SHANNON MEYER gets her hand on a shot from Berlinís Jillian Williams during action Nov. 30 in Berlin. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 03, 2012BERLIN — Out of the gate, the Prospect Mountain hoop girls showed that if nothing else, they will be competitive this year.
The Timber Wolves got their longest road trip of the season out of the way on the first day of the winter sports season, making the trek to Berlin for a game on Friday, Nov. 30.
The Mountaineers and Timber Wolves played a back and forth game all night, but the visitors pulled away in the final few minutes to claim a 41-39 victory.
Despite the loss, Prospect junior guard Ella Montminy had a tremendous night, scoring 22 points in the first contest of the season.
Coach Gordon Bilodeau noted that Montminy's great game was a fantastic start for the Timber Wolves and he expects that once fellow guard Hope Carazzo finds her shot, things will get even better for the team.
"When we get that one-two punch going with Hope and Ella, they'll be tough to stop," Bilodeau said. "That opens up the low post game."
The first hoop of the game came from Prospect's Abby Mucher two minutes in, but Berlin answered right back. After Montminy scored her first bucket of the game, the Mountaineers again answered. An Amelia Duane block on the defensive end set up another Montminy hoop for a 6-4 lead for the Timber Wolves, but the hosts closed out the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 10-6 lead after one quarter of play.
The Mountaineers made it a 7-0 run with a free throw to open the second quarter, but a Montminy three-pointer and two free throws pulled the Timber Wolves even at 11.
Berlin again went on a 6-0 run to up the lead to 17-11, but Mucher scored off a great feed from Montminy to cut the lead to four. After Berlin upped the lead to 19-13, Montminy scored again and after a Shannon Meyer block netted another hoop to cut the lead to 19-17.
Meyer then drilled a bucket with 15 seconds to go in the half to tie the game at 19 at the halftime break.
An Anna Hingston free throw gave the Timber Wolves a 20-19 lead early in the second half, but Berlin answered with a bucket for a 21-20 lead. Montminy completed a three-point play to put the Prospect girls back on top by a 23-21 score.
After Berlin scored another hoop to tie the game at 23, Meyer hit a bucket to put Prospect back in the lead by a 25-23 lead. Berlin tied the game again but Montminy drained another bucket to make it 27-25. After a Berlin free throw, Duane hit a hoop for a 29-26 lead, but a Berlin three-pointer tied the game at 29 at the end of the third quarter.
The Mountaineers scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to take a 33-29 lead before a Brooke Burley hoop cut the lead to two. After a Berlin free throw, Montminy hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 34. A Carazzo hoop gave the Timber Wolves the lead, but a pair of free throws from Berlin pulled the hosts even again.
Montminy hit a free throw for another one-point lead for the Timber Wolves with 1:51 to go in the game. However, Berlin hit the next two hoops to take a 40-37 lead with 1:10 to go in the game. Mucher hit a hoop to cut the lead to one with 20 seconds to go, but the Mountaineers hit a free throw to close out the 41-39 victory.
"We're getting better on layups, but we missed three or four and that was the thing tonight," Bilodeau said. "Defensively, they picked it up pretty well and did a good job in matchup zone."
The second-year Timber Wolf coach noted that the Mountaineers are a solid team, so he was happy to see his squad stay even the entire way.
"They're quick, a good little team," Bilodeau said. "We figured it would be an even game.
"It was a fun game to watch, but not for being on the losing side," he continued. "But I can't fault the kids for their effort."
In addition to Montminy's strong all-around game, Bilodeau also praised the work of Meyer in the paint.
"She fought hard," Bilodeau said.
The Timber Wolves hosted their first home game after deadline Tuesday, with Gilford in town.
"That will be a good test to see how they bounce back," Bilodeau said.
Prospect will be hosting Inter-Lakes on Friday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126