Holliston Youth Basketball – Week 11
By: Derek Cordon – Retired HYBA Board Member and Coach (and Recaps)
The job title this week actually belongs to me. Along with Michelle Friedman and Tom & Andrea McHugh, I am also in my last season with HYBA. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and had the privilege to work with a lot of great coaches and players. Time does fly when you’re having fun.
When I was checking off the boxes and making sure that I had thanked everyone that needed to be thanked throughout the season, my Editor made a profound statement to me. She said, “Dad, don’t you think you should thank all of the players?” She is a tough boss to work for, but she is right. Not only do the players need to be thanked but so do the parents. Thank you, players and parents, for going to every practice. For driving to and playing in every home or away game. For supporting one another. For showing up. Holliston Youth Basketball is what it is today because of all of you – so thank you.
The regular season is over – how did the last games go?
Girls’ 4th Grade
It was a hotly contested game to close out the regular season for the Holliston 4th grade girls’ team. The Panthers were down 4 points entering the 4th quarter, but Medfield pulled away at the end for the 22-12 win. Brianna Cooper led the panthers with 6 points and 5 steals, while Gwen Rosen, Kendal Hanlon, and Emma Sochanek each contributed a bucket on the scoring attack. Aarya Sharma controlled the paint with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks and Rosen notched 6 boards. The 4th grade Holliston girls’ team will be getting their feet wet for the first time in the playoffs next week. Despite the lack of playoff experience, the team looks to make a deep playoff run.
Girls’ 5th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 5th grade girls (Red) team had multiple games over the weekend. In the first game, the team took on the Mansfield Hornets at Mass Premier Courts. Holliston took an early lead, but the Hornets managed to sneak out 10 fourth quarter points on the way to a 27-22 win. It was a balanced offensive effort for the Panthers with Chole Roche, Emily Spurway and Lindsay Haynes each scoring 2 points. Louisa Bigelow had a monster game with 4 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 assists. Mia Malvey also filled out the scorebook with 4 points, 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds. Avery Palma led the team with 6 points and added 4 steals and 3 rebounds.
In the second contest Holliston travelled to Blackstone to take on Millville on Sunday. Holliston came out red hot jumping out to a big early lead. The Panthers played excellent team defense despite the multiple screens Millville set throughout the day. Holliston pulled away with a 26-11 win to finish the season at 7-5. The team was led in scoring by Ella Bennett who had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Addy McAdams had another strong all-around game with 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Avery Palma also dropped 6 points and cleaned the glass with 6 rebounds. Mia Malvey ran point and added 2 points to go along with 6 rebounds, 3 steals and an assist. Louisa Bigelow and Audrey Mancuso each ripped 5 rebounds and controlled the defensive end of the court. Holliston takes on 10-2 Wellesley in a 1st round playoff battle this week.
Girls’ 5th Grade (White)
The Holliston 5th grade girls (White) team faced Hopkinton once again for the final regular season game. Players and fans anticipated a close game after Holliston’s one point win against Hopkinton in the first game of the season. Immediately after tipoff Anna Walsh drove through defenders for a layup and sent a message that Holliston was there to win. It was obvious the Holliston team had worked on spreading the offense. Aahana Kulkarni took advantage of the space on the court to drive the lanes and eventually drew a foul. She capitalized on the moment making one of the two free throws. Reese Leverone also made her signature offensive rebound basket in the first quarter. Kennedy Black and Lindsay Walsh contributed to defensive rebounds keeping Hopkinton from getting second chance baskets. By the end of the first half, Holliston was controlling the tempo leading the game 17-11. But Hopkinton showed resilience. They continued to run their signature offensive play during the third quarter jamming up Holliston’s defense on screens allowing Hopkinton’s number 33 to score. Gwen Miranda quickly answered with a basket of her own. Jackie Shiavoni’s aggressive defense created 3 turnovers keeping Hopkinton on their toes. In the fourth quarter Hopkinton applied pressure to Holliston’s offense tiring the team out. Stella Alexis came off the bench energized. She caused a steal and contributed 4 points in the last quarter. Still, Hopkinton’s number 33 was closing the gap scoring another 5 points. Holliston once again depended on their stellar defense and pressed Hopkinton the last two minutes of the game. Danika Do Rosario had back-to-back steals and layups to end the game 31-27 Holliston. Holliston plays in the first playoff round against Norwood on Friday night.
Girls’ 6th Grade (Red)
This week the Holliston 6th grade girls (Red) team took on a tough Concord-Carlisle team on the road. Concord-Carlisle opened the game with a full court press with no intentions of taking it off. The press created some initial challenges, but in time the girls demonstrated what they have been practicing all year and began to break the press with quick, deliberate passes. The game was back and forth with Concord- Carlisle leading 13-12 at the half. The girls regrouped at halftime and focused on defense. Effective help under the basket and a successful full court press of their own led to Holliston outscoring their opponent 12-2 in the third quarter. Concord-Carlisle didn’t go away completely, shrinking the Holliston lead to 4 points with 3 minutes left but the defense held up for a 27-21 win. Riya Yedugani led the team in scoring with 10 points and Chelsea Dufault in rebounds with 9, but the credit goes to the entire team as they played aggressive team defense, dove for every loose ball, and simply wanted the game more than their opponent. By far, it’s the best the team has played all year. Playoff seeds just came out and the girls will travel to Attleboro to take on Westwood on Saturday.
Girls’ 6th Grade (White)
The Holliston 6th grade girls (White) team played one of their best games of the season, narrowly falling to a tough and aggressive Milford team 26-15. Shamili Potturi led the squad in scoring with over half of Holliston’s points, her highest output of the season. Violet Polny was a force on the boards and dominant in the middle of the key for the girls. Diya Simjadri led the team’s defense playing strong on the wing and creating several fast break opportunities on the offensive end. Holliston will begin their playoff run on Saturday @ 1PM against Norwood at the Dana Barros Basketball Center
Girls’ 7th Grade
The regular season finale for the Holliston 7th grade girls’ team was a fantastic win against top ranked Bellingham. Holliston celebrated when the clock hit 0:00 with a score of 20 -17. The baskets were well-earned including two sweet 3-pointers by point guard Mia Faletra. A fast break answer by Lily Ingoldsby to start the fourth quarter set the tempo for the team to outpace their opponent to the finish. Lucy Mancuso’s relentless defense held Bellingham’s star player to only 2 points. Backing her up was the fierce Gianna Sgarano and Corinne Bailey who fought for jump balls and rebounds the whole game. A complete team effort to make this win possible, no doubt. All the players and coaches thank their fans for their support this regular season and invite you to stay tuned and to come cheer them on in the playoffs. A special thanks goes out to the multiple parents and brothers (Anthony and Nathan) who have helped with the scoreboard this season at home. The girls open up at 10:30 on Saturday morning at Dana Barros against Brookline. It should be a close one as the teams battled during the regular season with Holliston winning by 2 points in double overtime.
Girls’ 8th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 8th grade girls (Red) team had a double header on Sunday. In the first game Holliston played at Arlington. The team was down to 6 active players and fought hard, but couldn’t overcome their opponent. Holliston dropped the contest 33-20. The team rebounded excellently but shots weren’t falling for the Panthers. Callie Dietz led the team with 7 points including a long range 3 pointer to go along with a season high 6 rebounds. Kate McGovern was red hot with her shooting finishing with 6 points. Adrianna Bulmer played phenomenal defense with a season high 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Josie Henson added 2 points and 11 rebounds. Campbell Harris ripped 11 rebounds to go along with 3 points and Grace Gorham led the team with 3 steals in addition to 3 rebounds, 2 points and a block.
In the back end of the doubleheader Holliston travelled to Watertown to take on the Raiders. Watertown jumped out to a quick 8-2 first quarter lead on the road weary Panthers. Holliston didn’t give up and managed to tie the game up at the end of regulation 23-23 after giving up only 2 fourth quarter points. Holliston had multiple chances to pull away with the win but their shots rolled off the rim. The Raiders squeaked away with a 27-23 overtime win. Campbell Harris led the team with 8 points including 6 2nd half free throws. Josie Henson added 7 points including a thrilling buzzer beating 3 pointer to finish out the 1st half. Grace Gorham had 6 points including a deep 3 pointer in the 3rd quarter. Holliston looks for redemption as they take on Westboro in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Girls’ 8th Grade (White)
The Holliston 8th grade girls (White) team took a drive to Dover Sherborn for their regular season finale and came up short 34-18. It was a tale of two halves for Holliston. They found themselves down 18-2 at the midway point but it didn’t stop the team’s willingness to fight. They wound up going basket for basket with DS and both teams scored 16 points each in the second half. Holliston welcomed back Ari Carbino from a foot injury, and she scored 8 points. Sasha Wang had by far her best game of the season ripping down rebounds to go along with her season high 8 points. Kadence Lynch ran the point guard position and dropped in a bucket to close out the scoring. Holliston is hoping to build off of the momentum from the intensity they showed in the second half and bring it to their playoff game on Saturday with a match up against Arlington.
Boys’ 4th Grade (Red & White)
The Holliston 4th grade boys’ teams squared off in a highly anticipated matchup on Sunday morning at the Adams Middle School. The teams had identical records coming into the game. Both teams played hard throughout, but ultimately Holliston Red pulled away in the second half for a 27-19 victory. Joe Sgarano led Holliston Red with 8 points and Logan McDonough scored 7. Every player on Holliston Red contributed to the win, with each player grabbing at least one rebound. Owen Jacquet led Holliston White with 8 points and Teddy Miller scored 6. Both teams are excited to make their playoff debuts this week. Holliston Red is playing Canton on Wednesday night in Stoughton. Holliston White is playing Arlington on Saturday morning in Watertown.
Boys’ 5th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) team brought its smothering defense into full force to win the final game of the regular season 27-9. Despite being both shorthanded and banged up, Holliston controlled the physical game from the first tip off. Gavin Bausch and Nick Gorham were the top scorers, tallying 9 and 6 points respectively. Ryan Magoon and Nathan Eppinger applied relentless defense and rebounding while each contributing 4 points. Simon Collins grabbed a rebound and provided energy and defense at critical times. Lastly, Dylan Dimmick, John Gebski and Lincoln Daniels provided the tough work in the paint against a very tall opponent, grabbing a combined 12 rebounds. Overall, the team ended its season on an upward swing and is ready and excited for the playoffs to kick off!
Boys’ 5th Grade (White)
The Holliston 5th grade boys (White) team capped off its regular season with a close 31-25 loss to Medway (blue) to finish the regular season with a record of 8-7. Leading the team with rebounds were Laksh Khatri and Brody Stanley with 8 apiece, followed by Jospeh Lawendi (7), Jakai Antoine (4), Dylan Perrett (2), Logan Kanavich (1), and Austin McGuire (1). Leading the team in scoring were Joseph Lawendi with 8 points followed by Jakai Antoine (7), Brody Stanley (4), Noah Keller (2), Dylan Perrett (2), and Laksh Khatri (2). The team awaits the outcome of league seeding and their opponent for the first round of playoffs which begin March 1st.
Boys’ 6th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 6th grade boys (Red) team finished the regular season with a huge 54-44 upset win over Newton. In pregame warmups, the wide-eyed boys asked the coaches to check birth certificates when they saw the size of our opponents. Instead of letting the size deter them, however, they came out and played great team offense and ferocious defense to come away with the W. Offensively, Ben Furey led all scorers with 12 points, followed by Quinn McErlean and Eli Boggess with 11 and 10, respectively. Jack Firmani (7), William Hayes (6), Andrew Ferguson (3), Charlie Bowser (3) and Marcus Burian (2) rounded out the scoring. On the defensive side, Sam Israel (6 rebounds and a block) and Chris Baker did a great job anchoring our 1-2-2 zone, closing out the shooter and collapsing back when appropriate to seal up the key. Charlie Bowser had 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal and Eli Boggess was tenacious keeping their big guys in check. The most important part, however, was that everyone played as a team and that created the opportunities. This was a big confidence booster heading into the playoffs.
Boys’ 6th Grade (White)
In a stunning turnaround from their season opener, the Holliston 6th grade boys (White) team delivered a resounding defeat to Dover-Sherborn (Raiders), winning by a score of 34-7 in their last regular season home game. The boys played an aggressive, full-court defense that completely shut down the opponent’s scoring opportunities, allowing only 2 points in the first half. Along with rebounding and an electric transition offense, they showcased the progress the team made this season. Ben Rebello’s impressive 8 rebounds, Achyut Pingali’s tenacious defense against the Raiders’ leading scorer, and Zach Ennis’s beautiful transition layup in the third quarter were notable highlights. The team continued to get solid play from their point guard, Cameron Baker (10 points), along with their Center, Tristan Snyder (12 points, 12 rebounds). It can’t be ignored the effort, intensity, and grit that the team gets from Charlie Peterson, James Negri, and Liam Forbes. The Panthers are poised to continue their streak against Bellingham next Saturday in the first round of the Metrowest playoffs.
Boys’ 7th Grade (Red)
The Holliston 7th grade boys (Red) team lost to a very talented and top ranked Bedford squad, 54-24. Nick Flannery led the team with 13 points and 6 rebounds, despite not playing very much in the first half due to foul trouble. Grayden Vaughn chipped in 4 points, and Connor McDonough did a little bit of everything, grabbing 4 rebounds and adding a particularly sweet assist. With the home games now over, the coaches would like to send a special shout out to the multiple parents and the sister (Mia) who have helped with the scoreboard and scorebook this season at Adams. Next up for the boys will be a trip to the playoffs where they are fired up to regain their winning ways. The boys will open at Dana Barros against Norwood on Friday night at 5:15.
Boys’ 7th Grade (White)
For the Holliston 7th grade boys (White) team, the last game was a grind and quite a low scoring affair. Concord-Carlisle won the contest 20-16. After a great season, Nathan Varghese suffered a season ending knee injury – his Holliston teammates are rooting for a speedy recovery for their fallen teammate. Holliston was led in scoring by Will Dietrich with 12 points, and 2 points apiece from Max McFadyen and Jesse Brodsky. Holliston is the 6th seed in their bracket and hope to advance with a win over Canton on Saturday to keep their season alive.
Boys’ 8th Grade
The Holliston 8th grade boys’ team did not have a game this past weekend. But they are ready to make their playoff run starting with a Saturday matchup against Franklin.