Boys Basketball: Greenfield shakes off loss with impressive win over Turners Falls

  • Greenfield's Henry Zwart (10) drives to the basket during the first half of the host Green Wave’s 63-49 victory on Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Turners Falls’ Chace Novak (21) drives to the basket defended by Greenfield’s Mason Meadows (5) and Maverick Ward (12) during the first half of the host Green Wave’s 63-49 victory on Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield's Maverick Ward (12) shoots over the outstretched arm of Turners Falls’ Jon Fritz during the first half of the host Green Wave’s 63-49 victory on Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield's Mason Meadows (5) rises for a layup with Turners Falls’ Anthony Peterson (33) closed behind during the first half of the host Green Wave’s 63-49 victory on Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield's Henry Zwart (10) pulls up in the lane for a shot with Turners Falls’ Chace Novak (21) and Anthony Peterson (33) surrounding him during the first half of the host Green Wave’s 63-49 victory on Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield's Mason Meadows goes up for an early dunk with Turners Falls’ Anthony Peterson defending during the first half of the host Green Wave’s 63-49 victory on Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield fans cheer on the home team playing Turners Falls at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield on Thursday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/23/2020 10:47:19 PM

GREENFIELD — Two nights removed from a tough road loss at Pioneer, Greenfield boys basketball head coach Angelo Thomas wasn’t exactly sure what he was going to get from his club on Thursday night. What he got, certainly pleased the former GHS standout.

The Green Wave stormed out of the gates against rival Turners Falls, opening the game on an 18-0 run that lasted the majority of the first quarter. While the red-hot Thunder, winners of three straight games entering the night, closed the gap on numerous occasions, Greenfield managed to keep them at arms’ length en route to a 63-49 victory in a Hampshire League crossover contest at Nichols Gymnasium.

“With teenagers in general, you kind of really never know what you’re going to get on a day-to-day basis, so to jump on them 18-0 was a great show of character,” said Thomas of his team, which fell to Pioneer, 51-46, two nights earlier in Northfield. “I was very happy with that, very proud of them.”

Six different players scored points during Greenfield’s 18-0 run to begin the night, and Turners didn’t get on the board until Jaden Whiting’s free throw with 1 minute, 48 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

“I think I’d like to restart the race,” offered Turners head coach Gary Mullins with a smile afterward. “I don’t know what happened there, to be honest with you. I don’t know why we started the game that way. I thought we could turn (Greenfield) over defensively but if we didn’t, they’d score easily on us.”

Turners (5-8) managed to get off the mat after the opening deficit, using a 12-2 run early in the second quarter to get back within single digits at 22-13. But Greenfield (8-3) put together yet another impressive scoring spree, this time outscoring the visitors by an 18-5 mark over the final 5:15 of the half to cruise into the locker room with a commanding 40-18 advantage.

“Turners is a tough team,” Thomas said. “They fought back like I knew they would, but I was happy with the effort tonight. A lot of this game, especially at this level, comes down to effort.”

Thomas also lauded the play of junior Henry Zwart, who drew the difficult assignment of marking Turners sniper Chace Novak. Franklin County’s leading scorer entering Thursday’s game with a 17.8 point per game average, Novak’s outside shooting oftentimes pulls the Thunder quickly back into games. Zwart stayed right with him however, forcing the ball out of his hands throughout the night, and the Turners junior was held in check to the tune of five points.

“I’m very impressed with him defensively,” said Thomas of Zwart. “I think he’s a defensive stopper now. We’ve been putting him on other teams’ best offensive players. That’s something he can do for us. He’s long, he’s quick, he understands angles.

“Novak, if he hits one (3-pointer), he can hit eight of them,” the Greenfield coach continued. “It was good to not let him get into that offensive flow and that’s a credit to Henry Zwart.”

  There were several points in the second half where Turners clawed its way back within shouting distance. A 13-4 run to start the third quarter, punctuated by a 3-pointer from Brendan Driscoll, had the visitors within 44-31 with 2:40 remaining in the frame.

Another Driscoll 3-ball to open the fourth quarter made it a 49-39 game, but every time the Thunder made a charge, Greenfield had an answer. Mason Meadows scored back-to-back buckets to quell the threat, and Maverick Ward buried a 3-pointer for a quick 7-0 burst with 4:30 left in regulation. The lead never dipped below double digits the rest of the way.

“Credit the kids for battling,” Mullins said. “They didn’t roll over. It was a tough game. I’m amazed at how emotional it was out there.”

Meadows led all scorers with 22 points, 15 coming in the first half when Greenfield opened up the sizable advantage. David Carey put together one of his best games of the season, scoring a season-high 14 points — his first double-digit output of the season — while also aiding the team’s impressive defensive effort. Ward bounced back with a nice performance as well, as the freshman scored 13 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in a sound all-around effort that drew praise from his head coach.

Driscoll went for a season-high 14 points to lead the way for Turners, and he was joined in double figures by Anthony Peterson (12 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks) and Whiting (10 points). Marcus Sanders scored six points and dished out six assists.

Greenfield looks to get a winning streak going on Monday night with a home game against Belchertown, while Turners heads to Frontier for what should be a challenging tilt in South Deerfield.




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