Senators dominates Athol for 80-36 win

  • Mahar’s Brennan Mailloux (11) goes up with the ball while Athol’s Bryce King (2) goes down and Colby Mason (12) looks on. King was called for the foul on the play. Athol Daily News/Mike Phillips

Sports Writer
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

ATHOL — The Mahar boys basketball team controlled the pace of play Monday night, crushing the Athol Red Raiders, 80-36, in the latest chapter of this storied rivalry.

“It was the seniors last opportunity to play Athol and, you know, Athol has taken it to us this year in other sports,” said Mahar coach Chad Softic. “This was one of our last opportunities. They beat us on Turkey Day, beat us twice during the soccer season, and we don’t have a lot of shots left against them, so I just wanted to remind the kids that this is a rivalry and I knew Athol was going to be up for the game.”

The Senators have now won two straight and three of their last four games, improving their record to 13-5 on the year. Meanwhile, Athol has lost five games in a row and are 2-16.

“Anytime you play Mahar, you know, it’s a rivalry game and emotions are usually high, and at times, I thought the guys played hard,” said Athol coach Dan Bevis. “At times we didn’t play hard. I think that we need to get better at playing hard at all times, and in (our) last three games, we’ve been looking for guys willing to compete and willing to do so on both ends.”

The Senators never trailed in this one. They built a 17-0 lead to start the game, and built leads as large as 26, 30 and 46 points throughout the game.

“I think that before the game there was confidence,” said Bevis. “I thought our guys were ready to go, but I think (Mahar) came out and put the ball on the hoop, and for a team that’s struggling to score, I’m sure Chad is pretty happy with 80 points. But it’s one of those things we talk about it a lot. We can’t have letdowns, can’t let the other team go on big runs, and they went on a big run to start the game.”

Maysin Tarbell ended the Senators’ run by completing a free throw at the 3:29 mark. Evan Saisa then connected on a shot from beyond the arc. The Senators took that and created another 13-0 run to go up 30-4, getting ahead 26-4 at the end of the first quarter.

“We were very sharp coming out of the gates,” said Softic. “Obviously our press gave them some problems, but we finished. Obviously Deven (Patch) is out on the perimeter hitting shots, Brennan (Mailloux) and Sam (Paul) getting in the seams, got some easy hoops for our bigs and it’s always great to see, because we haven’t always had those starts.”

The Senators pushed their lead to 38-18 at halftime. They then led 46-18 after creating an 8-0 run to start the third quarter.

Up 59-27 in the third quarter, the Senators began taking some fouls, such as the one with 21 seconds left in the third, when Paul sandwiched Athol’s Bryce King, who was coming hard up the court toward him, while Paul turned up the court. However, the Senators maintained composure and tempo and created an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter, going up 70-27.

“Still trying to avoid those stretches where we struggle, but the press did help us tonight, getting out of those droughts,” said Softic.

Paul scored a game-high 19 points for the Senators, while Patch scored 15 points. It was his second game in a row scoring double digits. He scored 18 point against Turners Falls.

Noah Pottinger scored a team-high 12 points for Athol, while Mark Ferrari contributed six points.

The Red Raiders have three games left; the Senators have two. Athol will travel to Frontier Regional on Thursday, while Mahar visits Pioneer Valley.

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