MANSFIELD — Foxboro High junior guard Katelyn Mollica scored 16 of her game-high 25 points in the first half as the Warriors’ girls basketball team got back to its winning ways with a 65-34 Hockomock League victory over Mansfield High in the season opener for both squads Friday night.
Playing to much of the same script as in years past, Foxboro was at its best when its defense led to easy points in transition.
“That’s when we started widening the gap, those transition points,” Foxboro coach Lisa Downs said, noting it was largely helped by the Warriors returning four starters and six varsity players.
“That’s a huge benefit — you don’t have to start from square one,” Downs said. “At this point, we’re already so familiar with each other and that’s why transition worked so well. We’re able to read where we are on the court.”
The Warriors held Mansfield without a field goal for nearly eight minutes, stretching from the first quarter to the second, as the Hornets missed 11 consecutive shots with five turnovers. Within that span, the Warriors went on an extended 21-0 run ignited by Mollica, who scored 12 of the first 14 points in the second quarter.
Foxboro’s defense forced 10 total turnovers in the first half, along with a pair of steals by Warrior junior guard Aislinn Servaes off the bench. The pair of plays by Servaes led to five transition points for Mollica midway through the second as the Warriors raced out to a commanding 34-16 lead at the intermission.
Mansfield shot 7-for-22 during the first half while Foxboro shot 15-for-31.
When the Warriors weren’t scoring in transition, coupled by the box-and-one defense the Hornets were playing on Mollica, Foxboro was able to get easy looks in the paint.
The majority of those went to senior center Shakirah Ketant, who scored eight of her 12 points during the first half as the Warriors had six players fill the score sheet after 16 minutes.
Foxboro took a 49-23 lead after three quarters.
Mansfield junior forward Ashley Santos led the Hornets with eight points, including six in the first half. Junior guard Mikayla Vine and freshman Abigail Wager each scored six points for the Hornets.
Foxboro travels to Canton on Tuesday while Mansfield visits Attleboro Tuesday.