Windsor coach Bruce MacKay and his counterpart from Green Mountain, Terry Farrell, were in the front row at the Martin McDonough Gymnasium for Bellows Falls’ 54-14 victory over Mount St. Joseph Academy in Saturday’s girls basketball game. They were eyeballing what could become an outstanding Division III rivalry in the Connecticut River Valley next season.
Bellows Falls is dropping down from Division II to Division III next season due to a decline in enrollment.
“Windsor has been a top team in Division III for years and they aren’t very far away,” said BF coach Todd Wells.
And Green Mountain is even closer, just down Route 103 from BF. Farrell also has that program humming, making next season’s triangular rivalry something to anticipate.
Bellows Falls plays both teams this season, but next year the stakes will be higher as divisional contests.
The Terriers wasted no time taking control of the game against MSJ. Halle Dickerson made a shot beyond the arc for the game’s first points and from there the Terriers extended the lead to 16-5 by the end of the first quarter.
“It is really helpful to get that early lead. We don’t always start out that well,” BF junior Molly Potter said.
The Terriers built the lead to 26-8 by halftime and had it put away by the end of the third quarter, 40-14.
All nine Bellows Falls players scored. They were led by Dickerson’s 17 points. Taylor Goodell followed with eight, Emily Bazin had seven and Molly Kelly added six.
Leading the Mounties were Tiana Gallipo with five and Julia Lee with four.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on,” MSJ coach G.J. Garrow said.
He will try to iron out some of those things before Tuesday when they face Sharon Academy in Green Mountain’s holiday tournament.
The Mounties take a 1-2 record into that game.
“We took care of the basketball today,” Wells said. “We didn’t rely on the 3-pointer because we were able to convert in transition.
“And our defensive intensity was good.
“We have been preaching and practicing team first and that showed today with all of our passing. I bet we had almost as many assists as points.”
MSJ looked as though it was intent on putting a tough two-point loss to Proctor behind it in the early going. Gallipo banked a 3-pointer off the glass and Jillian Perry connected from the outside. The five straight points tied the score at 5-5.
But that was where the Mounties’ energy seemed to end. Goodell scored off a rebound and Potter blocked an MSJ shot. Michelle Marchica scored off a putback. That was the beginning of an 11-0 run that gave the Terriers their 16-5 first-quarter lead.
The Mounties never threatened after that.
“Fourteen points we held them to and that is a good team,” Wells said. “We talked about boxing out and playing defense. We said if we don’t do that, we were not going to come out of here with a win.”
But the Terriers have won them all and now they take a 3-0 record into Proctor’s Almo Buggiani Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Terriers passed another test in beating MSJ in that this was their first road game of the season.
“I think we can do something this year. I think we are set up for greatness,” Potter said.
So far, so good.