Cardinals Pin Down Their First Victory of the Season

Westminster, Vt. — Even being charged with a technical foul for having a player with a bobby pin in her hair couldn’t take away the first victory of the year for the Stevens High girls basketball team.

Playing in the consolation game of the Bellows Falls Holiday Tournament, the Cardinals hit a hot stretch in the fourth quarter to pull out a 49-44 win over the Sharon Academy.

It was a zany game not only because of the bobby pin, but the Phoenix looked badly beaten before they showed some major spunk and went on a stretch of 13 unanswered points in the second half to take 37-31 lead with 5:06 to play. Sophomore Suzie Moses was the driver of the late comeback as she scored 14 points in span of 4:30 between the end of third quarter and into the start of the fourth. When she got done, Sharon had gone from a 31-18 deficit to a six-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Then it was Stevens’ turn to go on a run — this one 15-3 — to take a 46-40 lead with 2:15 left. The big hoop during that stretch was 3-point basket by Emily Charest. Then, as Stevens was about to put the ball in play, the Cardinals were called for a technical foul as one of the officials came over to the scorer’s table and threw down a bobby pin. Samantha Abrams converted both free throws for Sharon to make it 46-42.

The technical also gave the Phoenix the ball, but a turnover resulted in a Stevens basket with Morgan Busby connecting from underneath. The Cardinals then scored the final three points to pull out the win. It was the first victory for first-year coach Ross Dole, whose Cardinals are officially 0-7. The NHIAA does not recognize holiday tournaments.

“I think we’re starting to feel a little more confident now,” Dole said. “We’re starting to see the floor better.”

While the game does not count in the standings for Stevens, it does count for Sharon, which is 0-4. However, Sharon coach Brian Allard was not down about the defeat as his team also played well the night before against Leland and Gray.

“I think these two games helped a lot,” Allard said.

“We worked hard on defense and made some things happen on offense.”

Sharon had just eight players dress for the game, and some arrived late, as the school does not provide transportation and each player had to find her own way to the gym.

Stevens also had a couple of roster issues, as Alexis Melcher has a knee injury and didn’t dress and Adelina Hilerio injured her ankle in the first minute of the third quarter and did not return.

Sharon had the initial surge in taking a 16-7 lead, but them somebody put a lid on its basket and Stevens ran of 14 straight points to eventually take a 24-18 edge at halftime. Kirsten Dole provided the spark during that rally as she had three baskets, two coming on long one-handers.

In the championship game, Leland and Gray was a 43-34 winner over Bellows Falls.