MIAA tourneys: South Hadley boys handle Lunenburg in Div. 4 Round of 32 (PHOTOS)

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-02-2023 9:20 PM

SOUTH HADLEY – Colin Quinn flexed his arms as the basketball dropped through the hoop and bounced off the floor.

The South Hadley senior guard fought off two Lunenburg defenders in the air and finished a layup that put the Tigers ahead by double digits with a couple minutes left in Thursday’s MIAA Division 4 state tournament Round of 32 game.

He chest-bumped his soccer teammate Charlie Anischik in the student section as they both screamed.

There was still time on the clock, but the game was over.

“We have a very special senior class. We’ve got seven seniors who don’t want this to be the last night,” South Hadley coach Chris Gerber said. “Our guys are not afraid. They play for each other and play confident.”

Quinn scored 18 points, 12 in the second half, as the No. 14 Tigers defeated No. 19 Lunenburg 66-56 to reach the Sweet 16. South Hadley will face No. 3 Springfield International Charter in the next round at a date and time to be determined. They also met in the Western Massachusetts Class B semifinals.

It’ll be a familiar opponent after the Tigers (15-7) took down a relative mystery from Central Mass.

Lunenburg led 18-16 a minute into the second quarter before South Hadley ripped off a 12-2 run to take the lead for good.

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“I told them before the game to be artists and magicians, not a robot. Go out and ball,” Gerber said.

Chase Mathers (15 points) dropped in a tough layup through traffic to knot the game 18-18 with 5:58 to halftime then made the free throw to push South Hadley ahead. The lead ballooned as high as eight in the first half before Lunenburg’s Vinny Dellasanta cut it back to single digits 28-26 with 52 seconds left tin the first half.

Quinn hit a 3 with 33 seconds on the clock to give the Tigers a two-possession lead at the half.

The Tigers opened the second half on a 9-0 run and held the Blue Knights at bay.

“We knew they were going to fight back, we had to just weather the storm and keep battling,” Quinn said.

Jack Loughrey added 17 points for South Hadley and energized the crowd with an early block.

No. 9 Hoosac 62, No. 24 Granby 53 — The Rams led 31-29 at the half but were outscored 33-22 after intermission. The Hurricanes built a 46-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter before holding on to knock off Granby in the Round of 32 of the MIAA Div. 4 tournament on Thursday in Cheshire. 

The Rams close out their season with a 13-8 record. 

Colin Murdock led the way with 18 points for Granby, with Cody Breault (12) and Robert L’Abbee (10) joining him in double-figures. Gavin Moreno and Carter White each chipped in five points in the loss. 

Frank Field led Hoosac with 25 points. 

Girls basketball

Millbury 47, Frontier 41 — The Redhawks gave the No. 10 Woolies a run for their money in the Round of 32 of the MIAA Div. 4 state tournament on Thursday. 

No. 23 Frontier never let Millbury run away from it, trailing 10-7 after one quarter before the Woolies extended their lead to 25-17 at the half. 

 The Redhawks stormed back in the third, taking the lead at one point but cutting the deficit to 34-31 heading into the fourth. With 20 seconds left, Frontier found itself trailing 44-41. The Woolies knocked down their free throws late, however, to knock off the Redhawks with a 47-41 victory. 

Millbury advanced to face the winner of No. 7 Littleton and No. 26 Mahar, which play on Friday. Frontier closed out its season with a 13-8 record. 

“At one point I called a timeout and instead of setting up a play I told them how proud I was of them,” Redhawks coach Dave Machon said. “All the effort that went into practice this week showed up in this game. We played with a team that was so many seeds beyond us which is a testament to our girls’ strength and ability.” 

Kylie Laford, who got into foul trouble early, still managed to finish with 18 points, knocking down three 3’s in the second half to help Frontier get back in the game. Delaney Fifield recorded eight points, Claire Kirkendall scored five points, Hailey Hutkoski finished with four points and played a strong game defensively while Brianna Storozuk, Molly Gates and Whitney Campbell each had two points in the loss.

No. 9 Norwood 50, No. 24 Holyoke 31 – The Mustangs held serve at home, advancing to the MIAA Div. 2 Round of 16 with the victory over Holyoke on Thursday in Norwood.

The Purple Knights finished their season 13-9 overall. Amilyan Treadwell-Mercedes scored a team-high 10 points for Holyoke, while Bianca Ortiz Cordero followed with eight points and Ashley Vazquez tossed in six.

Norwood led 18-12 at halftime but used an 18-9 edge in the third quarter to pull away.

Boys hockey

No. 3 Winthrop 3, No. 30 Belchertown 2 (2 OT) — The Orioles nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the MIAA tournament thus far. 

Belchertown scored the opening two goals of the game to take a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes on the ice at Larsen Rink in Winthrop. The Vikings got one goal back in the second and added another in the third to force overtime. 

The Orioles held off a furious Winthrop attack during the opening 4-on-4 overtime period to bring on a second overtime, this one a three-on-three session. Belchertown goalie Donald Rodgers made an initial stop on a Viking break but Winthrop was there to collect the rebound and finish it to advance to the MIAA Round of 16 with a 3-2 win over the Orioles.

Ryan Fernandes and Jack Mandeville tallied the first-period goals for Belchertown (12-8). Rogers finished with 43 saves on 46 shots in a Herculean effort between the pipes.

Winthrop (17-3-1) advanced to the Round of 16 and a home game against No. 19 Amesbury.

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