LISBON — Monmouth Academy pulled away from the Lisbon Greyhounds in the second half to seal a 43-30 Mountain Valley Conference girls’ basketball win Wednesday.

Pressure from the Mustangs frustrated the Greyhounds, who opened the game shooting 2-for-8 from the field. Lisbon coach Julie Petrie thought her team’s offense was a little tentative against the two-time defending Class C champions.

“I thought defensively we did well,” Petrie said. “We were just very passive on offense. We just really didn’t get an offensive flow going to start.”

“I have a bunch of role players that are learning to step into leading roles,” Monmouth coach Rick Larrabee said. “As we play any team, it doesn’t matter from the top of the league to the bottom, we’re going to get everybody’s best game.”

The Mustangs opened the scoring off the opening tip when Abby Ferland drove the hoop for a score. After a pair of Lisbon turnovers, Audrey Fletcher’s jumper added to the Monmouth lead and forced an early timeout from the Greyhounds.

Ferland picked off a pass and went in alone for a layup out of the timeout, but the Greyhounds answered with their first field goal when Carly Drischler drained a 3-pointer from the corner. Both teams struggled to find points late in the opening quarter, and despite the cold start, Lisbon trailed only 8-5 after one.

Monmouth was unable to get separation from the Greyhounds until midway through the second period.

After Lisbon’s Mallory Fairbanks cut the lead to 12-9, Kaeti Buttefield immediately answered for the Mustangs with a 3-pointer. Butterfield then added two from the post on the Mustangs’ next possession, and the quick 5-0 run forced Lisbon to take a timeout with the Monmouth lead at 17-9.

“I had a plan going into the game where we had to wait for certain moments in the game to do certain things, and we executed that,” Larrabee said. “I had to wait for the second half to wait for the pressure that you saw — it’s a big court.”

Fairbanks opened the scoring for Lisbon in the second half, picking off a pass at midcourt driving in alone for two. Butterfield responded for the Mustangs, once again working down low to get a layup.

Lisbon wouldn’t go away, though, as Charlee Cox and Fairbanks added buckets. Monmouth led the Greyhounds 26-18 with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter.

“We talked about that. I just felt like we were dribbling too much, and not really getting good shot opportunities,” Petrie said. “The third quarters kind of been our Achilles heel, so we tried to make that our quarter today, which we did.”

The Greyhounds found themselves in foul trouble early in the third quarter, leading to some free points for Monmouth. Monmouth made 7-of-9 free throws in the third quarter.

Both teams found themselves in the bonus in the third quarter in what Larrabee called a physical game.

“That stuff needs to be called, they need to control the game,” Larrabee said. “Both teams shouldn’t be shooting 10 foul shots 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, it was physical both ways, both teams had to deal with adversity.”

Butterfield gave Monmouth a 33-19 lead heading into the final quarter with a steal and score just before the buzzer. Both teams spent a lot of time at the foul line in the fourth quarter, and Monmouth was able to continue its hot shooting and built the lead to 39-22.

Lisbon kept battling. Kiley Merritt knocked down a trey. Merritt then found Cox cutting to the basket for two. The late rally fell short, though.

“Do I like laying games like this, because of the physicality and the officiating and stuff like that? No I don’t,” Larrabee said. “But, on the opposite end of that, it builds character, it builds knowledge of the game and players learn how to play.”

The Mustangs improve to 2-3. They were led by Butterfield’s 11 points, while Katie Harris added eight points for Monmouth.

Fairbanks led Lisbon, who falls to 0-4, with eight points, and Merritt chipped in six.

“Obviously, you want to win, and we’re still working for that first one,” Petrie said. “But, if they keep working, we’re going to get them. They’ll come.”

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