“As long as the kids are working hard and giving it all they can, playing hard for their team and for the fans, that’s all that matters,” Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford said. “But they’ve really come a long way this season — the Woodstock game was our third straight win. The girls know what it takes to win, what it feels like to win, we just need to work on consistency.”
They had that in spades against Woodstock on January 25, excelling in every facet of the game. Jarrett Niles paced the Wildcats with a career-high 21 points, while Tayler Courchesne notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 steals. Freshman Sadie Boyd lit up the stat sheet with nine points, 10 boards, six assists, and seven steals in a dominant performance. Tatyanna Bowman added a career-high eight points.
“It was a complete game for us,” Hayford said. “It was one of those nights where everyone played well and we just had our way. We had 29 steals and only committed 10 turnovers. The kids know that good things happen when you take care of the ball.”
That ball security, unfortunately, didn’t continue against Arlington on January 27, as Twin Valley came up against a strong, talented opponent at the end of a long, tiring week.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Hayford explained. “It’s a big transition to go from playing Woodstock to playing a team like Arlington. They’re just a bigger team and they wore us down.”
A gutsy first half kept the game close, as the Wildcats trailed just 13-12 at the break. But Arlington came out firing in the third quarter and pulled to a 12-point lead before the final frame.
“They came out so strong in the third, and we just couldn’t stop the bleeding after that,” Hayford said.
Courchesne and Boyd combined for 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead Twin Valley. Arlington simply kept the Wildcats off balance with a tight, aggressive defense.
A plan Bellow Falls also employed, forcing the Wildcats into 26 turnovers in the loss.
“Bellows Falls was just bigger, faster, stronger, and more aggressive,” Hayford explained. “Sometimes that’s just too much to overcome.”
Niles and Bowman scored nine and eight points, respectively, to pace Twin Valley, while Courchesne and Boyd each added seven.
The two straight losses following a three-game win streak reflects the up-and-down season for Twin Valley, but Hayford is excited by the hard work, energy, and attitude his team continues to display.
“We had four games in seven days, and that’s tough for any team to handle,” Hayford said. “And the schedule doesn’t get any easier. But these kids continue to give it everything they’ve got.” After a few days’ rest, Twin Valley next hosts Green Mountain on Monday, February 5, at 7 pm.