DIXFIELD — In Rylee Sevigny’s first varsity game, the Mountain Valley freshman came to win.
By scoring 18 points in the second and third quarters, Sevigny put her actions where her thoughts were, leading the Falcons to a 53-42 win over rival Dirigo High School to open the MVC season.
“I think in rivalry games anything can happen,” Mountain Valley coach Ryan Casey said. “Both teams want to win and both teams are very familiar with each other, and I’m happy we came out on top in the end.”
After a 5-2 first quarter in which both teams came out rusty on offense but full of energy on the other side of the ball, both teams got going in the second.
Sevigny’s first bucket came in the first on a drive to the hoop that ended with a Euro step and reverse layup off the glass. Later, the freshman hit two 3s after great ball movement from the Falcons.
“It was stressful at the beginning but I think I got into it at the end,” Sevigny said. “… My coach started to call offenses and we really started to pass better.”
Dirigo struggled to get its offense into a solid flow because of Mountain Valley’s relentless full-court press. However, junior guard Sophia Jacques forced them into a 20-19 halftime lead by scoring 10 points in the second quarter including two treys.
Sevigny did it on both ends of the court throughout the game, and that was put on display early in the second when Sevigny gave a perfect pass to teammate Courtney Carrier for a layup. When Dirigo tried to bring the ball up the court, the freshman stole the ball and hit a contested layup on a one-on-one fast break.
As the third quarter progressed and the game got more intense, Sevigny never wavered. Even as some of her shots didn’t fall, she continued to drive the lane and earn fouls, hitting all three of her third-quarter free throws, contributing to her 10 points in the third.
Mountain valley dictated the tempo of the game — fast and in your face.
“I think with our youth and inexperience we are really going to have to force the tempo and get some easy baskets,” Casey said. “That was the difference right at the end.”
Dirigo coach Rebecca Fletcher knew the press and high-tempo offense were coming.
“I think some of our turnovers were from pressure, but we also had some mental mistakes, like two backcourt violations that weren’t forced,” Fletcher said. “They do force you to play in a way that is faster than you want and you get uncomfortable.”
Dirigo guard Alexa Perreault tied the game at 29 in the third, but the Falcons pulled away and it was 38-31 after three.
Rylee wasn’t the only Sevigny sister on the court for Mountain Valley. Sophomore Avery Sevigny took over the fourth, scoring all seven of her points in the quarter. Two of Avery’s buckets were created off assists from her sister. When asked about playing with her sister, Rylee smiled wide.
“We are always on the same page, and I love it,” Sevigny said.
While Dirigo lost the game, Fletcher took some encouragement from her players’ effort.
“There’s no reason for us to lack in confidence. All last season we struggled to get the ball in the basket, so when I looked up and we had broken the 40-point mark, I was like, ‘OK, at least we put the ball in the basket some.’”