with additional reporting by DILLON HUPP
The Yellowjackets ran their winning streak in girls basketball to three in a row with strong defensive efforts in victories over winless Missisquoi (January 16) and Middlebury (Saturday).
Milton had lost four straight before running into three straight opponents looking for their first wins of the season — routing 0-9 Mt. Mansfield 51-19 on January 11, 0-8 Missisquoi 55-17 on January 16, and Division I Middlebury (0-8) 37-28 on Saturday.
Nicole Menard and Samantha Ryea led the Yellowjackets offensively in both games over the past week.
Menard scored 17 and Ryea 12 against MVU, and the pair had double-digit games again when Middlebury came to town, with Menard netting 14 and Ryea 11.
Kaitlin Reilly added eight points and 10 rebounds against the Thunderbirds, while Danielle Phelps scored eight against the Tigers.
In the victory over Missisquoi, Milton’s half-court trap led to early turnovers and a 7-0 lead to start the game. MVU managed just one foul shot in the first quarter, which ended with Milton up 13-1 after a pair of fast breaks by freshman Selena Patterson. The Yellowjackets ran their lead to 24-1 with the first 11 points of the second period, including a 3-pointer by Ryea and several steals and a putback by Menard.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but it feels good to win like this,” Milton coach Mike Lefebvre said after the MVU contest. “We’re winning games on our hustle right now,” Lefebvre said of his team’s propensity for scoring on the break.
“We had positive contributions all up and down the team. We need to keep working on things. We have a lot of younger players, and we need to work on our offensive execution, particularly in the half court.
“We’re going to have to keep getting better to play with some of the better teams in this division.”