WHITINGHAM- The Twin Valley girls’ basketball team was doing well enough in their game against Woodstock on Friday night that it was easy to imagine them beating the Woodstock Wasps, but it was not to be. “We were ahead in the third quarter,” said coach Buddy Hayford “and then they (Woodstock) had a 20 to two run. It was more disappointing to be that close and then to lose it all. That can be discouraging.”
At the end of the first quarter, the Wasps managed to hang on to the lead with a score of 11 - 7. By halftime, Twin Valley had lessened their opponent’s lead, the score was 16 -14, and the lead was within easy striking distance.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats’ Kendall Howe stole the ball, sprinted downcourt, and tied the game at 16. This was followed by two more baskets from Twin Valley, which made the game 20 - 16.
In the next few minutes, the Wildcats widened that lead to 26 - 20. But instead of being the start of a good thing, the mini-run marked the beginning of the end as the Wasps bounced back with four unanswered points to make the score 26-24 going into the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter the Wasps swarmed the Wildcats, slapping the ball away from Twin Valley players as they tried to pass it, stealing the ball from behind them, and racking up basket after basket. “They had that run, and we only scored two points in the entire quarter,” said Hayford, “and they outrebounded us 42 – 26. Defensively and offensively, we just didn’t have it tonight.”
Tayler Courchesne scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had two steals. “She had a really good game,” said Hayford. Kendell Howe made eight points, four rebounds, blocked two shots, and stole the ball twice, and Sammy Morse scored two points, and had five rebounds. “All the points came from those three players,” said Hayford. “We really need more options, more players on this team who we can regularly turn to to score some points.”
Another factor in the game was Woodstock’s Maddie Schulz, who missed one free throw in the first quarter and then proceeded to sink every one of the next 12 free throws she attempted. The Wasps brought in 14 points from the free-throw line, which was more than the total lead they had over the Wildcats at the end of the game. “We made a lot of unnecessary fouls, fouls that made no sense, fouls from more than 60 feet from our basket,” said Hayford. “And she (Schulz) could really shoot free throws. All coaches make their players practice free throws, but she could really shoot.”
Mount Saint Joseph 62, TV 31
RUTLAND- On Saturday, the Twin Valley girls’ varsity basketball team traveled to Rutland to face the Mount Saint Joseph Academy Green Wave. “I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty,” said coach Buddy Hayford, “Mount Saint Joseph is one of the two top picks to take the state championship this year. They are making a run at the state title, and we are just trying to survive. In some games, you just try to encourage the kids to go out and do the best you can, just keep fighting. This was one of those games, and I have to tip my hat to the kids. They kept fighting.”
Hayford said that the mismatch was evident in the first minutes of the game. “So right out of the gate, MSJ made it 14 – 4 ” said Hayford. “They are a pretty polished unit, and have a lot of depth of talent as a team.” Hayford said that there was more to come in the second quarter. “They really had their way with us. Part of their success is their great in-your-face defense. We struggle with that. And they outscored us by 23 – 7. They dropped some threes on us, but also knocked them down like they were doing layup drills.” By halftime the score was 37-11, and the Green Wave pushed on in the third quarter to pull ahead 55-20.
“At that point, you can imagine the team wanting to just throw in the towel. You’re just so far behind. But, as is their custom they did the best they possibly could. I set a goal to just beat MSJ for one quarter. And they did in the fourth quarter, 11-7.”
Kendell Howe and Tayler Courchesne brought in 10 points each for the Wildcats, and Sammy Morse scored seven. Morgen Janovsky and Leah Putnam both scored two points. Putnam and Howe had six rebounds and Courchesne nabbed seven.
Leland & Gray 46, TV 19
WHITINGHAM- On Wednesday, the Twin Valley girls’ basketball team faced Leland & Gray, and things went the Rebels’ way from the first quarter onward. “It was 11-0 after the first quarter,” said coach Buddy Hayford. “They were just a better team. They are bigger, faster, and stronger.”
In the second quarter the Wildcats put up eight points, but the Rebels outscored them by five points, making the score 24-8 at the half. In the third quarter, the Wildcats again scored eight points, and the score was 35-16. In the final quarter, Twin Valley only added three points to their score. “We had a ton of turnovers. And Leland & Gray had a good solid man-to-man defense. They weren’t focusing on anyone to shut them down, they covered our whole team really well.”
Hayford said the crowd was small for a game against Leland & Gray, who are the traditional rivals of Twin Valley. “We only have a few games left in the season,” said Hayford. “Hopefully we can play our best game, and draw more people to come watch us play.”
Sammy Morse scored nine points, Tayler Courchesne five, Maria Page four, and Tatyanna Bowman one.
The next Twin Valley girls’ varsity basketball team game is on the road against Woodstock on Friday. Tipoff is at 7 pm.