Yellowjackets Handle Cards
Windsor's Annie Nelson takes a shot during the third quarter of the Stevens at Windsor girls basketball game in Windsor, Vt., on Jan. 21, 2014.
Valley News - Sarah Priestap
Windsor's Katey Comstock stretches out to intercept a pass by Stevens' Alyson Lizotte during the Stevens at Windsor girls basketball game in Windsor, Vt., on Jan. 21, 2014.
Valley News - Sarah Priestap
Windsor — Ross Dole and Ivy Desilets had big plans for the Stevens High girls basketball problem. Together, the coaching duo planned to restructure the girls program in Claremont from the grade school teams through the high school.
Then, without much warning, Dole, the head coach, was suspended indefinitely and Desilets was moved up from the junior varsity to replace Dole.
The transition has not been a whole lot of fun so far. Last week the team lost three games and another Tuesday night at Windsor, 44-37.
“We’ve only had two days to practice,” said Desilets, who said she plans on continuing the basketball philosophy started by Dole.
While there have been changes in the Stevens coaching the one constant for Windsor is coach Bruce Mackay. A typical Mackay team falls behind early and after Mackay figures things out, the team comes from behind and usually wins.
Such was the case again Tuesday night as the Yellowjackets fell behind in the first period, closed the gap as the game progressed and put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Desilets, meanwhile, said she saw a lot of things she liked, but she saw some of the old things that have bothered other Stevens girls teams in he past and that is a lack of confidence.
“Especially in the fourth quarter,” Desilets said. “If they can ever get their confidence together, I know we can do better.”
It’s been a tough ride this year for the Cardinals, who opened the season with a win and now have lost 10 straight.
“You know I think we played a solid 31/2 quarters,” said Desilets. “We have to play solid for four quarters.”
And Desilets also has to get a loud penetrating voice like he father, Carl, when he coached the Cardinals. Last night during the fourth quarter when the Cardinals were still in the game and needed to foul to stop the clock, Desilets was screaming for her girls to foul, but by the time they heard her, it was too late.
Windsor took a 33-30 lead into the final quarter, and Stevens looked doomed as the lead got to 39-30. But the Cardinals had one last spurt left ,and it nearly turned the game around as Alexis Melcher had two free throws, Maddie Whipple a 3-pointer and Rachel Dansereau a one-hander from the side and it was now a 39-37 game with still 2:20 to play.
Desilets tried to coax her team to foul and stop the clock, but to no avail as the Cardinals did not score again and the Jacks (7-3) closed out the game with the final five points.
“I think Stevens came to play,” Mackay said. “They outworked worked us early, but we changed things up in the fourth quarter.”
One of the things that Mackay changed up was the pressure on Stevens senior Alexis Melcher. The southpaw has been bothering many teams during her four years as a Cardinal, and she had a trio of 3-pointers as part of her 13 points before the Windsor defense limited her to just two free throws in the fourth quarter.
Windsor certainly could have made the situation a lot easier for itself had it made its easy shots from under the basket.
“Boy, did we miss a whole lot of bunnies,” said Mackay. “We’re lucky we still won.”
Next for Windsor is a Thursday game at Burr and Burton. Stevens hosts Monadnock on Friday.