Third-quarter run dooms Wildcats
WHITINGHAM- The Twin Valley boys’ varsity had their first home game of the season Tuesday evening. They hosted the rival Arlington Eagles and while the squads played pretty evenly through the first half, the visitors used a big third-quarter run to pull away for the 56-34 win.
The Wildcats struck first when Carson McHale dropped in a three from the wing. But Arlington came out pressing and forced a couple of Twin Valley turnovers. The Wildcats hung close but trailed 11-19 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Eagles rolled out to an 11-point lead, 24-13. Noah Dornburgh dropped in a pair of threes, Brian Sullivan put in a rebound, and Cody Magnant finished off a steal with a layup to bring the Wildcats close, 23-26. Arlington righted their ship with a three and a layup to lead 31-23 at halftime. Twin Valley had a chance to keep it close but missed six free throws in the quarter.
“We were right there. We got it to 23-26.” said Twin Valley coach Chris Brown. He added that execution and confidence have been problems for the young Wildcats, who started three ninth graders.
“As soon as they (Arlington) made that run,” said Brown, “I could tell with the body language. They didn’t think they had it.”
Thirty seconds into the third quarter Twin Valley’s Steven Oyer cut the Eagle’s lead to six, 31-25. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that would be the only basket they would score in the quarter. The Eagles went on a 14-0 run to put the game away. They led 45-25 heading into the fourth quarter and outscored the Wildcats 11-9 in the fourth.
“We had a pretty good game plan coming in, but we didn’t execute early,” said a frustrated Brown. “We had their guys shooting early that we wanted shooting, some of their role players. They hit their first three shots. A more veteran team would be like, whatever, that kid’s not going to hit that shot the whole game. There was a lack of commitment to defense.”
Dornburgh and Magnant led Twin Valley with 10 points each. McHale finished with six points. The Wildcats had a cold-shooting night, going 4-20 from behind the arc and 6-18 at the free-throw line.
“We’re off tomorrow, then back to practice on Thursday,” said Brown. “Hopefully we keep heading in the right direction.”
Twin Valley (1-6) is back in action Friday evening when they host Bellows Falls. On Wednesday, January 18, they host Poultney. Tipoff for both games is at 7 pm.
LT 63, TV 31
DORSET- On Friday, January 6, the Twin Valley Wildcats battled the Long Trail Mountain Lions at their lair. The Lions mauled the ‘Cats early on, blanking them 24-0 in the first quarter on their way to a 63-31 win.
Noah Dornburgh led Twin Valley with 12 points. Steven Oyer had six points, while Carson McHale chipped in with three.