Just cause

St. Mary’s Mike Pepe (22) goes strong against Hampden Charter School of Science for a basket during the Box Out Cancer Challenge Friday night at Westfield Technical Academy High School. (Photo by Marc St. Onge)

WESTFIELD – The St. Mary’s High School boys basketball team nearly staged an improbable upset of Hampden Charter School of Science in the Box Out Cancer Challenge, but fell 40-39 Friday night at Westfield Technical Academy High School.
“It was a great effort on our part, outstanding,” St. Mary’s boys basketball head coach Joe Molta said. “Our kids played extremely hard on back-to-back (nights).”
St. Mary’s led by six points with about one minute remaining in regulation, but HCSS took advantage of some Saints’ nerves.
“We were unable to make foul shots at the end, and we rushed a couple shots that hopefully we will learn from and be a little bit more patient,” coach Molta said.
St. Mary’s Brady Collins led all scorers with 19 points. Saints’ Mike Pepe finished with seven, and Jack Lambert had five.
Said Molta: “We haven’t played a city school like that in at least six years, so it’s very encouraging.”

Tigers turn back Gators for first win
Westfield Technical Academy 58, Gateway 41

Westfield Tech rallied from a 40-39 fourth quarter deficit, outscoring Gateway 18-2 down the stretch for the victory.
“Both games in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament were very competitive,” Westfield Tech coach Kyle Dulude said. “It was a great turnout all around.”
David Tikhonchuk (16 points), Josh Bush (12), Derrien Wilson Grant (11) and Brody Zabielski (8) led the Westfield Tech offense. Tigers’ freshman Andrew Navarro played great as well, contributing five points.
“Overall it was a great team effort,” coach Dulude said. “Nice to get that first win.”
More importantly, it was a win in the fight against cancer as four teams, their coaching staffs, families, friends, and fans dedicated two days toward a great cause.

Falcons stave off Bombers
Minnechaug 54, Westfield 49

Westfield rallied from a 18-point halftime deficit, but fell just short Friday night at home. The Bombers outscored the Minnechaug Falcons 20-4 in the third period.
“We came all the way back but we ran out of steam,” Westfield coach Josh Balestracci said. “(Our players) are continually getting better and working hard. We’re going to continue to work and get a little bit better at a time. The wins will come.”
Westfield’s Tony Torres scored a game-high 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Bombers’ C.J. Flores and Riley Coughlin delivered solid defensive efforts.

Lancers down Bombers
Longmeadow 72, Westfield 59

Llana Kofman scored 16 points and Hanna Minardi had 15 as Longmeadow used a balanced offensive attack to get past Westfield.
“We just couldn’t put it together, defensively,” Westfield coach Cyndi Fillion said.
Chandler Pedolzky and Kaela Mochak finished with 27 and 21 points, respectively, for Westfield (4-2).

Mitchell, Torres topple Tigers
Duggan Academy 59, Westfield Technical Academy 18

Kalaya Mitchell (21 points) and Jesalle Santini Torres (20) combined for 41 of Duggan’s 59 points.
Jeika Rios and Ashley Torres led Westfield Tech with six points apiece.

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