MCS girls edge DCS Eagles

By Julia Green
Downsville 36, Margaretville 38 ( Jan. 29)
It all came down to the fourth and final quarter of the Margaretville Blue Devils’ league win over Downsville on Thursday night. Brandi Balcom hit 10 of her 14 total points in the quarter and Casey Hubbell iced two of two free throws in the closing minutes to extend the Blue Devils’ lead to seven.
“Overall, I was so happy with the way the girls played,” said Head Coach Kyle Holden. “From start to finish, they kept their heads, they played together well, they stuck to the game plan. We had to fight back a little bit in the first half and then pulled in the lead and held on late. It was a good overall effort.”
Margaretville moved to 9-5 overall and 6-5 in the league following Thursday’s 38-36 victory over the visiting Eagles, who battled back in the fourth quarter, closing the seven-point gap to a mere two points, but who were unable to draw even.
“We took a seven-point lead at one point with two minutes left after Casey’s foul shots, and I wanted to make sure we didn’t hurry ourselves and throw the ball away,” Holden said. “But we got a little nervous. They had a couple of good stops, they had a foul on a three-point shooter and she hit a couple. The clock stopped and they were tacking on points, and it got a little exciting.”
The Blue Devils were down three at halftime but outscored the Eagles 9-6 in the third quarter to tie the game at 20.
“We played half-court defense well,” Holden said. “We picked up a little bit at the half-court and did a good job trying to slow them down a little bit. They’re a good offensive team.”
The Blue Devils were led by Erica Faulkner with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Andes 22, Jefferson 58 (Monday, Jan. 26)
Rachel Anderws and Mariah Ruff paced the Mountaineers with six points apiece and Karli Tait tallied seven rebounds for the Andes girls when they traveled to Jefferson last Monday, but an early deficit put Andes at an early disadvantage.
“They pretty much dominated us that game,” said Andes Head Coach Jeff Rhone, whose team was down by 13 points at the end of the first quarter. Rhone’s squad was depleted and plagued by sickness, with one starter missing altogether.
“They just dominated from beginning to end,” he said. “Every one of their players scored, and they were consistent with their quarters. It was just one of those nights; they were all tired and sick, and have three girls on medication, so it’s kind of going through our team.”
The Andes girls have a rematch with the JayHawks in Andes on Wednesday.
“I think at home… our court always helps us,” Rhone said. “There’s a familiarity for us.”

Andes 25, Charlotte Valley 65 (Thursday, Jan. 29)
The Andes girls suffered a harsh loss at the hands of the top-ranked team in the state Thursday night when they traveled to Charlotte Valley to face the host Wildcats.
Rachel Andrews tallied 10 points to lead the Mountaineers, who fell behind early after a 19-4 first quarter. They battled back in the second, however, tallying 10 points to the hosts’ 14, but still found themselves with a 20-point deficit at halftime.
“I was very pleased,” Rhone said of his team’s effort. “We entered this game knowing what we were up against and I said to the girls, ‘We’re going to use this game to learn something’ – and we did. We have a defense we’ve been working on and we used it most of the game, and by the end of the game they latched on and started to do some things with it.”
He added that the 19-point first quarter wasn’t indicative of his team’s performance on the whole.
“It was like eight or 10 to nothing in the first two minutes, so the 19 isn’t really an indicator,” he said. “It was more like halfway through the first we played really well defensively, and then in the third they came out and knocked down some threes.”
Rhone was also pleased with his team’s shooting efforts, as the Mountaineers went 11 for 21 from the field – better than a 50 percent average.
The Charlotte Valley girls offered no let-up in the second half, scoring 16 points in both the third and fourth quarters and limiting the Mountaineers to nine and two, as the Andes girls continued to focus on their zone defense.
“It’s obvious that [our defense] has one glaring mistake, and they found it and were getting open looks – they had six threes in the second half, and it was all the same thing, and that’s something we’re going to fix. But it was great because the kids didn’t stop, they didn’t give up, even knowing we were outmatched, and I was really proud of them.”
The Andes girls host Jefferson tonight and Gilboa on Friday. The Mountaineers defeated Gilboa at Gilboa earlier in the season.

Roxbury 21, H-T 51 (Friday, Jan. 30)
It was the second quarter that signaled the Roxbury Rockets’ decline Friday night, when they fell 51-21 to host Hunter-Tannersville. Despite a competitive but low-scoring first quarter, after which Roxbury trailed by only a point, Hunter went on a 17-4 scoring gap in the second quarter to open a gap that the Roxbury girls would not be able to close.
“It was just another case of a bad quarter,” said Roxbury Head Coach Tom Sherwood.
Danyelle Green led Roxbury with 10 points and Jenna Johnston added five for the Rockets. Raven Sprague led the team in rebounds.

Margaretville 39, Roscoe 54 (Monday, Feb. 2)
“It was a slugfest,” said Head Coach Kyle Holden of the Margaretville girls’ game at Roscoe on Monday night. “There were almost 70 foul shots between the two teams. We had 39 foul shots and made 16.”
The Blue Devils found themselves in foul trouble early, with starters Brandi Balcom and Erica Faulkner on the bench with two fouls apiece in the second quarter.
“I loved the effort,” Holden said. “We put out a great effort. It was one of those hard-fought games, and it almost had a sectional feel to it with the officials letting us play a little bit. Effort-wise, it was good; unfortunately, we just couldn’t find any balance in scoring.”
The Blue Devils were led by Faulkner with 17 points and Casey Hubbell with 13, with the rest of the team accounting for just nine points.
“We’re not going to win a whole lot of games where we don’t have balanced scoring,” Holden said.
The Margaretville girls were down by eight in the second quarter but rallied to close the gap to a 24-20 deficit at halftime. They continued the pressure in the third quarter, tying the score at 24, but were unable to pull away.
“I was really impressed with the way the girls played,” Holden said. “We came out in the third with great energy and scored two quick baskets to tie it at 24, and we just could not take the lead, which would have been a momentum-changer. Momentum’s such a great thing and we just couldn’t grab it. We had three solid attempts, and the girls kept slugging through, but unfortunately Roscoe came down and had two baskets to take a four-point lead and you could see the wind come out of our sails a little bit.”
From that point, for the most part, Roscoe maintained a 10-point lead for the remainder of the game.
The Blue Devils moved to 9-6 overall and 6-5 in the league as they move into the close of the season. They play host to Hunter-Tannersville Friday night, which will be Coaches vs. Cancer night at MCS.
“Hopefully we can take care of business on our home court,” Holden said.
Roxbury 36, Worcester 34 (Monday, Feb. 2)
The Roxbury Rockets’ game was on the line Monday night – the free throw line, that is.
Jessica Utsler hit two free throws with less than a minute remaining in the game when the Rockets faced the host Wolverines of Worcester to give Roxbury a one-point lead and Danyelle Greene added one more with less than 30 seconds remaining to give Roxbury the two-point lead that they rode to victory.
Despite being down by four at the close of the first quarter, the Rockets turned up the offense in the second, outscoring Worcester 14-6 to take a 20-16 halftime lead.
“It was a close game, and we jumped out and played a good second quarter for a change,” said Sherwood. “We had a 20-16 lead at the half and pulled away and we were up 29-17 at one point, and then they started to up the pressure and chipped away at the lead and actually went ahead at one point. The key was that we hit three of four foul shots in the last minute and a half, which allowed us to tie and take the lead.”
Sherwood added that defense was an asset in his team’s showing at Worcester, despite somewhat lacking efforts on the boards.
“Defense was a strong point,” he said. “We didn’t really rebound the ball well, but in the second and third quarters, defense was a strong point.”
Utsler led the Rockets with 16 points and six steals and Rachel Meckes added 15 points and five steals for Roxbury, who will host South Kortright tonight and travel to Jefferson on Friday.
“I think we’re improving,” Sherwood said. “We’ve got a couple of tough games the rest of this week. But I see the team improving as the season goes along.”