Girls basketball: Turners sits atop FCL South after win over Franklin Tech

  • Turners Falls’ Emily Young (1), left, drives the ball up the court contested by Franklin Tech’s Hannah Gilbert (21) in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Madi Liimatainen (22) puts in a layup against Franklin Tech in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Steph Peterson (10), left, and Franklin Tech’s Hannah Gilbert (21) fight for possession in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Abbi Holloway (24) takes a shot against Franklin Tech in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Madi Liimatainen (22) sinks a shot against Franklin Tech in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Emily Young (1) drives the ball down the court against Franklin Tech in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Lea Chapman (11), right, pulls down a rebound over Turners Falls’ Holly Myers (25) in the third quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Kaitlin Trudeau (22), left, puts up a shot over Turners Falls defenders Emily Young (1) and Madi Liimatainen (22) in the second quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Franklin Tech’s Kendra Campbell (3), middle, takes a shot at the buzzer over Turners Falls defenders Holly Myers (25) and Madi Liimatainen (22) in the second quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Madi Liimatainen (22) pulls down a rebound against Franklin Tech in the third quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Turners Falls’ Emily Young (1), middle, drives to the hoop between Franklin Tech’s Cordelia Guerin (4) and Hannah Gilbert (21) in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Franklin Tech. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/18/2022 9:20:07 PM

TURNERS FALLS — With first place on the line in the Franklin County League South Tuesday night, the Turners Falls girls basketball team used its defense to vault into sole possession of the top spot.

Visiting Turners held host Franklin Tech to just 12 first-half points and limited the Eagles to three third-quarter points to pull away with a 34-24 victory.

“I don’t remember the last time Turners played Tech in basketball,” Thunder coach Jim Cadran said. “Everyone was excited to see this game. For me it’s Turners-Greenfield but for these kids, it’s Turners-Tech. These kids are good friends with each other. It’s a good game for the crosstown fans.”

The Eagles (5-2, 3-1) looked to make a run late, scoring five points in the final minutes of the game but it was too little, too late.

“It was a hard fought game on both sides,” Franklin Tech coach Joe Gamache said. “We struggled to put the ball in the basket. We got a lot of good looks but they weren’t falling. At times both teams played very well and at times both teams played sloppy. At the end of the day, if we’re not making shots it’s going to be hard to win basketball games. You don’t win too many games when you score 24 points.”

The first quarter saw both teams trade baskets throughout. Lea Chapman opened the scoring for Tech before Holly Myers sunk a pair from the charity stripe for Turners (4-3, 3-0). 

Kendra Campbell and Hannah Gilbert each had two baskets in the quarter for the Eagles while Emily Young and Abbi Holloway tallied baskets for the Thunder, with Franklin Tech holding a 10-6 lead after one quarter. 

The second quarter was dominated by Turners. Young opened the frame with a basket but Campbell responded with a jumper for the Eagles. 

The Thunder then closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run behind stifling defense to take a 17-12 lead at the half. Lily Spera scored twice, Holloway converted an and-one and Madi Liimatainen knocked down a shot from outside on Turners’ run. 

Chapman converted a free throw before Campbell scored on a jump shot to open the second half for Franklin Tech and cut the Thunder lead to 17-15. 

Turners’ defense locked in the rest of the quarter, not allowing the Eagles to score again in the frame while Liimatainen converted a putback, made a jumper and Spera scored after the Thunder beat the Tech press to give the visitors a 23-15 lead going into the fourth. 

Myers opened the fourth quarter with a score for the Thunder. Campbell and Gilbert answered with baskets for the Eagles to cut the lead to 25-19, but Liimatainen knocked down a key 3, then knocked down a jumper and got to the rim for two, going on a personal 7-0 run to make it 32-19 Turners midway through the fourth. 

Cordelia Guerin and Chapman scored baskets to close the game for Franklin Tech, with the Eagles’ press giving the Thunder trouble to close out the game. 

“It was a struggle for both teams but both teams played hard,” Cadran said. “They missed some foul shots and that helped us. If they made some, it’s a closer game toward the end. We turned the ball over too much. They pressured us and we only had six kids. We were tired. If it wasn’t a layup we don't shoot it, but kids get into the speed of the game and make mistakes.”

The win is the fourth in a row for Turners after losing its first three to open the season. Cardran hopes they can keep it going on Wednesday against Pioneer. 

“They're confident and have some swagger to them,” Cadran said. “Their efforts in practice are starting to pay off.”

It’s a quick turnaround for the Eagles as well, as they’ll host Putnam on Wednesday before traveling to Athol on Thursday.

“Hopefully the girls can go home, get some rest and we get back on track,” Gamache said.


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