Boys’ Hoops: Hopkins outlasts Frontier

  • Above, Frontier’s Donovan Hoffman (4) drives the lane against Hopkins Thursday night in South Deerfield, where the host Red Hawks fell to the visiting Golden Hawks, 56-49, in a battle of raptors. Below, Frontier’s Carsten Carey (22) takes the tip off against Hopkins. ecorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier’s Carsten Carey(22) takes the tip off against Hopkins Thursday night in South Deerfield. January 25, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier’s Jared Muzyka (12) drives the baseline against Hopkins Thursday night in South Deerfield. January 25, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier’s Kalen Evans (2) gets fouled inside against Hopkins Thursday night at Goodnow Gym in South Deerfield, where the host Red Hawks fell, 56-49, in their Hampshire League boys’ basketball crossover game. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier’s Ben Litskoski (11) slices down the lane against Hopkins Thursday night in South Deerfield. January 25, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier’s Donovan Hoffman (4) looks for room to shoot under the hoop Thursday night against Hopkins in South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier’s Alex Sharp (1) brings the ball upcourt vs Hopkins Thursday night in South Deerfield. January 25, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier’s Carsten Carey (22) shoots over Hopkins Thursday night in South Deerfield. January 25, 2018 ecorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Thursday, January 25, 2018

For the first half of Thursday night’s game against perennial power Hopkins Academy, things were going according to plan for Frontier Regional School.

The Red Hawks took advantage of their opportunities on the offensive end, while giving the three-time defending WMass champions fits on defense. The combination added up to a five-points halftime advantage.

But thanks to a healthy dose of 1,000-point scorer Jon Morrison inside in the third quarter, the visiting Golden Hawks snatched control and didn’t give it back. Morrison scored 9 of his game-high 23 points in a difference-making third frame, leading Hopkins to a 56-49 win in an independent boys’ basketball game at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield.

“They hurt us on the interior in the third quarter,” Frontier head coach Ben Barshefsky said of Hopkins. “I thought for the most part in the first half we did a pretty good job making it difficult for Morrison to catch it down low. But in the third quarter, that’s what they went to on most possessions and to his credit, he worked hard to get good post position.”

Trailing 25-20 at intermission, Hopkins (11-1) outscored Frontier by a 24-7 margin in the third quarter to take a 44-32 fourth-quarter lead. The Red Hawks cut into the deficit late but were unable to force the issue enough to pull even.

“Win or lose, there’s always room for growth in every game,” explained Barshefsky. “I think the guys have proven to themselves that on every single night, they’re able to compete. Having said that, when you play very good teams like Hopkins, you can’t have third quarters like we did tonight.”

Just four players scored points for Hopkins, with Justin Ciaglo (14 points), Caleb Graves (10) and John Earle (9) handling the offensive duties outside of Morrison, who added 13 rebounds to go with his 23 points.

Frontier’s Carsten Carey finished with a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Owen Morse hit three 3-pointers and joined Carey in double figures with 11 points, while Alex Sharp tossed in 6 points. Jared Muzyka scored 4 points and pulled down 8 rebounds.

The Red Hawks (8-5), which had their eight-game win streak snapped with the loss, head to Belchertown High School Monday night.

Pioneer 51, Greenfield 47 — Visiting Greenfield High School trimmed an 18-point second-half deficit to just two in the waning seconds, but Jordan Loughman hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds remaining to seal the deal and lift Pioneer Valley Regional School to a 51-47 victory in an independent boys’ basketball game Thursday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

“Give Greenfield credit,” began Pioneer head coach Scott Thayer, who coached at GHS from 1997-2013. “They got down 18 but they came back at us and made a run.”

Pioneer (8-4) led 27-13 at halftime, thanks in large part to a suffocating defensive effort in the second quarter that held the Green Wave to just four points — all from the free-throw line.

“We played really well in that third quarter,” Thayer said. “(Greenfield) had a hard time getting shots off. We were really after it defensively.”

While the lead ballooned up to 18 points in the third quarter, Greenfield (3-9) managed to get things going from the outside to cut into the gap. The Wave hit seven of their eight 3-pointers in the second half, and scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to make things interesting.

“That tells me we’re not closing out on their shooters or really just giving the same effort that we did in the first half,” said Thayer of his team’s second-half defensive execution.

Loughman, who secured the win at the charity stripe late, led all scorers with 18 points. Karl Wheeler, who hit three 3-pointers, added 13 points for the Panthers, while Brendan Emond tossed in 11.

Greenfield was paced by Hunter Campbell’s team-high 13 points, while Nate Haselton joined him in double figures with 12. Jake Suhl and Mason Meadows had 8 points each, and all four players sank a pair of 3’s.

Pioneer heads to Mohawk Trail Regional High School Monday while Greenfield hosts Mahar Regional School the same night.

Turners 53, Mohawk 16 — A stout defensive effort from Turners Falls High School held host Mohawk to just eight total field goals, and the Powertown cruised to a 53-16 victory in an independent boys’ basketball game Thursday in Buckland.

Turners (5-9) stormed out to an 18-6 lead after one quarter and bumped it up to 36-12 at halftime. The visitors outscored the Warriors (1-11) by a 15-0 margin in the third to make it a 51-12 game entering the fourth.

Tyler Lavin hit a trio of 3-pointers and dropped a game-high 13 points for Turners, and he dished out 6 assists to help the offensive effort. Anthony Peterson tallied 12 points to go with 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Kyle Dodge notched 9 points and Jimmy Vaughn chipped in 7.

Jon Schuetze led the Mohawk offense with 6 points. Shawn Davenport tossed in 4 points for the Warriors.

The Warriors head to Athol High School tonight for a Hampshire League North battle, while Turners hosts Smith Academy Monday night.