The Blue Devils are 5-6 on the season, but they have proven they can compete with tough division II and III teams. They lost close games to Otter Valley and Fair Haven and beat Leland & Gray, Mount Saint Joseph, and Bolton High School (NY). In essence, Poultney was not a team to take lightly.
The Wildcats came out of the gates with a vengeance. They took an early 18-7 lead, thanks to Kylie-blu Crawford’s shooting. Crawford drained three threes and a free throw in the first quarter and her teammates Sam Bernard and co-captain Devon Spirka chipped in with four points each.
But Poultney gave the Wildcats trouble. The Blue Devils took control of the second quarter with sharp shooting, aggressive rebounding, and tough man-to-man defense. They dominated the Wildcats, 15-4, in the second quarter and the score was tied at halftime, 22-22.
Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford made some defensive adjustments in the second half. He brought out the team’s secret weapon, their full-court pressure defense, and it worked.
Twin Valley played with intensity, Poultney struggled to put the ball in bounds, and they also committed costly turnovers. The Wildcats converted several of those turnovers to points. Crawford added six more points; Spirka scored four; Bryer-lyn Crawford scored two; and Bernard had a stellar third quarter scoring nine points. Twin Valley outscored Poultney, 23-4, and took a 45-26 lead going into the final quarter.
Hayford went to his subs in the fourth and Shannon Lozito, Abbi Molner, and Bit Aekus kept the Wildcats ahead. Molner and Alicia Laughney defended the paint, while Lozito and Aekus held down the outside shooting. All four succeeded in holding down the fort and the Wildcats were rewarded with a 10-point victory over the Blue Devils, 55-45.
Spirka led the team with 19 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals. Bernard scored a career high 16 points and had 11 rebounds and five steals; Kylie-blu Crawford scored 16 points; and Lozito and Bryer-lyn Crawford each had a bucket.
“I give credit to Poultney. They never threw in the towel and we’re just really happy to get a win on the road against a pretty decent team,” said Hayford.
The Wildcats are 9-2 and face Proctor at home on Saturday. Tip-off is at 2:30 pm. On Monday, they play at home against Rivendell. Tip-off is at 1 pm. On Tuesday, they play at home against Black River. Tip-off is at 6:30 pm.
The Twin Valley boys’ basketball team did not play last week. However, they have an all-important game this Friday against Proctor, the undefeated, four-time division IV state champions. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm.