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Guard Combo Powers Canes

White River Junction — Hartford High’s Taylor Johnson probably will remember last night’s game with visiting Springfield for a long time.

After a first quarter that caused Hartford coach Ed Kehoe to say, “We were awful in the beginning,” Johnson came to the rescue with a 14-point second period that included a quartet of 3-pointers. The Hurricanes went from a doghouse start to a penthouse finish with a 60-47 Vermont Division II victory over the Cosmos.

“She’s capable of doing that,” Kehoe said of Taylor, a 5-foot-6, junior guard. “That certainly brought us to life.”

Hartford needed some sort of boost as it scored the game’s first three points, then went 9:53 without scoring again. While the Hurricanes were struggling, Springfield wasn’t exactly torching the nets, but it did lead 12-3 before Johnson dropped in a two-pointer. That was just the appetizer, as she delivered the entrée with four three-pointers. When the horn blew for halftime, the Hurricanes were in front, 28-27.

“That was the best shooting performance I’ve ever see her have,” Kehoe said.

As good as Johnson was in that second quarter, sophomore Chelsea Dow was good all night as the Lebanon transfer came through with a 25-point game in her first game since Dec. 19.

Johnson and Dow combined for 42 of Hartford’s points.

While Hartford had a one-point lead at the break, the Hurricanes still needed to take charge of the game and that didn’t truly happen until late in the fourth quarter. Hartford had 48-38 edge after three periods, but the Cosmos cut it to six with 6:29 remaining in the final period. Hartford then scored the next 12 points as the foul-laden Cosmos began losing players and the Hurricanes put the game away.

Chelsea McAllister had a 19-point game for the Cosmos, who also got eight from Abi Cox.

While the night turned out to be a delightful one for the Hurricanes, it was a disappointing night for Springfield, which had been playing fairly well.

“We did not help ourselves,” said Springfield coach Joe Brown. “We didn’t contest shots and we didn’t work hard enough. This was a step back for us.”

The result improved Hartford to 6-2 while Springfield fell to 4-4. Rutland plays at Hartford on Thursday.