Falcons dump Wave
Last season, Greenfield High School found itself on the winning end of a number of close game boys’ basketball games en route to a one-loss regular season and a trip to the WMass Division II championship game.
This year is proving to be a little different.
For the second time in just over a week, the Green Wave came up just short in the end, suffering a 56-53 loss to Smith Academy in a Hampshire League game Wednesday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield.
Smith Academy led by one point in the final minute and had the ball, but the Green Wave forced the Falcons into a tough shot and appeared to get the stop it was looking for. Sticking to script, though, the Falcons secured the offensive rebound and Keith Natale put the ball back up to score the basket that gave the Falcons the three-point cushion they won by. Smith Academy finished the night with 13 offensive boards.
“Our lack of rebounding hurt,” Greenfield coach Scott Thayer said. “We made a great stop at the end but we rebound.”
The game was tight throughout. The Green Wave (7-4 overall, 6-2 HL) led by two points (29-27) at halftime but Smith Academy (8-3, 5-2) tied the game at the end of the third quarter before outscoring Greenfield, 13-10, in the fourth to win. The loss comes nine days after Greenfield dropped a 54-51 decision to Mahar Regional School.
“I was proud of the effort, the execution and rebounding just waned a little bit,” Thayer said. “We were in a bunch of these games last year and we came out on the winning end of most of those, including two close wins over Smith Academy. Turnabout is fair play a little bit. You just deal with these losses and try to learn from them.”
Natale led the Falcons with 20 points, including one 3-pointer, for a Smith Academy team that finished with seven 3s. David Longstreeth hit a pair of 3s and finished with 13 points, Christian Smiarowski drained three 3’s to account for all of his 9 points, and Derek McMahon added one from downtown en route to 7.
Robin Marchese paced all scorers with 21 points, including all three of the Green Wave’s trifectas. Garrett Hudson dumped in 16 points. Connor Eckstrom finished with 8.
Turners Falls 64, Smith Voke 45 — Turners Falls High School turned things around at halftime to turn what had been a close game into a rout as it settled on a 64-45 independent boys’ basketball victory over Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School Wednesday night in Northampton.
The Indians (8-2 overall) led just 27-24 at the break but came out in the third quarter and used ball pressure to force the Vikings into some turnovers, helping the Indians outscore the hosts, 18-9, to take control of the game.
“We had a sloppy first-half, no doubt,” Turners Falls assistant coach Jay Liimatainen said. “We cleaned it up in the second half.”
Turners Falls also played without starter Malcolm Smith and sixth-man Tyler Charboneau, both of whom missed the game due to school policy. The Indians instead relied on other players to step in and answer the call .
“Kids who don’t get as much playing time stepped in there and did some nice things,” Liimatainen said.
Liam Ellis netted 15 points to lead the Indians in scoring as usual, and Jalen Sanders finished with 9. Nick York was one point shy of a double-double with 9 points and a team-high 13 boards. Emmitt Turn added 7 points, Eric Ferguson dumped in 6, and Zack Wright and Brody Markol each finished with 5.
Anthony Karch led Smith Voke with 20 points. Damon Soto added 13.
Gansett 61, Athol 57 — Brad Bousquet and Andrew Poor each scored 15 points but Athol High School suffered a 61-57 decision to Narragansett Regional High School in an independent boys’ basketball game Wednesday evening in Athol.
Athol (1-8) trailed by 13 at halftime but outscored Narragansett 38-29 in the second half to make a game of it.
Jerry Parker finished with 10 points in the loss, and Alex Page netted 9.
Ware 45, Mohawk 26 — Taylor Green scored 15 points Wednesday and Ware High School knocked off Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 45-26, in an independent girls’ game in Buckland.
Blaze Petko-Sands netted half of the Warriors’ points with 13, but the hosts were unable to find any offensive consistency among the rest of the players. Mikayla Hicks was the second-highest scorer with 5 points.
“They are young and playing hard and that’s the most important thing right now,” Mohawk coach Chuck Miner said. “They give me great effort.”
Mohawk is off until Tuesday when it opens Franklin County League South Division play on the road at Pioneer Valley Regional School.