CRAFTSBURY–In the second meeting of the season between the UCA and Craftsbury girl's basketball teams, the Chargers once again flexed their muscle, defeating the Crusaders 49-24.
"We have been working on playing as a team to get everybody used to each other, and that was what was working for us tonight," said Craftsbury's Sarah Dunbar.
Much like the first go around, the opening quarter was a fairly close affair.
Janet Bohannon opened the scoring, making one basket followed by two more from the line.
Dunbar is a smart cookie, and she understands what a big help Bohannon is going to be for the Chargers this season, saying "She has adjusted (to playing with us) really well and it's nice to have her out there,"
Laura Libby got the UCA team on the board, making two free throws and cutting the Craftsbury lead to two.
Meghan Pennock extended the Charger advantage back to four with a bucket, then dished off to Dunbar, who moved the lead to six.
Christina Maxwell closed out the first quarter scoring with lay-up, and after one, it was 8-4 Chargers.
The first quarter was an especially trying one for UCA.
Craftsbury smothered the team with their defense, rarely allowing the Crusaders to get past half court early on.
"A lot of it is our nerves, because in practice we have plays to break this kind of stuff, they just have to get on it. Our mindset is what differs for us out there, and we really have to get it under control," said UCA coach Molly Smith.
Again, just like in the first game, the Chargers ramped things up in the second quarter, putting a twenty-spot on the board.
This time it was Thalia Thomas leading the way for the Academy, dropping in a quarter-high nine points.
Said coach Rick Thomas, "Thalia works super hard, and she worked on her game all summer. She is a shooter and is a penetrating dribbler, and the two go together. Once her outside shot comes in, then she can start penetrating."
Thomas, who has been quiet in the Chargers first two games, really found her groove in this contest, not only playing stellar defense, but shooting the ball with a consistency that has not been seen yet this year.
Unlike last game, UCA was able to put some points on the board in the second.
Hannah Piette reminded those in attendance of her long range prowess, hitting twice from behind the arc, while Libby added a deuce and Amy DeLaBruere went 1-2 from the line.
With the score at 28-13 in their favor, the Charger set out to put the game out of reach for the Crusaders in the third.
They opened the quarter on an 8-0 run, and it was 36-13 before Laura Libby's bucket broke up the party.
Libby has been a trooper these past two games, and Smith is well aware of how valuable she is to the team.
"I was impressed with Laura, especially in the fourth quarter. She stepped up, scored and boxed out and we need that in all four quarters from her."
Going down the stretch of the third and into the fourth, Craftsbury's bench got a chance to shine in front of their fans.
Led by Malienga Perkins and Renee Spiese, Craftsbury closed out the game in fine fashion to move to 2-1 on the young season.
"We want to work on our up-tempo and trapping defenses and we need our bench to do that and tonight they were able to come in and do that," said Thomas.
"It's huge when you have kids who can come of the bench and not really lose anything, and that's what we're trying to do."
Janet Bohannon and Thalia Thomas both had a team-high eleven points in limited action, and if the duo continue to score like they did on Wednesday, the Chargers could really be a force to contend with in Division IV.
Laura Libby led all scorers with twelve points for the 0-2 Crusaders.
UCA will be back in action this Saturday at 11:00 against Concord while Craftsbury will host Stowe on the 18th at 5:30.