Athol Daily News – Men’s basketball: OT thrillers highlight exciting Hampshire League run


Posted: 1/4/2022 17:52:16 PM

Modified: 1/4/2022 17:51:36 PM

Those who traveled to the North Quabbin area to watch men’s basketball games on Monday night got their money’s worth.

At Athol, it took a frontier settlement buzzer-beater to force overtime with the Bears. The Redhawks lost three balls with 30 seconds left, but returned it with 15 seconds left.

They fouled immediately, but it was only their sixth team foul, one less than the bonus. Athol got the ball back in bounds, Frontier couldn’t get the steal and fouled, sending the Bears over the line for a one-and-one.

Athol missed the first shot and Tyler Dubreuil turned the tables for the Redhawks. He quickly addressed Patrick Boyden, who then sent the ball to Max Millette. This is when Frontier used a timeout.

The Hawks handed the ball over to Dylan Martin out of his set, and the senior hit a contested 3 just inside the half-court circle as the bells rang to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, it was Millette – who is only an eighth grader – who intensified the high pressure situation. He had six free throws in the extra session as the Redhawks escaped with a 60-56 victory.

With COVID forcing matches to be postponed and players being able to miss matches at any time if they contract the virus, every win counts all the more in the future in the season. Frontier coach Ben Barshefsky said he was proud of his team’s resilience as some players were able to join the roster after not training recently.

“It’s really been the MO of this group for quite some time now,” Barshefsky said. “Even when they were part of the JV team a few years ago, they never stopped working. During the game we kept talking about getting into a winning position at the end of the fourth quarter. We fought and lost some time. Athol played well. They got a ton of tips, diversions and thefts throughout the game. They had us on our heels.

Barshefsky was also impressed with the composure of Millette, who was playing his first college game on Monday, as well as the way his team’s veterans embraced the underclasses.

“He’s a great young man and we’re delighted to have him on our program for the next four and a half years,” Barshefsky said. “It says a lot about the leadership of our upper class students. It doesn’t matter who does the job, as long as the job is done. They welcomed our young guys with open arms and that helps create a strong team culture.

Right next to Orange on Monday, 32 minutes was not enough to decide the winner between host Mahar and Lenox.

The Senators held a lead throughout the game, but every time they looked to part ways the Millionaires had a point in them. This included a 16-0 run in the third quarter that tied the game at 35 before the fourth after Mahar took a 33-19 advantage with four minutes left in the third.

The Senators opened the fourth quarter 9-3, but Lenox again responded with a streak of his own to force overtime with the teams tied at 48.

Mahar’s offensive couldn’t get started within the extra four minutes, eventually falling 56-53 in a South Hampshire League battle.

“You have to give them credit, they did some long shots and those 3 were daggers,” Senators coach Chad Softic said after the game. “It’s more of the same thing that we inflict on ourselves. I didn’t think their diamond press was anything special, but we got sped up a bit like we did against Pioneer and Hopkins. I don’t know why this is happening. It’s not a lack of skill and the space is fine. This was a problem for us and it was a problem [Monday]. ”

If the games continue to function as they did on Monday, get ready for an exciting month of basketball ahead in the Hampshire League.


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