School Hoop: The IAABO Board 28 Hampshire-Franklin County All-Star games canceled

  • Pioneer graduate Garrett Cote (13) puts in a breakaway layup during the 22nd annual IAABO All-Star Games last season. This year’s games, scheduled for Friday, were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.  STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/11/2020 9:40:02 PM
Modified: 3/11/2020 9:39:50 PM

The IAABO Board 28 Hampshire-Franklin County All-Star games, scheduled to be played on Friday at Smith Academy in Hatfield, are canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Michael Churchill is the Secretary-Treasurer for the IAABO. Churchill is also a member of the Hampshire-Franklin IAABO Board 28.

“With the concerns about the virus and large public gatherings we thought it would be in the best interest to cancel for the students and schools that we serve,” Churchill said.

The members of the IAABO made the decision on a conference call on Wednesday, according to Churchill. 

“It wouldn’t shed a good light on the officials if we kept going,” Churchill said. “Especially in the light of all the local cancellations.” 

Local athletes who were scheduled to play for the East boys All-Star team were: Athol’s Bryce King and Mark Ferrari, Franklin Tech’s Garret Cole and Bailey Young, Mahar’s Charlie Barnes and Zack Notre and Turners Falls’ Anthony Peterson and Jaden Whiting.

Ferrari led the Red Raiders to their first playoff appearance since 2006, averaging 13.9 points. 

“It would have been awesome to play in that,” Ferrari said. “But it’s not the best choice right now.” 

Cole averaged 18 points a game in his senior season with the Eagles while Young averaged 15.2 this season.

Cole was the leading scorer in Franklin County. 

Peterson averaged 14.4 for the Thunder, eclipsing 1,000 points for his career. Barnes averaged  13.1 points in his senior season with Mahar. 

Athol coach Dan Bevis was scheduled to coach for the East team. 

“Obviously, it’s disappointing that it’s come to that,” Bevis said. “But you understand erring on the side of caution for the people attending. I respect the decision but I feel bad for the kids.”

For the West, Frontier’s Collin Boudreau and Brett Robinson along with Greenfield’s Julius Brewington made the roster. 

Mohawk coach Darren Schmidt, who was supposed to coach on Friday, agreed with the decision.

“It’s definitely unfortunate for the players, spectators and fans,” Schmidt said. “But going through what we are going through  we should follow whatever the public health officials say.”

Mohawk’s Anthony Moffatt was scheduled to play for the West.

“It doesn’t take away from their careers to not play in an All-Star game,” Schmidt said. “I think they are doing the right thing.”

For girls, the East roster would have featured Athol’s Haley Bigwood and Taylor Cleveland, Franklin Tech’s Jocelyn Crowningshield and Jordan Hurlbert, Mahar’s MaryAnne Prescott and Turners’ Hailey Bogusz.

“I’m kind of upset. I was excited to play one last game of basketball,” Prescott said. “I was looking  forward to it. One big last hurrah. But safety does come first.”

Franklin Tech coach Joe Gamache was scheduled to coach on Friday.

“From a safety standpoint and in light of everything else trending in that direction it makes sense from a liability standpoint,” Gamache said. “The overall safety should be the number one priority for the players, coaches and fans.” 

Bigwood scored 13.9 points a game, good for fifth in Franklin County. 

Crowningshield scored 12.5 points a game for the Eagles. 

The West roster consisted of a local contingent featuring: Frontier’s Marie Diemand (10.5 ppg) , Greenfield’s Kristina Reed and Bryanna Rivera, Mohawk’s Grace Poplawski (13.4 ppg) and Pioneer’s Steph Scoville (11.8 ppg). 

The Franklin Tech girls basketball team would have received the Jack Leaman Sportsmanship Award Winner on Friday. 

“Despite the desire and efforts of IAABO Board 28 to move forward with the event, hosting of the games as scheduled became impossible with facility and public gathering restrictions that have been put in place,” the IAABO said in a statement released on Wednesday night.  

The Berkshire County Senior All-Star game was recently canceled. The Western Massachusetts Senior High School All-Star Games at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, scheduled for March 19, have  not been canceled as of publication.    

Crowningshield is scheduled to play in Springfield. 


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