Week 9 Basketball Recap

As we roll into the last few weeks of the season it’s fitting to give the spotlight to some of our extraordinary coaches.  The 8th grade teams are coached by Meredith Faletra, Dennis Doherty, and Meredith Faletra – not an editorial error (just plagiarism from Derek Cordon’s 2023 Pulitzer wining piece) – Meredith coaches the 8th grade girls’ team as well as one of the 8th grade boys’ teams.  Not to be out done, Dennis also coaches the Wayland High School Boys varsity basketball team as he has done for the past 15 years.  Our 8th graders are so fortunate to be coached by such great basketball minds (spoiler alert – they were both amazing players as well…and probably still are).  They are assisted by a phenomenal group of volunteers – Megan Cotting, Kevin Hastings, Jason MacDonald, Scott McDonough and Cory McGann.  These coaches have been with the players since their Kindergarten clinic days – almost a decade ago.  Holliston Youth Basketball can’t thank them enough for all the dedication and time they have put in over the years.   

We’d be remiss if we didn’t get some players into the spotlight as well – Harrison Cirillo was fantastic in the 4th grade (red) team victory over Tri-Valley rival Dedham dropping 14 big points.  Sophya Teixeira was dropping buckets on her way to a career high 17 points in the 6th grade (white) girls win also over Dedham.  Lucy Mancuso was on fire from the field and added 20 points in the 8th grade girls win over Lincoln Sudbury.  Great job!

Now let’s go Panthers!

4th Grade Girls (Red) 

The Holliston 4th Grade Girls (Team King) earned a big W this past weekend against Medway! All of the hard work they’ve put in at practice translated to the game as they played stellar defense and shot really well. Maggie Mulik stood out for playing consistent defense, grabbing a bunch of rebounds, and getting three steals. Maggie and Brooke McGrath also helped convert two out of bounds plays into hoops with their excellent passing. Millie Guellnitz and Sonia Szabatura were defensive stoppers with Josie Brower, Izzy Bartels, Winnie McHugh and Lennon King making impactful offensive and defensive contributions as well!  The girls were proud of the much-deserved win and are already looking forward to taking on a tough Canton team this Sunday. Let’s go Holliston!

4th Grade Girls (White)

The Holliston 4th Grade Girl’s had two games this weekend and unfortunately neither of them were a win for our team. However, the team played a great game vs. Walpole on Saturday. The game was the tale of the two Olivias as Olivia Wing really brought the offense with her aggression and determination, which led to two baskets for the team. Olivia Darling delivered with her amazing defense, resulting in several steals and kept Walpole’s girls from advancing down the court. Nora Corcoran also greatly contributed to the game with her strong defense and excellent rebounding. A special thank you to Josie Brower from the other Holliston 4th Grade Girl’s team for helping our team out since we were short a few players. 

The team also played on Sunday vs. Westwood and tried hard, but shots were not falling for our girls and they were for Westwood. Katelyn Klein had several impressive long passes during the game and was able to get up some great shots. Amelia Parker was quick on her feet, allowing her to drive into the paint and got 3 baskets. Richa Yedugani and Willa Drummey both played aggressively and helped the team with their speed and determination. Overall, the girls played some great basketball during both games, and we hope to really work on our shooting skills this week at practice. 

5th Grade Girls (Red)

Grade 5 Girls Red

Holliston 21, Mansfield 10.   Dedication was the word for this game – the team pulled out all stops to attend and were laser focused on their opponent.  The game started with a quick basket from Mansfield, setting the stage for a defensively concentrated game from Holliston.  Hanlon, Brown, and Rosen all posted points in the first quarter – giving Holliston a comfortable lead. The second quarter continued with rebounding from Lindros and Sharma – each of whom provided 3+ rebounds. Mansfield gave us a tough defensive line, sending Hanlon to the line in the third quarter, giving Holliston even more of a lead. Smith and Baweja tore up the paint with rebounding and numerous favorable turnovers, also providing Hanlon a fast break to score. The pencil on the books was running out of lead due to Marcuard’s abundant steals and Mansfield was put on high alert. In the end, the team provided an exciting game, Rosen 12 points, Brown 4 points, Marcuard 2 points, and Hanlon 3 points (not including a foul shot which was unaccounted for). The team will be on the road Sunday to see if they can catch another win in Medway. 

5th Grade Girls (White)

The Holliston 5th Grade Girls White team played back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday for the second weekend in a row, splitting the games with a loss at Brookline 30-15 and a home win against Wayland 34-8.  The team was shorthanded against a tough Brookline team, but the Panthers kept the game within two points going into halftime.   Molly Starr (2 points, 5 steals) got things going in the first quarter draining a fade way shot just outside the paint.  Emma Whitehead, who only registered two minutes of rest for the shorthanded Panthers, paced the offense from the point guard position.  Ryckie Reichheld continued her strong play in the paint registering 6 rebounds and 2 points while Brianna Cooper chipped in with 11 points.

In the second game of the back-to-back, there was no Lebron James rest for the Panthers and the two Emmas decided to Speak Now.  Emma Sochanek and Emma Whitehead paced the Panthers with 6 points each which set the tone for the team’s best all-around performance of the season, beating Wayland, 34-8.  Seven players entered the scoring column including Brook Sawicki’s 4 points and 3 steals which broke the game open in the second half.  Ailla Howden’s added 2 points and 6 second-half rebounds, while other Panther scoring included Molly Starr (2 points), Ryckie Reichheld (4 points), and Brianna Cooper (14 points).  To catch a glimpse of the team and pregame autograph session, the 5th grade girls will be playing at Halftime of this Tuesdays HHS Varsity Girls Basketball game.  

6th Grade Girls (Red)

The 6th grade girls (red) team traveled to Westwood in a battle for 1st place in the division.  Holliston took an early lead, but Westwood would not give up top billing in the division easily.  It was a close battle at half time with Holliston leading 15-10.  Holliston’s full court press started to wear down Westwood in the 3rd quarter leading to a 26-12 Panthers lead.  Holliston finished the game with a 28-20 victory.  Ella Bennett was on fire leading the Panthers with 11 points including a Caitlin Clark range 3 pointer.  Danika Do Rosario was brilliant with 10 points, a team leading 6 rebounds to go along with 4 steals.  Avery Palma nailed a couple of deep two pointers on her way to 4 points and 3 rebounds.  Jackie Schiavoni was a strong inside presence helping hold the much taller Westwood front line at bay and added 2 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.  Mia Malvey played lock down defense all game and had a team leading 2 assists.  The 6-1 Panthers host North Quincy on Saturday.

6th Grade Girls (White) 

6th Grade Girls (White) – Game 9 (2/4) – (W: 27-21) 

Holliston (White) took on Dedham at home on 2/4. The game moved like lightning from whistle to buzzer with Dedham pressing from the start and to finish. Despite baskets contributed by Chloe Roche (2) and Sophya Teixiera (4) in the 1st quarter, the 2nd quarter was silent for Holliston leaving Dedham up by 8 at the half. Going into the second half, Holliston was fired up and blew by Dedham in the 3rd quarter adding 14 points to Dedham’s 6. Elle Lessard led the team in rebounds at 6 with Lindsey Walsh nabbing steal as well. Holliston went into the 4th quarter down by 1, but with incredible hustle and resolve, the team held Dedham to 0 while adding 7 points of their own for the win 27-21! What incredible team play was seen by all. Of note, Lindsay Haynes scored a free throw and grabbed multiple rebounds that she converted to drives down court. Selah Tetrault, Mila Szabatura, and Kennedy Black worked well on defense and together blocked multiple Dedham shots. Holliston had their best game of the season in terms of looks and passes across and down court for multiple baskets. Sophya Teixeira had the game of her season (so far!) with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Congratulations Holliston! Next week Holliston is on the road to play undefeated Norwood on February 11 at 12:40. Come cheer us on!

7th Grade Girls (Red)

The seventh-grade girls, team red, traveled to Milford for an intriguing matchup against a team they lost to in the season opener.  In the first matchup, one Milford player scored most of the team’s points.  Holliston’s strategy was to contain that player’s scoring and put the pressure on the other Milford players to make up the difference.  Shamili Potturi, Emerson Harrington, and Olivia Kerchner did a fantastic job of defending Milford’s leading scorer, holding her to 8 points in the game.  Unfortunately, Holliston’s strategy came up short as a different Milford player unexpectedly went 4 of 6 from three-point range and Milford won the game 35-25.   Nonetheless, the coaches couldn’t have been happier with the way the girls executed the game plan.  Once again, passing was a team strength, with Mackenzie McDonald being the beneficiary of two Olivia Kerchner assists, and leading the team with 9 points.  Chelsea Dufault and Caroline Caughlin led the team with 6 rebounds each, Sedona Cicciarella had 5.  Next week the girls travel to Medway for another rematch against a tough opponent.

7th Grade Girls (White)

Date: Saturday, 2/3

Location: Holliston (Adams)

Opponent: Arlington (Grey)

Result: 24-15 Win

Great all-around effort by the entire team in a convincing win, highlighted by a dominant second half after falling behind by two at the half.  Sage Passier led the team with four huge points and several key steals on the defensive end.  Emma Starr controlled the paint on both the defensive and offensive glass against a much taller Arlington team.  Finally, Lila Cohen provided the Holliston offense a much-needed spark in the second half allowing the girls to pull away late in the third.

8th Grade Girls

In a mid-day Sunday matchup at RAMS, the 8th grade girls notched a W 35-23 over Lincoln-Sudbury.  This was their last regular season home game for HYB.  Many of the girls have been together since 4th grade. They sported pink for the game in honor of breast cancer prevention, and the girls made sure to go out in style as they came out strong with a 21-7 lead at the half.  The team effort included 20 points from Lucy Mancuso, shooting 10-16 from the field to go along with her five steals. Skylar MacDonald had another nice all-around game with 2 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals. Corinne Bailey hauled down 9 boards, and Keira Brannigan grabbed 7. The girls have been improving each game lately having won 2 out of their last 3 with 1 close loss. They will be peaking by the playoffs! The game was heavily attended by grandparents, so we were fortunate to capture a team photo with them all post-game. The family support all around for the youth basketball program has been great! The girls hit the road for the remainder of the season – next stop is Everett on Sunday morning. 

4th Grade Boys (Red)

The Holliston 4th grade boys (red) team stormed into Dedham Middle School on Sunday morning determined to continue the high intensity displayed in last week’s tough loss. Boy did these players deliver! From the opening tip off, these Panthers were ferocious. Harrison Cirillo had a monster first half with 11 points and 4 rebounds, leading fast breaks and playing incredible defense. He finished with 14.

Max Cohen got an early bucket to set the scoring tone for the game, and played some amazing man to

man defense, effecting Dedham’s shot making all game. Emerson Vail and Trevor Lyskowski were running on fast breaks, and setting picks the entire game. Ronan Ohja continued his master ball handling, chipping in with 2 points and several great passes. Quinn Duffy played so hard and was flying all over the court, he got a tooth knocked out! Not to worry, it was a baby tooth. In the third quarter

Konnor d’Anjou made a hard drive to the basket, getting fouled and hitting his free throw. He also

chipped in with a handful of rebounds. The game was then locked down in the fourth quarter by George Taylor and Sam “game time” Wagner. George scored 5 of his 8 points in the fourth quarter, getting to

line on “and ones” and getting his team hyped. Sam scored 5 of his 9 points in the fourth quarter ending the game on a nifty shot in traffic. In the end birthday boy, Yamori Richardson’s (2 points, 3 rebounds,

and a jammed finger) birthday wish came true as the Holliston 4 th grade boys red team got their first win of the season 38-20. This was an entire team effort, and the coaches could not be prouder of how hard they have worked. The Panthers look to keep the momentum going this Sunday at home vs. Dover

Sherborn at 2pm.

4th Grade Boys (White) 

Holliston hosted undefeated Hopkinton on Sunday.  Although Holliston came out playing hard, they got down 14-2 with Hopkinton’s best player scoring the first 11 points of the game.  Holliston crashed the boards hard and cut into the deficit significantly, but ended up losing 39–18.

Grady Gum led the team in scoring with 6 pts, 4 from the foul line, and also had 2 blocks and 3 steals. Jesiah Varghese had 4 pts and a couple steals and Darien Harris had 4 pts along with 8 boards.  Tyler Crane led in rebounding with 9 and also had a bucket.  Ayen Hemaratne played great defense on Hopkinton‘s best player and scored a bucket and had a steal.  Jake Looney let the team with 4 steals, Cade Burke ripped down 3 rebounds and had a steal, and Shalm Kollu had a rebound and played solid defense.  Andrew Levasseur had a few good looks just rim out but did manage 2 steals and 3 rebounds.

Holliston has a big week next week with two games on Sunday. In the morning, they travel to play Concord-Carlisle and then come back to Holliston in the afternoon to host Westborough. 

5th Grade Boys (Red) 

The Holliston 5th grade boys (Red) faced Natick at home this week and lost 40-27.  Ty Looney had the team’s first double double with 10 points and rebounds.  The remainder of the scoring was spread across six other players including Teddy Miller (6), Anderson Langlois (3), George Floeckher (2), Jacob Snow (2), Paul Antony (2), and Timmy Klaus added a couple free throws on the day.   George Floeckher and Connor Lydon also had decent day on the boards with 6 and 5 rebounds, respectively.  Despite not making huge noise on the stat sheet, Wyatt Chamberlain played some solid defensive minutes throughout the contest.   The team will look to bounce back when the play away at Medway this Sunday afternoon.

5th Grade Boys (White) 

The Holliston 5th Grade Boys team (White) lost a tough game in Everett on Saturday morning, 44-30, ending their 6-game winning streak. Holliston led after the first quarter, 11-10, but Everett pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back. Cole Dennison had 8 points for Holliston, while Logan McDonough and Owen Jacquet each had 6. Cooper Lisi and Oliver Bennett both grabbed rebounds and played strong defense. Holliston looks to get back to their winning ways this weekend with two home games: Saturday night against Waltham and Sunday morning against Wellesley.  

6th Grade Boys (Red) 

The Holliston 6th Grade (Red) Boys had a busy weekend, with a double header against Blackstone Millville.  Holliston came out strong in the first game, winning 42-17, despite being shorthanded.  Nick Gorham had his best game of the season, scoring 4 points to go with 6 rebounds and overall fantastic defense.  Jospeh Lawendi was the leading scorer for Holliston with 10 points, followed by Devon Doray with 9 points.  Ryan Magoon and Gavin Bausch both chipped in six points.  Dylan Dimmick, Dylan Perrette and Nathan Eppinger contributed fantastic defense to keep Blackstone scoring to a minimum.

In the second game, against a different team from Blackstone, Holliston came up just short, losing 33 to 31.  Despite the outcome, it was a fantastic game.  Blackstone went up early and held a lead throughout most of the game.  Holliston started to chip away at a 9 point deficit in the third period to tie up the game with less than a minute to play.  Blackstone got their last shot to fall to take home the win.  Dylan Dimmick was the player of the game, stepping up against a VERY tall opponent, to finish with 7 rebounds, 2 steals and a block.  Joseph Lawendi again led the scoring with 14 points.  Ryan Magoon helped to fuel the frantic comeback with 6 second half steals.  All the boys played great and contributed to the thrilling end.  They just needed one more minute of game time!

6th Grade Boys (White)

The 6th grade (white team) Panthers defeated Hopkinton 20-9 to improve their record to 4-6 on the season.  Leading the team in scoring was Leo Wagner and Laksh Khatri with 5 points apiece, follow by Logan Kanavich (2), Micah Baltisoto (2), Leo DeFazio (2), Noah Keller (2), and Nolan Burke (2).  Leading the team in rebounds was Lincoln Daniels (7), Followed by Kirill Stotski (6), Laksh Khatri (6), Noah Keller (5), Leo Wagner (5), John Gebski (4), Leo Wagner (4), Logan Kanavich (2), Micah Baltisoto (1), and Nolan Burke (1).  The team “Silver Swoosh” award goes to Kirill Stotski for the second consecutive week for his defensive hustle and disruptive effort.  The team returns to Adams Middle School Saturday, November 10th to face off against Norwood.  

7th Grade Boys (Red)

The Holliston 7th Grade Boys (Red) Team earned a hard fought win against Watertown this week, 37-21.  Everybody chipped in for the win.  Orson Daniels led the offensive charge with 9 points, followed by Quinn McErlean (8) and Ben Furey (6).  Two points a piece were dropped by Chris Baker, Eli Bogess, Charlie Bowser, Marcus Burian, Jack Firmani, Will Hayes and Tristan Snyder.  Eli and Andrew Ferguson were beasts on the boards, and Sam Israel played his typical tenacious defense, racking up a few steals.  It was a great team win.  Next week we will travel to Arlington.

7th Grade Boys (White)

On Sunday, the Holliston 7th Grade boys basketball team (white) played their city rival, Somerville, bringing home a decisive 48-14 win.  James Negri started the game sinking two foul shots and the team never looked back.  Achyut Pingali had his best game of the season, scoring 16 points, distributing the ball inside, and an ankle-breaking move in transition that brought his team to their feet!  But once again, it was the Panthers defense, even with a 48 point breakout, that defined the game – giving up only 2 points in the first and fourth quarters.  The entire team came ready to compete, with a defensive and rebounding mindset.  As coach, I’d like to call out Nick DiPippo, Nathan Chiantera, Vinny Lima and Zach Ennis for their unwavering intensity, rebounding, and all around play.  They set the tone for what has led the Panthers to this 7-1 start.  Next week, the team travels to Westboro for what will be their toughest challenge of the season!

8th Grade Boys (Red)

The Holliston Boys Red team lost a heartbreaker to an undefeated Medford team, 55-47.  Both teams played tough and scrappy, and while Medford led for the majority of the game, the boys kept coming back but, in the end, simply ran out of time.  Anthony Faletra led the way with a team-high 15 points, to go along with two boards and three assists.  Grayden Vaughn was lights-out from the floor knocking down jumpers everywhere to shoot five for six.  Connor McDonough gave Medford everything he had with his physicality and finishes, complimenting his five points with five rebounds and chipped in two assists for good measure.  Nate Howell played tough interior defense against a driving, attacking Medford team, and pulled down a tough three rebounds in traffic.  The boys plan to return home and to their winning ways with a home tilt against Chelsea on Sunday at 8:40am. 

8th Grade Boys (White)

The Holliston 8th grade boys white team had an exciting 34-25 win over Ashland on Sunday at

RAMS. Holliston had a balanced offensive attack led by Leo Pasquariello’s 11 points and 8 rebounds. Brady Hastings added 9 points and 5 steals. Will Dietrich finished with 8 points including two three-pointers. Center Alex Cataldo chipped in with 6 points and 9 rebounds.  Jake Rosenfeld and Bradyn Cotting had excellent defensive games in Holliston’s full-court press.  The win puts Holliston at 3-5 for the season thus far with two home games this weekend.  Holliston hosts Concord-Carlisle at 8pm on Saturday night and returns to the RAMS hardwood on Sunday morning at 11:20am vs Natick.

Scott McAdams

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