The Milton girls dominated Mt. Mansfield in Friday night’s girls basketball game, defeating the Cougars 51-19.
The Yellowjackets started off with great defense from forwards Selena Patterson (scoring six) and Danielle Phelps (eight) underneath the basket. Mary Rowley (nine) brought in the first rebounds and was a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the game. Milton had nine steals in the first quarter, most resulting in breakaway layups. Nicole Menard, who led all scorers and almost matched MMU by herself with 18 points, began her scoring streak early on, with six points in the first quarter.
Although the Yellowjackets led Mt. Mansfield 15-0, there were turnovers aplenty for Milton along with multiple travels. They took advantage of each missed shot by the Cougars (0-7) and capitalized on their sloppy passing, especially the aggressive Rowley and Kaitlin Reilly (two), who then created scoring opportunities.
Milton struggled in the second quarter, with only Phelps and Selena Patterson landing a basket apiece. Errant Yellowjacket passes opened up a window of opportunity for MMU to score seven points.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Brouard (seven) executed flawless steals, with great control, but was unable to connect. Samantha Ryea (one) also dominated the court offensively by running multiple plays.
Said coach Mike Lefebvre, “We played three very good quarters. We have to put a full game together.”
Although there were great passes, Milton could not make its shots during the second quarter.
The Yellowjackets came back to the court ready to make up for their missed shots. Brouard started out the half with a quick pass to Rowley for a layup, with the same play happening just 20 seconds later with the roles reversed.
Milton stepped up its pressure defense, but the Cougars were still able to land 10 points, with MMU sophomore Rebecca Rapacz scoring six.
The second half consisted of team play by Milton, with every girl on the court making a contribution to the scoreboard. They consistently forced turnovers and played unselfishly throughout the quarter, as well as the game. The Yellowjackets took advantage of the Cougars’ missed baskets, getting rebounds from Phelps and Patterson.
The fourth quarter had a rocky start, with Milton throwing away two balls in the first two minutes. Phelps got the scoring started with an assist and then a basket. The Yellowjackets once again stepped up their defense, allowing only one basket from MMU.
Menard hit her stride during the fourth quarter, scoring six points within a minute, landing two layups and a fake around her defenders. Brouard rounded out the game with the final basket.
Milton continues its season with a 2-6 record and was to host another winless team — 0-6 Missisquoi — on Wednesday.