By: Ross Laorenza
"They're really starting to play together," said Jon Aumand after his Fall Mountain Wildcats defeated the Bow Falcons 38-31 Friday night. Fall Mountain improves to 13-3 vaulting ahead of Bow in the standings who now share the same record.
Starting tonight for Fall Mountain was Maddie Lord, Josie Holt, Brooke Aumand, Sophie Bushey and Ella Stewart, the only freshman on the team. Countering for Bow was Abigail Horner, Taylor Darrell, Erin Boldwin, Lea Crompton, and Amanda Murray.
Josie Holt started the scoring, making two free throws at the 7:40 mark after being fouled on the way to the basket. She would get to the line again with a chance to increase her team's lead but both free throws bounce out. Bow would not tie the game until just past the five minute marks in the first. Amanda Murray used a nice ball fake to move her defender and make a strong drive to the basket, 2-2. We were knotted at 4 all a mere second later after baskets from Maddie Lord of Fall Mountain and Taylor Darrell of Bow.
Free throws from Andrea Fortin and Taylor Darrell would give Bow a 7-4 lead with three minutes to play in the first. After a turnover by the Falcons Maddie Lord was able to pass the ball ahead to Ella Stewart who scored an easy lay-up. A basket by Murray gave Bow a three-point lead as the team headed to the sideline for a timeout with 1:58 remaining in the 1st quarter. Less than a minute later a bounce pass from Lauren Goyette to Erin Boldwin ended in points as Bow held their largest lead of the night, 11-6. A late basket by Ella Stewart end the scoring in the 1st. After one quarter, Bow: 11, Fall Mountain: 8.
Both team's defenses looked good in the 2nd quarter allowing a combined 12 points to be scored. Sophie Bushey tied the game at 11 with her first 3-pointer of the contest at the 6:41 mark. Erin Boldwin gave Bow a brief 13-11 lead, but the Wildcats would close the quarter with a 5-1 run and and head into the half leading 16-14.
Stewart expanded the Fall Mountain lead to 4 points opening the third quarter with a fancy shot in the paint. She was able to control her body in the air, re-adjusting her shot and banking it off the backboard. After two free throws from Darrell, Maddie Lord went coast-to-coast for a score, 20-16 Fall Mountain.
Another series of strong defensive play led to a scoring drought of nearly two and-a-half minute before a pass from Bushey to Holt resulted in a basket for the Wildcats. A free throw from Holt had the team up 7 midway through the 3rd.
Taylor Darrell hit the Falcon's first three-pointer of the evening to cut the deficit to four point. Sophie Bushey's 2nd three-pointer pushed the lead right back to 7 points, 26-19. Bow would close the quarter with a 4-0 run with baskets from Boldwin and Julia Landcastle. At the end of 3 quarters, Fall Mountain: 26, Bow: 23.
The intensity in the game entering the fourth quarter was at it's peak. Fall Mountain holding on to a slim three point lead. They Wildcats came out and owned fourth quarter. They opened on an 8-0 and didn't allow Bow to score until the 1:18 mark of the quarter. By then the game was in hand. The refs let the girls play tough throughout the game especially in the final quarter. The Wildcats shot 6 of 9 from the free throw line in the fourth, on their way to a 38-31 victory. Bow was able to score some point late, including a Darrell 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the victory in the end went to the Wildcats. Final score, Fall Mountain: 38, Bow: 31.
Ella Stewart led the Wildcats in scoring with 8 points. Her teammates Josie Holt and Sophie Bushey followed closely with 7 points each. Taylor Darrell scored a game high 12 points in the loss for Bow.
Both teams looked primed for the post season with 13 wins apiece and are likely contenders to make the Final Four next month.
From Bow, New Hampshire; Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook