Bombers eke out thriller

Westfield’s Kevin Hayes is in good form at the top of his dive Friday against Belchertown. (Photo by Marc St. Onge)

WESTFIELD – It wasn’t easy but it was well worth the effort (a spirited one of sorts) for the Westfield High School boys swimming team to overcome an energized, enthusiastic Belchertown team on Friday.
It came down to the wire, and that is where the Westfield Bombers won it 91-85 to keep their undefeated season intact at 6-0.
“(It was) a very exciting, very loud, very raucous swim meet,” Westfield swim coach Tom Lewis said. “There was a lot of exciting races, a lot of energy in that meet.”
Belchertown opened the meet with a stunning victory in the 200 medley relay, winning by just 6/100ths of a second over Westfield’s Tommy Russell, Pat Lurgio, Jack Beaulieu, and Matt Morash.
“That made the meet a little bit tougher than we thought,” coach Tom Lewis said.
Russell battled back to take first place in the 50 freestyle (22.22) and 100 backstroke (55.01). Then, in the final race of the day, facing a scenario where Westfield needed to win or place second and third to win the meet, Russell teamed up with Morash, Lurgio, and Cole Viamari to win the 400 free relay in 3:30.47, the second fastest time in Western Massachusetts this season.
“It’s a meet where we thought that Belchertown had the upper hand going into the meet,” coach Lewis said. “We thought that certain things had to break our way, and losing the medley relay put us in a bind but the kids fought back. A lot of kids coming in seconds and thirds pulled us back into the meet, bringing the meet into the last relay.”
Every moment proved to produce key finishes like a winning dive from Kevin Hayes (220.35 points) or a first-place finish by the 200 free relay team (Beaulieu, Viamari, Dominic Navarrete, Matvey Hancharonak) or even a bronze-medal finish by Matt Rowbotham in the 100 butterfly (1:10.17).
Westfield (6-0) will seek to extend its season-long winning streak to seven meets when it travels to Minnechaug Tuesday to take on the Falcons. The meet begins at 6 p.m.

Bombers trounce O’s
Westfield 131, Belchertown 52

Alexa Richter and Lizzie Fraser won two events apiece to lead unbeaten Westfield (6-0) in a rout.
Richter took first place in the 50 free (26.74) and 100 free (57.99); Fraser captured gold in the 200 individual medley (2:21.80) and 100 breaststroke (1:15.07).
Catherine O’Connor (200 free, 2:07.21), Claudia Tosi (diving, 2:04.75), Emily Mihalek (100 fly, 1:07.01), and Emily Langlois (100 backstroke, 1:07.71) each won one individual event for Westfield.
O’Connor just missed out on another first-place finish, losing to Belchertown in the 500 free (5:35.86) by 0.14, although the time met state qualification criteria.
The Bombers medley relay (Langlois, Fraser, Mihalek, Richter), 200 free relay (Fraser, Richter, O’Connor, Allie Russell), and 400 free relay (Langlois, O’Connor, Mihalek, Elizabeth Dion) all won, as well.
“It was a solid effort up and down,” coach Lewis said.

Crosby, Saints turn back Red Raiders
St. Mary’s 29, Commerce 23

Jessica Crosby scored 11 points and seven others scored at least one basket to lead St. Mary’s past visiting Commerce Friday night at Westfield Intermediate School on Southampton Road.
St.Mary’s built an 18-5 lead through two quarters before Commerce went on a 10-4, third quarter run to keep the game close.

Red Raiders ground Bombers
Hampshire 71, Westfield 51

Olivia Hadla (18 points) and Kaela Mochak (12) led the Westfield offense.

Rios paces Tigers
Smith Voke 51, Westfield Technical Academy 23

Syd Cyr (14 points) and Ella Sherman (12) combined for 26 points, and three others netted six apiece for Smith Vocatiional.
Jeika Rios scored a team-high 11 points for Westfield Tech. Tigers’ Lielani Marsh had seven.

Duggan Academy 66, Westfield Technical Academy 57
Westfield Tech rallied from an early 8-0 deficit, and came within a missed 3-pointer of tying the game late on the road Friday night.
Josh Bush appeared to get fouled on a corner 3-pointer, but no call was made. Duggan took the ball the other way, converting an and-one for a 63-57 lead before pulling away.
“Everyone played today and played gritty with no quit, a lot of fight, and a lot of heart,” Westfield Tech coach Kyle Dulude said.
Bush finished with a team-high 19 points. David Tikhonchuk and Brody Zabielski each had 12 for Westfield Tech. Six other Tigers also scored.
“It felt like a tournament game – it was a great atmosphere,” coach Dulude said. “The boys played extremely well and had nothing to hang their heads about.”

Collins leads Saints
Mount Everett 48, St. Mary’s 37
Brady Collins led St. Mary’s with 16 points. Saints Mike Pepe finished with 11 and Luke Willenborg had six.

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