It’s every kid’s dream and on Thursday night, Parker Hickey turned it into reality.
The Green Wave junior guard drained a buzzer-beater to break a tie and Greenfield improved to 2-0 on the season with a 49-47 victory over Turners Falls High School in a Hampshire League boys’ basketball victory in Turners Falls.
Greenfield caught a break when Liam Ellis missed a pair of free throws for Turners with five seconds left and the score tied at 47. The Green Wave threw a long pass up court, but the ball was knocked out of bounds with one second left on the clock.
At that point, Green Wave head coach Scott Thayer tried to set up a play to throw the ball in to forward Lew Borden, who already had 18 points to that point, who would try to outleap the Indian defenders and tip the ball in for the game-winning score. But the Indians were thinking the same thing and swarmed around Borden, so instead, inbounder Robin Marchese played the ball to Hickey (5 points), who was running to the corner. The guard caught it, turned, shot and watched the ball swish through the net to give Greenfield the victory.
“Parker did that at the junior varsity level last year, I think he had like three game-winning shots,” Thayer said. “He’s just a guy that doesn’t shy away from that spot. We ran a play where we wanted to throw the ball to the rim to Lew, but he was covered and we went to Parker. You could just tell that it was going in when it left his hands.”
The Indians (1-1) led for much of the game, holding a 15-14 advantage after the first quarter and turning in a solid defensive effort to hold Greenfield to just six second-quarter points en route to taking a 28-20 lead into halftime.
“They really took it to us,” Thayer said. “We just were not taking advantage of our advantage, which was get the ball down low to Lew and Connor (Eckstrom).”
The tide began to turn a bit for the Green Wave in the third quarter when it outscored Turners, 11-9, and Greenfield finally managed to take the lead late in the fourth. Ellis (10 points) tied the game at 47-47 with a pair of free throws made late in the frame, but it was not enough in the end.
“We just had a tough time getting inside in the fourth quarter and our shots were not falling,” Turners assistant coach Jay Liimatainen said. “We made shots in the first half that we just weren’t making in the second.”
Marchese finished with 13 points in the win, while Vincent Funari finished with 5.
Melvin Moreno netted 15 points for the Indians, while Wyatt Bourbeau added 9 points.
Mohawk 63, FC Tech 58 — Mark Buck finished with a game-high 19 points to help Mohawk Trail Regional High School to a 63-58 win over Franklin County Technical School during the Eagles Holiday Classic boys’ basketball tournament Thursday night in Turners Falls.
The game was close throughout, with Mohawk holding a one-point (32-31) lead at halftime and a two-point lead (46-44) heading into the fourth quarter. According to Franklin Tech head coach Rick Recore, in the end it came down to the intensity shown by Mohawk.
“We missed some opportunities,” he said. “Fifty-fifty balls affected this game greatly, and Mohawk played with a greater passion this evening.”
Recore pointed out that he was pleased with the way his team moved the ball in their season opener, and it showed in the final stats as the Eagles finished with three players in double-figure scoring. One thing that did stick out, however, was the fact that the Eagles shot less than 50 percent (17-for-39) from the free throw line, a major factor in a game that came down to five points.
“It’s something that we’ve paid a lot of attention to, but we have a lot of guys that don’t have a lot of varsity experience,” he said of his team, which has just three players above the sophomore class. “Right now I think our age is showing through a little bit.”
Alex Buntin finished with 13 points for the Warriors (1-2), while Dustin Brown netted 8 points, and Stephen Reynolds and Connor Maloney each added 7.
Jake Earl made 10-of-15 free throws on the night and finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals to pace the Eagles. Chris Wetherby added 14 points and 10 rebounds, Nate Boyer dumped in 12 points to go with four steals, and Gerald Richardson finished with 8 points and eight rebounds.
Mohawk punched its ticket to play Palmer High School in the championship game tonight at 8 after Palmer cruised to a 73-33 win over Mt. Everett Regional High School in the other semifinal on Thursday. Franklin Tech will face Mt. Everett in the third place game at 5 p.m.
Easthampton 59, Athol 46 — Chris Starcun netted 24 points to lead Easthampton High School to a 59-46 victory over Athol High School in a HL boys’ basketball game Thursday night in Athol.
The Eagles’ big man was the only player on his team to finish in double figures as he used his size advantage to score 40 percent of his team’s points. Dakota Wheeler and Eric Fickett each scored 7 points in the win.
Zack Dodge paced Athol (0-2) with 11 points, while Andrew Poor and Jordan Rivera each hit two 3-pointers en route to 8 points.
Four Rivers 54, Buxton 39 — Ben Garbus scored 14 points on Thursday as Four Rivers Charter School knocked off Buxton School, 54-39, in a River Valley Athletic League boys’ basketball game at Indoor Action in Greenfield.
Jackson Reeves-Henning added 12 points for Four Rivers (2-0), which hosts Hartsbrook School on Tuesday.
Greenfield 31, FC Tech 27 — Kelsey Roberts scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and the Greenfield girls’ basketball team earned its first win in nearly two years as it recorded a come-from-behind, 31-27 victory over Franklin County Technical School during the Eagles’ Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon in Turners Falls.
The Green Wave trailed 20-15 heading into the fourth quarter but more than doubled their output from the previous three quarters in the final frame as they outscored the Eagles 16-7. Roberts was responsible for nearly all of those points, draining four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to score 14 of her game-high 16 points. Tori Adams nailed down the victory in the final minute by going 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Those were the only two free throws made by Greenfield on the day, as it went 2-for-3 from the line. Franklin Tech, on the other hand, shot 27 free throws on the day but made only seven.
“We played a lot better in the second half,” Greenfield coach John Hickey said. “We rebounded better, and our defense played better.”
The win marks the first time Greenfield has been victorious since Jan. 27, 2011, when Greenfield beat Turners Falls, 41-39. Only two players from that team remain, meaning that for nearly the entire Green Wave roster, this was their first varsity victory. Following the win over Turners in 2011, Greenfield lost the final eight games of that season and then went 0-20 last season, before opening this year 0-1.
Adams finished with 8 points in the win, and Siena Isotti — one of the two players that played on the last Greenfield team to win a game — added 5 points.
Freshman Brittany Andrews led Tech with 9 points, while Brooke Meuse added 6 points.
Greenfield will take on Norfolk County Agricultural High School in the championship game tonight at 6:30 after Norolk edged Mt. Everett Regional High School, 44-38, in the other semifinal on Thursday. Franklin Tech will play Mt. Everett in the third-place game today at 3:30.
Mohawk 59, Smith Voke 14 — Hannah Finck scored 19 points on Thursday and Mohawk Trail Regional High School won for the first time this season with a 59-14 victory over Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School in an independent girls’ basketball game in Buckland.
Mohawk (1-2) led 30-8 at halftime and outsocred the Vikings, 17-0 in the third quarter. Caitlyn Wilkins finished with 10 points in the win, Elizabeth Porter netted 8 points, and Blaze Petko-Sands, Danielle Hartnett and Laura Ward each added 6 points.
Natasha Cintron led Smith Voke with 6 points.
South Hadley 70, Mahar 54 — South Hadley used a big effort in the second half to pull away from Mahar Regional School and pick up a 70-51 victory in an independent girls’ basketball game between Division II powers Thursday night in South Hadley.
“We got out-hustled and out-muscled in the second half, and we missed about 10 bunnies (easy baskets) that we should have had,” Mahar coach Larry Fisher said.
The Tigers, which returned their entire starting lineup from a team that finished 11-10 last season, finished with four players in double figures. Kelly Pouliot led the team with 19 points, while Tess Gauthier added 12. Meg Lynes tossed in 11, and Meg Ginley netted 10.
Jill Valley finished with 12 points for the Senators (2-1), while Natasha Patria added a dozen. Cassie Verheyen netted 6 points and finished with 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots.