WMass comes up empty

  • Pioneer’s Jordan Loughman (20) takes a shot over Maynard defenders in the first half of their MIAA Division IV state semifinal game last week at at American International College in Springfield. Maynard fell in the MIAA Division IV state final Saturday. Recorder file photo/Dan Little

  • Hampshire’s Katelyn Pickunka (12) and Lila Labrie (1) defend against Greenfield’s Katie Haselton (4) in the first half of the WMass Division III semifinal earlier this month at the Curry Hicks Cage. Hampshire was defeated by Archibishop Williams High School, 77-42, in Saturday’s MIAA Division III state-championship game. Recorder file photo/Dan Little

  • Hampshire’s Caroline O’Connor (30) jumps up for a rebound over Greenfield’s Sam Smith (32) in WMass Division III semifinal action earlier this month at the Curry Hicks Cage. Hampshire was defeated by Archbishop Williams High School, 77-42, in Saturday’s MIAA Division III state-championship game. Recorder file photo/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/18/2018 10:09:12 PM

It was an empty trip to the state championship games Saturday for western Massachusetts basketball schools.

The region put five schools into MIAA state-title games in Springfield, but none of the five were able to take home trophies. It was the first time since 2015 that WMass did not capture a state championship.

The closest bid came in the Division I girls’ title game. Springfield Central High School rallied from a sizable deficit but ultimately fell to Braintree High School, 59-56, in a rematch of last year’s state final that Central won. Not this time.

Two state-title games featured schools that defeated Franklin County teams en route to Saturday.

Maynard High School, which defeated Pioneer Valley Regional School in the MIAA Division IV boys’ basketball semifinal last week, was denied a second consecutive state championship by falling to Pope John XXIII of Everett, 89-57, Saturday at Springfield College. Maynard stars Christian Bastien (21 points) and Corey Olivier (16) led the way in the loss. The duo helped pace a blistering defensive effort that held to Pioneer’s offense in check in a 70-38 victory that propelled the Tigers to the title tilt.

The Hampshire Regional High School girls’ basketball team was the other state-final game with local interest. The Red Raiders fell to Archbishop Williams High School in the MIAA Division III final, 77-42, at Springfield College.

Hampshire defeated Greenfield High School in the WMass Division III semifinal earlier this month in a game that went to overtime before the Raiders survived, 63-59. Katelyn Pickunka, who had 26 points in the OT win over the Green Wave, paced her squad with 18 points against Archbishop Williams, which won the state title for the second consecutive year.

Easthampton High School fell to Watertown High School in the MIAA Division III boys’ title game, 72-53, while Taconic High School represented the Berkshires in the Division II boys’ championship with a 78-40 loss to TechBoston Academy.

Monson High School was defeated in the Division IV girls’ state-title game by Coyle & Cassidy High School of Taunton, 58-35.

All told, WMass schools lost Saturday’s state championship contests by an average of 23.6 The last area school to win a basketball state title was the Mahar Regional School boys in 2012.


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