Boys’ Hoops: Visiting Mahar quells Wave

  • Above, Mahar’s Deven Patch (25) puts up a shot in the lane over Greenfield defenders Nate Haselton (5) and Colin Cloutier (21) Monday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield. Below, Greenfield’s Mason Meadows (14) drives the lane in the second half. Recorder Staff photos/Dan Little

  • Greenfield’s Owen Phelps (10) puts up a jumper over Mahar’s Jacob Temple (33) Monday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Deven Patch (25) takes a second-half shot against Greenfield Monday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Greenfield’s Owen Phelps (10) drives the lane for a first-half layup defended by Mahar’s Jacob Temple (33) and Matthew Jenks (23) Monday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Ryan Donaldson (14) sinks a second-half 3-pointer against Greenfield Monday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Greenfield’s Colin Cloutier (21) drives to the hoop in the second half against Mahar Monday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Greenfield’s Mason Meadows (14) drives the lane in the second half against Mahar Monday night at Nichols Gym in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Monday, January 29, 2018

Mahar Regional School held the Greenfield offense in check for three quarters and officially qualified for the postseason with a 66-41 victory in independent boys’ basketball action Monday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.

The Senators held Greenfield to 15 points in the first half and built a 30-15 lead. The Senators then outscored the Wave, 17-7, in the third quarter to pull away.

Greenfield (3-9) had a tough night shooting from the perimeter, where it went just 3-for-19. On the bright side, the Green Wave was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.

Mahar (10-3), meanwhile, had 11 players score in the win, including Sam Paul who led the Senators with 19 points. Deven Patch had another strong offensive night with 11 points, and Quinn Gervais added 8 points. Matt Jenks finished with 7 points, and Brennan Mailloux chipped in 6 points.

“We will never take for granted making the tournament,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “I’m real happy for the seniors. They are a classy group of kids who deserve everything they get.”

Owen Phelps paced the Green Wave with 14 points, while Mason Meadows added 8 points. Nate Haselton, Colin Cloutier and Hunter Campbell each chipped in 5 points.

“We did a good job of being aggressive in spurts,” Greenfield coach Tim Caplice explained. “Unfortunately, when you don’t make outside shots, you have to play better defense.”

Belchertown 55, Frontier 48 — Belchertown High School stepped up the defensive pressure in the interior in the second half to erase a halftime deficit and top Frontier Regional School, 55-48, in an independent boys’ basketball game Monday night in Belchertown.

Frontier (8-6) held a 25-23 lead at halftime and was within one point (40-39) after three quarters but Belchertown (10-5) outscored the Red Hawks, 15-9, in the fourth quarter to pull away.

“They did an excellent job taking away the interior, and our shots outside the paint just really weren’t falling tonight,” Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky said. “I think we are a better shooting team than we were tonight.”

Barshefsky admitted that while the Orioles stepped up the defense inside the paint, he felt that his team did not do enough to recognize when it had a chance to attack the hoop enough times in the loss.

“We settled too often for shots from the perimeter, and when we were able to get their zone to shift, it was opening driving lanes that we were not taking advantage of,” he said. “And when we did get to the basket, I thought we could have done a better job going up strong.”

Two of the biggest offensive stars in the Hampshire League went toe-to-toe on the night and both players put on a show. Belchertown’s Mitch Medina, who is one of the top scorers in western Mass. this winter, finished with 27 points, while Frontier’s Carsten Carey, who leads the Recorder-area in scoring, matched him with 27 points as well.

“Carsten is a handful inside, and he is continuing to develop,” Barshefsky said. “He’s such a hard worker and I think as he starts to develop his footwork a little more and his skill set of squaring up and facing the basket from the post, he’s going to see a world of opportunities open up for him.”

Nolan Vogel finished with 20 points for Belchertown as the Orioles qualified for the tournament with the win.

Owen Morse added 12 points for Frontier.

Frontier heads to Mahar Thursday night.

Smith Academy 69, Turners Falls 68 — A wild fourth-quarter comeback bid fell just shy, as Turners Falls High School had two looks at the potential game-winning shot in the waning seconds but couldn’t convert in a 69-68 loss to Smith Academy Monday night in Turners Falls.

The Powertown (5-10) trailed 51-38 entering the fourth quarter, but the squad put 30 points on the board in the final frame to make things interesting. Riding a three-point barrage in the final frame, Turners got within a point and had two shots with less than 13 seconds left to win the game. Smith Academy (5-9) held on however, stopping a four-game losing streak in the process.

“We hit some big 3’s in the fourth quarter but we dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Turners Falls assistant coach Jay Liimatainen offered. “Our defense just didn’t get enough stops early on. You can’t come back very often from 15-plus points.”

Turners trailed 42-27 at halftime, but battled back thanks to 19 points from Jimmy Vaughn and 18 points from Tyler Lavin. Vaughn hit five 3-pointers on the night, while Lavin drilled three 3’s. Anthony Peterson scored 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Chace Novak made it four Turners players in double figures with 11 points.

Smith was powered offensively by Brett Gratz, who poured in a game-high 29 points thanks to five 3-pointers. The Falcons hit 10 3’s on the night, four of them from Carter Woodward, who totaled 18 points.

“They shot the ball incredibly well for the majority of the game, first half especially,” Liimatainen said. “Coach (Gary Mullins) has been stressing that you have to get out to defend the 3-ball (against Smith). We didn’t do that nearly well enough.”

Hopkins 80, Athol 49 — Jon Morrison registered 19 points, and visiting Hopkins Academy jumped out to a commanding halftime lead en route to an 80-49 victory over Athol High School in an independent boys’ basketball game Monday night at Mallet Gymnasium in Athol.

Hopkins (13-1) stormed out to a 25-4 lead after one quarter and led 49-12 at halftime.

Athol (2-11) didn’t back down in the second half however, as the Red Raiders outscored the Golden Hawks by a 37-31 margin after intermission.

Sophomore Mark Ferrari led all scorers with 21 points and 10 rebounds for Athol, as he hit a trio of 3-pointers on the night. Brymere Edwards and Maysin Tarbell tossed in 7 points apiece, while Noah Pottinger added 5 points.

Hopkins had eight players score six points or more in the win. Erik Berg was the only other scorer in double figures for the Hawks along with Morrison, as he totaled 10 points.

Athol heads to Turners Falls Thursday night.

Pioneer 80, Mohawk 28 — All 11 players scored for Pioneer Valley Regional School on Monday night during a 80-28 win over Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland.

Mike Menard led Pioneer (9-4) with 12 points, while Garrett Cote added 11 points. Zach Fox and Troy Emond each had 9 points, and Brendan Emond and Jacob Fuller each added 8.

Kaleb Fitzgerald led Mohawk with 8 points.