The stakes were high and the score was low.
In a highly anticipated Hockomock League Kelley-Rex Division showdown of undefeated teams between fourth-ranked Mansfield and ninth-ranked Franklin, the Hornets held their position atop the league standings by winning a defensive clash, 48-38.
“That was a good old-fashioned fist fight,” said Mansfield coach Andrew Vaughan after his team improved to 7-0, with a 5-0 league mark. “It’s a huge win. This is one you get anxious about. You lose sleep over it for three nights before. You feel like you’ve gone into a zombie land.”
In a game where every possession felt like a battle of attrition, Mansfield’s Matt Hyland found myriad ways to impact the score beyond his game-high 15 points. The 6-foot-2-inch senior finished with 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block while controlling the pace of play.
“He’s a special player who makes special plays,” Vaughan said. “It’s his team because he does everything right. He comes down, takes care of the ball, he’s in the post, he’s out on the wing, he’s hitting free throws, he’s blocking shots, he’s doing a little of everything. He knows how valuable every possession is.”
With Mansfield leading, 19-15, midway through the second quarter, Hyland scored six straight points on a runner, a layup and two free throws to give the Hornets their first double-digit lead. His fast-break layup with 3:09 left in the third quarter pushed that advantage to 15.
“I really just try to stay engaged,” Hyland said. “My defense helps my offense. If I’m playing well defensively I might go down and hit a shot. It all feeds off each other.”
After Mansfield went up 15, Franklin (7-1, 4-1) rallied, with Henry DiGiorgio (11 points, 5 rebounds) scoring five-straight points and Justin Allen (8 points) drilling a pair of three-pointers as part of a 16-4 run that pulled the Panthers within 39-36 with 4:49 left.
With their lead down to one possession, the Hornets locked in again on defense and didn’t allow Franklin another basket for nearly four straight minutes. Meanwhile, sophomore Trevor Foley (10 points) hit four free throws and senior Andrew Slaney canned a 3-pointer with 1:48 to play that pushed the lead back up to 10.
“Those were big,” Vaughan said. “We made just enough plays. Slaney’s three was kind of the back breaker.”
Mansfield snapped a nine-game winning streak for Franklin that dated back to last February, while extending its own run of victories to nine in a row dating back to Feb. 14, 2021. The Hornets join Taunton, which beat Attleboro on Friday night, as the last two undefeated teams in the Hockomock’s Kelley-Rex Division.
Amesbury 80, Ipswich 59 — Matt Welch (23 points) and Cam Keliher (17 points, 15 assists) led Amesbury to a Cape Ann League Baker Division win.
Arlington Catholic 68, Bishop Fenwick 64 — Ryan Seendesen (26 points) and Andre Perez (16 points) led the Cougars (2-3) to a win in the Catholic Central match.
Bridgewater-Raynham 72, New Bedford 57 — Dan McClaren (21 points, 12 rebounds) powered the visiting Trojans (6-2) to the Southeast Conference victory with a double-double. John McClaren (14 points) and Timmy Bollin (12 points) also chipped in with double-digit scoring.
Carver 49, Rising Tide Charter 44 — Charlie Condon (16 points), Matt Mullins (16 points, 10 rebounds), and Ray Boutiette (9 points, 12 rebounds) carried the Crusaders (5-2) to the nonleague win.
Catholic Memorial 68, Xaverian 55 — Sophomore Ryan Higgins scored 28 points — including seven 3-pointers — to lift the visiting Knights (3-3) to the Catholic Conference win.
Cohasset 52, Hull 32 — Seniors James Appleton (14 points), Kevin Federle (11 points) and Lucas Federle (11 points) secured a South Shore win for the Skippers (4-2).
Dighton-Rehoboth 52, Bourne 48 — Senior forward Ryan Ouellette (17 points) and junior guard Kyle Mello (14 points) helped clinch the South Coast win for the Falcons (5-2, 3-1).
Dover-Sherborn 70, Medfield 68 — A turnaround jump shot off an offensive rebound by sophomore Brian Olson (11 points) made the difference for the Raiders (8-1) in their Tri-Valley win over the Warriors. Senior Zach Spellman (29 points) and junior Luke Rinaldi (19 points) led the scoring for Dover-Sherborn.
East Bridgewater 68, Middleborough 67 — Mike Mullaney (12 points) hit a buzzer-beater to clinch a South Shore League victory for the Vikings (5-1). Jackson Kenn added 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Hingham 75, Duxbury 50 — Behind 33 points from junior guard Liam McBride and 20 from senior forward Nick Johannes, the Harbormen (6-2) pulled away from the Dragons (2-4) at Duxbury High School. Duxbury led, 18-16, through one, and the Harbormen claimed a 33-29 advantage at the half. Hingham extended the margin to 50-39 through three, and an outlet pass from Johannes to McBride for an and-one with 3:58 remaining helped punctuate a road win.
King Philip 85, Milford 78 — The trio of Will Laplante (23 points), Tommy Martorano (20 points), and Danny Clancy (17 points) helped the host Warriors (2-4) pick up their first Hockomock League win of the season with the overtime triumph.
Lawrence 73, Tewksbury 40 — Marius Canery had a team-high 21 points to go with 7 boards, 6 steals, and 4 assists as the visiting Lancers (2-5) earned the Merrimack Valley Conference victory. Jonathan Ocasio (14 points) and Isaiah Ogunbare (10 points, 10 rebounds) also contributed.
Lexington Christian 44, Pingree 35 — The Lions (5-0) earned an Eastern Independent League win behind strong efforts from junior Jonathan Guerrier (20 points) and senior Randy Nova (12 points).
Lynn Tech 54, Nashoba Valley Tech 49 — With sophomore Ederick Gonzalez (16 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals) and senior Andrew Young (14 points, 6 assists) supplying strong efforts, the Tigers (1-5) presented coach Corey Bingham with his first win in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.
Manchester Essex 56, Hamilton-Wenham 37 — Sophomore guard/forward Cade Furse scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Hornets (7-1) to the Cape Ann League win.
Marshfield 71, Whitman-Hanson 69 — Senior Connor Walden (team-high 19 points) scored the winning basket in overtime to lead the host Rams (5-2) to the Patriot League win over the No. 11 Panthers.
Minuteman 54, Mystic Valley 41 — Cole Savage, Jack Sacca and Gavin Kane posted a combined 40 points for the Mustangs (2-1) in the Commonwealth matchup.
Newton North 50, Needham 47 — Senior Florian Kuechen accumulated 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks to pace the No. 8 Tigers (6-1) to a Bay State Conference victory.
Northbridge 58, Millbury 41 — Seniors Cam Boucher (17 points) and Ryan Boyce (14 points) led the Rams (7-2) over the Woolies in the South Worcester County League win.
Pembroke 48, North Quincy 43 — Junior guard Brady Spencer had 21 points for the 14th-ranked Titans, who remain undefeated at 7-0 with the Patriot League Fisher victory.
Plymouth North 83, Silver Lake 40 — Junior Ivan Darko (15 points), senior JayMori Leonard (14 points) and junior Hunter Byron (12 points) led the charge for the Eagles (3-4) in the Patriot League Keenan win.
Plymouth South 52, Hanover 43 — Senior Liam Davis (12 points), classmate Pete Lamborn (11 points), and junior Declan Davis (9 points) guided the 16th-ranked Panthers (6-0) to the Patriot League win.
Scituate 61, Quincy 42 — Johnny Kinsley tossed in 17 points and Keegan Sullivan delivered 12 points and 11 assists for the No. 10 Sailors (6-1) in the Patriot League win.
Sharon 68, Foxborough 55 — Matt Baur (17 points, 9 rebounds), Nate Katznelson (16 points, 7 rebounds), and Jacob McLoughlin (11 points, 3 steals) paced the Eagles (7-1) to a Hockomock League Davenport Division win.
Somerset Berkley 60, Fairhaven 59 — Mason Medeiros hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime, where Ethan Dias (24 points, 11 rebounds) put the finishing touches on his double-double and the South Coast Conference win for the visiting Raiders (3-4).
Stoughton 79, Oliver Ames 72 — Junior Rayan Sablon (25 points) and senior Connor Andrews (16 points) were among four players who posted double figures in the Hockomock League win for the host Black Knights (3-3).
Taunton 71, Attleboro 51 — Seniors Jordan Costa (23 points) and Trent Santos (21 points) lifted the Tigers (5-1) over the Bombardiers for a Hockomock League win.
Winchester 59, Reading 42 — Quinten Pienaar (19 points) and Vaikunthan Mathiyalakan (16 points) guided host Winchester to the Middlesex League win.
Woburn 79, Arlington 61 — Strong efforts from Michael Chiodo (17 points), Joe Gattuso (14 points), Liam Dillon (13 points) powered the Tanners (5-4) to a Middlesex League Liberty Division win.