SPRINGFIELD >> The road to a Western Massachusetts championship is finally clear, as the tournament brackets were revealed on Saturday at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. All tournament games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Defending Division III champion Hoosac Valley has the highest seed among Berkshire County teams at No. 2. The Hurricanes (17-5) earned an opening round bye and await the winner of No. 10 Southwick at No. 7 Granby at home on Thursday.
The 'Canes played a grueling 22-game schedule against several quality out of county opponents. Coach Ron Wojcik said they enter the tournament battle tested.
"We're excited about it. It's great for us," he said of earning a two seed. "The girls had a challenging schedule to play through and we were rewarded for that to get back [to Western Mass] and be a two seed. You try to be a top-four seed and get a quarterfinal at home. We're looking forward to playing Granby or Southwick."
Also in D-III, Drury earned a No. 4 seed. They'll host No. 5 Greenfield in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Coach Brian Flagg said earning a top-four seed was key, and the ability to host the game should benefit his team.
On Monday, No. 6 Wahconah (13-7) will host No. 11 Mahar while No. 9 Mount Greylock (13-7) will travel to No. 8 Athol. Wahconah would advance to face No. 3 Hampshire with a win, while Greylock would advance to face No. 1 South Hadley if it were to win.
In Division II, Pittsfield earned a No. 3 seed. The Generals (16-4) will host No. 6 Commerce on Thursday. The winner advances to play No. 2 Belchertown. A time and date for the semifinals have not been set,
Pittsfield ended the season with a shot at a No. 2 seed and an opening round bye, but Belchertown ended its season with strong wins against Chicopee Comp and Amherst, allowing the Orioles to pass the Generals.
Pittsfield coach Joe Racicot said he hopes to advance to face Belchertown anyway, and last year's Western. Mass final appearance against the Orioles will help his team in crunch time.
"A lot of these kids did play [in the final] last season," he said. "I feel pretty good about the kids we have. We've responded well all season long and we're looking forward to being back in the tournament."
In Division IV, Mount Everett earned a No. 2 seed with its impressive 16-4 season, which is the team's highest seed ever. The Eagles earned a opening round bye and await the winner of No. 7 Putnam and No. 10 Hopkins. A date and time for the quarterfinals has not been set. No. 6 Lee (11-9) will host an opening round game on Monday against No. 11 Franklin Tech.
All Games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
No. 6 Commerce at No. 3 Pittsfield. Winner advances to face No. 2 Belchertown.
No. 5 Tantasqua at No. 4 North Middlesex. Winner advances to face No. 1 Longmeadow.
First Round, Monday
No. 11 Mahar at No. 6 Wahconah. Winner advances to face No. 3 Hampshire on Thursday.
No. 10 Southwick at No. 7 Granby. Winner advances to face to No. 2 Hoosac Valley on Thursday.
No. 9 Mount Greylock at No. 8 Athol. Winner advances to face No. 1 South Hadley on Thursday.
No. 5 Greenfield at No. 4 Drury.
First Round, Monday
No. 13 Smith Voc at No. 4 North Brookfield. Winner advances to face winner of No. 5 and No. 12.
No. 12 Pathfinder at No. 5 Quaboag. Winner advances to face winner of No. 13 and No. 4.
No. 11 Franklin Tech at No. 6 Lee. Winner advances to face No. 3 Monson.
No. 10 Hopkins at No. 7 Putnam. Winner advances to face No. 2 Mount Everett.
No. 9 Pioneer Valley at No. 8 Turners Falls. Winner advances to face No. 1 Ware.
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252