RUMFORD — After a rough stretch, the Mountain Valley girls’ basketball team regrouped, using the mantra, ‘One down, seven to go.’
The thought got them pointed in the right direction.
Brooke Dolloff scored a game-high 20 points and the ball-hawking defense stepped up in the second half for the Falcons, who pulled away for a much-needed 46-32 win over Lisbon at Puiia Gymnasium on Friday.
Mountain Valley (3-8) fell behind early and played catch-up for much of the season, but Friday night the players kept their tempo from start to finish. The Falcons raised their intensity level and disrupted the Lisbon offensive execution.
It was a big third quarter that opened-up a double-digit lead and the Falcons never looked back. The ability to crash the boards proved to be a key as Dolloff, Addy Gorham (seven points) and Mackenzie Gallant each scored on offensive rebounds. On two straight possessions, Brena Brown stole the ball, dribbled down the right side and shot from the hip for two baskets for a 31-21 lead.
“That was huge,” said Mountain Valley coach Tammy Gallant, who praised the team’s effort. “This was a big confidence boost. After our zone hadn’t worked, we switched to a man-to-man and got up in the faces of the Lisbon players. The girls are getting comfortable with the defense.”
Breeann Sautter led Lisbon (4-7) with nine points, and Mia Durgin had eight, but the Greyhounds were hindered by the lack of a consistent attack. Denise Thomas pulled down 13 rebounds, but was dogged closely by the Falcons’ Jena Ploude and Gorham.
“We were able to mix it up a little,” said Falcons’ guard Darbi Brown, who scored eight points and had several steals in the second half. ” Lisbon had some very quick guards. We were able to (negate) their first step.”
Mountain Valley was patient with the ball and ran its offense. The Falcons put the ball in Dolloff’s hands throughout the fourth quarter. The senior had 10 rebounds, three steals and was 10-of-13 from the free throw line. Three Greyhounds fouled out of the game. The Falcons shot 36 percent and committed, 22 turnovers, while Lisbon shot 42 percent and had 29 turnovers.
”I was able to use some different rotations tonight,” Gallant said. “The kids got a breather and recognized mistakes.”