It was a shootout from the start and Twin Valley jumped out to an early nine to three lead, behind three-point field goals from Colton Butler, Abbi Molner, and Sammy Cunningham-Darrah. Windsor turned up the aggression and began to force their way to the basket, drawing fouls early and often. At the end of the first quarter, it was apparent the rest of the game would prove to be a tight match-up, with Windsor pulling ahead 14-12.
There was little substantial play in the second, with a mixture of good defense and bad offense by both sides. Twin Valley outscored the Yellow Jackets 6-4, with Molner sinking another three-ball, and Christina Moore and Lexi Reinertson making up the rest.
With the score 18-18 at the half, the Wildcats were in for another tough quarter, matching Windsor bucket for bucket, each team scoring 13. Cunningham-Darrah, who scored a career-high nine points, had another three-pointer, along with Jordan Niles. Cunningham-Darrah would also finish the game with three assists and four rebounds. While Twin Valley outrebounded Windsor 47-37, it did not translate to points. Coach Buddy Hayford said his team needs to be able to score to keep games in check, and limiting opponents to 32 or fewer points is the defensive goal. “What we were doing in the second half defensively was working, but when we came back down the court on offense we couldn’t score.”
With the game knotted up at 31 after three, the Wildcats started to slip, with Windsor capitalizing on too many turnovers, and nailing two clutch three-pointers. The rest of their scoring came from the line, with six points, after the Wildcats began to play the foul game in the closing minutes. Twin Valley got the score down to six, but that was all Windsor was willing to give, winning 45-39 behind Annie Nelson’s game-high 11 points, followed by eight from Nikki Kibling.
Molner finished with eight points, 13 rebounds, and three assists playing the forward and guard positions for Twin Valley. Moore would finish with five points and seven rebounds, Butler added five as well, and Niles had four.
Coach Hayford said that with a 1-3 record, his team has a ways to go, but there are positive signs, even in a loss. “We beat ourselves,” said Hayford. “But we’re still a work in progress, and the good news is they work hard, and I give them all the credit in the world for their effort.”
The Wildcats play this week at Green Mountain in the annual holiday tournament, day and time to be determined due to the snowstorm.