H.S. Girls Basketball: Greenfield’s Katie Haselton leads Recorder area in scoring

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton, right, drives past Sabis defender Tatiana Skarzynski in the third quarter of the WMass Div. 3 tournament quarterfinals at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton (4) takes a shot between Frontier defenders Kylie Laford (15) and Amelia Sobieski (12) in the fourth quarter during a regular season game in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton, right, drives down the court against Sabis defender Tatiana Skarzynski in the third quarter Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton drives to the hoop between Sabis defenders Rhayanna Shubrick (20) and Sydney Barklow (24) in the third quarter Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton lays up the ball over Sabis defender Rhayanna Shubrick in the third quarter Thursday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield’s Katie Haselton celebrates reaching 1,000 career points Friday night at Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 3/17/2020 6:12:53 PM
Modified: 3/17/2020 6:15:14 PM

It was clear from the beginning of the season that Katie Haselton’s role with the Greenfield girls basketball team was going to change. 

Haselton played with 1,000-point scorers Raegan Hickey and Sam Smith during her first three years with the Green Wave, never having to carry the scoring load completely on her own. 

With Hickey and Smith graduating last year, it left Haselton as the last remaining big piece off a team that went to the Cage in 2018-19. 

In her junior year, Haselton stepped up to the plate more than Greenfield could have imagined. She finished the season with 435 total points in 21 games, averaging a Franklin County-best 21.5 points per game. 

“All the hard work in the offseason paid off in the games,” Haselton said. “It’s all because of my teammates and coaches providing opportunities for myself. It’s pretty awesome to lead the area in scoring.” 

Without Hickey and Smith drawing the attention of defenses, the focus of the opposition went squarely on Haselton, as teams tried whatever they could to stop her from scoring. 

She saw it all — double teams, box-and-one defenses and even triangle-and-two defenses — but it was rare that any team had success guarding her. 

“We saw that early, teams knew she was the third of the ‘Big Three’ that was left,” Green Wave coach John Hickey said. “The other teams’ thinking was, ‘Let’s take her out and let everyone else pick up the slack.’ Thank god, Katie didn’t have too many off games.”

Haselton managed to go over 30 points during four games this season, dropping 31 against both Mahar and Smith Academy and also scoring 30 against Athol. 

Her season high came in a Franklin County League North game against Frontier, where she went off for 34 points to will the Green Wave to victory. 

“The Frontier game was pretty close up until halftime,” Haselton said. “We were only up a couple buckets. I realized I needed to take over and start scoring.”

It was a rare night Haselton wasn’t the best player on the floor this season. No other Greenfield player averaged more than 10 points per game, putting pressure on Haselton to produce baskets to keep her team in the game. 

She had success, getting the Wave into the tournament with a 15-5 regular-season record. 

“I knew I would have to be the one in the game-winning shot situations because we lost Raegan and Sam,” Haselton said. “I was looking forward to that pressure and working on it in the offseason to make one of those in a game. It wasn’t frustrating when teams sent people at me. Other teammates stepped up completely to make open shots and do what they needed to do. I’d try my best to get open, but if the other team was in a box-and-one, my mind went to finding the open person instead of scoring.” 

Hickey knew after losing his two top scorers from a season ago that Haselton would step right in and lead in that department. 

What he didn’t know was how strong of a leader his junior had turned into. 

“She was seasoned and ready,” Hickey said. “She realized she had to pick up the scoring and she was comfortable doing that. She has that kind of mindset. She was a great leader for us. A normally quiet kid took a leadership role this year and communicated well with kids and took over and filled that role.”

Playing AAU with Mass Frenzy, which forces players to step up and be leaders, helped Haselton grow into the role with the Green Wave. 

“Raegan and Sam had [the leadership] role in the past,” Haselton said. “Playing AAU, it’s helping the kids be better basketball players, better leaders and that carried into the regular season.”

With still a season to play, Haselton eclipsed the 1,000-point scoring mark on Jan. 10 in a game against Amherst. She currently has 1,272 points through three seasons, which puts her third all-time in career points at Greenfield High School. 

Haselton sits 250 points shy of breaking Hickey’s school record of 1,522 which she set in the 2018-19 season, something that’s well within reach. 

Scoring is just one aspect of Haselton’s game she excels in, as she does more than just put the ball in the hoop to help the Green Wave win games. 

“She averaged a double-double, almost 11 rebounds a game,” Hickey said. “We’d put her on the other teams’ point guard because she pressured the ball so well. She’s multifaceted, a huge reason we had the success we had this season.” 

Paige Loughman of Pioneer finished second in scoring in the area behind Haselton with 17.9 points per game. Mahar’s Micalyn Mailloux finished in third with 14.8 points per game, followed by Mohawk’s Grace Poplawski (13.4 ppg) and Athol’s Haley Bigwood (12.7 ppg). 

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