High schools: Kyler McClelland (28 points) powers Pioneer girls into Class D title game

Pioneer’s Hailey Ring goes up for a layup against Franklin Tech earlier this season. The Panthers beat Monson on Wednesday to advance to the Western Mass. Class D championship game.

Pioneer’s Hailey Ring goes up for a layup against Franklin Tech earlier this season. The Panthers beat Monson on Wednesday to advance to the Western Mass. Class D championship game. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Staff Reports

Published: 02-21-2024 9:20 PM

The Pioneer girls basketball team is on to the Western Mass. Class D championship game. 

After knocking off Duggan in the quarterfinals, the third-seeded Panthers traveled to Monson to take on the No. 2 Mustangs on Wednesday in the semis. 

Pioneer didn’t play like an on-paper underdog, holding Monson to just 11 points in the first half before pulling away in the final 16 minutes to earn a 50-33 victory, sealing a spot in the championship game. 

“It was a fun game,” Panthers coach Kevin Harrington said. “The girls played so hard defensively.” 

The Panthers will take on No. 1 Hoosac Valley in Saturday’s title game, which is currently scheduled for noon at Westfield High School. 

Pioneer (15-5) held a 17-11 lead at the half but turned it on offensively in the second half of action. 

Much of that was the hot shooting of Kyler McClelland. The sophomore had three points at the break but caught fire in the second half, making five 3-pointers in the third quarter and two in the fourth to finish with 28 points on the night. That shooting in the third helped the Panthers take a 37-20 lead going into the fourth. 

Addison Harrington tallied 10 points, swiped five steals and dished five assists in the win. Hailey Ring scored seven points to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists, Fota N’Diaye scored three points while Natalie Rios added two points in the win. 

Class C semifinals

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Lenox 51, Franklin Tech 36 — The fourth-seeded Eagles were unable to pull off the upset on the road, falling to No. 1 Lenox on Wednesday in the Class C semifinals. 

The Millionaires closed out the first half on a 7-2 run to take a 28-13 lead at the half. Franklin Tech cut the lead to 42-29 going into the fourth but Lenox fended off any Eagle comeback attempt in the final eight minutes. 

Lenox will face No. 3 Renaissance in the championship game on Saturday at Holyoke Community College. 

Additional details were not available at press time. 

Non-playoff games

Baystate 48, Athol 45 — Jenna Bonenfant scored 14 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Bears in a non-playoff loss to Baystate on Wednesday. 

Abigail Lutz finished with 11 points, Anna Duquette tallied seven points while Ally Robertson and Ava Martin each added six points in the loss. 

Mahar 46, Lee 36 — Nevaeh Scribner controlled the game for the Sens, scoring 13 points, snatching 10 boards and dishing eight assists to help Mahar earn a non-playoff win over the Wildcats in Orange on Wednesday. 

Irati Martinez had a team-high 20 points while Alivia Patch added six points in the win. 

Youth basketball

Turners Falls Suburban

JJ Bones scored 17 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lift the Turners Falls 5/6 Suburban squad to a 49-39 victory over Hampshire on Saturday. 

Hunter Kelley scored 15 points and snatched 13 rebounds while Tyreek Rivera added 15 points in the win.