Mendel, Powell Earn Athlete of the Week Honors
Two Berkshire County schools with their sights set on Division 3 Western Mass titles made early season statements against Division 1 competition, and two of their senior leaders are this week's iBerkshires.com/Adams Community Bank Athletes of the Week.
The Hoosac Valley girls basketball team last winter saw a five-year run of sectional titles come to an end. This year, they are among the favorites to reclaim that title.
On Friday night, the Hurricanes improved to 2-0 with a road win at 2018 Western Mass D1 runner-up Minnechaug, and Alie Mendel was a big reason why. Mendel scored 25 points in leading Hoosac Valley to a 69-58 victory.
That is nothing new for a player who averaged in double figures the last two seasons after scoring nearly eight points per game on a senior-laden squad as a freshman.
Hoosac Valley's girls are used to a challenging non-league schedule, and this year is no different. Their independent games include 2018 Central Mass D2 quarter-finalist Medfield, D1 Whitman-Hanson and D2 Scituate.
This week, Hoosac Valley continues its Berkshire County schedule with games at Mount Everett and Taconic.
Speaking of Taconic, the defending Western Mass D3 champs are off to a strong start, picking up a runner-up finish in their first tournament in Athol and a third-place showing on Saturday at the Wayland Holiday Tournament, where they finished behind Framingham, a D1 sectional runner-up last year in Central Mass, and the hosts, who were second last year in the Central Mass D2 sectional.
Along the way, 2018 Western Mass individual titlist Zabion Powell has been dominant, pinning all eight opponents he has faced in the two tournaments. In between, he picked up a pin in Taconic's first Berkshire County dual match at Mount Greylock.
Taconic continues the dual season on Wednesday at Mount Everett before going to Franklin Tech on Saturday.
The iBerkshires.com Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Adams Community Bank.