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Senators edge Eagles, 59-52

  • Mahar’s Jack Temple goes up strong to the rim over Easthampton’s Ronan Mottor on Tuesday night where the Senators picked up a 59-52 victory at Grzesik-Bixby Gymnasium in Orange. For The Recorder/J. Anthony Roberts

  • Mahar’s Quinn Gervais goes over Easthampton’s Darnel Whitley on Tuesday night as the Senators earned a 59-52 win at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. For The Recorder/J. Anthony Roberts



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mahar Regional School closed the game on a 24-12 run, as the Senators handled constant pressure from Easthampton High School to pick up a huge 59-52 victory in an independent boys’ basketball game Tuesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange.

Sam Paul paced Mahar (3-0) with 18 points and five assists, while Quinn Gervais notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brennan Mailloux scored 13 points to go with eight boards.

“They’re a handful,” offered Mahar coach Chad Softic of Easthampton, which entered the night averaging 79½ points per game. “Their ball pressure, you can’t really prepare for it. You’re under constant duress. But I thought Sam and Brennan did a phenomenal job dealing with it and taking care of the basketball.”

The win was also big for Softic, who celebrated the birth of his first son, Jaylen Evan, on Friday.

Trailing 40-35, Mahar kicked up the defensive intensity, hit a couple of 3-pointers and turned the complexion of the game. The Senators outscored Easthampton (1-2) by a 22-15 margin in the fourth quarter to earn their best win of the young season.

“We took care of the ball late, kept (Easthampton) in the half court,” explained Softic. “I’d say no doubt, we’ll probably see them in the tournament again.”

Jack Temple scored five points to go with 12 rebounds in the win, while Ryan Donaldson also finished with five points.

Mahar heads to Southwick-Tolland Regional High School Friday night for its next contest.

Renaissance 61, Greenfield 45 — A slow start proved to be too much for Greenfield High School Tuesday night, as the Green Wave dug themselves a sizable early hole and couldn’t climb out in a 61-45 loss to Renaissance School at Nichols Gymnasium.

Renaissance (1-1) jumped out to a 19-4 lead and held a 32-11 advantage at intermission.

“They came out with a lot of intensity,” began Greenfield coach Tim Caplice of Renaissance. “They were pressing us all over the court. We didn’t handle the pressure well at first. Once we got to the second half and settled ourselves a bit, we were able to compete with them. But you can’t dig yourselves that big of a hole.”

Greenfield (1-2) outscored the Phoenix, 34-29, in the second half. Colin Cloutier paced the Wave with 14 points, and Hunter Campbell followed with 13 points. Jake Suhl tossed in five points.

Freshman Jayson Green led all scorers with 24 points in a strong performance for Renaissance.

Greenfield heads to South Hadley High School Thursday night.

Monson 52, Frontier 48 — Despite a frantic fourth-quarter comeback bid, Frontier Regional School was unable to hold serve at home Tuesday night.

Visiting Monson High School built a double-digit lead late and held on, as the Mustangs edged Frontier, 52-48, in an independent boys’ basketball game in South Deerfield.

“The big thing we’ve been harping on is finishing possessions,” explained Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky. “We had some great defensive possessions, but did not seal the deal with good box-outs or rebounds. We were outperformed in the fourth quarter.”

Kalen Evans (12 points) and Ben Litskoski (10) finished in double figures for Frontier (0-3), while Jared Muzyka had nine points and Owen Morse added eight points. Carsten Carey tallied six points.

The Red Hawks pulled the double-digit deficit within four points with 14 seconds remaining in regulation but couldn’t get any closer.

Chris Sisco paced Monson (2-1) with 17 points. Cam Kratovil joined him in double figures with 11 points.

The Hawks travel to play at Ludlow High School Friday night.

Pioneer 53, Palmer 46 — It’s always better to win ugly than to lose pretty, such was the case for Pioneer Valley Regional School on Tuesday night.

The Panthers rebounded from a lackadasical first half to outscore Palmer High School, 29-19, in the second and came away with a 53-46 independent boys’ hoop win at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

“It was ugly, but we got the win,” Pioneer coach Scott Thayer said.

Pioneer started slow and fell behind 12-9 after the first quarter and still trailed by three points at halftime, 27-24. Things began to turn around in the second half, as Pioneer took a one-point (38-37) lead into the fourth and put the game away on the strength of its defense limiting Palmer to just nine points in the final frame.

“We played with a little bit more urgency in the second half,” Thayer said. “We ran our offensive sets better, and when we moved the ball well, it led to some easier baskets. We have too many moving parts who just haven’t played much together yet this season.”

Indeed, Pioneer has dealt with injuries early on in the season and both Jordan Loughman (four points) and Garrett Cote (three points) each appeared in their first game on Tuesday.

“Jordan took some great shots, his timing was just a little off. He could have had 30 points,” Thayer said.

Mike Menard had a huge game for Pioneer (1-1) with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Fox finished with 10 points, and Karl Wheeler added 7.

Tyler Placanico and Dan Ladue each led Palmer with 11 points.

Pioneer hosts Duggan Academy Thursday at 6.

Turners 57, Hampshire 53 — Jimmy Vaughn took off his mask and put in his best effort of the season to lead Turners Falls High School past Hampshire Regional High School, 57-53, in an independent game Tuesday in Turners Falls.

Vaughn played his first game without a mask that he had been wearing since he broke his nose in the preseason and he responded with a season-high 17 points to help Turners Falls come from behind following a 30-24 halftime deficit.

The other factor in the comeback was a third quarter that saw Turners Falls hold Hampshire to just five points — a 3-pointer and two made free throws. Turners Falls assistant coach Jay Liimatainen said that a defensive switch at halftime helped lead the team.

“We changed things up a little and were much better in the second half,” he said. “We attacked the ball-handler a little bit and created some turnovers.”

Tyler Lavin also had a big game in the win with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony Peterson notched 15 points to go with 8 boards, and Tim Fritz chipped in 6 points.

Davis Helems led Hampshire with 23 points, and Nick Pellegrini added 13.

Turners (2-2) travels to Lee High School on Thursday.

Granby 78, Mohawk 21 — Ryan Sheehan scored 20 points and Connor Gaughan added 19 to power visiting Granby High School to a 78-21 win over Mohawk Trail Regional High School in an independent boys’ hoop game Tuesday night in Buckland.

The duo combined for seven 3-pointers for Granby (3-0), which stormed out to a 30-5 lead after one quarter and extended the advantage to 43-12 at halftime.

Luke Viens led the Warriors (0-4) with 7 points, while Jackson Hicks added five points, and Will Guyette followed with four points.

Mohawk heads to Palmer High School for a road game Thursday night.

FC Tech 58, Gateway 15 — It was an easy night at the office for Franklin County Technical School.

Buoyed by a 27-7 lead after the first quarter, the Eagles cruised past Gateway Regional High School, 58-15, in an independent game in Turners Falls.

The Eagles pushed the lead to 43-9 at halftime and held the Gators to just six points in the second half.

Every player on the Eagles’ roster scored at least 2 points, including Jared Bergmann, who led the way in the win with 12 points. That included a pair of 3-pointers as Franklin Tech had seven as a team, with six players making at least one.

Garrett Cole scored 10 points in the win, and Bailey Young and Joel Farrick each had 7, including one 3-pointer apiece. Jared Vielmetti-Perusse also hit a 3 and finished with 6 points, and Seth Aldrich and Sim Maniatty each had 5 points.

Nathaniel Bushor led Gateway with 9 points.

Girls’ basketball

Lenox 34, Turners 32 — Visiting Turners Falls High School had several chances late, but the Powertown was 0-for-5 from the free throw line in the final two minutes of regulation and fell to Lenox Memorial High School, 34-32, Tuesday night in a rematch of last year’s WMass Div. IV quarterfinal.

Turners (3-1) trailed 34-32 with less than two minutes remaining, but neither team was able to find answers offensively.

“You go 0-for-5 from the line and then lose by two, that’s not a winning recipe,” explained Turners coach Ted Wilcox. “You’ve gotta make your foul shots.”

Dabney Rollins led Turners with 10 points on the night, followed by Chloe Ellis with nine points, and Maddy Chmyzinski with eight points.

Turners led 9-4 after one quarter, and the game was tied 18-18 at intermission.

“We did come out stronger in the first quarter than we have been which was good, but we didn’t finish it off,” Wilcox said.

Alice Najimy paced Lenox (2-1) with 11 points.

Turners stays on the road at Putnam Vocational Technical Academy on Thursday.

FC Tech 42, Easthampton 41 — Jordan Hurlbert grabbed a rebound and dished it to Isabelle Duga to run out the clock, helping Franklin County Technical School pick up a solid road victory Tuesday night.

The Eagles outscored Easthampton by a 14-7 margin in the fourth quarter, and edged the hosts, 42-41, in an independent girls’ basketball game in Easthampton.

“Easthampton is a really good team,” lauded Franklin Tech coach Sean Knightly. “We knew going in that we had to hustle and play as a team to have a chance to get a win.”

Amber Merritt paced the Eagles (2-2) with 18 points, while Hurlbert was also in double figures with 15 points. Duga and Brooke Adams tossed in four points each.

“It was a back and forth game,” offered Knightly, whose team trailed 24-19 at halftime. “(Easthampton) had a couple looks at the end that didn’t go in and we were able to box out and get that last rebound.”

Juli Korza was the lone Easthampton player in finish in double figures, as she scored 11 points.

Franklin Tech is off until Dec. 28 when it travels to play at High School of Commerce.

Girls’ swimming

Turners Falls 52, Sci-Tech 2 — Allison Wheeler won both the 100 yard freestyle (1 minute, 10.21 seconds) and 100 backstroke (1:27.06), and host Turners Falls cruised to a 52-2 win over Springfield School of Science & Technology Tuesday afternoon in Turners Falls.

Wheeler had plenty of company atop the podium on Tuesday. Jade Tyler also won two individual events, taking first in the 200 freestyle (2:18.80) and 100 butterfly (1:10.14), while Olivia Whittier was a double-winner in the 200 individual medley (2:42.96) and 100 breaststroke (1:20.73).

Abigail Johnson captured the top spot in the 50 freestyle (35.53), and she added a runner-up showing in the 100 breaststroke (2:01.89).

Catie Reynolds (50 freestyle, 40.30) and Lillian Poirier (100 backstroke, 1:30.87) were runners-up in their respective events.

Turners (2-2) also won the relays, with Wheeler, Whittier, Tyler and Johnson claiming first in the 200 medley relay (2:25.27). Poirier, Reynolds, Whittier and Tyler won the 400 freestyle relay (5:08.70).

Boys’ swimming

Sci-Tech 40½, Turners Falls 30½ — Wins in the 200 freestyle (2:22.43) and 500 freestyle (6:26.54) highlighted the day for Nick Taylor, but the Turners Falls boys’ swim team was edged out by Sci-Tech, 40½-30½, Tuesday.

Nik Martin also won an event for Turners (1-3), taking first in the 50 freestyle (31.15) and tying for first in the 100 freestyle. Tommy Hall won the 100 breaststroke (1:48.77), and Ricky Hall was third in the 100 backstroke.

Taylor, Martin, Tommy Hall and Will Turn teamed to win the 200 medley relay in 2:32.85.

Turners Falls is off until Jan. 2 when the Powertown swims against Easthampton High School.