Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 8
By: Derek Cordon – Associate Creative Director, Recaps
One of the grades with the biggest jump in numbers is the current 7th grade group with 33 participants (23 boys and 10 girls). There are 2 teams on the boy’s side versus just 1 last season. Bill Sweet is the head coach for one of the teams with Kevin Hastings helping him out. The other boys’ team is run by Meredith Faletra who has Scott McDonough and Cory McGann as her assistants. On the girl’s side, the head coach is Meredith Faletra (no, this is not a typo – Meredith actually runs both a boys’ and a girls’ team. That is volunteering dedication at its best). Meredith counts on Nichole Dickinson and Jason MacDonald for help with the girl’s squad. Thank you to all the 7th grade coaches for volunteering your time – it is greatly appreciated.
Let’s find out how the hoops action went last weekend.
Boys’ 8th Grade
The Holliston 8th grade boys team traveled Friday night in the bitter cold to play Wellesley. Both teams were tied for the division lead at 5-3 entering the game. Holliston started off fast outscoring Wellesley 14-9 in the first quarter. Wellesley implemented a full court press in the second period, but Holliston consistently beat the press with team passing which had all 5 players touch the ball before scoring. A good example was an outlet pass at midcourt to Jonathan Casey who then passed the ball to Jake Brodsky for a layup. Jonathan continued to spark the defense with a combination of steals and blocks in the second and third quarters then hit a buzzer beater to give Holliston a 49-31 lead after 3 quarters. Wellesley made a run in the 4th quarter, but Holliston held on for a 59-42 win. Ethan Suhajda led the team is scoring with 19 points, Jack McDonald added 16 points, and Jonathan Casey had 6 points.
The 8th grade boys then played Blackstone-Millville on Sunday. Holliston once again started off strong as Remy Mandeville had a great scoring play on a screen and roll, and Ben Dufault ran the fast break well to give Holliston a 13-5 lead after one quarter. Blackstone-Millville came back with a run in the second quarter backed by two of their players who also play on the varsity high school team. Holliston defended the duo well, but Blackstone-Millville cut the lead to 22-19. The game was close throughout the second half as Blackstone-Millville used an aggressive zone defense to force many outside shots for Holliston. Jack McDonald stepped up for Holliston with five 3-pointers. However, Blackstone-Millville held on to win the game 49-40. Jack McDonald finished the game with 17 points and Ethan Suhajda added 13 points for Holliston. The 8th grade boys next play in Milford on Sunday, Feb. 12th.
Boys’ 7th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 7th grade boys (Red) team survived a tough road game against Southboro, 42-40. The boys had the lead for most of the fourth quarter, but a tough turnover late led to a fastbreak layup for Southboro that tied the game. Out of a timeout in the last 40 seconds, Gavin McGann fed Sean Sullivan in the post for the game winning layup that sealed the deal for Holliston with about 10 seconds left. Sullivan and Nick Flannery led the way with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Defensively guards Anthony Faletra and Jack Whitten combined for 7 steals, wreaking havoc in both the 1-3-1 and man-to-man defenses the team employs. Nate Howell played big on the boards, corralling 3 rebounds while also adding an assist and a steal. Up next for the boys is another road game, this time on Feb 12th at the Diamond Middle School in Lexington at 3:30pm.
Boys’ 7th Grade (White)
The Holliston 7th grade boys (White) team had two games over the weekend. The first game was a battle against Hopkinton and Holliston lost a heartbreaker in double overtime 41-38. The team was led by Jesse Brodsky with 13 points, Nathan Varghese with his season high of 12 points, and Max McFadyen finished with 10 points. George Kuttab kicked in 3 to round out the Holliston scoring.
When it came time for the second game the team was spent, overmatched and undermanned and lost 44-33 against a one loss Wayland squad. The team fought hard but couldn’t turn the tide. Jesse Brodsky led the way again with 16 points and Nathan Varghese had 11 points. Brady Hastings played his best all-around game dropping in 4 points with many steals, blocks and rebounds as he was all over the court. Max McFayden chipped in 2 points early before succumbing to an injury. Holliston will host Weston this Sunday at 1:00PM at the Adams Middle School.
Boys’ 6th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 6th grade boys (Red) team traveled to Westford (after a burst pipe at the home court of our opponent!) to face a solid Concord-Carlisle team. The boys started out strong and carried a 10 point lead into halftime. Unfortunately, the opponents were a little too strong and Holliston fell to C-C 50-39 in the end. William Hayes (9 points), Andrew Ferguson (8) and Eli Bogges (8) led the squad offensively. Andrew nearly had a double-double pulling down an astounding 11 rebounds. Ben Furey added 6 and William Hayes and Charlie Bowser each pulled down 4. There were a lot of lessons to pull out of this contest, and the team will get back to work at practice this week before traveling to Natick this weekend to get back on the winning track.
Boys’ 6th Grade (White)
The Holliston 6th grade boys (White) team faced a tough defeat against Westboro, falling 34-8 in a heated battle. Zach Ennis led the charge with a strong performance, grabbing 5 rebounds and anchoring the defense. Despite the loss, the team showed resilience and tenacity, playing a suffocating 2-3 zone in the second half that held Westboro to just 10 points. Liam Forbes also had a standout game, with 2 steals and a highlight-reel breakaway layup that had the crowd on its feet. Next up is a visit from Dover Sherborn to the Adams Middle School at 10:20AM on Sunday.
Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team had a scheduled Bye week. Thanks to other scheduling conflicts, the team will also have next weekend off before they return to action with a game trifecta on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Boys’ 5th Grade (White)
The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) team split 1-1 in a doubleheader, falling to Medway 28-23, and defeating Wellesley 31-20. The team moves to 6-6 on the season. Leading the team in total points was Joseph Lawendi (23), followed by Austin McGuire (16), Devon Doray (7), Logan Kanavich (4), Brody Stanley (2), and Nolan Burke (2). Austin McGuire, Brody Stanley, and Joseph Lawendi lead the team in rebounding. Austin McGuire received the teams Silver Swoosh award for his hustle, focus, and toughness. The team travels to Walpole next week as the regular season winds down.
Boys’ 4th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 4th grade boys (Red) team fell short against a tough Hopkinton team on Sunday morning, 34-21. Hopkinton had a strong first quarter, but Holliston played tough and never let up until the final buzzer. The boys should be proud of how they played against Hopkinton, who is leading the division. Donovan Vail had 4 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Sgarano had 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Logan McDonough had 8 points. Holliston will host another Hopkinton team this Sunday at the Adams Middle School.
Boys’ 4th Grade (White)
The Holliston 4th grade boys (White) team hosted Acushnet-Fairhaven Sunday afternoon at the Adams Middle School. Despite the long ride for Acushnet-Fairhaven, the visiting squad jumped out to an early lead and never looked back winning the game 59-20. Declan Aldredge (9), Owen Jacquet (6), Teddy Miller (3), Ty Looney (2) and Jacob Snow (1) all scored for the Panthers. David Blackerby played tough in the paint and on the boards. The Holliston boys have two games this coming weekend against Hopkinton and Northboro in hopes of getting back into the win column.
Girls’ 8th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 8th grade girls (Red) team took on the Dedham Marauders at the Adams Middle School this weekend. Holliston fell behind early but crawled back into the game with a strong team effort. Seven players scored between 2 and 6 points on the team, however, it wasn’t enough as Dedham pulled away with a 33-25 win. Aaria Prajapati was the spark to help get the Panthers back into the game with 6 points and 7 rebounds. Her tenacity on the defensive end almost led Holliston back to upset Dedham. Callie Dietz nailed another long range three pointer along the way to 5 points. Josie Henson was fierce down low again adding 4 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Campbell Harris led the team with a season high 8 rebounds and Kate McGovern added 2 steals, 2 points and 2 rebounds for Holliston. The 5-4 Panthers will be taking on 6-3 Revere this weekend.
Girls’ 8th Grade (White)
The Holliston 8th grade girls (White) team were beaten by Ashland 34-5. Ella Coughlin notched 3 points and Elena Hoffey had the other 2 points. The scoreboard has not been in Holliston’s favor this season, but the team continues to show improvement and strong mental toughness. The squad was hit with another blow this week when they learned that Ari Carbino suffered a high ankle sprain and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. The team will continue to show up every week, fight hard, and be great teammates to one another no matter what the scoreboard says. They will be taking a trip to Wayland on Sunday for their next matchup.
Girls’ 7th Grade
Game 9 for the Holliston 7th grade girls team was a tight, yet solid win ending at 29-27. With 4:30 left, the Holliston girls came out of a timeout down 27-22. They went on a 7-0 run to finish the game as they played intense defense, took care of the basketball, and hit some key shots from the floor and the foul line. Mia Faletra and Lucy Mancuso led the team’s tempo as they pushed the ball hard to beat Somerville’s D. They each netted 10 points with 2 of Lucy’s points coming as the last points of the game from the foul line to seal the W. Keira Brannigan dominated the boards ripping down 10 rebounds and adding 5 points to the scoreboard. In a game where every basket counted, Ella Lombardo and Drew Andreola each contributed a hoop as well. The team will be away at Dana Barros in Stoughton when they face Easton on Sunday, February 12th at 2:15PM.
Girls’ 6th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 6th grade girls (Red) team hosted Lincoln Sudbury at the Adams Middle School. Once again, the Holliston girls were met with full court pressure and a zone defense. That coupled with Holliston’s relentless defense led to a low scoring first half with Holliston leading 8-4 at the break. The tone didn’t change much in the second half as Holliston’s team defense continues to be their top priority, resulting in Holliston securing a 17-12 win. Lucy Downin led the team with 4 steals. Chelsea Dufault, Brooklyn Lessard and Riya Yedugani each had 5 rebounds. Mackenzie McDonald led the team in offensive categories with 7 points and 2 assists. Next week the girls travel to Millis on Saturday and North Attleboro on Sunday for a couple of regular season rematches.
Girls’ 6th Grade (White)
The Holliston 6th grade girls (White) team played by far its best game of the season. The girls fought a really strong Hopkinton team the entire way, narrowly losing by two points 16-14 when a last second Holliston shot failed to find the bottom of the net. Kaylin Hayes led the girls with 4 points and a number of key rebounds to stop Hopkinton’s momentum on the offensive end. Shamili Potturi poured in 3 points, all in the fourth quarter as the girls mounted their comeback. Riley Whitehead led the defensive effort on the back line of the Holliston zone giving the Hopkinton forwards no room at all on the wing to get into their offensive set. Next Game for the girls will be on 2/11 @ 4:30PM against Medfield at the Adams Middle School
Girls’ 5th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 5th grade girls (Red) team welcomed Acushnet to the Adams Middle School on Sunday. Holliston’s signature defense took center stage as the Panthers held Acushnet to only 4 first half points. The team went on to cruise to a 26-15 victory. Ella Bennett led the team with 13 points to go along with 5 steals and 2 rebounds. Addy McAdams added 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals while helping to hold the taller Acushnet front line at bay. Sophia Teixeira was clutch at the end of the game with multiple made free throws to close out the game on the way to a season high 5 points. Mia Malvey flawlessly ran the point position and contributed 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 rebounds in the win. 6-2 Holliston travels to Southboro this weekend.
Girls’ 5th Grade (White)
The Holliston 5th grade girls (White) team hit the road again on Sunday against Concord-Carlisle. Concord came out strong scoring 12 points in the first half against Holliston’s 3 points. The Holliston defense was led by Jackie Schiavoni in the second and third quarter only letting up 6 more points. Holliston kept themselves in the game moving the ball across the court. Stella Alexis set an unbelievable screen for Danika Do Rosario who capitalized on the open space and made a basket in the third quarter. Holliston tried keeping the momentum up in the fourth quarter and continued taking shots all around the basket, but they just were not sinking. Concord’s number 11 put up another 8 points in the 4th quarter in addition to her previous 13 points to propel Concord – Carlisle to a 31-13 win. The Holliston squad plays at home at the Adams Middle School next Sunday against Ashland.
Girls’ 4th Grade
The Holliston 4th grade girls came out firing on all cylinders taking an 8-6 lead into halftime, but Arlington came on strong in the second half for the 24-16 win. A hot mic from a camera crew caught an unknown Holliston player giving teammates a blistering speech before the game, as the player quoted the great coach Marvyn Korn, “At the end of each day, I want you to look in the mirror and ask yourself, did I do my very best today?” The speech struck a chord with Gwen Rosen, who finished the day with a game high 8 points and 9 rebounds. Kendall Hanlon and Molly Starr each added a point from the foul line, while Brianna Cooper added 6 points and 5 steals before fouling out. Sam Baweja played a strong two-way game for the Panthers who are on the road next weekend at Concord-Carlisle.
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