Mount St. Joseph Academy recently traveled to Bellows Falls to take on the Terriers, and proceeded to thoroughly dominate in an 82-34 win at Holland Gym in Westminster. The Mounties came out firing on all cylinders in this one, and clearly showed why they are considered one of the top Division II teams in the state.
Coming into the game at an impressive 8-2, MSJ can score in a variety of ways and although the Terriers'' 2-3 zone defense seemed to keep them in check for the first five minutes, trailing just 9-6 after a 3-pointer from senior Peter Falzo. But from that point on it would be all Mount St. Joseph.
MSJ has players up and down the roster who can all score and halfway through the quarter they finally started breaking down the BF zone, scoring eight consecutive points on two jumpers from freshman Zachary Lanzillo, a lay up from junior Jaskin Melendez and a jumper from sophomore Jahnathan Mitchell to take a 17-9 lead.
The Mounties continued to run the floor and after a couple more fast-break baskets off of turnovers and another jumper from Lanzillo , the Terrier s somehow stemmed the tide with a 3-pointer from sophomore Trevor Wilson to make it 23-10 after one quarter. At the start of the second stanza, however, the MSJ would begin to pull away.
MSJ would then go on a 23-4 run and dominate the Terriers with a tough full-court defense and a strong transition game that put this one away before halftime. In fact, five different players had at least six points as MSJ took a 48-16 lead into the break.
The Mounties would pick right up where they left off at the start of the third quarter, scoring six consecutive points before Terrier freshman Kendrick Mills broke the string with a 3-pointer, making it 56-19 just three minutes into the third. MSJ would pour it on and after jumpers from Melendez, Mitchell and Lanzillo, to end the quarter, they had a 66-23 lead heading into the final stanza.
The fourth quarter would see much of the same as the Mounties built their lead to 50, before finally emptying the bench and going with some different combinations the rest of the way. To Bellows Falls' credit, they kept working hard and produced their best offensive quarter of the game, but it would be too little and much too late, as the team would cruise to an unbelievable 82-34 win.
"We did a really good job in first quarter with a 2-3 zone defense," Terrier head coach Evan Chadwick said after the game. "However, they were just too big for us inside and possess too much athleticism for us to handle. The kids were a little intimidated I think, so we had to fight through that as well. But we'll keep working hard and getting better . This team continues to work hard and they like playing with each other, and that is also important."
The Mounties had six players in double-figures, led by freshman Tyler Ackley with 14 points, while Lelendez has 12, O'rourke and Cassell had 11 each and Mitchell and Murray 10 each. Peter Falzo led the way for Bellows Falls with six points, while Kendrick Mills and Jeremy Kilburn each had five. Contact Joe Milliken at email@example.com
The Mill River girls' basketball team recently traveled to Westminster to take on Bellows Falls Union High School, and came home with a convincing 39-17 win over the Terriers. The Mill River offense was not running on all cylinders, but a very strong defense was the key to the win for the Lady Minutemen.
It was close early on, though, as the Bellows Falls played a solid 2-3 zone defense that helped keep the much bigger Mill River line up out of the paint. Although senior guard Chelsea Bagly scored two early baskets on drives to the hoop and junior forward Alyssa Turgeon scored on a put-back for an early 8-point lead, before Lady Terriers sophomore Enny Mustapha scored two baskets of her own in the paint, one on a post-up move and the other off an offensive rebound.
With the middle clogged up, Mill River started swinging back out side for 3-pointers from senior captain Amanda Ley and Bagley to extend the lead to 14-6 after a lay up from up-and-coming BF freshman Emily Dufault halfway through the quarter.
But, when Dufault had to sit down with her second foul, and then Mustapha with her second, Mill River started hitting their free throws and Bellows Falls started to lose the battle in the paint. The Lady Minutemen continued to move the ball around well, taking jumpers when they were there, and dumping it inside when Bellows Falls stretched their defense. But after a Kya Coursen lay up with a minute left, the Bellows Falls were very much alive going into the second quarter trailing 12.
In the second quarter Bellows Falls squandered several opportunities by turning the ball over on four straight possessions, while Mill River turned three of those possessions into points on a 3-pointer from Taggart, a lay up from sophomore Trisha Burden and a jumper from sophomore Nicole Ames. The lead had been pushed to 20-10, causing the Bellows Falls to call a time out to stem the tide.
However, after the time out, the sophomore Taggert would hit three-of-four foul shots to end the half, giving Mill River a 23-10 lead. Taggert had seven points at the break for the Minutemen, while Dufault had six for Bellows Falls, despite limited minutes. To start the third quarter, Turgeon and Bagley scored on consecutive possessions and after another Bellows Falls turnover, Ames hit a base line jumper and the lead was up to 12 points halfway through the quarter. Then things got a little rough when BF junior Emma Shaw was called for a technical foul for a push after the whistle. One free-throw was made and after Terrier junior Sarah Dumont hit a 3-pointer with time winding down, the score was 31-14 heading into the final quarter.
Mill River would continue to move the ball around the parameter , effectively takeing time off the clock while also creating good shot, taking a 39-15 lead halfway through the quarter after another Ames' 3-pointer with a defender right in her face defensively.
The Lady Terriers would keep working hard, getting four points down the stretch from Course on a short jumper and two free throws, but it would not be nearly enough as the Lady Minutemen came away with a 39-19 win.
"We did a pretty good job defensively, only giving up 39 points to a very good team, Terrier coach Aube said after the game. "Losing Emily (Dufault) early really took her out of her game for a while, and then losing Enny (Mustapha) for a while at the end of the first quarter was also tough to overcome.
"They have a lot of size and depth, and move the ball around on offense very well. We also just can't seem to get enough offense going. We try to make that one extra pass instead of shooting the ball more. It's a tough loss, but I think it was our best game defensively all season and we can build on that."
Nicole Ames led the way for Mill River with 10 points, while Chelsea bagley and Maureen Taggart each pitched in with six. Enny Mustapha led the way for Bellows Falls with six points.