No. 4: Winning isn't everything for Townshend team
BRATTLEBORO — It was nearly a perfect season for the Leland & Gray Unified basketball team.
"The goal of every game was to ensure that all of our players scored. There was only one game where we were unable to do this," commented Rebels coach Phoebe Connolly.
Ben Stone was on fire during a game against Brattleboro, as he connected from downtown and finished with a team-high nine points. Sammantha Pelton and Teresa Derosia each chipped in with a couple of buckets inside in that showdown, and McKade Beattie drained a 17-foot jumper.
But what makes the Rebels the No. 4 area sports story of 2018 is their sportsmanship — they pulled down defensive rebounds in the final minute of the game at BUHS and continually kicked the ball out to an opposing player, who was the only Colonel not yet in the scoring column.
"Our mission is to make sure that every player is having a good time out there," said Leland & Gray coach Terry Merrow. "He was the only player who hadn't scored yet. They wanted to see him make a shot."
One of the team's best memories is of a playoff game versus Springfield. Trailing by two, the coaches asked the players which was more important to them: to win the game or to help a teammate score her first basket of the game?
"Everyone unanimously agreed it was to get our player to score, and we accomplished our goal," noted Connolly.
Another special moment was when a Leland & Gray player handed the ball to an opponent who hadn't taken a shot yet, which was followed by someone in the crowd reacting in disbelief.
"One of our supporters explained that the team tries to support all players and make it a fun experience for everyone, no matter which team they were on," Connolly said.
2018 Leland & Gray Unified roster: Coaches — Terry Merrow, Phoebe Connolly. Players — Maris Linder, Sierra Fillion, Skye Richardson, Samantha Derosia, Adam Culver, Teresa Derosia, Michael Derosia, McKade Beattie, Sammantha Pelton, Ben Stone.
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