Panthers top Duggan, 67-58

  • Above, Pioneer’s Garrett Cote collides with a Duggan Academy defender Thursday night during the Panthers’ 67-58 boys’ hoop victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Below, Pioneer’s Karl Wheeler goes in for a layup past Duggan defender Joshua Ortiz. Recorder PHOTOS/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Karl Wheeler goes in for a layup Thursday night during his Panthers’ 67-58 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Above, Pioneer’s Jordan Loughman is tightly guarded by Duggan Academy defenders Tyvoun Alston-Person (1) and Christian Burton-Hill (23) Thursday night where the Panthers earned a 67-58 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Below, Loughman drives past a defender on his way to the hoop. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Jordan Loughman drives to the hoop Thursday night during the Panthers’ 67-58 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Jordan Loughman drives around a Duggan defender Thursday night as his Panthers picked up a 67-58 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Thursday, December 21, 2017

With its full complement of players available for the first time all season, Pioneer Valley Regional School put forth its best effort of the season Thursday night.

The host Panthers had its three big guns finish in double figures, leading to a comfortable 67-58 win over Duggan Academy in an independent boys’ basketball game at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer (2-1) welcomed senior Brendan Emond back to the lineup and he scored 15 points to go with 10 rebounds in his first game of the season, while Garrett Cote led all scorers with 18 points and added seven assists and three steals. Jordan Loughman tallied 11 points to join them, as all three players began the season on the injured list.

“It definitely helps to have all those guys back and playing,” Pioneer coach Scott Thayer offered. “This was the first time we were at full strength. The consistency part wasn’t quite there yet, but the overall play was a lot better than it has been so far.”

The Panthers jumped out to a 31-24 lead at halftime before the lead ballooned up to 15 points in the second half. Pioneer did a nice job handling Duggan’s full court pressure, with Cote leading the charge in getting the home team easy baskets.

“Garrett did a nice job making the right decisions almost every time against their press,” Thayer lauded.

Karl Wheeler added 8 points in the win, while Mike Menard followed with 7 points.

Pioneer game tonight at Granby High School was postponed due to the impending weather.

FC Tech 62, Smith Voke 49 — Franklin County Technical School turned up the defensive pressure in the second half on Thursday and pulled away from Smith Vocational & Agricultural School, 62-49, in an independent boys’ basketball game in Northampton.

The Eagles (3-3) led 34-27 at halftime but limited the Vikings to 15 points in the second half.

“It was neck and neck in the first half but we played good defense in the second half,” Franklin Tech coach Matt Llewelyn said. “The defensive intensity was there tonight. It was where it needs to be. We still have work to do, but tonight was a good night for our defense.”

Llewelyn also pointed out that the 62 points scored by his team were the most its put up this season, and it came against what he called a “much-improved” Smith Voke team.

“It’s a tribute to them and the hard work they’ve put in, they are a much better team this year,” Llewelyn said. 

Both teams were feeling it from long range, as Franklin Tech scored 10 3-pointers in the win, while Smith Voke put up eight from downtown. After Smith Voke scored five 3s in the first half, the Eagles tightened up and allowed just three 3s in the second half.

Joel Farrick hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, while Bailey Young hit a pair of 3s and finished with 14 points to tie Farrick for the team lead. Max Charest and Jared Bergmann each scored 10 points, and Garrett Cole chipped in 6.

Luis Acosta led Smith Voke with 17 points, but was held to six points in the second half after scoring 11 in the first. Joyvon Cardova added 11 points for the Vikings.

South Hadley 56, Greenfield 51 — Calvin Bridges hit four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 24 points, and South Hadley High School survived a late surge from Greenfield High School to hold on for a 56-51 win in an independent boys’ basketball game Thursday night in South Hadley.

Bridges, who has scored 20 or more points in every game this season, was a point of emphasis for the Green Wave. Greenfield head coach Tim Caplice said his team played better in the second half, but lost Bridges on a few plays where he made them pay.

“We knew coming in that Bridges is one of the best scorers in WMass,” Caplice said. “We knew that we had to try and keep him in check and put a body on him. We lost him on two possessions in the second quarter and he hit back-to-back 3s.”

Greenfield (1-3) trailed 28-18 at halftime but played a strong second half to get within striking distance. The Wave had a look at a game-tying 3 with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter but couldn’t pull even, and South Hadley hit free throws to seal the deal.

“We put ourselves in the right position in the second half but just came up a little short,” Caplice said.

Jonath Roman and Jake Suhl each scored 15 points on the night for Greenfield, while Hunter Campbell tossed in 7 points, and Owen Phelps added 6 points and 10 rebounds. Mason Meadows also pulled down 10 boards. The team played without the services of Colin Cloutier, who left the game with an ankle injury just 30 seconds into the night.

Greenfield is off until Wednesday when it welcomes Pioneer to Nichols Gymnasium.

Turners 65, Lee 63 — Freshman Chase Novak scored 13 of his team-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, as he hit three 3-pointers in the final period to help Turners Falls High School to an impressive 65-63 win over Lee High School in an independent boys’ basketball game Thursday night in Lee.

Turners (3-2) trailed for the majority of the night on the road, and Lee held a 47-38 advantage into the fourth quarter. The Powertown exploded in the fourth, however, scoring 27 points in the final eight minutes. The visitors took their first lead with four minutes remaining.

Novak assisted on what wound up being the game-winning basket. He hit Anthony Peterson on a back-door cut out of a timeout for a layup. Peterson finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds.

“It was a very nice win. The kids played really hard,” Turners assistant coach Jay Liimatainen offered. “I think we had 14 steals and 13 pass deflections, so they’re starting to get it.”

Jimmy Vaughn also had a big offensive night with 18 points on three 3-pointers, while Tyler Lavin added 4 points.

Lee led 20-8 after one quarter and 30-23 at halftime. Ben Harding led all scorers with 24 points for the Wildcats.

Turners is off until Friday when it travels back to the Berkshires to play Drury High School.

Palmer 74, Mohawk 19 — Palmer High School stormed out to a 42-6 halftime lead and rolled past Mohawk Trail Regional High School for a 74-19 independent boys’ basketball victory Thursday night in Palmer.

Luke Viens led the Warriors with 7 points on the night, while Jackson Hicks added 4 points. Jayden Hoff and Kaleb Fitzgerald each sank 3s in the loss.

Twelve different players scored for Palmer, with Dylan Tenczar leading the way with 11 points. Dan Ladue was also in double figures with 10 points.