Golden Hawks trim Panthers, 60-46

  • Pioneer guard Garrett Cote (13) drives to the hoop with Hopkins defenders Jonathan Morrison (25) and Braeden Tudryn (33) in pursuit Friday night during Hopkins’ 60-46 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Garrett Cote (13) drives past a Hopkins defender Friday night but the Panthers fell to the Golden Hawks, 60-46, at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Jordan Loughman hustles up the court past with Hopkins defender Justin Ciaglo (12) in pursuit Friday night where the Golden Hawks topped the Panthers, 60-46, at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Jordan Loughman drives around falling Hopkins defender John Earle Friday night where the Golden Hawks picked up a 60-46 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Above, Pioneer’s Karl Wheeler (32) looks for room to shoot Friday night but a stifling Hopkins defense held the Panthers offense in check during the Golden Hawks’ 60-46 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Below, Pioneer forward Brendan Emond goes up for a shot over Hopkins defender Nathan Kelley. Recorder photos/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Brendan Emond (5) goes up for a shot over Hopkins defender Nathan Kelley Friday night where the Panthers fell to the Golden Hawks, 60-46, at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Pioneer's Justin Hubbard (11) goes up for a shot past Hopkins’ Caleb Graves Friday night where the Golden Hawks earned a 60-46 victory at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Friday, December 29, 2017

A big crowd had plenty to cheer about in the first half, as host Pioneer Valley Regional School pulled within two points on a halftime buzzer-beater against defending WMass champion and perennial power Hopkins Academy.

But the Golden Hawks hit a pair of 3-pointers right out of the locker room, stopping the Panthers in their tracks and ultimately propelling the visitors to a 60-46 win in a Hampshire League South boys’ basketball contest Friday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer (3-2, 0-1) trailed just 28-26 at halftime, but Hopkins (4-1, 2-0) outscored the Panthers by a 32-20 margin in the second half. The Hawks hit 22 of 30 free throws, and held a 36-19 advantage in rebounds. All told, the free throw advantage was 30-14 in favor of Hopkins.

“They’re well-coached and they play hard,” lauded Pioneer coach Scott Thayer of Hopkins. “We live to fight another day if we use (the loss) the right way.”

John Earle led Hopkins with 24 points, while Jon Morrison added 18 points and Justin Ciaglo chipped in 13 points. Morrison finished with just three field goals but hit 12 free throws.

“The three kids they’ve got (Earle, Morrison, Ciaglo), they’ve played in these type of games the last three years,” said Thayer. “They know what to do and how to do it. It was a very physical game and we didn’t respond with the type of physicality that we needed to.”

Jordan Loughman and Karl Wheeler led Pioneer with 10 points apiece, while Garrett Cote added 8 points. Michael Menard (7 points) and Brendan Emond (6) also contributed offensively, though Emond was hampered by a pair of quick fouls in the opening quarter.

Pioneer has a week off to prepare for its next HL South game, when it travels to Belchertown High School Friday night.

Frontier 69, Mohawk 10 — Brandon Robinson dropped a game-high 11 points, and visiting Frontier Regional School stormed out to a commanding 29-0 lead after one quarter en route to a 69-10 win over Mohawk Trail Regional High School in a Hampshire League North boys' basketball game Friday night in Buckland.

Eleven different players scored points in the win for the Red Hawks (1-4, 1-0), which got into the win column for the first time this season in emphatic fashion. Donovan Hoffman and Kalen Evans scored 9 points each, while Alex Sharp and Ben Litskoski each scored 7 points. Owen Morse and Noah Graves tossed in 6 points each, while Zachary Nuerminger added 5.

Mohawk had five different players score two points, as the Warriors fell to 0-6, 0-1.

Greenfield 60, Smith Academy 55 — It may have only been Greenfield High School's second win of the season, but the Green Wave took a huge step toward a potential postseason berth on Friday night.

Jake Suhl hit a 3-pointer with one minute left to give Greenfield a 56-55 lead and Colin Cloutier and Owen Phelps each made huge plays down the stretch as the Green Wave outlasted Smith Academy, 60-55, in a Hampshire League North Division boys' basketball game in Hatfield.

With the new realignment, Greenfield finds itself in the five-team North Division with Smith Academy, Frontier, Athol High School and Mohawk Trail Regional High School. Athol and Mohawk are both in rebuilding mode, and are teams the Green Wave should beat, while Frontier is the favorite to win the league. That leaves Greenfield and Smith Academy to battle it out for the second spot in the league and the automatic tournament qualifier that goes with finishing there. There is still a long way to go, but Friday's pre-New Year's win by the Wave could be among its biggest of the season. Wave coach Tim Caplice was not getting ahead of himself, but was pleased with the way his team rebounded following a lopsided loss to Pioneer on Wednesday.

“I was really proud of our effort, especially being able to put Wednesday's performance behind us,” he said. “The guys came ready to play tonight.”

Greenfield held an eight point lead (26-18) lead at halftime but Smith Academy came all the way back and had the lead late in the fourth quarter until Suhl hit a 3-pointer with a minute to play to give the Green Wave (2-4) the lead. After a Smith Academy miss, Colin Cloutier was fouled and the senior came up huge, knocking down both of his free throws to put the Wave up 58-55. Owen Phelps then stole the ball on the Falcons' ensuing possession, and the junior went in for a breakaway layup, which he made for the five-point lead. Smith Academy missed a pair of 3-point attempts in the waning seconds.

“Smith hit a few shots in the second half and swung the momentum, but we were able to get it back by doing what gave us the lead; playing team defense, rebounding and boxing out,” Caplice said.

Cloutier and Phelps led the Wave with 16 points apiece. Jonath Roman finished with 9 points, Suhl tossed in 8, and Hunter Campbell chipped in 5.

Jack Zygmont led all scorers with 25 points in the loss, and Brett Gratz chipped in 16.

Mahar 62, Belchertown 47 — Four players finished in double figures, and Mahar Regional School steadily padded its lead throughout the night to pull away from Belchertown for a 62-47 victory in a HL South boys’ basketball game Friday night in Orange.

“I think we played probably our best game of the season, certainly offensively we did,” Mahar coach Chad Softic offered. “We were patient in the half court.”

Matt Jenks paced the offense with 12 points and added 7 rebounds, while Sam Paul, Quinn Gervais and Jack Temple all joined him in double figures with 11 points each. Temple went for a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Paul grabbed 8 boards and dished out 6 assists. Brennan Mailloux finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds.

The Senators (5-0, 1-0) built a 31-24 halftime lead and extended things to 47-34 after three.

Belchertown (3-3, 0-1) was paced by Mitch Medina’s game-high 17 points.

Mahar is back in action Wednesday night when it travels to Frontier.

FC Tech 44, Pathfinder 30 — Jared Vielmetti-Perusse scored 10 points, and visiting Franklin County Technical School outscored Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School by a 14-4 margin in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 44-30 victory in an independent boys’ basketball game Friday night in Thorndike.

The Eagles (4-3) led just 30-26 after three quarters, but Pathfinder (1-4) managed just a single field goal by AJ Oliveira and a pair of free throws in the final eight minutes.

Jared Bergmann scored 9 points in the win for Tech, while Garrett Cole notched 8 points, and Joel Farrick chipped in 6, all coming in the second half. The squad hit three of their four 3-pointers on the night in the final frame.

Pathfinder jumped out to a 13-7 lead after one quarter before Tech swung the score in the second and pulled even at 20-20 at intermission.

Jon Lagrant led all scorers with 14 points for the Pioneers.

The Eagles are off until Friday night when they host Hampden Charter School of Science in the Tri-County League opener.

Hampshire 55, Athol 45 — Visiting Athol High School cut a double-digit second-half deficit to just four points, but Hampshire Regional High School made enough free throws late to hold on for a 55-45 victory in an independent boys’ basketball game Friday in Westhampton.

“We took a step in the right direction tonight,” Athol head coach Dan Bevis said. “I’m proud of them for not quitting in the second half. We still had too many turnovers and if you take a couple of those possessions back, we could’ve had a chance to win the game.”

Athol (0-5) trailed 31-18 at halftime, but the lead was cut to 39-34 entering the fourth quarter.

Evan Saisa and Mark Ferrari scored in double figures for the Red Raiders, as the duo tallied 11 points each. Justin Blake dropped 8 points, while Mason Tarbell and Colby Mason each scored 5.

Nick Pellegrini scored a game-high 16 points for Hampshire (2-5), which outscored the Red Raiders by a 16-11 margin in the fourth quarter to account for the 10-point final cushion.

Athol hosts Smith Academy in its HL North opener Friday night.

Indoor track

Mahar in Boston

On the strength of a school record from Sebastian Shaw in the 1,000 meters, the Mahar boys’ indoor track team took second overall in the team pentathlon in an event held Friday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

The Senators scored a total of 3,267 points, led by Shaw’s school record in the 1,000 with a time of 2 minutes, 48.57 seconds.

Hugo Frost competed in the long jump for Mahar, while Aaron Hendry (55-meter hurdles), Nick Sharp (shot put) and Ash Shaw (high jump) all aided the team score in their respective events.

Mahar’s Caroline Chase set a new 800 meter indoor record with a time of 2:35.06.

• In the Holiday Challenge at the Reggie Lewis Center on Wednesday, Frost took fourth overall in the individual pentathlon with 2,673 points. That broke his own pentathlon school record.

Ash Shaw broke the school record in the high jump with a top clearance of 6 feet, 2 inches. Anna Wetherbee also broke her own school record in the 600 meters by 3 seconds with a time of 1:47.41.