Franklin vs. Mansfield Round Two

Ryan Lanigan

Franklin’s Paul Mahon drives past Mansfield’s Sam Goldberg in the Panthers’ win earlier this year (Ryan Lanigan,

Joe Clark

This Friday night the Franklin High School boys basketball plays host to Hockomock League rival Mansfield. With matching 12-1 league records, the matchup should decide the winner of the Kelley-Rex division. When the two played earlier this year in Mansfield, Franklin stifled the Mansfield offense en route to a 52-40 win.

Leading the charge for Mansfield is senior center Sam Goldberg, who is 7th in the Hock at 14.4 PPG. including two double doubles, including a 17 point, 10 rebound outing on February 1st against Milford. Since their loss to Franklin, Mansfield has rattled off 8 wins in a row, and Friday’s matchup at Franklin will be their 4th straight road game. The key to winning for Mansfield will be to find their shooters and try to space the floor to attack Franklin’s Hockomock leading defense (47.9 OPPG). On the defensive side of the ball, Mansfield, who is 2nd in the Hock in OPPG at 48.8, will need to find away to prevent Franklin from getting the ball inside to Connor Peterson and Josh Macchi, who is coming off of a 17 point, 12 rebound outing against Taunton on Monday night, in a game where Peterson also had 20. Getting Tyler Boulter (10.1 PPG) involved early will be important for Mansfield to succeed, as well as limiting second chance points, which Franklin has thrived off of lately. That task will fall on the shoulders of the 6’4 Goldberg, who will have to anchor Mansfield defensively, which may involve most of the offense for Mansfield running through Boulter, Christian Weber, or Michael Boen.

For Franklin, their offense will run through junior captain Paul Mahon, who is tied with Connor Peterson as the Panthers’ high scorer at 12 PPG. Mahon will also be charged with matching up with one of Mansfield’s top guards, be it Weber or Boulter. To win this game, Franklin will need to continue to play solid, disciplined defense and get contributions from guys like Chris Edgehill, who had 15 points against Oliver Ames last week, and Connor Goldstein, whose three pointer been falling at a ridiculous clip as of late, including a big game against Stoughton, where he with 21 points on five three pointers. Continuing to lockdown on defense will be huge, but attacking Mansfield’s similarly impressive defense will be key. In Franklin’s only league loss this year, a 46-42 loss at Canton, they effectively shut down the Canton offense, but they couldn’t convert anything on the offensive side of the ball, which led to the loss. If Franklin is able to knock down shots from the perimeter and keep playing solid defense, they should be in line to pick up the W over their division rival.