Athol, Mahar win late

  • Keegan Lutz, of Athol, finishes at the rim against Lunenburg in Monty Tech summer league action, Thursday in Fitchburg.  FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Vinny Gordon, of Athol, battles under the rim against Lunenburg in Monty Tech summer league action, Thursday in Fitchburg. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Bryce King, of Athol, lets go of a floater in the paint against Lunenberg in Monty Tech summer league action, Thursday in Fitchburg. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

Staff Writer
Published: 6/20/2019 9:56:10 PM
Modified: 6/20/2019 9:56:00 PM

FITCHBURG — The first made 3-pointer of the game was a big one for the Athol High School summer league team against Lunenburg on Thursday.

Bryce King’s shot from the arc propelled the Red Raiders to a 42-40 win at Monty Tech High School.

The lack of a outside shots is by design for Athol (1-1), which has a focus on finding other ways to score.

“We are not going to settle for the three,” Athol coach David King said. “Focus on trying to get to the rim. If you look at analytics it tells us we shouldn’t settle. They are not there for us right now.”

Mark Ferrari led Athol with 14 points, all near the rim.

“Today we came in and wanted to take the ball to the rim,” Ferrari said. “Our three-point percentage was really bad the last couple games. We came in and focused on going to the rim and we won the game.”

Late in the game, a King (eight points) pass to Noah Pottinger gave the Red Raiders a 42-37 lead.

Pottinger had eight points, while Vinny Gordon added six.

Athol was hard on itself not shooting well from the free-throw line, going just 5-for-20.

“That's a matter of repetition,” David King said. “None of them have played basketball since the winter. They will be alright there.”

Ferrari's bucket and a foul gave the Red Raiders a 34-33 lead with 6 minutes, 42 seconds left in the game.

Riley Paine and Gordon made the extra pass on two occasions leading to easy baskets. Paine grabbed an offensive rebound and turned it into a tough turnaround baseline jumper toward the end of the half. Paine was active on the glass after misses the whole game.

Athol’s (1-1) press gave Lunenburg trouble just before intermission. A Ferrari steal and layup gave the Red Raiders a 21-17 lead.

Mahar 40, Notre Dame 39 – A Jakob Carron runner in the paint during a scrambled final possession gave Mahar (2-0) the victory over Notre Dame at Monty Tech. 

Carron’s game-winner was the first of his basketball career.

A violent and emphatic block by Charlie Barnes closed out Notre Dame’s last chance before the buzzer.

The insertion of Ayden Santana helped Mahar all over the floor. Santana had 13 points, five rebounds three steals and a block.

Mahar battled through a tough offensive first half and trailed Notre Dame, 17-14, at halftime. 

Things got going midway through when Carron, Matt Lyesiuk and Santana got free for open shots near the rim.

A couple early second half turnovers allowed Notre Dame to increase the lead to 24-15. 

A high-volume huddle during a timeout from coach Enver Softic sparked a change in play for Mahar, which erased the deficit to complete the comeback. 

Lyesiuk had nine points for Mahar with Barnes adding six while handling Notre Dame’s press.

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