Green Wave dunks Turners, 62-51
It didn’t take another buzzer-beater but Greenfield High School once again found itself in a late-game battle against Turners Falls High School Tuesday night, only this time the Green Wave put the Indians away late to take a 62-51 Hampshire League boys’ basketball victory at Ump Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.
This marked the second time the two teams met this season, the first coming back on Dec. 13. In that game, Wave guard Parker Hickey drained a jumper at the buzzer to snap a tie and send the Green Wave to the victory. The second meeting saw the Green Wave stretch a lead to 16 points in the fourth quarter, only to have the Indians go on an 11-0 run and pull to within five points with under two minutes remaining. At that point Greenfield coach Scott Thayer called time out and calmed down his team.
“I told the guys to relax,” Thayer explained. “We were still leading the game at that point and it was one of those things where you knew they were going to make a run — we didn’t think it would be like that — and it happened because we weren’t running to the spots on the floor where we were supposed to be.
Greenfield (11-0 overall, 11-0 HL) came out of the timeout and on the ensuing possession Tyler Miller was fouled and calmly drained both foul ends of a one-and-one. Turners Falls (8-5, 7-4) threw up an errant 3-pointer on the next possession and the Green Wave went down the court to thrust the dagger. Miller took a pass from Vincent Funari inside the paint but his shot was off the mark. Green Wave big man Lew Borden managed to come away with the offensive rebound and kicked the ball out to Funari, who drove the lane and dished the ball to a wide-open Robin Marchese in the corner. The junior guard knocked down his third 3-pointer of the night to put the Green Wave up 10.
The Indians again failed to score on their next possession and the ball went out of bounds. The Wave inbounded to Funari, who was immediately fouled by Indian guard Melvin Moreno, but Moreno gave the Wave player an extra push in the back and was immediately issued a technical foul, which gave Funari four foul shots and his team the ball. Funari hit all four shots, and a Liam Ellis 3-pointer as time wound down was all the Indians could muster.
The game started sloppy, with both teams struggling to make shots despite getting good looks. The Green Wave led 10-9 after the first quarter, and at that point Marchese entered the game after having been benched for the entire first quarter for an undisclosed reason. His presence made an immediate difference, as he drained a 3-pointer 29 seconds into the second quarter and went on to score 9 points in the frame. That, in addition to 7 points from Borden, helped the Green Wave to a 31-21 lead at halftime.
The Indians did not go away in the second half, relying on hard-nosed play to stick around. It’s that scrappiness that has helped make the Indians the surprise of the HL this season. Malcolm Smith scored 10 points in the third quarter for the Indians, and Greenfield was held scoreless until 3 minutes, 17 seconds remained in the quarter. That helped the Indians close to within four points before a late 7-1 Green Wave run, capped by a nice pass from Marchese to Miller for a basket as time expired, helped the Green Wave push the advantage to 12 points after three. The lead wound up not being safe in the fourth but proved enough to keep the Wave unbeaten heading into their Friday-night showdown in Hatfield against Smith Academy.
Borden and Marchese each finished with 15 poitns to lead the Wave. Borden pulled down 18 rebounds. Marchese finished with five assists. Funari tossed in 7 points, and Connor Eckstrom added 6 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.
Smith paced the Indians with 16 points. Moreno netted 13 and Ellis tossed in 10.
Mahar 40, Mohawk 34 — Things are not getting any easier for the Mahar Regional School offense.
The Senators (8-4, 8-3) needed 6 fourth-quarter points from freshman Buddy Boatwright to help them survive one-win Mohawk Trail Regional High School and take a 40-34 HL boys’ hoop victory Tuesday night in Orange.
It has been a tough couple of weeks for the Mahar offense, which scored only 40 points for the second consecutive game and has now scored 40 points or less in four of the past five games.
“We’re playing with no confidence offensively right now,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “We needed a freshman to come off the bench and get three big baskets for us. It’s very frustrating.”
Mahar leading scorer Brendin Woodard, who entered the game with an average of 14 points per game, was held scoreless, scoring just five points in the past two games. Joey Whitman finished with 11 points to pace the Senators. Nick Slattery and Jake Paul each added 7 points.
Mark Buck led the Warriors (1-11, 0-10) with 8 points. Josh Willis netted 7. Alex Buntin and Jay Fortier each tossed in 6.
Frontier 63, Pioneer 47 — Paul Decker scored 19 first-half points and finished with 20 on the night to help Frontier Regional School to a 63-47 HL boys’ basketball victory Tuesday night in Northfield.
Quinn Hickey scored a career-high 19 points for Frontier (7-5, 7-4) and 10 players wound up scoring in the win.
Lee Doiron paced Pioneer (4-8, 3-8) with 16 points. Brad Hastings netted 11.
Easthampton 68, Athol 37 — Chris Starcun led three double-digit scorers with 24 points as Easthampton High School downed Athol High School, 68-37, in HL boys’ basketball play Tuesday night in Easthampton.
Dakota Wheeler threw in 11 and Tom Palaschak contributed 10 for the Eagles, who held a 29-18 lead at intermission.
Bradley Bousquet and Adrian Sexton led the Red Raiders with 11 points apiece.
FC Tech 68, Westfield Voke-Tech 41 — Three players recorded double-doubles to help Franklin County Technical School beat Westfield Vocational-Technical High School, 68-41, in a Tri-County League boys’ basketball contest Tuesday night in Turners Falls.
Chris Wetherby continued his solid two-way play for the Eagle, finishing with 24 points, 16 rebounds a pair of blocked shots. Jake Earl turned in another productive night with 19 points and 11 assists, while Gerald Richardson played a sensational scoreless game, grabbing 13 boards and dishing out 11 assists. Nate Boyer also reached double figures for the winners, scoring 13 points.
Connor Hebda paced the Tigers with 14 points. Nelson Rogue pitched in with 7.
Franklin Tech led 42-19 at intermission.