NEWPORT–After coming close earlier in the week against CVU, the North Country girls finally picked up their fifth, and arguably biggest, win of the season, defeating a very good BFA St. Albans squad 49-37.
"It is important that when we get leads, we maintain leads," said coach Brown, "They (BFA) tied it up and our girls dug in and fought and showed that they had toughness and that they wanted it more."
From the opening tip, it looked like it was going to be a defensive battle as the points were few and far between.
It took three minutes and twenty seven seconds before point number one was scored, and it came off of a Desiree Coffin foul shot.
The Comets waited almost a minute to tie the game, as Chelsea Hunt went one for two, and we were at the uncommon score of 1-1.
I can not remember the last time I saw a scoreboard read 1-1, but that is another story for another day.
BFA added five more points, North Country chipped in two, and it was a quiet 6-3 advantage for the girls in gold after eight minutes of play.
The second quarter did not yield much more offense.
Each team had nine points in the second, with the Falcons getting their points from three different players.
Noelle Pinad had two buckets, Emma Joslin had a free throw, and Coffin was a perfect four for four from the stripe.
It was 15-12 BFA as the third quarter got underway, and this is when the Falcons really started to shine.
Joslin opened up the quarter with a three, tying the game at fifteen all.
Her nemesis from Franklin County, Eva Clark, put the Comets back in front with a long two.
"I've played against her in AAU a couple of times," said Joslin, "We have always battled it out, and we just don't get along."
The two matched up all quarter long before Clark eventually would find a seat on the BFA bench.
Pinard, who had a great third, hit for three to restore the Falcon lead.
Kelsey O'Donnell, who got the start for the injured Anna Bingham, kept North Country rolling, weaving through a multitude of Comets before feeding Britni Jewer for two.
"I saw tremendous growth from those players," said Brown of Jewer and O'Donnell's play on Friday, "It is important that we develop confidence with our players and that we can put them out there and that they can handle the situations we put them in. It was nice to see them stay composed and play big minutes out there."
Pinard then made a long two, dropped in two from the line, and the Falcons were up 24-17.
Dani Esenler dumped in two, but Pinard was still grooving, sandwiching a Tiffany Morin lay-up with a two and a foul shot.
It was at this point that things got interesting. Clark fouled Joslin, and then was T'd up for what I believe was unsportsmanlike conduct.
As Clark sobbed on the bench Joslin went one for four, making it 30-19.
The Comets appeared to be energized by the injustice seemingly to have been done to their teammate, and they made the final minute of the third very unpleasant for the Falcons.
They forced North Country into committing several mental mistakes, scored eight points, and it looked like it was going to be another repeat of Tuesday all over again.
As the fourth quarter got underway, the Falcons, now up by just three 30-27, saw the lead slip to one, then disappear as the score stood 32-32 with a 5:30 left on the clock.
Joslin, who found her free throw rhythm after the tough 1-4 showing in the third, put North Country back in front with two from the line.
Said Brown, "Emma is our backbone, and a game like this hopefully develops her confidence and brings her back to be the Emma we know."
She would finish the quarter going eight for ten from the stripe.
O'Donnell extended the lead to three, going 1/2, then Pinard stretched it five, making the steal in her zone and going coast-to-coast for the emphatic two.
The Comets never recovered, as they spent the remainder of the fourth sending NCU to the line, where the home team went thirteen for twenty to seal the win.
Noelle Pinard had a double-double scoring a game high nineteen to go along with her eighteen rebounds.
Emma Joslin was next on the scoring list with thirteen points, and Kelsey O'Donnell had five points and seven rebounds.
The 5-13 Falcons will hit the road on Tuesday to face BHS before coming home for their season finale on Friday against Essex.