The Wildcats got off to a 7-2 lead at the end of the first quarter with Abbi Molner and Jordan Niles combining for all of Twin Valley’s points. As has happened too often this season, Twin Valley’s offense followed up a strong quarter with a lack of production. The Terriers took advantage and took the lead, allowing only a Molner three-pointer while scoring nine for the 11-10 halftime advantage.
The Wildcats stayed in the game behind a five-player scoring effort in the third, and a consistent defense. “We played well, and I couldn’t find fault in our defense,” said Twin Vallley coach Buddy Hayford. “We just couldn’t get our offense going in the second quarter. Usually one bad quarter will kill us, but we were able to overcome it.”
Hayford’s squad overcame it in a big way in the fourth, doubling their 19 points while only allowing nine. Six Wildcats got on the board in the fourth, led by Molner’s five points from the line, as well as four from Sammy Cunningham-Darrah. It was the Wildcats’ strongest finish to a game all year, and scoring on 13 of 19 foul shots fueled the win. “We were more aggressive getting those fourth quarter opportunities from the line,” said Hayford. “Going into the fourth I told them if you’re going to win this game you need to bring defensive energy to create offense, and get it inside so you can get to the line.”
The Terriers out-rebounded Twin Valley 32-30, but 17 steals by the Wildcats kept the ball coming back their way. Emily Dufault had 13 for Bellows Falls, and Chelsea Wilder had 10. For Twin Valley, Molner finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and four steals. Niles finished with eight points and three steals.
Twin Valley hosts Mount Everett today at 4:30. On Tuesday, the Wildcats will host Leland & Gray. The JV tips off at 6 pm, the varsity is slated for 7:30. They close out the regular season with a home game against Arlington on Friday, March 1. Currently the Wildcats are 6-11 on the season and in 11th place in the Division III standings.