By DONNA FLANDERS
MILTON — Enosburg overcame 26 points from Milton’s Cassidy Button and an early 14-3 deficit, rallying in the fourth quarter to force overtime before winning last Friday night’s Division II basketball game, 58-51.
Morgan Bushey and Button got the Yellowjackets ahead quickly, with Bushey hitting a long three 40 seconds in and Button scoring nine in the opening quarter, which the hosts won 18-6.
Madison North followed Bushey’s three with an inside bucket and Button added two free throws for a 7-0 lead, prompting a Gary Geddes timeout with 4:55 still to play in the first period.
Marika Luneau came in and drove the baseline for Enosburg’s first points but Button answered underneath to make it 9-2. Hornet Sophie Burns’ steal and fast break drew a foul and a point for Enosburg.
Button put her squad up 11-3 with a sweet, left-handed hook shot in the key, and less than a minute later hit a three for an 11-point cushion. Megan Gervais scored two at the line for the visitors, answered by Cody Hyldburg’s immediate impact off the bench, crashing the offensive boards for a putback.
Megan Severance’s jumper for the Hornets was countered when Hyldburg connected again, hitting a short jumper with 29 seconds left for an 18-6 lead after one.
The Hornets inched their way back into the game behind the hot 3-point shooting of Lydia Bowen, who drained three of them to draw closer despite another 9-point period for Button and four from North in the quarter, which ended with the Jackets up 31-26. The Hornets got points from the Burns sisters, Hannah and Sophie, Severance and Luneau.
Milton got the lead back to eight in the third, getting five points from Button and two each from North and Hyldburg. Enosburg was held to six, from the Burns girls and Severance.
Trailing 40-32, Enosburg took over in the fourth quarter with high-intensity defense that held Milton to seven and helped fuel the offense for 15.
Hannah Burns launched the comeback on a baseline drive with 6:42 remaining. Milton’s Laura Gidney answered on a fast beak, and Hyldburg followed with a pullup jumper. With 3:39 showing on the board, Severance took a turnaround jumper in the paint, and Luneau added an inside score 24 seconds later, making it 44-38.
Button, battling a double team in the second half, muscled one up underneath with 2:36 on the board, increasing the lead back to eight. Another Sophie Burns steal and fast-break score got EFHS within six with 1:37 left before Button got one back at the line with 1:19 to play.
But after North fouled out, Severance made a jumper to pull the Hornets within five at 47-42. Hannah Burns made the gap four on a free throw with 47 seconds remaining, stole the inbounds pass, and turned it into a three-point play with the score and foul, making it 47-46.
Luneau tied it up at the foul line with 36 seconds showing, and misses at each end sent the game into overtime.
The Hornets kept rolling in the extra period, creating turnovers that led to free throws, and then cashing with a 7-for-11 finishing kick at the line.
Hannah Burns, Sophie Burns, Luneau, Severance and Bowen all scored for Enosburg in overtime, while Bushey and Hyldburg each had two for Milton.
Milton coach Alissa Giroux had good things to say about her shorthanded team’s effort against the high-pressure Hornets.
“I thought with just seven on hand — two are out with injuries — I thought given that, that we played super well. We were up by eight with a minute left. And it kind of unraveled from there. With the foul trouble that we were in early we couldn’t really bounce back.”
“Cassidy Button was a handful that first half. Well, all night,”complimented Enosburg coach Gary Geddes. “So we made some adjustments at the half and just kept attacking the basket, kept pushing the ball up, and our defense got some turnovers, which made for some easy baskets, and that’s how we generate our offense.”
“Cassidy is our go-to scorer,” Giroux said. “She’s really strong offensively and she’s a leader on the floor for us. Also Madison North, defensively, without her in the game it’s a totally different game. My girls played their hearts out and that’s all I can ask of them.”
Milton will hope to pick up wins this week against Mt. Abraham and MVU.