Rylee Sevigney of Mountain Valley High School lays up a shot while being guarded by Madison Clough of Monmouth Academy during the second period in Monmouth on Wednesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

MONMOUTH — Mountain Valley couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half, and Monmouth robbed its opponent of second-chance opportunities thanks to its noticeable size advantage. 

The Falcons saw many shots go in and out, while Monmouth steadily grew a lead that, despite a late charge, was too large to overcome. 

Thanks to a couple of clutch free throws late from Audrey Fletcher to seal it, the Mustangs exited Wednesday night’s contest with a 42-34 win. 

Forwards Katie Harris, Libby Clement and Emma Johnson combined for 35 rebounds for the game, while Mountain Valley tallied 20 as a team. Despite the huge rebound advantage on both ends of the court, Monmouth coach Katie McAllister wasn’t happy with the production on the offensive end. 

The Mustangs took a 10-2 lead into the second quarter and held Mountain Valley scoreless for the first 6:48 of the game, but points were left on the floor. 

“We definitely had the size advantage,” McAllister said. “We knew boards would be our key but we couldn’t make a layup so we didn’t utilize it.”

Monmouth held Mountain Valley’s top scorer, Rylee Sevigny, to just a point in the first half while Mustang guard Abby Flanagan scored seven of her game-high 10 points in the first half, with Clement chipping in five. 

Mountain Valley trailed 21-9 after the first half and was getting beat in almost every category. Coach Craig Milledge knew something had to change. 

“I think our defensive intensity was best in the second half and I think we started to hit a couple shots that helped us claw back in,” Milledge said. “I don’t know what our shooting percentage was in the first half but we dug ourselves a hole that was tough to get out of. I thought we played hard all game but I thought we picked it up in the second half and when we did we turned them over.”

Avery Sevigny scored five quick points in the third quarter to pump some life into Mountain Valley, but Johnson and Clement continued to dominate the glass. 

“We are small but that’s not going anywhere,” Milledge said. “I’ve told the girls from day one that we aren’t going to use that as an excuse… But, still, these are winnable games for us and all season long that’s going to be an issue, but at some point you learn to win despite that.”

Shots that missed in the first half started to fall for the Falcons in the fourth quarter as Kierstyn Lyons hit her third three of the game to open the last quarter. Lyons finished the game with 10 points. 

Rylee Sevigny started to make shots, as well, and scored six points in the fourth to drag the Falcons within two points of Monmouth with three minutes left in the game. 

When push came to shove, Monmouth held strong and kept its balance. 

“We did good things,” McAllister said. “We came out in a 3-2 zone and we had never done that before… It didn’t work out so we dropped the zone, totally fine, but they didn’t quit and that’s something I love about this team. We definitely got flustered but we came out of it.”

Monmouth is a veteran group with nine upperclassmen, so Fletcher knew her team wouldn’t back down. 

“Just kind of play our game and not panic,” Fletcher said. “We knew we could take the ball up so we didn’t need to get inside our heads and just play how we’ve been playing all game.”

With 2:48 left in the game, Fletcher sunk two free throws to put the Mustangs up 38-31 to stop the bleeding. Later, with 45 seconds remaining, Fletcher buried two more to put the game away. 

“I was kind of telling myself, ‘You need to make these just to have a safety,’” Fletcher said. “I was confident. We have been working on foul shots a lot and since then all of our coaches have been telling us foul shots are crucial so that was in my head that we needed to make them.”

Fletcher finished with eight points.

Abby Flanagan of Monmouth Academy drives past Autumn Freeman of Mountain Valley High School during the first period in Monmouth on Wednesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Emma Johnson (4) of Monmouth Academy sets a pick for Audrey Fletcher (2) during Wednesday’s game against Mountain Valley in Monmouth. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Saydie Garbarini of Mountain Valley High School drives to the basket during Wednesday’s game against Monmouth Academy. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Jordyn Gowell of Monmouth Academy drives on Kierstyn Lyons of Mountain Valley during the first period in Monmouth on Wednesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Rylee Sevigney of Mountain Valley High School lays up a shot while being guarded by Libby Clement of Monmouth Academy during the second period in Monmouth on Wednesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Libby Clement of Monmouth Academy drives past Autumn Freeman, left, and Saydie Garbarini of Mountain Valley High School during the first period in Monmouth on Wednesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


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