BRATTLEBORO -- The visiting team to Monday night’s girls basketball game at BUHS got their gifts early this festive season, but it wasn’t exactly what they had asked Santa Clause for.
It wasn’t that Monument Mountain was on St. Nick’s naughty list or anything, it’s just that Brattleboro seemed to have more holiday spirit.
"We are starting to collectively get some confidence," said Colonels coach Paul Freed. "What’s starting to gel is our defense. We’re really getting after the ball, we’re pressuring, and not getting into foul trouble. I think that’s a big piece."
Kayla Savage was 8-of-9 from the line and drained 14 points, Maddie Derosia scored 12 total, Daisy Giroux and Meghan Powell combined for 10 points, and the Colonels grinched the Spartans, 52-35.
The winners showed a vast improvement over prior contests. During Monday’s decision, Brattleboro’s Ari Harrison found her footing again, Derosia stepped up her transition game, and the entire Colonels’ defense was hot on the boards.
The rest of the Colonels were also solid from the foul line, hitting 20-of-28 of their shots.
"Monument Mountain is a physical, scrappy team," noted Freed. "But I like the way we responded. We kept our composure and moved the ball around."
Derosia racked up eight points in the opening period and dished a no-look pass to Harrison, Katie Damion grabbed the rebounds, Lesure hit all her free throws, and Taylor Bird forced some turnovers. The scoreboard read 20-9 after the first quarter, and 27-14 at the half.
The Colonels offense did get caught up in a few snags along the way, but they usually adjusted in time to stop, then reverse the flow. On defense, Bird and Abbie Lesure were a dynamite duo. Bird, with bright purple sneakers, used a full-court defense on the Spartans through much of the second half, and Lesure had a couple stealthy steals. The junior players scored four points apiece.
It wasn’t all coal for the Spartans though. After clawing back from a substantial point deficit, the team dominated in the third quarter, with Venessa Troiand doing the damage with a couple three-pointers. She and teammate Kayla Aberdale scored 10 points each to lead their team.
Monument had a better game than the hosts from beyond the arc, but they had to go outside since Brattleboro had most of what was going on underneath the hoop pretty much covered.
The Spartans missed some potential game-altering opportunities, and it really hurt their performance heading into the fourth, when Brattleboro went back on the attack to outscore Monument 19-12.
"The thing I like best about our group is that we don’t have a ‘go-to’ player on the team," said Freed. "Anybody can be the leading scorer, therefore, we are kind of difficult to scout. We share the ball pretty well and most anybody’s willing to take the shot."
Brattleboro is 3-1, and will play at Northampton, Mass. on Friday at 7.
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.