PVIAC basketball: Mahar boys earn No. 1 seed in Class C field

Mahar’€™s Lucas Isrow moves the ball up court against Drury earlier this season in Orange. The Senators earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming PVIAC Class C Tournament and will host No. 8 Lenox on Tuesday.

Mahar’€™s Lucas Isrow moves the ball up court against Drury earlier this season in Orange. The Senators earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming PVIAC Class C Tournament and will host No. 8 Lenox on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By JEFF LAJOIE

Staff Writer

Published: 02-16-2024 4:48 PM

The basketball postseason is upon us.

The PVIAC released brackets for next week’s sectional tournaments on Friday, and the majority of Franklin County high school programs found their way into the postseason fields.

Four local boys’ teams and five girls’ squads qualified for the single elimination brackets across four divisions.

Here’s a closer look at the games and matchups featuring Recorder area squads:

Boys games

Class B

No. 5 Greenfield at No. 4 Wahconah, Monday 6 p.m.

The Green Wave are the lone local side in the Class B tournament, and will have to go on the road to the Berkshires in the quarterfinal round on Monday night.

The two teams played in Dalton way back on Dec. 30, a 62-47 Wahconah victory. Greenfield (14-4) seems to be a much different team since then, as the Wave went 11-2 in the 13 games that followed, including a current six-game winning streak that helped them win a gauntlet of a Hampshire League South title.

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Berkshire County has the top four seeds in the Class B field with Monument Mountain (No. 1), Taconic (No. 2) and Pittsfield (No. 3) all checking in ahead of Wahconah.

Class C

No. 5 Ware at No. 4 Athol, Monday 7 p.m.

The Bears earned a quarterfinal home game following a 16-2 season and a Hampshire League North title.

They’ll welcome a Ware team that went 10-8 during the regular season with a spot in the semifinal round on the line. An Athol win could set up a third meeting with rival Mahar in the semifinals. The top-seeded Senators won both meetings with Athol during the regular season, the only two defeats of the Bears’ season.

No. 8 Lenox at No. 1 Mahar, Tuesday 6 p.m.

The Sens leapfrogged over No. 2 Drury in the final week of the season to earn the top seed in the Class C field, and will play Hampshire League South foe Lenox in the lone Tuesday quarterfinal game in Orange.

Mahar (13-5) won both meetings with the Millionaires during the regular season (wins by 11 and 15 points), and will look to make it three in a row to book a spot in the sectional semifinals.

Class D

No. 7 Smith Academy at No. 2 Pioneer, Monday 6 p.m.

Old rivals will get together in Northfield on Monday night, as Pioneer (14-4) hosts the Falcons (9-9) in the first game of a doubleheader that will be followed by the girls’ team playing Duggan at 7:30.

Defending Class D champion Pioneer won the regular season meeting between the two teams, 67-38, back on Dec. 21. A win would likely set up a rematch with Duggan in the sectional semifinals, a team that the Panthers just saw in their home gym two weeks ago (a 51-45 win).

Girls games

Class B

No. 5 Pope Francis at No. 4 Frontier, Monday 6 p.m.

The Class B field is loaded with talented teams, as seven of the eight teams in the bracket boast power ratings of at least 4.3 or higher.

Frontier (15-3) finished just ahead of the Cardinals and get to host the quarterfinal game on Monday night in South Deerfield. Pope Francis is 13-5 and has won seven of its last eight games, including a regular season-finale win over Longmeadow.

Class C

No. 5 Greenfield at No. 4 Franklin Tech, Monday 6 p.m.

The lone double-local matchup of the quarterfinal round features a pair of girls’ teams with title ambitions.

The two teams didn’t play during the regular season, but Franklin Tech (15-3) finished just ahead of Greenfield (10-8) in the power rating formula to earn hosting rights in Turners Falls on Monday. On paper this should be a tight game, though the status of Green Wave star Amber Bergeron is unknown after she left the team’s game against McCann Tech due to an injury suffered the previous night against Hoosac Valley.

No. 7 Mahar at No. 2 Palmer, Monday 6 p.m.

The Senators (8-10) will have their work cut out on the road in Palmer Monday night against the 11-7 Panthers, though they did play a pair of tight games during the regular season that should give Mahar plenty of optimism.

Mahar has won four of its last five games to enter the postseason with some momentum, and lost its two meetings with Palmer by a total of nine points during the regular season. Can third time be the charm?

Class D

No. 6 Duggan at No. 3 Pioneer, Monday 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers (13-5) close out a doubleheader with the boys’ team on Monday night at Messer Gymnasium, looking to advance to the semifinal round.

Pioneer closed its regular season in fine fashion, winning its final four games, all by margins of 20 points or greater. The two teams didn’t play during the regular season. Duggan enters with an 11-4 record, though it lost three of its final four games down the stretch after a 10-1 start.