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Schools: Tech rolls in Eagles’ showdown

  • Franklin Tech’s Brooke Adams (12) goes up for a breakaway layup in the second half in a 62-17 Tri-County League North girls’ basketball win over Pioneer Christian Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Above, Franklin Tech’s Brooke Adams (12) drives down the court on a breakaway during her Eagles’ 62-17 Tri-County League North girls’ basketball win over Pioneer Christian Tuesday night in Turners Falls. Below, Franklin Tech’s Amber Merritt (15) puts up a jumper in the second half. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Amber Merritt (15) puts up a jumper in the second half against Pioneer Christian Tuesday in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Isabelle Duga (24) drives down the court defended by Pioneer Christian’s Hannah Rivera (13) in the second half Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Desiree Doane (20) defends against Pioneer Christian’s Olivia Andre (10) in the second half Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Brooke Adams (12) drives downcourt defended by Pioneer Christian’s Sarah Emerson (14) Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Amber Merritt (15) puts up a jumper in the second half against Pioneer Christian Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Jocelyn Crowningshield (22) dishes off a pass in the second half during a 62-17 Tri-County League North girls’ basketball win over Pioneer Christian Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Isabelle Duga (24) looks for a passing lane through Pioneer Christian defenders Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech head coach Sean Knightly talks with his team during a timeout against Pioneer Christian Tuesday night in Turners Falls. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Franklin County Technical School girls’ basketball team entered the season with young players composing much of the roster. As the team passes the midway point, those players have continued the maturation process.

Behind an offensive attack that saw three players hit double figures, the Eagles won their fourth straight game and seventh in their past eight, 62-17, over Pioneer Valley Christian Academy in a Tri-County League North Division battle of Eagles Tuesday night in Turners Falls.

Tech (8-3) took another step toward qualifying for the postseason despite significant turnover on the roster this season. Coach Sean Knightly explained that he has a young team but one that has been willing to listen and works hard to improve each and every day.

“I asked the girls to focus on it one game at a time,” he began. “I’m always challenging them to improve both as individuals and as a team, and the girls are responding. Ninety percent of our team are freshman and sophomores, but they are eager to learn, eager to succeed and willing to work together to achieve that goal.”

Brooke Adams finished with 15 points to pace Franklin Tech, while Jordan Hurlbert added 14. Amber Merritt finished with 11 points, Gabby Castagna notched 7, and Joclyn Crowningshield added 6. Franklin Tech also owned a 55-18 rebounding advantage.

Frontier 40, Southwick 36 — Frontier Regional School continued to make up for a lack of offense with its smothering defense as the Hawks moved one game from clinching a postseason berth with a 40-36 victory over Southwick-Tolland Regional High School Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield.

The Red Hawks (9-3) won their seventh consecutive game despite averaging just 42 points per game over that span. Frontier has scored more than 44 points just once during the winning streak, but has held opponents to an average of 33.8.

“Our defense has kept us in games and allowed us to win these games even though we have struggled to score,” Frontier coach Marty Sanderson said.

Frontier led 10-4 after the first quarter and took a 23-18 lead into the break. Things remained tight throughout the second half.

Ella Deane hit four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 15 points to pace the Red Hawks. Lexa Boyden had 6 points and 11 rebounds, and Marie Diemand finished with 3 points, 3 assists and 7 rebounds. Tori Speth added 3 points and 9 rebounds, and Amelia Sobieski had 7 points and 6 boards.

McKenna Leary led Southwick with 10 points.

Frontier travels to Turners Falls High School Friday night in what should be a good measuring stick game for both teams.

Greenfield 82, Turners 41 — Raegan Hickey moved to within 18 points of reaching 1,000 for her career and Greenfield High School doubled up Turners Falls, 82-41, in an independent game Tuesday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.

The Green Wave (11-1) opened up a 28-7 lead after the first quarter and held a 54-22 halftime lead. The big lead was helped out by Greenfield turning 21 first-half steals into some easy buckets.

“Our man-to-man defense was pretty good tonight,” Green Wave coach John Hickey said. “We pressured the ball and got in passing lanes and got some steals for some easy conversions down the other end.”

Hickey added a team-high 8 steals and 7 assists to go with her points. Katie Haselton led the Green Wave with 20 points to go with 5 steals, and Samantha Smith had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 6 steals. Kirsten Ward had 14 points, and Lizzy Howland had 6 points.

Chloe Ellis led Turners Falls (7-4) with 12 points, while Taylor Murphy had 9. Dabney Rollins had 8 points, and Maddy Chmyzinski finished with 6.

Greenfield travels to Putnam Vocational Technical Academy on Friday.

Mohawk 28, Pioneer 27 — Emma Poplawski had 10 points and Mohawk Trail Regional High School picked up a hard-fought, 28-27 victory over Pioneer Valley Regional School Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

The teams played a tightly-contested defensive battle that saw Pioneer (3-8) hold a 16-12 lead at the break and a 22-20 lead after three quarters. Mohawk (5-6) outscored the Panthers 8-5 in the fourth quarter to come from behind. Paige Loughman had a chance to win the game late, but the Mohawk defense stifled her chance and no foul was called, as the Warriors came away with the win.

Despite the defensive battle, the referees let both teams play. Pioneer averages 21 free-throw attempts per game but went to the line just four times in the loss, while Mohawk got to the line just six times.

Ashley Reynolds added 8 points in the win.

Olivia Rowe finished with 11 points, 19 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in the loss. Loughman finished with 8 points and 5 rebounds, and Liz Lambert had 18 rebounds.

Pioneer won the junior varsity game, 27-23, in overtime.

Athol 56, Easthampton 36 — A balanced offensive attack and solid team defense helped Athol High School notch its first win of the season, 56-36 over Easthampton High School in an independent girls’ basketball game Tuesday night in Athol.

“They finally put everything together that we have been working on in practice,” Athol coach Kelly Kaczmarczyk said.

Athol (1-9) led 14-12 after one quarter but Kaczmarczyk said the team switched from man-to-man defense to a zone and things began to click. That led to Athol allowing the Eagles to score six points in the second quarter and four points in the third. Athol took a 27-18 lead at halftime and a 39-22 lead into the fourth.

Destiny Wrigley and Peyton Parker led the offense with 12 points apiece, while Hailey Bigwood and Taylor Cleveland each notched 10 points.

“They were unselfish tonight and really played as a team,” Kaczmarczyk said. “They really moved the ball well.”

Lily Peoli led Easthampton with 16 points, while Juli Korza tossed in 12.

Mahar 52, Smith Academy 33 — Kianna Reilly hit more 3-pointers against Smith Academy Tuesday night than the Falcons have scored all season as a team and Mahar Regional School went on to a 52-33 victory in an independent girls’ basketball game at Grzesik-Bixby Gymnasium in Orange.

Reilly finished with three 3-pointers to finish with a team-high 12 points in the win, giving her one more 3-pointer on the night than the Falcons have all season, as they only have two 3-pointers on the year. Micalyn Mailloux added a pair of 3-pointers to finish with 10 points.

“Mailloux is only a freshman and she has been getting more minutes and making the most of it,” Mahar coach Larry Fisher said.

Jasmine Vautour finished with 8 points for the Senators. Hannah Paul added 7.

Mahar used a strong defensive effort to get off to a fast start as Mahar outscored the Falcons 14-7 in the first quarter and had a 31-14 lead at halftime. Part of the effort was holding Smith Academy center Emma Kelly in check. Kelly averages over 12 points per game this season but finished with just 7 points in the loss. Victoria Smiarowski and Mary Whalen each scored 8 points to pace the Falcons.

“We wanted to play good defense on Kelly — she’s a talented young player — and I thought we did a nice job on her,” Fisher said.

Tori Tenney and Vautour paced the Senators on the boards with eight rebounds apiece.

Mahar (8-6) heads to McCann Technical High School Friday night.

Boys’ basketball

Belchertown 79, Turners 75 — A frantic fourth-quarter comeback came up just short for Turners Falls Tuesday night as it fell to Belchertown High School, 79-75, in a Hampshire League South Division boys’ basketball game in Belchertown.

Turners Falls (4-9) trailed 62-46 entering the fourth quarter and the Orioles (8-5) pushed the lead to as many as 18 points early on. Turners did not quit and when shots started dropping, the deficit began to dwindle, but the visitors ran out of time in their comeback attempt.

“We were very proud of the effort,” Turners assistant Jay Liimatainen said. “The kids could have hung their heads when we were down 18 points in the fourth, but they fought back.”

Anthony Peterson finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds for Turners Falls, while Jimmy Vaughn added 15 points. Tyler Lavin had 14 points and 7 assists and did not come off the floor all night to lead Turners from the point, while Jovani Williams added 13 points. Chace Novak chipped in 8 points.

Mitch Medina continued to fill up the hoop for the Orioles as he scored 30 points. Nolan Vogel finished with 19 points, and Michael Laughner added 11.

Hockey

Greenfield 4, Ludlow 2 — Evans Simmons registered a hat trick and Greenfield recovered from a 2-0 second-period deficit to top Ludlow High School, 4-2, in an independent hockey game Tuesday night at the Olympia in West Springfield.

Ludlow scored the only goal of the first period, from Aidan McBride, and Betinho Terrinca made it 2-0 just one minute into the second.

Greenfield (8-3-1) got on the board 3:04 after Terrinca’s goal when Doug Hanieski sent Simmons in on a breakaway and the speedy forward buried the puck past Ludlow goalie Mike Young to jumpstart the Wave’s offense. Simmons then got the equalizer with 5:26 to play in the middle frame when he again broke in on Young, this time on a pass from Jacob Bryant.

Bryan Baumann put the Wave in front for good with 11:22 to play in the third period on assists from Simmons and Hanieski. Then Simmons capped off his trick with 4:31 to play on an assist from Hanieski.

“Simmons played one of his best games of the season tonight,” Greenfield coach Adam Bouchard said. “It was a huge comeback win for us.”

Riley Drew made 12 saves to earn the win, while Young stopped 27 shots in the loss.