TOWNSHEND -- You can call Jessalyn Stockwell a clutch free-throw shooter. Just don’t tell her she can’t hang with the big girls.
The freshman guard led her team with 12 points and six steals to get the Leland & Gray varsity girls basketball team a 42-33 victory over Bellows Falls on Friday night.
In the fourth quarter, Stockwell did well under pressure and hit seven of her 10 shots from the line to help the Rebels pull ahead with the Terriers right on their heels.
"The Terriers are scrappers," said Leland & Gray coach Terry Merrow. "They come to play every night. But our girls settled down and we took care of the basketball. I think it says a lot about who we are."
It wasn’t all about Stockwell in the game’s final chapter. Stevie Roberts added six points, and Haley Buffum and Rachel Borgesen also tossed in a few buckets during the 19 point L&G surge. During one drive, Borgesen bounced it inside to senior Roberts who spun around to nail a fade away.
"For a freshman, Borgesen shows great composure," said Merrow. "At practice she works hard. You saw it tonight; she has a great presence on the court."
Elizabeth Gallup, Borgesen and Buffum crashed the boards for the hosts as Borgesen pulled down 15 rebounds while Buffum and Gallup combined for about a dozen.
Roberts and Borgesen totaled seven points apiece, Buffum scored 10 with eight rebounds, and Cara Linder (5 points) and Jordan Gouger (2 points) contributions capped the Rebels scoring effort.
Leland & Gray dominated the opening quarter, piling on 10 points before BF had their first. Buffum dealt out most of the damage, racking up seven points. Linder hit a 3, and Gouger chipped in with a few points for the green and white.
Emily DuFault put on a solo Terriers performance, scoring all of the team’s points in the first quarter, and she was nearly perfect from the foul line, hitting 10-of-11 shots throughout the contest. DuFault and floor general Chelsea Wilder each had 11 points to carry the Terriers offense.
Bellows Falls followed up with a second quarter encore. Wilder fired a shot from downtown, Shea Wilkinson dropped one in, and a Stephanie Parsons throw-in made it 19-18 at the half.
The Terriers got ahead early in the third. The Rebels maintained their edge defensively but struggled with their shots which allowed Bellows Falls a 4-point advantage heading into the deciding fourth.
Merrow liked what he saw in that quarter, and he’d like to see more of it in future games.
"It shows how much hard work and effort these kids are willing to put in," said Merrow. "It’s all about these kids. They come in everyday, they’re hungry, and they’re working hard. That’s what matters."
The 2-5 Rebels will host Springfield on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.