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Eagle girls dominate Randolph, 36-8

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Posted on December 13, 2010 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



web_bball2590.jpg
EAGLE JUNIOR MEGAN Ogden sets up a play in the first half of Saturday's game against Randolph. The Eagles won the game, 36-8. Independent photo/Trent Campbell

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School girls’ basketball team made a promising debut on Saturday when the Eagles showed dominating defense and patient offense on the way to a 36-8 win over visiting Randolph.

Mount Abe forced 22 first-half Randolph turnovers before Coach Connie LaRose called off the press, and six Eagles scored to give Mount Abe a 15-0 lead before the Ghosts managed their first points at 5:08 of the second quarter.

At the half, the Eagles led, 20-2, and they outscored the Ghosts by 9-0 in the third period as junior tri-captain Lydia Stearns closed the period with seven straight points.

Stearns, a post player who finished with a game-high 13 and added five rebounds, said Saturday’s results were the product of the Eagles’ preparation.

“We just practice hard every day, and today we just tried our best and it showed,” Stearns said.

Coach Connie LaRose was happy to see her team play effectively even with senior all-star guard Jenn Loyer not having her best shooting night.

LaRose praised a balanced effort: Loyer set up five hoops; junior guard Amber Fay scored the game’s first five points and finished with seven, plus three steals; junior guard Sara Sayles recorded four points and four steals; senior center K.C. Cousineau hauled in five boards; freshman guard Ashlie Fay debuted with six points and three steals; and the Eagles turned the ball over just 15 times.

LaRose also had to enjoy the beginning of the second quarter when Sayles was the only starter on the floor — she was joined at different times by Ashlie Fay, senior forward Kim Kayhart, junior forwards Casey Ogden and Megan Ogden, and sophomore forward Jessie Martin — and the Eagles outscored the Ghosts by 4-0.

“A lot of kids are going to get minutes in a lot of different places for us this year,” LaRose said. “This was a good chance to let them get rid of some of the butterflies and see how effective they can be. And I think we have some reasonably good speed and athleticism.”

In the first quarter, the Eagle press and halfcourt defense — especially Sayles, Amber Fay and Loyer at the top of a 3-2 zone — forced 13 turnovers. On offense, Amber Fay hit a three-pointer at 5:00 to break the ice and added two free throws at 4:20 after making a steal.

The Eagles stretched the lead to 11-0 after one period on a fast-break hoop by Stearns and a lay-up by Cousineau on an inbounds play, both assisted by Loyer, and an Amber Fay hoop set up by a Martin’s steal and assist.

Early in the second, Kayhart made it 13-0 on a terrific drive-and-dish by Martin, and Ashlie Fay took a feed from Casey Ogden and hit a jumper to make it 15-0 with her first varsity points.

Randolph’s Siobhan Chase hit a baseline jumper at 5:08 to put the Ghosts on the board, but they did not score again until early in the fourth.

The Eagles closed the half on a Stearns bucket on the break from Loyer, a Loyer steal and layup, and a Stearns free throw to lead, 20-2.

In the third, Sayles converted another Loyer feed on the break, and Stearns hit a pair of spinning moves in the paint and three free throws as the Eagle lead grew to 29-2. Four more points from Ashlie Fay and three face-saving hoops from the Ghosts highlighted the fourth quarter.

LaRose complained about the Eagles’ lack of intensity in the half-court offense after she called off the press, and, like all the state’s coaches are stating after a short preseason, she said there remains much for her team to accomplish.

But she believes the Eagles will rise to the challenge.

“I know we have a lot to work on,” LaRose said. “But I like the kids’ attitude. I like the way they are really picking each other up. We’ll see where it takes us.”

Stearns agreed. “I think we will do OK. There are some hurdles we have to adjust to, but we’ll get through it,” she said. “We’re definitely having fun. We all enjoy it very much.”

 Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at andyk@addisonindependent.com.Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000241 EndHTML:0000010066 StartFragment:0000005294 EndFragment:0000010030 SourceURL:file:///Volumes/Drobo/News%20(SHARED%20FOLDER)/Editor's%20Folder%20D/%20to%20archive/Eagle%20girls%20hoop%2012%2013%2010.doc

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School girls’ basketball team made a promising debut on Saturday when the Eagles showed dominating defense and patient offense on the way to a 36-8 win over visiting Randolph.

Mount Abe forced 22 first-half Randolph turnovers before Coach Connie LaRose called off the press, and six Eagles scored to give Mount Abe a 15-0 lead before the Ghosts managed their first points at 5:08 of the second quarter.

At the half, the Eagles led, 20-2, and they outscored the Ghosts by 9-0 in the third period as junior tri-captain Lydia Stearns closed the period with seven straight points.

Stearns, a post player who finished with a game-high 13 and added five rebounds, said Saturday’s results were the product of the Eagles’ preparation.

“We just practice hard every day, and today we just tried our best and it showed,” Stearns said.

Coach Connie LaRose was happy to see her team play effectively even with senior all-star guard Jenn Loyer not having her best shooting night.

LaRose praised a balanced effort: Loyer set up five hoops; junior guard Amber Fay scored the game’s first five points and finished with seven, plus three steals; junior guard Sara Sayles recorded four points and four steals; senior center K.C. Cousineau hauled in five boards; freshman guard Ashlie Fay debuted with six points and three steals; and the Eagles turned the ball over just 15 times.

LaRose also had to enjoy the beginning of the second quarter when Sayles was the only starter on the floor — she was joined at different times by Ashlie Fay, senior forward Kim Kayhart, junior forwards Casey Ogden and Megan Ogden, and sophomore forward Jessie Martin — and the Eagles outscored the Ghosts by 4-0.

“A lot of kids are going to get minutes in a lot of different places for us this year,” LaRose said. “This was a good chance to let them get rid of some of the butterflies and see how effective they can be. And I think we have some reasonably good speed and athleticism.”

In the first quarter, the Eagle press and halfcourt defense — especially Sayles, Amber Fay and Loyer at the top of a 3-2 zone — forced 13 turnovers. On offense, Amber Fay hit a three-pointer at 5:00 to break the ice and added two free throws at 4:20 after making a steal.

The Eagles stretched the lead to 11-0 after one period on a fast-break hoop by Stearns and a lay-up by Cousineau on an inbounds play, both assisted by Loyer, and an Amber Fay hoop set up by a Martin’s steal and assist.

Early in the second, Kayhart made it 13-0 on a terrific drive-and-dish by Martin, and Ashlie Fay took a feed from Casey Ogden and hit a jumper to make it 15-0 with her first varsity points.

Randolph’s Siobhan Chase hit a baseline jumper at 5:08 to put the Ghosts on the board, but they did not score again until early in the fourth.

The Eagles closed the half on a Stearns bucket on the break from Loyer, a Loyer steal and layup, and a Stearns free throw to lead, 20-2.

In the third, Sayles converted another Loyer feed on the break, and Stearns hit a pair of spinning moves in the paint and three free throws as the Eagle lead grew to 29-2. Four more points from Ashlie Fay and three face-saving hoops from the Ghosts highlighted the fourth quarter.

LaRose complained about the Eagles’ lack of intensity in the half-court offense after she called off the press, and, like all the state’s coaches are stating after a short preseason, she said there remains much for her team to accomplish.

But she believes the Eagles will rise to the challenge.

“I know we have a lot to work on,” LaRose said. “But I like the kids’ attitude. I like the way they are really picking each other up. We’ll see where it takes us.”

Stearns agreed. “I think we will do OK. There are some hurdles we have to adjust to, but we’ll get through it,” she said. “We’re definitely having fun. We all enjoy it very much.”

 Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at andyk@addisonindependent.com.

Note: The headline of this article ran incorrectly as "Otter girls dominate Randolph" in the Dec. 13 print edition. We regret the error.

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