H.S. Roundup: Late run propels Athol boys basketball to opening-round victory over Ware

Athol’s Angel Castillo (5) dribbles down the court against Frontier earlier this season at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. Castillo helped the Bears knock off Ware in the Western Mass. Class C quarterfinals on Monday. 

Athol’s Angel Castillo (5) dribbles down the court against Frontier earlier this season at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. Castillo helped the Bears knock off Ware in the Western Mass. Class C quarterfinals on Monday.  STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Reports

Published: 02-19-2024 9:16 PM

As to be expected in a 4-5 tournament matchup, it was a close game midway through the fourth quarter between the Athol and Ware boys basketball teams on Monday night.

The No. 4 Bears held a 38-35 lead with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter of the Western Mass. Class C quarterfinal round, but it was all Athol from there. 

Angel Castillo swished a 3-pointer and Ben Kearney followed it up with a trey of his own a few possessions later for the Bears. Ray Castine then scored inside and a few possessions later, got to the line and made one of two to put Athol ahead by 12 points with under two minutes to play. 

That 9-0 run propelled the Bears to a 51-41 victory over No. 5 Ware at Mallet Gymnasium.

“We were challenged from the opening tip,” Athol coach Brian Patria said. “We had to settle some nerves in the beginning but we got going with our press which created scoring opportunities. Ware battled us all game and really came out in the third quarter. We made some adjustments but it was mostly our hard work and grit that got us the win.” 

Castillo led the way with 19 points in the win. Kearney tallied 14 points, Castine scored seven points while Ethan Bacigalupo added five points for the Bears. 

Waiting for Athol in the semis? A potential third matchup with top-seeded Mahar. The Sens host No. 8 Lenox on Tuesday, and Athol will face the winner of that contest — likely on Thursday.

Class B quarters

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Wahconah 65, Greenfield 55 — It was all looking good for the Green Wave going into the fourth quarter of their Class B quarterfinal game against the No. 4 Warriors in Dalton on Monday. 

Fifth-seeded Greenfield held a 44-37 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Wahconah’s Pat McLaughlin and Aidon Hagmaier weren’t going to go down that easy.

McLaughlin ripped off 17 points in the final eight minutes, making three field goals and going 11-for-13 from the charity stripe. Hagmaier took eight free throws in the frame and made all eight, as the Warriors outscored the Green Wave 28-11 in the fourth to advance to the semis. 

Wahconah will face No. 1 Monument Mountain in the semifinals. 

Jon Breor led Greenfield with 16 points. Grayson Thomas sank five 3s to finish with 15 points, Caleb Thomas tallied 13 points while Ollie Postera finished with four points in the loss. 

McLaughlin had a game-high 32 points for the Warriors. 

Non-playoff games

Turners Falls 55, PV Christian 44 — Branden Truesdell poured in a game-high 20 points, and the Thunder picked up their seventh win of the season on Monday night in Turners Falls.

Turners (7-12) will close out its regular season on Tuesday at Lee.

The Thunder led 11-10 after one quarter and 24-18 at halftime before using a 19-11 edge in the third to take control. Jackson Cogswell went for a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Caden Williams-Senethavisouk filled up the stat sheet with six points, 11 boards and three blocks.

Girls basketball

Class B quarters

Pope Francis 59, Frontier 47 — The Cardinals brought their best in the fourth quarter to knock off the fourth-seeded Redhawks at Goodnow Gymnasium on Monday. 

Frontier held a 42-37 lead going into the final eight minutes of action but it was all Pope Francis in the fourth, as the Cardinals outscored the Redhawks 22-5 in the fourth to advance to the semis with a 59-47 victory. 

It was Isabella Meadows and Maeve Turmel who led No. 5 Pope in the fourth, Meadows scoring 11 points while Turmel knocked down five free throws in the frame. Turmel finished the game with 23 points while Meadows scored 15 points in the contest. 

Olivia Machon knocked down five 3s to finish with 15 points for Frontier. Skyler Steele tossed in 13 points, Hailey Hutkoski scored seven points, Claire Kirkendall recorded six points while Harper Modestow had four points in the loss. 

The Redhawks led 29-22 at the half. 

Class C quarters

Palmer 46, Mahar 35 — The second-seeded Panthers built a 22-18 lead at the half, extended their advantage to 37-29 at the end of three quarters and held on in the fourth to defeat the No. 7 Senators in Palmer on Monday. 

Charlotte Theriault was the top scoring option for Palmer, tallying 23 points. 

Nevaeh Scribner had a team-high 17 points for Mahar. Irati Martinez tallied six points while Alivia Patch and Taylor Paluk both scored six points in the loss. 

Class D quarters

Pioneer 64, Duggan 25 — The No. 3 Panthers looked the part on Monday in their Class D quarterfinal contest against the Jayhawks. 

Pioneer took a 13-5 lead after one and led 28-14 at the half. The Panthers outscored No. 6 Duggan 16-8 in the third to take a 44-22 lead before exploding for 20 points in the fourth to run away with a 64-25 victory at Messer Gymnasium. 

Pioneer advances to face No. 2 Monson on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Monson. 

Additional details were not available at press time.