School Hoops: Senator girls roar back, 46-40

  • Mahar’s Maeve Powell (33) goes baseline defended by Hopkins’ Thea Hanscom (4) Tuesday night during the host Senators’ win at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Above, Mahar’s Kianna Reilly (5) and Hopkins’ Thea Hanscom (4) fight for possession Tuesday night during the host Senators’ comeback win at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Below, Mahar’s Victoria Tenney (4) pulls down a rebound over Hopkins’ Samantha Jenks (2). Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Jazmyn Vautour (23) heads for the hoop defended by Hopkins’ Kasie Earle (20) Tuesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Hannah Paul (10) goes in for a breakaway layup Tuesday night against Hopkins at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Micalyn Mailloux (11) hits a 3-point bomb against Hopkins Tuesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Abby Bonk (15) puts up a shot over Hopkins defender Thea Hanscom (4) Tuesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Jazmyn Vautour (23) lines up a shot against Hopkins Tuesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Victoria Tenney (4) pulls down a rebound over Hopkins’ Samantha Jenks (2) Tuesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Mahar’s Kianna Reilly (5) lets a 3-pointer fly against Hopkins Tuesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gym in Orange. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, February 06, 2018

A healthy dose of Hannah Paul mixed with some lock-down, waning-minutes defense did the trick for Mahar Regional School Tuesday night.

Trailing by five points entering the fourth quarter, the Senators came charging back to pick up a solid victory. Paul scored 11 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, hitting 6 of 7 from the free-throw line in the final few minutes to lift Mahar to a 46-40 win over Hopkins Academy in a Franklin County League North Division girls’ basketball game at Grzesik-Bixby Gymnasium in Orange.

“I give the kids a lot of credit,” lauded Mahar head coach Larry Fisher. “They hung in there, kept their composure.”

Mahar (11-6, 3-2) struggled shooting the ball all night against Hopkins’ zone defense, but the Senators stayed within striking distance, closing the game on a 10-0 run after trailing 40-36 with three minutes remaining.

Paul, who also had 11 rebounds, recorded two late steals and got to the free-throw line steadily in the final minutes. Her 3-pointer with 2:13 remaining put Mahar ahead, and she sealed things at the charity stripe.

Kianna Reilly came through with a key block late, plus finished with 7 points. Jazmyn Vautour aided the defense with a steal in the waning minutes as well, and she pulled down 15 rebounds to go with 4 points. Abby Bonk and Micalyn Mailloux scored 5 points each in the victory, with both players sinking 3-pointers.

Mahar is off until it takes to the road Monday night to play rival Athol High School.

Frontier 51, Athol 45 — A 20-point third quarter enabled visiting Frontier Regional School to shake off a halftime deficit and pick up a Franklin County League North victory Tuesday night.

Trailing by two points at intermission, the Red Hawks outscored Athol by a 33-25 margin in the second half en route to a 51-45 victory at Mallet Gymnasium in Athol.

Lexa Boyden led all scorers with 17 points for Frontier (13-4, 4-1), while Ella Deane tossed in 10. Olivia Deane hit a pair of 3-pointers to finish with 6 points, and Tori Speth also notched 6 in the win.

It was a solid outing for Athol (3-12, 1-4), which has played better recently as the young players on its roster gain varsity experience. The Red Raiders outscored Frontier 15-5 in the second quarter to take a 20-18 halftime advantage.

“They’re starting to really do what we’re asking them to do,” said Athol coach Kelly Kaczmarczyk. “For a team that’s never really played together before, they’re starting to figure it out. It bodes well for the future.”

Destiny Wrigley and Angelica Baptista led the Red Raiders with 8 points each. Haley Bigwood added 7, while Amber Mahony and Taylor Cleveland scored 6 apiece.

Ware 59, Turners Falls 55 — Jordan Halgas hit the go-ahead basket with 9.5 seconds remaining, lifting Ware High School to a 59-55 victory over Turners Falls High School in a FCL South girls’ basketball game Tuesday night in Ware.

Turners (10-6, 3-2) led for almost the entire game. The Powertown held a 42-40 edge entering the fourth quarter, but with the score tied 55-55, Halgas (29 points) drove to the basket for a bucket in the final seconds. Turners threw the ball away on the ensuing inbounds play, and Ware added another basket to account for the 59-55 final.

“Our downfall was not boxing out in the second half,” admitted Turners coach Ted Wilcox, whose team led 29-20 at halftime. “The fourth quarter said it all but the second half, in general, we didn’t do a very good job.”

Abby Loynd paced three Turners scorers in double figures with 15 points. Maddy Chmyzinski and Chloe Ellis added 14 each. Dabney Rollins tossed in 6 for the Powertown.

Southwick 54, Pioneer 25 — The Southwick-Tolland Regional High School defense held Pioneer Valley Regional School to nine points or less in all four quarters, and the Rams thumped the Panthers, 54-25, in a FCL South girls’ basketball game Tuesday night in Southwick.

Southwick (6-8, 2-3) led 15-4 after one quarter and 21-11 at halftime before pouring in 24 points in the third quarter to put things out of reach.

Caroline Clarke was the high-scorer for Southwick, dropping in 15 points.

Pioneer freshman Paige Loughman led her team with 11 points. Just three Panthers (6-10, 0-5) scored, as Steph Scoville added 8 points and Olivia Rowe contributed 6.

Smith Academy 48, Mohawk 42 — Emma Kelly scored 18 points, leading Smith Academy to a 48-42 win over Mohawk Trail Regional High School Tuesday night in a battle of FCL West leaders.

Host Smith (11-6, 4-1) took over sole possession of first place in the West with the victory. Mohawk (5-12, 3-2) fell into a second-place tie with McCann Technical School.

The Falcons led 16-10 after one quarter, and the lead grew to 33-25 entering the fourth frame.

Grace Poplawski was the leading scorer for the Warriors, totaling 13 points. Emma Poplawski was also in double figures with 11 points, while Grace Ward registered 8.

Mohawk’s pursuit of a postseason berth features another key game Friday night when Easthampton High School comes to Buckland.

FC Tech 39, Gateway 20 — Pizza is the ultimate motivator.

Trailing 16-11 at halftime in Tuesday night’s game against Gateway Regional High School, coach Sean Knightly reminded his Franklin County Technical School girls’ basketball team what was at stake over the next 16 minutes of play.

“Coach said we’d get pizza after the game,” Franklin Tech’s Joclyn Crowningshield recalled. “But at halftime, he said we’re not getting pizza unless we won.”

With pizza on their minds, the visiting Eagles responded. Franklin Tech took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter and outscored Gateway, 18-0, in the final stanza to earn a satisfying 39-20 independent victory in Huntington.

Crowningshield’s 13 points led all scorers in the win, while Jordan Hurlbert joined her in double figures with 11 points. Amber Merritt tossed in 8 points, while Brooke Adams had a pair of key fourth-quarter hoops to pace the offensive effort.

“I think we really buckled down on defense, got some turnovers and capitalized,” said Knightly of the fourth-quarter output, which landed the team a bus stop for pizza at Pinocchio Pizzeria in Northampton.

Franklin Tech (11-4) led 11-7 after one quarter but the Eagles were outscored by a 9-0 margin in the second and trailed 16-11 at intermission. The squad hosts Tri-County League North leader Renaissance School on Thursday night.

Boys’ game

Narragansett 88, Turners Falls 56 — For the second straight night, Narragansett Regional High School put up 80-plus points against a local foe.

One night after scoring 83 points in a win over Athol, the Warriors notched another hefty total against Turners Falls. Visiting ‘Ganset led 41-20 at halftime and didn’t look back in an 88-56 independent boys’ basketball win Tuesday night.

“They’re a good team,” Turners assistant coach Jay Liimatainen said of Narragansett. “They shoot the 3 and run the break well.”

The Warriors had five players finish in double figures in a balanced outing. Tyler Dill led the way with 18 points.

Jimmy Vaughn hit a trio of 3-pointers and led Turners (6-11) with 14 points. Chace Novak and Tyler Lavin had 10 points each, followed by Anthony Peterson and Kyle Dodge with 6 points apiece.

Turners travels to Mahar for a Hampshire League South contest Thursday night.