BRATTLEBORO >> "Beast mode."
That's how Brattleboro Union High School varsity girls basketball coach Paul Freed described Gabby Carpenter's approach on Thursday evening.
The junior center scored 21 points and also limited Burr and Burton star Hannah Nicholson to just six points to help the Colonels to a 66-51 thrashing of the visiting Bulldogs.
"She owned the paint," said Freed of Carpenter. "She was very strong for us offensively, but I was even more impressed by her defense and the way she stayed out of foul trouble. She took away Nicholson's drop step."
The BUHS coach was also pleased with the play of Devin Millerick. The junior guard finished with 21 points, including nine in the fourth quarter.
"She's a gamer. She's a competitor. She has ice in her veins. She loves those clutch times," stated Freed.
After BBA battled back to within 49-40 in the fourth quarter, Millerick scored Brattleboro's next seven points. She went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe, drained a 3 from the left wing and then delivered with a slashing move along the left side.
Carpenter would then return to beast mode and complete a three-point play, which had the bus running in the parking lot with the purple and white up 57-42 midway through the final frame.
The Colonels were simply outstanding from the free throw line on the night, making 22 out of 28. They also did a nice job in transition, including four fast break finishes from Morgan Derosia (9 points).
The Bulldogs stole a 16-14 lead in the first 9:30, thanks to trifectas by Tessa Roberts, Jade McLellan and Margo Grapshi. Freshman Hailey Derosia (7 points) connected from downtown for the hosts in that span and Carpenter was a perfect 6-for-6 at the foul line.
A bucket by Millerick deadlocked the score at 16-16 and started a 10-0 Brattleboro run. Carpenter followed with a layup that was set up by Millerick. And then came a couple of transition hoops from Morgan Derosia — each being set up by her younger sister, who stole the ball from Stephanie Boucher and later ran down a loose ball.
"This was the second time this season that we really clicked in transition. It was nice to see us get out there and finish. We got pumped and they got deflated," noted Freed.
Leading 24-16 midway through the second quarter, the hosts took high-percentage shots over the next four minutes. Jaida Henry and Carpenter each finished off a three-point play before the Colonels took a 40-25 advantage to the intermission.
Brattleboro was 17-of-18 from the charity stripe in the opening half.
"That's fantastic," said the BUHS coach of the stat. "We work hard on them. The biggest challenge for us is getting to the line."
The Colonels began the second half with an 8-0 surge. Henry knocked down a deep deuce from the left wing, Carpenter kissed one home following a sweet post move, Hailey Derosia made a layup, and then Morgan Derosia beat the Bulldogs down the floor for another hoop in transition.
The visitors would rally back to within 49-40, early in the fourth quarter, before Millerick responded with seven quick points of her own.
The 4-10 Colonels will play at Rutland on Monday.