“We had a great first quarter, then the wheels just fell off the bus,” head coach Buddy Hayford said. “We need a strong four quarters to win.”
Courchesne scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in that first quarter, staking the Wildcats to a 16-9 lead. The Eagles pushed the issue to 23-all by the break, then turned on the pressure for the second half, stifling Twin Valley’s offense and changing the tenor of the game.
“The third quarter was the turning point,” Hayford explained. “We just couldn’t muster any more offense, and that was our downfall.”
The Wildcats also looked to shut down the Eagles’ leading scorer Rachel Seale in the second half with a defensive adjustment. And while Seale was held to just two points, her teammates stepped up their games.
“We turned to a ‘triangle-and-2’ defense to limit touches for Seale and (Hayley) Goodwin,” Hayford said. “But MVC hit back-to-back threes to start the quarter, and we couldn’t recover.”
The 6-foot-4-inch Seale, a senior, finished with 20 points on the night, including the 1,000th of her career.
Boyd, meanwhile, began her varsity career as the team’s second leading scorer with a six-point night on a basket and four free throws, an encouraging sign for the Wildcats.
“It was great to see Sadie get to the line, and certainly the effort was there from the whole team,” Hayford said. “It’s always tough when you’re a facing a 6-foot-4-inch player who excels at both ends, but we’ll try to bounce back.
“As long as the kids stay focused and stay positive, we can’t ask for more than that,” he added.
Twin Valley’s next game is today at home against West Rutland. Following that, the Wildcats head to the annual Green Mountain Holiday Tournament next week, taking on Green Mountain Union at 6 pm on Tuesday.