BRATTLEBORO -- On Thursday night at BUHS, the Colonel girls basketball team did what the Seahawks are hoping to do to Peyton Manning on Feb. 2.
They applied constant pressure.
Using a full-court trap, Brattleboro sacked visiting Springfield, 58-35, for the team’s fourth consecutive victory.
"That 2-3 press is brand new. We added it just a couple of days ago," said BUHS coach Paul Freed, whose team improved to 9-4 overall with the win.
Abbie Lesure, Taylor Bird and Ari Harrison all had an early takeaway as the harrassing hosts opened up a 16-11 lead in the first eight minutes. And you could almost hear Johnny Most describing the second of those...
"And there’s a steal by Bird!"
Lesure and Springfield’s Nicole Patterson put on a show early in the second quarter. The Brattleboro guard scored on a darting move and then drilled a 3 from the left wing, before Patterson knocked down a deep deuce and then delivered with a putback.
But the purple and white ended the half with a 10-2 surge, including a make from downtown by Megan Siggins and a powerful move on the post from Harrison. The Colonels were up 31-19 at the intermission.
It was all Harrison and teammate Maddy Derosia in the third quarter. The BUHS center had a couple of bunnies, got the roll on her hook shot, and completed a three-point play. Derosia took it to the hole on three different occasions -- converting each time.
With Brattleboro leading 43-23 with 12 minutes left in the game, it was all about Springfield junior Chelsea McAllister who was now just three points away from 1,000 for her career.
With WKVT announcers calling the action live, McAlister swished a 3 from the left wing to reach a grand. The Cosmo fans then stormed the court to give their star player hugs before the Springfield coach honored his sharpshooter with a microphone in hand.
"I knew that I was three points away at the time," said McAllister, who entered the game needing her average of 22 points to reach the milestone. "I was very excited. It feels good."
She finished with a game-high 28 points, giving her 1,006 for her varsity career. Her night included five trifectas, a mid-range jumper, three layups, a couple of runners and a free throw.
"I made it clear to my team that she earned all of her points," noted Freed, whose players doubled McAllister often. "She’s a great player. But this is a team game and there’s no doubt in my mind as to who had the better team."
It was the home crowd that was making the noise down the stretch. Bird had six points in the final quarter and Daisy Giroux added four as the hosts coasted to the easy win.
Harrison (17 points), Bird (11), Lesure (10) and Derosia (8) did the offensive damage for the 9-4 Colonels, who will face Wahconah today.
Shenise Taliaferro scored 10 points to lead the JV Colonels past Springfield, 48-28. Jaida Henry followed with eight points and Devin Millerick had six for the 9-3 JV Colonels.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.