Girls basketball: Granby’s fourth quarter comeback falls short against PV Christian in Class D quarters

Granby’s Autumn Sicard (2) takes a three-point shot against Belchertown earlier this season.

Granby’s Autumn Sicard (2) takes a three-point shot against Belchertown earlier this season. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By BRADYN COTE

Staff Intern

Published: 02-19-2024 9:44 PM

SPRINGFIELD —  In a highly competitive ball game, the Granby girls basketball team’s fourth quarter comeback fell just short, as the Rams ran out of time.

Granby’s late scoring efforts were halted by Pioneer Valley Christian Academy in a 54-46 loss Monday night in the Western Mass. Class D quarterfinals.

Going against the undefeated Eagles (18-0), the Rams (10-9) were faced with a team full of elite ball handlers that could score inside and outside the arc, while dealing intense defense on the other end of the court.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game, they have some good three-point shooters, and they have more height than we do,” said Granby coach Megan Szlosek. “I didn’t think that we would be down 20-plus points, but we fought back but it just wasn’t enough.”

From the tip, the Eagles made it a very fast paced game as they whipped the ball around the perimeter getting open looks, allowing for quick interior bounce passes for points in the paint, as well as two shots from deep.

The Rams kept it close for the first five minutes of the quarter tying the game 11-11 at one point, but soon lost their momentum and would find themselves down 20-11.

Entering the second quarter the Eagles continued to apply pressure as they built up a 13-0 run.

The Rams tried to answer back by dishing the ball to Aubrey Parent in the paint, but was constantly contested by PVCA’s Sadie Keegan.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Two men dump milk, orange juice over themselves at Amherst convenience store
Three Amherst Regional Middle School counselors absolved of Title IX offenses
Springfield man charged with murder in Holyoke stabbing
Lawmakers, Jewish groups accuse Massachusetts Teachers Association of bias
‘Our hearts were shattered’: Moved by their work in Mexico soup kitchen, Northampton couple takes action
Hadley’s Brad Mish, Northampton’s Elianna Shwayder top Hampshire County finishers at 128th Boston Marathon

“[Parent] battles every night,” said Szlosek. “Most times she’s got two to three girls hanging on her and she still managed to get some points.”

Parent and Kaitlyn Curran combined for the Rams’ six points in the quarter, but would themselves down 29-17 at the half.

Coming out of the intermission, the Eagles picked up right where they left off. Led by the sister duo of Ella and Ava Knox, the hosts were on the same page as they found themselves on open cuts and created various fast break opportunities. The Knox sisters extended their team's lead while combining for 11 points in the third quarter.

Playing from behind, the Rams had much work to do if they wanted to bring this game close down 46-25 with eight minutes remaining in the game.

In the final quarter of the game, the Rams came off the bench red hot and went on an explosive 9-0 run led by Kalli White who scored 12 points in the quarter alone. The visitors were were fighting for each and every opportunity to get a basket, whether it be crashing the boards for second chance points, or going coast to coast off of a turnover.

Despite outscoring the Eagles 21-8 in the fourth quarter it was too deep of a deficit to overcome.

“We certainly never give up,” said Szlosek. “We’re always fighting right to the end, but I wish we weren’t in that position all the time.”

The Rams were led by White’s team-high 17 points, while Parent  had 10 points and Kaitlyn Curran added seven. PV Christian will play at top-seeded Hoosac Valley in the semifinals.

Class A quarters

No. 2 Northampton 63, No. 7 Agawam 28 — Paced by Ava Azzaro’s 19 points, the Blue Devils advanced into the semifinals with a huge home win over Agawam. Northampton scored 26 points in the first quarter (to Agawam’s nine) and never looked back.

The Blue Devils’ defense held Agawam to single digits in each quarter. Bri Heafey tossed in 16 points, Liv Joensen added 11 points, Emme Calkins scored 10 and Sarah Molnar chipped in eight points in the win.

Northampton hosts No. 3 Minnechaug in the Class A semifinals on Wednesday.

No. 3 Minnechaug 53, No. 6 Holyoke 29 — Kiara Perez went for 13 points and Amilyan Treadwell-Mercedes scored 11 for the Purple Knights in a quarterfinal loss on the road in Wilbraham on Monday night.

Holyoke (5-14) trailed 12-4 after one quarter and 28-7 at halftime.

Minnechaug will travel to No. 2 Northampton in the Class A semifinals on Wednesday.

Class B quarters

No. 1 Pittsfield 66, No. 8 Hampshire 28 — Shayne Moynihan (six) and Alyssa Colon-Garcia (six) combined for 12 points for the Raiders, who couldn’t pull off the upset of the top-seeded Generals on Monday night.

Destiny Saltis, Addie Miklasiewicz and Julianne Moro each tossed in four points apiece in the loss. Hampshire (8-11) is ranked No. 23 in Division 4, so its season contains more important basketball games in the near future.

Pittsfield hosts No. 5 Pope Francis on Wednesday night with a spot in the Class B title game on the line. 

No. 5 Pope Francis 59, No. 4 Frontier 47 — The Cardinals brought their best in the fourth quarter to knock off the fourth-seeded Redhawks at Goodnow Gymnasium on Monday. 

Frontier held a 42-37 lead going into the final eight minutes of action but it was all Pope Francis in the fourth, as the Cardinals outscored the Redhawks 22-5 in the fourth to advance to the semis with a 59-47 victory. 

It was Isabella Meadows and Maeve Turmel who led No. 5 Pope in the fourth, Meadows scoring 11 points while Turmel knocked down five free throws in the frame. Turmel finished the game with 23 points while Meadows scored 15 points in the contest. 

Olivia Machon knocked down five 3s to finish with 15 points for Frontier. Skyler Steele tossed in 13 points, Hailey Hutkoski scored seven points, Claire Kirkendall recorded six points while Harper Modestow had four points in the loss. 

The Redhawks led 29-22 at the half. 

Class D quarters

No. 2 Monson 59, No. 7 Hopkins 33 — The Golden Hawks were unable to spring the road upset, falling on Monday night in Monson.

The Mustangs will host No. 3 Pioneer on Wednesday night.

No. 1 Hoosac Valley 74, No. 8 Smith Academy 19 — Alexa  Jagodzinski led the way for the Falcons (10-9), scoring a team-high seven points while teammate Emma Tisdell added six.

The top-seeded Hurricanes host No. 5 Pioneer Valley Christian on Wednesday.

Non-playoff games

Chicopee 54, Amherst 45 — Shannon Klaes scored 17 points and Zola Higham joined her in double figures with 15 as the Hurricanes dropped a non-playoff game to Chicopee on Monday.

Amherst (4-15) will close out its season at home on Thursday against Southwick.