Boys Basketball: Gibson gives Greenfield spark to beat Mohawk Trail

  • Greenfield head coach Angelo Thomas cheers on his team earlier this season against Palmer. Thomas’ club eeked out a 62-55 victory over Mohawk Trail in a Hampshire League North contest, Tuesday in Buckland. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2020 10:04:00 PM
Modified: 1/14/2020 10:33:21 PM

BUCKLAND — It was the exact kind of game the Mohawk Trail boys basketball team wanted against Greenfield on Tuesday night.

The Warriors made things chaotic, using a light press to get the Green Wave out of their offensive rhythm and forcing multiple turnovers that led to easy buckets.

In the end however, it wasn’t enough to pull off of the upset, as Greenfield settled in during the second half and pulled out a 62-55 Hampshire League North win on the road.

“The energy level picked up for us,” Greenfield coach Angelo Thomas said. “That’s the difference in almost any game. When the energy level is good, we’re good. When it’s not, we’re not good. For three quarters of that game, the energy level was not good.”

One of the players who helped Greenfield rally was guard Sam Gibson.

The Wave (6-1, 3-1) held a 31-29 lead at the half, but the energy was still low for the team. Gibson changed that by getting to the rim for two buckets, scoring four of his 10 points in the game. With some confidence, the sophomore kept attacking the tin, and three possessions in a row, was able to penetrate and draw a pair of Mohawk defenders.

Once the Warriors (1-7, 0-4) committed to stopping him, Gibson dished to big man Kenny Adams, who made three wide open layups in a row to put the Wave up 42-38 late in the third quarter.

“Sam gave us a big spark,” Thomas said. “He penetrated and had some assists and made some shots. He definitely helped us out and picked us up a little.”

Gibson wasn’t just big on the offensive end, however, as he came up with multiple steals on the back end of the press to prevent the Warriors from getting into their offense.

“I was just trying to get us started and get my teammates into it,” Gibson said. “I’m the point guard, so once I get it going, everything gets going.”

Mohawk guard Tyler Dubreuil helped the Warriors get off to a great start. The sophomore swiped back-to-back steals and converted them to points on the other end before running a fast break and completing an and-one to put Mohawk up 10-4 midway through the first quarter.

Dubreuil finished with a game-high 17 points. 

“Tyler has come a long way for us in the two years we’ve had him on varsity,” Warrior coach Darren Schmidt said. “He’s working hard in practice, and he’s the kind of kid who always wants to get better. I’m glad it’s showing in the games. A lot of our guys brought a lot tonight. A lot of guys did a lot of good things for us.”

Mohawk led 14-13 after the first eight minutes, but a big second quarter by Wave freshman Maverick Ward put Greenfield up at the half. 

Ward scored 12 of his 15 points in the second, knocked down a pair of 3s, a deep two and four shots from the charity stripe.

The freshman was held in check the rest of the way, as was Franklin County leading scorer Mason Meadows, who finished with 11 points.

Much of the success of the Warrior defense came from turnovers, and the hosts did not allow Greenfield to find a flow offensively. 

“The goal was to slow them down and limit their time on offense and limit their shots,” Schmidt said. “The game plan was to contain Meadows and Maverick Ward and limit their shots. For the most part, we did well on them. Wish the results were different, though.”

The Wave outscored Mohawk 16-14 in the third quarter to carry a 47-43 lead into the fourth. Both teams traded baskets for the majority of the quarter, but four late free throws by Greenfield’s Henry Zwart sealed the win.

Greenfield is right back at it tonight when it welcomes Northampton for an intriguing independent contest at 7 p.m. Mohawk entertains Pioneer in an independent tilt on Friday night.

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