Schools: Garret Cole, Franklin Tech stay in Tri-County League title hunt

  • Franklin Tech’s Garret Cole, shown here last month, scored 20 points to lift the Eagles past Hampden Charter, 66-58, in Tri-County League North action on Tuesday night in Turners Falls. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2020 10:56:07 PM

After one quarter on Tuesday night, the Franklin Tech boys basketball team didn’t quite look like a team fighting to stay alive for a Tri-County League North title. 

The Eagles trailed Hampden Charter 21-13, but were able to outscore the Wolves 25-8 in the third quarter to pave the way for a key 66-58 victory on their home court. 

“We had to clean some things up defensively after the first,” Franklin Tech coach Tim Artus said. “Once we did, our team went back to what we’re capable of doing. It turned the game around.” 

In the second half, the Eagles (13-6, 5-2) kept up their defensive intensity to hold on to the lead. And Garret Cole continued to have his way on the offensive end, finishing with 20 points. Cole also added 18 rebounds, two assists and three blocks in the win.

While Franklin Tech’s big man was getting baskets, the Eagles did a great job defending Hampden Charter (10-5, 1-4) star Inoah Lewis, who was held to 15 points. 

“We were able to start dictating on the defensive end,” Artus said. “That was the biggest part of it. We dictated where they were going. That was a big deal. Lewis is a great player. Hunter Wozniak and Ryan Artus did a good job trying to isolate him outside their offense as much as we could.”

Justin Littlewood added 10 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal to the winning effort.

Franklin Tech has a chance to capture at least a share of the TCL North title in its regular season finale on Monday night. The Eagles will host Duggan Academy (13-3, 4-1) with first place in the league on the line.

Girls basketball

Ware 45, Pioneer 22 — Playing without their second-leading scorer Steph Scoville, the Panthers struggled to put points on the scoreboard Tuesday night, falling at home to the Indians, 45-22, in a Franklin County League South showdown at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer was only able to score four points in the second half.

“Playing our first game without Scoville, we had a hard time putting together a consistent offense in the second half,” Panthers coach Mike Churchill said. “For three and a half quarters we played great defense but we couldn't put the ball in the basket.”

The loss means Pioneer (7-10, 2-3) will have to win its final three games to reach the WMass Division 4 tournament. The Panthers close with games against Putnam, Southwick and Turners Falls.

Alina Cecunjanin had a team-high six points for the Panthers, while Paige Loughman and Sofia Walker each had four points in the loss.

Aidyn Welsh and Lexie Orszulak each scored 10 points for Ware (14-5, 7-0).

Mahar 50, Turners 20 — In what was a dominant performance from start-to-finish, the Senators came away with a 50-20 independent win against the Thunder in Orange on Tuesday. 

Mahar zoomed out to an 18-2 lead after eight minutes and didn’t look back, using its suffocating defense to hold a 34-7 lead at the half.

Saylor Kegans finished with seven points, seven blocks and 11 rebounds for the Senators (12-6), with Micalyn Mailloux adding nine points.

Abby Henne had seven points and Delaney Parker put in six points in the win. 

Taylor Greene finished with seven points to pace Turners (5-13).

Franklin Tech 40, Pathfinder 37 — A fourth quarter rally saved the Eagles on Tuesday night.

Franklin Tech trailed the Pioneers 27-19 going into the final eight minutes of play, but Jordan Hurlbert scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the final quarter as the Eagles outscored Pathfinder 21-10 in the frame to earn a hard-fought 40-37 Tri-County League North win on the road.

The Eagles secured at least a share of the TCL North title with the victory. They can clinch the league outright tonight with a victory over Sci-Tech.

“The girls stuck together the whole night,” Tech coach Joe Gamache said. “They played as a team. Not our best performance but they stuck together. Hurlbert took over in the low post and we moved the ball a lot better. The girls gutted it out and dug themselves out of a huge hole. They could have packed it in and chose not to.”

Hurlbert pulled down 13 rebounds in the win for Franklin Tech (14-3, 7-0), with Jocelyn Crowningshield scoring 12 points, dishing out five assists and grabbing five steals.

Emily Ryan pulled down five boards and Gemanaia Cruz had two points and five rebounds in the victory.

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