BRATTLEBORO -- The Colonels were flying high. Then, they ran out of fuel and came crashing down. Brattleboro blew the lead, Fair Haven erased a seven-point deficit in the fourth, and the Slaters got a 38-36 win over the Colonels girls basketball team on Thursday night.
Fair Haven’s 14-point surge in the fourth was just what they needed to slip by the hosts.
"It’s still early and I’m not sure we are quite as conditioned as we’d like to be," said BUHS coach Paul Freed. "I think we did get tired. We had several good looks, but to the Slaters’ credit, they hit eight buckets in that last quarter."
Bethany Lanfear splashed two from downtown and made a shot from the inside in the deciding quarter to give Fair Haven the lead and eventually the win. Lanfear led her team with 18 points.
The Slaters were first on the board but Arianna Harrison fired back for the Colonels and scored six points to even the score at 11, before the close of the first quarter. Harrison had a sweet spin shot in the paint, while teammates Kayla Savage and Meghan Powell chipped in with a few buckets. Abbie Lesure set up the plays from the top of the post.
Harrison had 10 points and five rebounds, Savage had six points, and Megan Siggins and Taylor Bird had five points apiece to lead the home team.
The second quarter shootout didn’t last long as Brattleboro’s Katie Damian threw in a clean hook to break the silence. The crowd roared and the cheering continued, this time for Savage. The senior player cut through the Slaters’ defensive middle for a layup which allowed her team to maintain a slight 21-19 lead heading into the break. "Savage is very versatile," said Freed. "She’s very tall for a guard which creates a lot of opportunities for us."
Brattleboro charged back at the visitors, outscoring Fair Haven 10-5 to make it 31-24 after three, but in the closer, the Slaters hit most of their freebies after drawing fouls from a desperate Colonels team. Brattleboro also struggled underneath defensively.
"Keep your heads up!" Freed told his players during a fourth quarter timeout. "Let’s not force anything and finish this thing."
The Slaters would have the last word though.
The Colonels were somewhat headstrong throughout the contest but displayed more confidence than arrogance, while the Slaters demonstrated better poise and focus nearing the conclusion.
"I may have had some players out there a little longer than usual," Freed admitted. "I kind of relied heavily on a few of them and it backfired a little bit." The Colonels won’t have much time to consider their latest loss as the team will play at St. Johnsbury on Saturday at 2:30.
"We don’t have any time to rest this year," said Freed, whose team also has a game on Monday. "It’s fast and furious. I guess the good news is that we can forget about this one and move forward."
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.