Jacks Outlast Olympians
Windsor Uses Big Fourth to Win Battle of Rebuilding Teams
Oxbow’s Malaina Wright, center, looks to take a shot during last night’s game in Windsor. (Valley News - Libby March) Purchase photo reprints »
Windsor senior Nikki Kibling jumps up to take a shot last night against Oxbow. (Valley News - Libby March) Purchase photo reprints »
Oxbow’s Malaina Wright guards Windsor’s Ashlee Dimick as she looks for an open teammate last night. (Valley News - Libby March) Purchase photo reprints »
Windsor — Last year, Oxbow was the Vermont Division III girls state champion and Windsor was coming off its sixth straight final four season, with three state championships over that span. How times have changed.
Last night, the teams met with identical 3-6 records, tied for 10th place in D-III. On top of that, Windsor had five of its last six and the Olympians four of six. And for three quarters last night, not much was different between the squads as Windsor took a 33-32 lead into the final eight minutes.
The final eight minutes, however, belonged to the Yellowjackets, who outscored the Olympians 23-12 to win convincingly, 56-44.
“We needed that,” Windsor coach Bruce Mackay said. “It was nice to walk into the locker room after the game with a good feeling.”
There was no specific reason Windsor pulled this one out, but a case could be made for a pair of 3-point baskets drilled through the net in the fourth quarter by Ashlee Dimick. Oxbow had tied the game at 33-33 when Dimick drilled a 3 from the corner. Then two minutes later she hit her second triple and the lead was now up to 43-33. The Olympians never contended again.
“Those 3s really hurt,” Oxbow coach Felicia Kingsbury said. “We had a lull there and before you knew it we were in trouble.”
Kingsbury thought that perhaps her team, which had played so well for three quarters, might have lost a little of their intensity.
“We just seemed to lose focus,” she said.
Maybe it was the intensity, or maybe it was the fact that Windsor had one of those practices on Monday that got the girls’ attention.
“I just told them to keep on running until I told them to stop,” Mackay said with a grin.
Windsor also had a big improvement from the foul line. As a team, the Jacks came into the game shooting at 39 percent from the line. Last night, they were 17 of 25.
The game featured two nice offensive performances. Oxbow junior Mikayla Hodge had a 20-point game and, as the tallest girl on the floor, had several put-back shots. She was also 6 of 7 from the free-throw line. Nikki Kibling had a 20-point game for Windsor, her points coming on scrappy work and 10 points from the foul line.
There were a couple of other areas that please Mackay, areas that have been a cause of concern all season.
“I thought our shot selection was much better and our defense picked up, especially in the second half,” he said.
Dimick also finished in double figures for Windsor with 10 points. Laurel Tomlinson added 11 for Oxbow.