Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 7

By: Derek Cordon – Asst. Superintendent of Holliston Public Recaps

My job title this week is because I wanted to be able to share some information about an older group of Holliston Basketball players.  Please come support the Holliston High School Girls and Boys Senior basketball players on Senior Night!  The Boys Basketball Senior Night will be on Tuesday February 7th at 6:00PM.  The Girls Basketball Senior Night will be on Friday February 10th at 6:00PM.  Let’s give our Seniors the sendoff they deserve!  We encourage youth players to wear Holliston Basketball spirit wear or Holliston basketball jerseys.  

Speaking of HHS Seniors, I want to take a moment to give a shout out to 2 HHS Varsity Senior Girls, Mia Quinzani and Caroline Brady.  Mia and Caroline have attended every Saturday practice with the 8th Grade Girls (White) Team since the start of the season (they even took in a Sunday home game and sat on the bench with the girls).  They get one day a week off from high school basketball and they choose to spend a couple hours of it with the young players at practice.  The team looks forward to seeing them every week and their presence provides invaluable basketball knowledge to the players.  The team and I want to thank Mia and Caroline for their support and friendship – it has been great to have you both as a part of the team.    

Anyone wondering how the youth teams did last weekend…

Girls’ 8th Grade (White)

The Holliston 8th grade girls (White) team had a home contest against Sharon and came out on the losing end of a 57-13 score.  Once again, despite what the scoreboard showed, the Holliston girls never quit.  After being held scoreless in the first quarter, the Holliston players continued to run their offense and didn’t get frustrated.  Ari Carbino worked hard in the paint and led all scorers with 7 points.  The team welcomed back Ella Coughlin from injury and sickness, as she dropped in 4 points of her own.  Kaitlyn Cordon put the team’s total in double digits with a dribbling drive through the lane resulting in a sweet touch off the glass made layup.  Holliston will welcome the Clockers of Ashland to the Adams Middle School on Sunday.

Girls’ 8th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 8th grade girls (Red) team completed their east coast portion of their schedule this weekend with trips to Cambridge and Winchester.  In the first game, Cambridge came out with an excellent press defense that held Holliston at bay.  Cambridge (5-1) proved to be too much for the Panthers, easily defeating Holliston 40-12.  Josie Henson led the team with 6 points and played tough throughout the game with numerous rebounds.  The team declined post-game interviews and decided to move onto Winchester.

Holliston had to quickly recover for their next game at Winchester on Sunday.  The team came out on fire leading 13-1 after the 1st quarter.  The swarming Panthers press caused multiple turnovers and Winchester was left with a quick 12 point deficit.  Holliston continued to get open looks and fast breaks, but Winchester crept back in the game.  Winchester was on the line with under 5 seconds left with 2 free throws and a chance to tie the game.  The Winchester guard missed the back end of the free throws and Campbell Harris secured the rebound for the Panthers.  The team held on for a gritty 25-24 win after Callie Dietz hit Grace Gorham with a long pass to seal the win in the final seconds.  Katie Joslin led the team in scoring with 9 points including 5 in the 4th quarter.  Hadley McAdams played excellent defense, continually swarming the Winchester guards, and finished with 4 points.  Grace Gorham hit 3 crucial baskets to finish with 6 points.  The 5-3 Panthers welcome the 5-2 Dedham Marauders this weekend to the Adams Middle School.

Girls’ 7th Grade

Game 8 for the Holliston 7th grade girls’ team was a learning game as they faced a loss against a persistent Dartmouth squad. The game closed with 44-24 on the scoreboard. Contributors to the buckets were Lucy Mancuso with 11 points, Mia Faletra with 8 points, Skylar MacDonald with 4 points and Keira Brannigan dropping in 1 point from the foul line. Bigger than her point was Keira’s hustle up and down the hardwood as she put in a big effort. Lucy led the team with steals and blazed several fast break scores. Mia had a sweet 3 pointer. Gianna Sgarano growled to come up with the ball and Corinne Bailey crashed the boards in her usual style leading the team with rebounds. The team will be back at home for game 9 when they face Somerville on Saturday, February 4th at 3:15pm.

Girls’ 6th Grade (White)

Another tough loss for the Holliston 6th grade girls (White) team as they lost to Arlington 26-9.  Arlington hit several shots from long distance to open up an early lead that Holliston could never come back from.  A three pointer early in the second half was the breaking point for the Holliston girls.  Several bright spots in the game including Ellory Avakian who played tough defense and hit a critical bucket in the first half.  Maria Burke had several key rebounds on the defensive end and finally Olivia Yang led the transition offense with several steals in the first half.  Next up for Holliston is a game on Saturday at 2PM versus Hopkinton at the Adams Middle School

Girls’ 6th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 6th grade girls (Red) team traveled to Dover Sherborn for a matchup against a familiar opponent.  Dover Sherborn eliminated Holliston from the playoffs last year in a game that was never close.  That said, Holliston is much improved, and this matchup was between the top two teams in their division.  Holliston knew that the majority of the scoring came from one specific player, and they played fantastic team defense, repeatedly supporting one another and holding Dover Sherborn to 8 first half points, giving Holliston a 13-8 lead.  Unfortunately, Dover Sherborn’s offensive threat proved to be too much in the second half, giving Dover Sherborn the 22-19 win.  Even in the loss, so many individual improvements were noteworthy as Lucy Downin played fantastic defense, Brooklyn Lessard showed off her ball handling skills, Chelsea Dufault and Riya Yedugani combined for 21 rebounds and Olivia Kerchner and Mackenzie McDonald lead a well-rounded scoring attack with 4 points each.  Next week, the girls host Lincoln Sudbury at the Adams Middle School.

Girls’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade girls (White) team started the weekend at home against Somerville.  Reese Leverone gave the Holliston offense momentum with the first basket of the game late in the first quarter.  Gwen Miranda followed up with strong defense and over 10 rebounds to go along with her 6 points. The team showed flexibility in positions with Kennedy Black assisting at the point guard position. The game started out close and Holliston held Somerville to a 9-4 lead at halftime.  Somerville’s deep bench was able to exhaust the Holliston players in the fourth quarter leading to a final score of 26-8 in favor of Somerville.

The Holliston team moved on to play Westborough in a Monday night matchup.  Once again Holliston was met with a challenging team.  Danika Do Rosario attacked both sides of the court. She led the team in steals and full court fast breaks scoring 11 points.  Anna Walsh also contributed 2 points with her first basket of the season.  Holliston offense had a good passing game, moving the ball around the court but could not pull ahead of Westborough.  It was a tough loss for Holliston falling 28-15.  Next up is a trip to Concord-Carlisle on Sunday.

Girls’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade girls (Red) team welcomed the Medway Mustangs to the Adams Middle School on Sunday.  Holliston came out of the gates quickly again and jumped out to a 10-3 lead on the way to a 27-19 win.  The team’s signature intense defense took center stage again with 22 steals on the day.  Chloe Roche hit the first basket of the game to set the tone for the Panthers to go along with 2 steals and 2 rebounds.  Mia Malvey hit a long jumper in the first half and finished with 6 points and a team high 5 steals.  Ella Bennett played excellent with 11 points, 3 steals and 6 rebounds.  Addy McAdams added 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals for the day.  Louisa Bigelow led the team with 2 assists along with 2 steals and 5 rebounds.  The 5-2 Panthers face off against Acushnet this weekend at the Adams Middle School.  

Girls’ 4th Grade

The Holliston 4th grade girls took a 12-12 tie into halftime against Dover-Sherborn but could not get past the Raiders in the second half, taking a 28-17 loss.  Kendall Hanlon kept the Panthers alive throughout the game with a key basket in the second quarter which she followed up with a monstrous block.  Brianna Cooper led the game in scoring with 6 points, while Ellie Brown (4), Emma Sochanek (3), Aarya Sharma (2) all contributed in the scoring column.  Ruby Smith succumbed to an ankle injury in the 4th quarter and left the contest with a game high 5 rebounds.  The 4th grade girls return home to host Arlington on Sunday at the Adams Middle School.

Boys’ 8th Grade

The Holliston 8th grade boys improved to 6-2 on the season with a win against Westborough on Saturday 47-35.  Westborough started off strong scoring 18 points in the first quarter for a 3-point lead.  Holliston then played tremendous team defense led by Thomas DiPippo who took 2 charges resulting in offensive fouls for Westborough.  Thomas then connected on a 3-point shot and Holliston led by 2 points at halftime.  Holliston held Westborough to only 4 points in the second quarter and 17 points for the remainder of the game for the win.  Jack McDonald and Ethan Suhajda led the team with 14 points each.  Jack had three 3-point field goals and Holliston as a team finished with seven 3-pointers.

The 8th grade boys returned to Adams the following day to play Concord-Carlisle.  The boys continued their solid team defense limiting Concord-Carlisle to just 2 points in the first quarter for a 14-2 lead after one quarter.  Concord-Carlisle’s top scorer, Zach Wynn, then took over the game scoring 13 points in the second quarter on an assortment of outside shots, steals, and free throws to give Concord-Carlisle a 22-19 lead at half.  The game remained close throughout with multiple lead changes.  Henry Hayes hit a 3-point shot to give Holliston a 39-37 lead towards the end of the game, but Concord-Carlisle came back with a traditional 3-point play and then a deep 3-pointer to go up by 4 points.  The final score was 48-40 Concord-Carlisle.  Henry Hayes and Jake Brodsky led the Panthers in scoring with 7 points each.  The 8th grade boys play in Wellesley on Friday, Feb. 3rd.

Boys’ 7th Grade (White)

The Holliston 7th grade boys (White) team had a scheduled bye this week.  They are back at it next weekend with 2 home games on Sunday against Hopkinton and Wayland.

Boys’ 7th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 7th grade boys (Red) team lost to a tough – and tall – Wayland team, 40-30.  Playing shorthanded due to the absence of three players, the boys fought hard to keep the game close against a very deep and talented Wayland squad.  Holliston was led by Sean Sullivan’s team-high 14 points and Anthony Faletra’s near double-double of 9 points and 9 rebounds.  The team also had huge hustle and toughness contributions from big men Max Colletti and Nate Howell, both battling hard inside and each with 3 rebounds apiece.  The four-headed guard tandem of Colin Dougherty, Jacob Lawendi, Gavin McGann and Jack Whitten at times gave the other team all they could handle, but not enough to put the game away.  The boys are back at it on Sunday on the road against Southborough at the Mary Finn school at 11:30am.

Boys’ 6th Grade (White)

The Holliston 6th grade boys (White) team put on a thrilling show in their latest basketball game against Arlington, with the outcome uncertain until the final buzzer. The second quarter saw the team go on a dynamic 9-2 run, led by the head’s up transition offense of Ben Rebello. Throughout the game, the defense was suffocating, applying relentless pressure to their opponents, with Nick DiPippo playing great defense on Arlington’s big man in the second half.  With just 2 seconds left, Sam Peters rose to the occasion, hitting two clutch free throws and a game-tying three-pointer to send the game into overtime. Despite their valiant efforts, the Panthers ultimately fell 43-38 in overtime.  Next week, they will travel to Westborough in a highly anticipated away game.

Boys’ 6th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 6th grade boys (Red) team welcomed a very talented team from Framingham into the Adams Middle School gym this week.  The boys played hard, but unfortunately fell 59-43, dropping their record to 3-4 on the season.   The team got off to a slow start in the 1st quarter but played a very competitive game the rest of the way.  Jack Firmani led all scorers with 10 points, followed by Quinn McErlean (8) and William Hayes (7).  Next week Holliston will travel to Concord-Carlisle and hope to get back on the winning track. 

Boys’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) team defeated Canton by a score of 30-25.  Devon Doray sank 2 free throws with seconds left in the game to seal the win for the Panthers.  Joseph Lawendi led the team in points scoring 12, followed by Devon Doray (10), Logan Kanavich (4), and Jakai Antoine (4).  Austin McGuire led the team in rebounds with 6, followed by Laksh Khatri (5), Joseph Lawendi (4), Devon Doray (3), Logan Kanavich (3), Jakai Antoine (3), Nolan Burke (2), and Noah Keller (1).  The team’s “Silver Swoosh” award was given to Jakai Antoine for his hustle and speed.  Despite starting the season 1-4, the team has managed to scrape and claw its way to 5-5 on the season.  The Panthers return next Sunday when they will play a double header against division rival Medway at their gym, followed by Wellesley at the Adams Middle School.  

Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team lost a tight overtime game to Medway by a score of 32-28. Holliston came back from being 7 points down in the fourth quarter to tie up the game and force the overtime. Ryan Magoon was the top scorer with 9 points to go along with 6 rebounds.  Dylan Dimmick had a great all-around game scoring 8 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 6 steals.  Micah Baltisoto and Lincoln Daniels provided some tough defense and timely rebounds.  Overall, the entire team played very well despite not coming out on top.  Holliston has 2 weeks off from games and will have 3 games the weekend of Feb 17-19. 

Boys’ 4th Grade (White)

Sunday afternoon the Holliston 4th grade boys (White) team hit the Framingham High School hardwood to match up against the Framingham Navy squad.  Both teams played tough, but Framingham ultimately pulled away in the 4th quarter beating the Panthers 26-16.  Declan Aldredge, Owen Jacquet, Teddy Miller, and Ty Looney all scored for Holliston.  After 3 games on the road, the boys hope some home court advantage can get them back in the win column against Acushnet-Fairhaven Sunday afternoon at the Adams Middle School.

Boys’ 4th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 4th Grade Boys (Red) team lost to Medway 34-21 on Sunday morning at the Adams Middle School. Holliston got off to a slow start and despite a strong second half, was never able to recover. Ryan Baker led Holliston with 12 points, while Anderson Langlois had 4 points and 11 rebounds. Will Finneran chipped in with 2 points and Cole Dennison had 10 rebounds. The entire team played hard and should be proud of their efforts. Holliston will travel over the town line to Hopkinton on Sunday morning. 

Derek Cordon

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