School Hoops: Eagle boys surprise Duggan, 54-44

  • Franklin Tech’s Jared Bergmann (5) drives to the hoop over Duggan’s Joshua Figueroa (12) and Juan Hernandez (35) Monday in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Franklin Tech’s Jared Perusse (11) breaks away for a layup ahead of Duggan’s Joshua Figueroa (12) Monday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Franklin Tech’s Garret Cole (25) takes a shot over Duggan’s Kamari James (34) Monday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Above, Franklin Tech’s Joel Farrick (23) goes in for a layup against Duggan Monday night in Turners Falls. Below, Franklin Tech’s Jared Bergmann (5) puts up a reverse layup. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Franklin Tech’s Jared Bergmann (5) puts up a reverse layup against Duggan Monday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Franklin Tech’s Joel Farrick (23) takes a shot defended by Duggan’s Ty’voun Alston-Person (1) Monday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Franklin Tech’s Garret Cole (25) puts up a jumper over Duggan defenders in the second half Monday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Monday, February 12, 2018

Franklin County Technical School entered the final two weeks of the regular season needing two wins in its final four games to qualify for the postseason.

The task was daunting considering its schedule consisted of two games against the top two teams in the Tri-County League North Division, and a home-and-home with McCann Technical High School.

But on Monday night, the Eagles took a big step toward qualifying by outscoring first-place Duggan Academy 16-5 in the fourth quarter to come from behind and take a 54-44 victory in Turners Falls.

Duggan (15-3) entered the night with just two losses, both at the hands of Pioneer Valley Regional School.

“This was nothing short of outstanding,” Franklin Tech coach Matt Llewelyn effused. “We finished defensive stands with box-outs. We played smart on defense. We helped each other out. We were talking — all the little things we need to do right.”

The Eagles had undergone some turnover, recently, with the departure of three players, but Llewelyn said the new players are getting up to speed and the team has been a cohesive unit.

“We’ve got guys stepping into new roles and they are buying into the system,” Llewelyn said. “Everyone is helping everyone, and the team is closer than ever before. Guys smile more and are having fun. When you have fun, it can lead to beating the best team in our league by 10 points.”

The Eagles (9-8) went into the fourth down by a point (39-38). Then Seth Aldrich stepped up to score eight of his 13 points in the final frame, accounting for half of the Eagles’ 16 points. Jared Bergmann, who scored a game-high 22 points in the win, added five points in the fourth. Sim Maniatty added 8 points on the night, while Jared Vielmetti-Perusse and Joel Farrick had 4 each.

Juan Hernandez led Duggan with 15 points.

Things don’t get any easier for the Eagles, who make the trip to North Adams tonight to face McCann Tech in a place where the Eagles perennially struggle.

Greenfield 51, Frontier 37 — Greenfield High School all but ensured it will be in the WMass Division III Boys’ Basketball Tournament by scoring its biggest upset of the season with its best performance in a 51-37 victory over first-place Frontier Regional School Monday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield.

Frontier (11-7 overall, 5-1 HL North) had been cruising through the Hampshire League North Division portion of its schedule to date and held a 1½-game advantage over both Smith Academy and Greenfield (6-12, 5-2). The Red Hawks showed up in Greenfield Monday night with star forward Carsten Carey in tow, but the junior big man (who leads all Recorder-area players in scoring) was battling flu-like symptoms prior to the game and was unable to dress.

That opened the door enough for the Green Wave, which took advantage of his absence by working the ball down low much of the night, as well as dominating the glass.

“We did a great job attacking the rim,” Greenfield coach Tim Caplice said. “All of our 3-pointers were good looks because we got the ball inside and then kicked it out. On defense, I think we did a good job of closing out. We really rebounded the ball well and limited them to one shot. Without Carey there, that was easier.”

Colin Cloutier had a big Senior Night with 16 points. Fellow senior Jake Suhl added 11.

“The seniors led the way, but it was a total team effort from start to finish,” Caplice said. “I think the kids realize that you can’t just show up and win and be successful.”

Nate Haselton and Hunter Campbell each scored 8 points for the Green Wave. Owen Phelps added 6. Owen Morse paced Frontier with 16 points. Ben Litskoski finished with 11.

Greenfield has a very good chance to lock up second place. A win over Athol High School Monday will clinch no worse than second place and a postseason berth. Smith Academy (8-10) now has its work cut out if it wants into the tournament. The Falcons will have to either beat Frontier on Monday or hope Athol knocks off Greenfield.

Pioneer 75, Turners 57 — Three players combined for 55 points and visiting Pioneer Valley Regional School shook off a first-quarter deficit to defeat Turners Falls High School, 75-57, in a Hampshire League South boys’ basketball game Monday night in Turners Falls.

Turners (6-13, 0-7) led 17-11 after one quarter before Pioneer (13-5, 4-3) got things going offensively. The Panthers led 31-27 at halftime but outscored Turners by a 44-30 margin in the second half.

Garrett Cote led all scorers with 20 points for Pioneer, while Brendan Emond (18 points) and Mike Menard (17 points including five 3-pointers) were right behind to pace the offensive effort. Karl Wheeler added 8 points and Jake Hubbard tossed in 6.

Anthony Peterson’s double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds paced the Powertown. Jimmy Vaughn tallied 12 points while Kyle Dodge and Tyler Lavin added 9 points apiece and Jovanni Williams contributed 8.

Turners heads to Hopkins Academy Thursday for its season finale while Pioneer heads to Granby High School for an independent game Wednesday.

Mahar 80, Athol 36 — In the nightcap of the North Quabbin doubleheader, Mahar stormed out to a 26-4 lead after one quarter and cruised past Athol, 80-36, in an independent boys’ basketball game Monday night at Mallet Gymnasium.

Sam Paul led all scorers with 19 points for Mahar (13-5), while Deven Patch continued his strong run of recent play with 15 points including two 3-pointers. Jack Temple and Matt Jenks had 9 points each and Brennan Mailloux added 8 in the win.

Noah Pottinger drilled four 3’s en route to 12 points for Athol (2-15), which cut the halftime deficit to 38-18 before the Senators outscored the hosts by a 42-18 advantage in the second half. Mark Ferrari added 6 points, while Justin Blake and Evan Saisa each scored 4.

Athol heads to Frontier Thursday night while Mahar heads to Pioneer.

Girls’ games

Mahar 63, Athol 43 — After a rocky start to the season, the Mahar girls’ basketball team seems to have found its footing.

Four Senators scored in double figures as they defeated Athol, 63-43, in a Franklin County League North Division game Monday night at Mallet Gymnasium in Athol.

The victory was the fifth straight and ninth in 10 games for Mahar (12-6), after starting the season 3-5. The win also moved Mahar into a tie for second-place in the FCL North along with Frontier. Those two teams will battle a week from tonight in South Deerfield.

Hannah Paul led the Senators with 15 points. Micaylan Mailloux added 13. Tori Tenney and Jasmine Vautour each finished with 10.

Haley Bigwood led Athol (3-16) with 16 points. Taylor Cleveland added 10 points, and Destiny Wrigley chipped in 9.