Hopkins top Eagles, 61-30

  • Above, Franklin Tech freshman Gabby Castagna fights for a loose ball with Hopkins’ Thea Hanscom on Thursday during the Eagles’ Holiday Classic semifinals in Turners Falls where the Golden Hawks defeated the hosts, 61-30. Below, Guard Brooke Adams moves around a pick set by Castagna. Recorder Photos/Paul Franz

  • Franklin Tech guard Brooke Adams moves around a pick set from teammate Gabby Castagna on Thursday but the Eagles fell to Hopkins, 61-30, in Eagles’ Holiday Classic semifinal action in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Eagles’ forward Amber Merritt puts up a shot between Hopkins defenders Thea Hanscomb (4) and Samantha Jenks (2) Thursday where Franklin Tech suffered a 61-30 loss in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Franklin Tech’s Gabby Castagna goes for a loose ball with Hopkins' Sammy Jenks Thursday where Franklin Tech suffered a 61-30 loss in the semifinals of the Eagles’ Holiday Classic in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Franklin Tech’s Gabby Castagna utilizes a pick by teammate Desiree Doane during the Eagles’ 61-30 loss to Hopkins Academy Thursday during the semifinals of the Eagles’ Holiday Classic in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Thursday, December 07, 2017

Samantha Jenks and Allison Kowal-Safron put on an offensive show in the first half of Thursday’s Eagles’ Holiday Classic semifinal game, and Hopkins Academy went on to defeat host Franklin County Technical School, 61-30, in girls’ action in Turners Falls.

The Eagles’ Holiday Classic is a two-day event hosted by Franklin Tech that features four girls’ teams and four boys’ teams. Hopkins advanced to today’s girls’ championship game at 6:30 where it will face Mt. Everett Regional High School. Franklin Tech will face Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School in the third-place game today at 3:30. Mt. Everett beat Smith Voke, 63-18, in the other semifinal on Thursday.

While it may have been the season-opener for both teams, neither looked to have any rust in its offensive game in the opening eight minutes as the teams combined to score 35 points in the first quarter and the Golden Hawks took a 22-13 lead into the second.

“Hopkins heated up early,” Franklin Tech coach Sean Knightly said. “Both Jenks and Safron were shooting very well from the floor and with their 3-pointers. Even their 2-point shots were long. Hopkins passed well and got a number of open shots and there was a point where it felt like they couldn’t miss because they just kept making shots.”

While the Eagles hung around with Hopkins early on, the Golden Hawks were really able to open things up in the second quarter as they outscored the hosts, 18-3 to take a 40-16 lead into the break. Hopkins continued its strong play in the third quarter, outscoring Franklin Tech 14-5, before the Eagles put together a strong fourth quarter and held a 9-7 edge in scoring to close things out.

Jenks hit nine field goals and finished with a game-high 21 points, while Kowal-Safron made seven field goals, including three 3-pointers, and finished with 17 points. Sara Beauchamp added 7 points, and Thea Hanscomb and Caroline Kowal-Safron each added 4.

Sophomore Jordan Hurlbert had a solid game up front for the Eagles and scored a team-leading 10 points. Classmate Joclyn Crowningshield added 5 points, Brooke Adams and Amber Merritt each had 4 points, and Gabby Castagna chipped in 3 points.

“We have a lot of new girls this year and they were a bit nervous starting off the game,” Knightly said. “Once they settled down, I thought they played well. We were trying a lot of new plays both on offense and on defense, so I encouraged the girls to be patient and stay positive.”

Boys’ hoop

FC Tech 41, Mohawk 23 — It wasn’t the pretty, but Franklin Tech is on its way to the championship game of the Eagles’ Holiday Classic.

The Eagles overcame a slow start offensively and got going late in the first half and the defense was solid all night long as Franklin Tech defeated Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 41-23, in the boys’ semifinal game Thursday night in Turners Falls.

“It was a rough first half to say the least,” joked Eagles’ coach Matt Llewelyn.

Neither team was able to get much going offensively in the first half, as Mohawk held a 5-4 lead after the first quarter and the Eagles held a 8-6 lead late in the second quarter.

“It wasn’t all bad,” Llewelyn said of the first-half power outage. “It wasn’t like we were dribbling the ball down the court and throwing it out of bounds. We were getting good shots, they just weren’t going in. In the second half, we got the bugs out and we got a couple more turnovers, and those turned into layups and we started making some shots.”

Franklin Tech used a press on defense in the second half to harass Mohawk, which trailed 32-10 after three quarters. The Eagles had foul trouble in the first half and were unable to press much of the time according to Llewelyn, who said he was proud of his defense as a whole in the win.

“It doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at, you hold a team to 23 points, and that’s a pretty good night,” the coach said. “We are going to have to do that to win games. It’s a point of emphasis for us this season because we are going to have nights where we struggle to score. I was very pleased to see us play that well on defense.”

Max Charest helped spark the Eagles’ offense in the second half as he scored nine of his game-high 13 points in the third quarter when the Eagles pulled away. Jared Bergmann finished with 10 points, eight of which came in the second quarter to help start the offense late in the first half. Seth Aldrich finished with 5 points in the win, Sim Maniatty added 4, points, and Tyler Hastings, Bailey Young and Garrett Cole each had 3 points.

Mohawk was led by Will Guyette’s 6 points. Cam Hoff added 5, and Luke Viens chipped in 4.

The Eagles will face Ware High School in tonight’s championship game at 8 after the Indians defeated Mt. Everett, 70-32, in the other semifinal on Thursday. Mohawk will face Mt. Everett in the third-place game at 5.