Holliston Youth Travel Basketball Week 3 recaps

All 19 teams were on the court this week with many teams having back-to-back games over the weekend.  No reports of our players wanting to rest the back end of the double headers.  The teams saw some big wins, close losses and lots of action with a couple of teams still riding undefeated seasons.

Now…..Let’s Go Panthers!

4th Grade Boys (White) 

The Holliston 4th grade boys (white) hosted their first home game against a very good Wellesley (White) team on Saturday.   Despite losing 46–17, it was a hard-fought game and the best offensive game of the year thus far.  Ball handling, setting picks, and passing have greatly improved as Holliston was able to get good shots most of the possessions.

Grady Gum, Andrew Levasseur, and Darian Harris led Holliston in scoring with 4 pts each, while Tyler Crean added in 3 pts and Ayen Hemaratne added 2 pts.  Once again, Cade Burke played great defense and grabbed multiple rebounds.  Holliston is playing hard, improving each game, and looking forward to getting back after it against Somerville (Red) on Saturday 1/6 at 3pm for another home game. 

 4th Grade Boys (Red) 

A shorthanded Holliston 4th grade boys (red) team played two very tough games this past weekend. First the Panthers took on Somerville in a Saturday afternoon matchup at home. Somerville jumped out to an early lead that turned out to be insurmountable as some very good-looking shots just wouldn’t fall for Holliston. Offensively, Ronan Ojha led the team with 4 hard earned points. He ran the offense like a wiz, flying off screens set by Yamori Richardson and Trevor Lyskowski and driving hard to the basket all game. He also picked up 3 rebounds along the way. Emerson Vail also got 3 hard earned points and Neel Lele got his first field goal of the season. Konnor d’Anjou led all rebounders with 7 followed by Sam Wagner and Yamori Richardson with 4 each. Holliston fell to Somerville 36-17. Early the next morning, the boys took to the road for an early morning game against Southboro. Southboro’s size and experience turned out to be too much for the traveling Panthers as they just could not get anything going offensively and lost the contest. Ronan Ojha was again the story leading all scorers and rebounders with 4 each. Scoring was rounded out by a pair of free throws made by Konnor d’Anjou. George Taylor also chipped in with 3 rebounds and some nifty passes. The boys next play on January 7th, home, vs. Newton where they look to capture their first win.

5th Grade Boys (Red) 

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) lost a hard-fought game at Medfield on Sunday, 34-21.  Holliston took 14 more shots than Medfield but ultimately had some tough shooting luck on the day.  The team also hustled back and played fantastic defense, creating 17 steals and 8 blocks.  However, the size of Medfield really showed on the boards, as Medfield out-rebounded Holliston by 30.  Ty Looney had a standout day, leading the team in points (8) and rebounds (6).   Teddy Miller and Timmy Klaus each added buckets with 7 and 4 points, respectively.  Anderson Langlois and Paul Antony added free throws as well.    The team will take a break over the holidays and then head to Norwood for their next game in the new year.  

5th Grade Boys (White) 

The Holliston 5th Grade Boys team (White) got their third win of the season on Sunday afternoon at home against Watertown 42-33. Holliston got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 14-6 lead after the first quarter. Watertown made a comeback in the second quarter to take a 20-18 lead at halftime. Holliston made a second half comeback with strong defense, holding Watertown to just 5 points in the 4th quarter to seal the win. It was a great team win, with six Holliston players scoring baskets and 7 grabbing at least one rebound. Owen Jacquet scored 9 points and had 5 rebounds. David Blackerby had 7 rebounds. Austin Cordero had 4 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal. Joe Sgarano had 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal. Cooper Lisi scored a clutch basket in the third quarter. Holliston looks to keep their winning streak alive on January 7 against Waltham at Adams Middle School. 

6th Grade Boys (Red) 

A short-handed Holliston 6th Grade Boys Red team registered their third win of the season with an incredibly tight 37-36 win over Southboro (white).  Gavin Bausch led all scorers with 12 points, while Joseph Lawendi and Austin McGuire each added 8 points.  It was a back-and-forth affair with Holliston coming back from a 5-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter.  Holliston is now 3-0 and faces Medway after the holiday break (1/7).

6th Grade Boys (White) 

The Holliston 6th grade boys (white) travel team ended 2023 with a win by defeating Blackstone/Millville 30-22 improving their season record to 2-4.  Leading the team in rebounds was Laksh Khatri (10) followed by Lincoln Daniels (5), Leo Wagner (4), John Gebski (3), Logan Kanavich (2), Micah Baltisoto (2), Kirill Stotski (2), and Noah Keller (1). The Panthers saw 6 players score with Leo Wagner leading the way with 11 points.  Leo DeFazio had a breakout game netting 6 points, followed by Laksh Khatri (5), Logan Kanavich (4), Lincoln Daniels (2), and John Gebski (2).  Leo Wagner was awarded the teams “Silver Swoosh” award for his decision making, hustle, and aggressive play.  The team returns to start the new year at home against Medway on January 4th at 4:15 pm.  

7th Grade Boys (Red)

After a hot 5-0 start (including the Tap-Off Tournament), the 7th Grade Boys (Red) were served some holiday humble pie this weekend with a pair of losses in a weekend double-header.  A wise man said you don’t lose, you win or learn.  And we will learn from these two exciting games.

On Saturday, we faced a formidable Milton team who certainly gave us our best matchup yet.  It was close all game and had a very exciting fourth quarter and final minute as down 3, we were led to fouling to try to get the ball back for a last-minute shot.  Ultimately, we lost 42-37.  Quinn McErlean was amazing on offense and led all scorers with 11 points.  William Hayes followed with 7, but the highlight was seeing 9 out of the 10 suited players getting in on the scoring action.  

On Sunday, we had a rematch against Westborough, a team we see every year and always brings an exciting game.  After a hot start we had a hard time breaking their intense full court press, allowing them back into the game.  In the end, we fell 41-35.  William Hayes led all scorers with 10 points, followed by Quinn McErlean (8), Ben Furey and Charlie Bowser (6 each), Jack Firmani (3) and Eli Boggess (2).  A positive in the game was seeing 9 made free throws, something we’ve been trying to focus on all season.  After the holiday break we’ll look to get back to winning ways against a tough Concord Carlisle team.  

7th Grade Boys (White)

In an impressive showcase of effort and defensive intensity, the Holliston Panthers (7th Grade Boys White) clinched a strong 37-14 victory in their away game against Hopkinton on 12/17.  Right from the first quarter, Liam Forbes energized the team with two flawless jump shots, setting a high bar for the game. Moving into the third quarter, Zach Ennis took center stage with dynamic transition scoring, contributing four key points that further solidified the Panthers’ lead. Bringing fans to their feet was a pick-and-roll executed by Nick DiPippo and Aaron Javier, a testament to the team’s growing synergy. Throughout the game, the Panthers’ defense was relentless, reflecting their overall effort and intensity, key factors in their successful start to the season. As the team heads into a well-deserved break, they can take pride in their spirited performance and the strong foundation they’ve built for the season ahead.

8th Grade Boys (Red)

The Holliston 8th Grade Red team lost 48-36 this past Sunday to an overpowering Milton team.  The boys kept it close for the first three quarters, but Milton’s size and strength were too much for the scrappy Holliston squad. Forward Nick Flannery led the scoring with 13 points, followed by point guard Gavin McGann with six points, along with a rebound, an assist, a steal, and a three pointer from NBA range.  Point guard Anthony Faletra stuffed the stat sheet in all sorts of ways, contributing with three points, six rebounds, four steals, and an assist.  The boys are off for Winter Break but will resume their season in a tournament in Connecticut on the weekend of January 6th.

8th Grade Boys (White)

The Holliston 8th Grade Boys White Team (1-1) lost their first road game of the season at

Westborough by a score of 52-21. Colin Doherty led Holliston with 9 points. Brady Hastings

and Will Dietrich each chipped in 4 points. Aiden Brauer was a great spark off the bench with 3

points. Bradyn Cotting, Aden Khoury, Bior Ayuen, and Jake Rosenfeld played excellent defense

throughout the game. Alex Cataldo and Leo Pasquariello battled on the boards against a tall

and athletic Westborough team. After a brief holiday break, Holliston will get back on the

practice court to prepare for their next game on January 7th , when they host Concord-Carlisle.

4th Grade Girls (Red) 

The 4th Grade Girls (Red) team fell to a very talented Walpole squad this week. Despite the loss, the girls played hard! Millie Guellnitz and Bella DiPippo were fierce rebounders against a much taller team! Sonia Szabatura and Lennon King added points for the team. Maggie Mulik, Izzy Bartels, and Mia Intinarelli also played tough and battled out there.  And a very special shoutout goes to Olivia Wing and Richa Yedugani for coming out to play with the team while some players were out this week! And thanks to Coach Emily Wing for joining us on the bench! The girls are excited to get back in the gym this week before the holiday break.

4th Grade Girls (White) 

Holliston’s 4th grade girls worked very hard, but unfortunately, lost to Medway on Sunday.  The entire team hustled and everyone pushed themselves, but like the last game, shots were just not falling.  Katelyn Klein drove to the basket numerous times and her dribbling skills certainly shined.  Amelia Parker, Olive Bennett and Richa Yedugani all stayed determined with their shooting and together put up 7 points(Amelia-2 points, Olive-4 points & Richa-1 foul shot). Vera Finn’s positivity throughout the game helped keep moral elevated.  Olivia Wing and Olivia Darling’s aggressive and tight defense aided in slowing Medway down and made it difficult for them to find open passes.  Nora Corcoran and Willa Drummey both demonstrated excellent rebounding skills and each player also had several steals during the game.  Another tough loss for the team, but positive attitudes and continuing to work hard will keep this team going!

5th Grade Girls (Red)

Milton 23, Holliston 22.  If games were solely won by rebounds and steals Holliston would have been in the W column today. Milton cast doubt on our ability to hold our own, leading the first half by over 11 points.  Holliston came out in the second half asking Milton to step aside by outscoring 2:1 and gaining over 13+ rebounds. Charley Marcuard set up Holliston by gaining multiple steals in the 3rd quarter which paved the way for a strong team performance from all. Ellie Brown’s best game of the season boosted 10 points and 3 rebounds.  This key point guard continuously sees plays before they materialize, communicating well with the power forwards.  Gwen Rosen used their speed and quick reflexes by adding a total of 8 points and 5 rebounds, unfortunately their 4th quarter blitz was cut short by fouling out mid-4th quarter. Other key highlights were Becca Lindros’s fast and solid defensive skills and Kendall Hanlon’s 4 points and 2 rebounds. This is the team to watch, they will rest over the holidays and be back scratching for a win on 7 January v. Medway. 

5th Grade Girls (White)

The 5th Grade Girls (White) lost to Natick 32 -11 and despite the score, the girls fought hard for every ball and played to the last whistle.  Ryckie Reichheld led the game with 6 rebounds while Mary Toohey and Brooke Sawicki had a combined 6 steals.  Reichheld made it her job to crash the boards for every rebound, while Toohey and Sawicki were a nuisance on the defensive end.  The Panthers scoring was once again spread out with Emma Sochanek (4), Emma Whitehead (4), Ailla Howden (2), and Brianna Cooper (2) all scoring baskets.  Sochanek had the shot of the game on a 12-foot fadeaway jump shot

in the 3rd quarter.  The team will be on the road in Brookline after the New Year. 

6th Grade Girls (Red)

The 6th grade girls (red) team hosted 2-0 Blackstone-Millville this past Sunday.  Slow starts had been the norm for the team, however, this week they came out of the gates flying. It could have been the anticipated 2-week break or maybe all the holiday treats, but the Panthers came ready to play.  The team hopped out to a quick 12-0 lead with 2 long jump shots by Aahana Kulkarni.  Blackstone struggled to break Holliston’s press early which led to a 35-14 victory for the Panthers.  Ella Bennett had another great all-around game with 6 points, 4 steals, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.  Danika Do Rosario continued her strong play at point guard leading the team with 11 points and added 5 rebounds as well.  Jackie Schiavoni shut down Blackstone’s front court and battled to finish with 2 points, 5 rebounds and a steal.  Addy McAdams continued to lead with great team defense resulting in 4 steals and 3 rebounds as well as 2 points.  Gwen Miranda had another strong game with 2 points off an amazing drive through multiple defenders.  Holliston sits at 3-0 and looks to continue their win streak against Bellingham after the break.

6th Grade Girls (White) 

Holliston 6th girls (white) travelled to Westborough on Sunday to take on an undefeated team. Holliston started the game strong with the first basket scored by center Kennedy Black. The 1st quarter ended 6-6 and by the half the teams were tied at 10-10. Holliston dominated on defense in the first half and controlled possessions with an on-point passing game. Unfortunately, Westborough scored 6 points in the 3rdquarter while Holliston remained scoreless. At the start of the 4th quarter, Holliston was down by 8, but started firing on all cylinders and quickly added 8 points to the total. With three injuries the roster of 8 went to 5, and most Holliston players were asked to play a new position. With smiles and a “yes coach” attitude, Holliston continued to steal, rebound, and convert shots to points. Points were spread across many players: Kennedy Black (6), Sophya Teixeira (6), Elle Lessard (2), Lindsay Haynes (2), and Mila Szabatura (2). Elle Lessard had a game high of 7 steals and Kennedy Black grabbed 7 rebounds. Chole Roche and Domenica Bellamy added steals and had strong passing games, while Selah Tetrault became with the team’s great source of cheer from the bench after an early injury. Despite these efforts, Holliston lost 18-25 leaving Westborough undefeated. Holliston continues to narrow the point spread and improve across skills while having tons of fun. Please come out to support this amazing team for their next game at home on Saturday 1/6. 

7th Grade Girls (Red)

The seventh-grade girls, team red, traveled to Medfield this week anticipating a scrappy opponent of equal calliber.  As expected, the teams were closely matched.  An offensive explosion by Emerson Harrington in the second quarter where she hit a three pointer, followed by a steal and a layup made the difference in a 12-9 halftime lead.  At halftime, the girls committed themselves to lockdown defense holding Medfield to two second half points, and an 18-11 win for Holliston.  Mackenzie McDonald led the team in rebounds with seven and Sedona Cicciarella had six.  Emerson Harrington led the team in scoring with seven points.  The girls hope to pick up where they left off when the host Needham after the holiday break.

7th Grade Girls (White)

Holliston 7GG fought hard for their first win of the season!  Diya Simhadri was a defensive star on the post and contributed a key bucket on the offensive end.  Lila Cohen led the scoring for the girls contributing six points and setting the tone from the point guard position. Olivia Yang and Ellory Avakian were two other defensive stars of the game, playing key roles in holding their opponent to an all-time low of six points. The Panthers walked away with a 14-6 victory over Reading.

8th Grade Girls

The 8th Grade Girls fell to Brookline at Adams last Sunday night. Small forward Keira Brannigan played well defensively and dropped a couple of buckets driving strong to the basket. Despite earlier foul trouble, feisty guard Lucy Mancuso played a strong fourth quarter grabbing six steals.  Point guard Mia Faletra led all scorers with 10 of the team’s 18 points while grabbing a handful of boards and steals as well. The girls resume their game schedule in the Connecticut tournament the weekend of January 6th. 

Scott McAdams

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