The see-saw battle never stopped, but it never swayed as far as those first few minutes. Sacopee Valley led at the end of every quarter, including the final one to finish off a 40-37 victory in a WMC girls’ basketball clash at Callahan Family Memorial Gymnasium.

“I thought it would be a pretty good game,” Hawks coach Chris Hughes said. “We had a close one at our place. They outplayed us at home, at our place, so this was the kind of thing we were hoping for up here. Close game.”

It wasn’t the usual suspects who did the heavy lifting for the Hawks (3-9), and that was all part of the Saints’ (3-8) plan.

“They had some girls step up for them that we hadn’t seen have great games for them,” St. Dom’s coach Chris Marston said. “Like (Brynn Hink) hit some shots early. And (Bethany) Dehmer, she hit some shots in the second half that we said going in that if those were the girls that were beating us, it was fine because their two stars, (Haiden) Sawyer and (Hannah) Ruhlin, had seven points. So you hold those two to single digits, you expect to win the game. But they had girls make big plays for them.”

Dehmer, who scored a team-high 11 points, was also a factor on the defensive end.

“(Chloe) Dwinell killed us last game. She had a great game against us at our place. I think she had 15, 16 points,” Hughes said. “Bethany, this is like her third game starting. She gives us a little bit of length, so we started with her on Dwinell. A little bit harder to shoot over than some folks.”

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Dwinell was held to just four points.

Ruhlin was also held in check, but did end up hitting the eventual game-winning 3-pointer with the score tied 35-35 and just over two minutes left.

“They guarded Helen pretty tight. Didn’t give her much space,” Hughes said. “Except for we got her a good look coming off a diagonal screen down low for the 3, which essentially she doesn’t make that, we don’t win this game.”

That was Ruhlin’s only points after the first quarter.

The Saints had a dynamic guard of their own try to lead her team to victory. Caroline Gastonguay scored half of her game-high 16 points in the fourth, including a corner 3 to give St. Dom’s its last lead at 35-33 just after the midway point of the period.

“If she can hit a couple of big shots a night, we’re usually in a position that we are to win a game,” Marston said. “We count on her to hit a couple every night, and she’ll usually poke one here and there, but she poked a couple tonight, and we needed every one of them.”

Gastonguay had a potential go-ahead 3 go in and out with 42 seconds left, then missed a halfcourt offering in the closing seconds.

“In the end, they just ran out of time, and we just came out on top,” Hughes said.

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