PALMER – The Westfield Technical Academy High School boys’ basketball team made many lefts and rights in its travels on the road to Pathfinder High School Thursday, but it’s the final stop on the court that has their head coach thinking this team may have turned the corner in the 2016-17 season.
Westfield Tech survived three overtime periods before escaping Pathfinder with a thrilling 74-73 victory.
Tyler Starzyk and Vlad Biley led Westfield Tech with 25 and 21 points, respectively. Tigers’ Mark Klyuchits finished with nine, and Andrew Czeremcha had eight.
(This) may be just be the type of win we need to turn (the) season around,” said Westfield Tech coach Kyle Dulude, whose team, like many in the area this season, stumbled out of the gate, appeared much improved.
After a sluggish start, Westfield Tech awoke with a vengeance.
“We started out slow,” coach Dulude admitted. “We found a rhythm right before the half, stuck to the game plan, and the effort was outstanding.”
Westfield Tech appeared to be on the verge of winning in regulation and in the second overtime, but Pathfinder made game-tying shots in each frame to extend it.
The phrase “team victory” is often a cliché in the sports world, but it truly is not overused in this circumstance as Westfield Tech overcame three players fouling out in overtime. The others stepped up.
“We could have very easily folded many times but someone always came through with the needed extra effort on each play, especially in the three overtime frames,” Dulude said. “Pathfinder is a good team. They have some great athletes. It was a quality win … I am extremely happy for our players because they definitely deserved the win.”
Murrays shoot past WHS
Amherst 73, Westfield 55
Meikkel Murray (21 points) and Meikyle Murray (19) combined for 40 points, and the Amherst Hurricanes defeated the host Westfield Bombers.
Kam Wells (11 points), Ryan Murray (10), and Gabe Santos (9) led Westfield (4-7).
It has been a rollercoaster ride this week for Westfield which opened with a thrilling 65-55 overtime victory over Hampshire on Monday, the Bombers first road win of the 2016-17 regular season.
Westfield lost to Putnam on Tuesday, 74-43.
“If we keep playing together and working hard, we will come around,” Westfield coach Josh Balestracci said.
Baystate downs Gators
Baystate Academy 62, Gateway 41
Gateway Regional went into a scoring drought for a nearly four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, and Baystate Academy pulled away late. Gators’ Shane Mastello scored a game-high 20 points.
Jake McKitrick (10 points) also reached double digits in the scoring column for Gateway, and Gators’ Paul Kowal delivered a nice all-around game from the point guard position, doling out assists and playing solid defense.
“We got everything we wanted,” Gateway coach Kevin McVeigh said. “We just couldn’t finish.
Gateway did not allow a single Baystate scorer to reach 15 points. The Gators fell to 2-6.
Third-quarter run dooms Rams
Easthampton 68, Southwick 61
Easthampton’s 24-7, third-quarter run proved to be the difference. Ryan LeClair (21 points), Nick Hough (18), and Chris Molta (11) managed double-digits scoring for Southwick.
First-half surge boosts Smith
Smith Vocational 62, St. Mary 43
Smith Voke built a 29-9 first half lead and never looked back. Jake Butler led St. Mary with 21 points.
Roache, Duggan excel
Duggan Academy 27, Gateway 22
Duggan Academy’s Nala Roache scored a game-high 10 points at home. Megan Wright and Lilly Waters scored six apiece to lead Gateway.
LOCAL SKIERS SIZZLE ON SLOPES: While temperatures around the slopes have been somewhat balmy and rainy of late – the season’s first two high school Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference ski races were postponed – local skiers found a way to otherwise shine at Berkshire East in Charlemont Thursday night.
St. Mary’s Matt Masciadrelli picked up where he left off last season, finishing first overall (23.48) on the Giant Slalom. Saints’ Jack Masciadrelli was seventh (24.72).
Westfield’s Jacob Stephens placed eighth (24.93).
A pair of Westfield female skiers dominated the girls’ race, finishing 1-2. Bombers’ Grace O’Connor won the race in 33.62, and Rebecca Stephens was second (34.06).
St. Mary’s eighth grader Chloe Lussier was 11th overall and fifth in the South Division.