CLINTONVILLE - Northeastern Clinton's explosive second quarter proved to be too much for the Patriots to overcome as the Cougars rolled to a 49-33 victory in CVAC girls basketball action Dec. 23.
Both teams started slow in a game rife with turnovers. AuSable Valley held a 4-3 lead at the end of the first period.
"I've got to give credit to AuSable Valley," said NCCS head coach David Lambert. "They put the best pressure on us we've seen all year."
The Cougars then found their rhythm, however, going on a 7-0 run led by back-to-back 3-pointers from Rachelle Barcomb, and fired their way to 21 points in the second quarter while holding AuSable Valley to just six. They held their double-digit lead the rest of the way.
"We caused a lot of turnovers and we got a lot of baskets off of turnovers," said Lambert. "Our shooting got better toward the end, and I think we made some good passes that led to easy baskets."
The Patriots, meanwhile, had one of their coldest shooting nights of the year, finishing 14-for-50 from the field. Alexis Coolidge, normally the team's leading scorer, shot 4-for-24.
"Our effort was there defensively and offensively," said Patriots head coach Roger Long, "but the final product wasn't there. Offensively, we just couldn't finish."
Alexis Facteau was a bright spark for the Patriots in the post, finishing with 12 points, 18 rebounds, five steals, and two blocks.
AuSable Valley held the Cougars' leading scorer, Katrina Garrand, to just five points, though she was key on the defensive end with six rebounds and four steals.
"Basically we did a good job on that, but their other players really stepped up and hit some shots," said Long.
Mary Elizabeth Franke led the Cougars with 12 points while Chelsey Brooks added nine points and six rebounds.
"It's a frustrating loss," said Long, "but it's early in the season."
1 2 3 4
NCCS 3 21 15 10 - 49
AuSable Valley 4 6 9 14 - 33
Northeastern Clinton (49)
Southwick 1-0-2, Dominic 2-0-4, Garrand 1-3-5, Ashline 0-0-0, Grimshaw 0-0-0, Rabideau 1-0-2, Brooks 4-1-9, Franke 6-0-12, Boumil 0-0-0, Faiviae 3-0-6, Bond 1-0-2, Barcomb 2-1-7. Totals 19-2-49.
AuSable Valley (33)
Finnegan 0-0-0, M. Taylor 0-0-0, Casey 0-1-1, Ryan 3-0-6, Coolidge 4-1-9, Douglas 1-0-2, K. Taylor 0-3-3, Facteau 6-0-12. Totals 14-5-33.
3-point goals: NCCS (2) Barcomb