WHITINGHAM- The Twin Valley High School girl’s varsity basketball team played a strong defensive game on Monday evening, but couldn’t flip the switch on the offensive end of the court, dropping a home game to Mount Saint Joseph Academy, 31-18.
“They play with a lot of pressure,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford of MSJ. “That’s our Achilles’ heel. It’s a lot for this group, it’s not easy trying to break through against a team that’s bigger, faster, and stronger.”
The Wildcats had a rough first half, scoring only three points in the first quarter and getting blanked in the second. Despite the goose egg, the Wildcats were only down 15-3 at halftime.
“That was the good news,” said Hayford. “We were only down 12 points.”
Despite the lack of scoring, Hayford was happy with the team’s defensive effort.
“Our target on defense is to hold a team to 32 points. If you can keep them under 32 you’re probably going to win. This was just one game where our offense was out to lunch. You’ve got to credit MSJ for that.”
In the third quarter, Twin Valley turned the defensive pressure even higher, holding the Mounties to just one point.
“It was as ugly as it gets,” said Hayford. “Neither team could shoot the ball well.”
The Wildcats were only down 16-9 heading into the fourth quarter, and Hayford felt the team had a chance to pull out the win. But the home team just couldn’t find the net consistently, and as the clock ran down Twin Valley had to foul and put MSJ on the line. The Mounties made five of six free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Tayler Courchesne and Jarrett Niles paced the Wildcats in scoring with five each. Tatyana Bowman had four points, and Sadie Boyd and Maria Page each notched two. Bowman grabbed seven rebounds and Courchesne nabbed six. Julia Lee led MSJ with 12 points.
“We played well, we played terrific defense,” said Hayford. “We’re not far from being pretty good, it’s just a matter of making your free throws and making your bunnies. We didn’t take a free throw, and we missed about a dozen bunnies. If you don’t get to the line during the game, you’re not aggressive enough. They got to the line 13 times and made nine, they were good from the line.”
Twin Valley fell to 1-5 on the season. They head to Proctor on Friday for a 6:30 pm game.