Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 9

 By: Derek Cordon – System Integration Engineer at Recaps

There is one more group of coaches that I want to introduce – the 8th grade coaches.  These coaches have been with this group of players since they started the travel program in 4th grade.  As exciting as it is to see the players moving on to high school, it is also a little bittersweet that they are leaving the HYBA program.  Both the boys and girls are great kids and have been a true pleasure to be around.  The boys’ team has Tom McHugh as the head coach with Brian McDonald and Jason Dufault as the assistants (both Brian & Jason are also involved with a 6th grade girls’ team as well).  There are 2 teams on the girl’s side.  One team is led by Scott McAdams along with Denis Dietz – these 2 have been coaching together since the beginning.  The other team has been stuck with me, but thankfully first-time coach, Pat Snow has been assisting.  Thank you, 8th grade coaches, for all your years of service teaching these young women and men about basketball, while also helping them to become polite and respectful young adults.       

Were there any games this past weekend?  Why yes, yes there were…

Girls’ 4th Grade

A huge team effort for the Holliston 4th grade girls is what the doctor ordered for a 40-20 win at Concord-Carlisle, which saw 7 different Panthers in the scoring column.  Brianna Cooper led the game in scoring with 13 points, while Gwen Rosen and Ellie Brown each notched 8 points.  On the defensive end, the Panthers were flawless posting a season high 23 steals and 11 blocks.  The defensive guard play of Molly Starr (4 points), Emma Sochanek (4 points), Brown, and Cooper proved to be a massive headache for Concord-Carlisle.  Aarya Sharma (2 points) and Ruby Smith were forces to be reckoned with inside the paint, and Kendall Hanlon (2 points) got to the foul line a game high 4 times.  The 4th grade girls look to continue the winning streak next weekend on the road against Lexington. 

Girls’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade girls (Red) team travelled to Southboro for this past weekend’s game.  The team started out on fire jumping out to a quick 8-2 lead.  Southboro climbed back into the game with excellent help defense stalling multiple Holliston drives.  The Panthers had multiple chances to win the game late, but their shots rolled in and out.  Southboro limped away with a tight 16-15 win.  Holliston was led by guard Avery Palma who finished with 4 points and 3 rebounds.  Lindsey Haynes added 2 points and 3 rebounds from the power forward spot.  Audrey Mancuso added 2 points and 2 rebounds.  6-3 Holliston takes on 7-2 Medway in a rematch of a game earlier this season. 

Girls’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade girls (White) team played Ashland at home this week.  The game was once again a nail biter.  Holliston trailed the first two quarters by 2 baskets. The team worked hard through offense and defense.  Reese Leverone and Aahana Kulkarni woke up the offense in the second half both with 2 steals and a basket.  Anna Walsh was crucial in the fourth quarter stopping Ashland’s potential fast break layups and stealing the ball twice.  Both teams were in foul trouble by the fourth quarter, only proving these players were fighting hard for the win.  Holliston fell short in the end by two points losing 22-20.  Holliston hosts Arlington (White) next weekend for their final home game of the regular season.

Girls’ 6th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 6th grade girls (Red) team had a busy weekend with road games against Millis and North Attleboro.  Saturday, they made the short trip to Millis to face a familiar opponent, having played this team last year and earlier this season.  The squads are evenly matched and the matchup between Maddie Sullivan and her cousin Shannon Rand always adds to the excitement.  As expected, the game was very close with a tie score at the end of the first quarter and at halftime.  In the second half, Millis kicked up their aggressive play a notch, started getting the majority of rebounds and loose balls, and pulled away for a 24-17 win, and leaving Emma Arsenault with a huge black eye.  Mackenzie McDonald led the team in almost all categories with 6 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocked shots.  Sedona Cicciarella pulled down 5 rebounds and had 2 blocked shots, Emerson Harrington had 2 assists, and Riya Yedugani scored 4 points.  The girls had no choice but to rebound from the disappointing loss quickly as their Sunday matchup included an unusually early start time.

For a team that prides themselves on their tenacious team defense, it seemed that the early morning tip time led to a sluggish start as North Attleboro was up 8-2 three minutes into the game.  That said, the group came to life and began playing the defense they are known for, not allowing anymore first quarter points, 2 points in the second quarter and a total of 6 points in the second half.  Hand in hand with solid team defense was overall aggressive play as one player after another dove to the floor for loose balls, went after every rebound, and tied up the North Attleboro players again and again.  Emma Arsenault led the charge with a breakout game and a huge physical presence under the basket.  Some have suggested that her black eye was an additional intimidation factor but with or without the intimidating look, she played fantastic.  Emma had 7 rebounds, and Olivia Kerchner and Chelsea Dufault had 4 each.  Olivia Kerchner led in scoring with 6 points, Lucy Downin had 4 points and Mackenzie McDonald had 3 as the team secured a 19-16 win.  The girls plan to enjoy the holiday weekend with a bye week as they rest up for the final stretch of the season.

Girls’ 6th Grade (White)

The Holliston 6th grade girls (White) team had another hard fought but tough loss against a well-rounded Medfield team 25-2.  The Holliston girls were led by Olivia Yang at point guard playing strong defense and contributing several key steals.  Sage Passier drove the Holliston Hoops transition offense, pushing the ball up the court and creating several opportunities on the offensive end. Finally, Maria Burke pulled down several key rebounds, often limiting the Medfield team to only one shot on the offensive end of the floor.  Next up for the Holliston squad is a visit from Westwood at the Adams Middle School at 12:40.

Girls’ 7th Grade

Game 10 for the Holliston 7th grade girls team yielded a 28-24 win. This was a fun one to watch as the team worked together very well. Gianna Sgarano, Lucy Mancuso, and Mia Faletra all had key fourth quarter points to break a 22-22 tie. Lucy crushed the court with her hard-earned steals, a whopping 11 to be exact, and she led the team’s points with a grand total of 14. Mia netted 6 points with a sweet 3-pointer in that count. Gianna worked hard and came up with 8 rebounds to lead the team on the boards. The team plays a “rise and shine” game on Sunday, February 19th at 8:15am against Dighton-Rehobeth at Dighton Middle School.

Girls’ 8th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 8th grade girls (Red) team welcomed 6-3 Revere to the Adams Middle School on Saturday.  The Panthers came out ready to play despite losing multiple players to injuries.  The game was a back-and-forth battle between two evenly matched rosters.  Revere took a 6 point lead in the 4th quarter, but Holliston crawled back into the game with multiple steals in their full court press.   With the game tied, Grace Gorham came up with a loose ball with 6 seconds left, drove the length of the court, and was fouled.  Gorham calmly walked to the line and hit the 1st of 2 free throws securing the 31-30 win for the Panthers.  The victory was truly a team effort with all players contributing.  Josie Henson led the team with 9 points and 8 rebounds en route to another stellar performance.  Grace Gorham scored 7 points and filled the box score with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals.  Hadley McAdams played excellent perimeter defense and contributed with 2 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and a block.  Campbell Harris controlled the paint with 7 points and 7 rebounds.  Callie Dietz kept the ball moving from the point forward spot and added a season high 5 rebounds to go along with 4 points.  6-4 Holliston is on a bye this coming weekend.

Girls’ 8th Grade (White)

The Holliston 8th grade girls (White) team lost to Wayland 34-2.  Ella Coughlin and Addie Snow each made a free throw to account for the team’s scoring.  The scoreboard doesn’t tell the whole story about this game – Holliston switched back and forth between man-to-man defense and zone defense keeping the Wayland offense off balance and limiting them to only 10 points in the second half.  Holliston will welcome Needham to the Adams Middle School on Sunday afternoon.  

Boys’ 4th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 4th grade boys (Red) team had a big win against a tough Hopkinton team on Sunday morning, 28-27. Coming into the game, Holliston was 0-3 against Hopkinton teams this season, which made their win even more exciting. Holliston got off to a hot start and played hard throughout, withstanding a Hopkinton run in the second half. Every player on the team contributed to the win in some way, with big rebounds, steals and tough defense. Ryan Baker led Holliston with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Logan McDonough had 6 points and 4 steals. Joe Sgarano and Cole Dennison hit clutch baskets at the end of the game to seal the win. Holliston will host Medway on Sunday afternoon at the Adams Middle School. 

Boys’ 4th Grade (White)

This past weekend the Holliston 4th grade boys (White) team squared off in two games making for a busy weekend.   Saturday the boys faced off against a tough Hopkinton team at home losing 31-16.  Declan Aldredge led the scoring effort for the Panthers with 12 while Owen Jacquet chipped in with 4 points.  Teddy Miller and Jacob Snow played tough defense against the Hillers preventing the lead to be even more widespread than it was.  Tommy Ogoreuc and Bauer Black each showed great hustle in the effort.

Sunday afternoon the boys jumped back on the saddle and headed to Northboro looking for a much-needed win.  Each team went basket for basket thru the first quarter and then the Panthers were able to jump out to a lead and hold back Northboro for a huge win on the road 27-22.  Declan Aldredge (15), Ty Looney (6), Owen Jacquet (4) all scored for the Panthers.  David Blackerby hit for one basket and controlled the boards.  Stellar defense from Teddy Miller and Aryan Simhadri helped seal the win for the Holliston team.  Next week the squad will travel to Milford in hopes of making it two wins in a row.

Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team had a scheduled Bye week.  They return to action with a game trifecta on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Boys’ 5th Grade (White)

The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) team defeated Walpole 26-11 to move to 7-6 on the season.  Leading the team in rebounds was Austin McGuire (10), followed by Logan Kanavich (5), Laksh Khatri (5), Jakai Antoine (5), Brody Stanley (4), Joseph Lawendi (3), Devon Doray (2), and Dylan Perrett (2).  McGuire also led the team in points (8), followed by Joseph Lawendi (6), Devon Doray (6), Logan Kanavich (2), Brody Stanley (2), & Laksh Khatri (2).  Logan Kanavich was awarded the team’s “Silver Swoosh” for his hustle and timely scoring.  With two games left in the season and sitting at second place in the divisional standing, the Panthers travel to North Quincy next Sunday. 

Boys’ 6th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 6th grade boys (Red) team traveled to Natick this past weekend and lost a tough one 37-31.  The game was winnable and the loss a little tough for them to take, but it was the boys first time playing a zone defense (1-2-2) and they did a great job with it.  We look forward to building on this as we head into the playoffs and in the future.  Charlie Bowser was the star of the game with 6 points, 8 rebounds and a steal.  Marcus Burian and Eli Boggess also contributed 6 points, and Andrew Ferguson (4), William Hayes (4), Jack Firmani (3) and Ben Furey (2) rounded out the scoring attack.  The boys have a lot of basketball over the next week starting with a double header this weekend when they travel to Arlington on Saturday and Wellesley on Sunday.  Then the team will take part in the Mass Premier tournament in Foxboro over vacation week.  

Boys’ 6th Grade (White)

The Holliston 6th grade boys (White) team faced a tough challenge against the Dover-Sherborn Raiders in their latest game, ultimately falling 30-17. Despite the loss, the team showed impressive scoring depth with 7 different players contributing to the score. James Negri put in a great performance, playing both guard and forward positions with 4 rebounds, 2 jump balls, and a constant defensive effort throughout the game. The forwards, Tristan Snyder, Nick DiPippo, and Charlie Peterson, also played tough basketball against a formidable center, pulling down 5 rebounds each. The Panthers never let up on their full court defense, holding the Raiders to only 2 points in the fourth quarter. This was an exciting display of teamwork and determination from the Holliston Panthers, who are continuing to make strides and impress on the court.  The team will travel to Northboro on Sunday for their next game.

Boys’ 7th Grade (Red)

The Holliston 7th grade boys (Red) team lost a tough road game against Lexington, 53-38.  Offense was tough to come by, with Sean Sullivan leading the way with 8 points on 4-4 shooting.  Connor McDonough scored 6 points to go with 2 assists, and Jack Whitten stuck a big buzzer-beating three pointer to keep it close for Holliston.  The boys look to get back to their winning ways with another road game up north, this time at Watertown Middle School at 12:15pm on Sunday the 19th.

Boys’ 7th Grade (White)

The Holliston 7th grade boys (White) team succumbed to an undefeated Weston team 50-17.  Holliston had trouble breaking Weston’s 1-2-2 press, which they played much of the game.  Jesse Brodsky had 10 points, Brady Hastings had 3 points, George Kuttab had 3 points, and Bradyn Cotting had 1 point to account for the scoring.  The team is very much looking forward to putting this game behind them and rounding out their season with 2 strong games vs. Natick and Concord-Carlisle.

Boys’ 8th Grade

The Holliston 8th grade boys team traveled to Milford on Super Bowl Sunday.  The game had only one official who may have had Super Bowl plans as very few calls were made which led to a physical, aggressive game.  Holliston came out strong working together with assists on each of their baskets in the first quarter to jump out to an 11-9 lead.  Milford stormed back in the second quarter and built a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter.  Holliston fought back with a press defense to chip away at the lead.  The game remained close throughout.  Milford continued to play aggressive, but Holliston didn’t back down as Ben Dufault found Jack McDonald for a backdoor layup and Henry Hayes connected on two 3-pointers to give Holliston a 38-33 lead after three quarters.  The boys kept their composure as the game continued to be extremely physical leading to an ejection of a Milford player.  Jack McDonald was at the free throw line for the technical foul and put Holliston up by 3 points with under a minute remaining in the game.  Milford cut the lead to one point then had the ball with under 10 seconds left.  Milford shot the ball with just a few second remaining, but Holliston defended the attempt well with a quick double team and contested the shot which rolled off the rim.  Holliston secured the rebound and won the game 46-45.  Ethan Suhajda led Holliston with 16 points, Jack McDonald scored 14 points, and Cal Leverone added 8 points.  The 8th grade boys improved to 7-4 and clinched their division with the win.  The 8th grade boys play their final regular season game in Framingham on Feb. 18th.


Derek Cordon