The postseason starts for the Stoughton High girls' basketball team Wednesday, Feb. 27 when the Black Knights travel to Plymouth South for a 7 p.m. game.
Stoughton (13-7) is the 10th seed (out of 19 total teams) in the Division 1 South Sectional bracket. Plymouth South (14-6) is the 7th seed.
Where is the game? The game will be played at the Plymouth South Middle School (488 Long Pond Road in Plymouth). If you can't make it to the game, click here to follow all the action.
Stoughton is 7-5 away from SHS this season, while Plymouth South is 7-2 at home.
What is at stake? The winner of this first round matchup between Stoughton and Plymouth South will play the winner of Wednesday's game between #2 Braintree and #18 Quincy on Friday, March 1 in the quarterfinal round of the MIAA Division 1 South Sectional.
Division 1 South Sectional Bracket: Click here to view the Division 1 South Sectional tournament bracket.
Players to watch for Stoughton: Stoughton can get contributions up and down its roster, but the team is led by its senior captains - Nicole Daniels, a center who dominates the low post; Mackenzie McGrath, who is a dangerous outside shooter; and Emma Zuk, the point guard, who runs the team's offense.
Matchup between similar teams: Stoughton and Plymouth South are both teams that play well defensively with both allowing about 43 points a game. Stoughton coach Janet Sullivan said like her team, Plymouth South relies on its center and has guards who can hit the outside shot.
"I think it is going to be an excellent matchup [between] two very similar teams," Sullivan said. "It's going to come down to which team executes better."
Common opponents: While there may be similarities between the two squads in terms of style of play, Stoughton (Hockomock) and Plymouth South (Atlantic Coast) didn't have many common opponents in the regular season, but both teams did face Whitman-Hanson.
Stoughton won 50-27 in the opening game of the Hingham Holiday Tournament. Plymouth South played Whitman-Hanson twice, winning both times: 54-46 and 43-38.
Tournament experience: Both teams were in the postseason tournament last season. Stoughton lost in the first round at Newton North and Plymouth South lost in the preliminary round against Dartmouth.
Having this postseason experience will be key for Stoughton, Sullivan said. Last year, everyone on Stoughton's roster was appearing in their first postseason game.
"We do have a number of players who were on the team last year who did get that experience so they understand what they are up against. They understand that it is difficult to go into another gym," Sullivan said.
"Everybody is playing with pressure - one and done - so everyone is going to go out and give it their best shot and you don't have the luxury of having an off night and proving yourself the next day. So everything is on the line and we just hope that with the experience from last year, understanding the situation, that we'll come out and play 32 good hard minutes."
Positive tuneup: The Stoughton High girls' basketball team finished the regular season Feb. 19 with a convincing 60-33 win over Notre Dame Academy of Hingham at the Sharon Showcase.
"All the work over the season seemed to come together in that one game. We had a great inside game, we had great outside shooting, passing was terrific, ball handling was excellent, we minimized our turnovers, capitalized at the free throw line. We just had a great game," Sullivan said.
"Hopefully that gives us confidence going into the tournament because it's a whole new season. Every team starts 0-0. We're on the road. We're heading down to Plymouth South and they are a higher seed, so we have our work cut out for us. But if we play the way we are capable of, play the way we played in the Sharon Showcase, then I think we have a good chance."