“They’re very good,” said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford. “That’s a team of basically juniors. We knew three or four years ago watching them play JV that they were going to be really good.”
Green Mountain started the game with a strong defensive effort, effectively shutting down any scoring chances Twin Valley had. By the end of the first quarter, the Chieftains had built a 22-5 lead, which included a buzzer-beating three by center Hannah Buffum.
But Twin Valley rallied a little in the second quarter. The Wildcats held Green Mountain to eight points, and scored six of their own. At halftime the Wildcats trailed the visitors 30-11.
Hayford knew his team was out-manned and out-gunned, but said he tried to instill a positive attitude during the intermission. “You implore your kids to learn and keep playing hard. But there was no coming back against a team like that.”
Twin Valley found their offensive game in the third quarter, notching 17 points. However, Green Mountain erupted for 30 points, building an insurmountable 60-27 lead after three quarters. That output was a record against a Twin Valley girls’ team, according to Hayford.
“Nobody has ever scored 30 on us in a quarter. They couldn’t miss. It was clearly their night,” said Hayford. “You’re playing one of those teams and you try to do the best you can. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Green Mountain emptied the bench in the fourth quarter, and once again Twin Valley held them to only eight points. The Wildcats added eight of their own to close out the game.
“The biggest disappointment in a game like that is we only went to the line two times,” said Hayford. “That’s kind of been an issue all season. Against the decent teams we do not get to the free-throw line. We just don’t have that bulldog mentality. We need to be strong with the ball.”
Hayford was happy about the relative lack of turnovers by Twin Valley. They had 11 for the game.
Tayler Courchesne was the leading scorer for Twin Valley with 12. She also had seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Sadie Boyd and Jarrett Niles each had six points. Tatyana Bowman had five rebounds and a basket.
Aside from giving up 30 points in the third quarter, the 68 points Green Mountain scored was the most the Wildcats have given up this season. According to Hayford, the most any Twin Valley girls’ varsity team has given up is 71.
“They’re a pretty polished unit,” added Hayford. “We’ll lick our wounds and hopefully we won’t see them again come tournament time.”
Twin Valley hosts Woodstock tonight at 7. On Monday they travel to Leland & Gray for a rivalry game with the Rebels. Tipoff is at 7 pm.
“Tomorrow night’s a new night,” said Hayford. “Hopefully we can get a ‘W’ and try to get back on track. It’s a must-win. Not for seeding, but for morale, for the spirit of the girls.”