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Struggling Green Wave falls at Hoop Classic

Greenfield forward Garrett Hudson (21) takes it up strong to the hoop over Granby's Cory Baker during a 67-54 Green Wave loss at the boys' basketball Hoop Hall Classic Thursday night in Springfield. 
Special to The Recorder/J. Anthony Roberts

Greenfield forward Garrett Hudson (21) takes it up strong to the hoop over Granby's Cory Baker during a 67-54 Green Wave loss at the boys' basketball Hoop Hall Classic Thursday night in Springfield. Special to The Recorder/J. Anthony Roberts

Greenfield High School’s slump continues.

The Green Wave was outscored by Granby High School in each of the first three quarters as the Rams easily knocked off the Wave, 67-54, during boys’ basketball action Thursday night at the Hoop Hall Classic at Springfield College.

Greenfield lost for the second consecutive day and has now dropped three of its last five games to fall to 7-5 overall on the season.

“I don’t know, it’s hard to tell what’s going on,” Greenfield coach Scott Thayer said. “Fatigue may be setting in a little. It’s exam week and kids are up late cramming, and we went back-to-back. But that’s no excuse. We just never came mentally engaged, and there is no commitment to the process. Kids are doing things they don’t normally do. We didn’t have the fight that we had the night before. And you don’t want to see that.”

After turning in a respectable defensive performance in Wednesday night’s 56-53 loss to Smith Academy, the Green Wave allowed nearly 70 points to Granby.

“We’ve got to get back into playing our defense, our off-the-ball defense was horrible,” Thayer said. “I don’t know if they really are that good, but that was the best team we’ve played this season. They passed the ball well and they pounded the paint.”

Granby (6-2) led 18-14 after the first quarter and took control in the second, outscoring the Green Wave, 19-9.

“I don’t know if it’s just the point of the season where fatigue is setting in a little bit,” Thayer continued. “Last year, we were winning and telling the kids that they were not as good as maybe they thought. Now, I’m trying to tell them that they’re not as bad as they look. The only thing you can do is go back to the drawing board and keep working at it.”

Jesse Molin paced Granby with 21 points. Corey Baker poured in 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a dominant performance.

“That Baker kid is the real deal,” Thayer offered.

Robin Marchese paced the Green Wave with 14 points. Parker Hickey netted 13 and Vincent Funari added 10. Garrett Hudson and Connor Eckstrom, two players who typically score in or around double figures, were limited to 6 and 3 points respectively.

Greenfield looks to right the ship Monday, when it heads to Hopkins Academy for the second meeting against former assistant coach and first-year Hopkins head coach Angelo Thomas.

Mahar 57, Frontier 32 — Mahar Regional School continued its torrid play of late, turning in a stellar defensive performance en route to a 57-32 win over Frontier Regional School in Hampshire League boys’ hoops action Thursday evening in Orange.

The Senators improved to 7-3, won for the fourth time in the past five games and have defeated two of the top four teams in the HL in the past two weeks.

“We’re playing with more urgency at both ends of the floor and aren’t turning the ball over as much as we were early,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “We had some atrocious turnovers early in the season. Guys are also starting to fill into their roles a little bit, and are playing with more confidence.”

The teams waged a defensive war on one another in the first half. Mahar led 14-10 after the first quarter. Then the teams combined to score just 11 points in the second quarter, which ended with the Senators holding a 21-14 halftime lead. Mahar increased the lead to double digits after three quarters and closed things out in the fourth with a 22-10 surge.

Part of the reason for the Senators’ struggles was that two of its top scorers were sitting on the bench in foul trouble. Nick Slattery picked up two fouls in the first quarter and got another in very limited second-quarter time, putting him on the bench until late in the third. Brendin Woodard also played sparingly in the second quarter due to foul trouble and was forced back to the bench in the third after picking up his third foul.

“We had to go deep into our bench tonight,” Softic said. “Everyone played and they did a good job, especially Nick Zanga.”

A senior reserve forward, Zanga came off the bench and finished with 8 points and seven rebounds as the second-leading scorer and top rebounder. All told, 11 players scored for the Senators.

Slattery came back and scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to help Mahar put the game away, finished with a team-high 14. Troix Adams, Woodard, Joey Verheyen and Austin Leary each had 6 points.

Frontier was playing without one of its top scorers, sophomore Justin Farrick. Tim Hoar led the Red Hawks (3-8 overall, 2-6 HL) with 14 points. Ben Ruddock added 7.

Mahar travels to HL-leading Turners Falls High School Monday night at 7:30, while Frontier looks to rebound Monday night when it heads to Buckland to take on Mohawk Trail Regional High School at 7.

Turners Falls 59, Hopkins 47 — Liam Ellis hit a late 3-pointer to help Turners Falls preserve a 59-47 HL boys’ hoops win over Hopkins Academy Thursday night in Turners Falls.

The Indians, who led 26-8 after the first quarter, had their lead cut to four points with under three minutes remaining. Hopkins had the ball with a chance to cut the deficit even more but the Indian defense got a huge stop. The Indians went down the other end and Ellis (14 points) hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 7, and the HL-leading Indians (9-2, 7-1) moved to within one win of becoming the first local hoop team to qualify for the postseason.

The first quarter was all Turners Falls, as the Indians pressed to force numerous turnovers. The game looked like it could get out of hand early, as Turners led 26-8 after one.

“We were just turning them over like crazy,” Indian assistant Jay Liimatainen said. “We were getting fast-break hoops out of it. They weren’t even getting many shots off.”

Everything changed in the second quarter, when the Hawks cut the deficit more than in half by outscoring the Indians 20-10 to make it a much more respectable 36-28 Turners Falls lead at the break.

“I think our guys were a little tired,” Liimatainen said. “We couldn’t make a hoop and they were getting their shots off and knocking them down.”

The Indians’ lead dropped to six points, following the third quarter, before Turners outscored Hopkins by six points in the fourth (13-7) to put the game away.

Jalen Sanders led all scorers with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Indians. Ellis netted 14 points, and Nick York had a big night for the second day in a row with 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Malcolm Smith had a quiet night scoring with just 4 points, but he led the Indians with 10 boards.

Zach Kelley led Hopkins with 13 points, Brett Morrison added 9, and Alex Curran and Spencer Butterfield each netted 8.

Eagle Hill 42, Four Rivers 41 — Jackson Reeves-Henning scored 16 points Thursday but Four Rivers Charter School came up just short against Eagle Hill School in a 42-41 River Valley Athletic League boys’ basketball loss at Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield.

Kyle Bergmann hit a late 3-pointer to bring Four Rivers to within two points, but Eagle Hill held on for the win. Kai DiLorenzo finished with 12 points in the loss.

Girls’ games

Pioneer 49, McCann Tech 26 — Pioneer Valley Regional School jumped all over McCann Technical High School early and led 43-10 after three quarters before settling for a 49-26 independent girls’ hoops victory Thursday night in Northfield.

Natalie Hale paced the Panthers (4-7) with 14 points. Gabby Carpenter finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and 10 rebounds. Hailey Raymond finished with 2 points and dished out seven assists, Katlyn Grover netted 7 points, Alyssa Lleweyn finished with 5 poitns, and Jocelyn Peters and Caroline Merkle each netted 4 points.

Pioneer begins Franklin County South Division play today at Turners Falls.

Pathfinder 30, FC Tech 26 — Despite being held scoreless in the second quarter, Pathfinder Regional Vocational-Technical School defeated Franklin CountyTechnical School, 30-26, in a Tri-County league girls’ hoops contest Thursday night in Three Rivers.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, even with the second quarter shutout, they went into halftime trailing 10-6, having scored only 2 points in the first and 4 in the second. The teams matched with 12 points in the third quarter and 8 in the fourth, with the Pioneers holing on for the victory.

Alyssa Andrews led the Eagles with 13 points. Brooke Meuse added 9. Sophia Hess led all scorers with 16 points, recording more than half of Pathfinder’s total .

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