High schools: Jason Kim backstops Amherst boys lacrosse to impressive win over Northampton

Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) tries to make a save against Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9) earlier this season in Belchertown.

Amherst goalie Jason Kim (77) tries to make a save against Belchertown’s Nico St. George (9) earlier this season in Belchertown. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 05-16-2024 9:26 PM

AMHERST — With just under 10 seconds left in the game, the Northampton boys lacrosse team was finally able to clear its defensive zone and avoid a seventh consecutive Amherst goal as a defender sent the ball flying down field in the direction of ‘Canes goalie Jason Kim.

The sophomore netminder stood on his head all night long, so it was only fitting that he scooped up the ground ball and ran down the field with his stick high above his head as the clock hit zero – giving Amherst a massive 11-5 win over Northampton under the lights on Thursday night.

Kim, who made 19 saves, was soon swarmed by a sea of white jerseys – all jumping and screaming knowing that win likely solidified a spot in the MIAA Division 3 state tournament.

“He was incredible,” Amherst head coach Rich Ferro said of Kim. “He made saves with both feet, his hands; every part of his body that kid made saves with tonight. His confidence in getting the ball off the ground and moving it with clears is growing and growing, and we got two more years with him. He’s just a wall back there.”

The ‘Canes started off their senior night in style on Thursday, holding a 3-1 lead after one quarter. But Northampton responded right away, notching the game’s next three goals to gain control of the contest at intermission, 4-3.

It was all Amherst from there.

Senior Skyler Ferro netted one of his four goals out of the break, then Tre Bowman tacked one of his own on before Northampton’s Nick Biddle tied the game at five – the score heading into the fourth.

Amherst scored a half dozen goals in a row in the fourth quarter – five of them coming from different players – to put the game out of reach. 

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“We weren’t moving the ball at all in the first half, then finally they kicked it into gear,” Ferro said. “We got one, got two, and then Northampton started getting frustrated and kept throwing the ball away. We made some really good plays in the fourth quarter on both ends of the field. It all came together.”

Northampton just didn’t have its best stuff, and outside of the small flurry to take the lead in the second quarter, the Blue Devils – a typically high-scoring offense – were held at bay.

The Hurricanes looked like the more desperate team on Thursday.

“It was a disappointing night,” Northampton head coach Charlie Edwards said. “We got out-hustled, and that third period kind of took us down. We were with it after that three-goal stretch in the second, but as we started pressing out at the end, they capitalized and sealed the deal with a couple of nails in the coffin.”

Skyler Ferro led the game with six points (four goals, two assists), Silas Hazen added a hat trick, Taikoda Wilson scored a goal and dished out an assist while Sawyer Ferro, Bowman and Elias Lundquist each found the back of the net once.

Recognizing the team’s six seniors was extra special to Rich Ferro, who has had a relationship with all of the players well before he coached them at the varsity level.

“All these guys are like family to me, and of course having my son (Skyler) makes it even more special,” Ferro said. “I’ve known all these kids since they were babies and have coached some of them in hockey and lacrosse since elementary school.”

Coming into Thursday, Northampton had a 12-1 record and carried a very impressive resume into Amherst.

Edwards tried to tell his team that despite the Hurricanes’ 4-12 record, the game was going to be much tougher than it might have looked on paper – especially considering it was the Battle of the Bridge, and in prime time.

“We told them before the game, you throw records out of the window in a game like this,” Edwards said. “It doesn’t matter what anybody has done before this. A lot of the guys know each other from youth lacrosse, playing with and against each other. It’s always a battle with them.”

Northampton was led by Jack Carpenter’s two goals as well as one from Jackson Oravec, Keller Mahoney and Biddle. The Blue Devils (12-2) still have two more games, starting with West Springfield on Monday (7 p.m.) before finishing with Pittsfield on Tuesday (4 p.m.) – both of which are on the road.

Amherst (5-12) did not make the Class A Western Mass. tournament, but will play a consolation game next week, one that has a big impact on its seeding in the state tournament.

Smith Voc 13, St. Mary’s 12 – The Vikings bounced back from a loss to Granby on Wednesday to take down St. Mary’s and move to 7-4. They finish up their regular season on Monday at McCann Tech.

Girls lacrosse

Granby 18, McCann Tech 3 — Kalli White (three goals, four assists), Kelly-Lynne Kennedy (three goals, three assists) and Brenna Moreno (four goals, one assist) were orchestrators of a high-powered Rams attack on Thursday.

Ava-Elizabeth Lougman added three goals and an assist, Mylin Laliberte chipped in a pair of goals and an assist, and Kaelynn Slapski, McKenna Zumbruski and Sophia LaBonte each added one goal apiece.

Granby led 12-0 at halftime.

 Boys tennis

PVCICS 4, Longmeadow 1 – A historic season for the Dragons continued on Thursday.

PVCICS completed a perfect regular season, moving to 14-0 thanks to a 4-1 win over powerhouse Longmeadow at Ludlow Tennis Club.

Aidan Cleary was a 6-2, 6-1 winner at No. 1 singles for the Dragons, while Lee Ferguson (6-1, 6-2) also cruised to a straight-set win at No. 2 singles.

At first doubles, James and Teddy Scott were 6-3, 6-3 winners, while Derek and Devan Ye rallied for a 2-6, 7-6 (7-0), 6-4 win at No. 2 doubles to seal the deal.

Next up for PVCICS is a shot at repeating as Western Mass. Class C champions. The Dragons will be the top seed in next week’s tournament.

Softball

Greenfield 5, Easthampton 1 — The Eagles took a 1-0 lead  early but were unable to get a hit after the first inning, as the Green Wave pulled away with an independent win at Vets Field in Greenfield on Thursday. 

McKenzie McCarthy doubled while Sophia Faginski knocked in a run for Easthampton. Rosie Follet got the start in the circle, striking out five. 

The Eagles have played a challenging regular season schedule, including games against Westfield, Hampshire and Greenfield, teams that are at or near the top of their respective divisional rankings in the state tournament.

While Easthampton has been right there, finding a way to beat these top teams is the goal moving into the postseason. 

“We’ve had a pretty tough independent schedule,” Easthampton coach Corey Robinson said. “It’s a lot tougher than we’ve had in the past. You have to play these teams to prepare yourself and we’ve played the best teams in Western Mass. We’ve been right there, we’ve just fallen short. We have to figure out a way to break through one of these games.”

Granby 22, Central 9 – The Rams won the continuation of a suspended game from Wednesday. Granby led 14-5 when play was halted, and resumed on Thursday.

 Kaitlyn Curran (three hits, three RBIs), Katie Grabherr (two hits, two RBIs) and Jordyn Placzek (three hits, two doubles, five RBIs) were offensive standouts for Granby in the win.

Late Wednesday results

Girls lacrosse

Amherst 13, South Hadley 12 — Talia Sadiq helped the Hurricanes edge the Tigers on Wednesday evening, as she netted four goals and added an assist as part of a five-point showing.

Ivorie Arguin pitched in a hat trick while Kiko Bhowmik and Francesca Sloan each scored twice. South Hadley stats were included in Thursday’s paper.

Boys lacrosse

Belchertown 15, Pittsfield 2 — The Orioles jumped out to an 8-1 lead after one quarter of play and breezed to a Pioneer League victory on Wednesday.

Nico St. George (six goals, two assists) and Vincent Ting (three goals, two assists) enjoyed huge days offensively for Belchertown as part of seven different goal scorers. Caleb Reardon tallied twice in the win.

Baseball

Smith Voc 16, Putnam 11 — Six runs in the top of the sixth inning brought an 11-10 Vikings lead up to a 16-10, and they held on for an independent victory on Wednesday. Eight runs in the first two innings jumped Smith Voc ahead 8-0, but a nine-run fourth put Putnam right back in the mix.

Corey Kirkendall collected two hits, four RBIs and scored a run, and Brayden LaRose (two hits, two runs), Kaleb Jorritsma (one hit, three runs) and James Lavallee (one hit, four runs) all drove in runs at the plate for the Vikings.

Boys volleyball

Ware 3, South Hadley 0 — Beau Briere put down 12 kills to go with nine digs as the Tigers dropped a 25-17, 25-20, 26-24 decision on Wednesday.

Junoon Giridhar (13 assists, four digs) and Sam Morozov (11 digs) also aided the South Hadley cause.

Youth baseball

Amherst Red Sox 6,  Deerfield VFW 5 – Amherst rallied in the fifth and sixth innings to capture a victory on Tuesday. Jonah Sommers drove in Dakota Clarke and Colin Smith with a triple in the fifth inning to close the gap to one run. Bobby Wells delivered a game-tying RBI hit with two outs and two strikes in the sixth. Omar Saadouni, Paxton Kazmi and Colin worked for three consecutive walks to push Bobby across the plate for the game-winning run.

For Deerfield, Russell Harris pitched five dominant innings. Jacob delivered three hits, including a triple to the fence, and scored two runs.