NEWPORT–The North Country Falcons' girl's basketball team managed to hang with the Colchester Lakers for two and two-third quarters before the visitors pulled away in the Lakers 45-33 win on Monday night.
"The biggest picture that affected us tonight was the fact that we could not get the ball inbounds on out of bounds plays," said coach Christiane Brown. "Our offense was also very hot and cold. Sometimes we could run it, sometimes not. When we ran it we looked good, when we didn't run it and it became more of a one man show, it was not a very fluid offense."
The opening eight minutes featured a tightly played brand of basketball, with neither team getting a true advantage over the other.
Anna Bingham opened the scoring with a low-post jumper and we were off the races.
Alana Freeley tied it up with an in-close shot of her own, and the back and forth nature of the opening half was solidified.
Back came the Falcons with Hollie Smith dishing off to Britni Jewer who gave the lead back to NCU.
Sarah Paskevich returned the favor before the first deep shot of the game came from Bingham, whose bomb gave the Falcons a three point cushion at 7-4.
After exchanging foul shots, Paskevich and Jackie Naigle had the Lakers up 9-7 with time running out, but Morgan Greene hit Bingham with three seconds left in the first, and she drained the bucket to knot things at 9-9.
"Morgan stepped up off the bench and played a great game, both rebound-wise and defending, so I am pretty happy with that," Brown said about her 5'10" sophomore forward.
Naigle opened the second quarter scoring making her basket and one, followed by a Freeley free throw.
Desiree Coffin got her first point of the night, going 1-2 from the stripe, and added a thunderous block for good measure.
Nicole Therrien, who along with Greene has seen her minutes increase as the season rolls along, hit for two, and Coffin added three points on a bucket and one to make it 15-13 North Country.
Paskevich tied it up with two from the line and Bingham closed out the first half by scoring with seven seconds remaining to give the Falcons a 17-15 lead going into the break.
Six straight Colchester points greeted the Falcons in the third, as their grasp of the game started to slip away.
Coffin made two in a row, the second off her own block and steal, but she soon found herself with four fouls and had to take a seat on the bench.
The Lakers shooting, which had all but abandoned them up until the final two minutes of the third, came back as if by magic, and it was 29-25 Colchester after three.
The blue and green were just getting started, and they went out and had the highest scoring quarter of the game in the fourth, netting sixteen points, doubling up the Flacons eight, en-route to the win.
Bingham had a team and co-game high 13 for North Country (4-1), who tasted defeat for the first time this season.
Colchester (3-4) had two players with thirteen points, as Paskevich and Naigle matched Bingham's efforts in the score book.
Now the Falcons will be off until Saturday when they head to Barre to face 3-2 Spaulding in a rare 11:30 AM start.