WILMINGTON -- Abbi Molner led with 13 points and the Wildcats outscored the Terriers 10-3 in the third quarter to distance themselves enough and give the Twin Valley girls basketball team a 28-22 victory over Bellows Falls, Monday night.
The Wildcats managed 10 points in the second quarter, with Molner scoring eight, claiming a 3 in the process, to carry the team to within one point of the visitors, before the break. Colton Butler provided the remaining Wildcat two-pointer, and she had four points total.
Molner was also perfect from the line that quarter, nailing all five of her shots. But she wasn’t alone. Her team showed some aggressiveness going to the hole throughout the matchup, and they went 9-for-19 from the charity stripe.
Twin Valley’s opening quarter was abysmal, as Bellows Falls’ Emily Dufault and Molly Dufault went on shot duty, hitting a bucket each. Enny Mustapha’s foul shot made it 5-2 after one.
Mustapha was heavily guarded all night, which limited her shots and passing. She had five points total.
The Wildcat team woke up out of their first quarter funk, and made the second a defensive battle.
"I’m ecstatic with our defensive effort," said Buddy Hayford, whose team improves to 3-6. "We forced them to turn the ball over numerous times."
Bellows Falls gave up 28 possessions. Twin Valley had 16 steals total, and Sammy Cunningham-Darrah led with four. Cunningham-Darrah also managed to set a season-high record of five assists.
In a battle of the boards, the Terriers pulled down 30 compared to the Wildcats’ 29. Lexi Reinertson led Twin Valley with seven rebounds, Molner had six, and Butler had five.
The Bellows Falls team had a decent second quarter, as Chelsea Wilder buried all of her buckets, and Mustapha put away a pair from inside.
The Wildcats flipped the switch in the third, which gave them a six-point lead heading into the fourth.
Jordan Niles had an amazing third quarter, knocking down two Wildcat 3’s and a jumper. Her final hoop came in the fourth. "I was thrilled for her," said Hayford. "She’s got a bad wrist, but it looks like she’s getting her stroke back."
But the Terriers battled back, and tied it at 16 after Shealyn Wilkinson got the hoop and harm.
It was a scrappy final quarter, and many pockets were picked. Corina Stack had some nice hustle when approaching the hoop, with a few clean crossovers and swipes. But Twin Valley’s Christina Moore wrestled it back and helped to keep it away from a desperate Terrier squad.
"We gave up too much in the third," said Bellows Falls coach Justin Aube. "We did not execute what we had planned to do (break the Wildcat pressure), before we came out of the locker room for the second half."
The Terriers also struggled with offensive rebounding, allowing Twin Valley to limit the Bellows Falls team to only one shot almost every time they got underneath.
Bellows Falls’ defensive rebounds were a different matter, as Wilder, Mustapha, and the Dufault duo, tore them down all evening to protect. Emily Dufault led her team with six points, while Molly Dufault and Wilder had four total.
Twin Valley will host Green Mountain on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.