Cosmos Save Best For Last, Stun WHS

Springfield, Vt. — That’s why they play four quarters.

In the first half last night at Dressel Gym, host Springfield had a three-point second quarter and at one point during the first half had just two points in a nine-minute span. That futility helped visiting Windsor gain a 24-12 lead by halftime.

“We didn’t box out, and we didn’t shoot well,” said Springfield coach Joe Brown, who could smile about it after his Cosmos rallied to post a 48-45 win.

It’s that time of the season where wins and losses are vital, with all Vermont girls teams in the final week of regular-season play. For seventh-seeded Division III Windsor, the loss evens its record at 9-9 with a game at Stevens on Wednesday and at home with Mill River on Friday. Springfield is 8-11 in Division II and entered the game in 10th place, with a final game left at Otter Valley on Friday.

“We’re still trying to get a home-court game in the first round,” said Brown.

The game began to turn late in the third period when a 3-pointer by Springfield’s Chelsea McAllister was followed by a putback hoop from Kendra Dana to close Windsor’s lead to 33-29 heading into the fourth quarter. The final period would prove hectic.

Windsor possessed a 37-36 edge with 5:53 to play when Springfield went on a quick surge. McAllister, who averages 22 points a game and had 19 Monday night, broke free for a layup and followed that with two free throws, throwing the large Senior Night crowd into a state of excitement as the Cosmos took a 40-37 lead.

Shortly thereafter, Brown sent his Cosmos into a four-corner offense, hoping to spread the floor and give some working room for the junior McAllister. Instead, Windsor freshman Ashley Wilcox had an impressive few moments as she made two free throws and — following a Springfield turnover — passed the ball from underneath to Elizabeth McCabe, who dropped it in for a 45-44 Windsor lead with 1:10 to go.

However, Windsor would score no more as Springfield took advantage of a missed shot and a turnover to go to the foul line twice. Nicole Patterson and McAllister would each drop in a pair for a 48-45 lead with 10 seconds left. Windsor took a timeout and set up a play that resulted in Wilcox taking a long shot that was of the mark as the game ended.

Springfield outscored Windsor in the second half, 36-21, and has now won five straight.

“I’m disappointed with the outcome, but not with the effort,” Windsor coach Bruce Mackay said. “This was the first time we had all the players back from various illnesses, and maybe we got tired down the stretch.”

The start of the game saw Springfield take a 7-2 lead, then go as cold as the weather outside. Windsor delivered a 17-2 run that for a 19-9 lead in a game in which Springfield looked outclassed at that point.

“We were playing terrible,” said Brown. “I’m glad we kept our composure.”

It worked.