GM girls come out strong but fail to snag win against Rivendell

By Evan Chadwick
©2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

For three quarters, the Green Mountain girls basketball team looked firmly in control, ready to grab their elusive fifth win to earn a spot in the upcoming Division 3 playoffs, leading by double digits for most of the first 24 minutes and entering the fourth quarter up by 9 at 26-17.

Unfortunately, GM hit a cold streak offensively, scoring only 1 point in the fourth, while giving up 15, which allowed the Rivendell Raptors to escape with a 32-27 victory in Chester on Tuesday night.

“We had no patience on offense,” said Head Coach Jeff Buffum. “We were in a hurry for no reason.”

The Chieftains raced out of the gate scoring the first 6 points of the contest on hoops from Kim Cummings and Kyra Burbela that forced the Raptors to take an early timeout.

After Rivendell scored on their next possession to cut the lead to 4, GM rattled off 10 straight points, capped by a give-and-go between Cummings and Luna Burkland that saw the GM lead balloon to 14 at the first break.

Rivendell’s offense showed some life in the second quarter, scoring 8 points to Green Mountain’s 6. Karen Vargas, returning from a leg injury, scored all 6 points for the Green and Gold that had the girls enter the locker room with a 22-10 advantage.

Although GM could not find consistent scoring in the third, their defense allowed them to stay at arm’s length, holding the Raptors to 7 points while scoring 4 of their own. A free-throw from the Raptors with less than a minute to go gave Rivendell some momentum going into the fourth as, for the first time since the opening minutes of the contest, they were within single digits at 26-17.

It took little time for Rivendell to take their first lead of the contest, scoring the first 10 points of the quarter to take a 27-26 advantage with four minutes remaining.

GM did not lack effort in the closing minutes. Cummings tracked down her own missed shot and drew a foul, Burkland played hard-nosed defense in the paint, stopping several Raptor drives and Linsey Miles applied excellent ball pressure that kept the ladies in the game to the very end.

“Our defense played well,” said Buffum. “We had a couple incidents where new players checked in and we were confused about who was guarding who, but overall the defense was there.”

Vargas and Cummings both scored 8 points for the 4-13 Chieftains.

GM has one last crack at earning their fifth win on Friday, Feb. 18, when they host White River Valley on Senior Day. The basketball program will honor its two seniors (Cummings and Tyrrell) in a pre-game ceremony and tip-off will follow at 7 p.m.

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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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