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Hawks edge Athol

Frontier Regional School survived everything it could handle from Athol High School Wednesday night, coming back from a two-point deficit to take a 48-46 Hampshire League boys’ basketball victory at Mallet Gymnasium in Athol.

Athol (6-12 overall, 4-12 HL) held a 21-20 lead at halftime and still held the edge after three quarters, taking a 34-32 lead into the fourth. Frontier (11-7, 11-5) managed to get the lead midway through the fourth, and then held on as Athol tried to come back in the final minute. Paul Decker hit a free throw to give the Red Hawks a three-point lead with 27 seconds left, but Athol missed the shot on the ensuing possession and Frontier went on to survive the upset-bid by the Red Raiders.

“It was just a bang-out defensive battle,” Athol coach Jason Donovan said. “They just made a couple of baskets and we didn’t at the end.”

Paul Decker finished with 20 points in the win and is now averaging 16.4 points per game. Ryan Hoar had one of his best games of the season, matching a season-high with 11 points, and matching a career-high with 20 rebounds.

“He was all over the place tonight,” Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky said.

Peter Watroba tossed in 7 points for the Red Hawks, and Ben Ruddock added 5.

Adrian Sexton had another big game for Athol with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Sexton is now averaging 17.0 points per game. Zack Dodge finished with 8 points, and Bradley Bousquet tossed in 7.

Sci-Tech 59, Greenfield 52 — It may have ruined Greenfield High School’s chance at an unbeaten regular season, but Wednesday night’s independent boys’ basketball game against Springfield School of Science & Technology may go a long way toward aiding the Green Wave in the postseason.

One night after surviving a scrappy Hoosac Valley Regional High School team in Cheshire, the Green Wave headed down to Springfield to take on a CyberCats team fighting for their playoff lives and the hosts handed Greenfield it’s first loss of the season with a 59-52 decision.

Greenfield (16-1) was playing without starting point guard Robin Marchese for the second straight game and while the team was able to survive without the 10-point-per-game scorer on Tuesday, the missing offense hurt on Wednesday. Greenfield coach Scott Thayer wasn’t into making excuses, but instead was extremely pleased with the effort put forth by his team. It was the second straight night that Thayer talked about his club’s effort, something he has seen a major transformation in this season from last year.

“The kids played their butts off tonight,” he explained. “One thing they have learned is to rely on each other. They’re confident in each other. We are a much more confident, more mentally mature team. That’s all you can ask for. Most nights, with that type of mentality, it’s going to win you some games.”

As for failing to make it a perfect regular season, Thayer said the opportunity to learn from these types of games is more important.

“I told my kids that it’s one of those things where we created the monster by being 16-0,” he said. “We created it. We ground games out, we came back in games, and we survived on bad nights. All of those things are going to help you down the road.”

Parker Hickey scored a career-high 15 points to lead the Green Wave. Vincent Funari hit double-digit scoring for the third time in four games with a 12-point effort, and Lew Borden netted 10 points. Connor Eckstrom was strong all-around with 6 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and five assists. Garrett Hudson chipped in five points and six rebounds.

Sci-Tech moves to 8-9 on the season and needs two wins in its final three games to qualify for the postseason. Marcel Brown led the CyberCats with 19 points, Keith Caston added 15 points, and Justin White netted 12 points.

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