GM Girls b-ball team falls to Wildcats, 55-34

By Evan Chadwick
©2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Green Mountain Girls basketball team was facing an early challenge from the White River Valley Wildcats in South Royalton Monday night when they raced out to an 11-2 lead. The Chieftains in response would hang tough. However, the obstacles were just a little too much for Coach Jeff Buffum’s squad on this night as the Chieftains dropped the road contest to the Wildcats 55-34 on Monday night.

Photo by Ziad Nr from Pexels

“We did settle down nicely. Adjusted to the quickness of the zone defense and started seeing where the openings were going to be,” said head coach Buffum.

Despite the early Wildcat run, Green Mountain would not fold, responding with a 7-3 run to close the first quarter trailing by just 5 at 14-9. Senior Kim Cummings was instrumental in slowing the Wildcat momentum with a deep 3 and an assist to Karen Vargas off a steal that fueled the late quarter surge.

“We like to pressure the ball, regardless of where it is on the floor or who has it,” said Buffum. “I stress taking defense personally. You must have the mindset that your man is not scoring, and that it’s OK to be upset when they do.”

The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair. White River extended their  lead to 9 early in the frame but the Chieftains would respond right back with a 4-0 run of their own. Cummings converted another steal into a layup and two free throws by center Grace Tyrell, a by-product of another Cummings theft, again narrowed the Wildcat lead to 5 midway through the second.

Defensive pressure would allow Green Mountain to hang tough even when their shots weren’t falling. Despite scoring only 9 points in the second quarter, the Chieftains would go into the locker-room trailing by just 9 at 27-18.

A creative euro-step finish by Vargas early in the third pulled Green Mountain to within 7 at 22-29. In what may have been the most significant period of the contest, White River Valley responded to the Chieftain mini-run with an 11-0 spurt that spanned just over three minutes stretching their lead to 40-26 heading into the final frame.

“Foul trouble led to that (White River) run,” said Buffum.

Despite the continued Green Mountain ball pressure and a Kyra Burbela 3-pointer that kept the green and gold within striking distance, White River was just a little too good on this night, taking the contest with a final score of 55-34.

Regardless of the result, Coach Buffum knows these early season contests are all about perspective.

“We are in the midst of our toughest three week stretch of the season,” he said. “We need to weather this storm, hopefully get a couple wins and continue to learn.”

Kim Cummings led the Chieftains with 11 points, while Kyra Burbela added 7 and Grace Tyrrell and Karen Vargas chipped in with 6 each.

The Chieftains drop to 2-4 on the season and are next in action on Thursday, Jan. 6 when they travel to Proctor for a 7 p.m. tip.

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Filed Under: BasketballEducation NewsSports News

About the Author: Originally from Rochester, Vermont, Evan Chadwick is a practicing attorney who lives in Brattleboro with his family. He is a 2007 graduate of Keene State College and currently coaches the boys' varsity basketball team at Bellows Falls Union High School.

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