Senators fall prey to 3-point barrage

  • The Mahar boys basketball team during introductions against Palmer High School in the first round of the Division III Western Massachusetts Tournament, Monday in Orange.  STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES

Staff Writer
Published: 2/25/2019 10:22:36 PM

 ORANGE — A barrage of 3-pointers ended the Mahar boys basketball team’s season on Monday night.

The seventh-seeded Senators lost, 56-44, to Palmer in the first round of the WMass Div. 3 Tournament at Grzesik-Bixby Gymnasium.

“They hadn’t shown that consistently throughout the year,” Mahar coach Chad Softic said. “They have some kids that can hit some shots but nothing like that. You have to give them credit. They made shots, and we struggled to make shots.”

The shots from the arc started early for the No. 10 Panthers as Chad Bigos went for nine points in the first quarter.

The hot-shooting start energized a well-traveled and loud fan section for Palmer.

In the game, the Panthers hit a total of 11 3-pointers.

Palmer will play at second-seeded Frontier Regional in the Division III quarterfinals on Thursday.

Senior Jordan Desrosiers played his last game for the Senators, scoring eight points.

“All of a sudden, they started hitting threes like crazy,” Desrosiers said. “Defense wasn’t that great at the beginning.”

Desrosiers is the lone senior on Mahar’s roster.

“Softic is a great coach,” Desrosiers said. “They run a great program.”

Mahar started in man-to-man but some sets from the Panthers led the Senators to change to zone. Palmer led 16-8 after the first quarter, and the Senators never got closer than five points for the remainder of the game. 

“We slowed them down for most of the second quarter and into the third,” Softic said. “But then they caught fire again.”

When the Senators (13-8) made some runs at Palmer, but the Panthers (11-10) seemed to have an answer at the most opportune of moments.

With Mahar struggling to find offense, sophomore Matt Lyesiuk provided some much needed offense off the bench. Lyesiuk shot without hesitation with the defense near and scored a team-high 13 points.

“I just wanted to get the team energized,” Lyesiuk said. “Do what I can to help the team.” 

Daesean Watson and Lyesiuk led a 6-0 run in the third quarter that closed the gap to 38-30. At that point, the Mahar crowd section began to get loud, but Bigos hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game to get the lead back to double-digits.

“A couple times we were a possession away from putting pressure on them,” Softic said. “We could just never get to that one possession. Couldn’t make that run.”

Watson had eight points for Mahar on strong, patient moves in the paint.

A deep 3-pointer from Palmer’s Dylan Tenczar made the score 51-35 in the middle of the fourth quarter.

Tenczar had 15 points for Palmer, while Jack Letendre added 11 points.

Palmer 56, Mahar 44

Palmer (56)

Placanico 2-0—6, Evan Jusko 1-0—3, Pappaceno, 1-0—3, Lombardi 3-0—6, Bigos 4-0—12, Tenczar 4-5—14, Letendre 3-3—12. Totals 18-8—56.

Mahar (44)

Desrosiers 3-0—8. Barnes 1-2—4, Carron 2-1—5, Gonzalez 3-0—6, Watson 4-0—8, Tenney, Chabot. Totals: 17-5—44.

3-Point Goals: (P) Placanico 2, Evan Jusko. Pappaceno, Bigos 4, Tenzcar, Letendre 2 (M) Desrosiers 2, Lyesiuk 2 .

Score by quarters:

Palmer

16

11

19

10

44

Mahar

8

14

10

12

56


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