Cosmos cruise in Townshend

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TOWNSHEND — During a halftime contest on Monday evening, several different spectators threw a toy duck very close to the target placed on the center of the court.

Gabriella Wardwell and Hannah Crosby were just as accurate in the game.

The Springfield forwards each scored a game-high 10 points to power their varsity girls basketball team to a 36-15 victory over host Leland & Gray.

"Springfield is a pretty decent team. They have four or five really decent players," mentioned Rebels coach Terry Merrow, whose team dropped to 2-5 overall.

Using a full-court press, the Cosmos opened up a 9-1 advantage over the first eight minutes of action. Floor general Hailey Perham had everyone's attention — picking off three passes, scoring on a baseline drive, and just missing with a half-court heave.

Maris Linder (6 points) and Arin Bates (6 points) did a nice job of breaking the 1-2-1-1 press in the second quarter, however the Rebels continually missed layups. Each of the backcourt mates also made a fine lob inside to Sydney Hescock.

"Maris is our catalyst. She's our leader. She just plays hard," noted Merrow. "Arin is such a natural athlete. She has such a great knack for anticipating."

A couple of bunnies by Bates were the team's only field goals in the first half. They were followed by a free throw from Hescock, helping Leland & Gray get within 10-6 with 4:15 to go before the intermission.

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The Cosmos would follow with a 5-0 run, ending with Wardwell's third layup of the game, to take a 15-6 lead to the locker room.

That's when fans grabbed the palm-sized ducks they had purchased and tossed them toward the center of the court, in hopes of being the one closest to the small target.

A song played by the Leland & Gray pep band may have pumped up the Rebels, who drained three outside shots in the third quarter. Linder drilled a 17-footer from the left baseline and then knocked down a deep 3 from the left wing, while Sierra Fillion connected on a mid-range jumper.

Crosby would score nine of her 10 points in the second half, however, to maintain Springfield's cushion. The senior red-head kissed home a runner, followed her own miss, and delivered twice on the low block.

A three-point play by Perham was the highlight when the Cosmos (4-2) finished the game on a 12-2 surge.

"I thought we played hard right up until the end," Merrow said. "I'm really happy with our defense. They are averaging 60 points a game and we held them to 36."

The Rebels will host undefeated Bellows Falls on Saturday.

Springfield roster: Coach — Joseph Costello. Players — Hailey Perham, Haley Streeter, Kayla Gibbons, Hannah Crosby, Jessica Cerniglia, Ashley Chamberlain, Natalia Dorcely, Ashley Quelch, Julianna Albero-Levings, Kaylee Warren, Emma Howard, Gabriella Wardwell, Makaila Dorcely.

Leland & Gray roster: Coach — Terry Merrow. Players — Sydney Hescock, Arin Bates, Samantha Derosia, Sierra Fillion, Maris Linder, Abby Lowe, Skye Richardson, Ellie Longo, Julia Gleason.


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