The Black River High School girls' basketball team has endured a long season, with a small roster and several young players, coach Peter Collins and his team were still looking for their first win as they took on a tough, Leland and Gray team in Ludlow. However, it would not come on this night as the Lady Presidents fell to the Rebels, 52-23. The win put Leland and Gray at 13-6 on the season.
A thin but raucous crowd showed up to cheer on the Lady Presidents, thanks to six Black River exchange students who made more than their share of noise, but the Lady Rebels wasted no time in building a quick, 8-0 lead mostly on the play of sophomore Alexandra Morrow, who scored Leland & Gray's first six points before teammate (sophomore) Ashley Goddard scored on a put-back under the basket.
The Lady Rebels would push the lead to 13-0 before President freshman Stevie Roberts broke the string with a lay up to make it 13-2, with just under three minutes to go in the quarter. After the Leland & Gray defense forced two more turnovers which turned into easy baskets from Morrow and senior Bethany Robinson, the Rebels had a commanding, 17-2 lead after one quarter.
As the second quarter began, the Leland and Gray would push the lead to 21-2 , before a foul shot from Lady President junior Alyssa Collins broke the run with a foul shot to make it 21-3 half way through the quarter. The Rebel defense was the key to the big lead, causing multiple turnovers throughout the first half which continually turned into easy transition baskets for the Rebels. Morrow and Robinson were forces under the basket, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.
The Leland and Gray defense would continue to dominate and create turnovers, allowing the Rebels to rebound the basketball and run the fast break nearly at will, building a 25-5 lead at halftime. "We hadn't played very well the last couple games and just lost a tough one to Green Mountain, so we really needed to refocus," Rebels Coach Gregg Morrow would say after the game.
Black River came out hard at the start of the third quarter despite the score, causing two quick turnovers which turned into baskets for seniors Katelyn MacPhearson and Tiffany Roundy, before Lady Rebel lay ups from junior Callie Ginter and Robinson got Leland and Gray back on track. The Lady Presidents kept working hard however, getting baskets from junior Dakota Chambers and Roundy, but the Leland & Gray would simply possess too much size and depth, heading into the final stanza with a comfortable 43-13 lead.
The final stanza would see much of the same, as the Rebels' comfortable lead allowed them to give the entire roster playing time while maintaining their lead. The Presidents broke the 20-point mark late in the fourth quarter, but it was too little-much too late.
"Because have a small roster (nine players total) and not a lot of experience, (three freshmen) it has been a learning year for this team," Black River coach Peter Collins concluded. "But I give this team credit because they play hard to the final whistle and they are learning every day."
For Black River, Tiffany Roundy led the way with six points, while Alyssa Collins and Katelyn MacPherson each pitched in with four. For Leland and Gray, sophomore Alexandra Morrow led the way for the Rebles with an outstanding all-around effort, notching 14 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and four steals, while Callie Ginter scored 11 points and Bethany Robinson pitched in with eight.
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