“These are two really good defensive teams, so I knew it wasn’t going to be high scoring,” Twin Valley coach Chris Brown said. “In the end, they just made a few more plays than we did.”
To be fair, a couple of good bounces could easily have changed the outcome. The Wildcats hit just six of 15 from the foul line, and Reed had a late three-pointer rattle out.
“It’s a recurring theme this season,” Brown said. “I keep telling the boys that we’re close. Tonight we hung in there with one of the best teams around. We went right to the end with them.”
Poultney improved to 10-1 on the season, while the loss dropped Twin Valley to 4-7, just over halfway through the season.
Reed finished with a team-high 11 points, while McHale scored 10. Park added nine points and a team-high 11 boards.
In a moral victory, such as it is, the Wildcats defense all but shut down Poultney’s pair of big men, who decimated Twin Valley in the previous matchup. This time, solid post play and good defense held the two 6-foot-4 Blue Devils to just 13 points combined.
“That’s a tough matchup, but we did a great job with their big men,” Brown said. “That kept us in the game.”
Twin Valley trailed just 17-16 at the break.
In the third quarter, a 6-0 run by the Wildcats put them up by one, and forced Poultney into a timeout. The Blue Devils managed to reset themselves and went on their own 7-0 run. Twin Valley was never able to recover.
On Friday, January 26, the boys lost on the road at Arlington 51-42.
The Wildcats will look to rebound from the losses on Saturday, February 3, at 1 pm in Whitingham when they host Black River.
“We still have a long way to go in the season, and hopefully all the work these kids are doing pays dividends,” Brown said. “The boys want to get better and keep working.”