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Senators roll past Hopkins in HL

Mahar Regional School finally got its offense going on Friday night.

Four players scored in double figures and the Senators dispatched an improving Hopkins Academy team for a 65-50 Hampshire League boys’ basketball victory in Hadley.

The Senators had struggled on offense through their first two games and sat at 1-1 coming into the night. The team finally found its footing and some of the offense came from an unexpected source. Senior Nick Zanga, who did not have 12 career varsity points coming into the night, tied for the team-high in scoring on Friday, netting 12 points to go along with six rebounds. The forward earned praise from his coach after the game.

“Nick started for us tonight,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “He knocked down some shots, ran the floor well and had a couple of nice post moves.”

Fellow forward Nick Slattery added 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the game. Senior guard Brendin Woodard had his best offensive effort of the young season with an 11-point, four-assist effort, and Malik Adams dumped in 11 points.

“We shot the ball much better tonight,” a relieved Softic said. “Hopkins is going to win some games, you can’t sleep on them. I was real pleased with our half-court offense and we were much more efficient tonight.”

Spencer Butterfield led Hopkins (1-1) with 17 points, and Brett Morrison added 12 points.

Greenfield 45 Pioneer 42 — Robin Marchese scored 13 points including two 3-pointers as Greenfield High School beat Pioneer Valley Regional School, 45-42, at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield Friday night.

The Green Wave struggled early and trailed 30-26 after three quarters, but outscored Pioneer 19-12 in the final frame.

Garrett Hudson added 10 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals for the Wave, while Parker Hickey and Connor Joy both contributed 5, each with a 3-pointer.

“It certainly was not a great offensive night.” said Greenfield head coach Scott Thayer. “Both teams fought hard, we were just fortunate enough to make a few more plays than they did at the end.”

Josh Willis led the Panthers with 13 points including a 3-pointer, Lennon Robichaud contributed 12, and Dave Hastings put in 9. Jake Hale and Lee Doiron each added four points for Pioneer.

Turners Falls 67, Athol 55 — Turners Falls High School shook off a slow start to beat a pesky Athol High School team, 67-55, in a HL boys’ basketball game Friday night in Turners Falls.

“We came out a step slow tonight,” Turners assistant coach Jay Liimatainen said. “That obviously hurt us, but we stepped up our defense in the second quarter.”

The Red Raiders (0-2) took a 17-12 lead into the second quarter but the Indians limited Athol to just 5 points in the frame and wound up taking a 23-22 lead into the break. Turners Falls then outscored Athol 21-11 in the third to take control of the game.

The biggest difference on the night game in the low post where the Indians (3-0) dominated play, especially in the rebounding department. Jalen Sanders finished with 18 rebounds, Malcolm Smith came away with 10 boards, and Liam Ellis pulled down nine rebounds.

“We couldn’t pass, we couldn’t shoot, but we could rebound,” Liimatainen joked.

The Indians also took advantage of free throws, of which they had 41 chances. Turners Falls finished 31-of-41 from the line (76 percent), and was led by Smith, who knocked down 15 free throws en route to a game-high 26 points. Ellis hit eight free throws and scored 16 points, and Melvin Moreno added 9 points.

Alex Page paced Athol with 15 points, while Zach Dodge and Mark Brighenti each added 11 points.

Mohawk 86 Westfield V-T 50 — Mark Buck and Jay Fortier were the high scorers with 12 points apiece as Mohawk Trail Regional High School took to the road Friday night and beat Westfield Vocational-Technical School 86-50. Dylan Williams had a very productive night coming off the bench for the Warriors, scoring 11 points, including a 3-point basket.

The Warriors trailed 16-13 after the first quarter, but settled in quickly after that. Mohawk outscored the Tigers 22-10 in the second to take a 35-26 halftime lead, and then had a monster third period, scoring 34 points to Voke-Tech’s 9, and were never seriously challenged in the second half.

“The third quarter was great for us,” said Warriors head coach Fred Redeker. “We rebounded extremely well and didn’t turn the ball over, and when that happens, it usually leads to good things.”

Levin Duprey was also in double figures for the Warriors, and all 11 Mohawk players who saw action made the score sheet.

Matt Wood and Connor Hebda each scored 11 points for the Tigers, and Cole Provost contributed 8.

Drury 47, Frontier 42 — Drury High School went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to put away Frontier Regional School, 47-42, in an independent boys’ basketball game Friday night in North Adams.

The game was close throughout according to Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky and was a one-point game with 30 seconds left. The Red Hawks, who were trailing, missed a heavily contested layup with 15 seconds left and Drury came away with the rebound. Frontier was called for an intentional foul, and Drury hit both free throws. The Red Hawks would steal the inbounds pass and had a look at an open 3-pointer, but the shot did not drop and Drury again got the rebound and made two more free throws to ice the game.

Drury had just four players score on the night and Alex Heck had nearly half his team’s points with 22. Justin Girard added 14.

Tim Hoar had a huge night for the Red Hawks with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Ben Ruddock added 8 points, Niko Ames dumped in 6, and Justin Farrick chipped in 4.

Girls’ hoops

Athol 71 Mohawk 6 — Athol High School moved to 4-0 on the season with a 71-6 victory over Pioneer Valley Regional School in an independent girls’ basketball matchup Friday night.

Kiki Guerin led the way for the Red Raiders with 16 points, Julia Carey added 12, and Molly Cleveland poured in 11 including three 3-pointers.

Hayley Lowell and Hope Lively each scored 2 points for the Warriors.

West Side 52 Pioneer 31 — Rachel Beliveau scored 16 points for West Springfield High School and Rudi Spano added 12 as the Terriers beat Pioneer, 52-31, in girls’ basketball play Friday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Natalie Hale led the Panthers with 8 points, while Gabby Carpenter added 6. Alyssa Llewelyn had 4 points and 10 rebounds.

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