Can the Stoughton High Basketball Teams Turn Strong Second Halves into Tourney Berths?

The Stoughton High boys' basketball team will be hosting Milford Tuesday night, while the girls will be traveling to Milford.

The Stoughton High fans check out last Friday's girls' game against Sharon.
The Stoughton High fans check out last Friday's girls' game against Sharon.
If the Stoughton High boys' and girls' basketball teams are going to make the state tournament, there are two avenues to get there, but they cannot afford too many more losses.

Entering Tuesday night's games against Milford, both teams have their backs against the wall, but the tournament hasn't been ruled out just yet. The boys have a 2-7 league record and are 3-8 overall, while the girls are 3-6 in the league and 4-6 overall.

Avenue No. 1: Get to .500 or better
The boys are going to have to go 6-1 the rest of the way to get to 9-9. On paper, the toughest game would be the Feb. 4 game against Taunton, who have already qualified for the postseason. They would also have to turn losses to Milford and Oliver Ames into wins in the second half.

"We've got to win the games we can win," said Black Knights' boys' coach John Gallivan after his team's lost to Oliver Ames on Jan. 17. "In this league, there is no such thing as an easy game. When you look at the schedule, and you see, we got Mansfield (one of the top teams in the state), if we win, that's great. When you play a 50-50 game like (Oliver Ames) with the exact same records, you have to win it. We did that against Canton and Foxborough."

The girls are entering the week at 4-6 overall and would need to reverse that in the second half, going 6-4 in the second half.  Coach Janet Sullivan's team does have wins over Milford, Foxborough and Canton, who have games remaining.  Their tourney hopes took a hit Friday night in a loss to first-place Sharon at home.

"That win would have put us back at .500 ," said Sullivan. "Now we're at 4-6. Do we have a chance? Absolutely. We will work hard, but (Friday) was one we let get away from us."

Avenue No. 2: Get second place in the Davenport Division
The boys probably won't catch Sharon, who they lost to 71-70, last Friday night in Sharon. The Eagles have already qualified for the state tournament and have three losses in the league. Foxborough is in second place at 4-5, but Stoughton is only two games behind with seven league losses, tied wiith Canton and Milford for fourth or last place. Oliver Ames is at 3-6 in the league and the Black Knights will play them in their season finale.

For the girls, the Black Knights are entering the week with a 3-6 record in the league, a half-game behind Oliver Ames at 4-6, while Foxborough is second at 5-5 and Sharon is in first place at 5-2.

"On any night, in our half of the division, it seems like anybody can win," said Sullivan. "We beat Foxborough and we lost to Sharon twice now. It's all over the place. Who is going to come in first or second in our league could come down to the last game or two."

Remaining Stoughton boys' basketball games (DD, Davenport Division):
Jan. 28: Milford (DD)
Jan. 31: King Philip
Feb. 3: at North Attleboro
Feb. 4: at Taunton
Feb. 7: Foxborough (DD)
Feb. 11: at Canton (DD)
Feb. 14: at Oliver Ames (DD)

Remaining Stoughton girls' basketball game (DD, Davenport Division):
Jan. 28: at Milford
Jan. 31: at King Philip
Feb. 4: North Attleboro
Feb. 4: Taunton
Feb. 7: at Foxborough
Feb. 11: Canton
Feb. 13: Oliver Ames
Feb. 17: Holliston, 2 p.m.
Feb. 18: Notre Dame Academy, Sharon Winter Showcase, 5:30 p.m.
(Freshman, 3:30 p.m.; JV, 5 p.m.; Varsity, 6:30 p.m.)

Hockomock League Standings
Girls' Davenport Division: Sharon 5-2, 7-2; Foxborough 5-5, 6-5; Oliver Ames 4-6, 5-7; Stoughton 3-6, 4-6; Milford 3-7, 4-8; Canton 0-10, 0-13.
Boys' Davenport Division: Sharon 7-3, 10-3; Foxborough 4-5, 6-6; Oliver Ames 3-6, 4-7; Milford 3-7, 4-9; Canton 3-7, 6-7; Stoughton 2-7, 3-8.


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