High School Notebook: Greenfield hockey off to hot start

  • Turners Falls’ Marcus Sanders goes in for a bucket agianst Mohawk Trail during boys basketball action earlier this winter. StafF FILE Photo/Paul Franz

  • Despite losing 11 seniors to graduation from last year’s state championship team, head coach Adam Bouchard, right, has the Greenfield hockey team off to an impressive 2-0 start to this pandemic-altered season. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 2/8/2021 6:15:16 PM
Modified: 2/8/2021 9:48:54 PM

Apparently state championship hangovers don’t last 11 months.

Through two games, the Greenfield hockey team doesn’t look like a team content on just winning last year’s championship. The club has won its first two games and is looking like it would have been a real threat to repeat if state tournaments were being contested this season.

The Green Wave are doing this after losing 11 seniors to graduation from last year’s squad, which speaks to the culture coach Adam Bouchard has built, as well as the development they’ve had with players coming up in the system.

Much of the early season success has come from their special teams units. Through two games, Greenfield has killed off 8 of 10 penalties, as well as converting three power-play goals.

“We take great pride in our special teams,” Bouchard said after the Wave pulled off a 4-2 win over Amherst on Saturday.

With all eight schools in the Recorder area in action this winter season, here’s some observations on what’s been going on thus far. 

Sanders leads Thunder charge

A lot was riding on Turners Falls’ point guard Marcus Sanders going into this season. 

Sanders was one of the Thunder “big three” last year with Anthony Peterson and Chace Novak, with all three averaging over 12 points per game to help lead Turners to the WMass Div. 4 quarterfinals. With Sanders being the lone returning player, the pressure was on him to step up on the offensive end of the court.

So far, he’s done just that. Through three games, Turners is 2-1, with Sanders averaging 19.7 a game in the stretch.

“He’s played really well for us so far,” Thunder coach Jay Liimatainen said. “He’s stepped up big time.”

Sanders isn’t alone in leading Turners to its hot start. Brendan Driscoll has made great strides from his sophomore to junior year, averaging 15.3 points per game this year, compared to 5.3 a game last season. With Hopkins Academy and Pioneer on tap this week, the duo will certainly be put to the test.

Role players step up for Mahar

For the third season in a row, it looks like Micalyn Mailloux will lead the Senators in scoring, as the senior is putting up 16.8 points a night through four games this season. 

Mahar is 3-1 in those games, and while Mailloux’s scoring is a big reason for that, they’re getting contributions from players who won’t show up in the typical box score.

Delaney Parker has emerged as a great scoring option, averaging 12.6 a game while also having a 12-assist game last Thursday against Mohawk Trail. 

Kendrah Doane, Sienna Moore and Saylor Kegans have all been dominant on the glass this season.

Doane pulled down 11 rebounds against the Warriors and snatched 14 against Pioneer. Moore — in a game Senator coach Larry Fisher said was the best of her career — had 12 rebounds against the Panthers. Kegans finished with 14 boards in the win over Pioneer and pulled down 15 rebounds in a victory over Franklin Tech.

The combination of scoring at the guard position and rebounding in the paint have led to Mahar being a tough out in the Franklin County bubble.

Athol’s Cox fitting right in

Normally in the winter season, Athol’s Caleb Cox would be racking up victories on the mats inside Mallet Gymnasium as a star wrestler for the program.

But with wrestling postponed due to the pandemic, Cox is finding his footing with the basketball team this time around.

He made an immediate impact against Greenfield last week, scoring four points off the bench. That included a quick hoop right when he checked in where he attacked the rim for a layup.

“He showed no fear and was aggressive right away,” Athol coach Dan Bevis lauded.

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