Jacks Press Out a Win Over Cards

Claremont — It took Windsor High’s girls basketball team a little while to figure out just what would work, but all the parts came together in the fourth quarter as the Yellowjackets came away from Stevens High last night with a 47-41 victory.

Stevens was leading 30-29 after three periods, but the Jacks came out with all-court pressure to disrupt the Stevens offense. That move, combined with some plays that started to click, turned the game in Windsor’s favor.

It was a revamped Windsor team, as top performer Nikki Kibling was out with and ankle injury, and two other players are dealing with academic issues.

Windsor coach Bruce Mackay thought not having Kibling certainly hurt the offense, “but she really is good off the boards,” he said.

Windsor was coming off losses to Springfield and Burr and Burton, so it was a much-needed victory that brought the Yellowjackets to 5-8. Stevens, which played well in beating Newport last week, is now 2-13.

One of the telling statistics of the game was the foul line, where Windsor was 16 of 31 and Stevens 2 of 8. Stevens had three more field goals than the Jacks.

Stevens coach Ross Dole thought the fourth-quarter press really had an effect on his Cardinals. “I think we panicked a bit. We’ve been in a lot of close games, but we just don’t know how to win.”

Down by a point after three quarters, Windsor had an early 5-0 run that gave the lead they would never give back. Keying that little flurry was a basket by Ashlee Dimick and a 3-point play from Haley Wood. A basket from Stevens’ Natalie Wilson cut the lead to 34-32, but Windsor came back with run of six points to make it 40-32. A key play in that mini-run was a Lindsey Clark steal of an inbounds pass and a basket. Stevens never got closer than six points the rest of the way.

MacKay was concerned about what affect the loss of those three players would have. “We had to move some people around and they had to play positions they never played before.”

He thought that junior Elizabeth McCabe had a nice game off the boards, “particularly in the first half,” he said.

“We played with more discipline as the game went on and we made some plays,” Mackay added.

He did think his defense could have done a better defensive job on Cardinal Alexis Melcher, who had a 12-point night. “She kind of got away from us,” he said. “She can only go to her left and we could have defended her better.”

Dole was bothered by the timing of his team’s mistakes. “We just seem to make them at the wrong time,” Dole said. “We have some kids who are improving, but we’ve got to cut down on the mistakes.”

Dimick led the Windsor scorers with 12 points and McCabe added 11.

Both teams are scheduled to play tomorrow night, as Brattleboro comes to Windsor and Stevens hosts Conant. The weatherman may have other ideas.