WESTFIELD – This season, the Westfield Technical Academy boys basketball team is singing the praises of “better late than never.”
Westfield Technical Academy completed a regular season comeback Monday night, winning their fifth straight game with a 41-38 victory against visiting Smith Vocational to claim a share of the Tri-County South League title that they will take with them to the Western Massachusetts tournament.
At one point near the season’s midway point, Westfield Tech was missing three starters and staring at a 4-5 record. The Tigers lost four straight games but then went on a tear, reeling off five consecutive victories.
Monday night was Westfield Tech’s fifth win in a row.
“To roar off five wins in a row is directly related to these kids’ efforts and their never quit mentality,” Westfield Technical Academy boys basketball head coach Kyle Dulude said.
In the two teams’ previous meeting, Smith Voke won by 25 points.
“We watched tape and spent the last two practices focusing on a game plan,” coach Dulude said. “They executed perfectly, they bought into the schemes, and their focus was top notch.”
Westfield Tech’s Mateo Sanchez had an all-star performance, leading all scorers with 15 points. Darry Reopel directed the offense, and big men Emil Sevastyanov, Carter Slack and Jordan Otero owned the boards.
“(They were) difference maker(s),” coach Dulude said.
Josh Sturmer, Andrew Navarro, and Bodhi Hall also delivered solid efforts for Westfield Tech.
“There were no complaints from the bench and everyone was all in,” coach Dulude said. “Shout out to the cheerleaders for their support. They were awesome as well.”
Saints win overtime thriller
St. Mary’s 45, Gateway 41 (OT)
St. Mary’s sophomore Colin Ramos made a key 3-pointer in the closing seconds of overtime to lift the Saints to a thrilling victory.
“It was a good way to end the season,” St. Mary’s boys basketball head coach Joe Molta said. “Our kids really improved, especially over the last 10 games. To be 5-5 in the league is a good step in the right direction.”
GIRLS ICE HOCKEY
Longmeadow-Westfield 3, Dedham 2
Longmeadow-Westfield managed to stay above .500, improving to 8-7-4 overall with a narrow victory Monday on the road. The Lancers close out the regular season portion of its schedule Thursday against Woodstock at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield at 8 p.m.
BOYS ICE HOCKEY
Bombers end on positive note
Westfield 4, Westboro 1
Westfield closed out the season on a solid note, defeating visiting Westboro to run its record to 7-8-5 overall, 5-4-2 league.
Michael Antonellis, Nick Mee, Peter Chrisanthopolous, and Gavin Carzello scored one goal apiece. Carzello, Antonellis, Joe Taupier, Matt Bacon, and Kevin Hosmer each had an assist.
Westfield goalie C.J. Czarnecki collected 22 saves.
The Bombers now await the determination of the tournament committee, which will unveil the tournament seeds later this week.
Sat., Feb. 15
Rams keep postseason hopes alive
Southwick 4, Drury 3
Noah Jubb scored two goals, and Evan Iglesias and Teagan Stannard had one apiece as Southwick improved to 8-10 with two games remaining. Tommy Whalley had two assists for the Rams. Nick Ensign, Noah Durfey, and Bryce Russ had one apiece.
Southwick goalie Andrew Morris collected 16 saves.
Southwick closes out the regular season on the road against Agawam (Feb. 18) before returning home against South Hadley (9-7-1) Wednesday at Amelia Park Arena at 7 p.m. The Rams must win their final two games or go 1-1 and get some help to qualify for the postseason.