MIAA tournaments: South Hadley, Hampshire Regional girls punch Sweet 16 tickets

South Hadley’s Cara Dean (12) drives to the hoop against Pittsfield defender Charlotte Goodnow (3) in the third quarter of the Western Mass. Class B girls basketball championship Saturday at Holyoke Community College.

South Hadley’s Cara Dean (12) drives to the hoop against Pittsfield defender Charlotte Goodnow (3) in the third quarter of the Western Mass. Class B girls basketball championship Saturday at Holyoke Community College. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Reports

Published: 02-29-2024 9:40 PM

The South Hadley girls basketball team’s pursuit of a state title is one step closer.

The third-seeded Tigers handled their business in the MIAA Division 4 Round of 32 on Thursday night, taking down No. 30 Saint Bernard’s of Fitchburg, 62-38, in South Hadley.

South Hadley (19-3) led 17-5 after one quarter and 35-19 at halftime.

Four players scored in double figures for the Tigers, led by Cara Dean’s 15 points. Drew Alley (13 points), Kate Phillips (12) and CC Gurek (10) also tallied in double figures in the victory.

South Hadley will host No. 19 Hamilton-Wenham in the Round of 16.

No. 19 Hamilton-Wenham 44, No. 14 Easthampton 34 — After facing a 16-3 first-quarter deficit, the Eagles led 34-33 midway through the fourth quarter. But Hamilton-Wenham dominated the rest of the way, finishing the game on an 11-0 run to earn a road win and move on to the Sweet 16.

Easthampton finished the season with a respectable 14-7 record on the year.

No. 25 Hampshire 40, No. 8 Sutton 39 — The Raiders scored a thrilling upset of central Mass. school Sutton in the Round of 32 to set up a date with No. 9 Millbury in the Sweet 16.

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After trailing 21-12 at halftime, Hampshire outscored Sutton 16-8 in the third to get within one point going into the fourth, then pulled it out late to punch a ticket to the next round.

Div. 5 Round of 32

No. 11 Hopedale 48, No. 22 Granby 28 — Granby’s season ends with an 11-11 record after falling to Central Mass. school Hopedale in the Round of 32.

Autumn Sicard and Kalli White led the Rams with eight points, Aubrey Parent added seven and Kaitlyn Curran scored five. After moving to the Franklin West this season, the Rams finished with more than twice as many wins in 2023-24 as they had the past two seasons (seven). 

No. 3 Lenox 66, No. 35 Smith Academy 10 — The Falcons were held scoreless in the second quarter as Division 5 powerhouse Lenox defended its home court with a dominant win to advance to the Sweet 16.

Caitlin Graves tossed in a game-high seven points while Emelia Neves added two points for the Falcons. Vivian Higuera sank one free throw to round out Smith Academy's scoring in its season finale.

Boys basketball

Div. 4 Round of 32

No. 13 New Heights Charter 68, No. 20 South Hadley 67 (OT) — An offensive putback with 13.2 seconds remaining in overtime send the hosts through to the Round of 16 in a wild contest on Thursday night in Brockton.

Trailing by one point in the final minute of OT, Noah Hambley drained a jump shot with 32 seconds to go that gave the Tigers a 67-66 lead. Down the other end, New Heights missed a 3-point attempt for an offensive rebound and putback proved to be the winning hoop. Isiah James’ last-second 3 to win the game was just off the mark.

Hambley saved South Hadley late in regulation. Trailing 60-57, he dribbled into the New Heights zone and pulled up for an open 3 that tied the game at 60 with just 25 seconds remaining.

The Tigers trailed 37-28 at halftime and 48-40 entering the fourth, but outscored New Heights 20-12 in the final period to send action to OT.

Div. 5 Round of 32

No. 2 New Mission 83, Hopkins Academy 41 — Hopkins Academy’s season ends with a 7-14 record after a loss to Boston power New Mission in the Round of 32.

Girls hockey

Div. 1 Round of 32

No. 8 Pope Francis 2, No. 25 Arlington 1 — Amherst’s Felix Goeckel snagged 18 saves on 19 shots en route to a one-goal victory to keep the Cardinals’ playoff hopes alive.

Kaitlyn Ondrick and Claire Desrosiers picked up the goals for Pope Francis while Ivorie Arguin recorded an assist in the win.

Div. 2 Round of 32

No. 27 Leominster 3, No. 6 Longmeadow 1 — The Lancers fell victim to an upset in the Round of 32 of the Division 2 tournament. Longmeadow finished the season with an 11-4-1 record.