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Warriors bust loose, 78-61

Mohawk's Mark Buck (5) is on the move picking his way through Athol traffic Thursday in Buckland, where his host Warriors beat the visiting Raiders, 78-61, in their Hampshire League boys' basketball game.
Recorder/Paul Franz

Mohawk's Mark Buck (5) is on the move picking his way through Athol traffic Thursday in Buckland, where his host Warriors beat the visiting Raiders, 78-61, in their Hampshire League boys' basketball game. Recorder/Paul Franz

Mohawk Trail Regional High School had been waiting for a breakout game.

Instead, the Warriors had a breakout quarter.

Mohawk, holding onto a tenuous four-point lead after the third period, erupted for a 33-point fourth quarter and cruised to a 78-61 Hampshire League win over Athol High School in boys’ basketball action Thursday night in Buckland.

Jay Foriter led the Warriors with a game-high 25 points — 9 of them in the final period —and grabbed 12 rebounds. Levin DuPree drained four 3-pointers en route to 19 points (8 in the fourth quarter) and four assists, and Javier Morales — who led the fourth-quarter onslaught with 12 points — also recorded a double-double with 18 points and 18 boards.

The Warriors led 30-27 at halftime.

Zack Dodge led the Red Raiders with 22 points. Alex Page added 11.

Mohawk travels to Mahar Regional School for its next game Monday night at 7.

FC Tech 75, PV Christian 41 — Genesis Arias wasn’t about to light it up against Franklin County Technical School for the second time this season — Eagles head coach Rick Recore made sure it didn’t happen.

Arias, who piled up 48 points in the teams’ first meeting, was constantly harassed by Brian Como — with help from C.J. Daignault — throughout Thursday’s contest while Franklin Tech big man Chris Wetherby had another monster night as the hosts thrashed PV Christian, 75-41, in a Tri-County League boys’ basketball game in Turners Falls.

Wetherby led all scorers with 32 points and punctuated his performance with 18 rebounds and four blocked shots. Brett Martin was equally impressive for the hosts with a triple-double — 10 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocks. Nate Boyer also aided the offense with 17 points, including four treys, Como threw in 9 points to go along with his defensive effort on Arias, and Thomas Duffy added 12 rebounds and four steals.

Franklin Tech (9-5, 8-3) led 33-15 at halftime and blew it open in third, extending the advantage to 57-27.

Arias did lead the visitors in points with 18, but well below his Western Mass.-leading average of 29.5 per game. Mitchell Begin added 15 points.

“Genesis Arias found out what defense is all about (tonight),” said an emphatic Recore afterward. “Como did a phenomenal job guarding him, along with C.J.”

Recore was impressed with his team’s preparation.

“Everybody from the bench, even to my assistant coaches, did a phenomenal job making sure every kid was prepared going on the floor,” he said.

Franklin Tech can clinch a postseason berth Tuesday night when it hosts independent foe Palmer High School at 7 p.m.

Smith Academy 63, Greenfield 58 — A fierce fourth-quarter comeback attempt fell just short for Greenfield High School and the losses continued to mount in a 63-58 defeat to Smith Academy in a Hampshire League boys’ basketball game Thursday night in Hatfield.

The Green Wave trailed by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter but clawed all the way back to trim the deficit to three points. The visitors had a pair of quality looks at 3-pointers to tie the game late, but both were off the mark and Smith Academy closed things out.

Smith Academy’s Keith Natale had two reasons to celebrate. Besides the win, the senior forward also knocked down the 1,000th point in his career. Natale hit three 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 22 points, earning praise from Greenfield coach Scott Thayer after the game.

“He’s a very good ballplayer,” Thayer said. “The one thing about him is that he never seems to overplay. He lets everything come to him. He’s a cerebral player. He’s put on some weight and muscle. It was well-deserved tonight.”

The Falcons (11-3, 8-2) led 37-26 at halftime and increased the lead the 56-40 after three quarters. Natale had the big night offensively, but Thayer credited Smith Academy center Austin Rogers with a big night as well. Rogers finished with 9 points, and Thayer said he was well into double-digits in terms of rebounds, including six offensive boards in the first half alone. David Longstreeth netted 11 points in the win, and Derek McMahon finished with 9.

Robin Marchese had a career night in the losing effort with 29 points, including four 3-pointers. Garrett Hudson netted 11 points, and Connor Eckstrom dumped in 9.

“We fought,” Thayer said. “I mean, we were down 16 in the fourth quarter and we cut it down to three, so I’m happy with the fight.”

Greenfield is still looking for one more win to qualify for postseason and it doesn’t get any easier on the Wave as it heads to Turners Falls High School Monday night at 7:30

Mahar 36, Pioneer 33 — It was all defense in Northfield Thursday.

Pioneer Valley Regional School used a strong defensive effort to nearly pull a major upset against one of the hottest teams in western Mass. but came up just short in a 36-33 loss to Mahar at Messer Gymnasium.

The Panthers trailed by three points and had the ball with 15 seconds left but Lennon Robichaud missed a 3-pointer. Pioneer got the ball back with 10 seconds left and drew up a play for Brad Hastings that was perfectly executed, but Hastings’ shot was off the mark as the clock expired.

“For a loss, to be as upbeat as I am is amazing,” Pioneer coach Dave Hastings said. “We recognized them as one of the best three teams out there, maybe one of the best three teams in western Mass.”

The game started off like a regular basketball game, as Mahar held a 14-13 edge after one quarter, but the defense took over in the second half with the teams combining to score just six points. Pioneer held the 4-2 edge in second quarter scoring, and held a 17-16 lead at the break. Mahar would take the lead back in the third quarter, holding a 13-9 edge in points, and both teams then netted seven points in the fourth to finish the game out.

Mahar (11-3) had a chance to close the game out in the fourth but struggled from the free-throw line, finishing 4-of-13 on the night. Nick Slattery finished with 16 points, while Troix Adams added 9, Malik Adams netted 6, and Angel Beigin scored 5. Those four players accounted for all the Senators’ points. The visitors were also without guard Brendin Woodard, one of their top scorers.

Lee Doiron finished with 9 points to lead Pioneer (6-7), while Josh Willis scored 6 points, and Robichaud chipped in 5.

Hopkins 56, Frontier 47 — Hopkins Academy outscored Frontier Regional School 36-16 over the final 16 minutes to post a 56-47 HL boys’ basketball victory on Thursday night at Reed Gymnasium in Hadley.

Brett Morrison was the offensive catalyst for the Golden Hawks (8-5, 5-5 HL), draining five 3-balls en route to a game-high 22 points. Zach Kelley aided the win with 17.

Ben Ruddock paced the Red Hawk with 16 points. Tim Hoar and Niko Ames both chipped in 8.

Frontier hosts Pioneer Monday night at 7:30.

Four Rivers 59, Buxton 56 (OT) — Jackson Reeves-Henning hit two free throws in the last minute of overtime to give Four Rivers Charter School the lead for good and defeat Buxton School, 59-56, in River Valley Athletic League boys’ basketball action Thursday at the North Adams Armory.

Kai DeLorenzo led the Otters (4-5) with a game-high 22 points. Reeves-Henning netted 17.

Four Rivers hosts the Academy at Charlemont on Tuesday at 4 at Indoor Action Sports.

Girls’ game

Monson 43, Frontier 36 — Kat Miner recorded a career-high 9 points but Frontier’s scoring issues continued Thursday night in a 43-36 independent loss to Monson High School at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield.

Monson (9-5) led 32-20 after three quarters and moved to within one win of qualifying for the postseason.

While the loss made it even tougher for Frontier to qualify for the postseason — The Red Hawks (5-8) need to win five of their final seven games — coach Frank Keimig was pleased with the effort out of Miner. The sophomore finished with a career-best 9 points to go along with 13 rebounds. She was a perfect 5-for-5 from the foul line.

“Her one-on-one defense was great,” Keimig said. “When she wasn’t rebounding, she was tipping the ball and keeping it out of Monson’s hands. She can jump out of the gym.”

Frontier did hold a 34-27 edge in rebounding on the night. Amanda Calvo led the Hawks with 16 points, and Olivia Riordan added 6.

Karyce Welsh led Monson with 10 points, Katie Sweeney and Miranda Couture each netted 9, and Rachel Gordon added 7.

Frontier travels to Easthampton High School tonight at 7.

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