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Indians outlast Panthers; Senators unload on Hopkins

Pioneer Valley Regional School made a fierce run in the third quarter to get back into the game but the effort came up just short as Turners Falls High School hung on for a 44-38 Hampshire League boys’ basketball victory Friday night to kick off the Jill E. Harrington Hanzalik Fund Chase Your Dreams Basketball Classic at Northampton High School.

Turners Falls (5-1 overall, 4-1 HL) held Pioneer (1-4, 1-4) to just 13 points in the first half and the Indians led 28-13 at the break. Pioneer stormed back in the third quarter, outscoring the Indians, 18-8 to cut the deficit to five points (36-31), but the Indians clamped down on defense in the fourth quarter and remained in a first-place tie in the HL West with Smith Academy.

“I was pleased with how we came out in the third quarter,” Pioneer coach Dave Hastings said. “We played with a lot of intensity and a lot of desire after a very lackluster first half.”

The Indians were playing without leading scorer Liam Ellis (15.6 points per game this season), who was out with an injury. Melvin Moreno, the team’s second leading scorer with 13.3 points per game, led the Indians with 16 points, while Wyatt Bourbeau and Malcolm smith each tossed in 10.

Lee Doiron, who leads Pioneer in scoring with 12.2 points per game, paced the club with 10 points on Friday. Lennon Robichaud added 9 points, and Tyrus Gould netted 7.

The JEHH Fund is named in memory of Harrington Hanzalik, a former Pioneer student, who died at the age of 33 on April 26, 2010. The mission of the fund is to provide a stepping stone for young people to chase and achieve their dreams with aid through financial assistance, encouragement and guidance. The Chase Your Dreams Basketball Classic continues today.

Mahar 62, Hopkins 39 — Mahar Regional School celebrated the raising of its Division II State championship banner on Friday with a 62-39 HL victory over Hopkins Academy in Orange.

The Senators welcomed back six of the eight seniors from last season’s team that won the WMass and State Division II titles and had a brief presentation prior to the game. Once the game started, Mahar (5-1, 5-0) got off to a slow start, allowing Hopkins (1-5, 0-5) to score 12 points in the opening quarter, and the Senators held a 14-12 lead after one. The next two quarters went more to script with the Senators owning a 36-14 edge in scoring in the second and third quarters to take command of the game.

Brendin Woodard paced all scorers with 19 points on the night and is averaging 15 points per game on the season. Joey Whitman added 12 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Zach Adams scored a career-high 7 points in the win, and Joey Verheyen added 6 points.

Zach Kelley led Hopkins with 13 points.

Smith Academy 65, Mohawk 34 — Mat Sulda scored 18 points and Smith Academy upended Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 65-34, in an HL boys’ basketball game Friday night in Buckland.

David Longstreeth finished with 12 points for the Falcons (4-1, 4-1), Keith Natale added 11, and Derek McMahon chipped in 8.

Mark Buck paced Mohawk (1-6, 0-5) with 8 points.

Girls’ hoop

Athol 70, Turners Falls 30 — Alexa Whitney netted 17 points to lead Athol High School to a 70-30 Franklin County League girls’ basketball victory over Turners Falls High School Friday night in Turners Falls.

Whitney is second in the area scoring race with 15.5 points per game this season but she was not alone in the scoring department, as three other Red Raiders finished with 8 points or more. Shelby Bronnes, who is averaging 9.5 points per game this season, scored a career-high 16 points for the unbeaten Red Raiders (6-0, 5-0), while Caitlin Muzzy added 11, and Molly Cleveland dumped in 8.

Tanisha Sanders finished with 4 points and 11 rebounds for the Indians (3-3, 2-3), while Katelyn Dodge led the team in scoring with 9 points. Brittany York added 4 points and eight rebounds, and Hailey Peterson chipped in 5 points.

Pioneer 50, Greenfield 35 — Natalie Hale scored 23 points and Pioneer knocked off Greenfield High School, 50-35, in a FCL girls’ basketball game Friday night in Northfield.

Hale fell one point shy of hitting her career high, which came in the form of a 24-point effort in a win over Greenfield last season. The sophomore is third in the area scoring race at 14.0 points per game. She finished one steal shy of a triple-double, adding 10 rebounds and nine steals to her totals. Kiley Hubbard collected 7 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers (3-3, 2-3), while Alyssa Llewelyn chipped in 6 points and 12 boards.

Tori Adams led the Green Wave (2-5, 1-4) with 10 points, while Erika Glabach netted 6 points.

Mahar 56, Hopkins 50 — Mahar Regional School outscored Hopkins Academy, 27-12 in the fourth quarter to storm back from a nine-point deficit entering the frame and earn a 56-50 FCL girls’ basketball victory Friday night in Hadley.

“It was the tale of two halves,” Mahar coach Larry Fisher explained. “You wouldn’t have through it was the regular Mahar team in the first half.”

The Senators managed to score just 16 points in the opening half, but had held a 9-8 lead after the first quarter. Hopkins too control of the game in the second quarter with a 19-7 edge in scoring that had the host Golden Hawks (4-2, 4-1) up 27-16 at the break. The third quarter didn’t produce much of a difference, as Mahar (4-2, 4-1) held a slight edge in scoring at 13-11, but still had a daunting deficit to make up entering the final eight minutes. As if the players clicked a switch, Mahar nearly doubled up its total to that point, scoring 27 points in the final frame after netting only 29 through the first three quarters.

“We hit a couple of outside shots and that got us going,” Fisher said of the turnaround. “We were sluggish in the first half, and our girls were making some horrible decisions, both passing and hitting the boards.”

Jenelle Juskiewicz and Natasha Patria each hit a pair of 3-pointers on the night. Juskiewicz finished tied for the team lead in scoring with 12 points and also added six rebounds. Patria, finished one point back with 11 and grabbed nine boards. Jill Valley added 12 points, and Cassie Verheyen chipped in 9 points and five steals.

Olivia Mathieu led Hopkins with 18 points on the night. Kate Sullivan added 13 points, and Mackenzie Sullivan dumped in a dozen.

Smith Academy 45, Mohawk 29 — Kate Yagodzinski finished with 16 points as Smith Academy defeated Mohawk, 45-29, in a FCL girls’ basketball game Friday night in Hadley.

The game featured the final two teams yet to win a game in FCL play this season. Mohawk led 13-9 after the first quarter but was shutout in the second quarter as Smith took a 19-13 lead into the break. Emiko Barker finished with 14 points for the Falcons (2-4, 1-4), and Ashley Higgins added 7 points and 10 rebounds.

Blaze Petko-Sands and Laura Ward each finished with 10 points for Mohawk (1-5, 0-5), and Danielle Hartnett dumped in 6.

Easthampton 36, Frontier 31 — Elizabeth Whitney made her presence felt in the fourth quarter and Easthampton High School came back from a four-point deficit to earn a 36-31 FCL girls’ victory Friday night in South Deerfield.

The Eagles (6-1, 4-1) led 21-13 at halftime, but Whitney was held out of much of the third quarter after she picked up her fourth foul. Without their leading scorer, the Eagles did not score a point in the third and Frontier used the 12-0 edge to take a 25-21 lead into the fourth. Whitney returned part-way into the final quarter and hit three field goals to help Easthampton get the lead back. She then went 7-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the victory. She finished with 13 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth.

Amanda Calvo did her part for the host Red Hawks (2-3, 2-3), scoring 14 of her team-leading 17 points in the second half. All-told, Calvo scored 14 of her team’s 18 second-half points.

Both teams finished with just four players scoring any points. Ali Dabek added 8 points for Easthampton, Kristen Windoloski added 4 points, and Kelly Avard netted 1. Aside from Calvo, Frontier got 6 points from Jordyn Roberts and 4 points apiece from Camilla Baronas and Olivia Riordan.

PV Christian 38, FC Tech 33 — Pioneer Valley Christian School scored just one point in the first quarter but roared back from a 12-1 deficit to earn a 38-33 victory over Franklin County Technical School in a Tri-County League girls’ basketball game Friday night in Turners Falls.

The Eagles (1-5, 1-2) raced out to the 12-1 lead at the end of the first quarter but much of that had been erased by halftime, as Pioneer Valley Christian used a 10-4 edge in scoring in the second quarter to go into the break trailing only 16-11. The trend continued in the second half when Pioneer Christian used a 14-7 scoring advantage in the third quarter to take the lead.

“We just couldn’t penetrate the ball in the second half,” Tech coach Ed Marvell said. “We let this one slip away.”

Emily Jefson led all scorers with 17 points in the win, while Nina Andre added 10.

Megan Aldrich had a solid night for the hosts, scoring a team high 8 points and grabbing a team high nine rebounds. Alyssa Andrews and Jasmine Farr-Marcum each added 6 points in the loss.

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