NORTH CLARENDON — Something old, something new, something green, and gold too.
The West Rutland girls basketball team can beat teams in so many different ways, with players as old as seniors and young as eighth grade.
In Tuesday’s 69-33 Golden Horde win against Mill River, Westside saw its veterans and newcomers step up at different times to secure the win.
Senior Elizabeth Bailey had a game-high 23 points, along with five rebounds and three steals, and eighth grader Peyton Guay had 19 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Both Bailey and Guay were on top of their game on Tuesday from the opening tip.
Behind their efforts, West Rutland jumped on the Minutemen quick and put the game out of reach early. Within the first three minutes, the Golden Horde grabbed a 13-3 lead, causing Mill River coach Ryan Csizmesia to call a timeout.
Guay was at the center of that early run, scoring eight of the 13 points and nabbing two of her steals during that stretch.
“(Peyton) sees the floor extremely well. She sees the floor like a senior,” said West Rutland coach Carl Serrani. “She still has some growth, but she’ll be a good one.”
Sophomore Karina Mozzer scored out of the timeout for the Minutemen but Westside quickly responded with a basket and led by 11 after one. Bailey and Guay combined for 16 of West Rutland’s 19 points in the first.
The Golden Horde continued to build their lead in the second and were up by 17 at the half.
Not many teams have an answer for Bailey. Standing over 6-feet tall, she can get to the basket at will, knock down a mid-range jumper when she needs to and control the boards.
In short, she’s a matchup nightmare.
Bailey built on a strong first half with a dominant third. She had a trio of field goals and got to the line twice, perfect on her four attempts.
“When she makes up her mind to go to the basket, if she doesn’t let the physicality take her out of game, she’s tough,” Serrani said.
Kiana Grabowski got her shot going in the second half, knocking down a pair of 3s in the third, teaming with her fellow senior Bailey to effectively put the game away. Grabowski finished with 11 points.
Mill River is trying to find its groove after finishing up a quarantine. Tuesday was just their second game of the season. While West Rutland was in control throughout, the Minutemen battled and that’s something coach Ryan Csizmesia’s young group can build on.
“The effort was there the whole game. There’s nothing to hang their heads about,” Csizmesia said. “(West Rutland) is good every single year and we’re just trying to get to that level.”
There were definite bright spots for Mill River. Sophomore guard Cheyenne Houle was a marksman from deep, draining a game-high four 3s and leading the Minutemen with 14 points. Fellow sophomore Lauryn Charron battled for six boards as well.
“We have a good young core. It’s a matter of experience. The more they play, the more comfortable they get,” Csizmesia said.
West Rutland (4-0) hosts Arlington on Friday, while Mill River (0-2) hosts Long Trail.