TOWNSHEND -- Jake Sherman finished with 22 points and Drew Barnum scored nine points in the final quarter, to allow the Leland & Gray varsity basketball team to break away in the second half and outscore their opponents by six points, overcoming a halftime tie that led to a 67-55 win against Bellows Falls on Friday night.
"It was a great fourth quarter," said Andrew Nystrom. "Sherman kept us on top until the end. I said a few motivational words to the players at the half and we got back in their face a little more after we came back out."
The Rebel coach said it has been fun to watch Sherman and Barnum evolve, and improve, with every contest. Sherman ended up with eight rebounds, while Barnum tore down 14 to go with his 19 total points.
The Rebels took good care of the ball during the first half as the Terriers chased them first inside, then out, dictating the pace of the game. This was until Willie Moore yanked a pass out of the air and tossed it downcourt to Mike LaBeau, who put in the layup to tie the game 26-26, seconds before the first half came to a close. LaBeau had 11 points on the night.
Billy Nupp, Mike Bergeron, and Riley Kenney combined for 24 points to help carry the Rebels. Nupp contributed to Barnum’s scorefest with four points, Bergeron had an impressive third quarter, and Kenney performed across the board to give the team their eventual win.
Bellows Falls stuck most of their 3’s and had quick, but at times, sloppy passes. Moore shot from downtown, putting away a trio of 3’s, completing his evening with 15 points, stretching in his layups and demonstrating nice hooks.
The purple and white’s Kendrick Mills’ second quarter must have felt somewhat like Barnum’s fourth, as the junior guard racked up eight points, all from down low. The second was the only quarter the Terriers outpaced the hosts.
Mills got his team ahead in the third, 46-40, with a nice hook. He finished with 12 points.
Solid efforts for the Terrier team also came from Trevor Wilson, who had 10 points, and Brian McAnuff, who took home five.
Free throws also aided the Rebels in their victory as they shot 17-for-22. A good chunk of those were courtesy of Barnum, who put away five in a row in the last quarter.
"I’m proud of my boys," said Bellows Falls coach Evan Chadwick, whose team drops to 3-6. "Obviously we’d like a different result, but Leland & Gray’s size can wear you down, and a good team can beat you with a bunch of different ways."
Leland & Gray (8-1) will play at Proctor on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Bellows Falls will host Windsor on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.