Green Wave rolls Senators, 58-34
Greenfield High School continued its assault on the Hampshire League on Monday night by cruising to a surprisingly easy 58-34 victory over defending Division II state champion Mahar Regional School in a boys’ basketball game at Grzesik-Bixby gym in Orange.
The game featured the top two teams in the HL East Division, both entering the game at 6-0 in league play. By game’s end, the Green Wave (7-0 overall, 7-0 HL) showed that there is a new sheriff in town for now at the top of the division as it handled the defending division champion Senators (6-2, 6-1) to remain unbeaten.
“They came out and played hard right from the get-go,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “They played with a lot of fire and a lot of intensity and we never matched it all night. It was complete domination.”
The Green Wave took a page out of the Senators’ book from a year ago when Mahar used a steady amount of defense en route to the title run. Greenfield allowed Mahar just 15 points in the first half, including just four in the second quarter, and the Green Wave rushed out to a 29-15 lead. Things only got worse for the hosts in the third quarter, as Greenfield allowed just five points and upped its lead to 45-20.
“Everyone was talking, everyone was helping,” Softic said of the Wave’s defense. “They did a great job on pick-and-roll defense. Just, fundamentally, they were very strong and when they play with that intensity, they’re going to be tough. At least for tonight, I did see some comparisons in Greenfield to our team from last year.”
The biggest issue facing the Senators came in the form of Green Wave big man Lew Borden, who finished with 17 points. Vincent Funari also had his best game of the season offensively, scoring 15 points to easily better his season average of 4.2 points. Robin Marchese added 9 points on three 3-pointers. Parker Hickey tossed in 5.
Joey Whitman led the Senator offense with 7 points, while Brendin Woodard, who entered the game averaging 15.3, finished with just 5. Nick Slattery added 6 points but had to leave the game due to an injury. Jake Paul tossed in 5 points.
Smith Academy 71, Turners Falls 44 — Mat Sulda netted 21 points Monday night and Smith Academy knocked off Turners Falls High School, 71-44, in a HL boys’ basketball game in Hatfield.
The Falcons wound up with 50 points from their three leading scorers, Sulda, Derek McMahon and Keith Natale. McMahon added 16 points and Natale tossed in 13 to lead the West Division Falcons (7-1, 6-1) to the victory over the second-place Indians.
Turners Falls (6-3, 5-3) did not have a double-figure scorer. Malcolm Smith and Wyatt Bourbeau each scored 9 points to lead the way. Melvin Moreno, who averaged 13 points per game entering the contest, finished with just 4. Summer Forest-Bulley tossed in 7.
Frontier 61, Athol 51 — Peter Watroba and Paul Decker combined for 36 points Monday night and Frontier Regional School survived a solid effort from Athol High School to earn a 61-51 HL boys’ basketball victory at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield.
The Red Raiders (2-6, 1-6) put up a strong defensive effort and went into halftime trailing by just a point, 26-25. The Red Hawks (5-3, 5-2) took control in the second half but never pulled away from Athol.
“It was a physical game and both teams battled hard,” Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky said. “We just made some plays down the stretch. Athol had a great defensive and offensive game plan tonight.”
Watroba hit four 3-pointers and finished with 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists. Decker added 17 points. Ryan Hoar finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Adrian Sexton continued his torrid scoring for the Red Raiders, netting 25 points to give him back-to-back games of 23 points or more, moving his season average to 15.3 points per game. Sexton also pulled down 14 boards. Teammate Bradley Bousquet added 7 points.
McCann Tech 56, FC Tech 49 — McCann Technical High School turned in a strong defensive effort Monday night and held off a late charge from Franklin County Technical School to take a 56-49 Tri-County League boys’ basketball victory in North Adams.
The Hornets (2-4 overall, 1-0 TCL) led 15-10 after the first quarter and then went on to outscore the Eagles (1-4, 0-1), 27-13, in the second and third quarters combined to take a 42-23 lead into the fourth quarter. Franklin Tech outscored McCann, 26-14, in a high-scoring fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. The Eagles didn’t help themselves from the free-throw line, finishing 9-for-24.
Chad Raimer led a balanced Hornets’ attack with 12 points. Shane Fuller added 11. Justin Cote tossed in 10 points and Anthony Duprat had 8.
Jake Earl finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles. Chris Wetherby put up 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.