Monday, January 9, 2017

Foxboro Girls Hoops too Much for Bridgewater-Raynham

By Nate Rollins (@n_rollins1)

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - In its trip up MA-24 North for a non-league tilt with Bridgewater-Raynham, Foxboro certainly made the most of its opportunity, posting a 65-36 win over the Trojans Monday evening.

“It feels good,” Foxboro head coach Lisa Downs said of the win. “We’re still getting some games under our belt, we’ve only played five games. We’re still trying to get into the groove of things. We’re still trying to work out some kinks, but I saw some good things, for the most part tonight.”

The lethal backcourt trio of juniors Ashley Sampson and Lily Sykes, along with senior Riley Collins, combined to pump in 41 points - outscoring the Trojans on their own - to guide Foxboro (4-1) to its fourth straight victory.

The Warriors, coming off a 73-34 slashing of league foe Sharon Friday, picked up right where they left off.

Two buckets by Grace Tamulionis (eight points, four rebounds) to open this one pushed Foxboro, which never trailed, ahead 4-0 and set the tone early.

Sykes’ (15 points) reverse layup with 1:50 go to in the opening frame, extended the Warriors advantage to 9-1.

“She’s phenomenal,” Downs said of Sykes. “She’s just like a little spark plug out there and the intensity goes up a little bit when she’s on the court.”

Not only did the slashing guard play of Foxboro give B-R (3-6) fits on the defensive end, it created havoc for the Trojans offense, which didn’t connected on a field goal until less than 30 seconds remaining in the first when Kelly Page knocked down a 3-pointer.

“Defensively, we stress in every single practice and every single game that the shots aren’t going to go in every night,” Downs said. “As long as we play hard on defense and make it difficult for the opposing to team to get a lot of good looks, we’ve done our job.”

After committing nine turnovers through the first eight minutes, in which they trailed 11-4, the Trojans settled down a bit on offense by scoring 10 points in the second quarter.

“They have some great outside shooters,” Downs said. “We knew that we had to keep the ball out of their hands for the most part so we tried to pester the guards as much as we could.”

Unfortunately for B-R, Foxboro was just getting its offense going.

Sampson (16 points), who was in foul trouble early, netted 10 points in the second quarter as the Trojans full court press proved no match for her or Sykes.

“We have so many guards that can handle the ball well so we’re okay with getting some pressure on us,” Downs said. “It was actually good for us to see that because we haven’t seen that yet this season.”

B-R connected on its second field goal of the night to make it a 22-7 game, but on the ensuing Foxboro possession, Sampson was fouled shooting a trey and the captain connected on all her attempts.

The Trojans opened the third quarter strong - forcing the Warriors into a pair of rare turnovers - but just could not get enough going offensively to hang around and trailed 50-25 going into the final eight minutes.

“We just got a little bit lax with our rebounding and our help side defense wasn’t as effective as it had been in the first half,” Downs said.

With 19.1 ticks left, Kristen Bortolotti’s field goal extended Foxboro’s cushion to 29, 65-36.

Page paced the B-R attack with a team-high 11 points to complement seven rebounds, five of which were offensive, and Danielle Wabrek snatched eight boards, five of which were offensive.

For Foxboro, five players - Sampson (16), Sykes (15), Collins (10), Tamulionis (8) and Lauren Flahive (8) - registered over eight-plus points to headline the balanced Warriors attack.

B-R hops back into its Old Colony schedule versus Barnstable Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Foxboro squares off against Stoughton Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. as it resumes league play.

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