Eagle boys fly high on court

Franklin County Technical School's Brittany Andrews (24) steals the ball and races toward the hoop in transition Thursday evening in Turners Falls, where her host Eagles fell to Pioneer Valley Christian School, 23-22, in their Tri-County League girls basketball game.
Recorder/Beth Reynolds

Franklin County Technical School's Brittany Andrews (24) steals the ball and races toward the hoop in transition Thursday evening in Turners Falls, where her host Eagles fell to Pioneer Valley Christian School, 23-22, in their Tri-County League girls basketball game. Recorder/Beth Reynolds

Franklin County Technical School held Holyoke Catholic High School to nine first-half points Thursday night, and the Eagles turned in one of their best performances of the season during a 61-45 Tri-County League boys’ basketball victory in Chicopee.

The Eagles (6-5 overall, 4-4 TCL) led 25-9 at the break after holding the Gaels to five first-quarter points and four in the second. That kind of total-team defense was exactly what Franklin Tech coach Rick Recore had been looking for, and he was ecstatic with his club’s performance.

“It was a total commitment and a total about-face on the way we are going now,” he explained. “This is what I expected from this team to begin with. The guys know that I’ve been very disappointed with the way we had played. For us to get 10 wins, we need to start playing the way we are capable of.”

The challenge for the Eagles coming into the game was to shut down Holyoke Catholic leaders Nate Golob and Dorian Guidi. Golob is the team’s leading scorer but Brett Martin and Brian Como combined to hold him to just 5 points. As for Guidi, he has been a double-double machine of late in the scoring and rebounding department, but Franklin Tech big man Chris Wetherby limited him to just 2 points.

As for the rebounding department, the Eagles absolutely dominated, with three players combining for 51 boards.

Another area of Eagle domination was on the boards, where three players combined for 51 boards. Martin finished with 17 rebounds and eight blocked shots, Thomas Duffy pulled down a team-high 18 rebounds, and Wetherby added 16.

“That’s phenomenal,” Recore said of the effort. “If we’re going to play in the tournament, we are going to go up against Hampshire League teams. This is the way we’ve got to play. They have a certain toughness now that we didn’t have before.”

If there is one area the Eagles need to improve upon, it came at the free-throw line, where they shot less than 50 percent (15-for-33).

“That’s been a constant all year,” Recore said. “If we figure out the free throws, we’ll be beating everybody.”

Wetherby led the team in scoring with 18 points. Martin added 17, giving both players double-doubles. Nate Boyer chipped in 11.

Andrew Foley and Kevin Johnson each scored 13 points to lead the Gaels.

Franklin Tech heads to Pathfinder Regional High School tonight at 7.

Greenfield 59, Pioneer 43 — Greenfield High School turned its three-game losing streak into a distant memory.

The Green Wave extended a two-point halftime lead to nine after three quarters and went on to post a 59-43 victory over Pioneer Valley Regional School in Hampshire League boys’ basketball action Thursday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Parker Hickey led the Greenfield offense with a career-high 17 points, Garrett Hudson tossed in 16 and Connor Eckstrom finished with 11.

Pioneer — coming off a rare 10-day layoff — was led by Lennon Robichaud with 11 points. Lee Doiron threw in 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers, and Brad Hastings had 8.

“They applied a little pressure (in the second half) and we had a few more turnovers,” said Pioneer head coach Dave Hastings. “(Greenfield) had lost a few games in a row, but they came in hungry and played hard.”

Both teams return to the court Monday night at 7:30 — Greenfield (8-6 overall, 7-3 HL) travels to Frontier Regional School, while Pioneer (5-5, 4-4 HL) hosts Hopkins Academy.

Turners 77, Athol 57 — Malcolm Smith scored 27 points Thursday night to lead Turners Falls High School to a 77-57 HL win over Athol High School in Athol.

The Indians (11-3, 8-2) jumped all over the Red Raiders early to take a 26-14 lead after one quarter and led by 15 (45-30) at the break.

Liam Ellis finished with 12 points for the visitors, Nick York netted 11, Tyler Charboneau finished with 10 points, and Melvin Moreno added 8.

Andrew Poor paced Athol (1-10, 1-8) with 14 points, Brad Bousquet added 12, and Zack Dodge and Alex Page each chipped in 8.

Girls’ hoops

Hopkins 48, Frontier 35 — A big second half and a near-perfect performance from the free-throw line propelled Hopkins to a 48-35 Franklin County League North Division girls’ basketball win over Frontier on Thursday nigh at Reed Gymnasium in Hadley.

Kate Sullivan led the Golden Hawks (6-4, 1-1 FCL North) with a game-high 19 points, Madi Stevens bucketed 13, and Mackenzie Sullivan made all 10 of her free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

Amanda Calvo was the top scorer for the Red Hawks (4-6, 1-1) with 18 points. Olivia Riordan pitched in with 8.

“We’ve had our offensive problems” offered Frontier head coach Frank Keimig. “In the first quarter, we played really good defense, and it was a game at the half (19-15). But then we had that bad third quarter, and then you’re in the hole and you’ve got to do things you don’t want to do.”

Hopkins was 13-for-15 from the line.

Frontier faces Mt. Greylock Regional High School at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Hoosac Valley High School in Cheshire.

PV Christian 23, FC Tech 22 — Franklin County Technical School led by eight points after one quarter and went ice cold offensively, eventually dropping a 23-22 Tri-County League North Division girls’ basketball game Thursday evening in Turners Falls.

Emily Jefson led the winners with 9 points. Lizzy Zahradnik chipped in with 8.

Brooke Meuse led all scorers with 12 points and Brittany Andrews added 8 for the hosts, who led 16-13 at halftime.

Franklin Tech had a chance to win with five seconds left but turned the ball over.

Franklin Tech travels to Westfield tonight at 6 to face St. Mary High School.


PVIAC League

Mohawk Trail Regional High School had six finishers in the top 10 and cruised to an easy win in the South Division team standings during the PVIAC Alpine Ski League on Thursday evening at Berkshire east Ski Resort in Charlemont.

The Warriors recorded a final team score of 208.25, easily outdistancing runner-up Frontier.

Mohawk’s Caitlyn Wilkins won South individual slalom race with a time of 43.80 seconds, good for eighth overall. Frontier’s Alli Zera was second in the South and 14th overall (48.22).

Mohawk also claimed five more spots in the South top 10: Tyler Rice finished fifth (54.52), Erin Laffond was sixth (54.88) and Lizzie Herzig came in seventh (55.05) to complete the Warriors’ team score. Christina Lively took ninth and Hannah Poplawski was 10th.

Mohawk’s boys finished second in the North to Longmeadow High School by .92, and the Frontier boys came in third in the South.

John White was second overall and in the North with a giant slalom time of 25.31. Sean Doyle was first in the South and third overall in 25.40.

Mohawk also had three others in the North top 10 — Luke Looman was eighth (26.66), Jameson rice placed njinth (26.70) and Ben White wound up 10th (26.75).

The next league race is scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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