Hoosac nips Wave at buzzer

Matt Capernak hit a buzzer-beater on Thursday night as Hoosac Valley Regional High School opened the 2013-14 boys’ basketball season with a 61-59 victory over Greenfield High School at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.

The game remained close throughout and it looked like it might be heading to overtime late in the frame. Vinnie Funari made a pair of free throws with 16 seconds to tie the game at 59-59 and Hoosac Valley went down the court but missed a shot and Greenfield came away with the rebound. A turnover by Greenfield led to a scramble for the loose ball and it came loose to Capernak, who drove to the net and laid in the game-winner as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

Greenfield, which was playing without big man Lew Borden who is still out with an injury, had some issues with foul trouble and lost a pair of forwards for long periods. Funari (4 points) picked up three quick fouls in the first half and had to sit for a long period of time, and Connor Eckstrom (6 points) fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

Matt Braman finished with 19 points to lead the way for Hoosac, while Capernak and Jameson Coughlin each scored 12.

Robin Marchese paced Greenfield with 16 points. Garrett Hudson finished with 10, Parker Hickey added 8, and Ryan Roberts tossed in 6.

“I thought we had really good energy and gave a good effort tonight,” Green Wave coach Scott Thayer said. “The execution was poor at times, but that’s December basketball. We have plenty to work on, but the kids gave a good effort tonight.”

Mohawk 67, FC Tech 58 — Mohawk Trail Regional High School played well in the fourth quarter to pull away from Franklin County Technical School for a 67-58 victory in the semifinals of the Eagles Holiday Classic boys’ basketball tournament Thursday night in Turners Falls.

The Warriors led by three points heading in the fourth quarter but outscored the Eagles, 26-20, in a wild final frame to pull out the season-opening victory.

“They took over control of the game,” Franklin Tech coach Rick Recore said. “They made shots and they made plays when they had to. We had plenty of opportunities, we just could not make shots and convert when we had to.”

Mark Buck had a big opening-night with 22 points to lead the Warriors, while Alex Dekoschak netted 13. Levin Finck added 10 points and Sean Eckler tossed in 9. Mohawk will take on Mt. Everett Regional High School in the championship game of the tournament tonight at 8.

Chris Wetherby had a huge night for the Eagles, leading all scorers with 28 points, but was the only player to reach double digits for the hosts. Brett Martin and Thomas Duffy each tossed in 8 points, and freshman Colin Gould added 7.

The Eagles will take on Ware High School in the third place game today at 5.

Girls’ hoop

Athol 65, Turners Falls 9 — Molly Cleveland finished with 13 points to lead Athol High School to a 65-9 independent girls’ basketball victory over Turners Falls High School in the season opener for both teams Thursday night in Athol.

Seven girls played in the game and each scored at least six points for the Red Raiders. Lindsey Hamlett needed 12 points, Kiki Guerin finished with 11, and Emily Casella added 10. Julia Salmond finished with 7 points, and Tanner Favreau and Hope Parker each netted 6.

Haleigh Bassett led Turners Falls with 4 points, while Wileshka Vega and Amber Caouette each added 2.

Sabis 43, Mahar 29 — Sabis International Charter School used a big effort in the middle quarters to pull away from Mahar Regional School en route to a 43-29 independent girls’ basketball win Thursday in Orange.

The Bulldogs used a strong defensive effort at the perimeter to keep Mahar outside threats Ally Parker and Caitriona Cronin in check. Neither player made a basket from the field, and Parker was the only one to score with three free throws.

Sabis rode the hot hands of the Sanchez sisters. Jaliena Sanchez, a seventh grader, led the Bulldogs with 10 points, while junior sister Janaiya Sanchez finished with 7 points. Chelsea Ako-Brew added 8 points in the win.

Cassie Verheyen kicked off her freshman campaign with a solid outing, scoring a game-high 12 points to go with 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. Natasha Patria drained three 3-pointers to finish with 10 points. Senator coach Larry Fisher said he was pleased with the first game, and added that if his club shot better than the 8-for-27 it did from the free throw line,

“I’m happy with the effort our girls gave,” Mahar coach Larry Fisher said. “Sabis is a very, very good team. They were very fast, very physical. We stepped up, and now we know we need to step up a little more to compete with a team like this.

FC Tech 32, Greenfield 23 — The Matt Llewelyn era started with a bang at Franklin County Technical School.

The Eagles used a strong start to take an early lead and held off a late push by Greenfield High School to take a 32-23 win in the semifinals of the Eagles’ Holiday Classic girls’ basketball tournament Thursday afternoon in Turners Falls.

The Eagles will take on Mt. Everett Regional High School in the championship game today at 6:30, while the Green Wave will play Norfolk Agricultural High School in the consolation game at 3:30.

A 12-2 scoring edge in the first quarter helped the Eagles take control of the game. Llewelyn, the first-year head coach at Franklin Tech, said he was pleased with the way the team spread the ball around.

“The starting five did a very well-rounded job of moving the ball,” Llewelyn said, noting that not one player scored the majority of the points in the quarter.

Brooke Meuse wound up leading the Eagles with 11 points, while Melissa Vatalaro finished with 8 points, and Brittany Andrews dumped in 7.

Freshman Grace Kennedy paced the Green Wave with 6 points, Chelsey Opalenik finished with 5 points, and Molley Duclos added 4.

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