Green Mountain Girls rout BF Terriers 40-33

Photo by Pixabay. Creative Commons.

By Evan Chadwick
©2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

In this year’s COVID-plagued basketball season, it is anticipated that each game will bring a variation of their pre-season roster to each contest. For the Green Mountain girls basketball squad, they took this adaptation in stride, showing the increasing depth of Coach Jeff Buffum’s roster in their 40-33 road win over the Bellows Falls Terriers on Wednesday evening, Jan. 12.

“Right now, we just need to get healthy,” said Coach Buffum, whose squad was short three starters. “Our bench gave us some huge minutes. Sierra Sorensen (freshman), Colie Roby and Sophia Cherubini (8th graders) played smart and took care of the ball. They had high energy while on the court, and the minutes tonight not only helped us tonight, but are huge for the future.”

Early in the contest Green Mountain struggled on the offensive glass, especially with the Terriers’ 6-foot-1 freshman center Laura Kamel, who grabbed several offensive rebounds and finished one to give the Terriers an early 3 point advantage.

“She (Kamel) is going to be a hell of a player,” said Buffum. “I am not looking forward to facing her for three more years.”

Coach Buffum began to modify his offensive strategy late in the first quarter as Green Mountain focused on attacking the rim instead of settling for outside shots. This strategy paid off immediately as Green Mountain was in the bonus before the end of the first quarter when Kamel picked up her second foul. Karen Vargas converted the front end of the 1-and-1 to give the Chieftains a 10-9 lead after the first quarter.

“We were not hitting from outside, so we focused on attacking the basket,” said Buffum. “When we did this, Kamel picked up two quick fouls. From that point on, we tried to take it at her to further the foul trouble. She can’t hurt you from the bench.”

The big momentum shift in the first half was the Chieftains’ response to a 6-0 run by Bellows Falls that had the Terriers leading 15-10. Grace Tyrell’s drive and finish narrowed the deficit to 16-12 and then Kim Cummings drew Kamel’s third foul with under a minute to go in the half and hit both free throws to close Green Mountain to within one at 19-18.

The third quarter was primarily a track meet between the two teams, as Coach Todd Wells’ Bellows Falls squad went to a small lineup that saw them focus on transition more than half-court offense. For the most part, it worked, as the Terriers took a 29-25 lead with two minutes remaining in the quarter after back-to-back steals.

Despite the quick run, the Chieftains would simply not fold, closing the quarter on a 6-0 run of their own. Karen Vargas hit two mid-range jumpers and Grace Tyrrell finished a putback off her own miss that pushed the Chieftains back into the lead with eight minutes remaining at 31-29.

The Chieftain defense would win the day for Coach Buffum’s squad, as they outscored the Terriers 9-4 in the 4th quarter. Kim Cummings scored 5 points including a 3-point bomb that kept the game out of reach for the Terriers and Green Mountain lead for the last four minutes of the contest, leaving Holland Gym with a hard fought 40-33 victory.

“The last 2:30 of the game, we had the ball mostly and took care of it,” said Buffum, whose team climbed to one game from .500 at 3-4. “We played smart and made the right pass, which is something we have struggled with in the past.”

Kim Cummings led the Chieftains with 13 points and Karen Vargas followed with 10. The Chieftains are next in action at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15 when the Poultney Blue Devils come to town.

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Filed Under: Education NewsFeaturedSports 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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