Three things to watch for between Mahar boys' and Southwick
ORANGE—On Tuesday, the Mahar varsity boys’ basketball team will take on the Southwick Rams for the first time since the Rams bounced the Senators in the opening round of the MIAA West, Division III playoffs. The Senators entered the game as the fourth seed while the Rams were the 12th seed and defeated Mahar 44-36.
As the only time the two teams will meet this season, there is plenty of intrigue around the game as the Senators enter the matchup with a 6-1 record and the Rams with a 6-0 record.
Here are three things to watch for in the matchup:
1. Mahar’s Quinn Gervais’ offensive output
Gervais leads the team with 93 points this season, which includes connecting on 21 free throws. Gervais is averaging 13.2 points per game and has scored at least 11 points in each of his team’s last five games, including 17 points and 14 points in his team’s last two games. Gervais contributed 23 points for the Senators against Athol High School on Dec. 19, outscoring all of his teammates by at least 14 points in that game. He also scored 17 out of his team’s 34 points against Frontier.
2. How does Mahar fare against Southwick’s defense?
The Rams are averaging 42 points per game against so far this season. No team has scored more than 53 points in a game against Southwick while teams have scored 40 or less points three times so far this season. The Senators have scored 55 points or more in all but one game this season, the one game coming in their 47-34 loss to Frontier. Will the Senators be able to spread the ball, utilizing all six of the team’s seniors or will they be forced to hand things off to one particular player against the Rams?
3. Mahar’s guards against Southwick
The Senators have, arguably, two of the best guards in the Hampshire conference in Sam Paul and Brennan Mailloux. Mahar coach Chad Softic even said Paul could be the best player in Franklin County following his team’s win over the Greenfield Green Wave. Paul averaged 15.3 points per game in his team’s first three games but has fizzled since, scoring two points against Athol High School and five against Frontier. Mailloux started the season off with 21 points in the season opener but has score eight points in a game four times since. They haven’t particularly struggled at any particular point this season but have the potential to completely take over a game, which will be something to watch for against the Southwick Rams.