Turnovers riddle GM girls in loss to Leland & Gray Rebels

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By Evan Chadwick
©2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Turnovers: The ugliest word in basketball showed its face in Chester early and often for the Green Mountain girls basketball team in their Tuesday matchup with the Leland & Gray Rebels.

In the end, despite making several runs, the Chieftains could simply not overcome their unforced errors that led to their 46-37 loss to the Rebels.

“You can’t throw that lazy pass across the center of the court and expect it to get to your intended target,” said Coach Jeffrey Buffum. “We are just struggling to make smart choices with the ball.”

As has been an unfortunate scenario for much of the season this year, the Chieftains started the contest short-handed, only having one on the bench for the first frame that saw the Rebels jump out to an 11-8 lead.

The Chieftains would hang tough in the second, as the 8th grade reinforcements seemed to materialize out of thin air as the bench went from one to five while Grace Tyrrell pulled up from deep and drilled a 3 to tie the contest at 11 each just one minute into the second.

“Having the 8th graders able and willing to make that jump is a huge help, but they have their own team and season as well,” said Buffum.

“They had their own game in Brattleboro and three of them rushed back to GM to join us so we would have a bench.”

After the Rebels scored on an inbounds play, Kyra Burbela would draw a foul as she drove to the hoop and hit both free throws that knotted the game at 13.

Leland & Gray, using an effective full-court press, would turn the Chieftains over on three straight possessions and turn those turnovers into a 7-0 run that had the Chieftains on the ropes.

Ainsley Merrill slowed the Rebel momentum with a baseline jumper that cut the lead to five at 20-15, but, again fueled by turnovers, the Rebels would close the half on an 8-0 run to go into the break leading, 28-15.

The Chieftains would come out of the locker room and immediately chip away at the Rebel lead. Kim Cummings scored 10 points in the frame, off a corner three, two free throws and several drives to the hoop. The aggressive nature of the Chieftain offense drew several fouls that resulted in them being in the bonus before the end of the third. Eighth grader Colie Roby immediately made the Rebels pay by hitting two freebies that cut the lead to four at 36-32 entering the fourth.

The start of the fourth held promise for a Chieftain comeback, as Cummings drilled another 3 off a good hustle play by Luna Burkland who found Cummings open in the corner. Unfortunately, as the time began to wind down, and the legs began to tire, the Chieftain turnovers rose again, to limit the Chieftains quality offensive possessions and in turn allowed the Rebels to close the contest on a 10-4 run to earn the road victory.

Cummings led the now 3-10 Chieftains with 17 points. Grace Tyrrell followed with 9.

GM is next in action at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, when they host the Terriers of Bellows Falls.

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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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