High schools: Northampton boys edge Amherst to punch state tournament ticket

Northampton’s Naihmond Peters-Wolfe (55) hits a three-pointer against Holyoke earlier this season in Holyoke.

Northampton’s Naihmond Peters-Wolfe (55) hits a three-pointer against Holyoke earlier this season in Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Reports

Published: 02-22-2024 9:17 PM

While they were likely in anyway, the Northampton boys basketball team officially punched its ticket to the MIAA Division 2 state tournament on Thursday.

The Blue Devils survived a wild final minute against rival Amherst at Feiker Gymnasium, holding court for a 52-49 non-playoff victory.

The win puts Northampton at 10-10 overall, securing a .500 record and an automatic state tourney berth. The Devils checked in at No. 28 in the most recent power rankings, and likely would’ve stayed inside the top 32 with a loss.

With Northampton clinging to a 50-49 lead in the waning seconds, Amherst turned the ball over and Naihmond Peters-Wolfe hit two free throws with just over a second remaining. The Devils survived a last-second halfcourt heave to earn the three-point victory.

Northampton led 24-22 at halftime.

Amherst (9-11) was No. 29 in the most recent power rankings, and will hope to stay inside the top 32 to earn a state berth when brackets are released on Saturday.

Smith Academy 64, Baystate 54 — It was an impressive bounce-back performance for the Falcons, which also punched an automatic berth in the Division 5 state tournament thanks to a non-playoff win on Thursday in Hatfield.

The Falcons (10-10) were No. 39 in the most recent power rankings, and most likely needed to win Thursday’s game for a shot at the state tourney following Monday’s Class D quarterfinal defeat at Pioneer.

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Cam Graves put together a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double to pace Smith, and Greg Stone followed with 22 points and four assists (four 3s). Clinging to a 28-26 lead at halftime, the Falcons used a 20-10 edge in the third quarter to snatch control.

Hampshire 62, Southwick 51 — The Raiders used a 20-11 advantage in the fourth quarter to pull away for their 10th win of the season and a state tournament berth.

Liam Pond’s 14 points led the way for Hampshire, while Ben Pierce and Adam Golasinski also scored in double figures with 10 on the night.

Frontier 70, Commerce 64 — Last season the Redhawks needed to win both their non-playoff games to lock up 10 wins and secure a spot the Div. 4 state tournament. 

Frontier entered the non-playoff slate in the same position this year, and got things going with a victory over West Springfield.

On Thursday against Commerce, Owen Babb did all he could to assure the Redhawks season would continue on, scoring 37 points and snatching 23 boards to give Frontier its 10th win of the season with a victory in Springfield. 

Max Millette also had a double-double for Frontier (10-10), scoring 24 points and dishing 10 assists. Rowan Modestow added four points in the victory. 

Girls basketball

Easthampton 60, Hampshire 38 — Kayley Downie’s range was on full display Thursday night.

The Easthampton guard drilled seven 3-pointers, including six in the first half, en route to a game-high 27 points. Sophia Faginski went for 11 points in the win, and Christine Raymond followed with eight.

Hampshire’s Addie Miklasiewicz scored 14 points to pace her side.

Frontier 38, Wahconah 34 — Tied going into the fourth quarter, the Redhawks locked things down defensively, holding the Warriors to just seven points in a defensive slugfest on Thursday at Goodnow Gymnasium.

Frontier (16-4) received a team-high 13 points from Hailey Hutkoski, while Claire Kirkendall went for eight points. Harper Modestow and Ashley Taylor tossed in seven points apiece in the win, which could help the Hawks earn a top 10 seed when the Division 4 state brackets are released this weekend.

Holyoke 44, Longmeadow 40 — Kiara Perez notched 19 points and the Purple Knights closed their season with an impressive victory over the Lancers. Amilyan Treadwell-Mercedes, who scored her 1,000th career point last week, added 13 points for Holyoke.

Southwick 44, Amherst 39 — The Hurricanes closed out their season with a non-playoff loss on Thursday. Shannon Klaes hit a pair of 3s and finished with a team-high 17 points for Amherst (4-16), followed by Zola Higham with eight points and Niyama Adadevoh with six.