Girls Basketball: Diemand’s free throws lead Frontier past Pioneer

  • Frontier’s Amelia Sobieski, right, takes a shot contested by Pioneer’s Kaitlin Trudeau in the second quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Marie Diemand puts in a free throw to tie the game against Pioneer with six seconds left in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The Frontier sideline celebrates after Marie Diemand sinks the game-winning free throw against Pioneer in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Marie Diemand takes a shot against Pioneer in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Sierra Warren, right, drives the ball down the court guarded by Pioneer’s Sarah Johnson in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Frontier’s Amelia Sobieski, left, takes a shot guarded by Pioneer’s Stephanie Scoville in the fourth quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Pioneer’s Paige Loughman drives to the hoop for a layup against Frontier in the third quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Pioneer’s Sarah Johnson hits a three-pointer against Frontier in the third quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Pioneer’s Charlotte Kahler pulls down a rebound against Frontier in the third quarter Tuesday night at Goodnow Gymnasium in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/28/2020 10:59:09 PM
Modified: 1/28/2020 10:59:06 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Marie Diemand stepped to the free-throw line for the Frontier Regional School girls basketball team with six seconds remaining in Tuesday night’s game.

The Red Hawks trailed Pioneer Valley Regional by one point at the time, but Diemand wasn’t fazed by the pressure of the moment at Goodnow Gymnasium.

Diemand sunk both free throws, lifting the Red Hawks to a 49-48 win over the Panthers in an independent contest.

“I was pretty confident that I was going to make them actually,” Diemand said. “We’ve been practicing foul shots a lot lately. I feel like I’ve gotten my form down pretty well. I just knew I needed to make them. I didn’t want to second guess myself.”

The home crowd erupted after the first free throw swished for Diemand, tying the game at 48. But there was still more work to do. 

“It just felt like everything was on the line,” Diemand said. “We really, really did not want to lose this game. It was kind of a rare situation in basketball when you are down by one with six seconds left. But foul shots are something you know you should make. But it was intense.”

The second free throw fell, and now it was up to the Frontier defense to hold the lead.

The Panthers were fouled but missed the front end of a one-and-one, then couldn’t get a shot off after grabbing the offensive rebound and calling a timeout.

The visiting Panthers (4-8) held the lead for most of the game behind a dominant performance from Paige Loughman, who scored 21 points with 15 rebounds and eight steals.

“Paige was a beast,” Frontier coach Dave Machon said. “An absolute beast.”

In the final three minutes of the game, there were five lead changes. The Red Hawks (9-3) had to overcome a slow start to pull out the win.

“It’s a tough loss but that is a good team,” Pioneer coach Michael Churchill said of Frontier. “It came down to one possession. It’s a moral victory, but moral victories don’t get you in the tournament.”

Pioneer led 38-34 entering the fourth quarter.

“Our effort was pretty thin for the first three quarters,” Machon said. “They out-rebounded us. We pretty much played four good minutes. We are going to need a better effort than that to play other teams down the line.”

Stephanie Scoville scored seven points with nine rebounds for the Panthers. Sarah Johnson scored six points on two 3-pointers.

“I am more proud of the fact that we had so many players involved in the offense,” Churchill said. “It’s been a struggle for us all year long to do that. We finally have a game where we can do that. We can get different players in and they are all using their strengths.”

After a Loughman second-effort basket, the Panthers led 42-36 with 5 minutes, 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

That’s when the Red Hawks made their run behind Amelia Sobieski’s play in the paint.

Sobieski went 3-for-5 from the free throw line, and took a feed from Kaitlyn Mackin to put the Red Hawks back within a point. 

A runner by Kylie Laford gave the Red Hawks a 43-42 lead. Loughman quickly answered for the Panthers with a pair of free throws to give Pioneer the lead right back.

Mackin drove baseline on the following possession for the Red Hawks to once again put Frontier ahead.

The back-and-forth continued, as Loughman stepped in a passing lane and scored on a breakaway to make it 46-45 with under two minutes left.

Scoville’s free throws gave Pioneer a three-point lead with 58 seconds left, but Sobieksi scored on a putback on the next possession to put Frontier within a point going into the final seconds. 

Diemand (13 points), Mackin (12) and Sobieski (11) were all in double-figures for the Red Hawks.

Eighth-grader Kaitlin Trudeau scored her first varsity points for the Panthers, finishing with four points.

Pioneer heads to Bay State Academy tonight while Frontier hosts Greenfield on Thursday.


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