From the opening tip, Twin Valley was hot, and Molner set the tone with an opening possession, nothing- but-net three-pointer. Molner scored eight points in the first, while outside-shot specialist Jordan Niles and guard Colton Butler each drained a three, and Twin Valley jumped out to a first quarter 19-6 lead.
Both offenses proved to be stagnant in the second quarter. The Chieftains held Twin Valley to seven points but were unable to make up lost ground, scoring only three. Twin Valley’s defense smothered Green Mountain all game and repeatedly forced turnovers. Offensively, the Wildcats spread the ball around all night and played like the well-oiled machine Coach Buddy Hayford knows they can be. “We put together 32 minutes of really great basketball.”
Hayford was also pleased with the play at point guard from Sammy Cunningham-Darrah, and Colton Butler who stepped into the role for injured point guard Savannah Nesbitt. “I saw more composure from Sammy and Colton,” said Hayford. “They’ve been learning the intricacies of the position and they’re making nice strides learning to control the game more.”
Twin Valley got back to scoring in the second half with 18 in the third and 16 in the fourth to rack up their season-high 60 points. The Wildcats were efficient from the line all game with 79% free-throw shooting, a season high. The aggressive play of Twin Valley’s starters allowed Hayford’s bench players Jessica Fox, Abby Putnam, and junior varsity call-up Kirra Courchesne to contribute.
Molner finished with 20 points, seven boards, and three assists, Lexi Rienertson finished with seven points and seven rebounds, and Niles finished with eight points and four steals. Butler had a well-rounded game with seven points, five assists, and four rebounds. Cunningham-Darrah had six points as well. Maddi Huntley scored 18 of Green Mountain’s 34.
“If we play like we did in this game, then we have the capability of beating just about anybody,” said Hayford. “We executed better than they have all season and we ran our plays well for the most part. If we could only do that every night.”
West Rutland 46, TV 16
WEST RUTLAND- Twin Valley began their week with a loss that according to coach Buddy Hayford had select moments of brilliance, but far too many of sheer agony, as they dropped their visit to West Rutland 46-16.
The Golden Horde had Twin Valley’s number from the start but didn’t run away with the game in the first quarter. Instead they allowed the Wildcats one point, going up 9-1. The game was still within reach for Twin Valley, but the offense never recovered, the wheels falling off in the second quarter. West Rutland went up 28-5 at the half, taking advantage of Twin Valley’s constant turnovers, and limiting the Wildcats’ shooting while clobbering Twin Valley with three-point field goals. Hayford said his team simply did not contest in the first half, playing as if they were on school vacation.
After three, Twin Valley still had yet to break into double digits, going down 37-9. All eight of West Rutland’s now 9-1 squad scored, with Morgan Raiche leading her team with nine.
Twin Valley committed 27 turnovers on the night, while only achieving one steal and three points from the line. Twin Valley did, however, compete in rebounding, with each team recording 27.
Abby Putnam led Twin Valley scorers with five points. Sammy Cunningham-Darrah recorded four, and Christina Moore had three, as well as four rebounds. Hannah Swanson had a good night rebounding with 10, along with Jessica Fox who had four.
Arlington 42, Twin Valley 17
The Wildcats’ luck wouldn’t change on Wednesday night as they traveled to face the Arlington Eagles and mustered one more point than they did against West Rutland in a 42-17 loss.
In the first half, Twin Valley gave up 14 points, including a halftime buzzer beater by Rayleen Sherman. The Eagles held Twin Valley to only five points and as coach Buddy Hayford said, their offense was as cold inside as they were outside. Twin Valley only scored two points in the second quarter and missed three wide-open layups that would have kept them in the game. In the third, Jessica Fox hit a three-pointer for the Wildcats, while Arlington doubled their first-half scoring for a 28-8 lead.
Jordan Niles scored all four of her points in the fourth as Twin Valley mustered nine points. Christina Moore added three for Twin Valley and Lexi Rienertson, Abby Putnam, Abbi Molner, and Sammy Cunningham-Darrah each had two. Molly Elwell scored 15 for Arlington.
After putting up 60 on Green Mountain last week, the Wildcats have been outscored 88-33 in the previous two games and fall to 4-8 on the season. Twin Valley visits Mount Everett in Sheffield, MA, on Saturday at 11 am.