Indians best Senators, 56-47

Turners Falls High School threw the first punch of the season in the Hampshire League.

The Indians traveled to Orange to take on Mahar Regional School in the first premier game in the league this season and knocked off the Senators, 56-47 at Grzesik-Bixby Gymnasium on Wednesday.

Mahar (1-1) came in off a lopsided win over Belchertown High School in which the Senators had held the Orioles to just 23 points. Turners Falls (2-0) came into the game off a 30-point win over Mt. Greylock Regional High School in which the Indians put up 84 points. So something had to give.

Things got off to a good start for the Senators, who jumped out to a 16-11 lead after the first quarter, but it deteriorated quickly, as Mahar managed just two points in the second quarter, getting outscored 16-2 in the frame to go down 27-18 at the break.

“Turnovers,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said of the issue in the second quarter. “No one wanted the ball. They put on a press and we didn’t handle it well. We just got outcoassed tonight in every facet of the game.”

The offensive struggles continued in the third quarter and Turners Falls outscored the Senators 17-9 to all but put the game away. The Senators finished with 18 turnovers on the night.

Malcolm Smith led all scorers with 22 points for the Indians. Liam Ellis added 10 points, Nick York dumped in 9, and Melvin Moreno added 7.

Troix Adams paced Mahar with 16 points, Brendin Woodard added 9, and Joey Verheyen tossed in 7.

Frontier 54, Mohawk 45 — A quick start helped propel Frontier Regional School to a 54-45 HL boys’ basketball win over Mohawk Trail Regional High School Wednesday night in South Deerfield.

The Red Hawks got out to a 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter for the difference in the game, as the Warriors would go on to outscore Frontier 38-35 the rest of the way.

“We were able to get out in transition and get some easy baskets,” Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky said. “In the second quarter we had the same opportunities, we just didn’t close them out. Mohawk, to its credit, played some tough defense and some of those missed layups were altered shots.”

Ben Ruddock hit three 3-pointers and finished with 18 points to lead the Red Hawks, while Niko Ames and Justin Farrick added 10 points apiece. Tim Hoar had a well-rounded game with 8 points and seven rebounds.

Mark Buck and Jay Fortier each scored 9 points for Mohawk, and Javier Morales added 8.

Smith Academy 77, Athol 50 — A 29-8 edge in third-quarter scoring helped Smith Academy pull away from Athol High School, 77-50, in a HL boys’ hoop game Wednesday night in Athol.

Keith Natale and Derek McMahon combined to score 45 points in the victory, in which the Falcons held a 33-23 lead at halftime before opening things up with the 21-point edge in third-quarter scoring. Natale paced all scorers with 23 points, while McMahon hit 10 shots from the field and added one free throw en route to 22 points. David Longstreeth also added 12 points.

Zack Dodge finished with 18 points to lead the Red Raiders, and Mark Brighenti tossed in 13.

South Hadley 81, Pioneer 64 — The old adage that the basketball team that makes more free throws than the other one shoots, usually wins the game rang true on Wednesday night as South Hadley made 20 of its 30 attempts from the line helping it to a 81-64 independent boys’ basketball win over Pioneer Valley Regional School in South Hadley.

South Hadley outshot Pioneer, 30-15, from the charity stripe on the night, but Pioneer coach Dave Hastings said it was well-earned.

“They played hard,” he said of South Hadley. “I think they earned those foul shots. They came out and played hard than we did. If you look at the rest of the three quarters, we were right with them.”

The Tigers got off to a quick start against the visitors, outscoring Pioneer 20-9 in the first quarter. The Panthers remained close in scoring to South Hadley much of the rest of the way, getting outscored by no more than four points in any of the other three quarters, but were unable to stage any sort of a comeback.

Cam Earl led South Hadley with 28 points, while T.J. Fitzell netted 22.

Lee Doiron had a big night for Pioneer with six 3-pointers en route to 26 points. Lennon Robichaud added 20, and Eric Pratt netted 9.

Pioneer (1-1) heads to Greenfield High School on Friday.

Girls’ hoop

Athol 61, Drury 37 — Athol upped the defensive pressure in the second half and got the results it was looking for en route to a rather easy, 61-37 victory over Drury High School in an independent girls’ basketball game Wednesday evening in Athol.

The Red Raiders led by seven points at the break and came out in the second half and used a new defensive look to completely shut down the Blue Devils’ offense.

“We’ve kind of worked on a half-court trap and we came out and played it in the second half and we really had a lot of energy,” Athol coach Dan Bevis said. Between Lindsey Hamlett and Tanner Favreau, those two really caused some turnovers and got some easy baskets.”

The defensive pressure led to Athol outscoring Drury, 16-4, in the third quarter to take a 19-point lead. That lead would grow to well over 20 before Drury closed the gap with some late-game baskets.

Kiley Cleveland hit four 3-pointers and made nine free throws for a game-high 21 points, while Favreau added 18 points. Kiki Guerin finished with 10 points, and Emily Casella added 5.

Emily Moulton led Drury with 12 points, while Sarah Lamarre added 9 points, and Amber Iacuessa tossed in 8.

Turners 48, Dean Tech 15 — Haleigh Bassett led the way for Turners Falls High School on both ends of the floor compiling 15 points and 10 rebounds, as the Indians dismantled Dean Technical High School 48-15 Wednesday night in Turners Falls.

Amber Caouette added 8 points and 10 boards for Turners, Willeshka Vega put in 7 points, and Jade Linscott and Nadia Hasan each contributed 6 for the Indians, who move to 1-2 on the season.

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