MILTON — Nineteen points from Selena Patterson led Milton to a season-high third straight win Saturday afternoon, a 51-30 triumph over visiting Vergennes.
Patterson’s strong day — which included an eight-point first quarter, nine rebounds and seven steals — pushed the Yellowjackets (6-8) to a victory that was never really in question.
Milton led 20-10 after the first and 26-13 at halftime, using a balanced approach around Patterson’s big day. Six of the nine players tallied points and a clearly unselfish approach guided the hosts.
“We’ve really been working on that,” coach Mike LeFebvre said. “We struggled with it in the beginning of the season but a couple of kids have really stepped up these last few games.
Cassidy Button’s six points in the first helped Milton to its big lead early, and the freshman added points in each of the next three quarters to finish with 12. Kate Rowley and Dallas Brodhead added five apiece for the Yellowjackets. Lauren Juenker finished with four points, Megan Reilly notched three and Madalyn Leggett two.
LeFebvre said he saw improvement in Vergennes from their first meeting, a 45-21 victory for the Yellowjackets in Vergennes on Jan. 5. That loss was just the second for the Commodores in seven games to start the season, though they’ve dropped six of seven since as they moved into the tougher part of their schedule.
“They’ve improved a lot, they’re playing some tougher competition now after they got off to a really good start. They gave us a battle,” he said.
Still, Saturday’s game against the struggling Commodores allowed a Milton team feeling the sting of illness to alter its approach slightly and rest up before a big test at Mt. Abraham on Tuesday. Milton (6-8) lost to the Eagles (4-10) at home Jan. 13, 46-34.
“We got to play a lot of kids and everybody really contributed. I’m really happy with the defense mostly,” LeFebvre said.
“We probably played them about the way we normally do. We didn’t start either of the big girls because they’re both a little sick, but I’m really pleased with the way they played especially considering they’re both ill,” he said of centers Leggett and Juenker.
“Our next game is Mt. Abe so I hope they’ll be better. I really like having one of them on the court because our defense is so much stronger with one of them in the middle.”