The Wildcats lost at home 53-46 to the Bellows Falls Terriers Friday night in an ugly non-league bout that saw four Wildcat players foul out, and three receive technical fouls in a heated fourth quarter.
From the opening tip, the Wildcats were off, going down 11-0 in the first 6:30 of the game, before outscoring the Terriers 6-1 in the closing 1:30, with two three-point shots. Twin Valley’s shooting woes plagued them all night, shooting only 22% from the field, and netting only 12 of their 35 free-throw attempts. Bellows Falls shot an astounding 44 foul shots, as Twin Valley racked up 33 fouls in what was a tightly called game by the officials.
Twin Valley got their spark in the second quarter, outscoring Bellows Falls 12-6 behind a well executed defensive effort, tying the game at 18 at the half. Twin Valley coach Chris Brown said his offense worked hard to get open, but couldn’t hit a shot. “We couldn’t throw a ball in the ocean,” said Brown. “We were executing fairly well and we were getting good looks, but we were not aggressive at all getting to the hoop. We had lots of open shots but they wouldn’t go in, and that happens when you rely on the long ball.”
Both teams played well in the third, scoring 10 apiece, but as the quarter wound down, the Wildcats lost their composure, and even hitting open layups became a struggle. Dal Nesbitt took control of Twin Valley’s scoring in the fourth, but received almost no help, single-handedly keeping the Wildcats in contention with 15 points in the quarter. Lozito, who struggled with shooting all night, and is rarely absent from his post at point, fouled out early in the fourth, along with Cade Nesbitt, Eli Park, and eventually Dal Nesbitt. Outscored 25-18 in the fourth, frustration mounted, and Lozito, Sam Molner, and Cade Nesbitt all received technical fouls.
Twin Valley should have won this matchup on paper, with two of the Bellows Falls starters absent, but an inability to play a clean game will always result in trouble, especially when you give up 21 points from the line. “Our mission is to use sportsmanship and character and the boys all know that and we didn’t show either,” said Brown. “I was embarrassed and disappointed by some of that stuff and I think in retrospect the boys are embarrassed by it as well.”
As for the offensive woes, Brown recognizes the effort had no flow to it, but the shot-heavy offense is a philosophy that must work in order to win games. “We’re going to keep plugging away because with the makeup of this team, we’re scoring heavy in the guard column. It’s not that we only want to shoot outside, it’s that those are the shots that present themselves.”
Dal Nesbitt led Twin Valley with 24 points and eight rebounds. Lozito scored seven and had seven assists. Molner recorded eight rebounds along with three points, and DJ Lazelle led Wildcat rebounders with 10.
Poultney 66, TV 53
The Wildcats lost their third in a row Tuesday night, traveling to Poultney for their second league game of the season, walking away with a 66-53 loss. With the defeat, Twin Valley drops to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in Marble Valley D League play. Tuesday’s defeat marks the sixth time an opponent has scored 60-plus points on their defense. They’ll need to regroup before playing three teams with winning records in the next week, including two undefeated teams in Arlington and a rematch with Leland & Gray.
It was an up and down game for Twin Valley, as they fell behind early in the first quarter 11-2, followed by a 17 – 2 scoring run. The Wildcats looked in good shape, with momentum on their side, but they were blindsided in the second quarter 21-4. The tempo of the game evened out in the second half but the damage was done, and the hole was too deep to dig out of. “They hurt us inside and with guard penetration. It wasn’t a great game for us,” said coach Chris Brown
Dal Nesbitt led all Wildcats in scoring with 23 in his second game in a row with 20 or more points, as well as six rebounds and three assists. Lozito achieved his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Molner added 10 points and seven rebounds, while DJ Lazelle and Hunter Therrien combined for 16 of Twin Valley’s 36 rebounds.
The Wildcats face visiting Woodstock Union Friday at 6:30 pm. The Wasps are 0-1 in league play and 3-2 overall.