H.S. Roundup: Pioneer boys basketball pulls away from Greenfield in second half (PHOTOS)

  • Pioneer's Alex McClelland (15) drives on Greenfield's Noah Murray (2) during the visiting Panthers’ 59-52 Hampshire League South victory on Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

  • Greenfield's Caleb Thomas (12) looks to make a pass while defended by Pioneer's Kurt Redeker (3) during action at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield on Thursday night. STAFF PHOTO/PAULFranz

  • Pioneer's Hugh Cyhowski (11) drives on Greenfield's Oliver Postera (3) in Greenfield on Thursday night. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

  • Pioneer's Gavin Gammell (1) advances the ball on Greenfield's Jon Breor (4) in Greenfield on Thursday night. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

Staff Reports
Published: 2/2/2023 9:19:05 PM
Modified: 2/2/2023 9:18:54 PM

The Pioneer boys basketball team needed a big second half against Greenfield on Thursday to cap off a successful week in league play. 

The Panthers opened the week with emphatic wins over Hampshire League South foes Lenox and Frontier, but Greenfield wasn’t going to let Pioneer run away with the game like it did against the Millionares and Redhawks. 

The Green Wave and the Panthers found themselves tied 27-27 at the half, but the Pioneer defense took over in the third quarter, limiting Greenfield to just two baskets to take a 42-31 lead into the final eight minutes of action.

The Green Wave made things interesting late but were never able to make it a one score game, with the Panthers walking away with a 59-52 win at Nichols Gymnasium. 

“It’s been a good week for us,” Pioneer coach Scott Thayer said. “This is three games in four days. Coming into Greenfield today, we knew they would be a quality team that was well coached. They gave us a fight. My guys came out in the second half and showed some resiliency and grit. I’m proud of that.” 

Josh Wood got the scoring going for the Panthers in the third quarter, knocking down a 3 before getting to the line and sinking a pair of free throws. Kurt Redeker then got to the tin for two before Brayden Thayer knocked down a jump shot, putting Pioneer ahead 36-27. 

Noah Murray ended the scoring drought for Greenfield on a fastbreak layup. 

“The first half we executed the game plan,” Green Wave coach Angelo Thomas said. “Pioneer is a good team. We always say the first five minutes of the second half is crucial. We didn’t come out mentally engaged, they took a seven-point lead and that’s the game right there. You can’t win games in third quarters but you can lose them in third quarters and first halves.” 

Alex McClelland closed out the third quarter by draining a corner 3 as the buzzer sounded to give the Panthers a 42-31 lead going into the fourth quarter. 

For Scott Thayer, it was all about bringing more energy to the floor in the second half to propel Pioneer to a victory. 

“A lot of it was energy and effort,” Thayer said. “We were playing lethargic in the first half. They’re teenage boys. Three games in four days is tough but I’m proud of our fight.” 

The Panthers continued their scoring output in the fourth quarter, taking a 54-39 lead with three minutes to go after Wood nailed a deep jumper. 

Caleb Murray then knocked down a 3, Caleb Thomas made two free throws and then got to the rim for two, with Greenfield cutting the lead to 54-46 with under two minutes to go. Thayer closed the game out at the free throw line, knocking down all four free throws he took in the final two minutes to keep the Green Wave at arm’s length. 

For Greenfield, it was the second close loss of the week, with Drury earning a 67-64 win over the Green Wave on Monday. The young Greenfield squad is getting better as the season has gone on, with Thomas looking to see his team play with the energy it showed in the first half on Thursday for a full 32 minutes moving forward. 

“It’s a process,” Thomas said. “We’ve played some close games. We lost to Drury on by three and lost by seven tonight. Those are two good teams. Pioneer is going to make a good run in Western Mass. and I still feel like we have a good shot to win Western Mass. ourselves. We start a lot of young kids and being mentally engaged for 32 minutes is tough. If you want to win, that’s what it takes.” 

Redeker led the way offensively for Pioneer, finishing with 20 points, 11 coming in the second quarter. Wood tossed in 12 points while Thayer also recorded 12 points in the win. 

Thomas had a team-high 20 points for the Green Wave, with Jon Breor adding 11 points in the loss. 

Mahar 47, Lenox 46 – Trailing at halftime, the Senators once again turned up their defensive pressure after intermission to capture a key Hampshire League South win on Thursday.

Mahar outscored Lenox 22-16 in the second half, turning a 30-26 deficit into a 47-46 victory in Orange.

"I'd be lying if I said that was pretty but it certainly was gritty," said Mahar coach Chad Softic, fresh off his 200th career victory on Tuesday. "I thought defensively our second half might have our best effort."

Connor Sluder led the offense with 14 points for the Senators, which received points from eight different players on the night. Will Barnes and Morgan Softic added eight points apiece.

Mahar improved to 8-5 overall, winning its fifth game in its last six outings. It sets up another big HL South tilt against Greenfield on Saturday.

"It was just a really big win for us going into Greenfield Saturday," Softic said. "The gauntlet of the Hampshire League South continues."

Smith Academy 72, Franklin Tech 37 — The Falcons raced out to a 37-17 halftime lead en route to a Hampshire League North win over the Eagles on Thursday. 

Ty Sadoski scored 17 points, Noah Ausikaitis recorded 11 points and Gabe Mota tossed in five points for Franklin Tech. 

Ryan Belina had a game-high 18 points while Griffin Smiarowski tallied 16 points for Smith Academy. 


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy