BUCKFIELD — Buckfield maintained its composure for most of the game and earned a hard-fought 42-36 girls basketball victory over Telstar on Tuesday.

The Bucks (2-7) were holding on to a 33-31 lead with 4:45 left in the game, but the Rebels (2-5) caught up and tied the game 34-34 with 3:29 remaining.

Addison Stevens-Belanger dropped in a 3-pointer and Sarae DeVoe (team-high 20 points) made two free throws to put Buckfield back on top with 2:53 left in the game. DeVoe added another free throw and the Bucks stepped ahead 40-34 lead with 1:37 left in the game.

DeVoe said she felt confident at the free-throw line, from which she made 7 of her 13 attempts.

“… I know that I can make them. I have the confidence to make them,” DeVoe said.

DeVoe also was proud of her team’s gritty performance, and said, “We played hard and we played aggressive as a team.”


Telstar’s leading scorer Morgan Zetts — who scored a game-high 23 points — fouled out and set up another free throw by DeVoe. Haley Litchfield also knocked down a foul shot, giving the Bucks 42-34 lead with 1:07 left in the game.

“We’ve been really working on coming out strong,” Buckfield co-coach Kim Kangas-Smith, “and we did against Mountain Valley (on Friday, a 52-28 loss), but down here it was good, (we) turned it around and fought back and didn’t give up (tonight) — because we have earlier in the season. We’ve come out and gotten blown out in the first quarter and then we kind of give up.

“We’ve been trying to instill that in them, (that) it doesn’t matter, if you can fight, you can still get back into a game. It is never over.”

After a low-scoring first half, which ended with Buckfield leading 16-15, the third quarter became an up-tempo affair with a neck-and-neck finish going into the fourth quarter.

Zetts hit a foul shot for Telstar to open the third quarter, but Emma Hooper landed a 3-pointer and DeVoe turned in a three-point play after being fouled on a drive to the net. Zetts then scored four points.

First-year Telstar coach Alec Newell said it was a hard-fought battle for both teams.


“Buckfield comes in and plays hard,” he said. “Both teams played hard. It was a good game to the last second.”

Newell added that Zetts is the Rebels guiding light this season.

“Morgan is our best player,” he said, “and probably one of the better players in the conference. As she goes, we go. She got in a little foul trouble tonight, which is tough. When she is out there, she is our go-to person and plays well out there.

“We have an interesting team. We have a lot of kids that haven’t really had a lot of basketball experience, so we’ve got to piece that together, and (Zetts) is a real key to that, you know helping out.”

The battle continued, and Telstar emerged with a 29-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.



Telstar opened up a 9-2 lead with 4:12 left in the first quarter, but Buckfield sophomore Kianna Finnegan drove to the hoop and scored to keep the Bucks within striking distance after one period.

The Bucks built upon that and bounced back in the second quarter.

The Rebels were leading 13-7, but their shooting went cold, allowing the Bucks to erase the six-point deficit and take a 16-15 lead at halftime. Finnegan fired up the Bucks with a 3-pointer and Jillian Muller scored, putting Buckfield in command with a 14-13 lead.

Litchfield drove to the net and Buckfield grabbed a 16-13 lead. Telstar scored its only two points of the period when Zetts deposited her basket to make the score 16-15 game in favor of the Bucks.

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