Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 12

Just in case you need a reason – here are the recaps for the final games of the regular season

Who is responsible for making sure Holliston Youth Basketball runs the way it does?  We all owe a big thank you to Tom McHugh.  Tom spends countless hours as the President of Holliston Youth Basketball.  His commitment to driving the program forward is both commendable and contagious.  We all know that someone needs to pick up the slack while the President is busy at work, so with that, we also need to thank Andrea McHugh.  In addition to covering and helping Tom, Andrea is also responsible for the HYBA online store.  Thank you very much to Tom & Andrea McHugh for everything you do for Holliston Youth Basketball.

This past weekend were the last games of the regular season.  We found out that we owe a congratulations to the teams who went on to be division winners – congrats!  All the Holliston teams are making final preparations for a deep playoff run.  Please note that we will be posting a playoff recap special on Tuesday March 8th right here on the Holliston Reporter.

Boys’ 8th Grade (White)

The Holliston 8th grade boys (White) team lost to Blackstone-Millville in Blackstone 48-35. Unfortunately, it was a tough start with both referees not showing up for the game. A big thank you to Holliston’s Ed Daniels for coming out from the stands to help referee with a parent from Blackstone. Will Clasby played his best all-around game with 9 points and exceptionally strong defense. Matty Gimblett followed with 7 points. The team is gearing up for their playoff game on Wednesday in Mansfield against Seekonk. 

Boys’ 8th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 8th grade boys (Red) team closed out the regular season on Sunday with a game against the 1 loss Belmont Marauders.  The Panthers came out on fire jumping out to an early 20-10 1st quarter lead behind another strong effort out of the gate from Jayden Hayes.  Tommy Quinn has now chained together three strong outings adding a 16-point performance to help propel the squad.  Robbie Howell continued to prove he is getting his legs back under him adding 7 points of his own.  Alex Robie put on another defensive clinic, frustrating the Marauders for most of the game.  In addition to winning the game 59-51, there were two stories in this game that rose above the others.  The traditionally challenged free throw shooting Panthers shot an amazing 72% in this game.  In fact, Tyler Mottor, Tommy Quinn, Sean Warner, and Jayden Hayes were perfect from the stripe in the second half, helping to seal the deal.  The big story though was the performance by Max “Downtown” Maurao.  Literally bouncing back from his run in with the wall in Lexington last week, Maurao scored a career high 16 points and shot 4-6 from the foul line in addition to his usual fierce rebounding and defense.  This was particularly huge given the absence of one of the Panther big men in Cooper Firmani.  So, the boys bid farewell to the Adams Middle School gym for the last time and ride into the playoffs this weekend on a high.  They will face the Easton Tigers in a first-round matchup on Saturday.

Boys’ 7th Grade

The Holliston 7th grade boys team finished the regular season with an impressive win vs. Westboro 58-33.  The game was close throughout the first quarter and midway through the second, but Holliston wore down Westboro with a team defense approach.  Holliston’s press was effective leading to multiple Westboro turnovers.  The score was 10-5 at the end of the first quarter, but the Panthers broke open the game in the second highlighted by a long “baseball” pass from Cal Leverone to Jack McDonald.  Jack then returned the favor with a long-distance pass to Ethan Suhajda.  Luke McHugh then found Jack again for a breakaway layup.  Neel Ashokkumar helped beat the zone pressure from Westboro by hitting a 3-point shot to help the Panthers take a commanding 32-13 lead at half.  Westboro tried to cut into the lead with a full court press, but Thomas DiPippo found Henry Hayes on back-to-back passes and drives to the hoop to maintain the lead.  Jack McDonald led a balanced offensive attack as 7 players scoring 5 points or more.  Jack McDonald and Ethan Suhajda led the team in points with 12 each.  Henry Hayes added 8 and Cal Leverone and Luke McHugh chipped in 7 points each.  Luke added 4 assists.  Neel Ashokkumar scored 5.  Jake Brodsky and Ethan Suhajda led the team with 6 rebounds.  Ben Dufault added 3 steals.  Holliston will start their playoff run on Saturday at 9AM versus Westwood at the Hopkinton Middle School.

Boys’ 6th Grade

The Holliston 6th grade boys faced a tough Southboro team this past Sunday morning at the Adams Middle School resulting in a 51-47 loss.  Holliston faced a tough tandem of guards but are now even more ready for the Metrowest tournament. The Panthers were led by Anthony Faletra’s all-around game from the point leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals (14 points, 9 rebounds). Sean Sullivan was a strong presence in the paint with 12 points and 8 boards, along with post player Nate Howell with a string of strong plays underneath. Grayden Vaughn battled through a lingering injury to play a strong game including 2 for 2 field goals from the floor. The boys (8-4) will have a rematch with Bellingham in the upcoming postseason Group 3 South game on Friday night. 

Boys’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) team were at home for the final game of the regular season hosting Framingham.   Framingham played a tough, collapsing defense but the boys were able to adjust and come away with a 34-16 win.   Quinn McErlean and Marcus Burian led the scoring while the team defense did the rest with strong performances from Nick DiPippo, Orson Daniels and Andy Heller. The boys finish the season at 9-2, clinching first place in their division and the #1 Seed in their playoff bracket. The team plays its first playoff game against the winner of the “play-in” game of the #8 seed vs #9 seed at the Mill Works in Westford.

Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team travelled to Plainville to face King Phillip this weekend.  In what was probably the most exciting game of the year, Holliston fell 35-34 in the closing seconds.  It was not without a fight.  Wiliiam Hayes had 13 points, Eli Boggess notched 9 points and Andrew Ferguson buried 8 points to lead the team offensively.  Eli Boggess hit a very exciting 3 pointer!  William Hayes and Ben Furey realized the opponent was susceptible to fouling in the paint and took advantage.  Multiple times they drove to the hole and drew the foul, resulting in 7 key free throws between them.  Chris Sipsma was a menace on defense and kept the opponent on their toes all game.  Eli Boggess, Charlie Bowser, Andrew Ferguson, Ben Furey, William Hayes and Sam Israel all had multiple rebounds.  Nathan Chiantera, Boggess, Ferguson, Furey, Hayes and Sipsma all retrieved steals in the contest.  While it was a disappointing result, there were many positives to take out of the game.  The Holliston team ended up with a record of 6-6, tied with Concord-Carlisle atop the division.  This weekend, the team will be a 6 seed taking on 3rd seeded Lincoln Sudbury in the playoffs.

Boys’ 4th Grade

The Holliston 4th grade boys team ended the regular season on the road with a hard-fought loss to Southboro 28-15.  Joseph Lawendi provided most of Holliston’s scoring while Nick Gorham brought a ton of defensive intensity.  The boys are getting ready for a Wednesday night playoff game against Milton at the Dana Barros Basketball Center.

Girls’ 8th Grade

In their final regular season matchup, the 7-2 Holliston 8th grade girls team traveled to Stoughton to face a 9-2 team.  Pregame was a scene straight out of Hoosiers where the girls were flat out in awe of the size of their opponents.  Unfortunately, the intimidation carried over into the start of the game and the girls were outgunned and outmuscled on the boards, quickly falling behind by 10 pts in the first quarter and found themselves in a 23-6 hole at halftime.  They regrouped, refocused on fundamentals, and realized they needed to box out, put on the press, and put the ball in the hoop.  They came out to start the 3rd quarter in suffocating fashion, not allowing Stoughton to get the ball past mid-court for the first four minutes with intense defensive pressure, which led to offense.  Lindsay O’Connell hit a couple of quick 15 footers, Grace Whitten added a nice bucket, and Julia Galipeau converted, to quickly cut the lead to 9.  Unfortunately, the momentum turned as a couple of defensive breakdowns led to Stoughton retaking control of the game.  There was no quit in the girls as Natalie Sipsma added a couple of late buckets, but it wasn’t enough as the girls lost 40-24.  Sophia Lynch led the way with 8 pts as she has certainly found her stroke heading into the playoffs.  Claire Fitzgerald is simply known as Fearless Fitz as she continues to not care at all about the size of opponents, she sees ball, she gets ball.  Huge congratulations to the girls as they ended up atop their division for the regular season.  They have been bumped up a division for the playoffs and will square off against Watertown on Friday night.

Girls’ 7th Grade (White)

The Holliston 7th grade girls (White) team finished the regular season with a visit to Natick and came out on the losing side of a 41-16 score.  With only 6 players available for Holliston, the girls didn’t make any excuses.  They played hard and turned in a strong effort.  Ella Coughlin led the team in scoring with 6 points.  Eliza Gebski and Kadence Lynch each knocked down 4 points in the contest.  Holliston finished the regular season with a record of 7-4 which is good enough for second place in the division.  The playoffs begin on Sunday with a match up against Southboro at Mass Premier. 

Girls’ 7th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 7th grade girls (Red) team welcomed the Milford Hawks to the Adams Middle School on Sunday.  The girls fought hard in the game but couldn’t overcome Milford’s tough defense as Milford pulled away with a 26-12 victory.  Holliston looked like they were going to pull the game close towards the end, however, the shots just wouldn’t fall for the shorthanded Panthers.  The team was led in scoring by Reese Friedman and Hadley McAdams who had 4 points each.  Reese also added 2 steals, a block, and a team high 12 rebounds from the point guard position.  Hadley contributed a team leading 3 steals, a block and 5 boards.  Grace Gorham was matched against Milford’s much taller front line and despite the size difference Grace had a team season high 5 blocks to go along with 2 points and 4 rebounds.  Kate McGovern hit a late inside shot to lower the deficit to 8 points, but the team couldn’t capitalize on the momentum.  The Panthers are looking for a late season run in the Metrowest tournament and will be taking on Sharon in the first round on Friday night. 

Girls’ 6th Grade

The Holliston 6th grade girls team went to Brookline and came away with a 34-21 win, improving their season record to 9-3.  Lucy Mancuso netted a personal and team high score of 20 points, many coming from her fearless drives down the lane. Lily Ingoldsby scrapped for 4 game changing steals with an equal balance of rebounds. Cate McCarron dropped in 10 points, while the leaders of the boards were Gianna Sgarano and Lauryn Mulvaney with 5 rebounds each. The ever-steady presence of Corinne Bailey was evident on both ends of the floor as she steadied the defense, while looking to skillfully open up her teammates on the offensive end of the floor…the epitome of a team player!  The #1 seeded Holliston team will wait to see who their opponent is for the first round of the playoffs on Sunday morning.

Girls’ 5th Grade

The Holliston 5th grade girls faced a tough Wellesley team this week.  While Holliston played tenacious defense, so did Wellesley making scoring a challenge for the Panthers.  In true fashion, the girls never gave up, making a valiant effort during their fourth quarter press.  With a couple last minute baskets by Wellesley, the game was closer than the 20-11 final score.  Sedona Cicciarella led the team in scoring with 4 points, Emerson Harrington led the team with 4 steals, and Shamili Potturi and Mackenzie McDonald led the team in rebounds with 4 each.  The girls are preparing for their playoff game against Westwood, a rematch of a hard-fought regular season game.

Girls’ 4th Grade

The Holliston 4th grade girls team travelled to Belmont to take on the first place 9-1 Marauders.  The game was a back-and-forth battle throughout between two evenly matched teams.  Ella Bennett led Holliston with a team season high 15 points including going 5 for 6 from the free throw line.  The Panthers needed every one of Ella’s points as Belmont hit a deep two as time expired to tie the game 24-24.  The home crowd erupted, but Holliston remained composed and won the game 26-24 on a late layup by Danika Do Rosario in overtime.  Do Rosario was all effort on the court and finished the game with 8 points and a team leading 6 steals.  Aahana Kulkarni hit the first basket of the game and continued her tough defense with 3 steals.  Addy McAdams had another one of her signature, all around, strong games with a team leading 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 rebounds.  Gwen Miranda displayed her mastery of the boards by snagging a team high 6 rebounds including a couple crucial defensive rebounds in OT.  The Panthers finished the regular season at 8-4.  Holliston will be taking on 10-2 Northboro in the first round of the 4th grade tournament. 

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Derek Cordon and Michelle Friedman

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