Mahar storms back for win
It wasn’t what Mahar Regional School coach Larry Fisher wanted to look up at the scoreboard and see after the first quarter.
Frontier Regional School dominated the first quarter of its Franklin County League girls’ basketball game against the Senators on Tuesday night and jumped out to a 14-2 lead after the first quarter. Mahar, picked to be one of the top FCL teams this season, responded in a big way in the second quarter and went on to register a 55-47 victory in Orange.
After cruising to a 62-19 victory over Mohawk Trail Regional High School in their season-opener on Monday night, the Senators went right back to work on Tuesday and found themselves in trouble early on. Frontier led 9-0 at one point and Mahar did not get on the board until freshman center Cassie Verheyen hit a basket with one minute to play in the first quarter, but the Red Hawks still led by 12 after the first frame.
“We came out asleep and we didn’t match their intensity at all,” Fisher said of the first quarter woes. “We woke up in the second quarter and pressed them a little bit and it forced them to be a little uncomfortable.”
The Mahar pressure caused Frontier to turn the ball over on numerous occasions in the second quarter and the Senators responded in a big way, owning a 28-5 advantage in scoring in the frame to take a 30-19 lead at the break. Frontier hung around in the final two quarters, scoring 19 points in the fourth, helped by the fact that the Red Hawks hit 10 3-pointers on the night. The Hawks pulled to within five points in the fourth, but Mahar managed to hit 5-of-7 foul shots in the final minute to ice the win.
Natasha Patria led all scorers with 21 points on the night for Mahar and also pulled down 10 rebounds. Jill Valley was just behind with 20 points and seven steals, and Ally Parker chipped in 7 points.
Sydney Judge led Frontier with 13 points, Olivia Riordan and Amanda Calvo both netted 12, and Jordan Rowe chipped in 8.
Hopkins 53, Turners 35 — Hopkins Academy outscored Turners Falls High School 25-3 in the first quarter and went on to take a 53-35 FCL girls’ hoop victory Tuesday night in Turners Falls.
After getting outscored by 22 points in the opening frame, Turners Falls settled in and managed to match or outscore the Golden Hawks in the final three quarters. The deficit proved to be too much to overcome, however. Still, first-year coach Ted Wilcox said he was encouraged after the game, especially with the play of senior guard Haley Peterson who had added minutes due to Katelyn Dodge missing the game due to an injury.
“Haley had a strong game both on defense and on offense,” Wilcox said. “The girls were aggressive going to the hoop, but 17-for-33 (from the foul line) will kill you every time.”
Wilcox added that Hopkins shot 75 percent from the line, hitting 12-of-16 free throws on the night. Mackenzie Sullivan led Hopkins with 13 points, while Katie Sullivan and Olivia Mathieu each finished with 10.
Jenna Putala finished with 13 points for the Indians (1-1), while Tanisha Sanders netted 8. Peterson tossed in 7 points, and Brittany York added a team-high eight rebounds.
Athol 61, Greenfield 14 — Alexa Whitney led three double-digit scorers with 14 points to help Athol High School beat Greenfield High School, 61-14, in a FCL girls’ basketball contact Tuesday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.
Molly Cleveland added 12 points and Shelby Bronnes finisdhed with 10 for the Red Raiders, who held a 19-3 laed after one quarter and never looked back.
Tory Adams and Aliona Olaru both had 5 points and Kosick had 4 for the Green Wave.
Easthampton 60, Mohawk 25 — Elizabeth Whitney scored 21 points to lead Easthampton High School to a 60-25 victory over Mohawk Tuesday night in Buckland.
Kristin Windoloski drained five 3-pointers in the game and finished with 15 points.
Blaze Petko-Sands finished with three 3-pointers to pace Mohawk with 9 points, while Hannah Finck added 7 points.
Pioneer 33, Smith Academy 29 — For the second time in as many games, Pioneer Valley Regional School turned in a solid defensive effort.
The Panthers limited Smith Academy to 29 points on Tuesday night and the Pioneer offense woke up just in time to help the team to a 33-29 victory in an FCL contest in Hatfield.
Pioneer has now held opponents to 59 points total in the first two games of the season, and despite not getting a ton of offense in either game (Pioneer has only scored 64 points), the Panthers are a perfect 2-0 to start the season.
“We’re playing hard defensively, we’re working both man and zone,” first-year coach Meg Lilly said. “And the girls are handling the transition pretty well. I don’t think we’ve even found our best key defense yet.”
Smith Academy took an 11-5 lead after the first quarter but Pioneer held the Falcons (1-1) to just two second-quarter points and the teams went into the break tied at 13-13. After Smith held a 9-6 edge in scoring in the third quarter to take a three-point lead into the fourth, Pioneer used a 14-9 edge in scoring in the final frame to earn the win. Of the 14 points scored in the fourth, 10 came from the free throw line.
Natalie Hale led all scorers with 17 points in the win to go along with 11 rebounds and five steals. Kiley Hubbard added 4 points and eight rebounds, and Alyssa Llewelyn netted 6 points to go with seven boards.
“Our rebounding really did it for us tonight,” Lilly added. “It’s something we’ve been working really hard on in practice.”
Cassidy Snyder led the Falcons with 13 points, and Kate Yagodzinski added 12.
Greenfield 5, Comp 2 — Greenfield struck early for goals in all three periods and moved to 2-0 on the season with a 5-2 independent hockey victory over Chicopee Comprehensive High School Tuesday night at Collins-Moylan Arena in Greenfield.
Dylan Dodge scored the opening goal of the game 4 minutes, 58 seconds in when he picked up a puck in the Green Wave end, skated through the neutral zone and blasted a shot that beat Colts’ starting goalie James Pheriault stick side. Comp tied the game less than one minute later as Nolan Fisher scored from Travis Seymour.
The Green Wave took control of the game early in the second period. Kyle Smith set up Jourdan York-Welcome 23 seconds into the period to give the Green Wave the lead for good, and two minutes later Smith scored on an assist from Josh Brandl. Greenfield added to its lead 47 seconds into the third period when Jake Elwell set up Mike Duclos for his second goal of the season. Jeremy Lewis got one goal back for Comp. later in the period on an assist from Fisher, but Smith netted his second of the night with under three minutes to go to seal the win.
Noah Foster-Marquis had his second straight solid outing in the Green Wave net, stopping 18 of 20 shots he faced.