WHITINGHAM- For the first quarter of the game, it looked like the Twin Valley Middle High School boys’ varsity basketball team was simply unassailable. In the second quarter, the team looked simply unavailable.
The Wildcats staked themselves to a 20-4 lead in the opening eight minutes, using terrific passing and solid shooting to break Poultney’s zone defense. Unfortunately, they scored just two more points in the second quarter as the Blue Devils cut the lead to three at the half and went on to win, 45-40.
“We got off to our best quarter of the season,” Twin Valley coach Chris Brown said. “But once they switched to man-to-man defense it really disrupted us and the lid went on the bucket a little bit. It certainly wasn’t our best offensive performance but they’re a solid team.”
Solid and determined, as it turned out. The Blue Devils used their half-court offense to control the clock and work for easy baskets as they slowly but surely chipped away at Twin Valley’s lead and took a 35-30 lead after the third frame.
The Wildcats had found life again in the second half, but Poultney’s big men were simply too strong down low. A three-pointer by sophomore Jack McHale tied the game at 35 with 6:15 left to play, and the teams traded the lead back and forth. In the end, Poultney’s better free-throw shooting held off the Wildcats.
“They made a couple more plays than us down the stretch,” Brown said. “We got it to 40-40, then they scored the final five points. We had a ton of shots; we just didn’t make enough of them.”
Junior Dylan Howe paced the Wildcats with 12 points and seven boards, while senior Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn scored eight points. Senior Logan Park led the way on the glass, corralling 10 boards to go with his five points.
Next up, Twin Valley (2-4) hosts West Rutland at 6:30 pm tonight, then Arlington comes to Twin Valley at 7 pm on Friday, January 19.