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Red Hawks close in on WM berth

Paul Decker scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half and Frontier Regional School moved one win away from qualifying for the Western Mass. Division III Boys’ Basketball Tournament with a 61-47 Hampshire League boys’ basketball victory over Easthampton High School Friday night in South Deerfield.

Easthampton was limited to just 10 total points in the first half as the Red Hawk defense allowed five points in both the first and second quarters. That led the Hawks to a 25-10 lead at the break. The defense faltered some in the second half for Frontier, as Easthampton scored 37 points, but the Red Hawks held on for the win. Decker finished with 24 points and now has six games this season with 20-plus points, including three in his past four games.

“Paul is doing a better job moving without the ball lately and finding the soft spots in the opposing team’s defense,” Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky said.

Peter Watroba added 11 points in the win, while Quinn Hickey tossed in 7 points and added a team-high four assists. Ryan Hoar chipped in 3 points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds, and Tim Hoar added 4 points and seven boards.

Chris Starcun paced Easthampton with 20 points.

Frontier will try to clinch a spot in the postseason Tuesday night in Buckland against Mohawk Trail Regional High School.

Greenfield 61, Pioneer 37 — Vincent Funari torched his former team for a season-high 19 points and Greenfield High School knocked off Pioneer Valley Regional School, 61-37, in a boys’ HL basketball game Friday night in Northfield.

Funari, who’s previous season-high was 15 points and had only hit double-figure scoring one other time all season, drained three 3-pointers en route to the game-high. He was the only player on the Green Wave to reach double figures on the night as the team as all 10 Green Wave players scored at least two points in the win. Lew Borden, fresh off a one-game suspension, returned to score 8 points, while Tyler Miller also tossed in 8 points.

Lee Doiron led Pioneer with 13 points, Lennon Robichaud added 11 points, and Drew Hastings chipped in 8 points.

Turners Falls 72, Athol 48 — Malcolm Smith netted 21 points on Friday and Turners Falls High School cruised to a 72-48 HL boys’ hoop win over Athol High School in Athol.

Liam Ellis added 16 points for the Indians, while Wyatt Bourbeau netted 12.

Adrian Sexton led Athol with 22 points.

Mahar 67, Hopkins 33 — Mahar Regional School bolted out to a 13-point lead after one quarter and never looked back as it coasted to a 67-33 HL boys’ basketball win over Hopkins Academy on Friday nivght at Reed Gymnasium in Hadley.

Joey Whitman led all scorers with 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds and three steals, while Brendin Woodard tossed in 14 for the Senators (11-4, 11-3), who led 36-14 at the break. Troix Adams contributed 9 points and Nick Slattery totaled 7 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Jonathan Morrison paced the Golden Hawks with 8 points.

Smith Academy 70, Mohawk 38 — Smith Academy used a late second-quarter run to pull away from Mohawk Trail Regional High School and went on to take a 70-38 victory in a HL boys’ hoop game Friday night in Hatfield.

The Falcons (14-2, 12-2) held a 24-21 lead in the second quarter but ended the frame on a 16-5 run to take a 40-26 halftime advantage. Keith Natale and Mat Sulda each finished with 19 points in the win, while Derek McMahon and Seaver Rickert each tossed in 8.

Connor Maloney paced Mohawk (1-14, 0-13) with 14 points, and Alex Buntin added 10.

FC Tech 57, McCann Tech 47 — Chris Wetherby finished with 24 points, 18 rebounds, three steals and four blocked shots and Franklin County Technical School avenged an early-season loss with a 57-47 Tri-County League boys’ basketball victory over McCann Technical School Friday night in Turners Falls.

The Eagles (6-8 overall, 4-5 TCL) have been playing well of late, but must win four out of their final six games of the season to qualify for tournament. Friday’s win was a big step in the right direction and second-year coach Rick Recore said his team is beginning to develop an identity.

“We’ve got to get to 10,” he said. “That’s our focus right now. We talked about this earlier and we needed an identity. We found that tonight. We are a blue-collar team and we are going to play a very physical brand of basketball. It was a total team win tonight against a very good team.”

Wetherby paced the victory with his big night down low. Recore said that the sophomore center has made rapid growth this season.

“He is truly playing with passion,” Recore began. “He’s a man on a mission right now. He has truly become a man.”

Jake Earl added 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals. Brett Martin also had a solid all-around game with 6 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots late in the game to preserve the win.

Josh Superneau led McCann Tech with 12 points, while Chad Raimer added 10.

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