Hartford's girls basketball knocks off Bellows Falls
By John Seaver
Coaches will often say that when a player is out of the lineup you look down the bench and say "Next man up". Or in case of the Hartford Hurricane girls basketball team head coach Troy Guerin said "Next three ladies up". The Canes looked to sophomores Carolyn North and Kennedy Mullen along with freshman Jasmine Jenkins to play major minutes beside seniors Cory Lieberman and Michaela Ricker and defeated Bellows Falls 57-42 Monday night at Hanley Gymnasium.
The Canes played the 15-3 Terriers without three key seniors as Morgan White and Madison Druge missed their third straight game due to a school trip to Morocco and Megan Bushway missed her 2nd game while nursing an injured knee.
Cory Lieberman & Michelle Marchica
Bellows Falls started strong using a full court press and causing several turnovers to break out to an 8-2 lead just 3 minutes into the game. Coach Guerin called possibly his best timeout of the season to give his troops a simple message. "I just asked them to stay calm and for the wings to get deeper." said Guerin. Well that was enough as the Hurricanes came out of the timeout and outscored the Terriers 30-6 the remainder of the half to take a commanding 32-14 lead. Mullen hit 2 three pointers to tie the score at 8 and Ricker hit 3 more of her own as the Canes built the early lead.
Kennedy Mullen's 4th quarter 3 pointer
Bellows Falls sophomore guard Halle Dickerson kept her team in the game scoring all of her game high 16 points in the second half as the Terriers cut the Hurricanes lead to 43-32 at the end of three and down to just 8 points early in the 4th quarter. But Hartford clamped down on D and pushed the lead back to 19 before Guerin cleared the bench.
The balanced Canes had 4 players in double figures led by Mullen's team high 14, Lieberman 12 & Jenkins and Ricker chipping in 11 each with North adding 7 of her own.
Guerin was happy with his teams effort "The ladies played well on both ends. Everyone had a part in this (win) from hitting shots to getting deflections leading to steals."
Lieberman for 2
Cory Lieberman had a huge night inside taking down 12 rebounds and blocking 5 shots. "We ask a lot of Cory to clean up the boards on both ends and she came through big tonight." said Guerin.
Guerin added "Big game for Kennedy and Carolyn tonight, good learning experience for them." This writer thought it was easily the sophomore duo's best games of the year.
Game Notes: The Hurricanes shot a ridiculous 8-13 from beyond the arc. After three quarters the Terriers had been called for just 1 foul & the Canes just 7. I'd say that's "letting them play".
The win improves Hartford's record to 9-9 and keeps them in the 8th spot of the DII standings. Bellows Falls drops to 15-4 and currently sits in the 7th spot.
Category 5 Hurricane Player of the Game: Tough call tonight with so many deserving players but I am giving it to sophomore forward Kennedy Mullen who in addition to scoring a team high 14 points, hit the glass strong tearing down some big rebounds and leading the team out on the fast break as well as creating several turnovers with her defensive pressure.
The Hurricanes next game will be their "Senior Night" on Saturday at home vs Mill River.
Follow me on Twitter @John_K_Seaver for in game updates.