In girls basketball: Falcons defense stifles Mount Mansfield

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Lady Falcon Ashley Robishaw-Morin demonstrates the speed of the North Country squad as she bolts past Mount Mansfield defender Wynne Poleman.  Photo by Richard Creaser

Lady Falcon Ashley Robishaw-Morin demonstrates the speed of the North Country squad as she bolts past Mount Mansfield defender Wynne Poleman. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 12-16-2012

NEWPORT — The North Country Union High School Falcons earned their second win to remain a perfect 2-0 on the young season with a 54-23 victory over the visiting Mount Mansfield Union Cougars on Thursday night, December 20.  The loss marked the fourth straight defeat for the Cougars.

North Country Coach Christiane Brown credited strong team defense in the Falcons’ win.

“We’ve emphasized that good defense  is what’s going to create offense this season,” Coach Brown said.  “Our defense is going to fuel our transitional opportunities.  Those really change the momentum, and that works to our advantage.”

The Falcons certainly did seem to have the upper hand in the paint on Thursday.  North Country recovered rebounds, limiting the Cougars scoring chances, and effected an efficient turnaround to increase their own.

“Our scoring was pretty spread out,” North Country guard Desiree Coffin said after the game.  “I think almost everyone on the team got a basket, and the ones that didn’t played hard and helped everyone else get theirs.  It was a total team effort.”

Anna Bingham kicked off the scoring, netting the first basket to give North Country a lead it would never relinquish.  The Lady Falcons would bolt to an eight-point lead before the Lady Cougars finally hit the score sheet.  That six-point spread would prove to be as close as the Cougars would get to the red-hot Falcons all evening.

North Country's MyKayla Tanguay (foreground) delivers a layup as Mount Mansfield defenders Jessica Barnes and Wynne Poleman (obscured) move to intercept.  North Country's smothering defense propelled the Falcons to a 54-23 win on Thursday night.  Photos by Richard Creaser

North Country’s MyKayla Tanguay (foreground) delivers a layup as Mount Mansfield defenders Jessica Barnes and Wynne Poleman (obscured) move to intercept. North Country’s smothering defense propelled the Falcons to a 54-23 win on Thursday night. Photos by Richard Creaser

The Falcons entered the second quarter ahead 15-7.  A pair of three-pointers by Bingham and Coffin contributed to a second 15-point half as North Country posted a 30-13 halftime lead.

Though the Falcons would slow down in the second half, the same was true of the Mount Mansfield squad.  It could manage only ten points over the remaining two quarters of the game.

“We did a lot of things right defensively,” Coach Brown said.  “I love it when we’re fronting the posts.  I love it when we’re running down the ball on the lines.”

In spite of the win it was not a picture perfect game for the home team.  The Falcons allowed more “easy points” than they ought to have, while missing on more than a few of their own, the coach said.

“We can’t allow their points to be easy shots,” Coach Brown said.  “We need to box out better.  That said, defense is going to win us games this season and we’re very focused on that.”

North Country defender Desiree Coffin (right) prevents Cougar Wynne Poleman from passing to her fellow Mount Mansfield teammates.

North Country defender Desiree Coffin (right) prevents Cougar Wynne Poleman from passing to her fellow Mount Mansfield teammates.

Anna Bingham’s 15 points and Desiree Coffin’s 11 paced the home team, while six other Lady Falcons also recorded points in the victory.  Rebecca Rapacz led the visitors with 11 points.

Contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com.  For more free sports stories, look in our sports category on this site or subscribe to our print or online editions.  Click on this link for a full winter sports schedule.

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