WHITINGHAM- On Saturday, the boys’ varsity basketball team again beat their rivals, the Leland & Gray Rebels. The Wildcats took an early lead in the first quarter, outscoring the Rebels 16-8. The second quarter was the only one in which the Rebels outscored the Wildcats, and they only cut Twin Valley’s lead by one point. At the half the score was 22- 15.
The third quarter saw the Wildcats get on the train and slowly pull away from the station, as they held the Rebels to nine points and scored 15. Going into the fourth, the score was 37- 24, and the Wildcats widened their lead another three points by game’s end.
Ethan Fox led all scorers with 14 points. “Ethan had a great game,” said coach Chris Brown. “He was really assertive and energetic. So much effort was being spent on Skyler Boyd by the other team. Their goal was simply to stop Skyler. He went to the line 11 times, and had a number of physical plays against him that were not called. They had two guys dedicated to him and swarmed him when he got his hand on the ball. That resulted in Ethan having only one man on him, and sometimes he was just left open, and he made the most of his opportunities.” Brown also praised Cooper Pell’s drive. “Cooper had a great game, and his energy was fantastic. That’s what we want from him, to make us a better team when he comes off the bench.”
In the third quarter, Boyd had a technical foul called on him for hanging on to the rim on an attempted dunk. Leland & Gray made one of the two free-throws.
Brett Swanson brought in 13 points, Pell and Dylan Howe each scored seven, Boyd four, and Logan Park three.
TV 51, Bellows Falls 46
WHITNGHAM- The Twin Valley boys’ varsity basketball team almost met their match in the Bellows Falls Terriers Monday night, but big plays from Brett Swanson and Skyler Boyd helped the Wildcats wrestle the game from the Terriers and force an overtime battle that the Wildcats won. “ Going into overtime, I was definitely confident we would win,” said coach Chris Brown. “We had the momentum. And I could see a look of determination in Brett’s eyes. He was fired up.” Swanson went on to score a total of 25 points in the game. “For the game as a whole, it was a complete team effort defensively, but Brett and Skyler were really our offensive engine, and scored at crucial times tonight.”
The Terriers took the lead early in the first quarter, putting six points up on the scoreboard before the Wildcats managed to score. But the Wildcats quickly tied up the game and then continued the run with five more, making the score 11- 6 at the end of the first quarter.
Repeatedly in the second quarter the Terriers and the Wildcats poked the ball from behind their opponents, and ripped the ball out of each others’ hands, sometimes resulting in multiple turnovers without a shot on the basket. Other times, the steals were converted to long bomb passes and points on the scoreboard.
The crowd, full of fans from both schools, roared their delight over the aggressive play. Bellows Falls coach Ryan Stoodley said his team had some success rattling the Wildcats and creating scoring opportunities. “We were very aggressive and tried to steal the ball and that got them off their tempo, and got them frustrated.”
Brown said that the game involved attempts by both coaches to shake up the other team.“Both teams mixed up the defense, from man to man to zone, just trying to keep each other off balance,” said Brown. At the end of the half, the Terriers had a 20 – 19 lead.
Bellows Falls held the lead for the entire third quarter, though never by more than five points. About halfway through the period, Boyd said something to one of the referees that cost him a technical foul. “He was frustrated and said something he shouldn’t have,” said Brown. Bellows Falls made both free throws, and the score at the end of the third quarter was 34 – 30.
In the fourth quarter, Swanson made a three-point shot and two layups, giving the Wildcats a 37-36 lead. “Those were big baskets,” said Brown. “Brett saw we needed the points and decided to do something about it, and made it happen” The Terriers fought back, and quickly sank a two-point basket, giving themselves a one-point lead. With 30 seconds left, Bellows Falls widened that lead to 40-37, and held it until the last 16 seconds of play, when Boyd sank a three-pointer that tied the game 40-40, forcing overtime, and got Twin Valley fans cheering on their feet. “That was huge,” said Brown. “And who else should step up in our time of need than our two captains, Brett and Skyler. All 10 points in the quarter came from them.”
The Wildcats came out and got the job done in overtime . With two minutes left they had a 50 – 42 lead. The Terriers struggled back and scored four unanswered points in the next 90 seconds, shrinking the Wildcat’s lead to 50 – 46, but that was as close as they got as Boyd was fouled and sank a shot at the free-throw line with 19 seconds left.
“I am glad this game happened for us,” said Brown. “It will be good to be able to remember this night when the other team was ahead and the crowd was going wild. You can’t simulate that environment, When we find ourselves in that situation, it will be nothing new for us. It will be good to say ‘We’ve been here before. We can do this.’”
Brown said that while many things in the game went well, he believed that his team could have done an even better job. “We communicated well, but we could have won this game by many more points if we had not relied so much on only our two top players,” he said.
Swanson scored 25 points, Boyd nine, Dylan Howe eight, Logan Park six, and Ethan Fox three. Boyd led on rebounds with 13, followed by Fox with seven, Howe with five, and Swanson and Cooper Pell, who each nabbed three rebounds.
TV 57, Arlington Memorial 34
ARLINGTON - On Wednesday, the Twin Valley boys’ varsity basketball team played the Arlington Eagles, and won a game that was at times very close. “It was a great game,” said coach Chris Brown. “We did a great job moving the ball around to everyone on offense. It was an awesome win!”
The Wildcats started off looking like the clear favorites. “We were up 15-2 early in the game,” said Brown. But the Eagles narrowed the Wildcats’ lead and the score was 15-9 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Arlington continued to shrink the Wildcats’ lead, and came within one point of Twin Valley’s score. At the end of the half the score was 25-21.
In the third quarter, Twin Valley scored 18 points to Arlington’s nine, for a 43 – 30 lead. The Wildcats finished the game with 14 more points in the last quarter, and kept the Eagles to only four points. “We played great defense” said Brown. Brett Swanson scored 25 points for the second consecutive game. Skyler Boyd scored 12, Ethan Fox had 11, Dylan Howe three, and Joe Rafus, Logan Park, and Paul Johnson all scored two each. Boyd pulled down 18 rebounds, Ethan Fox eight, Swanson six, and Park four.
The Twin Valley boys’ varsity team plays a home game against Poultney on Friday. Tipoff is at 7:30.