ORLEANSâ€“In what started out as a tight contest ended in a twenty point victory for the Lady Rangers on Thursday as they ended their two game skid, defeating the Richford Rockets 52-32.
â€śI think this was an important win for us,â€ť said coach Matt Tinker, â€śThis will be good for the girls as we needed to get another win under our belt.â€ť
The first quarter was tightly played eight minutes by both teams. Cailyn Gallup started the scoring with with a mid-range jumper to get Lake Region on the board first, and it would be back and fourth from there.
The Rockets would go up by one on a lay-up by the recently named Gatorade High-School Runner of the Year for the state of Vermont Ellie Purrier lay-up, but Gallup went one for two from the line to square the game at eight.
In the second, Lake Region's bench came on and really carried the play in the early going. Allie Hall started the quarter with a pair from the charity stripe, then Sarah Burnham fired in a jumper, followed by a Caitlyn Burnier free-throw.
The bench was big part of the team's ability to open up the game in the second, and has really been a factor for the Rangers as of late.
Said Tinker, â€śWe've had a few games, like in Enosburg the other night, those kids were in there in the third quarter and they did some great things and tied the ball game back up. I can rotate those kids in and we don't drop off.â€ť
The starting five returned to the floor two minutes into the quarter and Kylie Atwood went 2/2 from the line, Sara Piette laid one in off the glass, and Atwood struck again from down low.
Hall finished the scoring off in the second, hitting one from the line, and then after missing the second, Gallup picked up the rebound and fed Hall for two from the paint.
â€śMy foul shots came through, I was feeling confident with the ball, and my heart was really in it tonight,â€ť said Hall of her strong performance Thursday.
Richford's Gabe Nutting and Annalise Goyne combined for the Rocket's six points in the quarter, and at the buzzer it stood 24-14 in favor of the home team.
After Piette opened up the second half with some hard gritty play, getting the bucket and the foul, Richford clamped down on defense and found their shooting stroke, going on ten point run, fueled by a pair of three's by Johanna Sherrer, to bring the score to 27-24.
That would be as close as the Rockets would get the rest of the way, as Lake Region broke out of their funk when Burnham hit an open Ashley Locke for two. Emily Comins then found Gallup for the easy lay-up, and the Lady Rangers were on a roll, allowing only eight more points the rest of the way as they closed out Richford for the win.
â€śWe still have some things get together, and if we can get a little more consistency with it we should be successful,â€ť said Tinker on where his team stands right now.
Gallup and Atwood each had ten points to lead Lake Region in scoring. Piette added nine while Burnham had eight, and Hall had seven.