School Hoops: Pioneer earns first victory, 49-34

  • Above, Pioneer’s Paige Loughman (3) pulls down a rebound over Athol defenders Haley Wrigley (22) and Sophie Putnam (15) during second-half action of the host Panthers’ 49-34 indpendent girls’ basketball win Monday night in Northfield. Below, Pioneer’s Olivia Rowe (11) blocks a shot attempt from Athol’s Haley Bigwood (12). RECORDER STAFF photos/DAN LITTLE

  • Pioneer’s Olivia Rowe (11) blocks a shot attempt from Athol’s Haley Bigwood (12) in the second half on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 in Northfield. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Pioneer’s Paige Loughman (3) breaks through the lane for a layup past Athol defenders Geca Baptista (10) and Haley Wrigley (22) during first-half action of her host Panthers’ 47-34 independent girls’ basketball win Monday night in Northfield. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Athol’s Haley Bigwood (12) drives the ball around Pioneer’s Paige Loughman (3) in the second half during her visiting Raiders independent loss Monday in Northfield. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Pioneer’s Abigail Briggs (12) takes a shot between Athol defenders Sophie Putnam (15) and Destiny Wrigley (5) in the first half on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 in Northfield. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Athol’s Haley Bigwood (12) takes a shot against Pioneer in the second half on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 in Northfield. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

Recorder Staff
Monday, January 08, 2018

Behind a triple-double from Olivia Rowe, host Pioneer Valley Regional School broke into the win column for the first time Monday night.

The Panthers stormed out to an early lead and took care of business from there, holding off Athol High School for a 49-34 independent girls’ basketball victory in Northfield.

“It was a real team effort tonight,” lauded Pioneer head coach Meg Burrington. “We had points and rebounds everywhere. The girls put it together and they’re happy to get that first win.”

Rowe’s big night featured 14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks. The Panthers (1-4), buoyed by 8 points in the opening quarter from Rowe, jumped out to a 13-4 lead and eventually went up 26-15 at halftime. The lead ballooned to 42-21 after three quarters.

Paige Loughman joined Rowe in double figures with 14 points to go with five steals, while Steph Scoville totaled 9 points and five steals. Liz Lambert was solid with 7 points and 9 rebounds.

“It’s a young group of girls who really haven’t had that taste of winning yet so we’re continuing to grow,” Burrington explained. “We had four freshmen on the floor together at certain times tonight.”

Haley Bigwood paced Athol (0-5) with 12 points, while Sophie Putnam added 6 points and Taylor Cleveland tossed in 5.

Pioneer travels to McCann Technical School Wednesday while Athol hosts Southwick-Tolland Regional High School Thursday night.

Mahar 62, Easthampton 26 — Mahar Regional School turned in a complete effort at both ends of the court and dumped Easthampton High School, 62-26, in an independent girls’ basketball game Monday night in Easthampton.

The Senators (4-5) have struggled at times early in the season, especially on the offensive end of the court, where coach Larry Fisher was looking for improvement, as the Senators have scored 35 points or less in each of its past two games.

“The offense kicked in tonight,” Fisher said. “We were able to run some schemes that worked out tonight, and we hit some outside shots, which we haven’t been doing. We are still coming along together, and by the time we get close to the end of the season, we will be fine.”

Mahar led 12-2 after the first quarter and 33-7 at halftime.

Hannah Paul had a big offensive night with 17 points for the Senators, while Tori Tenney finished with 8 points. Sarah Graeff and Kianna Reilly each scored 6 points, while Delaney Parker, Abby Bonk and Jazmyn Vautour each chipped in 5 points.

Emily Landry led Easthampton with 8 points.

Mahar heads to Belchertown High School tonight.

Pathfinder 49, FC Tech 31 — A slow offensive start was too much for Franklin County Technical School to overcome as it fell to Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical School, 49-31, in an Tri-County League girls’ basketball game Monday night in Three Rivers.

The Eagles (4-3, 0-1) trailed 10-3 after the first quarter and were down 20-10 at halftime in the TCL opener.

Trista Daley scored 18 points to pace Pathfinder, and Caleena Welsh netted 13 points.

Amber Merritt had a big night for Franklin Tech with 19 points. Gabby Castagna finished with 4 points.

Hopkins 63, Mohawk 38 — Samantha Jenks scored 25 points and Hopkins Academy upended Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 63-38, in an independent girls’ basketball game Monday in Buckland.

Sara Beauchamp scored 14 points in the win, while Allison Kowal-Safron and Gabby Palmisano each had 7 points.

Emma Poplawski and Grace Poplawski each had 8 points for Mohawk, while Ashley Walker, Emmarae Reed and Ashley Reynolds each had 7 points.

Boys’ game

Hampden Charter 60, FC Tech 58 — Franklin Tech let a late lead slip away and suffered a 60-58 defeat to Hampden Charter School of Science in a Tri-County League North Division boys’ basketball game Monday night in Turners Falls.

The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 49-49 but the Eagles (4-4) scored the first seven points of the final frame and led 56-49 with four minutes to go. At that point Sam Monette (13 points) hit a 3-pointer for the Wolves (3-3), and Justin Rodriguez (17 points) followed with back-to-back field goals to tie the game at 56 with 2:30 to play.

Hampden Charter seized control of the game by turning to its press, which produced back-to-back turnovers by the Eagles and allowed Hampden Charter to take the late lead. Franklin Tech had a chance to tie the game with 13 seconds to play when it set a pick to free up Garrett Cole, but his shot was off the mark and Hampden Charter held on from there.

“We played 28 minutes of pretty good basketball tonight,” Franklin Tech coach Matt Llewelyn said. “We played the first four minutes of the fourth quarter better than them, but they played the final four minutes better than us and that was the difference in the game. That’s on me, that’s on them, it’s a team thing. I take responsibility for this loss.”

Cole scored a game-high and career-high 21 points in the loss, while Joel Farrick netted 14 points. Jared Bergmann notched 9 points, and Max Charest finished with 6 points.

Franklin Tech heads to Pioneer Valley Christian Academy tonight at 7.