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Mahar boys earn ninth seed, 10th-seeded girls play tonight

  • TOURNEY TIME — Mahar’s Sam Paul releases the hook shot against Hopkins Academy during a recent game. The Mahar boys’ earned the ninth seed in the Western Massachusetts Division III Boys’ Basketball Tournament. Athol Daily News/Mike Phillips—

  • TOURNEY TIME – Mahar’s Sam Rowe, shown taking a shot against Greenfield, will be raring to go tonight at Monument Mountain. Athol Daily News/Mike Phillips—

  • TOURNEY TIME — Mahar’s Sam Paul (13), shown driving the lane against Hopkins defender John Earle (13), is ready to step it up in the postseason. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • TOURNEY TIME — Mahar’s Sam Paul (13), shown maneuvering for a shot against Hopkins defender John Earle (13), is eagerly awaiting the postseason. Mahar, seeded ninth, opens Tuesday night on the road against No. 8 seed Frontier. for the daily news/Dan Little

  • TOURNEY TIME — Mahar’s Abby Bonk (15), shown taking a shot against Frontier, is raring to go in the postseason. She won’t have to wait long. Her 10th-seeded Senators are on the road tonight to face No. 7 Monument Mountain in Great Barrington. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • TOURNEY TIME — Mahar’s Kianna Reilly (5), shown taking a shot over Frontier defender Charlotte Doulette (21), is ready to roll in the postseason. The 10th-seeded Senators are on the road to Great Barrington tonight, where they’ll face seventh-seeded Monument Mountain. for the daily news/Dan Little



SPORTS WRITER
Monday, February 26, 2018

ORANGE — The Mahar Regional School boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams suffered two unfortunate twists in the Western Massachusetts Division III Basketball Tournament seeding Saturday afternoon.

As both teams had hopes on earning a home tourney game that comes with earning an eighth seed or higher, the boys’ team earned the ninth seed and will travel to face the eighth seeded Frontier Regional School Tuesday night at 7. The girls’ team earned the 10th seed and will face the Monument Mountain Regional High School tonight at 6 p.m.

The Red Hawks defeated Mahar twice this season, winning 47-34 back on Jan. 3, then 44-42 on Feb. 1. The Spartans defeated the Senators 53-48 back on Dec. 21. It will be more than a two-hour bus ride for Mahar as well.

For the boys, the Frontier Red Hawks are 13-7 on the year and are 7-1 in the newly formed Hampshire South conference. They finished their regular season with a 58-39 win over Smith Academy and have won two straight games to end the regular season. Frontier last appeared in the tournament in 2013 as the 11th seed. The Hawks lost to the sixth seeded St. Joe’s High School, 65-43, in that game.

If the Senators were to win, they will then face the No. 1 seeded Monument Mountain Spartans on the road Friday. No time has been announced for that game. The 17-3 Spartans have won nine out of their last 10 games.

Mahar appeared as the fourth seed in last year’s tournament before losing to Southwick Regional, 44-36, in the opening round of the tournament. They have now made the tournament in each of the last three years but have not won a postseason game since 2014, when the team defeated Wahconah High School, 51-49, as the fourth seed. The Senators eventually lost to Sabis, 72-71, in the semifinal round that year.

The Senators will have to rely heavily on two senior guards, Sam Paul and Brennan Mailloux, who have accounted for 449 of Mahar’s total points. Paul has scored at least 10 points in all but three games this season, and has scored 258 points this season. He scored only five points against Frontier on Jan. 3 and 12 points on Feb. 1. Mailloux has the ability to control the game on both ends with his ability to rebound, play the point and shoot. Mailloux has come on strong as of late, scoring at least 11 points in four of his last six games.

Outside of the Senators, Easthampton High School earned the second seed while Sabis earned the third seed and Narragansett grabbed No. 4. All three (as well as Monument Mountain) earned a bye in the first round. Wahconah earned the fifth seed and will take on 12th seeded Greenfield High School. Mount Greylock earned the sixth seed and will take on 11th seed Palmer High School. Southwick Regional School earned the seventh seed and will take on 10th seeded Renaissance School.

On the girls’ side of things, the Spartans are 11-9 on the year and are 1-7 in Berkshire County North conference play. The team finished its season with a 48-30 win against Mount Greylock. The Spartans are more of a defensive team, holding opponents to 40 or less points five times this season and 30 or less points three times.

The Spartans last appeared in the tournament in 2017 as the ninth seed and lost to Granby High School, 54-31. The Senators have appeared in the tournament in each of the last six years. They made it to the semifinal round last season as the fifth seed. Prior to last year’s performance, the team was the 11th seed in 2016, eighth seed in 2015, 10th seed in 2014, sixth seed in 2013, and No. 1 in 2012. The Senators made it to the 2013 semifinal round and the 2012 finals.

If the Senators win tonight, they will move on to face second-seeded South Hadley High School Thursday. No time has been set for that game.

The Senators won their final game of the season against Frontier Regional, 38-29. Prior to that, the team lost to Greenfield High School in their second to last game of the season but had won five straight and nine out of 10 before that. The team will need to rely heavily on guard Hannah Paul, who contributed 207 points this season, as well as Jazmyn Vautour, who contributed 174 points this season. Freshman guard Micalyn Mailloux has come on strong to end the season as well, scoring 13, nine and 10 points in her last three games.

Outside of the Senators, Hampshire Regional earned the top spot, while South Hadley earned No. 2, Hoosac Valley No. 3 and Granby No. 4. All four teams earned round-one byes. Fifth-seeded Greenfield High School will take on 12th seeded Drury High School. Sixth-seeded Wahconah will take on 11th seeded Narragansett, and eighth seeded Palmer High School will take on ninth seeded Frontier Regional.


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