WMass Division 4 girls basketball: Hopkins Academy goes deep to secure first championship

  • Hopkins Academy players celebrate their first-ever Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship after defeating Mount Everett 76-64 at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. From left are Hailey Boisvert, Samantha Jenks, Sara Beauchamp, Kasey Earle (top), AJ Mitchell and Allison Kowal Safron, with Gabrielle Palmisano, partially obscured, below. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior guard Samantha Jenks, center, and her Golden Hawk teammates hoist their first-ever Western Massachusetts Division 4 championship trophy after defeating Mount Everett 76-64 at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior guard Samantha Jenks, center, and her Golden Hawk teammates hoist their first-ever Western Massachusetts Division 4 championship trophy after defeating Mount Everett 76-64 at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy junior forward Thea Hanscom, left, and sophomore guard Sara Beauchamp block Gwendolyn Carpenter of Mount Everett from the basket in the first half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over the Eagles in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior forward AJ Mitchell is helped up by teammates Allison Kowal Safron, left, Sara Beauchamp and Hailey Boisvert (25) after scoring in the second half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over Mount Everett in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy junior forward Thea Hanscom sets to shoot over Ashley Atwood of Mount Everett in the first half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over the Eagles in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior guard Samantha Jenks lays in two points over Madison Ullrich of Mount Everett in the second half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over the Eagles in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Mount Everett's top scorer Gwendolyn Carpenter, right, is turned back by Hopkins Academy defenders Allison Kowal Safron, left, AJ Mitchell and Samantha Jenks in the second half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over the Eagles in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy coach Mike Prattico takes a time out with his players in the second half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over Mount Everett in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior forward AJ Mitchell, center, shoots over Makenzie Ullrich of Mount Everett in the first half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over the Eagles in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy sophomore guard Sara Beauchamp, center, gets a pass off to Thea Hanscom (not pictured) despite pressure from Mount Everett defenders Madison Ullrich, left, and Makenzie Ullrich in the second half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over the Eagles in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Hanscom then scored on a lay up. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy junior forward Allison Kowal Safron, left, is fouled by Makenzie Ullrich of Mount Everett in the second half of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over the Eagles in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Hopkins Academy student section cheers a three point score by the Golden Hawks in the second half of their 76-64 win over Mount Everett in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior guard Samantha Jenks (13) leaves the floor in the waning seconds of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over Mount Everett in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Greeting her are, from left, head coach Mike Prattico and teammates AJ Mitchell, Allison Kowal Safron, Sara Beauchamp and Kasey Earle. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior guard Samantha Jenks, left, is greeted by AJ Mitchell, Allison Kowal Safron and Sara Beauchamp as she leaves the floor in the waning seconds of the Golden Hawks' 76-64 win over Mount Everett in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Championship at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst on Saturday, March 9, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 3/9/2019 4:29:17 PM

AMHERST – Samantha Jenks shut the door.

The Hopkins Academy girls basketball team led Mount Everett by as many as 17 points in the second half of Saturday’s Western Massachusetts Division 4 championship game, but the Eagles crept back.

Madison Ullrich made a layup to cut the Golden Hawks’ lead to seven with 3 minutes, 37 seconds left then on Hopkins’ next possession, Jenks rose up with a defender in her face. It didn’t matter. She swished the 3-pointer so sharply it silenced Curry Hicks Cage.

“They were on a run where we hadn’t scored at all, so we needed to get a basket in there,” Jenks said. “A 3, a two, a foul shot, anything to get us to score.”

The 3 put Hopkins back up 10, and the third-seeded Golden Hawks held off No. 4 Mount Everett, 76-64, to win their first Western Mass title.

They’ll face Central Mass. champion Montachusett Tech in the state semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Worcester State.

Hopkins (18-6) thrived by the 3 in the Cage. The Golden Hawks hit 13 triples led by seven from Jenks and five by Allison Kowal-Safron.

“Basketball these days, wherever you are on the court these days you can let it fly. If you’re missing keep shooting, if you’re making, enjoy it and keep that confidence up,” Hopkins coach Mike Prattico said. “Our girls bought into that 3-point shot and it paid off tonight, we shot the lights out.”

Kowal-Safron (17 points) hit four 3s in the first half and powered a 10-1 run to start the second quarter. Hopkins turned a 12-12 tie after one quarter to a 22-13 lead in 2:03.

“She don’t care if she’s in Amherst or Hadley, wherever the perimeter is she’s ready to let it fly,” Prattico said. “At any point if there’s space she’s going to let it go and she can knock it down. She set the tone early.”

Jenks took over late. She poured in 21 of her team-high 31 points after halftime.

“I knew it could have been my last game,” said Jenks, who has played on Hopkins’ varsity team since she was a seventh-grader. “Basketball has always been my sport. I’ve always felt like one of the leaders out there. Today I had to get it.”

She outdueled Mount Everett point guard Gwendolyn Carpenter, the all-time leading scorer in Berkshire County who poured in 34. Hopkins elected not to play zone against the Eagles (16-8) and instead guarded Carpenter with Jenks and Thea Hanscom straight up, bringing in post players to bother her when Mount Everett ran pick and roll.

“She’s one hell of a player. She can do a lot with the basketball. The biggest thing was our help defense,” Prattico said. “When she drove and she tried to make pass, the girls rotated tremendously and took all the options that they have away from her.”

Only Ullrich (10 points) joined Carpenter in double figures for the Eagles. Hopkins had three players with more than 10. AJ Mitchell scored 11 and kept possessions in the Golden Hawks’ favor with her rebounding prowess. Hanscom and Sara Beauchamp each scored eight.

“Allison opened it up, and the rest of us just came through,” Jenks said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

Hopkins Academy 76, Mount Everett 64

Mount Everett (16-8)

VonRuden 2-0-6, Carpener 10-10-34, Madison Ullrich 3-4-10, Mackenzie Ullrich 3-0-9, Atwood 2-0-5. Totals 20-14-64

Hopkins Academy (18-6)

Elson 0-0-0 Earle 0-0-, Dyjack 0-0-0, Hanscom 3-1-8, C. Kowal-Safron 0-0-0 A. Kowal-Safron 5-2-17, Palmisano 0-0-0, Jenks 12-0-31, Mitchell 5-1-11, Venditti 0-0-0, Beauchamp 4-0-8, Markowski 90909, Boisvert 0-1-1. Totals 29-4-76

 

 

Mount Everett

12

12

20

20

—64

Hopkins Academy

12

21

26

17

—76

3-Pointers—Mount Everett 10 (VonRuden 2, Carpenter 4, Mackenzie Ullrich 3, Atwood), Hopkins Academy 13 (Hanscom, A. Kowal-Safron 5, Jenks 7)




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