High schools: 4th quarter comeback lifts Smith Academy past Greenfield

Staff Writer
Published: 1/17/2022 8:59:47 PM
Modified: 1/17/2022 8:58:42 PM

HATFIELD — The Smith Academy boys basketball team saved its best for last on Monday against Greenfield. 

The Falcons trailed 45-30 early in the fourth quarter but behind their pressing defense, forced turnovers and went on an 18-0 run to take a 48-45 lead with 1 minute, 45 seconds to play. 

Greenfield tied the game at 48 with 1:26 to go but it was Smith Academy’s Wyatt Jeffress who came up with the shot of the game, draining a 3 from the top of the key with 16 seconds left to give the Falcons a 51-48 lead. 

The Green Wave turned the ball over on the other end, with Smith Academy ultimately coming away with a 52-48 independent win at Sherry A. Webb Gymnasium. 

“Our press changed everything,” Falcons coach Matt Zerneri said. “We got after it. I told them to keep their composure. They were letting things bother them. The press stopped them from having to think. Greenfield plays good halfcourt defense so it allowed us some open shots and we were able to knock them down.” 

Riley Intrator got the run started for Smith Academy (4-2) with a 3-pointer. Caden Guimond made a free throw, Intrator scored back-to-back buckets inside off turnovers and Jeffress made a shot down low and suddenly the Falcons had cut the lead to 45-40. 

The run didn’t end there. Guimond converted a layup off a turnover, Intrator made a free throw and then scored on a layup to tie the game at 45 with 2:10 to play. 

Jeffress then hit a 3 from the left side to put Smith ahead, 48-45, with 1:45 to go. Greenfield’s David Carey was fouled on the other end while taking a 3, and the senior made all three free throws to tie the game at 48 with 1:26 to go. 

Both teams then missed shots on their next possession before Jeffress buried his shot with 16 seconds to go. Guimond made a steal and was fouled, knocking down one free throw to seal the win. 

“We were getting good shots all game long, they just weren’t falling,” Zerneri said. “We shoot well in practice, it’s just getting used to the game speed where we didn’t have any games last year. To learn and get used to the game speed is different. To finally see those shots fall was nice.” 

The shots were falling early and often for Greenfield (2-5). Carey opened the game with a 3 followed by a shot inside by Brendan Driscoll. Carey then knocked down another from downtown, Driscoll swished a 3 and Carey buried a third from 3-point land to give the Green Wave an early 14-2 lead. 

Smith Academy answered at the end of the quarter to get back in the game. Aiden Pederson and Griffin Smiarowski drained triples, Pederson got inside for two and Guimond made four shots from the free throw line to cut the Greenfield lead to 18-12 after one. 

Both teams traded baskets to start the second quarter — Pederson scoring twice and Guimond hitting a 3 for the Falcons while Jon Breor and Driscoll scored for the Green Wave — but it was Greenfield who closed the half on a run to take a double-digit lead going into the half. 

Leading 22-19, the Green Wave closed the half on an 8-0 spree behind a hoop inside by Breor, a midrange shot by Alex Carballo, a 3 by Caleb Murray and a layup by Murray to hold a 30-19 advantaage at the break. 

Pederson opened the second half with a bucket and Smiarowski followed it with a banked in 3 as the shot clock expired to cut the Greenfield advantage to 30-24. 

The Green Wave answered with Driscoll and Carey both burying 3’s to give Greenfield a double-digit lead. Carey made a pair from the charity stripe, Murray made a corner 3 and Avery Jacobs made a corner jumper to give the Green Wave a 43-28 lead after three quarters. 

Intrator led Smith Academy with 12 points. Guimond and Pederson each had 11 points while Jeffress added 10 key points to the victory. 

Carey finished with 17 points for Greenfield, with Driscoll adding 10 points and Murray scoring seven points. 

Zerneri is hoping this is a win the Falcons can build off.

“To come back and have the grit to come down and keep fighting shows the resiliency we have,” Zerneri said. “Hopefully we can build on it and keep moving forward.” 


Amherst 4, Chicopee Comp 2 – Welcome back to the ice, Hurricanes.

Playing its first game of 2022, Amherst knocked Chicopee Comp from the rank of the unbeatens on Monday in a Fay Division tilt at Fitzpatrick Rink in Holyoke.

After a scoreless first period, the Hurricanes (3-3-1, 2-2-1) put three in the back of the net in the second period to snatch control. Yuuki Ishida netted a pair for the Canes while Skyler Ferro and Gunyoung Choi rounded out the team's scoring on the day. Carter Beckwith assisted on three of Amherst's four goals.

The Colts fell to 8-1 on the season.


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