Knocking on history’s door: Greenfield’s Raegan Hickey

  • Greenfield’s Raegan Hickey goes up for a shot against Franklin Tech’s Lexi Barrett during the Green Wave’s 41-23 victory in the semifinals of the Eagle Holiday Classic on Dec. 11, 2014. Hickey led Greenfield with a team-high 12 points in her varsity debut as an eighth-grader. FILE PHOTO

  • Greenfield’s Raegan Hickey, shown here against West Springfield earlier this season, is just six points shy of the GHS girls scoring record of 1,333 points. The Green Wave play Mohawk tonight at 6 p.m. in Buckland. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/15/2019 7:04:52 PM

Raegan Hickey certainly appreciates the lost art of the mid-range jumper. She’s not afraid to pull-up in the lane, or finish with her off-hand in traffic. In many ways, the Greenfield High School senior point guard possesses an old-school offensive skillset.

But scoring points is timeless. And tonight, Hickey will have her chance to break a record set well before her time in green and white.

Hickey is just six points away from tying the GHS girls program record of 1,333 points, set by Ann Brissette back in 1990. The senior will go for the record tonight on the road at Mohawk in a 6 p.m. varsity start in Buckland.

Her path from quiet eighth-grader to confident senior has run parallel with a program renaissance, bringing the Green Wave its most success since that Brissette-led ’90 team that played in the WMass title game. In Hickey’s four-plus seasons on the hardwood, Greenfield is a combined 78-18. She’s totaled 20 or more points on 22 different occasions, while scoring in double figures 70 times. She reached her career-high of 29 points on two different occasions, coming in wins over Drury (Feb. 26, 2018) and Westfield (Feb. 22, 2017). She’s been a model of consistent scoring volume, going for double figures in all but nine games since the start of her freshman season.

“I never thought that I would have this many points until sophomore, junior year when I found out how close I was (to the record),” she said during a break in practice on Tuesday. “And I didn’t really think about it and realize how close I was until just a week or so ago. It’s really exciting.”

Hickey’s varsity debut was largely heralded as the beginning of a new wave of Greenfield basketball. While that’s certainly a lot of pressure to place on an eighth-grader, she did not disappoint. On the road against Franklin Tech in the season-opening Eagle Holiday Classic on Dec. 11, 2014, Hickey scored a team-high 12 points to help the Wave snag a 41-23 victory.

The following day’s Recorder certainly made note of the debut, with a headline reading “Hickey powers Green Wave past Eagles.” Her name would be no stranger to big print over the next five years.

“I was definitely nervous at first but once you’re in it, your adrenaline and all that takes over,” recalled Hickey of the debut. “And when you’re the point guard, you have the ball in your hands and I think that helps settle the nerves as well because I’m always involved.”

Hickey’s emergence as an elite scorer and varsity figure came at a time when Greenfield badly needed a boost. The program went just 4-56 in the three years before she made her debut in 2014-15, and hadn’t won more than four games in a season since 2007-08 (5-15). The Wave hadn’t made the postseason since 2004-05, but returned to the dance that eighth-grade campaign after a 10-10 regular season. Hickey wound up scoring 131 points in her first varsity season, an average of 6.5 points per game, and Greenfield fell to South Hadley in the WMass Div. 3 first round, 49-28.

The following season was a giant leap forward for both Hickey and the team. Greenfield exploded for a 19-2 overall mark, and Hickey scored 305 points (14.5 ppg) before falling in the Div. 3 quarterfinals to Drury, 47-36. That began a run of three-straight 19-plus win seasons, as her sophomore year again saw a 19-2 record and a trip to the quarterfinals before losing to Mahar, 71-65. Hickey upped her point total to 342, a 16.3-point per game average, putting her well within shouting range of the 1,000-mark entering her junior year.

That upward tick continued in 2017-18. Hickey scored a career-high 390 points (17.0 ppg), helping Greenfield to a 21-2 record with a pair of postseason wins against Drury and Granby. She joined the 1,000-point club, a particularly exclusive society at GHS, against the very same Mohawk team she’ll face tonight on Jan. 27, 2018. The season culminated with the program’s first trip to the WMass semifinals since 1990, ending in overtime against Hampshire with a 63-59 defeat.

This season, Hickey and fellow scoring partners in crime Samantha Smith, the program’s newest 1,000-point scorer, and Katie Haselton have Greenfield 9-1 midway through the season. The squad has wins over Div. 1 programs West Springfield and Chicopee Comp, along with a victory over fellow Div. 3 contender South Hadley. Offensively, Hickey has 159 points, good enough for an average of 15.9 points per outing. Her career total sits at 1,327 points.

“There really wasn’t any pressure until we actually started getting good throughout the last couple of years since I’ve been here,” offered Hickey of the team’s continuously rising expectations. “It’s not like we have pressure, but there’s a lot expected of us.”

Behind Brissette and Hickey, Kelly Doton (1,168) has the third-most points in Greenfield girls history, with Kathy Couture at No. 4 (1,108) and Smith in the No. 5 spot (1,020).

“It’s definitely a great accomplishment,” Hickey said. “To have those people up there (on the banner), you know it’s a big accomplishment to be up there with those names.”


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