High schools: Big fourth quarter lifts Athol boys to Hampshire League North title

Athol head coach Brian Patria talks with his team in between quarters last week against Hampshire Regional in Westhampton.

Athol head coach Brian Patria talks with his team in between quarters last week against Hampshire Regional in Westhampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Reports

Published: 02-06-2024 9:17 PM

Make that a Hampshire League North title for the Athol boys basketball team.

The Bears secured an outright league title on Tuesday night with a 52-35 victory over Mount Greylock in Williamstown.

Athol improved to 14-2 overall, 11-0 in the HL North. The Bears will go for an undefeated league run when they host Smith Academy on Friday night at Mallet Gymnasium.

The Bears used a big fourth quarter effort to pull away on Tuesday. Athol led just 33-31 after three quarters, but closed the game well with a 19-4 edge over the final eight minutes.

“It was a big fourth quarter for us that led us to victory,” Athol coach Brian Patria said. “We talked about fighting all four quarters this week and really focusing on the fourth. I’m proud of our efforts.”

Ben Kearney led Athol with 17 points, followed by Ray Castine with nine points. Ethan Goodwin and Aaron Ouellet added six points each, while Ethan Bacigalupo and Angel Castillo both scored five.

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Greenfield 58, Mahar 52 – A tough back-to-back stretch was handled by the Wave with aplomb.

Just 24 hours removed from a gritty win over Drury, Greenfield went to Orange and took care of business on Tuesday night to move into position to capture a Hampshire League South title.

Greenfield improved to 12-4 overall, 9-2 in the HL South, and can capture the league championship outright if it beats Lenox on Friday at Nichols Gymnasium.

“We have to just tip our hats to Greenfield,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “You could clearly see that they wanted it and we just made too many mistakes to win.”

Caleb Murray put together arguably his best game in a Greenfield uniform, scoring 20 points and directing the Wave offense in the critical moments.

“The poise of Caleb Murray really stood out as every time we thought we were about to go on a run he broke it with a three or a timely hoop,” Softic lauded.

Greenfield led 23-20 at halftime, but used a 20-12 edge in the third quarter to take a double-digit lead.

Mahar’s Derek Collins scored a team-high 17 points, while Morgan Softic (12 points), Jayden Delgado (11) and Lucas Isrow (10) all joined him in double figures.

Caleb Thomas scored 13 points for the Wave, and Jon Breor added 12.

Mahar travels to Chicopee on Friday for an independent game.

Pioneer 53, Hopkins 35 – Holding just a four-point halftime lead, the Panthers kicked things up a notch in the third quarter to pull away for an HL South win on Tuesday at Reed Gymnasium in Hadley.

Pioneer scored 23 points in the period, and moved to 11-4 overall with the win.

Brayden Thayer finished with 22 points, Josh Wood scored 13 points, Kurt Redeker tallied 10 points while Hugh Cyhowski and Alex McClelland each added four points for the Panthers. 

Four Rivers 55, Putney 30 – Julien Garza led the Otters with 13 points in a decisive victory on Tuesday in Greenfield.

Isaiah Goleman added 10 points, while Caleb Bird-Richards and Ethan Sandberg each contributed nine points in the win.

Four Rivers clinched the No. 1 seed in next week’s River Valley Athletic League playoffs.

Girls basketball

Athol 32, Mount Everett 12 – The Bears defense shut down the Eagles, and helped the hosts to their second win of the season on Tuesday night at Mallet Gymnasium in Athol.

Athol (2-15) received a team-high 11 points from Jenna Bonenfant, who also had two blocks, two steals and two assists. Olivia Horrigan added six points while  Abby Lutz and A Martin scored five points apiece in the victory.

The Bears, which halted a 15-game losing skid, close out their regular season Thursday against Pioneer.

Pioneer 62, Mohawk Trail 39 — Leah Potter sank six 3s to finish with 18 points, helping the Panthers earn a Franklin County League South win over the Warriors at Messer Gymnasium on Tuesday. 

Pioneer led 32-15 at the half.

Addie Harrington tossed in 13 points, Natalie Rios finished with 11 points, Hailey Ring scored 10 points and Fota N’Diaye added five points in the win for the Panthers. 

Rachel Pease scored 16 points, Valerie Bzomowski recorded eight points, Bella Pettengill tallied six points while Natalie Lanoue added five points for Mohawk Trail. 

Late Monday results

Wrestling

Athol 46, Mahar 30 — Abduli Gilmore (120), Aiden Kirwan (157) and Riley Reed (165) earned wins via pin for the Bears, helping them defeat rival Mahar on Monday at Mallet Gymnasium. 

Alexander Masaitis (126), Ryan Romero (175), Timothy Gerry (190) and Douglas Monte (285) picked up wins via decision for Athol. 

Asher Williams (106), Elias Roberts (132), Joshua Mazza (138), Colby Chiasson (144) and Sayyid Roberts (150) earned pins for the Senators. 

Smith Vocational 36, Mohawk Trail 30 — Logan Moore (150) and Oliver Schwenger-Sartz (157) picked up wins for the Warriors in a loss to the Vikings on Monday in Buckland. 

Youth basketball

Suburban League

A balanced offensive effort powered the Turners Falls grades 5 and 6 boys basketball team to a 62-20 win over Easthampton on Sunday at Turners Falls High School.

Hunter Kelley led all scores with 16 points, while JJ Bones and Tyreek Rivera joined him in double figures with 11 points apiece.

Quest Peterson (eight points), Tyler Girard (five), Cooper Hobbs (five), Spencer Towne (two) and Hunter Thurston (two) all aided the offensive effort for the Powertown.