Orioles soar over Tribe, 4-1
Turners Falls forward Cody Booska rifles a shot on Belchertown goalie Kyle Greene Monday afternoon at Collins-Moylan rink in Greenfield, where the host Indians lost their Fay-Wright Division holiday hockey game, 4-1.
Turners Falls foward Ryan Waldron breaks free Monday afternoon during a 4-1 Indians loss to Belchertown at Collins-Moylan rink in Greenfield. Recorder/Paul Franz
Turners Falls High School played its penultimate game of the season Monday afternoon, losing to Fay-Wright Division foe Belchertown High school, 4-1, at Collins-Moylan Arena in Greenfield.
It was a slow start for both squads, with no scoring in the first period. Belchertown struck first in the second stanza, when Dylan Gillen got things going for the Orioles, finding the back of the net on assists from Alex Bachand and Jonathan Rodrigue.
Belchertown (9-6-3) took complete control in the third, scoring 3 goals to the Indians 1. Bachand led the way for the Orioles with 2 goals and 1 assist, and netminder Kyle Greene turned back 28 of 29 shots in the contest.
Ryan Lenois scored the lone goal for the Indians (6-11-2), his third of the year, on an assist from Nick Murphy. Goalie Brandon Bryant had 31 saves on the day.
The Indians wrap up their season today at 3 p.m. when they take on Chicopee High School at Fitzpatrick Arena in Holyoke.
Gateway 57, Franklin Tech 44 — Gateway Regional High School still reigns supreme in the Tri-County League.
Franklin County Technical School had a chance to pull itself into first place in the TCL Monday night in Huntington but a poor first quarter was too much for the Eagles to overcome in a 57-44 loss.
Franklin Tech (12-7, 11-4) entered the night a half-game back of the Gators (12-6, 12-2) in the TCL, meaning that a win would have moved the Eagles into first place along with McCann Technical High School, which defeated Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School, 64-43, Monday. The Eagles had been one of the hottest teams in the TCL of late, but Gateway jumped all over them early and led 18-5 at the end of the first quarter. The teams matched each other offensively the rest of the way, and Gateway spoiled any chance for Franklin Tech finishing in first place.
Calvin Dowers and Curtis Dowers each had big nights for the Gators, as Calvin netted 20 points, and Curtis added 14 points. Justin Edinger added 11.
Brett Martin led Franklin Tech with 18 points, and Chris Wetherby recorded 17 points.
Smith Academy 54, Frontier 52 — Frontier Regional School had a 26-23 halftime edge and went into the fourth quarter leading Smith Academy 41-39, but could not hold on, losing a Hampshire League heartbreaker, 54-52, at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield Monday night.
“Our guys played with a lot of pride throughout the game,” said Frontier head coach Ben Barshefsky. “Our intensity was very good but their seniors, Derek McMahon and Keith Natale, did a great job down the stretch and pulled it off for them.”
Frontier (5-14) has had issues holding late leads this season, including similar losses to Mahar (54-52), and to Greenfield (52-49). Barshefsky isn’t sure why his team has struggled in these situations but was happy with his team’s overall effort in this contest.
“Smith is a very disciplined and well-coached team,” he reflected. “I will say that our seniors played a great game tonight. It’s a shame that we couldn’t hold on for the victory.”
Ben Ruddock was Frontier’s leading scorer with 12 points, and Justin Farrick was right behind with 10. Niko Ames poured in 9.
Natale led the way for the Falcons (17-3, 14-2 HL) with 22 points, and McMahon added 13, including 3 treys.
Frontier wraps up its season when it visits Turners Falls High School Wednesday night.
Greenfield 88, Mohawk 39 — Greenfield High School is streaking in the right direction as it heads into the tournament.
The Green Wave followed up an upset win over Mahar Regional School at the end of last week with perhaps its best shooting night of the season as it ran Mohawk Trail Regional High School out of the building, 88-39, in HL boys’ hoop action at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.
It has been an up-and-down year for the Green Wave (12-8 overall, 11-5 HL), which was a favorite to win the HL at the start of the season, but without its leading scorer from a year ago in Lew Borden, who missed the season for a multitude of reasons, things did not go as smoothly for the reigning WMass Division II runners-up.
Greenfield will finish the season in fourth place in the HL, but has won three straight to complete the regular season. The Wave scored a road upset against Mahar six days ago, and then put up 88 points in the season finale.
“We were knocking down shots we don’t usually make,” Greenfield coach Scott Thayer said. “Right now, considering what we’ve been through, we are hitting on all cylinders. But we’ve got to keep progressing. We need a solid week of practice before we find out who we’re playing in the tournament.”
One player who’s been shooting as well as anyone in the area of late is guard Robin Marchese, who drained seven 3-pointers Monday and finished with a game-high 25 points. Greenfield finished with 11 3-pointers, including two from Tim Cooley, who had his best offensive night of the season with 16 points. Ryan Roberts added a pair of 3s to finish with a season-high 11 points.
“We just had great ball movement tonight, some nice inside out passes,” Thayer said. “We were unselfish tonight. We really shared the ball.”
Garrett Hudson added 10 points, Vinnie Funari netted 8, and Connor Eckstrom and Parker Hickey each tossed in 7.
Mark Buck and Javier Morales each netted 10 points for Mohawk. Jay Fortier tossed in 8.
Turners Falls 63, Pioneer 50 — Turners Falls High School used a huge second half to defeat host Pioneer Valley Regional School, 63-50, in Hampshire league action Monday night in Gill.
The Panthers (10-10, 7-9 HL) had a hot first half, taking a 27-24 lead into the locker room, but the Indians poured it on in the second half, outscoring Pioneer 39-23.
“We played one of the best teams in our very tough league tonight,” said Panthers head coach Dave Hastings. “It was a good warm up for the kind of competition that we’re going to be facing in the tournament.”
Malcolm Smith and Liam ellis each scored 18 points for the Indians, including two 3-balls each.
Brad Hastings led Pioneer with 17 points, including a trey, and Lennon Robichaud dropped in 13 for the Panthers.
Hopkins 74, Athol 47 — Hopkins Academy is wrapping up the season better than first-year coach Angelo Thomas could ever have hoped.
The Golden Hawks used a balanced scoring effort Monday night to dispatch Athol High School, 74-47, in a HL boys’ basketball game in Hadley.
This was supposed to be a transition year for Hopkins, as Thomas came in and took over what was a very young team that finished last season with just two wins. Many of the returnees, while young, did come back with varsity experience, and Hopkins has gone from doormat, to postseason contender — a team that could easily pull off an upset in the WMass Division IV Tournament. Hopkins (12-7 overall, 8-7 HL) has a shot to win 13 games this year (it wraps up the regular season at Mohawk on Wednesday), and it’s playing better than Thomas could have imagined when he took over.
“Realistically, before the season, I would have been happy to be 10-10,” he said. “Once you get into the situation, you see that these guys just work and work and work, and they’re really learning how to win on a consistent basis. I didn’t expect it, but once I got into it, I realized we could do more than go 10-10. I’m extremely happy with the way we’ve been performing.”
On Jan. 25, Hopkins sat at 6-5 and appeared to be a team that would have to fight its way through the second half of the season if it wanted to qualify for the postseason. Just over three weeks later, the Golden Hawks have gone 6-2 and find themselves not just looking to get into the tournament, but looking to see where they are seeded for a potential run.
“The last five or six games, we’re averaging over 70 points and we definitely tightened up the defense a little tonight,” Thomas said. “We shared the ball a lot, which is great, too.”
Brett Morrison finished with 18 points to pace Hopkins, while his younger brother, eighth-grader Jon Morrison, netted 13. Spencer Butterfield added 14 points and five assists, while Alex Curran and Zach Kelley each had 7 points. Andrew Omer, the lone senior on the team, netted 5 on his Senior Night.
Jerry Parker and Zach Dodge each netted 14 points for Athol (2-17), and Andrew Poor chipped in 8 points.
Athol 52, Palmer 40 — Athol cooled down in the final three quarters, following a white-hot start but still managed to hang on for a 52-40 independent girls’ basketball win over Palmer High School Monday night in Palmer.
The Red Raiders (17-2) jumped all over Palmer in the first quarter and led 23-6 at the end of one, but the offense stalled from there and Athol scored just 29 points the rest of the game.
“I think we got tired,” Athol coach Dan Bevis said. “We really came out with a lot of energy, got a lot of steals and created a number of easy buckets. But we got tired. And that is definitely alarming going forward because we only have one game until the tournament. We need to try to figure this thing out.”
The Athol defense continued to dominate into the second quarter, with the Red Raiders outscoring the Panthers 8-4 to take a 31-10 halftime lead. The lead grew to 42-20 after three quarters but the visiting Raiders were unable to knock down their free throws in the fourth quarter, allowing Palmer to creep back into it. Athol went just 6-for-17 from the charity stripe in the fourth and was outscored 20-10 in the frame.
Kiki Guerin led Athol with 16 points. Tanner Favreau and Julia Salmond each netted 9 points. Emily Casella dumped in 8, and Molly Cleveland chipped in 7.
Savannah Cavanaugh led Palmer with 12 points.
Mohawk 30, FC Tech 27 (OT) — Mohawk outscored Franklin Tech 7-4 in overtime to earn a 30-27 independent girls’ basketball victory Monday night in Turners Falls.
Laura Ward finished with 10 points to lead the Warriors (7-12). Makayla Hicks added 8.
Brittany Andrews led the Eagles (10-8) with 10 points. Alyssa Andrews finished with 9.