BARRE — Four players scored in double figures for the Northfield boys basketball team during Saturday’s 62-51 victory over Websterville Baptist.
James Stephens scored 22 points for the Marauders, who snapped a three-game losing skid. Teammates Preston Lilly and Caiden Crawford-Stempel each scored 13 points and Carson Smith contributed with 10 points in the victory.
“To finally put the ball in the basket was huge for us tonight,” Northfield coach Craig Tassie said. “We worked hard, we shook off those three losses and got a win that we really needed badly.”
Websterville came out strong in the first quarter. Warriors captain Isaiah Terrill (23 points) forced a couple of key turnovers to give his team a boost.
Stephens scored six points at the other end, Smith scored four and Crawford-Stempel drained a 3-pointer to give the Marauders a 16-8 lead at the end of the quarter.
Terrill led the Warriors with 10 points in the second quarter, but it was not enough to cut into Northfield’s lead. Crawford-Stempel hit two 3-pointers, Lilly hit one 3-pointer and Stephens, Smith and Oliver Wells chipped in to help their team build a 36-25 lead.
Websterville freshman Matthew Pecor ended the half in dramatic fashion. With a few seconds left in the second period, he faked out a Northfield defender and sank a 3-point shot at the buzzer. It was Pecor’s first basket of the year.
Peloquin switched to a 2-3 zone defense in the second half and it was effective in slowing down Northfield’s offense. The Warriors held the Marauders to eight points in the third quarter, but WBCS still had to dig itself out of an 11-point Northfield lead.
Websterville caused three straight turnovers in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Dalton Cody (13 points) cut Northfield’s lead to eight points with two 3-pointers and a foul shot, but Cody and Terrill fouled out to hurt their team’s comeback bid. Northfield killed the clock by passing the ball around the perimeter.
Despite the final outcome, Peloquin was happy with the team’s strong finish.
“They could’ve easily said, ‘We’re not going to play,’” Peloquin said. “But we played with them in the second half.”
Stephens said the victory was sweet, especially after his team’s recent losses to Division III foes White River Valley, Peoples Academy and Hazen.
“We put up a good effort against Hazen and got our energy going,” Stephens said. “We beat Websterville earlier in the season. And if we came in with the same intensity (versus Hazen), we knew we’d win again.”
Adam King also scored three points for Northfield. Greer Peloquin (six points) and Ari Schumacher (four points) also paced WBCS.
Northfield (4-4) host Winooski at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Websterville (3-4) will play at Sharon Academy at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.