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Falcons Ground T-Birds 53-18 in Lopsided Home Opener

December 20, 2011

Noelle Pinard splits the defenders as she goes up for the shot. (Photo Mike Olmstead)

NEWPORT–The scoreboard said it all on Monday night when the North Country girls basketball team laid waste to the Missisquoi Valley Union Thunderbirds 53-18.
A game like that, while fun for the players on the winning side, can be a double edged sword for the victorious coach.
"It's nice to get points on the board and it is nice to get a win, especially when we are playing the best in the state every night, but unfortunately it ( a blow out) doesn't prepare us to get ready for what we are going to see, but it is nice to get the win," said coach Brown.
In the minute following the opening tip-off it looked like neither team was going to put up many points on this night.
That changed abruptly after Desiree Coffin put in her first lay-up of the game. She followed that one up with another and the Falcons were on a roll.
A free throw from Emma Joslin and two more by Tiffany Morin put the score at 7-0. Time after time MVU tried to get something going, but nothing was working on this night for the Thunderbirds.
"The first and second quarters were real tough for us," said MVU coach Ben Pfeil, "We had a lot of fouls, a lot of turnovers, and it seemed like we couldn't get that ball to drop for us."
Kelsey O'Donnell and Noelle Pinard got into the act with a pair of twos', Morin dropped another free throw, and Anna Bingham closed the quarter out with her first bucket of the game and as the horn sounded it was North Country 14, Missisquoi bagel.
The shut out streak would continue into the second until Chelsea Boudreau score MVU's first points of the game at the :45 marker, making it 16-2.
"At moments I saw greatness out there," said Brown, "I saw us be an offensive threat which is exciting."
North Country then put together another run, this one good for eight points, and the half ended with the Falcons firmly ahead 24-3.
The Thunderbirds would play better in the second half, starting each of the final two quarters with the opening bucket, but for the most part it was still Falcons time.
NC outscored MVU 13-7 in the third and 16-8 in the fourth to close out the game.
North Country was able to rest their starters late, which was good for Emma Joslin, who is still on the road to recovery with her ankle not at 100 percent.
The bench played well in the fourth, Jaime Kramer had six points in the final eight minutes, followed by two from both O'Donnell and Michaela Stanley. The brief time the starters got on the floor, the team got two buckets apiece from Joslin and Morin.
"We got to work on our key sets, our plays, and work on the little things like getting it to our post so that everyone could score," said Bingham.
Number 20 led all players with a game high nine points. Kramer and Pinard had eight, Morin had seven, and all in all, eight of the ten players on the roster were on the score sheet at games end.
While the win was nice, Brown knows there is still room for improvement.
"We still have to take care of the little things out there. We have got to take care of the ball, we can't turn it over. We have to get our transition buckets. When we're running it's got to be backboard, jumper, lay-up, foul-line jumper, or a foul, and if we are not getting that in transition against the good teams we are not going to compete."
The Falcons were slated to compete today at Mount Mansfield, but that game has been moved to January 3rd. Now they will have over a week to prepare for their rematch against the Lyndon Institute Vikings, who defeated the Falcons in the season opener.
The action kicks off on the 29th at 5:00 with the J/V teams, followed by the big clubs at 6:30.

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