Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Maynard Boys' Hoops Dominates Pioneer Valley in D4 State Semifinal

By Ethan Winter (@EWints)

Springfield, Mass. - After an entertaining, back-and-forth first quarter, the Maynard Tigers took control and never looked back Monday night, as they cruised to a 70-38 victory over Western Mass champion Pioneer Valley in the Division 4 State Semifinal at American International College.

“It means a lot,” said Maynard sophomore Tommy Smith. “Me and the rest of the team have worked hard all year, and we’ve prepared for this the whole season making a hard schedule and putting in work, so it feels good to get back there and hopefully we can get another (state title) one too.”

Maynard will face Pope John High School of Everett on Saturday in Springfield. Place and time is yet to be determined.

The Tigers (24-3) cruised through their tough schedule with a 23-3 record heading into Monday night’s state semifinal, and did not skip a beat against the Panthers (18-6), who upset the top two seeds in Division 4 Western Mass to get to the state semifinals.

A six point second quarter doomed the Panthers, as the Tigers began pulling away entering the break with a 37-21 lead.

The third quarter was even worse for Pioneer Valley, who could not take advantage of a sloppy eight point quarter by Maynard to cut into the lead. Instead, the Panthers could only score five points in the frame and headed into the fourth quarter down by 19.

In the fourth quarter, the Tigers got hot shooting the ball again, outscoring Pioneer Valley 25-12 in the final frame.

Maynard hit a total of 12 three pointers, as the three ball helped the Tigers extend their lead in a hurry. Smith made half of the Tigers' three pointers with six triples of his own.

“We just go out to play hard and if the shots fall, they fall,” said Smith who led the Tigers with a game high 24 points. “We just have to play the same way every day and if the shots are falling, that’s good and we just have to keep working.”

Senior Chris Bastien also added 18 points of his own for Maynard and had 13 at the break with 10 of those points coming in the first quarter alone.

For Pioneer Valley, they were unable to solve Maynard’s defensive pressure after the first quarter and as a result began rushing their shots. The Panthers were led by Karl Wheeler who finished with a team high 14 points.

 --- --- ---
                            Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4     F
Pioneer Valley    15      6     5    12    :38

Maynard             21    16     8    25    :70

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