PATTY GAGE (15) and Sahara Brown (5) battle a couple of White Mountains Spartans for a rebound, as Brooke Burley (11) waits for a possible loose ball. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 12, 2011ALTON — For the second time in a row, the Prospect Mountain hoop girls struggled out of the gate on their home court and couldn't rally for the win.
The Timber Wolves welcomed White Mountains Regional to town for a game on Friday, Dec. 9, and fell behind 16-5 after one quarter and were never able to get back on track, falling 52-27.
"We're not a team that come from far behind yet," coach Gordon Bilodeau said. "I've got to find a way to get them up for the first quarter."
The Spartans came right out of the gate and scored the game's first five points.
Prospect finally got on the board on an Ella Montminy hoop to cut the lead to 5-2, but White Mountains then reeled off nine points in a row to stretch the lead to 14-2.
A Sahara Brown three-pointer gave Prospect its second scoring play of the quarter, but the visitors hit two free throws to close out the first quarter with a 16-5 lead.
The Spartans then opened the second quarter with the first six points, upping the lead to 22-5 before Montminy drained a three-pointer. White Mountains hit another hoop but a Brown free throw and another Montminy three-pointer cut the lead to 24-12.
The Spartans responded nicely, however, as they hit the next three hoops to up the lead to 30-12 before an Emily Barrett hoop got Prospect back on the board. The visitors netted two free throws to close out the first half with a 32-14 lead.
Again, the Spartans dominated the scoring in the opening minutes of a quarter, as they netted the first eight points of the third quarter to up the lead to 40-14. Brown hit a hoop and Shannon Meyer drained a shot to get Prospect on the board in the quarter, but White Mountains hit for the final five points of the frame and took a 45-18 lead to the final eight minutes.
White Mountains scored the first four points of the fourth quarter before back-to-back hoops from Kristine Adams and Rebecca Krivitsky made it 49-22. After another Spartan hoop, Krivitsky had a hoop and a foul shot to make it 51-25, but White Mountains answered with one from the line.
Meyer finished off the scoring with her second hoop of the night, as the Spartans took the 52-27 win.
Bilodeau noted that facing the stronger teams in the division right out of the gate can be intimidating, but he has no problem with it.
"I want to see those strong teams, I have no problems with that," he said. "The kids aren't going to get better if they don't play good teams."
He noted that the two problems the Timber Wolves faced against the Spartans were turnovers and boxing out.
"Those are the two main areas we have to work on," he said. "And both of those are consistent with the magical word, teamwork."
He noted he was pleased that once again, the Timber Wolves kept their heads up and stayed positive to the end.
Montminy finished with eight points to lead Prospect, while Brown had six. Though she didn't show up on the score sheet, Chelsea Tierney chipped in at the defensive end with a pair of blocks.
The girls did get their first win of the season, as they hit the road to Berlin on Monday, Dec. 5, and came back with a 49-32 win over the Mountaineers.
Prospect held an 8-5 lead after one quarter, but trailed by one at the half, 17-16. The Timber Wolves had a strong third quarter and pulled out to a 27-23 lead, then dominated the fourth quarter, putting in 22 points for the win.
Brown led the way with 12 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Hope Carazzo added 10 points and Montminy chipped in with nine, including seven in the fourth quarter as she returned to the North Country for the first time in a Prospect hoop uniform.
"That was beautiful," Bilodeau said of the fourth quarter performance. "They played hard."
He noted that the Timber Wolves were all over the floor, diving for all the loose balls.
"I want them on the floor for every loose ball," he said. "I am very proud of the way they played in that second half. They showed some character."
The Timber Wolf girls will be in action on Friday, Dec. 16, when they head to Farmington for a 7 p.m. contest. On Tuesday, Dec. 20, they return home to face Gilford in their final regular season game before the holiday break. Varsity game time is 6:30 p.m.
The JV hoop girls dropped a 27-17 decision to White Mountains on Friday afternoon. Brooke Burley and Amelia Duane led the Timber Wolves, as they each put in four points on the night.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126