Boys basketball: Pioneer routs Mount Greylock, gives coach Scott Thayer career win No. 300 (PHOTOS)

Pioneer boys basketball coach Scott Thayer talks to his team during a timeout against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer boys basketball coach Scott Thayer talks to his team during a timeout against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Pioneer’s Gavin Gammell, left, tries to pass the ball around Mount Greylock’s Judge Martin on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer’s Gavin Gammell, left, tries to pass the ball around Mount Greylock’s Judge Martin on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Pioneer’s Brayden Thayer (10) goes to the basket against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer’s Brayden Thayer (10) goes to the basket against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Pioneer boys basketball coach Scott Thayer watches the action against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer boys basketball coach Scott Thayer watches the action against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Pioneer’s Hugh Cyhowski (11) makes a pass against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer’s Hugh Cyhowski (11) makes a pass against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Pioneer’s Kurt Redeker dribbles against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield.

Pioneer’s Kurt Redeker dribbles against Mount Greylock on Tuesday night at Messer Gymnasium in Northfield. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

By JEFF LAJOIE

Staff Writer

Published: 01-02-2024 9:00 PM

NORTHFIELD — Another dominant win by the Pioneer boys basketball team was a milestone one for head coach Scott Thayer.

The Panthers’ 72-25 victory over visiting Mount Greylock at Messer Gymnasium on Tuesday night was win No. 300 in Thayer’s coaching career.

“It’s humbling to the fact that you’ve been doing it a long time, but I have the same energy, effort and passion for when I started as a junior high and JV coach way back when,” Thayer said afterward. “As coaches, we never do it because we’re chasing a number. We do it because we’re passionate about coaching and educating.”

Thayer coached at Greenfield High School from 1997-2014, where he amassed a 193-172 record over 16 seasons. The lifelong Northfield resident took over at Pioneer in 2016, and he’s compiled a 107-45 mark in his tenure, good enough for a .704 winning percentage. Thayer has won two Western Mass. championships with the Panthers, including last year’s run that ultimately took the program into the MIAA Division 5 quarterfinal round.

“I would always see a coach get 100 wins or 200 wins in the newspaper, but when I left Greenfield, I really had no idea how many wins I had in my career,” Thayer said. “It never really dawned on me. I’ve had a lot of talented players and talented teams along the way, lot of talented assistant coaches that have been with me and been part of it. I always tell the kids and their families, it takes a village to do this – it’s about those relationships.”

Pioneer (7-0) stormed out of the gates, building a 21-4 lead after one quarter and a 40-13 halftime advantage. The club connected on a season-high 10 3-pointers in the win.

Josh Wood led the way with 23 points (four 3-pointers) for the Panthers, while Brayden Thayer also drilled four 3’s en route to an 18-point outing. Kurt Redeker also had a big night with 16 points, while Gavin Gammell (six assists), Alex McClelland (eight rebounds) and Hugh Cyhowski (seven rebounds) also made key contributions.

Thayer began his varsity coaching career on the Pioneer staff as an assistant to head coach Perry Messer in 1992. In six years on staff during his first go-around, Thayer helped the Panthers win two WMass titles and two Division 3 state championships. That included a school-record 51-game winning streak from 1995-97.

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At GHS, he won a Western Mass. title in 2000 and helped the Wave reach the Div. 2 state finals.

Pioneer is at Drury on Thursday.