Wave clinches tie for Fay-Wright title
Greenfield High School clinched no less than a tie of the Fay-Wright Division on Friday night.
Behind a four-point performance from Jourdan York-Welcome, the Green Wave doubled up Amherst Regional High School, 4-2, in a Fay-Wright hockey game at Collins-Moylan Arena in Greenfield.
Greenfield improved to 12-1-2 overall this season, with a 9-1-1 mark in league play, giving the Green Wave 19 points in the Fay-Wright Division. Only Chicopee High School, which played Belchertown High School to a 6-6 tie on Friday night, could still catch the Green Wave, and the Pacers would need to win out and have Greenfield lose each of its final three Fay-Wright games. If that somehow did play out, the two teams would finish tied at the top of the standings. The last time the Wave won the league title came back in the 2007-08 season, and that year Greenfield went on to win the inaugural WMass Division IIIA title. The division crown is something that Green Wave coach Mike Duclos, who is in his final season with the Green Wave, never imagined happening this winter.
“If you had told me before the before the year that we were going to win the league, I would have said, ‘Yeah right, let’s set our goals realistically,’” the coach joked. “After we started rolling and won six or seven games, I got to thinking, ‘Hey, this is possible.’ It’s a credit to these kids. They’ve worked so hard.”
One player that has put in the hard work is York-Welcome, who factored in all four of the Green Wave’s goals on Friday. The senior forward now has 84 career points, giving him five more regular season games plus any postseason contests to try and reach the magical 100-point mark.
“It’s what he gives us every night,” Duclos said of the hard work from York-Welcome. “He played about 35 of the 45 minutes tonight. When we tell him to go out and go for it, he’s offensive minded, and if we ask him to play defense, he’s like a third defenseman out there. He makes the kids around him better. Tyler Townsley and Tyler Miner played on his line tonight and they probably had their best games of the year.”
Amherst took a 1-0 lead in the first period with the only goal of the frame as Marshall O’Leary scored on assists from Jack Rees and John Noonan. Both teams managed to fire just four shots apiece in the frame as defense reigned supreme. The Green Wave offense got going in the second period, firing 13 shots on Amherst goalie Ben Thompson, and beating him on three of them. York-Welcome got the scoring started with an unassisted goal 3 minutes, 13 seconds in. He and Cam Woodward then set up Tyler Miner just over three minutes later to put the Wave in front to stay at 2-1. York-Welcome made it 3-1 with 28 seconds left in the second period on a highlight-reel goal.
The play started in the Green Wave defensive zone and Zach Langlois played the puck up the boards to York-Welcome, who took the puck at the red line and skated into the Amherst zone to the left of the net. York-Welcome then curled around the zone, moving from west to east, and when he got to the right side of the Amherst goal, Thompson finally went down and the Wave sniper roofed one into the top of the net.
Greenfield made it 4-1 in the third period when York-Welcome and Woodward combined to set up their second goal of the night, this time as Townsley did the honors with his third goal of the year. Rees got the Hurricanes’ second goal of the night with 1:08 remaining.
Green Wave goalie Barrett Rogaleski finished with 15 saves to pick up his 12th win of the season. Thompson stopped 21 saves in the loss.
Athol 39, Frontier 37 — Athol High School traveled to Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield Friday night and barely escaped with a 39-37 FCL North victory over Frontier Regional School.
In a game in which Frontier came into as a major underdog, the Red Hawks gave Athol High School all that it could handle right down to the wire.
“We came out ready to play” said Frontier head coach Frank Keimig. “We were very physical, banging bodies, playing hard underneath the boards. We definitely sent a message that Frontier was here to play.”
Athol led 12-6 after the first quarter, but Frontier clawed back in the second, using a smothering match up zone to hold the Red raiders to just three points in the frame, all on foul shots. Athol led by just 2 at the half, 15-13, and the fun was just beginning.
“Our zone really helped to shut down their bigs,” said Keimig. “They were also only able to manage one 3-pointer against it, and it worked as well as we could have expected. Unfortunately, we came up just a hair short at the end.”
The Raiders entered the fourth quarter leading by 5, but the Hawks would not go away. Frontier matched Athol possession for possession, and with just under five seconds left, Amanda Calvo got free for a trey and buried it, cutting the lead to two. The Raiders were then able to inbound and run out the clock for the victory, but it was anything but easy.
“This one hurts, we really needed the win,” said Keimig. “I’m really proud of my team, though, Athol is a very good team, and I couldn’t be happier with the effort we brought to the floor. I’m a happy coach tonight.”
Molly Cleveland led the scoring for Athol with 11 points, with Tanner Favreau contributing 9.
Calvo led all scorers with 13 points, and added six rebounds. Camila Baronas tossed in 9 for Frontier, and Liv Riordan put in 5 points, had nine boards, five steals, and four assists.
Pioneer 53, Mohawk 18 — Natalie Hale finished with 20 points and seven steals and Pioneer Valley Regional School continued its dominance in the FCL South Division with a 53-18 victory over Mohawk Trail Regional High School Friday night in Buckland.
Pioneer (9-7, 5-0) led 33-7 at the half.
Alyssa Llewelyn finished with 5 points and 10 rebounds and had a solid night defensively. Katlyn Grover hit three 3-pointers and finished with 9 points, Gabby Carpenter added 7 points, and Hailey Raymond netted 6 points.
Hope Lively led Mohawk (6-10, 3-2) with 9 points.
Smith Academy 46, Greenfield 22 — Greenfield High School took to the road Friday night and lost to Smith Academy, 46-22, in a FCL South contest in Hatfield.
The Green Wave kept it close at the beginning, trailing just 14-10 after the first quarter. They could not sustain their offensive output, however, scoring just 12 more points over the final three frames.
Ceaira Wolfe was the high scorer for Greenfield with 11 points, including a pair of treys. Molley Duclos added 6 points for the wave.
Smith’s Claire Higgins led all scorers with 23 points, and Katie Yagodzinski dropped in 12, 6 of those on threes.
Hopkins 77, Athol 69 (OT) — Sometimes life just isn’t fair. Case in point, the Athol boys’ basketball team.
The Red Raiders, who have had a tough time winning games this season, did everything in their power to knock off Hopkins Academy on Friday night — including hitting the winning shot at the buzzer — but a charging call waved off the basket and the Golden Hawks would go on to outscore the Red Raiders, 13-5, in overtime to survive for a 77-69 Hampshire League victory at Mallet Gymnasium in Athol.
Athol led by 12 points (53-41) entering the fourth quarter but fouls caught up to the Red Raiders in the final frame as three starters fouled out. Given the fact that Athol was dressing only eight players in the game, the hosts were down to no one remaining on their bench. Hopkins took advantage and outscored Athol 23-11 in the fourth quarter to tie the score. Athol got one final look to win the game, and Zach Dodge came off a screen and hit a floater as he drove through the lane and the buzzer sounded ending the game. The basket was waived off, however, as Dodge was called for a charge on the play. Athol’s fate was all but sealed on that play, and Hopkins cruised in overtime.
Hopkins took advantage of a huge disparity in free throw attempts on the night. The Golden Hawks (9-7, 6-7) shot 53 free throws to Athol’s 23. Hopkins high-scorer Zach Kelley shot one less free throw (22) than the entire Athol team. Kelley finished 15-for-22 from the line and led everyone with 30 points, while Spencer Butterfield shot 14-of-16 from the charity stripe, and netted 20 points.
Dodge finished with 18 points for the Red Raiders (2-14, 1-11), while Tanner Pavilionis, Alex Page and Jerry Parker each netted 11.