Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 6

By: Derek Cordon – Senior Director – Biopharma Services, Global Consulting at Recaps

This week’s job title (minus the recap part) actually belongs to HYBA Board Member, Michelle Friedman.  Michelle has been involved with Holliston Basketball since her two daughters were old enough to hold a basketball.  She ran the intro to basketball clinic for kids in grades K-2, she coached at the travel level, and she served on the board.  She was a co-writer for the inaugural season of the Holliston Reporter recaps and is also the current treasurer of HYBA, even though her girls are no longer in the program.  This will be Michelle’s last season of involvement with basketball in town and on behalf of the board members, coaches, and players, we want to thank Michelle for all her contributions to Holliston Hoops. Thank you, Michelle.

If you are wondering how the Holliston teams did this past weekend, then please read on…

Boys’ 4th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 4th grade boys (Red) team hosted Canton on Sunday afternoon at the Adams Middle School. The team played their best game of the season, winning 24-23. Holliston led throughout and withstood a valiant comeback by Canton in the second half. Ryan Baker led Holliston with 18 points and Logan McDonough chipped in with 4 points. Cole Dennison had 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. Anderson Langlois finished with 4 rebounds. Max Metivier played strong defense and made good passes to his teammates. Holliston will face Medway on Sunday morning at the Adams Middle School. 

Boys’ 4th Grade (White)

The Holliston 4th grade boys (White) team packed up their bags and headed to Dedham Sunday morning picking up their first win of the season 34-13.  The Panthers jumped out to an early lead and were able to hold off the Marauders until the final buzzer.  Declan Aldredge led the scoring charge with 22 points.  Owen Jacquet hit for 8 while Ty Looney and David Blackerby controlled the boards and each also hit for a bucket to chip in on the scoring.  Tommy Ogoreuc and Aryan Simhadri played stellar defense to stop the Dedham boys from trying to make a 4th quarter run.  The boys will hit the road again this weekend to play Framingham in a Saturday afternoon tilt and hopes to get a winning streak going.

Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team lost a tight game to Lexington, 25-18.  Nathan Eppinger tallied 8 points for the shorthanded Holliston team, while Leo Wagner added 5 points and 4 steals.  Nick Gorham had a great game, providing tough defense holding Lexington’s primary scorer in check, while bringing down 2 rebounds and making 2 blocks.  The boys play next Sunday at 3:20 against Medway at the Adams Middle School.

Boys’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) team defeated Bridgewater by a score of 24-21 at home.  The team improves to 4-5 on the season.  Joseph Lawendi led the team in rebounds with 7, followed by Brody Stanley (5), Laksh Khatri (3), Devon Doray (3), Austin McGuire (3), Logan Kanavich (3), Dylan Perrett (2), & Noah Keller (2).  Leading the team in points was Devon Doray (7), followed by Jospeh Lawendi (6), Logan Kanavich (4), Austin McGuire (3), Dylan Perrett (2), and Brody Stanley (2).  Brody Stanley was awarded the team’s “Silver Swoosh” award for his hustle and stifling defensive play.  The team returns to the court next Sunday where they will travel to Canton and look to continue their 2-game winning streak.

Boys’ 6th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 6th grade boys (Red) team had their most exciting game of the season this week when Medway came to town.  The boys played hard all game and left everything they had on the court.  After being down 15 early in the 2nd half, they battled back before falling in overtime 62-60.  Eli Boggess was a force on offense, leading all scorers with 14 points.  William Hayes added 12 points and Charlie Bowser added 8.  Ben Furey had 7 points, including the game tying drive and bucket to send the game to overtime with 3 seconds on the clock.  Andrew Ferguson was once again a beast on defense, racking up 11 rebounds and 6 steals.  Eli had 8 rebounds of his own and Quinn McErlean pulled down 5.  There were a lot of positives to take out of this game.  The boys learned not to give up.  They had 20 free throws made, 13 of which came in the 4th quarter and overtime.  While disappointing to not come away with a win, the boys should feel proud of how they played.  Next week they will welcome Framingham to the Adams Middle School. 

Boys’ 6th Grade (White)

The Holliston 6th grade boys (White) team hosted Hopkinton in the late game this past Sunday.  The boys energized the home crowd with a 6-0 run to begin the game, led by early buckets by Vinny Lima and Achyut Pingali.  Great defensive pressure, effort, and rebounding were a continued hallmark of Charlie Peterson’s season.  The final score of 21-40 doesn’t reflect the fact that the Panthers stayed in the game until the very end, until a couple of final buckets by the visiting team expanded their lead.  Talking to reporters after the game, Holliston’s head coach emphasized the continued improvement of the team’s offense, their “grit” on defense, and warned the rest of the league to watch out come playoff-time.  Next up is a visit from Arlington on Sunday at the Adams Middle School.

Boys’ 7th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 7th grade boys (Red) team got back to their winning ways with a victory over Wellesley, 55-48.  Featuring three double-digit scorers in Sean Sullivan, Nick Flannery, and Jack Whitten.  The Panthers also got help from Connor McDonough (7 points) and Anthony Faletra (7 points, 6 rebounds) in the balanced attack.  Gavin McGann added 3 assists and a steal for the cause, helping to keep Wellesley at bay even as they made a charge at the end.  The boys are at home again Sunday against Wayland at 3:15pm at the Adams Middle School.

Boys’ 7th Grade (White)

The Holliston 7th grade boys (White) team got out to an early lead and were up 10 points at the half.  Easton made a ferocious comeback and Holliston was down 1 point going into the 4th quarter.  Easton’s pressure defense had Holliston on their heels, but they settled down, executed well, and locked them down in the 4th outscoring them 12 to 5 on the way to the win 40-34.  Max McFadyen led the way with a game high 14 points shredding Easton’s 2-3 zone.  Jesse Brodsky scored 6 of his 8 points in 3-point bombs, to the delight of the 8th grade boys’ team that stuck around to cheer Holliston on, including a dagger in the 4th to seal the win.  Will Dietrich played through a broken wrist to net 7 points, Nathan Varghese had 6 points and George Kuttab went for 2 to wrap up the scoring.  Holliston has a scheduled bye this coming week but will be back at it with 2 games on Sunday Feb 5th.

Boys’ 8th Grade

Holliston and Hopkinton met for a third time this season on Saturday.  The two teams split the first two games.  The 8th grade boys put forth their best defensive effort of the season limiting Hopkinton to just two points in the first quarter with a combination of help defense and a press defense.  Thomas DiPippo had a great steal and basket to help Holliston jump out to a 7-2 lead after one quarter.  Jack McDonald stole an inbounds pass and converted the basket to extend the Holliston lead to 33-24 after three quarters.  Jack finished with a game high 19 points including 4-4 from the free throw line.  Holliston continued to play well as a team both defensively and offensively.  The team had 16 steals on the day.  Luke McHugh had 4 steals along with 3 assists and 8 points.  Ethan Suhajda had 4 steals, 8 rebounds, and 12 points.  The final score was 49-38 in favor of Holliston. 

The team then played Bedford on Sunday.  Holliston was expecting a high scoring game as Beford leads the league in points scored and points allowed.  The game was high scoring with both teams pushing the ball up quickly.  Ben Dufault was running the floor well executing two fast break attempts for 4 points in the quarter and Jack McDonald hit two 3-pointers for a 17-15 lead after one quarter.  Bedford continued to push the pace and took a 33-32 lead at halftime.  The two teams traded baskets in the second half.  Ben and Jack had key 3-pointers in the 4th quarter to keep the game close, but Bedford maintained a 2-point lead with under 30 seconds remaining.  Holliston was driving towards the basket, but an inadvertent whistle stopped the play and allowed Bedford to set up their defense.  Holliston still had a couple chances to tie, but Bedford was able to defend the last couple of plays to win 64-61.  Jack McDonald was the game high scorer with 21, Ethan Suhajda added 14, and Ben Dufault had 11 for Holliston.  Next up for Holliston is a visit from Concord-Carlisle on Sunday at 10AM at the Adams Middle School.

Girls’ 4th Grade

It was a short trip over the Holliston-Ashland line on Sunday morning as the Holliston 4th grade girls paid a visit to Clocker Country.   Despite Holliston’s highest scoring game of the year, the Clockers got the best of Holliston, 34-21.  Holliston was led in scoring by Ellie Brown who notched 10 points, having her best game of the season.  Brianna Cooper tallied 6 points on three jump shots from the top of the key, while Gwen Rosen finished with 4 points, both buckets coming from Rosen’s signature power layups.  Molly Starr continues her quest for defensive player of the year honors with 5 steals on the day.  Starr has been nothing but a Star on the defensive end for the Panthers.  The 4th grade girls continue their road trip next weekend with a visit to D-S. 

Girls’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade girls (Red) team travelled to Lakeville to take on the Lakers.  The team started out on fire running up a quick 11-2 first half lead.  The team was moving the ball around like the 1986 Celtics on the way to their strongest 1st half of the year.  Unfortunately, the 2nd half was a different story with Lakeville turning up the pressure.  The Holliston team had a 13-12 lead going into the final 9 seconds of the game, but an illegal defense call put the Lakers on the line with 2 free throws.  The Lakeville guard nailed both shots and closed out the game with a 14-13 win.  Addy McAdams had a great all-around performance with 5 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.  Ella Bennett continued to get key buckets for the Panthers leading the team with 6 points.  Louisa Bigelow and Avery Palma both had excellent defensive games with 4 rebounds and 6 steals respectively.  Audrey Mancuso nailed a key jump shot in the first half to finish with 2 points.  The 4-2 Panthers travel to Medway next week.

Girls’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade girls (White) team played on the road this week against Dover-Sherborn.  Holliston was down one point after the first quarter 5-4 but came back with lots of energy and determination in the second half to carry Holliston to a 26-10 win.  Once again, their defense dominated the game.  Dover-Sherborn turned the ball over from Holliston’s pressure filled defense causing three 5 second violations to be called (two on the floor and one on an inbound play).  Aahanna Kulkarni had 3 steals and moved the ball around on offense.  Strong offensive rebounds by Lindsay Walsh and Mila Szabatura lead each to score a basket.  Holliston moves on to play Somerville next Saturday at the Adams Middle School.  

Girls’ 6th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 6th grade girls (Red) team had a great weekend.  With games Saturday and Sunday, they played against opponents with two very different styles of play and made the necessary adjustments.  Saturday, they traveled to Weston and faced a zone defense that required them to shoot more outside shots than normal followed by aggressive rebounding.  Chelsea Dufault led the charge with 10 rebounds and 8 points, Mackenzie McDonald had 7 rebounds and 6 points, Emma Arsenault had 8 rebounds, and Riya Yedugandi had 7.  In typical fashion, the team made aggressive defense a priority, really turning it on in the 4th quarter holding Weston to no 4th quarter points for a 25-14 win.

On Sunday, they hosted a strong Wayland team who pressured the ball the entire game.  While the pressure created some challenges, when they broke the full court pressure, they initiated fast breaks that led to 11 team assists.  Mackenzie McDonald led the group with 4, while Caroline Coughlin, Olivia Kerchner, and Emma Arsenault joined the fun with 2 each.  Recipients of several passes were top scorers Riya Yedugandi with 10 points and Sedona Cicciarella with 6.  Impressively, the aggressive rebounding carried over from the day before as Chelsea Dufault had 14, Riya Yedugandi had 8, and Mackenzie McDonald and Olivia Kerchner had 7 each, for the 32-21 win.  Next week, the girls travel to Dover Sherborn to play another tough opponent.

Girls’ 6th Grade (White)

It was a tale of two halves for the Holliston 6th grade girls (White) team.  They kept it close against a tough, tough Natick team in the first half with aggressive zone defense and a tenacious rebounding effort.  The girls struggled to solve the Natick full court press in the second half and the offense suffered.  Nevertheless, a great, hard-fought effort in a 29-4 defeat.  Ashten Arsenault led the effort with several key stops on the defensive end while pushing the offensive pace from the point guard position. Riley Whitehead hit a pretty floater in the lane late in the first half to keep Holliston within striking distance. Finally, Diya Simhadri pressured Natick all game on defense and facilitated the offense from the wing position.  Next game for Holliston is on 1/29 @ 3PM against Arlington at the Brackett Middle School

Girls’ 7th Grade

Game 7 for the Holliston 7th grade girls had them leave the hardwood with a loss on the scoreboard. The final score was 32-29 which buried their first half healthy lead. Lucy Mancuso brought her fire again, netting 15 points and racking up 10 steals. Mia Faletra and Keira Brannigan each dropped in 6 points as second lead scorers. Lexington fought hard for this win and unfortunately topped Holliston. BIG SHOUT OUT to the many fans who came out to cheer the girls on!  The team will bring their all when they face Dartmouth at the Adams Middle School, this Saturday, January 28th at 4:30pm.

Girls’ 8th Grade (Red)

The 8th grade girls (Red) team hosted the Rochester Bulldogs at the Adams Middle School this past Sunday.  The team quickly fell behind 14-0 in the 1st quarter against their opponent as the Bulldogs press was causing havoc for Holliston.  It looked like it was going to be a long day for the Panthers, however, the team quickly recovered to a 15-14 deficit at halftime.  The crowd could sense the tide was turning.  The 3rd and 4th quarters were back and forth as the teams continued to battle.  Katie Joslin picked up a loose ball in the final moments of the second half and drove through the Rochester defenders to hit a layup putting Holliston up 29-27 with 5 seconds remaining.  The team held tight and caused a turnover as the clock went to 0.  The win was a team effort as everyone contributed with points, steals, rebounds, and crucial defensive stops.  Katie Joslin led the team with 10 points.  Kate McGovern hit a key late 1st half shot to keep the game within reach.  Josie Henson contributed with 4 rebounds and multiple defensive stops to go along with her 2 points.  Aria Pajapati had 4 points along with 2 rebounds.  The 4-2 Panthers travel to Cambridge and Winchester this weekend. 

Girls’ 8th Grade (White)

The Holliston 8th grade girls (White) team went to Walpole on Sunday and dropped the contest 46-8.  Despite the difference in basketball experience and score between the two teams, the Holliston girls never gave up.  They worked hard from the opening tip through the final buzzer.  There is a lot to be said about the mental strength of this squad.  Eliza Gebski, Ari Carbino, Sasha Wang, and Addie Snow all had a bucket each.  Next up, the girls will welcome the team from Sharon at 11:20AM at the Adams Middle School.

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Derek Cordon