BRATTLEBORO -- If there was ever a more convincing display of teamwork than what the Brattleboro girls basketball team used to beat St. Johnsbury, 47-40, on Friday night, Brattleboro coach Paul Freed would like to see it.
"We were the hammer instead of the nail," said Freed, whose team had struggled early in the season and suffered a tough loss to Hartford in their last game. "It’s a nice feeling."
Up by a point at the half, the Colonels dug down and played hard to rack up 23 points in the second that led to the victory.
There wasn’t any one pillar the Brattleboro team could rely on as all of the team’s 12 players shined on the court in some way.
The team accomplished the win by evenly spreading out both their defensive and offensive strategy, which often tripped up St. Johnsbury and had them chasing. This was very noticable in the fourth quarter as the Colonels forced the Hilltoppers to put up some desperate shots from the outside. Taylor Bird was instrumental to the Colonels in the same quarter, scoring five points on the evening.
Abbie Lesure led the Colonels with 11 points and seven assists. Her initial make was a welcome 3 in the first period that kept Brattleboro close, though the Hilltoppers managed 18 points for a four-point lead heading into the second. Brattleboro’s Daisy Giroux and Alyssa Bezanson each had a bucket and a steal.
Brattleboro’s Meghan Powell came off the bench to score all seven of her points in the opening quarter. After Aiden Early set the pick, Powell received a pass from Lesure underneath, to throw in a layup, in the first.
Meghan Siggins and Lesure poured in all of the Colonel 3-pointers. Siggins splashed two back-to-back in the second and third quarters, and Lesure’s duo came in the first and last quarters. Siggins finished with six points.
It was the Colonels’ first contest in which the team had less turnovers than their opponents.
The Colonels biggest struggle this season has been their offense, and this game showed a vast improvement. They moved the ball better to create opportunities, and handled it well down the stretch.
Freed attributes the Friday night victory to a few recent productive team practices. "I knew it was going to take all of us tonight," he said.
The Colonels changed up their defense several times, which worked well against St. Johnsbury, a structured, desciplined crew.
The Colonels subs put on a good show as well.
Molly Goodhue may have had the hardest role of anybody. The Brattleboro senior guard was thrown to the lions in the second half with the game hinging on a few points. She put together four points, all in a critical fourth quarter, and was also a big help to teammate Ari Harrison, when she got in trouble. Harrsion ended up with six points and teammate Kayla Savage chipped in with four.
The Colonels adjusted with better rebounding in the later part of the game, and did an excellent job holding their opponents to usually just one shot on their approach.
Which worked out for the most part, until the Hilltoppers’ Bridgette Rankin started shooting from downtown. She only hit one trifecta in that quarter, but totaled 15 points on the evening. Casey Carbone, the team’s star forward, had 13 points, including 10 in the first quarter.
Fans offered moral support and had really gotten into the contest by the end of the third quarter as the home team solidified for the win.
"I think things will be different from now on," said a confident Freed. "I feel like we’re finally coming together."
The 4-6 Colonels face Hartford on Monday at home at 7:30 p.m.
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.