiple Arlington defenders.  Addy McAdams continued her intense all-around play with 2 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds and 3 steals while holding Arlington’s much taller front court in check.  Holliston will be looking to avenge their only loss of the season this weekend against an undefeated Northboro team.

Boys’ 8th Grade (White)

The Holliston 8th grade boys (White) team battled and took the game into overtime – but came up a little short with a 46-42 loss to Norwood. Matty Gimblett and Liam Brannigan led the team with 14 points and 13 points respectively. Holliston fought back from a 12 point deficit playing one of their best all-around games of the season. Jay Patel came up with a big steal down the stretch to keep the game tied and Chris Burian had his best game of the season with some key rebounds. Holliston takes on Milford next week at the Adams Middle School.

Boys’ 8th Grade (Red)

Poised to face their third straight undefeated opponent, the Holliston 8th grade boys (Red) team traveled to Westborough to take on the Rangers on Sunday.  Missing only Alex Robie, the Panthers had their deepest lineup available in quite a while.  Up and down that deep lineup however, they could not find the basket early enough in the game.  In an unprecedentedly low scoring half, the Panthers managed only 3 points, trailing 16-3 heading into the second half.  Led by the smothering defense of Gabe DeJesus, the competitive fire of Max Maurao and a couple of well-timed threes by Tommy Quinn, Holliston managed to climb back into the game, cutting the lead to just six with a few minutes to go.  The return of Robbie Howell in this game also gave the boys a much-needed spark in key moments of the contest.  In the end, the Panthers came up short, falling 38-27, but definitely outplayed the Rangers in the second half, outscoring Westborough 24 to 22.  Next up for Holliston, pending the track of a big winter storm, is a rivalry matchup against Hopkinton at home on Saturday afternoon, where the Panthers aim to collect a few wins heading into the back half of the schedule. 

Boys’ 7th Grade

The Holliston 7th grade boys had three chances to tie the game, but the 3-point attempts rolled off the rim at the end of the game with a devastating 36-33 loss in favor of Medford.  This was the team’s first loss of the season.  Henry Hayes and Remy Mandeville played great defense and battled hard on the boards.  Henry shared the team lead in rebounds with Jack McDonald both collecting 6 rebounds for the Panthers.   Medford played an aggressive zone defense, but Ben Dufault and Luke McHugh hit two 3 pointers each to open the inside game for Holliston.  Luke McHugh finished with 10 points, Ben Dufault 8, and Ethan Suhajda 6 for Holliston.  Natick is the destination for Holliston’s next game.

Boys’ 6th Grade

The Holliston 6th grade boys came up big in a close game with a 58-44 victory against Raynham.  Sean Sullivan was a force down low with 12 points, 3 boards, and was active on the defensive end with 3 steals. Grayden Vaughn also played a key role in the victory, going a perfect 4-4 from the field.  Connor McDonough was excellent defensively all game and also chipped in 2 rebounds and 2 assists along with a big three point shot.  Gavin McGann played a tough, gritty game, and knocked down a couple of open jumpers.  The Holliston squad has 2 games this weekend, Saturday at the Adams Middle School vs. Bellingham and Sunday at Millis High School.

Boys’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) hosted Westwood for the 6th game of the season.  Westwood came out swinging with a tough defense and an early lead in the 1st half.   However, the Holliston boys rebounded as the game turned into a back-and-forth battle.  Holliston finally broke through in the 4th quarter with a strong defensive and offensive team performance, surviving at the buzzer with a 32-31 win to send their record to 5-1 and atop their division.  Marcus Burian led the way with a top notch performance of 10 points and 7 rebounds.  Quinn McErlean hit a couple of key shots, while Jack Firmani hit 2 big free throws late in the 4th quarter. But ultimately it was the defense and rebounding by the entire team late in the game, including 2 big rebounds by Andy Heller in the 4th, that sealed the deal.  Holliston will next play at the Adams Middle School against Westwood.

Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team welcomed Lexington this week, who would be their toughest competition to date in a cross-division game.  The Holliston boys started strong and hung in until late in the game.  Ultimately, they ran out of gas in the 4th quarter and fell 36-21.  Holliston’s tough defense was out in full force again, led by Eli Boggess (7 rebounds and 4 steals), Charlie Bowser (5 rebounds and 2 blocks), Andrew Ferguson (4 rebounds, 2 steals and a block) and William Hayes (4 rebounds and 5 steals).  William Hayes also led the team in scoring with 11 points.  Eli Boggess and Ben Furey also contributed points with 6 and 4, respectively.  Holliston hopes to get back on the winning track next week with a match up with Milton.

Boys’ 4th Grade

The Holliston 4th grade boys lost 32-14 against Concord Carlisle.  Holliston scoring was led by Devon Doray, with additional scoring contributions by Brody Stanley, Nathanial Eppinger, Logan Kanavich, and Joseph Lawendi.  Ryan Magoon and Leo Wagner combined to snag 14 rebounds between them.  The Panthers are off with a scheduled bye week next weekend. 

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