WILLIAMSTOWN — Randolph senior Rielle Brassard showed off her all-around game by scoring 12 points, handing out five assists and grabbing six rebounds, and Shea Fordham dropped in another 12 as the Ghosts ground out a 43-35 victory over Williamstown in girls high school basketball action Tuesday evening.
Brassard’s importance to her team was never more apparent than in the third quarter, when she scored seven straight points with a three-pointer, layup and a pair of free throws to help her team pull away.
“We never overlook anyone,” Brassard said. “In the first game we played against Williamstown, they played us tough and coming in here we expected the same, but it’s nice to come out on top both times. I think our defense was pretty solid in the first half and it only got better in the second half. Our coach (Scott Lafreniere) has been preaching for us to take some chances and be more creative on offense and I think we were able to do that in the second half.”
Jazlyn Locarno and Fasika Parrott each had 10 points to lead the Blue Devils.
In a close game, it’s always a good idea to let Brassard create a little offense for herself. While she is adept at finding her teammates, Lafreniere knows that when his team needs a basket, it’s often going to come from his captain on the floor.
“She takes a different role every night depending on what we need,” Lafreniere said.
Williamstown seemed to have Randolph’s number early on as they ran out to a 7-2 lead in the first quarter behind Locarno, Parrott and Shylah King. As the Ghosts found their bearing, they quickly erased that lead as Ella Davignon (seven points) dropped in a three-pointer and got a pair of baskets from Fordham and another from Sara Rea to take a 9-7 lead by the end of the frame.
It was a lead that the Ghosts would not relinquish for the rest of the night.
The pivotal third quarter belonged to Brassard as the Ghosts started to distance themselves. A three-pointer from the corner pushed the Randolph advantage to 22-16 and she followed it on the next possession with a dart down the lane that resulted in another basket that made it 24-16. With a pair of free throws on the next possession she effectively staked her team’s claim.
The bleeding was halted by a nice inbounds play on the other end that had Parrott finishing, but by that point it was apparent that whatever Brassard felt like doing, she was going to do. Content to trade baskets for the rest of the game, the Ghosts slowed the pace and played keep-away to the final buzzer.
“It seems to be the leadership and confidence of our opponents that gets the best of us in the second half,” Williamstown coach Sid Sweet said. “We’ve been close against some good teams — Thetford, Lamoille and now these guys (Randolph). In high school girl’s basketball, if you have a solid point guard, you’re going to go deep, and Rielle (Brassard) is that player for them. We tried to make her work for everything.”
Randolph (12-2) will travel to Thetford on Thursday. Williamstown (2-10) will face Montpelier the same day.