MONTPELIER — The Harwood girls basketball team went 9 of 14 from the foul line in the fourth quarter Tuesday, denying Montpelier with a 39-35 victory.
It was a slow-moving game at the start, with the score deadlocked at 4 after the opening quarter. The Highlanders and Solons both gained some offensive confidence in the second quarter, with Harwood leading 15-12 at the break. The Solons attempted to claw back in the third quarter but HU stayed a step ahead, extending its lead to 26-21. Harwood forward Mia Cooper went 3 of 4 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and the Solons’ strategy of fouling late wasn’t enough to hold back the Highlanders.
Cooper finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. She was guarded by Montpelier’s Azwayla Taylor (four points, 14 rebounds), and the rebounding battle was closely contested all night.
Many Central Vermont teams have battled through injuries and illnesses during the past few weeks, and the Highlanders are no exception. Harwood was forced to play without standout guard Reilly Lanphear against the Solons, but teammate Kennedy Wimble (11 points) helped fill the void during her first varsity start.
Ashley Proteau (five points), Emma Ravelin (four points) and Cam Ravelin (four points) also had solid efforts for Harwood. Elizabeth Cossett (10 points) and Mikaela Luke-Currier (six points) paced the Solons.
The Division III Solons handed D-II Randolph its first loss of the season last week. During Tuesday’s game Blodgett saw more positive movement against a Highlanders side that beat MHS 63-24 three weeks ago.
“Harwood always plays tough at Harwood,” MHS coach Kylie Blodgett said. “We played them early enough in the season that we weren’t playing with a ton of energy and we gave up. This game tonight, we played with greater intensity and never gave up. We just waited a little too long to make our charge.”
Harwood was 11 of 18 overall from the line, signaling a welcome change for coach Tom Young. Last week his team delivered a sub-par effort from the stripe during a 46-28 loss in Hyde Park.
“Against Lamoille we missed 18 foul shots,” Young said. “Since then we’ve been shooting a lot in practice, and we do it where we shoot two and then run to work on conditioning before shooting two more. It’s point of emphasis because we’re a quicker team and we get fouled a lot.”
Montpelier (4-8) will travel to play Lake Region at 7 p.m. Thursday. Harwood (8-4) will host Lyndon the same day.
North Country 53
NEWPORT — The Crimson Tide capped a wild comeback with an overtime victory on Tuesday, stunning the Falcons for the second straight season.
“Last year Josh Morrill hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and this year we made some big free throws down the stretch,” Spaulding coach Jesse Willard said.
The Falcons led 16-13 at halftime and carried a 34-24 lead into the fourth quarter. The Tide wound up going a modest 10 of 20 from the foul line, but they made their shots when it counted. Spaulding’s Taylor D’Agostino (18 points) scored nine points in the fourth quarter to lead the charge as North Country searched for answers at both ends of the floor.
“North Country did a really good job defensively on our wings,” Willard said. “As the game progressed Taylor saw some openings and got to the rim. He had a steal and a key layup and then he hit two free throws at the end of the fourth quarter.”
Sam Bigglestone (14 points), Aidan Gilwee (seven points), Alex Coyle (six points) and Matt Tacey (six points) rounded out Spaulding’s top contributors. Josh Rivers (14 points), Alex Haugwitz (12 points) and Derrick Breault (nine points) led the way for NCU.
“It definitely was a chess match,” Willard said. “We started the fourth with a 1-3-1, and we fought back with some baskets. They made some adjustments and we went back to our press. And then we ended the game with our man and had a good finish.”
D’Agostino made the game’s first 3-pointer to keep Spaulding close at the start of the third quarter. Spaulding opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 spurt, as Coyle closed the gap to 34-26 and then leapt out of bounds to keep the play alive on the following possession. The Tide added a pair of foul shots and then Gilwee crashed the offensive glass for a putback, making it 34-30 with 6:48 left to play.
An offensive charge by North Country gave Spaulding the ball again, but Haugwitz finally ended his team’s drought with 6:05 remaining. He added another basket with 5:40 left remaining and scored again with 3:10 left to play, keeping his team in front 42-38.
The Falcons went 1 of 2 from the foul line with 1:44 remaining for a 43-40 lead and Willard called a timeout with 1:26 left to play. An offensive charge by North Country set up a Spaulding inbounds play with 1:23 left, and Tacey’s layup trimmed the deficit to 43-42 with 1:05 remaining. Breault and Haugwitz scored on back-to-back possessions, but a Tide basket with 30 seconds left kept it a one-possession game.
Breault was fouled at midcourt with 20 seconds remaining and went to the line for a 1-and-1 situation. He got the first attempt to rattle through the cylinder and missed the second one. D’Agostino went coast-to-coast after the miss, dribbling all the way to the hoop for a layup. Seconds later North Country was prepared to inbound the ball under its own basket but Spaulding called back-to-back timeouts to ice the Falcons.
North Country entered the double bonus with 12 seconds left and went 1 of 2 from the line. D’Agostino was fouled with six seconds remaining and stepped to the line for a 1-and-1 situation. He swished the first attempt for his ninth point of the fourth quarter. Following a North Country timeout, D’Agostino made the second attempt. The Falcons raced up the court and attempted to end the game with a 3-pointer, but the Tide blocked the shot to force overtime with the score tied at 48.
Spaulding shot ahead and stayed ahead during the extra period. Breault went 1 of 2 at the line with 37 seconds on the clock, but Bigglestone went 1 of 2 at the other end for a 55-53 lead. The Falcons committed a turnover with 10 seconds on the clock and Tacey went to the line with five seconds left to seal the victory. Spaulding (4-7) will travel to play CVU at 7 p.m. Friday.
Norwich 3, Plattsburgh St. 0
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The No. 10 Cadets found the back of the net twice in the final four minutes Tuesday and slammed the door on the Cardinals.
Brett Ouderkirk opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 15:31 of the first period. Coby Downs and Gabrielle Chicoine assisted. Downs and Ouderkirk set up David Robertston for an insurance goal at 16:26 of the third period. Maxime Borduas capped the scoring at 19:30 on assists by Felix Brassard and David Robertson.
Plattsburgh State (8-10-2) committed five penalties, while Norwich (14-4-3) was whistled for two infractions. Norwich goalie Tom Aubrun stopped 23 shots. Plattsburgh goalie Jimmy Poreda made 29 saves. The Cadets will travel to play Suffolk at 7 p.m. Friday.