Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 11
Read the recaps and you will see – Team defense is the key
Do we have any more coaches we need to thank? Yes, we do. Michelle and I were told that the head coach of the 7th grade girls (White) team would like to thank Tom Kampersal and Eric Schoenberg for volunteering their time as assistant coaches and for all their help – it has been a great and fun season.
This week we had teams with multiple games and teams on bye weeks. We saw some incredible individual stat lines – 20+ point scorers, players draining threes, blocking shots, etc. But the most common theme we are seeing is the teams are coming together. Perfect timing for everyone to make a deep playoff run. We will keep our fingers crossed.
Girls’ 4th Grade
The Holliston 4th grade girls team hosted a double header this weekend at the Adams Middle School. The Panthers matched up with 9-1 Northboro in the first game. Holliston came out strong, but could not hold off Northboro, ultimately falling 18-13. It was a battle throughout. Holliston was led by Ella Bennett who scored a team high 8 points. Audrey Mancuso played stellar defense holding the larger Northboro front court in check while adding 2 points and a rebound. Mia Malvey continued her signature intense defense with 3 rebounds and 4 steals for the Panthers. In the back end of the double header the Panthers faced Southboro. Holliston again took a commanding early lead, but fell just short, 23-20, after a late 4th quarter comeback by the visitors. The team was led in scoring by Danika Do Rosario who scored 8 points to go along with 2 rebounds and a steal. Addy McAdams added 1 point, 3 rebounds and 2 steals for the Panthers while helping lead the team’s fast break. Gwen Miranda was all over the boards with a team leading 5 rebounds in addition to a steal. Holliston had a shot with a last second 3 pointer that landed just short. Holliston is on the road to finish up the season against first place Belmont.
Girls’ 5th Grade
The Holliston 5th grade girls hosted a tough Franklin team this weekend, but in true form the girls were up for the challenge. Holliston opened with a quick offensive run but by halftime Franklin brought it back to an 11-11 tie. The girls continued to battle, playing aggressive defense led by Emerson Harrington, Lucy Downin, Shamili Potturi and Lila Cohen. In the end, Franklin hit two big free throws that ended up being the difference in another heartbreaking loss 22-20. 3 of the 5 losses this year for the girls have been decided by two points or less. Mackenzie McDonald led the team with 11 points this week and Emerson Harrington led the team with 4 rebounds. Next week, the girls host Wellesley in their final regular season game at the Adams Middle School.
Girls’ 6th Grade
In a late season Wednesday night matchup against TVL rival Medway, the Holliston 6th grade girls came away with a tremendous 23-18 team win. The tenacious full court pressure by the Panthers led to numerous steals and fast break opportunities. The girls were very proud to hold Medway’s standout player to just 4 points. Holliston’s defensive powerhouses included Cate McCarron (team high 17 rebounds and 5 steals), Lauryn Mulvaney, Keira Brannigan, Lucy Mancuso, and Ashleigh Dickinson. The team was led offensively by point guard Mia Faletra who also dropped 10 points. The girls also made smart decisions in the front court by pulling the ball out and patiently running their offense successfully. In their weekend game, the 6th grade girls were shy some of their roster, but that did not stop them from digging deep and pulling off a 36-28 win against Wellesley. The team banded together to showcase each other’s strengths proving their skills over their athletic opponent. Mia Faletra and Lucy Mancuso led the team with 11 points each. Gianna Sgarano, Cate McCarron and Lauryn Mulvany each netted 4 points. A shoutout to Lily Ingoldsby for her fearless dives onto the hardwood to grab those loose balls helping the team gain advantages. On Sunday, 2/27 the team will close out the regular season with a visit to Brookline.
Girls’ 7th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 7th grade girls (Red) team travelled to take on the 10-0 Medfield Warriors. Holliston jumped out to an early lead on a layup by Reese Friedman, however, the Panthers couldn’t hold off Medfield, falling 50-24. Josie Henson was a beast on the glass ripping a team season high 8 rebounds to go along with a steal and 2 points. Hanna Holden and Hadley McAdams led the team with 6 points each. Katie Joslin attacked the boards and finished with 5 rebounds and a basket. The Panthers finish off the regular season at the Adams Middle School against their archrival Milford.
Girls’ 7th Grade (White)
The Holliston 7th grade girls (White) team had a scheduled bye this weekend. They will wrap up their regular season next weekend with a game in Natick.
Girls’ 8th Grade
The Holliston 8th grade girls found themselves in a 2-point game in the third quarter on Sunday against Norwood. From there, offense led to defense which led to offense. A couple of quick outside shots from Lindsay O’Connell allowed the girls to get into their full court press, which once again created chaos and led to quick baskets. Parker Friedman scored 12 points and Grace Whitten had 10 points. Both Parker and Grace were fantastic in all aspects of the game with outstanding defense, passing, shooting, and energy. Keira Lucas continues to play fiercely under the hoop and Lyla Feldman continues to be in the right place at the right time. Julia Galipeau added 3 points, and no post basket dancing, much to the delight of the coaches. The 38-18 victory leaves the girls at 7-2 on the season. They travel on Sunday to a highly anticipated game against 9-2 Stoughton.
Boys’ 4th Grade
The Holliston 4th grade boys had a scheduled bye this weekend. They will finish the regular season with a game in Southboro on Sunday the 27th.
Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team traveled to Brookline for a rematch of an earlier season heartbreaker. The boys were very excited to play this team again and left everything they had on the court. Unfortunately, Holliston came up just short again and fell 32-28 to Brookline. Quinn McErlean and William Hayes led the offense with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Quinn (6 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks) and Eli Boggess (6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks) led the team on the defensive side of the ball. Next week the team will finish the regular season on the road against King Phillip.
Boys’ 5th Grade (White)
The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) team had a double header this weekend. The Berkley team, unfortunately, had to forfeit their game giving Holliston the win. The second game was at Canton (white). The Holliston team moved the ball well and played excellent team defense and rebounding to come away with a 37-26 win. Quinn McErlean, Marcus Burian, Jack Firmani and Chris Baker spread out the offensive scoring each contributing 8 to 12 points. In terms of team contributions, many players including Nick DiPippo, Andy Heller and Tyler Hodgdon got great passing assists, offensive and defensive rebounding and just played general solid defense. The win places Holliston’s record at 8-2, clinching first place in their division as they head into the playoffs with one remaining regular season game. The team plays its final game of the regular season against Framingham at the Adams Middle School.
Boys’ 6th Grade
The Holliston 6th grade boys team lost a one-point heartbreaker on the road to a tough Milton squad with a score of 48-47. The game came down to the very end as Holliston kept closing the gap, but Milton kept finding a way to stay ahead. Nick Flannery and Anthony Faletra led the attack with 11 points apiece, while Gavin McGann chipped in 7 points. Milton’s pressure was relentless, so the steady play of guards Jack Whitten and Colin Doherty was much needed. Connor McDonough was also a steadying force against Milton playing good heads-up basketball at both ends of the floor. The boys will finish out the regular season Sunday morning against Southboro at the Adams Middle School.
Boys’ 7th Grade
The Holliston 7th grade boys’ team hosted Milford, who entered the game undefeated at 9-0. Both teams used an aggressive defense to slow down the offense for both sides. Milford used their 1-3-1 press to force the pace then dropped into a zone defense. However, Holliston attacked the zone with a combination of team passing and outside shooting. Towards the end of the 1st half, Thomas DiPippo and Henry Hayes both scored on 3-point shots to keep the Panthers in the game. The score was 24-23 at halftime. The two teams continue to match baskets in the 3rd quarter. The score was 36-32 Holliston entering the 4th. Overall, six different Holliston players scored on 3-point field goals including Jake Brodsky who connected on back-to-back 3-point shots in the 4th quarter. The Panthers pulled ahead in the 4th quarter playing well together. For example, the Panthers broke the full court press with great team passing, having each player touch the ball once, finishing with a layup and not taking a dribble. The Panthers had contributions from everyone in the 49-43 win. Holliston had 15 assists with Ben Dufault and Luke McHugh leading the way with 4 each. Jack McDonald led a balanced offense with 12 points and Jake Brodsky, Ethan Suhajda, and Cal Leverone added 8 points each. Holliston returned on Sunday to play Hopkinton. The Hillers are one of the league’s best offensive teams and scored with an assortment of long distance and low post shots. The Panthers had their offense working well and used their press defense to force turnovers early in the game. The Panthers took a slim 30-27 lead into the break. The teams traded baskets in the 3rd quarter. The score was 42-41 Hopkinton entering the 4th quarter. Hopkinton extended their lead to 7, but the Panthers battled back. Cal Leverone connected on a shot just inside the arc to cut the lead to 3 with under 30 seconds remaining, but Hopkinton extended the lead to 5 hitting both free throws to end the game 64-59. Jack McDonald led the offense for Holliston with a season high 26 points. Ethan Suhajda added 16 for the Panthers. Westborough will make a trip to the Adams Middle School for the regular season finale.
Boys’ 8th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 8th grade boys (Red) team traveled to Lexington on Sunday afternoon for a matchup against the 8-1 Minutemen. Less than a minute into the game, the Panthers lost Max Maurao* for the game after a very scary injury, careening headfirst into the side wall of the gym going for a steal. The team would respond jumping to a 22-17 halftime lead, clearly demonstrating they could match up against the 1 loss Lexington squad. Tommy Quinn’s best game of the season resulted in 18 points, 12 of those coming off three pointers. Cooper Firmani added another strong performance, adding 12 points of his own. As the game wore on, it seemed to take its toll on the Panthers who trailed 35-31 heading into the 4th quarter which was all Minutemen enroute to a 54-40 devastating loss. Dropping to 5-5 on the season, the Panthers have one more game against the 1 loss Belmont Marauders at the Adams Middle School on Sunday. A win would give the Panthers a winning record in the regular season and a definite boost heading into the playoffs.
*Update – besides a few bumps and bruises, Max is doing well and will be back on the court for the final game of the regular season
Boys’ 8th Grade (White)
The Holliston 8th grade boys (White) team played two hard fought games this weekend. Saturday’s game against an undefeated Milford team went down to the wire with Holliston losing 43-38. It was a thrilling second half with Holliston battling back from a 26-point deficit to get it to within 3 in the final minutes. Edward Daniels led the team with 8 points. Bhumin Karunakar easily had his best game of the season with 7 points and several hard-fought rebounds. It was the tenacious defense by the entire team in the second half that got them back in the game. The second game was Sunday against Medway at the Adams Middle School with Holliston losing another hard-fought game 41-38. This was a close game from the start with several lead changes throughout the game. Josiah Carney led the team from the point guard position playing almost the entire game. With the team in foul trouble, Will Clasby and Sean Klein were able to play some lockdown defense to keep Holliston in the game. Joshua Higgins had 11 points followed by Edward Daniels with 8. The team heads into Blackstone next Sunday looking to build off what was some of the best team basketball they’ve played all season.