BRATTLEBORO -- To Colonels coach Paul Freed, teamwork is everything. To him, it’s a philosophy, a way of life. He’s even got a mantra. ‘Share the sugar’. Something he encourages his players to do, to keep them focused and their spirits up. "This group never lets me down with any of that," said Freed Saturday afternoon after the Brattleboro girls basketball team defeated Wahconah, 47-31. "The energy, the effort, the enthusiasm, is always there."
One thing Freed tries to avoid as a philosopher of sorts, is the pitfall of dogma. In basketball, there is an inherent belief that when the chips are down the team can turn to one or two individuals to save the day. Sometimes that’s what works, but in general, this goes against both Freed’s and the rest of the team’s thinking.
"It gets the better of them to do things on their own," said Freed. "Several tried, uncharacteristically, to do things on their own [today]. Bless their hearts, but it’s not going to be successful."
So maybe it wasn’t the prettiest game, according to Freed, but Brattleboro still demonstrated plenty of "energy, effort and enthusiasm."
Maddie Derosia drained 16 points, had six rebounds and three assists, Kayla Savage scored 13 points and had nine rebounds, and Arianna Harrison pulled down 13 boards and had seven points for the Colonels, who improve to 7-4 with the victory.
Derosia and Savage tossed in a few buckets during the first few minutes of play, Taylor Bird had a stealthy steal then cruised to the other end of the court to psyche out a Warrior defender and put the ball in off the glass, and the score was 10-8 after one. Wahconah’s Maddie Sprague sank a nice hook shot that period to tie it up midway through. Sprague carried the Warriors with 16 points total and was instrumental to her team’s defense.
As far as the Colonels defense was concerned, or rather, what concerned Wahconah most about the Brattleboro defense, was the defensive threat that was Nina Goodhue, Daisy Giroux, and Katie Damian. The three applied heavy pressure at the edge of the paint to force the Warriors to go under.
Of course, if they did manage to break through, Harrison would often be waiting there, ready to put up a big block, snatch down a defensive bound, or deal out some other form of punishment. Meghan Powell also grabbed a few big boards for the Colonels D. It all helped the hosts maintain a 24-15 advantage heading into the third.
"We got a little raggedy in that third quarter without question," said Freed. "We were getting beat off the dribble, but we did settle down." Abbie Lesure threw a long pass to Derosia early in the third. She fumbled it, regained possession and made the basket. Bird had another steal, and Harrison and Savage threw down in the effort.
Derosia finished up her day with another six points in the fourth.
Lesure set things up from the top of the key during much of the contest. The junior guard had five steals, six assists, and four points. Bird also scored four points, and Goodhue with three points capped Brattleboro’s scoring.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.