HS Roundup: Turners girls basketball earns first win against Greenfield since 2014

  • Turners Falls’ Emily Young (3) lifts off on a breakaway layup defended by Greenfield’s Azemina Cecunjanin (10) in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Holly Myers (25), left, grabs a rebound over Greenfield defenders Aneesa Brewer (3), middle, and Tess Rancourt (34) in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Emily Young (3) goes in for a breakaway layup defended by Greenfield’s Azemina Cecunjanin (10) in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Madison Liimatainen (22), middle, puts up a breakaway shot in the paint between Greenfield defenders Lillia Kachelmeyer (1), left, and Azemina Cecunjanin (10) in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Madison Liimatainen (22), middle, takes a shot under pressure from Greenfield defenders Tess Rancourt (34), left, and Azemina Cecunjanin (10) in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Madison Liimatainen (22), left, puts up a breakaway shot in the paint between Greenfield defender Azemina Cecunjanin (10) in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Maddy Kuchieski (5) takes a shot against Turners Falls in the third quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Azemina Cecunjanin (10), middle, puts up a shot between Turners Falls defenders Madison Liimatainen (22), left, and Holly Myers (25) in the third quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Emily Young (1), left, fights for a rebound over Greenfield’s Tess Rancourt (10) in the third quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Tess Rancourt (10), right, grabs a rebound over Turners Falls’ Lily Spera (20) in the third quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Lillia Kachelmeyer (1) puts up a shot against Turners Falls in the third quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Stephanie Peterson (10) pulls down a rebound against Greenfield in the fourth quarter Wednesday night in Turners Falls. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 12/22/2021 9:18:19 PM

TURNERS FALLS — The Turners Falls girls basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better way to enter the Christmas break. 

The Thunder picked up their first win of the season on Wednesday, but more importantly, it came against their top rival who has had Turners’ number in recent years. 

The last time the Thunder had defeated Greenfield was Jan. 24, 2014. That was until Wednesday, as Turners held the Green Wave to just four fourth-quarter points to pull away with a 41-32 victory, snapping a nine-game losing skid against Greenfield. 

“Last year we lost by 50 to this team,” Thunder coach Jim Cadran said. “We’re 0-3 coming into this rivalry game and we lose it we’re 0-4. They stepped up here and I feel like we turned a corner. I haven’t had a problem with their effort the first three games. The ball wasn’t going in and we had a lot of turnovers. The ball didn’t hit the floor much and we got the looks we wanted tonight.”

After dropping its first three games of the season, Turners (1-3) is hoping a win over its archrival can get its season back headed in the right direction as league play approaches. 

“It’s going to get our confidence up,” Thunder player Madi Liimatainen said. “Greenfield is always a really good game, we have a lot of fans because it’s a rivalry. Now that we beat them, we feel like we can play with anybody. We played really well tonight. It’s exciting beating Greenfield.” 

Liimatainen scored four points in the first quarter for Turners with Steph Peterson adding a basket. Azemina Cecunjanin scored four points and Madyson Kuchieski knocked down a 3 for Greenfield (2-3) to give the Green Wave a 7-6 lead after eight minutes. 

The second quarter saw both teams trade baskets throughout. Lily Spera scored four points in the frame for the Thunder while Cecunjanin had five points for Greenfield as the Green Wave clung to a 19-16 lead at the half. 

Turners came alive on offense to open the second half. Emily Young opened the quarter with a pair of baskets before Liimatainen knocked down a shot to put the Thunder ahead, 22-19. A 3 and a basket inside by Greenfield’s Lillia Kachelmeyer got the Green Wave back in the game, but Turners held a 30-28 lead heading into the fourth. 

The Thunder had success in the second half getting the ball up the court quickly before Greenfield could set up its defense. 

“This game showed how far we’ve come since last year,” Turners’ Taylor Greene said. “We pushed the ball up the court and we didn’t stoop down to anyone’s level. I think we played our own game tonight.”

The final eight minutes were dominated by the Thunder defense. Kuchieski drained a pair from the charity stripe to tie the game at 30 but Young scored on the other end for Turners to give the Thunder a 32-30 lead. 

Raygan Pendriss made a free throw, Liimatainen hit a runner in the lane and Young scored inside and suddenly Turners held a 37-30 lead. Kuchieski scored with three minutes left for the Green Wave, but it would be their final basket of the game. 

Young closed out the game with a pair of fast-break baskets to put the game away. 

“We’re going to play a lot of teams like that so this really boosted our confidence,” Morgan Dobias said. “It showed we can beat teams if we want it.” 

The Thunder felt all the conditioning work they’ve done paid off late in the game and played a big role in snapping the losing skid. 

“We knew what we needed to do,” Liimatainen said. “We practice three minutes straight of sprints and it prepares us for the time we need to cut down and put all we have in for the last few minutes and make sure they don’t get a shot. We really contested their shots and that gave us confidence.”

Liimatainen led Turners with 10 points. Young added nine points while Steph Peterson and Taylor Greene each had six points. Cecunjanin tallied 11 points and Kuchieski scored 10 points in the loss. 

Palmer 62, Mahar 24 — The Senators were outscored 16-0 in the first quarter as the Panthers rolled to a 62-24 win in Palmer on Wednesday. 

Kendra Doane scored 12 points for Mahar with Nevaeh Scribner and Natalie Belloli each scoring six points in the loss. 

Boys basketball

Pioneer 76, Franklin Tech 45 — The Eagles fought the Panthers for the entire 32 minutes, trailing 34-22 at the half before the Panthers took over in the third quarter to pull out the victory in Turners on Wednesday. 

Jared Hubbard and Brayden Thayer each scored 18 points for Pioneer, with Jayden Fox scoring nine points and Josh Wood adding eight points to the winning total. 

Ty Sadoski led Franklin Tech with 18 points. Robert Murphy had eight points and Robert Belval and Gabe Tomasi each tallied six points in the loss. 

Hockey

Greenfield 5, Drury 4 (OT) — It was a wild final few minutes in  North Adams on Wednesday. 

Trailing 3-2 with five minutes to go, the Blue Devils buried a pair of goals to take a 4-3 lead with 1:50 to play. Greenfield used a timeout and Green Wave Shane Prusak put things on his shoulders. 

Prusak took the puck coast-to-coast, finishing in the back of the net with 47 seconds left to tie the game 4-4 and force overtime. 

It took Greenfield just 48 seconds to find the back of the net in extra time, with MJ Paulin scoring to give the Green Wave a 5-4 overtime victory. 

“It was a great win," Greenfield coach Adam Bouchard said. "We had possession of the game just couldn’t bury our opportunities. Drury capitalized their chances. Coming out of the gates we’ve had as many games as practices. To come away 3-2 in that with three league wins, we like the way the team is progressing but we still have a lot to work on.” 

Drury opened the scoring 1:54 into the game but the Green Wave tied it 1-1 off a goal from Matt Garvin, assisted by Trevor Kuchieski, with 5:53 to play in the first. 

Garvin tallied his second 41 seconds into the second period on a breakaway to put Greenfield ahead, 2-1. The Blue Devils tied the game back up 18 seconds into the third period before Jayson Smith sniped a powerplay goal to put the Green Wave back up, 3-2, with 7:33 to play in the third. 

Greenfield held a 38-18 shot advantage in the contest, with Josh Bordeaux making 14 saves in the win. 


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