WARRENSBURG - For the first time in recent history, the Warrensburg Girls Varsity Basketball team has started out their season with two consecutive wins.
For team coach Scott Smith, who's kept up his positive, encouraging and enthusiastic mentoring over years of losing seasons, this 2010-11 debut is more than welcome.
"It's been quite a while for a season opening like this, so it's a nice start for us," he said.
Monday, Warrensburg beat Bolton 37-31 after trailing most of the game, occasionally trading the lead with the energetic Eagles. The game followed the Burgher's decisive 44-19 victory Dec. 2 over Johnsburg
Smith said Monday's victory wasn't an easy win, because Bolton fought hard, and the crowd in the Eagles' gym was vocal in support of their team.
"It was everything we needed in an early season game - both teams played tough defense, there was a hostile crowd that was loud and rambunctious," he said. "It took us a while to get our nerve and settle down."
Headlining the Burgher effort against Bolton was high-scorer Ashlie Morehouse, who tallied eight of her 14 points in the fourth quarter - 12 of them in the second half.
Early in the game, Morehouse forced some shots, but later on she worked hard to get open inside and take successful shots.
"Bolton did a good job collapsing on Ashlie when she got the ball - But later, she executed well in the fourth quarter -she stepped up big," Smith said about his 6-foot center.
Backing her up was Senior Ariella Allen, who is enjoying a meteoric rebirth of her career this year after one season off. She grabbed 13 rebounds while contributing 7 points, Smith said.
"Ariella was huge for us against both Bolton and Johnsburg," Smith said about his 5'8" Senior forward, mentioning her 10 rebounds and 7 points against the Jaguars. "She's really done a great job."
In the back court, Junior guard Isabella Szabo has been performing well, Smith said, in the absence of experienced playmaker Jaci O'Brien, who is sidelined with an injury until January.
Against Bolton, Szabo scored 7 points, including the game's lone three-pointer. Against Johnsburg however, Szabo hit two treys and 10 points to help secure the Burgher victory.
Senior Katelyn Kuklinski, the companion guard, tallied 8 assists and 5 points against Johnsburg, plus 4 more against Bolton.
Against the Eagles, Ashlie Morehouse scored a career-high 18 points along with 10 rebounds, Smith said.
"We're working hard as a team and excited to be 2-0 at this point," Smith said, adding a note of caution. "But now we're going into Adirondack League play, which is highly competitive, and we need to step up to that challenge every night."
On Friday the Burghers host Argyle, and on Monday, they host Corinth. Both teams traditionally have fared well.
Smith said his squad is ready for some grueling action.
"We hope to keep the momentum going," he said. "We're going to make a little noise in our league this year."