DUXBURY — The Harwood girls basketball team used a 13-5 run in Saturday’s final quarter and outlasted Oxbow, 40-28.
The Olympians were in peak defensive form during the first quarter, building a 7-5 advantage. Harwood pulled ahead 17-16 entering halftime and led 27-23 at the start of the fourth quarter.
“They put pressure on our guards in the fourth quarter and we turned it over a bunch,” Oxbow coach Barry Emerson said. “We had several possessions where we didn’t convert. But the girls played hard.”
Mia Cooper finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Highlanders and played a big role in her team’s 13-5 run at the end.
“Mia was triple-teamed, but she let the game come to her and she kicked it out when she needed to,” Harwood coach Tom Young said.
Ashley Proteau (seven points) and Ella Gannon (11 rebounds) were also highly effective for HU. Tiffany Longmoore (nine points) and Kaysea Neil (eight points) led the way for Oxbow.
“Ashlyn Carst had a really good defensive game for us,” Young said. “She made some adjustments and she played great in the second half.”
Harwood (10-4) will travel to play U-32 at 7 p.m. Monday. The Highlanders have won five of their last six games, moving all the way up to the No. 6 spot in the Division II standings. Oxbow (6-6) will visit Montpelier at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“Barry’s kids always play hard and it was a really physical game,” Young said. “It was the first time I’ve see our kids take a punch and bounce right back against Oxbow. It was nice to see them play with a tough team that fights for everything and not back down against them. I told them that this is like a first-round playoff game with the physicality.”
THETFORD — The Panthers shifted to a halfcourt trap on defense in the fourth quarter and the Blue Devils struggled to adjust during Saturday’s clash.
“The balls weren’t falling at the start and we were up 17-10 at halftime,” Thetford coach Eric Ward said. “We changed the defense going into the fourth quarter and we actually scored 20 points off that.”
Emi Vaughan (14 points) and Kiana Johnson (11 points) paced Thetford. Ciera Sweet (11 points) and Eliza Dwinell (seven points) led the way for Williamstown.
Thetford has won 12 straight games after opening the season with a 47-39 loss against Windsor. Last year, the Yellow Jackets defeated the Panthers, 51-34, in the Division III championship. Thetford won the 2014 final before finishing runner-up in 2015 and 2016. The Panthers beat Windsor, 53-52, in the 2017 title game. Ward currently has his eye on Hazen (13-1) and Peoples (10-4), both semifinalists last year. And Green Mountain (10-3) is another strong contender.
“The four teams in Barre a year ago could get back there again,” Ward said. “And Green Mountain has seven or eight seniors, so they’ll make a run. I don’t think Hazen will lose another game with their schedule, so they’ll finish up 19-1. Windsor may lose one more because they play Fair Haven again. And Peoples has a couple tough games, but they could finish out by winning them all. There are five top teams and we could end up being anywhere from the No. 1 seed to the No. 4 seed. There are only 14 teams in Division III this year because Twin Valley and Rivendell dropped to D-IV, so the first two seeds could get a bye. Leland & Gray may not go to the tournament if they don’t win five games. And Northfield is having a tough year, so who knows if they’ll go to the tournament? So there could be up to four teams that go straight to the quarterfinals.”
The Panthers will travel to play Lamoille at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Williamstown (2-9) will host Randolph the same evening.
NORTHFIELD — The Trojans shook off a sluggish first half Saturday and made a statement in the third quarter as they coasted past the Marauders.
Northfield held a 14-12 edge after the first quarter, but a couple of late 3-pointers from Ivy Quintin gave Twinfield a 30-27 lead at the break.
“We struggle with these away games and we’ve been coming out flat,” Twinfield coach Danielle Laperle said. “And we were flat the whole first half today. We just didn’t perform to our level at all. It wasn’t until the last two minutes of the half, where Ivy had two 3-pointers. And it was a big turning moment because the girls needed a boost of something at that point. Northfield played a really excellent first half and they did a good job of taking advantage of our mistakes. They just played really solid basketball, so I’ve got to give them credit.”
After a spirited halftime lecture from Laperle, the Trojans went on a 20-1 run and finished the third quarter up 50-28. Olivia Hogan (25 points, 10 rebounds, six steals), Quintin (12 points, three rebounds) and Ashlyn Hogan (eight points, six rebounds, two steals) paced the Trojans. Piper Mattsson (20 points) and Jacqueline Davidson (12 points) led Northfield. Twinfield (7-7) will host Rivendell at 6 p.m. Monday.
Randolph 34, U-32 29
EAST MONTPELIER — Shea Fordham (nine points) and Rielle Brassard (eight points) helped the Galloping Ghosts avenge last year’s loss to the Raiders.
Kasie Mills and Ella Davignon scored five points apiece for Randolph. Mikayla Farnum led U-32 with 15 points. The Ghosts led 13-11 after one quarter, 21-19 after two and 25-23 after three.
“It was a good game all around and we were with them back-and-forth until the end and we had to foul,” U-32 coach Travis Paquet said.
U-32 (5-8) will host Harwood at 7 p.m. p.m. Monday. Randolph (11-2) will travel to play Williamstown at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
BARRE — The Warriors couldn’t keep up with the Trojans’ fast-paced offense Saturday.
Twinfield went up 20-9 in the first quarter and held a 39-19 lead at halftime. The Warriors kept pace during the third quarter and hardly lost any ground, going into the fourth quarter trailing 52-31. Gavin Fowler (15 points) and Bradley Duke (13 points) paced the Trojans, while Porter Peloquin led the Warriors with 11 points.
“I thought we played pretty well on defense,” Twinfield coach Chris Hudson said. “But we really got out in transition — that was the big thing. That is our game. We get on the break, in the open floor, and we are hard to stop. We did a good job with that, especially in the first half.”
Twinfield (7-4) will travel to play Sharon at 7 p.m. Tuesday.