The Wildcats pulled out to a 7-5 lead after the first, with Jordan Niles hitting her first of two first-half three-pointers. Coach Buddy Hayford kept a good rotation all game, using all 10 of his players to keep his starters fresh. Leland & Gray kept the game close in the second, tying the game up at 19.
With time winding down, Niles launched the second of her three-point shots as time expired in the second, putting Twin Valley up 22-19 going into the locker room.
But the Rebels would not let Twin Valley pull away in the third, outscoring the Wildcats 9-6, and setting up a tight showdown for the fourth. But in the fourth, it was all Twin Valley, with the Wildcats keeping up the aggression and hitting six of nine free throws down the stretch to ice it. Molner scored eight of her 10 in the fourth quarter including a three-pointer and three-of-four shooting from the line. Butler scored five in the quarter as well, including a deep three that Hayford described as “an NBA three-pointer, shot from downtown Newfane.” The Rebels committed too many late turnovers at critical moments to be able to win.
The Wildcats turned the ball over 19 times, their lowest amount in seven games, while recording 15 steals, including four each from Hannah Swanson and Lexi Rienertson. Christina Moore added nine rebounds.
Leland & Gray had four scorers with seven points each.
Proctor 30, TV 15
WILMINGTON- The Twin Valley girls’ basketball team hosted a tough Proctor team that boasts a 9-1 record, Friday night, and while they held their opponents to just 30 points, they could only muster 15 of their own.
The Wildcats were down 4-2 after the first eight minutes, in what was a quarter of defensive struggle and ice-cold shooting by both teams. Coach Buddy Hayford had his team in zone matchups through the majority of the game, and threw off the fast-paced Phantoms game plan.
Twin Valley kept it close in the second, keeping up with a team Hayford describes as the best in division IV. They achieved this by playing scrappy defense, and not letting the Phantoms control the flow of the game.
The third quarter was Twin Valley’s undoing, as they failed to score a single point. Proctor would score 10 on the quarter but it was a gradual takeover, as Twin Valley’s shooters simply could not put one in. Proctor took advantage of three straight travel violations by the Wildcats to start the quarter, as well as capitalizing on their defensive rebounds, and putting the defensive pressure back on their opponents.
Twin Valley came up with four points in the fourth, but their defense ran out of steam while trying to work the full-court press to force turnovers. Proctor would score nine in the quarter, fueled by guard Jordan Mitchell’s nine of 11 in the second half.
The Wildcats were able to once again win the rebounding battle but were unable to translate their second chances to points. They also committed 25 turnovers, with 14 alone in the second half. Seven players scored two points for the Wildcats, and Lexi Rienertson, Hannah Swanson, and Abbi Molner combined for 22 rebounds.
Carissa Elrick led Proctor scorers with 13 points.
MSJ 42, TV 26
RUTLAND- The Wildcats traveled to Mount St. Joseph Academy in Rutland for what was a competitive game for the first three quarters, but the all-too-frequent shooting woes that have plagued Twin Valley all season once again showed up, at exactly the wrong moment.
Twin Valley and their opponent were slow out of the gate, with the Green Wave taking a 6-4 first-quarter advantage. At the half, the game was still close, but Mount St. Joseph had increased their lead slightly, 15-10. Jordan Niles hit a big three-pointer to keep it close in the second, and the Wildcats’ zone defense kept the Green Wave from putting the game away.
Twin Valley switched to a man-to-man defense in the second half, and started to slip, allowing penetration and committing fouls. The Green Wave achieved eight of their third-quarter points from the line, and were able to expand their lead by another point, 27-21.
The Wildcats battled back in the first half of the fourth quarter, bringing the game within three with four and a half minutes remaining, 29-26, on a three-pointer from Abbi Molner, and a bucket from Hannah Swanson. After that, the Wildcats couldn’t buy a basket, and Mount St. Joseph ended the game with a 13-0 run and a 42-26 victory.
“They worked hard,” said coach Buddy Hayford. “But our team can’t get the big stop or the big bucket when we need it.”
Claire Schmelzenbach and Gwen Breslin matched Twin Valley’s final score with 15 and 11 points respectively. Molner had eight points and six rebounds for the Wildcats, and Swanson added five points and six rebounds.
Twin Vallley falls to 5-11 on the year and plays next Thursday at 7 pm at Bellows Falls.