Winning the IAABO 27 Comcast Classic is a fine start, but Franklin expects to be holding a state championship trophy at the DCU Center come March 14.
The Globe’s top-ranked girls’ basketball team may have finished off an undefeated regular season with Monday’s 73-56 victory over fourth-ranked Cathedral to capture the Division 1 bracket title at Woburn High, but the work doesn’t stop there.
Franklin (20-0) got a balanced effort with four players scoring in double figures to top reigning Division 4 state champion Cathedral (16-4). In the eyes of Franklin senior Ali Brigham, the formula to a state title is simple.
“We’re not going to take a day off from today, from when we first started the season,” said Brigham, the tournament MVP who led the charge with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists Monday. “The day we take a day off is the day after the state championship game.”
While Brigham, the 6-foot-4 George Washington-bound center, is Franklin’s main attraction, it’s the team’s balance that made the difference. Against Cathedral, senior Megan O’Connell added 16 points, sophomore Olivia Quinn had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and junior Elizabeth Wilson finished with 13 points. For a team that outscored opponents by an average of 30 points per game during the regular season, a pair of hard-fought victories over two of the Globe’s top-four teams gave Franklin the challenge it anticipated when accepting the invitation to the tournament.
Cathedral led by as much as nine, 15-6, midway through the first quarter. When senior forward Mackenzie Daleba (15 points) picked up her second foul with a minute to play, Franklin took advantage, outscoring Cathedral 25-7 over the remainder of the half.
“That’s why we’re in this tournament, to play the best,” Franklin coach John Leighton said. “Being down is good for us. It’s good learning-wise. I thought the girls handled it, their composure was unbelievable.”
A backdoor feed from Brigham to O’Connell gave Franklin its first lead, 19-17, with 4:20 left in the second quarter. They kept it going, culminating with a buzzer-beating putback by Wilson to send Franklin to halftime with its largest lead of the game at the time, 34-22. Off the bench, Wilson scored 11 of her points in the first half, including a trio of 3-pointers.
“We took the first punch, but we came back and finished the quarter strong,” Leighton said. “I thought at the end of the first half we played great.”
Cathedral stayed close for most of the second half, cutting Franklin’s lead as little as four points on a pair of free throws by sophomore Ciana Gibson (13 points) with 6:24 left in regulation.
Daleba fouled out with 4:03 remaining, and Franklin hung on from there. With two strong wins this weekend, Franklin still is not satisfied.
“Our goal is in front of us,” Leighton said. “I’d rather be 20-0, not 0-20, but it wasn’t a major goal of ours.”
For Franklin, an undefeated regular season is just the start to what it hopes is a long playoff run.
“It doesn’t mean that we’ve won everything,” Brigham said. “There’s obviously still more games to go that are more meaningful than the 20 that we’ve played.”
Barnstable 51, Brockton 47 — Abby Al-Asousi (16 points) and Olivia Gourdine (15 points) combined for 31 points and helped the Raiders (14-5) escape with a win on the road.
Bishop Fenwick 55, Beverly 35 — Freshman Morginn Kotchian (16 points, 3 steals) led the Crusaders (14-6) to the Larry McIntire IAABO Board 130 Classic championship.
Bishop Stang 51, Greater New Bedford 28 — Sophomore Lily Shields scored 19 points as the Spartans (13-6) cruised past the Bears.
Fontbonne 56, Fenway 43 — Seniors Clarissa Garzon (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Bridget Feldman (22 points) sparked the Ducks (13-7) to a win over the Panthers in the Spartan Classic.
Foxborough 60, Scituate 48 — Junior Katelyn Mollica had 24 points to power the No. 13 Warriors (18-2).
Mansfield 47, Bishop Feehan 44 — Junior Ashley Santos led all scorers with 17 points, as the host Hornets (9-12) will play Natick in the championship of the Roundball Classic on Wednesday.
Needham 39, Westwood 25 — Senior guard Kiara McIntyre had 21 points for the No. 7 Rockets (18-2).
Norwood 48, Braintree 46 — Behind the efforts of sophomores Megan Olbrys (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Erin Reen (10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals), the No. 9 Mustangs (19-1) captured the Division 2 final of the Comcast Classic at Woburn High to finish of a stellar regular season.
“I thought it was huge,” Norwood coach Amy Lepley said. “We needed a game like this. We were kind of hoping to come from behind. We haven’t done that except for one time this season.”
The Wamps (10-10) qualified for the Division 1 South tournament with a win over No. 16 Hingham in the semifinals under first-year coach Matt Freeman. Senior Alexis Dixon paced Braintree with 14 points.
Norwood is likely the top seed in Division 2 South. The Mustangs finished the season with 18 consecutive victories.
“Going into the tournament, this was huge for us,” Lepley said.
Peabody 58, Revere 40 — Georgia Leon (14 points) and Amber Kiricoples (13 points) led the Tanners (8-12) to the victory.
Rockland 41, Whitman-Hanson 37 — Caroline Elie (18 points and 10 rebounds) and Julia Elie (17 points and 13 rebounds) propelled the Bulldogs past the Panthers in the Shawn P. Cotter Tournament. Rockland will face Plymouth South on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
St. Mary’s 88, Amesbury 45 — The sixth-ranked hosts capped a 21-2 regular season with title win in Spartan Classic against No. 17 Amesbury.
Abington 75, Plymouth South 66 — Antwone Graham Jr. (23 points, 6 assists) and Matt Maguire (20 points) carried the load for the Green Wave (16-5) as they advanced to Wednesday’s championship of the Cotter Tournament against Rockland.
Andover 73, Belmont 71 — Senior guard Kyle Rocker scored 27 points in both legs of the Board 27 Comcast Classic at Woburn High to pace the Golden Warriors (13-7) to the Division 2 tournament title.
Richie Shahtanian hit six 3-pointers and 6-foot-8 sophomore Aidan Cammann scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter to help Andover pull ahead late.
Belmont (17-5) led by eight midway through the third quarter thanks to strong play from Preston Jackson-Stephens (16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) and Mac Annus (20 points). But both players struggled to find their offense down the stretch, while Cammann and Rocker lifted the Golden Warriors late.
‘‘We finally got the ball to our big guy and that was the difference,’’ Andover coach David Fazio said. ‘‘We’re playing our best basketball right now and this is certainly a confidence builder for us.’’
Attleboro 71, Tech Boston 66 — Senior Bryant Ciccio scored 25 points to lead the Bombardiers (15-6) in a Comcast Classic consolation game at Woburn High.
Beverly 77, Gloucester 64 — Tournament MVP Jack Crowley (20 points), Gabe Copeland (17 points) and Duncan Moreland (15 points) paced the Panthers (17-2) as they won their first Larry McIntire IAABO Board 130 Classic championship.
Bishop Fenwick 55, Masconomet 49 — Alex Gonzalez scored a game-high 14 points for the Crusaders (11-8) while Jason Romans was right behind him with 13.
Bishop Stang 73, Apponequet 68 — Declan Markey scored 25 points and Marcus Rapoza had 13 points, including three game-tying free throws to send the game into overtime, as the Spartans (10-9) edged out the Lakers in the Kuliga Classic. The Spartans, who qualified for the MIAA tournament with the win, will face Wareham on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for the Kuliga Classic championship.
Cohasset 65, South Boston 48 — Junior captains Liam Cunnie (21 points) and Jimmy Grech (19 points) carried the Skippers (14-5) to the victory.
Dighton-Rehoboth 63, Bishop Connolly 55 — Senior guard Shane Mello had 19 points for the Falcons (12-6).
Foxborough 82, Holliston 40 — Seniors Brandon Borde (16 points) and Donald Rogers (11 points) led the Warriors past the Panthers in the Warrior Classic at Foxborough. Foxborough advances to the championship game against Randolph at 4:30 p.m.
King Philip 80, Somerset Berkley 60 — Alex Fritz poured in 26 points in the victory for the Warriors (11-10).
Latin Academy 74, Durfee 55 — Junior Abdulahi Aden led the Dragons (12-10) with 27 points, while Mason Lawson posted 11 points and six steals.
Mashpee 57, Nantucket 56 — After a missed free throw, Mashpee’s Ryan Hendricks raced down the floor and found Kendall Rose, who nailed a buzzer-beating 3-point shot to give the Falcons (10-11) the thrilling victory.
Reading 53, Wakefield 43 — Taylor Marchant (16 points) and Alex Dean (11 points) led the way for the Rockets (9-9).
Revere 62, Arlington Catholic 55 — Sophomore John Capozzi (13 points) and senior Robert Raduazzo (12 points) led the Patriots (10-9) over the Cougars in the Patton Tournament. Revere qualified for the MIAA Tournament with the win.
Rockland 67, Sandwich 45 — Hunter Wardwell led the Bulldogs (18-1) with 22 points.
West Bridgewater 53, East Bridgewater 44 — The Wildcats (15-6) captured the Paul Chuilli Tournament title with the win over their rival.
Austin Prep 6, Falmouth 1 — Six players scored for the sixth-ranked Cougars (10-6-3) in their highest-scoring output of the season, while the Clippers (11-9-1) suffered their worst loss of the year. Nick Champani recorded the 100th point of his career in the loss for Falmouth on a power play goal in the first period.
BC High 1, Reading 1 — Their bid for a fifth straight Buddy Ferreira Classic championship hanging in the balance, the second-ranked Eagles (12-3-4) needed some extra time against the 17th-ranked Rockets (10-5-6) to get back to the final. Brian Bulger scored in overtime for BC High in a game that'll go down as a 1-1 tie in the standings, but succeeded in keeping his team’s title defense alive.
Bishop Fenwick 10, Peabody 0 — Cam Martin scored a hat trick as the Crusaders won the Carlin Cup over the Tanners. Martin and Peabody’s Mike Zarro were named winners of the boys’ Bo Tierney Award.
Canton 4, Boston Latin 2 — Chris Lavoie finished with a hat trick for the Bulldogs (16-1-3).
Catholic Memorial 3, Malden Catholic 1 — Mac Casper scored twice and Dom Walecka made 21 saves as the Knights (8-6-5) captured the Catholic Conference championship for the first time in 10 seasons. Brendan MacNeil also scored for CM.
Duxbury 2, Archbishop Williams 2 — Billy Mrowka scored the tying goal for the Dragons at 13:27 of the third period to force overtime in a Buddy Ferreira Classic consolation game in Falmouth before Zach Stewart’s goal in the fourth round of the shootout helped Duxbury (11-6-4) advance to the fifth place game on Wednesday.
The end result was still good enough for the Bishops (8-7-4) to clinch a tournament berth, as all they needed was one point over three games in Falmouth.
Hanover 3, Scituate 0 — Goals by Thao Lanagan, Ethan Davis and Manning Morris lifted the Indians (16-2-1) to a win in the first round of the Gould Memorial Tournament. Hanover will play Norwell in Wednesday’s championship game.
Hingham 3, Arlington Catholic 0 — Aidan Brazel, Will Ham and Paul Forbes scored in a dominant second period for the 10th-ranked Harbormen (12-6-3), who clinched a spot in Wednesday’s Buddy Ferreira Classic final in Falmouth. Junior goalie Jake Wilson picked up the first shutout of his career for Hingham.
The Cougars dropped to 8-9-1, leaving them two point shy of qualifying for the Division 1 North tournament. AC will have to win in Tuesday’s third-place game against Reading to advance.
Hopkinton 9, Norton 0 — Freshman Joe Carrazza had a hat trick, while freshman Dylan Mansur scored his first career goal and added two assists as the Hillers (19-1-0) posted their best regular-season finish in school history. Freshman Jack Lang also got a shutout in his first career start.
King Philip 3, Norwood 3 — Sophomore Bryan Metayer scored the game-tying goal with 17 seconds remaining in the game to cap the comeback for Norwood (13-3-3).
Masconomet 2, Danvers 1 — In a physical matchup at the Essex Sports Center, freshman Kai Roberto (1 goal, 1 assist) netted the winner with one minute remaining for the Chieftains (16-2-1) in the 4th ‘Can Do’ Classic in honor of former Masco coach Bob Driscoll.
North Reading 2, Sandwich 0 — Jonathan Patch and Bill McCann scored as the Hornets (9-7-3) qualified for the postseason while advancing to Tuesday’s championship game of the Jeffrey Hayes Memorial Tournament against Marblehead at Gallo Ice Arena in Bourne.
Rockland 2, Dennis-Yarmouth 1 — Junior Nick Blonde and freshman Shane Kimball scored for the Bulldogs (10-8-3), and junior Thomas McSweeney made 23 saves.
Shrewsbury 4, Acton-Boxborough 1 — Nico Evangelous scored two goals for the Colonials (12-5-2), while Eli Cardosi and Connor Lynch added a goal apiece.
Walpole 2, Marshfield 1 — Sophomore Will Blakely netted his first goal of the season in the second period to put the Rebels (8-8-5) ahead.
Westwood 3, Oliver Ames 2 — Johnny Nolte scored the go-ahead goal on a rebound midway through the third period and the Wolverines (9-8-2) extended their state record streak of qualifying for the postseason to 38 straight seasons. Declan Guarino and Johnny Bracco had the other goals for Westwood, which has participated in the MIAA tournament every year since 1983.
Whitman-Hanson 4, Quincy 0 — Reed Watson, Matt Solari, Adam Solari and Ed Collins scored for the Panthers (14-5-1) at the Rockland Ice Rink.
Canton 3, Barnstable 0 — Freshman goalie Carolyn Durand recorded her 12th shutout as the No. 8 Bulldogs (15-1-4) blanked the Red Raiders.
Hanover/Cohasset 2, Pembroke 1 — Lily Tobin and Sofia King each scored a goal to help the Indians advance to the championship game of the Gould Memorial Tournament. Hanover/Cohasset will play Norwell in Wednesday’s final (3:40 p.m.).
Methuen/Tewksbury 2, Shrewsbury 2 — Kaci Ryder and Nora Louder scored in regulation, and Shrewsbury advanced to the championship game after taking the win in a shootout. The Colonials (13-4-2) will face No. 3 Wellesley in Wednesday’s final.
Waltham 8, Watertown 2 — Janice O'Neil netted a hat trick as the Hawks (12-2-5) cruised past the Raiders.
Wellesley 5, Masconomet 1 — Lulu Rourke tallied two goals as the No. 3 Raiders defeated the Chieftains in the Newburyport Bank Classic. Wellesley will face Shrewsbury in Wednesday’s championship game.