“We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re definitely making strides,” Twin Valley coach Chris Brown said. “We’re just about halfway through the season, so hopefully in the second half of the season we can cement the good things we’re doing and play with confidence and compete at a high level the rest of the way.”
Part of that confidence will come from the terrific play of some of the younger players, including sophomore Jack McHale, who had a breakout game with 16 points and three steals against West Rutland, and classmate Dylan Dupuis, who led the team with 10 rebounds against Arlington.
“They’re getting a lot of quality minutes and showing they deserve it,” Brown said. “Jack has been an absolute sparkplug. His defense is phenomenal and his energy is through the roof.”
Brown explained that the team will definitely need continued contributions from them as the team looks to compete in the second half of the season.
But it will likely be defense that wins games, and the Wildcats have been absolutely stifling at times. They allowed just seven second-half points to West Rutland in a 30-point win, and just four points over the middle two quarters in the win over Long Trail.
“Against West Rutland, we played great; we really found something that could work for us,” Brown said. “We did it against Long Trail, too — great ball movement, really fun to watch. It’s stuff we work on so much in practice, it was great to see them put it into action.”
It’s possible that a little fatigue set in for the Arlington game last Friday, after having played West Rutland the night before, but Brown wasn’t about to make any excuses for the loss.
“I’m definitely glad we get to play Arlington again,” Brown said. “Maybe we were a little fatigued, but there was definitely a lot of things we could’ve done right that we didn’t, and we still only lost by five.”
Junior Dylan Howe continued his great play with 12 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists against Arlington, while senior Logan Park added 11 points and nine rebounds.
Park also paced the Wildcats against Long Trail, with a 10-point game; Howe led the way against West Rutland with a 17-point, eight-rebound effort.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” Brown said. “We’ve been doing a great job taking care of the ball and our decision-making is getting better. Mistakes are getting fewer and farther between.”
Next up, Twin Valley (4-5) hosts Arlington Memorial at 7 pm on Friday.