Basketball Hall of Fame names Sam’i Roe, Sophie Gatzounas Western Mass Players of the Year

  • Sophie Gatzounas, left, of South Hadley, and Sam’i Roe, of Hopkins Academy, have been named players of the year in western Massachusetts by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS PHOTOS

  • Sam'i Roe, of Hopkins Academy, scores his 1000th career point with a three-point shot against Mahar, during the regular at Hopkins Academy. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

Published: 3/14/2017 9:44:18 PM

Seniors Sophie Gatzounas of South Hadley and Sam’i Roe of Hopkins Academy stood out on the basketball courts of western Massachusetts this season.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has named them the Western Mass. Players of the Year.

Roe led the Golden Hawks to their third straight Western Mass. Division 4 title on Saturday. He is averaging 26.9 points per game this season, which leads western Mass., and scored his 1,000th point during the season. Roe collected multiple triple-doubles during the season in addition to guarding the best player on the opposing team.

“He’s expending a lot of energy guarding the other team’s best player,” Hopkins coach Angelo Thomas said after the Golden Hawks beat Monson on Saturday. “He’s also expected to be our best player. He is in tip top shape.”

Hopkins Academy will play Maynard in the Division 4 state semifinals at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Gatzounas, a Navy commit, led South Hadley to an unbeaten regular season and a trip to the Division 3 championship game. She scored 21.2 points per game and put up a career-high 41 against Athol in January.

“We’re not going to replace her. She didn’t take any days off. She’s the best player in Western Mass., no doubt in my mind,” South Hadley coach Paul Dubuc said after the Tigers lost to Hoosac Valley in the Division 3 championship game.

ALL-STAR GAME — The officials of the Hampshire-Franklin IAABO Board 28 will be hosting the 20th annual All-Star games, Friday at Frontier Regional. The games will feature seniors from Hampshire and Franklin County schools.

The girls game starts at 6 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:30.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and free to all active and reserve military with valid ID. Proceeds from this event will benefit the William F. Casey Scholarships.

The officials of IAABO Board 28 will be honoring Greenfield with the Jack Leaman Sportsmanship Award, given to the school whose players, coaches and athletic department staff display outstanding sportsmanship during the year. Also being honored at the games will be IAABO Board 28 Member Gary Stacy with the Tom Cove Award for his contributions to the game of basketball in Hampshire and Franklin Counties.

Local players on the boys East team co-coached by Amherst’s Jim Matuszko are: Seth Bella-Hunter, Amherst; Will Budington, Amherst; Tajahn Joyner, Amherst; Meikkel Murray, Amherst; Noah Bleakley, Granby; Zach Gorham, Granby; Sam’i Roe, Hopkins; Matt Grochowalski, South Hadley; and Nate Poirier, South Hadley.

Local players on the boys West team co-coached by Frontier Regional’s Ben Barshefsky are: Johnny Bara, Easthampton; Zach Crisafulli, Easthampton; Ben Lowe, Frontier; Shane Mastello, Gateway; Matthew Babyak, Hampshire; Jacob Bihler, Hampshire; Greg Laroche, Hampshire; Elijah Davis, Northampton; Jack Hession, Smith Academy; and Drew Brida, Smith Voke.

Local players on the girls East team co-coached by Granby’s Tom Burke are: Kayla Henry, Belchertown; Cara McKenzie, Belchertown; Andie Hall, Easthampton; Karina Volpe, Easthampton; Kate Sarnacki, Granby; Kate Sullivan, Granby; Ally Jenks, Hopkins; and Olivia Cavanaugh, Smith Academy.

Local players on the girls West team co-coached by South Hadley’s Paul Dubuc are: Helena Diaz, Frontier; Lisa Portier, Frontier; Bryanna Fellows, Gateway; Katy O’Connor, Hampshire; Lauraine Joensen, Northampton; Megan McCarthy, Northampton; Shannon Ryan, Smith Voke; Stephanie Start, Smith Voke; and Sophie Gatzounas, South Hadley.

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